MARCH 16, 1649


The Wendat (or Huron) Confederacy was already at war the Haudenosaunee (then-Five Nations, or Iroquois Confederacy) when the French arrived in North America.  The French immediately began a trading relationship with the Wendat which, while having commericial benefits for France, brought to the Wendat measles and smallpox killing about 2/3 of their numbers.  The Iroquois, whose strength was on the rise, traded with the Dutch and English who exchanged firearms for furs.  The Wendat only received firearms if they converted to Christianity, hence they were unprepared to meet an Iroquois force of 1000 that attacked the St. Ignace and St. Louis Wendat mission villages.  The Iroquois also killed two Jesuit missionaries who became the North American martyrs of the Catholic Church.  The Jesuits then burned the mission after abandoning it.  Survivors escaped to Gahoendoe (now Christian Island).  Eventually, they relocated near Quebec City and became the Huron-Wendat Nation.  

Source:  “The Native People,” Wyandotte Nation.  Retrieved 11/20/2020,
Print:  Edward Chatfield (1802-1839), 1825.  Public Domain. 

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