16 December 2004
[QUEBEC]. Poeme de six religiuses Ursulines qui sont passées à la Martinique pour l'établissement d'un monastere de leur ordre. Dédié à Mademoiselle de Nantes, Par les Ursulines du grand Convent de Paris. Paris: George Josse, 1682.
4o (228 x 163 mm). (Closely trimmed, with some signature marks and shoulder notes cropped.) Modern red morocco gilt.
VERY RARE. On p. 22, fourth and fifth lines read: "Ce que dans Canada l'on a fait contre nous Ne nous aprend que trop à redouter leurs coups." "The chronicle of the Ursulines of Quebec, speaking of these last, says that their misery was indescribable, and attributes it to the poverty of their colony. But there were other causes. The exiles found less pity from kindred and fellow Catholics than from the heretics of the English colonies. Some of them who made their way to Canada from Boston, wither they had been transported, sent word to a gentleman of that place who had befriended them, that they wished to return. Bougainville, the celebrated navigator, then aide-de-camp to Montcalm, says concerning them: 'They are dying by wholesale. Their past and present misery, joined to the rapacity of the Canadians who seek only to squeeze out of them all the money they can, and then refuse them the help so dearly bought, are the cause of this mortality.' ... Many of the exiles eventually reached Louisiana, where their descendants now form a numerous and distinct population" (Francis Parkman, Montcalm & Wolfe, New York, 1983, pp.1038-9). The text probably refers to the siege to the Ursuline monastery at Quebec in 1660 by the Iroquois. Most histories state that the nuns were actually on their way to Louisiana to teach the children there, but nothing in the text indicates they were headed anywhere but the West Indies. There were no missions in Louisiana as yet to warrant establishing a monastery there. Alden & Landis 682/141; JCN (4) 107 (only copy located); Leclerc 3447 ("pièce fort rare non citée par Ternauv"); Sabin 63600.
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