SAINTE-MARIE AMONG THE HURONS, by Wilfrid Jury and Elsie McLeod Jury (Oxford University Press, 21s.).
WILFRID JURY. Curator of the Museum of Indian Archeology in the University of Western Ontario, was sent by his university, in 1948, on an expedition that it sponsored with the Society of Jesus to investigag the remains of the Jesuit resiTirice of the mission to the Hurons. The expedition worked on the site for the ktest part of four years. Their findings sbe unexpected and of the highest interest.
On the banks of the little River Wye, just before it empties into Georgian Bay, in Lake Huron, between the year 1639 and 1649. stood the first inland European settlement in North America. It was called Sainte-Marie-aux-Horons and it was the residence of the Jesuit mission to the Huron Indians. Not far from the snot, St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Gabriel Lafemant died martyrs for the Faith.
Their story is well known, but the extent of the buildings and installations to which the missionaries themselves set fire in 1649 when the Hurons were defeated by the Iroquois was not known.
"We even applied the torch to the work of our own hands . . . and thus in a single day, and almost in a moment, we saw consumed our work of nearly 10 years," wrote Fr. Paul Raguenau. Four years of patient and expert excavation were required to bring out the vast scale of the residence—its numerous buildings, their high craftsmanship. its ingenious defences and, most surprising of all, its canal connection with the river, with an elaborate system of locks and loading hays.
THIS hook tells the story of the excavations, themselves arduous, skilled, imaginative, but also it brings out the daily life and the toils of the builders, the missionaries who in the "Relations" were content to record hare facts without detail, which left no hint of the skilful and ingenious work that went into "huts and buildings."
The story as told by Mr. and Mrs. Jury is exciting and gripping, and no dry-as-dust official record, in justification of the time, money and energy that went into the uncovering of the story of Sainte Marie-aux-Hurons. It is illuminated with significant quotations from contemporary accounts and letters, illustrated with clear diagrams. some fascinating drawings and a series of 27 plates of the highest interest.
The book is got up with t h e greatest of care and the fineness of printing and presentation which one expects of Oxford University Press. No Catholic library will in future be complete without this record of the achievements of great Jesuit missionaries to the Canadian Indians.