Michigan Transportation History


PersonPublicJesuit Missionary Saint Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) was a FrenchFrench Jesuit Jesuit missionaryMissionary and martyr in New FranceNew France. He arrived at Quebec in 1636 and went among the Wyandot around the Georgian Bay. In 1641, he and Father Charles Raymbault? journeyed through Lake Huron and up the St. Marys River to the rapids there, called a sault in French. Jogues named the place Sault Ste. Marie. There they found a band of Ojibwe fishing and the two Jesuits performed mass for them becoming the first European religious rite practiced in Michigan.

They traveled back to Quebec in 1642 but en route were ambushed by an Iroquois war party. Jogues was captured, tortured (losing some fingers), and held as a slave for a while until he was ransomed in July 1643 by some Dutch traders. He then returned to France.

In April 1644, he returned to New France. In the spring of 1646, he was sent to Mohawks, his former captors, to negotiate a peace between them and the Wyandot. While on this trek, he was the first European to Lake George, which he named Lac du St. Sacrement. He was successful in reaching a peace accord and returned to Quebec in June. Jogues was inspired to establish a mission among the Mohawks, a request the Jesuit leadership in Quebec were reluctant to grant. Jogues was persuasive, permission was granted, and he left in September in the companionship of Father Jean de Lalande. During the summer, however, plague had broken out among the Iroquois and villages had massive crop failures, both of which were ascribed to Jogues and became evidence to the Mohawks that Jogues was a sorcerer. He was captured and brought to the village of Ossernenon where he was tortured and killed. De LeLande tried to recover his body, but also was slain in the attempt.

He and de Lalande were canonized in 1930 as two of the North American Martyrs.


Campbell, Thomas. "St. Isaac Jogues." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 5 Jul. 2011.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online


The Captivity of St. Isaac Jogues (Bristol, PA: Arx Publishing, 2003).

Kittler, G. D. Saint in the Wilderness (1964).

Halsey, Francis W. The Old New York Frontier, chapter 1, "Jesuits and Church of England Men (1650-1746)"

Lomask, Milton. Saint Isaac and the Indians. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1956.

Birch, John Joseph. The Saint of the Wilderness: St. Isaac Jogues. (New York, 1936).

Talbot, Francis, S.J. Saint Among Savages: The Life of Saint Isaac Jogues. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1935.

Harris, Dean. History of the Early Missions in Western Canada (Toronto, 1893).

Shea, J. G. Life of Father Jogues (New York, 1885).

Francis Parkman, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century?, vol. 2 of France and England in North America? (1867).

Other sources to try:

Bancroft, History of the United States, III;

Jesuit Relations, 1640-1647;

Charlevoix, History of New France, II;

Richemonteix, The Jesuits and New France, I, II.

Citation: When referencing this page please use the following citation:

R. D. Jones, "Isaac Jogues," Michigan Transportation History (Ypsilanti, MI: 2020), www.michtranshist.info/.

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Page last modified on March 16, 2020, at 01:12 PM EST

Page last modified on March 16, 2020, at 01:12 PM EST