Please summarize Chapter 4 (diplomacy and war) of the book The Jesuit Relations by Allan Greer.

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laurniko eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original collection of The Jesuit Relations consists of 73 books and can be difficult to access for readers who don't have the time to tackle such a large volume of literature. Allan Greer focuses on 35 documents from the original sources and helps make them more accessible with explanations and background information in The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century North America.

Chapter four of Greer's The Jesuit Relations is called "Diplomacy and War." Greer sets the scene by saying:

The Jesuit missions of New France were conducted throughout the seventeenth century in an atmosphere of tension, war, and shifting alliances involving the French and the various native nations. Accordingly, the Relations are packed with news of war and peace—daring raids, hopeful negotiations, surprise ambushes, captivity, torture, and redemption—all recounted in the style of romantic adventure with an overlay of pious sentiments. In some cases, armed conflict pitted Christian forces (French and/or native converts) against "infidels" (usually Iroquois), allowing the Jesuit chroniclers to adopt the rhetoric of crusader narratives. What makes the Relations uniquely valuable sources on Indian war and diplomacy is the richness of detail, the anecdotes of battlefield adventures, the captivity stories, and the verbatim accounts of diplomatic speeches. These are not the usual colonialist accounts of brave Europeans fighting and subduing faceless "savages," but rather stories in which the natives themselves feature centrally. (94)

In short, chapter four focuses on the Jesuit missionaries' relations with the native Indian tribes in America. Greer discusses the peace negotiations at Three Rivers in 1645 through Father Barthélémy Vimont's writings about his meeting with Mohawk emissaries, where he describes the primary emissary as eloquent and well-spoken. Next, Greer focuses on the Iroquois attacks on the Algonquins, the result of a continuing war between the two. Jérôme Lalemant describes the trials of the people who were attacked and taken hostage—including the story of a woman who kills a warrior and escapes from her captors. Finally, Greer addresses how the Huron nations fell to population loss, new divisions created by religious conversion, and attacks by the Iroquois. Many Hurons integrated into the Iroquois nation, though a few went to other tribes or went with the Jesuits to Quebec City.

hannahhunt09 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Four of "The Jesuit Relations," Allan Greer speaks of both sides of the war. He discusses their methods of communicating when they wanted to create a truce, as well as their plans of attack, which often hinged on the element of surprise. Greer describes the treaty formed at Three Rivers, the resulting peace of which encouraged negotiation for returning prisoners of war who had been captive. One particular man named Kiotseaeton from the Iroquois tribe is credited with bringing about this peace treaty. He was brave and courageous; he brought gifts to his enemies and danced for them. The folk tale that has grown out of his contribution to ending the war outlines seventeen specific presents that he brought, and gives him nearly all of the credit for ending the war. Greer details the true facts of, as well as speculation on, this story in this chapter.

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