FRÉMIN, JACQUES, priest, Jesuit, missionary; b. 12 March 1628 at Reims; d. 20 July 1691 at Quebec.
Father Frémin became a Jesuit in Paris on 21 Nov. 1646, and taught for five years at Alençon before being ordained in 1655 at Moulins. He came to Canada the same year, and in 1656 took part in the expedition to the Onondagas which resulted from Simon Le Moyne’s embassy. Until 1667, except for wintering near Rechibouctou (Richibucto, N.B.) in 1658–59 and a trip to France in 1659–60, he remained among the Montagnais near Trois-Rivières. Then, in the capacity of superior, he left for the Iroquois mission, in the reopening of which Jean Pierron and Charles Boquet took part in 1667. He exercised his ministry there until 1679, working especially among the Onondagas, the Cayugas, and the Mohawks. After 1671 he directed his mission from the Caughnawaga centre near Montreal, and endeavoured to familiarize the Indians with French customs. He also took an active part in the quarrels over the trade in spirits. In 1679–81 he was back in France to see to the interests of his mission; but on his return he was forced because of his numerous infirmities to retire to Quebec. There he acted as a confessor to the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu until his death.
Father Frémin’s intelligence was not great, and his manners lacked refinement, but his courage and good sense were particularly outstanding. It is estimated that during his apostolate he baptized some 10,000 natives.
ACSM, ff. 375, 40004, 40006. Campbell, Pioneer priests, I, 172–89. E. J. Devine, Historic Caughnawaga . . . (Montreal, 1922), 20–66. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle, II, 406; III, 365.