Source: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
TAONDECHOREN, Louis, Huron chieftain, dogique of the mission at Notre-Dame-de-Foy; b. c. 1600; d. some time after 1677.
Louis was baptized at Sainte-Marie-des-Hurons in 1640. The missionaries, who considered him at the time to be “one of the noble spirits of the country [Huronia]” and “one of the best qualified for our mysteries,” were not disappointed. He was noted for his fervour: an “excellent Christian,” wrote Marie de l’Incarnation [see Guyart], who had a long conversation with him and presented him in 1671 with “a very beautiful wax relief Image of the holy Infant Jesus in his cradle.” The Relation adds: “It is incredible how zealous this man is in all manners of piety.” In 1668 Louis was dogique of the little Huron colony at Quebec, that is to say, he was responsible for leading the Indians in their prayers and for keeping watch over their conduct in the missionary’s absence. He filled this role until 1677 at least. In addition to his piety and his zeal the Jesuits spoke highly of his eloquence: “very Eloquent in his own language,” he delivered addresses that were “sensible and sound” and which “have nothing of the Savage about them.”
Moved by a true apostolic spirit, Louis had long dreamed of proclaiming “the truths of our Religion” in his native region and in the Iroquois cantons. The opportunity to do so was soon offered. In 1673 he accompanied Governor Buade de Frontenac on his journey to Lake Ontario. Although infirm and ill, he prolonged his stay, acting at Onondaga as “preacher, both in public before meetings of the council and in private visits to the lodges.” Father Jean de Lamberville* expressed his satisfaction at “having found such a vicar.”
In 1660 Louis had been one of Dollard’s companions at the Long Sault. Captured by the Iroquois, he had escaped 8 or 10 days later. He had been “4 days and 4 nights on the run, without a stop,” before reaching Montreal around 25 May. It was he who was the chief source of information for Father Chaumonot and the author of the 1659–60 Relation, both of whom drew up an account of the battle of the Long Sault.
From 1677 on the Relations make no further mention of Louis, who by that time was nearly 80 years of age.
Marie Guyart de l’Incarnation, Lettres (Richaudeau), II, 162f. JR (Thwaites), XIX, 148–50; L, 210–12; LII, 236; LV, 266–68, 276, 300; LVIII, 134, 148, 150, 196–98; LX, 78, 306. André Vachon, “L’affaire du Long-Sault: valeur de la source huronne,” RUL, XVIII (1963–64), 495–515.