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MICMAC INDIANS.   143

neighboring provinces. The French soon man-aged to be on good terms with the natives ; they settled among them and traded with them, lived often in their wigwams and married their daughters. More than this, French priests came out and lived with them and learned their language, and converted them to their creed. This was not a difficult task, for the Indians believed in a good spirit who made all good things ; in an evil spirit who was the author of all evil. They believed in a heaven and a hell, and also a middle state, or purgatory, says Father Vetromile. This was a long start in the right direction, and the devoted missionaries gathered them all into the Roman Church, where, as a rule, their descendants remain. Before their conversion they were very cruel in war, and afterward they perpetrated dreadful deeds, but white Christians were setting them no better example. In New England Eliot, Tupper and Mayhew were preaching to the Indians with a desire to save their souls, but all their work bore no great fruit. Eliot translated the Bible into their language, and I believe there is not a man who can read it, unless Father Vetromile be still alive. One may well doubt that it ever served the purpose intended.

The New England white men who brought


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