FIRST DRAFT: Writing On Jesuits and Indian Slavery

This past week I finished the first draft of my research paper, Slavery in Jesuit Country: How French Jesuit Missionaries Interacted & Responded to Early Native American & African Slavery in the New World. After finally sitting down to write my paper, I now know how I was successful and where I actually struggled.

First, I believe that I need to spend more time revising my preliminary draft to include stronger evidence that supports my critique of Rushforth’s statements on Jesuit missions in Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous & Atlantic Slaveries in New France (2012). My ultimate goal is to be able to provide criticism throughout my discussion of Indian slavery, not just when I specifically focus on Rushforth’s work. Additionally, I feel that my draft needs at least four more pages of content to prove my argument and describe New France’s history.

After finishing my draft, I felt confident and satisfied with the breadth of information I was able to relate–especially since I still have time before the final version of the paper is due for our different presentations. I also felt a sense of fulfillment when writing, because I was able to create stronger and more interesting headings for the outline of my paper:


The most frustrating aspect of my paper was the fact that the information I address span vastly different times in New France’s history. By discussing early Jesuit explorations, while establishing missions, and later Jesuit plantations (Kaskaskia), I feel that my argument towards Jesuits’ relationship–with slavery–may be vulnerable. Additionally, while criticizing Rushforth, I became frustrated with Rushforth’s arguments that blamed Jesuit missions for using Indian slaves as chattel slaves. I felt that Rushforth did not authentically explain pre-European Indian slave-captivity practices; even though he attempted to advocate against Jesuit use of slaves on missions (before the 1700s).

Even though I am confident with the content of my first draft, I know that my research needs work. I envision presenting a graduate-level research thesis, that includes research supported by reproduced images of primary documents and scholarly criticism. I also fully recognize that I may not have met the full length of the goal for the preliminary draft. I plan to extend my paper to the maximum of 25 pages, as I include the final concluding section of my paper. I would also like to look into additional criticism against Rushforth, as I did not focus on this until the drafting of my outline.

I hope that I can be confident in the revised versions of this research paper.


Outline: The Art of Preparation

Over the last few weeks, I got a chance to sit down and begin the planning stages of my paper. Like I did for prior research projects, my preparation included a balance between essential ideas and specific quotations to help provide context. The process of putting together an outline essentially is loosely structured, in order to help ideas flow consistently throughout writing a final research project.
Because of this free flow and loose structure, I created a preliminary outline that emphasizes the structure I want to create. Through working closely with Dr. Karamanski and Marie, I was able to determine a specific direction for my writing.
The basic flow of my paper is as follows:
I. Introduction and Thesis Construction
II. Early Indian Slavery
III. New France’s Participation with Slavery
IV. Jesuit Relationship to Slavery
V. Conclusion and Critique of Historical Scholarship
My process for determining what I needed to include in my outline, stemmed from the specific examples I discussed with Dr. Karamanski and my additional reading of Empire By Collaboration and Bonds of Alliance–through reading more about these two secondary sources, I was able to understand how to present them in my paper. Because each source discusses aspects of the history I am trying to explain, I decided to include these works in earlier sections of my paper, but leave room for an in-depth critique of each book in my conclusion.
Essentially, because I keep improving my ideas and learning more about each source, the outline never really has an “end.” For the purposes of this assignment, I ended my outline after I was able to accurately layout what my plan was and include the quotes needed to help grow my thoughts. After reviewing my initial feedback, I plan to revise and adjust my outline during spring break, next week.
I feel that the strongest part of my outline so far is my construction of specific sections and their respective topics. After constructing each subheading, I realized that the entire section has potential to expand upon an over-arching theme, while still providing substantial chance to comment on Jesuits and Indian slavery throughout the paper. I feel that if I progressively build my connection to Jesuits and slavery, then when I get to the conclusion my argument will be more sound.
The major gaps that I still need to fill are finding multiple Jesuit priests interacting with Indians. So far, my research has been focused on Father Marquette. Even though this focus is important, I find myself constantly looking for references to Marquette, limiting my source base. In my defense, however, most of the sources reference his specific volumes of the Jesuit Relations–which I also find challenging to incorporate into my paper without focusing on Father Marquette.
The one thing that surprised me about writing my outline was how quickly I was able to establish the specific topics within each specific section (ie. III New France’s…). I thought that my specific bullet-pointed-ideas came to me very quickly, but still fit the ideas I talked about with Professor Karamaski. However, I am also curious to see if Professor Karamaski and Marie both think I am heading in the correct direction so far. Personally, I know I need to “dive deeper” into my sources, but I want to make sure I am swimming in the right direction.
As I said earlier, I plan to continuously add to my outline, but maintain the sections and quotations–unless I am advised otherwise. I’m truly looking forward to drafting my ideas soon!

First Primary Sources

Over the last two weeks I have been able to do a preliminary reading of two primary sources:

  1. Delanglez, Jean. Life and Voyages of Louis Jolliet, 1645-1700. Loyola University of Chicago. Institute of Jesuit History. Publications. Chicago: Institute of Jesuit History, 1948.
  2. Pease, Theodore Calvin, and Raymond Clarence Werner. The French Foundations, 1680-1693. Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Vol Xxiii. French Series, Vol. 1. Springfield, Ill.: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, 1934.

Both of these sources are located at Loyola University Chicago’s Cudahy Library. Life and Voyages of Louis Jolliet, 1645-1700 was compiled and written by Father Jean Delanglez, S.J., Ph. D. for the Institute of Jesuit History (Loyola University Chicago) in 1948. This source provides Father Delanglez scholastic argument in response to the original letters or writings of seventeenth-century Jesuit missionaries including Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet.

Though my complete understanding of apparent biases is still being developed, we can still see the (obvious) influence God has on these missionaries, even when writing about survival and the loss of missionary companions:

Louis Jolliet: [Letter]

“…my canoe capsized and I lost my men and a box werein were all my papers, my journal…I am much grieved over the loss of a ten year old slave who had been presented to me. He was of a good disposition, quick-witted, diligent, and obedient. He could express himself in French, and was beginning to read and write. I lost consciousness, and after four hours in the water, I was found by fishermen who never go to this place and who would not have been there if the Blessed Virgin had not obtained for me this grace from God, Who stayed the course of nature in order to rescue me from death.” (June 1674) (p.131)

The only immediate limitation of this source could be that the primary references exist within a secondary source’s comments. Although, I believe I may be able to find these letters and writings outside of this specific printed edition.

In comparison to Delanglez’ source, Theodore Pease’s work, The French Foundations, provides a direct translation to writings about the French frontier. Though not specifically referencing the Jesuit missionary efforts, pages 255 to 259 directly express France’s Indian trade policy–relevant to my understanding of Indian/French slave trading.

This source specifically mentions the King of France’s ordinance (May 2, 1681) that clearly outlined colonial policy for dealing with Indians and avoiding conflict with the Iriqouis. What I find interesting about this section is the fact that it does not specifically mention acquiring slaves from Indians, in exchange for presenting gifts, but it does, however, emphasize the importance of limiting and preventing French acceptance of reciprocal Indian gifts and further trading. The fact that I can not find a specific reference to Native American slavery is unusual, especially because it was through this French practice of presenting gifts that Marquette and other Jesuits received slaves during their missionary activities.

To digress, these last two weeks have provided me with the opportunity to start working with primary sources. At the moment, I am trying to get a stronger idea of what specific missionaries I want to investigate and trying to find the proper balance of incorporating information on Native American slavery and captive practices during this period.

The most surprising aspect of looking at these sources was how common it is for a book to include both the original French writing and the equivalent English translation with footnotes. If only I knew French, then I’d be able to better interact with these sources!

-Rob Baurley

New topic, new beginning​

This last week I decided to re-visit my previous topic choice for the seminar. After speaking to Professor Karamanski, I realized that although I am interested in Native American legal history, a project on this subject would be too difficult for my research to turn out successfully. After weighing my options I have chosen to continue my previous scholarship on Native American captive slavery, as this practice related to French missions and Father Marquette.

I have begun to compile a bibliography covering the history of Marquette and Native American slavery in Illinois territory; also including information on French Louisiana connecting to New Orleans hub. My previous scholarship on the topic of Native American slavery was centered in South Carolina (1715). Though the low-country is different from the French territory, the scholarship on Indian slavery is still relevant.

After reading over Andres Resendez’ 2016 book, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Slavery in America, I have located a few chapters that appear relevant to my new topic. Unsurprisingly, some of the sources Resendez references were incorporated into my research on the Yamasee Indians; specifically the Allan Gallay’s work with Native American history of trading Indian slaves. Through reading the seventh chapter of his book, I was able to locate a new source, Anthropologist Robbie Ethridge. Ethridge writes about the militaristic slave society that emerged over the practice of Indian slave trade.

For the next week, I hope to review my bibliography with Professor Karamaski and locate a solid primary source base, to begin researching. I also have a meeting with Dr. Roberts scheduled to learn about the best ways to use my research stipend. I hope that by the end of February, I will be in a place to begin outlining my findings and forming a solid argument.