Jesuit RelationsJesuit Relations (Relations des jésuites), the voluminous annual documents sent from the Canadian mission of the Society of Jesus to its Paris office, 1632-72, compiled by missionaries in the field, edited by their Québec superior, and printed in France by Sébastien Cramoisy. As a result of Cardinal Richelieu's decision to enlist the Jesuits in colonizing French North America, the early history of settlement was systematically and colourfully documented by priests attempting to convert the Indians and also to attract support at home for their project.
The journals and letters of Paul LE JEUNE, Jérôme LALEMANT, Jean de BRÉBEUF and Paul Ragueneau, among others, dramatize tribal warfare in Huronia and the day-to-day life of colonists in ACADIA; these are supplemented by "relations" of Jesuit participation in colonial matters throughout the New World. Invaluable as ethnographic and documentary sources, the Jesuit Relations were avidly and widely read in the 18th century, along with the works of Cartier and Champlain, as exciting travel literature. Reuben Gold Thwaites edited 73 volumes as The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France 1610-1791 (1896-1901), presenting annotated parallel versions of his translations and the French, Latin and Italian original texts.