Abbé Pierre Antoine Simon Maillard
Apostle to the Mi'kmaq

Priest of the Missions ÉtrangPres and missionary; born. c. 1710 in France, in the diocese of Chartres; died August 12, 1762 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Maillard received his ecclesiastical training at the Séminaire de Saint-Esprit in Paris. He was there in 1734 when the Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu chose some seminarists to lend to the Séminaire des Missions ÉtrangPres which was short of personnel. Maillard spent eight months in the latter institution, then was selected for the Micmac missions on Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) in the spring of 1735. His superiors wrote of him: “He is a young priest who has greatly edified us . . . full of zeal and piety.”

On World Religion Day, we can learn from the past

Daniel N. Paul, December 18, 2017

There are a few things left unsaid about the siege of Annapolis in 1744, starting at page 106 of the 2006 edition of We Were Not the Savages I outline the reaction to the attack on the fort by the Mi’kmaq by Governors Mascarene and Shirley.

The following is why I’ve never been a fan of Maillard. Claims have been made that he was front and center for the Mi’kmaq, however, in the paragraph below his only concern was the welfare of the Acadiens. Although he, as a paid agent of the British (150 ££ per annum ), during the treaty negotiations he never advocated that the British provide sustainable support for the Mi’kmaq after the Treaties were signed. Thus, the Mi’kmaq lived in a state of near starvation for the next century. The Joseph Howe and Abraham Gesner commentaries in We Were Not the Savages best explain the plight of my People. The budget the British had to assist the Mi’kmaq during these decades was around 100 ££ per annum.

“Nothing can better illustrate the missionary’s moral distress at this time than a letter that he wrote to a British officer to advise him to be tolerant toward the Acadians; he ended the letter thus: “If through the misfortunes of the times and the fortunes of war I am now enchained, I love my chains because you have made them seem agreeable to me, to the point that I wish that you will not break them for a good while.” This letter probably coincided with Maillard’s decision to accept the invitation of the governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence, to go to Halifax to cooperate with the British authorities in the pacification of the Micmacs.’


By Leo J. Deveau - January 20, 2007

At the southeast corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street in Halifax, there is a cemetery that city residents know as the "Old Burying Grounds."

With over 1,000 gravestones remaining intact, dating from the grounds’ opening in the early 1750s to its close in 1831, the cemetery – belonging to St. Paul’s Anglican Church – is one of the oldest settler burial sites in North America – the other being at Annapolis Royal. Like many cemeteries, the Old Burying Grounds is a place where, if the dead could speak, listeners would be humbled by the life stories now at rest.

There is a gravestone that you will not find; nor is the name of the person listed in the official register of those who were buried in the Old Burying Grounds. However, historical records do confirm a very unique burial took place on those grounds in August of 1762. Let’s take a brief step back to those times.

Further south on Barrington, at South Street, there is an assortment of office buildings and apartments. But early in 1760, that specific area was outside the tow’s southern palisade walls. And not too far from the south gates, there once stood a large barn whose owner, John Murphy, a farmer of Irish Catholic descent, had offered it as a place of worship to a Roman Catholic missionary.

But Halifax in 1760 was not a place for Roman Catholic missionaries. In essence, the town was a British military outpost where the Anglican faith maintained its authority. Nevertheless, being an outpost, such an authority also had to compete with the most common and successful enterprises in Halifax at the time, namely brothels and the selling of rum!

It was into this world that the British powers had invited a Roman Catholic missionary. After having travelled a few days over land and by river from the ancient Mi’kmaq settlement known as Merigomish Island, located at the northeast part of mainland Nova Scotia, he arrived and was greeted at the gates of the town’s northern palisade walls. The missionary was the Abbé Pierre Antoine Simon Maillard.

The invitation Maillard had accepted came from the British Governor, Charles Lawrence, who had requested his consideration to come to Halifax to act as a British agent to conduct peace treaty negotiations with the various Mi’kmaq Communities. Lawrence had long heard about Maillard and the respect the missionary had amongst the Mi’kmaq. Maillard was a 24-year veteran of missionary life with the , from Isle Royale (present day Cape Breton), to Isle St. Jean (P.E.I.), and Bear River (southwest Nova Scotia); and had served many Acadians who had been on the move in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick due to the Deportation orders of 1755, or who had escaped from Louisbourg after its fall in 1758. Maillard was a missionary in the Spiritan Order and a native of the French village of Chartres, home of the famed Chartres Cathedral and the labyrinth floor it contained.

Since his arrival at Fortress Louisbourg in 1735 at the age of 25, Maillard had walked his own labyrinth during his many years of missionary service – service that would outlive three popes, one British crown, and two French kings.

During that time, he had also been captured once by the British at the first siege of Fortress Louisbourg in 1745. He was sent to Boston, then deported back to France, only to arrive back on the Chebucto shore with the ill-fated Duc d’Anville fleet in 1746, a fleet that had lost ships and men due to storms and disease.

After arriving at Chebucto, he had made his way back to a missionary post at Isle de la Sainte Famille (Island of the Holy Family) or Chapel Island, near the French garrison of Port Toulouse (modern day St. Peter’s, Cape Breton). It was there that Maillard organized a cadre of literate lay catechists, the nujialasutma’tijik (literally, "those who pray"). And it was during this time that he also began his work on the famous hieroglyphic texts of prayers and services for the Mi’kmaq people.

It was in the worst winter recorded at the time, in late 1759, after 24 years of working as a missionary, and experiencing much hardship and witnessing too much bloodshed, that Maillard entered the final chapter of his life and accepted Governor Lawrence’s invitation to come to Halifax and conduct peace treaty work for the British. But for Maillard, his decision to come to Halifax was also in the service of the Mi’kmaq people he loved and had served. And the treaties he eventually secured would endure into the 21st century, becoming the legal basis for many important Mi’kmaq land claims.

After arriving at the northern gates of Halifax, and conducting many treaty negotiations, Maillard died two and a half years later at the age of 52, in August of 1762, completing 27 years of dedicated missionary life. He was buried in the Old Burying Grounds with full official honours, with British, Mi’kmaq and Acadian peoples in attendance at the first ecumenical service in North America.

Maillard gave all his belongings away, including his extensive library of books – some of which are now held at King’s College and at the New Brunswick Public Archives. There is, as yet, no gravestone that marks his place or the memory of his important service to the peoples of the province of Nova Scotia.

Leo J. Deveau lives in Wolfville. He is working on a book on the life and times of Abbé Maillard, entitled Before the Rising Sun. Leo can be contacted at: ljdeveau@chebucto.ns.ca


By Daniel N. Paul - January 27, 2009

I've always had, because of his late in life love affair with the English, some reservations about Maillard's loyalty to the Mi'kmaq. This sentence, "Thanks to him," wrote Thomas Wood*, "many Englishmen were saved from being massacred.."

The before mentioned poses two questions: Were the Mi'kmaq saved from being driven to the edge of extinction by the crulety of Englishmen by his efforts? As a result of his negotiations on their behalf with the British, were the Mi'kmaq left with a country? Answer to both is no.

This leads to another question: Was he really interested in protecting the best interests of the Mi'kmaq during this period, or was he more interested in currying favor for himself with the British in order to preserve the Roman Catholic Religion among the Mi’kmaq and Acadians?

The plight of the Mi’kmaq after his negotiations on their behalf, strongly indicates that he looked after English and Church interests first. Besides the Church, The only ones who really benefitted from his intervention were the "qualified" Protestant settlers that England had dispatched to Nova Scotia to displace the Mi'kmaq and Acadians. It is a stark horrific historical fact that from this period onward the Mi'kmaq were sorely neglected; suffering starvation, malnutrition, and unremitting racism. In fact, it was so bad that on two occasions in the 1840s, two Indian Commissioners, Joseph Howe and Abraham Gesner, predicted their entire demise.

Thus, one would surmise, if Maillard had really acted in their best interests, that he would have negotiated a peace that would have assured the inclusion of the Mi'kmaq in the Province's prosperity and left them with a country - not landless and excluded to the point that they came close to extinction.


By Leo Deveau - February 11, 2009

Sorry for this late reply, but thank-you very much for sharing your reflections on Maillard. Always appreciated - it gives me more to think about on this intriguing, but little known Nova Scotian historical personality. This is rather lengthy, so I beg your patience!

To your comments: I wouldn't call Maillard's relationship to the English a 'love affair,' but rather a choice between lesser evils. By the summer of 1759, the French powers had all but deserted him. They had other preoccupations, namely the defence of Quebec and the looming financial collapse of the government back in France.

Maillard had earlier seen the writing on the wall when Fort Louisburg had come under attack in June of 1758. He was there at the time, but had decided to leave the fort with his Mi'kmaq brothers before it got much worse - this was much to the displeasure of the French Officers. Maillard had left to head back to Chapel Island, where he was based, and than, knowing the British would eventually rout him out, they headed off to the northern Miramachi area where many Acadians and Mi'kmaq had been in hiding. That winter of 1758 into '59 was one of the coldest winters on record and many were dying of starvation and disease. Wolfe would come along later and burn the settlements out, re. 'Burnt Church,' etc.

By the fall of 1759, Maillard had returned from Miramachi to reside on the ancient Mi'kmaq lands of Merigomish Island. It was there that the British officer, Major Schomberg, caught up with him and delivered a letter from Gov. Lawrence, inviting him to come to Halifax to become a peace negotiator between them in the various Mi'kmaq tribes. The British knew very well of Maillard's respect amongst the Mi'kmaq. Halifax traders like Francklin, who also knew and traded with the Mi'kmaq, knew of Maillard and how highly regarded he was by the Mi'kmaq. If Maillard accepted the invitation from the British, he would be allowed to practice his faith and minister to his faithful in the Halifax outpost.

By the time Maillard had received the invitation from the British, he had witnessed the devastation of the Mi'kmaq (and Acadian) peoples; he had seen much sickness and death. As I mentioned above, the earlier winter of 1759 had been the worst on record and many had been dying of disease and starvation.

I truly believe he had great concern as to what would happen to the Mi'kmaq. He had seen the military strength of the British at Louisburg and he knew they now would stop at nothing to achieve their ends. Thus, by the time the British invitation had arrived, Maillard knew his time was limited. Also, by November of 1759, Maillard had received word that Quebec had fallen to the British.

Lastly, his health was becoming fragile (having already written his will once). His twenty-five years of ministering and traveling throughout the region was catching up to him. Further, by late fall of 1759 Malliard had also just completed a large hieroglyphic text of religious prayers and blessings to be used by assigned Mi'kmaq lay leaders - it was a text he had been working on since his return from France on the ill-fated Duc D'Anville's naval fleet in 1746. His work on such a text was an extraordinary act of support and confidence in the Mi'kmaq people themselves to carry on some form of Christian practice without him, or for that matter, without any clerical leadership in the foreseeable future.

I believe Rev. Thomas Wood's observation was simply an acknowledgement that without Maillard's calm approach and intelligence in negotiating between the British powers and the various Mi'kmaq chiefs and leaders, matters could have gotten out of control and had been much worse for everybody involved.

Thus, through his experience and love of the Mi'kmaq people, Maillard was able to temper and inform the British about what it would take to address some of the needs of the Mi'kmaq people, especially around their rights to fishing and hunting. Their food supply was of primary importance, almost more than land, because he had witnessed too much death brought on by starvation. But let's not kid ourselves, it was far from perfect, injustices and prejudices would continue. I believe Maillard acted in good faith as a peace negotiator. One could say the Mi'kmaq in the 1760's were saved from further violence by a peace negotiator who is largely unknown today. I do not believe he was trying to curry favor with the British. He had to calm their paranoia and fears of the Mi'kmaq.

But he had nothing to lose, but his faith. However, his faith had been tested many times previous and he had weathered his personal demons. But he knew too he didn't have the upper hand. He knew his peace-making efforts would be his final legacy to the Mi'kmaq and he had to make due with what was possible amidst frightening consequences. It was his love of the Mi'kmaq and his Christian faith that kept him going. As to what would come later he knew he had no control or influence over, but he nonetheless made it possible through the treaty rights he worked on (rights that were not always respected or followed later), but they were rights that were able to have a positive impact right up to present day.

The notions of a 'province' wasn't even in the lexicon of Maillard or the British. The British at that time didn't leave 'land' to anyone but the winners. Such was the nature of their power and the world they were all living in at the time. France would have been no different.

It would take a popular revolt lead by Joseph Howe in 1848, over ninety years after Maillard to even begin to get an elected Responsible Government (the first in the British Empire) and the beginnings of freedom of the press. (Ironically, this was also influenced somewhat by the French Revolution). By Howe's time the notion of 'provinces' had emerged (as was Confederation -which Howe initially was against). As you point out too, Howe, through his work as an Indian Commissioner, would observe how desperate things had become for the Mi'kmaq. But I don't believe the situation he observed should be attributed as a failure of Maillard's earlier peace-making efforts.

Once again, I always appreciate your reflections. Please don't hesitate to email me again with further thoughts.


Abbé Pierre Antoine Simon Maillard

MAILLARD (Maillart, Mayard, Mayar), PIERRE (sometimes called Pierre-Antoine-Simon), priest of the Missions ÉtrangPres and missionary; b. c. 1710 in France, in the diocese of Chartres; d. 12 Aug. 1762 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Pierre Maillard received his ecclesiastical training at the Séminaire de Saint-Esprit in Paris. He was there in 1734 when the Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu chose some seminarists to lend to the Séminaire des Missions ÉtrangPres which was short of personnel. Maillard spent eight months in the latter institution, then was selected for the Micmac missions on Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) in the spring of 1735. His superiors wrote of him: “He is a young priest who has greatly edified us . . . full of zeal and piety.”

Maillard arrived at Louisbourg, Île Royale, on 13 Aug. 1735 on the Rubis and began to study the Micmac language under the guidance of his predecessor, the Abbé de Saint-Vincent. Having a remarkable talent for languages, Maillard succeeded within a few months not only in mastering Micmac, despite the difficulties in pronunciation, but also in perfecting a system of “hieroglyphics” to transcribe Micmac words. He was thus able to write down in note-books the formulas for the principal prayers and the responses of the catechism so that the Indians might learn them more easily. This system was worked out during the winter of 1737–38, according to the Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre*, who had come to help Maillard in the Micmac missions. For his part Maillard mentioned that the winter he had spent with Le Loutre had furnished him with “an excellent opportunity to learn through teaching his fellow religious.” In fact, the two missionaries spurred each other on in their apprenticeship, but the master, without any doubt, was Maillard, who “is a naturalized Indian as regards language.” Indeed, he even succeeded in acquiring the gift of rhyming at each member of a sentence, which was the genius of that tribe, so that he reached the point of “speaking Micmac with as much ease and purity as do their women who are the most skilled in this style.” It is therefore not surprising that he was used by the officials at Louisbourg to train officers as interpreters.

Did Maillard really invent the sign method which facilitated his linguistic work? The question has not been resolved. In 1691 Father Chrestien Le Clercq* mentioned that he had devised a similar method to catechize the Micmacs of the Gaspé Peninsula. If we accept William Francis Ganong*’s learned deductions, we can accept that in the 17th century Le Clercq had systematized and expanded a custom that the Micmacs had of setting down short messages by means of diagrams. Maillard would seem simply to have taken up and perfected the same procedure, and done so all the more easily because its usage had become widespread since Le Clercq’s time. It is possible, however, that the missionary did not know that he had been preceded in this matter. In any event, it must be acknowledged that Maillard was the great specialist in the Micmac language; the numerous works that he left behind him bear this out.

At the same time as he was absorbed in linguistic studies, Maillard was devoting himself to his apostolic task. Every year he had to visit all the settlements on Île Royale, Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island), and, until Le Loutre arrived, those in English Acadia (Nova Scotia). His intermittent presence among the Indians made missionary work difficult. Consequently Maillard kept asking the authorities for a church and presbytery in order to set up a regular mission which would prevent “the Indians on this island [from being] wanderers or vagabonds.” His wish kept being deferred so that he himself assumed the cost of the buildings that he constructed after 1754 on Île de la Sainte-Famille (today Chapel Island) in the south of Grand Lac de La Brador (Bras d’Or Lake), where his main mission was located. Nevertheless, he received reimbursement of 3,000 livres in March 1757. It was probably during these years, when he was establishing his missionary work, that he wrote his long “Lettre . . . sur les missions micmaques” of unquestionable historical value. In it he sets out in detail his views on the Indians’ customs and the missionary’s work. His remarks on the Micmac language, his models for sermons, his reflections on the problem of alcohol and the torturing of prisoners, and above all the interpretation that he gave of the murder by the Micmacs of Edward How deserve to be mentioned in particular.

The political and religious authorities were not long in recognizing in Maillard an exceptional person: the minister of the Marine, Maurepas, Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu, and Bishop Pontbriand [Dubreil] did not conceal their esteem for him. It is not surprising, therefore, that in 1740 he was appointed the bishop of Quebec’s vicar general for Île Royale. In 1742 the provincial of the Recollets of Brittany, who were responsible for the ministry at Louisbourg, asked that the new men he was sending there be independent of the vicar general of Île Royale. This request brought about a quarrel between Maillard and the Recollets. Scandalized by the conciliatory attitude of the Recollets towards “the disorders and dissoluteness in the colony,” the missionary lost no opportunity to criticize them. His severity led Duquesnel [Le Prévost] and François Bigot* to demand Maillard’s recall. Bishop Pontbriand, however, was not ready to approve this recall, for he considered it an attempt “to escape his episcopal jurisdiction.” His opinion commanded all the more respect since in the mother country Maillard’s presence among the Micmacs was considered indispensable. In 1744 the bishop was obliged, nevertheless, to divide the vicar general’s powers between Maillard and the superior of the Recollets in Louisbourg.

The conflict died down momentarily during the War of the Austrian Succession, particularly after the capture of Louisbourg, but it flared up again after 1750, when the chief protagonists returned to Île Royale. This time Maillard had even fewer qualms about being severe, since he now had a protector in the person of the Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu. Indeed, the latter had received many complaints about the canonical irregularities and the delinquencies of the Recollets, and he was actually thinking of replacing them, for, he claimed, “six secular priests would do more work than nine Recollets.” In 1751 he took the initiative of sending Maillard the bull announcing Benedict XIV’s jubilee, together with instructions which left no doubt about what he thought of the Recollets’ authority. The following year Maillard formally organized the celebration of the Holy Year, with ceremonies, sermons, and processions, and thus asserted his authority over all the clergy on Île Royale. In 1754 Bishop Pontbriand confirmed him in his functions as vicar general, which he exercised henceforth alone. The bishop also authorized Maillard to force the Recollets to submit to his jurisdiction, a solution which is proof both of Maillard’s prestige at Louisbourg and of the influence which the Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu was acquiring in running the affairs of the church of Canada.

Even more than with his ecclesiastical administration, Maillard’s name is associated with the important political role which he played on Île Royale and in Acadia during the final years of the French régime. This role seems to have fallen to him quite naturally at the opening of hostilities between France and England in 1744, for Maillard was needed to direct the Micmacs’ movements in the military campaigns. He was present at the siege of Annapolis Royal in 1744, and some time after the fall of Louisbourg, in June 1745, he encouraged his Micmacs to make raids against the British occupation forces. At the end of 1745 he was taken prisoner, probably through treachery. He was sent to Boston, and from there to France. In 1746 he returned to Acadia with the fleet commanded by the Duc d’Anville [La Rochefoucauld] and took an active part in the military campaigns during the winter of 1746–47 directed by Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Roch de Ramezay*. He saw to it that some Micmacs took part in them and sought supplies from the Acadians for the Canadian troops. On 11 Feb. 1747 it was he who gave general absolution at three o’clock in the morning before the famous battle of Minas which was to put the British garrison to flight [see Arthur Noble].

Maillard was then particularly conscious of the ambiguity of his role in the war. This comes out clearly in his correspondence with British officers, such as Peregrine Thomas Hopson and Edward How, whom he met and to whom he tried to justify the conduct of the Acadians and Micmacs. But he did not even think of discussing his own participation in the French cause: “There is no reason to fear any slackening of ardour on this missionary’s part,” wrote the president of the council of Marine, “but rather that he will carry it too far in some respects.”

The founding of Halifax in the summer of 1749 involved Maillard even more directly in political matters. On 23 Sept. 1749 the Micmacs declared war on the British who had settled on Chebucto Bay. In transcribing the Micmac text of this declaration of war, along with its translation, for the Abbé Du Fau, one of the directors of the Séminaire des Missions ÉtrangPres, Maillard commented: “The Indians are really forced to defend themselves as they can and to prevent the British from becoming entirely the masters of the interior of Acadia.” It is clear that the true aims of this war were to put obstacles in the way of British settlement and that Maillard was the intermediary between the officials at Louisbourg and the Micmacs. It has, moreover, been shown that the anonymous report entitled “Motifs des sauvages mikmaques et marichites de continuer la guerre contre les Anglais depuis la derniPre paix” (“Motives of the Micmac and Marichite Indians for continuing the war against the English since the last peace”), which was sent by the Comte de Raymond*, governor of Louisbourg, had been prepared and written by Maillard himself.

Edward Cornwallis*, the governor of Halifax, was so firmly convinced of Maillard’s role in the war that he made the missionary “the most advantageous offers, both by word of mouth and in writing . . . to have him go to live at Minas.” It is worth noting that the pension for Maillard that had been sought from the king of France for nearly two years was thereupon granted him. In August 1750 the missionary was awarded a pension of 800 livres from the Abbaye de Chaux. Moreover, Maillard and Jean-Louis Le Loutre also obtained an assistant, whom they had been requesting for several years. The new arrival was the Abbé Jean Manach, whom Maillard hastened to initiate into the difficulties of the Micmac language. “In the circumstances in which the Indians are at present,” Maillard wrote to the Abbé Du Fau in 1751, “it is not possible for any one of us to abandon them without exposing them to the opportunity of going over unfailingly to the British, who are only watching for the right moment.” From his mission on Île de la Sainte-Famille Maillard kept the Micmacs in a state of war, and continued to do so until 1758.

Five days after the beginning of the second siege of Louisbourg, Maillard, at the request of Governor Drucour [Boschenry], tried vainly to persuade Charles Deschamps* de Boishébert, a Canadian officer, to march on the town with a force of Indians and Acadians in order to try to run the blockade. Maillard always remained convinced that this strategy could have changed the course of events. After the fall of the fortress the missionary took refuge with his Micmacs at Miramichi Bay where a large number of Acadians who had escaped deportation in 1755 were gathered. “Here I see only the greatest distress and poverty,” he wrote to the Abbé Du Fau. “All the families who have come over to us are starving.” Earlier he had made a short stay on Île Saint-Jean, where the settlers were hoping that they would not be disturbed by the British. But, in 1758, the deportation of the Acadians from Île Saint-Jean only added to the number of refugees south of the Baie des Chaleurs. Maillard then decided to settle at Malagomich (Merigomish, N.S.), to spend the winter “in a cove which the British do not know,” and to bring together there all the Micmacs from the east coast. He also planned to go to Quebec to ask for help, but it is not known whether he was able to make this trip.

On 26 Nov. 1759 Maillard was still at Malagomich, where he accepted from Major Henry [Alexander?] Schomberg peace conditions which he considered “good and reasonable.” Other missionaries, such as Manach and Joseph-Charles Germain*, did the same. These initiatives led the French officer Jean-François Bourdon de Dombourg to compile an incriminating dossier against the missionaries, which he sent to Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil. The governor of Canada reacted violently against the missionaries, accusing them of treason, and in the spring of 1760 he sent an officer, Gabriel-François d’Angeac*, to Restigouche to investigate this affair. It was probably to this officer that Maillard wrote in 1760 an impassioned letter in which he declared that he had been slandered and that he hoped that he would have the opportunity to reestablish himself in Vaudreuil’s presence “by summing up 23 years . . . spent in this country in the service of our Religion and our Prince.” He had indeed treated for peace with Schomberg, not treasonably, as Vaudreuil claimed, but because of his powerlessness and because he realized that the Acadians, the Micmacs, and their missionaries had been completely abandoned. Nothing can better illustrate the missionary’s moral distress at this time than a letter that he wrote to a British officer to advise him to be tolerant toward the Acadians; he ended the letter thus: “If through the misfortunes of the times and the fortunes of war I am now enchained, I love my chains because you have made them seem agreeable to me, to the point that I wish that you will not break them for a good while.” This letter probably coincided with Maillard’s decision to accept the invitation of the governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence, to go to Halifax to cooperate with the British authorities in the pacification of the Micmacs.

That he should have been approached for this difficult mission is certainly revealing. We do not know when he arrived in Halifax, but it was likely at the beginning of the autumn of 1760, before Lawrence’s death, which occurred on 19 October of that year. Maillard became a British official with the title of government agent to the Indians and a salary of £150. He received permission to maintain an oratory at a battery in Halifax, where he was able to hold Catholic services for the Acadians and Micmacs in the area “with great freedom.” Many Acadians had followed him to Halifax, in particular the family of Louis Petitpas, his daily companion and confidential agent since 1749, in whose home he lived and whom he made his sole legatee. Maillard did in fact mediate with the different tribal chiefs and was in most instances successful in persuading them to sign peace treaties with the British in Halifax. Thus Joseph Argimault signed for the Micmacs of the Mesigash (Missaguash) River on 8 July 1761 and Francis Mius for those at La HPve (La Have) on 9 November of that year. Eloquent testimonials confirm these deeds: “Thanks to him,” wrote Thomas Wood*, “many Englishmen were saved from being massacred.”

In the upheaval of 1760 Maillard had been confirmed in his functions as vicar general for all the territory of Nova Scotia, since Acadia no longer existed. From Halifax he tried to communicate with the Acadians who were dispersed about the surrounding territories. In 1761 he even corresponded with the Acadian colony at Salem, Massachusetts, and gave Louis Robichaud*, the son of Prudent Robichaud and leader of the little community, permission to receive “the mutual consent . . . of all those men and women who may wish to be joined in marriage.” This letter shows that Maillard considered himself at that time to be the spiritual leader of all the dispersed Acadians. Although they were without news of the missionary, the French religious authorities tried vainly in July 1762 to impose him upon James Murray* as superior of the seminary of Quebec. Everything indicates that Maillard was not aware of this final honour which it was desired to confer upon him.

In July 1762 Maillard fell seriously ill. He was cared for by his faithful followers as well as by Thomas Wood, a former surgeon-major who in 1759 had become chaplain to the House of Assembly at Halifax. On 12 Aug. 1762 Pierre Maillard died in Petitpas’s home, attended at his own request by the Anglican clergyman, Thomas Wood, who gave an account of his death and added that he had recited the office of the visitation of the sick in French. He received a state funeral organized by the government of Nova Scotia. The pall-bearers included Jonathan Belcher*, the president of the council, and William Nesbitt*, the speaker of the assembly. The government thus recognized the great services that Maillard had rendered in the pacification of the Indians as well as the respect he had earned because of his strong personality. According to the Reverend Mr Wood, “He was a very sensible, polite, well bred man, an excellent scholar and a good sociable companion, and was much respected by the better sort of people here as it appeared.” With him disappeared the last missionary to Acadia.

The historians who have written about Acadia in the 18th century are unanimous in their favourable opinion of Pierre Maillard, and this unanimity about a person from Acadian history seems exceptional. They try to outdo one another in praising his talents as a linguist, his missionary zeal, his devotion to the Micmacs’ cause, his loyalty to France, and his collaboration with the British after the fall of Louisbourg. Maillard represents beyond a doubt the true missionary, enlightened, particularly lucid in complicated situations, always sure of where he stands, and passionate in expressing his opinions. He was probably one of the best ambassadors of the French cause in America in the 18th century.

AAQ, 12 A, Registres d’insinuations, B, 324; Registres d’insinuations, C, 170–70v, 220; 22 A, Copies de lettres expédiées, I, 51; II, 516, 579, 681, 686, 795; 10 B, Registre des délibérations, 110, 113, 236v; T, Manuscrits Maillard; 1 W, Église du Canada, I, 235–37. ASJCF, Abbé Maillard, “Livre de priPres en langue micmaque avec traduction française en regard.” ASQ, Carton LaverdiPre, 11–20, 117a; Fonds Casgrain, Acadie; Fonds Verreau, “Ma saberdache”, X, 26; Grand livre de délibération, 1734–1736 ff.30, 31; Lettres, M, 85, 91, 113, 118; P, 60–75, 77–79, 120; R, 87–93, 190; mss, 196; Polygraphie, VII, 5, 112; XI, 3; XIII, 66; Séminaire, IV, 91; IX, 1; XIV, 6, nos.3–4, 6, 14; XV, 66. AN, Col., B, 70, f.393; 74, f.554; 76, ff.350, 352, 500; 77, f.64; 78, f.392; 81, f.307; 83, f.265v; 86, ff.106, 233v; 90, f.209; 91, ff.352, 363; 92, f.171v; 95, f.294; 105, f.227; 112, f.498v; 115, f.349; C11A, 78, f.407; 82, f.326; 83, ff.3–36; 86, ff.260–69; 87, ff.314–61, 365; 89, f.266; 93, ff.80–86; 105, ff.31–42, 71–73; 107, ff.76–77; C11B, 20, f.85; 26, ff.38, 48–54; 28, ff.60–62; 29, f.81; 31, ff.51, 116; 37, f.39; C11C, 9, ff.100–1.

Coll. de manuscrits relatifs B la N.-F., III, 359, 369, 410, 439. Coll. doc. inédits Canada et Amérique, I, 5–39, 47–52, 55–69; II, 58–75. Le Clercq, New relation of Gaspesia (Ganong). Derniers jours de l’Acadie (Du Boscq de Beaumont). “Lettres et mémoires de l’abbé de L’Isle-Dieu,” APQ Rapport, 1935–36; 1936–37; 1937–38. [Pierre Maillard], Grammaire de la langue micmaque, J. M. Bellenger, édit. (New York, 1864); “Lettre de M. l’abbé Maillard sur les missions de l’Acadie et particuliPrement sur les missions micmaques,” Les soirées canadiennes; recueil de littérature nationale (Québec), III (1863), 289–426. N. S. Archives, I, 184–85. Pichon, Lettres et mémoires. PAC Report, 1894, 101–2, 120, 132–33, 147–48, 154–56, 237; 1905, II, pt.iii, 186–95, 206–7. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Casgrain, Un pPlerinage au pays d’Évangéline, app. i; Une seconde Acadie, 160, 205, 334, 336, 347; Les Sulpiciens en Acadie, 21, 181, 215, 366–67, app. Gosselin, L’Église du Canada aprPs la conquLte, III, 306–8, 349, 361, 365, 375–90. Johnson, Apôtres ou agitateurs. J. E. Burns, “The Abbé Maillard and Halifax,” CCHA Report, 1936–37, 13–22. N. M. Rogers, “Apostle to the Micmacs,” Dal. Rev., VI (1926–27), 166–76. Albert David, “L’apôtre des Micmacs,” Revue de l’université d’Ottawa, V (1935), 49–82, 425–52; VI (1936), 22–40; “Une autobiographie de l’abbé Le Loutre,” Nova Francia, VI (1931), 1–34; “Messire Pierre Maillard, apôtre des Micmacs,” BRH, XXXV (1929), 365–75; “Les missionnaires du séminaire du Saint-Esprit B Québec et en Acadie au XVIIIe siPcle,” Nova Francia, I (1925–26), 9–14, 52–56, 99–105, 152–59, 200–7; “A propos du testament de l’abbé Maillard,” Nova Francia, II (1926–27), 99–109, 149–63.