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At the invitation of a Cayuga chieftain he set out, in 1666, for Lake Tiohero, near the present Cayuga, but his stay there was of short duration. The next year he was sent to revive the mission founded by Father Jogues among the Mohawk Nation and, on his way, instituted the first Catholic settlement in Vermont, on Isle La Motte. Arriving at Tinnontoguen, the Mohawk capital, he acquired the language and won respect. His chief work seems to have been to attend to the Huron captives who were already Christianized.
In October, 1668, Frémin proceeded to the Seneca Indian country, but the war then being waged with the Ottawa and the Susquehanna prevented many conversions. In August, 1669, he left for Onondaga to preside at a general meeting of the missionary priests, but shortly returned to Gannougare to resume his work among the captive Huron.
The high repute he had gained among the various tribes was responsible for his recall, in 1670, to take charge of La Prairie, the Christian settlement near Montreal where the converted Indians had been gathered, and it was he who placed this refuge on a solid footing and eliminated the liquor traffic. From that time on, with the exception of several voyages to France in the interest of the mission, he devoted himself exclusively to the work of preserving in the Catholic faith those Indians who had been baptized.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "James Fremin". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. The entry cites:
- Campbell, Pioneer Priests of North America (New York, 1908);
- Jesuit Relations;
- Holmes in Handbook of American Indians, s.v. Caughnawaga (Washington, 1907)