Pierre Millet

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Pierre Millet (Milet) (died December 31, 1708) was a French Jesuit missionary to the Iroquois people in the area that is now New York State.


Millet was sent from France to Canada in 1667, and in 1668 he was stationed with the Iroquois. He was put in charge of the Oneida mission in 1671, and by 1675 had converted the primary Oneida chief to Christianity, allowing him to build a sizable congregation. He left his Oneida mission in 1684 and accompanied the governor of New France, de La Barre, in a campaign against the Seneca tribe.

Father Millet was employed as interpreter at the 1686 conference between the French and Iroquois at Fort Frontenac. He was stationed temporarily at Fort Niagara, but when it was abandoned by the French in 1687, he returned to Fort Frontenac where he continued his work as an interpreter and liaison between the French and Iroquois.

Fort Frontenac was attacked by Iroquois forces in 1689, and the Indians requested Millet's presence among their dying men. Members of the Onondaga tribe captured him and eventually turned him over to the Oneidas, who were about to execute him when he was adopted by an Indian woman, who gave him shelter until he was released in October, 1694, and went to Quebec. In 1697, the Oneidas requested that he return as a missionary but there is no record of him doing so.

In 1700, Millet wrote at least once to Rome (10 August, 1700) a mild and submissive complaint that he had not yet obtained the favour of returning to the Iroquois. He asked for prayers of the Society to Tarsha the chief and Suzanne his sister at Oneida, both of whom had acted as hosts to Millet during his captivity.[1]

In 1705, he is described as under treatment for ill health. He lingered on for three years more but, on the last day of 1708, he died.

In 1926 the Knights of Columbus dedicated a cross in his honor at Fort Niagara.[2]


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