Garakonthie, Daniel

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Iroquois chieftain; b. c. 1600; d. Onondaga, N.Y., 1676. When he visited Montreal in 1654 as a member of a delegation of Native Americans seeking peace with the French, he remained there as one of the hostages left by the Iroquois as a pledge of their good faith. On his return to his home territory, Garakonthie became an ardent admirer of the French. In 1661 he met Simon le Moyne, SJ, and a close friendship developed between them. When Le Moyne returned to Canada, he was accompanied by Garakonthie and nine French captives whom the native American had rescued from hostile tribes. Garakonthie made frequent trips between Onondaga, the headquarters of the Iroquoian Confederacy, and Quebec, seeking to lessen tensions between the French and the Iroquois and urging that additional missionaries be sent. Although for many years he was sincerely interested in spreading the Gospel, it was not until 1670 that he was baptized and confirmed by Bp. François Laval in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Quebec. He took Daniel as his Christian name. Firm in his new faith, he desired to read the Scriptures, and before long, had learned both reading and writing. He was attended at his death in 1676 at Onondaga by Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary.

[r. c. newbold]