The Iroquois Confederacy (the Five Nations-Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oneida) launched a massive offensive against the Huron north of the Great Lakes in the summer of 1647. Unfortunately for the Huron, Jesuit missionaries had brought smallpox to Huronia in the previous decade, and continuous outbreaks of the disease had taken a serious toll. The Iroquois objective was to seize control of the major fur-trade routes controlled by the Huron. The Huron had realized great benefits as middlemen between the French on the St. Lawrence and the First Nations farther inland.

An Iroquois Confederacy victory would enable the Five Nations to control the fur trade and divert furs to the Dutch trading posts along the Hudson River. Iroquois control of the fur trade would also weaken the French settlements along the St. Lawrence. The fur trade was the most important source of income for the French colony of New France.

By 1649, the Iroquois had all but annihilated the Huron nation. Their towns had been razed to the ground, and the main Jesuit mission at Huronia had been destroyed. The few Huron that survived the Iroquois onslaught abandoned their lands and resettled near Quebec.


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