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7 July 1841 — Father Antoine Garin to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Kororareka

Translated by Mary Williamson, June 2020

Based on the document sent, APM Z 208.

Single sheet of paper. The reverse side has only the address.

[p.2] [Address]
To the Very Reverend Father Superior General / Mr Colin.


My Very Reverend Father,
Please excuse me if I take the liberty of writing to you so briefly and in a manner so contrary to the usual forms, but [I have] already used up so much ink and paper on the mission’s behalf that I fear being charged for it. Briefly, speaking frankly, I have not the time or the means to do otherwise; it is my fault, I should have done it sooner, but you will have your compensation if you are kind enough to read the rather interesting details that I have gathered, rather than distributed in an ordered fashion, in my long letter to my good friends in Meximieux.
I can assure you, my Very Reverend Father, that the Good Lord has been kind enough to bestow his comfort and kindness on his unworthy servant; I would never have believed that such a long voyage, seemingly so difficult for those who have not yet experienced it, could be so enjoyable and so calming. Nor would I have believed and you could never understand, the great solace for the workers that you send to work on the vineyards of the Lord. What great satisfaction our dear colleagues gain, working amidst these people hungry for the word of the Lord. If the Bishop suffers from not being able to get on with his work because of the frequent visits that he receives from these good natives, he is greatly consoled in another way, in seeing this mission advance so rapidly. We must, he repeated to us today, cover our eyes with our fists if we are not to see the special providence that God is surrounding us with. I would wish, if it were possible, that you could show my map [1] to the seminary in Meximieux. As I do not write to my colleagues in Meximieux (the teachers) it could take the place of a letter and would interest them and then, knowing the route that I had followed to get here, they would not be so fearful of following me; would you kindly, at the same time, ask them to pass it on to my parents.
Please be kind enough to pass on my respects to all the Fathers of the Society and my best wishes to your good Brothers.
I have the honour of being, with the greatest of respect,
Very Reverend Father,
Your very humble and devoted servant,
Father Garin, missionary apostolic.
P. S. I forgot to suggest that if you could send me some shoes later, they should be made to the same size as Brother Justin’s. For my boots, they would have to be a little larger as I have a large foot. Our belongings that were late, arrived two or three days ago in Kororareka.
Kororareka, 7 July 1841.


  1. Dated 24 June 1841, the author had written his diary of the voyage on a map that he had personally drawn; he recorded in it the events of the passage with its various ports.

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