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30 September 1847 - Fr Jérôme Grange to Fr Jean-Claude Colin, Sydney

Based on the document sent, APM OP 458.2 Mission. trans. (1845-1860).

Translated by Mary Williamson, November 2011.

Sheet of paper forming four pages, two of which are written on, the third remaining blank, the fourth having only the address.

France • Mr • Mr Colin junior • Saint Barthélemy Rise • Lyon.


Sydney 30th September 1847

My Very Reverend Father,
We have been in Sydney for several days, providence having led us here. We are a group of three Fathers, Frs Rougeyron, Roudaire and myself. We found ourselves in the greatest of danger when we were a group of fourteen people. The two Fathers wish to return to New Caledonia with just three people, taking with them a house made of iron, some canons and some rifles so as to be able to defend themselves if needs be. But I am morally certain that we will be obliged to make use of these arms or else be massacred ourselves; I do not feel that I can accompany them and if I had authority over them I believe it would my duty to stop them. As well, it will be necessary to borrow a considerable sum of money and I do not know how we could honour this loan. Without knowing if Bishop Douarre will be vicar apostolic and without knowing what funds he will have at his disposal, I am certain that Bishop Bataillon, the only legitimate authority at the moment, would oppose this proposition if he knew about it.
In the circumstances, were they to go to New Caledonia in this manner, we would need readily available help and I have no idea where this help could come from. Besides, I have waged war once out of necessity and find it extremely repugnant. I do not feel I have the courage to go and expose myself to the moral certitude of having to do it again. I do not believe that God would expect it of me. On the contrary, I sincerely believe that His will would oppose it. For all these reasons and many others, that I will tell you at another time and place, if I am not called elsewhere and if things remain in the state that they are in, I hope that you will allow me to return to France aboard the Arche d’ Alliance, which we expect in four of five months.
I have the honour to be,
My Very Reverend Father,
Your humble and obedient
servant and child,

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