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10 January 1850 — Bishop Guillaume Douarre to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Isle of Pines

Translated by Peter McConnell, November 2010

Jesus Mary Joseph

To the very reverend Father Colin, Superior General of the Marists

Very Reverend Father,
The vicariate of New Caledonia has been abandoned since 5 January 1850.
Because of the never-ending threats of the natives of Hienghène and because our natives of Balade, who were resettled at Yaté in the southeastern tip of New Caledonia, had to use firearms to protect their plantations, it all seemed logical to me to flee from a race who wanted to welcome us only to sacrifice us to their greed and to their cannibalistic habits.
I lost nobody and I am on the Isle of Pines awaiting your new instructions. My letters carried by Father Bernin, whom all the missionaries have chosen to travel to France. They will tell you my intentions. I do not refuse work, but a job that is too demanding would be beyond my capabilities. Moreover, you will be aware of everything that concerns me. I would give you more specific details if his letter were to arrive a long time before Father Bernin; given another month, you will know everything.
Be so good as to accept the homage of profound respect with which I have the honour of being,
my very Reverend Father,
your very humble and obedient servant,
+Guillaume, Bishop of Amata,
Vicar Apostolic of New Caledonia.
Isle of Pines, 10 January 1850.