September 2019: New Online Collection of Letters on Slavery

Christopher Rivers, a professor of French at Mount Holyoke College in the United States, has launched a new website containing his translations of selected letters on slavery written by Jesuit missionaries. French Jesuit Letters on Slavery: ‘No Less an Object of Our Zeal’ is open-access resource available at


The collection presents Rivers’ translations of late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth letters by Jesuit missionaries written while the men worked in the French slave colonies of the Caribbean. Rivers provides a general introduction to the project as well as more details on his sources at He also provides a foreword to introduce his approach to the letters and the challenges posed by the translation process.


As of September 2019, the database by Rivers contains the following letters

— Letter from Fr. Bréban, S. J. (19 January 1732)

— Letter from Fr. Jean Mongin, missionary in America, to a person of quality from Languedoc, written on the Island of Saint Christopher (May 1682)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, missionary of the Society of Jesus, to Fr. ***, of the same Society (27 February 1725)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, Missionary of the Society of Jesus, to Fr. de la Neuville, of the same Society, Procurator of the Missions in America (2 February 1729)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, missionary of the Society of Jesus, to the Procurator General of the missions of the same Society in the Islands of America (20 July 1743)