French Origins and African Experiments

Sarah A. Curtis

in Civilizing Habits

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195394184
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866595 | DOI:
French Origins and African Experiments

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This chapter traces the origins of the Soeurs de St‐Joseph de Cluny (SSJC), a religious order founded by Anne‐Marie Javouhey in 1808. Javouhey intended the order to serve the poor in France but became involved in missionary work when she was invited to send nuns to the Ile de Bourbon (now Réunion), where France had a colony. During a stay in Senegal, she decided her calling was to evangelize among Africans and established missions in the French towns of St‐Louis and Gorée. She also participated in a short‐lived attempt to establish plantations along the Senegal River and traveled south to the British colony of Sierra Leone. This chapter argues that all these experiences were formative in Javouhey's later missions in France's slave colonies and her developing interest in the abolition of slavery. She also brought a group of African children back to France for religious training, which resulted in the first three ordained African priests in the Catholic church.

Keywords: Anne‐Marie Javouhey; Soeurs de St‐Joseph de Cluny (SSJC); Bourbon; Senegal; Sierra Leone; slave colonies; abolition; African priests

Chapter.  15789 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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