Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas

Missionary Accounts

du Creux
For members of missionary orders arriving in the New World, their work was incomplete if it was not documented. Many wrote long letters to their superiors, who in turn compiled accounts of the missions. The tone of these works ranges from millenialist optimism to realism and even pessimism about the limits of conversion.
Torquemada's massive history reviews Franciscan missions throughout New Spain, while the Dominican Remesal focuses on missionary struggles to convert the Maya.
In New France, Sagard's history of the Franciscan Récollets was published just as the Jesuits began their more long-lasting foray into missionizing and publishing. Jesuits like du Creux dramatized martyrdoms in Canada.
Jesuit Relation, 1636
Marie de l'Incarnation
Devout European women also participated in New World missions. In 1639, Marie de l'Incarnation, an Ursuline, arrived to found her own convent in Quebec.

Religion and Print

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