Will to Power: The Missionary Career of Father Morice

By David Mulhall | Go to book overview

1
THE MAKING OF AN OBLATE MISSIONARY

Adrien-Gabriel Morice, the future British Columbia missionary and Americanist, was born on 28 August 1859 at Saint-Mars-sur-Colmont in the province of Mayenne, France. On the following day he was baptized at the local Catholic church. His father, Jean Morice, was a wheelwright who had married his second wife, Virginie Seigneur, in July of the previous year. Two years after Adrien-Gabriel's birth, another child was born, and others seem to have followed, though Morice mentions neither them nor his parents in his disguised autobiography, Fifty Years in Western Canada. This omission suggests that his childhood memories were not happy ones, and the few pages devoted to his family life deal only with his ancestry and with the earliest manifestations of his unusually precocious intellect and memory. 1

Yet in spite of this alleged intellectual ability, Morice readily admitted that he did not have a distinguished career at school. At the age of seven, he entered the local elementary school; there was, he later confessed, no "special brilliancy about his studies." He actually seems to have taken pride in his mediocre performance in the prescribed subjects. From his first exposure to institutional learning, Morice, always a non-conformist, resisted the routine and discipline imposed by the need to follow a curriculum. The youngster was only happy when he was busy with projects of his own, all intended for public consumption. He began with a hand-written newspaper, which he put out during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870- 71. He read it to a group of old people he encountered on his way home. 2

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Will to Power: The Missionary Career of Father Morice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Making of an Oblate Missionary 1
  • 2 - Tenderfoot Missionary Among the Chilcotin 18
  • 3 - With the Carrier: The Missionary Foundation, 1885-1895 35
  • 4 - The Acquisition of Paramount Power, 1885-1896 74
  • 5 - Savant of the Woods, 1885-1896 95
  • 6 - King of the Country"" 114
  • 7 - Back to Business: Exploration and Itinerant Preaching in 1899 138
  • 8 - A Kingdom Lost, 1900-1903 148
  • Epilogue 175
  • Abbreviations 182
  • Notes 183
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 217
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