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#316
Madagascar
Keymaster

It is in his second letter to a Jesuit that he does not name, that Father Romain Marie-Joseph Deniau tries to explain the causes that caused their first expedition to fail in the Southwest of Madagascar. He concludes that seven reasons are probable, that he develops point by point.
Among other things, he cites fear of aboriginal people. “We have been on the same point of the coast
Or in several close places with a large staff and considerable equipment; Which really frightened the populations of those countries who fear nothing as much as an invasion by the whites or the Hova. All this has not helped to accredit the
Lies and the whispers of the Whaler. “This is an American ship that arrived from Mauritius on June 27, 1845, and whose captain made a” propaganda “to the people -” who only wanted to listen to him “(Raymond Decary) Pressing “against the French.
The missionary expedition also forms a considerable intrenchment. They surround the site, which was later to be used as a site for the construction of a church and a small hut. “This retrenchment, so innocent in itself, appeared to the inhabitants a means of attack and defense. It is thus, they said, that the Hova do when they want to seize
of a country. “
Finally, Father Deniau mentioned a conflict of interest. “There are traders who believe that the Sakalava, once civilized and educated, would offer less profit to their speculation. Or that the missionaries, aware of the resources of the country, would make them known to the public and that then many competitors would argue what previously was only the exploitation of few individuals. They have also contributed to the actions of the people against us. “
“These are just as many obstacles that could hardly be seen until after the event. Certainly with so many causes of failure, we can only succeed by a miracle. “
Father Deniau believes, however, that this should not lead to renouncing the mission of Madagascar. “One turns a position that one can not attack head on; We change our tactics and maneuver when we realize that, for the first time, we have taken wrong measures, and victory crowns perseverance. “
Thus, for this Jesuit, one must take into account the fact that they were mistreated “as French supposed enemies” and not as missionaries. And suggest a new strategy.
“By presenting ourselves with this second title, in small groups on points less in contact with Europeans, we can hope to be happier by making new tests. “Father Deniau then proposed the north where 40 to 50,000 Malagasies live and of which” most will become Christians when they will have the happiness to have missionaries. This is a vast field that opens before us. “
Indeed, after a short stay in Bourbon, he left for Nosy Be. He arrived there at the beginning of November 1848, attended the revolt of 1849, of which he left a long and interesting relationship. It is in this island, at Tafondro, that it dies towards the middle of 1861.
In the south-west, a new attempt to install was made in 1859 after the abandonment of Baly. Carried by the ship La Cordelière, Fathers Webber and Burger and Brother Remacle settled successively in Toliara, then in Salara on the south shore of the Onilahy. After a few months, again threatened with plunder and death, they still have to leave the country.
But as Father Deniau says in one of his letters, “for the missionary after the salvation of souls and the extension of the kingdom of God, there is nothing more beautiful, more advantageous than being persecuted for The name of Jesus Christ.