Two Islands One paradise - Beautiful St. Kitts and Nevis

   
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Conversion of Slaves in French St. Kitts

  Christianity of  Slaves, as part of French policy, towards the colonization of the Antilles.                      
    As early as the late 1630's it is reported that  Missionaries were present in French Colonies converting first Caribs and later African slaves.                 
      Perhaps the best descriptions of daily life in the slave community are those of Father Jean Morgin, who showed a certain interest in the welfare of the slaves. In a 1679 letter he described what happened to a slave on arrival as follows:          
               
     "When the ships have landed these wretches, which happens several times a year, and one they have been placed in settlers' houses, the local missionary finds  out which part of Africa they are from. K for example,  he finds one of them is from Ardres or Juda, Kingdoms of  Guinea, he will ask a Black from this country who is  already a Christian to teach the new arrival the basics  of Christianity, and he will reward him for doing so."
  
This old hand will do his best, to the point where the new arrival learns French, which he will do in very little time, because the Blacks are completely dependent on their masters and commanders, who will ever speak French to them, and are forbidden to speak their native language. They might even have difficulty being understood if they do so, there being sometimes ten or a dozen languages spoken in Black's houses.
   From this description, it is obvious that the newly  arrived slaves had no knowledge of French, or of any  other European language, and had to be placed with other slaves who spoke the same African language.

 
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