Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GRILLET, John, French missionary, born in France about 1630 ; died in Guiana about 1675. He was a member of the Jesuit society, and was superior of the Jesuit house in Cayenne in 1666 when the English became masters of that colony. He did not take refuge among the savages, like many of his brethren. In 1673 a father-visitor of the society arrived in Cayenne, and appointed Grillet to go on a mission among the Indian tribes that were most distant from the sea, in order to collect information about their habits and state of civilization, as well as about the geography of the country. Grillet asked that Father Francois Bechamel should be his companion, as the latter thoroughly understood the Oalibi language. The two missionaries supplied themselves with the instruments necessary for taking observations, as well as all the requisites for drawing a map of their route, and set out, 25 January 1674. After many fatigues, which ultimately ruined their health, they reached a point 420 miles southwest of Cayenne, and found themselves among a people who had never before seen a European. They returned on 17 June. Father Grillet sent a narrative of his journey to France, accompanied 'by a letter dated 2 September, 1674. It was published under the title "Journal du voyage qu'ont fait les peres Jean Grillet et Francois B(echamel darts la Guyane, Fan 1674." It was inserted in the second volume of Gomberville's "Relation de la riviere des Amazons" (Paris, 1679-'80), and afterward in the " Voyage around the World " of Woods Rogers (Amsterdam, 1716). It contains the first account of the savages of Guiana.
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