Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/William Detré

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Missionary, b. in France in 1668, d. in South America, at an advanced age, date uncertain. After his admission to the Society of Jesus, he was sent by his superiors to the missions of South America in 1706, and seven years later was appointed superior-general and visitor of all the missions of the Amazon embracing a tract of over 3000 miles. He is credited with translating the catechism into eighteen different languages for the various Indian tribes under his jurisdiction. It was he who sent to Europe the celebrated map of the Amazon drawn by Father Samuel Fritz, S.J., and engraved at Quito in 1707. In 1727 he was appointed rector of the College of Cuenca, where he continued the zealous exercise of the foundations of the ministry. He left an interesting "Relation" dated 1 June 1731, giving curious details about the uncivilized races of the Amazon. It is inserted in volume XXIII of the "Lettres Edifiantes", original edition.

Michaud, Biog. Univ. (Paris, 1814); Sommervogel, Bibl. de la C. de J. (Brussels, 1892), s.v. Samuel Fritz, III, 1003.

EDWARD P. SPILLANE