Pottier, FrançoIs

Pottier, François a French missionary, was born at Loches in 1718. He was educated at Paris in the Seminary of Saint-Esprit. In 1753 he was sent as a missionary to the countries of Western China. His zeal was rewarded with the apostolic vicariate of Tsetchouan, and subsequently honored with the title of bishop in partibus of Agathopolis. In 1769 he visited the Chen-si (more to the north), and there made more than sixty thousand proselytes. He died Sept. 28,1792. Pottier wrote several letters on his peregrinations in the Celestial Empire. They abound in curious information about the principal Chinese provinces, about Southern Tartary, and even Thibet. The author describes the mountain-ranges of Sine-Ling, in which he often found a refuge in times of persecution. There is little flattery for the Chinese in his account of their manners, but he thinks that they are not incorrigible. It is to be regretted that Pottier neglected altogether to give us information about the natural history of those countries. His purpose was to write a journal of his life and of the progress of Romanism, rather than a work useful to the learned. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v. See Saint Martin, Eloge de P. F. Pottier; Nouvelles Lettres edifiantes, vol. 1 and 3.

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