Subseries 1.9: Missouri Mission, 1823-1859
This subseries consists of the records of the Missouri Mission, from its establishment within the Maryland Province in 1823 until Missouri was designated a Vice-Province in 1840. Materials consist of letters addressing the transfer of Houses, churches, and schools by the diocese of New Orleans to the Society, as well as administrative documentation and financial reports. Slavery is discussed throughout the letters, as the Missouri Mission derived income from plantations near Florissant, Missouri and depended upon the labor of enslaved people, including several individuals who were transferred from the Southern Maryland plantations to work as domestic and agricultural laborers. This correspondence was primarily sent by the Superiors, Rectors, and Consultors of the Missouri Mission to the Maryland Provincial and his Consultors. In addition to the letters sent to the Provincial, there is also a Consultors’ Diary documenting the meetings of the Mission’s Consultors (November 28, 1831-April 9, 1832) and an annual financial report from the mission residence in St. Charles, Missouri (January 1, 1859).
The Missouri Mission was founded by a group of Jesuit Belgian emigrés to continue the work of French missionaries who evangelized among the Native Americans during the eighteenth century. The Missouri Mission encompassed missions and work among Native Americans at St. Ferdinand Church, Florissant (1823); the Novitiate of St. Stanislaus, Florissant (1823); St Louis College (1829); St. Charles Borromeo Church, St. Charles, Missouri (1828) and its work with the Osage Native Americans; missions among the Kickapoo and Pottawatamie in Indiana (1836); and St. Charles College, Grand Coiteau, Louisiana (1837). This work was carried out during a period defined by the expansion of slavery and the dispossession of Native American lands in the United States.
This material was part of the 1977 deposit. It is arranged chronologically.
Some materials in this subseries contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Some materials in this subseries address the Province's 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.NOTE: Most materials dated 1900 and later have not been digitized. Materials dating 1900-1939 are available for research use at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. All materials dated 1940 and later are restricted.