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1.9 Missouri Mission, 1823 - 1859


Scope and Contents

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.

**Please note: the finding aid contains Scope and Contents notes for each folder. This folder-level description has been imported from an older finding aid. Researchers may encounter outdated or potentially offensive terminology and occasional inaccuracies. If you would like to notify Special Collections of any issues that need correcting, please contact us.**

Materials on Slavery

Some materials in this subseries contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.

Provenance and Arrangement

This material was part of the 1977 deposit. It is arranged chronologically.


  • 1823 - 1859


From the Collection: 292 boxes

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages