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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 Researchers may encounter outdated or potentially offensive terminology and occasional inaccuracies.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

Conditions Governing Access

The Maryland Province Archives is on deposit at Georgetown University and is the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (


From the Collection: 308 boxes (212 regular boxes, 25 oversized boxes, 58 restricted regular boxes, 13 restricted oversized boxes, plus 14 card catalog drawers )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages


Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057