James M. Woods

in A History of the Catholic Church in the American South, 1513–1900

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035321
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039046 | DOI:

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In July 1673, on the Mississippi River just above its junction with the Arkansas River, a French Catholic missionary first encountered natives in what would become the American South. French Jesuit Jacques Marquette, and five other Frenchmen had left Mackinac Island on a journey in search of a great river. Fr. Marquette's brief visit to an area that eventually became the state of Arkansas heralded a French presence that would last for nine decades in the lower Mississippi River and Gulf coast, virtually dividing Spain's colonies of Florida and Texas. Using Roman Catholicism, France would, in time, send missionaries to this portion of the American South, yet it was no accident that Marquette had entered the American South from Quebec, which had served as France's base for empire in North America since 1608. Nine years after Marquette, Robert de La Salle made his major contribution for France's empire with his trip down the Mississippi River.

Keywords: Mississippi River; South; Jacques Marquette; Gulf coast; Spain; Florida; Texas; Catholicism; France; Robert de La Salle

Chapter.  15481 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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