An Examination of Jesuit (Iconographic) Rings from the Fort St. Joseph Site in Niles, MI

Part of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological project

Author(s): Elizabeth Ann Sylak

Year: 2010


First circulated by French traders and Jesuit missionaries on their visits to New France in the 17th and 18th centuries, copper-alloy finger rings bearing Jesuit and secular iconography are found wherever French traders or colonists ventured. Fort St. Joseph was a Jesuit mission and later both a trading post and a military garrison near the modern city of Niles, Michigan. The fort allowed the French to gain better control of southern Michigan and easier access to the Mississippi River and important trade routes. The Jesuit rings found at Fort St. Joseph constitute a unique and large assemblage that adds to a growing body of knowledge on Jesuit rings and allows for further speculation as to their exact function. Because the rings are religiously, economically, and politically charged objects they can be used to better understand the people and places that they were recovered from. In this study, I present a review of previous literature on Jesuit rings, specifically their manufacture, use, and distribution. In addition, I provide an analysis of the rings from Fort St. Joseph and attempt to compare Fort St. Joseph's assemblage to other sites where the rings have been found.

Cite this Record

An Examination of Jesuit (Iconographic) Rings from the Fort St. Joseph Site in Niles, MI. Elizabeth Ann Sylak. 2010 ( tDAR id: 373403) ; doi:10.6067/XCV80C4TG1

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1691 to 1781

Spatial Coverage

min long: -86.285; min lat: 41.794 ; max long: -86.238; max lat: 41.827 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Michael Nassaney

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