The expansion and influence of Catholicism within the development of the Oregon Territory: A case study of St. Joseph’s College, the first Catholic boarding school for boys in the region
Author(s): Cayla Hill
The site of St. Joseph’s College (35MA67) is located within St. Paul, Oregon, a French-Canadian settlement appropriately positioned on French Prairie, which is also home to the first Roman Catholic mission in the Pacific Northwest, established in 1839 by Father Francois Norbert Blanchet of Quebec. On October 17th, 1843 St. Joseph’s College was officially dedicated as a boarding school for boys, the first of its kind within the Oregon Territory. Both Fathers Antoine Langlois and Jean-Baptiste-Zacharie Bolduc endured a lengthy sea voyage from Quebec, and alternated as headmaster until the school’s closure in June 1849 due to the mass exodus of settlers tempted by the California Gold Rush. Although St. Joseph’s College remains historically significant, the archaeological record is also unique with several unidentified and exclusive ceramics included within its composition. Therefore, both the history and archaeology associated with the site offer an informative, yet distinct, depiction of the growth and impact of Catholicism within the developing Oregon Territory.
Cite this Record
The expansion and influence of Catholicism within the development of the Oregon Territory: A case study of St. Joseph’s College, the first Catholic boarding school for boys in the region. Cayla Hill. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437162)
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