Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Ever since the dawn of Christianity, zealous apostles of Christ have ventured to distant lands to teach all nations the Word of God. Reaching the newly discovered shores of North America was no exception. Here dwelt the Indian, ignorant of the knowledge and love of the Blessed Trinity. The missionaries , daring tremendous hardship, torture, and often death, labored diligently in establishing and spreading Christ's Kingdom in the New World. Together with the explorers and traders , the missionaries were instrumental in shaping and directing early American civilization.

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the facts, discovered through research, of one particular mission station in the New World, the French mission of St. Francis Xavier, which was located in what is today the state of Wisconsin. Fairly adequate source material covering the significant events of the mission's first decade of existence is available in The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, in the Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and in Kellogg's The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest. Factual evidence of the remaining fifty years of the mission is greatly limited. Only an occasional reference pertaining to the mission is found in connection with other recorded economic, political, and military happenings in the Green Bay-Fox River area where the mission was situated. Although unique in its own particular circumstances, the history of the mission of St. Francis Xavier illustrates the Jesuit missionary endeavors in the New World during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.