Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Philip M. Hamer

Committee Members

W. Neil Franklin, Stanley J. Folmsbee


Introduction: Any historical account of early Indian missions must of necessity find its background in the prevailing political and religious conditions in Europe at the time of the discovery, the exploratlon, and the colonization of the American continent. At the end of the fifteenth century the Commercial Revolution broke upon Europe, and the discovery of America came as a direct result of this revolution. Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Catholic nations of southern and southwestern Europe were exploring and colonizing parts of both North and South America, excepting the Atlantic coast of North America from Florida to the St. Lawrence River. These nations had a strong religious motive in their work. Their colonies were composed of Catholic subjects full of missionary zeal, and from them went forth the Jesuit missionaries to convert the various and sundry tribes of Indians. The success of these Catholic missionaries was marvelous, but that is another story. No Catholic mission, however was established among the Cherokee Indians during the period of this investigation.

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