Selected Letters of A. M. A. Blanchet: Bishop of Walla Walla and Nesqualy (1846-1879)

Paperback | June 17, 2015

EditorRoberta Stringham Brown, Patricia O’Connell KillenTranslated byRoberta Stringham Brown

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In 1846, French Canadian-born A. M. A. Blanchet was named the first Catholic bishop of Walla Walla in the area soon to become Washington Territory. He arrived at Fort Walla Walla in late September 1847, part of the largest movement over the Oregon Trail to date. During the thirty-two years of Blanchet's tenure in the Northwest, the region underwent profound social and political change as the Hudson's Bay Company moved headquarters and many operations north following the Oregon Treaty, U.S. government and institutions were established, and Native American inhabitants dealt with displacement and discrimination. Blanchet chronicled both his own pastoral and administrative life and his observations on the world around him in a voluminous correspondence-almost nine hundred letters-to religious superiors and colleagues in Montreal, Paris, and Rome; funding organizations; other missionaries; and U.S. officials. This selection of Blanchet's letters provides a fascinating view of Washington Territory as seen through the eyes of an intelligent, devout, energetic, perceptive, and occasionally irascible cleric and administrator.

Almost all of Blanchet's correspondence was in French. Roberta Stringham Brown and Patricia O'Connell Killen have chosen forty-five of those letters to translate and annotate, creating a history of early Washington that provides new insights into relationships, events, and personalities. A number of the letters provide first-hand glimpses of familiar events, such as the Whitman tragedy, the California gold rush, Indian wars and land displacement, transportation advances, and the domestic material culture of a frontier borderland. Others voice the hardships of historically underrepresented groups, including Native Americans, Metis, and French Canadians, and the experiences of ordinary people in growing population centers such as Seattle, Walla Walla, and Vancouver, Wash-ington. Still others describe the struggle to bring social, medical, and educational institutions to the region, a struggle in which women religious workers played a key role. The letters-and the editors' fascinating annotations-provide an engaging and insightful look at an important period in the history of the Pacific Northwest and southwest Canada.

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In 1846, French Canadian-born A. M. A. Blanchet was named the first Catholic bishop of Walla Walla in the area soon to become Washington Territory. He arrived at Fort Walla Walla in late September 1847, part of the largest movement over the Oregon Trail to date. During the thirty-two years of Blanchet's tenure in the Northwest, the reg...

Roberta Stringham Brown is professor of French emertia at Pacific Lutheran University. Patricia O'Connell Killen is professor of religious studies and academic vice president at Gonzaga University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 17, 2015Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295995335

ISBN - 13:9780295995335

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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Letter 1. To Charles Dufriche-Desgenettes, Pastor of Notre-Dame des Victoires, Paris, February 25, 1847Letter 2. To Francois Norbert Blanchet, Archbishop of Oregon City, December 12, 1847Letter 3. To Célestin Gauvreau, Vicar-General, Superior, College of Ste.-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, [January] 1848 Letter 4. To Members of the Councils of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyons and Paris, [March] 1848 Letter 5. List of Items the Bishop of Walla Walla Requested of Bishop Demers, [March 1848] Letter 6. To James Buchanan, Secretary of State, March 31, 1848Letter 7. To James Buchanan, Secretary of State, April 1, 1848 Letter 8. To George Abernethy, Governor, Provisional Government of Oregon, April 29, 1848 Letter 9. To Jean-Charles Prince, Bishop of Martyropolis, Coadjutor of the Diocese of Montreal, January 27, 1849 Letter 10. To Members of the Councils of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyons and Paris, July 14, 1849 Letter 11. To Pope Pius IX, November 1, 1849 Letter 12. To Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, February 6, 1850 Letter 13. To J. B. A. Brouillet, Vicar-General, March 9, 1850Letter 14. To Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, November 22, 1850

Illustration Gallery 1

Letter 15. To Isaac Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, October 20, 1854Letter 16. To Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, Washington City, D. C., December 28, 1854 Letter 17. To William Leclaire, Missionary, Cowlitz Mission, May 15, 1855 Letter 18. To Marcel Bernier, Cowlitz Mission, May 15, 1855 Letter 19. To Nicholas Congiato, Society of Jesus, April 26, 1856 Letter 20. To the Directors of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Paris, May 15, 1857Letter 21. To Emilie Caron, Superior, Sisters of Providence, Montreal, June 16, 1857Letter 22. To William Archbold, U.S. Army Sergeant, Fort Steilacoom, W.T., July 28, 1857 Letter 23. To Eugène-Casimir Chirouse, Oblate of Mary Immaculate, March 12, 1860 Letter 24. To Edward R. Geary, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon and Washington Territories, October 7, 1860Letter 25. To Allen McLeod, March 6, 1862Letter 26. To the Central Council of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, April 15, 1862 Letter 27. To Major Pinkney Lugenbeel, Commanding Officer, Fort Vancouver, May 22, 1862Letter 28. To Caleb Blood Smith, Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C., June 16, 1862 Letter 29. To Aegidius Junger, Missionary of Walla Walla, November 6, 1862 Letter 30. To J. B. A. Brouillet, Vicar-General, March 20, 1863

Illustration Gallery 2

Letter 31. To the Directors of the Leopoldine Society, January 25, 1864 Letter 32. To Sister Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Superior, February 11, 1864Letter 33. To Charles Vary, Missionary, July 23, 1864Letter 34. To Francis Xavier Prefontaine, Missionary, July 24, 1864Letter 35. To the Secular and Regular Clergy of the Diocese, July 8, 1867 Letter 36. To Jean-Baptiste Auguste Brondel, Missionary, August 31, 1867Letter 37. To Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, October 10, 1867Letter 38. To Francis Xavier Prefontaine, Missionary, October 14, 1867 Letter 39. To J. B. A. Brouillet, Vicar-General, January 20, 1868 Letter 40. To Peter De Smet, Society of Jesus, February 15, 1871Letter 41. To James Roosevelt Bayley, Archbishop of Baltimore, June 15, 1873Letter 42. To Charles Seghers, Bishop of Vancouver Island, December 30, 1873 Letter 43. To J. B. A. Brouillet, Vicar-General, November 24, 1874 Letter 44. To Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, June 17, 1875 Letter 45. To His Eminence Cardinal Alessandro Franchi, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, July 9, 1876 General Chronology Selected Bibliography Patrons Index

Editorial Reviews

These letters illuminate the cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity of the Pacific Northwest and collectively challenge several traditional historiographical narratives. This book will be useful to historians of American religion in general and American Catholicism in particular, as well as those who study the Pacific Northwest.

- Nicholas Pellegrino - Pacific Northwest Quarterly - 2014