The First Settlements in Each State
The First Settlement in Each of the States


       Someone once stated, "Scratch the soil of any part of America, and you will find roots set down by Catholics." How true this is! Not only were Catholic explorers here first (most people already know this), but so were settlements by Catholics. One way of demonstrating that America was a land of Catholics before it was a land of Protestants is to see who established the first settlements in each state. We should not narrow this survey to only those settlements which became permanent for two reasons:
       1) this would not reveal who was actually first in establishing a settlement,
       2) this would violate justice, since in such states as Maine, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and a few others, the first settlements were by Catholics, but were violently attacked and destroyed by enemies of the true Faith.

       As this list shows, Catholics were the first to establish settlements in over twice as many states as Protestants (33 to 15; Alaska and West Virginia not included). We list the first settlement of each group. The Asterisk * stands for a continuation of the group above it.



STATE                       SETTLEMENT                             YEAR/Group                                            .

Rhode Island       St.Clair expedition/Newport   1398  Catholic      1636  Protestant
South Carolina     San Miguel de Guadalupe       1526     *          1670      *
Florida            Apalachee Mission             1539     *          1564      *
Alabama            Santa Cruz (Nanipacna)        1559     *          1763      *
North Carolina     Mission of Guatari            1566     *          1585      *
Georgia            Mission of Guale              1568     *          1733      *
Virginia           Mission Axacan                1570     *          1607      *
New Mexico         San Juan                      1590     *          1846      *
Maine              Sainte Croix                  1604     *          1626      *
Arizona            San Bernadino                 1619     *          1846      *
Massachusetts      Plymouth                      1620 Protestant     1750   Catholic
New Hampshire      Rye (Portsmouth)              1623     *          1820      *
New York           Fort Orange (Albany)          1623     *          1655      *
New Jersey         New Nassau                    1625     *          1672      *
Delaware           Settlement near Lewes         1631     *          1750      *
Maryland           Kent Island                   1631     *          1634      *
Pennsylvania       Post on Delaware R.           1633     *          1710      *
Connecticut        Hartford (Dutch post)         1633     *          1755      *
Michigan           Saulte Ste. Marie             1660  Catholic      1763  Protestant
Wisconsin          Holy Ghost Mission            1665     *          1783      *
Vermont            St. Anne(Isle La Motte)       1666     *          1690      *
Texas              Sacramento Mission            1675     *          1821      *
Illinois           Fort Crevecoeur(Creve Coeur)  1679     *          1763      *
Tennessee          Fort Prudhomme(Memphis)       1682     *       1735?/1769   *
Indiana            Mission @ South Bend          1686     *          1763      *
Minnesota          Fort Frontenac                1686     *          1783      *
Louisiana          Natchez Mission               1698     *          1803      *
Arkansas           Little Rock                   1699     *          1804      *
Mississippi        Biloxi                        1699     *          1763      *
Missouri           Trading Post (St. Louis)      1699     *          1783      *
Nebraska           Posts on South Platte         1718     *          1820      *
Ohio               Sandusky Mission              1751     *          1788      *
California         San Diego Mission             1769     *          1812      *
Nevada             Beatty Mission                1772-3   *          1849      *
Kentucky           Harrodsburg                   1774  Protestant    1775   Catholic
Iowa               Dubuque                       1788  Catholic      1830  Protestant
South Dakota       Pawnee House                  1794     *          1807      *
Oklahoma           Chouteau Post                 1796     *          1918      *
Montana            trading post(Fort Union)      1796     *          1809      *
North Dakota       Pembina (trading post)        1797     *          1851      *
Idaho              Pend d’Oreille Post           1809     *          1810      *
Washington         Spokane Settlement            1810  Protestant    1839   Catholic
Oregon             Astoria                       1811     *          1839      *
Hawaii             Missions                      1820     *          1824      *
Kansas             Fort Leavenworth              1827     *          1836      *
Wyoming            Fort Laramie                  1834     *           -
Utah               Goodyear Settlement(Ogdon)    1841     *           -
Colorado           San Luis (or San Pedro)       1851  Catholic      1859  Protestant

(Taken from the soon-to-be published Journey America: Pathways to the Present, Marian Publications, Inc.) _______________________________________________________________________


Sources:
-The Catholic Pioneers of America, John O'Kane Murray (Philadelphia, PA: H. L. Kilner Co., 1882)
-Documents of American Catholic History, John Tracy Ellis (Milwaukee, WI: Bruce Publishing Co., 1956)
-Our Catholic Heritage, By a Benedictine Monk (New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1950)
-Spanish Roots of America, Bishop David Arias (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1992)

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