St. Sauveur mission, Mount Desert, ca. 1866

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

St. Sauveur mission, Mount Desert, ca. 1866

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Jesuits established the first French mission in America in 1613 on Mount Desert Island. Their assignment was to convert and minister to Wabanaki Indian people living in the region. Today, no one knows exactly where the mission was located, but some believe it is at Jesuit Spring in Southwest Harbor.

Brother Gilbert Du Thet (1575-1613) sailed from Port Royal, Nova Scotia, and upon disembarking the boat he erected a cross, marking St. Sauveur. Two months into construction, English captain Samuel Argall (ca. 1572-1626) discovered the mission in what he considered British territory. Argall attacked and razed the mission, killing Du Thet and many others in the process.

This sketch is from Eugene Vetromile's (1819-1881) personal collections, and marks the grave of Brother Du Thet and the perimeter walls of the mission. Vetromile was an Italian Jesuit missionary who ministered to Penobscot and Passamaquoddy communities in Maine from 1858 to 1881.

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About This Item

  • Title: St. Sauveur mission, Mount Desert, ca. 1866
  • Creation Date: circa 1866
  • Subject Date: circa 1866
  • Location: Hancock County, ME
  • Media: Pencil on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 114, Box 1/18
  • Collection: Eugene Vetromile papers
  • Object Type: Image

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Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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