Smet, Pierre-Jean ˜deœ 1801-1873

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Pierre-Jean De Smet, missionary to Native Americans, was born in France in 1801 and educated in Belgium. He came to the United States in 1821 as a novice and took his vows in Missouri in 1823, but ran a school for Native American children in Missouri from 1823 to 1830. He returned to Europe in 1831 and came back to the United States in 1838 when he began working as a missionary to the Potawatomi. In 1840, he began working with the Flatheads and continued with them through 1841. From 1841 to 1846, De Smet was Superior of the Oregon Missions. He died in St. Louis in 1873. Joseph N. Nicollet (1786-1843) was a French scientist, who explored and mapped the Upper Mississippi River and the area between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers

From the description of Letter, 1840. (Spokane Public Library). WorldCat record id: 743358210

Jesuit missionary; Superior of the Oregon mission; Procurator of Missouri Province.

From the description of Papers, 1764-1970, bulk 1821-1873. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29854091

Pierre Jean De Smet was born January 30, 1801 in Termonde, France (now Dendermonde, Belgium). His parents were Josse De Smet, a wealthy ship outfitter, and his second wife, Jeanne Marie Buydens. Pierre went to college at Alost in 1818 and on to Preparatory Seminary at Mechelen, Belgium in 1820. He was enlisted as a novice in 1821 and sent to White Marsh, Maryland, United States. In 1823 De Smet took his vows for the priesthood at Florissant, Missouri. Pierre ran a school for Native American children from 1824-1830. He was then assigned to be Procorator, Prefect of Studies, and Professor of English at the newly constructed Jesuit college in St. Louis. De Smet went to Europe in 1831 to improve his health and solicit funds for the college. Due to his illness, he withdrew from the Society of Jesus in 1835 and managed the Ghent orphanage until 1837 when he reentered the Society. In 1838 De Smet was sent to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to work at the Potowatomi Mission. Then in 1840, he responded to the Flatheads' desire for a "Black Robe" and was with them until 1841 as they traveled through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. From 1841-1846, De Smet was Superior of the Oregon Missions. During his appointment, De Smet visited and established Catholic missions among the Native American tribes of what is today the northwestern corner of the United States, and British Columbia. In 1849 De Smet was appointed Assistant Vice Provincial and Procurator of Missouri. During this appointment, De Smet assisted in securing a treaty between the United States and the Sioux tribe as well as making several trips to Europe. On May 23, 1873, De Smet died in St. Louis, Missouri.

Nicolas Point was born in Rocroy, France in 1799. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1819. Point took his first vows in 1827 and was ordained a priest in 1831. In 1840 Point was summoned to accompany Father De Smet to the Rocky Mountain region to be official diarist for the mission. In this capacity, Point kept extensive notes of their travels and graphically recorded what they saw. After these travels, Point worked among the Native American tribes of the northwestern United States and Canada establishing mission sites. In the 1860s, Point wrote Souvenirs des Montagnes Rocheuses. He died in Quebec, Canada in 1868.

From the guide to the Pierre Jean De Smet Papers, 1764-1970, (Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bridger, Jim, 1804-1881. [Northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana / notation on original map states that it was drawn by Maj. Bridger]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Sanborn, John B. (John Benjamin), 1826-1904. John B. Sanborn papers, 1854-1898. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Bitterroot and Kootenay Rivers]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Yellowstone River]. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Pierre Jean Desmet engraving, undated. State Historical Society of North Dakota State Archives
referencedIn Knox, Adelle Baron. Papers, 1821-1973. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. Papers, 1764-1970, bulk 1821-1873. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Suckley, George, 1830-1869. George Suckley correspondence, 1853-1854. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Adelle Knox Papers, 1821-1973 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn John B. Sanborn papers., 1854-1898. Minnesota Historical Society.
referencedIn Ellison, Robert Spurrier. Western photographs, ca. 1880s-1940s. American Primers
referencedIn Ryman, James H. T., 1855-1926. Some memoranda relative to Father DeSmet / by J.H.T. Ryman. Missoula Public Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. Carte des sources de la riv : a Clark ou aux Tetes Plates = [Map of the sources of Clark's or Flathead River]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. Notes, 1871. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers]. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Ewing, Clymer and Company. Sugar and Miami Creek trading posts account books, 1839-1849. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Big Horn River]. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Kane, William T. (William Terence), 1880-1946. Kane Collection, 1829-1945, (bulk 1890-1945). Loyola University Chicago, Cudahy/Lewis Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. Carte des sources de la Columbie = [Map of the sources of the Columbia]. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Wharncliffe, Edward Wortley, 1827-1899. E. W. Wharncliffe reminiscences, [undated]. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. Letter, 1840. Spokane Public Library, Downtown Branch
creatorOf Nicollet, J. N. (Joseph Nicolas), 1786-1843. Joseph N. Nicollet papers, 1822-1843. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Sullivan, Stephen J. Stephen J. Sullivan letters, 1927-1928. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Upper Missouri River]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Clark Fork of the Columbia River]. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Libra, Flossie. Hudson's Bay--Kalispel [sic] Trail / by Flossie Libra. Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Coeur d'Alene and Pend Oreilles country]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Smet, Pierre-Jean de, 1801-1873. [Big Horn River]. Montana Historical Society Library
creatorOf Pierre Jean De Smet Papers, 1764-1970 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
creatorOf Cataldo Mission. Records, 1992. Idaho State Archives, Idaho State Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bridger, Jim, 1804-1881. person
associatedWith Cataldo Mission. corporateBody
associatedWith Ellison, Robert Spurrier. person
associatedWith Historical Map Collection. waps corporateBody
correspondedWith Jesuits corporateBody
correspondedWith Kane, William T. (William Terence), 1880-1946. person
associatedWith Knox, Adelle Baron person
associatedWith Knox, Adelle Baron. person
associatedWith Laveille, E. person
associatedWith Libra, Flossie. person
associatedWith Nicollet Expedition (1838, 1839) corporateBody
associatedWith Nicollet, J. N. (Joseph Nicolas), 1786-1843. person
associatedWith Point, Nicolas, 1799-1868. person
associatedWith Potawatomi Indians corporateBody
associatedWith Ryman, James H. T., 1855-1926. person
associatedWith Salish Indians corporateBody
associatedWith Sanborn, John B. (John Benjamin), 1826-1904. person
associatedWith Sihasapa Indians corporateBody
associatedWith Siksika Indians corporateBody
associatedWith Smet d'Olbecke, Paul de, person
associatedWith Suckley, George, 1830-1869. person
associatedWith Sullivan, Stephen J. person
associatedWith Wharncliffe, Edward Wortley, 1827-1899. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Yellowstone River Watershed
Bitterroot River Basin
Idaho Panhandle (Idaho)
Northwest, Pacific
Missouri River Watershed
Bighorn River (Wyo. and Mont.)
Coeur d'Alene Lake (Idaho)
Columbia River Watershed
West (U.S.)
Northwest, Pacific
Yellowstone River Watershed
Northwest, Pacific
Clark Fork River Basin
West (U.S.)
Kootenay River Basin
Big Horn River Basin
Flathead Lake (Mont.)
Pend Oreille, Lake (Idaho)
Flathead River Basin
Clark Fork River Basin
North America
Flathead River Basin
Missouri River
Subject
Montana
Jesuits--Missions--Northwest, Pacific
Missions
Potawatomi Indians--Missions
Indians of North America--Government relations
Indians, treatment of
Washington (State)
Jesuits--Missions--Rocky Mountains Regions
Overland Journeys to the Northwestern United States
Missionaries
Indians of North America--Missions
Indians of North America--West (U.S.)--Government relations
International relations
Idaho
Native Americans
Indians, Treatment of--North America
Jesuits--Missions--Great Plains
Indians of North America--Camps
Missionaries--Correspondence
Sihasapa Indians--Missions
Maps
Siksika Indians--Missions
Jesuits--United States--History--19th century
Salish Indians--Missions
Jesuits--Missions--West (U.S.)
Indians of North America--Missions--West (U.S.)
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1801-01-30

Death 1873-05-23

Belgians

French,

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 67832926