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The Imperial ChurchCatholic Founding Fathers and United States Empire$
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Katherine D. Moran

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748813

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748813.001.0001

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Making a Founding Father out of a French Jesuit

Making a Founding Father out of a French Jesuit

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 1 Making a Founding Father out of a French Jesuit
Source:
The Imperial Church
Author(s):

Katherine D. Moran

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501748813.003.0002

This chapter explores the development in the upper Midwest from the 1870s to the 1910s of a commemorative culture focusing on Jacques Marquette, the French Jesuit missionary who explored the Mississippi with Louis Jolliet in 1673. It analyzes commemorative culture, with particular attention to race and commerce where Marquette was most often described as the “first white man” of the Midwest. It also explains the idea of a common whiteness and broadly defined Christianity that allowed Marquette's admirers to argue that he was essentially similar to other national founding figures. The chapter ends with an examination of the way Marquette's elevation as a regional founder intersected with the growing midwestern economy. It demonstrates how Marquette is not only recognized as a regional symbol and brand but also how his pious example was mobilized to provide a spiritual gloss to the materialism of a developing center of industry and commerce.

Keywords:   Jacques Marquette, Jesuit missionary, Louis Jolliet, midwestern economy, Christianity, national founding figures

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