Catholics in American History: A View from 1908
August 15, 2013 by Leave a Comment
The earliest history of America is the history of Catholicity. The saintly names in the four corners of the American Continent tell that Catholics were its founders, writes The Sodalist. You may tell your Protestant friends that we were here before them, and that we mean to stay. We are here by no man’s and no party’s sufferance but by the right of discovery and exploration, as we can prove by the leading men and events in American history.
· Christopher Columbus, a Catholic, is the marvelous link in the chain of time which connects the history of the Old World with the New.
· John de la Costa, a Catholic, was a famous companion of Columbus. He acted as his pilot.
· Americus Vespucci, from whom America accidentally received her name, was a Catholic.
· The discoverer of the Pacific Ocean, the renowned Vasco de Balboa, was a Catholic.
· The discoverer of Florida, John Ponce de Leon, was a Catholic.
· The admiral of the fleet that first sailed round the world and the discoverer of the straits which bear his name was a Catholic, Ferdinand Magellan.
· The discoverer of California and conqueror of Mexico was a Catholic, Fernando Cortes.
· De Soto, a Catholic, conquered Florida and discovered the Lower Mississippi.
· The discoverer of Lower Canada and the river St. Lawrence was Jacques Cartier, a Catholic.
· The discoverers of the mainland of North America were the Catholics, John and Sebastian Cabot.
· The founder of the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida, was Peter Melendez, a Catholic.
· The Catholic, Sir George Calvert, was the founder of Maryland.
· The discoverer of Lake Huron was the Catholic monk, Joseph LeCaron, O.S.F.
· The founder of Quebec and discoverer of Lakes Champlain and Ontario was a Catholic, Samuel de Champlain.
· The first missionary of the Hurons was John de Brebouef, a Jesuit.
· The first governor and chief justice of Maryland was Leonard Calvert, a Catholic.
· The first Catholic governor of New York was Thomas Dongan, an Irishman. His commission bears September 30, 1682.
· The founder of San Francisco, an Apostle of California, was Fr. Junipero Serra, a Franciscan.
· The founder of the American Navy was John Barry, a Catholic.
· The commander of cavalry in the Revolutionary War was Stephen Moylan, a Catholic.
· The first newspaper that gave accurate reports of the legislature debates was established by Matthew Carey, a Catholic.
Henry Coyle, Theodore Mayhew, and Frank S. Hickey, eds., Our Church, Her Children and Institutions (Boston: Angel Guardian Press, 1908), 89-90.