"Letter from Bishop of St. Paul to Charles Ewing," March 22, 1873


Letter from Bishop Grace of St. Paul to Charles Ewing, March 22, 1873

Courtesy of ACUA

Charles Ewing was the first Catholic Commissioner for Indian Missions within the Catholic Indian Bureau. After President Grant was elected in 1869, his administration wanted to change the system of Indian agents through the Indian Peace Policy. Previously, most of the Indian mission work was done by Catholics, but they were pushed out through the Grant policy. Ewing was elected by the American Bishops because they felt that, as a prominent Washington D.C. lawyer, he could argue for Catholic interests against the federal government.

As you read the document, address the following questions:

  • How did early French missions, specifically in the colonial era, affect natives in the St. Paul territory over the long term?
  • What skills did missionaries need to develop in order to successfully convert natives?
  • Describe the nature of the relationship between the Bishop of St. Paul and the federal government, as you can gather from this document.