CATERPILLAR See CHast L. CATHOLIC CHURCH, ROMAN (IN THE UNITED STATES).
The history of the Catholic Church in the ter ritory now comprised by the states of the Union is the subject of this sketch. This history has two periods: the Mission period, during which the church's work was carried on by missionaries imported from Spain. France and England, and holding their jurisdiction from ecclesiastical su periors in those respective countries; and the Hierarchical period, which began with the estab lishment of the Episcopal See of Baltimore, and continues down to the present day, during which period the church's work was. and is. carried on by a clergy organized in diocesan groups and holding jurisdiction from bishops appointed by the IlolySee to govern determined districts known as dioceses. The former period extends from the arrival of Spanish missionaries in Florida. 1521, to the appointment of the Rt. Rev. John Carroll to the see of Baltimore, 1789. There is an overlap ping of this dividing line in the case of New Mexico and California for the reason that they came into the Union after the erection of the see of Baltimore.
Spanish missionaries evangelized Florida. Ala bama, Texas, New Mexico. Arizona, California, 1;21 ISZ.IS. French missionaries evangelized Maine. northern New fork, the southern coasts of the great lakes, the valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi, i6o.1-17Ro There is here an over lapping in the case of Louisiana. which entered the Union in i8t2. English missionaries evan gelized the Atlantic coast from Maine to Vir ginia, 1634-1789.
(1) The Spanish Missions. In 152i Ponce de Leon brought with him to Florida a certain num ber of missionaries; but this expedition was driven back by the natives after a very short stay on land. Five years afterward, 1526. with Vasquez de Ayllon sailed two Dominican fathers and a lay brother. Ayllon reached the Chesapeake and formed a settlement, San Miguel, not far from the spot where almost a century later the English founded Jamestown. A temporary chapel was erected and the services of the church were cele brated as long as the settlement lasted. It did not last long. Ayllon died, a severe winter set in, disease came, the settlers quarreled, and the Indians attacked them. When spring came, the colonists, disgusted and despairing, set sail for Cuba. In t527 another expedition under Pam
filo de Narvaez, with Franciscan and secular priests, was scattered by the natives and lost at sea. Eleven years later, 153S. in the expedition of Hernando de Soto, most of the priests accom panying him perished in the long, weary marches from Florida to Virginia and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, in whose waters the ill-fated leader was buried. Eleven years later. 1549. Luis Cancer de Barbastro, a Dominican. led to the Floridian coast a band of his brother religious. only to meet, on landing, a martyr's death. Ten years later, 1559, fifteen hundred soldiers, many settlers, and four Dominican fathers, gathered in thirteen vessels, and started once more for Florida. under the command of Tristan de Luna. A cy clone struck the fleet, destroying eight vessels and scattering the others. Those that escaped the storm remained on land for two years, were picked up by a passing fleet and brought back to Cuba. The government of Spain, after so many failures, decided that no more colonizing should be at tempted in Florida; but just then France was trying to get a foothold on the southern Atlantic coast, and in order to keep France out, Spain made one supreme effort that succeeded in the permanent occupation and evangelization of Flor ida by Spanish troops and missionaries. In 1565 was founded St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Before the end of seventy years the number of Chri.tian Indians was reckoned at twenty-five or thirty thousand, distributed among forty-four missions, under the direction of thirty-five Franciscan missionaries; while the city of St. Augustine, in care of secular priests, was well equipped with religious institutions and or ganizations. The Indian languages were reduced to grammar, and books of instruction and prayer were written and published by the missionaries for the use of the natives. For one hundred and fifteen years Florida was in the exclusive pos session of the Spanish government and the Span ish missionaries. In ihSo the settling of Scotch Presbyterians at Port Royal in South Carolina was the signal for a war of races, which went on. with intervals of quiet, until the treaty of Paris, 1763, transferred Florida to the British Crown.