I really thought this week was going to be less interesting than the last two just because I planned to mostly acquire materials needed to work on the major portion of this project, which is the map. However, as the week progressed I was pleasantly surprised with the turn of events.
This past week I was able to have the Loyola University Digital Media Lab print out two maps for the project. I took one to an off campus business and had it laminated so that I could proceed with drawing on the map itself. It still shocks me to see the amount of detail that was put into this map by De Smet, and without the help of modern cartography technology. Also, I was able to successfully order a very interesting map of the Pacific Northwest. This particular map is detailed with areas where certain Native tribes lived and naturally considered their territory, as well as where the fur trading posts were located that were essential in helping De Smet’s missionary work become successful. Also, I was able to find four books, De Smet’s letters Vol. II, III, and IV as well as a biography, all from the early twentieth century at our library here on campus. I was overjoyed to find a pullout map in the 1915 biography of his life. On this map it shows the routes he took to set up the missions in the Pacific Northwest. This is an amazing find because it will help me detail the larger map.
I spent the other portion of this week trying to pin down a general time frame of the Virgin Mary sighting by the Flathead Indians. The professor I am working with on this project was kind enough to get me access to the digital edition of the first volume of De Smet’s letters, which I could not get from the library, and here I found the information I needed. “Accordingly on Christmas Eve, (1841) a few hours before midnight mass, the Village of St. Mary was deemed worthy of a special mark of heaven’s favor. The Blessed Virgin appeared to a little orphan boy named Paul, in the hut of an aged and truly pious woman.” This was exactly the passage I needed to find! Now I can email the archivist of the Jesuits in Rome with a date and see if I can find any additional information, and add this to the map as well. Another truly thrilling week comes to an end.