Visiting History, by Judge Peyton Cunningham


Inventory of first church established in Natchitoches, a 20×24 foot built on 9 feet of logs and mud. Said to be new in 1738.

May 9, 1738
Mr. de St. Denis, Knight of the Military Order of St. Louis, Commandant of the post of Natchiotches, and Mr. de la Chaise, sub-delegate to same post.
Before them, I, undersigned notary, made a loyal inventory of the parochial Church. I made it on May 9, 1738, by request of the Rev. Father Jean Francois de Civray, priest of the Capuchin Order, in charge of the Parish St. John the Baptist of Natchitoches, diocese of Quebec, province of La.
The inventory included the parochial Church of Natchitoches and its belongings, the priest’s house and surroundings. All in all as follows:
1. A church twenty feet long and twenty four wide, built on nine foot logs with double beams filled in between with mud work. The said Church has six windows with shutters and iron work, a big double door with iron work, a small door with a lock. The said building is covered with shingle on planks without any fancy work. Everything being new.
2. In the same Church are eighteen brand new benches, eight feet long, with backs to them.
3. The sanctuary is on a floor ten feet long in the middle of which stand: a table used as an altar-a few steps, a small carved cedar tabernacle, a footstool.
4. In said Church is a “half” pine tree armor with two doors, iron-work and a lock. This armor is new and contains the following:
-a chalice with it silver paten, Spanish style
-a small chalice, same metal
-a small sun shaped monstrance without a foot
-a brass box in which are three silver vases for the holy oils.
-two brass crosses – a small and a big one-with a Christ.
-two brass candlesticks such as the King gives to missionaries for their chapel.
-a plate with tin cruet bottles.
-a tin foil box for hosts
-an iron to make hosts
-a Roman missel
-a gradual, a ritual, an antiphonary
-a Catechism as used in Quebec
-the folios of the old altar Sacerdotal ornaments
In the armor have been found:
-a chasuble with a stole, maniple, veil, purse, an altar cloth in damasked satin with a peach colored silk braid.
-same set with Altar cloth made of pleated stamin on a white silk cord.
-same set with printed cotton, the damask Altar Cloth with a silver braided Maltese cross
-a small niche lined with damask and lace
-three altar cloths
-three communion cloths
-eight purificatories
-two plain albs
-four amices
-a linen belt
-a surplice
-a satin cushion trimmed with two crosses made of silver flowered ribbon
-about a pound and a half of white wax (candle stubs)
-two paper bouquets in a vase
-two small bells for the Altar

5. In the same Church an altar stone was found on the Altar table. A portable tin holy water font.
6. A thirteen and a half pound bell, set up outside the church.
The priest’s home, a house thirty feet long by eighteen wide, made of wood covered from top to bottom with shingle on cedar logs, with mud foundation, eight and a half feet high, with double raising pieces. The house has six windows with shutters, iron work, two entrance doors, one of which has a key.
In the house is a mud fire place, a wooden (unknown) and two doors with iron work.
A building twenty eight feet long, sixteen wide covered with bark, on logs eight feet high with a mud wall between them with a wooden wall and a fire place.
The said building has two windows and two doors with their locks. At the end of the building is a small shed covered with bark sixteen feet by (unknown);
A chicken house fifteen feet long, twelve wide on posts with a door and its lock.
All the above buildings are new.
-an oven made of mud
-a common ladder.
This inventory which covers all has been left in the hands of Rev. Father Jean Francois de Cyvray who has taken charge voluntarily and promised to show it all to whom it may concern, when needed. This inventory was made and ended on the day and year above. The following signed:
Father jean Francois C. Priest St. Deny de la Chaise
Before me
The copy of the present inventory was handed to Rev. Father J. Franc. de Civray on May 1738.