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Father Millet Cross and North Redoubt, 1967
The Father Millet Cross is a memorial on the grounds of Fort Niagaramarker in Youngstown, New Yorkmarker. The bronze cross is a replacement for the wooden cross erected by Pierre Millet at the New French Fort Denonville in 1688. During the preceding winter disease and starvation overwhelmed the fort's garrison of a hundred men and only twelve of them were saved by a rescue party. With this rescue party was Father Millet, a Jesuit missionary, who on Good Friday (April 16) celebrated Mass and erected and dedicated upon the site a cross invoking God's mercy for the plague-stricken men. On the beam of the cross is inscribed: "REGN. VINC. IMP. CHRS." which stands for Regnat, Vincit, Imperat, Christus.

On September 5, 1925, Calvin Coolidge by presidential proclamation set aside of Fort Niagara Military Reservation "for the erection of another cross commemorative of the cross erected and blessed by Father Millett [sic]." It was the smallest national monument ever established. In 1926 the New York State Knights of Columbus dedicated the memorial cross "not only to Father Millet, but to those other priests whose heroism took Christianity into the wilderness and whose devotion sought to create in this new world a new France." It stands today on the shore of Lake Ontariomarker just west of the fort's north redoubt.

Father Millet Cross National Monument was originally administered by the War Department but was transferred to the National Park Service in 1933 by executive order. In 1945, Fort Niagara was declared surplus by the U.S. Army and plans were laid to convert the site to a state park. On September 7, 1949, Congress abolished the national monument and transferred the memorial to the state of New York for public use as part of Fort Niagara State Park.

References

  1. "Christ reigns, wins, and rules."
  2. (Proclamation No. 1745—Sept. 5, 1925—44 Stat. 2582)
  3. This was similar to the purpose of the Cabrillo National Monument proclamation.
  4. . (The next smallest listed is African Burial Ground at .)
  5. [Executive Order No. 6228 of July 28, 1933 (5 U.S.C. secs. 124-132)]
  6. (63 Stat. 691)



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