We know that there was a series of Anglican/Episcopal churches in town throughout most if not all of Port Tobacco's existence. We know that there was a small Baptist congregation that used the south wing of the courthouse in the early 20th century, after the main part of the courthouse burned in 1892. And we know about the Jesuit mission established several miles to the south at what is now St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church. But here are a few things that we do not know about the practice of organized religion in and around Port Tobacco:
- What other Christian denominations were present?
- What non-Christian religious practices were publicly or clandestinely observed, including those of the local Indians, enslaved Africans, and non-Christians from the Eastern hemisphere?
- Did organized religion play an integrative or divisive role in Port Tobacco society? For example, in the years prior to the American Revolution, there were animosities between the English colonists (most at least nominally Anglicans) and Scots factors and merchants who controlled much of the credit and trade (and who, we might expect, were largely Presbyterians). To what extent might those animosities have been expressed through congregational membership and competing religious services?
- How can we explore these and other issues archaeologically?