On this day in Alabama history: Michael Portier was born in France

On this day in Alabama history: Michael Portier was born in France
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, 2010. When bishop Michael Portier became the First Bishop of Mobile in 1829, he set out to build a Cathedral befitting the name. Under the architectural skills of Claude Beroujon, the cornerstone for the new Cathedral was laid in 1835, with construction completed in 1850. (The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

September 7, 1795

Michael Portier was born in Montbrison, France. Portier moved to Mobile in 1826 and, in 1829, became the first bishop of the new Diocese of Mobile, a position he held for 30 years. Portier laid the institutional foundation for the new diocese and worked tirelessly to secure adequate funding and staffing for the region. He founded a small seminary that became Spring Hill College, the state’s first institution of higher learning, and constructed the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Portier is entombed in the crypt of the cathedral.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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