Revolutionary War Era


This portable altar was not used by a chaplain of the American or British forces but is posted here as possibly representative of portable altars used in the era and region.

This particular portable altar belonged to Joseph Mathurin Bourg in about 1775.

Josep Bourg was born in Rivière-aux-Canards, Nova Scotia but in 1755 was deported with his family, likely to Virginia before going to England then winding up in France where he studied philosophy and theology. After which, he was sent to Quebec, ordained in Montreal then sent to minister to the people around Acadia, Nova Scotia in 1773. As a missionary, his service took him all over the region, carrying this portable altar with him.

Being a portable altar used by a minister who studied in Europe and ministered in North America, it is possible that similar portable altars were used by chaplains in the Continental Army or the European Armies who fought with or against them.


Still looking for portable altars, field kits or other altar ware used in the Revolutionary War.  Do you have information on altar ware or ecclesiastic items Revolutionary War-era chaplains used? Leave me a comment!



Information about Father Bourg and his portable altar came from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and the New Brunswick Virtual Museum (where the picture of the portable altar also came from).



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