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" Liturgy for the Laity,'''' " Stuiiia in the Neio Testament,'^ 
Etc., Etc. 




James H. O'Donnell 


PrinttJ by 

The Sfarrdl Print 




.. HE undersigned desires to express his gratitude to Right Rev. Bishop 
«J Tierney, D.D., whose words of advice and encouragement and un- 
failing interest in the work, often stimulated him to renewed endeavor; 
to Very Rev. Thomas J. Shahan, D.D., Dean of the Faculty of Divinity 
of the Catholic University of America, whose copious notes, collected in 
1888 for a " Histor)' of the Diocese of Hartford," have been of incalculable 
value; to the Hon. Charles T. Hoadley, LL-D., State Librarian and 
member of the Connecticut Historical Society ; to Mr. Albert C. Bates, 
Librarian of the Hartford Historical Society; to Marc F. Valette, LL-D., 
President of the Brooklyn Catholic Historical Society; to the Hon. William 
J. Onahan, Chicago, Ills. ; to the Bishop's Memorial Hall, University of 
Notre Dame, Ind. ; to the Rev. Edward I. Devitt, S. J., Gonzaga College, 
Washington, D. C. ; to the Rev. John O'Brien, editor of the Sacred Heart 
Review, for the favor of using the admirable historical sketches of the Rev. 
William F. Powers ; to the Price & Lee Company for permission to draw 
from the " History of Catholicity in Waterbury, Conn. ; " to Mr. F. X. 
Reuss, of Philadelphia, Professor James Madigan and Professor Leo Curley, 
of Waterbury, for valuable services ; to the Watertown Library, for free 
access to the library at all times, and leave to draw one or many volumes 
gratis; to Charles F. Chapin, editor of the Waterbury American, whose letter 
"To the Newspaper Men of Connecticut " smoothed the writer's pathway 
into editorial sanctums ; to the many, in a word, who, by suggestion and 
material furnished, contributed to the accomplishment of the present work. 

James H. O'Donnell. 
Watertown, Conn. 

To THE Right Rkv. Bishop Tierney, D.D. 


Rev. Clergy and Religious 


Following Pages are 
Affectionately Inscribed. 


Chapter Page 

I. Then and Now i 

The Diocese of Hartford— Origin- 
ally Part of the Diocese of Balti- 
more—Later of the Dioceseof Boston 
— See of Hartford Erected Sept. iS, 
1843. by Pope Gregory XVI— The 
First Bishop~Rt. Rev. William 
Tyler, D.D.— The First Sunday 
School— First Day School— Catho- 
lics in 1835, 720 — The First Settled 
Priest— List of Early Priests— First 
Order of Religious Women— The 
First Parish— Present Status of the 

II. Intolerance in Connecticut . 10 

Blue Laws and 'Popery'— Early spirit 
of Persecution— Church and State- 
Antipathy of Puritans to Foreign- 
ers—Early Enactments — Religious 

III. The Confession of Faith . . 17 

The Saybrook Convention of 1708— 
The Confession- Abhors the Pope— 
A Man of Sin— Son of Perdition— Pri- 
vate Masses— Liberty of Conscience. 

IV. Anti-Catholic Sentiment . . 20 

Antipathy to the Irish People— Op- 
position Carried to Ridiculous Ex- 
tremes-General Assembly Enact- 
ment, 1724 — Renouncing the Pope 
— Un-Christian Oaths. 

V. "Pope Day" 24 

The Gunpowder Plot— The Fifth of 
November — Guy Fawkes — The Fa- 
natical Mob— Washington Sounded 
the Knell of Pope Day. 

VI. The Connecticut "Observer " 

AND THE Know Nothings . . 26 

" Romanism *' in Connecticut — 
Bishop Fenwick— The Catholic Press 
—Rev. Mr. Hooker— The Know Noth- 
ings — Burning of Catholic Buildings 
— The Know Nothing Law Repealed 
in 1861 — Captain Cahill— Puritanism. 

VII. Irish Settlers 32 

John Verrazano— New France — Tra- 
ditions Relative to First Resident 
Catholics- Pioneer Irish Settlers — 
King Phillip's War— The Great 
Swamp Fight— Irish Soldiers. 

Chapter Page 

VIII. Emigration, Compulsory and 

Voluntary 36 

Exiled from Erin — Inhumanity — 
Transported to the American Col- 
onies — Persecution and Expatria- 

IX. Names that Speak 43 

Early Catholic Settlers— From 1639 
to 1805 — Extracts from Early Rec- 

X. Evidences of Early Catho- 
lics 50 

French Family in Stratford in 1662 
— Irishmen in Stratford in 1679 — The 
Visit of Catholic Governor Dongan 
of New York to Milford in 1685 — 
The Canadian Embassy of 1700. 

XI. French Prisoners in Connec- 

ticut 54 

French and Spanish Prisoners from 
Cape Breton— Fall of Fort Niagara 
■ — French Prisoners Captured — 
Brought to Connecticut— In His 
Majesty's gaols in Hartford and 
New Haven— Contingent sent to 
New London — Incarcerated in the 
common gaol. 

XII. An Unhappy Event — Kidnap- 

ping 56 

a Spanish Vessel in Distress— Put 
into New London— Treasure Stolen 
— Memorial to the General Assem- 
bly — Joseph Demink Kidnapped 
and Sold as a Slave. 

XIII. Early Catholics in New Lon- 

don 58 

Early Port of Entry— Foreign Resi- 
dents—The War Ship Cygnet— John 
Sullivan— Thomais Allen- The "City 
Coffee House "—Early French Resi- 
dents-Exiles from San Domingo. 

XIV. The Acadians in Connecticut . 63 

Deportation by the English Govern- 
ment—A Sad Page in History— Four 
Hundred to Connecticut— The Land- 
ing at New London— Distributed 
throughout the Towns of the Col- 
ony-Interesting List of Charges— 
Their Treatment in Various Towns 
— Tradition of Two Acadian Priests 
— The Verdict of History. 



Chapter Page 

XV. The French Army in Con- 


Services Rendered the Colonists 
by Catholic France— Washington's 
Grateful Acknowledgment— Mar- 
quis de Lafayette — Count de Roch- 
anibeau— Washington and Rocbam- 
beau at Hartford. 

XVI. The March through Connec- 

ticut 80 

Plainfield First Point Reached— 
Windham — nolton — Hartford — 
Farmington— South ington— Middle- 
bury— Newtown— Ridgebury—Roch- 
ambeau's Liberality — Ca rr ies 
Money to Washington's Troops — 
The Camp at Hartford— Cordiality 
and Generosity— Routes and Camps 
— Washington's Congratulatory Or- 
der to the Allied Armies. 

XVII. Mass in the French Army . 86 

The First Mass in Connecticut — 
During the F.ncampment of Roch- 
anibeau — Now within Limits of St. 
Peter's Parish, Hartford. 

xviii. Lafayette in Connecticut . 88 

His March through the Stale— Visit 
to this Country in 17S4— At Hartford 
October 5— Makes a Second Visit 
in 1S24. 

XIX. The Marquis de Chastellux 

IN Connecticut 92 

His Tour in 1780 — En route from 
Newport — Stops at Voluutown — 
Plainfield — Windham — Hartford— 
F a r ni i n g ton— Washington— New 
Milford— Two Subsequent Tours 
through Connecticut. 

XX. Connecticut Irishmen in the 

Revolution 94 

The Tribute of History— Irishmen 
in the Lexington Alarm— Irishmen 
in Every Important Action from 
Siege of Boston to Surrender of 
Yorktown- In the Third Regiment 
— Fourth Regiment — Fifth Regi- 
ment — Sixth Regiment — Seventh 
Regiment— Eighth Regiment — Be- 
fore Quebec, December, 1775 — At 
Ft. Schuyler— Knowlton Rangers^ 
Bigelow's Artillery— The "Connec- 
ticut Line " — Hirst Regiment — Sec- 
ond Regiment- Third Regiment- 
Fourth Regiment— Fifth Regiment 
—Sixth Regiment— Seventh Regi- 
ment — Eighth Regiment — Ninth 
Regiment — Col. Shcrburn's Light 
Infantry— Col. Seth Warner's Regi- 
ment — Col. Moses Hazen's Regiment 
—Col. Durkee's Regiment — Captain 
Ransom's Company — First Troop, 
Lisht Dragoons — Second Troop — 
Fourth Troop- Fifth Troop— Sixth 
Troop — Col. Lamb's Artillery — Col. 
Crane's Artillery — Artificers — In- 
valid Corps — Pensions for the Revo- 
lution-Invalid Pensioners. 

Chapter Page 

XXI. Early Priests in Connecticut io6 

Rev. Gabriel Druillettes, S. J.— His 
Visit to New Haven. 

XXII. Father Druillettes* Succes- 


Rev. Jean Pierron— Rev. Thomas 
Harvey. S. J.— Rev. John Gordon, 
DD.— Rev. Arnoux Duprc— Visit of 
Rt. Rev. John Carroll, D.D.. Bishop 
of Baltimore- Rev. John Thayer- 
Rev. Jean Ambrose Soug^ — Rev. R. 
D. Woodley— Rev. Bernard O'Cav- 

Bishops of the Diocese . . . .122 

Rt. Rev. William Tyler, D.D., First 

Bishop of Hartford 122 

Rt. Rev. Bishop O'Reilly. D.D 134 

Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick McFarland.D.D. 149 

Rt. Rev. Thomas Galberry. O. S. A., D.D. 159 
Rt. Rev. Lawrence Stephen McMahon, 

D.D 166 

Rt. Rev. M. Tierney. D D 178 

Parish and Mission Churches . . i8o 
Hartford County 193 

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hartford . . 193 

St. Patrick's Parish, Hartford .... 208 

St. Peter's Parish. Hartford .... 214 

St. Lawrence O'Toole's Parish, Hartford 219 

St. Anns Parish, Hartford 22b 

St. Anthony's Parish, Hartford . .221 
Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, Parkville 222 
Immaculate Conception Parish, Hartford 223 
St. Joseph's Parish, Bristol .... 223 
St. Catherine's Parish, Broadbrook . . 224 
St. Patrick's Parish, Collinsville . . 225 
St. Mary's Parish, East Hartford . . 227 
St. Bernard's Parish, Hazardville . . 228 
All Saints' Mission, Somersville . . . 229 
St. Paul's Parish, Kensington .... 230 
Sacred Heart Mission, Hast Berlin . . 231 
St. Bridget's Parish, Manchester . . . 232 
St. Mary's Parish, New Britain . . . 233 
St. Peters Parish, New Britain . .238 
Sacred Heart Parish, New Britain . . 239 
St. Andrew's Parish, New Britain . . 240 
St. Joseph's Parish. New Britain . . . 240 
Our Lady of Mercy Parish. Plainville . 242 
St. Matthew's Mission, Forestville . 243 
St. Patrick's Mission, Farmington . . 243 
St. Joseph's Parish, Poquonock . . . 244 
St. Gabriel's Mission, Windsor . . . 245 
St. Thomas' Parish, Southington ... 245 
St. James" Parish. South Manchester . 246 
St. Bernard's Parish. Tariffville ... 248 
St. Patrick's Parish, Thompsonville . 249 
St. Mary's Star of the Sea Parish, Nor- 
wich 252 

Parish of the Sacred Heart. Wethersfield 252 

St. Mary's Parish, Windsor Locks . 254 
Sacred Heart Mission, Suflield . . .257 

Fairfield County 257 

St. Augustine's Parish, Bridgeport . . 257 
St. Mary's Parish, F:ast Bridgeport . - 260 
Sacred Heart Parish. Bridgeport . .261 

St. Patrick's Parish, Bridgeport ... 262 




St. Joseph's Parish, Bridgeport . . .263 
St. Authony of Padua's Parish, Bridge- 
port 263 

St. Stephen's Parish 264 

St. John Nepomucene's Parish . . . 264, 

St. Mary's Parish. Bethel 264 

Redding Ridge Mission 266 

St. Peter's Parish, Danbury .... 266 
St. Thomas' Parish, Fairfield .... 270 
St. Mary's Parish, Greenwich - . . .272 
St. Aloysius Parish, New Canaan . . .273 
St. Rose's Parish, Newtown .... 274 

St. John's Parish, Noroton 275 

St. Mary's Parish. Norwalk .... 276 
St. Mary's Parish, Ridgefield . . . .280 
St. Joseph's Parish, South Norwalk . . 281 
St. John's Parish, Stamford .... 282 
Parish of the Assumption, Westport . . 288 


I^iTCHFiELD County .... 

St. Joseph's Parish, Winsted . 
St. Mary's Parish, Lakeville . - . .291 
St. Anthony's Parish, Litchfield . . .292 
St. Thomas of Villanova, Goshen, Mission 295 
Immaculate Conception Parish, New- 
Hartford 297 

St. Francis Xavier's Parish, New Milford 298 

Immaculate Conception Parish, Norfolk 300 

St. Bernard's Parish, Sharon .... 302 

St. Thomas' Parish, Thomaston . - 303 
Immaculate Conception Mission, Terry- 

ville 305 

Parish of St. Francis of Assisi. Torring- 

ton 306 

St. John's Parish, Watertown .... 306 
Sacred Heart (Mission) Church. South- 
bury 310 

Woodbury Mission 

Middlesex County 311 

St. John's Parish, Middletown . -3" 
St. Joseph's Parish, Chester . . . .318 
St. John's Parish, Cromwell .... 320 
St. Mary's Parish, Portland .... 321 
St. Patrick's (Mission) Church, East 
Hampton 323 

New Haven County 323 

St. Mary's Parish, New Haven .... 324 
St. Patrick's Parish, New Haven . . .342 

St. John's Parish, New Haven . . . . 34S 

Sacred Heart Parish, New Haven . . 350 

St. Francis" Parish, New Haven . . . 353 

St. Boniface's Parish, New Haven . . 354 

St. Lawrence's Parish, West Haven . . 355 

St. Louis' Parish, New Haven .... 357 
St. Michael's Parish, New Haven . . .357 

Parish of the Assumption, Ansonia . 359 

Immaculate Conception Parish, Branford 360 

St. Mary's Parish, Derby 361 

St. George's Parish, Guilford . . . .365 
Parish of St- Rose of Lima, Meriden . . 366 
St. Laurent's Parish, Meriden . . . 370 
St. Mary's Parish, Meriden .... 372 
Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Meri- 
den 372 

St. Stanislaus' Parish, Meriden . . . 372 

St. Mary's Parish, Milford 373 

St. Mary's Parish. Mt. Carmel (Hamden) 374 

St. Francis' Parish, Naugatuck . . . 375 

St. Augustine's Parish, Seymour . . . 377 

Holy Angels' Parish, South Meriden . 378 


Holy Trinity Parish, Wallingford . . 379 
Parish of the Immaculate Conception, 

Waterbury 381 

St. Patrick's Parish, Waterbury . . . 392 
St. Michael's (Mission) Church, Water- 

viUe 394 

The Sacred Heart Parish, Waterbury . 395 

St. Anne's Parish, Waterbury .... 397 

St. Cecilia's Parish, Waterbury . . . 398 

St. Francis Xavier's Parish, Waterbury . 399 

St. Joseph's Parish, Waterbury . . . 401 

The Italian Catholics, Waterbury . . 402 
St. Thomas' Parish, Waterbury . . .402 

New London County 403 

St. Mary's Star of the Sea Parish, New 

Loudon 403 

Immaculate Conception Parish. Baltic . 408 

St. Andrew's Parish. Colchester . . . 409 
Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Jewett 

City 410 

St. John's Parish, Montville .... 411 

St. Patrick's Parish, Mystic .... 412 

St. Mary's (Mission). Stonington . . . 413 

St. Patrick's Parish, Norwich .... 414 

St. Joseph's (Mission) Church, Cecum . 421 
Sacred Heart Parish, Taftville . . .422 

St. Thomas' Parish, Voluntown . . . 423 

Tolland County 424 

St. Bernard's Parish, Rockville . . - 424 
St. Mary's Parish, South Coventry . . 427 
St. Edward's Parish, Stafford Springs . 428 

Windham County 

St. Joseph's Parish, Willimantic . . .431 
St. James' Parish, Danielson .... 433 
St. Joseph's Parish, Dayville . . . -435 
St. Joseph's Parish, Grosveuordale . . 435 
All Hallow's Parish, Moosup .... 437 
Parish of St. Mary of the Visitation, Put- 
nam 438 

Sacred Heart Parish, Wauregan ... 441 
Sacred Heart Parish, West Thompson . 442 
St. Michael's Parish, Westerly ... 443 
Sacred Heart Parish, Hartford ... 444 

The Institutions of the Diocese . 445 

St. Francis' Orphan Asylum, New Haven 445 
St. James' Orphan Asylum. Hartford . 451 
St. Thomas' Preparatory Seminary, Hart- 
ford 452 

Seminary of Mt. St. Joseph, Hartford . 455 

Academy De Notre Dame, Waterbury . 456 

Notre Dame Academy, Putnam . . . 457 

Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic . 458 
St. Augustine's Villa, Hartford . . -459 

St. Mary's Home for the Aged, Hartford 459 
St. Francis" Hospital, Hartford . . -459 

Summary 460 

Societies 461 

The Ancient Order of Hibernians . . 461 

The Knights of Columbus 462 

The Catholic Benevolent Union . . . 463 
The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of 

Connecticut 4^4 

Addenda 4^4 

St. Mary's Parish, Norwich .... 463 

Appendix 466 

Diocese of Hartford. 



Watertown, Conn. 

" Historia, von ostenlationi, sed fidei veritaiique compoiiitur." — Plin'N'. 

'• One lesson we must learn ourselves and teach our children. It is to know our antece- 
dents ; to glory in our predecessors in the faith ; to be ever ready to explain, but never to 
apologize, for the faith of our fathers." — Thomas D'Arcy McGee. . 




fHE diocese of Hartford comprises the State of 
Connecticut. Its area is about five thousaud and 
four square miles. Prior to iSo8, Connecticut 
formed a part of the of Baltimore, whose juris- 
diction comprised all the territory of the United States 
east of the Mississippi River. On April 8, 1808, Pius 
VII., then occupying the Papal chair, by the bull 
^'- Ex Debito Pastoralis Officio^'''' erected the episcopal 
sees of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bards- 
town. To the diocese^jof Boston was allotted the ter- 
ritory which now forms the New England States. The first bishop of Boston 
was the Right Rev. John Lefebvre Cheverus, D.D. Connecticut remained 
under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Boston until 1843. During these five 
and thirty years Bishop Cheverus and Bishop Fenwick — apostolic men both — 
made periodical visits to the scattered Catholics of the state, preaching, cate- 
chizing, visiting the sick, administering the holy .sacraments, and offering up 
the august Sacrifice of the Mass. Their ministrations strengthened the faith 
of the few Catholics here, consoled them in their trials, and fortified them 
II— I 1 

Seal of the Colony of Cona. 


against the spiritual dangers then so prevalent. Their visits were anxiously 
awaited and tlieir services accepted with an eagerness and joy understood only 
by those who know of the tender relationship that exists between priests and 
people. They have long since entered into their celestial reward ; but tlie 
fruits of their apostolic labors still remain, and their example in searching for 
the wandering sheep of the fold exercises a stimulating influence upon their 
devoted successors in the same ministry. They labored faithfully and well, 
and prepared the ground for the foundations that were laid, and upon which 
has arisen, grand, stately, and majestic, a diocese second to none in our land, 
in all things faithful to its exalted mission, and of which its .subjects, both 
priests and laity, are justly proud. 

Bishop Cheverus ruled over the of Boston from 1810 to 1823, 
when he was transferred to the See of Montauban, France. From 1823 to 
1825, the affairs of the diocese were conducted by an Administrator, Verj' 
Rev. William Taylor. The successor of Cheverus in the episcopal 
office was Right Rev. Benedict Fenwick, who was consecrated on the feast of 
All Saints, 1825. 

The rapid of the Catholic population of the New England States, 
together with his declining health, caused Bishop Fenwick to petition the 
Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore (1843) for ^ division of his diocese.' 
In accordance with his request, a petition was duly laid before the Propaganda 
at Rome, with the result that on September i8, 1843, Pope Gregory X\'I. 
erected the See of Hartford, with jurisdiction over the States of Rhode Island 
and Connecticut. The first bishop of Hartford was Right Rev. William 
Tyler, D.D.^ Bishop Tyler and his successors resided at Providence until 
1872, when that city was erected into an Episcopal See. Bishop McFarland 
in that year took up his residence in Hartford. 

Until 1830 there was not a Catholic church in Connecticut. When 
Bishop Cheverus and Bishop Fenwick, and others who preceded them, visited 
this portion of the Lord's vineyard, they said Mass, preached, and dispensed 
the graces of religion in private houses and in public halls ; sometimes the 
Holy Sacrifice was offered in barns, suitably prepared for the joyous occasion. 
Not infrequently bigotry dethroned reason and justice, and the minister of 
God, with his devoted little band, would perforce seek access to a stable 
wherein to celebrate the divine mysteries. But what mattered it? Was not 
the divine Victim of the sacrifice born in a lowly .stable, and were not the 
dumb beasts among the first witnesses of His advent? When Bishop Fen- 

The records of the Council, May 19, contain this item : 

" Censuerunt, Patres S Sedi supplicanduni e.sse, lit nova Sedes Episcopalis erig- 
atur in iirbe Hartford, qu;e Provincias Connecticut et Rhode Island includat." 

'In a letter to Archbisliop Eccleston, of Baltimore, September 30, 1S43, Cardinal 
Fransoni, Prefect of the Propaganda, Rome, wrote as follows : " Quod spectat ad Nova- 
rum Sedium Episcopalium ercctionem, Kpiscoporum et Coadjutorum electionem. . . . 
sciatis htec omnia, SS mo Dno Nostro probante, jam esse decreta, electis videlicet iis ad 
singulos Episcopatus, vel ad niunus Coadjutoris obeuudum, quos prinio loco in singulis 
casibus proposuistis, e.xcepto,' etc. 


wick visited Hartford in July, 1829, his church was a printing office and his 
altar au humble table. To-day we behold in Connecticut one hundred and 
nineteen parish churches where Mass is said regularly, and one hundred and 
twenty-three churches, chapels and other buildings where divine services are 
held frequently. On July 19, 1S29, the first Sunday-school for Catholic 
youth in this State was opened in the office of the Catholic Press at Hartford, 
no doubt with meagre attendance. Now children, many thousands in num- 
ber, gather weekly within beautiful temples to listen to words of Christian 
wisdom, to learn the salutary doctrines of the church, and to imbibe the 
sturdy, vigorous and loyally catholic spirit that shone so conspicuously in 
their ancestors. Prior to 1830 there was no day-school in which Catholic 
children could receive a religious as well as a secular training ; but on Novem- 
ber 2d of that year the doors of the first Catholic school in Connecticut were 
thrown open. It was for boys only, and was held in the basement of Trinity 
church, on Talcott street, Hartford. The master was Mr. Joseph Brigden, a 
convert, a gentleman of superior 'intellectual attainments, and possessing at 
that time fifteen years' experience as an educator. To-day fifty-three hand- 
some and substantial parochial schools adorn their surroundings, and are 
imparting to twenty-three thousand children instruction in the secular 
branches and fitting them for the high and responsible duties of citizenship. 
These schools are erected and maintained at a sacrifice that clearly demon- 
strates the depth and sincerity of our convictions. They are necessary for the 
proper education of Catholic youth. They are nurseries in which their ten- 
der hearts are cultivated, their consciences formed on the lines of Christ's 
teachings. The religious element there predominates ; it pervades the class- 
room ; religious influences are ever present, for we believe with Washington 
that "reason and experience doth forbid us to expect that national morality 
can prevail in exclusion of religious principles." 

In 1835 a census taken by Bishop Fenwick accredited to Connecticut 
seven hundred and twenty Catholics. In 1844 the Catholic population of the 
State was 4,817. The census of 1890 placed the Catholic communicants oi 
Connecticut at 152,945, and the Protestant conmiunicants of all denomina- 
tions at 147,184, giving a Catholic majority of 5,761, with a per cent, of 
Catholic communicants of .51. In 1899, 250,000 souls yield generous and 
loyal obedience to the Bishop of Hartford. Previous to 1829, and during a 
part of that year, the Catholics of Connecticut were attended at intervals by 
priests sent hither by the Bishop of Boston. The Rev. R. D. Woodley, of 
Providence, visited the state from Noveinber, 1828, to July, 1829, at the 
request of Bishop Fenwick. In August, 1829, the first priest to reside in the 
State by episcopal appointment took up his abode at Hartford. This honor 
belongs to the Rev. Bernard O'Cavanagh. For well-nigh eleven months this 
zealous and talented young priest sowed alone the seeds of righteousness in a 
parish whose limits were co-extensive with the boundaries of the State. 
Beginning with this pioneer, we shall present a list of the priests who labored 
in Connecticut until 1850. Truly, those were the days that tried priests' 
souls. Their names should be perpetuated and held in grateful remembrance 


b\- tlieir co-religionists of the present. The relation of their labors will be 
found elsewhere in these pages. 

From August 26, 1829, till July 30, 1830, Rev. Bernard O'Cavanagh. 

From July, 1830, till October 27, 1831, Rev. B. O'Cavanagh and James 

From October, 1831, till September, 1832, Rev. James Fitton. 

From September, 1832, till 1834, Rev. J. Fitton, Rev. James McDerniott, 
Rev. Kdward McCool, Rev. Francis Kieruau. 

1835, Rev. J. Fitton, Rev. J. McDermott. 

1836, Rev. J. Fitton, Rev. J. McDermott, Rev. Peter Walsh. 

1837, Rev. J. McDerniott, Rev. John Brady, Rev. Peter Walsh, Rev. 

William Wiley, Rev. James Smyth.' 

1838, Rev. P. Walsh, Rev. John Brady, Rev. J. Smytli. 

1839, Rev. John Brady, Rev. J. Smyth. 

1840, Rev. James Strain, Rev. J. Smyth, Rev. J. Brady. 

1841, Rev. James Strain, Rev. J. Smyth, Rev. J. Brady, Rev. John D. 

Brady . 

1842, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. John D. Brady. 

1843, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. John D. Brady. 

1844, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. Michael Lynch. 

1S45, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. Michael Lynch, Rev. 
H. Riordan. 

1846, Rev. John Brady, Rev. H. Riordan, Rev. James Smyth , Rev. 

Charles O'Reilly, Rev. Michael Lynch, Rev. John Brady, Jr. 

1847, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. M. Lynch, Rev. John 

Brady, Jr., Rev. Charles O'Reilly. 

1845, Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. M. Lynch, Rev. 

Philip O'Reilly, Rev. John Brady, Jr. 

1849, Rev. John Brady, Rev. M. Lynch, Rev. Philip O'Reilly, Rev. 

John C. Brady, Rev. William Logan, S. J. 

1850, Rev. John Brady, Rev. M. Lynch, Rev. Philip O'Reilly, Rev. John 

Brady, Jr., Rev. Luke Daley, Rev. M. O'Neill, Rev. James 
Smyth, Rev. John C. Brady. In this year, the Rev. William 
Logan, S. j., of Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass., attended 
New London. - 

To resume briefly: In 1830 there were two priests in Connecticut; in 
1840, three, and in 1850, nine, eight resident and one visiting. In i860 the 
number of priests in the Connecticut portion of the diocese was thirty- 

• Not all in the State at the same time. 

'Father Logan died at New London, Maj' 30, 1850, aged 40 yeans, from small-po.x, 
contracted from a sick call. He was born at Emmitsburg, April 10, 1810. After his 
elevation to the priesthood he was engaged in missionary duty at Frederick City, and 
afterwards as professor in Hoh' Cross College. He was subsequently charged with the 
missions nf Norwich, New London and Pomfret, and in this, as in other fields of labor, 
he was distingui.shed for his piety and zeal. In a Jesuit catalogue for 1 849-1850, Father 
Logan is mentioned as : " Openiriiis ; excurrit ad Nonvich. Neo-Londiiium el Pom/iel.'' 


three. In 1870 there were sixty-three; in 18S0, one hundred and twenty- 
three; in 1S90, one hundred and eighty-six. In this year of our Lord, 
1899, two hundred and sixty priests minister to the wants of the Catholics of 

In 1843, before the erection of the diocese, the priests of Connecticut 
were stationed as follows : 

Hartford.^ Trinity Church. Rev. John Brady, Rev. John D. Brady, who 
attended also Cabbotsville. 

Neiv Haven., Christ's Church. Rev. James Smyth. 

Bridgeport was attended from New Haven. 

Neiv London was served from Worcester by Rev. James Fitton. 


Hartford., Trinity Church. Rev. John Brady. 
Neii-' Haven., Christ's Church. Rev. James Smyth. 
Bridgeport., St. James. Rev. Michael Lynch. 
Middletoxvn was served from Hartford. 

Nezv London and Norivicli were attended from Worcester bj- Rev. A. 


Hartford., Trinity Church. Rev. John Brady. 

Nezu Haven., Christ's Church. Rev. James Smyth. 

Bridgeport., St. James. Rev. Michael Lynch. 

Middletown served from Hartford. 

Nciv London and Norivicli attended from Newport by Rev. James Fitton. 

Norfolk served from Bridgeport. 

After the death of Bishop Tyler, in January, 1849, the diocese was gov- 
erned by Right Rev. John B. Fitzpatrick, D. D., Bishop of Boston, until the 
appointment of Bishop O'Reilly, in August, 1S50. The priests residing in 
Connecticut in 1850 were: 

Hartford., Trinity Church. Rev. John Brady, Rev. James Smyth, Rev. 
Luke Daly, who attended several stations. 

New Haven. Rev. Philip O'Reilly. 

Bridgeport^ St. James. Rev. Michael Lynch. 

Middletown. Rev. John Brady, Jr. 

IVaterbnry. Rev. Michael O'Neill. 

Norwalk. Rev. John C. Brady, who attended also Stamford, Danburv, 
New Milford and Canaan. 

Nczv London, Norivich and several adjoining stations were attended from 
Worcester, Mass., by the Rev. William Logan, S. J. 

Cultured and refined, with an exalted idea of their mission, profoundly 
interested in whatever makes for the advancement of their peoples' welfare, 
the clergy of the diocese of Hartford are accomplishing splendid work for 
God, the church, and society. Faithful to duty, prompt in responding to 
every demand, insistent in their efforts to promote the educational interests 


of the children committed to their care, charitable to the needy, tender and 
compassionate to the sick, the strength and consolation of the dying ; the 
teachers of yonlh, the friends and guides of age; successful in composing 
difficulties, the arbiters between men estranged ; aggressive in their warfare 
against the drink habit, that giant evil that stalks insolently over the land, 
bringing ruin and desolation in its wake, the priests of Connecticut have at- 
tained a position of influence in the commonwealth that redounds to the 
glory of the diocese. Loved by their own charges and respected by their 
separated brethren, they are a mighty power for the accomplishment of high 
and noble purposes, a stanch barrier to the progress of evil. Thoroughly 
imbued with the spirit that pervades our beneficent laws, familiar with the 
glorious history of this republic, realizing in its full measure the blessings 
that flow from the religious freedom here enjoyed, it were superfluous — a work 
of supererogation — to proclaim here their loyalty to the institutions of our 
country. Happy and prosperous, indeed, will this republic be, if in her 
course down through the coming years, it will be assailed by no greater foes 
than the priests of the Catholic Church. The shafts of hate and jealousy 
may be directed against them; the poisoned darts will fall harmless at their 
feet. Their ears ma)' be assailed by shouts that come up from hearts eaten 
with bigotry, but, conscious of the purity of their motives and of the recti- 
tude of their conduct, they will remain faithful to conscientious duty assured 
of the continued good-will of their fellow-citizens. "By their fruits ye shall 
know them." Judged by this divine standard, the priests of Connecticut 
and their brethren elsewhere in this favored land of ours, need not fear the 
hostile criticism of those whose words are not always weighed in the scales 
of justice. 

The first order of religious women, the Sisters of Mercy, was introduced 
into the diocese of Hartford in 1852, by Right Rev. Bishop O'Reilly. The 
mother-house was located at Providence, R. I. On IMay 12 of that year four 
sisters arrived at New Haven. They were the pioneers in Connecticut of 
that splendid order which was destined to achieve many and wonderful works 
in the cause of religion and education. They came among strangers, but 
their devotion to their sacred calling, their self-sacrifice, their unobtrusive 
piety and gentleness, their love for children and devotedness to the sick 
mellowed the hearts of ])ersons of every creed. They opened schools wliere 
children could receive a Catholic training, and gathered the helpless orphans 
within their protecting arms and shielded them from the misery and hard- 
ships of the world. From four sisters in 1852, they increased to twenty-two 
in i860; and in the present year, 1899, the number of religious women, in_ 
eluding novices and postulants, in the diocese, is seven hundred and fifty. 
God has singularly blessed these holy women, who have made, and are still 
making, so many and great sacrifices for Him, whose very names are un- 
known to the world, who go uncomplaining to any service, and who are as 
patient, zealous and resigned in the midst of contagion as in the class room. 
For many years the spiritual daugiiters of Mother Mc.\ule>' were alone in the 
field; but in the progress of the years other orders were introduced, until now 


there are three mother-houses of the Sisters of Mercy, besides ten other dif- 
ferent conminnities in the diocese. They are: Sisters of Mercy, Mother- 
house, Hartford ; Sisters of Mercy, Mother-house, Meriden ; Sisters of Mercy, 
Mother-liouse, Middletown; Sistersof the Assumption, (Nicolet, P.O.); Sisters 
of Charity, (Convent Station, N. J.); Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 
(Mt. St. Vincent on the Hudson, N. Y.); Sisters of St. Joseph, (Chambery, 
France); Sisters of Charity of our Lady, Mother of Mercy, (Tilburg, Hol- 
land); Sistersof St. Francis; Sisters of St. Joseph, (Flushing, New York); 
Sisters of the Congregation de Notre Dame, (Villa Maria, P. O.); Sisters of 
the Holy Cross, (St. Laurent, P. Q.); Sisters of Notre Dame, (Baltimore, Md.) 

These devoted women instruct our )outh in parochial schools; tenderly 
care for God's cherished little ones, the orphans; nurse the sick and provide 
for the comfort of the aged. They are ministering angels, and their presence 
exhales a benediction. They are noble, efficient auxiliaries to the priesthood 
and their fervent prayers ascending to the mercy seat from the silence and soli- 
tude of their sanctuaries bring down many alid choice blessings upon the dio- 
cese. Twenty-three thousand of our youth are being trained under their foster- 
ing care. Who will measure the extent of the good accomplished by these holy 
women among this number of children — almost as large as the standing army 
of the United States before the Spanish-American war? Entering the various 
walks of life they will bring to their chosen vocations both virtue and talent. 
Religion will be an ever-present factor in their lives, and earthly ambitions, 
how strong soever they may press, will become subordinate to a higher destiny, 
that for which man was alone created. As tlie maternal influence is para- 
mount in moulding the character of children, so are the example and pre- 
cepts of our Sisters of inestimable \alue in shaping for good the careers of 
our youth. They seek no worldly encomiums; they are indifferent to the 
plaudits of men. Content are the)- to labor, hidden in Christ, from whom 
alone they seek reward. 

The laity of the diocese of Hartford have ever been conspicuous for their 
loyalty to holy church, for cheerful submission to diocesan laws and for 
respect for parish regulations. Cooperating generously with their local clergy 
by suggestion, advice and financial assistance, they justly participate in the 
glory that belongs to the diocese. It is true, that from certain sections of the 
diocese discordant voices have been heard from time to time, but in every 
instance these miniature rebellions have received the unqualified condemna- 
tion of the vast majorit)' of the laity. Angry passion may supplant reason 
and obedience ; the law of obedience may be disregarded and authority set at 
defiance ; but those who thus give rein to personal feelings find little sym- 
pathy among their brethren and are subject to an ostracism that speaks its 
disapproval more forcibly than could word of mouth. 

Seventy years ago the first Catholic parish of Connecticut was organized. 
It embraced the entire State. Its members were the proverbial "handful," 
but strong in faith, robust of physique, self-reliant and confident that the 
future held nnich in reserve . They came to stay, to cast their lot with their 
fellows of other lands, and to assist, as far as they could, in laying deep and 


strong the foundations of what is now a prosperous Commonwealth. The 
Catholics of Connecticut have ever manifested deep interest in whatever con- 
cerns her welfare. Zealous in guarding her fair name and in upholding her 
prestige, they join willing hands with their Protestant fellow-citizens in labor- 
ing for the couiinon weal. The interests of the one are the interests of the 
other. Catholic citizens should not, and do not, form a separate class. 
Knowing their duties, and grateful for the blessings they enjoy, they have 
become closely identified with whatever tends to the advancement of the 
State's interests. In all good work they emulate their non Catholic 
neighbors, who applaud their zeal and extend not sympathy merely, but 
generous, practical assistance. United in eflfort, charitable in spirit, one 
towards the other, scrupulously respecting each other's rights, privileges 
and opinions, the Catholics and Protestants of Connecticut will constitute 
an invincible power and are likely to achieve still greater results in the 
moral, intellectual and commercial spheres than have yet been wrovight 
among us. 

Our nation is justly proud of its composite character, and of the fact 
that its formative elements have been drawn from such branches of the 

human family as were most essential to its rapid 
and lasting development. The different arrivals 
of the constructive elements were generally con- 
temi)oraneous with our most pressing needs. This 
is especially true in regard to the Irish immigra- 
\.\o\\. The nation's development demanded hewers 
of wood and drawers of water ; men of brawn as 
well as men of brain. These were the factors es- 

^ ^^ sential in our j)opulatiou in the early and middle 

'v— ^NSTVL n-J periods of our history, and poor Ireland, that pro- 

seai of the State of conu. y^^^ u ^-^q^,^ ^f nations, ' ' lougiug for freedom and 

emancipation, sent us thousands of her sturdy sons and pure daughters to aid 

in building up and developing this new and rugged land. Of this beneficial 

accretion Connecticut received a goodly share. 

The spread of Catholicity in Connecticut has kept pace with its phenom- 
enal growth throughout the country at large. Numbering nearly one-third 
of the entire population of the State, this fact serves to emphasize the strong 
words of Cardinal Manning written in 1888 : " The ])rogress, the growth, the 
expansion of the church in the United States within the centurj- is, as 
far as I know, without a parallel in the history of the church upon earth." 
This wonderful expansion is forcibly illustrated by Right Re\'. J. L. 
Spalding, D.D., bishop of Pecria.' "The thirteen American colonies," 
says the bishop, "which a hundred years ago declared their independence 
of the power by which the)' had been founded, were intensely and thor- 
oughlv Protestant. At the breaking out of the War of Independence there 
were not more than twenty-five thousand Catholics in a population of three 

' The Religions Mission of the Irish Race, 1880. 


millions.' They had no bisliops, they had no schools, they had no religious 
houses, and the few priests who were scattered among them generally lived 
upon their own lands, or with their kinsfolk, cowed by the fearful force of 
Protestant prejudice. . . . An observer who a hundred years ago should have 
considered the religious condition of this country, could have discovered no 
sign whatever that might have led him to suppose that the faith of this little 
body of Catholics was to have a future in the American Republic ; whereas 
there are many reasons for thinking that no other religion is so sure of a future 
here as the Catholic." The bishop continues : " The Catholic church in the 
United States is no longer confined to three or four counties of a single State. 
It is co-extensive with the country, embracing North and South, East and 
West. Its members are counted by millions, its priests and sacred edifices by 
thousands. The arch-bishops and bishops rule over eleven metropolitan and 
fifty-four suffragan Sees.^ The religious homes for men and women, its col- 
leges, academies and schools are found in every part of the Union. It has 
acquired the right of domicile; it has become a part of the nation's life. It 
is a great and public fact, which men cannot, if they would, ignore." 
The following summary exhibits the present status of the diocese :' 


Secular priests 23S 

Priestsof religious orders . . 22 

Total ... .... 

Churches with resident priest . 119 
Churches without resident 

priests 50 




Religious women, including novices 

and postulants 

Preparatory seminary 


Seminaries of religious orders . . . 


Students in Rome 

" Louvain 












Students in St. Sulpice, Paris . . . 


Ecclesiastical students 

Colleges and academies for boys . . 


Academies for j-oung ladies ... 8 

Pupils 660 

Parishes with parochial schools , . 53 

Pupils 23,000 

Orphan asj-Iums 2 

Orphans . 327 

Total number of j'oung people under 

Catholic care, about 25,000 

Hospital I 

Patients 314 

Home for the aged poor i 

Inmates during the year 88 

Catholic population, about .... 250,000 

' In 1785 the number of Catholics in the United States was approximated as follows : 
In New England, about 600 ; in New York and New Jersey, about 1700 ; in Pennsylvania 
and Delaware, about 7700; in Maryland (free), 12,000, (slaves), 8000 ; States of the South, 
2500 ; in Illinois, at Kaskasia and the French e.stablishnients on the Mississippi, 12,000. 
Total, 44,500. Letter to Ve>'gen7tes, Minister of Foreign Affairs to Louis XVI. 

^ There are now fourteen metropolitans and seventy -three suffragans, including a 
Prefecture Apostolic in Alaska, in the province of Oregon. 

' From Catholic Directory, Hoffman, 1899. 




fHAT the Puritans of New England were severe in their treatment of 
those who differed from them, will not be denied even by their 
stanchest apologists. Severity was a conspicuous trait in the Puri- 
tan character. They enforced obedience to their laws with a rigor that has no 
parallel, and their enactments militated against the prerogative of personal 
liberty. In fact, personal liberty was a boon but little known under the 
harsh system of Puritan legislation. While many of the "Blue Laws" of 
Connecticut are pure fiction, it cannot be denied that the spirit they were 
intended to exhibit actually prevailed, and caused much needless hardship 
and suffering. A few instances drawn from our town records will illustrate 
the character of the laws in vogue, and the illiberal spirit prevalent in Con- 
necticut in colonial days. 

In the last quarter of the seventeenth century, a New London fisherman, 
was fined for catching eels on Sunday, while another offender was mulcted 
"twenty shillings for sailing a boat on the Lord's day." In 1670, two 
young Puritans, a youth and maiden, John Lewis and Sarah Chapman, were 
fined for "sitting together on the Lord's day, under an apple tree in Goodman 
Chapman's orchard." At New Haven Captain Dennisou paid a fine of fifteen 
shillings for absenting himself from worship on Sunday, and William Blag- 
den, also a resident of New Haven in 1647, was "publically whipped" and 
declared guilty of "sloath fulness" for the same offense. Another unfortunate 
inhabitant of New Haven was whipped and fined because he had the effrontery 
to say that the sermons of the minister were unproductive of spiritual frait. 
For audaciously declaring, "I would rather hear my dog bark than Mr. Bel- 
lamy preach," an irreverent resident of Windham was brought to trial and 
formally censured for his tmchristian remark. When threatened with the 
direful punishment of being ".shaken off" and "given up," he made a 
recantation with much compunction of heart, promised to "keep a guard over 
his tongue" for the future, and to attend regularly to Mr. Bellamy's sermons. 
But the New Haven offences, which appear to have been numerous, reached 
their climax when Madam Brewster, in 1646, proclaimed that the custom of 
bringing the collections to the deacon's table was decidedly "popish" — it 
was "like going to the high altar" and "savoured of the Mass." For this 
grave offence the outspoken woman was tried, and we ma>- well believe she 
received condign punishment. But this illiberal spirit did not expire with 
the seventeenth century, nor even with the eighteenth century. In the year 
of our Lord 1831, a young woman was arrested at I^ebanon for traveling on 


Sunday to her father's lioiiie. Litigation, bitter and long, followed this high- 
handed action, and the victim justly received damages for false imprisonment.' 

These instances will suffice to show the narrow and illiberal spirit that 
pervaded the lives and permeated the legislation of our Puritan forefathers. 

But, if they were severe in their domestic legislation and rigorous in the 
enforcement of local enactments, they displayed indefensible severity towards 
those who held religious opinions different from their own. In this respect 
their intolerance stands out in marked contrast to the very first enactment of 
Thomas Dongan, the Catholic colonial Governor of New York : 

" No person or persons who profess faith in God by Jesus Christ shall at 
any time be in any way molested, punished or disquieted; but that all and 
every such person or persons may from time to time, and at all times, freely 
have and fully enjoy his or their judgments or consciences in matters of reli- 
gion throughout this province. " " 

This liberality was not appreciated, for when the law-making power fell 
under other control a number of odious, proscriptive laws were enacted the religion professed by Governor Dongan. Ingratitude supplemented 

As in New York at this period, so throughout New England ; both state 
and church conspired to crush freedom of worship. This union was detri- 
mental to the highest interests of both, and was destined not to endure. It 
was a condition of things which we to-day utterly repudiate. "State and 
church were both victims of the unnatural alliance ; and what was begun 
with purest aims and invoked in prayer heaven's benediction, bore bitter 
fruits of intolerance and religious declension." ' 

Apologists for the Puritans in their endeavor to lessen the force of the 
charge of intolerance, diligently claim for them the merit of sincerity. But 
some of the most misguided and unsuccessful characters of history have 
entered the same plea. While we may grant their claim without prejudice 

' Apropos of this arrest the Press, September lo, 1S31, contained the following : 
" The Great Outrage in Connecticut. 

"The wife of Dr. T. C. Foster, of New York, was arrested in Connecticut b}' a certain 
Deacon Eliphalet Hutchinson for breaking the Lord's Da3-b3' traveling to see her father. 
Dr. Sweet, who resides in the ' Land of Steady Habits.' She was nearl}' in sight of her 
father's house, and was basely arrested in violation of the Constitution of the U. S., and 
held in durance vile till after sundown, and then permitted to depart in consideration 
that she would pay a fine. We hope Dr. Foster will bring the case before the Supreme 
Court of the U. S., and have this vSunday question settled." 

Before beginning his theological studies in 1827, the late Cardinal McCloskey, Arch- 
bishop of New York, was riding horse-back one Sunda}' morning, during a period of con- 
valescence, and having crossed into Connecticut was met by a constable, and asked why 
he was riding on the Sabbath. As he was not riding either to or from church he was 
obliged to recross into New York SiSL^e..— Right Rev. Bishop Farley in Historical Records 
and Sketches. January, iSgg. 

^ Act of Gen. Assembly, Oct. 17. 

'Rev. E. H. Gillet, D.D., in Hist. Mag., July, 1868, p. i. 


to historical accuracy, we know not how to palliate their harshness towards 
adherents of different creeds, nor can we disregard their incomprehensible 
inconsistency. "Victims of intolerance, they were themselves equally intol- 
erant when clothed with power. Their ideas of civil and religious freedom 
were narrow, and their practical interpretation of the golden rule was 
contrary to the intention of Him wlio uttered it. . . . They regarded 
churchmen and Roman Catholics as their deadly enemies, to be kept at a 
distance." ' 

The Puritans of Connecticut cannot escape the reproach of cultivating 
the spirit of per.secution. Tlieir enactments displayed but little of the sweet- 
ness and love tliat shone so conspicuously in the teachings of the Master 
for Whom they professed sucli profound attachment. Others who strove to 
follow the Divine Exemplar with as much devotion as the)', were visited with 
their godly wrath and fined and imprisoned and banished. What Hutchin- 
son said of the Puritans in general is applicable to their brethren in Connect- 
icut : "In New England it must be confessed that bigotry and cruel zeal 
prevailed, and to that degree that no opinions but tlieir own could be tol- 
erated. They were sincere, but mistaken in their principles." - Equally 
pertinent are the words of Sir Richard Saltonstall to Wilson and Cotton, 
two ministers of Boston : " It doth a little grieve my spirit to hear what sad 
things are reported daily of your t>ranny and persecution in New England, 
as that you fine, whip, and imprison men for conscience." ' 

On September i, 1743, Benjamin Pomeroy, minister, and pastor of the 
church at Hebron, made the public declaration that the laws of the colony 
concerning ecclesiastical affairs were a great foundation to encourage perse- 
cution and encourage wicked men to break their covenants. He also declared 
that " there is no colony so bad as Connecticut for persecuting laws. I never 
heard nor read of such persecuting laws as in Connecticut." ' For this exer- 
cise of the precious right of private judgment, Minister Pomeroy was con- 
demned to pay the costs of the prosecution, and to give bonds in fifty pounds 
to keep the peace. 

And yet it was Bancroft who wrote : " There never existed a persecuting 
spirit in Connecticut." And again: "That heavenh- man, John Haynes, 
would say to Roger Williams, ' I think, Mr. Williams, I must now confess to 
you that the most wise God hath provided and cut out this part of the world 
as a refuge and receptacle for all sorts of consciences.' " '' The great historian 
has not drawn a faithful picture of the religious condition of the colonies 
under Puritan rule. It is a matter of historical record that " all sorts of con- 
sciences" were not tolerated. From across the ocean came the voice of remon- 
strance against Connecticut intolerance. Dr. B. Avery, of England, a very 
influential Dissenter, wrote to a gentlLinan here : " I am very sorry to hear of 

' Lo.ssing's Hist, of the U. S , pp. 1 18-119. 

'///.?/. of Mass-, vol. I., p 175. 

•■' L()ssing's Hist, oftlie U. S., p. 1 18. 

* Public Records of Conn., vol. IX., p. 28. 

^ Hist, of the U. S., vol. II., p. 56, ed. 1S41. 


the persecuting spirit that prevails in Connecticut. It is unaccountable that 
those who live and breathe by liberty should deny it to their brethren." ' 

Letter from the Rev. Ebenezer Peraberton, pastor of the Presbj-terian church, New 
York, to Rev. Dr. Doddridge, Northampton, England : 

" New York, Dec. i6, 1743. 
" The imprisonment you mention in your letter was in the government of Connect- 
icut, a colony bordering on New York, and was of the most favorable kind : two of their 
preachers (Moravians) being only confined in the officer's house, till inquiry was made 
into their circumstances ; and upon giving security for their good behavior, thej' were in 
a day or two dismissed. This short confinement they underwent, I doubt not, was 
unjust, and it is melancholy for me to be obliged to say that the government of Connect- 
icut is daily going much greater lengths than these in persecuting, not the ^Moravians, 
but the most zealous ministers in their communion, for preaching without the bounds of 
their respective parishes. By a late law they have enacted that every minister who does 
not belong to their government who shall presume to preach in anj' of their towns with- 
out the consent of the minister of the parish and a vote of the major part of the society, 
shall be transported from constable to constable to the place whence he came ; and if 
any minister that belongs to this government transgress in the same manner, he for- 
feits all his salary. This is certainly going on with a high hand, and I am greatly afraid 
will lay a foundation for the loss of their civil privileges, which are by far tlie most val- 
uable of an}' of the American plantations." 

There was a religion by law established, and all were bound to conform 
to it under severe penalties. No one could be admitted a freeman, or free 
burgess, within the jurisdiction of New Haven colony, btit such planters as 
were members of some one or other of the approved churches of New Eng- 
land. Union of church and state existed in its strictest sense ; indeed, so 
close!)' allied were they that the history of one is a record of the other. The 
salaries of the ministers were paid by assessments levied upon all.^ "Early 
provision was made by law for the support of the ministry. All person^ were 
obliged to contribute to the support of the church, as well as of the Common- 
wealth ; the ministers' rates were made and collected like any other." ' If 
"all sober, orthodox persons" who dissented from the Congregational system 
were allowed by the General Assembly "peaceably to worship in their own 
way," they were not exempt from the obligation of supporting the established 
religion. The modicum of religious liberty allowed to Dissenters depended 
upon the good will of the General Court. So intimate was the relationship 
between the State religion and the civil authorities that the latter made 
attendance at divine worship compulsory under penalty of five shillings fine, 
and every family was obliged to possess "bibles, orthodox catechisms and 
books in practical godliness." 

Among the special objects of aversion to the Puritans were "some loath- 
some heretics, Quakers, Ranters, Adamites, or some others like them." The 
Quakers, particularly, were the victims of much annoyance, and stringent 
laws were enacted against them. To entertain them was to incur a penalty 

^ Historical Magazine, 'iu\y, 1868, p. 11. 
' Public Records of Conn., 1636-1650. 
'Rev. Dr. Gillett, Hist. Mag., July, 1868. 


of five pounds a week for any town infringing the law, and tlie luckless dis- 
ciples of George Fox were imprisoned or exjielled from the colony. If the 
captain of a vessel brought any such heretics into port he was compelled to 
transport them from the colony or pay a fine of twenty pounds in case of 
refusal. Quaker books and manuscripts were forbidden to all save teaching 
elders, under penalty of ten shillings for each offence. No one could "un- 
necessarily speak more or less " with Quakers without forfeiting five pounds 
for each conversation, and any town that harbored them paid also five pounds 
for each Quaker entertained. Furthermore, a person could be arrested under 
suspicion of being a Quaker, and, if after investigation he was so adjudged, 
he was either imprisoned or expelled from the colony. 

Such being the drastic measures taken against the Quakers at the rec- 
ommendation of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, not many of 
them remained within the borders, and those who did so could enjoy liberty 
of worship only by "soberly dissenting" in approved form before the County 
Court ; but their obligation to pay the assessments for the support of the 
established church remained inviolate. 

Tiie antipathy of the Puritans to foreigners is embodied in their legisla- 
tion. Who were they ? Children of the soil ? Foreigners — that and nothing 
more; and yet with the utmost nonchalance, and in utter disregard of the 
proprieties, they solemnly passed enactments against others who were born 
beyond the seas. At the "General Courte of Election," held on May i6, 
1650, it was 

Ordered "that no Forreigner, after the 29th of September next, shall 
retaile any goods by themselves, in any place within this Jurisdiction : nor 
shall any Inhabitant retaile any goods w"'" belong to any Forreigner, for the 
space of one whole yeare after the said 29th of September next, uppou pen- 
alty of confiscation of the value of one halfe of the goods so retailed, to be 
paid by the seller of them."' 

The spirit of persecution was abroad. Intolerance was a cardinal doc- 
trine of the Puritan, and the foundation upon which he builded his hopes 
of uninterrupted rule. "The Puritan, firmly believing that he was elect of 
God, and that the saints must persevere, exercised but little charity towards 
those whom education and circumstances had taught another creed." ^ A 
great Puritan figure, Johnson, declared that there was "no room in Christ's 
army for toleratiouists," and Cotton taught that toleration made the world 
anti-Christian. " The church never took hurt from the punishment of here- 
tics," said ancSther devout teacher. "'Tis Satan's policy to plead for an in- 
definite and boundless toleration," cried Sliepard in 1672, and a year later 
President Oakes made this declaration : " I look upon toleration as the first- 
born of all abominations." The Simple Cobbler of Agawam wrote : "He that 
is willing to tolerate will for a need hang God's Bible at the devil's girdle."* 

Such being the views of the Puritans on Toleration, it is pertinent to 

^Public Records of Conti., 1636-1665. 

'" The Puritan Commonwealth." Oliver, p., 193. 
' Ibid. 


inquire how fared it with oiir ancestors in the faith in those days? Did they 
feel the heavy hand of persecution ? If illiberal laws were enacted against 
"forreigners," Quakers and others; if Protestant ministers were punished for 
preaching beyond their jurisdictions without license, it need excite no sur- 
prise to learn that a deeply hostile spirit prevailed against the Pope and the 
Catholic church. Judged by Puritan standards, but with no semblance of 
reason, the Church was a foreign institution, governed by a foreign potentate, 
and inimical to the progress of the human mind. From their point of view, 
but with no shadow of justice, Catholics were idolaters, grossly superstitious, 
held in subjection by their clergy and enveloped in spiritual and intellectual 
darkness. Therefore did the pious Puritan regard the Catholic with horror, 
a being of inferior clay, with no religious rights which the elect should 
recognize. The Pope was Anti-Christ, and his "authority, as such, was from 
the bottomless pit."' 

Whatever savored of Catholic practice was scrupulously barred. They 
■would have nothing in common with "Papists," and as for ceremonial wor- 
ship, it was anathematized. "The Puritans aimed to differ in their worship 
from the Romish ceremonies as much as possible. Instead of kneeling 
at prayers they made it a point of propriety — if not of conscience — to 
stand, and they always sat at singing. Instrumental music they excluded 
because it was used by the Roman and English churches. . . . They 
observed a public fast in the spring and a Thanksgiving fast in the fall. 
Especial pains were taken that the fast should never be appointed on Good 
Friday." == 

Unlike Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, the statute books of 
Connecticut were never stained with enactments against the Jesuits or other 
Catholic priests. What have passed current for anti-priest laws are stupid 
forgeries, the creation of a clergyman,^ who was forced to leave Connecticut 
on account of his offensive Tory propagandism. He was a man with a griev- 
ance, and, at the sacrifice of truth, sought to cast odium upon Connecticut. 
As far as enactments were concerned priests could come and go without fear of 
molestation, though any exercise of their ministry would be an infringement 

^" Will and Doom; or, the INIiseries of Connecticut," by Gershom Bulkeley. In 
" The Peoples' Right to Election " the same author wrote in Ma3-, 1689, to the Court or 
Convention at Hartford: "Consider j-our profession; we are all Protestants. I hope 
there is not a Papist in our limits." 

' History of the Colony of New Haven, by Edward R. Lambert, pp. 189, 190. Apro- 
pos of this antipathy to music at divine worship : 1773, April, " Voted to sing on the 
Lord's da\- in the afternoon, according to the rules taught in the Singing Schools in 
this and the neighboring societies." — " Sinisburj' Town Records." 

Soon after this a teacher of music was employed. After practising some time he 
appeared with his scholars in church on a Sunday, and the minister, having announced 
the psalm, the choir, under the instructor's lead, started off with a tune much more 
lively than the congregation had been accustomed, to hear, upon which one of the dea- 
cons, Brewster Higle}', took his hat and left the house, exclaiming as he passed down 
the aisle, "' Popery .' Popery!" — Phelps' History of Simsbiiry. 

' Rev. Samuel Peters. His book is known as Pele7-$^ History of Conn. 


of the following law enacted by the General Assembly, May, 1742, for the 
regulation of ecclesiastical affairs : ' 

" It is further enacted. That if any foreigner, or stranger that is not an 
inhabitant within this Colony, including, as well, such persons that have no 
ecclesiastical character or license to preach as such as have received ordina- 
tion or license to preach by any association or presbytery, shall presume to 
preach, teach or publickly to exhort, in any town or society within this 
Colony, without the desire and license of the settled minister and the major 
part of the church and inhabitants of such town or society, provided that it 
so happen that there is no settled minister there, that every such preacher, 
teacher or exhorter shall be sent (as a vagrant person) by warrant from any 
one assistant or justice of the peace, from constable to constable out of the 
bounds of this Colony." 

But granting the non-existence of prescriptive enactments against priests 
as such, it is undeniable tliat the concrete sentiment of Connecticut was 
bitterly hostile to Catholics, and this hostility was not infrequenth- manifested 
by men of exalted station in civil life and in high position in the church. 
The sj)irit of antagonism to all things Catholic was everywhere. Children 
imlnbed it at the maternal breast. It pervaded the religious literature of the 
times and inspired the philippics of the clergy. Proscription of Catholics 
was officially taught as a duty " for the defence of the Protestant religion and 
people," while " jjopery and slavery" were seriously joined as twin evils of 
equal dye.^ 

In 1689 an interchange of letters between Captain Jacob Leisler, of New 
York, a man of ungovernable anti-Catholic prejudices, and the General Court 
of Connecticut, disclosed the hostile sentiment existing against Catholics at 
that period. 

On May 31, 1689, Captain Leisler seized Fort James at New York. He 
published a declaration "to keep and guard .surely the said fort, in the behalf 
of the power that now governeth in England, to surrender to the person of 
the Protestant religion, that shall be nominated or sent by the power afore- 
said." On June 5th, Major Gold, of Fairfield, wrote to Leisler a letter of con- 
gratulation upon the capture of the fort. In response to Gold, Leisler, 

' Pi<b. /Records o/Conn. Vol. VIII. 

^ Pub. Rec. of Conn., i6Sg, p. 463. An address to King William III., June 13, 1689, 
signed by Robert Treat, Governor, by order of the General Court of Conn. 

The following letter from Jesse Root to Silas Duane, dated Hartford, Jlay 25, 1775, 
furnishes us with another interesting combination of powers, which throws a side light 
upon the anti-Catholic prejudices of the time : 

"Dear Sir : 

" The troops are continually marchint; for Hoston. . . . May that unerring 
wisdom that guides the rolling spheres through the unmeasurable tract of ether, that 
mighty power . . . inspire your venerable Bodj- with all that wisdom and firmness that 
is requisite to guide and direct the important concerns of the American empire, for its 
safety and preservation against all cralt and power of Tyranny, the Pope and the Devil." 
—Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., Vol. II., p. 237, A troublesome combination, in truth, one that 
now provokes a smile. 


under date of June 7th, declared that his six captains and four hundred men 
unanimously " agreed to the preservation of the Protestant religion and the 
fort for the jDresent Protestant power that now raigns in England." On June 
13th the General Court of Connecticut ordered a letter to be despatched to 
L,eisler, which contained among other matters this paragraph :' 

"Gent," considering what you haue (have) don we doe adu(v)ise that 
you keep the fort tenable and well manned for the defence of the Protestant 
religion and those ends above mentioned, and that you suffer 710 rotnan Catho- 
Uck to ejiter the same ariited or luithont annes, and that no 7-omish Catholick be suf- 
fered to keep amies tvithin your government or citty^ and that those whoe shall 
be betrusted with the government or command of your forte be trusty persons 
whome you may confide in." This document was signed 
" The Generall Court of Connecticot, 

" Per their order signed, 

"John Allyn, Secret'y." 

It was an official paper sent forth by the highest authority in the State, 
and was representative of the religious prejudices then e.xtant against Catho- 
lics in Connecticut. It expressed precisely the prescriptive policy of the 
General Court against a class of persons who worshiped fervently and in 
spirit and in truth the same God as they, and who in the upbuilding and in 
the perpetuation of this republic gave freely of their warm, generous blood. 
Catholics coming into Connecticut could expect no toleration nor demand 
the recognition of any rights from a government that could proffer such 
illiberal counsel to another colony. The principle of hate was dominant. 



(5 I HE same deleterious influence that moved the General Court to transmit 
' I the above-named letter to Captain lycisler, actuated the Protestant Dis- 
.senters of Connecticut in their rejection of the Indulgence granted by 
Charles II, "that all manner of penal laws on matters ecclesiastical, against 
whatever sort of nou- conformists or recusants should be suspended." ■ This 
act of toleration aroused an opposition so acrimonious that Charles was forced 
to modify his grant, and to promise " that no Catholic should profit by the indul- 
gence." The Protestant dissenters of Connecticut would forego the boon of 
freedom of worship if the privilege was extended to Catholics. The " Romish " 
church must be eliminated from any plan that would grant to dissenters 
liberty of conscience. Catholics were not members of the great family of 
Christ, and were beyond the religious pale. They were not of the household 
of the elect, nor were they fit subjects for toleration. Their political loyalty 
was suspected, and their religious doctrines, more precious than life itself, 
were branded as idolatrous and otherwise denounced with a degree of bitter- 

' Colonial Records of Conn., 1678-1689. 

' New Haveti Hist. Soe. Papers, Vol. Ill, p. 391. Green's Hist, of the English People. 
II — 2 


ness incomparable in its intensity. And this pernicious spirit of intolerance 
found official expression in the " Confession of Faith, Owned and Consented to 
by the I{Iders and Messengers of the Churches in the Colony of Connecticut, 
in New England ; assembled by delegation at vSaybrook, September 9, 1708." 
The Assembly sent forth the Confession as "our firm persuasion, well and fully 
grounded upon the Holy Scripture, and commend the same unto all, and par- 
tiailarly to the people of our Colony, to be examined, accepted, and constantly 
maintained." ' 

But wherein lies the intolerance of the Saybrook Confession of Faith? 
In what are its decrees antagonistic to Catholic dogmas and offensive to 
Catholic ears? In Chapter XXIII. " Of Lawful Oaths and Vows," is the fol- 
lowing decree : 

"Papist monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and 
regular obedience, are so far from being signs of higher perfection, that they are 
superstitious and sinful snares in which no Christian may entangle himself" 

Thus at a stroke, and with an infallibility denied to the Pope, the whole 
economy of the monastic system was abolished. Cha,stity in the religious 
life, obedience and evangelical poverty were officially repudiated. The celi- 
bacy of the priesthood, that disciplinary law so precious iu the sight of the 
Catholic laity, was branded as a superstition and a snare. And yet the godly 
framers of this Confession protested earnestly their faith in the authority of 
Holy Scripture "which ought to be believed and obeyed." "The whole 
counsel of God," they declared, " concerning all things necessary for His own 
glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, 
or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture. " " With 
this protestation in mind, it is a perplexing task to reconcile the above decree 
with the teachings of the Old and the New Testaments. They are not only 
contradictory; the decree is iudefensil)le.^ The higher spiritual life obtainable 
only by freedom from the cares of the world appealed as liglitly to the Say- 
brook elders as did the plain, unequivocal words of St. Paul : "For I would 
that all men were even as myself .... But I say to the unmarried and to 
the widows : it is good for them if they do continue, even as I."^ 

The Confession abhors the Pope and is intolerant of his claims ; it 
endeavors to perpetuate the fiction that he is Anti-Christ. Under the title 
"Of the Church" — Chapter xxvi. — we read that 

" There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ ; nor 
can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that Anti-Christ, 
that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth him.self in the Church 
against Christ and all that is called God, whom the Lord shall deslrov with 
the brightness of his coming." 

'From tlie Preface to the Con/ess ion. 

' The Confession. Chapter I. 

"Continency possible, Matt.xix. 11, 12 : the vow binding, Deut. xxiii. 21 ; the breach 
of that vow damnable, i Tim. v. 12 ; the practice commended, i Cor. vii. 7, 8, 27, 37, 38, 
40 ; for reasons which particularly have place in the clergy, v. 32, 33, 35. 

* I Cor. vii. 7, 8. 


This decree wliicli exhales so much sweetness and Christian charity was 
built upon a perversion of certain texts of Holy Writ ' and is a repudiation 
of St. John's counsel to love one another in deed and in truth." 

But it is upon the Hol\- vSacrifice of the Mass — that Clean Oblation that 
is offered in every place from the rising of the sun even to the going down ' 
— that the vials of their wrath are emptied. To Catholics the Mass is the most 
profound, the most exalted act of homage a creature can pay to the Creator. 
It is the center of all religious worship. Toward it converge the heart offer- 
ings of the faithful ; from it radiate the choicest and purest graces and bless- 
ings ; around it cluster all the sweet yet sad memories of Calvary. And yet 
all who sat beneath the shadow of Congregational pulpits were officially 
taught that 

" The Popish sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominably 
injurious to Christ's own, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins 
of the elect."' 

Concerning private Masses the Confession made this declaration: 

" Private Masses, or receiving the Sacrament by a Priest, or any other 
alone, as likewise the denial of the cup to the people, worshiping the ele- 
ments, the lifting them up or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving 
them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this 
Sacrament, and to the institution of Christ." 

Of Transubstantiation it defined as follows: 

"That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread 
and wine into the substance of Christ's body and blood, (commonly called 
Transubstantiation) by consecration of a Priest, or by any other way, is 
repugnant not to the Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason, 
overthroweth the nature of the Sacrament, and hath been, and is the cause 
of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries." 

The Confession contains also decrees concerning marriage. It declares it 
the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord and that those who profess the 
reformed religion "should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idola- 
ters." ^ Verily, the devout Puritans had a wonderful penchant for the con- 
struction of forceful combinations. They proclaimed sonorously that "God 
alone is Lord of the conscience," " and then arrogated to themselves the con- 
trol of conscience. They declared effusively that it was their "duty to bear 
a Christian respect to all Christians, according to their several ranks and 
relations, that are not of our persuasion or communion," and forthwith com- 
piled a series of un-Christian decrees against the most ancient organization 
in Christendom. In the light of the above decrees how inconsistent and in- 
sincere appear their grandiloquent protestations that the New England 
colonies " were originally formed, not for the advantage of trade, or worldly 
interest ; but upon the most noble foundation, even of religion, and the Liberty 
of their Consciences^ Liberty of Conscience? For Protestant dissenters, 

' Matt, xxiii. S-io ; 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4, 8, 9 ; Apoc. xiii. 6. ^ i St. Jolin iii. 

' Malachias i. 11. * Chapt. xxx. ^ Chapt. xxv. ^ Chapt. xxi. 


granted. For Catholics, it was peremptorily refused. It was a strange 
toleration that made Catholicism synonymous with infidelity and idolatry. 
The laws permitting dissent explicitly included all Protestants, and by im- 
plication excluded Catholics. The enactment of May, 1743, is plain: 

'■'■ A>id be it further enacted^ That, for the future, that if any of his Ma- 
jesty's good subjects, being Protesta)ils, inhabitants of this Colony, that shall 
soberly dissent from the way of worship and ministry establislied by the lau-s 
of this Colony, that such persons may apply themselves to this Assembly for 
relief, where they shall be heard." ' 


I Hi antipathy of the colonists to the Irish people was well exemplified in 
\'oluntown, Connecticut, in 1722. In this instance the object of their 
aversion was a Presbyterian minister. Their opposition, of course, was 
not directed to his religion, but against his nationality. He was a son of the 
Emerald Isle. When hostility so pronounced could be manifested against a 
Protestant because he was an Irishman, to what extent would it not have 
gone had the person been an Irish Catholic, especially a Catholic priest? 

In the above named year the Rev. Sanuiel Dorrance arrived in Volun- 
town, and was duly installed as rector of the church. The installation 
aroused bitter opposition. The discontented of the parish drew up a protest, 
which they forwarded to the officers of the church. It is a characteristic 

" We, whose names are underwritten, do agree that one of our New Eng- 
land people may be settled in Voluntown to preach the Gospel to us, and will 
oblige ourselves to pay him yearly, and will be satisfied, honorable gentle- 
men, that your choose for us, to prevent unwholesome inhabitants, for we are 
afraid that Popery and heresy will be brought into the land ; therefore, we 
protest against settling i\Ir. Dorrance, because he is a stranger, and we are 
informed he came out of Ireland, and we do observe that since he has been 
in town///^ Irish do flock into /ozc'n,&nd we are informed that the Irish are not 
wholesome inhabitants, and upon this account we are against settling Mr. 
Dorrance, for we are not such persons as you take us for, but desire the 
Gospel to be preached by one of our own, and not by a stranger, for we can- 
not receive any benefit, neither of soul nor of body, and we would pay him to 
withdraw himself from us." ^ 

The Rev. Mr. Lyons, of Derby, a minister of the church of England, 
was also the recipient of unmeasured abuse on account of his Irish birth. 
Writing to London, May 8, 1744, he .said : "As soon as they had advice of 
my appointment, and from what country I came, and, indeed, before I arrived 
among them, they abused me, calling me an ' Irish Teague and Foreigner,' 

' Pi/blic Records of Conn. Vol. VIII. 

'Larned's " Hist, of Windham Co.," Vol. I., p. 25. 


with many other reflections of an uncivilized and unchristian kind .... It 
would be too tedious to record all the abuse and insults I have received at 

The Puritan's opposition to the Catholic church was blind, intense ; it 
carried him to ridiculous extremes, so far, in fact, as to deny to priests any 
spiritual power whatever. To him the ministrations of the priest were of no 
value. Not content with framing decrees that outraged the religious feel- 
ings of Catholics, and which were entirely inconsistent with the teachings 
of Holy Scripture, he refused to recognize the efficacy of the priesthood. In 
1744, there occurred a case in point, when the Windham County Association, 
an organization comprising all the ministers of that county, after vigorously 
wrestling with the spirit, solemnly voted that " Baptism by a Popish priest 
is not to be held valid."" This sapient decision well illustrates the narrow- 
ness of the religious views then prevalent. If baptism administered by a 
priest conferred no grace, if it failed to cleanse the soul from original sin, 
which is the end for which the sacrament was instituted by Jesus Christ, 
then were all other spiritual acts performed by priests equally valueless. In 
this instance the hatred of the Windham County Association outran itself. 

Further evidence of this anti-Catholic spirit that pervaded Connecticut 
in the early days of our history is found in an enactment of the General 
Assembly, May, 1724, which made it obligatory upon all members of the 
Assembly, and all persons who were or would be chosen on the annual days 
of election to the office of governor, deputy-governor, assistants, secretar)-, 
treasurer, and by all justices of the peace, sheriffs and their deputies, to make 
and take the declaration against "Popery" before they could become eligible 
to discharge the services belonging to their place, office or trust. ^ 

This act breathes the identical spirit that made Irish Catholics outlaws 
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and exposed them to the severest 
treatment which the hostility of their enemies could devise. This spirit 
crossed the water with the very framers of these anti-Catholic enactments. 
Proclaiming loudly and advocating strenuously the principles of religious 
freedom and equality, their unjust laws against all who differed from them, 
but particularly against adherents of the Catholic church, gave little evidence 
of the sincerit}- of their professions of equality and love of freedom, and have 
left upon their names the stain of intolerance. Enactments like the one in 
question effectually closed to Catholics all the avenues to official dignities, 
and kept them socially in a condition of inferiority in the estimation of their 
Protestant brethren. They could not aspire to positions of public trust witli- 

' Church Documents of the Prot. Episcopal Ch., Vol. I., p. 20S. 

^" Contributions to the Eccles. Hist, of Conn.," p. 33S. 

'Pub. Rec. of Conn., 1717-1725. Renunciation of the Pope was an indispensable 
requirement for all occupying- public offices. When the General Assembly of Connecticut 
in ^Ia}^ 1669, acknowledged their allegiance to King Charles II, they "professed their 
duty and true allegiance to our Sovereign Lord the Kiiig, renotincing the Pope and all 
other foreign princes, states and potentates, and their jurisdiction and authority." The 
Public Records abound in instances of such renunciations. 


out renouncing one of the holiest doctrines of their religion, and denying 
the existence of a mystery around which cluster all actsof divine worship. 
Truly this oath of abjuration and the declaration against " Popery " were, 
as they were intended to be, mighty agencies of proselytism, and may have 
wrought sad spiritual havoc among the weak in faith. The di.stinctively 
Irish Catholic names read on the colonial rosters inclines us to the belief that 
faith was sacrificed to position and influence, and that the Oath and the Dec- 
laration were contributing causes. 

These obnoxious and un-Christian oaths are herewith appended that the 
Catholics of this generation may learn with how little of the milk of human 
kindness the Puritan heart was nourished. They will remind them of the 
ob.stacles thrown in the pathway of their co-religionists in the colonial period, 
and will furnish them with the knowledge of the toleration then enjoyed, and 
about which so ni'.icli eloquence has been expended. 

"Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives in General Court 
assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the oaths provided by Act of Parlia- 
ment instead of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, the Declaration against poperj', 
and also the oath of Abjuration, agreeable to the form prescribed by a late act of Parlia- 
ment, passed in the sixth year of his present Majesty's reign, be printed with the acts 
of this Assembly ; which are as follows : 

" I, A. B., do swear that I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as impious 
and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated or 
deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed, murthered 
by their subjects, or any other whatsoever. And I do declare, that no foreign prince, 
person, prelate, state or potentate, hath or ought to have an}' jurisdiction, power, superi- 
ority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within the realm of Great 
Britain : So help me God. 

"I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testifie and 
declare, that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any 
transubstanliation of the elements of bread and wine into the bodj' and blood of Christ, 
at or after the consecration thereof of any person whatever ; and that the invocation or 
adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other Saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they 
are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do 
solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testifie and declare, that I do make this 
declaration and every part thereof in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read 
unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any evasion, 
eouivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without anj- dispensation already 
granted me for this purpose by the Pope or any authority or person whatsoever, and 
without any hope of any such dispensation from any authority or person whatsoever, or 
without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this 
declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons what- 
soever should dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null or void from 
the beginning." 

These oaths had to be taken also by Catholic aliens as a condition of 
naturalization,' the taking of which ipso /ado separated them from the com- 
munion of the Catholic church. They are conclusive evidence of the diffi- 
culties and temptations that beset the Catholic people who came to Connec- 
ticut in early times. They bear irrefragable testimony to the hostility of the 

' See page 62. 


colonies to the Catholic church and her sacred doctrines. The spirit of per- 
secution was rife. Catholics were ostracized and denied the privileges of 
citizenship, unless, recreant to sacred trusts and teachings, they sacrificed 
the tenderest and holiest relations in life. I believe that the Catholics who 
may have taken these oaths, and thus abandoned the church, were moved 
thereto more by worldly motives than from a belief in the errancy of the 
church's doctrines. Aiming at success along commercial and social lines, 
they made their eternal interests sxibservient to temporal concerns and be- 
queathed to their descendants the legacy of a strange faith. 

These oaths remained in force until the Revolution, and, if their opera- 
tion was suspended, it was not from a sense of justice to Catholics, or from a 
conversion to the idea that Catholics had any rights which Puritans were 
bound to respect. The colonies needed the assistance of their Catholic 
> brethren to successfully resist English oppression; therefore, to demand from 
them the taking of offensive oaths would be, to say the least, an incongruous 
proceeding. The Catholics residing in the colonies repaid the harsh and 
intolerant treatment, of which they were the victims, by rushing to the 
defence of the i\merican cause. They gave generously of their strength and 
wealth to cast off the British yoke, and to achieve the independence of the 
colonies. They shed their blood and left their bodies on many battlefields as 
though oblivious of the fact that iniquitous laws were ever enacted against 
them. Here was true manliness, generosity, nobility of character. Here was 
manifested a spirit which the stern and narrow Puritan may have admired, 
but could not imitate. 

Though Catholics could become naturalized during the Revolutionary 
period without being required to apostatize from the faith of the fathers, it 
was only in 1818, one hundred and thirty-five years after Governor Dongan's 
famous decree of toleration, that a liberal Christian spirit triumphed in Con- 
necticut. In that )ear the death knell of exclusive religious privileges was 
sounded, and the union of church and state became a memory. The consti- 
tution of the State was then adopted by a vote of 13,918 in its favor, and 
1 2, 364 opposed to its ratification. In the Declaration of Rights, article first, 
section third, it was declared that "The exercise and enjoyment of religious 
profession and worship, zcithoiit discrimination^ shall forever be free to all 
persons in this State, provided that the right hereby declared and established 
shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, 01 to justify prac- 
tices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State." 

And in section four, that " No preference shall be given by law to any 
Christian sect or mode of worship." 

Section first of article seventh is an elaboration of these ideas and reads 
in part thus : " It being the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, 
the Great Creator or Preserver of the Universe, and their right to render that 
worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their consciences, no 
person shall by law be compelled to join or support, nor be classed with, or 
associated to, any congregation, church, or religious association." 

The Constitution of this State is an utter repudiation of the govern- 


mental system of the Puritans, a rejection of the policy that united church and 
state ; it was a splendid step forward in the march of human progress. It was 
the recognition of a principle as old as the race, but ignored by some of the 
founders of the New England colonies, namely, that every individual has an 
inalienable right to worship God as his conscience dictates. It was, further- 
more, an official rebuke to the legislation which compelled Catholics to 
forswear allegiance to their faith in order to acquire the privileges of 


(5 I HE spirit of hostility to Catholics that prevailed throughout Connecticut 
* I previous to the Revolution was in no way more clearly demonstrated 
than in the ridiculous celebration of " Pope Day," as it was designated, 
on the 5th of November. The celebration was intended to perpetuate the 
memory of the conspiracy known as the Gunpowder Plot. Catholics were 
accused of the crime of plotting to blow up King James I. and the houses of 
Parliament in 1605. Impartial history, however, has absolved them from the 
responsibility of the crime. The conspiracy was planned by Minister Cecil, a 
Protestant, and discovered by Lord Montagle, a Catholic peer. King James 
had been baptized in the Catholic church and received Confirmation from the 
hands of a Catliolic bishop. He surrendered, at least outwardly, his religion at 
the bidding of the laws of Scotland, but he inwardly retained his love and attach- 
ment for the ancient faith. He spoke of the Roman church as the " mother 
church," and of the pope as " the chief bishop of all the western churches." 
This unconcealed regard for the Catholic church was offensive to his minis- 
ters, particularly to Cecil, who resolved upon a plan that would turn the king 
against his Catholic subjects, and perhaps alienate him from the church. Of 
the heinous Gunpowder Plot one author says that "he (Cecil) was either him- 
self the author or, at least, the main conductor.'" Another calls it "a neat 
device of the vSecretary." - "Cecil engaged some Papists in this desperate 
Plot," says another, " in order to divert the King from making any advances 
towards Popery, to which he seemed inclinable, in the minister's opinion."^ 
Another Protestant authority wrote "that this design was hammered in 
the forge of Cecil, who intended to have produced it in the time of Elizabeth : 
that by his secret emissaries he enlisted some hot-headed men, who,- ignorant 
whence the design first came, heartily engaged in it." ' The few Catholics who 
were seduced into the plot were apostates and were known as such. Of them 
a Protestant writer says : " There were a few wicked and desperate wretches, 
whom many Protestants termed Papists, although the priests and true Catho- 
lics knew them not as such ; nor can any Protestant say that any one of them 
was such as the law terms popish recusants ; and if any of them were Catho- 

' Politicians' Catechism. 'The author of tb« Political Grammar. 

'Stowe & Echard. 'Short View of Hist. Eng., by Higjjons. 


lies, or so died, they were known Protestants not long before." ' Cecil, then, 
and not Catholics, was the prime instigator of the dastardly Gunpowder Plot, 
notwithstanding that the Anglican church thanked God for the king's escape 
"from the secret contrivances and hellish malice of popish conspirators." 
However, the plot was charged against the Catholics ; that was sufficient ; the 
consequences hoped for would naturally follow. The 5th of November 
became a gala day. What with processions, bonfires, the ringing of bells, 
denunciatory harangues and other appropriate features, the day was given 
up to unlimited abuse of the pope and of Catholics in general. The spirit of 
the celebration crossed the sea and received a cordial welcome in the English 
colonies of New England. The 5th of November became as sacred to the 
Englishman of the colonies as to his brethren at home, and the day was 
annually observed with ceremonies as grotesque as they were offensive. 

" Let's always remember 
The fifth of November," 

was their refrain, and the name " Pope Day " was substituted in New Eng- 
land for "Gunpowder Plot." Guy Fawkes was set aside for the pope, whose 
effigy was carried in procession through the streets with another effigy of the 
devil amid the derisive shouts and laughter and curses of the fanatical mob. 
Money was demanded from every house on the route of the procession, and 
if refused, windows were broken, doors smashed in and other damage done to 
property. The money collected in this manner was spent for liquor. 

" Don't you hear my little bell ^ 
Go clink, clink, clink ? 
Please give me a little money 
To buy my Pope some drink," 

was sung by one of the leaders as a preliminary to the collection. When the 
boisterous mob became surfeited with noise and strong drink, the effigies 
were taken to a public square and committed to th^ flames. The chief 
offender in this annual absurdity in Connecticut was New London. For 
many years the rougher element there celebrated the Sth of November. The 
town authorities strove to abolish the custom. On December 27, 1768, the 
following vote was passed at a town meeting : 

" AVhereas, the custom that has of late years prevailed in this town of carr3'ing 
about the Pope, in celebration of the 5th of November, has been attended with very bad 
consequences, and pregnant with mischief and much disorder, which therefore to prevent 
for the future, voted that every person or persons that shall be in any way connected in 
making or carrying about the same, or shall knowingly suffer the same to be made in 
their possessions, shall forfeit fifteen shillings to the town treasur}' of New London, to 
be recovered b\' the selectmen of said town for the use aforesaid." 

Notwithstanding this vote the celebration was of annual occurrence, with 
few exceptions, for thirteen years after; and it was finally discontinued only 

' Prot. Plea for Priests, 1621. 

'J. G. Shea, in " U. S. Cath. Hist. Mag.," January, 1S8S ; Caulkins' "Hist, of New 


when Washington, with characteristic liberality, issued a general order con- 
demning and forbidding the absurd custom in the array. His order is dated 
November 5th, and shows how much the Father of his Country towered 
above many of his fellows : 

" As the Commander-in-Chief has been apprized of a design formed for the obser- 
vance of the ridiculous and childish custom of burning the effigj' of the Pope, he cannot 
help expressing his surprise that there should be officers and soldiers in this army so 
void of common sense as not to see the improprietj- of such a step at this juncture ; at a 
time when we are soliciting, and have really obtained the friendship and alliance of the 
people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as brethren embarked in the same cause — 
the defence of the liberty of America. At this juncture and under such circumstances, to 
he insulting their religion, is so monstrous ;is not to be suffered or excused ; indeed, 
instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these 
our brethren, as to them we are indebted for every late happy success over the common 
enemy in Canada.'" 

Tlie colonies were then fighting valiantly for independence. Catholics 
and Protestants stood side by side in that struggle. Moreover, a powerful 
Catholic nation had sent money, .ships and men to aid the revolutiouar>' 
patriots to throw off the English yoke. Washington rose equal to the occa- 
sion and realized how utterly incongruous were such celebrations, and how 
offensive it would be to his Catholic allies. 

The order of the Commander-in-Chief sounded the knell of Pope Day. 
It passed out of existence and soon became a memory. In New London 
the custom of annual processions was adhered to, but the traitor Benedict 
Arnold was substituted for the Pope, and publicly burned in effigy on the 6th 
of September, the anniversary of his sacking the city. 


f HOUGH the provisions of the State Constitution concerning religion 
were redolent of true progress, the spirit of bigotry still moved on apace. 
Not infrequently it showed itself in high places. It was nourished and 
strengthened by jealousy. It could not look with favor upon the spectacle of 
men worshiping God in accordance with the dictates of conscience. In the 
first quarter of the j^resent century the signs indicated that Catholicity had come 
to stay. The descendants of the Puritans looked askance upon its develop- 
ment, and with characteristic illiberality forebode dire evils to the State. By 
cruel insinuations and by open accusations expressly manufactured for the 
purpose, they sought to influence the lowest passions of the liuman breast 
against their Catholic fellow-citizens. The Connecticut Observer \\3& the self- 
appointed mouthpiece of this opposition, the chief offender in this crusade 
against a respectable body of persons, whose only offence was their profession of 
the Catholic religion. It was an active member of that class, so numerous in 
the early days, who apprehended grave dangers to the republic from the 

' W'aslihigton's ll'oris, Vol. III., p. 144. 


introduction of the Catholic faith. In July, 1829, it gave vent to the feelings 
that were consuming it as follows : 

" Romanism i?i Connecticut. — We understand that a Roman Catholic press has just 
arrived in this city ; whether sent by the institution propaganda dc fidi\ or not, we are 
unable to say. How will it read in history, that in 1829, Hartford, in the State of Con- 
necticut, was made the centre of a Roman Catholic mission ? " 

Bishop Fenwick was on a missionary trip to Hartford when this appeared, 
and in the initial number of the Catholic Press, picked up the gauntlet which 
the Rev. Mr. Hooker had thrown into the arena. 

" The Catholic Press, ^'' said the Bishop, "had not yet issued its first number, 
when the above article was read in the Connecticut Observer of this day (July 
II, 1829). The editors take this early opportunity to thank the gentleman 
conducting that paper for the notice he has been pleased to take of the arrival 
of their Press ; and at the same time beg leave to answer the question sub- 
joined, viz.: 'How will it read in history, that in 1829, Hartford, in the 
State of Connecticut, was made the centre of a Roman Catholic mission ? ' 
The editors of the Press assure him that it will read exceedingly well. They 
have it likewise in their power to state, that the Propaganda at Rome are in 
no manner concerned in their Press — that the same was purchased with 
American money, and will be under the control of American talent." The 
Bishop then paid his compliments to the Rev. Editor of the Observer for his 
use of an offensive epithet thus : "What does the gentleman mean by the 
word Romanism? Is it intended for a sneer ? If so, we shall let the matter 
rest with the gentleman's own sense of propriety. Or did he really believe 
that the word truly designated our religious profession ? If so, he may with 
great propriety say to himself in the language of Sallust : jam prideni amis- 
simns vera vocabnla reriim.'''' The Bishop's gentle answer turned not away 
the wrath of the Observer. It continued its offensive tirades, each article 
surpassing its predecessor in virulence. To the sapient Observer, Catholicity 
was synonymous wi|h unpardonable error, gross ignorance and disloyalty. Its 
one object was the elimination of the church from Connecticut life. To this 
end were its energies directed, but with what success is now evident. Like 
all things human, the Observer has passed from existence, while the institu- 
tion it assailed still maintains its youthful vigor, glorious in the record of its 
achievements, and flourishing like the proverbial sweet bay tree.' 

The anti-Catholic and un-American crusade conducted by the Cottnecticut 
Observer was continued with more or less acerbity by individuals and organ- 
izations, who cheated themselves into the belief that they had been invested 

'The following card was placarded in public places in Hartford on January 13, 1831: 

To THE Public. 
Be it known unto you far and near, that all Catholics, and all persons in favor «f 
the Catholic Church are a set of vile imposters, liars, villians, and cowardly cut-throats. 

(Beware of false Doctrine). 
I bid defiance to that villian — the Pope. "A True American." 

— Tlie Ca/ho/ic Press, ]a.n\\a.ry 22, 1831. 


with a mission to hamper the progress of Catholicity in the State. One 
organization in particular, very properly called the Know-Nothings' ' were vio- 
lent enemies of Catholics and the Catholic church. Their platform was, 
"No quarter to Catholics;" their slogan, "None but Americans on guard 
to-night." One of their objects was to prevent Catholic citizens from holding 
office, and they sought to frame a law tliat foreign-born citizens .should reside 
twenty-one years in the country before being invested with the privilege of 
franchise. Tlie in.sensate rage of their predecessors against Catholics carried 
them to the extreme of burning churches and other Catholic buildings in 
Philadelphia and a convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts." Their hatred 
was particularly directed against defenceless women. Catholic nuns, tliose 
angels of mercy, whose tender ministrations have soothed the final moments 
of thousands of Catholics and Protestants alike, and who have always 
commanded the profound respect and veneration of men worthy of the 

' The Know-Nothings were tlie .successors of the Native American party of 1S44. Its 
ritual, was entitled "The Know-Nothing Ritual, or Constitution of the Grand Coun- 
cil of the United States. Adopted unanimou.sl3-, June 17, 1856, the anniversary of the 
Battle of Bunker's Hill." 

Article I. was as follows : " This organization shall be known by the name and title 
of the Grand Council of the United States of North America, and its jurisdiction and 
power shall extend to all the districts and territories of the United States of North 

Article II. A person to become a member of an5' subordinate council must be twenty- 
one years of age ; he must believe in the existence of a Supreme Being as the Creator and 
Preserver of the universe ; he must be a native-born citizen, a Protestant, born of Protes- 
tant parents, reared under Protestant influence and not united in marriage with a Roman 
Catholic " 

The objects of the organization were : " To resist the insidious policy of the Church 
of Rome and other foreign influence against the institutions of our country bj- placing 
in all offices in the gift of the people, or bj- appointment, none but native-born Protestant 

Tiiu O.^TH. 

" You, and each of you, of your own free will and accord, iu the presence of Almighty 
God and these witnesses, your right hand resting on this Holy Bible and cross, and your 
left hand raised toward heaven iu token of your sincerity, do solemnly promise and swear 
that you will not make knoicn to an)- person or per.sons any of the signs, secrets, mys- 
teries or objects of this organization ; . . . that j'ou will in all things, political or social, 

comply with the will of the majoritj' You furthermore promise and declare that 

you will not vote, nor join your influence, for any man for any office in the gift of the 
people, unless he be an American-born citizen, in favor of Americans' born ruling Amer- 
ica, nor if he be a Roman Catholic ; and that j'ou will not, under any circumstances, 
expose the name of any member of this order, nor reveal the existence of such an organi- 
zation. To all the foregoing you bind yourself undei the no-less penalty than that of 
being expelled from this order, and of having jour name posted and circulated through- 
out all the different Councils of the United States as a perjurer and as a traitor to God 
and your country, as a being unfit to be employed and trusted, countenanced or sup- 
ported in any business transaction, as a person unworthy of the confidence of all good 
men, and as one at whom the finger of scorn should ever be pointed. So help you, God " 

'■' In Philadelphia on May 6, 1844, a riot broke out, during which two Catholic 
churches, one Catholic seminary, two Catholic parsonages, and a Theological Library 
were destroyed by fire. 


name. In Connecticnt tlie Know-Nothings burned no churches or con- 
vents, though they did direct their poisoned shafts against the Catholic 
Sisterhood. The}- aimed at political power and having obtained it, to 
the humiliation of the State, in 1855, made use of it to outrage their 
fellow Catholic citizens. Faithful to their policy of proscription, they 
secured the passage of a law disbanding all the Irish volunteer companies in 
the State.' One of the companies affected by this iniquitous law was the 
Washington-Erina Guards of New Haven, all of whose members were intel- 
ligent, respectable and loyal Catholic American citizens. They had been 
charged with no breach of military discipline. They had given no sign of 
disloyalty to the state or the nation ; nor were they paid the poor compli- 
ment of facing a manufactured accusation. They were Irishmen and Catho- 
lics. Surely these were offences grave enough in the eyes of the patriotic 
Know-Nothings then in power. That it was the race and creed of the Guards 
that brought about their disband ment is evident from the fact, that the 
German companies then in the State were not molested. Had they been 
Catholics, they, too, would have shared the fate of their New Haven brethren. 
The summary disbandment of the Guards was accomplished by the fol- 
lowing order : 

"Adjutant-Gener.\i.'s Office, 

" Hartford, Sept. zjth, 1855. 
" nomas If'. Ca/ittt, Esq., Captain Commanding Compatiy E, 2d Regt. Connectiait Militia : 
"Sir : By order of the Commander-in-Chief, Infantrj' Company E, 2d Regt. Con- 
necticut Militia, is this day disbanded. 

"In pursuance of the above order j-ou are hereby directed to deliver all of the pro- 
perty belonging to this State, in your possession, to the Quartermaster-General at the 
State arsenal, at Hartford. 

" Yours, &c., "J. S. Williams, Adjt.-GenL" 

For six years this obnoxious law remained upon the statute books of 
Connecticut, a stain upon the escutcheon of the State. For six years the 
Irish Catholics of the State lived with the official brand of suspicion upon 
them. They were regarded as unfit persons to carry arms. But grim war is 
a great leveler of distinctions. It brought to Connecticut a realization of the 

'The Know-Nothings were successful this year also in Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire. In the former State Governor Gardiner, faithful to his principles, dis- 
banded the Irish military organizations of the State. John Mitchell was at that time 
editor of the Citizen, and had this to say of the Governor's action : 

"Since the Citizen was established, seeing that the existence of separate Irish, 
German and Native-American companies could not be helped, we have earnestly im- 
pressed upon the Irish soldier that he bears arms solely for his adopted country, whose 
lavFS he is bound to obey, and whose flag and constitution he is to defend with his life. 
We have loudly condemned the anomaly and absurdity of what is called the ' Irish ' 
vote (another mischief invented and used by American politicians), and exhorted our 
countrymen not to vote in masses or batches as Irishmen, nor suffer electioneering in- 
triguers to ' make capital ' of them by a few blarneying phrases. . . . But to submit to 
no brand of inferiority, no shadow of disparagement at the hand of these natives. . . . 
We are happy to find that Colonel Butler, of Lowell, refuses to brook the outrage. He 
declines to transmit the order for disbandment, invites a court-martial and appeals to the 
law. And the Shields Artillery, of Boston, have taken like action in the case." 


gross injustice it had done to a numerous and respectable body of its citizens, 
and the famous war Governor, William A. Buckingham, was prompt to 
repair the great wrong of his predecessor, William T. IMinor. 

In 1 86 1, at the outbreak of the Rebellion, Connecticut was called upon 
for its quota of troops. The military branch of the State goveniment was at 
that time in a condition of deplorable inefficienc\-. Fully cognizant of this 
state of affairs, it occurred to Governor Buckingham to appeal to his Irish 
fellow-citizens to organize a regiment of their own. But with the memory of 
the law of 1855 still fresh would they accept the invitation ? The governor's 
request was made known to Captain Cahill, who returned this dignified re- 
ply : "Six years ago I was captain of a company of volunteer militia and a 
native of New England. I was, w-ith my comrades, thought to be unfit to 
shoulder a musket in time of peace, and tlie company was disbanded by order 
of the then governor of the State, under circumstances peculiarly aggravat- 
ing to military pride. The law by which we were disbanded still stands on 
the Statute Book, and so long as it is there my fellow-soldiers and myself 
feel it to be an insult to us, and to all our fellow-citizens of Irish birth and 
Catholic faith. If we were not fit to bear arms in time of peace, we might 
be dangerous in time of war." When this reply of the distinguished captain 
was brought to the governor he caused a bill to be introduced into the 
Assembly repealing the Know-Nothing law of 1855. It passed the House by a 
unanimous vote, and in the same morning it met with equal success in the 
Senate. Justice was done to the Irish Catholics of the State, and an infamous 
enactment was stricken from the records. On September 3, 186 1, Governor 
Buckingham commissioned Captain Cahill to organize a regiment, and the 
glorious, fighting Ninth, known in the military annals of the State as "the 
Irish Regiment " went to the front to fight, and, if need be, to die for the 
maintenance of the Union. The Irish people of Connecticut forgot the harsh 
treatment to which they were subjected, as seven lliousand nine hundred of 
them donned the blue and went to the Southland in response to their countr}-'s 
call. In this way they repaid the ostracism inflicted upon them by their 
Know-Nothing contemporaries. 

The hostility displayed towards Irish Catholics by Governor Elinor's 
administration was the last official recognition in Connecticut of the odious 
principle that because an individual is a Catholic, therefore must his loyalty 
to the republic be suspected. Never again shall such a law as the one above 
referred to, blot the public records of our commonwealth. Since then, how- 
ever, various organizations have from time to time sprung into being, all 
animated with a common purpose, whose platform may be summarized in the 
single word Hate. They exist for no other purpose than to harass their 
Catholic fellow-citizens and to exclude them, if possible, from position of 
public trust. But their proscriptive policy has met with only rebuke from 
the intelligent, respectable and cultured portions of our Protestant brethren. 
Professing loyalty to the Federal Constitution, they, nevertheless, seek to 
nullify one of its grandest provisions, that '' No religious test .shall ever be 
required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United 


State." But such organizations cannot long survive, a disturbing element, 
among a people so devotedly attached to the cause of education as are the 
citizens of this republic. They fear the light of intelligence and seek the 
cover of darkness for the accomplishment of their fell designs. Like the 
Know-Nothings of other days, the un-American organizations of the present 
"love darkness rather than the light because their works are evil, for every 
one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not into the light, that his 
works niav not be reproved ! " 

We shall close this chapter with some reflections which will present the 
Puritan character as it was, and not as it has been portrayed by historians, 
who see in the Puritans nothing save what is commendable, who exalt them 
above the founders of all other States and who enthusiasticall)- proclaim 
them the salt of the earth, the very elect of God. As we recede from the 
age which their influence dominated the halo that has been painted around 
them disappears as the motives of their conduct become more apparent. 
Their successors in the governments of the different States of New England 
have done well in freeing themselves from the influence of their narrow legis- 
lation ; and though the puritanical spirit is still in evidence here and there, 
more especially in some rural districts, it is unquestionable that in the not 
distant future it will have totally disappeared. What remains of it must suc- 
cumb to the advance of liberty and progressive ideas. 

" And now what shall be said of Puritanism ? That it erected one monu- 
ment to the glory of God, or exemplified the duty of obedience to the civil 
magistrate ? That its altar was set up in the wilderness, consecrated by the 
prayers and blessings of the savage ? That its usurped powers were used to 
quell strife, to calm dissension, to strengthen peace, or to enforce equity ? 
That it presented an example of hurailit}' and patience, for the guidance of 
those simple ones who were fascinated by its solemn pretense ? That, in all its 
doings, it had only in view ' Glory to God in the highest, and on earth 
peace and good-will to men ? ' Or are the eulogies it has received from his- 
tory like the epitaphs upon tombstones ? 

" Since the dawn of creation, the praises of the Supreme Being had 
been chanted in the wilderness of New England. The forest teemed with 
gorgeous life, and not a brook babbled its sportive way, but glistened with 
the gambols of innumerable fish. Nature, animate and inanimate, was full 
of joyous freedom, and the lord of the domain roved about unmindful of the 
glitter of gold or the splendor of courts. This system of Nature Puritanism 
subverted ; but its powers of substitution sprang from the muzzle of its 
guns, and not from the kindly aflfections of the heart. It subjugated nature, 
but the wild harmonies it destroyed were not replaced by the creations of 
divine art. It sought exclusively its own good, or, at least, it made that 
paramount. Deriving its genius from the theocracy of stubborn Israel, it 
promised its disciples the prestige of temporal success and prosperity. It had 
an eye to the things of Cassar as well as to those of Heaven. Join my ranks, 
was its promise, and you shall be rich ; for the promised land belongs to the 
saints : you shall be powerful, for God will fight your battles. Wherever it 


penetrated, its work was to destroy and create anew. // defaced the moral 
landscape of Catholicism, but -was finable to substitute anything so fair and so 
beautiful. Tlie church presented a vast area, on wliose surface could be 
seen rocks and caverns and pitfalls ; but then there were also quiet nooks and 
peaceful, gladsome vales, smiling in tlie brightness of an eternal sun. Puri- 
tanism was like a dreary waste overluing b\- a wintry sky, where, if a gleam 
of light were perchance discernible, it but irradiated desolation." 

" Ignorance and presumption, ever hand in hand, have united to break 
down that noble Tree planted by Christ himself because, forsooth, it has 
borne some decayed branches. But amidst all the desolation of this world it 
still lives, exhibiting a miracle more wonderful than that performed at the 
humble cave in Bethany. For its roots are cherished by mortal hand and 
eternal sunshine lingers upoii its fragrant foliage. 

" In a religious sense it (Puritanism) left nothing behind but its warnings. 
The synods, the confessions, the platforms and the heresies which distinguish 
its reign in New England, are in marked contrast with this noble church it 
presunijjtuou.sly hoped to displace, and which, since the days of its Catholic 
defenders, has neither altered an article of its creed nor a principle of its 



IT is not improbable that the first European to sail along the shores of 
Connecticut, and perhaps, to stand upon its soil, was the great Catholic 
navigator, John Verrazano. Accepting a commission in the service of 
p-rancis I., King of France, he sailed in the frigate "Dauphin" in 1524, 
and after a tempestuous voyage, reached the coast of Florida. He sailed 
along the continent as far north as Newfoundland. To all this territory he 
gave the name of Neiv France. It is claimed that the honor of discovering 
New York Bay belongs to him. If such be the facts, it is not unreasonable 
to infer that the prow of his stanch ship cut the waters of Long Island Sound ; 
and as vessels of exploration were always provided with priests, whose mission 
it was to preach the glad tidings of the gospel in newly-discovered lands, it 
may be that well-nigh four centuries ago the virgin forests of Connecticut 
re-echoed with the chant of holy monks, and that some spots were hallowed 
by rude altars upon which was offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and 
over whose table towered the symbol of man's redemption, the everlasting 

' T/u- Puritan Commoniveallli by Peter Oliver, pp., 4S4-493. 


There is an interesting tradition to the effect that the first resident Catho- 
lics of Connecticut were a band of seventeen Indians, who were carried to 
Southern Europe about two hundred and fifty years ago by a shipmaster, who 
sailed the Thames, there instructed in the Catholic faith, baptized and brought 
back to their native laud. This tradition was handed down to the time of the 
venerable missionary. Rev. James Fitton, who firmly believed in the accuracy 
of the story. His belief received confirmation from the discovery in his own 
time in the eastern section of the State, probably near Norwich, of an ancient 
Indian cemetery. In one of the mounds were discovered, among other articles 
comnionl)' found in Indian graves, some rings upon which were engraved two 
hearts and glass bottles partially filled with water. Father Fitton had in his 
possession one of these rings, and held in his hands the mysterious bottles. 
These he concluded contained holy water, which had been given to the 
Indians when leaving Europe, while the rings, he contended, represented the 
sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary, and had been placed upon the fingers of the 
converts at their baptism. 

Such is the narrative as told by Father Fitton at the dedication of St. 
Patrick's church, Norwich. The conversion of the Indians, if true, would be 
a remarkable fact in the ecclesiastical history of Connecticut; but I have 
made diligent inquiries among the recognized authorities on Indian history 
in the State, and have failed to verify Father Fitton's relation. As to the 
rings representing the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary, it may be stated, that 
it was in 1675 that the revelation was made to Blessed Margaret Mary 
Alacoque that she with her holy confessor was to obtain the institution of 
the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Did the rings anticipate the devotion, or did 
the alleged conversion take place afterwards ? 

It is a fact incontestably established that Irish people in respectable 
numbers were residents of New England less than a quarter of a century after 
the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. In Connecticut they were contem- 
poraries of Theophiius Eaton, who was Governor of New Haven colony from 
1639 till his death, in 1657. They rendered signal services in the Pequot 
war in 1637. Captain Daniel Patrick, an Irishman, was dispatched from 
Boston with forty men to assist the Connecticut troops in that struggle. ' He 
next appears in 1639, when, with Robert Feake, he purchased Greenwich from 
an Indian sachem, thus becoming the first settlers of that town.^ The title 
of purchase, however, was not transferred formally until April of the follow- 
ing year. The Dutch Governor Kieft immediately protested against the 
cession of this territory to Patrick and Feake, and declared his purpose to 
dislodge them unless they yielded submission to the New Netherland govern- 
ment. Patrick withheld his submission, though he declared he would do 
nothing in the least prejudicial to "the rights of the States General." For 
two years he held possession despite the protest of the Dutch Governor. In 

' Sanford's "Hist, of Conn.," p. 24; Carpenter's "Hist, of Conn.," p. 54; Broad- 
head's " Hist of New York" Vol. I., p. 272. It is asserted that Patrick's name was origi- 
nally Gilpatrick. — Linehan's "Sketches" 

^Tbe original name of Greenwich, was Petuquapam. 
II— 3 


1642 the English colonists were thrown into a state of alarm by the reports of 
an uprising of the Indians of Connecticut. Uncas, the great chief of the 
Mohegans, had assiduously circulated rumors regarding an intended massacre 
of the Colonists by Miantonomoh, chief of tlie Narragansetts. Connecticut 
and New Haven Colonies perfected a league of defence. 

Fearing the consequences of his isolation should hostilities break out 
Patrick yielded submission to the Dutch Government, declaring that he was 
moved thereto by " both the strifes of the English, the danger consequent 
thereon, and these treacherous and villainous Indians of whom we have seen 
sorrowful examples enough." His formal submission was consummated on 
April 9, 1642, when at Fort Amsterdam he took the oath of allegiance to the 
States General, the West India Company and the authorities of New Nether- 
lands. He demanded, however, adequate protection from enemies and all the 
privileges "that all patroons of New Netherland have obtained agreeably to 
the Freedoms." 

Late in the following year the Indians of Stamford and neighborhood, 
inspired by their powerful and haughty chief, Mayano, became troublesome 
and gave the Colonists cause for grave alarm. On one occasion Mayano, 
coming suddenly upon "three Christians," fiercely attacked them. Patrick 
was one of the little band. The chief killed one of the three, but was him- 
self dispatched after a desperate struggle. Patrick cut ofif his head and sent 
it as a trophy of victory to Fort Amsterdam with a detailed account of the 
atrocities perpetrated by Mayano and his tribe. An expedition consisting of 
120 men was immediately dispatched from Manhattan against the hostiles. 
They marched through Greenwich to Stamford, but failed to discover any 
signs of the Indians. The Dutch soldiers became incensed at their failure, 
and one of them in an outburst of rage upbraided Patrick with having brought 
them on "a fool's errand." Patrick indignantly repelled the implied charge 
of treachery and spat in the .soldier's face. Then turning to leave his irate 
accuser, the latter "shot him behind in the head, so he fell down dead and 
never spake." ' 

So perished one of the first Irishmen to enter the State of Connecticut. 
Patrick " had married a Dutch wife from the Hague," Annetje van Beyeren. 
He had little sympathv for the cold, severe dogmas of the Puritans, and we 
are told that " he .seldom went to the public assemblies.'' He was a strong, 
daring, adventurous spirit, a sturdy character who left his impress upon his 
time. His name is perpetuated in "Captain's Island," on which stands the 
light-house off Greenwich. - 

One of the first towns in Connecticut in which the Irish people became 
permanent residents was Windsor. John Dyer is mentioned in the town 
records as a " Pequot soldier. " ^ Edward King, "an Irishman, one of the 
oldest settlers in this vicinity,"^ probably settled here about 1635. The 

'Winth. II , 151. 

' Broadliead's " Hist. 0/ New York," Vol. I. 

'Stiles' "Ancient IVindsor," p. 4>. 

' Ibid, pp. 55, 93. He speaks of King elsewhere as " the Irishman." 


name of John Griffen appears in 164S, but he resided there, no doubt, before 
that time. Another Celtic name found in the records of the town is Edward 
Ryle. King was Ryle's host, and for this exercise of fraternal charity both 
became amenable to a peculiar law then on the statute books. To protect 
themselves against worthless characters who might sow the seeds of vice and 
crime, and become burdens on the towns, it was enacted by the General 
Court in 1637, that 

" No young man that is not married, nor hath any servant, and be no 
public officer, shall keep house by himself without consent of the town where 
he lives, first had, under pain of 20 shillings per week." 

" No master of a family shall give habitation or entertainment to any 
young man to sojourn in his family, but by the allowance of the inhab- 
itants of said town where he dwells, under a like penalty of 20 shillings per 

With these enactments before them the sage fathers of Windsor, in town 
meeting, June 27, 1658, took cognizance of the fact that divers persons, from 
time to time, resorted to the premises of Edward King, and that such recourse 
was prejudicial to the town if not summarily prohibited. Accordingly, it 
was voted that, unless King gave security for his good behavior and gave 
serious consideration to the orders of the town before the ist of October fol- 
lowing, a fine of 20 shillings would be inflicted. It was " also ordered that 
Edward Ryle shall continue there no longer than the aforesaid time appointed, 
upon the same penalty." " 

It was not alleged that Ryle was a vagrant, or that he was liable to 
become a charge on the town ; nor was King charged with any offense grave 
in itself. Such laws were restraining forces that operated to the prejudice of 
personal liberty. They furnished, moreover, occupation for unscrupulous 
persons whose zeal in the jjublic weal was commensurate with the size of 
the fine. 

In the Great Swamp Fight in King Philip's War in 1675, five Connecti- 
cut Irishmen are on record as having won distinction by their gallant conduct, 
and as receiving as the reward of their services, generous grants of land. The 
names of these brave men deserve to be perpetuated. They were the sturdy 
pioneers in this land of a race that has ever been its defenders; and as the 
records of the infant nation are emblazoned with the brave deeds of Erin's 
sons, so will the annals of the mighty giant in the future be enriched with 
their brilliant and valorous achievements. Our heroes of the Great Swamp 
Fight were James Murphy, Daniel Tracy, Edward Larkin, James Welch* 
and John Roach. The Norwalk town records contain this entry concern- 
ing Roach:* 

' "Colonial Records of Conn.," 1636-1665, p. 8. The first section of this law was in 
force as late as 1821 ; the .second until 1702. 
^ " Aficifiit lV!;!ifsor," pp. 54, 55. 
' T. H. Murray in " Rosary Mag.," March, 1896. 
' P. 63. 


"John Roach, a Soldier in the ' Direfui, Swamp Fight.' 
"Whereas, the town of Xorwalk having given and granted unto John Roach as a 
gratuity, being a soldier in the late Indian War, the parcel of land consisting of twelve 
acres more or less, layed out upon the west side of the West Rocks, so-called,'' etc. 

Were these heroes Catholics? Very likely. The same names may be 
read in the census list of every considerable Irish Catholic parish in New 



HEN the public records of colonial times are carefully scanned we 
liscover abundant rea.sons to account for the presence then of large 
numbers of Irish people in Connecticut. We cease to be surprised 
at the number of Celtic names that greet the eye when we reflect upon the 
causes that forced them to bid farewell to tlie green hills and pleasant rivers 
and crystal lakes of their native laud. Exiled from Erin, they were brought 
to our shores in thousands, sold as slaves and scattered over the various colo- 
nies of America. Official documents tell a heart-rending story of how the sons 
and daughters of Ireland became so numerous in the English colonies at so 
early a period of our history. They proclaim loudly the existence of unparal- 
leled brutality on the part of men who had God ever on their lips, and whose 
boasted knowledge of the Divine Word was their choicest accomplishment. 
Professing godliness, they perpetrated crimes at which humanity stands ap- 
palled, and upon which they invoked the benediction of heaven To extermi- 
nate the Irish Catholic race was their aim, and all means were alike legitimate 
if the end could be attained. Let us pass down to future generations the names 
of those godly man-hunters and pious traffickers in human lives. Let us |)lace 
on record again some of the "orders" that cover their authors with infamy, and 
which consigned to living deaths thousands of pure, innocent little ones, who 
were torn from the hearts of those nearest on earth and sent into strange lands. 

The names of some of those man-catchers have come down to us. They 
■were merchants of Bristol, England : Messrs. David Sellick and Leader, 
Robert Yeomens, Joseph Lawrence, Dudley North and John Johnson.' 

It was these holy men, zealous in spreading the light of the gospel, who 
conceived the idea of relieving the British government of a serious embar- 
rassment in which it found itself after the compulsory exile of 40,000 soldiers 
who fell into tlie hands of the devout Protector. How to dispose of their 
wives and children became a grave problem. "They could not be sent to Con- 
naught, as women, with children onh', could not l:)e expected to 'plant' that 
desolate province ; they could not be allowed to remain in their native place, 
as the decree had gone forth that all the Irish were to ' transplant' or be trans- 
ported; it would have been inconvenient and inexcusable to do what had been 
so often done in the war — massacre them in cold blood— as the war was over."* 

' Prendergast's " Cromwellian Settlement in Ireland." 
'Thebaud's " Irish Race." 


The piety of the above-named merchants, liowever, furnished a way out 
of the difficulty. Had they not ships engaged in trade with the American 
Colonies ? Why not put them to the devout use of transporting these sur- 
plus wives and children, the enemies of the kingdom, and distributing them 
among the English Colonies of the New World? Here was a solution of the 
problem, even though it entailed misery and wretchedness unspeakable. 
Accordingly "The Commissioners of Ireland, under Cromwell, gave them 
(the British merchants) orders upon the governers of garrisons to deliver 
them prisoners of war . . . upon masters of workhouses to hand over to them 
the destitute under their care 'who were of an age to labor,' or, if women, 
those ' who were marriageable, and not past breeding ; ' and gave directions 
to all in authority to seize those who had no visible means of livelihood, and 
deliver them to these agents of the Bristol merchants; in execution of wliich 
latter directions Ireland must have exhibited scenes in every part like the 
slave-hunts in Africa?'' ' 

The following orders are extracted from the " Calendar of Colonial State 
Papers," 1571-1660, and 1661-1665. They reveal a depth of depravity that 
stains the escutcheon of no other nation : 

' ' April 1st, i6j^, Ontc-r of the Council of State. For a license to Sir John Clotworthy 
to transport to America 500 natural Irishmen." 

" Order of the Council of State, Sept. 6th, i6jj. Upon petition of David Sellick, 
of Boston, New England, merchant, for a license for the ' Good Fellow,' of Boston, Geo. 
Dalle, Master, and the ' Providence,' London, Thomas Swanlly, Master, to pass to New 
England and Virginia, where they intend to carry 400 Irish children, directing a warrant 
to be granted, provided security is given to pass to Ireland, and within two months to 
take in 400 Irish children and transport them to these plantations." 

" Captain John Vernon was employed for the Commissioners for Ireland, and con- 
tracted in their behalf with David Sellick and Mr. Leader, under his hand bearing date 
< 14th of Sept., 1653, to supply them with i'jo women of the Irish nation above 12 years 
and under the age of 45 ; also s^o men above 12 years and under 50, to be found in the 
country within twenty miles of Cork, Youghal, Kinsale, Waterford and Wexford, to 
transport them into New England." (" Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland,'''' 1875,. p. 90.) 

Captain Vernon's five hundred and fifty unfortunates were Catholics, 
devoted disciples of the faith which St. Patrick taught the Irish people. 
How bitterly intense was England's hatred for the Catholic religion ! 

One shudders to think of the fate that awaited these poor and virtuous 
children among their stern New England task-masters. But what mattered 
it; were they not but children of Irish parents, who had no rights their 
conquerors were bound to respect? Sentiment, begone ! 

In the same Collection of State Papers we find (1628) the proposal of Sir 
Pierce Crosby to transport for /"5000 ten companies of a certain Irish regi- 
ment to a place in America not yet settled. 

" func ig, J6jj. Order of Council of State. Upon petition of Armiger Warner pray- 
ing indemnity against his bond of /Soo entered into with John Jeflreys, Merchant, for 
transporting 100 Irish to Virginia, etc." 

' " Crovrwellian Settlement." 


" Oct. 3, 1633. Order of the Council of Slate. 1000 Irish girls and the like numb:r of 
boys of 14 years or under, ordered to be sent to -Jamaica. The allowance to each one not 
to exceed 20 shillings." 

"May 23, 16^6. Order of Coutui! of State for the transportation of 1200 men 
from Knockfergus in Ireland and Port Patrick in Scotland to Jamaica."' 

The above "Orders" explain the presence in New England of such large 
numbers of Irish people a century before the Colonies threw ofiF the English 
yoke. From April, 1653, to May, 1656, 4250 of Ireland's men and women 
were transported to the New World by Messrs. Sellick &Co. ; and it is asserted 
by the Rev. Aug. J. Thebaud, S. J., "that in four years those English firms 
of slave-dealers had shipped 6,400 Irish men and women, boys and maidens, 
to the British Colonies of North America." ' 

The number of young boys and girls alone transported to the West Indies 
was 6000, while the total number sent there has been estimated at 100,000. ^ 

"After the horrors of a civil war, horrors unparalleled, perhaps, in the annals of 
modern nations, the children and young people of both se.xes are hunted down over an 
area of several Ijish counties, dragged in crowds to the .seaports, and there jammed in the 
holds of small, uncomfortable, slow-going vessels. AVhat those children must have 
been may be easily imagined from the specimens of the race before us to-day. We do 
not speak of their 1 eatity and comeliness of form, on which a Greek writer of the age of 
Pericles might have dilated, and found a subject worthj- of his pen ; we speak of their 
moral beauty, their simplicit3', purity, love of home, attachment to their family and God, 
even in their tenderest age. We meet them scattered over the broad surface of this coun- 
trj'— boys and girls of the same race, coming from the same countries — chiefly from sweet 
Wexford— the beautiful, calm, pious south of Ireland. Who but a monster could think of 
harming those pure and affectionate creatures, so modest, simple and ready to trust and 
confide in every one they meet.'' . . . They were to be violently torn from their parents and 
friends — from every one they knew and loved — to be condemned, after surviving the hor- 
rible ocean-passage of those days, the boys to work on sugar and tobacco plantations, 
the girls to lead a life of shame in the harems of Jamaica planters ! 

" Such of them as were sent North were to be distributed among the 'saints ' of 
New England, to be esteemed by the said 'saints' as 'idolaters,' 'vipers,' 'young 
reprobates,' just objects of ' the wrath of God ; ' or, if appearing to fall in with their new 
and hard task-masters, to be greeted with words of dubious praise, as ' brands snatched 
from the burning,' 'vessels of reprobation,' destined, perhaps, by a due imitation of the 
'saints' to become some day ' vessels of election,' in the mean time to be unmercifully 
scourged by both master and mistress with the ' besom of righteousness,' probabl}', at the fault or mistake." ' 

The eloquent Jesuit has not overdrawn the picture. Among all the sad 
episodes in the history of Ireland, the expatriation of these unforttmate people 
has no equal. Their religion was their only crime. To eradicate from their 
tender hearts the precious seeds of faith implanted at their baptism, the merci- 
less agents of the Governiuent found "homes" for thousands of poor 
Irish children among men and women who would see to it that not a vestige 
of Catholic faith remained ; and in robbing them of their dearest treasure 
would think they were doing a service to God. It is of no consequence now 

' ' ' The Irish Race in the Past and Present, ' ' p. 3S5. 
'Sullivan's " Story of Ireland," p. 391. 
' Thebaud's " Irish Race," pp. 388-'89. 


to speculate as to which of the masters was the more cruel, the libertine 
tobacco planter of the West Indies or the rigorous, narrow-minded Puritan 
of New England. Both dealt harshly, mercilessly with the faith of their 
white slaves, and instilled into their hearts a spirit of animosity to the Catholic 
religion that is discernible even in the descendants of these hapless exiles 

The year 1652 was a dark and dolorous one for inihappy Ireland. It wit- 
nessed the close of a fierce and terrible struggle against Cromwell, "when," 
says Mr. Prendergast, "there took place a scene not witnessed in Europe since 
the conquest of Spain by the Vandals." "Indeed," he continues, " it is in- 
justice to the Vandals to equal them with the English of 1652 ; for the Van- 
dals came as strangers and conquerors in an age of force and barbarism ; nor 
did they banish the people, though they seized and divided their lands by lot ; 
but the English of 1652 were of the same nation as half of the chief families 
in Ireland, and had at that time had the island under their sway for five hun- 
dred years." ' 

To Spain were banished 40,000 of the stoutest arms and bravest hearts 
of the Irish soldiery. Orphan girls, as we have .seen, were sent in shiploads 
to the West Indies, while upon the inhospitable shores of New England were 
landed thousands of both tender and mature age, who were destined to eke 
out an unhappy existence among a people "alien in race, in language and in 

The American poet, Longfellow, has, in the poem of "Evangeline," 
immortalized the story of Acadia. How many a heart has melted into pity, 
how many an eye has filled with tears, perusing his metrical relation of the 
transplanting and dispersion of that one little community "on the shore of 
the basin of Minas ! " But, alas ! how few recall or realize the fact, if, indeed, 
aware of it at all — that not one.^ but hundreds of such dispersions, infinitely 
more tragical and more romantic, were witnessed in Ireland in the year 1654, 
when in every hamlet throughout three provinces " the sentence of expulsion 
was sped from door to door." ^ 

The seventeenth century closed without witnessing any cessation from 
persecution and transportation. Expatriation, with all its horrors, continued. 
It seemed an impossible task to glut the hatred of the British government for 
the people of Ireland. What with the destruction of the Catholic faith, the 
Bristol and other rapacious merchants reaped a rich harvest from the continu- 
ation of the nefarious traffic ; so that underlying all ostensible reasons for 
dealing so barbarously with the Irish people were the motives of pecuniary 
profit and religious perversion. For a century longer English vessels were 
crowded with wretched human freight which they carried with all possible 
speed to distant shores. The history of Ireland during this long period is 
written in brutal penal enactments against the Church and in the banish- 
ment of her children. 

And Connecticut became the scene of the labors of many of these wdiite 

' Cromwcllian Settlement in Ireland. 
^Sullivan's ''Story of Ireland" pp. 3S9-90. 


slaves. " The purest native Celtic blood of Ireland was to be infused into the 
primal stock of the American people," for, though many were placed on a 
footing with the slaves from Africa, others became the wives of their Puritan 
masters ; and some of those who now proudly boast of their Puritan lineage 
might be averse to admit that through their veins courses the blood of some 
fair, virtuous and healthy young Irish woman, whom British shijxjwners 
transported for a monetary consideration. 

Irish i)eople were sold as slaves in Connecticut, as in other colonies of 
New England. In testimony whereof the following is submitted : On Janu- 
ary 5, 1764, this advertisement appeared in the Connecticut Gazelle: 

"Just Imported from Dublin in the Brig Darby, A Parcel of Irish Ser%'ants, both 
men and women, and to be sold cheap by Israel Boardman, at Stamford." 

Not only were the humble, religious homes of Ireland robbed of their 
inmates to satisfy the avarice of British agents ; the very prisons were scoured 
for victims and emptied. These also were scattered along the Atlantic coast, 
some of whom were disposed of in Connecticut. 

"The brig 'Nancy,' Captain Robert Winthrop, of Xew London, Conn., 
sailed from Dublin in June, 1788, having the convicts indentured in New 
Prison, and took out 201. The vessel arrived in the middle of the month at 
New Loudon. He disposed of some there by sale as indentured serv'ants, and 
sent the remainder to market in the ports to the southward." Truly, a godly 
business for pious, God-fearing Puritans. 

Another vessel, the "Despatch," sought to land 1S3 Irish exiles at Shel- 
bourne. Nova Scotia, but the loyalists having prevented the di.sem1)arkation, the 
captain headed his ship for a remote and unsettled part of the Bay of Machias, 
where he cast adrift his wretched pa.ssengers. Those who survived the hard- 
ships of that experience begged their way through the New England and 
Southern States, telling a woeful story of starvation and unchristian treatment. 

Among the unfortunate people sold at New London was Matthew Lyon, 
a native of the Green Isle. He was a " Redeinptioner," or one who was sold 
into service by the captain of tlie vessel in order to obtain compensation for 
his passage. He was destined to rise to eminence in the land that first gave 
him a slave's home. His native genius, his indomitable pluck and energy, 
so characteristic of his race, soon broke the fetters of slavery and he became 
a free man in what was to be a free country. On his arrival at Xew London 
he was bound out to service to Jabez Bacon, of Woodbury, Conn. Having 
remained here for some time he was transferred to Hugh Hannah, of Litch- 
field, the consideration being a pair of bulls, whose value was estimated at 
sixty dollars. This was the origin of his famous expression of later years: 
"By the bulls that redeemed me!" From servitude he advanced steadily 
over the rugged pathway of trials and hardships to positions of renown and 
influence. He became the first member of Congress from Vermont, and sub- 
sequently represented Kentucky in the National House of Representatives. 
He was arrested under the " Alien and Sedition "' law, and fined, but Congress 
remitted the fine. 


Not all the Irish who reached our shores in the eighteenth century were 
hunted down by man-catchers and sold b)- British agents as indentured 
slaves. At various periods of this century there came to America thousands 
of Irish men and women, voluntary exiles, who were heartsick with the 
intolerable existence they were compelled to undergo "at home." They 
were driven from the Green Isle not by the lash of the man-hunter, but by 
the force of circumstances which flowed naturally from the iniquitous laws 
and barbarous treatment of former years. Insensibly, but none the less 
steadily, did this exodus begin and continue. The first faint traces of it are 
discernible in 1728. At first the emigration was confined to the Protestants 
of the North. Not willingly and with cheerful hearts buoyed up with the 
prospects of a prosperous future did they turn their faces towards the young 
land in the West. Reluctantly they bade farewell to the old land. They, as 
well as their Catholic fellow-countrymen, were gathering the bitter fruits of a 
century's baleful legislation. Matthew O'Connor, in "Irish Catholics," says: 

"The suninier of 1728 was fatal. The heart of the politician was steeled against 
the miseries of the Catholics ; their number excited his jealousy. Their decrease h\ the 
silent waste of famine must have been a source of secret joj- ; but the Protestant interest 
was declining in a proportionate degree by the ravages of starvation. . . . Thousands of 
Protestants took shipping in Belfast for the West Indies. . . . The policy that would 
starve the Catholics at home would not deny them the privilege of flight. Nine years 
later multitudes of laborers and husbandmen in Ireland, unable to procure a comfortable 
subsistence for their families in their native land, embarked for America." 

The emigration of Irish Catholics in any considerable numbers began to 
set in in 1762. "No resource remained (at this time) to the peasantry but 
emigration. The few who had means sought an asylum in the American 
plantations.'" New England received a goodly share of this output. The 
Protestant Irish poured into the Southern and Middle States chiefly, while 
the Catholics .settled principally in New England, though many found a 
refuge in Maryland. As the dominant religion in all the colonies, save Mary- 
land for a time, was Protestant, the strangers from the North of Ireland 
received a cordial welcome. They felt as much at home in the cheerless 
meeting-houses of the colonies as in their churches beyond the sea. Religion 
was the bond that united the British colonists and the Irish Presbyterians. 

Not the same fared the Catholic Irish. They, too, had strong hands 
and clear brains. They were willing to labor in order to wrest from the soil 
its hidden treasures. They were honest and feared God as well as their 
Puritan neighbors ; but a brand was upon them, a cloud over-shadowed them. 
The antipathy that burned in the hearts of the Puritan and Covenanter in 
the old world against Catholics, had preceded them to their new homes, 
and they found themselves the same objects of contempt and derision as 
when on their native hillsides. Love of their neighbors, much less love 
of their enemies, was not a prominent trait in the Puritan character, and 
though religion was ostensibly the greatest force in his life, it produced 
but little fruit in charity. He contemplated the Catholic Irishman as a 

'O'Connor's "Irish Calliolics." 


creature of inferior clay, a being to be religiously contemned. He lived 
in an atmosphere of intolerance of even the ordinary natural rights of 
Catholics. The English colonists of other States had no finer regard for 
personal rights and liberty than their brethren of New England. In New 
Jersey "liberty of conscience was granted to all but Papists," ' says Bancroft. 
In 1708 the mild-mannered Penn forbade Mass to be said in Pennsylvania. 
Rhode Island at first granted full freedom of conscience, but after 1688 "in- 
terpolated into the statute books the exclusion of Papists from the established 
equality." Religious Massachusetts generously permitted "every form of 
Christianity except the Roman Catholic." In the Southern colonies a State 
religion, the Angelican, prevailed. Bancroft says of Maryland: "The Ro- 
man Catholics alone were left without an ally, exposed to English bigotry 
and colonial inju.stice. They alone were disfranchised on the soil which, 
long before Locke pleaded for toleration, or Penn for religious freedom, they 
had chosen, not as their own asylum only, but, with Catholic liberality, as the 
asylum for every persecuted sect. In the land which Catholics had opened 
for Protestants, tlie Catholic was the sole victim of Anglican intolerance. 
Mass might not be said publicly. No Catholic priest or bishop might utter 
his faith in a voice of persuasion. No Catholic might teach the young. If 
the wayward child of a Papist would but become an apostate the law wrested 
for him from his parents a share of their property. . . . Such were the methods 
adopted to jjrevent the growth of Popery." 

And what of Connecticut? Was she more liberal than her sister colo- 
nies? Hardly. When William of Orange ascended the throne his loyal 
subjects in Connecticut forwarded him an address, a part of which read as 
follows : " Great was the day when the Lord who sitteth upon the floods did. 
divide his and your adversaries like the waters of Jordan, and did begin to 
magnify you like Joshua, by the deliverance of the English dominions from 
Popery and slavery." The Puritan's predilection for scriptural allusions did 
not preclude the use of offensive combinations. Popery and slavery ! Evils 
of great heinousness in the eyes of the godly Puritan. 

Such was the condition of affairs that confronted the Irish Catholic 
emigrant as he stepped upon the soil of .\merica. Whithersoever he turned 
he was met by adherents of a hostile creed, and refused the privileges of 
citizenship unless he renounced his faith and affiliated with the church by 
law established. But, notwithstanding this isolation of the Catholic Irish in 
the Colonies, the stream of emigration continued to flow steadily westward. 
In 1 77 1 and 1772, 17,350 landed on our .shores from Ireland. In August, 
1773, 3,500 emigrants arrived at Philadelphia. How many of 20,850 
emigrants found homes in New England, but especially in Connecticut, it is 
impossible at the present time to say. It is probable they scattered over all the 
Colonies. That a large percentage of them were Catholics we infer from the 
fact that notwithstanding their numbers, their arrival "had no tendency to 
diminish or counteract the hostile .sentiments towards Britain which were 
daily gathering force in America." 

''• History of the U.S." 




'ROM what has been adduced it must be patent to the reader that the 
Irish were in Connecticut in respectable numbers very early in our 
history. Additional evidence is found in the many names that have 
come down to us in the colonial records that are distinctively Irish ; and 
while there is no direct, local evidence, save in some cases, that their owners 
ever knelt before Catholic altars, the time of their advent here and the places 
whence they emigrated are sufficient proof that they yielded allegiance to 
Holy Mother Church. The Protestants of Ireland were not subjected to the 
barbarous treatment inflicted on their Catholic countrymen. 

Mingled with the Irish names herewith presented are those of other 
nations, whose children, it is conceded, are, for the most part, at least, adhe- 
rents of the ancient faith. 

It is not claimed that the following is a complete list of the Irish and 
other foreign people in Connecticut in colonial times. These names are 
here given to teach those not of the household of Catholic faith that the 
brains and brawn and the virtue of the children of Ireland and other Catholic 
nations contributed, as well as others, to the laying strong and deep of the 
foundations of this our beloved commonwealth. 

From a " List of the Settlers in New Haven from the Year 1639 to 
1645 :" ' 

John GriiSn, 
William Gibbons, 
Timothy Forde, 
John Dyer, 
William Harding, 
Timothy Nash, 
Peter jMallor}-, 

Thomas Nash, 
John Nash, 
Joseph Nash, 
Anthony Thompson, 
jMathew Pierce, 
William Russell, 
James Russell, 

Mathew Rowe, 
Ambrose Sutton, 
John Thompson, 
John Vincon, 
Andrew Ward, 
George Ward, 
Thomas Welch. 

In 1639 Dr. Brian Rosseter, " a man of fine education," was the first town 
clerk of Windsor. He appears in Guilford in 1652. His name needs no 

Thomas Dunn New Haven, 1647 

John Rilej' 1649 

Dr. Chayes, a French physician 

New Haven, 1653 

Mr. Benzio New Haven, 1654 

Thomas Stanton Stamford, 1654 

Lawrence Ward Branford, 1654 

Thomas Welch Milford, 1654 

John Reynolds Norwich, 1655 

John Mead Stamford, 1656 

John Norton Branford, 1656 

Henry Nicholson Stamford, 1656 

' The dates appended to the names in this list are those in connection with which 
the names appear in the records from which the}' are taken. In the majority of instances, 
the persons were in the localities assigned much earlier than the dates given. 



Stephen I'eirson Stamford, 1657 

Lawrence Turner New Haven, 1657 

Tliomas Mullen 1657 

John Kelly 1658 

Richard Hughes New Haven, 1659 

Robert Poynere Stamford, 1660 

John Corey 1660 

Daniel I.ane New London, 1661 

William Gibbons New Haven, 1662 

Thomas Ford Milford, 1662 

Edward Fanning Mystic, 1662 

ISIarj' Reynolds Norwich, 1664 

George Hylend Guilford, 1664 

William Keene3'... New London (about) 1664 

Franchway Bolgway ' 1667 

Christopher Crow Windsor, 1669 

Thomas Ford Windsor, 1669 

Richard Butler Stratford, 1669 

Hugh Griffin " 1669 

William Meade New I^)ndon, 1669 

Thomas Sha (Shea), Sr Stonington, 1669 

Thomas Tracy Norwich, 1669 

John Reynolds " 1669 

Timothy Ford New Haven, 1669 

Thomas Welsh Milford, 1669 

Michael Taiutor Branford, 1669 

Henry Crean Guilford, 1669 

Andrew Ward Killingworth, 1669 

William Venteras 

Necolas (Nicholas) AcU* 

John Kirby Middletown (about) 1675-6 

The following record shows the presence in Connecticut of a Catholic, a 
Spaniard, in 1670. He was held as a slave by a IMr. Hill, and was probably 
here previous to this year. Kidnapping was not unknown in those devout 
days, and this poor Spaniard may have been the victim of the greed of 
some imscrupulous ship-master. The record is: " This Court doth hereby 
impower the Court at New London to examine the matter concerning Mr. 
Hill's Spanyard, and if it doth appeare that the sayd Spaniard was legally pur- 
chassed, then the sayd Court of New London are to order him his freedome, 
and to empower some person to take order for his transportation home, pro- 
vided what is reasonable for his time out of the public treasury be ordered to 
Mr. n\\\:'—Pub. Rcc. of Conn., 1665-1677. 

Richard Jennings and Elizabeth 

Reynolds ' 1678 

Thomas Gould Hartford, 1677 

James Reynolds " 1677 

John Purdy Rye, 1679 

John Ryly (Reilly) 1681 

Jeremiah Blake New London, 1681 

Ambrose Thompson 16S2 

Captain Ohc-ly (O'Healy) ' 1682 

James Kelly New London, 16S2 

Margaret Crow Windsor, 16S3 

Chris. Crow " 1683 

John Crow Middletown, 1683 

John Nash New Haven, 1683 

William Dyer New London, ' 1685 

Peter Bradley " " 1687 

Thos. and John Butler... " 

(about), 1680 

Owen McCarty New London, 1693 

Thomas Mighill (McGill) ^1696 

Peter Demil 1703 

George LeFevre New London, 1705 

' ' ' The Court granted liberty to Edward Turner to assigne over his right in Franch- 
way Bolgway, his French boy, to any such per.son in this colony as two assistants shall 
approve of, for twelve years from June next." — General Assembly- held at Hartford, 
October, 1667.— " Pub Rec. of Conn. Col.," 1665-1677., p. 76. 

'They were married "the beginning of June, 1678." They were both emigrants 
from Barbadoes. Their children's names were Samuel, Richard, and Elinor.— Caulkins' 
" History of New London." 

' Ohely was captain of a privateer. 

* Dyer was Surveyor General of the plantation, and was made Deputy Collector and 
Searcher for Conn., ^larcli 9, 1695. 

' Shipwright ; had his building yard in i6y6 near the F^ort Land.—" History 0/ Aew 



Daniel Collins 1706 

Fergus McDowell ' 1709 

James Poisson 1710 

Capt. Rene Grignon Norwich, 1710 

Peter Crary 1710 

James Welch 1710 

John Collins 1711 

Daniel Carroll 1711 

Thomas Short New London, ' 1712 

Thomas Ennis 1714 

Joseph Keeney 1714 

Mary Corbitt 1715 

Joseph Kell}- Norwich, 1716 

Thomas Care\' Stamford, 1720 

Stephen Boutenet New Haven, 1720 

Joseph Purd}' Stamford, 1723 

George Chartres 1726 

William McNall 1 

John Lawson • Union, ^ 1727 

James Sherrer J 

Robert Kennedj' Norwich, 1730 

Patrick Streen and family Glaston- 

burj' 1731 

John Creesej' (Crec3' ? 1 Woodbury, 1731 

Anthony Demil (D'Emile ?).. Stamford, 1734 

John Farlej' Ellington, 1734 

Richard Rating (Keating) New 

London 1736 

John Hamilton New London, 1736 

Dennis Dehortee (Dohertj') New- 
London 1736 

Daniel Collins New London 1736 

John Nevil Glastonbury-, 

Henry Delamore New London, 

Thomas Nash Fairfield Co., 

Samuel and Sarah Dalej' KillingU', 

John Neal Danbury, 

Timothy Bonticou New Haven, 

Thomas Thompson " 

Daniel Russell " 

John Row(e) " 

John Ford Milford, 

Richard Flynn Woodstock, 

Benjamin Frizzel " 

Jeremiah Kinney Windham Co., 

John Lane, Jr Killingw-orth, 

Patt O'Conele, a soldier in the Crown 

Point expedition 

John McMunnun, the same 

David Lacy Fairfield, 

James Tracy Windham, 

James McGunigle, ist lieutenant 

Patrick Walsh, adjutant 

Patrick Thompson and Son New 

London * 

Dennis IMaraugh and wife.. Coventry, '" 

John Tully Sas'brook, 

John Cochran 

Mr. Kelly Simsbur}', 

Patrick Butler Goshen, 

Stephen Tracy New London, 

Michael Ball Colchester, 

Patrick Fleming Waterbury , 

William Larrows Stratford, * 







1 761 


' Alexander de Resseguie, formerlj- of Ridgefield, settled in Norwalk in 1709. He 
was a descendant of Dominigue de Resseguier, who in 1579 resigned his position as 
Secular Abbot of the Church of St. Afrodise de Beziers, Languedoc. 

'Year of his death. Short was the first printer in the colony of Connecticut. — 
'■'■History of Neiti Londo7i," page 351. 

'The founders of the town of Union and were from Ireland. 

Rev. Timotln- Collins was ordained a minister, June 19, 1723, and w^as located at 
Litchfield. Dismissed October 14, 1752. He was of Irish, and, probably, of Catholic 

In 1743 there was one " Papist " in Stratford ; so wrote the Rev. Samuel Johnson to 
the London secretary in his Notitia Parochialis, April 6th. 

* Sellers of merchandise. 

^The former died in December, 1767; the latter in October. Both were buried from 
the " First Church." Married December 29, 1763. The records of births, baptisms and 
marriages of the First Church, Coventry, contain many Irish names that are suggestive 
of Catholic antecedents, as John W. Murph}-, Daniel, Cornelius and Cornelia Looniis, 
Elizabeth Murphy, Timoth}- Dunmick, Mary Boynton, Dennis Maraugh, Abraham Col- 
lins, etc. 

' Described in the public records as a French transient, probably one of the Acadian 


Louis Cooley (CouUie) '1770 John Farlej- Hartford, 1772 

Michael Magee Hartford, 1770 Morte (Murtagh or Mortimer) SuUi- 

Two Catholics in Simsbury, ' 1771 van New London,' 1773 

Timothy Roes Coventry, 1771 William McCauley New Haven, 1773 

Timothy Reynolds Greenwich, John Lamb New London, ' 1774 

lieutenant 1771 Frederick Barene Waterbury, 1776 

Thomas Fanning Groton, captain, 1771 Captain Richard McCarthy New 

John McDonald Hartford, 1772 London ' 1779 

Daniel Burns New London, 1772 John Meramble Woodbury, ' 1780 

Anna Maloney " 1772 Mr. Phillips Litchfield, 17S0 

William Orr Hartford, 1772 Barney Kinnej- New London, ' 1781 

Patrick Robertson New London, 1772 Patrick Ward Groton, ' 1781 

Captain Callaghan " 1772 Timothy Coleman Coventry, 1785 

' On record as a French captive and either an Acadian or one of the prisoners in the 
wars against Cape Breton. 

'■■Rev. Mr. Viets, of Simsbury, Connecticut, on December 26, 1771, wrote to Lon- 
don : " I know of but two professed Papi.sts and one Deist in Symsbury. All of them 
come often to church, and one of the Romans lately procured me to baptize one of his 
children, and behaved with much devotion during the occasion." Hist. P. E. Ck. Conn., 
page 172. 

'Described in the records as a " foreigner." He died some time previous to 1767. 
His name appeared in connection with a note for /368, which he held against a certain 
David McCullum, of St. Croix. Before his death he placed the note in the hands of Wil- 
liam Potter, at whose house he died. The result was considerable litigation, and the case 
was finally brought before the General As.sembly for adjudication. " Puh. Rtc. of Conn.,'' 
Vol. IX., p. 114. 

* He was subsequently captain of a brig called the " Irish Gimblet." 

In the list of names of the persons killed by the British troops at New Haven, July 
5 and 6, 1779, is that ol Jolui Kennedy. " Hist, and Aniiquilics of New Haven," p. 125. 

Lawrence Sullh'an, from Connecticut, was taken prisoner at the Tsattle of Bunker 
Hill and was released Februarj' 24, 1776. 

At the period of the American Revolution, James Mooklar, an Irishman, was en- 
gaged in business on Main street, Hartford. He was a barber b3' occupation, and, prob- 
ably the first to follow that vocation in this State. His shop was located between Cur- 
rier's cabinet shop and a school house. Adjoining the school was the Society Meet- 
ing House. The first printing office in Hartford was in a room over Mooklar's shop. In 
this oflice, owned bj- Mr. Green, Mr. George Goodwin, for manj- j-ears the senior editor 
of the Hartford Courant, served his apprenticeship, which he began at the age of eight or 
nine years. Almost directly opposite Mooklar's .shop was the residence of John Chene- 
vard, a Frenchman, b}' occupation a sea captain. " Conn. Hist. Coll." 

^Wrecked in a storm ofT Plum Island, May 27, 1779, when himself and five sailors 

" Described as " an Irishman." 

' Both were killed at the massacre of Fort Griswold b}- the British, 1781. 

Kinney was buried in the " First Ground," at New London. Ward was a lieuten- 
ant. His remains were interred in the ' Old Ground," at Poquonoc. On a stone over 
his grave was inscribed these words ; 

" In memory of Mr. 

Patrick Ward, who 

fell a victim to 

British cruelty in Fort 

Griswold, Sept. 6lh 

1781 in the 25th 

year of his age." 


Joseph Manly Coventry, 17S6 Daniel O'Brien New London, 1795 

Patrick Butler Hartford, 1793 John Callahan " " 1796 

Richard Kearney New London, 1793 Henry McCabe " " 1796 

Patrick Thomas' John Sweeney Hartford, 1799 

Joanne (Jeanne) Duboin Hartford, ' 1791 Patrick Munn " 1799 

Daniel Vibert East Hartford, 179 1 Pierce Marshall " 1799 

Pierce O'Neil Sinisbury, 1793 Hugh McFadden New London, 1801 

vSignor Rosetti Haftford, ^ 1794 John McGinley " " 1801 

Patrick Lucas New London, 1794 Michael Dawley " " iSoi 

James Mageness " " 1794 Hugh Ward " " 1801 

John Fogarty " " 1794 John ]\IcGuire Pomfret, iSoi 

The son of a Mrs. Garvan 1794 John Conley Glastonbur3', 1801 

Timoth}' Gurley and Marj' Mead • Terrance O'Brien New London, * 1804 

Coventry, '1794 Captain O'Brien. 

Widow O'Brien New Haven, 1794 Captain Hale}' ... 

Brian Doughert}' West Hartford, 1794 John Quinn 

John O'Brien New London, 1795 John Burke 

Nancy O'Brien " " 1795 John Owen 



' 1804 



' In the li^t of expenses paid by Connecticut for the capture of Ticonderoga and 
adjacent posts occurs the name of an Irishman, and, no doubt, a Catholic : " To Patrick 
Thomas, for boarding prisoners, £\. 5s." " Rev. IVar.'' III., p. 663. 

On July 2, 178S, Captain Chapman, with nine emigrants from Ireland, were drowned 
a short distance from the shore of Fisher's Island. He had just arrived with about twenty 
emigrants, some of whom were ill. In attempting to land them at. a spot where they 
were to be placed in quarantine, the}' all perished. 

The Schooner " St. Joseph," Captain Thomas Guion of Hartford, left Cape Francois, 
1790. This captain was undoubtedly .a Catholic. 

Arrived Mrs. Hall and ]\Ir. Keating in Brig " Patty " from Dublin, August, 1790, at 
New London. The Brig " Patt}' " was advertised as sailing from New Haven bound for 
" Vear Ireland." 

Died at Cork in Ireland, on the 5th of March, 1791, Captain Forbes, in the 58th year 
of his age. He was a native of Hartford, but had resided in Ireland for many years 
previous to his death. 

Major John Byrne, Norwich, 1790 — was a printer. About this time he went to 
Windham, where he began the publication of the Phccnix, or Windliam Herald. In 1795 
he was the postmaster of Woodstock, and in 1807 a rnember of the Aqueduct Company 
of Windham. 

^ Was from St. Domingo, and was buried from North Church, Hartford. 

'An Italian miniature painter. 

< Married March 6th, in "First Church," Coventry. 

^From the Connecticut Gazette. — Mr. Terrance O'Brien, a native of Ireland, but who 
had been a resident of New Haven for several years past, was set upon in New London 
harbor by a Lewis Willcox and severely " maimed and bruised." Willcox was imprisoned 
at Simsbury, for six years, in October, 1804. 

"The Gazette of Nov. 28, 1804, has this advertisement: "John Quinn, a tailor, offers 
to make a coat for 2 dollars, a great coat for i dollar and 50 cents, pantaloons for i dollar, 
a vest for 75 cents. He will cut a coat for 42 cents, a pantaloons for 17 cents and a vest 
for 17 cents." 

' Married at Hebron, October 17, 1S04, to Sally 'Xlvctx^W.— Gazette. 

*" Oct. 24, 1S04. Married at Port Principe, Cuba, Mr. John Owen, of New London, 
to Dona Maria del Rosario de Quesuada." — Ibid. 


Don Joseph Wiseman. ..New London, '1804 John Mj-nean (Moj'nihan) 

William Kelly " " 1805 New Ix)ndon, 180^ 

William Burke " " 1805 Benjamin Sullivan " " 1805 

Joseph Healy " " 1805 

From lists of advertised letters published in the Connecticut Gazette 
between 1793 and 1797, I have copied some names that indicate the residence 
of a number of Catholics in New London in those years. The names following 
with those given elsewhere show that a respectable congregation of Catholics 
could have been assembled in that town during the closing years of the 
eighteenth century- : 

October 7, 1793: — Charles Bassentene, M. Chevalier, M. Contage, Mons. Dechans, 
M. Dupor, MM. DelpuU and Lilet, Louis Mamene, ]SL Ressaud, M. Raydessile. Peter 
Doyle, Richard Kernej'. 

April 24, 1794: — Le Comte de Bannay, M. Pierre, M. Saudrey. iL Peterin, M. Icara, 
July 14th. 

January 21, 1796: — M. Dutue, Madam de Leger, ^L K. le Vergeul, John Malouey. 

January 16, 1797: — NL Godefrov, M. Bennoi Ltcroi.x. 

July 1st : — M. Mauconduit, I\L Dupony, Richard Brenuan, Pardon Ryon (Rj-an). 

The following names taken from, tombstone inscriptions indicate probable 
Catholic descent: 

From New Haven : — 

Peter Perit, died April 8, 1791, Aged 84. 
Thaddeus Perit, died August 3, 1806. Aged 51. 
Anthony Perit, died Jul\- 15, 1816. Aged 72. 

From Guilford : — 

Mrs. Dorothy Breed, died Sept. 3, 1777. Aged 48. 
Daughter of Patrick McLaren, of Middletown. 
She was born Sept. 25, 1728: died at Branford. 

If names be any criterion upon which to base a judgment, the above 
list may be summoned as evidence that Catholics were a numerous, though 
a scattered body, in Connecticut upwards of two hundred and fifty years 
ago. With some exceptions, these names are redolent of the Green Isle 
and deeply suggestive of the faith preached by Ireland's glorious apos- 
tle. Like thousands of their fellow-couutrjineu since, they maj- have 
voluntarily fled from the despots that were spreading desolation broadcast 
over their beloved native land ; or, what is more probable, they, or some 
of them, may have been among the hapless exiles whom the cruelty of Crom- 
well, and Ireton, and Ludlow, deported to the shores of the New World. 
Their names exhale a Catholic fragrance. They have nought in common 
with Covenanter or Puritan. Strangers in a strange land, but with faith 
deeply implanted in hearts loyal to holy church, recognizing the existence of 

'This note appears in the Gazelle of June 24, 1804: 

Don Jo.seph Wiseman, " Vice Consule de L. M C. para los estados de Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire et Vermont, "communicates certain inform- 
ation to the public from Newport." It is nol imi)robable that this Spanish oflicial was a 
relative of Cardinal Wiseman, who was born at Seville of an Irish family who settled in 


a life beyond the grave and fully conscious of the responsibilities of the pre- 
sent life, we may fondly cherish the belief that in the midst of trials and 
sorrows they held fast to the faith of their fathers, though deprived of the 
salutary ministrations of its anointed teachers. If they were disciples of the 
ancient faith, and I believe they were, they lived, moved and had their 
spiritual being without the consoling presence of their spiritual guides and 
deprived of all the consolations of religion, save those that come from faith- 
ful adherence to the teachings of childhood. And what a trial this must 
have been to the devoted, loyal Catholic heart! But, all circumstances con- 
sidered, we may, and not without reason, fear that some of them parted com- 
pany with their spiritual mother, the church, and formed other affiliations. 
Deprived of the joy, and strength, and encouragement which the presence of 
a priest ever inspires in the faithful Catholic, living in the midst of a people 
deeply hostile to the old faith, environed by influences that tended to chill, 
if not to utterly destroy, Catholic fervor, it would not be surprising, humanly 
speaking, if some unfortunates wandered from the fold into strange pastures. 

But I am not of the number who believe that the early Irish Catholic 
immigrants went over in large numbers to Protestantism or lapsed into in- 
fidelity. Notwithstanding the influences by which they were surrounded, I 
am convinced that the vast majority of our immigrant ancestors sturdily 
maintained intact the priceless gift of faith. They had suffered too severely 
on account of their religion to surrender it easily. The Puritans of New 
England, whose antipathy to Catholics and the Catholic church was deeply 
rooted and inexplicable, were not more successful in their assaults upon the 
strongholds of faith erected in their hearts than were Cromwell and his suc- 
cessors. " The immigrants themselves never lost the faith. Although 
living for years without any exterior help, without receiving a word of in- 
struction or advice, without the celebration of any religious rite whatever, or 
the reception of any sacrament, yet faith was too deeply rooted in tlieir 
minds and hearts to be ever eradicated, or shaken even. 

" But though they themselves clung fast to their faith in the midst of so 
many adverse circumstances, what of their children ? 

" There is no doubt that many of them did, individually, everything 
possible to transmit that faith to their children ; but all they could do was to 
speak privately, to warn them against dangers, and set up before them the 
example of a blameless life. Not only was there no priest to initiate them 
into the mysteries granted by Christ to the redeemed soul ; there was not 
even a Catholic schoolmaster to instruct them. Even the ' Hedge School ' 
could not be set on foot. Books were unknown; Catholic literature, in the 
modern sense, had not yet been born; there was no vestige of such a thing 
beyond, perhaps, an occasional old, worn, and torn, yet deeply prized and 
carefully concealed prayer-book, dating from the happy days of the Con- 
federation of Kilkenny." ' 

These pathetic words find corroboration in the Birth and Marriage Records 

' Thebauds " Irish Race." 
11— 4 


of the Colonies. They bear witness to the not unfrequent union of Catholic and 
Puritan names ; and these unions were contracted not in the presence and 
with the blessing of the priest, but in accordance with the formulas of the 
religion by law established. The children of these marriages were re- 
generated, if at all, by waters poured by other than anointed hands. Xo 
bishop was here to sign their foreheads with the chrism of salvation, nor was 
there for them the gladsome day of first communion. They saw no sacred 
enclosure in wliich the prodigal might with .sorrow kneel and humbly peti- 
tion for the blessing and mercy of his heavenly Father. The sick went out 
from life unshriven and unanointed, and the dead were consigned to the 
grave with no solemn chant or liturgy, with no lights, or incense, or holy 
water, and with no lips — save in secret — to breathe forth a prayer for the 
eternal of their .souls. "There is no reason, then, for surprise in the 
fact that, although the families of first Irish settlers were numerous and 
scattered over all the district which afterward became the Middle and 
Southern States, only a faint tradition remained among many of them that 
they reallv belonged to the old church and ' ought to be Catholics.' " 

The religious atmosphere that permeated the New England Colonies was 
deleterious, not merely to the growth, but even to the preservation of the 
Catholic .spirit ; and if defections are to be recorded, they are attributable not 
to any desire to surrender the ancient faith and yield assent to strange doc- 
trines, but solely to the ab.sence of all those spiritual influences so dearly 
cherished by their ancestors. 



IX the following pages we shall submit detailed evidence that Catholics 
were both transient and permanent residents in Connecticut in very 
early times. The public records furnish abundant testimony that the 
Irish, French, Spanish and Portuguese not only were frequent visitors 
to our harbors as traders with the colonists, but that many of them found here 
permanent homes. We shall witness a large number coming within our 
borders under compulsion and residing in homes that were not their own. 
Brought hither by the cruel fortunes of war, they were compelled to employ 
their God-given faculties of mind and body to increase the worldly possessions 
of men who had no claim whatever upon their services; and the sole com- 
pensation for their toil were the crumbs that fell from their masters' tables. 
The unchristian manner in which they were disposed of is a melancholy com- 
mentary on the animus then prevalent against Catholics and throws a flood 
of light on the anti-Catholic legislation of that period of our history. 

Though the facts which we shall now present to the reader have no con- 
nection with one another, they are set down as events worthy of preservation. 
In 1662 a French family, Modlin by name, appears in the town records 
of Stratford. They were in straitened circumstances, but the means em- 
oloyed to mitigate their sad condition were not in accordance with the 


methods that now prevail iu similar circumstances. The following entry, 
extracted from the Stratford Town Records, tells a plaintive story : 

" This indenture made the 24th of June, 1662, vvitnesseth that we the townsmen of 
Stratford upon good and serious considerations moving us thereunto, doe bind out one 
Modlin, a little girl about six 3'earsof age.that formerly did belong to a Frenchman that 
was in necessity upon the town of Stratford ; we say, to John Minor of Stratford, to him, 
his heirs and assigns, till the aforesaid girl shall attayne the age of twenty-one years ; 
we say we bind her with her father's consent ; also a lawful apprentice to the aforesaid 
John Minor till the aforesaid term of tyme shall be fully and completely ended. 

" The aforesaid John Minor engages to provide her with apparel and diet and bed- 
ding as may be suitable for such an apprentice. 

"That this is our act and deed, and witnessed by subscribing the day and date 
above written. 

" Richard Booth, John Brinsmade, ~1 

" William Curtis, Caleb Nicholas, [- Townsmen." 

"Jeremiah Judson. J 

In the same records we find evidence of the presence in Stratford in 1679 
of an Irishman bearing the familiar name of Daniel Collins. In the local 
legislation, of which he was the object, he was the victim, probably, of a law 
then in vogue, forbidding unmarried young men to keep house by themselves, 
and prohibiting masters of families giving them entertainment :' 

" Memoranda, that upon the 29th day of September, 1679, Sergt. Jeremiah Judson, 
constable, b\- order of the Selectmen was sent and forewarned Phillip Denman and his 
mate Collins out of the town or from settling or abiding in any part of our bounds. 

" And upon the 12th of November, 1679, Pbillip Denman and Daniel Collins b}' the 
townsmen, were warned as above." 

In 1679 the English Committee for Trade and Foreign Plantations wrote 
to Governor lyCete of the Colony of Connecticut, requesting him "to trans- 
mit a clear and full account of the present state of said Colony." Among 
the queries propounded was this: "What number of Privateers or Pyratts 
do frequent your coast?" Governor Leete replied: "It is rare that ever 
comes any here on these dangerous coasts, only about two years agoe there 
came a French Captain called Lamoine' with 3 ships, one of which wintered 
at New London, and in ye Spring went off to sea ; {and one of them he 
carry ed to Yorke; the other was sunk at Yorkey)^ 

The ship that "wintered at New London " was in command of Captain 
Lamoine, and was a man-of-war. As it was customary for ships of war of 
France and other Catholic countries to carry chaplains, we may infer that the 
captain and his crew during their winter's sojourn at New London experienced 
the consolations of assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and of receiving 
the precious graces of the sacraments. 

' See p. 35. 

^" About fifteen years ago," wrote Edw. Randolph to the Lords of Committee in 
May, 1689, " Captain I'Moin, a Frenchman, brought in two or three very rich Dutch 
prizes worth above one hundred thousand pounds." " Documents rel. to Hist, of N. Y.," 
III., 582. 

' "Colonial Records of Conn.," 1678-1689, p. 296. 


Tlie most prominent Catholic layman to visit Connecticut in the seven- 
teenth century was Colonel Thomas Dongan, Governor of the colony of New 
York. He came to ^Milford in 1685 to confer with Governor Treat concern- 
ing the eastern boundary line between the two colonies. Commissioners had 
been appointed by New York and Connecticut to adjust the boundaries, 
and their report had been submitted. On February 23d their agreement 
received the signatures of the two governors in ratification. During his 
brief stay in Milford Governor Dongan, whom Governor Treat called "a 
noble gentleman," was the recipient of honors befitting his high station, 
as appears from a curious item in the Public Records of Connecticut^ ^lay, 
1685 : 

"This Court grants Sam" Adkins five pounds, as their charity towards 
the damage he received in shooting of a great gun when Gov. Dcjugan was 
last at Milford." 

In 1700 a party of Frenchmen traveled through the State from Milford to 
Albany. This was probably the Canadian embassy which arrived at the Onon- 
daga Castle July 24, 1700. Its object was to some differences that had 
arisen between the whites and the Indians. The embassy comprised Mons. 
de Maricourt, Rev. Father Rrouyas, a Jesuit, and eight others, some of whom 
were officers. Maricourt was one of the principal men of Canada. He and 
Father Brouyas were familiar with the Indian languages.' While in Con- 
necticut the embassy were the guests of the colony, as we learn from the fol- 
lowing enactment of May, 1700: 

" Ordered by this Assembly, etc., That the charges expended about the French-meiis 
entertainm' that travailed from Milford towards Albanie shall be paid out of the treasury 
of the Colonic, so farre as the bills signd correspond with the law." 

On August 3, 1704, New London was thrown into a state of fear by 
the appearance of a great ship and two sloops, said to be seen at Block 
Island, and supposed to be French." If these vessels were French men- 
of-war, they were officered and manned by Catholics and Catholic devotions 
were practiced. 

At a meeting of the Governor and Council at New London, November 
II, 1710, it was ordered that the Commissary, Richard Christophers, pay to 
folui Lane, of Middletown, a soldier in the expedition against Port Royal, 
for his extraordinary care and service in tending several sick soldiers, the sum 
of twenty shillings. 

At a meeting of the .same Council on November iSth the Commi.ssary 
was ordered to pa\- to Simon Miirfe twelve shillings as part of his wages as a 
sailor on board the " Mary Gaily," one of the colony's transports in the same 

Lane and Murfe (Murphy) are familiar names, and there should be no 
difficulty in establishing their origin. 

^ Doc. rcl. to Col. Hist, of N. }'., Vol. IV. 

^ Caul kins' Hist, of Ne7v London. 

'^ Council Journal of Conn., 1710, pp. 191-192. 


The minutes of the meeting of the Council in New London, February 
17, 1710, contain this interesting item ; 

"Two Frenchmen, with six attendants, who came from Canada, in company with 
Major Leviugstone, with a message from the Governour of Canada to the Governour of 
Massachusetts, came to this place the last night ; for whom it was ordered that eight 
horses be provided at the Colonj''s charge, to carry them into the government of Rhoad 
Island, and that their necessary charges while they are in this place and upon the road, 
until they get into the government of Rhoad Island be also defra3-ed by the Colony." ' 

The two envoys, Messrs. Dnpius and Rouville, one of whom was proba- 
bly a priest, " and retinue, were Catholics. Their itinerary included also 
Hartford and Colchester. The expenses incurred by their sojourn were borne 
by the Colony of Connecticut, as we gather from the records : 

" Ordert-d, that the treasurer paj' out of Colonj''s money unto Captain John Prentts 
the sum of nine pounds thirteen shillings, which is granted him upon the account of the 
French messengers from the Governour of Canada, their entertainment at his house.' 

The visit of the envoys to Hartford entailed expense as follows : 

"March 19th, 1710-11. 

" To Thomas Jiggels of New London, for the bearing and paj-ing the charge of him- 
self John Plumb, and the ten horses the3' came hither with on the nth instant to bring 
the French gentlemen, viz., their charges in going back to New London, £a. 12. 00." * 

In 17 1 7, Rene Cossitt,' or Cossit, or Cossette, a Frenchman, settled at 
Granby, Connecticut. He was born in France, about the year 1690, in the 
Place Vendome, it is said, and was educated at the University of Paris. 
After a visit to Three Rivers, in Canada, he reached New Haven, where he 
met Ruth Porter, whom he subsequently married. She accepted Cossitt on 
the condition that he would never return to France. He was educated a 
Catholic, but after his marriage united with the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Cossitt purchased land in Simsbury in 1725. His death occurred August 11, 

At this distance of time it is idle to speculate as to the causes that led to 
Rene Cossitt' s defection from the faith of his ancestors. The absence of 
priests, the dearth of Catholic neighbors, the total lack of Catholic influ- 
ences and the spirit of hostility to Catholics then prevalent, as exemplified in 
vicious legislation, were, no doubt, among the causes that led many, at least 
into material apostasy. The anti-Catholic spirit was particularly active in 
Cossitt's home. In December, 1741, it was voted at Simsbury "that any 
orthodox minister who has a right to preach the gospel, may, upon the desire 
of any considerable ntimber of persons, with the consent of two of the Society's 

' "Pub. Rec. of Conn.," 1706-1716, p. 197. 

- It was customary with the government of Canada to appoint a priest on all embas- 
sies of importance. 

' " Pub. Rcc. of Co7tn.," 1706-1716, p. ig8. 

* " Pub. Rec. of Conn." 1706-1716, p. 202. 

'" " The Cossitt Family," by Pearl S. Cossitt, pp. 6, 7. 

^Phelps' "-History of Simsbury, Granby and Canton," from 1642 to 1845, makes no 
allusion whatever to Cossitt. 


Committee, have liberty to preach in the meeting-house on any day, not dis- 
turbing any other religious meeting otherwise orderly established." At a 
subsequent meeting "'popish priests" were excluded from this license.' 

In the case of Rene Cossitt there was the additional cause of perversion 
in his marriage with a member of a hostile church conditional upon the 
complete severance of the ties that bound him to the tender and sacred influ- 
ences and scenes of his youth, where, no doubt, like other French children 
of his age, he had received his first Holy Communion and had been enrolled 
among the soldiers of Jesus Christ in Confirmation by the venerable Cardinal 
de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris. 

An interesting entry is found in tlie marriage records of New London : 

"Allan Mullins' chinirgeou (surgeon) son of Doctor Alexander Mullins of Gahvay 
Ireland, was married to Abigail, daughter of John Butler, of New I/^ndon, April 8th, 


There are reasons to believe that the parties to this marriage were Catho- 
lics, or, at least, of Catholic descent. 

About three miles from New London, in a southwesterly direction, lies 
the town of Waterford, whose first settlers were Thomas and John Butler, 
about 1 68 1. The name of Waterford was, no doubt, given to their new home 
in honor of the old, the beautiful cit}' on the banks of the Suir. As the pop- 
ulation of the Irish city was then, as now, overwhelmingly Catholic, it is not 
unreasonable to infer that the founders of the Connecticut Waterford were 
Irish Catholics. Thomas Butler died December 20, 1701, aged 59 years; 
John Butler died March 26, 1733, aged 80 years. "Very few of the descend- 
ants of Thomas and John Butler are now (1852) found in the vicinity ; but 
the hills and crags have been charged to keep their name, and they have 
hitherto been faithful to their trust. In the western part of Waterford is a 
sterile, hard-favored district, with abrupt hills, and more stone and rock tlian 
soil, which is locally called Butlcr-Toioi, a name derived from this ancient 
family of Butlers."-^ 


fHK wars waged by the English against the P'rench were instrumental 
in increasing the Catholic population of Connecticut. Tlie victors 
returned with many of the vanquished. The conquered were to wit- 
ness no generosity ; experience no magnanimity from their conquerors. Their 
cup of humiliation was full ; they must drain its very dregs. 

When Cape Breton, which now forms part of Nova Scotia, was taken by 
the English in 1745, a number of French prisoners fell into the hands of the 
Connecticut troops, and were subsequently brought into the State. They 

' Phelps' "History of Simsbury," p. 167. 

^Mullins' name appears afterwards as Master in the " Bartlett School" of New 
London for the year 1734. " Hist. 0/ New London." 
' " J list, of New London." 


were domiciled at New Haven in July, 174S, in the custody of Samuel Miles, 
captain of one of the Colony's transports. As no provisions had been made 
for the support or disposal of prisoners of war, the General Assembly in July, 
1745, directed Miles to transfer the prisoners to the custody of Joseph Whit- 
ing, Esq., who was empowered to bind out to service such of the prisoners as 
were willing to labor at such places and with such persons as would seem to 
him proper. The prisoners, however, who were unwilling or unable to go 
out to service were to be confined in the common jail at New Haven at the 
expense of the Colon)-. 

It was further provided that when any prisoner was ordered out to ser- 
vice by Whiting, the person taking him was to give a bond to the Governor 
and Company of the Colony — the amount to be named by Whiting — to the 
effect that as long as the prisoner remained at service the government was 
exempt from all expense in maintaining him, and that such prisoner should 
be returned to be exchanged or otherwise disposed of as soon as an order to 
this effect was received from the Governor. In the event of the prisoner 
effecting his escape, his master was to notify the Governor immediately. 

In anticipation of the arrival in future of French and Spanish prisoners 
from Cape Breton and other places, provision was made, July, 174S, for their 
safe keeping and disposal as follows : 

" Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Represetitatives in General Court Assembled, and 

by the authority of the same, 

" That when and so often as any French or Spanish prisoners shall be brought into 
any port or harbor in this colony, the master of the ship or vessel in which such prisoners 
shall be brought shall forthwith inform the Governor of the colony, for the time being, 
thereof ; and his Honor, the Governor, is hereby desired and fully impowered to make 
such orders as he shall think proper, either for confining such prisoners in gaol or order- 
ing him out into service in this colon}'." ' 

The number of prisoners brought to New Haven from Cape Breton is not 
known. No doubt, it was a numerous band, and as Whiting had authority 
to bind them out at will to service, they were, probably, distributed in the 
various sections of the State. In 1748 we find them in Hartford, New Haven, 
New London, Fairfield and Windham counties in numbers sufficiently strong 
to call forth a proclamation from King George II., wherein he forbade his 
subjects in the Colonies to engage in trade and commerce with the subjects 
of the King of France " during the time of open war." The royal proclama- 
tion was forwarded to the sheriffs of the above-named counties, "so his 
Majesty's subjects may be made acquainted therewith." ^ 

In 1756 war was again declared between France and England. In this 
struggle Connecticut furnished 5,000 men. At the fall of Fort Niagara in 
1759, a number of French prisoners were captured by our forces, brought into 
Connecticut, and immured in his Majesty's gaols at Hartford and New Haven. 
They were kept in confinement until early in 1761.^ The keeper of the 
Hartford prison bore a familiar name, John Coleman. 

' " Pub. Rec. of Conn.," Vol. IX., p. 152. ' 

' " Pub. Rec. of Conn.," Vol. IX., p. 360. 
^bid, Vol. XI., p. 558. 


About this time another contingent of French prisoners was brought into 
New London by a vessel which violated the laws regulating the control 
and disposal of prisoners of war.' To prevent them from roaming at large 
they were incarcerated in the common gaol of New London county." 

Tlie prisoners captured in both wars with the French, and who were 
imprisoned or bound out to ser\'ice at Hartford, New Haven, New London 
and elsewhere, were undoubtedly Catholics, and, we are privileged to believe, 
loyal to the church of whose holy ministrations they were deprived. Under 
other and more favorable circumstances the advent at that time of so many 
Catholics, who, no doubt, were competent to give a reason for the faith that 
was in them, would have exercised a mellowing influence upon the stern and 
uncompromising subjects of his British Majesty ; but the influence tliat envi- 
roned them as captives were not favorable to tlie dissemination of Catholic 
ideas. What became of them is not known. Some of them were probably 
exchanged, while others served long terms of impri.sonment or remained 
bound out to service, until, under tlie influence of time and environment 
they became resigned to their lot, intermarried with women of the prevailing 
creed and gradually drifted away from the faith into which they had been 
baptized. We know that many of them were the wards of the government 
from 1759 to 1761. During that period were they faithful to the salutary 
teachings of mother, priest and church ? Deprived of the consolations and 
graces of the Mass and sacraments were they in their hours of trial and 
humiliation possessed with the desire to be nourished and strengthened by 
these channels of divine grace? God alone knows. We would fain hope 
that tried in the crucible of suflTeriug they were purified and remained in inti- 
mate union with God ; that, faithful in adversity they received after death 
the crown of a blessed immortalitj-. 


(SjY'N November, 1752, "an unhappy event^ took place, dishonorable to the 
HI Colony, injurious to foreigners, and which occasioned a great and general 
aLL uneasiness and many unfriendly suspicions and imputations, with respect 
to some of the principal characters of the Colony. ' ' A Spanish vessel, the 
"St. Joseph and St. Helena," of which Don Joseph Miguel de St. Juan was 
supercargo, bound from Havana to Cadiz, being in distress, put into the port 
of New London. On entering the harbor the ship struck upon a reef of rocks 
and became so badly damaged that it became necessary to unload lier. She 
carried a crew of forty men. Her cargo consisted of indigo and other tropical 
products, besides a large quantity of gold and silver in coin and bullion ; when 
the vessel was relieved of her cargo, forty chests of money were consigned to 

^''Pub. Rcc. of Conn.," Vol. IX., p. 152. 
» " Pub. AV<-. of Conn.," Vol. XI., p. 504. 
'Trumbell's " Hist, of Conn.," Vol. I., p. 250. 


the care of Colonel Saltonstall and the remainder was entrusted to Joseph 
Hull, collector of the port. Wlien ready to sail in the following spring Don 
Miguel discovered that nuich of his cargo, but particularly the money con- 
signed to Saltonstall, could not be found. After months of vain endeavor to 
recover his missing property or obtain compensation therefor, he addressed a 
memorial to the General Assembly, October i6, 1753, praying "for remedy 
and relief." ' Here also he was doomed to disappointment. Failing to obtain 
redress Don Miguel officiall)' notified the King of Spain of his grievances. 
The Spanish government lodged a complaint at the English Court against 
the representatives of the English Crown at New London. A British man- 
of-war, the "Triton," carrying forty guns, was despatched to New London to 
be ready for any emergency. Prior to the arrival of this vessel the General 
Assembly enacted the following : 

"Resolved bv this Asseiublv, That his Honour the Governor be, and he is hereby, 
desired to prepare a representation of the case relating to the Spanish ship Si. Joseph 
and St. Helena, which came in to the harbor of New London in distress in November, 
1752, with the necessary evidences relating thereto. And in case a ship of war be sent 
hither on that occasion, Jonathan Trumble and Roger Wolcott, Jun'., Esq"., are appointed 
to repair to New London with such instructions from his Honour the Governor as shall 
appear to him necessary to be given for the conduct of the affair ; and the above men- 
tioned representation and evidences to be properly delivered to the captain of the ship, to 
be transmitted to his Majesty's Secretary of State, to be laid before his Majesty, with 
such other matters and things as shall appear needful on receipt of such letters as may be 
sent on the occasion." '' 

The result of the Commissioners' labors was the sailing from New Lon- 
don in a vessel secured by the Spaniards themselves with the remainder of 
their cargo in January, 1755.^ 

" It was generallv known that the Spaniards had been robbed ; or, at least, that an 
important part of a rich and very valuable cargo had been stolen, embezzled, or, \>y some 
means, lost, or kept back from the owners ; and it occasioned a great ferment through 
the colony." * 

The nationality of this vessel, and especially its name, are direct evidences 
that its officers and crew were Catholics. Being a merchantman, it is not 
probable it carried a chaplain ; nevertheless we are satisfied that the Sundays 
and principal feasts of the year were duly observed with religious exercises 
during their two years' enforced residence at New London. If faithful to the 
customs of their native land, we feel assured that the " St. Joseph and St. 
Helena" was the scene of fervent Catholic devotions on the feast of St. 
James, the patron of Spain." 

It occasional!}' happened that ship masters with an eye more to pecuniary 
profit than consideration for sentiment or common honesty indulged in the 
vicious practice of kidnapping youths when in distant ports and bringing them 

' " Pub. Rec. of Conn.,'" Vol. X., p. 235. 

^ " Pub. Rec. of Conn.," Vol. X., pp. 4S5-486. 

' " Hist, of New London." 

*Trurabeirs "Hist, of Conn.," Vol. L, p. 251. 

*July 25th. 


home to sell as slaves. Sometimes the victims brought their grievances 
before the colonial authorities, which resulted in the severe but just punish- 
ment of the offender. An instance occurred in 1755, which well illustrated 
the avarice of the shipowner and the justice of the General Assembly.' 

In this memorial to the A.ssembly Joseph D'Ming (or Demink) declared 
that he was a native and free-born subject of the King of Portugal, and an 
inhabitant of the island of Bravo, one of the Cape de Verde Islands ; that 
being on the island of Bonavista, another of the Cape de Verde Islands, in 
March, 1755, and having spent some time there, was desirous of returning to 
his home on the island of Bravo. At Bonavista he met one Phineas Cook, of 
Wallingford, who informed him that, as his vessel was bound for the Bar- 
badoes, he would put in at Bravo and land D'Ming. The captain offered 
him a free passage which the unsuspecting Portuguese accepted. Cook, 
however, refused to land D'Ming at Bravo, but brought him to Wallingford, 
where he was sold as a slave. In February, 1757, D'Ming petitioned the 
Assembly for redress. The Assembly pronii)tly acceded to his request by 
appointing one Captain Thomas Seymour of Hartford, to take D'Ming into 
his care and keeping, and to secure him from any violence or ill-usage at the 
hands of Cook until the next meeting of the Assembly. Cook was ordered 
to appear before .said Assembly to plead to the charges preferred against him. 

The Assembly convened in May of the same \ ear. Having fully heard 
the allegations and pleadings of both parties, the Assembly judged that 
D'Ming was cruelly deceived and treated with outrage. It was, therefore, 
ordered that Cook pay over to D'Ming twenty pounds for damages, a fine of 
fifteen pounds to the treasurer of the Colony for his misdemeanor, as well as 
the cost of the prosecution, amounting to £"]. 13s. 4d, lawful money. Cap- 
tain Seymour, before mentioned, was appointed D' Ming's guardian — as he 
was a minor — to take care of his person and possessions, and in a reasonable 
time to procure for him a passage home. 

Let us hope that the unfortunate youth who put his trust in honeyed 
words was soon again in the fond embrace of his sorrow-stricken parents, and 
that, consoled by their presence and strengthened by the practice of his reli- 
gious duties, the memory of his captivity gradually faded or gave place to 
fervent prayers for the conversion of his captor. 


EING a port of entry and the centre of considerable maritime activity. 

New London at all times had a larger proportion of foreign residents 

within its borders than other towns in Connecticut. Many sailors 

who came to exchange their cargoes for what New Loudon could 

give in return, settled there permanently, and became identified with the 

commercial interests of the town. Ships of war of France and England 

frequently put into port, where for various reasons they often remained for a 

' •'Pub. Rec. of Conn.," \'ols. X. and XI., Feb'y and May. 


considerable period of time. There is strong probability that the major part 
of these foreign residents were Catholics. The Spaniards certainly were. 
Among the French population there were a few Huguenots, but the greater 
number were, no doubt, members of the Catholic church. Ireland's contribu- 
tions to the population were, with, perhaps, a few exceptions, children of St. 

In 1767-68, the British war-ship "Cygnet," wintering at New London, 
lost its purser. He was the owner of the unmistakably Irish name of John 
Sullivan. Preferring the peaceful pursuits, of civil life and captivated by the 
gay society of the port, he married Elizabeth Chapman and made New Lon- 
don his home' 

. Among the notable characters of New London in the last quarter of 
the eighteenth century was a Thomas Allen, proprietor of a public inn 
known as the '"City Coffee House," the rendezvous for those convivially 
inclined. A feature of his business that secured for him considerable 
patronage was his "Marine List," which appeared at regular intervals 
in Green's Gazette. The List was not a dry recital of sailing dates, arrivals 
and departures. With devotional maxims intended for the spiritual benefit 
of seamen, it was enlivened with bright flashes of wit and humor, inter- 
spersed with other matter wholly irrelevant to maritime intelligence. The 
List first appeared in 1770. It is probable that Allen was an Irishman, and 
some of the reasons for this belief are : the manner in which he advertises in 
his List the sailing of the Brig, "Patty," for ^'' Dear Ireland :^^ his print- 
ing on ]\Iarch 17th, "St. Patrick's Day," in capitals'; his deep hostility 
to the English. On one occasion, he, with others, forcibly took a minister 
of the Church of England from his pulpit and expelled him from the church 
for praying for King George ; from the manner in which he printed the 
name of Bishop Carroll, who visited New London in 1791: 

" Sailed, Monday, June 20, Packet Hull for New York, with whom went 
passenger the Right Rev. FATHER IN GOD, JOHN, Bishop of the United 
States of America." - 

Furthermore, there was a tradition current at New London for many 
years that Allen was an Irishman from the Island of Antigua. At the time 
of which we write he was a communicant of the Episcopal faith and one of 
the wardens of St. James' church. If Thomas Allen was always a Protest- 
ant, his manner of speaking of Bishop Carroll is the more surprising. Such 
acts of courtesy to Catholic clergymen were rarely witnessed in that period 
of our history. Indeed, it would be a source of surprise even in these days 
of greater liberality of religious views to hear a non-catholic speak of a 
Catholic bishop in the terms used by Thomas Allen. 

From very early times the French were represented at New London by 
respectable numbers. With the probable exception of the Irish, they main- 
tained their supremacy in numbers over other foreign elements. They 
came as sailors in merchant vessels and in ships of war. We infer they 

' " Hist, of New London.^' ' Connecticut Gazette. 


were numerous from Thomas Allen's standing advertisement of his inn, 
translated into P'rench, inviting them to partake of his hospitality. De- 
sertions from the vessels in the harbor were frequent, and when they 
occurred, the Connecticut Gazette was employed to assist in the capture 
of the culprits. In \Tji^2, French man-of-war, the "Lyon," commanded 
by Captain Michel, entered the port and remained about three month.s. 
Concerning this ship, this advertisement appeared in the Gazette^ May 28, 

" Deserted from the French Ship, " Lion " (or Lyon), in the Harbor of New London, 
Labe (L'Abbe) Galand, who was under the cliaracter of a Priest on Board, and has taken 
with liini a quantity of silver and gold and paper currency, not his own. lie lias been 
missing about three weeks ; is a short, thick, well-built man, oflight Complexion, large 
black Eyes, short strait black Hair, looks like a Jew. Speaks very little English. Can 
speak French, German, and Latin, has a good notion of Slight of hand, rode a small 
black Horse, had on when he went away, a brown Coat, black Jacket and Breeches, and 
blue Great Coat ; lias a sniall gold watch with a small bell to the chain, which he is very 
fond of showing. Whosoever shall apprehend said pretended priest and return him on 
board said Ship shall have a reward of Two Hundred Dollars paid by me. 

"J. Michel, 

"New London, May 28, 1778. " "Commander of said Ship." 

Was Galand a priest, or a pretended priest, as the advertisement seems 
to insinuate? It would be interesting to know what became of him. To 
return to France would incur the danger of arrest and imprisonment. If a 
true priest, did he perform any sacerdotal functions in the colony ? Or, if a 
pretended priest, did he continue the deception to the detriment of his own 
and the souls of unsuspecting victims ? There is no record that he was ever 
apprehended and punished for his crime. The ship "Lyon" sailed from 
New London, June 14, 1778, for Virginia. On her return voyage to France 
she was captured by a British man-of-war." 

Previous to and during the years (1789- 1794) when France experienced 
the awful horrors of the Revolution ; when she suffered the bloody atrocities 
of men frenzied with the spirit of infidelity, many of her citizens fled and 
sought an asylum in the new world, some of whom settled at New London. 
Here they built up new homes, and accumulated new fortunes, secure from the 
insensate fury of their kinsmen across the sea. As the priesthood of France 
was the special object of the Revolution's hatred, it may be that some of its 
members found a refuge in Connecticut, as they did in other sections of New 
England. John de Cheverus, who became the first Bishop of Boston, and 
his saintly co-laborer in the same field, Francis Matignon, D.D. ; Am- 
brose Marechal, who was consecrated Archbishop of Baltimore in 1817; 
Gabriel Richards, of western fame ; and Francis Ciquard, missionary to 
the Indians on the Penobscot, are but a few of the victims of that politi- 
cal cataclysm, who came hither to spend themselves for the salvation of 

In 1786 the number of French residents in New London must have been 

' Caulkins' " History of New London." 


considerable, as in that year Phillip de Jean was appointed by the French 
Government naval agent at that port. He remained for about eight years, 
when he was transferred to San Domingo. Other names that appear in New 
London about th*'j time are Badet, Bocage, Bourean, Constant, Dupignac, 
Durivage, Girard, La Borde, La Roche, Laurence, Laboissiere, Mallet, 
Montenot, Berean, Poulin, Renouf, Rigault and Rouget.' 

However, not all the French residents of New London were from 
France. They came in great numbers from San Domingo, driven thence 
by an internal warfare that fiercely raged between the whites, blacks and 
mulattoes from 1791 to the end of the century — a struggle that "may well 
be characterized as the most vindictive on record, a struggle which, before 
the close of the eighteenth century, led to the extermination of the once 
dominant Europeans, and the independence of the colored insurgents." 
During these years of riot, insurrection, and bloodshed, a steady stream 
of exiles flowed into New London. They were of every age, class and 
condition, and all were Catholics. After the destruction of Cape Fran- 
cois^ in 1793, a number of French refugees were landed at New London 
from the brig "Sally," Captain Tryon commanding. Later in the same 
year thirty-four more arrived in the brig "Prudence."^ Among the hap- 
less exiles to reach New London was an abbess of a Convent in Cape 

The residents of New London received these homeless wanderers with 
unbounded hospitality. Their sufferings and trials, the loss of their worldly 
possessions appealed strongly to the charity of their hosts. Public inns and 
private dwellings became their homes, though many of the refugees had 
nothing wherewith to make recompense. This generous welcome com- 
pensated in a measure for the cruel hardships they had endured. Captivated 
by the hospitality lavished upon them, many settled among their benefactors 
and established permanent homes. Others wandered here and there through 
the State, weary, heart-broken and penniless, in the endeavor to stifle the 
memory of their misfortunes. 

The unfortunate exiles from San Domingo deserved a better fate. They 
were a virtuous people, peaceable, industrious, grateful and devotedly attached 
to their faith. Like their co-religionists, the Acadians, who also suffered the 
hardsliips and cruelties attendant upon compulsory exile, their hearts ached 
for home, for scenes upon which their eyes would never more rest. They 
were accompanied by devoted priests, who shared the anguish of their souls. 
One of these faithful shepherds was the Rev. Mons. Cibot, Superior-General* 
of the clergy of San Domingo. On August 4, 1793, he preached a sermon 

' " Hist, of New London." 

'Now Cape Haytien ; nearly seven-eighths of the town was de.stroyed. 

'^ Conn. Gazette, July and August, 1793.— In 1791 the Marquis Bragelogue with his 
wife and family and a retinue of seventeen servants arrived at New London. Conn. 
Gazette. — It is estimated that in 1793, 40,000 whites fied from San Domingo to escape the 
fury of the blacks ; many of them landed at the various ports of the United States. 

* Conn. Cour-a?it, September 2, 1793. More likely, Vicar-General. 


at Baltimore,' in wliich he gave fervent and eloquent expression to the feel- 
ings of gratitude that welled tip in his heart. After saying that their own 
sins had drawn upon them their sufferings, lie continued: "It is painful to 
you, perhaps, to hear me speak these truths in a foreign land and in the 
midst of a people, mild, affable, generous and beneficent, who compassionate 
your sufferings and try to erase the memory of them from your minds, and 
have succeeded, at least, in softening their rigor by their generous and 
unanimous consent in affording you relief Oh ! worthy and generous 
inhabitants of Baltimore ! Oh ! all you who dwell on this continent ! Oh ! 
our ])rotliers and benefactors ! may this heroical act of benevolence be told 
and proclaimed amidst all nations of both hemispheres." 

The names of Don Manuel de Valladores, Don Francisco Xavier de 
Arriola, Don Juan de Campderros and Don Gabriel Sistera bear witness to 
their owners' nationality and religion. They were residents of New London 
in 1/73 ^"d later." Sistera was naturalized in 1773, and became a subject of 
the King of Great Britain. To do so it was necessary for him to renounce 
the Pope and den)- the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist. He 
was obliged to take the oaths of allegiance and Supremacy, the declaration 
against " Popery " and the oath of abjuration. The record is as follows :' 

"An Act for the Naturalization of Don Gabriel Sistera. May, 1773.' 
"Whereas Don Gabriel Sistera, a native of Barcelona in the Kingdom of Spain, now 
resident in New London, hath hy his petition preferred to this Assembly, prayed to be 
admitted to the privileges of his Majesty's subjects within this colon}- ; therefore 

" /><• /■/ enacted by the Gimernor, Council and Representath'es in General Court assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, That the said Gabriel Sistera, having taken the oaths of 
allegiance, supremacy and abjuration by law appointed, be, and he is hereby declared to 
be naturalized and entitled to all the privileges, immunities and advantages of his 
Majesty's English subjects born within this colony, as fully and effcctuallj-, to all intents, 
construction and purposes whatsoever, as though he, said Gabriel Sistera, had been born 
within the dominions of and subject to the King of Great Britain ; excepting only such 
privileges and immunities as by law are not competent to foreigners who have been or 
are naturalized." 

Gabriel Sistera was a sea captain, and carried on an extensive trade 
between Spanish ports, New London and the West Indies. He came to New 
London from Barcelona in 1771 with his son Gabriel. One of his descendants, 
Charles Sistera, was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1848, while 
another, Joseph C Sistera, was among the first to find a resting place in Cedar 
Grove cemetery, New London, November 23, 185 1." 

' On the 9th of July, 1793, iifty-three vessels arrived at the port of Baltimore, carry- 
ing about 1,000 whites and 500 mulattoes from San Domingo. " Beside the emigration 
from France, a very large number of the most respectable inhabitants of San Domingo, 
flying from the massacre of 1793, found refuge at Haltimore. Many of these refugees 
were endowed with eminent piety."— DeCourcey-Shea's "History." 

'" Pub. Rec. of Conn.," Vol. XIII., p. 655. 

' See page 22 for these oaths. 

*Ibid., Vol. XIV., p. 94. 

'" Hist, of New London." 



E come now to the saddest page in the history of early Catholicity in 
Connecticut. We are to follow the footsteps of the exiled Acadians 
in their sorrowful wanderings from their peaceful and happy homes 
in Nova Scotia to the shores of Connecticut, where, by legislative enactment, 
they were distributed throughout the State. The sufferings endured by this 
kindly, industrious and religious people vividly recall the persecution of their 
coreligionists in Ireland by the same despotic power. Seven thousand Aca- 
dians were scattered along the coast from New Hampshire to Georgia. Of 
this number, four hundred reached Connecticut. In ruthlessly expelling 
these unfortunate people from their homes and forcibly transporting them 
into exile, the British Government maintained its reputation for severity 
when dealing with its Catholic subjects. Its hostility to the Catholic religion 
led it to perpetrate crimes from which humanity recoils, not the least of which 
was the expulsion of the French Neutrals and the barbarous destruction of 
their churches, harvests and homes. 

What wrong had these people done, what crime had they committed, that 
they should be visited with such appalling chastisements ? Were they rebel- 
lious, dislo\al ? Had the odious charge of treason to the crown been proved 
against them ? No ; the impartial, justice-loving historian, will bring no such 
accusation against the inhabitants of Acadia. In British hate and avarice 
Avill be found the reasons for the inception and execution of a scheme, which 
unbiased witnesses declare to have no parallel in the annals of the world. It 
is true, that those who were directly interested in bringing about the expul- 
sion of the Acadians accused them of refusing to take the oath of allegiance 
to George II., but we shall see that their refusal was justifiable. " Nothing," 
says Garneau, " could tempt the honorable minds of Acadians to take an oath 
of fealty to aliens, repugnant to their consciences; an oath which it was and 
is the opinion of many Britain had no right to exact. The Acadians were not 
British subjects, for they had not sworn fidelity ; therefore they were not liable 
to be treated as rebels ; neither ought they to be considered prisoners of war, 
or rightly be transportable to France, since, during half a century, they had 
been left in possession of their lands on the simple condition of remaining 
neutral. But numerous adventurers, greedy incomers, looked upon their fair 
farms with covetous eyes. Smoldering cupidity soon burst into flame. Rea- 
sons of state polity were soon called in to justify the total expulsion of the 
Acadians from Nova Scotia. Although the far greater number of them had 
done no act which could be construed into a breach of neutrality, )et, in the 
horrible catastrophe preparing for them, the innocent and the guilty were to 
be involved in a common perdition." 

The charge of disloyalty brought against the Acadians has not been sus- 


tained. They were Neutrals in fact as well as in name. It is true, that when 
Verger, who was in conimand of Fort Beausejour, was hard pressed b\' Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Winslow, he called upon the Acadiaus for reinforcements, and 
that three hundred went to his assistance under penalty of death if they 
refused. But when the fort surrendered to the British these were pardoned. 
They had fought the British under compulsion ; in fact, some of them had 
deserted, while others had pleaded in vain fur permission to lay down their 
arms. At the surrender it was "stipulated," says Minot, "that they should 
be left in the same situation that they were in when the army arrived, and 
not be punished for what they had done afterwards." The most violent 
enemy of the Acadians cannot adduce another instance of their taking up 
arms against the British. Why, then, were 15,000 people made to suffer the 
most barbarous treatment because three hundred of them were compelled to 
engage in conduct disloyal to the government? Was it a reason sufficient to 
justify the wholesale banishment of thousands? Why punish an entire nation 
for an offence committed by some, and which, committed under duress, had 
been condoned? The reason must be sought elsewhere than in the disloyalty 
of the Acadians. They were not conspirators. They had no grievance 
against the British crown. In 1742, nearly thirty years after the treaty of 
Utrecht, which ceded Acadia to England, Governor I\Iascarene wrote to the 
Duke of Newca.stle that, "The frequent rumors we have had of war being 
declared against France have not as yet made any alteration in the temper of 
the inhabitants of the Province, who appear in a good disposition of keeping 
to their oath of Fidelity." In a letter to the Lords of Trade, Governor Law- 
rence wrote : " I believe that a very large part of the inhabitants would sub- 
mit to any terms rather than take up arms on either side." 

When the English government determined upon the deportation of the 
Acadians, it resolved to make their expulsion as thorough as possible. To 
deport them to Canada was to transfer them among a people of kindred lan- 
guage, religion and sympathies; moreover, the addition of 7,000 persons to 
the population would have added to its military strength. Furthermore, the 
English professed to believe that as Canada had no cleared lands to distribute 
among them the)- might take up arms against Nova Scotia and other English 
colonies. "After mature consideration it was unanimously agreed that to 
prevent as much as j^ossible their attempting to return and molest the settlers 
that may be set down on their lands, it would be most proper to send them to 
be distributed among the smaller colonies on the Continent, and that a suffi- 
cient number of vessels should be hired with all possible expedition for that 

The transports were quicKly obtained and orders were given them to 
assemble in the Basin of ;\Iinas and in .\nnapolis Basin. The vessels whose 
rendezvous was in the Basin of Minas were to transport to North Carolina 
500 persons, to Virginia looo, and to Maryland 500, "or in proportion, if the 
number to be shipped off should exceed two thousand persons." The trans- 
ports in Annapolis Basin were ordered to carry 300 persons to Philadelphia, 
200 to New York, to Connecticut 300, and to Boston 200, "or rather more in 


proportion to Connecticut, should the number to be shipped off exceed one 
thousand persons." ' 

The masters of the vessels were strictly enjoined to be "careful and 
watchful " during the whole voyage, lest the exiles attempt to seize the ships. 
To prevent this they were to permit only a small number on deck at a time. 
Moreover, they were to be "particularly careful" that the prisoners carried 
on board with them "no arms nor other offensive weapons." "You will 
use," continues Governor Lawrence in his Instructions, "all the means proper 
and necessary for collecting the people together so as to get them on board. 
If you find that fair means will not do with them, yoii must proceed by the 
most vigorous measures possible^ uot only in compelling them to embark^ but 
in depriving those who shall escape op all means of shelter and support, by 
bur)iing their houses and destroying everything that may afford them a means 
of subsistence in the country ^'^ 

The Governor's instructions were literally obeyed. The unsuspecting 
Acadians were lured to the parish church at Grand Pre to the number of 
1,293 souls. " The church," says Smith,' "was a large edifice, sufficient for 
the needs of that extensive parish. It was sacred to the hearts of this simple 
people ; it was the place where, at the stated gatherings of the populace, the 
venerable Father La Blanc was wont to break to them the bread of life : it 
was the scene of their christenings, the solemnization of their marriages, and 
above all, hallowed by the recollections of the last rites in memory of deceased 
loved ones." 

Gathered within the sacred precincts they listened to no discourse from 
the lips of their venerable father and pastor, but heard instead from Colonel 
Winslow the astounding declaration that they were the King's prisoners. 
What a cruel sentence to pronounce in the house of the God'of Mercy ! What 
a mockery of justice it all was ! Some, more courageous than others, made 
a bold dash for liberty, but from their hiding places soon saw the flames 
devouring their homes. At Cumberland the terrified people, overcome with 
despair, took refuge in flight. Two hundred and fifty-three homes there were 
reduced to ashes, and the entire harvest, the fruit of months of patient indus- 
try, was ruthlessly destroyed. " In the district of Minas alone," says Hali- 
burton, "there were 255 houses, 276 barns, 155 out-houses, 11 mills and one 
church destroyed. The people were so paralyzed at such wholesale destruc- 
tion that they appeared quite resigned Their resignation, however, was 

the resignation of despair; and when, on the loth of September, they were 
driven on board the transports, nature found relief in loud lamentations at 
their fate." " I know not," says Bancroft, " if the annals of the human race 
keep the record of sorrow so wantonly inflicted, so bitter and so perennial as 
fell upon the French inhabitants of Acadia." " We have been true," said 
the broken-hearted exiles, "to our religion, and true to ourselves; yet nature 
appears to consider us only as the objects of public vengeance." 

' "Nona Scotia Archives," p. 274. 
^ " Nova Scotia Archives," p. 276. 
'" //ist. of Acadia." 

II— 5 


We shall now trace, as far as existing records will permit, the wanderings 
of the unfortunate exiles who were consigned to Connecticut. 

Five months before their arrival at the port of New London, intimation 
of their contemplated expulsion reached the Colony. Remote preparations 
were begun for their reception and distribution. In October, 1755, the Gen- 
eral Assembly at New Haven enacted the following: 

" Whereas, public measures appear to be taking for evacuating the Province of 
Nova Scotia of its French inhabitants, and removing or dispersing them to other places 
lucre consistent with the safety of his Majesty's American dominions, 

" Resolved by this Assembly, That if, in pursuance of such design, anj- of them hap- 
pen to be brought into any place in this colony with expectation of being received and 
cared for, his Honour the Governor is desired on such their arrival, to issue forth such 
orders for their being received, taken care of and disposed of, in such place or places in 
this government and under such circumstances, as may be judged most expedient, or 
otherwise for their removal elsewhere having regard to such order or authority as may 
attend their conveyance hither." ' 

On January 21, 1756, three hundred Acadians were landed at New Lon- 
don. On May 22, another transport arrfved at the same port, after a long 
and tempestuous experience, with many hapless e.xiles sick and d)-ing of 
the smallpox. What was now to be done for these four hundred luckless 
victims of British avarice and bigotry ? What measures were to be taken for 
their maintenance and distribution, for it was felt that so large a number 
would become a burden upon the Colony ? Stripped of their worldly pos- 
sessions, they were now paupers among strangers, the wards of a people for- 
eign in race, religion, language and customs, a people who had little sym- 
pathy with their devotion and loyalty to the ancient faith. "Tlie exiles were 
anything but welcome in New England," says Palfrey. "Their support was 
an uninvited burden, and their presence, by reason of national and religious 
animosity, was a vexation and offence." 

Though unwelcome guests, the General Assembly of Connecticut gave 
evidence of its desire to provide for the maintenance of its hapless charges. 
The conduct of Connecticut in dealing with the exiles was in marked con- 
trast with the cold, cheerless and unchristian methods adopted by Massachu- 

At its session in January, 1756, the General Assembly at New Haven 
passed : 

"^« Act for distributing and 'well ordering the French People sent into 
this Colojiy from Nova Scotia, as follows : " 

" Whereas, there is a number of French people sent by Governour Lawrence into this 
Colony, and more daily expected, to be disposed of here, supposed to be about four hun- 
dred in the whole, 

" // is therefore resolved and enacted by this Assembly, That a connnittee be ap- 
pointed, and Hezekiah Huntington, Gourdon Saltonstall, Christopher Averj- and Py- 
gan Adams, Esqrs., or any three of them, are herebj- appointed a committee to receive 

' " Col. Rec. of Conn.," \'ol. X., p. 425. 

' " Col. Rec. of Conn." Vol X., pp. 452-453. 



said people and distribute them in the towns hereafter mentioned, in the following 
manner, viz. : 

In New London.. 1 2 

Groton 8 

Saybrook 7 

Lebanon 12 

Pomfret 6 

Plainfield 4 

Hartford 13 

Middleton 16 

Tolland 3 

Colchester 7 

Symsbiiry 6 

Ashford 3 

Branford 8 

In Wallingford....i2 

Woodbury 9 

Norvvalk 12 

Danbury 6 

Norwich 19 

Preston 6 

Killingsworth 4 

Coventry 5 

Killinglj' 8 

Canterbury 5 

Windsor 13 

Glassenbury... 4 
Haddam 3 

In Hebron 5 

Suffield 5 

New Haven.... 19 

Milford 9 

Durham 4 

Fairfield 17 

Stanford 9 

Newton 4 

Stonington 11 

Lyme 8 

Windham 8 

Mansfield 5 

Woodstock 6 

In Voluntown 3 

Weathersfield.. 9 

Famiington 14 

East Haddam.. 6 

Bolton 3 

Enfield 3 

Guilford 11 

Derby 4 

Waterbury 6 

Stratford 14 

Greenwich 6 

" And the selectmen of each of said towns are hereby directed and required to re- 
ceive of said committee the number set to such town as above, or as near as may be a like 
proportion of the whole number, whether greater or less, and with the advice of the civil 
authorit}' in such town to take care of, manage and support them as tho' they were 
inhabitants of such town, according to the laws of this Colony. And if said committee 
shall judge that any of said French people by reason of age, sickness, etc., shall be unable 
to travel, or cannot be conveyed from the town where they are or may be landed, that in 
such case said committee shall provide for and support such aged, sick or otherwise in- 
firm persons, at the charge of the Colon}-. 

" And, to prevent such French people making their escape out of this Colony, 
" It is resolved and t-nacted. That noneof them be allowed to depart out of the respec- 
tive towns where they belong without a writing under the hand of some of the civil 
authority of such town allowing of such departure. And if any of said French shall be 
found in anj* other town than that in which they were ordered to dwell, without liberty 
in writing as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the civil authority where such persons 
shall be found, to confine such persons until upon examination it can be known from 
what town thej* departed, and when known, to convey them back from constable to con- 
stable to the towns where they belong, there to be confin'd and not suffered any more to 
depart without liberty as aforesaid. And said committee are hereby directed to take care 
in distributing said people, that no one family of them be separated and sent into two or 
more towns." 

The expenses incidental to the support of the French exiles, from their 
arrival at New London till they had reached their respective destinations, 
were borne by the Colony, as provided by an act of the General Assembly 
February, 1756, viz.: 

"Resolved by this Assembly, That such accounts of expence and charge as have 
been occasioned b}- the distributing the Neutral French and providing for their support 
till they were conveyed to the respective towns to which they were assigned, be laid 
before the Committee of the Pay-Table, who are hereby directed to adjust the same and 
give orders on the Treasurer accordinglj-.'' ' 

Colo?iial Records of Coin.," vol. X., p. 461. 


Colony of Connecticutt for sundry Charges on the French People brot. from Nova Scotia 
pr Capt. Rockwell, & distributed in this Colony by order of General Assemblye 

To G. Saltoiistall Dr ' 
'756 /. S. D. 

Jany. 28lh. To 56 lb Rice 9/ 4—1 Cordwood out of yard 8/4 £ 178 

paid Shaw for i bb. fresh beef unsalted i 13 4 

Mutou8/ii 1/4— ditto 6/7— Cabages 4/2 19 i% 

3 10 8>^ 
To 2 Tierces bread deld Capt. Rockwell 1 

I ditto " " Peter Haris r 9 o i @ 18/6... 8 6 8 

3 ditto " " Tinker & Lester j 

the 6 Tierces (« 2/6 15 

3 barels Beef dd. Tinker & Lester bound up Connecticut 

River @3/ pr S 5 

4 bushels Beans deld. Tinker & Lester (« 4/ 16 

Feby. 12. To Cash paid Tailor & Daniels, transporting 7 P'rench 

persons, & their bagage to Colchester in 2 Carts, 

some being Sick, & travel Charges, per accot 252 

March 6. To Cash pd. Tinker, hire of Sloop Hanah from Feby. i, 

to 25th. Inclusive, 26 days (o 8/4 pr Ton pr 

month, being 30 Ton, the owner victualg&maning... 12 10 

paid Ditto for Sloop Dove (Capt. Lester) from 3d Feb}-. 

to 2oth Inclusive 18 days (<< 8/4 pr Ton pr month 

being 20 ton 

1,300 bread he bout, of Wylys & Co. at Middletown @ 20/ 
gi}i lb Porke he bout. @ 3>^d 26/8X Vz bus. beans (a, 2/1 

To days time 2d, 3, 4, 5, Feb}', in distributg. the French, & 

makg. out the Rule 

a Journey to Norwich on rect. of Govt. Fitch's orders to 

Confer with the Comte , 

postage Gov Lette 6d 

To my Commissions. 

New London March nth, 1756. 

Errors Excepted. 



8 9>< 


>2 3W 






.^43 17 9'-+ 

Colony of Connecticutt for Sundry Charges on the French People Brot into this Colony 
per Capt Rockwell & Distributed pr order order of the General Assemblj' 
To Hez. Huntington Dtr 

To 4 Days Spent at New London (« 7/ £ i 8 o 

To Capt. Peter Harrisses Bill Transporting i 8 

107 of them to Norwich S 10 o 

To man and Horse at Norwich to provide teem to Transport the people.. 050 
To Thomas & Saml LefRugwell their Bills Transporting to Canterbury 

Plainfield &c 222 

To Transporting these to preston as pr Bill o 8 

' Stale Archives, War. Vol. V. 



To Dito to Volluntown and Killingly b}- Selectmen of Plainfield as pr 

Bill £ I I 2 

To Ditto those to Windham & mansfield as pr Bill of Saml Gifford .... i 15 8 

To Abell Griswold these to Lebanon Mansfield &c. as pr his Bill 3 53 

To Ditto James Flint to Ashford i 5 o 

To my Vittiling the People at Norwich as per bills 0113 

3 7 

To by Expence on the Rhoad to Canterbury i 7 6 

To Capt. Skiner Bill transporting from Rocky Hill 2 15 o 

To Selectmens Bill Transporting to Stonington o 15 o 

To Expence at Capt Kingsburj- Norwich o 15 6 

Entertaining teems to Windham 

To Mansfield Selectmen Bill o 16 

To Mr Stores Transporting to Coventry i 8 2 

To Dec Williams Transporting to Woodstock 060 

To Capt Konts Bill Transporting from Winsor to Sufiield & Enfield... 0100 
To Woodbury Selectmen Bill Transporting their people from Infield — 

38 miles 420 

Amt Brofover ^{^36 3 2>i 
To my time & Trouble in Contracting With the People and Collecting 

the amt and to paj- them oflT. i 

To Norwalk Selectmens Bill Transporting french people from Fairfield i 

To Waterbury Selectmen Do for Do 3 

To Danburj- Selectmen Do for Do 2 

To Simsbury Do o 

To Canterbury Selectmen 

To Gilford Selectmen 

Windsor Bill 

Collo. Avery & Pygan Adams Esqrs. 

Collo. Saltonstall pr Bill 

IdA 13 2>4 

1 II 9 

2 II 8 


3 « 


17 9)i 

Thus were these unhappy people scattered throughout Connecticut. 
Family ties were shattered, wives were separated from husbands and tender 
children were deprived of their natural and God-given protectors. Strange 
faces met them wherever they wandered. Depressed in spirit, broken in 
body, their thoughts ever reverted to distant Acadia, the scene of so much 
peace and happiness and contentment, and, alas ! of so much sorrow. There 
they were surrounded with abundance ; here they had become the objects of 
public charity. A less virtuous and religious people would have broken into 
open rebellion at the sight of their chains, even though against overwhelm- 
ing odds ; but their religion, to which they were fervently attached, supported 
them amid their trials, gave them strength to bear their exile and taught 
them holy submission to the will of Him who, for His own all-wise purposes, 
permits His children to be burdened with heavy crosses. 


In Connecticut the Acadians were not only frequently treated as paupers, 
they were bound out to the most menial service. 

The legislation of the General Assembly, January, 1756, directed and 
required each town to take care of and support them as though they were 
inhabitants. The aged and infirm were to receive ample provision from the 
treasury of the Colony. But some of the towns were not faithful to the 
humane spirit embodied in these enactments. The town of Wallingford 
received twelve exiles, and the manner in which it discharged its trust is 
exemplified by an entr)' in the records of the town under date of December 
21, 1756. It was voted, "That the Selectmen be impowered to proceed with 
the French people in this town as with other toiuii's poor, respecting binding 
them oitt^ etc., etc." 

The town of Plainfield recognized its duty to the strangers within its 
borders. It listened to the voice of humanity pleading for these impover- 
ished people, and it has the honored distinction of being the only town in 
Windham county to make official and public provision for them. They were 
furnished with wood and meat, and medical attendance was provided. 

In Hartford the French were comfortably housed. The vSelectmen were 
directed by a vote of the town to erect a building suitable for the accommo- 
dation of the thirteen people sent there, as no house with the necessary room 
could be rented. Two years after this vote was jjassed the records show that 
a Robert Nevins was allowed 20s., partly for rent and partly for damages 
his house sustained during its occupancy by the French.' Of the nine 
allotted to Woodbury the names of four have come down to us. Petre Beau- 
mont, Henrie Sci.sceau, Alexander Pettigree and Philemon Cherevoy. The 
descendants of Cherevoy were, until recently, residents of the town.^ The 
name of Sibyl Sharway, or Shearaway, has been preserved as that of one of 
the Acadians assigned to Litchfield. She had come to Connecticut from 
Maryland, and was one of the persons forming the "two families" referred 
to in an act of the General Assembly, passed February, 1757. The enact- 
ment vividly recalls the wanderings, the unsettled and dependent condition 
of the F'rench exiles. With no spot they could claim as home, subsisting 
on charity — too often reluctantly bestowed — and depending upon severe mas- 
ters, they excite our profound commiseration and arouse feelings of indigna- 
tion against their oppressors. The Act of 1757 is as follows : 

" Upon the memorial of Elisha Stoddard and others,' .selectmen for the town of 
Woodbury, representing to this Assembly that there has lately come to said town of 
Woodbury two families of the French neutrals from Maryland, three persons in each 
family ; and also shewing to said A.ssembly that said town of Woodbury liad their pro- 
portionable ])art of the French neutrals to support, sent to this government by Governor 
L;iwrence ; praying lo said .Vssembly to order concerning said neutral families : Where- 
upon it is resolved by this Assembly, that one of said families be immediatelj" trans- 

' " Memorial llist. of Hartford Co.." Vol. I., p. 302. 

'A child of Philemon Cherevoy, name unknown, died at Woodburj', August 22, 1790. 
Philemon Cherevoy died Blarch i, 1801, aged 52 j-ears ; Nathaniel Cherevoy died April 
29, 1813, aged 28. 

»"Col. Rec," Vol. X., p. 615. 


ported to the town of Litchfield, and the other of said families to the town of New Mil- 
ford, by the direction of the selectmen of Woodbury, and that the selectmen of said towns 
of Litchfield and New Milford are hereby ordered and directed to receive said French 
families and provide for their support and deal with them from time to time according to 
the directions of an act of Assembly of this Colony made respecting the French sent to 
this government by Governor Lawrence, and that the expence of transporting said 
French families from said Woodbury to said towns be at the expence of this Colony." 

Litchfield provided for its Acadian charges in a manner consonant with 
the spirit of Christianity. In the records of the town we find these entries : 
In January, 1759, it was "voted that the Selectmen may provide a house or 
some suitable place in the town for the inaintenauce of the French.'''' In the 
County Treasurer's record is the following: "To paid John Newbree for 
keeping William Dunlap and the French persons.^ 54J. 6^/, which the County 
allowed, and R. Sherman, Justice of the Quorum, drew an order dated April 
25, 1760, as per order on file." 

We have seen that fourteen Acadians were assigned to Stratford. Among 
them was William Rose, a gardener.' Rose married Jeannette Mann. His 
children were Peter, Mabel, Charity and Polly. He died April 21. 18 12, aged 
90 years. 

The Stratford Acadians remained steadfast to the Catholic faith, though 
strenuous efforts were put forth to proselytize them. The Church of Eng- 
land minister at Stratford bears witness to their unconquerable fidelity in the 
midst of the spiritual dangers that environed them. Writing to the Home 
Secretary, the Rev. Mr. Winslow said : " Besides these (Dissenters), there are 
no other sectaries among us, except a few families of French neutrals, of 
inconsiderable notice, who were in the beginning of the war dispersed from 
Nova Scotia, and remain inflexibly tenacious of their superstitions (?). But 
there is not the least danger of any influence from them. // is rather hopeful 
that if they are not themselves, their posterity may in time be brought off from their 
errors (/), though hitherto they will not suffer any efforts of this kind.'''' ^ 

These lines throw a flood of light upon the anti-Catholic sentiment then 
prevalent. The unfortunate Acadians became the objects of unpardonable 
ridicule, were branded as superstitious and as the disciples of error. Socially 
they were outcasts, destitute of influence among their fellows, and solely 
because they worshiped God according to the manner of the church 
founded by Jesus Christ. If they had abandoned their religion ; had they set 
their faces against all they had previously held sacred at the "efforts" of 
proselytizing clergymen, they would not have been superstitious, but children 

' This anecdote is told of Rose. It was his custom to fish in the harbor of Bridge- 
port in a boat, accompanied only by his faithful dog Lj'on. One day he lost his balance 
and fell overboard, and was on the point of being drowned vphen his dog swam to him. 
He grasped the dog's tail and directed him to swim for the shore. When the faithful 
animal had brought his master almost to the shore, he turned about and began to swim 
out again, when Rose, in his broken French, called out : " Tudder way, Lyon."' The dog 
obeying the command, towed his master to the shore. — Orcutt's " Hist, of Stratford and 

^ Church Documents of the Prot. Ep. Ch. in Connecticut, Vol. II., p. 31. 


of light, nor would they have been "of inconsiderable notice." The last 
few lines of the al)ove are a melancholy commentary on the spirit that ani- 
mated some of the Protestant clergy of colonial times. As it was then, so is 
it now. If perversions cannot be made among the parents, strike the church 
in her children. But as the elder .\cadians of Stratford manfully resisted all 
"efforts" to seduce them from the path of duty, we would fain believe that 
" their posterity were not in time brought off from their errors," but, stimu- ' 
lated by the noble teacliings and lieroic e.Kample of their parents, they refused 
to bow assent to a creed that held them in abhorrence. 

In 1759 we find traces of a small band of these helpless people at Xew- 
ington, though they were not originally assigned there. They were provided 
for by the selectmen, who, in 1762, built a house for them near Howard's 
Pond. It is probable, they were a part of the Hartford contingent. 

As we have seen, Waterbury's allotment was six, all members of one 
family. In 1763 the town "Voted, to give the French family in this Town, 
in order to Transport sd. French Family into the Northward Country, not 
exceeding Ten pounds, including Charitable Contributions." 

The paucity of authentic records makes it no easy task to follow the 
wanderings of the Acadian exiles in Connecticut. In 1767, however, some 
persons, evidently of influence and authority, gathered the scattered rem- 
nants of their people at Norwicii, whence 240 of them were carried to 
Quebec by Captain Leffingwell in the brig "Pitt." The historian of Nor- 
wich, Miss Caulkins, asserts that ^^ /heir priesi" returned with them. If 
priests were with the expatriated French, they were not numerous. It is 
traditional, that two Acadian priests resided near Hartford. The Neutrals 
at Baltimore were consoled by the ministrations of a fellow-exile. Father 
Le Clerc, and we know that the priests of Mines, Piziquid and Annapolis 
were put on board of transports bound for New England. But, notwith- 
standing, it was not the intention of the English oppressors that the Acadians 
should remain loyal to the Catholic faith. Every means was employed to 
deprive them of this precious treasure. Every obstacle that might cause 
them to forget their religion was thrown in their way. When some of the 
broken-hearted people craved the privilege of being allowed the presence 
of priests in their exile, they were heartlessly refused the boon, as we 
gather from a paragraph in a letter written by the arch-conspirator, Governor 
Lawrence, to the Board of Trade: "As the three French priests, Chevereuil, 
Daudin and Le Maire, were of no further use in this province after the re- 
moval of the French inhabitants, Admiral Boscowan has been so good as to 
take them on board of his fleet and is to give them a passage to England." 

Presuming, however, upon the presence of Acadian priests in Connecti- 
cut at this period, it is probable they did not extend the sphere of their minis- 
terial labors beyond the limits of their immediate domicile, owing to the law 
enacted by the General Assembly, January 21, 1756, which forbade any Acadian 
to depart from the town to which he had been as.signed without written permis- 
sion from the civil authorities of such town. The law comprehended both clergy 
and laity, and the enforcement of it would preclude the exercise of sacerdotal 


functions beyond the towns in which tlie priests resided. Moreover, ignorance 
of tlie English language would make traveling from town to town botli diffi- 
cult and dangerous. Laws of similar purport prevailed also in Massachusetts, 
where opposition to Catholic priests was more violent and more openly pro- 
nounced than in Connecticut. It may be stated without reserve, that no 
Acadian priest in Massachusetts, if any such there were, ever officiated pub- 
licly at divine worship. " No exception was taken to their prayers in their 
families, in their own way, which I believe they practiced in general, and 
sometimes they assembled several families together ; but the people would 
upon no terms have consented to the public exercise of religious worship by 
Roman Catholic priests.'" 

The existence of these prohibitory laws, the sentiment of hostility enter- 
tained against Catholic priests and the entire absence of priests in many 
places, were, no doubt, among the reasons for the appointment and authoriz- 
ation of Acadian laymen in New England and elsewhere to join their fellow- 
e.xiles in marriage rather than have the ceremony performed by clergymen of 
alien creeds. The parties to the marriage expressed their consent in the 
presence of their assembled families and the old Acadian people, with the 
understanding and promise, however, of renewing their consent and having 
their union blessed by a priest, should they ever have the happiness to meet 
one. The Abbe Cyprian Tanguay, the Canadian genealogist, in his work, A 
Traves les Registn's, Montreal, 1886, publishes an entry taken from the regis- 
ter of the parish of Deschambault anent the renewal of consent of marriage 
by Michel Robichau and Marguerite Landry before the cure of the parish, 
Rev. Jean Menage, on October 27, 1766: 

"... Who (Michel Robichau and Blarguerite Landry) presented a writing bj- which 
it is said that, having been taken prisoners bj' the English and expelled from their coun- 
try, for want of receiving the teachings and the doctrines of the English ministers, they 
married themselves in the presence of their assembled families and of the old Acadian 
people, in New England, in the hope of renewing their marriage, if ever, after their cap- 
tivity ended, they fell into the hands of French priests." 

Among those mentioned by the Abbe Tanguay who were authorized to 
receive the consent of persons wishing to be married was " Louis Robichaud, 
husband of Jeanne Bourgeois, Acadian refugee in Quebec, who was at Salem, 
New England, in 1774. He was then aged 71 years. This respectable old 
man had received the extraordinary power of dispensing the publications of 
the banns and the impediments to marriage, etc., (meaning those purely 
ecclesiastical) for Catholics who could not have recourse to the ministry of 
priests in New England." 

"The form of acts of marriage given b)- Louis Robichaud was as follows: 

S-\LEM, . . . 1774. 

" B}^ virtue of the powers given me, Louis Robichaud, by Mons. Charles Francois 

Bailly, priest, Vicar General of the Diocese of Quebec, at present at Halifax, missionary 

to the Indians and to the French, to receive the mutual consent of Catholics desiring to 

unite themselves in marriage, in this Province, as also to grant dispensations to those 

' Hutchinson's " His/, of Mass. Bay." 


who would be married within certain degrees of affinity or of consanguinity, and who are 

in need of such, I confess to having received the mutual consent of marriage of 

of the 3d to the 4th degree of consanguinity the said parties have promised and 

do promise, on the first occasion that they shall find a priest approved by the Holy Cath- 
olic, Apostolic and Roman Church, to receive the nuptial benediction. 

"The said act made in the presence " ' 

We shall bring this chapter to a close with the testimony of historians 
who cannot be charged with pro-Catholic sympathies. Their words are the 
eloquent expression of hearts .stirred to their depths with sorrow fur the un- 
paralleled sufferings of the French Neutrals, as well as a severe but righteous 
indictment of their oppressors; and their sentiments, so honestly and fearlessly 
recorded, will serve to dispel, in some degree, at least, the mists of prejudice 
raised against the hapless Acadians by apologists of English cruelty and vin- 

vSays Haliburton : Tradition is fresh and positive in the various jjarts of 
the United States where they were afterwards located, respecting their guile- 
less, peaceable and scrupulous character ; and the descendants of those whose 
long-cherished and endearing local attachments induced them to return to 
the laud of their nativity, still deserve the name of a mild, frugal and pious 

.... Upon an impartial review of the tran.sactious of the period, it must 
be admitted that the transportation of the Acadians to distant colonies with all 
the marks of ignominy and guilt peculiar to convicts, was cruel; and although 
such a conclusion could not then be drawn, yet subsequent events have dis- 
closed that their exptilsion was unnecessary. It seems totally irreconcilable 
with the idea of justice entertained at this day, that who are not involved 
in the guilt shall participate in the punishment; a whole community shall 
suffer for the misconduct of a part. It is, doubtless, a stain on the Provincial 
Councils, and we shall not attempt to justify that which all good men have 
agreed to condemn. 

From Smith's Acadia: History is replete with instances of the readiness 
of man, in every degree of enlightenment, to lay dovi^n his life in defense of 
his right to worship God as he chooses : the Neutrals were denied the set-vices 
of their priests, when such deprivation meant, according to the light of their 

faith, the loss of their hope of happiness in the world to come The 

banishment from one's country has ever been adjudged one of the most severe 
penalties known in jurisprudence; this, and the other extremes of human 
mi.sery, the poor, exiled Acadians suffered, b\- the \'oluntary acts of men differ- 
ing only in language and religion. 

From liossmg's I/istory 0/ the United States: The cruel sequel (of the 
war) deserves universal reprobation. The total destruction of the French 
settlements was decided upon under the plea that the Acadians would aid their 

' Quoted by U. S. Calh. Hist. Mag., Jan'j', 1S87. Similar faculties were granted to 
and exercised by a Canadian laj'uian, Pierre Mallett, at N'inctnnes, Ind., between the 
departure of Rev. P. Gibault in October, 1789, and the arrival of Rev. Benedict Flaget in 
1792.^" Hist, oj llif Diocese of Vincennes." Alerding. 


. French brethren in Canada. The innocent and happy people were seized in 
their homes, fields and churches and conveyed aboard the English vessels. 
Families were broken, never to be united ; and to compel the surrender of 
those who fled to the woods, their starvation was insured by a total destruction 
of their growing crops. The Acadians were stripped of everything, and those 
who were carried away were scattered among the English colonies, helpless 
beggars, to die heart-broken in a strange land. In one short month their 
paradise had become a desolation and a happy people were crushed into the dust. 

The words of Smith form an appropriate comment on this passage of the 
American historian : This incursion, aided and abetted and paid for by Eng- 
land, consummated by New England troops, under a Massachusetts com- 
mander bred in a Puritan atmosphere, in the name of religion, was conducted 
in so heartless a manner, that as though by common consent, the reports of 
details have been purposely destroyed, and historians have passed over it with 
only an allusion, as if unable to record the shame of the transaction. 

We shall supplement this testimony with the words of Most Rev. William 
Walsh, Archbishop of Halifax, who, on the centennial of the expulsion, issued 
a pastoral letter in which he reviewed the sad history of the Acadians. Tlie 
letter, dated September 8, 1855, is addressed "To Our Dearly-Beloved Breth- 
ren, the Acadians of the Archdiocese of Halifax." We submit an extract: 

"Dearly Beloved Brethren. — On the loth of September, 1755, nearly two thous- 
and Acadian Catholics were barbarously driven from their happy homes by the ruthless 
hand of persecution. For their attachment to the faith of their fathers were they thus 
pursued ; and the voice of posterity has proclaimed the foul injustice of the act, and the 
cold-blooded hypocrisy and cruelty with which it was accomplished. The annals of 
historj' scarcely record a more heart-rending scene than that which was witnessed at the 
mouth of the Gaspereau, and on the shores of the Basin of Minas, on the memorable 
day alluded to. No doubt it was fondly hoped that the wholesale deportation of this 
innocent people, and the confiscation of their property would efifectuallj' extinguish the 
Catholic religion in Nova Scotia. Here, howeVer, the impious calculations of the perse- 
cutor have been defeated hy the mercy of heaven, thank God. After a long and gloomy 
interval of suffering, proscription and exclusion the Acadian Catholic still survives in 
the cherished land of his fathers, and the glorious faith for which the exiles and victims 
of 1755 endured the loss of property and life, still flourishes in the heart of nearly one- 
third of the people of Nova Scotia It is now a matter of history that the children 

of these Confessors of the Faith who were driven forth from Nova Scotia in 1755, and 
most cruelly dispersed over the American Continent, made frequent attempts to return 
to their native land, that their bones might rest in the bosom of their beloved Acadia. 
A few, at length, happily succeeded,' and established themselves in the midst of the 
u'ntrodden forest, and along the virgin shores of that beautiful bay which their piety 
delighted to honor with the endearing name of the Immaculate Mother of God. Here, 
whilst the spacious and fertile lands of their fathers in the most luxuriant spots of 
Acadia were possessed by strangers, who had never toiled to reclaim them from the 
dominion of the wilderness, those new settlers made secret progress. Fostered by the 
protecting hand of Him who will not suffer ' the just man to be abandoned, nor his seed 
to want bread,' they throve apace, and with the patient spirit of their ancestors, they 
made the wilderness blossom as the The children of confessors and martyrs, they 
were sure to merit the protection of Heaven. The ' little flock ' soon increased to hun- 
dreds, and from hundreds to thousands, and their children and children's children are 

'See page 72. 


now to be found in various parts of Nova Scotia and the neighboring provinces, speaking 
the language of the country from which they boast of being descended, and glorying in 
the profession of that Catholic faith which their forefathers prized beyond life itself 

"In these few words, cherished portion of our beloved flock, we have traced your 
melancholj' but glorious history. You are tlie descendants of those who passed through 
the Red Sea of persecution, and were marked with the sign of suffering, because they 
were the faithful disciples of Christ crucified ; of those who in ' the former days being 
illuminated' with peace from the Father of lights, endured a great fight of affliction.'' 




HE services rendered by the soldiers and sailors of Catholic France to 
the Colonies in their struggle for independence form a brilliant chapter 
in American history with which every student is familiar. Washing- 
ton gratefully acknowledged their a.ssistance in his Reply to an Address from 
the Roman Catholics of the United States. The address was signed by Right 
Rev. John Carroll, Bishop of Baltimore, on behalf of the clergy, and by Charles 
Carroll, of Carrollton ; Dominick Lynch, Thomas Fitzsimmons and Daniel 
Carroll, on behalf of the laity. Washington said : "I presume your fellow- 
citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplish- 
ment of their revolution and the establishment of their government — or the 
important assistance xvhicli they received from a nation in zuhich the Roman Catholic 
faith is professed." 

The names of Lafayette and De Grasse, of Rochambeau and De Choisey 
— names " that were not born to die," and which are synonymous with chivalry, 
dauntless courage and nobility of character — are wreathed with undying lustre 
and are held in benediction b}' a grateful nation. It is no part of our 
to relate the story of their heroic achievements on laud and on sea; ours it is 
to follow them in their march through Connecticut, to place on record here 
the impressions their magnificent appearance and superb discipline made upon 
this portion of the American people, and to recall the fact that it was within 
the present limits of our diocese, a few miles only from the episcopal residence, 
and by the aid of the experienced counsels of the French generals, that the 
plans were arranged which resulted in the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 
and the termination of British power in the Colonies. Brave and generous 
sous of a Catholic nation and devoted children of the Catholic church, they 
are a part of the history of early Catholicity in Connecticut. They fought 
no battles on our soil, nor performed licre great deeds of valor. Their meet- 
ings were with friends, not with foes. Their passage across the State was as 
rapid as the circumstances would permit, for theirs was a mission of tremen- 
dous importance to the American cause. Nevertheless, they left upon the 


State au impress that is yet undimined and have bequeathed to us, tlieir co- 
religionists, a record of which we are justly proud. Their route from New- 
port to the Hudson abound in memories that are ineffaceable. Wherever 
they passed they became the idols of the populace and were everywhere 
acclaimed the noble champions of American liberty. 

The first Frenchman to offer his services to the Continental Congress was 
the youthful, generous and chivalrous Marquis de Lafayette, then nineteen 
years of age. Congress at first refused his tender, but finally bestowed upon 
Lafayette the rank and commission of a Major-General in the army of the 
United States. Having served with distinction in the Virginia and Rhode 
Island campaigns, he returned to France impressed with the purpose of secur- 
ing aid from his sovereign, Louis XVL His plea for reinforcements was 
successful. In consequence of his intervention a French fleet carrying 6,000 
soldiers under the command of Admiral de Ternay' and the Count de 
Rochambeau arrived at Newport on July 10, 1780. They came at a time 
when the ami}- and finances of the Colonies were in a deplorable condition, 
and were received with unbounded enthusiasm. By order of the French 
government the new reinforcements were placed under the command of 
General Washington, the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces. 

After his arrival. Count de Rochambeau, as the commander of the French 
land forces, sought an interview with General Washington, but military 
duties prevented a meeting until September 20th. The allied commanders 
met at Hartford. 

Rochambeau set out for the rendezvous on the 17th, with Admiral De 
Ternay as traveling companion. As the admiral was afflicted with the gout, 
they made the journey in a carriage. On the evening of the 17th, when near 
Windham, the conveyance broke down, and they were unable to proceed. 
Rochambeau sent one of his aides, de Fersen, in search of a blacksmith to 
make the necessary repairs. The aide found one about a mile from the scene 
of the accident, but so ill that he declared he would not work at night if he 
received a hat full of guineas. Undaunted by the refusal, both Rochambeau 
and De Ternay — the latter with difficulty — went to the smith, and importuned 
him to repair their carriage. They informed him that Washington was about 
to arrive at Hartford to confer with them, but that the conference would not 
take place if the carriage were not repaired. It was a pressing argument and 
prevailed. "You are not deceivers," said the smith. "I have read in the 
Connecticut Journal that Washington is expected to confer with you, and I 
recognize that this is in the public service. Your carriage will be ready at 
six o'clock in the morning." 

' Charles Louis D'Arsac de Ternay was born in 1722. He died in December, 1781, at 
Newport. The Conn. Courant o{ December 22, 1781, contained the following notice : 

Newport. Buried in Trinity Cliurchyard, His Excellency Charles Louis de Terna}', 
Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, late Governor of the Islands of France and Bourbon, 
and Chief Commander of the French Squadron in the American Seas. His talents, zeal, 
and distinguished services have merited him the confidence and favor of his gov-arnmen*' 
and country. 


On their return journey another accident befell their carriage almost at 
the same place. Appealed to again for aid, the smith said : "Well, you wish 
me to work at night again?" Rochambeau informed him that the English 
Admiral Rodney had arrived with a naval force three times as large as 
their own, and therefore, it was necessary for them to press on in order to 
oppose his operations. " But," interposed the loquacious disciple of Vulcan, 
" what will your six vessels do against the tweut}- ships of the English? At 
any rate, you are a brave people. You shall have your carriage at five o'clock 
in the morning. But, without wisliiug to know your secrets, tell me, were 
you pleased with Washington and he with )-ou?" ' 

At this conference Washington was accompanied by General Lafayette 
and General Kno.x, while with Rochambeau were Admiral de Ternav, Gen- 
eral Chastellux and the aides-de-camp. Count de Fer.sen, Marquis de Danias 
and M. Dumas,^ and his son, the Viscount de Rochambeau. 

The execution of tlie plans then agreed upon depended upon the arrival 
of a second division of French troops or in an increase of the naval forces. It 
■was also decided to despatch an envoy to France to solicit new reinforcements 
from the ministry ; and for this mission the Viscount de Rochambeau, son of 
the commander, was chosen. 

The meeting-place of the Frencli and American generals is thus de- 
scribed. Speaking of Lafayette's departure from Bennet's hotel, on the 
occasion of his visit to Hartford, in 1 824, a writer says : " ^ 

"On this verj' .spot where stood his carriage, General Washington first met General 
Rochambeau, after his arrival from France to aid in the cause of the Revolution. Here 
Washington and several other American officers first shook hands, in the presence of 
Lafayette, with the officers of the French army. This place, too, was in front of the 
mansion (Col. Wadsworth's, now the Athenaeum "). 

' " LfS Francois En Amerique. 1777-1783." Balch. 

' Count tie Fer.sen's account of this conference is thus detailed in a letter to his 
father, dated October 16, 1780 : "I was about fifteen days ago at Hartford, forty leagues 
distant from here (Newport) with M. de Rochambeau. We were onlj' six, the Admiral, 
his Chief of Engineers, his son, the Viscount de Rochambeau, and three aids-decamp, of 
whom I was one. He had an interview there with Washington. M. de Rochambeau sent 
me in advance to announce his arrival, and I had time to see this man, illustrions, if not 
unique in our century. His handsome and majestic, while, at the same time, mild and 
open countenance perfectly reflects his moral qualities ; he looks the hero ; he is very 
cold ; speaks little, but is courteous and frank. A shade of sadness overshadows his 
countenance, which is not unbecoming, and gives him an interesting air. His suite was 
more numerous than ours. The Marquis de Lafayette, General Knox, Chief of Artillery, 
M. de Gouvion, a Frenchman, Chief of Engineers and si.x aids-de camp accompanied him. 
... As there is no traveling bj' posting in this country, every one nuist journey with 
his own horses, and nearly always on hor.seback, because of the bad roads. However, 
every body was in carriages, except our two aids-de camp. We were three da3's making 
the journey. General Washington as many. . . . The two Generals and the Admiral 
were closeted together the whole of the day we passed at Hartford. The Marquis de 
Lafayette was called in as an interpreter, as Washington does not either spe.ik F'rench or 
understand it. They scparatej nuitually pleased with each other — at least they say .so." 

■■' " An Account of the Toiif of General Lafayette through tlie United Stales in 1824-2^" 
(Hartford: Silas Andrus & Son, 1855.) 


The plans arranged at this conference were frustrated by the treason of 
Arnold. At the very hour in which Washington and Rochanibeau were 
engaged in council to promote the cause of the Revolution, an American 
officer, born of the soil, was conspiring with the enemy to betray his country. 

Rochambeau's main army, numbering about 4000 men, remained at 
Newport. To determine upon a plan of campaign a second conference was 
arranged between Washington and his French ally. This meeting was held 
on May 21, 1781, at the "Webb house," in Wethersfield.' Rochambeau was 
accompanied by General Chastellux, and Washington by General Knox and 
General Du Portail." We quote a few entries from Washington's diary, con- 
taining this conference. His headquarters were at New Windsor, on the 
Hudson : 

" May i8th. Set out this day for the interview at Wethersfield, with the Count de 
Rochanibeau and Admiral Barras. Reached Morgan's Tavern, forty-three miles from 
Fishkill Landing, after dining at Colonel Vanderberg's. 

" 19th. Breakfasted at Litchfield, dined at Farmington, and lodged at Wethersfield, 
at the house of Joseph Webb. 

" 20th. Had a good deal of private conversation with Governor Trumbull, who gave 
it to me as his opinion that if any important offensive operations should be undertaken, 
he had little doubt of our obtaining men and provisions adequate to our wants. In this 
Colonel Wadsworth and others concurred. 

" May 2ist. Count de Rochambeau, with the Chevalier Chastellux, arrived about 
noon. The appearance of the British fleet under Admiral Arbuthnot, off Block Island, 
prevented attendance of Count de Barras. 

" 22d. Fixed, with Count de Rochambeau, the plan of the campaign. 

' 23d. Count de Rochambeau set out on his return to Newport, while I prepared and 
forwarded dispatches to the Governors of the four New England States, calling on them, 
in earnest and pointed terms, to complete their Continental battalions for the campaign, 
at least, if not for three years or the war," etc' 

At the May session, 1781, the General Assembly appropriated .^500 to defray the 
expense "to be incurred in quartering General Washington, General Knox, General 
Duportail, Count de Rochambeau, Count de Barras, and the Chevalier de Chastellux, and 
their suites, in Wethersfield." 

On his arrival at Hartford on the 21st, Rochambeau was met by Wash- 
ington and his retinue and escorted to Wethersfield. According to tradition, 
the meeting occurred near what was the east end of the State House, now 
the site of the Post Office building. Rochambeau came from the ferry up 

' The Webb house at Wethersfield is still standing. It was the common resting- 
place for American oflicers and gentlemen of distinction in their passage through Con- 
necticut, and was known among them, from the generous courtesy of its occupants, as 
" Hospitality Hall." Its chief interest to the historical student is derived from its hav- 
ing been the spot elected for the conference held between Washington and Rocham- 
beau." "Mag. of American Hist., June, iSSo." 

- Du Portail was a French officer holding a commission in the American army. 
Other French officers serving with the Continental forces were Lieutenant-Colonel Gimat 
and Major Galvan. Gimat was wounded at Yorktown. 

■' In Washington's private account appears this item : 

" May. To the Expence of a journey to Wethersfield, for the purpose of an inter- 
view with the French Genrl & Adml, specie expended in this trip, ^35. 185.'' 


Market street, while Washington rode up Main street from his headquarters 
at Colonel Wadsworth's. ' 

It was ajjreed at the Conference that the French forces should effect a 
junction with the American army on the Hudson as soon as circumstances 
would permit. 


^OCHAMBEAU left Hartford for Newport on the 23d. On the 9th of 
June, the army began its march westward. Arrived at Providence 
L^\_^ on the I ith, they rested there until the 18th, when they started on 
their march across what the Abbe Robin calls " The Province of 
Connecticut." The following are the names of the principal officers with 
the regiments that passed through the State : " 

Lieutenant-general, Count De Rochambeau. 

Aides-de-Camp— Count de Fersen, Marquis de Vauban, Marquis de Danias, Cheva- 
lier de Lameth, M. Dumas, De Lauberdiere, Baron de Clozen. Marechaux de-Camp— 
Major-general Baron de Viomenil, Major-general Marquis de St. Simon, Major-general 
Viscount de Viomenil, Major-general Chevalier de Chastellux. 

M. DE Choisy, Brigadier-general. 

Intendant — M. de Tarle. Quartermaster-general — M. de B(5ville. Commissarj'-gen- 
eral— Claude Blanchard. Medical Department — M. de Coste, Physician-in-chief: M. 
Robillard, Surgeon-inchief ; M. de Mars, Superintendent of Hospitals. Engineers — 
Colonel Desandrouins, Lieutenant-colonel de Querenet, Major de Palys and nine line 


Colonel Commandant d'Aboville, .\djutant Manduil. Director of the Park, M. 
Nadal. Rank and file, 600. 


Lauzun's Legion (or Volunteers) — Duke de Lauzun, Count Arthur Dillon.' Rank 
and file, 600. 


Brigade Bourbonnois. — Regiment Bourbonno!s—Qo\one\ Marquis de Laval, Second- 
colonel Viscount de Rochambeau, Lieutenant- colonel de Bressolles, Major de Gambs. 
Rank and file, 900. 

Regiment Royal Deitx/>o/i/s—Co\one\ Count de Deuxponts, Second-colonel Count 
Guillaume de Deuxponts, Lieutenant colonel Baron d'Hzbeck, >L'jjor Desprtz. Rank and 
file, 900. 

Brigade Soissonois. — Regiment Soissonois — Colonel Marquis de St. Maime, Second 
colonel Vicomte de Noailles, Lieutenant-colonel d'Anselme, Major d'Espeyron. Rank and 
file, 900. 

' Memorial Hist, of Hartford Co., Vol. /., p. 298. 

' This roster of French officers is taken from the lists printed in the Mag. of Am. 
Hist., Vol. III., No. 7, and by Blanchard in his "Journal." 

' Count Dillon was the second in command at the siege of Savannah, October 4-9, 
1779. He brought with him from France his own Irish regiment. 


Regiment Saintogne — Colonel Marquis de Custine, Second-colonel Count deCharlus, 
Lieutenant-colonel de la Vatelle, Major i\I. Fleury. Rank and file, 900.' 

The army left Providence iu the following order, which was observed 
until their departure from Newtown, when, instead of marching in regiments, 
the army marched in brigades : On the i8th (June) the Bourbonnois (Count 
de Rochambeau and General Chastellux) ; the 19th, the Royal Deux-Ponts 
(Baron de Viomenil); the 20th, the' Soissonois (Count de Viomenil); the 21st, 
the Saintonge (M. de Custine). The regiments followed one another at inter- 
vals of a day's march, or at a distance of about fifteen miles. 

The first camp after leaving Providence was at Waterman'' s Tavern., 
which was reached on the evening of the i8th. The second encampment, 
and the first in Connecticut, was at Plaiiificld o\\ the 19th ; the third at Wind- 
ham on the 20th ; the fourth at Bolton on the 21st ; the fifth at Harl/ord, the 
Bourbonnois on the 22d, the Deux-Ponts on the 23d, the Soissonois on the 
24th, and the Saintonge on the 25th. The regiments rested two days each, 
leaving Hartford in the same order on the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 2Sth, 
respectively. The advance regiment made its sixth camp at Farmington on 
the 25th. June 26th saw them at Baron' s Tazu-rn near Southington, since 
known as French Hill. On the 27th, they camped at Breakneck in Middle- 
bury., and on the 28th at Ne-vtown.^ where the army rested until July 1st. It 
was Rochambeau's intention to remain here till the 2d, but urgent orders 
from Washington caused him to hasten towards the Hudson. At Newtown 
the Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts united, as did also the Soisson- 
ois and the Saintonge. In this order both brigades set out on July ist for 
Bridgebury (Ridgebury), which they reached that evening. This was the 
last camp in Connecticut of Rochambeau's divisions on this march. At this 
point the army was diverted from the route originally planned on account of 
information received from General Washington. It was the intention to 
continue westward to Crompond and thence to King's Ferry on the Hudson, 
but instead, Rochambeau turned southward from Ridgebury and reached his 
eleventh camp at Bedford., New York, on July 2d, where he was joined by 
the legion of the Duke de lyauzun. The march was continued until Jul}' 7th, 
when a junction with the American forces was effected at Phillipsburg. 

An eye-witness described Rochambeau's army as it marched across the 
State as "magnificent in appearance, superb in discipline." They conducted 
themselves as became brave soldiers of His Christian Majesty, the King of 
France. They committed no acts of forage, but paid liberally for the sup- 

' The following regiments were not in Connecticut, but were engaged at Yorktown 
under Rochambeau. They were brought from the West Indies b}- St. Simon in De 
Grasse's fleet : 

Brig.\de Agexois. 

Regiment Agenois — Colonel Marquis d'Audechamp, Lieutenant-colonel Chevalier de 
Cadignau, Major Pandin de Beauregard. Rank and file, 1000. 

Regiment Gatenois — Colonel Marquis de Rostaing, Lieutenant- colonel de L'Estrade, 
Major de Tourville. Rank and file, 1000. 

Regiment Toiiraine (not brigaded) — Colonel Vicomte de Pondeux, Lieutenant-colo- 
-nel de IMontlezuu, Major Miinonville. Rank and file, 1000. 
II— 6 


plies furnished them; indeed, their liberality became a household word. They 
carried 2,5CX),ooo livres for Washington's poorly paid troops, besides an 
abundance of silver money for their own requirements. Wherever they 
halted for the day, they were cordially received by officials appointed by the 
governor and escorted to suitable sites for encampment. During the march 
fifteen soldiers deserted — ten at Windham ' and five at Newtown" — not a large 
number, when we consider that they were marching in the hottest season of the 
year in a foreign land and under great difficulties. There was no rest save what 
was imperatively necessary, and the army, as a body, responded nobly to the 
demands made upon them. A contemporary chronicler who accompanied 
Rochambeau says: " It is impossible (for the army) to mcirch better than it 
has done the entire distance, or to show greater willingness; it is true that 
Messieurs de Custine and the Viscount de Noailles set the e.vample by march- 
ing the entire distance on foot at the head of their regiments." ^ 

At Bolton an incident occurred which furnislied a subject of conversation 
for some time. Count de Rochambeau was the guest of the Congregational 
minister, the Rev. George Colton, "six feet three inches," but according to 
another authority, "six feet seven inches in height." He had been married 
twice, but had no children. To secure an heir to his fortune he offered to 
adopt the child of a grenadier, whose wife accompanied him, and to bestow 
upon the mother for herself thirty Louis in money; but she resolutely refused. 

The camp at Hartford was pitched on a field north of the house of the 
late Nathaniel Warren, on Silver Lane.* Rochambeau's headquarters was at 
the residence of Elisha Pitkins, E.sq. The other officers were domiciled at 
Joseph Goodwin's, Sr., at the Warren house, south of the Hockanum l)ridge, 
and at other public and private houses. The old near Elisha 
Pitkin's residence was used as an ho.spital. The officials of the town were 
lavish in their attentions to their French guests. To facilitate their trans- 
portation across the Connecticut river a number of scows, which .served as 
bridges, were pressed into service. Silver Lane takes its name from the large 
number of kegs that were opened here to pay the troops. Tlie soldiers spent 
their money freely, among tlie boys for errands and among the women for 
sewing and mending uniforms, and for cakes, pies and other delicacies. 

Tradition has been very busy with stories of this encampment ; of their 
cattle-roasts in tlie meadows and the barrels of soup made in Elisha Pitkin's 
yard ; of the frolicsome dancing parties in Ashael Robert's orchard near Silver 
Lane ; of the " Belle-Bonne " (Beautiful and Good) apples — a name given by 
the French to the fruit of a tree in this orchard. Tradition tells us also that 
the French officers paid a visit of courtesy to some English prisoners confined 
at South Windsor, and were served by Governor Franklin with sour punches, 

' Nine from the Soissoiiois and one from the Koyal Deux-Tonts. 

■^ Krom the Bourbonnois. 

' The Soissonois and Saintonge. 

*Man}- of the details given here of the Hartford encami)ment are drawn from Trum- 
bull's Memorial History of Hartford Co., and from East Hartford: Its History and Traditions, 
both admirable works. 


whose sweet and sour ingredients were so pleasantly blended as to draw from 
the French the name "one grand contradiction." 

The stay of the army in Hartford, though of brief duration,' was charac- 
terized by cordiality and generosity, by culture and good-breeding. Prejudice 
against Catholics was in a measure dispelled, and otherwise the beneficial 
effects of their visit were visible for many years after. That this friendly 
feeling did not pass away with the objects of it, but became more firmly 
cemented, is evident from the felicitations forwarded by the State of Connec- 
ticut to the King of France on the birth of his son, the Dauphin. His 
Majesty's thanks were conveyed to the people of the State through the Min- 
ister of France to the United States, the Chevalier De La L,uzerne. 

Philadelphia, January lo, 1783. 
To his Exccllt-ncy the Governor of the Stale of Connecticut : 

Sir : — His Majesty has been informed of the marks of joy which the State of Con- 
necticut has shewn on the occasion of the birth of the Monsigneur the Dauphin. He 
views with a great deal of satisfaction the part that the citizens of your State have taken 
in this happy event. The King orders me to testify his sensibility on this subject, and 
at the same time charges me to assvire the citizens and inhabitants of the State of Con- 
necticut of his attention, and of the particular interest which he shall alwa}'s take in 
their prosperit}'. 

I have the honor to be, with respectful attachment, your Excellency's very obedient 
humble servant, Le Chevalier De La Luzerne. 

Leaving Hartford the army passed through Farmington, Southington 
(Baron's Tavern) and Waterbury to their eighth encampment at Breakneck 
Hill. They were delayed in Southington on account of freshets, which neces- 
sitated the repairing of a bridge which had become dangerotis for travel. At 
Waterbury they made a fine impression. "It was on or about June 21st (it 
was June 27th) that the French army under General Rochambeati marched 
through Waterbury on its way to meet Washington's army near King's Bridge. 
What welcome travelers the bonny Frenchmen must have proved themselves 
as they jotirneyed on, for they paid all their expenses in hard money, commit- 
ting no depredations, and treating the inhabitants with great civility and pro- 
priety. The officers wore coats of white broadcloth trimmed with green, 
white under-dress, and hats with two corners instead of three (like the cocked 
hats worn by American officers)."" They marched two and two, and when the 
head of the column had disappeared beyond the hill at Captain George Nichols' 
residence, the other extremity had not come in sight on West Side Hill.^ 

The army experienced great difficulty in reaching Breakneck in Middle- 
bury. The roads were steep and very rough, so that the artillery was consid- 

' On the day preceding the regiment's departure from Hartford, an oiBcer wrote : "I 
went to see a charming spot called Weathersfield, four miles from East Hartford. It 
would be impossible to find prettier houses and a more beautiful view. I went up into 
the steeple of the church and saw the richest country I liad yet seen in America. From 
this spot you can see for fifty miles around." — Baron dit Bourg. 

■ Hist, of Waterbury, Price & Lee Company — 1896. Vol. I , p. 453. 

'Bronson's Hist, of Waterbury, 1858. 


erably delayed. The diarist, before quoted, says : " Breakneck is the English 
for Casse-coii;^ it well deserves the name from its difficult approach. Tlie 
village is frightful and without resources." Rochanibeau and his suite lodged 
at Israel Bronson's tavern, while the troops pitched their camp about a mile 
north of the cluirch. While here the troops baked and washed to such an 
e.xteut that all the wells of the neighborhood were drawn dry. To supply 
the deficiency all the men in the vicinity with their conveyances were em- 
ployed to bring water from Hop Brook." 

Marching to Newtown the army pa.ssed through Woodbury. Their halt 
there is thus described by the distinguished historian of the town : " During 
this year (1781), the French army, under General Lafayette,^ passed through 
this town on their journey south to join General Washington in his operations 
against Cornwallis. They came through White Deer Rocks, where they were 
obliged to cut away trees and remove stones in order to transport their heavy 
baggage tlirough the defile. The army encamped for the night in town in 
sucli companies as suited their convenience, and when they pitched their 
tents they extended all the way from Middle Quarter to White Oak, a distance 
of three miles. That part which encamped near tlie house then occupied by 
David Sherman, and since by the late Gideon Sherman, ate for him, with his 
consent, twelve bushels of apples, as is related, and drank seven or eight bar- 
rels of new cider at his mill. During the evening they had a dance in which 
some of the Woodbury damsels joined with the polite French officers in their 
gay uniforms, while others looked on. Multitudes of the inhabitants pressed 
about the tents of those patriotic foreigners, who had come so far to fight the 
battle of freedom for a suffering people, and destined to act so distinguished a 
part in bringing the long and bloody contest to a close. Lafayette,* with his 
chief officers, lodged at the house of Hon. Daniel Sherman, and was waited 
on by all the principal men of the town."' 

The following are the route and camps of the army of Count de Rochambeau 
in the campaign of 178 1 from Providence, Rhode Island, to Bedford, New York: ^ 



June 18. Waterman's Tavern, R. I. . . 15 June 26. Baron's Tavern. Conn. . . . 13 

" 19. Plainfield, Conn 15 "27. Breakneck, ' ... 13 

" 20. Windham, •' 15 "28. Newtown, • ... 15 

'• 21. Bolton, •' 16 July i. Ridgebury. " ... 19 

" 22. Hartford, " 12 " 2. Bedford, X. Y 13 

" 25. Farmington, " 13 

'Breakneck "derives its name from the circumstance of one of the cattle falling 
and breaking its neck in descending the hill while employed in transporting the baggage 
of the troops."— Colhren's " History of WoOiihtiryr 

■'Bronson's "Hist, of Waterbiiry." 

'Mr. Cothren is in error here ; Lafayette was not with this army. 

' Rochambeau. 

'The Abbe Robin, General Chastellux and the Haron du Kourg, who accompanied 
Rochambeau, say nothing of this encampment. 

« The distances are taken from journals written during the march, and in some 
instances may not be strictly accurate. 


Seven months before Rochambeau's troops started on their march across 
Connecticut, the Legion of the Duke de Lauzun, consisting of i,ooo infantry 
and 500 mounted Hussars, went into camp at Lebanon, the home of Governor 
Trumbull.' They were here from December i, 1780, to June 23, 1781. Their 
camp was situated a short distance west of the governor's residence, and near 
the Congregational church. "A gay June for Lebanon was that," says a local 
historian, " when these six brilliant French regiments, with their martial 
bands and gorgeous banners, were daily displayed on this spacious and lovely 
village green." " While encamped here the Legion was reviewed by General 
Washington, who highly commended the efficiency of the commander and 
the discijjline of the troops. During the encampment here a soldier was shot 
for desertion. The unfortunate man was tried by court-martial at 9 p.m. and 
executed before daybreak. 

While in camp at Lebanon, De Lauzun and his officers made a visit to 
Norwich. The historian of Norwich '' thus describes the event : " Colonel 
Jedidiah Himtington invited the officers to visit him, and prepared a hand- 
some entertainment for them. They made a superb appearance as they came 
into town, being young, tall, vivacious men, with handsome faces and a 
noble air, mounted upon horses bravely caparisoned. The two Dillons, 
brothers, one a major and the other a captain in the regiment, were particu- 
larly distinguished for their fine forms and expressive features." 

A local historian * has reflected severely upon the private character of the 
Duke de Lauzan. Perhaps, he was not a model for imitation, but I do not 
believe he was the profligate he has been painted. I prefer to form my judg- 
ment of him from the testimony of those who shared the hardships of the 
camp with him and who knew him best. Such a one was the Count de Fer- 
sen, aid-de-camp to Count Rochambeau. In a letter to his father from New- 
port, October 16, 1780, he wrote: 

"I have already- informed you, tny dear father, that I ain extremely intimate 
with the Due de Lauzun. Opinions are very much divided concerning him. You will 
hear good and bad reports of him. The first are right, the second are wrong. If,those 
who say them knew him, the}' would change their minds and do justice to his heart." 

The history of the operations of the French army sustains the assertion 
that its assistance was indispensable to the success of the American arms. 
With the single exception of D'Estaing's withdrawal from Newport, in which, 
however, he felt justified, the French allies caused no friction with the Amer- 
ican forces ; but, on the contrary, co-operated intelligently, bravely and con- 
stantly with the plans of the Commander-in-chief They were exponents of 
liberty in its highest sense, and their sole aim was to aid in securing the 
precious boon for tlieir fellow-men across the sea. For this they abandoned 
the ease and comforts of aristocratic life, sacrificed position and fortune and 

'Gov. Trumbull was the original " Brother Jonathan." 
' " Early Lebanon." 
'F. M. Caulkins. 
'■"Hist, of Norwich."' 


sundered tlie hoi)- and tender relations of home and friendship. Washington 
recognized their splendid services, and in his congratulatory order to the allied 
army tendered this graceful acknowledgment : 

Washington's Congratulatory Oroer to the Allied Army.' 

•' Aflt-r Orders. 20th Oct., 1781. 

"The General congratulates the army upon the glorious event of yesterday. The 
generous proofs which His Most Christian Majesty has given of his attachment to the 
cause of America must force conviction on the minds of the most deceived among the 
enemy relative to the good consequences of the alliance, and inspire every citizen of these 
states with sentiments of the most unalterable gratitude. His fleet, the most numerous 
and powerful that ever appeared in these seas, commanded by an admiral whose fortune 
and talents insure great events, an army of the most admirable composition, both in 
oflBcers and men, are the pledges of his friendship to the United States, and their co-ope- 
ration has .secured us the present signal success. 

"The General on this occasion entreats his Excellency, Count de Rochambeau, to 
accept his most grateful acknowledgements for his council at all times : he presents his 
warmest thanks to the Generals Baron de Vionienil, Chevalier Chastellux, Marquis de 
Saint Simon, and Count de Vionienil, and to Brigadier- General de' (who had a 
separate command), for the illustrious manner in which they have advanced the common 
cause. He requests that Count de Rochambeau will be pleased to communicate to the 
army under his immediate command the high he entertains of the distinguished 
merits of the officers and soldicis of every corps, and that he will present in his name to 
the regiments of Agenois and Deuxponts the two pieces of brass ordnance captured bj' 
them (as a testimony of their gallantry) in storming the enemy's redoubt on the night of 
the 14th inst., when officers and men so universallj' vied with each other in the exercise 
of every .soldierly virtue.' 


Lochambeau's army were Catholics, witli, probably, a few exceptions, 
and as it is the custom of Catholic nations to provide chaplains for 
their armies and navies, we are certain that the French forces, who 
aided us in the Revolution, were sufficiently provided with priests. 
Indeed, the names of some of them are known, viz. : the Abbes Robin, 
Glesnon, Lacy, St. Pierre and Claude h'lorent Bouchard de la Portiere. A 
Capuchin friar was also in the service. After the war the Abbe Portiere re- 
mained at Boston until 1790, when he sailed for the West Indies. Tlie Abbe 
Lacy, as his name indicates, was an Irish priest ; and as he was an hospital 
chaplain, it is probable that he accompanied the army on its entire march." 
If so, he performed service in Hartford, as the old meeting-house was trans- 
formed into a temporary hospital for the soldiers who had fallen ill on the 
route. The Abb6 Glesnon was at Newport and Providence for .some time, 
and, no doubt, .said Mass in those places regularly, and, in all probability, 
accompanied Rochambeau's, or some other regiment, across Connecticut. 

The army spent two Sunda\s in the State, at Hartford (June 24th) and 
Newtown (Julv ist\ and it ma)- be averred that on those days — if on no others 

' Lieutenant Sanderson's MS. Diary. Vorktown Orderly Book. 

^ He is spoken of as " an Irish priest, the Abbe Lacy, the Chaplain of our hospital." 


—the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered up by one or more of the chap- 
lains. We cannot, however, speak with the same degree of certaint)' of the 
celebrants of the holy services. Tlie Abbe Robin, General Chastellux and 
others, who wrote about their campaign experiences, are exasperating in 
their silence on religious matters. They, probably, regarded the saying of 
Mass as a function of ordinary occurrence and as having no special bearing 
on present or future history. This would account for the dearth of informa- 
tion on a subject that is of vital importance to us. 

However, so firmly is the belief grounded that Mass was said in Hartford 
during the encampment of Rochambeau's divisions, that its Centennial was 
celebrated with imposing ceremonies in St. Peter's church, Hartford, on Sun- 
day, June 26, 1881. In speaking of the historic event, the historian of the 
occasion says:' "The great thoroughfare of travel between New York and 
Providence or Boston was across the Ferry from East Hartford through Ferry 
and Front streets, crossing Little River by a ford, where the Front street stone 
bridge now stands, to the Meadow ; thence up to and across Main street to the 
south roads leading in different directions to Middletown, to New Haven and 
to Farmington. It was on these beautiful meadows, now within the limits of 
St. Peter's parish, near where the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd 
now stands, that the Abbe Robin, chaplain of the French troops, offered up 
the first Mass said in Connecticut, just one hundred years ago. Since that 
event two entire generations have not passed away. There are people still 
living in Hartford whose fathers were present at the Mass said by Abbe Robin 
for the soldiers alone." 

The historical basis upon which these statements rest is that in 1830, 
almost a half century after the event is said to have taken place, the spot was 
pointed out to the missionary. Rev. James Fitton, then stationed at Hartford, 
by one who had attended the Mass, and remembered all the circumstances. 

It may be accepted as a fact that Mass was said at that encampment ; 
and, as it is certain that the Abbe Robin accompanied the arm)- through the 
State, in the absence of direct proof to the contrary, we may assent to the 
traditions of a century, and yield to him the honor of being the celebrant on 
that memorable occasion. 

I believe, furthermore, that ]\Iass was said at Newtown also, and, per- 
haps frequently on the march, inasmuch as army chaplains always carry the 
articles necessary for the saying of Mass, even under unfavorable circum- 

Another question of interest here arises : Was the Legion of De Lauzun 
provided with a chaplain during his sojourn of seven months at Lebanon? 
The probability is very strong that a priest was there, at least at intervals, 

^ "Centennial Celebration of the First Mass in Connecticut." 

'"The march of Rochambeau's arni)- through several States where Mass had never 
before been said, brought to light Catholics in manj- places where they were not known 
to exist ; and the arm}- chaplains were often surrounded by the descendants of Irishmen 
or .^.cadians, who now saw a priest for the first time, and implored them to staj'." — 
De Courcy and Shea's " Hist, of the Cat/i. Church." 

88 run CATHOLIC church in new ENGLAND. 

duly commissioned to minister to the spiritual wants of the troops. The 
French army was provided with five or six chaplains. The commander 
could, without impairing the efficiency of the ecclesiastical force, assign a 
chaplain to De Lauzun's Legion. The French soldiers were Catholics, and 
like the Catholic soldiers of our own nation, desired the frequent niini.stra- 
tioiis of their spiritual guides; and those in authority were then, as they 
should be now, alive to the necessity of the presence of chaplains in camp. 
To me it is incredible that the Legion of the Duke de Lauzun spent 
seven months at Lebanon deprived of religious services. And the proba- 
bility of the presence of a chaplain is made all the stronger from the fact that 
the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord occurred during tlie encamp- 
ment. I am convinced, therefore, that on that festival, so precious to the 
hearts of Catholics the world over, and particularly to Catholic soldiers in a 
strange land, far from home and kindred, but with memories of the mid-night 
Mass fresh and dear, the holy sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated — a military it was, perhaps — with becoming ceremony, and that the hardy soldiers 
enjoyed the unspeakable happiness of receiving Holy Comnumiun. 

And still further, it is improbable that the commander would permit 
the unfortunate deserter to be sent before the Judgment Seat uushrived, or 
deprived of the opportunity of making his peace with God. 

We have seen that the Legion of the Duke de Lauzun remained in camp 
at Lebanon during the winter of 1780-81. On June 23 he began his march 
to the Hudson, but took a more southerly route. His first camp was between 
Colchester and Middleliaddain, the second at Middletoivn^ the third at Wal- 
liiig/ord, the fourth at Oxford^ the fifth at A\w Stratford, the sixth at Ridge- 
field, and the seventh at Bedford, New York, where he united with Rocham- 
beau's divisions. 


(*) I HE most distinguished French Catholic of the Revolution to honor Con- 
* I necticut with his presence was the Marquis de Lafa\ette. During the 
war he passed frequently through the State on missions of vast im- 
portance. In the summer of 1778, Washington dispatched him to Rhode 
Island to assist General Sullivan in repelling the British forces at Newport. 
The campaign resulted in failure, and Lafayette returned to Fishkill on the 
Hudson. On these marches he followed the main highway from New York, 
running through Newtown and Waterburj- to Hartford and Middletown, and 
thence to Providence and Newport. At Breakneck, in Middlebury, he was 
the guest of Captain Isaac Bronsou. The host honored his illustrious N'isitor 
by placing at his disposal his finest room and his best bed. Lafayette, however, 
remo\'ed the upper feather bed, saying : " Straw for the soldier, " and slept ujion 
the straw under-bed.' He is described at this period as "a slender, handsome 
youth, who sat a horse beautifully, and altogether made a fine appearance.'"' 

' Bronsoii'.s " History of Waterbuiy." ' Ibui. 


Lafayette was in Hartford with Washington when the latter conferred 
with Rochambean the first time, and returned to the Hudson with him to 
learn of the treason of Benedict Arnold. 

His visit to Norwich is tlius described : ' "There were some who long 
remembered the appearance of the noble Lafayette, as he passed through 
the place on his way to Newport. He had been there before, and needed 
no guide ; his aides and a small body-guard were with him, and he rode up 
to the door of his friend, Colonel Jedidiah Huntington, in a quick gallop. 
He wore a blue military coat, but no vest and no stockings; his boots 
being short, his leg was consequently left bare for a considerable space below 
the knee. The speed with which he was traveling, and the great heat of the 
weather, were sufficient excuses for this negligence. He took some refresh- 
ment and hastened forward. At another period, he passed through with a 
detachment of 2000 men under his command and encamped them for one 
night upon the plain." 

In 17S4 Lafa\ette paid a visit to this country, whose liberties he had 
helped to achieve. Though his sojourn was brief — he arrived during the sum- 
mer and departed in December, — he visited Hartford on October 5th. An 
elaborate dinner and an address of welcome by the Mayor were among the 
features of his reception. 

In 1824 Lafayette again crossed the waters to mingle once more with the 
people who held him in veneration. After his reception by the citizens of 
New York, he set out for Boston. When he reached the Connecticut line he 
was formally welcomed by State officials and escorted through the State with 
every demonstration of affection and joy. Bridgeport, New Haven, New Lon- 
don and Norwich paid distinguished honors to their guest. On his return he 
stopped at Hartford and proceeded thence by boat to Middletown. Resuming 
his trip by water, he reached New York on Sunday, September 5th. Lafayette 
was accompanied on this visit by his son George and his secretary, M. 

" History of Norwicli." 
' In 1855 Prof. Morse ascribed to Lafayette the utterance that "if the liberty of the 
United States is ever destro3-ed, it will be b}- Romish priests." He also contended 
that Lafaj'ette was a convert to Protestantism. Right Rev. Martin J. Spalding, Bishop of 
Louisville, Ky., disposed of Prof. Morse in a public letter Aug. 14, 1855, which will be 
found subjoined. 



I am in no way committed to the opinion that he (Lafayette) was always a good 
Catholic and a regular communicant during his long and tempest-tossed life. Reared up 
piously in the Catholic faith, he received before his death the last rites of the church from 
the hands of the curate of the Assumption, and he was interred with the full Catholic cere- 
monial, as Cloquet testifies. Having passed the most of his life as a soldier, a politician 
and a professed revolutionist — though not a Radical or a Red Republican — he was not a 
religious man, and was probably for a time tincttired with the religious indifferentism, 
or infidelitj', so prevalent in France. He admits as much in the affecting letter in which 


he speaks of the last illness and pious death of his wife ; but that he had not whoUj- lost 
the Catholic faith may be inferred from his promise to that devoted Catholic wifethat he 
would read with recollection certain works which she had recommended, and the perusal 
of which she had hoped would lead to his conversion. During his last visit to this 
countrj- he attended Catholic worship in the churches of Baltimore and Philadelphia, 
and, probably, elsewhere ; and I have been informed at Baltimore that he excused himself 
to the sexton for not kneeling during the service, on the ground that he had a stiff knee. 
No one had ever dreamed that he was a Protestant except Professor Morse and poor Dr. 
Vanpelt, who so distinctly and vividl5- recollected his conversion. All that my present 
purpose strains me to mention is that he was not a hypocrite ; that he had not the mean- 
ness to pass as a Catholic in France — so far as he was a Christian at all — and then at the 
same lime to speak and act in this country as a Protestant, and as a hater of that Catholic 
priesthood whom he respected, and whose ministrj' he cheerfully employed in his family 
at home. This is my position, and neither Professor Morse nor his witnesses have shaken 
it in the least. From his Memoirs we learn that he espoused the cause of the faithful 
French clergy, who had refused to take the iniquitous constitutional oath. Notwith- 
standing "the great unpopularity" which was for a time attached to these devoted 
priests, the worship performed by them "never cea.sed to be publicly practised by the 
family of Lafajetle." ("Memoirs," Vol. III., p. 80, Paris edition.; This proves that he 
had no sympathy with any but duly recognized priests 

Professor Morse insists upon the successful exertions of Lafaj-ette in favor of reli- 
gious liberty, as an evidence of his hostility to the Catholic priesthood. Did he ever 
chance to read in the Memoirs of the French patriot his important declaration on this 
subject, that his motion for full religious liberty to the small Protestant minority in 
France "would have probably failed had it not been supported by the Bishop of Lan. 
gres? ■' (Vol. II., p. 178.) Did he ever happen to read the bill itself, drawn b_v the hand 
of Lafayette ? If he did, he would have perceived that the French General therein makes 
a distinct profession of faith in the Catholic as the true religion, and speaks of Protest- 
ants as persons " who have not the happiness to profess the Catholic religion.'' Can it 
be that the Professor failed to notice this important act when he referred for another and 
sinister purpose, to this identical passage in Lafa3'ette's life? Probably he did not con- 
descend to notice all this, but " waived it as impertinent." 

The passage of the bill of 1787 to which I refer is the following : "A portion of our 
fellow-citizens who have not the happiness to profess the Catholic religion, finds them- 
selves stricken with a sort of civil death. The bureau knows too well the heart of the 
king not to be persuaded that he desires the true religion to be loved by all his subjects, 
of whom he is the common father; he knows that truth sustains itself by its own force ; 
that error alone has need of employing constraint, and that his Majesty unites the dispo- 
sition of a benevolent toleration with all the virtues which have merited for him the love 
pf the nation." (Memoirs, II., 179-180.) 

If Lafayette urged him so repeatedly and so earnestly to give the warning contained 
in the motto to the American people as early as 1831, why did he delay giving it until 
1S36 or '37 (he gives both dates), five or six years afterwards, and about three years after 
the death of the French patriot ? He alone can answer this question. 

If this was really the sentiment of Lafayette, why is not the famous motto found in 
those twelve volumes, consisting in great part of his own writings ? And why is no 
trace of it to be discovered in any of the published lives of the French patriot? Why, 
especially, does his physician, Cloquet, who was so intimately acquainted with his 
inmost thoughts, say nothing whatever on this subject in the elaborate work in which 
he treats of the private life and conversion of the patriot ? 

How does the Professor reconcile the two manifestly inconsistent facts of Lafay- 
ette's using the motto to American Protestants and at the time passing for a Catholic 
in France, praising the tender piety of his devoted Catholic wife, and wishing to be 
buried bv her side? How explain the solemn Catholic funefal service, so beautifully 
described by Cloquet, and the interment in the Catholic cemetery of Picpus, with a large 


Catholic cross near his grave ? Think \-ou the priests wonld have assisted in such num- 
bers at tlie funeral if he had been in the habit of abusing them ? Or did Lafa3-ette have 
one language for American Protestants and another for French Catholics? 

In his chateau or castle at Lagrange, Lafayette, like other French Catholics of 
rank, had a chapel. Now, what was the use of this chapel if his enemies, the " Roman 
priests," were not to officiate therein? Was this, too, a mockery, or was it sheer 
h3'pocrisy ? 

I again ask an explicit answer to the dilemma I before proposed, which I repeat 
here, as the Professor seems to have forgotten it. Either Lafa3-ette was a Catholic or he 
was an infidel : he certainly was not a Protestant. If a Catholic, he could not have 
originated the motto ascribed to him by Morse, without being a hypocrite, which no one 
will venture to assert. If an infidel, then his testimony against Catholics has no more 
weight than Voltaire and Tom Paine, and, like them, he may have meant, and probably 
did mean by priests, the ministers of all Christian denominations. Whichever horn of 
the dilemma our adversaries may choose to select, the Catholic church still remains 

I conclude this letter — already longer than I had intended — by the testimony of a 
distinguished Protestant gentleman, who ranks among the first of our historians, and 
whose testimony on a historical subject possesses at least as much weight as that of any 
man in the country. Though a Protestant, he does not allow religious prejudice to swaj-, 
much less run away with his judgment, and he was never yet known to put men's names 
to sentences they never wrote, and the " identical words " of which he could not remem 
ber. Need I name Jared Sparks? I publish this letter to me in answer to certain 
inquiries which I had made ; and it will be perceived that in the first part he disposes of 
Dr. Vanpelt, who was, however, sufficiently settled before ; and in the last part he fur- 
nishes an opinion which will go far towards refuting Professor Morse. Though Mr. 
Sparks did not request it, it is delicate and proper for me to state that he merely 
answered my questions, and that I do not seek to involve him in this discussion : 

" CAMBRIDGE, July 27, '55. 
" Dear Sir : On my return home, after a long absence, I find jour letter of June 
30 from Niagara Falls. 

" As to the first of your questions, I believe no historical fact can be more better 
established than that Washington was not in Boston between the years 1776 and 1789, 
and that he was never there with Lafayette. 

" That Lafayette said, ' If the liberty of the United States is ever destroj-ed it will be 
by Romish priests,' is so improbable that I could not believe it except on the affirmation 
of some person that heard him say so, and even then I should suspect misapprehension. 
Anj- reflecting man may conjecture man}- causes much more likelj', to sa}- the least, to 
destroy our liberties than the Romish priesthood. 

" I often saw Lafayette in Paris in the year 1829. On one occasion I attended by 
invitation the wedding of a granddaughter in one of the principal churches of the city. 
The ceremony was performed by Catholic priests, and Lafayette appeared to attend to 
it throughout with as much solemnity as any person present. At Legrange, where I 
passed two or three weeks with him, he conversed about the schools in that neighbor- 
hood, in which he seemed to take a strong personal interest. I remember hearing him 
say that he thought scholars too exclusively under the direction of ecclesiastics, and 
that laymen ought to take more active part in them ; but I never heard him speak disre- 
spectfully of the Catholic church or clerg}-. 

" I am, dear sir, verj' respectfullj- yours, 

"Jared Sparks.'' 
Louisville, August 14, 1835. M. T. SPALDING. 



IX 1780, 1781 and 1782 tlie Marquis de Chastellux, a major-general in 
the French army under the Count de Rochambeau, made a number of 
tours through tlie New England and Middle Atlantic States, going as 
far as Wilmington, Delaware. He recorded in a familiar style his im- 
pressions of persons and places.' His first tour tlirough Connecticut occurred 
in November, 1780. 

De Chastellux disembarked at Newport on July i ith, and was detained 
there by military duties until November ist. "This was the moment," he 
writes, " vvlien I found myself able to withdraw from the army, but I did not 
wish to show too much eagerness, and I wished to see established the disci- 
pline and tlie arrangements relative to the cantonments ; therefore I delayed 
starting on my long journey on the continent until the nth." He was 
accompanied by his aides, M. Montesquieu and M. Lynch, whose name indi- 
cates his Celtic origin. The Marquis had three ser\'ants, the aides one each. 
Their first stop in Connecticut was at Voluntown, which they reached on the 
13th. Here he was the guest of a Mr. Dorrance, whose household he thus 
describes: "He is an old gentleman of seventy-three years of age, tall and 
still vigorous ; he is a native of Ireland, first settled in Massachusetts and 
afterwards in Connecticut. His wife, who is younger than him, is active, 
handy and obliging. But tlie family is charming. It consists of two young 
men, one twenty-eight and the other twenty-one years old, a child of twelve, 
and two girls from eighteen to twenty." The eldest son was a Greek and 
Latin scholar, and well versed in general literature. The travelers left 
Voluntown on the 15th at 8 a.m., stopping at Plainfield, "a small town, but 
a big place, for it has nearly thirty houses to .support the meeting-house." 
The Marquis was deeply impressed with Plainfield as a military stronghold. 
"The situation of it is agreeable, but it offers also the very best possible mili- 
tary position, the first I have observed. One could camp here on the lesser 
heights, behind which the mountains rise like an amphitheatre, and thus 
present successive positions almost to the great woods, which would serve for 
tlie last retreat. The foot of the heights of Plainfield is fortified by pools of 
water, which can only be crossed by one causeway, and would force the enemy 
to defile in order to attack. . . . Tlie left and the right are supported by 
escarpments. . . . This camp would be good for six, eight, or even ten 
thousand men ; it would serve to defend Providence and tlie whole State of 
Massachusetts against troops which had passed the Connecticut River." 

Leaving Plainfield, our tourists passed through Canterbury to Windham, 
which is described as "a pretty little town, or, rather, the germ of a pretty 

' " Voyages de M. Le Marquis de Chastellux dans L Amerique, Septentrionale les annees. 
1780, 1781 and lyiz." 


town." At Windham De Chastellnx dined with the Duke de Lauzun, who 
was encamped there witli his Legion, awaiting the construction of his winter 
quarters at Lebanon. At " a little lonely tavern" six miles from Windham, 
the generous Marquis acted the part of the good Samaritan by defraying the 
expenses of a penniless Continental soldier, who was ill there, besides giving 
him a sum of money to continue his journey. 

De Cha.stellux and his companions arrived at Hartford on the i6th, and, 
with the Duke de Lauzun, who had passed him on the road, lodged at the 
hospitable mansion of Colonel Wadsworth. M. Dumas, Lauzun's aide, 
Messrs. L)'nch and Montesquieu secured lodgings in the neighborhood. 
Early on the 17th De Chastellux left Hartford and the Duke de Lauzun, "but 
it was after breakfast, for if there is one thing absolutely unheard of in Amer- 
ica, it is to depart without one's breakfast." The next stop was at Farming- 
ton, "a pretty little town, where they have a fine meeting-house and fifty 
houses standing close together, all neat and well built." Leaving Farming- 
ton at 8 A.M. on the 18th, the Marquis continued his journey through Har- 
winton until he reached Litchfield. His host here was a Mr. Philips, "an 
Irishman transplanted to America, where he has already made a fortune ; he 
appears to be a man skillful and adroit ; he speaks with caution to strangers, 
and fears to compromise himself: for the rest he is of a gayer mood than the 
Americans, even a little of a joker, a kind but little known in America." 

Washington and New Milford are the last towns in Connecticut of which 
De Chastellux makes mention in this journey. Of this former he writes : 
" They gave it this respectable name, of which the memory, no doubt, will last 
much longer than the town intended to perpetuate it." 

On his return journey De Chastellux passed through Canaan, Norfolk, 
New Hartford to Hartford, thence to Lebanon, to which place he returned 
after an absence of two months. During this visit at Lebanon he dined again 
at the quarters of the Duke de Lauzun, and on this occasion witnessed a scene 
familiar to Catholics the world over, and in which Governor Trumbull was 
the chief actor. "You have only to represent to yourself this little old man," 
writes De Chastellux, "in the antique dress of the first settlers in this colony, 
approaching a table surrounded by twenty Hussar officers, and without dis- 
concerting himself, or losing anything of his formal stiffness, pronouncing in 
a loud voice, a long prayer in the form of a bcncdicitc} Let it not be imag- 
ined that he excites the laughter of his auditors ; they are too well trained ; 
you must, on the contrary, figure to yourself twenty Alliens issuing at once 
from the midst of forty mustaches. ' ' 

In October, 1782, a year after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktowu, 
De Chastellux, commanding the first division of Rochambeau's army, marched 
through Connecticut to Hartford. Wishing to visit northern Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire, the Marquis relinquished his coumiand at Hartford, 
and on November 4th set out in company with Messieurs Lynch, Montes- 
quieu, Baron de Talleyrand, and M. Vaudreuil. On this tour they passed 

'/. ('., grace before meals. 


through Coventry, Asliford and Woodstock into Massachusetts. At Coventry 
the tourists fell in with a French Canadian laborer, "who had frequently 
changed habitations, and liad seven children." 

His third tour took place in December, 1782, when he followed the 
route taken two years before, that is, to Voluntown, through Hartford and 
Farmington, to Litchfield and Washington. 


4L ^'J 


French armies which co-operated with the American forces con- 
tained many thousands of Irishmen; and the second in command 
of the besieging force defeated at vSavannah was no other than Count 
Arthur Dillon, who had brought with him his own Irish regiment which he 
had commanded in France." ' 

We have seen that the land and naval forces of the king of France 
assisted the American Colonies to break the chains that bound them to Great 
Britain ; we are now to show that the brave and generous sons of Ireland 
contributed no less to the humiliation of their traditional enemy, the English 
government. What the English king said of Irish valor at Fontenoy, George 
III. might well have said of every battlefield from Lexington to Yorktov/n : 
" Cursed be the laws that deprive me of such subjects." The Irish emi- 
o-rants could not forget the accumulated wrongs of centuries. The memories 
of penal laws rankled within them, and the hideous spectre of insensate 
cruelties was ever before them. They remembered the barbarities, by gov- 
ernment ordered, of which they were victims, and when the opportunity was 
offered to strike their relentless foe they eagerly embraced it, and marched to 
battle with hearts throbbing with joy and pulses beating high, animated with 
the single purpose of driving a hated flag from the American Colonies. Urged 
on by the same invincible ardor that brought low in the dust the English 
standard at Fontenoy, and which makes the Irish soldier a splendid acquisi- 
tion to any army, they fought the battles of American Independence with a 
gallantrv unsurpassed and with such intense devotion to the cause of liberty 
as to evoke the admiration of their commanders. The Irish emigrant knew 
not the blessings of liberty at home; he would fight for it in the young land 
of the West. 

The achievements of Ireland's sons in the War of the Revolution have 
received but scant recognition from the pens of American historians. 
Where recognition has been made at all, it has been bestowed upon a 
myth, a figment and nothing more. Fulsome adulation has been given 
to what in fact has no concrete existence. Much eloquence has been ex- 
pended to exploit the deeds of the "Scotch-Irish" in the Revolution, 
and a maximum of energy has been dissipated in the endeavor to minimize 
the part taken by the genuine Irish — the Irish that need no prefix to attract 

' ' Till" American Irish," p. 21. 


attention; and this concerted attempt to defrand the true sons of Erin of the 
glor>' that is justly their meed, is all the more absurd from the fact that the 
individual, yclept "Scotch-Irishman," can trace no ancestry, has no local 
habitat, and exists only in the imaginations of a certain school of foreign and 
domestic apologists. 

When Ivord Monntjoy made his famous declaration that America was 
lost by the Irish emigrants, he had no thought of the being subsequently de- 
veloped, the " Scotch Irishman." He had in mind the hundreds of thousands 
of the Irish-Irish, who streamed into this country from 1629 to 1774. In 
retrospect he saw the crowds who fled from Cromwell's assassins and man- 
hunters in 1653, and he witnessed again the exodus to the colonies from 
1700 to 1774. All these sturdy emigrants, compulsory and voluntary, 
regarded the British crown as a symbol of tyranny, and their sympathies went 
out freely to the colonists who were manfully, and patriotically, but against 
fearful odds, resisting the burdensome laws of the mother country. 

The historian Marmion pronounces the emigration from Ireland to this 
country during 1771, 1772, 1773, to have been without a parallel. "During 
these three years eighty-eight vessels carried 25,000 Irishmen from three Irish 
ports to the United States." "They arrived," he continues, "at a critical 
moment, joined Washington's armies, and contributed by their numbers, 
courage and conduct, to separate that country from the British crown.'' To 
the same effect writes the historian Gordon. "Many thousands left Ireland 
and settled in America," he says, " and contributed powerfully by their zeal 
and valor to the separation of the American Colonies from England." "The 
services rendered by the Irish in America during the war of the Revolu- 
tion," says Bagenal, "were of almost equal importance in the history of that 
prolonged and bitter struggle as at Fontenoy, at Cremona, in the Peninsular 
War, or in the Crimea." ' 

Indeed, testimony confirmatory of the predominance of the Irish element 
in the American Revolutionary forces is abundant and unimpeachable, as 
much of it is the evidence of men high in station and who could not be 
charged with pro-Irish proclivities. In a speech in the Irish House of Com- 
mons on the 2d of April, 1784, Colonel Luke Gardiner^ paid generous tribute 
to the assistance rendered by the Irish to the cause of American freedom ; and 
his testimony is the more valuable from the fact that he was a Loyalist and an 
Anglo-Irishman. He was a member of the Irish peerage and died at far- 
famed Vinegar Hill, fighting his patriotic countrymen under an English 

" America," said Colonel Gardiner, "was lost by Irish emigrants. These 
emigrations are fresh in the recollection of every gentleman in this House, 
and when the unhappy differences took place, I am assured from the best 
authority that the major part of the American army was composed of Irish, 
and that the Irish language was as commonly spoken in the American ranks 
as English. I am also informed // was their valor determined the contest, so 

' "Tilt- American Irish." 
^"Iris/i Debates," III., p. 130. 


that England not only lost a principal protection of her woolen trade, but also 
had America detached from her by the force of Irish emigrants." It is no 
purpose of mine to depreciate the aid given to the colonies by the men from 
the Presbyterian Xorth, but it is simple justice to state here that they spoke 
uot the Irish, but the PvUglish language. 

Major-general Robertson, who served in the British army in America, 
bore still more striking testimony to the numerous body of Irishmen who 
joined their fortunes with the Continental army. In an official inquir)-, he 
was asked by Edmund Burke: "How are the Provincial (/. e. American) 
Corps composed ? Are they mostly Americans, or emigrants from various 
nations of Europe?" He replied: "Some corps are mostly natives; the 

greater number such as can be got General Lee informed me that 

one-half of the rebel army were from Ireland." ' 

Robertson's testimony was corroborated b\- Galloway before the same 
committee. " What were the troops in the service chiefly composed of? "-he 
was asked. " I can answer with precision. There were scarcely one-fourth 
native Americans, about one-half were Irish and the other fourth English and 
Dutch." What says Plowden, the English historian? 'It is a fact beyond 
question that most of the early successes of the patriots of America were 
owing to the vigorous exertions and power of the Irish emigrants who bore 
arms in that cause." And Lecky ? " Few classes were so largeh' represented 
in the American army as Irish emigrants." The words of Viscount Town- 
shend are a touching plea for the sufTering Irish people : ^ " IVIy Lords, con- 


Dktail and Conduct 

of the 


under generals 

Gage, Howe, Burgovne, 


Vice-Admiral Lord Howe : 


A ver^- full and correct state 

of the whole of the 


as given before a 

Committee of the Hoi-se of Commons : 

and the 

Celebrated Fugitive Pieces, 

Which are said to have given rise to that 

Important Enouirv. 

The whole exhibiting a 

Circumstantial, Connected and Complete Histor\ 

of the 

Real Causes, Rise, Progress and Present State 

of the 


'Hansard's Parluwit-ntary Debates:' Vol. XIX., p. 860. 


sider, in God's name ; in time, consider what you owe to gallant and suffer- 
ing Ireland. Suffer not your humiliating proposal and offerings to be laid at 
the feet of the Congress in whose front of battle these poor Irish emigrants 
perform the hardest service. ' ' 

We shall supplement this testimony with evidence from American 
sources. The Father of his Country realized the nation's debt of gratitude to 
Ireland's sons and generously gave it public acknowledgment. When the 
British evacuated Boston on March 17, 1776 — a day of sacred memories to 
Washington's Celtic soldiers — the countersign for the day was a graceful 
tribute to the race and creed of Ireland's glorious Apostle: 


"Headquarters, March 17, 1776. 
" Parole — ' Boston.' 

"Countersign — 'St. Patrick.' 
" The regiments under marching orders to march to-morrow morning. 

" Brigadier of the Day, 

" General Sullivan." 

In his letter accepting the honor of an election to membership in the 
"Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick," December 17, 1781, he re- 
ferred to the organization as "a society distinguished for the firm adherence 
of its members to the glorious cause in which we are embarked." And 
when in March, 1790, he replied to an address from the Roman Catholics of 
the United States, which bore the Celtic names of Carroll, L,ynch and Fitz- 
simmons, he wrote thus : "And I jjresume your fellow-citizens will not for- 
get the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their revo- 
lution and the establishment of their government." 

We shall close this testimony with the eloquent words of Washington's 
adopted son, George Washington Parke Custis : "Of the operations of the 
war — I mean the soldiers — up to the coming of the French, Ireland has fur- 
nished in the ratio of one hundred for one of any other nation whatever. 
Then honored be the good services of the sons of Erin in the War of Inde- 
pendence. Let the shamrock be entwined with the laurels of the Revolu- 
tion, and the truth and justice guiding the pen of history inscribe on the 
tablets of America's remembrance eternal gratitude to Irishmen." 

The Irish people at home and in the Colonies were staunch friends of 
America in the darkest hour of her history. When valiantly struggling to 
throw off the heavy yoke her oppressors sought to fasten upon her, they 
brought to her feet their money, their brains, and their good, loyal, stout 
arms. "-Ireland was with America to a man," said William Pitt, Earl of 
Chatham.' An observant traveler felicitously wrote in 1787: "An Irish- 
man, the instant he sets foot on American ground, becomes iJ>so facto.^ an 
American ; this was uniformly the case during the whole of the late war. 
Whilst Englishmen and Scotchmen were regarded with jealousy and dis- 
trust, even with the best recommendations of zeal and attachment to their 

' " Life of Pitt." — Thackeray. 
11— 7 


cause, a native of Ireland stood in need of no other certificate than his 
dialect; his sincerity was never called in question ; he was supposed to have 
a sympathy of suffering, and everj' voice decided, as it were intuitively, in 
his favor. Indeed their conduct in the late revolution amply justified this 
favorable opinion ; for whilst the Irish emigrant was fighting the battles of 
America by sea and land, the Irish merchants, particularly at Charlestown, 
Baltimore and Philadelphia, labored with indefatigable zeal, and, at all 
hazards, to promote the spirit of enterprise, to increase the wealth and main- 
tain the credit of the country; their purses were always open and their 
persons devoted to the common cause. On more than one imminent occa- 
sion Congress owed their existence, and America probably her preservation, 
to the fidelity and firmness of the Irish." ' 

A .search through the war records of Connecticut will di.sclose a pro- 
fusion of names of distinctively Irish origin, names that indicate beyond 
doubt, that their owners saw the light in Ireland or were the descendants 
of who were born there. The State has preser\^ed in her archives the 
names of more than one thousand men through whose veins coursed the warm, 
generous blood of the Emerald Isle. The statement may appear startling, 
but in substantiation thereof we submit herewith a list of 800 names whose 
origin seems to be beyond cavil. Two hundred and more names were not 
copied, as their claims to Celtic origin might po.ssibly be challenged, though 
they are still borne b\- many who are proud to claim the green isle beyond 
the sea as the land of their birth or of their ancestors. But do I claim 
for them menibershiiD in the Catholic church ? There are no records to 
enable one to speak with certainty; nevertheless, inferentially, I believe 
a large majority of these names originally represented adherents of the 
ancient faith, and this inference is not unreasonable in view of the facts, 
that it was against the Catholics of Ireland the most stringent enactments 
were directed ; that they in far greater numbers than others were the 
victims of England's policy of expatriation, and that, when arrived on our 
shores they scattered throughout the New England Colonies, where they 
settled in large numbers. However, .should the temptation arise in the mind 
of any reader to call in question the Catholicity of the names here given, let 
hiui, without denominational bias, consult the baptismal, marriage, burial, 
pew rent or collection records of an)- thickly populated Catholic parish, or 
make a personal canvass of names, and he will recognize that the inference 
here drawn rests upon a solid foundation. 

Many of their descendants, and possibly some of themselves, may have 
lost the precious gift of faith, as the prevailing conditions made it well nigh 
impossible to keep alive the sacred flame. Occasionally a solitary priest 
passed through the State in quest of the lost sheep ; but after all, what was 
one laborer in so vast a field ? He could accomplish but little. The seed of 
the divine Word could be but sparsely sowed ; the ground became fallow. 
Writing in 1834, Bishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, said: "There are places in 

' The translator of Dr. Chastellux's " Travels in Morth America," an English gentle- 
man residing in America at that period, 1780-1782. 


which there are Catholics of twenty years of age who have not yet had an 
opportunity of performing one single public act of their religion. How many 
fall sick and die without the sacraments! How many children are brought 
up in ignorance and vice ! How many persons marry out of the church, and 
thus weaken the bonds that hold them to it." ' 

Similar conditions existed here. What with the passing years with no 
sight of priest, the intermarriages with Protestants, and the social disabilities 
under which Catholics labored, they ceased to practice the duties of their 
religion. And this may account for the fact that in 1835 Bishop Fenwick 
found Qnly 720 Catholics in Connecticut, notwithstanding the influx of pre- 
sumably Catholic emigrants during the preceding century. 

The names that constitute this Roll of Honor are drawn from the 
"Record of Service of Connecticut men in the War of the Revolutions^ com- 
piled by order of the General Assembly. 

The Revolutionary record of Connecticut opens with her response to the 
historic Le.xington alarm of April 19, 1775, and closes eight and a half years 
later with the disbandment of her last regiment after peace, November, 1783. 

There is no doubt that many, who have hitherto given little or no atten- 
tion to the subject, will be astonished to know that over 1000 men from Con- 
necticut, bearing distinctively Irish names, patriotically contributed their 
services, and many of them their lives, to the cause of independence. And 
with so many of unequivocally Irish distinction, there were undoubtedly many 
hundreds of Irish soldiers whose names do not as clearh- indicate their Irish 

During the famous skirmishes of Lexington and Concord, Wednesday, 
April 19, 1775, which precipitated the Revolutionary War, an "alarm',' was 
immediately spread in every direction, and reached Windham county by 
Thursday noon, the 20th, and through Connecticut to Stamford by Friday 
night, the 21st. About 4000 men started from Connecticut to Boston in 
response to the alarm, and among them we readily distinguish the following 
Irish names, and yet several of the lists are not complete: 

Irishmen in the "Lexington Alarm List" from Connecticut, April 19, 1775. 
Joseph Gleason, East Haddam ; Jas. McKenney, East Windsor; Andrew Kennedy, 
East Windsor ; James Green, Enfield ; Daniel Prior, Enfield ; Thomas Murphy, East 
Haddam ; Wm. McKenney, East Windsor ; Daniel Green, East Windsor ; Peter Reynolds, 
Enfield ; Daniel Terry, Enfield ; James Maden, Glastonbury ; Wm. Griffin, Hartford ; 
Robert McKee, Hartford ; Stephen Killborn, Hartford ; Thomas McCartee, Hartford ; 
Stephen Cummins, Mansfield ; Ross. Griflin, New Haven ; John McKall, captain, Nor- 
wich ; Joseph Griffin, Norwich ; John Carey, sergeant, Preston ; John Gordon, Volun- 
town ; Thos. Gordon, Voluntown ; David Kennedy, Voluntown ; George Gordon, Jr., 
Voluritown ; Daniel McIMullen, fifer, Wallingford ; Daniel Bailey, Wallingford; Thos. 
Russell. Wethersfield; Timothj' Killborn, Wethersfield; Thos. Fitzgerald, Windham; 
Levi Carey,'' Windham; John Carey, 3d, Windham; Nath'l Carey, ^ Windham; Wm. 
Martin, Windham ; John Flyn ; John Reynolds, Hartford ; Joseph McKee, sergeant, 

' " Annals of the Propagation of Faith !' Vol. \TII. 

^Baptismal names like these indicate, probably, the issue of mi.Ked marriages, as 
such names are verj' rare when both parents are Irish or Catholics. 


Hartford ; Joseph Keeny, Jr., Hartford ; Peter Philips, Hartford; Benj. Collins, Mansfield; 
Nath'l Collins, New Hartford; Jefl'rey Murray, Norfolk; John Martin, Norwich ; John 
Welch, Plainfield ; Jas. Gordon, Voluntown ; Joseph Kennedy, Voluntown ; John Gordon, 
3d, Voluntown ; Samuel Collins, Wallingford ; Siuion Griffin, Wethersfield •. John Jack- 
son, Welhersfield ; Ackley Riley, Wethersfield; Dan Manning, Windham ; James Carey, 
corporal, Windham; Wni. Carey, Windham ; Stephen Cummings, Windham; Michael 
Jackson, Woodstock ; John Green, Thomas Barret. 

First Regiment. General Wooster's. 1775. 

Second Company. — Augustus Collins, ensign; James M. Griffin, private; Wm. 
Murray, private. 

Third Company. — James Ganer (Gaynor), private ; Martin Clark, private ; Amos 
Collins, private. 

Fourth Company. — ^John Welch, private. 

Tenth Company. — Angus McFee, John Grimes. 

Second Regi.ment. General Spencer's. 

First Company. — Wm. Co.x, drum major; Joseph Gleason, drummer. 

Second Company. — Wm. McCorney, fifer; James Carey, Patrick Colbert, James Lord, 
Daniel Clark, Herman Higgins, Patrick Leonard. 

Third Company.— Q.oxn.eWviS Russell. 

Fourth Company. — Timothy Powers, Cleorge Carej-, John Dodd. 

Fifth Company. — Samuel Cileason. 

Si.xth Company. — Wm. McBride, Michael Eggins (Higgins). 

Seventh Company, — Edmund Murfy (;Murph\'), Jos. Grimes, Jr. 

Eighth Company. ~i&ri\cs ;\IcCartey, Jesse Higgins, John Fox, Thos. Martin. 

Ninth Company — Michael Barce, Roger Fox, Jas. Murphy, Jas. McLean, John Jack- 
son, Lawrence Sullivan. 

Tenth Company. — John Conly, fifer ; James McCae. 

Third Regiment. Gener.^i. Putn.vm's. 

Second G);«/<JW)'.— Stephen Cummins (Cummings), David Kel ley, Joseph Martin. 

Third Company. — James Carr, sergeant; John Huges (Hughes I, Joseph Griffin, Jas. 
McDonald, Daniel Preston. 

Fourth Company. — Daniel Carryl (Carroll), John Carey. John McCartey. 

Fifth Company. — Alexander McNeal (McNiel), Daniel Owen, Wm. Moor (Moore). 
Wm. Waters. 

Sixth Company. — Benj. Kinn}-, Benj. Ford, John Terry, Benj. Gary. 

On the receipt of the Lexington ncw.s, Governor Triiinbull .snnimoned 
the General Assembly to a special session at Hartford to convene on April 26th. 
The Massachusetts authorities sent urgent appeals to Governor Trumbull for 
aid and support from Connecticut. On April 20th, the Committee of Safety 
at Cambridge wrote : — "As the troops have now commenced hostilities, we 
think it our duty to exert our utmost strength to save our country from ab.^^o- 
lute .slavery. We pray your honors would afford us all the assistance in your 
power, and shall be glad that our brethren who come to our aid may be sup- 
plied with military stores and provisions, as we have none of either more than 
is absolutely necessary for ourselves." Again, on Ajrnl 26th, they wrote: — 
" The distressed condition in which we are, and the danger to which the liber- 
ties of all America, and especially the New England Colonies are exposed, 
will be the best apology for the imijortunate application to you for immediate 


assistance. We pray you as regards the safety of your country, that 
as large a number of troops as you can spare may immediately march 

The Assembly met on the date indicated, and during the ten days' session 
refrained from aggressive declarations, but made preparations for a determined 
resistance. The leading measure of the session was " An Act for assembling, 
equipping, etc., a number of the Inhabitants of this Colony for the Special 
Defence and Safety thereof." It provided that one-fourth part of the Colony 
militia should be forthwith enlisted, accoutred and assembled, to be led and 
conducted as the General Assembly should order. About six thousand men 
who were to be distributed in six regiments of ten companies each, with a 
full complement of officers, were represented in this apportionment. At a 
third special session, convened July i, 1775, the Assembly provided for two 
more regiments, making eight in all, consisting of about seven thousand, four 
hundred men. In October of the same year an act of the Assembly trans- 
ferred those regiments from Colony regiments, who were subject only to Con- 
necticut, to Continental regiments under the authority of the Continental 
commanders. The following names, notable for their Celtic flavor have 
been selected from the list of staff officers and rosters of the regiments 
for 1775, and other sources. They were represented in every prominent action 
from the siege of Boston to the surrender of Yorktown, including Ticonderoga, 
Quebec, Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Stony 
Point, Saratoga and the massacre at Fort Griswold. 

Third Regiment. 

Seventh Company. — Thos. Barret, Michael Flynn, Oliver Barret, John Fox, John 
Green, John Lyon, Abbron Reynolds, C\'rus Powers, Michael Jackson, Jas. Murray, 
Nathan Powers. 

Eighth Company. — Michael Richmond, James Reynolds, Jacob Reynolds. 

Fourth Regiment. Colonel Hinman's. 

First Company. — ^John Garret, Luke Welch. 

Second Company. — Alexander Keney, sergeant ; Stephen Fox, Thos. Byrne, corporal ; 
Ruben Kenny, Theodore Kenny. 

Tenth Company. — ^John Carr, Michael Beach, Jere. McCartee. 

Fifth Regiment. Colonel Waterbury's. 

First Company. — Andrew Powers, sergeant ; Chas. Stewart, Peter Mead. 

Second Company. — James Huges, sergeant (Hughes); Bryan Killkelly, John Down- 
ing, James Lenniham (Lennihan), lieutenant. 

Third Company. — Patrick Kennej'. 

Fourth Company. — ^Joseph Hays. 

Fifth Company. — Mathew INIead, captain ; Wm. INIcKee, Michael Bourn, James Reed, 
Michael Wells. 

Sixth Company. — Miles Cauty, Wm. Griffin, Francis Jackson. 

Seventh Company. — Chas. Powers, Michael Morehouse, jMathew Mead. 

Eighth Company. — Geo. Murray, Robert Welch. 

Ninth Company. — John F. Lac}', Thos. Preston, Jeremiah Calahar. 

Tenth Company. — Morris Griffin, Jerry Riand (Rj'an), Joseph Jackson. 


Sixth Regiment. Colonel Parson's. 

Firsl Company. — ^John Hackell. 

Second Company. — Peter Burn, Mathew Coy. 

Third Company. — Daniel Cartliy, corporal ; Jas. Griffin, Cornelius Griffin. 

Fifth G'w/a/y.—Thos. Carney, Anthony Wolf, Benj. Kelley, David Quinley, Michatl 
Ryen (Ryan), Jas. Butler, Thos. L}"on. 

Sixth Company. — Benedict Carey, Joseph Gordon, Joseph Kenedy, Asa Phillips, 
Josiah Carey, vSarauel Carey, Wni. Knight, Michael Pliillips, Tiniothj- Shea. 

Seventh Company. — ^John O'Brian, Michael Torrey, Daniel Thomas. 

Eighth Company. — Daniel McLean, Jas. Casey. 

Ninth Cow/a/y.— Joseph Corbitt, James More (Moore), John Malary. Phillip Dorus. 

Seventh Regiment. Colonel Chas. Webb. 

First Company.— \i\\\\Am Dunn, John Macannathy, Archibald McLean. 
Second Company. — Wni. McQueen. 

Third Company. — ^Jaines Dennis, David McDowell, John Dennis, Lawrence Martin. 

Fourth Company. — ^John Ketincy. 

Fifth Company. — Michael Hunn. 

Sixth Compajiy. — John Cockran. 

Se-venth Company. — Joseph Murry. 

Eighth Company. — Beriah Kelle\-, Roger Crow. 

Ninth Company. — Neal McNeal, Isaac Collins. 

Tenth Company. — Wm. Barrett, Cyrenus Collins. 

Eighth Reciment. Huntington's. Thomas Hayden, Sergeant-Major. 
Second Company. — ^John Bartlett, Richard Price. 
Third Company. — James Burn, Jeremiah Connel. 
Fourth Company. — Wm. Hayes, corporal ; Luke Hayes. 
Fifth Company.— ]as. Green, Tinio. JIalloy (Timothy), Thos. McKnight. 
Si.vth Cotnpany. — John Conley, Lsaac Ford. 

Seventh Company. — Joseph Cummins, John Moors, John Murray. 
Eighth Company. — Thos. Dennis, fifer ; Thos Ryan, drummer. 
Ninth Company. — Cornelius Higgins, sergeant ; Wm. Bevins, Silvanus Higgins. 
Tenth Company. — Thos. Reed, sergeant; Michael Barre (Barry), Thos. Cushin. 
Patrick Nugent and Peter Headj' were taken prisoners at the defeat of Quebec, 
December 31, 1775. 

Colonel Burrall's Regiment. Before Quebec December, 1775. 

John Riellj', lieutenant; Thomas Fleming, drummer; James Clarej-,' John Mc- 
Goon.'John Green,' Michael McGee,' John Wreu,' James Laughliu.' 

In Colonel Elmore's Regiment. At Fort Schuyler, Winter of 1775-76. 
Robert Cochran, major ; John Moody, John Redmonds, John Oneal (O'Neil), Thos. 
Powell, David Brady, Thomas Owen, John Cain (Kane), Jeremiah R\an, Michael Kirk- 
land, Michael Cacrn, Cornelius Lynch, ensign; Daniel Owen, John Shield. 

" Knowlton Rangers." 
Daniel Conner, Chas. Kelley. 

BiGELOw's Artillery Company. First in Connecticut During Revolution. 
John Reynolds, corporal ; George McCarty. 

The failure of the Canadian e.xpeditious and the campaign around New 
York demonstrated the need of a permanent disciplined army to cope with 

'Taken prisoners at the Cedars, Canada, May 19, 1776. 


the veteran British regulars. All enlistments on the American side were for 
short terms, and the continual discharging and recruiting of new men played 
sad havoc with army discipline. To remedy this state of affairs Congress 
provided that the entire American army be re-organized January i, 1777. 
This re-organization provided that eighty-eight regiments be raised for con- 
tinuous service to the end of the war, unless otherwise ordered, proportioned 
among the States according to population. Connecticut's portion was eight 
regiments, and its quota was designated as the " Connecticut Line," which 
with the other State "Lines" formed one grand "Continental Line." It 
was these State "Lines," inspired in a common cause, under the leadership 
of the immortal Washington that bore the burden of the war for the succeed- 
ing six years to the grand close. In these regiments we find additional evi- 
dence of Irish participation. 

First Regiment Connecticut Line. 

Daniel Collins, lieutenant ; Patrick Donally, sergeant ; Wm. Collins, corporal ; 
Geo. McKenzy, corpopal ; John Connolly, Wm. GriflBn, Patrick Hynes, Thos. Jackson, 
Alexander McCoy, Mathew Connor, Joseph Fox, James Griffin, John Joy, John Martin, 
John Ryan, John Roach, John Whealy, Pell Collins, Michael Stochy, Walter Carey, 
Thos. Roach. 

Second Regiment. Connecticut Line. 

Patrick Hynes. John Kelle3^ John McNulty, Thos. Mitchell, Jas. Gleeson, Thomas 
McKnight, Ab. Mooney, James Powers, John Ryley, Mathew Reynolds, Wm. Kennedy, 
John McGarry, John McKinny, Mathew Reynolds, Thomas Kelley, John Mooney, Wm. 
McFall, Benj. Reynolds, Sim. Reynolds, Reubin Reynolds, Daniel Stewart. 

Third Regiment. Connecticut Line. 
Wm. Higgins, quartermaster ; Thomas Hayden, lieutenant ; James Reynolds, 
sergeant; John Laflin, corporal ; Jas. Gordon, musician; Daniel Powell, musician; 
Ashbel Riley, musician ; James Slater, musician ; Wm. Bryan, Jas. Burn, Chas. 
Bryan, Jas. Bayley, Abel Collins, Martin Canary, John Conner, Asher Carty, Wm. Cum- 
mins, Darby Council, Richard Crary, Richard Carj^, Wm. Duncan, John Delaney, Thos. 
Durfy, John Fay, William Fay, Timothy Fay, John Griffin, John Grogan, David Hay- 
don, Jesse Higgins, Richard Jackson, James Kenney, Benj. Kenney, Jas. Laffin, Patrick 
Lyons, Jas. Linden, Andrew Morrison, Wm. Moor, Andrew McKee, Abel McEntire, 
Wm. Mathews, Patrick Murphy, Joseph McHook, Michael McNiel, James McElvajr, 
Daniel Miles, James Mahar (Maher), Patrick Marr, James McKeys, Edmond Murph}^, 
John McMullen, Thomas Owen, Stephen Owen, Oliver O'Kean, David Reynolds, Jacob 
Reynolds, Owen Reurk (Rourke), Michael Ribley, Daniel Rivers, Timothy Stevens, 
Patrick Thomas, Peter Thomas, Thadeus Barre (Barry), George Farrell, Thos. Fox, 
Samuel Fox. 

Fourth Regiment. Connecticut Line. 
Thos. McLure, sergeant ; John Reynolds, musician ; Simion Reynolds, musician ; 
Chris. Brady, Roswell Croker, Roger Cary, Benj. Cary, Dennis Dins, Chris. Downing, 
Thos. Fitzgearal, Mathew Golden, Wm. Glenny, Cornelius Griffin, Joseph Griffin, John 
Gary, Jas. McDonald, Jno. McLaughlin, Alex. McCoy, Jas. Mallony, James McCarty, 
Wm McFall, Geo. ]\Iartin, Manuel O'Daniel, Thos. Powers, Jeremiah Reed, James 
Shields, Patrick Thomas, Daniel Thomas, Daniel Ward, Phillip Martin. 


Fifth Regiment. Connecticut Line. 
Cornelius Higgins, lieutenant ; Cornelius Russell, lieutenant ; Daniel Cone, corporal ; 
Timothy Cone, corporal ; Wm. Cuinmings, corporal ; John Branigan, Thomas Burns, John 
Uragan, jas. Burns, Patrick Brown, Luke Drown, Samuel Barret, Moses Barret, Jeremiah 
Barret, Cornelius Cahale (Cahili. John Carrel (Carroll), Dennis Clark, Dennis Collins 
John Downing, Joseph Green, Thomas Green, James Green, Jack Green, Thos. Hughes, 
John-Hayes, John Kelley, Henry Keeler, Thomas Keeler, Jeremiah Keeler, Jas. Laughlin, 
Kit Moore, Michael McKee, Wm. McLane, Edw. McClaning, Wm. McCIuster. Jeremiah 
Mead, John Mathews, Wm. Murphy, Jas. I^atrick. Joseph Reed, Thomas Reed, John 
Ryan, Chris. Welch, Andrew Gleason, Wm. Cumraings, Abel Collins, Thos. Green. 

Sixth Regiment. Connecticut Line. 

John McLean, Sam. Collins, John Clary, Wm. Collins, Henry Fitzgerald, Daniel 
Fourd, James Gainer (Gaynor), John Griffing, Jas. Keley (Kelley), Joshua Keley (Kelley), 
John Lines, Angus McFee, Dourson Melone, .Anthony McDaniel, John O'Briant, Jas. Power, 
Jonathan Riley, Wm. Rennals, Joseph Stark, Jas. Clary, Jeremiah Kelley. 

. Seventh Regiment. Connecticut Line. 

John F. Lacy, Chas. McDonald, Patrick Downs, Thos. Finn, Boston Ford, Edward 
Griffin, John Green, .Andrew Hays, James Higgins, Benj. Kelly, Oliver Kelly, Joseph 
Lynes, Morris Maloney, Henrj' Mclntire, Andrew McClarj', Edward Jlurphy, George 
Murry, John Moor, Anton j' Moor, Chas. Riley, Miles Ryon, Darby Sullivan, Robert 
Welch. Daniel Collins. 

Eighth Regiment. Connecticut Line. 
Thomas Dyer, lieutenant-colonel ; Thos. O'Brian, lieutenant ; John Green, corporal; 
James Bailey, corporal ; Peter McFarlane, corporal ; Jas. Carr, .\bel Cuff, ^L^rtin Ford, 
Amos Ford, Patrick Fling, Samuel Kelley, Joseph Martin, John McKinzy, John Mc.Man- 
ners, Jas. McDonald, David McLane, Jas. Russell, David Reynolds, Justice Reynolds, 
Stephen Ranj', James Ryon, Michael Robins, Daniel Vaughn, John Vaughn. Morris 
Welch, Luke Welch, Moses Rilley, George Griffin, Joseph Lyon. 

Colonel S. B. Webb's Regiment. Known as the Ninth. 
John Riley, captain ; Thos. Quigley, John Burns, Thos. Doyle, Stephen Fox, John 
Fay, Wm. Fay, Timothy Fay, Gershon Fay, John McLean, John jMcKensie, Matthew 
Melonee (Maloneyj, Patrick McDonald, Wm. Martin, Geo. O'Bryan, Daniel Ward, Moses 
Ward, Daniel Gilmore, Daniel Lane, David Welch, Nehimiah Higgins, John Welch, James 
Brown, John Bailey, David Ward, Timothy Higgins, Jos. Goldsmith, Francis King, 
Malachi Cornning, Niel McLean, Jas. Kirkland. 

Connecticut Men with Colonel Sherburn's Regiment. Light Infantry. 
Ebenezer Blake, ,<;crgeant ; Stephen Bartlett, corporal ; Thos. Fanning, corporal ; 
Ro"-er Welsh, private ; David Fanning, private ; Elesha Fanning, iMichael Freeman, 
Edward Freeman, Peter F'reenian, Joseph Freeman, Ilezekiah Carey. 

Connecticut Men in Colonel Seth Waknivr's Regiment Stationed at 
Bennington and Saratoga. 

Alexander McLowry, ensign ; Joseph Bcnnet, sergeant ; Wm. Collins, corporal ; John 
Campbell, Benj. Gleason, Robert McKnight, George McCarthy, Allen Reynolds, Daniel 


Colonel Moses Hazen's Regiment. Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and 


Samuel Cochran, sergeant ; James Ward, sergeant ; John Burk, James Dawah 
(Dowagh), David Kelle}-, Michael Kirkland, Peter Lines, Michael Welch, John McCoy. 

Colonel Durkee's Wyoming Valley Company. 
Thomas McClure, Stephen Preston, John Car\-, Wm. Dunn, James Bagley, Chas. 

Captain Ransom's Wyoming Valley Company. 
Timothy Pierce, lieutenant ; Lawrence Kinney, Wm. McClure, Thos. Neal, John 
O'Neal, Thos. Pickett, Michael Foster. 

First Troop. Light Dragoons. 

Richard Dowde (Dowd), John Butler, James McDavid, Edward Hayes, Michael 
Hannon, Eph'ron Kirby. 

Second Troop. 

Michael Couney, John Conly, Dan'l Buckley, John Carroll, Geo. Couney, Thos. Neal, 
Stephen Taylor, Wm. Bennet, Jno. McMullen, Jno. McKinsey. 

Fourth Troop. 
Wm. McBride, Daniel Cashman, Daniel Clarj', Thos. Cushraan, Peter Hare. 

Fifth Troop. 

Joseph Conner, Robert McColIoch, Henry Martin, David Ross, David Martin, 

Jas. Connolly. 

Sixth Troop. 

Wm. Lane, Jos. McClanon, John Bennet, John HenrJ^ Wm. Denivan (Donovan), 
Thos. Dongall, Jas. Reed, Jas. Murphy, Aron Fox. 

John Kilborn, John Welch, Martin Stiles, John White, Jos. King. 

Colonel Lamb's Artillery. 
Henry Cunningham, lieutenant; Jas. Hughes, lieutenant; Daniel Meloney (Ma- 
loney), Edmond Sweaney (Sweeney), gunners ; Jeremiah Ryon (Ryan), bombardier ; John 
Welch, John McCloud, Samuel Gibson, Andrew Dowling, Cornelius Gordon, Daniel 
Melone (Malone), David Slater, Patrick Snow, James Newall, Peter Rose, Michael Barley, 
John Powers, matrosses. 

Colonel Crane's Artillery. 

Daniel Pierce, John Reynold, sergeants ; Niel IMcNiel, corporal ; John Brown, Jos. 
Murphy, matrosses ; Joseph GriflSn, Stephen Murry, Chas. Reynold, Geo. Cary, Moses 
Collins, Joseph Green, John Matthews, James Dougherty, Daniel Tracey, Oliver Care}-. 

Captain Pendleton's Company of Artificers. Only Company Served South 
OF Virginia during Revolution. 

Phillip Barrett, John Martin, Dennis Knox, Oliver Grafton, Wm. Glisson (Gleeson), 
Maurice Cummins Patrick Rodney, Thomas Clark. 

Invalid Corps. 
John Finnegan, Patrick Mahar. John Kelle}', Owen Rewick (Rourke). 
John Burnett, Daniel Durfee, Thos. McClure, Thos. Fanning, Benj. Hayes, John 


Fox, John Casey, druninier ; Jas. Mabar, Jas. Shields, John Briant, Stephen Bennet, 
Joseph McHood, Martin McNary. 

Connecticut Pensioners of the Revolution. 

Jeremiah Bennett, private ; Daniel Bucklej-, private ; Daniel Collins, lieutenant ; 
James Downs, corporal ; Richard Flood, private ; Martin Ford, private ; John Fanning, 
sergeant-mate; Thos. Fanning, private; Daniel firiffin, private; John Griffin, private; 
Cornelius Higgins, lieutenant ; Timothy Higgins, private ; Wm. Hughes, private ; John 
Laflin, private; Daniel Murray-, private; Peter McGuir (e), Joseph Martin, private; 
Thos. Powers, private; Daniel Preston, private; Joseph Preston, private; Michael 
Phillips, private; Thos. Quinlej-, private; Owen Ruick, private; Thos. Ruig, private; 
Timothy vScranton, private; Jas. Slater, musician; Wm. Tracy, private; Thos. Ward, 
private; John Welch, private; Joseph P. Martin, private, residing in Maine; Chris. 
Blake, private, residing in New Hampshire; William Cummings. Joseph Cushman, 
William Prior, George Martin, privates, residing in Vermont ; Jas. Phillips, John Rus- 
sell, privates, residing in Massachusetts ; James Bennet, John Butler, Patrick Bugbee, 
privates, residing in New York ; William Collins, private ; James Dailey, first private ; 
David Dorrance, captain ; Wm. Faj-, private ; John Faj-, private ; Jack Green, private ; 
John Green, private ; Wm. Kennedy, private ; John Kilborne, private ; Paul McCoy, 
private; Martin McNeary, private ; Andrew McKee, private ; John Martin, private; 
John Phillips, private ; John Reed, musician ; Richard Reed, private ; John Reynolds, 
sergeant ; Stephen Reed, private ; Robert Welch, private ; Lawrence White, private ; 
James Connolly, private, residing in New Jersey ; John Ryon, sergeant, residing in 
Pennsylvania ; Stephen Fox, private, Wm. Manning, sergeant, Robert McCuUough, 
private, Justus Reynolds, musician, John Halfpenny, private, residing in Kentuckj- ; 
Wm. Carr, James Grant, privates, residing in East Tennessee ; Daniel Welch, private, re- 
siding in Indiana. 

Invalid Pensioners. 

James Slater, James Waj'land, privates, Andrew Mead, ensign, Fairfield County ; 
Michael Deming, Jr., Matthew Cadvvell, privates, Hartford County ; Daniel Preston, pri- 
vate. New Haven County; John Bailey, Jr.; Wm. Bailey, Jr., Daniel Cushman, John 
Chilson, John Downs, Isaac Higgins, Fred. Moore, Thos. Pickett, Thos. Phillips. 



(5 I HE first representative of the priesthood to enter Connectictit was the 
* I Rev. Gabriel Druillettes, a priest of the Society of Jesus. Father 
Druillettes was the spiritual guide and father of the Abenaki of 
Maine, whose mission he founded in 1646. He remained with them, how- 
ever, for a brief period only, his object being to lay the foundation for a 
subsequent periuanent mission. During his residence among the Abenaki 
the New England Colonies manifested a desire to enter into a commercial 


alliance with New France. Having in the meantime returned to Quebec 
to report to his ecclesiastical superiors concerning the prospects of the Abe- 
naki mission, Father Druillettes was appointed ambassador by the Gov- 
ernor of New France, and invested with authority to treat with the Grand 
Court of Massachusetts, whose sessions were held at Boston. 

On September i, 1650, the reverend ambassador set out from Quebec in 
company with John Guerin and Noel, an Indian chief, as guide. After a 
voyage in which hardships and sufferings formed the chief features, the little 
band arrived at Augusta, Maine, where Father Druillettes met Commandant 
John Winslow. Between these two men a bond of friendship was formed 
that was severed only by death. So strong was their attachment for each 
other that Winslow could pay the priest no higher compliment than to call 
him his Xavier, while Father Druillettes affectionately designated the Com- 
mandant as his Pereira, in allusion to the friend of the great apostle to the 

In the prosecution of his mission Father Druillettes had conferences with 
the Commissioners of Boston and Plymouth Colonies. He sought to perfect 
a league offensive and defensive. He was informed, however, that the four 
English Colonies were confederates, and that all treaties and leagues concern- 
ing war and peace with neighboring nations or colonies were referred to the 
"consideration and conclusion " of the Commissioners of the United Colonies 
of New England, who met annually in September, and that the ne.xt annual 
session would be held at New Haven. 

Plymouth Colony, recognizing the commercial benefits that would accrue 
to it from a league with the French, were from the beginning well disposed 
towards Father Druillettes and his mission,' and its acquiescence in the repre- 
sentations of the reverend ambassador operated as a spur to the Colony of 
Massachusetts to enter into the compact. 

Father Druillettes' reflections on the probable result of his mission are 
here set forth in his own words : 

1st. " I presume," he says, " as something quite certain that the Eng- 
lish of the four colonies, Boston, Plymouth, Connecticut and Kwinopeia 
(Quinnipiac or New Haven) have power to exterminate the savage nations. 
They have exterminated two tribes.^ They are so powerful and numerous 
that 4,000 men could be gotten ready in the Colony of Boston alone. There 
are at least 40,000 souls in these four Colonies, and, moreover, the road to the 
Iroquois grounds is very short and easy of travel. 

2nd. " I presume, according to the articles of agreement, no Colon)- can 
commence an offensive war without the consent of the four Colonies. Fur- 
thermore, the deputies must assemble to deliberate on the matter, and three 
colonies must consent to extend aid ; so that the decision shall be given by a 
majority. This gives reason to hope for assistance through the intervention 

' .\s an instance of kindly feeling, it is related that Father Druillettes was invited 
to dine by Governor Bradford of Plymouth, who paid his guest the delicate compliment 
of serving a fish dinner, as it was Friday. — Fitton's Sketches. 

-The Pequots and Narragansetts. 


of the English, and sufficient certainty that three of the four Colonies will 
consent. The Governor of Plymouth, with his magistrates, is not only favor- 
able, but urges the matter; and all are in favor of the Abenaki, who are under 
the protection of this Colony.' The Colony has a considerable interest in this 
matter on account of the seignorial rights by which it will receive the sixth 
part of all that will be received from this treaty along the Kennebec river. 
The Governor him.self, and the four other principal men would lose much 
in forfeiting all hope of commerce with Kennebec and Quebec, because of 
the Abenaki; and this would inevitably occur if the Iroquois continue to kill 
and hunt to death the said Al)enaki, as they have been doing for several 
years. The Governor has a strong reason for extending this aid, as all the 
colonies waged war in favor of a sa\'age nation, named 'Morchigander,' which 
is on the river Pecot, and that on the demand of the Colony of Connecticut, 
which had that nation under its protection." 

Father Druillettes returned to Quebec on June 4, 165 1. On the 22nd he 
set out again, having received increased powers to confer with the Commi^ 
sioners of the United Colonies, who were to meet at New Haven in September. 
His departure is thus noted in Lallemant and Ragueneau's/owrwrt/.- 

"June 22, i6si. Father Druillettes, Mr. Godefroy and John Guerin set out with the 
Abenaki and one Sokoquinois (Saco Indians) for New England in seven or eight canoes. 
Noel Tekwerimat was of the party." 

In the Registers of the Ancient Council of Quebec there is this entry, 
June 20, 165 I : 

"The Council assembled at nine o'clock in the ir.orning. Present: the Governor; 


the reverend Father Superior ; Messieurs de Mau/.e, de Godefroy and Jlenoit. On the 
proposition made to the Council touching a certain rescription made b}' the Council in 
the 3'ear 1648, to the end that a union be made between the Colonies of New France and 
New England to carry on commerce with each other, the Council, desiring to meet their 
wishes, has nominated and nominates Sieur Godefroy, one of the Councillors of the 
Council established by his Majesty in this country, to proceed with the Reverend Father 
Druillettes to the said New England, to the said Commissioners, to treat and act with 
them according to the power given to them by the Council." 

The Governor of New France addressed a letter to the Commissioners of 
the United Colonies, as follows: 

" Louis d'Ailleboust, Lieutenant-General for the King and Governor of all New 
France, etc., Greeting: 

" Having been solicited and entreated, both by the Christian Indians depending on 
our government and by the Abenaquinois, living on the River Kinibeqiue, and others, 
their allies, to protect them against the incursion of the Iroquois, their common enemies, 
as it has been heretofore practiced by Sieur de Montinagny, our predecessor in this gov. 
ernment ; and having anew shown us that all their nations were on the point of being 
totally destroyed unless he speedily brought a remedj' — We, for these causes and the 
good of the colony, and following the express orders given us in the name of the Queen 
Regent, mother of the King, to protect the Indians against their said enemies, liave 
deputed and depute, with the advice of the Council established in this country and some 
of the most notable inhabitants, the .Sieurs G.ibriel Druillettes, preacher of the gospel 

'The Abenaki were within the jurisdiction of Plymouth Colony. 


to the Indian Nations, and John Godefroy, one of the Councilors of said Council, ambas- 
sadors for them to the gentlemen of New England, to treat either with the Governors and 
Magistrates of New England or with the General Court of Commissioners and Deputies 
of the United Colonies, for assistance in men and munitions of war and supplies to attack 
the said Iroquois in the most proper and convenient places ; and also to agree upon articles 
which shall be deemed necessary to assure this treaty, and to grant to the said people of 
New England the trade which they have desired from us by their letters in the year 1647, 
with the articles, clauses and conditions which they shall therein see necessary ; awaiting 
the arrival of the Ambassadors whom we shall send on our behalf to satisfy and establish 
finally what they have agreed upon. 

" We accordingl}- pray all governors, lieutenant-generals, captains and others to let 
them pass freel}'," etc. 

The letter of the Council of Quebec to the Commissioners breathes the 
same spirit, expresses an earnest desire for closer commercial relations, calls 
attention to the insolent hostility of the Iroquois, and solicits aid in crush-. 
ing their common enemy. 

" Gentlemen : It is now several years since certain gentlemen of Boston proposed 
to begin commerce between New France and New England. The Council established by 
His JIajesty in this country sent answers as well as letters written by our Governor to 
those gentlemen. The tenor of these messages was that we are desirous of this com- 
merce ; also of a sincere union between your colonies and ours, and at the same time we 
wish to form an offensive and defensive league against our enemies, the Iroquois, who 
are ruining our commerce, or, at least, retarding it. It seems to us that your obligation 
is to crush the insolence of these savage Iroquois, who are killing the Sokoinois (Saco 
Indians) and the Abenaki, your allies ; and, moreover, the facilities you have to begin 
this war are two reasons which induce us to carry on these negotiations with 3'ou in your 
Court of Commissioners. We have requested ^onr Governor to write us on the subject. 
We join our efforts with his to assure you of our desire, and that of all New France for 
this commerce with New England and this war with the Iroquois, who should be our 
common enemy. With the Rev. Pere Druillettes, who began last winter to negotiate in 
this matter, we are pleased to associate ]\Ions. Godefroy, as Councillor of our Commission 
The merits of these two deputies lead us to hope for success. They are clothed with all the 
necessary' powers, that is to say, to efficaciously arrange matters relative to commerce, 
and tcS divide the expenses necessarj' for the war with the Iroquois. We earnestly solicit 
you to listen to them, and to act with them as you would with us, and with that frank- 
ness that is as natural to the English as to the French. We cannot doubt that God will 
bless your arms and ours, since they will be employed in the defence of Chri.stian savages 
who are your allies as well as ours, against infidel barbarians who have neither God nor 
faith. They do not evince the slightest justice in their proceedings, as you will learu 
from our deputies, who will assure you of our sincere desire that Heaven will always bless 
your provinces and bestow on you its favors. 

" Drawn up in the Chamber of the Council established by the King at Quebec, in 
New France, June 20, 1651." 

. Arrived at Boston, Father Druillettes forwarded a letter to the Commis- 
sioners for Connecticut and New Haven, requesting a conference at Boston. 
In this letter he advanced several arguments to persuade the English Colonies 
to join with the French in a war against the Iroquois, alleging that it was a 
just war, inasmuch as the Mohawks had broken solemn covenants made for 
the continuance of peace ; that they conduct their wars with great cruelty ; 
that it was a holy war waged in behalf of Christianized Indians, who were 


persecuted and cruelly treated on account of their religion when captured by 
the Mohawks ; that the war was a matter of common concern, as the inroads of 
the M(jhawks tended to the destruction, or, at least, to the great disturbance 
of trade in which the French and the Englisli of Massachusetts and Plymouth 
Colonies were mutually interested. It was further represented that the French 
had no convenient passages either by land or by sea to carry on war against 
the hostile Indians. Therefore in the name of the Governor and Council of 
New France and of the Christian Indians, he petitioned the English colonies 
to join in the war, and promised a " due consideration or allowance for 
charges" (expenses). In the event, however, of the English refusing to 
actively j)articipate in the war, Father Druillettes besought for the French the 
privilege of enlisting volunteers among the English colonists ; that they be 
furnished with food supplies for the service, and that they might pass through 
the English jurisdiction by land and water, as occasion would require. 

Father Druillettes' request for a conference at Boston was refused on the 
plea of inconvenience. To his arguments and petitions he recei\ed unfavor- 
able replies from the Commissioners for Connecticut and New Haven Colonies. 
Nothing daunted, Father Druillettes, Mons. Godefroy and suite, in the com- 
pany of the Commissioners of Ma.ssachusetts, visited New Haven in Septem- 
ber, 165 I, only thirty-seven years after Adriaen Block sailed upon the waters 
and gazed upon the beautiful shores of Connecticut. The reverend ambassa- 
dor presented his credentials to the Commissioners with a commission 
addressed to himself, whereby he was empowered to preach the Christian 
religion to the Indians. 

Father Druillettes immediately opened negotiations. He was an orator 
of very graceful and persuasive address 'and improved his abilities to tlie 
utmost to persuade the Commissioners that the English Colonies should give 
aid in the war against the Mohawks. If, however, the Commissioners did 
not wish to engage actively in war against the Indians, he solicited the 
privilege of recruiting volunteers and asked for the grant of a passage 
by land and water through their jurisdiction. He requested also, that the 
baptized Indians and catechumens be taken under the protection of the 
United Colonies. These favors granted. Father Druillettes promised in 
return a treaty establishing free trade between the French and the English.^ 

The efforts of the eloquent Jesuit availed nothing. Sincere in his n/o- 
tives, calm in the e.^pressiou of his views, manly and straightforward in the 
presentation of his petition for aid, pleading onh' for the welfare of his Indian 
charges, with no thought of personal gain, we can imagine his disappoint- 
ment when he realized the futility of liis efforts. Standing before the venerable 
Commissioners in his "black gown," his rough belt encircling his body, his 
rosary hanging b\- his side ; tlie first of the sacerdotal order to tread the soil 
of Connecticut; a member of a society whom every Puritan was taught to 
regard as the advance guard of Anti-Christ; an honored fellow of a body of 

' TrumbuU's Hist, of Conn.; Hollister's Hist. 0/ Conn. 
' Acts 0/ the Com. of the U. Col. 


men whom an insensate legislation threatened with fines, imprisonment and 
death for the sole crime of being priests of the Catholic church; this humble, 
saintly priest, the cultured ambassador, presented a striking picture as he 
stood before the Commissioners, whose co-religionists held his creed in abom- 
ination; indeed, says a historian, " he must have been the fruitful theme of 
conversation at New Haven for many days." ' Father Druillettes' Indian 
converts and neophytes were refused the protection he sought for them, and 
were left a prey to the marauding, bloodthirsty Iroquois. "In vain did the 
governor of Canada call on New England for aid. The Puritan felt unable 
to help the Papist; and the Commissioners of the United Colonies, alleging 
that the Mohawks were neither in subjection to, nor in any confederation 
with themselves, turned a deaf ear to the appeal."" The Commissioners dis- 
played a more liberal spirit towards the Dutch four years later. When they 
heard that the Indians had taken many Dutch prisoners, they agreed to send 
"two or three meet messengers to endeavor their redemption;" but their 
intercession was not required. 

As we have seen, Father Druillettes had confidently relied upon the 
co-operation of three of the English Colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth and 
Connecticut, and had hoped also to be successful with the colony of New 
Haven. " The principal Magistrate in the Colony of Connecticut, Mr. Win- 
throp," wrote Father Druillettes, "was the first to write to Quebec in regard 
to this commerce. He is much in favor of the French and will, probably, 
do all in his power to help this expedition, particularly after having received 
the letter, which I wrote to him, requesting him to complete what his 
father had begun. As for the Governor^ of Kwenopeia (Quinnipiac), every- 
body says that he is very reasonable. It is quite probable that if he does not ac- 
tively interest himself in this matter, at least, he will not oppose it, knowing 
especially that Boston and Plymouth, which are influential colonies, or, as it 
were, the guide of the others, are strongly in favor of it." 

Letter of Father Gabriel Druillettes to John Winthrop, 


To THE Most Illustrious Seigneur, John Winthrop, Esquire, .\t Pequott River. 
Distinguished and Most Honorable Sir — As in consequence of the deep snows of 
winter I was debarred from the pleasure of seeing you, and from communicating to you 
orally and at length the great hopes reposed in your singular kindness by the most illus- 
trious Governor of New France in Canada, at Kebec — who appointed me his Envoy to all 
the magistrates of your New England — I now approach you by letter in order to beseech 
and implore you, bj' that spirit of exceeding benevolence toward all, but especially 
toward our New France, which Sieur Winthrop, whose memory is both happy and grate- 
ful to all, bequeathed to you, the heir to all that he possessed, not to refuse 3'our protec- 
tion to the cause that has brought me to these shores. That cause is the same as that 
which your Father, of most grateful memory, by the letters which he sent, in the name of 
your commonwealth to jMonsieur our Governor in New France, at Kebec, took iip as far 
back as the year 1647, and which he would have long since brought to a happy conclusion 

1 Hollister. 

' Broadhead's Hist, of New York. .j 

^ Theophilus Eton. Edward Hopkins was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut. 


had not death prevented him, as I have learned from many responsible persons. This. 
I believe, was wrought by God, most good and great with the design of making us 
indebted to you for the happy issue of the cause, the beginning and origin whereof we 
owed to your honorable Father. After having orally explained the whole mat- 
ter to the Governor of Boston and Pleyniouth, I desired with all my heart to travel to the 
country wherein you now reside ; and it was not so much the trouble.sonie snows that 
prevented me as the authority of several persons of importance, to whom I owe deference 
and who dissuaded me therefrom, which recalled me from I'leymouth to Boston. So 
great was the hope held forth to me by your kindness toward Strangers, however Barba- 
rian thej' may be, that to me — who have lived for the past nine years among Barbarians, 
whom it has been my duty to instruct in their forests, far from the sight of Europeans — 
it seemed that you would have nothing to dread from my barbarism. Nay, more, I saw 
nothing that I might not hope for from your well-known kindness and your unusuallv 
Compassionate and Conscientious feelings toward the Savages who are Catechumens of 
the Christian Faith and Profession. These are, in truth, beyond all other mortals, that 
Hundredth Sheep straying and forsaken in the Desert, which alone the Lord Jesus Christ 
(Luke isth), after having left the ninety and nine others, anxiously seeks, and, having 
found it, joyfully places on his shoulders ; that is to say, he who burns with the most 
ardent zeal toward the same I,ord Jesus Christ must likewise embrace, with the most 
tender affection of his heart, that hundredth sheep in which alone that best of Shepherds, 
the Lord Jesus, seems to place his whole delight. Xow, this most tfender affection of 
your heart toward your delight, because it is that of Christ our Lord — I mean toward 
the Barbarian Catechumens — easily leads me to believe that the testimonj' shown by this 
letter of my gratitude and of my confidence in you, however small it may be, will not be 
displeasing in your sight. Wherefore suffer that I implore by letter your protection, in 
■which, after God, I consider that nearly all mj' hopes rest, in favor of the cause of the 
Lord Jesus Christ — in other words, of the defense of the Christian against the Moaghs. 
These not only have long harassed the Christian Canadians near Kebec, and most cruelly 
tortured them by slow fire, out of hatred of the Christian faith, but they even intend bj' a 
general massacre to destroj^ mj- Catechumens dwelling on the banks of the Kenebec River, 
because they have been for many years allied to the Canadian Christians. It is chiefly 
for this reason that our most illustrious Governor of Kebec commanded nie to offer jou 
in his name the most ample Commercial advantages and considerable compensation for 
the expenses of the war, in order to obtain from New England some Auxiliary troops for 
the defense of the Christian Canadians (which he has already begun against the Moaghs), 
and which, through his affection for the Christian savages, he wishes to promote at 
the same time and by the same undertaking in favor of the Akenebek Catechumens, 
their allies, who are inhabitants of New England, and the special clients of Plej'mouth 

He therefore hopes that, in the same manner as your Colonj' of Kenetigouk subdued 
the ferocity of the Naraganses, in favor of its dependents who live on the Pecot River — 
that is to say, the Mohighens — so likewise the colony of Pleyniouth will undertake to 
wage w-ar, with the consent of the Assembly called that of the Commissioners, against 
the Moaghs, the most cruel enemies of their Akenebek dependents, as well as of their 
allies, namely, the Canadian Christians near Kebec. 

This twofold commission of mine, to wit: in the name of Monsieur the Governor of 
New France, at Kebec, and separately in the name of the Savages, both the Christians 
and the Akenebek Catechumens, after having been summarized and translated into the 
English tongue from my barbarous Lalinity, will be joined to my present letter, I think_ 
by a man who is an excellent friend of mine, and to whom, with that object, I gave a 
copy to be sent to you. For this reason I add nothing further; but I implore you to 
display your kindness toward the Barbarians and your signal compassion toward the 
poor of the Lord Jesus ; not to disdain in your General Assembly— which, I hear, is 
usually held in the month of June in Hartford— to expose the whole matter at length ; to 
urge it upon your magistrates, and, finally, to recommend a favorable settlement of the 


whole affair to the two personages who are called the Commissioners of your Colony, 
when they go to the place where the Assembly of the Commissioners is to be held. 
Meanwhile, wheresoever on earth I may be detained by the Lord Jesus, who has called 
me to devote my life and death to labors among the Barbarians, who need instruction, I 
shall live and die the most devoted servant, in the Lord Jesus, of your entire Faniil}-, and 
above all. Distinguished Sir, of yourself in the Lord Jesus, for wliom, because it is for 
his brethren, the Christian Barbarians, I execute this Commission. 

Gabriel Druillettes, S. J., 

Priest and Instructor at Kenebek. 

The visit of Father Drttillettes to New Haven suggests a qtiery which is 
of capital interest to the Catholic historian, as well as to the entire Catholic 
body of Connecticut : Did he, during his sojourn there, offer the Holy Sacri- 
fice of the Mass? If he did, he was the first to celebrate the divine mysteries 
in the State. The records, however, give no answer. But the silence of 
Father Druillettes should not be construed as favoring a negative answer. As 
the saying of Mass was of daily occurrence when favorably situated, it is 
probable that the ambassador would not regard a Mass celebrated even in a 
strange locality as an unusual event. But few actors in daily events ever 
realize that they may be making history, and, therefore, freqtiently fail to 
place the facts on record ; so that Father Druillettes might have ofiered the 
Holy Sacrifice and make no mention of the fact in his Narrative. 

When at Boston the year previous Father Druillettes was the guest of 
Major-General Gibbon, who, says the priest, "gave me the key of an apart- 
ment in his hotise where I could easily perform my devotional exercises.'" 
There is strong probability that he said Mass on this occasion. Whether he 
celebrated the divine mysteries in New Haven would depend, in a measure, 
upon the lodgings placed at his disposal. An ambassador, it is consistent to 
believe that the authorities of the colony assigned him to apartments befitting 
his dignity. Such being the case, it is within the range of probability to say 
that Father Druillettes said Mass, not once only, but daily during his sojourn 
in New Haven. An eminent Jesuit authority - says : " As the Jesuit mission- 
aries of those days were accustomed to travel with all the requisites for private 
celebration and under difficult circumstances, I should incline to the opinion 
that he (Father Druillettes) did celebrate in Connecticut." Father Druillettes 
was a holy and zealous priest, a true missionary. The all-absorbing desire 
of his heart was the conversion to Christianity of the Indians committed to 
his care. Consumed by this desire he would employ every legitimate means 
to bring the red children of the forest under the benign and salutary influences 
of the Gospel. But the most precious means at his disposal to effect the con- 
version of the Indians was the Mass. Nowhere else could he plead so effectu- 
ally, pray so devoutly, and exercise his zeal so fervently as at the altar where 
the Blood of Christ is offered to the Eternal Father for the souls of men. A 
holy priest, fully conscious of human frailty, Father Druillettes would ascend 
the altar daily, and would regard that day as lost wherein was not offered up 

' " Narrative of Father Druillettes." 

'Rev. E. I Devitt, Gonzaga College, Washington, D. C, a letter to the author. 
II— 8 


the august Victim. To prevent such spiritual loss and to enjoy the sweet 
consolations of the Mass, he would carry from place to place the vestments, 
sacred vessels, linens, and the matter for the Sacrifice. The faithful Guerin 
was with him to fill the role of acolyte. In a word, all the circumstances 
point to tlic conclusion that the reverend ambassador stood before an humble 
altar in Now Haven and petitioned the Most High in behalf of His beloved 


tFTER the departure of Fatlier Druillettes from New Haven, over 
twenty years elapse ere we discover trace of any other priest in 
Connecticut. About 1674 the Rev. Jean Pierron, a priest of the 
Society of Jesus, made a missionary tour throughout New England, 
expouirding the tenets of the Catholic faith to the Indians. There is a 
well-grounded tradition that he traversed Connecticut, and it is certain that 
he went as far south as Maryland and Virginia in the arduous but glorious 
quest for souls.' 

Father Pierron arrived in Canada from France on June 24, 1667. Eager 
to begin immediately his missionary labors, he set out from Quebec on July 
14th following with two Jesuit companions for the Mohawk missions in the 
State of New York. The scene of his labors was " Tionnontoguen," the 
capital of the Mohawk nation. By dint of industry and perseverance he 
soon became sufficiently conversant with the Mohawk language to address 
his savage hearers intelligent! \\ To impress more deeply his teachings upon 
the minds of the Indians, he made use of small paintings, the work of his 
own hands. 

" His represcnt.itions of a good and a bad death had marv'ellous success. While he 
was one da3' explaining the mysteries of the faith, he saw some old men and women 
close their ears with their fingers. When he questioned tlieni, thej- replied that thej- 
had heard nothing. He profited adroitly by this incident to represent the death of an 
old woman, who would not listen to the Missionary, nor look at Paradise. A demon was 
by her side, who had taken her fingers and forced them into her ears. As soon as the 
missionary had exhibited and explained this picture, no one dared again to reply : " I 
did not hear.'" 

Father Pierron also translated the Ten Commandments and several 
prayers into Iroquois, tliat the Indians might be more readily im- 
pressed by singing them. 

As the Indians were greatly addicted to the vice of gambling. Father 
Pierron introduced a game in which they were instructed in the principal 
doctrines of the church. The game was "From point to point," meaning 
from birth to death and eternity. 

The greatest evil p-ather Pierron had to contend with was, as the Indians 

' Broadhead's " History of New Yorh\" Vol. II. 

» "The Pilgrim of Our Lady of Martyrs." Sept., 1898. 


expressed it, "a foreign demon." This demon was liquor, which the English 
supplied in the form of rum from the West Indies, and the French in the 
form of brandy from Rochelle. To eradicate the evil several sachems pre- 
sented a petition and a letter from Father Pierron to Governor Lovelace 
requesting his aid in stopping the vicious traffic. Lovelace at once honored 
the petition and wrote to Father Pierron : " I have taken all the care possible, 
and will continue it under the most severe penalties, to restrain and hinder 
the furnishing of any excess to the Indians. And I am very glad to learn 
that such virtuous thoughts proceed from infidels, to the shame of many 
Christians. But this must be attributed to your pious instructions ; you, who, 
being well versed in a strict discipline, have shown them the way of mortifi- 
cation, as well by your precepts as your practice." 

Father Pierron left the Mohawk missions in 1671 and returned to Quebec. 
The winter months of 1673 were spent in Acadia. It was after this he trav- 
eled through the New England Colonies, and going, as has been said, as far 
as Virginia. Of this e.xperience he wrote that he saw nothing "but desola- 
tion and abomination among those heretics." At Boston "the uncommon 
knowledge he exhibited " caused him to be suspected of being a Jesuit, 
though he was " much esteemed." He was desirous of founding a mission 
among the Indians of Maryland, but his superior. Father Dablon, not wish- 
ing to encroach upon the jurisdiction of the English Jesuit?, transferred him 
to the Seneca missions in New York. Here ended Father Pierron's mission- 
ary labors in the Colonies, as hostilities having broken out between the 
Senecas and the Frencli, he retired to Canada. He returned to Europe in 

In 1683, nine years after Father Pierron visited Connecticut, we catch a 
glimpse of two priests, the Rev. Thomas Harvey, S. J., and the Rev. John 
Gordon, D.D., who traveled overland from Nantasket to New York. In their 
journey they passed through Connecticut to the Sound, which they crossed 
to Long Island, and thence proceeded to their destination. They probably 
entered the State at Windham county and took shipping for Long Island at 
New Loudon. Father Harvey and Father Gordon had been commissioned as 
chaplains to the troops stationed in New York, and accompanied Colonel 
Thomas Dougan, a Catholic, who had been appointed Governor of that 
Colony. They arrived at Nantasket on August 10, 1683, and reached New 
York on the 25th. There is no record that they performed any sacerdotal 
functions during their passage through the State. 

On the 1 8th of July, 1788, a priest arrived at New London under par- 
ticularly sad circumstances. He was from the Island of Guadeloupe, the 
Rev. Arnoux Duprd, Chaplain of a Convent of Charity. He left his 
tropical home in search of health, and was attracted to New London, no 
doubt, by the representations of the French, Spaniards and Portuguese, who 
flitted in and out of that harbor. He was far in decline when he reached 
New London. Whatever the nature of his illness, he did not long survive 
the voyage. He died on Friday, August 31, 1788. The day following his 
remains were attended to the place of burial by a respectable number of the 


residents of the city and decently interred.' There was at this time in New 
London a considerable number of Catholics, both transient and permanent 
residents, who, no doubt, manifested their devotion to the priesthood by 
following the remains of Father Dupr^ to the grave, and by offering fervent 

prayers for the repose of his soul. Poor, lonely priest ! He came a stranger 
burdened with affliction, but there is reason to believe that he experienced 
the generous hospitality of the people of New London. His stay among 
tliem was of short duration, but they had learned to know his sorrows and 
to .sympathize with his infirm condition. The notice of his death printed 
at the time breathes an air of gentleness and sorrow for the sad fate of 
tliis servant of God, d>ing among strangers and far from the presence 
of his sacerdotal bretliren, who could administer to him tlie salutary rites 
of the church, for which, no doubt, he ardently yearned. Did he say 
Mass during his .six weeks' illness at New London? It is improbable 
that he did, though his heart must have craved the privilege both for 
his own and the spiritual welfare of his co-religionists. Nothing more 
is known of him. Diligent inquiries have failed to reveal the secrets that 
went with him into the grave, and his final resting-place is beyond identi- 

The most illustrious ecclesiastic to visit Connecticut during the colo- 
nial period was the Right Rev. John Carroll, D.D., bishop of Baltimore. 
The apostolic zeal of this great pioneer bi.shoj) carried him into every part 
of his vast diocese, saying Mass, administering the sacraments, preaching 
the Gospel, expostulating witli the weak, encouraging all. In June, 1791, 
the Bishop visited Boston to investigate the conduct of the Rev. Father 
Rousselet, then pastor of the church of that city. The investigation resulted 
in the suspension of Father Rousselet from his ministerial functions and the 
appointment of the Rev. John Thayer as his successor. " Bishop Carroll left 
Boston on Thursday, June i6th, no doubt timing his departure so as to 
arrive at New London on or before Sunday, as he had probably heard that a 
respectable number of Catholics had there congregated. As it is improb- 
able the Bishop would undertake so long a journey unprepared to say 
Mass, at least on Sundays, we may infer that the Catholics of New Lon- 
don then enjoyed the rare privilege of assisting at the Holy Sacrifice and 
of partaking of the Bread of Angels from the anointed hands of their chief 

Of his experience in Boston, Bishop Carroll thus wrote : " It is wonderful 
to tell what great civilities have been done to me in this town, where, a few 
years ago, a Popish priest was thought to be the greatest monster in creation. 
Many here, even of their principal people, have acknowledged to me that 
they would have crossed to the opposite side of the street rather than meet a 
Roman Catholic some time ago. The horror which was associated with the 
idea of a papist is incredible ; and the scandalous misrepresentations by their 

'^ Cotniectintt Courant, Sept. 3, 1778. 

' " Conn. Courant" and " Conn. Gazette," 1791. 


ministers increased the horror every Sunday. If all the Catholics here were 
united, their number would be about one hundred and twenty." ' 

Bishop Carroll sailed from New London Monday, June 20, to New York, 
bound homeward. 

Norwich was the next city of Connecticut to receive a visit from a Cath- 
olic priest. He was the Rev. John Thayer, a name synonymous with sacer- 
dotal energy and zeal for souls." Father Thayer was a native of Boston, and 
a convert from Congregationalism. He was ordained to the priesthood in the 
world-famed Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris, in 1789. After his ordination 
he labored in Boston, and was the first priest born on the soil to labor in 
New England. In the beginning he had a co-worker in the Rev. Father 
Rousselet, but from June, 1791, he was alone until the Rev. Dr. Matignon 
began his ministry in Boston, August 20, 1792. At this juncture. Father 
Thayer, anxious for a larger field, began a missionary tour through New 
England. He visited all the principal towns in Massachusetts, preaching 
and strengthening the few Catholics he met. New Hampshire, Rhode Island 
and Connecticut also were the scenes of his zealous labors. It was durin? 
this tour, in November, 1793, that he appeared in Norwich. At the invita- 
tion of the Rev. Joseph Strong, rector of the First Congregational church of 
that town, Father Thayer preached a sermon to a large audience in which he 
essaved to establish the divine institution of the church. On the followino- 
Tuesday evening he delivered a discourse in the same place on the invoca- 
tion of the saints and the efficacy of pra)'ers to them. In granting to Father 
Thayer the use of his pulpit Mr. Strong evinced a spirit of fraternal charity 
rare in those days. It was an exceptional act, a bright light amid the dark- 
ness of intolerance then so prevalent. 

It is probable that during this missionary tour Father Thayer visited also 
New London, Hartford, New Haven and other towns in which it would be 
reported that Catholics resided. 

There is an ancient tradition ' in Hartford that two French priests resided 
there between 1756 and the Revolution, one on the Bloomfield, the other on 
the Windsor road. Tradition further savs that the Rev. Francis Mationon. 
D.D., of Boston, visited a French priest, who was residing on the latter road, 

^Apropos of Bishop Carroll's visit to Boston, the following items taken from the 
" Gazette of the United States " will be of interest : " Boston, June 4. — The Right Rev. 
Bishop Carroll, of the Roman Catholic church, arrived in town a few days since, and 
he confirmed the baptism of a number of Catholics. This gentleman, justl3- esteemed for 
his piety, learning and benevolence, will preach to-morrow at the Roman Catholic 
church." — ^June 15, 1791. 

" Boston, June 7. — On Sundaj- morning the Right Rev. Bishop Carroll preached an 
eloquent and candid sermon at the Catholic chapel in School street. His Excellency the 
Governor, and Lady, and the Hon. Edward Cutts were among a crowded and very respect- 
able audience, who appeared highly gratified by the charity, the benevolence, the piety 
which graced the discourse of the Right Rev. preacher." — ^June 18, 1791. 

^'' TJu- Norwich Packt-t" Nov. 14, 1793. 

^This tradition is well grounded. It was told to Very Rev. Dr. Shahan by Mr. 
Henry Barnard, who had received it from Admiral Ward. The .\dmiral heard it from his 
father, whose knowledge covered the period before the Revolution. 


when he passed through Hartford in 1S13. In 1796, a French piiest paid a 
visit to New Haven, prol>ably to gather around him tlie French refugees, who 
at the end of tlie eighteentli century were in great numbers in Connecticut. 
To make his presence known he inserted tliis advertisement in the Connecti- 
cut 7*^/;// ^7/, a newspaper published at Xew Haven: 

New IIavkn, January 28, 1796. 
The Roman Catholics of Connecticut are informed tliat a priest is now in New 

Haven, where he will reside for some time. Those who wish to make usef of his ministry 

will find him by inquiring at Mr. Azel Kimberly's, Chapel street. 

The ])rinler.s of this state are desired to insert this advertisement: 

" Les Francois sont advertis qu' il y a uii Pretre Catlioliqueen ville. On le deman- 

dera chez Monsieur Kimberly, Rue de la Chapelle, New Haven.' 

Probably tliis was the priest who resided on the Windsor road, and who 
published the following advertisement in llie Connecticut Courant., March i 
and 8, 1796: 


" Une maison situe en Windsor vis a vis I'Eglise nouvelle, remote de la quatre 
vingt vergis, et de la riviere ea meme, accomode avec uue grange et une maison de 
cabriolet avec un fort beau Jardin, il n' a tous sorts de commodities, les batiments sont 
tous nouveau.x aud entierement fini. II y' est pas que .sept milles ile Hartford situe 
dans un voisinage fort agreable. Pour les conditions appliquez a Richard L. Sell demeu- 
rant sur les premises. 

" Fevrier 20, 1796." 

( Translalion. ) 

For S.\i,e. 

A located in Windsor opposite the new church, distant from there eighty 
yards, and the same from the river. The place is provided with a barn and a carriage 
house, and has a verj- fine garden. There is every accommodation ; the buildings are 
all new and entirely finished. It is only seven miles from Hartford, and situated in a very 
pleasant locality. For terms apply to Richard I^. Sell, living on the premises. 

February 20, 1796. 

The Rev. Jean Ambrose Soug^ appears next upon tlie scene. A lifelong 
friend of the proto-Bishop of Boston, John de Cheverus, he shared with him 
the hardsliips of exile. Victims of the French Revolution, tliey sought an 
as\lum in England in 1792, where the\' labored iu tlie jurisdiction of the 
Bishop of London. With characteristic zeal and energy tiie Abbe Sougd 
discharged the various duties imposed ttpon him, but his thoughts ever 
reverted to the rising young nation of the west, where the harvest was great, 
but the laborers few. After five fruitful years on the English mission, he 
sailed for America in February, 1797, bearing the following letter to Bishop 
Carroll, of Baltimore, from the Bishop of Loudon.' 

" Mv Lord: Monsieur L'abbe Souge, Canon and Theologian at the Cathedral of 
Dol, who will hand or send you these lines, is on the point of setting olT for .America to 
be Chaplain in the family of the Vicomte De Sibert Cornillon, which family is settled 

near Hartford in Connecticut He is a gentleman strongly recomniLndcd to me for 

his learning, pietv and zeal, and he is intimately connected with Monsieur Cheverus, 
whom I recommended to your Lordship last .-Vutuuin. INIr. Souge has been emploj-ed 

^ " A»ie>. Hist. Researches," Oct., 1890. 


here, viz., at Dorchester, an antient Bishop's See, though now a village in Oxfordshire, 

and has testimonial letters for your Lordship from Mr. Charles Leslie, Missionary at 

As he setts sail from London, I have given him all the necessary faculties for the 
Sacred Ministr3-, till he can apply for the same at Your Lord,ship's. 

Presuming on Your Coudescention to Your Lordship's Friend and Brother in Jesus 
Christ, tJoHN Douglass. 

Castle Street and Holborn, London, February, 1797." 

The Rev. Dr. Matignon of Boston added the weight of his testimony to 
the commendation of Bishop Douglass. He informed Bishop Carroll that 
Sotige was conversant with the English language, and had done much good 
by his preaching and in the direction of souls. 

Immediately upon his arrival at New York he applied to Bishop Carroll 
for the faculties necessarj' to discharge the duties of his sacred ministry in 
Connecticut. The Abbe Soug6 was associated for a brief period at Hartford 
with the Abbe J. S. Tisserant, who became the spiritual director of the saintly 
Mother Seton, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity in the United States. 
Father Cheverus wrote to Mrs. Seton of the Abbe Tisserant that he was "a 
most amiable and respectable man, equally conspicuous for his learning and 

There is no record of the duration of the Abbe Souge's labors in Hart- 
ford. It is presumed that he remained with the Coruillon famil}' until 1801, 
for in April of that year we find him at St. Joseph's, Talbot Co., on the 
eastern shore of Maryland. In Bishop England's Diurnal,, mention is made 
of a Rev. Mr. Sujet. Of Locust Grove, in Georgia, the bishop writes : 
" First Catholic Congregation in Georgia. It was fixed in 1794 or '5 by the 
settlement of Mrs. Thompson's family and others from Maryland. Bishop 
Carroll sent Rev. Mr. L,e Mercier to attend them. After 18 months he went to 
Savannah. Mr. Sujet remained 17 months, and returned to France." 

This Mr. Siijct,, probably, was our Souge, as there was no other priest at 
that period in the United States with a name resembling his. Sujet was the 
euphonic spelling from hearing the name pronoimced. 

After his return to his native land, the Abbe Soug6 became the Cure of 
Notre Dame, Mayenne, where he died, October 31, 1823. Bishop Cheverus, 
who had returned to France but a short time before to assume charge of the 
Diocese of Montauban, and was on a visit to his native city, Mayenne, preached 
the funeral sermon. The biographer of Bishop Cheverus thus speaks of his 
last tribute to his friend: "The Curd of this parish (Notre Dame, Mayenne) 
had died the preceding Friday. This Cure was Mr. Souge, the friend of his 
childhood, and his companion in exile when he left Mayenne, and for some 
time in England. He wished to honor his memory b)' pronouncing his funeral 
oration. The subject of his eulogy was a Priest, distinguished alike for virtue 
and talent, and he spoke his praises with all the interest that such a subject 
was calculated to inspire, and all the sensibility of the most affectionate 
heart — expecting to embrace his friend, but finding only his cold remains." 

The departure of the Abbe Souge for the Maryland mission synchronizes 
with the close of the eighteenth century. In 1813 Rev. Francis Matignon, 


DD., of Boston, on his way to New York, arrived at Hartford on a Saturday, 
and, as a law' then in vogue prohibited traveling on Sunday, he remained 
perforce till Monday. The Rev. Dr. Strung, the rector of the Congregational 
church, upon learning of Father Matignon's presence in town, cordially 
invited him to occupy his pulpit on the morrow. Dr. Matignon accepted the 
proffered hospitality. But the liberal-minded minister either did not count 
the cost, or, knowing it, dared to be courteous. On Monday his worthy, but 
wrothy deacons, in solemn delegation, stoutly protested against the presence 
in their pulpit of a " popish priest," and formally censured their pastor for 
his act of courtesy to a Christian gentleman of another creed. But Dr. Strong 
felt that his course would receive the sanction of a strong element in his con- 
gregation, and to the remonstrants made answer : " Well, gentlemen, do your 
best, and do your worst ; make the most of it. I have the ladies on my side." 

At this time Connecticut was under the jurisdiction of the diocese of 
Boston, whose bishop was John de Cheverus, D.D. This apostolic man was 
tireless in bringing the graces of the Mass and the sacraments to his widely- 
scattered children. In 1823 he visited Hartford and preached in the old State Besides Hartford he paid visits to East Hartford, Vernon, New 
London, .saving Mass, preaching, catechizing, encouraging his flock, and 
administering the sacraments. Records of baptisms administered in this 
visitation will be found in liie history of these places. 

There is a tradition that the famous convert, Rev. Virgil Barl^er, S. J., 
made a missionary visit to Hartford some time between 1823 and 182S. The 
tradition furthermore' says, that he remained there for several days and said 
Mass in private houses. 

The construction of the Enfield canal brought to the neighborhood of 
Windsor Locks a respectable number of Irishmen, who proved loyal to the 
faith, though they had no opportunity of performing public acts of worship. 
In illness the thought that overrules all others is the earnest, heartfelt desire 
for the priest. A Catholic, either from perverted choice or from necessity, 
ma)- live without the ministrations of the priest ; but at the approach of death, 
or even in serious illness, the recollections of other and holier days crowd in 
upon him ; his faith is re-animated and rises grandly supreme over all 
other forces, and he calls upon God's anointed for the sweet consolations of 

^ " Be it enacted by the Governor, Coiincil and Representatives, in General Court 
assem/'ied, <md by the authority 0/ the same, That every assistant in this Colony, and every 
justice of the peace, within the limits of their authority, are hereby inipowered and 
directed when they .shall have plain view or personal knowledge thereof, either with or 
without a written warrant, to cause all persons unnecessarily travelling on the Sabbath 
or Lord's day to be apprehended, and to examine Ihem, and if need be to command any 
person or persons to seize, arrest and secure any such person unnecessarily travelling oh 
the Lord's day as aforesaid, and them to hold till judgment may be had thereon. And 
every sheriff, constable, grand juryman and tytliing man, are hereby inipowered and 
directed without warrant to apprehend and carry before the next assistant or justice of 
the peace all persons trespassing said law as aforesaid, provided they be taken upon 
sight or present information of others and to command all necessary assistance." "Act of 
October, 1751. Public Records of Conn.," vol. X., p. 45. 


religion. And the sturdy laborers of Windsor well illustrated this truth. 
They were, by the fault of no one, deprived of the presence of a priest, but 
when one of their number was stricken with illness in x^ugust, 1827, they 
despatched a messenger to New York for one to hasten to their suffering 
comrade. And a priest then, as now and always, promptly responded to 
tlie summons. He was the Very Rev. John Power,' Vicar-General of New 
York. Learning in this manner of the presence there of a goodly number of 
Catholics, the zealous priest returned in October of the same year, said 
Mass and preached for them, thus stimulating their faith and infusing into 
them new courage to overcome their spiritual difficulties and new determina- 
tion to persevere. It was on one of these occasions, probably the latter, that 
Father Power said Mass for the Catholics of New Haven. He had arrived 
there from Windsor Locks after the boat had sailed for New York, and, as it 
was Saturday, he remained over Sunday, greatly to the joy of the faithful 
little band. The building in which Father Power officiated on this occasion 
is said to have been No. 5, Long Wiiarf. 

The Rev. R. D. Woodley, a young priest, now enters the field. In 1828 
Bishop Fenwick assigned to him Rhode Island and Connecticut as the theatre 
of his labors with his residence at Providence. In November of this year he 
visited Hartford, and no doubt exercised his ministry in other places where 
Catholics were known to be located. In the following year, July 9, we find 
him again at Hartford, whence he carried the divine message to the laborers 
on the Enfield canal. He visited also New Haven and New London, the 
former on July 13 and 14, 1829. 

We have thus traced the presence of every priest who entered Connecti- 
cut from the historic occasion when the saintly Druillettes pleaded in vain for 
his red children before the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New 
England in 165 i. If others came, there is no accessible record of the fact, 
nor even a vague tradition of their presence. The ministrations of those 
who came, brief and widely separated though they were, were not unproduc- 
tive of good. Some of the seed sown fell upon good soil, as is evidenced by 
the stately tree that has grown up, beneath whose peaceful shades two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand faithful souls find shelter. They planted, Apollo 
watered ; it was God who gave the increase. 

With the departure of Father Woodley we enter upon a new era, an epoch 

'Very Rev. John Power, D.D., was born in the County Cork, Ireland, in 1792. He 
was educated at INIaynooth, where he was a classmate of .Archbishop McHale of Tuam, 
and Father Mathew, the apostle of temperance. He arrived in New York in 1816, and 
was made pastor of St. Peter's parish. On the death of Bishop Connelly he was ap- 
pointed Administrator of the diocese, which position he occupied until the installation of 
Bishop Dubois. He was then appointed Vicar- General, which office he retained until his 
death. A contemporary said of him : " He was a man of great learning, pietj' and 
talent; as a scholar he was pre-eminent, being intimately acquainted with the Greek 
Latin, French, Spanish and Italian languages; as the zealous defender of his faith, as a 
writer he had but few equals and no superior. Great benevolence and sweetness of dis- 
position won for him the affection of all." He possessed great controversial powers, and 
as an orator he excelled in extempore discourses. His death occurred on April 14th, 1849. 


destined to become glorious by reason of the splendid achievements it was to 
accomplish in music and painting, in sculpture and architecture, as well as by 
the beneficent works of mercy and charity, of education and religion that are 
its joy and its crown ; this era is ushered in with the advent of the Rev. 
Bernard O'Cavanagh, wlio, under the guidance of the indefatigable Bishop 
Fenwick, laid strong and deep the foundation of the first parish in Connec- 


" The Holy Ghost haih placed you bishops, lo rule the Church of God, which He hath purchased 

with His own blood." — ^Acts xx. 28. 



First ISishop of Hartford. 

iHT REV. WILLIAM TYLER, the first incumbent of tlie See of 
[artford, was descended from a family distinguished alike for the 
heroic sacrifices it made for religion and for its subsequent splendid 
services in the cause of Christ. Converts all to our lioly faith, they 
brought into their new life renewed spiritual vigor, increased love for God 
and His church, and an intense desire, which nothing could overcome, to 
devote themselves unreservedly to the service of the Master. Reared 
the chilling influences prevalent in the early days of this century, their hearts 
yearned for something better, higher and nobler ; for that which would unite 
them in love with tlieir blessed Saviour ; for something more substantial, 
more supernatural, than that which cold, formal, rigorous and barren Puri- 
tanism afforded. Their .souls craved the full light of Christ's teachings, their 
hearts hungered for the Real Presence of their Redeemer. "I know that my Re- 
deemer liveth," perhaps could each one say ; but for him He was a far-off 
Being, ever enveloped in ineffable majesty and dwelling in light inaccessible, 
an inexorable Judge clothed always in the prerogatives of His justice. He 
reigned amid the thunders and lightnings of Sinai or amid the devastation 
that will attend the world's destruction. Of the meek and lowly Christ, but 
still infinite God, how limited was their knowledge! Apparently unfamiliar 
with the sad yet ever-consoling story of Calvary; as though oblivious of the 
transcendent words: " Many sins are forgiven her because she hath loved 
nnich," or "Son, thy sins are forj^iveii thee," or " This day thou shalt he 
with me in Paradise;" unmindful that Christ came to call a poor, sin-stricken 
race, not the just, to repentance, they longed to know the Christ as He is, and 
not as a narrow, distorted theology portrayed Him, and to live in intiinate 
union with Him; therefore, casting away the trammels of rigorism tliat held 
them captive to earth, they soared into the clear atmosphere of Christ's love. 


The Rev. Virgil Barber, a minister of the Congregational, and later of 
the Episcopal church, was the first to enter the Catholic church. His wife 
and five children, one son and four daughters, shared with him the hardships 
of the sacrifice, for their conversion meant not only the deprivation of emolu- 
ments, but the loss also of social recognition. His father, also a clergyman in 
the Congregational and Episcopal denominations, the Rev. Daniel Barber, 
followed him in proclaiming allegiance to the ancient faith. His devoted 
aunt, also, Mrs. Tyler, with her husband, four sons and four daughters, 
illumined by the light that shone round about them, yielded cheerful obe- 
dience to the divine call. Nor did the sacrifices which these families made 
for conscience sake go unrewarded. In His mercy God bestowed upon all the 
members of Virgil Barber's family the exceptional grace of religious \oca- 
tions. By special dispensation the husband and father became a priest of the 
Society of Jesus. The wife and mother Entered the Visitation convent at 
Georgetown, District of Columbia, and died a holy religious after forty-tliree 
years in the service of her divine Master. Their only son, Samuel, followed 
in his father's footsteps and became also a Jesuit priest. Of their four daugh- 
"ters, three became Ursuline nuns, one at Boston, another at Quebec and the 
third at Three Rivers, Canada, while the fourth became a Visitandine nun at 
Georgetown. Of Mrs. Tyler's family, one son received a vocation to the 
priesthood and was subsequently elevated to the episcopal dignity, while the 
four daughters retired from the world and within the peaceful cloisters of a 
convent at Emmittsburg served God as gentle, patient and faithful Sisters of 
Charity. ' 

William T}-ler was born in Derby, Vermont, on June Jth, 1806. In his 
childhood his parents removed to Claremont, New Hampshire. His early 
life was spent amid the various occupations incidental to farm life, and while 
engaged in these humble labors he gave evidence of possessing in a marked 

' Bishop T3-ler's family consisted of Noah, his father, and Abigail, his mother; his 
brothers were Ignatius, George and Israel. His sisters were Rosette Tyler — Sister Gene- 
vieve — who entered the Emmittsburg community in 1820. She led a holy and edifying 
life and died at St. John's Institution, Frederick, Md., July 2, 1839. In his letter to Father 
Tyler announcing her_ death, the Rev. John McElroy, S.J., said : "She was one of those 
of whom the world was not worthy, and the Holy Virgin to whom she was tenderly de- 
voted would, on this festival (the feast of the Visitation of the B. V. M.) present her pure 
soul to her divine Son." Catherine Tyler — Sister Mary James — entered the same 
communitj' in 1827, was sent on the mission to St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum, Wash- 
ington, D. C, and died there, November 24, 1830. Martha Tyler— Sister Beatrice^also 
entered in 1S27, and after a few years withdrew to embrace a cloistered life. Sarah Maria 
Tyler— Sister Mary de Sales— entered also in 1S27. She still survives at St. Joseph's 
Academj', Emmittsburg, Md. On the i6th of the present month (April, 1899) she com- 
pleted her ninety-fifth year, in the full possession of her faculties. 

The Bishop's father died April 23, 1845, at Elgin, Kane county. 111. After her hus- 
band's death, Mrs. Tyler resided for a time with her daughter. Sister Mary Beatrice, at 
the Visitation convent, St. Louis. She died at her home, which at the time was in a 
small place bearing an Indian name, in the neighborhood of South Bend, Indiana. 

The writer is indebted for the facts in this note to Mother Mariana Flynn, Superior 
and Visitatrix of the Sisters in the U. S., who received them from Sister Mary de Sales. 


degree the sterling qualities that distinguished his career as priest and bishop 
— zeal and iiidustr>-, tireless energy and profound s>mpathy with suffering, 
fidelity to purpose and conscientiousness in tiie discharge of duty, how onerous 
so ever. Master Tyler was sixteen j'ears old when he embraced the Catholic 
faith. Of studious disposition and ambitious of acquiring an education that 
would enable him to carve out success in later years, he entered the classical 
school which the Rev. Virgil Barber had established at Claremont. He 
was the first student to become enrolled. Entering upon his .studies with 
enthusiasm and bringing to his work systematic application he soon became 
as proficient in his classes as he was regular in his conduct. His reward came 
in a .short time in his appointment as Prefect of Studies, a position which his 
native energy enabled him to fill to the satisfaction of his Superior and fel- 
low-students. He was fond of athletic sports and joined freely in the amuse- 
ments which the school afforded. Music was a favorite pastime in leisure 
moments, and he hot infrequently played the cornet at divine service. But 
the trait that appears the most prominent at this period of his life was his 
devotion to prayer, his intense love for the sacraments, which he received at 
frequent intervals. " From the moment of his conversion to the true faith," 
said a contemporary, "the late bishop was distinguished by his vir- 
tues, and by the eminent sanctity of his life." ' He was a profoundly reli- 
gious young man, and the sentiments that ruled his heart and regulated his 
mind are disclosed in a letter wliich he wrote to a brother in Georgia: 

" Now, my dear brother, let me warn you not to place too much afTcclion and depend- 
ence on the things of this life. Although you now are prosperous, still you maj- meet 
with a reverse of fortune ; and even if you could be sure of prosperity and all the blessings 
this world could afford, what comparison could they bear to the happiness or misery of 
eternity ? Our time here at the longest is but short, and we are daih- liable to the strokes 
of death. At the longest our life here is but short ; a striking proof of this lately oc- 
curred in Cornish : A j-oung man, who had lived in a Catholic family, and had obtained 
a knowledge of the Catholic religion, but for reasons knt)wn to himself deferred his con- 
version. Hut the tj-iant Death did not wait for him, and he was ushered into the other 
world, unprepared as he was. I hope that you find some leisure from your business for 
serious meditation ; and there is one time which, of all others, is, perhaps, the most pro- 
ductive of meditation ; I mean the silent hours of night, after we retire to rest. Of this 
3'ou cantiot be deprived, and I hope you employ it for the benefit of j'our soul. How do 
you pass the season of Lent ? As a Catholic, or as a Protestant ? I know that it is diffi- 
cult for one in the situation you are in to live a regular life, but I hojie that God will give 
you grace to walk in the path of duty." 

Master Tyler remained tinder the fostering care of the Rev. Virgil Barber 
for four years. With him at Claremont were two young men who were dis- 
tined to be also crowned with the honors of the priesthood, and who in after 
years saluted him as their bishop, William Wiley and James Fitton. While 
at school here young Tyler acquired a good knowledge of Greek, Latin and 
French, besides becoming well grounded in the common branches. As JLatin 
was the ordinary language of tlie school and spoken by the students at all 
times it is not surprising tliat the future bishop became proficient in its use. 

^ "Catholic Observer," June, 1S49. 


The religions atmosphere in which he moved exercised a controlling influence 
over him and directed his mind and heart to the Lord's sanctuary. He 
felt an irresistible attraction to the service of God in the sacred ministry. 
He longed for the opportunity to present himself as a candidate for the priest- 
hood wherein he could employ his God-given talents for the salvation of his 
fellow-men. But his worldly possessions were few, his financial resources 
limited. The grim figure of Poverty stood between him and the realization 
of his desires. To his mother he revealed the anxiety that pressed tipon his 
heart in a letter from which we give an extract : 

"How often do we meet with disappointments, when our hopes and expectations 
are at their highest point ! You have seen how various and changeable tlie course of life 
is, how vague and fluctuating fortune, and how great inconstancy among friends. You 
have been made acquainted with my intention of becoming a priest, and that the means 
by which I expected to attain this was by the assistance of the Rev. Superior, Mr. Barber, 
in retaining and promoting me as his assistant in the school. I have already informed 
you of the loss of expectation. Now, what course shall I pursue? For myself, I know 
not where another year will find me. Pa thinks that I had better agree with Uncle Daniel 
to procure nie a situation in a store at Boston, where he is soon going. This is far from 
my wishes, since I have so seriously engaged my mind in the pursuit which appeared to 
me to be the one pointed out for me by Divine Providence. I do not like to give out ; 
but if it is the Divine will that I should become a priest, there will be some wa}' for my 
attaining it." 

His confidence in Divine Providence was not misplaced. God, who had 
called him to the ecclesiastical state, and whose voice he sought to obey, pro- 
vided the young student with the ways and means of accomplishing his high 
and holy purpose. , Difficulties vanished, obstacles were surmounted, and 
hope and joy supplanted anxiety and gloom. In Bishop Fenwick's Mem- 
07-andn under date of September 13, 1826, we read this precious entry : 

" Mr. Daniel Barber, the father of Virgil Barber, arrived from Claremont on a visit 
to the Bisliop, bringing with him Mr. Wm. Tyler, whom he introduces and recommends 
to him as a candidate for the ecclesiastical state. The Bishop is pleased with the progress 
made by him in his studies, and having received a good account of him on other points, 
admits him. Young Mr. T5-ler is. a relative of Mr. Barber, and has received the principal 
part of his education from Rev. Virgil H. Barber in his academy at Claremont." 

Master Tyler thus became a member of Bishop Fenwick's household 
imder whose tuition he comijleted his classical education in Jtiue, 1827. With 
a respite of only two days, as he informs us in his diary, he began his theo- 
logical studies with the bishop as his instructor. He received Minor Orders 
on December 24, 1826; Subdeaconship, December 21, 1827, and Deaconship 
the day following. He was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Fenwick 
on June 3, 1829. 

Father Tyler had now attained the goal of his ambition ; he was a priest 
of the Most High. He entered upon his new and arduous duties with an 
enthusiasm that brooked no failure. " From that moment forward," said a 
writer in the Catholic Observer,^ " it may be said in truth, that 'he had been 
delivered through the grace of God, unto the work, which he accomplished.' 

'June, 1849. 


All who knew him felt at once, and may testify that, unmindful of himself, 
and of all human applause and of all worldly advantages, he had constantly 
but one object in view — the salvation of souls and the greater glory of his 
Divine Master ; and the Catholics of Boston may well remember how, during 
many years, in sickness and in health, by nigiit and by day, he was ever ready 
to serve their souls in a never-changing spirit of meekness and of zeal ; and 
how he kept back nothing that was profitable to them, but preached it to 
them and taught them publicly, and from Iiouse to house, testifying to all 
penance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." 

After Father Tyler's ordination he served the Cathedral parish until 
August 23, 1829, when he was appointed to the mission of Canton. In 1830 
he was sent to Sandwicli. He also served a year on the Aroostook mission, 
Alaine. With the exception of these brief appointments the theatre of Father 
Tyler's labors was chiefly in Boston as an attache of the Cathedral of Holy 
Cross. From here he attended otlier missions, among tlieni being Benedicta, 
Maine, in 1843. He was appointed vicar-general, which position he occu- 
pied until his elevation to the See of Hartford. 

The multiplication of duties, the weight of years and increasing infirmi- 
ties induced Bishop Fenwick to request tlie Fifth Provincial Council, assem- 
bled at Baltimore, May, 1843, to petition tlie Holy See for a division of his 
diocese. Pope Gregory acceded to the request, and on September 18, 1843, 
erected the States of Rhode Island and Connecticut into a diocese with the 
Episcopal seat at Hartford. The clioice of Bishop Fenwick was confirmed at 
Rome, and Very Re\-. William Tyler was appointed the first bishop of the 
new See. The ofTicial Bulls notifying him of his election were received on 
February 13, i<S44, and on February 21st he proceeded to Frederick, Marv- 
land, to make a retreat preliminary to his consecration. It was with the 
greatest reluctance tliat he accepted the episcopal dignity. He bowed to the 
wishes of Bishop Fenwick, whom he revered as a father, and submitted to the 
decision of his spiritual director. Very Rev. Francis Dzierozinski, S. J. , Pro- 
vincial of the Maryland Province. He was consecrated on Sunday, March 
17, 1844, in the cathedral at Baltimore, amid the impressive ceremonies pre- 
scribed by tlie Roman Pontifical. The officers of the consecration service 
were as follows : 

Consecrator — Right Rev. Benedict Fenwick, D.D., Boston. 
Assisting Bishops — Right Rev. Richard V. Whalen, D.D., Richmond, 
Va., and Right Rev. Andrew Byrne, D.D., Little Rock, Ark. 

Preacher — Rev. Henry B. Coskery, Cathedral, Baltimore, Md. 
Master of CercTuonies — Rev. Francis L' Homme. 
Assistants — Messrs. Thomas F'oley' and R. J. Lawrence. 

On Sunday, March 21, Bishop Tyler was one of the assistant bishops at 
the consecration of Right Rev. John B. Fitzpatrick, D.D., at Georgetown. 

The personal appearance of Bishop Tyler at tliat time is thus described 
by his physician. Dr. Kdward Le Prohon, A.M.: "At my first view of the 

' Afterwards Bishop of Chicago. 


worthy prelate I recognized in him the lymphatic temperament which domi- 
nated in him, a delicate wliite skin, narrow shoulders, high stature, about six 
feet, the body long and thin, a well-featured countenance, sweet and calm, the 
cheeks slightly roseate, and constantly wearing spectacles, though he has not 
yet reached his forty-fifth year. The entire external appearance of Mgr. 
Tyler showed symptoms of latent consumption ; Mgr. Tyler himself felt the 
necessity of taking care of his feeble health tlie better to exercise the labor- 
ious functions of tlie foundation of a new diocese. . . . Mgr. Tyler's appear- 
ance took everybody's attention. He bore the expression of sanctity on his 
countenance, the seal of the man of God was to be seen on it." 

Accompanied by Bishop Fenwick, Bishop Tyler arrived at Hartford on 
April 12, 1844. The church of the Holy Trinity became his cathedral, as 
in that historic edifice he was installed Bishop of Hartford on Sunday, April 
14th — Dominica in Albis. Extensive preparations had been made for the 
worthy and dignified reception of the new prelate. Rev. John Brady, the 
rector, was the celebrant of the Mass, and Bishop Fenwick preached the 
sermon of installation, in the course of which he eulogized his colleague 
and congratulated the people upon the erection of the new diocese. At the 
Vesper service Bishop Tyler preached his first sermon as Bishop of Hartford. 

Bishop Tyler's first visit was made to Middletown, Conn., on April isth. 
He inspected the new church then approaching completion. His next visit 
was to New Haven. 

When Bishop Tyler was consecrated the population of his diocese was 
estimated from a census taken at the time at 9,997 souls, of whom 4,817 were 
in Connecticut, and 5, 180 in Rhode Island. In the two States there were six 
priests and eight churches ; tliree priests and four churches in Connecticut, 
and as many in Rhode Island. Writing on March i, 1845, to Monsieur 
Choiselat Gallien, a distinguished member of the Propagation of the Faith, 
residing in Paris, Bishop Tyler said : 

"There are ten or twelve other places where there are small congrega- 
tions of Catholics, whom we occasionally visit to afford them the benefits of 
religion. I have with me in the whole diocese only six priests to assist me 
in administering to the wants of all these. So you will easily perceive that we 
are in great want of zealous clergymen ; and we have little prospect of any 
addition to our numbers soon." Bishop Tyler's spiritual children were 
mostly emigrants, poor, despised, with nothing but faith and health, unpro- 
vided with churches and priests, scattered up and down an extensive territory 
from Providence to Norfolk. Some may yet be spared who remember the 
Old Guard of Catholicit}' in these parts, the venerable, laborious and self- 
sacrificing pioneers who sowed the seed by the water courses and on the hill- 
sides and along the coast line, which has fructified and multiplied until at the 
present writing there are 435 priests and 265 churches, where fifty-five years 
ago there were six priests and eight churches. 

After his consecration Bishop Tyler took up his residence in Hartford, 
the place named in his Bulls as the episcopal seat. At that time Hartford 
contained about 13,000 inhabitants, from 500 to 600 of whom were adult 


Catholics. The only church, a wooden structure, which had been purchased 
from the Protestants, was about 75 feet long by 40 feet wide; moreover, 
there were only a few feet of land on each side of the cliurch belonging to 
it. In the villages within eighteen miles of Hartford there were three or 
four small congregations of Irish Catliolics, who were occasionally attended 
by the resident pastor. Providence, on the other hand, had 23,000 inhabi- 
tants of whom 2,000 were Catholics. It had two churches, and either of them 
was larger than the one in Hartford. In the neighboring villages the Cath- 
olics were more numerous tlian in the towns near Hartford. " In considera- 
tion of these things," wrote Bishop Tyler to Mgr. Vincent Edward, Prince 
and Archbishop of Vienna, March i, 1845, "and after having consulted with 
Dr. Fenwick, Bishop of Boston, and others upon whose judgment I could 
rely, I resolved to make my residence in Providence, and at the Council of 
the Bishops of the United States to petition Rome to remove the See from 
Hartford to Providence." Bishop Tyler took up his residence in Providence 
in June, 1844. 

He selected as his Cathedral the elder of the two churches in Providence, 
SS. Peter and Paul, of which the Rev. James F'itton was pastor. Of this 
church the bishop wrote to the Archbishop of Vienna on the date above men- 
tioned : "It is a stone building 80 feet long by 40 feet wide. It is very un- 
pleasantly situated on account of the narrowness of the land on each side of 
it. It has only four feet on one side and not two on the other. Thus we are 
liable to have our windows darkened by buildings that may at any time be 
put up by the owners of the land near the church; and the buildings that now 
are near the church are very offensive, being stables in which are kept cows 
and horses. We desire very much to buy out these grounds that we nia\' be 
secure of enjoying the light of heaven and be freed from these nuisances." 

The zeal of the new bishop was hampered, but not overcome by the 
poverty of his diocese. His people were loyal to every request and faithful 
to the discharge of every religious duty. They were day laborers, devoted and 
God-fearing; and their willingness to contribute to the advancement of reli- 
gion was a striking characteristic. But the)- were comparatively few in 
number and manifold were the needs of the new diocese. " My best chalice," 
wrote Bishop Tyler to Mons. Gallion, Paris, "is bras.s, and I have but one 
other at the Cathedral, and only four or five more /// the ivhole diocese which 
belong to it. On last Christmas (December 25, 1846) I said my first Pon- 
tifical Mass, though with but one priest to assist, and very destitute of suit- 
able ornaments. But these are small matters. The great ones are what give 
me concern." In a letter acknowledging the receipt of a generous allocation 
from the Leopold Society of Vienna, Bishop Tyler opened his heart in grati- 
tude to the illustrious Archbishop of that ancient See : 

" Most Reverend and Venerable Sir: 

"I have not words to express my feelings ofgratitiuie towards you and the Leopold 
Society. Your donations have been of incalculable benefit to me. When I was appointed 
to this diocese I was poor, and the church here was destitute of everything. I was over- 
whelmed with the sad prospect before me, and I knew not where to look for assistance." 


Indeed, so widespread was the knowledge of the poverty of the Diocese 
of Hartford tliat the Bishop of Philadelphia, Right Rev. Francis Patrick 
Kenrick, wrote to Rev. Dr. Cullen on June 5, 1846, then rector of the Irish 
College at Rome, that "the unfortunate haste with which Little Rock and 
Hartford were made Sees in a former Council, should cause us to pause when 
a new See is to be erected." ' 

But God had willed through His Vicegerent, and obstacles apparently 
insurmountable gave way before the faith and energy of Bishop Tyler. It 
was his mission — and a glorious one it was^to delve and lay the foundations 
deep and solid, and faithful was he to the trust confided to him. He had no 
sooner taken up the reins of government than he bent all his energies to 
advance the spiritual condition of his diocese. He sought for priests at the 
world-famed missionary college of All Hallows, Drumcondra, Dublin. He 
solicited and received financial assistance from the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Faith at Paris and the Leopold Society at Vienna to erect churches 
and to provide teachers for the youth of his diocese. The condition of the 
children appealed strongl)' to his afTectionate and sympathetic nature. The 
love for them that consumed him and the anxiety that weighed upon him are 
exhibited in a letter he wrote to Paris in January, 1847: 

" We are in a lamentable want of schools for our children. There are, I suppose, In 
this city alone (Providence) 1000 children of Catholic parents between six and fourteen 
j'ears of age, and I am grieved to know that in spite of what I can do, they are growing 
up in deplorable ignorance of religion, and this through want of suitable means of being 
instructed. As a beginning in this matter, I wish very much to put a small colon}' of 
Sisters of Charity from Emmittsburg, Maryland. For more than ten years I witnessed 
in Boston the good they did in rearing the girls in that cit}'. This is one object that I 
shall strive for. Then, alas ! our boys are equally destitute. And then, all the children 
of Catholic parents in the other towns and villages ! What shall I do for them ? " 

His love for the children of his diocese took tangible form in the organi- 
zation of the " Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Befriend Chil- 
dren." It was established in Providence, 1847, and its object was two-fold, 
to promote the spiritual welfare of its members, and to assist in providing for 
the spiritual and corporeal wants of children. Its members were required to 
say once every day this short prayer: " ! Holy Mary, Mother of God, be a 
mother to me, and to the children of this Congregation ; take them under thy special 

In the same letter the zealous bishop speaks of another matter that was 
dear to his heart ; but with the hope expressed there was a vein of sadness, 
born of his poverty : 

■■ Next summer," he says, " I expect three priests from the College of Drumcondra, 
Dublin, Ireland. I have not vestments, chalices, etc., for them. I wish to send these 
newl}- ordained priests to several places where there are bodies of poor Catholic laborers, 
and in some of these places there is not the semblance of a church. How happy would 
I be to be able to assist each of these with a few hundred dollars to begin small churches 
and abodes for themselves ; and what encouragement would it not give the poor people 
among whom they go and upon whom they must depend for everything! " 

' "Records of the Cath. Hist. Soc. of Phila ," Vol. VII., p. 329. 
II— 9 


Bishop Tyler cared little for the creature comforts of life. His ambition 
was to provide for the welfare of his priests and people. Self gave wav to 
the nei}J:libor. He petitioned for assistance for the poor congregations over 
whom he was placed and for the heroic priests who came and went at his 
call; but for himself he asked nothing. He was content with the humblest 
accommodations. Let his devoted physician speak again : 

"The little house inhabited formerly by the venerable Father Fitton became the 
episcopal palace of Mgr. Tyler, a residence in which many of his parishioners would 
have refused to lodge ; but Mgr. Tyler, whose mind was occupied onlj' with the desire of 
serving God, considered this miserable residence as suitable and established himself ir. 
it. Being just beside the sacristy, and onlj- a few steps from his Cathedral, he chose this 
miserable abode because his dominant thought was never fixed on the comforts of human 
life. The episcopal residence could easily haz'e been drawn by oxen from one end of Provi- 
dence to the other ; the stables of a hundred citizens in easy circumstances were better pro- 
tected against the seasons ; but Mgr. Tyler gave only a secondary consideration to what- 
ever related only to the comforts of the man of the world Wishing to avoid care- 
fully the sentiments of human respect, he dispensed with a carriage and made his journevs 
afoot in the city ; only the most necessary articles of furniture were to lie seen in his 
house, which was not carpeted ; his table was common and his meals plain ; he would 
have been satisfied with the commonest metal had not Madame Carnej' of Boston gener- 
ousl5' provided the silver which she wished to have on Mgr. Tyler's table " 

Bishop Tyler attended the Sixth Provincial Coimcil which assembled at 
Baltimore on May lo, 1846, a Council redolent of honors bestowed upon the 
Immaculate Mother of God. The late Very Rev. Edward McColgan, Vicar- 
General, and rector of St. Peter's church, Baltimore, was assigned as his theo- 
logian. It was this Council that added to the Litany of our Lady of Loretto, 
with the approbation of the Holy See, the invocation, " Queen, Conceived with- 
out Sin, Pray for us." To this Council also belongs the honor of having Mtuy 
the Mother of God, Conceived idthout Sin, made the patroness of the Church in 
the United States ; thus anticipating by eight years the solemn and infallible 
definition of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. 

The Seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore, which convened on May 
5, 1849, also saw Bishop Tyler in attendance ; but on tliis occasion he brotight 
with him a certificate from his attending physician that his health was in a 
precarious condition. He was accompanied by the Rev. James Fitton as his 
theologian. Bishop Tyler, realizing tlie deadly encroachments of his disease, 
wished to resign the episcopal dignity into hands stronger than his to bear the 
burden. With that detachment from earth that ever characterized him, he 
fully realized that his days were few. But the Fathers of the Council, instead 
of accepting his resignation, declared in favor of the appointment of a coad- 
jutor, who would lighten his burden. Wlierefore, on the motion of the Bishop 
of New York,' Right Rev. John Hughes, D. D., the Council petitioned the 
Holv See to appoint a coadjutor to the Bishop of Hartford, and the name of 
Very Rev. Bernard O'Reilly, Vicar-General of the diocese of Buffalo, who was 

' The minutes of the Council, May 8th, read : " Postulante Revmo D. Episcopo Neo- 
Eboracensi, censuerunt Patres supplicandura S. Sedi ut Coadjutor detur Revmo D. GuH- 
elmo Tyler, Episcopo Harlfordiensi, ob ejusdem valetudinem minus firmam." 


present at the Council as the theologian of Bishop Tinion, was sent to Rome 
for the office. The Fathers also recommended the erection of New York into 
an archbishopric, or province, with Boston, Hartford, Albany and Buffalo as 
suffragan sees. 

On the adjournment of the Council, May 13th, Bishop Tyler set out for 
his beloved diocese. On the steamer from New York to Stonington, he con- 
tracted acute articular rheumatism owing to a cold and damp state-room 
which he occupied. " The gravity of this terrible malady was depicted on 
the countenance of the Bishop," says his physician. " Notwithstanding his 
sufferings, not a word of complaint escaped his lips ; his patience and resigna- 
tion were superior to the sufferings of the flesh." As the condition of 
the illustrious patient continued to grow worse, the Rev. William Wiley, 
rector of St. Patrick's parish. Providence, requested the immediate presence 
at his bedside of the Bishop of Boston, Dr. Fitzpatrick. In the meantime 
a condition of delirium had ensued in which the sufferer failed to recognize 
any of his attendants. When Bishop Fitzpatrick arrived the patient gave no 
sign of recognition. Kneeling in prayer he fervently invoked the divine assist- 
ance for his dying colleague ; he petitioned that reason might be restored ; 
that the bishop might not only be enabled to receive the last sacraments with 
full consciousness, but also that he might give instructions about the affairs 
of his diocese. No sooner had Bishop Fitzpatrick concluded his prayer than 
the delirium vanished, consciousness fully returned, and with a smile of 
recognition,, the d)'ing prelate greeted his colleague. We quote again from 
his physician : "The sudden change that had taken place in my presence, 
from the state of confusion of his intellectual faculties to a return to a clear 
mind capable of distinguishing the true from the false ; this sudden transi- 
tion struck me with astouishihent when I saw the two bishops conversing 
freely on the affairs of the diocese of Hartford." Bishop Tyler received the 
last sacraments with every manifestation of love and faith and resignation. 
He made his profession of faith and blessed his diocese, "at the end of 
wdiich," wrote the Rev. James Fitton, who was present, " he closed his eyes 
and never spoke audibly more, save at times those pious aspirations and 
holy ejaculations of a departing saint." 

Bishop Tyler died on June 18, 1849, at the age of forty-five years. "The 
first bishop of Hartford died poor," says Dr. Le Prohon, "but he left no 
debts, or if there were any, they were exceedingly small." 

Two days later his remains were laid at rest in the basement of the 
cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul uiider the high altar, but are now side by 
side of those of Bishop Hendricken in the vault of the new cathedral. 
Right Rev. Bishop Fitzpatrick officiated at the obsequies in the presence of 
a numerous concourse of priests and people. The funeral sermon was 
preached by Rev. William Wiley, and was a splendid tribute from a devoted 
son and subordinate to an affectionate father and superior. 

Mgr. Tyler was an apostolic bishop, who brought to his high office the 
virtues that have ever characterized the converters of nations. He heard 
the confessions of his people and baptized the little ones of his flock. The 


sick were the special objects of his pastoral solicitude, and though there 
were priests al)out him to attend to such calls, his sympathetic nature brought 
him to tlieir bedside, no matter what tiie condition of tiie weather, to admin- 
ister the consolations of religion. He visited officially all parts of his 
diocese, preaching, confirming, strengthening the faith of the people and con- 
soling his priests amidst the arduous labors of their extensive missions. 
Truly, was he a good and faithful shepherd and his flock entertained for 
him a personal love that followed him beyond the grave. The poor found 
in him a father and friend and benefactor. Every week he distributed 
food and money to his indigent charges, and in so doing, he felt that, 
besides ameliorating their condition, he was rendering a service to God. 
With St. Paul could he say in very truth : " / ivas free as to all. I viade 
viyself the servant of all, that I might gain the more . . . To the weak I became 
weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might 
save all. And I do all things for the gospel's sake : that I may be made partaker 
thereof^ In his preaching Bishop Tyler was plain, practical, jiersuasive, 
convincing. He cared little for the ornaments of oratory, and lie embellished 
his discourses with few flights of rhetoric. His sermons that are e.xtant 
show careful preparation, as well as a full realization of the dignity of the 
preacher's office. His was an age when clear and solid instruction, more 
than mere eloquence, was imperatively required ; and this need he seemed to 
have kept ever before him. On the more important occasions he read his 
sermons, no doubt from the belief that this method of teaching was more 
impressive and convincing. 

Bishop Tyler, as we have seen, was hampered in the prosecution of his 
designs by the poverty of his diocese. Thougli without the means of accom- 
plishing great works — works that would attract the attention and evoke the 
admiration of the world — he, nevertheless, wrought well and solidly with the 
slender contributions wliich his faithful people placed at his disposal, and 
with the pecuniary assistance he received from European societies. At his 
consecration the whole diocese contained eight priests, seven churches and 
four stations. At his death, five years later, the churches had increased to 
twelve and the priests to fourteen. There were seven ecclesiastical students 
and a Catholic population of about 20,000. 

We shall close this sketch with words of tribute from a few of his con- 
temporaries. In an editorial, the 'Ronton Pilot, June 23, 1S49, said : " Bishop 
Tj'ler, by general consent, was allowed to be one of the most devout and 

saintly of the episcopal order The saintly bishop is lamented by 

the church and by all the faithful who ever came in contact with him in 
the course of his ministrations." The Catholic Observer, June 30, 1849, 
said : '' In the episcopacy, he was distinguished by the same unassuming 
worth, the same deep wisdom, the same untiring zeal which marked his 
career in the priesthood. Under his prudent care, and by his assiduous labor, 
religion grew up with silent, but rapid growth in every part of his extensive 
diocese, and his piety, his union with God, drew from Heaven those graces 
which "ave increase to that which he had planted and matured with apostolic 


toils." " The life of the late Bishop Tyler," wrote a contributor to theP//o/, 
March i, 185 1, "is one of the brightest examples which our holy religion can 
lay before us, and he will long remain in the hearts and minds of those over 
whom he has unceasingly watched and prayed." 

Bishop Fitzpatrick paid this tribute to his friend and colleague.^ " His 
talents were not brilliant nor was his learning extensive, thougli quite 
sufficient. But he possessed great moderation of character, sound judgment, 
uncommon prudence and much firmness. His life as a priest was truly a 
model for ecclesiastics. Not one hour was given to idleness nor vain amuse- 
ments or visits. He was methodical in the distribution of his time, and every 
portion of it was well spent. Zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of 
souls, true humility, total indifference to popular favor or applause, and a 
perfect spirit of poverty, were his peculiar virtues, and his whole life was 
spent in the practice of them. His aversion to honors and distinctions of any 
kind was so great that he could hardly be induced to accept the episcopacy 

to which he was appointed in 1843 His career as bishop, like his 

priesthood, was humble and unassuming, but laborious and fruitful. His 
natural constitution was not strong, and for five 3'ears before his death his 
medical adviser endeavored to dissuade him from taking part in the active 
labors of the ministry. But he persevered to the end, taking always upon 
himself the larger portion of the work in the confessional and the pulpit, 
sparing the young men who were his assistants. He even continued to attend 
the sick to within the last year of his life. When the period of the last Coun- 
cil of Baltimore approached, he felt that he had not long to live, consumption 
having already made deep inroads into his lungs. He nevertheless attended 
the Council and applied for a coadjutor. On the return from the Council he 
contracted inflammatory rheumatism. He tried to say Mass on Pentecost 
Sunday, the day after his arrival, but was obliged by pain and debility to stop 
at the foot of the altar. He remained, however, to hear Mass, as he could 
not celebrate, and afterwards took to his bed from which he never rose." 

" The divine Master was satisfied with the labors already performed. 
Twenty years, of which every day and every hour had been devoted to the 
great and only work of the bishop and the priest, the sanctification of souls, 
gave sufficient evidence of the purity of his faith, the fervor of his love. For 
him the heat and burden of the day were over. The good Ma.ster for whom 
he had labored called him to his rest ; and, already, we trust he has heard 
from the lips of Jesus the words that beatify eternally the wearied soul: 
Well done thou good and faithful servant ; enter into the joy of thy Lord." 

' From his Diary. 



Second Bjshop (jk Hartford. 

ROUND the name of the second Bishop of Hartford lingers the sad 
memory of a mysterious tragedy of tlie sea. With soul intent upon 
the spiritual blessings tliat were to accrue to his diocese from his 
sojourn abroad ; with heart eager to embrace again the precious 
children of his flock ; buoyant with hope for the briglit future he had conjured 
up for his diocese, — Bishop O'Reilly in an ill-slarred moment sailed out into 
tlie unknown to his death. Without a moment's warning, perhaps, and 
deprived of the sacred rites which impart strength and hope and consolation 
to the soul during its final moments on earth, the one hundred and eighty-six 
voyagers of the doomed Pacific sank beneath the devouring waves of the 
Atlantic. No survivor ever returned to tell how the ship met its cruel fate. 
Au iceberg, it may be, raised its massive form suddenly from the deep to 
sullenly dispute the passage of the throbbing steamer as it sped onward with 
its precious burden. Sudden the summons may have been, but we can 
imagine with what calmness and resignation and constancy the prelate went 
down to death. He who had braved the terrors of death a hundred times 
during the great cholera scourge that decimated the city of New York, 
was not now to quail before this nnsterious visitation. The same unal- 
terable confidence in God and His Blessed Mother that upheld the priest 
in those days of trial was not to desert tlie bishop in this hour of hope- 
less peril. 

The subject of this sketch was born in the Townlaud of Cunnareen, 
Parish of Columbkille, County of Longford, Ireland, in 1803. He inherited 
the piety and patriotism that in after years were prominent traits of his 
character. The naturally good qualities which adorned his early years were 
carefully nurtured and developed amid the truly Catholic influences which 
environed him. Having completed his classical studies at the age of twenty- 
two years, he felt within him the divine call to devote his life to God's hol\- 
service in the sacred ministry. Disclosing to his devoted parents the cherished 
desire of his heart, he declared his willingness to remain at home and labor 
for souls amid the scenes of his childhood and youth; but his thoughts ever 
reverted to the youiig nation of the West where freedom of worsliip reigned, 
a glorious provision of our Constitution. Securing the consent of his parents 
and receiving their fervent "God bless you ! " he sailed for America on Jan- 
uary 17, 1825. Intent upon the accomplishment of his mission he entered 
almost immediately the seminary at Montreal. He completed his theological 
studies at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, that nursery of bishops, and was 
ordained to the priesthood at New York City on October 13, 1831, by Right 
Rev. Bishop Kenrick, of Philadelphia. 

The young priest began his labors in New York City, visiting Brooklyn 
once a month. In 1832 the Asiatic plague broke over New York and carried 
hundreds to sudden death. " It was an awful time," wrote his brother. Very 

/^^^i^U a3^^f^^y9^^i4^^ 


Rev. William O'Reilly. "The eyes that sparkled with all the vivacity of 
youth in the morning, were often sealed in the darkness of the grave in tlie 
evening, or dimmed by tears for the loss of some dear one." But appalling 
as were the scenes Father O'Reilly witnessed, awful as was the carnage of 
death, fearful as was the desolation spread everywhere, he remained at his 
post, bringing temporal and spiritual blessings to his cholera-stricken fellows. 
So devoted was he during the epidemic, that his name has come down 
through the years in affectionate remembrance. For many years the sur- 
vivors told " how, like a true soldier of the cross, he rushed into the face of 
danger at all times, in season and out of season, by day and by night, wholly 
reckless of self, provided he could assist the dying, console the afflicted, take 
in the orphan, or dry up the widow's tears. " Twice a victim to the scourge 
he, nevertheless, was spared, perhaps, as a reward for his Christian charity. 
'■'■Greater love than this no man hat It, that a man lay dozvn his life for his 
friends.'''' He had freely, generously, offered himself upon the altar of 
charity; but God had other designs upon him, other fields were to witness 
his labors among the poor, the sick and the suffering, and the sacrifice was 
not demanded. 

Unwilling to seek rest after the cholera had subsided in order to recu- 
perate his impaired health, he was transferred in December, 1842, to St. 
Patrick's parish, Rochester, on which mission he labored for fifteen years. 
His jurisdiction extended from Auburn west to Niagara Falls. Of this iden- 
tical region in the early days of the century, Thomas D'Arcy McGee thus 
speaks : ' " The merchants of New York desired to unite Lake Erie to the 
Hudson for their own profit. An army of Catholic laborers is marslialled 
along the line. They penetrate from end to end of this great State. Their 
shanties spring up like mushrooms in the night, and often vanish like mists 
in the morning. To all human appearances they are only digging a canal. ^ 
Stump orators praise them as usual spades and shovels, who help on the great 
work of making money. But looking back to-day, with the results of a third 
of a century before us, it is plain enough those poor, rude men were working 
on the foundations of three episcopal sees, were choosing sites for five hun- 
dred churches, were opening the interior of the State to the empire of religion, 
as well as of commerce." 

Father O'Reilly was confronted in this field with many diflficulties, but 
his zeal overcame every obstacle, while his gentleness of character and con- 
ciliatory spirit overthrew the barriers which unreasonable prejudice had 
erected. A large portion of his territory was an unbroken wilderness, and 
the few who there resided were scattered and separated by great distances; 
but they were sought out, restored to the fold and their faith rekindled with 
a patience and energy worthy of an apostle. "To the untiring energy of 
Father Bernard O'Reilly, next to God, we must attribute the wonderful 

' " Catholic History of America." 

^Tlie Erie Canal was begun in 1817 and completed in 1825. It connects the Hudson 
river at Albany and Troy -with Lake Erie at Buffalo. It is 363 miles in length, and cost 
$7,602, 000. 


change wrought in favor of Catholicism and tlie triumphant victory which 
our holy faith acliieved in Rochester and the surrounding country. The 
grateful citizens of that place, seeing his stainless, steady career, admired 
the man, and honored the priesthood in his name." ' 

Some of the difficulties experienced by Father O'Reilly are disclosed by 
a letter written by the Bishop of New York concerning the cliurch at Saug- 
erties, Ulster County.* "The Rev. Mr. O'Reilly has been authorized by the 
Bishop of this diocese to offer himself a second time to the benevolent con- 
sideration of the public in the State of New York in behalf of the above 
named church. After exhausting, in a measure, the liberality of his Protes- 
tant neighbors and the proverbial generosity of the poor and widely scattered 
congregation of Irishmen for whose use its erection was undertaken, this 
cluiich, though roofed, is as yet destitute of doors, windows, and even a 
floor. The Rev. Pastor is, therefore, again compelled to solicit from his 

When the diocese of Buffalo was erected, April 23, 1847, Rochester fell 
within its jurisdiction, and Father O'Reilly became a subject of its newly- 
consecrated prelate, Right Rev. John Timon, D D., CM. The new bishop, 
recognizing tlie .superior work of Father O'Reilly, elevated him to the office of 
Vicar-General on October 19, 1847, and appointed him also Superior of his sem- 
inary. His brother, the Rev. William O'Reilly, became his successor in St. 
Patrick's parish, Rocliester. In these sj^heres Father O'Reilly won new 
laurels as a reliable counsellor and energetic priest, to whom hard work was 
a tonic, and as a wise guide for the young clerics committed to his care. 
And as though his duties as superior of the seminary, with his manifold 
parochial labors, were not enough to absorb his time and attention, he was 
assiduous in his attendance at the hospital of the Sisters of Charity of St. 
Josepli. F^ather O'Reilly had supervising care of this institution, and sy.s- 
tematically and sympathetically did he discharge the duties of this exacting 
position. A physician, who resided in Buffalo in 1849-' 5o-'s i and occasionally 
attended the hospital, in a recent letter to the writer, says of Father O'Reilly : 
" His words were few, but his presence seemed to be pleasing, and to act as 
an inspiration to the sick. . . . He was thoroughly posted in medical lore, 
and if everything was not right the physician would be called to account. . . . 
He was a gentlemaii of a very dignified, but approachable presence, and par- 
ticularly pleasing in his speech. His reputation in Buffalo was, as expressed 
by all, 'an admirable man, of few words.' The Know-Nothing element was 
then very strong in Buffalo, and the )oung p]i)sician was ostracized by it on 
account of a favor he had received from Father O'Reilly. These exponents 
of the gospel of hate and disturbers of public peace, directed their cowardly 
assaults against the hospital and the saintly women who, as ministering 
angels, brought health to the sick and consolation to the dying. But the 
chief offender, Rev. John C. Lord, a Presbyterian clergyman, found in F'ather 

' Very Rev. William O'Reilly in " Catholic Almanac " for 1857. 
"'A', y. Catholic Diary," Oct. 10, 1835. 


O'Reilly a redoubtable antagonist, a valiant champion of charity. He was 
driven from tlie arena of discussion and his conqueror was hailed with glad 
acclaim by the justice-loving element of the city. "No clergyman was ever 
more beloved by people than he was by the inhabitants of the diocese of 
Buffalo. The Bishop of Buffalo has oftentimes done justice, through the 
press, to the talents and merits of the deceased.' ' 

Father O'Reilly's star was in the ascendant. Honors greater still were to 
be his; still greater burdens were to be placed upon his shoulders. He was 
soon to hear from the highest authority on earth : " Amice, ascende superius" 
Friend, go up higher. The reward of well nigh twenty }'ears of dangerous, 
unceasing toil in the Master's vineyard was at hand. 

At the request of Bishop Tyler, the Seventh Provincial Council of Balti- 
more, which convened May 5, 1849, nominated Father O'Reilly as his coad- 
jutor. Pius IX. was then in exile at Gaeta. On the return to Rome of the 
Sovereign Pontiff the nominations of the council were acted upon. Father 
O'Reilly was appointed coadjutor, with the right of succession to Bisho^J 
Tyler, by brief of July 23, 1850. By another brief of the same date he was 
created bishop of Pompeiopolis in partibus infideliunt. Finally, by a brief of 
August 9, 1850, he was appointed Bishop of Hartford. ^ On October 14th he 
received, through Right Rev. John B. Fitzpatrick, bishop of Boston, the 
Bulls of his apppointment. The Bishop's Journal discloses the anxiety that 
weighed upon him at this period : 

" Oct. 15. Spent this day in great anxiety as to accepting the appoint- 
ment or refusing." 

" 16. After offering the Hoh- Sacrifice of the Mass to obtain light and aid 
in the matter from God, I concluded to accept, and felt relieved of much 

"18. I will, God helping, labor faithfully in this awful office. I have 
nothing at heart but God's glory in it." 

Bishop O'Reilly was consecrated in St. Patrick's church, Rochester, on 
Sunday, November 10, 1850, by Bishop Timon of Buffalo, assisted by Bishojj 
Fitzpatrick, of Boston, and Bishop McCloskey, of Albany. Right Rev. Peter 
L,efevre, D.D., bishop of Zela, Administrator of the diocese of Detroit, was 
present. The sermon was preached by the Rev. John McElroy, S.J. The 
new bishop celebrated pontifical vespers, during which Bishop McCloskey 
preached the sermon. He was installed bishop of Hartford in the cathedral 
at Providence on Sunday, November 17th, by Bishop Fitzpatrick, who 
preached the installation sermon. On this occasion Bishop O'Reilly sang 
his first pontifical Mass. The preacher at the vesper service was Bishop 
Timon of Buffalo. 

Bishop O'Reilly brought to the episcopate a varied experience — a niis- 

' It is noteworth}' that seven priests who labored in the diocese of New York in 
1843 became bishops, namely, Andrew B3'rne, Bishop of Little Rock ; David Bacon, 
Bishop of Portland ; John J. Conroy, Bishop of Albany ; John Loughlin, Bishop of Brook- 
lyn ; John McCloskey, Bishop of Albany, and later Cardinal-Archbishop of New York ; 
William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago ; Bernard O'Reillj-, Bishop of Hartford. 


sionary priest alone in an extensive territory — nothing singular, the reader 
may say; vicar-general and rector of a cathedral in a new diocese; superior 
of a new seminary and supervisor of an hospital ever increasing in size and 
influence; were not these positions, with their exacting and manifold duties, 
an admirable training-school for the dignity as well as for the burdens of the 
mitre? He had studied human nature in all its phases. In the various posi- 
tions of trust to which he had been called, he had known how to obey ; and 
those only who know how to obey know how to command. Trials were 
before him in his new office ; he met them witli unflinching courage. 

"If we have to lament," said a contemporary, "over the death of one 
who is reaping the reward due to his exalted virtues (Bishop Tyler), we have 
also to rejoice at the appointment of his successor, the Rt. Rev. Bernard 
O'Reilly, who has already won our admiration for his zeal, piety and watchful- 
ness. We liail his presence amongst us as the true messenger from God; we 
congratulate him as the harbinger of many blessings already commenced." ' 

Among the great works that engrossed the attention of Bishop O'Reilly 
immediately upon his acce.ssion to the episcopal throne was tlie adoption of 
means to increase the number of priests in his diocese. " A short time since," 
he wrote in 1852, "our affliction was very great, when from almost everv 
.section of the diocese the faithful asked for priests, and we had none to give 
them." To provide for future needs he established a theological seminary 
in September, 1S51. The epi.scopal residence was the seminary, and it 
ojjened with eight students of theology and two of philosophy. The bisliop 
himselftaught his students the first week. The Rev. Hugh Carmody, D.D., was 
the first Superior of St. Mary's Theological Seminary. Tlie institution pro- 
gressed apace, as we gather from a Pastoral Letter addressed to the clergy 
and laity on the, feast of the Annunciation, 1852: "Tliis good work is now in 
a most prosperous condition, and promises the most happy results to religion 
in the diocese." An accession of eighteen priests during the previous year, 
carried consolation into many a desolate section of the diocese. " But a little 
time," said the Pastoral, "with the divine aid, and the instrumentality of 
the .seminary, and every section of tliis diocese will be supplied with its pas- 
tor to offer the most Holy Sacrifice, and administer the Sacraments, preach 
the truths of God, and extend His empire on earth." 

" The bishop is burdened with the solicitude of Jiis diocese; he must pro- 
vide j)astors for the faithful, and ever be prepared to nieet every contingencj' 
tliat may possibly diminish the number of his priests. He conceives it to be 
his duty, not only to provide the larger congregations with pastors, but to 
have seasonably afforded the consolations of religion to the smaller sections, 
and even, where it is possible, to i.solated families. All his an.xieties are 
about his priests and people ; for God and for them he lives and labors, and 
is i^repared to exhaust himself in promoting their spiritual interests and hap- 

With these thoughts uppermost in his mind, Bishop O'Reilly visited 

' Pilot, March i, 1851. 


Europe in 1S52, sailing on October i6th on the steamer Atlantic. To 
secure priests he visited that nursery of Irish missionaries, All Hallows Col- 
lege, Dublin, on November 7th, where he received several priests and in 
which he had students preparing for the sacred ministry. Among the 
students whom Bishop O'Reilly met during his visit to All Hallows was a 
young man, Thomas Hendricken by name, who was his guide about the col- 
lege. The young student declared his intention of joining the Society of 
Jesus, and after his ordination of entering the Japan missions. The bishop, 
however, prevailed upon the future bishop to enter the American field. 
Thomas Hendricken with others destined for his diocese was ordained by 
Bishop O'Reilly at All Hallows on April 26, 1853, after his return from a 
tour of the continent. 

The energy of Bishop O'Reilly was restless. It was bent not only upon 
multiplying the priesthood of his diocese; he sought auxiliaries who would 
provide the children of his flock with a religious education ; who would ten- 
derly care for the precious orphans; who would visit and nurse the sick and 
console the poor. To this end he introduced into the diocese the Sisters of 
Mercy in May, 185 i_. The mother-house was at Providence, and the first Su- 
perioress was Mother Xavier. At this period, bigotrj* was rampant through- 
out New England ; in Rhode Island it was particularly virulent — bigotry 
in its reckless, anti-Christian and hateful form. Governor Anthony was 
the leader of this un-American crowd. Lies the most cruel, slanders the 
most foul, were directed against the church, the priests — but, characteristic 
of Know-Nothiug warfare, especially against the devoted sisters. Calumny 
was the chief weapon employed by these moral assassins, and to such an ex- 
tent did the leaders inflame the passions of their ignorant dupes that a fren- 
zied mob in 1855 — the year of the Know-Nothing triumj^hs — surrounded the 
Convent of Mercy and threatened destruction to the building and death to 
the sisters. All eyes turned to the bishop to protect his charges. He rose 
equal to the occasion. Undismayed by the ferocity of .the mob the intrepid 
prelate stood before the convent and fearlessl)' addressed the angry crowd: 
"The sisters are in their home; they shall not leave it for an hour. I 
shall protect them while I have life, and if needs be, register their safety 
with my blood." The mob was cowed by the presence and words of the 
bishop, who, single-handed, stood before a brutal mob bent upon murder 
and plunder. 

Bishop O'Reilly attended the First Plenary Council of Baltimore, which 
convened on May 8, 1852. He had as theological adviser the Rev. John 
McElroy, S. J. After the adjournment of the Council he visited Washing- 
ton and had an interview with President Fillmore. 

Bishop O'Reilly's attitude on the religious education of children was 
consonant with the teachings of the church in all ages. He believed in the 
necessity of a thoroughly Catholic education, if the children were to be saved 
to the church and to society. He held, as his colleagues in the American 
episcopate have ever held, that the better Catholic a man is the better citizen 
he will be. In a pastoral letter addressed to his diocese on January 4, 185 1, 


he thus admonishes the laity: "Watch, witii sleepless vigilance, over the 
education of your children, those precious deposits which God has confided to 
you, and which He will require at your hands. The enemy, aware that the 
matured in faith and practical in religion are, generally, beyond the reach of 
his seduction, endeavors, amidst us, to sap the germ of faith in tlie rising 
generation, through the instrumentality of an uncatholic education. As 
effect succeeds to cause, so will it be, in too many instances, with those 
precious deposits trained in nncatliolic schools; they will lose the faith, the 
faith of God, for which their fathers perilled everything. Ordinary care, 
under influences more favorable, might, and doubtless would, save them 
to religion ; but where all influences bear adversely on their faith, it 
is clear tliat great care and constant attention to their proper educational 
and religious training will alone save them to the faith. ' A young man, 
according to liis way, when he is old, he will not depart from it.' Thus 
the Divine Spirit calls your attention to the early and proper training of 
your children. Be guided in a matter of such infinite importance by His 
counsel, that you may not have to answer before God for the loss of your 
children. I wish you to remember, tliat, as vitiated food would endanger their 
physical life, so uncatholic education perils what is more important, their 
moral and eternal life. Watch then over them, with the solicitude of Christian 
parents, fully impressed with the greatness of your responsibility in their 
regard, that they may grow up edifying members of the church of God, and 
transmit to others, as your fathers did, the blessed inheritance of faith. Your 
faith, so firm and abiding, your zeal in the cause of God, induce to the belief 
that you will be generous and active in accomplishing this great purpose. 
You will not qualify, as a sacrifice too onerous, when considered in connection 
with your other obligations, the procuring your offspring an education pro- 
motive of their best interests, but rather consider it a pleasing and indispen- 
sable duty. You are willing to subject yourselves to much privation, and 
refuse no toil that may provide them with food and raiment; and you will not 
be less zealous, I trust, in providing them, under tlie guidance of your pastors, 
an education free from error in faith and morals, and promotive of their future 
well-being. Were they, by the mysterious providence of God, deprived of 
your parental protection, and thrown, parentless, on this world, they would 
still be amply provided, by legal provision, with all things essential to phvsi- 
cal subsistence and comfort, whilst no effort would be spared to deprive them 
of the faith inherited from you, evidence at once of the surpassing importance 
of their Christian education, and your obligation to provide for tliem. Edu- 
cate them fully in a knowledge of their divine religion, train them early in 
the practice of all it enjoins, that they may comprehend its majesty and 
strength, and taste the consolation and sweetness consequent on this practical 

The love of Bishop O'Reilly's heart went out in its fullness to the 
orphans, those helpless yet precious charges of holy church. Deprived of 
their natural protectors they become the wards of religion ; and as tlie chief 
pastor of the diocese he accepted the responsibility. Furthermore, as the 


contributions for the orplians conclusively proved, his faithful diocesans 
absorbed liis ideas and generously seconded his efforts. We quote from the 
pastoral letter above mentioned : 

' Venerable brethren and dearly beloved children, I most earnestly' invoke your 
protection for the orphans that may be found in your midst. There is no work more 
worthy of a people devoted to the service of God than the care-taking of the poor and 
the orphan. If any of those parentless little ones should be lost through our parsimony 
or neglect, we cannot consider ourselves guiltless before God ; he will hold us to a rigid 
accountability for the loss of the soul that nught have been saved to Him by our charit- 
able interposition. Our divine Saviour has imposed this as a duty on his people. He 
will exact its fulfillment and severely punish its omission. It is not a less great work 
to save to God those who are of us than to convert to Him those who are not ; it is rather 
a prior duty, enforced by well-ordered charitj'. Let, then, the united action of pastors 
and people save to religion the helpless orphan. God will not fail to aid in the perform- 
ance of the duty He imposes ; He invariably crowns with success the labors of the willing 
instruments of His mercy." 

While Bishop O'Reilly was providing priests and sisters for his diocese, 
erecting schools and asylums for his childreti and visiting his scattered 
parishes, he was not oblivious of the attacks made by United States 
army officers on the rights of conscience. He fought successfully for the 
rights of Catholic soldiers who had been imprisoned by officers for non- 
attendance at Protestant services. On Stinday, May 28, 185 1, twenty-one 
Catholic soldiers were imprisoned at Fort Columbus, N. Y., by Lieutenatit 
Winder for refusal to attend Protestant worship. One of the "offenders," 
Private James Duggan, of Co. A, 4th Artillery, was placed on trial. The 
charge was: disobedience of orders ; his plea was : not guilty. The finding 
and sentence of the court were : " The Court finds the prisoner guilty as 
charged, and does sentence him, James Duggan, to forfeit to the United 
States $5 of his pay per month for six months ; two months in solitary con- 
finement on bread and water ; the other four at hard labor, with ball and 
chain at his leg." This sentence, in part, was confirmed by Major-General 
Wool. The case was appealed to the War Department with the result that 
the then Secretary of War, the Hon. C. M. Conrad, rebuked the bigotry dis- 
played at Fort Columbus, and declared the soldier's right to full liberty of 
conscience. In the following correspondence Bishop O' Reilly wrote over the 
pseudonym of "Roger Williams," a name to conjure with, believing, no doubt, 
that the time was not rii^e for a " Popish " bishop to " interfere " officially in 
a grave matter in which officers of the United States Army were involved : 

To THE Editor of the Boston Pilot : 

Sir : As there are just now complaints from many quarters, of Catholic soldiers 
being punished for non-attendance at Protestant worship, I wish to say that there is no 
law known to the military department by which soldiers can be punished for non-com- 
pliance with an order to attend a worship at variance with their conscientious convictions. 
There being no law in this matter, a commanding officer has no right to issue such 
an order ; and there being no right on the part of the commandant to issue such an order, 
there is neither a moral or legal fault in the non-compliance with it on the part of the 
soldier. I am satisfied that imprisonment or punishment in any form for non-compli- 


ance with such an unmilitary and illegal order would be found a misdemeanor, punish- 
■able by the civil law. Were a court-martial convened, and I think the authorities at 
Washington should order one in this case, for the trial of the twenty-one soldiers 
imprisoned at Fort Columbus, N. Y., on vSunday, 28th ult., by Lieutenant Winder, for 
refusal to attend Protestant worship, I am satisfied that the court would decide that the 
soldiers were guilty of no fault. 

During the war in Florida, the commandant issued a general order for all to attend 
Protestant service : this order was disobej-ed by some Catholic soldiers, who were inime- 
diatelj- placed under arrest ; they were tried by court-martial, and the court decided that 
the soldiers had committed uo fault. This decision settled that matter during the entire 
period of that campaign, and saved the CaUiolic soldiers from painful annoyance on the 
part of some narrow-minded and bigoted officers. 

Captain O'Brien, lately deceased at San Antonio, Tex., was put under whilst 
Lieutenant at Old Point Comfort, by orders of General Kalbach, because he refused to 
attend Protestant worship, and the court-martial decided that he was guilty of no fault. 

It is now time that this vexed and annoying question should be settled by an order 
from the department, recognizing the soldier's right, as that of other citizens, to w'orship 
God in accordance with the dictates of conscience. 

This order from the proper department is, in this case, necessary, as the precedents 
of courts martial acknowledging the soldier's riglit to liberty of conscience, are set at 
naught by the petty despots of the service, who would be more in their place as tract 
peddlers than officers of our army. 

In all these cases where our rights are invaded, we have but to apply for redress, in 
proper form, to the proper authority, and I am confident that these rights will be respected 
and guaranteed. • 

As soldiers cannot well move in their own defence in this matter, without exposing 
themselves to many other annoyances, I would ask some citizen in the vicinity of Fort 
Columbus, N. Y., where the facts in this case are at hand, to call the attention of the 
Executive to the tyranny exercised over the consciences of the Catholic soldiers in the 
service, and take time to agitate the matter, until all officers are directed to recognize the 
fact that soldiers have a conscience, and that in matters religious, they are free as the 
civilian to worship Ood as conscience directs. 

I would say to the soldier, pending the continuance of this tyranny and oppression 
of conscience in military service, be faithful to your God and religion, resist by non- 
compliance all orders invading the rights and liberty of conscience, and, if punished for 
non-observance of these arbitrary, illegal and unmilitary orders, spread the fact before 
the world, and appeal for justice, in matters religious, to your fellow-citizens 

Roger WilliAiMS, Providence, K. I. 

June 14, 1851. 

To THE Editor of the Boston Pilot: 

Sir : — The late action of the militarj' authorities at Fort Columbus, New York har- 
bor, invites to every legitimate effort to put an end to the cruel, heartless oppression of 
conscience practised at this fort. 

Our militarj' service, so honorable and efficient up to the present, is on the eve of 
being seriously injured and dishonored, if such monstrous wrong as that I now protest 
against be sanctioned, or permitted to escape with impunity. 

That I may not be suspected of exaggeration, or " setting aught down in malice,'" 
I will give the finding of the court in the case now complained of with the confirmation, 
in part, of the sentence of the court, by Major-General Wool : " Before the general court 
martial, which assembled at Fort Columbus, New York harbor, on 22d ult., agreeable to 
3d department order. No. 8, current series, and at which Brevet Colonel J. L. Gardiner, 
Major 4th Artillery, is president, was tried Private James Duggan, of Company A, 4th 
Artillery. Charge: disobedience of orders. Plea: not guilty." Finding of the court 
and sentence : " The court finds the prisoner guilty as charged, and does sentence him, 


Private James Diiggan, to forfeit to the United States $5 of his pay per month for six 
months ; two months in solitary confinement on bread and water; the other four at hard 
labor, with ball and chain at his leg." 

This, you will admit, is a dishonoring and severe sentence, as also that the alleged 
" disobedience " must have been prominent and injurious to the service, to warrant it. 

The disobedience charged against Duggan, deserving, in the opinion of Colonel 
Gardiner and the court over which he presided, the severe sentence pronounced against 
him, is simply his refusal to attend Protestant service. This, sir, is the front of his 
offending. This is the offence, if any man dare before the country to call it an offence, 
which we find transformed into " positive, wilful disobedience of orders." Colonel Gar- 
diner has no right — the articles of war give him no right — to compel attendance at 
Protestant or any other worship ; refusal to comply with it cannot be tortured into "posi- 
tive, wilful disobedience of orders." 

Where the articles of war speak of religious service, thej' simply " recommend " or 
counsel both ofiicers and men to attend religious worship ; "it is recommended " are the 
words used in that militar\- code, when treating on the subject of religion, "that both 
officers and men attend religious worship." 

The veriest bigots onh' could torture a right to recommend, or counsel, to the right 
to coerce and punish, as in this instance. 

The sentence of the court, sir, is illegal ; being without any authority in military law, 
and with a view to coerce Catholic soldiers into apostacj', b}' leaving them no alternative 
but Protestant worship or the luxury of bread and water, with a ball and chain at the leg 

Colonel Gardiner and his court at Fort Columbus have established there a monstrous 
precedent, intended to justify every oppression of conscience, but a precedent which will 
never be copied by another court martial, unless, as the veriest slaves, we tamely submit 
to the unmitigated despotism of these military bigots. 

The will to be terriblj' severe is here clearly evidenced ; the will of the scowling, 
hateful, heartless bigot, prepared, did it but dare, to write its edict of intolerance with 
Catholic blood, and persecute to the death. 

The court is silent as to the alleged offence of James Duggan, qualifying it as dis- 
obedience of a grave kind ; and we and the world would have remained ignorant of the 
nature of his offence, were it not for the review of the sentence by General Wool. If the 
court were not aware of the illegality of its proceedings, and fearful to place its intoler- 
ance before the country, it would have frankly and honestly stated that his refusal to 
attend Protestant worship was the cause of his being court-martialed, and severely pun- 
ished ; and not, as they have had the hardihood to state, "positive and wilful disobedi- 
ence to orders." 

Colonel Gardiner ma}' be, as he is known to be, most anxious to revive the waning 
glory of Protestantism, and his chaplain not unwilling to preach to men forced to listen 
to him under the severest penalties ; but both will, I trust, soon learn that the soldiers of 
our country have consciences, and consciences, too, which both ofiicers and chaplains 
must respect. 

The severe sentence in the case of Duggan was submitted on the 12th inst., to Gen- 
eral Wool, and, I regret to saj', was in part approved by him. The following is his order 
in the matter, taken from the record : 

" It appears in the testimony that the prisoner had been previously notified that, if 
he desired to be excused from going to church, on account of religious scruples, he should 
make application to that effect to the commanding officer at the Fort. In refusing to do 
so, and in leaving the Company without permission, he not only disobe5'ed orders, but 
showed an insubordinate spirit, which deserves punishment ; therefore, so much of the 
sentence as subjects the prisoner to forfeit §5 a month for six months, is approved ; the 
remainder of the sentence is remitted." 

Painful it is to me to know that General Wool has so far approved of the finding of 
the court in the case of Duggan ; he should have at once annulled the whole proceedings; 
it deserved severe reprobation from the commanding officer, and should have received it. 


The ground assumed by General Wool for approving the sentence, in part, is the 
refusal of Duggan to acquaint the commander of his "religious scruples" This, most 
assuredly, does not justify the General's confirmation of the sentence, in part. ist. The 
articles of war gave no right to command religious attendance ; consequently, the com- 
mandant had no right to look for explanation for non-attendance, whether the absence 
proceeded from religious scruples or other causes ; and, consequentlj', the confirmation of 
the sentence is not justifiable on this ground. 

2d. It is asserted that "in leaving the Company without permission, he not only 
disobeyed orders, but showed an insubordinate spirit, and, on this ground, the sentence 
of the court against him is, in part, confirmed." This allegation is, I think, unfair, and 
calculated to deceive; affording no justifiable ground for the confirmation of the sentence. 

It is not alleged that Duggan deserted, but " that he left the Conipanj- without per- 
mission." Now, Duggan did not, I apprehend, leave the Companj-, but siniplv refused 
to march into the Protestant church, where his conscience forbid him to go, and where 
his country gave no authoritj' to any person to order him to march ; consequently, the 
charge of disobedience and insubordination cannot be su.stained, and General Wool gives 
no reason in justification of his confirmation of the bigotod sentence passed on Duggan 
for non-attendance at Protestant worship. 

If the actors in this dishonorable affair were satisfied that they were right, whj' not 
speak out as men, and at once say that Duggan would not attend Protestant worship, 
and, consequently, " must forfeit his pay for six months, live on bread and water for two 
months and in solitary confinement ; the other four at hard labor, with ball and chain at 
his leg," and all would understand at once the severity of the puni.shment, and the 
object in inflicting it, which is this: that the Catholic soldiers might know that either 
they must attend Protestant worship at Fort Columbus, or be prepared to yield up their pay, 
and bear severe physical punishment. Were a Catholic oSicer to thus punish Protestant 
soldiers for non-attendance at Catholic worship, would the counlrj' tolerate it for a mo- 
ment ? Would not a shout of reprobation ring out from one end of the land to the other ? 

Is not persecution, whether Catholic or Protestant, still persecution.-' and should 
not, in this instance, the public voice denounce the intolerant actors in this disgraceful 
affair at Fort Columbus? In pleading the cause of the persecuted Catholic, I am but 
pleading the of the oppressed, and expressing, in the indignant terms of a free- 
man, the guilt which the country will soon place to the account of the oppres.sors of 
conscience at this military Fort. When Lieutenant O'Brien was court-martialed by 
General Kalbach at Old Point Comfort, for refusal to attend Protestant service, the De- 
partment ordered the proceedings to be quashed. The Executive did not then consider 
that refusal to attend Protestant service constituted disobedience, but considered that there 
was neither disobedience nor ground for action, and ordered the case to be quashed. This 
is the highest authority in matters military, and maintains the view I have taken in this 
case — that there is no authoritj' to command the attendance of the soldiers at religious wor- 
ship, and no disobedience when the soldier refuses compliance with such illegal orders. 

During the Florida campaign a case in point occurred, and was decided favorably 
to the rights of conscience. An order was i.ssued for all soldiers to attend religious worship 
on a certain occasion ; two soldiers refused to march to the place appointed for the service ; 
they are court-martialed, and the court finds them guilty of no offence, no disobedience. 

I had supposed that our oQicers were men of this stamp— generous lovers of human 
freedom, and as ready to fight for the rights of conscience guaranteed us by the constitu- 
tion, as for civil liberty. Am I mistaken? Are we retrograding ? Or are the Gardiners 
and other ofEcers at Fort Columbus an exception to the officers in the service generallj-? 

I ask the Executive to interpose its authority at once, and save our gallant little 
army from dishonor ; to rebuke so sternly this ill-advised and cruel oppression of con- 
science, that the bigots of the service may know that they will not be permitted to per- 
secute Catholic soldiers in"lhe United States service. 

This, believe me, is an opening wedge, intended to cleave to the very heart, the 
sacred right of liberty of conscience, and should be met sternly and firmly by every 


friend of human freedom, until bigotry will have disappeared from our army, and the 
soldier's right to serve God according to the dictates of conscience will be as fully recog- 
nized as that of other citizens. 

Bigotry now assails its hateful work on the poor soldier, who cannot, it appears, 
even serve God, if his commander should order the contrary, without exposing himself 
to severe punishment. Will we tamely submit to this whilst a remedy is at hand? 
Will we submit the sacred liberty of conscience to be annulled whilst it is in our power 
to strengthen and preserve this invaluable right ? In Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, 
within a few hundred feet of the great city of New York, there is a sufferer for conscience. 
Have the rights of conscience, human liberty and unjust oppression no friend in New 
York ? Yours, 

Roger Williams. 

Providence, R. I., June 23, 185 1. 

War Department, 
Washington, Jul}- 15, 1851. 
Sir : Complaints have been made to this department that a soldier at Fort Columbus, 
who is, or was, a Roman Catholic, was ordered to attend a Protestant church, and on his 
refusal to obej- the order, he was punished for disobedience of orders. It is doubtful how 
far an officer has the right to compel officers and men under his command to attend 
divine service. It is evident, however, that no one ought to be compelled to attend a 
church of any other persuasion than that to which he belongs. Every means of persua- 
sion should be emplo3-ed to induce soldiers to attend some church, but they should be 
permitted to select the one they prefer ; and when they profess to have conscientious 
scruples about attending any particular church, all compulsory measures violate the 
rights of conscience, and should be avoided. 

Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

C. M. Conrad, Sec. of War. 
Brevet Major-General John E. Wool. 

Editor of the Pilot : 

Sir : The above is a cop}-, which I have been privileged to take, of the instructions 
of the Secretary of War to Major-General Wool, in the matter of the right of soldiers in 
the military service to liberty of conscience. These instructions are consequent on com- 
plaints made to the department of war against the commandant at Fort Columbus, New 
York Harbor, Brevet Col. J. 1,. Gardiner, for the severe punishment of a Catholic soldier, 
through a court-martial over which he presided, for non-attendance at Protestant wor- 
ship, in obedience to his order. The sentence pronounced in this case \>y this court- 
martial, is marked with a severity which would not have been prompted but by the nar- 
rowest bigotry on the part of all concerned. Private James Duggan was sentenced to 
forfeit to the United States $5 a month of his pay, for six months ; to spend two months 
in solitar}- confinement and on bread and water ; the other months at hard labor, with 
ball and chain at his leg. The alleged offence of Duggan was his refusal to attend Pro- 
testant worship, at the bidding of Brevet Col. J. L- Gardiner. The formal charge against 
him at the court was a pure fiction, well calculated to dishonor those who presented it. 
It was this : " Positive, wilful disobedience of orders." 

The court knew well that there was not, and could not be, disobedience in this case, 
the order being contrary to law, and must, consequentl}', have used the allegation " dis- 
obedience" as a mask to their intolerance, and with a view to deceive all unacquainted 
with the facts in the case. 

Brevet Major-General Wool has disappointed expectation in his appfoval, in part, 
of the severe and illegal sentence of this court. There are other facts connected with his 
action in this case, which must go far to change the opinion of manj- enlightened men 
relative to the motives that could have induced his action in this case. 

The court-martial to try Duggan was ordered by Brevet Brigadier-General Walbach, 
II — 10 


and the proceedings of the court were, in season, placed before him for approval. The 
General declined acting in this case, and sent them to General Wool for his decision. 
General Wool returned them with instructions to General Walbach, "suggesting that 
the sentence be remitted, with the e.xception of the fine of S5 for si.x months." General 
Walbach again returned tliem to General Wool, with a request that tlie proceedings be 
submitted to higher authority. 

It is clear that General Walbach considered the finding of the court illegal, and not 
to be approved of, from the fact of his refusal to act on the proceedings even under 
instructions to remit the sentence, "with the exception of the fine of S5." The request 
of General Walbach should have been acceded to by General Wool ; it was proper and 
reasonable that, as they differed in opinion, on a matter which was seriously to affect 
liberty of conscience, the department should be consulted. Moreover, fieneral Walbach 
had ordered the court-martial, and, as it appears from his action in the matter, must have 
been of opinion that the finding of the court was illegal, that Duggan committed no 
fault, and consequently was entitled, at least of courtesy, to have the question submitted 
to the department. Independent of the liberal and enlightened views in religious matters 
entertained by General Walbach, he knew that the department would have at once 
annulled the proceedings of the court, and wished them referred there, that all pretense 
of right to oppose conscience in our military service might be removed. 

General Wool will not accede to this reasonable request ; he will not trust the liber- 
ality of the department; the intolerance long festering at Fort Columbus must have the 
authority of a precedent, and General Wool grants it. Walbach does all that is possible 
on his portion, as inferior officer, to protect the soldier in his dearest rights, the liberty of 
conscience ; he spurns the demand maik- by the court to have their illegal and bigoted 
sentence approved, and when General Wool, his superior officer, returns him the finding 
of the court with instructions, diminishing the punishment, but sustaining the right to 
oppress conscience, then he properly requests the controverted point be submitted to the 

Great praise is due to General Walbach for the generous stand he took in favor of 
the soldier's rights of conscience, whilst a great dishonor will ever be attached to General 
Wool for his ungenerous aid to tlie bigots of Fort Columbus, to strip the soldier of his 
sacred and inestimable rights. General Wool committed a fault which will not fail to 
lower him, in the estimation of the high-minded and generous, when he took under his 
protection the bigotry rampant and long festering at this military- post. He should have 
been found on the side of military law and the constitutional right of the subject, but in 
this instance he is found leagued with bigots, to strip the soldier of his dearest and most 
valued right, liberty of conscience. 

Much credit is due to Hon. C. M. Conrad, Secretary of War, for his vindication, in 
his instructions to General Wool, of the soldier's right to full liberty of conscience. The 
honorable secretary has not disappointed expectation ; he met the complaint presented in 
the case in generous spirit, and without hesitation decided in favor of the oppressed sol- 
dier. Soldiers will appreciate his generous interposition in favor of their rights, and 
citizens generally will applaud a decision in favor of justice and the rights of conscience. 

I am this moment privileged to copy the following order of General Wool, trans- 
mitted by the Secretar}' of War, remitting the sentence of Duggan, for his refusal to 
attend Protestant service. 

Headquarters Eastern Division, 
Troy, N. Y., July 12, 1851. 

Special Order, No. 30. 
Upon therecommendation of the commander of the 3d department, the unexecuted 
portion of the sentence of private Duggan, of Co. A, 4th Artillery, promulgated in the 
Eastern Division, orders No. 11, current series, is remitted. 

By command of Major-Gexeral Wool, 

O. J. WINSHIP, Ct. A. G. 


The soldier's rights to liberty of conscience being fully vindicated by the proper 
officer, and the sentence of Duggan being remitted, my correspondence on this subject 
terminates with this letter. As I have contended but for the common rights of all sol- 
diers in the matter of the worship of God, I would ask all our Catholic editors, and the 
editors of papers generally, to spread the Secretary's letter before the country. 

Roger Williams. 

August 2, 1851. 

In 1854 Pius IX. proclaimed a universal Jubilee. In a pastoral letter 
announcing the holy season Bishop O'Reilly, alluding to the hostility openly 
manifested towards Catholicity in this country, said: 

"The Church of the living God, as is usual where prejudice gets the better of reason, 
and passion alone is priviliged to rule, is now visited with the most gross misrepresenta- 
tion ; doctrines which it abhors, and practices which it is occupied in repressing, are 
unblushingly attributed to it ; its priests, occupied in the duties of their sacred calling 
and oflFering offense to none, are assailed with the lowest and grossest reviling, whilst its 
best and most devoted members are ungenerousl}' pursued with calumny and hatred that 
know no bounds. 

" Divine Charity, so essential to the peace and happiness of men, and so strongly 
and frequently enforced of God, is, to a great extent, ignored and apparently eradicated 
from the hearts of great numbers. This amiable virtue will, doubtless, survive the shock 
it is receiving, and yet comfort those who are systematically opposed to it." 

We have adverted to the zeal of Bishop O'Reilly in providing for the 
educational interests of his diocese. To increase existing advantages he 
sailed for Europe on December 5, 1S55, to secure a Colony of Christian 
Brothers. The last entr)- in his Journal is under date oi Deceinbcr ^th: 

" Leave at 4 p.m. for Boston <■/; ivi/h- for Europe under God's protecting Providence." 

Though the season of the year made ocean travel a hazardous under- 
taking. Bishop O'Reilly was too resolute when necessities pressed upon him 
to postpone action. He had partially succeeded in his purpose ; and after an 
affectionate visit and farewell to his aged parents, he sailed for home an Jan- 
uary 23, 1856, on the steamer Pacific. Knowing that his visit to Europe 
was. made solely in their interests, his faithful diocesans awaited anxiously 
his return. Days, weeks, months passed with no tidings of the Pacific. In 
Europe and America the delay to reach port caused the gravest alarm. Hope, 
fear and doubt alternated in the breasts of the prelate's friends. His brother in 
Ireland was communicated with, and the result confirmed the fears of many 
that Bernard O'Reilly had gone down with the ill-fated steamer. It was only 
in April, however, that the loss of the Pacific with all on board was 
regarded as certain. "Finally,'' said his reverend biographer, "the silence 
of any hopeful circumstance became so deep that all pronounced it the silence 
of death, and the death-knell of Bishop O'Reilly rang from Georgia to Maine 
and echoed through the world." 

When all hope was abandoned funeral services were held in all the 
churches of Rhode Island and Connecticut; but the principal service took place 
in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, at Providence, on June 17, 1856. 
The clergy of the diocese of Hartford, with but very few exceptions, were 


present at the solemn rite, as were also the Most Rev. Archbishop Hughes of 
New York, and the Right Rev. Bishops of Boston, Brooklvn, Newark and 
Portland. The dioceses of New York, Boston and Albany were represented 
by a large number of their clergy-. Among the distinguished laymen present 
was the French Consul at Newport, Mons. Gouraud Fauvel de la Martinique. 
Pontifical Mass for the dead was sung by Right Rev. Bishop Fitzpatrick of 
Boston, assisted by Very Rev. James Hughes of Hartford, as Deacon, the 
Rev. Matthew Hart of New Haven, as Subdeacon, the Rev. Patrick Delaney 
and the Rev. Patrick Lamb, as assistant deacons, and the Rev. John McElroy, 
S. J., Archdeacon. The Rev. John Quinn, D.D., and the Rev. Patrick Gaynor 
officiated as Masters of Ceremonies. At the conclusion of the Mass the Most 
Rev. Archbishop, of New York, preached the funeral discourse, taking his 
text from the Apocalypse xiv. 13 : " And I heard a voice from lieaven saying to 
me : Write : Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith 
the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their zvorks folloiu them." 

The eloquent prelate began his discourse with a few observations upon 
the Christian religion as an alleviator of human sorrow and suffering, and 
remarked upon the beautiful symbolism of the church as it was then pre- 
sented to him in the church and altar and episcopal throne shrouded 
in black, while immediately around those emblems which spoke most forci- 
bly of the frailty of humanity, all was brilliant with the blaze of many 
tapers. Thus does holy church in her wisdom keep the glories of eternity 
before our eyes even while she accommodates herself to our weakness by per- 
mitting us to indulge in natural grief Continuing, the preacher gave a brief 
sketch of the deceased bishop. He spoke of the virtues, the humble piety 
and the energy of the deceased, who left -an enduring monument in the 
numerous religions and charitable institutions which he founded or projected 
during his short episcopate. He enlarged upon the inscrutableness of the 
event which had deprived the church of this diocese of its head and upon 
the mystery which must ever surround the fate of those who perished on that 
ill-fated ship. Of one thing, however, he thought all might be certain — that 
the last few minutes, or hours it may have been, when death was seen to be in- 
evitable, were spent in the service of that divine Master to whom the holy bishop 
had so repeatedly offered his life in labors and perils and pestilences, during 
an unblemished career of more than a quarter of a century of active service. 

"Now that all hope has ceased," said a contemporar>% "for the safety 
of the ill-fated Pacific^ a Solemn Requiem Mass was all that could be offered 
in memory of him who sank with her to rise no more in time. There is a 
melancholy in death,— nature loves itself, and the horror of death never 
becomes intense till ashes return to ashes, and dust is consigned to dust. 
But this becomes more bitter when the wail of sorrow is raised only above 
the empty bier or the decorated catafalque ; when the burning tapers that 
surround it seem only to show that nothing but a symbol is there. How 
happy was the widow of Nain, that she had even the body of her only 
child — for then she became certain of a miracle from the instant our blessed 
Saviour touched the bier. Poor widow ! blessed was your sorrow 


"But to-day widows and orphans crowd around an empty bier and a 
splendid catafalque. All the gorgeous pomp that love could give was be- 
stowed, but it was empty. The mind could not rest on that splendid pageant 
of hollo wness, but bounded from the glitter and the glance of that mourn- 
fully bright solemnity to the Atlantic Ocean — to the steamer Pacific and her 
unfortunate passengers, and asking itself a thousand questions as to how 
they went down ; till back to the catafalque, with its questions unanswered, 
it had to come ; that steamer sank, and the waters closed over her ; the 
treacherous waves came smoothly together, no mark remained on their 
bosom to tell where she wounded them, and no mark can point to the spot 
or awake a prayer or a sigh from the passing traveler." ' 

When Bishop O'Reilly was installed bishop of Hartford his diocese con- 
tained — 

Churches 12 

Clergymen 14 

Ecclesiastical students 7 

Catholic population, about 20,000 

Of these, five churches and seven priests were in Connecticut. At the 
time of the bishop's death, five years later, the diocese had 

Churches 46 

Stations 37 

Clergymen 42 

Clerical students 22 

Male academies 2 

Female academies 3 

Parochial schools 9 

Orphan asylums 3 

Catholic population, about 60,000 

Of the churches, Connecticut had twenty-seven ; of the priests, twenty-six ; 
of the female academies, two, at New Haven and Hartford ; of the orphan 
asylums, two, at New Haven and Hartford ; of the parochial schools, three, 
one at Hartford and two at New Haven, St. Patrick's and St. Mary's. Besides 
these there were male and female schools at Norwich, New London, Bridge- 
port and Birmingham. 

Third Bishop of Hartford. 


HE third bishop of Hartford, Right Rev. Francis Patrick McFarland, 

' I was born in Franklin, Pa., April 16, 1819. His parents were from 

Armagh, Ireland, and were John McFarland and Nancy McKeever. 

In his youth his father had intended to enter the priesthood, and to this end 

had made considerable advancement in his studies when the political troubles 

of 1798 compelled him, as it compelled many another aspirant for Holy 

' The American G7/, June, 1856, quoted b}- Richard H. Clark in his Lives of /he Deceased 


Orders, to abandon the great desire of his heart. In iSo6, the parents of 
Francis bought a home in the young republic of the West and settled in 
Waynesboro, Pa., where they engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1S40. 

Reared auiid the holy influences of a thoroughly Catholic home, a daily 
witness of the Christian conduct of parents who recognized their obligations 
to religion and knew their duties to the children with whom God had blessed 
them, young Francis in early youth gave manifold indications that God had 
designed him exclusively for his holy service. During all his early career he 
appeared to have had but one object in view, the holy priesthood. His 
contemporaries speak of him as a manly young man. He was devout, but his 
piety was unobtrusive. He was digilent in study and anxious to excel, but it 
was not ambition to become merely conspicuous, and among his class-mates 
he occupied the position conceded only to students of conspicuous merit. 
Faithful in his reception of the sacraments, he was a devout client of the 
Mother of God, a trait that distinguished his priestly and episcopal life. His 
religious impulses were developed, and his desires for the ecclesiastical state 
encouraged b)' his parents, who deemed it a surpassing grace to give a son to the 
church. Having acquired a good education in the public schools at home, 
with comiuendable spirit and energy he began the career of teaching in the 
humble village schools of the neighborhood. While thus engaged, he reaped 
the benefits of the ripe scholarship of Mr. James Clark, an alumnus of West 
Point Militar\- Academy, but after his conversion a Jesuit priest and professor 
in the University of Georgetown, D. C. Still attracted to the priesthood, 
Mr. McFarland entered Mount St. Mary's College, Emmittsburg, an institu- 
tion which has given to the American church many illustrious prelates. 
One of his professors at Mount St. Mary's was the venerable Father Joubert, 
the founder of the Oblate (Colored) Sisters, of Baltimore, whose parents had 
been massacred by the blacks in the revolution at Hayti, at the close of the 
last century. He completed his theological studies at the " Mount," and for 
a brief period occupied a jirofessor's chair. Leaving the seminary he was 
ordained to the priesthood on May i8, 1845, in old St. Patrick's Cathedral, by 
Archl)ishop Hughes, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. Immediatel}- after his 
ordination he was assigned to vSt. John's College, Fordham, N. Y., where he 
remained as professor nearly a year. One of his pupils at St. John's was the 
late Very Rev. James Hughes, Vicar-General. During his residence at Ford- 
ham, Father McFarland frequently attended sick calls at Stamford, Con- 
necticut. As his inclinations were for practical work he retired from St. 
John's College and was assigned as assistant to St. Joseph's Church, New 
York City, where he remained until May 6, 1846, when he was appointed 
pastor of Watertown, N. Y., by Bishop Hughes. Attached to Watertown 
were .several mi.ssions to which the zealous young priest gave unremitting 
care and attention. It was a field of duty full of difficulties and hardships, 
and when we reflect that the means of travel had not reached the degree of 
perfection enjoyed by the missionary of to-day, we can realize somewhat the 
arduous tasks performed by Father McFarland. During Father McFarland's 
pastorate at Watertown the diocese of Albany was erected. He thus became 


a subject of the Bishop of Albany, Right Rev. John McCloskey, D. D., who 
transferred Iiim to St. John's parish, Utica, N. Y., on March i, 1851. Of his 
labors in this field, one of his successors. Very Rev. T. S. M. Lynch, D.D., 
LL. D. , says: "His work was la.sting. He made an impression in the 
parish which remained long after the hallowed walls of that church which 
he loved so well, had been razed to the ground. His memory is still green in 
Utica, the blessing which he left upon our church is still with us, and long, 
long, will his name be revered in the parish which had the happiness of being 
the witness of his saintly labors." ' 

While pastor of St John's Church, Utica, the Holy See, recognizing his 
superior executive ability, honored him with the appointment of Vicar Apos- 
lic of Florida, January 9, 1857.- This honor he declined. In March, 1858, 
two }ears after the death of Bishop O'Reilly, he was elected bishop of Hart- 
ford in tlie thirty-ninth year of his age. "Bishop McFarland is an Ameri- 
can," said the Providence Journal, March 14, 1858, "a native of Franklin, 
Pa., and quite a young man, not much beyond the canonical years. He is a 
gentleman of good presence and bears the impress of that intelligence and 
cultivation for which lie is distinguished in the church that has now conferred 
upon him its selectest houors. We are assured by a Catholic gentleman — than 
whom none is more competent to judge — that his scholarship is of a high 
order, surpassed only by his zeal and devotion for the church to which he has 
now renewedly and solemnly consecrated his life." 

The first official act of the bishop-elect was the re-appointment of Very 
Rev. William O'Reilly as Vicar-General. Bishop McFarland left Utica for 
Providence, March 6, 1858. The hearts of his devoted parishioners were 
oppressed with sorrow at his departure, and on March 14th, the congregation 
assembled and passed a series of resolutions in which they expressed their 
regret at the loss of their beloved pastor, who had ever been to them a judic- 
ious counsellor, a kind and sympathizing friend, and a watchful and zealous 
shepherd. These resolutions were transmitted to him with a substantial purse. 
To these expressions of good will, Bishop McFarland returned the following 
felicitous response: 

" Providence, 24th March, 1858. 
"Gentlemen: I have received j'our letter and the accompanying check. You 
are aware that I did not wish to accept anj- present on this occa.sion. Yet, the man- 
ner in which this comes, and the feelings which have prompted it, leave me no choice. 
I accept your offering with many thanks. It was not needed as a proof of the kind feel- 
ings of St. John's congregation towards me ; but it places me under a new obligation to 
them, which I can repay onl}' by offering for them my best wishes and mj' poor prayers. 
Accept mj' thanks for the kind manner in which you are pleased to speak of nn' labors 
whilst amongst j-ou. Your partiality has, however, betrayed 3'ou into attributing to me 
many qualities which I am not conscious of possessing. The onl}- merit which I can at 
all lay claim to is that while w'ith you I had a sincere desire to see you and your families 
advance in virtue, and that, from day to day, as the occasion arose, I was willing to labor 
with you, in my ov/n poor way, for the advancement of your congregation in religion, in 
knowledge, and in the doing of works of charity. I will endeavor to visit you at no 

' The Rosary, September, 1895. 

' A division of tlie diocese of Savannah. 


distant day. My duties here will he numerous, and such as entail great responsibility' ■ 
j-et I hope soon to escape from them long enough to enable me to meet you for a daj', and 
to express, orallj', what I do not find time to write. 

Begging you to pray for me, that I may have strength to do the work which God 
has given me to do, I remain, with the best wishes, 

Your much obliged and devoted friend, 


t Bishop of Hartford. 

To Messrs MicH.'inL McQu.\DE, U. Rvrke. M.D. ; K. Kerxan, O. O'Neill, WM- 
Clarke, John Carton, Timothy Cronin, Francis X. Manahan, committee. 

The consecration of Bishop McFarland took place on Sunday, March 14, 
1858, at St. Patrick's chtirch, Providence, R. I., and was an imposing cere- 
mony. The consecrator and celebrant of the Mass was the Most Rev. Arch- 
bishop Hughes, of New York. 

Assistant Bishops — Right Rev. Bishop Fitzpatrick of Boston ; Right Rev. Bishop 
Timon of liufTalo 

Assistant Priest — Very Rev. William O'Reilly, V. G. of the diocese. 

Assistant Deacon — Rev. M. Hart, New Haven. 

Second Assistant Deacon — Rev. P. Delanej', Pawtucket. 

Deacon — Very Rev. J. Hughes, Hartford. 

Sub Deacon — Rev. P. Lamb, Providence. 

Archbishop's Cross-Bearer — Rev. John Smith, New Haven. 

Processional Cross-Bearer — Rev. Peter Kelly, Danbury, Conn. 

Chanters— Rev. Dr. Mulligan, Flails Village, Conn.; Rev. A. 'Wallace, LL.D.', East 

Thurifer— Rev. Hugh O'Reilly, Norfolk, Conn. 
• Acolytes— Rev. M. McCallion, Warren, R. I. ; Rev. P. O'Dwyer, Collinsville, Conn. 

Mitre-Bearer — Rev. ^I. McCabe, Woonsocket. 

Crosier Bearer — Rev. Thomas Drea, Stonington, Conn. 

Book-Bearer — Rev. James Gibson, Croniptcm. 

Chaplain to the Archbishop — Rev. Fr. Brennan, St. Joseph's Seminarj-, New York. 

Chaplain to the Bishop-elect — Rev. George McCloskej', New York. 

Chaplain to Bishop Fitzpatrick — Rev. E. J. O'Brien, New Haven. 

Chaplain to Bishop Timon — Rev. Fr. Lynch, of the Seminary of BuflFalo. 

Master of Ceremonies — Very Rev. J. Conroy, V. G., Albany. 

The following prelates assisted at the ceremony : 
The Right Rev. John McCloskey, D. D., of Albany. 
" " '• Louis de Goesbriand, D.D., Bishop of Burlington. 

" James R. Bayley, D. D., Bishop of Newark. 
" " " John Loughlin, D. D., Bishop of Brooklyn. 
" D. W. Bacon, D. D., Bishop of Portland. 

The following clergjmen were aLso present : 

Rev. Wm. Quinii, Rev. Richard Brennan of the archdiocese of New York. 

Rev. A. McGough, Rev. B. F. McLaughlin, Rev. Patrick Caragher, Rev. M. Powers, 
Rev. J. IJ. Herbst of the diocese of Albany. 

Rev. James A. Healey, Rev. J. Sheridan, of the diocese of Boston. 

Rev. D. Kelly, Rev. E. J. Cooney, Rev. J. Quinn, D.D. ; Rev. P. Brown, Rev. P. 
Gillick, Rev. T. Quinu, Rev. Thomas Synnott, Rev. J. Sheridan, Rev. Patrick Gaynor, 
Rev. T. F. Hendricken, Rev. J. Gibson, Rev. Wm. Duffy, Rev. J. F. O'Neill of the dio- 
cese of Hartford. 


The sermon was preached by the Right Rev. Bishop McCloskey, of 
Albany. The text was from the Gospel of St. John i: 14, "And the Word 
was made flesh and dwelt among ns, and we saw his glory, the glory, as it 
were, of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." It was 
brief, but eloquent and appropriate. He sketched rapidly the birth, life, and 
ascension of Jesus Christ. The apostles whom he commissioned, and with 
whom he promised to be until the end of the world, were now represented on 
earth only by the Catholic church. She alone is the mother of the saints and 
the martyrs, whose lives were blessed, and whose deaths have sanctified the 
world. Bishop McCloskey closed his sermon by an address to the new 
bishop, which was finely conceived and impressively delivered. 

Among the prominent lait}- present were Dr. Brownson, Mayor Rod- 
man of Providence, and Monsieur Gouraud Fauvel de la Martinique, vice- 
consul of France. 

In the evening Bishop McFarland sang pontifical vespers, and Archbishop 
Hughes preached the sermon from the parable of the grain of mustard seed. 

As the bishops of Hartford had resided in Providence since 1844, Bishop 
McFarland continued the residence in that city until 1872. He introduced 
into Connecticut the Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of the Third Order of 
St. Francis, who located at Winsted ; the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of 
Charity, and the Sisters of the Congregation De Notre Dame. He was 
instrumental in having the following 

" Act Concerning Communities and Corporations," made part of the statute law of 
Connecticut June 30, 1866 : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened : 

Sec. I. That the Bishop and Vicar-General of the diocese of Hartford, together with 
the pastor and two laymen of any Roman Catholic church or congregation in the State of 
Connecticut, upon complying with the requirements of this law, shall be, and are hereby 
constituted, a body corporate, with power to sue and be sued, to purchase, hold and con- 
vey real and personal property, and to enjoy all other rights and franchises incident to 
bodies corporate in the State of Connecticut. 

Sec. 2. The Bishop, Vicar-General and pastor of such congregation shall be members, 
ex officio, of such bodj' corporate, and upon their death, resignation, removal or prefer- 
ment, their successors in office shall become such members in their stead. The two lay 
members shall be appointed annually, b\' the committee of the congregation, to hold office 
for one j'ear, or until their successors be chosen. 

Sec. 3. Such body corporate shall have power to receive and hold, by gift, grant or 
purchase, all property, real or personal, that may be conveyed thereto, for the purpose of 
maintaining religious worship according to the doctrine, discipline and ritual of the 
Roman Catholic church, and for the support of the educational or charitable institutions 
of that church ; provided, that no one corporated congregation shall at any time possess 
an amount of property, excepting church buildings, parsonages, school-houses, asylums 
and cemeteries, the aimual income from which shall exceed three thousand dollars. 

Sec. 4. Such body corporate shall at all times be subject to the general laws and dis- 
cipline of the Roman Catholic church, shall receive and enjoy its franchises as a body 
politic, solely for the purposes mentioned in the third section of this act ; and upon the 
violation or surrender of its charter, its property, real and personal, shall vest in the 
Bishop of the diocese and his successors, in trust for such congregation, and for the uses 
and purposes above named. 

Sec. 5. Such body corporate shall organize by the appointment of the lay members 


before mentioned, and upon filing in the oflice of the Secretar}- of vState a certificate signed 
by the several corporators, stating that they have so organized, and have adopted this 
law as their charter, and will be concluded and bound hereby, shall have and enjoy all 
rights by tliis law conferred. 

Sec. 6. Three members of this corporation, of which one shall be a layman, shall 
constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. 

Bishop McFarland attended the Vatican Council, which convened in the 
Basilica of the Vatican on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, De- 
cember 8th, 1869. He was then in declining health. While in Rome he 
sought permi.ssion either to resign or to secure a coadjutor. His American 
colleagues opposed both measures, but proposed as a Rolution of the mailer a 
division of his diocese. Accordingly, Rhode Island was erected into a 
with Providence as the episcopal seat, while Bishop McFarland retained his 
original title as Bishop of Hartford. 

Bishop McFarland preached his farewell discourse in Providence on 
Februar)' 25, 1872. He was deeply affected by the aimouncement, as were 
his auditors. When speaking of the division of the diocese he said in part : 
"I thought then and still think, that this is for your interest, as you will have 
a younger and more zealous bishop to labor among you. The new diocese 
will be an ample one — indeed, more so than the present one when first erected. 
Many of you remember well when Bishop Tyler came, and know the rapid 
progress Catholicity has made liere since ; the eight thousand Catholics have 
become two hundred thousand, with a hundred churches and one hundred and 
eleven priests."' 

On his departure from Providence Bishop McFarland received many testi- 
monials of esteem from his devoted clergy and the faithful laity ; but the gift 
that touched him the most deeply was the presentation of a beautiful edi- 
tion of Haydock's Illustrated Bible, bound in a sumptuous manner, with 
a stand of the most exquisite pattern. It was the gift of the boys of the 
Christian Brothers' school. It was an acceptable offering and was kindly 
received, the bishop being profoundly moved by the expressions of his faithful 
charges on the occasion. 

On his arrival in Hartford Bishop McFarland took up his residence in a 
spacious house on the corner of Woodland and Collins streets. His dignified 
bearing, urbane manner and tactful methods soon gained for him many friends, 
"who were by no means restricted to his own flock, but included every citizen 
who had the good fortune to enjoy his acquaintance." 

Though Hartford had been the title of an Episcopal See since 1843, 
Bishop McFarland found there no cathedral nor episcopal residence, nor 
school nor convent which he could call his. Not a foot of ground in his 
episcopal city did he own upon which he could lay a stone. After twenty- 
seven years in the priesthood and fourteen in the episcopate, he must now 
begin again and build up from the foundation. Nevertheless, he entered upon 
his new work with courage and zeal born of faith in God. 

The works which Bishop McFarland contemplated were the erection of a 
cathedral, a mother-house for the Sisters and an episcopal residence. Where 


would he secure a suitable site? We quote from the Hon. Thomas McManus' 
admirable Sketch of the Catholic Church in Hartford: "The Bishop saw at a 
glance the growth of the city westward, and the future necessities of his people. 
When St. Patrick's church was built in 185 1, it was substantially at the west 
line of the city. Asylum Hill and the territory west of its summit were then 
sparsely dotted with occasional residences. Twenty-one years of unusual 
prosperity had gathered a large population here, and St. Patrick's church had 
been left far to the east of the geographical centre. St. Peter's church was 
still farther east. The new territory had a very large proportion of Catholics 
in its population, comprising very many servant girls, the best of Catholics 

and most liberal of supporters to the church Carefully and quietly 

the bishop examined the various eligible locations for a cathedral, and finally 
selected the old Morgan homestead, a lot of between three and four acres on 
Farmington avenue, belonging to Major James Goodwin, and purchased the 
same at a price of $70,000." The erection of the convent was the work 
first commenced, as its chapel was to serve as a pro-cathedral. When the 
Sisters importuned the bishop to begin his cathedral and defer the building 
of the convent, the fatherly prelate prophetically replied : "The church will 
be built without the least fear, but I must and will build a home for my poor, 
scattered Sisters, who have been left homeless since the division of the diocese. 
I have ever found them faithful, hard-working, and devoted, heart and soul, 
to the elevation of our children in every part of the diocese blessed with their 
presence." ' The corner-stone of the convent was laid on Sunday, May 11, 
1873, and on November 29th following the chapel was dedicated to God under 
the benign patronage of St. Joseph. The celebrant of the Pontifical Mass on 
this occasion was Right Rev. Bishop de Goesbriand of Burlington and Bishop 
O'Reilly of Springfield, preached the dedicatory sermon. To draw upon his 
diocese the divine blessing, Bishop McFarland announced that all the parishes 
within his jurisdiction would be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the 
feast of the Immaculate Conception following, December 8th. 

The date of the dedication of St. Josephs' chapel marks the origin of the 
cathedral parish. 

Tiie constant supervision of the work on this convent anci chapel soon 
reduced Bishop McFarland to the condition of an invalid. Complete rest and 
change of scene became an imperative necessity. He sought the healing air 
of Aiken, S. C, but his sojourn there was too brief to produce, any permanent 
relief He visited also Richland Springs, Va., in company with his brother, 
a physician of Tiffin, Ohio, and his niece; but home, the convent and the 
chapel were ever in his thoughts. They possessed for him, even in his en- 
feebled condition, an irresistible attraction. Realizing, no doubt, that the 
'end was nigh, and wishing to breathe his last surrounded by his beloved asso- 
ciates, he soon returned home. During his final illness he experienced great 
suffering. In early manhood he had made an offering of himself to God. 
His life as a priest and as a bishop were but a constant renewal of this obla- 

' Ln>es of the Deceased Bishops. 


tion. And now as he lay with the shadows of death falling about him, he 
repeated the offering which he made on the day he entered the sanctuary: 
" The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cupy He expired on the 
evening of October 2nd, retaining consciousness to the last, in the fifty-fifth 
year of his age, the twenty-ninth of his priesthood and the sixteenth of his 
episcopate. Bishop lIcFarland left no personal property nor real estate, 
having some time before his death deeded the house given liim when he 
arrived in Hartford to the corporation of the diocese. His remains were laid 
in state in the pro-cathedral. Tlie funeral services were held on the 15th, 
witli Right Rev. John Loughlin, D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn, as celebrant of 
the Mass; Very Rev. James Huglies, V. G. , assistant priest; Rev. James 
Lynch, deacon ; Rev. Lawrence Walsh, sul>deacon ; Rev. M. A. Tierney and 
Rev. M. F. Kelly, masters of ceremonies. The bishops present were 

The Rt. Rev. John Loughlin, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

" " Bernard J. McQuaid, Rochester, N. Y. 

■' " " Stephen V. Ryan, Buffalo, N. Y. 

•• " " P. T. O'Reilly, Springfield, Mass. 

" " " Francis McNierney, Albany, N. Y. 

E. P. Wadhams , Ogdensburg, N. Y. 

" " M. A. Corrigan, Newark, N.J. 

" " " James F. Wood, Philadelphia, Pa. 

" " " P. N. Lynch, Charleston. S. C. 

' John J. Coiiroy, Albany, N. X. 

" " ■' T. F. Ilendricken, Providence, R. I. 

John J. Williams, Boston, Mass. 

" " '■ William O'Hara, Scranton, Pa. 

One hundred and twenty-two priests assisted at the obsequies. 

The funeral panegyric was pronounced by Right Rev. Bishop Hen- 
dricken of Providence. He announced his text from Daniel ii. 2j: " To Thee, 
God of our fathers, I give thanks, and I praise Thee; because Thou hast given 
me wisdom and strength. ' ' 

The Bishop said in part: "Right Rev. Bishops and Reverend Members 
of the Clergy : When I look around me and see so many eminent bishops 
present in this temple, so many venerable priests from all parts of the country-, 
see this immense congregation, and these emblems of mourning, it is evident 
that death has taken from us a distinguished victim. The mourning is not 
confined to this temple; but wherever true worth is acknowledged and men 
have sympathy for deep learning and piety, there are those who mourn the 
death of Bishop McFarland." The Right Reverend preacher then briefly 
related the chief incidents of the deceased bisliop's life, from his birth to 
his elevation to the episcopate. He then said : " Every good gift that comes 
to us is from God. The gifts of wisdom and fortitude were the gifts that 
shone resplendent in Bishop McFarland. He was born in evil days, when to 
be pious in the eyes of the world, it was only necessary to be decently vicious. 
He was early marked out for the episcopate. Seventeen years ago — and it 
looks like yesterday only — he was consecrated as Bishop of Hartford. The 
inconveniences and burdens which he bore for the scattered flock over whicii 


he ruled showed his great and wise zeal. In this large diocese his success 
and the dnrabie works which survive him, proved he had wise zeal in per- 
fection. Under his fostering care churches hav& sprung up, convents and 
schools have multiplied. 

"We ask for the cause of his success, and we find it in the method of his 
labor. The sublime virtues of your lamented bishop will be remembered 
when the most ancient lineages will be forgotten. In his relations with men 
he was kind, affable and condescending. To his own merits he was appa- 
rently unconscious. He was no dumb pastor, but hastened everywhere to 
preach the gospel. His hearers were chiefly the poor, but now and then the 
learned came to hear him and were charmed by the plainness, but force of 
his arguments. He was consulted by both the priests of his own diocese, 
and by priests and bishops of other dioceses. He was a man of extraordinary 
piety. I have known him from the morning of his consecration, and could 
not detect in him a venial fault; and here, I said, is a bishop on whom rests, 
in fullest amplitude, the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit. The poorest 
member of his flock or diocese could approach him without hesitation and 
would receive the kindest treatment. He was a learned scholar in the 
best sense of that term ; he was a most profound theologian. The doctrine 
of the Immaculate Conception, when decreed by the Holy PontiS" as the belief 
of the church, he found no diflliculty in receiving ; nor would he have hesi- 
tated to receive this doctrine, so declared, had he before been inclined to 
doubt it. As readily did he give his adhesion to the doctrine of the Infalli- 
bility of the Holy Father when speaking ex-cathedra as the Head of the 
Church. As a citizen, he was a valuable one to both this city and State, and 
also to Rhode Island when he resided there. During the late war, he was 
not wanting in patriotism and in a proper method of showing it. In regard 
to the school question, his position was unequivocally declared and well 
understood. He was no lover of the modern common-school system, for he 
regarded the system of teaching that lacked in denominational character as 
wanting in the Christian element. 

"His simplicity of life and character are known and remembered by 
you. I could tell you of numberless instances of his generosity. When the 
claim without a proper title to a certain church was made by a congregation 
in the city of Providence, harsh words were spoken against him. When he 
had satisfied the people that they were in error, and apologies had been made 
to him, he took no revenge, for he forgave the congregation a debt of $5,000 
they owed to him, and then sold them the church in question for one-half 
what it had cost to erect it. He was unwearied in labor, and submissive to 
the will of God. I asked him only a few days before his death if he was 
willing to die. He replied in Latin, ' Non recusco laborem, sed quid-quid vult 
Dtus ego volo;'' to the effect that he had never refused to labor, but if it was the 
will of God he would be resigned — he wished whatever God wished ; literally, 
' I refuse no labor, but whatever God wills I will.' " 


The funeral procession was formed in the following order: 

Platoon of police. 

Carriages containing the Bishops. 

Tw6 carriages wiih bearers. 




Sisters of Charity j. Sisters of Mercy 



Children of Mary from St. Peter's church. 

Relatives in carriages. 

Clergy in carriages wearing cassocks and surplices. 

St. Peter's Band. 

St. Patrick's Societ}'. 

St. John's Societj'. 

St. Peter's Society. 


The bishop was interred in the habit of the Franciscan Order, and his 
grave was made in the groimd.s in front of the convent and pro-cathedral. 
In jMay, 1S92, his remains were transferred to the crypt in the cathedral. 

In its issue of October 22, 1874, the Pi/ot paid this tribute to the deceased 
bishop: "The episcopate and clergy mourn the loss of a distinguished 
co-worker, the Order of St. Francis a devoted member, and the Catholic 
church, in New England especially, the rich zeal which for sixteen years 
directed a diocese comprising, at one time, two States. Even those outside 
the church, from whom he received the highest regard and cooperation con- 
sistent with his position as an uncompromising Catholic prelate, have mani- 
fested their feeling for his loss. The deceased bishop was deserving of all 
these manifestations; for he was one of uncommon ability and self-sacrificing 
zeal, the initiring projector of churches and charities, and a father at once to 
the clergy of Iris diocese, whom he stimulated by faithful attention, and the 
little ones whom he gathered under his religious care. It is known that much 
of his episcopal duty was done at some personal sacrifice, and he did not spare 
himself even during ill health." 

"The bishop was a learned scholar. His private library was remarkably 
fine — especially in the completeness of its theological collections. As an 
orator, he was singularly plain, yet precise in his expression, and possessed the 
rare faculty of never speaking for effect. His sermons were easily understood 
and (rare quality) easily remembered. He is said by those whose opinions are 
entitled to weiglit, to have had no .superior as a theological student in the 
country. His intellectual gifts were many and brilliant ; but the kindness, 
humilit\-, and child-like docility of his character, his resignation during the 
long and painful illness that afflicted him, and his calm submission to the 
decrees of death will be remembered with reverent affection long after his 
other qualities are consigned to oblivion." ' 

' Connecticul Catholic Year Book, 1877. 


FcuRTH Bishop of Hartford. 

fHOMAS, the son of Thomas Galberry and Margaret White, was born at 
Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, in 1S33. When three years of age his 
parents emigrated to the United States and established their home 
ill Philadelphia. Young Galberry was a witness of the outrages perpe- 
trated by the Native American party between 1842 and 1844, and the acts of 
sacrilege committed during these turbulent years must have made an indeli- 
ble impression upon the mind of one so observant as the subject of this sketch. 
His parents early perceived in him striking marks of a vocation to the sanc- 
tuary, and with self-sacrifice, characteristic of Catholic parents, sent him to 
Villauova College, near Philadelphia, in 1847. This institution was, as it is 
now, conducted by the Augustinian Fathers, an order upon which the young 
student was to reflect so much honor, and of which he was to become its most 
conspicuous ornament. Of serious, but not morose disposition, of placid tem- 
perament, a painstaking, conscientious student, his mind and heart now fixed 
upon his one great desire, Thomas Galberry pursued his studies with success 
and achieved the honor, dear to the heart of every student, of being selected 
by the faculty to deliver the commencement oration at the completion of his 
cla.ssical course in 185 i. " While at college," says one who knew him well, 
" he was given to retirement and solitude, which was evinced in his love for 
long walks in the beautiful neighborhood of Vilianova. Some of his earliest 
friends, those with whom he had contracted that most lasting of friendships 
-—the privilege of college life — often recall him to mind as a gentle and mod- 
est lad, who avoided anything like harshness or anger — -always cheerful, 
collected and studious." ' 

His classical course completed, he bestowed months of serious considera- 
tion upon the all-important question — old, yet ever recurring — What must I 
do to possess eternal life ? His inclinations, all the yearnings of his soul, were 
for the ecclesiastical state. He would take up the cross and follow whither- 
soever the Master led. Accordingly, he entered the novitiate of the Augus- 
tinian Order at Vilianova, January i, 1852. Under the experienced and 
efficient direction of the Rev. William Hartnett, O. S. A., the young novice 
made rapid advancement in all that goes to make a hoh- religious. Sub- 
missive to severe trials, patient under difficulties, prompt in obedience to 
every order, docile under reproof, it was his sole aim to please his divine 
Master and to become a good priest. Voluntarily had he chosen a life 
secluded from the world. He knew that self must be submerged, and it is 
the testimon)- of his contemporaries that well and faithfully did he fulfill his 
obligations. On January 4, 1853, he made his solemn profession, taking the 
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. After his j^rofession he began the 
usual course of dogmatic and moral theology, sacred Scripture, canon law, 
church history, sacred eloquence, etc., which comprised a period of three years. 

' The Connecticitl Catholie Year Book, 1877. 


An Augustinian priest, who has achieved merited distinction as a historian, 
wrote of our subject at this time :' " As I remember him (he was over me, my 
prefect, and in some brandies my teacher), we boys respected Mr. Galberrw 
He was very attentive to his tasks, prompt at rising early, as we well knew, 
and exact in discipline. He was rather strict, yet that was his business, and 
a model of propriety, cool-tempered, self-possessed, and at a pinch, rather 
inclined ' to let a fellow,' as we used to say, ' out of a scrape.' At the same 
time, we lads didn't tn*- often to impose on him, as boys often will. Though 
I can't say that we exactly loved him, as he didn't enter quite as merrily into 
our games and sports as some others, we all, I believe, revered him in his 
quiet, unassuming demeanor. I believe none hated him ; the roughly-disposed, 
perhaps, feared him ; a good number liked him, and all respected him. In 
class he was well prepared for his tasks, and we knew before entering the 
room we had better know our lessons." 

The same okservant writer continues: " Young Galberry was pious, kind 
of heart, attentive to his work, and noted for his thorough performance of 
the same, and his general steadiness. Intellectually, he was not what might 
be called brilliant or erudite. He knew his business; was sound on princi- 
ples; open to conviction; not given to prejudices; loving that which was best 
and most equitable; was rather slow in forming his judgments; studied the 
matter, took counsel, and viewed whatever he had on hand from all points 
of view; and when his mind was ' made up,' stuck to it like a limpet to the 
rock. Was very firm, .some might say, obstinate, but I think not. Firmness 
is the word, or strong determination. This characteristic was marked during 
his whole life-time."^ 

On the completion of his theological studies, Thomas Galberry was ele- 
vated to the dignity of the holy priesthood by Bishop Neumann on December 
20tli, 1S56, in St. Augustine's church, Philadelphia. After his ordination, 
Father Galberry was assigned to a professor's chair in Villanova College, a 
position he filled with eminent success for two years. From the college he 
entered into the practical work of the sacred ministry, having been appointed 
rector of St. Denis' church. West Haverford, Pennsylvania, a short distance from 
Villanova. This little church has acquired a unique prominence from the num- 
ber of illustrious priests who have been its rectors, or who have served it, no 
less than seven of them having been elevated to the episcopal dignity: Most 
Rev. Arclibisliop Hughes of New York, Most Rev. Peter Kenrick, Archbishop 
of St. Louis, Right Rev. Michael O'Connor, Bishop of Pittsburg, Right Rev. 
Thaddeus .Vmat, Bishop of Monterey and Los Angelos, Right Rev. William 
O'Hara, Bishop of Scranton, Right Rev. Michael Domenec, Bishop of Pitts- 
burg, and Bishop Galberry. 

In this peaceful and congenial field, Father Galberry labored until Janu- 
ary 27th, i860, when he was transferred to Lansiugburg, New York. Here 
the metal of the young priest was to be tested. The chuTch which he found 
there, old St. John the Baptist's, was a time-battered structure and falling 

' Lhies 0/ Deceased Bishops. 
» Ibid. 



. ^Icyy^r/cf^^^^ ^»-n-/Xf 


into ruin. It was not an edifice suitable for the celebration of the divine 
mysteries. He determined to erect a temple that would be a fitting abode for 
Him who dwells amid the silence of the tabernacle, a prisoner of love. His 
financial prospects were poor, but confiding in the unfailing assistance of 
heaven, he appealed to the generosity not only of his own little flock, but of 
Catholics elsewhere. His confidence and zeal were rewarded; the corner- 
stone of the new church, which he placed under the patronage of the founder 
of his beloved order, St. Augustine, was laid on June I'/th, 1869, by Bishop 
McCloskey of Albany, afterwards Cardinal Archbishop of New York. In 
December, 1865, the magnificent edifice was completed, aud the first service 
within its walls — a service of joy and gratitude to the Giver of all gifts — -was 
a midnight Mass on the feast of the Nativity. To crown the success of the 
indefatigable pastor all the indebtedness incurred had been liquidated when 
the first service was held. "This church, I think," wriles the distinguished 
historian before quoted, " is the most beautiful of its kind, Gothic, so greatly 
does it excel others I have seen in its perfect proportions, its delicate though 
simple decorations, and the almost uncontrollable spirit of devotion it breathes, 
as it were, into the worshipers at its altars. This may be an inappropriate 
eulogy. However, take it as the sincere conviction of your humble servant, 
who has seen many wonders in architecture, but was never really in love with 
any so much as with St. Augustine's at Lansingburg." ' 

But the erection of this beautiful temple was not the only work that 
redounds to the honor of Father Galberry during his pastorate at Lansing- 
burg. He introduced the Sisters of St. Joseph from Carondolet, Missouri 
for whose use he purchased a spacious dwelling. He enlarged his school and 
purchased a cemetery known as " St. John's-on-the Hill." In the midst of 
these exacting labors he received notification of his appointment to the re- 
sponsible position of Superior of the Augustinians in the United States, No- 
vember 30th, 1866. His official title was " Superior of the Commissariat of 
our Lady of Good Counsel." Of Father Galberry as Superior, a confrere 
said: "His old-time, business-like traits seemed to improve. He was very 
watchful as Superior, very self-sacrificing aud industrious. He aimed some- 
what high, in fact, higher than was expedient in his requirements from can- 
didates for the Order, and from us all he expected prompt, thorough and 
unwavering obedience. While his hand was pretty heavy, no one called into 
question the rectitude of his views; he was too hard a worker himself, and 
never asked one to do what he would not do himself; he was very correct in 
his own conduct, very punctual in his hours of appointment of duty, and 
very mortified. I really think he wore himself away to death. "^ 

Though Superior of the Augustinians, Father Galberry retained his 
position as rector at Lansingburg until February 24th, 1870, when he suc- 
ceeded the Rev. L. M. Edge, O. S. A., as rector of St. Mary's church, Lawrence, 
Massachusetts. In 1872, Father Galberry became PresidentofVillanova Col- 
lege, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Stanton, O. S. A. As President he infused new 

' Clark's Lives of Deceased Bishops. ' Ibid. 

II — I I 


life into the college. The growing importance of tlie institntion demanded 
better and more modern accommodations. To provide these he began the 
erection of suitable buildings on April ist, 1872, and which he had the hap- 
piness to see ready for occupancy early in 1874. He restored the strict yet 
paternal discipline of the Augustinians, and by his systematic methods, his well- 
directed energy and his intelligent counsel, brought the course of studies to a 
high educational standard. "This was his greatest work, and tliough perhaps 
better enabled to prosecute his designs, still the anxiety and toil entailed on him, 
soon began to imprint their seal on his years. Oue would believe that after so 
man)- years of constant labor — of almost ceaseless vigilance over the affairs of 
his several positions, that even now a respite from work would have been grate- 
ful to him. But Providence had not so ordained. He had scarcely begun a life 
of comparative quiet — hardly had he confiued him.self to the enjoyment of his 
college home, than a demand upon his services came from elsewhere." ' 

On September 14, 1874, a letter was received from Rome from the 
General of tlie Order notifying the Fathers at Villanova of a change in the 
form of government of the Augustinians in the United States. The Com- 
missariat of Our Lady of Good Coun.sel, founded in 1796, was by a resolution 
of the General Council, transformed into a province. Accordingly, the first 
chapter of the newly-created province convened at Villanova December 15, 
1874. For the first time in their history, the Augustinians in the United 
States could select their own Superior. The unanimous choice of the electors 
was Fatlier Galberry ; and thi.s free selection was a graceful and spontaneous 
tribute to the manner in which he had hitherto governed the Order. 

But other and still greater honors were to fall upon the devoted religious. 
His work for Christ and souls was to be crowned with the dignity of the 
episcopate. As a reward for his fidelity to his sacred calling, for his zeal and 
uninterrupted successes in the Master's cause, he was to receive the plenitude 
of priestly power. He was to leave the ranks in which he had served with 
so much distinction to be numbered among those whom the Holy Ghost has 
appointed to rule the church of God. Professor, parish priest, superior, and 
provincial, he was to become an honored member of that distinguished body 
that traces its origin in an unbroken line back to the apostles. 

In February, 1875, he received, unofficially, the intelligence that he had 
been nominated by the Holy Father to the See of Hartford. The official noti- 
fication of his election soon followed. "And now in his own estimation was 
the cup of his sorrow filled. Too retired and unassuming, he desired not the 
jjurple. He was a religious, and as a religious sought not dignity nor honor. 
His wish was to remain with his confreres enjoying the sweets and peace 
which monastic life alone can bestow. Notwithstanding his reluctance to 
accept the honors and responsibilities of the epi.scopal dignity, .still he judged 
not hastily, he acted not alone. He gave this important subject mature 
deliberation ; he counselled with those in whom he could confide, hearkened 
to tlieir words and besought their sympathy." 

' Coniucticut Catholic Year Book, 1877. 


The appointment of Father Galberry to the See of Hartford was hailed 
with delight by all, and by none more than by the clergy of the diocese. 
Those who knew him regarded the Bishop-elect as a worthy successor of the 
apostolic men who had gone before. Among the first to extend. a cordial 
welcome to the diocese was the Very Rev. Administrator ad interim, the 
Rev. James Hughes, V. G. : 

" Very Reverend and Dear Sir : From telegraphic news to the Freeman, we are 
informed of your appointment to the See of Hartford, and, being personally acquainted, 
I hasten to offer 3'ou nn- personal congratulations and tender you a most cordial wel- 
come. I believe the priests of the diocese are almost strangers to ^-ou ; but, nevertheless, 
I am sure you will find them earnest and zealous workers and obedient co-operators in all 
your desires. 

" We shall look everj' day for the arrival of your Bulls, and hope either to see or 
hear from you soon after. 

"Wishing you everj' blessing of j^our office, and a long and happy life in the epis- 
copate, believe me, dear Father Galberry, 

Yours very sincerely, 

J.\MEs Hughes, 
Administrator, Diocese of Hartford. 
Hartford. Conn., Feb'y 22d, 1875. 

Very Rev. Thomas Galberry, O.S.A." 

Rumors of his contemplated intention to decline the honor conferred 
upon him began to spread abroad, and, in consequencce, no little anxiety 
was created among the priests of the diocese. His brethren appealed to him 
to bow to the will of the Sovereign Pontiff and accept the burden he had 
placed upon him. Unwilling to sever the holy ties of brotherhood, humanly 
speaking, they, nevertheless, recognized in his election the call of God. The 
finger of God icuis titer e. From the diocese was despatched a letter from two 
of the senior clergy urging his acceptance of the episcopal office : 

" Very Reverend and Dear Sir: — Hearing it reported and seeing it extensively 
circulated in the newspapers that you contemplate resigning the charge of the Diocese 
of Hartford, we, the undersigned, being among the oldest priests of the diocese, take the 
liberty of addressing you a few words in reference to the subject. 

' ' In the first place, we assure you that your appointment gave universal satisfaction 
to the priests of the diocese. They lived in peace and harmon}' with our late revered 
and saintly bishop. They sincerely loved him and gave him a heartv co-operation in 
everything he undertook for the good of religion. From the accounts received from 
various sources they hoped to find in you a worthy successor of Bishop McFarland, and 
were anxiously looking forward to the day of your consecration in Hartford. These, we 
assure you, are the sentiments of the priests of the diocese towards you. 

" W"e hope, therefore, you will not be discouraged nor deterred from assuming the 
charge of this diocese, where you will receive the hearty welcome and faithful co-opera- 
tion of a united and devoted priesthood. 

Very respectfully yours, 

James Lynch, 
Pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbur}', Conn. 

Thomas J. Synnott, 
Pastor of St. Augustine's Church, Bridgeport, Conn. 
Bridgeport, Conn., April 30, 1S75, 

Very Rev. Thomas Galberry, O.S.A." 


Tlic liuiiiility of the monk, the tlisinclination to leave the classical 
shades of his alma inatcr^ and witli which he had now become so intimately 
associated, and, above all, the fear of his unworthiness to enter the episcopal 
ranks overcame all solicitations, and Father Galberr>- forwarded his resigna- 
tion to Rome with the reasons that impelled him thereto. Rome gave 
due consideration to the reasons advanced for his resignation, and on 
February 17, 1876' a tnnndanius — a Papal mandate — was forwarded by 
Cardinal Franchi, Prefect of the Propaganda, to the Most Rev. Archbishop 
Williams, of Boston, the ^letropolitan, enjoining the accejitauce of the See of 
Hartford by F'ather Galberry. The contest with self was at an end. He 
who had commanded obedience from others, now bowed to the command of 
the Supreme Pastor. The clergy and laity of the diocese breathed a sigh of 
relief and sent up fervent prayers of thanksgiving that God, through His 
Vicegerent, had bestowed upon them so worthy a ruler. 

Right Rev. Thomas Galberry was consecrated Bishop of Hartford, the 
fourth in succession, in St. Peter's church, Hartford, on March 19, 1876. 
The officers of the Solemn Mass of Consecration were as follows : 

Consecratpr — Most Rev. John J. WillL-iiiis D.I)., Archbishop of Boston. 
Assistant Bisliops— Right Rev. P. T. O Reilly, D.D., Bishop of Springfield, and 
Right Rev. E. P. Wadhams, D.D., Bishop of Ogdensburg.— Verj- Rev. James Hughes, Administrator. 
Notary— Very Rev. P. A. Stanton, O.S.A. 
Deacons of Honor — Rev. M. Hart and Rev. L. Daly. 
Deacon of the Mass — Rev. James Lynch. 
Sub-Deacon— Rev. Thomas Walsh. 

Master of Ceremonies — Rev. M. A. Tierney and Rev. M. F. Kelly. 
Assistant Chaplain— Rev. T. J. Synnott. 
Cross Bearer— Rev. P. F. Goodwin. 
Chanters— Rev. J. F. Campbell and Rev. E. Gaffney. 
Censer Bearer — Rev. J. F. Campbell. 

The preacher on the occasion was Right Rev. P. N. Lynch, D.D., Bishop 
of Charleston, S. C, who selected his text from \.\\^ Acts of the Apostles, xx. 28: 
" Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock -wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed 
yon bishops, to ride the church of God ivhich he hath purchased with his own blood. ''^ 

The Bishops in attendance were the Right Rev. Bishops Lynch, of 
Charleston ; De Goe.sbriand, of Burlington ; Loughlin, of Brooklyn ; Conroy 
and McNierney, of Albany; O'Reilly, of Springfield; Wadhams, of Ogdens- 
burg; Corrigan, of Newark; Hendricken, of Providence, and Healy, of 
Portland. In addition there were about one hundred and twenty-five priests 
from this and other dioceses, besides large delegations of sisters of various 
communities. The newly consecrated bishop sang Pontifical Vespers, during 
which Bishop Healy of Portland preached the sermon. 

Bishop Galberry .selected St. Peter's church, Hartford, as his pro-cathedral. 
The erection of a cathedral .suitable to the dignity of the diocese over which 
he had been placed, now became the object of his thoughts. To stimulate 
the zeal of the clergy and laity of the diocese, he issued a Pastoral Letter in 
which he set forth the urgent need of a Mother Church, and recounted the 


work accomplished in this direction by his lamented predecessor. The new 
cathedral would be placed under the patronage of the Spouse of Mary Im- 
maculate, the Patron of the Church Universal, St. Joseph. 

On May 5, 1876, Bishop Galberry sailed from New York en route for 
Rome to make his visit ad limiiia Apostoloruni. While abroad he visited the 
Grotto of Lourdes, wliither he journeyed as a devout pilgrim of our Blessed 
Lady. His return to the diocese in the autumn was accompanied by many 
demonstrations of joy, affection and thanksgiving on the part of his devoted 
priests and people. 

Bishop Galberry's unceasing labors and responsibilities as an Augustinian 
monk with the additional burdens of the episcopal office soon began to under- 
mine his health. To obtain much-needed rest, he set out on October 10, 1878, 
for his beloved home of many years, Villanova College. On the train to New 
York he was taken suddenly ill with hemorrhages of the bowels. Arrived at 
New York he was tenderly carried to the Grand Union Hotel and surgical 
and spiritual assistance dispatched for. Very Rev. Dr. Neno, O.S.A., Provin- 
cial of the Augustinians, was soon at the bedside of his stricken colleague. 
The last sacraments were administered by priests who had been summoned 
from neighboring parishes. With perfect resignation to the holy will of God, 
and realizing that death was nigh, he imparted his episcopal benediction to 
his diocese and to those who knelt sorrowfully about him. He sank rapidly, 
and died in the evening of October lOth. 

A Sister of Mercy thus wrote of him : "Bishop Galberry was a saintly 
prelate. He seemed to resemble Bishop McFarland in his untiring zeal in the 
cause of religion and in the education of children. I often heard it said, 
' Bishop Galberry acts so like Bishop McFarland ;' you would think he lived 
with him, studied his life, copied his virtues, particularly his gentleness of 
heart, his zeal for souls, his love for the poor, and untiring kindness and 
anxiety for the welfare of our dear Parent House and Boarding School on 
Farmington avenue.'" 

During his brief episcopate of twenty months. Bishop Galberry accom- 
plished much for his diocese. He founded the Connecticut Catholic^ the first 
number of which was issued on April 29, 1876, and which recently became 
the Catholic Transcript. He made one visitation of the diocese, during which 
he confirmed 10,235 persons, besides administering confirmation in St. Denis' 
church, Haverford, Pa. (July 30, 1876). The number of priests in the diocese 
was increased by seventeen. 

Bishop Galberry's vicars-general were Rev. James L}'nch, rector of St. 
Patrick's church. New Haven, and Rev. Thomas Walsh, rector of St. Rose's 
church, Meriden. 

A contemporary drew this pen picture of Bishop Galberry: "His digni- 
fied appearance, his very look and bearing call to mind the old prelates of the 
early church. . . . The expression of his countenance is that of cheerfulness 
and buoyancy of spirit, still having something about it denoting a love of 

' Lives of the Deceased Bishops. 


retirement. He is of a practical turn of mind, his long experience on the 
mission considerably inclining him to business pursuits. He has displayed 
great taste in l^uilding. Oftentimes witli a low treasury at the out.set, he has 
by wondrous exertion filled it before completing his designs. The strong and 
noticeable trait of his character is his deep reflective turn of mind; it is this 
which gains him success in whatever he undertakes. As a pulpit orator he is 
plain and impressive, never seeking ornament nor figure to express his ideas. 
In conversation he is cheerful and frank, nay almost familiar in his converse 
with his friends, and his company never leave his presence without a new love, 
a new sympathy towards him. With all under his care he is gentle, > et firm 
when necessary; forgiving, yet inflexible if called for, and fatherly and lenient 
to all who strive to do good. It is to this combination of manly virtues that 
prosperity and success ha\e attended all his enterprises. And were it not for 
the influence of a deep, unshaken faitli in the Omnipresence of God, he would 
never have ascended, step by step, the royal road of holiness and perfection." 
The obsequies of Bishop Galberry took place on October 15th. The 
celebrant of the Mass was Most Rev. Archbishop Williams, of Boston; 
assistant priest, tlie Rev. Hugh Carmody ; deacon, the Rev. P. A. Murphy ; 
sub-deacon, the Rev. P. P. Lawlor. The deacons of honor were Very Rev. 
P. A. Stanton, O.S.A., and Rev. T. J. Synnott. Right Rev. Bishop De Goes- 
briand of Burlington, preached the funeral .sermon. Present in the sanctuary 
were : 

Right Rev. John Loiighlin D.I). ISrooklyn. 

Right Rev. L. De Goesbriand, D.D. Buriington. 

Right Rev. P. N. Lynch, D D. Charleston. 

Riglit Rev. W. O'Hara, D.D. Scranton. 

Right Rev. P. T. O'Reilly, D D. Springfield. 

Right Rev. Francis McNeirny, D D. Albany. 

Right Rev. M. A. Corrigan. D.D. Newark. 

Very Rev. John E. Barry, V.G , of Portland, representing Bishop Heal}', 
• who was in Europe. 

Priests were present from the arch-dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, 
and Boston, and from the dioceses of Hartford, .Albany, Buffalo, Scranton, 
Providence, and Springfield. 

Fifth Bishoi> ok Hartford. 

JSHOI' McMAHON was the second cliild of Owen and Sarah 
McMahon, and was born in St. John, N. B. , on St. Stephen's Day, 
December 26, 1835. He was brought a child in arms the following 
May to Charlestown, now part of Boston, where he resided until he 
entered Holy Cross College, Worcester. 

After completing the granmiar-school course, he entered the Charlestown 
High School at the age of twelve years, and was one of two boys who com- 
prised the first graduating class. United States Senator, the Hon. Samuel 



Pasco, of Florida, was a pupil of the school at the same time, but was 
graduated later. lu 1898 the school celebrated its golden jubilee ; just before 
that there was much discussion about closing the school and transferring the 
pupils to the Boston High and Latin schools. Mayor Quincy, the present 
Cliief Executive of Boston, in a speech opposing this transfer, said that a 
school which could graduate two such scholars as Bishop McMahon and 
Senator Pasco had justified its erection and existence by the useful and 
splendid careers of these early graduates, and it would be a great wrong to 
close it. 

At the age of fifteen young McMahon entered Holy Cross College, Wor- 
cester, but was forced after a brief stay to leave there on account of a fire, 
which destroyed tlie main building of the college. He then entered Mon- 
treal College, where he won the first prize in all his classes, taking even the 
honors in French from his Canadian classmates. He was then sent to St. 
Mary's Seminar}-, Baltimore, where he remained for a short time. In that 
year Bishop Fitzpatrick, of Boston, who was making his ad limina visit to 
Rome, arrranged that Mr. McMahon should enter the College of the Propa- 
ganda Fide, there to continue his studies ; but at that time political troubles 
were so rife and revolution and political feeling so hostile to the Pope-King, 
that the young student changed his destination to Aix, in the south of France, 
near Marseilles, where he studied theology for three years. While at the 
Seminary of Aix he, with many of his fellow-seminarians, paid a visit to the 
Rev. Jean Baptiste Vianney, known the world over as the Curd d'Ars, and 
since pronounced blessed by the church. The Cure singled him out from the 
others, and told him that he had a true vocation to the priesthood, and would 
be of great service to the church of God in America, a prediction which was 
amply and fully verified by the after life of the young ecclesiastic. 

As he was too )'oung to be ordained to the priesthood, he asked and 
obtained permission to make an additional year of study at Rome. While 
here he lived at the French Seminary of St. Clara, as the American College 
was not yet open, and attended the lectures at the Apollinare, the diocesan 
seminary of Rome, and also at the Gregorian University, better known, per- 
haps, as the Roman College, the highest teaching institution in the world, 
taught by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. 

While preparing for the doctorate examination he was peremptorily sum- 
moned home by Bishop Fitzpatrick, who was in great need of priests for the 
mission. He was ordained in the cathedral of Rome, St. John Lateran, by 
Cardinal Constantine Patrizi, the Vicar-General of His Holiness, Pope Pius 
IX., on March 24, i860. 

On his return to Boston, Father McMahon was appointed an assistant at 
the Cathedral, to which was attached the Succursal Church of St. Vincent on 
Purchase street, which was attended by nearly 5,000 Catholics. In one or the 
other of these churches he preached every Sunday, and in one or the other 
heard confessions three days in the week ; also in either one or the other he 
conducted a first communion class of children and adults twice a week. The 
sick calls were numerous, and as many of the parishioners lived at a great 


distance from the church, this was a laborious and trying duty, as there were 
no means of conveyance, and all journeys had to be made on foot, and not a 
niglit passed without some, and often urgent cases. The number of priests 
in the diocese was small, and few of tlie churches had assistants. In case of 
a sudden illness, one of the cathedral priests was despatched to assist on Sun- 
day the sick pastor, and he was expected to keep up at the same time, as far 
as possible, his own work at the cathedral. Father McMalion attended also 
the penal and pauper institutions in Boston harbor. 

Shortly after his return to Boston the Civil War broke out, and he under- 
took, as a voluntary duty, the work of visiting the Catholics of each regiment 
in the camps around Boston, hearing their confessions, speaking words of 
cheer and comfort, and administering holy communion before they went to 
the front. 

Early in the war ther^came to Bishop Fitzpatrick an urgent letter from 
the officers and men of the Twenty-eighth IMassachusetts, lying in the swamps 
of South Carolina, saying that they were dying in large numbers and more sick 
who were soon to die, and begging for a chaplain. Tiie administrator of the 
diocese, in the absence of the bishop, read the letter at table, and said that 
as it was beyond the limits of the diocese and out of his jurisdiction, he could 
not order any one to go. Father McMahon, the \oungest of the clergy present, 
waited modestly for the others to speak, but hearing no response to the 
administrator's appeal, placed him.--elf at the disposal of his superior. This 
was Friday night. The next da)' he received his commission from Governor 
Andrews at the State The following day, .Sunday, he preached at the 
High Mass, and that same night went to New York to embark on the gov- 
ernment transport, and within the week was landed at Hilton Head, South 
Carolina. Almost immediately on his arrival was fought the battle of James' 
Island. Before the forward movement began, the tent of Father McMahon, 
the only Catholic priest present, was filled with soldiers who had been pre- 
vented fcT a long time, through no fault of their own, from attending to their 
spiritual duties. All that night and early next morning he heard confessions 
until the drum beat had called the men to move forward; and he went with 
them. After the battle of James' Island, as the only Catholic chaplain in the 
command, he ministered to all the Catholics. 

Father McMahon was with Foster at Newbern, with Burnside at Fred- 
ericksburg; with Pope at the Second Bull Run, and with McClellan at Antie- 
tam. He met the broken and defeated army after the seven da\s' fight at 
Richmond, and his regiment was one of the covering regiments of the rear 
guard just come up from the South, through which the beaten Army of the 
Potomac, just after the fight at Malvern Hill and the seven days' fight at 
Richmond, dashed to safety. At the Second Battle of Bull Riin, Father 
McMahon's regiment, with a few others, held the pass through which the 
defeated army retreated, and here the General of the Division, the Brigadier- 
General, and two of the field officers were killed. 

Feather IMcMahon thus campaigned in four States, when and where the 
war was fiercest and most blood\-. Owing to the small number of Catholic 

DIOCESE OF Hartford. i69 

chaplains, he was often the only chaplain in a division, and often in an army 
corps, and had to travel a distance of over fifteen miles, compelled to take 
long rides on horseback, often through a dangerous and hostile country, to 
minister to the scattered Catliolic soldiers. The frequent change of camp, the 
continual forward and rearward movements, the strain of hard and continuous 
and saddening work (he was once, after one of the great battles, three days 
with hardly any food or sleep, attending the wounded), brought on an attack 
of intermittent fever, and he was sent to the army hospital at Washington, 
where for a long time he hovered between life and death. One day when he 
was a little better than usual and fully conscious, he playfully asked the at- 
tending physician if he could go to Boston. The physician replied : "If you 
go to Boston the journey will most likely kill you, and if you remain here 
you will surely die." He came north with some soldiers, and what little 
he could do for them he did willingly and cheerfully, rousing them from 
their despondency and giving them fresh courage. When he arrived at the 
bishop's house, which was only a short distance from the depot, he had just 
strength enough to pull the bell, and when the servant opened the door he 
fell on his face in the vestibule. He was carried to bed, from which he did 
not arise for eleven months. On his recovery, as his regiment was without a 
chaplain, he rejoined his old comrades, and marched with them in the great 
review before the President which closed the war. For all this service in the 
army Father McMaiion never received a cent of pay. 

The war ended. Father McMahon was named the first pastor of Bridge- 
water, at that time a small country village twenty-eight miles from Boston. 
He had also two missions to attend. East Bridgewater and Middleboro, the 
one distant seven, the other ten miles from his residence. He had no assistant, 
and each Sunday he said two Masses ; he also attended the almshouse at 
Middleboro, and gave the same faithful service to those hapless ones as he 
had given to the parishioners and to the army. Partly from his work, which 
was highly prized by the officials of the almshouse, and partly by his subse- 
quent efforts, the State of Massachusetts gave open welcome by statute law 
to Catholic priests to officiate in all state and county institutions ; thus he 
served to secure not only civil, but religious liberty. 

From Bridgewater he was sent to New Bedford. He found here a small, 
old church, which had been bought some years before from the Protestants. 
Of this congregation from one-third to one-half were Portuguese, the men 
mostly following the sea for a livelihood in the whaling fleet. To discharge 
his duty to them, busy as he was, he took up the study of Portuguese without 
a teacher, and learned it well enough to hear their confessions and their 
piteous tales of distress. For two years he wrote letter after letter to the 
bishops of Portugal, and to priestly acquaintances of some Portuguese parish- 
ioners in the hope of securing a priest for his parishioners of that nationality. 
One came, only to die in his house a short time after. 

In the meantime Father McMahon set apart their small contributions, 
and when a priest came at last, he built and turned over to them a large 
handsome church, well furnished and almost without debt. 


Later came the French emigration from Canada ; he attended them until 
he was able to procure a Canadian priest. 

Meanwhile he began the erection of the French church, which was after- 
wards opened by the French pastor. For two years he was the only priest in 
that part of the diocese, his jurisdiction covering the territory which .stretched 
from New Bedford to Fall River, including the small town of Dartmouth, 
where there was a small sprinkling of Catholics, and on the ocean side to 
Nantucket, including the island of Martha's Vineyard, sixty miles distant. 
On one occasion when the steamer was not running he was summoned on a 
sick call to Nantucket, and so stormy became the weather that the boat was 
capsized when about half way to the destination, and if lie had not been a 
good swimmer, he would never have reached land. 

Father McMahon celebrated the first Mass said on Martha's Vineyard, 
which he did in a private house. 

A short time after a French gentleman of New York City, living on 
Lexington avenue, gave him a plot of land for a new church, which was after- 
wards built. 

The old frame church purchased from the Protestants, bare, cheap and 
small, and not conveniently located, he found inadequate to the needs of the 
people of New Bedford. A small piece of laud on County street had been 
bought by one of his predecessors for a new church; to this he added by pur- 
chase three times as much land, sufficient for cluircli, house and school. On 
a portion of this land he erected a magnificent granite church, and which 
was at that time the finest church in the diocese of Boston. This splendid 
edifice cost $150,000. The corner-stone was laid on November i, 1866, 
and the church was dedicated in honor of St. Lawrence on August 10, 

Father McMahon also purchased a large piece of land, on which .stood 
a conunodious mansion of stone, which he opened as a hospital — the first 
institution of the kind in the city — under the charge of the Sisters of 
Mercy whom he brought to New Bedford, and who acted as nurses, 
while he furnished the funds for its maintenance and was responsible for 
its debts. 

He was the first Vicar General of the Diocese of Providence, and in that 
capacity prepared the ground and had the basement ready when Bishop Hen- 
dricken returned from Rome to lay the corner-stone of the Cathedral. 

In 1873 Father McMahon received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from 
Rome in recognition of his .services to religion. 

Owing to the feeble health and frequent indisposition of the Bishop of 
Proviaence, a large share of the administration of the affairs of the diocese 
fell upon Dr. McMahon. Between him and Bishop Heudricken there existed 
always the fullest confidence and respect, which continued until the death of 
Bishop Hendricken. 

Dr. McMahon labored in New Bedford for fourteen years, and the many 
works accomplished were evidence at once of his zeal and of the strong faith 
of his people. The success that attended his labors was not unnoticed by his 


ecclesiastical superiors, and when the See of Hartford became vacant by the 
death of Bishop Galberry, tlie prelates of the province recognized in Dr. Mc- 
Mahon a priest worthy to be his successor. Accordingly, he was appointed 
Bishop of Hartford on May 8, 1879. On Sunday, July 20, 1879, he delivered 
his farewell address to his congregation of New Bedford. The scene was 
unusually affecting, and the concourse present manifested the great grief they 
experienced in the separation. Seldom, if ever before, was a parting between 
pastor and people so tmanimously regretted. Dr. McMahon said in part: 
"The relations existing between us have been pleasant — pleasant to me and 
I hope pleasant to you. That they were pleasant to me is sufficiently proved 
by my long stay with you. Fourteen years ago last Januar)', I came to New 
Bedford, and have been here constantly ever since, not having taken even a 
month's vacation. I found on coming here a great deal to do. I was told by 
my ecclesiastical superiors that I should have a church to build and much 
work to do. But I found little difficulty in accomplishing what I undertook, 
because I had the people behind me ; I had something to lean upon. My 
work has been successful, thanks to your cooperation. Every man is satisfied 
to remain where his work succeeds; therefore I was satisfied to remain here, 
and looked forward to closing my life among you and mingling my dust with 
that of )our people and of my predecessors. But Providence has ordered 
otherwise. The great head of the church has seen fit to summon me to more 
laborious duties, and after careful consideration and taking counsel of those 
to whom I should look for advice, I can only believe that the voice of Peter 
is the voice of God. 

"In leaving you I am happy to say that the affairs of the church were 
never so prosperous in any previous time. I need not specify details, but I 
think there is scarcely a place of the same size in the United States where so 
many visible works, evidencing the progress of faith, have been accomplished 
during the same time as has been the case in this city. And this has not been 
attained at tlie expense of the spiritual progress. . . . 

"And now, there remains but a parting word to be said. I thank you 
again most sincerely, most feelingly, for all your acts of kindness. I shall 
always retain pleasant memories of New Bedford, and whatever the vicissi- 
tudes of my life may be, I shall always look back to the years spent here with 
feelings of gratitude and pleasure. I shall be abundantly satisfied if I find 
as good people as I leave behind me. May God grant you individually 
and collectively every possible blessing ; may He give you all the happiness 
and prosperity you desire, and I wish you from my heart an affectionate 

Bishop McMahon was consecrated Bishop of Hartford on Sunday, August 
10, 1879, ii^ St. Joseph's cathedral, Hartford, in the presence of a vast con- 
course of priests and people. Special trains were run on all the roads 
leading into the city. Seventy car-loads were brought from Waterbury, 
New Haven, Springfield, Willimantic and other cities. The celebrant of 
the Mass and consecrating prelate was the Most Rev. Archbishop Williams, 
of Boston. 


Assistant Coiisecrators, Right Rev. Risiiop Louchmn-, of Brooklyn, and Right Rev. Bishop 

O'Reillv, of Springfield. 

Deacon of the Mass, Rev. M. Moran, Boston. 

Sub-deacon, Rr:v. Wm. Dalv, Boston. 

Deacons of Honor, Rev. M. McCabe, Woonsocket, and Rev. Philip Grace, D.D., Newport. 

Assistant Priest, Very Rev. Thomas Walsh, Meriden. 

Notary, VERY Rev. James Hughes, Hartford. 

Masters of Ceremonies, Rev. M. A. Tiernev, Hanford,and Rev. M. I". Kelly, Windsor Locks, 

Chanters, the Rev. Fathers Campbell, Kennedy, Joynt, Brodekick, O'Keefe, Facan. 

McCabe, Sheffrey, W. Rogers, B. O'R. Sheridan and E. Gaffney. 

Mitre Bearer, Rev. J. Cooney. 

Crozier Bearer, Rev. L. J. O'Toole. 

Censer Bearer, Rev. J. Rogers. 

Candle Bearer, Rev. T. T. McMahon. 

Acolytes, Rev. P. I<a\vlor and Rev. P. Shahan. 

Book Bearer, Rev. J. A. SIulcahy'. 

Assistants at the Faldstool, Re\\ E. Vvgen and Rev. M. Lawlor. 

The preaclier on the occasion was Ri<;;ht Rev. Bishop Heah-, of Portland, 
Me. His text was drawn from tlie fifth chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews: 
*' Called by God a High Priest, according to the order of Melchizedcc, of whom we 
have much to say and hard to be intelligently uttered." Tlie Bishop said in part : 

"The priest exerts an authority compared to which that of the early dis- 
ciples seems to be almost nothing. Who can estimate the dignity of the 
priesthood ? Kings and princes must bow to his authority. Recently, over 
the seas, there has been a bloodless but cruel persecution against the priest- 
hood because they claim an authority beyond this world and reaching even 
to heaven. They rule the souls, others the bodies. The priest is an ambas- 
sador, occupying a middle place between God and man. Consider lest you 
judge us too severely. There must be an angelic life. We bear the mysteries 
of God. The priest represents none other than Christ Himself. What can 
be beyond that ? Yet there is another glory and dignity conferred upon man, 
the collation of which you ha\-e just seen. You have seen how the church 
surrounds this dignity with elaborate ceremonial; the .solemn examination of 
the candidate ; the building up in vestments of wonderful variet)- ; the giving 
of a staff to represent that he is a shepherd; the ring, signifying that he is 
the spouse of the church ; the book of the Gospels, laid like a burden upon 
his neck; his head anointed, .signifying that he is a king among men; his 
hands anointed, because from them are to flow the most wonderful blessings 
of God. But the supreme moment was the placing of consecrated hands upon 
his head and the words, 'Receive the Holy Ghost.' The Christian is the 
temple of the Holy Ghost ; the Christian can bring his fellow-men to the por- 
tals of the church, but no further; the priest can confer miraculous favors 
upon his inferiors; both the simple Christian and the priest have limited 
authority. For the perpetuation of the people of God there is a necessity for 
another one who can go further. ' The Father is greater than I,' said Christ. 
I want to make it plain that if the priest be another Christ, the bishop is the 
representative of God himself, and can produce others like unto himself. Then 
is it wonderful that the church, by her ceremonies, endeavors to make this 
truth more evident? This father must possess a dignity of grace higher than 


the tongue can describe. When our Saviour came up out of Jordan, the Holy 
Ghost descended like a dove, and the voice came from heaven : ' Hear ye 
Him ! ' When this candidate arose from his prostrate condition, and the 
consecrated hands were placed on his head, may it not have been that the 
heavens were indeed opened, and that a voice came, ' This is my beloved Son, 
hear ye Him ? ' Now, this one having risen and possessing the divine pre- 
rogative, every blessing and peace flow from his hands : the ruler among 
those who have rule and authority. Let me stop here, leaving the impression 
that the pontiiT represents to you none other than the Fatlier in his original 
and divine fecundity. Remember what responsibility he bears, and endeavor 
by obedience and prayer to hold up the fainting heart that bears so great a 

Bishop Healy concluded his sermon with an address to the newly conse- 
crated prelate : " To-day you have the Te Deum chanted in this church of 
Hartford, which lias been so often widowed. I thank God that you have wit- 
nessed the apostolic lives of those who have ruled you. And you, venerable 
brother, just now inducted into tlie office of the episcopacy, bear your author- 
ity tempered with mercy. May you rule many years, and bear this authority 
and sway as one who represents God the Father. Let us all unite in prayer 
that this power may continue for many years {multos attnos) and for a crown 
and everlasting glory in heaven." 

The prelates present were : Most Rev. John J. Williams, D. D., Boston, 
Mass.; Right Rev. John Loughlin, D. D., Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Right Rev. 
Patrick T. O'Reilly, D. D., Springfield, Mas.s. ; Right Rev.' J. F. Shannahan, 
D. D., Harrisburg, Penna. ; Right Rev. S. Chatard, D. D., Vincennes, Ind. ; 
Right Rev. T. Hendricken, D. D., Providence, R. J. 

Immediately after his consecration Bishop McMahon undertook the 
legacy bequeathed to him of continuing the building of the cathedral. 
In this stupendous work he was not only wonderfully successful, but he 
lived to witness the consecration of the magnificent temple. He found it 
burdened with an indebtedness of $60,000, and his first labor was to liquidate 
this and then to bring to completion the plans of his predecessors. After 
thirteen years of unremitting attention and labor and anxiety, he had the 
happiness to witness the full realization of his hopes. The cathedral was 
erected at the sacrifice of his own income, and by the voluntary contributions 
of his diocesans, as no tax or assessment was placed upon any parish. Within 
ten years he expended over 5Soo,ooo in its construction and embellishment. 
In accomplishing this work Bishop McMahon not only sacrificed his means, 
but also his health. In the hope of restoring the latter he visited Europe in 
April, 1 89 1, accompanied by the Rev. Thomas Broderick, rector of St. Peter's 
church, Hartford. He returned on Thursday, November 19, 1891, and never 
in the history of New England had a bishop been so enthusiastically wel- 
comed. The people requested that the cathedral be opened and illuminated 
for the first time in honor of the man whose untiring energy and business 
capacity had completed it. Although the seating capacity of the edifice is 
about 2200, there were nearly 4000 persons in the interior, and as many more 


on the outside. As the bishop looked from his throne in the sanctuary out 
into the vast enclosure and witnessed what had been accomplished during his 
seven months' absence, he could not fail to realize that he stood within one of 
the most gorgeous temples on the American continent. The organ was used 
for the first time to the chorus of 150 voices to chant the inspiring Te 
Dmm in honor of the bishop's safe return to his diocese. Rev. William A. 
Harty, rector of the cathedral, delivered an address of welcome in behalf of 
the clergy and people, to which the bishop made a felicitous and feeling 

But other works than the erection of the cathedral absorbed the time and 
engaged the attention of Bishop McMahon. Between the years of his conse- 
cration and the completion of the cathedral, he organized forty-eight new 
parishes, dedicated .seventy churches, and established si.vteen convents and 
sixteen parochial schools. He attended the Third Plenary Council of Balti- 
more, whose sessions were held in November and December, 1883. In 1880, 
when wide-spread destitution prevailed in many jiarts of Ireland, Bishop Mc- 
Mahon was among the first to raise his voice in an appeal in behalf of the suf- 
fering poor of that unhappy country. His was a practical sympathy as evinced 
by the following circular which he addressed to the pastors of his diocese : 

" Hartford January 19, 18S0. 
"Rev. Dear Sir : You are doubtless not unacquainted with the reports which have come 
to us through the public press in reference to the alleged distress in the unhappy land whence 
most of us have sprung. 

" The accounts which we have received from responsible parties would indicate that these 
reports have by no means been exaggerated, but, on the contrary, it is feared that all that our 
charity may be able to do will prove inadequate to the terrible necessities of the case. 

"The sufferings of our fellow-men in any quarter of the globe should excite our warmest 
sympathies ; but when we are called upon to rescue from hunger, sickness and death the unfor- 
tunate people of our own native land, or the land of our fathers and mothers, every considera- 
tion of religion and patriotism combine to render the call doubly imperative. 

" In order, therefore, that our flocks may have an opportunity of contributing to so 
worthy an object, you will please to announce to your congregation that a collection will be 
taken up in all the churches of the diocese of Hartford on Sunday, Februarj- ist, for the above 
mentioned purpose. 

" As the necessity is a pressing one, you are requested to transmit as quickly as possible the 
sum collected to the chancellor of the diocese, in order that the money contributed may be sent 
to the Irish bishops of the distressed districts without any unnecessary delay. 

" Yours truly in Christ, 

"t Lawrence S. McMahon, 

"Bishop of Hartford."' 

The result of this appeal was a generous contribution for the relief of 
Ireland's distress, the amount forwarded to the Irish bishops being $23, 764.81. 

Bishop McMahon's exacting and unceasing labors to promote the welfare 
of his diocese, in the construction of the cathedral, in making frequent visi- 
tations of the parishes within his jurisdiction, preaching and confirming, and 
in personally attending to the innumerable and perplexing duties of a great 
and growing diocese, soon began to make serious inroads upon his health. 
He was not in robust health during the few years of his life ; nevertheless 
he complained not, and attended to the manifold affairs of the diocese with 


scrupulous punctuality. No work was too arduous for him to undertake, 
though the body, a prey to disease, might rebel. He was a sufferer from 
urtemia, and with patience and holy submission to the divine will he bore his 
affliction. He may have had premonitions that his tenure of life was short; 
at any rate, the summons found liim prepared to pass hence into the life be- 
vond. When the angel of death came it was as a thief in the night, but the 
bishop resigned his dignities and his burdens in the same spirit in which he 
assumed them — a spirit of unalterable desire to comply with God's will. 

The news of Bishop McMahon's death fell like a shock that affected all 
classes irrespective of creed. Wliile for'a few years previous it was known 
that he was not immune from disease, it was not thought that death would 
withdraw him from the scene of his activity so suddenly. But a few weeks 
before he had celebrated the fourteenth anniversary of his consecration in the 
presence of a large concourse of people and in the midst of his devoted clergy, 
who had assembled to do him honor from every part of his diocese ; so that 
when the information was received that the diocese was again bereft of its 
chief pastor, it was received with sentiments of incredulity. With the hope 
of securing relief from the sufferings incident to his ailment, the bishop set 
out for Saratoga Springs to take a course of the waters. But death overtook 
him on the way. Desiring to break his journey and thus diminish the dangers 
attendant upon fatigue, he stopped at lyakeville, Connecticut, where he in- 
tended to sojourn for a few days only. On August 17th, his illness had 
assumed a form serious enough to confine him to the house. The best med- 
ical skill obtainable proved futile to prolong the life so precious to the dio- 
cese. He expired on the night of Monday, August 21, 1S93, in the fifty- 
eighth year of his age. At the dying prelate's bedside were his devoted 
sister. Miss Rose McMahon, and the Rev. Fathers Leo, O. S. F., Shanley, 
Bannon and O'Connor. 

The remains of the deceased prelate were brought to his episcopal city on 
the 23rd. As all that was mortal of Bishop McMahon was solemnly borne to 
the residence which he had left only a few days previously, many eyes were 
moistened, and many fervent, heartfelt prayers ascended to the Mercy Seat in 
behalf of him who had ever been to priests and people a father, guide and 
friend. Clothed in his pontifical robes, the body of the bishop was carried by 
anointed hands to the Cathedral where it was placed upon a catafalque before 
tlie main altar. His genius and executive abilitj' had carried to completion 
the majestic pile which had become his mausoleum. Before the magnificent 
altar which he had solemnly consecrated to the living God fifteen months 
before, lay the lifeless body of as just, devout, unselfish and pure-minded a 
prelate as ever wielded a crozier. The splendid temple, the superb orna- 
mentation everywhere visible, the beauties of brush and pencil and chisel, all 
combined to make St. Joseph's a fitting resting place for the great heart that 
throbbed only with a father's love, but which was now silent with the still- 
ness of death. 

The obsequies of the deceased bishop took place on August 26th, with 
the Most Rev. Archbishop Williams of Boston as celebrant of the Mass. 


Assistant /'rust, \'ery Rkv. Fr. I,KO DA Sarracena, O. S. K. 

Deacons of Honor, Rev. Flor. De Brvckyer and Rev. M. A. Tiernev. 

Deacon of the Mass, Rev. T. Broderick. 

Sub-deacon, Rev. T.J. Shahan, D. D. 

Censer Bearer, REV. E. Brouerick. 

Masters of Ceremonies, REV. A. H.\RTV ANU Ruv. T. Crowi.f.v. 

The panegyrist was Right Rev. Bishop Beaven of Springfield. He selected 
his te.xt from St. Paul's First Epistle to the The.ssalonians iv. 13: '■^ And ive 
zvill )iot have you ignorant., brel/ireit, comernmg tlievi thai are asleep,, that \ou 
be not sorroivful even as others who have no hope." 

"To-day we feel ourselves in the presence of an occasion when neither 
voice nor expression attunes itself to the deep sympathy of the sorrowing 
heart. We find that .some vibrations of the heart chords cannot be evidenced 
by word or sob. The trappings of death meet our gaze on every side, for he 
whom we loved is gone. The reward of his virtues awaits him. O I Lord, 
give rest to his soul. 

" When the terrible form of death stalks unbidden across our threshold 
and takes such a one, as it has in this case, you cannot but reel and stagger 
at the blow. Not only does the chapel bell ring out its sorrow, but the bells 
of the city toll for the honor of its noble dead. He is dead, but his spirit 
still lives. He still lives in every home in this diocese, vivifying by his spirit, 
his prudence, and his zeal, every influence of religion. At his tomb we render 
thanks for his work, especially of the last fifteen years. At the foot of his 
bier maj' we not say he has consummated his work, he has run his course 
and a crown awaits him ? 

" His labors and works have become a sacred inheritance for us. He has 
built us a monument that will evoke a prayer from every Christian heart that 
he will enter into the joy he has won from his Master. Each may select from 
his character some trait applicable to himself I might select hisundeviating 
tenacity of purpose. You might envy his prudence. I would rather con- 
template his generosity and his unassmning religious devotion to duty. 

" The dominant emphasis of all Bishop McMahon's relations with his 
clergy and people was an adamant will, determined to do what was right in 
his opinion on all occasions. Look for a criterion over this rich and pros- 
perous diocese. Look at the unity that prevails and all the other indications 
of good government due to the bishop's great executive ability. As we con- 
template the results of his work we can indeed say that God placed in his 
soul a determination to do according to his conscience and to leave the rest 
to Almighty God. In our last episcopal gathering, he, speaking of the ad- 
ministration of his diocese, remarked : ' I have difficulties, I presume you 
have, I try to keep a clear conscience, do what I can and leave everything 
else to God.' 

'"We can only express our desire that the excellent condition of the dio- 
cese may bring to him in his heavenly abode a completion of all those bless- 
ings he brought to his fellow-men. The past in his life brings to us many 
treasures. Shall we guard them, so that what he has done will be an en. 


couragement to us ? Labor without stint, labor with generosity, then we may 
enjoy all that God has for us in life and in the future. Let us quietly and 
silently waft to the throne of God a silent prayer that God be merciful to one 
who so loved and so worked." 

The final absolution over the remains was pronounced, first b)' Mgr. 
Griffin, of Worcester, Mass.; the second, by Bishop Beaven ; the third, by 
Bishop Michaud ; the fourth, by Bishop Bradley ; the fifth, by Archbishop 

The remains of Bishop McMahon rest in the crypt in the rear of the ca- 
thedral near the dust of his predecessors, Bishops McFarland and Galberry, 
where they await the glorious dawn of the resurrection morn. 

The memorial tributes paid to Bishop McMahon testified to the universal 
esteem in which he was held. All who knew him loved the man as they 
revered the bishop. Reserved in manner, his was withal a gentle, kindly 
and affectionate nature. A lover of all that was good he was an assiduous 
promoter of whatever tended to the welfare of religion. No one who repre. 
sented a good cause ever made a vain appeal to Bishop McMahon. From 
among the many tributes tendered to his memory we append tlie following : 
At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Summer School 
of America held on August 22d, at the Catholic Club, New York City, the 
following resolution was ordered to be entered on the minutes: 

"Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Summer School of .\merica have 
learned with heartfelt regret of the unexpected demise of Right Rev. Lawrence S. McMahon, 
D.D., of Hartford, Conn., and deem it a duty of gratitude to give expression to their recognition 
of the emineut character of the deceased and the invaluable services rendered by him to the 
Catholic Summer School at its first session in New Loudon, 1S92." 

" The Catholic Total Abstinence Union, in convention assembled (August 29, 1893), embraces 
this first public opportunity of formally expressing its heartfelt regrets for a death that removes 
a wise counsellor, a tender friend, an understanding and sympathetic advocate of its material 
and spiritual good, and one from whose guidance the union derived sincere comfort and benefit 
and to whom it was indebted for a watchful and assiduous care that faltered not nor wearied. 

" Light, comfort, strength and peace flowed from the full fountain of his enlightened 
mind, a soul to thousands whose faces he never saw, yet to whom he was a kind, a generous and 
all-seeing father. 

" Brief was his life, but vast his achievements. Strong and clear, his voice called on each 
and all to prepare in time to tread the way of the Lord. Deeplj- consecrated as the human 
agency of divine energy, he was a conspicuously worthy channel of divine will and blessings 
ever receptive. His care, ever alert to obey and carry out the mandate, ever eager by sympathy 
and service to fulfill the useful and the holy. His was a practical and pious nature. He recog- 
nized that he serves God best who serves Him by prayer, b)' precept and by work.'' 

"Bishop McMahon was essentially a successful financier and organizer. He was a scholar, 
too, deeply versed in the problems of theology and philosophy and widely read in the works 
of the best literary, scientific and scriptural writers. It was a rare treat for one who was him- 
self somewhat acquainted with classic writings to spend a social hour with Bishop McMahon, 
and to drink in the wonderful streams of knowledge that flowed from his mind. He was not 
an extensive writer, nor yet a frequent preacher, and many thought because of that he was not 
a profound scholar; but he was. His principal application, owing to the peculiar conditions 
with which he found himself surrounded on assuming the administration of the diocese, was 
in the direction of its material development ; and in this direction his work will live after him. 
The magnificent cathedral of St. Joseph, which he found an irregular and shapeless pile on his 
arrival in Hartford, was finished and consecrated under his administration, and stands to-day a 
II — 12 


monument to his wonderful executive powers and financial resources. It was a stupendous 
work, this bringing to completion such a magnificent edifice within a dozen years, paying every- 
thing as the debt was contracted, and consecrating it to its divine use wiUi no hand of mammon 
free to call it back from its worshipful objects. 

" In another way, however. Bishop McMahon will be most sincerely mourned by all. He 
was the father of his flock, and his kindly heart brought him into the closest and tenderest rela- 
tions with tliem all. He was the friend of llie priest, and no man who ever wore the cloth found 
in him otlicr than a tender counsellor, a .sincere adviser and a kindly father. There is manv a 
priest who can testify to his spontaneous generosity, his tender sympathy and his unswerving 
kindness, and who owes much of his success in a material and spiritual way to the guidance and 
advice of the departed prelate. To the laymen of his charge he was ever kindly and consider- 
ate, watchful of their interests, solicitous of their wants and prodigal of his service. He watched 
over them as tenderly as ever shepherd in Israel guarded his flocks, and he was perhaps nearer 
to them in a personal sense than any of the prel^ites who had preceded him in the administration 
of the diocese." 

Wisdom, kindness, and justice marked the administration of Bishop Mc- 
Mahon. Under his prudent, paternal rule the diocese flourished and reached 
a degree of prosperity that placed it among the first dioceses of the United 
States. Humble, modest and una.ssuming, he quieth' advanced the interests 
of religion and made many and generous sacrifices for tlie spread of the truth. 
He was courageous and patient in the face of great obstacles awl unshaken 
in his confidence iu divine Providence. He endeared himself to the clergy 
and lait}-, who regarded him as an able, upright ruler, a wise counsellor and a 
kind father. 


The I'kksknt Rishop ok Hartford. 

(5 I HE sixth and present Bishop of Hartford was born at Ballylooby, County 
*| Tipperary, Ireland, on September 29, 1839. At the age of eight years 
he came to this country with his parents, who settled at Norwalk, 
Connecticut. At an early age he entered St. Thomas' College, Bardstown, 
Kv. He completed his theological studies at St. Jo.seph's Provincial seminary, 
Troy, N. Y., where he was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishoj) Conroy, 
of Albany, on May 26, 1866. After his ordination he was stationed in Provi- 
dence, R. I., where he discharged the duties of rector of the cathedral. He 
occupied also the position of Chancellor to Right Rev. McFarland. 
While at Providence he erected the .school of the Christian Brothers. From 
Providence he was transferred to New London to succeed the Rev. Father 
O'Connor as rector of St. Mary's, Star of the Sea. While here Father 
Tierney continued the work of building the church, but before the edifice 
was completed he was removed to Stamford, where he labored with great suc- 
cess for three years. St. Peter's parish, Hartford, now became the theatre 
of his labors, and his zeal was manifested in the erection of the convent and 
in building an addition to the parochial .school. After a residence in Hart- 
ford of more than si.\ years. Father Tierney was appointed pastor of St. 
Mary's parish, New Britain, in 1883, in succession to the Rev. Hugh Car- 
mody, D.D. Here he built a magnificent stone church and purchased ground 
for a new cemetery. 


Father Tierney received from the Apostolic Delegate, Mgr. Satolli, the 
formal notification of his appointment as Bishop of Hartford on Thursday, 
January i8, 1S94. The solemn ceremony of consecration took place in St. 
Joseph's cathedral on February 22, 1894, in the presence of an assemblage of 
thousands who had gathered to do honor to the new prelate. The officers of 
the consecration services were : 

Consecrator. — Most Rev. Archbishop Williams, Boston. 

Assistant Bishops. — Bishop Beaven, of Springfield, and Bishop Harkins, of Provi- 
Assistant Priest. — Rev. John Edwards, New York. 
Deacon. — Rev. John Duggan, Waterbury. 
Subdeacon. — Rev. William Slocum, Norwalk. 
Notary. — Rev. Florimond De Bruckyer. 
Chaplains to the Bishop-elect. — Rev. J. A. Mulcahy, Waterbury, and Rev. T. Bro- 

derick, Hartford. 
Master of Ceremonies. — Rev. J. B. Doughertj', Mystic 

Assistants. — Rev. M. Maj', New Britain, and Rev. M. Sullivan, New Haven. 
Crozier Bearer. — Rev. R. Carroll, Bridgeport. 
IMitre Bearer. — Rev. C. McCann, Bridgeport. 
Candle Bearer. — Rev. T. Shanley, New Haven. 
Book Bearer.^Rev. E. O'Connell, New Haven. 
Gremiale Bearer. — Rev. J. Curtin, New Haven. 
Censer Bearer. — Rev. T. Keena. Stamford. 
Acolytes. — Rev. J. Broderick, Meriden, and Rev. M. McGivney, Middletown. 

The preacher of the consecration sermon was Right Rev. Bishop Bradley, 
of Manchester, N. H. In concluding his eloquent discourse, he thus addressed 
the new bishop: 

"And, Right Rev. Father and co-laborer in this cherished ecclesiastical province, 
having elected, as you have, to be consecrated to the episcopate on the da\- on which the 
church commemorates the founding b)' St. Peter of the ancient See of Antioch, let us pray 
that in taking ' heed of the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishop,' 
you may be found a faithful imitator of the Prince of the apostles, so that when the time 
will have come when in God's providence j-ou will lay down the pastoral staff", 3'ou may 
receive from the Prince of pastors, ' a never-fading crown of glory.' " 

In June, 1895, Bishop Tierney made his ad limina visit to Rome, leaving 
the administration of the affairs of the diocese in charge of Very Rev. John 
A. Mulcahy, whom he had appointed his Vicar General on September 11, 
1894. Since his return from Rome he has made a canonical visitation of the 
parishes of the diocese. Among the institutions founded by Bishop Tierney, 
and which are evidence of his zeal, are St. Thomas' Little Seminary and St. 
Francis' Hospital, both of Hartford. 

At the convention ot the National Total Abstinence Union held at Boston 
in August, 1898, Bishop Tierney was unanimously elected National President. 



^\(^V)/E enter now upon a most important section of our work. Much of 
^S\/ tlie information given in the following pages came to tlie writer 
through the kindness of local rectors to whom his sincere thanks 
are cordially tendered. In man)' instances there is a woeful absence of records 
■ bearing on early Catholic history ; where such is the case the writer has been 
obliged to rely upon the testimon}- of those who were a part of the stirring 
and epoch-making events of half a century ago. " Every year the means of 
remedying the deficiency in historical records of the early days of Catholicity 
grows more difficult," said the Frtetnaii's Journal^ March 31, 18S3. "Old men 
decay like old landmarks; and important facts never reduced to writing are 
forgotten with the remembrance of the men who knew them. Most of us are 
too busy now to realize the preciousness of these perishing records. But in 
time to come, when a complete history of the Catholic church in the United 
States will be demanded, it will be too late to make anything but a patch- 
work out of half-reuiembered traditions. 

"A knowledge of the history of the church in tliis country would be most 
useful to the rising generation, whose reverence and love would be quickened 
by the knowledge of past sufferings and triumphs. To know of the sacrifices 
which each stone in the old churches would make them sacred in many 
thoughtless eyes that now regard their existence as " matters of course." It 
is not a smattering of history — a record of impossible battles, in which the 
British always lost thousands to ten Americans, or when in later years, the 
Federal troops always conquered, even when defeated, or vice versa — that we 
need in our Catholic schools, but the teaching of facts relating to the growth 
of the church. Of course, tlie history of battles and political clianges must 
have its place ; but what would we say of the Christian schoolmaster, in the 
reign of Constantine, who would tell only of the eagles, not of the victories 
of the catacombs? 

" The teachers of our children tell them at times of the saints and mar- 
tyrs who lived and died long ago, of the great men who reflected the spirit of 
the church, but of the great men who are nearer to them, and whose presence 
left its marks on the life around them, there is little said. 

" But we are told we must build up ; then we can proceed to ornament 
and embellish. The process of building is ever going on ; the time of bricks 
and mortar is not yet past. But shall we bury them under all this brick and 
mortar? Siiall the progress of the church be only a material progress — a 
progress over which the statistician shall rejoice when lie writes of so many 
churches, so many institutions? If no heed is given to the encouragement 
of learning and of research, there will be no ornament when tlie time for 


embellishment comes, for there will be no artists ; nor can we consider the 
work of the Catholic historian or publicist as merely ornamental. It is vital; 
for the purpose of defence, of keeping zeal warm, of exciting imitation, it is 
most important." 

The Rev. A. A. Lambing, the historian of the diocese of Pittsburg and 
Allegheny, has given expression to the common experience of all searchers 
after early Catholic historical information. 

" Materials (for a diocesan history) are meagre, are scattered in many 
places and collected with difficulty ; for the first priests on the mission were 
content to labor and to leave the record of their deeds to God, and there was 
yet no local Catholic periodical by which they might have been permanently 
recorded and transmitted to future generations. Hence we have to depend 
upon tradition for many things, and while there are few persons left to trans- 
mit it from the beginning, even their accounts do not always agree, and tra- 
dition is found at variance with tradition. In our own day the history of the 
church in our midst is being made, events are transpiring before our e)'es, 
and it is difficult to estimate them at their proper value. The actors are yet 
on the stage, and it is a delicate matter to speak of them alwaj'S in such a 
manner as to give entire satisfaction and generally impossible not to speak of 
them at all. 

"Another difficulty is the impossibility of avoiding a certain degree of 
sameness in the description of the churches and the sketches of the congre- 
gations, which must of necessity resemble each other in many respects." 

In the presentation of the following sketches we deem it conducive to 
clear arrangement to divide the diocese into eight districts, corresponding to 
the number of counties in the State, namely, Hartford, Fairfield, Litchfield, 
Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham districts. In 
each district we shall present first the church or churches located in the county 
seat, and then take the remaining parishes in alphabetical order. 

I. Hartford District. 

Hartford. Plainville. Hazardville. Thompsonville. 

Bristol. Poquonock. Kensington. Unionville. 

Broadbrook. Southington. Manchester. Wethersfield. 

Collinsville. Soiitli IManchester. New Britain. Windsor Locks. 

East Hartford. Tariffville. 

The first Catholics to reside in Hartford of whom there is any record, 
were thirteen Acadian refugees or French Neutrals, who w^e allotted to the 
town by an Act of the General Assembly, January, 1756. ^'^ The selectmen of 
the towns in which these hapless exiles were billeted were directed to care 
for them and not to permit them to leave the towns to which they had been 
assigned without written permission. By a vote of the town, December 6, 
1757, the selectmen of Hartford were directed to build a house for the 
French strangers and to furnish them with employment, if possible. The local 
records are otherwise silent concerning these poor people, with the exception 
of an entry of date December 26th, 1759, which informs us, that Mr. Robert 


Neviiis was awarded twenty shillings for rent and damages which his bnilding 
sustained during its occupancy by the French. What became of them? History 
furnishes no information. We can only hope that they were among the two 
hundred and forty Acadians, who found their way back to Nova Scotia. 
There is an interesting tradition that two Acadian priests lived near Hart- 
ford, one on the Bloomfield, the other on the Windsor road. 

It is a matter of historical record that a number of I*'rench prisoners 
captured in the wars against Canada were immured in prison at Hartford for 
some time. 

We have also el.sewhere adverted to the presence in Hartford at the 
close of the last century of a priest, the Rev. Ambrose Jean Soug^, who 
was the chaplain of the family of the Viscounte De Sibert Cornillon, an 
exile of the French Revolution. The Rev. John Thayer also visited Hart- 
ford, as did the Rev. Francis Matignon, D. D., and the Rev. Virgil Barber. 

In 1823, the Catholics of Hartford were sufficiently numerous to forward 
a petition to Bishop Cheverus of Boston with the request that he honor them 
with a visit. They were evidently attached to their faith, and eagerly de- 
sirous of receiving the consolations of religion. To their petition the bishop 
sent the following reply: 

Boston, Februarj' 7th, 1823. 
To the Roman Catholics residing at and near Hartford. My beloved friends and children 

in Jesus Christ : 

Your letter of the 3d inst. has been dul}- received, and has affordeil me great gratifi- 
cation. I wish I could go immediately and pay you a visit, but it is out of my power to 
go till after Easter. I shall give 5'ou notice a fortnight before my going. In the mean- 
time, you will do well to procure a room and meet every Sunday to perform together 
your devotions. Let one who reads well and has a clear voice, read the praj-ers of 
Mass, a sermon, or .some instruction out of a Catholic book. If you are destitute of 
books, let me know, and I shall send some at the first opportunity. 

During the ensuing Lent, which is to begin next Wednesday, flesh meat is allowed 
Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, except the last, or Holy Week, but onh- 
once a day except on Sundays. 

I am happy to liear that you openly profess your religion. Never be ashamed of it, 
nor of its practices ; and above all, do honor to it by irreproacliable conduct. Be 
sober, honest and industrious ; .ser\'e faithfully those who employ you, and show that a 
good Catholic is a good member of society, that he feels grateful to those who are kind 
to strangers, and sincerely loves his brethren of all persuasions, though he strictly ad- 
heres to the doctrines of his own church. It is thus, my beloved friends, that you will 
silence prejudice and win the esteem and favor of all the inhabitants of this hospitable 
country. Be assured that nothing I can do will be wanting on mj- part to promote your 
spiritual welfare. At my first visit we may fix upon regular periods when one of my 
reverend brethren, or myself, will go to administer to you the sacred rites of our holy re- 
ligion. With affectionate and paternal regard, and fervently imploring upon you all the 
blessings of the Father, the Son, and the Holy, 

I remain your friend and pastor, 

t John Cheverus, Bishop of Boston. 

Bishop Cheverus was soon able to redeem his promise to the unbounded 
joy of his petitioners. In May, 1823, he imid a vi.sit to Hartford, and offered 
the holy sacrifice of the Mass in the Hall of Representatives, now the Com- 


mon Council Chamber. For this courtesy, the bishop was indebted to the 
kindness and liberality of Col. James Ward and Mr. Samuel Tudor. God, 
indeed, works in wondrous ways. Each of these gentlemen gave a descend- 
ant to the religion whose consecrated representative they befriended on that 
occasion. From the baptismal register of Bishop Cheverus we learn that at 
this time he conferred the sacrament of baptism in Hartford, Vernon, and 
East Hartford. The records are as follows : 


Hartford, May 25, 1823. I baptized Francis Joseph Clerc, born April i8th, son 
Laurent and Elizabeth Clerc. Sponsors — Francois Clerc. an nncle, for Calvin White, by 
proxy, and . t John Cheverus. J 

Vernon, May 25, 1823. I baptized Mary, born 20th, daughter of John and Bridget 
Mulligan. Sponsors— Patrick McManus and Mary Mulligan. fJoHN Cheverus. 

East Hartford, May 25, 1823. I baptized Robert, born February 26th, son of Isaiah 
and Phoebe Webb. Sponsors — Patrick McMan\is and . tJOHN Cheverus. 

Laurent Clerc was born in La Balme, near Lyons, France, December 26, 
1785. He was the son of the mayor of the commune, and when a year old, 
was badly injured by falling into the fire. By the accident he lost the 
sense of smell and hearing. When twelve )ears old he was placed under the 
tuition of the Abbe Sicard in Paris, under whose instruction he made rapid 
progress. In 1805 he was appointed a tutor, and in 1806 received the appoint- 
ment as professor. In 18 15 he visited England, where he met the Rev. Dr. 
Gallaudet, who induced him to come to the United States and establish a 
deaf-mute institution. He arrived in New York in August, 1816, and on April 
15, 18 17, opened his institute at Hartford. He retired from the control of 
the asylum in 1858. In 18 19 he married Elizabeth Boardman, a deaf mute, 
by whom he had several children, none of whom was afflicted. The eldest 
son became an Episcopalian clergyman.' 

Besides those mentioned above, the Catholics who resided in Hartford 
and vicinity at the time of Bishop Cheverus' visit were James Chaswell, John 
Martin and wife, Thomas, Mary, Ann and Bridget McKiernan (or McCarron). 
Among the Catholics who came to Hartford soon after were Mrs. Alice Mulli- 
gan and her sister, Catharine Preston, who came to Glastonbury in 1824, Betsy 
and Thomas Crosby, Hugh McNamara, Arthur, Elizabeth and John McAstee, 
James and William Cody, Mary Twomey, Denis Callahan and wife, Mrs. Sarah 
Willey, ]\Irs. Margaret Moore, Edward Monahan, Thomas Cranny, Michael 
Kelly, Owen-'Shields, Edward McNally, James McManus, his wife and his 
brother Thomas and wife.^ 

Mrs. Alice Mulligan, mentioned above, had the honor of giving the first 
Hartford young man to the holy priesthood, the Rev. John Mulligan, D. D. 
Graduating from Holy Cross College in 1850, he began his studies at St. 
Mary's Seminary, Baltimore. In 1852 he was sent to the College of the Pro- 
paganda at Rome, where, having received the Doctorate in Divinity, he was 

' Appleton s Cyclopo'dia of American Biography. 

^Some of these names are taken from the Hon. Thomas McManus' Historical Sketch 
of the Catholic Church in Hartford, 1880. 



ordained in 1856. He served successively in Providence, Falls Village and 
Norwalk, where he died in 1862. 

The Catholics of Hartford were again consoled and strengthened by the 
nnnistrations of their holy religion in 1827, when the Very Rev. John Power, 
D D., of New York, who stopped at Hartford on his way to and from the 
canal at Enfield, whither he had been called to attend a sick laborer. "He 
said Mass in a house that stood opposite the head of Grove street," says the 
Hon. Mr. McManus, "in the rear from Main street and overlooking the old 
Centre church burying-gronnd. He baptized some children and visited 
several Catholics living at Wapping, on the east side of the river." 

The year following the visit of Rev. Dr. Power, 1828, the Rev. R. D. 
Woodley was disi)atched to Hartford by Bishop Fen wick, of Boston. He 
offered trie Holy Sacrifice in the house of John Mulligan, which still stands, 
No. 34v'illage street. Father Woodley informed Bishop Fenwick by letter that 
the gentleman who sold the church lot to Mr. Taylor, and which was afterwards 
conveyed to tlie Bishop in trust, could not give a good deed of the same ; con- 
sequently, it was relinquished and another purcha.sed in a more eligible loca- 
tion — a better lot in every respect. A satisfactory deed of this lot was made 
out and forwarded to Bishop Fenwick. 

The close of 1828 saw Connecticut without a priest; Father Fitton was 
at Pleasant Point, Maine ; Father Woodley was at Providence, and Father 
Wiley at Boston. 

On the 9th of July, 1829, F'ather Woodley paid another visit to Hartford, 
and proceeded to the Enfield canal. Notice of his arrival amongst them 
having become widely circulated, a large concourse of all denominations 
attended Mass on Sunday. He baptized several children, admitted a consid- 
erable nuinber to the Holy Communion, and the greater number received 
the sacrament of penance. He returned to Hartford on Monday, 12th, 
where lie baptized several children. He set out on the .same day for New 
Haven and New London. From his report to Bishop Fenwick we glean 
that during these missionary visits F'ather Woodley baptized at Hartford, 
adults and children, twenty-five ; at New Haven, two ; and at New Lon- 
don, two. 

Synchronous with the last visit of Father Woodley to Hartford, was that 
of Bishop Fenwick, who arrived on July 10, 1829, and took lodgings at the 
City Hotel. The chief object of his visit was to e.vamine the old church of 
the Episcopalians, of which they were desirous of disposing, as their new 
church was nearly completed. The trustees asked $500 for the church and 
$400 for the organ. Having examined the church the bishop was pleased with 
it.' He held conferences with Mr. Deodat Taylor, a convert, and with Mr 
Samuel Tudor, a vestryman of the church. Bishop Fenwick urged the latter 
to donate the old church to the Catholics, but his overtures met with failure, 

' Bishop Brownell, the Protestant Episcopal bishop, was present when )5ishop Fenwick was 
examining tlie clmrch. lu tlie course of the conversation, Bishop Brownell remarked : " Well, 
Bishop Fenwick, as we have a fine new church building we will let you have the old one. '" 
Bishop Fenwick retorted, "Yes.aud you have a fine new religion, and we will keep the old one." 


as Mr. Tudor, while well disposed to make the gift, respectfuU)' informed the 
bishop that he was only one of many concerned. 

On July I ith. Bishop Fenwick approved of the Catholic Press, the first 
number of which appeared on that date. He wrote two articles for this issue, 
one in reply to an article in a Protestant journal of the same date, entitled 
Romanism in Connecticut. On Sunday, I2th, Bishop Fenwick offered the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the office of the Catholic Press, No. 204 Main 
Street, corner of Pearl, at which nearly all of the Catholics assisted, and 
preached on the gospel of the day. In the evening, at 6 o'clock, he repaired 
to the State House, which he rented for two dollars, and preached an elo- 
quent discourse on the forgetfulness of God as being the cause of man trans- 
gressing the law. The discourse produced a happy effect. It was delivered 
in the very apartment in which the celebrated Hartford convention was held. 

Under date of July 13th, the bishop wrote in his Journal: " The sj^irit 
of inquir}' increases ; people enter warmly into the subject of religion. They 
come to the printing office every night to confer with the bishop. Splendid 
prospect for religion in Hartford." 

During this sojourn in Hartford Bishop Fenwick was not altogether occu- 
pied in spiritual duties, and in completing arrangements for the purchase of 
the church. He found time to defend the church in the Catholic Press from 
sectarian attacks. Froin a editorial in the second number of that journal, 
July 18, 1S29, we quote a paragraph which discloses the conciliatory attitude 
of the bishop : 

"The editor of the Episcopal JVatchman, in last Saturday's pajjer, seems 
to be greatly disposed to pick a quarrel with us; but on our part we do assure 
him, that we are not inclined to any such business. Our views are altogether 
pacific. We wish, if possible, to live on good terms with all our neighbors, 
and especially with those of his communion. They have generally treated 
us kindly, and we shall endeavor to prove to them that their kindness has 
not been thrown away, and that we, too, can be kind." 

On July 14th, the bishop was visited by the principal men in town. He 
requested a town meeting, as he understood that no building could be moved 
without the consent of the selectmen. They granted the desired permission. 
This matter arranged, he authorized the Messrs. Taylor, Francis and Deodat, 
to purchase the church and the organ and whatever it contained, the bell only 
excepted, for $900. They were also to purchase a lot nearly opposite as a site 
for it, paying the price demanded, $1200. He also empowered them to engage 
a man to move the church to the lot designed. The bishop was informed that 
the Episcopalians would surrender the church in November, 1829. 

The following letter, written forty-seven years after, throws additional 
light upon this historic event: 

Chancellor Square, Utica, N. Y., Decbr. 3, '76. 

Rt. Rev. Dr. Galberry, O. S. A. 

Venerated Bishop : — I do not kuowhow to apologize for intruding upon you except 
013- letter will plead my excuse. I read in the last Freeman s Journal an account of the dedica- 
tion of St. Patrick's magnificent church ; this recalled to my mind a circumstance that occurred 
in the fall of 1825 or '26 — I do not exactly remember which year — (it was 1829) when my late 


husband, Mr. Nicholas Devereux, and ni)'self spent a Sunday in Hartford. After breakfast 
a slip of paper was pushed under our door with " Mass at such a number and street." I was 
then an Episcopalian and attended luy own church. In the evening Mr. Inilay, a banker, 
called, bringing with him a Mr, Ward (Col. James Ward), a Protestant gentleman of verj- liberal 
principles. After a while the conversation turned upon religion, and Mr. Devereux, whose first 
thought was always the church, declared how much he regretted the Catholics were not able to 
purchase a small I'rotestanl church then for sale ; but the Catholic priest, whose name, I think, 
was Fitton (Father O'Cavanagh), said it was impossible on account of the bigotry' and also 
of want of funds. The conversation ended by Mr. Ward offering to buy the church in his 
own name and convey it to the Catholics if Mr. Devereux would furnish the money. This was 

done, and afterwards the money was repaid I thought it might be pleasant for you to 

hear from one now living of the beginning of the church in Hartford. 

With great respect, I remain, obediently yours, 

Mrs. N. Devereux. 

While in Hartford the bishop baptized several children, visited the Deaf 
and Dumb Asylum, the Insane Hospital and the Episcopalian College. He 
departed on July 15th, for Boston, having spent five days in the city la)'ing 
the foundations of what fifteen years later was destined to be an Episco- 
pal See. 

It was during this epoch-making visit that the impetus was given for 
the organization of the first Catholic Sunday-school in Hartford, and the 
first also in Connecticut. The following notice appeared in the first issue 
of the Catliolic Press, July 11, 1829. 

"Catholic Slndav-Schgoi.. 

" The Catholics of Hartford are informed that a Sunday-school will be opened next 
Sunday week (July loth) in the room of the Oi//w/ic Press, at 9 o'clock, a.m., and i 
o'clock, P.M. It is hoped parents will be careful in sending their children at the ap- 
pointed time as every care will be taken of their instruction." 

As the Catholics of Hartford were soon to rejoice in the possession of a 
church, Bishop Fenwick gave them the additional happiness of a resident 
priest, the Rev. Bernard O'Cavanagh, who arrived in Hartford on August 
26th, 1829, having been appointed pastor of the Catholic congregation of that 
city and missionary for the State of Connecticut in general. He was the first 
priest ever stationed within the limits of the present diocese of Hartford. 
Within the same territory in which Father O'Cavanagh exercised the sacred 
ministry alone seventy years ago, two hundred and si.xty priests now minister 
to 250,000 souls. Father O'Cavanagh completed his theological studies at 
Mount St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, and was elevated to the priesthood 
in the cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, by Bishop Fenwick, on Sunday, 
July 19th, 1829. The young priest began almost immediately the visitation 
of his extensive His first visit was to the Catholics on the Enfield 
Canal, where he baptized several children, and administered other sacraments, 
and received some generous contributions towards the liquidation of the debt 
contracted by the Catholics of Hartford for their church and lot. During his 
visit, Father O'Cavanagh was the guest of a Protestant gentleman of marked 

' The religious papers were very hostile to the Catholic religion. 


liberality of views, Colonel Norris, in whose hospitable mansion he also 
preached and offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

On September 5, 1829, the following notice appeared in The Catholic 
Press of Hartford : 

" 8®°" The Catholics of this city are informed that Mass will be celebrated on Sun- 
da3-s in future, at 10 o'clock a.m., in the room on the third story of Mr. Ellsworth's 
building. Entrance, 3d door, corner of INIain and .A.sylum streets. Confessions will be 
heard on Saturday afternoons in said room." 

The work which chiefly engrossed the attention of Father O'Cavanagh 
was the transforming of the old Episcopal church into a house of Catholic 
worship. While this transformation was being accomplished, Mr. Daniel 
Barber of Claremont, N. H., an uncle of Bishop Tyler, thus wrote to the 
Catholic Press : 

" It is singular to reflect on the difference between the spirit of former and the pre- 
sent time — the Episcopal church (church of England) in Hartford, was once destroyed 
by a mob at the head of which was a Col. T — t. Now a Catholic church is shooting 
upwards, with but little noise or opposition. I have lived seventy-three years, in the 
course of which many changes have taken place. Everything, indeed, bCit the Catholic 
faith is liable to change. The Protestant Episcopal church, of which I was a minister 
thirtj'-two years, has in that time so changed, that what was truth thirty 5-ears ago, ac- 
cording to their doctrine, is now false ! ! ! In ray ordination, the bishop with his hands 
on my head, used these words, ' Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven ;' this was 
Protestant doctrine at that period ; but I find none among them who believe it at this day. 

"That your pious exertions together with those of j'our Catholic brethren in Hart- 
ford, may prove successful in chasing away that spijitual darkness, which has so long 
held its complete empire over the souls of men, is the most sincere wish of your very de- 
voted servant. D.\niel B.\rber.'' 

Sept. jit, i82g. 

From the time of Father O'Cavanagh's arrival till the dedication of the 
renovated church, the Catholics attended divine services in Masonic Hall 
near the corner of Main and Asylum streets. 

In June, 1830, the church was completed and ready for dedication. It 
was spacious, really beautiful, and situated on a fine lot in the centre of the 
town, on the corner of Main and Talcott streets. It was 68 feet in lenetli 
and 48 feet in width ; had a fine organ, two sacristies, a spacious basement 
for a Sunday school and a variety of apartments. Moreover, it had ample 
accommodations for two clergy n: en, if necessary. The church was named 
" The Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity," ' and was solemnly dedi- 
cated to the service of one God in Three Divine Persons, on Thursday, June 
17th, 1830, by Bishop Fenwick. The pastor, Rev. Father O'Cavanagh, was 
the celebrant of the Mass. The congregation filled the edifice and was com- 
posed principally of Protestants. The newly organized choir sang Dementis' 
Grand Mass. A remarkable fact and one worthy of remembrance is that the 
organist on that occasion was a young girl of thirteen years of age. She not 
only played the organ, but sang the leading soprano parts during the entire 
service. She was assisted by her teacher and her sister, who was onl)' one 
' It had formerly been " Christ's Church.'' 


year older. She was engaged as organist by Father O'Cavanagli for one year 
at a salary of ninety dollars. 

Bishop Fenwick preached the dedication sermon, selecting his text from 
the Book of Paralipomenon, seventh chapter and sixteenth verse : "/ have 
chosen and sanctified this flace., that my name may he there forever.^ and my eyes 
and my heart remain there perpetually. " 

The contributions amounted to thirty dollars. The dedication of this, 
the first Catholic church in Connecticut was a bright and happy event for the 
devoted children of the faith in Hartford. It was a harbinger of future bless- 
ings, a presage of other and still more precious favors from heaven. With 
mingled emotions of pleasure and delight did that heroic little band hail the 
event, and to us and to those who will take up our burdens, this day, June 
17th, 1830, should ever remain a day of cherished and sacred memory. Com- 
menting on the dedication of the church. The Jesuit., in its issue of June 26, 
1830, said: "From what we can learn, we have ever}' reason to feel grateful 
to Providence for the rapid diffusion and unequivocal demonstration of liber- 
ality and truly Christian sentiments in that part of the diocese. The day, 
we trust, is fast approaching when even the local prejudices of .sectarian 
bigotry will be dissolved by the glorious sun of civil and religious freedom." 

The first marriage ceremonies performed by Father O'Cavanagli at Hart- 
ford are the following, copied from the marriage Record : 

Hugh Woods 1 " iSzg, December ijtii. Married Hugh Woods to Clarinda F. 

and - Taylor. Witnesses, Deodat Ta3lor and A. M. Tall}'.' 

Clarinda F. Taylor. B. O'Cav.xnagh." 

Rob't O'Hara 1 " /&(?, Bee. 13th. Married Rob't O'Hara to Xancy McLane. 
and [ Witnesses, Ddt Taylor and A. M. Tally. 

Nancy McLane. ) B. O'Cavanagh." 

On Saturday, July 31, 1830, the Rev. James Fitton arrived at Hartford 
as assistant to Father O'Cavanagh. 

Becoming di.ssatisfied with his situation at Hartford, Father O'Cavanagh 
frequently solicited his exeat from Bishop Fenwick. After giving the matter 
due consideration his request was granted, and permission to enter another 
diocese was forwarded to him on October 27, 1831. On November 5, 1831, 
Bishop Fenwick received a letter, signed by fifty-four Catholics of Hartford, 
petitioning him to recall Father O'Cavauagh's exeat, and threatening, in 
case of a refusal, to re-establish him as pastor and withdraw all support from 
Father Fitton, his successor. The bishoj) returned a pacific answer, exhorting 
the petitioners to peace, union and charity, but refused to accede to their 

Leaving Hartford, Father O'Cavanagh affiliated with the Diocese of 
Detroit, where, about 1832, he was attached to St. Anne's cathedral, his 
labors being chiefly among the English-speaking Catholics. He was after- 
wards received into the diocese of Cincinnati. On November 11, 1845, he 
was re-admitted into the diocese of Boston, having a short time previously 

' The editor of 77/f Catholic Press. 



returned from Rome. He was assigned as an assistant to Rev. John D. Brady 
at Cabottville, Mass. 

The writings of Father O'Cavanagh, some of which are extant, are 
evidence of broad scholarship. As a controversialist he probably had few 
superiors among the junior clergy of his time. By his published explanations 
of Catholic teachings no less than by his sermons did he dispel ignorance and 
remove prejudice. He was well versed in patristic lore, and his theological 
knowledge was an honor to the priesthood. 

The successor of Father O'Cavanagh was the Rev. James Fitton (October 
27, 1 831), a classmate of the first of Hartford, Right Rev. William 
Tyler, D.D. The- three friends, Tyler, Fitton and Wiley, received minor 
orders on December 24, 1826; were ordained subdeacons on December 21, 
1827, and deacons the day following. Messrs. Fitton and Wiley were ordained 
to the priesthood on December 23, 1827.' 

When Father Fitton began his pastorate the number of Catholics in 
Hartford was still small. On June 19, 1832, he reported to Bishop Fenwick 
that he had in that year one hundred and twenty-six communicants. On 
July 29, 1832, Bishop Fenwick confirmed twenty-four persons, and, as far as 
the records show, this was the first time that confirmation was administered 
in Connecticut. It will not be without interest to place on record the names 
of the recipients. 


Deodat Augustine Taylor, 
David B. Flower, 

Ebenezer Griffin, 
Thomas Kelly, 

jNIary Buckle}', 

Mary Jlonica Lesseur, 

Arathusa Rose McGuire, 

Sarah Griffin, 

Martha Agnes Johnson, 

Mary Sarah Griffin, 

Mary Ann Cleary, 

Elizabeth Delia Kelly, 

Jaraes W. Sutton, 

James Henry Moore, 
John Thomas Rodden, 
Peter Andrew Walsh. 


Elizabeth A. Kelly, 
Juliana Carter, 
Sarah Johnson, 
Catharine Elizabeth Parsons. 
Sarah Ann McBride, 
Ellen Traynor, 
Susan Cecilia Suttou, 
Juliana Kelly. 

The malcontents were still fomenting discord. Bishop Fenwick remained 
in Hartford at this time ten days, during which he made an exhaustive exam- 
ination of the status of the parish and drew up a series of regulations which 
would govern the future relations of pastors and people. He promulgated 
these new regulations at a meeting of the entire congregation, Sunday even- 
ing, August 5, 1832, and caused a new committee to be appointed for the 
administration of temporal affairs. Discontent still continued, however, but 
the bishop, by the exercise of patience, and a conciliatory spirit, by firmness 
mingled with kindness and charity, overpowered all opposition ; so that on 
October nth Father Fitton wrote, "All well at Hartford." 

During his pastorate at Hartford, Father Fitton became involved in the 

' This was the first ordination by Bishop Fenwick in Boston. 


famous Hughes and Breckenridge religious controversy which at tlie time 
agitated the whole country. It had been alleged that "a young priest from 
some part of the Connecticut valley" had warned the peoi)le from the pulpit 
of St. John's church, Philadelphia, against reading the controversy. This 
statement brought forth the following letter : 

To THE Rev. John Hughes — 

Ret', and Dear Sir .- As I am the only " young priest of the Connecticut Valley'" who 
has visited Philadelphia during the current year, I consider myself justified in calling upon Mr. 
Burtt for an explanation of the very mysterious statement relating to me, which appeared over 
his signature in the Catholic Herald of the 23d inst. 

Referring to the iith No. of the Herald, I find that the Rev. Mr. Breckenridge holds the 
following language: " I have been informed that Bishop Kenrick did, on the 17th of February 
last, in St. Mary's church f Philadelphia) publicly warn the people against reading the contro- 
versy." This misstatement having been corrected by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Kenrick, was acknowl- 
edged by the Rev. Mr. Breckenridge in the ijth No. of the Herald, though he insisted, upon 
the authority of a respectable gentleman, that the hearing was given on " the day named " by 
a Roman Catholic priest. The very respectable informant of this mysterious affair is now 

reduced to a Miss M , who, though educated among Catholics, mistook the " youn^ priest of 

the Connecticut Valley " for a bishop, being informed he was such by "the audience of whom 
she made inquiry." So says the article of the 23d inst. Let me now, for the edification of the 

Rev. M. B., and for the information of Mr. Burtt and Lad}' M , observe that there was NO 

"Connecticut Valley Priest " in Philadelphia on the 17th February. L on that day, was in the 
city of Washington, and offered up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in St. Patrick's church at half 
past eight o'clock K M-, and preached to a highly respectable audience under the pastoral care 
of the Very Rev. Mr. Matthews, in the afternoon of the .same day. If this proves not the entire 
tale to be a forgery, it certainly reduces it to a paradox. 

I remain respectfully yours, jAMES FiTTON. 

Hartford, Conn., May 27, 1S33. 

During his tour through various dioceses at this peiiod Father Fitton 
collected $507.40 to liquidate part of the indebtedness of the church. Father 
Fitton had for assistants, first, the Rev. James McDerniott, who teceived his 
appointment on September 15, 1832. He remained at Hartford until his 
transfer to New Haven in 1832. He was accepted by Bishop Fenwick 
on September 2, 183 1. He received Minor Orders on February- 24, 1832, 
and was ordained sub-deacon, deacon, and priest on August 16th, 17th and 
19th, respectively, of the same year. The second was the Rev. Edward 
McCool, who had been received into the diocese on February 20, 1S34, from 
Charleston, S. C. He was sent to Hartford on February 28th, but returned 
to Boston on May 31st of the same year, and received his c.vtat. The third 
was the Rev. Francis Kiernan, a native of the diocese of Ardagh, Ireland. He 
was received by Bishop Fenwick on October 3, 1832, and sent to Cliamblay, 
France, to prosecute his studies. He received Minor Orders on December 
21, 1833; sub-deaconship. May 21, 1834; deaconship. May 23d; on May 
24th he was ordained to the priesthood. He was sent to Hartford on 
July 3, 1834, and returned to Boston on December 8th of the same year. 
Father Kiernan expired suddenly in Wa.shington, D. C, on July 30, 1S38. 

The first marriage ceremony performed by Father Fitton at Hartford was 

the following: 

" Kdw. Casev and 1 1830, Sept. 26. Married, Edward Casey to .\un Phalen. Witnesses, • 
Ann Phalen". > Corn'l O'Brien and JIargery O'Brien. James Fitton." 


The Rev. Peter W. Walsh, who had previously been attached to the 
cathedral of New York cit)-, and whom Bishop Fenwick received on April 
1 8, 1836, was appointed to Hartford on April a/tli of this year, as successor 
to Father Fitton. Father Walsh reported the number of souls in Hartford 
as 350 in summer and 250 in winter; in New Britain and Farmington, 
12; Tariffville, 24, and in Thompsouville, 20. On June 11, 1837, Bishop 
Fenwick administered confirmation to twenty-five persons. Father Walsh 
remained in Hartford until the appointment of his successor, the Rev. John 
Brady, August 5, 1837. Father Brady was ordained sub-deacon on July 25, 
1833, deacon on the 26th, and priest on the 27th. On November 28, 1837, 
Bishop Fenwick defined the limits of Father Brady's mission to be the 
counties of Hartford, Middlesex, Litchfield in Connecticut, and the counties 
of Hampden and Berkshire in Massachusetts. His jurisdiction extended 
to Middletown and Portland on the south ; on the west to the boundary line 
of New York; on the north into Massachusetts and Vermont. At intervals 
for many years Father Brady attended Springfield, Cabottville, Northampton, 
Middletown, Norfolk and other stations. In 1840 he purchased a lot on the 
east side of the church, upon which he erected a parochial residence. Father 
Brady displayed great activity in providing for the religious and secular edu- 
cation of the children of his charge. Among the tutors of his school was a 
Mr. Edward Gillen, whose proficiency as a musician had secured for him more 
than local fame. Leaving Hartford he went through the West as agent for 
Catholic publications. Reaching Notre Dame, Indiana, he entered the con- 
gregation of the Holy Cross, and in due time was ordained to the priesthood. 
During the war of the Rebellion he served as chaplain in the Army of the 
Potomac. He died at an advanced age on October 20, 1882. 

During his triumphant tour through the States the illustrious apostle of 
temperance, Rev. Theobald Matthew, visited Hartford, and for a week was the 
guest of Father Brady. The Hartford Catholic Temperance Society was 
organized, and it had the meritorious distinctionof having on its roll of mem- 
bership the name of every male Catholic in Hartford. To promote the social, 
intellectual and religious condition of the young men of his charge, Father 
Brady organized the Hibernian Institute, which flourished under his super- 

During Father Brady's absence in Europe from October, 1S45, to April, 
1846, the parish of the Holy Trinity was administered by the Rev. T. G. 
Riordan, a young priest from the diocese of Boston. Father Riordan was 
an accomplished clergyman, brilliant, eloquent, cultured, a man of great 
dignity. Prompt in the discharge of duty in every field of sacerdotal labor, 
he was particularly zealous in the important work of Catholic education. 
For many years the name of Father Riordan was held in benediction by the 
Catholics of Hartford; not until the passing of the last contemporary of the 
young priest did his name cease to be mentioned. 

The rapid increase of Catholics in Hartford made a new church edifice 
an imperative necessity. Immigration had brought hither large numbers of 
devoted disciples of St. Patrick, a desirable class for church and for state. 



"Irishmen were called in to dig the deep foundations of huge factories, to 
blast the rocks, to build the dams ; and when the great structures arose, the 
children of Irishmen were called in to tend the spindles of the furnace. The 
Irish are absolutely necessary to the manufacturing success of the new world. 
Without tliem the railroads would be uncut, the canals undug, the factories 

" Poor, poor unhappy Ireland ! the flower of your population, the bone 
and sinew of your national strength are exiled, and applied to develop 
strange lands and mix in dust with stranger earth. And yet, perhaps, Ire- 
land is fulfilling her mission appointed in the great system of the Almighty 
by .sending forth to distant lands the agents of a mild and charitable Christi- 
anity, as slie did in the days of national influence, when her zealous mission- 
aries and polished scholars won for her from Europe, by their great labors 
and their great talents, the distinctive appellation of Insula Sanctorum et 
Dodorum; Island of Saints and Doctors. Yes, unhappy nation, your very 
sufferings now conduce, as your aflluence and zeal conduced in former ages, 
to spread the glory of God. 

"Wherever the Irish penetrate, they carry in their bosoms the living 
fire of the faith ; they are the votaries and the missionaries of the Cross. 
They are the same wherever they go — whether to the manufacturing districts 
of the East, or the imtracked wilderness of the West. Their ever-pressing 
want in a new place is a priest, and when they have enjoyed this comfort for 
.some time in a series of visits, few, perhaps, and far between, their next 
aspiration is a church, and then a home for the priest. All this they at last 
accomplish by the force of their warm faith and untiring perseverance, and it 
is not until they have established their faith, their church and their priest, 
in the midst of a prejudiced community — not until the priest is located among 
them, ready and able to deal, when necessary, with the .surrounding stupiditv, 
ignorance and prejudice, that they may say to themselves : ' We are now at 
last free ; we are now at last independent ; ' for then the people around begin to 
open their eyes, come into their cliurches, hear, and see, and think, and treat 
their Catholic neighbors almost as ' fellow-citizens.' " ' 

In 1849, Father Brady purchased a lot from J. M. Niles, situated on 
the corner of Church and Ann streets. The dimensions of the site were 
305 feet in length on the Churcli street side, and 150 feet on Ann street. 
The amount paid was $3,660. The erection of the new church was begun 
immediately, and the work progressed so rapidly, that it was dedicated under 
the patronage of St. Patrick on December 14, 185 1. The Church of the 
Holy Trinity, our cathedral, was little used thereafter, save for an occa- 
sional marriage and baptism. On May 12, 1S53, the historic old structure 
was destroyed by fire. As the conflagration occurred during the period when 
the Know-Xothing element was dominant in the State, it was attributed to an 
incendiary. The baptismal register was lost in the flames, but the marriage 
record was saved and is extant. The lot on which the church stood was sold 
in June, 1866, to John Poindexter. 

' " T/ie Pilot," Nov. 25, 1848. 


The assistant priest who served with Father Brady was the Rev. James 
Strain, who was received into the diocese on April 4, 1840. He was sent to 
Hartford on April 21st, where he remained until Februarj' 25, 1841. His suc- 
cessor was the Rev. John D. Brady, who attended also Cabottville, of wliicli mis- 
sion he was appointed pastor in 1844. The Rev. Philip O'Reilly assisted Father 
Brady from April until July, 1848. The Rev. James Smyth, the Rev. Luke 
Daly, the Rev. Lawrence Mangan and the Rev. Peter Kelly were also assistants. 

The strained relations that existed between Bishop O'Reilly and Father 
Brady during the two last years of the latter's life resulted in his removal 
from the pastorate of St. Patrick's in November, 1854. He died on 
November 16, 1854, after an illness of a few days. His remains rest in front - 
of St. Patrick's church, Hartford. 

" In person, Father Brady was of medium height, squarely built, with a clear, light olive 
complexion, raven black hair, a remarkably sonorous voice, a firm step ; and his appearance 
and demeanor quite attractive. He was precise about his dress, scrupulously neat, not over 
social in his associations with his parishioners or fellow-citizens, yet by no means haughty or 
arrogant. All loved and reverenced him with a genuine affection that had no trace of flattery. 
He hated a flatterer. As a preacher he was plain, persuasive and effectual ; always preaching 
on Sundays, both at Mass and Vespers, precise as to his hours of duty, unremitting in the dis- 
charge of all obligations ; he never complained of being over-worked.'" 



(5 I HE history of the Cathedral parisli embraces a period of twenty-six 
^ I years. Its certificate of incorporation was filed on September 2, 1872. 
The Rev. Joseph B. Reid was the first rector of the Cathedral parish, 
and John Franej' and Edward Lancaster were the first lay members of the cor- 
poration. When Bishop McFarland arrived in Hartford after the erection of 
the See of Providence in February, 1872, he took up his residence in a house 
sitirated on the corner of Woodland and Collins streets. The necessity of a 
new parish in the city was at once obvious to the Bishop ; but where to secure 
a suitable location for the future cathedral became an absorbing question. 
St. Patrick's and St. Peter's parishes were in the eastern and southern sec- 
tions of the city, and afforded the Catholics of their respective localities ample 
opportunities for attending divine worship. Like the course of empire, the 
population of Hartford was advancing westward. The Catholics of this sec- 
tion were already numerous, were steadily increasing, and consisted chiefly of 
servants and others who had sundered sectarian ties to enter the Catholic fold. 
An examination of various sites resulted in the selection of the property 
on which stand the cathedral, convent, and episcopal residence. It belonged 
to James Goodwin, and on July 16, 1872, he conveyed it to George Affleck 

^ " Coniieclicul Catholic Year Book," 1S77. 
II— 13 


by warranty deed for §70,000 ; $10,000 in casli was paid down, and Mr. 
Affleck gave a mortgage bond for $60,000 ; six notes of $10,000 each, pay- 
able one every six months witli interest. On the same day Mr. Affleck 
conveyed the property to Bishop McFarland. On September 1 1, 1S72, Bishop 
McFarland conveyed tlie same site, togetlier with his residence on the corner 
of Woodland and Collins streets, to St. Joseph's Cathedral corporation. On 
April 12, 1873, Messrs. X. B. Stevens, Charles W. Cook, and Chester G. 
Munyan conveyed to .St. Joseph's Cathedral corporation a strip of land ten 
feet wide and two hundred and fifty feet deep, lying next west of and ad- 
joining the cathedral property. The original piece of land purchased from 
James Goodwin on July 16, 1872, is about 433J/J feet deep on the west line, 
about 416 feet long on the rear (north) line, about 279 feet on the east side, 
and 401 feet on Farmingtou avenue. The mortgage of $60,000 was entirely 
paid and quit-claimed by James Goodwin to St. Joseph's Cathedral corpora- 
tion on May 10, 1873. 

The first work to which Bishop McFarland bent his energies was the 
erection o( a convent whose chapel would serve as a pro-cathedral. The cor- 
nerstone was laid on Sunday, May 11, 1873, and the chapel was dedicated on 
November 26th following. Although Bishop McFarland planned the cathe- 
dral, he did not live to see the beginning of this stupendous work. He died 
October 2, 1874. The rectors of the cathedral who served under Bishop 
McF'arland were the Rev. E. M. Hicky, who had charge from December, 
1873, to February, 1874, and the Rev. Michael Kelly, from March, 1874, to 
March, 1878. 

The honor of beginning llie erection of the cathedral fell to Bishop 
McFarlaud's .successor, Right Rev. Thomas Galberry, O. S. A., who broke 
ground on August 30, 1876, on his return from Rome. On September 
13th, the same year, he laid the first stone, and the work progressed so 
rapidly that the corner-stone was laid in tlie following spring. This event 
occurred on Saturday, April 29, 1877, in the presence of a concourse of 
people, who had assembled from every section of the State. It was estimated 
to be the largest gathering of Catholics that had ever assembled within the 
limits of Hartford, the number being placed at 15,000. When the proces- 
sion, which had formed at the depot, had reached the convent, the clergy 
proceeded from the pro-cathedral to the corner-stone with the following 
officers of the ceremony : 

Master of Ceremonies — Rev. M. !■'. Kelly. 

Cross- Bearer—^ev. J. Mulcahy. 

Acofy/es—Rev. P. McCabe and Rev. M. fialligan. 

C//a«A7-.c— Rev. Father Leo da Saracena. O.S F. ; Rev. J. Campbell, Rev. Father 
Collins, Rev. Father Gilniore, O.S.X. ; Rev. J. Fajran. Rev. T. W. Broderick, Rev. J. 13. 

Ofuiating Pre/ate— Islost Rev. John J. Williams, Boston, attended by Very Rev. 
Thomas Walsh and Very Rev. Thomas Hughes as deacons. The bishops present were: 
Riglit Rev. Bishop Conioy, Albany ; Right Rev. O'Reilly, Springfield ; Right Rev. 
Bishop Shanahan, Hani.sburg; Riglit Rev. Bishop Galberry, Hartford, and Right Rev. 
Bishop Loughlin, Brooklyn, who preached the sermon, taking his text from St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Ephesians, ii. 19, 20. 






















Oh a platform near the stone were seated many prominent citizens, civic 
dignitaries, State and city officials, together with a large assemblage of priests 
from this and neighboring dioceses. The following is a diagram of the stone : 

St. Joseph's /^ \ Cathedral, 

Sept. 13, / * \ 1S76. 

Dedication of the Basement. — The basement of the cathedral was 
dedicated on Sunday, February 10, 1878. Bishop Galberry officiated at this 
impressive ceremony, attended by Very Rev. Thomas Walsh, V. G. ; the 
Rev. M. F. Kelly, master of ceremonies; the Rev. S. P. Sheffrey and the 
Rev. J. F. Campbell, chanters. The celebrant of the Mass was Right Rev. 
E. P. Wadhams, D. D., Bishop of Ogdensburg ; assistant priest. Very Rev. 
Thomas Walsh, V. G. ; deacon, Rev. J. Campbell ; sub-deacon. Rev. M. A. 
Tierney ; masters of ceremonies. Rev. M. F. Kelly and Rev. J. B A. 
Dougherty. Present in the sanctuary were Right Rev. L,. De Goesbriand, 
D.D., Burlington, and Right Rev. P. O'Reilly, D.D., Springfield. The 
former delivered the oration from the following text : " I have glorified thee 
on earth ; I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do ; and now, 
O Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had 
with Thee before the world was." 

Pontifical vespers were celebrated in the evening by Bishop Galberry. 
Rev. Thomas Broderick preached the sermon from Psalm xlvii. 9, " As 
we have heard, so we have seen in the cit)' of the Lord of Hosts, in the city 
of our God. God hath founded it forever.'' 

The venerable Father Fitton also delivered an address replete with inter- 
esting reminiscences of religion in early Hartford. 

We append a description of the basement of the cathedral : 

The height of the basement is 23 feet above the foundations, 16 feet 
clear. Like the cathedral proper, it has a seating capacity for 2000 persons. 
The sanctuary, immediately under the upper sanctuary, contains four altars, 
the high altar in the centre, St. Joseph's on one side and the Blessed Virgin 
on the other. The sanctuary is 88 feet wide and 39)^ feet in depth. There 
is also a marriage altar and baptistery. In the rear is a crypt containing 16 
vaults for the burial of deceased bishops. 

The basement contains 18 heavy granite pillars and 34 iron ones, to sup- 
port the floor of the cathedral. There are 16 feet 3 inches of space between 
each of the pillars north and south, and 17 feet 3 inches east and west. There 
are 54 windows, 41 in the body, 8 in the vestry, and 5 others. 

The Grotto of Lourdes has been made to represent the celebra'ted shrine 
in France as far as possible. The statues of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph 
were imported specially from Paris by Bishop Galberry. 

The altars are finished in imitation of Sienna marble, and are very beau- 
tiful. The panels of the reredos are beautifully ornamented in diapered work 
of gold, upon blue and purple grounds. The altar of the Blessed Virgin has 
a very beautiful statue of our Blessed Lady robed in blue, and figured in gilt. 


which falls in graceful drapery to her feet. She stands upon a sea of silver, 
her right foot restint^ upon and cnisliing the liead of llie infernal serpent. The 
Virgin holds her right liand against tlie Sacred Heart, and the Infant Saviour 
with His left hand points to His Sacred Heart, and with His right gives a 
benediction to tlie world. In a recess to the west of this altar is the statue 
of Christ revealing His Sacred Heart to the blessed IMargaret Mary Ala- 
cocque, who kneels before Him in her religious habit. Upon St. Joseph's 
altar, the patron of the church is represented as holding the Infant Jesus on 
his left arm, and in his right a lily. At the feet of St. Joseph is a repre- 
sentation of the Papal Tiara, symbolical of his protection of the Pope and 
the Church. 

The interior finishing of the basement is plain, the walls pure white, 
relieved only at intervals b\' terra cotta figures representing the stations of 
the cross. The seats are of heavy oak handsomely panelled. The sanctuary 
is ninetv-three feet in length by fort)- feet in width. The ceiling is sixteen 
feet high. The cost of the building when the basement was dedicated was 

The Consecration of the Cathedral. — Fourteen years after the 
basement was dedicated, the magnificent cathedral pile was consecrated to God 
to be His holy temple forever. The occasion was one of joy and thanksgiving. 
Through many years the construction of St. Joseph's cathedral had progressed, 
and the Catholic population of Connecticut had looked forward eagerh- to the 
day, when, the work completed, it might be consecrated to the holy uses for 
which it was designed, absolutely free from au\ indebtedness. Sunday, May 
8, 1892, marked the culmination of the project of the splendid mother church 
that was first conceived by Right Rev. Bishop McFarland a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago. It fell to the fortune of Right Rev. Bishop McMahon to complete 
the great undertaking and to consecrate to the worship of the Most High a 
beautiful temple, which for solidity of construction, splendor of decoration 
and grandeur of effect is surpassed by few similar edifices on the American 
continent. St. Joseph's cathedral is in very truth a magnificent structure, 
worthv of the importance and fast-expanding proportions of the diocese of 
which it is the mother church. A notable fact in connection with the occasion 
deserves to be treasured as a unique incident of the da)-. It was the simul- 
taneous consecration of six altars in one church. So far as known and ascer- 
tained from the most careful investigations such an occurrence was unprece- 
dented in the history of the church in America. It is something, therefore, 
to be treasured by the Catholics of the diocese of Hartford, and to be impressed 
on their children, that in their day and generation a ceremonial occurrence 
probably 'never before known to the Catholic Church in the United States 
marked the consecration of St. Joseph's cathedral. 

The order of services on that historic occasion was the following : 

6 A. M., Consecration- ok Cathrdrai, and Altars. • 
10.30 a.m., Solkmn 1'ontificau High Mass. 
4 p. M., Organ Rixitai,. 
7.30 P.M., Solemn I'ontieical Vesper.s. 


The prelates and priests who officiated at the consecration of the church 
and the various altars were as follows: 


Consecrator, RIGHT REV. L.A.WRENCE S. McM.^HON, D.D., Hartford. 

Deacon, REV. HENRY J. LVNCH, Daubury. 

Sub-Deacon, Rev. DeniS Cremin, Bridgeport. 

Deacon of the Door, REV. Patrick Duggan, Torrington. 

Cross Bearer, REV. THOMAS KeENA, Stamford. 

Censer Bearer, REV. ThomaS Preston, Danielson. 

Ctistodian of the Holy Oils, Rev. Joseph GlEESON, Thompsonville. 

Custodians of the Holr Relics, Rev. William Rogers, Stamford; Rev. Pkter Kennedy, Nor- 

wif^h ; Rev. Michael D.aly, Tliomaston ; Rev. John Cooney, Colcliesier. 

Director of Chant, Rev. Walter J. ShanlEY', Hartford. 

Chanters, Rev. John Lvnch, Hartford; Rev. Jeremiah Curtin, New Milford; Rev. Henry 

Walsh, Plainville ; Rev. William Lynch, Windsor Locks. 


Holy Water Bearer, GEORGE DuNN. 

Crozier Bearer, John DalY'- 

Mitre Bearer, John BoylE. 

Masters of Ceremonies, Rev. James H. O'Donnell, Waterbury ; Rev. John D. CoylE, Stafford 

Springs; Rev. Thomas A. R. Nealox, Hartford. 


Consecrator, MoST Rev. Edward Charles Fabre, D. D., Archbishop of Montreal. 

Deacon, Rev. M. Rodden, Bristol. 

Sub-Deacon, Rev. J. E. BoURETT, Waterbury. 

Censer Bearer, Rev. Timothy Sweeney, Portland. 

Custodian of Holy Relics and Holy Oils, Rev. John Van Den Noort, Putnam. 

Chanter, Rev. TerrENCE Smith, Bridgeport. 

Cross Bearer, John McDonouGH. 


Holy Water Bearer, Edward WHITE. 

Mitre Bearer, John McKone. • 

Master of Ceremonies, Rev. CharleS McElROY, Birmingham. 


Consecrator, Right Rev. P.\trick Ludden, D. D., Syracuse, N. Y. 

Deacon, REV. PATRICK Mulholland, New Haven. 

Siib-Deaion, Rev. Michael McKeon, New Haven. 

Crozier Bearer, Rev. James O'Brien, Bridgeport. 

Custodian of Holy Relics and Holy Oils, Rev. John SynnoTT, Baltic. 

Chanter, Rev. R. ShorTELL, Banbury. 

Cross Bearer, WILLIAM FarrelL. 

Acolytes, William Moran, James Lyons. 

Holy Water Beater, ROBERT ShHA. 

Mitre Bearer, JOSEPH KENNEDY. 

Master of Ceremonies, Rev. John Broderick, Meriden. 


Consecrator, Right Rev. L. F. LaflECHe, D. D., Three Rivers, Canada, 

Deacon, Rev. MICHAEL TiERNEY, New Britain. 

Sub-Deacon, Rev. JOHN A. MULCAHY", Waterbury. 

Censer Bearer, Rev. James THOMPSON, Taftville. 

Custodian of Holy Relics and Holy Oils, Rev. Patrick Fox, Newtown. 


Chattier, Rrv. F.J. Laluy, East Hartford. 

Crois Btaier, JoHS MULCAHEY. 

Acolytes, HENRY KELI.V, Owen McCaBE. 

Holy Water J3earer,FRAt:ClS ChrI.STHOLM. 

Mitre Bearer, JOSIvI'H Lacv. 

Master of Ceremonies, Rev. MichaEL SulLIVAN, New HaTen. 


Consecrator, Right Rev. Matthkw Harkins, D. D., Providence. 

Deacon, Rev. John Russell, New Haven. 

Sub Deaton, Rev. A. V. Hicunxs, O. P., New Haven. 

Censer Bearer, Rev. Thomas Kellv, Ansonia. 

custodian of the Holy Relics and Holy Oils, Rev. Thomas CoonEV, Grosvenoraale. 

Chanter, Rev. ROBERT Earlv, New Haven. 

Cross Bearer, DavID MulCAHEV. 

Acolytes, PATRICK CoscROVE, Edward Silk. 

Holy Water Bearer, Kearon Finn. 

Mitre Bearer, ThomaS MoriariTY. 

Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Anthony McCarthy, O. S. F., Winsted. 


Consecrator, RIGHT Rev. Charles E. McDonnell, D.D., Brooklyn. 

Deacon, Rev. Bern.ard O'R. Sheridan, Middletown. 

Sub-Deacon, Rev. James O'R. Sheridan, Windsor Locks. 

Censer Bearer, REV. THOMAS SMITH, Greenwicb. 

Custodian of the Holy Relics and Holy Oils, Rev. William Dullard, Hartford. 

Chanter, REV. WILLIAM GiBBONS, New Britain. 

Cross Bearer, JoHN Man NIX. 

Acolytes, John Owens, Edward Shka. 

Holy Water Bearer, Patrick J. O Meara. 

Mitre Bearer, EdwarD Howlkv. 

Master of Ceremonies, REV. James Facan, Naugatuck. 


Cf/ir(iran/, Most Rev. John J. Williams, D.D., Boston. 

Assistant Priest, VERY REV. James Hughes, V.G., LL.D., Hartford. 

Deacon, Rev. Thomas W. Broderick, Hartford. 

Sub-Deacon, REV. Thomas J. Shahan, D.D., Catholic University, Washington, D. C. 

Acolytes, REV. James W.\lsh, Tariffville ; Rev. John Corcora.n, New Haven. 

Censer Bearer, REV. WALTER J. ShanlEV, Hartford. 

Pontifical Cross Bearer, Rev. Frank Mukrav, Bristol. 

Masters of Ceremonies, Rev. James H. O'DonnELL, Watcrbury ; Rev. John D. Covle, Stafford 

Springs ; Rev. Thomas A. R. Nealon, Hartford ; Rev. William Maher, D.D., Hartford 

Preacher, MOST REV. John J. Hennessy, D.I)., Dubiuiue, Iowa. 


Celebrant, MOST Rev. M. A. CORRIGAN, D.D , New York. 

Assistant Priest, RIGHT REV. MGR. JOHN Farlev, New York. 

Deacon, Rev. JOHN Edwards, New York. 

Sub-Deacon, Rev. JamES J. DOUGHERTY, New York. 

Atolytes, REV. N. Schneider, New Britain; Rev. C. Lkddy, Hartford. 

Censer Bearer, REV. FREDERIC MURPHY, Watcrbury. 

Masters of Ceremonies , REV. James H. O'Donnell, Rev. John I>. Coyle, Rev. Thomas 

A. R. Nealon. 
Preacher, REV. WALTER ELLIOTT, C. S. 1'., New York. 

Hartford, Conn. 



Archbishops.^ MOST REV. John J. WILLIAMS, D.D., Boston ; MosT REV. Edward C. FabrE, 
D.D., Montreal ; MosT REV. Michael A. Corrigan, D.D., New York ; Most Rev. James Vin- 
cent Clearv, D.D., Kingston, Canada; Most Rev. John J. Hennessv, D.D., Dubuque, Iowa. 

Bishops, Right Rev. John Sweeney, D.D., St. John's, New Brunswick; Right Rev. 
Louis F. F.\fleche, D.D., Three Rivers, Cauada ; Right Rev. William O'Hara, D.D., 
Scranton, Pennsylvania; Right Rev. Bernard J. McQuade, Rochester, N. Y. ; Right Rev. 
Francis McNeirney, D.D., Albany, N. Y. ; Right Rev. James A. Healy, D.D., Portland, 
Me. ; Right Rev. Michael J. O'F.arrell, D.D., Trenton, N. J. ; Right Rev. Denis M. 
Bradley, D.D., Manchester, N. H.; Right Rev. Richard Phelan, D.D., Pittsburg, Pa.; 
Right Rev. P. A. Ludden, D.D., Syracuse, N. Y. ; Right Rev. Matthew Harkins, D.D., 
Providence, R. I.; Right Rev. John Brady, D.D., Boston, Mass.; Right Rev. Charles 
McDonald, D.D., Brooklyn, L. I. ; Right Rev. Henry Gabriels, D.D., Ogdensburg, N. Y. ; 
Right Rev. John J. Conroy, D.D., Curium; Right Rev. J. Michaud, D.D., Burlington, Vt. 

Moiisignors, RIGHT Rev. Mgr. John M. Farley, P. A., New York ; RIGHT Rev. Mgr. 
Peter Hevey, p. a., Manchester, N. H. ; RIGHT Rev. Mgr. G. Ely Brochu, P. A., South 
bridge, Mass.; Right Rev. Mgr. Thomas Griffin, D.D, Worcester, Mass.; Right Rev. 
Mgr. D. J. QuiGLEY, V. G., Charleston, S. C. ; Very Rev. Mgr. DeRegge, Rochester, N. Y. 


Deceasfii, VERY REV. THOMAS Walsh, V. G., Meriden ; Rev. Philip J. McCabe, Hart- 
ford; Rev. Hugh Carmody, D.D., New Britain; Rev. Patrick Donahue, Lakeville; Rev. 
Maurice Crowley, CoUinsville ; Owen and Sarah McMahon. 

Living, Right Rev. Patrick Manogue, D.D., Sacramento, Cal. ; Rev. Dominican 
Fathers, St. Mary's, New Haven ; Rev. Franciscan Fathers, St. Joseph's, Winsted. 

Societies, HoLY NAME SOCIETY, St. Joseph's Cathedral ; Ancient Order OF Hibernians, 
Connecticut ; SiSTERS OF Mercy, Hartford Diocese. 

Parishes, ST. PETER'S, Danbury, for window. 

Sunday School Children, ST. JOSEPH'S, Winsted; !3t. Thomas's, Southington ; ST. Brid- 
get's, Manchester. 

Individuals, VERY REV. James HUGHES, V. G., LLD., Hartford; REV HUGH P. SmyTH, 
Boston; Rev. W. A. HarTy, Hartford; Rev. H. J. Lynch, Danbury; Rev. D. J. Cremin, 
Bridgeport ; Rev. P. P. Shahan, Norwich; Rev. J. C. O'Brien, Bridgeport ; Rev. Flor De 
BRUYCKER,Willimantic ; Rev. John Synnott, Hazardville ; Rev. T. W. Broderick, Hartford ; 
Rev. John Russell, New Haven ; Rev. John A. Mulcahy, Waterbury ; Rev. B. O. R. 
Sheridan, Middletown ; Rev. T. P. Joynt, New London ; Rev Joseph M. GlEESOn, Thomp- 
sonville ; Rev. P. F. Mc.\lenney, Meriden ; Rev. M. M. Keown, New Haven ; Rev. Thomas 
A. R. Nealon, Hartford; James .^hern, Hartford; A. H. Chapell, New London; John 
HiGGiNS, Hartford ; Edward Lancaster, Hartford ; Catherine McCarthy. 

Description of the Cathedral.— The cathedral i.s cruciform in 
.shape and early Gothic in design. The building occupies a beautiful site on 
Farmington avenue, removed from the street, and approached by well-laid 
walks to its three entrances. Its entire length is 268 feet ; width 178 feet 
in the transept, and 93 feet in the nave. It has a frontage of 123 feet. The 
magnificent square towers are now 150 feet high, but the spires will add 100 
feet to this height. The height of the church from the center of the ceiling 
to the floor is 90 feet. The exterior is of Portland rough brown stone, with 
cut stone ornamentation, and is not strikingly attractive, the beauty of the 
edifice being confined to the interior furnishings. Three large double door- 
ways enable one to enter the building, and disclose the tiled vestibule. The 
square towers, surrounded by their low battlements, recall those of the church 
of Notre Dame, Montreal. 


The UppKR Catiikdral. — Description of the Ctiling. — The most promi- 
nent feature of the interior is the magnificent ceiling, striking and effective 
when viewed from tlie floor, and rich and stately in its beauty when more 
closely inspected from the galleries. 

The ceilings of the nave, transepts, chancel, and o\'er the galleries are con- 
structed from different colored woods divided into sections of oblong panels. 
The sections are separated from each other by a continuous beam running 
lengthwise from the center of the nave, and by ribs and arches at the transepts. 

The sheeting of the panels is filled and stained, shaded and varnished in 
light olive, and the planes of the sides and soffits of tiie arches are of dark 
olive. The quarter rounds in the angles of the arches are beautifully de- 
corated in mosaic patterns, stained, and shaded with ebony, African wood, 
and gold. The same materials, with mahogany, are used in the flower 
decorations at the intersection of the ribs and arches, the case mouldings and 
the soffits. 

The sheeting in the panels between the four great arches at the transept 
is handsome diaper work, richly decorated with mosaic. The soffits of the 
great arches are treated in a similar manner. The frames around the picture 
painted on the ceiling are decorated with ebony, African wood, and' gold, 
while some of the quarter rounds are gilt in full. 

The sheeting on the grounds of all the center pieces on the ceiling under 
the galleries are of African wood neatly diapered in gold. The flowers and 
center pieces at the intersection of the vaults are decorated with ebony, oak, 
mahogany and gold. 

The wood-work of the ceiling under the organ gallery and front vesti- 
bule and in small chapels at the sides of the chancel, are of light English oak 
finished in diaper work. The sides, soffits, and rib mouldings are of dark 
oak. The colors are in beautiful harmony in all the door decorations, and 
add to the individual effects of their treatment. 

Decoration of the Walls. — Looking from the chancel to the walls of the 
church, the plain plastering in the nave, transept, under the galleries, as 
well as in the vestibule, towers, and chancel chapels, is found to be finished 
in a light olive, while the stucco mouldings are green and gold. The promi- 
nent members of the mouldings are finished in ashes of roses, and the orna- 
mental work in the same tint with the prominent parts nearly white. The 
spandrels of the tracery on the walls around the large rose windows in the 
transepts, and the one in the chancel, are filled with foliage, painted in light 
and shade. The walls themselves are painted in olive green and banded with 
gold. The stucco mouldings and ornaments on the walls and ceilings are 
painted in light shades, so that the members are bold and effective when 
viewed from any portion of the floor of the church. The back wall of the 
sanctuary immediately attracts the admiration of the beholders. It is exe- 
cuted in stucco work. 

The wainscoting of the wall is four feet in height. The lower .section 
is of Tennessee marble, matching the pillars. The neck moulding is of 
twenty-two karat nugget gold, with rough finish. 


The Stained Glass Windozvs. — The stained glass windows were imported 
from Innspruck in a perfect condition, and were presented by societies, 
churclies, and pri\-ate individuals throughout the diocese. The outlines of 
the figures are discerned through the outer windows from either side, but it 
gives but little idea of their beauty as viewed from the interior. The features 
are so perfect and true to nature that the figures appear like statues in mid- 
air. Every window is symbolic of Scriptural ideas, and the arrangements 
and designs are a study, pleasing, instructive, and intensely interesting. 

There are thirty-two windows in all, representing eighty-two figures life 
size, and thirty-two angels. It has been said that St. 'Mungo's cathedral in 
Glasgow has a similar but larger collection, but the windows in Hartford 
when the sun is gradually sinking in the west is a sight never to be forgotten. 
Those who are interested in excellent glass work will be well repaid for the 
journey to the city to view them. 

The seven lancet windows in the chancel are filled with large figures 
which appear life-size from the floor, and represent the saintly associates of 
Jesus Christ. The central figure is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and on the 
right, in the order named, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, vSt. John the Evangelist, 
St. James the Less, on the left, St. Joseph, St. Peter, and St. Paul. There 
are two large rose windows in each transept, and a similar one in the facade. 

The large rose window in the eastern transept rej^resents scenes taken 
from the life of our Lord. The arcade openings, eight in number, present 
the history of the Crucifixion, and include — The Apostles asleep ; Jesus ap- 
prehended ; Jesus thrice denied by Peter ; Herod and Pilate made friends; 
Barabbas released and Jesus delivered to be crucified ; Jesus scourged ; "Ecce 
Homo ; " Jesus bearing His cross. 

The rose window in the western transept is devoted to St. Joseph. The 
eight arcade openings present scenes from the life of the patriarch Joseph in 
the Old Law, and include — The Dream of Joseph ; Joseph sold to the Ishma- 
elites ; Joseph in prison; the dream of Pharaoh ; Joseph established by Pha- 
raoh over the land of Egypt ; Joseph enthroned ; Joseph embracing his brothers. 
The life of St. Joseph in the New Law, and the Virgin Mary, form the themes 
of the sixteen pentafoil openings in this rose window — The Presentation of 
the Blessed Virgin in the Temple; the Marriage of St. Joseph and the Blessed 
Virgin ; the dream of St. Joseph ; the Visitation ; Presentation of the Child 
Jesus in the Temple; the Flight into Egypt ; the Child Jesus in the workshop 
of St. Joseph ; the death of St. Joseph. An angel freeing St. Peter from pri- 
son is the subject of the central opening. In the central opening of the rose 
window in the facade King David is pictured playing the harp, and surround- 
ing him are sixteen angels playing upon musical instruments. 

The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin has two lancet windows presenting in 
the four sections the birth of the Blessed Virgin ; St. Ann teaching her ; St. 
Dominic advocating the Immaculate Conception. 

The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament has likewise two lancet windows. 
The blessed Julianna of Liege, the last communion of St. Jerome, the mira- 
cle of Bolsena, St. Thomas writing the Mass of Corpus Christi, are the themes. 


St. Francis's chapel has two smaller lancet windows, one for each side 
of the altar, — St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas of Villanova. 

St. Bernard's chapel has two also of the same size representing the mar- 
tyrs, St. Stephen and St. Laurence. 

The Paintings. — The vaulted ceiling springs from four tri-clusters of mar- 
ble pillars. At the intersection of the arches, in the center of the ceiling, is 
a massive frame of oak, decorated with gilt, containing a circle twenty-one 
feet in diameter, on which is painted, by the celebrated German painter, 
Laniprecht, one of the most beautiful works of art in the cathedral, " The 
Sermon upon the Mount." Thirty figures are represented, life size, and were 
painted by Lamprecht reclining on his back on a peculiarly constructed 
scaffolding. The best view of the painting is obtained from one of the tri- 
forium galleries. Standing directly underneath this painting in the main 
aisle of the church you may gaze upon tlie chapels, chancels, galleries, and 
all the interior beauties. 

The entire rear wall iu the shrine of the Blessed Virgin has the largest 
painting in the building, representing the coronation of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary. The painting represents IVIary, life size, surrounded by God the Fa- 
ther, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove. On the 
eastern wall of the shrine is yet another handsome painting, and one that 
Lamprecht considers his best work in the building. It represents St. Domi- 
nic giving the Rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The original of the pic- 
ture is in Rome. The A.ssumption of the Blessed Virgin forms the subject 
of the painting over the entrance to the .shrine. 

The rear wall of the chapel of the Bles.sed Sacrament has two paintings. 
The lower, showing distinctly behind the altar, represents breaking 
bread before His disciples, while the upper section represents the Day of 
Judgment. On the western wall of the chapel is another painting represent- 
ing Christ api)earing to J\Iar\' Magdalen. 0\er the entrance to the chapel our 
Lord is pictured as appearing to the blessed Margaret Mary. There is a paint- 
ing over each of the four confessionals. The two iu the corners of the eastern 
transept show our Lord performing the miracle of restoring the man sick of 
the palsy, and the Prodigal Son; the two in the western transept, St. Peter 
receiving the coumiand of our Lord to feed His lambs, and the woman taken 
iu adultery. Over the entrances at the two side aisles from the vestibule to 
the nave are two paintings plainly discerned as you are leaving the sacred 
edifice — .St. Elizabeth, of Hungary, distributing gifts to the poor, and St. 
Vincent de Paul administering to the wants of poor children. Both pictures 
are intended to inculcate the lesson of charity and generositv to the poor. 

Marlile Pillars and their Statuary. — Twenty-si.K pillars, no two exactly 
alike, including four clusters of three, support the galleries and arches. They 
are of rich Tennessee marble. 

The subjects for the capitals in the chapels are : The Baptism of our 
Lord, the Christian Baptism, Preparation for Confirmation, the Bishop 
Confirming, the Bishop Blessing, the Bishop Ordaining, the Marriage of 
St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin, the Christian Marriage, the P'orgive- 







ness of Sin, Receiving Holy Communion, Renewing the Baptismal Vows, 
Receiving Extreme Unction. 

The twelve pillars that are clustered at the transepts have forty-eight 
groups in them. At the east side they represent scenes taken from the 
lives of the prophets Daniel and Jeremiah. The western side is filled 
with scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist and Melchizedec. The 
groups are constructed according to Scripture. Over the capitals on the 
eastern side are emblems of the old sacrifice entwined in the foliage, flowers, 
and fruit, and on the western side the emblems of the new sacrifice are 
shown. Each corner presents one construction from the top of the pillar 
capitals to the base of the statue in the niche. 

Choir Gallery. — The choir gallery projects in the form of a semi-circle 
between the triforium galleries. 

The gallery front is divided into sections, the middle consisting of a 
series of twelve-inch panels and the ends of a series of eighteen. The sheet- 
ing of the panels, like those in the magnificent ceiling, is light olive oak, 
stained, shaded, and varnished, while the sides are of polished dark oak. 

Handsome Mosaic patterns in ebony, African wood, and gold decorate 
the panels, and bright gold the ribs and arches. The treatment is finished by 
a wide band of olive, which separates the panels from the railing, and rosettes 
deeply lined with gold. 

The Triforium Galleries. — The triforium galleries, which may be used 
as chapels for the celebration of the Mass at the same time that service is 
being held in the lower part of the church, add very much to the beauty and 
design of the edifice. The ceiling is made of different colored woods, match- 
ing in design and arrangement the main ceiling. There are seven arches, 
supported by a cluster of pillars with capitals of foliage work. Opposite each 
arch is a double window of stained glass, with designs corresponding to those 
in the smaller windows in the other part of the church, and in the center of 
each arcade is a large candelabra fitted with gas and electric lights, which 
adds a great brilliancy to the galleries and displays the ceiling when the 
church is illuminated. 

The Organ. — The magnificent organ of the cathedral was made by 
Hook & Hastings, at Boston. It is of unusual size, and ranks among the 
largest American organs. It occupies a commanding position in the front 
gallery, and presents an imposing front 40 feet wide and nearly 40 feet high, 
comprising groups of many pipes of largest size, richly decorated, and casing 
of oak of elaborate and interesting design. No effort has been spared to make 
the instrument as perfect and complete as possible, and in material, workman- 
ship and tone it has no superior. 

The Episcopal Throne. — This is situated on the left side of the sanctuary. 
It is carved out of quartered oak. The front elevation from the floor is fifteen 
feet nine inches, and it has an outside width of eight by sixteen inches. The 
center of the throne is a canopy recess, divided into sections of panels. The 
tracery of the panels is filled in with suitable patterns, and bands finish the 
arches. The recess is supported by a cluster of three columns and a part of a 


fourth added on, making a three-quarter column with partly open and partly 
closed panels. Each column ends in a pinnacle decorated with Ijauds and 
finials. The columns are partly connected. The canopied hood of the throne 
was the most difficult part of the entire throne to execute, as it required more 
than ordinary skill to curve its lines and bands and do it artistically. The 
oak was modelled out to procure the serpentine lines which ornament it on 
the face, while a series of ascending buttresses decorate the sides. The hood 
terminates in a finely car\-ed cross, which surmounts the throne. It is of 
Gothic architecture and cost $i,8oo. 

The episcopal chair, which stands on the floor of the throne, is three and 
one-half feet high and two feet wide on the outside. It is an excellent speci- 
men of the carver's artistic skill. The arched back is divided into two parts ; 
the upper section consists of two tracery panels, and the lower part is divided 
into four sections, each being filled by quatrefoil panels. The cost was $200. 

The Stations of the Cross. — The stations of the cross are placed between the 
windows in the nave and on the side-walls of the transepts and chancel. They 
are all in alto relievo., and shaded in ivory and bone. The consecration-crosses 
are of dark fancy marble, and are inserted in the wall below the stations of 
the cross. A candle bracket is attached to each to hold the candles, which 
were lighted at the consecration ceremonies, and will be lighted upon each 
recurring annivevsar}-. 

The Pulpit. — The pulpit is placed at the tri-cluster of pillars at the inter- 
section of the transepts and arches, and is an excellent specimen of the car- 
ver's skill, in antique oak. The side-panels are of mosaic and diaper effects, 
surrounding rosette centers. The pulpit is approached by a broad flight of 
steps, with a highly ornate balustrade. The canopy, which also serves as a 
sounding board, supports six statues. It ends in a pinnacle surmounted by a 
statue, which, like the others, is of carved oak. 

The Sanctuary. — The set of oak .stalls, six in lunuber, extend between the 
tri-cluster of pillars and the chancel walls, thus separating the chancel from 
the side-chapels. They occupy eleven feet eight inches of space, and are 
about four feet high- They have low backs, consisting of two quatrefoil 
panels. The kneelers in frout of these stalls are very elaborate in design. 
Looking upon them from the front, they are three and one-half feet in height. 
Each section is built up of four arches supported by columns and filled in 
with open tracery, which has such unique and varied designs that the general 
effect is unusually pleasing. The treatment is finished by a wide band which 
caps the railing. 

The entire sanctuary and all the chapels are carpeted with a rich green 

St. JosepWs Altar. — The high altar of St. Joseph's cathedral is a mag- 
nificent piece of work, constructed in harmony with the splendid fittings of 
the cathedral. It was built by Charles E. Hall & Co., of Boston, from plans 
furnished by P. C Keeley, at a total cost of $12,000. 

As one enters the cathedral and the eye drinks in the dazzling effects of 
the interior, wandering from the marvellous work of the sculptor's chisel and 


artist's brush to the decorated ceiling and stained windows, the altar stands 
in attractive silhouette, and fills the beholder with wonder at its beauty. The 
cold, chaste marble, carved in harmonious designs, and relieved with graceful 
touches of gold, from which the subdued lights are reflected in a mass of 
brilliant splendor, rises in majestic grandeur to fill out the harmony of detail 
that characterizes the whole interior. St. Joseph's altar is one of the bright- 
est gems in the coronet that crowns the interior of the beautiful edifice. 

The altar is three stories in height. The first story is taken from the 
floor to the top of the altar-table, the first being enriched by detached pillars 
with moulded bases and handsome caps. Between these are deep medallions 
with pillared jams and enriched hoods, all finished with a moulded cornice. 
The ends and rear of the altar-table have Gothic panels, base, and cornice to 
harmonize with the front. The second story has a tabernacle, with the safe 
and metal door, the steps for the candlesticks, flower-vases, and sculptural 
works. The ends of this story form bases for the niches and pedestals for the 
sculptural work. Both ends of each niche are moulded in exact imitation of 
the front elevation. The entire rear of this story has moulded Gothic panels 
between the buttresses, all being finished on top with a plinth to receive the 
moulded base of the screen. The third story is constructed with a tower for 
the exposition, open tracery, screens, and niches on the ends. These niches 
have vaulted ceilings. The spire over the canopy of the exposition tower is 
open work, and is the same in design on the four elevations. The entire altar 
is built on a solid foundation, and the work was done in the most careful 

The entire altar front is of the finest white American statuary marble, 
except the shafts of the detached pillars, which are of the most perfect onyx. 
The ornaments of the pillar-caps are taken from the foliage of the cedar, oak, 
and pine. The carving is done with excellent taste and effect, the centre 
being enriched with the Alpha, Cross, and Omega. These are a full half 
inch in the face and panels, and exquisitely polished. The background of all 
these panels is well diapered with pressed vine-leaf grapes, wheat and water- 
lily, all sunk about half an inch deep, and the face of all being carved with 
nature. The monograms are half an inch over the face of this diaper work. 
The faces of the two large round panels at the ends of the altar have Gothic 
tracery. The panel around this tracery is diapered with foliated tooth flow- 
ers, all beautifully carved. The enrichments in hoods over the panels are the 
foliated tooth flower neatly carved, the ornaments in the spandrels of the cir- 
cle being carved also. All the plinths, pillars, bases, small pillar-shafts, 
mouldings, cornice, and plains are hand-polished. The end of the altar- 
table is one solid piece of American white marble one inch and a half thick, 
with five crosses sunk in the top and a sepulchre for the sacred relics cut in the 

The second story of the altar, containing the Tabernacle, is made of liglit 
Sienna marble beautifully polished. The main body of the Tabernacle is of 
white American statuary marble, with tracery panels of light Sienna marble. 
The Tabernacle door and safe are in keeping with their surroundings. The 


door is gold plated and has the letters I. H. S. in the centre panel. The risers 
of the three steps at each side of the Tabernacle are of white statuary marble. 
All the tracery and ornaments are neatly carved. The mouldings, carvings 
and diaper work on this story add to the general beauty and harmony of the 
■whole. The entire work of the second story is of white American statuary 

The pedestal and inside of the bower for the exposition is of Italian 
marble. All the mouldings and plain parts are highly polished, and the 
carvings and ornaments are flat from the tool. Tlie enrichments are taken 
from nature, the diaper work in the bower of the exposition being the passion 
flower done in one inch deep of relief. The virgin rose is carved on all the 
pillar caps and baud at the springing of the bower arch. The crochets and 
finials of the canopy over the bower are lilies carved in exquisite harmony 
with nature. 

The effect of tliis wondrous creation is beautiful in the extreme, and the 
exquisite harmony and splendor of the whole is enhanced by the myriads of 
lights twinkling from its different stories when the altar is in use. One stands 
entranced, bewildered, in contemplating the marvelous magnificence of the 
throne on which the Living God gives His .sacred body and blood into the 
hands of His creatures to be worshiped in the adorable sacrifice of the Mass. 
St. Joseph's altar is the most sacred portion of the edifice; it is also the most 
beautiful. It is the brightest setting in all the glittering picture that St. 
Joseph's Cathedral presents. 

Seating Capacity. — The large, heavy doors of oak are stained and deeply 
polished, matching the shade of the pews. The aisle which you enter from 
the door is seven feet wide. The two side aisles are about five feet. 

Between the central and each side aisle are forty-two double oak pews. 
The building is intended to seat 2,000 peisons, but can by close sitting 
accommodate 2,252. 

There are sedelia in the transepts to afford increased sitting accommo- 
dations when needed. 

The Chapels. — At the extreme right of the church, separated from the 
sanctuary by the wood screen, is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. This 
also contains a white altar with pillars of Mexican onyx. The reredos does 
not extend any higher than the tabernacle, and is finished with battlements. 
The tabernacle has no niche. 

The shrine of the Blessed Virgin is on the left of the sanctuary. In its 
centre, on a marble pedestal placed on an onyx platform, is a very beautiful 
statue in white marble of the Blessed \'irgin Mary. The statue is a gift of 
Rev. W. A. Harty, then rector of the cathedral. 

The chapel in the western transept is St. Francis's Chapel, and contains 
a white marble altar which has in its panels of the high reredos some beauti- 
ful specimens of Mexican onyx. The tabernacle supports a niche for the 
statue of St. Francis. The altar is the gift of the Very Rev. Father Leo da 
Saracena, O. S. F., of Winsted, Conn. 

The chapel in the eastern transept is St. Bernard's Chapel. It has also 


an altar of the same size and design as St. Francis, but varying in its decora- 
tions The niche contains a very handsome statue of St. Bernard. The akar 
is erected in memory of the late Bishop O'Reilley, by his two nephews, the 
V^ery Rev. James Hughes, V. G., LL,D., of Hartford, and the Rev. Bernard 
O'Reilley Sheridan, of Middletown. Both chapels are lighted by standards 
of lights erected in the transepts. 

On the right side of the sanctuary is St. Bridget's altar, of white marble 
and Mexican ony.x, of smaller size, but similar in design to the high altar. 
Tiie wall back of the altar is finished in gold work, and the niche over the 
tabernacle has a gold crucifix. The altar was presented to the cathedral b\' 
the Sisters of Mercy of the diocese. The altar on the left side is consecrated 
to St. Patrick, and was the gift of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. It is 
similar in size and design to St. Bridget's altar. 

The architect of the cathedral was Mr. P. C. Keeley. 

The priests who have been rectors of the cathedral after the administra- 
tion of Rev. M. F. Kelly are Rev. William A. Harty, March, 1878, to Sep- 
tember, 1882; Rev. Philip J. McCabe, September, 1882, to December, 1885; 
Rev. William A. Harty, January, 1886, to March, 1894; Rev. Walter J. 
Shanley, the present rector, since March, 1894. 

The clergymen who have been assistants at various periods at the cathe- 
dral are: Rev. J. H. Ryan, D. D., Rev. J. Larkin, Rev. P.J. McCabe, Rev. J. 
H. Carroll, Rev. G. J. O'Farrell, Rev. T. W. Brady, Rev. R. E. Shortell, 
Rev. W. J. Shanley, Rev. A. F. Harty, Rev. F. P. Havey, Rev. W. J. ]\Ic- 
Gurk, Rev. Thomas A. Nealon, Rev. P. H. McClean, Rev. J. O'Brien. The 
present staff" of assistants consists of Rev. Thomas Duggan, Rev. John L. 
McGuiness and Rev. Felix O'Neil. The chancellor and secretary is the Rev. 
James P. Donovan, D.D. 

The population of the cathedral parish is estimated at 5,700 souls, Irish 
and American. They are a people devoted to their faith, active in the pro- 
motion of every good work and of high social and intellectual standing. 
Contributing cheerfully and generously to the support of religious works, 
frequent recipients of the sacraments, faithful in attendance at the various 
devotions of the church, they reflect honor upon the diocese and are a source 
of consolation to their clergy. 

St. Joseph Parochial School. — The lot on which the Cathedral school 
is erected on the corner of Broad street and Capitol avenue, was purchased 
by Right Rev. Bishop Galberry in the summer of 1878. He began the erec- 
tion of a school, but died before it was completed. It was opened for the 
reception of children in 1879. The school has eight grades with 830 children. 
It is conducted by eleven Sisters of Mercy under the direction of Sister M. 
Benedict. The school takes high rank among the educational institutions 
of Hartford. No better evidence of the scholarship of its pupils need be 
adduced than the great success that invariably attends their examinations for 
entrance into the high school of Hartford, and the honorable positions they 
maintain there throughout their course. Like many other jjarochial schools 
of the diocese, St. Joseph's is under the supervision of a priest specially ap- 


pointed for that purpose. A contemporary writer says of this school . 'The 
system of education carried on here is one of tlie best in vogue in any of the 
public schools in New England. Work is begun in the kindergarten and 
primary grades and extends through the grammar grades. The boys and 
girls from the primary up are taught in separate rooms, and so much inter- 
est is taken in their studies tliat even in tlie most inclement weather but a 
small percentage of the children are absent. We had the pleasure of listen- 
ing to a singing exercise in the kindergarten, which was very cleverly ren- 
dered and showed that the teacher in charge knew well the work she was 
handling. In every room, from first to last, there is an atmosphere of culture 
and refinement, stimulated by the presence and influence of the worthy Sis- 
ters in charge of the school. No blackboard nor wall is without its decora- 
tive drawings in vari-colored crayon, the handiwork of artists and a slinmlus 
to the furthering of artistic talent in the pupils." 

The Cathedral Lyceum. — Tlie cathedral lyceum, an organization of 
Catholic young men, was organized by the Rev. Walter J. Shanley, rector of 
the cathedral, on August 12, 1894. Increasing rapidly in member.ship it was 
deemed advisable in March, 1895, to erect a building for lyceum purposes. 
This was made feasible by the generous donation by Mr. William F. O'Neil 
of a piece of land 1 1 2x 1 50 feet on Lawrence street. Ground was broken on 
June 4, 1895, and the corner-stone was laid before a large concourse of people 
on July 21, 1895. The lyceum was blessed on April 11, 1896, and was for- 
mally opened on April 13th. The building affords the members a suitable 
place to spend their evenings and furnishes theni with means of varied 

The object of the lyceum is the moral, intellectual and physical develop- 
ment of its members. Its endeavor is to strengthen them in the practice of 
their religion, to make them good citizens and useful members of society. .\ 
large library of choice works has been formed, and connected with it is a fine, 
commodious and well-furnished reading-room. The gymnasium has been 
dedicated to Mx. William O'Neil as a recognition of his generosity. Every 
effort is made to elevate the members of the lyceum ; to this end courses 
of lectures have been established and classes have been formed in draughting, 
free-hand drawing and vocal music. 



HE hi.story of St. Patrick's parish is chiefly the history of the pastorate 
of the late Very Rev. James Hughes, V.G., LL. D. When Father 
Hughes received from Bishop O'Reilly at Hartford on November 9, 
1854, his appointment as the successor of Father Brady, be began the longest 
pastorate in the history of the diocese of Hartford. For two score years or 
more Father Hughes was a prominent figure in the ecclesiastical and civil life 
of Hartford. During all the vicissitudes of this long period lie wielded an 
influence among all classes that reflected honor on the sacerdotal character, 





and which was always employed for the best interests of church and state. 
His was preeminently an active life. His term in the priesthood abounded 
in works that will long survive him and serve to keep his memory green for 
generations yet to come. Of noble and stalwart appearance, he was every 
inch a priest. He loved the church, and sought by every legitimate means to 
conserve and promote her highest interests. Of deep and abiding faith in the 
sacredness of his vocation, self was submerged in his congregation, and the 
wishes of the latter became paramount. Father Hughes was a man of strong, 
sturdy character, and his individuality was evident in all the parochial works 
of his pastorate. From the time of his ordination, almost, he occupied high 
official positions in the diocese. As vicar-general and administrator he dis- 
played superior executive powers, and that which rests upon his memory as a 
glorious crown are the justice and impartiality that characterized his rule. 
His name will long linger in the hearts of the people of Hartford, and the 
impress of the master hand upon the works he accomplished will be visible to 
children yet imborn. 

Father Hughes discharged the office of vicar-general during the episco- 
pates of Bishop O'Reilly, Bishop McFarland, Bishop McMahon and Bishop 
Tierney. He was administrator during the absence of Bishop McFarland at 
the Vatican Council, and after the Bishop's death in October, 1874, he served 
in the same capacity until the consecration of Bishop Galberry. Again he 
was called to the hehn during Bishop McMahon's seven months' absence in 
Europe ; and, finally, he governed the diocese during the interregnum between 
the death of Bishop McMahon and the appointment of Bishop Tierney. 

In recognition of his services to religion his Alma Mater, St. John's Col- 
lege, Fordham, N. Y., conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws ; 
and as the Catholic chaplain of the Connecticut National Guard during a 
summer's encampment at Niantic, he won high encomiums from the civil and 
ecclesiastical authorities. But the recognition that would have been an appro- 
priate reward of an active, useful and successful career in the priesthood came 
when the shadows of death were beginning to fall over the form of the vener- 
able priest. Aware of the zeal of Father Hughes in promoting the interests 
of religion, the Holy See elevated him to the dignity of domestic prelate, but 
death summoned him hence before the ceremony of investiture. When 
Father Hughes passed away there went out from the diocese a true j^riest, a 
father to his people, one of nature's noblemen. The material works accom- 
plished are still in evidence, and speak eloquently of the brain that conceived 
and of the hand that directed them. 

When Father Hughes came to Hartford he found St. Patrick's parish 
burdened with debt. He at once set himself to its liquidation, displaying 
those splendid resources of business tact and energy which ripened in the 
years of experience that followed. He paid off the debt on the old church, 
bought the present parochial residence, built the old school in 1865, erected 
the convent and orphanage attached to the church (the latter in 1855), rebuilt 
the church after its destruction by fire, and purchased St. Patrick's and Mount 
St Benedict's cemeteries. He built also an annex to the asylum to be used for 
II — 14 


an ho.-pital. Tlie financial management of St. Patrick's parish during Father 
Hnglies' pastorate was marked with the same nuvarying success that char- 
acterized his spiritual administration. It is in every sense a model parish, 
tlie most painstaking care being bestowed on every detail connected with its 
spiritual and temporal well-being. 

Father Hughes' sacerdotal career was contemporaneous with the period 
that has marked the highest progress of the diocese, and he witnessed its growth 
before and since its division from the coign of vantage of official position. 

After forty-three years of devoted labor in the sacred cause of his divine 
Master, Father Hughes finished his course on August 7, 1895, during the ab- 
sence of Bishop Tierney in Europe. The large a.ssemblage of priests from this 
and other dioceses, the concourse of people that thronged the church, the 
crowds of people who followed sorrowfully the remains to their last resting 
place — all demonstrated the deep affection of which Father Hughes was the 
object. The solemn pontifical Mass of Requiem was sung by Right Rev. John 
Brady, D.D., auxiliary Bishop of Bo.ston, and the funeral oration was pro- 
nounced by Right Rev. Thomas S. Beaven, D.D., Bishop of Springfield. The 
a.shes of Father Hughes mingle with those of his brother and si.ster in Mount 
St. Benedict's cemetery, Hartford. 

The original St. Patrick's church, which occupied the site of the present 
building, was begun by the Rev. John Brady in 1 850. On January 28th of that 
vear. Bishop F'itzpatrick of Boston, who was Administrator of tlie Diocese of 
Hartford until the appointment of Bishop O'Reilly, visited Hartford and 
examined tlie plans which Father Brady had had prepared for the new church. 
It was built of rubble stone and was 166 feet long by 75 feet wide. The corner- 
stone was laid with imposing ceremonies on July ist, 1850, and the dedication 
took place on December 14, 185 1. Right Rev. Fitzpatrick, of Boston, 
was the celebrant of the Pontifical Mass, and the famous Augustinian priest, 
the Rev. Dr. Moriarty, preached the sermon. The Bishop of Bo.ston also offi- 
ciated at Vespers, and the discourse was pronounced by Bishop O'Reilly. The 
latter's comment on the occasion, as found in his Journal, was: "The cere- 
mony was grand, worthy of the church." On January 23, 1875, a conflagra- 
tion laid this fine edifice in ruins. 

With the destruction of the church the people were left without a place 
for divine services, and the Holy Sacrifice was offered up for the faithful in 
St. James' chapel, the first Mass in which was celebrated on the morning after 
the disaster, which was Sunday, while the smoldering fire from the black- 
ened ruins of the church added to the grief of the people. For some time 
afterwards the 10.30, or Parochial Mass was celebrated in Allyn Hall ; but 
scarcely had the ruins of the old church become cold ere the energetic pastor, 
Very Rev. Father Hughes, began to take measures for the erection of an edi- 
fice, which in beauty of architecture and thoroughness of workman.ship would 
surpass the old one. The work was begun on the 7th of July, 1875, and in 
the astonishingly short space of three months and twelve da\s, actual work- 
ing time, the chancel gable, 88 '^ feet, the side walls 50 feet high, and the 
tower and gable to the height of the side walls, were completed. 


St. Patrick's church, risen Phoenix-like from the ashes, was solemnly dedi- 
cated to the service of God with iimisual pomp, accompanied with the most 
impressive ceremonies of the church, on Sunday, November 19, 1876, by 
Bishop Galberry. The procession, emerging from the vestry door, moved up 
Ann street to the main entrance, where it entered in the following order: 

Cross Bearer. 

Light Bearers. 

Acolytes and Altar Bo}-s. 



Deacon and Sub-Deacon. 

Deacons of Honor. 

Assistant Priest. 

Right Rev. Bishop Galberry, Officiating Prelate. 

At the conclusion of tlie dedicatory ceremonies a Solemn Pontifical Mass 
was celebrated with the following officers : 

Cilfbrant, MOST Rev. JOHN Wil,Ll.A.MS, D.D., Boston. 

Assistant Priest, REV. F. W. GoCKELN, S. J., St. John's College, Fordham, N. Y. 

Deacons of Honor, Rev. Luke D.\lv, New Britain ; REV. E. J. SHERIDAN, Taunton. 

Deacon of the Mass, Rev. F.aTHER LEO d.a Saracena, O. S. F., Winsted. 

Stib Deacon, Rev. Thomas Lynch, Hartford. 

Masters of Ceremonies, REV. P. J. McCabe, Hartford; REV. D. Gremin, Hartford. 

Cross Bearer, REV. P. GOODWIN, East Hartford. 

Book Bearer, Rev. J. J. FuRLONG, Rockville. 

Mitre Bearer, REV. J. CAMPBELL, Manchester. 

Crozier Bearer, REV. J. RusSELL, Jewett City. 

Light Bearer, Rev. E.J. O'BRIEN, Middletown. 

Chanters, REV. J. CAMPBELL and REV. James FaGan. 

The sermon was delivered by Right Rev. Bishop McQuade of Rochester, 
who selected his text from the eightieth Psalm. 

At 7. 30 Solemn Pontifical Vespers were celebrated, the following clergy- 
men officiating : 

Celebrant, Right Rev. Edgar P. Wadhams, D D., Ogdensburg, N. Y. 

Assistant Priest, Rev. M. BENDER, Cincinnati. 

Deacon, REV. E. J. ShERIDAN, Taunton. 

Sub-Deacon, REV. LUKE Daly, New Britain. 

Masters of Ceremonies, Rev. P. J. McCabe and Rev. D. Cremin. 

The discourse was from Psalm xxv. 8, and was delivered by Right Rev. 
Bishop O'Reilly, of Springfield. The following prelates honored the occa- 
sion by their presence : Most Rev. Archbishop Williams, Bishops Galberry, 
O'Reilly, Hendricken, De Goesbriand, McNeirney and McQuade. Among 
the Vicars General present was Very Rev. L. S. McMahon, of New Bedford, 
Mass., afterwards Bishop of Hartford. Priests had assembled from the New 
England, Eastern and Middle States to do honor to their esteemed co-worker 
and friend, the pastor, and to participate in the joy that possessed the hearts 
of his parishioners. 

The crowning glory of St. Patrick's church was its solemn consecration in 
November, 1885. It was the second church in the diocese to attain this 
distinction, St. Patrick's, New Haven, being the first. The officiating prelate 


at tlie services of consecration was the Most Rev. Archbishop Williams of 
Boston. Solemn Pontifical High Mass was celebrated by Rij^ht Rev. Bishop 
McMahon, durinjj which the Most Rev. Archbishop Ryan of Philadelphia, 
prononnced the oration. Right Rev. Bishop Conroy presided at the Vesper 
service, and Right Rev. Bishop McQnade was the preacher. The ceremonies 
of the morning and evening services were nnder the snpervision of Rev. M. 
F. Kelly and Rev. James H. O'Donncll. With the exception of the conse- 
cration of the cathedral, the city of Hartford has scarcely witnessed so cou- 
s])icnons an assemblage of ecclesiastical dignitaries, priests and people. With 
their pastor the parishioners rejoiced at the realization of their hojDes, their 
noble cluirch edifice relieved of indebtedness ; and in recognition of divine 
blessings received, presented it, a heart offering, to the Giver of all gifts. 

On Sunday, September 8, 1895, Very Rev. John A. Mulcahy, Vicar- 
General, assumed charge of St. Patrick's parish as the successor of Father 
Hughes. With every promise of a succe.ssfnl career in his new field of labor, 
Father Mulcahy was stricken down by illness in October, 1897, which has 
necessitated prolonged absence from home in quest of heajth. 

Before this affliction befell him, however, he gave evidence of his zeal 
in the erection of a splendid parochial school, the finest in Connecticut, and 
perhaps in all New England. On September 11, 1894, Father Mulcahy was 
appointed vicar-general by Bishop Tierney, and who, previous to his depart- 
ure on his ctd li»iina visit to Rome, made him Administrator of the diocese, 
which position he filled from June i to August 18, 1895. During Father 
Mulcahy's illness the affairs of the parish have been administered by the Rev. 
John J. Downey, who, faithful to the traditions of the parish, is energttic in 
promoting the spiritual and temporal welfare of his charge. The assistants 
at present laboring in St. Patrick's parish are the Rev. J. J. Loftus and the 
Rev. J. F. Ryan, who is also a professor in St. Thomas" Preparatory Seminary. 

Father Mulcahy was born in Ireland and came to this country when 
quite young. Shortly after his arrival he entered the English and business 
course of studies in Bryant and Stratton's school at Hartford. Believing 
him.self called to the sacred priesthood, he entered St. Charles' College, 
Maryland, where he remained si.x \ears, completing the course. His philo- 
sophical and theological studies were made at St. Joseph's Seminary, Troy, 
N. Y., where he was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1873. His first 
appointment was as assistant to the Rev. Father Lynch in the parish of the 
Immaculate Conception, Waterbury, and when Father Lynch was transferred 
to St. Patrick's parish, New Haven, in August, 1876, Father Mulcahy accom- 
panied him. He labored there until February, 1877, when he was appointed 
pastor of Hartford, a mission which included Glastonbury, Wethersfield 
and Rocky Hill. His labors in this field are eloquent evidences of his zeal 
and energy. He erected the church at Hartford and St. Augu.stine's at 
Glastonbury, liquidated the debt on the church lot in Wethersfield and col- 
lected money for the erection of a church at Rocky Hill. In November, 1878, 
he was transferred to Thompsonville, which mi.ssion then included the pres- 
ent parishes of Hazardville and Broad Brook. For three years he labored in 



////7^ i^ . ^y^M^^^oJ^y '^^' 


this portion of Christ's vineyard, during which time he purchased new and 
more eligible sites in Hazardville and Broad Brook and erected upon them 
substantial churches. His success in Thompsonville is attested by the fact 
that the parish indebtedness was reduced $g,ooo, and by the purchase of a lot 
on which the new church stands. On November i, 1881, he was appointed 
pastor of the Sacred Heart parish, New Haven, succeeding the Rev. Stephen 
Sheffrey, deceased. His four years of earnest and zealous labor there bore 
rich fruit. The church's indebtedness was reduced $22,000 and sufficient 
projjerty for a school and convent was purchased adjoining the church on 
Columbus avenue. On January i, 1886, Father Mulcahy assumed charge of 
the parish of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury. The work accom- 
plished by him from that date to the end of his pastorate will be revealed in 
part in the history of that parish. 

St. Patrick'.s Parochial School. — " When we consider that the 
maintenance of the parochial schools of Hartford is wholly by the members 
of the various Catholic churches, we must one and all admire the cheerful 
spirit in which these members accept their double school taxation. And 
again we note with what enterprise they are conducted and with what excel- 
lent equipment they are provided. What is good enough for the public 
school is not any too good for the parochial school, and what advancement is 
made in education, is as much due to the latter as to the former. They are 
not 'copyists,' but are originators of the most progressive type. Among 
their directors are found men of the highest intellectual qualifications and 
their principals are ahva}s priests of thorough scholarly training." 

For half a century the children of St. Patrick's parish have enjoyed the 
blessings of a Christian education. For fifty years have the parents gathered 
the rich fruits of the Catholic training of their children. Abundant, indeed, 
have been the graces that have flowed into the parisli during these many 
years. Catholic schools have existed, here since 1848. In that year the first 
parochial school was opened with ten pupils in the basement of the old 
church. Here the devoted Sisters of Mercy taught an ever-increasing school 
for ten years. In 1865, Father Hughes erected the school on Allyn street, 
which in every respect was a model building in those days, and which for 
over thirty years maintained a high reputation among its sister schools of the 
city. In September, 1866, the Christian Brothers arrived at the invitation 
of Father Hughes and assumed control of the boys' department. ,This school 
was conducted in part of the building now used as the parochial residence. 
The growth of the parish made additional school facilities an imperative ne- 
cessity ; accordingly, at Father Mulcahy's advent preparations were imme- 
diately begun for the erection of a new school. The property adjacent on 
Ann street was purchased, and the s]3acious residence that occupied the site 
was removed. The work of construction progressed expeditiously, and the 
building was ready for occupancy in September, 1897. It was solemnly 
blessed by Right Rev. Bishop Tierney on September 5th, the Rev. James H. 
O'Donnell preaching the dedication sermon, and opened the day following for 
the reception of pupils. The ten pupils of 184S have increased to 1 145, the 


number at present enrolled, and the humble basement has given way to one 
of the most thoroughly equipped schools in New England. Architecturally, 
there are schools that present a more striking exterior appearance, but the 
interior appointments have few equals and no superiors. The system of 
light and ventilation are unique and leave nothing to be desired iu a building 
in which so many children daily gather. The main building contains 
eighteen rooms ; in the rear, there are two spacious apartments set apart for 
kindergarten purposes. In this grade there are 175 little ones in attendance. 
We quote again from the writer whose words begin this .sketch: " It is only 
just that we pay due tribute to the one who has by his indomitable energ)- 
and enthusiasm made the erection of this magnificent building possible. 
This is the present pastor, the Rev. J. A. Mulcahy. Since he took charge of 
the parish, he has doubled the size of the school, extended the course, added 
many features of study and iu everyway madeit theequal, if not the superior, 
of any school in the State." 

The success of the pupils in the annual e.xaminations for entrance into 
the High school attest their proficiency. There are twenty sisters engaged in 
teaching, under the supervision of the Rev. J. Loftus, to whose efficient 
management is to be attributed much of the success that attends the sisters' 
efforts. The members of the parish, the sisters and the clergy have everj' 
reason to ])e proud of their scliool. 


'OR well nigh forty years St. Peter's parish has been faithful to ics 
e.xalted mission of winning souls to Christ. Zealous in the perform- 
ance of duty, conscientious in their attention to the spiritual needs of 
their parishioners, its successive rectors have attained an enviable reputation 
for priestly energy, and have built up a parish in whose good name its mem- 
bers rejoice. 

In September, 1 859, St. Peter's jjarish was set apart from St. Patrick's by 
Right Rev. Bishop McFarland, and comprised the southern .section of the 
city below Little River. The first pastor of the new parish was the Rev. 
Peter Kellv, who was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1852. Fatlier 
Kelly had Ijeen received into the diocese from the famous Seminary of St. 
Sulpice, '^iris, and spent about nine months completing his theological 
studies i Bishop O'Reilly's Seminary, Providence. Father Kelly had 
received tlie order of sub-deacon on December 13, 1851, and was elevated to 
the diaconate on the day following. These .same orders were conferred at the 
same time upon the Rev. Patrick Delaney, whose ordination to the priest- 
hood had occurred on December 15, 1851, in St. Patrick's church, Hartford, 
thus antedatmg the ordination of Father Kelly six months. 

When St Peter's parish was organized its population was estimated at 
1500 souls, chieriy Irish, with a small number of Germans. With character- 
istic energy. Father Kelly set about securing a fitting place in which his peo- 


pie could attend divine worship, and having secured, through Mr. James 
Tiernan, an old school building, commonly known as the " Old South School- 
house," he had it suitably renovated and appropriately refitted for Catholic 
worship; and so expeditiously was the work accomplished that the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated with joy and thanksgiving on the Sunday 
following the formation of the parish. As the parish was increasing in num- 
bers, an enlargement of the transformed building became necessary ; accord- 
ingly, an addition was built, and the structure, as it now stood, was dedicated 
to God under the patronage of the Prince of the Apostles by Bishop McFar- 
land on December 4, 1859. Father Kelly's next work was the purchase of a 
frame building north of the church, which he occupied as a parochial resi- 
dence. A dwelling house south of the church was also secured, and a school 
erected behind the church. The furniture of this school was of a superior 
order, and the school itself soon vied with the public schools. Father Kelly 
accomplished all this work in the brief period of three years. Desiring a 
different field of labor. Father Kelly was transferred from St. Peter's to St. 
Joseph's parish. Providence, in October, 1862. He died at Valley Falls, R. I., 
on February 4, 1868. " Father Kelly was probably the best-known and best- 
liked man in Hartford. Certainly no person ever lived here to whom our non- 
Catholic friends would pay their money, by way of subscription, so cheerfully 
or freely. He was a ripe scholar, an eloquent preacher, and an enthusiast in 
whatever he undertook." ' 

Father Kelly's successor was the Rev. John Lynch, who came to Hart- 
ford from Birmingham, now Derby. In April, 1865, Father L,ynch began the 
erection of the present church edifice. In order not to deprive his parishion- 
ers of the privilege of assisting at Mass on Sundays, or to obviate the neces- 
sity of removing elsewhere for divine worship, he adopted the plan, hitherto 
unheard of in church construction, of building the new church up and around 
the walls of the old, and it was only when the new structure was ready for 
roofing that the old building was removed ; and so scientifically was the work 
carried on that not for a single Sunday was attendance at Mass interrupted. 
The corner-stone of the new church was laid in October, 1865, and its solemn 
dedication occurred on July 26, 1868, Bishop McFarland officiating. 

The present rectory was purchased in 1 865 from the Hon. Henry Bar- 
nard. It was used as a parochial residence for ten years, after which -it was 
occupied for six years by the Sisters of Mercy. After the erection of the 
convent in 1881, it reverted to the use of the clergy. 

Father Lynch gave to the construction of the church his constant and per- 
sonal supervision. His watch ward was " Duty, ' ' and the traits that shone con- 
spicuously in his character were exactness, promptness, and love of labor. He 
watched over the school with truly paternal solicitude, and was ever anxious 
concerning the educational interests ot the little ones of his flock. His love 
for children was boundless. An accident which occurred while driving 
through his parish on parochial duties, and which resulted in a fracture of his 

' "Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in Hartford." 


collar-bone, necessitated complete rest. Accordingly, he visited Ireland in 
1869. The affairs of the parish were administered during his absence by the 
Rev. John Cooney. The unexpected death of Father Lynch's father rendered 
the prolongation of his visit a necessity. In June, 1870, the Rev. Lawrence 
Walsh was appointed Father Lynch's successor as pastor of St. Peter's parish, 
and upon his return from Europe he was re-appoiuLod to his former charge at 
Birmingham. An event which rendered Father Walsh's administration 
noteworthy was the consecration of Right Rev iJishop Galberry in St. Peter's 
church on St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 1876. During the pastorate of Rev. 
Father Walsh the excellent custom was introduced of paying monthly visits 
to the Connecticut State Prison and saying Mass for and instructing the 
inmates in Christian doctrine. This work was continued down through 
successive administrations until the formation of the parish of the Sacred 
Heart at Wethersfield, whose pastor has the Catholic prisoners under his 
spiritual charge. The in.structions in Christian doctrine were imparted, 
and are still given by young men of approved character and competency, 
and the good that has been accomplished among these wards of the 
State during the past twenty-five years has been incalculable. In July of 
that year. Bishop Galberry having selected St. Peter's church as his pro- 
cathedral. Father Walsh, who preached his farewell sermon on Sunday, July 
30th, was transferred to the parish of the Immaculate Conception, Walerbury, 
and was succeeded by the Rev Thomas Lynch, who served in the capacity of 
rector until January, 1877. His successor was the Rev. M. A. Tierney, the 
present bishop of the diocese, who, as pastor, governed St. Peter's parish 
until June, 1883. During his pastorate. Father Tierney built the convent in 
1 88 1. He also erected the third addition to the school, the first part having 
been built by Rev. Peter Kelly, and the second by Rev. Lawrence Walsh. 
The splendid organ of the church was put in during Father Tierney's incum- 
bency. It was during this administration that the centennial of the first Mass 
said in Connecticut was celebrated. This event occurred on June 26, 1881. 
Bishop jMcMahon was the celebrant of the Solemn Pontifical Mass, as- 
sisted by the following officers : 

Assistant Priest, Rev. Augustine F. Hewitt, New York. 

Deacons of Honor, Rev. Lawrence Walsh, Waterbury, and Rev. E. D. Boone, Worcester. 

Deacon of the Mass, Rev. Jolin J. Furlong, Rockville. 

Sub-deacon, Rev. John J. Quinn, Hartford. 

Masters of Ceremonies, Rev. Philip T. McCabe, Hartford, and Rev. Maurice Crowley, Hartford. 

Right Rev. J. J. Conroy, Bishop of Albany, and Right Rev. J. P. Mache- 
beuf. Vicar Apostolic of Colorado honored the occasion by their presence. A 
large gathering of priests from this and other dioceses assisted at the impress- 
ive and historic ceremony. The oration was pronounced by the Rev. Thomas 
O'Gorman, C. S. P., the j^resent bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. An 
appropriate text was selected from Lsaias v. 2. 3: ^'■Enlarge the place 0/ thy 
tent, and stretch out the skins of thy tabernacles. Spare not. Lengthen thy cords 
and strengthen thy stakes. For thou shalt pass on the right hand and to the left, and 
thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and shall inhabit the desolate cities.^' Present at 


the celebration were Mayor Morgan G. Buckley, with officials of the town 
and city governments. 

When Father Tierney was appointed pastor of St. Mary's, New Britain, 
he was sncceeded in St. Peter's parish by the present incumbent, the Rev. 
Thomas W. Broderick. Father Broderick's pastorate has been fruitful in 
works that tend to the advancement of religion and to the upbuilding of the 
faith of his devoted people. Among the works that have signalized his admin- 
istration are the renovation of the parochial school and the complete and beau- 
tiful redecoration of the church. So thorough was the transformation of the 
latter and so notable the improvement that the church had lost its former 
dedication ; in consequence, it was solemnly rededicated by Bishop McMahon 
in September, 1887. 

The people of St. Peter's parish deservedly occupy a high position among 
their fellows in the political, social, intellectual worlds. They are represented in 
local, state and national positions of honor and trust. They have given many 
honored names to the clerical, legal and medical j^rofessions, while not a few 
have attained eminence in commercial, mechanical and industrial vocations. 
The parish is composed of nii.xed nationalities, Irish and their descendants, 
Americans, Poles, Lithuanians and Portuguese, and comprises 4,500 souls. 

As a benefactor the name of Patrick Cavanagh stands out in prominence. 
He left his entire estate in 1897 to be devoted to religious and charitable pur- 
poses. Among the notable conversions to the ancient faith within this jurisdic- 
tion we may mention Miss Spencer, Miss Hammersly and Mr. Frederick Tudor, 
all of whom were connected with some of the oldest and most prominent fami- 
lies of Hartford. The last was a descendant of Mr. Samuel Tudor, who treated 
Bishop Cheverus so courteously at the time of his visit to Hartford in 1823. 

The first marriage recorded after the organization of the parish, is dated 
October 9, 1859, ^'^^ the ceremony was performed by Father Kelly. It was 
that of Patrick Culliuane and Bridget Glynn, alias Mallon. The witnesses 
were Charles and Ellen Doherty. From this date to July i, 1898, the number 
of marriages solemnized was 2,019. The baptismal records in possession of 
the parish begin, at October 2, 1862. From this date to July i, 1898, the 
number of baptisms was 7,983. 

The clergy who have served as assistants in St. Peter's parish are the fol- 
lowing : 

Rev. Daniel Mullin. Rev. J. P. Connelly, July, '8i— Oct., '8l. 

Rev. Patrick Sherry, 1862. Rev. C. J. McElroy, Oct., '81— Oct., '87. 

Rev. P. Grau, March to Dec, 1863. Rev. W. J. Shanley, April, '85— July, '86. 

Rev. Hugh Mallou, Dec, '63— March, '66. Rev. R.J. Carroll, July, '86— May, '88. 

Rev. J. McCarten, April, '66— Oct., '67. Rev. J. C. Lynch, Feby., '87- March, '87. 

Rev. J. Cooney, Oct., '67— May, '70. . Rev. E. J. Broderick, Oct., '87— '98. 

Rev. R. J. Sullivan, Sept., '69— March, '70. Rev. J. J. Lynch, May, '88— Sept.,, '97. 
Rev. F. Dent, O. S. F., April, '70— March, '74. Rev. J. Lee, May, '91— May, '93. 

Rev. D. Cremin, Dec, '72— Jany., '77. Rev. J. F. Lally, May, '93. 

Rev. W. T. Slocum, July, '76— Aug., '76. Rev. D. L. Gleason,D.D.,Sept., '97— Jany., '98. 

Rev. J. J. Galligan, Aug., '76— Febry., '79. Rev. J.J. Laden, Jauy., '98. 

Rev. P. F. McAlenuey, Jany., '77— July, '81. Rev. Stanislaus Musiel. 
Rev. M. J. Crowley, Jany., '79 — April, '85. 


Father Broderick has been the Defender of the Marriage Tie in the diocese 
since 1884; a diocesan consultor since 1886, and is also a member of the dio- 
cesan Board of Examiners of the Clergy. In the summer of 1896 lie received 
llie public thanks of the governor of the State and a handsome medal in 
recognition of his services as the Catholic chaplain at tlie encampment of the 
National Guard at Xiantic. 

St. Peter's Parochial School. — St. Peter's school is the successor of 
the scliool organized by the Rev. Father Kelly in i860. At that time there 
were about 200 children enrolled. For some years the school was conducted 
under the management of the committee of the South school district. The furnished the building and furniture, but the district paid the salaries 
of the teachers. The first teachers of this school were : Mr. John Godfrey, 
Miss Sarah Kelly, Miss ]Mary Bows and Miss Hannah Pembroke,' all Catho- 
lics. Upon the death or resignation of a Catholic teacher, the committee 
appointed a Protestant teacher in her place. In 1S65, during the pastorate 
of Rev. Fatlier Lynch, a Protestant teacher was appointed who rendered her- 
self objectionable by persisting in reading from a Protestant Bible before 
beginning the morning exercises. Adhering to the practice despite the pro. 
testations of the committee, she was removed, but on appealing to the courts 
was reinstated over the children she had so persistently offended. Discord 
only could result from such an arrangement, and the school was closed. After 
a brief period it was reopened and placed under the control of the Sisters of 
Mercy. At present the scliool has eight grades, with 900 pupils, taught by 
seventeen Sisters, of whom Sister I\I. Antonius is the directress. It is in a 
most flourishing condition, and the proficiency of the pupils is demonstrated 
by the gratifying fact, that for more than ten years the graduating classes have 
unanimously and with honor passed the competitive examinations for admis- 
sion to the High School. 

An appreciative critic says: "In Hartford no better example of the 
'modern school idea' can be found than that offered by St. Peter's Parochial 
school. Established thirty years ago, it has ever maintained a prominent 
place in the advance of education in this vicinity. It is the second oldest 
parish school here and has an annual attendance of 900 boys and girls. It 
is graded from the kindergarten to the high school course, and the boys and 
girls, excepting in the kindergarten, are educated in separate rooms. Though 
the discipline is strict, it is mild and quiet, and the pupils are taught to love 
rather than to fear their teachers. The Sisters of Mercy preside, and as is 
their custom, create around them an atmosphere that is sunny, refined and 
stimulating. There are fifteen rooms devoted to school purposes besides the 
kinder<''arten. Two rooms are now utilized in the convent building adjoining 
the .school for the music class and the eighth grade. Both instrumenlal and 
vocal music are taught, and a course is provided in needlework and cooking 
for the girls and in manual training for the boys." 

' Htst. Sketch of the Catholic Church in Hartford. ' 




'T. LAWRENCE O'TOOLE'S parish was organized on February i6, 
I S85. During the fourteen years of its existence it has accomplished 
much that has redounded to the honor of religion and the glory of 
God. The Catholics of this locality were under the jurisdiction of 
St. Peter's parish from its formation in 1859 until 1881, when they passed under 
the spiritual guidance of the clergy of the cathedral. This parish is familiarly 
called "The Rock," from its proximity to a ledge from which for nearly 
seventy years have been quarried the stones used on the streets of Hartford, 
and which has furnished employment for the heads of families in this locality. 
In 1876, the Rev. Lawrence Walsh, then pastor of St. Peter's parish, recog- 
nized the necessity of a church in that vicinitv, and having obtained from 
Mr. John Allen the donation of a desirable lot on the corner of Laurel and 
Wilson streets, 100 by 150 feet, he proceeded to put into execution his con- 
templated design. Before the work was completed, however, Father WaLsh 
was transferred to Waterbury. The corner-stone was laid on Sunday, Septem- 
ber 3, 1876. The Rev. Lawrence Walsh, who began the church, preached 
the sermon. The construction of the church was prosecuted industriously 
by his successor, the Rev. Thomas Lynch, rector of the pro-cathedral, and 
was dedicated on Sunday, December 3, 1876. The officiating prelate was 
Bishop Galberry. After the ceremonies of dedication, a solemn high Mass was 
celebrated with Rev. Luke Daly, of New Britain, as celebrant ; Rev. Philip 
McCabe, of Hartford, as deacon ; Rev. M. Galligan as sub-deacon, and Rev. 
D. Cremin as master of ceremonies. The sermon was delivered by Rev. 
Joseph Coleman, O.S.A. Joy and happiness were visible in the countenances 
of those sturdy sons of toil and devoted children of holy church as they wit- 
nessed the celebration of the divine mysteries in a church of their own. 
From that time Mass was said regularly every Sunda}- and holy day of obliga- 
tion by a priest from the mother church until the cathedral assumed charge, 
when the same facilities for attending divine service were continued. 

Recognizing the great spiritual and temporal benefits that would accrue 
to this section of the city from the presence of a resident pastor, Bishop 
McMahon organized it into a separate parish, and appointed the Rev. John 
Lenahan as its first pastor. For ten years Father Lenahan labored unceas- 
ingly for the welfare of his flock, and it was with profound regret that they 
heard the announcement that the relations between him and them were to 
be dissolved. 

The second pastor was the Rev. James Smith, who came hither from 
Guilford. He continued the excellent work of his predecessor, and among 
the successes that marked his pastorate of four years was the erection of a 
finely equipped lyceum for the young men of his parish. Here they were 
and are provided with every facility for moral, social, intellectual and spiritual 
advancement. Father Smith preached his farewell sermon in St. Lawrence 


O'Toole's church on Sunday, November 21, 1898, and was immediately suc- 
ceeded by the present pastor, the Rev. Tliomas J. Keena, who came to Hart- 
ford after many years of faithful and successful labors in St. John's parish, 

When St. Lawrence O'Toole's parish was organized the census showed a 
population of 700 souls, principally Irish and Irish Americans. It has since 
increased to 800. 

The priests who served this parish have possessed not only the affec- 
tionate regard of their own people, but have also enjoyed the respect and 
shared in the good-will of their .separated brethren, and have done much to 
dissolve the mists of sectarian prejudice. Father Keena is the Diocesan 
Director of the propagation of the faith. 

St. Lawrence O'Toole's church is a frame building with a solid brick 
foundation, and is Gothic in style of architecture. It has a front of 40 feet 
and is 60 feet deep, and will accommodate 300 people. The cost of the 
church was about 53,500. 



HK first meeting of the French-Canadians with the object of organizing 
a separate parish with a pastor of their own nationality was held in 
October, 1888. Mass was celebrated for the first time in St. Joseph's 
school hall on January 6, 1889, by the Rev. A. St. Louis. The French-Cana- 
dian population at that time was 650 souls. The Rev. Father St. Louis was 
the first pastor of the newly-organized parish, but after a brief term of service 
he was compelled by illness to retire from his pastoral duties. He was suc- 
ceeded in March, 1890, by the Rev. P. E. Roy. 

Father Roy immediately set himself the task of providing his people with 
a place of worship. A site was secured at the corner of Park and Putnam 
streets. Eager to possess a church his parishioners diligently co-operated 
with him, and in a short time saw their hopes fully realized. Sunday, May 
28, 1893, was hailed with joy and delight by the French-Canadians of Hart- 
ford, for on that dale their new church, whose completion has been awaited 
with much pleasurable anticipation and longing was dedicated to the service 
of God with all the imposing ceremonies incidental to such occasions. The 
dedicatory services began at 10 a.m. with Bishoj) McMahou officiating. He was 
assisted by the Rev. M. A. Tierney of New Britain, as deacon, and the Rev. 
T. W. Broderick of Hartford, as subdeacon. At 10.30 a solemn high Mass 
was sung, the celebrant being the Rev. J. Bourret of Waterbury ; deacon, the 
Rev. J. E. jMarcoux of North Adams, Mass. ; subdeacon, the Rev. C. Leddy 
of Hartford ; master of ceremonies, the Rev. W. J. Shanley of the cathedral. 
The sermon of dedication was delivered by the Rev. J. P. Guinet of the 
order of Our Lady of La Salette. At the close of the Bishoj) IMc- 
Mahon imparted the episcopal benediction. At 3.30 vespers were sung with 
the Rev. E- Cartier of New Haven, as the celebrant. During this service 


Bishop McMahon administered the sacrament of confirmation for the first 
time in the parish to seventy-three children. The bishop addressed the con- 
gregation in French in words of enconragement and congratulation upon 
their fine edifice, the result of their united efforts and generosity. Present 
at the services were all the priests of the city with many from neighboring 

The church has a seating capacity of 600, and cost $22,000. Above the 
church is a large hall which is used as a school, wherein the children of the 
parish obtain instruction in both the French and English languages. The 
parish numbers at present about 1200 souls. 

After nine years of arduous labor which he carried on with commendable 
zeal. Father Roy severed his connection with St. Ann's parish and with the 
diocese on Sunday, April 30, 1899. Though laboring within the jurisdiction 
of the Bishop of Hartford, Father Roy was a subject of the Archbishop 
of Quebec, not having received dimissory letters from that dignitary. He 
returned to the archdiocese of Quebec, his mission being to collect funds for 
the great archdiocesan hospital, the Hotel Dieu. His successor is the Rev. 
J. E- Senesac, who assumed charge of St. Ann's on Sunday, May 7, 1899. 


^T. ANTHONY'S is the Italian parish of Hartford. For many years 
it had been the desire of the Bishops of Hartford to provide ways 
and means that would enable the rapidly increasing Italian popu- 
lation to receive instruction in the doctrines of our holy faith in 
their own language. To that end they have been attended for some years 
by priests set apart for that purpose. In January, 1895, the Rev. Edward 
Flannery began his ministry among them as assistant to the Rev. Angelo Chica- 
gilione. As the latter returned to Europe on February 27th following, the 
care of the parish was intrusted to Father Flannery. The present pastor, the 
Rev. D. L. Gleason, D.D., was appointed on January i, 1898. In May of the 
same year. Bishop Tierney purchased from the German Lutheran congrega- 
tion its church property on Market street. After suitable improvements were 
made the church was dedicated to St. Anthony on June 5, 1898. 

In December, 1898, A. Andretta and P. M. D'Esopo were elected trus- 
tees, and on January 11, 1899, the Right Rev. Bishop transferred the church 
property to St. Anthony's corporation. The census of June, 1898, shows a 
record of 2,800 names. 


Hartford (Parkville). 

r^sARKVILLE originally belonged to the jurisdiction of St. Peter's 
' ^ ])arisli, but latterly it cauie under that of the cathedral. The present 

[i© church was erected during the rectorship of Rev. William A. Harty 
and was attended by the clergy of the cathedral until it was given 
in charge of the Missionary Fathers of La Salette. The Congregation of 
La Salette was admitted into the diocese on August ii, 1892, by Bishop 
McMahon, who granted to the fathers the use of the former episcopal resi- 
dence on Woodland street. After some necessary repairs Mass was said in 
the house for the first time on September 19th by Rev. Father Pajot and 
Rev. Father Vignon. In this year his Eminence, the Cardinal Prefect of the 
Propaganda, permitted the community to have a novitiate. Rev. Father 
Pajot was Superior in Hartford from 1892 to 1898. In the latter year, Rev. 
Father Vignon was appointed Vicar General of the Congregation in America 
and Superior of the Hartford community. In 1892 the community numbered 
five priests ; there are now eighteen and fifteen professed scholastics. 

With the increasing number of priests and students, the house on Wood- 
land street became too small, so that in 1894, the Congregation began pre- 
parations for more adequate accommodations. Accordingly, they secured a val- 
uable site on New Park Avenue and began the erection of a new home. The 
corner-stone was laid on October 7, 1894, by Bishop Tierne)-, the discourse 
being delivered by Rev. W. J. Shanley, rector of the cathedral. The semi- 
nary is an attractive l)uilding 114x45, and has accommodations for 100 
students. Its cost was about $45,000. 

Combined with the seminary is a missionary college embracing the class- 
ical and preparatory brandies necessary for the ecclesiastical state. Only 
aspirants to the priesthood in the Order of the IMissionary Fathers of La 
Salette are admitted. There are in this department ten students. 

The Fathers of La Salette have pastoral charge of two parishes in the 
dioce-se. Our Lady of Sorrows, of which the Superior, Rev. Joseph Vignon, 
is pastor, and St. James', Danielson, whose rector is Rev. J. P. Guinet. At 
present all the fathers are French, but it is the avowed purpose to secure 
vocations among young men, who will continue the apos- 
tolic work already so auspiciously entered upon. The ten students above 
mentioned are of this class, which makes the future bright with promise for 
the enlargement of their field of activity. 

The fathers also give missions in French parishes ana assist m various 
parishes on Sundays. 










(5 I HE youngest of the parishes of Hartford and one of the most promising 
' I is that of the Immaculate Conception. The growth of the Cathedral 
parish in this section of the city necessitated the erection of a church, 
which was attended as a mission from the Cathedral until its formation into 
an independent parish on April 2, 1899. The church was built under the 
supervision of the rector of the Cathedral, the Rev. Walter J. Shanley. 
Ground was broken on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel July 16, 1894. 
The corner-stone was laid by Bishop Tierney on October 21, 1894, on which 
occasion the Rev. Thomas W. Broderick preached the sermon. The church 
was dedicated on May 19, 1895. The celebrant of the Mass, which followed 
the ceremony of dedication, was the Rev. Thomas Keena, and the preacher 
was the Rev. Edward Flannery. Previous to its organization into a separate 
parish, the clergy of the Cathedral celebrated Mass three times here every 
Sunday, besides offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on holy da}s of obli- 
gation, First Fridays, etc. The Rev. John T. Winters assumed charge of the 
new parish at the time of its formation. The church is situated directly 
south, and within three blocks of the State capitol, at the corner of Park and 
Hungerford streets. It is of Gothic design with spire, and presents an attract- 
ive exterior and interior appearance. Its seating capacity is 420. 

The church, which was built as a "chapel of ease," is now inadequate to 
accommodate the parishioners, notwithstanding that four Masses are said every 
Sunday. This insufficiency of accommodation will necessitate an enlargement 
of the church in the near future. Father Winters is assisted in his Sunday labors 
by a priest from the college of Our Lady of La Salette, Parkville. An assistant, 
however, has been appointed, but has not yet entered upon the discharge of 
his duties. Father Winters resides temporarily at No. 39 Hungerford street. 

The first baptism was administered April 4, 1899. The recipient of the 
sacrament was Joseph Hood, son of John J. Hood and Delia Mc^Iahon. The 
first marriage was that between Patrick Doran and Elizabeth Brown, April 
19th. The first death was that of Mrs. Ann Gilligan of Lawrence street. 

The new parish began its career under the happiest auspices and with 
the brightest prospects of future success. 



^^^AMES SHEEHAN, John Moran, Annie Madden and Mary Moran con- 
stitute a little band whose names should be gratefully cherished for 
their devotion to the church in the days when to be a professing 
Catholic demanded courage indeed. The working of the North copper 
mines brought into this locality a goodly .sprinkling of Irishmen as stalwart 
in faith as in physique. Mass was first said here by the Rev. Luke Daly of 
Hartford, about 1848 or 1849. At the time of the first Mass there were about 


one liundred Catholics in Bristol. Wlien tlie copper mines closed and the 
constrnctiou of the railroad began, many Catholics found employment at the 
work and settled in Bristol Centre. From this time the Holy Sacrifice of 
the Mass was offered up in a building on Queen street, near John Moran's 
residence, and also in Gridley's hall. 

The church was built by the Rev. Father Daly, in 1855, as pastor of St. 
Mafy's, New Britain, to which Bristol was a mission. The Catholic popula- 
tion at this period had reached two hundred souls. On October i, 1864, 
Bristol was made an independent parish, with the Mines and Forestville as 
dependencies, and the Rev. Michael Redden was appointed its first resident 
pastor. Father Rodden's term of service at St. Joseph's was four years. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. Christopher Duggett, whose pastorate was of 
three years duration. .\t tlie expiration of Father Duggett's administration, 
Father Rodden returned in 1S72, and has administered the affairs of the parish 
continuously ever since. For many years Father Rodden had the spiritual 
charge of Plainville, Farmington and Forestville. Plainville was the first 
mission to be taken from the parent parish, and with Kensington formed 
a separate jurisdiction. Farmington was attached to Plainville in February, 
1885, and Forestville was also annexed on September 20, 1891. 

The parish cemetery was purchased in 1868, and solemnly blessed in the 
same year. 

Father Rodden is assisted in his parochial labors by the Rev. Patrick J. 


Broad Brook. 

(j5 I HE honor of being among the pioneer Catholics of Broad Brook belongs 
'I to Patrick Duffy, James O'Neil, Michael Geary, Patrick McDonald 
and Patrick O'Reilly. Rev. James Smyth was the celebrant of the 
first ^lass said here, and the house that enjoys this distinction was the resi- 
dence of Patrick McDonald. But bigotry was rife in those days, and in that 
section, and Mr. McDonald suffered the penalty of eviction for allowing his 
house to be used as a temporary chapel. At this time there were about 
twenty Catholics in Broad Brook, all Irish. In 1856, it passed under the care 
of the pastor of Rockville, the Rev. Bernard Tully, who met with consider- 
able opposition from fanatics. Being thwarted in his desire to say Mass in 
the public-school house by the strong anti-Catholic sentiment prevailing, 
he was rescued from his dilemma by the generosity of the proprietor of the 
village hotel, a Mr. Hubbard, who placed at the disposal of Father Tully a 
large room in his house. Mr. Hubbard's generosity and broad-minded prin- 
ciples were still further brought in evidence by the donation of a large lot, 
upon which the church was afterwards erected. 

Cautious to a great degree was Fatlier Tully, as was also his successor in 
Rockville, the Rev. Hugh T. O'Reilly. They justly feared the burden of 
debt which the erection of a church would entail, and therefore deferred 
building. In 1865, Broad Brook was served from Thompsonville, whose 


pastor, the Rev. Bernard Tiilly, had been transferred from Rockville. From 
this time until November, 1882, it continued under the control of the pastors 
of Thompsonville, being attended every Sunday during the administrations 
of the Rev. William E. DuflFy, Rev. John Cooney and Rev. John A. Mulcahy, 
and Rev. Patrick Donahoe for a brief period. It was during the pastorate of 
Father Mulcahy that the church lot was secured and St. Catherine's church 
erected. In November, 1882, as said above, it passed again under the juris- 
diction of Rockville, where it remained until its formation into a separate 

The first pastor of the newly created parish was the Rev. Michael J. Daly, 
who received his appointment in July, 1886. The population of the parish 
at this time was chiefly — it might be said exclusively — Irish people, and num- 
bered, it was estimated, 600 souls. In 1898 they had declined to 450 souls. 

Ou taking the reins of government, Father Daly entered with zeal 
upon his labors, and to him is the parish indebted for its handsome rectory 
and its cemetery. His .successor was the Rev. Michael Lynch, who served 
from August, 1890, to May, 1891. St. Catherine's thereupon reverted to 
Rockville, whence it was attended until the advent of the present pastor, the 
Rev. Thomas Dunn, in August, 1891. Father Dunn's systematic labors 
have borne excellent fruit. What with the liquidation of the debt, improve- 
ments made in the church, residence and cemetery, the parish is in a pros- 
perous condition. The people are responsive, devoted to their spiritual guide, 
and all indications point to a bright future. 

From August, 1887, to January, 1898, the records show 205 baptisms 
and 52 marriages. 



— IpNROMINENT among the first Catholic settlers of Collinsville the fol- 
Ik^ lowing names stand forth: Peter Myers, Michael Sinnott, Stephen 
V^ jMcMahon, James Furlong, Patrick Moore, Patrick Kane, Patrick 
O'Loughlin, Patrick Tinnian and Walter Lambert. The pioneer 
priest. Father Brady, of Hartford, being overtaken at night in Collinsville 
in the winter of 1841, celebrated Mass for the Catholics there resident. 
Father Brady found the number of people here sufficiently numerous to war- 
rant visitations at frequent intervals; so that Collinsville was faithfully served 
from Hartford until the appointment of the Rev. Luke Daly to New Britain 
on May 9, 1849. Father Daly administered the affairs of this congregation 
until December 10, 1856. It was during Father Daly's pastorate that the 
church was erected. The lot on which it stands was the generous gift of Mr. 
Peter Myers, an excellent representative of the Irish Catholic character. 
When Father Daly remonstrated and suggested to Mr. Myers that the dona- 
tion was too large for his means, this worthy Catholic, with the grateful feel- 
ings of a warm-hearted Christian, made an answer that deserves to be perpetu- 
ated : " I have resolved to make this offering to religion and my God ; permit 
me to complete my resolve. I came here poor. God has blessed me with 
II- 1 5 


health, the capital witli which I have provided wliat I am possessed of. I will, I 
trust, ever be grateful to hiui." The church was dedicated on August 22, 1852, 
by Bishop O'Reilly under the patronage of St. Patrick. The discourse on the 
occasion was delivered by the Rev. Thomas Quinn of Winsted. The bene- 
factors to the church who merit remembrance are Bishop O'Reilly, who con- 
tributed $100, and Michael Sinnott, whose gift was $150. The total of Mr. 
Peter Myers' donation was S230. At the time of the celebration of the first 
Mass in Collinsville the Catholic ])opulation was twelve ; when the church 
was dedicated it was 140. 

On the lotli of December, 1856, Collinsville was elevated to the dignity 
of a parish, with Tariffville and New Hartford as dependencies. The Rev. 
Patrick O'Dwyer was appointed the first resident pastor, and remained in 
charge till 1861. His pastorate witnessed the purchase, in 1856, and the 
blessing of the cemetery ; the latter event occurred on April 29, 1858, Bishop 
McFarland officiating, and also preaching an eloquent discourse on the 
nature of the ceremony, and the spirit of the church in setting aside and 
blessing spots of earth for the reception of bodies after death. Previous to 
this ceremony the bishop administered the sacrament of Confirmation to over 
100 persons, after the Solemn High Mass, which was celebrated by the Rev. 
P. J. O'Dwyer, the pastor, assisted by the Rev. Luke Daly of New Britain, 
as deacon, the Rev. B. Tully of Rockville, as sub-deacon, and the Rev. E. 
J. O'Brien of New Haven, as master of ceremonies. Present in the sanctuary 
were the Rev. Thomas Quinn of Meriden ; the Rev. Lawrence Mangan of 
Winsted, and the Rev. ^Michael O'Reilly of Waterbury. Bishop McFarland 
preached also at this ceremony from the text Matt. xvi. 18. The succession 
of priests after Father O'Dwyer was as follows : The Rev. John Fagan, from 
1861 to 1868; the Rev. Lawrence Walsh, from 1868 to May, 1S70; the Rev. 
Bernard O'R Sheridan, from 1870 to 1885; the Rev. Maurice Crowley, from 
1885 to 1889. Father Crowley was succeeded by the Rev. John J. Quinn, who 
slill continues in charge. The priests who have served as assistants in this 
parish are : Rev. William O'Brien, Rev. John Russell, Rev. J. Creedon, Rev. 
J. Schacken, Rev. T. A. Mulvane)', and Rev. Luke Fitzsimmons. 

When St. Patrick's parish was organized in 1856, the population was 
about 500 souls, principally Irish, and some Canadians. In 1898 it was 1 100, 
comprising 500 Irish, 400 Canadians, 100 Germans and 100 Poles. In the 
four decades that have elapsed since the organization of tlie parish, 3298 souls 
received the priceless gift of faith by baptism, and 544 marriages have received 
the blessing of the church. 

Besides the church and rectory St. Patrick's parish is possessed of con- 
siderable property. Regarding no labor too burdensome, and recognizing 
their obligations to religion, the people are cheerful and earnest in their 
responses to Father Quinn's appeals, are docile to his authoritative instruc- 
tions, and stimulated by his zeal and activity in the performance of his duties, 
are continuing the noble work of their predece.s.sors, and by their profound 
attachment to the faith are promoting the honor and glory of God — the one 
thing necessary. 







East Hartford. , 

HE Catholics of East Hartford were organized into an independent parish 
in August, 1873, with the Rev. Patrick A. Goodwin as the first resident 
pastor. Previous to that time the\- had formed part of St. Patrick's 
parish, Hartford. Before tlie division land for a church had been purchased 
through the agency of Mr. Patrick Gar\au at a cost of $3,000 The times were 
then unfavorable, and no attempt was made to build a church. Services were 
held every Sunday at Elm Hall, on Main street, the Christian doctrine class 
always preceding the ten-o'clock Mass. A fair held in the fall of 1876, which 
realized $1,450, infused courage into the people, and they determined to com- 
mence the erection of a chinch. In the meantime, Father Goodwin was 
stricken with a fatal illness and died on February 15, 1877. Immediately 
after, the Rev. John A. Mulcahy, who was assistant to Vicar General Lynch 
at New Haven, was assigned to the pastoral charge of the new parish. 

Soou after — such were the desires and the paramount need of his devoted 
congregation — the energetic young pastor felt obliged to push forward the 
work of building the church. Accordingly, ground was broken on the 1st 
day of April, 1877, and on June 3d the corner-stone was laid. 

On Sunday, November 1 1, 1877, the congregation assembled in their new 
place of worship to witness its dedication to the service of God by Bishop Gal- 
berry, who was assisted by Ver)' Rev. Thomas Walsh, Vicar General ; Rev. 
M. A. Tierney, Rev. T. Synnott, Rev. J. Fitzpatrick, Rev. J. Campbell, and 
Rev. John A. Mulcah)-, the pastor. After the services of dedication, a Pon- 
tifical Mass was celebrated, with Bishop Galberr}- as celebrant ; Very Rev. 
Thomas Walsh, assistant priest ; Rev. Thomas Synnott and Rev. J. Fitzpatrick, 
deacons of honor; Rev. J. Campbell and Rev. John A. Mulcahy, deacon and 
sub-deacon of the Mass, respectively; Rev. M. A. Tierney, master of ceremon- 
ies. The discourse was preached by Very Rev. James Hughes. 

During his pastorate here. Father Mulcah)' built also St. Augustine's 
church at Glastonbury; liquidated the debt on the church lot in Wethers- 
field, and collected money for the erection of a church at Rocky Hill. He 
was transferred from St. Mary's in November, 1878, to St. Patrick's parish, 
Thompsonville. His successor was the Rev. John T. McMahon, who took 
control of the parish on November loth. Father McMahon's administration 
was marked by many successes, both in the temporal and spiritual order. He 
-was succeeded by the present rector, the Rev. James Gleason, who has labored 
assiduously in promoting the religious welfare of his flock. When the parish 
was formed it comprised Glastonbury, Wethersfield, and Rocky Hill. At pres- 
ent Glastonbury only remains with East Hartford. The mission church is 
64 feet long by 37 wide. The chancel is 14 feet deep and 24 feet wide. It 
has a seating capacity of three hundred and fifty persons. Its corner-stone 
was laid on the 7th of Ajuil, 1878, by Bishop Galberry, the Rev. M. F. Kelly, 
of Windsor Locks, preaching the sermon. The ceremony of dedication took 
place on Sunday, November 17, 1878, Very Rev. Thomas Walsh, V. G., offi- 


dating. The celebrant of the Mass was Rev. James Campbell of Manchester, 
of which place Glastonbury was formerh- an out-mission. The preacher on 
the occasion was the former pastor, Rev. John A. Mulcahy. The cost of the 
church was about $3, 500. 

St. Mary's church, East Hartford, is admirably situated on Main street, 
and located on a gentle slope off the wide avenue, has a fine sweep of land- 
scape within .its view. The edifice is beautiful in design and workmanship, 
has a seating capacity of six hundred, and is capable of seating seven hundred. 
At a distance its spire and cross, overtopping and looming up from out of the 
noble old elms that give grandeur and dignity to the place, harmonize with 
the Catholic and cultured mind. 


Y(2)TAZARDVnvLE is situated about three and one-half miles east of 
Ip; I Thouipsonville in the town of Enfield. Its earliest Catholic resi- 
_L^ V^ ^ dents were William Casey, Martin D'Arsey, John Cunningham, 
Daniel Bailey and Michael Leary, all of whom are still living. 
The first Mass said in Hazardville was offered up by the Rev. James Smyth, 
pastor of St. Mary's parish, Windsor Locks, about the year 1S60, in the resi- 
dence of William Casey. There were at this period about one hundred Catho- 
lics here, but scattered over a large extent of territory, and were, for the most 
part, Irish. Father Smyth visited Hazardville occasionally until the forma- 
tion of St. Patrick's parish, Thompsonville, in January, 1863, with the Rev. 
Bernard Tully as its first resident pastor. Father Tully visited Hazardville 
at monthly intervals and said Mass at William Casey's residence until 1865 
when he purchased an old school-house, which was suitably arranged for 
divine service. Father Tully was succeeded in 1866 by the Rev. William E. 
Duff\', who said Mass semi-monthly until 1S70, when the people began to ex- 
perience tlie great blessings of weekly service. Succeeding Father Duffy, 
the Rev. John Cooney attended Hazardville for eight years, offering the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass every Sunday, visiting the sick and attending to the 
spiritual needs of the children. His successor was the Rev. John A. Mul- 
cahy, now the Vicar-General of the diocese, who was appointed pa.stor of 
Thompsonville and missions in October, 1878. Father Mulcahy began at 
once the erection of a church. The corner-stone was laid in 1880 by Right 
Rev. Bishop McMahon, and the discourse on the occasion was delivered by 
the late Rev. John Duggan, of Waterbury. In the same year the church 
was dedicated in honor of St. Bernard, the sermon of dedication being 
preached by the Rev. M. A. Tierney, now Bishop of the diocese. In 
188 1, the Rev. Patrick Donahoe succeeded Father Mulcahy and continued to 
serve Hazardville until its erection into a separate parish in January, 1888. 
The first resident pastor of the new parish was the Rev. John Svnnott, who 
came on Jannary 12, 1888. During his pastorate the parochial residence was 
built upon land secured by him, a cemetery was purchased and extensive 


iuiproveiiieuts were made in the church. The indebtedness incurred by 
these works was liquidated by Father Synnott, and a substantial sum was 
left in the treasury at his departure on May 20, 1894. The cemetery was 
bought in 1889 by Martin D'Arsey and immediately transferred to the church 
corporation. It was solemnly blessed in the same year by Right Rev. Bishop 
McMahon. After a re.sidence of six years in Hazardville, during which 
he labored actively and successfully for the welfare of his parishioners, 
Father Synnott was succeeded on May 24, 1894, b\- the present incvnnbent, 
the Rev. Thomas J. Maloney, who has proved a worthy successor of the 
zealous priests who preceded him in the care of the Catholics of Hazardville. 

Among the evidences of his material labors, we may note the iutroductiou 
of a steam-heating outfit at an expense of $800, the renovation of tlie paro- 
chial residence at an expenditure of $700, and the. frescoing of the church. 

Among the special benefactors of St. Bernard's parish mention should 
be made of the Hazard Powder Co., whose donation of $500 infused hope 
and courage into the hearts of the Catholic people who eagerly desired a 
suitable place in which to worship God. At the period in which the parish 
was formed the Catholic population numbered about four hundred souls, 
chiefly Irish, with a few Canadian families. The growth of the parish has 
been slow, as its population in 1898 was 425 souls, of the same nationalities 
aud in the same proportion as in 1888. The number of baptisms in the ten 
years of the parish's existence is one hundred and twenty-five. The first 
child to receive the sacrament of baptism in Hazardville after the formation 
of the parish was George Ruschette, January 20, 1 888, and the marriage of 
Clallane Kilba and Catharine Bailey was the first solemnized, September 23, 

St. Bernard's church is a handsome brick edifice with brown stone foun- 
dations, and finely situated on the main street of the town. Its attendants 
are loyal to parochial and diocesan rules and regulations, proud of their faith, 
patriotic in sentiment and in deed, and generous in their responses to all 
appeals made in behalf of religion. 

SoMERSviLLE, All Saints' Mission. 

Somersville is a mission of St. Bernard's parish, Hazardville, and is dis- 
tant about three miles, in the town of Somers. While pastor of Thompsonville, 
the Rev. Patrick Donahoe purchased an old Congregational church for the 
use of the Catholics of Somersville. It was remodeled and appropriately 
fitted up for Catholic worship by the Rev. John Synnott. Father Synnott 
paid the indebtedness on the parish, $2,000, and at his transfer left $1,500 in 
the treasury. The congregation soon outgrew the seating capacity of the 
building, and early in May, 1897, Father Maloney broke ground for a new 
church. The corner-stone was laid on July i8th, 1897, by Right Rev. M. A. 
Tierney, D.D. The Rev. William Gibbons preached the sermon. Among 
the clergy present were the Revs. John Cooney, Thomas Dunn, Thomas 
Preston, Richard C. Gragan, and Thomas F. Maloney. Bishop Tierney ded- 
icated the church under the title of All Saints, on January i6th, 1898. A 


Solemn High Mass was celebrated, with the Rev. James P. Donovan, D.D., 
celebrant; the Rev. Thomas Preston, deacon, and the Rev. R. C. Gragan, sub- 
deacon. The dedicatory discourse was delivered by tlie Rev. Peter McClean. 
The organ in the church was the gift of .Mr. R. Keeney, and Mr. George 
Keeney has also proved and still continues to show himself a generous bene- 
factor. Somersville mission comprises about 325 souls, the majority of whom 
are of Acadian descent. Father Maloney offers the Holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass on every Sunday and holy day of precept, and in other ways assiduously 
guards the spiritual interests of this portion of his flock. The church is a 
frame building with stone foundations, and is unencumbered by indebtedness. 



(51 HE year 1855 witnessed the advent of the first Catholic to Kensington, 
' I William Daly. He was followed by John O'Brien, Frank Mallo)- and 
Martin Hart in 1856. After this came Peter Hackett, Patrick Roche, 
James .Stafford, John Lynch and John Halloran. It was not, however, until 
after the Civil War that Catholics came here in any considerable numbers. 
With the close of hostilities and the return to their homes of the Union's 
defenders, business interests revived and the factories required additional 
hands. In consequence of this improved order of things a number of Cath- 
olic families came hither in quest of labor, and found it in the factories. It 
was not until 1872 that Kensington was honored by the offering of the Ador- 
able Sacrifice within its boundaries, the people assisting at ]Mass in New 
Britain. In the }ear mentioned the Rev. Luke Dal\- said the first Mass in 
Hart's Hall. At that time there were 350 Irish Catholics in Kensington. 

The congregation of St. Paul's continued in missionary relationship until 
1881, when the Rev. Paul F. McAlenney was designated as the first resident 
pastor. He found a church here which had been erected in 1877, but it was 
in poor condition, unfinished and burdened with a heavy debt. 

His dwelling place for the first year of his pastorate was ni the sac- 
risty of the church. The church was begun during the pastorate of the Rev. 
Dr. Carmody, of New Britain. The corner-stone was laid on October 27, 
1878, the Rev. M. A. Tierney preaching the sermon. It was dedicated by 
the pastor in May, 1879. The celebrant of the first Mass in the new church 
was the Rev. Father Donahoe, and the preacher on the occasion was the Rev. 
J. H. Ryan, D.D. 

Father McAlenney overcame the difficulties with which he was con- 
fronted. He finished the church, provided a pastoral residence and liquidated 
the debt. He severed his relations with St. Paul's parish in February, 1885, 
and was followed by the Rev. Thomas Shelly, the duration of whose pastor- 
ate was eleven years. Father Shelly's success is attested by his promotion 
to St. John's parish, Cromwell, and his recent advancement to the parish of 
the Sacred Heart, Waterbury. 

The Rev. M. A. vSullivan came in 1896, and still administers the affairs 


of St. Paul's. When Kensington was elevated to the parochial dignity the 
Catholic population numbered about i,000 souls, chiefly Irish and their 
descendants. At present it is greatly reduced, the number being 500 Irish 
and 50 Italians. 

In two decades, from 1878 to 1898, the sacrament of baptism has been 
administered 364 times, and in the same period 59 marriages liave been 
solemnized. The first to receive baptism was James McGee, born December 
13, 1872. The waters of regeneration were poured upon him in Hart's Hall, 
where the first Mass was said. The first marriage ceremony performed in the 
new church was that between John McKeon and Elizabeth Duffy in 1878. 


East Berlin. 

(j!) I HE Catholics of East Berlin attended St. Paul's church, Kensington, for 
' I many years. They were obliged to travel from four to six miles to 
assist at divine worship. This was no small inconvenience ; and as 
their numbers increased the need of having a priest to visit them became 
evident. Rev. Father Shelly said Mass for them in Clark's Hall on June 4, 
1893, this being the first time the Holy Sacrifice was offered in East Berlin. 
He visited this mission thereafter every Sunday, a privilege highly prized by 
the people, who contributed generously for the purchase of a chalice, vest- 
ments, and other articles necessary for the celebration of Mass. Upon 
Father Shelly's promotion to Cromwell in May, 1896, his .successor, Father 
Sulli\'an, undertook the erection of a church suitable for the needs of the 

A generous collection from the parishioners, the sympathy and practical 
assistance of many non-Catholics, made the task a pleasing one. The contri- 
bution of the Berlin Iron Bridge Compan\-, Charles M. Jarvis, president, gave 
much encouragement and cheered the hearts of their Catholic brethren. A 
fine site was secured, plans were drawn, and work on the new church was 
auspiciously begun. The corner-stone was laid by Bishop Tierney on Novem- 
ber 8, 1896. An attractive Gothic church, 72 by 42 feet, rose rapidly, and it 
was solemnly dedicated to God's holy service under the invocation of the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Bishop Tierney, on Sunday, May 30, 1897. The 
Mass that followed was celebrated by Rev. M. F. Rigney, with Rev. T. W. 
Dolan, and Rev. E- P- Sullivan as deacon and sub-deacon, respectively. Rev. 
N. F. X. Schneider was the master of ceremonies. The dedication sermon 
was preached by Rev. M. H. Barry, whose theme was, "The Unity of the 
Church." At the end of the services Bishop Tierney made a felicitous address, 
in which he congratulated both pastor and people on the happy issue of their 
labors, and invoked a continuance of the divine favors upon them. 

The first child to receive baptism in the new church was James Mclutyre, 
son of Thomas and Mary Mclntyre, born on May 30th, the da}' on which the 
church was dedicated, and baptized on June 13, 1897. The first funeral ser- 
vices held were over the remains of Mrs. Mclntyre, grandmother of the child 
above mentioned. 


The cordial, fraternal relations that exist here between the Catholics and 
their non-Catholic brethren is very gratifying, and promise well for the inter- 
ests of religion. Both in Kensington and in East Berlin the bond of union 
and sympathy between pastor and people is firmly welded, with the natural 
result that the efforts of both are crowned with success. 


MONG the earliest- Catholics to settle in this vicinity were John Ken- 
nedy, James Duffy and Mrs. Gill. The first-named fell a victim to 
the fell intolerance then prevalent throughout the State. There 
were some noble exceptions, but these only served to bring out in 
stronger light the fanaticism of the crowd. Mr. Kennedy had permitted — 
and rejoiced at the great privilege — Father Brady to offer the Holy Sacrifice 
in his humble dwelling for the consolation of the few Catholics of this sec- 
tion. For this act he was summarily ejected from his home by his unchari- 
table landlord, a Mr. Stone. But justice overtook the owner. Indignant at 
his conduct the proprietor of the mill, Mr. Buell, removed Stone from his 
employment and restored Kennedy to his position. In Manchester, as else- 
where, the first .seeds of faith were, from a human point of view, small and 
discouraging. Planted in an uncongenial soil, choked and all but stifled by 
the briars of bigotry and intolerance, they nevertheless germinated into a 
sturdy growth that astonished those who forgot the divine promises that the 
gates of hell .shall not prevail against the Church. 

During the period of his curacy at Hartford, Manchester was visited at 
regular intervals by Father Smyth, who said Mass in the residence of James 
Duffy. When Rev. Peter Egan assumed charge of the Catholics of Rockville 
in 1854, their co-religionists of Manchester passed under his jurisdiction. His 
pastorate was marked by the purchase of a church lot from Mr. E. Weaver, 
at a cost of $200. This site was one of the eligible and commanding in 
the neighborhood. The Rev. Bernard Tully, who succeeded Father Kgan in 
December, 1856, set about to carry out the designs of his predecessor. On 
Tuesday, October 19, 1858, the frame of the new church was raised in the 
presence of a large congregation, most of them Irish-Americans. The Cheney 
Brothers stopped their mills in order to render all the assistance possible. 
The dedication occurred on Decembers, 1858; 500 persons were present in 
the church on the occasion. The celebrant of the ^lass was the Rev. Father 
O'Dwyer of Collinsville, and an appropriate discourse was delivered by Rev. 
Thomas Quinn of Meriden. Thenceforth to 1869, St. Bridget's church was 
served from Rockville— Father Tully, 1856 to 1863 ; Father Hugh O'Reilly, 
1863 to 1868; Father Tully again, 186S to October, 1S69. At this date 
the Rev. James Campbell became the resident pastor of St. Bridget's 
.parish. Among the material labors that signalized his administration were 
the purchase of the first rectory and the erection of St. James' church, South 
Manchester. His pastorate extended to 1890. The Rev. William Doolan 


then followed, and after a successful rule of four years was succeeded by the 
Rev. Richard Gragan, who served the parish from 1894 to 1897. During this 
period the indebtedness of the church was liquidated, a new lot for a church 
was secured and a church built at Vernon. The corner-stone of the present 
church was laid on August 2, 1896. Bishop Tierney officiated, and Rev. 
Thomas W. Broderick preached the sermon. There were twenty-two priests 
present and 3500 people. The chapel in the basement was blessed by Bishop 
Tierney on Sunda}', January 25, 1897. The officers of the Solemn Mass were : 
Celebrant, Rev. P. Pajot ; deacon, Rev. J. Cooney ; sub-deacon. Rev. D. Hag- 
gerty ; preacher. Rev. P. McClean. On this day Father Gragan announced his 
appointment to Stafford Springs. He was followed immediately by the Rev. 
Frederick J. Murphy, tlie present pastor. He has materially reduced the 
indebtedness increased by the construction of the church, and is laboring 
zealously for the spiritual welfare of his flock. 

Attached to St. Bridget's parish is a cemetery of the same name, pur- 
chased in 1862 and blessed in 1863. The population of the parish in 1898 
was 755 souls, comprising Irish and Americans, while at the time of the first 
Mass, in 1854, there were twelve Irish families, or about sixty souls. 


New Britain. 

MONG the pillars of the nascent church in New Britain, the vanguard 
of that numerous phalanx which is rendering such signal service 
in the warfare for Christ and souls, shine out conspicuously the 
Celtic names of Patrick Crotty, Thomas Pentilow, Peter McAvoy, 
Philip Powers, James Foley, John Haffey, Patrick Brady, John Cusick, 
Hugh Fox, and Peter Skelly. 

Sixty years ago there were few Catholics in New Britain, and previous 
to 1 842 the little band had not been visited by a priest. But in July of that 
year the Rev. John Brad}^ of Hartford, celebrated the Divine Mysteries in 
the house of James Foley, which stood on the site of the Russell & Erwiu 
screw factory. At this, the first Mass said in New Britain, there were present 
about twenty or twenty-five persons. In succession to Father Brady came 
the Rev. Edmund Murphy, who labored with great zeal on this mission for 
eight months. Father Murphy was a priest of the diocese of Boston, and for 
a quarter of a century after his departure from New Britain was pastor of St. 
John the Baptist parish at Fall River, Mass. During Father Murphy's brief 
pastorate, and for ten years afterwards, Mass was said in private houses, 
chiefly in the residences of William Cassid)- and Peter Skelly. 

When the Rev. Luke Daly assumed charge of this mission in September, 
1848, the Catholic population of New Britain numbered about one hundred 
souls. His parish comprised New Britain, Farmington, Plainville, Bri.stol 
and the Mines, Forestville, Collinsville, New Hartford, Tariffville, Simsbury, 
and Rainbow. His labors in this large field were mainly i^reaching, cate- 
chizing, administering the sacraments, and saying Mass whenever and 


wherever he had the opportunity. Father Daly's first Mass in New Britain 
was celebrated in the building that stands just south of Mr. I. N. Lee's fac- 
tory, the upper rooms being occupied, the partitions liaving been removed. 
Among the congregation at that Mass were Mr. Peter Skelly, Mr. Downs, 
Mr. Fox, Mi. r,ray, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Brady, and Mr. HafTey. Mr. Ca.ssidy's 
house was used for a sliort time, and the second Christmas Mass was celebrated 
in Humphrey Hall. Though Father Daly was appointed pastor of New 
Britain in September, 1848, he did not take up his permanent residence 
there until Wednesday, May 9, 1849. In September, 1850, he Ijegan the 
erection of a church on Myrtle street, 84 feet in length by 45 feet in width. 
The site which he had secured for the church was purchased for $225. It 
was the second brick church in the State, the first — old vSt. James' of Bridge- 
port — having been erected by Father Smith. The ceremony of dedication 
took place on August 11, 1853. .V contemporary thus wrote of the new 
church : "There is now here a Catholic church in the early Knglisli Gothic 
style, chaste and perfect in all its proportions. It is the first church of its 
kind I have seen in which the style is carried out, and is a relief from the 
barn style, which might be considered the favorite church style in too man\- 
sections of our countrj-. The Rev. Mr. Daly is pastor of this, with other mis- 
sions, to whose energy and labors the good village of New Britain is indebted 
for this beautiful Gothic church. The congregation is increasing so fast that 
the church, erected with a view to meet the increasing hosts of Catholicit>-, is 
already well filled. The congregation is well spoken of as practical in reli- 
gion and ever obedient to the monitions of their pastor." In 185 i. Father 
Dal)' purchased the old cemetery, which was blessed by Bishop McFarland in 
1859. He also bought the pastoral residence on Lafayette street in 1857. In 
September, 1862, Father Daly added to the church a transept 32 feet by 75 
feet, and a chancel 42 1 feet by 30 feet, which was dedicated b\- Bishop 
McFarland on October 11, 1868. The benefactors of this church deserve 
mention here. Besides Father Dah' himself, they were Peter Skelly, William 
Cassidy, Peter Slain, Joseph Cassidy, Patrick Downs, Patrick Keely, Hugh 
Fox, Michael Gray, John Haffey, John Bowman, and Patrick ClaflTey. "We 
had only poor men to assist us," wrote Father Daly; "but the above gave 
most towards building the church." In 1866 a bell was purchased for the 
church and blessed on September 30tli of that year by Bishop McFarland. 
A', 40 by 20 feet, was also added to the rear of the church. On May 
28, 1877, Father Daly began the erection of St. Thomas' Convent, u\\ Lafas- 
ette street, the corner-stone of which was laid by Bishop Galberry. Before 
the convent was completed, however, Father Daly was called to his reward. 
After thirty-two years of incessant and successful toil in the Master's vine- 
yard, he passed away after a brief illness on June 30, 1878, in the 56th year of 
his age. Father Daly was born in the County Cavan, Ireland, and was 
educated at All Hallows' College, a nursery of priests. He was ordained in 
1846 by Bishop Tyler, and resided .soon after with Father Brady of Hartford. 
Father Daly's death was a public loss, and the following words of a contem- 
porary testify to the esteem in which he was held : 

New Britain. 


" The flags floating at half-mast on every public building on the eve of 
the Fourth of Jul)- ! Every wheel still, and the busy hum of industry hushed 
in the workshops of a city of 15,000, in Puritan New England, in Protestant 
Connecticut ! Shutters^closed on all the business streets ! What was tlie 
cause of all this public demonstration of respect and veneration? It was 
because a noble-hearted Catliolic priest was dead — a man of no extraordinary 
abilities, as the world counts genius, but a man whose watchword through 
life was duty — a priest whose whole life was devoted to the cause of God — a 
hero of modern times, whose fields of conflict and victory were in the confes- 
sional, at the altar, and in the midst of his flock ; who had seen New Britain 
a village and left it a city ; who had found the Catholics there few in num- 
bers — about fifty, without strength or reputation — and who left them increased 
to from 5,000 to 6,000, nearly a third of the population. Well was it that 
New Britain should mourn ; well was it that the church should be crowded ; 
well was it that the chief shepherd of the flock i;a the diocese and the reverend 
clergy all over the State should assemble to pay the last tribute of respect to 
Rev. Luke Daly, New Britain's pastor for nearly thirty years." 

The Pontifical Mass of requiem was said by BishojD Galberry, after 
which the Rev. Dr. Carmody pronounced the funeral sermon and paid this 
tribute to his departed friend : 

" He was a man full of faith, of no pretense. More brilliant priests I 
have known, but none possessing more priestly traits. He was careful of the 
neatness, and as time permitted, even of the splendor of the church, devoted 
to the education of the children, and constant in the confessional. He loved 
his people and studied both their temporal and eternal interests. He re- 
spected those who, although not Catholics, were his fellow-citizens, and was 
interested in the prosperity of this cit)-." 

The Rev. Hugh Carmody, D.D., of New Haven, was appointed the suc- 
cessor of Father Daly on July 16, 1878, and assumed charge of the parish on 
Sunday, July 21st. His administration was signalized by the completion of 
the convent, and the purchase of a fine site on North Main street, on which 
he intended to erect a new church, as the old St. Mary's had become too 
small for the steadily increasing congregation. Moreover, it was being sur- 
rounded by factories. It was unsafe and not in keeping with the dignity 
and membership of St. Mary's parish. The lot purchased by Dr. Carmody has 
a frontage of 300 feet, is the same width on Beaver street, and cost $29,000. 
But death intervened, and the work was postponed. Dr. Carmody passed 
from earth on April 23, 1883. His last public words about his plans were: 
"Whosoever will complete the work I began will leave a lasting monu- 
ment as evidence of the generosity of the Catholics of New Britain." During 
his administration the parish prospered, and through his efforts the present 
parochial schools were opened. 

The Rev. Michael A. Tierney succeeded Dr. Carmody in May, 1883. He 
began and carried to completion the work of the church's construction. The 
corner-stone was laid on June 27, 1886, by Bishop McMahon, Very Rev. 
A. V. Higgins, O. P., of New Haven, preaching the sermon. The basement 


was dedicated to tlie Sacred Heart by the same bishop on September 8, i S89. 
The preacher was tlie Rev. Charles McKenna, O. P. Before tlie main church 
was dedicated Father Tierney was transferred to a higlier position and to 
weightier responsibilities. 

It is of rare occurrence that a bisliop dedicates a church which he him- 
self erected as pastor. But on March 4, 1894, Bishop Tierney, with cere- 
monial the most impressive, solemnly dedicated to God, under the patronage 
of His ever Blessed Mother, the magnificent edifice upon which he had been 
engaged for ten years. It was his first public official act as bishop, and a 
gratifying one it must have been to the devoted people who generously fol- 
lowed his spiritual guidance throughout those years. After Bishop Tierney 
had concluded the ceremony of dedication. Solemn Pontifical High Mass was 
celebrated with the following officers: 

Celebrant^ RIGHT REV. JOHN S. MlCHAUD, D.D., Coadjutor Bishop of Burlington, Vt. 

Assistant Priest, The Rev. Jamks Num., Bridgeport. 

Deacon, The REV. JEREMIAH CuRTiN, New Milford. 

, Sub-Deaeon, The Rev. PeTER Skellv, Litchfield. 

Masters of Ceremonies, The Rev. J. CuRTiN, New Haven ; the Rev. M. Mav, New Britain. 

Preacher, The REV. James C. O'Brien, Bridgeport. 

Present in the sanctuary were Right Rev. Bishop Beaven of Springfield, 
and about fort\' priests. The sacrament of confirmation was administered 
at 3 P.M. for the first time in the new church to two hundred children and 
adults. At the Vesper service Bishop Tierney presided, and the Rev. 
Timothy O'Brien, of Noroton, pronounced the discourse. 

St. Mary's church is of Portland brown stone, with rich carvings. 
Within are three marble altars, one in memory of Father Daly, one in memory 
of Rev. Dr. Carmody, and the main altar, which is a marvel of workmanship. 
The ceiling is of ribbed wood-work in artistic colors, the mouldings being of 
beautiful design. Elegant portraits of twenty saints adorn the panels. Tlie 
large circular window over the main altar contains pictures of the Twelve 
Apostles and the Holy Family. There are sixteen stained glass windows por- 
traying leading events in sacred history. Nine large pillars .support the roof, 
and are handsomely decorated. The lights are encircled around these col- 
umns. Over the main altar is a handsome grotip of the Crucifixion. The 
edifice is Gothic in style, 127 feet long and 80 feet wide. The main audi- 
torium is 100 feet by 80, witli a height of 60 feet from the floor to the ceiling. 
Its seating capacity is 1,500. The chapel of the Sacred Heart, the liasemeut, 
seats about the same number. 

Bishop Tierney was succeeded by the present incumbent, the Rev. Wil- 
liam A. Harty, who preached his initial sermon as pastor of St. Mar)''s parish 
on vSunday, March 25, 1894. Bringing to his new field of labor ripe experi- 
ence, reliable judgment, and zeal judiciously tempered with prudence. Father 
Harty has not only materially reduced the indebtedness, but is keeping the 
parish on the high spiritual plane established by his predecessors. Father 







Harty is a diocesan consultor and a member of the Board of Examiners of 
the clergy. 

St. Mary's has two cemeteries. The old burial place was purchased in 
July, 185 1, during the pastorate of Father Daly, and blessed by Bishop Mc- 
Farland in April, 1859. The new cemetery was bought by Father Tierney 
in August, 1890, and blessed on May 30, 1893, by Bishop McMahon. Be- 
sides the church, rectory and schools, the parish possesses the old parochial 
residence and grounds on Lafayette street, corner of High, and the sexton's 
house on Beaver street. 

The number of baptisms administered between the years 1849 and 1898 
(to June) was 10,724; the number of marriages was 2,313.' 

The clergymen who have served as assistants in St. Mary's parish are the 
following : 

With Father Daly : Revs. Henry Lynch, Thomas Mullen, William Harty, Thomas Smith 
John H. Duggan, Patrick H. Finnegan. 

With Dr. Carnwdy : Revs. John C. Donahoe, James Larkin, J. H. Ryan, M. McKeon, E. 
McGee, T. J. Hanavan, R. C. Gragan, J. H. Dolan. 

With Father Tierney : Rev. R. C. Gragan, J. H. Dolan, N. F. X. Schneider, J. W. Lancaster, 
J. T. McMahon, W.J. McGurk, W. H. Gibbons, Michael May, J. J. Fitzgerald. 

With Father Marty: Revs. M. May, J. J. Fitzgerald, M. Sheehan, J. Lee, D. A. Bailey, P. 
J. O'Reilley, J. McLoughlin, D. D. 

The estimated population of St. Mary's parish is 6,000 souls, principally 
Irish, with many French Canadians and a few Italians. 

St. Mary's Parochial School. — The first Catholic school in New 
Britain was built in May, 1862, and opened in the following September, lay 
teachers being employed. It was about the time the transept was being 
added. The school building was being constructed at the same time, and 
the school was organized in the church, classes being formed in the pews. 
When the school proper opened there were two rooms. The one on the first 
floor was for the boys and was taught by Mr. Joseph Cullen, now of Water- 
bury, who was the principal. The girls occupied the second iioor, and were 
taught by a Mr. Grace. Mr. Grace was succeeded by Miss Jennie E. Barnes, 
who has made teaching her life work and who still resides in New Britain. 
Mr. Cullen was succeeded by Mr. Thomas O'Dell, a graduate of the New 
Britain Normal school. In 1871 Mr. John A. O'Brien, A.B., a graduate of 
St. Francis Xavier College, New York, was called from Providence to succeed 
Mr. O'Dell. Father Daly inaugurated a Latin School undet Mr. O'Brien's 
tuition, and the class gave to the Church the following priests : Rev. J. J. 
Curtin, Waterbury ; Rev. T. F. O'Brien, Noroton ; Rev. J. Curtin, West 
Haven; Rev. T. J. Mullin, Missouri Valley, Iowa; Hugh McAvoy, Kilkenny, 
Minn. Rev. P. Skelly, of Litchfield, and Rev. James B. Nihil of Bridgeport, 
were pupils of this school from its opening. The following table, gathered 

' For about half of the first decade, /. e., from 1849 to 1854, the marriage and birth entries 
include the adjacent towns of Farmington, Tariffville, the Mines, Bristol, Berlin, Collinsville, 
Simsbury, Rainbovr, etc. 


from authentic sources, will be of interest, as showing the increase in child 
population for nine years : 

Year. No. of pupils. Year. Ko. of pupils. 

1862 170 1867 375 

1863 200 l868 400 

1864 300 1869 450 

'865 350 1870 525 

1866 375 

At present there are 1343 pupils, three school buildings, twenty-four 
Sisters of Mercy, with nine grades. Sister M. Raymond is the superior of St. 
Thomas convent. Xnmericalh- St. Mary's school is tlie first in the diocese ; 
in point of excellence, in methods of teaching and in the success that attends 
its graduates, it is second to none. It has sent fortli into the world hundreds of 
young men and women who are loyal citizens of the State and devoted children 
of the Church. Among the institutions of New Britain that have contributed 
to the prosperity of the city, in the front rank stands deservedly St. Mary's 
parochial school. 

New Britain. 
MONG the earliest German Catholics to settle in New Britain were 
Thomas Schmitt and M. Marron. With few exceptions, the first Ger- 
man Catholics who came hither wandered from the household of 
the faith. F'orming new affiliations they sundered the ties that 
bound them to the church of their baptism. Jnto Freemasonrj' went some of 
them, into infidelity others. The cause of their apo.stasy ? It is difficult to 
attribute their defection to any particular cause. Deartli of priests, infre- 
quency of instruction, lack of opportunity to assist at Mass and to frequent 
the sacraments, pride, association — all have been causes contributing to 
apostasy. But the history' of the Church proves that faith is surrendered only 
willingly; that those who wish to preserve it, will keep it even at the sacrifice 
of life itself 

The first Mass celebrated for the Germans of New Britain was said in 
1872, probably by the Rev. H., who was appointed in 1868 
the first pastor of the German Catholics of New Haven. The first baptism 
was admini.stered onjuly 15, 1872. In the spring of 1874, Rev. Father Schale 
succeeded Father Wendelschmidt at New Haven and assumed charge also of 
the German Catholics of New Britain. After a short while, however. Father 
Schale relinquished the New Britain mission to Rev. John Herman Bernard 
Jaspers, who attended also the Germans of Hartford. 

The present incumbent, the Rev. Nicholas F. X.Schneider, received his 
appointment on July 17, 1889, as pastor of the German Catholics of Hartford 
and New Britain. Father Schneider resided in Hartford for a year, when he 
took up his residence in New Britain in July, 1890. 

The church, which has not been built beyond the basement, was begun 
by Father Schneider in 1890. The land upon which it is built was pur- 
chased in the fall of this year by Joseph Schilling. On November 23d of 


that year the corner-stone was laid by Bishop McMahon, the Rev. Boniface 
Goebbles, a Capuchin Friar, preaching the sermon. The dedication cere- 
mony took place on July 19, 1891, Very Rev. James Hughes, V. G., officiat- 
ing. The Mass which followed the dedication services was celebrated by 
Rev. M. A. Tierney, assisted by Rev. T. Shelly as deacon, Rev. J. Lynch as 
sub-deacon, and Rev. W. Maher, D.D. , as master of ceremonies. The preacher 
was Rev. Father Anastasius, O.M., Cap., of New York. Work ou the super- 
structure was resumed on May 17, 1899, and the edifice is to be completed by 
January i, 1900. 

When the first Mass was said for the German Catholics of New Britain, 
in 1872, there were about 100 souls. When the parish was organized in 18S9, 
the number was estimated at 300. At present there are 500. 

From July, 18S9, to 1898, the sacrament of Baptism was conferred upon 
190 persons, and during the same period the marriage ceremony was per- 
formed 30 times. 

The first piece of land purchased by the German Catholics of New 
Britain for church purposes was secured in 1873, and on July 2nd of that year 
the parish was incorporated according to the laws of the State with Right 
Rev. Francis P. McFarland, D.D., Very Rev. James Hughes, V.G., and Rev. 
Joseph Schale, as the ecclesiastical members of the corporation, Cliarles 
Kemmerer and Frederick Engel peing the lay members. 

The first death after the formation of the parish was that of Mrs. Ambrose 
Schmitt, August 6, 1889. The first marriage was solenmized on November 
12, 1889, the contracting parties being Frank Benz and Margaret Siering. 
The first child to receive baptism during Father Schneider's pastorate was 
Barbara Elizabeth Merget. 

The present trustees are Thomas Schmitt and Arthur Volz. 


New Britain. 

IN 1894, the Polish Catholics of New Britain were sufficiently numerous 
to have assigned to them a priest of their own nationality. On August 
10th, of that year, Rev. Thomas Misicki, D. D. , the new pastor, said 
Mass for the first time for his flock in St. Mary's church. At that time 
his parish had a population of 700 souls, comprising Poles, Slavonians and 
Ruthenians. Rev. Dr. Misicki remained here a year, when he was succeeded 
by the present pastor, Rev Lucian Bojnowski, on September 26, 1895. The 
present church was begun on April 16, 1896. It is a frame structure, 45 x 100 
feet. The upper story is used for divine worship, while the first floor contains 
a school and the apartments of the rector. The church seats 528 persons. The 
ceremony of laying the corner-stone took place on July 19, 1 896, Bishop Tierney 
officiating. Present on the occasion were Very Rev. J. A. Mulcahy, V.G., Rev. 
J. P. Donovan, D.D., Very Rev. P. Pajot, M.S., Rev. W. A. Harty, Rev. R. 
Moore, Rev. T. Mizotns, Rev. K. Kucharski, Rev. D. Bailey, Rev. J. Fitzgerald, 
Rev. P. O'Reilly. The Polish societies were present at the ceremony in laroe 
numbers. The church was dedicated on October 4th of the same year by 


Bishop Tierney in the presence of a large assemblage of the clergy and 

When the school was opened forty-two pupils were enrolled. There are 
now 150, with three grades taught by lay teachers. 

The last census of the parish disclosed 1330 souls ; 1200 of whom are 
Poles, 50 Slavonians and 80 Ruthenians. The number of baptisms from the 
organization of the parish in 1894 to 1898 was 537; the number of marriages 
for the same time was 172. 

Through the zeal of Father Bojnowski, two Protestants and one Jew have 
received the grace of conversion. 

Nkw Britain. 
X October I, 1895, Bishop Tierney requested the Rev. Joseph Zebris, 
pa.stor of St. Joseph's (Lithuanian) parish, Waterbury, to say 
Mass every Sunday for the Lithuanians of New Britain. There- 
after, Father Zebris visited New Britain weekly and offered the Holy Sacrifice 
of the Mass in St. IMary's church, and discharged other duties belonging to 
his office as pastor. Desirous of possessing a church of their own, they began 
to make preparations for the accomplishment of tlie work. Accordingly, on 
New Year's Day, 1896, the corner-stone of St. Andrew's church was laid in 
the presence of a large concourse of people. Bishop Tierney addressed the 
large a.ssemblage in English, and the pastor delivered a discourse to his 
countrymen. The ceremony of dedication took place on Easter Sunday, 1896, 
the pastor, Father Zebris, officiating, who also said on that day the first Mass 
celebrated in tlie new church. To liquidate the indebtedness thus incurred, 
the Lithuanians with their pastor collected $3,000. 

On July I, 1896, the Lithuanians received as pastor the Rev. Joseph 
Masrolas, who remained about six months. St. Andrew's was then attended 
by tlie clergy of St. Mary's and Sacred Heart parishes until Father Zebris 
again assumed charge. He attended New Britain from Waterbury until June 
I, 1898, when, at the request of Bishop Tierney, he took up his residence at 
New Britain, and became the resident pastor of St. Andrew's. In October of 
that year, Father Zebris built the pastoral residence at a cost of $1,700. The 
property of St. Andrew's parish is valued at $12,000. The population is 400 
souls. The baptisms average thirty-five annually and the marriages fifteen. 


New Bkit.m.n. 
'T. JOSEPH'S parish was organized on April 9, 1896, by Rev. Rich- 
ard F'. Moore, A. M., its first pastor, who celebrated his first Mass 
here in St. Peter's chapel, Sunday, April 19th, of that year. 
The estimated number of Catholics when the parish was formed 
was 1000 Irish, Irish-Americans and a few French. Among living in 
this section of the city for any notable time before the formation of the 
parish are William Stewart, Edward Nihil, John Nolan, Michael Donnelly, 


J. and P. O'Sullivan, Judge Roche, P. J. Flannery, Mrs. Devitt, Michael 
O'Connell, William and Patrick Coiighlin, Richard O'Dell and John L. 

Father Moore began immediately to make preparations for the erection 
of a church for his flock. The people responded generously to his appeals for 
financial aid, and the work progressed so favorably that the corner-stone was 
soon laid by Bishop Tierney, assisted by Very Rev. J. A. Mulcahy, V. G., 
and Rev. W. Harty, assistant priests; Rev. N. Schneider, deacon; Rev. J. 
Lynch, sub-deacon ; Rev. J. Fitzgerald, cross bearer ; Rev. H. Walsh and Rev. 
W. J. Dullard, chanters. The sermon was preached by Monsignor T. J. 
Conaty, D.D. Among the priests present were Rev. M. Rodden, Rev. P. 
McGivney, Rev. C. McCann, Rev. P. O'Leary, Rev. M. Sullivan, Rev. L,. 
Bojnowski, Rev. A. Mizotus, Rev. D. Bailey and Rev. P. O'Reilly. Five thou- 
sand people witnessed the impressive ceremony. On the platform were seated 
many Protestant ministers, members of the Board of Education, Board of 
Aldermen, Councilmen and the Mayor. Work on the church progressed 
under the most favorable circumstances, the enthusiasm of the people increas- 
ing as they witnessed the fruition of their labors. On September 19, 1S97, 
the new church was solemnly dedicated to God imder the patronage of St. 
Joseph, patron of the Universal Church . Bishop Tierney officiated at this 
ceremony, after which a Solemn High Mass was sung, with Rev. J. B. Nihil 
as celebrant, Rev. H. T. Walsh as deacon. Rev. M. Sullivan as snb-deacon, 
Rev. R. Earl)' as master of ceremonies ; chaplains to Bishop Tierney, Rev. 
B. O., R. Sheridan and Rev. W. J. Slocum. Rev. W. J. Shanley, rector of 
the cathedral, preached on "The Beauty of God's House." A number of priests 
of the diocese were present in the sanctuary. St. Joseph's church has attached 
to it a school containing four commodious and well-ventilated rooms, which 
was erected with the church and blessed on the same day. The school, how- 
ever, has not yet been opened for the reception of pupils. It is the intention 
of the pastor to convert a dwelling-house of two tenements on the church 
property into a convent. 

The benefactors of St. Joseph's parish are William Stewart, who donated 
^500 for the main altar ; the family of Edward Nihil and that of Mrs. Devitt ; 
Mrs. J. Sullivan, who contributed the Bles.sed Virgin's altar, and Patrick 
Mulligan, the sexton, who donated St. Joseph's altar ; Michael Donnelly, 
trustee, and Judge Roche, clerk of the church committee, whose generosity 
has been made manifest on various occasions. As evidence of the people's 
cooperation with their pastor, it may be stated that in one collection they 
contributed $3000 to furnish the church. 

The baptisms for the first year numbered twenty-one, for the second, 
thirty-two. The marriages for the same periods were three and nine respec- 

St. Joseph's parish is in the residential portion of the city ; here are the 
State Normal School and the new High School. Many of its principal mem- 
bers occupy positions of trust in political, business and factory life, while 
others are an honor to the teaching profession. The young parish has entered 
11— -16 


upon its career auspiciously and has made enviable progress in the temporal 
and spiritual orders. Its prospects for a successful future are bri>iht, indeed, 
if tile successes of the past be any criterion. 



^^TvAINVILLE in former years was called tlie "City of the Plains," 
and is situated about fourteen miles west of Hartford. The town 
received its name from the fact that its site is one unbroken plain, 
there being nothing like a hill within the limits of the township. 
It possesses fine railroad facilities, as both the Highland and Northampton di- 
visions of the Consolidated Railroad pass through it and make it an important 
junction town. To these may be added the accommodation affordfd b\ the 
" Third Rail " system and no less than four different trolley lines. 

Notwithstanding its attractive and commercial advantages, there are but 
few large industries located in Plainville, and none of any importance has 
been introduced in many years. The population of the town has increased 
but little in twenty years, and the Catholic portion, owing to the few indus- 
tries, has not increased with that rapidity and steadiness characteristic of 
large industrial centers. 

The pioneer Catholics of Plainville were Luke Doyle, Daniel Kelly, 
James Prior, Christopher Calleu and James McCaul. All of these, with the 
exception of James Prior, and possibly, Luke Doyle, were long since summoned 
to their reward, honored by all who knew of their devotion to the faith. 
The first Mass celebrated in Plainville was said in the residence of Daniel 
Kelly, about the year 185 i, by the Rev. Luke Daly, whose kindly, priestly 
attentions are still fondly remembered. For some time afterwards IMass was 
said in "Neal's Hall," the present "Union House," which is under the 
management of Charles McCaul, the first Catholic child baptized in Plain- 
ville. For a number of years the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered up 
in " Newton's Hall," which was destroyed by fire about a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago. " Morgan's Hall " was then .secured, and the faithful band of 
Catholics attended divine worship here for a few years. At this period, and 
for some years previous, the spiritual care of the people of Plainville devolved 
upon the pastor of Bristol, the Rev. Michael K. Rodden. 

At the celebration of the first Mass here, probably not more than a dozen 
Catholics were present, all of whom were Irish. As their numbers increased 
with the years, they began to discuss the feasibility of erecting a church 
where their faith could offer suitable homage to the Di\'ine Mysteries. They 
petitioned the Ordinary of the diocese. Right Rev. Bishop IMcMahon of 
blessed memory, with the result that Plainville was taken from the jurisdic- 
tion of Bristol and attached to Kensington, both places forming a parish with 
the Rev. Paul F\ McAlenney as its first rector. The work which the new 
pastor first undertook was the erection of a church, and so generous and con- 
stant was the co-operation of the people, that although the parish was formed 
on July 26th, 1 88 1, the corner-stone was laid in the following December, and 


tlie impressive ceremony of dedication took place on September 24th, 1882. 
The beautiful altar which adorns the sanctuary was the gift of j\Ir. and Mrs. 
Frank jMcDerniott. 

On February 15th, 1885, the present pastor, the Rev. Henry T. Walsh, 
was transferred from Stamford to Plainville, as the successor to Father 
McAlenney. He began immediately the erection of a parochial residence. 
Again the devoted Catholics of Plainville responded cheerfully to their pas- 
tor's appeal for financial assistance, so that within six months a rectory, 
modern in all respects, was ready for occupanc^^ But inore was yet to be 
accomplished. A cemetery was imperatively needed, as all burials took 
place either in Bristol or New Britain. As an evidence of the practical 
S}-mpath}- of the people towards this new project, it may be stated that the 
first collection taken up for the purpose was more than suflScient to liquidate 
the indebtedness incurred h\ the purchase of six acres of land on Farmineton 
avenue. The cemetery was blessed on Sunday, July I2tli, 1887, by Right 
Rev. Bishop McMahon. The sermon on the occasion was preached by the 
Rev. Richard Moore. The procession, made up of religious and civic socie- 
ties, which marched to the cemetery on that day, was a revelation to the 
towns-people, and a parade equal to it has not since been duplicated. 

The present Catholic population of Plainville is three hundred and 
seventy souls, ninety-five per cent, of whom are Irish. The first marriage 
solemnized here was that between James Prior and Ann Shields. The 
ecclesiastical propert}', consisting of the church and parochial residence, 
which are both lighted by electricity, and the cemetery, are striking proofs 
of the faith and genero.sity of the Catholics of Plainville, as well as of the zeal 
and energy of their pastors. The assistant priest is the Rev. P. F. Daly. 

St. Matthew's Mission, Forestville. 
Forestville, formerly served from Bristol, has been attended as a mission 
from Plainville since September 20th, 1891. For about ten years previous to 
this change. Mass was said every Sunday in "Firemen's Hall" by Rev. 
Father Rodden of Bristol. After the transfer of Forestville to the jurisdic- 
tion of Plainville, Father Walsh began immediately the erection of a church 
there. Excavations were begun on November 5th, 1891, and the corner-stone 
was laid by Right Rev. Bishop McMahon on January 17th, 1892. The work 
of construction was carried on so successfully that the first Mass was said in the 
basement by Father Walsh on Sunday, March 27th, 1892. The dedication cere- 
monies took place on June 12th, 1S92, Bishop McMahon officiating. Five years 
later the superstructure, a beautiful building, was completed and dedicated to 
God under the patronage of the Apostle, St. Matthew, by Right Rev. Bishop 
Tierney, on June 27th, 1897. The church is valued at $15,000, is an orna- 
ment to the village, as well as a testimony to the faith of the 500 Catholics of 

St. Patrick's Mi.s.sion, Farmington. 

Farmington was detached from Bristol in February, 1885, and assigned 
to the jurisdiction of Plainville. The first disciples of the faith in this hand- 


some old village were Thomas Smith, I^awrence McCahill, John ReilTy, 
John Brady, Mrs. Mary Skelly and John Flood. Tlie first Mass was said in 
the early fifties by the Rev. Luke Daly in the present residence of John Flood. 
The Catholic population of Farmington is cliiefly Irish and numbers 2Q0 
souls. Mass is said every Sunday in the brick church purchased by Rev. 
Patrick Duggett and dedicated in honor of St. Patrick. 



^-^'i^-^OQUONOCK, originally written Paquanocke, is one of the earliest 

IL«^ settlements in Connecticut. It was founded in 1635. Its Catholic 

1^ history dates from 1848, when the first Mass was said within its 

boundaries by the Rev. John Brady, at tlie residence of Samuel 


Poquonock came under the jurisdiction of the Rev. James Smyth, after 
his appointment as pastor of St. Mary's, at Wind.sor Locks in 1852. An 
humble building at the corner of ]\Iain street and Maple avenue became 
the house of worship, and though bereft of all that makes a church a veri- 
table home, a haven of rest to the devout Catholic, it was nevertheless 
precious to them, for there they could gather before the rudely-constructed 
altar, and during the celebration of the divine mysteries, jjetition heaven for 
needed graces. This first place of worship afterwards came into the posses- 
sion of the Catholics of Poquonock and was removed to the site of the present 
handsome edifice. Since the erection of the latter the original church has 
been transformed into a parish hall. 

Before its organization into a separate parish Poquonock continued to 
be served successively by the Rev. James Smyth, Rev. Michael ^IcAuley, 
Rev. Michael F. Kelly and Rev. James O'R. Sheridan. During tlie admin- 
istration of the last-mentioned, the present fine structure was erected. 

Ground was broken in June, 1886, the people co-operating enthusiastically 
with their pastor, gratified that God liad so prospered them that they were 
soon to possess a church that would be an ornament to the village. Two 
months later the corner-stone was laid, the orator of the occasion being the 
Rev. Charles McKenna, O. P. The sacrifices of the people were rewarded 
and their labors crowned on January 30, 1887, when the new temple, placed 
under tlie j)atronage of the patron of tire universal church, St. Joseph, was 
dedicated with impressive ceremonial. Bishop McMahon oflliciated on the 
auspicious occasion, and the dedication sermon was preached by Rev. 
Thomas W. Broderick, of Hartford. ^ 

Poquonock continued under Father Sheridan's jini.sdiction for five years 
longer. The congregation was in a flourishing condition, and contentment 
reigned among them. The indebtedness had been reduced to $3,000 during 
Father Sheridan's incumbency, a comparatively small amount when we reflect 
that the church, was thoroughly equipped witji all things necessary for the 
proper and decent celebration of divine worship. 


Father Flemming, the first resident pastor of Poqiionock, received his 
appointment thereto in Angnst, 1892, and immediately set about the work of 
erecting a parochial residence, which he completed at a cost of $2,625. To 
the liquidation of the indebtedness thus incurred may be added the reduction 
of the original mortgage debt to $1,000. After five and a half years of unre- 
mitting labor in this field Father Flemming was transferred to Bethel, as 
successor to the Rev. Patrick O'Connell, in the latter part of January, 1898. 
His successor is an active young priest, a worthy successor, and for many 
years assistant at St. Francis' parish. New Haven, the Rev. Thomas Shanley. 



^T. GABRIEIv'S CHURCH, Windsor, is an out-mission of Poquo- 
nock. The church is an old structtire and has an interesting his- 
tory, having been the church of the followers of the famous English 
clergyman, and friend of Cardinal Newman, Dr. Pusey. Here also 
the late Right Rev. Mgr. Preston, of New York, officiated as a Protestant 
clergyman. The church passed into the possession of the Catholics of Wind- 
sor during the pastorate of Rev. James Smyth in 1866. It remained under 
the jurisdiction of Windsor Locks until the formation of St. Joseph's parish, 
Poquonock, whose pastor has since attended it. Many notable improvements 
were made on the church and grounds during the pastorate of the Rev. 
Father Sheridan. 




HE announcement of a sorrowful accident is the first indication we have 
jl of the presence in Southington of a member of the Church. The fol- 
lowing notice is taken from The Catliolic Press, Hartford, August 15, 

"Drowned at Southington, Conn., on the 7th inst. , Peter Dayle, aged 
about 44 years. The deceased was a native of Wexford in Ireland, and as he 
had friends and connexion in this country, editors of newspapers would per- 
form an act of humanity by publishing this notice." 

Whether Peter Dayle had compatriots in Southington, it is difficult now 
to determine. It is not unreasonable, however, to believe, that others from 
" Sweet Wexford," and, it may be, from elsewhere in the Green Isle, were 
with him here striving to build up homes in the land to which their youthful 
aspirations directed them. Bernard Kennedy was here very early, as were 
also Michael and Thomas Egan, Bernard Curran, John Carmody and Patrick 
Dolan — these, with their families constituting, as far as the records show, the 
first Catholic colony of Southington. 

In 1852, the Rev. Hugh O'Reilly, of Meriden, offered here for the first 
time the Holy Sacrifice in the -residence of John Cassidy on East Main street 


in tlie presence of about twenty-five persons. Southiiigton remained attached 
to Meriden until 1859, in which year it was attended every third Sunday. In 
i860, it was served every second Sunday from W'allingford, reverting to Me- 
riden in 1861. The first resident pastor of Southington was the Rev. Thomas 
Drea, who assumed charge on September 4, 1862, and remained until Octo- 
ber 7, 1867. Rev. Patrick J. Creighton immediately .succeeded Father Drea 
and was pastor of St. Thomas' until his death. His successor was the Rev. 
William A. Harty, who a.s.sumed charge on September 15, 1882. Entering 
upon his new duties witli energy, his zeal was manifested in the thorough 
renovation of the church and in making many other notable improvements. 
Wlien he severed his connection witli St. Thomas' parish, it was financially 
and otherwise firmly established. Father Harty's successor was the Rev. 
Matthew A. Hunt, who came on August i, 1S84. The present rectorv was 
built during his administration. Father Hunt's labors were terminated by 
death, and his successor, the present incumbent. Rev. William J. Doolan, 
began his labors on March 26, 1894. 

The corner-stone of St. Thomas' church was laid on July 4, i860, and 
the edifice was dedicated in Decenil)er of the same year. 

The clergy who assisted the difTerent pastors in parochial work were Rev. 
J. H. Carroll, Rev. J. J. Quinn, Rev. P. Byrne, Rev. R. Moore, Rev. P. Keating, 
Rev. P. Dineen, Rev. M. Traynor, Rev. J. Lee, and Re\\ P. C. Dunigan. 

When St. Thomas' parish was organized there were about 500 souls; at 
present the population is about 1500, principally Irish and their descendants, 
with some Italians, Poles, Hungarians and Germans. 

South Manchester. 

HE early Catholic history of South Manchester is mingled with that 
of the mother church, St. Bridget's, North Manchester. Mr. John 
Kennedy, who suffered the penalty of eviction by Landlord Stone, 
for permitting Father Brady to say JMass in his house, was a resident of 
this portion of the town. Other pioneers of the faith who performed yeomen's 
service in the cause of religion are Michael Connors, Denis Dunn, Catharine 
Moriarty, Catharine Powers, jNIrs. John Riley,/ John and Patrick Connors. 
With their brethren of North Manchester, the;^ were served from Rock vi lie 
until the appointment of the Rev. James Campbell, in October, 1869. Until 
the completion of their own church, the Catholics of South Manchester at- 
tended St. Bridget's church in Manchester. 

The land on which the church and rectory stand, consisting of one 
acre and worth g28oo, was the generous gift to the parish of the Cheney 
Brothers, who have at intervals since given substantial contributions to the 
parish. Begun in 1874, St. James' church was completed and ready for dedi- 
cation in, 1876. The solemn ceremony took place on the 20th, with the 
Right Rev. Bishop presiding. The dedication completed, Soleuni High Mass 
followed, with Rev. Thomas Kane, of Valley Falls, R. I., as celebrant ; Rev. 







J. J. Furlong as deacon, Rev. P. Alulholland as sub-deacon, Rev. P. McCabe 
as master of ceremonies. The dedication discourse was pronounced by the 
Rev. Lawrence Walsh, of Waterbury. The edifice cost ^30,oooyand has a 
seating capacity of 750. The centre window represents our Sa)(>iour in life 
size, and was the gift of John Walsh, the builder. The windows on the 
Epistle side are the donations of Thomas Egan, Oliver Maxwell, Michael 
Walsh, Thomas Golden ; those on the Gospel side were presented by William 
Dwyer, Denis Dtuin, John Shaw and John Sullivan. 

Before the church was entirely completed, the most dastardly sacrilege 
ever perpetrated in Connecticut was committed in St. James' church on the 
night of the 4th, or the morning of the 5th, of May, 1876. Thirty-five 
windows were broken, the vestry was ransacked, the altar despoiled of 
its ornaments and defiled. The altar cloths were afterwards found about a 
mile from the church, besmeared with blood, apparently from wounds which 
had been inflicted on the marauders by the broken glass of the church win- 
dows. The>- also attempted to fire the church, and with this object in view, 
collected a quantity of branches and brambles and placed them in position 
on the Gospel side of the altar and close to it. They were found in this posi- 
tion in the morning, with the evidences of fire having been applied, as some 
half-burnt matches were scattered near them. The town authorities promptly 
oflTered a reward of 5200, to which the trustees of the church added $300 for 
the apprehension of the criminals. Suspicion, well grounded, at once fast- 
ened upon an Orangeman, Nicholas Murray. He had arrived in the town on 
the evening of the 4th and feigned ignorance of the place and people, but it 
was disclosed that he was acquainted with the prominent Orangemen and 
had attended a meeting of the lodge that evening. Murray disappeared 
immediately after the sacrilege, but was captured on May 19th, in New 
Hampshire, whither he had fled, having been warned by his Orangemen 
friends that oflScers were on his track. He was bound over in the suui of 
$200 to await his trial in the Superior Court of Tolland county. 

Father Campbell, who died in 1890, pastor of St. Bridget's parish, Man- 
chester, was interred in front of the church. South Manchester, where a splen- 
did monument marks his last resting place. 

The Rev. Daniel Haggerty was the first resident pastor of St. James' 
parish, coming here on November 21, 1890. For eight years previous he had 
been assistant to Father Campbell at Manchester. Father Haggerty built the 
pastoral residence at a cost of $5,000, towards which the Cheney Brothers 
contributed $2,000. Other improvements were made which were indicative 
of good taste and sound judgment. After a month spent in southern climes 
in search of health. Father Haggerty died at St. Vincent's Hospital, New 
York, in April, 1898. 

His successor, the Rev. William McGurk, is the Diocesan Director of the 
League of the Sacred Heart, and the success that has thus far attended his 
ministry, in South Manchester, is a testimony of his sacerdotal zeal and solici- 
tude. The population of St. James' parish is 1,500, principally Irish and their 


The number of baptisms from 1891 to 1898 inclusive was 340; and the 
marriages for the same period, 97. 


(5 I HE earliest evidence we possess of the presence of Catholics in Tariff- 
* I ville is the following record of marriage : 

J as. Kelly ") " i8j2,Octoberi4th : Married at TariffVille, James Kelly toRosanna 

and \ McEllier. Witnesses; Felix (iaflfney and Rose McEllier. 

Ro.sanna McEllier j Jas. McDermot." 

In October, 1836, Rev. Peter Walsh, the successor of Father P^itton in Hart- 
ford, reported twenty-four Catholics in Tariffville. The Catholics here con- 
tinued to be served by the Rev. John Brady of Hartford, until the appointment 
of the Rev. Luke Daly as pastor of New Britain, in September, 1848. In 
1850 a small church was built on the "Mountain Road." Before this, ^Mass 
was said in a barn and afterwards in the house of one of the parishioners. 
This church was destroyed by fire in 1876 and Rev. B. O'R. Sheridan, pastor 
of Collinsville, purchased a move suitable site upon which to build the second 
church. Bishop O'Reilly made a visitation here on May 19, 1851, offered 
the Holy vSacrifice and preached. Tariffville remained under the jurisdiction 
of St. Mary's, New Britain, until the formation of Collinsville into an inde- 
pendent parish on December 10, 1856. 

Among the early settlers of TarifTville whose names have coine down to 
us, were Thomas P'ljiin, Neil Lagan, Patrick Timon, John McAleer, James 
Kelly, Moses Leary and Richard Mulherring. Re\-. John Brady of Hart- 
ford celebrated the first IVIass said in Tariffville in 1846; at this period there 
wer.e about fifteen Catholics here. The first church was built by Father Daly, 
and was forty by sixty feet in the clear. The Catholic population at the time 
of the erection of the church was about 100 souls. The principal benefactor 
of the old church was Tyler who donated $100 to the building fund. 

The priests who successively attended Tariffville until it was set apart 
as a separate parish were: Revs. James McDermot (and perhaps. Fathers 
O'Cavanagh and Fitton), Peter Walsh, John Brady, Luke Daly, P. 
O'Dwyer, Philip Daly, John Fagan, L. Walsh and B. O'R. Siieridan. 

About May i, 188 1, Tariffville was formed into a parish with Bloonifield 
as a mission. Rev. John Quinn was the first resident pastor and remained 
until his death on December 20, 1890. The present rectory was purchased 
during his pastorate. On Wednesday, 1892, during the administration 
of his successor. Rev. James Walsh, a conflagration destroyed the church. 
A new site adjoining the rectory was purchased and an attractive and com- 
modious church was erected upon it. The corner-stone was laid by Bishop 
McMahon in 1892, Rev. T. W. Broderick preaching on the occasion. It was 
dedicated in May, 1895. On June i of that year Father Walsh was trans- 
ferred and his successor, the present incumbent, Rev. M. C. Cray, immedi- 
ately assumed charge. 


Father Cray attends also the church of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield. 
This mission was organized b}- Rev. Joseph Reid of the cathedral parish, and 
was subsequently attended by Fathers Kelly and Harty. The church, a hand- 
some structure, was erected during the rectorship of Father Harty. The cor- 
ner-stone was laid on September 8, 1878, by Bishop Galberry, assisted by 
Very Rev. T. Walsh, V.G., Rev. Dr. Carmod}-, Rev. M. Tierney, Rev. M. 
Galligan, Rev. P. McAlenny, Rev. J. Larkin. The sermon was preached by 
Rev. Dr. Carmody. The contributions on the occasion realized $440. 

The dedication of the church on Sunday, August 17, 1879, was the first 
public official act of Bishop McMahon, the ceremony taking place one week 
after his consecration. The celebrant of the Mass, which followed the dedi- 
catory services, was the Rev. M. F. Kelly, and Very Rev. James Hughes, V.G., 
preached the sermon. At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop McMahon ad- 
dressed the congregation as follows: 

" My first public act in the Diocese of Hartford, the blessing of this church, was 
partly bj' my own choice and partly bj' circumstances. I am sincerely glad to commence 
my labors among my people by such an act. The dedication of a new church is an im- 
portant event of itself, for it is the establishment of a new centre from which should 
go forth all spiritual graces and blessings ; but I take especial delight in dedicating this 
particular church because I understand it is practically free from debt. This is a good 
omen, a happy augury. The Catholics of Bloomfield have, in their act of dedicating a 
church practically free from debt, given a good example to more wealthy churches else- 
where, and done credit to themselves. I congratulate you and your pastor. You must 
have been very generous, or you have had good friends to assist you. I presume both 
suppositions are true. The church is a perfect little gem, complete in all its appoint^ 
ments. As you have done so much now, I hope that j-ou will do still more; that you will 
make use of the church for the purposes for which it was designed, and then it will 
indeed prove the means of rich blessings to 30U and your children." 


Thompson VI LLE. 

IT is not improbable that the Rev. Father Woodley and the Rev. Father 
O'Cavanagh visited Thompsonville in 1828, 1829 and 1830, upon the 
occasions of their periodical trips to the Enfield Canal. The latter 
was the first resident priest in Hartford, and made frequent visits to 
the northern section of the State. At any rate, the Rev. James Fitton, 
Father O'Cavanagh's successor, made a missionary visit to Thompsonville 
and offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the house of Richard Murphy 
in the fall of 1831. Upon his arrival at Thompsonville he arranged to 
deliver a lecture, which was largely attended by the Protestants of the town, 
who were moved by curiosity to see a "real live Catholic priest." Through- 
out this whole section there were about ten disciples of the old faith, and 
after the lecture they were quietl)- notified that Mass would be said the next 
morning before daylight in the house above mentioned. According to appoint- 
ment, the few Catholics who could possibly attend, assembled in this modest 
home in the gray dawn of that memorable morning to be present at the 
Adorable Sacrifice. There ivere seven in attendance. It was not a Sunday 


uiorniiig, and those who came did so at the risk of being summarily dis- 
charged by their bigoted employers. 

Mass was not said again in Thompsonville for three years. On this occa- 
sion the attendance was larger, as a few additional Catholics had come to work 
in the neighborliood. The marriage register bears testimony to this visit as 
follows : 

" Thompsonville, Conn. 

Peter Casey ") 1SJ4. August /j : Married, Peter Casey to Elizabeth Bachelder. 
and V Witnesses, Patrick and Marj- Collins. 

Elizabeth Bachelder ) Jas. Hitton." 

The small band of the faithful was not again blessed with the presence of 
a priest until 1837, when it is said a Father Murphy, happening in the vicin- 
ity, gladly sojourned a few days with them and ministered to their wants. 
This priest officiated in the house of James Benson, a worthy pioneer of the 
faith. In 1838 the Catholics of Tliomp.sonville were consoled by the visits 
of another priest, the Rev. John Brady, of Hartford, at intervals of three 
months. So strong was the current of intolerance that Father Brady was 
compelled to say Mass at four d' clock in the morning in Mr. Benson's resi- 
dence. Having been previously advised b)' Father Brady, he would carry the 
glad tidings of his coming visits to the Catholics of the town. 

After the arrival of Fatlier Smyth as assistant to Father Brady, he min- 
istered to the wants of the faithful for si.x or seven years ; and a private 
dwelling being now too small for their rapidly increasing numbers, the town 
hall was secured and used for divine service once a month. During this 
period Feather Smyth received the occasional assistance of various priests, 
among whom were the Rev. Father Doherty, of Springfield, Mass. ; the Rev. 
Father Duffy, of Rhode Island, and the Rev. Father Hogan, of Long Island. 
Increasing numbers brought to the devoted band confidence in their ability to 
build a church. .Accordingly, Father Smyth purcha.sed ground and announced 
his intention to erect a suitable house of worship. In a short time a fine, .spa- 
cious and handsome frame structure arose. To this building Father Tully built 
an addition after a few years, so rapidly did the congregation increase. This 
edifice, the first Catholic church in Thompsonville, was erected in i860. 

Among the sturdy pioneers of Catholicity, other than those already 
mentioned, we may note the names of James Donovan, Patrick O'Brien, John 
Hubbard, Patrick Carroll and Daniel Lawlor. 

In Bishop O'Reilly's journal under date of February 9, 1S52, is this entry: 

" Wrote Rev. Carmody appointing him to the mi.ssious of Tliomp.sonville 
and Windsor Locks ; this good young priest was sent to Bridgeport, but left, 
and begged these missions." Dr. Carmody officiated in Thompsonville on 
three occasions. His successor in Windsor Locks was the Re\-. James Smyth. 

The first resident pastor of Tliomp.sonville was the Rev. Bernard Tully, 
who assumed charge in January, 1863. His term of service was three years, 
having as successor, the Rev. William E. Duffy, October, 1866. During his 
pastorate he enlarged the church and built the present convent, though he 
intended it for a pastoral residence. Having been transferred before the 


building was completed, the work was carried on by the Rev. John Cooney, 
who came to Thompsonville in May, 1871. Instead of occupying the new 
building himself. Father Cooney installed therein a band of Sisters of Mercy, 
whom he had brought from Hartford. Other substantial evidences of his 
labors are the parochial school and the present rectory. After a service 
of eight years he was followed b}- the Rev. John A. Mulcahy, the present 
Vicar General, who reduced the parish indebtedness ^9,000, besides purchasing 
the choice lot upon which the present church stands. In October, 1881, the 
Rev. Patrick Donahoe assumed control of the parish and began the erection 
of the new church, having disposed by sale of the old buildings that stood 
on the premises. Father Donahoe also purchased a public-school building, 
moved it to the lot adjoining the convent, renovated it in a suitable manner 
and opened it for school purposes. The Rev. Joseph Gleason then came in 
January, 1889, and immediately took up the work of completing the church. 
The corner-stone was laid on August 11, 1889. The discourse on the occasion 
was delivered by the Rev. M. A. Tieruey. The work progressed apace, and 
on October 16, 1892, the basement was dedicated by Right Rev. Bishop 
McMahon. The celebrant of the Pontifical High Mass was the Most Rev. 
Archbishop Fabre of Montreal. Other works, such as enlarging the school 
and the building of a boiler house, closed a pastorate of six years. The pres- 
ent rector is the Rev. Thomas J. Preston, who took charge on December 8, 
1895, and with whom the people are cheerfully co-operating to the end, that 
both may witness the dedication of their magnificent church as a fitting crown 
to their work. Father Preston's assistant is the Rev. James W. Hoey. 

When St. Patrick's parish was organized in 1863, its population was esti- 
mated at 500 souls, comprising Irish, Germans and a few French Canadians. 
In 1898 it was i/oo, and of the same nationalities. -During the thirty-five 
years of its parochial existence, 3074 souls have been regenerated by the sav- 
ing waters of baptism, while during the same period 744 were united in wed- 
lock. Among the generous benefactors of St. Patrick's parish are the Hartford 
Carpet Company, William Cashman and Mrs. Mary Diedrich. The parish 
possesses a beautiful cemetery, which was purchased in 1868 by Father Tully, 
and blessed in the same year by Bishop McFarland. 

The assistants who have seived in Thompsonville are: Rev. M. F. Kelly, 
Rev. John H. Duggan, Rev. Thomas Smith, Rev. H.T.Walsh, Rev. Joseph 
Gleason, Rev. James H. O'Donnell, Rev. W. H. Redding, Rev. R.Walsh, Rev. 
John Broderick, Rev. D. J. O'Connor, Rev. D. J. Lawlor, Rev. C. W. Morrell, 
Rev. W. J- Kelly and Rev. James Hoey. The Rev. Father Preston is a mem- 
ber of the Diocesan School Commission. 

St. Patrick's school was built during the incumbency of the Rev. Father 
Cooney. When it was opened it was attended b)- 200 pupils. At present 
there are 133 boys and 164 girls in attendance. There are seven class-rooms, 
six in the main school, and one in the old church building now used for 
gymnasium purposes. Sister Leo is the Superioress. The educational work 
accomplished in this school is of a gratif\ing character, and reflects deserved 
credit upon the management of it. 



'UR many years the Catholics of Unionville were faithfully and regu- 
larly attended by the Rev. Luke Daly, pastor of St. Mary's parish. 
New Britain. In 1854 he began to say Mass here, and continued to 
do .so until the appointment to Collinsville of the Rev. Patrick O'Dwyer, early 
in 1857. He was succeeded in 1861 by the Rev. John Fagan, whose pastorate 
ended in 1868. Rev. Lawrence Walsh then became pastor of Collinsville and 
dependencies, and labored in tliis jurisdiction until May, 1870. His successor 
was the Rev. B. O'R. Sheridan. 

These priests were imremitting in their care for their Unionville 
charges. They organized them into a comi^act body, and were zealous in 
inculcating the necessity and importance of strict adherence to their religious 
obligations. In 1H76 they had become so numerous and liad given such 
unequivocal evidences of their desire and ability to build a church, that a large 
and attractive edifice was completed and dedicated in that year. At this time 
the Catholic population numbered about 600 souls. 

Their devotion to the church and regular attendance at its various 
services ; their reception of the .sacraments and generous contributions to 
the support of religious and charitable works — all demonstrated to the cen- 
tral authority of the diocese the wisdom of forming the congregation into 
an independent parish. This was accordingly done to the joy of the 
people, and the Rev. P. Fox was appointed the first resident pastor. He 
entered upon his pastorate witli the determination to place his new charge 
upon a solid spiritual and financial basis. The rectory, the many improve- 
ments made on the church property, the prudent management of the finances 
of the parish attest his activity and success. 

The present incumbent, the Rev. W. H. Redding, is the second pastor 
of St. Mary's, and faithful is he in the discharge of the duties which devolve 
upon him. Having enlarged the parochial residence, beautified the grounds 
and in other ways enhanced the value of the parish's possessions, he lias also 
guarded the spiritual welfare of his people. St. Mary's parish, which now 
has 850 souls, consisting of Irish people and their descendants, is in a pros- 
jierous condition and is fulfilling its mission of forming devoted children of 
the church and useful citizens of the State. 



(5 I HE town of Wethersfield received its name on February 21st, 1636. 
'I " It is ordered that the plantacon nowe called Newtowne shal be 
called & named by the name of Harteford Towne, likewise the. plan- 
tacon nowe called Watertowne shal be called & named Wythersfield." ' The 
boundaries of the town were also then allotted.'^ "Samuell Wakeman and 

' Public Records of Cotm., 1636-1665. ' Ibid. 


Ancient Stoughton doe thinke nieete that the boundes of Wythersfield ' shal 
be extended toward the Rivers month in the same side it standes in to a Tree 
Sixe miles downeward from the bonndes between them & Harteford [marked 
w"'] N: F: & to [run in an east] & west line, [& over] the great River, the 
said Wythersfield to begin att [4] the month of Pewter pott Brooke & there 
to rnnn due east into the Conntrey 3 miles & donweward six miles in breadth, 
w"*" is ordered accordingly . . . The boundes between Weathersfield & Harte- 
ford are agreed on the side wherein they stand to be att a Tree m'ked N : F: 
& to w""" the Pale of the Said Harteford is fixed, to goe into the Conntrey due 
east & on the other side of the great river from Pewter pott Brooke att the 
lower side of Hocanno due east into the Conntrey, w'* is nowe ordered accord- 

This ancient town is rich in Catholic memories. It was in the hos- 
pitable " Webb House " that the Count Rochambean and his staff held a 
conference with General Washington in May, 1781. At this meeting the 
plan of campaign was arranged which resulted in the surrender of lyord 
Cornwallis at Yorktown. In Wethersfield also, it is asserted, was celebrated 
the first Mass said in Connecticut. This historic event is said to have 
occurred during the march of Rochambeau's army across the State to join 
Washington's forces on the Hudson. The celebrant of this Mass, according 
to tradition, was the Abbe Robin. 

As far as can be ascertained, the first Mass said in Wethersfield in recent 
years was celebrated by the Rev. Peter Kelly, rector of St. Peter's parish, 
Hartford, about Christmas of 1861. The scene of this offering of the August 
Victim was the "Chester House," occupied by John Connery. Present at 
this Mass were Patrick Taffe, James McCarthy, and about twenty-five others. 
Between this time and the erection of the church, the Holy Sacrifice was 
offered at various times in the " Chester House," the residence of John 
Mehegan, the Grand Army hall and in the Town Hall. 

Previous to tiieir formation into a separate parish and the appointment 
of the first resident and present pastor, the Rev. John T. Lynch, on Septem- 
ber 1st, 1897, the Catholics of Wethersfield were served by the pastors of St. 
Peter's parish, Hartford, until the appointment of Very Rev. John A. Mul- 
cahy to the pastorate of East Hartford, when they passed under his jurisdic- 
tion and that of his successor, the Rev. John McMahon. When the parish 
of St. Lawrence O'Toole was organized, Wethersfield was attached to it as a 
mission and was attended successively by the Rev. John F. Lenihan and the 
Rev. James Smith. The church was built during the incumbency of the 
Rev. Father McIMabon, and was dedicated to the Sacred Heart on October 
31, 1880. 

When Father Lynch assumed charge of the newly erected parish, the 
population numbered 340 souls, Irish and their descendants. Among the 
benefactors of this parish, John Fitzgibbons, Bridget Galugan, Patrick Taffe, 
John Mulligan, Michael Riordan and Honora O'Neil, deserve special recogni- 

' The Indian name of Wethersfield was Pyquaagg. 


tion. In the short time Father Lynch has been in charge, he has purchased 
a fine lot, on which lie has erected a handsome parochial residence. Besides 
attending to the manifold duties of his parish, Father Lynch is the Catholic 
chaplain of the Connecticut State Prison, .an office he has held since May, 
1888. It is a position that demands a high degree of tact, a good know- 
ledge of human nature, and a heart that sympathizes with the afflictions 
of others, even when justly imposed; but, during his chaplaincy of eleven 
years, Father L\n<li has so discharged the duties of his difficult office as to 
merit the high encomiums of the honorable Board of Directors, as well as of 
his ecclesiastical superiors. As evidence of the tolerant spirit of the prison 
management, and of the good work he has accomplished, we append Father 
Lynch's last report: 

To the Honorab/e Board of Directors of the Connecticut State Prison, fames Cheney, president. 

Gentlemen : - I have conducted religious ser\'ices for Catholic inmates, at the 
Connecticut State Prison, every Sunday since my last report to your Honorable Board, 
one year ago. 

On two different occasions during the jear several clergymen have assisted me in 
administering to those foreigners, who can understand and speak only their own language. 
When necessit}' or occasion required it, I have visited the prison at other times, to admin- 
ister the consolations of religion to the sick or to those who were preparing to leave this 
world. Being an advocate of the reform movement recently introduced into our penal 
institutions, I have endeavored at all times to employ those agencies which are con- 
sidered the best means of accomplishing that reform, namely, religious instruction and 
moral suasion. These religious instructions constitute a part of nn- duties every Sunday. 
In this work, I am greatly assisted at our Sundaj'-school by a number of self sacrificing 
men who generously devote their time and labor to this worthy cause. During the past 
year it has been a pleasure to notice a more uniform and regular attendance at religious 
exercises, as well as a greater earnestness manifested by the men who attended. As 
far as our means would allow, I have distributed among the men, every week, a sup- 
pl}' of reading matter, with a view to carry on the work of reform spoken of above. 
By the kindness of the warden a number of books of a Catholic nature have been added 
to the prison library, and others that had become worn or soiled were replaced by 
new ones. 

To the Sundaj'-scliool teachers who have so conscientioush' and faithfully assisted 
me in my work at the prison I am greatlj- indebted. To Warden Woodbridge and his 
oflScers I am also indebted for the courtes\- they have at all times extended to me. 

Respectfully, John T. Lvnch. 

Wethersfield, Conn., October 27, 1898. 


Windsor Locks. 

O5 I HPv Catholics of Wind.sor Locks were consoled and strengthened by the 
* I ministrations of zealous missionary priests very early in our history. 
Very Rev. John Power, Vicar-General of New York, Rev. R. D. 
Woodley, and Rev. B. O'Cavanagh, each in succession, came hither, the 
heralds of glad tidings and the dispen.sers of the precious graces that flow so 
abundantly from the Adorable Sacrifice and the sacraments. They watered 
well the seeds of faith that had been sown in the hearts of those hardy 
laborers beyond the seas, and God gave the increase. When Father Power 


had performed the work of mercy that had brought him to the Canal he offered 
the Holy Sacrifice for the faithful souls there congregated ; but the Divine 
Victim was sacrificed upon no altar of marble. In the open air, upon an 
humble table with the thick foliage as a canopy, was Christ the Lord immo- 
lated for the first time here in Holy Mass. This was in August, 1S27. 
Yielding to their earnest solicitations Father Power returned to the Canal 
in the October following. 

The visits of Father Woodley and Father O'Cavanagh are referred to 
elsewhere in these pages. Rev. Father Fitton, the successor of Father 
O'Cavanagh, Father Kiernan, Father Walsh, the third resident postor of 
Hartford, also came hither at intervals and gathered the scattered Catho- 
lics of the vicinity to assist at Mass and receive the Sacraments. Rev. 
John Brady then appeared upon the scene. From 1837, when he assumed 
charge of Hartford, until February 9, 1852, the date of the appointment of 
the Rev. Hugh Carmody, D. D., as the pastor of these missions, Windsor Locks 
was served by Father Brady, Rev. John D. Brady, Rev. John C. Brady and 
the Rev. H. T. Riordan, who had charge of the parish during Father Brady's 
seven months' absence in Ireland. During these periodical visits the 
thoroughly Catholic home of John Byrnes was sanctified by the offering of the 
Holy Sacrifice, save on one occasion, when Rev. John C. Brady said Mass in 
a dilapidated structure on Grove street, July 4, 1845. Among the early set- 
tlers who assisted inlaying the foundations of the faith in this parish we note 
James Coogan, John Byrnes, Patrick Gaynor, Patrick Googarty and William 

The pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Carmody was of brief duration. He was 
followed by Rev. James Smyth, then serving as assistant to Rev. Father 
Brady at Hartford. At first he came here at monthly intervals, but took up 
his permanent residence on June 24, 1852. For twenty-two years this apos- 
tolic priest labored here for the promotion of God's glory and the sanctifica- 
tion of souls. It was his zeal that erected the present chnrcli edifice. He 
had seen the Holy Sacrifice offered amid humble surroundings ; it was the 
all-absorbing desire of his soul to raise aloft a temple to the Most High. On 
August 17, 1852, ground was broken, and on September I4tli following, the 
corner-stone was laid by Right Rev. Bishop O'Reilly, who also preached the 
sermon. He was assisted by Rev. James Smyth, the pastor, and Rev. Peter 
Kelly. The exertions of the faithful people were rewarded by beholding a 
completed church, within whose sanctuary the first Mass was celebrated on 
Easter Sunday, 1853. The dedication of the church is said to have occurred 
on Cliri.stmas day, 1853 ; if so, Bishop O'Reilly did not officiate, as the records 
of his Journal show that he was in Providence on that day. However, we 
learn from the same source that the bishop visited Windsor Locks on June 
15) '853 ; '^"t there is no information as to what, if any, ceremony was per- 
formed. It is not improbable that the dedication of the church took place on 
that occasion. The constantly increasing population made an enlargement 
of the church necessary; accordingly an addition was built in 1872, which 
gave the church a seating capacity of well-nigh 2000. In 1853, Father Smyth 


purchased the original rectory, which stood on the site of the present resi- 
dence until 1878, and added St. Mary's cemetery to the ppssessions of 
the parish, erected a school where the little ones of his fldck could re- 
ceive a Christian education, and in 1869 adorned the churcl^with a valua- 
ble organ. Father Smyth died on !\Iay 16, 1874, aged eighty-seven years. 
"His labors were many and arduous; his sacrifices were made for the 
benefit of the flock he loved so well. Their spiritual wants were well 
attended to by him, and it might be truly said that he spent his life in their 

His successor was the Rev. Micliael J. McAuley, who governed the 
parish until his death in March, 1878. On March i6th, the Rev. Michael Kelly 
was appointed pastor of St. Mary's. The present commodious rectory was 
built during his period of service. Assigned to Bridgeport in June, 1884, he 
was followed by the Rev. James O'R. Sheridan. The works accomplished 
during his ministry were carried forward with characteristic energ)'. Sparing 
not himself, he sought only the welfare of his parisliioners. Chief among his 
labors were the complete re-decoration of the interior of the church, including 
new windows, confessionals and altars; the purchase of a school lot, 240 feet 
by 160 feet; a home for tlie Sisters of vSt. Joseph, whom he introduced, and 
the erection of a parochial school. After twelve years of successful adminis- 
tration Father Sheridan was followed by the present rector, the Rev. John 
A. Creedon, on January 8, 1896. Well equipped for the charge assigned him, 
Father Creedon will faithfully conserve the best interests of his people and 
lead them in the ways of justice and righteousness. He' is assisted in his 
labors by the Rev. John C. Brennan. The other clergj-men who discharged 
assistant's duties in this parish since its organization are : Revs. P. F'ay, 
T. F. Healy, A. Van Oppen, T. P. Joynt,J. B. Dougherty, J. J. Smith, M. A. 
Sullivan, W. Lynch, D. Lawlor, John Crowley, J. Cunningham, \V. J. 

When St. Mary's parish was established, in 1852, the census disclosed a 
population of 200 Irish people. In 1898 the estimate is 1600 Irish and al)out 
300 Italians and F'rench. During the forty-five years elapsing between 1855 
and 1898, 4559 baptisms and 1095 marriages have taken place. The first bap- 
tism was that of Patrick Quirk, January 2, 1853. Tlie marriage of Michael 
Kelly and Mary Ouinn was the first solemnized, August 4, 1850. 

St. Mary's Parociii.\l School. 

As stated above. Rev. Father Smyth organized the first Catholic school in 
W'indsor Locks in 1868. It was conducted in the brick building in the rear 
of the church by lay teachers, Michael Burke, IMiss Ellen Maloney and 
Michael Malone. It closed after a brief existence. 

The present flourishing school was founded in 1888 by Father Sheridan. 
In November of that year the corner-stone was laid, the Rev. William Mul- 
heron, of Auburn, N. Y. , preaching the sermon. The Rev. Walter Elliott^ 
C. S. P., was the orator on the occasion of the blessing of the building. The 
school is taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph, who were introduced into the 


diocese by Father Sheridan in August, 1 88g. There are nine sisters teaching, 
with 328 pupils. The first superior was Sister Mary Ursula ; the present 
directress is Sister St. Hilary. St. Mary's school has all the grades from the 
primary to the high-school grade inclusive, and is modern both in its material 
appointments and methods of teaching. 

The Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph dates its canonical erection from 
March 10, 165 i. Like many other religious communities it was dispersed in 
the French Revolution of 1789. Its restoration occurred in 1807. The Order 
was founded by Mgr. de Maupas and Father Medaille, S. J., at Le Puy, France. 

(bT HE 



_ HE Sacred Heart church, Suffield, is under the jurisdiction of St. Mary's 
* I parish. Mass is celebrated here every Sunday. The land on which 
the church is built was purchased and paid for in 1883 by Rev. Father 
Kelly. In 1886, during the pastorate of Father Sheridan, the church was 
erected. It was dedicated on November 3ist"(Thanksgiving day) of that year, 
the preacher on the occasion being the Rev. B. O'R. Sheridan, of Middletown. 
The cost of the church, with the surrounding improvements, was ^12,000, 
all of wliich was liquidated by Father Sheridan. The church grounds 
embrace eleven acres. 




RIDGEPORT, known in early times as Fairfield Village, Stratfield, 
and Newfield, is the county seat of Fairfield county. It was incor- 
porated in 1836. As early as 1657 a portion of the site on which the 
city stands was known as "Ireland's Brook." The origin of the 
name is lost in obscurity. 

The Catholic history of Bridgeport embraces a period of well-nigh three 
score and ten years. In 1830, that prince of missionaries and apostolic man, 
Rev. James Fitfon, celebrated here for the first time the Adorable Mysteries in 
the house of James McCullough, on Middle street. Seventeen souls, of various 
ages and conditions, formed that first congregation. At this time the follow- 
ing were residents of Bridgeport : Mrs. McLoughlin, Mrs. McConnell, Ber- 
nard Kennedy, Peter Carey, John Carey, Michael Sullivan, Joseph Delaney, 
II — 17 


James McCullogli, John Reilly, James Gillick, James Ward, Tliomas Garey, 
Edward Lutz, and John Coyle. F'ather Fitton was of the opinion that Bridge- 
port had been honored by the presence of a priest before his appearance 
there ; that tlie sacraments had been administered to a dying child of the 
faith by a priest from New York. This pnts no strain on our belief, for we 
know that a few years before (in 1827) Very Rev. John Power, Vicar General 
of New York, attended a sick laborer at Windsor Locks, that he returned 
again in the same year, and that he said Mass in New Haven. Father Wood- 
ley, of Providence, may also have exercised his sacred ministr)' here, for the 
records show that he returned to Hartford from the Enfield Canal on July 21, 
1829, and on the day following set out for New Haven and New London. It 
is not improbable that the Rev. Bernard O'Cavanagh, the first resident priest 
in Connecticut, also visited this section of his extensive parish, as he was on 
a missionary visit to New Haven on April 17, 1830. 

However, Bridgeport was visited by the Rev. James McDermot occasion- 
ally from 1832 to 1837, when he was transferred from New Haven to Lowell, 
Massachusetts. Father McDermot said Mass in Mr. Farrell's residence on 
Middle street. At the period of Father McDermot's visitation there 
were about ninety Catholics in Bridgeport. 

The Rev. James Smyth, of New Haven, followed Father McDermot in 
his attendance upon the Catholics of Bridgeport. For seven years Father 
Smyth served Bridgeport, coming as frequently as once a month. He erected 
the old brick church — the first in Connecticut — that stood on the corner of 
Arch street and Washington avenue. It was dedicated to St. James on July 
24, 1843. At this time the number of Catholics had increased to respectable 
proportions, numbering in 1841, according to Father Fitton, 250 souls. The 
church measured 60 by 40 feet, had a sacristy, and was adorned with a choir 

On November 18, 1844, the Rev. Michael Lynch, who in 1843 was pastor 
of Waltham, Mass., succeeded Father Smyth, and became the first resident 
pastor of the Catholics of Bridgeport. His mi.ssions were Norwalk, Stamford, 
Danbury, Wolcottville and Norfolk. In 1846 Father Lynch estimated the 
Catholic population of Bridgeport at 300.' Father Lynch's relations with the 
Catholics of Bridgeport closed on August 12, 1852. Rev. Patrick Lamb was 
attached to St. James' at this time. 

In August, 1852, the Rev. Thomas J. Synnott' began his pastorate in 
Bridgeport, which covered a period of thirt>-two years. In this new field 
Father Synnott gave evidence of the possession in a high degree of tact, 
patience, courage, unconquerable confidence and uuusual financial capacity. 
It was a time when authority had to be exerci.sed firmly, yet withal in a spirit 
of fatherh kindness. Father Synnott was equal to every demand made upon 
him, and his conduct of affairs elicited the praise of his Ordinary. On June 
5, 1853, Bishop O'Reilly admini.stered confirmation in St. James' church, and 
under that date he wrote in his Journal : " All matters well in this congrega- 

' Letter to Bishop Tyler, February i6th. 

•Father Synnott was ordained to the priesthood on April 11, 1S51. 



tion." Difficulties which had previously existed were happily adjusted, and 
with Father Synnott the parish began a new era of prosperity. 

Father Synnott was an active laborer in the vineyard of Christ. His 
works attest his energy. In the first three years of his ministry he enlarged 
St. James' church, built St. Mary's, situated at the corner of Crescent avenue 
and Church street, and erected St. Thomas' church at Fairfield. 

Old St. James' church continued to be the religious home of the Catholics 
of Bridgeport until 1864. As far back as July 18, 1852, Bishop O'Reilly had 
recommended the erection of a new church, and had received some subscrip- 
tions to that end. He had examined a contemplated church lot, but was 
unable to secure it. Notwithstanding the enlargements of the church, first 
by Father Lynch and afterwards by Father Synnott, it became inadequate 
for the acconnnodation of the people. Witli splendid foresight and judgment 
Father Synnott purchased a fine lot on the corner of Washington avenue and 
Poquonock street, and upon this he erected the church which stands a monu- 
ment to his zeal, one of the ornaments of Bridgeport. The corner-stone was 
laid on August 28, 1865. It was opened for public worship on March 17, 
1869, and dedicated under the title of St. Augustine in June, 1868, by Bishop 
McFarland. The erection of St. Agnes' magnificent convent next occupied 
Father Synnott's attention, though he did not live to see it completed. When 
Father Synnott was attacked by his last illness he was engaged in improving 
some forty acres of land in the northern section of the city. Among his last 
acts in the temporal order was the purchase of the Billings property, now used 
as the parochial residence. Father Synnott died on Wednesday, April 30, 
1884, aged 66 years, at the old parochial residence on Poquonock street. The 
Rev. Augustine Hewitt, C. S. P., pronounced the funeral eulogy. "As a citi- 
zen he was irpright, honest and sincere ; as a priest, he was a firm upholder 
of the doctrines of the church, and always solicitous for the spiritual welfare 
of his flock. The cause of education found in him an earnest champion. He 
was a member of the Board of Education for several years, and during that 
time not only maintained kindly relations with his colleagues, but endeared 
himself alike to teachers and pupils." ' 

Father Synnott's successor was the Rev. Michael F. Kelly, a king among 
men. Father Kelly took up his residence in the house on the Billings' estate, 
opened the new convent for a select academy, and purchased St. Michael's 
cemetery, the one in use. The parish has two other cemeteries, St. James' 
and St. Augustine's. Father Kelly's pastorate was closed by death in Sep- 
tember, 1887. 

The present rector, the Rev. Denis Cremin, succeeded Father Kelly on 
November i, 18S7. The first work to which Father Cremin devoted his ener- 
gies was the renovation of the rectory. At an outlay of $3,000 it was trans- 
formed into a model parochial residence; but a conflagration, which broke out 
on the night of January 18, 1888, destroyed the labor, but not the hopes of the 
zealous rector. The rector)- was rebuilt, the parochial school opened, the 
church spire was erected in 1894, the interior of the church has been superbly 

' Orcutt's History of Bridgeport. 


decorated and the spacious grounds about the church and rectory have been 
so graded and otherwise improved that tliey are among the handsomest in 
the city. Altogether, it is one of the finest and most valuable church 
estates in New England, and speaks eloquently of the faith, devotion and self- 
sacrifice of the people, and of the wisdom and courage and ceaseless toil of the 
pastors. Father Cremin is one of the permanent rectors of the diocese. His 
assistants are the Rev. William Fitzsimmons and the Rev. John McGivney. 

The first Catholic school in Bridgeport was opened in the house of Mr. 
John Coyle. It was taught by Mary Quigley, and was attended by about 
twenty-five pupils. In 1874 Father Syunott began the erection of the present 
school building. It was opened, as said above, as a select school by Father 
Kelly and as a parochial school by Father Cremin. The school contains nine 
grades, has 610 pui)i]s, and is conducted by twelve Sisters of Mercy whose 
superior is Sister M. Colette. 

East Bridgeport. 

(5^ tXTIL April, 1857, St. Mar>''s church was attended by llie priests 
A_ J attached to St. James'. The first church was a frame building on the 
\^'[X,— ..^ corner of Crescent avenue and Church street, now used as a 
parochial school. It was built in 1854 by Rev. Father Syunott, 
pastor of St. James', as an accommodation for the Catholics in this section of 
the city. Previous to its erection into an independent parish it had been 
served successively by the Rev. Michael O'Neill, the Rev. Patrick Lamb and 
the Rev. Dr. Wallace. The first resident pastor was the Rev. Peter A. Smith, 
who assumed charge in April, 1857. He built the rectory and remained in 
charcre until F'ebruary 10, 1862. His successors were the Rev. Francis J. 
Lenihan, February 24, 1862; Rev. Richard O'Gormau, January 12, 1866; the 
Rev. Thomas Drea,' October 2, 1867; the present pastor, the Rev. John F. 
Rogers, who succeeded Father Drea on July 6, 1873. 

Father Rogers began the erection of the present fine church edifice in 
June, 1 874. It is situated on the corner of Pembroke and Steuben streets. The 
corner-stone was laid by Very Rev. James Hughes, V. G., on May 16, 1S75, and 
the church was dedicated by Galberry on October 14, 1877. Pontifical 
Mass was celebrated b\- Bishop Galberry, and the sermon of dedication was 
preached by the Rev. J. Fitzpatrick, of New Haven. The church is in the 
Romane.sque style, is 74 feet front on Pembroke street and 154 feet in length, 
with a spire 187 feet in height. The principal feature of the interior is the 
Roman altar 35 feet high. The edifice cost, when completed, about $100,000. 
In 1890, on the occasion of the silver jubilee of Father Rogers, a fine bell, 
worth $1,400, was placed in the tower in honor of the jubilariau. The inte- 
rior of the church was thoroughly renovated and handsomely decorated a few 
years ago. 

' Father Drea was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1851, at Hartford, by Bishop 


The present parochial residence was erected in 1881, on a lot adjoining, 
sonth of the church. It is a donble lot, 240 feet wide on Pembroke street, 
between Steuben and Sherman, and 200 feet deep on Steuben. Another lot 
between Sherman and Cedar streets was purchased by Father Rogers, on 
which it is his intention to erect a convent and parochial school. The popu- 
lation of the parish is about 3200 souls. Father Rogers is assisted by the 
Rev. William Lynch and the Rev. Peter C. Dunigan. 

St. Mary's church is admittedly one of the most graceful and majestic 
brick structures in the diocese of Hartford, its external beaut}' arousing the 
admiration of all beholders. So numerous and ornate are the stone trimmings 
on front and sides, that it might with truth be affirmed that it is a stoJie church 
with brick ornaments. The stately spire, which carries its golden cross aloft, 
like a prayer into the clouds, bears upward the aspiration of both Protestant 
and Catholic alike that so much of beauty, reared to the honor and glory of 
the Infinite, may never fail in its exalted and divine mission. The seating 
capacity is 1300 upstairs and 1350 in the basement. From this it will be 
seen that 2650 worshipers, including children and adults, can at the same 
time be assembled for divine service. 

The parochial school is held in the old church, and the Sisters of Mercy 
who conduct it, reside in the rectory built by the first resident pastor. Rev. 
Peter Smith. At present there are 360 pupils, and ten sisters, whose superior 
is Sister M. Vincent. 


C5 I HE parish of the Sacred Heart is of comparatively recent origin, its his- 
'I tory beginning on November i8th, 1883, when it was organized by 
the Rev. Denis Cremin, now rector of St. Augustine's parish. It was 
the second division of the mother parish. From the time Father Cremin 
assumed charge until the church could be used for divine worship. Mass was 
said in the Opera House. Having secured a lot on Myrtle avenue near Pros- 
pect street. Father Cremin began the project of erecting a church. Ground 
was broken early in i S84 and the corner stone of the new structure was laid 
in the September following. So expeditiously was the work carried on that 
in January, 1885, the Adorable Sacrifice was offered up in the basement. 
At the thought of enjoying the happiness of gathering within their own 
sacred walls to assist at Mass both pastor and people took on new courage, 
their zeal received new impetus. The work so progressed that on the na- 
tion's holiday, July 4th, 1886, the beautiful building was solemnly dedicated 
to the Adorable Heart of our Lord. The spire was completed and a 
bell placed in it to ring out the of God and to proclaim to the 
parishioners a welcome to their new temple. This work accomplished, 
Father Cremin was promoted to St. Augustine's parish on November ist, 
1887. He was followed immediately by the Rev. James C. O'Brien, who is 
still the rector. The eleven years of his pastorate have been attended with 
unvarying successes. The church interior was completed under his super- 


vision. A rich-toned organ, two marble side altars, statues and stations of 
the cross, a handsome vestment case with complete sets of vestments of the 
prescribed colors in keeping with the dignity of the parish, and the frescoing 
of the interior — all are works bearing evidence of the thought that the 
beauty of the temple in which dwells the Lord God should be uppermost in 
the mind and fill the heart of him who is a dispenser of His mysteries. Yet 
other works speak of Father O'Brien's activity : the purchase of the rector>' 
at a cost of $15,000, recently almost destroyed by fire; the securing of the con- 
vent property adjoining the church at an expenditure of $12,000; the pur- 
chase of an acre of land on Park avenue for which he paid $25,000; the erec- 
tion on this land of a model school which cost, exclusive of furniture, $35,000; 
the erection of St. Michael's "Chapel of Ease" in the western section of tlie city. 
The lot upon which this chapel stands was purchased in 1 894. In September, on 
Labor Day, the corner-stone was laid by Bishop Tierney, Rev. William J. Slo- 
cum, of Waterbury, preaching the sermon. It was blessed on January 6th, 1 895. 
The church is a wooden structure with a seating capacity of 700. Its entire cost 
was $16,500. The clergymen who assist Father O'Brien in parochial work are 
the Rev. Charles A. Leddy, the Rev. D. P. Hurley," and the Rev. James Clyne. 
The Sisters of Mercy were introduced into the parish on December 8th, 
1892. After the erection of St. Michael's chapel they opened a school in the 
rear portion of the building. Here they had three rooms and 125 children, 
with five sisters. The new school was opened in September, 1896. It con- 
tains twelve large and well-ventilated class rooms, has 768 pupils with thirteen 
sisters, whose directress is Sister M. Petronilla. 


fllH growth of Catholicity in the uortliern .section of Bridgeport con- 
vinced Bishop McMahon of the necessity of giving to the Catholics of 
that localitv an independent organization. Accordingly St. Augustine's 
parish was for the third time divided, and St. Patrick's formed on May 29, 
1 889. The Rev. James Nihil was appointed the first pastor. Previous to the 
division Father Cremin had .secured property on Lindley avenue known as 
the Lindley estate. 

Upon his arrival among his new flock Father Nihil secured from the 
Board of Education the gratuitous use of the Grand street school, where for 
twelve months he gathered his pari.shioners for divine worship. This cour- 
teous action of the school board was an evidence that the narrow religious 
spirit that formerly prevailed in Connecticut is to be catalogued among the 
things that were. Believing that the Lindley estate was not sufficiently cen- 
tral to accommodate his parishioners Father Nihil purcha.sed the Eli Thonii> 
son estate in April, 1890, for $27,000. No more eligible property could be 
secured for church purposes. It is 250 by 200 feet, and is bounded by three 
streets : Thompson and Parallel streets and North avenue. The fine mansion 
purchased with the property became the parochial residence. 


The first shovelful of earth was taken from the site of the future church 
on May 3, 1890, and the 3rd of August witnessed the laying of the corner- 
stone. On December 3rd of the same }ear, Mass was said for the first time in 
the basement. The basement, which is as far as the work has progressed, is 
140 feet long and 64 wide. The interior is 13 feet above the floor, and has a 
seating capacity of 1000. When the church is completed it will present a 
truly striking appearance. Its architecture is pure Gothic, will have a clere- 
story and a spire 175 feet in height. Architecturally it will take front rank 
among the granite churches of the diocese. 

The population of Father Nihil's parish is estimated at 825 souls. Not- 
withstanding this comparatively small number he has decreased the parish 
indebtedness nearly $20,000. The amount received from the sale of the 
Lindley property, first purchased, contributed somewhat to the reduction. 

Though numerically small, Father Nihil's parishioners are stimulated to 
religious endeavors by his example. "To Labor and to Move Onward," is 
their motto, and they generoush- co-operate with their pastor in his efforts to 
advance the interests of religion. 



HE earliest German Catholics to settle in Bridgeport were J. Rickel, A. 
' I Vorsmeit, Marten Helleman and M. Roerich. St. Joseph's parish was 
organized in December, 1874, by the Rev. Joseph A. Schaele, of New 
Haven, who attended it as a mission until July 24, 1886. At first and for 
some time after the organization Father Schsele said Mass in the hall of the 
Father Matthew T. A. B. Society, and later in a hall at 449 Main street. In 
1877, he began the erection of St. Joseph's church, which was dedicated the 
following year. On July 24, 1886, the parish was made independent, and the 
Rev. Theodore J. Ariens appointed pastor. When the parish was organized 
it contained 700 Germans and 500 Canadians ; but the latter were constituted 
a separate parish in 1893. Father Ariens celebrated his golden jubilee as a 
priest on October 19, 1895, amidst the universal rejoicings of his people and 
surrounded by a large number of his brethren of the clerg\-. Father Ariens 
was born in Holland on April 14, 1823, and is still active in the discharge of 
his manifold priestly duties. 



(5 I HE French Catholics of Bridgeport were organized into an independent 
' I parish in 1893, with the Rev. Father Cartier, of New Haven, as pastor. 
Mass was celebrated in a hall over the post-office. In 1894 Father 
Cartier began the construction of a church, the corner-stone of which was 
laid on July iSth of that year by Bishop Tierney. The present pastor is the 
Rev. Joseph Desaulnier, who succeeded the Rev. J. E. Senesac. The parish 
population is about 1,000 souls. 



(5 I HE first Italian priest to attend to the wants of the Italians of Bridge- 
* I port was the Rev. Father Morelli. The Rev. Benjamin Berto was 
later in charjje of them and .said Mass in St. Mary's school building. 
The present pastor is the Rev. George Csaba. 



fllE Bohemians and kindred nationalities to the number of about i,ooo 
were organized into a separate parish by the Rev. Joseph Fonnanek 
in 1889. He said Mass and administered the .sacraments for them in 
the basement of St. Mary's church. The church in wliich the congregation 
now worships was begun by Father Formanek in 1891 ; the basement was 
dedicated by Bishop McMahon in that year. 

Father Forinanek's successor was the Rev. F.J. Pribyl, who in turn was 
followed by the present pastor, the Rev. Joseph Kossalko. 


T^^ATHOLIC families first settled in Bethel about 1848. In the records 

I SX of those days w'e find such names as Skivington, Doyle, Quigley, 

^ ^js ^ Hanna, Wixted, Crowe, Doran, Murra}-, Curtin, Brauneis, Diggins, 

McLoughlin, Lyman, Mainon, English, McHugh and IMcGee — all 

children of the ancient faith. 

The Rev. M. P. Lawlor was the celebrant of the first Mass said in Bethel. 
The historic event took place on January 8, 1882, in the Town Hall, in the 
presence of about 400 persons. In the spring of the same year the congre- 
gation secured Fisher's Hall, in which Mass was said until the church was 
completed. Before this year the Catholics of Bethel attended Mass at St. 
Peter's church, Danbury. 

In April, 1883, Bethel was separated from tlie jurisdiction of Danbury 
and organized into a separate parish, with the Rev. M. Byrne as the first pastor. 
Father Byrne died after a successful, though brief, pastorate. The main altar 
of St. Mary's church was donated by his mother as a memorial of her son. 

The Rev. Patrick O'Connell succeeded P'ather Byrne in November, 1883. 
His period of service was fifteen years. Evidences of his sacerdotal zeal are 
everywhere visible. The works that signalized his administration were the 
purchase of the rectory and lot on which it stands, and a cemetery on the line 
of the Danbury and Norwalk railroad. He furnislied tlie church with a pipe 
organ and a bell for the tower; erected three .sets of granite steps for the 
entrances of the church; built an expensive property line wall, laid the con- 
crete walks, and graded and beautified tlie grouiuls — works which bear testi- 
mony to his activity and to the generosity of the parishioners. 


The present rector, the Rev. John Flemming, received his appointment 
as Father O'Connell's successor in January, 1898. 

Several years before Bethel was raised to the parochial dignity, Thomas 
Doran, PatrickWixted, James Howley, B. Murphy, Michael Brauneis, James 
McGee, Charles Digginsand John Doyle met in conference and resolved to 
establish a Sunday-school in Bethel. For this purpose a building, owned 
by Thomas McCorkle, situated in Grassy Plain district, was rented and the 
school organized. The school was held here as long as the building was for 
rent, and when the time expired a small building, next to the residence of 
Mr. B. Morgan, was secured; but the school was soon after discontinued. 
Not long afterwards, however, The Catholic Society of Bethel was organized 
with John M. Doyle as President and Charles Diggins as Secretary. In the 
meantime, still determined on continuing the Sunday-school, Thomas Doran 
and Patrick Wixted purchased the lot adjoining the residence of Mr. E. 
Farmer from Willis Judd, paying therefor $475. The)- held this lot for some 
time, but finally relinquished it to the " Catholic Society " for the same price 
they had paid for it. Upon this lot the church was afterwards built. 

In 1 88 1, it was determined to separate the Catholics of Bethel and Grassy 
Plain district from the mother church at Danbury. Accordingly, a building 
committee, comprising Thomas Doran, Michael Brauneis and Owen Murray, 
was appointed, and the work of securing funds for the erection of a new 
church was auspiciously and successfully carried on. Sufficient money hav- 
ing been collected to guarantee beginning the work, the construction of the 
church was entered upon with vigor and enthusiasm. The corner-stone was 
laid oil Sunday, September 17, 1882, by Bishop McMahon. The sermon was 
preached by the Rev. Father Gates, CS. S.R., of Boston. The ceremony of 
dedication took place on Sunday, September 16, 1883, Father Byrne, being 
pastor. Bishop McMahon officiated. The Mass which followed the dedica- 
tory services was celebrated by the Rev. W. J. Slocum, assisted by Rev. M. 
P. Lawlor as deacon, Rev. H. Lynch as sub-deacon, and Rev. P. M. Kennedy, 
as master of ceremonies. The discourse was delivered by the Rev. P. P. 
Lawlor, of New Haven. The church is a brick edifice, Gothic in style with 
the tower on the side. It is 49 x 88 feet. The basement wall is granite, and 
the roof imitation clerestory. All the windows are of beautiful stained 
glass and bear the names of the donors. The distance from the ground to the 
top of the cross is 138 feet. The seating capacity of the church is 475. 

The cemetery was purchased August 19, 1889, and a portion of it was 
blessed on June 14, 1891, by Bishop McMahon. The sermon on the occasion 
was jjreached b}' the Rev. W. J. Slocum of Norwalk. The number of bap- 
tisms administered in St. Mary's parish from 1883, the year of its foundation 
until 1898, exclusive, was 406; the number of marriages, 81. 

The first child to receive baptism after the organization of the parish, as 
far as the records show, was John Edward Philips. The first marriage 
recorded is that of Theodore F. Gillooley and Catharine E. O'Connor. The 
first death on the records was that of Mrs. Mary Crowe, February 27, 1890. 

St. Mary's parish is in a flourishing condition. Both pastor and people 


are one in promoting the interests of religion and in advancing the welfare of 
the town. They have accomplished much in the past, and if influenced by 
the memories which previous successes bring, the future will witness still 
greater things done for God and His hoi)- church. 

/^ W£ 


BOUT the year 1879, the building of the church at Redding Ridge 
I'as commenced by F'ather Martin Lawlor, pastor of St. Peter's parish, 
Danbury, who at that time had charge of this mission. It was 
shortl)' afterwards connected with Ridgefield and attended by 
Father Thaddeus Walsh of that place, who continued the work on the church 
and completed the superstructure. About 1883, or soon after the death of 
Father Walsh, the mission was transferred to Father O'Connell and at- 
tached to Bethel. Father O'Connell continued attending it till his death. 
He built an addition to the church, formed a new sanctuary, erected an altar 
and frescoed the interior, making of it altogether a very i^rettj' and substan- 
tial structure. There are about one hundred and thirty souls in this mission. 
The members of the congregation are Irish and of Irish descent. There are 
no manufactories in the place. Agriculture is almost exclusively the business 
of the inhabitants. 



fHK .services of the Catholic church were witnessed for the first time in 
Danbury in 1845, when the Rev. Michael Lynch, pastor of St. James' 
parish, Bridgeport, offered up the Adorable Sacrifice in the house of 
James Doyle of Grassy Plains. From his appointment to Bridgeport until 
1849 Danburv, with neighboring missions, was attended by Father Lynch 
at about quarterly intervals. He said Mass alternately at the residence of 
James Croal, on Deer Hill, and at the house of John Hart, on Franklin street. 
At the time of the first Mass the Catholic population of Danbury was between 
sixty and seventy soiils. The occasional j^resence of a jjriest increased their 
number. Becoming thus better known, they gradually overcame the preju- 
dices of their Protestant neighbors ; so much so, in fact, that the>- were ena- 
bled to secure the use of a building situated near the centre of Main street, 
the property of Charles Hall, and known as "Union Hall." Services were 
next held in the academy conducted by a Mr. Erwin. This property after- 
wards came into the possession of the Catholics, and stood almost opposite 
the new church on the west side of Main street. 

In 1849, Danbury was placed under the jurisdiction of Norwalk, pastor was the Rev. John C. Brady. Father Brady continued to hold 
services in the academy until the appointment of the Rev. Thomas Ryan, who 
was ordained to the priesthood on March 16, 1851. Father Ryan displayed rare 
judgment in his admini.stration of affairs, and with diplomacy worthy of a 
more experienced head, soon secured the use of the court-house for the 
increasing congregation. Here the Catholics assembled for divine worship 








until June of 1S51, when Father Ryan purchased from the Universalists, for 
$2750, their building, which stood on the northwest corner of Main and 
Wooster streets. The manner in 'which this purchase was consummated 
throws a light upon the prejudices entertained against Catholics at that time. 
Bishop O'Reilly was in town on the day of the sale, and during its progress 
walked up and down the opposite side of the street, an anxious, though an 
apparently indifferent spectator. To manifest interest openly in the sale 
would have defeated his purpose, for the Know-Nothing element, then ram- 
pant, would not have permitted property to be sold to Catholics, especially 
for church purposes. Ne\-ertheless the purchase was affected through the 
shrewdness and liberality of three Protestant gentlemen, William H. Clark, 
Aaron Seely and Samuel Stebbins, whose names are still fondly cherished by 
the older Catholics of Danbury. Happy in the possession of a church, though 
humble indeed, they immediately refitted it in a manner suitable for Catholic 
worship, and it was dedicated the same year. Father Ryan's pastorate in 
Danbury terminated on October 10, 1851, having been transferred tempora- 
rily to Stonington. His successor was the Rev. Michael O'Farrell, who was 
ordained a priest on July 12, 185 1. At this time the congregation had 
increased to the respectable number of 400. The arduous labors of this 
mission soon began to make inroads upon the health of Father O'Farrell, 
who, after a pastorate of eighteen months, retired to New Haven hospital, 
where he died. The first cemetery was purchased during Father O'Farrell's 
pastorate at a cost of $400. His successor was the Rev. John Smith, who 
came in 1853. The three years of his administration were signalized by the 
purchase of a lot on the southeast corner of Main and Centre streets, where St. , 
Peter's churcU now stands, for which he paid $1200, and the erection of a 
parochial residence upon it at a cost of $3000. Father Smith was followed, 
in 1856, by the Rev. Peter Kelly, who in turn was succeeded, in 1858, by the 
Rev. Thomas Drea. At this period Danbury had as dependencies : Brook- 
field, New Fairfield, Newtown, Redding Ridge and Ridgefield. Father 
Drea's term of service lasted until i860, during which time he added largely 
to the property of the church. A valuable lot of land extending from Main 
to Foster streets, and including two buildings, the academy already men- 
tioned, and another occupied by the Congregationalists, was purchased for 
$2500. On Father Drea's transfer to Bridgeport Bishop McFarland appointed 
the Rev. Ambrose Manahau, D.D., his successor. On September i, i860. 
Dr. Manahan purchased the Congregational church for $600. Father Drea 
had previoush- bought the lot on which this church stood. It was remodeled 
and suitably prepared for Catholic services, and used until the completion 
of the present church. Dr. Manahan was a priest of fine culture and superior 
intellectual endowments. He was a polemical writer of great ability, and his 
book on "The Triumphs of the Church" was one of the standard works of 
that time. He had gained the unbounded affection of his people, and his 
death was deeply regretted. 

The Rev. Philip Sheridan followed Dr. Manahan in 1865. Four years 
after his arrival he conceived the design of erecting a Gothic stone church 


which would not only be an architectural ornament to the town, but a tem- 
ple worthy of the growing imi)ortance of the parish. To this end he removed 
the pastoral residence to the rear of the lot on the southwest corner of 
Main street, and on its site began the foundations of the new church. The 
soil here was sandy and humid, and great difficulty was experienced in 
securing a solid bed for the foundations. In some places the builders were 
obliged to grout to the depth of twenty-seven feet. The difficulties were 
overcome, however, but at an expenditure of nearl\- $4000. The corner-stone 
was laid on Sunday, August 28, 1870, by Bishop McFarland, on which occa- 
sion the Rev. Augustine Hewitt, C.S. P., of New York, preached the sermon. 
The priests who assisted Father vSheridan were his brother. Rev. John Sheri- 
dan, Rev. John Smith, Rev. Father Plunkett, Rev. Father Bernard, Rev. 
John Flemming and Rev. Patrick Finnegan. 

In July, 1874, the Rev. John Quitm succeeded Father Sheridan. The 
panic of 1873 had suspended the work on the church; but upon his arrival 
Father Quinn resumed work on the edifice, and the ceremony of dedication 
took place on December 13, 1875, Very Rev. James Hughes, V. G., officiating. 
The celebrant of the Mass following the dedication ceremony was the Rev. 
H. Glackmeyer, S.J., and the preacher, the Rev. William Hill, LL-D., of 
Brooklyn, N. Y. The cost of the church, with basement and tower unfinished, 
was $84,630. With Father Quinn as assistants were Rev. B. Bray and Rev. 
J. McMahon. 

Rev. Martin P. Lawlorwas appointed Father Quinn's successor in Decem- 
ber, 1876. His assistants were Rev. J. ]\IcMahon, Rev. M. Byrne, Rev T. 
Mulvany, Rev. T. Smith, Rev. T. Walsh, Rev. J. H. O'Donnell and Rev. T. 
Dunn. Father Lawlor remained in Danbur>- until 1883, when he was trans- 
ferred to Meriden. 

In August, 1883, Rev. Thomas L. Lynch assumed charge of St. Peter's 
parish. The works that mark his pastorate were the erection of the 
school and the purchase and re-fitting of St. Thomas' Convent. Before the 
school was entirely completed. Father L)'nch was summoned to his eternal 
reward. Feather Lynch's a.ssistants were Rev. Thomas Dunn, Rev. Edward 
O'Donnell and Rev. James B. Nihil. 

On December 10, 1886, the Rev. Henry J. Lynch, the present incumbent 
and the first permanent rector of the parish, was appointed by Bishop 
McMahon. A brief enumeration of the works accomplished during the past 
twelve years will bear testimony to zealous, untiring and profitable labor. 
The first work undertaken was the completion of St. Peter's school. On May 
15, 1887, it was dedicated and a sonorous bell bles.sed for it by Bishop 
McMahon. A new cemetery was purchased in January, 1887, for $5,000, situ- 
ated near Lake Kenosia. After being suitably graded and divided into sec- 
tions and lots, it was blessed by the bishop on September nth, of the same 
year, Rev. James Nihil preaching the .sermon. His next achievement was 
the completion of the church by the erection of a sightly spire. A chime of 
bells costing $5,000, the gift of the ladies of the parish, was afterwards placed 
in the tower. About this time the basement of the church was finished, and 



on September 15, 1889, it was dedicated. The preacher on this occasion was 
the Rev. James A. Doonan, S.J- On the same day the solemn ceremony of 
blessing the chimes took place, when the Rev. J. O'Connor, S. J., prononnced 
the discourse. 

The low, swamp}' and unhealthful gronnds about this school were trans- 
formed into a fine play-gronnd b}- the introdnction of a new s}'stem of drain- 
age and by scientific grading. Tlie parochial residence, one of the finest in 
the diocese, was erected in 1891. It stands north of St. Peter's school, front- 
ing on Main street near Elmwood Park. South of the school on the corner 
of Wooster and Main Streets is the handsome convent of the Sisters of Mercy. 
The corner-stone of this structure waS laid by Bishop Tierney on June 29, 
1896. Rev. F.J. McCarthy, S. J., preached the sermon. The ceremony of 
dedication took place on August 15, 1896. In the northern end of this building, 
entirely distinct and separate from the convent, are four class-rooms, two on 
the first and two on the second floor. On the third floor is located the parish 
library. It is abundantly supplied with choice literature and is sumptuously 
furnished. The library was opened on December 21, 1896. Its chief benefactor 
is Mrs. J. H. Benedict, a convert, who contributed $500 towards the purchase 
of books. It will be seen that St. Peter's parish possesses valuable property; 
but besides that mentioned above, it still owns the old convent propert)' valued 
at $10,000, and real estate worth $\ 5,000. This latter property was the gift of 
Mrs. Cunningham, who is regarded as the principal benefactor of the parish. 

The zeal of the clergy of St. Peter's is not confined to ministrations 
among their own parishioners ; an average of fort}- conversions annually to the 
faith demonstrate the existence there of an apostolate who are stimulated 
by the words of the Master: '''' And other sheep I have., that are not of this 
fold : thetn also I must bring, and tliey shall hear my voice, and there shall be 
one fold and one shepherd.'''' 

The number of baptisms administered in the forty years between 1858 
and 1898,- was 6,143 > iii the same four decades there were i, 107 marriages. 

We have seen that at the time of the first Mass the number of Catholics 
in Danbury did not e.xceed 70. The present Catholic population is 6,000 
souls, divided into 5,000 Irish and their descendants, and 1,000 of mixed 
nationalities, Germans, Italians, Hungarians, French, Poles and vSlavs. 

Twenty-one religious and benevolent societies are under the care of the 
clergy. Among them are : The Tabernacle Society, Branch of the Eucharistic 
League, Propagation of the Faitli, Immaculate Heart of Mary, for tlie Con- 
version of sinners. League of the Sacred Heart, and three T. A. B. Societies. 

The estimated value of St. Peter's parish property is ,$284,000. 

St. Peter's school opened in September, 1886, with 400 pupils and eight 
rooms. At present there are 1,008 pupils, 17 rooms, with 17 teachers and 9 
grades. Sister M. Stanislaus is the Superioress of the convent. The standard 
of this school is above that of the public-schools, as is shown by the annual 
examinations for admittance into the high school. 

The priests who have served with Father Lynch as assistants are : Rev. 
James Nihil, Rev. Thomas Dunn, Rev. Edward Murray, Rev. Patrick Keat- 


ing, Rev. Daniel Lawlor, Rev. Richard Walsh, Rev. John Downey, Rev. 
Richard Shortell, Rev. F. Bedard, Rev. George Synnott, Rev. James Walsh. 
Those serving the parish at present are Rev. John D. Kennedy, Rev. Matthew 
Traynor and Rev. Charles Co])pens. 

Religions harmony prevails and ever has prevailed in St. Peter's parish. 
Energetic, devoted and self-sacrificing priests have been the leaders, and the 
generous, devout people have co-operated. Together they have brought the 
parish to the front rank, where with zeal undiminished and with courage 
quickened they continue the exalted work of saving souls. 



HE Indian name of Fairfield was Unquoiva, and its discovery was the 
result of a pursuit of the Pequots in 1637, by Roger Ludlow. Reach- 
ing tlie lasco, the great swamp of the town, he became enamored of 
the beauty of the land in the neighborhood and established a settlement. 
* The Catholic history of Fairfield begins 215 years later, when in 1852 
Rev. Thomas Synnott, pastor of St. James' parish, Bridgeport, celebrated Mass 
here for the first time. It cannot be definitely stated where the first Mass 
was said. The honor is given to the home of John McKenna and to the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Sarah M. Jarvis, who had received the precious gift of faith in 
1842. It is not unlikely that both houses had the honor of the first and 
second Masses, and others thereafter, and that tradition has confused the 
merits of each. Father Synnott visited Fairfield frequently, though the 
number of Catholics was not large. Deeming it advisat)le to secure for this 
little band a of worship, he began the erection of a church, which was 
dedicated in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas, on Sunday, June 15, 1S54, by 
Bishop O'Reilly. The Mass which followed the ceremony of dedication was 
celebrated by Rev. Hugh O'Reilly, of Norwalk, assisted by Rev. James Lynch, 
of Birmingham, as deacon; Rev. James Kennedy, diocese of Halifax, as sub- 
deacon ; and Rev. Richard O'Gorman, of New Haven, as master of cere- 
monies. The sermon was delivered by Bishop O'Reilly. The church was a 
frame building, with a seating capacity of about 500. For nearly a quarter 
of a century the Catholics of Fairfield remained under the juri.sdiction of 
Bridgeport, Rev. Father Synnott pastor. In January, 1876, they became an 
independent organization with the Rev. Martin P. Lawlor as their first resi- 
dent pastor. His pastorate was of brief duration, ending in September of the 
same }ear. Briefer still was the term of his succes.sor, the Rev. John Ouinn, 
who was succeeded in December, 1876, by the Rev. Thomas Mullen. Like 
those of his predecessdfs, the pastorate of Father Mullen was brief, as he died 
from an affection of the heart under peculiarly sad circmnstances. On August 
4, 1877, Father Mullen was summoned to administer the consolations of reli- 
gion to a man who had received fatal injuries during an altercation. The 
sight of the man's protuding vitals made a deep impression upon Father 
Mullen, who was naturally of a nervous temperament. After his return home 
he spoke to his mother of the sad occurrence, dwelling at some length upon 


the scenes that had fallen under his observation. The following day he was 
again called to the bedside of the injured man, and the painful impressions 
caused by the first visit were renewed. After leaving the house of the in- 
jured man, he visited another parishioner who was suffering from typhoid 
fever. Having concluded his duties he returned to the pastoral residence, 
but the sight of the man's wounds was continually before his mind. Going 
out in the garden to walk, he was shortly seen to stagger and fall, and by the 
time help arrived he was breathing his last. Everything that medical science 
could devise was brought into requisition, but all proved ineffectual. The 
inexorable fiat of death had been pronounced ; his heart had ceased its pulsa- 
tions. His death occurred on August 5, 1S77, in the thirty-second year of 
his age. His funeral took place on the 7th, the Rev. J. Fitzpatrick, of New 
Haven, pronouncing tiie eulogy. 

Father Mullen's successor was immediately announced as the Rev. 
William A. Harty, of St. Mary's church, New Haven, who presided over St. 
Thomas' parish until Sunday, March 17, 1878. While his administration was 
also brief Father Harty gave evidence of the possession of the distinguishing 
faculty of liquidating indebtedness which has characterized his every pastor- 
ate since. The week following Father Harty's departure the Rev. Philip 
McCabe assumed charge. His relations with the parish ceased in September, 
1879, when the Rev. Denis Cretnin became the pastor. Father Cremin re- 
moved the church to another lot, enlarged it, built a basement to it and had 
it frescoed. It was accordingly rededicated in November, 1880. Father Cremin 
also purchased a house that stood adjacent to the church, and after thoroughly 
renovating it, used it as a convent and school. Father Cremin governed St. 
Thomas' parish four years, during which time he resided in a rented house. 
The Sisters of Mercy were introduced in 1882 and the school opened. On 
November 1, 1883, Father Cremin was transferred to Bridgeport. His succes- 
sor, the present pastor, the Rev. Thomas J. Coleman, followed immediately. 

Upon his arrival Father Coleman began the task of erecting a pastoral 
residence; this he accomplished without incurring any indebtedness. For 
more than eight years the parish flourished under the pastor's guiding hand. 
The school's high standard was maintained; the people were united, devout, 
contented. Suddenly the work of years of patient toil and zeal and self- 
sacrifice was a pile of smoldering ruins. A conflagration, which broke out 
on the night of January 19, 1892, destroyed church, residence and convent. 
But pastor and people were undismayed by the dire calamity. Five days after 
saw them worshiping in a temporary structure, which strong and willing 
hands had erected. Work on the present commodious rectory was begun in 
1893 and completed before the end of the year. Father Coleman now turned 
his thoughts to the erection of a church; and his people cordially seconded 
his intentions. Ground was broken on June, 1894; the corner-stone was laid 
on July 4th, and the church was dedicated on Thanksgiving day, November 
27th, all within the space of a year. Father Coleman also purchased an 
extension to the cemetery for $1,200. 

St. Thomas' Church is a brick edifice, Romanesque in design, with a 


seating capacity of 650. Its total cost was $22,000. The population of the 
parish is about 600 souls. 

Notwithstanding its reverses, the parish is again in a higlily prosperous 
condition. The future is bright with promise, and pastor and parishioners 
are grateful to the Giver of all gifts, who has blessed them so abundantly. 



K have seen elsewhere in these pages that one of the original pur- 
chasers of Greenwich was an Irishman, Daniel Patrick. His fel- 
low-countr\men, however, did not settle here until about 1845, 
probably nearer to 1848. Among the first Catholics to seek homes here 
whose names are remembered were the McCormicks, Barretts, Dorans, Dalys, 
Egans, Foxes, and Smiths. It has been asserted that the first Mass celebrated 
in Greenwich was said by the Rev. H. O'Reilly, of Norwalk, in 1S54; but 
it is not improbable that the Holy Sacrifice was offered that year, as 
in 1854, the number of Irish Catholics in Greenwich was estimated at one 
hundred souls. Therefore, between 1850 and 1854 the number of Catholics 
there must have been suflficiently large to require the occasional visit of a 

After the formation of St. John's parish, Stamford, in March, 1854, Green- 
wich passed under its jurisdiction. From that time until i860, Mass was 
offered up at intervals in private houses and in the Town Hall. In this year 
a small church was erected on William street. This was enlarged in 1888. 
In 1875 the Rev. M. A. Tierney improved the church by the erection of a 
choir gallery. 

During Father Tierney's pastorate provision was made for the near for- 
mation of Greenwich into a parish. The first step was the from 
James Elphich, for $4,200, of one of the finest sites in Greenwich for a new 
church. To the Rev. William H. Rogers, who was an assistant at Stamford, 
was intrusted the duty of organizing the Greenwich Catholics, and of begin- 
ning work on the new church, retaining in the meanwhile his position at 
Stamford. Upon the promotion of Father Rogers as the successor of Father 
Tierney, he relinquished juri.sdiction over Greenwich, being followed in Jan- 
uary, 1877, bv the Rev. Denis J. Cremin. Father Cremin's first work was the 
liquidation of what debt remained upon the property purchased by Father 
Tierney. He removed the house that stood on the lot, and having refitted 
it, occupied it as a rectory. He then began the construction of St. Mary's 
church. The corner-stone was laid on June 9, 1878, by Bishop Galberry, in 
the presence of many thousands of spectators. The Bishop was assisted by 
Father Rogers, of Stamford ; Father Meister, of Mammaroneck, N. Y.; Father 
Walsh, of Waterbury, and the reverend pastor. The sermon was preached by 
Father Walsh. Miss Anna Caulfield's donation on the occasion was 5300, for 
which generous gift she was presented with the silver trowel used by the 
Bisliop in laying the corner-stone. The handsome edifice was dedicated on 
May 18, 1878, by the Administrator ad iulerim^ Very Kcv. Thomas Walsh, 


V.G. The mass which followed the ceremonies of dedication was celebrated 
by Rev. M. A. Tierney, assisted by Rev. John Russell as deacon, Rev. Father 
O'Brien as sub-deacon, and Rev. P. M. Kennedy as master of ceremonies. 
The preacher of the occasion was Rev. Lawrence Walsh of Waterbury. 
Before his transfer to Fairfield Father Creniin had the happiness of seeing his 
parish free from indebtedness. 

The present pastor, the Rev. Thomas Smith, began his pastorate on Sep- 
tember 1 1, 1879. For well-nigh a score of years he has labored faithfully to 
promote the interests entrusted to him. He introduced the Sisters of Mercy 
from Middletown, having fitted up the old church for school purposes, and 
secured the handsome and spacious convent property at an outlay of #9, 500. 
A lot on Greenwich avenue has been added to the real estate already possessed 
by the parish. Tlie^?ounds about the rector}' and church have been beauti- 
fied and improved by macadam driveways. In 1884 Father Smith had the 
church handsomely decorated. St. Mary's church is 107 feet in length and 
49 feet in width, and is a frame building. 

St. Mary's scliool was opened with 150 pupils; 204 are now in attend- 
ance. There are six grades, with four teachers, whose Directress is Sister M. 
Philomena. The school maintains a high standard, and its graduates readily 
pass the required examinations for admission to the Town Academy. 

The clergy who have served as assistants to Father Smith are : Rev. 
Thomas Gronin, Rev. Thomas Maloney, and Rev. John L,ee. The present 
assistant is the Rev. T. W. Dolan. 

New Canaan. 

fHE incorporation of New Canaan as a town occurred in 1801. Its Cath- 
olic history dates from 1855, when the first Mass was said here by Rev. 
Father O'Reilly, of Norwalk, in a building on Main street, now occu- 
pied by the grocery of Thomas Fairty. Mass was said also in a hall and subse- 
quently in the Town hall by the Rev. Dr. ]\Iulliganat intervals from 1859 ^o 1862. 

The present church was erected in 1863 by the Rev. Peter A. Smith, 
pastor of St. Mary's parish, Norwalk. It was thoroughly renovated both 
exteriorly and interiorly, and new altars erected by the Rev. W. J. Slocum 
during his administration at Norwalk. Priests from Norwalk attended New 
Canaan regularly every Sunday until May, 1896, when the parochial dignity 
was conferred upon it by Bishop Tierney, who appointed the Rev. John T. 
McMahon the first resident pastor. Father McMahon remained here about 
four months. He had secured a lot for a parochial residence, but was trans- 
ferred before his designs were realized. His successor was the Rev. Thomas 
Kelly, whose pastorate of two years was crowned with great success. Upon 
his promotion to New Milford, he was followed by the present pastor, the 
Rev. P. Byrne. 

When the first Mass was said in New Canaan in 1855, there were about 
thirt)' Irish Catholics in town. At present they number 250 Irish and about 
forty Italians, Poles and Slavonians. 
II— 18 


In 1896 and 1897 there were twenty-six baptisms and six marriages. 
The first child born after the formation of the parish was Mary Kelly, dangh- 
ter of James and Catherine Kelly, and the first to receive baptism was Maur- 
ice Corrigan, son of Joseph and Rose Corrigan. On July 22, 1896, the first 
marriage was solemnized between Thomas E. Dounillon and Mary Teresi 



(5 I HE ancient Indian name of Newtown was Pohtaluck. The town was 
' I incorporated and received its present name in 1708. Tlie first Cat'lio- 
lics to reside in "Newtown came, not voluntarily, forty-eight years 
after ; they were four Acadians, who were billeted on the town by Act of the 
General Assembly, January, 1756. The records are silent as to their fate. 
Perhaps they were among the 240 fortunate exiles who gathered at Norwich 
in 1767, and were carried to Quebec in the brig " Pitt." But if they remained 
they and their descendants lived and died without the consoling ministra- 
tions of anointed priests. 

In 1781 the French army, under the Count Rochambeau, encamped 
at Newtown on its march from Providence to the Hudson in 1781. They 
remained here from June 28th to July 1st, and as the latter date fell on Sun- 
day, it may be averred that one or more of the chaplains offered up the Hol\- 
Sacrifice of the Mass on that day. 

Statements as to the time and celebrant of the first Mass in Newtown 
vary. Some are certain that the Divine Mysteries were offered here for the 
first time by Rev. James Smythe, one of the pioneers of the diocese, in 1841, 
while others contend for six years later. According to the adherents of this 
latter view, the first Mass was said in Peter Leary's house, which stands now 
near the Newtown depot on the N. Y. N. H. & H. R. R., and that Rev. John 
Brady was the celebrant. The first Catholics to establish homes in Newtown 
were Michael Leary, Peter Leary, John Cavanagh, Patrick Cavanagli, James 
Carley, William Griffin, Andrew Egan, Daniel Quinlivau, Thomas Bradley, 
Bernard Donlan, Richard Reilly, Patrick Gaffney. 

The first resident pastor of Newtown was the Rev. Francis Lenihan, who 
organized the parish on i, 1859. Previous to the appointment of 
Father Lenithin Newtown was served by priests from Danbury. Father 
Lenihan purchased the first cemeter\- ; but it was not blessed until the pastor- 
ate of his successor, the Rev. James Daly, who came here in March, 1862. 
Father Daly served the parish six years, leaving in July, 1868. Rev. John 
Rogers then became pastor on July 22, 1868, and remained until July, 1873. 
His successor was Rev. James McCarten, who came about i, 1873, ^"^ 
died in January, 1889. The present church was erected during his pastorate 
in 1882. The corner-stone was laid in May of that year by Bishop McMahon, 
and the sermon was preached by Rev. Lawrence Walsh. The old church had 
been a Universalist nVeeting-house and was purchased by Rev. John Smith 
about 1858. It was 38 x 48, but an addition enlarged it to 38 .v 78. Rev. 


Patrick Donahoe followed Father McCarteii in January, 1889, and remained 
until February, 1891. The present incumbent. Rev. P. Fox, became pastor 
on February 13, 1891. In 1896 Father Fox built the parochial school at Sandy 
Hook. The corner-stone was laid on June 9th by Very Rev. John A. Mulcahy, 
V.G., in the absence of Bishop Tierney, who was in Rome on his ad liniina 
visit. The sermon was'preaclied by Rev. W. Rogers, of Stamford. The new 
cemetery was also purchased during Father Fox's pastorate. May 16, 1891. 
It was blessed by Very Rev. James Hughes, V. G., the Rev. William Maher, 
D.D., preaching the sermon. 

St. Rose's i^arochial school opened with 125 pupils. It has now 173, with 
nine grades, taught by six Sisters of Mercy, whose superior is Sister M. 
Berchmans. . 

The clergy who have served Newtown as assistants are : Rev. Thomas 
Mullin, Rev. W. Gibbons, Rev. M. Cray, Rev. M. McCarten, Rev. D. J. 
Kennedy, Rev. J.J. Loftus, Rev. C. Brady, Rev. P. Daly. The present assist- 
ant is Rev. Terence Smith. 

The number of Catholics present at the first Mass was about twelve; 
when the church was bought by Father Smith the number had increased to 
100. The present population of the parish is about 1300, all Irish and their 

■• The first marriage solemnized in Newtown, of which there is record, was 
that between Jeremiah Cavan and Bridget Hayes, November 4, i860. The 
first baptism was that of Charles English, son of William English and Bridget 
O'Connell, August 2, 1859. 

Father Fox and his assistant attend also vSt. Stephen's church at Stepney 
twice a month. The church was erected in 1890 by Rev. P. Donahoe. There 
are about forty souls here and this number is decreasing. 

Andrew Egan and brotliers are numbered by the grateful parishioners as 
benefactors of St. Rose's parish. 



IMONG the earliest settlers of this mission we may enumerate those 
who bore the following names : Corrigan, Everett, Kane, Rulihan, 
GafiFney, Stark, Waterbury, Conboy, Seely, Sheridan, Reilly, Fla- 
herty, Canovan and Wood. Prior to 1888, the Catholics of Noro- 
ton went to Stamford to Mass. In that year, permission was asked and 
obtained to celebrate the Divine Mysteries at the Soldiers/ Home, as there 
were many Catholic veterans, inmates of the institufion. A meeting was 
subsequently held at the Home of tihe Catholics of Noroton, both resident 
and visiting. Great enthusiasm prevailed, and it was the sense of the meet- 
ing that a church be erected. Accordingly a committee consisting of Rev. 
William Rogers, Mr. John D. Crhnmins and Mr. H. W. CoUender, were ap- 
pointed to carry the work to completion. 

A beautiful site of four acres was purchased by Father Rogers from Mr. 
Francis S. Fitch, for whicli he paid $5,500; with the land was secured also a 


house. The property is among the finest in the town and overlooks Long 
Island Sonnd. 

On August 29th, 1888, ground was broken and the corner-stone laid on 
November 29th, of the same year by Bishop McMahon. The Rev. Dr. Hig- 
gins, O. P., preached the sermon. The beautiful little church was dedicated 
on December .15th, 1889, by the above prelate. The discourse on the occa- 
sion was pronounced by the Rev. Jeremiah Curtin. 

Noroton remained under the jurisdiction of Stamford, Father Rogers, 
pa.stor, until May ist, 1895, when the Rev. Timothy M. O'Brien was ap- 
pointed the first resident pastor. When the parish was formed it contained 
about 250 souls, Irish and Americans; at present it has about 300, with a few 
German and Hungarian families. From May ist, 1895, to 1898, there were 
forty-five baptisms and twelve marriages. 

Tlie permanent Catholic population of Noroton is in character much 
the same as that which is found generally in rural districts throtighout the 
State, and while a large proportion are in comfortable circumstances, there 
are none who are wealthy. However, there are in Noroton a number of 
country homes owned or occupied by wealthy families from New York. Tliese 
families reside here from four to six months in the year. Attached to the 
households of the non-Catholic residents in one capacity or another is a 
goodly number of Catholics, and as a they deserve recognition, not only 
as augmenting the congregation for a period of time, but as edifying it by 
their devotion, and as materially assisting it by their generosit}. 

St. John's parish is blessed with a number of benefactors, who manifest 
their interest in the church b\- their generous contributions; among them 
mention should be made of Messrs. John D. Crinunins, H. W. Collender, Wil- 
liam Rulihan, William Everett, Michael Kane and Feli.x A. Mulgrew. 

The church, which is a handsome structure, is 75 in length and 40 in 
width, and has accommodations for 350 persons. 

Though among the small parishes of the diocese, St. John's is among 
the most progressive and successful. Co-operation and Unity express the 
spirit that pervades the parish. 



(*) I HE honor oi being the first Catholics to settle in Norwalk belongs to 
' I Michael Cooney and family, who came from New York in May, 1828. 
Mr. Cooney was a hat dyer and lived near the dock on the east side of 
Water street. William Donahoe followed with his family of six persons, in 
1829. He was a chandler by occupation and remained in Norwalk until 1832, 
returning to New York. Clement Burns then came and boarded with Mr. 
Cooney. He was a potter and a stanch Catholic. Four years after Mr. 
Cooney's appearance here the family of Farrell Gillooly and a family, 
Brennan by name, arrived. Then followed in succession tlie family of Paul 
Bresuan and the families of James, John and Ednmnd Conners. 

The Rev. James McDermot, pastor of New Haven said the first 







offered up in Norwalk, in 1833, at the residence of Michael Cooney. Father 
McDennot visited Norwalk semi-annually until his transfer to lyowell in 
1837, each time celebrating Mass in the front room of Mr. Cooney's house. 
" Here he met and preached to those poor, hard-working pioneers of our faith, 
numbering in all about twenty-five persons, at his first coming ; he was 
cheered by their hearty welcome and encouraged on his long and weary mis- 
sion in the heart of Puritanism by tlieir fervent faith." 

The next priest to visit Norwalk was the Rev. James Smyth of New 
Haven. During his visits here, he said MaSs at Mr. Cooney's house, in the 
basement of George F. Belden's tin-store, and at the residence of lyawrence 
Martin, on the Newtown turnpike. Afterwards when Mr. IMartin had re- 
moved to Five Mile River, Father Smyth said Mass in his house there, four 
or five times. 

When Rev. Michael Lynch was given charge of Bridgeport, in 1844, he 
assumed jurisdiction also over Norwalk and neighboring places. His first 
Mass here was said in the house of Brian Mahoney, at the foot of Mill hill, 
on Wall street, and the second, in the summer of 1844, in a large tenement 
house, occupied by John Connors, John Kelly and two other families on 
River street. At this second Mass there were present about seventy-five per- 
sons. Possessing superior accommodations to other hoxises occupied by the 
Catliolics, Mass was said here frequent!}' afterwards. 

In 1848, a committee, comprising Paul Bresnan, John Hanlon, John 
Foley, Tenence Reynolds and Farrell Gillooly, was appointed to present a 
petition to Bishop Tjler for a resident priest. The good Catholic spirit 
manifested by the petitioners in their letter impressed the Bishop so favorably 
that he visited Norwalk, said Mass in Marine hall or the Town House, and 
delighted them with the assurance that he would in the near future send 
them a priest. Accordingly he appointed the Rev. John Brady to Norwalk 
with Stamford and other places in the neighborhood as dependencies. The 
construction of the New York and New Haven Railroad had brought a 
goodly increase to the original number of Catholics and for their accommo- 
dation, Father Brady secured gratis the use of the Town hall for divine 
services. Before this Mass was said at intervals of four months ; now it was 
said semi-monthly. Father Brady began almost immediately upon his ar- 
rival to make preparations to jorovide his rapidly increasing congregation 
with a church. A site was purchased b)- Terrence Reynolds from a Mr. 
Bailey, on Chapel street, and a church 36 x 40 immediately commenced. 
Both Protestants and Catholics contributed generously to the erection of the 
edifice. An anecdote will illustrate the feelings of good-will that prevailed 
among all classes. " Paul Bresnan and Terrence Reynolds were appointed 
the committee to solicit from non-Catholics. The most influential man in 
town was the Rev. Dr. Mead, of St. Paul's Episcopal church. ' He must be 
got to head the list with his name,' said the committee; so to him they went, 
and after making their business known. Dr. Mead, who knew the men very 
well, said : ' Paul, how is it you come to me first; why not go to the Con- 
gregational minister. Dr. Hall ? ' Paul, who was never known to be out- 


witted, promptly replied : ' Well, Doctor, we know you to be an ofT-shoot 
from the parent stock.' The Doctor took the list and headed it generously 
and was followed by Dr. Hall and many of the most influential citizens of 
the town." The church was completed in 185 1, and on January 28th, of 
that year, it was dedicated by Bishop O'Reilly. Of this event, the bishop 
thus wrote in his Journal : " /i'j/, January 28th. Made the visitation of St. 
Mary's church, Norwalk, confirmed about twenty and preached twice. These 
churches (St. John's, Stamford and St. Mary's, Norwalk) were built by Rev. 
John C. Brady; are in debt each about $1,000, but I was pleased with his 
efforts." Father Brady's residence was on the " Cove Road," near Stamford. 
In 1852, Rev. Father Kelly was assigned to Norwalk as assistant, and there- 
after Mass was .said there every Sunday. 

In 1853 Father Brady was succeeded by the Rev. E. C. Cooney, but he 
remained only until March, 1854. Old residents remember him as especially 
zealous in promoting the cause of temperance. Following Father Cooney 
came the Rev. Hugh O'Reilly, whose pastorate lasted five years. His first 
work was the erection of a school, over which he placed Mr. and Mrs. He.s- 
sion ; but, owing to the great distance and many of the children being obliged 
to walk, it was soon discontinued. The school was in the rear of the church. 
Father O'Reilly enlarged the church by an addition of forty feet, and pur- 
chased the pastoral residence on Chapel street, known in later years as the 
" Eldridge Brown House." 

Father O'Reilly's pastorate occurred during the j'ears that the Know- 
Nothing element was triumphant in the State. They manifested their in.sen- 
sate hostility by setting the church on fire, and at another time by sawing off" 
the gilded cross that .surmounted the church. In 1858 Father O'Reilly pur- 
chased from the Fairfield County Agricultural As.sociation a tract of land 
opposite the fair grounds for a cemetery. In the same year he was trans- 
ferred to Providence, and was succeeded successively b\- the Rev. Richard 
O'Gorman and the Rev. James Campbell, whose incumbencies were only 
temporary. On July 18, 1859, the Rev. John Mulligan, D.D., "justly con- 
sidered one of the most talented and promising clergymen in the Hartford 
diocese," assumed charge of St. Mary's parish. Among the works he accom- 
plished were the completion of the church at Westport in 1859; the organi- 
zation of St. Joseph's T. A. B. Society ; the establishment of a night school. 
He had also in contemplation the erection of a church on the present site of 
St. Mary's, when death closed his brilliant, though brief, career. He died 
on January 12, 1862. His remains were interred in St. Patrick's Cemetery, 
Hartford, his natal city. 

Dr. Mulligan was followed by the Rev. Peter A. Smith, who came here 
from East Bridgeport. The works that marked his administration were the 
purchase of the pastoral residence, which, after many years of occupancy, 
gave way to the present commodious rectory, and also of the site of the 
church adjoining. A school was organized in a small building erected on 
the northeast corner of Orchard street and West avenue, which he placed in 
the care of a Mr. McGilleck, of New York, and Miss Jane Mahler, of Newtown. 


Tlieir successors were Mr. James McGirl, of New York, and Miss Margaret 
Tierney, of Norwalk. The school was discontinued after an existence of two 
or three jears. Father Smith built the church at New Canaan, began and 
completed the present church, with the exception of tlie spire. The corner- 
stone was laid in 1869, and on the same day of this ceremony Bishop McFar- 
land blessed the new cemetery. When the basement of the church was 
ready for occupancy the old church was sold to S. E. Olmstead. Though 
the church cost $85,000, there was only an indebtedness of g20,ooo on it 
when dedicated in 1870. It is a Gothic structure, 60 x 130, and has a seat- 
ing capacity of 1 , 200 persons. Father Smith's death occurred on December 
16, 1875, after a most successful pastorate of thirteen years. His remains 
rest in St. Mary's cemetery, by the side of his brother. Rev. John Smith, 
who died on November 5, 1869. 

The Rev. P. O'Dwyer succeeded to the pastorate of St. Mary's in January, 
1876. His term of service was brief, though replete with works that redounded 
to the spiritual welfare of the parish. He founded many religious societies, 
and erected the memorial tablet to the deceased j^riests of the parish in the 
vestibule of the church at a cost of $350. He died on June 7, 1878, and was 
buried in Ansonia, where he had been pastor from 1870 to January, 1876. 

The Rev. John Russell followed Father Dwyer and assumed formal charge 
of St. Mary's parish on June 30, 1878. The duration of his pastorate was five 
years, during which period he built St. Mary's parochial school, purchased the 
convent aud introduced the Sisters of Mercy from Meriden into his parish. In 
April, 1883, he was transferred to St. Patrick's, New Haven, and his successor 
was the Rev. William J. Slocum. The works accomplished during his pas- 
torate attest his activity. Besides adding to and beautifying the convent he 
built the present parochial residence, purchased a valuable piece of property 
in the rear of the church, added a large tract to the cemetery, which was 
greatly improved, completed the church by the erection of a spire, put in 
marble altars, liquidated the indebtedness, and to the joy of his parishioners 
had the church consecrated, a heart offering of his people to God. During 
his incumbency St. Mary's parish was raised to the dignity of a permanent 

He was transferred to the Immaculate Conception parish in succession 
to Very Rev. John A. Mulcahy, V. G., in September, 1895. His successor, 
the Rev. J. B. A. Dougherty, assumed control on September 19th. The 
term of his pastorate was one year. He was succeeded by the present 
rector, the Rev. John Furlong, who began his administration on October 12, 
1896. Recognizing the importance of a suitable place where the young of 
his parish could spend their evenings profitably. Father Furlong- purchased a 
site opposite the church on which stood a dwelling-house, which he converted 
into a club-house and established the Catholic club in January, 1897. Plans 
are being drawn for a more commodious building, which no doubt will be 
an ornament to the town, as well as a source of social, intellectual and spiritual 
profit to its attendants. 

St. Mary's school is one of the most proficient in the diocese. There are 


486 pupils with eleven Sisters. Sister M. Clare is the superior. The trustees, 
John Fahy and James Clavin, have held this office for upwards of thirty years, 
and have been pew-rent collectors for the same period of time. 

Tlie population of St. Mary's parish is 3100 souls, and comprises among 
this number physicians, merchants, expert mechanics and a number of public- 
school teachers. 



IT is a well-established fact that James Brophy and family were the first 
Catholics to stand upon the soil of Ridgefield. They came here on 
Tlianksgiving Day, November 30,- 1848. After them in succession we 
meet the familiar names of Wlialen, Kirwin, Purcell, Kelly, Murphy, 
Caliill, Fitzgerald, Short, Mulhall, Gallagher, Halpin, Cnllen and Enright. 
In a few years the number so increased that from fifty to seventy-five persons 
would gather about the humble altar when it would be known that a priest 
was to visit Ridgefield. 

The house of James Brophy was the first to harbor a priest in Ridgefield. 
Returning to his home at Danbury, Father Ryan stopped at Ridgefield and 
admini-stered the last sacraments to two of Mr. Brophy's relatives who were 
dangerously ill. His succes.sor in the pastorate of Danbury, Rev. Father 
O'Farrell, becoming cognizant that there were a number of Catholics in 
Ridgefield and vicinity, arranged to pay visits at monthly intervals. Coming 
on Saturday evenings he would hear confessions and say Mass on the follow- 
ing morning at Mr. Brophy's residence. Father O'Farrell's successors. Rev. 
Fathers Smith, Kelly and' Drea, continued to serve the Catholic people of 
Ridgefield. The number of Catholics increasing, it became necessary to 
secure the old Town hall for divine services, paying at each visit five dollars 
for the privilege. 

On November 23, 1867, the site upon which the first church was built 
was purchased from George R. Scofield for $975, James Enright and James 
Walsh acting as agents for their Catholic brethren. A frame dwelling-house 
stood on the lot at the time of the purchase and for a time served as a church. 
It was destroyed by fire in 1868. The destruction of this building was a 
severe blow to the devoted little band. It made a return to private houses 
and the Town hall necessary, and in this struggling condition they remained 
for nearly nine years. But their courage revived. They eagerly desired a 
church, and their faith and self-sacrifice provided the means. Generous souls 
contributed, $20^ $30 and $50. Tlius .stimulated they bent their energies to 
the task before them, and in due lime had the happiness to see their long- 
desired church erected —small, indeed — but their own, and when the work was 
completed, the financial manager of the work, Thomas McGlynn, presented 
to the pastor. Rev. M, P. Lawlor, of Danbury, a bill receipted in full payment 
for all debts that had been contracted. 

' The Indian name of Uidgefiekl was Caudatou'a, a name signifying High Land. It 
was incorporated in 1708. 


Some time after the completion of the church, Ridgefield was taken 
from the jurisdiction of Danbury, and transferred to that of Georgetown, 
which had been made a parish with the Rev. Thaddeus Walsh as the first 
resident pastor. Redding Ridge was also served from Georgetown. In 1 880, 
Father Walsh transferred his residence to Ridgefield, Georgetown becoming 
the mission, where Mass is said by Father Shortell every Sunday and holy- 
day in the church of the Sacred Heart. This church was built during the 
administration of Father Walsh. Father Walsh died in 1886 and was imme- 
diately followed by Rev. P. Byrne, who in turn was succeeded six years later 
by Rev. Joseph O'Keefe. After a pastorate of ten months ill health com- 
pelled him to retire. Brief as was his pastorate he left in the treasury, the 
result of his efforts, $535, as a nucleus of a building fund. 

The present pastor, the Rev. Richard E. Shortell, assumed charge of St. 
Mary's parish on May 30, 1893. Father Shortell immediately began prepara- 
tions for the erection of a new church. The first step to this end was the 
purchase from Jacob M. Lockwood for #2,750 of the site on which stand the 
present handsome church and fine pastoral residence. The rectory was built 
early in 1894 and was free from indebtedness when completed. Work on the 
church commenced in May, 1896, and the corner-stone was laid on July 4th 
of that year by Bishop Tierney. The church was dedicated under the 
patronage of the Mother of God on July 5, 1897. The .sermon was preached 
on the occasion by the Rev. T. J. Kelly. Says a local chronicler : "Realiz- 
ing that this first little church was inadequate in size, undesirable in locality, 
their zeal prompted them to renewed eflforts, and then was called forth that 
generosity which gives them to-day one of the most desirable places in the 
village of Ridgefield for a church worthy to be called a House of God." 

St. Mary's cemetery was purchased by Rev. Father Walsh in August, 
1882; it was blessed on October 13, 1883, by Bishop McMahon. 

Wheh St. Mary's parish was formed it comprisefl about 200 souls, all 
Irish and their descendants. The number at present is 270. 

South Norvvalk. 

^T. Joseph's parish was formed September i, 1895, by cutting off the 
southern portion of St. Mary's parish, Norwalk. It comprises all of 
South Norwalk and extends north to Cedar street. The first pastor 
was the Rev. John Winters, who oflfered his first Mass for his new 
parishioners on September 8, 1895, in Music Hall, South Main street. This 
hall was rented for church purposes at a rental of $500 per annum. When 
the parish was organized it comprised 1200 Irish people, 200 Hungarians and 
100 Italians. 

Work on the church was begun in October, 1896. The corner-stone was 
laid on Sunday, April 4, 1897, by Bishop Tierney, in the pfesence of 8,000 
citizens of both Norwalks. The preacher on the occasion was the Rev. William 
Maher, D.D., of Milford. 

St. Joseph's parish began its career with $1,750 in the treasury, the gift 


of tlie Rev. W. J. Slocum. Thej' possess a very valuable property on South 
Main street. Two separate properties, side by side, were purchased and united, 
the one serving for a church site, the other for a rectory. The building on 
the rectory site has been re-modeled and is used as a pastoral residence. The 
house on the other property was removed to make way for the new church. 
The rectory property cost $6,000, and the cluirch lot with building, $4,750 
The erection of the hand.some brick cliurch and the thorough renovation of 
it exteriorly and interiorly and the improvements made in the grounds, 
make this property the chief ornament of South Main street and the pride of 
the Catholic population. 

The number of baptisms administered during 1896 and 1897 were 166, 
and the marriages solemnized during the same time were 32. The first bap- 
tism was that of Helen Kindilien ; the first marriage was that of John Ken- 
nedy and Mary Lynch. 

The Catholics of South Norwalk enjoy the esteem and good will of all 
classes and creeds, and under the patronage of St. Joseph are prospering. 
Politically, they are divided between the two great parties ; socially, they are 
the peers of their neighbors ; intellectually, they are recognized as influential 
elements in the population. 

The week after Easter Sunday, 1899, witnessed the transfer of the Rev. 
Father Winters from South Norwalk to the newly organized parish of the 
Immaculate Conception, Hartford. His successor is the Rev. William Maher, 
D. D., formerly of Milford. 


fHE services of the church were held for the first time in Stamford in 
September, 1842, in the house of Patrick H. Drew in West Stamford. 
The celebrant of the Mass on that occasion was the Rev. James Smyth. 
Three families comprised the Catholic population at that time. Mass was 
said here at stated inter\'als until 1846. When I\Ir. Drew removed to the old 
"Webb Place" on South street, the Divine Mysteries were there celebrated, 
first by Bishop Tyler. In this house and in the Town hall services were held 
until the completion of the church on Meadow street in 185 1. 

Writing to Bishop Tyler under date of February i6, 1846, the Rev. 
Michael Lynch of Bridgeport said : " I was at Stamford on the 8th and 9th 
inst., and administered the Sacraments to 12 or 14 persons there; said Mass 
for them and baptized two children. This makes eleven visits to them these 
three years past, most of them on Sundays." '" In the same letter he gave 
the number of Catholics of Stamford as "15 to 25." Besides Stamford, Father 
Lynch attended from Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Wolcottville and Nor- 
folk also. Despite his almost quarterly visits — and it is difficult to see how he 
could go more frequently with missions as widely separated as Norfolk, Wol- 

' Rippowans was the original name of Stamford. It was purchased for " twelve coats, 
twelve hoes, twelve hatchets, twelve knives, two kettles and four fathom of wampum." 
'The 8th and 9th of February, 1S46, fell on Sunday and Monday. 

Stamford, Conn. 


cottville and the others — complaints were made to Bishop Tyler that Father 
Lynch had " despised and forgotten our Catholic brethren in the locality of 
Stamford." This formal accusation was drawn up, it should be known, by one 
who "would not submit to the rules of this diocese," and who, refusing to obey 
the law concerning the proclamation of the banns, was married in New York. 
The people finally appealed to the priests of St. John's College, Fordham, 
for assistance. The following official correspondence will throw much light 
on the statrxs of Catholicity in Stamford at this period : 

St. John's Coll., Fordham, Aug. 12, 1846. 
Right Revd. Sir : ' Mr. J. Lynch, a good Catholic of Stamford, Conn., applied to us 
some time .since to know if we could .send, once every six weeks, one of our F.F. (Fathers) 
to Stamford, which, he said, can receive but very seldom the visit of a clergyman. I 
answered him that as soon as I had ascertained the possibility of doing so I would write 
to j'our Lordship, in whose jurisdiction the place is. 

Our intention is not and cannot be to establish there one of us as parish priest, nor 
to attend the sick calls; but merely to say Mass, hear confessions, and give instructions to 
that good people twice in three months, until 3-our Lordship may provide better for them. 
If this demand meets with your approbation, I will immediately answer afiBrniatively 
to Mr. Lynch, and at the beginning of next month one of our gentlemen will go to Provi- 
dence to receive your blessing and acquaint himself with your desire. 
I have the honor to be, Right Revd. Sir, 

Your Most Obt. Servt., 

Aug. J. Thebaud, S.J. 

To this note Bishop Tyler sent the following reply : 

Providence, Aug. 18, 1846. 

Rev. Dear Sir : I have received your letter of the 12th inst. I wish certainly that the 
good people of Stamford maj- enjoy all the benefits of religion and as frequently as possi- 
ble. They are now under the care of Rev. Mr. Lynch, who resides mostl}- at Bridgeport. 

More than a year ago I received a letter signed by and several others, com- 
plaining of being neglected and requesting, not in the most humble terms, to be better 
provided for. I wrote to Rev. Mr. Lynch upon the subject, and after that when I saw him, 
spoke to him more fully about it. It was not difficult to perceive that an unfortunate 
misunderstanding existed between a considerable portion, at least, of the Catholics of 
Stamford and their pastor. They charged him with neglect and want of attention to them, 
and he accused them of requiring of him things that were unreasonable, and refusing to 
contribute a proper sum towards his support,^ and to enable him to procure things required 
for the decent celebration of the sacred mysteries. 

That their demands upon him were in some cases unreasonable was manifest to me 
from their own letter, and I do not doubt that when tliey began to entertain an unkind 
feeling towards him they also withheld their contributions. Such a state of things is 
deeply to be deplored. It is out of my power to remedy it. I have no other priest to send 
them,^ and even if I had I doubt whether they would give him a support. 

Perhaps some of your good Fathers may do good in the case. If so, I shall be very 
happy. But you can easily perceive that it will not do for them to go there, as it were, 
rivals of Rev. Mr. Lynch. They should rather appear as his assistants, and of course 

' Bishop Tyler. 

^ In his letter to Bishop Tyler, quoted above. Father Lynch said that from his eleven 
visits to Stamford he " got very little from them, sometimes nothing, at other times hardly 
what would pay my expenses." 

^ Beside Father Lynch there were only three other priests in Connecticut, Rev. John 
Brady, Rev, Jas. Smyth and Rev. John Brady, Jr. 


should first have a good understanding with him ; unless, indeed, you could take the 
whole care of the place, which you intimate is impossible. 

I will write immediately to Rev. Mr. Lynch upon the subject, and if one of you 
good Fathers will see him and have an agreement with him upon the subject, and do 
something for the spiritual welfare of those poor people you will have not merely my 
thanks, but will have the merit of promoting the great object which your society has 
always in view — the honor and glorj- of God and the salvation of souls. 

With sincere respect, I am. Dear Sir, 

Yours in Christ, 
Rev. AiG. J. Thebaud, S. J., t ^^'m. Tyler. 

St. Johns College, Fordham, X. Y. 

In accordance with Bishop Tyler's wishes, a priest of St. John's College 
held a conference with Father Lynch at Bridgeport, the results of which will 
be seen from the following letters : 

Bridgeport, Sept. 23, 1846. 
Right Revd. Bishop : The Revd. Mr. de Luynes, one of the priests of St. John's Col- 
lege, called here last week to make arrangements for visiting Stamford. I told him he 
might come there, with your approbation, as often as he plea.sed, provided he did not 
interfere with my visits once in ever3' three months; or, with your consent, that he might 
take the entire charge of that place and the adjoining towns. I presume Rev. Mr. 
Thebaud will write to you again. I submit the matter to your lordship for adjustment, 
and await j'our decision. 

Wishing your Lordship health and happiness, I remain. 

Your Lordship's most Obi. Servant, 

M, Lynch. 

Father Thebaud wrote : 

St. John's Coi.l., Sept. 28, 1846. 
Right Rev. Sir : Last week Father de Luynes, one of our gentlemen, went to see Revd. 
Mr. Lynch, of Bridgeport, to hear from him, if he would have any objection to our visit- 
ing periodically the Catholics of Stamford. Mr. Lynch said that he was willing, provided 
we should take altogether the charge of that part of his congregation and attend the 
sick calls. This we cannot do, chiefly on account of the distance, and the difficulty of 
the roads in winter. We give up, therefore, the idea we had of obliging those poor people, 
and I think it proper to inform your Lordship of it. It may be, nevertheless, that, at least, 
in summer, some of us may go occasionalh- to Stamford, as Rev. Mr. Lynch said he had 
no objection to it, and T hope you will grant us for those occasions, the power of hearing 
confessions and administering other sacraments in that portion of your diocese. 
I have the honor to be. Right Rev. Sir, 

Your Obt. Servt , 

AvG. J. Theb.\ud, S.J. 

After Bishop McFarland's ordination to the priesthood, on May 18, 1845, 
he was assigned to St. John's College as professor. He did not remain here 
long, as on May 6, 1846, he was appointed pastor of Watertown, N. V., and 
dependencies. Previous to this he had done parochial duty in New York 
city. While professor at Fordham, Father McFarland often attended sick 
calls at Stamford. His visits antedated the application mentioned in Father 
Thebaud's first letter to Bishop Tyler, and may, indirectly, have been the cause 
of the petition being made to the college. 

In 1849, the Rev. John C. Brady was appointed pastor of Norwalk, with 
Stamford, Danbury, New Milford and Canaan as missions. Father Brady took 


up his residence on the Cove road a short distance from the town. On July 
4, 1849, ^is broke ground for a new church on Meadow street. It was a one- 
story frame structure, 60 by 40 feet. The church was dedicated on January 
26, 185 1. On that occasion Bishop O'Reilly also made a visitation of the 
parish, administered confirmation and preached three times. 

In March, 1854, the Rev. E.J. Cooney succeeded Father Brady. During his 
pastorate the church was enlarged by an addition of twenty feet. Father Cooney 
made many other improvements in and about the church. The next pastor and 
the first resident priest of Stamford, was the Rev. James Reynolds. His term 
of service began in November, 1857, and ended by his death in October, 1858. 

The Rev. James H. O'Neill immediately succeeded Father Reynolds. 
Finding the labors of the parish too arduous to be borne alone, as the number 
of souls had increased from a few hundred to over a thousand in less than ten 
years, he received as assistants the Rev. Edward O'Neill, who served from i860 
to 1864; Rev. Christopher Duggett, 1864 to 1866; Rev. James Ward, 1866; 
Rev. James Charleton, 1867, and Rev. Eugene Gaffney. Recognizing the 
importance of Catholic schools Father O'Neill in i860 built a school on 
Meadow street, and procured effective teachers in the persons of Mr. P. Reilly 
and Miss B. Clancy, who retained their positions until 1876, when the old 
church having been converted into school-rooms, and the pastoral residence 
into a convent, the Sisters of Mercy assumed charge of the schools. During 
these years Greenwich was a mission of Stamford, and so continued until the 
fall of 1876, when it attained the dignity of a parish, with the Rev. W. H. 
Rogers as the first pastor. 

The Rev. John Fagan was appointed the successor of Father O'Neill upon 
the death of the latter in October, 1868. One of the great needs of the parish 
at this time was a new cemetery, as the little burial ground around the old 
church had only a few untenanted graves. A tract of thirty-si.v acres in 
Springdale, about two and one-half miles from Stamford, on the line of the 
New Canaan R. R., was purchased. Father Fagan had this surveyed and 
laid out for cemetery purposes. He built a massive stone wall along the front, 
planted trees and otherwise beautified the grounds, so that with its graveled 
walks and driveways, its shrubs and flowers, gentle undulation and stream of 
water running along its western border, Springdale cemetery is a place of great 
beauty. As the congregation had increased to 3000 souls. Father Fagan was 
not long in recognizing the necessity of a larger church. Accordingly, a 
short time after his appointment, he took s'teps to secure an eligible site. He 
purchased the present site on Atlantic street from Mr, A. J. Bell for $12,500. 
Work on the church was immediately begun, but Father Fagan lived to see 
the work completed only to the water table. He died on December 5, 1873. 
Father Fagan' s assistants were : Rev. James Daly, from April to October, 1 87 1 ; 
Rev. Thomas Ivynch, from October, 1871, to April, 1872 ; Rev. Thomas Healy, 
from April, 1872, to September, 1873 ; Rev. John A. Mulcahy, from June until 
September, 1S73, and Rev. W. H. Rogers, appointed September, 1873. 

The Rev. Michael A. Tierney assumed charge of St. John's parish on 
February 1, 1874, pushed on the work of the church vigorously, roofed in the 


building and completed the basement, wliich was ready for divine services on 
Thanksgiving day, 1875. Very Rev. James Hughes, administrator of the 
diocese, officiated at the dedication ceremonies, and the sernfon was preached 
by the Rev. Matthew Hart. The evening discourse was pronounced by the 
Rev. P. A. Murphy. In the meantime Father Tierney had purchased the 
present pa.storal residence on Atlantic street from Mr. J. A. Condon for S 18.500, 
had fitted up the old church for school purposes, and brought the Sisters of 
Mercy to lake charge of the schools. 

Father Tierney was followed in the pastorate by the present rector, the 
Rev. William H. Rogers, in 1877. Father Rogers continued the work on the 
church until its completion. The ceremony of dedication was performed by 
Bisl'op McMahon on May 30, 1886. The preacher was the Rev. Dr. Horst- 
mann, the present bishop of Cleveland. The orator at the evening services 
was the Rev. Edward McGlynn, D. D. 

The Rev. Thomas Coleman ser\-ed as assistant here from July, 1 876, to the 
following September; Rev. Joseph Gleeson from Januarj-, 1877, until Novem- 
ber, 1878; Rev. H.J. Walsh from November, 1878, to February, 1885 ; Rev. 
P. Skelly from February, 1885, to April, 1886; Rev. Thomas Keeuan from 
February, 1 886, to November, 1 897 ; the Rev. E. A. Flannery from January, 
1898, to September, 1898. Rev. J. T. Lynch and Rev. E. Sullivan are the 
present assistants. 

. The property of St. John's parish was recently increased by the purchase 
of the house and land adjoining the rectory for $8500. In four decades the 
Catholic population of Stamford has increased from 100 to 4000 souls. The 
value of the church property is near a quarter of a million dollars. 

The parochial school is in a very prosperous condition. There are 463 
pupils and eleven sisters, of whom Sister M. Alexius is Superioress. 

St. John's church is of grey stone with granite trimmings throughout. It 
is of Gothic design, cruciform with clerestory. The dimensions are: extreme 
length, 176 feet; width of nave and aisles, 68 feet ; breadth of nave at intersec- 
tion of transepts, 92 feet ; transepts, 16x50 ; height of nave, 50 feet ; vestibule, 
i6x 50; height of spire, 225 feet. The architect was Mr. James Murphy, of 
Providence, R. I. 



Whole number Whole number 

Families. of souls. Families. of souls. 

Drew, Patrick, wife and six children ... 8 O'Brien, Patrick, wife and three children 5 
Kenney, Timothy, wife and two children 4 Murphy, James, wife and two children . 4 
Dwyer, Robert, wife and three children . 5 .Shaughnessy, Patrick, wife and four chil- 

Hogg, Peter, wife and two children ... 4 dren 6 

Gilfoyle. Mrs., and five children .... 6 Hogg, Michael, and wife 2 

Deagan, John, wife and child .... 3 Eagan, Feli.x, and wife 2 

Muldoon. John, wife and five children. . 7 Edell, Madame, and one child 2 

Fitzgerald, Thomas, wife and one child . 3 

stii,lw.\ti;r district. 

Kennedy, John, and wife 2 I (luider, John, and wife 2 

Sullivan, John, and wife 2 I Brown, ISIrs. Rose, and four children . . 5 






Stamford, Conn. 





Whole number 
of souls. 


Whole number 
of souls. 

Shea, Patrick, and wife 2 

Welsh, Thomas, wife and child 3 

Crowley, Patrick, wife and two children 4 

Crowley, Timothy, and sister 2 

O'Brien, Michael, wife and one child . . 3 


O'Neil, Edward, wife and one child • . . 3 I O'Brien, Thomas, wife and four children 6 
Power, John, wife and two children . . . 4 | Karney, Michael, wife and one child . . 3 


O'Connell, Timothy, wife and two chil- I Ryan, John, wife and three children ... 5 
dren 4 | O'Brien, Patrick, wife and four children . 6 

Whole number of souls 117 

Whole number of families 30 


Daniel Lahy. 
Francis O'Neill. 
Michael Kennedy. 
Lawrence Walsh. 
Daniel Doolan. 
Charles Downey. 
Michael Mangen. 

Martin Flinn. 
William Collins. 
Timothy Conroy. 

Edward Ryan. 
William Murphy. 
Edward Kavenagh. 
Michael Conly. 
John Hickey. 
John Ryan. 
Patrick Cavanagh. 

Patrick Powers. 

James Brennan. 
James Kelly. 
James Herbert. 
Joseph McNamara. 
Peter McGowan. 
Cornelius Cavanagh. 
Patrick Lynch. 

Peter Nugent. 

John Foley. John Foley, Jr. 

John Murphy. John Harrison. 

Miles Riley. James Mulkey. 

John McMahon. 

Michael Lynch. 
Martin Gillespie. 
Francis Lee. 
James Keenan. 
Michael O'Donnell. 
Francis McGarvey. 
Bernard Kehoe. 

Timothy McDonald. 
John Terry. 
Daniel Duffy. 

Thomas Blute. 


Patrick Rourke. 

Thomas Dacey. 

Thomas Buckley. 
Edmund Clnte. 

Bridget Langen. 
Catherine Donavan. 
Mary Moran. 
Sarah Berresford. 
Ann Mack. 
Bridget Kelley. 
Bridget Lynch. 
Ellen Crowley. 
Catherine Connors. 


James Magee. Jeremiah O'Brien. Michael Kennedy. 

James McLaren. Patrick Gannan. James Lynch. 

Peter Kenned)-. 


Ann Nugent. Ellen O'Neill. 

Mary Gorman 

Mary Shean. 

Bridget Conelly. 

Margaret Doran 

Rosey Nugent. 

Mrs. Simox. 

Rosanna Flood. 

Mary Curran. 
Mrs. Sullivan. 
Also a number of others whose names could not be easily 

Thirty families numbering 

Unmarried persons as far as could be learned .... 

Mary Brady. 
Margaret Collins. 
Ellen Malone. 
Cecilia O'Shaughnessy 
Mary Sanderson. 
Jane McGrath. 
Bridget Kehoe. 
Catherine Smith. 

Ann Smith. 
Margaret »Sniith. 
Mary Fitzpatrick. 
Catherine Dougherty 
Margaret Flannigan. 
. Margaret Lee. 
Ann O'Neill. 
Bridget Connelly. 
Rosanna Riley. 





There is no date on the original paper from which the abo\-e was copied, 
but it is a very old list. Its probable date is about 1850. 



II I{ town of Westport was incorporated in 1835. Eighteen years after, 
on November 21st, was offered up for the first time in Westport the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The celebrant was the Rev. John Brady, 
of Norwalk, and the chapel for the occasion was the Universalist church, on 
Main street. The priests of Norwalk continued to serve the Catholics of 
Westport until a short time previous to its formation into a parish. 

In i860, the church was built by the Rev. Dr. Mulligan, and dedicated 
on August 15th of that year. When Rev. M. P. Lawlor began his pastorate 
at Fairfield, in January, 1876, he took charge also of Westport. Father Law- 
lor's pastorate was of short duration, at the end of which Westport was made 
an independent parish. The Rev. Patrick Keating was appointed the first resi- 
dent pastor, and in Jannar}-, 1S77, purchased the pastoral residence. Among the 
other material works effected was the decoration of the clnirch. Father Keat- 
ing ministered to the wants of the Westport Catholics with commendable zeal 
until May 10, 1885, when the Rev. John H. Carroll was appointed his suc- 
cessor. His thirteen years of service here were productive of gratifying 
results in the material and spiritual order. For many years Father Carroll 
served on the Board of Education, and was also the chairman of that body, a 
fact which stronL'K' attests the existence of the spirit of fraternity between 
Protestants and C itholics ; and, that this spirit does exist, is due in no small 
degree to the prudent, and withal manly course adopted and steadily pursued 
by the clergy. Father Carroll preached his farewell sermon on Sunda\', 
October 9, lS9^, and on the following Sunday assumed charge of the parish 
of the Holy Trinity, Wallingford. He was succeeded by the Rev. James P. 
Ryle, who came here from Montville. 

The church of the Assumption is a frame structure, whose seating capa- 
city is 500. 




f\\\\ first i\Iass .said in Winsted, or, as it was then called, Clifton, was 
offered b)- the Rev. James Lynch, of Birmingham, in the west district 
school-house, in 185 1, in the presence of about forty persons. An 
old resident, however, is authority for the statement that the first Mass was 
said in 1850 by a Father Tucker. One who was present at Father Lynch's 
Mass, Mrs. Gabriel Grinnan, is still living, and has vivid recollections of the 
same. Mr, Peter Dardis came to Winsted in 1849. At that time, he says, 
there were about twelve Catholic families here. In 1851 land was purchased 


for a church. \\\ 1852 the Rev. Tlioiiias Ouinn entered upon his duties as the 
first resident pastor of Winsted. Soon after his arrival he began the erection 
of the church, the corner-stone of which was laid in 1853. Until the church 
was ready for occupancy, divine services were held in Camp's Hall. In 1853 
Father Quinn was succeeded by the Rev. Philip Gillick, who came from the 
diocese of New York. He completed the church, in the basement of which 
he took up his residence. Rev. Thomas Hendricken came in 1854. Serving 
here about one year, he was followed by the Rev. Richard O'Gorman in 1855, 
Rev. lyawrence Mangan came next, and remained three years. While trav- 
eling in Burope Father Mangan was drowned. Rev. Daniel Mullen was 
appointed pastor in i860, but at the outbreak of the Civil War he resigned to 
accept the office of chaplain of the Ninth Connecticut Volunteers. "Father 
Mullen was a man of literary culture," says the Annals of Winchester., "and 
earnest patriotism, who served at Baton Rouge and Chackaloo Station, L,a., 
and Deep Bottom, Va. He was compelled by ill health to resign on the 26th 
of August, 1862." Father Mullen's successor was the Rev. Philip Sheridan, 
who a few years later was followed by Rev. Father Leo da Saracena, O. S. F., 
who had taken Father Mullen's place as chaplain of the Ninth Regiment. 
During his first ad;ninistration this parish was thoroughly organized. Father 
Leo received his appointment as rector of St. Joseph's parish on January i, 
1865. In August, 1870, the Rev. Father Anacletus, O. F. M., became pastor, 
but was transferred in the following year to allow Father Leo to resume charge 
of the parish, which he continued to govern till 1877. From 1877 to 1880 he 
was Custos Provincial of the order, and resided at Allegany in St. Bonaven- 
ture's seminary, of which he was the president for three years. Father Leo 
was followed by Father Ubaldus da Rieti, who held the position of rector 
until 1878, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Bonaventure Fo.x, O. S. F. He 
remained until 1879, when he returned to Santa Barbara, California. In 
1879, Fathers Jerome, Daniel, and Francis labored here as well as on the out- 
missions. At the expiration of his term of office at Allegany in 1880, Father 
Leo returned to Winsted. With the exception of a tour through Europe and 
the Holy Land in 1891 and 1892, Father Leo labored continuously in the 
parish until summoned to his reward on November 3, 1897, in the sixty- 
fifth year of his age and the forty-second of his priesthood. His successor, 
the Rev. Alexander M. Hickey, O. S.F., was appointed by the Custos Provin- 
cial, Very Rev. Joseph Butler, with the approbation of Right Rev. Bishop 
Tierney, and is still in charge of the parish. 

Among the works that distinguished Father Leo's administration were 
the purchase from a Mr. Philips of a dwelling-house ; the providing the 
Sisters with a building which they used as an academy and convent ; the 
opening of a parochial school in the basement of the church on August 15, 
1865; the purchase of a piece of land in 1866 west of the church, and the 
erection on it of a spacious brick monastery ; the securing of the property in 
the rear of the church, known as the Grove; the building, in 1876, of the 
convent of St. Margaret of Cortona, which, with the beautifying of the 
grounds, cost over $15,000. The corner-stone of the convent was laid on Sep- 
II — 19 


tember 17, 1S76, and on December 3, of the same year, it was dedicated ; the 
new convent bell was blessed on this occasion. The Holy vSacrifice of the 
Mass was celebrated by Rev. E. J. O'Brien, assisted by Rev. C. Hughes, 
of Providence, Rev. Father Boniface and Rev. Father Leo. The discourse 
at the morning service was pronounced by Bishop O'Reilly, of Springfield, 
and Bishop Galberry preached the sermon in the evening. In 1883 Father 
Leo remodeled the church by adding a transept and chancel, and had it thor- 
oughly renovated exteriorly and interiorly — the whole work at an expense 
of $15,000. The church was dedicated on June 13, 1883, the Rev. Cliarles 
McKenna, O. P., preaching the dedicatory sermon. In 1887 the energetic 
pastor built St. Antiiony's school, a fine brick edifice, with a stone basement. 
The school was blessed by Bishop McMahon on December 11, 1887. He 
was assisted by Rev. J. .V. Mulcahy, now \'icar-General, and Rev. T. W. 
Broderick. The oration was pronounced by Mgr. Thomas J. Conaty, D.D. 

The cemetery attached to the parish was purchased during the pastorate 
of Rev. Father Mangan, about 1858 or 1859. It was secured for the parish 
by a Mr. McGuire, and cost $400. A portion of it was blessed by Bishop 
McFarland before the departure of Father Mangan, and the remainder when 
Father Leo was pastor, before 1876. Prior to the purchase of this cemetery 
the parishioners buried their dead in the Catholic cemeteries of New Hartford 
and Norfolk. 

According to the deed by which Bishop McFarland conveyed the entire 
property to the Franciscans, the people of the parish must have the use of 
the churcli ; and it may excite surprise that they have only the use of it. This 
may be accounted for thus : tliat tiie people who visit a church of the Friars 
Minor on the ist and 2d of August, other conditions being complied with, 
may gain the indulgences granted by the Pope. The circumstance aflfects 
the people indifferently, because all the property held in the name of the 
Friars Minor belongs to the Holy See. 

When Father Leo took charge in Winsted he had as dependencies Cole- 
brook, New Boston, Torrington, Litchfield and Norfolk. Of these missions 
Colebrook alone remains. The estimated number of Catholics in Winsted, 
when the parisli was formed, was 250, principally Irish. The number at 
present is about 2,000. Father Hickey is assisted in his parochial labors b\- 
Rev. Father Lewis, O.S.F., and Rev. C Ryan, O.S.F. 

Among the benefactors of St. Joseph's parish mention may be made of 
Mr. Harvey Wakefield, who died on July 24, 1884, bequeathing $1,000 to the 

St. Joseph's school is taught b)- the Sisters of St. Francis, nine in num- 
ber, of whom Mother Leo is the Superioress. The school has nine grades, 
with an attendance of 314 pupils, and is among the best in the diocese. 

From 1867 to the present there have been twenty-nine assistants, and 
among them was Rev. Father Diomede Falconio, O. S. F., now an archbishop 
in Italy, and recently appointed Apostolic Delegate to Canada. 



1 \ 

, ] 



^, 1 






'NTIL, the appointment of Rev. H. Lynch in 1875, the pastors of the 
missions inchided within this jurisdiction resided at Falls Village, 
as here was the parish church. Mass was said for the first time 
in Falls Village in 1849 by Rev. John C. Brady, pastor of St. 
Mary's parish, Norwalk. Previous to this the Holy Sacrifice had been 
offered in North Canaan on Christmas Day, 1848, in the house of Patrick 
Lynch by Rev. John Smith of Albany, N. Y. The total Catholic population 
of North Canaan at this time consisted of three families, the Lynch's, McCar- 
thy's and Gorman's. The first Mass celebrated in Lakeville was said on July 
4, 1849, under a tree near the Davis Mine by Rev. Father Howard of Pough- 
keepsie, N. Y. Father Smith came from Albany at stated intervals and said 
Mass in Mr. Lynch's residence and elsewhere as opportunity provided. 

When Rev. Christopher Moore, the first resident pastor of Falls Village, 
assumed charge in 1850, his jurisdiction embraced Canaan (Falls Village), 
Goshen, Salisbury (Lakeville), Sharon and Cornwall. Having no church in 
which to gather his flock, he said Mass and administered the sacraments in 
houses most convenient for the people. At the time of his arrival, about 800 
men were employed at Ames' Iron Works ; for their accommodation Mass was 
frequently said in the school-house at Amesville. One Sunday morning, how- 
ever, they found the door of the school locked by the authorities against them, 
so that divine services were resumed in private houses and in the open air, 
" an apple tree standing on Beebe Hill furnishing them shade on one fine 
Sunday morning in June." Rev. Peter Kelly succeeded to the pastorate of 
Falls Village in 1851. Here he built St. Patrick's church in 1854, as well as 
churches at Goshen and Cornwall. Before St. Patrick's church was dedicated 
it was paid for, Father Kelly's mother in Ireland contributing generously for 
the purpose. St. Patrick's church enjoys the distinction of never having been 
in debt, although it is the oldest church on the railroad line between Bridge- 
port and Pittsfield. 

In 1887 Father Kelly was transferred to Hartford and was followed by 
Rev. Dr. Mulligan, who remained two years. Then Rev. Richard O'Gorman 
was appointed j^astor. His pastorate was of short duration, having been suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Philip Sheridan in i860. After serving three years, Rev. J. 
Couch came, but remained for a short time only. The pastorates of his suc- 
cessors, Father O'Reilly and Father O'Farrell, were also brief. The latter died 
at Falls Village in 1868. Early in 1868, Rev. John J. McCabe assumed charge, 
but was followed in September, 1869, by Rev. Joseph O'Keefe. During his 
pastorate in 1871 he built St. Joseph's church in North Canaan. After four 
years of labor here Father O'Keefe gave way to Rev. Stephen ShefFrey, whose 
pastorate was of one year's duration, having been sent to New Haven in 
February, 1875. Immediately following Father Sheftrey came Rev. Henry 
Lynch, who remained pastor of these missions until December, 1886. Father 
Lynch built St. Mary's church in Lakeville, and erecting a pastoral residence 


also, moved his residence here and constituted Lakeville the parish. The 
corner-stone of St. Mary's church, Lakeville, was laid on the feast of Corpus 
Christi, May 27, 1875, by Very Rev. James Hughes, Administrator, and it was 
dedicated to divine worship by the Rev. Luke Daly, on January 16, 1876. 
Falls Village then became a mission. .\t this time his jurisdiction embraced 
Lakeville, Falls Village, Canaan and Cornwall, with Catholics at Huntsville 
and Lime Rock. Father Lynch built tlve splendid St. Mary's conven^t and 
parochial school in 1882, and introduced the Si.sters of Mercy from Hartford 
to conduct an academy for young ladies and to teach in the school. The 
academy was discontinued, but the school continues with three sisters and 
seventy-one pupils. Sister Euphemia is the Superioress of the convent. 
Father Lynch's pastorate ceased in December, 1 886, when the Rev. P. Fo.v 
was appointed pastor. His success in this field, wherein he had been assistant 
to Father Lynch, was marked by a notable reduction in the indebtedness of 
the parish. Father Fox was transferred to Newtown in February, 1891, and 
was succeeded by the Rev. P. Donahoe, who died here on July 12th of the 
same year. From this date the present pastor, the Rev. Timothy F. Bannon, 
has been the pastor of St. Mary's. Father Bannon is assisted in his parochial 
labors by the Rev. William Kiernan. It was in Lakeville, in the residence 
of Father Bannon, that Right Rev. Bishop McMahon died. 

The population of St. IMary's parisli is about 700 souls, including the 
missions, Falls \'illage and Canaan, where Mass is said every Sunday. 

The chief benefactors to the parish were Jonathan Scoville, who donated 
^3, 500 to St. Mary's, and the Hon. William H. Barnum, who was ever a gen- 
erous and consistent friend, giving freely of his substance to further the 
interests of religion as represented by St. Mary's parish. 

St. Patrick's cemetery. Falls Village, was purchased in the fall of 1853, 
but was not blessed until the episcopate of Bishop Galberry, July 17, 1876. 
Rev. F'ather Glackmeyer, S.J., preached on the occasion. St. Joseph's cem- 
etery, North Canaan, was bought in the spring of 1889, and in the following 
September was blessed by Bishop McMahon, Rev. J. J. Quinn preaching the 
sermon. St. Mary's cemeter)-, Lakeville, was purcha.sed earl)- in 1885, and 
was solemnly set apart for burial purposes by Very Rev. John A. Mulcahy, V.G., 
in the same year. On this occasion Rev. J. J. Curtin pronounced the discourse. 

Father Bannon labors unceasingly, not only to promote the spiritual 
interests of his flock, but also to reduce the indebtedness of the parish; and 
in this arduous task he has been eminently successful. 


HE section now comprised in the town of Litchfield was known to the 
Indians as Baii/a»i: it was incorporated in 1724 as Litchfield. The 
first minister in Litchfield bore the familiar name of Timothy Collins. 
He was a native of Guilford, and a graduate of Yale college in 17 18. Another 
suggestive name found in the early records of this historic old town is IMark 
Kenney, who saw hard service in the French and Indian war. The first 


Catholics to come within the confines of Litchfield were three Acadians, the 
victims of English oppression. Sybil Shearawa)-, one of them, married 
Thomas Harrison in 1764, and their descendants are still residents of Litch- 
field. The town records of January, 1759, disclosed the manner in which 
these poor people were treated. On this date it was "voted that the select- 
men may provide a house or some suitable place in the town for the maiiitc- 
7iance of the French ;'''' and in the county treasurer's book this entry is found: 
*' To paid John Newbree for keeping William Dunlap and the French persons^ 
545-. 6(/., which the county allowed, and R. Sherman, justice of the quorum, 
drew an order dated April 25, 1760, as per order on file." As the proselytizing 
spirit was then rife in Connecticut, it is almost certain that if the elder Aca- 
dians did not sacrifice their faith, their descendants were taught to believe that 
nothing good could come out of Rome. 

From this time on we find no trace of Catholicity in Litchfield until the 
period when Irish emigration was at its height. Irish people settled here in 
the rural districts and devoted themselves to the pursuits of agricultural life. 
" The celebrated ' Echo Farm,' known the world over," says a local historian, 
" as a most thoroughly scientific agricultural institution, is a glorious example 
of their success in this branch of industry." 

The first priest to visit Litchfield was the Rev. John Smith, of Albany, 
who n-.ade a missionar}- tour through this section of the State in 1848 on 
horseback, seeking out and ministering to the Catholics whom he might find 
here. On one of these tours he tarried at Litchfield and said Mass, but where, 
has passed from remembrance. 

Bishop O'Reilly visited Litchfield on February 25, 185 1, as his journal 
informs us; but the entry is silent concerning the Holy Sacrifice. It is pro- 
bable, however, the bishop traveled on these missionary tours provided with 
all things necessary for celebrating the divine mysteries. Missionary priests 
did so; why not missionary bishops? 

The second Mass was said in the house where Henry Ward Beecher was 
born. It was the house of John Ryan, on Mill street, and is now a portion of 
Buell's Retreat. This historic Mass was said by Rev. Philip Gillick in 1853, 
in the presence of twenty persons. At this time, or at least in the same year, 
was solemnized the first Catholic marriage in Litchfield, Father Gillick 

The Rev. Thomas F. Hendricken was the next priest to visit Litchfield. 
In 1854, when pastor of Winsted, he ministered to the spiritual wants of the 
Catholics in the residence of Peter Vogin. Father Hendricken was succeeded 
in Winsted by Rev. Richard O'Gorman, who in turn was followed by the Rev. 
Lawrence Mangan in 1856. Father Mangan visited Litchfield and said Mass 
in the Academy. The year following Rev. Peter Kelly gathered the Catholics 
of this section about him in the residence of Joseph Fanning, on North street. 

During all these years that Litchfield was honored by the visits of priests, 
there was no settled place for divine worship In different private houses the 
faithful little band gathered to listen to the voice of the priest. But as the 
congregation grew, it became necessary to secure more adequate acconunoda- 


tions than afforded by private liouses. Moreover, the pastors, energetic and 
willing as they were to meet the demands of their people, could not, as a 
rule, visit them oftener than quarterly. What was to be done for them, espe- 
cially for the children, between visits? God provided the ways and means to 
keep alive the faith of his children here. A convert to the faith, born in 
Litchfield, Miss Julia Beers, became a ministering angel to her co-religionists. 

She purchased from her father in 1858 a small building, which is now a 
part of the pastoral residence ; the room which she suitably arranged with 
altar and seats, is the dining-room of the rectory. Here the devoted congre- 
gation assembled at frequent intervals until 1861, when increasing numbers 
necessitated removal to tlie court-house, where they worshiped until the old 
church was completed in 1868. During these years and until 18S2, the 
pastors of Winsted served the people of Litchfield. The old church was 
begun by Rev. Father Leo, O.S.F., in 1867, and the first Mass was offered up 
in tlie new edifice on New Year's Day, i868. F'ather Leo also purchased a 
cemetery about this time. 

On September 8, 1882, Litchfield was made an independent parish with 
the Rev. ]\L Byrne, as its first resident pastor. During his brief pa.storate 
here he occupied apartments for a time with that pioneer of Catholicity in 
this section, Mrs. Fanning. Father Byrne was transferred to Bethel on April 
4, 18S3, leaving in the treasury $2,700, which he had collected for a Imild- 
ing fund. His successor was the Rev. Joseph Gleeson. Entering upon his 
work with enthusiasm. Father Gleeson, secured for his people the pre- 
sent rectory, paying therefor $6,000. After two years of ser\'ice Father 
Gleeson was followed by the Rev. Timothy M. Sweeney, in November, 
1885. His admini-stration was distinguished by the erection of the beauti- 
ful church that is the pride of all who gather within its walls, at a cost of 
$23,000. The old church was removed to the rear and the grounds were 
beautified and fine walks laid about the church and parochial residence. 

In March, 1889, the Rev. Patrick Finnegan was appointed rector of St. 
Anthony's in succession to Father Sweeney. Father Finnegan's pa.storate 
was signalized b}- the most gratifying successes. In a few > ears he liquidated 
the entire indebtedness of $9,000, and placed a sweet-toned bell which cost 
$700 in the tower. Ill health brought to a close a pastorate as successful in 
.spirituals as in temporals. Father Finnegan, to the grief of his devoted 
people, resigned his parish on October 15, 1896. 

The present pastor, the Rev. Peter Skelh', was then appointed rector of 
St. Anthony's. Since his advent to Litclifield, Father Skelly has accom- 
plished much for his people. The young are the special objects of his affec- 
tion. For their improvement he has established an indoor and outdoor gym- 
nasium. The athletic field has been improved by the removal of the old 
church, and on its site a fine lawn-tennis court has been made. In this field 
his young men gather for trials in athletic sports and the old saw, " a .soimd 
mind in a sound body," has nowhere a better illustration than among the 
enthusiastic devotees of this field. 

As auxiliaries to the pastors of St. Anthony's parish. Miss Julia Beers and 


Miss Emma Deining, both converts, labored zealously in season and out of 
season to promote the spiritual interests of their co-religionists. In the 
intervals between the visitations of the priests these self-sacrificing women 
taught the young the salutary truths of our holy religion, while all gathered 
at their homes to assist at devotions. Their disinterested, faithful and labor- 
ious work for souls has left an impress upon the Catholic hearts of Litchfield 
which time will never erase. Their names are spoken with reverence by a 
grateful people, and from the hearts of child and parent fervent prayers are 
ever ascending for their devoted benefactors. They were a host in themselves, 
and the full measure of the good they accomplished for religion here will not 
be known until the pages of the Book of Life are revealed at the Final Day. 
Blessed, indeed, is the parish that possesses such heroic, saintly souls — souls, 
who, keeping ever in mind the divine injunction : "Seek first the Kingdom 
of God and His justice," have all things else added unto them. 


Goshen Mission. 

'OUR miles from Litchfield is the town of Goshen, a dependency of St. 
Anthony's parish, Litchfield. It was incorporated as a town in 1749. 
Catholics were residents of Goshen as early as 1831. The following 
record tells a story of interest : 

" Goshen. 
Henry Briordy ") iSji. June 7. Married Henry Briordy to Elizabeth Rosen. Witness, 
and ^ Peter King. 

Elizabeth Rosen) Jas. FiTTON." 

In 1837 other Catholics found homes here and gave evidence of the faith 
that was in them by traveling to Norfolk to assist at Mass, when they would 
receive notice of the coming of the priest to that station. In 1854, however, 
the Rev. Peter Kelly said the first Mass celebrated in Goshen, in a private 
house, unless we suppose that Father Fitton offered the Holy Sacrifice on the 
occasion when theiabove marriage took place, which is very probable. In 1856, 
Father Kelly converted a private residence into a chapel where Mass was said 
by the pastors of Falls Village for seventeen years. On December i, 1873, 
Goshen passed under the jurisdiction of Rev. Father Leo, O.S.F., who visited 
it at monthly intervals. While in his charge Father Leo built St. Thomas' 
church. The pastors of Winsted continued to serve Goshen rmtil Rev. M. 
Byrne assumed charge of Litchfield as its first resident pastor. During his 
brief pastorate Father Byrne liquidated an indebtedness of $80© on the church 
and left $300 in the treasury. His immediate successor. Father Gleeson, ren- 
ovated the church, and his successors have labored indefatigably for the well- 
being of this portion of their flock. 


New Hartford. 

(5 I HE first Catholic to reside within the limits of the present parish was 
* I ail Irishman, a farm hand, and it is traditional that his advent created 
such astir that the old residents came from miles around to see what "a 
real live Irishman looked like." He was here early in the forties, and no 
doubt, if he resembled his fellow-countrymen and co-religionistsof that period, - 
was fully competent to give a reason for the faith that was in him. After 
him, in 1847, 1848 and 1849, came John Mano;an, John Creuss, John Henry, 
Robert Smith, Joseph McManus, John O'Connell, John Smith, James Cum- 
mings, Joseph Hagarty and Timothy liuckley. In 1850, 185 1 and 1852, we 
meet the names of John and James O'Keefe, Patrick Keegan, James Donovan, 
John Cahill, John McNamara, Thomas Ryan, Patrick and John Whalen, 
Daniel Mulcondry, Miciiacl Young, H. Lynch, Patrick Donovan, Luke Mc- 
Cabe, Cornelius Danalvy, J. Sheehan, Timothy Mulcondry, Martin Walsh, 
Mrs. Gorman and Mrs. Tuite. 

In the residence of John Mangan in 1 849, vvas offered the first Adorable 
Sacrifice in New Hartford, in the presence of about 30 persons. The cele- 
brant was the Rev. Michael O'Neill. Two months later a second Mass was 
said by the Rev. Luke Daly, then assistant to the Rev. John Brady, Hartford. 
At intervals of two or three months thereafter until 185 1,' Father Daly visited 
New Hartford, and said Mass in the house of John Henry and other places. 
Father Daly gained the affections of the people of this mission to a high 
degree, and so zealously did he labor for their spiritual welfare that his name 
is yet held in benediction. After him New Hartford was attended by the 
pastors of Winsted, Rev. Thomas Quinn, in 1852; Rev. Thomas P". Hen- 
dricken, and Rev. Richard O'Gorman, who had charge in 1856 and 1857. 
When Collinsville received its first resident pastor in the person of the Rev. 
Patrick O'Dwyer in 1858, New Hartford passed under his care,- and was 
served snccessiveh- by Rev. John Fagan and Rev. Lawrence Walsh, his suc- 
cessors, who said Mass here twice a month until 1870, when the Rev. B. O'R. 
Sheridan began his administration. When Father Sheridan secured an 
assistant the Catholics of New Hartford were ble.s.sed witli holy IMass every 
Sunday thereafter. It'has been handed down that the Rev. Father Gillick 
was among the earliest priests to attend New Hartford ; that, in fact, he 
was the successor of Father Brady and the predecessor of Father Quinn. 
This would make the time of his service between 185 1 and 1852. But Father 
Gillick had not been received into the diocese up to March i, 1852. He had 
previously applied for admi.ssion, but at this date his application was refused. 
Moreover, the Catholic Almanac for 1852, gives New Hartford as being 
attended from West Winsted, Rev. Thomas Quinn pastor. However, there 
is nothing to militate against the supposition that Father Gillick exercised 

' Father Daly \va.s in charj^e of this mission as late as August, 1S51. 
'•■The exact date of his appointment is not known, but it is certain that he was 
pastor of Collinsville as early as May, 1858. 


here temporarily the sacred ministry pending the granting of or the refusal 
of his petition.' 

The project of building a church for the Catholics of New Hartford was 
inaugurated by the Rev. P. O'Dwyer, who took up the first collection for it. 
His successor purchased the land and built the basement. The corner-stone 
was laid June lo, 1869, by Bishop McFarland. Rev. Lawrence Walsh com- 
pleted the church, and it was dedicated by Very Rev. James Hughes, V.G.,on 
March 27, 1870. Rev. B. O'R. Sheridan cleared it of indebtedness and pur- 
chased three acres of land adjoining the cemetery; on this lot there was a 
house which served as a rectory for nine years. This last purchase was also 
paid for except a mortgage note of $Soo. 

The church is situated in the most elevated and picturesque part of the 
village. The land upon which it stands was bought of Mr. E. D. Curtis, M.D., 
on March 11, 1867, by Henry T. Smith, who transferred it to Father Fagan. 
The purchase of a site for a Catholic church in those days required a discreet, 
tactful and responsible man, and Mr. Smith proved equal to the emergenc>-. 

The present pastor, the Rev. Luke Fitzsimmons, received his appoint- 
ment on August 15, 1 88 1. During his administration the church was frescoed 
in water-colors, new stained-glass windows put in, besides being otherwise 
much improved interiorly and exteriorly. At the ceremony of re-opening 
the church on September 26, 1886, Bishop McMahon officiated, and Rev. 
John H. Duggan, of Waterbury, pronounced the oration. The church was 
frescoed the second time in oil, and a large handsome altar erected. At the 
celebration of this event, August 13, 1893, Bishop McMahon presided, and 
Rev. B. O'R. Sheridan preached the sermon. This was Bishop McMahon's 
last public function. Other works which' are evidences of Father Fitzsim- 
mons' zeal are the grading and enlarging of the cemetery in 1883 ; the grad- 
ing and beautifying of the grounds of the school, convent and rectory ; the 
completion and furnishing of the three buildings at a cost of $22,000, nearly 
all of which has been paid. Truly a record of cheerful co-operation and 
generous self-sacrifice, of zeal, faith and confidence. 

When the Immaculate Conception pi^risja was formed, its population 
numbered about 1,000 souls, 600^ Irish and 400 Canadians. The latest census 
disclosed about 1,300 souls: Canadian.s, 700; Irish, 457, and Slavonians 
about 150. 

The parish cemetery was purchased in 1S52 from Henry Sejmour by a 
committee comprising John Cruess, Joseph McManus, James Cummings and 
Santy Cruess. It was enlarged and the new part blessed on June 4, 1883, by 
Bishop McMahon. 

The parochial school was begun in 1888, and on September 9 of that 
year the corner-stone was laid by Bishop McMahon. The preachers on the 
occasion were Rev. M. J. Lavelle, LL. D., of New York, and Rev. T. J. 
Dunn, of Dayville, Conn. The building was completed in 1889. The con- 

' The Catholic Alma7iacs of 1850 and 1851 assign the Rev. Philip Gillick to St. Paul's 
church, Belleville, N. J., diocese of New York. In 1S53 he was in Winsted. In 1855 he 
was at Greenville, R. I. 


vent was finished in 1890 and the rectory in the year following. On Septem- 
ber 7, 1890, the school, convent and school bell were blessed by Bishop Mc- 
Mahon, Rev. J. J. Quinn preachinj^ the English disconrse, and Rev. J. A. 
Bachand, of Canada, delivering the sermon in French. 

In Augnst, 1890, Father Fitzsimnions iiitrodnced the Si.sters of St. Jo.seph, 
whose niother-honse is in Chanibery, France, and placed them in charge 
of his school. There are four Sisters with 102 girls and 81 boys. Sister 
Mary Amedine is the local superioress. The Sisters engage also in Sunday- 
school work and visit the sick. 

New Milfokd. 

Yp)IK.E many other stations within the limits of the diocese, missionary 
I J] priests came hither occasionally to celebrate Mass, administer the 
J ^' ^ 'sacraments and to minister in other ways to the spiritual wants of 
the scattered Catholics of this .section. 

According to reliable traditions, the first Mass celebrated here was after the 
completion of the railroad. This Mass was said at the residence of Matthew 
Dunn, who resided near the railroad station, but the name of the celel)rant is 
not known ; probably it was the Rev. James Smyth, of New Haven. In 1850 
Rev. Father Brady and Rev. Father Ryan visited NewMilford and said Mass 
at quarterly intervals during that year. Father Ryan said in Wright's 
Hall, on Main street. In 185 1 Father O'Farrell, of Danbnry, celebrated the 
Divine Mysteries at the residence of Edmond Finn. The next priest to visit 
New Milford was the Rev. John Smith, of Falls Village, who .said Mass for the 
first time on Sunday, July 3, 1853. His period of service here was four years. 
In succession to Father Smith, Fathers Kelly, Mulligan and O'Gorman min- 
istered to the Catholics of New Milford. In the fall of 1858, Rev. Father 
Lenihan, of Newtown, assumed spiritual control of the Catholics of New Mil- 
ford, and remained until 1862. During Father Lenihan' s pastorate the site 
of the present cluirch was purchased from Messrs. Beach and Canfield, on 
May 21, i860. Upon the premises was an old saw mill which was remodeled 
into a church, and divine services were held here in the following October. 
This humble house of prayer and sacrifice was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier 
by Bishop McFarland. Succeeding Father Lenihan came Father Daly, also 
of Newtown, whose term of .service was four years. It was during his admin- 
istration that the cemetery was purchased. The Rev. John Rogers then 
assumed charge of Newtown and served the Catholics of New Milford from 
1866 to 1 87 1. The Catliolics of New Milford were honored with a resident 
pastor on May 21, 1871, in the person of Rev. P. G. McKenna. The first 
trustees of the new parish were Michael A. Kelly and John Dolan. Father 
McKenna died after two years of successful labors in July, 1873. 

In succession to Rev. Father McKenna, Rev. Fathers M. O' Herr, M. P. 
Lawlor, W. Hart, P. Finnegan, B. Bray, J. Gleasou, J. C. O'Brien, C. Mc- 
Elroy, J. J. Curtiu, T. Crowley, and T. Kelly faithfully and zealoush' dis- 
charged their duties as pastors of their widely "scattered flock. During 


Father Finnegan's pastorate the rectory was built. The work which marked 
the administration of Father Bray was the interior decoration of the church, 
and the purchase of horses and vehicles for use on the missions. Father 
Gleason materiall}' reduced the indebtedness of the parish, besides making 
marked improvements in the property. 

In 1 886 Father O'Brien enlarged the church, adding a spire, chancel 
and sacristy ; the interior was also handsomely frescoed, and a new altar 
erected. The renewed temple was dedicated by Bishop McMahon on Tues- 
day, August 13, of that year. Father McElroy's pastorate was signalized 
by putting in a splendid pipe organ, a heating apparatus in the basement of 
the church, re-shingling the spire, and by making other improvements in 
church and rectory. In 1892, during Father Curtin's administration, a 
parcel of land in the rear of the church was purchased, upon which were 
erected horse-sheds for the accommodation of the parishioners. Father 
Crowley liquidated the church indebtedness, enlarged the rectory, and left a 
substantial sum in the treasury. Rev. Father Crowley preached his farewell 
sermon in New Milford Sunday, September 18, 1898, and was succeeded in 
the following week by the present rector, Rev. Thomas Kelly. The first 
High Mass celebrated in New Milford was sung by the Rev. William Hart, 
on Christmas Day, 1874. No pipe organ was there to add dignity nor lend 
solemnit)' to the occasion ; but the devout parishioners listened to the familiar 
Adcste Fidcles and Venitc Adorenms with as much joy and gladness as though 
discoursed by a cathedral instrument. 

The dependencies of New Milford were formerly Bridgewater, Kent, 
Warren, Washington and Roxbury. In Bridgewater Mass was celebrated first 
in the Town hall and afterwards at the house of Mr. Thomas Halpin. Ser- 
vices here were discontinued upon the removal from the town of the hatting 
industry. The property purchased by Father Lenihan, whose intention it 
was to erect here a church, was sold by Father McKenna in November, 1872. 
In 1883, Kent and Warren were attached to Cornwall Bridge, but Brookfield 
was added to New Milford. In 1874, the missions of Woodbury and South- 
bury were placed under the jurisdiction of New Milford, by whose pastors it 
was served for thirteen years. These missions were assigned to the Water- 
town jurisdiction in 1887. Previous to Father McKenna's pastorate divine 
services were held at Roxbury only at irregular intervals. Being desirous of 
providing a place of worship for this portion of his flock, he secured the 
consent of Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Michael Pickett to say Mass in their 
residences. It was reserved, however, to the Rev. Father O'Brien in April, 
1885, to purchase a lot in Roxbury Center, upon which he erected a church 
which was dedicated in August of the following year in honor of Ireland's 
Apostle. On September 21, 1890, the church at Washington Depot was dedi- 
cated under the title of "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," during the adminis- 
tration of Father McHlroy. Emulating his predecessors Father Curtin erected 
a church at Brookfield, which was dedicated under the patronage of St. Joseph 
in November, 1892. The labors of Father Crowley were attended with 
gratUying success ; indebtedness liquidated, the relations of pastor and people 


firmly cemented ; and under the present administration the spiritual status of 
the entire jurisdiction is faithfully maintained. . 



fHE town of Norfolk was incorporated in 1758. It is the highest land 
reached by railroad in Connecticut. The scenerj- in this vicinity is 
unsurpassed by any in New England. 

It is traditional among the Catholics of Norfolk that Bishop Cheverus, of 
Boston, visited here in the discharge of his missionary duties. This is not 
improbable, as in 1823 he made an extensive tour through the State. Another 
interesting tradition has a Father Plunkett, of Boston, as a visitor to Norfolk 
before 1829. 

The introduction of Catholicity into Norfolk as a part of the town's life 
dates from 1836. In j\Iarch of that year Matthew, John and Charles Ryan 
and Edward C. Ryan, a convert to the faith, settled here and engaged in the 
woolen industry. In this year Patrick Burke, father of the Rev. Charles E. 
Burke, of North Adams, Mass., established his home here. Mr. Burke was 
present at the first Mass known to have been said here. It was in 1836, Rev. 
James Fitton, of Hartford, officiating, in the home of Matthew Ryan, now 
occupied by Michael Whalen. About twelve persons assisted at the Mass. 

Father F'itton's extensive territory, which must needs be visited, pre- 
cluded frequent visits to Norfolk. The R\an family, in the absence of the 
priest, proved faithful and worthy auxiliaries. In a room in the woolen mill 
they would gather the handful of Catholics, and in prayer petition the Giver 
of all gifts for the grace of perseverance. Tliey practiced tlieir devotions ear- 
nestly, faithfully, and if Christ the Lord is in the midst of two or three gath- 
ered together in His name, we may well believe that this little band were 
partakers of the divine favors. 

The successor of Father Fitton, the-Rev. John Brady, also came to Nor- 
folk w'hen possible, and offered the Holy Sacrifice in the wool-sorting room 
or at the house of John Ryan. Rev. John D. Brady, Rev. John Brady, Jr., 
and Rev. James Strain also exercised the ministry here, though their visits 
were necessarily infrequent owing to the difficulties of travel. The old resi- 
dents still speak of Father Brady's experience in being snow-bound for a 
week in Norfolk. 

The first Catholic marriage .solemnized in Norfolk was that of Patrick 
Burke and .A.nn O'Neil on October 9, 1842, the Rev. John D. Brady ofl^ciating. 

The generosity of the Ryans %vas not confined to providing a place for 
divine services ; they also purchased a piece of land for cemetery purposes, 
which they transferred to the congregation. In this spot rest the remains of 
pioneers from all that section of the State. 

In 1846 the Catholics of Norfolk were attended by the Rev. Charles 
O'Reilly. On June 22d of that year he thus wrote from Waterbnry to Bishop 
Tyler : " Yesterday was my second Sunday here ; the people seem anxious to 
have a church ; the foundation is cleared, some brick are on the spot and 


almost as much cash on hand as will pay up to this time. But to commence 
building would require a considerable sum, which these people cannot pro- 
cure, except I become security, and I have had a considerable degree of repug- 
nance at alL times to have myself involved in money matters, and how to 
proceed I am really at a loss to know. Employment in this locality is very 
precarious There is a great deal of labor and inconvenience in attend- 
ing Norfolk and this place (Waterbury), there being no decent mode of travel 
between them. A per.son must either go by Bridgeport or Hartford and stop 
a night in either place, as the stages do not run all the way on the same 
day, so that there is con.siderable incurred and great loss of time. . . . 
The Norfolk people ji.ave made no move yet with regard to building ; they 
.seem content to have Mass, but I will not be content with saying Mass in a 

When Falls Village was organized in 1850 with Rev. Christopher Moore 
as the first pastor, Norfolk became its mission. On March 2, 185 i. Bishop 
O'Reilly visited Norfolk and made arrangements for a church, and on the 
31st of the same month he appointed the Rev. Thomas Quinn to the pastoral 
charge of Norfolk and dependencies. Father Quinn's successor was the Rev. 
John Smith, who received his appointment to the Norfolk Mission on Febru- 
ary 9, 1852. On this date Bishop O'Reilly wrote: "This is a most difficult 
mission." ' 

Under date of February 27 and 28, 1854, Bishop O'Reilly wrote in his 
Journal: '■'■ 2jth. Leave (Winsted) at 10 a.m. for Norfolk, where I arrive 
before noon and stop with Mr. Edward Ryan. I make this evening an 
arrangement with the Ryans for the building of a church on the lot they pre- 
sented me. This will be effected, I hope, next spring." 

'■'•28th. Say Mass in Ryan's hall; it was full ; published the regulations 
for Lent ; said a few words to the people and left in Ryan's carriage for Falls 
Village, where I arrive at 1 1 A. m." 

In 1859 the church of the Immaculate Conception was built, but in 1865 
it had not yet been dedicated. In the meanwhile, the successors of Father 
Moore in Falls Village celebrated Mass and administered the sacraments over 
the store of Matthew Ryan, now occupied by M. N. Clark. In 1856 Norfolk 
was under the jurisdiction of Winsted, from which it was attended once a 
month. It so remained until the summer of 1889, when it was formed into 
an independent parish, with the Rev. P. Keating as the first pastor. At this 
time the Catholic population of Norfolk was 380 souls. Upon his arrival 
Father Keating secured apartments in the village, where he resided until the 
completion of the present commodious rectory. The work accomplished by 
Father Keating here is sufficient evidence of his activity. He graded the prop- 
erty about the church, which he remodeled and frescoed and adorned with 
new stained glass windows, beautiful Stations of the Cross and organ, all at 
an expenditure of §1400. In 189S he purchased a lot for cemetery purposes, 
which was immediately paid for. 

In 1 89 1 Father Keating began to attend Stanfield in the diocese of 
^Bishop O' Reilly s Journal. 


Springfield at the request of Bishop O'Reilly. After two years of regular 
attendance he discontinued his visits, as nearly all of the Catholics had 
removed elsewhere. 

Much of the prosperity that has attended the parish of tlie Immaculate 
Conception is due to the sturdy faith, the good example and the generosity of 
the Ryans. In practice they were Catholics as well as in name, and though 
more than half a century has elapsed since they moved upon the scene, the 
influence of their lives is still visible in their successors. Numerically small, 
the Catholics of Norfolk are strong of faith, and their devotion to religion 
was manifested by their donation to Bishop McMahon of the Tabernacle 
of the main altar of the cathedral. 


^1 HE town.ship of Sharon was .surveyed in 1732, and settlements were 
' I begun in 1739. The first white man to settle here was Daniel Jack- 
son. In 1826 we find settlers bearing such names as Butler, Bailey 
and Donovan residing here. Two Catholics came into the town late in the 
thirties, and the following Catholics .settled here in the early forties : Michael 
and Mrs. Henry, Mary Mannion, Bernard and Mrs. McDonald, Bridget Craven, 
Michael and Mrs. Curley, Mary Henry, Patrick and Mrs. Dunning, Sarah 
Henry, Thomas and Mrs. Kelly, Mary Moran. 

From 1826 to 1840 there occur on the records names which investigation 
shows to have been borne by persons who were originally Catholics, viz. : 
Smith, Brown, Riley and "Walsh. The descendants of these early settlers 
are not of the hou.sehold of the Catholic faith, though one of them has 
admitted his Catholic ancestry. 

In a small house, so small as to be almost concealed from view, though 
just beside the road on a declivity, was the first ilass said in Sharon. It was 
the humble home of a good Catholic woman, Mrs. Bridget Dunning. It was 
in the spring of 1845, and the celebrant of the Mass was the Rev. Michael 
Lynch, of Bridgeport. About thirty Irish Catholics knelt reverently around 
that humble altar. 

Before Cornwall, the original parish, was formed into an independent 
organization, it was under the jurisdiction of Lakeville. In 1883 it received