Separation of Church & State – Catholic concern in early 1800’s…

November 14, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

On April 23, 1804, The Order of Ursuline Nuns from New Orleans penned a letter to then President Thomas Jefferson. In their letter, they expressed concerns about their property being confiscated. The letter said in part: “they [those within the Order] cannot but be anxious to know that the property which is to enable them to fulfil these duties will be secure to them”.  Just seven months later, Jefferson replied with the following:

“To the Soeur Therese de St. Xavier farjon Superior, and the Nuns of the order of St. Ursula at New Orleans:

I have received, holy sisters, the letter you have written me wherein you express anxiety for the property vested in your institution by the former governments of Louisiana. the principles of the constitution and government of the United States are a sure guarantee to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate, and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules, without interference from the civil authority. whatever diversity of shade may appear in the religious opinions of our fellow citizens, the charitable objects of your institution cannot be indifferent to any; and its furtherance of the wholesome purposes of society, by training up its younger members in the way they should go, cannot fail to ensure it the patronage of the government it is under. be assured it will meet all the protection which my office can give it.

I salute you, holy sisters, with friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson”

The POLITICAL OBSERVATORY, November 17, 1804, carried the entire letter with Jefferson’s signature.

Ironically, within the next 30 years, a very different story was recorded. The October 11, 1834, NILES’ WEEKLY REGISTER, had multiple pages of coverage of the August 11 and 12, 1834 Ursuline Convent riots in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Wiki states these riots were, “fueled by the rebirth of extreme anti-Catholic sentiment in antebellum New England.”

Perhaps the Nuns of 1804 had a prophetic gift enabling them to foresee troubles to come.


The Traveler… Pope Pius V canonized… man serves his country well…

September 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I journeyed to England through The Post Boy of September 9, 1712. There I found that Rome had been celebrating the canonization of Pope Pius V. They had festivities including “very curious artificial Fireworks”, windows illuminated with candles and tapestries, “abundance of Wine and Meat to be distributed to the Common People”, and more with “the Festival was concluded with the Discharge of the Cannon of the Castle St. Angelo, ringing of Bells, and an agreeable Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Music.”

The back page has an interesting article from Brussels “The 30th of last Month, dy’d at the Duke of Holstein’s Palace, while he was at Breakfast, a Man nam’d Anthony, 106 Years and 7 Months old: Head had been employ’d 84 Years in the Service of Spain in one Regiment only, in which there had been 26 Colonels, but never rose to any higher Post himself than a Sergeant… he was also a Foot-Sergeant, in the 100th Year of his Age, and the Duke of Holstein was his Colonel…” And we look forward to retirement at 65?? To view images of this content and more:  The Post Boy of September 9, 1712

~The Traveler