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The Story of the Mountain
Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary

Mary E. Meline & Edward F.X. McSween

Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911

Chapter 16 | Chapter Index

Chapter 17:  1828

Mr. Basil Elder chronicles a concert which took place about this time, a sort of grand jubilation over the success of the new building. The musical numbers were interspersed with speeches and declamations by members of the Philomathian Society. "The President and professors were of course in attendance, together with several visitors from New York and elsewhere: among them was a gentleman from Pennsylvania, whose son was learning music and was a member of the orchestra, but was totally incapable of performing the pieces selected for the concert. What was to be done that the father might not be hurt at the exclusion of his son from the performance? James Meline, who was always equal to any emergency, at once suggested to Mr. Gegan the application of tallow, and the boy entered into the scheme most cheerfully. He took his stand with the others and flourished his greased bow as vigorously as the leader Mr. Joe Gegan himself. Neither the President, the father, nor any one outside the music-room suspected the fraud at the time and the boy himself enjoyed the joke as much as the rest. Boys were boys, even in those days."

Mr. McGerry having gone to Baltimore, Mr. Egan writes to him under date of January 16,1828, Wednesday evening: "I profit by the return of Mr. Fitzpatrick to write. . . . All are well here. ..."

Rev. John McGerry, Third President

The reference to Mr. Fitzpatrick is connected with the infrequency of the mail and also with the high rate of postage. A letter to Washington cost ten cents, to Philadelphia eighteen, to New York twenty-five, to New Orleans fifty, etc. Hence people took advantage of travelers to send letters; in order to keep down the weight they used no envelopes; they wrote criss-cross; used thin paper; sometimes wrote to two persons on the same sheet, and so on. The wafer or seal frequently injured the manuscript when the letter was opened.

Meantime Father Brute, like the watchman upon the tower, keeps a vigilant eye for all actual or anticipated negligences or abuses, which he fears the inexperience and youth of the present heads of the establishment will allow to creep into this his cherished vineyard, and his notes show that the subject of reunion with St. Sulpice, either in Baltimore or Paris, still occupied his thoughts. He carefully goes over the pros and cons, both in circumstances and persons, but the memoranda are too involved to be of interest. From those of March, 1828, we collect that Father Egan was then only 26 years old, F. McGerry 32, and F. Purcell 28. Brute believed in moving in the direction which Providence seemed to prepare and indicate, and not in forcing or anticipating Providence; for instance, by at once seeking " unqualified union with and surrender" to Baltimore, rather than to France. " In the future when we are free from debt, and so free to choose, we may consider whether to join a society in France or Ireland, or to unite under such modification of the original Sulpician vocation as is admitted in Canada, or better, perhaps to form an association entirely new. This last way is how most of the best and most efficient societies have been formed, self-modelled by circumstances. . . . All in good time. . . . Expecta, re-expecta. . . ." "After five or seven years, when debts will be of no account, we can give lower terms to Catholics rather than try to increase by more wealthy Protestants. We shall have improved also in the efficiency of the seminarians, and having more priests, may, with the Archbishop's approval, take charge: 1, of Mt. St. Mary's; 2, perhaps of Emmitsburg; 3, the Furnace Church and district (this is the only intimation that a mission was established in that locality before the 50's), including Mechanicstown (Thurmont), Moraviatown (Graceham), Creagerstown, Cavetown, etc.; 4, Harbaugh Valley Church and environs; 5, maybe, Liberty town, and 6, maybe, Wainsburg; 7, maybe, Taneytown after M. Zocchi's demise; 8, maybe, Gettysburg. One, two or three missionaries might attend these stations, and in course of time permanent pastorships might be established."This would be natural development which "might be interfered with by premature union, unqualified at its foundation," with another body. We could then also supply with subjects such institutions in Baltimore or elsewhere, say Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Bedford. Pittsburg, Wheeling, Hagerstown, Frederick itself, as might need and desire the supply."

"Nay, after even only twenty or twenty-five years of good management and the blessing of Providence, who knows what form then of Society would arise naturally, strongly, sufficiently cemented, and offer a kind of little Jesuit Society to the Church of America, ready to engage in earnest the missionaries and prove a great desideratum realized."

9. Here of course easily retreats, &c.; from here the Sisters supplied as before, old priests (retiring), &c., &c.

But the light-hearted Frenchman has a heart and a pen for everyday doings too, as is shown by this extract from his diary:

"A.M. D. G.

"Fancy the 4 March, 1828, as passed by the log-house begun for Mrs. McEntee and her daughter. Honor to old age and filial piety, too. On the 6th of March, in the year of our Lord 1828, may it please his divine majesty a mite for the widow!

"At the Seminary of Mount St. Mary's, according to previous resolves, as agreed with the very reverend landlord and proprietor, the same minister of the Interior and Public Works on all the premises of said Seminary, John McGerry.

"After a good, hearty meal or dinner, so called, a number of Gentlemen (and no ladies) went to the ground that surrounds the hermitage, intended to be finished, to receive and harbor that good old pious woman now at Mr. Nat. Elder's, Mrs. McEntee, and her most deserving daughter, determined to see it cleared all around for half an acre, or acre, as directed by the very reverend Sir above named and duly qualified, to the intent and purpose that a small, neat garden, 'och!' with its cabbages, potatoes, onions, and the like, besides the proper garnish of a few flowers, rose trees and high sunflowers in the middle and corners, with two or three bending peach trees looking over the whole, may be there prepared by taking away the stumps and main big stones, leveling and clearing the wild bushes and, if necessary, burning them, trying moreover to destroy the poison oaks on the fence-rails on the sandy ground lately cleared along the east side of the nursery garden, the stable and the brook, and setting up these around the patch, to be prepared for these two said good souls. The whole remaining a future improvement to the Seminary grounds, as well as a lasting monument of the kind and honorable feelings of the undertakers of said deed of love.

"And were present: 1. All the Johns that could be caught by the good thought; John Hickey, John McGerry too and his little brother; John Gildea I reckon, and John Purcell I dare say, besides the Simon, to be sure McSherry, Duffy, Riley, Major and Minor, and 2. Of the boys a full, noisy, clattering eager and gay brigade." Need we call attention to Brute's merry Gallic heart?

This was the "Peggy" of early days and doughnut fame, whose house on the Mountain-side had been appropriated, in the exigencies of the growing College, as the residence of one of the lay professors Mons. Marcilly.

On Palm Sunday, March 30, 1828, Rev. Mr. Egan had a hemorrhage, while preaching at the Sisterhood, which nearly proved fatal. His health failed very rapidly.

The following letter marks a point in the history of the Church in America ; Most Rev. James Whitfield succeeded Archbishop Marechal, who had died on January 29, in the 60th year of his age and the 11th of his episcopate:

Baltimore, April 29, 1828.

Rev. Dear Sir: Your very kind letter afforded me singular pleasure, and I thank you for your benevolent congratulations, prayers and goodwill which my elevation to the awful dignity and charge of Archbishop has elicited from you and your worthy Bev11- Associates. If my appointment has taken place, it is entirely due to the late Archbishop, who in petitioning for it had only in view the preservation of the present order of things which at least he expected under my administration, and especially a fostering patronage for the Seminaries of Baltimore and Mt. St. Mary's. If I hope to act and govern, taking him for my model, my hope is in the Divine assistance, which I shall endeavor to obtain. . . .

We shall be glad to see you at the consecration by Bp. Flaget, and as many of your gentlemen as may be able to come, to whom I beg you will present my respects. Assuring you of my sincere regard and attachment for Mount St. Mary's Seminary, I am, Dr. Revd. Sir, Yours, James Whitfield.

P. S. Mr best compliment to the Revd. Mr. Brute’. and many thanks for his last affectionate and edifying letter. I beg he will pray and ask also for me the prayers of all the Apostles, Martyrs and Confessors who have borne the name of James, especially those whom he has enumerated.

At this time there were 25 American priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore; 12 Irishmen, 11 French, 5 Belgians, 2 Germans, 2 Italians, 2 Englishmen, 1 Pole, 1 Mexican, 1 Bavarian, 62 in all.

Father Brute’ was present in Baltimore, at the consecration of the new Archbishop, and the following letter must have been of this date, 1828, since Bishop Flaget was not again in Baltimore at the season of Pentecost. It is addressed to Josephine Seton.

Tuesday or Pentecost (1828).

My dear Josephine: What full conversation about Mother had I yesterday with Mgr. Flaget, with whom I crossed the sea the first time, just to be at the very beginning of that Valley, now the scene of such an extensive blessing. "O Mother, Mother," we said, could she ever have known what, in the secret of oar dear Lord. He had prepared to meet her simple offering of herself to His only glory and love, as He should Himself see best, only so purely, but the consequences so perfectly unforeseen to herself; nay, equally so to those who at first might have feared to suggest too great a sacrifice for God and for Eternity! For God. coming for us to Bethlehem, dying for us on the Cross for Eternity, no less than Himself enjoyed in Heaven face to face with Mary and the Saints forever. All the sacrifices were made with a heart which God Himself, whose grace accomplished them through it, knew, although to those who saw nearest that heart they were but dimly felt. Your Mother, Josephine, your dear Mother, why do I try to speak of her to you? My dear Josephine, look from your valley to New York, and on every side; not the hundreds, but now the thousands of children blessed through your Mother. Now only all respect and affection to you and William. Pray for me. S. Brute’.

The earliest of the few Programs, which are to be found, of the proceedings at the close of the Scholastic year is this of 1828.

Classical Exhibition at Mount St. Mary's Seminary.

June 30, 1828. Distribution of Premiums.

  • Music. Daniel Byrnes of Baltimore - The Calm of the Soul.
  • Wm. K. Sanderson of Frederick, Md.- Lines to the memory of Washington (original).
  • Music. Thomas C. Evans of South Carolina - Jupiter's Address to the Inferior Deities (Greek).
  • Francis L. Higgins of Norfolk, Va. - Address to Greece.
  • Music. Edward P. Fry of Philadelphia - The Ruin of Israel.
  • William B. Hill of Marboro, Md. - Ode to Washington (Latin, original).
  • Music. Edward P. McCardle of Hagerstown, Md. - Oration on the mutual influence of
  • Government and Letters (original).
  • Music. David M. Whelan of Baltimore - War Song of the Greeks.
  • John Argos of Caraccas, S. Am. - Speech of Brutus to the Romans.(Spanish.)
  • Music. Fielding Lucas of Baltimore - Apostrophe to the Ocean.
  • Music. Edmund A. Meany of Philadelphia - Battle of Tallavera.
  • Dominick Kelly of Cork, Ireland - Genseric, or the Capture of Borne (original).
  • Music. James Barry of Baltimore - The Last Man.
  • Music. Edward Hurley of Philadelphia - Fall of Warsaw.
  • Music. Joseph E. Fry of Philadelphia - Oration on Philosophy (original).

On July 3rd Rev. M. Egan writes from Baltimore, telling of the intended visit of Archbishop Whitfield, Rev. Messrs. Tessier 8. S. and Deluol 8. 8. to the Mountain and St. Joseph's. He also tells of one of the stages being upset near Reisterstown, but fortunately none of the boys were hurt. " Joe Gegan," he adds "seems determined to go to Canada with me."

He writes again from Philadelphia, July 6, 1828, and we cannot but perceive the note of sadness and despondency. No wonder, however, that he longed for home, the Mountain where he had lived from his seventh year!

"... I dine tomorrow with Col. Biddle and Mr. Peters, who are equally enthusiastic friends of the Mount. Mr. Tessier is to send his nephew with me. There will be several other new comers. Mr. Fry is delighted and wishes Bill and Ned to go back. . . . The good Bishop is here yet and will set sail about the 15th. He wishes me much to accompany him; I am to see Dr. Chapman tomorrow and will await his decision. ... I wish I were home, and feel tempted to go no further than New York. . . . Please write to me soon and tell me all about home."

Mr. Hizelberger in a letter to Father McGerry refers to the visit of the Sulpician gentlemen:

Baltimore, 21 July, 1828.

. . . Mr. Deloughery and myself are alone in Baltimore that is, the only seminarians, for our confreres have not yet returned from the other cities, and Le Grand Seminaire has fled to the Mountain, where you no doubt are entertaining its representatives and supporting, with your usual readiness and ability, the honor and dignity of the Mountain. Long may it endure and long may you live to exercise your zeal on so worthy an object I The wishes of all interested in the welfare of Mount St. Mary's I hope may be fully gratified in seeing us with a full house this year, and indeed, as far as I can see and hear, the prospect is pleasing and satisfactory. May we succeed as well as in the past . . .

The foundation for the addition to the Old Mountain Church was dug in the spring of this year. This enlargement consisted in adding the wings and a space equal to their width to the rear of the building the space now, 1908, occupied by the sanctuary and vestries. Father Brute laid out the plateau in front.

It may be interesting to read that the sum to be paid on the completion of this addition: 73 feet by 33, the walls to be from 22 to 24 inches ; the mason to furnish his tools and keep them in order and board his men; the College to furnish his materials, was two hundred dollars.

It will be remembered that Prof. Joe Gegan accompanied the Rev. M. Egan to Canada, whither the latter went for health or to get money and students perhaps. Mr, Gegan was not favorably impressed ; a lawyer and musician could scarcely feel at his ease in a Canadian Seminary, of that date at least. He writes to Father McGerry:

Phil., Aug. 1, 1828.

Rev. and dear friend: I would willingly have accompanied the bearer of these few lines, but my friends in the city of brotherly love were determined to hold me captive for a few days more. No rest for poor Pat! Dinners, music parties, &c. occupy all my time. I often sigh after the retirement of my room or the society of yourself and the Revolutionary shaving cup! [Mr. McGerry was of Revolutionary stock.] My description of Canada will not exactly correspond with Mr. Egan's so far at least as the hospitality of its inhabitants is concerned. Heaven help the Canadians should my eulogy of them have any weight in a political or literary scale, especially the Seminary of Montreal! ' C'est la regie, C'est la regie' et voila tout!" That sentence must serve for your breakfast, dinner, grog, supper and bed. Rather slender food to digest but you can get no more. The rites of hospitality are discarded parceque c'est la regie! When Uncle Sam's little bunting once more displayed its waving folds on Lake Champlain my heart leaped for joy. Then the blessings of civilization (for the Canadas are semi-barbarous!) again smiled. The Green Mountains of Vermont seemed to frown with contempt on the raw, barren, sandy soil of John Bull in America. It appears to me that the genius of Liberty in tracing the extent of her territory North in this Republic, threw aside her pencil in despair, shocked at the idea of having to preside over the destinies of those black regions. We will talk this matter over at the Mount. You need never fear that Montreal will ever serve as the theatre of my musical or legal exertions. Philadelphia has afforded me infinite pleasure.

How the gentlemen would have roared at this layman's description of his welcome ! The cup of coffee especially which formed the Frenchman's early morning repast must have tan talized his American stomach. No wonder he thought it "slender."

Rev. M. Egan to Father McGerry:

Baltimore, Aug. 30, 1828, Sunday.

. . . The Archbishop seems very much pleased with his visit to Georgetown and the Mountain . . . Our prospects seem as flattering as ever but we will lose all the boys from Havana. The King of Spain has issued an edict for their recall immediately the two Porins, Pie, and Fabre. The College here will lose nine or ten . . . Best love to all. I feel dispirited, more than I can express my health is better.

The scholastic year began in those days, and until quite modern times, on the 15th of August. Thus those fearful days of waning August and early September were spent in class and study.

We find the following beautiful letter from Father Brute to Rev. Mr. McGerry, without date, but postmarked " Frederick, Aug. 19." It is written in his own English:

Safe so far, my dear Brother. We arrived at 8 o'c. Mr. McElroy is at the Manor, but comes this morning about 10, and the stage starts only at 1 o'c. So I will have the pleasure to see him.

A most pleasing weather cooling though, morning and evening, so I recommend you to see with Sister Genoveva that Mr. Lynch be well secured for his stages and steamboats on his way to Philadelphia and for his stay there, for the fatal origin of his delicate state now was precisely the want of change of flannels; excellent friend, I can't see him leaving the house without concern, but himself and the doctor seem to wish it and consider the travel as hopeful. May God bless him I We live in such a hurry and press of business so as to live very little for one another time for that when snugly all gathered together in heaven! Yet our poor sick member claims special attention. Sorry for my part to be absent when he leaves; I entreat our nursing father McGerry to attend on him as a father indeed.

I never know better how I love you all even my distant friend Egan than when abroad but no matter indeed our I and I and I God is all, I the foreigner and old one making fast probably ahead of you all for the grave, I ought to be the more detached, less caring for mutual marks of affection, yet am ashamed to feel occasionally very unworthy times of disappointment a weakness of bad example whenever I let anything of it be perceived by foolish ill-humor. I will try better this year.

So great, so elevated, our common object the true service, God's service, and not one another's service, unless for His sake and only to please Him who commanded our loving one another and even making it the mark of being truly his disciples. Well then, let us, my dear Brother, let us this year strive anew for the best service and love, as if in the heart of our Mother and trying to secure our assumption and being forever with her at that true Mount St. Mary, the Mountains or Eternal Hills of God. "Oculos ad Montes colles Eternitatis."

Our object, whole object, indeed of the College too, certainly is to give to the Church more of our beloved young priests; the many already spread from East to West but alas! yet the "quid haec inter tantos!" the laborers few, alas! for the immensity of a harvest which could be easily gathered and is lost on all sides, for only by my last letter of M. Dubois it is for tears of blood to see what is to be done and can't be done, at least for a long while long, long after our tombs will be clustering around M. Duhamel' s one and those of the blessed youths taken away in their prime intention all carried to their account, nothing, alas! to save other souls with their own 25,000 did Roment ask for, [Roment, a French Seminarian who had died some time before] but was it 25 each one, think of another and another and another soul besides our own to give eternal praise and love and enjoy eternal bliss with Mary, saints and angels, with Vincent, Francis, Augustine, Paul and then the old patriarchs to the beginning of our family, even our unfortunate parents Adam and Eve.

O think of that! but seeing the wonderful ways of God, for that poor human family, turn to simple adoration! "O altiudo! quis cognovit sensum Domini, aut quis consiliarius fuit!"

"Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso!" this is our whole mind it continually, all, let us all mind it incessantly we are nothing, let us not forget it indeed our personal effort, care, solicitude, nothing Jesus Christ is all in all even our good will, our prayers and sighs for the Church are nothing but with, through and in Him, as we so forcibly declare every day at Mass let us think of that our divine faith is that we and the whole world sinful and nothing of itself would not give glory but Jesus Christ came to be the whole religion and hope of all then let our devotion be more and more enlightened and fervent. Let no distraction, no self-importance, self or money or talent confidence, seize upon our poor blind forgetful souls but our all in all be truly what it should be, our conviction of our (word effaced) as for ourselves and our boundless and most tender trust in our Jesus success or disappointment as He will appoint! Let it be so at meditation at Mass eminently at communion and then amidst studies or affairs frequently recalled. I long for a chapel near the house, more for us than the boys, for the more frequent visits of the B. Sacrament, yours particularly so often prevented by the distance and for that 300 or 400 dollars were quite enough, a little Bethlehem as at Pigeon Hills no more because more to design will be nothing to have yet for years, as since so long I did urge it with M. Dubois and now two years with you by little memoirs that I need not repeat here I know no Seminary in France without its chapel at hand.

But that too I should resign! only I say that I care little that my doors are mahogany-colored this year they pleased me enough white last year and my cot the pure wood not green and if propriety directed the change as of many other things I think for my part that the propriety of the chapel would be more urging "establish first God,'' said M. Olier, ''the rest to follow by and by;" the want of a chapel none can feel more than yourself. I must then leave it to you. Your Brother, S. Burte’.

The cares of the children and negroes is still more urging souls, souls, the true temples of God let us try to bring them all around us and be as if a kind of standard parish for our young priests to imitate. [What depth there is in this last phrase if it were only practicable!]

Meanwhile Mr. Egan was obliged to resign, and left the Mountain for New York on the 8th of October, 1828, to visit France and Italy. He was accompanied by Richard Whelan, a seminarian, who entered the Sulpician Seminary of Paris and remained there until August of the year 1832. Mr. Egan visited Rome and was received by Cardinal Capellari, Prefect of the Propaganda, afterwards Pope Gregory XVI, with great kindness.

"On the 2nd of November, 1828, a boy aged nine years died in the infirmary. He was Gabriel Duponceau Garesche, and we find some touching notes regarding his last moments in M. Brute's handwriting. The child had a nurse named Biddy Boyd, who came to see him and care for him in his illness. It was very touching. They were all very kind to the child and to Biddy, and Father Brute's letter to the father on the boy's death affected him so much that he could not answer for a long time. Some one wrote:

Of all the flowers that look up to Heaven. How soon have the loveliest sunk to the tomb!

On the 5th of November Rev. James A. Lynch, the first to go of the priests, died of consumption, during 5 o'c. studies (Wednesday evening). He was buried on Friday at 10 o'c. Mr. Purcell preached his funeral sermon. Mr. Brute, with John McCaffrey and some other seminarians, were with him when he died. Here are some lines written on the cross at the head of the Rev. Jas. A. Lynch's grave:

Could science claim exemption from the grave, Thy gentle manners or thy virtues save, Would yield to memory oft affection's tear, The fervent prayers of those who hold thee dear;, Could earth detain thee from the bliss that's given. To those like thee who seek their home in Heaven, Then loved and cherished, left to deck the scene, In joy or wo the friend thou e' er hadst been, Thou hadst not yet reposed thy drooping head To slumber silent midst these lonely dead.

Father John F. McGerry succeeded Father Egan as President, but we find no record of his election. Here is a letter to him from Rev. John Tessier, S. S., Superior of the Baltimore Seminary:

St. Mary’s Seminary, Balt., Nov. 19, 1828.

Rev. and dear Sir: I was informed of the death of Mr. Lynch on the Friday after; and have repeatedly recommended him to the prayers of our gentlemen and seminarians; I hope that our Lord has had mercy upon his soul. I had accepted to acquit eighteen masses, which he had to say, and I have just said them all. I hope that his death causes no deficiency in your establishment. The absence of the Revd Mr. Egan must have been felt very much; but I think that you have been prepared for it. I wish that our Lord may continue to pour his blessings on you all. And I request you to pray for us also; and I remain with sincere affection . . .

Archbp. Whitfield was now very much pressed for want of priests and writes to Pres. McGerry:

Baltimore, 17 Dec., 1828.

Rend, and dear Sir: After consulting the Kevds Tessier and Deluol and with their advice I write this letter.

It is sometime since the Rev. Mr. Hickey, S. S., Pastor at Emmitsburg, expressed a desire to be removed from his present situation, and Mr. Tessier approves of such a removal. Mr. Deluol would not be adverse to it either, if his place could be supplied from the College of Mount St. Mary's, but for a confessor at the Sisters he fixes upon Mr. Purcell and says if this gentleman can find time, Mr. Hickey might be spared for the Mission, where he is much wanted and the congregation of Emmitsburg might be attended by yourself or Mr. Brute'.

There are several congregations going to destruction for want of missioners, but no where at present is the want felt more than in the three congregations of which Mr. Wiseman was pastor, viz. Upper and Lower Zacharias and Matawoman. [Names of places are changed so often that it is hard to identify them. Ed.]

In my late visitation I confirmed in those churches, but Mr. Wifieman was present only in one, and'as Mr. Moynahan was at the point of death Fathers Neale, Smith, Zocchi and O’Brien, who accompanied me, had to hear the confessions. Mr. Moynahan has been sick several weeks, I gave him last week the viaticum and extreme unction; since, we heard he was a little better and might recover, but if he do, he will not be able to do much this winter and I see no one but Mr. Hickey to place in that very important mission, which has been much neglected for several years.

Martinsburg is another desolate place, but not so important nor so destitute at present as the former. I am sorry to have to make a call upon you for services that may put you to some difficulties, but what can I do, when thousands of souls are exposed to perish for want of such a priest as Mr. Hickey? As I have not written to Mr. Hickey, you may shew this letter to him, Mr. Brute and Mr. Purcell if you think proper, but keep its contents secret at least from the Sisters.

P. S. I returned last Saturday after an absence of seven weeks in the District of C. and Charles and St. Mary's Counties. I gave confirmation to one thousand nine hundred aud twenty nine persons.

In reply to the Abp.'s letter, President McGerry, Dec. 21, 1828, finds it utterly impossible to meet his wishes. ". . . . We have lost Mr. Egan and Mr. Lynch. I cannot myself be away two days or more every week to attend Emmitsburg, being in fact unable to look after the Mountain. Mr. Brute hears nearly all the confessions. I sing Mass and preach every second Sunday. M. Brute teaches Theology, Scripture and Geography. M. Purcell teaches Moral Philosophy, Hebrew and Greek ; is the confessor and spiritual prefect of over a hundred boys, as well as of several seminarians, of the Sisters and domestics, and is Prefect of studies. If I lose him I lose my right arm. The pastoral inactivity of more than one of the priests in this institution at present makes our situation still more burdensome," etc., etc.

When Baltimore was in such straits for lack of priests, who can even imagine conditions further north where the tide of immigration was immeasurably greater ?

... In Father Brute's notes we find that the usual terms for students, ecclesiastical aspirants doubtless chiefly, were '' teaching a sufficient time, lending other assistance as prefects, clerks, etc., as maybe a proper compensation for its liberal proffer . . ."

. . . The '' bounds'' for the boys were "not the wood of the hill beyond Mrs. Brooke at night; not beyond the Grotto ; not the quarters (the slave houses) not the two farms."

... A shoe maker lived in a little house at the College. In later days as many as seven, at their own homes, made and mended shoes for the house. But with shoe factories of modern times all this has been changed and the neighbor hood has lost many industrious and exemplary inhabitants. One of the last of the shoemakers, desperate in his enforced idleness, committed suicide in 1890.

On Aug. 11, 1827, Aloysius Elder died, and next day was buried "at his ground." On Aug. 13 there was a High Mass for him.

. . . On July 5, John, a black man, a Methodist preacher, died a Catholic in Mechanicstown (name changed in 1900 to "Thurmont"). Xone from Mechanicstown attended funeral. Only two women and Cot's son were at it. Father Brute1 preached.

... In those days and long after meat was forbidden on Palm Sunday and every day of Holy Week.

. . . The only place about the College where Mass was said was the little church on the hill, then half its present (1908) size, and another altar was set up on the gallery. When people were waiting below for Mass they used to try and hear the Mass going on above, but this was difficult, as no bell was used up there. Those who went up on the gallery for Mass brushed against the celebrant, etc. etc.

. . . Hospitality was so natural and so common on account of difficulty of communication, etc., that persons of both sexes used to stop at the College, sometimes too often for good discipline, and in early times members of the congregation would still stay for breakfast when they had been to Communion. This was a relic of the still earlier times when the manor or glebe land granted by the lord Proprietor supported the pastor, and the people came great distances. Besides it was quite common for them to bring contributions for the priest" s table. Half a century later it was customary to entertain visiting ball-players, but owing to the pragmatic ways gradually introduced into the national game this became impracticable, and the delightful intimacy of older days came to an end.

... In 1828, Mar. 25, there were one hundred Sisters in the entire community, sixty of whom were present in the Emmitsburg house and five made profession this day.

. . . The use of tobacco in any form was forbidden at the College.

... It seems to have been thought impracticable that the boys should climb the hill daily throughout the Winter for Mass, but there appears to have been a question as to the expediency of obliging them to go daily to Mass from Easter to vacation. Father Brute in his notes gives us to understand that some considered it might occasion more evil than good. He proposed to inquire if the other Catholic Colleges require it, Baltimore, Georgetown, Bardstown. He asks also whether the practice can be endeared to the students by proper instruction. This same question is on the carpet in 1908.

... A father writes 1828: "I have not yet heard from E—— please make him write to me." One father writes 1828 that his son "must not be bled nor given calomel" another that he has sent him cotton underclothes and hopes "he will not have to wear flannel."

. . . Letters of this year show that it was not general for boys to go home for vacation. The institution was usually designated "the Seminary" up to the time of the charter. Latin quotations are common in the letters, and the expressions of attachment exchanged by ecclesiastics and students, professors and officers are quite remarkable: "Your most affectionate brother in Jesus and Mary," "Your truly sincere and devoted friend," these last two to Egan.

... A student transferred from the Mountain praises the order he left at the place.

... On April 26, 1828 George W. Washington of Mount Vernon a "nephew" of the Pater Patriae, came to the College. His record is not sufficiently brilliant to be further noticed, but he was here till Jan. 15, 1836.

. . A Baltimore father writes desiring that his boys come home to see the '' procession and commencing the Railroad on July 4, 1828." This was the opening of the B. and O., the earliest in the country.

. . . On Aug. 28, we have the letter of a mother who puts a hard one to the president. "What shall I do?" It seems the President had refused to let her boy go to her aunt's for vacation until his bill was paid, and had written to the mother that her son would have to leave the College unless it were paid!

. . . Leonard Obernieyer of Emmitsburg, a future professor, entered the Seminary in the Autumn of 1828. His father had a paper mill near the Annandale School. The addition to the church on the hill was built this Fall.

. . . "In buying books," says Father Brute1, "good bargains are ruin if not of standard books."

. . . "To succeed with people you must look at the subject from their point of view." This was another saying of his.

Chapter Index | Chapter 18

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