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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 8 | Chapter Index

Chapter 9: 1820-1822

On his recovery this same year, Father Hickey, her first-ordained came to his alma mater. The Van Schalkwycks from the West Indies left College this year, and we can imagine the wrench to their feelings at leaving the house in which the boys had spent five years without once going home. Augustine wrote a letter to Father Dubois expressing their affectionate regret. Alphonse lived to be ninety-nine years of age and died in Baltimore, February 17, 1906.

The fall of 1820 brought to the Mountain one who was destined to shed an undying lustre upon its name. Because of this and of his subsequent rank in, and services to the church, of the mental qualifications which placed him high above his contemporaries, with perhaps one or two exceptions, it is fitting that more particular mention should be made of him.

John Hughes (see his life by Hassard, Appleton, New York, 1866) was the son of Irish parents of the farmer class and from the north of that country. His father was a man of better parts than most of his compeers and did not neglect the mental (or moral) education of his children. In 1816 the father came to America and was joined by his son the year following, at which time the latter was in his twentieth year. After spending some time at his father's home in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, John obtained a situation on the Eastern Shore as gardener and nurseryman. The determination to devote himself to the service of the Sanctuary had long been made, and he was about to arrange for study in the intervals of labor when he lost his place. He then returned to Chambersburg where the rest of the family arrived in 1818, remaining there a year, working with his father in stone quarries, mending roads, or doing any honest labor that presented itself. The stone bridge over Flat Run which he helped to build is still to be seen near Emmitsburg, on the Taneytown road, and he boarded with Mr. Mullen, the school-master of the town.

From Left to right: Rev. Charles Constantine Pise, D.D. & Most Rev. John Hughes, ABP. of New York.

On November 10, 1819, he was employed at the college as superintendent of the garden, receiving as compensation, board, lodging and private instruction. In a letter to Mayor Harper of New York, May 17, 1844, quoted in the Rosary Magazine for March, 1907, and by Hassard in his "Life" he tells that this arrangement was to last "until a vacancy should occur by which I would be appointed teacher for such classes as I should be fit to take charge of. I continued in this way the first nine months of my stay at college, prosecuting my studies under a private preceptor. The rest of the time, between seven and eight years. I continued to teach the classes assigned to me. At the end of this period I was ordained priest and was stationed in Philadelphia." . . .

Mr. Hughes' force of laborers, says his biographer, "consisted chiefly of two negroes, Timothy and Peter, well-known characters. . . . John himself had to handle the spade on occasions," and one of his pupils, a clergyman himself, told Mr. Hassard that "he would often leave class for a moment to give directions to the workmen in the garden or raise the sashes of his hot-beds"...

Mount St. Mary's was a place where everybody worked at times, from the President down to the little school boys, at tilling, harvesting, cutting and hauling wood, etc. The various departments of the farm, grounds and household were placed under the charge of the professors and older students, all of whom accustomed themselves to hard labor, partly for health's sake and partly for economy. Dubois himself in rearing his little church and " the rough huts for his pupils, in clearing the dense wood, draining the morasses, and terracing the steep hillside, worked with his own hands, plied the spade and the axe, and shared in the roughest drudgery. "We read the same of Brute'." One day Mr. Dubois found John Hughes in the garden at dinner time poring over his book, instead of taking his meal. Struck by the young man's industry, he put a few questions to him, and was astonished at the rapid progress he had made in his studies. He saw too, for he was an excellent judge of character, that he was no commonplace person, and he resolved to relieve him of the greater part of his out-of-door duties.

Accordingly, about the beginning of the fall term in 1820, we find John Hughes, who had up to this lodged in a log house in the garden, which is still (1908) standing, because there was no room in the log-house that made up the college proper, was admitted as a regular student of the latter. He devoted himself with untiring energy to his studies and made wonderful progress. He was in turn teacher of Latin and Mathematics and prefect of the study hall. The latter office requires great prudence, good temper and judgment, all of which qualities Mr. Hughes possessed.

While he was "keeping studies" one of the boys, the son of a Pennsylvania judge, chose on St. Patrick's day to play a trick on him. While some thirty odd of the larger students were engaged in their tasks, and profound silence reigned in the study hall, presently there was a titter heard. Mr. Hughes raised his head and in front of him on the opposite side of the room, beheld a " stuffed Paddy " hanging by the neck ! He gazed a moment on the apparition, then traced under -the desks the direction of the cord by which the effigy had been jerked up, and seeing the end in the hand of the Judge's son, he broke the distressing silence by exclaiming in most solemn tones, 'O Tempora, O Mores! The son of a Judge turned Jack Ketch!' The figure immediately dropping amid a roar of laughter, Mr. Hughes called out "Silence," and tranquilly resumed his reading. For several weeks after, the walls and doors of the log-college were chalked and charcoaled by the boys with the quotation 'O tempora, O mores,' greatly to the mortification of the young fellow. Other tricks were played upon him, such as charging his candle with gunpowder while he was absorbed in Sallust. He was too good-tempered or too shrewd to show his annoyance at these things in which school boys delight, and the quickness with which he occasionally turned the laugh against his persecutors soon taught them that he was not a good butt for their jokes. The perpetrator of the "Paddy" never, while in college, lost the soubriquet of "Jack Ketch." A pupil of Mr. Hughes, Mr. John Boyle of Westminster, told the Chronicler many years after that the future Lion of the Fold was somewhat cross at times, which made us recall how the "New York Herald," one of his chief adversaries, used to pun upon his official signature and call him "Cross" John.

"Latin, Greek and Mathematics were acquired by Mr. Hughes only as a means to an end; it was when he entered the domain of dogma, logic, and philosophy, that he found himself in a congenial atmosphere. His strong constitution enabled him to perform prodigies in the way of study and application. During this time the future Boanerges of the American Church began to develop ; on several trying occasions he displayed great coolness and presence of mind and his first controversy in answering a Fourth of July oration, in which the Catholic Church was reflected upon, was an indication of what was to be expected from him in the future." (Hassard's "Life)."

A warm and lasting friendship grew up between him and his learned and saintly preceptor in theology, the dear Brute, and also between himself and his fellow-seminarian John Baptist Purcell, with whom and Messrs. Mayne and McCaffrey, he would take long walks through the beautiful and romantic section of country around the college.

He was from the first the aggressive champion of right, and he used to walk with another seminarian to Gettysburg with articles for the local paper. Some of these have great merit and are found in Hassard's book. He is said to have walked on Saturday to Chambersburg, thirty miles, where his parents lived, and staying with them and going to Mass and Communion with them in the morning, walked back, reaching the college Sunday evening. We shall see that there is nothing improbable in this story.

One day the woods caught fire on the mountain above the College, and the buildings being in imminent danger of destruction, the students were sent up to check the progress of the flames. John Hughes showed such remarkable presence of mind and readiness of invention that by tacit consent he was chosen foreman of the work, and by great exertion a belt was cleared near the top of the Mountain, where there was a rude wagon-track between the College and the blazing woods. Some dry wood was kindled on the further side of this clearing, for the purpose of making fire fight fire. As the flames rose and the heated air between the two fires began to ascend, a current setting in from the cooler atmosphere beyond drove the opposing flames together, while guards stationed all along the cleared belt, gave the alarm in case any of the sparks flew across it. It was nine o'clock at night before the danger was beaten off, but as a memorial of his hard day's work, Mr, Hughes carried away a big hole burned in the back of his best black coat. He was too poor to buy another, and old students remembered to have seen the brave young man long afterwards, with a huge patch in a conspicuous place between his shoulders.

There was a literary society at the college under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Hickey, each member of which was required to write an essay and read it in public. The first time that Mr. Hughes was called upon to perform this duty, he was overcome with timidity. His voice trembled, his hand shook, and the paper fell from his grasp. "That's pride, Sir," exclaimed Mr. Hickey, "nothing but pride! Put it under your feet. Pick up your essay and go on!" These words aroused a different kind of pride, which restored his courage. He never was similarly affected afterwards. (Hassard's "Life.")

Another name was added to the Seminary list at this time, over which will rest a halo of tenderest love and pity while the church endures in this Western land. Like John Hughes, John Baptist Purcell was a son of the Isle of Saints, but from the south of the island. Born of a family ruined by the penal laws of England's paternal government, his father was obliged to earn a living for his children, while the apostate branch carried all the wealth and honors and still does so under another name. But the elder Purcell stood high among his fellow-townsmen for unquestioned integrity, and he gave his son a good primary education. America was, however, at that time the Eldorado of young Ireland, and at the age of eighteen that son first set foot upon these shores, which were to be the scene of his triumphs and his earthly purgatory for five and sixty years.

Having come to Baltimore, he applied to a Methodist College there for a certificate as a teacher. This, after a rigid examination, was granted him, and by its help he was soon successful in obtaining a position as tutor on the Eastern Shore. But John Baptist had been consecrated to religion before his birth and could not rest satisfied until he had given himself to that ser­vice. He had become acquainted with one or two members of the Faculty of Mt. St. Mary's College, and through them was introduced to President Dubois and received as a theological student in 1820, being then at the age of twenty, for his years walked with the century. For the next three twelve months his record is the most brilliant among the brilliant alumni. Soon after finding this safe harbor his brother Edward, eight years his junior, joined him as a student in the collegiate course, intending to become a lawyer, but, like his brother, he too took up the sacred ministry.

Charles Constantine Pise was at this time a student and taught rhetoric. He was born at Annapolis, Maryland, 1802, and was for a while with the Jesuits. His brilliant mind and gifted pen have adorned our Catholic literature, of which Finotti calls him "the father." Later he founded the well-known church of St. Charles Borromeo in Sydney Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. He was the author of the poem prompted by the Know-Nothing excitement, A. D. 1855:

"They say I do not love thee Flag of my native land!'' etc. He also wrote "Aletheia," as well as pieces of Latin and English verse. He translated "Les Soirees de St. Petersbourg," a "Life of Christ," etc.

In 1821 John McCaffrey, another of this distinguished company, was thus estimated by six of his teachers:

  • Latin: 1st in the Class. Has seen under me the whole of Catiline in Sallust: knows it perfectly. Recited two hundred and fifty lines without a fault.
  • English: One of the best. Has made considerable extracts ; writes correctly ; a very good English scholar.
  • Geography: Very well: one of those who show the best turn and interest in that study.
  • Writing: He applies and improves.
  • Geometry: Has seen half the second part and all solid. No emulation.
  • Talents: Shining talents (C. C. Pise) Has talent. (S. G. B.J. Shanahan.) Excellent. Superior in English.
  • Application: Excellent: Constant (1820): (not so certain of it as last year : he seems more indifferent to Geography. S. G. B.1821). Mostly good but sometimes slack. (J. S.) Constant and successful in Latin. Constant.
  • Behavior: Proper. Good, Very good. (S. G. B. J. S.) Unexceptionable. Excellent but negligent to extreme. The above suits very well. (Jamison.)
  • Temper: Pleasing. Amiable. Very modest and amiable. (S. G. B.) Mild and pleasing. Rather stubborn and headstrong when crossed.

Michael Egan was destined to be the second President of the College. Some extracts from a letter of his to Father Brute let in light on the character of each. It is of date Oct. 14, 1821.

It seems that Father Dubois claimed the right to teach theology to young men who did not belong to the diocese of Baltimore, while obeying the Archbishop by sending to the diocesan Seminary those who were of the diocese. Father Brute seems to have been of opinion that theology was forbidden absolutely at the Mountain. Mr. Egan, then in his 20th year, writes:

Father Dubois says, and is sorry to be obliged to say, that if you have any scruples concerning the teaching of the class, he will immediately send for a French teacher and take the class under his immediate care . . . But my beloved father, what must I myself say to you, to express my gratitude to you who have so often proved yourself to me the tenderest of fathers, the dearest of friends! No, I feel myself incapable of declaring it to you as I would wish. Never will I be able to forget or lessen my love for one who the first, I may say, formed me to piety, conducted me to the Sacred Table for the first time. Yes, my father, I often think of that time and with new sentiments of gratitude to my God for it, but also to you who were the charitable instrument of my conversion. [A Gallicism. Ed.] No. I never doubted your attachment, though I acknowledged myself totally unworthy of it, and have given you so many reasons to be displeased with me. But since you are my father and friend. I conjure you to take a particular care, and have a continual watch over my conduct. I beg it as a signal favor of you never to fail to point out to me the slightest defect you may see in my conduct and the means of conquering it; to rouse me to application and a zealous fulfilment of my duty; to sow in my soul those precious seeds of holiness and perfection which I heretofore have neglected too much . . Your affectionate and dutiful child in Christ . . . P. S. Be pleased to inform me whether I can attend your class or not.

[Although living in the same house with his teacher he used the formal epistolary manner in communicating with him. Such was the style at the Mountain up to 1883]. The Seminarians took breakfast in silence, reading if they so desired, "as in all seminaries." but at dinner and supper reading was obligatory. This, according to Brute's calculation, made a thousand or twelve hundred hours of reading a year ! It would appear that the Seminarians took their meals after the boys, with only the servers present. The boys each served one day in a fortnight, and this practice still continues (1908).

Brute's Grotto was cherished and cared for after his example by the young ecclesiastics. They collected soil enough to make a little garden and aided by their Director, built a kind of arbor out of such old planks, laths and shingles as they could coax out of Father Dubois. Thus, year by year, the spot was renovated until the original appearance was entirely changed. "And it resembled" says a writer of later times, "Sir John Cutler's silk stockings, so humorously described by De Quincey." Sometimes Father Brute’ would ask his class of Theology to come up with him during the afternoon recreation and help to make paths, a work of which he was very fond ; when lesson-time came he would call his pupils around him and hear their tasks in the Grotto.

Mrs. Elizabeth Seton died on the 4th of January, 1821 in the forty-seventh year of her age. She was five years the senior of her friend Father Brute, and in her he lost something more than a friend; their natures were singularly complementary, entirely appreciative and responsive. They were indeed in their affection for one another like Saints Benedict and Scholastica. The following exquisite letter, written by Father Brut6 to Miss Josephine Seton is undated, but may find a place here:

I beg of you to accept this New Testament and the Imitation as if coming from your mother herself. O, such a mother! Such faith, such love! Such a spirit of true prayer, of true humility, of true self denial in all. of true charity to all truest charity! Such a mother! Annina. Rebecca such sisters yonder! I love them still; . . . but, mark well, that even our love for one another, all. all. in this world is vanity, except it be for God, of God, in God! You must love each other Emily, Josphine, just only to help you the better to love and serve God as you pass through this world. Pass, pass, pass, as little shadows do so rapidly! For, pray, what will be twenty, forty years more to live here below, for those who hear, and delight to hear, that repeated cry at the altar: "per omnia saecnla saeculorum?" Then O so heartily say "Amen!" Why do two such resolute Christian souls as yours say at Vespers (I recommend it always so much), the admirable Canticle of Mary? Eighteen ages for her of immense glory! O for that, then! For Eternity! For God and Eternity! All in all . . And indeed to live for this, to live for heaven, is at the same time to lead the happiest life upon earth. Is it not so, O Mother? Answer from your little wood. (The wooded cemetery where she was buried.) Pray now and then for me. S. Brute’

The following memoranda of Brute’ are of date March 20, 1821 :

"On the evening of the 14th of March Mr. Damphoux of St. Sulpice arrived at the Mountain to recall Mr. Hickey S. S., to Baltimore. The next morning after I had celebrated Mass at St. Joseph's I started on foot for Baltimore, without saying a word to anybody, to speak to the Archbishop and Mr. Tessier and endeavor to retain him. Stopped at Taneytown at Father Zocchi's and got something to eat. At Winchester (as Westminster was then called) found out that I had not a penny in my pocket, and was obliged to get my dinner on credit. Arrived at Baltimore (52 miles) ten minutes before 10 o'c. Mr. Hickey to remain at the College. Laus Deo! Set out on my return the next day (16th) in the afternoon; stopped at Mr. Williamson's, six miles and a half from the city, where the storm obliged me to take refuge. On Saturday, 17th (St. Patrick's Day), said Mass, and made a discourse to the people on the text, "Filii sanctorum sumus." At 7 o'c. started again, the wind and rain in my face, sometimes so severe as almost to take away my breath ; arrived at the Mountain at 10 1/2 o'c. at night. In going I read three hundred and eighty-eight pages in Anquehl's History of France, the reigns of Louis XII and Francis I; fourteen pages of Cicero De Officiis; three chapters in the New Testament; my office; recited the Chaplet three times. On my journey back, the wind blew so hard that I could only read a pamphlet of twenty five pages (Documents of the Bishop of Philadelphia) and my office."

"During the time that he (Father Brute’) was thus busily employed," says Bishop Bayley's "Memoirs," "in the duties of his station and training up so many future Bishops and Priests, he interested himself in anything that could conduce to the refutation of error and the progress of Religion. He contributed constantly to the Catholic newspapers original articles, and often furnished materials for others to use. He carried on a correspondence not only with friends in France, his family and others, but with many distinguished persons in the United States. He assisted Mr. Duponceau in his works on the Indian Languages. He was a friend and correspondent of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, of the distinguished Judge Gaston of North Carolina, and many others.

On one occasion it being necessary for Father Brute' to proceed to Baltimore, he proposed walking. But Father Dubois vetoed that and insisted upon his riding, and using a fine new saddle which had lately been presented to him, having his name "John Dubois" engraved on a silver plate on the pommel. The road to Baltimore was through Emmitsburg, along the stage route and as there was no bridge over Tom's Creek for vehicles, and only a log with a hand rail on one side for pedestrians, it was necessary to ford it. The trip was made, but when Father Brute on his return reached the Creek, the stream was so swollen that he feared to use the ford, and endeavored to add to the education of his horse by teaching him to walk the log bridge. Naturally the animal objected and in the tussle fell into the water. The girths broke and the saddle floated away. Of course the horse reached his stable safely and Father Brute walked the intervening mile and a half. When relating the calamity to Father Dubois, the latter exclaimed, "but what became of my fine new saddle?" "Alas! I know not," replied Father Brute’. "I watched it hurrying down the torrent, and I could just see 'John Dubois,' 'John Dubois,' 'John Dubois,' bobbing up and down from one wave to another, bidding me adieu."

In April of this year, 1821, the King of France, Louis XVIII, sent Father Dubois a present of three thousand francs, about $588.23, a most worthy and acceptable gift. We shall learn later by whose influence it was obtained.

The record of the examinations of this year, begun May 14, bear the same testimony to the excellence of John McCaffrey. "Best of the class for talent, improvement, facility and judgment in translating still wants style smart in grammar." "Mr. Hughes would at least be equal to McCaffrey if he had the same chance excellent judgment in translation but does not know equally the meaning of words."

The school year, which had begun August 20, 1820, closed July 1, 1821. John McCaffrey recited ten hundred thirty-five lines without a single fault; John Gildea the same " with half-a-fault, and that very slight!" Others mentioned as praise worthy are John Hughes, Felix McNeal, Francis Elder, Alfred Fahnestock, Jacob Stillinger, James Butler, Joseph Valdor, Alexander Toulac, Edward Sourin, Thomas Williamsou, Augustus Nau, Noah Shafer, Lewis Dougherty, Anthony Hermange, William Owings, Francis Gunning Bedford, Richard Whelan, Denis Deloughery, Henry Dickehut, Frederick Chatard, Alexander Jamison, Charles Lane, Joseph Aleneida, Ignatius Nau, William Dunbar, James Cochran, Daniel McNeal, Adolph Power, Louis Brand, Robert Patton, Edwin Deloughery.

This is an account of the college, its charges, etc., in 1822:

"The main building was a log house 120 ft. long, two stories high, the stone house 40 ft., for washing and baking (the chapel of 1908) and eight outhouses, students 80, seminarians 22, priests 3. Greek, Latin, English, French and Spanish are taught; natural philosophy not yet for lack of apparatus. Rates, $135 per year; extra for French, $10; pens, ink, mending, etc., $4.50; use of bedding (unless brought by pupil), $8; doctor's fee, $3; pocket money, 12˝ cts. per week: or $225 for everything, including clothing, books, etc., except doctor's fees and pocket money. No uniform is required but the blue cloth coats for the winter, and nankeen or home made striped cotton for summer, are recommended."

In writing to the Archbishop of Baltimore relative to the going to St. Mary's of Michael Egan to finish his theology there, Mr. Brute makes the following memorandum:

"Michael Egan, nephew of the last bishop of Philadelphia,, sent to the Mountain I believe by Baltimore and Mr. Tessier, S. S., ten years ago. His services have been the most zealous and edifying of the collegians. Conduct all that could be hoped for, as also his talents. Between nineteen and twenty years old."

Under date of September 3, 1821, Hilary Parsons writes from Baltimore about his health, of which, notwithstanding Dr. Chatard's encouragement, he is hopeless. He had been at the Mountain only a short time, but we shall find his name as an officer of the house frequently in the records, and there is something very charming in his character, and sad interest in his early death.

Another name was added to the muster-roll of the college in the year 1821-1822, which was destined to shed a luster over the old alma mater and the older church. John McCloskey of New York, not yet twelve years old but far advanced in his studies, sought a welcome from the President. The future Cardinal was a frail, delicate lad, and it was hoped that the Mountain air would strengthen him. He won the admiration and esteem of his teachers and the respect and love of his college mates by the piety and modesty of his character, his gentleness, and sweet disposition, the enthusiasm with which he threw himself into his studies and his prominent standing in his class. He grew strong physically, too. John McCloskey was born on Long Island, N. Y., March 10, 1810. His parents were of the farmer class. The faith of old Ireland burned in their hearts and gave them patience to endure, and strength to overcome all obstacles to the fulfilment of that faith's requirements. There was no church on Long Island then, nor in New York, save at the corner of Barclay and Church streets, the now old St. Peter's, and to this sacred edifice the boy and his parents found their way every Sunday when possible, crossing the East River in a frail skiff.

We know not how theology was taught in those days at the Mountain; doubtless in a very simple and direct way, but, it would appear now that there was in the spring of 1822 a move to introduce a separate class of Holy Scripture.

We are enabled to get clearer ideas of the literary condition at this time from the following:

"Order of the distribution of premiums of Mt. St. Mary's Seminary for the scholastic year ending June 27, 1822. (The word Seminary continued to be used until the charter was obtained.)

"L'Aurore Nau of San Domingo showed superiority in almost every branch of learning, his brother Augustus, imitating him in this respect."

It is of interest to know that Mr. Pise's class translated this year Tacitus, Cicero de Officiis, the two orations of Cicero for Ligarius and Marcellus, all Horace except the Satires; composed Latin and English amplifications and pieces of Latin and English poetry ; studied the rules of Rhetoric and went through Alvarez's Prosody.

The First Greek class saw the first nine books of Homer. The Geometry class saw all Geometry and Plane Trigonometry. First Latin Class (Mr. Purcell's): In the course of this year they translated three Eclogues of Virgil and four books of the jEneid—two treatises of Cicero de Senectute and Amicitia; composed in Latin every week and learnt by heart three Eclogues and one thousand three hundred and fifty lines of Cicero, Premium Win. Owings.

Among prize-men are Jeremiah McCready, John McCloskey, Andrew Byrne, Michael Hayden, Augustus Harris, Anthony Prince, Edward Tiers, William Whelan, Edward Matthews, William Daingerfield, James Matthews, Daniel McNeal, Philip Cahill, John McCosker, Charles Smith, Peter Beverly, Constantine Beverly, besides others mentioned in previous year, who were also prominent in this.

N. B. The Masters wishing not to deprive the boys of any of the Academical distinctions, disclaim any share in the same but it is necessary to observe that Messrs. Schreiber and Jamison have distinguished themselves in several branches. [It has always been and is still the practice of the seminarians attending the same classes with the boys, to forbear competing with them for the ordinary prizes, though contend­ing if they wish for special ones. Ed.]

Animated by his wonderful courage and energy, and realizing the needs of his growing institute, Father Dubois now arranged for the erection of a large stone building to replace the log houses. The foundations were dug in the spring of 1822 upon the "back terrace" immediately at the foot of the Mountain at the northern end, in the space between the present (1908) Study-hall, and the Music-hall. The stones were quarried on the Mountain and much interest was felt and not a little assistance rendered by masters and pupils in erecting the handsome edifice, which was to stand at right angles to those they occupied, and to face East.

We regret that there are but few letters referring to this interesting period, save one from an ex-pupil, written from Philadelphia in February, 1823. He says :

"I hope your affairs at Baltimore have succeeded according to your desire and that your new building may be shortly erected. I have often thought of the ' Stupendous temples, reared for the worship of Avarice' while the servants of the Cross have to worship in a more humble building, and indeed if ever I wished for money, 'tis in those hours when I remember St. Mary's happy spot."

In a letter of Dubois. Sept. 28. 1821. we read of his future diocese that each pastor in New York demands eight hundred dollars, which forces the trustees to keep only one priest where there should be three or four,' . . .It will help to locate the college as it then was, if we consider the manner of traveling at the time, which was a more serious matter than it is now. This will enable us also to realize much of Dubois' trip to Niagara. One bishop used to relate how he and a companion in a two-horse team came to the swollen Monocacy, and thinking to ford it kept on right through, but the water rose until it entered the buggy. There was no use in attempting to turn in the rushing waters, the only safety was in keeping on. The horses began to swim, but the weight of the travelers kept the wagon wheels on the bottom. They were now headed down stream and every instant expecting an upset, but after two miles of this experience reached high ground and making for the shore, took down fence rails and made the best of their way back to the road, when their hearts were rejoiced by the tall cross on Carrick's Knob that told of their nearness to the College.

Much of the journey in those days was made on foot, as the horses could not move faster than a walk on rough and muddy roads, and in cold weather one had to get out to warm himself. Then the loss of a shoe or of a wheel, or the necessity of cutting down young trees to ease the vehicle across a "branch" or such, and the delay consequent on these and many similar accidents, made the journey to the Mountain long and very interesting, especially for remembrance in after life.

Hauling from Baltimore to the West was usually by six-horse teams with belle. They used to travel in companies up to a dozen or so for protection and help, stopping nights at one of the numerous taverns which lined the national road passing through the village. An Irish merchant, James Murphy, bound with his father for Evansville, Indiana, in 1821, told the Chronicler how they had gone aside during the stop at Emmitsburg and visited the College. The institution was on what was then one of the main lines between Baltimore and Pittsburg. The driver turned his vehicle into the inn-yard, fastened the tongue to the manger and let his horses eat and rest with no shelter whatever, at any season. He himself spread his mattress on the floor of the barroom. As the team approached the village a crowd of boys ran forward and walked back beside the teamster, a most romantic character in their eyes, for he had come from the wealthy East and was going into the unknown West, carrying goods in each direction. Every boy looked forward to being a teamster. Not only goods but immigrants used to pass along in like manner, on foot, in saddle or in wagons. Pedlars also traveled this road and the roads in every direction. (Helman's History of Emmitsburg.)

Chapter Index | Chapter 10

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