Roman Catholic Conservatism in a New North Atlantic World, 1760-18291
Events during the years from 1760 to 1829 significantly changed the West and the French and British North Atlantic with it. The three generations that lived through the Seven Years’ War, the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Bourbon Restoration firmly believed that they had witnessed the shattering of the familiar world that the pre-1789 era (the Old Regime) had consigned to them. This political earthquake directly affected the Roman Catholic Church in ways that touched on its existence and role in all the countries of the North Atlantic basin. The 1760 Conquest of Canada and its subsequent cession to the British Crown in 1763 delivered a major French-speaking Catholic colony to an English-speaking Protestant ruler. The outcome of the American War of Independence brought religious liberty to the United States, allowing the Church to abandon its semi-clandestine existence and establish an official organization in 1784. Such a felicitous development was soon dwarfed by the devastating events set in motion by the French Revolution, which included the 1790 Civil Constitution of the Clergy, the Terror of 1793-94, the abolition of the Catholic cult in 1793, and the vast diaspora of political refugees. For almost two decades, from the French invasion of the Papal States in 1797 to Pope Pius VII’s 1815 return to Rome, Napoleonic rule had a profound, negative effect not only on the French Church but also on the Holy See’s international status. After 1815 the Catholic Church experienced its greatest difficulties with two ever-present instances of internal conflict: ethnic rivalry and the so-called trustee controversy. Both represented potential challenges to its centralized organization under the cope of Rome. One wonders how three generations of Catholics in the North Atlantic world did not collapse under the weight of so many elements of internal and external crisis.2
Historians of the post-1760 Roman Catholic Church have shown little inclination to treat the history of the Church in North America in the context of the North Atlantic world. Local developments are normally interpreted within a national or regional framework or as distant overflows from the center of the British Empire. Worship on the part of the Catholic faithful, not to mention the Catholic hierarchy in its largest sense, was still illegal there until 1829.3 American and French historians have been overwhelmed by the critical significance of the American and French revolutions. Consequently, in the United States and in France the history of the Catholic Church is linked to short- and long-term reactions to or consequences of those major events. For later years these reactions are combined with other national developments, such as the French Empire and the early Bourbon Restoration and the political democratization of and massive immigration to the United States. Quebec historians have invariably interpreted the French Revolution as a decisive factor in the early shaping of the collective psychology of French Canadians. Most also view the strengthening of the church as a fundamental factor in the survival and political emancipation of the Quebec nation within the Dominion of Canada.4 In all these instances, the role of the Holy See is interpreted within the framework of bilateral relationships between the national Church and the Roman bureaucracy, and the latter is described at best as poorly informed and slow to react and at worst as willingly and stubbornly espousing reactionary policies that hampered the full blossoming of the progressive components in the national Church in question.
This national or regional interpretive framework emphasizes internal developments and normally treats them as unique. The larger North Atlantic picture, however, shows that these Church developments in different regions were part of a common attitude, which allowed the Catholic Church not just to survive but indeed to prosper in countries that did not officially acknowledge Church members and often legally discriminated against them. The coincidence in 1829 of the election of a new pope, Pius VIII, and the long-awaited full emancipation of Catholics in Great Britain, Ireland, and throughout the British Empire may well symbolize this turning point from survival to success. Throughout the North Atlantic world, the Church was rapidly becoming a much stronger and more unified body than it had been prior to 1760. This new development took several forms: militant Ultramontanism in France, British North America, and the United States; a devout missionary revival throughout the world, including western Canada and the American Midwest; Ireland’s devotional revolution; the full recognition of the English ecclesiastical hierarchy; and ultimately the beginning of the lengthy and assertive pontificate of Pius IX in 1846. By the middle of the nineteenth century, this universal, Rome-centered, triumphant Church had taken over.5
In the North Atlantic world, a common feature seems to have glued together such an apparently varied and conflicted community and strengthened Church organization: an overall conservatism, a deeply ingrained interest in maintaining the status quo concerning political power. During the Old Regime, the Church had always been a conservative body in countries and colonies where Catholicism was the official religion of the ruling crown. Conversely, in countries and colonies ruled by non-Catholic governments, the Church had always been regarded as a potentially subversive body. In the post-1760 period, however, this conservatism was extended to all countries and colonies, whatever their dominant religion. At the philosophical and ideological level, this conservatism inscribed itself within a static and harmonious conception of the universe. The Enlightenment added to this overall framework the notion of the social utility of the Christian religion regardless of individual denominations. In its more pragmatic form aimed at non-Catholic governments, historians must view this conservative attitude as a momentous novelty. It expressed itself in moderate, compromising policies through which the Church adjusted to new political realities, ranging from Newfoundland’s naval government to U.S. democracy. In doing so the Catholic Church strengthened its status and won for its members roles that would have been unthinkable even during the Old Regime. All levels of the Church’s international organization, from the pope down to the thousands of local parish priests and regular missionaries, shared this attitude. These people knew each other or of each other, were in regular contact, and felt they were part of an impressive clerical network within the Catholic Church. All North American bishops, together with their counterparts in Ireland, Scotland, and England, corresponded with each other and regularly reported to the Holy See. In Rome the prefect of the Sacred Congregation “de Propaganda Fide,” the ministry of the Holy See with responsibility over Great Britain, Ireland, and North America, was in charge, though the pope had the final say. These men and their clergy shared a conservatism that was the most significant feature of the Church in the North Atlantic world from 1760 to 1829. This common outlook manifested itself in their personal behavior and in the messages they conveyed to each other.6 Few if any challenged this conservative political attitude, even in the handful of North American instances where historians have seen such a challenge, such as the ethnic rivalries and trustee controversies of the early nineteenth century.
The British conquest of Canada inaugurated this conservative trend. After the capitulations of Quebec in 1759 and Montreal the following year, a military regime ruled the district of Quebec, allowing local Catholics to freely practice their religion and essentially preserving their ecclesiastical structure. The 1763 Treaty of Paris confirmed these arrangements by granting “the liberty of the Catholick religion” but only “as far as the laws of Great Britain permit.” Eventually, the crown allowed the appointment of a new bishop, Jean-Olivier Briand, who traveled from France to Quebec in 1766. The spiritual and material activity of the Church, still prohibited in Great Britain, resumed as it had been conducted under the previous French regime. This precarious arrangement was finally recognized by the Quebec Act of 1774, which officially accepted the existence of the Catholic Church with the only proviso being that Catholics take an oath of allegiance acknowledging the crown’s supremacy. Among historians Briand has been a controversial figure. Some have accused him of collaborating with the British regime.7 On the government’s orders, Briand immediately instructed his clergy to pray for King George III. His reasons were straightforward. The British were not the enemy; on the contrary, he expounded, “they are our masters; and we owe to them all that we owed to the French when they were so. Does now the Church prevent his subjects to pray for their prince?” In his first public message to the Acadians, Briand also preached submission when he asked them to forget past errors: “Let us only think of your present.” In Briand’s view the British regime had enhanced the Church’s status. The initial fears of the Catholic leadership were soon replaced by feelings of surprise and relief: “Where are ... the vexations, the misappropriations, the pillaging, the onerous contributions that follow any victory?” In 1768 Briand reassured his vicar general in Paris, Pierre de La Rue, abbé de L’Isle-Dieu (1688-1779), that in his diocese “peace reigns, the [religious] needs of the people are provided, religion flourishes, charity is apparent.” In 1772 Briand informed the Holy See that the Catholic religion “is freely practiced, piety reigns, iniquity is despised and, should it show itself, it is to the horror of most.”8 The Treaty of Paris and the subsequent Royal Proclamation of 1763 took care of the organization of the newly gained “extensive and valuable Acquisitions in America.” Other than former Canada (now the province of Quebec), these territorial gains were East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada, where the crown acknowledged the political rights of Catholic inhabitants. The Treaty of Paris also transferred half of Louisiana to the Spanish crown. Catholic Spain, though, proved to be much less accommodating than Protestant Britain to its new colonies, and Louisiana experienced open rebellion from 1766 to 1769. There again the vicar general of the bishop of Quebec preached immediate recognition of the new rulers and accommodation at all costs, as did Pierre Gibault (1737-1802), a missionary in the region who claimed to get along well with the English.9
In the years immediately following the Conquest of Canada and prior to the French Revolution, the Holy See fully supported an accommodation policy in Quebec and Louisiana. This policy, mainly conducted by Propaganda Fide, aimed to preserve the free practice of the Catholic religion by adjusting to new political realities. Catholics were to assure the new governments of their loyalty and slowly to take advantage of whatever legal accommodations were made available to them to recruit new priests. In these critical years, the Holy See’s major concern was to never appear to interfere in negotiations between the Canadian clergy and the civil authorities. The clergy were to show no sign of arrogance, which would annoy the British government. The Holy See was adamant, however, on the procedure for selecting a new bishop. Briand had been elected by his church and then presented to the Holy See for confirmation. In a confidential memorandum, Giuseppe Maria Castelli, the prefect of Propaganda Fide, admitted that during the French regime the crown nominated the bishop of Quebec. But now that the cession of Canada had put an end to that privilege, the clergy must seize the opportunity to “return all the right of election to the Apostolic See, according to the current discipline.” After reaffirming this principle, however, it became obvious that there was no viable candidate other than Briand. The Holy See’s solution was then to formulate the relating briefs in such a way as to eschew any acknowledgment of the election. Castelli advocated this strategy of overall prudence and full cooperation with the British government for all of Briand’s successors at the Quebec bishopric. When he forwarded the papal brief, Dominus ac Redemptor, suppressing the Society of Jesus in 1773, Castelli invited Briand to implement it “with calm and tranquillity.” After the new vicar general in Paris, François-Joseph Sorbier de Villars (1720-88), surreptitiously sent French priests to Quebec in 1783-84 to circumvent Britain’s refusal to admit new ecclesiastics from France, Propaganda Fide strongly reprimanded him. In 1790, when Briand raised the issue of a new bishopric in Montreal, Propaganda Fide insisted the bishop first obtain permission from the crown.10
The Treaty of Paris thus required a major readjustment on the part of the Catholic Church in Quebec and Louisiana. Nothing of that sort happened in the Maritime Provinces or the British continental colonies south of Nova Scotia. With little or no assistance forthcoming from the bishop of Quebec, it fell to British authorities to make arrangements for the spiritual needs of the Acadian faithful. As early as 1767, Charles-François Bailly de Messein was sent to minister to the Acadians and the Micmac of Nova Scotia. The crown paid him a regular salary. This financial assistance became standard practice for many years to come. The small Catholic community of the British continental provinces (1 percent of the population) was unaffected by the immediate outcome of the Seven Years’ War. Not even the suppression of the Society of Jesus, to which all missionaries belonged, entailed “any notable change.” American Catholics recognized the advantages for Catholicism under the Quebec Act and compared their own status unfavorably with the freedom enjoyed by their Quebec coreligionists.11 After 1776 most American Catholics sided against Britain, though their religious identity had little to do with their choice. In the telling instance of Bishop John Carroll’s Maryland family, moderate Enlightenment ideas went along nicely with a personal adhesion to Catholicism. Carroll’s own twenty-four years in western Europe had confirmed his family’s traditional values: individual industry and thriftiness, poor relief through charity, encouragement to arts without extravagant expenses, and above all an orderly society ruled by a moderate and enlightened government. These values, which were not Catholic per se, went together with political tolerance and doctrinal firmness in religious matters. In 1783, Carroll argued that Catholics living so happily under the tolerant new regime “must strive to preserve, cultivate, and promote it with all [their] prudence, always behaving as good subjects faithfully attached to [their] political Government.”12 These words are strikingly similar to those employed by all bishops of Quebec to express their allegiance to the British crown.
Throughout the American War of Independence, Briand used every possible measure to ensure the loyalty of his faithful and ecclesiastical personnel to the British crown. His pastoral letter of May 22, 1775, called for all Canadians to fight the impending American invasion to defend “your country and your King.” Aside from due loyalty, Briand emphasized the crown’s recent favors, which included “the free practice of our Religion.” When a small American delegation traveled to Quebec in 1776 to try to win the support of French Canadians, the local clergy refused to even meet with Carroll, who was a member of the party. Several among the clergy, mostly members of regular congregations, sided with the Americans or were simply more accommodating. In general, however, the clergy stood by their bishop as they had prior to the war. In 1781, with peace negotiations around the corner, Sorbier de Villars hoped that the loyalty shown by Canadians during the war would pay off, the English “being so reasonable and so favorable to religion.” He concluded: “Should we owe this to politics and to reasons of state, why should religion care?”13 After the American War of Independence, the Church’s status in the United States improved, though in a manner different from that of Quebec. In 1791 the First Amendment of the Constitution secured universal religious liberty, a new and unheard-of legal guarantee. The Church had traditionally approved of the theory of the divine rights of kings, which in practice had slowly evolved into a more secular submission to the ruling crown. American Catholics, however, did not object to a new political system in which a president elected by an electoral college chosen by the people replaced a king who (at least symbolically) still took his right to rule directly from God. The self-styled parish priest of the Holy Cross in Boston, Claude-Florent Bouchard, known as abbé de La Poterie (1751-post-1790), called for loyalty to all established authorities in prioritized order. In his 1789 Pastoral Letter, he asked the faithful to pray for the pope, the bishop of Baltimore, “the prosperity of Congress ... the happy establishment of the federal government of the United States ... the state of Massachusetts, its Governour and Magistrates ... the King of France and the other friends and allies of America ... all those who respect the interest of his Most Christian Majesty in foreign countries.” Though Carroll condemned the Pastoral Letter, his prayer, adopted by the First Synod of Baltimore in 1791, is strikingly similar.14
The same Holy See bureaucrats who were responsible for the development of the Church in British North America fostered the U.S. church system after 1776. Fully supported by Pius VI and Holy See high officials, Cardinal Leonardo Antonelli (1730-1811) was in charge of North America. (Antonelli replaced Castelli as prefect of Propaganda Fide in the crucial years from 1780 to 1795.) He and this small group of bureaucrats applied to the new Republic the same cautious yet open-minded policy successfully used in Quebec. In their minds the outcome of the American War of Independence simply furnished an opportunity for the expansion of Catholicism. American historians of the Catholic Church have often, though imperfectly, related how Carroll was appointed first as prefect apostolic in 1784 and then as bishop of Baltimore in 1789, downplaying the importance of the early years of Catholicism in the United States. They highlight the separation of church and state as well as the novel and felicitous conjuncture of the democratic method through which Carroll was elected by his clergy. According to standard accounts, Carroll had asked the Holy See as early as 1785 to allow his clergy to select their own bishop. Furthermore, historians have emphasized that Carroll requested this procedure when his clergy petitioned for his promotion to full bishop. Finally, American historians have taken at face value their country’s official policy of noninterference in religious affairs.15 By insisting on the democratic procedure and the separation of church and state, they have tried to make the Church a full protagonist in the history of the early Republic and to show how American Catholics reneged on the Roman tradition of authoritarianism.
Regarding the democratic method of election, a simple chronology of events shows that Roman officials devised their strategy of expansion into the United States well before the 1783 Treaty of Paris and the arrival of the earliest petition from the United States in 1784. At the core of this strategy was the appointment of a superior to be chosen among the American priests. This move aligned with a policy that traditionally favored the local (or national) clergy over foreign missionaries. When American candidate Carroll was put forward as superior of the American Church (as opposed to British-born John Lewis [1721-88]), the Holy See welcomed the opportunity to implement its strategy, though it unwittingly deferred the establishment of a full bishopric to a later date.16 As for the separation of church and state in the new Republic, Benjamin Franklin’s role in the establishment of the prefecture apostolic and in Carroll’s selection was much more crucial than such a separation would allow. This role in fact embodied Old Regime diplomatic routines. At first French diplomats facilitated the whole procedure by sounding out a number of American congressmen. Then Franklin stalled the Lewis candidacy and suggested Carroll, a longtime acquaintance, for the position. Holy See officials nominated Carroll in full agreement with the American representative. After Carroll was eventually selected, Franklin privately boasted that it was “on [his own] Recommendation.” When examined next to Briand’s 1760 selection, the history of Carroll’s appointment during 1784-89 does not seem particularly innovative. Any emphasis on the novelty of these democratic procedures is exaggerated. If anything Carroll’s nomination in 1789 employed a mechanism that, though not prevalent, had been in use for centuries.17 In Briand’s and Carroll’s selections, Propaganda Fide took the same firm stand against bottom-up nominations and in both instances succeeded in picking who it thought was the best candidate for the position by attentively listening to all parties and avoiding the open endorsement of procedural solutions (such as the election of bishops) that might weaken Rome’s emphasis on a new centralizing policy.
In 1784, the nuncio in France, Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphili, warned the Holy See that it could not take America’s gratitude to France for granted. New “revolutions similar to that of Canada” (that is, the cession of 1763), he argued, could irretrievably alter the relationship between the two recent allies. The French Revolution supplied just such an event, replacing America’s thin sympathy for its French ally with bellicose hostility. Whereas the American War of Independence had occasioned a timely yet substantially smooth passage of the church’s legal recognition, the French Revolution proved a much more fundamental turning point in reshaping American Church strategy and in strengthening the Church’s conservative social doctrine throughout the Atlantic world. During the last decade of the eighteenth century, almost one thousand priests and nuns were killed in France, with many more unaccounted for, and more than 150,000 French people, including some 30,000 Catholic clergy, fled abroad. This wave of political refugees was second in volume only to the Protestant emigration caused by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Even more fundamentally, the French Revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath represented an ideological turning point for the Catholic Church in the United States and British North America. The faithful abandoned any nostalgic hope for a return of Old Regime Catholic France in favor of a de facto political alliance with Protestant Great Britain, which replaced France as the friendliest among European countries. At least seven thousand French ecclesiastics fled to Britain, where persecuted Catholics could regroup and wait for better times.18
Some exiled French ecclesiastics seriously weighed the North American option. Eventually, however, only about one hundred settled in the United States and about fifty in British North America. Yet many Catholics in the North Atlantic world came to agree with French philosophe and traveler Constantin-François Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney, that the United States was a “haven of peace of which Europe did not offer any hope any longer” and that God had invented America to allow a rebirth of a better and purer Catholicism. These hopefuls included several members of the Roman high bureaucracy. As early as 1789, the new nuncio in France, Antonio Dugnani, wrote to a fellow prelate that “the best option is to go to America.” Such high officials of the Holy See were conscious of the epochal nature of events set in motion by the French Revolution. Disruption of the experienced organizational network through which the Holy See had managed the survival or expansion of Catholicism for at least two centuries, for example, significantly affected the development of the Church in the North Atlantic world. From 1789 to 1815, especially after 1797, this network was in a state of almost complete disarray. As for the North American high ecclesiastics, Carroll wrote in 1793 that “if anything could console us of the immense losses of religion in France, this would be the opportunity of the advantages that shall result for Canada and the United States.” With the revolutionary tempest clearly over in 1817, the vicar apostolic in the London district, William Poynter, believed that “the Church is going to recover in America the great losses sustained in Europe.”19
The carnage perpetrated by French revolutionaries eliminated any nostalgia French Canadians had for their former metropolis. At the same time, it transformed what had been a fruitful cooperation between the British government and the Catholic Church into an outright political alliance that lasted many decades. From 1784 to 1825, during the administrations of Louis-Philippe Mariauchau d’Esgly, Jean-François Hubert, Pierre Denaut, and Joseph-Octave Plessis, the bishops of Quebec and most of their missionaries went out of their way to please British authorities. The encounter between two Sulpicians in the Detroit region following the Jay Treaty (also known as the 1794 Treaty of London), which transferred the area to the United States, demonstrates how differences in rituals and customs did not prevent the sharing of more fundamental values. One of them, Lower Canadian François-Xavier Dufaux (1742-96), rather unemotionally reported that the Americans’ hymn was “God Save the People” instead of “God Save the King.” Furthermore he did not object when his confrère, Michel Levadoux (1746-1815), an émigré priest supportive of the principles of the new American Republic, welcomed the arrival of General Anthony Wayne with the singing of “Te Deum.” Loyalty to the legitimate government was never at stake.20 The protocol established for a bishop’s succession in case of death is one example of the long-lasting political alliance between the Church and the crown. Briand devised this procedure to prevent any recurrence of the vacuum that had followed Bishop Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand’s death in 1760. As soon as he obtained Lieutenant-General Guy Carleton’s agreement on Mariauchau d’Esgly, Briand asked the Holy See to appoint the latter bishop in partibus and coadjutor cum futurâ successione. At Briand’s death Mariauchau d’Esgly was to immediately replace him. Propaganda Fide hastened to approve, provided the crown agreed. Briand’s successors kept this protocol in place, which ensured hierarchical continuity and kept bishops from presenting a challenge to the government. Plessis felt that he had no choice but “to be submitted to the veto for the choice of our coadjutors and successors.” It took several years before the Holy See attempted to limit the crown’s veto power by making the crown’s approval only the last step. The protocol worked so well that Propaganda Fide applied it to the whole of British North America.21
As in Quebec opposition to the French Revolution in Newfoundland strengthened cooperation between the local bishop and the British authorities. This common attitude helped both sides avoid major conflicts. James Louis O’Donel, the vicar apostolic in Newfoundland, hated radicals of all sorts and French revolutionaries most of all. His report on the battles of Enniscorthy and New Ross, in County Wexford, which were part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, leaves no doubt about his views. O’Donel got along well enough with Newfoundland’s naval governors and so did his successors. He was particularly helpful to Charles Morice Pole, governor during 1800-1801, when O’Donel thwarted potential threats of rebellion on the part of local United Irishmen sympathizers. It was British law, O’Donel believed, that made the Lower Canadians “the happiest people in either the old or the new world” and that allowed all Newfoundlanders to live “in perfect tranquility.”22
In its attitude toward the political establishment, Newfoundland (where 80 percent of the population was Catholic) resembled Ireland, O’Donel’s mother country and the place of origin of many Newfoundlanders. For most of the eighteenth century, Ireland had not been a particularly violent country. Political tensions ran high, however, and the Church was placed in an awkward position vis-à-vis the British government. In Ireland, as opposed to the rest of the British Empire, the struggle for Catholic emancipation soon took a revolutionary road. The danger of repeating the French Revolution seemed all too real to some. As spiritual leader of the Irish Church and archbishop of Dublin, John Thomas Troy never doubted that radicals and insurgents in France and Ireland were dead wrong. His 1793 Pastoral Instruction best summarizes his conservative political and religious thought; Irish nationalists later often attacked it.23 At the turn of the century, laymen, rather than clergy, set the Irish Catholics’ political agenda. The Church itself was still a weak organization that needed the crown’s protection to survive, at least according to Troy. To prevent a repetition of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in which thirty thousand lost their lives, Troy in the end favored legislative union with Britain and the consequent demise of the Irish Parliament. He also accepted the royal veto on the appointment of Catholic bishops, a measure that he had at first opposed. The most important result of this policy of compromise between Troy and the crown was Parliament’s An Act for the better Education of Persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic Religion. Passage of this act in 1795 was followed by the founding of the Royal (later Saint Patrick’s) College in Maynooth, whose budget was partially assured by the crown. Troy, his successor, Daniel Murray, and their fellow bishops came to believe that compromise had to be accepted to attain full Catholic emancipation and stability for the Church, including a crown’s salary for clergy.24
In the heart of the British Empire, John Douglas, the vicar apostolic in the London district, was keen on proving that being a member of the Catholic Church did not contradict the “true loyalty or duty Englishmen owe to king and country.” He, along with fifty-eight others, signed an 1807 statement of principles demonstrating that not even the pope could “absolve or dispense his majesty’s subjects from their oath of allegiance [to the crown], on any pretext whatsoever.” Poynter (Douglas’ successor), an intelligent and tolerant person, expressed the viewpoint of the North Atlantic Catholic subject better than any of his fellow prelates: “The great cause to which we are committed is one and Catholic; we all share our common interest in it, whether we are placed in Europe or in America; the seas that separate the Kingdoms of this world and the large continents do not separate the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.” His return to England in 1795, after almost two decades in France that ended with a two-year imprisonment, had indeed made Poynter appreciate the “great freedom in the practice of Religion” and the good disposition of crown officials. The vicars apostolic in the Lowland and Highland districts of Scotland and their European correspondents constantly expressed similar views. For them too the French Revolution was a crucial turning point. Antagonism and hostility toward the British crown, coupled with a reliance on traditional French support, had turned into just the opposite as early as 1789. Only a handful of lay Catholics in Edinburgh sided with French revolutionaries or were not loyal to the crown. The views of the Scottish bishops and of those of Scottish origin in North America coincided with correspondents, lobbyists, agents, and unofficial representatives to the Holy See and were no different from those of O’Donel, Plessis, Poynter, Troy, and many church leaders in the Atlantic world. A generation later Alexander McDonell, the ecclesiastical superior in Upper Canada, was aghast when he discovered the level of insurgency that was brewing in Lower Canada. He fully concurred with provincial Governor-in-Chief Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, Baron Aylmer, that the local French-speaking bishops shared responsibility for allowing “levelling democratical principles” to be admitted “into the public schools.”25
The traditional national or regional historiographical framework depicts Holy See high officials as a bunch of reactionary bureaucrats who were at best poorly informed and slow to react. Undoubtedly, these historians’ views echo complaints prevalent in the papers produced by many British North American and American ecclesiastics. Gerald P. Fogarty and Jay P. Dolan, two of the foremost American historians of the Church in the post-Second Vatican Council era, exemplify this point of view when they refer to the Holy See’s “complete ignorance of the American situation,” especially of its democratization process and of the hierarchy’s minimal influence on the American Church. Indisputably, the Roman bureaucracy applied working habits that were not a model of modern efficiency. English-speaking church leaders would have welcomed an “infusion of English business-like method.”26 But it was not just North America that suffered from this overall inefficiency. Furthermore, when considering all of the North Atlantic rather than merely Rome’s bilateral relations with British North America or the United States as well as more fully examining the inner working of the Holy See’s bureaucracy, a different picture emerges.
First, when modern American historians of the Catholic Church fault church bureaucracy for its inattention, they seem to assume that North American affairs should have been treated as more urgent than others. Yet as a mission territory, and as such falling under Propaganda Fide, North America competed not only with Asia and Africa but also with all the non-Catholic countries of Europe. Considering the demands on them, it is striking that officials devoted so much time to discussing North American files. Probably only Ireland at this time received more attention. Second, a real effort was made by Holy See high officials to understand North American developments and to follow up with suitable decisions. Though inundated with letters, petitions, appeals, and all sorts of diverging opinions, they read them all. They also asked for external evaluations and regularly met with all the British North American and American clergy and laymen who personally took their cases to Rome. Sulpician Ambroise Maréchal, the archbishop of Baltimore, was furious when Propaganda Fide continued to welcome representatives of the trustees at the height of the trustee controversy. These people traveled to Rome, he alleged, only to misrepresent his views. Third, except for the disruptive decade that preceded 1808, Holy See bureaucrats fulfilled their role as ultimate overseers of local developments in British North America and the United States. They slowly came to evaluate American developments against a background of an orderly continental expansion in which Quebec and Baltimore enjoyed a leadership role. Following a general review of the state of religion in the United States introduced by Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca, an influential member of Propaganda Fide, for example, in 1808 the Sacred Congregation erected four new bishoprics in Bardstown (Kentucky), Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. It also promoted Baltimore to archbishopric and decided that the new sees would be solely financed through the contributions of the faithful.27 Fourth, and most important, the Holy See’s decisions about North America were consistently in step with the Catholic conservatism observable everywhere else in the North Atlantic world.
American historians in the post-Second Vatican Council era have emphasized an alleged reactionary attitude on the part of the Holy See toward the Americanist faction of the American Church. From 1789 through the 1830s, some bishops apparently tried to take advantage of the separation of church and state to establish an American Church that would have been as exceptional in its democratic procedures as the country in which it prospered. Carroll and John England exemplified this attitude, whereas traditionalists had their champion in Maréchal. The latter favored strong dependence on the Holy See and consequently enjoyed the full support of Roman officials. As far as the Holy See was concerned, however, such a dichotomy between Amencanists and Romanists was never an explicit issue.28 Rome favored and appreciated Carroll, the innovative Americanist, as much as Maréchal, the stubborn traditionalist. What really mattered to Holy See bureaucrats was the pursuance of a moderate policy of compromise with the government in power, which applied to the United States as well as to any other country in the North Atlantic world.
Plessis’ long administration of the Quebec diocese might be viewed as the high point in this well-established relationship between church and government. He repeatedly and publicly thanked God for allowing the conquest of Canada and consequently sparing Canada the horrors of the French Revolution. Plessis’ 1817 election to the legislative council of Lower Canada is a telling case in point. When he received the crown’s offer, which required no less than an amendment to the Quebec Act, Plessis asked for the Holy See’s opinion and approval. Then, being reassured by the lieutenant-governor of Lower Canada, John Coape Sherbrooke, that “he could accept without compromising either his conscience or his principles” because “the government had taken the most appropriate measure to express its gratitude for his services,” he acted unilaterally, took possession of his seat, and never regretted his decision. At first Propaganda Fide noted that Plessis’ acceptance would have been an unforgivable scandal “in another century” because the legislative council was a Protestant body.29 Ultimately, however, after five years of internal debate, the Holy See did not object. In fact the Roman officials’ conduct in such a potentially controversial situation was not exceptional. Roughly in the same period, the Holy See showed a similar attitude about Troy’s initial wavering position toward the notion of a royal veto over episcopal appointments and about the election of Sulpician Gabriel Richard (1767-1832) as congressman for the Michigan Territory in 1823.30
The subdivision of the archdiocese of Quebec into a number of self-governing and ethnically oriented bishoprics represented another potential controversy. Still, differences among Plessis, McDonell, Angus Bernard MacEachern, and Edmund Burke (1753-1820) had more to do with clashing personalities and a good dose of ethnic bias than ecclesiastical politics. All these ecclesiastics fully shared a compliant attitude toward the British crown. McDonell in Upper Canada accepted the substantial emoluments the crown granted him in view of his crucial role in keeping good order among the Irish. These subsidies continued to increase. The Holy See itself was somewhat startled by this practice. Yet, following in the footsteps of its own decisions concerning Lower Canada, it did not disapprove.31 Thomas Weld, McDonell’s coadjutor, was a shareholder in the Canada Company. MacEachern enjoyed friendly relationships with several high crown officials, from whom he received substantial pensions and extensive land properties on par with the yearly allowances granted to the bishops of Quebec. Though Burke, the most vociferous among his colleagues, accused Plessis of being too subservient to the crown, he did just the same by siding with Carleton, then Baron Dorchester, on the issue of the non-confessional university to be established in Quebec. When the lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, asked in 1794 for a “loyal Clergyman” who could “counteract any improper opinions and transactions” in the Detroit area, Carleton selected Burke. There he upheld the British cause to such an extent that he even annoyed the local French-Canadian priests. The published and private writings of these men throughout the North Atlantic world, whatever their ethnic background, show a striking commonality of intentions, long-term strategies, and even short-term tactics. At first this accommodating attitude was due to the early feeling of surprise and relief that the status of the Church strengthened after 1760. This feeling rapidly developed into a conviction that loyalty to the British crown, together with a certain amount of compromise, prevented any change for the worse in the status quo. Foremost in their minds were the tragedies brought about by what Thomas Hussey (1746-1803), principal chaplain at the Spanish embassy in London, referred to in 1790 as the “French disease.”32 This attitude became commonplace among Catholic officials after the French Revolution and remained unchanged throughout the Napoleonic Wars and the post-1815 Bourbon Restoration. It was indeed shared by all parties, including the crown and Holy See officials.
Yet insecurity lingered. The more they gained, the more the bishops of Quebec feared their privileges could be rescinded. Indeed in the British Empire, just as in Napoleonic France, Catholics could take nothing for granted. Would the next secretary of state be as well disposed as the current? Would a challenged lieutenant-governor switch to a less generous attitude? How far should a bishop go with his requests? Should he support or quash his faithful’s demands for change? Briand asked his faithful to be loyal to their new crown. If they acted differently, he reminded them, they ran the risk of being “stripped of all the privileges that he [the king] was so good to grant.” Two generations later another bishop, Plessis, reminded his vicar general in London, François-Emmanuel Bourret (ca. 1741-1807), of all the repressive statutes enacted by the crown from 1759 to 1774. These statutes, he warned, were still extant, and only the right amount of compromise on both sides had so far forestalled their implementation. Plessis feared that the arrival of the new lieutenant-governor of Lower Canada, Robert Shore Milnes, could mean the enactment of the crown’s never-abandoned, long-term policy of assimilation. His fears remained the same in the following years. The War of 1812 offered yet another opportunity for the Lower Canadian Church to show its loyalty to the government: “The clergy and the Catholic people profess their most decided loyalty towards it ... our Catholics have been shown to accept any temporal sacrifice for the defence of their country,” he explained to Troy. Plessis’ strategy did not change over the years. Catholics must “sometimes contain their wish to enlarge its establishment [of the Catholic religion] lest they lose even a part of the freedom which they enjoy, a freedom that they would not be able to find in several countries, where it is called state religion.” The whole of Plessis’ career wavered between a sense of accomplishment and a constant feeling of insecurity. Plessis’ fellow prelates in the North Atlantic world constantly expressed similar sentiments. In Newfoundland, for example, a cautious O’Donel criticized Burke, Troy, and Franciscan Arthur O’Leary (1729-1802), chaplain of the Spanish embassy in London, for writing overly strong anti-Protestant pastoral letters. Though he allowed that they might have been right in principle, O’Donel feared that those writings would provoke anti-Catholic repression. In the Maritime Provinces, MacEachern remarked that Catholics needed to seize the opportunity offered by the accommodating attitude of the current colonial ministry: “Who knows how long the same policy may prevail in the cabinet?”33
Despite their continued calls for loyalty, moderation, compromise, and accommodation, the North Atlantic bishops’ recipe for survival and expansion worked best in former French Canada, which was the “promised land, the land of milk and honey” that all North American bishops, especially the American ones, tried to copy. Benoît-Joseph Flaget, the bishop of Bardstown, traveled to Canada in 1818, and almost fifteen years later he still recalled that visit as the most satisfactory of his lifetime. According to a Louisiana priest, no church in any village or countryside of Europe could boast the perfection of Canadian churches.34 Outside Lower Canada, however, the territorial growth of the Church exposed a number of local conflicts that could threaten its general stability and orderly existence under the Holy See’s traditional leadership. Essentially, these conflicts fall within two major categories: ethnic rivalry and the trustee controversy. They continued for more than a half century throughout North America and were directly related to the ethnic composition of the waves of immigration in the period. As such these conflicts raged with particular violence during the two decades following 1815, which marked the beginning of sizable Atlantic migrations. It was also the year of Carroll’s death, Napoleon’s final abdication, and the end of the Congress of Vienna. Yet neither ethnic rivalry nor the trustee controversy represented a direct challenge to the conservative political attitude on which church leaders based their strategy for survival and expansion in North America.
In the United States, the urban intermingling of several “national” communities laid the groundwork for ethnic hatred among the faithful and their ecclesiastical representatives. Carroll was well aware that separation of church and state did not prevent enemies from within from eroding his model church. As early as 1788, he was embroiled in a major controversy with a community of German origin in Philadelphia. Two years later he begged the small Boston community to “lay aside national distinctions & attachments, & strive to form not Irish, or English, or French Congregations & Churches, but Catholic-American Congregations & Churches.” The disproportionate number of bishops, parish priests, and missionaries of French origin further exacerbated ethnic tensions. These ecclesiastics often despised their Irish faithful, who made up almost all their community. Ethnic rivalry was also present in British North America, where it involved Scottish and Irish communities as well as Acadians.35 There the French-speaking Quebec church was a powerful presence. North of the border, ethnic rivalry did not normally degenerate into a slanderous and violent confrontation as it had in the United States because ethnic communities rarely mingled or lived in proximity. Historians of the Catholic Church, who customarily interpret conflict within a national or regional framework, do not deny the existence of ethnic rivalry. Their opinions about it, however, vary. Historians of the British North American Church believe that differences between the French-speaking bishops of Quebec and the clerical representatives of the Irish and Scottish communities were irreconcilable. In their view each community legitimately fought for its own survival (the French Canadians) or for its emancipation (the Irish and the Scottish). Historians of the American Church downplay ethnic rivalry and make it only one element in the struggle for church democratization in which the partisans of a modern, decentralized American Church opposed the proponents of a traditional, hierarchical Ultramontane Church. Undoubtedly, ethnic rivalry caused a number of crises that, during several decades, threatened the stability of the North American Church. When historians examine local evidence in the larger North Atlantic context, though, it appears that ethnic groups did not represent a direct challenge to the conservative policy and the strategy of accommodation espoused by all church leaders, regardless of their different ethnic allegiances. In itself, then, ethnic rivalry was neither conservative nor anticonservative and represented only one element in the overall political conflict.36
The trustee controversy was a struggle for power that occurred in mainly urban districts between the corporation of laymen (or trustees) and the canonically appointed episcopal representatives. At the core was the right claimed by trustees, as legal managers of all ecclesiastical temporalities and duly elected representatives of the faithful, to hire and dismiss their priests at their pleasure. This right, called trusteeism, was not acknowledged by the bishops, who adduced canon law and the sacramental nature of any ordained priest. In the United States, disturbances directly linked to the trustee controversy continued for more than seventy years, from 1785 in New York City to 1855 in Buffalo. Historians in the pre-Second Vatican Council era thoroughly condemned the trustees’ demands as an aberration of church discipline and welcomed the normalization the Holy See and the bishops’ party ultimately imposed on the American Church, whereas historians in the post-Second Vatican Council era are more sympathetic to the trustees’ demands. They place them in a general bottom-up reinterpretation of Church history that focuses on the community (that is, the faithful served by the ordained hierarchy). In essence religious history replaces Church history. American historian Patrick Carey attributes the trustee controversy to the democratization of the Church in a context of major immigration and the absence of government interference.37
Undoubtedly, the language used by the trustees in their fight against episcopal authority was republican and democratic. In the 1790s such language had become common currency in the whole North Atlantic world. One broadside among many produced by the two main opposing parties illustrates the character of the polemics. Undated and signed “A Catholic,” this broadside was produced around 1818 by the trustees of Saint Patrick’s Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Its target was Maréchal (the “enemy”). The broadside claimed American Catholics were “free citizens of this sovereign and independent state.” As such they owed “high and indispensable duty ... to this country, and to its constitution, laws and government,” which were mainly symbolized by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, “both evidently founded upon the natural and social rights of our kind.” Indeed, the broadside author argued, there was no doubt that their principles “emanate[d] from the laws of nature,” since the “whole frame of government and its system of civil polity is novel, and never before acted upon in the world.” According to the broadside, Maréchal insisted that Catholics choose whether “to be governed by the sacred laws of the Catholic Church” or “to make use of the liberty we enjoy under our free and happy government to introduce into the spiritual and temporal administration of [the] congregation sectarian principles, totally subversive of the discipline ... [of] the whole Catholic world.” The broadside author refuted Maréchal’s dichotomy, writing that to be a good Catholic meant to be a real American and that “all Pastors should be appointed by their respective congregations.” In their struggle against Henry Conwell, bishop of Philadelphia, who was their legitimate superior, the trustees went as far as using the Holy See’s approval of the veto system in Ireland to bolster their own case, a most audacious parallel. By allowing the veto right to a Protestant king, they claimed, the Holy See admitted the principle “that the government represented and acted for all its subjects.” In the United States, however, the “government is precluded from interfering in the religious concerns of any of its citizens.” Thus the full power of ecclesiastical appointments was vested in the trustees as the only legitimate representatives of the people. The republican and democratic language of so many claims made by the trustees may not have always corresponded to organized political opposition to the established authority. If their conservative attitude is the common ground on which the church leaders based their strategy in the North Atlantic world, can trusteeism, “very American and clearly republican,” be regarded as a major exception?38 When the trustee controversy is examined in the North American context, Carey’s thesis loses some of its strength.
Trusteeism was not a unique American phenomenon because all its components appeared in most of British North America in the same period, with the exception of French Canada. Lower Canada and its western dependencies were the only places where the trustee system failed to erode the bishop’s power and was never a viable alternative. There the marguilliers, as the members of the fabrique were called (that is, the trustees as a body), always regarded themselves as inferior to the parish priest, who in turn professed full hierarchical subordination to his bishop. It was not until the early 1830s, on the eve of the rebellions of 1837-38, that some marguilliers close to the Parti Patriote, an anti-British and anticlerical political party, tried to take over the administration of the parishes by legally disempowering the bishop’s representatives. Outside French Canada, however, evidence of trusteeism is plentiful. According to Canadian historian Terrence Murphy, the earliest record of a lay committee in British North America appears in Saint John, New Brunswick. In Halifax, Capuchin James Jones (ca. 1743-1805), the superior of the Nova Scotia missions, refused to accept this new system, “to wit, in entering into a compact, with the people for a salary,” which he considered an “American idea” more proper of “modern sectaries, [who] wish to have the priest on hiveling.” In the Atlantic provinces of British North America and the United States, legal conditions were similar, without any structured system to accommodate the Church or offer any special protection to it. (In British North America, however, the crown certainly accommodated the Church, and even in the United States exceptions to the First Amendment were occasionally made.) Therefore the initiative to ask permission, raise money, build a chapel or a church, obtain the assistance of the Irish or Scottish clergy, and eventually recruit a priest fell entirely on the shoulders of self-appointed committees of affluent Catholics. Once the church was built, those who put up the money managed the property as trustees, just as they did in the United States. Jones’ reference to the trustee system as an American idea is telling: the system was foreign, yet its presence in Nova Scotia was real. Republicanism and democracy may have supplied the language to the trustees’ claims on both sides of the border, but neither was a significant element in British North America, where no republican structures were at play and no prevailing democratic political climate existed.39 Thus Carey’s direct link between the republican and democratic language used by the trustees and their political opposition to the established authority does not seem to be as strong as he claims.
Though innovative in several ways, the trustee controversy was also rooted in and indeed complicated by an Old Regime tradition of church conflicts over status in society that persisted well into the mid-nineteenth century. Everyday conflicts of this sort normally concerned, for example, preeminence in processions, invocations in prayers, prominence in blessings, and precedence in the assignment of pews. In a place such as Detroit, which in one generation went through three political regime changes, the contemporary presence of Old Regime demands and a new democratic language is particularly evident. In its two churches, Saint-Anne-du-Détroit and L’Assomption-du-Détroit, controversies mainly derived from the right to use certain pews. Pews were a source of income for parish priests, who rented them out at public auctions. Some of them were assigned, ex officio, to the highest civil and military officials. This system produced a delicate balance based on local prevailing rights. In 1792, the trustees went head-to-head with the parish priest, Pierre Fréchette (1752-1816). In a truly democratic style, they opposed the rules spelled out in the ritual for assigning the pews on the grounds that “they were the masters of their trust [and] could grant pews and privileges to anybody according to their own pleasure.” A few years later, the trustees represented the local population in the struggle between François Baby (1733-1820), the highest-ranking militia officer in the county, and the parish priest, Louis Payet (1749-1801). In a crescendo of violence, pews were successively locked, privately built and installed, then thrown out of the church, until one of the missionaries threatened to call in the royal troops against the French-Canadian culprits and forbade his fellow missionaries from dispensing any religious services to the local population. Though trustees claimed to be the legitimate representatives of the faithful (that is, of the Catholic people) on account of their election, only the democratic language of the trustees distinguishes these new conflicts from those that were a typical feature of the Church under the Old Regime. Another striking example of innovative and indeed republican language masking a typical Old Regime controversy about revenues and power revolved around the thorny issue of a two-thousand-acre White Marsh, Maryland, estate during 1821-25. The contentious issue was whether it should be reserved for the American province of the Society of Jesus or handed over to Archbishop Maréchal. The Jesuits refused to budge, even when the order came directly from Pius VII, on the grounds that reversion of the estate to Maréchal was tantamount to “an invasion of the Holy See into the supreme and independent jurisdiction of our republic.” When the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled in favor of Philadelphia’s Saint Mary’s trustees over its bishop in 1824, the court based its decision on the same legal ground, the interference of “a foreign potentate” in a civil matter. The trustee controversy, then, cannot be construed as a direct challenge to the Church’s overall conservative attitude. Trustees and church officials usually tried to resolve their disputes through cooperation and compromise.40 The republican and democratic language evident in most of the literature arising from the trustee controversy was often strategic rhetoric used for leverage in a specific debate rather than a register of a broader effort to democratize the Church. The Old Regime nature of many of the contests normally associated with that controversy weakens the thesis that these conflicts reflected opposition to the structure of Church authority. Trusteeism has been exaggerated as a threat to the power and authority of the conservative Church leadership.
From 1760 to 1829, a period in which the Western world often seemed on the verge of irreparable destruction, the Roman Catholic Church in the North Atlantic world not just survived but transformed itself into an inherently stronger institution. During the shaking experiences of those revolutionary decades, the Church showed a notable lack of internal dissent and a remarkable unity of intentions, which was certainly shared by its hierarchy and, as far as scholars are able to tell, by the rank-and-file local priests and missionaries. Ruthless and lengthy as they were, not even ethnic rivalry and the trustee controversy, the two major instances of internal conflicts, succeeded in challenging the general stability and orderly existence that the North Atlantic Church enjoyed under the overall direction of the Holy See. In an age of imperial warfare and democratic revolution, leaders of the Catholic Church on all levels shared a political attitude based on an abhorrence of radicalism, a straightforward loyalty to the established government, and a delicate balance between deference and firmness concerning their political and institutional leaders. Aimed as it was at non-Catholic civil governments, this conservative attitude was indeed a momentous novelty. A flexible and accommodating stance toward civil authorities helped Church leaders strengthen their organization and consolidate their power and authority within it. Political necessities became ecclesiastical virtues, with a conservative institution devising a new strategy that allowed the Catholic Church to flourish after 1829.
Reprinted with permission from William and Mary Quarterly 64.4 (2007): 717-56; reformatted and edited to comply with this series.
Recent literature includes Bernard Plongeron, ed., Les défis de la modernité (1750-1840) (Paris, 1997); Frank J. Coppa, The Modern Papacy since 1789 (London, 1998); Nicholas Atkin and Frank Tallett, Priests, Prelates, and People: A History of European Catholicism since 1750 (New York, 2003); Nigel Aston, Christianity and Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1830 (Cambridge, 2002). In this period “Holy See” meant the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, consisting of the pope, the cardinals, and a plethora of bureaucrats who were usually ordained priests and lived in Rome. Its meaning was equivalent to that of “U.S. government” for the United States or “British crown” for Great Britain. The term “Vatican” began to replace Holy See only after the kingdom of Italy conquered Rome in 1870. See Niccolò Del Re, La curia romana: Lineamenti storico-giuridici (Rome, 1952).
On British North America, see Terrence Murphy and Cyril J. Byrne, eds., Religion and Identity: The Experience of Irish and Scottish Catholics in Atlantic Canada, Selected Papers from a Conference on Roman Catholicism in Anglophone Canada: The Atlantic Region, Held at Saint Mary's University, 19-22 September 1984 (Saint John’s, Newfoundland, 1987); Murphy and Gerald John Stortz, eds., Creed and Culture: The Place of English-Speaking Catholics in Canadian Society, 1750-1930 (Montreal, 1993); Murphy, “The English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” in A Concise History of Christianity in Canada, ed. Murphy and Roberto Penn (Toronto, 1996), 108-89, esp. 115-21; Terence J. Fay, A History of Canadian Catholics: Gallicanism, Romanism, and Canadianism (Montreal, 2002), 49-63. On England, see John Bossy, The English Catholic Community, 1570-1850 (London, 1975), 1-7; Matthias Buschkühl, Great Britain and the Holy See, 1746-1870 (Dublin, 1982); Joan Connell, The Roman Catholic Church in England, 1780-1850: A Study in Internal Politics (Philadelphia, 1984), 60-74; Karen Stanbridge, Toleration and State Institutions: British Policy toward Catholics in Eighteenth-Century Ireland and Quebec (Lanham, MD, 2003). On Scotland, see John Cooney, Scotland and the Papacy (Edinburgh, 1982); Christine Johnson, Developments in the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, 1789-1829 (Edinburgh, 1983). On Ireland, see Thomas Bartlett, The Fall and Rise of the Irish Nation: The Catholic Question, 1690-1830 (Savage, MD, 1992); Dáire Keogh, The French Disease: The Catholic Church and Irish Radicalism, 1790-1800 (Dublin, 1993); S. J. Connolly, ed., Political Ideas in Eighteenth-Century Ireland (Dublin, 2000).
For France, see contributions in Plongeron, Les défis de la modernité, esp. 301-737. For the United States, see Jay P. Dolan, “New Directions in American Catholic History,” in New Dimensions in American Religious History: Essays in Honor of Martin E. Marty, ed. Dolan and James P. Wind (Grand Rapids, 1993), 152-74; Patrick Carey, “Recent American Catholic Historiography: New Directions in Religious History,” in New Directions in American Religious History, ed. Harry S. Stout and D. G. Hart (New York, 1997), 445-61; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (New York, 2002); John T. McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History (New York, 2003); Leslie Woodcock Tentler, “On the Margins: The State of American Catholic History,” U.S. Catholic Historian 21.2 (Spring 2003): 77-95; Patrick Allitt et al., “Review Symposium, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History, by John T. McGreevy,” U.S. Catholic Historian 21.4 (Fall 2003): 87-106; Carey, Catholics in America: A History (Westport, CT, 2004); James T. Fisher, “Christopher Kauffman, the U.S. Catholic Historian, and the Future of American Catholic History,” U.S. Catholic Historian 24.2 (Spring 2006): 19-26, esp. 24; Thomas J. Shelley, “American Catholic Identities: A Documentary History,” U.S. Catholic Historian 24.2 (Spring 2006): 27-40. For Quebec, see Lucien Lemieux, Les années difficiles (1760-1839), bk. 1, Les XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, vol. 2, Histoire du catholicisme québécois (Montreal, 1989); Lucia Ferretti, Brève histoire de l’Eglise catholique au Québec (Montreal, 1999), 33-54. Ferretti is the only Quebec historian who places the history of the French-Canadian Church in a general Western conflict that she characterizes as a “struggle against the state for its liberties” (“la lutte pour ses libertés face à l'État,” ibid., 34). Her interpretation is purely national, however, and falls within the traditional framework of church-and-state conflict.
See Jeffrey von Arx, ed., Varieties of Ultramontanism (Washington, DC, 1998). For Canada, see Guy Laperrière, “Vingt ans d’ultramontanisme, en hommage à Philippe Sylvain,” Recherches sociographiques 27.1 (1986): 79-100; Roberto Penn, “Rome as a Metropolis of Canada,” in Italie-Canada-Recherche, ed. Matteo Sanfilippo (Rome, 1991), II: 21-31; Philippe Sylvain and Nive Voisine, Réveil et consolidation (1840-1898) (Montreal, 1991); Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 166-71; Penn, “French-Speaking Canada from 1840,” in Murphy and Penn, Concise History of Christianity in Canada, 190-259, esp. 196-228; Robert Choquette, Canada’s Religions: An Historical Introduction (Ottawa, Ontario, 2004), 173-77; Fay, History of Canadian Catholics, 69-85. For the United States, see Dale B. Light, Rome and the New Republic: Conflict and Community in Philadelphia Catholicism between the Revolution and the Civil War (Notre Dame, 1996), esp. 239-47, 252-56, 269-72, 332, 337 n. 16; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 43-44, 59. For England, see J. Derek Holmes, More Roman than Rome: English Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1978); Holmes, The Triumph of the Holy See: A Short History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1978). For Ireland, see Emmet Larkin, The Historical Dimensions of Irish Catholicism (New York, 1976); Donald Harman Akenson, Small Differences: Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, 1815-1922, An International Perspective (Montreal, 1988), 139-40; Desmond Bowen, “Ultramontanism in Quebec and the Irish Connection,” in The Untold Story: The Irish in Canada, ed. Robert O’Driscoll and Lorna Reynolds (Toronto, 1988), I: 295-305, esp. 295-98; Thomas G. McGrath, “The Tridentine Evolution of Modern Irish Catholicism, 1563-1962: A Re-Examination of the ‘Devotional Revolution’ Thesis,” Recusant History 20.4 (October 1991): 512-23. For France, see Austin Gough, Paris and Rome: The Gallican Church and the Ultramontane Campaign, 1848-1853 (Oxford, 1986); Ralph Gibson, A Social History of French Catholicism, 1789-1914 (London, 1989), 60-61.
On the social utility of the Christian religion, see Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 124-26. Nuns in general are not considered in this article. One could also lament the sparse visibility of the Catholic faithful, that is, the non-ordained lay members of the Catholic Church. Yet the state of the current historiography does not allow me to extend general remarks or conclusions about the clergy to nuns and to the faithful in general in such a lengthy chronological framework and vast geographic scope. Leslie Woodcock Tentler shares this opinion (Tentler, U.S. Catholic Historian 21: 80-81, 90, 93-94). As invariably happens in the history of the early modern Western world, written sources tend to become less numerous and less consistent the more scholars proceed downward from the top of the hierarchy (the bishops) toward the local priests and missionaries. The latter, however, were not silent, and they made their voices heard whenever they needed to do so, esp. when they became involved in controversies. With few exceptions, duly noted in this article, their papers show that these local priests and missionaries fully shared the conservatism of their leaders. In the period I cover in this article, especially prominent in this Atlantic clerical network were John Douglas and William Poynter, vicars apostolic in the London district; Irish-born James Louis O’Donel and Edmund Burke, vicars apostolic in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; Scottish-born Alexander McDonell and Angus Bernard MacEachern, vicars apostolic in Upper Canada and the Maritime Provinces; John Thomas Troy and Daniel Murray, archbishops of Dublin; and the several archbishops of Baltimore and Quebec. The Scottish vicars apostolic were less forthcoming with their North American colleagues, probably on account of their meager human and financial resources at home. For the inner working of Propaganda Fide, see Finbar Kenneally, ed., United States Documents in the Propaganda Fide Archives: A Calendar. First Series, 7 vols. (Washington, DC, 1966-81); Luca Codignola, Guide to Documents Relating to French and British North America in the Archives of the Sacred Congregation “de Propaganda Fide” in Rome, 1622-1799 (Ottawa, 1991); Codignola, Vatican: Archives of the Sacred Congregation “de Propa ganda Fide” [1622-1830], in ArchiVIA 4. Colonial Archives. Finding Aids on CD-ROM (Ottawa, Ontario, 1996). On the conservative tradition of the European Christian churches as opposed to Christian liberalism in North America, see Mark A. Noll, The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI, 2002), 24, 227-30.
Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty, eds., Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada, 1759-1791, 2d ed. (Ottawa, 1918), pt. 1: 115-16 (art. 4, quotations, 115), 3, 6 (Quebec, art. 6), 15-18, 30-32 (Montreal, arts. 27-35); Reginald Coupland, The Quebec Act: A Study in Statesmanship (Oxford, 1925), 208-17, esp. 211-13. For the French version of the treaty, see Zenab Esmat Rashed, The Peace of Paris, 1763 (Liverpool, 1951), app. 1, “Copy of the Original Text of the Definitive Treaty,” 212-29, esp. 216. For the historiography on Briand, see, on the one side, Marcel Trudel, L’Église canadienne sous le régime militaire, 1759-1764, 2 vols. (Quebec City, 1956-57); Trudel, “La servitude de l’église catholique au Canada français sous le régime anglais,” La Société Historique du Canada, Rapport 31 (1963): 42-64; F. Murray Greenwood, Legacies of Fear: Law and Politics in Quebec in the Era of the French Revolution (Toronto, Ontario, 1993), 18-19; Ferretti, Brève histoire de l’Église catholique, 38-39; Trudel, Le régime militaire et la disparition de la Nouvelle-France, 1759-1764 (Montreal, 1999); Adrien Thério, ed., Un siècle de collusion entre le clergé et le gouvernement britannique: Anthologie des mandements des évêques (1760-1867) (Montreal, 1998). On the other side, see Hilda Marion Neatby, “Jean-Olivier Briand: A ‘Minor’ Canadian,” Canadian Historical Association, Report 31 (1963): 1-16; André Vachon, Mgr Jean-Olivier Briand (1715-1794) (Quebec City, 1979); Guy-Marie Oury, Mgr Briand: Evêque de Québec et les problèmes de son époque (Quebec City, 1985); Gilles Chaussé, “French Canada from the Conquest to 1840,” in Murphy and Perin, Concise History of Christianity in Canada, 56-107, esp. 60-61.
Jean-Olivier Briand to Étienne Montgolfier, Quebec, February 1762, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, Quebec City, ser. 20A, sub ser. 1, doc. no. 89 (“our masters”); Briand to the Acadians of Île Saint-Jean, Cap-Breton, Nouvelle-Écosse, and Gaspésie, Quebec, Aug. 16, 1766, ibid., ser. 22A, subser. 3, doc. no. 274 (“your present”); “Mandement pour faire chanter un Te Deum en action de grace pour le bienfait de la paix,” Briand to the secular and regular clergy and to the faithful of the government of Quebec, Quebec, June 4, 1763, in H. Têtu and C.-O. Gagnon, eds., Mandements lettres pastorales et circulaires des évêques de Québec (Quebec City, 1888), II: 168-71 (“Where are,” II: 169); Briand to Pierre de La Rue, abbé de L’Isle-Dieu, Quebec, Oct. 15, 1768, in Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Vatican City, ser. Missioni, vol. 53 (unfoliated, “peace reigns”); Briand to [Giuseppe Maria Castelli], [Quebec], Oct. 15, 1772, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 20A, subser. 1, doc. no. 159 (“iniquity is despised”). See also James Murray to Briand, Quebec, May 31, 1763, ibid., ser. 60CN, subser. 1, doc. no. 13. That things were now better than under the French regime seems to have been the realization shared by many. See abbé de L’Isle-Dieu to Castelli, Paris, Nov. 17, 1766, Dec. 21, 1767, in Archivio Segreto Vaticano, ser. Missioni, vol. 53. This sentiment of surprise is well described in Cornelius J. Jaenen, The Role of the Church in New France (Toronto, Ontario, 1976), 65.
Proclamation, Oct. 7, 1763, in Shortt and Doughty, Documents Relating to History of Canada, pt. 1: 163-68 (quotation, 163); Eric Jarvis, “His Majesty’s Papist Subjects: Roman Catholic Political Rights in British West Florida,” Gulf South Historical Review 16.1 (Fall 2000): 6-19. The Treaty of Paris left half of Louisiana to France, but France had already given it to Spain in the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762. On Louisiana, see Angel Santos Hernández, “Presencia misionera en la antigua Luisiana,” Missionalia Hispanica 32.94 (1975): 77-101; John Edward Harkins, “The Neglected Phase of Louisiana’s Colonial History: The New Orleans Cabildo, 1769-1803” (Ph.D. Diss., Memphis State University, 1976); John Preston Moore, Revolt in Louisiana: The Spanish Occupation, 1766-1770 (Baton Rouge, LA, 1976); Carl A. Brasseaux, The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803 (Baton Rouge, LA, 1987), 73-89; Alfred E. Lemmon, “Spanish Louisiana: In the Service of God and His Most Catholic Majesty,” in Cross, Crozier, and Crucible: A Volume Celebrating the Bicentennial of a Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, ed. Glenn R. Conrad et al. (New Orleans, 1993), 16-29. For the abbé de L’Isle-Dieu and Pierre Gibault, see Pierre de La Rue, abbé de L’Isle-Dieu to [Propaganda Fide], Paris, Aug. 14, 21, 1769, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation “de Propaganda Fide,” Vatican City, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 1: fols. 254, 257-59. See also Pierre Gibault to Jean-Olivier Briand, Kaskaskia, June 15, 1769, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 6, doc. no. 18; [Propaganda Fide] to abbé de L’Isle-Dieu, Rome, Aug. 30, 1769, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Lettere, 214: fols. 260v-61r. For the early years of Louisiana under the United States, see Annabelle M. Melville, “John Carroll and Louisiana, 1803-1815,” Catholic Historical Review 64.3 (July 1978): 398-440.
Giuseppe Maria Castelli to [Mario Marefoschi], [Rome], Jan. 21, 1766, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congregazioni Particolan, 137: fols. 69-72 (“return all the right”); [Castelli] to Jean-Olivier Briand, Rome, Sept. 8, 1773, ibid., ser. Lettere, 222: fol. 475 (“calm and tranquillity”). On the formulation of the briefs, see Pietro Pamphili Colonna to Castelli, Paris, Mar. 14, 1764, in Archivio Segreto Vatica no, ser. Missioni, vol. 53. On the French priests and the Montreal bishopric, see [Leonardo Antonelli] to François-Joseph Sorbier de Villars, Rome, Sept. 6, 1783, July 5, 1784, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Lettere, 242: fols. 666-67r, 244: fols. 559-60r; Jean-François Hubert to [Antonelli], Quebec, Oct. 24, 1789, ibid., ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 894: fols. 160-63; [Antonelli] to Hubert, [Rome], Feb. 6, 1790, ibid., ser. Lettere, 258: fols. 76-79r.
On the suppression of the Society of Jesus, see Christopher Stonor to [Stefano Borgia], [Rome], [September 1773], in Westminster Diocesan Archives, London, ser. B, 137: 188-93 (“any notable change,” 189); Richard Challoner to Stonor [and Borgia], [London], Sept. 24, 1773, ibid., 137: 198-200. See also Thomas M. McCoog, ed., “Promising Hope”: Essays on the Suppression and Restoration of the English Province of the Society of Jesus (Rome, 2003); Luca Codignola, “The Policy of Rome towards the English-Speaking Catholics in British North America, 1750-1830,” in Murphy and Stortz, Creed and Culture, 100-25, esp. 101-02. On the salary to Bailly de Messein, see Francis Legge to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, Halifax, Aug. 25, 1774, in Colonial Office Series 217/50, fols. 147-59, National Archives, Kew, Eng.; [Earl of Dartmouth] to Francis Legge, [London], Oct. 5, 1774, ibid., CO 217/50, fols. 160-61; Claude Galarneau, “Bailly de Messein, Charles-François,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, ed. George W. Brown et al. (Toronto, Ontario, 1979), IV: 41-44, esp. 41. On spiritual jurisdiction, see Codignola, “Policy of Rome,” 108-10. On the practice of financial assistance, see W. S. MacNutt, The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712-1857 (Toronto, 1965), 118-19. For contemporary estimates of American Catholics, see Fisher [Challoner] to [Stonor], [London], Sept. 14, 1756, in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. B, vol. 45, no. 135; Challoner to [Giuseppe Maria Castelli], [London], Sept. 10, 1773, ibid., ser. A, vol. 41, no. 133, in J. H. Whyte, “The Vicars Apostolics’ Returns of 1773,” Recusant History 9.4 (January 1968): 205-14, esp. 208. See also Charles H. Metzger, Catholics and the American Revolution: A Study in Religious Climate (Chicago, 1962), 138-53; James Hennesey, American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States (New York, 1981), 42, 55. Incidentally, Catholics were also 1 percent of the population in England and Wales. See Bossy, English Catholic Community, 185; Ian R. Christie, Wars and Revolutions: Britain, 1760-1815 (London, 1982), 3, 158-59. On the comparison between the status of the Church in the British continental colonies and in Quebec, see Ferdinand Farmer [Steinmeyer] to Bernard Well, Philadelphia, Apr. 22, 1773, in Archives de l'Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 2, doc. no. 124. At the time Farmer and Well were both subjects of the British crown.
[John Carroll] to [Leonardo Antonelli], Maryland, Nov. 10, 1783, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 328-31 (quotation). Thomas O’Brien Hanley has published a copy of a similar letter, allegedly addressed to Vitaliano Borromeo, with a slightly different wording in English. See Hanley, ed., The John Carroll Papers (Notre Dame, IN, 1976), I: 80-81. American historians take for granted that Catholics sided with the revolutionaries on account of their adhesion to Enlightenment ideas. See, for example, Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 14-26. The implication is that Catholic leaders in British North America, Great Britain, and Ireland, all of whom opposed the American Revolution, did not share these Enlightenment ideas. See a more varied picture in Jason Kennedy Duncan, “‘A Most Democratic Class’: New York Catholics and the Early American Republic” (Ph.D. Diss., University of Iowa, 1999), 86-89, 108-10, 111-12. According to American religious historian Edwin S. Gaustad, neither revolutionaries nor loyalists “follow[ed] clear religious lines” (Gaustad, “Religion before the Revolution,” in A Companion to the American Revolution, ed. Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole [Malden, Mass., 2000], 63). On John Carroll’s early years, see Annabelle M. Melville, John Carroll of Baltimore: Founder of the American Catholic Hierarchy (New York, 1955), 11-37. For the most recent literature on Carroll’s political philosophy, see Carla Bang, “John Carroll and the Enlightenment,” in American Catholic Preaching and Piety in the Time of John Carroll, ed. Raymond J. Kupke (Lanham, MD, 1991), 107-36; Joseph M. McShane, “John Carroll’s Controversy with the Philosophes,” Thought 66.262 (September 1991): 279-96; Charles Edwards O’Neill, “John Carroll, the ‘Catholic Enlightenment’ and Rome,” in Kupke, American Catholic Preaching and Piety, 1-26; Thomas W. Jodziewicz, “American Catholic Apologetical Dissonance in the Early Republic? Father John Thayer and Bishop John Carroll,” Catholic Historical Review 84.3 (July 1998): 455-76. On the Carroll family background, see Ronald Hoffman, Sally D. Mason, and Eleanor S. Darcy, eds., Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat, as Told by Charles Carroll of Carrollton and His Father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, with Sundry Observations on Bastardy, Child-Rearing, Romance, Matrimony, Commerce, Tobacco, Slavery, and the Politics of Revolutionary America, 3 vols. (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001).
“Mandement au sujet de l’invasion des Américains au Canada,” Briand to the People of this Colony, Quebec, May 22, 1775, in Têtu and Gagnon, Mandements lettres pastorales et circulaires, II: 264-65 (“your country,” 265, “free practice,” 264); François-Joseph Sorbier de Villars to [Leonardo Antonelli], Paris, Feb. 4, 1781, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 1: fols. 341-42 (“so reasonable”). The pastoral letter addressed to the Canadian rebels that followed the attack on Quebec City was longer and more elaborate. See “Mandement aux sujets rebelles durant la guerre américaine,” Briand to the Inhabitants of this Diocese, [Quebec], [May 12, 1776], ibid., 269-79. On hostile American reactions to the Quebec Act, see Francis D. Cogliano, No King, No Popery: Anti-Catholicism in Revolutionary New England (Westport, CT, 1995), esp. 46-52. On the American diplomatic mission to Quebec, see Brantz Mayer, ed., Journal of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, during His Visit to Canada in 1776, as One of the Commissioners from Congress: With a Memoir and Notes by Brantz Mayer, Cor. Soc. Md. Hist. Soc. (Baltimore, 1845); Mary Rita, MSC, “The Failure of a Mission,” Canadian Catholic Historical Society, Report 26 (1958): 39-51; Cogliano, No King, No Popery, 65-66. Benjamin Franklin, who was later to suggest to the Holy See that Carroll be appointed bishop of Baltimore, met him during this expedition. Priests who sided with the Americans were Gibault, Jesuit Pierre-René Floquet, Franciscan Recollets François-Louis Chartier de Lotbinière, Claude Carpentier, and Jean-Jacques Berthiaume, former Jesuit Joseph Huguet, and Sulpician Pierre Huet de La Valinière. On the Church and the revolutionary years in Quebec, see Laval Laurent, Québec et l’Église aux États-Unis sous Mgr Briand et Mgr Plessis (Montreal, 1945); Hilda Neatby, Quebec: The Revolutionary Age, 1760-1791 (Toronto, 1966); Gustave Lanctôt, Canada and the American Revolution, 1774 -1783 (Toronto, 1967).
[Claude-Florent Bouchard, abbé de La Poterie], A Pastoral Letter from the Apostolic Vice-Prefect, Curate of the Holy Cross at Boston, Feb. 22, 1789 (“prosperity of Congress”). For the earlier period in abbé de La Poterie’s life, see also William Hurst to James Robert Talbot, [Paris], Feb. 19, Mar. 25, 1784, in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. A, vol. 42, nos. 304-05. On Catholics’ legal status under the new regime of church and state separation, see Thomas J. Curry, The First Freedoms: Church and State in America to the Passage of the First Amendment (New York, 1986); Mark A. Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Grand Rapids, MI, 1992), 144-48; Patrick W. Carey, “American Catholics and the First Amendment: 1776-1840,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 113.3 (July 1989): 323-46; Mark Douglas McGarvie, One Nation under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (DeKalb, IL, 2004), 3-20. For the view that the Constitution did not really intend to separate church and state, see Philip Hamburger, Separation of Church and State (Cambridge, MA, 2002), 19-20; Charles J. Reid Jr., “Review of Religious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. Haiman,” Catholic Historical Review 91.4 (October 2005): 859-61, esp. 860 (a review). For John Carroll’s attitude and prayer, see John Carroll to Mathew Carey, Baltimore, Apr. 8, 1789, in Lea and Febiger Records, MS 227B, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; abbé de La Poterie to Leonardo Antonelli, Boston, Jan. 6, 1790, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 541-42; John Carroll, “John Carroll’s Prayer for the Civil Authorities, November 10, 1791,” in John Tracy Ellis, ed., Documents of American Catholic History (Milwaukee, 1956), 178-79.
The basic documentation was first published by Carl Russell Fish, ed., “Documents Relative to the Adjustment of the Roman Catholic Organization in the United States to the Conditions of National Independence, 1783-1789,” American Historical Review 15.4 (July 1910): 800-29. The traditional American interpretation appears in Gerald P. Fogarty, Commonwealth Catholicism: A History of the Catholic Church in Virginia (Notre Dame, IN, 2001), 21. For opposition to the idea of any episcopal appointment, see Patricia U. Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America (New York, 1986), 199-209. For John Carroll’s earliest application, see Carroll to Leonardo Antonelli, Maryland, Feb. 27, 1785, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 447-52. On the attitude of the Episcopal Church leading to the Constitution and canons of 1789, see Frederick V. Mills Sr., Bishops by Ballot: An Eighteenth-Century Ecclesiastical Revolution (New York, 1978); Mills, “Bishops and Other Ecclesiastical Issues, to 1776,” in Greene and Pole, Companion to the American Revolution, 179-83. For the promotion to full bishop, see Carroll, Robert Molyneux, and John Ashton to Pius VI, Baltimore, Mar. 12, 1788, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 516-17. See also Carroll to Antonio Dugnani, Maryland, Feb. 23, 1789, ibid., ser. Fondo Vienna, subser. Congressi, 26: fol. 147; General Congregation, Rome, Sept. 14, 1789, ibid., ser. Acta, 159: fols. 378v-381r; [Antonelli] to Molyneux, Ashton, Charles Sewall et al., [Rome], Nov. 14, 1789, ibid., ser. Lettere, 255: fols. 599v-600. For the policy of noninterference, see [Benjamin Franklin] to [Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphili], [Paris], [August 1783], ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 309-10 (Franklin remarked that religious toleration was a state responsibility and Congress was not to interfere).
See the earliest petition in [John Carroll] to [Propaganda Fide], Maryland, Nov. 10, 1783, Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 328-31; John Lewis, Bernard Diderick, Ignatius Matthews, James Walton, and Carroll to Pius VI, [Maryland], Nov. 10, 1783, ibid., 2: fols. 349-50. The simple confirmation of John Lewis, the current superior, requested by both petitions, was quickly dismissed by the Holy See on account of old age and of Franklin’s own preference for Carroll. See [Leonardo Antonelli] to Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphili, [Rome], Jan. 15, Sept. 7, 1783, June 9, Sept. 25, 1784, ibid., ser. Lettere, 242: fols. 53-68, 244: fols. 487-92, 781-82r. For the preference for a local missionary, see Stefano Borgia to François-Joachim de Pierre, cardinal de Bernis, Rome, Jan. 13, 1783, ibid., 243: fols. 1v-2; [Doria Pamphili] to [Benjamin Franklin], [Paris], [August 1783], ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 312-13; [Doria Pamphili] to Anne-César, La Luzerne, [Paris], May 12, 1784, ibid., 2: fols. 371, 374. For the John Carroll candidacy, see Doria Pamphili to La Luzerne, [Paris], May 12, 1784, ibid., 2: fols. 375, 378; [Antonelli] to Carroll, [Rome], June 9, 1784, July 23, 1785, ibid., ser. Lettere, 244: fols. 492v-95, 246: fols. 437v-41; Doria Pamphili to Antonelli, Paris, July 5, Aug. 23, 1784, ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 401-04,413-14; François Marbois, marquis de Barbé-Marbois, to Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, Philadelphia, Mar. 27, 1785, ibid., 2: fols. 459-60; [Antonelli] to Carroll, Robert Molyneux, and John Ashton, [Rome], July 12, 1788, ibid., ser. Lettere, 252: fols. 491v-93r; [Antonelli’s internal memorandum], [Rome], [Sept. 14, 1789], ibid., ser. Congregazioni Particolari, 145: fols. 113-16.
Franklin’s diary, July 1, 1784, in Albert Henry Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (New York, 1907), X: 349. On French diplomats and American congressmen, see [Leonardo Antonelli] to Doria Pamphili, [Rome], Jan. 15, Mar. 19, 1783, July 31, 1785, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Lettere, 242: fols. 58-59, 196v-98, 244: fols. 624-25; Doria Pamphili to Antonelli, Paris, Feb. 10, Sept. 1, 1783, May 17, July 5, 1784, ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 271-72, 300-03, 379-81, 386, 401-04; Anne-César, chevalier de La Luzerne, to Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, Annapolis, Jan. 31, 1784, ibid., 2: fols. 351, 354. On Benjamin Franklin, John Lewis, and John Carroll, see [Franklin] to [Doria Pamphili], [Paris], [August 1783], ibid., 2: fols. 304, 307, 309-10; Doria Pamphili to Antonelli, Paris, May 17, 1784, ibid., 2: fols. 379-81, 386; [Antonelli] to Carroll, [Rome], June 9, 1784, ibid., ser. Lettere, 244: fols. 492v-95; [Antonelli’s internal memorandum], [Rome], [Sept. 14, 1789], ibid., ser. Congregazioni Particolari, 145: fols. 113-16. A sample taken in 1829 shows that, of 646 bishops of the Latin Church, 67 had been nominated by local chapters or similar institutions that used electoral methods and 24 were direct papal nominations and appointments. No fewer than 555, however, were crown nominations. See Robert F. Trisco, “An American Anomaly: Bishops without Canons,” Chicago Studies 9.2 (Summer 1970): 143-57; Garrett Sweeney, “The Primacy: The Small Print of Vatican I,” in Bishops and Writers: Aspects of the Evolution of Modern English Catholicism, ed. Adrian Hastings (Wheathampstead, Eng., 1977), 179-206, esp. 199-200; Sweeney, “The ‘Wound in the Right Foot’: Unhealed?” ibid., 207-34, esp. 207-19.
Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphili to Leonardo Antonelli, Paris, Aug. 23, 1784, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 2: fols. 413-14 (“revolutions”). For swinging American sympathies toward France, see William C. Stinchcombe, The American Revolution and the French Alliance (Syracuse, NY, 1969), 1, 205, 208; Lawrence S. Kaplan, “Toward Isolationism: The Rise and Fall of the Franco-American Alliance, 1775-1801,” in The American Revolution and “A Candid World,” ed. Kaplan (Kent, OH, 1977), 134-60; M.-J. Rossignol, “L’obsession de la conspiration, ou toute la vérité sur l’influence française aux États-Unis,” in L’Amérique et la France: Deux révolutions, ed. Élise Marienstras (Paris, 1990), 131-43; Duncan, “Most Democratic Class,” 169-76; Thomas C. Sosnowski, “French Émigrés in the United States,” in The French Émigrés in Europe and the Struggle against Revolution, 1789-1814, ed. Kirsty Carpenter and Philip Mansel (New York, 1999), 138-50, esp. 145-48; Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, “Refugiés or Émigrés? Early Modern French Migrations to British North America and the United States (c. 1680-c. 1820),” Itinerario 30.2 (2006): 12-32. For the massacre, see Donald Greer, The Incidence of the Terror during the French Revolution: A Statistical Interpretation (Cambridge, MA, 1935), 161-63; John McManners, The French Revolution and the Church (London, 1969), 86-97; J. F. Bosher, The French Revolution (New York, 1988), 178-81; Ivan Gobry, Dictionnaire des martyrs de la Révolution (Bagneux, France, 1990), 5; Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 125; Nigel Aston, Religion and Revolution in France, 1780-1804 (Washington, DC, 2000), 140-62, 188, 215-16, 233. For the refugees’ waves, see Greer, The Incidence of the Emigration during the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 1951); Jacques Godechot, La contre-révolution: Doctrine et action, 1789-1804 (Paris, 1961), 152; Owen Chadwick, The Popes and European Revolution (Oxford, 1981), 448; Carpenter, “London: Capital of the Emigration,” in Carpenter and Mansel, French Émigrés in Europe, 43-67, esp. 61-62 n. 5. For the ecclesiastical refugees in Britain, see Dominic Aidan Bellenger, The French Exiled Clergy in the British Isles after 1789: An Historical Introduction and Working List (Bath, 1986); Bellenger, “‘Fearless Resting Place’: the Exiled French Clergy in Great Britain, 1789-1815,” in Carpenter and Mansel, French Émigrés in Europe, 214-29; Carpenter, Refugees of the French Revolution: Émigrés in London, 1789-1802 (New York, 1999).
C.-F. Volney [Constantin-François Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney], Tableau du climat et du sol des Etats-Unis d’Amérique: suivi d’éclaircissemens sur la Floride, sur la colonie Française au Scioto, sur quelques colonies Canadiennes et sur les Sauvages ..., 2d ed. (Paris, 1803), I, ii (“haven of peace”); Antonio Dugnani to Francesco Saverio Zelada, Carpentras, Nov. 2, 1789, in Archivio Segreto Vaticano, ser. Segreteria di Stato, subser. Francia, 580: fols. 97v-98r (“best option”); John Carroll to [Jean-François Hubert], Baltimore, May 12, 1793, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 1, doc. no. 5 (“if anything”); William Poynter to Joseph-Octave Plessis, [London], Feb. 25, 1819, ibid., ser. 90CM, subser. 2, doc. no. 34 (“recover in America”). Though few in absolute figures, the French-speaking ecclesiastics who fled to North America formed a power network that continued to produce high-ranking members of the U.S. hierarchy until two generations after the revolutionary events that had triggered their departure from France. These men and women shared not only their language but also their cultural background. They were well-educated people with high moral standards and unobjectionable public behavior. Furthermore, their excellent training and profound devotion, together with their unexpectedly tolerant attitude toward diverse conditions, made their presence useful to the North American Church and, at least in frontier areas, facilitated relationships between Catholics and Protestants. See Gibson, Social History of French Catholicism, 80; Codignola, “Policy of Rome,” 100-03; Marcel Fournier, Les Français au Québec, 1765-1865: un mouvement migratoire méconnu (Sillery, Quebec, 1995); Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 124; Margaret C. DePalma, Dialogue on the Frontier: Catholic and Protestant Relations, 1793-1883 (Kent, OH, 2004), xv. On the Roman bureaucracy, see Del Re, La curia romana; Peter Partner, The Pope’s Men: The Papal Civil Service in the Renaissance (Oxford, 1990). On Propaganda Fide specifically, see J. Metzler, ed., Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide Memoria Rerum: 350 anni a servizio delle missioni, 1622-1972, 3 vols. (Rome, 1971-76). On its disarray, see E. E. Y. Hales, Revolution and Papacy, 1769-1846 (Garden City, NY, 1960); Metzler, “Die Kongregation in der Zeit Napoleons (1795-1815),” in Metzler, Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide, II: 84-118; Chadwick, Popes and European Revolution; Margaret M. O’Dwyer, The Papacy in the Age of Napoleon and the Restoration: Pius VII, 1800-1823 (Lanham, MD, 1985).
See Pierre H. Boulle and Richard A. Lebrun, eds., Le Canada et la Révolution française: Actes du 6e colloque du ClEE. 29, 30, 31 octobre 1987 (Montreal, 1989); Michel Grenon, ed., L’image de la Révolution française au Québec, 1789-1989 (Ville LaSalle, Quebec, 1989); Greenwood, Legacies of Fear, 63-69, 72-73, 91-92. For Detroit, see François-Xavier Dufaux to [Jean-François Hubert], Detroit, Sept. 2, 1796, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 5, doc. no. 124 (“God Save the People”); Jean-Baptiste Marchand to Hubert, L’Assomption-du-Détroit, Jan. 31, 1797, ibid., doc. no. 132. See also Patrick W. Carey, People, Priests, and Prelates: Ecclesiastical Democracy and the Tensions of Trusteeism (Notre Dame, 1987), 327 n. 36. In 1796, Upper Canada observed the Quebec ritual, which was still based on [Jean-Baptiste de La Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier], Catechisme du diocese de Quebec par Monseigneur l’Illustrissime & Reverendissime Jean de la Croix de saint Valier, Evêque de Quebec: en faveur des Curez & des Fideles de son Diocese (Paris, 1702). Detroit observed the Baltimore ritual, as codified in the proceedings of the First Synod of Baltimore. See “Synod Report,” Nov. 7-8, 1891, in Hanley, John Carroll Papers, I: 526-41. The only incident involving the relationship between the higher hierarchy and the British government was a dispute between Hubert and his coadjutor, Charles-François Bailly de Messein, which concerned the support to be granted to the government’s 1789 proposal for the establishment of a nonconfessional university in the province of Quebec, which Bishop Hubert opposed. See Léon Pouliot, “L’enseignement universitaire catholique au Canada français de 1760 à 1860,” Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française 12.2 (September 1958): 155-69, esp. 156-59. The Holy See stood behind the bishop’s policies and severely reprimanded Bailly de Messein (Hubert to Leonardo Antonelli, Quebec, Nov. 8, 1790, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 1: fols. 504-07; [Propaganda Fide] to Bailly de Messein, [Rome], Apr. 6, 1791, ibid., ser. Lettere, 260: fols. 173v-76).
Joseph-Octave Plessis to John Thomas Troy, Quebec, Dec. 21, 1813, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, ser. AB2, subser. 28, subsubser. 1, item no. 300, fols. 397-98 (“submitted to the veto”). A similar veto system had been applied in Corsica in 1794 when it was seized by the British. See Vincent J. McNally, Reform, Revolution, and Reaction: Archbishop John Thomas Troy and the Catholic Church in Ireland, 1787-1817 (Lanham, MD, 1995), 79; Aston, Christianity and Revolutionary Europe, 203. For the securing of Bailly de Messein’s nomination, see Jean-Olivier Briand to [Joseph-Marie de La Come de Chaptes, abbé de L’Étoile], Quebec, July 27, , in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 22A, subser. 4, doc. no. 153; Briand to [Giuseppe Maria Castelli], [Quebec], Oct. 15, 1772, ibid., ser. 20A, subser. 1, doc. no. 159. On Propaganda Fide’s approval, see Briand’s memorandum, Quebec, [June 15, 1763], ibid., ser. 71CD, subser. 1, doc. no. 1 [item 2]; [Propaganda Fide] to La Come de Chaptes, Rome, Mar. 16, 1768, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Lettere, 212: fols. 114v-15. On the Holy See’s late attempt, see Placido Zurla to [Propaganda Fide], [Rome], Jan. 27, 1834, ibid., ser. Acta, 197: fols. 66-67; [Angelo Mai] to [Propaganda Fidel, [Rome], Oct. 4, 1834, ibid., ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 960: fols. 773-74. In 1821, Ambroise Maréchal strongly encouraged Plessis to request of the Holy See the right to present new bishops, unaware that the bishops of Quebec already enjoyed that power in practice. In the same year, the bishop of New Orleans regretted that no such solution existed for his own succession. See Maréchal to Plessis, Baltimore, Jan. 6, 1821, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 1, doc. no. 29; Louis-Guillaume-Valentin Dubourg to Plessis, Basse-Louisiane, Feb. 25, 1821, ibid., doc. no. 103. On Maréchal’s wish to be entrusted with overseeing all American appointments, see Fogarty, Commonwealth Catholicism, 56-67.
James Louis O’Donel to [Joseph-Octave Plessis], Saint John’s, Newfoundland, May 12, 1799, May 14, 1800, May 10, 1802, Aug. 29, 1805, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 3OCN, subser. 1, doc. nos. 4, 8, 15 (“happiest people”), 25. See also O’Donel to John Thomas Troy, Saint John’s, Dec. 8, 1792, Dec. 27, 1793, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ser. AB2, subser. 116, subsubser. 5, item nos. 103, 155; O’Donel to Erasmus Gower, Saint John’s, Oct. 11, 1805, in CO 194/44, fols. 203-04, National Archives. For O’Donel’s report, see O’Donel to [John Jones], [Saint John’s], May 5, 1785, in Hans Rollmann, “John Jones, James O’Donel and the Question of Religious Tolerance in Eighteenth-Century Newfoundland: A Correspondence,” Newfoundland Quarterly 80.1 (Summer 1984): 23-27, esp. 25-26. For O’Donel’s assistance to Charles Morice Pole, see Kildare Dobbs, “Newfoundland and the Maritimes: An Overview,” in O’Driscoll and Reynolds, Untold Story, I: 175-94, esp. 179; Thomas Scallan to [Francesco Fontana], Saint John’s, Oct. 6, 1822, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 350-51. In Newfoundland Ultramontanism, another expression of the radicalism deplored by O’Donel, began with Michael Anthony Fleming, who became vicar apostolic in 1830.
That Ireland was not a particularly violent country is the opinion of Thomas Bartlett, “An End to Moral Economy: The Irish Militia Disturbances of 1793,” Past and Present 99 (May 1983): 41-63, esp. 43; Bartlett, Fall and Rise of Irish Nation, 13-14. Patrick J. Corish, The Irish Catholic Experience: A Historical Survey (Wilmington, DE, 1985), 139, is of a different opinion. For John Thomas Troy’s moderate views, see Troy, A Pastoral Instruction on the Duties of Christian Citizens: Addressed to the Roman Catholics of the Archdiocess of Dublin (Dublin, 1793). On Irish radicalism, Troy, and the Catholic Church, see S. J. Connolly, Priests and People in Pre-Famine Ireland, 1780-1845 (Dublin, 1985), 223-25; Dáire Keogh, “Archbishop Troy, the Catholic Church and Irish Radicalism: 1791-93,” in The United Irishmen: Republicanism, Radicalism, and Rebellion, ed. David Dickson, Keogh, and Kevin Whelan (Dublin, 1993), 124-34; Keogh, French Disease, 137; McNally, Reform, Revolution, and Reaction, 63-68, 93-94, 103; Keogh, “‘The Pattern of the Flock’: John Thomas Troy, 1786-1823,” in History of the Catholic Diocese of Dublin, ed. James Kelly and Keogh (Dublin, 2000), 215-36. Contrary to their clergy, the Irish peasants were much less aware of the nature of the French Revolution. See Marianne Elliott, “The Origins and Transformation of Early Irish Republicanism,” International Review of Social History 23.3 (1978): 405-28, esp. 419. Bishop Iraklii Lisovskii, the primate of the Uniate Church in Belorussia, shared Troy’s political views. See James T. Flynn, “Contrasting Similarities: Bishops Troy and Lisovskii in Ireland and Belorussia in the Age of the French Revolution,” Catholic Historical Review 87.2 (April 2001): 214-28, esp. 228. Despite previous differences over the American Revolution, John Carroll also praised Troy for his efforts in dealing with his own radicals (Carroll to Troy, Georgetown, Dec. 14, 1795, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ser. AB2, subser. 116, subsubser. 6, item no. 95).
Patrick J. Corish, Maynooth College, 1795-1995 (Dublin, 1995), 1-87; McNally, Reform, Revolution, and Reaction, 72-73, 82; Keogh, “Pattern of the Flock,” 233; Daniel Murphy, A History of Irish Emigrant and Missionary Education (Dublin, 2000), 120-21. On the royal veto, see John Thomas Troy to Leonardo Antonelli, Dublin, Feb. 28, 1795, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ser. AB2, subser. 116, sub subser. 6, item no. 972. On Daniel Murray, see Mary Purcell, “Dublin Diocesan Archives: Murray Papers,” Archivium Hibernicum 36 (1981): 51-140, 37 (1982): 29-121, 38 (1983): 43-127, 39 (1984): 62-87, 40 (1985): 35-114, 41(1986): 3-63, 42 (1987): 49-117; Donal Kerr, “Dublin’s Forgotten Archbishop: Daniel Murray, 1768-1852,” in Kelly and Keogh, History of the Catholic Diocese, 247-67. On Troy’s and the Irish bishops’ support for the union with Britain, see McNally, Reform, Revolution, and Reaction, 81; Keogh, French Disease, 213-17; Bartlett, Fall and Rise of Irish Nation, 249-51. On the Catholic Church in Ireland, see Oliver MacDonagh, “The Politicization of the Irish Catholic Bishops, 1800-1850,” Historical Journal 18.1 (March 1975): 37-53, esp. 38-39, 53; Kerby A. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (New York, 1985), 83 (for an overall judgment on the conservatism of the Irish clergy); Jacqueline Hill, “Religious Toleration and the Relaxation of the Penal Laws: An Imperial Perspective, 1763-1780,” Archivium Hibernicum 44 (1989): 98-109; Kevin Whelan, “The Catholic Community in Eighteenth-Century County Wexford,” in Endurance and Emergence: Catholics in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, ed. T. P. Power and Whelan (Dublin, 1990), 129-70, esp. 156; David W. Miller, “Irish Christianity and Revolution,” in Revolution, Counter-Revolution and Union: Ireland in the 1790s, ed. Jim Smyth (New York, 2000), 195-210.
John Douglas’ diary, in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. Z, vol. 72 (“true loyalty,” vol. 1: Apr. 18, 1807-May 12, 1807); “An Address of Several of His Majesty’s Roman Catholic Subjects to Their Protestant Fellow Subjects” (1807), in Joseph P. Chinnici, The English Catholic Enlightenment: John Lingard and the Cisalpine Movement, 1780-1850 (Shepherdstown, WV, 1980), 17-18 (“absolve or dispense”), 194. William Poynter to Joseph-Octave Plessis, [London], Feb. 25, 1819, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 90CM, subser. 2, doc. no. 34 (“great cause”); Alexander McDonell to Thomas Weld, Montreal, Oct. 24, 1833, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 3: fols. 184-85 (“levelling democratical principles”). For Scotland, see Johnson, Developments in the Roman Catholic Church, 89. See also Cooney, Scotland and the Papacy, 13-16. Catholics in Scotland were about 2 percent of the population. These Roman correspondents of the British and North American bishops were ecclesiastics such as John Thomson, their procurator; Robert Gradwell at the Venerable English College; Paul Macpherson and Angus MacDonald at Scots College; and brothers James MacCormick and Michael MacCormick, both Franciscans Observant, at the Irish College of St. Isidore. Their network included John Farquharson at the Scots College in Douai. The Lower Canadian French-speaking bishops who had allegedly helped foster the insurgency were none other than Jean-Jacques Lartigue, then auxiliary bishop in Montreal, and Pierre-Flavien Turgeon, the newly appointed coadjutor of the archbishop of Quebec (Joseph Signay). For a parallel between Lower Canadian and Irish churches concerning the attitude toward rebellion, see [Thomas Maguire], Doctrine de l’Eglise catholique d’Irlande et de celle du Canada, sur la revolte: Recueil de pièces constatant l’uniformité de cette doctrine dans les deux pays, et sa conformité avec celle de l'Eglise universelle (Quebec City, 1836), which was published on the eve of the rebellions of 1837-38. Born in Philadelphia, Maguire was a priest of international experience and later the coadjutor of the vicar apostolic in Nova Scotia.
Gerald P. Fogarty, “Lay Trusteeism: Yesterday and Today,” America (Nov. 19, 1966): 656-59 (“complete ignorance,” 658); Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 36-37; Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman to Thomas Weld, [Rome], Nov. 9, 1830, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 817-18 (“business-like method”). For the Holy See’s slowness, see Codignola, “Policy of Rome,” 106-07.
This statement on Propaganda Fide’s attention to North America is based on my experience with the Archives of the Sacred Congregation “de Propaganda Fide” in Rome, the archival repository that, in this period, best reflects the volume of the Holy See’s activities that concerned the North Atlantic world. It can easily be verified through N. Kowalsky and J. Metzler, Inventory of the Historical Archives of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples or “de Propaganda Fide” (Rome, 1983). For Maréchal’s anger, see Ambroise Maréchal to Joseph-Octave Plessis, Baltimore, Oct. 3, 1820, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 1, doc. no. 28. For Propaganda Fide’s background plan, see [Francesco Saverio Castiglioni] to [Propaganda Fide], [Rome], [February 1823], in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Acta, 186: fols. 76-82. See also Luca Codignola, “Pius VIII and North America, 1816-1830,” Annali Accademici Canadesi 10-11 (1995): 3-35, esp. 25. The activity of these cardinals, their colleagues, and other lower bureaucrats can be traced in Kenneally, United States Documents; Codignola, Guide to Documents; Codignola, Vatican. For the 1808 establishment of new bishoprics, see Congregazione Particolare, [Rome], Mar. 4, 1808, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Acta, 177: fols. 309-44. The North Atlantic framework was clear in the cardinals’ minds. It was remarked that this arrangement was customary with the four archbishops and twenty-two bishops of Ireland as well as with the vicars apostolic in England, Scotland, and Newfoundland.
The distinction between pre- and post-Second Vatican Council historians is current among historians of the Catholic Church. (The Second Vatican Council took place from 1962 to 1965.) Members of the old school include for example Peter Keenan Guilday, Thomas Timothy McAvoy, and John Tracy Ellis. See David J. O’Brien, “American Catholic Historiography: A Post-Conciliar Evaluation,” Church History 37.1 (March 1968): 80-94; J. Douglas Thomas, “American Catholic Interpretations of Church and State: John Gilmary Shea, Peter Guilday, Thomas T. McAvoy, and John Tracy Ellis,” Journal of Church and State 27.2 (Spring 1985): 267-83; Carey, “Recent American Catholic Historiography,” 446. American historian Peter R. D’Agostino has argued that post-Second Vatican Council American historians’ own political agenda made them extoll the national character of their Church and downplay its pervasive conservative, let alone Ultramontane, nature. See D’Agostino, Rome in America: Transnational Catholic Ideology from the Risorgimento to Fascism (Chapel Hill, NC, 2004). Rather than to Rome’s reactionary attitude, a number of significant appointments must be ascribed to an Irish lobby that was powerful in Rome in the Pius VII years, when the five direct papal appointments that were made were all bestowed on Irish bishops: Richard Luke Concanen, John Connolly, Patrick Kelly, John England, and Henry Conwell. (The other indirect appointments responded to local suggestions.) See Sweeney, “‘Wound in the Right Foot,’” 216.
Joseph-Octave Plessis to [Lorenzo Litta], [Quebec], July 26, 1818, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 919: fols. 152-53 (“he could accept”); Plessis to Pietro Caprano, Quebec, Aug. 19, 1824, ibid., 937: fols. 52 1-24 (Plessis announcing his taking possession of the seat); Emanuele De Gregorio to Propaganda Fide, [Rome], November 1818, ibid., 919: fols. 154-61 (“in another century”). Plessis was coadjutor (1800-1806), bishop (1806-19), and archbishop of Quebec (1819-25). Fearing the crown’s displeasure, he refused to use his title as archbishop, which the Holy See had bestowed on him. In effect Henry Bathurst, Earl Bathurst, then secretary of state for war and the colonies, took this promotion badly and felt that Quebec and Rome had unduly taken advantage of his openness. William Poynter was immediately summoned to the ministry and asked to convey his displeasure to Rome. See Peter Phillips, ed., The Diaries of Bishop William Poynter, V.A. (1815-1824) (London, 2006), 185-86, 191 (Aug. 21, 25, 27, Sept. 10, Nov. 12, 1819). For Plessis’ view of the conquest of Canada, see for example Plessis, Discours a l’occasion de la victoire remportée par les forces navales de sa majesté britannique dans la Mediterrannée le 1 et 2 aout 1798, sur La Flotte Francoise ... (Quebec City, 1799); Plessis, “L’Oraison funèbre de Mgr Briand,” Bulletin des recherches historiques 11.11 (November 1905): 323-38, esp. 329-30; Plessis, “Oraison funèbre de Mgr Briand,” Bulletin des recherches historiques 11.12 (December 1905): 353-58. On Plessis and the French Revolution, see James H. Lambert, “Monseigneur, the Catholic Bishop: Joseph-Octave Plessis, Church, State, and Society in Lower Canada; Historiography and Analysis” (Ph.D. Diss., Université Laval, 1981), 256-59, 273 -78. Lambert’s is still the best biography of Plessis. For the Quebec Act, see Earl Bathurst to John Coape Sherbrooke, [London], Apr. 30, 1817, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 937: fols. 757-58.
Plessis’ acceptance of a seat in the Legislative Council was potentially so controversial that the Sulpicians of Montreal did not fail to fully exploit it in a dispute with the bishop from the late 1810s to the early 1830s. The Sulpicians accused Plessis of being bought out by the crown, whose final objective was dispossessing all ecclesiastical communities of their goods. See John MacDonald to [Francesco Fontana], Paris, May 18, 1821, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 937: fols. 443-46; Placido Zurla to Propaganda Fide, [Rome], March [February] 1830, ibid., ser. Acta, 193: fols. 72-81, 84-99; Lucien Lemieux, L’établissement de la première province ecclésiastique au Canada, 1783-1844 (Montreal, 1968), 139-66. When John Thomas Troy manifested his opposition to the veto power rumored to be granted to the British crown over the nomination of Catholic bishops in Corsica, Antonelli, the prefect of Propaganda Fide, rebuked him and reminded him that the Irish bishops owed “esteem and gratitude” toward George III and that it was the bishops’ duty to instill loyalty and obedience in their community. See McNally, Reform, Revolution, and Reaction, 79 (quotation); Keogh, French Disease, 79-80. Similarly, Pius VII expressed his wish that Poynter would satisfy the English government and not meddle in politics, seemingly alluding to the fact that some Irish clergy had displeased the government. See Phillips, Diaries of Bishop William Poynter, 13. On Gabriel Richard’s election, see Frank B. Woodford and Albert Hyma, Gabriel Richard: Frontier Ambassador (Detroit, MI, 1958), 112-28; Brian Wilson, “The Spirit of the Motor City: Three Hundred Years of Religious History in Detroit,” Michigan Historical Review 27.1 (Spring 2001): 21-56. Richard himself espoused democratic principles. See Carey, People, Priests, and Prelates, 327 n. 36.
See Luca Codignola, “Conflict or Consensus? Catholics in Canada and in the United States, 1780-1820,” Historical Studies 55 (1988): 43-59, esp. 51-54. On Plessis’ point of view, see Joseph-Octave Plessis to [Lorenzo] Caleppi, Quebec, Sept. 12, 1809, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 172-73; Phillips, Diaries of Bishop William Poynter, 184 (Aug. 16, 1819). On Bishop Alexander McDonell, see J. E. Rea, Bishop Alexander Macdonnell and the Politics of Upper Canada (Toronto, 1974); Kathleen M. Toomey, Alexander MacDonell: The Scottish Years, 1762-1804 (Toronto, 1985). Given its many acceptable variants, I have chosen to use the “McDonell” spelling throughout this article, which reflects his signature in several of his early letters. On Upper Canada, see Robert Choquette, “English-French Relations in the Canadian Catholic Community,” in Murphy and Stortz, Creed and Culture, 3-24, esp. 9-10. On Angus Bernard MacEachern, see Francis W. P. Bolger, “The First Bishop,” in The Catholic Church in Prince Edward Island, 1720-1979, ed. Michael F. Hennessey (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1979), 22-57; Allan MacDonald, “Angus Bernard MacEachern, 1759-1835: His Ministry in the Maritime Provinces,” in Murphy and Byrne, Religion and Identity, 53-67. On Edmund Burke, see Leonora A. Merrigan, “The Life and Times of Edmund Burke in Nova Scotia, 1801-1820” (M.A. Thesis, Saint Mary’s University, 1971); Michael Power, A History of the Roman Catholic Church in the Niagara Peninsula, 1615-1815 (Saint Catharines, Ontario, 1983), 155-73; Patrick M. Tucker and Dennis M. Au, “Resurrection: Documenting the History of the Lost Parish of ‘Saint-Antoine sur la Rivière-aux-Raisins,’ Part 1; The Early Years,” Michigan’s Habitant Heritage 23.3 (July 2002): 105-20; Tucker and Au, “Resurrection: Documenting the History of the Lost Parish of ‘Saint-Antoine sur la Rivière-aux-Raisins,’ Part 2; A Holy Place during Evil Times,” Michigan’s Habitant Heritage 24.1 (January 2003): 16-24. For McDonell’s role, see Alexander McDonell to William Poynter, [London], [Aug. 9, 1825], in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 936: fols. 352-53; McDonell to Thomas Weld, York [Toronto], July 2, 1833, ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 3: fols. 162-63; William P. MacDonald et al. to McDonell, Kingston, July 12, 1833, ibid., 3: fol. 161. The first move toward McDonell’s appointment had been made not by Rome but by the crown. See Phillips, Diaries of Bishop William Poynter, 252 (Dec. 6, 1824).
J. G. Simcoe to Lord Dorchester, Aug. 8, 1794, in E. A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieut. Governor John Graves Simcoe, with Allied Documents Relating to his Administration of the Government of Upper Canada (Toronto, 1924), II: 361 (“loyal Clergyman”). See also Thomas Aston Coffin to E. B. Littlehales, Sept. 15, 1794, ibid., 3: 90. Keogh, French Disease, 27 (“French disease”). On Weld’s participation in the Canada Company, see Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman to [Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari or Castruccio Castracane degli Antelminelli], [Rome], July 10, 1829, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 684-85: McDonell to Weld, York [Toronto], July 2, 1833, ibid., 3: fols. 162-63. Weld never went to Upper Canada, becoming a cardinal instead. The Canada Company was the land development agency through which the crown funded the Catholic Church in Upper Canada. For MacEachern’s friends and revenues, see Angus Bernard MacEachern to Paul Macpherson, St. Andrew’s, July 8, 1824, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 937: fols. 431, 436; MacEachern to Macpherson, Prince Edward Island, Aug. 31, 1825, ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 8: fols. 453-54. On Burke’s allegations against Plessis, see Edmund Burke to Lorenzo Litta, Rome, Feb. 12, 1816, ibid., ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 261-62; Joseph-Octave Plessis to Robert Gradwell, Quebec, Jan. 19, 1824, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 210A, subser. 11, doc. no. 420; Plessis to Pietro Caprano, Quebec, Aug. 19, 1824, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Scritture Originali Riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali, 937: fols. 521-24. On Burke’s own practice, see Bourke [Edmund Burke], Letter of Instruction to the Roman Catholic Missionaries of Nova-Scotia, and Its Dependencies (Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1804), 3. See also Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 126. For the French-Canadian priests, see Pierre Fréchette to Jean-François Hubert, Detroit, Oct. 23, 1795, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 5, doc. no. 111; Burke to John Thomas Troy, Maumee, Feb. 2, 1795, in Edmund Burke Papers, Archives of the Archdiocese of Halifax, Nova Scotia, vol. 1, no. 53; Burke to [Litta], London, Sept. 16, 1818, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 243-54. The two local French-Canadian priests were François-Xavier Dufaux and Pierre Fréchette. See also F. Clever Bald, Detroit’s First American Decade, 1796 to 1805 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1948), 9-11; George Pare, The Catholic Church in Detroit, 1701-1888 (Detroit, MI, 1951), 249-50; Murphy, “English-Speaking Colonies to 1854,” 126-27.
“Mandement pour faire chanter un Te Deum en action de grace pour le bienfait de la paix,” Jean-Olivier Briand to the secular and regular clergy and to the faithful of the government of Quebec, Quebec, June 4, 1763, in Têtu and Gagnon, Mandements lettres pastorales et circulaires, II: 168-71 (“stripped of all,” 170); Joseph-Octave Plessis to John Thomas Troy, Quebec, Dec. 21, 1813, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ser. AB2, subser. 28, subsubser. 1, item no. 300, fols. 397-98 (“loyalty towards it”); Plessis to Lorenzo Litta, Quebec, Nov. 23, 1816, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 269-70 (“sometimes contain their wish”); Angus Bernard MacEachern to William Poynter, Prince Edward Island, Dec. 12, 1824, in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. A, vol. 65, folder 6 B 3 [item no. 4] (“Who knows”). On Plessis’ fear of the repressive statutes, see Plessis to François-Emmanuel Bourret, Quebec, May 10, 15, 1807, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 210A, subser. 6, doc. no. 16. For Plessis’ fear and insecurity, see Plessis to Caleppi, Quebec, Sept. 12, 1809, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 172-73; Plessis to Alexander McDonell, Quebec, Aug. 29, 1824, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 210A, subser. 12, doc. no. 54. See also [Jean-Henri-Auguste Roux] to [Propaganda Fide], [Rome], [December 1826], in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 634-39, describing in detail the precariousness of the Catholic Church’s legal status in Lower Canada since 1763. For Newfoundland, see James Louis O’Donel to Troy, Saint John’s, Newfoundland, Dec. 27, 1793, in Archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ser. AB2, subser. 116, subsubser. 5, item no. 155; O’Donel to Edmund Burke, Saint John’s, Apr. 8, 1804, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 3OCN, subser. 1, doc. no. 20. For this overall feeling of insecurity throughout British North America, see Greenwood, Legacies of Fear; Jerry Bannister, The Rule of the Admirals: Law, Custom, and Naval Government in Newfoundland, 1699-1832 (Toronto, 2003), 218-19.
Louis-Antoine Langlois and François-Bernard to Joseph-Octave Plessis, Baltimore, July 30, Aug. 20, 1806, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 3, doc. no. 102 (“promised land,” July 30, 1806). For Flaget, see Benoit-Joseph Flaget to Plessis, along the Ohio River, Nov. 11, 1815, ibid., subser. 1, doc. no. 85; Carl Friedrich, Grand-Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, to Plessis, Philadelphia, Oct. 16, 1825, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 4: fols. 538-45; Benolt-Joseph Flaget to Joseph Signay, [Bardstown?], May 30, 1833, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 1, doc. no. 95. For the Louisiana priest, see Bertrand Martial to Luigi Lambruschini, Montreal, Aug. 25, 1828, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 617-18.
V. J. Fecher, A Study of the Movement for German National Parishes in Philadelphia and Baltimore (1787-1802) (Rome, 1955), 93 (“national”); Carroll, “To the Congregation of Boston,” Baltimore, Apr. 30, 1790, in Hanley, John Carroll Papers, I: 440-41 (“lay aside,” 441). For the German community, see Jay P. Dolan, “Philadelphia and the German Catholic Community,” in Immigrants and Religion in Urban America, ed. Randall M. Miller and Thomas D. Marzik (Philadelphia, 1977), 69-83; Steven M. Nolt, Foreigners in Their Own Land: Pennsylvania Germans in the Early Republic (University Park, PA, 2002), 112. American historian James Hennesey described the “Failure of Carroll’s Plans” (Hennesey, American Catholics, 89-100). Of the bishops ordained from 1790 to 1800, fifteen spoke French, eleven were born in Ireland, eight were born in the United States, three spoke Spanish (appointed to New Orleans and California), and one each came from the Italian peninsula, Great Britain, and the German states. See Charles N. Bransom Jr., Ordinations of U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1790-1989: A Chronological List (Washington, DC, 1990), 11-18. On ethnic rivalry, see Hennesey, American Catholics, 98-100; Randall M. Miller, “A Church in Cultural Captivity: Some Speculations on Catholic Identity in the Old South,” in Catholics in the Old South: Essays on Church and Culture, ed. Miller and Jon L. Wakelyn (Macon, GA, 1983), 28; Terrence Murphy, “The Emergence of Maritime Catholicism, 1781-1830,” Acadiensis 13.2 (Spring 1984): 29-49, esp. 37; Akenson, Small Differences, 143; Codignola, Historical Studies 55: 57-59; Hans-Jürgen Grabbe, “European Immigration to the United States in the Early National Period, 1783-1820,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 133.2 (June 1989): 190-214, esp. 194; David T. Gleeson, The Irish in the South, 1815-1877 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001), 74-79. For ethnic rivalry in British North America, see for example John Carroll (1798-1839) to Joseph Signay, Saint John, New Brunswick, May 28, 1832, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 311CN, subser. 2, doc. no. 100; Angus Bernard MacEachern to Bernard-Claude Panet, [Charlottetown], Aug. 15, 1832, ibid., ser. 310CN, subser. 1, doc. no. 127.
For the United States, see Fogarty, America 115: 656-57; Joseph P. Chinnici, “American Catholics and Religious Pluralism, 1775-1820,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 16.4 (Fall 1979): 727-46; Hennesey, American Catholics, 69-88; Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (Garden City, NY, 1985), 104-16, 194-95; Patrick W. Carey, “Republicanism within American Catholicism, 1785-1860,” Journal of the Early Republic 3.4 (Winter 1983): 413-37, esp. 415, 435-36; Noll, Old Religion in a New World, 15; Light, Rome and the New Republic, xii-xiii, esp. 95-244; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 38-39, 44-45. Of course, the “immigrant church,” that is, ethnic rivalry, is at the core of Jay P. Dolan’s social interpretation of the history of the Catholic Church in the United States (ibid., 6). Still, he views ethnicity as a precondition for political action on the American front rather than a constraint for parallel and separate ethnic histories within the same church. The latter is the interpretive framework normally used by historians of British North America except for Murphy and Penn, Concise History of Christianity in Canada. At the time few priests attributed this rivalry to political rather than ethnic causes; one who did so was Irish-born William Taylor (possibly a Dominican), a resident of New York City ca. 1820-28. Another was Jesuit Giovanni Antonio Grassi (1775-1849), an intelligent observer from the Italian peninsula who lived in Georgetown from 1810 to 1817. On ethnic rivalry, see Codignola, Historical Studies 55. On Irish republicanism in the United States, see Maurice R. O’Connell, Irish Politics and Social Conflict in the Age of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, 1965); Maurice J. Bric, “The Irish and the Evolution of the ‘New Politics’ in America,” in The Irish in America: Emigration, Assimilation and Impact, ed. P. J. Drudy (Cambridge, 1985), 143-68; Bric, “The American Revolution and Ireland,” in Greene and Pole, Companion to the American Revolution, 511-14, esp. 512; Kevin Whelan, “The Green Atlantic: Radical Reciprocities between Ireland and America in the Long Eighteenth Century,” in A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660-1840, ed. Kathleen Wilson (Cambridge, 2004), 213-38, esp. 216-25.
See Patrick J. Dignan, A History of the Legal Incorporation of Catholic Church Property in the United States (1784-1932) (Washington, DC, 1933); Robert Trisco, “Bishops and Their Priests in the United States,” in The Catholic Priest in the United States: Historical Investigations, ed. John Tracy Ellis (Collegeville, MN, 1971), 111-292, esp. 112-26. The only bishop who did not oppose the rights claimed by the trustees was Irish-born John England, who was bishop of Charleston from 1820 to 1842. See Patrick Carey, An Immigrant Bishop: John England’s Adaptation of Irish Catholicism to American Republicanism (Yonkers, NY, 1982); Daniel F. Kearns, “Bishop John England and the Possibilities of Catholic Republicanism,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 102.1 (January 2001): 47-67; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 36; Harvey Hill, “American Catholicism? John England and ‘The Republic in Danger,’” Catholic Historical Review 89.2 (April 2003): 240-57. A similar movement had taken place somewhat earlier in the Church of England, where “by 1789 the Protestant Episcopal Church had adopted a republican type ecclesiastical constitution which permitted the parish laity to elect by democratic process delegates who, in equal number with the clergy, would vote in convention to elect by majority ballot the episcopal candidates” (Mills, Bishops by Ballot, x [quotation], 307). For the overall view of trustee disturbances, see Carey, People, Priests, and Prelates, 1, 108. On the historiographical framework, ibid., 3-5. Carroll’s early description of his contest with the schismatic German priests, in which ethnicity is directly linked to politics, accords well with Patrick Carey’s explanation (Carroll, “To Leonardo Antonelli,” Baltimore, Apr. 23, 1792, in Hanley, John Carroll Papers, 2: 26-39, esp. 32, 38). An assessment of Carey’s book appears in Robert F. Trisco, Bishops and Their Priests in the United States, 2d ed. (New York, 1988), i-vi. Jay P. Dolan fully subscribes to Carey’s view (Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 28-30, 33-36). For an assessment of Dolan’s social history approach, see Carey, “Recent American Catholic Historiography,” 445-61.
A Catholic, To the Catholic Congregation of St. Patrick’s Church in the Borough of Norfolk and State of Virginia (Norfolk, [1818?]), “enemy”; Reflections on the Dissension Actually Existing in St. Mary’s Congregation: Respectfully Addressed to His Excellency the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania ... By a Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, 1824), 13 (“represented and acted”); Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism, 35 (“very American”). For the Virginia background, see Fogarty, Commonwealth Catholicism, 39-45.
James Jones to [Joseph-Octave Plessis], Bath, Mar. 8, 1801, in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 90CM, subser. 1, doc. no. 19 (“entering into a compact”). Jones’ dispute with the trustees is discussed in Terrence Murphy, “Trusteeism in Atlantic Canada: The Struggle for Leadership among the Irish Catholics of Halifax, St John’s, and Saint John, 1780-1850,” in Murphy and Stortz, Creed and Culture, 126-51, esp. 130; Matteo Binasco, “James Jones: An Irish Catholic Missionary in Nova Scotia, 1785-1800,” in Canada: le rotte della libertà; Atti del Convegno internazionale, Monopoli, 5-9 ottobre 2005, ed. Giovanni Dotoli (Fasano, Italy, 2006), 569-76. Though the Constitution specifically barred the federal government from intervening in religious matters, some treaties with the aboriginal nations did just that. See for example Article 16 of the Treaty of Fort Meigs, otherwise called “Treaty with the Wyandot” (Sept. 29, 1817), which implicitly acknowledged the Catholicism of the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi nations by allowing them to grant to the rector of Sainte-Anne-du-Détroit full possession of some of their lands at Macon, near the Rivière-aux-Raisins mission (present-day Monroe, MI), for the future education of their children. In the same period, salaries were paid to missionaries in the Osage country in Missouri. See Charles J. Kappler, comp. and ed., Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (Washington, DC, 1904), II: 150; Tanis C. Thorne, The Many Hands of My Relations: French and Indians on the Lower Missouri (Columbia, MO, 1996), 140. For the Maritime Provinces, see Murphy, “Trusteeism in Atlantic Canada,” 126-51. The attempt of some marguilliers to usurp parish administration was made through the Bill pour rétablir l’uniformité dans les assemblées de fabriques, which was passed by the legislative council of Lower Canada but stalled by the province’s executive council. See Le Canadien, Dec. 3, 1831, 3, Dec. 7, 1831, 1, Jan. 14, 1832, 1. See also Réal Bélanger, Richard Jones, and Marc Vallières, eds., Les grand débats parlementaires, 1792-1992 (Sainte-Foy, Quebec, 1994), 420-22. For New Brunswick, see Murphy, “Trusteeism in Atlantic Canada,” 134-35. Murphy makes specific reference to Patrick W. Carey’s thesis on 128 and in his introduction to Murphy and Stortz, Creed and Culture, xvii-xxxix, esp. xxxii. Some Lower Canadian clergymen, however, believed that democracy and republicanism represented an imminent danger and voiced their preoccupation to Rome. See for example Plessis to Robert Gradwell, Quebec, Dec. 17, 1822, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Settentrionale, 2: fols. 370-73; Panet to Gradwell, Quebec, Nov. 15, Nov. 16, 1826, ibid, 2: fols. 530-31, 533-34; Jean-Jacques Lartigue to [Cappellari], Montreal, Jan. 5, 1827, ibid., 2: fols. 544-45.
Charles-François Girardin to [Jean-François Hubert], [Detroit], [before Apr. 27, 1792], in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 5, doc. no. 92 (“they were the masters”), attaching the transcription of the trustees’ assembly proceedings of Apr. 1, 1792; Ambroise Maréchal to William Poynter, [Baltimore], [Dec. 23, 1823], in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. A, vol. 65, folder 6 B 5 [item no. 25] (“invasion of the Holy See”); Reflections on the Dissension, 27 (“foreign potentate”). With regard to local prevailing rights, in the Illinois country it was customary to place the pew of a deceased pew holder up for auction, whereas in the diocese of Quebec the pew was passed on to the widow of the deceased (Pierre Gibault to [Jean-Olivier Briand], Vincennes, [November 1770], in Archives de l’Archidiocèse de Québec, ser. 7CM, subser. 6, doc. no. 23). For the 1792 dispute, see Pierre Fréchette to [Hubert], Detroit, Apr. 27, 1792, Oct. 23, 1795, ibid., doc. nos. 94, 111. For the 1795-97 Baby-Payet dispute, see Louvigny Montigny to [Hubert], [Detroit], Feb. 5, 1795, ibid., subser. 5, doc. no. 105; Fréchette to Hubert, Detroit, Oct. 23, 1795, ibid., doc. no. 111; François-Xavier Dufaux to [Hubert], Detroit, Nov. 9, 1795, ibid., doc. no. 116; François Baby to Hubert, Montreal, Apr. 14, 1796, ibid., doc. no. 118; Burke’s ordonnance, Detroit, Jan. 7, 1797, ibid., doc. no. 131; Marchand to Hubert, L’Assomption-du-Détroit, Jan. 31, 1797, ibid., doc. no. 132; Trustees of L’Assomption-du-Détroit to Hubert, Detroit, Feb. 1, 1797, ibid., doc. no. 133. For the Jesuits’ opposition to the papal order, see Maréchal to Poynter, [Baltimore], Jan. 30, 1824, May 17, 1825, in Westminster Diocesan Archives, ser. A, vol. 65, folder 6 B 5 [item nos. 21, 23]; Annibale Sermattei Della Genga to [Francesco Saverio Castiglioni?], Rome, June 22, 1822, in Archives of the Sacred Congregation, ser. Congressi, subser. America Centrale, 7: fols. 696-99; Robert Gradwell to Maréchal, Rome, Aug. 5, 1824, in Thomas Hughes, History of the Society of Jesus in North America, Colonial and Federal (London, 1910), I, pt. 2: 1082-83; Gradwell to Maréchal, Rome, Jan. 2, 1825, ibid., 1084-85. On the White Marsh estate, see Hughes, History of the Society of Jesus, esp. I, pt. 1: 403-582, 1, pt. 2: 1031-1103; Ronin John Murtha, “The Life of the Most Reverend Ambrose Maréchal: Third Archbishop of Baltimore, 1768-1828” (Ph.D. Diss., Catholic University of America, 1965), 257-87; Thomas W. Spalding, The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789-1989 (Baltimore, 1989), 87-91; Codignola, Annali Accademici Canadesi 10-11: 3-35. My conclusion that cooperation and compromise were normally sought agrees with Patrick Carey’s belief, namely, “that harmony and cooperation or at least a lack of prolonged hostilities characterized the majority of trustee experiences” (Carey, People, Priests, and Prelates, 107).