Elizabeth Ann Seton letters, 1799-1818 (MC 44)

This small collection includes letters from Elizabeth Ann Seton to Matthias and Joseph O’Conway. Matthias, a prominent Philadelphian especially within the Catholic community, was the father of Cecilia O’Conway, Philadelphia’s first nun and the first women to join Seton’s order, the Sisters of Charity. The correspondence is personal in nature and relates to several members of the O’Conway family, particularly Cecilia. Also included is a letter from Elizabeth to her sister-in-law Rebecca Seton regarding members of the Seton family.

0.2 Lin. Ft., 9 Items

*The materials in this collection have been digitized and can be viewed at the Digital Library @ Villanova University.

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John Gilmary Shea Correspondence, 1836-1891 (MC 51)

John Gilmary Shea (1824-1892) was a notable writer, editor, and historian of American Catholic history. Shea is considered one of the first American Catholic historians in the United States. Much of his recognition and lasting fame comes from the accolades and accomplishments of publishing nearly three hundred articles and books.

The John Gilmary Shea Correspondence preserved in the Philadelphia Archdiocese Historical Research Center primarily consists of correspondences received by Shea throughout the 19th century. Some of the larger files of correspondence are from Oscar W. Collet, Archbishop Michael Augustine Corrigan, John Ward Dean, Edmond Mallet, J.W. Powell, and Eugene Vetromile. There is only one folder of approximately twelve outgoing correspondences and another folder of unidentified received correspondence.

3 Linear feet ; 7 boxes

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Walter George Smith papers, 1836-1933 (MC 47)

Walter George Smith (1854-1924) was a prominent Philadelphia attorney. A devout Catholic, Smith worked and lectured extensively for the anti-divorce cause. Among other activities, he was involved in advancing the causes of uniform state laws, was an appointed member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, a Manager of the Drexel Institute, and President of the American Bar Association.

The collection contains correspondence, including family correspondence; diaries, journals and travel logs; speeches, addresses, published and unpublished writings. Scrapbooks, memorabilia, and obituaries are also included.

A significant portion of the materials concern Smith’s resignation as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania- a position he had held for 18 years- which made national headlines. Smith left in 1909 due to his opposition of the appointment of Dr. J.P. Lichtenberger as an associate professor at the Wharton School. Among other things, Smith was vehemently opposed to Lichtenberger’s stance on divorce.

While Walter Smith’s writings and papers make up the majority of the collection, there is also material relating to other Smith family members, including his sister, Helen Grace Smith, and Thomas Kilby Smith.

2.8 linear feet ; 7 boxes

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