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Bishop Brute at work…

In the late 19th century there were a number of publishers putting out what I would call “snippets” of Catholic History. One of these was American Catholic Historical Researches, published in Philadelphia by Martin I.J. Griffin, a Catholic Historian. American Catholic Historical Researches, or ACHR was published from 1887-1912.

Here are a few of those snippets concerning Bishop Brute:

ACHR – vol 15, p.97

Bishop Brutés Visitation of Chicago 1838.
Extract from a letter to Mother Rose, Emmitsburg Md.
Chicago, one hundred and fifty miles north of Vincennes on tbe Lake Michigan, southwest corner; a city of seven, or eight thousand, largest in the diocese. Alas 1 so small a wooden Church where I have just celebrated the Divine Sacrifice, though we bave near a thousand Catholics, they tell me;-one priest, Mr. O’Meara,- I had a second, Mr. Schofer, our Lord recalled him to Heaven, I hope.
Arrived yesterday night from the line of the works of the Illinois canal. I will spend till Sunday here planning and devising for my successors. Alas, so little of genius at plans! – unless our Lord Himself pity such an immense “avenir”, that I know not how to begin well!
I dream of Sisters here!-but how so? Col. Beaubieu offers lots, etc. Very well-but Sisters?
A small wooden church, not sufficient for the fourth part on Sunday; and yet most, (as usual,) of our Catholics are of the poorest; and the few better off, (as usual too, in our West,) so eagerly busy at the great business of this West, growing rich, richer, richest!-too little ready, when the talk is only of lots, interest and estate in Heaven; or of placing in its Bank on earth, by the hands of the Church, and that poor Bishop, the cashier of said Bank, in this part of the world, who could sign the bills of millions of eternal aquittal, etc., etc. Well, Mother tell me how I will succeed to spirit our busy Cbicago to build a good, large brick Church. Anothr man,-yes, some proper man, might succeed, not this unworthy Simon.
But enough! I must go to meet Mr. O’Meara, and devise plans. I would take more pleasure to speak of the shanties where I have lived, and have done some duty these few days past; but now I am in the city, and owe myself as well to the city as to the shanties.
Pray for your old father,-and also good Superior with you. Be all blessed.


And then, this one:

ACHR Vol 15 p.87
Bishop Brutés Account of His Confirmation Visitation to Washington and New Albany, Ind., 1838.
VINCENNES, May 28th, 1838.
I lately went to Washington and St. Peter’s to give Confirmation; then on 80 miles farther to the Knobs, a most beautiful hilly country, to give also Confirmation, but landed at one mile and a half, I had to cross a creek, to cross twice on foot, and lo, a good stout Irishman took me twice across on his shoulders, and returned for Rev. Mr. Shaw, who was with me and for a smaller man, his friend, who was ready to wade. No. no, wait also and he carried him; all heart at it, he delighted in his living, ferry like charity. I found Rev. Mr. Neyron waiting for me to confirm 63 persons and a poor Protestant family that he has received In the Church. I had the grandmother, 82, lively as Mrs. Cowan; her daughter and her grandaughter to confirm, the three generations in one. I then visited Madison, saw there the father and mother of Sister Euphemia who served mv Mass the three days I was there. Then Miss Geyer with her tacket of First Communion Signed by Sister Jane, but lo, I think I wrote it to you–so much for memory. Then coming to New Albany, I confirmed 34 there; some of Mrs. Richardson’s children who lived near or in Frederick in the time of Father Dubois; Mr. Hickey may have known him.

Lastly, with regard to Bishop Brutés writings, here is an interesting piece from the ACHR regarding the disposition of his papers:

ACHR – July 1892 p.132

New York, June 9th, 1852. Dear Sir, The Most Rev’d Archbishop being hindered by his many occupations from answering your Letter of the 24th of May, has requested me to write to you in his name. The Papers of the late Bp. Brute were far from being complete when they came into the Archbishop’s hands ; they had evidently been examined by some one, who had taken from them many important papers, especially those of an historical nature.
When they first arrived here, I examined them myself, in the hope of finding important information upon certain matters, to which I had turned my attention–and discovered nothing worth preserving, tho’ during his whole life he had employed more or less time in making researches connected with the history of the Catholic Religion in this part of the world. As however I did not examine them particularly in reference to the Indian Missions, there may be some documents connected with them, that I may have overlooked”” and I will take an early opportunity of looking them over again so that if I discover anything likely to interest you, I will let you known. The Rev. Mr. Shea of the Society of Jesus, has been for some time engaged upon a History of the Jesuit Mission amongst the Indians- and from his peculiar fitness for the task, as well as the valuable documents in his possession, I have no doubt that it will prove a valuable addition to the early history of our country. The Most Rev’d Archbishop requests me to convey to you his kind regards.
I remain, with sincere Respect, Very truly yours, J. B. BAYLEY, Archb. of N. Y. Jas. H. Causten Jr. Esq, Seer. Washington, D. C.


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