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Brutés Citizenship

An interesting historical note: On this day, March 7, 1835, Simon Brute became an American citizen. This is one of those things that you never think about, but from the time of his arrival in the United States in 1810, he had been a citizen of France.

Brutés reason certainly had to do with the custom that puts all Church property in the name of the bishop and his successors. Brute had been Bishop of Vincennes for 4 short months and he was beginning to purchase property for the building of churches, schools etc.

Fr. Albert Ledoux, in his excellent dissertation on Brute

Brute formally embraced United States nationality almost a quarter century after first stepping foot onto a Baltimore pier. He appeared in Vincennes’ Knox County Circuit Court, 7 March 1835, and forevermore renounced “all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever, but particularly to Louis Philip, King of France.” Whatever antipathy he may have still felt toward the Orleanist monarch who had deposed the elder branch of his beloved Bourbons, Brute was far more likely motivated by considerations of United States civil law that in many states impeded a non-citizen’s right to hold substantial amounts of property. In fact, within two years, when worrying about the identity of his potential successor as bishop of Vincennes, one of Brutés chief concerns lay in the fact that none of his principal candidates had been naturalized or had even made the first attempt at doing so. ((Albert Henri Ledoux, “The Life and Thought of Simon Brute
Seminary Professor and Frontier Bishop” (Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 2005), 392))


Categories: Postings.