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The Religious History of American WomenReimagining the Past$

Catherine A. Brekus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831021

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867990_brekus

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The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era

The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era

Chapter:
(p.206) 8 The “New Woman” at the “University” Gender and American Catholic Identity in the Progressive Era
Source:
The Religious History of American Women
Author(s):

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807867990_brekus.11

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the Americanist controversy and the relationship between Catholicism and Progressivism in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and drawing on both social history and gender history, it shows how Progressive ideals have shaped Catholicism and links Americanism, a late nineteenth-century ideological conflict in the Catholic Church, to anxieties over the “new woman.” The chapter also considers the founding of Trinity College for Catholic women in Washington, D.C. in the context of women's history, as well as the college's connection to Americanism. By doing so, it shows that the construction of gender was related to the articulation of religious identity in America during the Progressive Era.

Keywords:   new woman, Catholicism, Progressivism, Americanism, Trinity College, Catholic women, women's history, gender, religious identity

Until fairly recently, the history of Catholicism tended to focus on leaders and institutions. But in the wake of Vatican II, the great Roman Catholic council (1962–65) that modernized the church's teachings, many historians began to turn their attention away from priests and bishops to the experiences of ordinary Catholic believers. Inspired by Pope John XXIII's emphasis on the church as the entire “people of God,” they resolved to write more inclusive stories about the Catholic past. Yet the new Catholic social history of the 1970s and 1980s still had little to say about Catholic women, not even the remarkable sisters who founded hundreds of hospitals, schools, and charities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In this case study of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Kathleen Sprows Cummings argues that writing Catholic history from the perspective of Catholic sisters sheds new light on two of the most vexing issues in Catholic historiography: the relationship between Catholicism and Progressivism in the early twentieth century, and the Americanist controversy. Using the tools of both social history and gender history, she shows that historians have missed the influence of Progressive ideals on Catholicism because of their exclusive focus on men. She also shows that the Americanist controversy involved anxieties over the “new woman.”

In 1897, Sister Julia McGroarty, the American superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, announced the beginning of her community's latest and most ambitious project: the founding of Trinity College for Catholic women in Washington, D.C. Trinity, which opened three years later, was not the first Catholic women's college; that distinction belongs to its Baltimore neighbor, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Trinity was, however, unique among early Catholic women's colleges in that it did not evolve from a preexisting academy.1

Founding Trinity presented Sister Julia with an array of challenges. Other (p.207) founders were able to transform academies into colleges simply through revised charters and adjusted curricula, but the Sisters of Notre Dame needed to raise money, purchase land, design buildings, recruit students, and train faculty. Moreover, although its peer institutions invariably made inconspicuous transitions from girls' academies to women's colleges, Trinity attracted a great deal of attention. Deprived of the luxury of unobtrusiveness, Sister Julia was forced to justify higher education for Catholic women to a much greater extent than her counterparts at other Catholic women's colleges and was left much more vulnerable to criticism as a result.

Several years after Trinity opened, Katherine O'Keeffe O'Mahoney included a biographical sketch of Sister Julia, an Irish immigrant, in a collection entitled Famous Irish Women. Interviewing an unnamed Sister of Notre Dame about Sister Julia's efforts in founding Trinity, O'Mahoney had received this response: “Sister Superior prayed and Trinity was started.”2

O'Mahoney had no doubt been hoping for a less-abbreviated version of events. Like many who seek to examine the historical contribution of American sisters, however, she had run up against the characteristic humility and self-effacement that was part and parcel of Catholic women's religious life.3 One does not have to search far to discover the source of the anonymous nun's reticence. In 1901, Sister Julia herself had passed along to the community the advice of Rev. Philip Garrigan, the vice rector of nearby Catholic University. Garrigan had reminded her that, “like the dear Blessed Mother, the Sisters were chosen to do great things and like her too, they should be satisfied that he alone be witness of their cooperation with His grace. The Blessed Virgin did not publish her history to the world; neither should we be concerned whether people know what we do or not.”4 Ironically, it would be Garrigan who proved to be the beneficiary of his own advice. Replicating a familiar pattern in Catholic women's history, he and other clergy at Catholic University are often described as the prime movers in Trinity's founding.5

Adjusting the historical narrative to reflect women's achievements and influence represents the first step in taking Catholic women's religious experience seriously. Ultimately, though, this alone is an insufficient measure if one is to make a more convincing case that women's history matters to the study of American religion. This chapter approaches the founding of Trinity College from the perspective of women's history in its more sophisticated states of conceptualization.6 By examining the college's connection to Americanism, a late nineteenth-century ideological conflict in the Catholic Church, this chapter illuminates broader connections between the (p.208) construction of gender and the articulation of religious identity in the Progressive-era United States.

Americanism refers to a series of controversies that sharply divided the Catholic hierarchy between the convocation of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 and the appearance of Pope Leo XIII's Testem Benevolentiae in 1899. At issue was the question of how the church should relate to American culture and society. On one side of the debate stood liberals or “Americanists,” who promoted greater Catholic integration into the American political and social mainstream. Seeking to “unite Church and age,” Americanists advocated rapid assimilation of Catholic immigrants, more participation of Catholic laity in public life, and stronger cooperation between parochial and public schools. They also believed that the United States, with its constitutional protection of religious freedom, provided the ideal conditions for the flourishing of Catholicism. Members of the opposing group, called conservatives, generally supported a more insular Catholic community in the United States. Wary of the Americanists' exuberant patriotism, they believed that the American church should keep barriers intact to shield its members from the evils of the United States. Conservatives also advocated closer ties between the American church and the Vatican.7

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, liberals and conservatives disagreed about Catholic participation in the labor movement, the assimilation of Catholic immigrants, the education of Catholic children, and the extent of Vatican influence on the church in the United States. In 1896, the controversy crossed the Atlantic when some European Americanists claimed that the church in the United States should serve as a model for the church throughout the world. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII settled the conflict with an apostolic letter. Testem Benevolentiae condemned as heresy a series of propositions under the heading of “Americanism,” the most noteworthy of which was the claim that the American church was intrinsically different from the Church Universal.

The controversy over Americanism has been considered one of the most significant episodes in U.S. Catholic history, and its underlying cause—disagreement over what it meant to be Catholic and American—might even be described as the central organizing principle of the discipline. At the outset, it may be difficult to imagine what links the men of Americanism—extremely powerful and deemed significant—with the women of Trinity—largely powerless and dismissed as tangential. But the college and the controversy have an intriguing, if little-known, connection. In their quest to open a Catholic women's college, the Sisters of Notre Dame unwittingly landed in the middle of the conflict, and their alleged alliance with the (p.209) Americanists placed the entire endeavor in jeopardy. Indeed, Trinity would never have been founded had not a crucial phase of the controversy ended in favor of Sister Julia's supporters—an outcome over which she had virtually no control. The story thus initially appears to confirm perceptions of Catholic women as powerless figures who operated at the mercy of male authority figures.

But while the early days of Trinity demonstrate the constraints placed on the female faithful of the Catholic Church, the rest of the story shows that it was indeed possible to accomplish authentic work on behalf of women within the context of a male-dominated institution. At a time when the identity question was paramount, what it meant to be a woman in the Catholic Church largely depended on perceptions of what it meant to be a Catholic in American culture.

The case of Trinity offers three revisions to historical interpretations of late nineteenth-century Catholicism. First, it illustrates that while Catholic identity was often marshaled in support of traditional gender roles, so too could it serve as a vehicle through which women contested and renegotiated the parameters of their experience. Second, it reveals that anxieties over gender roles intensified the controversy over Americanism. Conservatives assailed liberals not only for raising challenging questions about the relationship between Catholicism and democratic culture, but also for challenging wom-en's prescribed place in church and society. Third, it calls into question assumptions about the place of U.S. Catholics in Progressive-era America. The defeat of the Americanists in 1899, coupled with the more emphatic condemnation of modernism by Pope Pius in 1907, has led to a historical understanding of Catholics as uniquely insulated from broad currents of Progressive reform that swept the United States in the early years of the twentieth century.8 But the women who founded Trinity were profoundly influenced by the expansion of women's higher education in American society, a key development of the Progressive era. In founding a Catholic wom-en's college, the sisters used selective appropriation to negotiate between the Old and the New Worlds, bringing themselves and their students into an unprecedented level of engagement with non-Catholic American culture.

Early Days at Trinity

Although all final decisions regarding Trinity fell to Sister Julia in her capacity as head of the American province, she often designated Sister Mary Euphrasia Taylor, the superior of Notre Dame's convent in Washington, as her representative in the capital.9 Their private correspondence reveals that both (p.210) women appreciated the significance and magnitude of their undertaking, but they often denied taking the initiative. “We did not seek the work,” Sister Julia wrote; “it came to us from a Higher Authority.”10 Though her capitalization clearly indicates a reference to a divine mandate, Trinity's founding has usually been ascribed to a temporal higher authority: most historical accounts suggest that it was officials at Catholic University who persuaded the sisters to open a college instead of an academy.11 The sisters' own records suggest that Sister Julia had intended to open a women's college all along. While the inveterate self-effacement of nuns probably explains the discrepancy in part, it may also have resulted from deliberate calculation, as it undoubtedly served the sisters' purposes to say that the idea had originated with a prelate rather than with themselves.12

But no matter who provided the immediate impetus, it is clear that Sister Julia had been preparing to open a Catholic women's college since the early 1890s. She was one of the first American superiors to recognize that middle-class daughters of Irish Catholic immigrants would need college degrees to compete for access to professional occupations. Accordingly, she redesigned the curriculum of Notre Dame's academies to prepare students to study at the college level and established two Normal Schools to train Catholic women to be teachers.13

Opening a Catholic women's college was also a matter of congregational pride. As of 1897, the Sisters of Notre Dame taught at only one parish school in Washington, D.C. Sister Mary Euphrasia argued that it was imperative that Notre Dame increase its visibility in the city. Otherwise, visitors would receive the inaccurate impression that parochial schools were “the principal work of our society, for which alone the sisters were fitted [emphasis in original].” A superior Catholic women's college, she argued, would more adequately represent Notre Dame's mission in Washington. To underscore the need for decisive action, she pointed out that Eckington College, a Protestant institution, had recently opened near Catholic University.14

According to Sister Mary Euphrasia, Philip Garrigan received the sisters' proposal with the “warmest and most cordial approbation.” He explained why. Two years before, Catholic University had announced plans to allow women to attend lectures as “special students.” Bishop John Keane, then the rector of the university, declared that the university had no plans to admit women as regular students. Undeterred, twenty women applied in the fall of 1895. Although these applications were rejected, they testified to a growing desire for higher education among Catholic women. Garrigan went on to speculate that those twenty female applicants, rejected by Catholic (p.211) University, had presumably enrolled in “Protestant or infidel” institutions of higher learning.15

Garrigan's reasoning highlighted the two most compelling arguments in favor of Catholic women's colleges. The twenty female applicants to Catholic University contributed to increasing anxiety in the Catholic community over the prospect of coeducation. Among Catholics, there was virtually unanimous agreement that men and women be educated separately. Any Catholic women's college would need to avoid even the suggestion of coeducation if it were to succeed. According to Garrigan, that taint had already thwarted two other proposals. He reported that two other religious orders, the Ladies of the Sacred Heart and the Sisters of the Holy Cross, had each contemplated building “a women's annexe [sic]” to Catholic University. Cardinal Francis Satolli, the apostolic delegate in Washington at the time, had vetoed both plans because they had seemed perilously close to coeducation.16

As Garrigan's second comment indicated, providing an alternative to “Protestant or infidel” schools was also a matter of concern. By the 1890s, American women had a variety of options to pursue a college degree. Oberlin College in Ohio had admitted women since 1833, and eight state universities had become coeducational during the Civil War years. The founding of all-female Vassar College in 1865 initiated another trend. Other women's colleges followed: Wellesley in 1870, Smith in 1871, Bryn Mawr in 1885, and Mount Holyoke in 1888. In the early 1890s, Radcliffe College and Barnard College opened as affiliated institutions of Harvard and Columbia, providing a third type of American women's college. These early women's colleges are collectively known as the Seven Sisters.17

Although Catholics were not expressly prohibited from attending non-Catholic institutions, they were discouraged from doing so because of fears about the potential damage to their faith.18 Some believed that Catholic women would be more susceptible than Catholic men to Protestant proselytizing. Austin O'Malley, a medical doctor and professor of literature at Notre Dame, explained why secular education would put the souls of Catholic females in greater jeopardy: “The life in a non-Catholic women's college, where attention to the ‘evils of Popery’ is more absorbing than in colleges for boys, is not the best atmosphere in the world for the growth of a Catholic girl's faith…. the girl in the non-Catholic college is exposed to stronger temptations than those experienced by a Catholic boy in a similar position, because the emotional preacher is more potent in the girls' college than in the boys.”19 O'Malley claimed that “Catholic girls in large and increasing numbers are flocking to non-Catholic colleges, to the injury of loss of faith.” (p.212) Since Catholic men's colleges were prohibited—he described coeducation as an “abomination”—he argued that the only remedy was to open Catholic colleges for women. By the late 1890s, many Catholics who would otherwise oppose higher education for women agreed with O'Malley: Catholic women's colleges were a necessary defense against coeducation and mass apostasy.20

Although the sisters understood both of these arguments, neither had formed their primary rationale. Coeducation never surfaced in their discussions, and although they were keenly aware that Catholic women had the option to attend secular schools, their students' potential loss of faith did not seem to be a leading concern. Sister Mary Euphrasia's uneasiness over the proximity of Eckington College, at least, stemmed from her fears that Notre Dame's prestige would suffer by comparison. After this conversation with Garrigan, however, both she and Sister Julia recognized that the twin goals of preventing coeducation and the loss of faith constituted the most persuasive—and not coincidentally, the least controversial—arguments in favor of establishing a Catholic women's college. Subsequently these objectives would figure more prominently in arguments that they would make on Trinity's behalf.

Before they could proceed, the sisters needed permission from James Cardinal Gibbons, the archbishop of Baltimore, under whose jurisdiction Trinity would fall. After meeting with Sister Mary Euphrasia, Gibbons authorized the project, specifying that the proposed institution would work “in union with though entirely independently of the Catholic University.” Gibbons admitted in a later letter that he was delighted because Trinity's founding would “relieve the University authorities from the embarrassment of refusing women admission.”21 Although the project did not require official approval from Rome, Gibbons advised Sister Mary Euphrasia to visit Archbishop Sebastian Martinelli, Satolli's replacement as apostolic delegate, to keep him informed of the plans. She called on Martinelli in late April and they had an amiable conversation.22 The sisters also required sanction from Mother Aimee, the superior general at Namur, before they could begin. Mother Aimee cabled her consent on April 1.23

After canvassing the Washington suburbs for appropriate sites for the new college, the sisters purchased twenty acres at the intersection of Michigan and Lincoln avenues in the northeastern suburb of Brookland. This plot was located approximately one-third of a mile from Catholic University. The sale would not be final until later that summer, and the nuns had agreed to postpone a public announcement until then. Because Sister Julia knew that “everything would depend on the first impression,” she wanted time to carefully (p.213) formulate a statement that would include Gibbons's official letter of endorsement. She lost the opportunity to control the nature of the revelation in mid-June, when the news leaked to the press. The newspapers sensationalized the story and misrepresented some of the facts. Some reported that the college was slated to open in 1898, when the actual target date was two years later. Others erroneously described Trinity as a wing of Catholic University. Sister Julia sent statements to secular and religious newspapers to correct these mistakes.24

Sister Julia had anticipated that the proposal to open a college would anger traditional opponents of higher education for Catholic women, who predicted disaster for the family and the church should Trinity open. But by 1897, the twin specters of secular education and coeducation had significantly undermined this resistance. Although there was by no means universal support, most agreed that Catholic women's colleges should open as a matter of expediency. What Sister Julia had not foreseen was that far-more-menacing attacks on the college would emerge from a debate over Catholic identity rather than one about gender roles. The most dangerous threat to Trinity came from Catholic prelates and intellectuals, who viewed the problem of higher education for women as symptomatic of a more grievous sin: Catholic capitulation to American culture.

“The War of 1897”

In mid-July 1897, Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul wrote a letter to Sister Julia in which he congratulated her on her work but warned that difficulties might lie ahead: “I am afraid,” Ireland cautioned, “things will not go as smoothly as you expect.”25 It was fitting that this prophetic warning came from Ireland, the unofficial leader of the “Americanists” and the one who had coined its slogan, “Church and Age Unite!” This group also included Cardinal Gibbons; John J. Keane, the first rector of Catholic University; Denis O'Connell, the rector of the North American College in Rome; and John Lancaster Spalding, bishop of Peoria and the brightest intellectual among the American hierarchy. Archbishop Michael Corrigan of New York and Bishop Bernard McQuaid of Rochester, New York, led the conservatives. This group also included many German-American priests and bishops who were suspicious of Irish-American dominance among the American hierarchy.

Discussions about Catholic education from the elementary to the university levels deepened the division between the two groups. At the parochial level, Americanists thought that Catholic schools should promote assimilation, while German-American Catholics viewed them as the means to preserve (p.214) both language and ethnic culture. In 1891, Archbishop Ireland implemented a compromise plan between parochial and public schools in his diocese, prompting a “school controversy” that lasted two years and further divided the hierarchy.26

Catholic University, which opened in 1889, was intertwined with the Americanist controversy in several ways. Early discussions about the institution had helped divide liberals and conservatives. Quarrels did not always emanate from ideological differences; Archbishops Corrigan and McQuaid, favoring a New York location for the university, resented the eventual choice of Washington. The conservatives were further alienated by the close involvement of several key Americanists in the planning process. Keane of Richmond was designated the first rector of the university; Ireland served on its organizing committee; and it was located in Gibbons's jurisdiction. Bishop Spalding's progressive talk at the cornerstone-laying ceremony further irritated conservatives by explicitly identifying the university with the liberal group.27

Monsignor Joseph Schroeder, a German-born professor of dogmatic theology, was the leading conservative at Catholic University and an outspoken enemy of the Americanists there. He led a faction of German-American Catholics based primarily in the Midwest and attacked the Americanists through the St. Louis–based paper, Das Herold des Glaubens (The Herald of Faith). Schroeder had disproportionate influence in Rome through his friendship with Cardinal Francis Satolli, the former apostolic delegate to the United States (who had earlier vetoed proposals to incorporate a “women's annexe” to Catholic University). When Satolli had arrived in the United States in 1892, he allied himself with the Americanists. But by the time he returned to Rome four years later, he had moved into the conservative camp. With help from Schroeder, Satolli began to undermine Keane at the Vatican, criticizing the rector for his liberal views and his close association with American Protestants. In September of 1896, Satolli used his influence with the pope to orchestrate the dismissal of Keane as rector of Catholic University. Keane's departure represented a stunning defeat for the liberals.28

Early discussions of Trinity came on the heels of this particularly bitter episode in the Americanist debate. Both sides recognized the college as a potential weapon. For the Americanists, Trinity demonstrated the promise of Catholic acculturation to American society. Ireland's enthusiastic support, for example, stemmed from what he perceived as the need for college-trained teachers in parochial schools. In his own diocese of St. Paul, he would encourage his sister, Mother Seraphine of the Sisters of St. Joseph, to open the College of St. Catherine in 1905.29

Other Americanists praised Trinity. Cardinal Gibbons described the col-lege (p.215) as a “blessing to our country” and a “glory to our Church.”30 Reverend Thomas Conaty, Keane's successor as rector of Catholic University, emphasized Trinity's “utmost importance to Church and state…. the age demands scholarship, and women's responsibilities urge that intellectual and moral development unite in fitting her to do her full duty to society.”31 Spalding of Peoria became one of Trinity's staunchest supporters. In a lecture about the college, he affirmed one of Americanism's central tenets, the belief that the United States provided the most favorable conditions for moral perfection.32 Reverend Edward Pace, a Catholic University professor of philosophy, agreed that Catholic women's colleges were needed because the American “democratic spirit” had given Catholic women in the United States more potential for achievement.33

For Americanists, then, Trinity symbolized all the good that would result from a union between church and age; for Schroeder and his supporters, the college represented the perils of such an alliance. As early as mid-April, before the sisters had even chosen a site, Schroeder had, through Satolli, reported to the Vatican that the Sisters of Notre Dame had purchased property near Catholic University and they planned to have the same teachers and the same classes as male students. Just before his late-April meeting with Sister Mary Euphrasia, Archbishop Martinelli received a letter from Pope Leo XIII, in which he asked for clarification about these rumors. After hearing more about the plans for Trinity, the apostolic delegate had denied that the nuns planned to sponsor coeducation. He did not mention the correspondence to Sister Mary Euphrasia, thinking he had heard “the end of it.”34

The Sisters of Notre Dame did not learn about negative rumors until Schroeder and his supporters publicly attacked them through Das Herold des Glaubens in late summer. Editor John Enzelberger wrote one of the most damaging critiques, entitled “The ‘New Woman’ at the ‘University.’” The word choice was provocative. While “University” raised the specter of coeducation, the phrase “New Woman” presented equal cause for alarm. Coined by Henry James, it referred to those who had availed themselves of new opportunities open to middle-class women at the end of the nineteenth century. By attending college, earning a living, working in a settlement house, or otherwise participating in activities outside the home, the New Woman challenged the Victorian ideal of female domesticity. Financially independent from either a father or a husband, she exercised control over her own life.35

Because of her independence and self-sufficiency, the New Woman was routinely depicted as the antithesis of the true Catholic woman.36 By invoking her in his article about Trinity, Enzleberger claimed that the sisters “wanted to imitate Protestants and unbelievers.” Describing Trinity as a (p.216) “wing” of the Catholic University, Enzleberger contended that the nuns did not care about the danger that higher learning would pose to the students' faith. As evidence of Trinity's blatant disregard of Catholicism, he pointed out that Trinity's admission requirements did not include religion. He described Trinity as a nondenominational institution masquerading as a Catholic one and concluded that the college had only served to strengthen his “oldfashioned conviction that, for the present, man's world should stand at the pinnacle of learning.”37

Sister Mary Euphrasia responded to the accusations in a letter to the editor of Das Herold des Glaubens. She emphasized that Trinity would be no “annex or wing” of Catholic University. While she admitted that Trinity did not stipulate religion as an entrance requirement, she caustically reminded the editors that such a prerequisite would exclude the very students that Catholic colleges hoped to benefit, those who had attended secular secondary schools. She did assure the editors that the curriculum would have a number of religion requirements.38 Her rejoinder came too late, however, to repair the damage that had already been done. By the time these attacks were made public, Schroeder and his cohort had succeeded, with the help of Satolli, in convincing Pope Leo XIII that something was amiss at Trinity.

On August 15, Satolli wrote to Gibbons: “I have learned also of the project of a University for the weaker sex …; this affair, as mentioned in the newspapers, has made a disagreeable impression here, particularly so because it was described that it would be a dangerous addition and amalgamation of Institutions, for the teaching of students of both sexes.”39 A week later, Martinelli informed Gibbons that the Holy Father had heard of the matter “from sources unknown to me.” He suggested that the sisters should seek approval from the Holy See before they continued their plans.40

This development brought an immediate halt to progress on Trinity. Cardinal Gibbons summoned Sister Mary Euphrasia to Baltimore and, blaming “the German element in the West,” told her that she and Sister Julia must stop work on Trinity until the matter was resolved.41 With characteristic aplomb, Sister Mary Euphrasia assured the cardinal that she would not lose heart and that she had “every confidence that God would himself carry through a work in which his Hand had been visible from the beginning.” Later, in recounting this exchange in a letter to her superior, she reflected on the humor of “giving what seemed to be a lecture on confidence in God to the Cardinal Arch-bishop of Baltimore.”42

After the news leaked that Schroeder had succeeded in thwarting plans, reporters descended on the Notre Dame convent on North Capitol Street.43 In what one sister later described as an “impromptu press conference,” Sister (p.217) Mary Euphrasia attempted to correct those reports by explaining the purpose and plan of Trinity.44 On the advice of Cardinal Gibbons, she decided to pay a personal visit to the apostolic delegate, to convince him to intercede on Trinity's behalf. She arrived at Martinelli's Washington residence only to discover that he was vacationing in Atlantic City. Undaunted, she visited him at the ocean resort a few days later, traveling half a day for an audience that lasted a little over an hour.

It was during this meeting that Martinelli told her about the papal letter he had received prior to their April conversation. He promised to tell the Vatican, once again, that the Sisters of Notre Dame were not promoting coeducation. Martinelli also explained the exact nature of the prohibition on the college, which involved the distinction between a college and a university. A university would require papal consent, but a college needed only the permission of the local bishop. Martinelli did tell her, though, that Gibbons was unlikely to approve of any plan discountenanced by the Holy Father.45 In saying this, Martinelli was being somewhat disingenuous, in that he himself was the one who had advised Gibbons to stop the sisters until they resolved matters with Rome.

Sister Julia was initially cheerful. In an early letter to Sister Mary Euphrasia, she claimed to be “not in the least troubled…. I would much rather have the storm before we begin than a breeze later which might insure a feeling of distrust and thus injure the work.”46 But her frustration increased as she recognized the assault as a thinly veiled attack on the Americanists. Though she believed that the accusations against the college were unwarranted, she had little recourse to defend herself. At one point, she lamented the inaction to which her sex confined her, vowing that “if she was a man, she could put on her hat and go off to see the pope.”47

Unable “to go off and see the pope,” the sisters petitioned the Vatican through mail, using letters to make three points. First and foremost, they dismissed the erroneous reports about coeducation. Sister Julia attributed these rumors to “the spirit of opposition in the Western Churches.”48 In another letter, she wrote that “anyone who knows the order [Notre Dame] will recognize [the rumors about coeducation] as gratuitous.”49 The nuns also emphasized the need to prevent a loss of faith should Catholic women enroll at secular colleges. Sister Julia reminded Cardinal Rampolla that in the United States, education was the “cry of the age.” If Catholic girls were not provided with a Catholic alternative, they would “continue to frequent godless schools.” She claimed that there were a dozen Protestant, anti-Catholic wom-en's colleges in the United States; in those institutions, the “antiCatholic interpretation in Science, Philosophy, History, and the Arts” caused its Catholic (p.218) students widespread moral injury.50 Sister Mary Euphrasia dramatized the impending disaster by reporting that, over the last four years, eleven Catholic students had “lost the faith” at Colombian University (later George Washington University), a Baptist University in Washington, D.C.51

Finally, the sisters disassociated themselves from modern women by emphasizing Trinity's connection to the past. Sister Mary Euphrasia reminded Satolli that religious teaching had long been the “alpha and omega” of Notre Dame's philosophy of education.52 Sister Julia assured Cardinal Rampolla that “the memory of Italy's renown in its women saints and scholars” would be “the law and guide” of Trinity College.53 Establishing this connection to a Catholic past not only differentiated Trinity from its secular counterparts, but also refuted any suggestion that the nuns were behaving like New Women.54

Meanwhile, Gibbons defended the sisters. He promised Martinelli that the college would have “no official or organic connection whatever with the Catholic University” and pointed out that they were separated by one-third of a mile. Georgetown College and the Visitation Convent were even nearer to each other, he noted, “yet no inconvenience has resulted though they have been in existence there for a hundred years.” Writing to Satolli, Gibbons assured him that “the reports which have reached Rome with regard to a new female school of higher studies are utterly false or greatly exaggerated, and are the offspring of ignorance and malice.”55

The Paulists, a religious order of men who shared Americanist views, published an “authoritative statement” about Trinity College in the September issue of Catholic World. Attempting to correct reports about the college that had been “prematurely circulated,” the author testified to the impeccable credentials of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, both in matters of faith and in teaching ability. Emphasizing that the project had been approved by Gibbons and Conaty, he argued that Trinity would “offer to its students all the advantages of the best American colleges, and will have, in addition, those benefits that come from education given under the direction of experienced religious teachers.” Proximity to Catholic University would help Trinity's students achieve academic excellence by giving them the benefit of the uni-versity's public lecture courses. Finally, he argued that by seeking “friend-ship” with the university, the sisters were not challenging Catholic teaching; on the contrary, they were showing their “desire to be in close touch with the bishops of the Church.”56

The nuns put their plans on indefinite hold for the next several months, during which one young sister observed that “waiting is more tiresome than work.”57 Good news arrived in November, when Rampolla wrote to Martinelli in the name of the pope: “His Holiness, after having considered the (p.219) matter well, thinks that there should be nothing more said considering the difficulties in the way of the project of the erection of an Institution for females in the vicinity of the Catholic University.”58 Three days later, Gibbons summoned Sister Mary Euphrasia to Baltimore to dictate a translation of this letter.59 Conaty, also present at the meeting, advised the sisters not to gloat over their victory: “Do not exult too loud, but proceed joyfully in secret, grateful that this great difficulty has been so happily overcome.”60 The nuns did rejoice privately: “Glory be to God in all things!” one young sister wrote. “We can build our college as soon as we have money enough, and go right on without minding what anyone says to us.”61

What led to the Vatican's reversal? The sisters' lobbying efforts undoubtedly helped, as did the support of influential prelates such as Martinelli and Gibbons. But it is unclear whether these measures alone would have sufficed. What was probably the most significant factor in the decision was Schroe-der's rapidly declining influence at Catholic University and in Rome. In what Archbishop Ireland dubbed the “War of 1897,” the Americanist contingent at Catholic University launched an offensive against Schroeder and collected witnesses who testified that he regularly stayed out until dawn, frequenting disreputable saloons. In October, they presented this evidence to the Vatican, and the university's Board of Trustees voted for dismissal. At the request of the pope, Schroeder was permitted to resign.62 Rampolla's letter to Martinelli linked Schroeder's fall from grace to the Trinity question. After assuring the apostolic delegate that “the University would receive no further annoyance” from Schroeder, Rampolla wrote that the pope would no longer listen to “disadvantageous reports” about Trinity.63

In retrospect, it is clear that the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were not in league with the Americanists; Sister Julia once claimed never even to have heard of Americanism until she was accused of it.64 Given their proximity to Catholic University, and their timing, it was unlikely that the sisters would have remained completely unaffected by the conflict. But that Trinity became intertwined with the controversy to such a great extent is significant, because it demonstrates how easily gender could be manipulated to serve other purposes. Members on both sides of the debate used gender to either impugn or defend the Americanist position. Supporters exalted them as true women; opponents assailed them as new women. This remarkable affair shows how vulnerable Catholic women became when they attempted to renegotiate gender boundaries within the church.

But the Sisters of Notre Dame were never mere pawns in a larger power struggle, and their story represents much more than an interesting footnote in the tangled history of Americanist politics. Trinity's founders experienced (p.220) the same tensions that had prompted the debate over Americanism, and long after the “war of 1897” was over, the challenge of adapting Old World Catholicism to American culture awaited them. Their response offers an illuminating window into Catholics' efforts to negotiate between religious and national identities that were often in competition with each other at the beginning of the twentieth century.

“Conspicuously American, Conspicuously Catholic”

In his perceptive study of Catholics and Progressivism, Joseph McShane, S.J., observed that every aspect of Catholic life in the early twentieth century was affected by the struggle to balance conflicting sets of expectations. “As a mission church under the supervision of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith,” he notes, “the Catholic Church had to be conspicuously loyal to Rome and its directives; as a suspect Church in a host culture, she had to be conspicuously American.” Lacking the intellectual tools to reconcile ethnic Catholicism with American ideals, the church was unable to develop a coherent response to the problems of industrialization until 1919, when American bishops issued their Program of Social Reconstruction.65

Like other American Catholics, the Sisters of Notre Dame felt compelled to be at once “conspicuously American and conspicuously Catholic.” But unlike their friends among the liberal clergy, who eventually paid the price for tilting the balance too heavily toward the “American” side of the equation, the women who founded Trinity proved to be very deft at reconciling the expectations of the Old World with the exigencies of the New.

One of the most obvious arenas where these tensions surfaced was in the negotiations between the American sisters and their European counterparts. Sister Julia had always intended to minimize Namur's influence on Trinity. She placed Trinity under the direct supervision of the provincial superior in Cincinnati, rather than the authority of the Superior General at Namur, and resolved to hire faculty who “have been rigidly trained in American educational methods.”66 To a certain extent, Sister Julia's emphasis on the autonomy of the American province was representative of what was happening in other women's religious congregations with European roots. Like many other women's religious communities with origins on the continent, the Sisters of Notre Dame had grown increasingly Irish and American over the second half of the nineteenth century.67 Since a larger percentage of the congregation had little or no connection to a European motherhouse, a strain in the relationship was perhaps inevitable. But Trinity's founding undoubtedly accentuated the transatlantic tension.

(p.221) Reports of the sisters' alleged involvement with the Americanists had reached Mother Aimee in Belgium and dampened the superior's initial enthusiasm for the project. Disputes over financing the college increased her suspicion of the endeavor. At issue were two different approaches to fund-raising. Mother Aimee urged Sister Julia to delay actual construction of the college until they had accumulated sufficient funds. Cardinal Gibbons, on the other hand, encouraged them to start building immediately. When construction had not begun by April 1898, Gibbons correctly guessed that Namur was behind the delay, and he threatened to remove his support for Trinity as a result. With this in mind, Sister Julia decided that it would ultimately be more effective to work and raise money simultaneously.68 Although Mother Aimee never retracted her official endorsement of the col-lege, her friendship with Sister Julia permanently soured. Both women celebrated their golden jubilees in the summer of 1898, and Sister Julia traveled to Belgium for the commemoration ceremonies. Although she anticipated that the personal visit would provide her with an opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding, her hopes were in vain.69 While evidence suggests that the cooling of the relationship genuinely saddened Sister Julia, her effort to distance the American sisters from Namur was both deliberate and necessary. Because Belgium was known for its conservative brand of Catholicism, it was in Trinity's best interest to deemphasize any foreign taint. Sister Julia had repeatedly assured her progressive supporters that the American sisters had been “singularly free from European influence.”70

In addition to showing the sisters' increased autonomy from Namur, Trin-ity's founding also evinced, albeit in an unexpected way, a move away from Roman influence. When the machinations of Schroeder and Satolli raised the possibility of a papal prohibition on the American nuns' work, Sister Julia was well aware that a public rebuke from Rome would suggest to other Americans that Catholics were under the thumb of the Vatican. As Sister Julia wrote to Cardinal Ferrata, “Personal convictions do not generally influence us, but we cannot but be alive to the fact that this has now become a national affair, fixing the eyes of the whole country upon us.”71 In the long run, however, Schroeder and Satolli's attempt to assert Vatican influence actually produced an opposite effect.

Recall the wording of Rampolla's letter to Martinelli on the resolution of the Trinity question: “His Holiness … thinks that there should be nothing more said … of an Institution for females.” Now that the question had been settled, Sister Mary Euphrasia hoped for an official statement from the Vatican that was a bit less tepid. She wanted to ask the apostolic delegate for a formal blessing of the project. Frederick Rooker, one of Martinelli's aides, (p.222) refused to allow her to submit the request. With astute logic, Rooker argued that Rome, having “stuck its finger in the pie” in the wake of Schroeder's and Satolli's accusations, would not admit publicly that it had been in error. But neither would the Vatican interfere again. Once Trinity opened, Rooker predicted that Trinity could “get any amount of blessings and approbations direct from His Holiness himself.” Until then, Rome would be silent on the matter. As the official representative of the Vatican, Martinelli would be unable to publicly endorse Trinity. Though he supported the sisters, he would have to refuse Sister Mary Euphrasia's request. Because of the damage that would do, Rooker pointed out, it was wiser not to put the apostolic delegate in that position. As it happened, Rooker was correct in predicting that Rome would wait until Trinity opened to send its formal blessing.72

If careful negotiations with superiors in Namur and Rome provided the sisters with one avenue to become “conspicuously American,” finding new ways to reach out to non-Catholics offered another. This is most clearly seen in the relationships that developed between the sisters and secular educators. Early on, the sisters planned to model their college on the Seven Sisters schools, emphasizing that Trinity would be “of the same grade as Vassar, thus giving young women an opportunity for the highest collegiate instruction.”73 As she promised in Trinity's prospectus, it would be the “object and life of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to provide the safeguards to faith and morals while they offer to women courses of study which will be equal if not superior to those of our best non-Catholic colleges.”74

Sister Julia and other members of the Notre Dame community studied the catalogs of Wellesley and Bryn Mawr to familiarize themselves with their curricula. Later, she and several other sisters traveled to Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, and Wellesley.75 During these visits, the nuns met with deans and presidents, attended classes, visited Catholic students, and acquainted themselves with campus life. These visits forged mutual admiration between secular administrators and the Sisters of Notre Dame that would endure even after Trinity opened. M. Carey Thomas, the president of Bryn Mawr, attended the dedication ceremony in November 1900 to support her “sister college.”76 Cooperative efforts between Trinity's founders and their secular counterparts resulted in a curriculum that was virtually identical to that of Vassar and Bryn Mawr.77

The Ladies Auxiliary Board of Regents, a group of women who coordinated fund-raising for Trinity, also attested to the sisters' increasingly American orientation.78 The sisters deliberately recruited prominent women in Washington, many of whom were converts to Catholicism. Representative regents included Ella Lorraine Dorsey, a Daughter of the American Revolution (p.223) and an employee at the U.S. Patent Office; Olive Risley Seward, adopted daughter of the former secretary of state; and Mollie Eliot Seawell, the grandniece of former president John Tyler. At their first meeting in the spring of 1898, the Ladies Board rejected a proposal to solicit donations from foreign sources and resolved to appeal only to Americans for aid.79 In addition to raising funds and publicizing the college, members of the Ladies Board also recruited students from across the United States. Consequently Trinity's pioneer class was more geographically diverse than its peer institutions.80

Classes began at Trinity on November 8, 1900, and the college was dedicated on November 22. Martinelli celebrated Mass at the dedication ceremony, and Gibbons blessed the first building. Bishops from Brooklyn, New York, Richmond, and Wheeling were present, as were representatives of other women's religious communities. Members of the diplomatic corps, senators and congressmen, and presidents of secular colleges also attended. Conaty delivered the principal address, in which he described Trinity's students as having the potential to be both “the glory of the Church” and the “Salvation of the State.”81

Other supporters echoed Conaty in their own endorsements of the college. One observer remarked that because the Catholic girl was “as truly an American girl as any other, of an equally democratic and independent spirit … it was not to be expected that there should be any difference in thirst for knowledge.”82 Another prelate commented that Trinity's founding gave the Sisters of Notre Dame a “distinctly American line” by proving that they were as “in love with country as they were with God.”83

As this rhetoric indicates, there is ample evidence to suggest that the sisters went to considerable lengths to accentuate their Americanness. What should not be overlooked, however, is the fact that the sisters' accommodation to American culture was largely facilitated by their efforts to emphasize their Catholicity. During their first discussion about Trinity, Garrigan told Sister Mary Euphrasia that he hoped that Trinity would do for Catholic women what “Vassar and Wellesley and Bryn Mawr are doing for American women.”84 The nuns readily understood Garrigan's distinction. When Sister Mary Euphrasia assured Cardinal Satolli that she was trying to “counteract the tendencies of the times,” she was obviously defending the sisters against the accusation that they were emulating Protestants.85 But she was not being dishonest in making this claim. Emphasizing Catholicism as Trinity's raison d'etre, the sisters understood that there were important distinctions between their college and its secular counterparts.86

Despite their proclamations of Americanness, for example, the sisters obviously valued retaining the connection to their European roots. Although Sister Julia had insisted that she would only use teachers who would be (p.224) familiar with the new American methods, she ensured that faculty would also be well-versed in Catholic techniques. In fall 1899, she sent two sisters to Namur in order to prepare them to teach at the college level. The next summer, she gathered the ten sisters who would become Trinity's first faculty at the Notre Dame summer school in Waltham, Massachusetts.87 Further-more, despite the goodwill that existed between themselves and the administrators of non-Catholic colleges, Sister Julia was determined that Trinity's curriculum would be distinguished from that of secular colleges through the addition of requirements in religion and church history. An early catalog stated that because the history of Christianity was the “story of the true emancipation and elevation of womankind,” it is eminently proper that “the history of the Catholic Church, the divinely appointed custodian and interpreter of the will and the spirit of Jesus Christ, should be thoroughly taught in any school of higher studies for Christian women.”88

Campus life varied only slightly from life on non-Catholic campuses. Mass was celebrated every morning and, although it was not required, the majority attended. Retreats occurred regularly, and sodalities existed along with organizations such as the glee club and the athletic association.89 All members of Trinity's first class were either Catholic or preparing to become Catholic. The class included several Catholic transfer students from Wellesley and Barnard, which was interpreted as vindication of the argument that Catholic women would not choose secular colleges if they had a Catholic alternative. The student body was also ethnically distinct. Along with most of the other early Catholic women's colleges, Trinity helped put a uniquely Irish-American stamp on Catholic women's higher education.90 Perhaps the most vivid testament to Trinity's Irishness comes from its first class roster, which included the names Dooley, Gavin, O'Mahoney, McEnelly, Linehan, O'Connell, and Kennedy.91 Significantly, the sisters avoided becoming too explicit about their ethnic heritage. At one suggestion that they choose a shamrock for Trinity's emblem, they politely demurred, saying it would be “too expressive.”92

What is perhaps more striking than these actual differences in faculty, curriculum, campus life, and student body was the way that the sisters, their supporters, and their students presented Trinity as distinct from non-Catholic women's colleges. The most obvious manifestation of this sense of difference was the repeated emphasis on Trinity's connection to an Irish and Catholic past. Like many other Catholic women, Sister Julia envisioned herself as part of a long and venerable tradition, and she declared this sentiment in most of her discussions about the college. In Trinity's first catalog, for example, she expressed her hope that Trinity would “give the women of our day every facility for becoming as brilliant lights in the intellectual world as those who (p.225) have shone in ecclesiastical history in bygone ages—the Hildas, the Liobas, the Marcellas, the Paulas, the Eustochiums, the Catherines, and a host of others.”93 Sister Mary Euphrasia also believed that modern Catholic women's college students were merely following in the tradition of “St. Catherine of Sienna [sic] in the fourteenth, and St. Theresa in the sixteenth century … each in turn the glory of the age in which she lived.” She also pointed to the women scholars at Padua, reminding her sisters that the Catholic Church had educated women at Padua three centuries before Harvard, Cornell, or Yale opened their doors to women. In a letter to Sister Julia, she wrote, “Now the Church approves that we take up the work of Padua! [emphasis in original].”94 One supporter of the sisters used a visit to Namur to observe that “in working for Heaven we always plant or build better than we know; and the evolution of the work of the Sisterhood of Notre Dame from the poor schools of France to the State schools of Belgium, the normal schools of England, and Trinity College of America is perfectly logical, religiously and socially.”95 By anchoring Trinity securely to a Catholic past, the sisters were able to present their college as a “perfectly logical” evolution of the historic commitment of their congregation. In so doing, they implicitly refuted any suggestion that Trinity represented a radical innovation, a far more dangerous proposition for Catholic women.96

Trinity's students were often reminded that they, too, were following in the footsteps of ancient Catholic women. Lelia Hardin Bugg, a popular Catholic writer who became a member of Trinity's inaugural class, acknowledged that the college began “a new course in the cause of higher education of Christian women.” Bugg cautioned her readers, however, that Trinity College was “but reviving an old privilege conferred by the Church on women centuries before the discoverer of America was born, the privilege of being learned and good.” To underscore this connection to their Catholic past, statues of “St. Paula, St. Katherine, Laura Bassi, wearing the cap and gown of the University of Bologna, Helena Bisopiagia, the sunny-haired Venetian, first among the philosophers of her time, and Novella d'Andrea” greeted the students when they walked on the terrace of Trinity's main building.97 Of course, the college's publicity materials explicitly distinguished Trinity's students from the threatening “New Woman”: “While the New Woman, with her head full of vagaries, is reconstructing the Universe, Trinity College will offer to her Catholic sisters an opportunity to accrue knowledge which, though adapting itself to all rightful demands of the period, is firmly wedded to that unchanging faith which has lifted women of all ages to her true position.”98 The women of Trinity—founders, students, supporters—constructed a usable past that allowed them to follow in the footsteps of the New Woman, while convincing themselves and others that they were headed in an opposite direction. By (p.226) declaring themselves the spiritual sisters of female scholars at medieval Catholic universities rather than of contemporary educators and students at Wellesley or Bryn Mawr, the women of Trinity redefined themselves from potential threats into acceptable women. By combining selective retrieval of Catholic tradition with cautious borrowing from American culture, the women of Trinity managed to become “conspicuously American” without jeopardizing their standing within the church. It was, in other words, through the articulation of a distinctive Catholic identity that they discovered the means to subvert a rigid ideology of gender that often circumscribed women's lives and choices.

Conclusion

In her profile of Sister Julia McGroarty, Katharine O'Keeffe O'Mahoney observed that Trinity “was no new departure in that Ever-Living Church that is ready to meet the needs of all places and all times.”99 Like the comment that appeared earlier in her sketch—“Sister Superior prayed and Trinity was started”—this statement must be subjected to further scrutiny. Trinity, along with the thirteen other Catholic women's colleges founded between 1896 and 1918, did represent a new and important departure for American Catholics.

Trinity's founding thus has broader implications for the study of U.S. Catholicism. Perched at an important intersection between Catholic culture and American society, its leaders blended tradition and innovation in ways that made sense to them as American Catholics. By effectively straddling the boundaries between the Old and the New Worlds, the women of Trinity produced a much timelier response to the demands of a modernizing America than did the institutional church. Their story therefore suggests that some American Catholics may have been more attuned to and affected by developments in Progressive-era United States than historians have previously understood.

Notes

(1) . Sister Mary Cameron, SSND, The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 1895–1945 (New York: Declan X. McMullen Company, 1947), 56–58; Mary Oates, CSJ, “The Development of Catholic Colleges for Women, 1895–1960,” U.S. Catholic Historian 7 (1988): 414; Mary Hayes, SND de N, “The Founding of Trinity College, Washington, D.C.: A Case Study in Christian Feminism,” U.S. Catholic Historian 10 (1991): 84.

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(2) . Katharine O'Keeffe O'Mahoney, Famous Irish Women (Lawrence, Mass.: Lawrence Publishing Company, 1907), 127.

(3) . As Suellen Hoy observed in her history of Irish nuns, “Obscurity and invisibility, though not uncommon in the study of women's lives in general, are particularly troublesome when they are sought after and considered measures of success.” Suellen Hoy, “The Journey Out: The Recruitment and Emigration of Irish Religious Women to the United States, 1812–1914,” Journal of Women's History 6 (Winter 1995–96): 65.

(4) . Sister Julia (hereafter SJ) to the Sisters of Trinity, February 1901, “Founding Years,” Trinity College Archives (hereafter TCA), Washington, D.C.

(5) . Carol Coburn and Martha Smith note that nuns' achievements and influence are routinely attributed to “Father” or “beloved Bishop.” Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 223.

(6) . Gerda Lerner, The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 145–59.

(7) . Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 309–11; Thomas McAvoy, The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895–1900 (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1957); Philip Gleason, “The New Americanism in Catholic Historiography,” U.S. Catholic Historian 11 (Summer 1993): 4–5. All of the essays in this issue are devoted to the Americanist controversy.

(8) . Walter Nugent, “A Catholic Progressive? The Case of Judge E. O. Brown,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 2, no. 1 (2003): 5.

(9) . Sister Mary Euphrasia (hereafter SME), “In the Midst of Things,” Notre Dame Quarterly (2 September 1910), copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(10) . SJ to SME, September 2, 1897, copied into SME, “A Sketch of the Foundation of Trinity College for Catholic Women, Washington, D.C.,” unpublished manuscript, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C., I:236. This manuscript is recorded in two books. The first is numbered 1–259, and the second 1–133. Subsequent references will specify which book is being cited, I or II.

(11) . Trinity's first historian, Sister Mary Patricia Butler, SND, wrote that Garrigan and Thomas Conaty, the rector of Catholic University, “entered into the project with such zest and wisdom as wholly to change and exalt the nature of the enterprise. They pointed out clearly and with excellent reasoning that what was needed was not an academy but a college for women.” Mary Patricia Butler, An Historical Sketch of Trinity College, 1897–1925 (n.p.: Read Taylor, 1925), 10. Modern historical accounts also credit the rectors of Catholic University with convincing the sisters to set their sights on a higher goal. Philip Gleason, Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 28, 89.

(12) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:1–3.

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(13) . Annie Toler Hilliard, “An Investigation of Selected Events and Forces That Contributed to the Growth and Development of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., from 1897–1982” (Ph.D. diss., George Washington University, 1984), 62–64.

(14) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:3.

(15) . Ibid., 8, 10; Lucy M. Cohen, “Early Efforts to Admit Sisters and Lay Women to the Catholic University of America,” in An Introduction to Pioneering Women at the Catholic University of America, ed. E. Catherine Dunn and Dorothy A. Mohler (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 1990); Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 28.

(16) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:8. Most Catholic colleges were single sex until the 1970s.

(17) . Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (New York: Free Press, 1989), 139.

(18) . It is not exactly clear how many Catholic women were attending secular schools at the time of Trinity's founding. Father John Farrell, the Catholic chaplain at Harvard, conducted a survey in 1907 and found that 1,557 Catholic women were attending secular colleges. Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 25.

(19) . Austin O'Malley, “College Work for Catholic Girls,” Catholic World 68 (1898): 162.

(20) . For a discussion of the consensus in the Catholic community with regard to women's higher education, see Kathleen A. Mahoney, “American Catholic Colleges for Women: Historical Origins,” in Catholic Women's Colleges in America, ed. Tracy Schier and Cynthia Russett (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 28.

(21) . Gibbons to SJ, June 21, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(22) . Sister Columba Mullaly, SND, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.: The First Eighty Years (Westminster, Md.: Christian Classics, 1987), 26.

(23) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:63.

(24) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 30.

(25) . Archbishop John Ireland to SJ, July 16, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(26) . Ibid., 273–75.

(27) . Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 7–12.

(28) . Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J., The Vatican and the American Hierarchy from 1870–1965 (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1985), 158–59; Peter E. Hogan, SSJ, The Catholic University of America, 1896–1903: The Rectorship of Thomas J. Conaty (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1949), 6.

(29) . Karen M. Kennelly, CSJ, “Ireland, Mother Seraphine [Ellen],” in European Immigrant Women in the United States: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Judy Barrett Litoff and Judith McDonnell (New York: Garland, 1994), 149.

(30) . Gibbons to SJ, June 21, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(31) . Lelia Hardin Bugg, “Trinity College,” Rosary Magazine (April 1901): 379.

(32) . Right Reverend J. L. Spalding, D.D., Bishop of Peoria, “Woman and the Higher (p.229) Education,” in Higher Education for Catholic Women: A Historical Anthology, ed. Mary J. Oates, CSJ (New York: Garland, 1987), 25–47.

(33) . Rev. Edward Pace, Ph.D., “The College Woman,” Donahue's Magazine 52 (1904): 287.

(34) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 27.

(35) . Nancy F. Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), 39.

(36) . “Occupations for Women,” Donahue's Magazine 39 (1898): 289; Kathleen Sprows Cummings, “‘Not the New Woman?’ Irish American Women and the Creation of a Usable Past,” U.S. Catholic Historian 19 (2001): 37–39.

(37) . J.N.E., “The ‘New Woman’ at the ‘University’,” August 11, 1897, Das Herold des Glaubens, translation in “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C. Evidence that Schroeder was behind this letter can be found in a letter from Sister Angela Elizabeth, SND, to Sister Sheila Doherty, June 2, 1972, TCA, Washington, D.C. “J.N.E.” is most likely John N. Enzelberger, a German priest from Illinois and the editor of Das Herold des Glaubens.

(38) . SME to editors of Das Herold des Glaubens, August 28, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(39) . Satolli to Gibbons, August 15, 1897, translation in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 97 (original in Italian in Baltimore Archdiocesan Archives).

(40) . Martinelli to Gibbons, August 23, 1897, quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 97.

(41) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:195.

(42) . SJ to SME, September 2, 1897, in ibid., I:236.

(43) . See clippings file, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(44) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 36.

(45) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:209–16.

(46) . Ibid.

(47) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior [Sister Mary Borgia], September 15, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(48) . SJ to Cardinal Ferrata, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(49) . SJ to Cardinal Alois Mazzella, September 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(50) . SJ to Cardinal Rampolla, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(51) . SME to Cardinal Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(52) . SME to Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(53) . SJ to Rampolla, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(54) . This tactic was widely employed by Catholic women. See Cummings, “Not the New Woman?” passim.

(55) . Gibbons to Satolli, September 5, 1897, quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 98.

(56) . M.C.M., “The Columbian Reading Union,” Catholic World 65 (September 1897): 861–62.

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(57) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior, September 15, 1897.

(58) . Rampolla to Martinelli, November 13, 1897. Letter was received at the Apostolic Delegate on November 30. Translation quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 98.

(59) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” II:17.

(60) . Ibid.

(61) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior [Sister Mary Borgia], October 26, 1897.

(62) . Schroeder officially resigned on December 29, 1897. Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 10; Fogarty, Vatican and the American Hierarchy, 158–59.

(63) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” II:16. Letter dictated by Gibbons to SME.

(64) . Sister Angela Elizabeth Keenan, SND, Three against the Wind: The Founding of Trinity College, Washington D.C. (Westminster, Md.: Christian Classics, 1973), 112.

(65) . Joseph M. McShane, S.J., “Sufficiently Radical”: Catholicism, Progressivism and the Bishop's Program of 1919 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1986), 1–2.

(66) . Minutes of LAB [Ladies Auxiliary Board], April 3, 1899, TCA, Washington, D.C.; “A Summary of Questions Most Frequently Asked, 28 November 1899,” pamphlet, “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C.

(67) . Hasia R. Diner, Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983); Hoy, “The Journey Out,” 64–98.

(68) . Keenan, Three against the Wind, 129. As it happened, the declaration of the Spanish-American War would delay the groundbreaking for over a year.

(69) . Sister Helen Louise, SND, Sister Julia, 281.

(70) . Hayes, “Founding of Trinity,” 81; SJ to Dr. Garrigan, April 18, 1898, SJ correspondence, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(71) . SJ to Cardinal Ferrata, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(72) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 40.

(73) . M.C.M., “Columbian Reading Union,” Catholic World 65 (1897): 862.

(74) . Trinity College Prospectus, in “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C.

(75) . SJ to SME, April 1897, copied into SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:63; Minutes of the Ladies Auxiliary Board (hereafter LAB), May 10, 1899, TCA, Washington, D.C.; Keenan, Three against the Wind, 124.

(76) . Bugg, “Trinity College,” 377.

(77) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 266.

(78) . SJ to SME, n.d. (April), in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:62.

(79) . Minutes of LAB, March 31, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(80) . Twenty-two students represented eighteen different states. Minutes of LAB, May 9, 1901, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(81) . Butler, Historical Sketch, 35; Bugg, “Trinity College.”

(82) . M. McDevitt, “Trinity College and Higher Education,” Catholic World (June 1904): 389.

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(83) . Rev. Thomas Beaven, Archbishop of Springfield, to SJ, July 14, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C. Excerpts of this were reprinted in a publicity pamphlet.

(84) . Garrigan to SME, in “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:27.

(85) . SME to Cardinal Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(86) . SJ to SME, August 11, 1897, in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:187.

(87) . Sarah Willard Howe, “Trinity College,” Donahue's Magazine 44 (1900): 323; Bugg, “Trinity College,” 382.

(88) . Trinity College Catalogue, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(89) . Minutes of the Advisory Board, May 9, 1901, TCA, Washington, D.C.; Mullaly, Trinity College, 314.

(90) . Sister Julia was one of a host of Irish-born founders of Catholic women's colleges. Mother Seraphine of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet (formerly Ellen Ireland), who was born in Kilkenny in 1842, founded the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. Mother Irene Gill of the Ursulines, born in Galway in 1860, founded the College of Saint Angela in New Rochelle, New York (later called College of New Rochelle). Mother Marie Joseph Butler of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, born in Kilkenny in 1860, founded Marymount College in New York City in 1918.

(91) . Butler, Historical Sketch, 22. Irish surnames predominated on later class rosters as well. “Degrees Conferred, 1904–1925,” Trinity College Catalogue, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(92) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior, September 15, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(93) . Trinity College Catalogue, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C. For a discussion of female scholars of the Middle Ages, see Mahoney, “Historical Origins,” 28–36.

(94) . SME to SJ, May 25, 1897, in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:135–36.

(95) . Katherine E. Conway, New Footsteps in Well-Trodden Ways (Boston: Pilot Publishing Company, 1899), 210.

(96) . See Cummings, “Not the New Woman?”

(97) . Bugg, “Trinity College,” 388.

(98) . Mary T. Waggaman, “Catholic Life in Washington,” Catholic World 66 (March 1898): 837–38.

(99) . O'Mahoney, Famous Irish Women, 123–24.

Notes:

(1) . Sister Mary Cameron, SSND, The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 1895–1945 (New York: Declan X. McMullen Company, 1947), 56–58; Mary Oates, CSJ, “The Development of Catholic Colleges for Women, 1895–1960,” U.S. Catholic Historian 7 (1988): 414; Mary Hayes, SND de N, “The Founding of Trinity College, Washington, D.C.: A Case Study in Christian Feminism,” U.S. Catholic Historian 10 (1991): 84.

(2) . Katharine O'Keeffe O'Mahoney, Famous Irish Women (Lawrence, Mass.: Lawrence Publishing Company, 1907), 127.

(3) . As Suellen Hoy observed in her history of Irish nuns, “Obscurity and invisibility, though not uncommon in the study of women's lives in general, are particularly troublesome when they are sought after and considered measures of success.” Suellen Hoy, “The Journey Out: The Recruitment and Emigration of Irish Religious Women to the United States, 1812–1914,” Journal of Women's History 6 (Winter 1995–96): 65.

(4) . Sister Julia (hereafter SJ) to the Sisters of Trinity, February 1901, “Founding Years,” Trinity College Archives (hereafter TCA), Washington, D.C.

(5) . Carol Coburn and Martha Smith note that nuns' achievements and influence are routinely attributed to “Father” or “beloved Bishop.” Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 223.

(6) . Gerda Lerner, The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 145–59.

(7) . Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 309–11; Thomas McAvoy, The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895–1900 (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1957); Philip Gleason, “The New Americanism in Catholic Historiography,” U.S. Catholic Historian 11 (Summer 1993): 4–5. All of the essays in this issue are devoted to the Americanist controversy.

(8) . Walter Nugent, “A Catholic Progressive? The Case of Judge E. O. Brown,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 2, no. 1 (2003): 5.

(9) . Sister Mary Euphrasia (hereafter SME), “In the Midst of Things,” Notre Dame Quarterly (2 September 1910), copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(10) . SJ to SME, September 2, 1897, copied into SME, “A Sketch of the Foundation of Trinity College for Catholic Women, Washington, D.C.,” unpublished manuscript, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C., I:236. This manuscript is recorded in two books. The first is numbered 1–259, and the second 1–133. Subsequent references will specify which book is being cited, I or II.

(11) . Trinity's first historian, Sister Mary Patricia Butler, SND, wrote that Garrigan and Thomas Conaty, the rector of Catholic University, “entered into the project with such zest and wisdom as wholly to change and exalt the nature of the enterprise. They pointed out clearly and with excellent reasoning that what was needed was not an academy but a college for women.” Mary Patricia Butler, An Historical Sketch of Trinity College, 1897–1925 (n.p.: Read Taylor, 1925), 10. Modern historical accounts also credit the rectors of Catholic University with convincing the sisters to set their sights on a higher goal. Philip Gleason, Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 28, 89.

(12) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:1–3.

(13) . Annie Toler Hilliard, “An Investigation of Selected Events and Forces That Contributed to the Growth and Development of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., from 1897–1982” (Ph.D. diss., George Washington University, 1984), 62–64.

(14) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:3.

(15) . Ibid., 8, 10; Lucy M. Cohen, “Early Efforts to Admit Sisters and Lay Women to the Catholic University of America,” in An Introduction to Pioneering Women at the Catholic University of America, ed. E. Catherine Dunn and Dorothy A. Mohler (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 1990); Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 28.

(16) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:8. Most Catholic colleges were single sex until the 1970s.

(17) . Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (New York: Free Press, 1989), 139.

(18) . It is not exactly clear how many Catholic women were attending secular schools at the time of Trinity's founding. Father John Farrell, the Catholic chaplain at Harvard, conducted a survey in 1907 and found that 1,557 Catholic women were attending secular colleges. Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 25.

(19) . Austin O'Malley, “College Work for Catholic Girls,” Catholic World 68 (1898): 162.

(20) . For a discussion of the consensus in the Catholic community with regard to women's higher education, see Kathleen A. Mahoney, “American Catholic Colleges for Women: Historical Origins,” in Catholic Women's Colleges in America, ed. Tracy Schier and Cynthia Russett (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 28.

(21) . Gibbons to SJ, June 21, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(22) . Sister Columba Mullaly, SND, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.: The First Eighty Years (Westminster, Md.: Christian Classics, 1987), 26.

(23) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:63.

(24) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 30.

(25) . Archbishop John Ireland to SJ, July 16, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(26) . Ibid., 273–75.

(27) . Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 7–12.

(28) . Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J., The Vatican and the American Hierarchy from 1870–1965 (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1985), 158–59; Peter E. Hogan, SSJ, The Catholic University of America, 1896–1903: The Rectorship of Thomas J. Conaty (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1949), 6.

(29) . Karen M. Kennelly, CSJ, “Ireland, Mother Seraphine [Ellen],” in European Immigrant Women in the United States: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Judy Barrett Litoff and Judith McDonnell (New York: Garland, 1994), 149.

(30) . Gibbons to SJ, June 21, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(31) . Lelia Hardin Bugg, “Trinity College,” Rosary Magazine (April 1901): 379.

(32) . Right Reverend J. L. Spalding, D.D., Bishop of Peoria, “Woman and the Higher (p.229) Education,” in Higher Education for Catholic Women: A Historical Anthology, ed. Mary J. Oates, CSJ (New York: Garland, 1987), 25–47.

(33) . Rev. Edward Pace, Ph.D., “The College Woman,” Donahue's Magazine 52 (1904): 287.

(34) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 27.

(35) . Nancy F. Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), 39.

(36) . “Occupations for Women,” Donahue's Magazine 39 (1898): 289; Kathleen Sprows Cummings, “‘Not the New Woman?’ Irish American Women and the Creation of a Usable Past,” U.S. Catholic Historian 19 (2001): 37–39.

(37) . J.N.E., “The ‘New Woman’ at the ‘University’,” August 11, 1897, Das Herold des Glaubens, translation in “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C. Evidence that Schroeder was behind this letter can be found in a letter from Sister Angela Elizabeth, SND, to Sister Sheila Doherty, June 2, 1972, TCA, Washington, D.C. “J.N.E.” is most likely John N. Enzelberger, a German priest from Illinois and the editor of Das Herold des Glaubens.

(38) . SME to editors of Das Herold des Glaubens, August 28, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(39) . Satolli to Gibbons, August 15, 1897, translation in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 97 (original in Italian in Baltimore Archdiocesan Archives).

(40) . Martinelli to Gibbons, August 23, 1897, quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 97.

(41) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:195.

(42) . SJ to SME, September 2, 1897, in ibid., I:236.

(43) . See clippings file, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(44) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 36.

(45) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:209–16.

(46) . Ibid.

(47) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior [Sister Mary Borgia], September 15, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(48) . SJ to Cardinal Ferrata, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(49) . SJ to Cardinal Alois Mazzella, September 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(50) . SJ to Cardinal Rampolla, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(51) . SME to Cardinal Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(52) . SME to Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(53) . SJ to Rampolla, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(54) . This tactic was widely employed by Catholic women. See Cummings, “Not the New Woman?” passim.

(55) . Gibbons to Satolli, September 5, 1897, quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 98.

(56) . M.C.M., “The Columbian Reading Union,” Catholic World 65 (September 1897): 861–62.

(57) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior, September 15, 1897.

(58) . Rampolla to Martinelli, November 13, 1897. Letter was received at the Apostolic Delegate on November 30. Translation quoted in Hogan, Catholic University of America, 98.

(59) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” II:17.

(60) . Ibid.

(61) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior [Sister Mary Borgia], October 26, 1897.

(62) . Schroeder officially resigned on December 29, 1897. Gleason, Contending with Modernity, 10; Fogarty, Vatican and the American Hierarchy, 158–59.

(63) . SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” II:16. Letter dictated by Gibbons to SME.

(64) . Sister Angela Elizabeth Keenan, SND, Three against the Wind: The Founding of Trinity College, Washington D.C. (Westminster, Md.: Christian Classics, 1973), 112.

(65) . Joseph M. McShane, S.J., “Sufficiently Radical”: Catholicism, Progressivism and the Bishop's Program of 1919 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1986), 1–2.

(66) . Minutes of LAB [Ladies Auxiliary Board], April 3, 1899, TCA, Washington, D.C.; “A Summary of Questions Most Frequently Asked, 28 November 1899,” pamphlet, “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C.

(67) . Hasia R. Diner, Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983); Hoy, “The Journey Out,” 64–98.

(68) . Keenan, Three against the Wind, 129. As it happened, the declaration of the Spanish-American War would delay the groundbreaking for over a year.

(69) . Sister Helen Louise, SND, Sister Julia, 281.

(70) . Hayes, “Founding of Trinity,” 81; SJ to Dr. Garrigan, April 18, 1898, SJ correspondence, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(71) . SJ to Cardinal Ferrata, September 8, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(72) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 40.

(73) . M.C.M., “Columbian Reading Union,” Catholic World 65 (1897): 862.

(74) . Trinity College Prospectus, in “Founding Years,” TCA, Washington, D.C.

(75) . SJ to SME, April 1897, copied into SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:63; Minutes of the Ladies Auxiliary Board (hereafter LAB), May 10, 1899, TCA, Washington, D.C.; Keenan, Three against the Wind, 124.

(76) . Bugg, “Trinity College,” 377.

(77) . Mullaly, Trinity College, 266.

(78) . SJ to SME, n.d. (April), in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:62.

(79) . Minutes of LAB, March 31, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(80) . Twenty-two students represented eighteen different states. Minutes of LAB, May 9, 1901, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(81) . Butler, Historical Sketch, 35; Bugg, “Trinity College.”

(82) . M. McDevitt, “Trinity College and Higher Education,” Catholic World (June 1904): 389.

(83) . Rev. Thomas Beaven, Archbishop of Springfield, to SJ, July 14, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C. Excerpts of this were reprinted in a publicity pamphlet.

(84) . Garrigan to SME, in “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:27.

(85) . SME to Cardinal Satolli, August 26, 1897, copy in TCA, Washington, D.C.

(86) . SJ to SME, August 11, 1897, in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:187.

(87) . Sarah Willard Howe, “Trinity College,” Donahue's Magazine 44 (1900): 323; Bugg, “Trinity College,” 382.

(88) . Trinity College Catalogue, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(89) . Minutes of the Advisory Board, May 9, 1901, TCA, Washington, D.C.; Mullaly, Trinity College, 314.

(90) . Sister Julia was one of a host of Irish-born founders of Catholic women's colleges. Mother Seraphine of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet (formerly Ellen Ireland), who was born in Kilkenny in 1842, founded the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. Mother Irene Gill of the Ursulines, born in Galway in 1860, founded the College of Saint Angela in New Rochelle, New York (later called College of New Rochelle). Mother Marie Joseph Butler of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, born in Kilkenny in 1860, founded Marymount College in New York City in 1918.

(91) . Butler, Historical Sketch, 22. Irish surnames predominated on later class rosters as well. “Degrees Conferred, 1904–1925,” Trinity College Catalogue, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(92) . Sister Agnes Loretto to Sister Superior, September 15, 1897, TCA, Washington, D.C.

(93) . Trinity College Catalogue, 1898, TCA, Washington, D.C. For a discussion of female scholars of the Middle Ages, see Mahoney, “Historical Origins,” 28–36.

(94) . SME to SJ, May 25, 1897, in SME, “Sketch of the Foundation,” I:135–36.

(95) . Katherine E. Conway, New Footsteps in Well-Trodden Ways (Boston: Pilot Publishing Company, 1899), 210.

(96) . See Cummings, “Not the New Woman?”

(97) . Bugg, “Trinity College,” 388.

(98) . Mary T. Waggaman, “Catholic Life in Washington,” Catholic World 66 (March 1898): 837–38.

(99) . O'Mahoney, Famous Irish Women, 123–24.