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BOOK REVIEWS 293 As might be expected, the extended Carroll clan is treated in detail. Especially useful is the chapter devoted to Daniel Carroll of Duddington, the area's major landholder and, along with his Catholic relative Notley Young, one of the proprietors with whom George Washington struck a deal for the acquisition of city land. Warner convincingly demonstrates that civic-mindedness, not commercial gain, was the dominating motive in these transactions. He goes on to show how this civic-mindedness, along with well-known Catholic support for education and charities, helped blunt nativist attempts to organize anti-Catholic sentiment in Washington in the 1850's. Obviously in such a broad survey some nuances are lost. For example, I wonder what Warner's take is on the Neale-Grassi agreement, theJesuits' unsuccessful effort to wrest control of St. Patrick's church and other popular missions. In the end an exasperated Father William Matthews, the doughty patriarch of St. Patrick's, recommended that the archbishop grant the Jesuits a parish "east of the Tiber," to still their disruptive but persistent effort to gain a foothold among the Federal city's parishes (in the end they were given St. Aloysius on swampy North Capitol Street). Despite the author's effort to provide a proper context, I also believe he paints too sanguine a picture of race relations in Catholic society . As Albert Foley and others suggest, strict segregation in all but St. Patrick's church and the exclusion of African Americans from Catholic institutions led many black Catholics to embrace the idea of a racially separate parish. Moreover ,to dismiss the sale ofJesuit slaves down river as a"heartless decision"made in Rome surely glosses over a most sordid page in American Catholic history. In his closing paragraphs the author uses an apt metaphor, calling these early Washingtonians "the first face ofAmerican Catholicism," a face that showed tolerance and benignity, one at peace with its neighbors. His study provides convincing evidence for this assertion. Morris J. MacGregor Arlington, Virginia A Parishfor the Federal City:St. Patrick's in Washington, 1794-1994. By Morris J. MacGregor. (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press. 1994. Pp. xiv,463. $29.95.) Despite its institutional centrality within the American Catholic communal experience, the parish has received relatively little attention from historians. All the more surprising, then, that the year before last saw the publication of not one but two distinguished parish-based histories of the Catholic experience in the District of Columbia, AtPeace WithAll Their Neighbors byWilliam Warner, and A Parishfor the Federal City. St. Patrick's, the first parish established in Washington after the creation of the federal enclave, was from the beginning and for more than a century after- 294 BOOK REVIEWS wards the heart of the Catholic community in the area. Its central location, between the Capitol and the White House, gave it an enduring importance through the leadership of several remarkable pastors and the institutions that they sponsored. Founded by an Irish immigrant priest for the largely Irish artisans and tradesmen engaged in the construction ofWashington, St. Patrick's became a heterogeneous nineteenth-century community comprising transplanted gentry, government clerks and workers, laborers and slaves. Parishioners included such prominent public figures as the architects James Hoban and Benjamin Latrobe, Chief Justice Roger Taney, and two mayors of the city. Led by its pastor of more than five decades,William Matthews, the parish was vitally involved in the social antebellum life of the city. In a population that was but one-fifth Catholic, St. Patrick's by mid-century was itself responsible for the education of almost half of Washington's students, through the orphanages, free schools, and academies that Matthews started. Its charitable and reform organizations were major city-wide operations. Converts were numerous, including many free blacks who were attracted to the integrated services and Sunday school at St. Patrick's. Matthews and several of the most prominent laymen of the parish were among those who petitioned Congress as early as the 1820's to abolish the slave trade in Washington and adopt a policy of gradual emancipation . When Matthews died in 1854, his funeral was an ecumenical event...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 293-295
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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