CITIZEN ACTIVITIES, 1851
" . . . important for an institution like Notre Dame generally looked upon by Americans with all the prejudice of the public against Monasteries, to come into contact with neighbors and to take an interest in all that concerns the general good, to show zeal in those matters, and to convince everyone that we are citizens in heart as well as in name.
For these reasons Father Sorin lately judged it advisable to present himself with some of the Brothers at the election for the offices of the country. Even the lowest offices bring forward candidates who are disposed to act fairly toward the Institution and Catholics in general.
Perhaps there is no people more eager for office. Hence it is easy to guess what consideration an institute will have in their eyes, which can decide 2/3 of all the local elections. The Presbyterians, in particular, galled at seeing this power with all its consequences in the hands of a Catholic priest. Used prudently it is a precious boon for the house and for the country because of the good choice that can be made of public officers. 1851