University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Notre Dame: Foundations, 1842-1857 / by John Theodore Wack

Notes 1.3

1 Sorin commented that the Catholics of the area were not very zealous, and he indicated his disappointment with them in this business of church raising in a letter to Bishop de la Hailandiere (Notre Dame du Lac, January 24, 1843, PAHC). One wonders how much zeal the local settlers could reflect at the arrival of this enthusiastic young Frenchman, who insisted, in the dead cold of the most severe winter in years, that they come out to the Lakes and build him a church. Cf. "Chronicles," p. 146.

2 Sorin to de la Hailandiere, Notre Dame du Lac, January 24, 1843, PAHC; "Chronicles," p. 46.

3 "Chronicles," p. 46.

4 Ibid., pp. 46-47.

5 Ibid., p. 45.

6 Ibid., pp. 45, 52-53.

7 Ibid., p. 44. There is evidence, unfortunately incomplete, that Sorin, sometime early in the year 1843, received $740.00 from a Father Hupier, a priest at LeMans who had assigned his whole fortune to the community founded by Moreau. However, Sorin does not mention this sum in his "Chronicle" when he lists those who had aided him. The sum is, however, indicated as a free gift in Ledger A. UNDA. See also the Circular letter of July 23, 1873, in Sorin, Circular Letters . . ., I, 59-61.

8 Ledger A, UNDA. These funds were accrued through Moreau.

9 "Chronicles," p. 52. This building, now known familiarly as 'Old College,' still stands on the campus. It has more than fulfilled its original purpose. Since its bakery-college days, it has served as a dormitory, Sisters' convent, farmhouse, and, in recent years, as a residence hall for students attending the University of Notre Dame who are considering a vocation to the religious life.

10 The best source concerning this journey is Sister M. Eleanore Brosnahan, On the King's Highway (N.Y.: 1931), pp. 106-107, which contains Cointet's letters on the subject.

11 "Chronicles," p. 49.

12 Father Theophile Marivault to Bishop Peter Paul Lefevre, Bishop of Detroit, April 19, 1845, UNDA. Cf. George Pare, The Catholic Church in Detroit, 1701-1888, (Detroit: 1951), p. 505. Father Marivault remained at Pokagan until 1847. The last mention of him is in the Catholic Almanac of 1851 where be is listed as an Indian missionary in Fort Gibson, Arkansas.

13 "Chronicles," pp. 47, 50.

14 "Chronicles," p. 53. The list of subscribers is given in Ledger A, UNDA, which indicates the total was $1,197.00, not 1,000 francs (about $186.00). However the list indicates that $500 of this sum was from the Bishop of Vincennes and $400 from Father Moreau, a fact which is not indicated elsewhere in the records. It is quite possible that Sorin included these two men on the list in order to encourage large donations and to cover the poverty of the community -- after all, both of these men had given at least this much to the college, although not for this specific purpose.

15 Frederick Rudolph, The American College and University (N.Y.: 1962), pp. 48-49.

16 "Chronicles," pp. 53-54.

17 A photostat of the charter is in UNDA; "Chronicles," pp. 54-55.

18 It was not unusual for the state legislatures in the United States to grant such a charter. Almost any institution with pretensions as a college or University could receive the power to grant degrees, cf. Tewksbury, The Founding of American Colleges . . ., p. 5. Some Catholic colleges, however, found prejudice barred their way when they went to seek a charter. Erbacher, Catholic Higher Education . . . p. 117.

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