University of Notre Dame

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

Notes 6.3

1 "Chronicles," p. 201.

2 Ibid., p. 193.

3 Ibid., pp. 191-192.

4 Catta, op. cit., II, 35-37.

5 "Chronicles," p. 194.

6 Granger, "Obituary of Students . . . ," UNDA. Sorin noted that two college students also died at this time, but, unless they were two students who died at their homes, he probably was refering to two students who died in September of the epidemic. Granger, whose records are more exact, lists two student deaths then which Sorin does not mention. Cf. "Chronicles," p. 195.

7 Granger, "Obituary . . . of the Province," UNDA.

8 "Chronicles," p. 179.

9 Granger, "Obituary of Students . . . ," UNDA.

10 Sorin ("Chronicles," pp. 188, p. 6), a few months after the epidemic, identified the disease as typhoid fever plus dysentary, and this is probably a correct identification. Fr. Granger's "Obituaries" of both the religious and the students also identify the illness as typhoid fever, and these are obviously taken from the burial records. Later works, following the lead of the Silver Jubilee history, pp. 39-40, identify the disease as cholera (cf. Golden Jubilee, pp. 79-50, and Hope, op. cit., pp. 82-83) which had striken Notre Dame in earlier years, notably the fall of 1847, and which had raged around the United States almost every summer. Sorin' s account, however, was immediate to the affair, and it should have been simple enough for anyone with some experience to distinguish between the two dread diseases.

11 "Chronicles," pp. 188, 196-197.

12 Granger, "Obituaries . . . of the Province," UNDA.

13 Ibid.; Granger, "Obituary of Students . .," UNDA. The student, a boy of twelve, was at Notre Dame that summer with his father, a widower who had joined the Brothers.

14 "Chronicles," p. 199.

15 Granger, "Obituaries . . . of the Province," UNDA.

16 Silver Jubilee, p. 40.

17 Granger, "Obituaries . . . of the Province," UNDA.

18 "Chronicles," pp. 189, 201.

19 Ibid., p. 201.

20 Ibid.

21 The exact figures are difficult to discover. Sorin said that there were twenty-two deaths, eighteen religious, three students, and an apprentice, but these figures are confusing for he includes deaths from other causes than the epidemic. Granger noted that only two students and one apprentice died of the fever, but he also mentions the death of a young student at Notre Dame sometime in 1854 (he gave no date); Granger gave no cause of death in this case and therefore it most probably was not the result of the fever since in all other cases, he indicated those struck down by the fever.

22 "Chronicles," pp. 201, 204.

23 Annual Catalogue, 1855.

24 Minor Chapter Book, PAHC.

25 Supra, p. 188. 26 "Chronicles," p. 208.

27 Ibid., p. 207.

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid., p. 206. It would be interesting to know what species of fish these were -- perhaps the huge sturgeon?

30 Ibid.

31 Supra, pp. 188-189.

32 Minor Chapter Book, entry of October 31, 1853. PAHC.

33 "Chronicles," p. 209.

34 Ibid., p. 204. McKinnis is described here as "a distinguished physician, a graduate of Paris and of Glasgow,. ." He does not seem to have remained for a long time at Notre Dame, perhaps for only a few months.

35 Ibid., p. 205.

36 Ibid., p. 222.

37 Ibid., pp. 212-213.

38 Ibid., p. 213.

40 There are no further entries in the records of Notre Dame concerning deaths at the college from these diseases, nor is there again a mention of any epidemic of this sort.

41 "Chronicles," p. 215.

42 Ibid., p. 270. The Detroit Catholic Vindicator, II, No. 4, May 27, 1854, indicated that the Holy Cross sisters teaching in Mishawaka had been insulted and annoyed by anti-Catholics who had one time entered the convent to frighten the nuns who hid in the attic.

43 "Chronicles," p. 217-218; Minor Chapter Book, entries of April 20 and June 25, 1855, PAHC.

44 "Chronicles," p. 217.

45 Reverend Philip Foley to Sorin, Toledo, Ohio, May 26, 1854, UNDA.

46 Minor Chapter Book, entries of May 29 and June 5, 1854, PAHC; "Rev. Ph. Foley Agrt. no. 2" in "Contract Book," UNDA.

47 Foley to Sorin, Cincinnati, January 5, 1855, UNDA.

48 Foley to Sorin, Toledo, May 26, 1854, UNDA.

49 "Chronicles," p. 222; Foley to Sorin, Cincinnati, March 26, 1855, UNDA.

50 "Chronicles," p. 220.

51 The papers of the Ewing family and of many of its various branches, including the Phelan-Gillespie papers and some of the papers of William Tecumseh Sherman (who married Eleanor Ewing), are to be found in UNDA.

52 "Chronicles," p. 221. There was a $7000 mortgage on the farm, a debt which Sorin agreed to assume.

53 Ibid., p. 221.

54 Agreement between William Phelan and Edward Sorin, signed July 9, 1855, in UNDA.

55 "Chronicles," p. 221.

56 Much of the value of the Phelan property deteriorated as a result of the Panic of 1857. The stock lost value, notes and mortgages were difficult to collect, and the farm, when it had to be sold, realized some $23,700 instead of $30,000. In addition, much of the profit went toward the payment of mortgages owed on the land. See Philomen B. Ewing, "Cash a/c of Born Trust, November 8, 1858," UNDA.

57 Phelan died soon after this; he is buried now in the crypt of the main church on the campus of Notre Dame. Many see his marker there and wonder at this unfamiliar name carved in granite among the names of the dedicated missionary priests who labored at Notre Dame among the Indians. But had it not been for his generosity, there might well have been no main church, and, indeed, no campus of Notre Dame du Lac.

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