St. Mary's 1855 McLaughlin letter

Here is a transcript of the 1855 letter from the Rev. Peter McLaughlin to Oliver Moses.  Spelling, punctuation, and spacing are as they are in the original letter in the Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine.


                                             Brunswick, July 30th/55

 

Mr. Oliver Moses

        Dear Sir

               I may as well introduce

Myself to you at once, and then you

will be the better able to understand me.

        Well, then, Rev. Peter McLaughlin, Pastor

of the Catholics of Bath, greets by letter the good

Mr. O. Moses, and prays him to pardon

this formal introduction. A lawsuit in

Brooklyn hinders me from seeing Mr.

M. face to face for a few days.

        I have heard the poor, scattered, forsa-

ken catholic Irish, speak so many good things

of you, that I am certain they look upon

you as their benefactor. Creatures, so much

at the mercy of strangers, as they are, will ever

imagine, that God will raise up some

one to speak a kind word for them, and

be their advocate. The Story of Joseph in

Egypt tells them, they will surely

Find another benefactor in every strange

land, as warm to their cause, tho not so

nearly related to them by blood, as was Joseph &c.

        Now, you are aware, that this people  have

no church, and you may know, that they are

so drilled from infancy, that without the

priest and the church, they are as a general

rule, a nuisance any where. Indeed, with

religion, active religion, the Irish are a Good

people, but without religion occupying their

time on Sundays especially any city would

be better without them, than with them.

        It then appears to me, that by our Standing

Aloof, and by some good American Gentle-

Man, like Mr. Moses, Making himself active,

that we could purchase a church, now and

for a long time, deserted in Bath. I mean

the old one, or first built one, that stands

high on a the hill, and almost parallel

with burnt down concern. This church will

Suit exactly. It would be better were it larger,

but still it will do. I think that the owner

thereof would either not sell it to catholics,

at all; or if he would, he would charge enor-

mously. The question is, how could the propri-

etor be deceived - for & into his own good? It

could be effected in this way: -- You, or some

one chosen by you, could purchase it for

you, and you  could sell it to us. Often,

a thousand times, have protestant Gentleman

bought churches, and lots, and lands, and

tenements for Catholics, both here, and in Ireland

and Great Britain, and to their  honor be it

said again, not one of them for three hundred

years has ever broken his plighted word ---

not one of the, that ever has been found

to betray his despised catholic brother. Be

you to us another patron, and you will

find ere twelve  monthswill  have gone

bye, that both protestant and catholic will

praise you for your manly deed.

        I have said that "the owner could be deceiv

-ed into his own good," and I might add

into the Moral Good of the city. For, of a truth,

the empty dilapidated building is a continu-

ous dead loss to the proprietor, a Scandal

to the religious, and physical aspect of the

city; and yet it could be made in skilful

hands, one of its fairest ornaments. So the

best friend of the possessor, the city & Morality

is the man, who so deals with that temple, as to

open it, to the God of all our fathers. Your

denomination needs a church now, but I

need not suggest. Your mind is inventive

enough.

        I know not what the price is. I heard it was

lastly bought for $1100. but it with its lot are

worth from $1100 up to $2000. But of course you

will bargain as best you can. The terms may

be one half paid down, & the balance in Six

Months, at 6 per cent; or as you please.

        Yours ever and devotedly,

                              Peter McLaughlin

 

P.S. Mr. Charles Ducett may call upon

you on Thursday, but he know not

why I bade him call, so you can

tell him something, or nothing as

you pleased. But Bid him be silent.

 

        P. McL.