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St. Michael's History at 1445 N. 2nd street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 US - Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Afterwards

 

 

A great meeting of citizens was held at the Mayor's call on Thursday morning, ten o'clock, in the State House Yard. Ten thousand persons attended. John M. Read was chairman; Frederick Fraley, secretary. Horace Binney and John K. Kane made speeches.

 

It was resolved that citizens should "forthwith enroll and hold themselves in readiness to maintain the laws and protect the public peace under the direction of the constituted authorities of the City, County and State"; and that they should meet in their several wards at the places of holding ward elections, "there to organize under the constituted authorities in support of peace and order." The aldermen organized the companies, furnishing each man with a band upon which was printed "peace police", to be worn around the hat. This work was done very rapidly; shortly after midday the citizen-patrols were on the streets.

 

Strong military forces were kept at the Catholic Churches, the strongest at St. Mary's, St. Joseph's and St. John's. Governor Porter arrived in the City in the afternoon and established his head­quarters at the Girard Bank. He declared martial law and appointed Major General Patterson to the supreme military command. Reinforcements marched in during the day in the shape of companies of volunteer militia from neighboring counties. PhiladelphiaCounty was like an armed camp.

 

There were many skirmishes on Thursday, but no serious trouble developed. Patterson very quickly made it clear to the Nativists that he had no intention of conniving at their lawless acts, that he was determined to use whatever force was necessary to compel them to keep the peace. "With chivalry, energy and patriotism worthy of his high fame," the Catholic Herald later said in tribute, "he sought to restore order, and has so far succeeded. The calm determination and wisdom of his counsels and the bravery and intrepidity of his character have awed the riotous." Here in Kensington the tattered American Flag and the offensive placard, "This is the Flag that was trampled underfoot by the Irish Papists," which had been carried before the mob on Tuesday afternoon, were kept on display at Second and Franklin (Girard) Streets, and attracted crowds, which reassembled as fast as the military dispersed them. The astonishing thing is that no attempt was made to remove the exciting placard.

 

Bishop Kenrick sent this letter to the press on Friday:

 

"To the Catholics of the City and County of Philadelphia,  

 

               "Beloved Children: In the critical circumstances in which you are placed, I feel it my duty to suspend the exercises of public worship in the Catholic churches which still remain, until it can be resumed with safety, and we can enjoy our constitutional right to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience. I earnestly conjure you to practice unalterable patience under the trials to which it has pleased Divine Providence to subject you-and remember that affliction will serve to purify us, and render us acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ, Who patiently suffered the cross.

 

                                                                            † Francis Patrick,

 

"May 10, 1844.                                                                  Bishop of Phila."

 

Friday and Saturday passed quietly. Little business was trans­acted in the City, less in the Northern Liberties, and none at all in this part of Kensington. Sentries paced to and fro before the ruins of St. Michael's and St. Augustine's. Companies of militia lounged at the remaining Catholic churches, were ready to spring into formation at the command of their officers. There was a constant movement of troops, citizen-patrols were everywhere seen, now and then a cavalcade clattered over the cobblestones. No crowds gathered, there was not the least disorder, the streets were for the most part deserted except for the military and police.

 

But on Sunday the populace came forth to satisfy their curiosity.

 

At an early hour all the roads leading to Kensington and to St. Augus­tine's were filled with people moving forward eagerly to witness the ruins. At eleven o'clockSecond Street held an unbroken mass over almost its entire length. The authorities feared there might be disturbances, so they hurriedly arranged a military demonstration to overawe the crowds. The First City Troop, battalions of volunteer infantry, and a company of boarders under Captain Stockston from the U. S. S. Princeton, then lying at the Navy Yard, paraded down. Chestnut Street and up Second Street to Kensington. Besides the troops on parade and those on guard duty, two companies were held in the home of Dr. Griffith, Second Street below Phoenix, in readi­ness for trouble. The only excitement of the day, however, Was caused by a strong wind, almost a hurricane, which sprang up in the afternoon; it created much confusion in the crowds, and spread terror when it blew down the walls of some burnt houses.'

 

The following quotation is an excerpt from an article in "The Spirit of the Times" of May 13th:

 

"All was quiet in our City yesterday. It was a strange thing, however, to see the military promenading our streets on the Sabbath, but still stranger to feel that their presence was necessary to the maintenance of the public peace. Into all of the churches, as the chiming bells pealed out their solemn tones, poured crowd after crowd of citizens to give thanks, perhaps, to the Deity for their safety. Into all the churches, we should have said, excepting the Roman Catholic. They stood desolate, silent, untenanted. In obedi­ence to the orders of the Bishop they were. not opened for public worship. The solitary tread of the sentinel, or the clank of the musket, was the only sound that disturbed their solitary repose.

 

"And this was a Sabbath picture of the City of Brotherly Love!

 

This was a picture of the QuakerCity! Could William Penn have risen from his grave and looked at such a scene; could he have gazed on the bristling bayonets that offended the quiet eye in almost every direction; could he have been told that this pomp and panoply of war were necessary to secure the liberty of religious opinion; that here on this very spot where he had planted the Christian banner, which he had made the asylum of the persecuted for opinion's sake, and had peculiarly consecrated to Religious Freedom; could he have been told that here all this exhibition of military force was required simply to enable men to exercise one of the inalienable privileges of humanity, to worship God according to the dictates of their cone sciences, what that great and good man would have said we leave the reader to imagine. He could not have credited the evidence of his senses. He could not have believed his descendants so monstrously degenerated. He could not have dreamed for a moment that the people of his own Christian City would ever practice that bigoted intolerance to escape from which he himself abandoned his country, his kindred and his home, and as an undying monument of his abhorrence of which, he founded the community in which we live.  

 

                "Look at the crumbled ruins of Kensington, and at the blackened bones of the slaughtered that lie mixed up with the still smoking cinders. Look at what is left of the frowning walls of St. Augustine's, upon one of which, though begrimed by smoke, is still visible the ominous words, 'The Lord Seeth,' as if addressed to the smitten conscience of every beholder. Look at the famishing ones driven forth by the spoilers, and now wandering, houseless and homeless, suffering for their Faith. Look at the Catholic Clergy walking the streets in disguise, fearful of recognition. Look at the vultures tearing open the graves of the dead at St. Michael's or breaking the silent tomb-stones in demoniac rage. Look at these things, and if you have the courage, say-all this was done in the Republic of America! This was done by men who boasted that they were Natives of the 'Land of Liberty'! This was done in the name of the Bible! This was done to glorify the 'Flag of the Union'."  

 

                The poor Irish Catholics of Kensington were indeed "houseless and homeless." Many of them had taken refuge in Camac's Woods, which was two miles west of Kensington and two miles north of the City-the site, it is said, of the present Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The trees sheltered them somewhat, but they had no food and scant clothing. The nights of early May are usually chilly enough, and they must have been subject to considerable discomfort on this account. Some families trudged on after a day or two to the village of Manayunk or of Norristown, but others were unable to move because of the weakness of the women and children. Here was many a Catholic man frantic in his inability to help while he looked on his famished wife and children and must listen and yield to their entreaties not to venture abroad in quest of food. One woman crave birth to a child in the Woods. The Honorable George M. Stroud, Judge of the District Court, whose estate was in the vicinity, became aware of the plight of these refugees and did all in his power to succor them. But it was too much of a task for one man, and he enlisted the aid of Mr. Paul Reilly, one of the officers of the Court, and other Catholics of the City, who brought vanloads of food and clothing. Some of the newspapers too became interested, made investigations, and gave assistance.  

 

                The reporters told of pitiful incidents-of a man, for example, who led a small child about by the hand as he searched vainly among the campers for his wife from whom he had been separated in the flight; of another who was taunted by a group of quarriers as he passed the quarry in which they were working, and upon their learning he was a Catholic, was set upon and beaten unmercifully.  

 

                During the week of May 12th the terror died down, martial law was revoked and the troops were withdrawn gradually. Some historians have evinced ignorance of how long the churches remained closed, but there is a small notice to be found in Alexander's Express Messenger of May 22, 1844, stating that the Catholic churches were opened on Sunday, May 19, and that no reference was made in the sermons to the riots; that Bishop Kenrick preached in St. John's Cathedral and his discourse was reported to have been "full of philosophy, wisdom and forbearance."  

 

                The Catholics straggled back to Kensington slowly, in small groups. Why did they return ? Well, the neighborhood undoubtedly drew them, notwithstanding what had happened, for it was the only one most of them had known in America; but more than anything else, I think, they realized an answer must be made to the hatred and violence of the Nativists, not an answer of hatred and retaliation, but of the sweetness and strength of the Catholic Faith. The good work begun would have to be carried on.  

 

                They came and wept at the charred remains of their beloved church. They sought their homes, and most of them found only ruins. It is easy to conjure up the picture of a family picking their way through the debris, of Cadwallader Street let us say, and coming to the ashes of the little home which had been the sanctuary of their blessed love, but it would be impossible without a similar experience to understand how despair assailed their hearts and was kept out only by the strength of their trust in God. They set to work, men, women and children, to rebuild. But what sustenance had they as they labored? Where were they sheltered at night? How did they obtain materials? There is no answer in the records to these questions; the silence very likely covers unparalleled hardships.  

 

                The priests went about encouraging them and giving what ministrations were needed. Father Donaghoe was not content to assist, but assumed the pastorate again for a while, probably in order to be in a better position to press the claims of the parish against the County. He employed carpenters and bricklayers and had many volunteers, some of them Germans of St. Peter's, who had not been molested in the riots, and with these, on Tuesday, May 28, began the construction of a temporary chapel on the site of the burnt rectory. It was completed in four days, a building of frame and brick, forty-five by seventy feet, and so on June 2, the Feast of the Blessed Trinity, that is a little more than three weeks after the Nativists and Bible fanatics had destroyed St. Michael's and nearly every Catholic home in Kensington, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in it in the presence of a crowd of fervent worshippers. It was dedicated to the "Blessed Mary ever Virgin and Mother of Consolation." 

On the fly-leaf of the new baptismal register, Father Donaghoe wrote:
 
"The Registry of Baptisms and Marriages was burnt with the Church on the eighth day of May by a mob who afterwards burnt the parsonage house of the clergy. They afterwards proceeded to the Sisters' Seminary on the corner of Second and Phoenix Streets, which they also destroyed. Also the same evening the Church of St. Augustine's, its library and parsonage house, were all in ruins before 11 o'clock. The intimidation to all who profess the Catholic Faith still continues, yet it is now hoped that the sound and considerate portion of Society will be fully able to arrest this outrage, and leave us still that freedom of religious worship, which heretofore was the pride of the American Republic.
                                                                                                                                                       Terence J. Donaghoe,                     
June 10, 1844                                          Pastor of St. Michael's."

                                                                                                             

 

                 Now in this month of June, on the 15th, the Grand Jury of the May term, which had been requested by the Court of Quarter Sessions to make a full and accurate investigation into the riots, gave its presentment. It is an amazing document. Even though it was admittedly based upon ex parte testimony we are forced to the conviction that the jurors knew they were making a: false report. The pertinent passages are given in full so that one may see what has been omitted as well as what has been positively falsified: 

 

                "The jury have been instructed by the Court to inquire into the origin and cause which led to the recent gross violations of law, and to present the first and last aggressors, if possible. Upon this branch of inquiry, and from all the facts which came under their notice, they have come to the following conclusions: First-that the origin of these riots may be attributed to the very imperfect manner in which the laws have been executed by the constituted authorities of the -City and County of Philadelphia for several years past, and more especially in the District of Kensington, crime having met with little rebuke and scarcely any punishment. Second-to the efforts of a portion of the community to exclude the Bible from our Public Schools. The jury are of the opinion that these efforts in none measure gave rise to the formation of a new party, which called and held public meetings in the District of Kensington, in the peaceful exercise of the sacred rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution and laws of our State and Country. These meetings were rudely disturbed and fired upon by a band of lawless" irresponsible men, some of whom had resided in our country only a short period. This outrage, causing the death of a number of our un offending citizens, led to immediate retaliation, and was followed up by subsequent acts of aggression in violation and open defiance of all law. 

 

                "The disturbance of public meetings for political, moral or social purposes as well as those of a religious character, cannot be too severely condemned. The right of all mankind to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and that of peaceably assembling for the expression of their opinion upon public affairs, is of the highest importance, and should be fully protected." It is a fact worthy of particular notice that the most destructive riots at various periods for some time past have originated in an unjust and grossly unreasonable disposition to suppress these rights, justly deemed of the greatest magnitude by the founders of our liberty.  

 

                "In the course of their investigation the Jury have noticed the names of many persons connected with the late riots who had been implicated in similar scenes in the days of the late sheriff. And it is a question difficult to answer on satisfactory grounds how these men have contrived so long to set at defiance our Courts of Justice, whose strong arm should be safely relied upon promptly to rebuke and punish crimes which have disgraced us as a civil community.  

 

                "In further pursuance of their duty, the Jury have presented to the Court various individuals as connected with offenses springing out of these scenes of tumult and bloodshed. It is hoped that prompt action in regard to these presentments will secure to the offenders their merited punishment."  

 

                The Catholics were not named. This was evidence of a strange cowardice on the part of men who knew that no one would have the least doubt as to what "portion of the community" was meant. Or perhaps it was simply a timidity arising from the consciousness of their lie. And what a lying presentment this was! They had been asked to "make a full and accurate investigation!" The Catholic position in this controversy about the Bible in the schools had been explained at length in the Catholic Herald; the Bishop had stated it in a letter which had been published in the secular newspapers of the City; it was well known, had its defenders among the non-Catholic; the records of all the correspondence between the Catholic body and the school authorities were available yet the Grand Jury, a branch of our court of justice, repeated the slander born in the vile mind of Chaplain Colton that Catholics sought "to exclude the Bible from our Public Schools." There was not a shred of evidence for this charge-though if they had made such efforts they would have been within their Constitutional rights. The bishop and his people had merely objected to the turning of the public schools into Protestant schools in which Catholic children were compelled to take part in the reading of the Protestant version of the Bible and in other Protestant exercises, and in remedy made no further request than that these children be excused from such services, and if the reading of the Bible in school was compulsory on them, be furnished with their own version.  

 

                Hence it was a lie that a new party had been formed in consequence of the efforts of Catholics to exclude the Bible. Branches of the Native American Party had been established in Philadelphia and had become powerful in the excitement of the Bible controversy because it was a political medium through• which the bigots could work for the persecution of Catholics by iniquitous laws-and no one knew this better than the jurors. It was a lie that the Nativists had held meetings in the peaceful exercise "of their rights and privileges," for these meetings of men brought together by religious and racial hatred, were so excited by denunciatory and inflammatory speeches as to be a threat, everyone of them, to the peace of the community. It was a lie that their meetings were rudely disturbed and fired upon and that this outrage caused the death of a number of unoffending citizens. One meeting had been rudely disturbed, that was on May 3rd, but it had not been fired upon, and no one had been injured; and the Nativists were not "un offending citizens," but fanatics who had baited the Catholics beyond endurance.  

 

                With the statements that the disturbance of peaceful meetings cannot be too severely condemned and that the right of all mankind to worship according to the dictates of conscience, is of the highest importance, no one will disagree; but placed as they are, they but emphasize the lies which precede them. And the implication in what follows, that the riots of '44 originated in the unjust and grossly unreasonable disposition of Catholics to suppress the rights of Protestants to peaceable assemblage and liberty of worship is the most outrageous lie of all. 

 

                With so much evidence of the Grand Jury's insincerity we have good reason to be suspicious of the finding that many of those implicated in the disorders had been active in "similar scenes in the days of the late sheriff." The names of the "many" should have been given. This seems to have been put in to create the impression that the Catholics of Kensington were a lawless lot, for all, or nearly all, who were now under arrest for participation in the riots were Catholics-every Irish Catholic found wounded had been taken up as a rioter and sent to prison. Now the similar scenes referred to were the weavers' riots, trade troubles, in which religious differences had no part, and in which, for all we know, the majority of participants may have been Protestants. Possibly if arrests had been made among the mob which burned St. Michael's and St. Augustine's, the Grand Jury would have had much better reason to present this finding.

 

                And the only thing laid to the fanatics was retaliation. Not a word about the attempts to proselytize Catholic children in the public schools. Not a word about their offensive propaganda and violent meetings. Not a word about the march of the armed thousands shouting "Kill the damned Irish", on to Kensington. Not a word about the looting, wrecking, burning of the houses of Catholics, or the destruction of St. Michael's and St. Augustine's. Not a word about the murders they committed. Retaliation for what? What had the Catholic body done to these bigots except meet their bitterness with Christian restraint? A handful of Catholic men, driven finally to disregard the counsels of their religious superiors by abuse and injustice and the realization of the danger they and their families were in, dispersed a meeting of Nativists, and this seems to have justified in the eyes of the Grand Jury, as a retaliation to be expected, the horrible crimes committed against, the whole Catholic group. We have in this a situation comparable to that which existed later, in 1855, in Louisville: the Know-nothings butchered nearly a hundred Irish Catholics and burned some twenty houses, and-to quote from the "Life of Archbishop Spalding"-"The City authorities, all Know-nothings, looked calmly on, and they are now endeavoring to lay the blame on the Catholics."  

 

                The Catholics named in the twenty-two bills of indictment were beyond help; they would be, they were, convicted on testimony which painted them as aggressors. But a reply would have to be made to this lying presentment. A meeting of prominent Catholic laymen was held at the Cathedral on the evening of June 18, and it was resolved that the answer should take the form of an address of the Catholic laity to the citizens of Philadelphia. The Honorable Archibald Randall, William A. Stokes, Dr. J. G. Nancrede, Charles Repplier and Dr. Frederick S. Eckard were the committee appointed to prepare it. They produced a lengthy statement, restrained and dignified throughout, which refuted the presentment point by point, and as the basic falsehood was that Catholics had made efforts to exclude the Bible from the schools, published with the address three letters received from the school directors in reply to this request:  

 

                "Gentlemen: The recent presentment of the Grand Jury assigned as one cause of the riots: 'The efforts made by a portion of the community to exclude the Bible from the Public Schools.'  

 

                "Will you be good enough to state as Directors of the Public Schools of the City of Philadelphia, whether, as far as the Roman Catholics are concerned, they have asked for the exclusion of the Bible from the Public Schools; whether they have ever interfered with the use of the Protestant version of the Scriptures by Protestant children, and if with reference to the Bible they have not simply asked for their own children, permission to use that version of the Bible which, as a matter of conscience, they prefer?  

 

                "As members of various Protestant communions, you cannot be suspected of any undue feeling towards the Religious denomination referred to.

 

We remain,

 

                     Frederick S. Eckard
Joseph Doanth       
         John Keating          
Robert Ewing."      

 

                                                                                
           Two of these three letters follow; the third, from George W. Biddle, is long and somewhat tedious and but confirms what is in the others-those who wish to read it will find it in the issue of June 27, 1844, of the Catholic Herald, or in Kirlin's history.                           

 

"Messrs. Frederick S. Eckard and others:  

 

                "Gentlemen: In answer to the request contained in your note, that I would state 'whether as far as Roman Catholics are concerned they have asked for the exclusion of the Bible from the Public Schools.' I reply that to my knowledge, as a Director of the Public Schools of the City of Philadelphia, and a Controller of those of both City and County (which office I have held for several years) no such request has ever been made, nor do I know of any effort on their part with the alleged object in view. The Records of the Board of Control will show the purpose to have been such as is mentioned in your note.

 

                "It is proper to add, that there may have been efforts on the part of individuals belonging to the Roman Catholic communion to exclude the Bible from the Schools, of which I know nothing. None, however, have been manifested either to the Directors or Controllers referred to, nor have come to my knowledge as an individual. 

 

          With much respect and regard,                                                                                                                                                       G.M. Wharton.

 

"Philadelphia, June 19, 1844.                

 

                "As Directors of the Public Schools we concur in the above.

 

 

J. C. Fisher    
Ch. Gibbons." 

 

And:

 

            "Gentlemen: In reply to your communication of the 19th instant, we state as Directors of the Public Schools of the City of Philadelphia, that Roman Catholics have not, to our knowledge, asked for the exclusion of the Bible from the Public Schools. That they have not interfered with the use of the Protestant version of the Scriptures by Protestant children; and, finally, that, with reference to the "Bible, they have simply asked for their own children, permission to use that version of the Bible which, as a matter of conscience, they prefer.  

 

                                         "Respectfully & c.,                                                                                       George W. Biddle          
                 William W. Moore         
     John F. Gilpin               
Edward Hopper."          

                                                                                                                              

 

 

"Philadelphia, 20 June, 1844.

 

                 What is to be thought of the attitude of Bishop Kenrick during the controversy and the disturbances? When the excitement was mounting he forbade Catholics to hold meetings and contented himself with a public disavowal of the efforts charged to him and his people. During the riots he instructed the priests to place the parish properties under the care of the authorities. He urged the people to avoid all occasion of excitement, to shun public places of assemblage, and to do nothing that could in any way exasperate. When a group of Catholics asked for permission to arm to protect their church, he replied, "Never, my people; I have placed my churches under the care of the Municipal authorities; it is their duty to protect them. Rather let every church burn than shed one drop. of blood or imperil one precious soul." He counseled patience under the trials and ordered the remaining churches to be closed lest the people's assembling for Mass or devotions should be made the occasion of further attacks. He himself went into hiding for a while, as we read in his diary: "I remained overnight (Wednesday) with Mr. Ewing and again with Mr. Lopez, and when peril seemed imminent I had a mind to go to Mr. Stephen Tyng (rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Paul) who is reputed to be very unfriendly to us. However, I did not go. Instead with Mr. James Wilcox I went out of the city, and remained overnight in his home twice. Then I went to Baltimore and stayed at the Seminary two days. After that I returned, and remained at home."

 

                 Some have said that if Hughes had been bishop of Philadelphia the riots would never have come to pass. That may be true. \That is a fact is that when the menace of Native Americanism reared itself in New York, Bishop Hughes called personally on the mayor and warned him of the consequences if any anti-Catholic outrages were attempted, and while cautioning his flock against violence, had an armed guard of Catholics stationed at every church; with the result that the Nativists lost heart and the authorities took effectual measures to prevent their meetings. In that first moment of timidity in his controversy with Breckenridge, Hughes had found himself. Thereafter he never doubted himself, was swift in his movements, met the attacks of the Church's enemies with piercing counter-thrusts. In a crisis of this kind there was a force in him which was undeniable. His course now was a piece of bold strategy, which would have ended disastrously for most men, but was completely successful, principally because of the awe inspired by his lion-heartedness.

 

                 Bishop Kenrick was a different type. There was not a shred of weakness or of cowardice in his whole makeup, and his policy of patient suffering must have cost him much in the way of self-restraint, but he was incapable of a bold stroke, of any strategy; he would invariably look for a principle to guide him, and finding it would hold to it though the heavens should fall. In the troubles of '44 he counseled and acted as he thought a Catholic bishop with the reaching and example of Jesus Christ before him should counsel and act; he never regretted his course, he would have done the same again if a similar situation had arisen, he was satisfied his attitude had been the proper one. This Christian patience emboldened the Nativists-they were like vicious dogs which set upon the timid-but it has served to make their crimes stand out in history in their stark heinousness. And it made a most favorable impression on the mass of fair-minded non-Catholics, a fact which has contributed not a little to the progress of the Faith.

 

                 Bishop Michael O'Connor wrote this of his attitude: "Many blamed Bishop Kenrick for not opposing to it (the frenzy) a bolder front. He considered it more conformable to the spirit of the Gospel to bend to it and suffer. He thought it best even to retire for a few days from what was evidently a momentary outburst, lest the tiger, tasting blood, might become more infuriated. Events justified his course. The torrent that, if resisted, would have accumulated its waters, and eventually swept on with greater fury, rolled by and spent itself. His order to suspend divine service in the churches that yet remained, was the severest rebuke the fanatics could have received. The tramp of the sentinel pacing before the House of God, deserted on the Lord's day, with this order pasted on the walls, was a comment on the spirit that had then taken possession of the City of Brotherly Love, which roused the better-minded. Peace was restored on a more solid basis than ever before existed and Catholicity assumed a higher position."

 

                 But it would be a mistake to think that Nativism died of shame or discountenance. It waxed stronger after the May disorders; there was an increase in the membership of every branch. The reason for this was that the Party's propaganda and the Grand Jury's presentment had the effect of creating a strong public opinion that the rights of American citizens had been outrageously violated by the Irish Catholics. Three city newspapers strove by every means to intensify the bitterness. Songs of exciting character were circulated; for example, this ditty on the falsehood that Catholics would deprive Protestants of their Bible:  

                   "But we shall read the Bible and recommend it unto all,  

 

And preach it till our Savior shall make his final call;

             The light and love that leads us is burning in 'The Sun' 

 

     To spread thro' all America the work that's now begun." 

 

         
This continued anti-Catholic activity culminated in attacks on St. Philip's in Southwark. It does not come within the scope of this story to give the full account. Briefly, on Sunday morning, July 7th, a crowd of fanatics gathered, and a cannon was lugged to the door of the church. The attempt to shatter the edifice was frustrated and fires enkindled were promptly extinguished, but windows and doors were smashed, and the rear walls were damaged by a bombardment from small pieces of ordnance. In the evening the mob brought up several cannon and engaged the military in a real battle. Furious cannonading was kept up by both sides through the night. Major General Patterson sent messengers, one to the President at Washington, another to the Governor at Harrisburg, with the request that heavy reinforcements be sent immediately. But shortly before daybreak the mob lost their big guns and fled. About fourteen persons had been killed and fifty wounded.
 

Native Americanism passed because it was the expression of a violent passion, and such a passion, even one of religious hatred, cannot be long sustained. But the intolerance continued, and the Catholics who came back to Kensington were like people who return and rebuild after the eruption of a volcano, not knowing but that at any moment the terrible destruction might again be upon them. 

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