• Ursulines of Brown County

The Journey Continues: New York to the Queen City

Updated: Jun 15

June 2nd, 1845, a Monday that dawned bright and clear saw our traveler’s arrival in the New York harbor. According to the narrative in “Fifty Years in Brown County”, the journey continues:

“Soon all the circumstances of examination of baggage, the visits of the health officers, etc., are gone through, and our travelers with their effects are taken on board a steamboat to enter the harbor. Carriages are soon found, and at two o’clock in the afternoon of the same day, they engage lodging of a good Frenchwoman, Madame Pilet, who was recommended to them by one of the American ladies on board the Zurich.


Their stay in New York was prolonged, much against their wishes, by the annoying slowness of the Custom House officials in releasing their baggage. After a week’s stay, the ninth of June found them on their way to Philadelphia by steamboat, whence they went directly to Baltimore. Here the ever kind thoughtfulness of their good Father, Bishop Purcell, had secured for them the hospitality of the Sisters of the Visitation, on Park Street. Mother Julia Chatfield, who, being charged with a commission for the Visitandines of Georgetown from some friends in France, visited their beautiful convent, accompanied by Father Macheboeuf and Sister St. Peter.


Returning from Georgetown, our sisters did not miss the sights of the Capital, visiting the White House, the Capitol, and all places of interest. Those who remained in Baltimore improved each moment of their stay in the Monumental City by visiting the College of the Jesuits, the Carmelites, who were then engaged in teaching, and every point of interest that could serve them in the new life they were to begin among our American people.


Now begins the long and tiresome stagecoach journey over the Alleghanies from Baltimore to Wheeling. It was a novel experience for our good sisters, accustomed to the sunny vineyards of France, to pass through long miles of the unbroken forests of Maryland. Arriving at Wheeling, on Friday, where they were to take a boat to Cincinnati, they met with an unexpected delay. Father Macheboeuf was obliged to go to Pittsburgh to accompany two seminarians whom he had brought over to Bishop O’Connor, and he could not return before Monday. They left Wheeling on Monday afternoon for the three-day journey down the Ohio river to Cincinnati. At noon of the third day, their steamboat stood facing the Queen City, crowned and enthroned on her majestic hills, and girdled by the circling Kentucky shores that stretched far off in the purple distance.”

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