The Catholic University of America

James Cardinal Gibbons

An inventory of James Cardinal Gibbons Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: archives@mail.lib.cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: James Cardinal Gibbons, July 23, 1834-March 24, 1921
Title: James Cardinal Gibbons Collection
Dates: 1869-1962
Extent: 1 linear foot; 2 boxes
Abstract: The James Cardinal Gibbons Collection contains personal correspondence from his early years as a priest, correspondence with the Vatican, as well as correspondence with The Catholic University of America (CUA). There are also programs and newspapers on his 1911 Jubilee as a Priest and Cardinal. Lastly, there are newspapers and clippings surrounding his death and any memorials made in his honor.
Collection Number: 243
Language: English

Biography

James Cardinal Gibbons was born in Baltimore to Irish immigrants on July 23, 1834. His family returned to Ireland in 1837 and he spent a good part of his childhood there until returning with his mother and siblings in 1853 (his father having died in 1847). Gibbons would work as a grocer until 1855 when he entered St. Charles College Seminary, before moving to St. Mary's in 1857, and being ordained in 1861. Thereafter, he was a pastor at St. Bridget's and a chaplain at Fort McHenry during the American Civil War. After the war, Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore hired Gibbons as his secretary. In 1868, the Pope appointed him Apostolic Vicar of North Carolina and Titular Bishop of Adramyttium. While in North Carolina, Gibbons, now known as 'the boy bishop,' was able to write his most important work 'Faith of Our Fathers.' In 1872 he was moved to Richmond as a co-administrator before moving back to Baltimore in 1877 as co-adjuster to Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley. He became the Archbishop of Baltimore following Bayley's death on October 3, 1877.

During his time as archbishop Gibbons had to deal with incorporating new ethnic groups within the archdiocese and host the third Plenary Council in 1884. Pope Leo XIII elevated Gibbons to Cardinal (only the second American to be so) on June 7, 1886 and he was received in Rome by the Pope on March 17, 1887. As cardinal Gibbons became the voice for American Catholics, responsible for speaking on behalf of labor groups in America, in particular the Knights of Labor. He was also instrumental in the founding of The Catholic University of America (CUA) and backing the failed 'Americanization' of the church, which was condemned by the hierarchy in Europe. Despite this setback Gibbons remained an important champion for American Catholicism.

Cardinal Gibbons was also a confidant to American Presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. His relationship with Roosevelt was the best and due to this Roosevelt was the keynote speaker at Gibbons' 1911 Jubilee for fifty years upon entering the priesthood and twenty-five years as Cardinal. Gibbons also continued to write into his elder years including his 1909 essay 'The Church and the Republic,' which was a defense of Catholicism within American society. Cardinal Gibbons died peacefully in his sleep on March 24, 1921. His impact on American Catholicism warranted many memorials to be dedicated to him, most famously the Knights of Columbus memorial commissioned by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928 and completed in 1932. Overall, Cardinal Gibbons was the national voice for American Catholics during a time of massive immigration, labor strife, and modernization.

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Scope and Contents

The James Cardinal Gibbons Collection consists of two series. The first series is a box containing publications such newspapers from Cardinal Gibbons Jubilee in 1911 as well as newspapers from his death in 1921. There are also newspaper clippings which were pasted onto sheets of paper from his Jubilee and death. These articles also contain photographs of Gibbons and from his "Civic Demonstration" for his Jubilee. There are also magazines from the Baltimore Sun in tribute to Gibbons following his death in 1921. Also included are Memoriam essays written by Bishop Shahan then Rector of Catholic University. Lastly, this series contains three books; one is a 1945 biography of Gibbons, 1911 commemorative book on his Jubilee, and an October 1911 edition of "The Missionary" commemorating Gibbons' Jubilee.

The second series of this collection is a box of personal correspondence and publications. Gibbons' correspondence includes Photostats of all his letters in this collection as well as original copies of letters to parishioners, Pope Leo XIII, and official pastoral letters to his congregation. Also in this series are invitations and programs to Catholic University events, including a 1919 celebration Consecration celebration, with a photo album, and 1896 and 1898 commencement invitations and addresses given by Gibbons. There are also personal publications such as Apostolate letters and essays such as his 1909 "The Church and the Republic" and his 1883 "On Christian Education". Lastly, there is a pamphlet and invitation to the Rector of Catholic University for the Knights of Columbus memorial statue of Gibbons from 1932. Overall, this collection gives great insight to Cardinal Gibbons' relationship to Catholic University as well insight to his impact on American culture through the lens of his 1911 Jubilee and his death and tributes that followed.

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Arrangement

Series 1: Celebratory Publications, 1911-1945, Box 1

Series 2: Personal Correspondence and Publications, 1869-1962, Box 2


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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Unknown

Processing Information

Processing completed in 2012 by Raymond Moore. EAD markup completed in 2012 by Raymond Moore.

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Related Material

Catholic University of America (CUA):

Thomas Joseph Shahan Papers

St. Mary Seminary and University Associated Archives:

Archdiocese of Baltimmore-James Cardinal Gibbons Papers

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Thomas Joseph Shahan

Organizations:
The Catholic University of America

Places:
Washington D.C.

Subjects:
Religious Affairs


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Bibliography

His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons, a biography from the Archdiocese of Baltimore website http://www.archbalt.org/about-us/the-archdiocese/our-history/people/gibbons.cfm

October 1911 Edition of "The Missionary"

1911 "History of the Great National Demonstration In Honor of Cardinal Gibbons Fiftieth Anniversary to the Priesthood and the Twenty-Fifth of his election to the Cardinalate.

1929 "James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue" Commemorative booklet

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Celebratory Publications, 1911-1945 (1 Box)
This series contains newspapers and newspaper clippings commemorating Cardinal Gibbons 1911 Jubilee and his 1921 death. These clippings are pasted onto sheets of paper and include pictures of Gibbons and his Jubilee celebration, as well as pictures from his funeral. There are also tribute essays written on Gibbons from his 1921 death. Lastly there are three books; a 1945 biography, a 1911 book on the history of the Jubilee, and a magazine with articles on the Jubilee.
Box Folder
1 1 "The Baltimore Catholic", 1921
        A March 26, 1921 full newspaper covering the story of Cardinal Gibbons' death includes an expose on his life.
  2 "The Baltimore Catholic", 1921
        A March 31, 1921 full newspaper covering the story of Cardinal Gibbons' death, this edition covers details on his death and funeral arrangements.
  3 "The Catholic Standard", 1921
        An April 2, 1921 full newspaper with a front page tribute to Cardinal Gibbons.
  4 "The Baltimore Catholic", 1921
        An April 2, 1921 full newspaper, reprint, covering the story of Cardinal Gibbons' funeral, includes pictures.
  5 "The Baltimore Catholic", 1921
        A March 31, 1921 full newspaper covering the story of Cardinal Gibbons' funeral.
  6 "The Baltimore Catholic", 1921
        A April 9, 1921 full newspaper covering the story of Cardinal Gibbons' memorial mass, includes pictures.
  7 Various Newspaper Clippings on Cardinal Gibbons Death 1, 1921
        These clippings are from various newspapers and include tributes written by dignitaries, as well as full biographies. There are also photos of the Cardinal and the room where he died in.
  8 Various Newspaper Clippings on Cardinal Gibbons Death 2, 1921
        This is a continuation of newspaper articles chronicling Cardinal Gibbons' death, includes pictures and eulogies.
  9 Various Newspaper Clippings on Cardinal Gibbons Jubilee 1, 1911
        These clippings include tributes from famous dignitaries, biographies as well as photographs.
  10 Various Newspaper Clippings on Cardinal Gibbons Jubilee 2, 1911
        These clippings are a continuation of the previous folder
  11 Copies of Newspaper Clippings 1, 1911
        These are copies of newspaper clippings from Gibbons 1911 Jubilee.
  12 Copies of Newspaper Clippings 2, 1921
        These are copies of newspaper clippings from Gibbons 1921 death.
  13 Memoriam Essays, 1921
        There are five copies of Bishop Shahan, Rector of CUA, essay in memoriam of Cardinal Gibbons. There is also an essay written by William Kerby, and one by Catholic Charities.
  14 "The Baltimore Sun" Vale Magazine, 1921
        Two copies of a March 24, 1921 tribute magazine on Cardinal Gibbons, includes photographs.
  15 The Cardinal Gibbons Civic Demonstration, 1911
        A book on the history of the celebration of Gibbons' Jubilee. Includes the speeches of all dignitaries with a photograph of each speaker. There is also a full written record of the ceremonies proceedings.
  16 "The Missionary", 1911
        An October edition commemorating Cardinal Gibbons' Jubilee. This includes tributes from various members of the clergy and the Apostolic Mission.
  17 Biography on Gibbons, 1945
        A copy of "Larger Then the Sky" by Covelle Newcomb. This is a children's biography of Cardinal Gibbons with illustrations.
                       
Personal Correspondence and Publications, 1869-1962 (1 Box)
This series contains personal correspondence with parishioners as well as other members of the clergy such as other bishops. There is also correspondence with Pope Leo XIII and Benedict XV. There are also Apostolate letters to the archdiocese and essays written by Cardinal Gibbons. Also, there are some newspaper clippings on Gibbons' health and 76th birthday. Lastly, there are invitations, photos and addresses from various Catholic University events such as Commencements and Gibbons 1919 consecration mass and banquet.
Box Folder
2 1 Photostat Copies of Cardinal Gibbons Correspondence, 1869-1919 (copies) 1969-1971
        These are copies made by CUA of Gibbons letters and correspondence as well as correspondence from 1887 that was retyped.
  2 Correspondence, 1869
        A January 11, 1869 letter to a parishioner while Gibbons was in Wilmington North Carolina as a co-adjuster also includes a personal name card from Gibbons.
  3 Correspondence-Pope Leo XIII, 1887
        Two copies of an April 10th letter to Pope Leo XIII concerning the opening of Catholic University, in Latin.
  4 Booklets of Pastoral Letters, 1883-1909
        These essays include; "On Christian Education" addressed to the Clergy and Laity in Baltimore, 1883. "Letterae Apostoicae Leonis Papae XIII", 1889 Apostolic letter in Latin. Lastly, an essay titled "The Church and the Republic", 1909.
  5 Correspondence, 1886-1920
        Handwritten and typed letters to D.J. O'Connell who is was Gibbons publisher; as well as Martin Griffin. There is also correspondence to the Vatican through Msgr. Carmelo Pajia. Lastly, there is a letter addressed to the Bishop of Great Falls.
  6 Correspondence, 1914-1919
        Correspondence concerning Catholic University, as well as an English and Latin letter to Pope Benedict XV.
  7 Invitations and Programs, 1898-1919
        Invitations and Programs to the 1898 CUA commencement ceremony and the CUA celebration of Gibbons' Jubilee includes menu to banquet and program. There are also eight copies of the 1919 consecration celebration at Caldwell. There are also four menus, six programs, and two seating name cards from the celebration.
  8 Addresses, 1896-1918
        Four copies of Gibbons 1896 commencement speech at CUA, A 1912 Pontifical letter by Pope Benedict XV., and a 1918 publication on the morals of "The Christian Home".
  9 Personal Newspaper Clippings, 1910-1921
        Clippings are on Gibbons 76th birthday as well as a picture from his requiem mass.
  10 Knights of Columbus Memorial, 1929-1932
        A booklet from the Memorial committee explaining the history of the memorial statue and the letters that commissioned it from the United States Government. There is also a 1932 invitation to the dedication of the Statue.
  11 Memorial at Loyola University, Maryland, 1962
        A book explaining the history of the Gibbons memorial at Loyola .
  12 Essays and Photo Album, 1919
        This is a 1919 photo album of Cardinal Gibbons Fiftieth Anniversary as a Bishop consecration mass. There are also multiple copies of two essays entitled "America Christianity, and Peace and "Arbitration Treaties".
  13 Cardinal Simeoni Letter, 1887
        An original copy of the letter and a Photostat copy, all in Latin

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biography

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Celebratory Publications, 1911-1945

Personal Correspondence and Publications, 1869-1962

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