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Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley Papers [preliminary description] (1856 - 1877)
RepositorySt. Mary's Seminary and University, Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore [preliminary]
Size4.5 document cases
Collection Description
James Roosevelt Bayley (1814-1877) was born at Rye, NY. Initially ordained as an Episcopal minister, he was appointed rector of an Episcopal Church in Harlem. After a period of study in Rome, he converted to Catholicism, became a pastor, and held several posts including one in Staten Island. He became the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Newark in 1853. On July 30, 1872 Bayley was promoted to succeed Archbishop Spaulding of Baltimore. He left Newark with much reluctance, but served his new archdiocese well. Among many other contributions, he consecrated the Baltimore cathedral in May 1876, having freed it from debt. Soon, however, ill health forced him to seek a coadjutor (James Gibbons), and Bayley returned to Newark, where he died on October 3, 1877.
Collection Contents
The collection contains letters to and from Archbishop Bayley, dated 1856-1877. The correspondence is both official and personal and covers much of the time Bayley was in Newark, as well as his latter years in Maryland. There is a card-file index of correspondence in the Reading Room; each item has been individually numbered.

A second part of the collection - "Administration of Archbishop Bayley, 1823-1876" - contains official papers on a variety of subjects that span much of his priestly career, including documents issued by Rome, family letters, three personal diaries that he maintained over the period 1842-1867, and an Episcopal diary dated 1872-1876.

NOTE: This collection of Bayley Papers has been microfilmed; the microfilm is available at Notre Dame University.

Some additional material relating to Bayley's tenure in Baltimore can be found in two other collections held by the repository. In a record series entitled "Archbishops-General," Special A Collection - Significant Individuals (ca. 1784-1947) contains letters addressed to the Archbishops of Baltimore concerning matters deemed confidential or significant. This collection is available on microfilm. Special B Collection - Propaganda Fide Letters and Roman Documents (ca. 1783-1877) contains correspondence from the Congregation of the Propaganda Fide in Rome to the Archbishops of Baltimore. This collection is indexed and is partially available on microfilm.
FormatTextual materials
SubjectReligion / Churches
Time Period19th Century
Access policyOpen for research