Thomas Jefferson Papers

Ambrose Maréchal to Thomas Jefferson, 28 January 1818

From Ambrose Maréchal

Baltimore 28 janu. 1818


Being on the point of leaving Paris, about five years ago, I went to bid adieu to His Eminence the Cardl Dugnany who was Nuntio of H.H. when you resided in France. As I told him that I intended to embark Shortly for the U.S; he earnestly beged me, in case I Should ever go near the place of your residence, to call upon you & present you & your daughters his respecfull compliments. From his language, I easily perceived that this Excellent Prelate has retained for you & your children a great & Sincere attachment. Indeed he would not let me go before I promised him that I Should transmit to him Some news of your family. Having never had any occasion of travelling in Virginia & fearing to importune you with a letter, it has been out of my power to comply with the request of H.E. But in a letter dated Rome the 20th of Septr last, my venerable Friend urges me to fulfill my promise. If you think proper to write me a few lines about you & your daughters whom he has Seen in the convent in which they received a part of their Education, I will transmit them to his Eminence. I am Sure the Good Prelate will receive them with Singular pleasure & interest.

I remain with respect Sir Your most obt Servt
Amb. Maréchal Archbishop
of Balte

RC (DLC); on letterhead with printed seal at head:

; dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Feb. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Thomas Ritchie, 20 Mar. 1818, on recto and verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqe Monticello (Virginia)”; franked; postmarked Baltimore, 28 Jan.

Ambrose Maréchal (1768–1828), Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, was born in Ingré, near Orléans, France, and educated at Catholic seminaries in Orléans and Bordeaux. Ordained in Paris early in 1792, he relocated to Baltimore immediately thereafter; spent two years as a missionary in Philadelphia; and taught theology at Saint Mary’s Seminary (later Saint Mary’s Seminary and University), 1794–95, 1799–1801, 1802–03, and 1812–17, and philosophy at Georgetown College (later Georgetown University), 1801–02. Maréchal went back to France in 1803 and worked as an educator at various Sulpician seminaries there before his return to Baltimore in 1812. He was named coadjutor bishop of Baltimore in 1817 and became archbishop later that year after the death of Leonard Neale. Maréchal spent much of his tenure countering what he saw as undue Jesuit and Irish influence in his diocese, which, until 1820, included Virginia and South Carolina. During a visit to Rome, 1821–22, he won papal support for his belief that the Baltimore archbishop should be the ranking Catholic in America. Maréchal died in Baltimore (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Ronin John Murtha, “The Life of the Most Reverend Ambrose Maréchal, Third Archbishop of Baltimore, 1768–1828” [Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 1965]; MdBS: Archdiocese of Baltimore Archives, Maréchal Papers; Memorial Volume of the Centenary of St. Mary’s Seminary of St. Sulpice, Baltimore, Md. [1891], esp. 5, 7, 15, 39; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 31 Jan. 1828).

h.h.: “His Holiness,” the pope. Cardinal Antonio Dugnani commented in a letter to Maréchal written at rome on 10, not 20 Sept. 1817: “j’attend des nouvelles de M. Jefferson, comme vous m’avez fut esperer” (“I await news of Mr. Jefferson, of which you had made me hopeful”) (RC in MdBS: Archdiocese of Baltimore Archives, Maréchal Papers).

TJ’s daughters Martha Jefferson Randolph and Maria Jefferson Eppes had been educated during the 1780s at a Parisian convent, the Abbaye Royale de Panthémont (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, 2 vols., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 1:730).

Index Entries

  • Abbaye Royale de Panthémont; and education of TJ’s daughters search
  • Dugnani, Antonio; desires A. Maréchal to visit Monticello search
  • Dugnani, Antonio; inquires about TJ’s family search
  • Dugnani, Antonio; sends greetings to TJ’s family search
  • education; female search
  • Eppes, Maria (Mary) Jefferson (TJ’s daughter; John Wayles Eppes’s first wife); education of search
  • Eppes, Maria (Mary) Jefferson (TJ’s daughter; John Wayles Eppes’s first wife); greetings sent to search
  • Maréchal, Ambrose; and A. Dugnani search
  • Maréchal, Ambrose; identified search
  • Maréchal, Ambrose; letters from search
  • Maréchal, Ambrose; travels of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); education of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings sent to search
  • schools and colleges; for women search
  • women; education of search