Bishop William Quarter Diary Part I: Pages 1-7

FIRST NOTATION [handwritten and no page number]

Father [blank] Quarter ordained 25th of May 1793 by Bp. (bishop) Carroll and takes charge of Bourbannais Grove 12 June 1846 — In October year — first came to C [blank]gsey, not more than 20 families then in city, not 20 catholics, men, women, & children

SECOND NOTATION (Obituary of Bishop Quarter from the Truth Teller) [no page number] #1

Never has it been our lot before to perform a duty so painful to our feelings as that which we have now to perform. We have to place on record the removal from us of one whose friendship we had long enjoyed and whose literary support we had possessed. A wide circle of friends are left to mourn his loss, and the Catholics of the United States, are all in a greater or less degree sufferers by it. The benefits bestowed by him on his own diocese, were reflected all over the United States, producing a holy spirit of emulation in his brother Bishops and strengthening the more feeble members of our faith. All rejoiced in the progress of Bishop Quarter’s diocese, and all who loved our holy faith had reason to rejoice. From his childhood religion was the object of his heart. While yet a child he would build his Altar and ornament it – devotion flowed from his lisping tongue and reproved vice from the moment that his mind could discern right and wrong. Truth and virtue, always were supported by him, but falsehood and vice he ever abhorred. Wealth could never screen the vicious or immoral from his strong condemnation, nor could poverty prevent the virtuous from his best attention. How many in this city, who are now in sorrow for his loss, poor and rich, can bear witness to our words. His influence, his tongue and his pen were ever ready to crush vice and uphold truth.—Tens of thousands in this city – hundred of thousands in America—can tell with what power and effect. Whilst yet a child his piety and demeanor obtained for him the title of “the little Bishop.” His family were of that respectable class that has given to the church bright ornaments in Europe and America, and few families, indeed, have so many Bishops and Priests to boast at the present day as that of the deceased. The number of Catholic clergymen among his relatives here and in the diocese of Meath is little short of twenty – and they have to display an unsullied fame. Never has one of them received the least censure from his Bishop, yet there have never been any men in the ministry more firm in upholding the rights of the priesthood.

#1: Walter Quarter, brother of Bishop Quarter, indicates in a hand-written note that William was born in King’s County (Ireland) and not Queen’s County.Walter gives the date of William’s birth as January 16, 1806.One sentence later the obituary has the line “The time of his birth was January 31, 1805.” Walter’s note is a correction of a factual error in the newspaper obituary. However, the website for the Archdiocese of Chicago indicates that Quarter was born on January 24, 1806. Another website – Wikipedia – indicates that he was born on January 21, 1806. 

St. Peter, Barclay Street, New York City
St. Peter, Barclay Street, New York City

The Right Rev. Dr. Quarter was born in the Queen’s County, Ireland [N.B. at bottom of the article is a written note that Quarter was born in Kilburine, King’s County not Queen’s County on the 16th day of January 1806. Signed WJ Quarter] – his birth place is on the border of the county, adjoining the King’s county, where his relations are most numerous and respectable. The time of his birth was January 31st, 1805. Having laid the foundation of a thorough classical education in Ireland he came to America, where he was raised to the priesthood by Bishop Dubois, who was strongly attached to him. His early mission in St. Peter’s church in this city is well remembered by many a bursting heart amidst us – his subsequent career in St. Mary’s, where he was for many years pastor, is too well known for us to speak of. He found the parish overrun with vice and he left it the pride of the city, for [unable to make out this word], and all that elevates the Christian character. In 1844 he was elevated to the high position of Bishop, and was known to the world how he has laboured for the faith, and what glory he has reflected on his diocese and the [unable to make out the word]. Bishop Quarter studied Moral Philosophy and Divinity in Mt. St. Mary’s under the venerable Dr. Brute, since consecrated Bishop of Vincennes – and among all the Professors and students he was highly esteemed for a clear mind, sound judgment, gentle, kind disposition, firm friendship, and perfect devotion. For four years he laboured as no other Bishop would labour for the advancement of his new diocese, and he laboured successfully –his endeavours were all realised and God crowned it all by taking him to himself – removing him a little further from us – and only for a very little while. May our passage through life be marked by the light he reflected on our path and our rest be with him in the kingdom he has taken possession of recently.

We have taken the following statement of his death from the Chicago Journal:–

On Monday morning a [sic] 3 o’clock, William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago, yielded up his spirit to his Maker. On the preceeding [sic] beautiful Sabbath morning this faithful servant of God, stood in the House consecrated to the Worship of the Most high, and there, before his beloved people, fervently proclaimed the oracles of life.

Scarce had that Sabbath sun, gilded with its rays, the evening cloud, ere his ransomed spirit joined in the melody of the heavenly choir.

To-day, the wise, the gifted, the beloved pastor, is leading his flock, beside the still waters of Salvation; — to-morrow, the eloquent voice is still – the beaming eye is closed – the generous heart no longer pulsates; and all that remains of him, on earth, is the cold corpse

In the midst of extensive usefulness—in the midst of a congregation, by whom he was beloved—in the midst of a community, by whom he was respected—in the very prime of a mature and active manhood, a true—a sincere—a devoted Christian, is, almost without a moment’s warning, called away to his Father’s House.  Surely this sad dispensation of an all-wise Providence, should not fall listlessly upon our ears.

It is not our purpose, [for we cannot obtain the materials] to write an extended obituary of this truly good, and eminently distinguished man.  Other, and abler pens than ours, will, doubtless, prepare an account of his useful life, others will do ample justice, to those virtues and graces which adorned his simple but lovely character.

It was however our good fortune, to have become acquainted with Bishop Quarter, soon after his arrival in Chicago, and we esteem it now, a most fortunate circumstance, that we enjoyed frequent opportunities of improving that acquaintance.

By nature, Bishop Quarter was endowed with talents of a high order; and laboriously had the natural powers of his mind, been cultivated by unremitting industry.  Strong and decided, in the advocacy of his own religious opinions, he was always tolerant of the opinions of others.  Charity, seemed to be the ruling trait of his character.

In all his tastes and habits, he was simple.  Enterprising and persevering, he was diligently employed, in advancing the interests of the Church of which he was a bright ornament, and in beautifying and adoring our City, by the erection of Schools, and Colleges, and Cathedrals.  He was an enthusiastic friend of education, and proved his devotion, by contributing his own small private fortune, to the advancement of that noble cause.

As a divine, he was learned, logical and profound; as scholar, he was ripe and matured; as a friend, he was true and unselfish, as a Christian, he was faithful, humble and sincere.

In the social circle, he was beloved by all who knew him.  In his public sphere of duty, he was universally admired and respected. Enemies he had none; for his king (sic) and gentle spirit disarmed oppressors, and converted them into warm and devoted friends.

Such a man’s departure, to another sphere, is a great calamity.  Who can supply his place? Who can in so short a sojourn in a land of strangers, again make so many true and sincere friends?

But he is gone—gone to his great reward.  Peace to his ashes.  Honor to his memory!

THIRD NOTATION [Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore and List of Assembled Prelates –1846]

Provincial Council of Baltimore

This august assembly, which was in session for one week, closed its deliberations on last Sunday, when each Prelate of the twenty-three assembled in attendance, ascended successively the High Altar of the Cathedral, and signed the Decrees that had been passed at their several private sessions. These decrees are to be forwarded now to Rome, the centre [sic] of Catholicity, where they are to be submitted to the Holy Father for his sanction and approval, and will, on their being returned here, be published for the benefit of the faithful. These decrees regard the discipline of the Church, in this country – and it is truly delightful to find every part of this immense continent harmonizing in all that appertains to the beauty and splendor and heavenly order of Catholicity; and humbly and respectfully submitting the result of calm and deliberate decisions to the father of the Catholic family that branches throughout all parts of the world, for his final approval and fiat. The various rumors that are running the rounds of the papers are without authority—all is conjecture, and will remain so for some three or four months yet to come.

Never has Catholicity witnessed a more glorious spectacle than Baltimore presented last week, and the Catholics of this vast continent rejoice therein—the hearts of all fraternise (sic) throughout the Union, and wish God-speed to the good worked.The Continent, a paper published in Baltimore, says that as the Bishops, than whom a body of more distinguished looking persons could not have been assembled even by selection—men in the maturity of their years and powers—met at the high altar and separated around the marble shrine, and the choir commenced the services of the day, a foreigner of distinction who was present declared, that a more imposing religious spectacle he never witnessed in any country.

The following are the names, &c. of the several prelates and Theologians that were in attendance at the Council.

Prelates Assembled in Council

The Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore, Samuel Eccleston, born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 27th June 1801.

Right Rev. Michael Portier, Bishop of Mobile, born in Montbrion, France, 7th September 1795.

Right Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, born in Dublin, Ireland, 3rd December 1797.


Bishop John Hughes
Bishop John Hughes, New York

Bishop John Hughes

New York

Archbishop Samuel Eccleston
Archbishop Samuel Eccleston, Baltimore

Archbishop Samuel Eccleston


Bishop Matthias Loras
Bishop Matthias Loras, Dubuque

Bishop Matthias Loras




Right Rev. Guy Ignatius Chabrat, Bishop of Bolena, Coadjutor of the Bishop of Louisville, born in Mauriac, France, 25th December 1786.

Right Rev. John Baptist Purcell, Bishop of Cincinnati, born in Mallow, Ireland, 26th February 1800.

Right Rev. Anthony Blanc, Bishop of New Orleans, born in Sury, France, 11th October 1792.

Right Rev. Matthias Loras, Bishop of Dubuque, born in Lyons, France, 30th August 1792.

Right Rev. John Hughes, Bishop of New York, born in Clogher, Ireland, 20th June 1798.

Right Rev. Richard Pius Miles, Bishop of Nashville, born in Maryland, 17th May 1791.

Right Rev. Celestin Rene Laurence De la Hailandiere, Bishop of Vincennes, born in Combourg, 3rd May 1798.

Right Rev. John Joseph Chance, Bishop of Natches, born in Baltimore, 4th October 1795.

Right Rev. Richard Vincent Whelan, Bishop of Richmond, born in Baltimore, 28th January 1809.

Right Rev. Peter Paul Lefevre, Bishop of Zela, Administrator of Detroit, born in Roulers, W. Flanders, 30th April 1804.

Right Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Bishop of St. Louis, born in Dublin, Ireland, 17th August 1806.

Right Rev. John M. Odin, Bishop of Claudiopolis, Vicar Apostolic of Texas, born in Ambierce, France, 25th February 1801.

Right Rev. Michael O’Connor, Bishop of Pittsburgh, born in Cork, Ireland, 27th February 1810.

Right Rev. Andrew Byrne, Bishop of Little Rock, born in Navan, Ireland, 5th December 1802.

Right Rev. William Quarter, born in King’s County, Ireland, 31st January 1806.

Right Rev. John McCloskey, Bishop of Axiern, Coadjutor of the Bishop of New York, born in Brooklyn, 20th March 1810.

Right Rev. Wm. Tyler, Bishop of Hartford, Connecticut, born in Derby, Vermont, 5th June 1806.

Right Rev. Ignatius Reynolds, Bishop of Charleston, born in Bardstown, Kentucky, 22nd August 1799.


Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget

Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget

Bishop of Louisville

Bishop Martin John Henni

Bishop of Milwaukee

Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick

Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick

St. Louis

Right Rev. John Martin Henni, Bishop of Milwaukee, born in Obersaxony, Switzerland, 15th June 1805.

Right Rev. John Fitzpatrick, Bishop of Caliportanus, Coadjutor of the Bishop of Boston, born in Boston, 15th November 1812.

Absent on account of distance, Right Rev. F.N. Blanchet, Vicar Apostolic of Oregon.

On account of advanced age, Right Rev. Benedict Joseph Flaget, Bishop of Louisville, born in Auvergne, France.

On account of ill health, Right Rev. Benedict Fenwick, Bishop of Boston.

Right Rev. Edward Barron, Bishop of Eucarpia, in partbus infidel.