St. Joseph's Academy and Free School

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Date: 1809 to 1973
Location: Emmitsburg, Frederick, Maryland, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Lansinger-9 Tyson-641 WikiTree_Challenge
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The St. Joseph's Academy and Free School was founded in 1809 by Elizabeth Ann Seton a widow who had taken vows as a religious and who became known as Mother Seton. Mother Seton was later canonized as America's first US-born saint.

The Academy was the first Catholic Girls' School in the United States and was also the home of the first order of nuns in the US, now part of the Sisters of Charity, also founded by Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was their first member.

In the month of June Elizabeth, her two sisters-in-law, her daughter Anna, and one of the pious ladies who had joined her, left Baltimore for Emmitsburg, a small village of Frederick County, in the northernmost part of Maryland, between the upper streams of the Monocacy and the Catoctin ridge of the South Mountains. It was there the generous aid of the Rev. Mr. Cooper, seconding Mr. Dubourg's plan, had located the new establishment, of which Elizabeth has spoken in her letters. The route of the little party was by way of Westminster, going diagonally across the State almost to the Pennsylvania line, and passing through a region, in some parts beautiful, in others monotonously ugly ; yet the eye could generally turn as a relief from the unpicturesqueness of immediate, surroundings to a range of blue hills on the left, rising in the distance into mountains. The journey was made amidst the cheerfully borne discomforts of heat, dust, bad roads, streams unbridged, joltings, crowding, fatigue, and fear of freshets, partly on foot and partly in one of those huge, canvas-covered, creaking wains in use among the country people of Maryland. The expenses of the expedition amounted to fifty dollars. On arriving at Emmitsburg the women found the building on the property, purchased by Mr. Cooper, unfit for immediate occupation, and were fain to accept the shelter of a log-house, about two miles from the village, which Mr. Dubois, the missionary priest of the district, had built on the side of the mountain, a little below Saint Mary's church, and which he gave over to their occupancy, while he moved into new buildings further down, intended for a college. -from the letters of Elizabeth Ann Seton, to Julia Scott, 9 May 1809.

Research Notes

Work on buildings on the grounds of the school was performed by the firm Tyson and Lansinger, operated by Bennett Tyson and his brother-in-law William Lansinger (Rob Warthen's 2nd great-grandfather). The family's association with the school began with Bennett Tyson's grandfather, who was integral to the purchase of the land, and his mother and aunt, who were among the first students there.

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This property was later purchased by the Federal Government and became the National Fire Academy.
posted by Rob Warthen