What was it like to live as a woman of faith in early republic America? What was it like to live as a Catholic in the early United States?
Catherine O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University and author of Elizabeth Seton: American Saint, helps us investigate answers to these questions by taking us through the life of the United States’ first saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Catherine O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University and author of Elizabeth Seton: American Saint, takes us through the life of the United States’ first saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton.
During our conversation, Catherine reveals details about Elizabeth Seton’s life and accomplishments; Information about Seton’s search for faith and her decision to convert to Catholicism; And, what Elizabeth Seton’s life can show us about what it was like to live as a Catholic and a life of faith in the early United States.
What You’ll Discover
- Elizabeth Seton’s life and accomplishments
- The archive about Elizabeth Seton’s life
- How sainthood is a process of memory making
- Why Seton wanted to destroy some of her letters and papers
- Elizabeth Bailey Seton’s early life and childhood
- Seton’s interest in religion and Catholicism
- Catholicism in the early United States
- Elizabeth Seton’s voyage to Italy and her return to the United States
- Seton’s journey to Baltimore
- The establishment of a Catholic community in Emmitsburg, Maryland
- The Sisters of Charity
- The St. Joseph’s Academy and the Sisters of Charity orphanage in Philadelphia
- Elizabeth Seton’s death at age 46
- The canonization of Elizabeth Seton
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Catherine O’Donnell
- Catherine O’Donnell on Twitter
- Elizabeth Seton: American Saint
- Men of Letters in the Early Republic: Cultivating Citizenship
- New-York Historical Society
- Maryland Historical Society
- Episode 108: Ann Little, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelright
- Episode 116: Erica Charters, Disease & the Seven Years’ War
- Episode 174: Thomas Apel, Yellow Fever in the Early American Republic
- Episode 209: Considering Biography
- Episode 212: Researching Biography
- Episode 214: Christopher Grasso, Skepticism & American Faith
In your opinion, what might have happened if Seton had never visited Italy? Do you think she would have converted to Catholicism?
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