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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Eliza Maria Gillespie

GILLESPIE, Eliza Maria, mother superior (in religion, MOTHER MARY OF ST. ANGELA), born near West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania, 21 February, 1824; died in St. Mary's convent, Notre Dame, Indiana, 4 March, 1887. When she was quite young her family removed to Lancaster, Ohio. She was soon afterward placed at school with the Dominican sisters, Somerset, Perry County, and was next sent to the convent of the Visitation, Georgetown, D. C., where she finished her studies. At the time of her graduation, Thomas Ewing, her godfather, was secretary of the treasury under President Harrison, and Miss Gillespie's beauty and accomplishments at once made her a leader of society in Washington. During the Irish famine, by the aid of tapestry work and of a magazine story, written in conjunction with her cousin, afterward the wife of General William T. Sherman, she collected a large sum of money to send to the sufferers. Afterward, during the epidemic of 1849, she nursed the sick and dying who had been deserted from fear of the disease. In 1853 she entered the congregation of the Holy Cross, under the name of Mother Mary of St. Angela. After taking the habit, she sailed for Europe, made her novitiate in France, and at the end of the year took the vows of religious profession at the hands of the founder of the order, Father Moream In January, 1855, she returned to the United States, and was made superior of the Academy of St. Mary's, Bertrand, Michigan In the following summer she transferred the academy to the present site of St. Mary's, Indiana, and obtained a charter for it frown the legislature. She laid the foundation of the present conservatory of music, and established the future of the institution on a firm foundation. She then founded other academies in different parts of the United States, until at her death she had established nearly thirty, including those of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas. When the civil war began, she left St. Mary's in charge of competent aids, organized a corps of sisters, and hurried to the front to care for the sick and wounded soldiers. She established hospitals, both temporary and permanent, and, when generals failed to secure needed aid for the sick and wounded soldiers, she made flying trips to Washington in their behalf. Her headquarters were at Cairo, and, in ill-provided buildings used for hospitals, she and her sisters were obliged to rise early and cook gruel often for fourteen hundred men before the roll-call summoned the convalescents to battle. The close of the war left her enfeebled, and she never afterward fully recovered her strength. After the war the order of the Holy Cross in the United States was separated from the order in Garope, and she was made mother superior. She filled this office for two terms, when failing health compelled her to resign. She then became mistress of novices at St. Mary's, and prepared to pass the remainder of her days in the society of her mother and many warm 'friends who lived near. N other Angela wrote sketches for Roman Catholic periodicals, in-eluding some interesting reminiscences of her experiences during the war, for the "Ave Maria," published in Notre Dame, Indiana--tier brother, Neal Henry, clergyman, born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1832; died in St. Mary's, Jay County, Indiana, 12 November, 1874. He was among the first students who entered the University of Notre Dame, and the first to receive there his degree. In 1851 he entered the novitiate of the congregation of the Holy Cross, and began his theological studies. After finishing his novitiate, he taught mathematics in the University, and in 1854 went to Rome to complete his theological course. He was ordained priest on 24 June, 1856, and on his return to Notre Dame was appointed vice-president and director of studies. In 1859 he was made president of the College of St. Mary of the Lake, Chicago. He was called to Paris in 1863 on business connected with his order, but returned to the United States in 1866. He was for several years editor of the "Ave Maria," and was also spiritual director of several religious and literary societies connected with the University of Notre Dame.

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