Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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NEALE, Leonard, archbishop, born in Port Tobacco, Maryland, 15 October, 1746; died in Georgetown, D. C., 15 June, 1817. He belonged to an old Roman Catholic family that settled in Maryland early in the 17th century. He was educated in the College of St. Omer, France, and afterward at Bruges and Liege, Belgium, became a member of the Society of Jesus, and after his ordination taught in colleges and officiated as pastor in different places in Europe. He was teaching in the Jesuit college of Bruges when that institution was seized by the Austro-Belgian government, and he was expelled with the other Jesuits. He then went to England, where he had charge of a small congregation, but after several years he sailed in 1779 for Demerara, where he worked zealously among the natives and settlers. At length his health was almost ruined by the inclemency of the climate and the severity of his labors. He left Demerara in January, 1783, and after a perilous voyage, in which he fell into the hands of British cruisers, he reached the United States in April. In June he attended a meeting of the clergy of Maryland at Whitemarsh and took an active part in its deliberations. He was stationed at St. Thomas's Manor among his relatives till 1793, when he went to Philadelphia to attend the victims of the yellow-fever epidemic, although he was in delicate health. He was incessant in his attentions to the sick and dying, and on the reappearance of the pesthence in 1797-'8 he resumed his former exertions until he was prostrated by the disease. While he was in Philadelphia he was appointed vicar-general for the northern states. In 1799 he was made president of Georgetown college, which had been founded a few years before by the Jesuits of Maryland. His experience in European colleges was of great service to this institution, which made rapid strides under his management. He had intended to found a sisterhood in Philadelphia, but of the three ladies who placed themselves under his direction two died of yellow fever. He invited Miss Lalor, the survivor, to open a school in Georgetown under his direction, which was the beginning of what is now the oldest Roman Catholic female academy within the limits of the thirteen original states. By his exertions other ladies joined Miss Lalor, and the community was organized as the order of Visitation Nuns, but it did not receive the formal sanction of the pope until 1818. He was consecrated bishop of Gortyna in partibus infidelium, 7 December, 1800, and made coadjutor of the primate of the United States. He attended a council of bishops in Baltimore in 1810, and his influence was felt in the rules drawn up by that body for the administration of the dioceses. Bishop Neale succeeded to the archbishopric of Baltimore in 1815, and in 1816 received the pallium.
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