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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FLEMING, Michael, R. C. Canadian bishop, born in Ireland about 1785 ; died in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1850. He was nominated coadjutor to the vicar apostolic of Newfoundland in 1821, and in 1829 succeeded to the vicariate. At this time Newfoundland was without schools, and had only a few Churches the knowledge that he had acquired of the condition of the peninsula during his co-adjutorship enabled him to introduce several reforms. He divided it into thirteen districts, and built Churches, presbyteries, and schools in each. In 1834 he obtained permission from the government to build a cathedral, a convent, and schools, and an Episcopal residence, on some land near St. John's that was valueless for other purposes. But shortly afterward the government retracted the concession, and he went to London to solicit the execution of the promise. He was successful, and on his return in 1841 laid the foundation of his cathedral, which when finished was one of the noblest edifices in America. In 1846 he sent missionaries to Labrador. In 1849, Plus IX erected the City of St. John's into a bishopric and nominated him its first bishop.
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