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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CLAVER, Pedro, apostle of the Negroes, born in Catalonia. Spain, in 1572" died in Carthagena, South America, in 1654. At the age of twenty he entered the Societ, y of Jesus. In 1610 he was sent to Carthagena, South America, and on his arrival was painfully affected by the misery of the Negro slaves that were brought to that City for sale. Believing he had found his mission, he visited every slave-ship on its arrival, accompanied by an interpreter, who carried provisions for the Negroes, which he had begged from the wealthy inhabitants. He then descended into the crowded cabins to comfort the slaves and distribute his gifts among them. He afterward instructed and baptized the Negroes, and formed them into congregations. In 1628 an epidemic of small-pox of a virulent character broke out among the Negroes of Carthagena, and Father Claver was unremitting in his attention to the victims. His favorite resort was the lepers' hospital in Carthagena, which was shunned even by the doctors. His constitution was enfeebled by his labors, penances, and mortifications, and he never recovered from an attack of the plague, while his end was hastened by the harshness and neglect of a young Negro appointed to attend him. He was declared venerable by Benedict XIV in 1747, and beatified by Plus IX. in 1850.
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