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Official Archbishop Correspondence Files, 1844-1884
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Description
The Official Archbishop Correspondence Files contain correspondence received by archbishops of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and in some cases, their copy-replies. The Archbishop Alemany correspondence files span the period of his episcopacy as the first archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1853-1884.
Background
Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P. (Dominican Order of Preachers) came to California in 1850 to assume his duties as Bishop of Monterey, California. In 1853, he was transferred to the newly created metropolitan see of San Francisco to become its first Archbishop. At the time, the Archdiocese of San Francisco encompassed all of the state of California north of Monterey Bay as well as parts of territories in Oregon, Nevada and Utah. During Archbishop Alemany's episcopacy, he presided over the significant work to address the exponential growth of the Catholic Church and its faithful in California during the Gold Rush era. To serve the influx of immigrant Catholics arriving at the time, parish churches were erected in San Francisco for Mexican, French, German, and Italian communities. Archbishop Alemany also actively recruited Catholic men and women religious communities to establish missions and serve his new archdiocese by fulfilling the educational, medical, and social welfare needs created by the population boon. To serve the growing mining population in the Sierra Nevada during this time, Alemany split the San Francisco archdiocese to establish the Diocese of Grass Valley which eventually became part of the Diocese of Sacramento. As the archdiocese continued to grow, Alemany ramped up efforts to recruit and train native and local clergy, as many of his clergy still came from overseas. He established Saint Thomas Seminary at Mission San Jose in 1853, but the seminary struggled and closed in 1865. In 1872, Archbishop Alemany approved the establishment of the first and only women religious community to be founded in San Francisco, the Sisters of the Holy Family. Archbishop Alemany served as archbishop until resigning in 1884, and then retiring to his native home of Vic, Spain where he spent his remaining years until passing away in 1888.
Extent
1.5 linear ft.
Restrictions
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Archivist at the Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco (AASF), 320 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Consent is given on behalf of the Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
Availability
Collection open for research.