Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
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FitzGerald Edward
1800 - 1809
History at a Glance
1800 Part I
Battle of Heliopolis
Battle of Marengo
Siege of Malta
Battle of the Malta Convoy
United States presidential election
Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise
Moltke Helmuth
Pius VII
Heeren Arnold Hermann Ludwig
Macaulay Thomas Babington
1800 Part II
Edgeworth Maria
Jean Paul: "Titan"
Schiller: "Maria Stuart"
David: "Mme. Recamier"
Boieldieu: "Le Calife de Bagdad"
Gall Franz Joseph
Trevithick Richard
Voltaic pile
Richmond Bill
1801 Part I
Act of Union
Treaty of Luneville
Alexander I
Battle of Copenhagen
Gauss: "Disquisitiones arithmeticae"
Newman John Henry
Chateaubriand: "Atala"
Grabbe Christian Dietrich
Nestroy Johann
Schiller: "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"
Robert Southey: "Thalaba the Destroyer"
1801 Part II
David: "Napoleon Crossing the Alps"
Paxton Joseph
Beethoven: "Die Geschopfe des Prometheus"
Beethoven: Piano Sonata 14 "Moonlight Sonata"
Bellini Vincenzo
Vincenzo Bellini - Norma : Sinfonia dell'Opera
Vincenzo Bellini
Haydn: "The Seasons"
Lanner Joseph
Joseph Lanner - Hofball-Tanze
Joseph Lanner
Lortzing Albert
Lortzing "Overture" Der Waffenschmied
Albert Lortzing
Bichat Marie François Xavier
Fulton Robert
Fulton's "Nautilus"
Lalande Jerome
Flinders Matthew
The British in Australia
Union Jack
1802 Part I
Napoleon president of Italian Republic
Legion of Honour
Napoleon as First Consul for life
Treaty of Amiens
Battle of San Domingo
Kossuth Lajos
Grotefend Georg Friedrich
Dumas Alexandre, pere
Alexandre Dumas
"The Three Musketeers"
Hauff Wilhelm
Hugo Victor
Victor Hugo
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 
Lenau Nikolaus
De Stael Germaine
Mme de Stael
"Corinne, Or Italy"
Chateaubriand: "Rene"
1802 Part II
Canova: "Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker";
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op.36
Forkel Johann Nikolaus
Treviranus Gottfried Reinhold
Health and Morals of Apprentices Act in Britain
1803 Part I
Act of Mediation
Louisiana Purchase
Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Emmet Robert
Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805)
Battle of Assaye
Korais Adamantios
Emerson Ralph Waldo
Lancaster Joseph
Bulwer-Lytton Edward George
Merimee Prosper
Porter Jane
Schiller: "Die Braut von Messina"
Tyutchev Fyodor Ivanovich
1803 Part II
Decamps Alexandre-Gabriel
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Henry Raeburn: "The Macnab"
Semper Gottfried
Turner J.M.W.
J.M.W. Turner
Adam Adolphe
Adolphe Adam   - Giselle
Adolphe Adam
Beethoven: "Kreutzer Sonata"
Berlioz Hector
Berlioz - Harold In Italy
Hector Berlioz
Sussmayr Franz Xaver
Carnot Lazare
Shrapnel Henry
Shrapnel shells
1804 Part I
Duc d'Enghien
Yashwantrao Holkar
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Action of 5 October 1804
Disraeli Benjamin
British and Foreign Bible Society
Code Napoleon
Brown Thomas
Feuerbach Ludwig
Sainte-Beuve Charles-Augustin
Hawthorne Nathaniel
Morike Eduard
Sand George
Schiller: "Wilhelm Tell"
1804 Part II
Morland George
George Morland
Schwind Moritz
Moritz von Schwind
Royal Watercolour Society
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Glinka Mikhail
Glinka "Waltz-Fantasia"
Mikhail Glinka
Strauss Johann, the Elder
Johann Strauss Vater - Lorelei Rhein Klänge Op. 154
Johann Strauss I
Thomas Bewick "History of British Birds"
Wollaston William Hyde
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis Meriwether
Clark William
 Surveying the West
Serturner Friedrich Wilhelm Adam
1805 Part I
Treaty of St. Petersburg
War of the Third Coalition 1805
Mazzini Giuseppe
Battle of Austerlitz
Peace of Pressburg
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Battle of Trafalgar
1805 Part II
Ballou Hosea
Andersen Hans Christian
Hans Christian Andersen
"The Fairy Tales"
Walter Scott: "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"
Robert Southey: "Madoc"
Stifter Adalbert
Tocqueville Alexis
Goya: "Dona Isabel Cobos de Procal"
Turner: "Shipwreck"
Gerard: "Madame Recamier"
Beethoven: "Fidelio"
Congreve William
Hamilton William Roman
1806 Part I
Battle of Blaauwberg
Fox Charles James
Bonaparte Joseph
Bonaparte Louis
War of the Fourth Coalition 1806–1807
Battle of Jena-Auerstadt
Continental System
Greater Poland Uprising of 1806
Confederation of Rhine
The End of the Holy Roman Empire
Treaty of Poznan
1806 Part II
Adelung Johann Christoph
Mill John Stuart
Jewish consistory
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Kleist: "Der zerbrochene Krug"
Laube Heinrich
Thorvaldsen: "Hebe"
David Wilkie: "Village Politicians"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61
Arriaga Juan
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Agar dans le désert"
Juan Arriaga
Latreille Pierre Andre
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau
Battle of Friedland
Treaty of Tilsit
Bonaparte Jerome
Mustafa IV
Chesapeake–Leopard Affair
Embargo Act
Garibaldi Giuseppe
Stein Karl
Gunboat War (1807-1814)
Invasion of Portugal
1807 Part II
Albright Jacob
Hegel: "Phanomenologie des Geistes"
Hufeland Gottlieb
Charles and Mary Lamb: "Tales from Shakespeare"
Longfellow Henry Wadsworth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Song of Hiawatha"
Vischer Friedrich Theodor
Wordsworth: "Ode on Intimations of Immortality"
1807 Part III
David: "Coronation of Napoleon"
Zeshin Shibata
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: "Leonora Overture" No. 3
Beethoven: "Appassionata"
Etienne Nicolas Mehul: "Joseph"
Spontini Gaspare
Spontini - La vestale
Gaspare Spontini
Bell Charles
Bonpland Aime Jacques Alexandre
Thompson David
Ascot Gold Cup
Slave Trade Act 1807
1808 Part I
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
Peninsular War (1807–1814)
1808 Part II
Erfurt Congress
Napoleon III
Fries Jakob Friedrich
Goethe: "Faust"
Kleist: "Das Katchen von Heilbronn"
Walter Scott: "Marmion"
Arnim and Brentano: "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Achim Ludwig
1808 Part III
Daumier Honore
Honore Daumier
Caspar Friedrich: "The Cross on the Mountains"
Goya: "Execution of the Citizens of Madrid"
Ingres: "Oedipus and the Sphinx"
Spitzweg Carl
Carl Spitzweg
Philipp Otto Runge: "The Morning"
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 6 "Pastoral"
Gay-Lussac Joseph-Louis
Goethe and Napoleon meet at Erfurt
Robinson Henry Crabb
1809 Part I
Treaty of Dardanelles
Invasion of Martinique
War of the Fifth Coalition
Battle of Wagram
Peace of Schonbrunn
Gladstone William Ewart
Charles XIII
Treaty of Amritsar
Napoleon annexes Papal States
Lincoln Abraham
Abraham Lincoln
1809 Part II
Darwin Charles
Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
Ricardo David
Campbell Thomas
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
FitzGerald Edward
Goethe: "The Elective Affinities"
Gogol Nikolai
Krylov Ivan
Рое Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe
"The Raven"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
Tennyson Alfred
Alfred Tennyson
"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
1809 Part III
Caspar Friedrich: "Monk by the Sea"
Flandrin Jean-Hippolyte
Hippolyte Flandrin
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
Mendelssohn Felix
Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Spontini: "Fernand Cortez"
Maclure William
Sommerring Samuel Thomas
Braille Louis
Seton Elizabeth

Caspar Friedrich. Monk by the Sea. 1809
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1809 Part III
Caspar Friedrich: "Monk by the Sea"

The Monk by the Sea (German: Der Mönch am Meer) is an oil painting by the German Romantic artist Friedrich Caspar David . It was painted between 1808 and 1810 in Dresden and was first shown together with the painting The Abbey in the Oakwood (Abtei im Eichwald) in the Berlin Academy exhibition of 1810. On Friedrich's request The Monk by the Sea was hung above The Abbey in the Oakwood.

After the exhibition both pictures were bought by king Frederick Wilhelm III for his collection. Today the paintings hang side by side in the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

For its lack of concern with creating the illusion of depth—which had been a traditional aspect of landscape painting—The Monk by the Sea was Friedrich's most radical composition. The broad expanses of sea and sky emphasize the meager figure of the monk, standing before the vastness of nature and the presence of God.


Caspar Friedrich.
Monk by the Sea. 1809
A single figure, dressed in a long garment and with his chin on one hand, stands on a low dune sprinkled with grass. The figure, usually identified as a monk, has turned almost completely away from the viewer and surveys a rough sea and a gray, blank sky that takes up about three quarters of the picture. It is unclear whether he is standing on a high rock or only on a gentle slope to the sea. The dune forms an inexpressive triangle in the composition, at the farthest point of which is the figure. Contrasting with the dark ocean there are several whitecaps of waves sometimes mistaken for seagulls.

Although Friedrich's paintings are landscapes, he designed and painted them in his studio, using freely drawn plein air sketches, from which he chose the most evocative elements to integrate into an expressive composition. The composition of The Monk by the Sea shows evidence of this reductive process, as Friedrich removed elements from the canvas after they were painted. Recent scientific investigations have revealed that he had initially painted two small sailing ships on the horizon, which he later removed. Friedrich continued to modify the details of the painting right up to its exhibition—to the sky's grey was added blue, with stars and a moon—but the basic composition always stayed the same.

The picture appeared at a time when Friedrich had his first public success and critical acknowledgment with his controversial Tetschener Altar, a work that explicitly fused the landscape format with a religious theme. The Monk by the Sea furthered his success and drew much attention.

Friedrich probably began the painting in Dresden, 1808. In a letter of February 1809, he described the image for the first time. The stages in its conception were also documented by guests to his studio. In June 1809, the wife of painter Gerhard von Kügelgen, an acquaintance of Friedrich, visited him and later criticized the painting in a letter; she was put off by the loneliness of the setting and the lack of consolation that movement or narrative might provide the "unending space of air".

Art historian Albert Boime believed that the figure of the monk was Friedrich, walking on the cliffs at Rügen, which would place the subject near the site where a Protestant mystic built a chapel for poor fishermen who were far from home and wished to profess their faith. The identification of the monk as a self-portrait has been accepted by other scholars, both for physical resemblances to Friedrich (the long blond hair and round skull), and for the fact that, in keeping with the perception of artists as belonging to a "higher priesthood", Friedrich later painted himself in a monk's clothing.

The painting was exhibited in its current form at the Berlin Academy in October 1810, to much controversy and criticism. The composition notably lacks a repoussoir—a framing device that leads the viewer's gaze into the image. Rather, the emptiness of the foreground is overwhelming.

It is commonly argued that a viewer of this painting has difficulty relating himself to the picture's space. One cannot mentally "penetrate" the image: Friedrich has created an unbridgeable gap between the monk and the viewer.

The monk is cut off from us spatially and existentially, and there are no traditional landscape elements that might soften the effect—only a cold sky and a flat foreground, void of greenery, and a dark sea, reduced to a narrow band on which no vessels sail. Friedrich has compressed space in a manner anticipating abstract art; The Monk by the Sea has been described as "perhaps the first 'abstract' painting in a very modern sense".

In the month of the exhibition, German Romantic author Clemens Brentano submitted an article on the painting to the Berliner Abendblätter, a new daily journal edited by his friend Heinrich von Kleist.

The piece, titled "Different Feelings about a Seascape by Friedrich on which is a Capuchin Monk", was critical of the work, but Kleist substantially revised Brentano's text to produce an article sympathetic to Friedrich's painting. Kleist's commentary has become a central element in discussion of the painting and of Friedrich; the two men are seen as at odds with the aesthetic of the more conventional German Romantics, in which Brentano was firmly entrenched

Kleist wrote, for example:

How wonderful it is to sit completely alone by the sea under an overcast sky, gazing out over the endless expanse of water. It is essential that one has come there just for this reason, and that one has to return. That one would like to go over the sea but cannot; that one misses any sign of life, and yet one senses the voice of life in the rush of the water, in the blowing of the wind, in the drifting of the clouds, in the lonely cry of the birds ... No situation in the world could be more sad and eerie than this—as the only spark of life in the wide realm of death, a lonely center in a lonely circle... Nevertheless, this definitively marks a totally new departure in Friedrich's art...

More famously, Kleist also wrote, "since in its monotony and boundlessness it has no foreground except the frame, when viewing it, it is as if one's eyelids had been cut away."

The Monk by the Sea inspired responses from painters like Gustave Courbet and James Abbott McNeill Whistler later in the 19th century. In works such as Gustave Courbet's The Coast Near Palavas a lone figure is depicted as a seeker, similarly exposed and looking out to sea.
Friedrich, though a Romantic painter, had a significant influence on later Symbolist and Expressionist artists. Franz Marc's Horse in a Landscape (1910) has been described as formally similar to The Monk by the Sea. Although their use of colour is at two extremes, both paintings are compositionally simple, with undulating horizontals and a figure that looks out at the same scene as the viewer. In his 1961 article "The Abstract Sublime", the art historian Robert Rosenblum drew comparisons between the Romantic landscape paintings of both Friedrich and Turner with the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Mark Rothko. Rosenblum specifically describes The Monk by the Sea, Turner's The Evening Star and Rothko's 1954 Light, Earth and Blue as revealing affinities of vision and feeling. According to Rosenblum, "Rothko, like Friedrich and Turner, places us on the threshold of those shapeless infinities discussed by the aestheticians of the Sublime. The tiny monk in the Friedrich and the fisher in the Turner establish a poignant contrast between the infinite vastness of a pantheistic God and the infinite smallness of His creatures. In the abstract language of Rothko, such literal detail—a bridge of empathy between the real spectator and the presentation of a transcendental landscape—is no longer necessary; we ourselves are the monk before the sea, standing silently and contemplatively before these huge and soundless pictures as if we were looking at a sunset or a moonlit night." From the 1960s on, Gotthard Graubner's picture-size coloured cushions or "color-space bodies" were also inspired by Friedrich's The Monk by the Sea. According to art historian Werner Hofmann, both Graubner and Friedrich created an aesthetics of monotony as a counterpart to the aesthetics of variety that was predominant before the nineteenth century.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caspar David Friedrich
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Flandrin Jean-Hippolyte

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (23 March 1809 – 21 March 1864) was a 19th-century French painter. His celebrated 1836 work Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer ("Young Male Nude Seated beside the Sea") is in the Louvre.

Early life
From an early age, Flandrin showed interest in the arts and a career as a painter. However, his parents pressured him to become a businessman, and having very little training, he was forced to instead become a miniature painter.

Hippolyte was the second of three sons, all of whom were painters in some aspect. Augusto, his older brother, spent most of his life as a professor at Lyon and later died there. Paul, his younger brother, was a painter of portraits and religious imagery.

Hippolyte and Paul spent some time at Lyon, saving to leave for Paris in 1829 and study under Louis Hersent. Eventually, they settled in the studio of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, who became not only their instructor but their friend for life. At first, Hippolyte struggled as a poor artist. However, in 1832, he won the Prix de Rome for his painting Recognition of Theseus by his Father. This prestigious art scholarship meant that he was no longer limited by his poverty.


Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin
The Prix de Rome allowed him to study for five years in Rome. While there, he created several paintings, increasing his celebrity both in France and Italy. His painting St. Clair Healing the Blind was created for the cathedral of Nantes, and at the exhibition of 1855 years later, it also brought him a medal of the first class. Jesus and the Little Children was given by the government to the town of Lisieux. Dante and Virgil visiting the Envious Men struck with Blindness and Euripides writing his Tragedies are now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon.

Upon his return to Paris in 1856, Flandrin received a commission from the chapel of St John in the church of St Séverin. As a result, his reputation became even more impressive, virtually guaranteeing him continuous employment for the rest of his life.

In addition to these works, Flandrin also painted a great number of portraits. However, he is much more known today for his monumental decorative paintings. The most notable of these are found in the following locations:

in the sanctuary, choir, and nave of St Germain des Prés at Paris (1842–1861)
in the church of St Paul at Nîmes (1848–1849)
of St Vincent de Paul at Paris (1850–1854)
in the church of St-Martin-d'Ainay at Lyon (1855)

In 1853, Flandrin was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1863, his failing health, made worse by his hard work and extended exposure to the damp and draughts of churches, induced him to visit Italy again, where he died of smallpox in Rome on 21 March 1864.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin. Jesus Christ and the children
Hippolyte Flandrin
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, by Beethoven Ludwig, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil.
The first performance took place on 28 November 1811 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig under conductor Johann Philipp Christian Schulz, the soloist being Friedrich Schneider. On 12 February 1812, Carl Czerny, another student of Beethoven's, gave the Vienna debut of this work.

The epithet of Emperor for this concerto was not Beethoven's own but was coined by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto. Its duration is approximately forty minutes.

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ("The Emperor") - Arthur Rubinstein
A. Rubinstein playing Beethoven's 5th piano concerto with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Schneider.
Ludwig van Beethoven
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Haydn Franz Joseph d. (b. 1732)
Joseph Haydn - Cello Concerto No. 1 (Mstislav Rostropovich)
Mstislav Rostropovich plays this work whith the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radiotelevisión Española (Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra). Madrid. Teatro Real. 22.11.1985
Franz Joseph Haydn
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Mendelssohn Felix

Felix Mendelssohn, in full Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (born February 3, 1809, Hamburg [Germany]—died November 4, 1847, Leipzig), German composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher, one of the most-celebrated figures of the early Romantic period. In his music Mendelssohn largely observed Classical models and practices while initiating key aspects of Romanticism—the artistic movement that exalted feeling and the imagination above rigid forms and traditions. Among his most famous works are Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1826), Italian Symphony (1833), a violin concerto (1844), two piano concerti (1831, 1837), the oratorio Elijah (1846), and several pieces of chamber music. He was a grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Gemälde von Eduard Magnus, 1846
  Early life and works
Felix was born of Jewish parents, Abraham and Lea Salomon Mendelssohn, from whom he took his first piano lessons. Though the Mendelssohn family was proud of their ancestry, they considered it desirable in accordance with 19th-century liberal ideas to mark their emancipation from the ghetto by adopting the Christian faith. Accordingly, Felix, together with his brother and two sisters, was baptized in 1816 as a Lutheran. In 1822, when his parents were also baptized, the entire family adopted the surname Bartholdy, following the example of Felix’s maternal uncle, who had chosen to adopt the name of a family farm.

In 1811, during the French occupation of Hamburg, the family had moved to Berlin, where Mendelssohn studied the piano with Ludwig Berger and composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter, who, as a composer and teacher, exerted an enormous influence on his development.

Other teachers gave the Mendelssohn children lessons in literature and landscape painting, with the result that at an early age Mendelssohn’s mind was widely cultivated. His personality was nourished by a broad knowledge of the arts and was also stimulated by learning and scholarship. He traveled with his sister to Paris, where he took further piano lessons and where he appears to have become acquainted with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mendelssohn was an extemely precocious musical composer. He wrote numerous compositions during his boyhood, among them 5 operas, 11 symphonies for string orchestra, concerti, sonatas, and fugues.


Most of these works were long preserved in manuscript in the Prussian State Library in Berlin but are believed to have been lost in World War II. He made his first public appearance in 1818—at age nine—in Berlin.

In 1821 Mendelssohn was taken to Weimar to meet J.W. von Goethe, for whom he played works of J.S. Bach and Mozart and to whom he dedicated his Piano Quartet No. 3. in B Minor (1825). A remarkable friendship developed between the aging poet and the 12-year-old musician. In Paris in 1825 Luigi Cherubini discerned Mendelssohn’s outstanding gifts. The next year he reached his full stature as a composer with the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The atmospheric effects and the fresh lyrical melodies in this work revealed the mind of an original composer, while the animated orchestration looked forward to the orchestral manner of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

Mendelssohn also became active as a conductor. On March 11, 1829, at the Singakademie, Berlin, he conducted the first performance since Bach’s death of the St. Matthew Passion, thus inaugurating the Bach revival of the 19th century. Meanwhile he had visited Switzerland and had met Carl Maria von Weber, whose opera Der Freischütz, given in Berlin in 1821, encouraged him to develop a national character in music. Mendelssohn’s great work of this period was the String Octet in E Flat Major (1825), displaying not only technical mastery and an almost unprecedented lightness of touch but great melodic and rhythmic originality.

Mendelssohn developed in this work the genre of the swift-moving scherzo (a playful musical movement) that he would also use in the incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1843).

In the spring of 1829 Mendelssohn made his first journey to England, conducting his Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (1824) at the London Philharmonic Society. In the summer he went to Scotland, of which he gave many poetic accounts in his evocative letters. He went there “with a rake for folksongs, an ear for the lovely, fragrant countryside, and a heart for the bare legs of the natives.” At Abbotsford he met Sir Walter Scott. The literary, pictorial, and musical elements of Mendelssohn’s imagination are often merged. Describing, in a letter written from the Hebrides, the manner in which the waves break on the Scottish coast, he noted down, in the form of a musical symbol, the opening bars of The Hebrides (1830–32). Between 1830 and 1832 he traveled in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland and in 1832 returned to London, where he conducted The Hebrides and where he published the first book of the piano music he called Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words), completed in Venice in 1830. Mendelssohn, whose music in its day was held to be remarkable for its charm and elegance, was gradually becoming the most popular of 19th-century composers in England. His main reputation was made in England, which, in the course of his short life, he visited no fewer than 10 times. At the time of these visits, the character of his music was held to be predominantly Victorian, and indeed he eventually became the favourite composer of Queen Victoria herself.

  Mendelssohn’s subtly ironic account of his meeting with the queen and the prince consort at Buckingham Palace in 1843, to both of whom he was affectionately drawn, shows him also to have been alive to both the pomp and the sham of the royal establishment. His Symphony No. 3 in A Minor–Major, or Scottish Symphony, as it is called, was dedicated to Queen Victoria. And he became endeared to the English musical public in other ways. The fashion for playing the “Wedding March” from his A Midsummer Night’s Dream at bridal processions originates from a performance of this piece at the wedding of the Princess Royal after Mendelssohn’s death, in 1858. In the meantime he had given the first performances in London of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Emperor and G Major concerti. He was among the first to play a concerto from memory in public—Mendelssohn’s memory was prodigious—and he also became known for his organ works. Later the popularity of his oratorio Elijah, first produced at Birmingham in 1846, established Mendelssohn as a composer whose influence on English music equaled that of George Frideric Handel. After his death this influence was sometimes held to have had a stifling effect. Later generations of English composers, enamoured of Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, or Igor Stravinsky, revolted against the domination of Mendelssohn and condemned the sentimentality of his lesser works. But there is no doubt that he had, nevertheless, succeeded in arousing the native musical genius, at first by his performances and later in the creative sphere, from a dormant state.

A number of new experiences marked the grand tour that Mendelssohn had undertaken after his first London visit. Lively details of this tour are found in his long series of letters. On Goethe’s recommendation he had read Laurence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, and, inspired by this work, he recorded his impressions with great verve. In Venice he was enchanted by the paintings of Titian and Giorgione. The papal singers in Rome, however, were “almost all unmusical,” and Gregorian music he found unintelligible. In Rome he describes a “haggard” colony of German artists “with terrific beards.” Later, at Leipzig, where Hector Berlioz and Mendelssohn exchanged batons, Berlioz offered an enormous cudgel of lime tree covered with bark, whereas Mendelssohn playfully presented his brazen contemporary with a delicate light stick of whalebone elegantly encased in leather.


The contrast between these two batons precisely reflects the violently conflicting characters of the two composers.

In 1833 Mendelssohn was in London again to conduct his Italian Symphony (Symphony No. 4 in A Major–Minor), and in the same year he became music director of Düsseldorf, where he introduced into the church services the masses of Beethoven and Cherubini and the cantatas of Bach. At Düsseldorf, too, he began his first oratorio, St. Paul. In 1835 he became conductor of the celebrated Gewandhaus Orchestra at Leipzig, where he not only raised the standard of orchestral playing but made Leipzig the musical capital of Germany. Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann were among his friends at Leipzig, where, at his first concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he conducted his overture Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt (1828–32; Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage).

Marriage and maturity
In 1835 Mendelssohn was overcome by the death of his father, Abraham, whose dearest wish had been that his son should complete the St. Paul. He accordingly plunged into this work with renewed determination and the following year conducted it at Düsseldorf.

The same year at Frankfurt he met Cécile Jeanrenaud, the daughter of a French Protestant clergyman. Though she was 10 years younger than himself, that is to say, no more than 16, they became engaged and were married on March 28, 1837.

His sister Fanny, the member of his family who remained closest to him, wrote of her sister-in-law: “She is amiable, childlike, fresh, bright and even-tempered, and I consider Felix most fortunate for, though inexpressibly fond of him, she does not spoil him, but when he is capricious, treats him with an equanimity which will in course of time most probably cure his fits of irritability altogether.”

This was magnanimous praise on the part of Fanny, to whom Mendelssohn was drawn by musical as well as emotional ties.

Fanny was not only a composer in her own right—she had herself written some of the Songs Without Words attributed to her brother—but she seems to have exercised, by her sisterly companionship, a powerful influence on the development of his inner musical nature.
Mendelssohn's wife Cécile (1846) by Eduard Magnus
Works written over the following years include the Variations sérieuses (1841), for piano, the Lobgesang (1840; Hymn of Praise), Psalm CXIV, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor (1837), and chamber works. In 1838 Mendelssohn began the Violin Concerto in E Minor–Major.

Though he normally worked rapidly, throwing off works with the same facility as one writes a letter, this final expression of his lyrical genius compelled his arduous attention over the next six years.

Felix Mendelssohn
   In the 20th century the Violin Concerto was still admired for its warmth of melody and for its vivacity, and it was also the work of Mendelssohn’s that, for nostalgic listeners, enshrined the elegant musical language of the 19th century. Nor was its popularity diminished by the later, more turgid, and often more dramatic violin concerti of Johannes Brahms, Béla Bartók, and Alban Berg. It is true that many of Mendelssohn’s works are cameos, delightful portraits or descriptive pieces, held to lack the characteristic Romantic depth.

But occasionally, as in the Violin Concerto and certain of the chamber works, these predominantly lyrical qualities, so charming, naive, and fresh, themselves end by conveying a sense of the deeper Romantic wonder.

In 1843 Mendelssohn founded at Leipzig the conservatory of music where, together with Schumann, he taught composition. Visits to London and Birmingham followed, entailing an increasing number of engagements. These would hardly have affected his normal health; he had always lived on this feverish level. But at Frankfurt in May 1847 he was greatly saddened by the death of Fanny.

It is at any rate likely that for a person of Mendelssohn’s sensibility, living at such intensity, the death of this close relative, to whom he was so completely bound, would undermine his whole being. In fact, after the death of his sister, his energies deserted him, and, following the rupture of a blood vessel, he soon died.

Though the music of Mendelssohn, stylish and elegant, does not fill the entire musical scene, as it was inclined to do in Victorian times, it has elements that unite this versatile 19th-century composer to the principal artistic figures of his time. In the Midsummer Night’s Dream music, with its hilarious grunting of an ass on the bassoon and the evocative effect of Oberon’s horn, Mendelssohn becomes a partner in Shakespeare’s fairyland kingdom. The blurred impressionist effects in The Hebrides foreshadow the later developments of the painter J.M.W. Turner. Wagner understood Mendelssohn’s inventive powers as an orchestrator, as is shown in his own opera The Flying Dutchman, and, later, the French composers of the 20th century learned much from his grace and perfection of style.

The appeal of Mendelssohn’s work has not dwindled in the 21st century. It is true that Elijah is not so frequently performed as it once was and some of his fluent piano works are now overshadowed by the more-enduring works of Beethoven and Schumann. But the great pictorial works of Mendelssohn, the Scottish and Italian symphonies, repeatedly yield new vistas, and the Songs Without Words retain their graceful beauty. Mendelssohn was one of the first of the great 19th-century Romantic composers, and in this sense he remains even today a figure to be rediscovered.

Edward Lockspeiser

Encyclopædia Britannica

Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
String Symphony No. 10 in B minor (1823)

Adagio - Allegro

"String Symphony No. 10 in B minor survives in the form of a single movement, which may have been followed by others, now lost. It starts with a slow introduction that suggests something of Haydn. This is followed by a dramatic Allegro that has about it much of the idiom that Mendelssohn was to make his own. The first subject is in an ominous mood, followed by a lyrical second subject, material developed with all characteristic élan." - Keith Anderson

Felix Mendelssohn
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Spontini: "Fernand Cortez"

Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique (Hernán Cortés, or The Conquest of Mexico) is an opéra in three acts by Gaspare Spontini with a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Joseph-Alphonse d’Esmenard. It was first performed on 28 November 1809 by the Académie Impériale de Musique (Paris Opera) at the Salle Montansier.

Background and performance history
The opera was originally intended as political propaganda to support the Emperor Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808. Cortez symbolises Napoleon while the bloodthirsty Aztec priests are meant to represent the Spanish Inquisition. The emperor himself is said to have suggested the theme of the opera to Spontini and the premiere was held in his presence. The popularity of the piece declined with the waning of the French army's fortunes in Spain.

The 1809 premiere was famous for its spectacular effects, including the appearance of 17 live horses on stage. Critics complained about the adventurous harmony and the loudness of the music. The richness of the staging, extensive use of dance and the treatment of an historical subject make Spontini's work the precursor of French Grand Opera. It was greatly admired by Hector Berlioz.

Spontini substantially revised the opera for a revival in Paris on 28 May 1817. Two further revisions were made for performances in Berlin in 1824 and 1832.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gaspare Spontini - FERNANDO CORTEZ - 1809
Personaggi e interpreti: Amazili: Angeles Gulin, Fernando Cortez: Bruno Prevedi, Alvaro
Aldo Bottion, Telasco: Antonio Blancas Laplaza, Grande Sacerdote: Luigi Roni
Montezuma: Ivan Stefanov, Morales: Carlo del Bosco
Orchestra e Coro di Torino Rai - Direttore Lovro von Matacic
Rai Torino 11.01.1974
Gaspare Spontini
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Gauss Carl Friedrich: "Theoria motus corporum coelestium"
William Maclure: "Observations on the Geology of the U.S."
Maclure William

William Maclure (27 October 1763 – 23 March 1840) was an Americanized Scottish geologist, cartographer and philanthropist. He is known as the 'father of American geology'  and as a social experimenter on new types of community life, collaborating with British social reformer Robert Owen, (1771–1854), in Indiana, USA.

Maclure had a highly successful mercantile career, making a fortune that allowed him to retire in 1797 at the early age of 34 to pursue his scientific, geological and other interests. In 1809 he made the earliest attempt at a geological map of the United States of America.

Early life, business, and education

Maclure was born in 1763 in Ayr, Scotland.

After a brief visit to New York in 1782, he began work with the merchants Miller, Hart & Co, who traded and shipped goods to and from America. Maclure was based in the London office but regularly travelled to France and Ireland on business. In 1796 business affairs took him to Virginia, which he thereafter made his home. In 1803 he visited France as one of the commissioners appointed to settle the claims of American citizens on the French government; and during the few years then spent in Europe he applied himself with enthusiasm to the study of geology. While residing in Switzerland, he became impressed with what is now called the Pestalozzi School System, from Swiss pedagogist Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827).


William Maclure
  Geological map
On his return home in 1807 he commenced the self-imposed task of making a geological survey of the United States. Almost every state in the Union was traversed and mapped by him, the Allegheny Mountains being crossed and recrossed some 50 times. The results of his unaided labours were submitted to the American Philosophical Society in a memoir entitled Observations on the Geology of the United States explanatory of a Geological Map, and published in the Society's Transactions (vol. iv. 1809, p. 91) together with the first geological map of that country.

Maclure's 1809 Geological Map This antedates William Smith's geological map of England and Wales (with part of Scotland) by six years, although it was constructed using a different classification of rocks.

In 1812, while in France, Maclure became a member of the newly founded Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP). In 1817 Maclure became president of the ANSP, a post he held for the next 22 years.
In 1817, while residing in Europe, Maclure brought before the same society a revised edition of his map, and his great geological memoir, which he had issued separately, with some additional matter, under the title Observations on the Geology of the United States of America. Subsequent surveys have corroborated the general accuracy of Maclure's observations.

Maclure's Geological Map of the United States, published in 1817
Later years
In 1819 he visited Spain, and attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish an agricultural college near the city of Alicante. Returning to America in 1824, he settled for some years at New Harmony, Indiana, seeking to develop his vision of the agricultural college. Failing health ultimately required him to relinquish the attempt and to seek (in 1827) a more congenial climate in Mexico. There, in 1840, at San Ángel, he died aged 77. His will provided for a trust fund consisting of most of his property. Under the terms of the Trust, 160 workingmen's libraries were established. The treatment of Maclure's burial site in Mexico was bereft of the honors due the respected humanitarian and geologist:

The burial site of William Maclure
At the distance of a few feet from them, repose the remains of William McClure, a countryman, dear to American science. The Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia, of which he was so long the President and benefactor, erected a small marble monument over his grave, and surrounded it with an iron rail. A short time before I left Mexico, the rail was torn down, the monument upset, and, on the same night, the newly-buried body of a Scotchman was disinterred, stripped of its clothes, and thrown over the wall of the cemetery!
Brantz Mayer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
S. T. von Sommering, Ger. physiologist, invents water voltameter telegraph
Sommerring Samuel Thomas

Samuel Thomas von Sommerring (28 January 1755 – 2 March 1830) was a German physician, anatomist, anthropologist, paleontologist and inventor. Sömmerring discovered the macula in the retina of the human eye. His investigations on the brain and the nervous system, on the sensory organs, on the embryo and its malformations, on the structure of the lungs, etc., made him one of the most important German anatomists.


Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring
Sömmerring was born in Thorn (Toruń), Polish Royal Russia, as the ninth child of the physician Johann Thomas Sömmerring. In 1774 he completed his education in Thorn and began to study medicine at the University of Göttingen. He visited Petrus Camper lecturing at the University in Franeker. He became a professor of anatomy at the Collegium Carolinum in Kassel and, beginning in 1784, at the University of Mainz. There he was for five years the dean of the medical faculty. Due to the fact that Mainz became part of the French Republic under the French Directory, Sömmerring opened up a practice in Frankfurt in 1795. As one of his many important enterprises, Sömmerring introduced against many resistances the vaccination against smallpox and became one of the first members of the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft and was nominated as counselor. He received offers of employment by the University of Jena and the University of St. Petersburg, but accepted in 1804 an invitation from the Academy of Science of Bavaria, in Munich. In this city, he became counselor to the court and was led into the Bavarian nobility.

When Sömmerring was 23 years old he described the organization of the cranial nerves as part of this doctoral work: its study is valid until today.

He published many writings in the fields of medicine, anatomy and neuroanatomy, anthropology, paleontology, astronomy and philosophy. Among other things he wrote about fossil crocodiles and in 1812 he described Ornithocephalus antiquus now known as Pterodactylus. He was also the first to accurately draw a representation of the female skeleton structure.

In addition, Sömmerring was a very creative inventor, having designed a telescope for astronomical observations and an electrical telegraph in 1809. He worked on the refinement of wines, sunspots and many diverse other things. In 1811 he developed the first telegraphic system in Bavaria, which is housed today in the German Museum of Science in Munich. In 1823, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Sömmering was married to Margarethe Elizabeth Grunelius (deceased 1802), and had a son, Dietmar William, and a daughter, Susanne Katharina. Due to bad weather, Sömmering left Munich in 1820 and returned to Frankfurt, where he died in 1830. He is buried at the city's main cemetery.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Braille Louis

Louis Braille, (born Jan. 4, 1809, Coupvray, near Paris, Fr.—died Jan. 6, 1852, Paris), French educator who developed a system of printing and writing that is extensively used by the blind and that was named for him.


Louis Braille
  Braille was himself blinded at the age of three in an accident that occurred while he was playing with tools in his father’s harness shop.

A tool slipped and plunged into his right eye. Sympathetic ophthalmia and total blindness followed. Nevertheless, he became a notable musician and excelled as an organist. Upon receiving a scholarship, he went in 1819 to Paris to attend the National Institute for Blind Children, and from 1826 he taught there.

Braille became interested in a system of writing, exhibited at the school by Charles Barbier, in which a message coded in dots symbolizing phonetic sounds was embossed on cardboard.

When he was 15, he worked out an adaptation, written with a simple instrument, that met the needs of the sightless. He later took this system, which consists of a six-dot code in various combinations, and adapted it to musical notation.
He published a treatise on his type system in 1829, and in 1837 he published a three-volume Braille edition of a popular history schoolbook.

During the last years of his life Braille was ill with tuberculosis. A century after his death, Braille’s remains (minus his hands, which were kept in his birthplace of Coupvray) were moved to Paris for burial in the Panthéon.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Braille, universally accepted system of writing used by and for blind persons and consisting of a code of 63 characters, each made up of one to six raised dots arranged in a six-position matrix or cell. These Braille characters are embossed in lines on paper and read by passing the fingers lightly over the manuscript. Louis Braille, who was blinded at the age of three, invented the system in 1824 while a student at the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute for Blind Children), Paris.

The Frenchman Valentin Haüy was the first person to emboss paper as a means of reading for the blind. His printing of normal letters in relief led others to devise simplified versions; but, with one exception, they are no longer in use.

The single exception is Moon type, invented in 1845 by William Moon of Brighton, England, which partly retains the outlines of the Roman letters and is easily learned by those who have become blind in later life. Books in this type are still in limited use by elderly people, particularly in Great Britain.

When Louis Braille entered the school for the blind in Paris, in 1819, he learned of a system of tangible writing using dots, invented in 1819 by Capt. Charles Barbier, a French army officer. It was called night writing and was intended for night-time battlefield communications. In 1824, when he was only 15 years old, Braille developed a six-dot “cell” system. He used Barbier’s system as a starting point and cut its 12-dot configuration in half. The system was first published in 1829; a more complete elaboration appeared in 1837.

To aid in identifying the 63 different dot patterns, or characters, that are possible within the six-dot cell, Braille numbered the dot positions 1–2–3 downward on the left and 4–5–6 downward on the right. The first 10 letters of the Latin alphabet—a through j—are formed with dots 1, 2, 4, and 5. When preceded by the numeric indicator (dots 3, 4, 5, and 6), these signs have number values.

The first version of braille, composed for the French alphabet
The letters k through t are formed by adding dot 3 to the signs that represent a through j. Five of the remaining letters of the alphabet and five very common words are formed by adding dots 3 and 6 to the signs representing a through j. When dot 6 is added to the first 10 letters, the letter w and 9 common letter combinations are formed. Punctuation marks and two additional common letter combinations are made by placing the signs that represent letters a through j in dot positions 2, 3, 5, and 6. Three final letter combinations as well as the numeric indicator and two more punctuation marks are formed with various combinations of dots 3, 4, 5, and 6. Seven additional dot patterns are formed by dots 4, 5, and 6; some represent attributes such as capital letters or italics, while others are unique to Braille’s cell-based structure. Like the numeric indicator, these signs serve as modifiers when placed before any of the other signs. Through the application of this principle, the various signs can function in multiple ways. For example, dot 5 added before the sign for the letter d forms the Braille contraction for “day.”

Reading Braille.
Braille’s system was immediately accepted and used by his fellow students, but wider acceptance was slow in coming. The system was not officially adopted by the school in Paris until 1854, two years after Braille’s death. A universal Braille code for the English-speaking world was not adopted until 1932, when representatives from agencies for the blind in Great Britain and the United States met in London and agreed upon a system known as Standard English Braille, grade 2. In 1957 Anglo-American experts again met in London to further improve the system.
In addition to the literary Braille code, there are other codes utilizing the Braille cell but with other meanings assigned to each configuration.

The Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation (1965) provides for Braille representation of the many special symbols used in advanced mathematical and technical material. There are also special Braille codes or modifications for musical notation, shorthand, and, of course, many of the more common languages of the world.

Writing Braille by hand is accomplished by means of a device called a slate that consists of two metal plates hinged together to permit a sheet of paper to be inserted between them. Some slates have a wooden base or guide board onto which the paper is clamped.

The upper of the two metal plates, the guide plate, has cell-sized windows; under each of these, in the lower plate, are six slight pits in the Braille dot pattern. A stylus is used to press the paper against the pits to form the raised dots.

A person using Braille writes from right to left; when the sheet is turned over, the dots face upward and are read from left to right.

Braille characters. This illustration shows the formation of each six-dot cell and its simplest designated meaning.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Braille is also produced by special machines with six keys, one for each dot in the Braille cell. The first Braille writing machine, the Hall Braille writer, was invented in 1892 by Frank H. Hall, superintendent of the Illinois School for the Blind. A modified form of this device is still in use today, as are later, similar devices. One innovation for producing Braille is an electric embossing machine similar to an electric typewriter, and electronic computer processing is now routine.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Elizabeth Seton founds Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in U.S.
Seton Elizabeth

Foundress and first superior of the Sisters of Charity in the United States; born in New York City, 28 Aug., 1774, of non-Catholic parents of high position; died at Emmitsburg, Maryland, 4 Jan., 1821.

Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley (born in Connecticut and educated in England), was the first professor of anatomy at Columbia College and eminent for his work as health officer of the Port of New York. Her mother, Catherine Charlton, daughter of an Anglican minister of Staten Island, N.Y., died when Elizabeth was three years old, leaving two other young daughters. The father married again, and among the children of this second marriage was Guy Charleton Bayley, whose convert son, James Roosevelt Bayley, became Archbishop of Baltimore. Elizabeth always showed great affection for her stepmother, who was a devout Anglican, and for her stepbrothers and sisters. Her education was chiefly conducted by her father, a brilliant man of great natural virtue, who trained her to self-restraint as well as in intellectual pursuits. She read industriously, her notebooks indicating a special interest in religious and historical subjects. She was very religious, wore a small crucifix around her neck, and took great delight in reading the Scriptures, especially the Psalms, a practice she retained until her death.

Elizabeth Seton
  She was married on 25 Jan., 1794, in St. Paul's Church, New York, to William Magee Seton, of that city, by Bishop Prevoost. In her sister-in-law, Rebecca Seton, she found the "friend of her soul", and as they went about on missions of mercy they were called the "Protestant Sisters of Charity".

Business troubles culminated on the death of her father-in-law in 1798. Elizabeth and her husband presided over the large orphaned family; she shared his financial anxieties, aiding him with her sound judgment. Dr. Bayley's death in 1801 was a great trial to his favourite child.

In her anxiety for his salvation she had offered to God, during his fatal illness, the life of her infant daughter Catherine. Catherine's life was spared, however, she died at the age of ninety, as Mother Catherine of the Sisters of Mercy, New York. In 1803 Mr. Seton's health required a sea voyage; he started with his wife and eldest daughter for Leghorn, where the Filicchi brothers, business friends of the Seton firm, resided. The other children, William, Richard, Rebecca, and Catherine, were left to the care of Rebecca Seton.

From a journal which Mrs. Seton kept during her travels we learn of her heroic effort to sustain the drooping spirits of her husband during the voyage, followed by a long detention in quarantine, and until his death at Pisa (27 Dec., 1803). She and her daughter remained for some time with the Filicchi families.

While with these Catholic families and in the churches of Italy Mrs. Seton first began to see the beauty of the Catholic Faith. Delayed by her daughter's illness and then by her own, she sailed for home accompanied by Antonio Filicchi, and reached New York on 3 June, 1804. Her sister-in-law, Rebecca, died in July.

A time of great spiritual perplexity began for Mrs. Seton, whose prayer was, "If I am right Thy grace impart still in the right to stay. If I am wrong Oh, teach my heart to find the better way." Mr. Hobart (afterwards an Anglican bishop), who had great influence over her, used every effort to dissuade her from joining the Catholic Church, while Mr. Filicchi presented the claims of the true religion and arranged a correspondence between Elizabeth and Bishop Cheverus. Through Mr. Filicchi she also wrote to Bishop Carroll. Elizabeth meanwhile added fasting to her prayers for light. The result was that on Ash Wednesday, 14 March, 1805, she was received into the Church by Father Matthew O'Brien in St. Peter's Church, Barclay Street, New York. On 25 March she made her first Communion with extraordinary fervour; even the faint shadow of this sacrament in the Protestant Church had had such an attraction for her that she used to hasten from one church to another to receive it twice each Sunday. She well understood the storm that her conversion would raise among her Protestant relatives and friends at the time she most needed their help. Little of her husband's fortune was left, but numerous relatives would have provided amply for her and her children had not this barrier been raised. She joined an English Catholic gentleman named White, who, with his wife, was opening a school for boys in the suburbs of New York, but the widely circulated report that this was a proselytizing scheme forced the school to close.
A few faithful friends arranged for Mrs. Seton to open a boarding-house for some of the boys of a Protestant school taught by the curate of St. Mark's. In January, 1806, Cecilia Seton, Elizabeth's young sister-in-law, became very ill and begged to see the ostracized convert; Mrs. Seton was sent for, and became a constant visitor. Cecilia told her that she desired to become a Catholic. When Cecilia's decision was known threats were made to have Mrs. Seton expelled from the state by the Legislature.
On her recovery Cecilia fled to Elizabeth for refuge and was received into the Church. She returned to her brother's family on his wife's death. Mrs. Seton's boarding-house for boys had to be given up. Her sons had been sent by the Filicchis to Georgetown College. She hoped to find a refuge in some convent in Canada, where her teaching would support her three daughters. Bishop Carroll did not approve, so she relinquished this plan.

Father Father Dubourg, S.S., from St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, met her in New York, and suggested opening in Baltimore a school for girls. After a long delay and many privations, she and her daughters reached Baltimore on Corpus Christi, 1808. Her boys were brought there to St. Mary's College, and she opened a school next to the chapel of St. Mary's Seminary and was delighted with the opportunities for the practice of her religion, for it was only with the greatest difficulty she was able to get to daily Mass and Communion in New York.
  The convent life for which she had longed ever since her stay in Italy now seemed less impracticable. Her life was that of a religious, and her quaint costume was fashioned after one worn by certain nuns in Italy. Cecilia Conway of Philadelphia, who had contemplated going to Europe to fulfill her religious vocation, joined her; soon other postulants arrived, while the little school had all the pupils it could accommodate.

Mr. Cooper, a Virginian convert and seminarian, offered $10,000 to found an institution for teaching poor children. A farm was bought half a mile from the village of Emmitsburg and two miles from Mt. St. Mary's College. Meanwhile Cecilia Seton and her sister Harriet came to Mrs. Seton in Baltimore. As a preliminary to the formation of the new community, Mrs. Seton took vows privately before Archbishop Carroll and her daughter Anna. In June, 1809, the community was transferred to Emmitsburg to take charge of the new institution. The great fervour and mortification of Mother Seton, imitated by her sisters, made the many hardships of their situation seem light. In Dec., 1809, Harriet Seton, who was received into the Church at Emmitsburg, died there, and Cecilia in Apr., 1810.

Bishop Flaget was commissioned in 1810 by the community to obtain in France the rules of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Three of these sisters were to be sent to train the young community in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, but Napoleon forbade them to leave France.

Elizabeth Seton

  The letter announcing their coming is extant at Emmitsburg. The rule, however, with some modifications, was approved by Archbishop Carroll in Jan., 1812, and adopted.

Against her will, and despite the fact that she had also to care for her children, Mrs. Seton was elected superior. Many joined the community; Mother Seton's daughter, Anna, died during her novitiate (12 March, 1812), but had been permitted to pronounce her vows on her death-bed. Mother Seton and the eighteen sisters made their vows on 19 July, 1813.
The fathers superior of the community were the Sulpicians, Fathers Dubourg, David, and Dubois. Father Dubois held the post for fifteen years and laboured to impress on the community the spirit of St. Vincent's Sisters of Charity, forty of whom he had had under his care in France. The fervour of the community won admiration everywhere.

The school for the daughters of the well-to-do prospered, as it continues to do (1912), and enabled the sisters to do much work among the poor. In 1814 the sisters were given charge of an orphan asylum in Philadelphia; in 1817 they were sent to New York. The previous year (1816) Mother Seton's daughter, Rebecca, after long suffering, died at Emmitsburg; her son Richard, who was placed with the Filicchi firm in Italy, died a few years after his mother. William, the eldest, joined the United States Navy and died in 1868. The most distinguished of his children are Most. Rev. Robert Seton, Archbishop of Heliopolis (author of a memoir of his grandmother, "Roman Essays", and many contributions to the "American Catholic Quarterly" and other reviews), and William Seton.

Statue in St. Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, New York
  Mother Seton had great facility in writing. Besides the translation of many ascetical French works (including the life of Saint Vincent de Paul, and of Mlle. Le Gras) for her community she has left copious diaries and correspondence that show a soul all on fire with the love of God and zeal for souls. Great spiritual desolation purified her soul during a great portion of her religious life, but she cheerfully took the royal road of the cross. For several years the saintly bishop (then Father) Bruti was her director. The third time she was elected mother (1819) she protested that it was the election of the dead, but she lived for two years, suffering finally from a pulmonary affection. Her perfect sincerity and great charm aided her wonderfully in the work of sanctifying souls. In 1880 Cardinal Gibbons (then Archbishop) urged the steps be taken toward her canonization. The result of the official inquiries in the cause of Mother Seton, held in Baltimore during several years, were brought to Rome by special messenger, and placed in the hands of the postulator of the cause on 7 June, 1911.

Her cause is entrusted to the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission, whose superior general in Paris is also superior of the Sisters of Charity with which the Emmitsburg community was incorporated in 1850, after the withdrawal of the greater number of the sisters (at the suggestion of Archbishop Hughes) of the New York houses in 1846. This union had been contemplated for some time, but the need of a stronger bond at Emmitsburg, shown by the New York separation, hastened it. It was effected with the loss of only the Cincinnati community of six sisters.
With the Newark and Halifax offshoots of the New York community and the Greenburg foundation from Cincinnati, the sisters originating from Mother Seton's foundation number (1911) about 6000. The original Emittsburg community now wearing the cornette and observing the rule just as St. Vincent gave it, naturally surpasses any of the others in number. It is found in about thirty dioceses in the United States and forms a part of the worldwide sisterhood, whilst the others are rather diocesan communities.

[Note: Elizabeth Ann Seton was beatified in 1963 and canonized on September 14, 1975.]

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