This 1832 letter was bought on eBay by friends of the SCNs in Lexington, Ky., and given to the Congregation. The following is the portion of the letter regarding the SCNs. Click on each imge to view it full size. To read a transcript click here.
The Sisters mentioned in the letter are also documented in the following books:
From: Sisters of Charity of Nazareth by Anna Blanche McGill, pp. 52-53
“In 1832, the cholera began its devastations throughout Kentucky. In Louisville, several families were stricken. The Rev. Robert Abell, a brilliant and distinguished clergyman of the city, who at the time was found day and night by the bedside of the sick and dying, acting as nurse, physician, priest, advised the Board of Health to ask for Sisters of Charity as nurses. Many members of the community longed to respond; those selected were Sisters Margaret Bamber, Martha Drury, Martine Beaven, and Hilaria Bamber.
“Before their departure from Nazareth, Bishop Flaget called Mother Catherine, the Sisters, and Father David into the church, saying: ‘Come, my children, offer yourselves to God.’ They knelt in silence a few moments, then the bishop read aloud a short act of consecration and thus the heroic band went forth to death-haunted posts. From house to house they passed, nursing wherever they were needed, but particularly among the poor.”
In Pioneer Spirit, Mary Ellen Doyle, SCN, adds interesting details to this story (see pp 100-102)
Mary Ellen noted that Mother Frances and the Council met on October 17, 1832 and chose the four sisters named above.
[The date of the Lutheran minister’s letter is October 21.]
Hilaria Bamber entered 1829 made vows 1830 died 1852
Margaret Bamber entered 1829 made vows 1830 died 1858
Martha Drury entered 1822 made vows 1823 50th jubilee 1873 died 1890
Martina/e Beaven entered 1823 made vows 1824 withdrew 1834
Obviously, the Bamber Sisters were the two who were “young and beautiful.”
For more about the author of this letter, Charles Willaim Schaeffer, click here.