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Frontiers of FaithBringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic$
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John R. Dichtl

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124865

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124865.001.0001

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The Promise and Risks of Proximity on the Frontier

The Promise and Risks of Proximity on the Frontier

(p.114) Chapter 5 The Promise and Risks of Proximity on the Frontier
Frontiers of Faith

John R. Dichtl

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter tells the story of the Livingston family. The Livingston family living near Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and in 1789, or 1790, they openly accommodated a severely ill poor Irish traveler to their home. They did this in spite of the fact that they were Lutheran and the Irishman was Catholic. However, Mr. Livingston did not grant the dying man's request to send for a priest, and he died without receiving his last rites. After which, it was believed that the Livingstons were often plagued by malicious spirits. Mr. Livingston sent for Lutheran and other Protestant ministers to help, unfortunately they proved ineffective. Mr. Livingston thus called for Father Dennis Cahill and Father Demetrius Gallitzin to combat the evil spirits. This story ends with how the Livingstons opted to convert to Catholicism.

Keywords:   Livingstons, Catholicism, Father Dennis Cahill, Father Demetrius Gallitzin, trans-Appalachian frontier, challenges, opportunities

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