John L. Verdin Letter
Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives.Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931
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[Identification of item], John L. Verdin Letter, 1864, 92SC96,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.
Reverend John L. Verdin wrote this letter October 1, 1864, to Colonel James A. Hardin, inspector general of the United States Army, concerning the effect of Civil War measures on Roman Catholic religious in Nelson County.
Verdin, a Jesuit priest and president of St. Joseph College in Bardstown, wrote to thank Hardin for his assistance in apparently removing draft obligations from another Jesuit priest. Verdin wrote seeking another favor as well on behalf of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Verdin mentioned that many of the sisters had left the Nazareth Female Academy to nurse the sick and wounded in hospitals. He also noted that, to his knowledge, they were not paid for their services.
Verdin wrote that the nuns were not able to procure white laborers to assist them at their motherhouse and that seven of their "colored men" were called up for the draft. [These laborers were owned by the congregation, although it was Verdin's opinion that "they could scarcely be called slaves."] Two of these men were ineligible for service, according to the priest. He said Nace (short for Ignatius) was chronically ill and Phil was over the age of forty-five. Verdin asked that these men, along with three or four others belonging to Nazareth who were eligible for the draft, receive exemptions.
The letter bears a large engraved image of the college, surrounding grounds, buildings, and street. St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral is one of the buildings shown. Students, teachers, and visitors strolling and playing in the grounds are also depicted.
Variant Name: Col. James A. Hardin Letter.
Creator's Occupation: Jesuit priest, educator.
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