Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Leonard Neale

I am glad to see the Port Tobacco Blog returning from it's brief Christmas vacation. Like many of you, I look forward to what April, Jim, and Peter come up with through their continued research and lab analysis. The following is another brief biographical sketch of someone associated with Port Tobacco.

Leonard Neale was born at Port Tobacco on October 15, 1746 and was one of four brothers who entered the Society of Jesus. Educated at St. Omer's in France, Neale returned to the US and stayed at St. Thomas Manor amongst his religious relatives. He was the founder and first president of Georgetown University in Washington DC and eventually went on to become, in 1800, the first Roman Catholic bishop ordained in the US and the second Archbishop of Baltimore.

Father Neale is also the priest who gave George Washington his Last Rites. Although known as an Episcopalian, Washington professed a wish to convert to Catholicism. Leonard Neale was summoned from St. Thomas on December 14, 1799 to Mount Vernon where the dying former President was baptised and given Last Rites.

George Washington on his deathbed

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and I know we all look forward to more information of the finds at Port Tobacco. Happy New Year too!

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