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Brownson, Orestes Augustus (16 September 1803–17 April 1876), educator and philosopher, was born in Stockbridge, Vermont, the son of Sylvester Augustus Brownson and Relief Metcalf, farmers. His father died when Brownson was two, and he was placed with a nearby family. The couple reared him in strict Calvinist Congregationalism. At fourteen he rejoined his mother and twin sister in Ballston Spa in upstate New York, where he studied briefly in an academy before going to work in a printer’s office. He had no more formal education. In 1827 he married Sally Healy of Elbridge, New York; they had eight children....

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Dorothy Day. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111099).

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Day, Dorothy (08 November 1897–29 November 1980), founder of the Catholic Worker movement and Catholic Worker, a monthly newspaper, founder of the Catholic Worker movement and Catholic Worker, a monthly newspaper, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of John Day, a newspaperman, and Grace Satterlee. Her father was a frustrated novelist and horseracing writer whose work took the family to Oakland and Chicago. While in Chicago, Day won a scholarship to the University of Illinois in 1914. She dropped out after two years to return to New York with her family, but she had become a socialist in college and was soon estranged from her father. She lived on the Lower East Side, where she wrote for the ...

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Kenedy, Patrick John (04 September 1843–04 January 1906), Catholic book publisher and real estate developer, was born in New York City, the son of John Kenedy, also a Catholic book publisher, and his second wife, Bridget Smith. John Kenedy emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1815 and lived in various cities, including St. Louis, where he married Ellen Timon, with whom he had six children. They eventually settled in 1826 in Baltimore, where Kenedy opened a small book shop and publishing firm. After Ellen’s premature death in 1835, John and his children moved to New York City, where he reestablished his bookselling and publishing firm. Because of the large number of publishing firms in the city and the growing Irish and Catholic immigrant population, Kenedy decided to specialize in publishing Catholic books. His store soon became a meeting place for exiled Irishmen....

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Rudd, Daniel (07 August 1854–04 December 1933), newspaper editor and Catholic lay leader, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, the son of Robert Rudd, a slave on the Rudd estate, and Elizabeth “Eliza” Hayden, a slave of the Hayden family in Bardstown. He was baptized a Catholic when an infant. Although little information exists about his early life, it may be conjectured that his Catholic upbringing was due chiefly to his mother who acted as sexton in the local church for more than sixty years. After the Civil War, he went to Springfield, Ohio, where an older brother had already established himself, to get a secondary school education. There is little information about Rudd until 1884 when he began a black newspaper, the ...

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Ward, Maisie (04 January 1889–28 January 1975), Catholic writer, publisher, and social activist, was born in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, England, the daughter of Wilfrid Ward, the editor of the Dublin Review, and Josephine Mary Hope, a novelist. Baptized Mary Josephine, but always known as Maisie, she was a child of Victorian gentry that had Oxford Movement converts on both sides of the family. She grew up in an atmosphere where religion was pervasive; according to her son, Wilfrid Sheed, an essential key to understanding his mother was that her family lived and breathed in a Catholic culture in which being an “ardent, devout Catholic” was “taken for granted.”...