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Collection on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Identifier: Mss 0006

Scope and Contents

The Collection on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton documents the life and legacy of the first American born Saint. The collection includes Booklets, Newsletters, Brochures, Cards, Appeals material, Printed materials, Medals, Photographs, Letters, Events at Seton Hall University, and the Canonization of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Most of the material is from the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD. Other items originated in the Newark, NJ diocese as well as at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. None of the items are original to Mother Seton. All information is in English.


  • 1840-2006

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was born August 28, 1774 in New York, New York the second child of Dr. Richard and Catherine Charlton Bayley. Catherine died in 1777, probably during childbirth. Richard Bayley married Charlotte Amelia Barclay in 1778. Seven children resulted from Dr. Bayley's second marriage, three daughters and four sons. On January 25, 1794, Elizabeth married William Magee Seton in New York. The couple had five children Anna Maria (1795-1812), William (1796-1868), Richard Bayley (1798-1823), Catherine Charlton (1800-1891), and Rebecca Mary (1802-1816). Charity work formed a large part of life for Elizabeth and her sister-in-law Rebecca Mary Seton. In 1797, Elizabeth helped to start The Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children.

In 1803, Elizabeth, William and their daughter Anna Maria journeyed to Italy in the hopes that the climate would help William's tuberculosis. Sadly, he died December 27, 1803 soon after they arrived. Friends of the Setons, the Filicchi family, took the young widow and her daughter into their home. It was here that Elizabeth was introduced to the Roman Catholic faith. Antonio Filicchi accompanied Elizabeth and Anna Maria home the following year, and also provided support to Elizabeth's spiritual quest. After much deliberation, Elizabeth joined the Catholic faith at St. Peter's Church in New York City on March 14, 1805. After her conversion, Elizabeth entered several teaching jobs.

In 1808, Elizabeth was invited to Baltimore, Maryland by the Sulpicians there to form a religious school. The next year, a sisterhood was founded and in 1809 Elizabeth vowed chastity and obedience. Through a donation from a wealthy patron, land for the Sisters of Charity and a school was obtained near Emmitsburg, Maryland with Elizabeth as superior. Elizabeth continued her educational and charity work until her death on January 4, 1821.

Source (and for more detailed information): McNeil, Betty Ann, D.C., "Biography of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton," National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton website,


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first American-born saint, and is the patroness of Seton Hall University. The Collection on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton contains materials documenting the life and legacy of Elizabeth Anne Seton and was compiled by the Monsignor Field Archives and Special Collections Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was assembled by the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Related Materials

Seton Jevons family papers, 1780s-1920, Mss 0005, in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Walsh Library, Seton Hall University.

The Sister Marie-Celeste collection on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, 1951-2000, Mss 0010, in the Monsignor Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University. This collection was created by a Sister of Charity and noted-author scholar on the life and work of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and includes Sr. Marie-Celeste's published work along with an extensive set of note cards, source papers and academic texts.

The Walsh Gallery houses three objects in their holdings--accession numbers 2021.05.0001.1.A, 2021.05.0001.1.b, and 2021.05.0001.2--which represents a pen that was used in signing a declaration honoring the canonization of Sr. Elizabeth Bayley Seton.

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Beth Morris, Summer 2006, and finding aid created by Beth Morris and M. Kenny, 2007. Collection re-processed and new finding aid created by Ben Clark and Tracy M. Jackson, 2012-2013.

Collection on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, 1840-2006
Finding aid prepared by Beth Morris and Maura Kenny.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US