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Office of the President & Chancellor: Michael A. Corrigan records

Identifier: SHU-0003-003

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters and reproductions of letters sent to the third President of Seton Hall University. The reproductions are believed to be photocopies of hand-written transcripts for original letters not present in the collection. Also included are incomplete reproductions of letters: in some cases only one page has been transcribed, in other cases the transcription appears to stop part-way through the letter.


  • Creation: 1870-1887, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.

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

Michael A. Corrigan was the third President of Seton Hall College (now Seton Hall University). A native of Newark NJ, he was born on August 13, 1839, the fifth child of Thomas and Mary (English) Corrigan's nine. His parents emigrated from Ireland in the 1820s, and his father's grocer business and real estate investments enabled them to provide for Michael's education. Corrigan attended St. Mary's College in Wilmington, Delaware from 1853-1855 and upon graduating, entered Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Despite spending a year in Europe with his sister, Michael received his degree with first honors in 1859. Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, learning of Corrigan's intention to study for the priesthood, assigned him to the first class of the newly established American College at Rome. Cardinal Patrizi conferred ordination on the seminarian on September 19, 1863, and a Doctor of Divinity degree followed one year later.

Shortly after returning to Newark in August 1864, Corrigan was appointed director of Seton Hall's Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Sacred Scripture. In 1865, he became vice President of Seton Hall College, subsequently succeeding Bernard J. McQuaid as College President and Vicar General of the Diocese in 1867.

Pius IX appointed Corrigan Bishop of Newark in 1873, with the consecration taking place in St. Patrick's Cathedral on May 4th of that year. He served there until October 1, 1880, when Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, and his suffragen Bishops agreed upon the Newark prelate as coadjutor with right of succession. Upon McCloskey's death in 1885, Corrigan automatically became Archbishop of New York.

For the next seventeen years, the Archbishop became embroiled in virtually every major controversy touching the American Church. A strict canonist, stalwart advocate of parochial schooling and unyielding opponent of secret societies, Corrigan gained wide renown as a principal spokesman for the Church's conservative wing. Widely publicized conflicts with Rev. Edward McGlynn and Archbishop John Ireland added to his reputation.

While conducting a visitation in the Bahamas, Corrigan contracted a severe cold and died on May 5, 1902.

Biographical sketch from previous finding aid by unknown author. Years in office retrieved from


1 Linear Feet (19 folders)

Language of Materials



Spanish; Castilian


Michael A. Corrigan was the third president of Seton Hall College, from 1867-1876. The collection consists of letters and reproductions of letters to President Corrigan.


Arranged alphabetically by sender's last name. Unknown correspondents are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from Seton Hall University. Terms of accession unknown.

Related Materials

Michael A. Corrigan papers, 1870-1902, ADN 0002-002, in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.


More detailed biographical information might be obtained by consulting Carl Derivaux Hinrichsen's Ph.D. dissertation The History of the Diocese of Newark 1873 - 1901, Catholic University, October 1962; the same author's chapter on Bishop Corrigan in the New Jersey Catholic Historical Records Commission's The Bishops of Newark, 1979; and James A. Mooney, Memorial to M. A. Corrigan, 1902. Also Robert Emmett Curran's Michael Augustine Corrigan and the Shaping of Conservative Catholicism in America, 1878-1902, Arno Press 1978.

Processing Information

Collection processed as part of Record Group 3: Office of the President by the Archives and Special Collections Center. Re-processed as separate collection and finding aid reformatted, M. Kenny, March 2007. Finding aid revised by Benjamin Clark and Tracy M. Jackson as part of the Overhaul Project collection survey, 2013. Collection re-processed and finding aid revised by Patrick McCall, March 2020.

Office of the President & Chancellor: Michael A. Corrigan records, 1870-1887
Finding aid revised by Patrick McCall
2007; 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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