Tarred and Feathered -- The 1854 Letter of Father Bapst

Pilot, October 7,2016
Tarred and feathered -- the 1854 letter of Father Bapst: In the papers of Bishop John Bernard Fitzpatrick there is a letter written in the hand of Father John Bapst, SJ, and dated Oct. 20, 1854. In the letter, Father Bapst discusses a well-documented incident, where he was tarred and feathered.

It was a time of anti-Catholic sentiments and the parish he ministered seems to have been a hot-bed of Know-Nothings.  In fact, he was transferred for his safety.  However, a year later, he happened to be traveling through his old parish of Ellsworth and stopped to visit his some of his former parishioners.  While there the Know-Nothings grabbed him, stripped him, tarred and feathered him, placed him on a rail and promenaded him through town and eventually left to die.

No one was ever prosecuted for the incident.


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