On a hot summer’s night in 1834, rumors swirled around a Catholic girls’ school in Charlestown. Catholicism was a frightening, unfamiliar religion, and Catholic immigrants were viewed with great suspicion. People said that the nuns were being held in slavery, or that Protestant children were being tortured and forcibly converted. A crowd gathered, and violence flared. When the sun rose the next morning, the Ursuline Convent lay in smoking ruins. Thirteen men were tried, but none served time. What deep seated biases led Yankee Boston down this dark road? Listen to this week’s episode to find out!
The Ursuline Convent Riot
Views inside the New Orleans Ursuline Convent
- An August 31, 1775 letter detailing how Patriots took Ploughed Hill.
- 1777 map showing (roughly) the position of Ploughed Hill
- The site of the Ursuline Convent in 1852 and today.
- The City Council’s ineffectual report on the riot
- Ringleader John Buzzell’s trial
- The 1845 romance novel that treated all the Protestant fears and prejudices about Catholicism as real.