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Oliver in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

St. Francis Xavier Church

 
 
St. Francis Xavier Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, May 3, 2008
1. St. Francis Xavier Church Marker
Inscription.  Dedicated on February 21, 1864, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church was the first black parish in the U.S. The church originated in the 1790s due to the efforts of the Sulpician Fathers and the Oblate Sisters of Providence to provide education and religious services for the black Catholic refugees from San Domingo.

Father Peter L. Miller formally founded the church in 1864 in a historical building on the corner of Calvert and Pleasant Streets. This structure, pictured below, once served as the First Universalist Church and later housed such historic meetings as the 1844 Whig nomination of Henry Clay, the 1848 Democratic nomination of General Cass, and an 1861 attempt to withdraw Maryland from the Union.

On December 10, 1871, the Josephite fathers, a religious community dedicated to working among blacks, took charge of the church. Subsequently the church founded several other parishes, including St. Monica's, St. Peter Claver, and Christ the King. One of the most notable members of St. Francis Xavier Church was Father Charles Randolph Uncles, the first black priest ordained in the U.S. Construction of the Orleans Street Viaduct
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forced the church to move to new quarters on Caroline Street in 1933. In 1968, the church moved to its present site. This church was designed in the French Renaissance style by John Stack and Sons in 1902.
 
Erected by the City of Baltimore.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers, and the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1818.
 
Location. 39° 18.433′ N, 76° 35.881′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in Oliver. Marker is at the intersection of North Caroline Street and East Oliver Street, on the right when traveling north on North Caroline Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21213, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (here, next to this marker); Nazarene Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Cycle of East Baltimore Communities, 1870s - 1970s (approx. 0.4 miles away); Painted Screens: An East Baltimore Tradition (approx. half a mile away); Ouija Board
Marker location image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, May 3, 2008
2. Marker location
On the Northwest corner of the church.
(approx. half a mile away); Sweet Prospect Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); Broadway School (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
St. Francis Xavier Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, May 3, 2008
3. St. Francis Xavier Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 3, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,296 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 3, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

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Jun. 23, 2024