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Elizabeth Ann Seton was the foundress and first superior of the Sisters of Charity in the United States She was born in New York City on August 28 1774 of non-Catholic parents of high position She died at Emmitsburg Maryland on January 4 1821 Her father Dr Richard Bayley was the first professor of anatomy at Columbia College and eminent for his work as health officer of the Port of New York Her mother Catherine Charlton daughter of an Anglican minister of Staten Island NY died when Elizabeth was three yeas old leaving two other young daughters The father married again and among the children of this second marriage was Guy Charleton Bayley whose convert son James Roosevelt Bayley became Archbishop of Baltimore Elizabeth always showed great affection for her stepmother who was a devout Anglican and for her stepbrothers and sisters Her education was chiefly conducted by her father a brilliant man of great natural virtue who trained her to self-restraint as well as in intellectual pursuits She read industriously her notebooks indicating a special interest in religious and historical subjects She was very religious wore a small crucifix around her neck and took great delight in reading the Scriptures especially the Psalms a practice she retained until her death She was married on January 25 1794 in St Pauls Church NY to William Magee Seton In her sister-in-law Rebecca Seton she found the friend of her soul and as they went about on missions of mercy they were called the Protestant Sisters of Charity Business troubles culminated on the death of her father-in-law in 1798 Elizabeth and her husband presided over the large orphaned family she shared his financial anxieties aiding him with her sound judgment Dr Bayleys death in 1801 was a great trial to his favorite child In her anxiety for his salvation she had offered to God during his fatal illness the life of he infant daughter Catherine
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