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Awful Disclosures by Maria Monk

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not have been made in the United States, because Saint Mary St. George
as she called herself, or Sarah Burroughs, daughter of the notorious
Stephen Burroughs, as is her real name, removed to Canada at the latter
end of May, 1835; nor could it have been prior to the establishment of
the Charlestown Nunnery, for at that period Maria Monk was a child, and
was not in any Convent except merely as a scholar; and Mary St. George
was at Quebec. How then did she become so familiar with that far-famed
lady as to be able to describe her so exactly? The only answer is, that
she derived her knowledge of the Charlestown Convent and of its
Superior, from the intimations given, and from intercourse with that Nun
in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery.

Young females often have been sent to the Nunneries in Canada under the
fallacious hope of obtaining for them, a superior education; and very
frequently, they are suddenly removed after being there but a short
period; because the persons to whose partial guardianship they are
committed perceive that they are in danger of being ensnared by the
Chaplain and his female Syrens.

But there are two other particulars in American Nunneries, the
toleration of which almost surpasses credibility.

In reference to girls, they are permitted to visit their friends, even
when they reside in the vicinity of the Convent, only for an hour or two
monthly--if their relatives are at a distance, they see them only during
the annual vacation, and often remain in the Nunnery during that term.
No correspondence is permitted between the mother, the guardian, the
sister, or the friends of the young female in the Nunnery School, on
either side, without the inspection of the argus-eyed agent of the
Institution. Parental advice, filial complaints, and confidential
communications are equally arrested; and only furnish to the Superiors
of the establishment, artifices to thwart the Seniors, to entangle the
Juniors, and effectually to cajole both parties. Consequently, it
generally happens, that from one term to another, little or no
intercourse exists between the youth and her relatives; and it is
indubitable, that where any letters do nominally pass between them, they
are forgeries; the real letters being surreptitiously detained. Those
felonious regulations furnish ample scope for the initiation of girls
just entering upon womanhood, into all the wickedness of the Nunnery;
while the girls themselves are unconscious of the design, and the Nuns,
those nefarious artificers of the iniquity, in subserviency to the
Priests, in case of necessity, can exculpate themselves apparently from
all participation in the treachery and crimes.

In the nunneries and conventual schools in the United States there is a
sort of fairy land, talked about by the nuns to the elder girls. It is
called the "Nuns' Island." That country is always described as an
earthly paradise; and to girls who are manifestly fascinated by the
witcheries of the nuns, and in whom moral sensibility has become blunted
by the unmeaning superstitions which they witness, and which they
mechanically perform, a visit to the "Nuns' Island," is always proposed
as the greatest privilege, and the most costly reward, which can be
given for constant obsequiousness to the nuns, and unreserved compliance
with their requirements. The term "Nuns' Island," is thus used to
express the nunneries in Canada, and probably some similar institutions
in the United States, where they are not too difficult of access. At all
events, girls just entering upon the character of women, after proper
training, are finally gratified with a visit to the "Nuns' Island." They
are taken to Montreal, and in the nunneries there are at once taught
"the mystery of iniquity;" in all the living reality which Maria Monk
describes. Those girls from the United States, who are represented as
novices; in Maria Monk's "Awful Disclosures," were young ladies from the
United States, who had been decoyed to visit the "Nuns' Island," and
who, not being Papists, often were found very intractable; but posterior
circumstances enforce the belief, that having found resistance vain,
they had not returned to their school where they were duly qualified to
continue the course into which they had been coerced, so as fully to
elude all possibility of discovery and exposure. That mother who
intrusts her daughter to a nunnery school, is chargeable with the high
crime of openly conducting her into the chambers of pollution, and the
path to irreligion, and the bottomless pit.

These combined circumstances satisfactorily prove that, the narrative of
Maria Monk should be believed by all impartial persons; at least, until
other evidence can be adduced, and the offer of exploring the Hotel Dieu
Nunnery, by the New York Protestant Association, has been accepted and

3. Additional evidence of the truth of Maria Monk's narrative is deduced
from _the exact conformity of the facts which she states concerning
the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, when compared with the authoritative principles
of the Jesuit Priesthood as recorded in their own duly sanctioned
volumes_. It is essential to remark, that of those books she knows
nothing; that she has never seen one of them, and if she could grasp
them, that they would impart no illumination to her mind, being in
Latin; and yet in many momentous particulars, neither Lartigue nor any
one of the Jesuit Priests now in Montreal, who was educated in France,
could more minutely and accurately furnish an exposition or practical
illustration of the atrocious themes, than Maria Monk has unconsciously

Maria Monk's "Awful Disclosures," are reducible to three classes:
intolerable sensuality; diversified murder; and most scandalous
mendacity: comprehending flagrant, and obdurate, and unceasing
violations of the sixth, seventh, and ninth commandments.

_The ninth commandment:_ FALSEHOOD. Of this baseness, five
specimens only shall suffice.

_Sanchez_, a very renowned author, in his work on "Morality and the
Precepts of the Decalogue," part 2, book 3, chap. 6, no. 13, thus
decides: "A person may take an oath that he has not done any certain
thing, though in fact he has. This is extremely convenient, and is also
_very just_, when necessary to your health, honour, and
prosperity!" _Charli_, in his Propositions, no. 6, affirms that,
"He who is not bound to state the truth before swearing, is not bound by
his oath." _Taberna_ in his vol. 2, part 2, tract 2, chap. 31, p.
288, asks: "Is a witness bound to declare the truth before a lawful
judge?" To which he replies: "No, if his deposition will injure himself
or his posterity." _Laymann_, in his works, book 4, tract 2, chap.
2, p. 73, proclaims: "It is not sufficient for an oath, that we use the
formal words, if we had not the intention and will to swear, and do not
_sincerely_ invoke God as a witness." All those principles are
sanctioned by _Suarez_ in his "Precepts of Law," book 3, chap. 9,
assertion 2, p. 473, where he says, "If any one has promised or
contracted without intention to promise, and is called upon oath to
answer, may simply answer, NO; and may swear to that denial."

The idea of obtaining truth, therefore, from a thorough-going Papist,
upon any subject in which his "_honour_" is concerned--and every
Papist's honour is indissolubly conjoined with "the Church"--is an
absurdity so great, that it cannot be listened to with patience, while
the above decisions are the authorised dogmas which the Roman Priests
inculcate among their followers. How well the nuns of Montreal have
imbibed those Jesuitical instructions, Maria Monk's "Awful Disclosures"
amply reveal.

_The Sixth Commandment:_ MURDER. The following miscellaneous
decisions are extracted from the works of the regularly sanctioned Roman
authors, of the very highest character and rank in that community.

In his famous volume called "Aphorisms," p. 178, _Emmanuel Sa_
writes--"You may kill any person who may be able to put you to death--
judge and witnesses--because it is self-defence."

_Henriquez_, in his "Sum of Moral Theology," vol. 1, book 14, chap.
10, p. 859, decides that "a Priest is not criminal, if he kill the
husband of a woman with whom he is caught in adultery."

_Airault_ published a number of propositions. One of them says,
that "a person may secretly kill another who attempts to destroy his
reputation, although the facts are true which he published." The
following must be cited in Latin. "An lieitium sit mulieri procurare
abortum? Posset ilium excutere, ne honorem suum amittat, qui illi multo
pretiosior est ipsa vita." "An liceat mulieri conjugata sumere pharmacum
sterilitatis? Ita satius est ut hoc faciat, quam ut marito debitium
conjugale recuset." Censures 319, 322, 327.

In his Moral Theology, vol. 4, book 32, sec. 2, problem 5,
_Escobar_ determines, that "it is lawful to kill an accuser whose
testimony may jeopard your life and honour."

_Guimenius_ promulged his seventh Proposition in these words: "You
may charge your opponent with false crimes to destroy his credit; and
you may also kill him."

_Marin_ wrote a book called "Speculative and Moral Theology." In
vol. 3, tract 23, disputation 8, sec. 5, no. 63, p. 448, are found the
following sentences: "Licet procurare abortum, ne puella infametur."
That doctrine is admitted, "to evade personal disgrace, and _to
conceal the infamy of Monks and Nuns_." no. 67, p. 429. In no. 75, p.
430, of the same work, _Marin_ writes: "Navarrus, Arragon, Bannez,
Henriquez,, Sa, Sanchez, Palao, and others, all say, that a woman may
use not only missione sanguinis, sed aliis medicamentis, etsi inde
pereat foetus." With that doctrine also agrees _Egidius_, in his
"Explication of the Decalogue," vol. 5, book 5, chap. 1, doubt 4; and
_Diana_ in his work upon Morality, part 6, tract 8, resolution 27,
fully ratifies his sanction.

_Gobatus_ published a work which he entitled, "Morality," and in
vol. 2, part 2, tract 5, chap. 9, sec. 8, p. 318, is the following
_edifying_ specimen of Popish morals: "Persons may innocently
desire to be drunk, if any great good will arise from it. A son who
inherits wealth by his father's death, may rejoice that when he is
intoxicated, he murdered his father." According to which combined
propositions, a man may make himself drunk expressly to kill his parent,
and yet be guiltless.

_Busenbaum_ wrote a work denominated "Moral Theology." which was
enlarged and explained by _Lacroix_. In vol. 1, p. 295, is the
following position: "In all the cases where a man has a right to kill
any person, another may do it for him." But we have already heard by
_Escobar_ that any "Roman Priest has a right to kill Maria Monk;
and therefore any Papist may murder her for them."

_Alagona_, in his "Compend of the Sum of Theology," by Thomas
Aquinas, question 94, p. 230, "Sums" up all the Romish system in this
comprehensively blasphemous oracular adage. "_By the command of God,
it is lawful to murder the innocent, to rob, and to commit lewdness; and
thus to fulfil his mandate, is our duty_."

_The seventh commandment._--In his Aphorisms, p. 80, and p. 259,
_Sa_ thus decides--"Copulari ante benedictionem, aut nullam aut
leve peceatum est; quin etiam expedit, si multum isla differatur."--
"Potest et femina quaeque et mas, pro turpi corporis usu, pretium,
accipere et petere."

_Hurtado_ issued a volume of "Disputations and Difficulties." At p.
476 is the following genuine Popish rule of life--"Carnal intercourse
before marriage is not unlawful." So teaches that Jesuit oracle.

_Dicastillo_, in his work upon "Righteousness and other cardinal
Virtues," p. 87, thus asks--"An puella, quae per vin opprimitur teneatur
clamare et opem implorare ne violetur?" The answer is this--"Non videtur
teneri impedire peccatum alterius--sed mere passive se habere."

_Escobar_, in his "Moral Theology," p. 326, 327, 328, of vol. 4,
determines that "a man who abducts a woman from affection expressly to
marry her, is guilty of mortal sin, but a Priest who forcibly violates
her through lust, incurs no censure."

_Tamburin_ unfolds the character of Romanism in his "Moral
Theology," p. 186, in a lengthened discussion of the following
characteristic inquiry--"Quantum pro usu corporis sui juste exigat
mulier?"--The reply is, "de meretrice et de femina honesta sive
conjugata, ant non."

_Fegeli_ wrote a book of "Practical Questions;" and on p. 397, is
the following--"Under what obligation is he who defiles a virgin?"--The
answer is this--"Besides the obligation of penance, he incurs none; quia
puella habet jus usum sui corporis concedendi."

_Trachala_ published a volume which he facetiously entitled the
"Laver of Conscience;" and at p. 96, he presents us with this astounding
recipe to purify the conscience--"An Concubinarius sit absolvendus
antequam concubinam dimittat?" To which he replies--"Si ilia concubina
sit valde bona et utilis economa, et sic nullam aliam possit habere,
esset absolvendus."

From the prior decisions, combined with numberless others which might be
extracted from the works of the Romish authors, it is obvious, that the
violations of the seventh commandment, are scarcely enumerated by the
Papal priesthood among venial sins. Especially if we consider the
definition of a prostitute by the highest Popish authority: for in the
Decretals, Distinction 34, in the Gloss, is found this savory adage--
"Meretrix est quae, admiserit plures quam viginti tria hominum millia!"
That is the infallible attestation to the truth of Maria Monk's "Awful

4. The antecedent narrative of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery, is confirmed by
the universal and constant practice of Roman Priests in all Convents.
Among the works of William Huntington, is a correspondence between
himself and a young lady who was converted by his ministry. The seventh
letter from Miss M. contains the following passage:--

_"It is a shame for women to approach those confessionals._ If they
were never wise in scenes of iniquity before, the priest will instruct
them, by asking the most filthy questions. I was confined to my bed
three days from my first confession; and thought I would never go again,
being so abashed by the abominations he had put in my head. I would just
as soon recommend scalding water to cure Anthony's-fire, or a wet bed in
an ice-house to cure an ague, as recommend a sinner to those accursed
lies, Roman penance, and Auricular Confession."--The mental purity of
Nuns consists in a life totally "contrary to the laws of God, of
modesty, of decency. They are constantly exposed to the obscene
interrogations, and the lewd actions of the Priests. Notwithstanding God
has fixed a bar on every female mind, it is broken through by the
Priests putting questions to them upon those subjects, as the scripture
declares, which ought not to be named? The uncommon attractions of the
young women in Convents generally indicate the greatest unchastity among
them. I have known girls, sent for education to the Convent where I was,
who regularly stripped themselves of every thing they could obtain from
their friends; which, by the artful insinuations of the Nuns, was given
to them and the Priests. The Roman priesthood may well be called a
sorceress, and their doctrine 'the wine of fornication,' for nothing but
the powers of darkness could work up the young female mind to receive
it; unless by the subtlety of the devil, and the vile artifices of the
Nuns. I shudder at the idea of young ladies going into a Convent; and
also at parents who send their children to be educated in a Nunnery;
where their daughters are entrapped by the Nuns into the snare of the
Priests, with whom they are accomplices, and for whom the most subtle of
them are decoys, whose feigned sanctity is only a cover for the satanic
arts of which they are complete mistresses, and by which, through the
delusions of the mother of harlots, being buried alive within the walls
of a Convent, they 'drink of the wine of her fornication,' until their
souls pass into the pit of destruction."--The above extract is from the
seventh letter of "Correspondence between Miss M. and Mr. H." in
Huntington's Works; and exposes the Nunneries in France.

George D. Emeline, who had been a Popish Priest, in his "Eight Letters,"
giving an account of his "Journey into Italy," thus details the nature
of the intimacy which then existed between the Priests and Nuns on the
European Continent. "A young Monk at Milan, Preacher to the Benedictine
Nuns, when he addressed them, added to almost every sentence in his
discourse, 'my most dear and lovely sisters, whom I love from the
deepest bottom of my heart.' When a monk becomes Preacher or Chaplain to
a Nunnery, his days are passed in constant voluptuousness; for the Nuns
will gratify their Confessor in every thing, that he may be equally
indulgent to them." Emeline's Letters, p. 313.

"A regular Abbot of a Monastery in Italy, talking with me said--'Melius
est habere nullam quam aliquem--It is better to have none than any
woman.' I asked him what he meant; he replied, 'Because, when a person
is not tied to one, he may make use of many;' and his practice was
conformable to his doctrine; for he slept in the same bed with three
young women every night. He was a most insatiable Exactor and Oppressor
of the people who rented the lands of the Abbey, in consequence of which
the Farmers complained of him to the Archbishop of the District. The
Archbishop sent the Provost, the Farmers, and sixty of the serjeants at
night, to seize him and his female companions. They took the Abbot in
bed, and having put on him a morning-gown; and having tied his three
concubines and himself back to back, placed them in a cart, and
conducted them to the Archbishop's residence, in Bonnonia: who then
refused to judge him; but sent him and his females to the Monastery of
_Saint_ Michael; into which, with some difficulty, he was admitted
after midnight, in consequence of the Provost assuring the Friars, that
if they would not receive the Abbot, they would procure his prelatical
dress, and escort him and the young women in procession through the
city, and back to his own Monastery the same day at noon. The females
were ordered away, and the Abbot was appointed to remain in his
monastery for fifteen days for penance, until the story had ceased to
circulate. I was an eyewitness of that myself, when I was in the
Monastery of St. Michael in the wood."--Emeline's Letters, pp. 387, 388,

That the Nunneries in Portugal, as well as among those people in India
who are subject to the Romish priesthood, are of the same character
precisely, as Maria Monk describes the Priests and Nuns in Canada, is
proved by Victorin de Faria, who had been a Brahman in India; and who
afterward resided as a regular Roman Priest in the Paulist Monastery at

"The regular Priests in India," says Faria, "have become what the bonzes
where in Japan. The Nuns were the disciples of Diana, and the nunneries
seraglios for the monks; as I have proved to be the case in Lisbon, by
facts concerning those nuns who were more often in the family way than
common women. The Jesuits in the Indies made themselves Brahmans in
order to enjoy the privileges of that caste, whose idolatrous rites and
superstitious practices they also externally adopted."--Among other
privileges which they possessed, Faria enumerates the following, as
detailed from his own prior experience as a Brahman. "Never to be put to
death for any crime whatever; and to enjoy the favours of every woman
who pleased them, for a Priest sanctifies the woman upon whom he bestows
his attentions." That is the true Papist doctrine, as shown by Maria
Monk's "Awful Disclosures;" confirmed by the Canadian carpenter in Mr.
Johnson's house at Montreal; and ratified by Pope Gregory XIII. in the
Decretals and Canons, in the Corpus Juris Canonici. Secrets of Nunneries
disclosed by Scipio de Ricci. p. 217.

The Nunneries in Italy during the present generation are of the same
description. Maria Catharine Barni, Maria Magdalen Sicini, and Victoire
Benedetti, of the Nunnery called Santa Croce: all acknowledged, that
they had been seduced at confession, and that they had habitually
maintained criminal intercourse with a Priest called Pacchiani, who
absolved his guilty companions after the commission of their crimes.
Secrets of Nunneries disclosed by Scipio de Ricci. pp. 60, 61.

Six Nuns of the Convent of Catharine at Pistoia declared that the
Priests who visited the Convent committed a "thousand indecorous acts.
They utter the worst expressions, saying that we should look upon it as
a great happiness, that we have the power of satisfying our appetites
without the annoyance of children; and that we should not hesitate to
take our pleasures. Men, who have contrived to get the keys, come into
the Convent during the night, which they have spent in the most
dissipated manner." That is the precise delineation of the Canadian
Nunneries; into which other men besides Priests are admitted, if the
parties are willing to pay the entrance bribe to the Chaplain.--Secrets
of Nunneries, by Scipio de Ricci. pp. 80, 81.

Flavia Perraccini, Prioress of the Nunnery of Catharine of Pistoia,
revealed what she knew of that and other Nunneries. All the Priests "are
of the same character. They all have the same maxims and the same
conduct. They are on more intimate terms with the nuns than if they were
married to them. It is the same at Lucia, at Pisa, at Prato, and at
Perugia. The Superiors do not know even the smallest part of the
enormous wickedness that goes on between the Monks and the Nuns."--
Secrets of Nunneries, by Scipio de Ricci. p. 93. That statement is so
exactly conformed to Maria Monk's "Awful Disclosures," that were it not
a fact that she had never seen Scipio de Ricci's work it might almost be
supposed that some part of her narrative had been transcribed from it.

Foggini of Rome, also wrote to Scipio de Ricci and informed him--"I know
a monastery in which a Jesuit used to make the Nuns lift up their
clothes, assuring them that they thereby performed an act of virtue,
because they overcame a natural repugnance."--Secrets of Nunneries, p.
101. That is a very extraordinary illustration of the turpitude of the
Roman Priesthood; because that doctrine is a principle which they
constantly inculcate; and such is the invariable practice in the Hotel
Dieu Nunnery, that the Nuns were obliged to fulfil, for the beastly
gratification of the Roman Priests who visited that house, which is "the
way to hell, going down to the chambers of death." Proverbs 7:27.

It is superfluous to multiply similar extracts. Scipio de Ricci was a
Popish prelate, regularly commissioned by the Grand Duke of Tuscany to
explore the Nunneries; and in consequence of his authentic developments,
the Jesuits and Dominicans, and the dignified Papal ecclesiastics, with
the two Popes, Pius VI. and Pius VII. all opposed, reviled, condemned
and worried him almost to death.

One quotation more shall close this survey. Pope Paul III. maintained at
Rome, forty-five thousand courtesans. Pope Sixtus IV. ordered a number
of edifices to be erected expressly for the accommodation of the semi-
Nuns of Rome, from whose impurity he derived a large annual revenue,
under the form of a license; besides which, the prices of absolution for
the different violations of the seventh commandment are as regularly
fixed as the value of beads, soul-masses, blessed water, and every other
article of Popish manufacture. Paolo, Hist. Council de Trent. Book I.
Anno 1637.

The preceding observations, it is believed, will remove the doubts from
the mind of every impartial inquirer, respecting the credibility of
Maria Monk's narrative: nevertheless, a few additional remarks may not
be irrelevant: especially as there is a marvellous skepticism in
reference to the admission of valid testimony concerning the Roman
priesthood, their system and practice. We are deafened with clamour for
proof to substantiate Maria Monk's history: but that demand is
tantamount to the declaration--"I will not believe."

In anticipation of speedy death, and an immediate appearance at the
dread tribunal of Jehovah, Maria Monk communicated to Mr. Tappan, the
Chaplain at Bellevue, one of the benevolent institutions belonging to
the city of New York, the principal facts in her "Awful Disclosures."
After her unexpected recovery, she personally appeared at Montreal,
expressly and openly, to promulge her allegations of atrocious crimes
against the chief Roman Ecclesiastics in that city, who were armed with
power, and having nearly all the population her infuriated enemies.
There she remained almost four weeks, constantly daring the Roman
Priests and Nuns in vain. It is true, Dr. Robertson in his affidavit
says, that he was willing "to take the necessary steps for a full
investigation, if a direct charge were made against any particular
individual of a criminal nature." Now if Maria Monk's charges are not
charges can be so characterized? The fact is this:--Dr. Robertson would
no more dare to issue a warrant for the apprehension of Lartigue, or any
of the inferior Roman Priests in Montreal, than he would dare publicly
to strike the Commander of the Garrison, or the Governor of Canada upon
military parade. If any Papist had stated to him the same facts
concerning a Protestant, or Protestant Minister, and offered to confirm
them by his worthless oath, he would have issued his process at once;
but Dr. Robertson knows, that in the present state of Canadian society,
Roman Priests can do what they please; and no man dares to reprove, much
less to "take any necessary steps for a full investigation" for their
crimes. If the Jesuits and Nuns at Montreal are anxious for a full and
impartial scrutiny of the Hotel Dieu Convent, Maria Monk is ready to
oblige them with some facilities for that object; provided she may carry
them out to all their extent and application. Mr. Ogden has one
affidavit, and knows the whole matter; as can incontestably be proved by
Mr. A. P. Hart, an Attorney of Montreal; and we recommend Dr. Robertson
to issue his warrant for the apprehension of Lartigue, Bonin, Dufresne,
and Richards, they are enough to begin with; and if Mr. Ogden will carry
the facts with which he is acquainted to the Grand Jury, one witness in
New York is ready to appear; and Dr. Robertson will find his hands full
of employment, if he will only "take the necessary steps" to procure two
or three persons who shall be pointed out to him in the Hotel Dieu
Nunnery. Therefore, until Dr. Robertson commences some incipient
measures as a Magistrate towards "the necessary steps for a full
investigation," as he says, we shall be forced to believe, that the
printer made a mistake in his affidavit, and put willing for

The cavilling call, however, for additional evidence to be adduced by
Maria Monk, is manifestly futile. That testimony is within the
jurisdiction of the Priests alone who are criminated. Maria Monk
reiterates her charge against the Romish Ecclesiastics of Canada and
their Nuns; and she has solemnly sworn that they are true. What more can
she do? Nothing, but to _search the premises_, to see whether the
statements which she has made are correct. A Committee of the New York
Protestant Association are willing to accompany her to Montreal; to walk
through the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in company with any Gentlemen of
Montreal, and investigate the truth without favour or partiality, Maria
Monk is willing to submit the whole affair to that short, and easy, and
sensible test; in which there is no possibility of deception. It does
not depend upon credibility of witnesses, conflicting evidence, personal
friendship, or religions prejudices; it is reduced at once to that
unerring criterion; _the sight and the touch!_

But, it is retorted, that will not be granted; then we repeat another
proposal: let the Priest Conroy come forth girded in all the panoply of
the Roman court, and appear as the champion of the Canadian Jesuits; let
him institute an action, civil or criminal, or both, against the
publishers of such atrocious crimes, which, as they pretend, are falsely
alleged against the Roman Priests. If Lartigue and his Montreal inferior
priests are implicated in the most nefarious felonies, Maria Monk has
published him as a virtuous accomplice. Why does he not put her truth to
the test, by subjecting her to a criminal process? Why does he not
commence a suit against the Booksellers who published her "Awful
Disclosures?"--Ah! if Lartigue, Bonin, Dufresne, and Richards, with
their brethren, Conroy, Phelan, Kelly and Quarter, were coerced to keep
Lent, and live only upon _soup-maigre_, until that day arrives,
they would not much longer portray in their exterior, that they live
upon the fat of the land; but they would vociferously whine out--"Mea
culpa! O mea grandis culpa! O mea grandissima culpa! Peccava! Peccavi!



I have now reached the close of what appeared in my first editions. Some
of my readers may feel a wish to know what has been said of me and my
book, by those whose characters or connexions it exposes. Different
persons have expressed to me their fears that I should be kidnapped,
stabbed or poisoned; but of this I have had but little apprehension.
Others may suppose that the priests of Montreal, and some of those in
New York, against whom I have made different charges, may have appeared
against me in ways of which they are ignorant, and have published facts,
or used arguments of serious import, if not of decided force. For the
information of my readers, I have determined, though at some
inconvenience, to lay before them a fair view of what they have done.

I was well convinced before the publication of my first book, that the
priests would do or say very little against me or my work; and several
persons can testify, that I made declarations of this kind, with
distinctness, in their presence. The reasons I gave for this opinion
were these,--that they feared an investigation, and that they feared
further disclosures. They must desire to keep the public mind calm, and
diverted with other matters; and to avoid increasing my will.

There were individuals, I was well aware, both in and _out_ of the
nunnery, and Seminary, who, from the first notice of the appearance of
my book, would be extremely disquieted, until they had ascertained the
extent to which my developments reached. When they had read for
themselves, I well knew, they would enjoy a temporary relief, finding
that my "Disclosures" were not the most "awful" which they had reason to

I also felt, that they would apprehend something further from me; and
that a dread of this would probably keep them quiet, or confine them to
general denials of my story. And this has been the case, even to so
great a degree, that the remark has been often repeated--how feeble is
their defence! Why did they not rather remain silent than do so little--
that which is for them worse than nothing? The causes of this I could
assign. The world does not understand them all.

Three principal grounds of opposition have been taken against me by my
enemies--1st, That I had never been in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery: 2d, That
my character entitled me to no confidence; 3d, That my book was copied,
"word for word, and letter for letter," from an old European work,
called "The Gates of Hell opened." Besides these grounds, several others
have been attempted, but less seriously supported--such as that I was
deranged, or subject to occasional alienation of mind; and that I was
not Maria Monk, but a counterfeit of a person by that name, still in
Canada, and, as some said, in the Black Nunnery.

With regard to the first of these grounds, I will here simply say, that
it has been, beyond controversy, the principal one, but has recently
been abandoned. The great object of the six affidavits, published in
Montreal in November, 1835, and republished here soon after the
publication of my book, was to prove that I had never been a nun--not
even a novice. The reader may judge for himself, for those affidavits
are published in full in this volume, and they are the only ones which
have been published against me. The reader will also see in an extract
from the New York Catholic Diary of March last that that fact is
admitted; and by a later extract from it, that a Canadian priest who
takes the trouble to write from Sherbrooke, has no new testimony to
refer to.

As to my character, I never claimed the confidence of the American
people, (as the Roman priests do,) on a pretence of a peculiar holiness
of life. That would have been unreasonable in a stranger, and especially
one who had been in a nunnery. My first editions, as well as the
present, bear witness that I appealed to the evidence of facts which no
one could controvert if once produced--an examination of the interior of
my late prison. Not a lisp has yet been heard of assent to my
proposition. The Protestant Association have published a challenge, for
several weeks, which is on another page among the extracts--but no one
has accepted it, and I will venture to say, no one will.

My publishers, on seeing the assertion made by the editor of the Boston
(Roman Catholic) Pilot, that my book was a mere copy from an old
European work, called "The Gates of Hell opened," published an offer of
$100 for any book so resembling it--without success. If there be any
volume on earth which contains the developments of any fugitive nun,
whose case resembled my own, I should expect to merit such a title as
the above; and I should know how to excuse the author for using so
strong an expression, after struggling, as I have had to do, in giving
my own narrative, with those feelings which are so apt to arise in my
heart at the recollection of scenes I have passed through. The opening
of the Gates of Hell, whether in a European or a Canadian Convent, may
probably disclose scenes very like to each other; but if there be any
resemblance between my book and any other in the world, I solemnly
declare that it can be owing only to a resemblance between the things
described in both, as not a sentence has been copied from any book
whatever, and I defy the editor of the Boston Pilot--(not to perjure
himself, as he gratuitously proposed--but to do what would be at once
much more difficult and satisfactory)--produce his book, or a single
page of it.

I have been charged with occasional alienation of mind--a very strong
evidence, I should think, of my being a nun; for what eloped nun ever
escaped that charge? Like converted Roman Catholics, run-away nuns are
commonly pronounced to be out of their wits, or under the influence of
evil spirits, of course, on the ground that it is proved by the fact

As to my being the real Maria Monk or not, I presume the testimony of
some of my old school-mates, now in New York, will pass. To these,
however, it cannot he necessary to resort, otherwise the Montreal
affidavits will be good for nothing.

I will now proceed to give _the whole_ of the testimony which has
been brought out against me. A few remarks, necessary to acquaint the
reader with the progress of things, will be given in their place. Next
to these will appear the testimony of several persons, who have
voluntarily presented themselves, since the publication of my first
edition, claimed acquaintance with me, and volunteered their testimony.
I need not say how gratifying I have found such spontaneous marks of
kindness, from friends, whose reedy and unsolicited appearance is a real
favour to me, although chiefly due, as they declare, to their love of
truth and justice.

Almost immediately after the appearance of my "Awful Disclosures," the
following anonymous handbill was distributed through the city of New
York. It was also published in the Catholic Diary, and other papers,
with violent denunciations.

"_Maria Monk! Villany Exposed._

"_L'Amidu Peuple_, a Montreal paper, gives us the _denouement_
of the tale of scandal which the _Protestant Vindicator_, Christian
Herald, _et id genus omne_, put forward a few months since, and
which the Protestant Editors of three political journals in Montreal, at
once indignantly repelled without knowing its origin. Instead of an
eloped Nun, recounting the horrors of the Convent, the heroine of the
tale is a Protestant young girl, who has been for four years past under
protection of a Mr. Hoyte, once styled a Reverend Methodist Preacher,
and connected with Canadian Sunday Schools. The paper quoted above,
gives, at full length, the affidavits of the mother of the girl, who is
also a Protestant, and of several other individuals, who had no motive
to favour Catholic Institutions. The disconsolate mother testifies on
oath that she had been solicited by the seducer of her child to swear
that she was a Nun, and that the father of the infant was a Catholic
Clergyman--that a promise had been made her of a comfortable provision
for herself, and for her unfortunate child and offspring--if she would
only do that. The poor woman had virtue enough to reject the base
proposal; and thus, the Rev. Mr. Hoyte, who had returned from New York
for this purpose, accompanied, it is stated, by the Rev. Mr. Brewster
and Judge Turner, failed in the object of his visit.

"A Methodist Preacher of the place immediately disclaimed all connection
of the society with Mr. Hoyte, and in a letter, published in the papers,
expressed his regret that any credit had been given to a foul charge,
emanating from a source so polluted."--_Catholic Herald_.

The affidavits will be published as soon as they shall be received from
Canada. Maria Monk's Book, far from injuring the Catholic religion, will
promote it; for the publication is a real _disclosure_ of the
wickedness and hypocrisy of its enemies, who dare to go as far as to
conceal their own crimes, by calumniating those who never did any thing
against them, and have never interfered with them. Probably the author
of this _pious book_ is a minister; and, what is more remarkable,
not a single one of the ministers has opposed it, or cautioned the
people against it, as it is their duty to do, the calumniators being of
their own congregation. However, by holding a prayer-meeting, making
_a few faces_, and giving a few affecting _turns_ to their
voices, they certainly have already washed out the awful crime of these
calumnies, because faith alone will save them, and they certainly have
the true faith, which shows itself by these true fruits of charity. They
are the elect, and consequently, they are not like the Catholic Priests,
who are all wicked. The reader may recollect the parable of the pharisee
and the publican.

* * * * *

"Granting the truth of Maria Monk's story, will it not reveal the
weakness of Protestant origin? Where would Protestantism be, were it not
engendered and nursed by profligate Monks and Nuns? Yes, gentlemen,
profligate Monks and Nuns have been your nursing Fathers and Mothers!
The chaste spouse of the Redeemer could hold no fellowship with such
characters. She has flung them over the fences of the 'fold,' happy to
have a sink into which to throw her filth."

As soon as my first edition appeared, several of the newspapers of New
York referred to the publication in terms of unqualified condemnation.
Not content with giving my motives in producing it, without having seen
me, they hesitated not to pronounce it utterly false, with as much
boldness as if they had really known something more of the matter than
the public at large. A poor and injured female had disclosed to their
countrymen facts of deep interest to all; and they, without examination,
perhaps without leaving their offices to make a single inquiry, did
their utmost to decry me, and used terms which they cannot but regret
sooner or later.

Requests were immediately made to some of them to listen to evidence,
which were not accepted. The editors of the Courier and Enquirer were
requested, in a note from the publishers, to mention in their paper what
parts of my book they intended to pronounce false, and what was their
evidence. But they took no notice of it, although desired to publish the
note. Many other editors were invited to publish communications or
extracts, but most of them refused from the first, and all the papers
were soon closed against my cause.

In the country, the newspapers generally, I believe, followed the
example set in this city, though in Albany, Boston, and one or two other
places, a solitary one or two appeared disposed to examine the subject.

At length appeared the long-threatened Montreal affidavits, which are
here inserted. They were published in several Roman Catholic, and one or
two Protestant papers in New York, with this introduction--

_"Maria Monk's 'Awful Disclosures.' Villany exposed!!_

"Of all the curious pranks and fanatical schemes which the foes of
Catholicity have been playing for some years past, there is not one that
fills the mind with greater disgust than the scandalous tale given to
the public by Maria Monk and her wicked associate.

"By the evidence which covers the following pages, the reader will see
the man himself clearly convinced of being a base calumniator, and arch-
hypocrite. He, and his associate prostitute, will be seen, with brazen
impudence, attempting to fix on the virtuous Catholic Ladies and
Catholic Priests of Montreal, the shameless character which belongs only
to themselves."

_From the Montreal Courier,_ Nov. 16, 1835.

"The _New York Protestant Vindicator_ of the 4th November,
reiterates its calumnies concerning the Roman Catholic Clergy and Nuns
of this city. We cherished the hope that, after the simultaneous and
unanimous expressions of disbelief and reprehension with which its
extravagant assertions had been met by the Canadian press, both
Protestant and Catholic, the conductors of that journal would have been
slow to repeat, without better evidence of their truth, the same
disgraceful charges. We have been deceived in our calculation. The
fanatical print demands _counter evidence_ before it will withdraw,
or acknowledge the falsehood of its previous statements. We believe that
_counter_ evidence has already been adduced, of a nature far
surpassing, in weight, the claims to credibility which the accusations
themselves could offer. The impure fabrication trumped up by a woman of
immoral character and insane mind, in conjunction with a man of equally
depraved habits, can never be weighed in the balance with the testimony
of Protestants, living in the same community as the accused, and,
therefore, possessing the means of judging of the truth or falsehood of
what was advanced. By any persons of less interested credulity, and of
more discriminating and moral honesty, than what the conductors of the
_Protestant Vindicator_ appear to possess, counter evidence of the
above nature would have been deemed sufficient.

"There are two reasons which have mainly weighed with us, to revert to
the subject of the _Protestant Vindicator's_ charges, and to
publish the subjoined lengthy documents. We consider, in the first
place, our endeavours to expose falsehood as a solemn duty we owe to the
defamed; and, in the second, we should regard ourselves to be degraded
in the eyes of the world, did we live in a community where such
abominations, as are alleged, existed, and not dare, openly and loudly,
to denounce the perpetrators.

"Under these impressions, we proceed, at a considerable sacrifice of the
space of our journal, to lay before our readers the following
affidavits, which will sufficiently disclose the nature of the
_Protestant Vindicator's_ calumnies, their origin, and the degree
of credit which can be attached to them."


"William Robertson, of Montreal, Doctor in Medicine, being duly sworn on
the Holy Evangelists, deposeth and saith as follows:--On the 9th of
November, 1834, three men came up to my house, having a young female in
company with them, who, they said, was observed that forenoon, on the
bank of the Canal, near the extremity of the St. Joseph Suburbs, acting
in a manner which induced some people who saw her to think that she
intended to drown herself. They took her into a house in the
neighbourhood, where, after being there some hours, and interrogated as
to who she was, &c., she said she was the daughter of Dr. Robertson. On
receiving this information, they brought her to my house. Being from
home when they came to the door, and learning from Mrs. Robertson that
she had denied them, they conveyed her to the watch-house. Upon hearing
this story, in company with G. Auldjo, Esq., of this city. I went to the
watch-house to inquire into the affair. We found the young female, whom
I have since ascertained to be Maria Monk, daughter of W. Monk, of this
city, in custody. She said, that although she was not my daughter, she
was the child of respectable parents, in or very near Montreal, who from
some light conduct of hers, (arising from temporary insanity, to which
she was at times subject from her infancy.) had kept her confined and
chained in a cellar for the last four years. Upon examination, no mark
or appearance indicated the wearing of manacles, or any other mode of
restraint. She said, on my observing this, that her mother always took
care to cover the irons with soft cloths to prevent them injuring the
skin. From the appearance of her hands, [Footnote: Compare this with the
last sentence but one in the affidavit. Why does Dr. R. not give names
of persons and their affidavits? It has not yet been done--April, 1836.]
she evidently had not been used to work. To remove her from the watch-
house, where she was confined with some of the most profligate women of
the town, taken up for inebriety and disorderly conduct in the streets,
as she could not give a satisfactory account of herself, I as a Justice
of the Peace, sent her to jail as a vagrant. The following morning, I
went to the jail for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, who she
was. After considerable persuasion, she promised to divulge her story to
the Rev. H. Esson, one of the clergymen of the Church of Scotland, to
whose congregation she said her parents belonged. That gentleman did
call at the jail, and ascertained who she was. In the course of a few
days she was released, and I did not see her again until the month of
August last, when Mr. Johnston, of Griffintown, Joiner, and Mr. Cooley,
of the St. Ann Suburbs, Merchant, called upon me, about ten o'clock at
night, and, after some prefatory remarks, mentioned that the object of
their visit was, to ask me, as a magistrate, to institute an inquiry
into some very serious charges which had been made against some of the
Roman Catholic Priests of that place, and the Nuns of the General
Hospital, by a female, who had been a Nun in that Institution for four
years, and who had divulged the horrible secrets of that establishment,
such as the illicit and criminal intercourse between the Nuns and the
Priests, stating particulars of such depravacy of conduct, on the part
of these people, in this respect, and their murdering the offspring of
these criminal connexions, as soon as they were born, to the number of
from thirty to forty every year. I instantly stated, that I did not
believe a word of what they told me, and that they must have been
imposed upon by some evil-disposed and designing person. Upon inquiry
who this Nun, their informant, was, I discovered that she answered
exactly the description of Maria Monk, whom I had so much trouble about
last year, and mentioned to these individuals my suspicion, and what I
knew of that unfortunate girl. Mr. Cooley said to Mr. Johnston, let us
go home, we are hoaxed. They told me that she was then at Mr. Johnston's
house, and requested me to call there, and hear her own story. The next
day, or the day following, I did call, and saw Maria Monk, at Mr.
Johnston's house. She repeated in my presence the substance of what was
mentioned to me before, relating to her having been in the Nunnery for
four years; having taken the black veil; the crimes committed there; and
a variety of other circumstances concerning the Priests and Nuns. A Mr.
Hoyte was introduced to me, and was present during the whole of the time
that I was in the house. He was represented as one of the persons who
had come from New York with this young woman, for the purpose of
investigating into this mysterious affair. I was asked to take her
deposition, on her oath, as to the truth of what she had stated. I
declined doing so, giving as reason, that, from my knowledge of her
character, I considered her assertions upon oath were not entitled to
more credit than her bare assertion, and that I did not believe either:
intimating, at the same time, my willingness to take the necessary steps
for a full investigation, if they could get any other person to
corroborate any part of her solemn testimony, or if a direct charge were
to be made against any particular individual of a criminal nature.
During the first interview with Messrs. Johnston and Cooley, they
mentioned, that Maria Monk had been found in New York in a very
destitute situation by some charitable individuals, who administered to
her necessities, being very sick. She expressed a wish to see a
clergyman, as she had a dreadful secret which she wished to divulge
before she died; a clergyman visiting her, she related to him the
alleged crimes of the Priests and Nuns of the General Hospital at
Montreal. After her recovery, she was visited and examined by the Mayor
and some lawyers at New York, afterward at Troy, in the State of New
York, on the subject; and I understood them to say, that Mr. Hoyte and
two other gentlemen, one of them a lawyer, were sent to Montreal, for
the purpose of examining into the truth of the accusations thus made.
Although incredulous as to the truth of Maria Monk's story, I thought it
incumbent upon me to make some inquiry concerning it, and have
ascertained where she had been residing a great part of the time she
states having been an inmate of the Nunnery. During the summer of 1832
she was at service in William Henry's; the winters of 1823-3, she passed
in this neighborhood, at St. Ours and St. Denis. The accounts given of
her conduct that season corroborate the opinions I had before
entertained of her character.


"Sworn before me, Montreal, this 14th day of November, 1835.


* * * * *


"On this day, the twenty-fourth day of October, one thousand eight
hundred and thirty-five, before me, William Robertson, one of his
Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the district of Montreal, came and
appeared Isabella Mills, [Footnote: My mother's maiden name was Mills]
of the city of Montreal, widow of the late William Monk, who declared,
that wishing to guard the public against the deception which has lately
been practised in Montreal by designing men, who have taken advantage of
the occasional derangement of her daughter, to make scandalous
accusations against the Priests and the Nuns in Montreal, and afterward
to make her pass herself for a nun, who had left the Convent. And after
having made oath on the holy evangelists, (to say the truth) the said
Isabella Mills declares and says, a man decently dressed (whom afterward
I knew to be W. R. Hoyte. stating himself to be a minister of New York,)
came to my house on or about the middle of August last, and inquired for
one Mr. Mills; that Mr. Esson, a minister here, had told him I could
give him some information about that man; I replied that I knew no one
of that name in Montreal, but that I had a brother of that name five
miles out of town. He then told me that he had lately come to Montreal,
with a young woman and child of five weeks old; that the woman had
absconded from him at Goodenough's tavern, where they were lodging, and
left him with the child; he gave me a description of the woman: I
unfortunately discovered that the description answered my daughter, and
the reflection that this stranger had called upon Mr. Esson, our pastor,
and inquiring for my brother, I suspected that this was planned: I asked
for the child, and said that I would place it in a nunnery: to that Mr.
Hoyte started every objection, in abusive language against the nuns. At
last he consented to give me the child, provided I would give my writing
that it should be presented when demanded. We left the house together,
Mr. Hoyte requested me to walk at a distance from him, as he was a
gentleman. I followed him to Mr. Goodenough's Hotel, and he directed me
to room No. 17, and to demand the child; a servant maid gave it to me;
Mr. Hoyte came up, and gave me the clothing. I came home with the child,
and sent Mrs. Tarbert, an old acquaintance, in search of my daughter;
her disposition will be seen. The next day, Mr. Hoyte came in with an
elderly man, Dr. Judge Turner, decently dressed, whom he introduced to
me as a Mr. Turner, of St. Alban's. They demanded to see the child,
which I produced. Mr. Hoyte demanded if I had discovered the mother; I
said not. She must be found, said he; she has taken away a shawl and a
bonnet belonging to a servant girl at Goodenough's; he would not pay for
them; she had cost him too much already; that, his things were kept at
the hotel on that account. Being afraid that this might more deeply
involve my daughter, I offered my own shawl to replace the one taken;
Mr. Hoyte first took it but afterward returned it to me on my promise
that I would pay for the shawl and bonnet. In the course of the day,
Mrs. Tarbert found my daughter, but she would not come to my house; she
sent the bonnet and shawl, which were returned to their owner, who had
lent them to my daughter, to assist her in procuring her escape from Mr.
Hoyte at the hotel. Early on the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Hoyte
came to my house with the same old man, wishing me to make all my
efforts to find the girl, in the meantime speaking very bitterly against
the Catholics, the Priests, and the Nuns; mentioning that my daughter
had been in the nunnery, where she had been ill treated. I denied that
my daughter had ever been in a nunnery; that when she was about eight
years of age, she went to a day-school. At that time came in two other
persons, whom Mr. Hoyte introduced; one was Rev. Mr. Brewster, I do not
recollect the other reverence's name. They all requested me, in the most
pressing terms, to try to make it out; my daughter had been in the
nunnery; and that she had some connection with the Priests of the
seminary, of which nunneries and Priests she spoke in the most
outrageous terms; said, that should I make that out, myself, my
daughter, and child, would be protected for life. I expected to get rid
of their importunities, in relating the melancholy circumstances by
which my daughter was frequently deranged in her head, and told them,
that when at the age of about seven years, she broke a slate pencil in
her head; that since that time her mental faculties were deranged, and
by times much more than at other times, but that she was far from being
an idiot; that she could make the most ridiculous, but most plausible
stories; and that as to the history that she had been in a nunnery, it
was a fabrication, for she never was in a nunnery; that at one time I
wished to obtain a place in a nunnery for her; that I had employed the
influence of Mrs. De Montenach, of Dr. Nelson, and of our pastor, the
Rev. Mr. Esson, but without success. I told them notwithstanding I was a
Protestant and did not like the Catholic religion--like all other
respectable Protestants, I held the priests of the seminary and the nuns
of Montreal in veneration, as the most pious and charitable persons I
ever knew. After many more solicitations to the same effect, three of
them retired, but Mr. Hoyte remained, adding to the other solicitations;
he was stopped, a person having rapped at the door; it was then
candlelight. I opened the door, and found Doctor McDonald, who told me
that my daughter Maria was at his house, in the most distressing
situation; that she wished him to come and make her peace with me; I
went with the Doctor to his house in M'Gill-street; she came with me to
near my house, but would not come in, notwithstanding I assured her that
she would be kindly treated, and that I would give her her child; she
crossed the parade ground, and I went into the house, and returned for
her.--Mr. Hoyte followed me. She was leaning on the west railing of the
parade; we went to her: Mr. Hoyte told her, my dear Mary, I am sorry you
have treated yourself and me in this manner; I hope you have not exposed
what has passed between us, nevertheless; I will treat you the same as
ever, and spoke to her in the most affectionate terms; took her in his
arms; she at first spoke to him very cross, and refused to go with him,
but at last consented and went with him, absolutely refusing to come to
my house. Soon after, Mr. Hoyte came and demanded the child; I gave it
to him. Next morning Mr. Hoyte returned, and was more pressing than in
his former solicitation, and requested me to say that my daughter had
been in the nunnery: that should I say so, it would be better than one
hundred pounds to me; that I would be protected for life, and that I
should leave Montreal, and that I would be better provided for
elsewhere; I answered, that thousands of pounds would not induce me to
perjure myself; then he got saucy and abusive to the utmost; he said he
came to Montreal to detect the infamy of the Priests and the Nuns; that
he could not leave my daughter destitute in the wide world as I had
done: afterward said, No! she is not your daughter, she is too sensible
for that, and went away--He was gone but a few minutes, when Mr. Doucet,
an ancient Magistrate in Montreal, entered. That gentleman told me that
Mr. Goodenough had just now called upon him, and requested him to let me
know that I had a daughter in Montreal; that she had come in with a Mr.
Hoyte and a child, and that she had left Mr. Hoyte and the child, but
that she was still in Montreal, so as to enable me to look for her, and
that I might prevent some mischief that was going on. Then I related to
him partly what I have above said. When he was going, two other
gentlemen came. I refused to give them any information at first,
expecting that they were of the party that had so much agitated me for a
few days; but being informed by Mr. Doucet, that he knew one of them,
particularly Mr. Perkins, for a respectable citizen for a long time in
Montreal, and the other Mr. Curry, two ministers from the United States,
that if they came to obtain some information about the distressing
events she related to have occurred in her family, he thought it would
do no harm, and I related it to them: they appeared to be afflicted with
such a circumstance; I have not seen them any more. I asked Mr. Doucet
if the man Hoyte could not be put in jail; he replied that he thought
not, for what he knew of the business. Then I asked if the Priests were
informed of what was going on; he replied, yes, but they never take up
these things; they allow their character to defend itself. A few days
after, I heard that my daughter was at one Mr. Johnson's, a joiner, at
Griffintown, with Mr. Hoyte; that he passed her for a nun that had
escaped from the Hotel Dieu Nunnery. I went there two days successively
with Mrs. Tarbert; the first day, Mrs. Johnson denied her, and said that
she was gone to New York with Mr. Hoyte. As I was returning, I met Mr.
Hoyte on the wharf, and I reproached him for his conduct. I told him
that my daughter had been denied me at Johnson's, but that I would have
a search-warrant to have her; when I returned, he had really gone with
my unfortunate daughter; and I received from Mr. Johnson, his wife and a
number of persons in their house, the grossest abuse, mixed with texts
of the Gospel, Mr. Johnson bringing a Bible for me to swear on. I
retired more deeply afflicted than ever, and further sayeth not.

"Sworn before me, this 24th of October, 1835."

* * * * *


"_Province of Lower Canada, District of Montreal._

"Before me, William Robertson, one of His Majesty's Justices of the
Peace, for the District of Montreal, came and appeared Nancy M'Gan, of
Montreal, wife of James Tarbert, who has requested me to receive this
affidavit, and declared that she had been intimately acquainted with
Mrs. (widow) Monk, of Montreal, a Protestant woman. I know the said
Maria Monk; last spring she told me that the father of the child she
then was carrying, was burned in Mr. Owsten's house. She often went away
in the country, and at the request of her mother I accompanied her
across the river. Last summer she came back to my lodgings, and told me
that she had made out the father of the child; and that very night left
me and went away. The next morning I found that she was in a house of
bad fame, where I went for her, and told the woman keeping that house,
that she ought not to allow that girl to remain there, for she was a
girl of good and honest family. Maria Monk then told me that she would
not go to him (alluding, as I understood, to the father of the child),
for that he wanted her to swear an oath that would lose her soul for
ever, but jestingly said, should make her a lady for ever. I then told
her (Maria), do not lose your soul for money. She told me she had
swapped her silk gown in the house where I had found her, for a calico
one, and got some money to boot; having previously told me if she had
some money she would go away, and would not go near him any more. Soon
after, Mr. Hoyte and another gentleman came. Mr. Hoyte asked me where
she had slept the night previous, and that he would go for the silk
gown; the woman showed the gown, and told him that if he would pay three
dollars he should have the gown; he went away, and came back with Maria
Monk, paid the three dollars and got the gown; I was then present.

"Being at Mrs. Monk's, I saw a child which she mentioned to be her
daughter Maria's child. Some time after, Mrs. Monk requested me to
accompany her to Griffintown, to look for her daughter. We went, to Mr.
Johnson's house, a joiner in that suburb: we met Mr. Hoyte and he spoke
to Mrs. Monk; when at Mr. Johnson's, Mrs. Manly asked for her daughter;
Mrs. Johnson said she was not there. I saw Mr. Hoyte at Mrs. Monk's; he
was in company with three other persons, apparently Americans, earnestly
engaged in conversation, but so much confused I could not make out what
was said; and farther sayeth not."




"Sworn before me, on this 24th October, 1835.


* * * * *


_"Province of Lower Canada, District of Montreal._

"Before me, William Robertson, one of his Majesty's Justices of the
Peace, for the District of Montreal, appeared Asa Goodenough, of
Montreal, holder of the Exchange Coffee House, who, after having made
oath upon the Holy Evangelists, declareth and sayeth, that on or about
the nineteenth of August last, two gentlemen and a young female with a
child, put up at the Exchange Coffee House, of which I am the owner;
they were entered in the book, one under the name of Judge Turner, the
other as Mr. Hoyte, a Methodist preacher, and agent or superintendent
for the establishment of Sunday-schools, &c.

"Being informed by Catherine Conners, a confidential servant, that
something mysterious was passing amongst the above-named, which led me
to call on them for an explanation, they answered in a very
unsatisfactory manner. I afterward learned that the name of the young
woman was Maria Monk, that her mother lived in town, that she was not
married to Mr. Hoyte, and they came to Montreal with the view, as Mr.
Hoyte said, to disclose the infamy of the Priests, whilst she was at the
Nunnery. I thought it prudent to give information of this to a
magistrate. Seeing Mr. Doucet's name on the list, I went to him, and
requested him to give information to the mother of the young woman, of
the circumstances in which her daughter was. He did so, and the
disclosure of the design of Mr. Hoyte was the consequence.



* * * * *

"The following affidavits have been translated from the _L'Ami du
Peuple,_ Montreal, Nov. 7, 1835."


_"Province of Lower Canada, District of Montreal._

"Before me, W. Robertson, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for
the District of Montreal, appeared Catherine Conners of Montreal, a
servant in the hotel of Mr. Goodenough, in the city of Montreal; she
having made oath on the Holy Evangelists, to say the truth and nothing
but the truth, declared and said what follows:

"Towards the 19th of August last, two men and a woman came to the
_Exchange Coffee House_; their names were written in the book, one
by the name of Judge Turner, and the other as Mr. Hoyte; the name of the
woman was not written in the book, in which the names of travellers are
written, because I was informed that they were taking a single room with
two beds. Some time after another room was given to them for their
accommodation; the woman passed for the wife of Mr. Hoyte.

"The day following, when I was making the bed, I found the woman in
tears; having made the remark to her that her child was a very young
traveller, she replied that she had not the power to dispense with the
journey, for they travelled on business of importance; she also said
that she had never had a day of happiness since she had left Montreal,
which was four years, with Mr. Hoyte; she expressed a wish to go and see
her father. She entreated me to try and procure secretly clothes for
her, for Mr. Hoyte wished to dine with her in his own room, in which he
was then taking care of the child. I gave her my shawl and bonnet, and
conducted her secretly out by the street St Pierre; she never returned,
and left the child in the hands of Mr. Hoyte. She said that her
_husband_ was a Methodist preacher, and agent of the Sunday School
for Montreal, in which he had resided four months last winter; but she
had not then been with him. When I returned to the room, Mr. Hoyte was
still taking care of the child; be asked me if I had seen _his
lady_; I said no. Upon this question he told me that the father of
_his lady_ was dead, that her mother yet lived in the suburbs of
Quebec, and he asked me for all the clothes which I had given to wash
for him, _his lady_ and child; clothes the _lady_ had taken
from the only portmanteau which they had. Beyond that, I perceived
nothing remarkable, except that Mr. Hoyte wished to conceal this woman,
and to prevent her from going out. I heard the judge say to him, 'now
she is yours.' Sworn before me the 2d November, 1835.

(Signed) "W. ROBERTSON."

Mary McCaffrey, also a chambermaid in the hotel of Mr. Goodenough,
corroborates the preceding deposition.

(Signed) "W. ROBERTSON."

* * * * *


_"Province of Lower Canada, District of Montreal._

"Before me, W. Robertson, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace,
for the District of Montreal, appeared Henry M'Donald, physician, who,
after taking an oath on the Holy Evangelists to say the truth, declared,
that in the month of August last, at seven o'clock in the evening, a
young woman called at his house with all the symptoms of an
extraordinary agitation, and in great distress. She asked his
professional advice, complaining of great pains in the breast. On
questioning her, he learned that she had a young child, which she said
was at Mr. Goodenough's, and that this child was taken away from her.
She said that the father of the child was a Methodist Minister, and
general agent of the Sunday-Schools. She told me his name, but I cannot
recollect it. She told me that now and then her intellectual faculties
were weakened in such a manner that she could not support herself. She
told me that she would be under great obligation to me, if I would go to
her mother's house, and get her child, and procure lodgings for her;
that she was without means, and did not know where to go. She could not
remain with her mother, because she felt that her conduct had disgraced
her family. I went in quest of Mrs. Monk, her mother; she had just come
in quest of her daughter, and they went away together from my house.

(Signed) "HENRY M'DONALD."

"Sworn before me the 2d November, 1835.

(Signed) "W. ROBERTSON."

* * * * *


_To the Editor of the Montreal Morning Courier._

Sir,--Among the affidavits published in your paper of to-day, relating
to Mr. Hoyte and Maria Monk, I observe a deposition by Mr. Goodenough,
that when Mr. Hoyte, in the month of August last, put up at the Exchange
Coffee-house, he was entered on the book as a _Methodist Preacher, and
Agent or Superintendant of Sunday Schools_, &c. It has, however, been
ascertained, from an examination of the book referred too, that no
official designation is appended in it to Mr. Hoyte's name. This
discrepancy, Mr. Goodenough states, took place entirely through mistake,
and he did not know that Mr. Hoyte was thus characterized in his
affidavit till he saw it in print. But as a similar mistake has found
its way into several of the depositions which have been elicited by this
unhappy affair, I deem it incumbent upon me, as a regularly appointed
Methodist Minister of this city, to declare that Mr. Hoyte has never had
any connexion with the Methodist Society, either as a preacher or as an
agent for Sunday Schools; and I would, at the same time, express my
surprise and regret, that the _New York Protestant Vindicator_
should have taken up, and industriously circulated, charges of so grave
a nature against the Priests and Nuns of this city, derived from so
polluted a source. From such a species of _vindication_, no cause
can receive either honour or credit. By giving this publicity, you will
confer a favour on yours, respectfully,

"MATTHEW RICHEY, _Wesleyan Minister_."

"Montreal, Nov. 16, 1835.

* * * * *

"Although we could produce several other affidavits, of an equally
unimpeachable character as the above, yet we deem the evidence advanced
more than enough to show the entire, falsehood and extravagance of the
fabrications in the _Protestant Vindicator_."

* * * * *

Here closes all the testimony that has been published or brought against
me. It requires the suppression of my feelings to repeat to the world
charges against myself and my companions, so unfounded, and painful to
every virtuous reader. But I [illegible] to the truth to substantiate my
narrative, and prefer that everything should be fairly laid before the
world. That my opponents had nothing further to produce against me at
that time, is proved by the following remark by the Editor of the New
York Catholic Diary, to be found in very paper in which he published the
preceding affidavits:--

_"Here, then, is the whole!"_

In a N. Y. Catholic Diary of March last, is a letter from Father
McMahon, a Missionary, dated at Sherbrooke, in Canada, in which, as will
be seen by the extracts given beyond, he does not even allude to any
other testimony than this. Of course my readers will allow that I have
reason to say--"Here, then, is the whole!"

The following extracts are given for several reasons. 1st. To prove, by
the admission of my adversaries themselves, that no new testimony has
been produced since the publication of the Montreal affidavits. 2d. That
no disposition is shown to bring the truth to the only fair test--the
opening of the Nunnery. 3d. That they are inconsistent in several
respects, as, while they pretend to leave the characters of the priests
and nuns to defend themselves, they labour with great zeal and acrimony
to quiet public suspicion, and to discredit my testimony. 4th. Another
object in giving these extracts is, to show a specimen of the style of
most of the Roman Catholic writers against me. In respect to argument,
temper, and scarcity of facts, Father McMahon is on a level with the
editors of the Diary and Green Banner, judging from such of their papers
as I have seen.

* * * * *

_From Father McMahon's Letter to the editor of the N. Y. Catholic
Diary of March, 1836._

"The silence by which you indulge the latent springs of a mal-propense,
so far from being an argument for culpability, is based upon the
charitableness of a conscious innocence, and is, therefore, highly
commendable. I say it is highly commendable, inasmuch as these worthy
and respectable characters do not deign to answer falsehood, or turn
their attention from their sacred avocations by effectually repelling
allegations which all men, women, and children, able to articulate a
syllable, in the city of Montreal, have repeatedly pronounced to be
utterly false, detestably false, and abominably scandalous.

* * * * *

"May I now call upon you, honest Americans, who, though you may differ
from me in doctrinal points of religion, have, I trust, the due regard
for truth and charity towards all mankind; and into whose hand that
instrument of Satan's emissaries may fall, before you believe one
syllable [illegible] attentively to peruse the following
_facts_, which are [illegible] men of learning, of every
persuasion, and in every country, and which you will find, by mature
investigation, to serve as a sufficient key to discover the wicked
falsehoods, circulated by the enemies of truth, in the work called, 'The
Disclosures of Maria Monk,' but which, in consequence of the total
absence of truth from the things therein contained, I have termed (and I
think justly on that account), the devil's prayer-book. I beseech you to
give my statements a fair, but impartial trial, weigh correctly the
arguments opposed to them, according to your judgment--do not allow
yourselves to be gulled by the empty or unmeaning phraseology of some of
your bloated, though temperate, preachers. All I ask for the test of the
following statement, is simply and solely the exercise of your common
sense, without equivocation. 1st. I distinctly and unequivocally state,
that the impugners of the Catholic religion and its doctrines, never
dared to meet us in the fair field of argument. Never yet have they
entered the lists in an eristical encounter, but to their cost. Why so?
because we have reason, religion, and the impenetrable shield of true
syllogistic argumentation in our favour. Witness, in support of the
assertion, the stupid and besotted crew (pardon me for this expression,
and find a proper term yourselves, for the politico-Theological
Charlatans of England), who, not daring to encounter the Catholic
Hierarchy of Ireland, in an honorable religious disputation, are forced
to drag to their assistance those very apostates from Catholicity who
were considered by their superiors unworthy of the situation they
attempted to hold in that Church; for the purpose of propping up the
staggering and debauched harlot, whose grave they are now preparing.
Only remark how they are obliged to have recourse to the exploded
scholastic opinion of Peter Dens, by way of showing the intolerance of
the Catholics, who repudiate the doctrine of religious intolerance.
Maryland, Bavaria, and the Cantons of Switzerland, prove the contrary by
their universal religious toleration. Now I could mention, if I thought
I had space enough on this sheet, numbers of Protestant divines, who, in
their writings, have strongly inculcated the absurd doctrines of ruling
our consciences by the authority of the Civil Magistrates. See then, how
strange it is that they seek to condemn us for doctrines which we abhor,
and which they practice, even to this day. Mark that for an argument
against our doctrines.

"2dly. I assert, that notwithstanding all the persecutions, all the
falsehood and defamation daily exercised against the Catholics and their
religion, they are at this moment the only people on the face of the
earth, who maintain amongst them the unity of the true faith, and the
regular succession in the Ministry, from Christ and his Apostles.

"3dly. I assert, that the late scandalous production against the Catholic
Clergy of Montreal and the Catholic institutions there, is a tissue of
false, foul, designing, and scandalous misrepresentation. 1st. Because
upon strict examination into all its bearings, it has been so proved
upon the solemn oaths of a magistrate and others concerned. 2dly.
Because it is no way consonant to reason or common sense to say that
those living at a considerable distance, and avowedly hostile to the
Catholics and their religion, should feel so interested in the matter?
as the Catholics themselves, who are vitally concerned, and who had
every facility of discovering any impropriety; who are zealous of the
purity of their religion and its Ministers. 3dly. Because the loud cry
of all the inhabitants of every denomination, from the well-known
integrity, the extraordinary piety, the singular charity and devotedness
of the Catholic Clergy, came in peals of just wrath and well-merited
indignation on the heads of the degenerate monsters who basely, but
ineffectually, attempted to murder the unsullied fame of those whom they
deservedly held, and will hold, in the highest estimation.

"T. B. McMahon, _Missionary_."

Now this letter alludes to testimony legally given, as substantiating
the charges against me. What testimony is intended? Any new testimony?
If so, where, and what is it? I never heard of any, of any description,
except what I have inserted on the preceding pages, unless I except the
violent, unsupported, and inconsistent assertion in newspapers, before
alluded to. Has any testimony, legally given, been produced, which
neither the Catholic Diary, nor any other Catholic paper, has either
inserted or alluded to? No. The Missionary, McMahon, must refer to the
Montreal affidavits; and since he has expressed his opinion in relation
to their credibility and weight, I request my readers to form their own
opinions, as I have put the means in their power.

It may, perhaps, appear to some, an act displaying uncommon
"_concern_" in my affairs, or those of the Convent, for Father
McMahon to take the pains to write on the subject from Canada. I know
more of him and his concerns than the public do; and I am glad that my
book has reached him. Happy would it have been for him, if he could
prove that he did not leave Sherbrooke from the day when I took the
Black veil, until the day when I cast it off. There are many able to
bear witness against him in that institution (if they have not been
removed), and one out of it, who could easily silence him, by
disclosures that he has too much reason to apprehend.

But to return--I assure my readers, then, that this book contains all
the testimony that has been brought against me, so far as I can

The extensive publication of the Montreal affidavits (for they appeared
in the Roman Catholic papers, and were circulated, it is believed, very
generally through New York), for a time, almost entirely closed the
newspapers against me. My publishers addressed the following letter to
the, editor of the N. Y. Catholic Diary, and waited on him with a third
person, to request its publication in his next paper, but he declined.
He expressed doubts of my being in the city, and intimated a wish to see
me; but when they acceded, he refused to meet me anywhere but _at his
own residence!_

The same letter was then offered to other editors in New York, and even
sent to Philadelphia for publication, but refused. It appeared on the
29th of February, in the Brooklyn Star, thus introduced:--

_Extracts from the Long Island Star of Feb. 29th._

"Since the publication of our last paper, we have received a
communication from Messrs. Howe and Bates, of New York, the publishers
of Miss Monk's 'Awful Disclosures.' It appears that some influences have
been at work in that city, adverse to the free examination of the case
between her and the priests of Canada; for thus far the news papers have
been almost entirely closed against every thing in her defence, while
most of them have published false charges against the book, some of a
preposterous nature, the contradiction of which is plain and palpable.

"Returning to New York, she then first resolved to publish her story,
which she has recently done, after several intelligent and disinterested
persons had satisfied themselves by much examination that it was

"When it became known in Canada that this was her intention, six
affidavits were published in some of the newspapers, intended to destroy
confidence in her character; but these were found very contradictory in
several important points, and others to afford undersigned confirmation
of statements before made by her.

"On the publication of her book, the New York Catholic Diary, the Truth
Teller, the Green Banner, and other papers, made virulent attacks upon
it, and one of them proposed that the publishers should be 'Lynched.' An
anonymous handbill was also circulated in New York, declaring the work a
malignant libel, got up by Protestant clergymen, and promising an ample
refutation of it in a few days. This was re-published in the Catholic
Diary, &c. with the old Montreal affidavits which latter were also
distributed through New York and Brooklyn; and on the authority of
these, several Protestant newspapers denounced the work as false and

"Another charge, quite inconsistent with the rest, was also made, not
only by the leading Roman Catholic papers, but by several others at
second hand--viz. that it was a mere copy of an old European work. This
has been promptly denied by the publishers, with the offer of $100
reward for any book at all resembling it.

"Yet, such is the resolution of some and the unbelief of others, that it
is impossible for the publishers to obtain insertion for their replies
in the New York papers generally, and they have been unsuccessful in an
attempt in Philadelphia.

"This is the ground on which the following article has been offered to
us for publication in the Star. It was offered to Mr. Schneller, a Roman
priest, and editor of the Catholic Diary, for insertion in his paper of
Saturday before last, but refused, although written expressly as an
answer to the affidavits and charges his previous number had contained.
This article has also been refused insertion in a Philadelphia daily
paper, after it had been satisfactorily ascertained that there was no
hope of gaining admission for it into any of the New York papers.

"It should be stated, in addition, that the authoress of the book, Maria
Monk, is in New York, and stands ready to answer any questions, and
submit to any inquiries, put in a proper manner, and desires nothing so
strongly as an opportunity to prove before a court the truth of her
story. She has already found several persons of respectability who have
confirmed some of the facts, important and likely to be attested by
concurrent evidence; and much testimony in her favour may be soon
expected by the public.

"With these facts before them, intelligent readers will judge for
themselves. She asks for investigation, while her opponents deny her
every opportunity to meet the charges made against her. Mr. Schneller,
after expressing a wish to see her, to the publishers, refused to
meet her anywhere, _unless in his own house;_ while Mr. Quarter,
another Roman Catholic priest, called to see her, at ten o'clock, one
night, accompanied by another man, without giving their names, and under
the false pretence of being bearers of a letter from her brother in

* * * * *

_Reply to the Montreal Affidavits, refused publication by the Catholic
Diary &c._

"To the Editor of the Catholic Diary.

"SIR--In your paper of last Saturday, you published six affidavits from
Montreal, which are calculated, so far as they are believed, to
discredit the truth of the 'Awful Disclosures' of Maria Monk, a book of
which we are the publishers. We address the following remarks to you,
with a request that you will publish them in the Catholic Diary, that
your readers may have the means of judging for themselves. If the case
be so plain a one as you seem to suppose, they will doubtless perceive
more plainly the bearing and force of the evidence you present, when
they see it brought into collision with that which it is designed to

"First, We have to remark, that the affidavits which you publish might
have been furnished you in this city, without the trouble or delay of
sending to Montreal. They have been here two or three months, and were
carefully examined about that period by persons who are acquainted with
Maria Monk's story, and were desirous of ascertaining the truth. After
obtaining further evidence from Canada these affidavits were decided to
contain strong confirmation of various points in her story, then already
written down, only part of which has yet been published.

"Second. It is remarkable that of these six affidavits, the first is
that of Dr. Robinson, and all the rest are signed by him as Justice of
the Peace; and a Justice, too, who had previously refused to take the
affidavit of Maria Monk. Yet, unknown to himself, this same Dr. R., by
incidents of his own stating, corroborates some very important parts of
Miss Monk's statements. He says, indeed, that he has ascertained where
she was part of the time when she professed to have been in the Nunnery.
But his _evidence_ on this point is merely hearsay, and he does not
even favour us with that.

"Third, One of the affidavits is that of Miss Monk's mother, who claims
to be a Protestant, and yet declares, that she proposed to send her
infant grandchild to a Nunnery! She says her daughter has long been
subject to fits of insanity, (of which, however, we can say no traces
are discoverable in New York,) and has never been in a Nunnery since she
was at school in one, while quite a child. She however does not mention
where her daughter has spent any part of the most important years of her
life. A large part of her affidavit, as well as several others, is taken
up with matter relating to one of the persons who accompanied Miss M. to
Montreal last summer, and has no claim to be regarded as direct evidence
for or against the authenticity of her book.

"Fourth, The affidavit of Nancy McGan is signed with a cross, as by one
ignorant of writing; and she states that she visited a house of ill
fame, (to all appearance alone,) although, as she asserts, to bring away
Miss M. Her testimony, therefore, does not present the strongest claims
to our confidence. Besides, it is known that she has shown great
hostility, to Miss Monk, in the streets of Montreal: and she would not,
it is believed, have had much influence on an intelligent court or jury,
against Miss M., in that city, if the latter had been fortunate enough
to obtain the legal investigation into her charges, which as Dr. R.
mentions, she declared to be the express object of her visit to that
city, in the last summer, and in which she failed, after nearly a
month's exertion.

"Fifth, The affidavit of Mr. Goodenough is contradicted in one point by
the letter of Mr. Richey, a Wesleyan minister, which you insert, and
contains little else of any importance to this or any other case. * * * *

"Sixth, You copied in a conspicuous manner, from a Catholic paper in
Boston, a charge against the book, the groundlessness of which has been
exposed in some of the New York papers, viz. that large parts of it
were, 'word for word and letter for letter.' (names only altered,)
copied from a book published some years ago in Europe, under the title
of 'The Gates of Hell opened.' We have not seen in your paper any
correction of this aspersion, although the assertion of it has placed
you in a dilemma; for, if such were the fact, as you asserted, the
Montreal affidavits would have little application to the case. Besides,
that book, having proceeded from Catholics, and relating, as was
intimated, to scenes in European Convents, divulged by witnesses not
chargeable with prejudices against them, is to be taken for true with
other names; and therefore the charge of extravagance or improbability,
which is so much urged against our book, is entirely nullified, without
appealing to other sources of information which cannot be objected to.

"But before closing, allow us to remark, that you, who claim so strongly
the confidence of your readers in the testimony of witnesses in
Montreal, who speak only of things collateral to the main subject in
question, must be prepared to lay extraordinary weight on evidence of a
higher nature, and must realize something of the anxiety with which we,
and the American public generally, we believe, stand ready to receive
the evidence to be displayed to the eye and to the touch, either for or
against the solemn declaration of Miss Monk, whenever the great test
shall be applied to which she appeals, viz. the opening of the Hotel
Dieu Nunnery at Montreal. Then, sir, and not till then, will the great
question be settled,--Is our book true or false? Affidavits may possibly
be multiplied, although you say, 'Here, then, is the whole!' Dr.
Robertson may be called again to testify, or receive testimony as
Justice of the Peace,--but the question is _not_, what do people
believe or think _outside_ of the _Convent?_ but, _'what has
been done in it?'_

"By the issue of this investigation, Miss Monk declares she is ready to
stand or fall.

"You speak, sir, of the 'backwardness' of persons to appear in defence
of Miss Monk's book. We promise to appear as often on the subject as you
are willing to publish our communications. In one of the paragraphs you
publish, our book is spoken of as one of the evils arising from a
'_free_ press.' We think, sir, that 'a free press' is exposed to
less condemnation through the 'Awful Disclosures,' than the 'close
Nunneries' which it is designed to expose.

"Respectfully, &c

"New York, Feb. 22d, 1836."

* * * * *

The above was afterward copied in other papers. The following
certificate appeared in the Protestant Vindicator, and other papers, in
March, 1836, introducing the two first witnesses.

"_The truth of Maria Monk's 'Awful Disclosures' amply certified._

"We the subscribers, having an acquaintance with Miss Maria Monk, and
having considered the evidence of different kinds which has been
collected in relation to her case, have no hesitation in declaring our
belief in the truth of the statements she makes in her book recently
published in New York, entitled 'Awful Disclosures,' &c. We at that
same time declare that the assertion, originally made in the Roman
Catholic newspapers of Boston, that the book was copied from a work
entitled 'The Gates of Hell opened,' is wholly destitute of foundation;
it being entirely new, and not copied from any thing whatsoever.

"And we further declare, that _no evidence has yet been produced which
discredits the statements of Miss Monk; while, on the contrary, her
story has received, and continues to receive, confirmation from various

"During the last week, two important witnesses spontaneously appeared,
and offered to give public testimony in her favour. From them the
following declarations have been received. The first is an affidavit
given by Mr. William Miller, now a resident of this city. The second is
a statement received from a young married woman, who, with her husband,
also resides here. In the clear and repeated statements made by these
two witnesses, we place entire reliance; who are ready to furnish
satisfaction to any persons making reasonable inquiries on the subject.








* * * * *


"_City and County of New York, ss._

"William Miller being duly sworn, doth say--I knew Maria Monk when she
was quite a child, and was acquainted with all her father's family. My
father, Mr. Adam Miller, kept the government school at St. John's, Lower
Canada, for some years. Captain Wm. Monk, Maria's father, lived in the
garrison, a short distance from the village, and she attended the school
with me for some months, probably as much as a year. Her four brothers
also attended with us. Our families were on terms of intimacy, as my
father had a high regard for Captain Monk; but the temper of his wife
was such, even at that time, as to cause much trouble. Captain Monk died
very suddenly, as was reported, in consequence of being poisoned. Mrs.
Monk was then keeper of the Government House in Montreal, and received a
pension, which privilege she has since enjoyed. In the summer of 1832, I
left Canada, and came to this city. In about a year afterward I visited
Montreal, and on the day when the Governor reviewed the troops, I
believe about the end of August, I called at the Government House, where
I saw Mrs. Monk and several of the family. I inquired where Maria was,
and she told me that she was in the nunnery. This fact I well remember,
because the information gave me great pain, as I had unfavorable
opinions of the nunneries. On reading the 'Awful Disclosures,' I at once
knew she was the eloped nun, but was unable to find her until a few days
since, when we recognized each other immediately. I give with pleasure
my testimony in her favour, as she is among strangers, and exertions
have been made against her. I declare my personal knowledge of many
facts stated in her book, and my full belief in the truth of her story,
which, shocking as it is, cannot appear incredible to those persons
acquainted with Canada.


"Sworn before me, this 3d day of March, 1836.


"Commissioner of Deeds, &c."

* * * * *

_From the Protestant Vindicator of March 9._

"The following statement has been furnished by the female witness above-
mentioned; the name being reserved only from delicacy to a lady's


"I was born at Montreal, and resided there until within a few months,
and where my friends still remain. I was educated among the Catholics,
and have never separated myself from them.

"I knew Maria Monk when quite a child. We went to school together for
about a year, as near as I can remember, to Mr. Workman, Sacrament-
street, in Montreal. She is about one month younger than myself. We left
that school at the same time, and entered the Congregational Nunnery
nearly together. I could mention many things which I witnessed there,
calculated to confirm some of her accounts.

"I knew of the elopement of a priest named Leclerc, who was a confessor,
with a nun sent from the Congregational Nunnery to teach in a village.
They were brought back, after which she gave birth to an infant, and was
again employed as a teacher.

"Children were often punished in the Congregational Nunnery, by being
made to stand with arms extended, to imitate Christ's posture on the
cross; and when we found vermin in our soup, as was often the case, we
were exhorted to overcome our repugnance to it, because Christ died for
us. I have seen such belts as are mentioned in the 'Awful Disclosures,'
as well as gags; but never saw them applied.

"Maria Monk left the Congregational Nunnery before I did, and became a
Novice in the Hotel Dieu. I remember her entrance into the latter very
well, for we had a 'jour de conge,' holiday, on that occasion.

"Some short time subsequently, after school hours one afternoon, while
in the school-room in the second story of the Congregational Nunnery,
several of the girls standing near a window exclaimed, 'There is Maria
Monk.' I sprang to the window to look, and saw her with several other
novices, in the yard of the Hotel Dieu, among the plants which grew
there. She did not appear to notice us, but I perfectly recognised her.

"I have frequently visited the public hospital of the Hotel Dieu. It is
the custom there for some of the nuns and novices to enter at three
o'clock, P.M., in procession with food and delicacies for the sick. I
recollect some of my visits there by circumstances attending them. For
instance, I was much struck, on several occasions, by the beauty of a
young novice, whose slender, graceful form, and interesting appearance,
distinguished her from the rest. On inquiry, I learnt that her name was
Dubois, or something like it, and the daughter of an old man who had
removed from the country, and lived near the Place d'Armes. She was so
generally admired for her beauty, that she was called 'la belle St.
Francois'--St. Francis being the saint's name she had assumed in the

"I frequently went to the hospital to see two of my particular friends
who were novices: and subsequently to visit one who had a sore throat,
and was sick for some weeks. I saw Maria Monk there many times, in the
dress of a novice, employed in different ways but we were never allowed
to speak to each other.

"Towards the close of the winter of 1833-4, I visited the hospital of
the Hotel Dieu very frequently, to see Miss Bourke, a friend of mine,
although I was not permitted to speak with her. While there one day, at
the hour of _'conge'_ or _'collation'_ which, as I before
stated, was at three P.M., a procession of nuns and novices entered, and
among the former I saw Maria Monk, with a black veil, &c. She perceived
and recognized me; but put her finger on her lips in token of silence;
and knowing how rigidly the rules were enforced, I did not speak.

"A short time afterward, I saw her again in the same place, and under
similar circumstances.

"I can fix the year when this occurred, because I recollect that the
nuns in the hospital stared at a red dress I wore that season; and I am
certain about that time of year, because I left my galoshes at the
door before I went in.

"The improper conduct of a priest was the cause of my leaving the
Congregational Nunnery: for my brother saw him kissing a [illegible]
one day while he was on a visit to me, and exclaimed--'O mon Dieu!
what a place you are in!--If father does not take you out of it I
will, if I have to tear you away.'

"After the last sight I had of Maria Monk in the hospital, I never saw
nor heard of her, until after I had been for some time an inhabitant of
New York. I then saw an extract from 'Awful Disclosures,' published in a
newspaper, when I was perfectly satisfied that she was the authoress,
and again at liberty. I was unable for several weeks to find her
residence, but at length visited the house when she was absent. Seeing
an infant among a number of persons who were strangers to me, as those
present will testify, I declared that it must be the child mentioned in
her book, from the striking resemblance it bears to Father Phelan, whom
I well know. This declaration has also been made by others.

"When Maria Monk entered, she passed across the room, without turning
towards me; but I recognised her by her gait, and when she saw me she
knew me at once. I have since spent many hours with her, and am entirely
convinced of the truth of her story, especially as I knew many things
before which tend to confirm the statements which she makes."

["It is superfluous to add any thing to the above testimony. Let the
Roman priests of Montreal open the Hotel Dieu Nunnery for our
inspection, and thus confute Maria Monk: or, Mr. Conroy is again
challenged to institute a criminal process against her, or a civil suit
against the publishers of her volume--They dare not place the eloped nun
or her booksellers in that 'Inquisition;' because they know that it
would only be 'putting themselves to the torture!'"--_Ed. Prot.

* * * * *

_From The Protestant Vindicator of March 16th._

"We recommend the following communications to all persons who doubt the
wickedness of Nunneries. The young gentleman who sent us the letter is
now in this city, and we have heard the same statements from other
witnesses. That subterraneous passages from the Seminary to the
Nunneries, we ourselves have seen, and close by the spot designated by
our correspondent:--


_"Underground passage from the Jesuit Seminary to the Hotel Dieu
Nunnery, Montreal._

"I have been informed that you are endeavoring to obtain facts and other
incidental circumstances relative to the Black Nunnery, in Montreal, and
the disclosures concerning it, made by Maria Monk, in which are many
hard things, but hard as they are, they are not indigestible by us
Canadians; we believe that she has told but a small part of what she
must know, if she was but half the time there which she says she was.
Maria Monk has mentioned in her book something about the underground
passage which leads from the Black Nunnery to other places in Montreal.
That fact I know by ocular demonstration, and which nine tenths of the
Canadians also will not deny, for it has been opened several times by
the labourers, who have been digging for the purpose of laying pipes to
conduct gas and water. While preparing a place for the latter I saw one
of those passages; the earth being removed by the labourers, they struck
upon the top of the passage, and curiosity led them to see what was
beneath, for it sounded as though there was a hollow. They accordingly
removed the large flat stones which formed the top of the passage. Many
persons were looking on at the time, and several of them went down into
it; when they returned after a few minutes, they stated that they went
but a short distance, before they came to an intersection of passages,
and were afraid to proceed further. Shortly after, several priests were
on the spot, and prevented the people from further examining it; and had
the place shut up immediately, while they stood by and guarded it until
it was all done. The appearance of that part of the passage was the same
as I saw while they were laying the water pipes. The floor of it in both
[illegible] where I saw it was clean to appearance, with the exception of
a little dirt that fell in on opening them, and of stone flagging. I
have heard much about these underground passages in Montreal, in which
place I have spent the most of my days. I give you my name and
residence: and if you should be called upon from any quarter for the
truth of this statement. I am ready to attest it upon oath; and there
are others in this city who have witnessed the same things. The places
where those openings were made in the underground passages were in St.
Joseph street for the water pipes; and for the gas pipes in Notre-Dame
street, near Sacrament street, at a short distance from the Seminary.

"W. M."

* * * * *

About the close of February last, a note was sent me from a person
signing himself the man who took me to the Almshouse. Soon after I had
an interview with Mr. Hilliker, whom I recognised as my first protector
in New York, and to whom I owe much--indeed, as I think, my life. He
kindly offered to give me his testimony, which follows:--

_From the New York Journal of Commerce_.


_"City and County of New York, ss._

"John Hilliker, being duly sworn, doth depose and say--that one day
early in the month of May, 1835, while shooting near the Third Avenue,
opposite the three milestone, in company with three friends, I saw a
woman sitting in a field at a short distance, who attracted our
attention. On reaching her, we found her sitting with her head down, and
could not make her return any answer to our questions. On raising her
hat, we saw that she was weeping. She was dressed in an old calico
frock, (I think of a greenish colour,) with a checked apron, and an old
black bonnet. After much delay and weeping, she began to answer my
questions, but not until I had got my companions to leave us, and
assured her that I was a married man, and disposed to befriend her.

"She then told me that her name was Maria, that she had been a nun in a
nunnery in Montreal, from which she had made her escape, on account of
the treatment she had received from priests in that institution, whose
licentious conduct she strongly intimated to me. She mentioned some
particulars concerning the Convent and her escape. She spoke
particularly of a small room where she used to attend, until the
physician entered to see the sick, when she accompanied him to write
down his prescriptions; and said that she escaped through a door which
he sometimes entered. She added, that she exchanged her dress after
leaving the nunnery, and that she came to New York in company with a
man, who left her as soon as the steamboat arrived. She farther stated,
that she expected soon to give birth to a child, having become pregnant
in the Convent; that she had no friend, and knew not where to find one;
that she thought of destroying her life; and wished me to leave her--
saying, that if I should hear of a woman being found drowned in the East
River, she earnestly desired me never to speak of her.

"I asked her if she had had any food that day, to which she answered,
no; and I gave her money to get some at the grocery of Mr. Cox, in the
neighbourhood. She left me, but I afterwards saw her in the fields,
going towards the river; and after much urgency, prevailed upon her to
go to a house where I thought she might be accommodated, offering to pay
her expenses. Failing in this attempt, I persuaded her, with much
difficulty, to go the Almshouse; and there we got her received, after I
had promised to call and see her, as she said she had something of great
consequence which she wished to communicate to me, and wished me to
write a letter to Montreal.

"She had every appearance of telling the truth; so much so, that I have
never for a moment doubted the truth of her story, but told it to many
persons of my acquaintance, with entire confidence in its truth. She
seemed overwhelmed with grief, and in a very desperate state of mind. I
saw her weep for two hours or more without ceasing; and appeared very
feeble when attempting to walk, so that two of us supported her by the
arms. We observed also, that she always folded her hands under her apron
when she walked, as she has described the nuns as doing in her 'Awful

"I called at the Almshouse gate several times and inquired for her; but
having forgotten half her name, I could not make it understood whom I
wished to see, and did not see her until the last week. When I saw some
of the first extracts from her book in a newspaper, I was confident that
they were parts of her story, and when I read the conclusion of the
work, I had not a doubt of it. Indeed, many things in the course of the
book I was prepared for from what she had told me.

"When I saw her, I recognised her immediately, although she did not know
me at first, being in a very different dress. As soon as she was
informed where she had seen me, she recognised me. I have not found in
the book any thing inconsistent with what she had stated to me when I
first saw her.

"When I first found her in May, 1835, she had evidently sought
concealment. She had a letter in her hand, which she refused to let me
see; and when she found I was determined to remove her, she tore it in
small pieces, and threw them down. Several days after I visited the spot
again and picked them up, to learn something of the contents but could
find nothing intelligible, except the first part of the Signature,

"Of the truth of her story I have not the slightest doubt, and I think I
never can until the Nunnery is opened and examined.


"Sworn before me, this 14th of March, 1835.


"Commissioner of Deeds."

The following challenge was published in the N. Y. Protestant Vindicator
for six or seven weeks, in March and April, without a reply.

"CHALLENGE--The Roman Prelate and Priests of Montreal--Messrs. Conroy,
Quarter, and Schneller, of New York--Messrs. Fenwick and Byrne of
Boston--Mr. Hughes of Philadelphia--the Arch-Prelate of Baltimore, and
his subordinate Priests--and Cardinal England of Charleston, with all
other Roman Priests, and every Nun from Baffin's bay to the Gulf of
Mexico, are hereby challenged to meet an investigation of the truth of
Maria Monk's 'Awful Disclosures,' before an impartial assembly, over
which shall preside _seven_ gentlemen; three to be selected by the
Roman Priests, three by the Executive Committee of the New York
Protestant Association, and the Seventh as Chairman, to be chosen by the

"An eligible place in New York shall be appointed and the regulations
for the decorum and order of the meetings, with all the other
arrangements, shall be made by the above gentlemen.

"All communications upon this subject from any of the Roman Priests or
Nuns, either individually, or as delegates for their superiors,
addressed to the _Corresponding Secretary of the New York Protestant
Association_, No. 142 Nassau-street, New York, will be promptly

* * * * *

_From the N. Y. Protestant Vindicator of April 6, 1836._

"THE CHALLENGE.--We have been waiting with no small degree of impatience
to hear from some of the Roman priests. But neither they, nor their
sisters, the nuns, nor one of their nephews or _nieces_, have yet
ventured to come out. Our longings meet only with disappointment. Did
ever any person hear of similar conduct on the part of men accused of
the highest crimes, in their deepest dye? Here is a number of Roman
priests, as actors, or accessories, openly denounced before the world as
guilty, of the most outrageous sins against the sixth and seventh
commandments. They are charged before the world with adultery,
fornication, and murder! The allegations are distinctly made, the place
is mentioned, the parties are named, and the time is designated; for it
is lasting as the annual revolutions of the seasons. And what is most
extraordinary,--_the highest official authorities in Canada know that
all those statements are true, and they sanction and connive at the
iniquity!_--The priests and nuns have been offered, for several
months past, the most easy and certain mode to disprove the felonies
imputed to them, and they are still as the dungeons of the Inquisition,
silent as the death-like quietude of the convent cell; and as retired as
if they were in the subterraneous passages between the Nunnery and
Lartigue's habitation. Now, we contend, that scarcely a similar instance
of disregard for the opinions of mankind, can be found since the
Reformation, at least, in a Protestant country. Whatever disregard for
the judgment of others, the Romish priests may have felt, where the
Inquisition at their command, and the civil power was their Jackal and
their Hyena: they have been obliged to pay some little regard to the
opinion of protestants, and to the dread of exposure. We therefore
repeat the solemn indubitable truth--that the facts which are stated by
Maria Monk, respecting the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal, are true as
the existence of the priests and nuns,--that the character, principles,
and practices of the Jesuits and Nuns in Canada are most accurately
delineated--that popish priests, and sisters of charity in the United
States, are their faithful and exact counterparts--that many female
schools in the United States, kept by the papist teachers, are nothing
more than places of decoy through which young women, at the most
delicate age, are ensnared into the power of the Roman priests--and that
the toleration of the monastic system in the United States and Britain,
the only two countries in the world, in which that unnatural abomination
is now extending its withering influence, is high treason against God
and mankind. If American citizens and British Christians, after the
appalling developments which have been made, permit the continuance of
that prodigious wickedness which is inseparable from nunneries and the
celibacy of popish priests, they will ere long experience that divine
castigation which is justly due to transgressors, who wilfully trample
upon all the appointments of God, and who subvert the foundation of
national concord, and extinguish the comforts of domestic society.
Listen to the challenge again! _All the papers with which the
Protestant Vindicator exchanges, are requested to give the challenge one
or two insertions_." (Here it was repeated.)

* * * * *

_Testimony of a friend in the hospital_

_Statement_ made by a respectable woman, who had the charge of me
during a part of my stay in the Bellevue Hospital, in New York. She is
ready to substantiate it. It is now first published.

"I was employed as an occasional assistant in the Bellevue Hospital, in
New York, in the spring of the year 1835. My department was in the
Middle House and the pantry. I was present one day in the room of Mrs.
Johnston, the Matron, when a man came in with a young woman, and gave a
note to Mrs. J., (which I understood was from Col. Fish.) the
Superintendent, Mr. Stevens, being out. The female was dressed in a
light blue calico frock, a salmon-coloured shawl, and a black bonnet,
under which was a plain cap, something like a night-cap, which I
afterward understood was a nun's cap. Being occupied at that time, I
paid no attention to the conversation which took place between her and
the Matron; but I soon heard that she was a nun who had escaped from a
convent in Canada, who had been found in a destitute condition, by some
persons shooting in the fields, and that she was in such a situation as

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