In 1828, Bishop Rosati of St. Louis and philanthropist John Mullanphy invited the sisters to start the first American hospital west of the Mississippi River. Four sisters – Sister Francis Xavier Love, Sister Rebecca Dellone, Sister Francis Regis, and Sister Martha Butcher – made the overland trip by stagecoach from Emmitsburg, MD, to overseea three-room log cabin hospital at the corner of Third and Spruce Streets in St. Louis, MO. The westward expansion of the community mirrored the expansion of the country.
The Daughters of Charity reached the coast of San Francisco in 1852 where they established an orphanage and school
Excerpt from Sister's account of mule travel in Panama: "The roads from Crucis to the half way house were miserable; impossible to describe them; in some places were deep hols worn in the rocks by the mules feet; in other places there were descents from five to six feet."
Preparing to embark for the ship from Panama to San Francisco: "During the past week all the Sisters were very sick, some home-sick, other suffering from chills and fever. All are somewhat better in health and spirits this morning, as we have been informed that the Golden Gate will sail in the afternoon, and that small steamer was in readiness to convey us to her."
Approaching San Francisco: "Our last long and reary night over.-- At two o'clock in the morning we were aroused by cries of 'San Francisco in sight.' It would be hard to describe our joy at the hearing of such welcome news, and our anxiety to set foot on the sandy shor of the far famed 'Golden Region.'"
Receipt of Steamship Passage from Philadelphia, PA to New Orleans, LA - (Click image to view full page)
Philadelphia November 10th 1833 Received from the Reverend W. Hickey, Fivehundred Dollars; for the passages of Ten ladies, Sisters of Charity, in the Cabin of the Ship John Sergeant, Captn. VanDycke for New Orleans
Davis B. Stacey
Rosary Owned by Sister Stanislaus Malone (1863-1949)
Sister Stanislaus served more than 65 years, including during the years of the flue and cholera epidemics, at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, LA
Etching of the Charity Hospital, New Orleans, LA