This collection is held in Box 1 and 2 of Series number 1875, Archdiocese of San Francisco, 1850-present. The series consists
of original letters which offer a picture of the relations of Archbishop Alemany with the California Jesuits, 1853-1884. Correspondence
of Father James Croke, Vicar General for Archbishop Alemany, to the Jesuit superiors is also included in the collection. An
account of the property controversy between the California Jesuits and Alemany, written by Burchard Villiger, S.J. from Woodstock
College, Maryland in December 1900 can be found here. Also included are materials assembled by Thomas Marshall, S.J., California
Province Archivist, 1977-1978 and 1987-2000. The California Provincial Archives documentation on the Jesuit-Archdiocesan relationship
is comprehensive. Included is a recollection written by Aloysius Varsi, S.J., California Mission Superior, to Cardinal Franchi,
Prefect of Propagation of the Faith in Rome, of the transfer of St. Ignatius College to a new site in San Francisco at Hayes
and Van Ness. Other letters concerning this controversy with Archbishop Alemany in 1878 give a complete picture of the problem
and its resolution.
Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P., was a Spanish Roman Catholic priest, born in Vich, Catalonia, Spain in 1814. He entered the Dominican
Order in 1830. In 1840 the Order assigned him to the missions in the United States where he labored for the Catholic populations
in Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Appointed as Prior-Provincial of the Dominican Province
of St. Joseph the Worker in 1848, he returned to Rome in 1850 on provincial business and while there was consecrated by Pope
Pius IX as the first American bishop in California, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey, for the new State of California. The
original diocesan territory included the former Mexican province of Alta California was wide-spread and sparsely populated.
The effect of the Gold Rush had brought tremendous growth in population and commerce with few supporting structures, including
churches and schools. After serving as Bishop of Monterey from 1850 to 1853, Alemany was elevated to Archbishop of San Francisco
governing the northern half of the State of California. The multi-ethnic influx of people during the Gold Rush and their religious
and educational needs drew more Catholic orders to Northern California. Along with the Jesuit Fathers came the Christian Brothers,
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and the Dominicans. The return of the ecclesiastical
property of the former mission lands in California to the Catholic Church was a pressing issue and in 1853 Archbishop Alemany
filed a petition with the Public Land Commission. In December 1855 Commissioner Alpheus Felch affirmed that the mission properties
remained ecclesiastical under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The relationship between the California Mission of the Jesuits
and Archbishop Alemany was not peaceful, particularly in the question of land titles which the archbishop insisted should
be under his name. In addition, lack of funds and the paucity of priests were continuous problems. Alemany made a valiant
fight for the Pious Fund, appropriated by Mexican President Santa Anna in 1842. Archbishop Alemany maintained fiscal and administrative
control over all clergy. His correspondence reflects a financial picture of the relationship between the Jesuits of the California
Mission and includes detailed financial reports and a record of resistance to his demand for titles to all Jesuit properties.
Another issue of contention was the establishment of Sodalities and parish status of St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco.