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“G” is for Gallagher, Simon Felix (1756-1825)

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SC from A-Z: “G” is for Gallagher, Simon Felix (1756-1825).Missionary, educator.

A native of Ireland, Gallagher studied for the Catholic priesthood and was ordained in the Diocese of Dublin. He immigrated to the United States in 1793 and was assigned as pastor of St. Mary’s in Charleston. Charleston’s small Catholic community received him with enthusiasm. He was a leader in the Irish community and a principal organizer of the Hibernian Society. Difficulties with the vestry of St. Mary’s led to demands for his resignation. He refused, appealing over the head of his bishop directly to the Vatican. The bishop sent a French-born priest to Charleston who rejected by the congregation—eventually causing a schism along Irish-French ethnic lines. The schism was resolved in 1820, but Simon Felix Gallagher requested a transfer to a parish in St. Augustine, Florida.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.