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“E” is for England, John (1786-1842)

“E” is for England, John (1786-1842). Catholic bishop, educator. England was born in Cork, Ireland and ordained a Roman Catholic priest in1808. In 1820 the Pope appointed him the first bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, encompassing the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. He traveled repeatedly to all corners of his diocese, set up parishes, recruited priests, and established a boys’ academy in Charleston and a seminary to train new priests. In 1822 England founded the first regularly published American Catholic newspaper, the United States Catholic Miscellany. In 1826 he became the first Catholic priest to address Congress on the issue of church and state. He asserted that Catholicism and the Constitution were compatible. John England was one of the first Irish American bishops and became an important leader in the Irish community nationwide.

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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.