Rev. Bruté’s Image of Emmitsburg


Rev. Simon Bruté served as Mother Seton’s Spiritual Director from 1812 until her death in 1821.  Many of his sketches show Mother Seton, the landscapes, Mt. St. Mary’s University, and the town of Emmitsburg.  As a document of local history, his map of the town square, written in tight, neat handwriting, show accurate distances to other towns and, perhaps most importantly, an accurate picture of families and landowners in 1823.  Bruté also left a 14 page manuscript describing the town and landscape, mostly in his native French (although the archives has translations).  Rev. Bruté became Bishop Bruté, the first Bishop of Vincennes, now Indianapolis.  The Archive of the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise archive has a 6 box collection on Bishop Bruté.  Despite his importance, most of his manuscripts have been scattered or lost in a fire at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Meinard, IN.¹  Rev. Edmund J. Schmitt was working on a biography of Bruté before his own death, and his unfinished research notes are located at the University of Notre Dame.²

  1. Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Jan., 1918) pp. 492-494.
  2. “Edmund J. Schmitt Papers,” University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA),

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