1855 Anti-Catholic Bill to Prevent the Pope from Owning Property in the USA

1855 Anti-Catholic Bill to Prevent the Pope from Owning Property in the USA

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Putnam, James O. Ecclesiastical Tenures: Speech of James O. Putnam, of Buffalo, on the bill, providing for the Vesting of the Title of Church Property in Lay Trustees, delivered in the Senate of New York, January 30, 1855. Albany: Van Benthuysen, Printer, 1855. First Edition. [1232]

Printed paper wrapper, 6 x 9, center crease, the author's senate ink stamp on the front, 40 clean pp., wrappers a bit soiled. Good. Pamphlet.

The speech addresses the controversy of Roman Catholic church and other properties considered by the Catholics to be properties owned and governed by the Pope, a prospect antithetical to American Republicanism. Putnam, a New York State Senator, goes through a number of reasons why allowing this would be against American government and principles. Vesting the interest of the properties in the Lay Trustees of Roman Catholic congregations was seen as a solution.

At the time of this speech the author was a member of the American Party, or "Know-Nothings," a short-lived nativist party that opposed Irish and other European immigration, and especially the spread of Romanism, but supported women's rights, regulation of industry, and American workers rights.

James Osborne Putnam (1818-1903), b. Attica, NY; d. Buffalo, NY. He graduated Yale College in 1839, was admitted to the bar, and opened a law practice in Buffalo, NY. Putnam was a statesman of some repute, served as the chancellor of the University of Buffalo, as deputy postmaster of Buffalo, as a state senator, was one of the founders of the Buffalo Historical Society, the Buffalo Fine Arts Society, and the University of Buffalo. A presidential elector in 1860, he cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin. From 1880 to 1882 he was U.S. Minister to Belgium.