This collection consists of the papers of Martin Ignatius Joseph Griffin (1842-1911), Catholic historian, writer and editor, who was a native of Philadelphia. As a journalist, one of his first literary positions was as a reporter for "The Catholic Standard and Times"[Philadelphia]. Later, he became assistant editor of this paper. Griffin served as editor of the following journals: "The Guardian Angel"(1867-1873), "The Irish Catholic Benevolent Union Journal" (1873),"American Catholic Historical Researches" (1887), and "Griffin's Journal"(1893). He also served as Secretary of the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union(1873-1893).
Griffin founded the America Catholic Historical Society [Philadelphia]in 1884 and belonged to several other historical associations. He helped to organize the Continental Title and Trust Company of Philadelphia,served as a Knight of Columbus and brought the Catholic Knights of America into Philadelphia. He was also one of the founders of the Diocesan union of Philadelphia (1872) and introduced the Youths' Catholic Total abstinence Society into Philadelphia.
In addition to his activities as an editor, Griffin authored the following works: "A History of Old St. Joseph's Church" (1882), "A History of St. John the Evangelist's Church" (1882), "Thomas FitzSimons,Pennsylvania's Catholic Signer of the U.S. Constitution (1889), "Bishop Michael Egan of Philadelphia" (1885) , "History of Commodore John Barry"(1897), and "The Trial of John Ury" (1899).
Of Griffin's six children, only four survived-two sons and two daughters. The are listed as follows: Rev. Martin I.J. Griffin, Treasurer of St. Thomas College [St. Paul, Minnesota]; Dr. William L.J. Griffin;Sister Dorothea [member of the order of the Immaculate Heart]; and Philomena Griffin.
Although there is much correspondence concerning subscriptions and requests for or letters pertaining to historical information, there is an abundant amount of material pertaining to the Temperance Movement as well as to the Total Abstinence Movement which existed in the Catholic Church of Griffin's day. Also included is correspondence from Catholic clergy[consisting of priests and many 19th Century bishops] which will provide the researcher with valuable insights into how these movements were perceived by the Church, and particularly by the clergy themselves. The collection consists of 3.75 linear feet.
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