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Archbishop John Hughes
Archbishop John Joseph Hughes (June 24, 1797 - January 3, 1864) was the fourth bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of New York. He was born in Ireland and followed his parents to America. Initially employed as a gardener at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, he was admitted as a student, and was ordained a priest on October 15, 1826 and ordained a bishop on January 7, 1838 with the titular see of Basileopolis. He succeeded to the bishopric of the diocese of New York on December 20, 1842 and became an archbishop on July 19, 1850, when the diocese was elevated to the status of archdiocese. He campaigned actively on behalf of Irish immigrants, and attempted to secure state support for religious schools. When he failed to secure state support, he founded an independent Catholic school system: he nearly died in the resulting anti-Catholic, anti-Irish riots. He founded St. John's College (now Fordham University) and began construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral. He served until his death. He was originally buried in old St. Patrick's Cathedral and was exhumed and reinterred in the crypt under the altar of the new St. Patrick's Cathedral.
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