The Serpent around the Capitol of Washington

No sooner had the District of Columbia been designated as the seat of the Capital of the United States, than Rome entered it, not as master, but as servant. Pius VII. had just reached the Papal chair, while the Continent about him was quaking beneath the resounding tread of Napoleon’s embattled host. Romanism was having a hard struggle in Europe. She was not yet at home in America. She was on sufferance. Clement the Fourteenth had issued the bill abolishing the Society of Jesuits, just previous to the Declaration of Independence by the United States of America, saying, as he did so : ” I sign my death-warrant; but I obey my conscience.” ” Watch the pot,” became his watchword, as he dismissed one cook supposed to be under Jesuit control, and appointed another, a monk by the name of Francis, whom he thought he could trust.

The active prudence of the good monk did not disconcert the Jesuits; it only rendered them more ingenious in Europe, and coaxed them in great numbers to find a home and a theatre of operations in the regions beyond.

The following was the infernal trick they employed to attain their ends in Rome: “A lady of the Sabine, entirely devoted to them, had a tree in her garden which bore the handsomest figs in Rome. The reverend fathers, knowing that the Pope loved this fruit very much, induced the lady to disguise herself as a peasant, and go and present these figs to Brother Francis. The devotee did so several times, gained the confidence of the Franciscan, and one day slipped into the basket a fig larger than the others, into which a subtle poison, called aquetta,FF was injected. Up to this time the Holy Father had enjoyed perfect health; he was well made, though of the ordinary height; his voice was sonorous and strong; he walked with the activity of a young man, and everything presaged a long old age to him. From that day his health failed in an extraordinary manner; it was remarked with alarm that his voice was sensibly failing. To those first symptoms of his sickness was joined so violent an inflammation of his throat that lie was obliged to keep his mouth constantly open; vomiting then succeeded the inflammation, accompanied by pains in his bowels; finally, the sickness increasing in its intensity, he discovered that he was poisoned. He wished to make use of antidotes, but it was too late; the evil was beyond remedy, and he had only to wait the close of his life. For the three months that he endured this terrible agony, his courage never failed him for a moment; one day only, after a more violent crisis than all the others, he said : “Alas! I knew well that they would poison me, but I did not expect to die in so slow and cruel a manner.” Remember, a woman was the instrument of the Jesuits, as was Mary Surratt, a century later, in the taking off of the great Emancipator. The Pope was changed into a shadow. His flesh was eaten out by the corrosive action of the “aquetta” his very bones were attacked and became softened, contorting his members and giving them a hideous form. At last, worn out with suffering, the poor victim of the execrable Jesuits died, Sept. 22nd, 1774. Something of this was known by the builders of the Republic in America. In Assam missionaries are compelled to get accustomed to snakes. They climb up their door-jams; they find sleeping places in the roof and ceiling above them; They look down upon them, while they rest in bed. Sometimes a poisonous reptile is touched, and bites and kills. This is bad. Thousands of natives fall a prey to the reptiles, who live, and move, and have being in the country; yet, after all, missionaries get used to snakes. They learn to tolerate them. Some learn to pet them. They see natives who become snake-charmers, and boast of their ability; indeed, get their living by handling and sporting with snakes. The story is matched by the way Roman Catholics have come to be not only tolerated, but finally petted, courted, if not loved, in America. At the outset, the people felt a great repugnance towards them. The Christian people of the United States gave Roman Catholics a wide berth. The less they had of them the better. The story of the Inquisition was familiar. Washington dreaded foreign influence, and never saw but one Roman Catholic in whom he had comfort, the immortal Lafayette. Jefferson, Madison and others were afraid of the influence attempted to be exerted by the mischievous, persecuting, unreliable association known and designated as the Roman Catholic Church, which was to them ” The Wicked” – “The Mystery of Iniquity “– “The Harlot of the Tiber” The oppressor and inhuman foe of the Church of God in all ages and all crimes. Hence Rome entered Washington, as else where, as an object of dread. That College in Georgetown, District of Columbia, was regarded as a Jesuit nest. It was let alone by the North, and largely by the South. Then came the convent. Nuns began to appear. Their pious faces, demure appearance, deceived the very elect. The establishments they wanted for eleemosynary purposes, went up silently and almost unnoticed. Here was the Providence Hospital, corner Second and D streets. Beautiful name! All thought well of it. It was founded in 1862. That was in the midst of the war. The nuns wished to help nurse the wounded.” Why not let them? Who can do it better?” men said. The camel got his head in when hospital tents were whitening the hillsides and valleys of the land. Thaddeus Stevens asked and obtained an appropriation of $32,000 for the Providence Hospital. In 1864 it was incorporated. The Sisters of Charity were to have charge. The name Sisters of Charity ” sounds well. In 1867 the present building was commenced. It is now two hundred and eighty feet in length, built of brick, and will accommodate 250 patients, and the government supports seventy-five free beds.

Samuel J. Randall, the son of a Baptist, linked to the denomination by many enduring ties, married a wife in sympathy with Rome, gave his daughter to a Roman Catholic, and found in the hospital the best of care after those terrible nervous prostration attacks which come of too great mental strain when stimulus no longer furnishes relief. There he could go. All that love and care could do for him was done; all that political influence could do for them was done. And so appropriation after appropriation has been smuggled through; until, it is said and believed that, since 1866, over one million of dollars have been given by the nation to support Roman Catholic institutions in the City of Washington. This will be a surprise to many members of Congress now on duty. It will not be believed by some. Yet it is probably under, rather than over the truth. Rome builds her walls in troublous times. It was during the war that she appeared, the war in which she wrought as the traitor to liberty. She obtained a foothold from which it seems almost impossible to dislodge her. She came stealthily and unobtrusively : came as a helper by profession, as a flatterer by practice. Because women, dressed in the garb of nuns, came to strong men and asked for help, it was thought ungallant to deny them. They had been in the hospitals. The surgeons prized them. They gave no trouble. If things were wrong, they never made reports. Physicians and surgeons might be drunken and cruel, the Sisters of Charity gave no sign. The bad had all things in common. So they prospered there, and were rewarded when they needed help in Washington. Rome knows how to employ women in carrying forward her great schemes. Her history shows this.


In presenting Romish splendors and glories we are not compelled to cross the sea, to enter Italy, to pass through the gates of the seven-hilled city, to pass up the Appian or any other way; to enter St. Peter, or wander through the interminable passages and galleries of the Vatican. The Rome in which the Coliseum stands, and churches innumerable are found side by side with ruins sacred to memory and history, is not in our thought when it is declared that Rome found a place in the lap of Washington before Washington came to rest so quietly and contentedly in the lap of Rome. By Rome is meant, the spirit that distinguishes her, and the influences which gathered power in days that were dark and days that were bright. By Rome is meant, the men who serve at her altars; now known as a monk, then as a bishop, anon archbishop or a cardinal, but first and last as a Jesuit.

Lord Robert Montagu, formerly the companion of the Jesuits, says: “The system of the Church of Rome is a wonderful mechanism. Its centre is the Pope. Yet it is independent of the Pope. Many a Pope has been a dotard; very many have been debauchees; and still the machine works on, irrespective of his idiosyncrasies. It is the Cabinet, the Privy Council, the College of Cardinals that governs. That body never dies. One old man and another falls away, like a sere and yellow leaf; but the tree remains; the tradition and knowledge of centuries are still there. The records of the past are added to the daily experiences of the present; and that experience is being ever gathered in every corner of the earth, wherever there is a priest or a missioner. From every race, from every land, from every people, nay, from every family, there stretches a telegraphic wire of secret intelligence to the central section of the Vatican. There the intelligence is used by free minds, who are destitute of family, without all the affections that are natural to men; without a country or a home, without patriotism, without restraint of obligations, oaths, moral principles or divine laws; because the word of the Pope is supposed to tear those holy fetters away as gossamer webs; and priestly absolution is held to wash out even the slightest taint of sin.”

“That is right which is done to advance the power of the Pope. That is true which the Pope may please to assert ex cathedra; that which favors the interests of the church is good. Even crime is commendable if it be done for the church. The advance of the Papacy has always been as the advance of the plague, irresistible, unsparing, remorseless, and deadly. Its myriads of secret agents overmatch armies and dispose of their generals. Its purposes are fathomless as the sea and silent as the grave : its action in every state, setting nation to hamper nation, and exciting one statesman against another; breaking up, dividing, crumbling its enemies, while its own party is always united; conspiring everywhere towards one object. Ever victorious, it will triumph, until the great hour for the doom of the harlot, which sits upon the nations of the earth, has struck, until the warning voice has been heard through the world,

“Come out of her my people.”

Having increased from 45,000 in 1783 in the United States, very largely through emigration and annexation; and having worked in accordance with one fixed and comprehensive plan, viz. : to get all possible in land, in influence, in gifts, and give out nothing and lose nothing, having adopted a system of borrowing money by a kind of saving-bank process, illustrated by Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati, whereby millions of dollars have been obtained and used for the purchase of real estate, building vast structures, and mortgaging them for all they can carry, Rome has an appearance of prosperity, the result of dishonesty and deception, and entirely misleading. In Cincinnati and elsewhere, these vast sums used have been stolen from the poor, who have no redress except in suits of law, which are expensive, and which result in putting the litigant under the ban of the church.

The Pope claims that the church has an innate, legitimate right to the entire earth. Rome takes, holds, and uses property as if she were master. This property, to the extent of $300,000,000 in the U. S., is vested in the bishops. The people who give the money have no control of it. In England, Rome obtained possession, at one time, of one-third of the Kingdom; and it was only through the statute of mortmain deliverance was obtained. In Spain, in Mexico, in Italy, and in other Catholic countries, the civil power had to resort to confiscation, so that the people might have an opportunity to build; hence Church property should be taxed, and then Rome would be compelled to disgorge. The city of Brooklyn is robbed annually of $100,000 taxes on one piece of property captured by Jesuit cruelty and cunning, and yet there is not a church, nor an ecclesiastical edifice on it. The entire separation of church and state is the principle of our government, and to prevent the possibility of any sect, or combination of sects, from imposing, or even attempting to impose, a state church upon the United States, it was enacted March 4th, 1789, in the first amendment to the Constitution, that ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ” and yet public land and money has been given by the Government to the Roman Catholic church amounting to millions of dollars. The block on which the Fifth Avenue Cathedral stands in New York is valued at $4,000,000. Land has been given in many military posts for Roman Catholic chapels, in direct antagonism to the letter and spirit of the Republic.

This is the Rome that entered Washington, so soon as the wilderness began to bud and blossom towards its present life and state. Let us admit the truth. Rome has silently and stealthily coiled her folds about the capital, and few are aware of the peril which threatens the peace and prosperity of the nation. {See Frontispiece} Into Washington Rome came with exceeding care and grace. She has risen to power and dominion through the instigation of Satan and the instrumentality of designing men. Rome seeks political supremacy at the capital and throughout the nation. Is it not high time that every loyal citizen, and friend of religious and civil liberty, should awake to the importance of firmly withstanding the emissary in those places where she seeks control? No man who is a loyal Roman Catholic is properly qualified to be a representative in our national or state legislatures. No man who truckles to Romanism is not to be a representative of a free people.

Let us not forget that the signal of our nationality was the signal of Rome’s irrevocable decree to crush us in our might; and commencing with the honeyed expressions of the tongue and a sardonic smile upon her face, she has received largely and enjoyed long our national confidence and hospitality. We remembered that it was not the least of America’s glory, that her Roman Catholic sons fought and suffered and periled for her liberty; and we did not thus perceive that the Jesuitism, which then and now absolutely controls the church of Rome in the United States, never had anything in common with our institutions, the Declaration of Independence, or our Republican government. There is an eternal hostility between the principles of Washington and the principles of Popery, between the spirit of Romish priests and prelates and that of the fathers of the Republic, who owned allegiance only to God, and required no intercessor but His well-beloved Son . There were no surpliced traitors, no perfidious prelates, in that great convention which formed the eternal code of our liberties, and wrote our everlasting principles; but God-fearing, God-depending, God-trusting men of robust and manly life. It was no vulnerable conceited popinjay but the spirit which had drawn lightning from the skies who arose in that assembly, and to solve doubt, and difficulty, and danger said : ” We seem to be at our wits ends; we need help from above. Let us pray” They knelt the collected wisdom of America before the God who had given them Independence, that He might guide them to a Constitution wise and holy enough to save it. Let not their work be in vain. Put the trumpet to the lip, and sound the alarm : Papal Despotism has Washington in her grasp! The presence of the dragon is here and is felt; his breath is diffusing its poison; his touch has wounded, and already partially withered our schools, the ballot-box and the Bible. Men claiming to be Protestants are bartering the principles of American liberty for priestly influence and papal despotism. To head against it, truth must be told. Then will the clouds of mental and moral darkness be dissipated, and the poor, blinded Papists, in bondage to priestcraft, will come forth into the freedom of Bible and Republican independence.

The female Jesuit in America, as in Europe, is to be dreaded. No one can follow the trail of the Romish serpent without being convinced that Satan did not turn from women after he wrought the ruin of the father of the race through his seductive power over Eve. Through woman he finds a passage-way to the heart of man. No greater peril confronts us than is found in the readiness with which Protestant young men marry Roman Catholic wives. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman beclouded his life, gave up his hold upon the children God might give him, and so was robbed of his boy, and did injustice to his own high aims, when he took to his heart a woman who had first given herself to the priests of Rome. Because of this, he publicly declared he could not accept the nomination for the Presidency. Whatever he may do, or not do, she has been the willing and untiring servant of Rome. By her wiles another brilliant man lost the Presidency, and is today a broken wreck. There were good reasons why God forbade the children of Israel marrying wives from the heathen about them. When this was done, the woman captured the man and carried with her the children. Solomon, with all his wisdom, could not withstand her wiles. Rome understands this power, and places schools, filled with brilliant and captivating ladies, near the military posts, so as to capture the young men. Major-General Schofield was born into a Christian home, and had an honored father, who was a Baptist minister, but a Romish wife has taken him into the embrace of Rome. Let the warning be heeded. Judge Jesuitism by its infamous conduct towards the amiable Clement. Pius the Sixth came next. We cannot describe the plottings and conflicts which disturbed the church prior to his election. His character is made apparent by the utterance : Pius the Fifth is the last Pope canonized by the church, I wish to walk in his footsteps” Pius the Fifth was the instigator of the St. Bartholomew massacre. Pius the Sixth has been described as enterprising and irresolute, interested and prodigal, suspicious and careless, false in heart and knavish in mind. Pius the Sixth had two children by his own sister! {History of the Popes, by Louis Mare De Gormen, p. 398. Ibid., p. 403} His conduct infected Romanism.

It was during his life as Pope, that Leopold of Tuscany, brother of Joseph Second of Austria, determined to clean out Tuscany by resisting the polluting tendencies of the Papacy. In “Why Priests Should Wed ” there is no more terrible picture than is here set forth. Scipio di Ricci, through investigations, brought out revelations which horrified Europe. From the declarations of the nuns, it was shown that in the convents of St. Lucia and St. Catherine at Pistoria, the female Dominicans received the confessors in the chapter and abandoned themselves to the most unbridled excesses of libertinage on the very steps of the altar; other nuns owned that frequently jealousy, or the inconstancy of the monks, led to serious collisions; that they disputed for the provincial, or prior; that they deprived themselves of their money or effects for their confessors; that several Dominicans had five or six mistresses at once, who formed a kind of seraglio; that at each promotion of a provincial in the monastery of the men, the newly chosen went to the convent to choose a favorite, and that the novices, entirely naked, were ranged in two rows for his inspection; that he placed his hand on the head of her who pleased him most and made her his mistress at once” Why are nunneries in Washington better than these pest houses? Has Rome changed ? Scipio di Ricci, under the direction of Leopold, fought these enormities, and Pius the Sixth fought the Reformer and fulminated bull after bull against him. To clean out the impurities of the Papacy condemned the Pope of Rome.

Then it was Voltaire led the philosophers in their attack upon the church. Free thought in Europe led to untrammeled thinking in the New World. Louis the Sixteenth expiated his crimes upon the scaffold. A Republic was proclaimed in France. It was the out growth of the birth of the Republic of the United States. Pius the Sixth fulminates a bull of excommunication against the French nation, designating it by the names of “impious” ” sacriligeous ” and ” abominable,” and calls doAvn upon it the thunders of heaven and earth. The Convention sends the following letter to His Holiness: “The Executive Council of the Republic to the prince bishop of Rome. Pontiff, You will immediately discharge from your dungeons several French citizens who are detained in them. If these demands are ineffectual, you will learn that the Republic is too bold to overlook an outrage, or too powerful to allow it to go unpunished.”

Then came the fight with Napoleon Bonaparte. Pius the Sixth endeavored to appease the storm; but these conflicts, and, above all, his debauchery with the beautiful Duchess de Broschi, his daughter, gave a, fatal blow to his health. His two bastards, Romnald and the Duke de Broschi, hastened to lay hands on the treasures collected in the Vatican. Up rose the people against the Pontiff kings informing him that he was no longer anything in the government.” And my dignity,” exclaimed the Pope, anxiously; “what becomes of it?” “It will be preserved to you,” said General Cervani; “and a provision of two thousand Roman crowns is granted you to maintain your rank.” “And my person, what is to become of it?” “It is safe,” replied Cervani; “and they will even grant you a hundred men for your guard.” ” I am still Pope, then,” said the destroyer of his sister’s virtue, with a strange laugh. Thus he went on, until the resources of life were used up by age, debaucheries, and excesses. A paralysis, which had at first fallen on his limbs, extended to his entrails, and freed the earth, on the 29th of August, 1799, of the last pontiff of the eighteenth century.

Then came Pius the Seventh. The new pope was elected after one hundred and four days of discussion and strife. To Napoleon he was indebted for his election. To Napoleon he became servile and fulsome, and exhausted all forms of adulatory thanks. He it was who left Rome and went to Paris to consecrate the Consul who had changed the Republic into an empire, and took to himself a crown. Pius the Seventh restored the Jesuits to power. He persecuted the good, and helped the bad; and on the 6th of July, 1822, fell in his chamber and broke his hip, and died April 20, 1823.

The Papacy, weak in Europe, was not strong in America. The Jesuits were alive there and here. They were hated there as here they prospered there as here. Into Washington Rome came, not as a novice, but as an adept in the art of ruling. Every thing was new and untried. Help was welcomed, come from whence it might. The Jesuits were wary and discreet. They represented an organization that joined together ancient civilizations. Truly has Macaulay said : “No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon and when camel-leopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of supreme pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the Nineteenth century, to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the Eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable.”

Rome was full of life and vigor. Republics had been throttled in Europe. The attempt was to be made to destroy the one being established in America. There is much about Rome to give it prestige. Age does much. Pretension does more. She assumes apostolical pre-eminence. Few care to prove the falsity of the claims. They tolerate, they endure, and some embrace.


as the sole authorized channel of Divine grace to saints and sinners. She has large endowments and accumulated wealth. She holds her church-edifices, monasteries, convents, educational and charitable establishments, by such a tenure as to be independent of contemporary fear or favor. By the skillful use of the political and social influence connected with its wealth and numbers and centralized organizations, it has facilities for advancing to honor, and otherwise repaying, those who sustain and honor her, and for hindering or preventing the prosperity of those who oppose her.

She has also an element of great strength in her grandeur and showy magnificence. Her grand cathedrals and churches, situated in the most desirable situations; her gorgeous ceremonies, and pompous processions, with all the adjuncts of unrivaled music and artistic splendor, produce their effect. Churches went up. They were beautiful to the eye. Priests walked in humility, not in pride. The war was no sooner over, than Rome built for the colored people the handsomest and most stately structure in Washington. That was smart. None knew it better than the priests of Rome. Pictures of the most costly character were hung on its walls. The altar drapery was of the best. White priests ministered at the altar; but schools were established for the education of black priests and black nuns. They call it St. Augustine. The name is good. The blacks and whites bow down together before false images and alike disobey God, and people call it “religion.”

The Jesuits built St. Aloysius. In Washington all regard Jesuitism with favor. St. Matthew’s is the home of diplomats. The great find there a welcome, and bow down to graven images. England disgraces herself and insults this country by sending a Roman Catholic as Minister to our Government; while she attempts to throttle the serpent seeking her life at home.

St. Patrick, on G and 10th Streets; Holy Trinity, Georgetown; Immaculate Conception, N and 8th Streets; St. Aloysius for the Jesuits, St. Augustine for the exclusive use of colored people; St. Dominic, E and 6th Streets; St. Joseph’s; St. Mathew’s, N and 15th Streets; St. Paul’s, 15th and V; St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill; St. Stephen s, Pennsylvania Ave. and 25th Street; St. Teresa’s Anacosta; Visitation Convent Chapel, Tenallytown; St. Ann’s, attended from Georgetown College. The descendants of Luther and Calvin came to America to have a church without a Pope, where they made a government without a throne. Will they fail?

That question must be answered by this generation. The conduct of the American people today is shaping the destiny of the nation’s future. In the past, Some has asked permission to exist. This request it was American to grant. Today she demands the right to rule. This it will be American to repress.

Continue to chapter 7

Contents of Washington in the Lap of Rome



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