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Maria Monk Controversy


MARIA MONK CONTROVERSY originated in 1836 with the publication of Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery of Montreal, which, although purportedly Maria Monk's autobiography, was actually written by a group of New York clergymen. Its stress on Catholic immorality aroused a storm of controversy that persisted even after several committees investigated the Hotel Dieu Convent and pronounced Maria Monk a fraud. She retained some notoriety until after her death in 1849 in a Five Points brothel. Awful Disclosures, an immediate bestseller, was one of the most influential pieces of nativistic propaganda ever printed in the United States.


Franchot, Jenny. Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Ray AllenBillington/f. b.

See alsoNativism .

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