De Mattos Family Papers, 1852-1929, 2001-2006

2.52 linear feet (6 manuscript boxes)

Portuguese Christian, Antonio, from Madeira Island, settled in Jacksonville, IL with wife Isabella, and organized the Portuguese Presbyterian Church there in 1849. He continued as pastor there until 1869. Antonio had been banished from his father’s home in Madeira and gone to Scotland where he studied, was licensed and ordained under the Free Church of Scotland, then to Illinois. Isabella was the daughter of James Paterson, who emigrated from Scotland to
St. John, New Brunswick. James had an L.L.D. from the University of Glasgow and was the principal of the grammar school in St. John and involved with the New Brunswick Auxiliary Bible Society. Another daughter, Eliza, never married, taught at the grammar school and died in 1890. A third daughter was married to Robert Sheraton, a merchant, and had at least two children, James Paterson and Anna.

Isabella and Antonio had three sons, one of whom died at the age of eight, in 1865. Isabella died in St. John, in 1867 at the age of 46. In 1877, Antonio returned to Madeira, a prominently Catholic area, to preach Christianity and was arrested. He died that same year in Portugal, possible in Lisbon.

Their eldest son, James, born in 1854, was the first Portuguese student at Illinois College the winter of 1866-1867. He left Jacksonville shortly after this and lived with his mother’s family in St. John for a brief time and then attended Columbian College Law School in Washington D.C. where he received his L.L.D. in 1872. He worked as a clerk for the Department of Treasury from 1873-1875. He was an active member of the Y.M.C.A. while living in Washington D.C. In 1875, he moved to Colorado and practiced law in Leadville, Colorado with a partner, Elisha Brearly. At the age of 28, he moved to the state of Washington where he eventually became the first Mayor of Whatcom, which later became New Whatcom and then Bellingham, Washington. He was mayor for seven different terms, not all sequentially, and was also a circuit judge. He started an abstracting business which he owned from 1884-1909. He was responsible for the building of a large brick building in Bellingham about which he had some legal difficulties. At some point, he left the Presbyterian Church to become a Baptist, but lost his membership with that church and unable to regain it. James never married and died of a stroke in 1929.

Their second son, Frederic Sandeman, was born in 1860. He attended the University of Glasgow from 1876-1878, but left and studied in Paris for awhile. He was not officially ordained from a divinity school, but instead “read privately” with an ordained minister and received his ordination that way. From 1883-1886, he worked as a minister in Ravenswood and Chicago, Illinois, Schuyler, Nebraska, and Leavenworth, Kansas. While in Kansas, he gained some notoriety for performing requiem masses. He was rector of St. James Episcopal Church of Baton Rouge from 1886-1889. While there he met and married Lessie Tracy, the daughter of John and Lavinia Tracy, in 1888. From 1890 through 1892, he worked at various churches in Texas, South Dakota, and Colorado, but none for any length of time. After this, he resigned the priesthood of the Episcopal Church and was quoted in one newspaper as saying he hoped to enter the Catholic Church. He and Lessie lived in Canada for a number of years where he served as pastor in churches in Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba. They returned to the United States in 1919 and he became Rector of the Church of Annunciation, Oradell, New Jersey for one year before going to St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco in 1921. He remained there until he died in 1924. He and Lessie had one child, Dunbar, who was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the time of his father’s death. Dunbar eventually married Phyllis Atherton Drew.

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, church histories and reports, legal papers and research papers documenting the family history including the Portuguese exile. It is divided into two different files. The first file, Family Papers, (Box 1-2) includes letters discussing family and church life in Jacksonville and in St. John, the death of their son, the death of Isabella, the death of Eliza, James Paterson, Scottish relatives and his parent’s estate in Scotland and family requests. Personal and business correspondence of James during his years as a student and through the time of his life in Bellingham. Speeches made during his political career. Correspondence regarding the career of F. Sandeman. News clippings about religious persecution in Madeira and Antonio’s return there and the lives and careers of both his sons. Ephemera of F. Sandman’s career include church cards, schedules of services from various Parishes. There are typed and handwritten church minutes, parochial reports and other documents from various churches. Court transcripts of the J.P. de Mattos building litigation. File 2, Research Papers, (Boxes 3-6) contain materials used for research for the book Protestant Portuguese Exiles in Antebellum Illinois: Antonio de Mattos, the Community and the Second Generation including court records, different manuscripts/articles about Maderians and their exile, letters and the history of Dr. Kalley and several church records. Some of these articles are written in Portuguese. Materials in this file date from the mid-nineteenth century forward.

Access: Open for Research
Acc. No. 2000-14
Processed by: Cheryl Schnirring, August 2000, Connie Butts, 2000, and Debbie Hamm, 2006


DeMattos Family Container List

Box 1

Box 2

Folder

Contents

Research Papers File:
Materials Arranged by Topic-Maderian Exiles

Box 3

Folder

Contents

Box 4

Folder

Contents

Box 5

Folder

Contents

Box 6

Folder

Contents

back to Travel to Collections


Return to the Homepage

Comments are closed