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Bapst, John (1815-1887)



  • Existence: 1815 - 1887

Biographical note

John Bapst, Jesuit, missionary, and Boston College president. Bapst, born in Switzerland (1815), attended the Jesuit College of Fribourg, entered the Jesuit order (1835), and was ordained (1846). Bapst was assigned to the missions in Maine, where he ministered to the native Penobscot population and Canadian and Irish immigrants. He was met with scorn and violence at the hands of anti-Catholic persecutors, including being tarred and feathered. In 1859, Bapst became the first rector of Boston College. He was elected the first official president of Boston College (1863), established the foundation of Boston College, and oversaw the opening of its doors (1864). Bapst served as president until his retirement (1869). He died in November of 1887.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Boston College collection of John Bapst, SJ


This collection documents the first president of Boston College, John Bapst, SJ, from his time as a missionary in Maine in the mid-1800s through the early history of Boston College. It is composed of correspondence, ephemera, publications, and other typescripts. The missionary materials also document the establishment of Catholic churches in Maine, the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing movement, and Jesuit work with the Penobscot Nation.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1851 - 1982; Majority of material found within 1851 - 1887

Boston College artifacts collection


This collection documents the history of the American Jesuit university Boston College in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries through its material culture. The collection includes banners, flags, football memorabilia, groundbreaking shovels, medals, pins, plaques, seals, and signs from Boston College administrators, faculty, and, to a lesser degree, students.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1847 - 2018