During both the American Revolution and his presidency, Washington frequently corresponded with John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States. His important statements regarding Catholicism and freedom of religion set precedents for the future of a new nation.

Discussing Freedom of Religion with Bishop John Carroll

Statue of John Carroll in front of Healy Hall on the campus of Georgetown University (Wikimedia)"It is your peculiar talent, in war and in peace, to afford security to those, who commit their protection into your hands... By example as well as by vigilance, you extend the influence of laws on the manners of our fellow citizens you encourage respect for religion, and inculcate, by words and actions, that principle, on which the welfare of nations so much depends, that a superintending Providence governs the events of the world, and watches over the conduct of men."

- Roman Catholics in America to George Washington, March 15, 1790

"... All those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the Community are equally entitled to the protection of civil Government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality."

- George Washington to Roman Catholics in America, March 1790

Attending St. Mary's Catholic Church

George Washington socialized with prominent Catholics both at Mount Vernon and during his presidency, attended a Catholic church service while he was in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress, and donated money toward the construction of a Catholic church in Baltimore.

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