Skip to main content
Please contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for assistance with accessing these materials.

William DuBourg Papers

Identifier: GTM-820101
The Rev. William DuBourg Papers consist of correspondence and original documents concerning the life and career of the noted Roman Catholic priest Rev. William DuBourg (1766-1833), who served as the third president of Georgetown College and later as Bishop of Louisiana. Correspondents include Baltimore merchants James Rice and David Williamson. Most of the items date to Fr. DuBourg's tenure as president of Georgetown College, where he established a college library, among other achievements. Several documents in this collection list books ordered by Fr. DuBourg for Georgetown College. Often, the price of the books is included. Moreover, a few documents list other goods requested by Fr. Dubourg, such as cloth, leather, writing paper, and ink.

The Rev. William DuBourg Papers are preserved in 22 folders in one archival box (0.25 linear feet). The documents date between 1796 and 1833.


  • 1796 - 1833

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Biographical Sketch

Rev. William DuBourg (1766-1833) was a noted Roman Catholic priest who served as the third presidnent of Georgetown College and later as Bishop of New Orleans. Although he was born in Saint-Dominique, William was sent to live with his grandparents in France. He studied in Paris and Bordeaux.

DuBourg was ordained in 1790 in Paris. Soon, he fled the excesses of the French Revolution, journeying first to Spain and then to Baltimore in the United States. In America, he joined the Society of St. Sulpice. DuBourg was appointed the third president of Georgetown College by Bishop John Carroll. DuBourg created the first library at Georgetown College. DuBourg then established St. Mary's College and Seminary in Baltimore in 1799, and he encouraged Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in her work.

In time, DuBourg served the church in other positions. John Carroll named him apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas. He next became Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana, and he built a Cathedral in St. Louis. He also promoted evangelization to the Native Americans in the midwest and west. In 1826, he resigned as Bishop of Louisiana, and he returned to France, where King Charles X named him Bishop of Montauban.

Rev. William DuBourg died on December 12, 1833.

[Source: "Encyclopedia of American Catholic History" (Collegeville, MN, 1997), p. 462.
William DuBourg Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Booth Family Center for Special Collections Georgetown University Library

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository