Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett


This digital project of The Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett has been brought to you by students of The Catholic University of America enrolled in a Digital Humanities Practicum course in the Spring of 2020. The intent is to make this original historical text available to the public and provide contextual resources that enrich the experience.

The life of Rev. Fr. William J. Howlett is, in a way, just a string of circumstances. At different moments, he shares his experiences of life as a child of immigrants, a nomadic laborer, an international traveler, and missionary priest on the American western frontier. As one contributor, Thomas Lynch, aptly noted, Father Howlett is like the Forrest Gump of the Catholic community of his time. He reports on each of these roles with the same humility and power of observance that carries his memoir. His writer’s voice is delightful and his attention to detail, meticulous. As such, his perspective is valuable to enthusiasts of many topics; those interested in the histories of Catholicism, American western expansion, and even the particulars of nineteenth-century communication and interpersonal relationships will find use in Fr. Howlett’s memoir.

The format of Scalar has allowed us to keep the original text true to itself.  It also enabled us to provide interactive presentations of the information that we gathered from the memoir as well as outside materials from Fr. Howlett's life that we gained access to. We hope that you find this work as fascinating as we did and that our efforts help you to easily engage with the text and learn something new.


How to navigate our project on Scalar:

A Table of Contents allows for easy access to any particular page. 

We have endeavored to keep the text as true to the original as possible, only adding grammatical correction in parentheses.  Every page has a link at the bottom to an image of the original mimeograph text.

This memoir refers to numerous historically significant people and events, some of which may only be noteworthy to those with specialized knowledge.  In the cases of such terms, we have hyperlinked the term to take you to a separate page providing a brief description of its historical significance. Additionally, we have created an alphabetized index of all names and terms in the memoir for convenience. The index page is located at the end of the memoir on the Table of Contents.

There are a few other pages we created to enhance your exploration of this text, including a timeline of Fr. Howlett's life, a page of other works written by Father W. J. Howlett, and a Howlett family tree. All of this information can be located in the Table of Contents.

Thank you for your interest. We hope you enjoy exploring this project as much as we enjoyed making it!

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