Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the sisters of charity in the United States, born in New York, Aug. 28, 1774, died at Emmettsburg, Md., Jan. 4, 1821. She was the daughter of Dr. Richard Bayley, and in her 20th year became the wife of William Seton, whom she accompanied to Italy in 1803. After his death in Pisa she returned to New York, and entered the Roman Catholic church March 14, 1805. The ruin of her husband's fortune having left her dependent on her own exertions, she opened a school in Baltimore; but having received $8,000 from the Rev. Samuel Cooper, and being joined by her two sisters-in-law, Harriet and Cecilia Seton, with two other ladies, they assumed the religious habit, Jan. 1, 1809, at Emmettsburg, and opened there a conventual establishment on July 30. In 1812 the sisterhood numbered 20 members, and chose Mother Seton as superior general, which post she occupied till her death. In 1814 they took charge of an orphan asylum in Philadelphia, and in 1817 were incorporated by the legislature of Maryland. In the latter year they took charge of an orphan asylum in New York, and thenceforward their increase kept pace with the spread of the Roman Catholic church in the United States. The community numbered 50 members at the death of the foundress. (See Charity, Sisters of.) - See White's "Life of Eliza A. Seton," for the most part an autobiography (New York, 1853; 5th ed., Baltimore, 1865); and the Right Rev. Robert Seton's "Memoir, Letters, and Journal of Elizabeth Ann Seton" (2 vols., New York, 1869).