Gallitzin. I. Demetrius Augustine, a Russian missionary priest, son of Prince Dimitri Alexe-yevitch Gallitzin and Amalia von Schmettau, born at the Hague, Dec. 22, 1770, died at Lo-retto, Pa., May 6,1840. He and his sister Mari-anna were brought up by their mother, who when they were still very young was allowed by her husband to maintain a separate establishment in order to devote her whole time to their education and to indulge in her taste for metaphysical studies. As both parents professed their unbelief in revelation, their son was at first reared in systematic ignorance of all religion. In 1783 a dangerous illness led the princess to examine the claims of Christianity, and in 1784 she was received into the Roman Catholic church by Dr. Overberg of Munster. In 1787 Demetrius also became a Catholic, and was first moved to be a priest by his intercourse with his young friends Caspar Maximilian and Clement August von Droste-Vischering. While yet a child he had been commissioned by Catharine II. as an officer of the imperial Russian guard, and all pains were taken to prepare him for the military profession.
In 1792 he was sent to the United States both for the purpose of giving him a practical knowledge of free institutions, and with the hope of curing a natural timidity and nervousness amounting to disease. Accompanied by a former tutor in the Droste-Vischering family, Felix Brosius, he arrived in Baltimore Oct. 18, under the assumed name of Schmet or Smith. He was welcomed by Bishop Carroll, to whom he soon declared his. determination to embrace the clerical profession for the benefit of the American mission. While awaiting the decision of his parents, he travelled through the country, visited the most distinguished American society, and applied himself to the careful study of the constitution, laws, manners, and geography of the United States. The opposition of both his parents did not alter his resolution; and after preparatory studies he was admitted a member of the congregation of St. Sulpicius in Baltimore in 1795, and in March, 1796, ordained priest. He exercised his priestly functions at Baltimore and at Conewago, Pa., till 1799, when he was sent at his own request to McGuire's settlement or Clearfield, in Cambria co., Pa. This settlement, then composed of a few Catholic families, was situated five miles from Summit, on the highest crest of the Alle-ghanies, and 200 miles from Philadelphia. On a plot of land given him by Capt. McGuire, an old revolutionary soldier, a substantial church arose, and by its side was built a log cabin for the missionary.
He purchased in the immediate vicinity a large tract of land, destined to become the centre of a Catholic colony; it was divided into small farms and given to settlers at a nominal price. Thither he invited, in his own words, families from Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and different parts of America," and incurred great expense in establishing the most necessary trades. But at the death of his father the Russian court declared him disqualified to inherit the family estates; the remittances generously forwarded by his mother often miscarried, and the legacies she bequeathed to him in 1807 never reached him; while after the marriage of his sister in 1817 the large amounts justly due to him were appropriated by her husband. In spite of incredible difficulties he retained possession of his large property, on which he expended before his death $150,000. To his pecuniary embarrassments were added bitter persecutions from a portion of his flock; but he still labored unweariedly for their temporal and spiritual welfare. He was repeatedly designated for the episcopal office, but declined in order to perfect his cherished work.
In 1802 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States, under the name of Smith; but in 1809 an act of the Pennsylvania legislature authorized him to resume his original name of Gallitzin. In 1803 he bestowed on the hamlet springing up around his church the name of Loretto. Cambria county, which he had found a wilderness in 1799, he left at his death studded with thrifty settlements, one of which has since been named after him. In 1850 his remains were placed in a vault in front of the church, and a monument was erected over them; and in 1873 measures were in progress to replace it with one more suitable. Controversial letters published by him occasionally in the local papers have been several times reprinted in pamphlets entitled "Defence of Catholic Principles,"
"Letter to a Protestant Friend," and Appeal to the Protestant Public." His life has been written in German by his assistant Henry Lemke, and in English by Sarah M. Brown-son (New York, 1873). His mother's life was written by Katercamp.
II. Elizabeth, a cousin of the preceding, born in 1796, died in St. James parish, La., Dec. 8, 1843. After becoming a member of the Roman Catholic church, she joined the society of the Sacred Heart in Rome, and in 1840 came to America to visit the houses of the order. In the same year she founded the first school of the Sacred Heart in Houston street, New York, and afterward a boarding school and novitiate at McSherry-town, Pa., and a house at Pottawattamie village, in the far west.