4. 7 State Street Was A Way-Station for Irish Immigrant Girls

7 State Street originally belonged to James Watson, the first Speaker of the New York State Assembly and a prosperous importer and exporter. After the Civil War, the Irish Author Charlotte Grace O’Brien bought the house with the intention of using it as a way-station to house young Irish immigrant girls.  It was known as the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary, and surviving ledgers of the church list more than 60,000 young women sheltered in the mission. She helped the young women find employment, placing many of them in homes as domestics.

The Archdiocese acquired the building as well as the adjacent building, 8 State Street, which had been the residence of Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1801-1803), Founder of Sisters of Charity and the first native-born American to be canonized. Today, 7 State Street is used as a rectory and 8 State Street is the Seton Shrine and Church of our Lady of the Rosary. The Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is open for Mass and offers a Historic Church Walking Tour.