James Curley Photo

James Curley

Born: Oct 26, 1796

Death: Jul 24, 1889

Birthplace: County Roscommon

Nationality: United States

James Curley

Date of Birth : Oct 26, 1796
Date of Death : Jul 24, 1889
Birth Place : County Roscommon

James Curley was an Irish-American astronomer. He was born at Athleague, County Roscommon, Ireland. His early education was limited, though his talent for mathematics was discovered, and to some extent developed, by a teacher in his native town. He left Ireland in his youth, arriving in Philadelphia on 10 October 1817. Here he worked for two years as a bookkeeper and then taught mathematics at Frederick, Maryland. In 1826 he became a student at the old seminary in Washington, DC, intending to prepare himself for the Catholic priesthood, and at the same time taught one of its classes. The seminary, however, which had been established in 1820, was closed in the following year and he joined the Society of Jesus on 29 September 1827. After completing his novitiate he again taught in Frederick and was sent in 1831 to teach natural philosophy at Georgetown University. He also studied theology and was ordained priest on 1 June 1833. His first Mass was said at the Visitation Convent, Georgetown, where he afterwards acted as chaplain for fifty years. He spent the remainder of his life at Georgetown, where he taught natural philosophy and mathematics for forty-eight years.

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