Father James Clark, S.J. (1809-1885) was the first West Point graduate to join the Jesuits. Born in Pennsylvania, he entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and graduated with the likes of future Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston in the Class of 1829. Future Confederate president Jefferson Davis was a year ahead. (Edgar Alan Poe also had a short stay at the academy during Clark’s time.) After a year of service in Louisiana, Lieutenant Clark resigned his commission (not such an unusual move at the time.) Not long thereafter, he became a Catholic and joined the faculty of St. Mary's College in Baltimore, connected with the seminary. In 1844, he joined the Jesuits and was ordained three years later.
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