Yup, you could say we here at Hesch History Headquarters are absolutely delighted by our ability to follow a story all OVER the internet. From an obscure article reprint, two middle-aged OCD historians have brought a whole family back to life. Even worse, Larry and I just KNOW you're as interested as we are!
These days, leaving the priesthood is probably pretty complicated, but in 1858, I assume you could pretty much write your own script, especially if you were as much of a "loose canon" (sorry! ☺) as Francis was).
(Canon: a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral, esp. one who is a member of the chapter. The position is frequently conferred as an honorary one. [I suspect it was also used when "Father" was uncertain. We really don't know if de Vivaldi was part of an order. In any event, Canon de Vivaldi sounds classier].)
And, if you were already on a less-than-spiritual path, just taking the collar off would do it, while putting it back on would reinstate you later. Anyway, true love with an heiress was sweet for Francis, who bought even more land in Wisconsin in his own name, not for Piopolis.
These are only some of the land records we found on Ancestry since he also registered purchases as Chas. F. de Vivaldi and as Signor de Vivaldi, tho that was more in Kansas and Missouri.
OK, it probably wasn't too comfortable being an ex-priest married to the most eligible widow in town, so they moved. We find them next in Manhattan, Kansas, of all places, where Charles de Vivaldi starts the first newspaper in town in 1859. Yay, Charles!
He and his family show up in the 1860 census in Riley Co, Kansas, town of Manhattan. By November of 1862, however, a two + column editorial was posted under these 8 inches of snotty highlights about de Vivaldi, and how angry this citizen was about being fleeced by him. He'd been begging for money from friends and investors, saying he was destitute. They raised money to keep the paper going, and watched Vivaldi loose that too. Evidently, it was always due to circumstances beyond his control.
In an effort to leave Kansas with dignity, after "single handedly" raising thousands of votes for Abraham Lincoln's platform, Charles F de Vivaldi wanted the President to appoint him ambassador to Genoa, Italy. It would have been a triumphant homecoming, for sure, but that position was taken. Remember, the Civil War was raging at this time, and still de Vivaldi went to Washington 2 or 3 times to lobby for a consular position. Perhaps in an effort to get rid of him, he was awarded the position of consul to Santos, Brazil, for a term ending in 1867.
He, Mary and Corinne moved to Rio de Jainero, Brazil, along with Mary's brother, who was appointed vice-consul.
We assume Chuck only wanted the position in Italy, and Rio wasn't even a consolation prize. It wasn't long before he was planning another re-invention of himself.
He decided somehow that he truly wanted to be a missionary after all. He left his wife and daughter (no divorce) and landed in a monastery in Patagonia, which is the southern tip of the South American continent. He stayed there, incredibly, for 25 years, from about 1868 to when he re-surfaced as a priest/missionary in 1892. And even MORE incredible, Larry found this photo for sale on Canadian ebay:
Ok, only ONE MORE post about this, but someday someone will be really EXCITED to find the history of their family here...honest!