Jerry McAuley

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Jerry McAuley

Jerry McAuley (1839, Ireland – 18 September 1884), along with his wife, Maria, was the founder of the McAuley Water Street Mission in New York City. A self-described "rogue and street thief" who spent seven years in Sing Sing prison during the 1860s, McAuley's mission became America's first Rescue Mission and is now known as the New York City Rescue Mission.


In January 1857, aged 19, he was accused of highway robbery, convicted, and sent to Sing-Sing. While there, McAuley heard a man by the name of Orville Gardner testify of his conversion. On March 8, 1864, aged 26, McAuley was pardoned and set free. He set out to associate with Christians.

Rescue Mission[edit]

Soon after this, McAuley met Alfrederick Hatch, a businessman. Hatch became McAuley's confidant. In October 1872 McAuley took possession of the Water Street house. The money he had raised was used to repair the building and soon after, the mission at 316 Water Street named "Helping Hand for Men" was open.

Years of service[edit]

In 1882, after twelve years, McAuley left Water Street to start the Cremorne Mission near Times Square. Two years later, on a fall afternoon in September 1884, he died from tuberculosis contracted while in Sing Sing.


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