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^ THI ^ 



The Author and Two of His Ministerial Sons 

HISTORY of the 




GEORGE F. BRAGG, D. D., (Wilb.- Univ.) 


Author of "First Xe^ro Priest on Southern Soil," 

"Men of Maryland/' etc., and Historiographer of 

the Conference of Church Workers 


1425 McCuLLOH Street 

Baltimore, Maryland 


/3 73 

Copyright applied for 1922 by 
George Freeman Bragg, Jr. 



The author's beloved mother, in Paradise, his wife and 

daughters, and all of the noble men and women, black 

and white, living and departed, who in anywise 

have aided him in his contention for a "Square 

Deal" toward the Negro People 

in the Church 


Author's Preface --- 23 

The Introduction 27 

Right Rev. T. DiiBose Bratton, D. D., LL. 
D., Bishop of Mississippi. 

I. Afro-American Church Work - 29 

Early Baptisms of African children mixed 
character of the white population; free 
Negroes, slaves and "the Great House;" 
special ministrations. 

II. Early Educational and Religious 
Effort 33 

In Goose Creek Parish, S. C, in 1695; 
school established in Charleston in 1743; 
schools in Maryland in 17 50 and 17 61; Dr. 
Johns in 1819 prepares a special work for 
the instruction of the blacks; early re- 
cords of the Maryland Convention; Bishop 
Elliott of Georgia in 1841 and 1847 on the 
care of the blacks; the institution of the 
"slave gallery;" an old Virginia document 
of 1801 witnessing the remarkable apti- 
tude of the blacks. 

III. Organized Work in the North - 42 

Racial organizations consistent with the 
Catholicity of the Church; exceptional and 
remarkable characters, Phylis Wheatley 
and Benjamin Banneker. Early emanci- 
pations; free Negroes attending white 
Methodist Church in Philadelphia, turn to 

10 The Afro-American Group 

the Church; Richard Allen's account of 
"the disturbance" and the result. 

IV. The Free African Society - - 53 

Its origin and benevolent work; especially- 
assisted by Episcopalians and Quakers; 
united by correspondence with similar so- 
cieties in Boston, Newport and elsewhere; 
cared for the sick as well as constituting 
a moral reform agency among the black 
group; eventuates in "the African Church," 
and, subsequently, this African Church be- 
comes the first Episcopal Church in this 
country of persons of African descent. 

V. St. Thomas African Church, Phila. 59 

A group of African Methodists become 
Churchmen, and bring with them their 
own edifice; first example of "collective 
bargaining," on the part of the African 
race; the "conditions" put forth by them 
accepted; fully received with all the rights 
of other Episcopal congregations; Absalom 
Jones licensed as a Lay Reader; by the 
dispensing vote of Convention, ordained to 
the ministry; parish school in 1804; a rec- 
tory secured; its second rector a white 
South Carolinian; William Douglass of 
Maryland, its second Negro rector; Doug- 
lass our first Church historian; S. Thomas 
renders distinguished services. 

VI. St. Philips African Church, N. Y. 81 

The first congregation of trained Church- 
men of African descent; established under 
the nurturing care of Trinity Church; Pe- 
ter Williams chief founder; only four rec- 
tors during a period of more than one hun- 
dred years; all of them persons of African 
descent; the present rector. Rev. Dr. 
Bishop, has been in charge for more than 
thirty-five years, the longest period of ser- 
vice, as rector of one parish, of any col- 
ored priest. 

OF THE Episcopal Church II 

VII. St. James First African Churcei, 

Baltimore ------ 90 

The first Negro priest on Southern soil; 
first service held in Baltimore June 22. 
1824; problem of bringing together free 
Negroes and slaves; Rev. Joshua Peterkin 
a Southern white man second rector; the 
first ordination in St. James Church; or- 
dination of other colored men; a day school 
long before the Civil War; institution of a 
Benevolent Society; many missonaries go 
out from the parsh; a heroic witness on 
slave territory. 

\^III. Christ Church, Provtdexce, R. I. 102 

The first effort of Alexander Crummell; ad^ 
mitted a regular parish in union with the 
Convention of Rhode Island in 1843; the. 
first colored parish from which lay depu- 
ties were admitted in any diocesan Con- 
vention; its rector visits England and is 
received by the Archbishops of Canterbury 
and York; Rev. Mr. Stokes, its rector, be- 
comes a missionary to Africa: parish pass- 
es out of existence. 

IX. St. Lukes Church, New Havex 106 

Established by Rev. Eli W. Stokes in June 
1844; admitted into union with the Con- 
vention of Connecticut; a record of good 
work in this college city; Rt. Rev. Dr. Holly 
late Bishop of Haiti, a former pastor; a 
number of its communicants enter the min- 

X. The Church of the Crucifixion, 

Philadelphia Ill 

Established by a white layman in 1847; a 
parish with a white vestry; a long strug- 
gle for admission into union with the Con- 
vention; Bishop Alonzo Potter's .great 
speech from "the throne" on its behalf; 

12 The Afro-American Group 

parish strongly endowed during the long 
and prosperous rectorship of Rev. Dr. H. 
L. Philips. Abundant in all good works. 

XI. St. Matthews Church, Detroit 117 

Organized by a former colored Baptist min_ 
ister who had come into the Church, "Par- 
son Monroe;" interrupted through the con- 
troversy of the Fugitive Slave act; the late 
Bishop Holly received from the Roman 
communion in this Church and ordained to 
the diaconate; parish disolved, later re- 
stored; sustained a vigorous growth in 
later years; a number of eminent ministers 
from this parish. 

XII. Ct. Philips Church, Newark, N. J. 121 

Established about the year 185 6; the first 
colored congregation in the State of New 
Jersey; during the second decade after 
Civil War, Fathers Massiah and Harper 
wrought most acceptably: a great work 
was wrought under Father Hobbie, a white 
Marylander ; through the faithful prepa- 
ratory work of Father Hobbie colored 
priests have ever followed in the rector- 
ship of the parish. 

XIII. St. Philips Church, Buffalo, N. Y. 123 

Established about the close of the Civil 
War by Bishop Coxe who manifested the 
warmest personal interest in the work; 
greatly built up under the present rector. 

XIV. Ix THE General CoNVEXTiox OF 1868 125 

The Freedman's Commission and its work 
discouraging reports from Georgia and 
South Carolina; loss of large numbers of 
colored communicants in such dioceses; 
resolutions of General Convention looking 
to a recovery of our lapsed colored com- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 13 

XV. Ix THE General Convention of 1871 129 

Comment of Bishop Atkinson; the Domestic 
and Foreign Missionary Society of the 
Churcn reports on the work of the Freed- 
man's Commission; resolutions with re- 
spect to the work; report upon the African 

XVI. The Mission Schools - - - 132 

An important work carried on at Peters, 
burg, Va.; St. Stephens Church the out- 
come; two pupils of the school sent to Lin- 
coln University, in preparation for Holy 
Orders; St. Stephens Normal School suc- 
cessor to the Freedman's School; colored 
teachers for the public schools of Virginia; 
a remarkable work of one woman. Mrs. 
Ruford, in the county of Brunswick. 

XVII. After the Civil War - - - 136 

Some conditions previous to the war; John 
K. Green of New Berne, N. C, had a pew 
^ in a white church; beginnings in Kentucky 
under Bishop B. B. Smith; from the Epis- 
copal addresses of a number of Southern 
Bishops with respect to the situation and 
their attitude. 

XVIII. Fighting Against Ignorance - 142 

Labors of Daniel Alexander Payne, John 
M. Brown, and others against ignorance 
within the African Church; extracts from 
the writings of African Methodists indi- 
cating the utter ignorance of the masses 
and their opposition towards education. 

XIX. The Vexing Situation - - - 150 

Growth after long and patient waiting; a 
new problem arises; the ecclessiastical re- 
lations of the black man; the "Sewanee 
Conference" considers the subject; their 
findings not acceptable to colored Church- 

14 The Afro-American Group 

men; the policy of restriction and friction; 
the Negro question in diocesan assemblies; 
Negro priests memorialize General Conven- 
tion; the Suffragan and Missionary Epis- 
copate; the undecided question of "status:" 
the action of the General Convention of 

XX. Conference of Church Workers 

Among Colored People - - - 161 

Origin of the Conference; the Cliurch Com- 
mission for work among the race; the 
Church Advocate; King Hall, Archdeacons 
and other agencies; memorializing Gen- 
eral Convention; educating the Negro cler- 
gy in ecclessiastical proceedure; introduc- 
ing our workers one to another; interpret- 
ing the Episcopal Church to the race, and 
interpreting the powers of the race to the 

XXL Some Veteran Friends - - - 169 

Bishops Atkinson, Lyman, Johns, Whittle, 
Smith, Quintard, Whittingham, Howe, Ste- 
vens, Young, Dudley, Mr. Joseph Bryan, 
General Samuel C. Armstrong, Mrs. Loom- 
is L. White and others. 

XXII. Some Self-Made Strong Chaarc- 

TERS, AND Others . . - - - - 172 

James E. Thompson, Cassius M. C. Mason, 
James Solomon Russell, James Nelson Dea- 
ver, Henry Mason Joseph, Henry Stephen 
McDuffy, Primus Priss Alston, Paulus 
Moort, Henry L. Phillips, August E. Jen- 
sen, Joshua Bowden Massiah, William Vic- 
tor Tunnell and John W. Perry; Deacon, 
ness Betchler, Miss Alice Roosevelt, daugh_ 
ter of President Roosevelt, a worker within 
our group. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 


XXIII. The Clergy List Prior to 1866 


Absalom Jones, Peter Williams, William 
Levington, James C. Ward, Jacob Oson, 
Gustavus V. Caesar, Edward Jones, Wil- 
liam Douglass, Isaiah G. DeGrasse, Alex- 
ander Crummell, Eli Worthington Stokes, 
William C. Munroe, Samuel Vreeland Ber- 
ry, Harrison Holmes Webb. James Theo- 
dore Holly, William Johnson Alston, John 

XXIV. Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, 

D. D., D. C. L. ----- 201 

Birth and Baptism in Charleston S. C; 
carried to Africa when six years of age; 
educated in the mission schools; ordained 
to the ministry by Bishop Payne; conse- 
crated a Bshop in New York in 1885; his 
successful work in the Episcopate. 

XXV. Bishop John Pavxe and Others 208 

XXVI. Rt. Rev. Edward Thomas Demby, 
D. D. ------ - 


Elected Bishop Suffragan in Arkansas for 
colored work; born in Delaware, raised in 
Philadelphia; wrought in the South; first 
colored priest consecrated in this country 
a Suffragan Bishop. 

XXVII. Rt. Rev. Henry B. Delany, D. D. 213 

Elected and consecrated Bishop Suffragan 
of North Carolina for colored work; born 
in Georgia; raised in Florida; educated at 
St. Augustines, Raleigh; Vice-President 
and Busness Manager of the school; a 
member of the Church Commission for 
Colored Work; Archdeacon of colored work 
in North Carolina. 

16 The Afro-American Group 

XV^II. Rt. Rev. T. Momolu Gardiner, D. D. 214 

Elected Bishop Suffragan of Liberia, by 
the House of Bishops; rescued from heath- 
endom; educated in the mission schools; 
confirmed and admitted to the ministry by 
Bishop Ferguson; consecrated in New 
York, June, 19 21. 

XXIX. Our Numerical Strength - - 215 

Number of communicants, and clergy by 
dioceses; by provinces; a general summary 
of the same. 

XXX. Our Church Schools and Other 

Institutions _ _ _ _ _ 219 

The Bishop Payne Divinity. Petersburg; 
St. Paul Normal and Industrial, Lawrence, 
ville; St. Augustine, Raleigh: Fort Valley 
High and Industrial, Fort Valley, Ga.; 
St. Athanasius, Brunswick. Ga.; St. Marks 
for Girls, Birmingham; Vicksburg Indus- 
trial, Vicksburg. Miss.; Okolona Normal 
and Industrial. Okolona. Miss.; Gaudet 
Normal and Industrial, New Orleans, La.; 
St. Marys School for Girls. Germantown, 
Pa.; the American Church Institute, St. 
Monicas Home, Boston, Mass.; the Home 
for the Homeless, Philadelphia; the House 
of the Holy Child, Philadelphia; House of 
St. Michael and All Angels, for crippled 
children; St. Marys Home for Boys, Bal- 
timore; St. Katharines Home for Little 
Girls, Baltimore; the Maryland Home for 
Friendless Colored Children, Ellicott City, 
Md.; the Crummell Home for the Aged, 
Washington, D. C; St. Agnes Hospital, 
Raleigh, N. C; Good Samaritan Hospital, 
Charlotte. N. C. 

XXXI. The Work in the Provinces - 226 

New England; New York and New Jersey; 
Washington; Sewanee; the Mid-West; the 
Northwest; the Southwest; the Pacific. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 17 

XXXII. The Matter of Self Support - 244 

XXXIII. The Fruit of the System - - 251 

XXXIV. Some Black Men of Mark - - 258 

XXXV. Character the Great Thing, 

Crummell 262 

XXXVI. Ordinations From 1866 - - - 267 

XXXVII. Clerical Directory - ... 285 

XXXVIII. A Closing Word - - - . . 29.^ 


1. Bishop Paret axd the African Methodists 298 

2. "My Last Work, etc." 304 

3. Philips Brooks 307 

4. Address to Southern Bishops - - - 310 

5. St. Louis Convention 314 

6. Fixing the Point of Contact - - - 318 

7. The Right Thing to Do 319 


1. Frontispiece - The Author and two of his 

Ministerial Sons 

2. Bishop White, Absalom Jones and Richard 

Allen page 26 

3. The Baltimore Conference (1917) of Church 

Workers page 160 

4. The Conference of Church Workers at the 

Consecration of Bishop Delany - page 168 

5. Bishops Holly, Demby and Del.\ny - page 194 

6. Deaconness Bechtler . - . page 180 

7. Bishops John Payne, Ferguson and Gar- 

diner page 204 


The Author feels that the difficulties and hard condi- 
tions under which the present volume is brought to birth 
should be known. Our ministry has been of a laborious and 
exacting character. Believing thoroughly in self-support we 
have been thrown completely upon the love of our people, 
who, although both loving and loyal, by reason of their pov- 
erty have not been able to vouchsafe a support with sufficient 
margin to cover such outside ministries, to our group, as the 
times seem to require. What we have been enabled to do 
for others, both in the community and elsewhere, required 
the greatest economy, self-sacrifice and incessant labor. We 
are happy because of the service we have been privileged to 
render under such circumstances. With this in mind, we 
humbly beg our friends to be merciful as they note the 
shortcomings of our story. However, we feel that with all 
the imperfections of the work, a distinct contribution has 
been made in the field of Church literature. 

We desire in this public manner to express our grateful 
thanks and appreciation to the Bishop of Mississippi, the Rt. 
Rev. Dr. Bratton, for his loving co-operation and help in 
connection with this work. 

We not only sincerely thank Mr. Edward P. Morris, a 
communicant of our parish, and a Virginia young man, for 
the conspicuous part taken by him in connection with this 
volume, but we feel particularly honored in being able to 

24 The Afro-American Group 

have one of our own group, presented by us for Confirmation, 
linotype the matter of the book, and also prepare the forms 
for the press ; and all this at a considerable saving to us. 

And in the same connection, we must express our appre- 
ciation and thanks for the helpfulness of Mr. William H. 
Knox, printer, also a communicant of St. James, Baltimore, 
and a graduate of St. Paul School, Lawrenceville, where he 
learnt his trade. 

The frontispiece is a picture of the author, the Rev. C. 
R. Dawson, Cumberland, Md., and Rev. Gustave H. Cau- 
tion, assistant to us, by the appointment of his Bishop. In 
their infancy each of them laid in the author's arms, when 
they received their Christian names. On June 3, 1922 the 
author presented them both for ordination — Mr. Caution to 
the diaconate, and Mr. Dawson to the priesthood. 











The Rt. Rev. Theodore DuBose Bratton, D. D. LL. D. 
Bishop of Mississippi 

THE AUTHOR of this valuable book, whose introduction 
I have been accorded the honor to write, is the His- 
toriographer of the Afro-American Episcopal Church. 
For many years he has been the repositorv of the records of 
his people, and to him have gone those seeking authentic in- 
formation. As editor and essayist during thirty years past, his 
own publications of current history have become sources, in 
large measure, of this labor of love for his people and his 
Church. The book is written out of the fullness of mature 
years and vast experience. To singular facility for gathering 
exact facts have been added Dr. Bragg's love of his Church 
and of his people, and the enthusiasm of the historian who 
loves facts but loves still more the life which lived them. The 
book is the story of the Church of the Incarnation in Ameri- 
can Negro Life, and of its fruits, an entransingly interesting 
story to every Churchman who loves to watch what the 
Lord God is doing among the sons' of men. 

With the conclusions and deductions there may not be 
unanimity among readers ; for all alike the story will be illu- 
minating and fascinating as the faithful record of growth 
and progress which is God's doing and marvellous in our 

To the student of history reverence for the past is found- 
ed upon the assurance of God's hand busy in shaping ends, 
and the proof of it in the sure progress of nations and races 

28 -The Afro-American Group 

which have put their trust in Him. Each past is the founda- 
tion of its future, and, however faulty, may be trusted be- 
cause God is able to bind the broken. 

The author has not hesitated to count the rents in the 
foundations of the Zion whose towers he tells, while rev- 
erently grateful for the beauties which distinguished her 
turrets and joyfully confident of the stability and security 
of God's holy city, as opening her gates more and more wide- 
ly she welcomes the races of men. 

Through the wide open gates the Negro has entered and 
has become a builder together with God. The task of the 
standard-bearers is very great, very sacred and encompassed 
with difficulties; but it is supremely the task of the Negro, 
for w^hich God's grace is sufficient — the ability to plan and 
to execute, to organize and to administer the affairs of 
Church has been demonstrated. The task of the leaders is 
to lift up, to edify, to encourage and to regenerate by God's 
grace, the great mass of their backward people; but it is su- 
premely their task. What is needed from white friends and 
co-members of the Church is the ability to recognize the 
transforming, regenerating power of grace working in the 
great Negro race, and the ready sympathy to help on the up- 
building, by honoring the strong, balanced, spiritual charac- 
ters raised up by God to be the leaders and examples of their 
people. It is thus that peoples grow in grace as they grow 
in age. 

It is for this that Dr. Bragg's book, in every chapter, is 
an unconscious appeal. 

God bless the book and its message to the Church, to the 
faithful of both races in the bonds of Jesus Christ our Lord 
and Saviour. 

Theodore DuBose Bratton 
July, 1922. 



When the Church of England came to America, it sought 
to embrace all of the people, without respect to race. Despite 
the difficulties and unfavorable conditions the very early 
records of parish churches disclose the fact that babes of Afri- 
can descent were brought to Holy Baptism and incorporated 
into the Church of Christ. The children of the slaves or 
servant class, were diligently instructed in the Church Cate- 
chism, and, at the proper time, brought to the Bishop for 
Confirmation. That is. after the Church in this country had 
received the Episcopate. But, it must be remembered that 
the Episcopate was not obtained until the year 1787. The 
English Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts manifested a special interest in providing for the reli- 
gious instruction of the slave population in the American 
colonies. The white population in these colonies were not 
all of the same class or quality. Nor were the more numer- 
ous elements especially friendly to the Church of England 
and her method of presentation of the Gospel. Under such 
circumstances it was not at all strange that there was wide- 
spread indifference with respect to the religious training of 
the slave population. And, then, at the first, there was a 
general feeling that Baptism operated in converting the slave 
into a free man. Until the consciences of many were satis- 
fied that Baptism did not destroy the relation of master and 
slave, but little progress was made in the conversion of the 

30 The Afro-American Group 

slaves to Christianity. All along there were those whose 
tender consciences suffered no change in this matter, and 
gradually, many manumissions ensued. By degrees, owing 
largely to this conviction, there came into being an ever in- 
creasing class of "free Negroes." A number of very sincere 
white Christians in their last will and testament set free 
forever their slaves. Then, in the North, following the 
Revolutionary War, there was a general, or gradual, eman- 
cipation of slaves. It is from this period that formal organi- 
zations among the colored people date. From then on to 
the Civil War, the record of organized Church life among 
the people of African descent is confined almost exclusively 
to the Northern States, where the largest number of "free 
Negroes" resided. In the South the religious instruction of 
the colored people was carried on under varying forms. 
Usually the black people of a particular plantation who 
attended any religious instruction gave in their adhesion to 
the same religious faith of their masters. In a number of 
the white churches there was always "the Negro gallery" 
for the slaves. In some places where the slaves were exceed- 
ingly numerous special chapels were erected for them in 
which they were diligently gathered and instructed. Uni- 
formly white ministers were placed over these chapels. But, 
simultaneously with these special chapels, and "the Negro 
gallery" in white churches, there came into being an "invis- 
ible" institution among the slaves, which, to them, was the 
real thing, despite their formal attendance upon the min- 
istrations of white ministers. This institution was the native 
Negro Church, the great conservator of religious fervor and 
zeal among the black people of the South. This institution 
produced the famous "ante-bellum" Negro preacher, the 
celebrated spiritual songs of the slaves, as well as those beau- 
tiful characters known in the old Southern dialect as "the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 31 

uncles" and "the mammies." However, altogether, "the 
Great House" possibly, was the chief civilizer and Christian- 
izer of the black man. But in this connection it must be 
borne in mind that the blacks reached by "the Great House" 
were but a fractional part of the great masses. As a rule, 
the occupants of the mansion house were people of much re- 
finement, education and tenderness. The "great house," 
with its elegantly furnished rooms and equipment was con- 
stantly the scene of the display of the highest intellectual 
and social life of the country. Attached to this institution 
were any number of servants, such as cooks, porters, valets, 
maids and other attendants. These lived constantly in the 
midst of the life of "the great house," and, reflecting the 
same, were transformed into its likeness. Many of them 
were the constant attendants of those they served, at balls, 
theatres, hunting parties, lectures, and, in fact, wherever 
the people of the great house were, by their sides and at their 
command were, their black men and women. They shared 
in the worship of family prayers and listened to the reading 
of the Scriptures, and the comments made thereon. They 
were attentive listeners as they waited in the spacious dining 
room upon distinguished judges, statesmen and others. And, 
in many ways, their contact with the great house was to them 
a university training. 

On the other hand the great masses of the black race on 
plantations, in hard out-door life, were constantly in contact 
with and lived in the life of the "overseer class," and "the 
poor whites," and reflecting that low coarse and vulgar life, 
were likewise transformed into its image. After the Civil 
War the religious life of the colored people of the South as- 
sumed a new setting. Rather, the "invj<?ible" Negro Church 

32 The Afro-American Group 

which had existed all along, became "visible" and began to 
adjust itself to the changed situation of affairs. 

The foregoing observations with respect to the religious 
life, in general, of the colored people are most helpful, as 
throwing light upon the situation when we come to narrate 
the specific effort of the Church in Church extension among 
the race. 

Possibly we can more fully appreciate many of the diffi- 
culties in this particuular field if we ever keep in mind that 
ours is the only one of the great representative religious bodies 
of this country, which, from first to last, has sought to main- 
tain a comprehensive unity, embracing all sections of the 
country as well as all races. 



Dr. Carter G. Woodson, in his admirable book, ''The 
History of the Negro Church," (1922), gives an account of 
a very early effort in South Carolina, which we reproduce 
as there given: 

**The first successful worker in this field was the Rev. 
Samuel Thomas of Goose Creek Parish in the colony of 
South Carolina. The records show that he was thus engaged 
as early as 1695 and that ten years later he reported twenty 
black communicants, who, with several others, well under- 
stood the English language. By 1705 he had brought under 
his instruction as many as one thousand slaves, 'many of 
whom,' said he, 'could read the Bible distinctly and great 
numbers of them were engaged in learning the Scriptures.' '* 
When these blacks approached the Communion Table, how- 
ever, some white persons seriously objected, inquiring wheth- 
er it was possible that slaves should go to heaven anyway. 
But having the co-operation of a number of liberal slave- 
holders in that section, and working in collaboration with 
Mrs. Haig, Mrs. Edwards and the Rev. E. Taylor, who 
Baptized a number of them, the missionaries in that colony 
prepared the way for the Christianization of the Negro 
slaves. Becoming interested in the thorough indoctrination 
of these slaves, Mr. Taylor planned for their instruction, 
encouraging the slave holders to teach the blacks at least to 

34 The Afro-American Group 

the extent of learning the Lord's Prayer. Manifesting such 
interest in these unfortunate blacks, their friends easily in- 
duced them to attend church in such large numbers that they 
could not be accomodated. "So far as the missionaries were 
permitted," says one, "they did all that was possible for their 
evangelization, and while so many professed Christians 
among the whites were luke-warm, it pleased God to raise to 
Himself devout servants among the heathen, whose faithful- 
ness was commended by the masters themselves." In sojne 
of the congregations the Negroes constituted one-half of the 
Communicants. This interest in evangelizing the Negroes 
was extended into other parts. In 1723 Rev. Mr. Guy, of 
St. Andrew's Parish, had among his Communicants a slave, 
"a sensible Negro who can read and write, and come to 
church, a catechumen under probation for Baptism, which he 

A new stage in the progress of this movement was reach- 
ed in 1743 when there was established at Charleston, S. C, 
a special school to train Negroes for participation in this 
missionary work. This school was opened by Commissary 
Garden and placed in charge of Harry and Andrew, two 
young men of color, who had been thoroughly instructed in 
the rudiments of education and in the doctrines of the 
Church. It not only served as the training school for mis- 
sionary workers, but directed its at^tention also to the special 
needs of adults who studied therein during the evenings. 
From this school there were sent out from year to year num- 
bers of youths to undertake this work in various parts of 
the colony of South Carolina. After having accomplished 
so much good for about a generation, however, the school 
was, in 1763, closed for various reasons, one of them being 
that one of the instructors died and the other proved ineffi- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 35 

Such is the interesting story as related by Dr. Woodson. 

In the colony of Maryland, as far back as 1761, the Rev. 
Thomas Bacon, a clergyman of the Church of England, inau- 
gurated a free school for black children in Frederick county. 
And even long before this date the same clergyman had in- 
augurated a school in Talbot county, for the poorer classes 
of both races. Some years ago in a published essay comment- 
ing on this early venture, Mr. Lawrence C. Worth, the 
assistant of the Enoch Pratt Library, as well as historiogra- 
pher of the diocese of Maryland, said : 

"Mr. Bacon had set an example in the Province in re- 
gard to the Christian education of Negro slaves, which was 
not generally to be followed by either clergy or laity for 
many generations. It was probably his work among the Ne- 
groes which led to the project of founding a sort of manual 
training industrial school for poor children. In a subscrip- 
tion paper circulated in 1750, he remarks upon the profane- 

ness and debauchery, idleness and immorality especially 

among the poorer sort in this province, and asks for yearly 
subscriptions 'for setting up a charity working school in the 
Parish of St. Peter's, Talbot county, for maintaining and 
teaching poor children to read, write and account, and in- 
structing them in the knowledge and practice of the Chris- 
tian Religion as taught in the Church of England.' 

"A few months later he had received from a goodly list 
of subscribers, among them the Proprietary and Lady Baltic 
more, Cecelius Calvert and Bishop Wilson, a sufficient fund 
for the running expenses, and in the course of a few years 
his subscriptions permitted the purchase of one hundred 
acres of land, and the erection of a suitable brick home and 
school. Thus, in the year 1755, and for many thereafter, 
Talbot county boasted a fine charity school; but, thirty 

36 The Afro-American Group 

years later, when Bacon and nearly all of the original trus- 
tees were dead, it was turned over to the county for use as 
a poorhouse. The institution seems to have been born before 
its time, so far as Maryland was concerned." 

Hawks, the Church historian, in writing of the Mary- 
land Diocesan Convention of 1819, says: - - - "parochial 
lending libraries were recommended to the parishes, and 
the religious instruction of the blacks became an object of 
interest. The present assistant Bishop of Virginia, (Johns) 
then a presbyter, presented to the Convention a number of 
copies of a work he had caused to be published, designed for 
the instruction of the Negroes. These were thankfully re- 
ceived and the benevolent effort to colonize the free people 
of color in Africa, with their own consent, then making by 
the American Colonization Society, received the hearty ap- 
probation of the Convention." 

The rector of St. John's Church, Washington, D. C, in 
1824, in making his annual report to the Convention, said: 
"A class of colored people has been formed, amounting to 
about forty, who manifest an earnest desire to learn to read, 
and to unite in the forms of worship established by our 
venerable Church." 

In the journal of 1824, Mar3dand Convention, the rector 
of Trinity Parish, Charles count}^, says: "The black com- 
municants present the most interesting appearance in their 
great devotion and regular attendance on Divine worship." 
In that same report one white Baptism is given against 
twenty-six blacks who received the same sacrament." 

All of the Southern Bishops manifested the most tender 
care towards this portion of their Episcopal duty. Bishop 
Whittingham, Maryland, was particularly conspicuous and 

OF THE Episcopal Church 37 

zealous in the matter. He constantly came into the closest 
possible personal touch with the slaves, and, directly, and 
personally, instructed them himself. Indicating the serious- 
ness of his studies in the matter after the close of the Civil 
War, when plans and methods for this w^ork were being dis- 
cussed, writing to the Bishop of South Carolina, he said in 
part: "Long before the Civil War I had been driven to 
meditate upon it, (the Missionary Episcopate) by conviction 
that the blacks in my own diocese could not be efficiently 
provided for on our present scheme." 

Bishop Stephen Elliott, of Georgia, was a native of South 
Carolina. Before becoming the Bishop of Georgia he had 
most affectionately and devotedly labored among the Negroes 
of his native State. In his very first Convention address as 
Bishop, 1841, he reviews at great length the subject of the 
religious care of the black people. He began with this signi- 
ficant paragraph: "The religious instruction of our domes- 
tics and of the Negroes upon plantations, is a subject that 
never should be passed over in the address of a Southern 
Bishop." Six years later in his Convention address of 
1847, he was particularly gracious in his treatment of the 
same subject. In part he said: "During the last week I 
visited the mission upon the north side of the great Ogeechee 
river, under the charge of the Rev. William C. Williams. A 
neat country church has been erected by some of the planters 
of that side of the river, which was sufficiently completed for 
services, but not for Consecration. I officiated in it on Sun- 
day the 18th of April, when eight candidates were presented 
for Confirmation, the first fruits of the labors of their earnest 
missionary. Mr. Williams is pursuing the only plan which 
will be of any service with this class of our population, iden- 
tifying hmiself w^ith their spiritual condition and going in 

38 The Afro-American Group 

and out among them as their pastor and guide. The im- 
pression is that the Negroes are averse from the services of 
our Church. It is a great mistake except so far as that 
aversion may have arisen from ignorance or neglect. Let a 
clergyman of the Episcopal Church settle anywhere in the 
midst of them and make himself comprehended among them 
and minister at their sick beds, and be with them in their 
moments of temptation and affliction, and prove himself their 
friend and teacher, and very soon will they welcome him to 
their hearts with the same true affection with which they 
now cling to those who now labor among them. It is my 
earnest hope that our Episcopal planters will take this matter 
into consideration and make arrangements for the employ- 
ment of missionaries of their own Church, so that masters 
and servants may worship together in unity of spirit and in 
the bond of peace. It would tend very much to strengthen 
the relation of masters and slaves by bringing into action the 
highest and holiest feelings of our common natures. There 
should be much less danger of inhumanity on the one side, or 
of insubordination on the other, between parties who knelt 
upon the Lord's Day around the same Table, and were par- 
takers of the same Communion." 


The ordinary reader, who is not well-informed is more 
than apt to look upon the "slave gallery" in one aspect only. 
Quite likely such may regard that particular kind of provis- 
ion for the slaves as a manifestation of prejudice, pure and 
simple. But surely such a superficial observation would not 
be indicative of a desire to express the truth. 

When one recalls the actual condition of the people 
brought hither from the barbarism of their native land, their 
ignorance and general unpreparedness in every particular 

OF THE Episcopal Church 39 

for an intelligent participation in public worship, and, with 
abundant doubt entertained with respect to their capacity to 
assimilate and incorporate ideas, the slave gallery was a 
most convenient testing and proving ground for the unex- 
plored ignorance thus brought close enough for experiment. 
Said Thomas Jefferson, ''Man is an imitative animal. This 
quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle 
to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do." If, 
in the ordinary work-day-life the slave was steadily learning 
through such a process, certainly his spiritual powers and 
religious aspirations needed the same treatment, and this he 
certainly received through the agency of the slave gallery. 
Here he was brought into constant contact with the best in 
that line, and the provision made for his reception of the 
same was strictly in keeping with that made for his acquire- 
ment of worldly knowledge and skill. The fact is the ex- 
periment proved a complete success; for, out of the slave 
gallery came enlightenment, conversions, and Negro church- 
es. Out of these came awakened powers and ambitions for 
group-leadership. It accounts largely for the wonder- 
ful progress made by the f reedmen immediately following the 
Civil War. For it was not the field hand, or the quarter- 
Negro who became the leader and group preacher, but rather 
the Negro from ''the slave gallery," who by his contact with 
the best expressions of religion, and his closer association with 
the best of the whites, had sufficiently incorporated such 
ideas as to reflect the same, and inwardly grow through a 
continuous outward reflection of what he had received. Thus 
"the invisible institution" became a mighty visible force. 

But the remarkable powers of the Negro were discovered 
long before the Revolutionary War, as witnessed by a letter 
addressed to a member of the Virginia General Assembly in 
1801 by the Hon. Judge Tucker, and quoted in the history 

4" The Afro-American Group 

of the late Dr. Booker T. Washington. In quoting this 
letter Dr. Washington says: **It seems to me to describe in a 
remarkable way the process and the method by which the 
Negro masses have advanced slowly but steadily before eman- 
cipation, more rapidly but not less steadily since." 
This letter is, in part, as follows: 

"There is often a progress in human affairs which may, 
indeed, be retarded, but which nothing can arrest. Moving 
with slow and silent steps, it is marked only by comparing 
distant periods. The causes which produce it are either so 
minute as to be invisible, or, if perceived, are too numerous 
and complicated to be subject to human control. Of such 
a sort is the advancement of knowledge among the Negroes 
of this country. It is so striking as to be obvious to a man 
of most ordinary observation. Every year adds to the num- 
ber of those who can read and write ; and he who has made 
any proficiency in letters becomes a little centre of instruction 
to others. 

"This increase of knowledge is the principal agency in 

evolving the spirit we have to fear In our infant 

country, where population and wealth increase with unex- 
ampled rapidity, the progress of liberal knowledge is propor- 
tionately great. In this vast march of the mind the blacks 
who are far behind us, may be supposed to advance at a pace 
equal to our own ; but, sir, the fact is they are likely to ad- 
vance faster, the growth and multiplication of our towns 
tend in a thousand ways to enlighten and inform them. The 
very nature of our government, which leads us to recur per- 
petually to the discussion of natural rights, favors specula- 
tion and inquiry. By way of marking the prodigious change 
which a few years had made among this class of men, compare 

OF THE Episcopal Church 41 

the late conspiracy with the revolt under Lord Dunmore. In 
one case a few solitary individuals flocked to that standard 
under which they were sure to find protection ; in the other, 
they, in a body, of their own accord, combined a plan for 
asserting their claims and rest their safety on success alone. 
The difference is, then they sought freedom merely as a 
good ; now they also claim it as a right. This comparison 
speaks better than volumes for the change I insist on. 

"But sir, this change is progressive. A little while ago 
their minds were enveloped in darkest ignorance; now the 
dawn of knowledge is faintly perceived and warns us of ap- 
proaching day. Of the multitude of causes which tend to 
enlighten the blacks I know not one whose operation we can 
materially check. Here, then, is the true picture of our sit- 
uation. Nor can we make it less hideous by shutting our 
eyes to it. These, our hewers of wood and drawers of water, 
possess the physical power to do us mischief, and are invited 
to do it by motives which self-love dictates and reason justi- 
fies. Our sole security consists then, in their ignorance of 
this power and of their means of using it — a security which 
we have lately found was not to be relied upon, and which, 
small as it now is, everv dav diminishes." 



It is interesting to note that scarcely had the American 
Church been organized, following the close of the Revolu- 
tionary War, when it began immediately to interpret the 
Catholicity of the Church by creating Negro congregations, 
and ordaining black men to its Priesthood; when by the 
ordination of a Negro priest, and creation of a Negro parish, 
it declared racial organizations to be consistent with the 
Catholicity of the Church. Within nine years from the 
consecration of our first Presiding Bishop, Bishop White, in 
Lambeth Chapel, England, in 1787, our first colored Epis- 
copal parish, in the city of Philadelphia w^as in successful 
operation with a membership of over four hundred persons, 
and a man of the black race had been ordained by Bishop 
White as the pastor of this congregation. 

In that early day through exceptional and remarkable 
characters of African descent, the shadows of a series of 
brilliant events were given forth to the world. Necessarily, 
such characters were few; but, then, it must be remembered 
that with all of the advantages of the white race there was 
not a multitude of such exceptional characters among them. 
With the serious disadvantages and handicaps of the mass 
of the black race in America, it is, indeed, remarkable that 
there should arise such conspicuous and able characters 
among them. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 43 

In all candor, however, it should be noted that the dis- 
advantages and handicaps at this particular epoch in the life 
of the black man were not so much from without as from 
within ; for, in a sense, his exterior disadvantages were noth- 
ing in comparison with those which fell upon him in later 
years. At that time, so early from barbarism, the greatest 
of all handicaps, it is remarkable indeed that any notable 
examples of intuitive adaptability should reflect themselves. 
The very fact that they did would seem to indicate that out- 
ward disadvantages, after all, were not very formidable. 

Just about the time we are considering, Benjamin Banne- 
ker, of Maryland, of the African race, had already become a 
famous and noted character because of his scientific know- 
ledge, issuing in the stated publication of an almanac which 
was reckoned as an authority, throughout the country. The 
distinguished Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, at that time 
Secretary of State, in expressing his thanks and appreciation 
for a copy of the above mentioned publication, wrote Ban- 
neker as follows: 

Sir — I thank you sincerely for your letter and 
the almanac it contained. Nobody wishes more 
than I do to see such proofs as you exhibit that Na- 
ture has given to our black brethren talents equal to 
those of the other colors of men, and that the ap- 
pearance of the want of them is owing merely to 
the degraded condition of their existence both in 
Africa and America." 

A still more remarkable example is that of Phyllis 
Wheatley, of Boston, Mass. Phyllis was born in Africa, 
and, when only a girl of six or seven years old, fresh from 
paganism, with other African slaves she was brought to Bos- 

44 The Afro-American Group 

ton and sold into slavery. She was purchased in the Boston 
"slave market" by a cultivated gentleman, a Mr. Wheatley, 
and adopted into his family. All her schooling and educa- 
tion were received within the atmosphere of that cultivated 
home. She became one of America's earliest poets. Her 
volume was dedicated to the Right Honorable, the Countess 
of Hunington, July 12, 1773. Without any assistance from 
school education, and by only what she was taught in the 
family, she, in sixteen month's time from her arrival, attain- 
ed the English language, to which she was an utter stranger 
before, to such a degree, as to read the most difficult parts 
of the Sacred Writings, to the great astonishment of all who 
heard her. The publisher of Miss Wheatley's poems, in a 
note in the book, says: 

"As it has been repeatedly suggested to the pub- 
lisher by persons who have seen the manuscript, 
that numbers would be ready to suspect they were 
not really the writings of Phyllis, he has procured 
the following attestation from the most respectable 
characters in Boston, that none might have the 
least ground for disputing their origin." 

Then follow the names of eighteen of Massachusett's 
most distinguished citizens, among whom are His Excellen- 
cy, Thomas Hutchinson, Governor of the Commonwealth; 
the Hon. Andrew Oliver, Lieutenant Governor; and "John 
Hancock," all of whom subscribed to the following state- 

"We, whose names are underwritten do assure 
the world that the poems specified in the following 
pages, were (as we verily believe) written by Phyl- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 45 

lis, a young Negro girl, who was but a few years 
since brought an uncultivated barbarian from Afri- 
ca, and has ever since been, and now is, under the 
disadvantage of serving as a slave in a family of 
this town. She has been examined by some of the 
best judges, and is thought qualified to write them." 

General George Washington, our first President, and 
father of the country, under date of February 2, 1776, ac- 
knowledging the receipt of a *'poem" dedicated to him, 
wrote Miss Wheatley as follows: 

"I thank you most sincerely for your polite 
notice of me in the elegant lines you inclosed, and, 
however undeserving I may be of such enconium 
and panygeric, the style and manner exhibit a strik- 
ing proof of your poetical talents, and as a tribute 
justly due to you, I would have published the poem 
had I not been apprehensive that, whilst I only 
meant to give to the world this new instance of 
your genius I might have incurred the imputa- 
tion of vanity." 

In relating these kind and generous expressions of Wash- 
ington and Jefferson, the author is not unmindful of the 
fact that both of them were Churchmen and Virginians. 
And the author considers it one of the pleasures of his life 
in this place to bear witness to the fact that the same class 
of Virginians represented by Washington and Jeft'erson, 
have, invariably, sustained in their attitude toward the black 
man the same noble courtesy and generosity of spirit. Since 
six years of age the author has continuously and most inti- 
mately lived in the life of the same class of white men, and 

46 The Afro-American Group 

every remembrance of the graciousness and helpfulness of 
such contact is like sweet fragrance which fills the air. 


As a gradual emancipation commenced in the Northern 
States, following the Revolutionary War, the select class of 
Negroes who obtained their freedom set about to organize 
for their moral welfare and the preservation of the peculiar 
impress which differentiated- them from the great mass of 
uncultivated people of African descent. Soon there were 
centers of "free African societies" in Boston, Newport, New 
York, Philadelphia and elsewhere. Invariablly, the men of 
such societies sought as close alliance as possible with the 
men of quality of the white race with whom they had been 
associated before freedom came to them. Eventually it was 
because of this bond that a group of people of African de- 
scent, worshipping with the white Methodists, when humilia- 
ted and treated amiss, turned to the Episcopal Church as a 
city of refuge. And thus did the first colored Episcopal con- 
gregation in this country and the first black man ordained 
to her ministry come into being. 

St. Thomas African Church, Philadelphia being the very 
first organization of its kind in this country and exerting a 
wonderful influence on the subsequent religious life of the 
race, it is important that the details leading to its final es- 
tablishment be given at some length. 

The distinguished black man, Richard Allen, who became 
the founder and first Bishop of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church, in a manuscript left by him, and written 
for him by his son, very minutely tells of the circumstances 
which finally led to "the parting of the ways," and the even- 
tuation of "the free African society" into an Episcopal 

The "manuscript" from which we quote was written a 

OF THE Episcopal Church 47 

number of years after the establishment of St. Thomas 
Church, and, thus it is that throughout Allen refers to 
**Rev." Absalom Jones. At the time of the early events 
narrated, Jones, of course, had not been ordained. But at 
the time of the writing of the manuscript he had long been 
in Orders. A portion of the manuscript reads as follows : 


"I saw the necessity of erecting a place of worship for 
the colored people . I proposed it to the most respectable 
people of color in the city, but here I met with opposition. 
I had but three colored brethren who united with me in 
erecting a place of worship — the Rev. Absalom Jones, Wil- 
liam White and Darius Jinnings. These united with me as 
soon as it became public and known by the elder who was 
stationed in the city. The Rev. C. B. opposed the plan, and 
would not submit to any argument we might raise; but he 
was shortly removed from the charge. The Rev. Mr. W. 
took the charge and the Rev. L. G. — Mr. W., was much 
opposed to an African Church, and used very degrading and 
insulting language to us to try to prevent us from going on. 
We all belonged to St. George's Church — Rev. Absalom 
Jones, William White and Darius Jinnings. We felt our- 
selves much cramped; but my dear Lord was with us, and 
we believed that if it was His will, the work would go on, 
and that we would be able to succeed in building the house 
of the Lord. We established prayer meetings and meetings 
of exhortation, and the Lord blessed our endeavors and many 
souls were awakened; but the elder soon forbid us holding 
any such meetings. We viewed the forlorn state of our 
colored brethren and saw that they were destitute of a place 
of worship. They were considered as a nuisance. A number 
of us usually sat on seats placed around the wall and on 
Sabbath morning we went to church, and the sexton stood 

48 The Afro-American Group 

at the door and told us to go in the gallery. He told us to 
go and we would see where to sit. We expected to take the 
seats over the ones we formerly occupied below, not knowing 
any better. We took those seats. Meeting had begun and 
they were nearly done singing, and just as we got to the 
seats the elder said: "Let us pray." We had not been long 
on our knees before I heard considerable scuffling and loud 
talking. I raised my head up and saw one of the trustees, 

H M having hold of the Rev. Absalom Jones 

pulling him off his knees and saying, ''You must get up; 
you must not kneel here." Mr. Jones replied, "Wait until 
prayer is over." Mr. H. M. said, "No, you must get up 
now, or I will call for aid and force you away." Mr. Jones 
said, "Wait until prayer is over, and I will get up and 
trouble you no more." With that he beckoned to one of the 

other trustees, Mr. L S to come to his assistance. 

He came and w^ent to William White to pull him up. By 
this time prayer was over, and we all went out of the 
church in a body and they were no more plauged by us in 

the church Notwithstanding we had subscribed 

largely towards furnishing St. George's Church, in building 
the gallery, and laying new floors; and just as the house was 
made comfortable, we were turned out from enjoying the 
comforts of worshipping therein. 

"We then hired a store-room and held worship by our- 
selves. Here we were pursued w^ith threats of being disown- 
ed and read out of meeting, if we did contrive to worship in 
the place we had hired ; but we believed that the Lord would 
be our friend. We got subscription papers out to raise 
money to build the house of the Lord. By this time we had 
waited on Dr. Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston and told them 
of our distressing situation. We considered it a blessing that 
the Lord had put it into our hearts to wait upon these gen- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 49 

tlemen. They pitied our situation and subscribed largely 
towards the Church, and were very friendly towards us and 
advised us how to go on. We appointed Mr. Ralston our 
treasurer. Dr. Rush did much for us in public by his in- 
fluence. I hope the names of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. 
Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They w^ere the 
first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed, 
and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor 
Africans to worship in. Here w^as the beginning and rise 
of the first African Church in America. But the elder of 

the Methodist Church still pursued us. Mr. I M 

called upon us and told us that if we did not erase our names 
from the subscription paper and give up the paper we would 
be publicly turnd out of meeting. We asked him if we had 
violated any rules of discipline by so doing. He replied, "I 
have the charge given me by the Conference, and unless you 
submit I will read you publicly out of meeting." We told 
him that we were willing to abide by the discipline of the 
Methodist Church, 'and if you will show us where we have 
violated any law of discipline of the Methodist Church, we 
will submit, and if there is no rule violated in the discipline, 
we will proceed on.' He replied, 'we will read you out.' We 
told him that if he turned us out contrary to the discipline 
we should seek further redress. We told him we were 
dragged off our knees in St. George's Church, and treated 
worse than heathen, and we were determined to seek out for 
ourselves, the Lord being our helper. He told us that we 
wxre not Methodists, and left us. Finding we would go on 
and raise money to build the church, he called upon us again 
and wished to see us altogether. We met him. He told us 
that he wished us well, and that he was a friend to us, and 
used many arguments to convince us that we were wrong in 
building a church. We told him that we had no place of 

50 The Afro-American Group 

worship and we did not mean to go to St. George's any 
more as we were treated so scandously in the presence of all 
the congregation present, 'and if you deny us your name, you 
can not seal up the Scriptures from us and deny us a name 
in heaven. We believe heaven is free to all who worship in 
spirit and in truth.' And he said: 'So 50U are determined 
to go on.' We told him, 'Yes, God being our helper.' He 
replied, 'We will disown you all from the Methodist con- 
nection.' We went out with our subscription paper 

and met with great success. We had no reason to complain 
of the liberality of the citizens.. 

"The first day the Rev. Absalom Jones and myself went 
out we collected three hundred and sixty dollars. This was 
the greatest day collection that we met with. We appointed 
a committee to look out for a lot — the Rev. Absalom Jones, 
William Gray, William Wicher and myself. We pitched 
upon a lot at the corner of Lombard and Sixth streets. They 
authorized me to go and agree for it. I did accordingly. 
The lot belonged to Mr. Mark Wilcox. We entered into 
articles of agreement for the lot. Afterwards the committee 
found a lot on Fifth street in a more commodious part of the 
city which we bought; and the first lot they threw upon my 
hands and wished me to give it up. I told them they had 
authorized me to agree for the lot, and they were all satisfied 
with the agreement I had made, and I thought that it was 
hard that they should throw it upon my hands. I told them 
I would sooner keep it myself than to forfeit the agreement 
I had rriade. And so I did. We bore much persecution 
from many of the Methodist connection, but we have reason 
to be thankful to Almighty God, who was our deliverer. The 
day was appointed to go and dig the cellar. I arose early 
in the morning and addressed the throne of grace, praying 
that the Lord would bless our endeavors. Having by this 

OF THE Episcopal Church 51 

time, two or three teams of my own, ... as I was the first 
proposer of the African Church, I put the first spade into 
the ground to dig the cellar for the same. This was the first 
African Church or meeting house that was erected in the 
United States of America. We intended it for the African 
preaching house or church; but finding that the elder sta- 
tioned in the city w^as such an opposer to our proceeding of 
erecting a place of worship, though the principal part of the 
directors of this church belonged to the Methodist connec- 
tion, and that he would neither preach for us nor have any- 
thing to do with us, we held an election to know what reli- 
gious denomination we should unite with. At the election 
it was determined. There were two in favor of the Meth- 
odists, the Rev. Absalom Jones and myself, and a large ma- 
jority in favor of the Church of England. This majority 
carried. Notwithstanding we had been so violently perse- 
cuted by the elders, we were in favor of being attached to 
the Methodist connection, for I was confident there was no 
religious sect, or denomination, that would suit the capacity 
of the colored people as well as the Methodists, for the plain 
and simple Gospel suits best for any people, for the unlearned 
can understand, and the learned are sure to understand ; and 
the reason that the Methodists are so successful in the 
awakening and conversion of the colored people, is the plain 
doctrine and having a good discipline. But in many cases 
the preachers would act to please their own fancy, without 
discipline, until some of them became tyrants, and more es- 
pecially to the colord people. They would turn them out 
of society, giving them no trial, for the smallest ofFense, per- 
haps only hearsay. They would frequently in meeting the 
class impeach some of the members of whom they had heard 
an ill-report and turn them out, saying 'I have heard thus 
and thus of you, and you are no more a member of society,* 

52 The Afro-American Group 

without witnesses on either side. This had been frequently 
done, notwithstanding that in the first rise and progress in 
Delaware State and elsewhere, the colored people were their 
greatest support, for there were but few of us free. The 
slaves would toil in their little patches many a night until 
midnight to raise their little truck to sell to get something 
to support them, more than their white masters gave them, 
and we used often to divide our little support among the 
white preachers of the Gospel. This was once a quarter. It 
was in the time of the Revolutionary War between Great 
Britain and the United States." 



Following the incident in St. George's Church, Phila- 
delphia, the group of people of African descent who had 
practically been ejected therefrom, got together and on the 
12th day of April, 1787, organized the "Free African So- 
ciety." Finally this society resolved itself into an "African 
Church" and later the African Church became St. Thomas 
Episcopal Church. The story of "The Free African Society" 
is exceedingly interesting for it furnishes us with the records 
and doings of the first organized body of people of African 
descent in this country. 

How did this first group of emancipated black people set 
about to use their freedom? Did they set to work to con- 
serve and improve the morals of their people and cultivate 
their religious life, or, were they carried away with an ex- 
travagant sense of their own importance? Because of the 
mistreatment they had received from one group of white 
persons did they rashly run to the conclusion that all white 
persons were their enemies, or, did they wisely discriminate 
and carefully seek to ally themselves with the best white 
people of the community? The records of this venerable 
and ancient society of black people make unmistakably clear 
their profound solicitude and deep concern for the moral 
advance and spiritual interests of the race with whom they 
were identified. 

Naturally, we ask the question, how was it possible, at 
that early day for any group of Negroes to become possessed 

54 The Afro-Americax Group 

of sufficient general knowledge and education requisite for 
launching even so modest an institution? How was it pos- 
sible for them to become the pioneers along a line hitherto 
unexplored by any of their kind? It will be well for us to 
remember that from the very earliest times, in America, as 
few as they may have been, there was a class of truly Chris- 
tian and sympathetic white persons who were unwearied in 
their devotion to the welfare of the black people. They 
kindly touched their lives and freely imparted to them every 
help they could whereby both their mental and moral con- 
dition would be affected for good. When, therefore, the 
first emancipations took place in Pennsylvania, the group of 
black people thus set free, were ambitious to conserve and 
improve the good things they had already received. The 
very name "Free African Society" indicated a separation 
from the other Africans who were not free. This separation 
was necessary and it was for the highest good of those yet 
detained in slavery, as well as for those who had gained 
their freedom. They would thus become worthy exemplars 
to the black race yet in bonds. It would beget hope on their 
part. It would strengthen the hands and hearts of the bene- 
volently disposed whites to do all that was in their power to 
hasten the time when the fetters would be lifted from all 
black slaves, and all would be free men. 

The people called Quakers and Episcopalians were espec- 
ially interested in helping to make "the Free African Socie- 
ty" all that it ought to be. Under such circumstances the 
society started out upon an untried venture and they were 
much encouraged and helped by the reflection that they could 
turn at any moment for guidance and help, not simply to 
white friends, but to the very best and holiest of the white 
race within their midst. And, even at this late day, the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 55 

worthy example of our honored forbears in this particular 
commends itself to our most serious consideration. 

The initial effort was in the direction of a benevolent 
and moral reform association. Through appropriate com- 
mittees they concerned themselves with every phase of the 
life of the black people. And, soon, they were in corrspon- 
dence with similar groups of African people in Boston, New- 
port, R. I.; New York, and elsewhere, and the epistles which 
passed between these several African societies reveal the most 
beautiful moral and religious aspiration. Anything like a 
spirit of retaliation or a disposition to irritate the whites, was 
foreign to such communications. In the calm deliberations 
of this little society of "free Africans," there was a constantly 
growing sentiment removing them further and further from 
the wild and noisy excitement of the Methodists of those 
times. The Quaker and Episcopal influences which had en- 
droned them in their early struggles were daily captivating 
them. It is, indeed, most inspiring to note that African peo- 
ple just emerging from "the house of bondage" in the very 
first organization constituted by them should enact: 

"No man shall live with any woman as man 
and wife without she is lawfully his wife, and his 
certificate must be delivered to the clerk to be put 
on record." 

Early in the life of the Society there appears a case which 
indicated its firmness in the matter of discipline. 

It reads thus: "Whereas, Samuel S., one of the members 
of the Free Afircan Society, held in Philadelphia, for the ben- 
efit of the sick, has so shamefully deviated from our known 
rules, hath often, unnecessarily, left his tender wife and 
child, and kept company with a common woman, sometimes 

56 The Afro-American Group 

quarrelling, fighting and swearing, for which he hath been 
long and tenderly treated wnth, but he has not forsaken his 
shameful practices, we therefore, disown the said Samuel S., 
from being a member of our societ}^ till he condemns the 
same in life and conversation, w^hich is our desire for him." 

Indicative of the society's desire to welcome the aid of 
sympathetic white friends in the conduct of its affairs, in 
the original articles of its constitution is the following: 

"We unanimously agree to choose Joseph Clarke 
to be our Clerk and Treasurer: and whenever 
another shall succeed him, it is always understood 
that one of the people called Quakers, belonging 
to one of the three monthly meetings in Philadel- 
phia, is to be chosen to act as Clerk and Treasurer 
of this useful institution." 

In one of the epistles from this society to the Boston 
society is this wise and judicious advice: 

"It affords us matter of satisfaction to find that 
you are united with us in laboring in the same vine- 
yard, we seriously hope to the honor of God and the 

benefit of mankind Let none be discouraged 

however low their station among men may be, for 
we find in Holy Writ that the race is not to the 
swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that one 
who has on the shield of faith shall chase a thou- 
sand, and two put ten thousand to flight. Here is 
encouragement for us of the African race. The 
Scriptures declare that God is no respector of per- 
sons. We beseech you, therefore, in much brotherly 
love, to lay aside all superfluity of naughtiness, es- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 57 

pecially gaming and feasting; a shameful practice, 
that we, as a people, are particularly guilty of. 
While we are feasting and dancing many of our 
complexion are starving under cruel bondage; and 
it is this practice of ours that enable our enemies to 
declare that we are not fit for freedom; and at the 
same time this imprudent conduct stops the mouths 
of our real friends who would ardently plead our 
cause. Let us, threfore, dear brethren, learn to be 
wise by fearing the Lord, and show that we have a 
good understanding by forsaking our foolish prac- 

Towards the latter part of the year 1792, the Society re- 
solved itself into a Church organization, the style of the 
corporation being, "The Elders and Deacons of the African 
Church." From that time on the body was chiefly concerned 
in arranging for the erection of a church building. The 
edifice was occupied for the first time and solemnly dedicated 
on July 17th, 1794. The clergy of nearly every denomina- 
tion in the city of Philadelphia, as well as many of the most 
representative citizens were present at the opening of "The 
African Church." Carved on white marble in a conspicuous 
part of the front of the building were these words: "The 
people that walked in darkness hath seen a great light" — 
Isaiah ix :2. 

The preacher upon the occasion took the same words for 
his text. Near the close of this most excellent discourse by 
the Rev. Dr. Magaw, occur these words: 

"On the right improvement of your present ad- 
vantages depends, perhaps, the fate of your brethren 
in bondage in every part of the world. Strengthen 

58 The Afro-American Group 

the hands of your friends everywhere by your pure 
and unexceptional conduct. This will be to 'let 
your light shine' in favor of the multitudes yet cov- 
ered with darkness. This will be encouraging the 
deliverance of those who are bound." 



Thus far, "the African Church" was unconnected with 
any of the various religious bodies. However, very soon 
thereafter, the people ofthe "African Church" determined to 
unite themselves and their church building with the Episco- 
pal Church, and, the official document declaring such pur- 
pose is dated August 12, 1794. But, before doing so, they 
specified three conditions, which were agreed to by the au- 
thorities of the Episcopal Church, viz: They should be re- 
ceived as a body, already organized ; they should have guar- 
anteed to them local independence and self-control of their 
aftairs, forever ; and, lastly, that one of their number should 
be licensed as their "Lay Reader," and, if found fit, ordained 
as their minister. 

The preamble of the historic document declaring their 
purpose reads as follows: 

"Whereas, a few of our race did in the name and fear of 
God, associate for the purpose of advancing our friends in 
a true knowledge of God, of true religion, and the ways and 
means to restore our long lost race to the dignity of men and 
of Christians," and, continues the preamble, "God in mercy 
and wisdom has exceeded our most sanguine wishes, in bless- 
ing our undertaking, and has opened the hearts of our whfte 

brethren to assist in our undertaking Having seen the 

dawn of the Gospel day, we are zealously concerned for the 
gathering together our race into the sheepfold of the Shep- 
herd and Bishop of our souls For all of the above pur- 

60 The Afro-Americax Group 

poses it is needful that we enter into and forthwith establish 
some orderly Christian-like government of former usage in 
the Church of Christ; and, being desirous to avoid all ap- 
pearance of evil, by self-conceitedness, or an intent to pro- 
mote or establish any new human device among us 

Now be it known to all the world and in all ages thereof, 
that we, the founders and trustees of said house, did on Tues- 
day, the 12th day of August, in the year of Our Lord one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, resolve and decree 
to resign and conform ourselves to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of North America, and we dedicate ourselves to 
God, imploring His protection; and our house to the mem- 
ory of St. Thomas, the Apostle, to be henceforth known and 
called St. Thomas African Episcopal Church of Philadel- 
phia; to be governed by us and our successors as follows." 

Definite action was taken upon the part of the authorities 
of the Episcopal Church as evidenced from the following, 
from the official record : 

"Philadelphia, September 9, 1794. At a meet- 
ing of the Council of Advice and Standing Com- 
mittee of the Convention of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in Pennsylvania, in the Bishop's House. 
Present, the Right Reverend Bishop White and a 
quorum of the members. The Bishop laid before 
the Council the Constitution ofthe African Church 
of Philadelphia, a congregation of the people of 
color, who having erected a building for the public 
worship of God, do now in consequence of free and 
mature deliberation, propose and request to be asso- 
ciated with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
United States ; and in particular to commit all their 
ecclessiastical affairs to the rule and authoritv of 

OF THE Episcopal Church 61 

the Bishop and Church in this State of Pennsylva- 
nia. The Bishop and Council are pleased with the 
application made as above, and are willing to accept 
the terms. 

"Resolved and declared, therefore, that as soon 
as the Trustees or Deputies of the said congrega- 
tion, being duly authorized, shall sign the Act of 
Association of the said church in this State, they 
shall be entitled to all the privileges of the other 
congregations of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

"Agreed that Dr. Samuel Magaw and Dr. 
Robert Blackwell be a committee to meet the Trus- 
tees or Deputies of the African Church, and see 
them ratify the Act of Association. 

"Extract from the Minutes, 

"Samuel Magaw, 
"A member of the Council" 

On Sunday, October 12, 1794, the Rev. Dr. Blackwell 
appeared in the pulpit of St. Thomas Church and formally 
and fully announced the reception of this congregation into 
the communion of the Episcopal Church. 

Shortly thereafter the congregation, through the Trus- 
tees, sent in a petition, and request for the ordination of Ab- 
salom Jones as their minister. A portion of this petition 
reads as follows: 

"With due deference to your wisdom, we presume to 
present to you our well-beloved brother,, Absalom Jones, a 
man of good report, of Godly conversation and zealously 
engaged in promoting religion and virtue among us as a can- 
didate for the above purpose. And in consideration of the 
utility of having such a person clothed with authority to 

62 The Afro-American Group 

visit the sick, attend funerals, administer the ordinances of 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper, reproving, exhorting and 
following the wandering and careless to bring them into 
the sheepfold of Christ, and in view of the reverence and 
respect in w^hich he is held by the generality of our color, and 
of his zeal for the prosperity of the Church, and his assiduity 
in doing good for men ; we therefore humbly hope that his 
want of the literary qualifications required by the Church, 
may, under our circumstances, be dispensed with." Signed 
in behalf and by appointment of the congregation of St. 
Thomas Church, Willaim Gray, William White, Wil- 
liam Gardner, Henry Stewart, Trustees. 

The above petition was duly considered by the Bishop and 
Standing Committee, and action taken as indicated from the 
following : 

*'An address or letter to the Bishop and clergy of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, written in 
very respectful and affectionate terms, from the trustees and 
other representatives of the congregation of the African 
Church, now called St. Thomas Church of Philadelphia, was 
laid before the Council, communicated through the hands of 
the Bishop, representing among other things, that it would 
be expedient to have among themselves a pious and duly 
qualified man of color to discharge the functions of a minis- 
ter, and recommending for the said purpose Absalom Jones, 
a man of good report and Godly conversation. Whereupon, 
the Council being heartily disposed to favor the address and 
application as above, and entirely satisfied as far as to them 
doth appear, of the moral and religious character of the per- 
son recommended, do agree in opinion and respectfully ad- 
vise that the most regular mode of proceeding for the Bishop 
to give his sanction and approbation to Absalom Jones to 

OF THE Episcopal Church 63 

officiate as a Reader of Divine Service etc., in the said church, 
and a candidate for Deacon's Orders, till the meeting of the 
Convention of the Church in this State, which will be in the 
month of Maj' next. The Seventh Canon, ratified in Gen- 
eral Convention, requiring with regard to the learning of 
those to be ordained that the requisition of an acquaintance 
with Latin and Greek is onl}' to be dispensed with by two- 
thirds of the Convention of the State to which the candi- 
date belongs, and for good causes moving thereunto; the 
recommendation to the Bishop to eftect the foregoing, to 
have the signature of the names of a majority of such con- 

Extract from the book of MiiiuteSj 
"Samuel Magaw, 
"A member of the Council and Secretary" 

The convention which assembled in Christ Church, Phil- 
adelphia, June, 2, 1795, acted favorably in the premises, as 
the following witnesseth : 

"It was moved and seconded that the know- 
ledge of the Greek and Latin languages, in the ex- 
amination for Holy Orders of Absalom Jones, a 
black man, belonging to the African Church of St. 
Thomas in this city, be dispensed with agreeably to 
the canon in such cases made and provided. Re- 
solved that the same be granted, provided, it is not 
to be understood to entitle the African Church to 
send a clergyman or deputies to the Convention or 
to interfere with the general government of the 
Episcopal Church, this condition being made in con- 
sideration of their peculiar circumstances at present. 
"James Abercrombie, 


t)4 The Afro-American Group 

Absalom Jones was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop 
White in St. Thomas Church, August 6th, 1795. But, prior 
to his ordination the Bishop first explained the nature of the 
"condition" in the dispensing vote of the Convention; and 
secondly, exacted a pledge of the Trustees with respect to 
the support of the man to be ordained. 

Inasmuch as the temporary "condition" referred to in 
later years was oft quoted in defense of the continued ex- 
clusion of St. Thomas Church from representation in the 
Diocesan Convention, it will not be amiss in this place to 
refer to "an interpretation" of that "condition" by the 
"minority" of the committee of the Convention of 1850, 
appointed to consider the application of St. Thomas parish. 

The majority of the committee "would gladly see this 
whole matter laid permanently and quietly at rest by a de- 
cisive and expressive vote of the Convention, where fifty years 
of universal acquiessence has placed it," It therefore, of- 
fered the following resolution : 

Resolved, That it is inexpedient to repeal the 
Eighth Revised Regulation, and that the committee 
be discharged from further consideration of the 

Happily, there was a "minority" on that committee, and 
they were not of the same mind as the majority. So the 
"minority" presented its side, and, from their most inspiring 
report the following is taken: 

The undersigned, while granting the Trustees 

of St. Thomas Church did agree to the restrictions referred 
to, can not see why such assent should prevent the present 
authorities of that church from seeking a removal of a pro- 
vision which the congregation have found by experience to 

OF THE Episcopal Church 65 

be burdensome and injurious to their interests. The said 
restriction was imposed and agreed to, let it be remembered, 
not according to the records cited at the time of receiving 
the Church of St. Thomas into the fellowship with the 
Church in the diocese, but nearly a year afterwards, when 
the question of the dispensation of certain literary qualifica- 
tions in the person selected for their minister came before 
the Convention, 'this condition being made in consideration 
of their peculiar circumstances at present.' 

"The restriction and the agreement to it are, therefore, 
in the opinion of the undersigned, not to be viewed in the 
light of an original compact contemporaneous with the ex- 
istence of the Church of St. Thomas as a part of the Church 
in the diocese. The agreement they yielded to, the restriction, 
in their peculiar exigency, by no means interferes with the 
right of the congregation to petition now for a repeal of 
the prohibition which their present 'pecular circumstances' 
may render highly oppressive and detrimental to their pros- 

"But what were the peculiar circumstances to which the 
restriction passed in 1795 refers? The words 'at present' 
ought in charity, to be strictly limited. The Reverend Ab- 
salom Jones, the first minister of St. Thomas Church, 
though very deficient in literary qualifications for the minis- 
try, was a 'man of good report and Godly conversation.' He 
was held in great reverence and esteem by the colored people 
of our city. Zealous for the prosperity of the Church, and 
unwearied in doing good, he was especially beloved in con- 
sequence of his devotion to the sick and dying at the time 
of the prevalence of that awful scourge, the yellow fever. 
Administering to the bodily as well as spiritual wants of 
many poor sufferers, and soothing the last moments of many 
departing souls among his people, he became greatly endeared 

66 The Afro-American Group 

to the colored race. Hence, when they formed a congrega- 
tion in order that the\' might worship God according to the 
doctrine and discipline of the Church of their choice, they 
fixed their hearts upon having their kind friend and helper 
for their minister. 

"He who had already won his way to their hearts by 
labors and sacrifices of Christian love that no one can hear 
of without emotion, must be the shepherd of their souls in 
Christ Jesus. So that they would succeed in this, their darling 
wish, they were content to submit to inconvenience and to 
loss; for him their friend and brother, bound so closely to 
their hearts by the sympathy of past afflictions, they were 
ready to be placed for the time being in a position of infer- 
iority. They were fully sensible that he did not possess the 
literary qualifications requisite for the ministry, but they 
knew and loved his self-sacrificing spirit, and consistently 
relgious life. When, therefore, the great difficulty in the 
way of his ordination was removed by the dispensing vote of 
the Convention, the condition on which, in this case, the dis- 
pensation was agreed to, the congregation of St. Thomas had 
succeeded in their great desire. In their feebleness they sur- 
rendered to the far stronger power, the right which the 
Church had already given them, in order that their little 
flock might be watched and ministered to by a shepherd 
whom they loved. The undersigned earnestly submit wheth- 
er, after the expiration of so many years, advantage should 
be taken of the concession which the petitioners yielded in 
their then peculiar exigency? More than a half century has 
passed away since the adoption of the restriction, which, they 
now respectfully ask may be removed. Their present pastor, 
has, it is believed, far superior literary qualifications to the 
Rev. Absalom Jones, having passed a very creditable exami- 
nation for the diaconate and priesthood before the Rt. Rev- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 67 

erend Bishop Onderdonk of this city. 

*'The very wording of the restriction referred to, viewed 
in connection with the facts above stated, shows that both 
parties, the Convention on the one hand, and the Trustees of 
St. Thomas Church on the other, thought of it only as a 
temporary proviso, and that it would be rescinded when the 
'peculiar circumstances' spoken of should cease. It is be- 
lieved by the undersigned that the 'peculiar circumstances' 
of the church of the petitioners at that time have in a great 
measure changed ; that special peculiarity aimed at in the 
restriction has ceased, from the fact above stated, with re- 
gard to their present minister of the parish The under- 
signed submit that the Eighth Revised Regulation be rescind- 
ed on principle. No test of admission should be adopted here 
which is at variance with the precepts of our Redeemer, and 
with the practice of the Church in the Apostolic times — and 
the undersigned would ask whether the said regulation be 

not inconsistent with both? It may well be asked if it 

be consistent with the declaration of the great Apostle to the 
Gentiles, *if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no 
flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to 
offend,' thus to wound the feelings and to interfere with the 
peace and prosperity of a company of brethren. They can 
not be expected long to reconcile the inconsistency of their 
pastor being fit to preach the word of God and to administer 
His Holy Sacraments and yet incapable of having any part 
in the Councils of the Church. Can we reasonably look for 
their advancement and improvement in knowledge and virtue 
while we continue to give ground for attacks upon their posi- 
tion, and thus help to lessen their self-respect? It seems also 
to the undersigned, well worthy of consideration, whether 
the repeal of the Eighth Revised Regulation would not tend 
to produce peace in our own Convention? It is believed 

68 The Afro-American Group 

that many of the members of this body are conscientiously 
opposed to it. It is an offence to them, and they would re- 
joice to see it rescinded." 

St. Thomas did not win its fight at that time. The vote 
of the clergy was 44 to 42. But the controversy went on, 
and in the Convention of 1862 or 1863, the regulation was 
rescinded and St. Thomas Church admitted into union with 
the Convention. The two clergymen on the minority side 
championing the cause of our group were the Rev. Messrs. 
Henry E. Montgomery and G. Emlen Hare. 

The same year of the ordination of Absalom Jones, 1795, 
the names of persons recorded as members of St. Thomas 
aggregate 427. The first election of vestrymen w^as held in 
the church, March 28, 1796, and the following persons were 
chosen as the very first church officers of any congregation 
of persons of African descent in the United States: John 
Exeter, William Gray, wardens; William Coleman, secre- 
tary; John Emory, clerk of the church; Charles Bunkan, 
Ishmael Robins, Charles Golding, William Colston, James 
Dexter, Peter Mercer, Alexander James, Henry Stewart, 
Samuel Jackson, Robert Turner, Joseph Williams, William 
Thomas, Rutland Moore, James Forten, Kent Burry, Jacob 
Gibbs, John Church. 

In 1804 the vestry established a day school for the in- 
struction of the youth. Each member of the Educational 
Society thereby called into existence was required to contri- 
bute an annual sum of one dollar. The board of trustees 
continued to carry on the school up to the year 1816; beyond 
which time no minute of the proceedings appear. A fact 
worthy of note in connection with the school is the expense 
of instructing ten male scholars was provided out of trust 
funds coming through Rev. Dr. Bray, the English commis- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 69 

ssiry. Rev. Mr. Douglass says with respect to this school, 
"It appears that the vestry finally gave up the control of the 
school and placed it in the hands of Solomon Clarkson (one 
of its members) who also for a considerable number of years 
afterwards, was paid from the same charity for the tuition 
of the aforesaid number of scholars. Besides, there was a 
female school taught by Madam Hand in the Northern Li- 
berties, supported from the same source." 

Watson s Annals, 2nd volume, page 263, ed. of 1854, has 
this interesting note concerning the above mentioned charity: 
"This ancient charity originated with the Rev. Dr. Bray, 
American missionary, the Bishop of London and Mr. D'- 
Alone, secretary to King William. In 1774 the ground 
rents of a large lot in this city were set apart for the payment 
of the expenses of two schools for blacks, one for each sex, 
to be educated gratuitously. 'The Associates' in England 
are perpetual; and from their appointments, three of our 
citizens. Churchmen, constantly serve the schools as direc- 
tors and governors. Those lately in service were Wm. Mere- 
dith, Thos. Hale and James S. Smith, Esquires." 

Says the author of the Annals of St. Thomas: "For the 
last fifteen years, at least, this charity has been turned in 
some other direction. It has been ascertained that ever 
since the suspension of the school here, the net sum of nine 
hundred dollars, arising from said ground rents, has been 
forwarded to London annually. We have been in communi- 
cation with 'The Associates' in England, through their sec- 
retary respecting the ground taken for suspending said 
schools, and have recently received in replication a polite 
note, from which is taken the following extract: 'The trust 
to which you allude is for the support of schools in British 
America. The Associates have always been advised that 
the term 'British America' is tobe construed as comprising 

70 The Afro-American Group 

the territory now known by that name, and not the territory 
which was so considered prior to the peace of 1783, and that 
it is their duty to apply the trust accordingly." ' 

In 1809, through a legacy left by Wm. Bradford, Esq., 
in the hands of Bishop White and Dr. Benjamin Rush, St. 
Thomas Church became the possessor of a "parsonage," sit- 
uated in Powell street, between Fifth and Sixth streets and 
Pine and Spruce streets. 

The people of St. Thomas were active leaders in the 
general improvement of the people of African descent in that 
early day. One such enterprise was "The African Society 
for the Suppression of Vice and Immorality." 

A number of them petitioned Chief Justice Tilghman 
for his approbation, and having secured the same, they pro- 
cured other indorsements from some of the most conspicuous 
characters in America at that time. The petition to Chief 
Justice Tilghman reads as follow^s: 

"A number of the free people of color have asso- 
ciated themselves in a society by the name, title and 
description of the African Society for the Suppres- 
sion of Vice and Immorality among the people of 
our own race. They have for a long time viewed 
with painful anxiety the multiplied evils that have 
occurred and do daily occur, for the want of such 
advice and instruction as they feel desirous of giv- 
ing, by visiting some of the more dissipated parts of 
the city, and suburbs, on proper occasions, and 
using such persuasive measures as may be best cal- 
culated to produce reformation of manners among 
them. They, therefore, solicit your Honor's ap- 
probation and concurrence in behalf of the society." 
"John Trusty, Chairman' 

OF THE Episcopal Church 71 

The Chief Justice in his indorsement said: "I have read 
the articles of the African Association and approve of them. 
The object is highly commendable, and there is reason to 
hope that the association may produce very beneficial effects." 

Benjamin Franklin said: "I have also read the articles 
of the African Association, and heartily concur with the 
Chief Justice in the opinion above expressed." 

Jacob Rush said: "Every rational plan to reform the 
people of color will always have my approbation. The effort 
now proposed to be made, by means of religious instruction 
and conversation, at seasonable time, has, therefore, my cor- 
dial w^ishes for its success." 


With respect to Absalom Jones, the first black man 
raised to the dignity of a priest (he was priested by Bishop 
White in 1804), the Rev. William Douglass, a successor 
says : 

"He was born a slave; his young ideas, therefore, were 
never taught how to shoot forth their rays of intellectual 
light and beauty. He had arrived at manhood before he was 
initiated into the first branches of a common school educa- 
tion. He became somewhat proficient in these by dint of 
self-application, during intervals from his secular labors. By 
industry, frugalit}^ and economy previous to his entering the 
ministry, he had accumulated some means which he invested 
in real estate . He w^as the owner of several neat dwellings, 
the value of which we have not ascertained. A day school 
was taught by him while he pursued a course of preparation 
for the ministry, and also for sometime after he entered upon 
its duties and responsibilities. When he took charge of the 
church he was in the 49th year of his age." 

The following narrative is from the original manuscript 
written bv himself : 

72 The Afro-American Group 

"I, Absalom Jones, was born in Sussex, Del., on the 6th 
of November, 1746. I was small when my master took me 
from the field to wait and attend on him in the house; and 
being very fond of learning, I was careful to save the pen- 
nies that were given to me by the ladies and gentlemen from 
time to time. I soon bought myself a primer, and begged to 
be taught by anybody that I found able and willing to give 
me the least instruction. Soon after this, I was able to pur- 
chase a spelling book; for as my money increased I supplied 
myself with books, among others, a Testament . For, fond- 
ness for books gave me little or no time for the amusements 
that took up the leisure hours of my companions. By this 
course I became singular and escaped many evils, and also 
saved my money. 

"In the year 1762 my mother, five brothers and a sister 
were sold, and I was brought to the city of Philadelphia 
with my master. My employment in this city was to wait in 
the store, pack up and carry out goods. In this situation I 
had an opportunity with the clerk to get copies set for me; 
so that I was soon able to write to my mother and brothers 
with my own hand. My spelling is bad for want of proper 
schooling. In the year 1766 I asked my master the liberty 
of going one-quarter to night school, which he granted. In 
that quarter, I learned addition, troy weight, subtraction, 
apothecaries' weight, practical multiplication, practical divis- 
ion and reduction. 

"In the year 1770 I married a wife who was a slave. I 
soon after proposed to purchase her freedom. To this her 
mistress agreed for the sum of forty pounds. Not having 
the money in hand I got an appeal drawn and John Thomas, 
my father-in-law, and I, called upon some of the principal 
Friends of this city. From some we borrowed and from 
others we received donations. In this way we soon raised 

OF THE Episcopal Church 73 

thirty pounds of the money, her mistress, Sarah King, for- 
giving the balance of ten pounds. By this time, my master's 
family was increased, and I was much hurried in my servi- 
tude. However I took a house and for seven years made it 
my business to work until twelve or one o'clock at night to 
assist my wife in obtaining a livelihood, and to pay the money 
that was borrowed to purchase her freedom. This being 
fully accomplished and having a little money in hand, I 
made application to my master in the year 1778 to purchase 
my own freedom ; but, as this was not granted, I fortunately 
met with a small house and lot of ground, to be sold for one 
hundred and fifty pounds Continental money. Having laid 
by some hard money, I sold it for continental and purchased 
the lot. My desire for freedom increased as I knew that 
while I was a slave my house and lot might be taken as the 
property of my master. This induced me to make many 
applications to him for liberty to purchase my freedom; and 
on the first of October, 1784, he generously gave me a man- 
umission. I have ever since continued in his service at good 
wages, and I still find it my duty both late and early to be 
industrious to improve the little estate that a kind Providence 
has put in m)- hands. Since mj- freedom I have built a couple 
of small houses on the same lot which now let for twenty- 
two pounds a year." 

In reporting the death of Absalom Jones to the Conven- 
tion of Pennsylvania in 1818, Bishop White said of him: 
"I do not record the event without a tender recollection of 
his eminent virtues, and of his pastoral fidelity." 

Upon his tomb in the old churchyard where his remains 
vv'ere buried was inscribed the following: "To the memory 
of the Rev. Absalom Jones, who, born a slave, and becoming 
possessed of freedom by good conduct, and rendered respecta- 
ble by a course of virtuous industry, was principally instru- 

74 The Afro-Americax Uroup 

mental in founding the African Church of St. Thomas, in 
which he was the first pastor; and after discharging the du- 
ties of the ministry faithfully during twenty-two years, he de- 
parted this life, February 13, 1818, aged 71 years 3 months 
and 3 days." 

The Rev. William Douglass, who assumed the charge of 
St. Thomas in September 1834 in his history of that parish, 
issued in 1862, says: 

"I w^ould have you to mark well the following 
language used by the founders of this church: 'Be- 
ing desirous,' they say, 'of avoiding all apearance 
of evil by self-conceitedness, or an intent to pro- 
mote or establish any new human device, they en- 
tered into, and established an orderly Christian- 
like government and order of former usage in the 
Church of Christ.' They desired nothing more nor 
less than to become a branch of the One Holy, 
Catholic and Apostolic Church ; 'in which the pure 
word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly 
administered according to Christ's ordinance, in 
all those things that are of necessity are requisite to 
the same.' For this exhibition of practical wisdom 
on their part, we should rejoice and be thankful. 
It is not the boast of St. Thomas that the mass of 
our people has hitherto been won to her standard. 
Yet it can not be successfully denied that she has 
exerted a powerful influence for good among other 
denominations of her brethren since organized into 
religious bodies. Whatever of taste, order and in- 
telligence be now discovered among the various 
colored churches here, may in a great degree be 
traced to the stimulating influence of St. Thomas. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 75 

She stood alone at one time in favor of the educa- 
tion of the ministry and people. But a favorable 
change is now universally taking place. She was 
once spoken of in disparaging terms on account of 
her care for cleanliness and decency in the house 
of worship, her carpeted aisles, her pews and organ. 
But now she is closely imitated in all these respects. 
I repeat that it is not our boast that the mass have 
flocked to our Zion. The time has not yet arrived. 
It should be remembered that though our people 
are rapidly improving, they are not yet fully devel- 
oped. Our sober, rational and inimitable devo- 
tional service, the Lessons, Epistles and Gospels 
statedly read, are what they actually jieed in order 
to raise them to the dignity of intelligent Chris- 
tians ; but, they are not as yet generally prepared to 
appreciate them, owing to their early pre-possess- 
ions. But the day is at hand when from previous 
intellectual training the rising generation will be 
fully competent and every way disposed to investi- 
gate matters closely. They will no longer be gov- 
erned, as too many of their elders are now, by su- 
perstitious notions, false premises and illogical con- 
clusions. They will become honest and candid 
searchers after the truth. Then, the time will have 
arrived for St. Thomas to arise in her strength and 
make an aggressive movement — to challenge her 
brethren of other names to compare notes w4th her 
in regard to the basis of their ecclessiastical struc- 

Mr. Douglass in the introduction of his Annals thus ac- 
counts for the Methodistic attraction: 

76 The Afro-Americax Group 

*'As Methodism addressed itself chiefly to the 
feelings and affections — which are always strongest 
among undisciplined minds — the great majority 
gave their adherence to that system. Another cause 
of the success of this denomination in gathering into 
their folds more of the colored population than any 
other, may be ascribed to their itinerancy. This 
class of ministers, at the time referred to, made no 
pretentions to literary qualifications, and being de- 
spised and persecuted as religious enthusiasts, their 
sympathies naturally turned towards the lowly, 
who, like themselves, were of small estimate in the 
sight of worldly greatness." 

The enemies of the Episcopal Church of our own group 
have industriously sought to create the impression, especially 
as pertains to the far South, that sympathetic feeling did 
not exist between the black and white members of the Epis- 
copal household during the days before the Civil War. In 
South Carolina the sympathetic feeling was so genuine and 
productive that there were as many colored as white com- 
municants. Illustrating somewhat the type of the white 
South Carolina clergy, we introduce at this point the story 
of the procuring of a white South Carolinian as rector of St. 
Thomas Church, Philadelphia. 

During the summer of 1826, the Rev. P. Van Pelt, a 
white priest in charge of one of the most important white 
parishes in the diocese of South Carolina, visited the city of 
Philadelphia. During his stay there he frequently officiated 
for the people of St. Thomas, with much satisfaction and 
benefit. The people of this African Church had become so 
thoroughly carried away by reason of his most acceptable 
ministrations, that 'ere his return to South Carolina, the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 77 

vestry of St. Thomas extended him a hearty and unanimous 
invitation to become the rector of the parish. Bishop White, 
Dr. Abercrombie and others of the clergy, knowing the de- 
sire of the congregation to secure his services, and believing 
that such would be productive of much good, strongly urged 
Mr. Van Pelt to accept the call. At length, regarding it as 
a duty, he accepted the call ; but owing to previous engage- 
ments at the South, did not enter upon his duties as rector 
until June 1827. In 1830 Mr. Van Pelt was appointed 
secretary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society 
in New York, as well as editor of its periodical. With re- 
spect to the departure of Mr. Van Pelt Mr. Douglass says: 

"On the eve of separating, the congregation, as 
a testimony of their affectionate regard, presented 
him, in addition to other substantial memorials, a 
large and beautiful silver pitcher. Mr. Van Pelt 
was a young gentleman of very prepossessing ap- 
pearance, fine talents and oratorical powers of a 
high order. During the three years of his minis- 
trations he was very successful through the divine 
blessing upon his labors, in promoting true and 
vital godliness among the people of his charge. In 
1829, he presented to Bishop White 44 persons for 
Confirmation. The Sunday School rapidly grew 
in its dimensions, and greatly flourished. Its fame 
spread among the colored people of other denomina- 
tions, from among whom large accessions were 
made to the school, they having at that time no 
Sunday Schools of their own. An organ, for the 
first time was introduced into the church at his sug- 
gestion. Mr. Van Pelt, evidently, made an indel- 
ible impression upon the congregation of St. Tho- 

78 The Afro-Am eric ax Group 

mas. The elder members of that time have since 
departed this life; but, I never knew them speak 
of the days referred to unless in the most glowing 
terms, as pleasing reminescenses of the past. And 
I feel confident that it is not possible now for me to 
introduce into the pulpit a clergyman more accep- 
table to our hearers — excepting our venerable and 
beloved Bishop— than the Rev. P. Van Pelt, D. D." 

At the time of the publication of the ''Annals'' 1862, 
the Rev. Dr. Van Pelt, w^hile still secretary of the Domestic 
and Foreign Missionary Society of the Church, was also 
professor of oriental languages in the Theological Depart- 
ment of Burlington College, N. J. 

The Rev. Dr. Van Pelt was followed in the rectorship 
of St. Thomas, by another white clergyman. Rev. J. M. 
Douglass. On the 17th of September, 1834, the Rev. Wil- 
liam Douglass, ordained in Maryland during the preceeding 
June, took charge of St. Thomas, where he remained until 
his death in 1862. 

The case of Dr. Van Pelt is deserving of special emphasis. 
It is in itself an interpretation of race relations between the 
better class of colored and white persons of that period North 
and South. Note that this is the first Instance on record 
where a vestry of a colored congregation Invited a white 
clergyman to become regularly settled over them as the rec- 
tor of their parish. The man who was called and who ac- 
cepted was at the time rector of a white congregation In the 
State and diocese of South Carolina. That Dr. Van Pelt 
was an ordinary 5^oung white man is sufficiently contradicted 
by the avidity with which the authorities of the Missionary 

OF THE Episcopal Church 79 

Society of the Church sought and obtained his services three 
years thereafter. The incident is important as it illustrates 
the contention that all along from the very beginning the 
high-class white people of education and good breeding, de- 
spite the institution of slavery, exercised the most sympathe- 
tic and helpful attachment towards the black people 

Any number of the most radical and outspoken friends of 
the black man have been men born and reared on the soil of 
South Carolina. We cannot forbear in giving another in- 
stance of such devotion. The Rev. Dr. John H. Elliott, 
some time rector of the Church of the Ascension, Washing- 
ton, D. C, and one of the national figures in the Episcopal 
Church, a South Carolinian by birth, at the time of the great 
controversy over the admission of St. Marks, Charleston, in 
union with the South Carolina Convention in 1876, was the 
leader of that section of the committee which recommended 
the unconditional admission of the colored parish. In his 
memorable speech upon the floor of the Convention in defense 
of his contention, among other things, he said: 

"That it is our interest, no less than our duty 
before God to do what we can to elevate this race 
to win them over to the side of religion and order, 
to inspire them with confidence in our good will 
and sincerity, to wean them from their ignorant and 
self-constituted teachers, and to weaken the triple 
cord of religious, political, association and caste- 
feeling, by which they are now held in bondage, no 
good Christian, or sensible man will deny. Yet it 
is proposed to us to repel a large and influential col- 
ored congregation, of whose piety and respectability 
and sympathy with us there is no dispute, because 
we do not care to sit with them in the same Con- 

80 The Afro-Americax Group 

vention, or allow them to have a voice, however 
humble, in the government of their own church, or 
because we can not bring ourselves to face certain 
unpleasant consequences which may, or may not, 
follow their introduction. Instead of joyfully tak- 
ing them by the hand and welcoming them as our 
co-workers in bringing about a better state of feel- 
ing between the two races, w^e are asked to deepen 
the chasm already existing, to cut away the last 
bridge of communication by which we may reach 
a better understanding, and to convince them, once 
and forever, that where we have the power, we 
mean to wield it against every semblance of equal- 
ity, even thought it be in the Church of Christ. We 
may do our best to put another face upon it, but 
this will be their reading of it, and they will find 
this construction sustained by the great majority of 
civilized men, even of our own race and color." 



While St. Thomas Church, Philadelphia, is the first and 
oldest of colored Episcopal Churches in this country, yet, it 
must be remembered that the people of St. Thomas were 
brought up as "Methodists," and, in maturer life, in a body, 
conformed to the Church. Absalom Jones, the first pastor of 
this same congregation, was 49 years of age when ordained 
to the diaconate. On the other hand the people who first 
constituted St. Philips Church, New York, had been most 
carefully trained, and brought up in the worship and ways of 
the Church. The Rev. Peter Williams, the chief founder, 
and first pastor, was confirmed in the Church when a youth 
eighteen years of age, and for quite a while was assistant to 
the Catechist, having in charge the early training of the 

Almost from the very beginning Trinity Parish, New 
York, maintained work among the colored people, and as 
this work grew in volume steps were taken to gradually pre- 
pare the colored group for the active work of a parish, and 
Church, under the guidance, as well as material assistance, of 
Trinity Church. 

At the time of the founding of St. Philips, 1818, the 
total population of New York City was about 160,000 — 
12,000 of whom were descendants of the African race. Only 
sixty colored persons were tax-payers, and only 16 were 
qualified to vote. Slavery, at that time, had not been entire- 
ly abolished, complete emancipation being effective in 1827. 

82 The Afro-American Group 

As the work of instruction in conection with Trinity Parish 
invited increasing numbers, for more efficient care a room 
over a carpenter's shop on Cliff street, now Peck's slip, was 
secured, and fitted up with only such furniture as was abso- 
lutely needed. Sometimes services were held in the evenings, 
and when such was the case illumination was secured by 
candles fixed on square blocks and placed at intervals around 
the room 

A Mr. George Lorrillard, a wealthy New Yorker, being 
interested in the work, made a lease of a parcel of ground on 
Collect street, afterwards Center street, to the parish of St. 
Philips for 60 years, at an annual rental of $250, and at 
the expiration of this time the land should become the pro- 
perty of the Church. Thus a site for the church building 
was secured, an effort was now put forth towards the erec- 
tion of an edifice. In this the congregation was assisted by 
Trinity Parish, and also by $2400 left through the will of 
Mr. Jacob Sherred, to aid the congregation in its work. The 
first building was a frame structure, 60-50. Bishop Hobart 
spoke in high praise of the new church and mentioned the 
important fact that the greater part of the work on the 
building was done by Negro mechanics, which, incidentally, 
tell of the industrial position of the race, even in that early 
day. The edifice had galleries on both sides and in front, 
and contained altogether 144 pews. Its cost was a little 
over $8,000. The building was solemnly consecrated on the 
3rd of July, 1819. The first Baptism in the Church occurred 
on the 19th of the same month, the name of the child Chris- 
tened being Samuel Saltus. On the 20th of October of the 
same year, 1819, the ordination of the Parish's faithful Lay 
Reader, Mr. Peter Williams, occurred. The Commercial 
Advertiser, the day following, with respect to the event, 
said: "Yesterday morning Mr. Peter Williams, Jr., was 

OF THE Episcopal Church 83 

admitted to the Holy Order of Deacons in St. Philips 
Church, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Hobart. The new deacon 
is a person of color, who, being possessed of good natural 
parts, has much improved his intellectual faculties by intense 
study and application, and has written several little tracts, 
which abundantly show that with God there is no respect of 
persons. Mr. Williams is of unexceptional morals, and his 
zeal in the cause of our blessed Redeemer is well known, and, 
it is devoutly to be hoped that he be a useful minister in the 
Christian Church, and of great service in propagating the 
Gospel among his African brethren." 

The great joy which the people of St. Philips experienced 
was destined for a time to be overshadowed by a heavy afflic- 
tion; for, on the evening of December 8, 1821, a fire broke 
out and the church was destroyed. Happily it was insured 
for its full value, and very soon another even more attractive 
was in course of erection. The second edifice was duly con- 
secrated by Bishop Hobart, December 31, 1822. With this 
great triumph over difficulties, increased spiritual activity 
was manifested, which showed itself for several years in large 
classes presented for Confirmation. On May 7th, 1826, in 
St. Philips Church, Bishop Hobart Confirmed 115 persons, 
and in the year 1829 48 were confirmed and in 1832, 70 re- 
ceived the laying on of hands. On July 10th, 1826, in St. 
Philips Church, the Rev. Peter Williams was advanced to 
the Priesthood. 

Towards the beginning of the year 1840, the health of 
the Rev. Mr. Williams began to fail. On the evening of 
October 18, of the same 3 ear, he retired to his rest as usual 
at his residence, 68 Crosby street, but before the light of 
another day his spirit had fled. Bishop Onderdonk, who 
officiated at the funeral in St. Philips Church, remarked, 
before morning he awoke "not to the light of this world, but 

84 The Afro-American Group 

to the glorious splendor of Paradise." A newspaper of that 
time, said: "The Rev. Peter Williams, Jr., son of Peter 
Williams, tobacconist, 53 Liberty street, was born in New 
York City." It was generally understood that Mr. Williams 
was more or less a protege of Bishop Hobart. In 1808 he 
delivered an oration on the African Slave Trade in which he 
strongly depicted its horrors. By some his claim to the au- 
thorship of this oration was doubted, deeming it above his 
capacity; but Bishop Moore, who understood all the facts in 
the case, publicly testified to the contrary, and his affidavit 
accompanied by others, was printed with the oration. 

Rev. William Douglass, at that time rector of St. 
Thomas Church, Philadelphia, in a sermon the next month 
following his death to his own cengregation, said, of the late 
Mr. Williams: "He manifested a deep concern for the im- 
provement, not only of the people of his charge, but for his 
brethren generally. Hence, he was fond of contributing his 
influence and pecuniary means towards supporting the vari- 
ous organized instrumentalities that had a tendency to ele- 
vate and improve the condition of his oppressed people. . . . 

He was not conspicuous in such matters. For no man, 

perhaps, was less given to display, or aimed less at popular 
applause than he . If he could hide himself from personal 

gaze he seemed best pleased Did he see a promising 

youth who lacked nothing but the necessary advantages to 
enable him to reflect credit upon himself and people, in a 
moral and intellectual point of view, he was the man that 
would spare no pains to get such an one in a situation favor- 
able to the development of his powers. He took delight in 
seeking out such cases. There is now a high school in the 
city of New York that owes its establishment to his untiring 

Bishop Onderdonk, in his Convention address of 1841, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 85 

thus alludes to the late Rev. Peter Williams and the parish 
over which he had presided : 

"This excellent brother, as you well know, being one of 
themselves, had been for many years the faithful, devoted 
and eminently useful pastor of a parish formed of Africans 
and their descendants. A better ordered parish the diocese 
does not possess. Air. AVilliams added to sincere and en- 
lightened piety, and a grade of talent and theological ac- 
quirements quite above mediocrity, great soundness of judg- 
ment and prudence in action, and a just appreciation, a sin- 
cere love and a consistent adoption of sound Church princi- 
ples. Trul\' attached to his flock and cordially devoted to 
their best interests, he took heed unto them with a wise re- 
gard to what most concerned their duty and welfare in the 
life that now is, and their well-grounded Christian hope of 
that which is to come. He fed them with a faithful and 
true heart, and ruled them prudently with all his power." 

Following the death of Mr. Williams, the parish was 
without a settled rector for quite a while. During this 
period a number of well-known white clergy were, at diverse 
times, the acting pastors. Among this number were: Rev. 
Messrs. Benjamin Evans, Donald Fraizer and Ralph Hoyt. 
Following Mr. Hoyt, the Rev. Samuel V. Berry, one of St. 
Phillips' own sons, acted as pastor for quite a while. 

In 1845 the parish began its seven years' fight for ad- 
mission into union with the Convention of New York. It 
was a long and interesting one. Dr. James McCune Smith 
and Mr. Alexander Elston were elected deputies to the Con- 
vention. The people of St. Philips, in showing their grati- 
tude to their foremost friend and advocate, the Hon. John 
Tav. elected him for the second time as their representative 
in the diocesan Convention. Mr. Jay in declining a repeti- 
tion of the honor paid the warmest tribute possible to the 

86 The Afro-American Group 

parish. He said that never had he esteemed himself so highly 
honored than the previous 5ear, when he answered "roll call" 
as the representative from that African parish. 

For many years there was a celebrated and venerable 
character in connection with St. Philips Church ; from its 
first days "Father John Peterson," who, as a pioneer educa- 
tor, laid the intellectual foundations for scores of colored 
men, many of whom in later life attained national fame. He 
was an educator. But from the earliest days of the parish 
he had manifested an active interest in a^.l of its affairs, and. 
the very year the Civil War closed, by Bishop Horatio 
Potter, he was admitted to the permanent diaconate. In this 
capacity he was of special value and service to the parish 
during vacancies in the rectorship. Father Peterson was active 
in making arrangements for the initial Conference of Church 

Workers which assembled in New York in 1883. 

The parish of St. Philips has sent into the ministry quite 
a number of its own sons. Among those in the early minis- 
try of the Church were Alexander Crummell, Hezekiah 
Green, who went to Africa; DeGrasse, who laid down his 
young life in the West Indies, and Samuel Vreeland Berry, 
a pioneer priest and teacher in the South following the close 
of the Civil War. 

St. Philips possesses property in value of possibly more 
than a million of dollars. This is not because of the wealth 
of its people; for St. Philips is by no means a wealthy con- 
gregation. And especially during the present rectorship has 
it been built up from less than three hundred communicants 
to more than 2,500 from the poor and ordinary workers. Its 
wealth is easily explained when the wonderful growth of 
New York City is recalled. Besides its own immediate 
church property it had lots for burying purposes and other 

OF THE Episcopal Church 87 

small pieces of real estate. Being continually forced further 
up the island because of the increasing business area, the 
value of its holdings increased marvellously with every 
change in location it was bound to make. Then, again, upon 
the whole the parish has had good business management of 
its affairs. Especially is this true during the past well-nigh 
forty years. 

For more than a period of one hundred years this parish 
has had only four rectors, and all of them have been descen- 
dants of the African race. Mention has already been made 
of the superior intellectual qualifications of the Rev. Peter 
Williams over men of his day. He was clearly a leader of 
his day and generation. In June 1859 the Rev. William 
Johnson Alston, a native of North Carolina, graduated from 
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and was ordained deacon 
by Bishop Mcllvaine. For the next year or so Mr. Alston 
became the acting pastor of St. Philips. In 1862 he accepted 
the rectorship of St. Thomas, Philadelphia, but after a short 
while there he returned to St. Philips as the second rector of 
that parish where he remained until his death. 

The Hon. John P. Green, Cleveland, Ohio, one of the 
distinguished leaders of the race in this country, also an ar- 
dent and staunch Churchman, in his most excellent autobio- 
graphy published in 1919, notes some interesting data with 
respect to the early life and struggles of the Rev. Mr. Al- 
ston, which we give elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Green, 
a native of North Carolina, a resident of many years of 
Cleveland, is a former member of the Senate of that State. 

The Rev. Mr. Alston was succeeded in the rectorship of 
St. Philips by the Rev. Joseph Sandford Atwell, a native of 
the West Indies. 

Mr. Atwell first labored in Kentucky, then in Virginia; 
and from Virginia he went to Georgia. It was from the 

88 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

rectorship of St. Stephens Church, Savannah, Ga., that he 
was called to St. Philips. He was a thoroughly educated 
man, receiving his literary training at Coddrington College 
in the West Indies, and his theological training in the Divin- 
ity Hall, Philadelphia, which eventuated into the present 
Philadelphia Divinity School. Mr. Atwell's rectorship did 
not last very long before his translation to the spirit world. 
But his short administration made a profound impression 
upon the community. 

The fourth and present rector of St. Philips, the Rev. 
Hutchens C. Bishop, D. D., is a native of Maryland. His 
father and mother were united in holy matrimony by the 
Rev. William Douglass, a Maryland born man, as well as 
the first black man ordained to our ministry on Southern 
soil. Long before the Civil War the parents of the present 
rector of St. Philips were among the most conspicuous char- 
acters laboring together in the building up of St. James 
First African Church, Baltimore, at whose font Dr. Bishop 
received his Christian name. Later the older brothers 
and sisters of Dr. Bishop were among the pioneers from 
St. James who established the second congregation in that 
city, the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin. It was in this new 
home that Hutchens C. Bishop was Confirmed and further 
instructed in Church principles. In due season he entered 
the General Theological Seminary, being the first colored 
student to be received and graduated. 

Because of an unfortunate "ritualistic controversy," in 
which the parish with which he was identified was involved, 
he was transferred by Bishop Whittingham to the diocese of 
Albany, and was ordained to the diaconate in the Albany 
Cathedral by Bishop William Croswell Doane of that dio- 
cese. The following year in the same place by the same 
Bishop he was advanced to the Priesthood. Laboring for a 

OF THE Episcopal Church 89 

while in Albany, ^Maryland, and South Carolina, he was 
finally called to the rectorship of St. Philips, assuming the 
charge January 1, 1886. From that time to the present the 
historic parish has sustained a phenomenal progress in every 
way under the wise, efficient and judicious administration of 
the Rev. Dr. Hutchens C. Bishop. 



St. Thomas Church, Philadelphia, the first of all our 
colored Episcopal parishes, was really a congregation of col- 
ored Methodists conforming to the Episcopal Church. In 
the case of the second, St. Philips, New York, wt have a 
group of colored persons under the w^ing of Trinity Church, 
duly instructed and prepared for the work of initiating a 
parish of the Episcopal Church among the people of African 

In that of St. James First African Church, Baltimore, 
we have something entirely different. The founding of St. 
James introduces our first great missionary hero of the black 
lace. William Levington appears to have been born in the 
city of New York about the very year St. Thomas Church, 
Philadelphia, came into being. For nearly twenty-five years 
St. Thomas Church was a "living w^onder" in all America. 
During all this period it existed as the only such congrega- 
tion in the United States. When one recalls those early 
days with the undeveloped character of our country during 
the infant period of our republic, and the numerical weak- 
ness of the Episcopal Church among the whites, he can 
readily imagine the wonder and astonishment with which St. 
Thomas was viewed, a congregation of persons of African 
descent with a minister from their own group. 

Under what circumstances Mr. Levington removed from 
New York to Philadelphia are not known. But, so far as 

OF THE Episcopal Church 91 

our investigation has gone, he was the first man ordained in 
St. Thomas Church since the ordination of Absalom Jones, 
the founder of that parish, in 1795, at which time Mr. Lev- 
ington was an infant in the city of New York. And thus it 
came to past that the little African babe born in New York, 
after having received his priestly light from the shrine of 
Absalom Jones, was the first of his kind to penetrate the land 
where slavery reigned, and successfully plant the cross of 
Jesus Christ, in spirit, saying as he journeyed southward, 
"Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling." 

It is not to be wondered that we have almost no data at 
all with respect to the personal history of the Rev. Mr. Lev- 
ington. He was a pilgrim in a strange land, sent by no mis- 
sionary board, and with but little appreciation on the part 
of those he came to help. He left behind two "manuscripts," 
but of such a retiring nature was the man, neither one of 
these documents supply us with any personal particulars of 
the man, the hero of such remarkable accomplishment. The 
first of these documents relates the story of his coming to 
Baltimore, and of his final success in the erection of the edi- 
fice ; while the second is a defense of his policy of admitting 
the slave population to the same spiritual equality in the 
Church as enjoyed by the free people of color. 

From the first document we quote: "It is right that the 
Christian public and the members of the Church, together 
with the rising generation, should know who or what gave 
rise to the establishment of St. James First African Protes- 
tant Episcopal Church, in Baltimore; for their information 
I note the following. I visited Baltimore soon after my 
ordination, March 14, 1824, and spent three or four weeks 
here, after which I returned to Philadelphia; and the Rev. 
Dr. Wyatt asked Mrs. L. Douton and Mr. Isaac Whipper 
if they thought that I could get up a school and be supported 

92 The Afro-Americax Group 

here while trying to raise a church. They told him that I 
could, and each of them oftered to board me six months ; and 
after they had conversed with some of their friends about it 
they wished the doctor to write to Philadelphia for me, which 
with the cordial consent and approbation of the late Rt. Rev. 
and V^enerable Bishop Kemp, he did immediately. I arrived 
in Baltimore on the 26th of May, of the same year — but so 
gloomy were the prospects that there was no place to be had 
to conduct divine worship and hold a school and but little 
exertion made. However, with blessings of the great Head 
of the Church, the 23rd of June, I got a place where I per- 
formed divine service and held a day and Sunday School, 
until the last of March, 1827, when we moved to the present 

"Nine months after my arrival here there appeared to be 
no probability of establishing a church ; so much so that Mrs. 
L. D. and Mr. I. W. withdrew from the concern. But be 
it remembered, that although Mrs. L. D. and Mr. I. W. 
withdrew from the concern, yet much respect is due them 
for their benevolent act toward the establishment of the pre- 
sent church. I owe much gratitude to the Rev. J. P. K. 
Henshaw for his individual influence and counsel in behalf 
of the Church, and for his eloquent sermon which he preach- 
ed (Gen. 28:17) when the church was consecrated to the 
service of Almighty God — and also to S. Young, Esq., for 
his friendly counsel and individual influence, and may the 
names of R. Nelson and E. J. Coale, Esqs., ever be dear to 
those who worship in the church, and all who may hereafter 
w^orship in it ; and all those who are and who shall be taught 
in it to read the Word of God ; for it was by the solicitation 
of the above named gentlemen, that the lot of ground on 
which the church is erected was generously given by James 
Bosley, Esq., on the 19th day of April, 1825; and by their 

OF THE Episcopal Church 93 

further solicitation, a few days after, Peter Hoffman, John 
B. Morris and George Warner, Esqs., gave donations of 
fifty dollars each, and Mr. G. W. gave five thousand bricks; 
at which time they also kindly consented to superintend the 
building and appropriation of the funds contributed for 
erecting the church. I sincerely pray that the Divine Head of 
the Church will abundantly reward in this world and in the 
world to come everlasting life. And when I and the present 
worshippers in the said church shall cease to venerate their 
worthy names, having slept with our fathers, may those of 
our posterity, w^ho may have knowledge of them as our 
worthy benefactors, venerate their names to the latest gen- 

"William Levington, 
"Pastor of St. James F. A. P. E. Church." 
Mr. Levington was a young man about thirty years of 
age, and he had thrust upon him in addition to the matter of 
gaining a support and the erection of a building, one of the 
knottiest problems that could have been presented. He had 
not taken upon himself the mission southward for the pur- 
pose of establishing a "chapel of ease," simply for free Ne- 
groes, but to help and benefit the entire race, bond and free. 
A portion of "the free colored people" were aggressively 
bent upon the exclusion of the slave population, and greatly 
aggravated the burdens of this black missionary by their per- 
sistent efforts in that direction. Manuscript No. 2, will give 
some idea of this controversy. It reads: 


"We are asked by some persons why we have constituted 
our brethren members of the Church, and entitled them to 
vote, who are in bondage, who are above twenty-one years, 
and who comply with the requisites required by the consti- 

94 The Afro-American Group 

"First; we answer, the Apostle ssivs whether bond or 
free ye are all one in Christ Jesus, for he that is called in 
the Lord being a servant, is the Lord's freeman. Of a truth 
God is no respector of persons; but in every nation he that 
feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with 
Him. (Gal. 3-28; I Cor. 7:22; Acts 10:34-35). 

"Secondly; the lot of ground was generously given by 
James Bosley, Esq., as a site for a church and school for the 
benefit of the African race forever, and the citizens of Bal- 
timore, New York, Boston, Troy, Hartford, Albany, Phila- 
delphia, and elsewhere, gave donations toward erecting the 
church, and Peter Hoffman, Esq., took a distinguished part 
In its erection without which, we believe, we should not have 
got one yet erected. 

"Thirdly. In August, 1827, our late Rt. Rev. and Ven- 
erable Bishop Kemp, met with a number of us in the church, 
and told us that the great object in erecting the church was 
that both bond and free might serve God and prepare for 
another world ; and above all people in the world he thought 
we ought to be the most united. Can a wise man with a 
feeling heart, suppose that we, some of whom have felt the 
yoke of bondage, should draw a line of separation ? No, let 
the day be darkened forever on which we should do it? Have 
we all not one Father? Hath not one God created us? Why 
should we deal treacherously every man against his brother? 
(Mai. 2:10). The Church is none other than the House of 
God, and this is the gate of Heaven. (Gen. 28:37). 

"We charitably ask the Christian public shall we be par- 
tial in the House of God, and at the gate of Heaven become 
judges of evil thoughts. No, we will remember them that 
are in bonds as bound with them ourselves. (Heb. 13:3). 

"Thus we, the vestrymen and minister of the said church, 
acquiesce with the Apostle and our late venerable Bishop, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 95 

whose unwearied labors, whose instructive example and holy 
admonitions may we never forget. William Levington, 
Thomas B. Rose, William Warrick, Philip Myers, Levin 
Brown, Henry Davis, Peter Dennis, Henry Johnson." 

The estimated value of the lot upon which the church 
was built was $2,000. The modest edifice cost about $2,300, 
and the money was raised, mainly, through the personal soli- 
citations of Mr. Levington. He made several trips north for 
that purpose. From his last report to the diocesan conven- 
tion of 1834, it is revealed that a balance of $637.73 was still 
owing on the property. Rev. Dr. Joshua Peterkin, who fol- 
lowed Mr. Levington, paid off this indebtedness. In that 
last report, Mr. Levington says: "The rector would say that 
although the constitution of the church gives to those of his 
brethren who are in bondage the right of membership in the 
church, much dissatisfaction has prevailed among some of his 
free brethren; yet with the blessing of the Great Head of the 
Church, it has been happily and finally settled." 

Although but a handful of people, comparatively speak- 
ing, St. James Church, with its day school, exerted a marvel- 
ous influence in the community. Its indirect influence being 
far greater than its direct impress upon the race. Many of 
the afterward active men and women of the race received 
their educational training under Mr. Levington. The wife 
of the late Bishop A. W. Wayman, of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church, as a girl, received her education in St. 
James Church under Mr. Levnigton. The same was true 
of the mother of Bishop Levi J. Coppin, (A. M. E. Bishop) 
an alumnus of our Episcopal Divinity School in Philadel- 
phia. The same was true of William Douglass, the first 
colored man ordained to our ministry in Maryland. It was 
the presence of Levington in this city which discovered and 
brought into the Church such a useful man as the Rev. Mr. 

96 The Afro-American Group 

Douglass, of whom Bishop Alonzo Potter said : "As a reader 
of the Liturgy he was unsurpassed." St. James has had an 
eventful history, and, although until the present rectorship 
it never had more than one hundred communicants at any 
one time, yet, the moral, spiritual and intellectual influence 
exerted has been entirely out of all proportion as contrasted 
with numbers. There were only two colored congregations 
in Baltimore at that time having colored pastors and control 
of their own local affairs. St. James was one of these, while 
Bethel A. M. E. Church was the other. Bethel abounded in 
numbers and ignorance. The Rev. Dr. D. A. Payne, ''the 
great Negro apostle of education," later Bishop of the A. M. 
E. Church, came to Baltimore in 1843 to assume the charge 
of Bethel. In the next few 5 ears he erected a very beautiful 
church for that congregation. With respect to the past of 
that congregation, Bishop Payne alludes in the following 
paragraph: "On the 9th of July, 1848, this majestic temple 
of the Lord w^as consecrated with very interesting and impos- 
ing ceremonies. The day that witnessed the finish of the 
beautiful house of God also dated a new era in the history of 
the congregation worshipping in it. Up to that time they 
were regarded by the white community as the most ignorant, 
most indolent and most useless body of Christians in the city. 
Since then they have been commended as one of the most in- 
teresting and enterprising in it." 

We do not believe that a more useful, educated Negro, 
than Bishop Daniel A. Payne has ever lived. And, yet, 
scarcely any of our great leaders have been more generally 
hated and persecuted than he. Ever5rwhere, and upon all 
occasions he was militantly aggressive with his onslaughts on 
ignorance and "Baptized superstitution," as he characterized 
it. He was, preeminently, not only learned, but a man of 
God, absolutely bold and fearless. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 97 

It was just about the time of Dr. Payne's advent in Bal- 
timore that St. James Church gave birth to an institution for 
the benefit of the whole community, which proved the 
instrument of drawing together in a kind of brotherhood a 
large portion of the reputable and substantial colored men of 
the city. It was the organization of St. James Alale Bene- 
ficial Society. The leader in this new enterprise was Harrison 
Holmes Webb, a native of Pennsylvania, who at that time 
was Lay Reader and teacher of the day school of St. James 
Church and a candidate for Holy Orders. Subsequently he 
was ordained both deacon and priest, and, after serving as 
the assistant minister, became the rector of the parish. His 
was the second ordination in the church, the Rev. Eli W. 
Stokes having been ordained there in October, 1843. 

St. James Society proved the point of union for colored 
men of every denomination in the city who had at heart the 
well-being of the race, and the preservation of the highest and 
best ideals. This society not only cared for the sick, and 
buried the dead, but its regular meetings proved "a forum" 
where all the things which concerned the advancement of 
the racial group were discussed, and where its members were 
educated in parliamentary proceedure. Man\ of them not 
only became fluent in debate and powerful in argument, but 
thoroughly furnished in the knowledge of affairs generally. 
Following the death of \lr. Levington in 1836 the Rev. 
Joshua Peterkin. white, who was strongly inclined to go to 
Africa, as a missionary, changed his mind and came to St. 
James to save it from perishing. His ministry of only a few 
years was most fruitful and helpful. Dr. Peterkin was the 
honored father of Bishop Peterkin of West Virginia. Early 
in the forties the Rev. Mr. Mcjilton, in addition to his du- 
ties elsewhere, assumed the rectorship of St. James Church, 
wherein he continued for about sixteen years, having as his 

98 The Afro-American Group 

lay assistant Mr. Harrison H. Webb, who after ordination 
became the assistant minister of the parish, and, in 1857, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Mcjilton in the rectorship of the church. The 
administration of the Rev. Mr. Mcjilton was exceedingly 
fruitful. The congregation steadily advanced under him. 
Having duly prepared Mr. Webb, his assistant, in a most 
beautiful letter to the vestry, he tendered his resignation, 
and earnestly recommended the election of his assistant as his 
successor. The administration of the Rev. Mr. Webb as 
rector and teacher of the day school continued until the year 
1872, when he resigned. It was during the latter part of this 
rectorship that some forty of the younger folk of St. James, 
under the leadership of Messrs. C. M. C. Mason and Wil- 
liam H. Bishop, Jr., initiated St. Philips Mission in the 
newer and growling section of the city. The mission became 
quite thriving indeed, but Bishop Whittingham was indis- 
posed to its continuance because of the weakening effect it 
exerted on St. James, and he endeavored to re-unite the two. 
But the young people were determined ; so the mission for- 
TTially disorganized itself, and, the week following, the same 
persons composing it were organized as a new missionary 
venture of Mt. Calvary Church, under the name of "the 
Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin," and, although numerically 
large, it has continued to this day as a mission chapel of Mt. 
Calvary Church. 

St. James Church was much weakened by these removals ; 
so much so, that upon the application of the vestry to Rev. 
Dr. Hodges, rector of St. Pauls parish, the rector of St. 
Pauls assumed the charge of the spiritualities of the congre- 
gation, furnishing a priest from that parish as the regular 
pastor of St. James. This arrangement became effective from 
Advent, 1873, when the Rev. Isaac L. Nicholson (afterwards 
Bishop of Milwaukee) assumed the pastoral charge. The 

OF THE Episcopal Church 99 

era of St. Pauls' guardianship terminated with the 31st of 
December, 1888, when the Rev. B. W. Timothy, a colored 
priest, resigned the appointment made by the rector of St. 
Pauls. In the meantime the old edifice had been adjudged 
unsafe, the congregation temporarily meeting at Howard 
Chapel, (a Mission of Emmanuel Church) while a new 
location was sought. So weakened had the congregation be- 
come that at the request of the vestry Bishop Paret assumed 
full control of its affairs. During this unsettled period the 
Rev. Henry Tarrant, white, the Rev. William H. Wilson 
and the Rev. Francis John Clay Moran, white. Archdeacon 
of the Diocese for Colored Work, officiated. During the 
fall of 1890 the congregation was settled in East Baltimore 
in an edifice which was purchased by the Bishop on High 
street, which had formerly been a white Baptist Church. The 
Rev. John C. Anderson was placed in charge. Everything 
was so discouraging and the congregation dwindling away 
that Mr. Anderson did not remain a full year, but resigned 
while the Bishop was away in Europe, the Archdeacon sup- 
plying the vacancy until a settled minister could be secured. 
After an extraordinary effort Bishop Paret succeeded in se- 
curing the acceptance of the Rev. George F. Bragg, Jr., at 
that time rector of Grace Church, Norfolk, Va. The Rev. 
Mr. Bragg arrived in Baltimore to take charge of St. James 
Church on November 17th, 1891, and, on the Sunday next 
before Advent of that same year, officiated for the first time. 
His rectorship has continued to the present time. 

The first edifice located at the juncture of North and 
Saratoga streets, was duly consecrated by Bishop Kemp on 
the 31st of March, 1827, the corner-stone having been laid 
on the 10th of October preceeding. At the consecration, the 
morning service was said by the Rev. Dr. Wyatt, rector of 
St. Pauls. Dr. Henshaw, rector of St. Peters Church, after- 

100 The Afro-American Group 

wards the first Bishop of Rhode Island, preached the conse- 
cration sermon . With respect to this service Bishop Kemp 
said : "The congregation was large and devout, the responses 
were well made and the chanting and singing quite delight- 

The present edifice on Park avenue and Preston street, 
was erected during the year 1901, the cornerstone being laid 
on Sunday afternoon, June 22; the first service was held in 
the new church on the 10th of October of the same year. 

St. James was organized as an independent parish and 
has continued such through all the days of its weakness. Its 
first rector and founder, Mr. Levington, had no fixed sal- 
ary. The Rev. Harrison H. Webb received a very insigni- 
ficant sum as salary, which was augmented from funds de- 
rived from school teaching. Up to the time the present rec- 
tor took charge thirty-five dollars a month was the highest 
mark registered on pastoral support, and that for only one 
5'ear. When the present rector took charge his entire sup- 
port came through the Bishop. Not only has a new congre- 
gation and a new church edifice been called into existence, 
but the congregation, long since, has been advanced to com- 
plete self-support; in addition to contributing its full share 
to diocesan and general objects. During this period some 
four or five of its members have entered the Holy Ministry, 
and a charitable institution initiated by the rector, has be- 
come a regular diocesan affair, under the authority of the 
diocesan convention, with the Bishop as President, ex-ojficio. 

On Saturday, June 3, 1922 at the Cathedral of the In- 
carnation, Baltimore, the rector of St. James First African 
Church, had the pleasure and the privilege of presenting to 

OF THE Episcopal Church 101 

Bishop Murray for ordination, two young men whom he 
had held in his arms as babes and baptized — Mr. Gus- 
tave H. Caution, who was made deacon, and Rev. Cornelius 
R. Dawson who was advanced to the priesthood. 



While Alexander Crummell was in Boston, preparing 
for the ministry, whose ordination took place in St. Pauls 
Cathedral, that city, an attempt to rear a colored congrega- 
tion in Providence, R. I., was made by him. At that time 
Rhode Island was a part of the Eastern Diocese. After Dr. 
Crummell had given it up, this mission was served by two 
white clergymen, Rev. Messrs. Frank and Richmond. At 
the regular annual Convention of the Diocese of Rhode Is- 
land assembled in St. Stephens Church, Providence, in June, 
1843, "Christ Church" was regularly admitted as a parish in 
union with the Convention. This simple fact is of historic 
interest, since such was the very first admission of colored 
laymen as delegates in any Diocesan Convention in this coun- 
try. Four colored men attended that convention and took 
their seats as deputies from a parish made up of persons of 
African descent. The names of these men were James W. 
Johnson, Benjamin Barney, John M. Ray and George Head. 
Johnson and Ray were the wardens of the parish, and 
George Head was church clerk. As an interesting bit of 
history it is well to reproduce the words of one of the white 
clergy having charge of this parish. Said he, in submitting 
his annual report : 

"This is the only colored church in New Eng- 
land, though there are several meeting-houses of 

.OF THE Episcopal Church 103 

different sects in the city of Providence. The ser- 
vices, the church and the worshippers, present an 
appearance of order, neatness and regularily which 
are seldom equaled, and can hardly be surpassed. 
The organist is a colored girl under twenty years 
of age, and the music is excellent. It is hoped that 
all persons truly interested in the welfare of this 
portion of the people will attend the services when 
able, see for themselves, and assist this needy branch 
of our vine (which has just been received into our 
Convention) with their prayers and their sub- 

During the following month, August, Rhode Island had 
her first Bishop consecrated in the person of the Rev. Dr. 
Henshaw of Baltimore. In October of the same year, 1843, 
in Baltimore, in the little African church whose consecration 
sermon Dr. Henshaw had preached, a number of years be- 
fore, the first ordination in that church occurred. It was that 
of Eli W. Stokes, (a friend of Dr. Henshaw) by Bishop 
Whittingham. j\Ir. Stokes very soon after his ordination 
went to New Haven, Conn., where he organized St. Lukes 
Church that city in June, 1844. Mr. Stokes only remained 
in New Haven a few years; but, in the meantime, he was 
advanced to the prisethood by Bishop Brownell in 1846. That 
same year he responded to a call from his old Baltimore 
friend. Bishop Henshaw, and accepted the rectorship of 
Christ Church, Providence. In his new charge Mr. Stokes 
worked diligently, but, with a few members. The debt upon 
the little church was a heavy burden. So he determined to 
make a pilgrimage to England for the purpose of soliciting 
funds to free the church of debt. The mention of this visit, 
and its success, is so pleasingly stated in the annual address 

104 The Afro-American Group 

of the Bishop that we reproduce the same here. 

Bishop Henshaw in his Convention address of 1849 says: 

"At the time of the meeting of the last annual 
Convention, the Rev. Eli W. Stokes, rector of 
Christ Church in this city, was absent, in Europe, 
for the purpose of soliciting funds to liquidate the 
debt by which the "parish has been embarassed ever 
since their house of w^orship was erected. In conse- 
quence of a certificate required by the laws of Eng- 
land, furnished by me, he was received with great 
kindness by the Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy 
of our Mother Church ; and I am happy to inform 
you that his mission was crowned with entire suc- 
cess, and the liberal contributions which he received 
in that distant land have enabled the gentlemen 
holding the property in trust to make a satisfactory 
settlement with the mortgagees. The congregation 
is now free from debt, and our colored brethren 
have wisely made over their corporate property to 
the "Board of Commissioners for Church Build- 
ing" with a view of security against embarassment 
and encumberance for the time to come. The Chris- 
tian generosity with w^hich our English brethren 
answered the appeal made to them in behalf of that 
feeble parish has been duly acknowledge in a letter 
addressed by me to His Grace, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and through him, to the Church over 
which he so worthily presides." 

The next year the Rev. Mr. Stokes accepted an appoint- 
ment from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, 
and sailed for Liberia, West Africa, to labor in that field. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 105 

During the years following Christ Church made a desperate 
and earnest effort for existence, but the odds were too heavily 
against it, and, finally, it pased out of being. Its members 
became attached to St. Stephen's Church in the same city, 
and, within recollection of the present author, who, during 
the rectorship of Rev. Dr. Fiske, preached in St. Stephens, 
there were some eighty or one hundred colored communi- 
cants connected with that parish. In recent years under the 
patronage of Bishop Perry, a new separate colored congrega- 
tion, the "Church of the Savior" has come into being, and 
is in a constantly growing and increasing condition. All of 
the Bishops of Rhode Island, Henshaw. Clarke. IVIcVickar, 
and the present diocesan, have been particularly warm and 
devoted friends of the colored race. 



On Sunday, October 1, 1843, in St. James First African 
Church, Baltimore, Bishop Whittingham admitted to the 
Order of Deacons, Eli Worthington Stokes. It was the 
first ordination of a colored man in that congregation and 
the second such within the diocese of Maryland. There was 
little opportunity for Mr. Stokes to exercise his ministry in 
the territory south. Thus, soon after his ordination he went 
to New England, settling in New Haven, Conn. 

There were a number of colored persons attending the 
white churches in that city, and under the leadership of the 
Rev. Mr. Stokes they were gotten together and St. Lukes 
parish constituted, June 4, 1844, and the very next week 
following St. Lukes was admitted into union with the Dio- 
cesan Convention as a regular parish with representation in 
that body. The congregation worshipped regularly in a 
brick chapel belonging to Trinity Church. Nine years later 
it purchased its first church edifice on Park street which had 
been erected and used by a Baptist society. This building 
was reconstructed for the uses of the Church, but was never 
consecrated. The parish underwent many changes and ex- 
periences; sometimes it had lay, and at other times, clerical 

In the spring of 1885 the congregation increased so rapid- 
ly under the rector, at that time the Rev. Alfred C. Brown, 
that it was deemed necessary to adopt measures to enlarge 

OF THE Episcopal Church 107 

the building, and a legacy left for the special purpose of 
adding a chancel encouraged the people to proceed in the 
work without delay. About six hundred dollars was raised 
among the people of the parish and with the assistance of 
many kind friends among the church people of New Haven, 
the work was pushed forward and completed at a cost of 
about two thousand dollars. On December 7th, of that 
same year St. Lukes was consecrated to the worship of Al- 
mighty God by the Rt. Rev. John Williams, Bishop of Con- 
necticut, assisted by the clergy of the city and visiting breth- 

The parish has had nine rectors or settled clergymen. In 
1856, the Rev. James Theodore Holly, afterwards the first 
Bishop of Haiti, assumed the rectorship, remaining there 
until 1861, when he headed a band of colonists settling in 
the republic of Haiti. Then followed the Rev. Samuel V. 
Berry of New York. Mr. Berry w^as succeeded by the Rev. 
William F. Floyd, M. D., a West Indian. Dr. Floyd was 
succeeded by another native of the West Indies, the Rev. 
Alfred C. Brown. The author was well and intimately ac- 
quainted with the Rev. Mr. Brown, and it is a genuine plea- 
sure to state in this connection that Rev. Mr. Brown was 
one of the finest types of the "able Christian gentleman" that 
ever graced any ministry. He was universally beloved by all 
who knew him, and the late Bishop Dudley brought keen 
distress to the people of St. Lukes when he called Mr. Brown 
to take charge of the Church of the Merciful Savior, Louis- 
ville, Ky. iVIr. Brown after laboring successfully in Louis- 
ville for a while returned to his native home in the West 
Indies and settled upon his farm. The Rev. William H. 
Morris, D. D., a native of Baltimore, but who had entered 
the Church from the Presbyterians, succeeded Mr. Brown 
at St. Lukes. 

108 The Afro-American Group 

Strange as it may appear Dr. Morris never advanced to 
the priesthood, was one of the ablest men ever admitted to 
our ministry. But he seemed illy-fitted for pastoral work. 
He was an exceedingly "high" Churchman, and a bitter con- 
troversalist. Illustrating his fighting propensity, though 
only a deacon, he had charge of the important work in the 
diocese of Georgia, St. Stephens parish, Savannah. He in- 
stituted a number of innovations, among them the introduc- 
tion of Eucharistic lights. The late Bishop Beckwith re- 
monstrated with him. Dr. Morris replied to his Bishop's 
remonstrance with an argument embracing sixteen pages of 
fools-cap paper. He was a master in the use of cutting 
satire. The result of the controversy was his Bishop left 
him, ecclessiastically speaking, suspended between the heavens 
and the earth. He would give him no w^ork ; neither would 
he depose him. Finally his friend Bishop Turner of the 
African Methodist Church, gave him an "appointment," 
and for a number of years he sojourned among the Metho- 
dists. But he was just as much "unconquerable" among 
them as in the Church. He carried his "ritualism" among 
the Methodists and sought to make them conform until they 
"waxed fat and kicked." By some means he got back home 
again and breathed his last in full and loving communion 
with the Catholic Church. 

At St. Lukes, New Haven, a white priest. Rev. Oliver S. 
Prescott served the people most acceptably for a long while. 
He was very greatly beloved by them all ; for one of the spe- 
cial traditions which has ever characterized this parish is its 
unfeigned loyalty. In 1901 the Rev. Eugene L. Henderson, 
at that time in charge of St. Philips, Annapolis, was called 
to the rectorship. He did a great and important work. It 
was during his administration that the present handsome 
church was erected. Mr. Henderson resigning to accept the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 109 

Archdeaconship of the colored work in Georgia, the parish 
again became vacant, and the present earnest and most faith- 
ful rector, the Rev. Harry O. Bowles, then of Toledo, O., 
was called to the charge of the church and is still the incum- 
bent. When the author of this volume first became acquaint- 
ed with St. Lukes there were three laymen in that parish that 
greatly impressed him by reason of their generous devotion 
to the interests of the parish. One of the three was James 
VV. Stewart, a prominent colored business man, caterer for 
Yale University, and at one time a member of the City Coun- 
cil ; the other two were Charles H. Phillips and Moses T. 
Rice. Stewart and Philips were the two wardens, while 
Mr. Rice was the faithful treasurer of the parish. 

St. Lukes has sent some valuable men into the Christian 
ministry. Other prominent and useful professional colored 
men attending \'ale University were influenced to the Church 
through contact with St. Lukes Church during their college 
da>s. Among them was Charles E. Cummings, who, going 
west as a pioneer school teacher, entered the ministry of the 
Church and established St. Augustines Church, Kansas City, 
Mo. The Rev. Alonzo Johnson, a former vestryman of the 
parish, after preparation at King Hall, Washington, entered 
the ministry and took charge of St. Monicas Church. Hart- 
ford, Conn., which had been established by St. Lukes Church 
during the rectorship of Rev. Mr. Henderson. 

Many years ago, Mr. William J. Heritage, removing to 
North Carolina, became quite a political factor in that State 
during the days the colored people were in politics. There 
was surely a time when the black people were in politics. 
And when they lived they lived in clover ; but when they 
died, they died all over. Hence, it was while they "were in 
clover" that William J. Heritage was elected Register of 
Deeds of one of the counties in the eastern section of the 

110 The Afro-American Group 

State. Some time afterwards Mr. Heritage entered the 
ministry of the Church laboring arduously in the diocese 
of East Carolina until a few years ago, while Dean of the 
Colored Convocation, he was retired on account of increas- 
ing age. The Rev. C. A. Nero, a priest late at work in the 
diocese of North Carolina, is another son of St. Lukes parish ; 
so also is the Rev. W. Q. Rogers of Atlanta, Ga. The for- 
bears of Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, the well-know^n author, and 
editor of The Crisis, were concerned with the founding of 
St. Lukes Church, and Dr. DuBois himself was Christened 
in St. Lukes. 



The diocesan journal of the Convention of Pennsylvania, 
for the year 1852, has the following: 

"The movement which resulted in the establishment of 
this church was made by a respectable gentleman, (Mr. 
Thomas A. Latimer) a layman of St. Pauls Church of this 
city, not longer than the 15th of February, 1846. Circum- 
stances had made known to him that a large number of col- 
ored persons resided in the neighborhood of Bedford street, 
extremely poor and wretched as to physical comforts, and, if 
possible, more destitute of moral and spiritual advantages. 
His first effort was directed towards their spiritual improve- 
ment. He rented a room of suitable dimensions, gave infor- 
mation extensively that it would be open on every Sunday 
evening for Divine Worship, and invited the colored popula- 
tion to attend. 

"For nearly three-fourths of the first year the mission 
was chiefly dependent for religious services on the rectors of 
some of the largest of our city churches. 

"On the first of November, 1846, Rev. Edward C. Jones 
became connected with the mission, and Divine Worship was 
conducted by him statedly at a building on Bedford street 
called Temperance Hall. 

"He also visited assiduously among the colored poor at 
their miserable habitations in the neighborhood. How long 
Mr. Jones continued his labors does not distinctly appear. In 

112 The Afro-Americax Group 

less than six months, however, after he commenced the mis- 
sion was deprived of his assistance and the burden of sustain- 
ing it was thrown back upon the gentleman with whom it had 
originated. He had recourse a second time to the parochial 
clergy who had before, at much personal inconvenience, gen- 
erously bestowed their services. This was too onerous, both 
to them and to him, to be long maintained. In this state of 
difficulty he applied for counsel and assistance to the Bishop. 

"By his exertions in a short time a church was duly or- 
ganized. The gentleman who had begun and so zealously 
prosecuted this work of charity to this time, w^as invited to 
become a member of the vestry ; but he declined his co-opera- 
tion in this way. Eleven other gentlemen were then appoint- 
ed . Notice of their appointment and of the establishment of 
the mission, in a manner which promised greater permanency 
and efficiency, namely, as an "Episcopal Free Mission 
Church" was given in one or more of the daily city news- 
papers on the 12th of April, 1847." 

This parish seems to have been admitted at one Conven- 
tion, then informally omitted from the regular list. And 
for more than a dozen years the subject of its admission was 
w^armly debated in Convention. We have no mind to follow 
the discussion of the subject through the several Conventions. 
How^ever, it should be noted that while the great body of 
the people composing the mission were of the colored race, 
the governing body, the vestry, were all w^hite men of the 
highest standing in the city and diocese. From this view^- 
point the fight was exceedingly interesting. The final scene 
in Convention when this matter was permanently settled, 
we shall record in the words of the late venerable Bishop of 
Central Pennsylvania, Rt. Rev. M. A. DeWolfe Howe, D. 
D., LL. D., in his Mernoirs of the late Bishop Alonzo Pot- 
ter. Says Bishop How^e: 

OF THE Episcopal Church 113 

"No individual who was present when the ques- 
tion was finally disposed of has forgotten or can 
ever forget Bishop Potter's explanation of the vote 
which he was about to cast. Few Bishops in the 
history of our Protestant Episcopal Church have 
been more backward than this calm, impartial man, 
to sway by authority or influence by the public de- 
livery of his opinions the action of ecclessiastical 
bodies over which he presided. On most matters 
concerning which he thought it worth while to in- 
terpose, he did so in personal conversations with 
individual members before or during the recess of 
Convention, and his views reached the ears of the 
assembly not by his mouth, but through the lips of 
others to whom he had submitted them with such 
convincing force that they had adopted them as 
their own, and spontaneously spoke in their advo- 
cacy. This habitual reticence of the Bishop when 
exciting questions were on the carpet led some oer- 
sons to impute to him an undue timidity and cau- 
tion, a disposition for the sake of keeping favor with 
all men to shun committing himself for or against 
any. The customary restraint of his influence gave 
to it great power when he was moved to exert it. 
On the question of admitting to seats in the Con- 
vention representatives of the parish called 'The 
Church of the Crucifixion,' the worshippers of 
which were colored persons, no man could accuse 
him of repression or ambiguity. On that occasion, 
and on others in which he saw that truth and jus- 
tice were in danger of being compromised, he spoke 
with a freedom, decision and manliness, not often 
exhibited by those in high places. He was consid- 

114 The Afro-Americax Group 

erate and tolerant to the last degree .... but when 
a crisis came and he must cast in his lot and bear 
his testimony or see 'truth fallen in the street,' and 
himself chargeable with blame-worthy reserve and 
caution, he came out with an enviable heroism, and 
astonished and electrified those who had esteemed 
him over-cautious. 

"On the occasion referred to, the Bishop did 
not even request another to take the chair that he 
might offer his remarks from the floor of the Con- 
vention (a formality observed by a presiding officer 
when he would take part in the debates of a delib- 
erative assembly) but from his elevated position, 
and in the gown of office, poured forth the honest 
and almost impassionate recoil of his soul from that 
measure of prejudice and injustice, that would not 
only deny to men of the proscribed race liberty to 
appear for themselves in the counsels of the 
Church, but also the privilege of being represent- 
ed by men of the dominant race, though occupying 
the foremost rank in the social circle. The Bishop 
did not refrain from abjuring that peculiar type of 
Christian charity which would both hold the Afri- 
can in legal disability to confer with brethren in 
the household of Christ on matters of common 
interest — and also to repel from counsel any who 
with generous fraternity had braved the rebuke of 
the community and sought to do him good. 

"The writer of this memento does not allege the 
parliamentary propriety of such an oration from the 
throne, still less the usage of the diocese from the 
chief seat of which it was uttered, in calling, when 
a vote by orders is had, the name of the Bishop be- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 115 

fore instead of after the clergy ; but he records it as 
a solitary instance in the Episcopate of Alonzo Pot- 
ter in which an overwhelming sense of right moved 
him to an assertion of privilege, and a freedom 
and fervency of expression quite beyond his wont, 
and which would be dangerous as a precedent for 
men of more impetuous temper. Could that speech 
be recovered and spread upon these pages, though 
the majestic presence and commanding tone of the 
speaker were wanting, it would be recognized by 
all as a specimen of spontaneous, unpremeditated 
eloquence of which few orators in any department 
of forensic life are capable. 

"The Bishop's course on this occasion was no 
doubt prompted by his interest in the race for whose 
moral elevation and welfare the Church in ques- 
tion was established. He had always had an in- 
structive sympathy for men of low degree, and es- 
pecially for those who were suffering the degra- 
dation of personal or ancestral bondage. His care 
for them had been manifested in his boyhood, at 
his brother's house in Philadelphia, and again in 
his ministry to colored people while a professor at 
Schenectady." — (See Howe's Memoirs p. 231). 
After serving about six months in charge of St. Thomas 
Church, the Rev. Henry L. Phillips, D. D.. ordained to the 
ministry by Bishop Stevens in 1875, was called by the white 
vestry to the charge of the parish of the Church of the Cru- 
cifixion. From a material viewpoint, or even a congrega- 
tional point of view, there was little or nothing to the work 
when Henry L. Phillips, assumed the burden. It so hap- 
pened that the present author, a very young man, not even 
ordained, paid a visit to Philadelphia, and he readily recalls 

116 The Afro-Am hricax Group 

the scene in the old delapidated building on Eighth street, 
which greeted him. Here we first met with Rev. Dr. Phil- 
ops in the early da\s of his ministry at the Church of the 
Crucifixion. What he wrought there during more than a 
third of a century, would make entertaining and helpful 
matter for an entire book. Besides the excellent buildings, 
church and parish house, and parish summer home, when he 
resigned and was made rector-emeritus, the endowment for 
the parish had already reached quite $25,000. When the 
present rector of the parish, Rev. Robert H. Tabb, coming 
immediately from Camden, N. J., was secured as the assis- 
tant minister of the parish, it was with the fixed purpose of 
becoming the rector of the parish upon the retirement or 
Dr. Phillips. Despite the changes of population, and other 
difficulties and hindrances, by reason of the strong founda- 
tion laid, and its endowment, the good work of social re- 
demption and Christian edification among the poor is -un- 
failingly carried on. 

The presence in the city of Philadelphia of ten colored 
separate congregations, with an equal number of able and 
talented young colored priests ministering to the same, 
witness to the powerful and far reaching influence for good 
of Henry L. Phillips in that one community all these years. 



"Parson" William C. Munroe, a colored Baptist minis- 
ter of education and attractive manners, found his way to 
the Church, and on September 6, 1846, in St. Pauls Church, 
Detroit, Mich., he was made a deacon by Bishop McCrosky. 
"Parson" Monroe, in his day, w^as a great character in work 
among our racial group. Detroit was the terminus of col- 
ored people who had come hither from the South. Mr. Mun- 
roe was a teacher of some note, and also much interested in 
the "John Brown movement." It is said that he was the 
presiding officer of the John Brown Convention held in or 
near Detroit, previous to the raid at Harper's Ferry. Be- 
cause of the Fugitive Slave Law, enacted in 1850, and the 
consequent scattering of the people, the mission that had 
been started suffered many checks, disappearing and then re- 
appearing. In 1851 a neat chapel was furnished and a small 
congregation moved into it, feeling that they had made a 
good beginning. However, slave arrests and continual hunt- 
ing around for such who had fled from the South, exerted a 
very disastrous effect upon the work. The public mind thus 
becoming unsettled, the majority of those identified with the 
mission, although not effected directly by the law, became 
restive and left the country. Mr. A4unroe found himself 
at this time with only five families and only twenty persons 
as his stable adherents. 

In 1855 Bishop Holly was ordained to the diaconate in 

118 The Afro-American Group 

this church, and shortly afterwards left the country for a 
trip of inspection in the republic of Haiti. About 1859, Mr. 
Munroe also left the country for Liberia, West Africa, to 
engage in missionary work, and thus the work in Detroit 
went gradually down. Finally, in 1864 the property was 
sold, debts paid and the balance invested as "St. Matthew's 
Fund." The neuclus of a congregation was held together 
by Miss Margaret Scott, w^ho, on leaving Detroit for Africa, 
committed her colored friends to the care of the city parishes. 
Baptisms and Confirmations of colored persons w^ere admin- 
istered in the white churches until a sufficiently large number 
of colored communicants could be organized. 

In November, 1880, under a call issued by the Rev. Dr. 
Worthington, afterwards Bishop of Nebraska, then Dean of 
the Detroit Convocation, about twenty-five colored commu- 
nicants assembled in St. Johns parish house with the new 
Bishop, the Rt. Rev. S. S. Harris, D. D., presiding. It was 
decided to secure a site for the new church. For tw^o 3^ears 
services were held in a hall, the clergy of the city officiating 
until the Rev. G. Mott Williams, former Bishop of Mar- 
quette, took full charge. The church edifice was erected and 
consecrated in 1883. Mr. Williams carried on the work most 
successfully for several years. He left it to take up missionary 
work in the city. After a succession of white ministers 
which operated disadvantageously by relieving the colored 
people from a proper sense of their own responsibility and 
kept many of the colored people out of the Church, the wis- 
dom of calling a colored man as rector became apparent and 
resulted in the change of policy, and the Rev. Charles H. 
Thompson, D. D., a man of scholarly attainments and purity 
of life, was called as first rector of the new church. He en- 
tered upon his duties April, 1890. Then it was that the real 
feature of parish work presented itself and the actual respon- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 119 

sibility of caring for an up-to-date church opened before the 
gaze of the people who had hitherto been assisted on every 
side. To Dr. Thompson may be attributed the difficult 
work of cementing the colored adherents of various white 
churches into a consolidated congregation, although few in 
number. His was an arduous task, and he left it after three 
years so well disposed toward the administration of a colored 
clergyman that the Church determined to call as good a 
colored man as could be found. Happily, the lot fell on the 
Rev. Joshua B. Massiah, a native of the West Indies, a grad- 
uate of the General Seminary, a man of culture, refinement, 
wide reading, deep spirituality, and in every way providen- 
tially fitted for the work. Mr. Massiah had previously vis- 
ited England and preached by special invitation in the his- 
toric pulpit of St. Pauls Cathedral, an honor conferred on 
no other colored clergyman in the world. Father Massiah 
was one of the ablest clergymen in the diocese. His rector- 
ship was characterized by an intense devotion to the v»^ork 
which required a rare degree of faith, persistency and per- 
sonal self-denial. The parish was greatly built up. He en- 
larged the church, fitted up a beautiful chancel and altar, 
put in an excellent pipe organ and built a rectory and guild 
rooms adjoining the church. Resigning St. Matthews he 
entered upon the rectorship of St. Thomas, Chicago, in Jan- 
uary, 1906. He was succeeded at St. Matthew^s by the Rev. 
Robert W. Bagnall of St. Andrews Church, Cleveland, 
Ohio. Mr. Bagnall continued until February, 1921, when 
he resigned to accept work with the National Association 
for the Advancement of Colored People. Father Bagnall 
advanced the interests of the parish very greatly, especially 
in increasing its list of communicants, and by becoming a 
decided influence and force in the community. After a short 
interval Father Bagnall was succeeded by the Rev. Everard 

120 The Afro-Americax Group 

W. Daniel, the present rector, who, for a number of years, 
had been the senior curate of St. Philips Church, New York. 
The Rev. John Albert Williams of Omaha, Neb., is a 
product of this parish. Once he was newsboy on the streets 
of Detroit. Bishop Worthington, at that time rector of one 
of the parishes of that city, became much interested in him. 
Following his ordination, more than a quarter of a century 
ago, he took charge of the work he has ever since successfully 
pastored. In addition he became one of the most prominent 
and influential clergymen of that diocese. For a number of 
years he filled most acceptably four distinct positions at the 
same time — secretary of the Diocesan Convention, editor of 
the diocesan paper, historiographer, and one of the examining 
chaplains. For a number of years past he has ably edited 
The Monitor, one of the ablest weekly publications in this 
country devoted to the interests of the colored race. 



This congicgation was instituted about the year 1856. 
The author has never been able to come in possession of the 
earliest records of St. Philips, Newark. During the eighties 
we remember distinctly the parish was served by the Rev. 
Joshua B. Massiah and the Rev. Thomas G. Harper. Later, 
and for a very long time, its rector was Father Reeve Hobbie, 
white, a native of Maryland, and a firm and affectionate 
friend of this author. Father Hobbie was one of the best 
white men thar nas ever pastored a colored congregation, and 
the people of St. Philips were perfectly devoted to him. Cer 
tainly he was one of the dearest friends we have ever had. In 
his very elegant home, for he was a man of some means, sur- 
rounded by his large and interesting family, we always felt 
completely at home on the number of occasions that we have 
been his guest. In 1894 Father Hobbie attended, for the 
first time, our Conference of Church Workers Among Col- 
ored People, held in St. Thomas Church, Philadelphia, in 
connection with the Centennial of that parish. When he saw 
that striking "procession" of all the clerg\^ in their vestments 
he was perfectly mtoxicated with delight, and it was then 
and there he decided, if possible, to secure a colored assis- 
tant, and, later, have his vestry elect him rector-emeritus, 
and elect the assistant to succeed him as rector. Accordingly 
he turned to us lo name the man, but at the same time he 
imposed upon us one restriction. He cared not a whit 

122 The Afro-American Group 

whether the man selected was bright or dark in complexion, 
but he must be one capable of sustaining as "advanced ritual" 
as obtained in any of our churches. We named the Rev. B, 
Wellington Paxion, then of Cairo, 111., and he was secured 
and ultimately maae rector of the parish. 

Father Hobbie was a peculiar man. He claimed the 
right to choose his own friends, and he was discriminate in 
this matter irrespective of color. More than any other he 
compelled our respect for "advanced ritual" by reason of 
the utter sincerity and reality with which it was employed. 
In few places have we felt more completely at home than 
in St. Philips during the days of his incumbency, as well as 
in his own home. He thoroughly appreciated the fact that 
there existed great intellectual and social variety and differ- 
ences within the colored group. Some years ago when one 
of our Church Conferences met in the city of Boston, we 
visited the old homestead of William Lloyd Garrison, the 
great Abolitionist, which then had become a Church institu- 
tion for members of our racial group, and great was our joy 
to find among the Sisters of that institution a daughter of our 
dear and much-valued friend, Father Reeve Hobbie. 



If we mistake not St. Philips, Buffalo, was established by 
the late Bishop Coxe in the year 1865. Like St. Philips, 
Newark, w^e have been unable to secure reliable data as to 
its founding and first days. The present rector of St. Phil- 
ips, the Rev. E. Robert Bennett, is a son of St. James, Bal- 
timore. Bishop Coxe and Bishop Wilmer of Alabama, may 
have differed widely with respect to civil government, but 
no two men were more at one in their sentiments toward 
their black brother than these two noble Bishops of our 
Church, one the symbol of all that was good in the old 
Southern life, and the other the highest expression of North- 
ern life, in the good old days of the past. It was a rare privi- 
lege to know such men and enjoy their great esteem. It was 
in the year 1889 that Bishop Coxe received the author at the 
Episcopal residence in Buffalo with such warmth and af- 
fection that we can never forget the scene. We were then 
at Norfolk, in our first charge, and were visiting Buffalo in 
response to a "call" to St. Philips. As young as we were, we 
were in the midst of a controversial fight occasioned by an 
article of ours in The Church of Today on the Negro prob- 
lem. The Bishop talked so lovingly to us, and was ready to 
do anything in his power to have us accept the call to Buffalo. 
Bishop Coxe was something of a fighter, and he was not 
without appreciation of the position which we sustained. We 
could not entertain the idea of seemingly running "under 

124 The Afro-American Group 

fire." But, our greatest difficulty in accepting the call was 
going to Buffalo at that time was almost like going to 
an earthly heaven. There were but few colored people in 
that city, and personally, our cup would have been filled with 
delight. Somehow, we had it in our heart to give our life 
for the benefit of our racial group and we wanted to be in 
the midst of much of the rough material in order to bring 
out all the possibilities of our nature. However, the extreme 
loveliness of Bishop Coxe and the fact that Buffalo was the 
only city in this country which we had visited where the 
colored Episcopal Church was the largest ecclesiastical racial 
group, rendered it somewhat difficult for us to reach a de- 

We finally decided to remain in Norfolk. 

A few years later a call to our liking came. It was to a 
hard and difficult field but in the midst of thousands of our 
racial group. So we came to Baltimore and here we are 

Father Bennett, the present rector of St. Philips, has 
gotten a new property and very greatly built up the parish 
which was in a state of rapid decline. 



The first agency instituted by the General Church, fol- 
lowing the close of the Civil War on behalf of the work in 
the Southern States among the people recently emancipated, 
was "The Freedman's Commission." With respect to this 
effort in the General Convention of 1868, the Domestic and 
Foreign Missionary Society of the Church reported as fol- 
lows : 

"The Freedman's Commission authorized b\ the Gen- 
eral Convention and formally organized by the Board of 
Missions in 1865, presents a statement of its work during 
the three years past which will challenge your attention. It 
has received from all sources over $87,000, and at the close 
of the summer had 5,500 children under its nurturing care. 
What has been done by us in this field must be regarded 
rather as an evidence of our good wishes towards these eman- 
cipated millions of the South than as a work commensurate 
with our responsibility or with the demands of the hour. We 
can claim no more than that we have tried to do something 
to educate a race suddenly elevated to political power and 
equality in the midst of their ignorance and inexperience. It 
is the conviction of your committee, after careful considera- 
tion of all the facts that while schools alone are valuable 
agents, they will not accomplish their full purpose nor 
realize the full intention of the Church unless thev are con- 

126 The Afro- American Group 

nected with permanent missionary work, and prosecuted un- 
der the supervision of the resident parochial clergy or of 
the duly appointed missionaries of the Church. Experience 
shows that the Negro will value the school only for the secu- 
lar knowledge it imparts unless he be made to feel the 
Church working in and through the school as his spiritual 
guide as w^ell as his temporal benefactor. The Church has 
no proper call to engage in the work of school teaching at 
all except as she can make it subserve her dominant purpose, 
viz: the gathering into her fold for religious instruction and 
discipline of those whom she teaches in her schools. The 
school and the mission, or the school and the parish should 
not, as a rule, have been disconnected. To the fact that they 
have been, that the commission confined itself to schools 
alone is due the feeble and superficial influence which the 
Church as such has thus far exerted over that race. The 
time has come when unless the commission can be brought to 
subserve a strictly missionary use it may as well be abandoned 

as a work of the Church The true order of the 

work is the mission first and then the school, the one the 
chief, the other the auxiliary. For this kind of work there 
is a demand which no words of your committee can ade- 
quately describe." 

The result of this report was the adoption of this resolu- 


''ResrAved, That this House regarding with increasing 
solicitude the missionary work of the Church among the 
Freedmen, and deeply lamenting that so little has been done 
in this direction, make the following recommendations to 
the Board of Missions: 

OF THE Episcopal Church 127 

1st. That one or more missionaries be appointed to visit 
the freedmen in the Southern Dioceses who were formerly 
communicants of the Church, to examine their condition and 
to ascertain what can be done to revive their former attach- 
ment and relation to the Church. 

2nd. That the schools established by the Freedmen's 
Commission be henceforth treated as more directly auxiliary 
to the missionary work, and that such as shall be organized 
hereafter be placed under the di-rect influence of the clergy- 
men within whose parishes or missionary stations the\' may 
be established. 

3rd. That every effort ought to be made at once to pre- 
pare colored men for the ministry, so that they may minister 
to their own people." 

There are some other notes in diocesan reports, which 
are illuminating with respect to conditions at that time. 

Bishop Young, of Florida, says: "It is deemed proper 
here to state, that in this, as in every Southern Diocese, there 
is an earnest desire, to the extent of our ability, which is 
unhappily very limited in comparison with the last need, to 
provide for the intellectual and spiritual necessities of the 
colored race. The last report on the State of the Church 
makes mention of some encouraging signs in this direction, 
so that no one who may feel so disposed in his heart, need be 
under apprehension in approaching the Bishop, the clergy, 
the people of the Church in Florida, and offering any aid, 
especially for the benefit of this particular people, an impor- 
tant part of the Church care." 

Bishop Beckwith, of Georgia, says: "The number of 
communicants reported at the Convention of this diocese in 
1866, indicates a falling off of more than six hundred. This 
large loss is due for the most part to the altered condition 
of the colored population of the State." 

128 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

Bishop Atkinson, North Carolina, sounds a very en- 
couraging note. He says: "The establishment of St. Augus- 
tine's Normal School at Raleigh, under the charge of the 
Rev. J. Brinton Smith, D. D., for the education of colored 
scholars of both sexes, who are to bind themselves to become 
teachers for a certain number of years, of the ignorant of 
their own race, promises to be of incalculable benefit to that 
class of our population who so much need the influence of 
religious education to enable them rightly to understand and 
enjoy the duties and privileges of freedom." 

Bishop Davis, of South Carolina, says: "The number of 
communicants in the diocese has been much reduced by the 
loss of our colored members. In 1860 we had nearly three 
thousand colored communicants reported. Not three hun- 
dred were reported to the last Convention. In the condi- 
tion of many of our parishes it is impossible to ascertain how 
many of the freedmen still adhere to the Church. Many 
have joined the Northern Methodists. Many have followed 
teachers of their own color ; but if our services were revived 
in our suspended parishes, we might hope to rescue some of 
them from the fanatical and political preaching to which they 
are subjected. In one parish only have they adhered to the 
Church. Two congregations of colored worshippers have 
been gathered together, as in former days, to make their 
chapels resound with their hearty prayers and praise. But 
this is the only successful effort to win them back to our fold. 
These remarks apply to the freedmen. In the city of Charles- 
ton there is a self-supporting church of free colored mem- 
bers who have adhered steadily to the Episcopal Church, 
under the care of a white rector." 



Bishop Atkinson says: "The efforts in this diocese for 
the spiritual improvement of the colored race are not as 
promising of good results as are desired by the friends of the 
freedmen. While in some few places they seem to appre- 
ciate the teachings and ministrations of the Church, in most 
cases they have separated themselves from the ministry of 
the Church, and given themselves to the guidance of igno- 
rant teachers of their own race, who are leading them into 
the wildest excesses of delusion and fanaticism." 

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, in its 
report says: "There are now about forty teachers at the 
South, and twenty-two hundred children under its charge. 
It is the aim of the commission to make the schools it has 
established essentially Christian, and to incorporate them 
into parochial life. Instructed by the voice of the board, it 
would have gladly lent its aid to the Bishops of the Church 
in sustaining, on some adequate scale, a living, faithful pas- 
torate for our colored population, but it has been beyond its 
power. The crying want of this people is spiritual ministra- 
tion. They are left emphatically "as sheep without a shep- 
herd," after falling a prey to irreligion and error, and some- 
times, it is said, to the grossest forms of superstition. Does 
it not become this Church, which formerly did so much for 
their spiritual care and nurture, to interpose between them 
and the gulf into which they are in danger of plunging?" 

130 The Afro-Am i-ricax Group 

In connection with this suhject the following resolutions 
were presented and adopted : 

"Resolved , That the work of missions among the colored 
people demands and deserves the hearty, united and systematic 
support of all the memhers of this Church. Resolved, That 
while abating in no respect the duty of Christian education, 
greater prominence be given to strictly missionary and pas- 
toral labors among this class of our Southern population, 
whereby they may be saved from total loss to the Church, 
and from relapse into the grossest forms of superstition from 
which their fathers were rescued." 

The same report has the following reference to the work 
in Africa: 

"Upon the western coast of the continent of Africa, 
where, a half century ago, only darkness was visible, there is 
now a fringe of light. In a region once devoted to idolatry 
and cruelty, a Christian civilization has taken up its abode, 
and bearers of the Cross, in the true spirit of martyrs, have 
carried thither its blessings. 

"It is somewhat disheartening that our faithful and self- 
sacrificing Bishop for Cape Palmas and parts adjacent, who 
temporarily sought relief from climate and toil by a return 
to his native land, is at length obliged to w^ithdraw altogether 
from his foreign charge. It is dispiriting also at this point of 
time, to see but one white missionary of his former stalif re- 
maining at his post. Death or disease has taken away the 
rest. But a handful of Christian women, exiles from home 
for their Savior's sake, and twelve colored clergymen, Liber- 
ian or native, are diligently employed with a small band of 
catechist, in the interest of the mission. Nine churches and 

OF THE Episcopal Church 131 

seventeen stations, four hundred and fifty communicants, a 
thousand children under Christian instruction, a hospital, 
an orphan asylum, the Book of Common Prayer in the Grebo 
tongue, and a stated ministry of word and Sacraments in 
the midst of a region swarming with inhabitants, are the 
present palpable fruits of this Christian enterprise. It is 
proposed to establish interior stations near the highland 
country, by which tribes of a superior order will be brought 
under influence. The movement is prompted by the appli- 
cation of the natives. It should not fail to command the 
countenance and help of the Church. At a time when the 
missionaries of Mohammedan error are penetrating that 
country in every direction to make converts to the Crescent, 
ought not the followers of the world's true Prophet to rival 
them in zeal for the Cross of Christ?" 

This is significant, from the Convention Journal of South 
Carolina, for the year 1871: "The Rev. E. L. Logan re- 
ports increased efiforts among the poor whites in his parish, 
who are in a state of moral and spiritual darkness as deplor- 
able as the heathen, worse off than the Negroes." He is of 
the opinion that the colored people can be won over by in- 
dividuals, that his hopes of them coming over en masse hav'e 
diminished with further experience." 



The Freedman's Commission Schools in the South, were 
instrumental of great good to the black people. Particularly 
the one at Petersburg, Va., in charge of Misses Amanda 
Aiken, Sallie Coombs and Miriam. The formation of St. 
Stephen's Church, Petersburg, was under the guidance and 
direction of the ladies of this school. Two of their pupils 
who could neither read nor write at the beginning were, 
finally sent to Lincoln University, Pa., where, after grad- 
uation, they were fitted for the ministry of the Church, or- 
dained, and gave forth magnificent records of service. These 
men were the Rev. Thomas W. Cain, w^ho labored in Vir- 
ginia and in the diocese of Texas. He twice represented the 
diocese of Texas in the General Convention of the Church, 
and lost his life, faithful at the post of duty in the great 
Galveston disaster. It is peculiarly interesting to note the 
following fact with respect to the Rev. Mr. Cain. Mr. 
Cain, although a man, at the end of the Civil War, could 
neither read nor write. His father was sexton of Grace 
Church, Petersburg, and one of the vestrymen of that church, 
employing Mr. Cain, Sr., as sexton, was Mr. S. M. Byrd. 
Later Mr. Byrd entered the ministry and became the leading 
clergyman in the diocese of Texas. In the history of mis- 
sions we have this unusual picture of these two men sitting 
together in two successive General Conventions representing 
the diocese of Texas. One, of the very best Virginia blood 

OF THE Episcopal Church 133 

and highest social standing ; the other a former illiterate slave 
whose father had been employed by the former. 

From the influence and impress of this same Grace 
Church, Petersburg, went forth Peter Andrew Morgan. He 
labored in Philadelphia, New York, Brooklyn, Petersburg, 
and finally. New Orleans, where he entered into rest. 

It was while Bishop Leonard, of Ohio, was a rector in 
Brooklyrx, N. Y., in his early ministry that he began to take 
the first lessons in a life which has been most remarkable 
from that time to the present for its affectionate and con- 
structive help in work among the colored race. It was Bishop 
Leonard who heartened and cheered Peter Andrew Morgan 
in those hard days of struggle in Brooklyn. 

Besides the mission school work these Northern ladies 
filled with the true missionary spirit, entered the humble 
homes of many of the freedmen and greatly helped in the re- 
construction of such homes, along the lines demanded by the 
new order of affairs. One of the most beautiful and really 
touching chapters in the record of these days, is that which 
pictures the heroism, bravery and unswerving devotion of 
these Northern white women. The same thing was true of 
the white women of the South of quality and breeding. 

In the county of Brunswick, Virginia, in the very heart 
of "the black belt," during the latter part of the seventies 
and early eighties, Mrs. "Pattie" Buford, a cultivated South- 
ern lady of refinement, gave up herself completely in minis- 
tering as an angel of mercy among the poorest of the poor 
of these black people, and by her wonderful devotion won 
the love and confidence of the colored people of that entire 
region. Through her influence a young colored man entered 
the Church who was destined to prove the most conspicuous 
constructive leader for his people of all our colored clergy 

134 The Afro-Americax Group 

in his day and generation. This young man was James Solo- 
mon Russell of the adjoining county of Mecklenburg. At the 
time of the present writing, in addition to the St. Paul 
School, Lawrenceville, called into being by him, for well- 
nigh thirty years he has most acceptably filled the post of 
Archdeacon of the colored work in the diocese of Southern 
Virginia. Mrs. Buford founded a hospital and infirmary in 
the county of Brunswick for the needy colored people, of 
that section. By her influence also an entire religious body 
of one Bishop, some twenty or more ministers and about 
2,000 members professed themselves as ready and desirous 
to enter the Episcopal Church. By some means the move- 
ment miscarried ; but the Bishop and a number of the minis- 
ters, actually entered the Church, and were prepared for the 
diaconate at the Bishop Payne Divinity School. As a furth- 
er result of the feeling towards the Church thus created, 
large congregations of colored Episcopalians were soon form- 
ed in the counties where this religious body w^as principally 

In connection with the work of Rev. Giles B. Cooke, a 
former stafif officer of General Robert E. Lee, as rector of St. 
Stephen's Church, Petersburg and principal of St. Stephen's 
Normal School, were associated as teachers a number of 
white ladies of the best families of Virginia, such as the 
Misses Beckwith (sisters of the Bishop of Alabama), Misses 
Weddell, Mrs. Giles B. Cooke and others. There was also 
in or near Gordonsville, Va., a Mrs. Brent who also main- 
tained in those days a most interesting work on behalf of 
Negroes. Any number of colored Sunday Schools in divers 
parts of Virginia w^ere taught by native white teachers. 

In Lunenburg county Mrs. M. M. Jennings, the mother 
of Mrs. Joseph S. Atwell, for many years on her own estate, 
maintained an exceedingly interesting educational and re- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 135 

ligious work; while Mrs. Miles in Halifax county, pursued 
the same course. The Rev. Dr. George W. Dame, in addi- 
tion to his clerical duties as rector of a parish in the city of 
Danville, for a time was superintendent of public education 
for Pittsylvania county; and. in this capacity, he was among 
the first to introduce colored teachers in the colored public 
schools of the State. These teachers, for the most part, were 
trained in St. Stephen's Normal School, Petersburg, Va. Mr. 
John H. M. Pollard was sent out from this school as a 
teacher in northern Virginia, and it was while thus engaged 
that he was privately prepared for the ministry by the Rev. 
William M. Dame, D. D., at that time rector of Christ 
Church, Alexandria, Va. 

An extremely large colored Sunday School was being 
carried on in the city of Alexandria. Many such efforts as 
we have briefly alluded to were carried on under white in- 
fluence in various sections of the South. 

Of all names in connection with the rise of St. Stephens 
Church, Petersburg, that of the Rev. Dr. Alexander W. 
Weddell is first. While yet a layman he became their 
acknowledged leader and most aftectionate champion. 



It may not be generally known, but previous to the Civil 
War, all Negroes were not treated alike. There were dif- 
ferent classes of Negroes then as exist today. Quite a num- 
ber of the "elect" of the race enjoyed exceptional favors and 
privileges because of their calibre and many amiable quali- 
ties. In Charleston there were a considerable' number who 
were respected communicants of white parishes and were 
treated with marked respect. The same thing existed in 
other parts of the South. 

A Mr. James Bishop of Annapolis, Md., was a "pew" 
owner in St. Annes Church, that city, situated almost in the 
center of the building. Many years after the war this author 
while on a visit to Annapolis attending morning service at 
St. Annes Church, occupied a seat in the family pew with 
others of the Bishop family. 

Senator John P. Green, of Cleveland, O., in his book, 
has this most interesting account w^ith respect to his own 
father and Christ Church, New Berne, N. C. He says: 

"Unquestionably my father possessed a great desire for 
literar5^ attainments, and did his utmost to reach to some 
excellence along that line. This talent on his part was recog- 
nized during all his life. Men of learning and discrimina- 
tion sought him in his store and engaged him in conversation 
to such an extent that much of his valuable time was lost in 

OF THE Episcopal Church 137 

this way, and even the Bishops of the Episcopal Church (of 
which he was a member) — Bishops Ives and Atkinson, re- 
spectively — always visited and conversed with him when 
they made their Episcopal visits to old Christ Church in that 

"In this connection it may not be amiss to state that 
although born and reared a slave, and residing in a slave 
community, my daddy so deported himself as to merit and 
receive kind and courteous treatment from all. He owned 
and occupied with his family a pew in Christ Episcopal 
Church, which was the most wealthy and aristocratic congre- 
gation in that part of the State ; while the other members, 
with two exceptions, sat in the galleries ; and as proving how 
tenacious he was of what he conceived to be his rights, it may 
be stated that when the Rev. Dr. Buxton, (white) clergy- 
man of the Episcopal Church, married him and my mother 
in Fayetteville, N. C, in 1837, and did not wear his clerical 
robe, he would not give him a bill which he carried in his 
vest pocket for him." 

It should be stated just here that the elder Green at the 
age of twenty-one, when his apprenticeship was ended, was 
the proud possessor of one thousand dollars, which he had 
earned by doing extra work during his spare hours; with 
this money he purchased his own freedom and began business 
for himself as a merchant tailor. 

But we have been writing of the few exceptional charac- 
ters among the race. The great bulk of Episcopal Negroes 
received their spiritual ministrations through special agencies 
and chaplains. Hence, following the close of the Civil War, 
many of them broke away from such special ministrations and 
followed the leadership of men of their own race. This 
ladical change of affairs constituted a sore trial and problem 
for the Southern Bishops who were minded to shepherd 

138 The Afro-American Group 

both races in the one fold, and, at the same time fully recog- 
nize the change made in the civil relations of the people just 
emancipated. A few brief extracts from the early Conven- 
tion addresses of Southern Bishops will clearly indicate their 
mind in not sanctioning any discrimination on account of 
race or color, and in extending the heartiest possible welcome 
to the freedmen. A careful reader of such addresses will not 
fail to be impressed with the deep sincerity and earnestness 
of the Bishops with respect to this matter. 

1866. Bishop Smith, Kentucky: "I have had oc- 
casion to allude twice to St. Marks African Church 
on Green street — to the ordination of its minister, 
and the first Confirmation there. The mission and 
the high school connected with it, which was char- 
tered by the Legislature last winter, without much 
encouragement by the clergy Almost remark- 
able have been the providences which brought the 
minister and the teacher here (Mr. and Mrs. At- 
well) who are now carrying on the work so well 
and so successfully, and which have supplied from 
abroad the greater part of the means to sustain the 
enterprise, until such time as this Convention and 
this community shall be aroused to some just con- 
ception of the solemn responsibility which rests upon 
us to take care of this class of Christ's neglected 
poor among us under the sheltering wing of the 
Church we love so well." 

1866. Bishop Atkitisofi, North Carolina: "When 
then, we ask ourselves whether we shall have col- 
ored ministers or not, we really ask ourselves wheth- 
er we shall have ministers for the colored race or 
not. And is it to be endured that a Church which 
claims to be the Catholic and Apostolic Church in 
North Carolina shall systematically refuse to do 
anything for the religious welfare of one-third of 
the people of North Carolina? Shall we, like the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 139 

priest and Levite, see the wounded man lying half- 
dead and pass by on the other side and leave him to 
be ministered to by some hated Samaritan? This 
would be to confute our own pretensions, and it is 
to be remembered with regard to this subject, as with 
regard to schools, that the question is not whether 
there shall be colored ministers, but what sort of 
colored ministers there shall be. Colored ministers 
have been, are, and will be amongst us. Shall they 
be men taught in the Church, ruled by the Church, 
imparting the doctrines of the Church, or shall they 
be fanatics and political emissaries self-commissioned 
or sent by some foreign, and it may be, hostile so- 

1867. Bishop Ou'intard, Tennessee: "Let us at 
once, dear brethren, prove to the world that we are 
fully alive to the physical and intellectual well-be- 
ing of a people who were once ours in bonds, but 
are now our brethren in the blessed Gospel of the 
grace of God." Tennessee Committee, of the same 
year: "It is exceedingly desirable not only to do all 
in our power to promote the general welfare of the 
freed people who dwell among us, but also to bring 
the youth and the adult population under the in- 
fluence of the Church, and that steps should be tak- 
en at the earliest possible moment looking towards 
the education of the more intelligent for the sacred 
ministry in order that they may be qualified to do 
the Church's work among those of their color." 

1868. Bishop Young, Florida: "I have thought 
much and anxiously on this subject, beloved breth- 
ren, since I assumed the responsibility of the episco- 
pate of this diocese, and I can conceive of nothing 
so direct and hopeful in its results as to provide for 
the elementary education at least, of the better class 
of their present ministers; for their accepted reli- 
gious teachers and guides they are and will continue 
to be. They are to their clans as chiefs to tribes, 
and whether thev talk sense or nonsense, teach fet- 

140 The Afro-Americax Group 

ishism or Christianity, advise them to pursue the 
evil or the good, they will heed their teaching and 
follow their guidance, for they thoroughly believe 
in them. To operate on the masses, therefore, we 
must direct their leaders. So settled are my convic- 
tions on this subject, that I am resolved, if the means 
can be had, to establish a school for this purpose. 
Many churchmen, perhaps, would disap- 
prove of such an undertaking, and wonder that so 
un-Churchly a scheme could be thought by the Bish- 
op of Florida. But will such tell us of something 
better that can be done? For surely no Christian 
can maintain that it is better to do nothing." 

1869. Bishop Johns, Virginia: "I must express 
my gratitude for the favorable circumstances under 
which this congregation (St. Stephens, Petersburg) 
commences its course, I trust of increased prosperity 
and usefulness This first complete organiza- 
tion of a congregation of this kind in this diocese 
commences with encouraging prospects. I trust 
that under Gid's blessing it will prove a safe and 
edifying example and pattern to be successfully fol- 
lowed by many others." 

1873. Bishop Beckwith, Georgia: "The popula- 
tion of this State is over one million ; of this number 
four hundred thousand are colored people. Does 
the Church owe a duty to this people? If so, how 
can she best perform that duty? There is no diffi- 
culty as to the first question. The Church does owe 
them a duty. The second is full of difficulty. I do 
not propose to discuss it; my desire is to induce you 

to think of it Why should not the Church 

send a missionary Bishop to these four hundred 
thousand colored people?" 

1873. Bishop Howe, South Carolina: "I find 
myself inclined to think at least from present obser- 
vations and reflections, that if our Church is to do 
any work of moment among this people, it must be 
done by the Church at large. Let a Missionary 

OF THE Episcopal Church 141 

Jurisdiction be erected by the General Convention 
with express reference to these people, and let a 
missionary Bishop be consecrated who shall give his 
whole time and thought to this work; who, as the 
executive, not of a single diocese, but of the entire 
Church, shall organize congregations, provide them 
with Church schools and pastors, and in due time 
raise up from among the colored people themselves 
deacons and priests who shall be educated men, and 

competent to the work of the ministry It 

would seem as if the Church, even in lack of prece 
dent, ought to be able to provide for our perplexity." 



Of all the pioneer laborers in the educational field among 
the masses of ignorant colored people, before the Civil War, 
none deserve more hearty appreciation than Dr. Daniel 
Alexander Payne, Bishop John M. Brown, and the few 
others in the African Methodist Episcopal Church who 
labored so heroically in the face of almost incredible indiff- 
erence and opposition, within the group itself. 

An extract from Bishop Payne's early effort, and a clip- 
ping from the denominational organ of those times will give 
some idea of the inveterate opposition manifested towards 
education by many of the leaders in the African Methodist 
Church itself. 

Dr. Payne, a Lutheran minister, and a man of great 
education, in 1842, was received "on trial" into the A. M. 
E. Church, by the Philadelphia Conference. He at once set 
to work to prepare a scheme of instruction for the ministry 
of his church, which was adopted by the Philadelphia Con- 
ference. That same year, 1844, the General Conference of 
the connection met in Pittsburgh, Pa., and he introduced 
before that body the same measure with what success will 
appear from the extract given in his own words: 

"Upon this day the Rev. Daniel A. Payne introduced a 
resolution to institute a course of studies for the education of 
the ministry. As soon as read it was seconded, and, con- 
vinced as he was of the reasonableness and the utility of the 
measure, he thought that the majority of the Conference 

OF THE Episcopal Church 143 

looked at it in the same favorable light, and that it would 
be carried without much opposition; he, therefore, did not 
make any speech for the purpose of convincing his brethren 
of that utility and excellence which he believed was appa- 
rent to all. 

"But in that he calculated without his hosts, for as soon 
as the Bishop had put the question to the house, the effect 
was like unto that which follows when a fife-brand is cast 
into a magazine of powder. With the greatest apparent in- 
dignation the resolution was voted down by a large and 
overwhelming majority, and the house adjourned amid great 
excitement. The next day, the fifth of the session, as soon as 
the house was opened, and first of all, Rev. A. D. Lewis, 
a brother of lofty stature, venerable apeaprance, dignified 
mien and delectable countenance, rose to his feet and called 
for a re-consideration of the rejected proposition. His mo- 
tion was seconded and stated by the chair. 

"This venerable man then advocated its claims and 
demonstrated its utility in a speech of uncommon eloquence 
and power. He addressed the understanding, the conscience, 
the passions of the audience, 'till it was bathed in tears, and 
from many a voice was heard the impassionate cry, 'give us 
the resolution; give us the resolution.' It was then put and 
carried without a dissenting voice." 

Such a remarkable change of front and attitude wrought 
over night needs some explanation. The historian gives it as 
follows : 

'It is also proper here to say that the indignation evinced 
outside of the General Conference by the intelligent laity, 
was equal to that excited inside among the prejudiced preach- 
ers. Between the rejection of the resolution in favor of edii- 

144 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

cation on the 4th, and its re-consideration and adoption on 
the 5th, wherever the preachers went they were informed 
that if the proposition to educate the ministry of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church were absolutely rejected, they 
would withdraw and organize an ecclessiastical establishment 
that would be in favor of such a measure." 

The year preceeding, 1843, at the Baltimore Conference, 
Dr. Payne had engaged in a similar fight. He gives the 
following account of the same : 

'*An itinerant licentiate by the name of Adam S. Driver 
made application for the Orders of a Deacon, at the same 
time that the Quarterly Conference of Bethel, in Baltimore, 
petitioned the Annual Conference to ordain Brother Savage 
L. Hammonds and Thomas Hall, two local licentiates, to 
the same rank in the ministry. These three brethren were 
put in the hands of a committee, consisting of D. A. Payne, 
John Boggs and Thomas W. Henry, for nomination. 

"The following statement will show what was the re- 
sult of this examination. It also show^s the first open con- 
flict between the advocates of ministerial education and the 
defenders of an illiterate ministry: 

''A majority of the committee was in favor of ordaining 
the three candidates. The minority was opposed to it. 
Therefore, two reports w^ere made out and presented to the 
Conference. The reasons assigned by the majority were, in 
the case of one of the candidates, that a christening or a mar- 
raige might be desired when the elder in charge might be at 
one end of the circuit, and the minister, though upon the 
spot, would be unable to act ; another reason given in another 
case was that though there was no special need for the broth- 
er in question, 'he might be ordained to gratify the Quarterly 

OF THE Episcopal Church 145 

Conference.' Respecting the third case, it was argued that 
should the brother be placed where a matrimonial ceremony 
was to be performed, he, if ordained, could serve, and being 
a poor man, it would greatly aid him as thereby he might 
make some money. 

''But the minority report assigned one reason why they 
should not be ordained . It was that the candidates were all 
disqualified for the office because they had not the informa- 
tion required by the Discipline. The counter report pro- 
duced quite an excitement, and one brother violently de- 
manded whether we wanted a man to know how to read 
Hebrew, Greek and Latin before we would ordain him. In 
the speech that followed, education, and those who favored 
it, were denounced. In reply to this the minority arose and 
said that the remarks were altogether gratuitous, because the 
report said nothing at all about Greek, Latin or Hebrew, but 
was based simply upon two instruments, the Discipline and 
the Bible. The minority also maintained that every mem- 
ber of the Conference and therefore the whole Conference 
was most solemnly bound to heed the Discipline and the 
Bible. At the conclusion of these remarks. Bishop Brown 
called the attention of the Conference to the fact that he 
was placed in the chair not to carry out the opinions of any 
man or set of men, but to execute the Discipline to its very 
letter, and he also declared in a very decided and emphatic 
manner, that if the w^hole Conference voted for the ordina- 
tion of the said brethren, in view of their disqualifications, he 
could not and would not ordain them. As a final result, the 
report of the minority was adopted." 

It was in the year 1845, Rev. Mr. Hogarth, the General 
Book Steward, sent the following which was published in 
The A. M. E. Magazine, the official organ of the denomina- 

146 The Afro-American Group 

"Thinking it will, perhaps, be gratifying to some to see 
some remarks from the book agent in each number of the 
magazine, on the condition of our people, as I may learn it 
in traveling among them, 1 will here commence a series of 
short essays on that subject. First, their religious condition 
— and here in the outset I may justly say I have clearly seen 
the verification of that true remark, "like priest, like people;" 
as the priests are so will the people be. That we need an 
enlightened, educated ministry no one ought to deny. To 
give a case showing the necessity of this, permit me to say 
I attended a protracted meeting in a certain village where 
a considerable effort was made to get persons to come forward 
to be prayed for, but the effort proved unavailing. The min- 
ister in charge appointed a meeting for the next night — a 
general prayer meeting. After two or three prayers had 
been offered to the throne of grace, the brother again called 
for mourners, and none coming forward, he then called for 
one or more benches to be set out; that done, he said he would 
now take another tact on the devil, that he intended to de- 
feat him that night. 

"He then declared that the devil was in everybody in 
the house, and he intended to drive him out of them ; that 
there was not one of them that had any religion whatever, 
therefore every member of the church must now come for- 
ward to the mourner's bench and get religion, for they had 
none. They were all going to hell. 

"Some eight or nine of the poor creatures, affrighted at 
what their pastor said, came forward in great agony and 
distress — all professors of religion too — and after they had 
been down to the benches some time, they arose one after 
another, shouting and declaring that they had again got 
religion. I observed that the most sober and perhaps the 
most exemplary members of the church did not comply w^ith 

OF THE Episcopal Church 147 

the earnest solicitations of their pastor, and he himself ob- 
serving this said to them that did not come forward, that 
they must get religion again ; they were all on the road to 
hell, local preachers, class-leaders, stewards and all. After 
all those who went forward had been converted again — I 
say again, for they professed to have had religion before — 
the pastor greatly exulted in the fact that he had defeated 
the devil by getting several converts and quietly dismissed 
the meeting. 

"While sitting there and viewing and reflecting upon this 
whole transaction, my mind had never before been so deeply 
impressed with the great importance of an enlightened minis- 
try. Our fathers who have gone before us, and those who 
still do the best they can, and for the great good they have 
done in organizing our church, getting it on a good basis, 
and giving things proper direction, deserve our gratitude and 
our thanks and our praise. But, O my God, what a work 
is yet to be done? Our fathers have only laid the founda- 
tion, and got the timber in part together, and have left us 
their sons, to erect the building. But more particularly to 
the religious condition of our people. In this State (Ohio) 
there are from twelve to sixteen thousand colored people. Of 
that number say twelve hundred are members of our church ; 
of this number perhaps six out of ten can read the New Tes- 
tament. The manner of worship in our churches here in 
the West is of a character similar to the state of education 
among the preachers and people, confused and disorderly, 
owing to the want of cultivated minds and manners. To 
this remark, however, there are some individual exceptions 
of persons who have a taste for more regularity and refine- 
ment in worship. 

"But few of our people can read our hymn book correct- 
Iv. This circumstance tends to introduce disorder and con- 

148 The Afro-Americax Group 

fusion in our singing; the great majority not being able to 
use our hymn-books, make fugue tunes for themselves, and 
these fuge tunes are always transcripts of low thoughts, ig- 
norance and superstition, hence confusion in singing. Their 
language used in prayer also is also characteristic of their 
want of education, being almost always incorrect, and when 
it is, only by mere chance. And for the want of good lan- 
guage they can not express to the edification of the church, 
their own good thoughts, hence confusion in prayer." 

Bishop Payne, in his history, commenting upon the above 
says : 

"It is a gloomy picture of the religious condition, and 
had it been drawn by the hand of an enemy, outside of our 
ministry, one might be led to look upon it as a caricature. 
But there are two reasons why it is worthy of our belief. It 
was sketched by our own accreditted book agent, who, in 
the course of his travels, felt it his right, duty and privilege 
to inform the readers of our church organ concerning the 
condition of our people in all the States which he visited : 
and scenes of this kind might be witnessed in many of our 
churches at a much later date in other States north of the 
Ohio as well as in the States south of it, and in the more en- 
lightened regions of the East as well as in the West." 

Those of our readers who are well informed with re- 
spect to "the Great Awakening," and the preaching of Jona- 
than Edwards, will have no difficulty in accounting for the 
source of many of the religious manifestations of the masses 
of the black race. All the more should we cherish the mem- 
ories of that noble band of the "black elect," of whom the 
late Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne of the African Metho- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 149 

dist Episcopal Church, was the conspicuous leader. Few of 
us are able to sincerely appreciate the nobilit\' of the high- 
class men of color who fought with all their might this luhite 
influence of "the Great Awakening" upon our group. Dr. 
McConnell in his history of the American Church says: "It 
would be an interesting study to trace the effect of the Great 
Awakening upon the Negro race in America. There is good 
reason to believe that their peculiar type of emotional re- 
ligiousness, divorced from the sanctions of conscience, is due 
to this movement which for the first time brought within 
their reach a conception of Christianity which fitted itself to 
their peculiar race temperament. There does not seem to 
be any evidence of their characteristic type of religion pre- 
vious to this time. Since then it has dominated them as a 

Now the remarkable thing is this. This very condition 
of affairs made manifest the fact that a section of the black 
race, like the white race, had the power to withstand and 
successfully resist the influence of this "new cult" upon them. 
Closely following this period note the rise of Phyllis Wheat- 
ley and Benjamin Banneker. Note also the group of black 
people who left the Methodists and became Episcopalians. 
Note the number of real able black men produced' by the 
two churches standing for the highest ideals, the Episcopal 
and the Presbyterian. From the Presbyterian side these 
names will suffice to carry the point : John Glouster, James 
W. C. Pennington, Henry Highland Garnett, and John 
Chavis. The latter, black as midnight, took all that Prince- 
ton could give him, and in the State of North Carolina be- 
came a celebrated educator of the white youth. The remark- 
able thing was positive evidence that the race could attain 
the noblest ideals, despite the background of barbarism, and 
a not always helpful white environment. 



Nothing was further from the thoughts of the Bishops, 
clergy and Southern laity, immediately after the Civil War. 
than the introduction of a "color-line" in Church extension 
among the colored people. At first, despite the remarkable 
devotion of many of the most prominent whites, and their 
sympathetic touch with the colored people, it looked as if it 
were utterly impossible to impress a goodly number of the 
race with the deep sincerity of the Church in welcoming 
them. However, well-nigh into the second decade after the 
war, a marked change began to appear in the attitude of the 
colored people towards the Church ; and this most favorable 
change proved the occasion for arousing the fears of the 
illiberal whites with respect to possible dangers in the social 
order of affairs which might obtain in the event that colored 
people came into the Church in large numbers. 

The ecclessiastical politicians got busy. No infelici- 
tous action upon the part of colored Churchmen had stimu- 
lated such fears. But, in all the Southern country the Epis- 
copal Church was the only religious body of white men, 
setting an example of absolute equality in the family of Jesus 
Christ. And, although men like Richard Hooker Wilmer, 
Thomas Atkinson and others of their class. Southern to the 
core, defended this policy of absolutely ignoring the "color 
line," the storm of opposition arose. 

Both Virginia and North Carolina had started off in the 
right direction. But, in South Carolina and Georgia, where 

OF THE Episcopal Church 151 

the Bishops and clergy were minded to pursue the same 
course, bitter opposition was manifested on the part of many 
of the laity. After waiting for a decade, in South Carolina, 
the issue was presented in the application of St. Marks 
Church, Charleston, to be admitted into union with the 
Diocesan Convention, as a regular and full-fledged parish. 
It aroused a storm of opposition and controversy extending 
over a number of years. The contagion reached the Diocesan 
Council of Virginia, and, after many }ears of earnest and 
determined discussion, certain limitations in the future, were 
placed upon Negro representation ta the Diocesan Council. 
In the meantime the "Sewanee Conference," composed of 
Southern Bishops and leading white clergy and laity, was 
called to meet at Sewanee, Tenn., July 25, 1883, for the 
purpose of arriving at some definite policy of action in 
Church extension among the Negroes of the South. 

Of course no Negroes, clergy or laity, were invited to 
participate in this conference. Whereupon the Rev. Dr. 
Alexander Crummell, rector of St. Lukes Church, Washing- 
ton, and the senior Negro clergyman of the Church, called 
together the colored clergy and laity of the country to meet 
in the city of New York, during the fall of the same year 
for mutual conference with respect to the matter occupying 
the minds of the members of the Sewanee Conference. 

The findings of the Sewanee Conference, with the ex- 
ception of the dissenting vote of Bishop Wilmer, of Alabama, 
were unanimous. The "Sewanee Canon," expressive of the 
conclusions of that body, was presented to the General Con- 
vention meeting that same year in the city of Philadelphia. 

In a few words the Sewanee plan authorized the segrega- 
tion in any diocese of the colored people under the direction 
and authority of the diocesan, with such missionary organi- 
zation as might be necessary for its purposes. The Negro 

152 The Afro-American Group 

Conference of colored clergy and laity which asembled in 
New York City, the month previous to the assembling of 
the General Convention, presented a united front against 
the "Sewanee Canon," and appointed a committee to attend 
at the General Convention and exert every means in their 
power to encompass the defeat of the proposed Canon. 

The Canon was adopted in the House of Bishops, but the 
House of Deputies refused to concur. So it was lost. But, 
that was not the end of the matter. It was rather but the 
beginning. In the meantime the work necessarily suffered 
during a period of discussion extending over a number of 
years. We do not mean to imply that the two things had 
any connection, yet it is a fact that just about this time a 
movement was obtaining throughout the Southern States by 
which the Constitutions of very many of the States were so 
altered as to admit of the "disfranchisement" of the great 
body of colored voters in that section of the country. It so 
happened that many Southern laymen who were prominent 
in State affairs were likewise prominent in the affairs of the 
Kingdom of God. Thus in a few years in a number of 
Southern dioceses, the proposed Sewanee legislation which 
failed in the national legislature of the Church, was incor- 
porated into diocesan law. This action on the part of sev- 
eral Southern dioceses, effected a radical change of front and 
attitude upon the part of the Negro clergy and laity em- 
braced in the Conference of Church Workers among Col- 
ored People. 

This conference originated in an effort to prevent any 
"color-line " legislation. The conference desired that col- 
ored Churchmen should have identically the same status as 
others. When, in spite of all effort in that direction, it be- 
came manifest that colored Churchmen must choose between 
existing without any fixed status as an appendage to the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 153 

white church, or, have an independent being apart from the 
local white church, with union in the General Convention, 
the Conference unhesitatingly chose the latter course. But, 
before committing itself to the Missionary District plan, in 
a memorial sent to the General Convention of 1889, it re- 
quested of that body a definition of the status of colored 
Churchmen. There were two reports upon the memorial. 
The majority report, exceedingly kind and courteous, diplo- 
matically evaded the point at issue. The minority report, 
championed by Phillips Brooks met the issue completely. By 
a very close vote the majority report prevailed, and, thus, 
the question of status, as yet, has not been satisfactorily set- 

Thereafter the Conference hesitated no longer. A fight 
for definite status was initiated. Finally, at the Conference 
of Church Workers held in St. Lukes Church, New Haven, 
Conn., September, 1903, a Commission of Fifteen was con- 
stituted to seek an audience with the Bishops in Southern 
dioceses, and, after mutually going over the situation, request 
said Bi«;hops to originate the necessary legislation to be pre- 
sented the General Convention, which would be satisfactory 
to both sides. Through the prompt courtesy of the late 
Bishop Dudley, then chairman of the House of Bishops, such 
meeting was held that same fall in the Church of the Ascen- 
sion, Washington, D. C. The meeting and our reception by 
the Bishops was magnificent. They asked for further time 
for consideration of the matter. After six months they met 
at Sewanee, and politely and kindly declined to accede to our 
request. After having been denied that ''fatherly" help, 
which, in our perplexity, we craved, the Conference of 
Church Workers, meeting in St. Philips Church, Newark, 
N. J., September, 1904, the one hundredth anniversary of 

154 The Afro-American Group 

the ordination of Absalom Jones to the priesthood, framed 
its own memorial, sending it to the General Convention, 
meeting in Boston the next month. 

The legislation which we asked of General Convention 
was the adoption of the Canon prepared by the late Bishop 
Whittingham, of Maryland, at the request of Bishop W. B. 
W. Howe, of South Carolina, and others, in 1873. The 
only addition suggested by the Conference itself was the 
provision whereby the several diocesans, who might yield 
their territory for the Missionary District, should consti- 
tute a Council of Advice to the Missionary Bishop. At Bos- 
ton the subject was discussed and a commission created to 
report upon the matter at the Richmond General Conven- 
tion of 1907. At Richmond, under the leadership of the 
Bishop of Texas, a brave and heroic fight was made for the 
adoption of the measure. But it was defeated by the injec- 
tion of the 'S'uffragan Episcopate," which was supposed to 
be sufficient to afford what was sought by the Missionary 

In 1910, at Cincinnati, the Suffragan Bishop Legislation 
was completed, but from that date to the present, not a single 
advocate of its utility for work among Negroes has ven- 
tured to put it to the test. 

At the General Convention of 1916, held in St. Louis, 
the Conference of Church Workers made its final and last 
effort in the direction of a definite status for colored Church- 
men. Never was the cause more ably presented than as will 
appear in the report of the majority, in the journal of 1916. 
But the "minority" report won, and we again went down in 
defeat. The Bishops of North Carolina and Texas, together 
with the representative of the Conference of Church Work- 
ers conferred, and came to the conclusion that it would be 
the part of wisdom to "hold up" and give the friends of the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 155 

Suffragan plan a fair opportunity to demonstrate. In the 
meantime, that all our labor would not prove utterly in 
vain, between the Bishops above named and the Bishop of 
Arkansas, all of whom were staunch supporters of the Mis- 
sionary District plan an effort might be made to make an 
interpretation of the utility of the Suffragan plan. 

Thus far all that has been done has been accomplished 
through such source. 

A section of the minority report, which was adopted at 
St. Louis, will clearly indicate the fundamental principle for 
which the Conference of Church Workers were fighting, as 
well as the subtleness of the opposition. It was a case where 
we were defeated by "extremes." Of course, those who were 
absolutely opposed to any "color-line" under any form were 
naturall\- against us. On the other hand, those who thought 
that we should be "restricted" in our rights, were also against 
us. The union of these two antagonistic forces apparently 
wrought our defeat. At any rate the extract from the min- 
ority report which follows would seem to indicate as much. 
The section reads: 

"But apart from the principle involved, the 
plan of a Separate Racial Jurisdiction for Negroes 
in the South, if once put in operation, will in our 
opinion make it exceedingly difficult, if not impos- 
sible, to try the plan of a Suffragan Bishop as pro- 
vided by the General Convention, if it shall be 
found expedient and possible in the future to do so. 
No race prefers to occupy a subordinate position, 
however necessary and beneficial such subordina- 
tion may be considered under certain conditions. 
But when race development is once appealed to, 
and race ambition once excited, the Negro will 

156 The Afro-American Group 

quite certainly aspire to equality with the white 
man in every particular. Many of them will, there- 
fore, prefer a Bishop of their own race, with an in- 
dependent jurisdiction separate from the white 
man, rather than a Suffragan Bishop, who, how- 
ever well qualified for the Episcopate, would still 
be under the jurisdiction of the white Bishop. For 
this reason the plan of a Separate Racial District 
will make impracticable and futile any attempt on 
the part of a Southern Bishop or diocese to try any 
other plan." 

Thus, our opponents, in stating their case, justify us in 
our contention, and almost confess in advance the certain 
failure of their own scheme. Colored Churchmen do not 
object to one Bishop and one Convention, in which all may 
share the same divine equality, without respect to race or 
color. Since white Churchmen are the ones who object to 
this arrangement, and demand a white Convention with a 
white Bishop, they should be willing to concede to their 
black brethren the same liberty and independence which 
they claim for themselves. But whether they concede it or 
not, we can not deny our own manhood by failing to contend 
for all the rights of man. 

It would be a very great error for any to imagine that 
the Southern Bishops, as a whole, have been at all luke-warm 
in their endeavors to bring together in the one diocesan coun- 
cil, all races, clergy and laity. It was the "martyr-like" spirit" 
of a number of Southern Bishops in upholding the rights of 
the black man, in the one diocesan council, necessarily engen- 
dering a certain bitterness of feeling, which disposed the 
great body of colored clergy to memorialise the General 
Convention for the Racial District, as an alternative, so as 

OF THE Episcopal Church 157 

to render unnecessary the sufferings of the Southern Epis- 
copate and pave the way for a lasting peace. 

But one example we gi\'e : The Rev. J. H. ]\1. Pollard 
had removed from the diocese of Virginia to the diocese of 
South Carolina. Bishop Howe, of that diocese, in making 
up the clerical roll of members of the Convention, naturally 
enough inserted the name of the Rev. J. H. \1. Pollard. 
A vigorous fight followed with respect to the correctness of 
the list as furnished by the Bishop. The Bishop was sus- 
tained ; and be it said to the eternal praise of the clergy, they 
stood unflinchingly by the Bishop. Bishop Howe plainly in- 
timated that he would resign his office of Bishop rather than 
acquiesce in the disfranchisement of a priest because of his 
color. At the close of that remarkable Diocesan Conven- 
tion of South Carolina in 1887, Bishop Howe expressed him- 
self in part as follows : 

"I will say a word or two before I go. This is the 97th 
Diocesan Convention that has been held during a period of 
nearly one hundred years, and I presume that within all these 
years there never has occurred what has taken place at this 
session — the withdrawal of a large number of those who rep- 
resent their churches in this Convention. And it is worthy 
of remark that some of these are the oldest in the diocese. It 
is a matter of very great regret to me that such is the mel- 
ancholy fact, but as I review the question I do not see how 

we could have acted otherwise than we have done It 

is not only the privilege but the right of the Bishop to visit 
every parish in his diocese, and, God helping me, unless the 
doors of the churches are locked against me, I shall visit them 
as usual whether they are or not in union with this Conven- 
tion. But I trust that our brethren will reconsider their 
action and see whether it is sufficient ground for those old 

158 The Afro-American Group 

parishes to go out because a colored clergyman, well learned, 
who has sat in a Convention in Virginia, is here." 

Here was an actual condition. It matters not that it was 
a minority that was opposed to the recognition of equality in 
the Church of Jesus Christ. The feeling existed. The at- 
titude of colored Churchmen found expression in the words 
of Abraham to Lot: "Let there be no strife between us, for 
we are brethren." And this attitude took definite shape in a 
memorial to the General Convention for "an alternative 
plan," Missionary Districts. So that by its employment the 
occasion for any future unpleasantness w^ould be avoided. On 
this effort of peace and good-will, as well as the preservation 
of our own manhood and self-respect, we are willing to go 
down to posterity. 

It is interesting to note just here that when Bishop Win- 
chester of Arkansas, in his early ministry, was rector of St. 
Johns, Wytheville, Va., he invited the Rev. Mr. Pollard to 
preach in St. Johns Church on a Sunday morning. At that 
time Senator R. E. Withers, a member of the U. S. Senate, 
and Judge Boulding of that city, were members of the vestry. 
Judge Boulding, who was present that particular Sunday 
morning, was so much pleased w4th the sermon of the Rev. 
Mr. Pollard that at the close of the service he presented him 
with a volume with his autograph as a souvenir of the occa- 



No one agency, perhaps, has contributed more towards 
the growth of the Church among our racial group than the 
Conference of Church Workers among Colored People. The 
late Rev. Alexander Crummell, D. D. LL. D.. rector and 
founder of St. Lukes Church, Washington. D. C. may very 
properly be considered as the father and founder of the Con- 

Following the meeting of the Sewanee Conference, the 
initial meeting of the colored clergy of the United States, 
at the call of Dr. Crummell, assembled in the Church of 
the Holy Communion. New \'ork City, during the fall of 
1883 .From that time to the present these Conferences have 
been regularly held. There was the omission of the one of 
1891 which had been appointed to meet in Nashville, Tenn., 
because of the illness of the late Archdeacon Calbraith B. 
Perry, of Tennessee, upon whom the arrangements de- 
volved. Until the year 1919 these meetings were held an- 
nually; but in 1919 at the Cleveland Conference a scheme 
of several Provincial Conferences was adopted for the two 
years between every third year, at which time the whole, or 
General Conference would thereafter convene. 

The second Conference was also held in the city of New 
York in 1884. In 1885 it was held in Richmond, Va. In 
1886 it was held in St. Lukes Church. W^ashington. D. C. 

162 The Afro-American Group 

This was the first Conference attended by the present author 
(then as a la_vmr.n) ; and it was at this Conference that a 
new departure was inaugurated. Up to this time, it was 
strictly a "Negro Conference." That is, it only included 
Negro workers among the race. Possibly the occasion for 
instituting the change was the voluntary presence of two 
distinguished white clergymen in work among our people. 
The Conference was quick to express its pleasure and accord 
a hearty welcome by immediately making the change to 
"Church Workers Among Colored People." These two 
white clergymen were Rev. Dr. Calbraith B. Perry of St. 
Marys and Rev. George B. Johnson of St. James, Baltimore. 
And from that day to the present time all workers of all 
orders of the ministry and laity have been accounted members 
of the body. 

The most important action taken at this Conference was 
the adoption of a "memorial" to the General Convention 
which met the next month in Chicago, praying the appoint- 
ment of a Church Commission for Work among the Colored 
People. The idea as well as the drafting cf the paper was 
born of Rev. Dr. Perry. The memorial as thus drafted was 
heartily and unanimously adopted by the Conference. The 
General Convention created the Commission. During the 
life of this Commission the work was very greatly advanced, 
and, although it had its defects, its abolition was not at the 
will of our Conference. 

It would have been utterly impossible to have secured a 
better or more efficient chairman of that Commission than 
the illustrious Bishop Dudley, who, for so many years was 
its head and who gave himself without measure, and, in un- 
wearied devotion to every interest which concerned the black 
man. Bishop Dudley thoroughly loved and thoroughly be- 
leived in the black man. and was alwavs his ceaseless advo- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 163 

cate and defender. Upon the invitation of the Rev. Cal- 
braith B. Perry, the 1887 Conference was held in St. Marys, 
Baltimore, at which time the author, a "groom' of but a day 
and yet a Deacon, was elected secretary of the Conference, 
with Rev. Dr. H. C. Bishop, of New York, chairman. From 
that time to the present, with the exception of about three 
years, the author has continued in office as secretary of the 
Conference of Church Workers, and has actually attended 
every session held since that day. 

"The Church Advocate,'' edited by the secretary of the 
Conference, has been so intimately joined together with the 
Conference that it is hard to think of one without at the 
same time thinking of the other. By the joint work of the 
above mentioned "union" a number of things have been 
realized. After a season of rather prolonged education, rep- 
resentation of the group was secured upon the commission 
through the appointment to that body of the late Rev. Dr. 
Alexander Crummell. And w^hen death removed Dr. Crum- 
mell the elevation to the vacancy of Bishop Delany was 

King Hall, with the Rev. William Victor Tunnell, war- 
den, was inaugurated in the city of Washington, as a theolo- 
gical seminary, under the auspices of the Church Commission 
and during the days of its continuance, it prepared and sent 
into the ministry a number of men who have made splendid 
records of service. King Hall was not closed in accordance 
with the judgement and w^ishes of the Conference of Church 
Workers among the group. In due season following the 
necessary campaign of education, colored priests were given 
the opportunity for supervisory and administrative work as 

The Conferences of Church Workers have met in various 
sections of the country. As far South as Charleston, S. C, 

164 The Afro-American Group 

as far north as Boston, and as far west as Cleveland, Ohio. 
With rare exception, in ever}- diocese where the Conference 
has convened, the diocesan has been present and extended 
every courtesy. Many have been the unusual courtesies ex- 
tended by our white brethren, but we do not think that 
we err at all when it is declared that nowhere in the history 
of these conferences has greater consideration and courtesy 
been extended than in the diocese of Ohio, upon tw^o oca- 
sions, under the leadership and inspiration of the Rt. Rev. 
William A. Leonard, Bishop of Ohio, and his Co-Adjutor 
Bishop DuMulin. On both occasions the opening services 
under most pleasing auspices, took place in the Bishop's 
Cathedral with the support of the Cathedral choir, and 
no man could have been more gracious and solicitous, then 
the good Bishop of Ohio. 

Bishop Leonard, from his youth, has been a steadfast 
''offender" along this line. In Brooklyn, in Washington, as 
well as in CleVeland, no work has been dearer to his heart 
than that among his colored brethren. And the author of 
this volume feels greatly honored in the fact that the Bishop 
of Ohio, covering almost the entire period of our ministry, 
has ever been one of our most devoted and affectionate 
friends. The knowledge of the sincerity of his friendship 
has wrought mightily in us in the midst of struggle and con- 

Alany have been the benefits of these annual conferences. 
They have interpreted to both races the black man at his 
best. Through these conferences the colored people have 
come to know and somewhat understand the purpose of the 
Episcopal Church. They have proved the means of intro- 
ducing to each other our own colored laity and linking them 
together for constructive work. The Conference has fur- 
nished to our own colored clergy the opportunity for prac- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 165 

tice, and imparted an ecclessiastical education which could not 
have been realized elsewhere. By means of it many of them 
"have found themselves," and have been inspired and ren- 
dered more hopeful in their difficult work. They have learnt 
to do by doing. Their entire life, social, intellectual and 
ecclesiastical has felt the invigorating influence of the forces 
inseparably connected w^ifh such meetings. And those who 
enjoy the privilege of membership in diocesan assemblies have 
been ennabled to carry into such relationships a training and 
a culture which otherwise would not have been possible. 

Prof. Charles H. Boyer, a native of Maryland, and a 
graduate of Yale University, the dean of the collegiate de- 
partment of St. Augustines School, has been connected with 
that institution for more than a quarter of a century. He is 
one of the strongest and ablest of the colored laity in this 
country. While this book was making ready for the press, 
we received a personal note from our friend Prof. Boyer, 
which, while not intended for public print, is worthy of such, 
showing as it does how such men are valued in the Church 
by the people of the white group. Says Prof. Boyer : 

I have just returned from Wellesley College, Mass., 
where I had been conducting a mission study class on the 
Negro and the Church, at the Episcopal Church Conference. 
I had a very interesting class of twenty-one persons, includ- 
ing priests, theological students, teachers, social service work- 
ers, missionaries and some extra visitors at times; there was 
also one missionary from China and a young woman prepar- 
ing to become a missionary to Liberia. 

"It was a great experience to me. I won them all over 
completely to full sympathy with the Negro's side of the 
question, and received a rising vote of thanks from them at 

166 The Afro-American Group 

the close of the last recitation, for the way I had taught 
them, and also received their assurance to pray and work 
for bringing the Negro into his full measure of American 
citizenship and Christian fellowship. 

"Outside of the classroom too, I was accorded all the 
courtesies of the conference. In fact I was considered the 
guest of the conference while ther^." 




Amcng the Bishops who became most active in this work 
after the Civil War were Atkinson. Lyman, Johns, Whittle, 
Smith, ,Quintard, Whittingham, Howe, Stevens and Young. 
At a later period were Dudle\ , Leonard of Ohio, Ranodlph, 
Cheshire, Paret, KinsoKing and Johnston of Texas. Among 
the clergy were Drs. Saul and ALatlack of Philadelphia, Drs. 
Babbitt and A. Toomer Porter, of South Carolina, Rev. Dr. 
C. B. Perry of ALiryland and Rev. Giles B. Cooke of Vir- 
ginia. Later Drs. Smedes, Sutton and Hunter of St. Augus- 
tines School, Raleigh, X. C, and Archdeacon Joyner of 
South Carolina. A few of the distinguished laymen: the 
Stewarts of Richmond, Va., Mr. Joseph Bryan, Richmond, 
Va., Messrs. H. E. Pellew and Judge Bancroft Davis of 
Washington, D. C, Mr. John A. King of Long Island, Mrs. 
Loomis L. White of New York. Nor could by any possible 
means the names of Henry Codman Potter, Bishop of New 
York and Phillip Brooks. Bishop of Massachusetts, be omit- 
ted. It would be entirely out of the question to catalogue all 
of the names of such as were conspicuous in this work, and, 
hence, we have named but a few. with nearly all of whom 
the author enjoyed personal acquaintance. 

Bishop Stevens of Pennsylvania, a Georgian by birth, 
was the first to make provision for the theological training 
of colored men in Philadelphia. Rev. Dr. R. C. Matlack, 
secretary of the Evangelical Educational Society, was fore- 
most in providing scholarships for worthy candidates for the 

170 The Afro-Americax Group 

ministr}-; and Rev. Dr. Saul of Philadelphia, with generous 
liberality, gave his means to aid the good work in various 
sections of the South. He was among the first to donate 
money for the purchase of permanent property for the Bishop 
Payne Divinity School at Petersburg, Va. During Mr. 
Pellew's connection with the Church Commission for work 
among colored people, he was almost continuously traveling 
over the country inspecting the work and quietly bestowing 
his means here and there to sustain the same. Rev. Drs. 
Porter and Babbitt in South Carolina wrought w^ith sincere 
devotion and apostolic zeal. Rev. Calbraith B. Perry and 
Rev. Giles B. Cooke wrought as few, if any, white men 
have before or since. Archdeacon E. N. Joyner in South 
Carolina, labored for a long period in the midst of many 
obstacles, bravely and most successfully. Rev. Reeve Hob- 
ble and Rev. John H. Towmsend in the State of New Jersey, 
won the love and affection of colored people and performed 
magnificent constructive work. 

Gen. Samuel C. Armstrong was not a communicant of 
the Episcopal Church, but, certainly, no one outside of the 
Church, exerted without any special design, a more helpful 
influence in its extension among the colored people of the 
country. General Armstrong was very dear to this author. 
By appointment of the Governor of Virginia the present 
author served as a trustee of that institution representing the 
Commonwealth of Virginia. He saw much of Gen. Arm- 
strong, and we frequently communed together. Strange as 
it may appear, the General became very fond of us for the 
same reason that very many have not liked us so well. He 
greatly admired in us the disposition not only to do our own 
thinking, but the aggressiveness w^hich we sustained in try- 
ing to convert others to our convictions. Of all the letters 

OF THE Episcopal Church 171 

in the possession of the author he prizes none more highly 
than a very brief one from Gen. Armstrong, when, in going 
north on a certain errand, we requested a line of him. He 
wrote: "I know you, and have confidence in you." Those 
few words over the signature of Gen. S. C. Armstrong ap- 
pealed to every noble impulse of our nature and inspired de- 
termination and purpose to ''make good." 

But we started out to remark concerning the unconscious 
influence of Gen. Armstrong on behalf of the extension of 
the Episcopal Church among the colored people. While 
Hampton has always been "undenominational," both its fa- 
culty and board of trustees have contained in abundance not 
only members of the Episcopal Church, but men and women 
of the highest and noblest type, creating an atmosphere in 
which the common and vulgar simply could not exist. The 
most helpful portions of the services from the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer have all along constituted the normal daily de- 
votions of the Hampton family, teachers and pupils. The 
life and atmosphere sustained at Hampton inspired such 
ideals as led many of its graduates in after life to unite with 
the Episcopal Church because the ideals presented by the 
Church seemed to agree more thoroughly with the Hampton 
life, the Hampton spirit and the Hampton atmosphere. Thus, 
Gen. Armstrong, with no design whatever to promote any 
particular sect or advance the interests of any religious body, 
interpreting his own vision, did unconsciously serve the best 
interest of true religion in helping on Church extension 
among the colored race. 

A number of the best clergymen the Church has ever 
had and many of the most helpful laity in business and in 
professional life scattered all over the United States w^ere 
once children of Samuel C. Armstrong. 



James E. Thompson, who, as a youth and a young man, 
had been quite active in St. James Church, Baltimore, early 
in the seventies, removed to St. Louis, Mo., where, while 
pursuing secular work, manifested an earnest interest in do- 
ing missionary work. Finally he got together a little work 
known as the Mission of the Good Samaritan. He was 
made a deacon by Bishop Robertson and later a priest. Some 
few years after he removed to Chicago to undertake a simi- 
lar work. As a result of his endeavor in that city, he became 
the founder of the present large and flourishing Church of St. 
Thomas with more than a thousand communicants. 

In the meantime, having left St. Louis, he w^rote to Bal- 
timore and influenced Cassius M. C. Mason to remove to 
St. Louis. Mr. Mason was one of a very large family of 
Masons christened in old St. James, Baltimore. Richard 
Masons, the father of Cassius, was one of the most brilliant 
and active colored men of his generation in the city of Bal- 
timore. He was a boot and shoe maker, and often did he 
remark to the present author of his having made boots or 
shoes for His Excellency President Tyler. He was an un- 
compromising Churchman. All of his family were steadfastly 
brought up in the Church. His son, Cassius, was elected a 
member of the vestry of Sr. James Church before he had at- 
tained his majority. He honorably and creditably served in 
every position open to a layman in the Church. As a young 
man he took the leading part, with other young people from 

OF THE Episcopal Church 173 

St. James in 1867 in establishing the present congregation of 
St. Mary the Virgin, Baltimore. At first the name of the 
new mission was St. Philip, but it was afterwards changed 
to its present title. Thus it was after such pioneer good 
work in the city of his birth, that the call came to him 
through a former communicant of St. James to go west. We 
shall not go into the details of his work in St. Louis. He 
took Orders in that diocese, founded All Saints Parish, St. 
Louis, and was its rector to the day of his death. Bishop 
Tuttle, his honored diocesan, on the day of his death, ALarch 
21, 1917, wrote the following his his cjiary : 

"In the earl} morning of this day, Rev. C. M. C. Mason, 
rector of All Saints, St. Louis, died of pneumonia, after a 
short illness. A Godly man, a devoted pastor, the builder up 
of this parish into a strong self-supporting parish of five 
hundred communicants. The senior priest of the diocese 
the only one left who had been in steady service with me for 
the whole thirty years of my Missouri life. He was a wise 
counsellor for me and Avith me. I shall sorely miss him, 
God be thanked for his faithful life and abounding good 

In his Convention address the same good Bishop alludes 
to Father Mason in this wise: "One of our clergy has fallen, 
the Rev. C. M. C. Alason. He was a remarkable leader to 
his congregation, and, indeed, to the colored people of the 

city Clear-headed and stout-hearted, wise in planning, 

energetic in executing, holy of life, he filled a sphere of great 
usefulness in which he was highly respected and deeply loved. 
We hardly know how we are to get on without him." 

The character of Father Mason ought greatly to in- 
fluence ambitious youth of our group who may become ap- 
prised of the almost insuperable difficulties which he over 
came. His young manhood was at a time prior to the many 

174 The Afro-American Group 

schools and colleges now established for the benefit of the 
race. And, in addition to all this, like Moses, he was "slow 
of speech." Cassius Mason must have been endowed with 
extra-ordinary faith, with a stammering tongue and other 
handicaps, to leave the shoemaker's bench and set out for 
the priesthood. But, thus he did, and what he wrought in- 
terprets to us the marvellous mercy and goodness of God. 

The name of James Solomon Russell is well-known and 
praised, throughout the whole Church, because of what 
God has wrought through his ministry and service. In the 
present case, we have a simple country lad going for a few 
years to the great Hampton Industrial School, and leaving 
before graduation to be "the first student" of what was to be 
a great Southern "School of the Prophets" for colored young 
men. With the little start he received at Hampton, and the 
training received at the theological school in Petersburg, in 
the midst of ceaseless missionary endeavor, by the help ot 
God, he has given us a true and faithful interpretation of 
how well-made a "self-made" man can emerge, even in the 
midst of supreme difficulties and constant burden bearing. 
The churches he has brought into existence, the great school 
brought to birth and built up. and the righteous life he ha> 
led are all evidences of a wonderful and remarkable man who 
has wrought heroically and efficiently to the glory of God, 
and the amelioration of a suffering people. He has recently 
returned to this country from a most enjoyable visit to the 
Republic of Liberia. 

Another notable example of the "self-educated" con- 
structive leadership of the Negro priesthood presents itself 
in the character of James Nelson Deaver. A young man 
having a fair high school education, a musician, and a gen- 
eral "hustler," having already accumulated a wife and three 
little children, was minded to endure "hardness" to the last 

OF THE Episcopal Church 175 

limit in order to attain the desire of his heart. Going out 
from St. James, Baltimore, to the backwoods of Maryland, 
he had his first taste of the hardships which awaited him ; 
then to Florida, and from Florida to West Virginia, and, 
lastly, to Atlantic City, N. J., where he brought into being 
from its very birth, the self-sustaining congregation of St. 
Augustines Church. He too has vindicated the call w^hich 
God gives to those who, without any fault on their part, 
find themselves without collegiate training. 

Henry Mason Joseph, formerly a school master in the 
West Indies, came to this country and secured employment 
as a professor in St. Augustines School, Raleigh. He was an 
able and well-learned man, with all the marks of the rarest 
culture and refinement. He made an impress upon the whole 
community of Raleigh, colored and white, as few men before 
or since. Upon his resignation, the greatest pressure was 
brought to bear upon the part of the community at large, to 
have him reconsider his determination. While at St. Augus- 
tines he took Orders. He was ordained deacon in 1883 by 
Bishop Lyman and priest the next year by the same Bishop. 

Among the "pioneer" men the name of Henry Stephen 
McDufify looms large. He was one of "the first fruits" of 
the labors of P'ather Brady who planted St. Marks Church, 
Wilmington, X. C. Father Brady brought him into the 
Church and Baptized him. He was trained at St. Augus- 
tines. He travelled over the North and personally solicited 
the funds for the erection of the first church edifice of St. 
Josephs, Fayetteville, N. C, and, then, returning, with his 
own hands for the most part, erected the building. He 
wrought heroically in Asheville, where he built a most beau- 
tiful church, in Brooklyn, N. Y., and finally in his present 
field, St. Augustines, Philadelphia. 

Primus Priss Alston was another of the pioneer clergy- 

176 The Afro-Am eric ax Group 

men who laid strong foundations in connection with the 
work in Charlotte, N. C, his first and only work. Rev. Mr. 
Alston was ordained deacon in 1883 and priest in 1892 by 
Bishop Lyman. He was a "prince" as a financial solicitor. 
Extremely cautious and conservative he never failed to dili- 
gently care for his own personal interest while faithfully 
serving the Church. 

Dr. Paulus Moort was an exceedingly interesting char- 
acter. He came to this country from the West Indies early 
in life and spent much of his time in preparation. First at 
Petersburg, then at Raleigh, and finally at the Philadelpliia 
Divinity School from which he graduated. He afterwards 
took a course in medicine. He was ordained deacon in 1882 
by Bishop Lee, and later in the same year priest, by Bishop 
Stevens. He became rector of Trinity Church, Monrovia, 
Liberia, and was again in America in 1889 as the clerical 
deputy to the General Convention from the District of Lib- 
eria. He and the Rev. Thomas W. Cain of Texas, were 
the only Negro members of the House of Deputies of that 
General Convention. Bishop Ferguson sat in the House of 
Bishops. Upon a later visit to this country in the interest 
of his work he was stricken and died. His funeral took place 
from St. Thomas Church, Philadelphia, and Bishop Lloyd, 
at that time the head of the Missionary Society of the Church, 
was present and took part in the obsequies. His remains 
were laid away in a cemetery near the city of Philadelphia. 

Much, indeed, would have to be written to give any ade- 
quate idea of the extreme value of the missionary and other 
labors of the Rev. Dr. Henry L. Phillips, the senior priest 
of our group and the Archdeacon for work in Pennsylvania. 
It so happens that he has resided in the city of Philadelphia 
for w^ell-nigh a half century. This city has been the chief 
center of interest in the work among the race and Dr. Phil- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 177 

ips by his intimate knowledge of men of wealth and influence 
and benevolent disposition, has rendered peculiar and most 
valuable service on behalf of the work throughout the en- 
tire country. With respect to his work and influence in the 
city of Philadelphia itself, the large Church constituency 
which we have, with ten or more colored congregations and 
clergy abundantly witnesseth. 

J. J. N. Thompson, born in Jamaica, was ordained by 
Bishop Gregg of Texas early in the nineties. He did good 
work at Tyler in that State. In company with others, white, 
he passed the most creditable examination for ordination to 
the priesthood. He attended the regular morning service of 
the white parish church in a town of Texas, Bishop Kin- 
solving being present, and according to assignment, read 
the lessons. The event of a colored priest thus appearing in 
the chancel of a white church caused some local feeling, but 
the Bishop stood bi^avely behind and suj^ported Father 
Thompson. Removing to Mobile, Ala., in a few years, he 
made, almost, if not entirely, a self-supporting parish of the 
mission of that place, which had existed as such for a number 
of years. Later, he removed to Brunswick, Ga., and re- 
peated the same treatment, constituting St. Athanasius 
Church, Brunswick, a self-supporting parish. At the same 
time, he organized a new mission at Waycross, Ga. 

August E. Jensen, from the Danish West Indies, one of 
the ablest young men sent out by King Hall, Washington, 
D. C, after good work in Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla., re- 
moved to Croom in the diocese of Washington, where he 
rendered exceptionally fine educational and religious work. 
In 1903 Bishop Scarborough invited him to Asbury Park, 
N. J., to "try his hand" with the little mission at that point. 
He could promise him only five hundred dollars a year. Fath- 
er Jensen accepted. By the end of the year he had organized 

178 The Afro-Americax Group 

the mission into a self-supporting parish, and was called as 
its first rector; and, at the same time upon the church lot, 
ground was broken for a rectory w^hich was completed three 
months later. His health having failed, for a while, he re- 
signed the rectorship. After a period of rest, he resumed 
work, and immediately planted a strong and vigorous mis- 
sion in Trenton, the capital city of New Jersey. 

Joshua Bowden Massiah, among the older and best edu- 
cated of the clergy, served a number of points in the country. 
He was graduated from the General Theological Seminary, 
New York. After an unusually successful work in Detroit, 
he removed to Chicago where he procured a magnificent 
church edifice for St. Thomas Church, and from a few 
hundred communicants built it up to nearly one thousand. 
He enjoyed the distinction of being the only colored priest, 
who, by special invitation preached in St. Pauls Cathedral, 

The Rev. William Victor Tunnell graduated from the 
General Theological Seminary, New York, in 1887, with the 
''first honors" of the class, he being the only colored person 
therein. He w^on the prize of a gold watch for extemporan- 
eous speaking. After constituting the long struggling St. 
Augustines mission, Brooklyn, into a parish, he resigned to 
a-^cept a professorship in history in his alma m.ater, Howard 
University, Washington, D. C. Some years later King Hall 
was established in the same city, and he was placed in charge 
as warden. When it became the policy of the Church to 
concentrate on one theological institution. King Hall was 
closed, and its students transferred to the Bishop Payne 
Divinity School, Petersburg, Va. Warden Tunnell returned 
to the professorship at Howard. In the meantime, he re- 
tained the pastoral care of St. Philips mission, Anacostia, D. 


OF THE Episcopal Church 181 

C. For a time he was a member of the Board of Education 
of the city of Washington. 

John W. Perry, a pioneer clergyman in the diocese of 
North Carolina, spent his entire life in that one diocese, and 
in connection with the mission at Tarboro, where he not only 
did good work, but left behind a name and a character as a 
perpetual asset to the community in which he lived and died. 
He, as well as his wife, was educated at St. Augustines, Ra- 

Many have been the charming and sweet characters of 
Southern white women who have wrought among and in 
our group as though there was no such thing as "race preju- 
dice." However, that of Deaconess Mary Amanda Becht- 
ler, a North Carolinian by birth, is worthy of special men- 
tion, and special honor. She gave her life in sweet ministries 
among the poor in connection with St. Marys Chapel, Wash- 
ington, under the pastoral supervision of a Negro priest, a 
native of South Carolina, the Rev. Oscar L. Mitchell. Dr. 
Macka\ -Smith (rector of St. Johns parish) "in the presence 
of Dr. Huntington, explained these circumstances to Miss 
Bechtler. Of course he expected her to decline the call. He 
put the question directly to her, and asked her how she felt 
about working under the direction of a colored man. Her 
reply was that if the man is a Christian and a gentleman his 
color made no difference to her. And Dr. Mackay-Smith 
by cross questioning could not get her to retract that state- 
ment. He left her without urging the call and asked her to 
consider the matter further. But her statement w^as final." 

It was the good pleasure of this author to meet Deaconess 
Bechtler frequently and we thank God for every remem- 
brance of such a true, pure and beautiful type of woman- 
hood who, for Christ's sake, made herself perfectly at home 
with our group. 

182 Thk Afro-Am ericax Group 

This is not the only instance of this character. But it is 
one of great significance. Quoting from the beautiful mem- 
orial volume in her memory: "Attention to kindred and rela- 
tions as well as she loved them, was not allowed to interfere 
with a single engagement at her post of duty. Her dearest 
friends, even though they may have come from far, would 
have to wait until her appointment with the poorest Negro 
child had been kept. An appointment to her, even though 
it be a poor waif, was a sacred duty; and would be kept as 
conscientiously as if it had been with a prince or a State 
official. She was once asked in a somewhat sneering way: 
'Do you worship where you work?' Her answer was: 'I 
never luorship anyw^here else.' And the fact is that unless 
out of town, she was never known to attend a service else- 
where at an hour when there was one at St. Marys. She 
made her Communion regularly at the altar where she work- 
ed, kneeling side by side with those among whom she 

Miss Bechtler was a Southern woman. Miss Ethel 
Roosevelt, was not only a Northern woman, but she was the 
daughter of the President of the United States, an occupant 
of the White House. Miss Roosevelt found it a joy and a 
pleasure to regularly fill her post as a Sunday School teacher 
in this same chapel, despite the fact that the priest in charge 
was a man of African descent. 

It is a thing most difficult for the present generation of 
educated colored people to appreciate the deep sincerity of the 
best blood of Virginia immediately following the Civil War 
in helpfulness towards our group. Just a few years after 
the war, a young Virginian who had worn a Confederate 
jacket, had become a clergyman of the Church in Cincin- 
natti, Ohio. For several Sundays a colored woman of 
some refinement, with her daughters, had attended the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 183 

church of which the clergyman was rector, occupying the 
"free pews." This lady sent in a request to the vestry for 
the rental of a pew. The vestrymen seemed somewhat em- 
barrassed. The young rector, vacating the chair, and begging 
to be excused, requested the senior warden to preside. As he 
left the room he expressed the wish that the vestry might 
find it convenient to let the lady have rhe pew; and, he added 
that in case they could not, they might consider his resigna- 
tion as rector of the parish. The lady got the pew. That 
clergyman was none other than the good and brave Bishop 
of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Dr. George Herbert Kinsolving. 

Some years after the war a young girl, a native of Lynch- 
burg. Va., who was attending school in Philadelphia, and 
had become a devout member of the Episcopal Church, upon 
her return to her Virginia home, where there was no colored 
Episcopal Church, was unsuccessfully urged by one of the 
most influential white ladies of that community of the Epis- 
copal Church to attend the white church and occupy a seat 
in the family pew. 

In the "color question" debate which came before the 
Virginia Council, in days that are past, the Rev. Arthur S. 
Lloyd (now Bishop) and Rev. Dr. Carl E. Grammer, pro- 
fessor of Church History in the Virginia Seminary, both 
young men, made as radical speeches upon the floor of the 
Convention for the full and free admission of colored dele- 
gates as could have been possible by any man. Major Mann 
Page, a distinguished layman, living in the "black belt," who 
had politically suffered by reason of the ignorance and stupi- 
dity of black voters, in spite of the same, boldly registered 
his opposition to any "color line" in the Church of God. And 
we could name instance after instance of this sort. It was a 
difficult situation, and we must, in honor to this class of dis- 
tinguished Virginians in whose life we have ever lived, say 

184 The Afro-Americax Group 

that they valantly did the best they could, but the illiberal 
whites on the one side, and the unpreparedness of the colored 
on the other hand, severely handicapped them in the realiza- 
tion of the best wishes of their hearts. "As a man thinketh 
in his heart, so is he" 



1. Absalom Jones, deacon in 1795 and priest in 1804. By 
Bishop White of Pennsylvania. Elsewhere particulars of 
the life of Mr. Jones have been given. 

2. Feter Williams, deacon in 1819, priest in 1826. By 
Bishop Hobart. 

3. William Levington, deacon in 1824, priest in 1828. By 
Bishop White of Pennsylvania. Mr. Levington would have 
been ordained to the priesthood in Maryland, but for the 
death of Bishop Kemp, occasioned by injuries received from 
an up-set of the stage coach, as he was returning from Phil- 
adelphia, whither he had gone to take part in the consecra- 
tion of Bishop Onderdonk. At the request of the ecclesiasti- 
cal authorities of Maryland, Bishop White advanced him to 
the priesthood. And because of the vacancy in the Maryland 
Episcopate, Bishop Onderdonk of Pennsylvania, officiate4 at 
the first Confirmation ever held in St. James Church, Balti- 

4. James C. Ward, deacon in 1824. By Bishop White. 
Mr. Ward was a school teacher, and it does not appear that 
he was ever in pastoral work. He only lived a few years. 

5. Jacob Oson, deacon in Christ Church, Hartford, Conn., 
February 15th, 1828, and priest the next day, February 16th. 
By Bishop Brownell. Mr. Oson, who had been a useful 
catechist and lay reader among our people in New Haven, 
had studied theology there under the Rev. Harry Croswell 

186 The Afro-American Group 

sionary to the fieid of Liberia, West Africa, by the Mission- 
ary Society of the General Convention. However, he did 
and at the time of his ordination had been appointed a mis- 
not reach Africa, inasmuch as he departed this life in this 
country before the appointed time of his sailing for his field 
of labor. 

6. Gustavus V. Caesar, and Edward Jones, were ordained 
to the diaconate in 1830, by Bishop Brownell of Connecticut, 
for the African field. They reached Africa and there labor- 

7. William Douglass, deacon, June 22, 1834. By Bishop 
Stone of Maryland. In recording this ordination, the first 
of its kind in Maryland, and anywhere else south of Penn- 
sylvania, Bishop Stone says: 

"On Sunday, 22nd, I preached in St. Stephens 
parish, Cecil county (Sassafras Neck), and admitt- 
ed to the Order of Deacons, William Douglass, 
(a colored man), and in the afternoon of the same 
day I Confirmed three persons. Many persons 
who were present never before witnessed an ordina- 
tion, and I am sure that the impression made upon 
• their minds was favorable to the Church and her 
institutions. In the afternoon by previous arrange- 
ment, the church was given up to the colored peo- 
ple, and the Rev. Mr. Douglass preached to them 
an interesting sermon." 

Mr. Douglass was ordained a priest in St. Thomas 
Church, Philadelphia, February 14, 1836, by Bishop H. U. 
Onderdonk. The Bishop records the impression made upon 
him as follows: 

''On Sunday, February 14th, in St. Thomas 
(African) Church, Philadelphia, I admitted th<^ 

OF THE Episcopal Church 187 

Rev. William Douglass, deacon, to the Holy Order 
of Priests. Mr. Douglass is a man of color; and 
I take the opportunity of recording my very favor- 
able estimate of his highly respectable intellect, and 
most amiable qualities, which entirely relieved my 
mind, in his case, from the anxieties I had long felt 
in reference to this department of Episcopal dut>\ 
He ministers to a congregation at unity in itself, 
much attached to him, and improving, under his 
pastoral care, in the principles and duties of our 
common Christianity." 

8. Isaiah G. DeGrasse. Bishop Onderdonk of New York, 
thus records this ordination: "Wednesda\', July 11, 1838 — 
In St. Philips Church, New York, admitted Isaiah G. De- 
Grasse, a young man of African extraction, whose examina- 
tions had evinced ample literary and theological attainments, 
to Deacon's Orders. Mr. DeGrasse was immediately ap- 
pointed to the charge of the missionary station comprising 
the colored Episcopalians in the towns of Jamaica, Newton 
and Flushing, Queen's count\ ." 

In the Convention of 1841 the same Bishop reported 
the happy translation of Mr. DeGrasse, as follows: 

"The Rev. Isaiah G. DeGrasse, Deacon, a 
young man of African extraction, who had entered 
ministry and prosecuted its duties with talents and 
ecquirements of a superior order, having removed 
to the West Indies, and made there an impression 
promising great future usefulness, was soon taken 
by a happy Christian death, to the account of his 
short stewardship." 

9. Alexander Crummell D. D., LL. D. On May 1, 
1842, in St. Pauls Cathedral, Boston, Mass., Alexander 

188 The Afro-Americax Group 

Crummell was ordained deacon by Bishop Griswold. He 
was ordained priest in Philadelphia in 1844, by Bishop Lee, 
of Delaware, acting for Pennsylvania. Dr. Crummell was 
baptized in, and was a parishoner of St. Philips Church, 
New York. He was a very bright youth, and when about 
twenty years of age was bold and courageous enough to ap- 
ply to be received as a student in the General Theological 
Seminary. He had the strong backing and influence of 
Bishop George Washington Doane, of New Jersey, Dr. 
Whittingham, dean of the seminary, and the Honorable 
John Jay. But he failed to be admitted, and because of his 
persistency in the matter his name was dropped from the 
list as a candidate for Holy Orders. Whereupon, by the 
aid of his strong friends, he was admitted a candidate in the 
diocese of Massachusetts, attended the theological seminary 
in Boston, and, in due season, ordained to the ministry. 
Bishop Clarke, of Rhode Island, w^riting many years after- 
wards with respect to his examination for the diaconate, said : 

"I remember that Dr. Croswell afterwards re- 
marked to me, that no candidate for the ministry 
had ever passed through his hands who had given 
him more entire satisfaction." 

Dr. Crummell's grandfather was an African king. Short- 
ly after his ordination as priest, an unexpected opportunity 
came to him of still further pursunig his studies at the Uni- 
versity of Cambridge, England. After having received his 
degree from that institution, he removed to Liberia, West 
Africa, where, in addition to ministerial labors, he became a 
professor in the College of Liberia. Some few years after 
the close of the Civil War he returned to this country and 
settling in the city of Washington, he founded St. Lukes 
Church at the National Capital. He was the author of a 

OF THE Episcopal Church 189 

number of books and tracts. A prominent and distinguished 
Presbyterian minister of Philadelphia, Dr. Matthew Ander- 
son, said of him: 

"No man was ever truer to his fellowman, and 
to the Negro, than was Dr. Crummell, and no man 
understood more thoroughly the mode of thought, 
the cast of mind, the aspirations and in the inward 
longings, than did he, and no man had greater love 
and admiration for his people, or greater confidence 
in their future, than he." 

10. Eli M'orthington Stokes. In St. James Church, Bal- 
timore, October 1, 1843, Mr. Stokes was ordained deacon by 
Bishop Whittingham. He was ordained priest in 1846 in 
New Haven, Conn., by Bishop Brownell. 

Mr. Stokes was deeply and fervently imbued with the 
missionary spirit. Reference, elsewhere, has been made to 
his founding of St. Lukes Church, New Haven, and of his 
work in Providence, R. I. Right here we want to say a 
word of the late Bishop Henshaw of Rhode Island, not only 
the warm friend of Mr. Stokes, but likewise of the colored 
race. Bishop Henshaw came to the Episcopate from the 
rectorship of St. Peters Church, Baltimore- In Baltimore 
he was the ever faithful friend of St. James First African 
Church . He delivered the sermon at the consecration of its 
first edifice. He officiated at the funeral of the Rev. Mr. 
Levington, the founder of the parish. Going from the 
South to the North, he carried with him a faithful and true 
heart for the black people in his new field of labor. The very 
first effort of Dr. Crummell had been in the city of Provi- 
dence. Dr. Henshaw had only been a Bishop for about two 
months when he penned the words which we quote. In his 
journal is the following entry : 

190 The Afro-A.mericax Group 

"Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, November 
12th, (1843). I conducted Evening Prayer in 
Christ Church, Providence. It having been repre- 
sented to me that the congregation of our colored 
brethren who occupy that neat and commodious edi- 
fice, were involved in a debt of about $2,000 for 
the building, I invited them to meet me on the fol- 
lowing evening in the church for the purpose of 
suggesting a plan by which they might relieve 
themselves from their embarassment. The meeting 
was well attended, the plan proposed was received 
with approbation, and a subscription was made 
which was highly liberal, considering the pecuniary 

ability of the people If they steadily persevere 

in the work, there is reason to hope that by the pay- 
ment monthly of small sums which they can afford 
to spare, this people will be able, chiefly by their 
own contributions, to extinguish their debt with- 
in the allotted period." 

In 1846, Rev. Mr. Stokes in his first report to the Dio- 
cesan Convention of Rhode Island says: 

"I commenced my labors in this parish, the 
29th of May last past, and have continued the re- 
gular services of the Church three times on every 
Lord's Day, and on every Friday evening. I am 
encouraged by the prompt attendance of the con- 
gregation who are now anxious to liquidate the 
debt on their church edifice; and are willing to do 
all that is within their power to accomplish that 
laudable object; and from their prompt response 
to a call that I made on them, to contribute some- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 191 

thing towards the payment on the debt on the 
church edifice, before the sitting of the Conven- 
tion which resulted in the sum of $22.50, at only 
two collections. I feel so far encouraged as to re- 
commend them to the sympathies of the diocese 

Mr. Stokes, after proving a true missionary to the end, 
laid down his life in Africa. From a correspondent in the 
"Spirit of Missions" under date of February 27, 1867, the 
following is taken: "His death will be greatly felt just now 
in our mission. He was a thorough-going, energetic, work- 
ing old man. He died in the faith of the Gospel he had 

11. IViUiafu C. Miniroe. Mr. Munroe was ordained 
deacon in 1846 and priest in 1849 by Bishop McCrosky. 
Reference is made elsewhere to his work in Detroit. He re- 
moved to Africa where he labored and died. 

12. Samuel Vreeland Berry. Mr. Berry was ordained dea- 
con in 1846 in New York by Bishop Horatio Potter, and 
priest in 1849 by the same Bishop. Father Berry labored 
in the cities of New York, Buffalo and New Haven, Conn. 
After the Civil War, when Bishop Atkinson gave forth a 
generous invitation for clergy, colored and white, to come to 
his diocese and labor among the colored people, Father 
Berry was among the very first to respond. Going to Ashe- 
ville, N. C, he labored long and earnestly, both in educa- 
tional and pastoral work until worn out, he returned to his 
home in the north to die. 

13. Harrison Holmes Webb. 'Mr. Webb came to Balti- 
more early in the forties from Columbia, Pa., where he had 
been engaged in the lumber business. Connecting himself 
with St. James First African Church, in 1843, he was con- 

192 The Afro-American Group 

firmed. Very soon thereafter he became very active in the 
work, being appointed lay reader and teacher of the parish 
school. In 1847, with others, he organized St. James Male 
Beneficial Society, an institution in that early day which 
comprehended the most substantial and respectable colored 
men of that city. In 1853 he was ordained deacon by Bishop 
Whittingham and became the clerical assistant of the Rev. 
Mr. Mcjilton, the rector of the parish. In 1856 Bishop 
Whitehouse of Illinois, acting for the Bishop of Maryland, 
advanced him to the priesthood. Shortly afterwards, upon 
the withdrawal of Mr. Mcjilton, he succeeded him as rector 
of the parish. He continued therein until 1872, when, be- 
cause of advancing old age, and infirmities, he resigned the 
rectorship. He entered into life eternal December 12, 1878. 
14. James Theodore Holly, D. D., LL. D. Bishop Holly 
was born in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in 1829, of 
Maryland parentage. He was Christened and Confirmed in 
the Roman Catholic Church. He was taught the trade of 
a shoemaker. He was of that remarkable group of colored 
men about that time, who became thoroughly distinguished 
as ''self-made." He worked at his trade in Brooklyn, New 
York, and from there he removed to Detroit, Mich., at 
which latter place, having arrived at manhood, he renounced 
Romanism and entered the communion of the Episcopal 
Church. He taught school, both in Buffalo and Detroit, 
and became a towering figure in the conventions of colored 
men held in the free States before the Civil War. He was 
ordained deacon in St. Matthews Church, Detroit, in 1855, 
by Bishop McCrosky. Soon thereafter he made a trip of 
inspection to the republic of Haiti, and upon his return the 
next year, he was ordained priest by the Bishop of Connecti- 
cut, and given the charge of St. Lukes Church, New Haven. 
Resigning the rectorship of this church In 1861, he headed a 

OF THE Episcopal Church 195 

band of colonists who settled in the republic of Haiti. Here 
he organized the Convocation of the Haitian Church, being 
elected its dean. In 1874, in the city of New York, he was 
consecrated the first Bishop of the Haitian Church. His 
death occurred in Port au Prince, Haiti, March 13, 1911. 
One writing from Haiti at the time said of the funeral: 

"No one remembers seeing such a funeral. The Presi- 
dent sent a company of his Guard of Honor, the Palace 
Band (the best in the West Indies) and four aids-de-camp. 
There were six magnificent w^reaths and a profusion of bo- 
quets. The crowd that followed was immense — the side 
walks and balconies were crowded with people to see the 
funeral go by. The Mayor of the city sent to inquire 
ihrough what streets the procession would go, and then sent 
to have those streets perfectly cleared. People have told us 
that after the funeral they could not find a piece of mourn- 
ing in town; everywhere they were told that 'Bishop Holly 
had cleaned them out,' so great was the number of those 
who thought it their duty to take mourning for the Bishop. 
The funeral services began punctually at eight in the morn- 
ing, and it was one o'clock when we were leaving the church- 
yard where his remains were buried. There were eleven 
clergymen in attendance." 

On the occasion of Bishop Holly's one visit to Great 
Britain, to attend the Second Lambeth Conference, by invi- 
tation of the late Dean Stanley, he preached in Westminster 
Abbey on St. James Day, a most eloquent sermon, extracts 
from the peroration of which went the rounds of the 
English-speaking world : 

"And now on the shores of old England, the 
cradle of that Anglo-Saxon Christianity by which I 
have been in part, at least, illuminated, standing 

196 The Afro-American Group 

beneath the vaulted roof of this monumental pile 
redolent with the piety of bygone generations dur- 
ing so many ages; in the presence of the 'storied 
urn and animated bust' that hold the sacred ashes 
and commemorate the buried grandeur of so many 
illustrious personages, I catch a fresh inspiration 
and new impulse of the divine missionary spirit of 
our common Christianity; and here in the presence 
of God, of angels and of men, on this day sacred 
to the memory of an apostle whose blessed name 
was called over me at my baptism, and as I lift up 
my voice for the first and perhaps the last time in 
any of England's sainted shrines, I dedicate myself 
anew to the work of God, of the Gospel of Christ 
and the salvation of my fellow-men in the far dis- 
tant isle of the Caribbean Sea that has become the 
chosen field of my special labors. 

''O thou Saviour Christ, Son of the Living 
God who, when Thou wast spurned by the Jews 
of the race of Shem, and, who, when delivered up 
without a cause by the Romans of the race of 
Japheth, on the day of thy ignominous crucifixion, 
hadst Thy ponderous cross born to Golgotha's sum- 
mit on the stalwart shoulders of Simon the Cyren- 
ian of the race of Ham, I pray Thee, O precious 
Saviour, remember that forlorn, despised and re- 
jected race whose son thus bore Thy cross when 
Thou shalt come in the power and majesty of thy 
eternal kingdom to distribute Thy crowns of ever- 
lasting glory. And give to me then, not a place at 
Thy right hand or at Thy left, but only the place 
of a gate-keeper at the entrance of the Holy City, 
the new Jersualem that I may behold my redeemed 

OF THE Episcopal Church 197 

brethren partakers with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 
of all the joys of Thy glorious and everlasting 
15. William Johnson Alston. Mr. Alston was born in 
Warrenton, N. C. A few years ago a distinguished friend 
of the present author, the Hon. John P. Green of Cleveland, 
Ohio, published an exceedingly interesting autobiography. 
Mr. Green, pushing on towards eighty years of age, is still 
vigorous and active, and as one of the wardens of St. An- 
drews Church, Cleveland, may be seen on any Sunday morn- 
ing passing the contribution plate. He has been for a long 
while active in national affairs. Many years ago he was the 
first colored person ever elected a member of the Ohio Sen- 
ate. During the administration of President McKinley he 
occupied the office of United States Stamp Agent at Wash- 
ington. Mr. Green's father was a merchant tailor in the 
State of North Carolina well-nigh a century ago. The Rev. 
William J. Alston as a youth and a young man, served his 
apprenticeship under the elder Green. In his book IVlr. John 
P. Green says: "For eight years he was under my father's 
eye and finished his apprenticeship — cum magna laude." 
Continuing at length, he says: 

" 'William,' as he was called, was for years bubbling 
over with animal spirits; he was rude, boisterous and untidy, 
and more than once had to be disciplined. It was the general 
opinion of William that he was a 'ne'er-do-well,' and that he 
could come to no good end. On one occasion he tied up his 
small wardrobe in a bandanna handkerchief and shipped to 
'sail before the mast,' however he was intercepted by my 
father before the departure of the schooner, taken with his 
luggage back to his home, soundly 'flogged.' and given some 
wholesome advice for his government in the future. 

"Shortly thereafter he was invited to participate in the 

198 The Afro-Americax Group 

exercises of a singing society which held Sunday afternoon 
sessions. He accepted the invitation, became a regular and 
most interested member, and ultimately announced his in- 
tention to study theology for the Episcopal ministry. This 
resolution havmg been received with marked favor by his 
father, the late Oscar Alston of Raleigh, N. C, he was, in 
a way, matriculated in an institution at Chapel Hill, N. C, 
where he was prepared for college. After that he was grad- 
uated from Oberlin College in the later fifties; and, finally, 
at Gambier, Ohio, became a full-fledged priest in the Epis- 
copal Church. In many years this true and tried servant of 
God, as rector of both St. Philips Church, New York and 
St. Thomas Church, Philadelphia, preached "Jesus Christ 
and Him crucified;" and his sweet exemplary life was a 
beacon light to many w^ho perhaps otherwise would have been 
stranded and lost. 

The following anecdote related by Rev. Mr. Alston to 
my dear mother in my presence goes far to prove the almost 
intolerable conditions which prevailed even in religious edu- 
cational institutions in the United States prior to the Civil 

"Being the only colored student at Kenyon Colege, prior 
to the abolition of slavery, Alston was the cynosure of all 
eyes; and, at times not a little at a loss for companionship 
and even association. To such an extent was this true that 
on one occasion while taking a stroll in the suburbs of the 
old college town he, )ivas confronted by a cow, who honoring 
him with a friendly stare, turned out of his way — gave him 
"gangway," as the vulgar expression of our day would have 
it. Delighted at the unusual recognition and courtesy shown 
him by the humble brute Alston saluted her and exclaimed: 
"Good morning Mrs. Cow." It goes without saying we 
had a hearty laugh over the incident. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 199 

"Another story related by him at the same time is recalled 
by the former. During a summer vacation while exerting 
himself to add to the contents of his meagre purse he shipped 
as a waiter on a steamer and went in search of some other re- 
munerative emplo\ ment. The older readers of this narra- 
tive will recall that during the latter part of the fifties the 
whole country was in the grip of a most trying panic, which 
made it almost impossible to procure remunerative labor at 
any price. William in that remote section, soon made this 
discovery; and, since the boat had gone and funds were ex- 
tremely low, he was "open" to any job that presented itself. 
He soon found it in the shape of a small mountain of earth 
w-hich had been formed by the excavation of a large hole, to 
be used as a cellar. The owner of this mountain offered to 
pay him the sum of thirty-five dollars and furnish him with 
a shovel and wheel-barrow if he would remove it. In a jiffy 
he accepted the proposition, and without delay, having 
"peeled" off his coat, disregarding his flaccid muscles and 
tender hands, he bent to his task. At the end of two weeks 
he had finished the undertaking and received his compensa- 
tion which he had in his pocket when the boat returned to 
conve\ him back to Cle\eland." 

Graduating from Gambier, Mr. Alston, that same year, 
1859, was ordained deacon by Bishop Mcllvaine of Ohio. In 
1860 he was advanced to the priesthood by Bishop Horatio 
Potter of New "^'ork. 

16. John Peterson. It is to be sincerely regretted that defi- 
nite data with respect to such an exceedingly interesting and 
historical character as the late Rev. John Peterson has not 
been accessible to this author. Father Peterson, as he was 
affectionately called, was an old New Yorker, and his early 
life was contemporaneous with the rise of St. Philips Church, 
He was a school master. But along with his educational 

200 The Afro-American Group 

work he took the most active interest in all of the affairs of 
St. Philips Church, and late in life he was ordained (June, 
1865) to the perpetual diaconate by Bishop Horatio Potter. 
The late Hon. William F. Powell, former U. S. Minister 
in the republic of Haiti, a staunch Churchman, and a life- 
long warm friend of the author, has often discoursed with 
us with respect to the period when he was a pupil of "Father 
Peterson" in New York, and of the various boys, pupils of 
that school, who, in after life became noted and distinguished 
for the service they rendered both public and private. 

NOTE: Following the Consecration of Bishop John 
Payne, upon his return to Africa, he took with him a 
colored clergyman. Rev. Thomas A. Pinkney, from South 
Carolina. The record of Mr. Pinkney's ordination to the 
diaconate we have been unable to obtain. Later he was 
advanced to the priesthood in Africa by Bishop Payne. 
About the same period, a young colored man of Balti- 
more, G. W. Gibson, who had studied under Rev. Dr. H. 
V. D. Johns, rector of Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, re- 
moved to Africa where he was ordained and became one 
of the most influential of the clergy of that mission. 
Hezekiah W. Green, from St. Philips Church, New York, 
a colonist, was also ordained in Africa by Bishop Payne. 



The Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, D. D., D. C. L., 
late Bishop of Liberia, was born in Charleston, S. C, in 
1842. His mother was a Roman Catholic and his father a 
deacon in a Baptist Church. He was quite sick when an 
infant, and his mother took him to the Episcopal Bishop 
Gadsden, who, at the time, was in Charleston, and had the 
Bishop baptize him. When little Samuel was about six years 
of age his parents removed to Liberia taking him with them. 
The father very soon departed this life and the mother plac« 
ed her little boy in the hands of Bishop John Payne. He, 
therefore, grew up in the mission settlement, became a work- 
er, a teacher, and, finally a clerg\ man. On the feast of St. 
John the Baptist, in the city of New York in 1885, in Grace 
Church, he was duly consecrated a Bishop in the Church of 
God. Among the very first persons on whom he laid his 
hands in Holy Confirmation on his return to Africa w^as T. 
Momolu Gardiner, the present Bishop Suffragan of that 
District. But his first Episcopal act following his consecra- 
tion was in the birth State of the man who had trained him, 
and whose successor he was. At the request of the late 
Bishop Whittle of Virginia, he administered Confirmation 
for the first time to a class of colored persons in the city of 
Norfolk, Va., connected with what was known at the time 
as the Church of the Holy Innocents, now Grace Church. 
At that time, the late Archdeacon Pollard was in charge of 
this congregation. As Bishop Ferguson was the very first 

202 The Afro-American Group 

person of color who was a full member of the American 
House of Bishops, it is not altogether unwise to dwell some- 
what at length upon the record which he made for the race. 
For the race was ever present with him in all of his acts; 
this he has repeatedly said to the author. In the first place, 
he conscientiously made it a point to be present and occupy 
his seat in the House of Bishops, and ever alert with respect 
to the transactions of that House. 

In his attire and person he was immaculately neat and 
attractive. When he had anything to say it was always well 
done from every point of view. While he was never "ob- 
trusive," yet he invariably claimed and exercised all his 
rights. He was uniformly treated with the same consider- 
ate courtesy and attention bestowed on other members of 
his order. He never once had Mrs. Ferguson accompany 
him to this country, although she frequently accompanied 
him in the countries of Europe. Bishop Ferguson was wise 
and sagacious, he was not willing to risk the possibility of 
the least discourtesy so far as his wife was concerned. 

At the Cincinnatti General Convention he not only as- 
sisted with the celebration of the Holy Communion at the 
opening of that great body, but he w^as chairman of one of 
the important committees of the House of Bishops.. One of 
the prominent daily newspapers of Cincinnatti in writing up 
the opening session of the General Convention, had this to 
say : 

"No more striking contrast, nothing more 
highly significant of the absolute democracy of the 
Episcopal Church could be conceived than that 
which was presented in the old cathedral. That 
there is no pride of race nor of wealth recognized 
by the Church was markedlv demonstrated. In 

OF THE Episcopal Church 205 

the congregation, entering alone like any other 
worshipper and attracting far less attention than 
many of the others present, sat J. Pierpont Mor- 
gan, a lay delegate to the Convention and of no 
more account in its deliberations than the lowliest 
layman from the most remote missionary district, 
the altar celebrating the Holy Sacrament and pass- 
ing the cup to the kneeling worshippers, was a Ne- 
gro, the white-bearded Bishop of Cape Palmas, 
Africa, the Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, 
whose race and color made no worse and no better 
than any other man in the holy place, but whose 
office placed him far above the ruler of Wall 

When he attended the General Convention of 1907, held 
in Richmond, Va., one of the noblest and most generous- 
hearted of the Virginia laity, the late Joseph Bryan, made 
every provision for his comfort at his own expense. Mr. 
Bryan secured him the very best of accommodations at 
Miller's Hotel, a first-class establishment among colored 
people, and daily placed at the Bishop's disposal a carriage 
and a footman. Upon the part of "vulgar" white people 
some attempt was made to create a sensation because Bishop 
Ferguson accepted the invitation to Governor Swanson's re- 
ception. But the sensibilities of this particular element ex- 
perienced an even greater shock when in the magnificent car 
of the late J. Pierpont Morgan, together with Bishop and 
Mrs. Potter and a number of other equally distinguished 
Churchmen and Churchwomen, the Bishop of Liberia was 
observed as the machine speeded its way up Grace street from 
the Capitol, conveying the party to a special dinner. Bishop 
Ferguson was a cultivated Christian gentleman, and he 

206 The Afro-American Group 

nobly demeaned himself as though there was no such thing 
as color where people of such a type were assembled. 

\Vhen he met with his brethren in 1907 at Asbury Park, 
he gave forth somewhat of a general summary of his work 
during his Episcopate up to that time, and, as a matter of per- 
manent record we insert it here. He said in part : 

"Now brethren, over in Africa we are laboring and when 
I was called to this responsible office, do you know the thing 
which troubled me most and is troubling me now? It is this: 
that I might make a failure of this great calling. I knew 
thati stood as a representative man and I prayed to Almighty 
God to enable me to succeed. I can not say that there has 
been any great success; but I can tell you, my friends, com- 
paring the work with what it was when it pleased the 
Church to give a Negro Bishop to Africa, we have nothing 
to be ashamed of." 

The Bishop then stated that since the last General Con- 
vention 1,217 persons have been baptized of whom 1,158 
were from heathenism; 637 have been confirmed. The re- 
cord during twenty-two years of the Bishop's episcopate, 
compared with the fifty years preceeding, is as follows: 

1835-85 1885-1907 
Baptized 1,869 7,688 

Confirmed 1,035 3,949 

Communicants 419 2,372 

Of the communicants over 65 per cent, are native Afri- 
cans. There are now in the field twenty-seven clergymen, 
eleven of whom are natives; fifty-nine catechists and lay 
readers, thirty of whom are from heathenism. There are 
2,246 Sunday School pupils, 1,943 day pupils and 577 board- 
ing pupils. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 207 

The Bishop continued: "Since the last General Conven- 
tion the contributions have been $20,338.93. The people 
are trying to help themselves more than ever ; formerly when 
they wanted to build a church they wrote over here and 
begged money ; now they are trying to do it themselves. May 
God Almighty bless you and bless this Conference; bless 
every effort you art putting forth and crown them with 
abundant success." 

Looking back to the days when an heroic effort was 
made for Missionary Districts and Negro Bishops in this 
country, it will be heartening to all intelligent Negro 
Churchmen to know that none more thoroughly beleved in 
the righteousness of that effort than the Bishop of Liberia, 
and the Bishop of Haiti. 



John Payne was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia, 
in my African Cavalla home. Nay, brethren, there is now 
23, 1874. On the 11th of July, 1851 in St. Paul's Church, 
Alexandria, Va., he was consecrated the first Bishop of our 
African Mission. The "Bishop Payne Divinity School," Pe- 
tersburg, Va., is named in his honor. 

Some little time before his consecration, speaking at his 
Alma Mater, the Theological Seminary of Virginia, among 
other things Dr. Payne said: 

"I shall be excused, I am sure, for making some reference 
to my own, endeared as it is by the hallowed associations of 
some ten years of missionary toil and enjoyment. A-nd, 
brethren, of it I can not say less than this: Much as I love 
this, our Antioch, I have found more than another Antioch 
in my African Cavalla home. Nay, brethren, there is now 
in this wide world, no place to me like that — my home." 
(Day Dawn in Africa, 1858). 

It was this godly man who gave to the Church Bishop 
Ferguson, who at the time of the above utterance was a boy 
of about eight or nine years of age. Worn out, and having 
come to the land of his birth to die, in his last report to the 
Missionary Society, he said: "Thirty-three years' connection 
with one of the most unhealthy portions of the globe has left 
me the wreck of a man. But I claim that in devoting my- 
self to preaching among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches 

OF THE Episcopal Church 209 

of Christ, I was no fool. On the contrary, I did obey lit- 
erally the command of my Lord. I did follow in the very 
footsteps of Apostles, Martyrs and Prophets." 

When the author was a boy, the widow of Bishop T'ayne^ 
longing for her "Cavalla home," brought comfort and peace 
to her weary soul, by voluntarily taking up missionary work 
in connection with St. Stephens, Petersburg. In the homes 
of the colored people of Petersburg she was ever a familiar 
and dear friend. She and the author's own grandmother 
were the dearest of friends. Upon the passing of the one 
who taught the author his letters, and at whose knees he 
learnt his Catechism, Mrs. Martha Payne, widow of Bishop 
Payne, communicated to The Spirit of Missions the follow- 
ing beautiful tribute. It was in the year 1891 : 

''Dear old Mrs. Caroline W. Bragg passed away on the 
9th, and at the advanced age of eighty-five. When asked by 
someone how she felt when so near death, she answered 
firml\- and sweetly: 'God's promises have been my support 
all my life, and now I can rest my heart entirely upon them 
and have peace,' and calmly she breathed her life out on her 
Saviour's breast. St. Stephens Church was crowded at her 
funeral with white and colored persons, many of our best 
ladies and gentlemen delighting to show their appreciation 
of a singularly holy life. The Rev. Dr. Gibson preached 
her funeral sermon, a most beautiful tribute to departed 
worth. All who heard it wished that they could deserve 
such a tribute from such a man, and all felt that every word 
was true. We owe to her the colored Episcopal Church 
here ; but what do we not owe her ? Truly, a holy servant of 
God has passed away and may we be the better for such an 
illustration of God's grace among us." 

Mrs. Martha Payne in Petersburg, spent her life among- 
the colored group. That is to say, she worshipped and made 

210 The Afro-Americax Group 

her communions in a colored church and gave all her time 
in visiting, helping and consoling the poor and needy among 
the colored group. 

When the author, a mere boy, so to speak, removed to 
Norfolk, Va., to begin his work in the ministry, of all the 
white friends he made in that community, none was more 
persistent in motherly contact and helpfulness than Mrs. 
Johns, the widow of the late Bishop Johns, of Virginia. 
These facts mentioned by us are of fundamental importance. 
The rising generation, colored and white, hardly realize the 
actual and true relations between the races, of people of 
quality, of that period. Our histories, like many newspapers, 
dwell only on the sensational. They omit the good while 
they publish that which irritates. Our testimony is first- 
hand. We record the things we know. From six years of 
age we have lived in and reflected the life we record. What 
we have given are but samples. The author, if the scope of 
the present work permitted, might go into details w^ith 
respect to such an eminent character as Gen. R. L. Page, a 
commodore in the Confederate Navy. 

No man took a profounder interest in the education and 
improvement of the colored race than did General Page. He 
was an elderly man while we were but a boy. Yet, both of 
us, by the Governor of the State of Virginia, had been ap- 
pointed to represent the Commonwealth as trustees on the 
board of control of Hampton School. Often we would 
leave Norfolk for Hampton together and in the meetings, as 
elsewhere, there was nothing evident but the gentleness and 
kindliness obtaining between father and son. And such was 
true of Col. Walter H. Taylor, adjutant of the late Gen. 
Robert E. Lee. 

The images of too many of these grand characters crowd 
in our memory. We can not mention them all, and thus, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 211 

we shall borrow language from our own learned Dr. Crum- 
mell, to express the tribute of our heart for them all. 

In 1846, in the city of New York, Rev. Dr. Crummell 
delivered a magnificent eulogium on the life and character of 
Thomas Clarkson, of England. In noting, with Clarkson, 
some of the eminent co-workers in the same cause, Dr. Crum- 
mell said: 

"A more ardent, devoted, unselfish set of men the world 
hath never seen. Such manifestations of philanthropy, such 
tokens of love, such displays of kindness to the lowly and 
the abject; have rarely been equalled amid all the histories of 
goodness which time hath ever recorded on her ample page. 
Their disinterestedness is equal to their other virtues. It is 
almost in vain we look among them for the intrusions of sel- 
fish purpose or vaunting ambition. Their exhibitons of 
self-sacrifice and of fearless hearty zeal, their demonstrations 
of brotherhood and equality, are really touching and subdue- 
ing. Honored and revered be these glorious men. They 
shed light upon our pathway in our day of darkness, and 
now as we are emergng from the gloom let us not forget 
their goodness." 



The Right Reverend Edward Thomas Demby, D. D., 
Bishop Suffragan of Arkansas, with special episcopal over- 
sight in the Province of the Southwest, was born in the State 
of Delaware, and raised in the city of Philadelphia. His 
literary training was received at Howard University, Wash- 
ington, and Wilberforce University in Ohio. In 1894-96 
he was Dean of Paul Quinn College, Texas. He was con- 
firmed by Bishop Spaulding of Colorado, who transferred 
him to the diocese of Tennessee where he engaged in work, 
and where he was ordained both deacon and priest by Bishop 
Gailor. After working in Illinois, Missouri and Florida, 
he returned to Tennessee and was made Archdeacon of the 
colored work of that diocese. Dr. Demby is the author of 
several works among which are the following: "The Devo- 
tions of the Cross, and at the Holy Mass;" ''A Bird's-Eye 
View of Exegetical Studies;" "The Writings of SS. Paul and 
James;" "The Holy Sacrament of the Altar and Penace;" 
"The Manual of the Guild of One More Soul." Elected 
Bishop Suffragan of Arkansas by the Council of that diocese, 
on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 1918, he was 
duly consecrated a Bishop in the Church of God, in All 
Saints Church, St. Louis, Mo. 



The Rt. Rev. Henry B. Delany, D. D., Bishop Suffragan 
of North Carolina, many years ago, a young man, a Metho- 
dist of Churchly persuasion, came to St. Augustines School, 
Raleigh, from Florida to receive an education. So deficient 
was he that he could fit into none of the existing grades, and 
a grade had to be made for him. The atmosphere soon be- 
came very congenial to him and he was converted to the 
Church. While there in his early years he fell in love with 
one of the school girls; and eventually the couple were 
united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony. These two "chil- 
dren of St. Augustine" have practically spent their lives on 
the school grounds. 

Mrs. Delany rapidly rose to important positions as teach- 
er in the school and matron, which position she still holds, 
while Dr. Delany rapidly rose to important positions until 
he became its vice-principal. It was while ni such capacity 
that the Bishop of North Carolina, Rt. Rev. Dr. Cheshire, 
elevated him to the position of Archdeacon for the colored 
work in the diocese. November 21, 1918, he was duly con- 
secrated Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina in the chapel 
of the institution where he had spent his life sine early man- 



The Rt. Rev. T. Momolu Gardiner, D. D., Bishop Suff- 
ragan of Liberia, was born in heathendom near Cape Mount, 
Liberia, West Africa, January 30, 1870. He passed through 
the mission schools of that missionary district. He was 
ordained deacon by the late Bishop Ferguson on the 30th of 
August, 1896 and priest by the same Bishop, April 22, 1906. 
Elected as Suffragan Missionary Bishop by the House of 
Bishops in St. Louis, in October, 1920, he was consecrated 
in the Church of the Incarnation, New York City, on 
Thursday, June 23, 1921, the occasion being the first visit 
that he had made to America. 

Six Bishops, about fifty clergymen and a large congre- 
gation were present. His Excellency Charles Dunbar Bur- 
gess King, president of the Republic of Liberia, a Church- 
man, and his staff, came from Washington expressly to at- 
tend this service. The Presiding Bishop of the American 
Church officiated. The Bishop of Liberia preached the 
sermon. The attending presbyters were the Rev. Dr. Hut- 
chens C. Bishop and the Rev. F. Wilcom EUigor. The 
Bishop of New York and the Bishop of New Jersey present- 
ed the Bishop-elect. Besides the Presiding Bishop the fol- 
lowing named Bishops laid their hands upon the head of the 
elected Bishop: Gailor, Lloyd, Matthews, Overs and Man- 



In all parts of the country, especially in the North and 
West there are numbers of colored people communicants of 
white parishes, and there is no posible way to estimate the 
number of the same. Thus, the statistics here given pertain 
only to congregations composed exclusively of colored per- 
sons. By dioceses, the number of seperate colored congrega- 
tions are given, and the total number of communicants re- 
ported from such congregations. 


Diocese No. 

of Co?ig, 

No. of Com. 




Rhode Island 






Total number of congregations — 


Total number 

communicants — 1 968. 



New York 



Long Island 



Central New York 



Western New York 






New Jersey 



Total number of congreg 

ations in 


"ovince — 28, Cc 

municants — 8,125. 



The Afro-American Group 























West Virginia 









So. Virginia 



So. Western Va. 



Number of congregations within the 

Province — 82, 

Number of communicants — 




North Carolina 



East Carolina 






So. Carolina 












So. Florida 





















Number of congregations within the Province- 
Number of Communicants — 6,582. 


OF THE Episcopal Church 217 


Ohio 3 700 

Southern Ohio 4 719 

Indianapolis 1 68 

Chicago 2 1,218 

Springfield 2 69 

Quincy 2 7 

Michigan 3 631 

Western Michigan 1 72 

Number of congregations within the Province — 18. 
Number of Communicants — 3,484. 


Minnesota 2 179 

Nebraska 1 115 

Colorado 2 195 

Towa 1 41 

Number of congregations within the Province — 6. Num- 
ber of Communicants — 530. 


Kansas 4 155 

Missouri 1 • 412 

W. Missouri 2 150 

Oklahoma 2 82 

Arkansas 5 158 

Texas 4 99 

W. Texas 1 22 

Dallas 1 8 

Number of congregations within the Province — 20. 
Number of communicants — 1,186. 

218 The Afro-American Group 

province of the pacific 
California 1 186 

Los Angeles 1 211 

Oregon 1 35 

Number of congregations within the Province — 3. Num- 
ber of communicants — 432. 


Province 1, New England States: 6 congregations, 1,968 

Province 2, New York and New Jersey: 28 congrega- 
tions; 8,125 communicants. 

Province 3, Washington: 82 congregations; 9,544 com- 

Province 4, Sewanee: 125 congregations; 6,582 commu- 

Province 5, the Mid-West: 18 congregations; 3,484 com- 

Province 6, the Northwest: 6 congregations; 530 com- 

Province 7, the Southwest: 20 congregations; 1,186 com- 

Province 8, the Pacific: 3 congregations; 432 communi- 

Total congregations — 288. Total communicants — 31,- 

The number of colored clerg\- at work — Bishops 2; 
deacons and priests, see directory. 



Thomas W. Cain was the first colored person to become 
a candidate for Holy Orders in the diocese of Virginia. He 
attended Lincoln University, from which he graduated. 
Peter A. Morgan, also from Virginia, after leaving Lincoln 
University, became a candidate for Holy Orders in the 
diocese of Pennsylvania. Air. Cain taught for sometime 
before finally entering the ministry. In the meantime, John 
H. M. Pollard, who has gone to northern Virginia as a 
teacher, was privately prepared for deacon's orders and 
ordained with the class at the Virginia Seminary in 1878. 

That same year in the county of Brunswick through the 
influence of Mrs. Pattie Buford, it appeared as if an entire 
organized body of colored people were about to enter the 
Church. It was absolutely certain that one young man, 
James S. Russell, an undergraduate of Hampton, was ready 
to enter upon a course of preparation for the holy ministry. 
To care for his training and any others which might be at- 
tracted, the trustees of the Virginia Theological School, upon 
the premises of the property of St. Stephens Church, Peters- 
burg, the Rev. Giles B. Cooke being rector, in the fall of 
the year" 1878 opened a branch school of the Virginia Theo- 
logical Seminary, with the Rev. Thomas Spencer rector of 
St. Johns Church in charge. During the first year of the 
life of this institution there were six students. The Rev. 

220 The Afro-American Group 

Mr. Pollard, deacon, who had become the assistant of the 
Rev. Giles B. Cooke, attended in preparation for his ex- 
amination for the priesthood; Mr. T. W. Cain, then teach- 
ing in one of the departments of St. Stephens Normal School ; 
Mr. James S. Russell and the present author, a boy of fif- 
teen years of age. In addition to these Church people there 
were two other students: a Mr. Stinson, pastor of the C. M. 
E. Church and a Mr. C. D. Cooley, pastor of a Baptist con- 
gregation. During the years following many other students 
entered, a number of whom were former Zion Union preach- 
ers. The institution ceased as a branch school and became 
aseparate and distinct corporation. About the year 1890 
the institution was almost at the' point of death because of 
the effect of counciliar action in restricting the colored mem- 
bership of that body. The Rev. John Wesley Johnson, now 
of New York, but then the first graduate of that institu- 
tion and the pastor of St. Philips Church, Richmond, Va., 
in addition to his pastoral work, was appointed a professor 
in the institution. By his good and faithful work new stu- 
dents were brought in and a new chapter in the life of the 
seminary begun. The institution has sent forth many able 
men to fill the ranks of the ministry. 


In the spring of 1882, just ordained as a deacon, Rev. 
James S. Russell, took up his residence in Lawrenceville, Va., 
as missionary to the colored people of that section. From 
the start both the church and school work sustained a most 
encouraging growth. It was at a time when financial help 
and sustenance depended wholly upon the personality of the 
worker to successfully present his mission before the chari- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 221 

tably inclined in the North. Dr. Russell met with amazing 
success in making friends for his work increasingly, as it ex- 
panded in many directions. Thus, about thirty-three years 
ago, w^ith faith and hope the St. Paul Normal School began 
its existence under the wise guiding hand of the man who 
had created the conditions for its timely birth. In 1921 
five hundred and seventy-seven students attended the in- 
stitution. The school owns 1,596 acres of land and the 
entire plant is valued at $220,000. 


St. Augustines is a continuing monument to that distin- 
guished Virginia lawyer, Thomas Atkinson, who entered the 
ministry of the Church and became one of its most useful 
Bishops. Bishop Atkinson of North Carolina in 1865 in 
the presence of the devastation of the Civil War, was the 
first one in all the Southern country to come out bravely and 
persistently for the Christian education of the Negro, and 
to declare his purpose of founding an institution of learning 
for the consummation of that purpose. He reiterated the 
declaration that it was colored teachers and colored ministers 
for the colored race, or the colored race without teachers 
and ministers. He invited black and white men in orders in 
other parts of the country to come to his diocese and work 
among the colored people. In 1867 he founded St. Augus- 
tines School and the Rev. J. Brinton Smith of New Jersey 
became its first principal. He was succeeded by Dr. Smedes, 
Dr. Sutton and Dr. A. B. Hunter, the later retiring but a 
short while ago after twenty-five years of most successful 
and faithful labors. His successor is the present principal, 
the Rev. Edgar H. Goold. 

222 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

the fort valley high axd ixdustrla.l school, 

fort valley, ga. 

The Fort Valley School was formally taken over as a 
Church school by the diocese of Atlanta in the year 1918. 
Since then the diocese has given liberally to its support. Six 
hundred and sixty-two students were enrolled in 1921. It is 
considered one of the very best industrial high schools for 
Negroes in the South. Air. Henry A. Hunt is principal. 


St. Athanasious, started as a mision school in 1884, de- 
veloped into a high and training school, and in 1910 it was 
incorporated and has since grown steadily in size and effi- 
ciency until now it is a good secondary school, with domes- 
tic science, manual trainng and music departments. The 
principal is Mr. W. Augustine Perry, graduate of St. Au- 
gustine and of Yale University, also the son of the late Rev. 
John W. Perry of Tarborro, N. C. It had three hundred 
students in 1921. 

St. Marks School for Girls, Birmixgham, Ala. 

This school was organized thirty years ago in a rented 
room with eight pupils. The pioneer work and foundation, 
largely due to the Rev. Mr. Van Hoose, white, a devoted 
deacon of the Church, and if we mistake not, at one time 
the mayor of the city. The active work was carried on for 
a long while by Mr. Auguste, a talented colored man from 
Jamaica, until the present principal. Rev. Charles Wesley 
Brooks of Maryland, w^as secured for the work. It had 253 
students in 1921. Its property is valued at more than fifty 

OF THE Episcopal Church 223 

thousand dollars and the race has contributed more than 
twenty-five thousand dollars towards its support. 

The Vicksburg Industrial School, Vicksburg, Miss. 

This institution which now in a sense gives way to the 
Okolona School, has an enrollment of 250 students and has 
done good work. 

Okolona Normal and Industrial School 

The 380 acres of land and buildings of the Okolona 
School are conservatively valued at $150,000. This school 
became a Church institution only during the past two years. 
Mr. Wallace A. Battle is the founder and president and 
Bishop Bratton is the honorary president. 

Hoffman — St. Marys School, Keeling, Tenn. 

Mrs. Laura Smith, a graduate of Fiske University, is 
the principal of this school, where there are about fifty girls. 
The property is valued at $20,000. 

The Gaudet Normal and Industrial School, 
New Orleans, La. 

Within the past year this school was formally taken over 
by the diocese of Louisiana. It is admirably situated about 
a mile and a half from New Orleans. The founder and 
principal, Mrs. Frances Joseph Gaudet, in asking the Epis- 
copal Church to take over her school in which she and her 
husband have labored for many years for the benefit of her 
race, did so with the conviction that only in this way could 
the school gain the highest measure of success. 

. .The American Church Institute For Negroes 

This incorporation is composed exclusively of persons of 
the white race, and was organized in 1906, with a view of 

224 The Afro-American Group 

directing and financially assisting the educational institutions 
of the Church for the colored race. All of the forementioned 
institutions are connected therewith ; and the money officially 
given by the general Church is disbursed through the agency 
of the institute. At the present time an annual appropria- 
tion of $120,000 is made to the institute by the Presiding 
Bishop and Council. This appropriation covers nearly half 
of the present budgets of the schools. The remainder must 
be raised by special gifts and tuition fees. 

St. Marys School for Girls, Germantown, Pa. 

This is a most admirable boarding school for girls, with a 
beautiful and attractive property in Germantown, Pa., and 
it is all the work of. one Negro woman, Sister Lela Mary, 
trained by the All Saints Sisters, Baltimore. Its entire sup- 
port is derived from fees and solicitations of Sister Lela, w^ho 
is an energetic woman, and who is doing well a noble and 
self-sacrificing w^ork. 

church institutions for the benefit of the group 

S. Monicas Home for Sick Colored People, Boston, Mass. 
This institution is delightfully situated on the large area 
once occupied as the home of William Lloyd Garrison. 
The Sisters of St. Margaret are in charge. 

The Home of the Homeless, 1327 Fitzwater street, Phila- 
delphia, Pa. This is a temporary home for women and 
children where they receive Church teaching and are 
trained in household work. 

The House of the Holy Child, 625 N. 43rd street, Philadel- 
phia, Pa. This is an institution for children. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 225 

The House of St. Michael and All Angels, 611 N. 43rd 
street, Philadelphia, Pa. For the surgical treatment and 
the mental and religious instruction of crippled chidlren 
of our group. 

St. Marys Home for Boys, Baltimore, Maryland. This 
orphanage is under the auspices of the Sisters of All 

S. Katharines Hojne for Little Girls, Baltimore, Md. This 
institution is under the care of All Saints Sisters. 

The Maryland Home for Friendless Colored Children, 61 -A 
Ellicott City, Md. A diocesan institution for the train- 
ing of neglected boys. The Bishop of Maryland, presi- 

The Crummell Home for the Aged, Washington, D. C. 
Not yet in operation. 

S. Agnes Hospital, Raleigh, N. C. 

Qood Samaritan Hospital, Charlotte, N. C. 




St. Augustine and St. Martins, a congregation of more 
than four hundred communicants, located at 21 Lennox 
street, Boston, Mass., had its birth about the year 1885, on 
Anderson street, further down town. It was projected under 
the auspices of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Bishop 
Hall, of Vermont, at that time being the Provincial of the 
order, manifesting a special interest in the work. It was 
here in connection with the work of this congregation that 
Bishop Charles H. Brent of Western New York began his 
early ministry. 

One o fthe largest and most influential of all our con- 
gregation, St. Bartholomews, Cambridge, Mass., came into 
being, as a part of our group in the year 1908, in a very pe- 
culiar and interesting manner. St. Peters Church contained 
a very large number of colored communicants. Possibly a 
third of the entire communicant list w^ere members of the 
colored group. In another section of the city there was a de- 
clining white congregation know^n as St. Bartholomews 
Chapel. In connection with St. Peters, under the leadership 
of a venerable colored communicant, John H. Brown, in da^^s 
by gone, reared in St. James First African Church, Balti- 
more, there was a guild known as St. Andrews Society. The 
members of this guild concluded to withdraw their atten- 
dance from St. Peters and attend in a body the chapel of St. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 227 

Bartholome^v. This they did, and very soon they came in 
such strong numbers that they actually took charge, the 
whites scattering to other congregations. Soon thereafter, 
the eloquent Rev. Dr. McGuire made his appearance in that 
vicinity and was put in charge of the work. Following Dr. 
McGuire came the present rector, Rev. Walter D. Mc- 
Clane, and the congregation now numbers 796 communicants. 

Since that time St. Cyprians Mission, Berkley street, 
Boston, has come into existence. It has 170 communicants. 

St. Monicas Mission, Hartford, Conn., was inaugurated 
some years ago by St. Lukes Church, New Haven, during 
the rectorship of the Rev. Eugene L. Henderson, and a 
former vestryman of that parish, Alonzo Johnson, taking 
Holy Orders, became the first pastor of the mission. 

About a decade in the past a very talented Methodist 
clergyman, P. G. Moore-Brown, born in the West Indies, 
came into the Church through Bishop Perry, and, as a result, 
with the assistance of a number of colored communicants 
who preferred the ministrations of one of their own group, 
we have the present Church of the Saviour, Providence, R. 


In 1898, Bishop Potter received into the Church, Rev. 
E. George Clifton, D. D., a minister from the A. M. E. 
Zion Church. The result of the effort of Dr. Clifton is 
St. Davids Church, numbering now some 724 communicants. 
Dr. Clifton has been the first and only pastor. 

About the year 1904 the City Mission Society inaugu- 
rated an effort among the colored people in West 63rd street 
resulting in the work of St. Cyprians Church, and industrial 
settlement. The Rev. John W. Johnson of Virginia, was 

228 The Afro-American Group 

called to the charge o fthis work and is still in charge. It 
reports 625 communicants. 

A later venture of this same society is the Church of the 
Messiah with four hundred communicants in charge of Rev. 
M. N. Wilson, a clergyman from the diocese of Sierra Leone, 

Other growing congregations in the diocese of New 
York have since made their advent. Such as St. Judes, the 
Crucifixion, St. Clements, Mt. Vernon and St. Simon the 
Cyrenian, New Rochelle. 

In the diocese of Long Island the oldest and principal 
congregation is St. Augustines, Brooklyn, Rev. Dr. George 
Frazier Miller, rector. This congregation had been strug 
gling for a long time and upon graduation and ordination in 
1887, the Rev. William V. Tunnell was put in charge. Be- 
fore resigning it in 1891 to accept a professorship in How- 
ard University, Mr. Tunnell succeeded in securing a home 
for the work, and in having it incorporated as a self-sup- 
porting parish. 

In more recent times St. Philips, Dean street Brooklyn, 
Rev. N. Peterson Boyd, D. D., minister in charge, with 
335 communicants has been built up into a flourishing condi- 
tion under its present energetic pastor. Then there is St. 
Barnabas Mission, Belmont street, Brooklyn, and St. Ste- 
phens Church, Jamaica, and one or two other small points 
in that diocese. 

St. Philips, Syracuse, came into existence more than 
twenty-five years ago, chiefly through some communicants of 
the Church of the Crucifixion, Philadelphia, who had re- 
moved to that place. It has struggled along all these years, 
and, recently, through the special interest of Bishop Fiske 
and others, has entered upon a new and aggressive period of 

OF THE Episcopal Church 229 

Mention elsewhere has been made of the one work in 
the diocese of Western New York. 

The oldest organized work in the State of New Jersey, 
dating back as far as 1856, St. Philips, New^ark, has been 
alluded to. In this particular church in 1904, the Confer- 
ence of Church Workers met. No more interested persons 
w^ho attended regularly its sessions there were than Bishop 
Lines and Rev. Dr. Alexander Mann, of Boston, but then 
of Orange, N. J. Dr. Mann had in his parish in Orange 
quite a respectable group of colored communicants. Bishop 
Lines, who had just come to the diocese, was filled with en- 
thusiasm for the extension of this work. The organization 
of the Church of the Epiphany soon followed, and the very 
best fortune came to the work in the selection of the man to 
test the possibilities of the new endeavor. The present priest 
in charge, Rev. George Marshall Plaskett was selected for 
the task. Epiphany has already become a great missionary 
and inspiring force in the diocese of Newark. The parent 
church of the diocese being effected by this force planted the 
steadily advancing Church of the Incarnation in Jersey City. 
And, directly from the light that Epiphany reflected, we have 
a very large and flourishing congregation at Montclair, Trin- 
ity, with its 240 communicants. And at Paterson a magni- 
ficent plant, church and rectory, with Rev. Robert J. John- 
son in charge of St. Aidan's Mission. 

In the diocese of New Jersey our oldest effort is St. 
Augustines, Camden, established in 1886 by the Rev. J. H. 
Townsend, while rector of St. Johns that city. This mission 
is the successful survivor of many vicissitudes and seems to 
have put on new and vigorous life under its present energetic 
pastor. Rev. Robert A. Jackson, a Baltimore boy. 

The second effort of the Rev. Mr. Townsend was des- 
tined to be crow^ned with very great success. Of Atlantic 

230 The Afro-American Group 

City and St. Augustine we have already written. Mr. Town- 
send is a very meek and modest man, and he insists in giving 
all the credit to the one whose advice he strictly foUowedj 
and to the man whose leadership accomplished the good re- 
sults. But this all the more magnifies the busy parish parson, 
who, in these two cities, in addition to his own work, found 
the time to work so splendidly for his colored brethren. 

The success of the Atlantic City work directly inspired 
the successful work at Asbury Park. And the man who 
wrought at Asbury Park found the time and the opportu- 
nity to plant the mission at Red Bank; and, again, the suc- 
cess at Atlantic City stirred up the heart of the Rev. E. 
Vicars Stevenson of Plainfield, to put forth some effort in 
that city for the colored people, and, through discourage- 
ment, disappointment, and mistakes, St. Marks Mission, 
that city, is now a real energizing force. And then came the 
work at Elizabeth. And the same man who wrought well 
at Asbury Park has succeeded in establishing the work in 
Trenton, N. J. 


Since early in the seventies Rev. Dr. Henry L, Phillips, 
a native of Jamaica, has been a resident of the city of Phila- 
delphia. He has seen St. Thomas Church and the Church 
of the Crucifixion with a combined communicant list of 
about one hundred. A warm friend of Bishops Stevens and 
Whitaker, Drs. Matlack and Saul, and thoroughly and well 
known by all of the influential Churchmen of Philadelphia, 
he has constantly in diverse ways used his whole influence 
towards Church extension among the group in the diocese of 
Pennsylvania. In a true sense today he is the Archdeacon 
of the work begotten by himself. Since the period above 
mentioned the following congregations have come into being : 
St. Simon the Cyrenian, the largest congregation of the 

OF THE Episcopal Church 231 

group, reporting 735 communicants had its origin as a mis- 
sion of the Church of the Crucifixion. The Chapel of St. 
Michael and All Angels was donated by a lady as a mem- 
orial for the use of the sisters and the colored crippled chil- 
dren of that institution. Later a regular congregation from 
the neighborhood was reared in connection with the chapel. 
The congregation had a most remarkable growth under the 
administration of Rev. J. D. Haredwood, and when a few 
years ago he resigned the work, some two hundred of the 
congregation followed him, and the independent parish of 
the Church of St. John the Divine was organized. 

Under the fostering care of one of the Convocations, St. 
Augustines Church was initiated and very greatly built up 
by its present energetic pastor. Father McDuffy. The only 
colored congregation served by a white priest is St. Marys, 
Bainbridge street, under the fostering care of St. Marks 
Church. Then in another section of the city is the thriving 
Church of St. Monicas, under the pastoral care of the Rev. 
Richard Bright. The Philips Brooks Memorial Chapel, 
under the fostering care of Holy Trinity Church and imme- 
daitely under the pastoral care of J:he Rev. Edgar C. Young 
is another flourishing work. Some years ago an industrial 
work and mothers' meeting were begun in Germantown, 
and now we have the splendid work of St. Barnabas, Ger- 
mantown, under the able leadership of the Rev. Earnest S. 
Thomas, during the past fifteen years. Then there is the 
mission at Elmwood, Holy Cross Chapel. St. Marys Mis- 
sion, Chester, and St. Cyril's Mission, Coatesville, Rev. E. 
E. Durant in charge. 

Recently a new work has been organized in Erie, Pa,, 
the first of its kind in that diocese. Some years ago the Rev. 
J. W. Livingston got together a few communicants and 
organized the mission of St. Augustine, Harrisburg, (now 

21)2 The Afro-American Group 

the Church of the Holy Cross) in charge of the Rev. W. M. 
Parchment. From the very beginning Bishop Darlington 
took the most affectionate interest in the new mission, and 
has continued to this day to make it the object of his special 
solicitude. During the administration of the Rev. E. H. 
Oxley at Harrsburg, the second mission in the diocese was 
opened. This was the mission at Altoona, which is pro- 
gressing and now has a minister of its own in the person of 
the Rev. E. A. Craig. The work in Pittsburgh was an old 
one, dating way back to the time of the Rev. William H. 
Wilson who went to Pittsburgh during the Episcopate of 
Bishop Kerfoot. But it was in a state of slow death when 
Bishop Whitehead procured the services of the Rev. Dr. 
Scott Wood who very greatly revived it and enlarged the 
work. His health breaking down he was forced to retire 
from active work, and was succeeded by the present pastor, 
Rev. Shelton H. Bishop, who has built it up to more than 
five hundred communicants. The name has been changed 
from St. Augustines to Holy Cross, and the location from 
Alleghany to Pittsburgh proper. 

St. Matthews Mission, Wilmington, Del., organized by 
the late Bishop Coleman many years ago is still alive await- 
ing the right treatment which will constitute it a force and 
power in a community where it is very much needed. 

In the diocese of Maryland there are five separate col- 
ored congregations. Reference has already been made to St. 
James. Numerically the largest congregation is St. Marys, 
a chapel of Mt. Calvary parish. St. Katharines is also a 
chapel of this same white parish. Both of these chapels are 
served by the clergy of Mt. Calvary parish. St. Philips, 
Cumberland, is in charge of the Rev. Cornelius R. Dawson. 
St. Philips Church, Annapolis, is to be placed under the care 

OF iHE Episcopal Church 233 

of the author of this volume, and who is to have the assis- 
tance of the Rev. Gustave H. Caution. 

In the diocese of Washington we have St. Lukes parish, 
Rev. Thomas J. Brown, rector; St. Marys, Rev. Oscar L. 
Mitchell, pastor, a chapel of St. Johns parish; Calvary 
Church and the Chapel of the Atonement under the care of 
the Rev. F. A. I. Bennett; St. Monica's, Rev. George A. 
Fisher, pastor, St. Philips, Anacostia, Rev. W. V. Tunnell 
in charge. A mission in connection with the Cathedral is in 
charge of the Rev. Mr. Douse. In Prince George's county 
and St. Mary's and Charles, there are two or three small 
missions under the oversight of the Rev. J. E. G. Small. 

In the city of Washington the separate church movement 
was initiated by a group of colored communicants connected 
with the Church of the Epiphany, of which the Rev. Dr. 
Charles H. Hall was rector. Dr. Hall encouraged them 
and became active in the matter. He was joined by Rev. 
John Vaughan Lewis, rector of St. Johns Church. Through 
Dr. Hall the old chapel was donated by Secretary Stanton, 
and a parishioner of St. Johns donated the lot on 23rd 
street. The work being in St. Johns parish. Dr. Hall 
dropped out. In 1873 the Rev. Dr. Alexander Crummell 
took charge of the work, and it had a continuous growth. 
The following year, 1874, Dr. Crummell effected a regular 
canonical organization and a vestry was elected. A few 
years later St. Lukes Church was organized and Dr. Crum- 
mell, with the major portion of the people removed to the 
new site. From 1880 the work at St. Marys assumed the 
special aspect under St. Johns parish, of social-missionary 
work among the very poor of the neighborhood in which it 
was located. 

In West Virginia we have three missions. The oldest, at 

234 The Afro-American Group 

Charlestown, about thirty-five years of age, is in charge of 
the Rev. J. H. Hudson. 

In Shepherdstown and at the capital, Charleston, is a 
small mission in each place. 

As we travel southward the number of points increase 
and the number of communicants to the points decreases. 
We shall only mention the more important ones of some 
appreciable numerical strength. 

The chief work in the diocese of Virginia is St. Philips, 
Richmond, Va., Rev. Junius L. Taylor, D. D., rector. It 
reports 178 communicants. During the past few years this 
congregation, after maintaining an existence ever since short- 
ly after the Civil War, has become entirely self-sustaining 
under its capable and exceedingly energetic rector. 

The mother church in Virginia, St. Stephens, Petersburg, 
Rev. Emmett E. Miller, has also become entirely self-sus- 
taining. Grce Church, Norfolk, Va., Rev. J. D. Lee, rec- 
tor, admitted as a mission church in 1888, has also become 
self-sustaining. St. James, Portsmouth, begun just before 
the author moved to Baltimore, thirty years ago, under the 
able leadership of its present rector, is rapidly approaching 
the point of complete self-support. The same thing can be 
said of St. Cyprians Church, Hampton, Va., Rev. E. H. 
Hamilton in charge. 


In the State of North Carolina we have not a single con- 
gz-egation reporting as many as two hundred communicants. 
The oldest congregation is St. Cyprians, ,New Berne, estab- 
lished in 1866 by Bishop Atkinson. It reports 140 commu- 
nicants. St. Ambrose, Raleigh (formerly St. Augustine) 
leports 148 communicants. In Wilmington, where St. 
Marks Church was established by the Rev. Mr. Brady in 

OF THE Episcopal Church 235 

1872, we have 161 communicants. And in Charlotte, where 
a very important educational work of the Church has been 
maintained for many years we have 115 communicants. 
Apart from these congregations mentioned, excluding the 
school chapel of St. Augustine's, Raleigh, reporting 136 com- 
municants, less than one hundred communicants are reported 
from each of the other congregations in North Carolina. We 
had forgotten St. Matthias, Ashville, reporting 114. 

In South Carolina we have two congregations reporting 
more than two hundred communicants each. St. Marks, an 
independent parish from its birth in 1866, reports 292. Cal- 
vary Church, presided over by Archdeacon Baskerville, es- 
tablished about 1847, as a slave chapel, reports 243. There 
are two others reporting more than one hundred, St. Lukes 
parish, Columbia, dating back to the seventies, reports 108. 
The Mission of the Redeemer, Pineville, reports 122. 

In the diocese of Georgia there are three congregations 
reporting more than one hundred communicants each. The 
oldest work is the self-supporting parish of St. Stephens, 
Savannah, established in 1861, and now reports 190 commu- 
nicants. The self-support'ing parish of St. Athanasius, 
Brunswick, reports 220. St. Augustines Mission, Savannah, 
presided over by Archdeacon J. H. Brown, reports 120. 

In the diocese of Atlanta the highest number of com- 
municants reported is 49 by St. Matthias, Atlanta. St. 
Pauls in the same city reports 42. 

In Florida St. Philips, Jacksonville, reports 237 commu- 
nicants. None of the other missions in that diocese report 
as many as seventy-five. 

In Southern Florida St. Agnes, Miami leads with 280; 
Coconut Grove, 212; St. James, Tampa, 159, and St. Pa- 
tricks, West Palm Beach, 104. 

In Alabama we have two works each reporting more 

236 The Afro-American Group 

than one hundred communicants. At Mobile is the self- 
supporting Church of the Good Shepherd with 132 commu- 
nicants, and at Birmingham St. Marks Church with 112 

In Mississippi our largest congregation is in V'icksburg, 
and reports only eighty-five communicants. In Louisiana we 
have St. Lukes Church, New Orleans, with 106 communi- 
cants. This congregation is nearly fifty years old. In 
Kentucky we have the Church of the Merciful Savior, 
Louisville, with two hundred communicants. 


Of three very old works we have an added w^ord. St. 
Cyprian's, New Berne, N. C, in years of the long ago, held 
within its membership a number of the more influential col- 
ored men of the State of North Carolina. We recall at this 
moment the late Isaac H. Smith, the Negro banker. The 
late Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Price, of the Zion connection, one 
of the most celebrated orators this country has produced, 
in early life was a member of the mission school of this con- 
gregation. Prof. John Wesley Cromwell in his "Negro in 
American History/' records Rev. Thomas H. Battle with 
the following concerning Joseph Charles Price: 

"It was in the year 1862 when I was superintendent of 
the Sunday School of St. Andrews Chapel that I was led by 
Providence on a bright Sunday morning to the church door. 
There I stood for several minutes and while standing there 
I saw a little black barefooted boy coming stepping along on 
the railroad track. When he got opposite the church door 
I halted him and invited him in the Sabbath School. He 
liked the services so well that he w^as constrained to come 
again. At last he joined the Sabbath School and became a 
punctual scholar. From his stern, yet pleasant looks, his 
nice behavior and other virtuous elements that were main- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 237 

tained in him Sunday after Sunday he attracted my atten- 
tion more than any other scholar. While other scholars 
would laugh at him because of his boldness of speech and his 
eagerness to answer the questions that were put forth. One 
Sunday in the midst of these abuses which he received, I 
was compelled to lay my hand on his head and exclaim these 
words: 'The day will come, my dear scholars, when this boy 
Price will shake the whole civilized world, and some of you 
will be glad to get a chance to black his boots.' Little did 
I think my prediction would come to pass so exact, but so 
it did." 

The late Dr. Price was a warm and dear friend of the 
present author. 

St. Marks congregation, Charleston, w^as constituted im- 
mediately after the Civil War of a number of the most cap- 
able and influential persons of our group. We recall C. C. 
Leslie the wholesale fish merchant, C. C. Birnie, occupying 
a most responsible position in the cotton exchange of the 
city, the Crafts and many others of similar public standing. 
The children of these people were sent to some of our best 
colleges. St. Marks was self-supporting from its very birth. 

In Savannah, in St. Stephens Church, we had pretty 
much the same potential conditions as obtained in Charles- 
ton. More than thirty years ago we visited Savannah as the 
special guest of this parish, and at their expense. We were 
royally entertained by them. We have pointed out these 
facts in order to indicate the golden opportunity which the 
Church lost at that time in not putting ino effect the Mis- 
sionary District plan. At various points all through the 
South w^ere groups of colored people connected with the 
Church such as the above. They needed a chance to draw 
out their own powers in laboring to bring the people of our 
group into the Church. Instead of being given that oppor- 

238 TiiK Afro-Am ERicAX Group 

tunit\', they were discouraged, disheartened and depressed 
through the agitations of the "color question" in diocesan 
assemhlies. When we consider the eagerness of the black 
people of those times to rise and be somebody, it is not at all 
surprising that after fifty years we are so few in numbers in 
the Southern States, but the w^onder is that w^e are still alive 
and heroically striving "to hold the fort." It takes unusual 
courage and moral stamina in the midst of advancing racial 
life for black men to hold on to "the white man's church," 
without any fixed "status" — merely tolerated. 

When it is recalled how^ persistent our eftort has been 
from the Civil War to the present times in providing mis- 
sion schools throughout the South, the number of teachers 
employed, and the vast amounts expended, and in spite of it 
all note the smallness of the number of communicants re- 
ported, we have at least the comfort and the consolation that 
it all has resulted materially in the improvement of the life 
of the black people, athough we have profited but little in 
direct Church extension. 

Such was inevitable under a system which failed to take 
note of the imperative requirements of the new trend of ra- 
cial life. The colored people eagerly availed themselves of 
whatever educational opportunities that were presented. But 
with respect to their organized life as a body of Christians 
no organization could prevail among them which did not 
enter into their entire life, social, civil and intellectual. They 
wanted to rise. They had ambition to be everything that 
other people were. They may have been wrong, but from 
their point of view none but their own leaders could guide 
them to the haven where they would be. 

The talented, earnest and sincere Bishop of South Caro- 
lina stated the situation in these words — said Bishop Guerry: 
"No white man can work effectively or satisfactorily among 

OF TfiE Episcopal Church 239 

a race that he can not visit socially. A large part of a Bishop's 
influence and success comes through social contact with his 
people. How then can he represent a race or understand 
their needs unless he can enter their homes and come into 
personal contact with them?" And many years ago the 
venerable Bishop of Dallas said: ''The only solution of this 
problem as yet presented which is at all likely to be useful is 
to found missionary districts among them and appoint mis- 
sionary Bishops to take charge of them with the same rights 
and powers as all other missionary bishops enjoy." 


In the diocese of Ohio we have three separate works. St. 
Andrews, Cleveland, reports 384 communicants. This is 
the oldest in the diocese, and its birth dates with the coming 
of the present Bishop to that see. It has a magnificent plant, 
and, if we mistake not, is a monument of the material lib- 
erality of Bishop Leonard to the glory of God and in loving 
memory of Mrs. Leonard. 

The remaining congregations, one in Toledo and the 
other in Youngstown, report more than one hundred com- 
municants each. The youngest of these, St. Augustines, 
Youngstown, a little more than half a score years ago, had 
its origin in a remarkable manner. A colored woman, a Mrs. 
Berry, of the Baptist persuasion, who had never been in an 
Episcopal Church, distressed by the irreligion of the race in 
that community, had a "vision" that an Episcopal Church 
was the one thing needed to better conditions. She followed 
this up by calling on the rector of St. Johns Church, that 
city, and urging him to come to the help of the Lord. The 
mission of St. Augustines soon followed. 

Bishop Vincent of Southern Ohio has his monument of 
endeavor in the hadnsome edifice of St. Andrews, Cincinnati 

240 The Afro-American Group 

with its 325 communicants. There are three other congre- 
gations in the diocese, all of them save one reporting more 
than one hundred communicants. 

The only congregation we have in Indiana is St. Philips, 
Indianapolis with 68 communicants. 

In the State of Illinois, our largest work is that of St. 
Thomas, Chicago, with 1160 communicants. At Evanston 
we have another congregation with less than one hundred 

In the diocese of Springfield there are two missions, both 
of them reporting less than one hundred communicants. In 
the diocese of Quinc}' there are two very small missions. 

In the diocese of Michigan we have St. Matthews 
Church with 550 communicants, and the recently organized 
mission of St. Cyprian pushing on tow^ards one hundred 
communicants; and in Western Michigan, , Grand Rapids, 
we have St. Philips Mission with seventy-two communicants. 


In Minnesota we have St. Philips, St. Paul, with 125 
communicants, and St. Thomas, Minneapolis, with less than 
one hundred communicants. In Iowa we have St. Marry 
the Virgin, Keokuk, with less than one hundred communi- 
cants. In Omaha, Nebraska w^e have the Church of St. 
Philip the Deacon, a monument to the liberality of the late 
Bishop Worthihgton, with 115 communicants. The late 
Bishop Millspaugh, while dean of the Cathedral, organized 
St. Philips. 

In Colorado, at Denver, we have the Church of the Re- 
deemer, with 149 communicants, and the Epiphany, Colorado 
Springs, with less than one hundred communicants. 

OF THE Episcopal Church . 241 


In Kansas we have four missions, but no one of them re- 
ports as mam' as one hundred communicants. In Missouri 
we have the largest work within the Province, All Saints, 
St. Louis, with 412 communicants. In West Missouri we 
have St. Augustines, Kansas City, with one hundred and 
forty communicants, and St. Matthias, St. Joseph, with ten 
communicants. In Arkansas we have five congregations, the 
largest of which is St. Marys, Hot Springs, with 82 commu- 
nicants. In Oklahoma we have three congregations, the 
largest being the Redeemer, Oklahoma City, with forty-eight 
communicants. In the diocese of Texas we have four con- 
gregations, St. Augustine, Galveston, being the largest with 
sixty-seven communicants. In the diocese of Dallas we have 
one congregation with eight communicants. In the diocese 
of West Texas we have one congregation with twenty-two 


In the diocese of California we have one congregation 
with 186 communication, St. Augustines, Oakland. In the 
diocese of Los Angeles w^e have St. Philips, Los Angeles, 
w^ith 211 communicants. In the diocese of Oregon we have 
one congregation, St. Philips, Portland, with thirty-five 

One way to realize the value of the seed planted by col- 
ored priests before the Civil War, is in tracing one-half of 
our present communicants in the entire country to their effort 
directly or indirectly. And when we have given full value 
to the consecrated and loving services of white priests among 
our group, the significant fact remains, despite their prestige, 
and the financial resources at their backing, that in all our 

242 The Afro-American Group 

investigations we have not discovered one missionary effort 
initiated by them among colored people and brought to self- 
supporting efficiency. We simply make record of the fact. 

The aggregate number of colored communicants reported 
by the colored congregations in the following cities amount 
to more than thirteen thousand: Boston, Brooklyn, New 
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. The work 
in all of these large centers was initiated by colored priests. 
Boston and Washington may need a qualifying word. The 
first ''separate" colored congregation in Boston was initiated 
by Bishop Hall of Vermont, in 1885. But, really, this was 
the colored part of a white parish, St. John the Evangelist. 
The actual beginning of that springing from the race, was, 
and is, the large Church of St. Bartholomews, Cambridge, 

In Washington shortly after the Civil War, colored com- 
municants of the Church of the Epiphany initiated the "sep- 
arate" congregation idea, and that idea was encouraged by 
Drs. Hall and J. Vaughan Lewis; but it was not until 1874, 
under the leading of Alexander Crummell that the group 
was canonically organized, a vestry elected and admitted 
into union with the Convention. When the parish migrated 
to the new site those who remained behind became, as they 
are today, a part of the family of St. Johns parish. 

Now if you add to the aforementioned six cities four 
others, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Atlantic City, we 
have altogether more than sixteen thousand colored commu- 
nicants reported from these ten cities. The work in Detroit 
was organized by a former colored Baptist preacher who 
came into the Church. In St. Louis, Chicago, and Atlantic 
City the organizer was one who had been a former communi- 
cant of St. James First African Church, Baltimore. 

The white men who have wrought in this field for the 
most part, were of the highest culture and elevation of char- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 243- 

acter. They were devoted and sincere and their spiritual 
ministrations were helpful in the extreme, and contributed 
towards substantial character-building. But the work of 
building up from within, into self-support and efficiency is 
peculiarly associated with the constructive leadership of mem- 
bers of the group whose self-expresson is attempted. 



It is pertinent to ask the question: Whose fault is it that 
we have so few self-supporting congregations among our 
group ? 

At the very beginning, a group of colored people from 
the Methodists deliberateh* decided to become Episcopalians 
on three conditions. Although it was in the year 1794, and 
they had not very long enjoyed "freedom," yet they came 
not as beggars, but as self-respecting men. With the aid of 
philanthropic friends, they had already erected their own 
church edifice. They purposed to conform to the Episcopal 
Church and bring along their building onthe following con- 
ditions: 1st, They were to be received as an orgaiiized body 
of the African race; 2nd, they were to have guaranteed to 
them forever control of their own affairs; and, 3rdly one of 
their number, if found fit, was to be regularly ordained as 
their pastor. The conditions were accepted and St. Thomas 
African Church given every privilege accorded to other 
Episcopal congregations. Later, in order to secure the dis- 
pensing vote of the Convention whereby their future pastor 
might be exempted from examinations in Greek and Latin, 
necessary for his ordination, they surrendered the privilege of 
representatioji in the Convention. 

Previous to the ordination of Absalom Jones, in an In- 
terview between Bishop White and the trustees of St. Tho- 
mas Church, two distinct things were accomplished. First, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 245 

Bishop White made perfectly clear to the trustees the effect 
of the "condition" to which they had assented. They were 
satisfied on that score. Next, before ordaining Jones, Bishop 
White exacted a pledge of support for him. 

They were an independent parish with local control of 
their affairs, and readily and cheerfully assumed the full re- 
sponsibility of the support of their minister. For sevent}^- 
five years the same plan alone, obtained with all of the Afri- 
can congregations brought to birth. There were no missions; 
all were started as parishes with the responsibility of sup- 
porting their own ministers. Although it meant great self- 
sacrifice upon the part of the various groups, they never com- 
plained, and much magnificent constructive work, before 
the 'Civil War, was accomplished by these pioneer Negro 

After the Civil War the same model was at first intro- 
duced in the Southern States in work among our group. 
Bishop Atkinson, who had been a rector in Baltimore, got 
the idea from St. James First African Church. In 1866 he 
had St. Cyprian's, New Berne, N. C, organized as an inde- 
pendent parish and admitted into union with the Conven- 
tion. But the sentiment in North Carolina was far from 
being heartily with Bishop Atkinson, either in this partcular 
matter or on his determination to ordain colored men to the 
ministry. It was not until 1873 that he ordained his first 
colored candidate. 

In he Virginia Council of 1869, of which the late Rev. 
Joseph S. Atwell was a member, a determined effort was 
made, led by the Rev. Dr. C. J. Gibson, brother-in-law of 
Bishop Atkinson, for the admission of St. Stephens Church, 
Petersburg, Va., as a full-fledged parish. The discussion was 
long and animating, and the matter hotly contested. It was 
a real genuine fight. The application for admission was defi- 

246 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

nite and direct and had been guided by the Rev. Dr. Gibson, 
who, as chairman of the committee on new parishes, brought 
a unanimous recommendation favoring the immediate admis- 
sion of the parish. The petition, signed by the rector and 
vestry of St. Stephens, after reciting all the necessary parti- 
culars, concluded: "therefore, respectfully pray your honor- 
able body to receive us under your direction as a parish with 
all the rights and privileges of other parishes of the Diocese/' 
The discussion of the matter occupied most of the time of 
that memorable Convention. 

At last a kind of compromise prevailed, whereby colored 
clergymen were admitted to the council with full privileges, 
but St. Stephens was not admitted as a parish, but "taken 
under the care" of the council, and its interests cared for by 
the "standing committee on colored congregations." It had 
a very disastrous effect upon that congregation, and resulted 
in changing its whole course of appeal to the colored race. 
For Rev. Mr. Atwell had built it up with the most intelli- 
gent and influential class of our group, and was aiming to 
make large increase in the same direction. He was so dis- 
couraged at the turn of affairs that in a few years he left the 
diocese, accepting work in Georgia. 

In Savannah, Ga., St. Stephens Church had been ad- 
mitted into union with the Convention as a regular parish. 
Mr. Atwell was called to its rectorship and through the in- 
fluence of the late Bishop Whittle of Virginia, and Bishop 
Whittle's brother, Col. Whittle, residing in Georgia, Mr. 
Atwell was well received and given a seat in the Convention 
of that diocese. In 1866 St. Marks, Charleston, had or- 
ganized as a regular parish. After waiting for ten years It 
applied for admission into union with the Convention, but 
after long and stormy debates extending over some years, its 
application was rejected. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 247 

In the meantime there was a certain sentiment maturing 
in the North as well as in the South against the ordination 
of Negroes to the ministry. In the North there was a cer- 
tain priest by name Rev. W. T. Webbe, who in his paper 
The Standard, argued earnestly and vigorously against the 
ordination of Negroes. In the South, there were not a few 
who maintained that such should not be permitted to go 
further than the diaconate. Out of this atmosphere a kind 
of sentiment gradually obtained in favor of the "dependent 
state," attaching colored congregations to white parishes, or 
placing them entirely under the supervision and direction of 
the Bishop without the status of parishes. 

The aspiring, self-respecting and industrious element of 
our group were discouraged and disheartened. Thereafter, 
special attention was directed towards the very poor and 
least intelligent of our group, who more readily responded to 
the personal help and kindnesses of "Mr. Charlie" and "Miss 
Bessie." Thus, by constant reflection of such a system of 
"dependency" it has long since become the normal habit. 
Possibly, the most of our colored clergy, through long years 
of submission and dependence, almost unconsciously, are 
nailed down to such a system. 

However, it is evident that we can hope for but little 
if any advance until a way is found whereby we can put our 
colored congregations on a permanent basis of self-support. 
If a clergyman, ministering to a comparatively small group 
of communicants, for years having received the major por- 
tion of his support through the Bishop, with only two or 
three hundred dollars coming directly from the people served 
by him, seriously attempts to apply himself in the matter, he 
will find great difficulty in reaching the conclusion that he 
can safely trust his entire financial support to his own people. 

248 The Afro-American Group 

So accustomed to repose, heroic action becomes normally 

It seems to us that all diocesan mission churches not 
having the status of a parish, should be denied the right to 
elect a vestry. The Bishop of the diocese upon the nomina- 
tion of his missionary, should annually appoint whatever 
vestry or business committee that may be required. Men who 
are members of all the secret orders and other Negro socie- 
ties, so that they have little or no time to give to Church 
concerns are absolutely worthless as vestrymen. If the 
mission ever reaches the status of a parish it will be through 
the labors of the clergj^man more than through anyone else. 
He has to do the thinking and planning. His own self- 
respect is at stake more than that of anyone in the mission; 
for, if he is not wholly lost to self-esteem he can not bear 
the idea of forever receiving the major portion of his sup- 
port through his Bishop. Since, then, the Bishop rightly 
looks to him in this matter, he should be so placed as to be 
able to effect the desired result. He should have authority 
to make a selection of the men who are to be trained under 
him for vestrymn. Men, who being free of ''entangling al- 
liances" will delight in giving their time to Church concerns, 
and laboring together with the' missionary in reaching inde- 
pendence and self-support. Year by year, by this method, 
the minister can leave off those who prove themselves ineffi- 
cient, and substitute others in their places. 

The whole membership of the mission should be divided 
up among the members of this board. Each one should keep 
in constant touch with the persons committed to his charge. 
The weekly meetings could be made of great account, not 
only in hearing the various reports, but for educational and 
spiritual purposes as well. 

Under present conditions we believe the scheme suggest- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 249 

ed is the best practical agency for the promotion of self-sup- 
port among the members of our group. But the Bishop 
must thoroughly approve such plan, and the missionary or 
suffragan Bishop in charge must have the necessary force of 
character, broad experience, industry and persistency to put 
the thing across. 

Here is a mission of two hundred communicants. Let 
us say the missionary in charge has selected the best and most 
active ten persons in his congregation, men and women, who 
are anxious and willing to serve. These names are forward- 
ed to the Bishop, and, in due season, he sends to each a for- 
mal appointment, subject to revocation on his part. This 
"vestry," or business committee assembles with the mission- 
ary as presiding officer. The board organizes and plans its 
work. A district, consisting of twenty members, is given to 
each committeeman. He is to see and know each member of 
his group and labor to rightly educate them with respect to 
Church affairs. Each communicant who says: "Give us this 
day our daily bread," should be asked to give back to God a 
portion of that "daily bread." The contribution asked of 
each should cover all the needs of the work. Each one should 
be asked to pledge so much a day for the work of the Church, 
including missions and other special needs. • H by the dili- 
gent work and co-operation of such committee, an average 
of five cents a day per communicant was secured and paid 
into the treasury of the Lord, there would be a total sum of 
$3,600. If at first they did not quite reach the mark, another 
year they could do better, and so on until the desired amount 
is secured. The training that would come both to pastor 
and workers in following up such a simple plan would prove 
a great blessing in itself. Then again, the pastor could put 
in his best work in the weekly conferences with the commit- 
tee, and through each committeeman he would directly and 

250 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

more effectivel}- touch the entire congregation on the practi- 
cal and administrative part of the work. The success of the 
plan would eliminate from the chancel "begging" and "urg- 
ing." It would render unnecessary the various entertain- 
ments for raising Church money, whereby the wicked one 
'^raises the devil in the Church." The church building it- 
self would more and more truly become the house of prayer. 
The rendition of the services and the preaching would be- 
come glorious and full of power, for, with the heavy burden 
of raising money lifted from the shoulders of the pastor, both 
body and soul would be free to proclaim with power the ever 
lasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The plan is not only simple but can be successfully work- 
ed by any man who loves God more than he loves anything 
else. But no plan can work itself. If the minister, in his 
heart, would rather remain a parasite he is thereby unfitted 
for working a plan which means the destruction of depen- 
dency. Our Lord says, "Ask, and ye shall receive." Any 
minister who asks of Him wisdom and grace to successfully 
operate such a simple plan for His glory, will certainly re- 
ceive, that his joy may be full. 



Often, in the past, the significant silence upon the part of 
large numbers of our Southern clergy, with respect to race 
affairs generally, but more especially with respect to policies 
of the Church, in work among our group, has been inter- 
preted by colored leaders without, as a necessary enforced 
submission on their part demanded by the authorities of the 
white group with whom they are associated. A great many 
colored people seem to accept and believe this to be true. 

In this matter we are not disposed to defend the colored 
clergy. The record they have made must give forth its own 
Interpretation. But, so far as such attitude being forced 
upon them by the Bishops and other white persons in authori- 
ty, we unqualifiedly deny. We have sustained an actual ex- 
perience of more than thirty-five years in the ministr\', and 
even before we entered the ministry we had the reputation of 
being outspoken and aggressive. We have continued such. 
In view of the same, our testimony on behalf of those with 
whom we have differed, and in some things, radically so, 
ought to have weight in this matter. 

When the author left Virginia for Maryland in 1891, 
we do not believe that any colored clergyman of the Church 
up to that time laboring in that State had ever received more 
liberal financial support despite the fact of our aggressive and 
militant attitude. 

252 The Afro-American Group 

Before taking charge in Norfolk, Va., Bishop Whittle 
wrote to each of the white rectors in that city commending 
the author and requesting from each rector a statement of 
his attitude towards the colored work. All of the replies 
were exceedingly pleasing. The vestries of two of the w^hite 
parishes of that city pledged one half of the stipend upon 
which the author commenced work. The answers to Bishop 
AVhittle's letters w^re all turned over by the Bishop to the 
author, and he now has them in possession. 

Instead of trying to suppress, intimidate, festraiu, ^r in 
any way interfere with the plans and policies of this author 
in promoting the work entrusted to him, directly the oppo- 
site attitude was sustained by the prominent w^hite laity as 
well as by the clergy. Our friendship and intercourse was 
genuine and sincere. There was absolute mutual trust and 
co-operation. Whether in the Norfolk Convocation, or in 
those many informal gatherings in the study of Rev. Dr. 
Lloyd, in the midst of clouds of ascending smoke, there was 
the utmost freedom and cordiality. The author had his 
view^point upon all matters discussed, and the brethren will 
certainly bear us w^itness that there w^as no hesitancy upon 
our part in clearly stating our point of view. 

As we now recall those early days of our ministry, and 
remember how graciously we were received and treated by 
many of the most prominent laymen of that city, we marvel 
at their spontaneous and w^hole-hearted generosity. 

After we had erected Grace Church, w^e planned to build 
a rectory. The lumber merchant with whom we had dealt 
in the erection of the church said that without any further 
security than our word we could secure from him all the 
material desired. We called to see our warm and devoted 
friend, Col. Walter H. Tavlor, who had acted as treasurer 

OF THE Episcopal Church 253 

of our church building fund. In substance, we requested 
that between the two, Major W. W. Old and himself, one 
would make a note for five hundred dollars, the other indorse 
the same, and the money thus secured turned over to him, as 
treasurer for disbursement in the erection of the rectory. 
The material being provided for on our own personal promise 
we needed the cash to pay the workmen. Col. Taylor readily 
consented. Only, he reminded us that we might die in the 
meantime or leave the diocese; and, thus some proper mem- 
oranda of the obligation should be noted. So he prepared a 
paper to which all the members of the vestry of Grace 
Church subscribed, simply recognizing the obligation as one 
to be paid . The rectory was built and the very last dollar 
on it, including the lumber bill, was fully paid within two 
months from its completion; although at the time it was 
commenced we knew not from what source the funds would 
be obtained. 

The late Mr. Joseph Bryan of Richmond, Va., was one 
of the finest types of noblemen produced by Virginia. He 
was a rich man, and ever active in doing good, and every 
phase of the colored work experienced his helpfulness. He 
was a man of strong convictions and resolute in the expres- 
sion of the same. He differed from us with respect to the 
method of racial adjustment in connection with the diocesan 
Convention. Occupying the floor of the Convention he 
pressed his side with all of his powders. We got the floor and 
most earnestly sought to break the force of what he had 
said. And this was more than once. And, yet, he ever re- 
mained as true and faithful a friend as ever we had in the 
State of Virginia. The very year we left Virginia for Mary- 
land, seeing a splendid opportunity for a new work in Ports- 
mouth, Va., we were bold enough to write to Mr. Bryan so- 
liciting him to build the church outright as a memorial. His 

254 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

prompt note of reply will give an intimation of the man. 
Writing us under date of June 27, 1891, he said: "I have 
yours of yesterday and must say that you present your case 
very strongly, and I feel encouraged to believe that the work 
you are engaged in will not suffer for want of ability in the 
workman. I can not at this time comply with your request, 
although the proposition is certainly a very tempting one, 
and as you say the investment w^ould no doubt reap a rich 
reward, but I have lately had to decline a great many very 
tempting offers, though not of the same character, and this 
must share the same fate. Without making any promises in 
the matter, I feel a distinct interest in the work you propose 
and believe that the oportunity is a good one, and I shall be 
glad upon a more propitious occasion to render you some 

A few months later we removed from the diocese, hence 
did not follow up the matter. However, in the difficult work 
we had undertaken in Maryland, he never failed to respond 
when we solicited his help. 

Capt. J. Barron Hope, editor of the Norfolk La?idmark, 
was certainly one of the great men of Virginia. In the 
Landmark of 1890, was this mention of the author's work: 
"Mr. Bragg is doing an excellent work here among his people 
and has the confidence of all our citizens. The influence 
going out from his parish to the people of his race in this 
city is very great and known to be most excellent in its 

At the same period in a letter received from the late 
Gen. Samuel C. Armstrong, were these weighty words: "I 
know you and believe in you, and wish you every success." 

We were the same individual then as now, only more 
impetuous then because of youth ; and, yet, we never discern- 
ed the least disposition upon the part of the white people in 

OF THE Episcopal Church 255 

whose life we lived to humiliate, fetter or gag us with respect 
to an}' manly utterance as a Christian man and a gentleman. 

The daily white newspaper, of the town where we were 
brought up, in writing of our expected ordination to the 
diaconate, among other things said of us, "one of the most 
intelligent young colored men in this city, and one who en- 
joys in a large degree the respect and confidence of the com- 
munity." And Col. R. P. Barham, the editor of that paper 
(it was in conenction with this paper we got our first lessons 
in journalism) was ever one of the most faithful friends the 
black people ever had in that section. 

Some years ago one of the best and truest Bishops in the 
Southern States appointed a colored priest to supervisory 
work. A number of years afterwards this Bishop confessed 
to us that the man had proven far from being a success. He 
failed to relieve the Bishop of many minor things, not to 
mention others of weight. The man was genial, kind and 
well educated. But he was deficient in the knowedge of men, 
both black and white. In such an office it is not enough to 
know colored men ; he must also know white men. 

We had not been on our first work long before we had 
the services of the best physician in that city. It was not 
because we were financially able to command such services, 
but because we had become so well known among the high- 
est class of white people in that community that this eminent 
physician was glad to display his interest in our labors by 
rendering profesional services to the members of our family 
free of all charge. On coming to Baltimore the Hon. Skip- 
with Wilmer placed at our disposal for our work any legal 
services (free of charge) of his firm . After his death the 
same was true of Judge Conway W. Sams and likewise of 
the Hon. George R. Gaither. If one reflects inanity and 
lack of ideas, whether black or white, he will reap according 

256 The Afro-American Group 

to his own reflection. If our men have failed to take advan- 
tage of the friendliness of the best white people all around 
them and remain ciphers in activity and experience, it is their 
own fault. No one has kept them down but themselves. 

During the present summer, 1922, the author was con- 
versing with a colored priest laboring in the far South. He 
has charge of two missions, the combined strength of which 
is about sixty communicants. In the w^ay of support he re- 
ceives two thousand dollars a year and his house. He claims 
that the Bishop and the white people generally are just as 
nice and kind as they can be. Why is he not accomplishing 
greater results with such substantial support? There is but 
one answ^er. The system under which he operates tends to 
pauperize instead of developing self-respect. The fault is in 
the system. 

Sixteen hundred dollars of his stipend comes through the 
Bishop, and only four hundred from the people served by 
him. As long as human nature is what it is, why should he 
not be content to "mark time," and hold on to a good thing 
as long as it lasts? 

If it be true that a number of our colored clergy of the 
South have no views of their own, and are entirely submis- 
sive, and are inclined not to function in racial affairs, cer- 
tainly, neither the white Bishops or white laity are responsi- 
ble. Such attitude on their part is the direct and logical 
fruit of the system under which they operate. 

Human nature is the same under a black skin as it is 
under a w^hite covering. The colored clergyman who re- 
ceives the major portion of his salary through the Bishop, 
who finds the Bishop rather sympathetic, and not over exact- 
ing, is not the man to enthuse over a new plan. He has his, 
and is satisfied. And, besides, he can enjoy more peace and 
quiet in dealing with the white Bishop than in dealing with 

OF THE Episcopal Church 257 

a colored vestry. Having a good thing why should he be 
anxious to give it up? Under the present system he simply 
can not "enthuse" over self-support. Nor is he going to do 
the least thing which, perchance, may effect the peaceful and 
happy relations already sustained. 
He has reached his Alabama. 



"They were, as a rule, studious, earnest, ambitious men, 
whose public conduct — as illustrated by Mr. Revels and Mr. 
Bruce in the Senate, and by Mr. Rapier, Mr. Lynch and 
Mr. Rainey in the House — would be honorable to any race. 
Coals of fire were heaped on the heads of all their ene?nies 
when the colored men in Congress heartily joined in remov- 
ing the disabilities of those who had before been their op- 
pressors, and who, with deep regret, be it said, have con- 
tinued to treat them with injustice and ignominy ; and so far 
as chivalry, magnanimity , charity, and Christian kindness 
were involved, the colored men appeared at an advantage." 
— Twenty Years of Congress, by the Hon James G. Blaine, 
vol. ii. p. 515. 

One of these five distinguished men of color, the Hon. 
John R. Lynch, of Chicago, still survives. Major Lynch is 
a Churchman. At one time he was Speaker of the House of 
Representatives of Mississippi. He was a member of Con- 
gress from that State for several terms. He is now a retired 
paymaster of the United States Army, and resides in Chicago. 

Possibly Hon. Robert Brown Elliott of South Carolina, 
was the most learned and resourceful black man that ever 
occupied a seat in Congress. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, also 
a member of Congress at the time, was one of the ablest 
constitutional lawyers of his day. Gen. Butler paid the fol- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 259 

lowing tribute to ths black man. FoUowng him the next 
day in a speech on a certain pending bill he said : 

"I should have considered more at length the constitu- 
tional argument, were it not for the exhaustive presentation 
by the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Elliott) of 
the law, and the only law quoted against us in this case that 
has been cited, to wit, the Slaughter-House cases. He, w^ith 
the true instinct of freedom, with a grasp of mind that shows 
him to be the peer of any man on this floor, be he who he may, 
has given the full strength and full power of that decision 
of the Supreme Court." 

Blanche K. Bruce, who served the full term of six years 
as a United States Senator from the State of Mississippi, was 
born in Prince Edward county, Va. Two very brief extracts 
from one of Mr. Bruce's speeches in the United States Sen- 
ate will reveal the spirit of colored public leaders in the days 
immediately following the close of the Civil War. 

*'I ask Senators to believe that no consideration of fear 
or personal danger has kept us quiet and forbearing under 
the provocations and wrongs that have so sorely tried our 
souls. But feeling kindly towards our white fellow-citizens, 
appreciating the good purposes and offices of the better 
classes, and, above all, abhorring war of races, we determined 
to wait until such time as an appeal to the good sense and 
justice of the American people could be made." 

" The unanimity with which the colored voters 

act with a party is not referable to any race prejudice on 
their part. On the contrary, they invite the political co-op- 
eration of their white brethren ,and vote as a unit because 
proscribed as such. They deprecate the establishment of the 
color-line by the opposition, not only because the act is un- 
wise, but because it isolates them from the white men of the 
South and forces them, in sheer self-protection, and against 

260 The Afro-American Group 

their incHnatoin to act seemingly upon the basis of a race 
prejudice that they neither respect nor entertain." 

Doubtless what Senator Bruce said was generally true 
with respect to the South as a whole. But certainly there 
were exceptions. When the author was a lad about eighteen 
years of age, he began the publication of a weekly newspaper 
The Lancet. We still have the bound copies of that paper. 
Bearing on this very point, we give a clipping (which was 
reproduced in The Lancet) from the Petersburg, Va., Index- 
Appeal of February 19, 1883. Col. Barham, editorially, had 
this to say: 

"We invite attention to an extract in another column 
from the organ of the colored people in this city — The 
Lancet. We are glad to record this evidence that the col- 
ored people are beginning to liberate themselves from the 
fetters of prejudice and passion, and to view party matters 
in their proper light. The Lancet, however, is mistaken 
when it assumes that the Democratic party has proscribed 
the Negro. The history of the party in this city contradicts 
the assumption. It must be remembered to the enduring 
<:redit of the Democratic party that it first threw down the 
barriers of the color-line in politics, and elected colored men 
^o the Common Council, and appointed colored men on the 
police corps. The first vote the writer hereof ever cast for 
a Democratic ticket, on which was the name of a colored 
man, was beaten by the colored people themselves, who, 
^ejecting the overtures made in good faith by the Democra- 
tic party, distinctively and defiantly and proscriptively drew 
the color-line, and arrayed themselves under the leadership 
of men who were aliens in blood, in sympathy and in in- 
terests with our people, and who simply used the colored 
voters for their own ends." 

OF THE Episcopal Church 261 

The same newspaper, in another issue, of the same 
period, said editorial!}': 

"We have given our opinion as to the date at which a 
State Convention, if held at all, should be held, and have 
urged that the call for such Convention should be broad and 
comprehensive enough to admit by representation, and on 
terms of perfect equality, every man, white or black, Funder 
or Re-Adjuster, who was willing to work and vote for 
Democratic success in 1884." 

Such liberality nearly forty years ago? But the Wade 
Hamptons and Lees are no more! 

It is most pleasing to give forth this testimony for it was 
in connection with this same Index-Appeal, when only six 
years of age. that we started out as an errand boy for Captain 
J. Hampden Chamberlayne, at that time editor of the paper. 



Some years ago the late Rev. Dr. Alexander Crummell, 
while rector of St. Lukes Church, Washington, founded the 
Negro Academy, of which he was the president during his 
life time. Many of the scholars, authors and real able men 
of the race constitute this organization. During the year 
1898, not long before his death, Dr. Crummell delivered an 
able address pertinent to the very times in which w^e live, 
which we herewith present. Dr. Crummell said : 

"Nothing is more natural than the anxieties of w^ronged 
and degraded people concerning the steps they should take 
to rise above their misfortunes and to elevate themselves. 
Thus it is that the colored people in meetings and conven- 
tions are constantly plied with the schemes their public speak- 
ers say will lift them up to higher levels. 

1. (a) One prominent man will address an assemblage 
somewhat in this manner: 

'The only way to destroy the prejudice against our race 
is to become rich. If you have money the white man will 
respect you. He cares more for the almighty dollar than 
anything else. Wealth then is the only thing by which we 
can overcome the caste-spirit. Therefore, I say, get money; 
for riches are our only salvation.' 

(b) "Another speaker harrangues his audience in this 
manner : 

'Brethren, education is the only way to overcome our 
difficulties. Send your children to school. Give them all 

OF THE Episcopal Church 263 

the learning you can. To this end you must practice great 
self-denial. Send them to college, and make them lawyers 
and doctors. Come out of the barbershops, the eating houses 
and the kitchens, and get into the professions; and thus you 
will command respect of the whites.' 

(c) "But now starts up your practical orator. His 
absorbing fad is labor; and his address is as follows: 

'My friends, all this talk about learning, all this call for 
scholars, and lawyers and doctors for our poor people is 
nonsense. Industrialism is the solution of the whole Negro 
problem. The black man must learn to work. We must 
have manual labor schools for the race. We must till and 
farm, ply the hoe and rake, and thus, by productive labor 
overcome inferior conditions, and secure strength and in- 

(d) "We have another class of teachers who must not 
be passed over. Our political leaders form not a small ele- 
ment in the life of our people, and exert no petty influence. 
In fact, they are the most demonstrative of all classes; and 
they tell us most positively that 'in a democratic system, such 
as we are living under, no race can be respected unless it 
can get political influence, and hold office. Suffrage is the 
life of any people, and it is their right to share in the offices 
of the land. Our people can't be a people unless their lead- 
ing men get positions, and take part in government.' 

2. "Now, it would be folly to deny the importance of 
these expedients. For there is a real worth w^hich the Al- 
mighty has put in money, in letters and learning, in political 
franchises, in labor and the fruits of labor. These are, with- 
out doubt, great agents and instruments in human civiliza- 

"But I deny that either of them can gain for us that 
elevation which is our great and pressing want. For what 

264 The Afro-American Group 

we need as a race is an elevation which does something more 
than improve our temporal circumstances, or, alters our 
material condition. We want the uplifting of our humanity. 
We must have the enlargement of our manhood. 

"Many a man and many peoples, laden Vv^ith riches have 
gone down to swift destruction. In the midst of the grand- 
est civilization many a nation has been eaten out with cor- 
ruption and gone headlong to ruin. The proudest monar- 
chies and the most boastful democracies, have alike gone 
down to grim disaster. 

3. "There is no real elevation in any of these things. 
The history of the world shows that the true elevation of 
men comes from living forces. 

"But money is not a living force. Farms and property 
are not living forces ; nor yet is culture of itself, nor political 
franchises. Those only are living forces which can uplift 
the souls of men to superiority — living forces, not simply 
acting upon the material conditions of life, but permeating 
their innermost being; and moulding the invisible, but mighty 
powers of the reason and the will. 

"Now, when men say that money and property will 
elevate our people, they state only a half truth ; for wealth 
only helps to elevate the man. There must be some man- 
hood precedent for the wealth to act upon. So too when 
they declare that learning or politics will lift up the race, 
they give us but a half truth. 

"These all are simply aids and assistances to something 
higher and nobler ; which both goes before and reaches far 
beyond them. They are, rightly used, agencies to that real 
elevation which is essentially an inward and moral process. 

"Don't be deceived by half truths; for half truths lose, 
not seldom, the fine essence of real truth, and so becomes 

OF THE Episcopal Church 265 

thorough deceits. Half truths are oftimes prodigious errors. 
Half truths are frequently whole lies. 

4. "What then is the mighty power which uplifts the 
fallen? It is Cowper who tells us, 

'The only aramanthine flower is Virtue; 
The only lasting treasure. Truth.' 

"But what does the poet mean by these simple but beau- 
tiful lines? He means that for man, for societies, for races, 
for nations, the one living and abiding thing is character. 

"Character is an internal quality ; and it works from with- 
in, outward, by force of nature and divine succours; and it 
uses anything and all things, visible and invisible, for the 
growth and greatness of the souls of men, and for the up- 
building of society. It seizes upon money and property, upon 
learning and power, as instruments of its own purposes; and 
even if these agencies should fail, character abides, a living 
and a lasting thing. 

"It is character which is the great condition of life; char- 
acter is the spring of all lawful ambitions and the stimulant 
to all rightful aspirations; character is the criterion of mental 
growth ; character is the motive power of enterprise and the 
basis of credit; character is the root of discipline and self- 
restraint ; character is the consummate flower of true reli- 
gion ; and the crowning glory of civilization. 

3. "I am asked, perchance, for a more definite meaning 
of this word character. My answer is in the words of the 
Apostle, St. Paul : 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever 
things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever 
things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever 
things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be 
any praise, think on these things.' These are the elements 
of character. 

266 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

"All this equally applicable to a man or a community; 
for, (a) If a man is not truthful and honorable, just and 
pure; he is not a man of character. If a family in a neigh- 
borhood, father, mother, girls and sons, are truthless and dis- 
honorable, unjust and impure, no one can regard them as 
people of character. Just so too with a community, with a 
nation, with a race. If it is destitute of these grand quali- 
ties, whatever else it may be, whatever else it may have, if 
it is devoid of character, failure for it is a certainty." 



Peter Williams Cassey, d., August 13, Kip. 
Joseph Sandford Atwell, d. December 16, Smith, Ky. 
p. May 7, 1869, Johns. 

Charles Otis Brady, d., June 16, John Williams. 
N. Joseph Durant, d., August 1, Stevens. 
William F. Floyd, M. D., d., June 24, Stevens, p., 1874 (xN. 
H. for) John Williams. 

W^illiam H. Wilf.on, d. Jan. 22, Clarkson, p. 1877, Kerfoot. 
Joseph Robert Love, M. D., d. January 29, Young, p. 1877, 

Coxe. Deposed by Bishop Holly. 
William Henry Josephus, d, June 23, Stevens. 

Henderson Maclin, d. March 3. Quintard. 

William Gaillard McKinney, d. July 27, Coxe. 
Prince Tunison Robers, d. Nov. 20, Atkinson. The first 
ordination in North Carolina. 

George H. Jackson, d. May 13, Green. Deposed. 
James E. Thompson, d. May 29, Robertson, p. 1877. Robert- 

James B. McConnell, d.. May — Quintard, Deposed. 

268 The Afro-American Group 

William Heuston Morris, D. D., July 25, d. H. Potter. 

Henry L. Phillips, D. D., d. June 17, Stevens, p. 1876 Ste- 


George A. C. Cooper, d. June 4, Lyman. 


Alfred Augustus Roberts, d. Feb. 11, Pinckney, p. 1879, 

Charles H. Thompson, D. D., d. Nov. 18, 1877, J. P. B. 
Wilmer, p. Nov. 18, 1879, Wingfield (for La.) 

Peter Andrew Morgan, d. June 21, Stevens, p. 1879, Ste- 


William Augustus Green, d. May 28, Clarkson, p. 1883, 

William Cheshire, d. June 13, Quintard. 

Joseph G. Bryant, d. June 19, Stevens, p. 1882, Pinckney, 
Deposed, not affecting his moral character. 

Charles E. Cummings, d. September 2, Robertson, p. 1882, 

Thomas White Cain, d. December 21, Whittle, p. 1882, 


Cassius M. C. Mason, d. September 26, Robertson, p. 1883, 

Thaddeus Saltus, d. February 6, W. B. W. Howe. 
Ossian Alston, d., Quintard. 

John W. Perry, d. June 12, Lyman, p. April 7, 1887, Ly- 

Osmund St. James, d. January 29, Pinckney. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 269 

Isaac Edgar Black, d. March 5, Quintard, deposed. 

James Solomon Russell, d. March 9, Whittle, p. February 
7, 1887, Whittle. 

Hutchens C. Bishop, d. April 24, W. C. Doane, p. 1883, 
W. C. Doane. 

William Rufus Harris, d. April 30, Lyman, p. 1884 Lyman. 

Hannibal S. Henderson, d. April 30, Lyman, p. 1884, Ly- 

Joshua B. Hassiah, d. June 4, Seymour, p. 1883, Seymour. 

John Pallam Williams, D. D., d. June 22, Lee, p. 1883, 

John Benjamin Williams, d. June 22, Lee, p. 1887, Sey- 

Paulus Moort, M. D., d. June 22, Lee, p. 1882, Stevens. 


Henry Stephen McDuftV, d. May 13, Lyman, p. June 3, 

1888, Lyman. 

Primus Priss Alston, d. May 13, Lyman, p. June 26, 1892, 

Lyman. . 
Edward Hezekiah Butler, d. May 13, Lyman, p. April 13. 

1889, Weed. 

Henry ALason Joseph, d. February 25, Lyman, p. 1884, 

Alfred R. Anderson, d. September 10, Quintard. Deposed, 

Thomas G. Harper, d, June 11, Stevens, p. October 28, 

1885, Starkey. 
Alfred Constantine Brown, d. June 11, Stevens, p. June 2, 

1885, xNiles. 

Benjamin W. Timothy, d. June 20, Robertson, p. July 11, 

1887, Tuttle. 
William E. Howell, d. December 11, Whittle. 

270 The Afro-American Group 

D. Wilson Taylor, d. December 11, Whittle. Deposed. 

John Thomas Harrison, December 11, Whittle. 

Joseph W. Carroll, d. December 11, Whittle, p. 1914, Ran- 


Freeman W. Dunn, d. June 3, Lyman. Di. Aug. 15, 1892. 

William Paterson Burke, d. July 9, Whittle, p. February 
13, 1890, ,Whittle. 

Walter Lewis Burwell, d. July 9, Whittle, p. April 26, 
1889, Peterkin. 

George Edward Howell, d. July 9, Whittle, p. December 
27, 1910, Guerry. 


George Freeman Bragg, Jr., D. D., d. January 12, Whit- 
tle, p. December 19, 1888, Whittle. 

George G. Middleton, d. June 4, Adams (for Miss.) p. 
January 8, 1896, Hale. 

William Victor Tunnell, d. June 5, Littlejohn, p. Decem- 
ber, 1887, Littlejohn. 

Beverly M. Jefferson, d. June 9, Whittle, Di. Dec. 27, 1887. 

Mark R. Nelson, d. June 9, Whittle, Di. August 13, 1888. 

Layfayette Winfield, d. June 9, Whittle. Deposed. 

Joseph Silas Quarles, d. September 23, W. B. W. Howe,, p. 
October 7, 1903, Capers. 

Benjamin Franklin Lewis, d. June 20, Randolph. Deposed. 
Edward N. Hollings, d. December 21, W. B. W. Howe. 

p. April 17, 1895, Capers. 
John Henry Dixon, M. D., December 29, Paret. 

John Alfred Holly, d. March 17, ,John Williams. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 271 

Henry Baird Delany, d. June 7, Lyman, p. May 2, 1892, 
Lyman. Consecrated Bishop Suffragan, Novem- 
ber 21, 1918. 

Thomas W. Vaughan, d. June 30, Whittle. 

Joseph Fenner Mitchell, d. June 30, Whittle, p. July 5, 
1896, Randolph. 

William J. Heritage, d. December 31, Watson, p. October 
20, 1899, Watson. 


William Montgomery Jackson, D. D., d. March 23, Dudley, 
p. January 15, 1893, Dudley. 

John Henry Simons, d. June 1, Whitaker, p. November 
17, 1891, AtwiU. 

Benjamin I. Jack, d. June 13, Tuttle, p. May 4, 1892, At- 

John Wesley Johnson, d. June 20, Whittle, p. June 19, 

1891, Whittle. 

James Thomas Kennedy, d. September 7, Lyman, p. June 

11, 1915, Horner. 

Joseph Alexander Brown, d. December 3, Whitaker, p. June 

12. 1892, Whitaker. 

James J. N. Thompson, d. December 14, Gregg, p. May 

16, 1894, Kinsolving. 
William Hiliary Costen, d. January 18, W. A. Leonard. 

Deposed, May 14, 1894. 
Alfred H. Lealtad, d. May 24, McClaren, p. May 31, 

1892, McClaren. 

George Frazier Miller, D. D., d. May 24, W. B. W. Howe, 

p. June 24, 1892, C. K. Nelson. 
Richard Bright, d. May 24, H. C. Potter, p.. June 10, 1892, 

C. K. Nelson. 

272 The Afro-American Group 

John Albert Williams, d. June 11, Worthington, p. October 

18, 1891, Worthington. 
John G. Urling, d. November 8, Dudley, p. June 20, 1894. 

Dudley. Di. April 26, 1895; aged 73 years. 
George Walter Honesty, M. D., d. March 13, Quintard, p. 

June 4, 1894 Gailor. Deposed. 
Henry Alexander: Saturnin Hartley, M. D., d. March 13, 
Quintard, p. October 14, 1892, Quintard. 
Matthew McDuffie, d. May 25, Weed, p. September 26, 

1893. Gray. 
Ferdinand Meshack Mann, d. June 8, C. K. Nelson, p. 

April 24, 1906, C. K. Nelson. 
Owen Meredith Waller, M. D., d. June 12, H. C. Potter, 

p. January 15, 1893, H. C. Potter. 
Robert Blair Bruce, d. June 23, Randolph. Deposed (Not 

effecting his character). Became a Bishop in the 

A. M. E. Zion Church. 
David D. Moore, d. July 22, Weed, p. 1909, Weed. 
Charles L. Simmons, d. November 21, Randolph, p. July 

23, 1914, Randolph. 

Walter Henry Marshall, d. June 11, Whitaker, p. Novem- 
ber 21, 1894, Atwill. 
Maximo Felix Duty, M. D., D. D., d. June 11, Whitaker, 

p. December 23, 1894, C. K. Nelson. 
Oscar Lieber, Mitchell, d. June 21, Randolph, p. 1894, 

Thomas J. Brown, d. June 25, Thomas, p. 1894, Dudley. 
R. A. Smith, d. July 5, Randolph. . Deposed. 
John Randolph Brooks, d. November 26, Randolph, p. 1898, 


OF THE Episcopal Church 273 

Daniel Ernest Johnson. D. D.. d. December 22, Spaulding, 

p. June 5, 1895. Spaulding. Deposed, but subse- 
quently restored. 
Isaiah Pinroy Daniels, d. December 2*0, Pierce, p. January 

25. 1896. Pierce. 
John Baptist Macebo, d. December 31, Capers, p. January 

13, 1907, Knight. 

Stephen Decatur Phillips, d. October 8, Randolph, p. June 

1897. Whitaker. 
John C. Dennis, d. October 8. Randolph, p. July 24, 1898, 

Randolph. 1895. 

A. V. C. Cartier. d. — Quintard. p. 1895. Quintard. 
James Nelson Deaver. d. May 9. Gra\', p. November 11. 

1899. Peterkin. 
Merritt D. Hinton. d. May 12, Thompson. Deposed. 
James Edward King. d. June 9. Cheshire, p. June 9. 1904, 

Thomas Burke Bailey, d. June 9, Cheshire. 
Eugene Leon Henderson, d. June 8. Cheshire, p. October 

7. 1897, Scarborough. 
Robert Josias Morgan, d. June 20, Coleman ; deposed ; went 

abroad and was made a priest in Greek Church. 
Alexander Hamilton McNeilll, d. January 19, Dudley. 
Edmund Robert Bennett, d. May 31. Nicholson, p. 1896. 

George Alexander McGuire. M. D.. d. June 29. Vincent. 

p. 1897, Vincent. Founder of the "African Or- 

thordox Church." 
Charles Wesley Brooks, d. September 6, Paret, p. 1897, 


274 Tut: Afro-Americax Group 

Edward George Clifton, D. D., d., December 20, H. C. 
Potter, p. 1898, H. C. Potter. 

August Ernet Jensen, d. May 27, Satterlee, p. June 24, 
1899, Gray. 

Godfrey Redfield Jackson, d. May 27, Satterlee. 

Benjamin Wellington Paxtcn, May 27, Satterlee. p. IVIay 
27, 1899, Hale. 

Arthur Goff Coombs, d. September 12, Walker, p. February 
6, 1900, Gray. 

Franklyn Abraham Isaac Bennett, d. October 31, Capers, 
p. November 30, 1898, Capers. 

Charles Leon Suthern, d. January 17, Randolph. 

Jackson Matthias Mundy, d. February — Dudle}-, p. April 
2, 1905, Woodcock. 

Edward Thomas Demby, D. D., d. March 16. Gailor, p. 
May 8, 1899, Gailor, September 29, 1918, in All 
Saints Church, St. Louis, consecrated Bishop Suff- 
ragan of the diocese of Arkansas. 

John Speight, d. September 11, Weed, p. 1915, Weed. 

William George Avant, d. September 25, Watson, p. Octo- 
ber 1899, Watson. Deposed. 

Charles B. Prichett, d. September 25, Watson, p. Decem- 
ber 21, 1910, F. F. Reese. 

Charles Christopher Cephas Mapp, d. June 5, Satterlee. 

William Bryant Perry, d. June 26, Randolph. Deposed 
June 28, 1901. 

Rev. George F. Bragg, Jr., D. D., 1425 McCulloh Street, 


Robert Gordon, d. June 11, Kinsolving, p. February, 1905, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 275 

Joseph Emmanuel Tucker, M. D., d. July 9, Whitaker, p. 
1901, Gray. 

George Bundy, M. D., d. July 9, Vincent, p. July 3, 1900, 
Vincent. Deposed. 

John Belton Brown, d. December 10, Randolph, p. Decem- 
ber 20, 1915, Darst. 


Richard Temple Middleton, d. July 10, Thompson, p. 
October 12, 1903, Bratton. 

Charles Irwin Smith, d. August 1, Walker, p. December 21, 

1901, Gray. Deposed. 

Joseph Wilberforce Livingston, d. December 9, Millspaugh, 
p. May 8, 1902, Millspaugh. 

Thomas George Brown, d. June 2, Whitaker, p. May 25, 

1902, Mackay-Smith. 

Robert Lee Wilson, d. June 2, Dudley, p. April 5, 1907, 

Robert Davis Brown, d. June 19, Lawrence, p. June 21, 

1903, Vincent. 

David Richard Wallace, d. July 6, Anderson, p. 1902, 

Edward Sherman Willett, d. July 21, J. N. Morrison, p. 

February 6, 1902, J. N. Morrison. 
Everard Washington Daniel, d. May 25, Worthington, p. 

1903. Edsall. 
Albert Eustace Day, d. May 25, C. K. Nelson, p. December 

16, 1904, C. K. Nelson. 
Natianiel Peterson Boyd, d. December 9, Hunington, p. 

December 18, 1904, Burgess. 

276 TfiE Afro-Am ERicAX Group 


Robert Wellington Bagnall, d. June 23, Randolph, p. June 
6, 1905, Randolph. 

Milton Moran Weston, d. June 23, Randolph, p. December 
6, 1905, Strange. 

David LeRoy Ferguson, d. June 28, Vincent, p. January 1, 
1905, Vincent. 


Alfred A. St. Clare Moore, d. January 3, Whitaker, p. May 
29, 1904, Whitaker. 

Montraville E. Spatches, d. February 24, Gray, p. Febru- 
ary 27, 1905, Gray. 

Charles H. Male, d. February 26, Cheshire, p. July 25, 
1905, Cheshire. 

Emmett Emanuel Miller, d. February 27, Gibson, p. Jan- 
uary 25, 1905, Gibson. 

Arthur W. H. Collier, d. May 29, Satterlee. 

Julius Robert Coxe, d. June 12, Francis. Spent all of his 
ministry as the traveling secretary of Dr. Booker 
T. Washington. 

Harry Oscar Bowles, d. July 17, W. A. Leonard, p. July 
23, 1905, W. A. Leonard. 

John Richard Logan, D. D., d. Sept. 21, Horner, p. Septem- 
ber 29, 1905, Horner. 

Floarda Howard, d. October 2, R. H. Nelson, p. February 
3, 1907, Coleman. 

Junius L. Taylor, October 27, Randolph, p. 1906 Randolph. 

Robert Henry Tabb, d. October 27, Randolph, p. August 
22, 1906, Scarborough. 

Roger Clinton James, d. October 27, Randolph, p. 1907, 

OF THE Episcopal Church 277 

Charles Louis Somers, d. December 16, Gibson, p. 1906, 


Henr\- Bartholomew Brown, d. March 25, Millspaugh, p. 
January 25, 1906, Millspaugh. 

Hubert Ashtley St. A. Parris, M. D., d. June 6, Gray, p. 
February 24, 1906, Gray. 

William Burton Suthern, d. June 18, Darlington, p. June 
10, 1906, Darlington. 

Samuel Whitmore Grice, d. August 22, Capers, p. Septem- 
ber 19, 1906, Capers. 

Robert Nathaniel Perry, d. August 20, Cheshire, p. May 

19, 1907, Cheshire. 

Alonzo Johnson, d. June 6, Brewster, p. February 22, 1908, 

David Franklin Taylor, D. D., d. January 25, Kinsolving, 

p. January 4, 1911, Kinsolving. 
John Samuel Simmons, d. June 6, Brewster, p. November 

17, 1907, C. K. Nelson. 
Edmund Harrison Oxley, d. June 10, Satterlee, p. May 26, 

1907, Satterlee. 
James Henry King, d. June 17, Strange, p. December 22, 

1907, Strange. 
William Thurber Wood, d. June 17, Strange, p. December 

20, 1908, Strange. 

J. C. VanLoo, d. October 18, Satterlee, p. February 2, 1908, 

Edward Douse, d. October 18, Satterlee, p. November 1, 
1907, Satterlee. 

William Edward Gilliam, d. December 9, Randolph, p. Sep- 
tember 26, 1909, W. A. Leonard. 

278 The Afro-American Group 

Robert Bagnall, d. December 9, Randolph, p. June 17, 1908, 
B. D. Tucker. 

Earnest Sydnor Thomas, d. June 9, Whitaker, p. June 7, 

1908, Whitaker. 
Jesse David Lykes, d. September 18, Guerry, p. October 4, 

1908, Guerry. 

Henry T. Butler, d. April 3, Randolph, p. October 24, 1915, 
B. D. Tucker. 

Erasmus Lafayette Baskerville, d. January 19, Burton, p. 

December 21, 1908, Burton. 
Jacob R. Jones, d. September 18, Guerry, p. September 15, 

1909, Guerry. 

John Johosaphat Pusey, d. May 28, W. M. Brown. 
Walter T. Cleghorn, d. May 28, W. M. Brown, March 31, 

1909, W. M. Brown. 
Augustus C. Roker, d. May 28, W. M. Brown, June 16, 

1915, Thurston. 
W. A. Tucker, d. May 28, Brown, p. April 10, 1910, Wood- 
George E. Benedict, d. June 7, Whitaker. 
J. DaCostia Harewood, d. June 7, Whitaker, p. June 6, 

1909, Whitaker. 
Walter D. McClane. d. June 7, Whitaker, p. June 6, 1909, 

W. A. S. Wright, d. June 21, Adams, p. June 6, 1909, 

John Walter Heritage, d. June 3, Strange, p. July 17, 1910, 

C. E. F. Boisson, d. June 7, Ousborne, p. December 21, 

1909, Bratton. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 279 

George Marshall Flaskett, d. June — , Greer, p. ]\Iay 31, 

1909, Lines. 

Andrew Alaynard Forsyth, d. October 1, Weed, p. Febru- 
ary 14. 1912, F. F. Reese. 

James Frederick Fortesque Griffin, d. February 4, Ran- 


James King Satterwhite, d. June 28, Cheshire, p. Septem- 
ber 7, 1910, Cheshire. 

Robert Josias Johnson, d. June 28, Cheshire, p. September 
7. 1910, Cheshire. 

Sandy Alonzo Morgan, d. June 24, Gibscm. p. December 
21, 1910, Gibson. 

John Henry Scott, d. June 24. Gibson, p. 1^10, Gibson. 

David Jonathan Lee, d. July 4, Randolph, p. July 28, 1910, 
B. D. Tucker. 

Samuel Alelville Pitt, d. January 17, C. K. Nelson. 

Joseph M. ALatthias, d. July 18, Brooke, p. 1912, Brooke. 

William / lexander Bruce, d. December )9. Fawcett, p. 

1910, Fawcett. 

Edward Newton Peart, d. May 22, Partridge, p. July 11, 

1911, Greer. 

Robert Zachariah Johnstone, d. July 5, Whitaker, p. June 

11, 1911, ALackay-Smith. 
Ebenezer Holman Hamilton, d. July 29, Randolph, p. May 

25. 1912, B. D. Tucker. 
John Taylor Ogburn, Ph. D., d. July 29, Randolph, p. May 

25, 1912, B. D. Tucker. 
Jc'n Stewart-Braithwaite, d. De-^ember 9, C. K. Nelson, p. 

November 17, 1913, C. K. Nelson. 

28C The Afro-Am hricax Group 

J(;!ui Brown Klliott, d. December 27, Guerry, p. 1912 


William Emmanuel Hendricks, d. June 11, Greer, p. Jan- 
uary 25, 1912, Van Buren. 

Arnold Hamilton Maloney, d. June 11, Greer, p. July 4. 
1912, Murray. 

Simeon N. Griffith, d. September 24, Gravatt, p. 1914, Gra- 


Samuel Arthur Emmanuel Coleman, d. June 2, Greer, p., 

1912, E. E. Reese. 

George Gilbert W^alker, d. June 2, Greer, p. January 19, 

1913, MiUspaugh. 

Frederick Alexander Garrett, d. June 2, Rhinelander, p. 

January 25, 1913, Garland. 
Aubre\ Anson Hewitt, d. June 5, B. D. Tucker, p. May 

29, 1914, Weed. 
Basil Kent, d. Sept. 25, B. D. Tucker. 
Herbert William Smith, d. Nov. 25, Garland, p. Alarch 21. 

1914, Vincent. 

Robert I. Johnson, d. Jan. 9, Strange, p. May 19, 1915. 

Uriel Eerdinand Humphrries Gunthrope, d., Ma}- 18, Greer, 
p. June , 1914, Greer. 

William S. McKinney, d. May 18. Burgess, p. 1917, Bur- 

Edward G. Jones, d. Ma 18, Rhinelander, p. June 5, 1914, 

Philip M. Prowell-Carrington, d. June 6, B. D. Tucker, p. 

June 3. 1914, F. F. Reese. 

OF TJiE Episcopal Ckurch 281 

Byron E. H. Floyd, d. June 6, B. D. Tucker, p. 
Llmer \1. \l. \Vright, d. June 6. B. D. Tucker, p. June 

24, 1914, Burton. 
Jcsephus Macdonald, d. June 29, Chesphire, p. May 9, 1915. 

Joseph H. Hudson, d. June 29, Cheshire, p- Sept. 23, 1914. 

Daniel E. Johnson, Jr.. d. July 27, Winchester, p. July 27, 

1914, Winchester. 
Joseph T. Jeitre_\s, d. 1913, Gibson, p. 1914, Gibson. 
Henr\ Archibald Swann, d. Dec. 21, Burch, p. Dec. 21, 

1914, Burch. 

Charles Alcnzo Harrison, d. Dec. — , B. D. Tucker, p. 1914, 

B. D. Tucker. 

Jcded'ah Edmead, d. April 7, Brooke, p. June 24, 1915. 

Shelton Hale Bishop, d. June 7, Greer, p. July 4, 1915, 

John X. Samuels-Belbcder, d. June 7. Greer, p. June 11. 

1915, T. L Reese. 

E. Irvin Georges, d. 1914, Mann, p. 1915, Mann. 

/^.thanasius Napoleon Bonaparte Boyd, d. December 10, Gib- 
son, p. Dec. 28, 1915, Gibson. 

John Randolph Lewis, d. June 11. Randolph, p. 1916. B. D. 
, James .-^.Ivin Russell, d. June 11, Randolph, p. 1916, B. D. 

Edgar C. Young, d. June 11, Rhinelander, p. 1916. 

282 Thi- Afro-Americax Group 

St. Julian A. Simpknis, d. June 27, Guerry, p. June 28, 1916, 

Charles Sylvester Sedgewick, d. Sept. 25, Harding, p. June, 

1916, Harding. 
Osmund Henry Brown, d. September 25, Harding, p. 

1916, Harding. 

John Henry Brown, d. Sept. 29, Weed, p. 1917, Weed. 
Ro}al Sullivan Hoagland, d. Dec. 19, Harding. 


George V. Fowler, d. June, Harding, p. 

D. Redman Clark, d. June 18, Rhinelander, p. February 

2, 1917, Garland. 
C. Canterbury Corbin, d. June 18, Greer, p. 1917, Greer. 
Charles L. Emmanual, d. June 18, Rhinelander, p. Feb- 
ruary 2, 1917, Garland. 
Julian C. Perry, d. June 29, Guerry, p. 
N. J. Ward, d. June 29, Mann. 
W. A. Gibson, d. June 29, Mann. 
P. George Moore-Brown, d. September 29, J. D. Perry, p. 

1917, J. D. Perry. 

Charles Conrad Garfield Howell, d. May 17, Lawrence, n. 

1918, Lawrence. 

E. Adolphus Craig, d. June 23, Greer, p. 1917, Sherwood. 
Meade Burnette Birchett, d. July 1, B. D. Tucker, p. 1918, 

B. D. Tucker. 
William N. Harper, M. D.,'d. July 3, Darst, p. 1918, Darsn 
Robert A. Jackson, d. July 8, Gibson, p. 1918, Gibson. 
George Alfred Fisher, d. September 21, Kinsman, p. Sep 

tember 27, 1918, Rhinelander. 
A. Thomas Stokes, d. November 4, Lines. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 283 


Harrj- Ellsworth Rahming, d. April 25, J. D. Perry, p. 

Frank Norman Fitzpatrick, d. June 2, Harding, p. Decem- 
ber 23, 1918, Demby. 

A. Myron Cochran, d. September 5, Cheshire, p. December 
19, 1920, Delany. 

Roger Edgar Bunn, d. September 15, Cheshire, p. 1921, 

G. M. Blackett, d. March 28, Mann, p. December 22, 


Charles AVilliam Nelson, d. January 1, Matthews, p. 1920, 

John Edwin Culmer, d. August 31, Mann, p. March 29, 
1920, Mann. 

Elliott E. Durant, d. 1919, Rhinelander. p. 1921, Garland. 


Claudius Adolphus Nero, d. February 29, Delany, p. May 
22, 1921, Delany. 

L. M. Graham, d. Harding. 

John B. Boyce, d. June 20. Woodcock, p. February 27, 1921, 

John W. Freeman, d. 1919, Harding, p. February 27, Kin- 

Thomas D. Brown, d. June 13, Gibson, p. i\.Iarch 15, 1922, 

Harold Foster-Percival, d. July 12, J. I. Reese, p. February 
27, 1921, T. I. Reese. 

Joseph T. McDuffie, November 28. B. D. Tucker. 

C. E. Green, d. September 8, B. D. Tucker. 

James A. Johnson, d. September 17, Beatty, p. 1921, Beatty. 


Edward Ellis, d. January 23, Brown. 

284 The Afro-Americax Group 

Cornelius R. Dawson, d. May 5, Murray, p. June 3, 1922, 

Louis H. Berry, d. July 4, Williams. 
B. Washington Harris, d. December 18, Delany. 
Q. E. Primo, d. March 29, F. F. Reese, p. 1922, F. F. Reese. 

Gustave Hamilton Caution, d. June 3, Murray. 
John Howard Johnson, d. June 11, Manning. 
Bernard G. Whitlock, d. 



Rt. Rev. Edward Thomas Demby. D. D., 1852 Cnjss Street, 

Little Rock, Ark. 
Rt. Rev. Henry B. Delany. D. D.. St. Augustines School, 

Raleigh, N. C. 


Rev. P. George Moore-Brown, 169 Lippitt Street. Provi- 
dence, R. I. 

Rev. Harr\ O. Bowles, 26 Sperry Street. New Haven. Conn. 

Rev. Osmond H. Brown, 148 Walnut Street, Hartford. 

Rev. D. LeRo\ Ferguson, 41 Warnock Street, Boston, Mass. 

Rev. Walter D. McClane, 38 Essex Street. Cambridge, 


Rev. Hutchens C. Bishop, D. D., 217 W. 133rd Street. 

Xew York, N. Y. 
tRev. Robert W. Bagnall, 70 5th Avenue, New York, N. Y. 
Rev. E. George Clifton, D. D., 313 E. 157th Street. New 

York. N. Y. 
tRev. Maximo Felix Duty, M. D., D. D., New York, 

2405 7th Avenue. 
Rev. John W. Johnson. 175 W. 63rd Street, New York. 

N. Y. 
Rev. Jedediah Edmead. 2101 Madison Avenue, New York, 
N. Y. 

286 The Afro-American Group 

Rev. Flcarda Howard, 27 W. 99th Street, New York, N. Y. 
Rev. John Howard Johnson, 175 W. 63rd Street, New York. 
Rev. H. A. McLean, 219 E. 127 Street, New York. 
tRev. E. N. Peart, 867 E. 224th Street, New York. 
Rev. H. A. Swann, 212 W. 134th Street, New York, N. Y. 
Rev. Owen M. Waller, M. D., 762 Herkeimer Street, 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Rev. M. N. Wilson, 206 E. 95th Street, New York, N. Y. 
Rev. George F. Miller, D. D., 121 N. Oxford Street, 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Rev. N. Peterson Boyd, D. D., 1610 Dean Street, Brook- 
lyn, N. Y. 
Rev. C. Garfield Howell 725 Belmont Avenue, Brooklyn, 

N. Y. 
Rev. W. S. McKinney, 41 Grand Street, Jamaica, (L. I.) 

N. Y. 
Rev. F. Wilcom EUegor. 140 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, 

N. Y. 
Rev. Edmund R. Bennett, 166 Goodall Street, Buffalo, N. 

Rev. William S. Mackay, 411 Cedar Street, Syracuse, N. Y. 
tRev. Arnold H. Maloney, New York. 

Rev. Robert Davis Brown, 25 Orleans St., Newark, N. J. 
Rev. C. Canterbury Corbin, 114 Sylvan Avenue, Asbury 

Park, N. J. 
Rev. James N. Deaver, 1709 Artie Avenue, Atlantic Citv, 

Rev. Frank N. Fitzpatrick, Plainfield, N. J. 
Rev. August E. Jensen, 93 Spring Street, Trenton, N. J. 
Rev. Robert A. Jackson, 1137 S. 9th Street, Camden, N. J. 
Rev. Robert J. Johnson, 267 Governor St., Paterson, N. J. 
tRev. T. A. Jones, M. D., 265-a Fairmount Avenue, Jer- 
sey City, N. J. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 287 

Rev. C. W. Nelson, 115 Liberty Street, Elizabeth, X. J. 
Rev. George M. Plaskett, 30 Webster Place. Orange, N. J. 


Rev. Richard Bright, 2135 S. 58th Street. Philadelphai, Pa. 
Rev. A. G. Coombs, 612 N. 43rd Street, Philadelphia. Pa. 
Rev. Fred A. Garrett, 1932 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, 

Re\-. J. DcCostia Harewood, 5615 Westminster A\enue. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 
Rev. John Richard Logan, D. I)., 1408 S. 22nd Street, 

Philadelphia, Pa. 
Rev. Henry S. McDuftV. 2010 x\. 17th Street, Philadel- 
phia, Pa. 
*Rev. Henry L. Phillips, D. D., 202 E. Sharpnack Street, 

Germantown, Pa. 
Rov. Robert H. Tabb, 620 S. 8th Street. Philadelphia, Pa, 
Rev. E. S. Thomas. 112 \\\ Rhittenhouse St., Philadelphia. 

Rev. Edgar C. \'oung, 5817 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, 

Rev. George F. Bragg, Ja., D. D., 1425 McCulloh Street, 

Baltimore. Md. 
tRev. J. W. Livingston. Springfiedl, Aid. 
Rev. Cornelius R. Dawson. Cumberland, Md. 
Rev. Gustave H. Caution. 1211 Division Street, Baltimore, 

Rev. Scott Wood, D. D., 711 Anaheim Street, Pittsburgh, 

Rev. Shelton H. Bishop, Monticello. Pittsburgh. Pa. 
Rev. W. M. Parchment, 603 Foster Sreet, Harrisburg. Pa. 
Rev. E. A. Craig. Altoona. Pa. 
Rev. E. E. Durant, Coatsville, Pa. 

288 I'hh Afro-Ami£rican Group 

Rev. Joseph H. Hudson, Charles Town, West Virginia. 

Rev. William V. Tunnell, 2420 6th Street, Washington, 
D. C. 

Rev. Oscar Lieber Mitchell, 728 23rd Street, N. W., Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Rev. Thomas Jacob Brown, 1411 Corcoran Street, Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Rev. F. A. I. Bennett, 651 11th Street, N. E., Washing- 
ton, D. C. 

Rev. A. W. H. Collier, 1929 15th Street, N. W., Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Rev. Edward Douse, Fort Reno, Teneleytown, D. C. 

Rev. George A. Fisher, So. Capitol and L Streets, N. W., 
Washington, D. C. 

Rev. W. M. Jackson, D. D., 506 Kastle Street, N. E., Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Rev. John W. Freeman, 1262 Florida Avenue, N. E., Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Rev. Linton M. Graham, Washington, D. C. 

Rev. J. E. G. Small, Croom, Maryland. 

Rev. M. B. Birchett, Effingham Street, Portsmouth, Va. 

Rev. Henry T. Butler, Lawrenceville, Va. 

tRev. A. N. B. Boyd, Berryville, Va. 

Rev. Joseph W. Carroll, Bracey, Va. 

Rev. John C. Dennis, Broadnax, Va. 

Rev. Byron E. H. Floyd, Houston, Va. 

Rev. C. E. Green, Lawrenceville, Va. 

Rev. Samuel W. Grice, Petersburg, Va. 

"f'Rev. John Thomas Harrison, Totaro, Va. 

Rev. Ebenezer H. Hamilton, Hampton, Va. 

Rev. Edward Ellis, 416 Pearl Street, Charlottesville, Va. 

Rev. Basil Kent, Lunenburg, Va. 

Rev. Lorenzo A. King, Alexandria, Va. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 289 

Rev. David Jonathan Lee, 100 Kent Street, Norfolk, Va. 

Rev. Joseph F. Mitchell, Berryville, V^a. 

Rev. E. E. Miller, 226 Halifax Street, Petersburg, Va. 

Rev. Joseph T. McDuffie, Newport News, Va., 2111 Mar- 
shall Avenue. 

*Rev. James S. Russell, D. D., Lawrenceville, Va. 

Rev. James Alvin Russell, Lawrenceville, Va. 

Rev. John H. Scott, Millers Tavern, Va. 

Rev, C. L. Somers, Rectory, Va. 

Rev. Junius L. Taylor, D. D., 506 St. James Street, Rich- 
mond, Va. 


tRev. T. B. Bailey, Kinston. N. C. 

Rev. J. B. Brown, Washington, N. C. 

Rev. R. Edgar Bunn, Wilson, N. C. 

Rev. A. M. Cochran, Raleigh, N. C. 

Rev. S. N. Griffith, Edenton, N. C. 

tRev. W. J. Heritage, Edenton, N. C. 

Rev. J. W. Heritage, Fayetteville, N. C. 

Rev. W. N. Harper, M. D., Belhaven, N. C. 

Rev. J. E. Holder, Kinston, N. C. 

Rev. Eugene L. Henderson, Durham, N. C. 

Rev. Robert L Johnson, New Berne, N. C. 

tRev. Roger C, James, Durham, N. C. 

Rev. James E. King, Charlotte, N. C. 

Rev. Jacob R. Jones, i^sheville, N. C. 

*Rev. James T. Kennedy, Lincolton, N. C. 

Rev. B. Washington Harris, North Carolina. 

tRev. C. A. Nero (New York) 

Rev. E. S. Willett, Wilmington, N. C. 

Rev. M. M. Weston, Tarboro, N. C. 

tRev. H. A. St. Parris, M. D., Wilmington, N. C. 

*Rev. Erasmus L. Baskervill, 54 Bogart St., Charleston, S. C. 

290 The Afro-Americax Group 

Rev. J. B. Elliott, Columbia, S. C. 

Rev. George E. Howell, Summerville, S. C. 

Rev. Charles A. Harrison, 18 Jasper Street, Charleston, S. C. 

Rev. Julian C. Perr,v, Sumter, S. C. 

Rev. Robert N. Perry, Columbia, S. C. 

Rev. St. Julian A. Simpkins, Spartansburg, S. C. 

*Rev. J. H. Brown, 422 W. Bolton Street, Savannah, Ga. 

*Rev. E. L. Braithewaite, Griffin, Ga. 

Rev. J. Stewart Braithewaite, Savannah, Ga. 

tRev. E. H. Butler, Pittsboro, N. C. 

Rev. A. M. Forsyth, Darien, Ga. 

Rev. Aubrey A. Hewitt, Columbia, Ga. 

Rev. G. R. Jackson, St. Simon's Mills Ga. 

Rev. P. M. A. Prowell-Carrington, Thomasville, Ga. 

Rev. C. B. Prichett, Waycross, Ga. 

tRev. S. A. M. Pitt. 

Rev. Q. E. Primo, Albany, Ga. 

Rev. Walter H. Marshall, Fort Valey, Ga. 

Rev. J. R. Lewis, Brunswick, Ga. 

Rev. C. E. F. Boisson, Pensacola, Fla. 

Rev. G. M. Blackett, Miami, Fla. 

Rev. J. E. Culmer, Tampa, Fla. 

Rev. J. S. Simmons, Cocoanut Grove, Fla. 

*Rev. William T. Wood, Palatka, Fla. 

Rev. John R. Brooks, Mobile, Ala. 

Rev. Charles W. Brooks, 320 18th Street, S. Birmingham.. 

Rev. J. T. Jeffreys, Jackson, Miss. 
Rev. S. .Alonzo Morgan, Vicksburg, Miss. 
Rev. D. F. Taylor, D. D., 2704 Carondelet Street, New 

Orleans, La. 
Rev. W. A. Bruce, 6th and Ewing Avenue^ Nashville, Tenn. 
Rev. W. W. Cheshire, Bolivar, Tenn. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 291 

Rev. James A. Johnson, Memphis, Tenn. 
fRev. J. H. King, Keeling, Tenn. 
Rev. E. E. Hall, Lexington. Ky. 
Rev. J. \l. Alundy, Henderson, Ky. 
Rev. H. F. Percival, Hopkinsville, Ky. 

Rev. George G. Walker, 11th and Walnut Streets. Louis- 
ville, Ky. 


Rev, Robert Bagnall, 1012 City Park Avenue, Toledo, Ohio. 

Rev. E. H. Oxley. D. D., 728 W. 7th Street. Cincinnati, 

Rev. John T. Ogburn. Ph. D.. 614 Parmelee Street. Youngs- 
town. Ohio. 

Re\-. H. AV. Smith, 647 E. Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio. 

Rev. J. N. Samuels-Belboder, Dayton, Ohio. 

Rev. William B. Suthern, 2169 E. 49th Street, Cleveland, 

Rev. Everad W. Daniel. 329 St. Antoint St,. Detroit. Mich. 

Rev. E. A. Christian, Henry Avenue and Sherman Street. 
Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Rev. Charles S. Sedgewick, 6517 Firwood Avenue, Detroit, 

Rev. Louis H. Berry, Indianapolis, Ind. 

Rev. John H. Simons. 3632 Prairie Avenue. Chicago. 111. 

Rev. Henry B. Brown. 1944 Ridge Avenue. Evanston. 111. 

Rev. D. E. Johnson. D. D.. 816 S. 15th Street. Springfield, 

Rev. D. E. Johnson. Jr.. Cairo. 111. 


Rev. A. H. Lealtad, 465 Mackubin Street, St. Paul, Minn. 
Rev. John Albert Williams, 1119 X. 21st Street, Omaha. 

Rev. William E. Gilliam. Colorado Springs. Colorado. 

292 The Afro-Americax Group 

Rev. Harry E. Rahming, 2144 Humboldt Street, Denver, 


Rev. D. R. Clark, 2931 Locust Street, St. Louis, Mo. 

Rev. Montraville E. Spatches, 1023 Highland Avenue, 

Kansas, City, Mo. 
Rev. E. M. M. Wright, 316 Stewart Avenue, Kansas City, 

Rev. Thomas D. Brown, 407 Lindsay Street, Oklahoma 

City, Oklahoma. 
Rev. Augustus C. Roker, 645 S. 3rd Street, Muskogee, 

Rev. W. E. DeClaybrook, Beaumont, Texas. 
Rev. J. B. Boyce, Tyler, Texas. 
Rev. L. C. Dade, Galveston, Texas. 
Rev. Bernard G. Whitlock, Hot Springs, Ark. 


Rev. Walter T. Cleghorn, 1501 Essex Street, Los Angeles, 

Rev. David R. Wallace, 847 35th Street, Oakland, Cal. 

* Archdeacon 
t Non-parochial 



The author having had over thirty-five years of active 
ministerial life, with some little success, feels that it is per- 
mitted him to venture a word of advice with respect to fu- 
ture plans, or policies for work in Church extension among 
the colored people. 

The regular diocesan system should obtain. But, in 
order to strengthen it and promote the most harmonious re- 
lations, there should be a temporary alternative plan which 
may be employed instead of the normal system. The admin- 
istrative and supreme authority of this plan, (under the 
House of Bishops) should be the diocesan Bishops concerned, 
together with the Missionary Bishop, the native head of the 
group. Under no circumstances should this vital part of 
the Missionary District plan be dispensed with. Absolute 
harmony and cooperation are indispensable. Any right- 
minded Negro Bishop capable of leading and performing 
constructive work would rejoice in having the diocesan Bish- 
ops share in the work to such an extent. In fact, we do not 
see how he could hope to attain large success in any other 

Booker Washington was the honored principal of Tuske- 
gee; but he had a wise and able board of directors. General 
Samuel C. Armstrong was the head of the Hampton Insti- 
tute, but he had one of the ablest corps of men in this coun- 
try to uphold him. General Armstrong studied so thoroughly 

294 Thi- Afro-Am ericax Group 

well the various projects he had in mind, and made such n 
clear analysis of them, that when presenting them before the 
board he seldom failed to carry through a single plan. 

'I'he same thing would be true in the matter now under 
consideration if there were an Advisory Beard with power, 
and a real constructive Negro as Missionary Bishop. But 
such a Bshop must be chosen with respect to real ability, and 
not chiefly because he is "a good and safe Negro." 

The vestry system as applied to our work, in most cases, 
has proven worse than a failure. It needs remedying. A 
training in the work must be given to most of the men which 
they did not and could not receive at the seminaries. Many 
practical agencies should be introduced and vigorously 
pushed. All such, and more, are possible in a Missionary 
District with a Negro Bishop, having the supervision and 
cooperation of the diocesan Bishops Vvithin his district. 

The fight has never been to get from under the white 
Bishops. Jt has always been the other way. The fight has 
been to rid the work of the dominance of diocesan Conven- 
tions, and place the Bishops in actual control, and thus, have 
a genuine Episcopal Church among Negroes, and not one 
Episcopal in name but congregational in practice. 

The late Dr. Booker T. Washington, was in thorough 
sympathy with the IMissionary District plan as applied to our 
Church. In his "Story of the Negro," Dr. Washington 
says : 

"In my opinion, there is no other place in which the Ne- 
gro race can to better advantage begin to learn the lessons 
of self-direction and self-control than in the Negro Church. 
I say this for the reason that in spite of the fact that other 
interests have from time to time found shelter there, the 
chief aim of the Negro Church, as of other branches of the 
Christian Church, has been to teach its members the funda- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 295 

mental things of life and create in them a desire and enthu- 
siasm for a higher and better existence here and hereafter. 
More than that, the struggle of the masses of the people to 
support these churches and to purify their own social life, 
making it clean and wholesome, is itself a kind of moral dis- 
cipline and one that Negroes need quite as much as other 
people. In fact, 1 doubt if there is any other way in which 
the lessons that Christianity is seeking everywhere to enforce, 
could be brought home to the masses of the Negro people 
in so thorough-going a way as through their own societies, 
controlled and directed by the members of their own race." 

There never was a more glorious day destined for any 
group of people than that awaiting the black race, the world 
over. That which men believe utterly impossible will be ful- 
filled. It is the voice from on high declaring to the black 
race, 'Though ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be 
as the wings of a dove : that is covered with silver wings 
and her feathers like gold." The "wings of a dove" bring to 
us the sure truth of escape, while the "silver and "gold" imply 
prosperity and felicity. In the darkest hour of our sojourn 
in the American house of bondage 'among the pots,' did the 
Almighty interpret this vision through our fellows, who, 
making their escape, in their own personalites foreshadow 
the high destiny of their group. In the glorious future for 
which the black race is being prepared its dominant note will 
be as expressed in these immortal words of Toussant L'Ou- 
verture in his French prison, on the eve of his death : 

"Therefore may we hope that in this race will the spirit 
of Christianity appear more fully than it has yet shown itself 
among the proud whites; show itself in its gentleness, its 
fidelity, its disinteredness and its simple trust. The proud 
w^hites may scorn this hope, and point to the ignorance and 
passions of my people, and say, 'Is this your exhibition of the 

296 The Afro-American Group 

spirit of the Gospel?' But not for this will we give up this 
hope. This ignorance, these passions are natural to all men, 
and are in us aggravated and protracted b}- our slavery. Re- 
move them by the discipline and stimulus of freedom, begun 
in obedience to God and fidelity to all men, and there re- 
mains the love that embraces all ; the meek faith that can 
bear to be betrayed, but is ashamed to doubt; the generosity 
that can forgive severe offenses — and seven times renewed ; 
the simple, open, joyous spirit which marks such as are of 
the Kingdom of Heaven." 

It was that little American boy whom God raised up 
from "among the pots" as utterly destitute and without 
hope as has ever characterized any human being, Frederick 
Douglass, who, in his person, revealed the true destiny of the 
black man in giving the highest possible interpretation to the 
Law of Love, for the benefit of the whole human brother- 
hood. In an address delivered by Mr. Douglass in Decem- 
ber, 1890. among other things, he said: 

"I have seen dark hours in my life, and I have seen the 
darkness gradually disappearing, and the light gradually in- 
creasing. One by one, I have seen the obstacles removed, 
errors corrected, prejudices softened, proscriptions relin- 
quished, and my people advancing in all the elements that 
make up the sum of general welfare. I remember that God 
reigns in eternity and that, whatever delays, disappointments 
and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty and 
humanity will prevail." 

Long before the Civil War, when Mr. Douglass was in 
the field striking hard blows against slavery, in imitation of 
the white clergy who used to preach to the slaves from the 
text, "Servants, Obey Your Masters," he attracted unusual 
attention by his solid thrusts in that direction. By many 
literary critics this special effort was pronounced the best 

OF THE Episcopal Church 297 

piece of satire in the English language. A few years before 
the death of Mr. Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, visited 
him in home at Anacostia., Md. Quoting Mrs. Stanton: "1 
asked him if he ever had the sermon printed. He said 'No.' 
Could you reproduce it, said I. He said, 'No; I could not 
bring back the old feeling if I tried, and I would not if I 
could. The blessings of liberty I have so long enjoyed, and 
the many tender friendships I have with the Saxon race on 
both sides of the ocean, have taught me such sweet lessons 
of forgiveness that the painful memories of my early days are 
almost obliterated, and I would not recall them." 

And, when Douglass thus spoke, he portrayed the whole 
black race that shall be when Christianity has wrought a 
complete transformation. 

Note : In the list of Ordinations "d." is for deacon and 
"p." is for priest. The date of ordination to the priesthood 
of several is not given for we failed to find records of the 
same in the official list of the General Convention. 

On page 208, the second line of the sketch should read: 
"January 9, 1815. He entered into rest eternal, October" 



The author will forever hold in special honor and rev- 
erence the memory of the late Rt. Rev. Dr. William Paret, 
Bishop of Maryland. We hoped to have begun our ministry 
in the diocese of Maryland, and had been recommended most 
strongly, indeed, by the late Bishop Whittle of Virginia. We 
had made arrangements to that end ; and lo, we were denied 
that privilege because Bishop Paret would not consent to 
our coming into his diocese. He had been mislead. He had 
been impressed by one from whom he sought knowledge of 
us that we were a "mischief maker." iVIany years afterwards, 
when the Bishop had reason for believing that the extent of 
our "mischief making," was nothing other than a resolute 
courage in expressing our own convictions, he put forth 
strenuous and earnest efforts to have us acept work in his 
diocese. The sincerity of his change of mind evinced itself 
in the unusual fact of assuming our entire support and that 
at a rate of several hundred dollars beyond any allowance 
he had hitherto made to that work. 

And, although the good Bishop radically differed from 
us with respect to our great contention, in adjustment of 
the Historic Episcopate, we always, to the end, remained the 
warmest and closest friends. Most frequently did the Bish- 
op take counsel with us with respect to various aspects of the 
colored work. Before the creation of the diocese of Wash- 
ington, he had about decided, while permitting us to retain 

OF THE Episcopal Church 29Q 

our rectorship, to appoint us his Archdeacon for the colored 
work. But the diocese being divided, and the volume of col- 
ored work being in the diocese of Washington, the plan did 
not obtain. We understood most thoroughly the opposition 
of Bishop Paret to the scheme of racial Bishops. It was 
absolutely and entirely a matter of principle. Between the 
Suffragan Episcopate and the Missionary he never once hesi- 
tated to express a preference for the Missionary. But he 
was against both, for he thoroughly believed in a diocesan 
Convention without any "color line" and he had both the 
courage and the vigor to maintain his position. 

Possibh" no other Bishop in the American Church, from 
its birth until now, enjo\ed the distinction of meeting in 
friendly conference all the Bishops of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Bishop Paret readily and cheerfully act- 
ed upon our suggesticni, and we had the high privilege of 
bearing his gracious invitaton to our warm friend, the late 
Bishop Turner, then Senior Bishop of his church. We ac- 
companied them to the Episcopal Residence and presented 
ea:h to the Bishop of Maryland. Sometime afterwards in 
The Spirit of Missions for May, 1897, Bishop Paret gave 
forth an account of that meeting, and the impressions made 
upon him. It was not, however, the General Conference 
meeting at that time, but simply the annual meeting of the 
Bishops of that church. Here is what Bishop Paret said about 
the African Methodists: 

"Some two years ago the General Conference of the body 
known as the African Methodist Episcopal Church was hold- 
ing its triennial session in the city of Baltimore. Although I 
wanted much to learn what their organization and their 
work were, mportant duties of my own made it impossible 
for me to be present at their sessions; but I sent a note to 

300 The Afro-American Group 

their presiding officer, Bishop Turner, asking an opportunity 
tQ become acquainted, and he named a time when their 
Bishops would call upon me. They came to my house, seven 
in number, and we had a very pleasant and profitable inter- 
view of some two hours' duration. 

"I was soon convinced that these were strong men — men 
fitted to be leaders, and really leading strongly and wisely. 
Some, I am sure, were thoroughly educated, whether all were 
I cannot say; but if not, natural qualities and experience had 
been well used. Their presiding Bishop, Turner, began the 
conversation by telling me that he learned his first Latin and 
Greek, and his love for the Church which he had never lost 
in the very room where we were sitting, from the lips of 
Bishop Whittingham, and the whole conversation proved 
clearly on the part of almost all the seven, a kindly and loving 
appreciation of our own national branch of the Church, and 
a readiness for kindly relations with it. 

"I cannot give details, because I counted much of what 
was said on both sides confidential. They talked freely and 
fully on all points, begging me to ask questions, and when 
any special point was raised, Bishop Turner immediately re- 
ferred it to the one whom he thought specially fitted to an- 
swer. The extent of their work, their organization, their 
financial methods, their ordinations, the training and edu- 
cation of their candidates, the powers and duties of their 
Bishops, their methods of worship, the morality and spirit- 
ual character of their people, their educational institutions — 
all these were explained. 

"The African Methodist Episcopal Church is a powerful 
body. It numbers more communicants in the United States 
than our own National Church, and has many more who 
have received its ordinations ; and it has its missions in Africa, 
and at other points beyond the national limts. Its organiza- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 301 

tfon is strong, wise (humanly speaking), and efficient.. The 
Bshops being few in number (but eleven or twelve, I think, 
when their number is full), have each a district as large as 
six or seven of our dioceses, which they are able to administer 
by the effective help of the presiding elders, and their over- 
sight seems very thorough and strong. As they tell it, they 
have many preachers and exhorters, unordained and with 
imperfect qualifications, lay preachers; but they claim to 
hold a high standard of preparation for their priesthood, and 
to keep men relentlessly in their diaconate until they are fully 
qualified. They set forth a liturgy nearly following Wes- 
ley's Prayer Book, and they are pushing its use in congrega- 
tions as they find the people fitted for it. Their educational 
system is remarkable. They keep up not only schools and 
high schools; but each Episcopal district is expected to have 
its college or university, and some of them, like the Wilber- 
force College, in Ohio, are well equipped and effective; and 
to sustain these, besides one dollar a year which they request 
from each member for the general expenses of the church they 
require from each, as a duty, one dollar for their educa- 
tional work. Of course, they do not receive it from all of 
their six or seven hundred thousand, but they gave me to 
understand that at least half of them do contribute. And 
this leads to that wonderful fact that this great organization 
of colored people is entirely self-supporting, receiving no 
money help at all from the whites. 

"In comparing their great work and results among the 
colored people with ours, so puny, humanly speaking, in com- 
parison, I asked w^hether they could see any reason for the 
difference, and their answer was that we were pauperizing 
those to whom we ministered, while they were building up 
their Christian self-respect. They asserted that there was 
no need that we should keep up such continual missionary 

302 Thk Afro-Am hricax Group 

support, that it was wise and well to use missionary money 
freely on opening new fields and fresh enterprises, but that 
every new congregation should be, from the beginning, 
pushed rapidly into self-support and helping others. They 
ridiculed the idea that the Negroes, even the poorest, could 
not give. The\' had proved the contrary thoroughly. 

"I am sure that in this they have touched one of our 
great defects; but it is easier to see it than to find and applv 
the remedy. As a result of the interview^ I am wishing and 
praying, more and more, that in some wa}' by God's good 
providence a path might be opened for closer understanding 
and kindly co-operation between that strong Christian body 
and ourselves. Can it ever be? 

"WiLiAM Paret, 

"Bishop of Maryland." 

They accept practically our whole system doctrine and 
all, adapted to racial needs. But, with respect to the man- 
hood of the black man, the}- hold to that as tenaciously as 
did Henry Winter Davis to the Union. And on their behalf, 
in this matter, we might well apply the spirit dominating 
Henry Wnter Davis, when on the floor of the National Con- 
gress he eloquently said : 

"If we must fall, let our last hours be stained with no 
weakness; if we must fall, let us stand amid the crash of the 
falling republic and be buried in its ruins, so that history may 
take note that men lived in the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury worthy of a better fate, but chastised by God for the 
sins of their forefathers. Let the ruins of the republic remain 
to testify to the latest generations our greatness and our 
heroism. And let Liberty, crownless and childless, sit upon 
these ruins, crying aloud with a sad wail to the nations of 

OF THE Episcopal Church 303 

the world: 'I nursed and brought up children and they have 
rebelled against me.' " 

When men point sneeringly at the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church it is because of thorough ignorance of its 
rise and history. It should not be judged from the stand- 
point of the ideals to which it has not yet attained; nor by 
comparing it with the oldest and ablest expressions of or- 
ganized church life. Rather must it be judged by its best 
productions, remembering always the extreme depths of 
ignorance in which it was born. Any number of the best 
men the race has produced, born under other ecclessiastical 
environments, were drawn to the help of this organization by 
the mute appeal of the ignorant masses for help. And h\ 
the exhibition of genuine self-sacririce such pioneer colored 
men, under the blessing of God, succeeded in bringing light 
out of darkness. Bishop Payne came to African Metiiodism 
from the Lutheran Church ; Bishop Tanner from the Pre- 
byterian Church, and Bishop John Albert Johnson from t^e 
Church of England. The real educated men of this denomi- 
nation have wrought victories for high Christian ideals that 
can hardly be appreciated by the white Church who are ig- 
norant of race life at first hand. With our intimate know- 
ledge of African Methodism, and its leaders, we have not 
the least doubt in the world that whenever the Episcopal 
Church is sincerely disposed in that direction, there will be 
no great difficulty in the way of church unity and complete 
fellowship with this great body contending for one vital 
principle which under no circumstances will it surrender or 
compromise. That is the full and complete recognition of 
the manhood of the black man. 

It would be utterly impossible for self-respecting men to 
do otherwise. 

304 The Afro-Americax Group 


''my last work upon earth'' 

"Since my last annual address I have purchased a desir- 
able lot of ground and have built a rectory and church (now 
used for a day school and Sunday School also). A colored 
layman is licensed to lay read, with privilege of exhorting. 
A lady from Virginia is in charge of the day school. The 
moneys expended in building and conducting the work here 
came from abroad. The Rev. J. S. Johnston (now the re- 
tired Bishop of West Texas) without whose earnest co- 
operation I could not have begun this work, has had charge 
of the disbursements of all the funds expended in the erec- 
tion of the buildings, etc I feel that this is my last 

new work on earth. If it be of God, and I do not doubt it, 
it will in due time be established ; if it is not of God, it will 
and should fail. 

"I am glad to spend my last days for the benefit of a race 
whose elevation or continued degeneration, must affect the 
future of this, our Southern country, for generations to 

"These people have by toil and sweat redeemed this 
Southern land from the wilderness; they nursed and tended 
us in our childhood; and today we are Indebted to their in- 
dustry for whatever great degree of agricultural prosperity 
we enjoy. They are with us for weal or woe, and It Is our 
bounden duty, no less than our Interest, to do all within our 
power to promote their temporal and spiritual welfare. 

"For myself I can truly say, that If I ever have done much 
for him (the Negro) he has likewise done much for me from 
my childhood up to. this hour. Some of my earliest lessons 
of faith and child-like trust have been taught me by his lips 
and life. From him I learned first that 'the thunder,' which 

OF THE Episcopal Church 305. 

caused my timid heart to throb, was the voice of the Great 
Father and that 'the air around me was the great sea of His 
infinite love.' Never have words of wisdom come to me 
from Christ with more power and permanence of impression 
than when He has spoken to me through this oft-despised 
man. May my place in heaven be as well assured as that of 
some of these friends of my childhood. 

"And to my mind, this is of all realizations of Christ as 
the power of God and the wisdom of God, the most sublime 
and beautiful — the unity in their several gradations of all 
orders and degrees of men in the body of the dear Lord ; 
where mutual love doth reign ; where mutual helpfulness 
prevails ; where the superior wisdom and riches bestowed on 
the one part of the body continually flow forth to relieve the 
poverty and ignorance of the other, to flow back in returns 
of a blessedness beyond all the gifts of human intelligence. 
Oh, this is the great need of the Church, and of the State. 
That we could have more of the mind of Christ. This 
would be the resolver of all doubts, the clew to all labyrinths, 
the grand Catholicon for all distempers, the universal sol- 
vent, the great indissoluble bond of unity, peace and con- 
cord." — Fro?n the Convention address (1884) of Bishop 
Richard Hooker JVibner. 

"contrary to the mixd of Christ" 

"It introduced, needlessly, as I thought, the objectionable 
feature of class legislation. It is proposed to set off mission- 
ary organizations for th colored people, not on the ground 
of their incapacity and ignorance, but upon the ground of 
color. I say 'not on the ground of incapacity or ignorance,' 
for it is notorious that there are multitudes of white people 
in some of our States who, as it regards intelligence, educa- 
tion and manners, are not superior to the colored population 

306 The Afro-American Group 

and are quite inferior to that class of colored people who are 
prepared to enter the communion of this Church. If then a 
separate missionary organization be desirable for any of our 
people on the ground of their incapacity and ignorance — 
and that point is the one now to be determined — why is it 
not equally desirable for people of all colors? 

"Why then introduce the word 'colored,' except to draw 
in Church legislation the color-line and thus bring into op- 
eration a caste and class legislation — a hitherto unknown 
feature in Church legislation? This was, as I thought, the 
un-Catholic feature in the canon. For my own part, I saw 
no sufficient reason for any special legislation, and proposed 
to the Conference a resolution which embodies the sentiments 
of this present address. The resolution was as follows: 

" 'Resolved, That in the judgment of the Bishops and 
other clergy and of the laity assembled to consider the relation 
of the Church to the colored population, it would be con- 
trary to the mind of Christ, inconsistent with true Catho- 
licity and detrimental to the best interest of all concerned, 
to provide any separate and independent organization or leg- 
islation for the peoples embraced wthin the communion of 
the Church.' 

*' 'Contrary to the mind of Christ," because containing 
the element of 'partiality' and 'respect of persons' in His 
Church which He purchased with His most precious blood. 
Christ was, when 'made man,' the manifestation to Univer- 
sal Humanity of the Divine Fatherhood. In His body, the 
Church, there was to be no recognition of race, color, condi- 
tion or estate. Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, w^ere one 
in Him through His Incarnation. Thus, through Him, Our 
Lord, there was one faith, one baptism, one God and Father 
of all, above all, through all and in them all. 

" 'Inconsistent with true Catholicity,' because it legislated 

OF THE Episcopal Church 307 

inv'diously for a class, and thus introduced the element of 
caste into a 'Kingdom which is not of this world.' 

" 'Detrimental to the interests of all concerned.' because 
it tends to throw oft" the one part, the least wise and capable, 
to themselves, thus depriving them of the fulness of privileges 
granted to others, and also depriving the other part of the 
body of the benefits which flow from the exercise of the 
graces of condescension and sympathy which can only find 
full scope in integral unity and union." — (1883) Bishop 
Wilmer in his dissent from the findings of the Sewanee Con- 



In the General Convention of 1889, the Rev. Dr. Phil- 
lips Brooks, a clerical deputy from the diocese of Massachu- 
setts, addressing the House of Deputies, said : 

"I call attention to the fact that this is a motion to sub- 
stitute one report for another report, and therefore it is upon 
this report as well as upon the resolutions that I desire to 
speak. I can easily say why it was considered not merely 
desirable but absolutely necessary that the minority report 
should be presented. The points are these, which indicate 
a distinct inadequacy in the report of the majority as to the 
condition of things with which we find ourselves confronted. 

"In the first place, the report of the majority does not 
distinctly and cordially recognize the right and the neces- 
sity of the petition made to them, the condition of things 
that make such action justifiable. On the contrary it implies 
throughout that it is an entirely unnecessary appeal, and that 
the Church stands clear already on this question. The min- 
oritv do not think so. 

308 The Afro-American Group 

''In the next place the report of the majority appeals to 
the history of the Church, but the majority absolutely decline 
to carry forward the historical statement in the first place 
into the statement of a distinct proposition, and in the second 
place, into a declaration of what ought to be done. 

"Now, it is because the Church does not stand clear upon 
this question, because the colored clergy have their right to 
doubt, because any man of color would have most profound 
reasons for doubting, as to whether he could occupy a posi- 
tion in which a priest or man could respect himself, and it is 
upon that that the minority asks this Convention to say in 
the first place, that there is good ground for the asking of 
this question, and secondly it is not simply an historical fact 
upon which we may rest, but that there should be a clear 
statement of the principle that in this branch of the Church 
of Christ, as throughout all the Church of Christ, no dis- 
tinction whatever, whatsoever or wheresoever of race or 
color, and therefore as a distinct and necessary consequence 
of that, the principle is nothing if it is not a declaration of 
legislation of whatever kind, in whatever place, that is based 
on race or color, is contrary to the spirit of Christ. 

"We ask the acceptance of this report and these resolu- 
tions, first because they are true. It is impossible — it is im- 
possible for us to waive the facing of this question whether 
the resolutions are true or not. If they are true let the 
Church be brave enough, bold enough to vote for them. 

"While I am willing to let consequences take care of 
themselves, I do with all my heart think that the best policy 
of the Church is in line with the profoundest duty of the 
Church. We can not appeal to the colored race until we 
have given a clear and distinct answer on this question. We 
stand paralyzed before the Negro race. If I were of that 

OF THE Episcopal Church 309 

race I would never, as a Negro, enter into the ministry of 
this Church until that question was answered. 

"It seems to me the Church can answer the question 
clearly and adequately in no better terms than those em- 
braced in the first, second and third of those resolutions. I 
believe that our missions to the colored people will be para- 
lyzed unless we are able to make some clear statement, for 
it is impossible to appeal to the race unless we have first 
given them a clear and distinct answer. 

**But it is not in view of the consequences, disastrous as 
they may be, but it is in view of the essential righteousness 
of the thing, in view of the frankness and manliness with 
which a Convention like this should answer such a question 
as is put before them. Yea or nay is the answer demanded 
by this question and is just the answer that is given by the 
resolutions of the minority: Are they true, or are they not 
true? If they are true, say so; if they are not so, then say 
they are not so. 

**It is impossible for this Convention to reject those reso- 
lutions for any reason which will not carry to the world at 
large any other reason that the belief that those statements 
are not true. 

"We, of the minority, believe with all our hearts that 
they are true; and therefore we purpose to vote for them, 
and we believe it to be our duty to present them tp this Con- 

"I do not know how other churches in this country, I do 
not ask how other Christian bodies are standing on this 
question. I do not care to consult their records. I know 
that the color line has again and again presented itself as a 
difficult question among them. I do not care to compare 
church with church. But I do care for the Church of our 

310 The Afro-American Group 

love that she shall establish herself as the leader of men's 
consciences, that she shall be brave and true and fearless. I 
dare to look forward to the time when in the ministry of 
Christ in our Church, above all others, there shall be no line 
drawn simply to mark the color of men's skins, to incapaci- 
tate men for functions of the ministry, with all the rights 
and responsibilities whatever attached to them, without re- 
ference to the race to which they belong." 


At the 19th annual meeting of the Conference of Church 
Workers Among Colored People, held in St. Lukes Church, 
New Haven, Conn., September 15th, 1903, a Commission of 
Fifteen was created to seek an interview with the Bishops in 
Southern dioceses with respect to the adjustment of the 
Historic Episcopate to the needs of the colored race. Through 
the kindness and courtesy of the late Bishop Dudley of Ken- 
tucky, chairman of the Commission for Work Among Col- 
ored People, an audience was secured in the city of Wash- 
ington at the Pro-Cathedral on Monday, October 26, 1903. 
Bishop Dudley presided in this conference and the Rev. Geo. 
F. Bragg, Jr., D. D., and the Rev. Prof. J. W. Johnson of 
the Bishop Payne Divinity School, Petersburg, Va., were 
selected by the Conference Commission to be their spokes- 
men. Bishops from the following dioceses and jurisdictions 
were present: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Lex- 
ington, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennes- 
see, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia 
(Bishop Coadjutor) and the jurisdiction of Southern Florida. 

The members of the Conference Commission present 
were: Rev. Messrs. Bragg, Bishop, Miller, H. L. Phillips, 
Waller, Tunnell, E. R. Bennett, Johnson and Archdeacon 

OF THE Episcopal Church 311 

Pollard. Laity : Messrs. Dr. J. C. Norwood, R. R. Horner, 
Walker W. Lewis and Solomon DcCourcey. 


"Venerable Fathers in God: 

"We desire, first of all, to tender you our sincere thanks 
for your prompt and ready response to the invitation of the 
Conference of Church Workers Among the Colored People, 
to meet in friendly conference with representatives from that 
body, with respect to matters pertaining to a branch of the 
Church's missionary work in which you, as well as ourselves, 
are profoundly interested. There are grave and serious diffi- 
culties which interpose and hinder the advancement of the 
Kingdom of God among the colored people, and if we shall 
seem, in this address, to confine ourselves wholly to one of 
these disadvantages, it is because, in our judgment, the re- 
moval of the same carries with it the solution of most of the 
remaining ones. 

"Those of us who work in the South, or have worked in 
the Southern States, can and do most cheerfully testify to the 
unfailing kindness, love, gentleness, and deep interest in this 
work which have characterized many of our white brethren. 
The peculiar conditions which militate so stubbornly against 
any great advance of the Church among the colored race are 
to be sought from other causes rather than from any lack of 
interest on their part. While the members of our own race 
sustain the profoundest respect, good-will, and appreciation 
for the dominant race, yet such are our racial idiosyncrasies 
and past ecclesiastical education, that w^e find it increasingly 
difficult to adjust ourselves, ecclesiastically, to the seeming 
demands of our white neighbors and brethren. 

"It is far from our purpose to condemn or indulge in 
unkindly criticism. We desire simply to state the fact. As 
at present constituted, it would seem utterly impossible for 

312 The Afro-Am ericax Group 

the colored clergy and laity to receive equal and impartial 
treatment and consideration in the several diocesan Conven- 
tions. As a result, much is said and done which hinders rath- 
er than advances the cause of our Lord. We are supremely 
desirous that peace, friendship and love should mutually 
obtain between us; and in furtherance of such a laudable 
end, to the glory of Almighty God and the salvation of all 
souls, we are led to ask of you your good offices in securing 
such additional canonical legislation as will remove us from 
the humiliating and undignified position in which we find 
ourselves in the Church. 

The Historic Episcopate does not touch us as closely and 
as helpfully as the needs of the great body of our people 
demand. This is not so much because our Diocesan Bishops 
are indisposed to do their utmost in this particular, but rather 
because the civic and social condition obtainng between the 
two races renders it dfficult for them to do so. Diocesan 
convocations for colored people, subject to the control of 
diocesan conventions, as established in several dioceses, do 
not meet the requirements of the situation and have not been 
fruitful of satisfactory results. They greatly aggravate con- 
ditions already distressing. Too often it is the case that 
prominent laymen in our diocesan conventions are also prom- 
inent in civic conventions which do not so lovingly deal with 
the civil concerns of the colored race. Our people do not 
believe that the men who minimize their civic rights and 
privileges can safely be trusted to advance the human side of 
their spiritual interests. 

"In view of the present exigencies, and pre-eminently, as 
a measure of peace and good-will, on both sides, it is our 
calm and deliberate judgment, the result of many years of 
patient observation, study and prayer, that the prosecution 
of our work in the Southern States, among the colored peo- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 313 

pie, should be placed more directly under the general Church. 
We believe that there should be missionar}^ jurisdictions ex- 
tending through two or more dioceses, with a Bishop at the 
head of each, drawn from the same race represented by the 
clergy and people among whom he is to labor. Thus, we 
would respectfully, but most earnestly, ask of the General 
Convention, through you, our Right Reverend Fathers: 

"The adoption of a canon, not mandatory , but permissive j 
embracing the following general features: 

(a) "That it shall be lawful for the General Conven- 
tion, upon the request of two or more Diocesan Bishops con- 
tiguously situated to constitute into a missionary jurisdiction 
their territory, as pertaining to the colored race. 

(b) "The Diocesan Bishops wihin the bounds of each 
missionary jurisdiction thus constituted to compose an Ad- 
visory Council for work among colored people in such terri- 

(c) Such jurisdictions to be absolutely independent of 
diocesan conventions, and represented in the General Con- 
vention as that body may prescribe. 

(d) "Any jurisdiction constituted under this canon to 
be altered, re-arranged, or terminated at the will of the Gen- 
eral Convention. 

"Such in brief outline are the salient points of the adap- 
tation of the Historic Episcopate to the needs of the Afro- 
American people." 

* * * * 

"We are animated with but one single purpose, and that 
is to see our beloved Church take hold of our race and carry 
to them the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as received and 
taught by this Church. A cruel injustice is done to a faith- 
ful body of missionary workers in our field when it is made 
to appear that our persistent and earnest efforts in this 

314 The Afro-American Group 

direction are inspired by an unholy ambition to seek exalted 
positions for the leaders in this movement. The present 
want of a general system of action in this missionary de- 
partment of the Church's work makes our labor more stren- 
uous and difficult, keeps self-respecting people out of the 
Church, and makes it harder to get suitable and sufficient 
candidates for Holy Orders. 

"We utterly abhor and repudiate any insinuation that 
what we ask is the first important step in the creation of an 
African Church apart and separate from our present Amer- 
ican Church. Separate jurisdictions and conventions do not 
imply separate and distinct churches. We are in the one 
Church by virtue of Holy Baptism; and the Episcopate, 
whether diocesan or missionary, constitutes the visible ex- 
pression of the unity of all the parts in the one Catholic 
Church of Christ. 

"And now, Right Reverend Fathers in God, we rest our 
case with you. We are most anxious that you should have 
the benefit of any additional light or information which any 
of us can impart, and it will be a pleasure on our part to re- 
spond to any questions which may suggest themselves to you 
in connection with this subject. We have endeavored to place 
before you the main facts, and a general outline of the legis- 
lation which we deem necessary for the successful and ag- 
gressive prosecution of the w^ork among our race by the 
Church in which we have the honor of claiming sonship. 



Extracts from the Majority Report at the General Con- 
vention held in St. Louis, in 1916: 

We are not unmindful of posible grave conse- 

OF THE Episcopal Church 315 

quences of such establishment, which we have endeavored 
reasonably to anticipate. 

"First among these consequences is the violation of the 
principle of Diocesan Unity, by the establishment of a sepa- 
rate jurisdiction in the territorial diocese. While it may ser- 
iously be questioned whether a territorial diocese is indeed a 
principle of the Church in every age of her history prevalent, 
it is certainly true that the division of man into racial fami- 
lies has prevailed and persisted since the dawn of history; 
and equally true that while the territorial diocese is clearly 
man-made, the division into races is God-made. In our be- 
lief, in providing ecclessiastical organiaztion for the develop- 
ment and education of the races of men, it would seem far 
wiser to adhere closely to the establishment of God's nature 
than to those of man's artifice. No one of us can look to the 
end and discover God's purpose for the separate races of man, 
but no one who has had any experience of the races, but 
knows that each has racial characteristics and differentiations 
which must be reckoned with whenever the races come into 
relation with one another. We are persuaded that the radi- 
cal differences between the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon, of 
which the color is neither the gravest or the greatest, consti- 
tute sufficient reason for departing from the custom (not the 
principle) of territorial division, long revered, but seriously 
inapplicable to the harmony of the two, as well as to the 
normal development of each. In our view, it is consistent 
wtih God's appointment that the racial family be recognized 
as such, and consistent with our own unfailing method of 
practical administration in the Church. Wherever the Ne- 
groes have turned to the Church in sufficient numbers to 
w^arrant it, congregations of their own race have been or- 
ganized by our authority. Wherever priests of their race 
could be found to minister to them, they have been settled by 

316 The Afro-American Group 

us as the heads of the ecclessiastical race families. We re- 
spctfuUy but boldly urge the consideration that in presenting 
their memorial for the establishment of racial districts, the 
Negro race has logically and consistently interpreted not 
only the necessary conclusion from God's creation, but the 
natural result of our ecclessiastical training. Viewed from 
their viewpoint their request is a natural one. Viewed from 
the vantage of Church practice, it is a natural outcome of 
her consistent proceedure. Viewed from the vantage of the 
law of racial life, it is natural that the Church should thus 
conform herself to God's law, which she can not change, 
rather than to ecclessiastical law, which may be changed and 
modified when conformity to that which is higher is desired. 

'* When we have helped the Negro to the 

achievement of racial self-sufficiency, which is born of accom- 
plishment, to self-mastery, which follows moral victory, and 
to pride of race, which is only possible when these victories 
have been gained, we shall have fixed within him the passion 
for social integrity, which is as justly natural as is that for 
racial reproduction. Separation of races is greatly misin- 
terpreted, if it is not recognized to be the first necessary step 
towards the achievement of those ends. This is fully recog- 
nized by the Negro leaders of the South. It is difficult to 
conceive how anyone can imagine that a race can be honored 
by repression, or helped to self-expression by the practical 
destruction of its racial identity. If the sympathy of the 
white race is to be gained at such cost, the price is too dear. 
Happily, this is not necessary, for in proportion as the racial 
representative is truly and faithfully the representative of 
his race, does he both merit and receive the sympathy which 
helps, and the respect which honors and elevates. 

We have not forgotten that in her constitu- 
tion the Church has provided for the election of Suffragan 

OF THE Episcopal Church 317 

Bishops, who may be racial. But although this provision has 
existed for six 3'ears, it has not been found desirable for the 
Negro race, though its confessedly designed purpose was, at 
first proposed to provide spiritual leadership for them. The 
door of opportunity is still open for its use. Those who be- 
lieve that it will not meet the case, respectfully ask that a 
like permission be given to them to use the proposed consti- 
tutional provision for the missionary jurisdiction upon racial 
lines. We ask only for the same permission to use this ex- 
pedient, which has been granted to use, the expedient of 
the Suffragan. 

"The proposed amendment is not mandatory. It does 
not require the proposed organization. It does not infringe 
~upon the diocesan rights nor force the unwilling assent of 
the Diocesan Bishops, or the Negroes themselves. It per- 
mits organization where desirable and practicable. It may 
be many years before a full complement of Negro Bishops is 
either needed or may be provided. But while the amend- 
ment will not be mandatory, neither is it prohibitive, as our 
constitution practically is as it now stands. Does anyone 
suppose that an American diocese will ever set a Negro or 
an Asiatic or an Indian as Bishop over the diocesan family? 
And if Negro and Asiatic are to be, perhaps, more and more 
become, constituent parts of American dioceses, can anyone 
suppose that this does not mean restriction and prohibition of 
the free, full exercise of ecclessiastical franchise and liberty? 
Can anyone maintain that for them the birth into the Church 
is birth into the 'liberty of the sons of God?' It is quite 
true that the races have a Bishop, the Diocesan Bishop, of 
the white race. But is there one who does not confess his in- 
ability to be the Bishop of another race in the sense and in 
the power that he is Bishop of his own race? And does not 

318 The Afro-American Group 

this deprive the races of men of Christian rights and bless- 
ings, which the blessed Incarnate Christ came to bestow? 

" We affirm that it is not an effort to solve a 

problem, it is distinctly an effort to do justice to a great race 
of God's people. It is an effort to afford to that race, 
brought into our midst through no wish of theirs, every 
means of self-development. We confidently believe that if 
there be any solution of the problem, it w411 be revealed only 
when we have fulfilled our duty in doing justly by a race 
who cannot command it." 



"Now I submit the point at issue really is: Where shall 
the point of contact be? As it stands at the present time it 
does not take place in the parishes. There are colored parish- 
es and there are white parishes. There is no rule to prevent 
intermingling, and there ought not to be. But as a matter 
of fact a division exists in the smallest unit, w^hich is the 
parish. Now we have attempted to bring about the union 
in the diocese, and that attempt is the cause of all this trou- 
ble. It seems to me perfectly consistent with the theory of 
equality that the point of contact between the races should 
take place in this (the General) Convention, rather than in 
the diocesan convention, and that apart from economical 
usage there is no reason at all why there should not be an 
organization of colored men with their own Bishops, as well 
as their own presbyters, the Bishops of which organizations 
should have seats in the House of Bishops, and Deputies from 
the congregations should have seats with equal rights in this 
house with deputies from the white congregations. — From 
the speech of the Honorable Seth Low, in the General Con- 
vention of 1889. 

OF THE Episcopal Church 319 


"The men who favored a racial jurisdiction favored it 
not as a fad, or as a fancy, or merely as the first of many 
methods, but they favored it because they believed it was 
right and the only right thing for the Church to do, and 
that the Church never would prosper in its Negro work 
until that right thing was done. They believed the duty of 
the Church was to give the Negro a square deal in the 
Church, whether he got it anywhere else in the world or 
not ; to set before him an open door of hope and to make him 
understand that the Church of the Living God recognized 
no social, or political, or racial difference whatsoever, and that 
in the Church every human being stood on the same footing 
as every other human being." — The Rev. Dr. William 
Meade Clarke, late editor of The Southern Churchman, on 
the eve of his translation. 



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