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Brent, Charles Henry (09 April 1862–27 March 1929), bishop and Christian ecumenist, was born in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, the son of Rev. Henry Brent, rector of the local Anglican parish, and Frances Sophia Cummings. His mother filled the rectory with music and many books and was a close companion of her ten children. Although Brent’s father was nearly twenty years older than his wife, he, too, shared fully in the children’s affections and interests....

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Brooks, Phillips (13 December 1835–23 January 1893), preacher and Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Gray Brooks, a successful businessman, and Mary Ann Phillips. Brooks’s parents were of the New England aristocracy and keenly interested in the education of their six sons. Members of Mary Brooks’s family had founded Phillips Academy, Andover (1778); Phillips Exeter Academy (1781); and the conservative, Congregationalist Andover Theological Seminary (1805). Brooks and his brothers went to the Boston Latin School and to Harvard College, where they excelled. Phillips entered Harvard in 1851 and received his A.B. in 1855. Because he was an accomplished linguist, Brooks was then hired to teach Latin at the Boston Latin School, but he was unable to keep discipline in his class, and he was asked to hand in his resignation. It was a disastrous experience, a failure that left him deeply depressed....

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Brownell, Thomas Church (19 October 1779–13 January 1865), Episcopal bishop and college president, was born in Westport, Massachusetts, the son of Sylvester Brownell and Nancy Church, farmers. After studying at Bristol Academy in Taunton, Massachusetts, he entered the College of Rhode Island at Providence (now Brown University) in 1800. In 1802 the president of the college, ...

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Philander Chase. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109898).

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Chase, Philander (14 December 1775–20 September 1852), Episcopal bishop, was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, the son of farmer and town founder Dudley Chase and Allace Corbett. During his student days at Dartmouth College, at a time of religious ferment, Chase was stirred by the Book of Common Prayer and convinced by the arguments put forth in the tract ...

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Cheney, Charles Edward (20 February 1836–15 November 1916), Episcopal clergyman and bishop of the Reformed Episcopal church, was born in Canandaigua, New York, the son of E. Warren Cheney, a physician, and Altie Wheeler Chipman. After graduating from Hobart College in 1857, having decided to enter the priesthood of the Episcopal church, Cheney attended Virginia Theological Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, graduating in 1859. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal church by Bishop William Heathcote Delancey on 21 November 1858 and was ordained priest by Delancey on 4 March 1860. In between Cheney served as assistant rector of St. Luke’s Church, Rochester, New York, and then minister-in-charge of St. Paul’s Church, Havana, New York. He left New York in the spring of 1860 to become rector of the newly organized parish of Christ Church, Chicago, conducting his first service there a week after his ordination to the priesthood. Cheney married Clara Emma Griswold only a few weeks after arriving in Chicago. Clara Griswold Cheney was an indispensable partner to Cheney in editing church and denominational publications until her death in 1911....

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Clark, Thomas March (04 July 1812–07 September 1903), Episcopal bishop, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas March Clark, a shipper, and his second wife, Rebecca Wheelwright. Both the Clark and Wheelwright families were committed Presbyterians, and Clark was raised “in the straitest fold of the Presbyterian Church” ( ...

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Cobbs, Nicholas Hamner (05 February 1796–11 January 1861), Episcopal bishop, was born in Bedford County, Virginia, the son of John Lewis Cobbs and Susan Hamner, farmers. His father, who was hostile to religion, has been described as “an infidel of the Jeffersonian type” (White, p. 18), but his mother was a devout Episcopalian and carried her infant son on horseback for sixty or seventy miles from Bedford to Albemarle so that he could be baptized by an Episcopal priest. Because there was no parish in the vicinity of his home, young Cobbs participated only once in the public worship of the Episcopal church before the day of his ordination to the diaconate. The school of Bedford County, known as the Old Field School, provided Cobbs with his only formal education, and he began teaching there in 1813. In 1821 he married his fifteen-year-old first cousin, Lucy Landonia Cobbs; they had ten children, two of whom became priests in the Episcopal church....

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Coxe, Arthur Cleveland (10 May 1818–20 July 1896), Episcopal bishop and leader of the Anglo-Catholic movement, was born in Mendham, New Jersey, the son of Samuel Hanson Cox, a Presbyterian minister, and Lucy Todd. As a youth Cox moved to New York City. There he lived in the home of his uncle, Dr. Abraham Cox, a prominent New York physician and Episcopalian who led his nephew into the Episcopal church in 1829. He subsequently changed his name to what he deemed to be an earlier, and English, spelling of his name—Coxe....

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Cummins, George David (11 December 1822–26 June 1876), Episcopal bishop and founder of the Reformed Episcopal church, was born near Smyrna, Delaware, the son of George Cummins and his second wife, Maria Durborow, wealthy landowners. Although Cummins’s family had long associations with the Protestant Episcopal church, the early death of his father and his mother’s remarriage to a Methodist itinerant brought Cummins under the religious influence of the Methodists. He entered Dickinson College in approximately 1837, and in April 1839, in the midst of an evangelical revival in the college, “he gave his heart to God, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, entering on a life of earnest love and faithful labor for Christ.” On 2 March 1843 he was received into the “itinerant communion” of the Methodist Episcopal church, under license from the Baltimore Conference, and began riding and preaching on the Bladensburg (Md.) circuit....

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Doane, George Washington (27 May 1799–27 April 1859), Episcopal bishop, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Jonathan Doane, a builder and contractor, and Mary Higgins. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1818 and there came under the influence of ...

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Doane, William Croswell (02 March 1832–17 May 1913), Episcopal bishop, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George Washington Doane, the second Episcopal bishop of New Jersey, and Eliza Greene Callahan Perkins, the widow of a James Perkins. Doane’s father was consecrated bishop of New Jersey in 1832, and the family moved to Burlington, New Jersey, where William grew up. Bishop Doane founded Burlington College, and William graduated from it in 1850....

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Gailor, Thomas Frank (17 September 1856–03 October 1935), Episcopal bishop, was born in Jackson, Mississippi, the son of Frank Melancthon Gailor, a journalist, and Charlotte Moffett, originally of Belfast, Ireland. In 1858 Frank Gailor became editor of the Memphis Avalanche. Thomas and his younger sister, Hattie, remained in Memphis with their mother after the death of their father, a Confederate major, at the battle of Perryville in 1862. At St. Mary’s Elementary School Thomas was profoundly influenced by the rector and at “Captain Anderson’s” high school by a former Confederate officer, both excellent teachers. He took citywide examinations, graduating as valedictorian from Captain Anderson’s high school in 1872, and then worked for a year in the crockery business. After recovering from yellow fever, he set out in 1873 for Racine College in Wisconsin with enough money to pay his first year’s expenses. Skipping the freshman year because of his thorough grounding in Latin and Greek, he again was named valedictorian and entered General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1876, graduating in 1879. He formed a firm friendship with young ...

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Grafton, Charles Chapman (12 April 1830–30 August 1912), Episcopal bishop, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Grafton, a surveyor, and Ann Maria Gurley. Grafton grew up in prosperous circumstances and attended fine private schools until an eye problem forced him to study at home with a private tutor. He soon began to attend the Episcopal Church of the Advent and conceived the idea of becoming a priest. Despite this religious inclination, he studied law at Harvard, graduating with an LL.B. in 1853....

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Greer, David Hummel (20 March 1844–19 May 1919), Episcopal bishop, was born in Wheeling, Virginia (later W.Va.), the son of Jacob Rickard Greer, a wholesale merchant, and Elizabeth Yellott Armstrong. In 1860 he entered the junior class of Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College), Washington, Pennsylvania, and received the B.A. in 1862. After working in Wheeling, he studied at the Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church in the diocese of Ohio, Gambier (1863–1866). Bishop Coadjutor Gregory Thurston Bedell of Ohio ordained him deacon on 27 June 1866, and he began his ministry at Christ Church, Clarksburg, West Virginia. Bishop Francis M. Whittle of Virginia ordained him to the priesthood on 19 May 1868. From October 1868 until June 1871 he was rector of Trinity Church, Covington, Kentucky. While there he met and in 1869 married Caroline Augusta Keith; they had four children. In 1871–1872 he traveled in Europe, and on 15 September 1872 he began a sixteen-year rectorship at Grace Church, Providence, Rhode Island, where he became known as an outstanding preacher and helped to found St. Elizabeth’s Home for Incurables. He represented the diocese of Rhode Island at the general conventions of 1877, 1880, 1883, and 1886....

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Griswold, Alexander Viets (22 April 1766–15 February 1843), Episcopal bishop, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of Elisha Griswold and Eunice Viets, farmers. An uncle, Roger Viets, attended Yale College to study for the ministry of the Presbyterian church but was converted to the Church of England. In the year of Griswold’s birth, Roger Viets, having been ordained a priest in England, returned to Connecticut to become the rector of the Simsbury church and the most important religious influence in the life of his nephew. Under Viets’s influence, the Griswold family became Episcopalians. During the Revolution, Griswold’s father and uncle were among those who “feared God, and honored the king.” In 1785 Griswold married Elizabeth Mitchelson; they had fourteen children, only one of whom survived their father....

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Hale, Charles Reuben (14 March 1837–25 December 1900), Episcopal bishop, was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, the son of Reuben C. Hale and Sarah I. Mills. He received his early education in Lewistown and Philadelphia, and then graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an A.B. in 1858. While a student at the University of Pennsylvania, he and two other students wrote and published a paper on the Rosetta Stone, giving original translations of the hieroglyphic, demotic (a simplified form of the ancient Egyptian hieratic writing), and Greek inscriptions. This 1859 publication attracted the attention of scholars of his day and began Hale’s career as a student of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Mozarabic liturgies....

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Hare, William Hobart (17 May 1838–23 October 1909), Episcopal bishop, was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of George Emlen Hare, a biblical scholar and dean of the Philadelphia Divinity School, and Elizabeth Catherine Hobart, the daughter of John Henry Hobart, the third bishop of New York. Hare’s father, a priest and teacher, served on the American Old Testament Committee appointed under the direction of the Convocation of Canterbury in 1870 for the revision of the authorized version of the English Bible. Hare’s grandfather, John Henry Hobart, worked among the Oneida Indians in New York, and this may have influenced Hare’s later vocation....

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Hobart, John Henry (14 September 1775–12 September 1830), Protestant Episcopal bishop and author, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Enoch Hobart, a commander of a merchant ship, and Hannah Pratt. Hobart, whose father died when he was one year old, was reared by his mother, who also began his education at home. After attending a number of schools, including the Episcopal Academy of Philadelphia under the direction of John Andrews, he entered the College and Academy of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1788. In 1791 he transferred to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and received a B.A. in 1793. After a short essay in a counting house he accepted a position as tutor at the College of New Jersey in 1795. He served as tutor between 1796 and 1798 and received the A.M. degree in 1796. During this time he also did extensive reading in Anglican theology under the direction of ...

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James T. Holly. Currier & Ives lithograph, 1875. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93450 ).