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Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold (04 May 1841–01 July 1908), Episcopal priest, theologian, and educator, was born in Otis, Massachusetts, the son of Ethan Allen, a teacher and Episcopal priest, and Lydia Child Burr. His father served churches in Massachusetts and Vermont. Both parents were strongly evangelical in the Episcopal manner of the time, emphasizing biblical authority and teaching more than sacramental theology—a conviction that produced conflict in several of the churches that Allen’s father served. Their piety shaped Allen’s early views, leading him to enroll at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1859. Kenyon was an Episcopal institution then of an evangelical stamp. An excellent student, Allen delivered the valedictory address upon graduating in 1862 and immediately entered Bexley Hall, a theological seminary in Gambier....

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Auchmuty, Samuel (16 January 1722–04 March 1777), Episcopal minister and Loyalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Scottish-born Robert Auchmuty, a judge of admiralty in Massachusetts, and Mary Julianna. He would have been a graduate in the Harvard class of 1742 but dropped out during his junior year. At the encouragement of his uncle, James Auchmuty, dean of Armagh, Samuel prepared for holy orders by reading under the direction of the Reverend Alexander Malcolm of St. Michael’s Church in Marblehead and the Reverend Benjamin Bradstreet of Gloucester. Based on the recommendation of these two ministers as to Samuel’s character and learning, Harvard awarded him his B.A. in 1745 and his M.A. in 1746....

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Blake, John Lauris (21 December 1788–06 July 1857), clergyman and author, was born in Northwood, New Hampshire, the son of Jonathan Blake and Mary Dow, substantial farmers. An eager student, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated from Brown University in 1812. The following year he was licensed as a Congregational minister, but shortly thereafter he transferred to the Episcopal church. In 1814 Blake married Louisa Gray Richmond. He fathered one child, but his wife died a year and a half later. In December 1816 he married Mary Howe, by whom he had three children. Ordained as a deacon in 1815, Blake established St. Paul’s parish in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, serving as rector for five years. He later acted as rector in Hopkinton and Concord, New Hampshire. At Concord, Blake founded the Young Ladies’ School, which he moved to Boston in 1822 when he became rector of St. Matthew’s Church. In addition to his position as principal of the school, which he held until 1830, Blake served as editor of the ...

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Bliss, William Dwight Porter (20 August 1856–08 October 1926), clergyman and reformer, was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul), the son of Edwin Elisha Bliss and Isabella Holmes Porter, Congregationalist missionaries from New England. A graduate of Amherst College (1878) and the Hartford Theological Seminary (1882), he served Congregational churches in Denver, Colorado, and South Natick, Massachusetts, from 1882 until 1885. In 1884 he married Mary Pangalo of Constantinople; they had two children....

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Brady, Cyrus Townsend (20 December 1861–24 January 1920), Episcopal clergyman and author, was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the son of Jasper Ewing Brady, Jr., a banker and accountant, and Harriet Cora Townsend. He grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1883. Brady married Clarissa Sidney Guthrie in 1884; they had three children. After three years of naval service, he became a railroad worker for the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. Under the influence of Bishop Worthington of Nebraska, he abandoned his native Presbyterianism and began to read for the Episcopal ministry in whatever hours he could snatch from his regular employment. He was ordained deacon in 1889 and priest in 1890, working mostly as an itinerant missionary in five western states. Brady estimated that in just three years he logged more than 90,000 miles “preaching or delivering addresses … marrying, baptizing, and doing all the other endless work of an itinerant missionary” ( ...

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Bragg, George Freeman, Jr. (25 January 1863–12 March 1940), Episcopal clergyman, was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, the son of George Freeman Bragg and Mary (maiden name unknown). He was two years old when the family moved to Petersburg, Virginia, where he studied at the elementary school and at St. Stephen’s Parish and Normal School. His family helped found St. Stephen’s Church for Negroes in 1867. At age six he was employed as a valet by John Hampden Chamberlayne, editor of the ...

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Breck, James Lloyd (27 June 1818–30 March 1876), Episcopal missionary, was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Breck and Catharine D. Israell. Senator James Lloyd of Massachusetts, who was married to Breck’s paternal aunt, financed his education at the Flushing (N.Y.) Institute and at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation in 1838, Breck prepared for the ordained ministry of the Episcopal church at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. A sermon on the need for frontier clergy preached there by Bishop ...

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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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Capers, Ellison (14 October 1837–22 April 1908), Confederate soldier and Episcopal clergyman, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Capers, a Methodist bishop, and Susan McGill. After attending the private schools of his native city, he was graduated in 1857 from the South Carolina Military Academy. He taught mathematics at his alma mater and for a year was on the staff of a college in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Early in 1859 he married Charlotte Palmer; they had nine children....

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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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Coit, Henry Augustus (20 January 1830–05 February 1895), clergyman and educator, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of Joseph Howland Coit, a priest of the Episcopal church, and Harriet Jane Hard. He spent most of his childhood in Plattsburgh, New York, where his father was rector of Trinity Church. He attended ...

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Colton, Calvin (14 September 1789–13 March 1857), clergyman and author, was born in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the son of Major Luther Colton, a veteran of the American Revolution, and Thankful Woolworth. Educated at Monson Academy, Yale College, and Andover Theological Seminary, Colton was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1816 and served as pastor of churches in Le Roy and Batavia, in western New York’s Burned-Over District, a region profoundly affected by the religious revivalism of the Second Great Awakening. In 1826, bereaved by the untimely death of his wife, Abby North Raymond, and troubled by a persistent throat infection that made preaching difficult, Colton abandoned the pulpit. Soon thereafter he undertook an extensive trip through the frontier regions of the Midwest. His travels led to the publication of ...

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Crapsey, Algernon Sidney (28 June 1847–31 December 1927), religious leader, was born in Fairmount, Ohio, the son of Jacob Tompkins Crapsey, a lawyer, and Rachel Morris. His father’s declining legal practice forced Crapsey at age eleven to seek employment in a dry goods store. During the Civil War he served for four months as a private in the Ohio Infantry but was discharged when he was diagnosed as having a hypertrophied heart. He moved to New York City in the mid-1860s, became a bookkeeper, and joined the Episcopal church. Soon after he felt a call to ministry, studied at St. Stephen’s (later Bard) College from 1867 to 1869 and graduated from General Theological Seminary in 1872. He was ordained a priest of the Episcopal church in 1873 and served on the staff of Trinity Church in Manhattan. In 1875 he married Adelaide Trowbridge; they had nine children....

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Crummell, Alexander (03 March 1819–10 September 1898), clergyman, activist, and Pan-Africanist, was born in New York City, the son of Charity Hicks, a freeborn woman of Long Island, New York, and Boston Crummell, an African of the Temne people, probably from the region that is now Sierra Leone. Boston Crummell had been captured and brought to the United States as a youth. The circumstances of his emancipation are not clear, but it is said that he simply refused to serve his New York owners any longer after reaching adulthood. Boston Crummell established a small oyster house in the African Quarter of New York. Alexander Crummell received his basic education at the African Free School in Manhattan. In 1835 he traveled to Canaan, New Hampshire, along with his friends Thomas Sidney and ...

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Curtis, Moses Ashley (11 May 1808–10 April 1872), botanist and Episcopal minister, was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the son of Jared Curtis, a teacher and prison chaplain, and Thankful Ashley, the daughter of revolutionary war general Moses Ashley. Young Curtis received his early education at home and at Stockbridge Academy, a private school where his father was preceptor. He first became interested in botany at the age of nine, when public lectures on the subject were given in his home town by ...

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Cutler, Timothy (31 May 1684–17 August 1765), clergyman and educator, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Major John Cutler, an anchorsmith and member of the General Court, and Martha Wiswall. Although his parents were well-to-do Jacobite sympathizers, Cutler was baptized as a Congregationalist, took his A.B. at Harvard College in 1701, and was admitted to membership in the Charlestown Congregational parish in 1705. It is not clear when he decided to enter the Congregational ministry, and since he was marked as a young man “of an high, lofty, & despotic mien,” he did not promise to be overly popular as a minister among provincial New Englanders. On the other hand, that same “lofty” superiority gave him a valuable credential in the eyes of an emerging New England merchant class that was anxious to match the social allure of Church of England missions with examples of an equally elite Congregational ministry. To that end, Cutler was called in 1709 to the Congregational parish of Stratford, Connecticut, where a Church of England mission (under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) had established a small but threatening presence in the Connecticut colony. He was ordained there on 11 January 1710. One year later, he married Elizabeth Andrew; they had eight children....

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De Koven, James (19 September 1831–19 March 1879), Episcopal priest and educator, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of Henry Louis De Koven, a banker, and Margaret Sebor. He grew up in a large and affluent family in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and at an early age showed exceptional intellectual ability. De Koven graduated from Columbia College in 1851 and the General Theological Seminary in 1854. While in seminary he helped form a “ragged school” for poor boys that met on Sundays....

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Dix, Morgan (01 November 1827–29 April 1908), Episcopal clergyman, was born in New York City, the son of John Adams Dix, a politician and military officer, and Catharine Morgan. He spent his youth in Albany while his father was New York’s secretary of state. The family moved to New York City in 1842 but went to Europe soon afterward, spending time on the Island of Madeira and in Florence and Rome because of Catharine Dix’s poor health. After a year of studies in a private school in New York, Dix entered Columbia University in 1845 and graduated in 1848. Beginning but then abandoning the study of law, in 1849 he entered the General Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1852. Ordained a deacon in 1852 and a priest in 1853, he served from 1852 through 1855 as the assistant rector of St. Mark’s in Philadelphia....

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Ewer, Ferdinand Cartwright (22 May 1826–10 October 1883), journalist and Anglo-Catholic clergyman, was born in Nantucket, Rhode Island, the son of Peter Folger Ewer, a shipowner and oil merchant, and his second wife, Mary Cartwright. During Ewer’s childhood, the family moved from Nantucket to Providence, Rhode Island, and then to New York City, finally returning to Nantucket in 1839. Throughout these years, the Ewers were financially well off, but the family fortune declined during Ewer’s years at Harvard (1845–1848). As a result, he experienced financial difficulties while in school and graduated in debt....

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Ferris, Theodore Parker (23 December 1908–26 November 1972), Episcopal priest and preacher, was born in Port Chester, New York, the son of Walter Andrew Ferris and Eva Parker. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1929 and his B.D. from General Theological Seminary, New York City, in 1933. Ferris was ordained deacon on 11 June 1933 and priest on 27 May 1934. From 1933 until 1937 he was assistant to the rector of Grace Church, New York, where he was the regular preacher at the Sunday evening services. During those years he was a fellow and tutor at General Theological Seminary. From 1937 until 1942 he was the rector of Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, Maryland, and in September 1942 he succeeded Arthur Lee Kinsolving as the fourteenth rector of Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts, where he remained until his death. Ferris said of Trinity Church in 1952: ...