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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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Holly, James Theodore (30 October 1829–13 March 1911), black emigrationist, missionary, and bishop, was born free in Washington, D.C., the son of James Overton Holly, a bootmaker, and Jane (maiden name unknown). At fourteen he and his family moved to Brooklyn, where he worked with his father. By 1848, while clerking for ...

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Lawrence, William (30 May 1850–06 November 1941), Episcopal bishop, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Amos Adams Lawrence, a merchant and businessman, and Sarah Elizabeth Appleton. He was raised in an atmosphere of wealth and tolerance. His father served as treasurer for the New England Emigrant Aid Company, a group formed to recruit families to settle in Kansas and vote for a free state as against a slave state. He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1871 and continued there for another year to study history. In 1869 he met ...

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Murray, Pauli (20 November 1910–01 July 1985), lawyer, writer, and minister, was born Anna Pauline Murray in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Henry Murray, a public school teacher, and Agnes Fitzgerald, a nurse. Triracial, she had African, European, and Native American ancestry. Her parents both died when she was a child (her mother had a cerebral hemorrhage in March 1914; her father was murdered in a state hospital in June 1923), and she grew up from age three in North Carolina with her maternal grandparents and her mother’s oldest sister, Pauline Fitzgerald Dame, a public school teacher who adopted her....

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Polk, Leonidas (10 April 1806–14 June 1864), clergyman and army officer, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of William Polk, a revolutionary war veteran and prosperous planter, and Sarah Hawkins. He entered the University of North Carolina in 1821 but left for West Point in 1823. Despite an alleged cheating incident, he graduated eighth in the class of 1827. Having professed faith in Christianity, he resigned his commission shortly thereafter and entered Virginia Theological Seminary. In 1830 he married Frances Ann Devereux, daughter of a wealthy North Carolina planter. The union produced eight children....

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Provoost, Samuel (26 February 1742–06 September 1815), Episcopal bishop, was born in New York City, the son of John Provoost and Eva Rutgers, whose occupations are unknown. The name of the family in France was Prevost and was changed to Provost in Holland, and after the American Revolution Samuel changed it to Provoost. He was one of the seven graduates of King’s College (now Columbia University) at its first commencement in 1758. At that time King’s College occupied a frame building in the churchyard of Trinity Church, New York City. It was the custom for wealthy New Yorkers to send their sons to an English university, and in 1761 Provoost sailed for England and entered as a fellow-commoner at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University. Though baptized in the Dutch Reformed church, Provoost decided to enter the ministry of the Church of England. The influences leading to this decision were King’s College, a Church of England school; its president ...

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White, William (04 April 1748–17 July 1836), Protestant Episcopal bishop, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel Thomas White, a lawyer and surveyor, and Esther Hewlings. Raised in an affluent family well connected with upper-class Philadelphia, White graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1765. While at college, the young White settled on a ministerial vocation. After graduation, he studied theology with the college’s provost, the liberal Anglican ...