The Whittingham Canon: The Birth and History of the Missionary District Plan.
By George Freeman Bragg.
Baltimore: Church Advocate Press, 1913.
To one well acquainted with the life of the late Bishop Whittingham, and with the history of the Church in Maryland, it is most easily understood how that Southern Bishops, with the close of the Civil War, instinctively turned to the Bishop of Maryland for advice and guidance with respect to the religious care of members of the colored race. Any plan emanating from William Rollinson Whittingham, for the religious welfare of the colored race in the Southern States, we dare assert, is as faithful to the many interests involved, and to the various peoples concerned, as could possibly be executed.
Bishop Whittingham, during his entire Episcopate in Maryland, was perfectly devoted to the interests of the blacks, and they knew it. He came among them constantly as a loving father. He was never afraid to speak out on their behalf. Whenever he made his visitations in the counties, the afternoon of Sundays was solemnly set apart that he might meet with the colored people and instruct them himself in the principles of the Christian religion. He ever took the most affectionate interest in the welfare of St. James' First African Church, in Baltimore. Stimulated by his unceasing devotion to their interests, and the living example of usefulness of St. James' Church, the Rev. Drs. Johns, Atkinson, Lyman, Dudley, and others, who went forth from the city of Baltimore, as Bishops, in various parts of the Southern field, gave ocular evidence of the impression made upon them both by St. James' Church, and the fidelity of the Bishop of Maryland toward that work. Although a native of New York, yet there have been few, if any, native Southern Bishops who were more truly identified in feeling and thought with representative Southern life, than the great Bishop Whittingham of Maryland.
The witness of Maryland, on behalf of Church Work among Negroes, is peculiar to itself. Bishop William Murray Stone, born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and a lineal descendant of Governor Stone, of the Maryland Colonial government of 1648, was the first in the records of the Church in this country, to ordain a Negro to the ministry of the Church on Southern soil, and that, too, in the presence of a white congregation on the Eastern Shore, in 1834. And, in the City of Baltimore, in 1824, the diocese of Maryland was the first of all the Southern dioceses to initiate a Negro parish, with a Negro vestry and rector, and inaugurate a day school for the children of the African race. In view of the history of the diocese of Maryland, in connection with work among Negroes, and in the light of all that the great Bishop Whittingham was in character and intellect, it is hardly to be believed that there is yet some hidden genius who is destined to give the American Church, a better, saner and safer plan for church extension among Negroes, than that which has descended to us bearing the name of "The Whittingham Canon," or the Maryland plan.
It is for the adoption and use of this same plan that the Missionary Council of the Seventh Department memorializes the General Convention of 1913.
THE BIRTH AND HISTORY OF THE MISSIONARY DISTRICT PLAN.
Previous to the Civil War, no diocese in the South had more colored members of the Church than the dioceses of South Carolina and Georgia. The number of colored communicants was most extensive, in both of these dioceses. Whatever may be thought of the views of the late Bishop Elliott, of Georgia, with respect to the manhood rights of the Negro, yet, there cannot be the least doubt of the sincerity of his endeavor in elevating and Christianizing the slave population. In such work he was in the very forefront of all the Southern Bishops. As a priest, in the diocese of South Carolina, he had labored extensively, and most lovingly among them, and that, too, with great success. On being elevated to the Episcopate of Georgia his interest in this work abounded and increased.
With the close of the Civil War, Negroes in these two dioceses, by the wholesale, left the Episcopal Church and joined the various colored denominations which came to birth at that time. This was particularly distressing to Bishop Davis, of South Carolina, and Bishop Elliott, of Georgia. In thinking about some plan whereby the Church might recover these lost communicants, the successor of Bishop Elliott, Bishop Beckwith entered into correspondence with Bishop Whittingham, of Maryland. Bishop Whittingham was most heartily in sympathy with them and, upon their request, set to work to draft a suitable plan. At the same time, there were other similar problems dawning upon the Church, in the nature of the proper care of "foreigners" who were then coming to this country in great numbers. Accordingly, in the General Convention of 1874, Bishop Whittingham introduced the "Canon" prepared by him, identical in substance with the legislation now requested by the Missionary Council of the Seventh Department, providing for Missionary Districts for races and tongues. Prominently among those who supported this legislation, were the Bishops of South Carolina and Georgia; Vail, of Kansas, and Stevens of Pennsylvania. Among the chief opponents of the measure were Bishop Williams, of Connecticut, and Bishop Atkinson, of North Carolina. In lieu of the Missionary District plan, Bishops Atkinson and Williams advocated "Suffragan Bishops." But, it is most important to remember just here that those who then advocated "Suffragan Bishops" never contemplated any such use of the office as is now championed by the present Bishop of South Carolina. The "Suffragan" Episcopate, as then advocated, would have complicated and added to the very problem that the Bishops of South Carolina and Georgia were then endeavoring to solve. That such is verily true will be perfectly evident from a few lines of that report, of the Committee on "Suffragans," signed by the Bishops of Connecticut and North Carolina. The quotation is as follows: "These evils would be avoided, for every diocese would have its own diocesan, with assistant Bishop if [3/4] need be, with Suffragans if necessary, and with its own convention, in which men of every race and every language would be represented." Up to this time, the issue of the admission of Negro parishes into union with the convention of South Carolina and Georgia was, if it were possible, to forestall the possibility of such issue by having the General Convention provide such an "extraordinary plan" to meet "the extraordinary situation," as would prevent the embarrassment which actually followed. For a number of years past, as it were, hoping against hope, that the General Convention would adopt some such plan, Bishop Howe had advised the people of St. Mark's Charleston, to defer their application to the diocesan convention for union with that body. But the General Convention of 1874 failed to act upon the matter. And, at last, the storm broke. The next year, 1875, the application of St. Mark's parish, Charleston, came before the Convention of South Carolina. It was referred to a committee of five to report at the next convention. But, we digress here, to follow the Georgia end of the same matter. Just as the faithful and loyal band of South Carolina colored communicants, who held steadily to the Church, had organized themselves into a regular parish; so the same thing had occurred in Savannah, Ga. This congregation had also been advised by their Bishop to be patient and hold back from pressing the question of union with the convention. However, it did make it in 1868, but on account some informality of the papers, it was not considered. Finally, in 1873, it was presented, and St. Stephen's parish was admitted into union with the convention of Georgia. But it should be remembered that this happy solution was due largely to certain peculiar influences. The Rev. Joseph. S. Atwell had just come into the diocese of Georgia from Virginia to take charge of this congregation. Bishop Whittle, of Virginia, thought most highly of the Rev. Mr. Atwell. He had celebrated Mr. Atwell's marriage in Louisville, Ky., and, afterward, he had induced him to remove to Virginia. One of the Georgia committee on the admission of new parishes was Judge Whittle, a brother of the Bishop of Virginia. These, and other considerations, somewhat account for the peaceful admission of St. Stephen's, Savannah, in union with the convention of that diocese.
But, coming back to South Carolina. At the meeting of the convention in 1876, the case of St. Mark's occupied "the centre of the stage." The report of the special committee, appointed at the last convention, was rendered in three sections, covering about forty or more pages of nonpareil type. The majority, the side which finally prevailed, in course of its voluminous report, actually referred to the proposed legislation of the "Whittingham Canon," then slumbering in the archives of the General Convention, as the proper solution of the pending matter. Our royal friend, of previous memory, the late [4/5] Rev. Dr. John H. Elliott, took the radical and Catholic position in favor of the unqualified admission of St. Mark's Church. The Rev. Dr. Pinckney advocated the admission of St. Mark's Church, but not as establishing a precedent, and, at the same time, the second resolution of Dr. Pinckney's report, memorialized the General Convention to adopt such legislation as had been proposed by Bishop Whittingham. The application of St. Mark's to be received into union with the Convention of South Carolina was rejected. This was at the Convention of 1876.
Bishop Howe, of South Carolina, and Bishop Beckwith, of Georgia, had, three years before, in their respective convention addresses, definitely indorsed the kind of legislation they had requested Bishop Whittingham to prepare. Bishop Howe, in his address of 1873, said:
"I find myself inclined to think, at least, from present observation and reflection, 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 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. It would seem as if the Church, even in lack of precedent, ought to be able to provide for our perplexity."
That same year, 1873, Bishop Beckwith said to his convention:
"The population of the State is over one mission; of this number about 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 difficulty 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. Notice this fact: the colored population of Georgia equals by the census of 1870, in round numbers, the population of Nebraska, Oregon and Washington mission, Colorado mission, including Arizona. In these missions there are now four Bishops. Why should not the Church send a Missionary Bishop to these four hundred thousand colored people?
At the very close of the Civil War, in the year 1865, the late Bishop Atkinson, of North Carolina, had promptly laid down, and insisted upon, the Catholic ideal, with respect to the diocese over which he presided. His position was both original and unique. His was the first and only Southern Diocesan Convention which took his position. Hostilities had scarcely ceased, when, in his convention address of that same year, that noble man of God uttered these noble words:
"Let us try to have more of Christian principle. That, then, which becomes us toward all men, especially becomes us toward them (colored people), first to be just, next to be kind."
The report of the Committee on the State of the Church, which was adopted, made it perfectly clear that new methods [5/6] had to be adopted, that colored parishes with colored vestries should be organized, and, when organized, promptly admitted into union with the diocesan convention; colored men, in orders in the North, were most cordially invited to come to North Carolina. Under this new departure, the first colored parish was organized the very next year, 1866; the second one in February 1868, and two or three other parishes in 1871-2. The colored men ordained in the North, and the colored lay delegates from the colored parishes thus organized, were promptly admitted to seats in the convention, with all the rights and privileges of other clergymen and laymen.
Let it not be forgotten that the "Missionary District plan" was brought to birth for her the especial accommodation of the two Southern dioceses who are, at present, conspicuous for their opposition to the same, and yet, the ground of their opposition does not lie in their special reverence for the plan and attitude of Bishop Atkinson, of North Carolina. That the "Missionary District plan" is absolutely the only practical machinery that can be employed, from the point of view of those who will not accept the full ecclesiastical responsibility of Negroes, is most evident from the introductory words of the late Rev. Dr. Hanckell (of both South Carolina and Virginia) in presenting a certain report in the Virginia convention of 1886. Upon that occasion, speaking for the committee, Dr. Hanckell said:
"They realize that, in the abstract, race segregation might not seem to furnish the best solution of the race problem: that it might be preferable, if found practicable, for the races to worship together the common God and Father of us all, and to legislate for His Church in close conjunction. But, in point of fact, this question is not an open one. It has been practically settled in advance by the action, not of the white, but of the colored race, and been thus eliminated from the race problem as presented for our consideration. The colored race has withdrawn in overwhelming majority from the churches in which they once worshiped with the whites, and that in every section of this broad land. Race affinity, which we do not fault, has proved so strong, that even among the Methodists and Baptists, where they were formerly most numerous, and where they enjoyed race associations to the full, short of race segregation, this withdrawal has nevertheless occurred."
Two years later, that is, in 1888, the present Bishop of Southern Virginia, then assistant Bishop of Virginia, in his Episcopal Address, reviewing the history of the color problem in connection with the Virginia council, said, in part, as follows:
"It is clear from this review of the proceedings of the council of the diocese from 1866 to the present time, that the voice of the people who compose the Episcopal Church, both white and colored, as expressed through their representatives, desires a Separate Organization for the colored churches. [6/7] This desire is based upon a conviction that such organization, properly regulated in its relations to the diocesan government, is a necessity to the successful prosecution of the work of evangelizing and educating the colored people in the system of our Church. For the removal of causes of animosity and suspicion which would inevitably arise, and for the enlargement of the sympathy and support of the white race upon which the work depends."
With this position of Bishop Randolph we absolutely and most heartily agree; although, we did not so agree at the time of utterance, for we believed it not impossible for both races to meet together and transact business in one convention. But, it should be noted that the present quasi, and so-called separate organization in the Virginias, does not harmonize with the above expressed view. For the present segregated Negro convention can originate and effect nothing, and is, practically, no organization at all.
Up the period of 1876, in Virginia, there had not been the first ordination of a colored man to the diaconate, only, in 1859, the Rev. Joseph S. Atwell, who had been received into the diocese a deacon from Kentucky, was advanced to the priesthood by Bishop Johns.
South Carolina for awhile seemed to be all alone and the position it had taken did not meet with the approval of the Church, neither in the North or South. But, in 1879, three years from the rejection of St. Mark's Church, the Council of Virginia recorded the ordination of its first colored deacon, the late Archdeacon Pollard, and made it the occasion for expressing its mind that as colored men were ordained, in the future, that they should be welcomed to seats and votes in that body, but that the status of colored congregations should remain as then, without lay representation in the annual council. However, the most important action at this convention was the specific recognition of the future need of just such legislation by the General Convention as had been proposed by Bishop Whittingham. Accordingly, the deputies from Virginia to the next General Convention were specifically charged with the duty of endeavoring to persuade that body to the establishment of a separate organization with Negro Bishops for Virginia, and for the other Southern dioceses whenever it should be desired. The General Convention did not so act.
In 1883 a "white" conference was called at Sewanee. A plan of Separate Organization was determined upon by this conference, which was laid before the General Convention that same year. In the meantime, however, a conference of the colored clergy assembled in the city of New York that same year, and that body registered its most strenuous opposition to the "Sewanee plan," and appointed a committee to do all within its power to defeat the proposed measure. The General Convention failed to approve the "Sewanee plan;" whereupon, in Virginia, steps were taken to do in a diocesan [7/8] way what the General Convention had failed to do in a general way.
Just about this time the Rev. Mr. Pollard moved to South Carolina, accepting work in connection with St. Mark's Church. At the convention that year, Bishop Howe placed Mr. Pollard's name on the clerical roll of membership of the convention, and thereupon the sad fight was again renewed, in that diocese. Virginia now took a further step. It changed its constitution, and in the future, colored ministers were excluded from membership in the council of the diocese.
The Conference of Church Works among colored people, most respectfully, memorialized the General Convention to define the "status" of the colored clergy and laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In exceedingly polite language we were told that the General Convention, as such, had no control over the membership in diocesan conventions. Thus, all hope was gone, so far as we were concerned, in having overruled the discriminating dispositions of South Carolina and Virginia. It was thought, for awhile, that South Carolina and Virginia, by reason of the forbearing spirit displayed by the General Convention, would recede from the position they had taken. But, as time passed, other Southern dioceses followed the examples of Virginia and South Carolina.
A radical change of front on our part followed. In the General Convention, about this time, the Rev. Dr. Cheshire, (now Bishop of North Carolina) offered resolutions, which, incidentally, condemned the spirit of the legislation in Virginia, and the action in South Carolina. The present Bishop of West Texas, then a deputy from Alabama, in the House of Deputies, offered words of similar protest. Florida promptly intimated her position by electing Professor Artrell a deputy to the General Convention, the first colored layman ever elected a member of that body. Far off Texas voiced its protest by sending, among its deputies to the General Convention, the late Rev. Thomas W. Cain, a black man, and the only Negro priest a member of the General Convention in this country.
The Conference of Church Workers among colored people, becoming throughly convinced that it was absolutely hopeless in securing "fair play" as members of local diocesan conventions, united upon the "Missionary District plan" as the only possible salvation of our effort in church extension among the race in the South.
In 1892 the Church Commission for Work among Colored People gave serious consideration to the subject. A sub-committee of that body made a report to the full board. Bishop Dudley and Judge Davis favored the plan of Missionary District. Bishop Paret and the Rev. Dr. Eccleston vigorously opposed such plan. The Conference of Church Workers became more and more determined in its position. At its meeting held in New Haven, Conn., in 1903, a commission consisting of fifteen clergymen and laymen was constituted to seek a conference with the Southern Bishops, and invite [8/9] their co-operation in devising such a plan as would be satisfactory to them, as well as acceptable to ourselves. That interview was held that same year in the city of Washington. The Bishops received us cordially. They heard what we had to say, and promised to take the matter under consideration. About six months thereafter, their answer was to the effect that it was inconvenient, or inexpedient, for them to accede to our request.
Thus, at the Conference which met in the fall of 1904, in Newark, commemorating the centennial of the first Negro ordination to the ministry in this country, we unanimously united upon the legislation known as the "Whittingham Canon," the identical plan drafted by the late Bishop Whittingham, at the request of the Bishops of South Carolina and Georgia, to meet the identical situation. Our memorial was presented to the Boston General Convention that same year. It was referred to a commission appointed to report at the Richmond General Convention of 1907. At Richmond the commission had meeting after meeting and agreed that it could not agree. Then the fine and beautiful work of the late Rev. Dr. Huntington was in evidence in the thorough "mix up" occasioned by the introduction of the "Suffragan" proposition, championed by Bishop Greer, and with the feeling that, somehow, it could be utilized in lieu of the "Missionary District plan." Long and earnestly in the House of Bishops did the Bishops of Texas, North Carolina and others contend for our proposition of Missionary Districts. Considerable progress was made. Upon a vote in the House of Bishops upon our proposition it was defeated by a vote of 34 to 50.
In 1910, at the Cincinnati General Convention, in the House of Bishops, under the patronage of Presiding Bishop Tuttle, the same legislation, in substance, was introduced, and on being put to a vote was only defeated by four votes. The vote being 33 for, and 37 against the proposition.
The same issue will again be presented in the General Convention of this present year, meeting in New York, October next. It will come before that body, on this occasion, in the form of a memorial from the Council of the Seventh Missionary Department, praying that the territory of that Department as it concerns the colored race, be constituted into a Missionary District, with a Negro Bishop.
The colored clergy of both North and East Carolina indorse the Missionary District plan. The colored clergy of South Carolina, prior to the consecration of the present Bishop of that diocese, likewise indorsed the Missionary District plan, but under the guidance of their present Bishop, they do not seem to be of the same mind. During the Episcopate of the late Bishop Capers, in 1906, by a unanimous vote, the Negro deputation of South Carolina expressed itself as follows:
"We the colored clergy and laity, of the diocese of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do hereby express our approval of the movement looking to the ultimate separation [9/10] of the races in the Church, and the setting apart of the congregations of colored people into Missionary Jurisdictions presided over by Bishops of our race, but we do not think the time has yet come for said separation IN OUR DIOCESE."
The essence of the legislation sought is simply to make it lawful for any two or more diocesan Bishops, in contiguous territory, to have a Negro Missionary Bishop operate in their territory among the colored race.
We recognize the position and attitude of the late Bishop Thomas Atkinson as the standard rule of action for the whole Church everywhere. But, such is the history of certain parts of the country that such an ideal can not at present be realized. The Missionary District plan is but a merciful and just accommodation to the peculiar exigencies of the situation. Where the normal cannot be realized, we simply contend that such diocesan Bishops who may desire it, may avail themselves of this alternative "Missionary District plan." In a sense, this emergency provision is not altogether unlike a Court of Chancery. Those communicants of the Episcopal Church who can not receive and enjoy all their rights and privileges, through the ordinary channels, will find this alternative system a Court of Chancery where they may obtain what cannot be recovered otherwise.
The real objection to the Missionary District plan, in some quarters, seems to be its lack of harmony with the "disfranchising" tendencies which obtain in many States, in civil affairs. We have no word with respect to matters of State, but we do insist that the Church of God is not bound to apply the political principles of State in connection with the rights and privileges of membership in a kingdom which is not of this world. And, possibly, no better answer to such objection can be urged than that interwoven in the memorable address of the late Rev. Dr. Elliott before the South Carolina Convention of 1876, in defense of St. Mark's parish, Charleston. Among other things, Dr. Elliott 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 colored 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 convention, or allow them to have a voice, however humble, in the government of their own Church, or because we cannot bring ourselves to face certain unpleasant consequences, which may, or may not, follow their introduction. Instead of joyfully taking them by the hand, and welcoming them as our co-workers [10/11] in bringing about a better state of feeling between the two races, we are asked to depend 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 ever semblance of equality, even though 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."
And we might add to this the words of the noble and heroic Bishop W. B. W. Howe, who presided over that memorable convention, held in the centennial year of American Independence. Said Bishop Howe:
"Do not let us return to or seek our old danger, by saying, through the doings of this convention, that the Church in this diocese shall be the "white man's" Church, and that only—and you will say it, in my poor estimation, if you voluntarily take the position that no Church of colored people shall be represented on this floor, even though they come up to all our constitutional requirements...... I do not argue from expediency, as you will have seen from my remarks, but from ecclesiastical principle. My heart sickens at the thought of a great Catholic principle being repudiated by this convention."
Paraphrasing the words of the eloquent prayer uttered in Westminster Abbey by our own, the late Bishop of Haiti, we dare lift our hearts to the King of Kings, and plead:
"O THOU SAVIOR CHRIST, Son of the Living God, who, when Thou was spurned by the Jews of the race of Shem, and who, when delivered up without cause by the Romans of the race of Japheth, on the day of Thy ignominious Crucifixion, hadst Thy ponderous cross borne to Golgotha's summit on the stalwart shoulders of Simon the Cyrenian, of the race of Ham. We pray Thee, O precious Savior, remember that forlorn, despised and rejected 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 everlasting glory. And, give to us then, not place at Thy Right Hand or at Thy Left, but only the place of gatekeepers at the entrance of the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, that we may behold our redeemed brethren, the saved of the Lord, entering therein to be partakes with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all the joys of Thy glorious and everlasting Kingdom."
THE STATE AND PROGRESS OF THE WORK
At the time of the surrender of General Lee to General Grant, at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, in 1865, there were only three colored clergymen of the Episcopal Church in the entire country. These were, the Rev. Harrison H. Webb, rector of St. James' First African Church, Baltimore; the Rev. Samuel V. Berry, Buffalo, N.Y., and the Rev. William Johnston Alston, rector of St. Thomas' Church, Philadelphia.
There were then, eight colored parishes in the entire country, all of them save St. James' First African Church, Baltimore, were located in the Free States of the North. In addition to the one just mentioned, the others were as follows: St. Thomas', Philadelphia; St. Philip's, New York; St. Luke's, New Haven; St. Matthew's, Detroit; Church of the Crucifixion, Philadelphia; St. Philip's, Newark, N.J., and St. Philip's, Buffalo, N.Y.
In the South proper, the work, in an organized form, among colored people began its existence with the close of the Civil War. Previous to the Civil War, there had been as many as 20 ordinations of Negro men in the North to the ministry from 1794 to 1855, and not one deposition from among that number. Some of these men labored in Africa, Haiti, and the west India Islands. In 1874 the consecration of the first colored man as a Bishop in the Church of God took place in Grace Church, New York; the same being the late Bishop Holly, of Haiti. In the same church, in 1885, the second consecration of a colored man as Bishop took place—the person being the present Rt. Rev. Dr. Ferguson, Bishop of Cape Palmas, West Africa. At present there are about 150 colored clergymen of the Episcopal Church in the United States, and between 225 and 250 separate colored congregations, without 25,000 or 30,000 communicants.
The Church maintains among the colored people of the South about one hundred parochial schools. There are other institutions of higher grade and of a general character. First, the oldest of such institutions is St. Augustine's School, Raleigh, N.C. This institution was established by the late Bishop Atkinson, of North Carolina, in 1967. For a considerable while there was a theological department in connection with this school. The first distinctive place for the training of colored men for the ministry of the Church was in the city of Philadelphia, under the patronage of the late Bishop Stevens. The Bishop Payne Divinity School is the next oldest of the specific institutions for colored men. It had its origin in connection with St. Stephen's Normal School (now deceased), Petersburg, Va. The immediate occasion of its founding was the preparation of the present Archdeacon Russell, of Southern Virginia, who had offered himself for the ministry. He could not be received at the Virginia Theological Seminary, and thus, the trustees of that institution opened the school at Petersburg as a "branch" school for "colored students." Afterwards, it [12/13] was chartered as a separate and distinct institution, with its own property, faculty, and board of trustees. Third, St. Paul's Industrial School, Lawrenceville, numerically the largest of our institutions, was established in 1888, ten years later than the Theological School at Petersburg, by Archdeacon Russell.
In comparatively recent years, the following institutions have been established, and have accomplished good work on behalf of the Church and the race: St. Athanasius, Brunswick, Ga.; St. Mark's, Birmingham, Ala.; The Vicksburg Industrial School, Vicksburg, Miss.; St. Mary the Virgin Industrial School (boarding school for girls), Keeling, Tenn., and St. Philip's School, San Antonio, Texas.
There are some twenty self-supporting congregations among the colored people of the country, mostly in the North and West; five being in the South. Upon the whole, the colored clergy of the Church have been generously received, and respected, both in the North and in the South, and even abroad.
As far back as 1849, the Rev. Mr. Stokes, ordained to the ministry by the late Bishop Whittingham, but at that time connected with the diocese of Rhode Island, was most graciously received in England by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and other distinguished personages, and he succeeded in raising in that country sufficient funds to pay the mortgage on his church in Providence, R.I. The late Rev. Dr. Crummell and others of our clergy received special attention in that country. Some years ago the Rev. Joshua B. Massiah, rector of St. Thomas' Church, Chicago, upon special invitation, preached in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. At the opening of an annual diocesan convention of Kentucky, Bishop Dudley presiding, the Rev. Thomas J. Brown, then a colored priest of that diocese, preached the convention sermon.
On more than one occasion have colored priests in the diocese of Maryland occupied the pulpit and preached ordination sermons. Notably in old St. Anne's, in the State capital, on two occasions, once with the late Bishop Paret as ordainer, and again with Bishop Murray, filling the same function. In the diocese of Nebraska, for quite a while, a colored priest has filled the positions of assistant secretary of the diocese, as well as Historiographer of the diocese. For two successive General Conventions was the diocese of Texas, in part, represented by a Negro priest, formerly a slave. The colored clergy, as alumni, represent every Theological Seminary of the Church, save the Virginia Theological Seminary and the University of the South. A number of them have been honor men in their several classes.
Side by side had the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the black priest, deputy from Texas, knelt to receive the Holy Communion And one of the most distinguished laymen of the American Church, the late Mr. John Pierpont Morgan, has humbly knelt at the Communion rail and received the Blessed Sacrament from the hands of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ferguson, the Negro Bishop of Cape Palmas, [13/14] West Africa. And, as all that was mortal of this great American citizen and churchman, was being borne out of St. George's Church, New York, to their last resting place, at the request of the deceased, Mr. Harry Burleigh, a member of St. George's choir, but an Afro-American, and a respected member of St. Philip's Church, New York, sang the "solo" which hitherto had brought such spiritual consolation to America's greatest financier.