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An Apostle of the Western Church
Memoir of the Right Reverend Jackson Kemper
Doctor of Divinity, First Missionary Bishop of the American Church
With Notices of Some of His Contemporaries

by the Reverend Greenough White, A.M., B.D.
Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of the South.

New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1900.

Chapter I. Early Years
Chapter II. Ministry
Chapter III. Episcopate


IN a note to his sketch of Jackson Kemper, in his "Bishops of the American Church," Bishop Perry wrote: "His life is yet to be written. It will be the history of the founding of the Church in the middle West." No apology is necessary for a biography of Bishop Kemper; in fact, it is a reflection upon the church that she has not had one before. There is a certain vulgarity about a family, an institution or a nation that is ignorant of and indifferent to its past. Every churchman old or young, but especially the young, and especially in the dioceses that have sprung out of Kemper's old jurisdiction, should be familiar with the facts in his career.

It was while composing his life of Bishop Cobbs that the writer's attention was attracted to the western field, and now that his work is done he may perhaps be pardoned some expression of retrospective satisfaction as he looks out over the clearings he has made in the mental forest, and draws a deep breath of relief at the completion of the labor, inconceivable by those who have never tried it, of reducing to a cosmos a chaos of material gathered from books, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, and a mass of manuscript, journals, letters, notes of conversations, etc. The two books may be read as halves of a whole; taken together, they describe the expansion of the church throughout the land in the middle of the nineteenth century,--the nationalizing, one might almost call it the continentalizing, of the church; and it is hoped that they may serve to make the southern and western provinces of our national communion better acquainted with each other, and, what is perhaps more important, each with itself, and the church in the North and East with both. As for outsiders, they can find embodied in Kemper and Cobbs the very genius of the American church.

Many of the authorities used are plainly indicated in the text. Without attempting an exhaustive enumeration, the following deserve mention, as the more important sources of general information:

Reynolds: "Pioneer History of Illinois"; Moses: "Illinois Historical and Statistical"; Ford's History of Illinois, and a pamphlet by Dr. R. W. Patterson: "Early Society in Southern Illinois"; Roosevelt: "Thomas Hart Benton"; Thwaites: "Story of Wisconsin"; Harsha: "Story of Iowa"; Tuttle: "Illustrated History of Iowa"; Nourse: "Iowa and the Centennial"; Spring: "Kansas," (and others of the "American Commonwealths" series); Morton: "Centennial Discourse on Nebraska," and papers of the Nebraska and other State Historical Societies; Flint: "Recollections of Ten Years in the Mississippi Valley"; memorial histories of Chicago and Milwaukee; and in the literature of humor, Hall's "New Purchase," and Riley's "Puddleford Papers." Ecclesiastico-historical and biographical sources are: "The Spirit of Missions," and journals of the various dioceses; Bishop Chase's "Reminiscences," and "The Kenyon Book"; Bishop Whitehouse's "Exhibits"; the lives of Breck and Cummins; Morehouse: "Some American Churchmen"; papers on Breck and Adams by Rev. D. D. Chapin, in The Living Church; the Report of the Jubilee Ceremonies of Nashotah House, a pamphlet on Nashotah by Rev. W. W. Webb, and an article on Dr. DeKoven by Rev. T. F. Gailor, in "The Sewanee Review" for May, 1893.

Particular information may be classified as follows:


(A) Published or printed:

Kemper's reports in "The Spirit of Missions" and addresses to his diocesan conventions, a memorial pamphlet, with sermon by Rev. Dr. H. M. Thompson, and numbers of "The Nashotah Scholiast."

(B) Manuscript:

A few of the bishop's letters and sermons, a memoir of his early years, and letters by his daughter, Mrs. William Adams, and letters from Rev. Dr. R. H. Sweet, Rev. J. H. Knowles, Messrs. J. S. Irwin and FitzHugh Whitehouse, Mrs. R. H. Clarkson and Miss Upfold.


From Rev. Drs. E. C. Benson and W. J. Gold, Revs. D. D. Chapin, G. A. Carstensen, and W. W. Webb, Mrs. William Adams, Mrs. Alfred Louderback, and Miss Upfold.

In conclusion, the author cannot but express one deep regret connected with the publication of the present volume,--that Bishop Perry, late historiographer of the church, who was among the first to give his life of Bishop Cobbs a cordial welcome, and Bishop Kemper's daughter, Mrs. William Adams, who was most helpful in furnishing necessary material, are no longer here to read it. Were he beginning its preparation now, the work as it is could not be written.


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