COMPILED BY THE
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE VESTRY.
Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2013
(Extract from the Minutes of the Vestry, February 1, 1872.)
"Resolved, That the Rector be requested to write a brief historical sketch of the Church, to be printed for use as an introduction to the book, into which it is proposed to enter all the subscriptions towards the building fund, and also, in pamphlet form, for distribution among the congregation."
HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH,
THE first decided movement toward the establishment of a parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church in "the Village of Harlem," was made at a meeting of a few of the inhabitants of this vicinity, on the 8th of August, 1828. This meeting was called at the suggestion of the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, then Rector of Grace Church, New York; and subsequently (1852) Provisional Bishop of the Diocese, who, by spending his summer vacation in the neighborhood, had acquired some knowledge of the people and their needs, and an earnest desire to serve them. The meeting was held at the house of Mr. E. H. Pennoyer, the apothecary of the village, who lived and dispensed medicines to preserve the lives of his patrons, at the south-west corner of Third Avenue and 122d Street. Mr. T. T. Groshon, a candidate for holy orders, and doing missionary work in this vicinity under a license from the Bishop as lay-reader, presided on this occasion. A resolution was introduced and passed, to the effect "that it is expedient to erect a Protestant Episcopal Church in the Village of Harlem;" and a committee was appointed to solicit donations for the purpose. Subsequent meetings in furtherance [5/6] of this project were held during the summer and autumn of 1828, and in the month of January, 1829, at which, from time to time, the committee reported gratifying progress, and obtained the consent of their constituents to increase their number and approve some other suggestions by them proposed to facilitate their work. The names of the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, James Flanagan, Esq., and Chas. Henry Hall, Esq., successively appear on the records of these meetings as Chairmen; Mr. E. H. Pennoyer acted throughout as Secretary; and Mr. William D. Bradshaw, proprietor of a suburban hotel on the north-west corner of Third Avenue and 125th Street, and a host of wide-spread reputation in his day, is recorded, not only as present along with others interested in the enterprise, but as repeatedly entertaining the company with room in his hospitable house.
In the meantime, arrangements were made for holding services in the village Academy, on 120th Street, near Third Avenue, where, by the courteous permission of its trustees, who were nearly all of them members of the Reformed Dutch Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church, which is the legitimate issue of the English Reformation, obtained her first hearing in this ancient Dutch settlement, in November, 1828.
On the 14th of February, 1829, a meeting of the congregation, in their place of worship, the Academy, Wardens and Vestrymen were chosen, and a Parish duly organized under the corporate title of "The Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Andrew's Church, in the Village of Harlem, in the Twelfth Ward of the City and County of New York." At this meeting the Rev. Geo. L. Hinton as the officiating minister presided; and at the first meeting of the Vestry of the Parish as thus organized, on the 14th of February, 1829, Mr. Hinton was elected Rector.
The building project now was not allowed to slumber. The only hindrance to immediate action was the difficulty of deciding where to build. But at a Vestry meeting on the 27th day of June, after the committee appointed for the purpose had confessed their inability to help the Vestry to decide the question and at their own request had been discharged, the knotty problem [6/7] was at once and very agreeably solved by an offer on the part of C. H. Hall, Esq., to present to the Church a plot of ground, fronting on Fourth Avenue, 127th and 128th Streets, comprising twelve lots, provided that the Vestry would consent to purchase six other interjacent lots required to make the whole tract of rectangular form. This offer, with its conditions, was at once accepted, and thus, before the adjournment of that meeting, was the site selected which the Church has occupied for all these years. The six lots referred to by Mr. Hall were promptly purchased for $550. Suitable plans were at once procured; and the corner-stone of the first building for St. Andrew's Parish was laid on the following 6th of August, by the Right Rev. John Henry Hobart, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese. The Church building having been completed, on the 7th day of June, 1830, was duly consecrated to the service of Almighty God. We quote the following description of this service, and of the building which occasioned it, from a contemporary record:
"On Monday, June 7th, St. Andrew's Church, Harlem, was consecrated by Bishop Hobart. The Order for Morning Prayer was read by the Rev. Augustus Fitch, of St. Ann's Church, Fort Washington, assisted by the Rector. The instruments of Donation and Endowment were presented by John Smalley, Esq., and read by the Rector. The sentence of Consecration was read by the Rev. W. Harris, and the sermon was preached by the Bishop from the text, St. Luke, xix., 46, 'It is written, My house shall be called the House of Prayer.'
"This edifice is a frame structure, forty-two feet in width, by sixty-four feet in length. It occupies a beautiful site, commanding an extensive and delightful view of Harlem and East Rivers, with the adjacent country. The basement of the Church is of stone, elevated about four feet above the ground level. It has a portico in front, supported by four Doric columns, built of brick and neatly plastered, three feet each in diameter. An appropriate entablature is carried around the whole building, with a frieze in front, which is ornamented by a laurel wreath over each column. The Cupola, thirty-two feet in height above the roof, has a bell-section, supported by eight antae, and an entablature, [7/8] copied from the monument of Thrasyllus, supporting a small dome. The whole stands on a plain base, rising above the roof and resting below on strong frame-work which is carried down to the foundation. The building is treated throughout in the Grecian style of architecture, and was designed and superintended by Mr. Andrew Woodruff, architect. The mason employed was Mr. Ambrose Mercer; the carpenter, Mr. Samuel Thompson. The whole cost of the structure has been about $5,600."
The following extract from the Parochial Report of the Rector of St. Andrew's to the Diocesan Convention of 1831 gives a rose-colored view of the affairs of the Parish at this early period of its history:
"The Rector feels himself happy in being able to report to the Convention the increasing prosperity of the Parish under his charge. When the establishment of the Church in this remote part of the city was first undertaken, about two years since, by the recommendation and with the assistance of several of the clergy of this city, the number of those in the immediate neighborhood who felt an interest in its welfare was exceedingly limited, and not more than five individuals professed communion with it. At the present date there are more than forty pew-holders, and forty-three communicants, a result which cannot fail to prove gratifying to those who have interested themselves in its success, and calls forth our gratitude to the Great Head of the Church, the Author and Giver of all good. During the past year I have administered the ordinance of baptism to seven adults and twenty-two children, and have officiated at seven marriages and fourteen burials. The Sunday-school consists of ten teachers and eighty scholars."
But alas! the morning that had such a bright sunrise was destined very speedily to be darkened and stormy with trouble's unwelcome cloud. In the summer of 1832, the Asiatic cholera, after having raged for several weeks in the city, suddenly invaded Harlem, and committing ravages for the one short week of its stay, withdrew almost as suddenly as it came. One of its first victims in this vicinity was the Rector of St. Andrew's. He died after a few hours illness on the 25th of July, and [8/9] his wife and child also died on the same day. At the Diocesan Convention in the autumn of this year, Bishop Onderdonk alluded to this sad event and paid a deserved tribute to the memory of Mr. Hinton, in his annual address. His words were these: "The sympathies of us all have been awakened by the melancholy fact of the removal to the grave by almost the same stroke, of himself, his amiable and estimable wife, and their child, who formed the other only member of their immediate household. Mr. Hinton devoted to his high and holy duties and responsibilities a faithful and true heart, well informed in the principles of the Gospel, and thoroughly devoted to their promotion. He knew well the Church, and as well loved it. He was eminently true to the pastoral obligations and found his death in faithful devotion to them." Mr. Hinton's death was a serious loss to the parish. He appears to have been held in high esteem by the community at large, and sincerely beloved by his parishioners. Every token of respect was paid to his memory. The Church was draped in mourning. The Rev. Dr. Wainwright preached a sermon commemorative of his virtues and good work for the service of God, before his afflicted people. The Vestry donated a vault in the Church-yard for the interment of his remains, and as soon as it could be prepared, caused a marble tablet, or cenotaph, to be placed in the Church, bearing the following inscription:
TO THE MEMORY OF
George L. Hinton,
OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH,
25TH OF JULY, 1832,
AGED 28 YEARS.
"Within a few hours were consigned himself, wife and child, to the same grave; leaving to his bereaved friends the happy belief of one united family seated around the throne of grace. His last sermon (but one) was from Job, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,' delineating the pestilence that had [9/10] crossed the raging deep and the mighty hand that directed it, and showing how deeply engraved on his fleshly tablet were the precepts of his beloved Master."
The vacancy in the Rectorship occasioned by Mr. Hinton's decease was not immediately filled. The Rev. Gurdon S. Coit now deceased, but for many years subsequent to his ministry in Harlem one of the leading Presbyters of the Diocese of Connecticut, was invited by the Vestry to take temporary charge. He appears to have officiated with very great acceptance to the congregation. But however flourishing the Parish in other respects, its financial condition at this time was far from satisfactory. The pecuniary resources of St. Andrew's had been from the first extremely limited. Upon the completion of the Church building, by no means a costly structure, the whole property was mortgaged, and the Vestry under individual bonds, for an amount of indebtedness that nearly, if not quite, reached its value. For three years thereafter, and especially subsequently to the summer of 1832, when the growth of the Parish was very seriously checked by the dreadful visitation of the cholera, the struggle with financial difficulty was severe. At last, in the summer of 1833, Trinity Church came to her relief, on one hand, by advancing $4,000 to discharge the mortgage debt which oppressed her, and to secure the property, taking another mortgage of like amount without charge of interest; while, on the other, the burden of her remaining indebtedness of over $3,300 was removed through a very satisfactory arrangement effected with Mr. Hall, who held the claim. Its terms, in brief, were these: after having himself subscribed nearly one-fourth of the amount required to pay the debt, he consented, upon receiving three-fourths of his due, including his own subscription, for the very small consideration of seats in Church for his family and a burial spot in her church-yard, to forgive St. Andrew's the remainder and make her financially free. Mr. Hall's benefaction to the Church on the occasion of this settlement, was very nearly, if not quite, equal in value, to his original donation of land. The names of the Committee of the Vestry who effected this settlement were Edward R. Jones and Lewis Morris. The names of the subscribers to the amount, [10/11] $1,925, accepted by Mr. Hall, were Lewis Morris, James J. Jones, John C. Cruger, Nathaniel Prime, Edward R. Jones, George Bradish, Peter Schermerhorn, Robert Ray, Thomas D. Carpenter and Isaac Adriance.
In the month of October, 1833, the Rev. Abram B. Hart, deacon, received and accepted a call to the vacant rectorship. He entered at once upon his duties, and in the following year was qualified for their full discharge by being ordained to the priesthood at the hands of the Rt. Rev. B. T. Onderdonk, Bishop of the Diocese. This ordination was held in St. Andrew's Church on the 6th of July, 1834. During the same year a Vestry and Sunday-school room were provided by fitting up a portion of the basement for these purposes.
This certainty shows that the Parish, under its new Rector, was taking root downward, as from his parochial report this year, which asserts an increase of one-third in the congregation and the continuance of a flourishing Sunday-school, we should also judge that it was bearing fruit upward. But this growth was not to be sustained. Changes were preparing in view of the sure though slow approach of the city, which for a long time made Harlem neither one thing nor the other, equally devoid of charm for those who preferred the country, and for those who preferred the town. Street openings and improvements were gradually destroying the rural aspect of the village. Land was ceasing to be measured and cultivated by the acre, and beginning to be reckoned and advertised "for sale," by the city lot. What it would bring in the market, and not what it would bring forth for the market, was becoming more and more the question. Rapidly advancing prices tempted some—frequent and heavy assessments compelled others, of the original proprietors to sell; and only speculators bought. Consequently, weeds and waste became by degrees the prevailing features of the landscape, and fences and "for sale" boards the only improvements visible; for as yet, but the fever and dream of speculation in the land had come; the healthy and steady demand for it, for actual use, had not arrived.
And this period of transition was decidedly unfavorable to [11/12] all the temporal interests of the Parish; for it brought with it greater pecuniary burdens in the way of assessments to be met for improvements to its real estate, and it induced so many removals of parishioners of the wealthier class, and such a loss of interest on the part of those who remained, that each year there were fewer and feebler left to share the increasing load. During the latter part of Mr. Hart's rectorship, St. Andrew's passed through a notably heavy trial of this kind. Her property for improvements on the avenue and cross-streets on which it fronted, was assessed in the summer of 1837, for a sum considered far beyond her ability to pay. Nearly two years were lost in vain appeals to the Corporation of "old Trinity" for help. Still further time was wasted in endeavors to evade the payment by disputing the validity of the charge. The case of the Church was elaborately drawn out by John A. Sidell, Esq., a member of the bar connected with the Parish, which statement was presented for his professional opinion to James Kent Esq.—the highest legal authority of his day. But while the learned counselor admitted that there were some irregularities in the proceedings of the City authorities, he still advised the Vestry that the issue of any suit to be instituted by the Parish to obtain relief was too hazardous and uncertain to warrant the Church incurring the risk and expense. Meantime, and almost a year before this opinion was obtained, the property had been sold for non-payment of the assessments, so that now, nothing remained but an appeal to be made to the parishioners, to raise the money and redeem their Church while they could. Accordingly, on one fine Sunday, in the fall of 1839, the subscription was started after an address by the Rector from the pulpit. But the progress was slow and discouraging; only little more than half the amount required was realized. Then followed another more frantic, but equally fruitless appeal, to mother "Trinity," in the words of a resolution, instructing the Clerk of the Vestry to call upon the Comptroller of that wealthy corporation, and "state to him the necessity of their assisting us forthwith, or that we shall be obliged to abandon the Church, and Trinity Church must of necessity lose their mortgage." Finally, in June, 1840, the [12/13] wiser resolution was adopted of instructing the same official "to wait upon the former subscribers to the redemption fund for further subscriptions thereto;" and now, as a fresh illustration of the truth of the old proverb that "God helps those who help themselves," such a degree of success attended the fulfilment of this resolution, that before the close of the year, the whole amount ($1,295) was raised, and the property at stake redeemed. A list of the subscribers and the amounts they contributed may not be without interest as exhibiting the materiel of St. Andrew's at that time. It may also help to keep alive the memory of those to whom we of this day are indebted for having received, unimpaired, the goody heritage, which the parish derived from its founders. The list is as follows:
W. E. Wilmerding $50, second subscription $25; James Lance $5; W. M. Morris $100, second subscription $50; H. M. Morris $10; Mrs. Bradish $50; Mrs. Lorillard $100, second subscription $100; Mrs. J. Jones $100; Mrs. L. G. Morris $50, second subscription $25; Miss Lorillard $50, second subscription $100; Mrs. R. R. $20; Mrs. Wm. W. $5; Ann Morris $50; Lewis Morris $100; Jas. G. Russell $10; Estate of Robert Troup $25; C. A. Clinton $25; Jacob Lorillard $50; A Friend $50; Cash $20; Mrs. E. R. Jones $25; Trinity Church $100; Total $1,295.
But it would be doing injustice to the memory of an excellent man, to neglect to mention that the pilot who really navigated [13/14] St. Andrew's through this perilous passage of her history was Dr. Guy C. Bayley, for many years "the good physician" of this then sparsely populated neighborhood; Clerk, Treasurer and Warden of the Parish; like the saint by whose name it is called, though with the line instead of net, a skillful and lucky fisherman—always the genial and accomplished gentleman—an ardent Churchman—a sturdy Protestant, and an earnest Christian, now waiting, as we humbly trust, in Paradise a rich reward.
During the winter of 1839–40, the Rector was obliged to be absent on account of failing health. The Rev. J. Roosevelt Bayley supplied his place. In the fall of 1840, Mr. Hart finding his health not sufficiently re-established to allow him to officiate through the winter, tendered his resignation of the Rectorship. It was reluctantly accepted, and on the 19th of October, the Rev. Mr. Bayley was called to supply the vacancy. The Rector elect had only a deacon's orders; but at an ordination held in St. Andrew's on Sexagesima Sunday, February 14th, 1841, by the Right Rev. Benj. T. Onderdonk, Bishop of the Diocese, was advanced to the priesthood, and so qualified for the full charge of the Parish.
On the 28th of June, 1841, St. Ann's Church, Morrisania, Westchester County, was finished and consecrated. This event deserves to be recorded in this connection, as materially affecting the welfare of St. Andrew's parish, in consequence of the withdrawal of many of her most wealthy and influential members to the new St. Ann's. Indeed, from this time we may date the commencement of a long period of depression, which grew deeper and darker year after year, until the tide of the city's increasing population began to flow over the heights of Yorkville, and spread to the flats of Harlem.
Mr. Bayley's resignation of the Rectorship on the 7th of April, 1842, and his defection from the Church to Romanism not long after, may be regarded as indicative of the discouraging condition of the Parish at this time—of how little there was in it to cheer or to satisfy an ardent and restless spirit in the Rector, and of how grievous the temptation, very likely, was to see favorable contracts in foreign pastures that, though saturated with a foul miasma, wore a far brighter green.
 The Parish was now without a Rector for several years. The Vestry appear to have adopted the policy of retaining the reins in their own hands, and administering affairs with the aid of such clerical service as they could hire from year to year.
On the 5th of July, 1842, the Rev. Ralph Hoyt was called to officiate as minister for one year. In the autumn he made the following report to the Diocesan Convention:
"Owing to the removal of several families from the Parish and illness in others, and to the circumstance that from December to July the Church was without a Pastor, the present minister found St. Andrew's in a very reduced condition. Though but a short time has elapsed since the re-establishment of regular worship and order, the indications are cheering, and, with the blessing of Almighty God upon the efforts making here, earnest hopes are entertained that the next report will exhibit both a will and ability to aid liberally in the noble charities fostered by our beloved Church, and show also much spiritual improvement in this vineyard of the Lord."
But alas! for the bright dreams of this ardent spirit; they were doomed to an early disappointment. He had really too much enthusiasm for the then few and feeble folk of St. Andrew's to think of keeping pace with him; they would as soon have thought of flying. He was not contented to be the private chaplain of a handful of wealthy families, but was bent upon preaching the Gospel to the poor. To reach this class, as there was little room and less welcome for them in the Church, he actually hired a room on Third Avenue to hold special evening services. But the Vestry did not second his efforts, nor approve his earnestness; and although in the following spring, 1843, as many as seventy of the less influential members of the congregation presented a petition requesting that Mr. Hoyt might be retained, the Vestry declined to grant it, and voted to release him from his pastoral charge at the expiration of the year for which he had been called.
About this time were St. Andrew's darkest days. As an evidence of the deep feeling of discouragement which prevailed in the Vestry, and of the conviction they entertained that there was not really enough of the Church element left in Harlem to [15/16] sustain a Parish, we find the proposition repeatedly introduced and seriously entertained, of uniting St. Andrew's either with St. James', Hamilton Square, or with St. Mary's, Manhattanville. They looked about them for some crutch to lean upon, because they feared they could not go on alone.
On the 17th of April, 1843, the Rev. Richard Mason Abercrombie was called to take charge of the Parish until the first of June, 1844.
On the 3d of May, 1844, Mr. Abercrombie was called for a second year.
On the 27th of June, 1845, Mr. Abercrombie was called for a third year; and on the 26th of June, 1846, having, as it would seem, served a sufficiently long probation to be trusted with the important charge, was called to the Rectorship. But during his administration there was no hope for improvement in the external condition of St. Andrew's. Its neighborhood was then little else than a waste of unimproved lots, mostly in the hands of non-resident owners, who were holding them for the long-expected but long-deferred advance. Houses were scarce, but tenants more so. Two-story bricks went begging at a hundred dollars per annum. With its scanty and inconvenient communications, its unpaved and unlighted streets, and, above all, its thoroughly established reputation for insalubrity, there was little inducement, at ever so low a rent, to occupy a house in Harlem. Mr. Abercrombie was a man of restless energy and enterprise. The Harlem field was by far too narrow and unpromising to hold him. Very soon after he became Rector of St. Andrew's, for the convenience of those of his parishioners who lived at Carmansville, he conceived and carried out the project of establishing Church services in that vicinity. Such success attended this undertaking, that in the course of the year 1849, it issued in the organization of another Parish, the Church of the Intercession, under his Rectorship, and, owing to the superior attractions of the neighborhood, with a larger and stronger congregation than the Church out of which it had grown. This was another severe blow to St. Andrew's, and the more so because it was long in coming. For, for several years, she suffered from the divided attention of her Rector [16/17] and the diminished attendance upon her services, which the new enterprise occasioned, and when finally the Church at Carmansville was built, she lost both her Rector and all that portion of her congregation who lived beyond the foot of Breakneck Hill.
Mr. Abercrombie resigned the Rectorship of St. Andrew's on the 5th of May, 1850, and left the Parish really weaker than he found it, though its added weakness was not the weakness of decay, but of that rather hopeful, maternal quality, occasioned by dividing its life and strength with another as precious as itself.
On the 6th of June, 1850, the Rev. George B. Draper, Deacon, and assistant minister in St. Clement's Church, New York, was called to the Rectorship, "so soon as he should have received Priest's orders, and meanwhile to officiate as minister." The call was promptly accepted, and the Rector elect entered upon his duties on the third Sunday ensuing, the 23d of June. On the following 16th of March, 1851, having been admitted to the Priesthood, at an ordination held in Ascension Church, New York, by the Right Rev. Carlton Chase, D.D., Bishop of New Hampshire, but temporarily performing Episcopal acts in the Diocese of New York, Mr. Draper, by the terms of his call, became Rector of St. Andrew's. It was felt by its youthful and inexperienced incumbent to be a heavy charge, and yet, compared with the weight since added to his yoke, it was light indeed. There were then in all only thirty families connected with the Parish, about the same number of communicants, and of the latter only five were men. Indeed, there were so few gentlemen on any occasion attendant upon the services, and so large a proportion of the few pews rented were taken in the names of ladies as representing families, that for some time the new Rector suffered the impression that he had been called to minister to a congregation of widows. The average amount of the Communion offerings for the first two years of Mr. Draper's Rectorship was considerably below three dollars. On his first Christmas in St. Andrew's his heart was gladdened by the generous contribution of $3.09, and $1.80 was the pecuniary measure of his congregation's joy at the first [17/18] Easter which he spent with them. In the light of the better days which St. Andrew's since has seen, that was a day of small things indeed. The first sign of improvement in the Parish was the building of a Parsonage. Though the money which it cost was borrowed, not contributed, and though the Rector agreed to pay out of his salary the interest upon the loan, still it was at that time an indication of no inconsiderable degree of enterprise to venture such a provision for the permanent well-being of the Parish. The parsonage was completed in the fall of 1851.
In the spring of 1853, there were some quite important accessions to the Parish, and the spirit of improvement was thoroughly aroused. The Vestry resolved to have the interior of the Church painted and repaired, and to do away with the "three-decker" arrangement of pulpit, reading desk and altar, and substitute some less imposing but more convenient furniture for the officiating clergyman. The old pulpit towered up like a mountain against the rear wall of the Church, with provision to scale its height in a flight of stairs on either side. The old desk was a formidable breast-work in front of it, but below, wide enough to accommodate some less than half a dozen readers, who could never be afraid from behind such huge protection to discharge their official duties in the face of the congregation; while the modest altar, a plain white box that had but a year or two before superseded a mahogany card table with elaborately carved feet in which claws were the most conspicuous feature, stood almost hidden below. The pulpit came down. The front of the desk was transformed to a sort of reredos and the altar placed back against it, draped with an embroidered cover of crimson cloth; while to the right of it, a low prayer desk and lectern, then furnished anew with the books which are still in use, and to the left, an octagonal pulpit, if anything a little too suggestive of a tub, were placed, and the communion rail as before enclosed the whole. Other improvements at this time made were the introduction of oil lamp chandeliers for lighting the Church, and of a hot air furnace to heat it, which took the place of some very unsightly stoves, and more unsightly pipe, that with the support of iron brackets projecting from the window frames, [18/19] ran the whole length of the Church on either side, dripping at every joint on the way with the tar-like product into which smoke condenses. The whole cost of these repairs and changes for the better was something over a thousand dollars, and the congregation were really astonished at the extent of their own resources and liberality, when they found they were able to provide, as they did on this occasion, for the payment of so large a sum by voluntary subscriptions. After having been closed for five Sundays, the Church was reopened with its new dress and fixtures, on the 13th of November, the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity. It was a bright day in the history of St. Andrew's.
In the spring of 1854, the difficulty of making adequate provision for the Rector received the attention of the Vestry, and for the purpose of increasing his salary and relieving him of the burden of paying rent for the parsonage, they resolved to increase the pew rents. It was the Rector's desire at this time that the seats should be made free, but the congregation discouraged the movement. Also, in the course of the summer, the Parish received from the Corporation of the City of New York the Commissioner's award of $790 for the widening of Fourth Avenue. The receipt of this allowance was very fortuitous, because it enabled the Vestry to discharge a debt which had been due for some years on the organ, and also to curb and flag the 127th Street sidewalk—an improvement in itself desirable and required by the march of progress at about this time.
In the spring of 1855, the income provided for by the Vestry in the previous year, having fallen far short of the Church's increased expenses, the more venturesome than prudent course was adopted of doubling the rents of the pews. The consequence was a very serious division, and the withdrawal from the Parish of quite a number of families until the year following, when the offensive measure was for peace-sake repealed. During this summer (1855), the Parish sustained a very grievous loss in the death of one of its Vestry, Mr. C. M. Arnold. He was a generous contributor to every good object presented him—an ardent and self-sacrificing worker in the service of the Church of his choice—a parishioner, in short, who would have [19/20] been a help and comfort to any pastor, under any circumstances, at any time; but, in those days of discouragement and gloom, his sympathy loomed up like a fortress between the Rector and the trials that assailed him, and his cheering words were as a song in the night.
In the spring of 1856, there began to be a manifest improvement in both the external and internal condition of the Parish. Its finances, under the prudent and energetic management of a very efficient Treasurer, were so successfully conducted, that at Easter the Church was entirely out of debt; and later in the season one after another of the malcontents of the year previous having returned, propitiated by the conciliatory action of the Vestry, all were happy in being at one again.
In the course of this year, also, sundry local improvements were either carried out or projected, which were calculated to make this end of the island decidedly more accessible and inviting as a place of residence, and indirectly of course to benefit the Parish, by adding to the number and resources of the population, on which its growth and support depended. Gas was now introduced for lighting the streets and dwellings. The Second and Third Avenue Railroad Companies commenced to lay tracks and run cars to the end of their chartered routes; and the Harlem Navigation Company had launched and were running the first of their "Sylvan" line.
Still the benefit of these improvements was not so immediately realized as might have been expected, and building progressed but slowly.
In 1857, St. Andrew's caught something of the spirit of progress that began to manifest itself on every side. She made the ways of attendants upon her services somewhat more smooth and cleanly, by flagging the Fourth Avenue sidewalk, and threw a little more light on their prayer-books by introducing gas. Also, through the exertions of the ladies—one party working to defray the cost of the above improvements, and another to earn and lay out still more to make the Church building attractive—vieing with one another in most generous rivalry—the Treasurer was able, again, this year to report himself in funds to satisfy all claims; while the Vestry had [20/21] occasion to make graceful acknowledgment of the contribution of the very elegant walnut screen, or tablets, that from that time began to set forth in letters of gold those golden words of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Decalogue, which through all the years since, must have been branded on the retina of every attendant at St. Andrew's, who could sit and read.
In the spring of 1858, a very important change was adopted in the mode of supporting the parish and carrying on its work. Nearly all the pews in the Church for the year closing at Easter had been rented, but many to those who were not at all regular in their attendance upon the services. Consequently, though the pecuniary consideration received was good, as good almost as it could be, with the views that then prevailed of the money worth of religious privileges, the congregations generally were small. With few pews to rent, the Church had many to fill, and yet was in the habit of selling away its right to fill them. This condition of things was tolerable so long as there was no great demands for sittings; but now there was a prospect of a large accession to the number of Church families resident in Harlem, and as the Vestry could not begin to provide all the new-corners with pews, and yet would have an abundance of room, should it not be rented, to seat all who were likely to be regular attendants, this consideration suggested the very obvious expedient of making the seats free. It was the easiest mode, in fact, of enlarging the Church, and making it accommodate more people. The pew-holders of the parish having been first consulted in the matter, and having decided in its favor by a vote of thirty-two to ten, the Vestry at a meeting on the 20th of March, passed the resolution, "that on and after the first of April, 1858, the seats of St. Andrew's Church be free." The Rector was earnestly in favor of the movement, because of his bitter experience of the evils of the pew-rent system, and had he seen fire itself in the free-seat plan as proposed, would have been willing to try whether he should find it a pleasant change to a little downright martyrdom, after years of torment and tossing in the "Pew" frying-pan. However, he anticipated nothing of the kind. Nor did he realize it. For though he [21/22] relinquished his claim to any stated amount of salary, and consented to receive in its stead the avails of the Sunday offerings, whatever they might be, he was never better, more certainly, and more agreeably, provided for, than for the three years and a half during which he lived on the free-will offerings of his people.
The effect of the change to the free-seat plan was immediately seen in a largely increased attendance at all the services, and for the first time in her history the hallowed courts of St. Andrew's had regular experience of crowds.
The life of the parish from this time forth for several years flowed on in a smooth, but steadily-increasing stream. In the summer of 1858, by permission of the Vestry, and with the liberal assistance of a few of his friends, the Rector had a very complete and convenient study constructed within the base of the Church cupola, partly below and partly above the level of the roof. This multum in parvo apartment, ten feet by eight, heated as well as lighted by gas, with its two windows, four book-cases, four closets, two tables, two chests of drawers, one washstand, one lounge and two chairs—where its occupant was able to defy intrusion and make the very most of his study hours, was a provision but little thought of by the kind hearts that contributed toward it, and yet nothing was ever done for the personal convenience of the present Rector that he appreciated more at the time, and now remembers with sincerer gratitude.
The years 1859 and 1860 passed away without any material change to be noted, except the gradual and continuous recruiting of membership and resources of the parish from out of the now constant accessions to the population of Harlem. In the winter of 1860-61, the Rector had a serious illness which incapacitated him for duty during many weeks; but by the kindness of his vestry and parishioners, a long leave of absence and means to enjoy it were allowed him, so that early in the spring he was able to resume his charge.
In the fall of 1861, the increasing attendance at all the Sunday services suggested the necessity of earnestly considering the question of Church enlargement, and at a meeting of the [22/23] Vestry on the 4th of December, upon motion of Mr. Lawrence, it was referred to a committee consisting of the Rector and Messrs. McLaughlin and Richmond to inquire with regard to the best plan and probable cost of enlargement, and report at a subsequent meeting. After a delay long enough to give time for the introduction of more active and stirring elements into the Vestry, at a meeting in June, 1862, plans for an enlargement were submitted, drawn by the architect, Mr. William T. Beers. These we referred to a committee with instructions to suggest improvements in the same, and then obtain estimates from parties who would undertake the work. It was thought advisable by the Vestry not to appeal to the congregation for the means to defray the whole cost of this enlargement, but rather to provide them by a loan, because they had determined upon its completion to return to the pew-rent system of support. They doubtless considered that they might occupy a more independent position with the congregation, and demand rent for the pews with better grace, should they abstain from asking them to contribute, at least largely, to the expense of the proposed alteration. This stroke of policy, however, was entirely needless; for the congregation had become quite as unanimous and earnest in favor of returning to the pew system, as they had been of forsaking it less than four years before. Old residents and newcomers—all made the same complaint, "We are grievously incommoded!"—all made the same petition, "Give us seats that we may know where to go without annoying others or being ourselves annoyed!" Finally, the preliminary arrangements having all been made, the Church was closed on the 16th of November and the work commenced. It was twelve weeks in progress, instead of the promised six, and the Church was not reopened until the 8th of February, 1863.
The enlargement consisted in the addition of a recess Chancel, eighteen feet wide, by fourteen feet deep, lighted from above, and a Vestry room opening from it to the west, sixteen feet by eleven. Space was made by this addition for eight more pews in front, now seventy-six in all; but by doing away, at the same time, with the middle aisle, which was not needed, [23/24] and making over and rearranging all the pews, nearly an hundred additional sittings were gained, and the comfort of the whole improved. The Church was also at this time thoroughly painted inside and out; new carpets, new cushions, new gas-fixtures, were provided. The old pulpit, though somewhat modified, and the old lectern were retained; also the original chancel rail, hallowed by memories of the many hundred communions that thereat had been received. But in place of the old altar and font, richly carved substitutes of Caen stone were contributed at this time by Mrs. Dr. Sayre and her sister, the only surviving children of Mr. Chas. Henry Hall; the altar as a memorial of their father, of whose liberality the Church is itself a monument; the font, of their mother, to whose virtues there could be no stronger testimony than this expression of her daughters' reverent regard.
Another important provision was at this time made for the better accommodation of the Sunday-school. Only the eastern half of the basement story of the Church had hitherto been finished; the front portion, about forty by eighteen feet, for a Sunday-school room, the rear for a Vestry—or rather vault—for the convenience of the officiating clergy. The other half had been used as a cellar. The whole was now thrown into one large room; the floor was laid lower to give greater height to the ceiling; the areas outside were made deeper and wider to admit more light and exclude more moisture; and everything completely finished and furnished to meet the requirements of a large Sunday-school. It seems hardly possible now, with the splendid provision which the Parish has since made for this department of her work, that the little ones and their teachers could ever have been contented in that dark, damp room; but it is none the less true that on the day when the Church was re-opened after these great improvements, there was quite as much rejoicing below ground at the vast increase in their accommodations and the privilege of a glimpse at the afternoon as well as the morning side of the sky, as there was above ground at the beautiful new chancel, with its fair Corinthian columns, its stained glass sky-light, and its noble altar, interpreting the legend above it, [24/25] "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good-will to men."
The whole cost of these alterations and improvements was $5,536, not including that of the gifts. To defray it, $3,500 was borrowed by increasing the mortgage upon the Church property to $6,000, and the remainder required was, part of it—about one-half—contributed by persons friendly to the undertaking, and the other part paid out of the current income of the Church.
It was not generally known that while the Church building was undergoing this enlargement, the title of the Parish to a large portion of the ground it occupies passed through the ordeal of a trial before the Supreme Court of the United States, at Washington, and came out of it approved. The suit was a test one, in which Mr. Richard Ackerman, a resident of Harlem, and living in the immediate vicinity of the Church, was compelled to become the defendant. But though "the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of St. Andrew's" were not directly a party thereto, they, in common with many other owners of property in the neighborhood, were equally interested with the defendant, because their title was the same. The case arose out of the disputed interpretation of the will of one Lawrence Benson, who died in the year 1822; and the question to be decided was whether or not this will conveyed the fee of the property to Benjamin L. Benson, the testator's son, from whom all subsequent possessors of it had derived their title. Chancellor Kent, who was consulted with reference to this question in 1828, gave it as his opinion that the will did convey the fee; and his authority for many years was sufficient to repress the claims of the would-be heirs-at-law. But the title to a large farm in Harlem had now become a very tempting prize. Its area, though moderate as measured by the acre, was immense as including some six or seven hundred lots; and though the old Benson farm-house on the hill had long since disappeared, with the rocks on which it stood, the improvements that had supplanted it numbered scores of houses. Accordingly a suit of ejectment was brought against Mr. Ackerman by some of the Benson heirs. He defended it [25/26] successfully in one of the United States District Courts. The plaintiffs then appealed to the Supreme Court, and lost their case, the judgment of the lower Court being affirmed with costs, in January, 1863. It was a peculiarly trying experience for Mr. Ackerman to be selected from so many that were equally liable to prosecution with himself, to be the defendant in this protracted and expensive suit; and we are not certain that the authorities of the Parish deserve any more than the credit of doing what it would have been a shame to them to have declined, when, upon learning the result of this suit, they appointed a committee to confer with Mr. Ackerman's attorney, and ascertain from him what portion of the cost it would be fair for the Church to pay, and upon the report of this committee, voted the champion of their title the amount so ascertained.
Toward the close of the year 1863, the pressure for further accommodation in the Church had become so urgent that measures to provide it began to be discussed. But what to do, how to do it and where, complicated the problem to that degree that it became exceedingly difficult to solve. Plans for enlarging the old Church—plans to sell out altogether and buy property and build elsewhere—plans to retain the old Church as a free Chapel, to be supported by a fine new Church to be built on Fifth Avenue, or further west—plans to retain the old Church in her original post of dignity, and build a small Chapel of ease in the lower part of Harlem—came dancing in inextricable mazes through the brains of the Vestry, vanishing each one of them like dreams, the moment one attempted to hold it for a close examination and be satisfied that it had more promise of being practicable than the rest. Finally, the Committee charged with determination of the matter reported in favor of a plan for enlarging the old Church by an addition, which should be really the commencement of a new Church to front on Fourth Avenue. The plan was approved, and Mr. Charles Duggin, architect, employed to furnish a sketch of such a combination of stone with wood—of Gothic with Doric—of the beginning of a permanent structure, destined to grow, with the lingering remnant of a temporary structure, doomed to be destroyed. Some of the Vestry were violently in favor of it, and one of [26/27] their number was willing for a while to venture the loan of a large sum of money for the sake of having it, or something like it, erected. But others did not approve the plan, and openly opposed the measures proposed to be taken for its execution, which involved the incurring of a considerable amount of debt, and the disturbance and rearrangement of the dead in the church-yard to give larger security to creditors. The friends of the project were discouraged by this opposition; and at a Vestry meeting on the 14th of April, 1864, having been confronted with a formidable remonstrance, signed by eighty-six parishioners, protesting against any increase of the Parish debt, they abandoned the whole thing in disgust. The writer remembers grieving over this, as it then seemed to him, unfortunate issue; but now he has no doubt that for all the best interests of the Parish the failure of the project was providentially determined, and that the wrath developed in that very stormy session of the Vestry, which seemed to dishonor and defeat a pious enterprise, was really overruled to the praise of God.
The associated project of a Chapel which had all along been regarded with more or less favor was also given up at this time; but with the understanding that the Rev. Mr. Mowbray, who was to have been invited to take charge of it as an assistant minister, should be encouraged with his friends to organize an independent Parish. Thus the quietus of the projected new Church for St. Andrew's, in the spring of 1864, was the quickening of another Church-building project, to be carried out by another congregation. For in the course of a few weeks after, during the month of May, 1864, the Parish of Grace Church, Harlem, was organized. The Rector of St. Andrew's presided at the meeting, whereat with due forms of law it was ushered into being—had the father's prerogative allowed him of giving the new child her name, and when the little Chapel on 116th Street was completed and, the opening service held on the 14th of May, 1865, felt himself more than rewarded for all the encouragement he had shown the enterprise, by the privilege and honor of speaking from the pulpit the first words of congratulation to the new congregation rejoicing in their success.
In the spring of 1865, although the opening of Grace Church [27/28] chapel gave promise of a measure of relief, there was still an uneasy conviction that something must be done, and the building project was revived. It took the form of a new Church to be put up on Fifth Avenue. In the month of May, six lots on the north-east corner of One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Street were spoken for, and a refusal of them obtained for twenty days at the specified price of $13,500; and in the meantime, to raise the purchase money, the Parsonage and eight lots on Fourth Avenue were offered for sale at $12,000. But Fourth Avenue property was unfortunately not in demand and the twenty days of this opportunity expired. Still the talk went on, and to be sure in this attempt of the co-operation of the congregation, a meeting of the parishioners was called on the first of July, and resolutions passed approving the project and recommending the ladies to organize their forces for the work. The summer slipped by, however, without anything being done, and in the fall the idea of a change of site was entirely given up, and the stone-enlargement project, that eighteen months before had failed, for a while revived.
Meantime, the attention of the Vestry was somewhat diverted by the enterprise of a Parochial School for boys, which was started under the auspices of the Rector and Vestry with the Rev. Southard Compton, now appointed assistant minister of the Parish, as its master. Mr. Compton was employed in the capacity of an assistant for only six months, though he retained charge of the school to the end of the school year. A layman succeeded him as master, but it proved an unprofitable scheme, and was finally discontinued in the summer of 1867.
To return from this digression to the building project. The subscription for the stone enlargement was started in the month of January, 1866. A prominent and valued member of the parish, to encourage the undertaking and secure its accomplishment without any troublesome consequence of debt, subscribed five thousand dollars to the building fund, on condition that subscriptions amounting to twenty thousand more should be obtained. For a while the prospect was fair that the conditions might be met and the whole amount secured; but, as the canvassing progressed, it became more and more apparent [28/29] that the difficulty of making up the amount was going to increase in an even worse than geometrical ratio, and that to obtain the last five thousand was a long way beyond any powers of persuasion or entreaty that an enterprise like this could command. Accordingly, the idea of commencing any permanent and expensive structure was relinquished, and it was resolved to enlarge the old Church in the easiest, cheapest and most economical way. And now things moved. In the month of March, Messrs. Rogers & Brown, architects, were employed to draw plans of an enlargement, bringing out the Church front nearly to the building line on One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street. In April, the plans were submitted and approved. In May, the estimates were received for the work. In June, the contracts were signed; and after the first Sunday in July, the Church was closed and the work commenced. The long familiar portico with its Doric columns, and the classic cupola which crowned the roof above, were quickly demolished, and about thirty-one feet of length was added to the nave, with three doors in front, and a platform outside with steps at either end, to give an easy mode of ascent to the always inconveniently high level of the old Church floor. At the southwest corner of this addition, a modest little tower was permitted to raise its head some fifty feet above the level of the pavement. In it was hung the ancient bell—first rung on Washington's Birthday in 1831—now recast with a trifle more metal added; but all who were in the secret of the place of its renovation were apt to fancy that the moulds and lathes of the Novelty Works had only succeeded in modifying its original harshness with something of a steamboat ring. [The bell was recast at the Novelty Iron Works, then the most prominent iron foundry in the city and manufactures of engines for steamboats and steamships. Mr. J. Wilson Stratton was treasurer of the works and a prominent member of St. Andrew's Vestry. M. P. D.]
The effect of this enlargement upon the exterior of the Church was the very reverse of improving. It destroyed the symmetry of its proportions, and the correctness and simplicity of its style. Viewed in front, the Church looked smaller than it really was, and was bold without dignity, thrusting all the [29/30] ornament it had as far forward as it could; from the side it looked larger than it really was, and seemed too low for its length; while the tower at the end was a feeble impertinence, a part in the structure that appeared to have been stunted, while all the rest had grown.
But the interior was really improved by its increased length and the fifty-seven pews that were added by this enlargement were more than enough to compensate for all the resulting blemishes. The organ, which used to stand in the old gallery, directly under the cupola, where its whistles were perpetually wet by the leakage from the belfry, disappeared with the cause of its chronic squeakiness, and was replaced at this time by a much larger and finer instrument, made by Johnson, of Westfield, Massachusetts. It was mostly paid for through the exertions of the ladies of the parish, and cost, beside the proceeds of the sale of the old organ, one fair, one concert, and many other pleasant occasions of less consequence, whose animating spirit must have clung, like a lingering echo to every pipe in the instrument thus paid for, to account for the peculiar sweetness of its tones.
The Church was reopened promptly on the promised day, the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, September 3d, after having been closed nine weeks.
The entire cost of this enlargement, including that of the organ, was $12,514. Of this amount was raised by subscription about $10,500, and the deficiency was provided for in the following spring by a loan of $2,000 increasing by this amount the mortgage debt of the Parish.
In temporal matters St. Andrew's was never more flourishing than during the year and a half which succeeded the completion of these improvements. The attendance was large at all the services; the contributions liberal to every good object presented; harmony and contentment reigned.
On Christmas-day, 1867, through the liberality of a few parishioners, the Parish was presented with some very elegant articles of Church furniture, a new pulpit, reading-desk and stall; new standards with metal decorations, for the chancel rail; a credence shelf and sanctuary chairs. Also, at the same time, [30/31] was received a very elegant bronze eagle lectern, mounted on a standard of walnut and ebony combined, given to hallow and perpetuate the memory of one who dearly loved St. Andrew's and its services—not only thence had been carried out to burial, but was there confirmed, had there received her first and last communion, and there many times sat a listener to lessons from that precious volume, from which this her monument was now become a throne. If the writer, in this connection, may be permitted to allude to the very suggestive and welcome impressions which such seemingly simple objects as articles of Church use or ornament, by being associated with the memory of the loved and revered departed, have made upon his mind, let him here confess that not only the sight of their familiar initials graven on such memorials, but the recollection of what they, who are not so commemorated, gave, when he has had occasion to employ their gifts, and of even where they sat and knelt, when he has turned to look toward their wonted places in the Church, have oftentimes made it seem as though in spirit they were really present and interested still. And ever since he heard the story of how this Parish had nothing better than pewter vessels for sacramental use, until in the year 1844 the heart of one of her zealous and faithful members was moved to provide her with her present service of more worthy metal, the writer has often been reminded in the presence of "this good deed done for the offices of the House of God," to include its author among those of God's departed servants who should be gratefully remembered specially at St. Andrew's altar—whose good example her members should ever seek grace to follow—whose hope of reward, to share. We find this note made in our Parish Register, under the date March 25, 1862, of Abel T. Anderson's burial: "Mr. Anderson was a Warden of St. Andrew's from 1845 to 1848 inclusive, a Vestryman of St. Andrew's in 1849 and 1850, and a Warden again in 1851 and 1852. He was one of the Vestry of Trinity Church at the time of his death, and only a summer attendant at St. Andrew's. The Rector of this Parish, however, officiated at his funeral, and makes the entry of his burial in this Record, to commemorate the great gain, as we trust, of a good and faithful servant, and [31/32] the as great loss of the Parish and friends, whom under the Lord he served."
With the incoming of the year 1868, Holy Trinity Church of Harlem was projected. Services were held only in the afternoon during the winter season, but in the spring its friends engaged a hall on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 129th Street where full services were immediately established. The Parish was organized according to customary forms of law, on the 23d of June. By this enterprise St. Andrew's lost a number of her most valuable and active members, some of them, those who had been identified with nearly every movement undertaken within the five years previous to promote her prosperity and usefulness. Owing to the excitement and misconceptions growing out of an ecclesiastical trial, which occupied public attention at about this time, the new Parish was started without the formal observance of those courtesies which ought to be the rule among brethren of the same household. Under different circumstances, the writer is persuaded that the individuals who had charge of that enterprise would have pursued an altogether different course. It was unfortunate, indeed, that the new Parish and the old should have thus needlessly been placed in the apparent relation of rivals, rather than of earnest and friendly co-workers in the vineyard of their common Lord; but not so unfortunate as it would have been had there really ever occurred any break in the perfect good feeling which always prevailed between the parties thus outwardly severed, and above all, had there been, after the new Parish had called a Rector, the slightest disposition on the part of either Pastor to play the wolf toward his brother's fold.
The experience of this year and the year which followed was rather a trying one to St. Andrew's. She could have easily borne the draft that was made upon her to establish the camp of her younger sister; but still greater losses were occasioned by the May and November migrations, which in both these years were noticeably large from even this most migratory community. And yet, considering the great increase of Church accommodation furnished by the new Parish upon the completion [32/33] of her Church edifice—its superior attractiveness—the prestige it enjoyed simply in being new—not to mention considerations that would occur to others in its favor—the old Parish after all held her own remarkably. In some—the most important—respects, she prospered beyond all precedent. The number of baptisms and of candidates for confirmation increased. The roll of communicants, with all the erasures, grew actually longer. The Sunday-school, which had been decried as her weakest point, through the rallying of friends to its support, became indeed her strongest; while the voluntary contributions of the congregation to pious and charitable objects were double what they were in her sunniest days, when every pew was rented and the only malady complained of was lack of room.
In the summer of 1869, the question of making better provision for the accommodation of the Sunday-school, which was rapidly outgrowing its disagreeable quarters in the basement of the Church, began to be seriously entertained. Late in the fall, plans of a building for this purpose were procured from Messrs. Rogers and Brown, architects, which after some modifications to adapt them externally to the location, and internally to the uses of the proposed erection, were eventually adopted.
In the spring of 1870, the Vestry having been disappointed in their efforts to effect a lease of the Fourth Avenue lots, on the avails of which they depended for means to carry out their building enterprise, determined to sell this portion of the Church property. The sale was consummated on the 26th of April, and realized the sum of $26,175, for the eight lots, each twenty-five by seventy feet, and the Parsonage. Only little more than three-fifths of this amount, however, was available for the building fund of the Sunday-school, the rest being required to discharge the funded and floating obligations of the Parish. Pending the delay occasioned by an unsuccessful attempt to procure certain vault lots in the Church-yard, which would have enabled the architect to arrange an immediate connection between the Sunday-school building and Church, the Vestry resolved to spend some of the spare time and money in renovating the Church. This work occupied a good portion of the [33/34] summer, the Church being closed six Sundays, from the 7th of August till the 25th of September; and it cost for the slate roof —the arched window frames with stained glass—the painting within and without, etc., etc., the sum of $5,550, leaving so much less for the Sunday-school building fund. In the course of the next month, ground for this building was broken, and on the 12th of November the corner-stone was laid by the Right Rev. Horatio Potter, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese. It was a joyful occasion, bright with troops of children, waving their gay, new banners, singing original, and "composed expressly, etc." hymns. The Bishop addressed the assembled throng in his happiest vein; and quite a number of the clergy of the various denominations in Harlem were present to show their interest in the good work that day inaugurated. The corner-stone itself was a relic from the demolished walls of St. George's. Church, Beekman Street, and has graven on its face the cross of St. Andrew, with the year wherein it was laid, the date of the eighteenth centenary of the good apostle's martyrdom. The twelfth of November is a day to be much observed in our Parish calendar: for in the year 1871, at the last Sunday service which was ever to be held in the old Church edifice, it saw the end of her more than forty years sojourn in a perishable tabernacle; as in the year 1870, on the occasion above described, it saw the first beam laid of that ark which was to be our refuge from the coming flood of fire.
The Sunday-school building was completed and opened for use on Easter-Day, the 9th of April, 1871. The cost of the building proper was $15,950—of the furniture and fittings, $2,800; and other expenses in connection with it were incurred amounting to $925, making a total outlay of $19,675; the ladies of the parish providing the furniture out of the proceeds of a very successful fair held in the building immediately after its completion. The larger part of the cost of the building itself was defrayed from the money realized by the sale of the Fourth Avenue property. In the course of the year, a liberal sum was contributed by the congregation toward the deficiency; but a debt of $6,000 on the account of this enterprise remains.
The writer must admit, that notwithstanding the admirable [34/35] conveniences and usefulness of this erection, he had very serious doubts, which many with him shared, of the wisdom of selling any—and especially so large a portion—of the parish domain for the purpose of providing it. He had serious fears, as well, that when the new owners of the Fourth Avenue lots should build upon their property, the stores or the dwellings with their occupants might come into most annoying proximity to the Church, which was now left with only six feet of space for over a hundred feet along its western side, to fend it from all sorts of neighbors. But when on Saturday night, the 18th of November, 1871, the Church was destroyed by fire, and on Sunday morning, the 19th, the school room was ready for carrying on our services without a break or delay, these doubts and fears were happily dispelled. It was then apparent that we had built even better than any of us knew—just where—just when —just what we wanted—that we had thrown out an anchor to moor us to the old spot, but in a safer direction, no longer broadside to apprehended breakers—that we had framed a bridge whereon to cross easily and cheerily a threatening and weary chasm—that we had provided a workshop in which to toil together for the completion of a task which the Providence of God would assign us—that we had set up a Tabernacle wherein to seek His grace to prompt and cheer and guide and bless our labors and self-denials, till He should see fit to crown them with their issue in a more worthy Temple raised to the honor of His name.
The history of St. Andrew's, so far as we can write, is ended here. We have purposely omitted much for the sake of brevity—more, for the sake of charity—more, for the sake of not flattering the living to their faces; and more, for the sake of not wasting the poor perfume of our praises on the memories that are passing sweet without it, the blessed dead. And in what we have written, we have confined ourselves almost entirely to narration of the external events and circumstances of our parish life; because, of its ebbs and flows—of its losses and gains—of its growth, its stagnation and declension at various times in spiritual things, each member of St. Andrew's is most concerned to make out the account for himself, [35/36] and let his own conscience accuse or acquit or console him for the part which he has borne in it. It is rather a matter of individual concern; which each man can see and read from his own experience, so far as it can be seen and read at all; for the whole story of the inner life of any parish is known only to Him, who can read the hearts of all.
We need not inform the reader that there is another chapter in St. Andrew's history already commenced, which her members and friends are to live and act in, not read nor write. One day its record may possibly be written by some future Rector, and read by some future generation of parishioners. But now we have provided that whoever reads the foregoing chapter may, if he will, contribute something to be entered into that which is to come. In the General Subscription Book for the Building Fund of St. Andrew's Church, it is proposed to print this historical sketch as a sort of preface or introduction to the more interesting matter that will follow it, and to have entered in this book, so far as it is feasible, in his or her own handwriting, the name and contribution of every subscriber. This book will be carefully preserved in the Parish Archives as an object of permanent interest, and really the most valuable record that can be of the work before us. On the last page of this pamphlet will be found a form of subscription. It may be filled out and returned to any member of the Vestry, who, upon receiving it, will take pleasure to see that the subscriber is afforded an early opportunity of transferring the same to the General Subscription Book for the Building Fund.
RECTORS OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH.
REV. GEO. L. HINTON,
Called February 14, 1829. Died July 25, 1832.
REV. ABRAM B. HART,
Called October 17, 1833. Resigned September 9, 1840.
REV. JAMES R. BAYLEY,
Called October 19, 1840. Resigned April 7, 1842.
REV. R. M. ABERCROMBIE, D.D.,
Called July 26, 1846. Resigned May 5, 1850.
REV. GEO. B. DRAPER, D.D..
Called June 6, 1850. Died September 24, 1876.
REV. SAMUEL EARP, D. D.,
Called December 16, 1876. Resigned March 3, 1879.
REV. FRANCIS LOBDELL, D. D.,
Called May 15, 1879. Resigned January 21, 1887.
REV. GEORGE R. VAN DE WATER, D.D.,
Called April 30, 1887.
CHARLES HENRY HALL 1829-1835; JOHN ROOK 1829; GEORGE RIBLET, 1830; E. R. JONES 1831-1835; JACOB LORILLARD 1836-1838, 1843-1844; LEWIS MORRIS 1836-1841; GUY BAYLEY, M. D. 1839-1850; LEWIS G. MORRIS 1842; ABEL T. ANDERSON 1845-1848, 1851-1852; ANDREW CRAWFORD 1849-1853; J. W. F. HARTMAN 1853-1861; JAMES R. WALTER 1854; C. G. BUNELL 1855; JOHN PROPHET 1856, 1857; W. H. WILLIAMS 1858, 1859; T. F. COMPTON 1859; HENRY W. ROSWELL 1861; WILLIAM B. ASTEN 1862, 1866-1873; EDWARD H. JACOT 1862-1865, 1868-1872, 1887-1889; JOHN A. GRAFF 1862; B. C. PADDOCK 1863-1867; WILLIAM H. RIBLET1873; MILN P. DAYTON 1874-1879; LEWIS BAILY 1875; HENRY H. HOLLY 1876-1877; JAMES WILKES, JR. 1878-1879; WILLIAM T. RYERSON 1880-1883; CHARLES C. TYLER 1880-1886; MORRIS WILKINS 1884-1885; DONALD MCLEAN 1886-1889.
E. H. PENNOYER 1829-1831,1843-1844; DAVID RANDELL 1829; WILLIAM RANDELL 1829-1834; GEORGE RIBLET 1829; JAMES FLANAGAN 1829-1833; A. B. SANDS 1829; SAMUEL J. CAMP 1829; WILLIAM D. BRADSHAW 1829-1830; NATHANIEL HOLMES 1829; AARON CLARK 1830; JOHN SMALLEY 1830-1831; WILLIAM HINTON 1830; EDWARD PRIME 1830, 1831; SIDNEY UDALL 1830; JAMES FLOY 1831; ROBERT RAY 1831; LEWIS MORRIS 1831-1835; JOSEPH C. ARNOLD, M. D. 1831; _ HEARSEY, M. D.1831; NATHANIEL PRIME 1832-1836; PETER SCHERMERHORN 1832; JOHN JONES 1832-1841; JOHN C. CRUGER;1833, 1834; RICHARD R. LANSING 1833, 1834; GUY C. BAYLEY, M. D. 1834-1838; ARCHIBALD WATT 1834-1838; WILLIAM W. WINANS 1835; GEORGE D. WILLIAMS 1835-1838; JAMES G. RUSSELL 1835-1840; E. R. JONES 1836-1838; WILLIAM H. MORRIS 1836-1841; JOHN A. SIDELL 1837-1839, 1842-1846; JOHN C. BARRETT 1839; JOHN HARRIS 1839, 1840; THOMAS WARD 1839; WALTER BRADY 1840-1853; JAMES LANCE 1840-1841; WILLIAM E. WILMERDING 1840; LEWIS G. MORRIS 1840-1841; CHARLES A. CLINTON 1841; DANIEL M. EDGAR 1841; BENJAMIN D. CRAIG 1841, 1842; JACOB LORILLARD 1842; ANTOINE A. MELLEY 1842; NATHANIEL P. BAILEY 1842-1843; WILLIAM H. DIETZ 1842; WARREN BRADY 1842, 1844-1853; JAMES CHESTERMAN 1843; PETER VANDERVOORT 1843; CLEMENT REMINGTON 1843-1847; E .E. MORGAN 1843; JAMES MUNROE 1844-1848; ABEL T. ANDERSON 1844, 1849, 1850; WILLIAM AUGUSTUS STEBBINS 1844-1847; ROBERT RUTHERFORD 1844-1845; NATHANIEL B. BLUNT1845-1847; ANDREW CRAWFORD 1846-1848; R. MOREWOOD 1847; JOHN WARWICK 1848-1853; GOUVENEUR OGDEN 1848; SAMUEL BELL 1848-1849; MICHAEL FLOY 1848-1852; H. H. BURLOCK 1849-1858; JOHN PROPHET 1849-1853, 1856; DANIEL PENFIELD 1850-1851; JAMES COLWELL 1850; J. W. F. HARTMANN 1851-1852, 1859; ROBERT C. BOLTON 1852; HENRY J. MANNING 1853, 1854; GEORGE W. JENKINS 1853-1854; WALTER OAKLEY 1853-1855; C. M. ARNOLD 1854-1855; O. R. STEELE 1854-1856; D. NELSON 1854; H. HUMPEREYS 1854; JOSEPH WRAGG 1855-1858; WILLIAM STAMMERS 1855; CHAS. V. HOTCHKISS 1855-1856; WILLIAM B. ASTEN 1855-1860; SAMUEL W. GALPIN 1856-1857; GEORGE W. HOLMES 1857; WILLIAM H. MITCHELL1857-1859; P. S. STEVENS 1857-1858; W. H. WILLIAMS 1857, 1862; ANDREW R. TROTTER 1858-1861; LUTHER BRADLEY 1858; T .F. COMPTON 1858; A. E. COHEN 1859; C. G. BUNELL 1859; HENRY W. BOSWELL1859; ALONZO C. STEWART 1859-1860, 1869-1872; GEORGE RICHMOND 1859-1861; HENRY HAGAR 1860-1861; FREDERICK H. HERBERT 1860-1863; A. W. GAY 1860; JAS. L. MASON 1860-1861; JOHN A. GRAFF 1861-1862; Wm. G. MCLAUGHLIN 1861-1864; CYRUS J. LAWRENCE 1861-1864, 1866-1871; BENJAMIN BEYEA 1862-1865; GERSHOM A. SEIXAS 1862-1865; BENJ. C. PADDOCK 1862; EDWARD H. JACOT 1862; WILLIAM C. HADDEN 1862; J. WILSON STRATTON 1863-1868; CHARLES PLACE 1863-1865; ROSEWELL G. ROLSTON 1863-1866; M. HACKETT 1864-1865; PHILIP W. KOPPER 1865; JOSEPH STRUTHERS 1865; MILN P. DAYTON 1866-1878; WILLIAM T. RYERSON 1866-1873, 1876-1879; MANTON E. TOWNSEND 1866-1868; JOHN D. BUCKHOUT 1866-1867; SAMUEL J. HARRIOT 1867; HENRY O. FREEMAN 1868-1869; WILLLIAM H. RIBLET 1868-1872; WALTER T. MARVIN 1869-1875; JAS.WILKIE JR. 1870-1875; FITCH W. SMITH 1872; CHARLES C.TYLER 1873-1879; ROBERT BONYNGE 1873-1880; CHARLES TUCKER 1874-1875; CHARLES N. KENT 1874-1877; HENRY H. HOLLY 1874-1875; HENRY T. GODET 1876-1877; JOHN A. CRANDELL 1876-1877; ELISHA A. HOWLAND 1876-1877; JOHN D. MACINTYRE 1876-1883; JOHN O. FARRINGTON 1878-1881; AUGUSTUS BLEECKER 1878-1879; LEWIS BAILY 1878-1879; ALEXANDER GAW 1879; EDWARD J. SWORDS 1880-1881; E. WELLS SACKETT 1880-1881; WILLIAM C. ENGLE 1880-1881; E_ S.TORRY 1880-1883; DONALD MCLEAN 1880-1885; EDWIN F. CORRY 1881-1886; J. M. ERSKINE 1882; ABRAHAM STEERS 1882-1886; JOHN H. SUYDAM 1882, 1887-1889; JOHN B. SIMPSON, JR. 1886-1889; MORRIS WILKINS 1883; THOMAS N. ROBINSON 1883-1886; VERNON M. DAVIS 1883-1889; HENRY C. TALLMAN 1884-1886; JOHN L. REID 1884-1889; JAMES A. HILTNER 1884-1886; ARTHUR T. TIMPSON 1887-1889; RALPH M. HYDE 1887-1889; WILLIAM B. OGDEN 1887-1889; EDWARD H. COLMAN 1887-1889.
It is proposed to rebuild St. Andrew's on the old ground, though not on the precise site occupied by the original building. The chancel of the new church will, a part of it, fall within the limits of the old chancel, but be turned toward Fourth Avenue instead of 128th Street; while the front of the Church will face Third Avenue instead of 127th Street. Thus located the sides of the Church will be parallel with the streets and not with the avenues, and both on the north and south, space for a pleasant court-yard will be secured. A portion of the north side of the Church will adjoin the Sunday-school building, with which the Church can thus have direct communication. The structure will embrace a nave [41/42] with clerestory and aisles; a north and south transept; a chancel with aisles; a Vestry room at the north-west corner; & porch, affording access from 128th Street at the north-east corner; a similar porch at the south-east corner for access from 127th Street; a small apartment, opening by arches into the Church, to be known as the children's corner, in the southwest; and about mid-way on the south side, in the angle formed by the transept and aisle, will stand a tower with a stair turret alongside of it for ascent to the belfry, rising at the highest point about 100 feet. The organ and choir will have place in a gallery in the north transept. The church will be one hundred and twenty-five feet in extreme length, by from sixty to seventy-eight feet in width. It will afford sittings for eight hundred and fifty persons, with ample space beside for passages, a roomy and convenient chancel and a baptistery. It will be lighted from every side—will have a lofty open timber roof of beautiful construction—will be neatly and comfortably furnished with hard-wood pews, &c.; and if the designs of the architect are properly carried out, cannot fail to be one of those things of beauty that are a joy forever. The material that will probably be selected for the construction of the walls, is a warm-tinted, light-gray granite, from Niantic, near New London, Connecticut. Its cost is somewhat greater than that of the sand-stones in common use, but the superior durability of granite and its fitness for the simple, rustic style and surroundings of the Church, incline the Vestry to determine in its favor. The outer walls will be of stone on all sides and of good thickness. If we cannot build really fine, and give what is very costly, we feel that we must at least build well, and give what is real and good, as our offering to God. It is our purpose not to spend more than $60,000; and we wish to raise, if we can, the whole amount from the members and friends of St. Andrew's. What a glorious end it would be, not only to finish the Church according to the plans, but to pay the whole cost, so that as soon as it is finished it can be formally consecrated to the service of God! Let us toil, and deny ourselves, and give, and pray, to achieve it! Let everyone do something! "If thou hast much, give plenteously; if thou [42/43] hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little; for so thou gatherest to thyself a good reward in the day of necessity."
FORM OF BEQUEST.
"I hereby give and bequeath to the Rector, Church-Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Andrew's Church, in the Village of Harlem, in the Twelfth Ward of the City and County of New York, the sum of ______ dollars, to be applied by them towards extinguishing the debt upon their Church edifice; or, if there should be no debt upon it, or if this sum should be more than sufficient to discharge the same, then the whole, or the remainder, to be by them securely invested, and the interest thereof to be used in keeping the Church buildings in repair."
Extract from the Digest of Canons for the government of the Prot. Epis. Church, in the U. S. A.
TITLE I. CANON XXI. SECTION I.
"No Church or Chapel shall be consecrated until the Bishop shall have been sufficiently certified that the building and ground on which it is erected have been fully paid for, and are free from lien or other incumbrance."
Second Annual Parish Meeting
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH,
Held in the Sunday School Building,
MAY 12, 1875.
MY DEAR PARISHIONERS AND FRIENDS:
 In compliance with a resolution of the Vestry, and also with the expressed wishes and expectations of many other members of the Parish, who are deeply interested in its material welfare, I have called you together this evening to report the progress we have made towards paying our way for the year past, our present condition, and the plan proposed by the Vestry for meeting our pecuniary obligations for the year to come.
But, before we make any statement with regard to our affairs during the last year, it will be necessary, in order to help those who have lately become connected with the parish, to an intelligent appreciation of what we accomplished, to give a brief review of St. Andrew's History for the three years and a half, that by a singular coincidence are exactly fulfilled to-night. For, on the night of the twelfth of November, just three years and a half ago, we held our last Sunday service in the old edifice of St. Andrew's—took unconscious leave of that venerable structure, whose frame—counting the time from corner stone to defective flue—had weathered the storms of full forty-two years. The old Church, in spite of its awkward outside, had a something within, that always seemed passing fair, and to us who were privileged to be constant attendants there, was dear while it lasted, in our happy experience of its shelter, as now, in its ashes, it is still dear to memory. It was burned on the Saturday following this Sunday, the night of the 18th of November, 1871. And then, what had we left? Rescued from the fire, in comparatively good condition, we had, in the first place, to connect our worship in the old Church with that in the new—our altar. It was marvelously saved from the falling debris of the burning roof by the protection that the black walnut tablet or screen, which stood up behind, afforded in falling forward, when its fastenings were burned. This tablet had the Ten Commandments lettered upon its face. It was a striking exhibition [47/48] of the more than harmony between the two dispensations, that the Law should in this way come to the rescue of the Gospel.
A veritable Phoenix also arose from the fire, in the bronze eagle, that still lives to do duty as a Lectern in St. Andrew's. "Lain among the pots" for a while, from the singeing flames, it is fledged anew, "as the wings of a dove that is covered with silver wings and her feathers like gold." The font, though badly damaged, stood smoke and heat, and rough and hasty handling, without destruction. With all its soils and flaws, we made it serve its sacred purpose the while we worshipped in this building, and but very lately, through the pious liberality of its original donors, it has been perfectly repaired and now is doing service in Grace Church, Lexington, Va., to which it was presented as a token of gratitude for Christian hospitality encountered there.
Sundry other articles of church furniture, the pulpit, the reading desk and stall, with the chancel rail, were saved in a tolerably good condition. But as they could not be used in the new church, they were presented by the Vestry to the Parish of Christ Church, Sherburne, Chenango Co., in this State, who regard it by no means an ill wind, that fanned the fire, whose leavings have done them this amount of good.
The value of the old surplices and books, and cushions, and carpets, that were snatched from the burning by so many scores of hands on that memorable night, is now hardly worth an estimate; but when we found them, the next morning, scattered about this building in heaps of profusion, ready to be applied for use and comfort in our worship here, I remember I thought that despite all our losses we were almost rich with these old stores saved.
We had then left us the ruin of an old church, which, I think, was sold for a hundred dollars, and the wreck of an old bell, which brought about two hundred dollars, and, in addition, a very grateful feeling of relief to many, in the assurance of its interminable silence.
We had left us the site of the old Church and the surrounding graveyard, and standing alone in the midst of the desolation [48/49] wrought by cremation and burial, this Sunday-school building, whose corner stone had been laid just one year before, on the 12th of November, 1870, and which had been finished and opened for use on the previous Easter.
We had left us a claim for insurance on the Church, organ and furniture destroyed, that amounted to $16,058. To counterbalance this in great part, however, we had left standing against us a claim for money borrowed to complete this building, which we had secured by mortgage—a sort of salamander safe arrangement that fire, unhappily for us, would not destroy. This debt amounted, with the deduction of the accumulated sinking fund, to about $6,000. Subtracting this six thousand dollars from the sixteen thousand, the amount of our insurance, we had about ten thousand dollars available for the enterprise of rebuilding, at the time I refer to, immediately after the fire.
But little did we realize the trouble—the delay—the pains—the cost—before us. At first we had some difficulty in settling with the insurance companies, and obtaining our honest dues. I think some of their officials were disposed to bring the charge against us of having set fire to our church. All of them averred the loss was not total, and the church could be rebuilt for less than the amount insured. However, they were satisfied at last that we were not incendiaries and had lost as much as we claimed. But the difficulty cost us six weeks' delay. And now, to follow this, a greater trouble, of which, however, your Rector had the most experience, and with regard to which he feels that though he were to tell ten times more than he ever has told to all his friends together, he would not have told a tithe of the horrors which it cost him. I allude to the trouble we encountered in securing the site selected for the new church. It was unfortunately occupied with vaults and graves, in which friends of St. Andrew's, who were dead and gone, were buried. In very many cases, I fear, I never so sincerely lamented their departure as when I found how obstinately their dust and bones resisted our building them a monument, and God a temple. Difficulty, opposition and delay encountered us on every hand, at every step. We were determined to do nothing, [49/50] unless we could do it fairly, kindly, reverently, with the consent and with every regard for the wishes and feelings of surviving friends. I think we succeeded; but we went through worse than fire. Some people assure us that lawyers—others again that physicians—and others that men engaged in trade—have better opportunities than any to study the curious intricacies and strange developments of human nature. I feel constrained to decide they are all mistaken, and to urge that no one can learn so much about humanity as he who may draw the unhappy lot that fell to me, of going in this way between the living and the dead. I am sure I found more windings in ways that are dark, penetrated to more hidden and ordinarily forbidden depths of mystery, stumbled upon more skeletons in individual and household closets, in the course of my negotiations to obtain a site for St. Andrew's in the centre of its churchyard, where it could be free from annoyances and have direct and convenient communication with this building, than if I could have a life-time's experience in every other calling and profession—one after the other—in succession. This undertaking cost the Building Fund a very large outlay, within seven dollars of seven thousand dollars; so that when we were ready to set about the work of re-building, we had but about three thousand dollars of our insurance money left.
Next came the trouble of procuring a plan; in order to which, we had to decide upon what we wanted and how much we could afford and it would be prudent to spend. There was no very serious difference with regard to this, for we were all disposed to be moderate and careful, and were so impatient to have some Church built quickly, that it mattered less with us what sort of a Church it should be. Four architects competed to prepare and submit the plan of a Church that might be built for not more than thirty-five thousand dollars. When the plans at last were completed—and we all thought the architects were dreadfully slow about their work—no one of them was entirely satisfactory; but that presented by Mr. Congdon satisfied us all that he was the architect to be chosen. We revised his plan and improved it, and thereby succeeded—a strike in the labor market occurring in the meantime to help—in just [50/51] about reversing the figures of the estimated cost. Mr. Congdon's original plan by the builder's estimate could have been carried out for $36,000; the lowest estimate, as I remember, upon the revised plan was $63,000. When this revised plan was ready, and before it was given out for estimates, a meeting of the congregation was called, at which to start the subscription for the Building Fund. The meeting was held in this room; the plans were exhibited; speeches were made—fortunately not reported; and the subscription book, prefaced by a "Chapter of the History of St. Andrews Church by the Rector," was opened for the writing of another and a better one. Thirty-six individuals put down their names for over eighteen thousand dollars that night. Eighty-eight names were afterwards added with over ten thousand dollars more, making the aggregate amount of subscriptions twenty-eight thousand dollars. There has been collected of these subscriptions, according to the report of the Treasurer, over twenty-six thousand dollars, or nearly ninety-four per cent of the whole.
Great was the encouragement which this success afforded us; but alas! when we came to procure estimates upon the plans, and found that the bare building was to cost over sixty thousand dollars, and, at even this high figure, the lowest bidder lost his courage and dared not undertake the work, the Vestry was appalled. Some of their number positively refused to commit the parish to so rash and dangerous an undertaking. Accordingly, it was resolved to have the plans curtailed. It was done: labor and materials, in the meantime, going up, as our architect was paring down the beautiful proportions of the pleasant dream he had with so great pains prepared. At last, after the loss, as it proved, of six weeks' time, the cheaper plans were ready. Fresh estimates were received, and the issue was that the mechanics declared themselves prepared to build us, after the reduced plans, at a saving of only two thousand dollars, a church which would really have not been worth so much by twenty thousand dollars, completed, as a church after the plan first approved. Upon this discovery, Mr. True Worthy Rollins, the only builder who had given us estimates on both plans, was at once applied to, to learn whether he would abide [51/52] by his former estimate on the unreduced plans. The true, worthy man declared that never, if he could help it, would he go back upon his own figures, and that he would prefer to build the better church at a smaller profit. The contract was made with him; but not until the Vestry, who strangely developed, at this juncture, an amazing fertility in expedients for spending money, had devised improvements, which added two or three thousand dollars to the estimated cost. Ground was broken in the latter part of July, 1872,—more than nine months after the fire,—and by the 2d of November, the foundation walls were laid, and we stood on the floor of the new church to witness the ceremony, which was then performed, of laying the corner stone. As the work went on, our money wasted rapidly. It became necessary to borrow largely and more largely; at first, fifty thousand dollars, and afterward, ten thousand dollars more. But our exigencies were so pressing, and our desire to carry the work through to completion without delay so consuming, that I believe we rejoiced about as much in our good credit, and saw the helping hand and the benignant smile of a favoring Providence about as plainly in our success as borrowers as though we had been blessed to receive the whole amount we needed by legacy or gift. Certain it is that throughout our enterprise we were very greatly favored. Though I say it modestly, it is my serious opinion that no other man than he, who was qualified by more than twenty years of acquaintance with most of the parties to be dealt with, could ever have accomplished the task of securing the site selected for the church.—And so we had a good Rector. Then, with all due respect to the new members, whom subsequent Easter Mondays have introduced, I think we could hardly have had a Vestry better qualified, or more thoroughly disposed, for such an undertaking, than the Vestry whose names are hidden in the corner stone. They were prudent and economical, and painstaking to save. They were free and fair and considerate to give and spend. Some had the bump of frugality, others of prodigality, developed like horns of unicorns. But there was no to-one-side dodging or thrusting done, when a really desirable improvement was suggested; they united to accomplish it regardless of [52/53] the cost. Some were troubled with timidity, and would cry, hold back, when others were for venturously pressing on; but no one hesitated when the way was clear. Some had much taste, others not so much, and abundant disputing with it. But there was no really serious disagreement, as I remember, except on one occasion, when the comparative claims of ash pure and simple, and ash trimmed with cherry, were discussed; and they finally declined to disagree on this, as on almost every Sunday we may see cherry and anti-cherry men cherishing alike the grace of charity, and not ashamed to settle down together, where they have settled us down, on pure and simple ash.—And so we had a good vestry.
Of the merits of the architect and builder, I need say nothing. Their work will never cease to speak for them. Improvement must turn a Vandal before she would march to the destruction of such a building; old Time himself, have a palsy of earthquakes in his hand, before his touch can crumble it. The architect and builder can do without our praise.
But what shall we say of the ladies and all they did for us? If they may hardly extend so many hands to take it, we cannot help in a figure the offer of our hand with the heartiest grasp of our congratulations. In the first place, through their efforts the organ fund of $5,500 was raised; a fair, and tableaux, and Jarley's wax works, sundry concerts, and other pleasant contrivances, the means. Then, after the organ fund was secured, they collected largely—very largely—for the windows, and wound up with furnishing the Vestry room, to remind the Rector in his coming in and going out, and putting on and off of the vestments of his office, through the comforts and conveniences there provided, of his never ceasing obligations to his friends.
And then, lastly, the friends of St. Andrew's—not parishioners, though some of them were formerly connected with the Parish—did very much for us. Our much improved altar, with its furniture—our noble font—our newly mounted lectern, with the Bible, which it carries—a number of the windows and many hundred dollars of the building fund, must gratefully be credited to them.
 But I am growing, prosy over the old story—at least old to many of my listeners—of how we built St. Andrew's. Let me cut it short by the simple statement that finally, on the day named in the contract signed fifteen months before, St. Andrew's Day, 1873, the church was finished, ready for use, and opened for Divine Service by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rector and the Rev. Mr. Holden assisting, to as glad a congregation as ever came together to worship God.
And then, how did we stand?
We had received:
Sunday School Building Fund $2,106
Contributions for Windows, from the Sunday School and individuals $2,450
Contributions for Chancel Furniture $352
Collection at Opening Service $337
Interest on balances in Treasurer's hands $659
Sale of earth from excavation $367
The Ladies' Organ Fund $5,500
Estimated value of other gifts: Altar, Font, Lectern, etc. $2,211
Loan of Union Dime Savings Bank $60,000
Total Received $114,002
We had expended:
On account of Contract with Builder $63,277
Pews, Furniture, Cushions, Gas Fixtures, Furnaces, etc. $10,587
Architect's Fees $3,758
Organ, on account $7,500
A total of $91,052.00 for the Church and accessories;
and then other incidental expenses we incurred for interest $1,705
Deficit on account of current Expenses for two years $5,156
Plots at Woodlawn and elsewhere, and removal of the dead $6,893
Mortgage on Sunday School building, etc. $8,593
A total of $22,652 for incidental expenses, and
in all the amount of $113,704
 This, so far as the record of actual receipts and disbursements can show it, is the exhibit of our financial condition at the time our new church was opened, a year and a half ago. We were in debt, however, to our builder, nearly five thousand dollars: we owed a balance of five hundred dollars on the organ; we were without carpets on our church floor, had no bell in our tower and not quite all the appliances required for heating.
Consequently, to arrive at the exact cost of the church as completed, and the precise weight of the debt with which we have been burdened, this account of the building fund must be prolonged.
Since the church was opened, and up to the date of this Report, we have received:
Subscriptions to the Building Fund paid $2,345
21 Shares of Am. Phototype Stock, a contribution to the Building Fund, at par $1,050
Proceeds of Children's Fair in December $236
Proceeds of Bonds, issued last November $2,950
Estimated value of carpets, bell, alms chest, &c $2,360
Or in all, the amount of $8,941
Adding the total of receipts previous to church opening $114,002
And the grand total of receipts is $122,943
 Then we, and others for us, have expended on this account, for
Balance due Builder $4,800
on Organ $500
Carpets, Bell, Alms Chest $2,360
Or in all, the amount of $7,818 and adding
the total of disbursements previous to church opening $113,704
The whole sum of our extravagance is $121,522
Of this, the gross amount expended in connection with the building enterprise:
The cost of the Church Building and its Furniture is represented by the sum of $98,870
The Incidental Expenses, as already stated, by the balance $22,652
Of the gross amount received in the same connection:
The Insurance, Subscriptions and Gifts are represented by the sum of $59,993
The balance, borrowed, amount of our debt $62,950
This closes the long account of the Building Fund. The church is finished. Everything it needs at present, excepting fences, is supplied.
Now, let us see what progress we have made during the last year, under all the burdens with which our ordinary expenses and the payment of interest on our debt, have loaded us.
 In the first place, we have received from pew rents $7,581
Ordinary Collections at Offertory $1,540
Special collections for Missions and Charities $1,348.27
In all $10,475.27
During the same period we have paid for:
Salaries and ordinary current expenses $7,827 00
On "Special Collections" acct. $1,348.27
And had remaining a balance to pass to the Interest and Sinking Fund acct. of $1,300
In the second place, taking up "the Interest and Sinking Fund" account, which is kept entirely distinct from the fund for the maintenance of worship and the care of the Church, we have received for it:
The balance above noted $1,300
Monthly Subscriptions $2,397
Special collection in October $130
Proceeds of Fair, &c., from the Parish Aid Society $1,700 00
Trinity Church Stipend $200
Dividends on Am. Phot. Stock $115.50
In all $5,842.50
Out of this amount we have paid:
Interest due May 1, 1874 $1,786.21
Interest due Nov. 1, 1874 $2,100
And have on hand out of the last year's account, a balance of $1,950.29
From an examination of the above, it will be seen that we have received, during the year ending April 30, 1875, not only enough to meet all our obligations as they have accrued, but nearly enough to pay an additional six months interest as well. I am sure we have reason to thank God, and take courage. Still it must be observed that this over-plus was needed in order to meet the interest which fell due on the first of this month, and that we are indebted for it almost entirely to the exertions of our energetic ladies.
We begin our financial year, then, with the advantage of being free from every obligation but our funded debt. Our heads are clear above water; we may freely breathe. But our "body corporate," as a whole, is in such a deep sea of mortgage, that we can find no bottom to touch with our feet, to stand upon and rest. To keep afloat we must put forth our hands, and keep putting them forth incessantly. We cannot desist a moment; it is either swim, or sink.
Review the Report which I have now presented of our financial progress and condition, and it will be evident that were it not for the $2,397.00 contributed by monthly subscribers to the Interest and Sinking Fund, our title to all our splendid church property would have been in peril, or perhaps forfeited. Consequently, there is but one thing to do, and that is to go on and do what we have been doing, and every one of us, men, women and children, consent to do our part and take our turn to man this pump of the monthly subscription plan, which has worked so well, and keep our good ship afloat! Someday, I hope, we may get into shallower water, in some safe harbor where we may mend this serious defect of debt—which we have risked through faith in our future—and thenceforth swing peacefully to our anchor, with no mortgage or interest to fear. But, in the meantime, and until our current income from pew rents and the offertory is very much larger than it is at present, we must—there is no escaping it—every one of us, as friends of St. Andrew's, devote all our energies and means to this paramount duty of helping the Parish preserve her property and pay her way.
 The gentlemen of the Vestry have no other plan to present on this occasion, than the renewal of the same device, which succeeded so well last year; and they desire me to close this Report by inviting the members of the congregation to come forward and record their names as subscribers to the Interest and Sinking Fund for such amounts as they feel they can afford to contribute monthly. May God dispose you to be liberal! My duty is done.
HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH,
Being a continuation of the work of Rev. GEORGE B. DRAPER, D.D., late Rector of St. Andrew's Parish. Printed and issued to the Parishioners April, 1872. Prepared by MILN
P. DAYTON, Esq., August, 1889.
For the purpose of having an enduring record of the Parish of St. Andrew's, its organization in what was, at the time, "the village of Harlem," its many trials and vicissitudes, and its gradual increase of strength and vigor, and also as an incentive and encouragement to the parishioners in entering upon the momentous enterprise of building a new and costly church edifice to replace the one destroyed by fire on the 18th of November, 1871, the Vestry of that year, at its meeting on the 1st of February, 1872, adopted the resolution which is prefixed to the preceding history.
The writer of this continuation would commend to the reader's especial attention the last paragraph of the history, and also the postscript added in concluding it, where it will be seen that as another chapter in the history of St. Andrew's was then about commencing, which her members and friends were expected "to live and act in, not read and write," so he, the Reverend historian, anticipated that "one day its record might be written by some future Rector, and read by some future generation of readers."
In consequence, it may be supposed, of the several changes in the Rectorship which have occurred since the death of Dr. Draper, and the recent incumbency of the present Rector, the work of carrying on the history might, with propriety, devolve—contrary to the expectation of Dr. Draper—upon some [61/62] parishioner, whose connection with the Parish during the intervening time has made him conversant with subsequent events.
Under these circumstances, and at the request of the Rector and Vestry, the writer has undertaken the work of continuing the history. He approaches the task with great reluctance, desirous of following, so far as he has the ability, the lines and purposes laid down by Dr. Draper in his interesting and charming first chapter.
Dr. Draper's history was afterwards supplemented by an address prepared by him, at the request of the Vestry, and delivered at a Parish meeting held on the evening of May 12th, 1875, and my work cannot be more fitly introduced than by the insertion of that address, so characteristic as it is of its author. It brings the history of the Parish to that date and not being on record in any permanent form, and the events related being important and interesting, it is given here in full as delivered.
"The Rector's report at the Second Annual Parish Meeting of St. Andrew's Church":
"The meeting was planned, as on the previous year, as a reception by the Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen, for business and social purposes," and was successful in its various features. Music, both vocal and instrumental, soothed the way towards the business part of the programme, and the dry details of this were afterwards relieved by ample refreshments, served under the auspices of the Ladies' Parish Aid Society.
Subscriptions, payable monthly, aggregating $2,000 for the year, were received. This amount was afterwards somewhat increased by personal solicitations made by the whole Vestry, divided into committees of two, and visiting all those parishioners who were not present at the meeting.
Dr. Draper omitted mention of one thing in his address, which the writer here proposes to supply.
The members of the Vestry felicitated themselves, that when the Church was opened for service on St. Andrew's Day, 1873, their labors had resulted in a finished building—finished from the foundation to the conventional cock which glittered upon its summit. There was a bell tower, but no bell. By the generosity of the Rector's wife, Mrs. Lucy B. Draper, this want was [62/63] now supplied by the presentation of a large and sonorous bell, its fine tones, when first rung on Easter day, contrasting most agreeably with the one so pleasantly satirized by Dr. Draper in his history. [*See page 35 of Dr. Draper’s history.]
At a meeting on March 27th, the Vestry received the following letter:
Fifth Avenue, cor. 130th Street,
March 24th, 1875.
To the Vestry of St. Andrew's Church:
GENTLEMEN:—Mrs. Draper desires me to ask your acceptance for the use of St. Andrew's Church, so long as the same shall stand, of the bell which has been hung in the tower to-day. It is the donor's wish that the bell shall be first swung in its ministry of ringing far and wide loud summons to God's holy worship on the approaching Easter Festival. With this view the inscription was ordered which appears upon it, viz.: "St. Andrew's Easter Bell, 1875, 'Alleluia, the Lord is risen, Alleluia.'"
Incidentally it was also an earnest desire of the donor to have her gift associated with the memory of a very near and dear relative. The fact is further noted in a simple memorial line added to the inscription as above. [*In mem. L. B. G. (Mrs. Draper's mother).] I should not however have alluded to this, were it not for the very singular coincidence, entirely uncontrived and unlooked for, that the bell was finally fixed in its position and rung for the first time, to prove the soundness of its metal and of its bearings, on the birthday of the dear departed whose initials it bears. It seems almost like a sign that God will bless the giver's purpose in all the future uses of her gift.
Very Respectfully Yours,
GEO. B. DRAPER.
The Vestry seemed to be highly impressed with the appropriate character of the gift, and the generosity of the donor. This was shown by their resolutions of thanks entered on the [63/64] minutes and a copy of the same handsomely engrossed on silk was ordered sent to Mrs. Draper. One of the resolutions reads as follows:
"Resolved, that this Vestry, in the name and behalf of St. Andrew's Church, do, with the greatest pleasure, receive from Mrs. George B. Draper her gift of the large and splendid Memorial Bell which has been hung in the tower of the Church. We also felicitate the donor upon the enviably well-timed generosity by which St. Andrew's chiefest remaining want is thus happily supplied, and would rejoice with her in confidently hoping that the sonorous tones of this bell may, for long years to come, summon all within reach of its sound to the house of God.
"For ages may resounding peals,
The pilgrim hero invite,
And weary souls, by God's good grace,
Be filled with Gospel light."
When the Church was first opened, in consequence of so large an amount being yet due from subscribers to the building fund, the Vestry did not feel warranted in taking from the funds at their command, and absolutely needed for the payment of liabilities, so large a sum as would be required to carpet the entire church.
The chancel was handsomely carpeted, but otherwise the floors were uncovered. Very soon afterwards some gentlemen (outside of the Vestry), raised by subscription enough money to carpet the aisles, but the floors under the pews remained uncovered until about this time, February, 1875. In further connection with the matter of the bell, the young ladies of the Parish had been gradually accumulating a fund for the purchase of a bell, which at the time of the gift from Mrs. Draper amounted to the sum of $539. This fund they now turned over to the Vestry to help pay for the new aisle carpets then being laid. The old carpets were put under the pews, thus covering the entire floor of the church, making it much more comfortable and pleasant.
The bell was the last of the many "appropriate and elegant gifts which served the double purpose of use and adornment in [64/65] the new church edifice," [*Minutes of Vestry, Feby. 24th, 1874.] and which were duly acknowledged by the Vestry who ordered a list of the same to be entered on their minute book and also in the General Subscription book containing the names of the subscribers to the building fund.
It seems appropriate and proper that a record of these gifts should be made here.
"List of articles donated to St. Andrew's Church for use in the new church building."
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS.
In Chancel—One representing St. John the Evangelist. Memorial of Mr. John A. Ryerson; presented by Mr. William T. Ryerson. Two representing the calling of St. Andrew. Memorial of Mr. George Draper; presented by Dr. William H. Draper.
In Baptistery—One representing the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Memorial of Mr. Arnold Draper and Mrs. Lucy G. Draper; presented by Mrs. Lucy B. Draper. One representing Christ blessing the little children, Memorial of George Rowell Kent; presented by Mr. Charles M. Kent.
In North-west Corner—One, Our Lord among the Doctors in the Temple. One, Our Lord going down to Nazareth with His parents. Memorials of Edward Wright Lawrence and Annie Hoe Lawrence; presented by Mr. Cyrus J. Lawrence. One, Palm Tree with Fruit. Memorial of Mrs. Julia B. Walters; presented by Mrs. Laura B. Goodhue. And one, Vine with Grapes. Memorial of Mr. William D. Bradshaw, Jane L. Bradshaw and Isabel A. Bradshaw; presented by Mrs. Esther D. Bradshaw.
The large window in South Transept, representing in centre St. Andrew bringing the lad with the five barley loaves, etc., to our Lord, and the four Evangelists with Sts. Peter and Paul in six smaller openings. Presented by Young Men's Bible Class, and other Classes, in Parish Sunday School.
 One window in East Gable, representing St. Andrew and his Cross. Memorial of Mrs. Mary Jameson, paid for with money left with the Rector by the commemorated for another but impracticable memorial.
The Caen Stone Altar, rescued from the ruins of the old church, repaired, altered and enlarged, memorial of Charles Henry Hall, and Caen Stone Font with polished granite shafts and Ohio Stone base, memorial of Mrs. Sarah C. Hall, wife of Charles Henry Hall; presented by Dr. Lewis A. Sayre, Mrs. Eliza A. H. Sayre, Miss Mary Hall.
Brass, nickel plated Altar Cross, and brass nickel plated Book-rest for altar use, and the silk-velvet Super-frontal and Altar Cloth; presented by Mrs. K. C. Anderson.
Mural Tablet of Caen Stone, bearing the original marble tablet with inscription, rescued from ruins of old church. Memorial of Mrs. Ann Elliot Morris, relict of Col. Lewis Morris; presented by Mr. Harry M. Morris.
A three manual Organ, costing $8,000; presented by Ladies' Parish Aid Society, aided by the insurance money ($2,500) on old organ, voted them by the Vestry.
Black walnut Credence Shelf and black walnut Communion Rail, with brass ornaments; presented by Miss Mary Brady.
Two Chancel Chairs, rescued from the old church, repaired and refitted, originally given by Mrs. Ann Walters; presented by Mr. Thomas H. Walters.
Ornamental tiling in wainscot of Chancel; presented by Mr. Henry M. Congdon (architect of the church).
Donation of $150, per H. M. Congdon, towards defraying cost of clergy seats and stalls.
Donation of $75 to same object from Mrs. M. L. Freeman.
Donation of $27 to same object from Miss Sarah Brady.
Donation of $50 towards the purchase of large Folio Bible and Prayer Book from De Renssalaer Jewett, and $36.75 from sundry ladies of the parish to complete the above purchase.
Remounting and nickel plating of brass eagle lectern, saved from old church, on new brass, nickel plated standard. Memorial of Mrs. Julia B. Walters; presented by Thomas H. Walters.
 A copper plate with inscription for the new corner stone; engraved and presented by Mr. George N. Thurber.
One hundred impressions of above plate; presented by National Bank Note Company.
The following have been donated later:
Donation of $595 for carpets for the aisles and passage-ways of main floor of Church; presented by sundry members of the parish.
The Tower Bell, weighing 2,532 lbs. Memorial of Mrs. Lucy B. Goodhue; presented by Mrs. Lucy B. Draper.
Silver Alms Basin. Memorial of George B. Draper, S. T. D., late Rector; presented by Mrs. Lucy B. Draper.
Oak, brass mounted Alms Chest. Memorial of Helen Barnard Kent; presented by Mrs. Charles N. Kent.
Two brass, nickel plated Flower Vases for Super Altar. Memorial of Miss Nettie Hall Kneval; presented by her young friends.
Brass, nickel plated Ewer for Font. Memorial of Meeker M. Parker and Francis G. Parker; presented by Mrs. Frances H. Parker.
Two black walnut Collection Basins, for use in Sunday School; presented by Mr. Wm. T. Ryerson.
The affairs of the Parish now flowed on in a peaceful current, the services were well attended and the utmost harmony prevailed. The only drawback to the general contentment,—and this only the Rector and Vestry felt to its fullest extent—was the question of finances. The parish in its mortgage and bonded debt had a very heavy load to carry, and the ingenuity and resources of the Vestry were severely taxed to sustain the credit of the parish. Under the pride and enthusiasm inspired by the possession of so splendid a church edifice the congregation responded in various ways to the requirements and necessities of the case. At the first parish meeting in 1874 monthly subscriptions to the amount of $2,038 per annum were received. At the next annual meeting, May 12th, 1875, the subscriptions were $2000. The next meeting, May, 1876, showed a falling off of interest, the subscriptions amounting to only $1200. [67/68] The income from pew-rents also showed a falling off to about $1000, and was barely sufficient to pay current expenses. The interest coupons on the bonds issued in October, 1874, being receivable for pew-rents, somewhat affected the regular income. That the Vestry were at all able to meet the semi-annual interest promptly they were largely indebted to the efforts of the "Ladies Parish Aid Society." There was received from this society in April, 1875, $1700, and a year later $2200. This society had raised and contributed large amounts as previously mentioned. An association called "The St. Andrew's Literary and Musical Association" also contributed $301 as the results of various musical, literary and social entertainments held during the winter of 1875-6. In these ways and by postponing such payments as could with justice be delayed the interest was met regularly and promptly. With the exception of the constant anxiety caused by this condition of the finances, peace, gratitude, and, above all, hopefulness and trust prevailed. This condition was destined soon to be broken by a shock so sudden and melancholy that it was for a time almost paralyzing in its intensity. A meeting of the Vestry had been called for Tuesday evening, Sept. 19th. Just before the hour for meeting, Dr. Draper sent to the Senior Warden some documents, which the meeting was called to consider, with word that he was suffering from a severe bilious attack and could not be present. As he was known to be subject to these attacks occasionally, no anxiety was felt, therefore when the Vestry were again called together on the following Sunday morning at 9 o'clock to be informed of his death a few hours before, the surprise and sorrow over the sudden bereavement was intense, and further increased when the nature of the disease (Small Pox) to which he had fallen victim, was made known. Arrangements had previously been made with the Rev. Mr. S. B. Moore to fill the Rector's place on this Sunday. The Vestry were informed that the interment was to take place that day at 2 o'clock. After passing a brief and appropriate resolution, they further resolved to accompany the remains to Woodlawn Cemetery, the place of interment. They also requested Mr. Moore to dispense with a sermon and instead thereof announce the death to the congregation, [68/69] which he did in a very feeling and appropriate manner. Mr. Moore had before officiated at St. Andrew's and made many friends in the congregation. The chancel was hastily draped in crape before service, and the bell was tolled every half hour during the day. The regular tolling of the bell and the other very unusual circumstances tended to make the day mournful and impressive to the whole community and especially to those directly interested.
It was the day fixed for the first great submarine explosion at Hell Gate; this being an untried experiment, the community within several miles of the place looked forward with considerable apprehension and hardly suppressed excitement, not knowing what its effects might possibly be. [*The fears were unnecessary, as excepting a dull, heavy sound and a slight tremor, no effect was noticeable.] The explosion was expected to occur at about the hour fixed for the funeral; the weather was misty and dark with frequent showers, and when the Vestry gathered near the Rectory, their sadness seemed intensified by, and in unison with, the gloom and the peculiar circumstances of the day. Three sons, two brothers and a neighbor, the members of the Vestry and the Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Peters were all who attended the deceased Rector to his last resting place. Arrived at the cemetery it was found that in consequence of striking a large boulder, the grave was not ready; the boulder had to be blasted before it could be removed and it was almost night before the grave could be finished and the interment completed.
An adjourned meeting of the Vestry was held on the 26th September. Resolutions were passed which, after expressing resignation to the great affliction, and sympathy for the family of the deceased, continued as follows:
"Second.—That in this bereavement, we have lost one who endeared himself to his parishioners and the community in which he lived, by his quiet and faithful performance of duty, by his eloquent preaching of the Gospel and consistent exemplification of its teachings, and by the eminent piety and christian charity for which he was distinguished.
"Third.—That the Church be draped in mourning until the [69/70] first Sunday in Advent, and as a further tribute of respect, a memorial service be held on Thursday evening, October 19th.
"Fourth.—That a Mural Tablet be erected in St. Andrew's Church as an enduring commemoration of the services and virtues of the deceased."
Committees were appointed to carry out the third and fourth resolutions.
Dr. Draper came into the Parish, when, although within the limits of the city, it was emphatically a rural parish, and he had seen its growth with fluctuating but general advancement; numerous children had separated themselves from it, and yet the parent Church increased in strength and importance. Other denominations had increased and multiplied in members, but he alone, of all the clergymen, had remained at the head of the second oldest christian organization in the "Village of Harlem." Thus he became well known to all the community, and although by nature diffident, his gentle, cheery presence and courteous manner was heartily recognized by all who met him. This feeling of regard and reverence was fully shown by the letters and resolutions of condolence and sympathy received by the Vestry from the clergy and officials of the neighboring churches, they with singular unanimity dwelling upon the loss sustained by the community in which he had lived. By his kindness and courtesy, by his blameless and consistent devotion to his duties as a christian minister, he won the respect and affection of all classes of the community. [*Holy Trinity Church, Harlem.] Affable and genial as a man and neighbor; devoted as a christian; faithful and conservative as a preacher and pastor, he was greatly respected in our community and deeply loved by those who knew him best. His influence was ever in behalf of right and truth, and his decease is a great loss to the cause of morals and religion. [*Reformed Dutch Church of Harlem.] The pastor, Rev. Geo. W. Samson, D. D., and officers of the First Baptist Church, said: "Dr. Draper, during the twenty-five years of his faithful Christian labors in this portion of the city, won the esteem of Christians of every denomination by his devotion to the spiritual and temporal interests of our entire [70/71] community. While the tasteful edifice, erected by his untiring efforts, is a monument to his labors and sacrificing efforts for the Church to which he gave his life's best service, he has left a far more enduring memorial written in the hearts that have been made glad by his benefactions and his sympathies." Earnest expressions of sorrow and sympathy were received from Reverend Father McGuire, Priest of St. Paul's R. C. Church, between whom and the late Rector a very friendly respect and feeling existed. The Diocesan Convention was held two days after Dr. Draper's decease, and Bishop Horatio Potter announced the death to the Convention in a very feeling address, and full and eloquent testimonial and resolutions were afterwards adopted by the body.
In accordance with the third resolution of St. Andrew's Vestry, arrangements were made for holding the memorial service.
Rev. Geo. F. Seymour, D. D., then Dean of the Theological Seminary (now Bishop of Springfield, Ill.,) was invited to deliver a discourse, and the Rev. Thos. M. Peters, D. D., to arrange and conduct the services. Both promptly and willingly consented.
The service was held on the evening previously fixed, October 19. The Church was filled, and many were unable to gain admittance. A more solemn and impressive scene could hardly be realized—the long array of surpliced clergymen, preceded by the officers of the Church, and a large number of ex-wardens and vestrymen slowly moving through the dense throng which crowded the aisles—the low tones of the organ—the mournful tolling of the bell—while the officiating clergyman read the solemn opening sentences of the burial service, "I am the resurrection and the life."—all combined to make the occasion always to be remembered by those present. The music was admirable and appropriate.
Dr. Seymour's discourse was eloquent and touching. He took for his text the sentence from the Te Deum: "The goodly Fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee."
Alluding to the great verities of the faith, as our refuge in the trials of life, we in times of sorrow and gloom heed and utter, with new emphasis, the words so familiar, yet in ordinary [71/72] times so little pondered and felt as a practical reality, "I believe in the communion of saints," we follow on by faith the life which has passed through the grave and gate of death, and set before ourselves the blessed condition of those removed "within the veil," and gather up in thought the blessings and privileges which we share with them, and learn that holy thoughts, holy words and deeds bring us closer and make us one with them even here. The thought is followed out suggesting the sentence in the Te Deum, as suiting present needs and purposes, and giving "direction to our thoughts in commemorating the virtues and worth of our brother, binds him to us, and us to him in the communion of saints, by a perpetual bond which is as lasting as the worship of the Church."
A few extracts from the admirable discourse is all that space will allow.
After alluding to the "trying and most delicate complications exhibited in Dr. Draper's negotiations for securing the site for the present church edifice," as told by himself, "in his own simple words," [*See Dr. Draper's address at Parish meeting, page 33.] which he quotes, he continues:
"Great as were the troubles, and delicate and perplexing as were the difficulties in the way of an amicable adjustment of all the claims, and wishes, and whims, and caprices of the many who were concerned in the matter, yet the straightforward, open manner, the gentle, loving, forbearing spirit of the revered Rector carried him triumphantly through the trial without alienating, as I am informed, a single individual."
Referring especially to his life and character, the discourse continues:
"A past which hides from view toils nobly borne, difficulties bravely faced and overcome, hopes deferred and anticipations disappointed, patience tried, and endurance severely taxed; back of this there stretches a past, which hides from view the ministrations of a score of years, and more, which tell of babyhood, now matured into the estate of grown men and women, of youths and maidens once, now grave elders with gray hairs and wrinkles, and oh! of many, very many, young and old, whose bodies are in the graveyard sleeping, and whose souls, [72/73] we humbly trust, are with their God, at rest. This past of six and twenty years, could it appeal to eye and ear, would disclose by far the larger part of what our Brother wrought and suffered, for the cause of Christ, in the exercise of the prophetic office, which he fulfilled so well."
As illustrating Dr. Draper's genuine humility and simplicity in the many vicissitudes which passed over the Church during his pastorate, Dr. Seymour quotes from a sermon preached on the 25th anniversary of his rectorship:
"In fact, I never had but one call to leave my present post, and that was to take charge of a struggling country parish in my New England birthplace. Yet here, as I would claim, I have had many, many calls; some that were preferments, and some not so. A call from St. Andrew's, as it was from 1850 and onward; to St. Andrews, as it became under the free-seat arrangement in 1858; a call from St. Andrews, as it was in 1862-63, with its narrow, inconvenient and overcrowded accommodations; to St. Andrew's, as it became in the winter of that year, when it was first enlarged, when the congregation brought up the rector from his cellar-vestry room, and treated themselves and him to a spacious and proper chancel, and rented the pews again; another call from St. Andrew's, as it was in 1866, to St. Andrews, as it became after the great enlargement in the summer of that year, when its seating capacity was almost doubled, and its external appearance entirely changed; another call from St. Andrew's, as it was in 1868, up to which time it had been known only as a plain, old-fashioned, straight out and out Episcopal parish, where people who did not know they were high or low or broad, sat side by side to hear, and knelt at a common footstool to say their prayers, and break the Bread, and drink from the cup of peace; to St. Andrew's, as it became in the spring of that year, when candles, it was said, began to be burned upon the altar, and the rector to preach, and his people to practice dangerous innovations; another call from St. Andrew's, as it was on the night of November 18th, 1871, the only time it ever became too hot for all of us; to St. Andrew's, as it became when driven by the fire to take refuge in the Sunday-school building, where we hung up our harps and [73/74] sat beneath the willows for just two years; and another call, the last I have received, on St. Andrew's Day, 1873, from St. Andrew's, in its chrysalis condition, in dust and ashes, to the butterfly glory upon which it has entered here." This extract is not too long; it tells us so much of him, who has gone, it reveals a spirit so humble, so simple, so patient.
The conclusion of the discourse was as follows:
"O! how exactly do the words of our beloved Brother, respecting another, [*Referring to the sudden death of the first Rector of St. Andrew's, see Dr. Draper's History, page 9.] express our thoughts in regard to himself! The memories of the dead have passed into St. Andrew's, and the sudden and appalling deaths of its first and last Rectors, unite the Parish by the tenderest ties to the world of light and blessedness. The Te Deum becomes, as used within these walls, a new song, for it tells the worshippers that their Priests, who have deceased, are with God, and that their employment there is essentially the same as it was here, since one phrase describes with sufficient accuracy the activities of the two estates, "The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee."
It may seem to those of the present generation that the incidents connected with this sad time have been dwelt upon at too great length; if so, patience must be asked by the writer, who had enjoyed, besides a close official connection of many years, the intimacy of Dr. Draper's home and family circle, and consequently felt his loss, personally, as of a very dear friend and neighbor.
But as evidence that St. Andrew's, under Divine guidance, was not dependent upon any human life or will, the Vestry, after the first shock had passed, were prompted to immediate action to take up (as far as in their power) the work of the Parish devolving upon them. Shortly before Dr. Draper's decease, Mr. Walter S. Marvin had resigned the superintendence of the Sunday-school. Mr. Marvin was an able, and zealous churchman who had come to St. Andrew's from Trinity Parish. He was elected a Vestryman in 1869, and continued a member until his removal to Mott Haven. He was very efficient as superintendent, and only resigned in consequence of moving into a parish (St. Mary's), [74/75] where he considered duty required him to give all his time and labors. [*Mr. Marvin returned to Harlem, in May, 1882, and in 1888 again became connected with the Parish and Sunday-school as teacher of an adult Bible class for men. He was working faithfully in this important position at the time of his death, which occurred January 7th, 1889.] As his resignation had not been accepted, the first act of the Vestry was to request him "under existing circumstances to withdraw it for the present," and to remain superintendent. Although at considerable personal sacrifice and labor, Mr. Marvin promptly acceded to the wishes of the Vestry, and the Sunday-school, which, under his administration, was very prosperous, continued so uninterruptedly. The Ladies' Parish Aid Society was a very efficient organization, having been, as previously shown, of invaluable financial help in paying the interest as it became due. The Vestry requested this Society now to take full charge of the poor of the Parish, and become almoners of the poor fund. This they did faithfully and efficiently. A circular was issued to the congregation, asking their hearty co-operation in the work which now devolved upon the Vestry, setting forth the pecuniary needs of the Parish and its obligations, and the Vestry's reliance upon it for support and help, until such time as a new Rector could be called to take the place so unexpectedly made vacant. Letters of sympathy were received from Rt. Rev. Bishop Williams, of Connecticut, and Rev. F. W. Brathwait, of Stamford, Conn., and offers of assistance in Church services were received and accepted from Rev. Dr. Wm. E. Eigenbrodt, Rev. Brainard Ray, Rev. Dr. Van Kleeck and others. The Vestry's next care was to supply the pulpit. The best available talent was secured for the morning services, and Dr. Eigenbrodt, Dr. Seymour, Dr. J. H. Hobart, Dr. T. Stafford Drowne, of Brooklyn, Mr. Moore and others, officiated acceptably. For the evening services the Vestry were under great obligations to many prominent clergymen of downtown Parishes, who kindly consented to give their assistance, and on Sunday evening the congregation had the pleasure and profit of listening to some of the ablest divines in the Diocese.
The Vestry soon took up the responsible business of selecting and calling a new Rector. Many names were suggested to [75/76] them, and much time was consumed in comparing the merits and standing of each. Visits were made far and near by different members of the Vestry. A decision was finally reached, the Vestry having had the advice and assistance in this of the Bishop of the Diocese, and indirectly of Dr. Seymour, and, on December 16th, 1876, a call was extended to Rev. Samuel Earp, of St. Mark's Church, Grand Rapids, Mich., and accepted by him. The earliest time was fixed when he could enter upon his duties, being the first Sunday after Easter, April 8th, 1877.
The measures adopted by the Vestry had been successful, and the Parish was in good and prosperous condition for the advent of the new Rector. The rent-roll for the year had increased. The interest on the debt had been promptly paid. The services had been uniformly well attended, and during the Lenten season, under the very earnest, faithful and efficient charge of Rev. Dr. John H. Hobart, the congregations had been unusually large, music being regularly supplied by an efficient volunteer choir. On Easter Sunday the Church was completely filled, and communion administered to the largest number ever gathered before the altar in St. Andrew's Church. On that Easter Sunday the beautiful and appropriate burial tablet, erected to the memory of the late Rector, was first uncovered. It bears this inscription upon a brass plate:
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.
In Loving Memory of
REV. GEORGE BARNARD DRAPER, S. T. D.,
Born January 20th, 1827. Died September 24th, 1876.
For 26 Years And More, Rector of St. Andrew's Parish, his
only care. Entered Upon His Charge, June 25, 1830.
Resigned It At His Master's Call, Sept. 24, 1876.
"The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets Praise Thee."
The indefatigable Ladies' Aid Society held a fair in the Parish building during Easter week with their usual success, and the new Rector, having arrived in Harlem while it was in progress, had the opportunity of meeting many of his Parishioners [76/77] socially at the fair, and was by every one heartily received and welcomed. The amount received by the Treasurer of the Interest and Sinking Fund as the results of this fair, amply covered the deficiency in the monthly subscriptions, and secured the prompt payment of the interest due on April 1st.
Mr. Earp entered upon his duties on the day appointed, and was, at his own desire, duly instituted as Rector of St. Andrew's Church on the 10th of May following, according to the form prescribed in the Prayer Book for the "Institution of Ministers," the Bishop of the Diocese officiating, and the sermon being preached by Rev. Dr. Seymour. A number of clergymen assisted at the ceremony.
The finances required early attention, to provide in time for the payment of the interest, as it became due so regularly and inexorably. A Parish meeting was called for April 18th, but its results were not commensurate with the needs; still, by urgent solicitations, and a loan from the Parish Aid Society, St. Andrew's credit was maintained; this condition, with some change for the better, continued for the next two years. The Ladies' P. A. Society, in April, 1878, paid off $200 worth of bonds and $800 towards the mortgage debt, and the St. Andrew's Guild contributed $479.47 towards the floating debt.
In October, the holders of the Mortgage (Union Dime Savings Institution), in order, they said, "to comply with a provision of the banking laws," gave notice for the payment of the Church loan; the demand was afterwards modified to the payment of $10,000 on the loan. The Church had previously urged a reduction in the rate of interest to 6 per cent, and this being declined by the bank, the Vestry had been seeking to place the loan with other parties. Not having succeeded in this, although having good prospects of doing it at an early date, the bank was conciliated by a payment in January, 1879, of $2,000.
This year, 14th February, was the fiftieth since the formation of St. Andrew's Parish, and it was decided to recognize the semi-centennial by a special and appropriate service, to be held on the evening of that day. The chancel was decorated [77/78] with a semi-circular arch over the rail, upon which was inscribed in golden letters the words, "Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year." An elaborate programme was prepared, printed in gold and illustrated with a cut of the Church as it is, and as it was a half a century ago. The Committee of Arrangements reported that "the celebration brought together a large congregation. The Sunday-school took part, and their entrance into the Church, with banners, and singing a processional, opened the service. They were followed by the Guild and clergy. Dr. R. M. Abercrombie (formerly Rector) gave an interesting sermon, and an address was made by Bishop Seymour. * * * * * * A feature of the evening was a collection, mostly of gold, amounting to $203.45." The Ladies' Parish Aid Society afterwards served a collation to the clergy and other guests.
While this anniversary was being prepared and celebrated clouds were gathering around St. Andrew's, which were destined to cast a shadow upon its prosperity for some time to come. The people were surprised when they learned on the 9th of March, that after so brief a pastorate, Mr. Earp had resigned his rectorship. By a series of unfortunate indiscretions, growing out of pecuniary difficulties and obligations in which the Rector had become involved and which seemed to occupy much of his thoughts and time to the detriment of his work and his influence in the parish and in the community, the relations between him and the Vestry, and various members of the congregation also, had become strained and very much impaired. In all that the Vestry had done they were entirely unanimous. The consequences to the Parish of the trouble were most serious and lasting. The immediate result was that a number, not understanding, or of necessity only partially informed of the causes of the resignation, gave up their pews and left the church. The most lasting effect was on the finances. To meet the obligations assumed by the Vestry and to cover a floating debt which had accumulated as a further result of the Parish's depression, a note for $3,000 had to be given, and to secure this, to the mortification of the Vestry, a chattel mortgage had to be placed on the organ. (This incubus hung over the Parish [78/79] until May 12th, 1885, before it was finally removed). Altogether the outlook was discouraging in the extreme and very different from the situation only two years before. In calling a Rector then, the Vestry had a Parish with an old and honorable prestige, and a united, contented and zealous people to offer for acceptance; now all these conditions were more or less wanting. Still there was a faithful and loyal spirit in the congregation, there was a fine church edifice comparable with almost any in the diocese, and other buildings and appliances for efficient parish work and success, and although now under a cloud the Vestry trusted that with Divine Guidance they would be wisely directed in selecting a Pastor suited to the emergency. An impression has been held that the differences between the Rector and the Vestry were inherent in the character of the latter and of the people also, who, it has been represented, were captious and fault-finding, and much disturbed by dissensions and bickerings. In 1868, "Owing to the excitement and misconception growing out of an ecclesiastical trial, [*The trial of Rev. Stephen Tyng, Jr., which created a considerable sensation at the time. The question, indirectly, of High or Low Church was claimed as the real issue involved. Dr. Draper was Secretary of the Board of Commissioners. Although recognized as a thoroughly conservative churchman only, his sympathies were well known not to be favorable to the low church party. M. P. D.] the parish of Holy Trinity was started and "St. Andrew's lost a number of her most valuable and active members. * * It was unfortunate but not so unfortunate as it would have been, had there really ever occurred any break in the perfect good feeling which always prevailed between the parties thus outwardly severed, and, above all, had there been, after the new parish had called a Rector, the slightest disposition on the part of either Pastor to play the wolf toward his brother's fold." [*Dr. Draper's History, page 39.]
The above event, and a transient ripple upon the surface, restricted to a few members of the congregation, created by the question of receiving and using an elegant silver Alms Basin, a memorial of the late Rector, presented by his widow, are the only exceptions, up to this time, to the harmony and unity of the people, during the writer's connection with the parish. In considering and deciding this question the same feelings and [79/80] fears appeared which led to the organization of the parish of Holy Trinity by seceders from St. Andrew's. The question of receiving the basin, or rather the manner and times of using it, although belonging exclusively to the Rector to decide, was singularly enough referred by him to the Vestry for decision, and they (the majority) sympathizing with those opposed to any changes (real or fancied) in services to which they had long been accustomed placed certain restrictions upon the times of using it, and this unfortunate and ungracious position was only relieved after a time, and the feelings of all smoothed over, by the diplomatic counsel of the Bishop, to whom the whole matter was referred by the Rector and Vestry.
In the emergency now existing, it was thought best by the Vestry that a meeting should be held for counsel and advice with the people, and for considering the position of the Parish generally; also, for providing funds to pay the interest due as well as the floating indebtedness. Instead of the customary social gathering, as at previous Parish meetings (such an assemblage, under existing circumstances, being thought somewhat out of place), a call was issued (May 27), inviting the gentlemen connected with the Church to meet the Vestry for the consideration of these subjects. The meeting was called for June 5th. In the meantime the Vestry had been diligently considering the filling of the vacant Rectorship, many names of suitable clergymen having been suggested. After careful deliberation therein choice fell upon the Rev. Francis Lobdell, of St. Paul's Church, New Haven, Conn., and a call was unanimously extended to him on the 15th of May.
As the Vestry, after their recent experience, were solicitous there should be no misapprehension of the circumstances and peculiar condition of the Parish, all were candidly set forth according to the instructions given them by the committee appointed to wait upon Mr. Lobdell. Notwithstanding the present unfavorable condition of affairs the Vestry believed that if present difficulties could be tided over the prospects of an early and great increase of the neighboring population would soon add largely to the congregation and consequently insure its early prosperity. The call was accepted June 6th. [80/81] The meeting called by the Vestry was called on the evening of June 5th; a ruling motive on the part of the Vestry in asking attendance at the meeting (the fact of the call to Mr. Lobdell not having been published), was to impress upon the people the necessity of prompt action in regard to the finances, as a means of influencing a favorable response to a call for a Rector, when a decision was arrived at; but it having been generally learned from outside parties that a call had already been made and that it would be accepted, the object of the meeting was almost nullified, and little was done except to resolve "that a collection be made from Sunday to Sunday until the amount needed was raised." The small amount of $274.35 was all that was realized from the meeting.
Mr. Lobdell entered upon his duties Sunday, July 6th, and under his energy and executive ability brighter days soon began to dawn upon St. Andrew's. Again the Ladies' Parish Aid Society, by means of a fair and by their efforts during the year relieved the present financial difficulties. The amount received from them was $3,250, $2,000 of which was paid on the principal of the debt. Early in the fall of this year the Rector changed the hour of meeting of the Sunday School from morning to afternoon; the change, although discouraged by the older teachers, proved eminently beneficial, especially as a children's service in the Church, after the school session, was added; this service was made interesting and attractive, and its good effects were soon observable in the great and permanent increase of the school.
About this time (February, 1880), St. Andrew's was enabled to offer to Holy Trinity Church some of the courtesies which had been extended to it in the various vicissitudes of the last few years. Holy Trinity Church was burned on the 10th February, and the Vestry of St. Andrew's, immediately after, sent to its Rector and Vestry a resolution of sympathy, and offered them the use of St. Andrew's Church and Sunday School room, for every Sunday afternoon, also cordially invited their congregation "to unite with them in all their services;" the offer was declined with appreciative thanks, with the information that provision had been made for temporary quarters until their church was rebuilt.
 The finances of the Parish were shown by the Treasurer's reports, made at the last meeting of the Vestry (Saturday evening of Holy week, March 13th, 1880), to be in a very unsatisfactory and discouraging condition. The pew rents for eleven months (being the term of this Vestry), amounted to but $5,130.26; the actual rent roll was however $7,553 (considered doubtful $442); this rent roll had increased during the later months of the year. The collections applicable to Parish expenses had fallen off to $777.93. The total amount received from subscribers to the Interest and Sinking Fund $642.84, collections on the second Sunday of each month $796.67, and the result of the Parish Meeting of June 5th, 1879, $274.35, making a total of $1,713.86, towards paying the interest of the debts.
These were dark and gloomy days, but brighter ones were in store for St. Andrew's, and shortly after, a change for the better in every respect was noted. Under the energetic administration of the Rector harmony and good feeling prevailed. The number of church services was increased with a much larger attendance. A pastoral letter was issued May 1st, stating that the income from the pew-rents was sufficient for current expenses, but not large enough to pay the interest on the debts, and urging a continuance of the regular offerings on the second Sundays of each month, and also commending the use of the mite chests then distributed, as a reminder and receptacle for savings, which were to be collected by St. Andrew's Guild every month. Considerable result was anticipated from the mite chests, but the amount collected through them was only about $550 in nine months, and they were then discontinued.
The mite chests and the Sunday offerings not realizing expectations, recourse was again had to pledged monthly subscriptions to the Interest and Sinking Fund. In a circular signed by the Rector February 10th, 1881, urging subscriptions, he says: "This system was allowed to fall into disuse when the congregation was small and the parish was discouraged. The discouragements have passed away, and the parish was never in such a prosperous condition as it is now. Nearly two hundred communicants have been added during the last eighteen months. [82/83] The number of pews rented and the income therefrom are greater than ever before in the history of the parish. But more encouraging than this is the harmony and union that prevails throughout the parish."
The treasurer was not however able to pay the semi-annual interest, due March 1st, but "arrangements were made for the payment of the same" personally by notes of individual members of the Vestry discounted at bank. The treasurer reported later monthly pledges to the amount of $1526 for the year.
The parish had begun to feel the effects of the influx of population consequent upon the opening of the elevated railroads. [*The 3d Avenue Elevated Road was opened to 130th street in the fall of 1878; the 8th avenue road to 155th street in the summer of 1879.] Before this time the means of communication with the lower part of the city were the Harlem Railroad on 4th avenue, the surface roads of 2d, 3d and 8th avenues, and two steamboat lines running from Harlem bridge (3d avenue) and Mott Haven to Peck slip. Madison avenue was not then open to Harlem river; after being opened, the cars did not run through it until August, 1885. The Harlem road and boats were popular (especially the latter), and to a certain extent convenient and speedy, the chief objection in using them being the limitation to fixed hours and minutes.
On the Harlem road trains of eight and ten cars each were run at moderately short intervals morning and evening, accommodating a large number, and for those doing business or having calls on the east side or at the lower parts of the city, the steamboats were a very pleasant and reasonably quick means of transit. The "Sylvan," line [*The boats were named "Sylvan Stream," "Sylvan Shore," "Sylvan Dell" and "Sylvan Glen," and were known as the "Stream," "Glen," "Dell," &c.] composed of four boats, was very popular, as the boats were handsome, commodious and swift, and in fine weather afforded a very pleasant excursion through the Harlem and East rivers, and were largely patronized for pleasure as well as for business. The Mott Haven boats were also popular accommodating those on the other side of Harlem river. The result of the opening of the 3d avenue elevated road was almost marvelous; the steamboats lost nearly [83/84] all their patronage and were soon withdrawn; the change was equally marked on the steam railroad—a dozen or so taking and leaving the trains at 125th street, instead of one or two hundred, as before. While the old routes of communication suffered at the time, the community was immensely benefited. The 3d avenue and vicinity soon began to feel the effects of the new and frequent means of transit, but it was not until the west side road was opened that the greatest effects were produced. The best and most frequent communications with Harlem had until then been on the Fourth avenue and east of it. When the new St. Andrew's was projected, the matter of continuing on the old site was fully considered; by a canvass of the Parish it was shown that a very large majority of the congregation came from east of 4th avenue and south of 128th street. A minority of the Vestry, economically inclined, and in view of a possible change in the character of the neighborhood (although elevated roads had hardly then been thought of) were in favor of building the new church, with a less costly material than granite, as being better within the means of the then present and future congregation; they were emphatically and speedily overruled both by the majority of the Vestry and by expressions from the people.
Now commenced a change both west and east.
On the east side the beautiful places fronting on Harlem river gave place to docks and business with the consequent deterioration of the adjacent streets and avenues, and the residents and parishioners moved west or away altogether. On the west side most wonderful changes followed the opening of the Sixth avenue elevated road. Where were unoccupied lots and market gardens, soon arose blocks of stores and dwellings. Costly and elegant houses on Sixth (now Lenox) avenue, together with churches, places of amusements, &c., to meet the requirements of the large and increasing population, followed.
By this great increase of population St. Andrew's benefited in the number both of pewholders and in the attendance of strangers. With all its troubles, the Church had been able, through the constant efforts of the Ladies' Parish Aid Society (and by personal loans from members of the Vestry), to maintain its credit; [84/85] the character of the indebtedness was changed, a little less mortgage debt, but the aggregate remained about the same, but with a decided relief in view of the amount of future interest to be paid; the mortgage debt on the Church was changed (Nov. 19, 1880) to the Mutual Life Insurance Co., the amount being reduced to $57,000, [*The amount named in the bond was $59,000. $2,000 was retained to cover a disputed assessment in litigation, and afterwards declared void, but on appeal in 1889 was again sustained as valid. Interest was to be paid on $57,000 only.] and the rate of interest to be paid, from 7 per cent to 6. The rent roll was steadily increasing, twenty more pews being rented for the term ending April, 1881, than were surrendered and the income increased therefrom $1,271 per annum. Collections for parish purposes increased to $1,047. The same relative progress happily marked the spiritual condition; the Sunday-school increased; a large number were confirmed at the annual visitation, and a corresponding number of communicants is recorded.
The Vestry elected April 18th, 1881, and the Rector, entered upon the new and fiscal year with bright anticipations which were destined to be happily realized. A meeting of the congregation was held in the Parish building, February 14, 1882. The report of the condition of the finances are as follows:
The mortgage debt $57,000
Floating debt $4,600
Pew rents received for the year 1881 $7,245.84
Collections $1,086 50
Expenditures for salaries, &c., &c. $7,977.61
On account of the Interest and Sinking Fund—from Offertory $524.67
Mite Chests $145.82
Ladies' Parish Society $800
Against which was for Interest on Mortgage Debt $2665.73
Principal and Interest on Chattel Mortgage $1,722.50
Total Deficiency $919.65
 An appeal was made to induce the people to make an effort to reduce the debt, but it was not at the time apparently very successful, but the Treasurer of the Interest and Sinking Fund reported, July 18th, 1882, subscriptions amounting to $8,473.35. On the 6th of May, of this year, the Ladies' Parish Aid Society resolved to assume $10,000 of the mortgage debt, the interest and principal of which they promised to pay, and so informed the Vestry, who received the resolution with the thanks so eminently deserved. From October, 1873, to this time the Parish was indebted to this organization for the payment of bonds, on account of the mortgage debt, and in cash to the amount of over ($13,000) thirteen thousand dollars.
As an evidence of the size and importance now reached by the Sunday-school, the Vestry, at its meeting, June 3d, 1882, was presented with a check for $1,000 from the school, to be applied towards the payment of the mortgage debt. The "magnificent contribution" was thankfully received.
The school now filled all the rooms of the building, and had attained a high efficiency and reputation, and was a powerful instrument for good in the Parish and in the community. The Vesper Service had become a marked feature in the service of the Church; it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful and inspiring spectacle than the school presented, entering from the Parish building, and winding its way through the aisles, led by its own choir, and preceded by its large and rich banner, followed by the many classes, each bearing its own elegant and tasteful banner, the long line of children and youths when seated frequently filling the body of the Church; the succeeding service heartily engaged in by all, and the voices filling the building with volume and melody when joining in the chants and hymns.
March 3d, 1883. On consideration of the reduction of the bond held by the Mutual Life Insurance Co. to $50,000, a reduction of interest to 5 per cent was effected. The Vestry [86/87] were able to effect this reduction by the result of the efforts previously reported, and through a temporary loan by notes of the Vestry of $4,000. The rent roll was now reported to be (p. 457) $10,481.50. Also, a gain of 21 pews rented and $1,380 in amount of rent during the year. The grounds and fences were this year put in order, and the walks covered with asphalt.
A strict recital of facts compels the writer to state that at this time the Parish suffered a loss of over five hundred dollars by a deficiency in the accounts of the Treasurer.
The labors of the Rector being increased by the growth of the congregation the Rev. Horace B. Hitchings was this year, June 5, 1883, elected assistant minister "without salary, the engagement to terminate at any time at the option of either party." In explanation of this, it may be said that Mr. Hitchings was understood to have ample means and in consequence of his health and other personal reasons he did not wish to bind himself for any definite time. He officiated very acceptably and to the great satisfaction of the Rector and the people. The report of the pew committee, April 5, 1884, showed the rent roll to be $11,546, and as indicating the migratory character of the people, although 70 pews were rented during the year, 52 were given up, a gain of only eighteen, but a gain of $1,363 in rental. Among other evidences of prosperity, the Vestry were enabled to anticipate the payment of the note due May 13th, $1,000. Also the church this year was newly carpeted throughout at an expense of $1,200, and screens were placed at the rear of the short pews costing $85. The first Parish Year Book was issued this year. They have been continued annually and furnish important statistics and much interesting and useful information.
The number of communicants had now so largely increased that the sacred vessels which had been so long in use, were frequently insufficient for the requirements, and the Rector proposed to enlarge their size by adding more metal to them and have them recast. Dr. Lobdell appealed to the congregation for donations of old or unused silver, especially treasured memorials, which he suggested could not be more appropriately [87/88] used than by being incorporated in vessels consecrated to the service of the Holy Altar. The response was liberal, and vessels of modern style and more elaborate finish and workmanship replaced the heavy plain ones which in 1844 were the gift of "one of St. Andrew's zealous and faithful members." [*As evidence of the primitive condition of things at this time, pewter vessels were all that St. Andrew's possessed until Mr. Abel T. Anderson was moved to substitute a service of more worthy metal. See Dr. Draper's History, page 31.] While old parishioners regretted to have the vessels from which they had so often received the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ destroyed, the change was recommended to others by the thoughts that hallowed memorials of loved ones would be incorporated with that which was already sanctified for holy uses.
On May 2d, 1885, Rev. Edward H. Cleveland was called as assistant minister and entered upon his duties July 1st following, at a salary of $1,000 per annum.
The organ had been mortgaged to raise money to carry the church through its difficulties in 1879. During all the time thereafter money to pay off this mortgage debt and to make up for accruing deficiencies had been obtained in the various ways previously mentioned, but also constantly by the members of the Vestry giving their personal notes, which were discounted at bank. These notes, as the Parish had prospered, had been gradually reduced in amount and the last one of $500 was paid May 12, 1885, to the great relief it may well be supposed of the self-sacrificing Vestrymen. Harlem continued to grow rapidly in population and the congregation and income kept pace with the increase. This prosperity enabled the Vestry to transfer a surplus in the treasury to the Interest and Sinking Fund, and also to enforce the rules against delinquent pew holders, and the percentage of loss in rents (in past years a large and serious item), became an insignificant figure. When the Parish was struggling under its pecuniary load and certain and sure payments would often have relieved the Vestry from many serious embarrassments, the actual losses were great enough to have largely covered existing deficiencies. Over $3,000 was reported in 1882 as the accumulated losses of a few previous years.
 The societies for the furtherance of parish and church work all labored efficiently and with excellent results in their several spheres. Their annual reports showed that their labors were well rewarded. Conspicuous, among them was the Ladies' Parish Aid Society, whose report showed that of the $10,000 of the mortgage debt assumed in 1882 they had paid up to this date (Nov. 1st, 1886), $5,500 and $2,157.94 of interest.
St. Andrew's Hospital Guild in their visits to the sick in the Alms Houses, Bellevue Hospital, etc., disbursed $356.81.
St. Andrew's Benevolent Society expended among the needy and deserving $282.81, and the Missionary Association in various directions $259.92.
The Sunday-School collected during the year $937.89, which it expended as follows, viz.: For its own expenses, $473.21. Domestic and Foreign Missions, $134.84. Sunday-School and Fresh Air Fund, Church of the Reformation, $86.02. Banner, $200. Easter Flowers, $30. Choir Boys, $60. Leaving balance on hand, $102.80. An Altar Society attended promptly to its peculiar duties and a Chinese school was an interesting feature of the Parish work.
A brief summary of the condition of the Parish generally during three years is as follows:
1885: Confirmations 63, Communicants 875, Finances/Pew Rents $12,114.02, Offerings/Subscriptions $10,004.69, Total $22,118.69
1886: Confirmations 65, Communicants 904, Finances/Pew Rents $12,091.74, Offerings/Subscriptions $10,797.28, Total $22,889.02
1887: Confirmations 65, Communicants 966, Finances/Pew Rents $12,107.30, Offerings/Subscriptions $9,197.17, Total $21,204.47
1885: Expenses, Repairs, Salaries $17,564.49; Contributions for Poor, Missions, etc. $4,564.20; Total $22,118.69
1886: Expenses, Repairs, Salaries $15,676.72; Contributions for Poor, Missions, etc. $6,718.42; Total $22,395.14
1887: Expenses, Repairs, Salaries $17,640.28; Contributions for Poor, Missions, etc. $2,005.31; Total $19,645.59
The last year is given in advance of its regular order for the sake of grouping all together.
At a meeting of the St. Andrew's Literary and Musical Association, April 26th, 1876, Dr. Draper read an original poem, written by him for the occasion, called "Jebedee's (G. B. D.) Trials with Church Music." He gave a humorous history of [89/90] the various kinds of music as given at St. Andrew's from the first, and his slow martyrdom, and a time when
"For once the stones were light, the fires were low,
The Rector had some chance, midway, between;
The organ, then, was small, six stops or so,
The singers, three or four, behind a screen,
Who sang one part—were volunteers, of course,
As free with time and tune, as pains and trouble,"
and so on through the various trials with quartette, quartette and chorus, volunteer and paid, with many tender, sympathizing reminiscences of the various volunteer organists and singers. The singular fact that all advocates of any particular kind of music think and claim that what they prefer should be satisfactory to every one else, is thus alluded to:
"As each one else has his idea to thrust
On me and order mine upon the shelf,
The consequence will be, that my content
Must be his discontent, his bliss, my woe;
If my idea is realized, 'tis evident
To him that his is not, and he says, Pooh!
If his idea is realized, why then, 'tis plain,
The turn is mine to show unfeigned disgust.
Some honest people think 'tis all in vain
To get the due amount and qual'ty just
Of sacred song with voices more than four,
Their loftiest conception of high praise
Is that of a quartette. Why this life o'er
The twelve by twelve times thousand Saints amaze
In glory's light, before the great white throne,
With harps in hand, with lips apart to sing
The Lamb's new song! they must perforce, postpone
Their choral praise, lips close, and harps unstring,
To listen to some heavenly quartette
Of Saints or Angels four! this cannot be!
But then our chorus friends, in turn, forget
That difficulties more there are to see,
And insist in imitating heavenly song
Below, than can be shown or found, the way
Of plain, four part performances along."
Dr. Draper little thought that the music question, so prolific of trivial and temporary annoyances to "Jebedee," [90/91] was destined to produce the greatest discord and division which St. Andrew's had yet experienced.
Many experiments and changes had been made in previous years with the various kinds of choirs and styles of music, all in turn changed to meet differing tastes, as each prevailed for the time being. A paid quartette and a volunteer chorus seemed to be giving fair satisfaction, although some advocated a better and more expensive quartette alone, when on 2d January, 1886, a resolution was introduced in the Vestry, requesting the Music Committee to ascertain the cost of a boy choir. At the next meeting, a week later, the Rector having reported: "That a suitable boy choir can be obtained, including the salary of the organist, for $2,000," that amount was appropriated for such a choir for the ensuing year. Although this was done unanimously the same fears and feelings shown on previous occasions were again manifested, and to satisfy these, it was stated that "the Rector promised that the boy choir should be retired at the end of one year, if unfavorably received, and pledged his word that as long as he was Rector the forms of services of the Church would not be changed." The change to a surpliced choir of boys and men was made on the succeeding first Sunday of May. By an allusion in the minutes of the Vestry, September 25th, 1886, the new choir did not appear to be giving entire satisfaction, and changes in the position of the stalls, etc., in the chancel were decided on to remedy what was supposed to be the difficulty. The subject was brought up again and farther discussed at the next meeting, October 30th. Dissatisfaction seemed to increase, and it was stated that there was a manifest falling off in the Church attendance and revenue, but "objection was made to any change at that time," in view of the existing contracts. Soon after, on the 6th of November, "the Rector stated that he had been considerably worried by the complaints and indifference of the congregation, and therefore handed the question over to the vestry and requested them to settle it, and he would abide by their decision." The vestry then decided (with one dissenting voice) to go back to a quartette choir at the expiration of the "current musical year," and on the opinion expressed by the musical committee, that [91/92] the congregation were favorable to a quartette in connection with a boy choir, it was further decided to engage a quartette for the remainder of the year. As soon as the action of the vestry was known to the congregation, a petition signed by a number of the members was presented to it, "protesting against dismissal of the boy choir at the present time." On the 8th of January, 1887, the vestry engaged a quartette for the year beginning May 1st, at an expense of $2,000 per annum. A month later, the murmurs and dissatisfaction of those in favor of retaining the vested choir found expression in the Vestry, and it was only by a vote of four to five that the previous action of changing from a boy to a quartette choir was not annulled. In the meantime the question continued to excite members of the congregation, and a meeting was held at the house of Mr. J. H. Suydam, at which a committee was appointed to wait upon the Vestry and present a certificate containing one hundred and ten names, claimed as pewholders, or regular attendants of the Church, advocating the retention of the vested choir. From this time on meetings were held, crimination and recrimination was indulged in, circulars and counter-circulars were issued and the parish was much excited, especially as the time for the annual Easter election was approaching, when the lines were strictly drawn and the question of a quartette or a vested choir, of sustaining the action of the small majority of the Vestry, or repudiating it, was to be decided. The opposition to the vested choir was strengthened by the feeling that such a choir was but another step in advance towards a higher ritual, which some of its advocates were known to favor, and which they (the opposition) claimed was shown by all the changes at St. Andrew's heretofore made, and of which they always disapproved.
Full tickets were nominated by each side, one containing the names of the members of the majority of the Vestry, and the other those of the minority. The election occurred on Easter-Monday morning, April 11th, and brought an unprecedentedly large vote, the total being 143, and the ticket favorable to continuing the vested choir was elected by a majority of 97 votes. The vote showed that nearly all the members of the [92/93] congregation entitled to the privilege had expressed it, and instead of the customary quiet election, when (with a few exceptions of a merely personal character) only enough votes were cast to make it legal, the contest, instead, assumed the outward appearance of an exciting political election.
The minority, it is to be regretted, did not accept their defeat with resignation. So many unpleasant things had been asserted by both sides, and doubtless by both sides misunderstood or misapprehended, they could not bear their defeat with complacency. Many—in fact, most of them, withdrew from the church, inflicting a serious loss of St. Andrew's parishioners.
On the 2d of April Mr. Hutchings resigned and the resignation was accepted, the Vestry expressing their obligations to him for his valuable services rendered to the parish as assistant minister.
While the contest over the music was going on another event occurred of the greatest importance, the resignation of the Rector, which was presented to the Vestry January 22d. This event was overshadowed by the contest just related, in consequence of the excitement which it caused and the information at once given that the resignation was final and irretrievable. Dr. Lobdell's letter and the action of the Vestry will best record the event.
To the Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Andrew's Church,
GENTLEMEN: Having been elected Rector of Trinity Church, Buffalo, under circumstances which clearly indicate the course I should pursue, I am fully convinced, after very serious and prayerful consideration of the subject in all its bearings, that my duty to the Church at large, to my family and to myself, requires that I should accept the position which, in the Providence of God, has been offered me. I do, therefore, resign the Rectorship of St. Andrew's Church, to take effect on next Easter Day.
It is with feelings of sorrow that I cannot express that I take this step which will sever the ties which have for nearly eight years bound us together. I have been with you in your weakness and your strength, your adversity and your prosperity.
 I thank you, my dear brethren, and the congregation you represent, for your generous kindness, and for all you have done for me and my family from the beginning of my Rectorship until now.
Praying for your continual prosperity in things temporal and spiritual, as a Parish and as individuals, and that the great Head of the Church in His own good time may send you a faithful Pastor,
I am affectionately yours,
New York, January 21st, 1887.
"The Vestry being convinced that the decision of the Rector was final," a committee of three was appointed "to draft suitable Resolutions expressive of the regret of the Vestry at the resignation." The resolutions were reported January 29th, and unanimously adopted as follows:
"Resolved, That this minute be entered upon the Parish Record as an expression of the profound regret with which the Vestry has accepted the same. We realize that no formal words can adequately express the sense of obligation we feel, or the pressure of the debt this Parish owes for the faithful services which have brought it from a very low estate to great prosperity. As we enjoy the fruits of these labors, in years to come we will hold in loving memory the faithful Pastor who gained them for us. Eloquence and zeal in the ministrations of the Church have adorned his public character, while his virtues and admirable deportment in private life have endeared him to his Parishioners.
"In the new field of labor to which he is called we feel that we wish him the greatest success, when we express the hope that it may equal that which has attended his work among the people of St. Andrew's."
For the third time in the space of less than eleven years the Church was without a Rector. After the organization of the new Vestry, arrangements were made for continuing the services of the Church, and the work of the Parish, in the most efficient manner. In consideration of the increased labor which [94/95] would of necessity devolve upon the assistant minister, his salary, while the Rectorship remained vacant, was increased to $1,500 per annum. The decision of the election being in favor of the vested choir, the Vestry found themselves hampered in carrying out this decision by the contracts made by the last Vestry with an Organist and four solo singers, whose services would now be out of place. After much negotiation, the Church being legally and morally bound to perform its share of the contract, a compromise was effected by paying them one half their annual salaries.
The next and most important business was the filling of the vacant Rectorship, and to this the Vestry gave prompt attention. One name had been prominently before the Vestry at the previous vacancy, and by a singular coincidence, this name was among the first to be suggested now. After due care and thoughtful consideration of the names, and probable fitness and availability of other clergymen, the Vestry, on the 30th of April, authorized the Wardens to wait upon Rev. George R. Van De Water, D. D., of St. Luke's Church, Brooklyn, and to tender him the Rectorship. After full consultation, verbal and in writing, on the 14th of May, Dr. Van De Water was formally elected Rector, and after much careful thought, and several consultations with Wardens and the Bishop, he accepted the office, to take effect on the 1st of January, 1888.
In their written communication, it is interesting to notice the great difference in the condition of the Parish now and as it was eight years before:
* Number of families then 125. Now 475.
* Number of communicants then 250. Now 1,000
* Number in Sunday-school then 300. Now 1,050
* Debt then, $67,000, at 7 per cent interest. Now, $43,500, at 5 per cent.
[* Possibly both underrated and overrated.—The Writer.]
Dr. Van De Water, while Rector of St. Luke's, had been elected the previous year "Head Missioner" of the United States. This was a newly created office, the duties of which required visiting and ministration in distant parts of the country. [95/96] To enable him to perform these duties, he had been given leave of absence from his Parish for one year, and engagements had been made for him by the Parochial Missions Society covering the time up to, and in fact beyond, the time fixed upon his entering upon his duties at St. Andrew's. Being urgently needed in his own charge, arrangements were made by the Missions Society, relieving him from further duty as Missioner on the 1st of January, the earliest day which could be fixed, consistent with requirements and obligations.
Although much concerned at the long interregnum, it could not be avoided, and the Vestry labored earnestly and successfully in supplying the pulpit, and in carrying on the Parish work. Much satisfaction was expressed when it was known that the Vestry had chosen a new Rector and that their call had been accepted. In consequence of his exacting engagements, Dr. Van De Water was able but twice to meet his future charge prior to January 1st; this he did first at a service in the evening of the 31st May, when he made an informal address and afterwards was introduced to his people at a reception held in the parish building; and again on October 2d, when unexpectedly he was enabled to be present at the evening service and preach. The rent roll gradually increased, and November 5th it is reported that there were only three pews and three half-pews not rented. The Ladies' Parish Aid Society in December held a fair which enabled them to pay the balance of the obligation, assumed May 6th, 1882 ($10,000), of the mortgage debt, so that everything was prospering for the advent of the New Rector.
Dr. Van De Water assumed active charge of the Parish on the day fixed. From this time on, the writer has nothing but success to relate in the affairs of the Parish whose vicissitudes and triumphs he has endeavored to chronicle. The attendance at services is generally limited only by the capacity of the church. The income has increased in a corresponding ratio, both from rents and offerings, and while taking care of their own household, the offerings for missionary and other objects never were so generous and regular. The number confirmed (1888) was 114, and communicants had increased to 1137.
 When the Diocese of Albany was set off from this Diocese, some pecuniary matters were left unsettled, which have been a question of contention between the dioceses almost constantly since. Application having been made for $500 from this parish towards the liquidation of the claims of the Albany Diocese, half that amount was appropriated and paid by the Vestry on April 16th, 1889.
Fears had been expressed that St. Andrew's had seen its best days, but it has been again shown that her ever loyal and faithful people can still be relied on to second the efforts of an earnest and zealous pastor.
The Parish of Holy Trinity having sold and given up their church building on Easter day April 1st, 1888, advantage was taken of the opportunity to illustrate, that "The teachings of Scripture, the statement of our creeds, and the polity of our church remind us that we are members one of another, and portions of the one great body of Christ throughout the world," and "Desiring to make the teaching practical and to show a neighborly interest in a sister parish," the use of St. Andrew's church was offered "as the Rectors of each may decide will best serve the interest of both." The offer was accepted with "profound thanks," but arrangements subsequently made by Holy Trinity Parish to worship in the New Hall of the Young Men's Christian Association rendered it unnecessary for that Parish to make use of the offered hospitality.
Again in the history of St. Andrew's Parish, large as the church is, it cannot accommodate all those who wish to attend its services, and its parish building has long been inadequate to hold the concourse of its Sunday School, and in many other ways fails to meet the actual necessities of such a building; every available vacant space in the church has been filled with seats, but still applicants for pews and sittings have to be denied. On March 5th (1888) a communication was received by the Vestry from the Superintendent and Teachers of the Sunday School asking for increased accommodation. The church itself was already in use for several classes in order to accommodate the overflow. The necessity of doing something to meet the requirements of the Sunday School was imperative. [97/98] The first and most obvious way to do this was to enlarge the parish building; this could only be done effectually at a very considerable cost, five thousand dollars, it was estimated. The question that presented itself to the Vestry was, would it be good judgment to do this now? When the church was rebuilt after the fire, as has been already shown, the congregation came mostly from the neighborhood, and east and south of the present location. By the great change and increase of population consequent upon the opening of the west side elevated railroad, this condition has been completely reversed, and although St. Andrew's has largely benefited by and received its full share, and probably more, of this increase, it is considered a question whether, if a parish should be created west of Sixth avenue, and it should be conducted (as it most probably would be) on the same lines as St. Andrew's is, could the old parish hope to retain its far distant members and attendants? The neighborhood of the present church has already deteriorated, and it is thought probable, will still more deteriorate, and it is shown that a very large proportion of the income necessary to sustain the parish now comes from the neighborhood of, and west of 5th avenue. Under these circumstances the Vestry thought some action should be taken and gave the matter consideration in all its aspects and bearings.
A committee was appointed to consider the best means of extending the work of the parish. This committee reported April 13th, "that the future work of the parish demands an early enlargement of its church accommodation, that this purpose can best be subserved by securing at the earliest day possible a site for a new parish church, to be located within the parish limits not further west than Lenox avenue, and not further north than 130th street." The suggestion was made of securing a location in the vicinity of 6th or 7th avenues for the establishment of a chapel which might occupy the ground and as a nucleus grow to be the main parish with the present church as an appendage or mission. The question then arose, would the congregation that could be drawn to the present location be financially able to sustain so large and expensive a church? It was thought that this would not be expected. [98/99] A most radical and even startling idea was then broached. This was to purchase lots in a suitable location further west and move the present building bodily, as it were, to the new site.
After making extensive inquiries in regard to available lots and consulting the former architect (Mr. Henry M. Congdon), as to the feasibility of the project which he decided in the affirmative, and also after considering and examining statistics, etc., supporting this and other propositions suggested, the Vestry called a meeting of the parishioners to consider the whole matter. They instructed Mr. Congdon to prepare sketches and plans of the proposed new edifice suited to possible sites, and mindful of the enconiums of Dr. Draper, and his warning when he said: "Their work (the architect and builders) will never cease to speak for them. Improvement will turn a vandal before she would march to the destruction of such a building," [*Dr. Draper's Address, page 33.] the architect was instructed to perpetuate the grand and imposing features of the present building by altering nothing, except so far as was absolutely necessary to fit it for a new location.
The meeting was held June 2d. A statement of arguments in favor of the proposed move in the shape of a printed circular was read and considered and is herewith partially given:
"The figures show to-day that two-thirds of those on the books of the parish reside west of Madison Avenue, while a larger proportion even than this of those who contribute to the support of the church live west of Fifth Avenue. Taking three streets on the north and three on the south, the following are the numbers of families attending the church:
125th-6th-7th-8th--9th and 130th Streets east of Madison Avenue 43, west of same streets 190. Taking the same streets the following are the number of pewholders, east of Fifth Avenue, 30, west of same, 95.
On avenues east of Fifth Avenue there are 33 families attending St. Andrew's; on Fifth Avenue and avenues westward there are 56 families who attend.
Taking streets further north and further south than these the [99/100] proportion in each case is found to be still larger among the west side residents." The circular advocated the purchase of a site on the northeast corner of 127th Street and Fifth Avenue. The consent of the Bishop of the Diocese had been obtained on account, he said, of "inconvenient location of present building, its exclusive occupancy by persons who rent pews practically prohibits the gathering of a mission congregation, and that the present building is inadequate," etc., and also with the understanding that the parish shall undertake mission work east of Third Avenue.
The result of the meeting was not arrived at without some feeling being shown, and a questioning of the statements and arguments of the circular. It was claimed by one member that the statements of the circular were misleading in regard to previous consideration and action, looking to the removal of the Church to Fifth Avenue, and the whole scheme was extravagant and likely to entail a burden upon the Parish which it could not uphold. The assertion that the utmost was done to change the site to Fifth Avenue at the time the present Church was built was shown to be a misapprehension at least, as at that time, although the matter was incidentally considered, the fact of the Parish Building, then nearly new, being located where it was, almost precluded the power, if not the desire, to change the location of the Church; also, it was claimed that undue stress was laid upon the circumstance that it would be but carrying out a project that Dr. Draper and his Vestry committed the Parish to, and did their best to prosecute years ago; as then the circumstances were entirely different and not at all parallel. It was further claimed that undue haste was being exercised, which in so important and critical a matter, might be fatal to the welfare of the Parish, and the sentiment was emphatically expressed that it was unnecessary and would be almost an act of vandalism or sacrilege to take down so stately and beautiful a temple, after the brief use of only sixteen years, and under and around which yet repose the remains of many of worshipers, and its benefactors and enrichers.
The feeling of sentiment did not prevail against the prosaic [100/101] one of utility and ultimate advantage, as the present location of the congregation and the financial point was ably set forth in the facts and figures given in the circular.
The result of the meeting was the passage of the following resolution. "Resolved—That it is the sense of this meeting that it is to the interests of the Parish to move the church edifice, as suggested in circular." The resolution was adopted by a rising vote 100 to 4. The Vestry lost no time in carrying out the wishes expressed by the meeting, and on 2d July the Committee to whom the matter was referred reported the purchase of the lots on the N. E. corner of Fifth Avenue and 127th Street, 99ft. 11in. by 160 feet, for the sum of $108,000. [*In 1865, six lots on the N. E. corner of Fifth Avenue and 126th Street were offered the Church for $13,500.] The Vestry at the same meeting authorized the issue of bonds to the amount of $100,000, at 6 per cent interest, and to run 10 years. A building committee was also appointed. Application was made to the Vestry (April 13th) by Rev. Montgomery Throop, for leave to form a new Parish to be located west of Seventh Avenue and south of 127th Street, the new Parish to be called "Church of the Advent." Leave was promptly granted.
Rev. Mr. Cleveland, having been elected Rector of Trinity Church, Seymour, Conn., resigned as assistant minister of St. Andrew's, the resignation to take effect November 1st. In accepting Mr. Cleveland's resignation, the Vestry testified to his ability and zeal in the Parish, and their earnest desires for his success in his new and responsible field.
$1,200 was appropriated for the annual compensation of the "Rector's assistant," and on November 7th the Rector notified the Vestry at its meeting of having arranged for such assistance with the Rev. Walter H. Larom, and he entered upon the duties immediately on the departure of Mr. Cleveland.
March 18th the Building Committee reported making contract with Messrs. Mahoney & Watson for taking down and rebuilding the church on the new site, the basement to be roofed in and finished by August 1st, and the church to be finished May 1st, 1890. Contract price, $100,000.
 The treasurer of the building fund made the following report May 27th:
Bonds issued $35,500
Rent of houses on new site $600
Sale of houses on new site $500
Cash donations prior to Easter $2,344.25
Cash donations on Easter day $8,539.17
Cash, miscellaneous sources $3,227.75
Taxes and Interest $2,500
Architect's fees $1,000
On account of land $5,000
Miscellaneous, vault, lots, &c. $3,166.02
The various societies previously existing have been continued and new ones organized, all consolidated under one head, each individual organization acting under its own proper officers. The results of their work for the years ending March 1, 1888, and 1889, may be summarized as follows:
Pew rents $12,362.46
Offerings, subscriptions, &c. $9,498.99
Total $21,861 45
Salaries and expenses $12,735.23
Mortgage debt and interest $6,675.83
Pew rents $13,831.83
Offerings from Congregation, S. School, Guild, Missionary and Rector's fund $15,398.94
Salaries and expenses $15,333.54
Mortgage Interest $2,006.60
The question of music having been settled, the vested choir has become a permanent feature, and every needed care and attention has been successfully given to make it satisfactory and worthy of the Church, and the very important and more extended portion of the services now given to it. The change in this respect is quietly acquiesced in, although possibly not approved by all.
In the spring of the year 1889, "St. Andrew's Guild" and "St. Andrew's Chapter of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew," two active working organizations in the parish, combined their interests and means in establishing, on the East-side, a Mission House, [102/103] which was located in the three-story brick building No. 2410 Second avenue. In the third story of which there is conducted an Infirmary for Women, and in the second story a Dispensary for the same. Dr. Malcolm McLean, a member of the parish and a specialist in women's diseases, is in charge of this department of the work at the Mission House, and is assisted by his medical assistant and two professional nurses. The first story is devoted to a kindergarten in the morning hours, to a reading room for men in the evenings, and on Sundays the Brotherhood Bible Class is held for men. A good library is in the rear room of the first floor, and is open for use of all who are inmates, or who may visit the house. A most excellent work has thus been inaugurated, a work that will doubtless be the forerunner of other charitable work in the vicinity, as well as an East-side Mission Chapel, which St. Andrew's hopes to establish at an early date.
At no previous season was so much interest shown in the Lenten services or such large congregations assembled as was seen this year, and the number confirmed (135) on Easter Even was by far the largest that ever received that holy rite in St. Andrew's Church. This Lenten season was fitly followed by a glorious and memorial Easter, when the number of communicants at one administration was 1,200.
The offerings of the people were asked for the benefit of the new building project. The collection and pledges amounted to $12,295. The response was so generous that when the offerings were piled upon the altar, the Rector could not restrain his feelings, but gave vent to them by leading the congregation in singing the Doxology, and never before had St. Andrew's walls resounded so heartily to the old and glorious words, "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow," etc.
The feature of missionary offerings in St. Andrew's deserves notice. Recognizing the duty of everyone to give to missions, and recognizing, too, the awkwardness of special appeals, disturbing the regular services of a parish, our plan is to invite every attendant at our services to contribute a sum named by him each quarter of the year. At the end of the year these [103/104] offerings, with increased interest, are laid on the altar on Easter Day, then severally divided among the missionary departments.
It is exceedingly gratifying that the season of '89, when efforts were made to raise a large amount of money for the rebuilding of the parish church, not only was our Mission House in Second Avenue furnished and opened, but our offering for missionary work at home and abroad exceeded in amount those of any previous year in the history of the parish. This may be regarded as a happy sign that St. Andrew's is never, in ministering to its own needs, to forget its duty to minister to the needs of others.
The new Holy Trinity Church on Lenox avenue was opened on April 14th, and as showing the brotherly feeling and the Christian ties which should always bind the members of Christ's Church, Dr. Van de Water, on invitation, preached the first evening sermon in the new Church, and he, with a delegation of St. Andrew's vestry, also attended a reception held in their new parish building, on the evening of the 24th of April following.
The three frame buildings on the new site having been removed, ground was broken for the new St. Andrew's on the 5th day of April by the Rector, with appropriate ceremony, and the work of building has been rigorously carried on since, with every prospect of the contract in respect of time being reasonably well complied with.
The Rev. Mr. Larom was obliged to resign on account of ill health, and on October 1st, 1889, The Rev. Charles Martin Niles, M. A. became the Assistant Minister of the parish. The clergy are assisted by Miss P. A. Hopkins, the salaried instructor of the kindergarten and general parish helper.
Another chapter in the history of St. Andrew's Church is finished and a new one is opening. Its transcendent importance can be readily discerned. The house hallowed by so many memories and associations, the very place itself where the Church has for three-score years been anchored is to be abandoned. To the few parishioners left who have seen the many changes in the outward form and structure of the sacred edifice, to the still fewer who, like the writer, remember the original [104/105] Church surrounded by its rural cemetery even lately—its quite imposing Doric exterior, its high box pew and lofty pulpit within, its later extensions and alterations completely changing the character of its architecture, but all, down to the present edifice and time, retaining the same rural charm and features as at the first—these parishioners cannot be expected to see with indifference the removal which is now taking place. The surrounding of the present stately edifice may, and probably will be compensated for, by the increase of dignity, consequent upon its great enlargement, but the rural features, so refreshing in its present position, must necessarily be wanting. Relying upon the wisdom of the Vestry and the Rector, ratified as it has been by the parishioners, it cannot be doubted, that as in times past and on previous momentous occasions, St. Andrew's faithful people guided by the Holy Spirit will be found equal to the emergency. That the Parish may do this and sustain and enlarge its influence and become one of the most important in the Diocese should be the desire and prayer of all.
The events recorded from the end of Dr. Draper's history and address to the year 1880 occurred during the official connection of the writer, and mostly within his personal knowledge and action. Since that time his information has been from official and other reliable sources.
The writer's work is done. In leaving the task, which by the partiality of the Rector and the Vestry was imposed upon him, he would not apologize for its shortcomings or its prolixities, but only hope for the lenient judgment due to one totally inexperienced in such work. He earnestly trusts and believes that the same wise Providence which has so often guarded St. Andrew's Parish, may still guide and support it through future years, and that in its new location, neglecting none of its old associations and duties, it may be able to minister to yet larger numbers, and that the Rector, under whose inspiration and energetic guidance so much has already been accomplished, may, in after years, be able to look back with joy and gratitude that under God he was the instrument of great and lasting good to the Parish, the Diocese, the Church, and the community.
 Extracts from Parish Report to Diocesan Convention, 1889:
Baptisms Adults 21
Baptisms Infants 70
Communicants (after erasing over 100 not discovered in two years) 1156
Receipts for year:
Pew Rents $14,088.45
Offerings at Church Services $6,688.06
Sunday School Offerings $2,196.56
Subscriptions and Donations $12,500.24
All Other Services $4,920.38