YORKTOWN TO APPOMATTOX
THE REVOLUTION swept away the Established Church
and for more than thir~rertllewarthe Protestant
Episcopal Church in Virginia w3-s S? beset by p,mbJems. ,:bat
it seemed doomed to complete destructIOn. Certam conciltlOlls
lowered the state of religion among all denominations. The Commonwealth
had given unstintedly of her blood and treasure, and
during the later years of the long struggle she had suffered from
the depredations of invaders. The postwar financial stringency
and dissatisfaction with changing conditions drove thousands of
citizens to the newer counties and to other states, thus seriously
reducing the number of supporters of the churches in the older
communities. The War of Independence was followed by the
seemingly inevitable postwar moral and spiritual slump. A
deistic unbelief in revealed religion was prevalent among m-any
of the educated and socially prominent.
There were other factors that affected especially the Episcopal
Church in the Old Dominion. Although over eighty per cent of
its clergy loyally espoused the American Cause and over twenty
per cent participated actively, many Virginians were convinced
that the Church, as part of the old regime, must be uprooted.
Her constitution, liturgy, ministry and members were subject to
a flood of popular abuse. Yielding to this pressure, the Legislature
in 1786 repealed the 1784 act permitting religious denominations
to incorporate; and subsequenrly enacted the statute of 1802
sequestering the glebes, and other endowments, the assured support
of the ministers.
The Church had leaned so long upon “the secular arm for
support” and governance that when it was abruptly withdrawn
she experienced great difficulty in walking alone. For a while
she was unequal to competing with denominations which had
always relied upon their own resources.l Until 1841 “Virginia’s
Mother Church” was greatly handicapped by its failure to release
its bishops from parochial cares so that they could devote
themselves exclusively to their episcopal duties.2
In summarizing the condition of the Episcopal Church in
Virginia in 1799, Bishop James Madison stated that if St. Paul
were to visit our altars and temples “he would consider them as
… devoted to the demon of ruin; he would read in their dejected,
1 Ibid., pp. 39-52; Slaughter, 1847, pp. 37-39; Hening, XII, 266-267; Samuel
Shepherd, The Statutes at Large of Yirginia . . . (Richmond, Printed by Samuel
Shepherd, 1835), II, 314, 316. This will be referred to hereafter as Shepherd.
2 Brydon, “Diocesan Beginnings,” loco cit., p. 48.
The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
forlorn aspects the fate which threatens them; and in that fate
the degeneracy of those who once felt a holy pride in having
reared them for the service of the Living God.” He added that
many of the churches were tottering on their bases.s
Although conditions in St. George’s were better than they
were in some parts of the diocese, the years from 1780 to 1813
were undoubtedly the most discouraging in the history of the
parish. On March 28, 1785, members of the Episcopal Church
met at a Mrs. Cunningham’s house in Fredericksburg and by a
majority vote elected twelve vestrymen. The next month two
members of this body, Joseph Brock and Mann Page, were
deputed to represent the parish at what was to be the first diocesan
convention in Virginia.4
In June the vestry ordered the churchwardens to give notice
that a vestry meeting would be held on September 1, 1785, for
inducting a minister. Apparently desirable parsons were scarce,
as no minister was inducted then. More than two years later,
on November 26, 1787, the vestry empowered an eight man
committee to employ a minister for the “Church of Fredericksburg”
for one year. To assure the clergyman’s support, this
committee was authorized to rent a maximum of twelve pews or
to raise money by subscription. The churchwardens were specifically
instructed to advertise in the Virginia Gazette for a
minister.5 Five days later the committee unanimously elected
the Reverend Mr. Thomas Thornton, specifying that he was to
assume his duties January 1, 1788.6
The appointee to the long vacant pulpit of St. George’s
had received the King’s Bounty for Maryland on October 10,
1754, but where he labored for many years is unknown. For
approximately two years immediately preceding his call to St.
George’s, Mr. Thornton had been rector of Brunswick Parish,
King George and Stafford Counties. After serving for almost
four years, he resigned, leaving St. George’s in the latter part of
1791. During Mr. Thornton’s ministry here, Oeorge Washington
visited his mother and attended St. George’s, attracting an
According to Slaughter and Meade, Mr. Thornton finished
his career as minister of Dettingen Parish, Prince William County.
Other records indicate, however, that a Reverend Mr. Spencer
Grayson was the rector of Dettingen Parish at this time.7 Be
8 Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of-the Protestant Episcopal Church
of the Diocese of Virginia, 1799 (Richmond, 1799), p. 79. This will henceforth
be referred to as the Journal followed by the year.
4 Vestry Minutes, [II, 146-147].
5 Ibid., [II, 148, 151J.
, Ibid., [II, 153J.
7 Edward L. Goodwin, op. cit., p. 312; Vestry Minutes. [II, 168]; Slaughter,
1847, pp. 26·27.
Yorktown to Appomattox 21
that as it may, when Thornton died at Dumfries in his seventysixth
year, a contemporary newspaper stated:
He possessed steady faith, rational benevolence,
and unaffected piety. With the dignity of the minister
he associated the familiarity of the man, and was truly
an ornament to human nature. In his sermons he was
accurate and persuasive, more attentive to sense than to
sound to elevation of sentiment than to loftiness of
style ‘expatiating on the evidences of Christianity when
infid~lity prevailed, and strongly urging the practice of
Christian morality when vice predominated. His amiable
qualities secured him universal respect, and his death
is the theme of universal lamentation. 8
At the meeting at which Thornton was elected as rector of
St. George’s, the committee ordered the church treasurer to have
printed 2,000 copies of a subscription form on which the signatory
promised to pay the churchwardens a sum of money, the amount
to be written in, for the support of the “Protestant Episcopal
Church in the Town of Fredericksburg.”9
In 1787 the common council prepared and adopted a petition
to the Virginia General Assembly requesting the authority to
divide St. George’s Parish and to vest the property of the Church
and the new burying ground in Fredericksburg in the Corporation
of the Town. James Monroe, council member, vestryman and
future president, wa,s appointed chairman of the committee
charged with presenting the petition. Unfortunately, no reference
to a report of this committee had been found and thus it is not
even known whether the petition was ever presented. It has
been suggested that the Virginia statute of 1787 separating
church and state made the petition useless.lO
The vestry petitioned the common council in 1787 for permission
to repair the church building. The council responded by
designating four of its members as a committee to ascertain the
cost of the proposed improvements. An estimate of approximately
£406 was secured and the permission was given. Two
years later the council authorized the construction of a wing on
the southside of the church and directed that the necessary
funds should be raised by voluntary subscriptions. The new
wing gave the building a cruciform appearanceY
As regular services were resumed in Fredericksburg some
people were apparently better about making than paying their
8 Ibid., pp. 27-28.
9 Vestry Minutes, [II, 153]~
10 City of Fredericksburg Council Minutes, 1782-1801, p. 151; Quinn, ap. cit.,
II City of Fredericksburg, ap. cit., pp. 147-148, 157, 168, 190; Quinn ap. cit.,
22 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
pledges to the church. At least the common council formally
went on record in March, 1788, as ordering the “Trustees appointed
to receive subscriptions for the repairs to the Church in
this Corporation” to commence suits against delinquent subscribers.
The list of those in arrears included some prominent
Apparently St. George’s received a new bell in 1788, as there
is an entry in the council minutes stating that the members of
the city council guarantee the payment for a “bell imported for
the use of the Church…” However, the councilmen were not
called upon to make good their guarantee, as the vestry paid
Major Benjamin Day £14, 14 s. and 4 d. for a bell. The council
ordered the church’s old bell to be delivered to Captain William
Lewis with instructions to sell it “for the most that can be got.”1a
On October 17, 1789, fourteen pews were assigned by lottery
to the principal subscribers, Thomas Colson receiving # 1, Mann
Page #3, Benjamin Day #7, Fontaine Maury #8 and George
Weedon # 12.14 The following month the vestry authorized the
erection of an organ in the church.l5 On June 30, 1796, Dr.
ICharles Mortimer presented the congregation~an organI and the church trustees directed that it should be placed at the
end of the singers’ gallery.I5
The vacancy created by Thornton’s resignation was filled
on December 1, 1791, when the Reverend John Woodville, professor
of humanity in Fredericksburg Academy, received ninetysix
votes to thirty-four votes for the Reverend Thomas Davis.
This was the first popular election in the history of St. George’s
Parish, every inhabitant who had subscribed at least six shillings
to the support of “the Episcopal Church in the Town of Fredericksburg”
for 1792, being eligible to vote.16
After serving St. George’s Parish less than two years, Parson
Woodville resigned on November 11, 1793, and moved to Culpeper,
where he “lived to a good old age” as rector of St. Mark’s
Parish and principal of a grammar school. St. George’s first historian
has described Woodville as a man of “pure character,
and modest, blameless manners.”17
On January 6, 1794, the trustees elected the Reverend James
Stephenson as the successor of the Reverend Mr. Woodville.
This was an instance of a father-in-law succeeding his son-inlaw,
as Woodville had married one of Stephenson’s daughters.
Ordained in London in 1768, Stephenson served successively as
minister of Camden Parish, Pittsylvania County, 1769; of Berke-
12 City of Fredericksburg, op. cit., p. 173.
13 Ibid., pp. 173-174; Vestry Minutes, [II, 160].
“Ibid., [II, 159].
“Ibid., [II, 160, 181], Slaughte” 1847, p. 52.
16 Vestry Minutes, [II, 168-170].
17 Ibid., [II, 175]; Slaughte” 1847, pp. 28-29.
Yorktown to Appomattox 23
ley Parish, Spotsylvania County, 1769-1780; and of St. M~rk:s
Parish, Culpeper County, 1780-1794. He was Berkeley ParIsh s
When the diocese of Virginia was divided into ecclesiastical
districts in 1786 Mr. Stephenson was named “visitor” of District
# 10 comprisin~ Sp?t.sylvani~, Ora.nge and Culpeper Counties.
In this capacity he vIsIted panshes, mspected the morals and conduct
of the clergy, admonished and reproved negligent clerics
and reported annually to the bishop or, in the absence of a bishop,
to the next diocesan convention.19
Two charity schools were established during Stephenson’s
rectorship. The Male Charity School was organized on January
25 1795 with Major Benjamin Day, vestryman and warden, as
th~ firs~ president of the institution’s governing board. On
December 13, 1796, “The Trustees of the Charity School of
Fredericksburg” were incorporated by the General Assembly, and
a year later the legislature vested them with a fund bequeathed by
Archibald McPherson for the use of the poor. The resources of the
Male Charity School were supplemented in 1799 by the funds of
the Fredericksburg Academy, and in 1805 by a legacy from Mr.
In 1802 the Female Charity School was organized; in 1804
certain gentlemen were authorized to raise $5,000 by lottery for
this institution; and in 1808 this boarding school was incorporated.
Until it received a $10,000 legacy from Miss Sophia
Carter of Berea, Virginia, this school for indigent girls was dependent
largely on the yearly contributions of the humane. These
schools stressed “the rudiments of an English education” and the
principles of the Christian religion.21
For three years before he resigned in August, 1805, Mr.
Stephenson was ill in Culpeper and unable to discharge his duties.
During part of this time the Presbyterians were permitted to
worship in the Episcopal church in Fredericksburg when it was
not needed for Episcopal services.
Following Stephenson, there were three ministers in eight
years. The first of the trio, the Reverend Abner Waugh, assumed
his pastoral duties in Fredericksburg in January, 1806. The son
of Alexander Waugh of Orange County and the grandson of the
controversial cleric, John Waugh, Abner studied at the College
of William and Mary from March 14, 1765 to June 18, 1768.
IS Vestry Minutes, [II, 176]; Edward L. Goodwin, op. cit., p. 309; William
Meade, op. cit., II, 73; Slaughter, 1847, p. 33n.
19 “Journal, 1786,” in “Appendix” to Francis L. Hawks, Contributions to the
Ecclesiastical History of the United States of America, ‘Polume I: A Narrative of
Events Connected with the Rise and Progress of the Protestant Episcopal Church in
Yirginia (New York, Harper & Bros., 1836), p. 16.
2ll Shepherd,-II, 58, 109, 270; Slaughter, 1847, pp. 29-30.
21 Shepherd. III, 47, 418-419; “Trust Funds for Benevolences,” The FirginiaChurchman, LXIII (May, 1949), p. 7.
24 The HiJtory of St. George’J EpiJCopa/ Church
Ordained in London in 1771, he was minister of St. Mary’s Parish,
Caroline County, for a third of a century from the early 1770’s
to probably sometime in 1805.22
During the Revolution he was a member of the Caroline
County Committee of Safety and chaplain of the .Second Regiment
of Virginia Militia. He was also listed among those supplying
horses or “other aids” to the Continental Army. In 1788
Waugh was unanimously elected chaplain of the Virginia convention
to ratify or reject the federal constitution. He had served
the parish less than seven months when he resigned because of
ill health. He died on September 20, 1806, at the home of John
Taylor of Caroline.”
St. George’s had no rector for two years, during which time
the parish clerk apparently read the morning service and occasionallya
sermon.” Finally on July 15, 1808, a Mr. Samuel Low,
Sr., a man in his forties, accepted appointment as minister.
Before coming to Fredericksburg this native of New Yark had
been preaching to crowds in “Norfolk, Richmond and elsewhere”
on duelling and gambling. He 1″as the author of three thin
volumes of poems. On September 26, 1808, the vestry named
Samuel Low, Jr. as parish clerk.”
The elder Low was making an enviable record when wellfounded
rumors reached Fredericksburg in April, 1809, that he
had married a second wife before obtaining a legal divorce from
his first. This news shocked the community. However, Low
finally procured a divorce decree and the vestry retained him as
rector because his discharge of his clerical duties had been “uniformly
assiduous, pious, zealous, able and eloquent.me The
vestry refused, however, to aid him in securing priestly orders
22 Vestry Minutes, [II, 208]; Edward L. Goodwin, op. cit., pp. 314-315;
“Notes Relating to Some of the Students who Attended the College of William
and Mary, 1753-1770,” William and Mary Coluge Quarterly HiftoTicat Magazine,
Series 2, I (Jan., 1921), p. 41.
23 Vestry Minutes, III, 211]; G. MacLaren Brydon, New Light Upon the
Hiftory of the ChuTch in Colonial Virginia (Richmond, Virginia Diocesan Library,
1941), p. 29; Slaughter, 1847, pp. 33-34; David Robertson, ed., Debates and Other
PToceedingf of the Convention of ViTg-inia, Convened at Richmond, on Monday the
fCcond day of june, 1788. . . . (Richmond, Printed at the Enquirer Press for
Ritchie & Worsley and Augustine Davis, 1805), p. 13; Virginia Magazine of History
and Biography, XX (Oct., 1912), p. 364; XXVII (July and Oct., 1919), p. 348
Ty.er’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, V (July, 1923), p. 56.
24 Vestry 11inutes, [II, 2121.
25 Ibid., [II, 214, 217, 227]; William Meade, op. cit., II, 71; Association of
Research Libraries, A Catalog of Bookf Represented by Library of Congress P1’inted
Cardf (Ann Arbor, :Mich., Edwards Bros., 1944), XC, 480. The titles of Low’s
books are Winter Difplay’d, A Poem: Dtfcribing the Season in all its Stagu and
Ficifsitudes; and Occasionally intersperfCd with a Fariety of Moral and Sentimental
Remarks (New York, Printed by Samuel Lo’ndon, 1784),40 pp. and Poems (New
York, Printed by T. & J. Swords, 1800), 2 vols.
26 Vestry Minutes, [II, 219-234, 241].
Yorktown to Appomattox 25
at that time. A bishop-to-be described him as a man of gigantic
stature, stentorian lungs, “forbidding countenance” and great
Although he moved to King George County in April, 1810,
he continued to officiate in St. George’s Parish tri-weekly for a
year. He finally severed all connections with the parish in April,
1811 because the subscription he received was inadequate to
supp~rt his family. When the trustees accepted his resignation
they characterized Low as a cleric of “great capability and worth”
whose sermons had always been “orthodox, Scriptural, rational
and edifying.” They also recommended him to Bishop Madison
for priest’s orders.28 It is impossible to be definite about his
subsequent career. In 1812 a Samuel Low was the minister of
Wicomico Parish, but this may have been his son; Samuel, Jr.
Unquestionably the Samuel “Lowe” who was unusually successful
as the rector of Christ Church, Norfolk, from 1816 to 1820, was
not the former minister of St. George’s. This zealous preacher
was single when he came to Norfolk and he was only thirty-onewhen he died in 1820.”
The trustees elected the Reverend George Strebeck to replace
Low on November 19, 1811. A distinguished churchman considered
the church little “benefited by the change.”” Apparently
other clergymen thought more highly of Strebeck, as he not only
read the prayers at the opening of the diocesan convention in
Richmond in 1812, but was also elected by that body as a clerical
deputy to the next General Convention. He did not remain in
the diocese long enough to serve in that capacity or to see the
outcome of a drive for funds to erect an urgently needed new
church building in Fredericksburg.”
On October 23, 1813, the vestry unanimously voted to
induct Mr. Edward C. McGuire as minister of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg. The new pastor had been
born in Frederick County, Virginia in July, 1793.” He characterized
his father as a “kind friend and affectionate” parent, and
his mother as a woman of “rare excellence,” genuine piety and
exemplary conduct. In McGuire’s eyes his mother was perfect.33
As he grew up he had talked of entering the ministry but the
27 lbt’d., [II, 235]; William Meade, op. ct’t., II, 7l.
28 Vestry Minutes, [II, 243-244, 246-247J.
29 Journal, 1812, p. 87; t’bt’d.; 1818, p. 125.
so Vestry Minutes, [II, 24-9J; William Meade, II, 71.
31 Journal, 1812, pp. 12, 89; £bt’d., 1813, p. 90; Vestry Minutes, [II, 251-252,257); Slaughte” 1847, p. 36.
32 Vestry Minutes, [II, 255J; Joseph Packard, Recollectt’ons of a Long Lt’je
edited by Thomas J. Packard (Washington, D. C., Byron S. Adams, 1902),:
S3 Edward C. McGuire, A Spiritlfal piary Commenced January 1, 1819 to
May 23, 1831, pp. 81, 85, 87-88. ThIS WIll be referred to hereafter as McGuireDiary. ,
26 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
obstacles were so numerous that he abandoned the idea and in
May, 1811, commenced the ~tudy of law with Robert Page: A
few months later his resolutIOn to be a clergyman was revIved
by a “visitation of the Savior” which he termed as “instantaneous
and sudden as a flash of lightning.”34
McGuire commenced the study of divinity with the Reverend
“\Villiam Meade, rector of Christ Church, Alexandria, on
January 1, 1812. The future bishop moved within a few months
but McGuire continued his theological studies, first with the
Reverend William H. Wilmer, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Alexandria,
and then for a year with the Reverend George Dashiell
Receiving the previously mentioned call to the Episcopal
Church in Fredericksburg, McGuire left Baltimore on September
13, 1813, and conducted his first service in Fredericksburg on
October 3. He took charge as a lay reader since he was not
old enough to be ordained deacon until August, 1814.36 The
position he had accepted was generally considered as unusually
unpromising even for one so young and inexperienced. The
congregation was in a “state of complete prostration.” “Many
persons had been driven from the church” and the eight or ten
communicants who remained “were greatly discouraged.” The
seventy-five-year-old wooden building was an exceedingly “dark
and cheerless” sanctuary.37 McGuire felt that at first his parishioners
had received him with “very little cordiality,” and he
privately attributed this coolness to the conduct of his immediate
The new rector tackled the problems of his parish with
dauntless courage and evide!1ces of progress were soon clearly
noticeable. In December, 1813, the trustees decided to start
the immediate construction of a new building, and seven subscribers
were appointed to contract for and to superintend the
work. These commissioners were authorized to fix the site of the
new church on what they deemed the most “eligible” part of the
lot occupied by the old church. They were also instructed to
dispose of the old church building in the most advantageous
manner, and to apply the proceeds therefrom towards the erection
of the new building. John Mundell was the commissioner who
devoted the most time to supervising its construction and he was
officially thanked by the vestry.”
The funds for building the church were borrowed from the
Farmers Bank and the Virginia Bank, the vestry and the COll-
M Ibid., pp. 3-4.
35 Ibid., pp. 5-6.
36 Ibid., pp. 6, 8.
37 Ibid., p. 7; Meade, op. cit., II, 71; Slaughter, 1847, p. 39.
38 McGuire, Diary, pp. 6-7.
39 Vestry Minutes, [II, 257-258, 260, 270J.
· Yorktown to Appomattox 27
mISSIoners guaranteeing repayment. These officers were protected
by a lien on the proceeds from the sale of pews. The
corner stone was laid in 1814 and on October 16, 1815, the second
Episcopal church in Fredericksburg was. consecrated by Bishop
Richard Channing Moore.” The followlllg day the pews were
sold for a sum exceeding the cost of the building and the subscribers
who so desired were given a refund on their subscriptions.
The church was built without a steeple and these refunds were
solicited for a steeple fund which was being raised in December,
1816. The ladies of the congregation further “evinced their
attachment” to the church by procuring the means of erecting a
McGuire’s pious and indefatigable exertions” were largely
instrumental in increasing the number of communicants from
less than a dozen in October, 1813, to sixty in May, 1815, to one
hundred and twenty-eight in 1832, and to two hundred and
fifty-one in 1859. Incidentally, the Episcopal church in Fredericksburg
had more communicants in 1832 than any Episcopal
church in Richmond. Christ Church, Norfolk, was the only
congregation in the entire diocese with more members.42 But
all this is getting somewhat ahead of our story.
McGuire was married on April 17, 1816, to Miss Judith C.
Lewis, who was a member of his first confirmation class. Miss
Judith was related to George Washington, as the granddaughter
of his sister, Betty, and Colonel Fielding Lewis. Her father,
Robert Lewis, was mayor of Fredericksburg for eight years.
The young couple went to housekeeping in September, 1816.
On January 9, 1818, their first child was born and named Edward
Brown I\1cGuire. In time three more boys and two girls arrived.
In November, 1830, all six children and a servant had the
measles, and Charles, the youngest child, died.43
The Edward C. McGuires moved into their own house on
April 6, 1819, and the rector registered a normal male reaction
when he confessed to being distracted by the “hurry and bustle
of moving.” This house burned to the ground on January 14,
1824, while Mr. and Mrs. McGuire were away from home. He
was naturally distressed by the destruction of what he described
as his “only earthly property” but his friends built him a convenient
brick residence worth double the one he had lost.#.
40 Ibid., [II, 259, 261, 267, 284-285]; Slaughter, 1847, p. 40; McGuire, Diary,
41 Ibid., p. 9; Vestry Minutes, [II, 270, 284-285].
42 Journal, 1815, p. 98; ibid., 1832, pp. 44-46; ibid., 1859, p. 99; ibid., 1816,
43 McGuire, Diary, pp. 9-10, 70, 241, 249, 342-344; “Lewis Familz of Warner
Hall,” William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, X (July, 1901),
p. 51; Moncure Daniel Conway, Autobiography … (London, Paris, Cassell and
Co., ltd., 1904), I, 41.
44 McGuire, Diary, pp. 27, 114-115, 141.
28 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
Edward’s young brother, John McGuire was ordained a
minister at the diocesan convention in 1825. I~mediately thereafter
John made an engagement with the Female Domestic
Missionary Society of St. George’s Parish to do missionary work
in Essex, Caroline and Culpeper Counties. Shortly after his
graduation from General Seminary in New York in 1827, the
Reverend Edward William Peet, accepted a vague call, from a
clerical friend in Virginia, to be a missionary for the Society.
The arrival in Fredericksburg of this future rector of St. John’s
Episcopal Church, Richmond, was entirely unexpected and it
greatly agitated the ladies of the Society who had only $60 in
their treasury for his support. Nevertheless, in a few days he
began his missionary labors in Louisa County, using a horse which
John Gray of “Traveller’s Rest” put at his service. A half
century later) when Peet was nearing the close of his successful
career, he testified that in Mr. Gray’s family he had “always
found a cheerful welcome and a home.” By May, 1828, the
Society had enlisted five missionaries in its cause and settled
three “useful rectors in destitute parishes.” During Edward C.
McGuire’s ministry, St. George’s Parish also furnished two devoted
foreign missionaries, the Reverend Launcelot Byrd Minor and
Mrs. Susan Metcalfe Savage, who lost their lives in advancing
the Church’s work in Africa.45
Although McGuire was highly successful, greatly respected
and frequently praised,46 he had his problems and his critics.
In February, 1819, he admitted being agitated and perplexed
.about the “method of proceeding in the exercise of church discipline.”
Early in June of that year he referred to the malignity
of those endeavoring to disturb his peace and wound his name.
Later that month he described the spirit of opposition to him
in Fredericksburg as running high, his foes as secret and subtle,
his troubles and difficulties tremendously numerous. More than
ten years later he wrote of having many adversaries and of being
the object of unrighteous feeling by professing Christians.47
He was apparently overly sensitive and he probably greatly
overestimated the extent and intensity of his opposition. He
may, however, have displeased some when he described the
play-house, which was opened in Fredericksburg in 1825, as
“that Synagogue of Satan, that Porch of Hell.”48 Others may
have resented his characterization of horse racing as a “vile
amusement-a scene of profanity, gambling, drunkenness a-od
dissipation rarely surpassed.”49
45 Ibid., pp. 156, 159; Journal, 1828, p. 218; Reverend Edward William Peet,
“Fiftieth Anniversery Sermon, 1877,” Historical Magazine ojthe Prott.stantEpiscopal
Chunh, II (Sept., 1933), pp. 28-40.
46 Journal, 1816, p. 110; ibid., 1817, p. 120; ibid., 1859, p. 26.
47 McGuire, Diary, pp. 19, 53, 57, 34O-34l.
48 Ibid., p. 158.
49 Ibid., pp. 157, 223.
Yorktown to A ppornattox 29
Although he frequently officiated at fashionable weddings,
McGuire found it injurious to be in worldly company. His
mind was disturbed by the “folly and sinfulness of the sons and
daughters of fashion.” On May 6, 1819, he confided to his diary
that he had received a clearer view of “the misery of the rich and
great.”50 ., • •
Even if we accept McGUIre s estImate of the number of hIs
detractors he was plagued more by illness than by enemies.
He deplor~d his poor health in both the spring ~nd fall of 1819
and during most of 1820. On July 3, 1821, thIS faIthful shepherd,
who was destined to live until 1858, was so impressed by the
brevity of human life that he f~lt “it wa~ rapi~ly hastening to a
close for him.” In 1823 McGUIre and hls famIly convalesced at
“Traveller’s Rest,” the hospitable mansion of John Gray. He
was so sick during the first three months of 1824 that his pastoral
duties were performed by a newly ordained deacon, the Reverend
George Archibald Smith, the first graduate of the Virginia Theological
His precarious health, however, seemed to have little effect
on the zeal and energy with which he worked for the advancement
of God’s kingdom. McGuire agreed with Bishop Wilson that
the Christian should cultivate the “piety which is active rather
than that which is only contemplative.”52 At the suggestion of
the vestry he generally performed baptisms following the morning
service. On Sunday, March 28, he had a congregation of from
four hupdred to five hundred people. On July 8 of the same year
the congregation crowded his meetings twice and he admitted
that this was unusual for the hot season. In April, 1823, he took
genuine pleasure in recording the fact that some of his parishioners
assembled six or seven times a week for religious services.53
In 1819 St. George’s reported two hundred and twenty-five
Sunday School pupils. In February, 1830, he taught a Bible
class at night in the church. The following month he taught the
female Bible class at candlelight. In 1833 the Bible class contained
from sixty to seventy persons and more than fifty teachers
taught in a Sunday school of approximately two hundred and
In both 1828 and 1829 he conducted a Christmas service
at daybreak and another at 10:30. With the assistance of four
Episcopal ministers he held an “association meeting” from
Saturday morning October 1, 1830, until the following Monday
night. During this period preaching services were held twice a
day and a prayer meeting each morning.55
aO Ibid., pp. 40-41.
51 Ibid., pp. 33, 79-80, 92, 1l0, 113, 119-120.
a2 Ibid., p. 75.
53 Vestry Minutes, [II, 270]; McGuire, Diary, op. cit., pp. 26, 62, 102.
5~ Journal, 1819, p. 137; McGuire, Diary, pp. 303, 312; Journal, 1833, p. 26.
55 McGuire, Diary, pp. 249, 287, 322-323.
30 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
Early in his ministry-the vestry requested McGuire to conduct
church services in Falmouth every Sunday afternoon. He
made arrangement for the establishment of a Sunday school near
Bowling Green. In 1826 he was associated with Bishop Moore
and another minister in a two-day meeting in Hanover County,56
He apparently spent much time in sermon preparation and his
characterization of Saturday, November 13, 1830, as a “day of
labour preparing for the pulpit tomorrow,” would have been an
accurate designation for most of his Saturdays. He regularly
used his written sermons and he had been preaching for seventeen
years before he forgot even once to take his scrip with him into
Apparently none of McGuire’s sermons have survived, but
there is a partial record of the texts he used. For example, at
the morning service on March 7, 1819, he used part of the twentythird
verse of First Corinthians “But we preach Christ crucified.”
That afternoon he spoke from Revelation 3 :20, “Behold I stand
at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the
door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with
me.” Three Sundays later he preached from Luke 2 :13-14 and
I Peter 1 :24-25.”
One may obtain some idea of l\tfcGuire’s literary style from
the following letter which he wrote to John Coakley on November
The valuable Cloak I recieved [sic] through you
ought to have had an earlier acknowledgment. Will
you be so good as to let my kind female friends know
how highly I esteem their Gift, and how cordially I desire
for them the, enjoyment of every good thing~especially
that each of them may be happily clothed with the
garments of salvation covered with that “Robe of righteousness,”
with which the Lord adorns his people who
believe in Him, as a “bridegroom decketh himself with
ornaments, and a bride adorneth herself with jewels.”
Your and Their Friend
Edw C. McGuire.”
A slight indication of how McGuire dressed while preaching
was given by the vestry in 1877 when it stipulated that the silk
56 Vestry Minutes, III, 269]; McGuire, Diary, pp. 32-33; journal, 1827,
[,7 McGuire, Diary, pp. 335, 343.
58 Ibid., pp.’22, 26.
59 This letter is pasted on next to last leaf in vestry minutes, [III].
DR. EDWARD C. MCGUIRE
Rector of St. George’s Church
Yorktown to Appomattox· 31
gown formerly worn by him should be presented to his wife
through the ladies of the church.”
From the autobiography of one who attended a Christmas
service at St. George’s in the early 1840’s we learn that the
church was festooned with evergreens and that the “Gloria”
prepared the congregation for the poetic discourse depicting a
world at peace which Dr. McGuire read with noble countenance
and charming simplicity but without heat or gesture.fi1
When northern Virginia suffered from a prolonged drought
in 1825, he publicly prayed for rain on Sunda:y, October 23.
During the following week, to paraphrase McGUIre closely, the
Lord was pleased to send a gracious and refreshing shower. He
accordingly returned thanks at one of the services on the next
Sunday. Earlier that year the Marquis de La Fayette attended
services in the Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg and visited
for a half hour in McGuire’s home.62
In June, 1830, Alexander Campbell, the widely-known
founder of the Disciples of Christ, preached in Fredericksburg.
Describing Campbell as “a noisy person” with heterodox religious
opinions, McGuire predicted that the visitinK minister would
“come to nothing.”63 The Fredericksburg rector disapproved
of closed communion.
To McGuire the program of the American Colonization
Society was “a great and magnificent design” and the organization
meeting of the Fredericksburg branch of the Society
was held in the Episcopal Church on May 24, 1819. Earlier that
month he had spent part of a day trying to interest some wealthy
slaveholders of Culpeper County in the work of this organization.64
He had a sustained interest in the welfare of the Negroes of
his community, as he informed the diocesan convention of 1834
that something had “been done of late for the spiritual improvement
of our colored population.” The following year he reported
that the claims of the colored people had been regarded by his
congregation “to some extent.” In his May, 1836, parochial
report he admitted that the labors of Fredericksburg Episcopalians
in behalf of the colored people had been sadly interrupted
during the past year. He inferentially blamed this curtailment
on northern anti-slavery agitators. Twenty-one years later two
of the five Sunday schools supported by the Fredericksburg
Episcopal Church were for colored children.65
Apparently McGuire favored free labor. Twice during a
tour of southern New England in 1829 he attributed the success
61) Ibid., [III], 58 verso.
61 Conway, op. cit., I, 4l.
“Ibid., pp. 174, 22l.
6S Ibid., p. 293.
64 McGuire, Diary, pp. 41, 46.
65 Journal, 1834, p. 29; ibid., 1835, p. 36; ibid., 1836, p. 29; ibid., 1857, p.70.
32 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
of the inhabitants in overcoming the handicaps of a sterile soil
to industry, frugality and voluntary labor.66 Incidentally, on
this trip he characterized New Haven as a handsome town not
equal to its fame; a Yale chapel program. as dull; Boston a? a
noble city; and a two and a half hour PhI.Beta Kappa oratIOn
at Harvard as a wearisome harangue that caused hIm to leave
without hearing the customary poem.67
The efforts to ameliorate the lot of the black man did not
exhaust all of the reforming zeal in Fredericksburg. In May,
1835 McGuire reported that the temperance movement had
“ma~y friends ‘with us” who held public meetings monthly. A
year later he congratulated the temperance society in his community
for its avoidance of the “ultraism” that had impaired
the effectiveness of the temperance advocates in other sections
of the United States. In his opinion the Fredericksburg society
continued to exert a salutary influence because it had followed a
“moderate and Judicious” course.68
Apparently McGuire was the type of rector that appealed to
the generous impulses of his parishioners. In 1818 the vestry
gave. a vote of thanks to William A. Knox for presenting the
church with an ornamental chandelier. In 1827 the vestry
acknowledged John Gray’s gift of a “handsome service of plate
for the communion table.” Two years later the vestry formally
expressed its gratitude to Basil Gordon for his gift of a baptismal
McGuire’s influence was definitely not confined to his parish.
He was a member of the original board of managers of the Society
for the Education of Pious Young Men for the Ministry of the
Protestant Episcopal Church, whose efforts finally resulted in the
establishment of the Theological Seminary in Virginia. He was
the first secretary of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, and he
served in that office from 1821 until 1858.70 He was present at
the meeting of the Education Society in Georgetown on July 1,
1823, when it was definitely decided to locate the Seminary in
Alexandria. He was a member of the committee that selected
Jonah Thompson’s sixty-two acre farm as the Seminary’s permanent
campus. A new “commodious” brick dwelling was included
in the purchase price of $5,000. At the same meeting in June,
1827, the committee decided to erect a “suitable” building for the
Seminary at a cost of $3,000. This structure was to be three
stories high, with four rooms on each’floor~ Later that summer
66 McGuire, Diary, pp. 263, 274.
67 Ibid., pp. 266, 275-276.
68 Journal, 1835, p. 36; ibid., 1836, p. 29.
69 Slaughter, 1847, p. 52.
70 William A. R. Goodwin, op. cit., I, 318; McGuire, Diary, pp. 103,245;
Journal, 1823, p. 164; ibid., 1831, p. 262.
Yorktown to Appomattox 33
he secured $1,000 in subscriptions to the Seminary’s support on
a two weeks tour of the Northern Neck and Middlesex and
McGuire was a member of a committee of five that organized
the Episcopal High School in Alexandria in 1839, and he had a
sustained interest in the success of that institution. His brother,
John P. McGuire, was principal of Episcopal High School for
nine “happy, prosperous and eventful years” immediately preceding
the Civil War.”
Some authorities believe that William Meade was Virginia’s
greatest bishop. McGuire was one of those chiefly responsible
for his elevation to the episcopacy. He was one of the signers
of the testimonial recommending Meade as the logical choice
for assistant bishop, and as chairman of the diocesan convention
at the time of Meade’s election he personally presented a statement
of the action of the di.ocese of Virginia to the General Convention
in Philadelphia. When some of the delegates questioned
the sufficiency of this evidence he overcame their objection by
presenting the official journal of the diocesan convention. Then
Meade’s consecration was opposed because he had been elected
assistant bishop on the condition that he was not to succeed to
the bishopric. However, after a “long and anxious debate,”
the General Convention agreed on Meade’s consecration by a
vote of 47 to 34 and with the understanding that he would succeed
to the episcopacy if he survived Bishop Moore. 73
McGuire eventually became widely known as an unusually
successful and exemplary minister. Kenyon College in Gambier,
Ohio, made him a Doctor of Divinity. The first historian of St.
George’s Parish states that this honorary degree was conferred
in 1838, but according to the records of the College it was granted
The congregation was so greatly enlarged by an unusually
successful but non-sensational revival in 1831 that the vestry
seriously considered enlarging the church building.” By 1846,
the urgent need of a new building was so generally recognized
that a broadside soliciting funds was addressed to the pewholders.
A frank admission was made of serious construction
faults, namely a shallow foundation and the placing of the weight
of the building on oak planks resting on the loose and crumbling
earth. Attention was called to the need of a larger church to
71 McGuire, Diary, 243-244.
72 William A. R. Goodwin, op. cit., II, 413, 42l.
• 73 Journal, 1829, p. 229; McGuire, Diary, pp. 256-261; W. A. R. Goodwin, op.
ctl., I, 95-96.
74 Slaughter, 1847, p. SOn.; Letter of S. R. McGowan, Registrar of Kenyon
College, to Carrol H. Quenzel, Jan. 7, 1949.
75 Journal, 1831, p. 262; Slaughter, 1847, p. 53 [.ric].
34 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
accommodate the increasing number of families who were VIrtually
excluded from church services by the scarcity of pews.
As the third argument for a new building the broadside
better accommodation than we now have is wanted for
our Sunday Schools. For one of the Schools, (the Infant)
we have no Room we can call our own. Another is
taught in the Galleries of the Church. Besides the inconvenience
of position to teachers and children, there is
also, from the irrepressible levity of youth a degree of
indecorum exhibited from time to time, which dishonors
the sacred place, while those salutary feelings of reverence
impaired, which the Sanctuary should ever inspire.
The use of a Room duly arranged and devoted to
the purpose, would prevent this evil, and very much facilitate
the arduous work of Sabbath School instruction
and control. Such a Room we could have in the basement
of a new Church, as also, a permanent accommodation
for the Infant School. 76
To reassure those who feared that a new building would be
financially burdensome, the broadside explained that the project
would be financed by the revenue from the sale of pews and by
gifts. A credit of $100 was to be allowed each owner of a single
pew in the old building who bought a pew in the new church, and
a $200 credit was offered to each owner of a double pew.”
Apparently the arguments for building were persuasive, as
1848 saw work on the present St. George’s being pushed and the
congregation worshipping in the old Methodist church just back
, of the park. This temporary place of worship was destroyed by
i fiJ:!’ about 1852. The new church building cost “some $19,000”
(,~ancr\vas insured. by the Mutual Assurance Company of Virginia
for $12,000, the policy stipulating that the Company would pay
four-fifths of the actual loss. The women of the parish held a
church fair the week of April 16-21, 1849, and made $500 to help
pay for the interior decoration of the church and for the
St. George’s Church was consecrated on Sunday, April 22,
~in a service that attracted people from all the surrounding
country “to a great distance.” The congregation was swelled by
many Presbyterians, since no public worship was scheduled at
76 Broadside, To the Pewholders and friends of the Protestant Episcopal Church,
Residing in the towns of Fredericksburg, Falmouth and vicinities, June 27, 1846.
78 Quinn, op. cit., p. 206; Fredericksburg Weekly Advertiser . . . , July 22,
1854; Letter from Matilda Hamilton to her sister Margaret Hamilton Thornton,
April 24, 1849.
Yorktown to Appomattox 35
their church that day. Following the time-honored custom at
consecration services, Bishop Meade came in first, followed by
Dr. William Sparrow, Dr. McGuire and four. other white robed
priests. According to an eye witness, “Mary Green did her best
on the organ Dr. Sparrow from the pulpit gave out the ‘Old
~hesublime Gloria in Excelsis was chanted for the
first time” in the new church.
Bishop Meade conducted the solemn and beautiful consecration
ceremony in a resonant voice that sounded to a listener like
a “trumpet with a silver” tone. Instead of preaching a regular
sermon the bishop made an address on the new church. Young
women’ are not the least critical of humans and thus it is worth
noting that a contemporary”tetter has survived in which a young
lady characterized the then new St. George’s as “very handsome”
and stated that she was “not at all disappointed” in the new
On the day after the consecration service the pews were
sold and the daughter of a purchaser wrote that the sale was highly
“exciting and entertaining.” Practically “everybody was there”
and pews went like “hot cakes.” The most expensive pew was
bought by the Coalters for $460, J. B. Ficklen paid $450, the
Misses Fitzhugh $415 and the Hamilton family $385. The
total proceeds from pew sales gave the congregation an attractice
church sufficiently commodious to meet longtime needs and
entirely free of debt.80
The mayor of Fredericksburg stated that one of the chief
items on the agenda of the council meeting on October 12, 1848,
was the consideration of the propriety of purchasing and installing
a town clock in the tower of the Episcopal Church, then under
construction. The discussion of this proposal was postponed
until the next day when nothing was done, because of the absence
of a quorum. Apparently the council subsequently adopted this
proposal, as on May 31, 1850, a motion was made to appropriate
$20 yearly towards keeping the town clock in the church tower
in order. Although the consideration of this motion was postponed
until the third Monday in March, 1851, the city accepted
and still recognizes the responsibility of maintaining the clock.
In recent years the city replaced a “weights type” clock with an
The present century-old St. George’s church narr:owly
escaped complete destruction by fire on July 19, 1854, little
more than five years after its erection. The blaze, discovered at
2 :30 A. M. in the coal cellar directly below the vestry room
80 Ibid.;’ Journal, 1849, pp, 60-61; Vestry Minutes, [III front lining paper].
See appendu F.
81 City of Fredericksburg Council :rv1inutes, Aug, 21, 1829-Sept. 6, 1851,
pp. 354-355, 414.
36 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
immediately behind the chancel, completely ruined the pulpit
and the vestry room with all of its contents. The total loss was
estimated at $5,000, including the $1,250 organ which was not
insured. There were numerous theories regarding the cause of
the fire, one of which attributed its origin to an incendiary, since
no fire or light had been used in the church for several weeks.
Immediately after the fire an editor appealed to the city council
to replace the “rotten, good-far-nothing hose” then in use with
J 2,000 feet of hose for each fire company. This journalist alsoJ felt that a few hooks and several substantial ladders were urgently
J,< needed.82 In his parochial report in May, 1855, Dr. McGuire gratefully reported that although St. George's had been partly consumed by fire, it had been "repaired with renovated beauty and convenience." The addition of "spacious" side galleries had increased the capacity to approximately eight hundred "sittings." About eighteen months after the fire, violent winds seriously damaged the roof and necessitated the purchase of a new bell. rApproximately thirty years later, on September 29, 1896, a ,\,.seven~y-five-mi.1e-an-hour gale badly twisted th~ steeple and '-blew m a portIOn of the rear gable end over the mfant Sunday school room.83 St. George's had an unusually fruitful revival in 1858 and although Dr. McGuire was unmistakably in failing health, he had the unfeigned joy of seeing over one hundred converts added to the church. On October 3, 1858, he preached his forty-fifth anniversary sermon in a feeble and emotion-choked voice, remarking that he did not expect to preach again upon a similar occasion. While administering the Holy Communion, he stated that it would probably be the last time he would partake of the Lord's supper on earth. About eleven o'clock on the following Friday morning (October 8) he was suddenly stricken with paralysis while seated in his chair. He was never able to speak after the attack, although he lingered until 2 P. M" The funeral was held on Monday, October 11, with all of the church bells in Fredericksburg tolling and practically the entire community attending "to testify to the general sorrow." After the singing of an anthem and the reading of the Order for the Burial of the Dead, by the Reverend Philip Slaughter, Bishop Johns delivered "an elegant eulogy." The bishop, and speakers and writers elsewhere, praised his "saintly" character, examplary life and his leadership in the revival of the Episcopal church in Spotsylvania and its neighboring counties. Attention was undoubtedly called to his officiating in all three Episcopal churches 82 Fredericksburg Weekly Advertiser ... ,July 22, 1854. 83 Journal, 1855, p. 69; ibid., 1856, p. 84; Fredericksburg Star, Oct. 3, 1896. 84 Ibid., 1859, pp. 81-82; Fredericksburg Weekly Advertiser, Oct. 16, 1858, p. 2. Yorktown to Appomattox 37 on approximately t?e present site, an~ to t~e devo!ion of his unusually long mimstry to St. George s Pansh. BIshop Otey of Tennessee read the Commital and McGuire's remains were laid in the grave close behind the church, "which during his life was his delight, and now in death is his monument."85 The Reverend Alfred M. Randolph, selected from the Seminary class of '58 to assist the ailing Dr. McGuire, was made acting minister immediately following the latter's death. This young deacon had been born at "~he Meadows" near Winchester, Virginia on August 31, 1836. HIS father was Robert Lee Randolph an extensive planter and slaveholder of Fauquier County. For s~veral generations the Randolphs had rendered distinguished service to Virginia and to the nation. The Reverend Mr. Randolph's mother was Mary Buckner Thruston Magill, the daughter of the well-known Frederick County lawyer, Charles Magill, who served in the Revolutionary War with Washington, and the granddaughter of John Magill, founder of this family in Virginia. At seventeen Alfred entered the College of William and Mary where his forebears had been educated for eight generations. He remained there three years and was graduated with the A. M. degree. Even at an early period his gifts as a speaker and thinker were recognized. He delivered an oration entitled "Human Progress" at the final exercises of his class profoundly impressing his listeners and catching the attention of the future General Robert E. Lee. At the Seminary Randolph was a pupil of Doctors Sparrow, May and Packard and a fellow student and intimate friend of Phillips Brooks, Henry C. Potter and Henry A. Wise, Jr. In December, 1858, Randolph accepted the call to be minister of St. George's and took full charge of the parish. The following year he was married to Miss Sallie Griffith Hoxton, the daughter of the beloved associate principal of the Episcopal High School. He was ordained priest in 1860.86 Mr. Randolph was destined to be recognized by Phillips Brooks as "the greatest preacher in the House of Bishops," by Bishop Beverley Tucker, Sr., as unequalled in his power of vocal interpretation, and by a jurist as the possessor of an extraordinarily sweet and perfectly controlled voice. Thus it is not surprising that he was the most eloquent preacher ever to occupy St. George's pulpit regularly." In April, 1861, the blight of war fell upon the "prospering work" and happy home of the young minister. As the struggle 85 Ibid., pp. 1-2; Fredericksburg News, Oct. 12, 1858; journal, 1859, p. 28; the Diocese of Southern Virginia, journal, 1918, p. 50. 86 Arthur B. Kinsolving, "The Right Reverend Dr.. Alfred M. Randolph;" v.~. A. R. Goodwin, op. cit., II, 16-20; The Fredericksburg Star, May 23, 1883; DlOcese of Southern Virginia, journal, 1918, pp. 50, 53. 87 W. A. R. Goodwin, op. cit., II, 584; Diocese of Southern Virginia, journal, 1918, pp. 33-37; Judge Legh R. Watts, "Memorial Address," £bid., 1918, p. 41. 38 The History of St. George's Episcopal Church continued, its effects became increasingly disruptive. Fredericksburg was occupied by the Federal forces in April, 1862, and as a consequence, the rector was unable to attend the diocesan convention or even to make the customary parochial report. According to an Union colonel who attended services in St. George's on Sunday, May 18, 1862, Randolph omitted the prayer for the president of the United States. This officer admitted that the clergyman had failed to pray for the president of the Confederate States, but he attributed this omission to the United States officers in the congregation and the northern troops in the town. Randolph conducted regular services in St. George's up to and including, Sunday, November 17, 1862.88 In preparation for the battle of Fredericksburg all noncombatants were commanded to leave the city between 9 P. M. November 21, and 5 A. M. the following morning. In compliance with this order Mr. and Mrs. Randolph and their day old baby left town about midnight in an ambulance. They passed through the Confederate Army as it was moving into position. In the late spring of 1863 Randolph entered the Confederate Army as a chaplain and served for about a year with what had been "Stonewall" Jackson's Corps. Then he was transferred to the post chaplaincy at Danville, where he remained until the close of the hostilities. The vestry of St. George's Church accepted Randolph's resignation on April 24, 1865.89 After having charge of Roanoke Parish in Halifax County for six months he accepted a call in 1866 to Christ Church, Alexandria. In 1867 he moved to the rectorship of Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, where he remained until his election as assistant bishop of the diocese of Virginia fifteen years later. Baltimore was loath to lose Randolph as in addition to his vast labors as Emmanuel's preacher and pastor, his mid-week lectures on the Bible drew to his church a "large congregation of the most cultivated people" in the city.90 He served as assistant bishop from 1883 to September 18, 1892, and then as bishop of the newly established diocese of Southern Virginia. A staunch foe of "High Churchism and Ritualism," Randolph came within three months of completing sixty years in the ministry. He delivered the Bishop Paddock lectures at the General Theological Seminary in New York City during the winter of 1901-1902, and they were published as Reason, Faith and Authority in Christianity.91 88 journal, 1863, pp. 81-82; Theodore B. Gates, "The Ulster Guard" (20th New York State Militia) and the War of the Rebellion (New York, Benjamin H. Ty",l, 1879), p. 227. 89 Diocese of Southern Virginia, journal, 1918, p. 54; The Fredericksburg Star, May 23, 1883; Journal, 1863, p. 8; Vestry Minutes, III, p. 9. 90 journal, 1865, p. 7; ibid., 1866, pp. 78-79; ibid., 1867, pp. 36, 77; ibid., 1868, p. 33; ibid., 1883, p. 66; Kinsolving, lac. cit., II, 17. 91 Journal, 1893, p. 28; Diocese of Southern Virginia, Journal, 1918, p. 35. Yorktown to Appomattox 39 During the bombardment of the town in 1862 the church building was struck approximately twenty-five tImes and greatly injured; most of the congregation was widely scattered; and those who remained were un-able to support a rector.92 Thus for two years no services were held in St. George's ex.cept those occasionally supplied by visiting ministers. Also ~unng the bombardment the four-piece silver communion serVIce dona ted by Warden John Gray disappeared. One of the cups was rescued from the hands of a soldier by Washington Wright, the sexton. Learning of the loss of most of the communion service, Mr. Ruxton Maury and Miss Ann Maury, both of New York, presented St. George's with a new flagon and cup. In the spring of 1866 the vestry learned that the paten of the service was in the hands of the New York Police. Since this piece was easily identified by its inscription, presumably it was returned. According to the vestry minutes a portion of the communion service came into the possession of Mr. O. E. Jones of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York. On behalf of the St. George's vestry the Episcopal rector at Jamestown attempted to buy the plate but Mr. Jones declined, stating that he desired to present the service in person to the Church. On June 8, 1869, the vestry formally moved that since a considerable length of time has elapsed without it being convenient for Mr. Jones to personally return the plate, it "authorizes the Reverend Levi Norton -and a Mr. John F. Kinney of Jamestown to thank Mr. Jones for his generous action and to receive the plate." On the other hand, a well-informed vestryman has written that a friend of St. George's Church advised Mr. Reuben Thorn, the senior warden, that he had seen the goblet and waiter at ~ residence near Albany, New York, and supplied the name and address of the holder. At first this individual, who was a candidate for high public office, refused to surrender the property, but he returned the silver within a week after the wardens threatened to send the facts to the New York papers. Perhaps Mr. Jones was the politician mentioned by Judge ''''allace but it would be unwise to be positive about the matter. In 1931 a resident of Wollaston, Massachusetts, offered to return a communion cup taken from the church during the Civil War for $75. The woman accepted the vestry's counter-offer of $50 and the cup was replaced in the church as a memorial to the late Miss Betty Goodwin, for many years president of the chancel guild. This communion service is still used.93 When the all-male congregations attending the religious revival in Lee's Army, in the spring of 1863, outgrew first the 92 Journal, 1863, p. 82; ibid., 1865, pp. 84-85. 93 Ibid., 1863, p. 82; Judge A. Wellington Wallace, Communion Service of St. George's Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia; Vestry Minutes, [III1 12 19', [VI], 49. ' , 40 The History of St. George's Episcopal Church Presbyterian and then the Southern Methodist Church, the services were transferred to St. George's. One of the preachers assisting Chaplain Owen of Barksdale's Brigade in the revival has written that on a typical night the large edifice was crowded with soldiers. They filled the chancel, and covered the pulpit stairs. After the sermon, some fifty or sixty of them, I should think, came forward with soldierly promptness at the invitation of the chaplain.94 One night during this series of meetings the soldiers heard a Presbyterian sermon, introduced by Baptist services, under the direction of a Methodist chaplain, in the Episcopal church. A visiting minister on this occasion reported that the spire of St. George's "still gapes with an honorable wound received as the tempest of shells swept over it" the proceding December. 95 After the battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864, more than 10,000 wounded Union soldiers were poured into Fredericksburg. "Every church and hall, court-house and theatre, with whole blocks and streets of stores and dwelling houses were taken for hospitals."96 To an official of the United States Christian Commission we are indebted for the following description. In the Episcopal church, a nurse is bolstering up a wounded officer in the area behind the altar. Men are lying in the pews, on the seats, on the floor, on boards on top of the pews. Two candles in the spacious building throw their feeble rays into the dark recesses, faintly disclosing the recumbent forms. There is heavy, stifled breathing, as of constant effort to suppress involuntary cries extorted by acutest pain. Hard it is to see them suffer, and not be able to relieve them.97 On March 3, 1887, almost' eighteen years after the end of the war, Congress passed the Tucker Act. This resolution directed the Secretary of the Treasury to pay to the trustees of St. George's Episcopal Church of Fredericksburg, $2,500, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. The payment was not forthcoming and on July 25, 1905, the St. George's trustees appeared and filed a petition in the United 94 Quinn, op. cit., pp. 93-94; Reverend J. William Jones, Christ in the Camp, 01' Religion in Lee's Army (Richmond, B. F. Johnson & Co., 1887), p. 305. 95 Ibid., pp. 305, 488. 96 Lemuel Moss, Annals of the United States Christian Commission (Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott, 1868), p. 417. 97 Edward P. Smith, Incidents of the United States Christian Commission (Philadelphia,]. B. Lippincott & Co., 1869), p. 250. Yorktown to Appomattox 41 States Court of Claims for $2,500, explaining that they had spent this sum in restoring the church building after military forces of the United States had used it for hospital purposes. The case was tried on December 18, 1905, G. W. Z. Black, appearing for the claimants and the Attorney-General being represented by his assistant, F. W. Collins. After considering the briefs and arguments on both sides, the Court cleared St. George's of the charge of giving aid; as a churcb, to the Confederacy and awarded the trustees $900 in payment of rent and repairs.98 On June 25, 1916, the senior warden reported that the trustees had finally received a gross allowance of $810 from the United States Government in settlement of this claim. With this money the vestry bought a $200 piano for the Sunday school, laid a cement pavement in front of the church property, erected electric lights above the chancel and on the desks, made numerous necessary repairs and paid $135.50 in attorney's fees.99 98 55 Cong., 2 sess., Sen. Doc. 244. 99 Vestry Minutes, [V, 85].
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