Bishop Bedell



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Edwards bankrupt; Bedell bought the paper from him so he could pay off his debts and Neff/Bronson accuse Bedell of taking away a poor man's only means of survival. They accuse Bedell of condoning ritualism. Please correct this false impression.




letter, Bedell, McIlvaine, Edwards


Gambier July 16 1868

My dear Bishop,

I don’t think you can be very far gone yet, or that the heat can possibly have been so wilting in Cin., if you can [?] in such [?]. To say nothing of the amount of [rat-?] which it involved, the mere effort of Latinity was too much at 96º, besides the cost of your decision of the great vexed question between the long & the short a. For there could be no correspondence between a tale of a rat, or even a tail, and a “tale auxilia” unless you germanise it, tale. So that you will [?], I am able to smell the rat you questioned it, & to analyse your effort with a commendable (I hope) ability to appreciate it.

But you do not know what I have been passing through. If I had the rats in a trap, the Kokosing being in sight, there is little doubt what I would do with them!

It is hardly fair, and is indeed hard [fares], for you this weather, to listen to a tale of Gambier. So I will inflect only a little.

As Edwards was bankrupt & no one to help him, & had naturally enough refused to carry on the paper, I [conseuled] to do all he wishes, to buy him out, subscription list & all at $1000, & enable him to pay his debts. I thought it was generous, & really took some credit for kind heartedness, especially as I had to borrow the money from New York. But no sooner had he spent the money, than all the town was in an uproar at the Bishops effort to [appease] a poor man, to take away his means of living [?] [?], and the prime [?] in it even my warm friends Mr. Neff & Dr Bronson! I will not [?] you with the negotiations which have passed. Suffice it, that after Dr Bronson, in constant consultation with Mr. Neff, had [?] every effort to over-reach me (I use the term advisedly, and I am not sure now that I am not their victim) I have re-sold the property to Edmonds for $1000, of which I [heeded] the subscriptions for $100, Dr Bronson carrying round the paper; and the worry which was offered me by Dr. Bronson last night, was a check of Mr. Neff for $500 & a vote of Mr. Neff for $400.

I have not got the [?] yet. There is little doubt I suppose that it will be paid. But, how can I trust such men as to the ultimate object they have in view?

And they have done their best to [convince] the ignorant people here, that I was seeking an effort is [?] a poor cripple. It is very sad, & disheartening to me. Such is one of the men with whom you expect me to carry on the Sem. And such is another, who sets himself up as the Champion of [?], [?] Church interests, & the special defender of Gambier, in the Republican of Mt. Vernon. And of such, I could mention half a dozen [?] with them, in this effort to destroy my influence are the [?] with whom the Trustees surround their Chapel & [?] the power for good of any one who [ministers] there.

These are the men who are falsely representing that your views here have [?]. These are the men who say in public & private that ritualism has been practiced here, & more than imply that it has been by my countenance & [?]. You will not wonder that I feel sore, that I feel it impossible for the INstitution to be [carried] as under such advisers, that I feel that no right minded man will consent to labor in [?] with such [?] misinterpreters.

“From the men, I say”! David had reason on his side.

I beg you dear Bishop be [disabused] of the idea that there is anything here except loyalty to the Gospel & to the true interests of Evangelical religion. There is intense distrust of certain men. And it is not possible to restore confidence in them. If I hide my lack of confidence from all except yourself, it is in deference to your wishes, not because I [deem] the interests of the Sem. (as the highest interest on the [?]) will be [?] by it.

Sufficient for this [?]! But believe me dear Bishop to be very much in earnest.

Affec. yours,

G. T. Bedell

Letter to Charles Petit McIlvaine