Jackson Kemper



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Bishop Kemper asks for Chase's help on three matters. Firstly, Kemper is trying to determine proper procedure for the trial of a deacon who has been accused of swearing, drunkenness, and abuse of his family. Second, Kemper wants the address of an Englishman named G. Kimball who sent him insulting letters. Third, Kemper wonders if he was correct in suspending a clergyman who forged signatures to a petition, without making this suspension known to the other bishops.




Samuel Sherwell, Bloomington, Iowa, law, trial, G. Kimball, Universalism, Mr. Hommann


23d August 1843

My dear Bishop

The Rev’d Samuel Sherwell, deacon, and Missionary at Bloomington, Iowa, has been presented to me for trial by the wardens and vestrymen of the Church in that place. The charges are manifold, including swearing, drunkenness, abuse of his family. &c. Now how can he be tried? Section 3 of Canon ii of 1838 allows me to go to a [Diocese] for aid. Missouri, unfortunately has not a canon for the trial of a clergyman - Indiana is far off - may I look to Illinois? And if so; what is or shall be the mode of procedure? Am I by that canon, if you permit, to have the same action on the part of your standing committee and Presbyters as if I were their Bp for the time being? Or, notwithstanding the distance of Indiana would it be more advisable for me to make use of that Diocese? Please give me your opinion and let me find a letter of Galena on my return from [N.] [Peters] where I am now going - and likewise let me find there a copy of the canons of your Diocese, provided you think it expedient for me to look to it for action in the [premises].

I observe that in your address to your last convention you speak of the Rev. Mr [Allanson] as belonging to my jurisdiction. He never did, altho he was at Southport two years when he did much injury to the Congregation; and from whence thro’ his instrumentality I received last winter some of the most insulting letters imaginable, particularly from an Englishman, an [accused] Universalist, named G. Kimball. Will you have the kindness to give me his direction? Altho he appears to be incapable of apologizing for his errors, and I by no means intend to [accuse] him to his [diocesan], Bp De Lancey, yet I consider it a duty if possible to convince him he was wrong and that he grossly misunderstood me

The two clergymen I have now spoken of are Englishmen

I am Rt Rev & dear Sir

Most faithfully yrs

Jackson Kemper

Can I suspend a clergyman from the [remain] of his functions with his own consent and the approbation of the presbyters of the Diocese until he has been tried - and yet not make it officially known to the Bps? I refer to the case of Mr [Hommann] of Jefferson City, who has been [model], amiable and devout from youth - and who yet in a moment of insanity or vacancy of mind forged the signatures of several individuals to a petition to benefit as he thought a friend. He confesses all & is [bound] down with grief. I have acted as stated above. Had I a right to do so? Must I make the temporary suspension known to the Bps? I hope not.

Again very affect’ly [yrs]

Jackson Kemper

on board a steamer

Letter to Philander Chase



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