Philander Chase



Download Full Text (2.6 MB)


Philander asks Bishop White to answer a question about the election of a new Episcopate of the Diocese of Connecticut. Letter includes Bishop White's drafted response in which he tells Chase that he is unable to answer all the questions, but offers some advice for the governing of the Diocese.




Bp. Jarvis, Diocese of CT


To the Right Rev. William White

Bishop of the Pro. Episcopal Church in the State of Pennsylvania

Right Rev. Sir;

The state of our affairs, in relation to the Episcopate of the Diocese of Connecticut, lately vacated by the death of the Right Rev. Bishop Jarvis, is thought by many of both Clergy and Laity, to be very critical. What makes it so, you will see, if you will have the condescending goodness to peruse the inclosed Papers.

If ever people needed advice, we do; and in so important a matter, we can not but indulge the hope, you will give us that advice. And we humbly pray that it may come in the shape of an answer to the following question.

“Is it your opinion, that the person will be consecrated to fill the Episcopal Chair of the Diocese of Connecticut, who shall have been elected by persons only in Deacons Order and by Presbyters not instituted?”

An answer to this question will ease the minds of many among us, and prevent, not only much unnecessary dispute among ourselves, but, perhaps, much disagreeable trouble to the House of Bishops. For these reasons I beg it may be as speedily given unto us, as you in your goodness can see fit.

With great respect I am,

Right Rev. Sir,

Your most Obed’t


Philander Chase

Hartford Feb. 21 1814

Draft of Letter to Rev’d Philander Chase

[?] 1814

Rev’d Sir,

I rec’d your Letter of the 21 [?] 1814 as well as the package accompanying it. The packages addressed to Bps. Claggett and Dehon shall be forwarded by the first convenient opportunities.

After an attentive perusal of the [document] in the [Form] of a speech addressed to your Convocation, I find it difficult to give a definite answer to the questions proposed in your Letter: partly because of [the] Dependence of [?] on [Proficiencies] in your constitution, which I have never before seen; & partly because in the case of a questionable Election of a Bp. in [?] came before either the House of clerical and lay and [parties], or before the standing Congress in the States prescribing to be taken up by [?] B[isho]ps: I have always supposed it improper in one of the latter to do anything which by [?] may be thoroughly designed to influence the other Bodies.

In one Particular, I [shall] take the Liberty to mention that you have been not influenced: it is in the supposed [Form] that there is no Diocese in which Deacons or Presbyters without [?], have Voices in the Convention. In [?] [?] Privileges are given to [?] classes [?] of Clergy, by our Constitution formed in 1704 and not since [amended]. However for here [?] [?] a revision is necessary. I have always held that it is desirable in regard to [Ministries] without Pa[?] in order that they may [?] eventually be subjected to ecclesiastical [discipline]. In short, it seems to me [expedient] that every [Presbyterian] be recognized in that charter by some Diocese. [?] it be subjected to the [responsibility] of the [charter], it seems reasonable that we [should] [?] its [?]. While I then fully give you my on an abstract [?] and inform you of its application to these Diocese, you will not understand need as [?] it applies or after to apply to the Diocese of Connecticut.

Although grieved of finding that there is a subject of [dissention] among the [?] I [receive] comfort the expectation, [feeded] on by my knowledge of the character of [?], that it will be conducted well in [dedication] and [?] concern. Hear this may be the [?] prayer of you all.

[?] W.W.

Letter to Bishop White



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States