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American Bible Society; consecration fo the Episcopal Church in Paris; Civil War sentiment in Paris; black minister. Original in Archives at Church House, Cleveland, Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Ohio, McIlvaine correspondance






letter, McIlvaine, Bedell, Paris, Civil War


Paris, Sept. 18, 1864

My dear Bishop-

On arriving at Geneva, on my way hither, I recd your letter about the Berlin matter + the letter of the Sec. of the Am. Bib. Soc., with an [?] of the Pres. of the Profe. Soc. I have been quite undecided about it. My purpose has been to sail about three weeks before that attendance will allow, + I have no desire to stay longer On the contrary I have a longing to get to my diocese + home. But I can not find a satisfactory reason for declining, + I suppose that, should I decline, I should regret it after getting home. So it is most probably I shall remain. It would be well if you should put a paragraph in the paper to the effect that I have been requested, so & so. + though it will ? my stay, so & so. it is probable I will conclude to do it. That will be of service, for as I should stay against my feelings. I wish to avoid seeming to desire a longer absence, as if I were fond of lingering abroad in these times.

The consecration of the Church took place on Monday the 12th. The building is conveniently + handsomely situated in a new street a little way to the left of the Champs Elysees. as you go up, &c a little above the Palais de l’Industrie. It is a truly pretty Church, in simple + good taste, + superior to what I expected to see. A very good organ made in Engld arrived on Friday night, + by dint of hard work on Saturday & on Mond, night was ready for service at 12, the hour of the consecration. A N.Y. organist visiting here was on the spot to play it. The congregation was good. Our Minister at Brussells, Mr. Dawford, came on purpose to attend. Our [Counsel] at Paris, Mr. [Byelmer] was present. Mr. Dayton’s family [?] all away at present, + he was ^ [unvariably?] ^ prevented from attending. Several English clergy were present, four of whom were in the procession & two took part in the service. Dr. Morgan preached a very [interesting] + appropriate sermon which is now in [press]. My son opened the service, after the Consecration, to the lessons. Dr. Morgan took the first before. The Rev. Mr. Forbes of the English Ch. in the Rue d’[Agapeau] the second, the Rev. Mr. Sherman of N. Jersey, the rest of Morning Prayer. Mr. Lawson read the [Instrument] of Donation + D. Morgan the Letter of Consecration. Just as we were getting ready for the procession, the telegram came of the [occupation] of attack, as announced by Mr. Stanton, the surrender of Ft. Morgan, the retreat of [Early] + the continued tenure of the [Welden] Road by Grant after the tremendous effort of the Rebel force to regain it. I thought it a fitting occasion to connect a thanksgiving for these Providential gifts + the consequent nearer prospect of a termination of the terrible war, in the consecration. So after the Reader had finished the Gen. Thanksgiving, I took the prayer usually offered in this Ch. for our country, & added some words of thanksgiving.

On my arrival here I found waiting for the Consecration, a coloured brother, the Rev. Mr. Pinckney. He is a Charleston man who some years ago brought letters of introduction + commendation to me from Charleston clergymen with reference to his being prepared for the ministry. He was afterwards ordained by Bp. Potter of Pc. How or why he came abroad I do not know, but he is by permission of the Archbp. of Canterbury officiating as [?] to a clergyman of Canterbury, occupying his pulpit, his [?] + doing all parts of parochial work. His manners + conversation are very good, ^ + gentlemanly. Poor fellow! He had come a week too soon, having been misinformed as to the time, + when I got here his money was exhausted, he had just enough to get back, + he said he must go back. His disappointment was very great. His American feelings are very lovely. All his sympathies are American + North. Of course I could not allow him to be disappointed, so just as he had given up, I sent him word that he must stay + his expenses would be seen to. He was rejoiced indeed. Thus we had him with us, rested, as the rest of the clergy, in procession with us, sitting with us at the Chancel, &c. &c. no distinction made, as you will readily suppose, on account of his difference of skin. What if it had been otherwise! When should we have heard the last of it? But that was not my reason or that of the brethren with me. “In Christ [?] there is neither Greek nor Jew ___ [bound] nor free, but Christ is all + [?]” + if Christ our Lord is the All of my coloured brother + condescend, by his Holy Spirit to be in here as the temple, + he especially has put here [to] his ministry, so that not only are he + I communicants together in the same spirited life + being, + [here] of the same promises, but partaken of the same truth in the work of the Gospel; such being our relationship in Christ, I can not for a moment tolerate the thought of any less equality then such as I have above mentioned. No body, I am glad to say, seemed here to regard it as else then a matter of course.

I remain here into next week, preaching on Sunday, as I did the last Sund. in our Church.

I believe I have not written to you since I heard of the death of our friend Mr. Bowler. Immediately on hearing of it I wrote to his bereaved + greatly affected wife. Poor dear Mrs. Bowler. I hope + cannot doubt she feel the support of the everlasting arms of God’s love + grace.

We have not had an [?] since the telegram above mentioned which came by a [Quebec?] [?], so that we look most earnestly for the [?] expected to morrow. Peace, I must earnestly long + pray for, but peace by the casting down of the weapons of rebellion.

Remember me affectionately to the Brethren + to Mr. Bedell. If Charles were here now he would be glad to send a message of respect + regard, but has gone to day with Mr. [?] to Versailles.

Yours very affectionately,


Since writing the above I have learned what [?] we desire that in making out of what I have given above of the consecration, an article for the paper, to go into other papers, as I hope you will a [sic] a more particular account should be given of the Church. I have learned that a N.Y. clergyman named [Squerrer] of not good repute. (too much drunk), a high churchman + higher than that, + who uninvited put himself in the procession, has been

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Letter to Bishop Bedell



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