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Includes draft of reply from McIlvaine to Bishop Hopkins in regard to his proposed letter to the southern bishops
letter, McIlvaine, Whittingham, Hopkins
McIlvaine, Charles Petit, "Letter to Bishop Whittingham" (1865). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 291.
Cincinnati July 1, 1865
I beg to send a copy of the answer I have sent to Bp. Hopkins in regard to his proposed letter to the Southern Bishops. I wish we could all consult together before adopting any joint proceeding. Please let me know how the proposal has appeared to you
Chas. P. McIlvaine
Cincinnati, July 1st 1865
The Right Rev. J.M. Hopkins &c.
Presiding Bishop -
I have received a copy of your proposed letter to “The Southern Bishops” + it is with much regret that I find myself unable to put my name on it. My reasons are 1st that while I have the kindest feelings toward our Southern Brethren in general, + an affectionate desire that we should all be united again, as before the late [?] Rebellion, I am not ready to say to the Southern Bishops without an exception, in the language of the proposed letter - “I assume you of the cordial welcome with which we are prepared to greet you at the approaching General Conventions” -
A sermon was published at the funeral of the late Bishop Polk by one of them, in which the author placed himself in such relation to the clergy + laity of the loyal dioceses )not to speak of the position occupied towards the Government + the Union of the Nation.) that under present circumstances I could not welcome him to “me approaching General Convention.”
Nor can I say that I could welcome all whom [from] these dioceses might send as delgates to that [?] a clergyman, for example, who voluntarily assumed the place of a military commander, & actively participated in the late bloody strife against the Government + the Union, I could not welcome.
2nd In a matter of such grave importance, in solving questions of principles so unprecedented, & in which we are so much in danger of being [?] by kind feelings at the expense of duty. I think the Bishops are not in a condition to act together in the [surest] wisdom, without meeting together + comparing views one with another.
3rd I am opposed to sending the proposed letter because an unjust impression [given] thereby [?] produced as to the visits + feelings of such [B.] as I shall not see fit to [?]. They may be just as kind + paternal + Christian to their Southern Brethren as who do sign, which an [?] of great injustice with certainly be drawn from the absence of their names.
I remain, affectionately
Your friend + brother
Chas. P. McIlvaine