William Jay



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(CIVIL WAR): anti-slavery, Paine, man who looks white, but of African descent, denied access to education, Rev. Strong, housing for black theological students (Alston)


KMcI 551117




letter, Jay, McIlvaine, Civil War


N York 21 West 32nd: Nov. 17th. 1855

Rt. Revd. & dear Sir

I sincerely thank you for your letter, as it implies your belief that in [my?] profession is not separated from principle. I also exceedingly rejoice in your letter, because it [assures] me that the unholy prejudice of Caste will receive no episcopal sanction in the Diocese of Ohio. My extensive acquaintance with anti-slavery people, gives me peculiar opportunities of observing the disastrous influence exercised men not a few of them by the heartfelt time-serving [policy] of a large portion of the American church in relation to Caste & Slavery. This my sincere conviction founded on long & extensive observation that that policy is at the present time more efficient in promoting infidelity than all the labours of P[aine]’s disciples. The latter deny the truth of Christianity -- but the pro-slavery clergy claim first a divine [?] & then render it loathsome by making it the charter of the most revolting cruelty [?] & wickedness.

A year or two since [?] man who had spent [2] years in a [publick] classical school in this City, entered the College of Physicians, + attended one course of lectures. Till this time, he had been supposed to be White, + had been treated as such. But now it was discovered or suspected, that he had Negro blood in his veins, + [?] expelled. It certainly seemed very unchristian to refuse to teach a man to heal the diseases of the body, solely on account of his complexion. But who could condemn the Doctors, when the Rt. Revd. & Revd. Officers of the Theological Seminary had previously refused to teach a man of irreproachable character + literary attainments to heal the diseases of the Soul, because his skin was darker than their own[?] A gentlemen of this State, a literary man & a former member of congress, confessed to me that his doubts of the truth of Revelation had been [shaphened?] by the course of certain Bishops + clergymen in regard to Slavery.

I am very much gratified by the conduct of the Rev. [??] + [repaid it] as truly Christian. To lighten a little the burden he & his wife have voluntarily assumed, [?] ask the favor of you to hand him the enclosed check.

And now at[?], after this long preamble I come to the purpose of your letter. If I fully understand your purpose, it is to prepare at the expense of $100, a room for the accommodation of the young man in an unfurnished building. It seems to me that such an insulated residence would apparently at least, counter a[?] Caste. rather than offer a protest [??] it. On this [?] perhaps it would be better that he should remain for the present with Mr. [Stamp?]. He is intended he shall enter the Theological Seminary. On your informing me that he has been received into the Seminary as a student, as fully + with the same privilege in all respects as a White candidate for Orders. I will immediately [remind?] to you the hundred dollars, to be applied at your discrestion for his benefit.

Accept Rt. Rev. & dear Sire the [?] of the unabated steem & respect with which I am,

Your friend & Oldest [?]

William Jay

The Rt. Rev: C.P. McIlvaine, D.D.

Letter to C.P. McIlvaine



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