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CHAPLAINS 



OF THE 



GEIEEAL GOYEENMENT, 



OBJECTIONS TO THEIR EMPLOYMENT CONSIDERED. 



ALSO, 

A LIST OF ALL THE CHAPLAINS TO CONGRESS, IN THE 

ARMY AND IN THE NAVY, FROM THE FORMATION 

OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THIS TIME. 



BY 

LORKNZO D. JOHNSON. 

Author of " Chrj-ches and PaBtors of Washington." 



NEW-YORK : 
SHELDON, BLAKEMAN & CO 

115 NASSAU STREET. 
185G. 



■^ L 



INDEX TO SUBJECTS. 



PAGE. 

Proceedings of the Thirty-third Congress 5 

Opposition to the Election Overcome 6 

Memorials to Congress to Abolish the Ofl&ce of Chaplains in all 

the Departments of Government . . s 7 

Death of Hon. James Meacham — Note 7 

Report from the Judiciary Committee in Reply to the Memo- 
rialists 8 

Memorial from the Particular Baptists of Tennessee 18 

Extract from the Memorial 19 

Opposition to Chaplains from other sources 21 

Election of a Chaplain to the Senate 23 

The Chaplains' "Work not Appreciated ." 23 

Number of Chaplains allowed by Congress 26 

The means by which Chaplains reach their Appointment, con- 
sidered 27 

Acts of Congress relating to Chaplains in the Army, posts of 

Duty— Notes 28 

Causes for the disrespect into which the Office of Chaplains to 

Congress has fallen, considered 31 

A Remedy Suggested 32 

Hon. Mr. Dowdell's Resolution 35 

Debates in the House on the Employment of Chaplains 36 

Final Vote for the Several Candidates 46 

Compensation of Chaplains 48 

The Duties of a Chaplain to Congress — Note 48 

Hon. Mr. Millson's Objections to a Change, considered 49 

Rev. Mr. Waldo, why Elected 61 

Rev, Mr. Dean's Election to the Senate 53 



m9779 



IV INDEX TO SUBJECTS. 

Extract from Washington's Farewell Address 54 

Extract from Mr. Webster's Address 55 

Prayer of Mr. Duche in the Colonial Congress 56 

Opinions on the Clergy expressed in Congress 58 

Mr. Webster's Opinion of the Clergy 59 

List of all the Chaplains to the U. S. Senate 60 

List of Chaplains to the House of Representatives 62 

List of Chaplains to the Army 66 

(Jeneral Remarks on Chaplains to the Army 70 

List of Chaplains in the Navy •«•<. 72 

Notice of Mr, Stewart, Mr. Colton, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Noble. 75 

The Religious Sect of Chaplains 76 

Elevation of the Standard Character among Naval Chaplains.. 76 

Reasons for Increasing the Number of Chaplains 78 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



Among the marked proceedings of the 33d Congress that 
will ever make it prominent in the annals of our National 
Legislature, is the special attention bestowed, both in the 
Senate and the House, on the duties and derelictions of 
ministers of the Gospel. This was more or less drawn 
forth by the clergy themselves, who acted together with 
such unusual unanimity in memorializing Congress against 
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, first, from New 
York, then from New England generally, where more than 
three thousand Pastors signed a remonstrance against the 
passage of the Kansas- Nebraska bill, and finally, in most 
of the North Western States. Never since that memorable 
proceeding in Congress relating to running the mail on the 
Sabbath, had there been such an uprising of the clergy, 
speaking in tones of such remonstrance as on this occasion ; 
and never before did members in their places on the floor 
of Congress take it upon themselves to say so much in the 
way of defining the position of a Christian minister and his 
mission among men.* It was believed by Senators and 
members of the House also, that those who cast so much 
blame upon these memorialists, did not alwavs make their 

* See note on page 58. 



6 CfiAPLAINS'6t'* THE 'general GOVERNMENT. 

denunciations harmonise with facts. Replies were elicited 
from eminent statesmen in hoth halls of Congress. This 
defiance of the clergy and then the " defence" of them, (for 
one distinguished member devoted an entire speech to the 
subject,) gave the long session of the 33d Congress, for a 
time, the semblance of an ecclesiastical council more than 
that of a legislative assembly. But there was another 
movement made with a view to entirely silence the minis- 
ters of religion in certain important fields of usefulness, 
where the general government only can open or shut the 
door. Although the movers then failed in their design, 
yet what was done awakened a train of thought, and 
inaugurated a movement which has been operating ever 
since ; the tendencies of which are to lessen public re- 
spect for the office of Chaplain as employed by the Greneral 
Government — in Congress — in the Army and Navy. 

It is to the consideration of this subject that the follow- 
ing pages will mainly be devoted. 

At the opening of the 33d Congress, when the choice of 
officers had progressed in the House, until the motion to 
elect a Chaplain was reached, several members took occasion 
to manifest their contempt for the office, and their want of 
respect for those who were elected to fill it, by treating the 
proposition to elect a Chaplain with ridicule. But the op- 
position, which was feebly sustained, was overruled, and 
chaplains were elected as usual, to both Houses of Con- 
gress. 

Whatever is said or done in Congress soon finds its way, 
on telegraphic wires, or by other facilities, to the remotest 
parts of the country. Hon. Mr. Petitt, of Indiana, who, 
for many years, had distinguished himself both in and out 
of Congress, for his opposition to revealed religion, sent 



CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 7 

abroad tlie one idea, that all Chaplains employed by the gov- 
ernment must be dismissed, and the office abolished. One 
religious sect in particular, had been roused to action in 
this opposition, and such others of no religion, as harmo- 
nised wdth the disciples of that noted infidel, the late Abner 
Kneeland, to send up memorials to Congress, praying that 
the usage of employing Chaplains by the Greneral Govern- 
ment might be abolished. These petitions were duly re- 
ceived and referred to the committee on the judiciary. 
The late Hon. James Meacham, of Vermont, being a mem- 
ber of that committee, in the division of their labor, the 
duty of considering and answering these petitioners fell 
into his hands,- — upon which he made an "able report. — 
being brief, and containing information, eveiy line of 
which will amply repay a careful perusal, it will be placed 
in the following pages. We are the more induced to give 
it an insertion from the fact that but a small number of 
copies were printed, and therefore but few of them were 
ever seen outside of Washington. 

NoTE. Since writing the above paragraph, the newspapers have brought 
us the melancholy tidings, that Hon. James Meacham has passed away from 
earth. He died in Middlebury, Vt., August 23d, in the 47th year of his 
age. His death, being announced in Congress, out of respect to his me- 
mory, both branches of the National Legislature adjourned. Hon. Mr. 
Foot; in a brief sketch of his character before the Senate, among other things 
said — " James Meacham was generously gifted by nature, possessing an 
active and logical mind. He was a terse and vigorous writer, and a ready 
and forcible public speaker. His mind had been disciplined by severe study, 
and was well stored with choice literature and general knowledge. He was 
a man of thought and reflection ; firm and decided in the opinions he had 
deliberately formed, and which he was in the habit of expressing with entire 
frankness and freedom, yet observing all that deference and courtesy toward 
the dissenting opinion of others, which belonged to his character and his 
position." 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOYBRNMBNT. 



33d Congress— 1st Session- Ho. of Rep. 

CHAPLAINS IN CONGRESS AND IN THE ARMY 

AND NAVY. 

March 27, 1853. — Ordered to be printed. 

Mr. Meacham, from the Committee on the Judiciary, made 
the following 

REPORT. 

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
memorials of citizens of several States, praying that the of- 
fice of chaplain in the army, navy, and at West Point, at 
Indian stations, and in both Houses of Congress^ he abolished^ 
respectfully report : 

That they have had the subject under consideration, and, af- 
ter careful examination, are not prepared to come to the con- 
clusion desired by the memorialists. Having made that deci- 
sion, it is due that the reason should be given. Two clauses 
of the constitution are relied on by the memorialists to show 
that their prayer should be granted. One of these is in the 
sixth article, that " no religious test shall ever be required as a 
qualification to any ofl5ce or public trust under the United 
States." If the whole section were quoted, we apprehend 
that no one could suppose it intended to apply to the ap- 
pointment of chaplains. 

" Art. 6, Sec. 3. The senators and representatives before 
mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, 
and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United 
States and of the several States, shall be bound, by oath or af- 
firmation, to support this constitution ; but no religious test 
shall ever be required as a qualification to any oflBce or public 
trust under the United States." 

Every one must perceive that this refers to a class of per- 
sons entirely distinct from chaplains. 

Another article supposed to be violated is article 1st of 
Amendments : " Congress shall make no law respecting an es- 
tablishment of religion." Does our present practice violate 
that article ? "What is an establishment of religion ? It must 
have a creed, defining what a man must believe ; it must have 
rites and ordinances, which believers must observe ; it must 
have ministers of defined qualifications, to teach the doctrines 
and administer the rites ; it must have tests for the submis- 
sive, and penalties for the non-conformist. There never was 



CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 9 

an established religion without all these. Is there now or has 
there ever been, anything of this in the appointment of chap- 
lains in Congress, or army, or navy ? The practice before the 
adoption of the constitution is much the same as since : the 
adoption of that constitution does not seem to have changed 
the principle in this respect. We ask the memorialists to look 
at the facts. First, in the army ; chaplains were appointed for 
the revolutionary army on its organization ; rules for their re- 
gulation are found among the earliest of the articles of war. 
Congress ordered, on May 27, 1777, that there should be one 
chaplain to each brigade of the army, nominated by the briga- 
dier general, and appointed by Congress, with the same pay 
as colonel ; and, on the 18th of September following, ordered 
chaplains to be appointed to the hospitals in the several de- 
partments, with the pay of ^60 per month, three rations per 
day, and forage for one horse. 

When the constitution was formed. Congress had power to 
raise and support armies, and to provide for and support a 
navy, and to make rules and regulations for the government 
and regulation of land and naval forces. In the absence of all 
limitations, general or special, is it not fair to assume that they 
were to do these substantially in the same manner as had been 
done before ? If so, then they were as truly empowered to 
appoint chaplains as to appoint generals or to enlist soldiers. 
Accordingly, we find provision for chaplains in the acts of 
1791, of 1812, and 1838. By the last there is to be one to 
each brigade in the army ; the number is limited to thirty, and 
these in the most destitute places. The chaplain is also to dis- 
charge the duties of schoolmaster. The number in the navy is 
limited to twenty-four. Is there any violation of the constitu- 
tion in these laws for the appointment of chaplains in the army 
and navy ? If not, let us look at the history of chaplains in 
Congress. Here, as before, we shall find that the same prac- 
tice was in existence before and after the adoption of the con- 
stitution. The American Congress began its session Septem- 
ber 5, 1774. On the second day of the session, Mr. Samuel 
Adams proposed to open the session with prayer. I give Mr. 
Webster's account of it: "At the meeting of the first Con- 
gress there was a doubt in the minds of many about the pro- 
priety of opening the session with prayer ; and the reason as- 
signed was, as here, the great diversity of opinion and religious 
belief: until, at last, Mr. Samuel Adams, with his gray hairs 
hanging about his shoulders, and with an impressive venera- 
bleness now seldom to be met with, (I suppose owing to dif- 
ferent habits,) rose in that assembly, and, with the air of a 
perfect Puritan, said it did not become men. professing to bo 



10 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

Christian men, who had come together for solemn deliberation 
in the hour of their extremit3^ to say there was so wide a dif- 
ference in their belief that they could not, as one man, bow 
the knee in prayer to the Almighty, whose advice and assist- 
ance they hoped to obtain ; and, independent as he was, and 
an enemy to all prelacy as he was known to be, he moved that 
Rev. Mr. Dushe, of the Episcopal church, should address the 
Throne of Grace in prayer. John Adams, in his letter to his 
wife, says he never saw a more moving spectacle. Mr. Dushe 
read the Episcopal service of the church of England ; and 
then, as if moved by the occasion, he broke out into extempo- 
raneous prayer, and those men who were about to resort to 
force to obtain their rights were moved to tears ; and floods 
of tears, he says, ran down the cheeks of pacific Quakers, who 
formed part of that interesting assembly ; and depend upon it, 
that where there is a spirit of Christianity, there is a spirit 
which rises above form, above ceremonies, independent of sect 
or creed, and the controversies of clashing doctrines." That 
same clergyman was afterwards appointed chaplain of the 
American Congress. He had such an appointment five days 
after the declaration of independence. 

On December 22, 1776 ; on December 13, 1784 ; and on 
February 29, 1788, it was resolved that two chaplains should 
be appointed. So far for the old American Congress. I do 
fiot deem it out of place to notice one act, of many, to show 
that that Congress was not indiiferent to the religious inter- 
ests of the people ; and they were not peculiarly afraid 
of the charge of uniting Church and State. On the 11th of 
September, 1777, a committee having consulted with Dr. Alli- 
son about printing an edition of thirty thousand Bibles, and 
finding that they would be compelled to send abroad for type 
and paper, with an advance of £10,272 10s., Congress voted to 
instruct the Committee on Commerce to import twenty thou- 
sand Bibles from Scotland and Holland into the different ports 
of the Union. The reason assigned was, that the use of the 
book was so universal and important. Now, what was passing 
on that day? The army of Washington was fighting the 
battle of Brandy wine; the gallant soldiers of the Revolution 
were displaying their heroic though unavailing valor; twelve 
hundred soldiers were stretched in death on that battle-field ; 
Lafayette was bleeding ; the booming of the cannon was heard 
in the hall where Congress was sitting — in the hall from 
which Congress was soon to be a fugitive ; at that important 
hour Congress was passing an order for importing twenty 
thousand Bibles ; and yet we have never heard that they 
were charged by their generation of any attempt to unite 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 11 

Church and State, or surpassing their powers to legislate on 
religious matters. 

There was a convention assembled between the old and 
new forms of government. Considering the character of the 
men, the work in which they were engaged, and the results 
of their labors, I think them the most remarkable body of 
men ever assembled. Benjamin Franklin addressed that body 
on the subject of employing chaplains; and, certainly, Franklin 
will not be accused of fanaticism in religion, or of a wish to 
unite Church and State. I give his words as reported by 
Madison. 

Debates in the Federal Convention^ June 28, 1787. 

Dr. Franklin said : Mr. President, the small progress we 
have made after four or five weeks' close attendance, and con- 
tinual reasonings with each other, our different sentiment on 
almost every question — several of the last producing as many 
noes as ayes — is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imper- 
fection of the human understanding. We, indeed, seem to 
feel our want of political wisdom, since we have been running 
about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history 
for models of government, and examined the different forms 
of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds 
of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have 
viewed modern States all round Europe, but find none of their 
constitutions suitable to our circumstances. In this situation 
of this assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find po- 
litical truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented 
to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto 
once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to 
illuminate our understandings ? In the beginning of the con- 
test with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we 
had daily prayer in this room for divine protection. Our 
prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. 
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have ob- 
served frequent instances of a superintending Providence in 
our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy op- 
portunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing 
our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that 
powerful friend ? Or do we imagine that we no longer need 
his assistance ? 

"I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the 
more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs 
in the affairs of men; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the 
{^ round without His notice, is it probable that an empire can 



12 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

rise without His aid ? "We have been assured, sir, in the 
sacred writings, that ' except the Lord build the house, they 
labor in rain that build it.' I firmly believe this ; and I also 
believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in 
this pohtical building no better than the builders of Babel. 
We shall be divided by our little partial local interests, our 
projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a 
reproach and by-word down to future ages. And, what is 
worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, 
despair of establishing governments by human wisdom, and 
leave it to chance, war and conquest. 

" I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers, 
imploring the assistance of Heaven and blessings on our de- 
liberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we 
proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of 
this city be requested to officiate in that service." — ElliotVs 
Debates, vol. 5, p. 253. 

There certainly can be no doubt as to the practice of em- 
ploying chaplains in deliberative bodies previous to the adop- 
tion of the constitution. We are, then, prepared to see if 
any change was made in that respect in the new order of 
affairs. 

The first Congress under the constitution began on the 4th 
of March, 1789 ; but there was not a quorum for business till 
the 1st of April. On the 9th of that month Oliver Ellsworth 
was appointed, on the part of the Senate, to confer with a 
committee of the House, on rules, and on the appointment of 
chaplains. The House chose five men — Boudinot, Bland, 
Tucker, Sherman and Madison. The result of their consulta- 
tion was a recommendation to appoint two chaplains of dif- 
ferent denominations — one by the Senate and one by the 
House — to interchange weekly. The Senate appointed Dr. 
Provost, on the 25th of April. 

On the 1st day of May, Washington's first speech was read 
to the House, and theirs/ business after that speech was the 
appointment of Dr. Linn as chaplain. By whom was this plan 
made? Three out of six of that joint committee were mem- 
bers of the convention that framed the constitution. Madi- 
son, Ellsworth and Sherman passed directly from the hall of 
the convention to the hall of Congress. Did they not know 
what was constitutional % The law of 1789 was passed in 
compliance with their plan, giving chaplains a salary of ^500. 
It was re-enacted in 1816, and continues to the present time. 
Chaplains have been appointed from all the leading denomin- 
ations — Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Con- 
gregationalist, Catholic, Unitarian, and others. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 13 

I am aware that one of our petitioners might truly reply 
that the article was not in the body of the constitution, but 
was one of the amendments recommended by Virginia. This 
does not weaken the argument in favor of chaplains. In the 
convention of Virginia, which proposed amendments, James 
Madison, James Monroe, and John Marshall were members. 
All these men were members closely connected with the gov- 
ernment. Madison and Monroe were members of Congress 
when the first amendment was adopted and became a part of 
the constitution. Madison was a member of the convention 
framing the constitution, of the convention proposing the 
amendment, and of Congress when adopted ; and yet neither 
Madison nor Monroe ever uttered a word or gave a vote to in- 
dicate that the appointment of chaplains was unconstitutional. 
The convention of Virginia elected on its first day a chaplain — 
Rev. Abner Waugh — who every morning read prayers imme- 
diately after the ringing of the bell for calling the convention. 
No one will suppose that convention so inconsistent as to ap- 
point their chaplain for their own deliberative assembly in the 
State of Virginia, and then recommend that this should be de- 
nied to the deliberative bodies of the nation. 

The reason more generally urged, is the danger of a union 
of church and State. If the danger were real, we should be 
disposed to take the most prompt and decided measures to 
forestall the evil, because one of the worst things for the religi- 
ous and political interests of this nation that could possibly 
overtake us. But we deem this apprehension entirely imagi- 
nary ; and we think any one of the petitioners must be con- 
vinced of this on examination of the facts. Look at that score 
of different denominations, and tell us, do you believe it pos- 
sible to make a majority agree in forming a league to unite 
their religious interests with those of the State ? If you take 
from the larger sects, you must select some three or four of 
the largest to make a majority of clergy, or laity, or worship- 
pers. And these sects are widely separated in their doctrines, 
their religious rites, and in their church discipline. How do 
you expect them to unite for any such object? If you take 
the smaller sects, you must unite some fifteen to make a ma- 
jority, and you must take such discordant materials as the 
Quaker, the Jew, the Universalist, the Unitarian, the Tunker, 
and the Swedenborgian. Does any one suppose it possible to 
make these harmonize 1 If not, there can be no union of 
church and State. Your committee know of no denomination 
of Christians who wish for such union. They have had their 
existence in the voluntary system, and wish it to continue. 
The sentiment of the whole body of American Christians is 



14 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

against a union with the State. A great change has been 
wrought in this respect. At the adoption of the constitution, 
we believe every State — certainly ten of the thirteen — provid- 
ed as regularly for the support of the church, as for the sup- 
port of the government : one, Virginia, had the system of 
tithes. Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain re- 
ligion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that 
the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people. Had 
the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any at- 
tempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have 
been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of 
the constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment 
was that Christanity should be encouraged — not any one sect. 
Any attempt to level and discard all religion, would have been 
viewed with universal indignation. The object was not to 
substitute Judaism, or Mohammedanism, or infidelity, but to 
prevent rivalry among sects to the exclusion of others. The 
result of the change above named is, that now there is not a 
single State that, as a State, supports the gospel. In 1816 
Connecticut repealed her law which was passed to sustain the 
church ; and in 1833^ Massachusetts wiped from her statute- 
book the last law on the subject that existed in the whole 
Union. Every one will notice that this is a very great change 
to be made in so short a period — greater than, tve believe, was 
ever before made in ecclesiastical affairs in sixty-five years, 
wi-thout a revolution or some great convulsion. This change 
has been made silently and noiselessly, with the consent and 
wish of all parties, civil and religious. From this it will be 
seen that the tendency of the times is not to a union of church 
and State, but is decidedly and strongly bearing in an opposite 
direction. Every tie is sundered ; and there is no wish on 
either side to have the bond renewed. It seems to us that the* 
men who would raise the cry of danger in this state of things, 
would cry fire on the thirty-ninth day of a general deluge. 

If there be no constitutional objection and no danger, why 
should not the office be continued ? It is objected that we 
pay money from the treasury for this office. That is certainly 
true ; and equally true in regard to the Sergeant-at-Arms and 
Doorkeeper, who, with the chaplain, are appointed under the 
general authority to organize the House. Judge Thompson, 
chairman of this committee in the thirty-first Congress, in a 
very able report on this subject, said that if the cost of chap- 
lains to Congress were equally divided among the people, it 
would not be more than the two hundredth part of one cent to 
each person. That being true, a man who lives under the pro- 
tection of this government and pays taxes for fifty years, will 



CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 15 

have to lay aside from his hard earnings two and a half mills 
during his half century for the purpose of supporting chaplains 
in Congress ! This is the weight of pecuniary burden which 
the committee are called to lift from off the neck of the people. 

If there be a God who hears prayer — as we believe there is 
— we submit, that there never was a deliberative body that so 
eminently needed the fervent praj'ers of righteous men as the 
Congress of the United States. There never was another re- 
presentative assembly that had so many and so widely differ- 
ent interests to protect and to harmonize, and so many local 
passions to subdue. One member feels charged to defend the 
rights of the Atlantic, another of the Pacific coast ; one urges 
the claims of constituents on the borders of the torrid, another 
on the borders of the frigid zone ; while hundreds have the 
defence of local and varied interests stretching across an en- 
tire continent. If personal selfishness or ambition, if party 
or sectional views alone, bear rule, all attempts at legislation 
will be fruitless, or bear only bitter fruit. If wisdom from 
above, that is profitable to direct, be given in answer to the 
prayers of the pious, then Congress need those devotions, as 
they surely need to have their views of personal importance 
daily chastened by the reflection that they are under the gov- 
ernment of a Siipreme Power, that rules not for one locality 
or for one time, but governs a world by general laws, subject- 
ing all motives and acts to an omniscient scrutiny, and holds 
all agents to their just awards by an irresistible power. 

In the provisions of the law for chaplains in -the army, the 
number is limited, and these not to be granted unless for 
" most destitute places;" and then, for a very small salary 
they are to perform the double service of clergymen and 
schoolmasters. While every political office under all admin- 
istrations is filled to overflowing ; while the ante-chambers of 
the departments are crowded and crammed with anxious ap- 
plicants, waiting for additions, or resignations, or death, to 
make for them some vacant place, it is of recent occurrence 
that only fourteen of the twenty posts for chaplains were sup- 
plied. 

We presume all will grant that it is proper to appoint phy- 
sicians and surgeons in the army and navy. The power to 
appoint chaplains is just the same, because neither are ex- 
pressly named, but are appointed under the general authority 
to organize the array and navy, and we deem the one as truly 
a matter of necessity as the other. Napoleon was obliged to 
establish chaplains for his army, in order to their quiet while 
making his winter quarters in the heart of an enemy's coun- 
try, and that army had been drenched in the infidelity of the 



16 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

French revolution. The main portion of our troops, though 
not in a foreign land, are stationed on the extreme frontiers, 
the very outposts of civilization ; and if the government does 
not furnish them moral and religious instruction, we know as 
a practical fact, that they will go without it. 

It is said that they can contribute and hire their own chap- 
lains. Certainly they can, and their own physicians and sur- 
geons ; but if we throw on them this additional burden, are 
we not bound to increase their pay to meet these personal ex- 
penses ? We may supply them directly, with more economy 
and effect than we can do it indirectly. We trust that the 
military force of the United States will never be engaged in a 
contest, unless in such an one that devout men can honestly 
invoke the God of battles to go with our armies. If so, it 
will inspire fortitude and courage to the soldier to know that 
the righteous man is invoking the Supreme Power to succeed 
his efforts. If our armies are exposed to pestilential climates 
or. to the carnage of the battle-field, we believe it the duty of 
government to send to the sick, aiid wounded, and dying, 
that spiritual counsel and consolation demanded by the 
strongest cravings of our nature. 

The navy have still stronger claims than the army for the 
supply of chaplains ; a large portion of the tirhe our ships-of- 
war are on service foreign from our own shore. If they are 
in the ports of other nations, the crews cannot be disbanded 
to worship with the people of those nations j and if they 
could, the instances are rare in which the sailors could under- 
stand the language in which the devotions are conducted. If 
you do not afford them the means of religious service while 
at sea, the Sabbath is, to all intents and purposes, annihilated, 
and we do not allow the crews the free exercise of religion. 

In that important branch of service the government is edu- 
cating a large number of youth who are hereafter to have the 
control of our navy. They are taken from their homes at a 
very early age, when their minds are not generally instructed, 
or their opinions formed on religious affairs. If the mature 
men can be safely deprived of such privileges, is it wise or 
just to deprive the youth of all means of moral and religious 
culture ? Naval commanders have often desired to have their 
crews unite in devotions before commencing action. They 
have sometimes done it when there was no chaplain on board. 
One striking instance of this was in the naval action on Lake 
Champlain. On Sunday morning, September 11, just as the 
sun rose over the eastern mountains, the American guard-boat 
on the watch was seen rowing swiftly into the harbor. It re- 
ported the enemy in sight. The drums immediately beat to 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 17 

quarters, and every vessel was cleared for action. The pre- 
parations being completed, young McDonough summoned his 
officers around him, and there, on the deck of the Saratoga, 
read the prayers of the ritual before entering into battle ; 
and that voice, which soon after rang like a clarion amid the 
carnage, sent heavenward, in earnest tones : '' Stir up thy 
strength, Lord, and come and help us ; for thou givest not 
always the battle to the strong, but canst save by many or by 
few." It was a solemn, thrilling sight, and one never before 
witnessed on a vessel of war cleared for action. A young 
commander who had the courage thus to brave the derision 
and sneers which such an act was sure to provoke, would fight 
his vessel while there was a plank left to stand on. Of the 
deeds of daring done on that day of great achievements, none 
evinced so bold and firm a heart as this act of religious 
worship. 

While your committee believe that neither Congress nor 
the army or navy should be deprived of the service of chap- 
lains, they freely concede that the ecclesiastical and civil 
powers have been, and should continue to be, entirely di- 
vorced from each other. But we beg leave to rescue our- 
selves from the imputation of asserting that religion is not 
needed to the safety of civil society. It must be considered 
as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. Laws 
will not have permanence or power without the sanction of 
rehgious sentiment — without a firm belief that there is a 
Power above us that will reward our virtues and punish our 
vices. In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity ; 
that, in its general principles, is the great conservative element 
on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free 
institutions. That was the religion of the founders of the re- 
public, and they expected it to remain the religion of their 
descendants. There is a great and very prevalent error on 
this subject in the opinion that those who organized this gov- 
ernment did not legislate on religion. They did legislate on it by 
making it free to all, " to the Jew and the Greek, to the 
learned and unlearned." The error has risen from the belief 
that there is no legislation unless in permissive or restricting 
enactments. But making a thing free is as truly a part of 
legislation as confining it by limitations ; and what the gov- 
ernment has made free, it is bound to keep free. 

Your committee recommend the following resolution : 
Resolved, That the committee be discharged from the fur- 
ther consideration of the subject. 



18 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

After having given the foregoing Report an attentive 
perusal, we have a right to presume that not a few would 
reach the same conclusion with ourselves, that the objec- 
tions made by the memorialists, to the employment of 
Chaplains by the General Government, were fully answer- 
ed, and that petitions of this kind would not be likely soon 
to follow. But such was not the fact. It will be kept in 
mind that the petitions answered by this Report were sent 
to Congress the early part of the first session of Congress, 
in the winter of 1854. At the organization of the present 
Congress, immediately after the long struggle to elect a 
Speaker was decided, among other proceedings that of 
electing a Chaplain to the House came up for action ; but 
before the election was made, another memorial arrested 
the attention of the House, praying Congress to abolish 
the office of Chaplains, and therefore not to proceed to the 
election then under consideration. This instrument pro- 
ceeded from a sect of Christians in Tennessee, who are 
much more numerous in the Southern States than at the 
North, and are known for their opposition to Missionary 
Societies, Sunday Schools, and indeed, to nearly all our 
modern institutions. They are variously called " Anti- 
Mission Baptists," " Particular Baptists," and " Hard- 
Shell Baptists;" but from their strong adherence to 
" Special Grace" and predestination, they call themselves 
" Predestinarian Baptists." Their own statistics give 
them about 150,000 adherents in the United States. 

Hon. Mr. Etheridge, by whom the memorial was pre- 
sented said, " I avail myself, sir, of the present occasion to 
present to the consideration of the House a memorial on 
this subject, which I received this morning from R. L. 
Hendies, and one hundred and forty-eight other citizens 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 19 

of the county of Henderson, in the State of Tennessee, in 
which they protest against the election and payment of a 
Chaplain by this House. I only received it this morning, 
and avail myself of the first opportunity to present it. They 
are from that section of the country in which the people 
are so respectable and so little skilled in political machinery, 
that I do not suppose any one of them has ever before 
signed a memorial to be presented to Congress upon any 
subject." 

It is hardly worth while to insert the entire memorial in 
this place, as it differs not materially from those previously 
presented, and which are so ably answered in the foregoing 
Report. But, lest it might appear as if we were unwilling 
to introduce into these pages their arguments against the 
employment of Chaplains, space shall be given to the 
strongest points — which read as follows : 

" The immense increase of the number of Chaplains em- 
ployed by the Government within the past few years, has 
alarmed us to apprehend that an extension of the system 
may ultimately subject us aU to the serious and oppressive 
features of an unholy union of Church and State, with 
which the world has been so grievously burdened in all 
ages, and from which we had hoped we were forever de- 
livered by the glorious epoch of the American Revolution. 

" The number of national clergy which the citizens of our 
country are annually forced to support, by indirect taxa- 
tion, is as follows : Thirty in the Army ; twenty-four in 
the Navy, and two in Congress (!) besides a large number at 
the various naval and military schools, stations, and out- 
posts ; and at various missionary stations, ostensibly as 
teachers of Indian schools. The aggregate amount which 
we are annually compelled to pay for the support of clergy- 



20 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

men, as officers whicli the Constitution gives Congress no 
power to create or impose upon us, but on the contrary, 
positively prohibits, cannot therefore vary far from a quar- 
ter of a million of dollars annually ! Should the number 
of national Chaplains continue to increase in the ratio of 
the past few years, it will soon equal that of the national 
clergy in the despotisms of the old world, where the Church 
and State are allies in corruption and oppression. Indeed, 
we know of no stopping place or limit that can be set to 
arrest its progress, when precedent has overthrown the 
protective barriers of the Constitution. 

" "We cannot perceive why clergymen should be sustained 
by Government in either House of Congress, at our mihtary 
and naval stations, on board our vessels of war, and in each 
regiment of our army, any more than in each township, 
parish, district, or village throughout the land; and to 
sanction the former could not be regarded otherwise than 
as an assent to the extension of the same system that would 
place us upon a level with the priest-ridden despotisms of 
the Old World. Our members of Congress, military and 
naval officers, soldiery and seamen, are, or should be, paid 
a just compensation for their services, and be left, like all 
other citizens, to support any clergymen, or none, as their 
consciences may direct them, without legal agency or coer- 
cion. Neither Christianity nor the genius of our institu- 
tions contemplates any aristocracy predicated upon the 
clerical profession, and no special provision therefore is ne- 
cessary by the Government to admit clergymen to our 
Army and Navy, as they may enlist like other men, and 
labor like Jesus himself and his apostles among the poor 
fishermen on the sea-side. If it be objected that few 
clergymen ^vould serve among the troops and marines upon 



CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 21 

such terms, we can only say that, if actuated by correct 
religious motives, no minister would wait for Government 
gold to lead him to his labors of love among them, and 
that none but hypocrites would be debarred by the want 
of it. We think the Government should not evince more 
religious zeal than professed ministers of the gospel them- 
selves by bribing them to perform religious service. If the 
clergymen in the Army and Navy look for other compen- 
sation than the voluntary contribution of those among 
whom they labor, the various religious societies of the 
country might be more appropriately appealed to, as their 
funds are voluntarily contributed for such purposes ; while 
those of the Government are taken for national purposes, 
by authority of law, equally from all classes of citizens of 
whatever sects, and whether professors or non-professors of 
religion." 

But opposition to the employment of Chaplains to Con- 
gress does not arise from these petitions alone. There is 
an opposition which shows itself each successive year in 
stronger terms, among the members of Congress. At the 
opening of each of the two or three last congressional terms, 
members have called "the election of Chaplains all a 
farce." 

While some members were for staving off the choice of 
Chaplain to some future time, Hon. Mr. Wentworth, of 
Illinois, with a ludicrous air, said — 

" It would be greatly to the relief of members if we dis- 
posed of this Chaplain business. [Laughter.] The candi- 
dates are multiplying, and those whose names are now be- 
fore us are getting uneasy. I am anxious to have the 
matter settled, and therefore ask that the rules may be 
suspended to take up the Senate resolution so that the re- 



22 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

jected applicants may apply for some other office if they 
do not get this." [Laughter]. 

A paper, (the " Washington Sentinel^^) at that time 
regarded as the special organ of Senator Douglas, and 
which had belabored with gi*eat industry the 3,050 New 
England clergymen who signed the remonstrance to the 
Nebraska-bill, at the close of the session of the Congress 
which passed that bill, used the following language : — 

" "We are altogether opposed to having Chaplains to the 
two branches of our National Legislature. We hope the 
last of them have been elected.* * * It is pretty well under- 
stood that those paid for prayers are to be made brief, cut 
off shoi't^ in order to avoid boring Congress. Short as they 
are (and we are sorry to have to say it) they are bores. It 
is a business to be done by the Minister^ and the sooner 
it is over the more agreeable to all parties." The Sentinel 
further says of these prayers : " They are not listened to." 
He proceeds to add that " If they should be elected, and 
they should belong to that saintly band, the three thousand 
and sixty-five Anti- Nebraska parsons, then perhaps such 
an election would be more potent against the system than 
any argument we can offer." 

Such then was the feeling manifested in Congress more 
than three years ago. But this feeling, judging from what 
was said by a greater number of members than had ever 
before entered into a debate of this kind, at the opening of 
the last Congress, had increased four-fold. 

After reading the foregoing " Report" by Mr. Meacham, 
on the petitions to a previous Congress, one might have 
supposed that the question relating to the Chaplaincy 
would be put somewhat to rest. Another uprising of op- 
position could hardly have been looked for again so soon. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL QOYERNMENT. 23 

But the spirit of antagonism had gone abroad, and it 
must have expression, especially in the popular branch of 
the National Legislature. In the Senate the election of 
Chaplain was sprung upon the members in the outset. The 
name of a Western candidate was introduced by a perse- 
vering senator, and his claims, which commended him to 
the favorable consideration of a majority of the senators, 
had only to be presented, to receive a majority of the votes. 

His election took place without discussion or opposition. 
It was in the House that the subject took a wider range. 
In order that the reader may have a clear comprehension 
of the whole question, we shall make liberal quotations 
from the speeches of several members on the occasion, to be 
found in subsequent pages. 

As to the field of labor thrown open to all the chaplains 
employed by Government, whether at Washington, in the 
Army or the Navy, we doubt if it be sufficiently under- 
stood, or their labors duly appreciated. There is much 
which a Chaplain can do in each of the before named de- 
partments of the G-overnment, which will never be per- 
formed if not done by them. They can go where other 
ministers, not appointed to the office, could not go ; they 
can occupy places which other clergymen could not 
reach. Their very existence in the Government employ, 
commits our nation to the recognition of Christianity in 
distinction from Mohammedanism and Paganism. The 
Government recognizes no sect ; it only employs the reli- 
gious teacher which we as a nation prefer. The alarmists 
about the union of Church and State should be impressed, 
that our Government only defends religious liberty. It 
does not define religion. A colony of Mohammedans would 
be protected in erecting a mosque, or the Chinese a pa 



24 CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

goda, as soon as a Catholic in erecting a cathedral, or an 
Episcopalian in consecrating a church, or a Friend Quaker 
in sitting quietly in a "meeting-house." 

"We have stated that Chaplains have a field of labor pe- 
culiarly their own. Prayers offered up to the Father of 
all men, in each branch of the National Legislature every 
morning before proceeding to the important work of legis- 
lating for the weal or woe of the country, has its use. But 
preaching the Gospel every Sabbath in the Capitol to the 
many strangers especially, who visit Washington while 
Congress is in session, if to no others, has an important use, 
and the visits which the Chaplain, who does his duty, 
makes to the bedside of the sick and sometimes dying 
member of Congress, who may have arrived in Washing- 
ton a stranger from some remote part of the country, has 
not unfrequently had a special use. 

In the Navy — ^if it is desirable that a congregation of 
men, numbering as they usually do, in sea-going ships, 
from five to eight hundred, and sometimes a thousand, all 
accustomed to the usages of a Christian nation, should be 
favored with the ordinary means of grace on the Sabbath ; 
to be visited and advised when sick, and to have a 
Christian burial when committed to their ocean grave, 
then a minister of rehgion must be with them in their long 
cruises through unhealthy latitudes; and when far away 
from the sound of the church-going bell, obey the sum- 
mons proceeding from the quarter-deck, for all hands to 
attend on the public worship of Grod. Who but appointed 
Chaplains can officiate here ? 

We have done some humble service (not as Chaplain,) 
in the Navy. We have seen many a youthful sailor, 
who in his waywardness had wandered from home, and ere 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 25 

long found himself shipped into the naval service. After 
long and tedious duty had sobered him down to the reflect- 
ing point, or the sudden changes from easy to hard labor 
as well as that of an unhealthy climate, had brought him 
upon the " sick list," — there, on the high seas, or in a foreign 
port, on coming thoroughly to himself, he welcomes with 
true cordiality the man who in a quiet manner goes to 
his couch to speak of his mother's councils, his father's 
advice, of Sabbath privileges perhaps, neglected, and of a 
sin-pardoning Grod. How shall we calculate the import- 
ance, the worth of this timely visitation of a Chaplain, 
charged with duties of this nature i 

If the objectors to the employment of Chaplains, were to 
receive the last message of a dying son or brother from 
the hand of these ambassadors of Christ, — to whom such 
words are usually uttered, — would they fe«l any regret that 
the government provides for the sustenance of sach men, 
while accompanying these hundreds of seamen through 
their perilous voyages round the world ? We cannot be- 
lieve they would. / 

The same train of thought will apply with equal truth 
and propriety to Chaplains in the Army, affording still less 
grounds of objection, inasmuch as they are almost con- 
stantly employed as the teachers of children at the mili- 
tary posts especially" many of which are far out beyond the 
limits of civilized life on our Western domain. 

But it is objected that these Chaplains do not all do 
their duty — do not faithfully perform the important work 
assigned them. This objection is gratuitous. It hardly 
deserves to be considered in this place, for it is admitted 
that there may be found among Chaplains, as among other 
ministers of religion in other positions, those who neglect 

2 



26 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

their duty, who do not feel the importance of the work 
committed to their hands. These may, like all unworthy 
and unfaithful men, bring a reproach on the cause they 
should honor and promote. But persisting in their inef- 
ficiency and unsuitableness for the work, they will not long 
be sustained. They will soon find their level, and their 
stewardship given to another. 

But there is another view to be taken of this business of 
employing Chaplains. There are grounds of complaint — 
not to the employment of Chaplains, but to the manner in 
which they reach that employment, or the way they obtain 
their election to a place of so much importance to Chris- 
tian nations, and, it might be added, to the heathen world. 
It is to the subject of this complaint we shall now turn 
our attention. 

There are at this time fifty-seven Chaplains employed 
by the General Government — thirty in the Army, 
thirty-four in the Navy, and two in Congress, and 
one in the Penitentiary of the District of Colum- 
bia. That these are important positions, each requir- 
ing men of as high an order of piety and good 
works, of various learning, and every endowment and 
qualification which will render them apt to teach as any 
other position which the providence of God may ever open 
to any Christian minister to fill,, no one, we think, will take 
it upon himself to deny. Yet all these chaplaincies are 
filled in a way which render it possible that it may be done 
by the managing of political wire-pullers, with very little, 
if any, reference to the appropriate qualifications of those 
who receive the appointment. It is true that the Heads 
of the Departments hold, under the President, the appoint- 
ing power in each of the several departments over which 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 27 

they preside. But unless the applicant be a clergyman of 
his acquaintance, how is the Secretary to know of the ap- 
plicant's qualifications, or his adaptedness to fill the place 
to which he aspires ? Through others only. Now, who 
are those others that the applicant may employ to reach the 
ear of the Secretary, and obtain his appointment ? They 
are the men who will have the greatest influence with the 
Secretary. Should any aspirant have the good fortune to 

make Senator his friend, or any other man of the 

Administration party, who might be supposed to have as 
much influence as he, then, irrespective of all the other 
more sacred considerations^ this will settle the ques- 
tion of the appointment. Chaplains in the Navy more es- 
pecially, down to a certain year, between 1820 and 1830, 
were chosen without any special regard to their religious 
creed or character. Some petty officer, a captain's clerk, 
or purser's steward, or some other such man, as a reward 
for well-doing, has been allowed to officiate as Chaplain, 
which consisted in reading prayers, generally from the 
Episcopal "Book of Common Prayer," especially the 
burial service, before committing the body of a deceased 
person " to the deep," by which he received the extra pay 
of the Chaplain's salary. Reading the Episcopal Church 
service, they might have called themselves Episcopa- 
lians. But it is exceedingly difficult now to assign many 
of those who served as Chaplains, especially in the Navy 
previous to about the year 1825, to any religious sect. 

About the year 1826 a rule began to be observed, requir- 
ing that no person should be elected Chaplain, unless be were 
regularly ordained Minister* of some Evangelical denom- 

* There is no law to this effect ; but one of the oldest Chaplains in 
the Navy, now in service, furnished us with this information. 



28 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

ination. The Chaplains who have been appointed subse- 
quent to that date have generally possessed a higher order 
of character. 

It will be seen, then, that the applicant for a Chaplaincy 
must show a clean record on the books of his own Church 
as an accredited minister. He should also take with him 
to Washington such recommendations as he can readily 
obtain ; but ihejinale lies between the Secretary and that 
pohtical friend who can bring the most influence to bear 
upon the Secretary's mind. 

How different is the case when a minister goes to take 
charge of the humblest church and congregation in the 
land. His character and qualifications are made to pass 
in a severe review before a council of his brethren, and 
this, too, after he has preached several trial seraions as a 
candidate, before the important question of a final choice 
is concluded. 

As with the candidates for the Navy, so with those for 
the Army, except that a Chaplain for the Army is required 
to possess certain literary quaUfications for a school teacher, 
which, doubtless, subjects him to an examination in this 
behalf.* 

*AN ACT 
To increase the present Military Establishment of the United States 
and for other purposes. 
Sec. 18. — AtuI be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the 
oflBcers composing the Council of Administration at any post, from time 
to time, to employ such person as 'they may think proper to officiate as 
Chaplain — who shall also perform the duties of schoolmaster at such post ; 
and the person so employed shall on the certificate of the commanding 
officer of the post be paid such sum for his services, not exceeding forty 
dollars per month, as may be determined by the said Council Adminis- 
tration with the approval of the Secretary of War— and in addition to hia 
pay, the said Chaplain shall be allowed four rations per diem with quar- 
ters and fuel. Approved, July 5, 1838. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 29 

There is no rule of reasoning which can justify this sum- 
mary manner of appointing Chaplains to such important 
fields of labor. If a physician is to receive an appointment 
in the Navy, he is subjected to the strict examination of a 
competent Board of Surgeons. If the Cadets at West 
Point, who are to make the future officers in the Army, 
are to be examined, (to whom these Chaplains are to preach 
the Gospel,) a Board of literary and scientific men from all 
parts of the United States, are summoned in order that the 
Government may secure a creditable and thorough exami- 
nation. But if a minister of Christ is to be chosen to ac- 
company a regiment of soldiers through all their exposures 
to death, or to accompany a crew of four, five, or eight 
hundred or a thousand men through tw^o or three years' 
service, in charge of their religious instruction, there is to 
be no trial sermon, no examination of the candidate as to 
his various necessary qualifications or his adaptedness to 
the delicate and important work assigned him. The whole 
matter is to be negotiated and settled by men who, per- 
chance, may or may not be believers ; who may or may 
not have any very great respect for religion, or for the 
present and eternal salvation of our race. To all those 

A subsequent act of the same session reads as follows*. 

Second — The posts at which Chaplains shall be allowed shall be limited 
to the number of twenty. And shall be first approved by the Secretary 
of War, and shall be confined to places most destitute of instruction. 

AN ACT 
To provide for an increase of the Medical Staff, and for an additional 
number of Chaplains of the Army of the United States. 
Sec. 3. — And be it further enacted, That the provisions of the act of 
eighteen hundred and thirty-eight be and hereby are extended, so as to 
authorize the employment of ten additional Chaplains for military posta 
of the United States. Approved, March 2, 1849. 



30 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

then who believe in the importance of that life and im- 
mortality which are brought to light through the gospel^ 
we venture to propound the following query. Why should 
there not be a Board of Clergymen made up of the Chap- 
lains who are on furlough ashore, together with a suf- 
ficient number of other regular clergy to embrace most of 
the leading denominations of the land, (and they can nearly 
all be found in the District of Columbia,) before whom a 
candidate for a chaplaincy in the Anny or Navy should 
appear ; and that none but such as can cany up from this 
Board a certificate of recommendation to the secretaries 
could be regarded as eligible to the office. Then this im- 
portant office would be protected from mere political influ- 
ence and control. These places would then be filled with 
men whom educated officers in the Army and those upon 
the quarter-deck, as well as soldiers and sailors generally, 
might, without a risk of conferring the distinction unde- 
servedly, treat with the deference and respect due their 
position, for they would not probably be ministers whose 
spirit and whose good works would secure the respect and 
esteem which is almost unconsciously awarded to a pure 
mind, enlightened piety and to sterling moral worth. 

But tm-ning from the Army and Navy, let us look at the 
manner in which the two Chaplains to Congress, and also 
we might add, the Chaplain who is appointed to the Peni- 
tentiary at Washington, reach their election. The same 
course of electioneering which the Clerk of the House, 
the Doorkeeper, or Sergeant-at-Arms has to pursue, namely, 
to scramble for it. Letters are written beforehand solicit- 
ing votes. The successful candidate must be on hand to 
meet his " friends" as they alight from the cars at the rail- 
road station, who follow him to his hotel, and who will not 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 31 

hesitate to stand in a bar-room and talk distinctly of " his 
devotion to the party." But the successful candidate is 
not usually the man whom his own denomination even, not 
to say the Christian community generally, would wish to 
see at such a post. An article appeared in the National 
Intelligencer on the morning of the opening of the last 
Session of Congress, which contains thoughts and sug- 
gestions on this subject, portions of which we will transfer 
to these pages ; as it contains just the views we should pre- 
fer to have occupy this place. 

Whatever may be the scepticism of some minds respect- 
ing religious matters, and the opposition to the employment 
of Chaplains which has arisen from that source, it does not 
all come from religious infidelity. The confidence and re- 
spect of the best men in the country has lessened in the 
same ratio as this Congressional usage has been subjected 
to political wire-pulling and strife. It is now well under- 
stood that modest merit, eminent piety, and that kind of 
talent which is best adapted to the position, is no longer 
sought for in a Chaplain to Congress. But the successful 
candidate is he who has a face to enter the ring of compe- 
titors ; who knows how to lay his hand upon the right 
wires, and has strength to pull harder than the others who 
may be contending with him for the prize. We do not in- 
tend to signify that, if a clergyman desires to spend a sea- 
son in Washington while Congress is in session, it is mo- 
rally criminal in him to desire, or even to " strive lawfully" 
to preach the Gospel in the Capitol, and receive the com- 
pensation which will sustain him while doing it. But the 
point of objection lies in this : It has now come to pass, 
that whoever gains the position of Chaplain, obtains it by 
caucasing and securing the votes of members in the same 



32 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENr. 

manner as the Clerk or Doorkeeper obtain their elections. 
It will not be soon forgotten that the last United States 
Senate, in re-electing its Chaplain^ made a plain case of 
settling the choice by political considerations only, as " the 
published proceedings" of that body bear witness. 

It will be seen that the object of this communication is 
not to denounce Chaplains nor the usage of Congress in 
employing them ; far from it ; but it is to propose a safe 
remedy for the evil which Congress itself has created by 
thro"vving open the chaplaincy in such a manner as to in- 
vite competition. "Who will doubt that there is at this 
moment less than a hundred candidates for this office, liv- 
ing in different parts of this Union, some of whom are 
making remote and feeble, and others direct and personal 
efforts to pass this Session of Congress in Washington as 
Chaplains ? 

The remedy is this: Let Congress throw around this 
sacred office, so to speak, a complete protection from all 
political manoeuvrings and competitorship, by becoming 
the only source of solicitation in this matter. Let Con- 
gress, like a church or congregation, instead of being call- 
ed upon, give the call. Let Congress invite the regular 
pastors in Washington, commencing with the senior pastor 
of the city, to sei*ve as Chaplain for one week, to preach on 
the Sabbath and open the Session with prayer every morn- 
ing, and attend to all the other duties, such ^s visiting th« 
sick, burying the dead, &c., throughout that week ; then 
let the next senior in order follow, and so on. Then, if it 
were to occur that any long Session should hold more 
weeks than there are settled ministers in the city of Wash- 
ington, let the call be extended on the same rule to George- 
town. In doing this Congress could never have a Session 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 33 

which would require that a call should he extended out of 
the District of Columhia ; and let the compensation re- 
main as heretofore, only divided into weekly portions, to 
he paid to the Chaplains as they serv^e. Nor could such 
small compensation as each minister might receive hardly 
be placed in more deserving hands ; for should the salaries 
which the regular pastors of this city are now receiving be 
aggregated, it would at once raise the inquiry, How do 
these men live ? We will answer that question for some of 
them in advance : they live on their own means ; while 
they work like missionaries to build their church edifices 
and raise their congregations. 

As to the piety and talent which might be desired in a 
Chaplain, it can hardly be out of place for a layman here 
to state that Congress will run no greater risk in calling 
Chaplains from the District of Columbia than it now does 
in receiving them from the scrambling competitors who 
come annually soliciting the office. 

The churches of this city and District are favored with 
useful pastors, who enjoy the confidence of the people 
among whom they live, whose irreproachable and blameless 
lives entitle them to the respect they receive ; some of 
whom may justly be regarded as eminent for talents and 
piety, and who would not be likely to lose the deep-toned 
feeling of the truth they present to the people of their 
charge by going to preach one sermon in the year at the 
Capitol. 

Following this plan, no more ministers would feel at lib- 
erty to make interest with members of Congress to secure 
for them the election of a Chaplain. No one would come 
from a distance to seek in vain an office which Congress 
no longer goes out of the limits of this district to fill. Be • 



84 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

sides, adopting tliis measure would be returning to the 
usage, as established by the fathers. In closing the memo- 
rable speech, from which we have already quoted, Frank- 
lin said : " I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth 
prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its bless- 
ings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every 
morning before we proceed to business, and that one or 
more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in 
that service." By following this plan the usage of em- 
ploying men of different religious denominations would no 
longer be violated, as it was in the scramble of the last 
Congress, by electing two Chaplains of the same sect. 

The appearance of the foregoing article on the morning 
that Congress came together, it was hoped would produce 
an influence on the elections which were soon to follow. In 
the Senate, as we have already remarked, the Chaplain 
was so soon elected, that there was no time for any nejv 
thoughts on the subject, to be introduced by those who 
might have desired to do so. In the House the long strug- 
gle to elect a Speaker, kept off the election of a Chaplain 
for so many weeks, it was hardly expected that when ac- 
tion on this subject was approached, it would receive more 
than ordinary attention. But such was not the case. The 
very delay occasioned by the long struggle to elect a 
Speaker, only the more disposed many members to think 
favorably of the plan suggested in the Intelligencer ; for 
that very delay gave ample opportunity, as will be seen 
hereafter, for a fair trial not only of the foregoing plan of 
alternate changes by the pastors of the city, but also af- 
forded full opportunity to the numerous aspirants to the 
office of a Chaplain, to worry down and bore their " friends" 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 35 

to vote for tliem, to their hearts' content. The employ- 
ment of the city pastors in alternate service through 
the week days only, (for there was no preaching in the 
Capitol until after the choice of a Speaker,) was intro- 
duced as follows. Not many days subsequent to the con- 
vening of Congress, Hon. Mr. Dowdell, of Alabama, made 
some pertinent remarks on the appropriate usage of open- 
ing the daily session by prayer, and as it now seemed pro- 
bable that some time might elapse before the election of a 
Chaplain would be reached, offered the following preamble 
and resolution : 

Whereas, The people of these United States, from their 
earliest history to the present time, have been led by the hand 
of a kind Providence, and are indebted for the countless 
blessings of the past and present, and dependent for continued 
prosperity in the future upon Almighty God ; and whereas, 
the great vital and conservative element in our system is the 
belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it eminently becomes the Repre- 
sentatives of a people so highh'- favored to acknowledge in 
the most public manner their reverence for God ; therefore, 

1. Resolved, That the daily sessions of this body be opened 
with prayer. 

2. Resolved, That the Ministers of the Gospel in this city 
are hereby requested to attend and alternately perform this 
solemn duty. 

The resolution being adopted, an invitation was ex- 
tended to one of the pastors of the city, every morning 
thereafter, who performed with edification and acceptance, 
the service desired, until his services were superseded. 

When the election of a Chaplain was reached (almost 
three months after the convening of Congress,) in the regu- 
lar order of business, it was entered upon with a great 
deal of spirit. Several of the ablest members took part in 
the debates, which grew out of the occasion. "We shall 
make several extracts from their speeches : 



36 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

Mr. MiLLsox — I rise to a question of order. We fall into 
confusion whenever we attempt to depart from the regular or- 
der of business. I desire to know what is the next business 
in order. 

The Speaker — The election of a Chaplain, under the order 
of the House. 

Mr. MiLLsoN — I call for the regular order of business. 

CHAPLAIN TO THE HOUSE. 

Mr. Jones, of Tennessee — When the House, some days ago, 
determined to proceed to the election of a Chaplain, I put in 
nomination the name of Elder Robert C. Leichman, of Prince 
William County, Virginia. The nomination was made with- 
out his knowledge, and of course without his consent. He is 
one of those who believe that preference should be given to no 
denomination of Christians 

When Mr. Jones first placed this gentleman's name od 
the list of candidates for election, he said : " He is a hard- 
shell Baptist in religion, and a democrat in politics." 

Mr. Stanton — Is this debate in order ? If a speech be 
made in favor of one candidate, it can be made in favor or 
against any other. 

Mr. Jones — I am going to withdraw the nomination. 

Mr. Stanton — Then I make no objection. 

Mr. Jones — I merely wish to say, in justice to the gentle- 
man to whom I have referred, that I put his name in nomina- 
tion without his knowledge or consent. He is a member of 
that branch of the Christian Church who are opposed to all 
connection between State and Church. They are opposed to 
the employment of Chaplains by this Government ; and he 
would not, in my opinion, accept the office even if he were 
unanimously elected. Therefore, I withdraw his name from 
the nomination. 

Mr. Flagler — I desire to ask if it would be in order to 
move an indefinite postponement of this election ? 

The Speaker — The Chair thinks it would. 

Mr. Flagler — I make the motion for the reason that I pre- 
fer the existing arrangement, by which the clergymen of this 
city and Georgetown officiate alternately at the opening of our 
sessions. Therefore, for the purpose of getting rid of this 
subject, I make the motion. 

Mr. Benson — I am requested by my colleague, (Mr. Knowl- 
ton,) who is now absent, to state that he put in nomination 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 37 

the name of Rev. Mr. Conway without that gentleman's 
knowledge or consent, and desires me to withdraw it. 

Mr. Jones — I suppose, sir, that, if this motion to postpone 
indefinitely is agreed to, then the same order some time since 
adopted, on the motion of the gentleman from Alabama, (Mr. 
Dowdell,) will be in force. 

The Speaker — It will. 

Mr. Jones — Then it will be at the pleasure of the ministers 
of the Gospel of the District to make an arrangement among 
themselves to attend here as suits their convenience. I hope, 
therefore, that this motion will be adopted, and the election 
be indefinitely postponed. 

Mr. Florence — Upon the motion to postpone I demand the 
yeas and nays. 

The yeas and nays were ordered. 

Mr. Sandidge — Having paired ofi* with a gentleman from 
Ohio, I shall not be at liberty to vote upon this question, but 
I wish to say one word ^s to what I would like to see done 
by this House in reference to this matter. I am perfectly 
satisfied .with the present arrangement, and would like to see 
this House go on under the rule already adopted. At the 
opening of every session of Congress, the ministers, not only 
of this city, but of the surrounding country, come here, either 
in person, or through their agents, and log-roll to obtain the 
position of Chaplain. I think it high time that this system 
should be abolished. If it is an oflSce to be conferred, I think 
it should be conferred alike upon all the ministers of this 
city, and they should be invited to appear here and ofiiciate 
alternately, according to arrangement among themselves, as 
Chaplain of this House, and they should all be paid what is 
now paid to one. I hope this matter will be postponed, and 
that we shall go on under the existing arrangement. 

Mr. Dowdell — Did I understand the Chair to decide that 
the resolutions which were introduced by me and adopted, in 
relation to this matter, previous to the organization of the 
House, will be the standing order if this motion prevails ? 

The Speaker — The Chair understands that the resolution 
referred to is a subsisting order, and has been acted upon up 
to this time. 

Mr. Dowdell — I shall then vote for the pending motion to 
postpone indefinitely. 

In reply to Hon. Mr. McMullin, of Va., who desired to 
know how these alternating weekly Chaplains were to be 
paid, if paid at all — 



38 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

Mr. Dowdell said : There is nothing suggested in the reso- 
lution about compensation. As far as I am concerned, I left 
that out intentionally ; in order that we might have prayers 
without pay out of the Federal Treasury ; and until the preach- 
ers ask for pay I suppose that question will not be before the 
House. 

I have myself conversed with some of the ministers in this 
city on the subject, and I understand that the}' did not look for 
or expect a salary. They were willing to comply with the re- 
quest of this body, and open its sessions with prayer without 
pay, at least out of the Federal Treasury. If contributions 
were olfered voluntarily by members, well and good. They 
doubtless would be thankfully received ; and surely " the la- 
borer is worthy of his hire." By adopting this motion, Mr. 
Speaker, and thereby continuing in operation the resolutions 
which I introduced before the organization of the House, we 
get all the benefits claimed for the chaplaincj^ — continue in 
spirit the customs of our fathers, and avoid the objections urged 
a ainst the system. Under these resolutions no money will be 
taken out of the Treasury, and not the slightest discrimination 
will be made between the different denominations of Christians 
in our country. In rotation a representative of each branch of 
the Christian Church will be called upon and invited to per- 
form this dut}^, and I am persuaded they will cheerfully com- 
ply. Our deliberations will thus be opened with prayer, as 
they should be. and I imagine there will be found none to ob- 
ject. Those who attend should be entitled to the privileges 
of the floor, and will be. They can mingle with us, and I ap- 
prehend we shall lose nothing, but gain much, by social inter- 
course daily with humble, pure, and holy men. The gentleman 
from Virginia [Mr. McMullin] will therefore understand that, 
so far as I intended, my resolutions will take nothing out of 
the Treasury. As the Chair has stated that they will be the 
subsisting order of the House, if the pending motion to post- 
pone prevails, I consider it unnecessary to oHer them again, as 
I had contemplated doing a few days since. 

Hon. Mr. Etlieridge, of Tennessee, who presented the 

memorial, a portion of which may be seen on the 19th and 

20th pages, said : 

Mr. Speaker — As the House has indulged me, somewhat 
out of order, in permitting the memorial to be read, which pre- 
sents the views of that respectable portion of my constituents 
who have signed it, it might, perhaps, be improper for me to 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 39 

detain the House a moment longer with any remarks of mine. 
However, I may say, that I will be satisfied if the proposition 
of the gentleman from Alabama [Mr. Dowdelll prevails, re- 
questing the clergymen of this city to open the proceedings of 
the House with prayer during the present session of Congress. 
The object which we would accomplish by the election of 
Chaplain will then have been attained. I shall, myself, vote 
for the motion to postpone, because, by postponing this elec- 
tion, and inviting the clergy of the city to attend every morn- 
ing and open the session with prayer, if they think proper, you 
will have respected the sentiment of that portion of the people 
who think that our daily proceedings should begin with an ap- 
peal to Almighty God — a labor of love which any Christian 
minister would willingly perform — while, at the same time, you 
will have removed the objections to creating the office of Chap- 
Iain, and thereby making it a political ofiice, which my consti- 
tuents have so strongly urged in their memorial. I will re- 
mark again, that the petitioners are a part of a highly respecta- 
ble denomination of Christians, and are earnest and sincere in 
the objections which they urge with so much apparent force. 
I would vote for no proposition which would cause us to dis- 
pense entirely with the voluntary offices of a Christian minis- 
ter ; but as we will have their voluntary prayers and ministra- 
tions whenever required if this election be postponed, I hope 
the motion to that effect will be agreed to. 

For myself, I confess that I have witnessed electioneering 
efforts connected with the chaplaincy of the House which I 
think were not at all compatible with the ministerial character. 
These scenes will be obviated if the office is abolished, and our 
daily proceedings shall have been left to be opened by an ap- 
peal to Heaven from such ministers as may do so without any 
pecuniary incentive. 

Other business taldng precedence, the chaplaincy was 
laid aside until the jiext day. A majority not having 
agreed to abide under the operation of Mr. Dowdell's reso- 
lution, but to go into the election of Chaplain, the Clerk 
read over the names of the nominees, which had been an- 
nounced by the several members on a previous occasion. 
After many of these names had been withdrawn by the 
members who had presented them without authority, Mr. 
Granger, of N. Y., said : 



40 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

1 would inquire if the name of Mr. Waldo was read as one 
of the nominees ? 

The Speaker — It was. 

Mr. Granger — I wish to say that he is old, but every way 
competent for the service. He has been for seventy years a 
member of the Congregational Church, without spot or 
blemish, and " still lives," able and willing to serve his coun- 
try in his profession. 

The Speaker then appointed as tellers Messrs. Ritchie, 
Woodruff, Reade and English. 

Mr. Letcher — Is it in order to move to postpone this mat- 
ter indefinitely ? 

The Speaker — It is not, as the House has already refused to 
do so. 

Mr. Letcher — Is it in order to move to postpone it for a 
week ? 

The Speaker — It is in order to move to postpone to a day 
certain. 

Mr. Letcher — Then I move to postpone it until the 4th of 
March, 1857. 

The Speaker — That is equivalent to an indefinite postpone- 
ment. 

Mr. Letcher — Well, then, until the 3d of March, 1857; and 
I desire to say in this connection, that this whole affiiir seems 
manifestly to be a farce, in the estimation of members. 

Mr. II. Marshall — Upon the motion of the gentleman from 
Virginia, I wish to submit this observation, that however farci- 
cal this thing may appear to him, it seems to me to be a very 
solemn sort of proceeding. I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that 
we are now in the performance of a duty which good morals 
and the sense of the country will sustain us in. I supposed, 
after we had refused to postpone indefinitely, and the House 
had refused to reconsider that vote, that we should have gone 
on to an election ; but the motion now made by the gentle- 
man from Virginia, to postpone to a day certain — which is the 
day before the adjournment of this Ccfngress under the Con- 
stitution — shows that we are to have a contest upon this sub- 
ject, as long as the rules of order will permit the gentleman 
to make a contest. Now, in order that we may accelerate and 
expedite the business of the House, I move to lay the motion 
to postpone to a day certain upon the table. 

;Mr. Letcher — Will the gentleman from Kentucky withdraw 
that motion for a moment ? 

Mr. Marshall — No, sir. 

Mr. Letcher — I merely wish to say a word in reply. 

Mr. Marshall — I can imagine what the gentleman will say. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 41 

Mr. Letcher — No, sir, you cannot imagine what I want to 

say. 

Mr. Marshall — Well, I cannot withdraw the motion. 

Mr. Letcher — I wish to allude to facts showing the opera- 
tion of the practice in Virginia, where no Chaplain is elected 
at all ; but. in consideration of the gravity of my friend from 
Kentucky, I will not press it. 

Mr. Marshall — I will withdraw the motion. 

Mr. Letcher — It has never been the custom of the Legisla- 
ture of the State in which I reside to elect a Chaplain to open 
its proceedings with prayer. It has been the custom of the 
Legislature of that State, for a series of years, to invite the 
ministers of the city of Richmond, to come in each morning 
and open the sessions with prayer. That system has been 
found to work well, and has given satisfaction. Now, sir, I 
understand, so far as the ministers of the city of Washington 
are concerned, that they do not desire to be elected to the 
chaplaincy ; that they are perfectly willing to come here and 
officiate, as the ministers of the State of Virginia do at Rich- 
mond. I think if that course is pursued it will be much more 
likely to give satisfaction to the members of this House, com- 
posed as they are of ail shades of religious cast, and some hav- 
ing no religion at all. [Laughter.] 

Now, sir, I do not desire to see this thing confined to any 
one, where it can be effected in this way, which seems to me 
more acceptable, and which we have tried for a period of some 
months to general satisfaction, and I am sure to the satisfac- 
tion of my friend from Kentucky. We have had our sessions 
opened here with prayer alternately by the ministers of the 
various religious denominations of this city. Well, now, if 
that system can be continued, why should we undertake to 
place here a minister of any particular religious denomination 
as the Chaplain of this House ? 

Then, besides, Mr. Speaker, when I spoke of this thing as 
being farcical, E alluded to the fact, that just preceding this 
election there seemed to be none of that solemnity connected 
with it which my friend from Kentucky has referred to. And 
so far as the solemnity spoken of is concerned, I think my 
friend, from the manner in which he addressed the House, 
seemed to be about as much "put to" to conceal that it was 
farcical, as I am to show that it is. 

Mr. Smith, of Virginia— I do not rise for the purpose of 
making any speech on this question, but I desire simply to 
suggest to the members of the House, whether it would not be 
good policy just to try the experiment of calling on the 
preachers of this city to officiate alternately at that desk ? I 



42 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

ask tlie House, with confidence, whether the experiment, so 
far as we have tried it, has not worl^d well ? And if it has, 
why should there be any objection to try it during this ses- 
sion ? If it be found by further experience that plan does not 
answer the purpose designed, the House can at any moment, 
whenever it is impressed with the conviction that it is neces- 
sary to elect a Chaplain, proceed to do so ; there can be no 
difficulty in carrying out that necessity. The proposition to 
have ministers of the various religious denominations of this 
city ofiiciate alternately, is evidently one entitled to favorable 
consideration. That there should be an unbecoming solicita- 
tion on the part of those who undertake to teach the law and 
the prophets, for payment from this House, is, I think, calcu- 
lated to have a most painful impression ; but I think that the 
idea will be effectually repelled by the course proposed, of 
applying to the clergymen of this city to officiate alternately. 
But that is not all ; I think I can say, with absolute confi- 
dence, that the ministers of this city will cheerfully perform 
this duty, and that they will refuse to allow themselves to be 
placed before this House at the closing scenes of the session 
for allowance for their services. Such an insinuation is a gross 
reflection upon those who undertake to teach us. 

My colleague [Mr. Letcher] has adverted to the practice in 
the State of Virginia. That practice has continued for years, 
and I am happy to be able to say that not the first intimation 
has ever been made of a desire on their part to receive the 
slightest compensation for such services as they render. I 
beg the House — whatever may have been the past experience 
on this subject, whatever may be the particular views of mem- 
bers in reference to taking chance to elect a friend to the 
office of Chaplain — to consider whether it is not eminently 
proper that we should continue the system for the rest of the 
session, so as to test the utility and wisdom of the system 
which we have acted on ever since we assembled here in the 
month of December ? 

Mr. MiLLsoN. It is perhaps fortunate that the American 
people are not accustomed to judge of dangers to the Union 
from the amount of excitement in the Halls of Congress. If 
they were, sir, they might be led to suppose that all our insti- 
tutions were now in imminent danger ; for I confess I have 
seldom seen so much excitement on this floor as seems to have 
been produced by the attempt to elect an humble Chaplain. 
Sir, this usage of electing a Chaplain is coeval with our Gov- 
ernment ; it was even anterior to our Constitution. It has 
been adopted by every successive Congress from the earliest 
to the present day ; and I will not take the responsibility of 
being the first to depart from it. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 43 

My colleague [Mr. Letcher] has adverted to the usage of the 
Virginia Legislature ; but why should we forget or disregard 
our own usages ? The practice of our own body is a more pro- 
per subject of consideration in determining what we ought to 
do. Though 1 am sometimes charged, Mr. Speaker, — I beg 
pardon for appearing egotistical, — with being, perhaps, the 
strictest constructionist in Congress, yet, sir, I confess that it 
never once occurred to my mind that the election of a Chaplain 
was in any respect a violation of our sacred Constitution. How 
far are these objections to be carried ? Gentlemen object to 
what they call the Union of Church and State. Who, sir, 
would more object to it than myself? But let them be con- 
sistent in their objections. If it should please God to take 
from the world one of the members of this body, I suppose 
those gentlemen who are objecting to the appointment of a 
Chaplain, on the ground that it is to that extent a union of 
Church and State, will insist that the body of our deceased 
brother should be interred without an}^ religious services, be- 
cause it is not competent to connect the public Treasury with 
the administration in any sort of religious offices. And, to be 
still further consistent, they should at once introduce a resolu- 
tion into this House, requiring the Librarian of Congress to 
expose to public auction all books now in the library relating 
in any degree to religion — the various editions of the Bible 
among them — on the ground that it was an abuse of our au- 
thority to expend the money of the people in the purchase of 
books which were in any manner connected with religion. 
Sir, I hope that this contest, after so many expressions of the 
will of the majority of this House, will at length be stopped. 
Have we no respect for the ancient usages of the country ? 
Why question the need, why ask the necessity, of having a 
Chaplain ? I think I can perceive an obvious propriety in it, 
even if there were not a necessity. 

If this matter has been made a farce, as gentlemen say, by 
whom has it been made so ? There are some of us, I trust, 
who are not disposed to connect farcical associations with the 
administration of the duties of the chaplaincy. 

Mr. Crawford, (interrupting.) I desire to ask the gentle- 
man from Virginia, whether there is not a resolution now in 
force in this House inviting the resident clergy of the city to 
appear here daily and open our sessions with pi-aj'er ? And, 
in obedience to that resolution, have not the clergy of the city 
regularly appeared in this Hall and opened our sessions with 
prayer during the present session ? 

1 desire to say further, that I have uniformly voted against 
all motions to elect a Chaplain, not intending thereby to com- 



44 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

mit myself in opposition to the practice of opening the sessions 
of the House with prayer, but in opposition to the election of 
a regular Chaplain to officiate for us, when our sessions would 
otherwise be opened as they have thus far been. It is with 
that view, with that feeling, that I have thus voted. Now, 
sir, I am gratified to have the ministers of the Gospel appear 
here every morning and make prayer. Under the resolution 
of the gentleman from Alabama, sitting immediately before me, 
[Mr. Dowdell,! the clergy of the city have appeared regularly 
since the commencement of the session, and, as I understand, 
will continue to appear and open our sessions if a regular Chap- 
lain is not elected. I prefer this arrangement, and therefore 
have voted against regular elections. I ask the gentleman 
from Virginia, whether, if we do not go into a regular election, 
we shall not continue to have praj'ers every morning as we 
have had heretofore ? 

It is not my purpose, in voting as I have done upon this 
question, to be understood as being opposed to the long-es- 
tabHshed custom of opening our deliberations each day with 
prayer, but to manifest, in the most forcible manner, my utter 
dislike to the system of electioneering which seems to prevail 
in regard to the election of a Chaplain. I am in favor of the 
system of alternating, provided for in the rule which was 
adopted in the early part of the session, and which has proved 
to work so well up to the present time. I see no reason to 
change it ; for in that course we have each morning the Divine 
blessing invoked, and at the same time avoid the objections 
raised by so many good and worthy men, whose opinions I 
respect. I felt that the remarks of the honorable gentleman 
from Virginia [Mr. Millson] might make the impression that 
those of us who had voted for the postponement were opposed 
to the opening of each session of this House with prayer, and 
thought it due to many gentlemen voting with me, as well as 
to myself, to set this matter right. I thank my friend from 
Virginia for the opportunity which he has so kindly given me 
of being heard upon the subject. 

Mr. Millson — The gentleman from Georgia can answer the 
question as well as I can. He knows a resolution has been 
adopted inviting the gratuitous services of ministers of the 
Gospel here. But, sir, I am noticing the objections that have 
been made to the system ; I am answering objections urged 
by my colleague [Mr. Letcher] and others, in reference to the 
merits of the system at large ; but I may say to the gentleman 
from Georgia, [Mr. Crawford,] that some of the objections 
that have been made will apply as well to the resolution that 
has been adopted as to the election of a permanent Chaplain. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 45 

But, sir, I should defeat my own object, which is to bring 
this matter to a speedy close, if I were to go into an extended 
discussion of this question. I do not desire to do that ; I rose 
merely to submit a very few observations. At the time the 
gentleman from Georgia interrupted me I was making some 
remarks in reply to my colleagues, [Messrs. Letcher and 
Smith,] who wish to know why this farce should continue. I 
have said that this was a usage that I would not be among the 
first to abolish. I believe it is usage that has prevailed 
throughout Christendom, and I will not consent to go now in- 
to a discussion as to any necessity for it. I, sir, have a venera- 
tion for ancient usages, when they are not wrong in them- 
selves. 

Mr. Letcher — I desire to inquire of my colleague whether 
he says I stated that I was opposed to having our sessions 
opened with prayer ? 

Mr. MiLLsoN. — I did not say so. 

Mr. Letcher. I so understood my colleague. I will state 
exactly what my position is in this matter. We have had 
prayers here, I believe, every morning since the commence- 
ment of the session; and I should prefer to have them alternately 
by ministers of different denominations, than to have them 
every morning by a minister of any one denomination. Gen- 
tlemen have these two propositions before them, between 
which to choose : to have alternately the services of the clergy 
of the city, of different denominations, or to have the services 
of one man regularly elected as Chaplain. For myself, I pre- 
fer the former. 

Mr. MiLLsoN— I imputed no such wish to my colleague as 
he has indicated. What I meant to say was, that the argu- 
ment of my colleague, [Mr. Letcher,] and of my colleague on 
my right, [Mr. Smith,] would apply as well to the gratuitous 
services of clergymen, such as we have had under the resolu- 
tion some time ago adopted by the House, as to a permanent 
chaplaincy. 

But, sir, I was saying, why should we discuss the necessity 
of this thing ? It may be that the old shade tree which has 
stood for centuries is not of great intrinsic value, but where is 
the man that would say, " Cut it down ?" True, it may be of 
questionable utility, but it is associated with all the recollec- 
tions of the homestead, and who would give it over to the 
woodman's axe ? It may be, that there was no original neces- 
sity that the first annual message sent by the President to the 
first Congress should contain an acknowledgment of our de- 
pendence upon a Supreme Power, but the President where is 
who would now depart from this custom ? 



46 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



Mr. Smith, of Virginia, (interrupting.) — My colleague as- 
cribed to me a disposition not to have prayers at the opening 
of our daily sessions. Now, sir, every portion of my remarks 
directly assumed that we were to have them ; but, sir, I pre- 
fer to continue the voluntary system, rather than to adopt the 
hireling system. 

Mr. MiLLsoN — Well, sir, I do not care to be making experi- 
ments always, and in all matters I think there are some things 
so sacred by usage, and by the approbation of the whole peo- 
ple, as to be entitled to exemption from these rash experi- 
ments. 

The gentleman wants the experiment tried as to the com- 
parative eflScacy of mercenary prayers, as he may please to 
consider them, and of gratuitous or voluntary offices. I know, 
sir, it is fashionable to sneer at the clerical profession, because 
of their willingness — because, if you please, of their desire — to 
receive a decent or even comfortable provision ; and they 
rarely do more than this. Why, Mr. Speaker, they are men ; 
they have the wants of other men, and they must be compen- 
sated for their services as other men are. If you wish them 
to have leisure to devote themselves to the acquisition of 
theological information, they must depend upon the contribu- 
tions of others for their support ; and I think it were not in 
good taste to sneer at them because of their willingness to re- 
ceive a compensation which is often inadequate for the ser- 
vices they are appointed to render. 

Mr. Clingman — I do not rise to debate this question, but 
for the purpose of terminating the debate upon it. I move the 
previous question. 

Mr. Florence — I move to lay the motion to postpone upon 
the table. 

The question was taken ; and the motion to postpone was 
laid on the table. final vote. 

The House then proceeded to vote viva voce a second time 
for Chaplain, with the following result: Whole number of 
votes cast, 127 ; necessary to a choice, 64 j of which 

Kev. Daniel Waldo received, 70 

Rev. William G. Baldwin, 25 

Eev. D. T. Doggett, 12 

Rev. William Moseley. 6 

Rev. T. H. Stockton, ' 5 

Rev. Byron Sunderland, 3 . 

Rev. Robert D. Morris, 2 

Rev. William Patten, 2 

Rev. Miss Antoinette L. Brown, . . . . • 1 

Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, 1 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 47 

The following is the vete in detail : 

For Mr. Waldo — Messrs. Henry Bennett, Benson, Billing- 
hurst, Bliss, Burlingame, John P. Campbell, Lewis D. Camp- 
bell, Clawson, Clingraan, Colfax, Cox, Cullen, Cumback, Dean, 
Dick, Dickson, Dodd, Dunn, Flagler, Florence, Granger, Grow, 
Robert B. Hal), J. jMorrison Harris, Harrison, Holloway, 
Thomas R. Horton, Howard, Hughston, Kelsey, Kennett, 
Knapp, Knox, Kunkel. Leiter. Mace, Alexander K. Marshall, 
Humphrey Marshall, Morrill, Nichols, Norton, Andrew Oliver, 
Parker, Pearcc, Pelton, Pennington, Perry, Porter, Purviance, 
Reade, Ritchie, Robbins, Roberts, Robison. Sabin, Scott, Sher- 
man, Stanton, Swope, Thurston, Trafton, Vail, Wade, Wal- 
bridge, Waldron, Elihu B. Washburne, Israel Washbume, 
Wells, Williams, and Woodruff. 

For Mr. Baldwin — Messrs. Barksdale, Hendley S. Bennett, 
Caskie, Craige, Crawford, Davidson, Elliott, English, Foster, 
Greenwood, Jewett, Letcher, Lindley, McMullin, Smith Miller, 
Orr, Phelps, Quitman, Richardson, Ruffin. William Smith, 
Stewart, Watkins, Winslow, and Daniel B. Wright. 

For Mr. Doggett — Messrs. Aiken, Allen, Boyce, DowdeU. 
Ether! dge, Faulkner, Thomas L. Harris, Kelly, Milson, Morde- 
cai Oliver, Puryear and Seward. 

For Mr. Moseley — Messrs. Sampson W. Harris, Houston, 
Lumpkin, Shorter, Taylor, and John V. Wright. 

For Mr. Stockton — Messrs. Bingham, Brenton, Comins, and 
Watson. 

For Mr. Sunderland — Messrs. Williamson, R. W. Cobb, 
Stranahan, and Wakeman. 

For Mr. Morris — Messrs. Branch and Cadwalader. 

For Mr. Patten — Messrs. Chaffee and Pike. 

For Miss Brown — Mr. Spinner. 

For Mr. Giddings — Mr. Brooks. 

Pending the call of the roll, 

Mr. Florence said: Mr. Speaker, I give up my personal 
preference, and, that there may be an election, vote for Mr. 
Waldo. 

The Speaker then declared that Daniel Waldo, having re- 
ceived a majority of the votes cast, was duly elected Chaplain 
of the House for the first session of the Thirty-Fourth Con- 
gress. 

By tlie foregoing debate, it will be seen that most of 

those who entered into the discussion, expressed themselves 

strongly in favor of postponing indefinitely to elect another 

Chaplain, but to proceed as they had done from the time 



48 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT 

Mr. Dowdell's resolution was adopted, to employ the pas- 
tors of the churches in Washington, to alternate weekly 
in performing the various duties of a Chaplain. The only 
difference between those who agreed on this point related 
to compensation. The opinions of some inclined to the 
plan suggested in the " National Intelligencer^^ that the 
same compensation be allowed to one Chaplain, namely, 
$750 a session, should be divided into weekly apportion- 
ments, and given to the clergyman who serves* through 
the week ; while others, in order to silence the objections of 
those who are opposed to the employment of Chaplains on 
account of the " pay" they receive from the U. S. Treasury, 
are disposed to give these weekly Chaplains no compensa- 
tion except such as the members might be disposed to make 
by voluntary contribution. Although our opinion of the 
liberality of members of Congress in this behalf, would not 
lead us to doubt that the officiating ministers might receive 
as much compensation from voluntary contributions, as if 
they were to only receive their dividend of the $750, yet we 
cannot feel the force of any moral benefit which will arise 
from withholding the amount assigned to Chaplains in 
Congress, out of regard to the prejudices of those who make 
objections to the money coming from the public treasury, 
while all the Chaplains in the Army and Navy continue to 

* The duties of a Chaplain mainly consists in preaching on Sabbath morn- 
ing in the Capitol — opening the daily sessions of Congress by prayer — visiting 
the members detained from their seats by sickness— to attend on the funeral 
solemnities in the event of a death among the members, and such other inci- 
dental visiting as might grow out of daily intercourse with sixty-two Sena- 
tors and attendants, two hundred and forty-three members of the House, 
besides six delegates from the territories, clerk, door-keeper, post-masters 
of the House and Senate, and a large number of employees, all of whom 
are equal to a good-sized parish. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 49 

receive their pay from the same source. It would be vir- 
tually acknowledging the principle to be wrong on which 
we continue to practice, except in the solitary instance of 
not paying the Chaplains to Congress. It will do very lit- 
tle towards satisfying those who are annually memorializ- 
ing Congress against listening to " paid for prayers." It 
would be more consistent to cease compensating all Chap- 
lains in the government service, or none. 

But it will be seen that Hon. Mr. Millson^ in a grave 
and dignified manner, contended for no deviation from the 
usages of the fathers; and besides the argument on his 
reverence for the antiquity of the institution, he inquires : 
" Have we no respect for the ancient usage of the coun- 
try ?" He further remarks ; " It may be that the old 
shade-tree, which has stood for centuries, is not of great 
intrinsic value ; but where is the man who would say, ' Cut 
it down ?' True, it may be of questionable utility, but it 
is associated with all the recollections of the homestead, 
and who will give it over to the woodman's axe ?" Now, 
although this eloquent reasoning carried the question 
against all objections, and elected a Chaplain, yet there 
were many of the members who disagreed with Mr. 
Millson ; but they voted for Rev. Mr. Waldo more to get 
rid of a longer debate, than from a conviction of its pro- 
priety. Things are not now as they were when our 
fathers established the usage of inviting " one or more of 
the clergy of this city'''' to implore the assistance of Heaven 
on the deliberations of Congress. Like many other things, 
the sacred office of the Chaplain to Congress requires a 
protection thrown around it adapted to the " times ;" which, 
a grave senator said, " are sadly out of joint." Congress 
should no longer leave the office of Chaplain open to com- 



60 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

petition — to " log-rolling," " wire-pulling," to tlie " elec- 
tioneering" of whicli members of Congress complain that 
they are both tired and disgusted. Let Mr. Millson and 
others entertaining his views, see how the present course 
of things has run down the office of Chaplains, especially 
to Congress. It has gone forth to the country that, under 
the present order of things, men of sterling eloquence and 
eminent piety, having that order of talents which com- 
mands respect, such as has in times past graced that long 
list of divines, [whose names are placed at the end of 
this book,] will never again be elected Chaplains to Con- 
gress. The men best adapted to fill the office will not be 
found managing and scrambling for it. Instead of seek- 
ing the office, they are the very men who will be found at 
their post in their appropriate calling, until the office seeks 
them. They are the men whose conscious merit and be- 
coming modesty will not suffer them to enter the ring 
against such odds as they might chance to find striving for 
the place. Then who are the men who will be most likely 
to find these sacred places in such high veneration as not 
to allow of any change, even though they may be of " ques- 
tionable utility ?" To answer this question we need refer 
no further back than the last session of Congress. If 
criticism on the last Chaplain elected, could furnish sup- 
port to our position, we are most fortunately situated ; for 
we could hardly persuade ourselves into the delicate task 
of attempting to illustrate the incompetency of any Chap- 
lain to fill an office to which he had been duly elected by 
either branch of the National Legislature. But when a 
man has reached the ninety-fourth year of his age, it 
would not be regarded as a very unjust opinion, were we 
to assume that his day for preparing original discourses, to 



CHAPLAINS OF THE aENERAL GOVERNMENT. 51 

be delivered with tlie clear and distinct enunciation, which 
is necessary to convey what he would utter to the hearing 
of an audience seated in different parts of the great hall of 
the Capitol, had gone by. It was not with any expecta- 
tion that Mr. Waldo would deliver original discourses, 
which he would prepare for the occasion, that he was 
elected. 

The election of Chaplain to the House, coming directly 
upon the heel of the long, tedious struggle to elect a 
Speaker, and the spirited manner in which so many mem- 
bers entered into the discussion, seemed likely to occupy sev- 
eral days more, unless cut short by a compromise. After sev- 
eral names, (which had been presented through ridicule) 
had been withdrawn, there seemed to be a general dispo- 
sition to end the contest by uniting on one of the remain- 
ing nominees. Mr. Granger, from N. Y., in whose district 
Mr. Waldo lived, said : " I hope, sir, the House will take 
this occasion to show its grateful respect for this venerable 
and goodly relic of the times that tried men's souls." 
Although Mr. Granger is regarded as a thorough-going 
abolitionist, and therefore not very palatable to southern 
members ; yet, said a leading member from a slave state, 
who had himself brought forward a candidate, " I'll give 
my vote for the old soldier." Nothing is more certain 
than that Mr. Waldo's great age, together with his having 
been a soldier of the Revolution, and, perhaps, the only 
living person of the Jersey prison-ship memory, and not 
because he was a clergyman merely^ decided the elec- 
tion in his favor. There is no question that many votes 
were given for him with no more expectation of his being 
able to perform the active duties of a Chaplain, than 
Preston S. Brooks, of South Carolina, had in voting each 



52 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

time for Joshita R. Giddings, or thaii Hon. Mr. Spinner, 
in voting for Rev. Miss Antoinette Brown. As a proof 
that it has not been our object, in introducing these re- 
marks, to convey a thought which might be regarded as a 
disparagement to Rev. Mr. Waldo, it will afford us plea- 
sure to introduce here the notice we made of him, which 
appeared in the "National Intelligencer," on Tuesday 
morning, after the first Sabbath he officiated in the Capi- 
tol :— 

Religious Services in the U. S. Capitol. — Rev. Daniel Waldo, 
the recently -elected Chaplain to Congress, who officiated on 
Sabbath morning, is a Congregationalist minister, from the 
town of Geddis, near Syracuse, in the district represented 
by the Hon. Mr. Granger, who introduced his name into the 
list of nominees for Chaplain to the House of Representa- 
tives. In an interview with this venerable man, we learned 
that he was a native of the State of Connecticut, and is now 
in the 94th year of his age ; that he was a soldier in the war 
of the Revolution, for which service he now receives a pen- 
sion ; that he was personally acquainted with General Wash- 
ington ; that he was taken prisoner at York Island, and was 
confined with several hundred others in the fatal Sugar-house 
prison, in New York, because the Jersey prison-ship was too 
full to hold them, and, after suffering the cruelties which car- 
ried so many out of existence, he barely escaped with his life ; 
that after the war he entered Yale College, and is now the 
oldest graduate of that venerated institution ; that he has now 
been in the ministry more than seventy years. He has the 
appearance and bearing of a gentleman of about seventy-five 
years of age. and speaks so as to be generally understood by 
an attentive listener. This is accounted for by the fact that 
he has never been sick. He now usually reads six hours or 
more each day. and, as he said, without feeling his eyes to tire. 
We are not surprised to learn that the Rev. Dr. Sprague, of 
Albany, is preparing for the press a history of his life ; nor 
are we surprised that such a man should deliver so able a dis- 
course on Sabbath morning, and which no man can thought- 
fully read without being profited. His text was from the 
epistle of James, i, 19 : " Wherefore, my brethren, let every 
man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." 

But our object is to show what cannot be successfully 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 63 

refuted, that the manner in which Chaplains now reach 
their election, has run the office into disrepute, and to 
weaken the hope that these chaplaincies will again be fill- 
ed with strong men,— men who will strike down deep into 
the veneration and respect, and the affections, might we 
not say, of those who make up the two Houses of Con- 
gress. If further proof is wanted of this fact, look at the 
little interest taken by the U. S. Senate in the election of 
their Chaplain. Rev. H. C. Dean, of Iowa, elected Chap- 
lain to the last Session of the U. S. Senate, was a local 
Methodist preacher, known more for the hard blows he had 
dealt against a new political party, than for any standing 
he maintained as a responsible clergyman. Having the 
pastoral care of no church, he could travel through the 
country at his pleasure, and engage in such enterprise as 
should interest him most. He had the good sense, on 
reaching Washington, to acknowledge that he had got be- 
yond his depth. Finding himself deficient in those acquire- 
ments which are necessary to secure a respectful hearing 
at the Capitol, we heard him say, that, living on the prai- 
ries of the West, had done little to prepare him for 
being a Chaplain at Washington. Being unable to ob- 
tain only a small hearing on the Sabbath, he preached but 
few times in the Capitol dming the long Session to which 
he was appointed a Chaplain. The preceding remarks are 
not designed to signify aught against Mr. Dean's character 
as a Christian. They are only intended as an indorsement 
of his own expressed opinion — in confirmation of the be- 
lief that the U. S. Senate, as a body, has become strangely 
indifferent, apparently, as to who shall fill the sacred office 
of Chaplain — or in what manner the important duties of 
that office are performed. Father Waldoj though greatly 



64 CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT 

respected and beloved as a Christian patriarch in whom 
most persons felt a deep interest, as an extraordinary man 
for his age, yet very few went more than once to hear him, 
as a preacher ; so that altogether, we hazard very little in 
asserting, that fewer people attended public worship at the 
Capitol through the almost nine months Session of Con- 
gress, than has ever been known to attend in the same 
length of time. 

While we would then most earnestly hope that the hu- 
manizing and Christianizing influence of Chaplains might 
not be withheld from the Army and the Navy of a Chris- 
tian nation, and that the services of a Chaplain may not 
be withdrawn from the important, yea, momentous delibera- 
tions of Congress; yet, we would beseech the members of 
Congress to duly consider the deteriorating tendency of 
the present course of proceedings, and to make further in- 
quiries as to the propriety of adopting such a change as 
shall cure the evil complained of — as shall secure more dig- 
nity and greater efficiency, and therefore respect for the 
religious teachers, and the religious teaching in all the de- 
partments of our government where its ^importance is re- 
cognized. While we forbear to present our own convic- 
tions of the importance of a continued sense of our depend- 
ence, as a nation, on the Divine favor, we will close this 
part of our work with the thoughts of those whose names 
will entitle their remarks to a consideration which will, we 
trust, secure an attentive perusal. Said Washington, in 
his " Farewell Address" — " Of all the dispositions and 
habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and mo- 
rality are indispensable supports. # * * * 
Where is the security for reputation, for life, if the sense 
of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the in- 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 55 

struments of investigation in our courts of justice ? * * 
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that 
morality can he maintained without religion. Reason 
and experience hotli forbid us to expect that national mor- 
ality can prevail, exclusive of religious principle." 

The last address which the Hon. Daniel Webster deliv- 
ered, not of a political character he closed with the fol- 
lowing paragraph : 

" And let me say, gentlemen, that if we and our posterity 
shall be true to the Christian religion ; if we and they shall 
live alwaj^s in the fear of God, and shall respect his command- 
ments ; if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments, 
and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control 
the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the fu- 
ture fortunes of our country ; and if we maintain those insti- 
tutions of government and that political union exceeding all 
praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political 
associations, we may be sure of one thing — that while our 
country furnishes materials for a thousand masters of the his- 
toric art, it will be no topic for a Gibbon, it will have no de- 
cline and fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper. But 
if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and au- 
thority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the i:a- 
junctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political 
constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how 
sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall hury all 
our glory in profound obscurity." — Address before the New 
York Historical Society. 



66 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



MK. DUCHE'S PKAYER. 

An article in the National Intelligencer, which contained 
an allusion to the employment of a Chaplain to the first 
Congress of the Colonies, as described on pages 9 and 10, 
induced a friend, unknown to us, the next day, to send to 
the Editors of that paper the following extract. We 
insert it in this place as another illustration of that 
religious trust — that sense of dependence on the Al- 
mighty which these fathers of our country were ever 
ready to manifest and maintain. See also the remarks of 
Franklin, on the 11th page : 

Extract of Letter from John Adams to Mrs. Adams, dated 
Philadelphia, September 16, 1774. 

" When the Congress first met, Mr. Gushing made a motion 
that it should be opened with prayer. It was opposed by Mr. 
Jay, of New York, and Mr. Rutledge, of South Carolina, be- 
cause we were so divided in religious sentiments — some 
Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some 
Congregationalists — that we could not join in the same act of 
worship. Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said : ' He was no 
bigot, and could hear a prayer from a gentleman of piety and 
virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country. He 
was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche 
(Dushay they pronounce it) deserved that character; and 
therefore he moved that Mr. Duche, an Episcopal clergyman, 
might be desired to read prayers to the Congress to morrow 
morning.' The motion was seconded and passed in the aflBr- 
mative. Mr. Randolph, our president, waited on Mr. Duch6, 
and received for answer that, if his health would permit, he 
certainly would. Accordingly, next morning he appeared with 
his clerk and in his pontifical, and read several prayers in the 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 57 

established form, and then read the collect for the seventh day 
of September, which was the thirty-fifth Psalm. You must 
remember this was the next morning after we heard the hor- 
rible rumor of the cannonade of Boston. I never saw greater 
effect upon an audience. It seemed as if Heaven had ordained 
that Psalm to be read on that morning. 

" After this Mr. Duche, very unexpected to everybody, 
struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom 
of every man present. I must confess I never heard a better 
prayer, or one so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr. 
Cooper never prayed with such fervor, such ardor, such ear- 
nestness and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime, 
for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay, and especially the town of Boston. It has had an excel- 
lent effect upon everybody here. I must beg you to read that 
Psalm." 



58 dfiAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



OPINIONS OF THE CLERGY AS EXPRESSED IN 
CONGRESS. 

Note to Page 5. 
Passing by what was said in support of the clergy, in the Senate, by Mr. 
Everett, Mr. Seward, Mr. Sumner, and others we will here introduce a 
few short extracts from the opposition. 

Senator Butleb. — " When the clergy quit the province which is assign- 
ed to them, in which they can dispense the Gospel — that Gospel which is 
represented as the lamb, not as the tiger or the lion — when they would con- 
vert the lamb into the lion, going about in the form of agitators, seeking 
whom they may devour, instead of the meek and lowly representatives of 
Christ, they divest themselves of all respect which I can give them. Sir, the 
ministers of the Gospel are the representatives of the lowly and poor lamb 
— of Christ ; but when the men who have signed that paper — I do not know 
with what ends ; I do not say a word against them as individuals, for I have 
no doubt they are good and respectable, and many of them Christians — as- 
sume to organize themselves as clergymen to come before the country and 
protest against the deliberations of the Senate of the United States, they de- 
serve, at least, the grave censure of the body." 

Senator Douglas.—" It is evident, sir, that these men know not what they 
are talking about. It is evident that they ought to be rebuked, and requir- 
ed to confine themselves to their vocation, instead of neglecting their flocks, 
and bringing our holy religion into disrepute by violating its sacred princi- 
ples, and disregarding the obligations of truth and honor, by presenting here 
a document which is so offensive that no gentleman can indorse it without 
violating all the rules of courtesy, of propriety, and of honor." 

Senator Mason. — " Their mission upon earth is unknown to the Govern- 
ment. Of all others, they are the most encroaching, and, as a body, arro- 
gant class of men. What do these ministers say 1 Do they, as citizens, 
enter into a statement of the facts of which they complain 7 Do they recite 
what will be the political eflFects of the measure of which they complain 1 
No ; they inform us that they come here, through their petition, in the pre- 
sence of the Almighty, and invoke His vengeance upon the Senate of the 
United States as about to commit, in their judgment, a great moral wrong." 

Hon. Mr. Macdonald, of Maine, said : " In this connection I will simply 
remark, in justice to the North, that I have been surprised at the spirit of 
the denunciations which comes from the northern pulpit. These harangues 
are so violent, abusive, denunciatory, and so gross a violation of common 
decency, that I do not fear the effect they will have upon the patriotism of 
the country. I do look with alarm, however, to the effect they will have 
upon the morals of the North. While these denunciations will not abate the 
patriotic feeling of the people, they will, I fear, corrunt the minds of our 
youth." 

Hon. Mr. Hibbaed, of N. H., said : " Some three thousand clergymen 
have come from the Senate Chamber by memorial, protesting, as they 
allege, ' in the name of Almighty God, and in his presence,' against this 
measure, as a ' breach of faith,' a ' great moral wrong,' and denouncing 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 59 

' the judgments of the Almighty' upon its supporters !" * * * '•' They say 
they have a legal right thus to mingle in political affairs. So they have ; 
thanks to the liberality and toleration of the Constitution and laws, it is their 
daily business to blacken and denounce. There is no doubt of their right, 
Mr. Chairman, and equally clear is the right of others to condemn their 
conduct, rebuke their presumption, and laugh at their folly." 

In contrast with the foregoing extracts, we will here insert Hon. Daniel 
Webster's opinion of the clergymen of these United States, as expressed in 
his argument on the Girard Will, in the Supreme Court in 1844. 

"Sir, I take it upon myself to say, that in no country in the world, upon 
either continent, can there be found a body of ministers of the Gospel who 
perform so much service to man, in such a full spirit of self-denial, under 
60 little encouragement from Government of any kind, and under circum- 
stances, always much straitened and often distressed, as the ministers of the 
Gospel in the United States of all denominations. 

"They form no part of any established order of religion ; they constitute 
no hierarchy ; they enjoy no peculiar privileges — in some of the States they 
are even shut out from all participation in the political rights and privileges 
enjoyed by their fellow citizens : they enjoy no tithes — no public provision 
of any kind. And except here and there, in largo cities, where a wealthy 
individual occasionally makes a donation for the support of public worship, 
what have they to depend upon 1 They have to depend entirely on the • 
voluntary contributions of those who hear them. 

" And this body of clergymen has shown, to the honor of their own coun- 
try, and to the astonishment of the hierarchies of the old world, that it is 
practicable in free Governments to raise and sustain a body of clergymen — 
which for devotedness to their sacred calling, for purity of life and character, 
for learning, intelligence, piety, and that wisdom which cometh from above, 
is inferior to none, and superior to most others, by voluntary contributions 
alone. 

" I hope that our learned men have done something for the honor of our 
literature abroad. I hope that the courts of justice and members of the b«v 
of this country have done something to elevate the character cf the profession 
of the law — I hope that the discussions above (in Congres.^) have done some- 
thing to meliorate the condition of the human race, to .secure and extead the 
great charter of human rights, and to strengthen and advance the great 
principles of human liberty. But I contend that no literary efforts, no ad- 
judications, no constitutnioal discussions, nothing that has been done or 
said in favor of the great interests of universal man, has done this country 
more credit at home and abroad, than the establishment of our body of 
clergymen, their support by voluntary contributions, and the general excel- 
lence of their character, their piety, and learning." 



60 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



CHAPLAINS TO CONaKESS. 



Statement showing the names of persons who have served as 
Chaplains to the U. S. Senate from the organization of the 
Government to the present time ; — also, as far as ascertain- 
ed, the Church to which they severally belonged. 

The initials opponitc the name signify jB., for Baptist, C.for Congrega- 
tionalist, E.for Episcopalian, M.for Methodist^ P. for Presbyterian, R. 
C.for Roman Catholic. 



NA'JES. 


CHURCH. 


From 


To 


K«v. Dr. Provost, 


E. 


- 1789 


1790 


Right Rev. Bishop White, 


E. 


- 1790 


1800 


Right Rev. Bishop Clagett, 


E. 


- 1800 


1801 


Rev. Dr. E. Gantt, 


E. 


- 1801 


1804 


Rev. A. T. McCormick, 


E. 


- 1804 


1805 


Rev. Dr. Gantt, 


E. 


- 1805 


1806 


Rev, John J. Sayrs, 


E. 


- 1806 


1807 


Rev. Dr. Gantt, 


E. 


- 1807 


Declinet 


Rev. A. T. McCormick, 


E. 


- 1807 


1808 


Rev. M. Elliott, 


— « 


- 1808 


1809 


Rev. M. Wilmer, 


E. 


- 1809 




Rev.O.B. Brown, 


B. 


- 1809 


1810 


Rev. Mr. Addison, 


E. 


- 1810 


1811 


Rev. J. Breckenridge, 


P. 


- 1811 


1814 


Rev. Jesse Lee, 


M. 


- 1814 


1815 


Rev. J. Glendi, 


P. 


- 1815 


1816 


Rev. J. Glendi, 


P. 


- 1816 


Decline 


Rev. S. E. Dwight, 


C. 


- 1816 


1817 


Rev. Wm. Hawley, 


E. 


- 1817 


1818 


Rev. John Clark, 


P. 


- 1818 


1819 


Rev. B. Allison, 


B. 


- 1819 


1820 


Rev. Wm. Ryland, 


M. 


- 1820 


1821 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 61 



NAMES. 


CHUKCH. 


From 


To 


Bev. C. P. Mcllvainej 


E. 


- 1821 


1823 


Rev. W. Staughton, 


B. 


- 1823 


1824 


Rev. C. P. Mcllvaine, 


E. 


- 1824 


1825 


Rev. W. Staughton, 


B. 


- 1825 


1826 


Rev. W. Ryland, 


M. 


- 1826 


1829 


Rev. H. B. Johns, 


E. 


- 1829 


1831 


Rev. J. P.Durbui, 


M. 


- 1831 


1832 


Rev. C. C. Pise, 


R.O. 


- 1832 


1833 


Rev. T, W. Hatch, 


E. 


- 1833 


1835 


Rev. E. Y. Higby, 


E. 


- 1835 


1837 


Rev. Henry Slicer, 


M. 


- 1837 


1839 


Rev. G. G. Cookman, 


M. 


- 1839 


1841 


Rev. Dr. L. Tustin, 


P. 


- 1841 


1846 


Rev. Henry Slicer, 


M. 


- 1846 


1849 


Rev. Dr. C. M. Butler, 


E. 


- 1849 


1853 


Rev. Henry Slicer, 


M. 


- 1853 


1855 


Rev. Henry C. Dean, 


M. 


- 1855 


1856 



62 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT 



CHAPLAINS TO THE HO. REP. 

Statement showing the names of persons who have served as 

Chaplains to the U. S. House of Representatives from 1789 ; 

also, as far as ascertained, the religious sect to which they 

belonged. 

The initials opposite the name signify, B.for Baptist, Cfor Congrega- 
tionalist, E. for Episcopalian, M. for Methodist, P.for Presbyterian, U. 
for Unitarian. 



NAMES. 


CHTmCH. 


From 


To 


Rev, Dr. Linn, 


P. 


- 1789 


1790 


Rev. Mr. Blair, 


P. 


- 1790 


1792 


Rev. Dr. A. Green, 


P. 


- 1792 


1800 


Rev. Thomas Lyell, 


E. 


- 1800 


1801 


Rev. W. Parkinson, 


B. 


- 1801 


1804 


Rev. W. Bentley, 


C. 


- 1804 


Declined. 


Rev. W. Parkinson, 


B. 


- 1804 


Declined. 


Rev. James Laurie, 


P. 


- 1804 


1806 


Rev. J. Glendi, 


P. 


- 1806 


Declined. 


Rev. Mr. Elliott 


_ 


- 1806 


1807 


Rev. 0. B. Brown, 


B. 


- 1807 


1809 


Rev. Jesse Lee, 


M. 


- 1809 


1811 


Rev. N. Sneathen, 


M. 


- 1811 


1812 


Rev. Jesse Lee, 


M., 


- 1812 


1814 


Rev. 0. B. Brown, 


B. 


- 1814 


1015 


Rev. S. H. Cone, 


B. 


- 1815 


1816 


Rev. B. Allison, 


B. 


- 1816 


1820 


Rev. J. N. Camptell, 


P. 


- 1820 


1821 


Rev. Jared Sparks, 


U. 


- 1821 


1822 


Rev. J. Breckenridge, 


P. 


- 1822 


1823 


Rev. H. B. Bascom, 


M, 


- 1823 


1824 


Rev. Reuben Post, 


P. 


- 1824 


1830 


Rev. R. R. Gurley, 


P. 


- 1830 


1831 


Rev. Reuben Post, 


P. 


- 1831 


1832 


Rev. W. Hammett, 


M. 


- 1832 


1333 


Rev. T. H. Stockton, 


M. 


- 1833 


1834 


Rev. E. D. Smith, 


P. 


- 1834 


1835 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 63 



NAMES. 


CHURCH. 


From 


To 


Key. T. H. Stockton, 


M. 


- 1835 


1836 


Rev. 0. C. Comstock, 


B. 


- 1836 


1837 


Rey. L. Tustin, 


p. 


- 1837 


1838 


Rev. L. R. Reese, 


M. 


- 1838 


1839 


Rev. Joshua Bates, 


C. 


- 1839 


1840 


Rev. T. W. Braxton, 


B. 


- 1840 


1841 


Rev. J. W. French, 


E. 


- 1841 




Rev. J. N. Maffitt, 


M. 


- 1841 


1842 


Rev. J. S. Tiffany , 


E. 


- 1842 


1843 


Rev. J. S. Linsley, 


B. 


- 1843 


1844 


Rev. W. M. Daily, 


M. 


- 1844 


1845 


Rev. W. H. Milburn, 


M. 


- 1845 


1846 


Rev. W. S. S. Sprole, 


P. 


- 1846 


1847 


Rev. R. R. Gurley, 


P. 


- 1847 


1851 


Rev. L. F. Morgan, 


M. 


- 1851 


1852 


Rev. James Galligher, 


P. 


- 1852 


1853 


Rev. W. H. Milburn, 


M. 


- 1853 


1855 


Rev. Daniel Waldo, 


C. 


- 1855 


1856 



64 CHAPLAINS OF THE 6ENERAL GOYERNMENT. 



CHAPLAINS TO THE ARMY. 

It will be seen that the following list of Chaplains does 
not extend further back than the War of 1812-15. In 
order to obtain all the information which could be derived 
from the records at the War Department in Washington, 
a note of inquiry was addressed to the Secretary, in an- 
swer to which we received the following reply : 

Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, March 26, 1856. 

Sir: — Your letter of the 18th instant to the Secretary of War, has been 
referred to this ofl5ce, and in compliance with your request, I transmit here- 
with a statement giving the information desired respecting the persons who 
have served as Chaplains in the Army of the United States, so far as the 
same can be gathered from the records of the Department. 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

S. COOPER, 

Adjutant' General. 

To L. D. Johnson, Esq., 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GHXKRAL GOVERNMENT. 



65 



CHAPLAINS TO THE ARMY. 



Statement showing the names of persons who have served as 
Chaplains in the Army of the United States from April 
2, 1813, and their term of service ; and, as far as ascertain- 
ed, the Church to which they belonged. 

Initials opposite the names signify B. ^vr Baptist, C. for Congregation- 
alist, E.for Episcopalian, M.for Methodist, P. for Presbyterian, R. G.for 
Roman Catholic. 



NAMES. CHURCH. 


Bate of 
Appointment. 


Remarks. 


David Jones, 


B. 


1813 


Discnarged June 1, 1815. 


Peter J. Van Pelt, 


, D. 


1813 


Dutch Reformed Church. 


James G. Wilmer, 


E. 


1813 


Died AprU 14, 1814. 


Joseph L. Hughes 


J 


1813 


Resigned Aug. 5, 1813. 


Kobert Elliott, 




1813 


Disbanded April 14, 1818, 


Aaron J. Booge, 




1813 


(C (( u 


Stephen Lindsley, 




1813 


June 1, 1815. 


Adam Empie, 


E. 


1813 


Resigned April 30, 1817, 


Thomas Hersey, 




1813 


Disbanded June 1, 1815. 


Solo. Aiken, 




1814 


K (( (( 


C. Tarrant, 




1814 


Died Feb. 17, 1816. 


J. Brannan, 




1814 


Disbanded June 1, 1815 


Cave Jones, 


E. 


1816 


'« April 14, 1818. 


W. L. McCalla, 


E. 


1816 


(( ti « 


Thomas Picton, 


P. 


1818 


Resigned Jan. 1, 1825. 


C. P. Mcllvaine, 


E. 


1825 


'i Dec. 31, 1827. 


Thomas "Warner, 


(1 


1828 


» Sept 1, 1838. 


Jaspa Adam?, 


" 


1838 


" Nov. 15, 1840. 


Martin P. Parks, 


(( 


1840 


" Dec. 31, 1846. 


W. T. Sprole, 


P. 


1847 


Resigned, 1856. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



Richard J. Cadle, E,, 

Abel Bingham, 

Ezekiel G. Gear, E., 
C. C. Beaman, P., 
♦William Burnett, M-, 

Charles Reighley, E., 

Henry Gregory, E., 

Mark S. Cheevers, E., 
John J. Ungerrer, 

Stephen P. Keyes, 



Fort Crawford, from 1838 to July 1, 1841. Re- 
signed. 

Fort Brady, from 1838 to Nov. 1, 1840. Dis- 
charged. 

Fort Snelling, Minnesota, from 1838. 

Hancock Barracks, from 1838 to Aug. 31, 1840. 

Fort Columbus, on Governor's Island, near 
New York City, from 1838 to June 13, 1842- 
Resigned. 

Fort Gratiot, from 1838 to Aug. 31, 1846. 
Garrison withdrawn. 

Fort Leavenworth, from 1838 to Sept. 30, 
1839. Resigned. 

Fort Monroe, Va., from 1841. 

Jefferson Barracks, from 1839 to June 1, 1839. 
Discharged. 

Fort Winnebago, from 1839 to May 31, 1841 
Resigned. 



* We take this opportunity to pay a deserved tribute to the Rev. Mr. Bur- 
nett. Receiving orders from the Secretary of War which transferred him to 
another station, at a time when he believed that the interests of religion at 
Fort Columbus, required that his labors among the soldiers and their 
families should not be then broken off, he resigned the position of Chaplain, 
rather than disobey his convictions of duty. For more than twenty-five 
years he has hired nis own boat, in which to reach Governor's Island when 
he should choose, and has continued to labor, at his own expense, among the 
sojourners at the Fortj with great success and acceptance. 

He was eminently successful in drawing the soldiers from their habits of 
intemperance. He was also active among the officers in circulating peti- 
tions to the Secretary of War (Gen. Cass) praying that spirit rations might 
bo abolished, and that tea, coffee and sugar be substituted in their place 
everywhere in the U. S. Army ; and to the enduring honor of that distin- 
guished statesman be it recorded, he issued an order to that effect. There 
are now no spirit rations in the Army. 

Petitions, signed by both officers and common soldiers, have repeatedly 
been forwarded to the War Department at Washington, desiring his re-ap- 
pointment as Chaplain, until his age placed him beyond the rule for such an 
election. 

Unwearied in his labors of love, both among soldiers and seamen, he still 
continues (now in the seventy-third year of his age,) indefatigable as ever, 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 67 

David Griffith, E., Fort Leavenworth, from 1839 to Dec. 31, 

1840. Discharged. 

Henry J. Lamb, Fort Jesup, from 1839 to 1845. Resigned. 

C. S. Hodges, E., JeflFerson Barracks, from 1839 to June 30, 1844. 

Troops withdrawn. 

William Scull, E., Fort Gibson, from 1840 to May 31, 1841. 

Presumed to have resigned. 

William A. Whitwell, U:, Hancock Barracks, from 1840 to Sept. 30, 1840. 

WiUiam H. Brockway, Fort Brady, from 1840 to Aug. 31, 1847. Gar- 

rison withdrawn. 

John Blake, E,, Hancock Barracks, from 1841 to Oct. 31, 1845. 

Post evacuated. 

George C. M. Roberts, M., Fort McHenry, Md., near Baltimore, from 1841. 

John O'Brien, E., Fort Mackinac, Michigan, from 1842. 

J, Dixon Carder, E., Fort Hamilton, from 1842 to Nov. 30, 1846. 

Garrison withdrawn. 

John Wayland., E, Fort Columbus, New York, from, 1842 to 

July 1, 1844. Resigned. 

Leander Ker, E., Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from 1842. 

Noah M. Wells, Fort Crawford, from 1843 to Oct. 31, 1845. 

Post evacuated. 

J. M. Clarke, Fort Winnebago, from 1843 to 1845 Post eva- 

cuated* 

to visit Governor's Island, for the purpose of distributing tracts and Bibles 
and to hold meetings when desired ; also for the same purpose, he has con- 
tinued for years to visit the Receiving Ship, North Carolina, lykig at the 
Brooklyn Navy Yard, every Sabbath afternoon. Besides the performance 
of these duties, he sustains the pastoral charge of a Bethel station in Brook- 
lyn, where the congregation is composed mostly of seamen and their fami- 
lies, preaching usually three times on the Sabbath, to the great acceptance 
of a usually crowded congregation. 

His known benevolence and long devotion to this work, has secured the 
confidence of not only the Bible and Tract Societies, but of others, who have 
the means of relieving suffering humanity, for whom, to no limited extent, 
he has become their medium of usefulness and relief. 

Blessed with a strong constitution, and an ardent love for the work, he 
still furnishes a hope that his useful labors may be continued long after 
many, who of younger age and less physical ability, shall have ceased to call 
the prodigal sous in our army and naval stations, back to their Father's 
house. 



68 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



Henry Axtelle, P., 

William Scull, E., 

David McManus, E., 
J. L. EUiott, P., 

John McCarty, E,, 
J. F. Fish, E., 
Daniel Motzer, P., 

Matthias Harris, E., 
Charles H. Page, E., 

H. W. Read, 

Dayid Clarkson, E., 
William Vaux, E., 
Samuel Corley, 

John Burke, E., 
Samuel H. Milley, R. C, 
Ignacio Ramirez, R. C, 

St. Michael Fackler, E., 

James De Pui, E., 

John Reynolds, E., 

J. H. Ver Mehr, E., 

Solon W. Manny, E., 

David W. Eakins, 
John M. Shaw, B., 

John F. Fish, E., 

John MoCarty, E., 



Fort Brooke, from 1843 to Nov. 4, 1850. Trans- 
ferred to New Orleans Barracks. 
Fort Washita, Arkansas, from 1844 to Oct. 

31, 1847. 
Fort Gibson, Arkansas, from 1845. 
Fort Atkinson, from 1845. Post dropped by 

" G. 0." 66~Dec. 30, 1848. 
Jefferson Barracks, from 1848 to Dec. 31, 1852. 
San Antonio, from 1849 to May 31, 1852. 
El Paso, from 1849 to March 15, 1852. This 

post dropped, per " G. 0." No. 10, of 1852. 
Fort Moultrie, S. C, from 1849 to March 15,'52. 
Newport Barracks, Kentucky, from 1849 to 

March 15, 1852. 
Fort Marcy, from 1849 to May 13, '52. Dropped 

from list of Chaplain posts. 
Fort Riley, Kansas, 1850. 
Fort Laramie, Nebraska, 1849. 
Fort Towson, from 1849 to Dec. 31, '52. Re- 
signed. 
Fort Washita, Arkansas, from 1850 to Dec. 31,'52. 
Monterey, from 1849 to '50. Resigned. 
Monterey, from 1850 to June 30, '52. Dropped 

from list of Chaplain posts. 
Fort Vancouver, from 1850 to Aug. 9, '50. 

Resigned. 
Fort Kearny, Nebraska, from 1850 to Au- 
gust 9, 1850. 
San Diego, from 1850 to Aug. 31, '54. Dis- 
charged. 
San Francisco, from 1849 to '51. Dropped 

from list of Chaplain posts. 
Fort Ripley, Minnesota, from 1851 to Au- 
gust, 31, '54. 
Fort Belknap, from 1852. 
Fort Defiance, New Mexico, from 1852 to "July 

31, 1853. 
Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, from 1852 to July 

31, 1853. 
Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, from 
1853 to Oct. 9, '54. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 69 

J. J. Scott, E., Fort Pickens, from 1853 to Aug. 15, "54. 

William Passmore, E., Fort Brown, Texas, 1853 to Aug. 15, '54. 
Henry Axt«lle, P, New Orleans Barracks, from 1843 to June 

30, '53. Dropped from list of Chaplain posts. 
John McVicker, D. D., E., Prof, of Mor. and Men. Philos., Columbia College, 

N. Y., Fort Wood, Gov. Isl., from 1844. 
Joshua Sweet, E., Fort Ridgely, Minnesota, from 1854. 

Joseph B. Cottrell, Fort Pickens, '« from 1855 to '56. Resigned. 

Michael Sheehan, R. C, Fort Belknap, Texas, from 1855. 
W. Stoddart, P., Fort Union, New Mexico. 

Frederick Tolhurst, B., Fort Fillmore, New Mexico. 
Tobias M. Michell, E., Fort Chadboume, Texas. 
John W. French. E., Chaplain, and Professor of Geography, History and 

Ethics, Military Academy, West Point, N. Y. 

Appointed Aug. 16, 1856. 



70 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



OENERAL REMARKS 



CHAPLAINS OF THE ARMY. 



By looking at the foregoing list of Chaplains of the 
Army, it will be seen, that although thirty are allowed by 
Congress, besides the Chaplain at "West Point Academy, 
there are but twenty-three now employed ; seven less than 
the number allowed by law. How much these twenty- 
three Chaplains can do towards furnishing needful religious 
instruction, and performing the various duties usually 
assigned to a Christian minister, in civil life, will be seen 
better by a due consideration of the following facts : 

Our regular army now consists of nineteen regiments — 
one hundred and ninety-eight companies, — which vary in 
their number of enlisted soldiers from fifty to seventy-four, 
according to their various stations. These occupy military 
posts from Florida to Texas, and throughout our vast 
Western domain all along the great route to the Oregon 
and Washington Territories. Leaving Prof. French at 
"West Point, and Prof. McVicker in charge of Fort Wood, 
in New York Bay, we go south and west to find the re- 
maining twenty-two Chaplains, whose services are dis- 
tributed through the whole army, which is now scattered 
throughout New Mexico, Oregon, California, and the vast 
wilderness of our unsettled territoiy. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 71 

Whether this number of preaching schoolmasters, be 
sufficient to create any just alarm about their effecting 
a union of Church and State, or whether the humble sub- 
sistence drawn for them from the National Treasury, be 
a burden to the country, are topics which deserve con- 
sideration, especially from those who annually petition 
Congress that the office of Chaplain may be abolished 
by the Greneral Grovemment. On the contrary, we would 
submit the inquiry, and we hope it may be made in the 
Councils of the Administration — that if it be proper to 
employ any Chaplains to the Army, why not employ a 
greater number? — A sufficient number, at least, to give 
some equality of privilege to all who are in the Govern- 
ment service. If the finances of the country were in an 
embarrassed state, or if it had not an overflowing 
Treasury, there might be some semblance of an excuse 
for sending soldiers out into the wilderness, there to as- 
similate to savage life, in the entire absence of those 
who will make it their special duty to administer to their 
moral and spiritual necessities. Why not increase the 
number of Chaplains in the same ratio with the increase 
of the army ? We trust the time is not far distant when 
the attention of Congress will be called to this subject. 



72 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



CHAPLAINS IN THE U. S. NAYY. 

Statement showing the names of persons who have served 
as Chaplains in the Navy of the United States since 1799, 
their term of service, and, as far as ascertained, the Church 
to which they belonged. 

Initials opposite the name signify : B. for Baptist^ C. for Congrega- 
tionalist, E. for Episcopalian, M. for Methodist, P. for Presbyterian, 
R. C. for Homan Catholic. 

Date of 
NAMES. CHDRCH. AppoitdmH. Remarks. 

Discharged, 1801. 

Disappeared from the register, 1801. 
Discharged, 1801. 
Resigned, 1805. 
Discharged, 1802. 
Last appeared, 1806. — Dead. 
Dismissed 1829. 
Dismissed 1808. 
Dismissed 1809. 

Disappeared from the register, 1809. 
Last appeared on register 1815, on 

furlough. 
Last appeared 1813. 
Died, 1823. 
Resigned, 1813. 
Died, 1828. 

Disappeared from register 1848. 
Resigned, 1825. 
Last appeared on register 1815, frigate 

Constellation. 
Died, 1826. 
Last appeared on register, 1843, N. Y. 

Navy-Yard. 
Resigned, 1828. 



William Balch, 


- 1799 


Robert Thompson, 


— 1800 


Eli Valett, 


- 1800 


Alex. McFarlan, 


— 1802 


Samuel Chandler, 


— Not known. 


Noadich Morris, 


— 1803 


Robert Dennison, 


— 1804 


William Petty, 


— 1807 


William Robinson, 


— 1809 


Andrew More, 


- 1809 


William H. Briscoe, 


1809 


Garrett Bane, 


1809 


David P. Adams, 


- 1811 


Andrew Hunter, 


— 1811 


John Cook, 


— 1812 


Richard C Morton, 


1815 


Cheever Fletcher, 


— 1815 


Golden Coope, 


— 1815 


N. Andrews, 


— 1816 


John Ireland, 


E. 1817 


James Brook.", 


1818 



CHAPLAINS OP THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 







Date of 


NAMES. CHURCH. 


Appointm't. Remarks. 


PhUander Chaae, 


E. 


1818 


Resigned, 1820. 


James Everett, 


C. 


1818 


Resigned, 1837. 


John N. Hambleton 


> 


1819 


Resigned, 183- 


Cave Jones, 


E. 


1824 


Last appeared on register 1818, on 
furlough. 


Addison Searle, 


E. 


1820 


Died, 1851. 


Burgess Allison, 


B. 


1823 


Died, 1827. 


James Q-. Ogilvie, 


B. 


1825 


Disappeared from register. 


John McCarty, 


E. 


1825 


Died, 1836. 


John W. Grier, 


P. 


1825 


Waiting orders. 


*Chaa. L. Stewart, 


P. 


1825 


On duty in U. S. receiving ship North 
Carolina, at Brooklyn Navy- Yard. 


John Addison, 


— 


1825 


Resigned, 1828. 


Edw'd McLaughlin, 


P. 


1826 


Dead. 


John P. Fenner, 


E. 


1828 


Resigned, 1833. 


Gt. W. Ridgley, 


E. 


1828 


Resigned, 1830. 


T. J. Harrison, 


P. 


1823 


Waiting orders." 


Wm. Kyland, 


M. 


1829 


Died, 1846 


t Walter Colton, 


C. 


1830 


Died, 1851. 


James Wiltbank, 


E. 


1833 


Died, 1842. 


J George Jones, 


E. 


1833 


On leave of absence. 


Thos. R. Lambert, 


E. 


8833 


Resigned, 1856, and has entered upon 
the duties of rector of a church. 


Peter G.Clark, 


E. 


1838 


Waiting orders. 


Jared T. ElUott, 


P. 


1838 


Resigned, 1842. 


J. B.B.Wilmer, 


E. 


1839 


Resigned, 1844, and is now rector of 
St. Mark's Church Philadelphia. 


Rodman Lewis, 


E. 


1829 


Waiting orders. 


Fitch W. Taylor, 


E. 


1841 


Frigate Independence. 


Mortimer R. Talbot, 


, E. 


1841 


On duty at the Naval Hospital, PhU. 


T. S. Harris, 


P. 


1841 


Dead. 


Samuel T. Gillet, 


M. 


1841 


Resigned in 1843, and is now engaged 
in the Christian ministry. 


Charles H. Alden, 


E. 


1841 


Died, 1846. 


Moses B. Chase, 


E. 


1841 


U. S. steamship frigate Wabash. 


Chester Newell, 


E. 


1841 


Waiting orders. 


Theodore B. Barton 


:,E. 


1841 




Wm. McKenny, 


M. 


1841 


Waiting orders. 


Joseph Stockbridge, B. 


1841 


Frigate Savannah. 



74 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



Photius Fisk, 


P. 


1844 


John P. Lathrop, 


0. 


1843 


J. W. Newton, 


P. 


1842 


Nathaniel Frost, 


B. 


1844 


George W. Swan, 


— 


1844 


George W. Latham 


,B. 


1845 


N. C. Fletcher, 


U. 


1845 


Thomaa C. Stanly, 


M. 


1847 


Edwin Eaton, 


— 


1847 


John L. Lenhart, 


M. 


1847 


John Blake, 


E. 


1847 


Fidm'd C. Bittengei 


:, P. 


1850 


OrviUe Dewey, 


U. 


1851 


Vemon Eskridge, 


M. 


1853 


SMafion Noble, 


P. 


1853 


Chaa. W. Thomaa, 


M. 


1853 


John Lee Watson, 


E. 


1855 


Bobert Given, 


— 


1865 


Henry Wood, 


0. 


1866 



DaUqf 
AppointmH. Remarks. 

On duty at the Navy- Yard, P( 

Died, 1843. 

Waiting orders. 

Service not ascertained. 
Service not ascertained. 



Service not ascertained. 

Service not ascertained. 

On duty Navy- Yard, Philadelphia. 

On duty Navy- Yard, Brooklyn. 

On duty Naval Asylum, Philadelphia. 

Resigned, 1853. 

Died Sept. 18, 1865. Naval Hosptal, 

Norfolk. 
Frigate Congress. 
Sloop-of-war Jamestown. 
Attached to the East India sqnadrooi 
At sea. 
Liservipe. 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 75 



EXPLANATORY NOTES TO PAGES 73, 74. 

* Rev. Mr. Stewart, previous to receiving the appointment of Chaplain 
in the Navy, had been a missionary to the Sandwich Islands. He has 
reached a favorable distinction both in literature and religion. Among his 
published writings the following stand prominent — "Residence at the Sand- 
wich Islands," " Visit to the South Seas," " Sketches in Great Britain and 
Ireland," " Brazil and La Plate." 

f Rev. Mr. Colton attained to no inconsiderable distinction as a literary 
gentleman and a Christian minister. Bom in Rutland, Vermont, in 1808, 
he was graduated at Yale College, in 1822, and in 1830 was appointed 
Chaplain in the U. S. Navy. He was author of several books, which, as a 
test of their popularity, have had a wide circulation. Among these are : 
" Ship and shore," "Deck and Port," "Three years in California." He 
was the builder of the first school-house in the State of California, and was 
the first (through the " North American," Philadelphia,) to make known to 
the residents of the Atlantic States, the gold discovery of that country. He 
died in Philadelphia, greatly laments, on the 22d of January, 1851, in 
the 44th year of his age. 

X Rev. Mr. Jones has risen to eminence in literature and science, is 
author of works of travel, and is now on leave of absence from duty as 
Chaplain ; while making a tour of scientific discovery and investigation in 
South America. 

§ Rev. Mason Noble, successor to the distinguished Dr. J. Orville Dewey, 
as Chaplain in the Navy-Yard, at Washington, and now attached to the 
Mediterranean squadron, is an honor to his rank as Chaplain. His ripe 
scholarship in theological and general literature, the chasteness of his style 
in conversation and as a writer ; and the purity of his life as a Christian 
minister, make him an example worthy of imitation. 

For a further notice of him, see pages 44, 79, of " The Churches and 
Pastors of Washington," just published by M. W. Dodd, New York. 



76 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



THE REUGIOUS SECT OF CHAPLAINS. 



After making a greater ejffort to obtain correct informa- 
tion as to the sect to wMch each of the government Chap- 
lains have belonged, than even the importance of it might 
appear to justify, yet in a few instances we have entirely 
failed, and in others, it is possible, we may have been mis- 
led. Should such an error be discovered by any one who 
shall feel a sufficient desire to be correctly represented in 
this behalf, as to address a note to the publishers of this 
work, the right initial shall appear against his name in the 
next edition. But very few of those who acted as Chap- 
lains in the Navy^ previous to the year 1825, are designa- 
ted as belonging to any church — ^for the reason that some 
of them, at least, held no such relation — nor made any 
claim to the office and character of a Christian minister. 
They were, for reasons best known to the officer in com- 
mand, rated Chaplains — more for the sake of the compen- 
sation perhaps, than for any religious service they rendered, 
beyond reading prayers perhaps at the burial of the dead. 

EFFORTS TO ELEVATE THE STANDARD CHARACTER AMONG 
NAVAL CHAPLAINS. 

The late Hon. Samuel L. Southard^ on coming into the 
cabinet of John Q. Adams, as Secretary of the Navy, set 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 77 

atout the work of elevating the standard of character 
among the Chaplains in his department. He established 
the rule — ^which, we believe, has since been adhered to by 
his successors — to appoint no man as Chaplain, who was 
not an accredited ordained minister, holding a cordial rela- 
tion to some ecclesiastical body. Knowing that there were 
men in the Navy holding the rank of Chaplains, who were 
utterly unqualified to perfoim the appropriate duties of that 
office, he commenced making removals, as fast as he could 
find others duly quahfied to take their places. But with 
his characteristic love of justice and humanity, Mr. South- 
ard was unwilling, as he said, to take any bread from the 
mouths of those to whom government had given it. his re- 
movals were generally made by transferring rated Chaplains 
to another place in the government service, of a more 
secular character. 

Mr. Southard bestowed his first appointment upon a 
returned missionary. Having had some knowledge of his 
labors, not only among the Sandwich Islanders, but also 
among the seamen who entered those ports, the missionary's 
attention was directed to a chaplaincy in the Navy, as 
opening a field of usefulness for which his experience had 
already prepared him. 

This commenced a new epoch in the history of Naval 
Chaplains, and there is now found among them men of 
sincere piety, a high order of learning and of general intel- 
ligence.* 

* In making a special notice of some of these Chaplains, because we know 
of them what we do not happen to know of others, it is no purpose of ours 
to make any inappropriate distinctions. Each of the twenty-four Chaplains 
now in the Navy are doing credit to their profession as Christian ministers 
for aught we know to the contrary 



78 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 



REASONS rOE INCREASING THE NUMBER OP CHAPLAINS IN 
THE NAVY. 

The epocli commenced by Secretary Southard more 
than thirty years ago, ought now to be followed by an- 
other. If the first might be regarded as giving to the 
Naval chaplaincy more elevation of character and greater 
effectiveness, the second should be characterized by extend- 
ing it — the one by giving to it the true standard of the 
Christian minister, the other by bringing a greater number 
of Chi'istian ministers into this field. 

As a proof that " the harvest is great," and the laborers 
employed in it " are few," let us contemplate the following 
facts. The present numerical force of the U. S. Navy em- 
braces more than a thousand commissione'd and warrant 
officers, and more than seven thousand seamen, (the full 
compliment of " recruits" [sailors] allowed by congress is 
seven thousand and five hundred,) making in all between 
eight and nine thousand men. These officers and recruits 
man more than seventy vessels of war, which are distributed 
through every latitude, and calling at almost every port in 
the accessible parts of the world. Viewed in the light in 
which they are here contemplated, these war vessels may 
fitly represent as many floating churches ; their tall masts 
pointing heavenward, filled with hearers, and all sailing on 
the ocean, that great emblem of the eternity to whose 
shores we are all approaching, as we float round the world ! 
It might be interesting to the reader, who may not have 
made himself familiar with this subject, to know the nume- 
rical size of these various congregations, which range as 
follows : Ten of these ships-of-the-line are allowed each (in 
time of peace) eight hundred and twenty men ; which num 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 79 

"ber, on the land, is usually called a large congregation.—. 
There are seven first class steam frigates, whose full com- 
pliment win average each five hundred men — a very good 
sized audience. There are twenty-one other steamers -of 
various classes, whose compliment of men vary, according 
to the service in which they are engaged, from two hundred 
and forty to a hundred and ninety, and so on down to eighty 
men. There are nineteen sloops of war, which are, like 
the steamers, divided into classes, of which the largest re- 
quire a crew of three hundred men, others twe hundred, 
others again one hundred and ninety, while the smallest 
require only ahout one hundred and forty men. Besides 
the foregoing, there are several smaller vessels in the Navy 
called brigs, schooners, receiving ships, &c., whose crews 
vary according to circumstances — ^but none carry so few 
men as to render unimportant the means of grace and 
religious instruction. Such then is the field — the various 
sized congregations for our Naval Chaplains. Looking at 
this great field then, and in view of the fact that Congress 
allows to it only twenty-four Chaplains, it may well be 
said, that the harvest is great and the laborers few — espe- 
cially when it is known that half of this number of Chap- 
lains are appointed to receiving ships, to navy yards, and 
to naval hospitals on shore, from Portsmouth, N. H., to 
Pensacola. Then take from the nimaber left those who are 
on " leave of absence," and " waiting orders," it never 
leaves a dozen in number for service in sea-going ships. 

We therefore pray the lords of this harvest, to send forth 
more laborers. If man has an immortal destiny, and if 
this life, with all the uncertainties which attend its con- 
tinuance, is our only preparation place, for an unending 
life to come, then is not a Christian government assuming a 



80 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

great responsibility, to place so many men amidst increased 
liabilities to sickness in unhealthy climates and sudden 
death, without the means of religious instruction while liv- 
ing, and the ordinary observances of a Christian burial 
when dead ? 

But with all the destitution we have been contemplating, 
there is no cause for despondency or discouragement about 
the future. Whoever looks back, only thirty years, can 
see a great advance in moral progress, both in the Army 
and Navy. In the Army, that terrible evil of dealing out 
legalized spirit rations has long since been abolished, and 
nutritive beverages substituted instead. In the Navy, 
the brutalizing spectacle will never again be witnessed of 
tricing up men by their wrists, in the gangway, to be lacer- 
ated by that horrid instrument of torture, the cat-o'-nine- 
tails. With a generous increase of the wages of seamen, 
and an increase of motive to good conduct, those who were 
formerly tallied of as " old salts" are now beginning to be 
recognized as men, both by government, and by officers on 
the quarter-deck. 

We cannot but hope, yea, believe, that a glorious destiny 
awaits the U. S. Navy. How gratifying it will be to see 
the moral power of this right arm of the nation, increase 
in an approximate ratio with its physical strength — to 
see it become the medium of the great life-giving ideas of 
Christianity and self-government, and a higher civilization to 
nations yet in the valley and shadow of death. To this 
end let Chaplains be appointed to every war vessel carry- 
ing a sufficient number of men to justify the appointment 
of a surgeon, and let a part of their work be to carry a 
given number of Bibles and other appropriate books print- 
ed in the language of the nations they visit, and thus be- 



CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 81 

come the impersonation of a Christian, who is the light of 
the world. 

In a speech delivered by Hon. F. P. Stanton, at the 
anniversary of the American Colonization Society, at which 
the late Hon. Mr. Clay presided for the last time, he said : 

" Hitherto its course has heen marked by the mangled bodies 
of its myriad victims, and by the shattered institutions of van- 
quished nations. Every sea has been crimsoned with human 
blood, and a thousand rich argosies have gone down into the deep 
before its desolating blast. But a great and beneficent change 
has commenced. The vast means necessary to maintain armies 
and navies have been hitherto scattered and wasted in prodigious 
exhibitions of national power which bring little or no return of 
advantage. The transformation about to be effected is to change 
this mighty current into channels of commerce, to promote the 
friendly and profitable intercourse of nations. We have already 
established lines of steamers, fitted for war purposes, yet trans- 
porting the mail, and carrying our commerce to some of the most 
important points on the globe. These are the telegraphic lines of 
the ocean. We have one more to establish, one pole of which shall 
touch the shore of unhappy Africa, and pour into her sleeping 
bosom a flood of light, intelligence, civilization, commerce, and 
Christianity, electrifying her, not into mere galvanic life, but to 
that redemption, regeneration, and disenthralment for which you, 
Mr. President, (the Hon. Henry Clay) and this Society, have been 
so long, so earnestly, and so faithfully laboring." 

For the future working of our general government also, 
we are full of hope of good results. When the antagonis- 
tic interests of its various parts shall have been harmoni- 
ously adjusted — and when a higher importance shall be 
given to the religious teaching which the government pro- 
fesses to recognize in the person of its Chaplains — then the 
ratio of moral progression will be equal to that of its great 
physical power. 



82 CHAPLAINS OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

But to this end let a Board of Examiners take charge 
of all candidates for Chaplains for the Army and Navy, as 
proposed on page 30 of this work ; and let Congress close 
the door to all competition for Chaplains to either branch 
of her legislative bodies, by calling her own religious 
teachers, as presented on page 32 — and we trust it will be 
only so many steps towards that glorious consummation so 
devoutly to be desired, not for our own benefit only, but 
for that of all the other nations of the earth. 



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