Page images
PDF
EPUB

7

vided into ten parishes : St. Phillips, Charlestown, Christ church, St. Thomas, St. John, St. James, St. Andrews, St. Dennis, St. Pauls, St. Bartholomews, St. James Santee, and each parish was made a corporation. Some of these were afterwards subdivided, and others occasionally formed as the population extended. Money was provided by law for building and repairing churches; lands were provided by donation, purchase, or grants from the proprietors, at public expense, for glebes and churchyards;—salaries for the different rectors, clerks, and sextons of the established parishes were fixed and made payable out of the provincial treasury. Legislative acts were passed for the encouragement of episcopal clergymen to settle in the province, and exercise their clerical functions in the several parishes designated by law.

To such £ 25 was paid out of the public treasury immediately on their arrival in Carolina, and their annual legal salary commenced from the same period in case they were afterwards elected rectors of any of the established parishes by the resident inhabitants who were members of the church of England.

This state of things with but little variation continued for seventy years, and as long as the province remained subject to Great-Britain. In the course of that period, twenty-four parishes were laid off. Most of these were in the maritime districts and none more than ninety miles from the sea-coast.

The religious establishment which enjoyed so many and such highly distinguished privileges, was mildly administered. A free toleration was enjoyed hy all dissenters. The law which excluded them from a seat in the legislature was soon repealed by the provincial assembly. The friendship of the mother church, the patronage of government, and the legal provision made for clergymen, though partial and confined to one sect, were useful as means of introducing more learned ecclesiastics than would probably have been procured by the unassisted efforts of the first settlers. Religion assumed a visible forın, and contributed its influence in softening the manners of dispersed colonists, who from the want of schoolmasters and clergymen were in danger of degenerating into savages. The prospect of attaining these advantages had a powerful influence with the members of assembly in favor of an establishment. They saw with regret the increasing inhabitants destitute of public instructors, and knew their inability to reward or even to procure them. The society which about that time was incorporated in England for propagating the gospel in foreign parts was able, and willing, to assist the infant colonies both with ministers and the means of supporting them; but that could only be done in the mode of worship prescribed by the church of England. To obtain their aid, an establishment of the same form of public worship in the colony which prevailed in the parent state was deemed a prudential measure. The expected consequences followed. The society, on application, sent out ministers to Carolina and for a long time assisted to maintain them. They generally paid fitty pounds sterling to their missionaries; and besides, made valuable donations of books to be distributed by them or kept as parochial libraries.

The reverend Mr. Thomas, whose descendants of the fourth or fifth generation constitute a part of the inhabitants, was the first missionary sent out by the society.

The number of espiscopal clergymen who settled in Carolina anterior to 1731 is not known; but froin that

year till 1775, when the revolution commenced, their aggregate number was one hundred and two*.

* List of the clergy of the protestant episcopal church in South-Carolina subsequent to 1730, with the date of their arri. val. The rev. Messrs. Thomas Hasell, William Guy, Stephen Coulet, Joseph Hooper, Francis Varnod, John I. Tissot, William Cotes, arrived in 1731 ; Daniel Dwight, Lewis Jones, Andrew Leslie, Joseph Buguiou, Timothy Mellichamp, Thomas Morritt, in 1732 ; Thomas Thompson, John Fulton, in 1733 ; Robert Gowrie, Lawrence O'Neill, in 1734 ; Peter Duplessis, in 1736 ; John Fordyce, William Orr, in 1737 ; Stephen Roe, Robert Small, in 1738 ; Levi Durand, in 1741 ; William M. Gilchrist, in 1742 ; Samuel Quincy, Charles Bosche, Alexander Garden, jun. in 1744 ; Henry Chiffelle, in 1745; Robert Betham, in 1746; Alexander Keith, in 1747 ; Richard St. John, in 1748; Robert Stone, Robert Cumming, John Giessendaner, in 1750 ; John Rowand, in 1751; Michael Smith, in 1753; William Langhorne, William Peasely, Charles Martin, James Harrison, Richard Clarke, Alexander Baron, in 1754 ; Jonathan Copp, Robert Barron, John Andrews, Jenkin Lewis, in 1756; Sergeants Samuel Fairweather, Robert Smith, in 1758 ; Robert Cooper, Samuel Warren, John Tonge, in 1759 ; Abraham Imer, in 1761; Joseph Stokes, Joseph Dacre Wilton, Offspring Pearce,

Dormer, in 1762 ; John Greene, Samuel Drake, George Skeene, John Evans, William Teale, in 1763 ; Isaac Amory, Robert Dunscomb, in 1765; Samuel Hart, James Crallan, John Hockley, John Fevrier, Dawson, Lousdle, in 1766;

Tourqand, Charles Woodmason, Streaker, 1767 ; Thomas Panton, John Lewis, Richard Farmer, Robert Purcell, Thomas Morgan, James Pierce, in 1769; John Bullman, Hen

Most of them were men of regular education. Such of these and of others as arrived for nearly the first half of the 18th century were generally sent out as missionaries by the society for propagating the gospel in foreign parts, and with a few exceptions they continued to preserve the good moral characters they all brought out with them. For some years before the revolution the number of officiating clergymen, at one and the same time, varied from twelve to twenty. Of the whole there was not a single native of Carolina. Two or three are said to have been born in the northern provinces, but all the rest were europeans.

In countries where ecclesiastics have an official agency in the government, their history is additionally important as it is blended with the civil police. This was at no time the case in South-Carolina. The people, both of the province and state, were always averse to the exercise of any civil power by ecclesiastics. Clergymen enjoyed the rights of british subjects or of american citizens; but at no time

any distinguishing privileges by virtue of their office.

ry Purcell, D. V. Edward Ellington, in 1770; Alexander Findlay, in 1771; Villette, Schquab, Thomas Walker,

Steward, Edward Jenkins, in 1772 ; Smith, Davis, Charles F. Moreau, in 1773; Dundas, in 1774 ; Benjamin Blackburn, in 1775.

The following clergymen have arrived since the revolution : Thomas Jones, Thomas Frost, Charles Lewis, Thomas Mills, William Blackwall, Penuel Bowen, Stephen Sykes, William Jones, Graham, Matthew Tate, Gates, William Smith, - Pogson, Cotton, Woodbridge, William Best, William Nixon.

This jealousy has been continued under every form of government. The clergy under the present constitution are deprived of one of the rights of common citizens; for they are declared “to be ineligible to the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, or to a seat in the senate or house of representatives.” Though they derive no emoluments from the state, they are subjected to this disqualification on the ground “that they should not be diverted from the great duties of their function.”

The same disposition manifested itself under the former order of things; for coeval with the establishment of the church of England, was the appointment of a board of commissioners by which it was enacted that twenty lay persons be constituted a corporation; who, in addition to a general superintendency over the temporal concerns of all the parochial churches ; should exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction, with full powers to deprive ministers of their livings at pleasure; not for immorality only, but also for imprudence, or on account of unreasonable prejudices taken against them. This was in fact taking the ecclesiastical jurisdiction out of the bands of the bishop of London, in whose diocese the whole british colonies in America were included, and transferring it to a select portion of the laity in Carolina. No record nor even tradition has reached us that these extraordinary powers were improperly used. They were in the first instance conferred on the following persons, who were highly esteemed by the people ; Sir Nathaniel Johnson, Thomas Broughton, Nicholas Trott, Robert Gibbes, Henry Noble, VOL. II.

C

« PreviousContinue »