Robert Ditmore is a student of history, and as both a Christian and a veteran, he is particularly fond of military and religious histories.
Renown Evangelist declared My "Heart Bleeds for America"
In April, 1774, the great George Whitefield, the most well-known preacher of the Great Awakening era, met with two Congregational ministers, Dr. Samuel Langdon and Mr. Samuel Haven to extend to them a warning. He lamented that:
I can’t in conscience leave the town without acquainting you with a secret. My heart bleeds for America. O poor New England! There is a deep laid plot against both your civil and religious liberties, and they will be lost. . . .
This plot spoken of by Whitefield was an alleged conspiracy being contrived between the Anglicans in the colonies, the Church of England, and the British parliament to install an Anglican bishop in America. After more than two centuries, historians today still debate the issue, many fervently believing that there was an actual conspiracy, while others just as passionately dissent. A major theme running throughout these disputes is whether or not the fear of an American bishop played a role in igniting the American Revolution. While there is certainly much disagreement over the notion, one thing is just as certain, many of the more influential revolutionaries of that period believed the threat of a bishop being placed in America may have led to the war; among those was none other than John Adams, the man who eventually became the second president of the United States. The object of this posting is twofold; to present historical evidence corroborating that the fear of an impending American Bishop did indeed persuade a great many Americans to take up arms against Britain, while at the same time providing evidence their fears of a traditional episcopacy being established in America were largely unfounded.
Episcopacy a Form of Government Beholden to Kings
Episcopacy was and is the form of government within the Anglican Church; it was hierarchical in nature being composed of the King – governor of the Church of England, as well as arch-bishops, bishops, priests and deacons. Throughout its history the Anglican Church of England ordinarily maintained a co-authoritarian relationship with the British King. Episcopacy alone was concerning enough, but knowledge that bishops were beholden to the King caused great fear among the colonists. This fear was not completely unfounded. Many colonists were descended from men and women who had fled England to escape the intolerance of the Church of England, which of course was governed by episcopacy. An unknown colonial, writing under the pseudonym of The American Whig said of the early colonist:
The first settlers of the Northern colonies fled from the cruel persecution of the Church of England to this country, which then was an uncultivated wilderness . . . Those brave sons of religion and liberty, chose rather to run the risqué of the rage and malice of the Indian savages, than of the perfidious and persecuting bishops.
During the time of this flight to the colonies, the civil and spiritual authorities in England had long been bolstering each other; the spiritual supporting the civil from the pulpit by preaching of the virtues of civil government and of man’s duty to remain loyal to parliament, king and country. Meanwhile the civil authorities exercised their political authority over the people to maintain the preeminence of the episcopate. John Adams wrote of this partnership calling it the “wicked confederacy” and using “ecclesiastical and civil tyranny” synonymously with “canon and feudal law.” In 1767, Charles Chauncy, an American Congregational minister, wrote of his concern regarding this partnership of church and state enjoyed by the British king and the Church of England. Chauncy “expressed a fear that colonial bishops, if appointed, would use their power to influence the government to ‘force the growth of the church.’” Chauncy was certainly not alone in his concern. The American Whig also feared this wicked confederacy; and speaking for a great many Americans, wrote “I tremble at the thought of such a powerful spy, in a country just forming a state of soundness and stability” Chauncy was alluding to the idea that a bishop in America would be expected to report directly to the king and parliament of any goings on in the colonies which he might deem of interest to the British authorities.
Did the Great Awakening Forge a National Identity and Move Colonies Toward War
While the colonist enjoyed their religious and civil liberties, they were still a people with varying interest and had not yet begun to form any kind of common identity. They were still a very complex and diverse mix of ethnicity, national origin, religious associations, professional interests, and social classes. However, an amazing phenomenon took place during the early to mid-18th century that began a solidification process which would eventually unite the colonist in identity and effort. The Great Awakening was that phenomenon and it, as much as anything else, was responsible for moving the Americans towards war and independence.
Prior to the Great Awakening the colonists were already very diverse in their religious orientation. No one denomination held authority over another; at least nothing resembling the position enjoyed by the Church of England in Great Britain over Protestants in Europe. Dutch Reformed, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Quakers, and Roman Catholics made up just a few of the dozen or more major denominations which existed in the colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. As might be expected, such a medley of religious leanings was not conducive to unification among the people. But unify they must, and evangelicalism proved to be the one ingredient of the Great Awakening which would foster unification, not of a religious nature, but one of nationalism, and in so doing stoked the fires of independence in America, and eventually ignited a revolution.
Splintering and Unifying Effects of Evangelicalism and a Developing National Conscience
Oddly enough, evangelicalism, according to Timothy Virnig, produced a splintering of those dozen or so denominations into “multitudes of new denominations” which had the effect of producing “a unifying drive” towards creating “a national consciousness.” This concept seems to contradict itself; however, the splintering prevented the unifying of any number of the religious sects into a single ecclesiastical body. Unlike the Church of England, which became almost “stagnant” after the 1688 revolution, the many denominations in the colonies nurtured a dutiful zeal which further prevented religious unification.
Colonist Fear of an American Episcopacy Prevents Religious Unification
This religious zeal was not the only element preventing religious unification in the colonies. There was a commonality most non-Anglican, and many Anglican colonists shared regardless of their denominational propensities, which was a fear of episcopacies such as those governing the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. The colonists had inherited the “anti-hierarchical nature” and “anti-Catholic attitudes” of their ancestors. The Great Awakening further stirred those anti-authoritarian sentiments throughout the colonies and by doing so stimulated a sense of independence among the American people. Dr. David Ramsay of Charleston, South Carolina “‘saw evangelicalism [during the Great Awakening] as integral to understanding the transition from colonies to nation’ ” Before long, another cataclysmic event took place further strengthening the sense of nationalism among the Americans, the French and Indian War.
British Alienation of American Colonists after French Indian War
During the early to mid-18th century, the French had steadily been encroaching on territory the American colonist believed to be theirs. Violent conflict occasionally erupted between the French and American colonists. Wanting to drive the French out of the Ohio Valley region, colonial governors dispatched George Washington, a young army officer at the time, to deliver a message to the French to leave the region; the French did not comply and Washington was again dispatched in 1754, to build a fort near what is present day Pittsburg. From this point on skirmishing between the French and Americans increased in magnitude and violence. Eventually the colonists’ mother countries, France and England, became embroiled in the dispute. What had begun as occasional skirmishing soon became a World War.
The French and Indian war was eventually won by the British, with the help of the Americans. The official end of the war came with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which gave Great Britain ownership of massive tracts of land west of the Appalachians, as well as ensuring the evacuation of the French forces from the new acquisition. While the British did win the war, the attitudes of the British army towards the American colonists, who had fought side by side with them, managed to do little more than alienate the Americans. This in itself was enough to goad many Americans into considering some measure of independence from Great Britain. American discontent was only just beginning to fester and what took place next really poured fuel to the fire.
Royal Proclamation of 1763 Escalates Fears of Possible Emplacement of American Bishop
Following the victory over France, the British soon began to fret over the possibility of an uprising by the Indians and the French settlers in the region just won. The source of contentions, the British believed, would be a sudden influx of American colonists, who were resolute in their determination to settle the land which had just been freed from French proprietorship. It had largely been the presence of the French that kept the human flood at bay to begin with. Understanding this uninvited incursion of Americans into the Ohio Valley region was sure to result in bloodshed, the King decided to act. His solution was the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The intent of the King was to “create an Indian territory in the trans-Appalachian west.” It was the hope of the King and Parliament that taking such a step might foster some measure of peace in the valley, preventing any disruption of trade or potential for bloodshed; however, between their attitudes towards the Americans and the Proclamation of 1763, the British planted and watered the seed of rebellion.
The area in question was set apart by an imaginary line drawn from Quebec all the way down to Florida along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. The land lying between this line and the Mississippi river was to be set aside for the Indians. Remember that the colonists had just fought on the side of the British in the bloodiest war in this country’s history, up to the American Civil War, and believed they had earned the right to go west. Needless to say, the proclamation of 1763 did not set well in the bellies of the colonists.
Was There a Plan Being Put in Place to Have an American Bishop Installed
At almost the same time the Proclamation of 1763 was being placed into effect, the Reverend Thomas Secker, a longtime proponent of establishing a bishop in the colonies, was putting into place a plan to do just that. Secker had been promoted to Archbishop just five years previously, and in addition to holding such a high position in the Church of England, he also held the distinction of being the man who baptized King George the III. King George, for obvious reasons holding Secker in high regard, allowed him to “’hoist the standard of religion’ in orthodox ways neither of George III predecessors would have tolerated.”According to the writers for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Secker had his eye on establishing something of ecclesiastical rule in the west, presumably to have episcopacy in place before the colonists began settling the area. It was not long before the American colonists got wind of what was going on, and when they did, the fervor with which they denounced episcopacy and the Anglican Church was beyond astounding. This period marked the beginning of a controversy which, John Adams claimed, according to Bonomi, “contributed as much as any other cause to the American Revolution.”
Were Threats of an American Bishop Equal with Taxation as Cause for War
Rumors were flying regarding a plot to emplace a bishop, and as if this weren’t enough, the actions of the British in the succeeding ten years only exacerbated the problem. Winning the war was a costly endeavor and the debt which Great Britain incurred as a result was enormous. These debts had to be paid and the British rightfully expected the Americans should pay their portion; after all, the war on the North American continent had been about their defense. Parliament did not see fairness in making the British citizens foot the entire bill. One act after another was passed for the purpose of gathering revenue from the colonies through taxation. Other Acts were passed as measures to control, or subjugate the colonists and force them to pay those taxes.
In 1764, the Molasses Act was passed barring importation of Rum, a rather favored commodity in the colonies, and a duty was placed on the importation of molasses, the main ingredient for making rum. Duties were also placed on other items, such as silk, wine and coffee. The Currency Act, banning the colonists from printing paper money, was passed the same year, a measure which proved detrimental to the colonial economy, which was based in trade deficit – always short on hard currency.One of those Acts passed to mollify the colonists was the Quartering Act of 1765, which required the colonies to provide room and board for British soldiers sent there to quell any problems.
Few Acts passed by the parliament caused more stir that the Declaratory Act of 1766. This Act made it clear to the colonists that:
It remained an axiom of Eighteenth-century English thought that Parliament ‘had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever.”[Italics added]
Colonists Fearful these Actions Tied to Plot to Install Episcopacy in the Colonies
The Declaratory Act was largely a British response to the colonists successfully disputation of another Act which caused a huge stir, the Stamp Act of 1765. The Americans successfully protested against the Stamp Act and forced Britain to rescind it. The Parliament had no intentions of letting this go, however, and re-asserted their authority via the Declaratory Act. In addition to these, the British passed a group of Acts known as the Townshend Acts which were simply another set of taxes aimed at gathering more revenue from the colonists. All of these taxes caused great anger among the colonists. In addition to their anger, they were also fearful – fearful that somehow these events were tied to the plot by Secker and others to convince the Church of England, the King, and Parliament that the best way to control the Americans was to assign an American Bishop, and establish episcopacy in America.
The “Quebec Act” Solidifies Conspiracy in Minds of Colonists
In 1774, the Parliament passed another set of Acts known as the Coercive Acts. The Quebec Act was among this group. The Quebec Act, unlike the rest of the Coercive Acts, was not punitive in nature; however, of all the Acts, this one seems to have lent more credence to the American bishop conspiracy than any other. This Act extended the boundaries of Quebec, essentially surrounding the colonists in the North with the Roman Catholic Church.The Roman Catholic Church was governed by a very similar arrangement as the Church of England – episcopacy – the same hierarchical body the colonists’ forefathers had fled England to escape. Every move the British made was perceived by the colonists as an excuse being developed for justifying the arrival of an American bishop.
Perceived Conspiracy Rhetoric Embroils all Denominations in Controversy
During the period between the establishment of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and state sanctioned hostilities, the rhetoric really began flowing around whether or not a bishop was about to be landed in America. There was actually a great deal of fear and consternation over the prospect. Governors, clergy, laymen, newspapermen, and common folk from all denominations became embroiled in the controversy. To understand why the thought of a bishop created so much alarm, one need only research the pamphlets, newspapers and speeches of the time. It is apparent that many, if not most of those involved in the dispute understood how the episcopacy of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Churches had operated in the past.
One of the more interesting exchanges took place between a writer, or writers using the moniker of The American Whig (the Whig for short). The Whig had proved to be a champion of the American Bishop conspiracy. The Whig had his opponents, one of which used the pseudonym, A Whip for the Whig. There was even one who came to the defense of The Whig who called himself A Whip for the Whipper. If the controversy and the times had not been so serious much of what went on in the papers and on the stumps could have been seen as almost comical. However, it was serious business and some very heated dialogue took place between those caught up in the debate.
Anglicans who entertained the idea of having a Bishop of their own were referred to by The Whig as “High Churchmen.”When American Anglicans began contriving a plan for bringing a bishop to American, The Whig was quick to remind the people of the history of the High Churchman and the relationship they once had with the House of Stewart. The Whig referred to the “princes” of the House of Stewart as “woefully experienced, weak, and tyrannical” in nature.The High Churchmen were known for stroking the Stewart princes’ egos. Often they would suggest to the princes’ that they “were vicegerents of God” and “not accountable to men.”Even more amazing was the High Churchmen’s’ declaration to the princes that “the subjects must obey on pain of eternal damnation;” essentially placing the princes on a level plain with God.Unfortunately, according to the Whig, in return for their flattery the High Churchmen “were promoted to great riches and dignity, and permitted to gratify their cruel and popish spirit, by persecuting their fellow Protestants.”
John Adams Joins the Debate
The episcopacy in England proved to be very dangerous to anyone who rebelled against
the Church of England. Episcopacy by itself was bad enough, but what caused fear among the colonists’ was the relationship the church enjoyed with the state. Bonomi wrote that Francis Allison, a Presbyterian leader, explained “ ‘that he ‘did not care if we had fifty bishops in America . . . what we dread is their political power, and their courts’ ”, which of course, had the backing of the monarchy.John Adams spoke of this relationship when he said “Everybody knows how dangerous it was to speak or write in favor of anything, in those days, but the triumphant system of religion and politics.”
Not everyone agreed with Adams, the Whig, and others of their persuasion. The Whip for the Whig, after a blistering reproach of the Whig, explained that the American Anglican Church wanted only what every other church wanted, essentially their own leader ( a bishop in this case).The Whip contends that it is not the desire of the Anglicans to have a bishop who will exercise power in the civil courts, but the spiritual only. He wrote, “That the Bishops to be sent to America, shall have no authority, but purely of a spiritual and ecclesiastical nature, such as is derived altogether from the Church, and not from the state.”
Anglican Episcopacy Compared to Inquisition
The Whig was not backing down! Reminding Americans of the Churches involvement in rebellions in the past, and of the horrible slaughter that resulted, he then wrote, “and who now are so earnestly desirous of having bishops introduced in the colonies, to Lord it over them? Who indeed, but the High Churchmen?” The Whig goes further and essentially warns Americans that once the Bishop establishes a foothold in the colonies, the ease with which he will be able to establish episcopacy will substantial:
The Bishop's right to open his court being therefore secured by the common law, and that being universally acknowledged to be the law of the colonies, his lordship will find no difficulty, after his diocese is established, to erect a tribunal, for good reasons long disgustful to the people of England; and which Americans dread to almost the same degree of horror, which they feel at the thoughts of the inquisition itself.
Comparing Anglican episcopacy to the inquisition certainly put the peoples fear into perspective, not many of histories human atrocities can compare with the inquisitions.
Common Sense or Delusion
The Whig had other detractors besides the Whip. Another gentleman wrote to explain the issue as he saw it from his perspective. Of the three involved in this written dialogue, this man seems to be less driven by emotion and more generously endowed with common sense, either that or disillusioned. Using the pseudonym Aristocles he writes that there is really only one question that is important, and “it is this, whether the Church hath not the right to enjoy the whole of its own constitution, as well as its neighbors?” His claim, much as that of The Whip, was that they should be able to enjoy every right enjoyed by the other denominations. He makes another very good point by reminding the reader that he is an American and just as jealous of his liberty as are those panicking over the idea of a bishop: “you can’t (and you know you can’t), be more averse to tyranny, in any shape, as we are.”He certainly drove home a good point here.
War Brings Relief from Conspiracy Rhetoric
Regardless of the attempts by men such as The Whip and Aristocles (and there were many of them), those who wrote and spoke of the dangers of an American Bishop and the conspiracy by American Anglicans, the Church of England, and the Parliament to install one seem to have been the majority. Their rhetoric would not stop until shortly before the war broke out with England, although it did subside some with the Boston Massacre and the events at Concord and Lexington. One can only assume that this lull in anti-bishop rhetoric occurred because Americans realized they were on the verge of becoming independent of England, which lessoned to a great degree the possibility of a bishop being shipped to the colonies.
The “Great Fear” of an American Episcopacy a Cause of the American Revolutionary War
There is little room for doubt as to whether or not conspiracy led to what has come to be known as the “Great Fear”, that period from 1763 until approximately 1770 when Americans fretted over rumors that a conspiracy was afloat by to establish an American Bishop. There is also plenty of evidence to suggest that this fear proved sufficient to prod Americans into taking up arms against England. There is, however, no evidence this author has been able to find suggesting it was the main reason. Representative government still appears to have been the driving force. There is no doubt, however, that both were elements in the equation. What is not so convincing is the conspiracy theory itself. Was there indeed a plot to install an American bishop? It’s this author’s conviction that it was not likely, or at the very least, it was not a priority of the Parliament or the Church of England. It is obvious that the American Anglicans desired a bishop, but not of the traditional sort, such as those who warmed up to the Stewarts.
Both Church and State Can Pose Threat to American Liberties
In closing, two views of the issue are being presented, first is that of William Tennent who did not forsake the preaching of the gospel to pursue this conspiracy theory, but who did understand that both the church and the state had the ability, under the right circumstances, to be a danger to American liberties. Durward T. Stokes says of Tennent: “. . . he argued that religious liberty could not be fully enjoyed without civil liberty, and the oppression of the rights of the people in either resulted in oppression in both.”I seems that most colonists understood this, but still their fear of episcopacy very nearly drove them to do just what Tennent warned of; for the sake of protecting themselves from a perceived threat which no doubt was of a religious nature, they came very close to abridging the rights of the American Anglicans to worship as they pleased and to practice, within their denomination, the form of ecclesiastical government they believed to be scripturally sound. Then, years later, when all had settled down, Emory Elliot writes how Johnathan Boucher, and Anglican loyalist, related to acquaintances how he believed “the American clergy had been duped by political rabble-rousers and intimidated by the public into using their talents and pulpits for the heinous purpose of war.”
This article has looked briefly at events leading to the war which may have played a role in generating a nationalistic identity; examined the causes of the Great Fear and the American Bishop Controversy; examined a sampling of the writings and speeches of proponents on both sides of the controversy over the bishop; and by examination has shown that the fear of a Bishop, while likely not a legitimate threat, certainly did play an important role in sparking the American Revolutionary War.
Adams, John. "A Dissertaion on the Canon and Feudal Law." Digital History. 2014. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=4118 (accessed July 23, 2015).
Bonomi, Patricia U. Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics of Colonial
America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Bridenbaugh, Carl. Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faiths, Ideas, Personalities, and Politics 1689-1775. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.
Elliot, Emory. "The Dove and the Serpent: The Clergy in the American Revolution." JSTOR. Summer 1979. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2712307 (accessed July 12, 2015).
Hodges, Gary B. Nash and Graham Russell Gao. Friends of Liberty: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions,and a Tragic Betrayal of Freedon in the New Nation . New York: Basic Books, 2008.
Hogue, William M. "The Religious Conspiracy Theory of the American Revolution: Anglican Motive." JSTOR. September 1976. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3164263 (accessed July 18, 2015).
Rhoades, Matthew L. "Blood and Boundaries: Virginia Backcountry Violence and the Origins of the Quebec Act. 1758-1775." JSTOR. Fall 2009. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43265120 (accessed July 18, 2015).
Smith, Samuel C. A Cautious Enthusiasm: Mystical Piety and Evangelicalism in Colonial South Carolina. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press, 2013.
Stokes, Durward t. "A Presbyterian Clergy in South Carolina and the American Revolution." JSTOR. October 1970. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27567012 (accessed Jult 6, 2015).
"The American Whig [series]." Evans Early American Imprint Collection. 1768. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=evans;idno=N08490.0001.001 (accessed July 23, 2015).
"The Transatlantic Controversy Over Creating an American Bishop." The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. n.d. http://www.ouramericanrevolution.org/index.cfm/page/view/p0207 (accessed July 14, 2015).
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Virnig, Timothy. "Significance of the Great Awakening: Roots to Revolution." The Great Awakening . com. June 22, 2011. http://www.great-awakening.com/the-great-awakening-2/roots-of-revolution (accessed July 14, 2015).
Wood, G. S. Creation of the American Republic 1776 - 1787, The. 2nd. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998.
 Bridenbaugh, Carl. Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faiths, Ideas, Personalities, and
Politics 1689-1775. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), 244.
 Bonomi, Patricia U. Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics of Colonial America.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 200.
 "The American Whig III Evans Early American Imprint Collection. 1768.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=evans;idno=N08490.0001.001 (accessed July 23, 2015), 20.
 Adams, John. "A Dissertaion on the Canon and Feudal Law." Digital History. 2014.
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=4118 (accessed July 23, 2015).
 Hogue, William M. "The Religious Conspiracy Theory of the American Revolution: Anglican Motive."
JSTOR. September 1976. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3164263 (accessed July 18, 2015).
 "The American Whig V Evans Early American Imprint Collection. 1768.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=evans;idno=N08490.0001.001 (accessed July 23, 2015), 62-63.
 Virnig, Timothy. "Significance of the Great Awakening: Roots to Revolution." The Great Awakening .
com. June 22, 2011. http://www.great-awakening.com/the-great-awakening-2/roots-of-revolution (accessed July 14, 2015).
 Smith, Samuel C. A Cautious Enthusiasm: Mystical Piety and Evangelicalism in Colonial South
Carolina. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press, 2013.
 United States Information Agency. "The Road to Independance." United States Information Agency. May
1994. http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/history/ch3.htm (accessed July 18, 2015).
 Rhoades, Matthew L. "Blood and Boundaries: Virginia Backcountry Violence and the Origins of the
Quebec Act. 1758-1775." JSTOR. Fall 2009. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43265120 (accessed July 18, 2015).
 "The Transatlantic Controversy Over Creating an American Bishop." The Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation. n.d. http://www.ouramericanrevolution.org/index.cfm/page/view/p0207 (accessed July 14, 2015).
 Bonomi, Patricia U., 200
 "The Transatlantic Controversy Over Creating an American Bishop
 United States Information Agency.
Wood, G. S. Creation of the American Republic 1776 - 1787, The. 2nd. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The
University of North Carolina Press, 1998. 348.
 United States Information Agency.
 The American Whig III
 Bonomi, 200
 Adams, John, 6
 The American Whig Series, this series contains all of the writings available by the American Whig, Whip for the Whig, and Whip for the Whipper. There is a great deal of materal from other sources availbale on this page as well, most of it priary source material.
 Ibid. These are very strong words. Comparing the peoples horror of episcopacy to their horror of the inquisition places episcopacy in high on the list of evil events and institutions.
 Ibid, this is from a letter written to the Whig by a man calling himself Aristocles. His intent is to ensure that a bishop would not be interested in forming a partnership with state, but simply tale a position in the governing the church only. This letter along with many other documents is found The American Whig Series. See bibliography for a link to the site.
 Stokes, Durward t. "A Presbyterian Clergy in South Carolina and the American Revolution." JSTOR.
October 1970. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27567012 (accessed Jult 6, 2015).
 Elliot, Emory. "The Dove and the Serpent: The Clergy in the American Revolution." JSTOR. Summer
1979. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2712307 (accessed July 12, 2015).
Robert Sacchi on September 27, 2020:
Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 26, 2020:
Thank you Mr. Anderson! I appreciate the kind comment and encouragement. I am brand new here so I am still trying to find my way around; I can certainly use the encouragement.
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 26, 2020:
Good hub article, I can see that you put a lot of work into it. Keep at it and thanks for sharing it with us here.
Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 26, 2020:
Thank you Mr. Sacchi!
Robert Sacchi on September 26, 2020:
This covers an aspect of the Colonial Period that isn't normally mentioned when teaching about the situation at the time. Thank you for posting. Welcome to HubPages.
Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 25, 2020:
Thank you K.C., this was actually a paper I wrote for one of my undergraduate classes. It was an incredible srudy; I certainly did not do it justice.
KC McGee from Where I belong on September 25, 2020:
This article is a great history lessen of America and the church. You wrote it with much authority and grace. It been a blessing for me to read it.