University of the South Papers Series A, No1





{left page:}


spot near Chattanooga, where the various Railroads traversing our dioceses converge, thus rendering access to it from every direction easy and speedy.

The above points comprise all those upon which it is deemed expedient to fix as a basis of union. Any others that may appear of importance, will be incorporated hereafter, as expediently shall require.

We have thus, dear brethren, presented and developed a measure which we regard as the most important, in view of all its relations, ever presented to the American Church. For ourselves we are deeply persuaded, that it far transcends in the promise of its usefulness, any merely local or diocesan enterprise, it would be possible for our dioceses to get up separately; and that its combinations are of a character to ensure always to our children and our children’s children, to many generations, the largest and most varied amount of talent for their intellectual culture, as well as the soundest moral and religious influence, it is in our power to provide for them. To do this, is to make the best investment for our posterity, and to lay upon the altar of our country, the most appropriate offering that could be tendered by the citizen or the Christian.

With earnest solicitude for your individual and associated welfare and in the hope that these views may find favor with you, and obtain your efficient support, we remain,

Faithfully and affectionately,

Your servants in Christ,

JAMES H. OTEY, Bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee.

LEONIDAS POLK Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana.

STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia.

N. H. COBB, Bishop of the Diocese of Alabama.

GEO. W. FREEMAN, Missionary Bishop of the Diocese of the South-West.

W. M. GREEN, Bishop of the Diocese of Mississippi

F. H. RUTLEDGE, Bishop of the Diocese of Florida.

THOMAS F. DAVIS, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

THOS. ATKINSON, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina.

Philadelphia Oct. 23, 1856.

{right page:}














Prepared under the order of the Convention, by the Secretary.

- - - - - - - - - -




- - - - - - - - -

Should the sober critic object, apart from the many deficiencies of this Narrative, to its excess of detail and circumstance, the writer begs it may be noted--1. That they who imposed this task upon him, enjoined him to omit nothing belonging to an occasion, in their view, of most memorable importance. 2. This pamphlet is intended, (as appears from the large edition ordered to be printed,) for very general distribution, and will reach many to whom the whole matter is a novelty—hence the need full particulars.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - Narrative. - - - - - - -

It is known to the public, that during the last year the Rt. Rev. Bishop Polk, of Louisiana, invited the attention of his brethren in

Last edit over 5 years ago by swmdal



{left page:}

the Episcopal Office, to the urgent need, in the Southern States, of a University of high order, under the distinct sanctions of the Christian faith.

He urged, that the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States, in virtue of the wealth and intelligence of her members, owed a debt to the country; that, however, the Individual dioceses were, separately, too weak to establish such institutions, they could, by uniting their members, accomplish the like result; he called attention to the fact, that a site could be found for such a University of easy access by railway from all portions of the Southern country.

This proposition was acquiesced in by the Bishops addressed. After due consultation, they issued an address embodying their views, and having invited the Conventions of the several dioceses to ap point Trustees, who should meet in conference upon this important matter.

Such are the circumstances which led to the meeting, upon the 4th day of July, of the Convention whose acts are here reported.

In the vicinity of Chattanooga, in the State of Tennessee, the Lookout Mountain uplifts its majestic presence. Standing on its summit, the stranger drinks in a bracing air; his eye wanders over a vast sea of forest and cultivated fields, until its vision is bounded by the mountains fifty miles distant. The Tennessee River winds in graceful curves beneath his feet, and is lost in view, and then the glimmer of its waters breaks out again in the far distance. Awful precipices and mighty rocks, creation of the Omnipotent, are all around; and looking from their heights, the rushing railway train hastening along its appointed way, seems as a child’s toy, a mere plaything, amid the great realities of nature.

Upon this mountain top, in the clear light of Heaven, and upon the anniversary of the nation’s freedom, assembled the company whose doings are now to be recited. They met to consult how they might glorify God in providing for the welfare of His children; how they might secure to all posterity the liberty rung out throughout all the land to the inhabitants thereof, in the days of ‘76 and the better freedom which can be found in the reverent service of the Lord and of his Christ.

They met as brethren, with cheerful words and cordial salutation; they met as patriots should meet, on their nation’s birthday, with their country’s flag above them, her anthems floating around them, and the thought of her ancient glories and her future greatness full within them. They met as christian men should meet,

Last edit over 5 years ago by swmdal



{left page}

that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord.”

The reader added no comment to this well-chosen scripture—already every heart was full. For those first spoken words expressed the thought of all, that not in malice or in mischief, not in rebellion or in disaffection had we come together beneath the blue sky; that so far from rearing an Altar of discontent, we had met with a just pride in our common heritage, with an abiding devotion to our common faith, with more than a brother’s love to the tribes more numerous and more favored than ourselves, separated from us by the hills and streams of our common home.

Such thoughts as these found their utterance in the Te Deum which was next sung by the assembly; for St. Ambrose’ {sic} words become us well when we realize that the communion of the Saints. Prayers were then offered by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Cobbs, of Alabama, and the Gloria in excelsis was chanted by the company.

The Hon. G. B. Duncan next took the stand, and after some in {sic} troductary remarks, proceeded to read the Declaration of Indepencence. He also gave, by request, a history of the flag used on the occasion.

The flag was made, he said, by ladies of that city where our indepencence had its birth. The staff was cut by Millard Fillmore when President of the United States, from near the grave of Washington, and presented, at his request, to the owner by Lieut. Gen. Scott. This flag had been borne at the mast of one of our national vessels, it had waved upon the breezes of Europe and of Asian, of the Mediterranean and the Nile; its folds had been displayed upon the lonely Sinai, and amid the sacred locations of Jerusalem.

Such was the banner under which we rallied. At the conclusion of these remarks, “The Star Spangled Banner” was played by the band.

The Rt. Rev. James H. Otey, D. D., Bishop of Tennessee, then stood forth as the Orator of the day; his address appears upon these pages, and forms the most valuable portion of this record.

Various emotions were stirred as the Rt. Rev. Speaker uttered his earnest words. The reference, with which he happily began, to St. Paul’s claim to Roman citizenship, reminded us all that the Patriot was not of necessity lost in the Christian; that holding aloft the cross of Christ, we need not blush to place beneath it the Stars and Stripes; that after the echoes of the hills had been awaked with the loftiest strains of christian {sic} praise, it is not unfit-


{right page}

ting to bid them presently give back the animating notes of freedom’s songs.

No christian {sic} could fail to sympathize with the speaker in his positions, that ours is a government intended fro christian people, not for Mormons and Athiests, and that beneath all law must lie the great foundation of public virtue and the fear of God. None could fail to catch somewhat of his enthusiasm, as he not so much boasted, as confessed with words and gestures of humblest gratitude, the benign and conservative influence which the Church, whose vows are upon us, has always exercised in our land’; as he spoke of the work to be done in this nation, and of the members of the Protestant Episcopal Church as the men to do it.

This far the flag hung idly from its staff; but when the Bishop began to speak of our Country and the love all good men bearit, a breeze came to stir the Stars and Stripes; and still, as he proceeded to denounce the thought, that we would come with holy words upon our lips to plot mischief against our brethren, the flag waved more proudly than before, seeking the person of the speaker and causing his words to come as it were from the midst of its folds. As the oration progressed, warm tears filled many an eye, and would not be repressed. At is close, the band struck up “Hail Columbia,” and the company rose to their feet. Many hastened to thank the orator for the just expression he had given to their sentiments, then all dispersed, and might be seen in friendly groups still prolonging the pleasant theme.

Upon the succeeding day, the day of rest, the hours passed most pleasantly. A few of the company, including the Bishops of Mississippi and Florida, consented to hold services in Chattanooga at the request of the several congregations of that town, and thus the circle was incomplete. The other Trustees and visitors, however, joined in common prayers; a candidate was admitted Deacon by the Bishop of the diocese, and the Holy Communion was administered.

The service was held in a common room, and with few of the ordinary appliances of the church; necessary as those are, where they may be had, their absence was scarcely noted; there were warm hearts and a full response, and (thanks to the ladies who had come up with their husbands and fathers) good old fashioned tunes were used, which everyone loves to sing.

The themes of discourse upon this day deserve to be put on record as illustrating the spirit that prevailed.

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Cobbs preached in the morning upon the

Last edit over 5 years ago by swmdal



{left page}

text “No man cared for my soul”--Psalm exlii,, 4—He urged the sore need of sympathy to even the wisest and the strongest of us; the desolation of those who have no man to care for their souls;the folly of parents who provide for the bodily and mental wants of their children, but are careless of their souls. He spoke of the wretchedness which comes from being selfish and careless of the needs and sorrows of our brethren. It may be, that one and another resolved, as he listened to those counsels so oft forgotten, that he would strive to remove from some, occasion to use David’s sad complaint.

In the afternoon, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Elliot preached upon the text, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”--Romans I., 16.

After stating the circumstances which might abash even St. Paul in exercising his ministry at imperial Rome, the preacher adverted to the difficulty, not to be appreciated anterior to experience, of preaching the Gospel; how we are tempted to keep within the lower reaches of speculation and default of duty, while mysteries of doctrine, the truths transcending earth, which to the world are foolishness, and which are yet our only means of coverting sinful men. And the burden of his exertion was, that we should be conversant with those themes which constitute the power of the Gospel, and fight hard against the weakness which often inclines us to avoid those topics at which the ungodly scoff.

In the evening, a sermon was preached by the Rt. Rev. Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, upon the text,” {sic} “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come,”--1st Timothy iv., S; a genial, cheerful sermon justly distinguishing gloom from godliness. It was conclusively demonstrated, that the truest earthly happiness, whether in the domain of appetite and taste, or in the region of the intellect and the affections, is to be found by the man who walks humbly and carefully with God.

A sermon also was preached, after the adjournment of the Convention on Monday evening, by the Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Davis, Bishop of South Carolina, which the writer regrets he could not remain to hear.

It will be felt by all, who have ever made a like attempt, that it is impossible to convey an adequate idea of the spirit which pervaded all these scenes. And yet this narrative cannot be completed without some sketch.

We are taught that there is a Brotherly-Kindness, which is


{right page}

something more than Charity—the new commandment whereof St. John speaketh. This influence pervaded the assembled company to a singular degree.

Several circumstances conduced to this: The Trustees were hospitably entertained in one establishment—their time was spent in social converse when deliberations were suspended, and the artifice of social life was forgotten in the free scenes of nature. They leaned toward each other, and seemed to know each other, and a web of kindliness was woven around them, as in the pleasant abandon of the hour the threads were drawn out of things sober and things gay. It was felt, that they were identified in every interest dear to men; and it was said, that apart from any ulterior results, all would be well rewarded for their pains and travel, in thus learning what manner of soldiers make up our ranks; in the new heart, and fresh courage with which each would betake himself to his proper work, confident that he was not left to serve alone.

The observer could not fail also to notice the intense enthusiasm which prevailed, and which belonged, especially, to those who have been most prominent in this enterprise.

Less than a hecatomb they are not willing to lay upon the Altar of God; the boon they propose to bestow upon their country must be something whereof the like has not been know. Defeat is a word to which they will not listen; and confident in the purity of their motives and the largeness of their good will; they stand ready to meet difficulties, knowing that God will prosper the good intent.

But the Virtues are social, and must walk in company. Hence, was it no less gratifying to observe, in the clergy as well as the laymen, the evidences of that cautious prudence, which, when joined to zealous enthusiasm, assures its triumph. In the proceedings of this body will be found no evidences of indecent haste or rash precipitancy. Using counsel and advise, with a sure and steady pace, the friends of this University seek to fulfill their hopes—and althought {sic} different dioceses, and many localities desire to secure the University for their own vicinity, their claims are preferred without undue pertinancy {sic}, and all are ready to defer cheerfully to considerations of the public good. Upon many points of interest the sentiments of the Trustees have not been tested. Upon some, their opinions are yet in abeyance, and are to be formed after enquiry and deliberation. Some ques-

Last edit over 5 years ago by swmdal



{left page}

tions, however, were so dediced, and some opinions so generally acquiesced in, that they may properly be reported.

A bold effort is to be made to advance the cause of sound learning under just religious influences.

It was said that the Church had not prospered in her Missionary work so long as she sent here and there a forlorn Priest or Deacon; she had. Therefore, changed her policy and learned to send the Bishop first. Thus, in the matter of education, we have labored to establish here and there a School, an Academy, or a College of moderate pretensions. Let us rally around a University which shall necessitate the minor orders, and create in time the schools tributary to it. Already the University of Virginia is supplying that State with its chief instructors, and infusing its educational system into alll the common schools.

It was said, moreover, that there is a confidence in the stability, the intelligence, the learning of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which will secure a cordial assistance from many not of our communion, when it is proposed to found, for the production of sound learning under the sanctions of the christian (sic) faith, an institution free to all persons who desire to secure such training for their sons.

It was agreed, as will be seen in the declaration of principles, that to avoid confusion and jealousy, each diocese shall be the guardian of the funds raised within its own limits.

It was further agreed, as appears from the same document, that the money so raised shall be devoted to securing intellectual excel lence, rather than to be expended in material forms. With this view, the funds contributed are to be preserved intact. The interest, and none of the principal, is to be used in the purchase of lands and the erection of buildings, so that when the University is ready for occupancy, its endowments, undiminished, will secure, by liberal salaries, the best talent and soundest learning (as one feared not to say) that the world can furnish.

* * * * * * *

It was thus, that twenty men, representatives of no mean constituency, assembled; and thus they took counsel together of an enterprise, which might seem to great for them, dignified as are many among them in office and rich in their personal endowments.

They met in the open sunlight, for they would have all their purpose to lie patient to the day. They stood upon the solid rock, for their intent was firm and righteous. They stool where but a few years since, all was forest and the Indian’s home, and the far reaching landscape dotted with rich fields was a help to faith:


{right page}

while the silver stream, which bursts there through solid rocks, proclaimed that patience is invincible.

They stood upon the Pisgah of the Lookout Mountain and gazed earnestly in the glories future of their hope. What if these men of God shall not adventure into it themselves! It is glory enough, even to those who rest in an unknown grave, to have led their people towards a fair possession.

Twenty men upon Mount Lookout! Yet not more feeble than the lone Elijah upon Carmel. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” While they pray with bowed heads and anxious expectation, may the cloud of promise increase into the rain of richest benediction!




LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 4, 1857.

This being the time and place for the assembling of the Trustee appointed by several dioceses of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the Southern and South-Western States, to confer touching the establishment of a University under the auspices of said Church, a godly number of persons convened at the “Mountain House.”

At the hour of 11 A.M., a procession was formed under the conduct of Major A. M. Leah, of Tennessee, who acted as Marshal, and marched in order to the stand appointed for the opening exercises.

The Hundredth Psalm having been devoutly sung, a portion of Holy Scripture appropriate to the occasion (being the 22d chapter of Joshua) was read by the Rt. Rev. Wm. M. Green, D. D., Bishop of Mississippi. The Te Deum was then sung, followed by prayers, offered by the Rt. Rev. N. H. Cobbs, D. D., Bishop of Alabama, and these succeeded by the Gloria in excelsis (sic).

The Declaration of Independence was read by the Hon. G. B. Duncan, of the diocese of Louisiana, and an account given of the flag which waved above the stand.

The address was then delivered by the Rt. Rev. J. H. Otey, D. D.. Bishop of Tennessee, and the assembly presently dispersed.

Last edit over 5 years ago by swmdal
Displaying pages 11 - 15 of 154 in total