Episcopalian newspaper published in Alexandria, VA.
Yellow Fever Articles Pertaining to Norfolk & Portsmouth
from August 1855 to February 1856
Transcribed by Donna Bluemink
August 16, 1855.
THE PESTILENCE.—Among the dark calamities with which it has pleased an All Wise Providence to visit the earth at the present time, none is so calculated to affect the sensibilities of the readers of the Southern Churchman, as the prevalence of the Yellow Fever at Gosport, Portsmouth and Norfolk, in our State. The details are to be found in papers which are probably in the hands of most of our readers. The melancholy record should elicit their sympathy, their prayers, and their contributions also, for the poor and suffering, who must remain in the afflicted cities, from which the affluent have to so great and extent fled.
August 23, 1855.
THE PESTILENCE, according to recent reports, still rages in Norfolk and Portsmouth with undiminished power. The details of death and suffering occasioned by it are most distressing. As a specimen we take the following extract from a letter published in the Baltimore Sun.
"About four-fifth of our white population are scattered abroad in every direction, and those who remain are rapidly falling before the fell destroyer. God only knows what will be the end. Every relation I have, and nearly all my friends, are gone. Gladly, most gladly would I leave, but I cannot, and will not desert our people in their distress.
"The destitute little children, (about 30 in number,) who have lost their dear parents by the pestilence, are snugly quartered at the academy building, being kindly nursed and cared for.
"Provisions have become scarce; meal $3.50 per bushel. There is no butter in market, and Baltimore corn beef can be obtained from only one house in the city; in fact, supplies of all kinds have been cut off, and no market carts dare approach our city, for dread of violence from their neighbors in the country.—Deaths by fever are not all reported."
The following letter from the editors of the Norfolk Beacon is more favorable, especially in its anticipations of the future, than other accounts which have appeared:
NORFOLK, August 17, 1855.
We are obliged to you for your sympathy with the distress now prevalent among us. It is indeed very great. Our city wears a Sabbath aspect, and is short nearly one half of its population. Nearly all our merchants who have not fled, have removed their offices to their residences, and in Water street—the business street of the city, on which our office stands, with the exception of two or three small Hebrew clothing shops—we are the only persons whose office is open. The wharves are deserted—the harbor is without vessels—and business generally is suspended. Never was such panic in the history of pestilence. And as you may well imagine, the consequences are fearful to the poor—many of whom, deprived of the work by which they formerly earned their daily bread, are actually suffering for the common necessaries of life, with the certainty staring them in the face of not being able to live without charity for several months.
Relief, however, is daily pouring in from all quarters in the shape of money and provisions, which, dealt out by the Howard Association, have already relieved, and will daily continue to relieve, much suffering. But we exceed our limits, and must conclude by informing you that the fever is not raging one tenth part so severely as rumors reports. Ten deaths a day is a large average, and from this time in all human probability, the mortality will decrease, as our physicians have become familiar with the disease, and it is not of such a violent type as at first. Then we have hospitals for the sick, where the great majority of cases recover, if taken in the first stages. Our paper, however, will give you the full particulars. We report faithfully, though had the cry of danger not been so loud at first, such a state of things would not have happened, and we would not have to condemn the cowardice of our people on the one hand, or the cruel, heartless treatment they have met with at the hands of their fellow citizens of the cities, towns and villages of the state, on the other.
We trust that from day to day, we shall have the pleasure of reporting an abatement of the disease, which, many think, has spent its force.
Comment upon such a calamity would be out of place. The sympathy, and the aid to the suffering for which it calls, need not be pointed out to any one possessing Christian principle and feeling.
August 30, 1855.
"HARD MEASURE."—Among the first startling reports from Norfolk, during the existing calamity, was the bitter complaint from one of the journals that the ministers of the city had forsaken their people in the hour of danger, and fled. It is now admitted that of all the ministers who may be considered as having charge of congregations in Norfolk, only one has been absent, whose health took him away before the disease appeared. The Rector of Christ Church is not referred to in the statements, since it is well known that he has been for some months absent in Europe, in obedience to a call of duty which he could not neglect. He will doubtless return as soon as the sad news reaches him. The Rev. Lewis Walke, appears in the recent reports as the representative, in the hour of fearful peril and suffering, of the Rector of Christ Church. The Rev. Wm. Jackson, it will also be seen, with others, has been at his post faithfully doing what he can, in a position where human power can accomplish little. We have seen no record of the names of the clergy remaining in Portsmouth, but the absence of it is no evidence against them, since we happen to know that one of them at least, the Rev. James Chisholm, has faithfully persevered in his visitations of the sick and dying. We are most thankful that none of these ministers have been yet reported as among the subjects of the pestilence, and since it is said not to be so fatal as at first, we trust that the time of their peril has past. But they are in the hands of God.
THE YELLOW FEVER AT PORTSMOUTH AND NORFOLK.—The following letter from the President of the Common Council of Portsmouth has been received by Mayor Hinks, and submitted by him to the Board of Health:
Portsmouth, Va., August 20, 1855.
To His Honor the Mayor of Baltimore:—
Dear Sir,—Several of our physicians are sick, and the others nearly broken down. Can we get medical aid from your city for the relief of the sick? Write me on receipt of this if any of your Surgeons will come; they will not only be hospitably received, but will be amply remunerated. I do not wish, and shall not conceal the fact to our citizens abroad, that the fever is raging to an alarming extent.
With sentiments of the highest respect,
I have the honor to be, yours truly,
W. WATTS, President Common Council
The Norfolk Herald of Tuesday morning thus describes the state of affairs in that city last week:
"The appearance of our city is really gloomy. Most of the stores are closed, and the streets are almost deserted. Nearly half the white population have gone off. In all the epidemics which Norfolk has passed through, from 1798 to the present time, we have seen nothing to equal it. The writer of this remembers well the ravages of the yellow fever in the years '98, 99, 1800 and 1801, when Norfolk always had a transient population of 1,500 to 2,000, composed of emigrant ships' crews and strangers connected with the commerce of the port, and when it was no unusual thing to see 30 or 40 buried in a day. There was not a store closed on account of the fever in either of those years. The merchants did not halt a moment in the regular routine of their business, and the citizens never thought for a moment of moving out of town or out of the infected districts. The old residents had their bilious and intermittent fevers, from which they seldom failed to recover, and the mortality was chiefly among strangers and those not acclimated. These were really go a head times; and men did not allow "yellow Jack" to interfere either with their business or pleasures. How things have changed! Now, with a mortality, the highest range of which has not exceeded 12 deaths in a day—in a population doubling what it then was—all business is suspended, and the alarm is so great that half of the white inhabitants have left the town."
The Howard Association has opened at the White House of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, corner of Wide Water and New Castle streets, a provision store. All those who are in distress are requested to make application at the office of the Howard Association over Noah Walker's clothing store, corner Main and Talbot streets. A soup has also been established.
A correspondent writing from Portsmouth says:
In relation to the condition of the town, it is completely deserted. A gloom settled and thick hangs over the community that is left. The adjacent country—all along the line of the road—is occupied by our people, many of them at least, whose limited means you are well aware of—many of these honest and working people left. I'm sure, without the means of sustaining themselves, depending upon circumstances, and yielding to the entreaties of their wives and children to flee from the pestilence. I anticipate a most trying winter.—There is no calculating what the suffering may be when the whole tide of population pours into town again—without funds, and I fear reduced both in mind and body.
The News, in the following paragraph, does justice to the noble clergymen who have stood their ground and determined to sacrifice their lives rather than prove recreant in their Master's cause:
"ECCLESIASTICAL.—In alluding to the departure of four or five ministers, since the fever commenced its ravages, we include at least two from the opposite side of the river. We take pleasure in stating that several preachers are doing their duty faithfully. Rev. Messrs. Jackson, of St. Paul's, Walke, of Christ Church, (the regular pastor having left for Europe several months ago,) Armstrong, of the Presbyterian, Wills, of the Cumberland street Methodist, Dibrell, of the Granby street Methodist, O'Keefe, of St. Patrick's, McClelland, of the Methodist Protestant, and Jones, of the African Methodist, are among those who are busily and usefully in their efforts to give consolation to the sufferers. Some of them are in regular attendance at the Hospital; and none of those mentioned manifest a desire to fly from the scourge—preferring to die in the faithful discharge of their known duty, to leaving the suffering and afflicted members of their flocks in the midst of disease and death without those words of comfort and Christian consolation which it becomes them especially to impart in the hour of extraordinary calamity and trial."
The Richmond Express published the following letter from Dr. Drugien [Trugien], who has since been attacked by the fever. The mind can scarcely conceive of a more melancholy condition of affairs, that was depictedd by the writer.
PORTSMOUTH, Aug. 21.
Dear Express:—It is now nine o'clock, P. M., and I have just got back to my office, after being incessantly engaged since five o'clock this morning. I have seen and prescribed for over 100 patients today, and every moment new calls are made upon me, and the most urgent entreaties used to induce me to see a father, mother, brother, or other friend. But I can go no further. I am completely exhausted, and must have a little rest to enable me to resume the duties of the morrow, if perchance, I am myself spared in health.
I am no alarmist, and have no disposition to exaggerate, and certainly no wish to harrow the feelings of any one by the recital of scenes of distress; but it would sicken any one to know what is now transpiring in our town. Whole families are down without the ability in many cases to procure a drop of water to cool their fevered lips. Alas! alas! for poor Portsmouth. Oh! God how long!
I wrote you yesterday a note designed for publication, beseeching medical aid. I know it must require an amount of courage possessed by but few, to venture thus seemingly into the jaws of death to rescue others. But is there no devoted man–no gallant soul–who will say I will go?–Two or three physicians, I see, have volunteered for Norfolk, where the medical corps is larger than in this place. Shall poor stricken Portsmouth be left to her fate. Forbid it heaven–forbid it humanity? 'Tis a Macedonian cry, "Come over and help us!"
The Rev. T. G. Keen (a Baptist preacher who has so nobly volunteered, from Petersburg) writes from Norfolk, on the 21st, as follows:
"I learn from the physicians here that nearly 90 per cent. recover—that is out of every 60 or 70 cased not more than 15 or 20 die. This is certainly small mortality, and Dr. Stone pronounces the fever comparatively mild. There is surely every reason for encouragement. The physicians have evidently now got the master of the disease, so far as we can apply this to any human instrumentality. I certainly anticipate an abatement of the epidemic soon."
September 13, 1855.
DAY OF THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER.—The Richmond Dispatch of Friday last, says:
"Yesterday was most rigidly observed as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for having blessed our city with unusual good health throughout the past summer, and of prayer to Him to remove from our sister cities, Norfolk and Portsmouth, that death-dealing scourge with which they are now sorely afflicted, and which without his merciful interposition, bids fair to depopulate and render them barren wastes. Throughout the day business was entirely suspended and the doors and windows of all the stores closed. Religious worship was held two or three times in the various churches, and collections taken up to purchase horses and provender for the use of the physicians in the infected district. It was gratifying to observe how strictly the recommendations of the Mayor and City Council were carried out, all sects and classes seeming to feel the importance of the occasion and the necessity for returning thanks to a merciful Providence for having spared them and their fair city a visitation of that disease which carries desolation in its track.
We have as yet no change to note in the distressed condition of Norfolk and Portsmouth. The contributions of those who have been spared the infliction of such a calamity are needed and should be given and continue to be given without stint. The letter of Bishop Potter, which we publish in another column, may be accepted by all as a representation of the urgency of the call upon them and their duty.
Since the above was written, we learn that Walter H. Taylor, Esq., one of the most valued members of Christ Church, has died in Baltimore, from the disease brought with him thither, from Norfolk. The Baltimore Sun of Wednesday says:
"Mr. Taylor was well and favorably known not only in Norfolk and vicinity, but throughout a large portion of lower Virginia. He had been a merchant of Norfolk during a long and well-spent lift-time. He was a gentleman of the old Virginia school, and no less distinguished as a christian than as a man of integrity and worth. He was a blessed in his last hours by the presence of a devoted wife, and some other members of his family. His remains were deposited yesterday afternoon in Greenmount Cemetery.
We learn also that the Rev. James Chisholm has been attacked by the fever and taken to the Naval Hospital, but at last accounts was improving.
September 20, 1855.
THE LATE REV. JAMES CHISHOLM.—This devoted and faithful servant of Christ has fallen at his post after unceasing labors in attendance upon the dying and the dead of Portsmouth. A friend of the deceased has laid us under obligations by sending to us the following most interesting particulars respecting him, which we are sure will meet the concurrence of all who knew him:
The death record from Portsmouth, tells us of the departure of this good man from that pestilence-stricken scene of his labor, a true soldier of his Master, to his home in heaven.
For several years he was the Rector of the Episcopal Churches in Martinsburg and Hedgesville, Va. He came among us a stranger;—a modest, unobtrusive minister of the Gospel.
He lived in our midst; growing upon our affections as a faithful, single hearted, unoffending, but untiring servant of the cross. He left us, with the savour of a pure and undefiled reputation; loved and esteemed by all; but more loved, in the precise proportion, as he was best known.
His sweet, gentle, loveable disposition, had gathered the affections of all towards him.—When the bold scoffer tried to justify his own sins, by sneering at professors of religion; he would except"good little Mr. Chisholm." What the believer and advocate of pure and sincere piety looked around for the example of the faith, that proved itself by its works; he would cite the life and conversation of Mr. Chisholm. If the weary and heavy laden wanted consolation, they called upon this sympathizing, gentle, christian pastor. If the folks wanted to have a rejoicing on the marriage of a child of the family, they took care that the ceremony should be performed by this happy hearted cheerful man, who was ready to joy with them in their hour of lawful mirth, as to mourn with them and console them under their afflictions; even our black people loved to have him to marry them, and he was as ready to comply with their wishes as to officiate for the wealthy and fashionable. High and low, rich and poor, white and black, all loved him.
"None knew him, but to love him,
None named him, but to praise."
Is not this true? Is the eulogy overwrought? No! it is not eulogy, it is truth—if there be those who would ridicule the Faith for which he lived, in which he died, still they would pay the involuntary tribute which infidelity pays to God's eternal truth, by bowing assent to every word of it.
But if he was lovely in his life, how supremely so in his death. He went from here to build up a church in Portsmouth, Virginia, and under circumstances of much delicacy. He did this as he performed every pastoral duty, wisely and well. The writer of this knows how his people there loved him.
His admirable wife, the daughter of John White Page, of Frederick Co., Va., was, in her young womanhood snatched away from him, about the close of last winter, leaving two little orphan sons, the eldest six, the youngest about four years of age. Those who were his intimates knew what a deep wound this made in his heart; but his faith lifted him above melancholy or despair, and to the out-doors observer he was the same cheerful happy man.
His darling boy, "little Johnny," the younger son, from the consequences of the measles, seemed to be declining and pining away and with his elder brother was sent to his uncle's in Cumberland Co., Va. Thus when alone, the yellow fever came down upon Portsmouth. He was informed that his darling child was worse, and that unless he came soon he would see his face no more. His reply was, "My post his here. I try to lay my solicitudes at the feet of Him who cureth for us. It is the Lord! let Him do what seemeth Him good."
He visited the sick, and the dying and the destitute—day and might his gentle voice was heard, amid the groans of the dying, and the wailing of stricken hearts, in the ministrations of his sacred office. He would sometimes be with twelve or fifteen dying persons in one day. His own congregation were nearly all absent, sick or dead; and he would then, as long as a house of worship could be opened, officiate with his brethren of other denominations. He was at last informed that his son was dead. "My precious child has ceased to suffer, and is a laurel gathered into the Good Shepherd's bosom; and if little ones be entrusted to the guardian care of elder ransomed spirits, faith teaches me, to whose nurture the spirit of my darling has been consigned by Him, whose name is Love; that one, who on earth approved herself so, as a faithful, tender christian mother." "He hath done all things well!" These lines were penned by him immediately after reading the letter from Cumberland announcing the death of his child. That LITTLE ONE, in dying, while lying unconscious of surrounding objects, seemed to have had vouchsafed to his dying vision, the evidence of "things unseen" by the father; for as he died, he fixed his eye, and pointed where he looked, and said, (tho' thought to be speechless,) "There is my Mamma!" and instantly died. This was published before Mr. Chisholm's death was known, in the Richmond Enquirer. The wise men of the world would call this a "singular coincidence," Christians do not believe in singular coincidences; even in the fall of two sparrows to the ground; they regard such things, as proofs of God's providence, and the truth of his Word.
The letter quoted above, referring to his child's death, was written on Wednesday the 5th of September. On Friday the 7th he was taken to the hospital; on Saturday the 15th his own spirit had been called up to his "loved one at Home," in Heaven.
Our Father! who are in Heaven!" grant that I may die the death of the righteous, and may my last end, be like his. PHILO.
To this just and faithful tribute to the departed we add the following from the Christian Witness of last week. It brings to our readers a voice from the dead. "He being dead yet speaketh."
A MOST AFFECTIONATE CALL.—We find in the Salem Register, the following stirring call from the Rev. James Chisholm, that faithful clergyman of our Church, to whose constant labors in one of the plague-stricken cities of Virginia, we alluded last week. The letter was a private one to a relative, and was not intended for publication, but the circumstances of the case abundantly warrant the public use which is made of it. It may well draw forth the wrestling prayers not of one city merely, but of all who plead at the throne of grace. In public and in private, one strong, earnest cry should go up to the Lord of life and death, that it may please Him to stay the destroyer, and support alike the sick, the sorrowing, and those who with such heroic devotedness are ministering to both:
PORTSMOUTH, VA., Sept. 5, 1855.
It probably occurs to you, that in the present appalling condition of our plague-smitten community, but one alternative presents itself to the consideration of every one. Shall I regard personal safety alone, and flee with all speed from this atmosphere of poison and death, or shall I look the question of my relations to society, to humanity, and to God, full in the face, and decide accordingly? The question of duty as a minister of Christ, has determined me to stand firm at the post, to which I have believed all along that the Providence of God called me. Up to this moment, for the period of seven weeks that the desolating scourge has been doing its remorseless work amongst us, I have been perfectly well; not one uneasy or uncomfortable feeling—and never in my life have I had a finer appetite. For five weeks of this time I have been a daily and sometimes nightly attendant, as occasion might call me, at the sick and dying beds of the sufferers and victims by this malignant fever. My present condition surprises myself—and I trust that I more than ever realize that the 'Eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.' I am in his hands to do with me what seemeth Him good.
The wards at the U. S. Hospital, temporarily granted for the use of our Portsmouth people, are crowded to the number of 150 and 200 with yellow fever patients, and I pay these wards a daily visit, endeavoring to administer, as far as desired or needed, the blessed resources of our Holy Religion. It is some comfort amid these dreary walks of duty, to reflect that I have aided some poor creatures to seek and find that Peace which the world can neither give nor take away.
I also visit wherever, in town, I am called for. As to the details of woe presented by our present condition, I do believe that it is utterly incompetent to any descriptive power to convey a picture of them. Never since the continent of America has been settled (I speak calmly, and with reference to what I have read or heard of,) never has so terrible a calamity overwhelmed the same amount of population. You will find it extremely difficult to lend credence to some statements which I could make to you from knowledge and observation.
Yesterday a communication was received from that city of human beings with human sensibilities and sympathies in their souls, Baltimore, offering to convey the entire remaining and surviving population of Norfolk and Portsmouth to any salubrious point that might be selected, or could be obtained by them, and likewise guaranteeing to them, so long as they might be thus detained, all things in the way of provisions, furniture, bedding, &c., which they should stand in need of. The very fact suggests to you some idea of the horrors of our position.
But I fear the offer cannot be accepted.—There is no inhabited house without yellow fever patients whom it would be hazardous to remove. And the well could not be spared, for they are even now far too few to take care of the sick. And then people cannot run away themselves and leave their servants to suffer and die.
I have one suggestion to make, (not that a finger be lifted, or the strings of one purse in New England be relaxed a little in the way of proffering aid, but) that in every city and town there, they wake up, and try to respond to the dictates of humanity and Christian sympathy, by introducing the calamity of these, their sister cities, into their desks and pulpits; that they cry mightily unto God for us; that they satisfy themselves, if need require, as to the facts of the unparalleled miseries of our communities; that they appoint seasons of special humiliation and prayer for the commending of our case to a merciful God.
Can you not, as a suggestion coming from me, stir up the Christian congregations of Salem to their duty to themselves, their country, and their God, in this respect?
The death of Mr. Chisholm was prematurely announced in the papers, and his friends were afterwards led to hope that he might be spared. His death occurred on the night of the 15th inst., as appears from a letter in the Richmond Dispatch, from which we copy the following testimony to his last days, as faithful unto death:
"The Rev. James Chisholm, has not only exemplified the reality of his professions by a firm and unswerving adherence to the duties of his holy vocation in ordinary times, but he has actually laid down his life in a time unexampled for its desolation, in proof of his conviction of the solemn relations he has professed. The obligations to God and man which he assumed and acknowledged, he has discharged as a Christian priest. His Church has been opened every Sunday morning, up to the period of his attack by the pestilence. Though the number there was small, and was gradually diminished Sunday after Sunday, by deaths and sickness, he always gave an appropriate lecture. Upon the last occasion (2d instant) that he officiated there, he delivered a solemn and impressive lecture upon the appropriate subject of eternity. His remarks were based upon the 196th hymn, in the Book of Common Prayer, commencing, "Oh, where shall rest be found." &c. His congregation, that morning, was composed of about six or eight.
"He was taken sick on the following Friday, 7th instant, conveyed to the Hospital, when he expired on the night of the 15th inst. Such was his life!—such was his death! All deeply lament that he is now no more. So meek—so unpretending—so humble, yet so firm; so resolute, so adherent to duty. The funeral service was read in a solemn manner by the Rev. Thomas Hume, the services of an Episcopal clergyman being unattainable."
NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH.—The sympathies of the country have been generally excited in behalf of the sufferers in in these afflicted cities, and large contributions have been made for their relief. New York has sent on $24,600, Baltimore $33,000, and other cities large contributions. In the Episcopal Churches in Pennsylvania, so far a reported, $3,000 were collected on the 9th instant in compliance with the recommendation of Bishop Potter. In this place committees are now engaged in making collections of money and clothing which we hope will be liberally furnished by our citizens.
In the sadness which this most afflictive dispensation of Providence has occasioned, the believer can only bow with humble submission to the Divine will, knowing that the doing of the Almighty are directed by wisdom and mercy, however hidden His designs may be from our sight. These it is not our province, nor in our power to explain, in our present imperfect condition. In the language of Hooker:
"Dangerous it were for the feeble brain of man to wade far into the doings of the Most High; whom although to know be life, and joy to make mention of his name; yet our soundest knowledge is, to know that we know him not as indeed he is, neither can know him; and our safest eloquence concerning him is our silence, when we confess, without confession, that his glory is inexplicable, his greatness above our capacity and reach. He is above and we upon earth, therefore, it behoveth our words to be wary and few."
The Petersburg Intelligencer says:—
Our readers doubtless remember the interesting letter which we published a short time since from the Rev. James Chisholm, Rector of the Episcopal Church of Portsmouth, addressed to an esteemed clergyman of this city, in which touching allusion was made to the sickness of his little boy at a distance from him and deep anxiety expressed in regard to his recovery. We regret to learn from the obituary which we insert below that the little fellow is no more, and sincerely condole with his self-sacrificing parent in his sad bereavement. Mr. Chisholm has nobly remained at his post during the prevalence of the pestilence in his afflicted city, administering to the temporal as well as the spiritual wants not only of his own flock, but of all who required his assistance, all the comforts in his power:
"Little Johnny," as he was familiarly and affectionately known in the circle at home, a younger son of the Rev. James Chisholm, of St. John's Church, Portsmouth, died at the residence of his uncle, Thos. Page, Esq., in Cumberland Country, a few days since, in the fifth year of his age. It is a source of consolation to know, says the writer of his obituary, that every attention was paid to the little sufferer, and that his pillow was smoothed by kindred friends who deeply sympathize with his only surviving parent. His last moments were quiet; the storm had subsided to a peaceful calm; unconscious of surrounding objects, his mind wandered to the spirit of his departed mother. Fixing his eye and pointing significantly in a corresponding direction, exclaimed, "There is my Mamma," and his angel soul winged its flight to Heaven.
YELLOW FEVER.—The latest accounts from Norfolk and Portsmouth are, we are happy to say, more cheering. We learn from a gentleman who came up in the Augusta, on Saturday, that there were but 15 deaths in Norfolk the day previous, and 14 in Portsmouth. It is thought, moreover, that there is a considerable falling off in the number of new cases. We have no reason to doubt the correctness of this information. It is certainly time for the pestilence to have spent its fury, and we ardently hope that the scourged cities will soon again present a scene of busy life. To give our readers an idea of the terrible effects of the fever upon the population, we append an official report of the Howard Association, exhibiting the number of interments in Norfolk from the commencement of the epidemic up to the 12th instant:
Interments in the Cemeteries: 892
Interments in the Catholic Cemeteries: 120
Interments in the Jewish Cemeteries: 2
Interments in Potter's Field: 17
Interments at Julappi: 32
September 27, 1855
FROM NORFOLK.—We rejoice to learn that the Rev. D. Walke is convalescent. The Rev. Leonidas Smith has been erroneously reported as among the victims of the disease. Dr. Galt, Post Master, and Mr. Ferguson, President of the noble Howard Association, are dead.
The collections in this place for the suffering cities have been continued. We do not know the amount collected, but it was some time ago, $2000. Boxes of valuable clothing have also been collected by the ladies and forwarded.
At Wheeling, on Sunday, the 9th inst., at St. Stephen's Church, after a sermon by the Rector, the sum of $161.24 was collected.
It is one of the consolations of this terrible calamity, that it has brought before the public eye such letters as that which we have published from the Rev. James Chisholm, and that of the late Rev. William Jackson, copied this week. It is a subject for the highest thankfulness that Christianity still finds her martyrs, both among the laity and the clergy, in the time of need.
For the Southern Churchman
In Norfolk, on the 3d of September, ARTHUR SINCLAIR, eldest child of Commander William C. Whittle, U. S. N., in the 21st year of his age.
The deceased was a noble young man, and acted well his part, as son, brother, and friend to the suffering dear ones around him. Being informed of his mother's death, he anxiously enquired "where are the little children?" Hearing that three had been sent to their uncle, Dr. Sinclair, in Baltimore, and the other two in the Norfolk Hospital with himself, he added, "now I am ready to die." At his request the Rev. Mr. Jackson was sent for, and he expressed his entire willingness to depart. Our hearts are bleeding for the dead son and the poor bereaved father, who for two years, has been absent on the coast of Africa; heart-rending indeed, will be the intelligence to the devoted husband and father, whose recent letters particularly, are filled with the most joyous anticipation of being once more in the bosom of his affectionate family. May God, his God, comfort and sustain him, is the prayer of R. T. L.
From the Episcopal Recorder
THE PESTILENCE AT NORFOLK
Beneath will be found a letter from the Rev. Mr. Jackson, of Norfolk, with whose noble labors at the scene of the pestilence our readers are already familiar. One appeal only in this connection have we now to make.—Under Mr. Jackson's supervision, in the lecture room of one of the Episcopal Churches, there are now collected a number of orphan children, whom it is not considered just to commit to the charities of the distant cities, in which their identity will soon be so lost as to make their recovery by collateral relatives impossible.—These children are now fed and clothed at the spot where they have received refuge, with the intention, when the pestilence subsides, to return them, if not to their relatives, at least to their respective religious communions. In order to enable our readers to co-operate in this noble work, the proprietors of this paper will forthwith remit to the Rev. Mr. Jackson whatever sums may be committed to their charge for this purpose. It is their present hope to send one hundred dollars this week, for which purpose they will need twenty subscribers of five dollars each. Subscriptions in this or smaller sums are earnestly requested. It will be observed that this claim is of a character which cannot be reached through the medium of the public channel to which most of our municipal funds are committed.
To the Editor of the Episcopal Recorder:
Norfolk, Sept. 15, 1855.
Dear Sir,—The abatement of the Pestilence offers me a few moments, in which to comply with your request, although the account which I shall be able to send, must necessarily be very defective.
Your readers have received, through other columns, the fearful statistics of this awful visitation. Amidst a vast amount of exaggeration, there has been a great deal of truth; truth, indeed, which need no exaggeration to heighten the horror of the recital.
Upon first appearance of the Yellow Fever in the city, towards the first of August our whole population seemed to have been seized with a consternation, which can only be accounted for, by the tales of horror which had come to us from the cities of the South. Appalled at the thought of a Pestilence, which had, in every other instance, during the past three years, been so destructive,—they fled in every direction for safety. Most thankful do I feel that such multitudes have gone. Had they have remained, the mortality would have been frightful beyond description; for through the length and breadth of the city, there is scarcely an occupied dwelling, into which this fiery visitant has not entered. Those of us who have remained, rejoice therefore in knowing that so many of our friends are beyond the reach of this malignant Pestilence. On Sunday last, our two congregations united,—numbered six persons. On the Sunday previous our of nearly seven hundred communicants, only twenty-seven knelt around the chancel.—At one time, the Rev. Mr. Walke and myself were the only two clergymen, who were able to attend upon the sick, dying and the dead. We had, therefore, to divide the city into two wards,—he took one, and myself the other; and requesting all persons without regard to sect or denomination, to send for us. After that, Mr. Walke himself was compelled to withdraw, owing to sickness in his own family,—and now the Rev. Dr. Armstrong and myself are the only two ministers able to do any thing. Most thankful are we that the calls upon us have so greatly decreased.
I cannot go into all the details of this melancholy story. They have, many of them, been published in other papers. They have been wafted upon the wings of every wind;—and from every quarter, there have come to us, most cheering assurance of sympathy, attested by substantial tokens, which have contributed greatly to the relief of our suffering poor. Neither can the citizens of Norfolk cease to remember, the overflowing liberality of their brethren and friends in other parts of the country. They must, henceforth, feel themselves linked by new ties and a holier bond, to their countrymen. The beautiful statement of St. Paul, respecting Christian sympathy, has certainly found this page of our history, a most striking illustration: "If one of the members suffer, all the members suffer with it."
Had there ever been a lingering doubt upon my mind, respecting the question of duty, under such circumstances as these,—whether the minister of Christ should fly from the pestilence, or remain at his post:—every such doubt must have been dissipated by the experience of the past forty or fifty days. Shall the pastor abandon his flock, or any portion of it, in the time of their fiery trial? Shall the minister of Christ, professing to stand in Christ's stead, desert those for whom Christ died, and of whom he has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee? Shall Christ have no representative among men, in their time of peril? Shall he who spake to the dying thief upon the cross have none to whisper, in his name, to the living and the dying, words of pardon and peace and hope and salvation?—The one emphatic reply to these questions, will allow none to quit the field, who rightly ponders them. Nevertheless, let no harsh judgment be passed upon those who think and act differently.
But, once engaged in this blessed ministry of love and mercy, and the stern sense of duty is soon forgotten in the privilege. At such times, the minister of Christ is preaching every hour in the day to most willing and anxious listeners. He speaks as he never spoke before, and men hearken, as they never hearkened before.
It would be very erroneous to suppose that the gloom, which during a time of such appalling monotony overhangs a crowded city, were unbroken by a ray of joy; or that the awful mortality of woe, were never received by a note of gladness. To walk through the deserted streets of the city, the very stillness is painful. It is the calm of death. But all is not gloom. It has not been so, during this almost unparalleled visitation. When the panic subsided, the minds of Christian people, for the most part, returned to their wonted tranquility; and there was perceptible, the calmness or resignation to God's sovereign will,—the quietness of repose beneath the shadow of His wing, and faith in exercise. And when the fatal malady had touched the mortal frame, with his burning wand, how brightly in multitudes of instances, were faith, and hope, and heavenly peace reflected in the placid features of the suffering countenance. My memory will ever delight to linger upon the recollection of scenes like these. I may shudder to think of the appalling desolation and distress, which my eyes have witnessed. I may tremble to think how may words have been spoken in vain,—precious truths of Christ's blessed Gospel,—all in vain,—to men so long unused to think of holy things. But never can those delightful recollections fade, when I kneeled by the couch of that lovely young christian, so calm, so confiding in her heavenly Father's love, and in her Saviour's grace; her beautiful features, placid, as if there were no burning lava in her veins; when I stood beside her lovely sister, in the adjoining room, who, even in the delirium, seemed to have a feast of joy and peace in her soul. Never can I forget the smile,—but oh! how unlike the smile of health,—that played upon the lips of that poor sufferer, as I spoke to him of God's free grace, and of Jesus' power and willingness to save. Never can I forget the holy serenity of that dear young christian, while, in whispers, she spoke to me, of her worthlessness, and of the all-sufficiency of Christ. Never can I forget the impassioned utterance of that old man as he fixed his eye upon me and asked, "What is the preparation?"—nor can I forget the riveted attention, with which he listened, while I spoke to him of salvation by the Cross. Yes, it has been a privilege to live forty days in the midst of scenes like these. But many and painful have been the exceptions. This malignant malady seizes upon its victim with such a desperate grasp, and prostrates him so low, and tortures him with such pain, that the poor sufferer is deprived of the power of fixing his thoughts upon aught else, beside the suffering;—and then, the mode of treatment adopted, enjoins the most perfect and undisturbed tranquility, so that in a large proportion of cases the visit of a minister of the Gospel is either useless or dangerous. There are instances in which I have been called from my bed early in the morning, through the day, and again after I had retired at night, but all in vain. What fearful teachings have this community received! They cannot be unheeded.
The hand of God has indeed been heavy upon us, but with full confidence do I anticipate a blessing, commensurate with the severity of this painful visitation. "Make us glad according to the day where in thou hast afflicted us." When inspiration teaches us to offer the prayer, we are certainly warranted in expecting an answer.
There are many facts and incidents which I should be glad to send you, had I the time. Allow me in conclusion to say that we do feel most grateful for the sympathy and prayers of Christian friends through the length and breadth of the land, of which we have received such gratifying assurance.
I am, dear sir, yours,
WM. M. JACKSON.
Had you been in the city during the height of the Pestilence, you would have asked in astonishment, Where can the fierce destroyer be? You would have found every street, land and alley swept as clean as a parlor floor.—You would have seen the sun shining with wonted splendor. The pure sky above you, the blooming flowers and fragrance, all along your pathway, the fig tree laden with fruit, and every shrub in beautiful luxuriance, all would have filled you with surprise, that in such a scene there was nothing but bitterness and woe. Surely, the hand of God has been in this work of death. Wise and gracious, doubtless, are his purposes.
October 5, 1855
The Pestilence in Norfolk and Portsmouth
The fever in Norfolk and Portsmouth is rapidly on the decline. We doubt very much whether any pestilence of so terrible a character ever raged on this continent before. Considering the number of the population, the mortality was like that of the ancient plagues. Three thousand persons have died in the two cities. Some twenty-five physicians and four Protestant clergymen have died. The Rev. Messrs. Walke and Aristides Smith we rejoice to learn are convalescent. Rev. Mr. Jackson has been attacked at last. We know the prayers of God's people will ascend that his valuable life may be preserved. There was a report of his death. The Church will rejoice to learn that he is still alive. Brethren, pray for him.
The Death of Mrs. Walke
Will you spare me, my dear brother, a small space in your columns to commemorate the virtues and character of one whose death you lately recorded—MRS. MARY LOUISA WALKE, one of that "noble army of martyrs" whose virtues are the precious inheritance of the Church of God. She died in Norfolk in the faithful discharge of her duty, Sept. 11th, 1855. She was one of those who felt that duty called her to remain in that devoted city while the pestilence was walking in darkness and destroying at noonday.
Hers was a true heroism, the lofty unshrinking courage of principle, the faithful devotion of a martyr spirit anxious only to fulfil the duty assigned by the Master, regardless of results.
Mrs. Walke was the only surviving daughter of the late Hilory Baker, whose name and character are associated with the records of this diocese from 1830 and 1840 and who during almost all that time was the Secretary of the Convention of this Diocese. She died in the 35th year of her age, leaving five young daughters to mourn the loss of an intelligent, pious, judicious mother—a loss, alas! which can never be repaired.
She was a native of the city of Richmond, where she lived until her marriage with the Rev. Lewis Walke in the year 1844. The duties of a minister's wife she fulfilled in the most exemplary manner. Cheerful and contented in her disposition, casting all her care upon the good providence of God and confiding in His wisdom and love, she inspired courage and hope in despondency and fortitude in trials. To her husband she was a judicious counselor, a faithful adviser, and a confidential friend.
She was placed in her youth under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Woodbridge, and as she grew up, every virtue and every grace was beautifully developed and harmoniously blended in her character. She was prudent without reserve, cautious without timidity, charitable without being credulous, gentle without weakness, and firm without harshness. She was confirmed in 1842, and then, before many witnesses, made a profession of faith in the Redeemer, from which she never swerved. Her path was like the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The Rev. Mr. Walke finding the health of his family failing from the supported unhealthiness of his last parish, and wishing to be near his father, whose declining age required filial care, removed to Norfolk about four years since and became the assistant minister of the large and extensive parish of Christ Church. Alas, how short-sighted are mortals! He went to seek health and found disease and death. When the Rev. Mr. Minnigerode, early in the summer was called, for a time to Europe, the duties of that whole congregation all evolved on him and not for one instant did he shrink or swerve from them. He met the pestilence with a calm eye and an unwavering trust in God. Faithful, conscientious, devoted, he was ever found where duty called by the couch of the sick and the dying, ministering to their wants and assisting them in their struggles with "the last enemy." Severe has been the sacrifice which he has made a duty. The wife of his bosom, the partner of his joys has been called from his side to her reward. And when death came she was found doing her Master's work. Her occupation and almost her sole employment since the pestilence began, was to prepare refreshments and comforts for the sick who had none but her to look to, for the supply of their wants. For some time before her death, the orphans were almost entirely under her management and control. Her last act was to write a letter to her friends in Richmond to ask for clothing for the orphans that had been left destitute. It was while she was writing the letter that the summons came. The warning of the stern messenger was at once understood, and the pain that shot across her brow was felt to be the premonition of death. And having finished and dispatched the letter, she lay down upon her bed to die. She knew before others told her, the import of the tidings which the symptoms developed. But her works of faith and her labors of love were done.
The first stage of her sickness was attended with great mental weakness and wandering. When her physicians, however, announced that her time was short, she seemed at once to gather up the energies of her mind and to concentrate them on the Saviour. She said that it had always been her prayer that she might have in death the peace which her lamented father had. And graciously was it fulfilled. "Her peace was live a river," calm, full flowing from the Throne of God and the Lamb. "I cannot," said she to her kind physician, "have more peace—can this be the result of disease, or is it from God?" He assured her that her disease could not have produced it and that it must be from God alone.
Many were the expressions which indicated the source and the power of her peace and strength. "Christ is all." "I am a poor, sinful creature, but the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." "I am weak, but Christ is my strength, may all in all." Speaking of a dear friend from whom she had received a letter on the day she died, she said, "Tell him I am about to fall asleep in Jesus." Thus calmly and peacefully did eh depart,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
* * * * * *
We call most particular notice to the following letter of Bishop Meade's. If ever the Church had an orphan to support, it is the child of dear Brother Chisholm. This child belongs to the Church. We claim therefore of the Church its prayers and its support for the orphan of one who fell nobly at his post.
THE REV. MR. CHISHOLM'S ORPHAN BOY
The peculiar circumstances under which this child has been left an orphan, commend him to the especial patronage of the Church of Virginia. It is needless to speak of his martyred father. The history of his life and death is well known among us. Seldom does such a case occur. Seldom is an orphan thus cast on the charity of the Church. So sensibly was this felt, that on first hearing of Mr. Chisholm's death—a week before he actually expired—several individuals proffered the sums of fifty dollars each for the education and support of this fatherless and motherless boy, left as most sons of the clergy are, without the means of either. The very peculiar claims of this child on the sympathy of the pious and benevolent, induces the undersigned to give a profitable direction to the generous feeling now in action, by the following proposal:
All those who desire to contribute to the support and education of young William Chisholm, are desired to pay their contributions to either of the Bishops of Virginia, to the Rev. E. C. McGuire of Fredericksburg, the Rev. Mr. Woodbridge and the Rev. Mr. Peterkin of Richmond, the Rev. Mr. Wingfield of Portsmouth, the Rev. Mr. Jackson of Norfolk, and the Rev. Mr. Gibson of Petersburg, who will pay the amount received by them to the treasurer of the society for the widows and orphans of deceased clergymen, to be expended by that society on the support and education of said William Chisholm. In the event of his death before coming of the age of twenty-one, should there be any thing whether of principal or interest left in the hands of the treasurer, the same to be held liable to the order of the Convention of the Episcopal Church of Va., for the benefit of some orphan child or children of deceased clergyman, otherwise to be paid to him when reaching the age of twenty-one.
WILLIAM MEADE, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Va.
[We are exceedingly obliged to our correspondent, for furnishing us with such an account of our departed Brother. Let it be read and digested and great will be the good thereof. Since the days of Tertullian it has been true that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." So it will be now. Good will come to the Church, by the death of Mr. Chisholm.
Who would not rather that he had died than that he should have left his post? Painful as is his death, we would rather bury him than have to say, "He left the place where Christ put him."] En. S. C.
Died, at the U. S. Naval Hospital near Portsmouth, Va., on Saturday night the 15th inst., the REV. JAMES CHISHOLM, in the 40th year of his age after an illness of 8 days.
The subject of this notice was a native of Salem, Mass. At an early age he entered one of the High Schools of his native State, where he exhibited remarkable talent and application, and at the age of 13 received at the hands of Judge Stroy the first honors in the graduating class. He soon after entered as a student at Harvard University, where we find him at the age of 17 receiving the first honors, and the medal of the Beta Kappa Society of that institution. He continued his classical and scientific studies with unabated application upon the substantial and practical foundation already laid, until the year 1838, at which time his heart became renewed by the power of Divine Grace.—With characteristic zeal and earnestness, he received impressions of the holy truths of revealed religion as substantial and practical realities, and with him, to hear was to obey the Master's call and to do the Master's work. Henceforward all his energies, all his acquirements, all his talents were given, earnestly given, to win souls to Christ. As a preparation for the Christian ministry, he entered the P. E. Theological Seminary near Alexandria, Va., the following year; since which time, his eminently useful life was wholly devoted to God and to His church on earth.
Soon after leaving the Seminary he was called to the charge of Norbourne Parish, Berkley county, Va., comprising the churches at Martinsburg and Hedgesville. Here his faithful ministry, his watchful, jealous care, his earnest prayer, were abundantly blessed with a rich harvest of souls, brought to Christ, by the frequent outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Many of those to whom he, here ministered of heavenly things to whom he broke the bread of life, eminent for piety, for faith, and good works, went before him to join the great congregation, and are as gems in his bright crown of rejoicing. In this field, our dear friend labored and taught and preached, spending and being spent, in season and out of season, for the furtherance of the Gospel.
The practical sermon of his Godly life, his quiet unobtrusive manner, and at the same time firm and faithful discharge of duty, won for him, the confidence and love of all denominations of Christians, and forced even upon the blasphemer and scoffer, a respect approaching reverence for his presence.
In the Spring of 1850, Mr. Chisholm was invited to take charge of a church at Portsmouth, Va., (St. John's,) which had been newly built and just consecrated; he at first declined this invitation, but being earnestly solicited, as one peculiarly fitted to the then existing relations of this new charge, he yielded, not without fervent prayer and supplication for guidance in a stop of so much importance; nor without deep solicitude and anxiety for the beloved flock he was called upon to leave. He entered upon this new charge, desiring "to know naught among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." His whole zeal and energy and talent had always been in the work, there could therefore be no increase, but there was no abatement. The Sunday school and prayer meeting from house to house, were his delight. The first of them claimed so much of his personal attention that the transition from scholar to church member, was easy and frequent, whilst it won for him the confidence and love of the lambs of his flock. Few pastors had more of the love of the young—here too the Holy Spirit gave the increase to his faithful planting and watering.
By those who knew him to appreciate him as a scholar and a critic in all literature, there was no appeal from his decision; in style pure and chaste, simple yet free from all things commonplace; in thought, original, comprehensive, perspicuous. His christian character is best portrayed by the Psalmist, "His delight was in the law of his Lord, and in his law did he exercise himself day and night." Meek and humble, relying entirely upon the all sufficiency of Christ's atoning blood, counting all things else as nothing worse than nothing.
Mysterious are the ways of Providence and past find out! Six months before his death the hand of God was heavily laid upon him; the darling wife of his bosom was taken home to heaven. Thus bowed to earth by this sore affliction he murmured not. The language of his heart was, "It is the Lord."
Such was the life of this servant of the living God. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace." If there was a beautiful simplicity in his life, there was a touching sublimity in his death. The field of his labors became the scene of despair, disease and death. Human woe and human misery, at thought of which the heart sickens, fell to the lot of those who remained in the ill-fated cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk. His darling child was dying at a distance from his only earthly parent. He could have fled and lived, but he writes to a friend in these words, "I have abandoned all hope of ever seeing my precious child again on earth." A holy duty called him to remain, and that sense of duty, to him, was not greater than the privilege of directing the eye of the dying sinner to the cross of Christ, speaking words of consolation and hope to the repentant believer. Not confining his labors to his own charge, he went from house to house—here, at the bedside of the dying, there, at the grave of the dead, everywhere exhibiting a calm, resigned submission to the will of God, which was his through life and which no circumstances could take from him. In the midst of these scenes of desolation and woe he writes to a friend, "the same mail that brought yours today, has brought me the announcement, for which I had so little prepared myself, that my sweet child has been taken from suffering, to his Saviour's everlasting rest, and the companionship of his mother. I can only rest upon thousand other like words "The heaven and earth shall shake, but the Lord will be the hope of his people." The next day, he writes to the same friend, (anticipating an attack of the fever,) these words, "I would say, in regard to myself, that I now, as in utter uncertainty as to the result, place my entire and exclusive trust, as a conscious sinner, by nature and by practice, guilty, condemned and helpless, in the merits of Jesus Christ, God my Saviour. That I look back upon my past life with sorrow and shame, when I remember how unworthily and unfaithfully it has been spent. That nothing affords me comfort and peace, at this solemn season, but that true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.That my convictions, emotions and hopes in approaching Him, as my refuge against the accusations of conscience and the fear of death and judgment, find expression in the words of that hymn whose first and final verses are these,
"Just as I am! without one plea,
Save that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
"Just as I am! thy love unknown,
Has broken every barrier down,
Now to be thine, and thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come."
Death was already upon him, the summons came, and the palsied hand left unfinished the letter, from which the above is taken. On Friday the 7th ult., he was taken with the fever, and at his own request was conveyed to the Hospital, from thence, say a correspondent, on Sunday the 16th, all that was mortal of the holy man of God was conveyed to the cemetery, and laid, by sorrowing friends by the side of his beloved wife.
His numerous relatives and friends will learn with melancholy interest that the best medical aid, and the kindest nursing of Christian friends, were his till his pure spirit calmly, peacefully, full of resignation and faith, slept in Jesus. P.
October 12, 1855
Died . . . . at his post.
It is with feelings of profoundest regret, that we record the death at Norfolk, of the REV. WM. L. JACKSON. Last week we delayed having our form set up, until we could obtain the very latest news. That news was, he was still alive. But even then, he was dead and buried. He died on Wednesday, October 4th, and was buried on Thursday morning; our Rev. brother Aristides Smith, officiating at his funeral.
Painful as it is for us thus to chronicle the death of such a man as William M. Jackson, we say again, as we said of James Chisholm, we would rather a thousand times he had died at his post, than to say he had deserted it. Yea, we would rather every clergyman in the Diocese had died, and in dying, by one act of mighty faith, commit the Episcopal Church in Virginia to the keeping of Jesus Christ, its head, than record the clergy had forsaken their people in times of pestilence. Life is short at best. It is only worth while to live, so long as we are standing at our posts, doing work for Christ.
It was thus Mr. Jackson lived and died. He came from a good old stock. Nurtured from his infancy in the principles of our Church, his whole christian life was devoted to its good. Entering its ministry he devoted himself to one great object—to save souls. Some few months ago, a most terrible pestilence broke out in Norfolk, where he was living and ministering. He could have saved his life. It was an easy thing for him to have gone abroad the steamboat and in a few hours been out of the reach of this terrible destroyer. Why did he linger in the plague-stricken city? He had no property to look after; no "business" of his would have suffered. He would not have lost one single farthing if he had gone away. Why remained he? Did he know the plague had begun? Yea, verily, he stood between the living and the dead. Then why did he remain? What kept him? Nothing—nothing but love for Jesus Christ. Oh! we do rejoice, that Christ has those at this day who are willing to lay down their lives for his sake. Blessed be this constraining love of Jesus! It was this that constrained our dearly beloved Chisholm. It was this that constrained our beloved Jackson. Should we not then glorify our Master's grace, which can cause all ranks, all ages, all professions, to lay down their lives for his sake?
We feel now more inclined to rejoice than mourn. The Church in Virginia has indeed met with a heavy loss. But the Church above has gained. Two brethren have gone before us—to say that we who remain, are determined to be more diligent in the master's work, while it is called today? May God grant it for Christ's sake.
[Will some of the brethren, who have been acquainted with Mr. Jackson, from his first entering the ministry, be kind enough to send us an account of him, something similar to the one we published of Mr. Chisholm.]
THE FEVER AT NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH, though abating very rapidly, is as much by reason of the fewness in number of persons to feed upon, as because there is an improvement in the health of the two cities. There was a frost there last Sunday night. But absentees ought not think of returning at present. Several who returned, have died.
October 19, 1855.
The Rev. Wm. M. Jackson.
"We sail the sea of life—a calm one finds,
And one a tempest—and, the voyage o'er,
Death is the quiet haven of us all."—Wordsworth.
The death of this beloved brother, while standing manfully at his post, under circumstances calculated to test the integrity of his faith, has carried sadness to the hearts of all who knew his genuine worth. A death of christian heroism has closed a life of uniform devotion to his Master's work; and now that he has gone to his reward, it is the last sad office of friendship to revive the memory of his excellency, and to emulate his pure example.
This tribute to his memory is offered by one who knew and loved him well, with the earnest prayer that we who survive in the ministry of the Gospel, may follow him as he followed Christ, even unto death.
The family of our deceased brother has for many years been identified with the ministry of the Church. His father, the late Rev. J. E. Jackson, was formerly rector of Christ Church, Winchester. He and two other brothers, the Rev. Thomas Jackson, and the Rev. Wm. Jackson, were natives of England, and took orders shortly after coming to this country; their praise is yet in the Church, and their names will not soon be forgotten.
The Rev. Wm. M. Jackson, the subject of this brief memoir, graduated, at an early age, at our Seminary near Alexandria, in the year 1831, and after his ordination as Deacon, took charge of Wickliffe and Grace Churches in Clarke county. Here for several years he labored faithfully in word and doctrine; and he is now, doubtless rejoicing in heaven with souls saved through Christ under his youthful ministry. During his residence in this parish he was married to the lovely and accomplished lady whose death, some years after, cast the first dark cloud over his joyous life.
After resigning his first charge, though at times sadly broken down by bodily infirmity, we find him successively chaplain at the University of Va., and Rector at the Churches at Middleburg and Upperville, Meade Parish, until the year—, when he succeeded the Rev. D. Caldwell, as Rector of St. Paul's Church, Norfolk. It was during his ministry at Norfolk, that Mr. Jackson entered upon that conspicuous career of usefulness which has just closed amid the tears and lamentations of the warm-hearted and devoted people who esteemed him so highly in love for his work's sake. Under his judicious teaching and systematic efforts, his congregation increased steadily in numbers and interest, and they have good cause to mourn over the loss of one whose heart ever throbbed with the warmest affection for the people of his love.
As a Christian minister, in the highest sense of the term, our brother occupied no ordinary rank. His whole character, gentle and courteous by nature, had been molded after the image of his Lord; refined by grace, he possessed a rare power of winning the hearts of men to the love and practice of true religion. Who that knew him can forget the cheerful smile and cordial grasp with which he was wont to greet his friends and brethren? The natural amiability of his character, inspired and exalted by the love of Christ, radiated joyously in his courteous bearing; his heart was a fountain of benevolence, and through all the change and trials of life, ever remained true to its original impulses. Such a nature, sanctified by grace, testified both in the pulpit, and in the private walks of life, to the transforming power of the Gospel.
Though endowed with no uncommon brilliancy of talent, yet he possessed powers, which faithfully improved and trained by intense application, made him, in a marked sense, a strong and growing man in intellectual and moral culture; to the last he brought forth out of his treasure things new and old; and if his valuable life had been spared, he would left his impress upon the church.—Thoroughly evangelical he knew nothing among men save Jesus Christ and Him crucified; in the sacred desk, in the lecture room, and from house to house, he warned, entreated, and exhorted, and was permitted from time to time to reap glorious harvest's in this Master's name.
He was gifted with an independence of thought that raised him above the dogmatism of the age. His opinions were not dictated to him by men; they were formed by mature investigation, and when formed, were fearlessly asserted. His study was his closet; he went forth as from the presence-chamber of heaven, fully equipped for his work, and proved himself to be a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When he made up his mind to stand at his post through the terrors of the pestilence, his brethren were not at all surprised at his determination; they knew that such would be his choice. We watched him in is perilous course with anxious and pleading hearts; we invoked the panoply of heaven to shield him from harm; our prayers besieged the mercy seat in his behalf. His cheerful voice responded to our trembling inquiries, that all was well; in the house of mourning, by the bed of suffering, around the yawning grave, he prayed, and toiled, and wept. Spared from week to week, and from month to month, "Surely," we thought, "he will now escape;" but alas! after fighting a good fight, just at the close of the battle, he received his mortal stroke, and fell gloriously in the arms of victory. His last appeal to the church was for the orphans left destitute by the merciless pestilence; their piteous tears have rained blessings upon his grave.
But thanks be to God, though we mourn, yet we rejoice that the noble Army of Martyrs is still swelling its ranks, and that our kindred and brethren are being added to the blessed company. Christ calls upon us not only to live, but to die for His dear name, that whether we live or die, His cause may be advanced.
Brothers Chisholm and Jackson are sleeping in honored graves; they were faithful unto death, and now wear the crown of life. Let us thank God for their good examples, and strive to walk in their footsteps. "For," says Jeremy Taylor, "since good men while they are alive, have their conversation in heaven, when they are in heaven, it is also fit that they should in their good names, live upon earth." R. T. B.
To the Memory of the Rev. James Chisholm.
Not on the tented field,
Mid battle's thundering din,
Where broken lance and shield,
Their bloody trophies win;
Not where proud changes rush,
And glittering cohorts tread
Where crimson torrents gush,
To stain the ghastly dead.
On nobler battle plain,
In brighter armor sheathed,
Arose thy victor strain,
In gentle accents breathed;
True Soldier of the Cross,
So meek and yet so strong,
O'er sorrow death and loss,
How sweet they dying song!
Through pestilence and storm,
On bright commission sent,
We saw thy lowly form,
By fevered couches bent;
Thy soft, prophetic hand,
Above each burning brow,
Waved to the happy land,
While breathed the dying vow.
Firm at they fearful post,
True Sentinel of love,
No cloud on death's dark coast,
Thy faithful heart could move;
Thy latest song was sweet,
While trembling on the shore,
To cross the flood and meet,
The dear ones gone before.
Thy life was music soft,
Though in the chords it slept,
It ever rose aloft,
When Nature's harp was swept;
Death cannot hush the strain,
Still gush the warbling notes,
'Mid Heaven's melodious trains,
Thy happy spirit floats.
Brother, farewell! we wave
Green palms above thy head;
No tears shall stain the grave
Of Christ's triumphant dead;
Hero and Martyr bold,
Thy meed of glory won,
Rest in thy bliss untold,
Thou faithful soul, WELL DONE!
R. T. B.
* * * * * *
ORPHANS.—There are now 60 orphans in the House of Refuge at Norfolk, with none to claim them, besides those that have been provided for in families in the city. Richmond and Petersburg also have charge of a considerable number.
[We have received from Miss Strass of Charlottesville, two dollars for the orphan children connected with Christ Church Norfolk. The money will be sent as soon as we know who will receive it. ED. S. C.]
We have also received a note directed to us, to the care of Mr. Entwisle, containing $10 for the Norfolk orphans. The generous by anonymous donor, may depend upon have her (?) money sent as she (?) desires.
GENEROUS.—The citizens of Clarke county, Virginia, have contributed nearly $2000 for the relief of the yellow fever sufferers of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and are now engaged in raising the sum of $5,000 with which to support and educate the son of the Rev. Mr. Chisholm, who so nobly sacrificed his life in ministering to the wants of the scourge-stricken inhabitants of Portsmouth, some five weeks since.—Rich. Enq.
We learn that St. Thomas Church, Orange Co., under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Mr. Earnest, has contributed to the sufferers of Norfolk and Portsmouth $144, being an amount larger than was contributed by this parish during the entire past year, to all objects. Improvement is always gratifying. Well done for St. Thomas' Church.
DIED, IN NORFOLK, on the 8th of September, of yellow fever, MRS. ELIZA WILKINSON, wife of the Rev. Aristides Smith, Principal of the Norfolk Female Seminary.
Among the many called away by the Angel of Death from this troublesome and painful life to the everlasting rest of the people of God, during the past eventful season in Norfolk—few deserve more richly the passing notice of an obituary than this excellent and useful woman. For there are few whose loss to their families will be more deeply felt and whose absence will create a more painful and distressing void in a wide circle of friends. She was endowed by nature with a great degree of cheerfulness, good sense, fortitude and energy of character; and by Divine Grace with a sincere and unaffected piety, which she displayed not only in words but in her deeds. Placed by Providence at the head of a domestic department of a large establishment, in which a number of servants were employed, she felt it to be her duty for their protection and welfare, to remain in Norfolk with her husband, who stood at his post, like a true soldier of the cross, during the prevalence of the fever. It was in nursing those dependant upon her care that she exhausted all her own physical strength, and her weakened frame had no power left to contend with the fierce destroyer. She fell a victim at last, to her own energy and forgetfulness of self. At the onset of the attack, she sunk into a stupor, from which she awoke but once. Then she enquired anxiously about her youngest daughter, who had been taken sick not many hours before her, and on being told that she was doing well, she relapsed into insensibility and in this state passed, in a few hours, into eternity. She did her work on earth earnestly and well. She suffered little or no pain in her last sickness. And she was mercifully spared also the bitter mental anguish she would otherwise have felt in seeing those who she tenderly loved, suffering the agonies of death. For she was the first of her family that was taken. She rests now from her labors in the presence of that blessed Redeemer . . . and in whom she habitually trusted. Her youngest son, of 17, and her youngest daughter of 13 years of age soon followed her to the grave, and, as we humbly believe, to the home of the blessed. And her husband and three children who survive her, are left to mourn their own severe loss, but at the same time, to rejoice in her everlasting gina. May death unite them to those who are "not lost but gone before!" G.
October 26, 1855.
Brief Notices of the Rev. Mr. Jackson and Chisholm.
Prepared by Bishop Meade.
Believing that a very small volume chiefly consisting of some of the letters of these faithful brethren, during their last days and labors, together with some of the incidents of that heavy calamity with which God has visited the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, would be not only interesting, but very useful in showing the power and comfort of true religion in the most trying scenes, I have encouraged the preparation of such a volume. The Rev. Mr. Cummings of Washington, the warm friend of Mr. Jackson, and his associate for some years in Norfolk has promised me to undertake the part relating to him, while Mr. Holmes Conrad of Martinsburg, a parishioner of Mr. Chisholm during his ministry in that place, and a most attached friend, will perform the rest. My object in this communication is to ask of any who have materials in the form of letters or otherwise, which may aid the above mentioned persons, in the proposed work, to send them to Mr. Cummings and Conrad. The surviving clergy of Norfolk, the Rev. Mr. Smith and Walke, although their hearts be still bleeding at the thought of their own loss in the death of beloved wives and children, will doubtless contribute their part.
It is proposed that this little volume, with an appropriate title, shall come out under the auspices of the Evangelical Knowledge Society and thus be ensured a wider circulation.
Bishop of the P. E. C., of Va.
November 2, 1855.
We copy from the Episcopal Recorder, the following extract from a letter to its editors, written by Lieutenant Page, U. S. N., who most faithfully and kindly attended the Rev. Mr. Jackson in his last sickness. We know it will be perused with melancholy interest by his many friends throughout Virginia:
"You ask me if I can give you any information of Mr. J.'s last hours. After he was attacked with fever, he seemed to be aware of the necessity of keeping himself quiet and free from excitement. He therefore saw no one but myself, the doctors and nurses.—I occasionally, in his latter sickness, gave him an opportunity to converse a little, anxious that he should do so; but his prostration was so great, together with a return of the fever, that he seemed to lack the physical ability to raise his voice. And thus he gradually sank without conversing upon any subject during his illness of near ten days.
He was, however, quiet and calm, never uttering a word of complaint, and I have no doubt died just as he had lived, perfectly resigned to the will of Him whom he had loved and served on earth.
I had often been with him at his post of duty during the fever, and never can I forget his happy, cheerful countenance amidst scenes well calculated to bow down the stoutest heart. No one, in my humble judgment, in the most trying times, ever performed all his duties both to God and man more faithfully, more zealously or more humbly than did our departed brother. He now wears that rich diadem prepared for those who love and serve the Lord. His loss is a great one to the Church.
November 9, 1855.
Death's Doings in a Family.
The fatal pestilence which has wrought such fearful devastation in so many homes in Norfolk has not perhaps in the whole range of its terrible march, made such havoc in any of the families of the place, as in that of those whose names are recorded in this obituary. They are all names known to the Church and its ministers throughout a large portion of the State.
Died, in Norfolk, of yellow fever, on the 20th day of August, 1855, in the 27th year of his age, Past Midshipman WALTER F. JONES, son of the late Walter and Mary E. Jones.
During the period this gentleman was in his country's service, he had attained an eminence in his profession, of which older men might justly have been proud. On the eve of promotion, he was seized with the fatal malady which hurried him to his grave and brought sorrow and sadness to the bosom of his stricken mother, and grief to the large circle of relatives and friends to whom he was endeared so deeply. Peaceful and happy however was his death. He had been well taught by his pious mother, his duty to his God, and as he felt that the stern messenger had come, he calmly closed his eyes, expressing an unfaltering trust in his Redeemer, and so, "fell asleep."
And, on the 25th of August, 1855, of the prevailing epidemic, Mrs. VIRGINIA F. G. Robertson, aunt of Past Midshipman Jones, and the beloved wife of Joseph H. Robertson, Esq., in the 42d year of her age.
For years a member of Christ Church, Norfolk, her humble faith, her holy hope, her good works, all made manifest to those who knew her, that she was adorning "the doctrine of Christ her Saviour." The poor found her a kind friend ever, and the chamber of the sick and the afflicted was no stranger to the sweet influences of her presence. That beautiful Psalm, (the 23d,) whose consoling words have cheered so many tried and troubled hearts, was her favorite. When dying she requested it to be read, and she felt doubtless that the Lord was her Shepherd; and as she went down through the valley of the shadow of death, she feared no evil. That God, was with her, in whom she had trusted; that rod and that staff upon which she had leant for years, were there; and calmly, and sweetly she closed her eyes, to wake up in the likeness of her Redeemer, and dwell with him forever! Rest in peace.
And, on the 29th of August, of the same pestilential disease, all that was mortal of Mrs. MARY E. JONES was committed to the silent dust, in hope of "the resurrection and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ." This lady was the widow of the late Walter Jones, formerly Post Master at Norfolk, the mother of Past Midshipman Jones, and the sister of Mrs. Robertson, both of whose deaths are recorded above. Like that sister, she had been for years a follower of her Saviour, and like her exemplified her faith by her works. She was a gentle being—full of that grace and sweetness, dignity and suavity, which bespeak the Christian lady. Feeble and delicate for several years, she lived surrounded by devoted children, loving relatives and admiring friends, for
"None knew her but to love her,
None name her but to praise."
And though the bereavement was great which had but a few days before laid her only son in his early grave, for Walter F. Jones "was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow,"—and although her beloved sister had been torn from the family circle, calmly did she go down to the grave, in the 54th year of her age, with a hope full of immortality, and the bright prospect of meeting again her love and her lost ones in heaven.
"How beautiful is sleep!
The sleep that Christians know,
Ye mourners cease your woe,
While soft upon her Saviour's breast,
The righteous sinks to endless rest."
And, on the 1st of September, 1855, at the country residence of his friend, Hon. Francis Mallory, near Hampton, whither he had gone to find repose after the fiery ordeal of affliction through which he had passed, in committing so many of his best beloved to the grave, JOSEPH H. ROBERTSON, Esq., in the 59th year of his age. Grief, together with the fatal disease which was lurking in his system, bowed him down, ad he came from amid the wreck of his happy home to die, and be buried in the ancestral burial ground—the resting place of his fathers.
In early life Mr. Robertson entered upon the practice of the law, which he pursued with distinguished success, until forced from the circumstance of increasing deafness, to relinquish it. For many years after this he was the Register of the Borough, (afterwards the City,) of Norfolk, the duties of which he discharged with fidelity and efficiency. He was also for many years a Trustee of Christ Church, Norfolk, (there being no Vestry to this Church, owing to the peculiar circumstances under which the House was erected,) and his enlarged views, his liberal feelings, his generous impulses, and withal his earnest devotion to the peculiar principles of his Church, won for him the respect, esteem, and love of every member of that large and flourishing congregation. He had but a short time before his decease been elected Treasurer of the Norfolk and Petersburg Rail Road Company, and few men any where enjoyed more the confidence of a community, than Joseph H. Robertson. Two days after his arrival at Dr. Mallory's, he found that the fever had begun its fatal course with him, and that he must go the way of all flesh. His mind was continually pondering, (as he so touchingly remarked,) his wife's "beautiful death," and having made his will, he called for the reading of the same Psalm, whose touching and beautiful sentiments had interwoven themselves in the sweet communings of her soul,—and commending his spirit to the Lord Jesus, he passed away as tranquilly as the tired child yields to the gentle influences of slumber. A little incident at the grave, brought tears—tears of hope they were—to every eye. The funeral train (seven only in number) had gone at early dawn to follow their friend and relative to his last resting place. Just as the solemn and thrilling words of our ritual for the dead were uttered by the officiating minister, (the Rector of the Church in Hampton,) "I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord," the round red sun stole up the horizon, shedding a rosy hue over the waters of Back river, and lighting with prismatic colors, the tears that stood on our cheeks. "The Sun of Righteousness" had already arisen upon his soul, "with healing on its wings."
And, yet another link is broken—another Christian, and such a Christian as would to God we had more! has been called away. Died, in Baltimore, at Barnum's Hotel, on Monday, 3d of September, 1855, aged about 55 years, WALTER H. TAYLOR, Esq., of Norfolk, brother of the two ladies whose names we have recorded above, as numbered with the dead, leaving a devoted wife, and a large family of children, to mourn and miss him. He carried the seeds of the disease with him, and lived but three days after his arrival. Walter H. Taylor was a synonym in Norfolk, and wherever he was known, for integrity, uprightness, honor, and a Christian. He was also a Trustee of Christ Church, and was always foremost in every good work—a generous spirit was Walter H. Taylor; as unselfish and pure a character, as ever dwelt in our midst. His piety was deep and sincere, his faith strong and ardent, and although our hearts must bleed, and our eyes drop tears feelingly and yet as we remember his kindly grasp, his pleasant smiles, and his words of love, still, we give him up to that God whom he loved, and served faithfully, knowing that He to whom we have committed his spirit, doeth all things well. May God soothe the sorrows of the survivors, who have thus been called upon to part with five of their beloved ones in the short space of a few weeks, and enable them to follow their dear departed relatives in this life, even as they followed Christ, that so with them they may rest in peace. J. C. M.
December 7, 1855.
Portsmouth, December 3, 1855.
Rev. and Dear Sir:—By divine permission I was yesterday enabled to fulfill the appointments in Norfolk and Portsmouth which have been announced in your paper, and as you justly complain when ministers do not furnish you with items of parochial history calculated to interest your readers, and there are now none in these bereaved congregations, I send a simple and brief statement of our services. Neither of the churches had been opened for worship since the illness of their lamented pastors until yesterday, except for the purpose of ventilating them. The habiliments of woe hang around the chancels, pulpits and other parts of the two houses, and many were the mourning garments seen upon the sorrowing attendants. The first service at 11 o'clock was held in St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, the Rev. Mr. Miller, of Mississippi, once and for many years its pastor, and the Rev. Mr. Smith, one of the bereaved brethren performed the service. The Rev. Mr. McCabe of Hampton, preached on "seeing through a glass darkly" all the ways and doing of God, and made a feeling application of the subject to the circumstances of the congregations and the scenes which had recently transpired. I closed the services, deep feeling seemed to pervade the stricken and sorrowing assembly. At night we repaired to St. John's Church, Portsmouth. The Rev. Mr. Wingfield read the service. Mr. McCabe again preached to an overflowing congregation. His subject was "the rest that remaineth for the people of God." Again he made a feeling allusion to the pestilence with which God had afflicted the people and the great loss the congregation had sustained in the death of Mr. Chisholm, and I closed with some appropriate remarks. The sobs which were heard all over the house showed how they loved their pastor, and the number of all denominations who crowded the house, how Mr. Chisholm was esteemed and beloved by all. Among them was the worthy Baptist minister who read our funeral service over his grave. I have just looked over the library of Mr. Chisholm. It is small, but very choice, and I have recommended that it be preserved entire for his little son. God grant that he may one day use it, as his dear father did. I have borrowed from his pile of sermons some of his more recent ones, and perhaps may send you some specimens of his pulpit teaching. I am happy to inform you that all things seem cheering again. A good number of persons are already coming from elsewhere to take their places made vacant by the pestilence. So far from property falling in value I am told that house rent has risen considerably.
The citizens seem deeply impressed with gratitude for the liberality manifested in all parts of the land towards them in their distress. I am told that the Howard Association, whose praises are on every lip, have about eighty thousand dollars in hand to be distributed among the poor . . .
December 14, 1855.
DIED, on the 22d inst., [September] of yellow fever, in the city of Norfolk, ALEXANDER GALT, Esq., of that place, in the 64th year of his age.
The subject of this notice was born in Williamsburg, in the year 1792, but emigrated to Norfolk at 14 years of age. Besides pursuing other modes of business at an earlier period, he was lately Postmaster for many years. He also held other offices of trust and honor. Thus he was a volunteer in the last war with Great Britain, and acted as an Assistant Apothecary General. And of another date he was Captain of the Junior Corps of Volunteers. Perhaps the brightest feature in his character was his constant, unwavering devotion to the cause of Christ, from his youth upwards, having been for many years a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church; that his was that broad and catholic feeling that takes within the spirits of its communion, christians of other denominations as well as its own. Moreover, in every relation of life, his was a spotless reputation; as a brother, as a husband, as a father, as a citizen, in fine [fact] in every relation of life, he bears a character without blemish, wholly irreproachable. In him, too, was evinced a high order of intellect, and he was distinguished for a beautiful suavity of manners, which well reflected his noble characteristics and a thorough and polished gentleman. In his official duties he was untiring, and doubtless his end was hastened by his arduous exertions to fulfill those duties to the uttermost, amid the darkest hours of the gloomy pestilence. Yes, he died at his post, not for a moment hesitating, or shrinking from the impending disease which was to sweep him away as it had desolated so many households before. Those who knew him best, loved him most deeply, appreciated most fully his rare qualities. To them especially, his loss is irreparable, never to overcome. But they possess the exquisite, the priceless consolation, that if ever virtue was rewarded, he has his reward; if ever the follower of Jesus passed from earth to the bosom of God—he rests now and forever in the bosom of the Father, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest—where the toil-worn and weary have a changeless and everlasting peace.
December 21, 1855.
Tribute of Respect.
At a meeting of the Vestry of Trinity Church, Portsmouth Parish, held at the parsonage on Monday evening, 10th Dec., 1855, the following Resolutions were submitted and unanimously adopted:
Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God in his all wise Providence, to remove from our midst since our last meeting, by the late pestilence, our much esteemed friend and associate, RICHARD CHANNING MOORE YOUNG.
Resolved, That we deeply deplore the loss of our departed friend and brother Vestryman, cut off as he was in his youth and in the faithful performance of his duty, towards the Church as a Vestryman, and as a citizen of our community.
Resolved, That we do most sincerely sympathize with the family of the deceased, in this their sad bereavement.
Resolved, That in token of our respect for the deceased, we will wear the usual badge of mourning for the space of thirty days.
Resolved, That the foregoing be communicated to the family of the deceased.
Resolved, That the foregoing preamble and resolutions be published in the "Southern Churchman" and Portsmouth Transcript.
Copy: ARTHUR EMMERSON, Register.
February 1, 1856.
At a Meeting of the Vestry of St. John's Church, held in the town of Portsmouth, the 6th day of December, A. D., 1855. The following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, it has please Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, in his inscrutable, although wise Providence, to remove our late lamented Rector, the Rev. JAMES CHISHOLM, from his pastoral charge, on the 15th day of September, 1855, by the fearful epidemic that has recently visited our town, spreading lamentation and gloom into hitherto happy and cheerful circles, and severing connections of the most delicate and sacred character; and whilst yielding in humble submission to the will of the righteous Judge of all the earth, the Vestry of St. John's Church, and those whom they represent, as expressive of their affection and veneration for the character of the deceased, adopt the following resolutions.
Resolved, That in the death of the Rev. James Chisholm, the Church under his pastoral care has sustained a heavy and afflicting loss, and the Church of Christ has been deprived of an accomplished, efficient and zealous minister.
Resolved, That the deceased combined in his character all those virtues and graces which adorn and dignify the minister of the blessed Redeemer; and whilst his simplicity, fervor, and brilliant and varied acquirements in the pulpit commanded the attention and elicited the admiration of those attendant upon his ministrations of the Gospel, his courteous, bland and pleasing manners in the private circle, his fidelity, kindness and affection, constantly evinced in the performance of his parochial duties, excited in those connected with him by the bonds of Christian fellowship, the heart's best affection, and induced the formation of friendships that survive the period of his dissolution.
Resolved, That the heroism and the self-sacrificing spirit displayed, by remaining at his post during the prevalence of the appalling visitation, exposing himself to the influence of the destroying pestilence, were worthy and exalted position of the Christian minister; and his untiring and ceaseless efforts, in disregard of the perils surrounding him, alleviate human suffering, and as an ambassador of Christ, to direct the stricken and dying to the consolations and hopes of the Gospel, was a beautiful and sublime exemplification of his devotion to the cause of his Mater, and of his unfaltering reliance and trust in Him who has said, "My grace shall be sufficient for you."
Resolved, That the Vestry and congregation of St. John's Church sincerely sympathize with the surviving family connections and friends of this deceased servant of God, and tender to them their heartfelt and Christian condolence; they will fondly cherish the remembrance of the virtue and worth of their lamented Rector, and although no sculptured marble may be reared to mark his resting place and to perpetuate his memory, their affections will linger around the green spot, where his mortal remains shall repose, until awakened by the trump of God, to be re-united to his sainted spirit.
Resolved, That as a token or respect and regard for the Christian character of the deceased the members of the Vestry will wear the usual badge of mourning for sixty days, and that the Church of which he was Rector be placed in mourning for a like period.
Resolved, That copies of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and be published in the Southern Churchman, Episcopal Recorder, and the papers of Norfolk and Portsmouth.
JAMES MURDAUGH, Clerk of Vestry.
February 8, 1856.
St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, VA.
At a meeting of the Vestry of St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted.
Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God, in His wise providence, to take out of this world the soul of the Rev. WM. M. JACKSON, the beloved Pastor of St. Paul's Church, who, in the city of Norfolk, on the 3d day of Oct., 1855, met death fearlessly and silently "in the pestilence that walked in darkness, and the sickness that destroyeth in the noonday."
Resolved, That St. Paul's Church has sustained a sad and crushing loss, and the Diocese one of its purest and brightest lights.
Resolved, That his was the Christian's courage, displayed everywhere in the midst of human suffering, cheering the good, admonishing the wicked, soothing the unhappy, always "going about doing good."
Resolved, That the Vestry and congregation deeply sympathize with his bereaved family and connections, and cherish a lively sense of his exalted Christian virtues, his earnestness and constancy in the performance of all the duties imposed upon him by his sacred office.
Resolved, As a testimonial of affections and respect for our deceased Pastor, the Vestry will have placed in some conspicuous part of the church a cenotaph, with an appropriate inscription.
Resolved, That the Rt. Rev. Bishop Johns be requested to preach a sermon on the life, services and death of our lamented Pastor, in St. Paul's Church.
Resolved, That copies of these proceedings be sent to the family of the deceased, and that the Southern Churchman and Episcopal Recorder be requested to publish them.
Wm. Lamb, W. P. Stewart, A. T. M. Cooke: Committee.
Resolved, That in the death of our friend and brother, Dr. GEORGE L. UPSHUR, who was cut off in the prime of manhood, midway in his high career, from friends and professional brethren endeared to him by years of intimate and cordial association—St. Paul's Church has lost a faithful, zealous and conscientious friend, the community a public spirited and patriotic citizen and gentleman, and the poor a reliable and true friend. In reverent and humble submission to His will, in whose hands are the issues of life, and laying prayerfully to heart this dispensation of His providence; we, the Vestry of St. Paul's Church, in solemn meeting assembled, direct, that as a mark of respect for our deceased brother, the Register enter upon the minutes a copy of these proceedings, and that Messrs. Cooke, Tunstall, and Stewart, be a committee to transmit a copy of the same to his bereaved family, and to the Southern Churchman and Episcopal Recorder, for publication.
(Names from Norfolk and Portsmouth only)
Rev. D. Caldwell
Rev. James Chisholm
A. T. M. Cooke
Alexander Galt, Esq.
Rev. Wm. Jackson
Mrs. Mary E. Jones
Walter F. Jones
Rev. T. G. Keen
Lieut. Page, U. S. N.
Joseph H. Robertson, Esq.
Mrs. Virginia F. G. Robertson
Rev. Mr. Aristides Smith
Rev. Leonidas Smith
Mrs. Eliza W. Smith
W. P. Stewart
Walter H. Taylor, Esq.
Rev. Lewis Walke
Mary Louisa Walke
Arthur S. Whittle
Richard C. M. Young
* * * * * *
Table of Contents.