Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, August 13, 2007

1865 Comments of Rev. William Samuel Coffey of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Regarding the Tenure of Rev. Robert Bolton of Pelham

On October 24, 1865, Rev. William Samuel Coffey of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester delivered a "Commemorative Discourse" during the Centennial Celebration of the erection of the church building. In the discourse, published by Perris & Browne in 1866, Rev. Coffey relates a brief account of the stewardship of the Church by Rev. Robert Bolton of Pelham. The pertinent excerpt appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"The year 1837 is distinguished in the history of our Church, by the settlement over it of a Clergyman, whom the people themselves, unassisted by other connection, undertake to support; and which arrangement, then permanently established, has continued to the present day. It cannot be doubted, that this in large measure was in consequence of Mr. Bolton's* [Footnote * From Page 23 Appears Below] very popular manners, and the attractiveness of his accomplished and widely known family.† [Footnote † from Page 23 Appears Below] The congregations assembling Sunday after Sunday, are described to me as very large, and that Mr. Bolton's effort was a determined and successful one to raise the religous tone of those receiving his ministrations. . . . .

* Mr. Bolton was ordained both Deacon (July 25, 1837) and Priest (November 19, 1837) in our Church. He had been previously a Congregational Minister.

† Mr. Robert Bolton [Jr.], eldest son in this family, is the author of the History of West Chester County. This work in two volumes gives evidence of the most active research, and of the great aptitude of this gentleman for such literary efforts. The County is farther indebted to him for a 'History of the Church' in her several towns, which is read with more than local interest. While the writer of this Discourse, has himself, in all points, consulted original sources, some of which are in his own care, he is only too ready to acknowledge his indebtedness to his esteemed friend, for whatever of guidance he may have received from these volumes in his preparations."

Source: Coffey, William Samuel, Commemorative Discourse Delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of the Erection and the Sixtieth of the Consecration of St. Paul's Church, East Chester, West Chester Co., N.Y., October 24th, 1865, pp. 23-24 (NY, NY: Perris & Browne, 1866).

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