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.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brief History of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1886

The history of St. Paul's Church of Eastchester, now a National Historic Site, is closely entertwined with that of the Town of Pelham. Consequently, I often have written about the history of the church here. For examples, see:

Friday, September 21, 2007: The Ringing of the Bell of St. Paul's Church of Eastchester on the 100th Anniversary of the First Service in the Stone Church

Thursday, September 6, 2007: Information About St. Paul's Church, the Battle of Pelham and Other Revolutionary War Events Near Pelham Contained in an Account Published in 1940

Wednesday, August 15, 2007: Plan of Pews in St. Paul's Church 1790

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2007: A Description of an Eyewitness Account of Interior of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester During the Revolutionary War

Friday, June 15, 2007: Photograph of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1914

Monday, February 12, 2007: Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Opens New Exhibition: "Overlooked Hero: John Glover and the American Revolution"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006: A Brief History of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester Published in 1907

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes another brief history of the Church published in 1886. The material appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.


No report having been received, the following particulars are gathered from Bolton's History, and the Convention Journals. This parish was organized under the statute of the State, March 12, 1787. It had been the field of mission labor since 1700. Among the missionaries were Rev. Thomas Standard, who died in 1760, Rev. John Milne, and Rev. Samuel Seabury, afterwards Bishop of Connecticut. He writes to the Secretary of the Venerable Society, December 3, 1767, in the second year of his pastorate, as follows: 'At East Chester, which is four miles distant, the congregation is generally larger than at Westchester. The old church in which they meet, as yet, is very cold. They have erected and just completed the roof of a large, well-built stone church, on [Page 224 / Page 225] which they have expended, they say, £700 currency; but their ability seems exhausted and I fear I shall never see it finished. I applied last winter to His Excellency, Sir Henry Moore, for a brief in their favor, but the petition was rejected.' The rectors have been, 1702, Rev. John Bartow; 1727, Rev. Thomas Standard; 1761, Rev. John Milner; 1766, Rev. Samuel Seabury; 1799, Rev. Isaac Wilkins; 1817, Rev. Ravaud Kearney; 1826, Rev. Lawson Carter; 1836, Rev. John Grigg; 1837, Rev. Robert Bolton; 1846, Rev. Edwin Harwood; 1847, Rev. Henry E. Duncan, and in 1852, Rev. William S. Coffey, present incumbent. In 1728, there were 30 communicants; in 1817, 48; in 1847, 35; in 1853, 46, and in 1885, 76. The present wardens are A.H. Dunscombe and Stephen P. Hunt.

The original church remains in use. It suffered desecration during the Revolution, was turned into a court-house, barracks, and hospital; was stripped and pillaged of every vestige of wood, but has been generously and thoughtfully restored and is among the most interesting edifices of the colonial period."

Source: Wilson, James Grant, ed., The Centennial History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New York 1785-1885, pp. 224-25 (NY, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1886).

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