Morning Prayer 17.7.17, William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836

WilliamWhite.WilliamBirch.SmithsonianAmericanArtMuseum

In most former British colonies, the Church of England in Wherever simply morphed into a new Anglican province when independence arrived, but not in the United States; the church had to be rebuilt from scratch. William White, the rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia and Bishop of Pennsylvania, is the man who led its rebuilding. From New York City up through Boston, most Anglican clergy were royalists who fled to Canada or back to Britain; but in Philadelphia all but one priest favored independence; they formed the nucleus of a new, national church governed by democratic and republican principles. As chaplain to the Continental Congress and later the United States Senate, White had heard all the debates about secular governance, and wrote a new constitution for the Episcopal Church adopted the Federal model. (William Burch, Smithsonian Museum of American Art)

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