Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

F. E. J. Lloyd and the Oregon Election of 1905

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

F. E. J. Lloyd and the Oregon Election of 1905

Article excerpt

The Episcopal Church has had over one thousand bishops. Many have been die subject of biographies or autobiographies, and die first one hundred have been studied as a group.1 Litde has been written, however, about "die ones diat got away" - priests who were elected to die episcopate but declined. In 1783, Jeremiah Learning declined election in Connecticut, tiius paving die way for Samuel Seabury to become die first bishop of diat or any diocese in the United States. In 1835, Francis Lister Hawks declined election as missionary bishop for the Old Soudiwest, dius making Jackson Kemper, elected at the same time for the Old Northwest, the church's first official missionary bishop. An interesting but litdeknown example in the twentietii century was die election in 1947 of Robert Alexander Magill of Lynchburg, Virginia, as bishop of Los Angeles by a convention bitterly divided over churchmanship. He is listed in that diocese's section of The Living Church Annual for 1948 as bishop-elect, but declined when threatened with a lawsuit. (A priest had been denied a vote because of a misunderstanding as to how long he had been in the diocese, and that was used as leverage to prevent the consecration of the low-church candidate.)' Surely, the most interesting of all those who declined election was the Reverend F. E.J. Lloyd, elected bishop coadjutor of Oregon in 1905.

The General Convention of 1853 established the Missionary jurisdiction of die Oregon and Washington Territories, and Thomas Fielding Scott, rector of Trinity Church, Columbus, Georgia, was elected as its first bishop. Unlike William Ingraham Kip, who was elected at die same time for California and consecrated at die convention with several bishops taking part, Scott was consecrated at Christ Church, Savannah, on 8 January 1854, with only diree bishops (Georgia, Alabama, and Soudi Carolina) participating. Scott's jurisdiction consisted of what is now Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming; like Jackson Kemper in 1835, he was "die bishop of all outdoors." Unlike Kemper, however, he had but small success in recruiting clergy from the East, and no success in having his territory divided. (Idaho was separated in 1867 and joined with Montana and Utah, but it was just as Scott was leaving.)

Thomas Fielding Scott was born 12 March 1807 in Iredell County, North Carolina. Initially a Presbyterian minister, he was ordained deacon in 1843 and priest in 1844 by Bishop Stephen Elliott of Georgia. He traveled to Oregon with his wife, Evelyn, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in Portland on 22 April 1854. He must have cut an imposing figure, over six feet tall and weighing 250 pounds. Hale and hearty at forty-six, he needed his strength for the long journeys by stagecoach over rough roads; on one occasion, he was thrown out when the coach overturned.

The Civil War took its toll, both personally and financially, on the church in Oregon. One of the clergy had been supported by the diocese of South Carolina, and this aid ceased completely, while aid from the North was diminished. Moreover, the Idaho gold rush of 1861 caused a decrease in population west of the Cascades. In 1862, Scott submitted his resignation, but the House of Bishops asked him to take a leave of absence instead. In May 1867 he announced his intention to request a transfer to the East Coast, citing his wife's health. Thomas E. Jessett, the Episcopal Church's premier historian of the Pacific Northwest, describes Scott as

Deeply disappointed by the failure of the General Convention of 1865 ... to provide him with episcopal relief, tired of the continual isolation from his episcopal colleagues now almost eight years long, worn out with the hardships of travel, and despairing of being able to meet the demands of his office in view of the constantly expanding population in his vast jurisdiction.

In 1867, Scott journeyed to New York with the intention of resigning, feeling that he had been a complete failure. …

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