The Man Who Rode the Tiger: The Life and Times of Judge Samuel Seabury

By Herbert Mitgang | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Reformer Taxes a Wife

THE Seaburys lived at 8 Chelsea Square; the Richeys lived at 5 Chelsea Square. That was the beginning of it. Dr. William J. Seabury and Dr. Thomas Richey were both professors at the General Theological Seminary, and they were close friends as well as colleagues. Both had children, boys and girls, who visited back and forth and played together on the seminary grounds. Sam Seabury was the same age as Frank Richey, and the two were good friends. But involvement in law, politics, and social reform movements left Seabury hardly any time to notice that Dr. Richey's youngest daughter, Josephine Maud, was growing up.

The seminary professors lived with their families in an intimate little world of their own. They spent their days lecturing, church- going, visiting and receiving parishioners, students, church dignitaries, and studying church publications that treated the role of the church and religion in a changing community. The general atmosphere was much like that of a small college town, except that the sounds and sentiments of Manhattan constantly intervened. The professors, who could not help but be aware of the intolerable living conditions of the working classes of Chelsea, made up, with other Protestant clergymen, one of the more active reform groups in the city.

The progressivism of the professors notwithstanding, behind the

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