Main content

Title: Alison, Rev Francis to Stiles, Rev. Ezra, 1768
CollectionIrish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan. Letters and memoirs from colonial and revolutionary America (1675-1815) [K.A. Miller et al.]
SenderAlison, Rev Francis
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationreverend
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPhiladelphia, USA
DestinationNewport, Rhode Island, USA
RecipientStiles, Rev. Ezra
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipnot acquainted
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count960
Genrereligion in the colonies
TranscriptRev. Francis Alison, Philadelphia, to Rev. Ezra Stiles, Newport, Rhode Island, 29 March 1768

Philada March ye :29th 1768
To the Revrd Dr. Ezra Stiles
Revrd & Dr Sr
I am not certain, but I think you ow<e> me a letter, but I complain that you Sent me no letter by Capt Anthony tho you had Some months of which you might have Spared a few minutes for this purpose. I desire to know whether any thing is a doing about Dr: Chandlers Primitive Bishop in yr Govermt or whether yr Island is to be the place of his Residence. If you admit him Cordially, he may posssibly be like foxes & Eagles, y are Said to do most mischief at a distance; you may escape his oppression. The Dr. puts on an air of modesty, but makes very high claims. they are ye church, ye american Church the Church of England in America & all others are but dissenters— none y t are dissenters from the national church have any right to any degree of Civil or military power— Their new Bishops are to protect & defend both the Clergy & the Laity; without Bishops he Says the church here yt is essentially y e same with ye Establishd Church in England, cannot long Subsist; & what Ruins y e one must in time destroy the other. Bishops he Says Should be granted, if for no other Reason for y e sake of ye State; no other denomination of christians, but Episcopalians, can Support monarchy. That is ye old Cry, no king no bishop; & without Bishops be Speedily Sent to America, ye English Church, & State are in danger. Without a Bishop y Negroes cannot be Converted, nor ye Indians Civilized. What wonders can be wrought by two or three men, at the most! What a Pity it is yt ye men in powers, yt ye Guardians of ye Nation, in the Parliament, would not hear their Complaints, & threatnings and cajolings, & Save ye Nation from Ruin by giving them Bishops without delay. But will it not be a hardship, that Bishops Should not have Courts for ye exercise of discipline; or that any but their Loyal followers, Should be alowed to fill any places of honor or profit in our Islands or Colonies? These things are Serious evils to us, who groand under an Establishment, but are words of no force with you. A Sort of a Society in this city have determined to unmask him, & follow him thro all his doublings, & dark Shelters; & we have publishd our first paper, Called the Centinel last Thursday in Bradfords Paper, which will be continued. A paper called the american Whig is begun after the Same manner in New York, and we earnestly request you to Set Some paper on foot in like manner in yr. free Goverm t & excite the Sons of liberty in Connecticut, to do ye Same in New-haven. The attempt must be made to point out the Common Danger. Most nations in y e world have lost their liberty by not opposing the attempts of proud ambitious men in Season. With as much propriety, may they Send Bishops into Scotland or Hanover, as to ye New England Colonies or to Maryland or Pensylvania. Ireland was long alowd greater Privileges than she enjoys there at Present It was, if I remember right, in ye reign of queen Ann, that Presbyterians were disqualified by law to fill a better Post than that of a petty Constable, and had these aspiring church men the power, they would think that they did God & ye State good Service to Serve you all in the Same Manner. If ye King must nominate ye American Bishops, & if they are to be of Such Importance, why must they not be paid out of these new projected funds to pay Governors, & other officers of State, & if we be taxd even to support them he tells us yt he deserves not to be lookd on as a good subject that would think much to pay it; & will not y same reasoning hold for a Support to ye missionaries? thus ye Society will be eased, & they will no longer be obliged to cut and Shufle, & make pretences to get money from the mother Countrey to Support y e Gospel, & they May greatly increase ye number of missionaries. Governor Dobbs, a church biggot, has been unwearied in North Carolina, till he has got a Law to oblige every County to maintain an orthodox minister, & as he Says, this goverm t abounds with Sectaries of all denominations, especially the Anabaptists. They must all support the orthodox ministers of y e Episcopal persuasion,&heSay<s> in his letter to y e Society that by a Vestry law of his procuring every taxable in that Govermt is obliged annually to pay ten Shillings to purchase Gleb<e>s, & to build gleb<e>-houses &c; there is as he Says about thousand taxables, which must Cost these poor people above 17-thousand pounds in that one article. See ye abstract of ye Societies proceedings for 1765 page 84. I earnestly entreat you to favor ye world with Such remarks on this attempt to bring us into bondage as you think Just, & let me know what is doing in Boston or what they think will be ye Consequence of this appeal. We think in this place y it was a merciful providence, yt directed him to publish, & to give a timely alarm to see yt our Liberties are in Danger. A letter by ye Post will be very acceptable to
Revd . Sr your Sincere friend & obedient humbl Servt
Fra: Alison