Bishop Whittingham’s First Visitation to Western Maryland, 1840

By Mary Klein, diocesan archivist

Six weeks after his consecration as Bishop of Maryland, William Rollinson Whittingham set out to meet the clergy and congregations of Western Maryland. During his thirteen-day visitation, he visited 9 churches, a school, a Sunday School two ailing individuals, and travelled nearly 400 miles. Although he noted the number of miles he travelled each day, he did not specify the method of travel. In 1840 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad did run between Baltimore and Frederick, to Hagerstown and Cumberland, so the bishop may have travelled by rail for some distances; although he probably used horse-drawn carriages to reach out-of-the way places. He confirmed 60 people, and preached 14 different sermons in church buildings, temporary chapels, and Methodist Meeting Houses. At age 35, he was full of energy, as demonstrated by the pace of travel, services he conducted and numbers of people he met along the way. On one day, he participated in Morning Prayer, administered Communion, personally visited a blind parishioner, attended Evening Prayer, held a Confirmation service for 11people and preached 3 different sermons. This exhausting pace would continue throughout his long episcopate of 40 years traversing a diocese which then included today’s dioceses of Easton and Washington.

 

From Whittingham’s Journal of 1840.

Saturday, October 31 [to Frederick – 63 miles] Evening. Read Evening Prayer and preached. Rev. U. Beall, the rector, and Rev. Mr. Hoff, of Georgetown present.

Received Rev. Theodore Benedict Lyman, deacon, by Letter dimissory from the Rt. Rev. Benj. T. Onderdonk, Bp. Of New York.

 

Sunday, 20th after Trinity. All Saints’ Day, November 1.  All Saints’ Church, Frederick. A.M. Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read Morning Prayer. I preached and administered the Holy Communion. 20 black communicants. Congregation large. Rev. Mr. Hoff present. After service, proceeded with Rev. Mr. Beall to the house of Mr. Potts, a venerable member of the church, afflicted with blindness and infirmity of body, but enjoying many years the light of the countenance of the Lord, and there administered the Communion for the Sick. Mrs. & Miss Potts, besides Mr. Beall, joining in Communion.

 

P.M. Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read Evening Prayer. I preached and administered Confirmation. 6 white and 5 black confirmed. Rev. Mr. Hoff present.

Evening, Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read the Third Service. I preached. Rev. Mr. Bulkley, Missionary at Maryland Manor & Rev. Mr. Trapnell, rector of Zion Parish, and Rev. Mr. Hoff, present.

 

Tuesday, November 3rd [to St. Mark’s Parish church, 11 miles]

A.M. Rev. Mr. Bulkley, Missionary in the parish, at Carroll Manor, read Morning Prayer. I read the Ante-Communion and preached. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read the Preface to the Order of Confirmation. I confirmed 17 – 1 male (2 of the proposed St. Paul’s Church, Carroll’s Manor) I administered the Communion, assisted by Rev. Mr. Beall. Rev. Messer’s. Delaplane (the Rector), Bulkley, Trapnell, and Phillips present.

[3/4 mile to Barleywood – Rev. Mr. Phillip’s school]

Barleywood Female School of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Visited by invitation of Rev. Mr. Phillips, the Principal, in company with Rev. Mr. Lyman, of Hagerstown.

[1 ½ miles to Mr. Hawkins’]

 

Wednesday, November 4 [21 miles to Hagerstown]

Thursday, November 5 – Thanksgiving Day

St. John’s church, Hagerstown.

A.M. Read Morning Prayer, the Rev. Mr. Lyman, rector-elect, reading the lessons. I read the Ante-Communion Service, and preached. I administered the Communion, the Rev. Mr. Lyman assisting. 4 black communicants. Rev. Mr. Wheat present.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read Evening Prayer. I preached. Rev. Mr. Lyman and Rev. Mr. Hoff of Georgetown present.

 

Friday, November 6 [11 miles to Lonaconing]

St. Andrew’s Church, Lonaconing. A.M. Large congregation. I consecrated the church on presentation of a request and deed of donation, by the rector, churchwardens and vestry. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, read the request. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read the Letter of Consecration. Rev. Mr. Lyman, of Hagerstown, read Moring Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen of Lonaconing, read the lessons. I preached. No Communion. Rev. Mr. Hoff, of Georgetown, was present.

Evening. Mr. Owen, of Lonaconing, read Evening Prayer. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, assisting in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, baptized one adult. I preached. Large congregation. Rev. Mr. Crampton, of Hancock, was present.

 

Saturday, November 7

A.M. at 91/2 Catechized the children (about 25, male & female – 1 colored) in the church. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, and Rev. Mr. Owen present.

At 11. Rev. Mr. Crampton read Morning Prayer; Rev. Mr. Owen assisting in the lessons. I read Ante-Communion service. I preached. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, as rector, read Preface to the office of Confirmation. I administered confirmation to 7 persons (1 male). I administered the Holy Communion, assisted by the rector. 22 communicants. . Rev. Mr. Owen present. Large congregation.

[15 miles to Hancock]

St. Thomas’ Church, Hancock.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Harris, of Cumberland, read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen, in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Crampton, as rector, gave notice (the 1st.) of Communion. I preached. Small congregation. Large proportion males.

 

Sunday, 21st. after Trinity. November 8th.

A.M. Rev. Mr. Owen read Morning Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Harris in the lessons. I read Ante-communion and preached. Mr. Crampton read Preface to Confirmation. I administered confirmation to 8 (2 males). I administered the Holy Communion (Rev. Kennand, Methodist Protestant communing as layman, assisted by Rev. Mr. Crampton.

P.M. At 3 ½ visited the Sunday School and after some collects, addressed the scholars. Rev. Mr. Crampton was present.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Harris read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen in the lessons. I preached. After Service at 9, by request, I visited Mrs. Mary Scott, lying severely ill, at her house, going through the Office for the Visitation of the Sick; and then confirmed her, her two daughters and her servant. Rev. Messer’s Crampton, Harris & Owen present.

 

Monday, November 9 [40 miles to Cumberland]

Emmanuel Parish, Cumberland.

Evening. Rev. L.H. Johns read Evening prayer. Rev. Mr. Harris, as rector, baptized 1 adult and 2 children. I preached. Rev. Mr. Owen present.

 

Tuesday, November 10th.

A.M. Rev. L.H. Johns read Moring Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen in the lessons. I preached after having read the Ante-Communion office. Rev. Mr. Harris read Preface of Office of Confirmation. I administered Confirmation to 13. I administered the Holy Communion.

 

Tuesday, November 10th. [11 miles to Frostburg]

At Frostburg, in the Methodist Meeting House, Rev. Mr. Owen read Evening Prayer. I preached. (Small congregation – 12 or 14 Episcopalians, Rev. Mr. Skinner, Presbyterian & Rev. Mr. Mill, the Methodist preacher.)

 

Wednesday, November 11th. A.M. [8 miles to Lonaconing]

At St. Peter’s church, Lonaconing. Rev. Mr. Owen, the rector, read Morning Prayer in the temporary chapel. I read the Ante-communion Service and preached. No Communion, no communicants being present.

P.M. [19 miles to Cumberland]

Evening. Emmanuel parish, Cumberland. Rev. Mr. Owen read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. L.H. Johns in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Harris baptized one adult & two children. I preached. Rev. Mr. Harris read the preface to the Office of Confirmation. I confirmed 2 (females).

 

Thursday, November 12th. [70 miles to Winchester, VA, on the way home]

Friday, November 13th. [120 miles, Winchester to Baltimore]