Vestry Record


Published by Grenada, MS, 1901
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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All Saints is an Episcopal Church located in the small north central city of Grenada, Mississippi -- county seat of Grenada County. "Record" volume. Small 4to. Quarter burgundy calf over coarse tan cloth with black lettering and decorations; modern black cloth tape spine; text block lightly age toned. Very good. Binding mildly edgeworn. 97pp. Blue endpapers. This delightful small church vestry record book records the minutes and activities of this institution, beginning on page 3 in 1890 and concluding on page 95 in 1901. It is penned entirely in the bold and legible hand of church secretary A.C. Leigh. The most memorable event occurs on the very first entry of July 12, 1890: "Whereas it has been reported to this vestry by our Junior Warden, A.C. Leigh Esqr., that he had seen the Rev. Thos B. Lawson D.D. in his room at the rectory, on Wednesday 9 July 1890, with a negro woman in a very questionable position and that from all the surroundings he was satisfied that said Rev. Thos B. Lawson had been guilty of gross immoral conduct." A number of "Whereas" clauses follow before it is "Therefore resolved, that we hereby unanimously accept the resignation of said Rev. Thos B. Lawson as rector of this parish" and "we hereby request the said Rev. Thos B. Lawson to leave the rectory as soon as possible, as his presence is not only painful to us as a rectory, but injurious to the good people of this parish." You might say this vestry record starts with a bang. (Interestingly, Lawson's sexual misconduct didn't seem to prevent him from finding another. uh, position. In 1891 he became the first resident priest at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bellville, Texas, a post he kept until 1895.) Subsequent meetings of this governing board record the need to find a replacement, then on January 16, 1891 "A unanimous call was extended the Rev. Lawson Harvey Snell to the rectorship of this parish at a salary of Seven Hundred Dollars (700$) per annum. Rev. Mr Snell accepted the above call and entered upon his work." The following ten years record moneys gathered, moneys spent, the election of church officers, missions funded, commentary on the church's events and improvements, all faithfully and fastidiously recorded in Leigh's attractive script. Interestingly, leaf 35-36 has been neatly and clearly intentionally excised -- one wonders why. By April 1898,it's recorded that "the Rev. L.H. Snell has tendered his resignation as rector of this, All Saints parish. we part with our late rector with feelings of Kindness, friendship and brotherly love." (Tipped to page 96 is Snell's March 25th letter of resignation.) A thorough record of one decade of church doings in this small Mississippi town. Handsome and unusual -- and exceptionally legible. Fascinating glimpse into not only a juicy scandal that must have raised eyebrows in the 19th century South, but also a decades' worth of the day-in-the-life inner workings of an institution that was often the bedrock of a community. Bookseller Inventory # 40652

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Vestry Record

Publisher: Grenada, MS

Publication Date: 1901

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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