The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        Levi Silliman Ives, D. D., LL. D., was born in Meriden, Conn., September 16, 1797, but at a very early age removed with his parents to Turin, Lewis County, New York, where he lived until he attained his fifteenth year, and was then entered at the academy in Lowville. During the later months of the war with Great Britain he was in the military service of the United States, but upon the return of peace he became a student once more, and joined the classes at Hamilton College in 1816.

        At first he studied for the Presbyterian ministry, but before he was ordained was compelled to leave the college by a very serious illness, and when health was restored he changed his religious views and united himself to the Protestant Episcopalians. He removed to New York city in 1820, and studied theology with Bishop Hobart, by whom he was ordained in August, 1822; three years afterward he married Rebecca, a daughter of the bishop. His first mission was to Batavia, in Genessee County, New York; subsequently he was called to Trinity Church, Philadelphia, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop White, and in 1827 removed to Lancaster, Penn., where he had charge of Christ Church. In the next year he served as an assistant minister at Christ Church, New York city, for about six months, when he became rector of St. Luke's in that city; here he remained until he was consecrated bishop of the diocese of North Carolina in September, 1831. In North Carolina he became popular for his efforts in behalf of education, and his success in providing for the spiritual welfare of the slave population.

        His works on theology, entitled the "Apostles' Doctrine and Fellowship," New York, 1844, and the "Obedience of Faith," New York, 1849, gained him great distinction as a theologian. When the excitement as to the Oxford tracts began in the Episcopal Church, he made a strong effort in favor of that movement, and so alienated from himself the confidence of his diocese.*

        * It is an error to say that Bishop Ives made a strong effort in favor of the Oxford movement, and so alienated from himself the confidence of his diocese. Bishop Ives in common with perhaps a large majority of his clergy heartily sympathized with that movement, as it was only carrying out those church principles for which Bishop Ravenscroft had contended. Bishop Ives alienated the confidence of his diocese by endeavoring to introduce Romish practices, especially auricular confession, and to maintain that they were authorized by the church.--J. B. C., jr.

From that time his position became exceedingly uncomfortable and most unhappy, and while in Rome in 1852 he openly allied himself with the Church of Rome. Such an act, as might be expected, received the severe denunciations of the Protestant religious papers, and Doctor Ives defended his course in the publication of a book, entitled "The Trials of a Mind in its Progress to Catholicism," (London and Boston, 1834.) On his return to America he became professor of rhetoric in St. Joseph's Theological Seminary, and lectured in the convents of the Sacred Heart and of the Sisters of Charity, in New York city. He also occasionally lectured in public, and became active in the cause of the Church of Rome as president of the conference of St. Vincent de Paul. To him the City of New York is indebted for the establishment in 1858 of the "Catholic Male Protectory," and the "House of the Angels," a home for vagrant and orphan children of Catholic parentage; both of these were eminently successful, and were subsequently removed to West Chester County, in that State. Until his death, in 1868, he was president of these institutions. Dr. Ives was a very able but strangely erratic gentleman, and a most eloquent speaker; his conversion to the Romish Church was an exceedingly unfortunate circumstance, and without honor or profit; on the contrary, it drew upon him a great amount of obloquy, and will give his name for ever hereafter a notoriety most undesirable,*

        * I think the first words most accurate. Bishop Ives' friends could not have felt his death a sad event, except that it would have parted them. They felt his defection to Rome much more deeply than they could have felt his death.--J. B. C., jr.

over which his sincerest friends lament as over a premature death.

        Rev. Richard Sharp Mason, D. D., was for a long time a resident of Raleigh, and the rector of the Episcopal Church, from 1840 until his death in 1875. He was a man of deep and diversified learning, and of exemplary and agreeable manners. A native of the Island of Barbadoes, one of the English West India Islands, where he was born December 29, 1796, he was brought to this country when quite young by his parents, and educated in Philadelphia. He was admitted by Bishop White in 1817 as deacon of the Episcopal Church, and became rector of Christ Church, New Berne. In 1820 he was received into the order of priests by Bishop Moore (Rich'd Channing) in St. Paul's Church, Edenton. Dr. Mason remained some ten years in New Berne, a faithful, active pastor, and an earnest, self-denying missionary; for the church had then scarcely any foothold
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