Hawks, Francis Lister, Dd

Hawks, Francis Lister, D.D.

an eminent minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born at Newbern, N. C., June 10, 1798. He passed A.B. at the University of North Carolina in 1815; afterwards studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1819. In 1823 he was elected to the Legislature of N. C., and soon became distinguished for eloquence. After a few years of very successful practice as a lawyer, he determined to enter the ministry, and became a student under Dr. Green, of Hillsboro (afterwards bishop Green). In 1827 he was ordained deacon; and in 1829 became assistant to Dr. Croswell, rector of Trinity Church, New Haven, Conn. In the same year he was called to be assistant to bishop White, then rector of St. James's Church, Philadelphia. In 1830 he was elected professor of divinity in Washington College (now Trinity), Hartford, Conn.; in 1831 he became rector of St. Stephen's, New York, and at once was recognized as among the chief pulpit orators of the city. In the same year he was called to the rectorship, of St. Thomas's Church, N. Y. In 1835 he was elected missionary bishop of the Southwest, but declined the appointment. In the same year the General Convention appointed him to collect documents on the history of the Church, and to act as conservator of the same. He spent several months in England in 1836, and returned with eighteen folio volumes of manuscript, illustrative of the planting and early history of the Protestant Episcopal Church. From these materials he prepared his Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the United States (vol. 1, Virginia, 1836; vol. 2, Maryland, 1839). It is greatly to be regretted that Dr. Hawks did not continue this valuable work. In 1837, in connection with the Rev. C. S. Henry, he established the New York Review, a quarterly journal of very high character, of which ten volumes were published. In 1839 he founded a school called St. Thomas's Hall, at Flushing, L. I., and made heavy outlays upon the buildings, grounds, etc., which involved him in serious financial embarrassments, ending in the ruin of the school in 1843, He was charged with extravagance, if not with dishonesty; but no one now believes the latter charge. However, he resigned his charge of St. Thomas's Church, and removed to Mississippi, where he established a school at Holly Springs. In 1844 he was elected bishop of Mississippi; objections were made on account of his troubles in connection with St. Thomas's Hall, but his vindication was so complete that the Convention adopted a resolution declaring his innocence. Nevertheless, he declined the bishopric, and accepted the rectorship of Christ Church, New Orleans, where he remained for five years, during part of which time he served as president of the University of Louisiana. In 1849 he accepted the rectorship of the Church of the Mediator, New York, which was afterwards merged in Calvary parish, of which he remained rector until 1862. His friends raised $30,000 to clear his church of debt, and adjust certain old claims from St. Thomas's Hall; they also settled upon him a liberal salary. Here he regained his old pre-eminence as a preacher, and at the same time devoted himself to active literal labors. In 1852 he was elected bishop of Rhode Island, but declined the office. In 1862, owing to differences of opinion between him and his parish concerning the Civil War, he resigned the rectorship of Calvary; and, after a short stay in Baltimore, he was called to take charge of the new par" ash of Our Savior in New York. His last public labor was a service at the laying of the corner stone of the new church, Sept. 4, 1866; on the 26th of that month he died. Dr. Hawks's writings include, besides Law Reports, the following: Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the United States (1836-39, 2 vols. 8vo): — Commentary on the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States (1841, 8vo): — Egypt and its Monuments (N. Y. 1849, 8vo): — Auricular Confession (1849, 12mo): — Documentary History of the Prot. E. Church, containing Documents concerning the Church in Connecticut (edited in connection with W. S. Perry, N. Y. 1863-4, 2 vols. 8-o); besides several historical and juvenile books. He also contributed largely to the New York Review, the Church Record, and other periodicals. — Amer. Quarterly Church Review, 1867, art. 1; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 804.

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