Kemper, Jackson, Dd, Lld
Kemper, Jackson, D.D., LL.D.
first missionary bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. was born at Pleasant Valle, in Dutchess County, New York, Dec. 24,1789. When about twelve years of age he was sent to the Episcopal Academy at Cheshire, Conn., and remained there two years; after that he was put under the charge of Rev. Dr. Barry, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, at that time one of the most distinguished classical teachers in the country; entered Columbia College in 1805, and graduated in 1809. He began the study of theology under the care of bishop Moore and the clergy of Trinity parish, there being no theological seminaries in those days. As soon as he had reached the canonical age of twenty-one years, he was ordained deacon at the hands of bishop White, in St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia, on the second Sunday in Lent, 1811. He was immediately called to the assistantship under bishop White, and held this position till June of 1831, when he accepted the rectorship of St. Paul's Church, Norwalk, Conn. In 1835 he was elected the first missionary bishop of the American Church. His jurisdiction comprised "the North-west." Out of it have been formed the dioceses of Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Early in the winter of this year bishop Kemper reached St. Louis,. where he took up his residence until he removed to Wisconsin in 1844. Meanwhile (about 1838) he had been elected to the bishopric of Maryland, but this honor he declined, preferring the more burdensome but not less honorable position of missionary bishop. In 1847, Wisconsin having been organized' into a diocese, the Primary Convention elected bishop Kemper diocesan. This was also declined; but in 1854, being again unanimously elected, he accepted, only upon condition that his acceptance should allow him to remain missionary bishop still. At the General Convention of 1859 he resigned his office as missionary bishop, and from that time until his death, May 24, 1870, his labors were confined to the diocese of Wisconsin. He was active in the establishment of a theological seminary within the bounds of his diocese, and when, in 1843, it was founded at Nashotah, Wisconsin, the bishop took up his residence on a farm adjoining.