Sunday, September 15, 2019
2:00 pm at Christ Church Philadelphia
2nd & Market Street
Christ Church, Philadelphia is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of the Rev. Benjamin Dorr, the Church’s rector from 1839-1868. Dorr had the difficult job of holding together a split congregation during the trying years of the Civil War, compounded by his worry over the fate of his son, Captain William Dorr who served in the Army of the Potomac. Bill Quigley wrote a moving history of these two individuals: Pure Heart: The Faith of a Father and Son in the War for a More Perfect Union published by Kent State University Press in 2016. Professor Quigley will speak about his research and the roles these two men played in their own time and the lens through which we can view their actions today.
The Civil War echoes ever more ominously in the partisan politics and culture wars of our time. Mocked by monuments to the Confederacy and its leaders, American ideals are enshrined, instead, in older, truer monuments to American heroes Benjamin Dorr and his son, Captain William White Dorr. As acknowledged by The Journal of Southern History, theirs is “a story rightfully restored to history about character, integrity, faith, forgiveness, atonement, and the passions of the human heart in a world turned upside down.” Theirs is also a story of firmness in doing right, as God give us to see the right, in a time of perilous national division. Never more, in the 150 years since the Reverend Dorr’s death, have Americans needed to hearken to his story as we do now.
This lecture is jointly sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania’s History Committee and Christ Church, Philadelphia.
Below is the text and adio of his speech in their entirety