Category Archives: Cemeteries

All Saints Day 2021: Remembering David May

St. Paul’s Plot in the Albany Rural Cemetery

Today is the Feast of All Saints, and this year I would like to again remember one of those who rest in St. Paul’s plot in the Albany Rural Cemetery. Tier 1 (as the plot’s back row is known) was the section used during the first ten years, from 1879 until 1889. Most of those buried there had no connection to the parish. They rest on our premises as a part of St. Paul’s ministry to the needy and our outreach to the city of Albany. Let me tell you about David May, the first person to be buried in Tier 1.

David May died in Albany of consumption on July 21, 1879. Cemetery records tell us only that he was 31 years old, that he was born in New York City and that he had last lived at 466 Madison Avenue. A search of local records reveals that David was a stranger here. He never appeared in Albany city directories, was never mentioned in local newspapers, and never enumerated in state or federal censuses for this city.

A broader search of public records and newspapers tell us a bit about David May. He was the youngest of the ten children of David May and Mary Ann Gilson. He grew up in New York City, where his father was a tobacconist. The last record I can find is from 1870, when he was living in Washington, D.C. with his sister Catherine and her husband. David May’s occupation is listed as “painter.” His parents, meanwhile, had moved to Westchester County.

David’s oldest brother, Jacob, was a prosperous businessman in Port Jervis, New York. An article in a newspaper there announced David May’s death and reported that he would be buried in Mount Vernon, Westchester County, near his parents’ home. We will never know why those plans did not work out, or how our then-new plot became his last resting place. But David was certainly a stranger among us, and his story reminds us of St. Paul’s ongoing responsibility to care for the widow, the orphan and the stranger in both life and death.

Dedication of Cross in St. Paul’s Lot, 1911

As our rector, Roelif H. Brooks, said when the large cross in the front of the plot was dedicated on June 25, 1911:

 “Thirty years ago, through the generosity of Mary E. Hueson, this plot of ground was presented to St. Paul’s church, to be used as the burial place of the poor of the parish, and for strangers who should pass away in our midst. Here in dear old Mother Earth lie those, who through the vicissitudes of human life were brought to that place where not only human sympathy was brought into play, but where a fine resting place was provided. No dread about death is greater than that of the lack of a place where to lie. Here they lie together, strangers perhaps in life, but companions in death under the shadow of the cross, the emblem of our faith in life and of the resurrection to a life to come.”

Mr. Starkey Returns to Albany

In our first 193 years, no St. Paul’s rector has been a native of Albany, and very few have maintained their connections to this city after leaving Albany for retirement of for their next assignment. And, as far as I knew, the only rector to be buried in Albany was J. Livingston Reese – St. Paul’s rector for a record 27 years – who is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

J. Livingston Reese monument, Albany Rural Cemetery


Thomas A. Starkey

I was corrected a few weeks ago in a post by Paula Lemire, the Albany Rural Cemetery historian, about a second St. Paul’s rector resting there: Thomas Albert Starkey, our rector from 1854 until 1858. I was surprised: of our rectors in the 19th century, he was among those with the weakest ties to this city. He was rector at St. Paul’s for four years, and for at least six months of that period was on sick leave and not living here. True, he was also rector at Christ Church, Schenectady for four years. Most importantly, he left St. Paul’s under difficult circumstances, with the congregation in turmoil over his “high-church notions” and hopelessly divided over selection of his successor. Since he went on to become the bishop of Newark, I assumed that he was interred there.

All in all, Thomas Starkey seems one of the least likely of our early rectors to have been buried in Albany. But I had forgotten that his second wife, Julia Rathbone, was an Albany native, and member of a prominent local family. Her brother, John Finley Rathbone, was founder and president of the Rathbone Stove Works. Mr. Starkey’s grave is in the Rathbone plot of the cemetery, next to his wife, and surrounded by other prominent members of the family. Following his funeral in East Orange, New Jersey, Starkey’s remains were brought to Albany, where graveside services were conducted by Bishop William Croswell Doane. Among the assisting clergy was our rector, William Prall, whom Bishop Starkey had ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood.

Gravestone of Thomas Alfred Starkey, Albany Rural Cemetery





Inscription on gravestone of Thomas Alfred Starkey, Albany Rural Cemetery

A brief biographical sketch of Bishop Starkey

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas Albert Starkey was born in 1818, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was educated as a civil engineer, and worked in that profession in the Pottsville, Pennsylvania area. In 1844, Starkey married Sophia Elizabeth Jackson and the couple had one child, Kate. He was ordained in Pottsville in 1848, and served as a missionary in that region for the next two years.

Thomas A. Starkey was next rector of Christ Church, Troy from 1850 until his call by St. Paul’s, Albany in 1854. Starkey seems to have been troubled by poor health. He twice requested leaves of absence for that reason while at St. Paul’s. The first was withdrawn at the request of the vestry; the second request for leave, and his resignation six months later, were both granted on grounds of his poor health. He later served at churches in Detroit, Washington D.C. (that appointment also ended by his poor health), and New Jersey.

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas Starkey was elected the second bishop of Northern New Jersey 30 October 1879 and consecrated at Grace Church, Newark on 8 January 1880, serving that diocese (renamed the Diocese of Newark in 1886) until his death in 1903. Sophia Jackson Starkey died in 1869. He married Julia Rathbone (the widow of James C. Kennedy) in 1877, and she survived him, dying in 1916.

St. Paul’s First Cemetery Plot

Deed for St. Paul’s plot in the State Street Burying Grounds

In a previous post, I described St. Paul’s cemetery plot, given to the congregation in 1878 and still in use today. But that section of the Albany Rural Cemetery was not our first cemetery plot. Forty years earlier, in March 1838, the City of Albany granted St. Paul’s “[a]ll that certain piece or parcel of land, bounded on the south by Lancaster street, on the east by the Presbyterian burying ground, on the north by lot number Eleven and by No. 27, and west by Snipe Street” for use as a cemetery.

Diagram of St. Paul’s plot in the State Street Burying Grounds

Can’t quite picture where that would have been? For the past 150 years, Snipe Street has been known as Lexington Avenue. If you extend the line of Lexington and Lancaster Streets (both now much shorter than they were then), you will find that the plot’s southwest corner would have been at a point on the north side of what is now Washington Park.

This was in the State Street Burying Grounds, Albany’s public cemetery from 1800 until 1866. Each Christian denomination had a section, and there were also a Potter’s Field, a section for African-Americans and a small number of graves of persons not associated with a church.

Location of State Street Burying Grounds (credit: @AlbanyArchives)

This image overlays a current photograph of the Washington Park area with a map of the State Street Burying Grounds. In 1838, there were only two Episcopal churches in Albany, and you might expect that St. Paul’s shared the Episcopal lot with St. Peter’s. But it appears that St. Peter’s had sole use of the Episcopal section because the legal description makes it certain that St. Paul’s plot was at the south end of the section marked “Private Cemeteries” on this map. To confirm the location, notice that in the diagram of St. Paul’s section, the north end is marked as the vault of Archibald Campbell. His vault would have been the first of these Private Cemeteries to the north of our plot.

When the State Street Burying Grounds was closed and the land taken to build Washington Park, the burials were moved to the then-new Albany Rural Cemetery, in a section known as the Church Grounds. Our next research effort will be to try to determine who from St. Paul’s was buried in this plot, and where in the Albany Rural Cemetery they now rest.

The J. Livingston Reese Memorial Volume

St. Paul’s has honored its former rectors in many ways. The building on South Pearl Street had a marble wall plaque for William Linn Keese on the nave wall. Portraits of William Ingraham Kip, Richard Bury and Thomas A. Starkey hung in heavy oak frames in the parish hall of the Lancaster Street church. And David C. Lithgow’s oil portrait of Roelif H. Brooks is still displayed in our parish library.

J. Livingston Reese

John Livingston Reese, our rector during the last third of the 19th century, was honored in several ways: with an oil portrait (now, sadly, much in need of restoration), a Tiffany window (The Good Shepherd, now in our vesting room), and a memorial book, published by the church’s vestry. It is this last, the only memorial volume for a rector published by the vestry, that I would like to tell you about today.

Reese was born in Philadelphia in 1838, and graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1861. He first served at St. Paul’s, Lockhaven, Pennsylvania. Even as a young man, he must have been an impressive figure. In a brief history of that church, he was described as “aristocratic” and “a veritable patrician, with a keen analytical mind, and eloquent, born to command.”[i] This aristocrat was in command here from 1864 until 1891, far longer than any other rector, and that quarter century surely left his imprint on the parish.

Memorial Service at the Grave of J. Livingston Reese, 25 Jun 1911

Photo of Memorial Service at the Grave of J. Livingston Reese in Albany Rural Cemetery, 25 Jun 1911

One of Reese’s legacies was financial: in his will, he left a portion of his large estate to St. Paul’s, with the stipulation that, beginning ten years after his death, the interest be used “for church purposes.” This bequest initially was $16,062.33. In 1909, when St. Paul’s was first able to draw interest from it, that sum had risen to $22,094.31.[ii] In a period when endowments were the main source of church income, the Rev. J. Livingston Reese Fund was an important source of income. As late as 1931, the principal had not decreased, this at a time when the St. Paul’s Endowment Fund was only $3,200.00![iii]

In Memoriam: Rev. John Livingston Reese, D.D.[iv], in addition to a brief biography, contains a description of his funeral, a tribute from the Bishop of Albany, William Croswell Doane, and the full text of two memorial sermons, preached on the Sundays following the funeral. The first of the memorial sermons was preached by Walton W. Battershall, rector of St. Peter’s Church, Albany. The second was by our then rector, Freeborn Garrettson Jewett, Jr., who had previously been Reese’s curate.

Freeborn Garrettson Jewett, Jr.

The funeral, held here in 1899, while not to be compared to that of Daniel Manning, was certainly impressive. Almost a thousand people visited as he lay in state. For the service, the church was full and forty clergymen attended. For the occasion, St. Paul’s choirmaster, George Edgar Oliver, composed a new hymn tune to the text “Now the Laborer’s Task is O’er.”

George Edgar Oliver’s setting of “Now the Laborer’s Task is O’er”

Our copy of the book was donated in 1937 by Lillian Bassett Wolverton. Mrs. Wolverton was the sister of James Frederick Bassett, who grew up at St. Paul’s, was ordained deacon with the support of our vestry, and served as J.L. Reese’s curate from 1881 until 1883.

Frederick J. Bassett

[i] “Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Paul’s Church, Lock Haven, Pa,” The Church Standard, volume 89, number 22 (7 Oct 1905), 731.

[ii] St. Paul’s Year Book for 1909, page 17.

[iii] St. Paul’s Year Book for 1931, page not noted.

[iv] In Memoriam. Rev. John Livingston Reese, D.D., Rector St. Paul’s Parish 1864-1891 (Albany: Press of Weed-Parsons Printing Company, n.d.).

Veterans Day 2018

United States Flag (St., Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Armistice took effect at 11:00 am on November 11, “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. The most famous veteran of that “war to end all wars” from St. Paul’s was T. Frederick H. Candlyn, but for this centennial observance, let us remember all of St. Paul’s sons and daughters who served in that war, and particularly the two who gave their lives. A complete list, shown below, was published in St. Paul’s Year Book for 1918.

Members in Military Service, page 1 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 2 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 3 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Here is what we know about the two who died during the war, a sailor and an infantryman:

Frank W. Silverwood

Frank W. Silverwood (1897 — 1918)

Frank W. Silverwood was born in Albany April 26, 1897, the son of Emily and Leonard Silverwood. He enlisted in the Navy in May 1918, and in August was assigned to the naval training station in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx. He died of influenza in the Naval Hospital at Pelham Bay Park on October 9, 1918, one of ten sailors who died of bronchopneumonia there that day. October 9 was not an unusual day. During early October, at the height of the influenza pandemic, an average of ten men died of influenza in that hospital each day.

Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks

Our rector, Roelif H. Brooks, officiated at Frank Silverwood’s private funeral service on October 12, and he was buried at Graceland Cemetery here in Albany.





William S. Wilson

William S. Wilson (1888 — 1918)

William S. Wilson was born in Albany October 6, 1888, the son of William and Catherine Mullen Wilson. He was inducted into the Army in Albany on October 5, 1917. He served in Europe starting in April 1918 as a private in Company L, 325th Infantry and was killed in action in France October 10, 1918 during the Battle of the Argonne Forest. Originally buried in France, his remains were reinterred in the Albany Rural Cemetery in 1921.

William S Wilson Tombston ARC

Tombstone of William S. Wilson, Albany Rural Cemetery

These two young men, then, died one day apart, and only one month before the Armistice ended hostilities.


St. Paul’s Tiffany Window

Even long-time members of St. Paul’s may not be aware that our building contains a Tiffany[i] window. Because “Christ the Good Shepherd” is in the vesting room, only clergy, servers and altar guild are able to see it regularly.

Tiffany Studios window “Christ the Good Shepherd”

We have mentioned before that ten of the Lancaster Street nave windows (most of them the work of J. & R. Lamb Studios) were moved to the narthex of our current building in 1966. Unfortunately, less than forty years later, the windows’ supports were found to be unstable, and they were sold, replaced by contemporary stained glass. So it is that only the Tiffany “Christ the Good Shepherd” remains of windows from the Lancaster nave. Windows from the Memorial Chapel on Lancaster Street, however, can still be found in our chapel.

J. Livingston Reese

This window is a memorial to John Livingston Reese, rector of St. Paul’s from 1864 until 1891. Those twenty-seven years make Reese St. Paul’s longest-serving rector. A history of the church where Reese served before St. Paul’s described Reese, “known years afterward as the aristocratic rector of St Paul’s Church, Albany,” as “[t]all, well-built, a veritable patrician, with a keen analytical mind, and eloquent, born to command.”[ii] He must have been an imposing figure indeed, and perhaps more respected than loved by many. Reese left a sizable endowment to St. Paul’s, which provided significant income to St. Paul’s in the early twentieth century. He is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

J. Livingston Reese monument, Albany Rural Cemetery

Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson

Funds for the window were raised by a committee of women of the parish, chaired by Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson. It was unveiled on November 12, 1899 in a service with a special musical program, overseen by organist and choirmaster George Edgar Oliver.[iii]

George Edgar Oliver








Albany Times Union 11 Nov 1899

The original design included a panel of equal size with images of two adoring angels that stood above the image of the good shepherd.[iv] In 1964, the angel window (with all of the windows not moved to the Hackett Boulevard building) was auctioned by New York State, and sold to Chapman Stained Glass Studios in Albany.[v] The windows fate after that sale is not known.







[i] See the Tiffany Census last accessed 02 Jun 2018.

[ii] “Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Paul’s Church, Lock Haven, Pa.” The Church Standard, 7 October 1905, 731.

[iii] “Tribute of Love: the Reese Memorial Window in St. Paul’s Church,” Albany Times Union 11 Nov 1899. See also an almost identical article “In Memory of Dr. Reese” in the Albany Evening Journal 11 Nov 1899, 10.

[iv] “Tribute of Love”. See also the Tiffany Census last accessed 02 Jun 2018.

[v] Files of the New York State Office of General Services related to demolition for the South Mall, held by the New York State Archives, box 16209-91, folder “Demolition — St. Paul’s Church.”

Captain John Cooke

It is Veterans’ Day again, and time to remember those of the St. Paul’s family who served in the military. We have mentioned veterans of two twentieth century wars. A year ago, we celebrated our one-time organist and choirmaster, T.F.H. Candlyn, who served in World War I. And we have mentioned those from St. Paul’s who died while fighting in the Second World War. Today, we reach back into the preceding century, to a man who fought with the United States army in two wars. But there are other reasons to remember this man, who contributed significantly to Albany’s entertainment and musical life in the middle third of the nineteenth century.

John Cooke was born in England about 1797. He came to the United States in 1820 as part of the circus band with the Page, Austin and Tufts Menagerie. By 1825, he was in Providence, Rhode Island, where he formed his first band.

National Band of New York, performing with the Menagerie of June, Titus, Angevine& Co., 1834

Shortly afterward, he moved to Albany, where his first job was again as a band musician, with a circus situated on North Pearl Street, now the site of the Capital Repertory Theater. Settled in Albany by 1830, John Cooke quickly established two institutions that formed an important part of the city’s entertainment: the Albany Brass Band and Castle Garden.

The Albany Brass Band (often referred to as Cooke’s Brass Band), was Albany first wind band, and during the antebellum period the only source of popular wind music here. Between 1830 and 1861, the band played at many public events, and sponsored concerts, military events, dances, cotillions and balls. The band was also associated with Albany’s Republican Artillery. The band drilled with the soldiers, and accompanied them on a formal visit to New York City.

In 1833, Cooke created Castle Garden, a pleasure garden located on State Street, near Dove “from whence a spacious view of the river and the surrounding countryside for several miles can be had.” But the view was hardly the only entertainment. Castle Garden was known for its fireworks, some designed by “Mons. T. Alesander, from Paris, an artist well known, and who has distinguished himself as a pyrotechnist.” Displays included such exotic and extravagant exhibitions as The Battle of Algiers, Bengola Lights, The Chinese Lychenaise, and Zannia Peruvia. There were also balloon ascents (one conducted by Louis Anselm Lauriat “the celebrated aeronaut”), and refreshments, including “ice cream, soda water and many other delicacies of the season.”

Neither the brass band nor Castle Garden produced much income. But their popularity, and the personal affection felt for Cooke, can be gauged by the numerous benefits for him, each attempting to cover the losses of the season.

Cooke volunteered for the army during the Mexican War of 1846-1848. He was appointed a First Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of the First New York Volunteers. Cooke ended that conflict as a captain of artillery, and used that title for the rest of his life.

Albany Morning Express 31 Jul 1857

During the 1850s, Cooke’s Brass Band continued its busy schedule of balls and cotillions. Castle Garden had closed as a pleasure garden in 1845, but for much of this period Cooke continued a smaller business as a bowling saloon at the same address. “Saloon” should not be understand to mean Captain Cooke was serving alcohol: advertisements make it clear that this was a soda parlor, serving ice cream during the summer months to quench the thirst of the bowlers.

With the advent of the Civil War in 1861, John Cooke joined those responding to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers. When that three month enlistment expired, Cooke, now 64 years old, volunteered as a captain in Company F of New York’s 91st Infantry Regiment.

Two years later, in May 1863, while leading his men on an assault of a Confederate battery, Captain Cooke was injured at the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana. A bullet struck his right shoulder and lodged against the bone, shattering the arm. Cooke was evacuated to St. James Hospital in New Orleans, where he spent 44 days. He was mustered out on June 22, 1863 and by August of that year had returned aboard ship to New York City, on his way home to Albany.

Captain Cooke wanted to return to military service, but his health would not allow it, nor it seems was he able to return to work with his band or his saloon. In 1867, a newspaper reported that he was “in the most indigent circumstances.” It had been hoped that the Constitutional Convention of 1867 might award him a pension, but that did not happen. Instead, his friends held yet another benefit, this time a concert at Tweddle Hall.

Tweddle Hall, northwest corner of State and Pearl Streets (image credit: Albany Institute of History and Art)

In 1870, Captain John Cooke was appointed a messenger in the Adjutant General’s Office, and he held that position until his death in December 1875. Cooke’s funeral was held at St. Paul’s church on Lancaster Street, the service read by our rector, J. Livingston Reese. The building was crowded with his many friends, and particularly the musical and military groups with which he had been associated. A contemporary newspaper praises the music, both choral and instrumental, which would have been led by our organist and choirmaster, Edward Savage.

St. Paul’s Chancel before 1901

St. Paul’s, Late 19th century

The procession from St. Paul’s to Albany Rural Cemetery must have been very impressive, with uniformed enlisted men and officers of the Ninth Brigade, the 10th and 25th Regiments and the 91st Volunteers, as well as Albany’s Burgesses Corps. Klein’s Band was joined by 45 bandsmen of Doring’s Band and the Albany City and Tenth Regiment Bands. Veterans from Post 21 of the Grand Army of the Republic were represented as well. From St. Paul’s, the process moved west on Lancaster to Swan, north on Swan to State, east on State to Broadway, and thence to the Albany Rural Cemetery. We are told that “[a]ll along the route of the procession the streets were occupied by an immense concourse of people.” Cooke’s tombstone at Albany Rural reads simply “Capt. J. Cooke.”

Captain John Cooke’s tombstone, Albany Rural Cemetery

A final memorial was made to the old veteran the next year, with the publication of “Captain Johnny Cooke’s Grand March,” by James Haydn Waud, organist at Albany’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It is dedicated “to the surviving members of the Albany Brass Band.” The cover displays the only likeness of Captain Cooke that we have been able to find. It shows him late in life, heavily bearded, with his crippled right arm supported in a sling.

“Captain Johnny Cooke’s Grand March,” by J. Haydn Waud

Daniel Manning’s Funeral

Daniel Manning

Daniel Manning

In its almost 190 years, St. Paul’s has had a number of distinguished members, men and women who have played important roles on a local, statewide or national stage. But we can claim only one member whose image appears on United State currency. As owner and editor of the Albany Argus, as president of Albany’s National Commercial Bank, as chairman of the New York State Democrat Committee, and as Secretary of the Treasury, Daniel Manning is among the most prominent who have sat in our pews.

Daniel Manning was born in Albany in 1831. He began work at age 11 as a “chore boy” at the Albany Atlas. The Atlas merged with the Albany Argus in 1856, and Manning rose through its ranks, first as a reporter, then editor, and finally owner in 1873. Through this period, he also made political contacts, and was a member of the New York delegation at the Democratic conventions of 1876 and 1880.

Daniel Manning

Daniel Manning

By the 1884 Democratic convention, Manning had become chairman of the New York delegation. He championed Grover Cleveland as a presidential candidate, and successfully fought for his nomination in the Democratic convention. During the election, as chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, Manning made certain that ballots were properly counted, ensuring Cleveland’s victory in the State. His appointment as Secretary of the Treasury was not purely a political gift. As a board member of Albany’s National Commercial Bank beginning in 1873, and its president since 1882, Manning had become knowledgeable about fiscal policy, and had presented Cleveland with a plan for improving the Treasury Department. Contemporary reports suggest that he was among the most competent and intelligent of cabinet members during Cleveland’s first term. By 1886, there was even talk within the party of proposing Manning for nomination as president in 1888.

James Hilton Manning

Manning’s health had been poor for some time, and in early 1887 he resigned his position and returned to Albany. He died on Christmas Eve 1887 at the family home on Lancaster Street, just one block from the church. Daniel Manning had attended St. Paul’s for about thirty years, but had only been confirmed and become a communicant at Easter 1882. His son, James Hilton Manning was a St. Paul’s vestryman for twenty years, from 1883 until 1903.




St. Paul's Chancel, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Chancel, Late 19th century

St. Paul's, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s, Late 19th century

St. Paul's Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul's Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Nave, Late 19th century


Daniel Manning’s funeral, held the afternoon of December 27, 1887, was the grandest ever held in the Lancaster Street building. The New York Sun for

Charles S. Fairchild

Charles S. Fairchild

December 28, 1887 reported that “[I]t was the most distinguished gathering of men Albany has ever seen at a funeral of one of her sons. “ President Garfield and five of his cabinet arrived that morning in a special train car. A sixth cabinet member arrived separately; only one cabinet member missed the event.

Among the cabinet was Manning’s successor as Secretary of the Treasury, Charles S. Fairchild, who, in another St. Paul’s connection, was a vestryman here from 1873 to 1878. To date, Manning and Fairchild are the only two members of St. Paul’s who have served in a presidential cabinet.

Here is the original telegram from Daniel S. Lamont (Cleveland’s private secretary and a Daniel Manning protégé) to James H. Manning describing the plans of the presidential party.

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Delegations arrived from New York City, Brooklyn, Tammany Hall, the Democratic party, and the U.S. Treasury Department. Delegations from Albany included the Directors of the National Commercial Bank, the Typographical Union, the local Masonic lodge, and city and State officers.

Funeral Invitation

Funeral Invitation

Not just the prominent and politically connected came. People from the city and the region packed the streets, and made it difficult for sleighs carrying dignitaries and family to reach the church, as described in the New York Times for December 28, 1887:

The funeral of ex-secretary Manning to-day was the most notable, with the exception of that of Grant and Lincoln, ever seen in old Albany. Not only the citizens of this city filled the streets and packed those adjacent to the church, but people flocked in from the surrounding country in large numbers and added to the density of the throng… The crowd about the church was dense, and choked the entire street for more than a block. The police with difficulty kept passageways open to admit the various bodies.

The service was conducted by St. Paul’s rector, J. Livingston Reese, who also preached the sermon.

William Prall

William Prall

A dozen other Episcopal clergy were present, including St. Paul’s curate William Prall (who would later become St. Paul’s rector), Bishop William Croswell Doane,

William Croswell Doane, Bishop of Albany (courtesy Library of Congress)

William Croswell Doane, Bishop of Albany (courtesy Library of Congress)

the rectors of all the Albany parishes, the president of Hobart College and a group of canons and honorary canons from the Cathedral of All Saints. Music was provided by St. Paul’s choir, led by choirmaster George Edgar Oliver, who had composed new music for the event.

The twelve pallbearers were men with national reputations, including a U.S. Senator, a former U.S. Senator, a Congressman (and former Speaker of the House), and a judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Six were bankers, two of whom had served at high levels in the U.S. Treasury; most held powerful positions in the Democratic Party.

The New York Times  for December 28, 1887 continues, “As the cortege left the church and the great crowd which had been held together broke away the ponderous City Hall pealed forth in faint refrain and the bells of other churches tolled in unison. Many, curiously inclined, followed the president’s sleigh, disregarding the solemnity of the occasion.”

Here is Manning’s tombstone in the Albany Rural Cemetery.

Manning Memorial, Albany Rural Cemetery

Manning Memorial, Albany Rural Cemetery

The Easter after his death, Daniel Manning’s widow presented a brass cross and two vases to St. Paul’s. “Mrs. Manning has many tender memories of St. Paul’s Church. Not only was the late Secretary one of its earnest memories for many years,

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

but she was married to Mr. Manning by the present rector, Dr. Reese, at its altar. When the Secretary lay upon his death-bed among the last sounds he heard on earth were the sacred chants of the choir of St. Paul’s wafted through the windows of the room in which he died, and was its rector who preached the funeral sermon.”


Here is a recent photograph of the cross and vases, still in use at St. Paul’s, and the resolution from St. Paul’s vestry, thanking Mrs. Manning for the gift in memory of “our beloved and distinguished brother in Christ.”

Vestry Resolution

Vestry Resolution

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

In other memorials, an engraving of Manning appeared on the U.S. silver certificate issued in 1886 and 1891. And closer to home, Daniel Manning may now be most remembered as the person for whom Manning Boulevard was named.

Manning Diamond Back $20 Silver Certificate

Manning Diamond Back $20 Silver Certificate

Manning Boulevard (courtesy Albany Group archive)

Manning Boulevard (courtesy Albany Group archive)

All Souls 2015: “And there are some who have no memorial”

Cross in St. Paul's Lot, Albany Rural Cemetery

Cross in St. Paul’s Lot, Albany Rural Cemetery

On this All Souls Day, I ask you to remember those souls resting on the St. Paul’s lot (Lot 126, Section 26) in Albany Rural Cemetery. It was given to the parish in 1878 by Miss Mary E. Hewson, “as a place where the poor of the Parish might be buried” and has been used regularly since then both for parishioners and for other needy persons.

Dedication of Cross in St. Paul's Lot, 1911

Dedication of Cross in St. Paul’s Lot, 1911

With adoption of The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts in 1979, this day is now known as Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. Certainly, these souls resting in our lot include faithful members of the St. Paul’s family, including Miss Josephine Chandler, a seamstress at Myers Department Store on Pearl Street for 29 years.

Albany Evening News 1927 Feb 22

Albany Evening News 1927 Feb 22

She was active at St. Paul’s starting in 1920’s, as a member of the Girls’ Friendly Society (performing in minstrel shows, and organizing card parties) and the Business Women’s Guild, as a volunteer at church bazaars, and as a Sunday School teacher. She was buried here from St. Paul’s in 1972.

Josephine Chandler's Tombstone

Josephine Chandler’s Tombstone

But I ask that you also remember “those who faith is known to God alone”, those who are described in the apocryphal Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach: “And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived; they have become as though they had not been born, and so have their children after them.”

Among these is Elizabeth Wallace, who died in Albany in 1888. We know very little about her: she was born in Ireland, lived last at 349 Washington Ave, and died of arthritis at the age of 34. Newspapers do no mention her life or her death, and she seems never to have been affiliated with the church. She rests in Tier 1 of the St. Paul’s lot, her resting place unmarked.