The Revolutionary War

1776 The United States declares its independence from the British crown. By the end of the year, there are 286 Anglican clergy in the colonies, and 144 were patriots.
1780 Under the leadership of William Smith, the Church in Maryland is renamed, “The Protestant Episcopal Church”.
1783 With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Anglican clergy in the United States were released from allegiance to the Crown. William Smith was elected Bishop of Maryland, but he was never consecrated.


A collect in use for Morning Prayer in the Church of England reads, “Be thou to us a tower of defense against the assaults of our enemies, our shield and buckler in the day of battle and so bless the arms of our gracious sovereign [George II 1760-1820] in the maintenance of his just and lawful rights, and prosper his endeavors to restore tranquility among his unhappy deluded subjects in America, now in open rebellion against his crown, in defiance of all subordination and legal government.”


The ordination vows of the Church of England required a pledge of loyalty to the English crown. As the patriot forces moved through a town, they generally burned the Church of England church, since the clergy were Loyalists (and Laudians). Some Anglican clergy carried sidearms into their pulpits.


1777 Parishes are abolished in Georgia, and replaced by counties in accordance with the new Constitution of Georgia. Saint Paul’s Parish is now called Richmond County.
1777 A Baptist Church is organized in Augusta with a meetinghouse on Ellis Street, sponsored by members of Red’s Church in present Columbia County. It disbands by 1787 when the lot is sold.
1778 Mr. Seymour discontinues public worship services, but continues his other duties.
1779 Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell occupies Augusta for the British, and public worship is restored at Saint Paul’s for two weeks. The Whigs then drove the British and Loyalist troops toward Savannah. Seymour was imprisoned briefly, and then refugeed with the British for 9 weeks. He returned to Augusta due to the ill health of his family.
1779 The church is confiscated for use as a hospital. Barracks were built on part of the glebe lands. The property of Saint Paul’s was confiscated and subdivided into small tracts.
1780 Lt. Col. Thomas Brown leads loyalist troops back into Augusta, and Mr. Seymour resumes divine services in his “ruinous church.” Seymour gave up the Rectory for use as a hospital for sick soldiers.
1780 The Mackay House is besieged unsuccessfully by patriots under the command of Elijah Clark. Fort Cornwallis is built and Brown takes over the church and graveyard as part of his defensive works.
1780 Seymour utilizes the large house belonging to McCartan Campbell.
1781 Final surrender of Fort Cornwallis to American forces under Col. Henry Lee. The church building is destroyed in the process. Seymour flees to Savannah, and later to Saint Augustine.


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