18. Dover Street Rag | “the world’s greatest tragedy”

It was not all dirty dancing on Dover Street.  As my grandfather — who I have set up here somewhat as the “genteel”  narrator of these chapters he was the witness of so much of — will increasingly testify to, the Inferno  had some bright if mostly they were very dark passages.  So also the  South End’s pioneering social worker,  Robert Woods,  contended.  Founder of one of the half dozen major settlement houses in the district,  Woods was known more than once to have quoted a very great god of Copley Square,  the presiding  “do-gooder”  of then all,  the Reverend Edward Everett Hale,  that  “between Dover and Pleasant streets  [was]  the most charitied region in Christendom.”   No provincial he,  the author of A Man Without a Country,  (active as he was in Hungarian relief)  was in a position to know.

The  “do-gooders”,  furthermore,  almost as picturesque as the  “sinners,”  stand out today.  Certainly,  TS Eliot was historically Dover Street’s most high profile sinner,  his eventual Nobel Prize being hard to top.  But Boston-centric global studies,  if it is never a one-way street either way,  is also — whichever way — always a broad perspective.  And Eliot’s literary tale is not the only thread we need to follow here,  though it is the chief one,  to which  we will return again and again in subsequent posts,  to comprehend the development of the 20th-century metropolis.  If the perspective shifts fields from literature to religion,  from Eliot to the Reverend Charles Brent,  for example,  an Episcopal priest whose church and mission Eliot must have passed time and again in his Dover Street days,  the tale changes.  Brent,  too,  went on to widespread fame in the English-speaking world,  fame sufficient that it surely trumped Eliot’s Noble  that  (after Brent’s death)  the Dover Street slum priest was canonized. 

S  L  U  M          P  R  I  E  S  T

A book like  Celebrating the Saints:  Devotional Readings for Saints’ Days,  which outlines Brent’s life as a  “mission priest in the slums of Boston and then as the Episcopal Church’s first missionary bishop in the Phillipine Islands after the Spanish-American War”,  his crusades against poverty in one place and opium in the other,  his subsequent election as Bishop of Western New York and his work — which is what catapulted him to global importance — in pioneering ecumenism and laying foundations for the World Council of Churches,  includes sufficient of Brent’s writings to document both the depth of his thought and the wide reach of his influence in ways that would not,  however,  serve our purposes here very well to dwell on.   Better for us in contrasting Eliot and Brent,  who I see as the two iconic figures of the area in the decades before and after the turn of the 20th-century when both walked 1900s Dover Street,  is Alexander Zabrieski’s biography of this notable priest and then prelate.

When The Boston Globe  asserted in 1901 that Brent’s St. Stephen’s Church and rescue mission,  a block up Washington Street from Dover and diagonally across Washington Street from my grandfather’s own more problematic attempt at same,  was  “probably the most successful mission church in the city,”  there was no hint in that report of what Zabrieski disclosed:  like Eliot,  “Brent’s inner life was turbulent.  The outward composure  [was]  the result of strict self control.  The constituients of Brent’s being were discordant . . . . Limitless spiritual aspiration and a painfully acute conscience fought with spiritual appetites,  pride  [and]  . . . a strong man’s desire to have his own way and a hot temper.”  Not the sort of psychological profile one expects of a saint.  Sexuality seems also an issue.  Brent’s,  however acceptable  among his fellow priests,  was pehaps then even more problematic than Eliot’s in the world at large.

Canadian by birth,  Brent came to Boston to enlist in the Cowley Fathers  (the Episcopalian branch of a world-wide Anglican order of monks)  as a result of meeting in Canada Cowley’s American superior,  Father Arthur Hall,  with whom Brent would be linked lifelong as it turned out in the sort of same-sex union Hall called   (rather after the fashion of Henry James’s “Boston marriage” for women)  a  “marriage of the soul”. 

Hall’s influence was potent.  Although conservative in doctrinal matters,  he was open-minded enough to become a close friend of so ardent a liberal thinker as Phillips Brooks,  and Hall — though he argued against both — was sufficiently alert intellectually  to have published articles on both women’s ordination to the priesthood and same sex unions nearly half a century before either became real possibilities in the Anglican Communion.  Wrote  Zabrieski:  “Hall had a keen mind and a passion for accurate scholarship  [and] a fearlessness which often led him along untried paths that frightened more timid souls.”

Brent was not easily frightened.  Nor could he be described as timid.  He had met his man. 

Given,  however,  to long periods of depression according to his biographer,  Brent’s outlet seems to have been that he was  a more aggressive sportsman than one expects a priest to be.  Reflecting his Canadian upbringing,  he excelled at hockey,  but also at polo,  both violent and fast moving games.  But it was Hall’s example that sealed the deal,  as it were.  Hall mentored and taught Brent how to discipline his emotions,  undertaking Brent’s spiritual formation and tasking him with the sort of challenge he thrived on,  developing  Cowley’s Beacon Hill  “colored mission.”

The result was Saint Augustine’s Chruch,  the lovely yellow brick  twin towered church of 1891-1908 built on Beacon Hill between Phillips Street and Lindall Place, the presence of which can somehow still be felt there even though three tenements,  beginning at 73 Phillips,  stand now on its foundations.  The design of R. Clipston Sturgis,  whose work at the nearby Church of the Advent is so much admired,  Isabella Stewart Gardner paid for the completion of  Saint Augustine’s,  where the first black priest in the Boston Episcopal diocese,  Oscar L. Mitchell,  was ordained in 1894.  Brent also introduced there the first  “colored boys choir” in the city.  Overall the  missions success was such that no less than The New York Times pronounced it  “a monument to Father Brent’s untiring zeal and energy among the colored people of Boston.”

Brent  (and Hall too,  who ultimately become Bishop of Vermont)  left the Cowley Fathers in the early 1890s as the result of a dispute within the community over the election,  which both he and Hall facilitated,  of the so much more liberal Phillips Brooks as  Bishop of Massachusetts. With Boston’s famous priest-poet and saint-bishop Brent came to enjoy a very close friendship,  moreover,  one I explored somewhat in my book of 1894,  Boston Bohemia.  Brooks’s biographer,  Raymond Albright,  in the most recent full length biography of the Boston saint-bishop,  described Brent as Brooks’s  “devoted protege”,  a relstionship best expressed,  I’ve always felt,  by a stained glass window designed by the Willet studio of Philadelphia in St.  Peter’s Church,  Phoenixville,  Pennsylvania which portrays Brooks and Brent rather as the apostle Paul and his young assistant,  Timothy.

Brooks is on record,  indeed,  as saying —  when the idea of making Trinity Church in Copley Square Boston’s Episcopal cathedral was first discussed after he became bishop —  that he was much more interested that the  “first struggle of  [his]  episcopate”  should be securing the future of the newly established slum parish of St. Stephen’s in the South End,  where in 1891 he appointed Brent and another as priests-in-charge.

Brent’s success at the new church,  on Florence Street,  two blocks up Washington street from Dover,  was akin to that of St. Augustine’s.  This time his chief backers were,  not Isabella Stewart Gardner,  but her friend the even richer Sarah Choate Sears,  who was known to open her Commonwealth Avenue palazzo to aid St. Stephen’s,  and Mrs Roger Wolcott,  wife of an ex govenor of Massachusetts,  the marriage of whose eldest son at St. Stephen’s to a daughter of the famous Boston psychiatrist Morton Prince shows how advanced were the circles Brent moved in and won support from.

Brent’s later and much wider repute as a bishop and as a leading world ecumenical figure overshadows somewhat these early years in the South End,  but there the depest roots will be found of a man who taught always that  “there are but two great realities in the vast universe —  the heart of God and the heart of man,  and each is ever seeking the other.  It is this that makes adventure for God” — a characteristic phrase of Brent’s — “not an experiment,  but a certainty.”  Added Brent:  “the thought of God keeping tryst with us is a winsome thought.  When we go to pray . . . . [w]e are never there first.”

Robert Woods,  in fact,  was himself a parishinor of St.  Stepehen’s,  and while he noted and approved of its facilities for helping homeless men and wayward women,  nonetheless was clear about  what seperated Brent’s church from all the other South End missions:  “Saint Stephen’s differs”,  he wrote,  “in that it comes at its social work from the religious side.  While  [other churches]  would meet men  [at] . . . some point of physical,  social,  or mental need,  Saint Stephen’s would begin at some point of spiritual need.”

The congregation of St. Stephen’s,  like Brooks’s clergy appointee’s,  was drawn largely from the Cowley Fathers’ Beacon Hill mission church of St. John’s,  parishioners who like Hall and Brent supported the election of the more liberal and modernist but much admired Brooks as bishop,  and also of Harvard undergraduates very much under his influence.  In addition to these Beacon Hillers and Cantabridgians,  “local  [South End] and Back Bay parishioners commited to active mission work among those Bishop Brooks termed the destitute and neglected” made up the Sunday congregation. Brooks,  in turn,  supported a program more liturgically based than was the case at Trinity,  Copley Square.

Indeed,  St. Stephen’s was a unique fusion of the ‘social work’ tradition of Trinity,  inspired by Brooks  (a disciple of Frederick Maurice) and fueled by the Boston Brahmin money of often Unitarian converts of more practical than mystical bent,  and the more devotional and liturgical tradition of the Cowley Fathers inspired by Brooks’s great friend,  Arthur Hall,  and Brent,  Brooks’s  “devoted protege”.  Thus the author of this part of the 1984 Massachusetts Diosecan history could write that at St. Stephen’s  “community outreach was understood not as  ‘social work in a clerical collar’,  but as an expression of Christian life centered on the Cross and the Eucharist.  The devotional core of  the South End  program was the recognized key to its effectiveness.”  Worship there was never any sort of pep rally,  so to speak,  for good deeds.  Rather,  St.  Stephen’s good deeds,  which were extensive to say the least,   were seen as a response to the liturgy of the altar,  central to every day of the mission’s life, the  vital sign value of  which was the daily Eucharist so traditional historically to the Cowley Fathers.

That is exactly why,  however,  for both  TS Eliot and Charles Brent,  who may well have met in later life —  when Eliot,  most famous of middle aged converts,  became all but Anglican pope —  the Dover Street they both knew in the decade of the 1900s was a common but not a joint memory;  Brent moved on to the Phillipines in 1902,  Eliot arrived from St.  Louis in 1905-06.  I don’t know whether Eliot and my grandfather,  who certainly knew of Brent,  ever met either on Dover Street,  although the era of both men there did coincide,  but I do know that my grandfather was just as unlikely as Eliot then to have been drawn to the High Church Anglican spirituality of Charles Brent.  Not only was the Reverend Mr. Groves stoutly Protestant,  but his mentor at Boston University Theological School,  remember,  was a professor,  not of theology,  but of sociology.

Eliot,  moreover,  surely had his own issues with sanctity!  Unitarians,  of course,  don’t canonize people,  but sufficient sense of the meaning  thereof survived that no less than Emerson himself called the poet’s missionary grandfather — sent by William Ellery Channing from Boston to St. Louis to spread Unitarianism —  the  “saint of the West”,  from whose teachings,  of course,  derived so many of the issues that drove Eliot to Dover Street in the first place,  what the author of Great Tom  called the poet’s  “overly strict,  God-fearing,  asexual upbringing.”  One doubts TS Eliot as an undergraduate had much use for saints at all.

S O C I O L O G Y    V E R S U S     S A N C T I T Y 

My grandfathers sociology professor at BU would have agreed.  And the Reverend Mr. Groves instincts to rationalize and justify his abandonment of theological school and the ministry in the face of my grandmothers ambitions,  and to make something positive of joining brother-in-law DC Wyman in the restaurant business,  reflected just that point of view; a reflection,  indeed,  of an overall point of view  in this period of a movement,  first In London,  then in New York and Boston and Chicago, the most characteristic aspect of which was  the settlement house, and,  indeed,  the metropolitan park  idea  spearheaded by Charles Eliot. 

This is not the place to go on at any length about the South End’s large number of charitibale institutions,  like Denison House,  the most famous,  or Hale House,  founded by Edward Everett Hale,  or,  indeed,  South End House,  started by Woods.  Of course,  Victorian do-goodery is easily mocked  —  consider just the name of the Washingtonian Asylum for Inebriates on Waltham Street  (to which I’m told certain ghostly inmates may yet repair today in a much gayer South End than a century ago)  —  it is too large a subject.  My “genteel” grandfather’s work as vantage point here  is perhaps enough.  A lunchroom is not a park,  of course, or even a settlement house,  but my grandfather would have argued it answered an even more fundamental need of the masses.

One can see the role of the lunchroom in this overall movement in the study by Perry Dius we brought up last time here:  The Saloon:  Public Drinking in Boston and Chicago,  where the author notes that  “Washington Street in Boston was lined with broken-down dives  [that]  supplemented street drinking” and also through  “upstairs lodging houses” above the saloons provided some kind of shelter.  (Such  “speak easies”,  as Woods called them in 1898,  were characteristic of Dover Street,  along with  “saloon hotels” where late night and Sunday liquor sales were legal with any minimal amount of food).  But  Dius also noticed the presence along the entertainment strip of  “lunchrooms,  coffee houses,  missions and other  competitors    [my emphasis]”  to the many saloons and such.

It was a role nicely illustrated by a tour of the area reported in the press and given by a mission organizer named Richard Watson to a State Street banker named Chester Lawrence, who was  interested in  “sociological work”  in the area and particularly in the idea of a  “municipal lodging house as the proper way to deal with the homeless,  helpless and hungry.”  A perigrination focused,  as it happened,  on the lunchroom diagonally across Washington Street’s from my grandfather’s,   a non-profit operation run by St. Stephen’s,  it must have made for uncomfortable reading at many Boston breakfast tables to hear of what prizes the tickets were which the church gave out for this lunchroom:

 On their way out Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Watson saw three men,  the very picture of despair,  gazing hopelessly into the dining room where some of their more fortunate bretheren of the streets were sitting at the counters,  eating ravenously. . . . When the tickets were offered them they took them as if the offer was the dream of a disorderd imagination and ran incontinently into the lunch room.

Take special note of the phrase  “sitting at the counters”,  an issue  —  as opposed,  of course,  to sitting at tables  —  very much part of  the legacy as it turns out my grandfather fell heir too in the operation of the Royal Dairy Lunch,  Wymans’s very much for-profit lunchroom across the street;  for-profit,  that is,  untill  “the little minister”,  as DC Wyman disparagingly used to call Lucian Groves, took over its operation.

I would love to know if my grandfather knew  (as DC Wyman had to,  though whether approvingly or not I cannot say)  that buying into the Wyman chain of restaurants meant also inheriting an important history in the matter of feeding the masses in the ever more densely populated Boston metropolis,  a legacy into which Groves’s own plans actually played quite  well, thank you — this,  perhaps,  to DC.  In fact,  historically,  the Wyman enterprize had a history of mixing what had become a highly profitable business with,  if not a social conscience,  then certainly with meeting important and neglected social needs,  those precisely of the teeming workers of the growing city;  not the homeless, but those nearer the economic bottom certainly than the top. 

Wymans,  in the words of the Boston Globe in 1909,  the year of my grandparents marriage,   was already by then  “a famous enterprize, . . . a pioneer in the business of furnishing good food cheap for workers”. None of the Wyman’s were social workers; all were earnest capitalists.  But a Globe story of 1923 on the closing of his Spring Lane eatery only told the truth when it reported that in Wyman’s Boston,  “nobody with a dime in their pocket ever went hungry.”  

The founder was a Nova Scotia-born  “huckster”  —  called that frankly enough in the US Census report of 1870  —  by name of Levi P. Wyman,  who came to Boston in the 1860s and after a few indifferent years as a cheap house builder,  noticed with what was clearly a keen business eye that  “there was not a restaurant in Boston where the masses could enter and select from a bill of fare a wholesome dinner at small cost.”  Quoth the Globe : “Wyman conceived the idea”  to remedy that situation.  About 1870,  this  “short,  stocky un-communicative man with black mutton-chop whiskers”,  for so he is described,  opened at 11 Water Street off Newspaper Row in Downtown Boston what he called a  “sandwich depot”.  And there he introduced for the first time in Boston — in the Northeast?  —  in America? — this is too large a subject to pronounce on so far as I can say —  “a bill of fare of specialties that appealed to a large popular taste.”

It was claimed for Wyman,  in a retrosepctive article on Boston’s venerable eateries in the 1920s,  a quarter century after his death,  that  “he was probably the first man to demonstrate anywhere that a 5-cent sandwich could serve for a full meal”.  Said object is described,  be it recorded,  as  “a split circular roll between four and five inches in diamater,  specially made for the purpose,  and containing a generous slice of tender boiled ham,  tongue,  corned beef or American cheese.”  The reporter was lamenting,  be it also  said, in the ’20s,  that  “no such sandwich can be found anywhere today.”

Recall the matter of counters as opposed to tables?  Wyman’s first depot was described as  “a little place about 10-feet square” and with not a table in sight.  Instead,  “a shelf extending around the room served for tables.  Patrons sat  [in front of said shelf] on low,  4-legged stools”.  There were no knives and forks either;  two hands —  “regardless of their degree of cleanliness” — were sufficient.  But the real deal it must seem from our point of view,  although here too there just is no way to verify this or not,  is that  “coffee,  for the first time in Boston,  was  [served] in mugs,  saving the trouble of dishwashing” — the saucers presumably.  Most important then, of course, was the price. “The menu consisted only of nickel items”.

No wonder “Wyman’s depot”  became a source of fame and wealth for Levi.  And no surprise either that  “eventually a chain of small ‘depots’  in Boston”  developed, and  “the name Wyman became  a synonym for mastodenic sandwiches.”  Indeed,  when Levi died, not just the Globe,  but the Boston Evening Transcript,  not very concerned with the masses but very respectful of business, honored  the onetime  “huckster”   with an obituary.  And,  suggesting perhaps Wyman was the first in more than Boston,  so did the Chicago Daily Inter Ocean,  which trumpeted on December 31 1891 that  “the famous sandwich man of Boston is no more.”  In all the obituaries the heart of the matter was captured in the headline:  “Catered to the Masses.”

For some reason no longer recoverable a century later,  neither of Levi Wyman’s two sons surviving sons carried on the business;  instead,  David C. Wyman  —  DC as he was always called  —  described by the  Globe as  “a cousin of the original of the Wyman restauranters,”  ended up taking over a chain of restaurants that  —  again the Globe —  “after an existence of 35 years had become known to thousands of Bostonians.”  And,  of course,  he seems to have changed everything.  There was,  for example,  rather a different flavor about the theme of Wyman’s flagship restaurant at 9 Spring Lane in the enormous new Old South Building,  the flamboyant office building the firm’s head office was also located in,  upstairs.  It is perhaps enough to say that according to an old employee when a quarter century later Wyman’s closed in 1923,  “they had canary birds in cages hanging from the ceiling and they were singing merrily all day long.”

DC also introduced tables and chairs and,  presumably,  knives and forks,  and even something called an  “automatic piano”  —  I suppose what we’d call today a ‘player piano’  —  and in the evenings,  Spring Lane being just off Newspaper Row,  “all sorts of men . . . clerks,  printers,  writers,  actors and politicians”  were according to the same old employee,  to be found there.  “We had a group of newspaper workers which met here almost daily or nightly for several years,  the Doughnut Club.  The late Pete McNally was one of these and his songs and witty stories at the tables kept the company in roars of laughter.”  Wyman’s was becoming Bohemian!

Graduate students, so often lacking funds and in their own way Bohemian enough,  had needs not unlike newspapermen and family lore has it that Lucian Groves,  who used often to walk down from Mount Vernon Street on adjoining Beacon Hill to Wymans for his dinner, one night met there his bride to be,  Margaret Shand;  DC having  tasked his sister-in-law with being cashier.

Arrived on Dover Street to open his lunchroom,  however,  the little minister was surely all business,  so to speak,  and nothing could be clearer than that he took his inspiration in some sense from old Levi,  however updated.  Indeed,  Dover Street itself required a considerable adaptability.  Even at the Union Rescue Mission,  its leader admitted that many standards of respectibility had to be abandoned:  “we have never forgotten that it is the church of the drunkard,”  he wrote.  “We are never surprised to find our congregations tipsy,  or to hear irreverent remarks.”  And, he added candidly:  “[We respond with]  hearty singing and slum preaching . . . . Our preachers are raised on the spot . . . . The regulation ministers are not often trained in a way to appeal to these men.”

My grandfather,  I suspect,  exactly.  Certainly Professor Dius in his study of the Boston and Chicago saloon culture,  put his finger on that problem   when he wrote that establishments like the Royal Dairy Lunch presented do gooders and reformers  “with a temptation to uplift and moralize” —  Lucian Groves  was very  “genteel”  —  and the result was that many preferred for that reason alone the saloon,  so to speak,  to the lunchroom.  Temperence types like my grandfather were given particularly to this outlook.

Charles Brent,  on the other  hand,  probably liked a drink at day’s end.  Certainly,  Phillips Brooks did.  And DC Wyman more than one I daresay.  (TS Eliot,  by the way,  all his life,  was a very heavy drinker; three or four martini’s at a time).  And this was no little reason why my grandfather’s formal religious association on Dover Street was not with Brent’s  St. Stephen’s across the street,  but with Edgar Helms’s Morgan Chapel two blocks up and sideways behind him on Shawmut Avenue.  Its founder,  Edgar Helms, was a graduate of the BU Theological School and my grandfather admired him as much as his  anti-saloon league sociology professor.

“T H E   W O R L D ‘ S    G R E A T E S T    T R A G E D Y”

Backed all the way by Boston University,  militant spearhead of Boston Methodism,  at the Morgan Chapel Helms labored mightily  —  staving off foreclosure more than once  —  in aid of what really was a quite novel concept then of treating homelessness.  He and his supporters collected door to door in wealthier areas used household goods and clothing.  The  aristocrats and haute bourgoisie of the Back Bay were ever alert to  the adjoining South End, and not just grand dames like Isabella Stewart Gardner and Sarah Choate Sears.  One could write a whole column about Vida Dutton Scudder of Newbury Street and the faculty of Wellesley College and Trinity,  Copley Square,  who became an ardent worker in South End  rescue missions and such.  Similarly my grandfather,  who, oral tradition in the family has it,  was not above knocking on the doors of his neighbors in his Back Bay apartment house and asking for donations – –  somewhat to my grandmother’s consternation but,  above all,  to the absolute horror  I’m sure,  of her proudly independent colored maid,  the irrepressible Lily,  who needed no charity,  thank you. 

Helms,  his donations piling up around him in the chapel basement,  forthwith would hire and train  the homeless to mend and repair as necessary,  his radical idea being that donated goods,  once refurbished,  could be sold at a profit to support his ministry.  His very Emersonian motto was,  “a hand up, not a hand-out, not charity, but a chance”.  I can almost hear my grandfather preaching to Lily.

News spread.  The New York Times, no less,  declared  “a new idea in religion”  when Helms evolved out of all of this something called  the “Collegiate Church”  —  a bow to BU  —  “of All Nations,  Morgan Memorial”.  Editorialized the Times:

The program of the Church of All Nations is inter-racial and interdenominational.  Methodist,  it is  yet to be the center of broad religious work . . . . It will be the first case in America of a genuine union of several denominations,  like those unions which have met with such success in the foreign field . . . . Representitives of a dozen different religious sects will center their work in this Church of All Nations,  and,  from it and through it,  minister to  Portugeuse,  Italians,  Greeks,  Armenians,  Japanese,  Russians,  Germans,  Swedes,  Chinese,  Syrians,  and other nationalities that . . . crowd this section of Boston where the church is . . . It is a new idea . . . [and will be the home] of a school for he training of Christian leaders.

The resources of Boston University,  the New England Deaconess ssociation and Morgan Memorial have been united  to form a high-grade professional training school for workers.  This school,  born  in the midst of the world’s greatest tragedy,  will seek to meet the present moral crisis in the nation.  As a branch of Boston University,  degrees will be granted . . . . Dr. Helms, superintendent of Morgan Memorial,  [will lead] an interdenominational staff.

By “the world’s greatest tragedy”,  of course,  the Times meant Dover Streets  —  “skid rows”  —  everywhere,  in all the great urban centers of the early 20th-century,  centers which are our focus in this series that seeks alike to highlight both sides,  good and ill,  of that development the Boston metropolis played so large a part in,  whether the good of Charles Eliot’s visionary metropolitan park system, or the ill underlined by TS Eliots slum poetry.

A century later?  How interesting  that ecumenism was at the heart of both Brent’s and Helms’s ministry,  and a world-wide movement each man ended up leading out of their experience on Dover Street.  Today Brent’s World Council of Churches is well estabished.  And the Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries is one of the world’s largest private sector charities,  thriving all over the third world.

Of course the issues TS Eliot  raised are also still with us.  So,  too,  Eliot’s eloquence.

Comments | shand-tucci@comcast.net


This column is dedicated to my esteemed Harvard classmate the Reverend R.  William Franklin,  who in one of those amazing coincidences of historical time is today a century later  —  and,  of course,  several prelates later  —  one of five candidates to succeed Charles Brent  as bishop in the see of Western New York.  Bill stimulated my interest in Brent some years ago.  The research for this column was facilitated by Curator Henry Scannell and Reference Librarian Diane Parks of the Microtext Depatment of the Boston Public Library.


[Brent, Charles]  Zabriskie,  Alexander.  CHARLES BRENT  (Westminster)  1948

[Brent, Charles]  “Rev. Mr. Brent Undecided” BOSTON GLOBE  (14 Oct 1901)

[Brent, Charles]  Albright, Raymond.  FOCUS ON INFINITY  (MacMillan)  1961

[Brent,  Charles]  Harm,  Kendall  “Charles Brent” in TITUS ONE NINE (June 24 2010)

[Brent,  Charles]  Shand-Tucci, Douglass.  THE ART OF SCANDAL  (HarperCollins) 1997

[Brent,  Charles]  Lane, Adassa.  “The Church of St. Augustine and St. Martin” in Duffy, Michael, THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS  (Lilttle, Brown)  1984

[Brent, Charles]  “Larger Quarters” THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Dec 8, 1904)

[Brent,  Charles]  Untitled.  THE BOSTON GLOBE  (May 10, 1905)

[Brent,  Charles]  “In New St Steohen’s” THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Dec27, 1891

Bianchi, Eugene, S. J. “The Thought of Charles Brent” in CHURCH HISTORY (Dec 1968)

Duffy, Michael, ed. THE DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS  (Little, Brown)  1984

[Groves, Lucian]  Boston University School of Theology Archives,  Boston.

[Groves,  Lucian]  BOSTON STREET DIRECTORIES  (1905-1918)

Dius, Perry.  THE SALOON:  PUBLIC DRINKING IN BOSTON AND CHICAGO  (Univ. of Illinois Press) 1995

[Helms,  Edgar] Plumb,  Beatrice  EDGAR JAMES HELMS (TS Denison) 1965

[Helms,  Edgar  “Church of All Nations” THE NEW YORK TIMES  (May 26, 1918)

[Helms, Edgar]  Tavan,  Joyce S.  NEIGHBORHOOD BASED SERVICES FOR THE POOR;  REEXAMINING MORGAN MEMORIAL AND THE SETTLEMENT HOUSE MOVEMENT/MIT Masters thesis, 1993 (visit http://dspace.mit.edu/8443handle/1721.1/42555

Matthews,  TS  GREAT TOM  (London 1974)

[St. Stephen’s Lunchroom]  “Bankers study” THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Dec 27 1910)

[Shand, Margaret]  BOSTON STREET DIRECTORIES  (1905-1918)

Woods,  Robert.  THE CITY WILDERNESS  (Houghton Mifflin) 1898

[Wyman]  “Wyman’s Spring Lane Crowded Out”  THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Oct 1, 1923)

[Wyman]  “Famous old eating places”  THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Oct 19, 1920)


[Union Rescue Mission  “Union Rescue work”  THE BOSTON GLOBE  (Feb 4 1895)

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