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Graphic Organizer: "The Candidates"


The Rev. Mr. John Bracken

Studied at Oxford University. Received the King's Bounty to minister in Virginia on July 28, 1772. Appointed to preach at Raleigh parish in Amelia County. Adherent to the doctrines and liturgy of the Church of England.

The Rev. Mr Samuel Henley

Born in England in 1744. Educated at Caleb Asworth's Dissenting Academy and entered the roll of Queen's College, Cambridge. Ordained in 1769 and appointed professor of moral philosophy at the College of William & Mary in 1770. Adherent of the notion that the essence of the Christian religion was more a way of life, a question of ethics, and was less concerned with the process, hence his liberal position in religious toleration.


The Rev. Mr. John Bracken
to Henley
Nov. 9, 1773

"About the Expiration of his Year (i.e. Mr. Bland's) he applied to me for the farther Use of my Pulpit, which was granted to him. Your Opposition at that Time was neither known nor expected, and the base Means that were afterwards used to promote your Subscription induced me to abide by that Promotion and not give a Sanction to such Disingenuity."

"You talk, indeed, of an Election already made. The Poll, no Doubt, was fairly taken, the Return properly made, and Bribery and Corruption entirely unknown in the Management of the Affair; but give me Leave, Sir to rectify your Belief on this Subject, and to assure you that I do entertain some Doubts about the Matter."

The Rev. Mr Samuel Henley
to Bracken
Nov. 8, 1773

"I perhaps ought to begin this Address with asking your Pardon for laying before the Publick an Extract of a Private Letter. Such a Measure is apparently improper, but I hope the Nature of that Extract will be a sufficient Excuse. Had you confined your Reflexions to myself, they would have better been answered in private (though at the same Time, I must add, there is no Scene of my Life that I wish to conceal, or ought to blush at) but as you been liberal in throwing out Insinuations which affect the Character of those Gentlemen upon whose repeated oppositon I first thought of Lectureship, it is, I think, incumbent upon me to exhibit a few of them, that every Person may know in what Light to consider both them and you."


The Rev. Mr. John Bracken

"As a man, Dr. Bracken was benevolent in his disposition, just in his dealings, warm in his friendships, and kind to the distressed. As a minister of the gospel, he was pious and learned - his doctrines, sound and catholic, were equally removed from licentiousness and fanaticism. He inculcated religion; but it was the religion of Christ - liberal, beneficent, instructive and practical."

-- Richmond Enquirer, Obituary, July 24, 1818

The Rev. Mr Samuel Henley

"WHEREAS it is publicky reported that I accused the Reverend MR. HENLEY of Deism, and a Disbelief of the Thirty Nine Articles of our Church, I do hereby, out of Justice to Mr. Henley's Character, declare that I never had Reason to believe that such were his Principles."

-- Joseph Kidd


The Rev. Mr. John Bracken







The Rev. Mr Samuel Henley