Death of William White, First Bishop of Diocese of Pennsylvania

Death of William White, First Bishop of Diocese of Pennsylvania

Bishop William White

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William White, the first bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and the fourth American Anglican bishop, dies at the age of 88. White is the person who coined the term "Protestant Episcopal" for the new Anglican denomination in America.

On August 15, 1835, Bishop William White writes to Colonel Mercer of Fredericksburg, Virginia about General George Washington:

"In regard to the subject of your inquiry, truth requires me to say that General Washington never received the communion in the churches of which I am the parochial minister. Mrs. Washington was an habitual communicant . . .

I have been written to by many on that point, and have been obliged to answer them as I now do you."

This statement is frequently cited as evidence that George Washington was a deist or even possibly an atheist, but certainly not a traditional and devout Christian.

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