Algernon Sidney Crapsey

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Algernon Sidney Crapsey

Algernon Sidney Crapsey (1847–1927) was an Episcopal priest and father of poet Adelaide Crapsey. In 1879, he was transferred from Trinity Church in New York City to Rochester, New York to become the pastor of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Averill Avenue.

Crapsey was an ardent supporter of the Social Gospel movement and developed a national reputation for eloquent lectures[1] that inspired social ideals. His church was soon among the most well attended in Rochester.

In 1906, his progressive views led him to run afoul of orthodox Church authorities when he delivered a lecture stressing the humanity of Jesus, a notion contrary to the literal interpretation of the Scriptures. This culminated in an ecclesiastical proceeding for heresy that same year held in Batavia, New York which drew national attention. He was found guilty and stripped of his ministry.

Significantly, Crapsey was accompanied to the proceedings by his daughter Adelaide rather than his wife, Adelaide T. Crapsey. Moreover, rather than bitterly renouncing the church, the family remained faithful members, and Crapsey continued to lecture, write, and foster social projects until his death.

In addition to Adelaide, his family included eight other children: Philip, Emily, Paul, Rachel, Algernon Jr., Ruth, Marie, and Arthur. Two of the children died fairly young—one from brucellosis, the other from appendicitis. Philip died of malaria contracted during the Spanish–American War.

Crapsey died in 1927 and was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crapsey, Algernon Sidney. Religion and Politics. Thomas Whittaker, New York, 1905

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