James Lloyd Breck

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The Rev. James Lloyd Breck
James Lloyd Breck, 1866
Born June 27, 1818
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania[1]
Died 2 April 1876(1876-04-02) (aged 57)
Benicia, California
Venerated in Episcopal Church USA
Feast April 2

James Lloyd Breck (June 27, 1818 – April 2, 1876) was a priest, educator and missionary of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Breck is commemorated on April 2 on the Episcopal calendar of saints.

Early life and education[edit]

Breck was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He attended high school at the Flushing Institute, founded by William Augustus Muhlenberg, who inspired him to resolve at the age of sixteen to devote himself to missionary activity. He received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1838 and a B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1841.[1]


In 1842, by then a deacon in the Episcopal Church, he went to the frontier of Wisconsin with two classmates, under the direction of Bishop Jackson Kemper, to found Nashotah House, intended as a monastic community, a seminary, and a center for theological work. It continues today as a seminary.[2] Breck was ordained into the priesthood later that year by the Missionary Bishop, Jackson Kemper at the Oneida Indian settlement 150 miles north of Nashotah.[3]

Breck (right) with Enmegahbowh (The Rev. John Johnson) (left) and Isaac Manitowab (center).

In 1850 Breck moved to Minnesota where he founded schools for boys and girls such as Breck School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and the Seabury Divinity School at Faribault, Minnesota. He also began mission work among the Ojibwa.[4] On June 23, 1850, on top of Grandad Bluff, Breck celebrated the first Episcopal[5] Eucharist in the La Crosse area.[6]

In 1867 he moved to Benicia, California to build another two institutions.[7]

Breck was known as "The Apostle of the Wilderness".[8]


Breck died in Benicia in 1876. He was buried beneath the altar of the church he served as rector but later his body was removed and reinterred on the grounds of Nashotah House in Nashotah, Wisconsin. The recommittal service there had 14 bishops, around 100 priests and numerous lay people in attendance.[1][9]


Breck School was established in 1886 in Wilder, Minnesota.

Henry M. Ackley, who was married to Breck's niece and had been connected with Nashotah House, later became a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.


  1. ^ a b c Hein, David, and Shattuck, Gardiner H., Jr., The Episcopalians, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2004, pp. 172-174 ISBN 0-313-22958-9
  2. ^ http://www.nashotah/edu/about.htm
  3. ^ Nashotah Scholiast Vol.4 No.2, 1886, p. 28-30
  4. ^ Seabury: About Seabury: Seabury's History
  5. ^ Goldstein, Norm, editor, Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, 2000, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, pp. 84-85.
  6. ^ "The Life of the Reverend James Lloyd Breck, D.D.". anglicanhistory.org. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  7. ^ "Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns € 1850's - Athens of California". beniciahistoricalmuseum.org. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  8. ^ Holcombe, T.I. (1903). An Apostle of the Wilderness: James Lloyd Breck, D.D., His Missions and His Schools. T. Whittaker. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  9. ^ A Commemoration Service At Seabury Seminary

External links[edit]