Joseph C. Talbot

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Joseph Cruikshank[1] Talbot[2] (September 5, 1816 – January 15, 1883)[3] was the missionary bishop of the Northwest and the second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indiana.

The Rt. Rev. Joseph Cruickshank Talbot

Early life[edit]

Joseph Talbot was born to Quaker parents in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1816, where he attended the Pierpont Academy in his childhood.[4] In 1835 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and was baptized in Christ Church there in 1837 and soon confirmed in the Episcopal Church.[5] In 1838 he married Anna M. Waris, daughter of Samuel Waris, a captain of the United States Army.[5]

Early ministry[edit]

Talbot studied for ordination under Benjamin B. Smith and became a candidate for holy orders in 1843.[4] He was ordained deacon on September 5, 1846, and priest on September 6, 1848, both by Smith.[4] While in deacon’s orders he organized a third church in Louisville, St. John’s Church, and became the rector there upon his ordination to the priesthood.[5] In January, 1853 he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, and became the rector of Christ Church where he served seven years.[5] He received the degree of D.D. from the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1854.[6] In 1867 while at the Lambeth Conference, he was conferred with the degree of LL.D. by the University of Cambridge.[5]

Bishop of the Northwest[edit]

Talbot was elected by the House of Bishops as Missionary Bishop of the Northwest (or North-West) in 1859 and consecrated on February 15, 1860, by Jackson Kemper, assisted by Benjamin B. Smith, Cicero S. Hawks, George Upfold, and Gregory T. Bedell.[6] The Missionary District of the Northwest included New Mexico, Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Idaho, covering nearly nine hundred thousand square miles.[6] Talbot referred to himself as “Bishop of All Outdoors.”[3] He served in this position for five years.

Bishop of Indiana[edit]

On August 23, 1865,[3] Talbot was elected Assistant Bishop of Indiana, where he began his duties that October.[6] Due to diocesan bishop George Upfold’s feeble health, he acted as the virtual executive head of the diocese until Upfold’s death in 1872.[5] He took over as diocesan bishop on August 26, 1872.[3] He served in this capacity until his death in 1883.


  1. ^ also spelled Cruickshank, see Bishops of the Diocese of Rio Grande
  2. ^ also spelled Talbott, see New York Times obituary
  3. ^ a b c d Armentrout & Slocum, 512
  4. ^ a b c Batterson, 199
  5. ^ a b c d e f New York Times obituary
  6. ^ a b c d Batterson, 200