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“ [426] times tried the Congregational form of church organization, but had always failed I Now surely, as slavery is dead we can succeed.” This is the substance of their speech. I assented to their request. It was my own church, and I was glad to cast in my lot with the few courageous souls that were starting the first bona fide Congregational Church at the capital. There seemed to be a general understanding that there should now be no distinctions in our church relationship on account of color. Equal rights in church government, equal for all. Rev. Charles B. Boynton, D. D., then chaplain of the House of Representatives, lately from Cincinnati, the chosen historian of the navy, a man of marked ability, and one who had been distinguished as an “old-line abolitionist,” was called as the first pastor. His son, General H. V. Boynton, of the volunteer army, had come to Washington as a correspondent for the press. He was in daily telegraphic communication with the Cincinnati Gazette, and corresponded with other papers. He then lived at the home of his parents in the city.

There was a small church party, after we had grown to fifty or sixty in number, who clung very strongly to New England traditions and church organization. This party often opposed the pastor, but ut first with no noticeable exhibition of feeling, more than is manifested in the usual controversial spirit of our people. There was no important division of sentiment, and I did not take sides with the one party or the other. For a year or more the First Congregational Church greatly prospered. It worshiped sometimes in a hall of the city and sometimes in the hall of the House of Representatives. A large number of the members seriously objected to the latter as a place of worship.

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