Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew
WAINWRIGHT, Jonathan Mayhew, P. E. bishop, b. in Liverpool, England. 24 Feb., 1793; d. in New York city, 21 Sept., 1854. He was of American parentage, his mother being a daughter of Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, of Boston. He was graduated at Harvard in 1812, where he was afterward tutor, ordered deacon in the Protestant Episcopal church in Trinity church, Boston, 13 April, 1817, ordained priest in Christ church, Hartford, Conn., 29 May, 1818, and became rector of the latter. In November, 1819, he removed to New York, and became assistant minister in Trinity church. He was made rector of Grace church in 1821, and remained in that charge until 1834, when he became rector of Trinity church, Boston. In 1837 he returned to Trinity parish, New York, as assistant in charge of St. John's chapel, which post he retained until he was elevated to the episcopate. He received the degree of D. D. from Union college in 1823, and from Harvard in 1835. The degree of D. C. L. was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford, England, in 1852. Dr. Wainwright was consecrated provisional bishop of New York in Trinity church, New York, on 10 Nov., 1852. He was for many years secretary of the house of bishops, aided in the establishment of the University of New York, and was considered one of the first pulpit orators of his day. Bishop Wainwright wielded great social influence, was a ripe scholar, and was a devoted lover of music, contributing toward its improvement in the churches of his denomination. He was secretary of the board of trustees of the General theological seminary in 1828-'34, and a trustee or officer of many other institutions and societies. In 1844 he engaged in a controversy with his friend Rev. Dr. George Potts, which grew out of an assertion that Rufus Choate made at a celebration of the New England society. The orator said that the Pilgrim fathers had founded a “state without a king and a church without a bishop.” At the dinner that followed, Dr. Wainwright, in responding to a sentiment, said in reply that “there is no church without a bishop.” The subsequent discussion with Dr. Potts, which was carried on in nineteen letters in the New York “Commercial Advertiser,” was afterward published in pamphlet-form (1844). His other works include “Four Sermons on Religious Education” (New York, 1829): “Lessons on the Church” (1835); “Order of Family Prayer” (1845); “Short Family Prayers” (1850); “The Pathway and Abiding-Places of our Lord, illustrated in the Journal of a Tour through the Land of Promise” (1851); “The Land of Bondage: being the Journal of a Tour in Egypt” (1852); single sermons; and papers in periodicals. He also prepared three books of music: a “Book of Chants,” adapted to services of the Episcopal church (1819); “Music of the Church” (1828); and “The Choir and Family Psalter,” in connection with Rev. Dr. William A. Muhlenberg (1851); and edited Bishop Ravenscroft's “Sermons,” with a memoir (2 vols., 1830), and “Life of Bishop Heber,” by his widow (2 vols., 1830). See a “Memorial Volume,” containing thirty-four of his sermons and a memoir by Bishop Doane (1856), and “Life of Bishop Wainwright,” by Rev. John N. Norton (1858). After his death a church was erected to his memory in New York city. — His son, Jonathan Mayhew, naval officer, b. in New York city, 27 July, 1821; d. near Galveston, Tex., 1 Jan., 1863, entered the navy as a midshipman, 30 June, 1837, attended the naval school at Philadelphia in 1842-'3, and became a passed midshipman, 29 June, 1843. He was appointed acting master, 10 Nov., 1849, and commissioned lieutenant, 17 Sept., 1850. He was on special duty at Washington in 1861, and commanded the steamer “Harriet Lane,” which was Admiral Porter's flag-ship in Parragut's fleet during the engagements with Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip and the capture of New Orleans in April, 1862. He took part in the operations of the fleet below Vicksburg, and in October, 1862, commanded the “Harriet Lane” in Commander Renshaw's squadron at the capture of Galveston. While he was holding possession of Galveston, Gen. Magruder attacked the “Harriet Lane,” then lying above the city. Wainwright was killed while gallantly leading his men to repel the Confederate boarders, and in ten minutes after half the crew of the “Harriet Lane” were shot down and the vessel was captured by the Confederates. — The second Jonathan Mayhew's son, Jonathan Mayhew, naval officer, b. in New York city, 29 Jan., 1849; d. at sea, 19 June, 1870, was graduated at the U. S. naval academy in 1867, was promoted to master, 21 March, 1870, and while serving in the “Mohican” he had command of the boat expedition to cut out the pirate steamer “Forward,” which was operating on the coast of Mexico, manned by a crew of filibusters. The “Forward ” was lying alongside of the beach in the lagoon at San Bias when Wainwright attacked and attempted to capture the ship by boarding. The pirates fired on the boat's crew, and shot Wainwright. The crew burned the steamer, and Wainwright was carried on board ship, where he died the next day. The second Jonathan's daughter, Marie, now Mrs. Louis James, has attained some reputation as an actress.