The author explores the development of the Anglican Church in the British American colonies north from Delaware to Nova Scotia. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts provided financial support for most of the clergy and Bibles and Prayer Books for their congregations. While neglecting to state precisely what its mission in America was, the Society was making inroads into provinces where religious dissent from the Church of England prevailed. A number of the Anglican clergy, most of whom were converts from the Congregationalists and Presbyterians, feared that the distance from England, the influence of the American environment, the independent notions of their congregations, most being converts to the Church of England, and the lack of a bishop in America were whittling away the differences that separated the Anglican Church fro! m the other protestant churches. The Anglican clergy considered the Congregationalists and Presbyterians to be engines of rebellion. The attempts to bring an Anglican bishop to America failed as the imperial crises of the 1760's and 1770's associated episcopacy and imperial taxation in the minds of many Americans.
Faced with Independence, the majority of the Anglican clergy remained loyal to the Crown refusing to alter the Church liturgy to comply with the revolutionaries' demands. Without a plan of their own, the Loyalist clergy were left in helpless dependence upon Britain while large numbers of their congregations were caught up in the revolutionary fervour. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel's mission to foster loyalty to Britain failed. A number of Loyalist clergy with some of the laity forged new homes in the British provinces to the north. Others remained in the independent States to recreate their Church and to make their peace with the new republic.