15 September 1855
From the Satucket Lectionary
James Chisholm was the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the early 1850’s, when a terrible plague of yellow fever struck the city, and which struck and killed him.
From The Grest Pestilence in Virginia, by William S Forrest (1856):
WHO, that knew the Rev. James Chisholm by sight, would have dreamed that that frail body of his held such a lofty spirit! Weak and delicate, with a degree of modesty that almost amounted to bashfulness, as shrinking and retiring as a young girl, thousands would have passed him in the crowd unconscious that they were in the presence of a ripe scholar and an able divine. His look a personification of meekness; and, to the superficial thinker, he would seem to have been one of those who would quietly have retreated to his solitude, far away from the noise and bustle of an excited community. But the disease came — Chisholm’s flock nearly all left — and he, too, was preparing to spend a portion of his summer in the mountains but stern duty said ‘ Stop.’ And then it was that this pale, delicate, frail, retiring man came forth to the struggle, and the great fond noble soul, which was, after all, the stature of the man, rose in its God-given strength, and he was here at the bedside of suffering, and there by the fresh-made grave; here pointing the sinner to the cross of Christ, and there carrying food and drink to the needy; now in the pulpit, seizing upon the circumstances of the visitation, to warn men to prepare for death, and then in the hospital whispering peace to the penitent and departing soul. Death came to him, and he met him as one who,
“— Sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approached the grave;
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
Further information may be found in Memoir of Rev. James Chisholm, A. M., by David Holmes Conrad (1856), available from Google Books.