George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Uzal Ogden, 12 June 1789

From Uzal Ogden

Newark [N.J.] 12th June 1789

May it please your Excellency;

I take the Liberty to inclose the first Number of a periodical Publication.1 If amidst the numerous and important Concerns of State, your Excellency shall find Leisure to peruse it, and if it shall be honored with your Excellency’s Approbation, it will be esteemed a Favor (if the Request is not improper) if your Excellency shall condescend, in a few Lines, by the Post, to signify your Approbation of the Work, to be published, with the Testimonie of some eminent Characters, in the second Number. I have the Honor to be, with great Esteem and Respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble Servant

Uzal Ogden


Uzal Ogden (1744–1822), an Episcopal clergyman in Newark, N.J., studied theology in Newark before the Revolution and in 1773 went to England where he was ordained by the bishop of London. Returning to America, he engaged in missionary work in Sussex County, N.J., and served as assistant rector of several churches, including Trinity Church in New York City. In 1788 he became rector of Trinity Church in Newark. In 1798 Ogden was elected the first bishop of New Jersey, but he became involved in a series of disputes both over doctrine and over his clerical activities that resulted in 1805 in his suspension. Ogden frequently sent GW copies of his pamphlets and other publications, including in 1795 his best-known work, Antidote to Deism. The Deist Unmasked . . ., a refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason.

1The “periodical” has not been identified. Ogden’s sermons were published regularly. His most recent publication was Four Sermons, on Important Subjects; Delivered in St. George’s and St. Paul’s Chapels, in the City of New-York (Elizabeth Town, 1788).

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