The chapel Bishop’s chair is high backed, is made from carved hemish oak and was embossed leather originally.  The chair belonged to Elbridge Gerry, statesman and churchman.  It then went to the poet James Russell Lowell at his “Elmwood”estate Cambridge MA. Before being gifted to All Saints’. 

These are fascinating people!

Elbridge Thomas Gerry was a Democratic-Republican, selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States (1813–14), serving under James Madison.

He was active in the early stages of organizing the resistance in the American Revolutionary War. Elected to the Second Continental Congress, Gerry signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

Gerry became Governor of Massachusetts in 1810. During his second term, the legislature approved new state senate districts that led to the coining of the word “gerrymander”

James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets that rivaled the popularity of British poets.

Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838 and soon became involved in the movement to abolish slavery, using poetry to express his anti-slavery views.  Lowell’s poem “The Present Crisis”, an early work that addressed the national crisis over slavery leading up to the Civil War, has had an impact in the modern civil rights movement. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People named its newsletter The Crisis after the poem, and Martin Luther King, Jr. frequently quoted the poem in his speeches and sermons. The poem was also the source of the hymn Once to Every Man and Nation.

Did you know a bishop’s chair is a cathedra, the Latin word for a chair with armrests?   A church into which a bishop’s official cathedra is installed is called a cathedral.