February 27: George Franklin Edmunds (1919)

A native of Vermont, George Franklin Edmunds practiced law for a time in Burlington before becoming active in local politics. This led to his election to the Vermont legislature and eventually to the U.S. Senate. For the next 25 years, Senator Edmunds was involved in many of the major events of the country. He was the chairman of the committee that determined the impeachment procedures against President Andrew Johnson, wrote the bill that provided for a commission that decided the disputed Hayes-Tilden presidential election, wrote the act that outlawed polygamy, and wrote most of the landmark Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Edmunds was baptized at Epiphany as an adult, four years after his arrival in Washington. One month later, Edmunds, his wife, and oldest daughter were confirmed at Epiphany by Bishop Whittingham. His second daughter, Julia Maynard Edmunds, was confirmed in 1879. Within three years, Julia died at age 21. As part of the 1890 renovation of the church, Senator Edmunds memorialized Julia with the gift of a brass cross, which still graces the altar reredos today. Shortly after Edmunds’ retirement from the Senate, the Church Congress was meeting at Epiphany. Bishop Paret asked Edmunds to act in his place as presiding officer. Edmunds and Bishop Phillips Brooks gave the opening addresses to an overflow crowd.

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