July 10: St. John Bull Lawrence Skinner (1872)

In 1853, St. John B.L. Skinner was appointed to a position with the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C. where he remained until his death in 1872. He served under five Presidents (Pierce through Grant) as Chief Clerk and Assistant Postmaster General including time as Acting Postmaster General under Lincoln in 1862 and as First Assistant Postmaster General under Grant 1869 – 1872. Skinner was born in upstate New York, near Plattsburgh. He attended Plattsburgh Academy and was one of 20 teenage boys from the school who in September 1814 formed Aiken’s Volunteers and successfully helped defend the city against the 10,000-strong British army. Skinner was one of the founders and served on the first vestry of Trinity Church, Plattsburgh.

Upon moving to Washington, Skinner quickly became associated with Epiphany. He is listed as a sponsor at the baptisms of five different young children. He served as Junior Warden all during the time of the Civil War and then Senior Warden the last four years of his life. Following his death, his funeral was at Epiphany and the church’s vestry passed the following resolution. “Be it resolved that in the removal by death of our Senior Warden, General St. John B.L. Skinner the Church of the Epiphany has lost an earnest, sound, and faithful churchman, the community a good man and exemplary citizen, and his country one who has long been honored as one of its defenders and supporters.”

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