He came to Springfield on June twenty-four of that year. He and "his suite went on horseback . . . . to view the public works of the United States." —These works consisted of several buildings, on 640 unfenced acres, lately purchased by the National Government. Is it too great a flight of fancy to think that President Monroe may have entered the Armory Chapel? He probably inspected the Administration Building. The brave little chapel within its walls was very new and very dear to Colonel Lee. Might it not have aroused a bit of sympathetic interest in the heart of this Virginian, one time student of William and Mary College, to find the church of his native state resting peacefully on a little hilltop in rural, Puritan Massachusetts?
The chapel could boast of other interesting guests, at any rate, for in July 1821 the West Point Cadets visited Springfield. The Republican thus describes their stay: "They reached Westfield on Saturday, the 28th, and camped there for the night. They were up early Sunday morning and marched into Springfield just as the people were going to church, the brave military sight gravely distracting the residents so that the pastors talked to a good many empty benches. The corps marched to the armory grounds and camped there, but the cadets were taken at once to the Episcopal chapel for service." They made their second visit on May 28th, 1922.
Picking up again the main thread of our story, we should like to record that the little Chapel, so happily planted in this prosperous village, became firmly rooted and grew in strength and usefulness year by year. But alas! the story of the first twenty years of the Episcopal Church in Springfield is, for the most part, an account of a consecrated, undaunted group of Churchmen making valiant efforts to keep glowing one vital spark in an almost lifeless body.
Following the first service, Colonel Lee took immediate steps to procure a resident Chaplain. How plainly the earnest, thorough methods of the man are revealed in this letter to his good friend Dr. Strong! "This Chaplain", be wrote, " . . . must