Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Thin Coat of Whitewash

The Tabernacle Baptist Church took up the challenge laid down by the Eagle to investigate its railroad president-pastor and, less than a one month after Hamilton's exposure of Osborn's conduct, the church "indorsed" Rev. Osborn "without qualification" and gave him "a complete certificate of 'uprightness, integrity, and moral character,' and at the same time offering no evidence on which their favorable judgment is based." Church resolutions expressed "'full and unimpaired confidence' in Osborn, and declare that the success which has attended his labors is 'evidence of the faithful performance of the duties of his office,' and that in the future, as in the past, he will honor his position as pastor of this chuch.'" The Eagle was outraged by this "whitewash." [Brooklyn Eagle, May 8, 1871]. The Eagle invited a member of the "Osborn Investigating Committee of the Baptist Tabernacle Church" to explain the Committee's "extraordinary report - a report which we are unable to characterize as other than a weak attempt to whitewash the railroad-lobby-pastor of that church." The invitation was declined provoking the Eagle to another column of outrage regarding Osborn. The Eagle reacted with anger toward accusations that it had treated Osborn unfairly since the Eagle had "made no charges against Osborn except such as were contained in his own letters." [Brooklyn Eagle, May 10, 1871]

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