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Green, William Mercer

William Mercer Green (1798-1887), the son of Mary Bradley and William Green, was born in Wilmington, NC. He entered the University in 1814, became a member of the Dialectic Society, and graduated with second honors in 1818, in the same class as James Knox Polk. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1823 and served as rector of churches in Williamsborough and Warrenton, NC, before moving to Hillsborough, NC, in 1825. There he took charge of St. Matthews Church and of the Hillsborough Female Seminary. Shortly after joining the University faculty in 1838 as chaplain and professor of rhetoric and logic, Green became dissatisfied that students, regardless of their denomination, had to attend services in the chapel, and he worked to establish Chapel Hill's Church of the Atonement, now known as Chapel of the Cross. In 1849 he left Chapel Hill for Jackson, MS, and became the state's first bishop. Green promoted training schools for the clergy and was one of the founders of the University of the South at Sewanee, TN, becoming its chancellor in 1866. He received the DD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1845 and the LLD from the University of North Carolina in 1881. Green, the father of thirteen children, was twice married, to Sally Williams Sneed in 1818 and to Charlotte Isabella Fleming in 1835 (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 2:362-63).