The Deaths of Rev's. Barton & Templeton

Inside page of the Lewiston Evening Journal, October 15, 1904


Rev. Victor Barton and Rev. Frank Templeton Passed Away at Jerusalem

Word has been received at Shiloh announcing the death in Jerusalem of Rev. Victor Barton and of Rev. Frank Templeton, both staunch disciples of the Holy Ghost and Us Society.

Barton was 24 years old, unmarried and been in the Holy Ghost and Us Society for six years. He was a native of Kansas City, but came east with his family after his graduation from the Kansas City high school. He had been preparing himself for missionary work in Africa and felt that if he joined Sandford's society he would soon have an opportunity for such teaching.

Barton was greatly favored by his leader. He was placed in charge for a time of a Bible class at Winnipeg. When Barton went to England, Sandford put him at the head of the society's home in Liverpool. Afterward, Barton took a party to Alexandria, Egypt. The young man soon mastered Arabic and was able in a short time to preach in that language. Last April he headed a party of the society's missionaries, who were sent from Alexandria to Jerusalem. Barton's father and mother, a younger brother and older sister, with her husband were workers in the movement for about two years, withdrawing a year ago. Barton's other sister remained with him and is now believed to be a member of the Jerusalem party.


Templeton was about 38 years old and unmarried. He was a commercial traveler until about six years ago when he joined the Sandford movement, becoming a convert at a Boston meeting conducted by the evangelist. He was sent to England to teach, after a time and from there, in October, 1902 joined a party of five at Alexandria. Last April he and the others went to Jerusalem. Both men were spoken of as of excellent address and as successful in their work.

This longer article appeared in the Lewiston Evening Journal on November 12, 1904.


The Inside of That Shiloh Community at Jerusalem, Syria.




"From Culpable Neglect" Said the Doctor's Certificate, Came the Death Under Sandfordism.

The scene shifts in the story of Sandfordism and Shiloh, from Durham, Maine, to Jerusalem.

In a recent interview with Mrs. Sheller of Tacoma, Washington, reference was made to Victor Barton, a fine young man who died in Jerusalem in the Sandford movement under such sad circumstances.

Important letters touching this death and that of others at Jerusalem, have been received from Dr. Selah Merrill, U.S. Consul at Jerusalem. These are preceded by a letter from Rev. N.H. Harriman of Roxbury, Mass., recording much of the same state of affairs.

This series of correspondence may well be preceded by a poem in memory of Mr. Barton and Mr. Templeton, who died in Jerusalem a few months ago. This poem touches the root of the matter in verse: --


(In memory of F.T. and V.B. who fell asleep in Jerusalem, September 1904.)

How fares it with you friends, today? How seems this sad old earth to you

Who, from its shadows caught away, Behold all things with vision true?


How fares it with you, gone so soon, from work we thought but just begun

In manhood's morning, manhood's noon, no answering word? Not one - not one?


How fares it with you? We have sought to pierce the blue that lies between

But mortal sight like ours may not discover you in worlds between.


How fares it with you, lifted high above the jar of selfish strife.

In glorious realms beyond the sky. in fullness of immortal life?


How fares it with you as your eyes behold the Lord, the King of kings?

Forgotten in that glad surprise the weary weight of former things?


How fares it with you? This we know - One Name alone inspires you now;

To one alone your praises flow; before one throne your free hearts bow.


Well, well, it fares with you, O friends, forever safe from coming ill,

And we can wait till Christ descends to hear the voices that are still.


Nov. 10, 1904    Adelaide A. Pollard, Chicago, Ill.



To Editors of the Lewiston Journal: --

Dear Sir: - Having read with interest your recent luminous articles of Shiloh, I am enclosing for publication two very important letters from the American Consul at Jerusalem, one to myself and one to the parents of the Rev. Victor A. Barton, the young man whose recent sad death in Jerusalem has been reported in the press. I feel that it is due the public to know that the same conditions that obtain at Shiloh, that caused the death of the Bartlett boy for which Sandford was recently convicted of manslaughter, and which are giving Shiloh a rapidly increasing private cemetery, exist also in Jerusalem, and what these conditions are.

Already three young men, as choice spirits as ever bowed to the sway of the Redeemer, have lost their lives in Jerusalem, thrown away as the results of these conditions, - and others are in danger. I knew them all; I mourn them all. Victor Barton was as able devoted and lovable a young man of twenty-four years as it has been my lot to know. I loved him as a son; and share with his parents in some degree the deep sorrow that is tugging at their hearts at this time, a sorrow that has in it the bitter sting that the life of their noble son might have been spared to them.

It was my bitter lot, as many of the Journal readers know, to have been "captured" and ensnared by this strange and powerful Shiloh delusion, and for three years to sound its depths. I have also two children still in it, - as dear and promising as breathe, their lives endangered, their usefulness blighted; they will not listen to reason nor admit light - have even refused to receive letters from their parents, so complete is their enslavement. I hope that nothing in the letters of the consul will give Sandford any hint to declare these sad deaths as judgments from God; but he needs no hint to do that if it will serve his turn. If he should make capital of Templeton's unhappy frame of mind to assert that he was doubting him and therefore was struck in judgment, I will tell the public that the household in Jerusalem had no such idea. From a private source has come to me from that household a message that is sacred, to the effect that Mr. Templeton fell asleep with his work unfinished; while Mr. Barton fell in battle and some one must take his place. If Mr. Sandford announces that it was a judgment he must either contradict the judgment of the Jerusalem household, or get a special "message" to that effect.

Another thing: Young Doughty who died two years ago is referred to by the consul. He is quite correct. I watched with Doughty; was with him when he died. He was sick ten days. Twice Sandford prayed for him and declared him healed. Once he had him up from his bed to dinner, and then up on the roof. Several times he had him up stairs, when he had to go to bed up there he was so sick - after he had been declared healed. All this time he was facing before our eyes and we believed Sandford rather than our senses. He was a perfect physical giant when taken ill; he was a skeleton when he died. And all that time he had typhoid fever! When the doctors learned, after the death, such facts as we had to tell them in order to get a burial certificate, they were horrified that this young man had been made to move around with typhoid fever.

In the light of subsequent knowledge of this subtle slavery, I believe that Eddy Doughty came back against his will and judgment, hoping that all was right; that soon after coming back he found that he had made a fatal mistake; and since he had "rebelled" before and now had vowed never to do so again, his heart failed him and he became a ready mark for disease. The sadness of his face within two days after his return means what I believe. Others have died in the same way, I have not the smallest doubt. And in Jerusalem, one drops off quickly. There will be further fatalities in that devoted little band, if the consul does not interfere to protect them against themselves in time of sickness. I believe he will interfere. I am glad I can believe it, - for they are a pitiful lot.

One thing about young Doughty for the record. On the evening after the burial, the company assembled to prepare a letter to his widowed mother on one of the islands in Portland harbor. [Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Me., Ed.] His letter was composed by Mr. Sandford, the rest "holding him up" and suggesting minor points. The whole aim was to suppress the sad features of the death, and make her feel that her boy had died gloriously. This was done. It has been done with relatives in other cases of death. I heard a letter by Sandford to parents whose child had been ruthlessly sacrificed to Sandford's fanatical discipline. If one had not known, he would have thought her a warrior who had fallen on the Christian battlefield with ample honors and distinguished service.

Six months after young Doughty's death, we received letters from America from his friends among Sandford's followers, sending their love to him. When I came to America I learned that Sandford had not announced the death at all, and that only a few knew of it. The following summer he referred to it very briefly in his paper, with the insinuation that because young Doughty had "failed God" more than once and come back, God had taken him away in mercy lest he fail again.

When young Barton died, his parents, who have left Sandford, received from one of his followers, Holland, the "Second Witness" this curt, cruel note:


Shiloh, Me. Sept. 28, 1904

George A. Barton, Auburn, Me.

Dear Sir:

The following cable was received from Jerusalem today, dated Sept. 27, '04: Victor dead. We had received a cable a few days ago saying he was sick with fever. The last letter received did not speak of the sickness.

C.E. Holland

Think of that cold-blooded announcement of such an event, to parents! Think of having received a cable that he was sick with fever, in that climate, with another just dead in the same house, and never let his parents know of it, that they might cable their boy a parting word of love! And why this cruelty? Because these parents have left Sandford. And it will be surprising if they let their daughter, also of Jerusalem, continue to write them long. And if she does stop, she will tell them she does it of her own free will, and that Victor has been taken because of their sin in leaving the work. And this is the latest Christianity!!







The following letters from Dr. Selah Merrill the distinguished orientalist, U.S. consul at Jerusalem - one to Rev. Mr. Harriman and the other to the parents of Victor Barton are also of public interest and seem to merit publication.

They are as follows:


Jerusalem, Syria,

October 10, 1904.


Dear Mr. Harriman: -

We have not forgotten you; on the contrary you are in our thoughts a great deal, and we feel our powerlessness to help you in any efficient way. . . . Yours of July 23rd was duly received. . . .

Two sad deaths have occurred in the Sandford house. - Mr. Templeton died on Saturday September 17th, and Mr. Barton died on Thursday, September 27th. Templeton's death "was caused partly by malarial fever with some heart and kidney complications, and also from culpable neglect as all proper medical treatment was refused. Barton's death was caused by "typho-malarial fever", also from culpable neglect, as all proper medical treatment was refused. - I have two certificates given me by Dr. Percy d'Erf Wheeler, who was called at the last moment, allowed merely to look at the patients, not allowed to do anything for them not even an injection, not even a spoonful of weak tea.

Mr. Gelat and I went to the house the afternoon Mr. Templeton died. We did not know that his case was considered dangerous, Mr. Gleason called and reported that he was sick, but thought he would get along all right. Mr. Gelat and I went to the house at 4 o'clock. Mr. Gleason met us at the street gate of the yard, the house stands back and thought we better not go in as Mr. Templeton was restless and anything disturbed him, that for two hours he had been very restless, but said that if I insisted upon going in I could do so. I did not go in. About 5 o'clock Mr. Gleason came to us and said Mr. Templeton was dead, - admitted that since dinner (the hour I do not know, but sometime after midday I inferred, he began to breathe hard. The fact is, he was dying when Mr. Gelat and I were at the gate.

We inquired about Mr. Barton after a few days, as some one from that house reported that he was much better and thought he would sit up, - and we were told that he was better. We did not see him either, - as we were misled by statements made as to his condition. The very next day after we were assured that Barton was "better" he died. To put the matter in as mild a form as possible, there did not seem to be any particular desire for us to enter the house. Mr. Wheeler felt the matter most keenly. You requested me, I remember well, to try and meet Mr. Templeton.  But there were always difficulties, obstacles or what amounted to that, - I did not wish to force myself in where I was not wanted. Then comes the question of my duty: since these deaths occurred I have thought very much about it, - what have I a right to do? What steps can I take and be justified by the law? . . .

Dr. Wheeler said of Mr. Templeton that he seemed wretched mentally.  I asked him again and he said: "I am certain he is very unhappy." These remarks made me very sad that I had not tried even by a little force, to see him.

Templeton was buried in the English cemetery, where they have no room. Barton was buried in the new American cemetery. I attended Mr. Templeton's funeral with our vice-consul. We were the only outsiders. I did not go to Mr. Barton's funeral.  Mr. Gelat went and Mr. Smith, with the kawass. Mr. Gleason hinted that the funeral of Mr. Templeton must be very quiet, as private as possible . . . Only five persons of the household were present. It was a very sad funeral. . . . . . Mr. Gleason at the time of Mr. Barton's death, wore the same happy smile that he always wears. I wondered at this. Many things I wondered at. Why are they reluctant to see the consul and his wife? Why could they not have told us how seriously ill these men were? Why could not they be a little open about sickness, death and burial?

Dr. Wheeler said also that one woman, the wife of Mr. Bolster or the sister of Mr. Barton, looked the picture of distress.  I could not quite make out which person was meant, and Dr. W. did not know.

I wish I could write pleasanter news. Mrs. Merrill sends you her kindest regards and deepest sympathy. We hope you are seeing a way through the many trying circumstances which have sundered you and the Shiloh members of your dear family.



U.S. Consul at Jerusalem




The other letter is as follows:


Consular Service, U.S.A.

Jerusalem, Syria

October 20, 1904

Dear Mr. Barton:

Yours of September 29 is at hand. I am not surprised that you have not received details of your son's death. The members of that household would not tell the details, unless compelled to do so by fear of the law.   Gladly would I report something that would comfort a father's heart, but that is impossible.

The doctor whom I sent to the house reported: "Barton died of typho-malarial fever, also from culpable neglect. (The doctor underscored those words - S.M.) as all proper medical treatment was refused."  We knew that Mr. Barton was sick, and Mrs. Merrill and I intended to go and see him.  This is the reason why we did not go at once, - Gleason or Bolster came to the office and I asked for Mr. Barton.  Was told: " He is very much better and today will sit up." In two days he was dead. He died September 27.   Mr. Templeton died on September 17.

The same physician whom I sent (I must have a medical report) says: "Templeton's death was caused partly by malarial fever with some heart and kidney complications, and also by culpable neglect as all proper medical treatment was refused."

We knew that Templeton was sick and I , with the interpreter of the consulate went to see him. We were met at the door of the yard, - there is a distance of forty feet or so between the gate of the wall at the road and the door of the house, - by Mr. Gleason. He advised us "not to see Mr. Templeton; thought it would disturb him; - he was restless and they were trying to keep him quiet; if I insisted upon it I might go in."

As I saw that he did not wish me to go in I went away. This was at 4 o'clock P.M. At 5 o'clock P.M. One hour later, Gleason came and reported that Mr. Templeton was dead. At this time he remarked, unwillingly, that he had been breathing very hard ever since lunch. That is to say, Templeton was dying when I was at the door officially, he had been dying ever since lunch, and Gleason did not want me to see him or to know the facts.

The doctor is our principal English physician in Jerusalem.  Since Mr. Barton's death, another member has been sick, was sick at that time, with typhoid.  The family have made light of it, tried to keep her stirring about "to drive off her bad feelings."  The household got alarmed and sent for the doctor.  He reported that she had been sick with typhoid for about two weeks. This Miss Main is English, 22 years old.  The doctor reported the matter to the English Consul, who insisted on the family taking a nurse from the English hospital.  The English Consul asked me to go with him as it was an American house.   Gleason was frightened to see us both come.

The girl was too sick to be moved.   After a day or two Gleason told the nurse to go, as she was not wanted any longer.   She said: "I am here by order of the English Consul and doctor." The doctor came next day.  Gleason said: "What did you come for?  We do not want you."  He replied: "I am here by order of the English Consul."

Yesterday, the 19th, we learned that the Main girl was slightly better. The doctor says that had the nurse not gone when she did, Miss Main would have been dead now. Doctor says that Barton could have been saved by a little care and nursing. Young Doughty who died two years ago died from sheer neglect.

The English and the few Americans here are quite stirred up about these deaths. Fine young people sacrificed to these delusions!

Your son was buried in the American cemetery, a little way out of the city. Mr. Templeton was buried in the English cemetery on Mt. Zion, and Mr. Gleason wanted Mr. Barton to be buried there also; but they have almost no room, only for a few bodies more, and they did not care to have their ground, which they need for the English community, "to be devoted to these objectionable people."

Mr. Barton having a sister at the Sandford house, I do not know how much liberty the law would allow me or has allowed me in interfering.  A person not having any relative in the house might be entirely under the Consul's jurisdiction.  The English law differs somewhat from our law, but I have not done with the matter yet.  Great pressure of office duties has prevented me from going into the matter thoroughly; but I shall for one thing make a statement of facts, and make a strong protest to Mr. Gleason as the head, or local head of the community.  It is a shame that men and women are allowed to die from neglect, - and to be told that "if God wanted them to live He would have cured them," that they had "committed some terrible sin."  If there is no law to reach such cases, then law-makers ought to make one.

I am writing this in a great hurry because I want to catch the next mail.  I hope before I seal the letter to be able to report about Miss Main.  I have written Mr. Harriman of Boston some of the facts connected with the recent deaths. When young Harriman went home last spring, I gave him a good talking to about his father's desire for a reunited family, - said that I hoped he would cease to worship a man, and worship the Master Christ. And after all, Mr. Sandford would not allow him to see his father!

There is no use trying to argue with deluded people. There is no slavery like that of fanaticism. Reason, conscience, honor, filial affection, family ties, common sense, go for nothing.

The services at your son's funeral were conducted by Mr. Gleason.  I sent our interpreter and a Mr. Smith who is residing here, a very upright man.  I attended Mr. Templeton's funeral with our vice-consul, and Gleason conducted the services then.  It was a terribly sad funeral.   Besides Gleason for or five members of the household attended, and no others.

These people do not have sufficient nourishment.  Not a spoonful of tea or coffee allowed.  For many reasons I am very sorry that I could not have seen Mr. Templeton.  But it is very difficult to get at these people.  There is no opportunity, - they watch each other closely.  And when people are living under the terrors of heaven and hell, and Mr. Sandford combined, it makes a combination that ordinary influences which have only poor common sense for a basis cannot contend against successfully.

These people do not call on anybody.  They seem to shun people.  They do not seem to want callers.   They do not make trouble and fight those that differ from them, . . . neither do they, . . . . try maliciously to injure others.  They seem to be content with tormenting one another.  The company is very small, I think only six or seven members.  I am going to ascertain exactly.  If things go on others will be worried or crushed into the grave, and so the number will be still further diminished.

All this is horrible; but what can be done? Law does not prevent crime, it only punishes (sometimes) a wrong doer.

You are at liberty to use any or all of these facts as you think best. With great sympathy with you in your loss, I remain


Yours sincerely,


American Consul