Thursday, January 26, 2006

In the mail and on the shelf

i had finished a post, and blogger went off-line. so I copy my post --
--- and then accidentally deleted it!
Luckily I was just going to talk about today's mail!

In the mail, I got an 1849 booklet telling me about Scripture Doctrine (by Rev. S.B. Smith)
the ads for the other books look interesting...
the current newsletter of the NEW MASSACHUSETTS UNIVERSALIST CONVENTION - with a reminder of the Universalist Convocation in May in Mississippi; and a plan for an Universalist heritage Corridor in Winchester NH.
a 1871 Universalist Register and Almanac, where Father Clayton admits he hasnt done much preaching in Columbia or SC, but would try in the winter (of 1870-1).
and I got an email from Clayton's great great granddaugther-in-law wondering why I hadnt written recently (i know the family genealogy!)

Earlier this week, while trying to do some basic research on the Jordan Community House, I was irratated at the numerous differing years of start, founding, and ending of UUA support that I found. Then looking for something else in the second volume of THE LARGER HOPE, I found a good chapter on this mission; and a good section on FRIENDLY HOUSE, and a good section on the joys and concerns of the relationship between the UUAW and NC.
How had I not remembered all this? Why isnt this book in print?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rockwell Universalist in Georgia

If i knew what i was doing I could probably do this better - but at the end of this post is a link (or a copy and paste link) to Rev. Scott Wells website with a fairly modern picture of the Rockwell Universalist Church.
this is an early southern Universalist church founded by (or co-founded or early members of whom were) Universalists from South Carolina moving west. This would be (if memory serves me right) from the Anderson District that we've been mentioning. And as noted, there was a meeting house in the area back in 1846.

as Scott posts them, I will link to them!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"peace church"

I quoted the below on the UUHS mailing list, and rather than lose it, thought I would copy it here.
I note however, that while the Universalists were never a "peace church" and the Unitarians never even came close, the Unitarian Universalists are indeed coming close to it. Not sure if that is good or bad - but for this blogsake, it puts us closer to the southern Universalist roots of German Baptist Brethren and Society of Friends - which are historic "peace churches"

the below is taken from the 1959 version AND THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF from the appendix - no index

1790 Universalist Convention
OF WAR. ---Although a defensive war may be considered lawful, yet we believe there is a time coming, when the light and universal law of the gospel, shall put an end to all wars. We recommend, therefore, to all churches in our communion, to cultivate the spirit of peace and brotherly love, which shall lead them to consider all mankind as brethren, and to strive to spred among them the knowledge of their Saviour and 'Redeemer, who came into the world "not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

1917 report of the National Social Service Commission of the Universalist Church. "War is brutalizing, wasteful, and ineffective, We therefore pledge ourselves to work for the organization and federation of the world, that peace may be secured at the earliest possible date consistent with justice for all.

the 1931 Universalist General Convention" whereas the General Convention of the Universalist church in 1925 recognized the right of members of this church to refuse on conscientious grounds to participate in any warfare as being in accord with our fundamental principles,..."
"... Members of this Convention are granted the right to interpret the spiritual authority and leadership of Jesus as meaning the supremacy of Christian conscience and the refusal of military service at any time on consicientious grounds."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Kim Wilson asked me a good question - that I couldn't answer, and hadn't ever thought about. This explains why she is a professional historian, and why I am but an amateur...(as Richard Thompson said "they're worse than critics, they're amateur critics!"). She asked me about the politics of SC Universalists of the 1830s -- I dunno - and other than the Rev. T. Fisk who preached down in Charleston, who was for reform - I still dunno. And I admit that I dunno much about his politics - other than he had some, and was well known for having them. D.B. Clayton's son, Virgil Pingree Clayton was the famous one in his family, as he was a well known leader in the Lily White Republicans (and as a southern politician he joined the main southern church- Episocalipans) - but D. B.'s politics, I dunno. Indeed I find that I'm having a tendacy to make the southern Universalist fit in with their neighbors and their neighbor's politics. They were mainly solidly middle class professionals, but its easy for amateurs to forget that in the old south, Doctors and merchants were middle not upper class - Planters were upper class, regardless if they had other occupations they dabbled in.... Slave owners with 10 slaves or more were upper class (don't take this as fact all you other amateur historians) -- anyway I've been thinking more of southern Universalists as just another member of the solid south....But then I read this from Claudia L. Bushman's A GOOD POOR MAN'S WIFE (1998 EDITION), which is a biography of Harriet Hanson Robinson. Her brother J. W. Hanson was the known Universalist writer, publisher, theologian . (pg49-50) "... The controversial and despised Universalists. Though the sect preached the mild, loving doctrine of universal salvation and the brotherhood of man, Univeralsim aroused powerful antipathy, and with cause. The sect undercut the very basis of religion and morality as they were then understood. .... The traditionalists had reason to fear and despise the Universalists. While the Universalists preached love and brotherhood, they were revolutionary at the base. It dismissed claims of authority at existing churches. Founded and promulgated by lower-class uneducated preachers, the sect was democratic and reasonable, whereas the Calvinists were authoritarian and punitive. Univeralism threatened the power structure of the traditional church, removing the sting from God's commandments and even humanizing Christ. Universalists refused to take their place in the ordained order of society. Their agitation rattled the framework of life. Another reason for the traditionalists' concern was the belligerent stance of the Universalists. Not content to go their way in peace and love, they felt obligated to criticize the establishment and to enter into disputations with clergymen of other sects. They pictured their religious work as a battle, adopting a military jargon to talk about it." Certainly one of the themes of Universalist periodicals of the 1830s is the immorality and hypocrisy of other denominations.... If one wants to read about all of the scandals afflicting clergymen, Universalist periodicals is a good place to start....... so are the southern Universalists of the 1790s-1820s bold and revolutionary?

the sick and the Holy

I've been sick these last few days, so Ive spent the last few days reading and thinking in a fog.... One really shouldnt read religious books when one's brain is foggy, so Ive been reading books about religion instead... (add grin here) SECRETS OF THE BIBLE (2004) Archeology Magazine - quotes Mark Chancey, an archelogist about an unhistoric alleged Biblical site in Israel "legitimate religious phenomenon" "creation of sacred space by regarding some place as holy and by allowing people to connect with what they see as holy." This explains my visiting historic Universalist churches, and why I dont want them to be destroyed..... they're holy to me! I see the connection between the past and present. - Ive stood on the spot where Winchester stood, Ive traveled the same roads as Clayton .

Saturday, January 07, 2006

what i should be doing

what i should be doing

1) putting some more information from Kim Wilson up here
2) checking the census, as I will be losing access to proquest
3) cross-refrencing material in the Brethren Encylopedia
4) doing more research on Allen Fuller - how many books did he write?
when was he born?
5) doing the non-Universalist historical stuff that puts food on my table and books in my library

instead Ive been reading a biography of Robert Carter, THE FIRST EMANCIPATOR (2005), a guy who converts (do i need to put a spoiler here? ) to Sweedborganism...
and reading other blogs and doing some email

hang in there, i got boxes of stuff to share!
oh, as mentioned in the Boy in the Bands blog, I heard there is a no-hell (ie: universalist) cemetary in Charleston; I have no idea where. Both Scott and myself think that the burial site of J. Shecut is a good place to check first - anybody know where that is?

(my local gen lib doesnt have Charleston books!)