Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome New Readers!

If you searched for this blog after reading a mention of a " blog on southern Universalist history " as mentioned in the article
"Quillen Shinn, Universalist circuit rider" in the Fall 2007 UU WORLD, you found it!

This is a hobby site, so I basically write as the spirit strikes me....
about Universalism and the Universalist Church in the south from the 1700s to the 1900s.

From Virgina to Florida to Mississippi. I admit that I flipflop on Kentucky and West Virginia,
(they're really more connected with the great mid-west than with Tennessee and Virginia. It also is true that Kentucky almost had almost as many Universalist Churches in the 1850s as the entire rest of the south did - thus my flipflop - less work to skip Kentucky!)

One of the big points here is also Father D.B. Clayton, a native of South Carolina, who preached throughout the south - from South Carolina to Florida to Tennessee to Mississippi (he traveled in Texas, but I don't think he preached there). After his death (101 years ago), he had 4 congregations or churches named for him, one in Mississippi, one in Florida, one in North Carolina, and one still remaining in Newberry, South Carolina. He died at age 79, as he was getting ready for church, leaving Columbia SC for Greenville NC -275 miles away. For the past two years, Clayton"s autobiography has been listed as one of the top 10 searched for biographies on the used book selling site, bookfinder.

Part of the fun of this website for me is finding stuff and sharing stuff. I've answered questions (somewhat) on possible congregations in Georgia, on ministers in South Carolina, and my favorite - what kind of Bar-b-que did a particular NC Universalist Congregation eat! (answer: eastern NC vinegar style!)
I dont always post everything I should - I havent posted a full story about the well known musician named after Rev. Clayton, or why I now feel that there is no "No Hell" cemetery in Charleston SC (yes, I think Ashley Cooper was wrong).
I admit that when I dunno, I ask folks - like Linda F, Carol S, and Peggy R (I didn't ask if they wanted their full names mentioned yet ). Thank yall so much.

I also admit that I skip some very famous folks -like the Rev. Strains. Father, two sons - who were very important - but i just don't know enough about. Not enough about Lyman Ward, or the Bowers, or Halfacres, or Ministers of the 1920s-1950s just dont have the glamorous appeal to me of the horse and buggy guys. I also havent said too much about Rev. James Inman, brother of Cold Mountain...(Carol S. is the woman to ask)

If you got a question, ask away - researching can be fun. For me this whole blog is fun.

There is a great wonderful story in southern Universalist history ---and while this isn't the blog to find out more there is a great wonderful future for southern Universalists (or even southern Unitarian Universalists) as well !
Put me in your RSS feeds, and let's enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Roe in Guntersville Al

When I first saw that Guntersville Alabama had three (count them 3) Universalist Preachers in the 1880s, I was flabbergasted. What a hotbed of Universalism, I thought.

It was fairly easy to find information on one of them: Spencer Chambers
- not that easy to find information on another (also named Spencer Chambers! and apparently a nephew). And impossible to find information on the third - a "Thomas K. Roe".

The other day while spending time recovering from whatever illness I had; I looked at the census for the entire county of Marshall, Alabama - for the 1870-1900 period - to discover NO Thomas K. Roe in the entire county. Hmm. A shy person who didnt want his name on the census?

Now, "Roe" is a good fine name -- and many folks in the late 1800s changed their spelling to "Rowe", also a good fine name... No Thomas K. Rowe in the county either. Indeed there is only one Thomas Roe who seems to fit by reason of age - a Thomas W. Roe... This Roe is related by in-law-ship to the Chambers. Makes his a suspect - but not proof of course.

Oh, this family of Roes originated from SC - and ties the Orangeburg and the Chester Roes together neatly -- and seems not to be any kin to the eastern NC Roes/Rowes.
I should mention that while I havent connected them exactly - the Coleman's of Feasterville do appear to be connected to the Roe/Rowe's of eastern NC.

Mountville - Laurens County SC - musings

There is a new book in the Arcadia Publishing Company's Postcard History Series entitled LAURENS COUNTY, (2007), compiled by the Laurens County Museum Association.

On page 112 is a picture of the Universalist Church that was in "downtown" Mountville.
They used the postcard that is at the South Carolinia Library in Columbia.

Three things come to me as I look at the photo - the minor one is the ethics of scanning and sharing it - It's from an out of copyright postcard -fair game now? or should I wait till the book is out of print? I wonder this, because I'd love to share this picture.

The Church and Church building no longer exist.

For a small rural church, the church is wonderfully built. it's not the plain style favored by Woodington (NC), Philadlphia (Miss), Feasterville (SC), or Saluda-Chappels (SC) congregations. Considering the size of the congregation - it is fancy. Yes, it's a small family church - The cemetery - correctly called the Universalist Cemetery in the last burial (about 15 years back); is generally known to genealogist and cemetery surveys as the Simmons Cometary. The Church is actually one of the last of the Teague family Universalist Churches. The Teagues were active in southern Universalist history from at least the 1830s to 1930s. From what I recall the name of the Church was "Church of the Eternal Hope".
It says here that the Church was built in 1910 using materials donated from churches in Saluda and Chappels. I dont think that is right, as a building was there 10 years previous - but it could have been remodeled. Since there was only One Universalist Church inbetween Saluda and Chappels - I suspect there is some confusion there.
Without looking it up, I'd think the church lasted from the 1890s to the 1940s. -
In the 30s-50s, demographics begain to change and rural towns begain to shrink as folks left the farms (and farming communities). As far as I know - no Universalist preacher regularly preached in SC since the early 1930s.

Friday, August 10, 2007

books I have

I've been doing some work on semi-southern Universalist history.
folks who left the south and became Universalists in the midwest, and even a gentleman who was a professional musician in the 1920s-1950s whose legal middle name was "D B Clayton" and who's grandparents were Georgia Universalists....

but today and continuing I'm going to list some of the Universalist bookince the merger.
s and booklets I have.
This will include only material prior to merger and historical books
I'll list about 6 at a time. this should have least give me something to put here on a regular basis....

A BOLD EXPERIMENT: THE CHARLES STREET UNIVERSALIST MEETING HOUSE; Maryell Cleary, editor; Meadville Lombard Press; 2002 - this is the story of the Charles Street Meeting House, 1949-1980; the organized attempt to move the Universalist Church into a religion of one world. IN PRINT, History

THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF UNIVERSALISM; Clarence R. Skinner; Universalist Publishing House (Murray Press); 1915 - "How to transform this old earth into the Kingdom of Heaven - that's the primal question." One of the first books on the "New" Universalism....

A SERIES OF LETTERS IN DEFENCE OF DIVINE REVELATION; Hosea Ballou; Dodo Press reprinting of the 1820 edition. This is really the group of letters between Ballou and Abner Kneeland that for a brief time kept Kneeland in the Universalist Pulpit. IN PRINT

BIBLE THREATENINGS EXPLAINED; J. W. Hanson; Universalist Publishing House; 1888 reprint of the 1878 edition. "Passages of Scripture Sometimes Quoted to Prove Endless Punishment Shown to Teach Consequences of Limited Duration." Hanson did quite a few of these - available as an e-text on web

A SERIES OF LECTURE SEMRONS; Hosea Ballou; A.Tompkins; 1848; 3rd edition revised by the author. as titled.

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES; J. W. Hanson; The Star and The Convent" 1880 - quotes from non-Universalists attesting to universalim; an admitted updating of the author's 25 year old WITNESSES TO THE TRUTH.