Saturday, December 13, 2008

Books I got from Wilmington

During the Thanksgiving holidays, we went east to Wilmington (and New Bern) did a fair amount of touristy things, I hadnt plan to do any Universalist history research (Congregation there in the 1840s). Nor even to look at some of the Unitarian educational missions that were there during the 1870s-1890s. We did go to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sunday morning however....
And there in the bulletin was an annocements to "all Universalists" that they had some old books and magazines to get rid of, and that today was the last day and that they would be removed from the Church -- I waited for a half hour to make sure that no one else wanted them - and I checked with a trustee to make 100% sure that it was OK, and picked up some material...

2003 UU woman's Heritage Society calendar - I picked this up for the picture of my distant relative, Julia Elizabeth Kent Outlaw, who helped found Outlaw's Bridge Universalist Church.
(I should point out, she's my relative by marriage - her husband was blood kin)

EXCLUDED (1966) Robert Cummins - a booklet about the attempt and denial of the Universalist Church of America to join the Federal Council of Churches in 1944 -1946. This booklet was online at the UUA website - so I had read it before..

Proceedings of the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society (volume 23 1995) , (volume 22 part 2- 1992-4) (volume 19-2, 1982/3)

The Icleandic Unitarian Connection (1984) V. Emil Gudmundson -

Our Liberal Heritage (1951) Alfred S. Cole - this is the 2nd printing for the "Council of Liberal Churches (Universalist-Unitarian), Inc. in 1957.

Universalist Church Cumulative Plan Book Fourth Section February 1947 written by Robert Cummings. items from the 40s and 50s from the UCA are scarce - so nice to have -- it lists what other tracts the UCA was offering in 1947.

I was tempted to pick up Clinton Lee Scott's autobiogrpahy - but I have a copy... I just hope that it will find a good home.....
thanks Wilmington UUs! (and it was a good service too)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Railroad Bill - Part 2: Stars Fell on Alabama

In 1934 "Stars Fell on Alabama", written by Carl Carmer was published by Farrar and Rinehart.
It was a big success, selling three printings, with major reviews being featured in the New York Times,and the new York Herald Tribune.

This book is the source of our modern Railroad Bill legend and the role of Leonard McGowin in it.
A short summary of the 4 pages is that Morris Slater killed a police officer in 1893, escaped via train; and then as Railroad Bill begain breaking into boxcars. On July 3, 1895, he killed sheriff E.S. McMillan near Bluff Springs, Alabama. He was shot in March 1896 at Tidmore's store by R.C. John and Leonard McGowin. John and MCGowin shared the $1250 reward (equivalent to about $31,000 now). McGowin also got a lifetime pass on the L&N railroad. Railroad Bill's ability to take animal shapes was also briefly discussed.

My copy of "Stars Fell on Alabama" contains an introduction by Howell Raines
states that among Carmer's informants : "Earl McGowin, scion of a wealthy lumber family and later director of the Alabama State Docks exposed Carmer to the wiregrass country and to the life and manners of wealthy white Alabama."

Earl McGowin's parents and his grandparents (James Greeley & Ellie McGowin and Alexander McGowin) were Universalists. J. Leonard and James Greely were only two years apart in age - and from the same general area - however I'm unable to tell their connection, it does not seem like they were brothers - and unable to determine if cousins.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What kind of work does amateur historians do to find information?

i've been doing a little work on Georgia Universalist congregations,.

What this generally means is
(1) finding mentions of Parishes
(2) finding out what city and town were nearby
(3) finding out what years those Parishes existed
(4) finding out who attended

Let me give some examples of what I do --

I found a mention that Rev Lake officiated at a funeral in Edgefield, SC pre-Civil War.
There is no record of any actual Parishes in Edgefield, although several Universalists are known - Tillman and Teague. The deceased is not in the 1850 census under her married or maiden name. Later, i find her listed in the cemetary listings for Edgefield Village Cemetary (which is behing the Edgefield Baptist Chruch) - her tombstone mentions the name of her husband. she is burried near a known Universalist. this found information tells us a couple of things - There is no Universalist cemetary prior to the Civil War in Edgefield. We do not know if she or her husband were Universalists or just picked a traveling minister (we assumed one of the former, but we dont know).

I've know that an "Alford Chapel" existed in Meriweather County, Georgia - but I didnt have a
town nearby. I knew who the church was founded by, and when - but not where or who was there. I then found mention of an Alford who was an officer of the Georgia Universalist Convention just prior to the founding of the Church. I find that he lived in Meriweather County and burried in the "Alford Cemetary" and find the location of the cemetary. We take this as a tentative location of the church.

I get an email from someone asking about membership of a Universalist Church in Rome Georgia, which their family had attended, until they moved west. The information I find is scant - but it does confirm a Church in that location - about the time that that family was there. We now have a tentative family to have attended that Church.

Then I find webpapges to search for more info -- I just found these and have done no research on the information

Elbert County Georgia Universalist Cemetary
about here
not that incredibly far from Canon -no doubt a church that ended in the 1920s farmers depression. Hard to say if folks burried here are Universalists or family members.

Macon County Georgia "Mt. Zion"
while not giving us a location other than Macon County, these incorporation notes do give us names of the Board. Macon County was formed two years earlier in 1837. County seat in 1839 was Lanier. Parts of what was Macon County in 1839 are now in Peach and Taylor counties.
I (or someone) will have to research these trustees. Obviously they would be Universalists in 1839.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fredonia - part 2

To find if Fredonia was actually the first Universalist Church (as unlikely as that is), we have to keep resarching it. it might also help if we could find it! this this below written in the 1880s, but with first hand information.

""Up to the events of which an account was given in the last chapter, Rev. Allen Fuller was the only Universalist minister the writer (D.B. Clayton) had ever met. But the summer of 1842 bought him into contact with several others. The occasion was the annual session of the South Carolina State Convention of Universalists, which convened that year at Fredonia church, seven miles above Newberry Court House, some time during the month of August, if he is not mistaken. There were present at that meeting Revs. Allen Fuller, Spencer J. McMorris, L.F.W. Andrews, M.D., Philo Brownson, and John A. Chapman."... "Only the day before the commencement of that session of the Convention, Rev. Elijah Linch had been laid to his last rest."

"On the fifth Sunday in that month (October 1844) he had appointed to preach at Fredonia church, Newberry County, SC., which was forty-five miles from where he then lived. The distance was to be traveled on horseback. "

"the arrangement agreed upon (circa November 1844) required him to preach one Sunday in each month at each of the following places: Feasterville, Fairfield District, as the counties were then called; Huntsville, Laurens district; Partlow's, Abbeville District; the other Sunday alternating between Fredonia and Hartford churches, the former situated about seven miles northwest from Newberry C.H., and the later nearly as far southeast of that town, if memory is not at fault as to distances and courses. The last two churches had been served for a good many years previous to his death (in 1842) by Rev. Elijah Linch, and had since that event, had very little preaching. These houses were owned, as were also those at Feasterville and Partlow's, entirley by Universalists, that at Feasterville is the only one standing, the other three having gone into decay."

"In July (1845) he had appointed a three days' meeting at Fredonia church, in which Rev. Allen
Fuller promised to assist him. "

this from D.B. Clayton's memoirs...

this tells us that the church did exist from -1842-1845- and that it had been previously served by Rev. Linch. Linch is considered the minister who changed the demoniation (but not the doctrine) from Brethren to Universalist. It tells us that Fredonia is not any of the other Universalist Churches in the area. It shows that it is in Newberry county (or what was Newberry county in the 1840s). A story I left out, suggests that it was approachable by carriage. It was not an Union Church, and the building was gone by the 1880s.

so, it remains somewhere in northern Newberry County.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Railroad Bill" part 1

note: violence and racism in the below 1896 newspaper clipping. Readers cautioned.

Seeing a mention of Railroad Bill on ill WS.'s website, reminded me that I wanted to look into the truth of Railroad Bill - and find out if Leonard McGowin - who was (as the story goes) the one to have shot him, was indeed one of the members of the Universalist McGowin's from that area.
The problem is that I cant find any Leonard McGowin in Alabama during this time period...
so this means - having to go back to the 1890s newspapers - note how this Atlanta story implies the credit (or blame - Railroad Bill was sorta of modern day Robin Hood character - except he didnt share the money with the neighbors) goes to the entire posse, as does a story later that week. Apparently attmepts to display the body for public courisity was mainly unsucessful - due to the rejection of law enforcement to this idea.
there are links to the legend off the first video clip.

Atlanta Constitution 1896 March 8


Was A Walking Arsenel, but Did Not Get Into Action Quick Enough.

Mobile, Ala, March 7 - Morris Slater, alias Railroad Bill, a noted negro despardo who has terrorized Esacambia and adjoining counties along the Louisville and Nashville railroad for a year or more past, was shot and instantly killed tonight about 9 O'Clock at Atmore, a small station on the Louiville and Nashville by a posse who had been on the outlook for him all day long.
He was killed in the store of Tidmore & Ward. The posse was taken somewhat unawares when he entered, but instantly they recognized him and opened fire on him with double-barreled guns. He was litteraly perforated with shot and was instantly killed.
He had a Winchester rifle in the leg of his pantaloons and two pistols in his belt, which was full of catradages. Several nights ago, the residence of the telegraph operator at Atemore was robbed and a negro, Will Payne, who was accused of the robbery, said that Railroad Bill forced him at the point of a pistol to stand guard while Bill went him and robbed the house, after which he took to the woods. The negro stook to his story so earnestly that some of the white citizens believed him and the posse was organized which killed the despardo tonight.
Railroad Bill had been pursued for the past year at intervals, but has always managed to elude his captors. During that time he has killed a man named J.H. Stewart, near Hurricane Bayou, who was a member of a posse which was after him, and he also shot and killed Sheriff McMillan of Escambia county at Bluff Springs, not very long ago. Of late, there has not been much heard of his whereabouts, and at one time he was reported to have sailed from Savannah to Africia. there were rewards amounting to $1,350 for his capture.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A look at UUA thinking in 1966

Everything We Know about UUA history is wrong - or at least somethings that I thought I knew about UUA history is wrong. At least that is what I am thinking after reading the 1973 book RELIGION AMONG THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS: CONVERTS IN THEIR STEPFATHERS' HOUSE (Robert B. Tapp). This book was based on surveys and studies done in 1966 - and is an interesting snapshot of the UUA just before the late 1960s meltdown.
the Peak year for the UUA was 1968 with a membership of 282, 000 - the current membership (2008) is 155,000, but the decline was in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1977 membership was 145, 000. This loss of half the membership in nine years explains a lot about what happened to the denomination during that time frame (and what happened to the denomination also explains what happened to the membership).

Okay. lets look at some of the 1966 views
30% said that "God" was irrelevant or harmful
44% said "God" was a name for some natural process in the universe (such as love)
26% said that "God" was real

12% said they prayed frequently
52% said they prayed occasionally or seldom
36% said they never prayed
(34% had said they found the term prayer non-useful)

43% said they were Christian - 57% said they weren't
70 % said religious education was very important to what a church's emphasis should be.9the topic percentage)
The most important skills for a minister were Dealings With People 84% and Preaching 74%, Religious Education 59%, counseling 58% and Social Action 45%

11% wanted the UUA to be more Christian in ten years
37% wanted the UUA to be a more universal religion in ten years
52% wanted the UUA to be a more humanistic religion in ten years

12% were born UUs

18% voted for Barry Goldwater in 1964 (39% of the vote was the National USA percentage)

the 12% who were born UUs is roughly the same for what it is now ---
Too bad there's no survey to show us what UUs were believing in would be interesint to see who left - the usual thinking was the left and the right left, leaving just the middle .....but we dont really know.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the "First" Universalist Church

In my next post (already half written) I talk about what some on the internet call the "First" Universalist Church in the United States. And yes, since this is a southern history blog, it is of course here in the South. But I thought I would need to go ahead and talk first about "first' and why it's so hard to pinpoint what we mean by that.

For the first Universalist Church, do we mean the First Church to have Universalism as an important cornerstone of the doctrine? Do we mean the First Church to call itself Universalist? Or do we mean the first Imortant Church to call itself Universalist, or do we mean the first Church to call itself Universalist that joined the Universalist General Convention?

As far as I know the first Church that called itself sorta by that name was "The Society of Universal Baptists" in Philadphia in 1784. It suspossibly became the "first Independent Church of Church, Commonaly known as Universalists" in 1790. John Murray's Church was 1779, but was not titled an Universalist Church. Can anyone add or change, confirm, etc what was the first church with the name Universalist?

As for the doctrine - it's fairly well known that there were many Universalist preachers at the same time as Murray - up and down the coast - the whole setting of the Murray Miracle story was that he was put ashore at a church which was waiting for an Universalist minister.
The Conneticut River valley was full of Universalist Churches that were either informal enough or didnt care about reporting to the Goverment that we don't know much about them. If you didnt leave written reocrds - then 200 years later, you're not remembered. This is the same problem we have in the Middle Atlantic states, where we know that universalist met - but they either didnt keep records - or, in a few cases, they wrote them in German - and are as yet untranslated. The same is true in the south, almost no records exist - and we base some of our knowledge on what other non-sympathetic folks said in their records.

it's fairly safe to say that the Murray Church is the oldest surviving Universalist Church in the United States. Its over 200 years do count for something, and it was universalist in theology from the start and stayed universalist. As for the finner points of "First". that's up to hairsplitters of all kinds and internet bloggers

Fredonia -'"the first Universalist Church"

I gave a sermon once starting "The Universalist Church started here in the Carolinas. I know that's true because I read it on the internet - and if you can't believe Wikipedia, who can you believe?"

Yes, Wikipedia and other sources state that the first Universalist Church in South Carolina and perhaps the whole United States of America was at Freedonia Meeting Hall in Newberry County, South Carolina. Tellingly, they don't say when or where the Church was.

I bring this up because James asked me this question last week, I had to admit that no one knows where it was - and that I was doubtful of the "first" designation. He asked another local expert who suggested it might be Liberty Church (in Feasterville); and I went ahead asked a Newberry County historian who had never heard of it (I should state that the historian was in the middle of a picnic and miles away from any Newberry reference books).

See my earlier post on the actual pointlessness of putting the name first to "something in the air"
but I hope to use this area (and later the comments) to put some documentations on Fredonia.

In Clayton's book, he mentions that in 1845 he was to alternate preaching monthly between two Churches in Newberry County, Hartford and Fredonia.

An obit of Rev. Elijah Linch mentions that he last preached at the Fredonia Meeting House in June of 1842.

this page
lists Fredonia as appearing in a genealogy book:
Newberry City Equity 1868-1869, and Washington Equity Records 1816-1843.
I have not however seen this book.

as time goes by, we will add whatever else we find on Fredonia here on this page.
Please add what you know in the comments section.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Trademarks - modern

I note that there are trademarks on:

World A Journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalist

and that the UUA attempted to trademark the words Unitarian and Universalist last October (2007) and gave up in the spring. You really cant trademark frequently used words.
I note however that a cosmetic company is trying to trademark "universalist" as a brand of cosmetics.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

July and October 1924

Universalist Leader August 30, 1924

a letter from Ruby C. Paris of Alpharetta, Georgia and member of the Liberal Christian Church in Atlanta. talks about her experince as a disabled person. She regrets that she was unable to go to school - as she thinks that learing to read and write at an early age would have helped her become independent. A reminder of how things have indeed changed for the better.

Texas Universalist Convention July 11-13, 1924.
Held at the new Universalist Church in Ponta. Texas. President was Judge J. D. Barker of Cisco.
Assistant Secretary was W.A. Prather of Welasco. There was an afro-american congregaion near Ponta, that apparently had been meeting for over ten years (hard to tell by the article when it was founded by Ben Grey and Charles White, the layleaders of the congregation).

Universalist Leader October 25, 1924
This issue prints the sermon "Are We Needed?" given by George A. Gay at the Georgia Universalist Convention. Rev Gay was the current preacher in Chattanooga.
the North Carolina Universalist convention was held September 25-28, and the article written by J. R. Miller. Mr Miller was from Florence NC, a small town east of New Bern.
Mary Slaughter of the General Sunday School Association was visiting in her home church of Camp Hill in August. She also attended a service in Friendship and Brewton Alabama. From there to Pensacola, Florida. Then to Atlanta (and the Georgia convention) and Canon Georgia, followed by the NC convention, then up to Washington and the north.
Rev. H.T. Crumpton was the regular preacher of Ariton, Brewton and Chapman. Chapman, a lumber town is now a regular organized church. Chapman will be hosting the Alabama Convention.
The New York Convention has given to Rev. Edgar L. Halfacre a letter of transfer to South Carolina.

Rev. Francis Britton Bishop of Montgomery Alabama was southern superintendent
Rev Thomas W. Murray of Hopkinsville was Kentucky superintendent
Rev A. G. Strain of Atlanta, Ga was Mississippi superintendent
Rev. R. L. Brooks of Elgin, was Texas supeintendent.

Monday, September 01, 2008

"Universalist Miscellany"

Occasionally I thought I would mention what "new" old items I've
recently acquired. One of the reasons is to let folks know that I
(and others here) have resources available to us.

Universalist's Miscellany Volume 1 - 5 1797 -1801
Universal Theological Magazine volume 6 - 7 1802 -1802

an UK publication, edited by William Vidler.

This is one of the earliest Universalist magazine / newspapers.
It is mainly of theological bent, but does include some items of
historical bent. I see that they published a pamphlet (book?) on De Benneville.

Vidler was inspired by, and a friend of short-term South Carolina resident (and when Vidler knew him, English resident) Elehanan Winchester. I'm afraid that I don't know enough to know how much Vickers and English Universalism was influenced by Winchester.
In 1806, the publication was sold, and became "the Monthly Repository" lasting to 1838 as an English Unitarian publication.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Reference: South Atlantic Universalist Periodicals

One of my reference books is Henry Smith Stroupe's THE RELIGIOUS PRESS IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC STATES 1802-1865. Duke University Press, 1956.

States in this case include Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia (which includes West Virginia). I do not know of a volume that includes Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky - or covers 1865-1965. Maybe if I ask here, someone will know of one.

Universalist periodicals include

Christian Warrior (Richmond) 1842-1844
Evangelical Universalist (Macon) 1838 - 1840
Liberalist (Wilmington) 1826-1828
Semi-Monthly Progressionist (Newnan, Ga) 1856-1859
Southern Evangelist (Charleston) 1834 - 1838
Southern Pioneer and Gospel Visiter (Richmond) 1831 - 1837
Southern Universalist (Macon) 1838
Star of the South (Milledgeville, Ga) 1826-c1827

8 Universalist
57 Baptist
3 catholic
2 Chistadelphian
1 Christian
11 Disciples of Christ
8 Episcopal
2 Lutheran
22 Methodist
28 Presbyterian
1 Quaker
2 Spirtualist
2 Unitarian
1 United Brethren
8 Nonsectarian
6 unknown denomination

Universalist Herald would be Alabama for this time period.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

my genealogy silliness

When I first saw the Coleman family history, I was intrigued with one thing - the frequent use of the "Roe" middle name. I discovered that the matriarch of the Newberry Colemans came from Halifax county North Carolina.
My family was in eastern North Carolina since around 1700. "Wouldnt it be cool" I thought (yes, I do think that way, at least I didnt think "wouldnt it be boss....") if I was related to the Coleman-Feaster family.
I suspect we know where I'm heading with this, so I'll cut to the chase - the alleged connection is the immigrant William Wroe, who moved to Westmoreland County Virginia, dying in 1730. A son was my ancestor, a daughter married the Colemans. The Wroes also went by Roes.
So now, I can look at the Colemans, who became Universalists sometime in the 1700s, and moved and founded Universalist Churches from Florida to Mississippi, and know that they were my people indeed....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

updates of history

It's occurred to me that I haven't plugged "A History of Universalism in North Carolina"!
I was waiting to get a scan of the cover - but wasn't able to (my scanner is currently gone - a 24 pound cat sleeping on it doesn't help electronics)
A History of Universalism in North Carolina c/o Guild Masters P O Box 31184 Raleigh NC 27622-1184. The price is 24.95 plus 5.00 shipping and handling

I skimmed through 1946 of the "Star In the West" and I see that Allen Fuller and D.B. Clayton were acting as agents to sell subscriptions. When one of the southern papers went under, the subscribers list went to the Star (of Cincinnati Ohio)

I had someone make an interesting comment (ie: Shecut wrote a manuscript about the Charleston Church) - I'll be glad to hear more about it
(and I've changed the comments section to add the year to it, to make it easier to follow reading).

I like the quote from Rev Semple (last post) and hope to continue to put their own words back in the mouths of these folks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rev. I. R. Semple - very brief outline

Not being able to find "Humphreys, Kentucky" home of Rev. I. R. Semple, I decided to find out what I could about him, and to see if i could find Humphreys. A source cites a Humphrey in Case County, but I couldnt find any secondary source to that. I did find a few things about I.R.Semple. we see that he is actually deceased before the 1847/1848 directory comes out. The source that year was (as usual) Rev Pingree of Louisville. If Semple was living in the western part of Kentucky, that a year and a half could have gone without Pingree knowing of his death.
We also see that he was fairly young and not long an Universalist minister.

the plan will eventually be that each southeast Universalist Minister (and church) gets their own spot on a hyperlinked website - with additions added as facts become known. I still have years of the STAR IN THE WEST to read, I'm sure I'll know more about Kentucky Universalists when I do.

Issac Robertson Semple (June 25, 1808 to Feb 16, 1846)

last name also spelled Sample, Sempill, etc.

married Eliza Brandenburg of Brandenburg Kentucky.
She was the daughter of Captain Solomon Brandenburg founder of Brandenburg and owner of the Old Walnut Log Tavern in town (back then, a tavern would also be a restaurant and an inn).

Per the Universalist Companion
1845/1846 Brandenburg Kentucky - not in formal fellowship
1847/1848 Humphreys Kentucky
1849/1850 not listed

1850 census, widow and 7 minor children living in Ballard County, Kentucky. Ballard County is on the northwest edge of Kentucky, where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet.
I. R. Semple is thought to have died in Ballard County.

addendum (21/7/2008):
July 1845 writes letter from his home in Brandenburg. He states that he begain preaching in the spring of 1844, and is to go to the Green River Association, the Kentucky State Confrence, and the Indiana State Confrence.
I. R. Semple was elected moderator for the first meeting of The Green River Association of Universalists on August 22, 1845. Meeting was held in Butler County.

"My message is love to God and love to man, deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God."

Kentucky 1847/8

Kentucky had enough Universalist Churches in the pre-Civil War era, that they split them into associations. The standing clerk in the 1848 state Convention was Rev. E. M. Pingree of Louisville.

LICKING association. Rev. C. B. Tharp of Paris was the standing clerk. 6 societies:
Harrison County: 1st - Rev. C.G. Cox lives in Leesburg.
Bank Lick - meeting house
Fleming County: 1st
Fleming County: 2nd - meeting house, near Paris
Bourbon County: 1st - new society
Berea - meeting house - new society

the name Licking comes from the Licking River, a river in Northeast Kentucky that flows northwest empting into the Ohio River opposite Cincinnatti, Ohio at the towns of Covington and Newport.
Bank Lick is an unincorporated area in Kenton County, not far from Interstates 71 and 75. Just south of what is now the Cincinnati Ohio Metropolitan area. Harrison County is about 60 miles south of the Ohio, and conatins the town of Cynthiana, where Rev. S. Stirman lived in 1847. Boubon County is southwest of Harrison County and is where Paris is located, home of the Rev. C.B. Tharp, who had been a "partialist" minister and Rev Henry Webster, not yet in formal fellowship.. it's also where the Cain Ridge meetings of 1801 was held.
the current Berea Kentucky is in Madison County, but is said to have been known as "Glade" prior to 1855, so this might not be the same Berea.

MURRAY ASSOCIATION, E. M. Pingree, Louisville, standing clerk
Louisville: 1st - has Meeting House - Rev E. M. Pingree preacher
Shelby County: 1st - meeting house in Clay Village.
the 2nd Louisville and the Warsaw churches closed this year.

I assume that the Murray Association was in honor of John Murray, the first well known Universalist minister in the Americas. Shelby County is in the current Louisville Metropolitan area. Warsaw is between Louisville and Cincinnati on the Ohio River. Rev. W.B. Chamberlain is still living in town.

GREEN RIVER ASSOCIATION, Rev. W.W. Curry, Madisonville; standing clerk
Ohio County: 1st and 2nd
society has partial ownership of an Union Meeting House in Hartford.
Hancock County: 1st and 2nd
1st Society has a meeting house
Muhlenberg County: 1st
Meeting house in Bremen
Edmondson County: 1st
Davies County: 1st - society is new
Caldwell County: 1st has meeting house - society is new
Butler County: 1st has meeting house

the Green River runs from central Kentucky west throughout about half of the state before flowing north to the Ohio River across from southwest Indiana. Parts of the valley were known as "Rouge's Harbor" in the late 1700s. In the 1840s, locks made the river navigable up to Bowling Green.River

(no association)
Christian County - meeting house Rev W. Babbitt lives in county
Hardin County - meeting house
Hopkinsivlle - L.T. Braizer, not in formal fellowship lives here; Joab Clark lives here
one source says that this town is also known as Masonville, Rev. John Bozworth and Rev. M. Hudson and Rev E. smith living there.
Licking - one source tells me this is currently the area of Blue Licks. Rev J. M. Brain lives in this area, former partialist preacher
New Castle (near Louisville), Rev. J. Chowning, former partialist living there
Caneyville _ Rev C. Miller, and Rev J. Miller, former partialist, living here.
Humphreys (location unknown) - Rev I. R. Semple resides here

itinerant preachers: Aiken James, J. S. Phelps
rev R.J.L. Phelps (brother of J.S. Phelps) discounted preaching for the time being.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fork Ridge, West Virginia

From the CHRISTIAN LEADER dated september 17, 1927

Fork Ridge. - This church has been having preaching twice each Sunday during August, by Rev. W.G. Price of Columbus [Ohio], who spent his vacation here. congregations have averaged about seventy-five. One new member united with the church. Aug. 26-28 the West Virginia Confrence met here, and was well attended, Stanley Stall, State Superinteddent of Ohio, and Rev. Elmer Druley and Rev. W.G. Price each spoke twice. W. M. Crouch was re-elected president. Miss Eva Terrill secretary, John Ritchea treasure. The Fork Ridge church voted to co-operate with Mr. Stall in settling a pastor for services every two months. a sign is to be placed in front of the building and new song books secured.

notes: Fork Ridge is located near Moundsville and Glen Eaton, and is in the panhandle of West Virginia, between Ohio and Pennselvania. The church lasted from 1835 to the late 1990s.

J. W. Hanson Quote #1

Definition of Christian

Back in 1892 J. W. Hanson defined Christian as

"all those who accept Christ as an authoritative teacher, in whatever attitude of being they may locate him or whatever extent to his mission they may give, are entitled to be called Christian. Christians are those who accept his claims as they understand them, and are endeavoring to be his followers." (A Pocket Cyclopedia, published by the Universalist Publishing House - which was owned by the Universalist Church).

Would this have been a controversial definition then, or one used in the South in 1892, I'm not sure. It does remind us that we need to not define folks by our definition of them, but by their own definition of themselves.

I stumbled across this definition while responding to
An Unitarian Universalist Minister In Mississippi

and is offered in the spirit of
Universalist Quote of the Day

Hanson lived in New England and the Mid-west, and was a prolific writer and editor for Universalism and other subjects (wrote a book on Dwight Moody!) - He's probably the most quoted historic Universalist minister out there in the 21st century.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Universalist Churches -1847/8

From the Universalist Companion of 1848 - I'll be doing Kentucky separately

Tennessee -
W.C. Brooks, Memphis
M.P. Fisher, Brownsport (former "partialist")
C.H. Gardner, Decatur County
L.M. Gaylord, Memphis
C.F.R. Shehane, Lewisburg (former "partialist")
I. D. Williamson, Memphis
one new minister. a society and a meeting house in Memphis.
W.F. Tannehill, bookseller, Memphis, keeps Universalist books for sale.

Tennessee is a long thin state. Memphis is on the Mississippi River, across from Arkansas and just north of Mississippi. Father D.B. Clayton in Red Springs, Mississippi, is less than 50 miles from Memphis. Brownsport is in Decatur County, halfway between Memphis and Nashville.
Lewisburg is in the middle of the state, halfway between Nashville and Huntsville, Alabama

H. Bain, Norfolk, (not in formal fellowship), later moves to Goldsboro, North Carolina
G.W. Bailey, Richmond
J.L.C. Griffin, Williamsburg (Williamsburg is his home town)
G.L. Lumsden, Bellehaven
Societies in Richmond, Bellehaven, Lynchburg, each owns a meeting house. Sunday Schools in Richmond and Lynchburg. Norfolk is on the coast, just past the Virginia Beach on the James River - go further northwest on the James River and you come to Williamsburg (and the National Historic Site) and go further northwest on the James River up to Richmond. Belle Haven is on the Eastern Shore of Virginia - on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay. lynchburg is in the center of the state, west of Richmond.

North Carolina
State Convention was founded in 1844, Brother William Farrior, of Hallsville is Standing Clerk. Preacher is J. C. Burress (sic) of Kingston (also sic). 1 Church and 17 Union Meeting Halls.
Rev Burruss is best known for his Universalist Herald newspaper in Alabama. Kinston is in the coastal plains, midway between Greenville and Jacksonville (Camp LeJune). Hallsville is in Duplin County 20-30 miles from the current Universalist Churches in Outlaw's Bridge and Red Hill.

South Carolina
State Convention rev. A. Fuller, Salubrity, Standing Clerk. 4 Societies, 9 meeting houses
A.Fuller, Salubrity
J. Mullikin, Slabtown
D.B.Clayton, Dunlapville (see Mississippi)
N.P. Walker, Mountain Shoals (not in full fellowship, former partialist)
S. M. Simon, Newberry Court House (former partialist)
Salubrity was the post office that Allen Fuller had in his home, just south of Liberty SC., slabtown like Salubrity is between modern Clemson and Greenville. Dunlapville is an unknown location, somewhere in Laurens County (not too far from Huntsville). Mountain Shoals is the old name for Enoree, between Spartanburg and Newberry, and Newberry is between Spartanburg and Columbia. The correct spelling is S.M. Simons.

Convention, Rev. James C. Kendrick of Greenville is standing clerk.
1 society at Greenville, 4 meeting Houses, at Coweta County, Cobb county, Lumpkin County and Mulberry Grove. Preachers include
D.H. Porter, Clarksville
J.C. Kendrick, Greenville (not in full fellowship)
H.G. Andrews, Henry County
Greenville is midway between Atlanta and Columbus, Cowetta county contains Senoia (and is close to Greenville), Cobb County is home of Atlanta, Lumpkin County has Dahlonega as county seat- in the middle top of Georgia, the Georgia Goldmine area. - I seem to recall a Georgia Universalist Church that had gold on the property, but not sure which is was., Mulbery Grove is the home of the Rockwell Universalist Church, Georgia's second Universalist Church, founded in 1839. It's between Athens and Atlanta. If this is Clarkesville, it's in the northeast side of Georgia - not far from Tallulah Falls. Harris County is south of Atlanta.

J. Hubbard, Talladega
S.J. McMorris, Wetumpka
J. Martin (unknown, former partialist, not in formal fellowhsip)
No known meeting house (the one at Mobile had been paid for, but lost due to a defective title).
Rev. C.F. Shehane, editor of the RELIGIOUS INVESTIGATOR at Montgomery. This becomes the Universalist Herald.
Talladega is east of Birmingham. Wetumpka is south of Montgomery.

D.B. Clayton is in Red Banks, not SC at this time. No society, but he preaches in the community, and around. West Mississippi, Near the Tennessee line.

I hope that saying where these places are, helps some of us place them better.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Blue Heaven above

I'm up in Haywood County NC, having visited Inman's Chapel (and various other NC historic sites), I'm going to blog more about the actual church later - but I am very excited about the work that the Inman family are doing, both on their restoration and on their family and Church history. The chapel looks wonderful and what research I've heard and seen seems accurate. Very well done, I will be praising them more later -
Today though, I want to talk about and ask about blue ceilings. The ceiling at Inman's Chapel was painted blue - as the original ceiling was blue. I have been told that the church near Saluda, SC also had a blue ceiling. That church would have been built around the same time. Rev. Terry Robinson, also visiting, mention that he knew of a blue ceiling in an Unitarian Church.
This weekend I am reading a book where blue is mentioned as a popular color in some of the early churches - I havent seen anything about blue ceilings though - but of course these things set my mind to wondering - can folks name more blue ceiling Churches?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Georgia Universalist Churches: the later years 1960s - now

I'm starting near the end here, rather than the beginning.
This is because I'm not sure when it started in Georgia , and neither was "The No Hell People" (circa 1986) written by William H. Belkan. The first Georgia Universalist Convention was established July 1838.

Georgia was another state that didn't enjoy the Roaring 20s, suffering under the rural depression effecting other southern states - which resulted in Preachers and residents heading north, looking for work.

the SC Universalist Convention ended, so Clayton Memorial of Newberry SC joined the Georgia Convention in 1939 (NHP).

Merger talks with the Unitarians started seriously in the 1950s and several of the Georgia churches were against it; and sent a pention denoucing the idea. Among those churches were Allatoona, Bowers Chapel. and Loganville (Windsor). In 1959, the vote was held and the Georgia Universalist Convention affiliated churches voted against it.

by the time of the merger with the Unitarians in 1961, there were maybe 6 Churches left.
Canon, Senoia, Winder, and Windsor. Atlanta was a resurrection by the Unitarians of the Unitarian killed "United Liberal Church" and the fellowship in Athens was listed in the 1961 and 1962 Unitarian Universalist Directory as the "Universalist Unitarian Fellowship".

What happened to Bowers Chapel and Allatoona, I cant at this time say. they either disbanded or never joined the UUA.

Atlanta was the biggest by far with 355 members in 1961, and 419 members in 1962. We dont know the membership of Athens for those years. Canon had 46 members, Windsor has 28 and Senoia had 20. We dont know the membership of Winder for those years.

by 1976 and 1978, Athens was a regular Unitarian Universalist Fellowship . Atlanta had increased its numbers to over a thousand, and changed their name to Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Their Universalist roots appear lost - and It doesnt seem that either was a member of the Georgia Universalist Convention. Canon had 15-20 members, Senoia had 14-15, Winder had 10. Windsor (Loganville) was no longer affiliated with the UUA.

By the mid 1980s, Windsor (Loganville) was struggling with the decision to stop services, and at some point in the late 1980s, it do so, now having a yearly reunion that continues to this day (per Scott Wells 2008 website). Winder dropped out of the UUA sometime in the late 1990s, but is apparently still having services in their historic Rockwell Church.
The Georgia Convention continues and Canon and Clayton Memorial (Newberry SC) continue to have services twice monthly. But have regular ministers preaching on those Sundays. Both have web pages.

there are (I hear) other small u Universalist Churches in modern Georgia, but they are not connected with the historic Universalist Convention. I also dont know enough about the modern Georgia UUA congregations to speculate on their universalism (of any kind) or lack thereof.

addition: somehow I forgot to mention that the Senoia Church ended in the late 1990s, the building was sold to a couple that made a home of it. As of early 2000, they welcomed old members of the congregation into their home.

late addition: Removed was my comment of the end of the Georgia Universalist Convention. I was misinformed, and glad to hear that I was.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Harmony (Windsor Georgia)

the link here should take you to Rev Scott Wells' website and a post that he links to google maps showing The New Harmony Universalist Church in the Windsor community, near Loganville Georgia.
( I hope I have that address correct)

Clicking on the line on the road, you can "drive" up and down past the building.

New Harmony isnt a church that I've researched, so I can tell too much about it yet.
It apparently lasted from the 1880s to maybe the 1960s.

The Church yard is nicely kept up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lorena - the song

This is considered the most popular song in both North and South during the War years of the 1860s. Its connections here? It was written by Universalist minister Henry Lafayette Webster. Toward the end of Rev Webster's life, he would winter and preach at the Universalist Church in Tarpon Springs.

He was born August 29, 1824 in Oneida County, New York. In those days Oneida County was full of Universalists - He attended the Columbian Institute. He begain preaching in 146, ordained in 1848, serving Paris, New York. He moved to Zanesville Ohio in the Fall of 1848, which is where he met Martha Ellen Blockson "Ella" (1828-1917), who was "small of statue, blue eyes and light blond hair, a sweet singer" and member of the Universalist Church choir. He would walk her home, and they became engaged. The engagment ended in May 1849, at the strong encouragement of her family.

He moved from Zanesville, became a medical doctor - met a song composer and they had Lorena published in 1857. After serving as an Army psychian during the war, he return to the ministry in 1863 - serving until his retirement in 1890 and his death on November 4, 1896.

He married twice, and at his death was survived by three children -- and of course by a lingering haunting song of a long-ago love.


The years creep slowly by, Lorena
The snow is on the grass again
The sun's low down the sky, Lorena
The frost gleams where the flowers have been
But the heart throbs on as warmly now
As when the summer days were nigh
Oh, the sun can never dip so low
A-down affection's cloudless sky.

A hundred months have passed, Lorena
Since last I held that hand in mine
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena
Though mine beat faster far than thine
A hundred months...'twas flowery May
When up the hilly slope we climbed
To watch the dying of the day
And hear the distant church bells chime.

We loved each other then, Lorena
More than we ever dared to tell
And what we might have been, Lorena
Had but our loving prospered well
But then, 'tis past, the years have gone
I'll not call up their shadowy forms
I'll say to them, "Lost years, sleep on
Sleep on, nor heed life's pelting storms."

The story of the past, Lorena
Alas! I care not to repeat
The hopes that could not last, Lorena
They lived, but only lived to cheat
I would not cause e'en one regret
To rankle in your bosom now
"For if we try we may forget"
Were words of thine long years ago.

Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena
They are within my memory yet
They touched some tender chords, Lorena
Which thrill and tremble with regret
'Twas not the woman's heart which spoke
Thy heart was always true to me
A duty stern and piercing broke
The tie which linked my soul with thee.

It matters little now, Lorena
The past is in the eternal past
Our hearts will soon lie low, Lorena
Life's tide is ebbing out so fast
There is a future, oh, thank God!
Of life this is so small a part
'Tis dust to dust beneath the sod
But there, up there, 'tis heart to heart.

revisied November 27, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Dolphus Skinner in Richmond 1837-1838

Dolphus Skinner (1800-1869)
was an Universalist minister and publisher most associated with Utica, New York.
the above link will take you to a biographical summary -which also states that
"Skinner frequently traveled south in hopes of repairing his health. He stayed in Richmond, Virginia for about half a year in the winter of 1837-38. While there he preached to the Richmond Society."

Skinner himself says
"Return from the South.
"After an absence of between seven and eight months, we again find ourselves, together with our family, within our own quiet domicil (sic) in Utica, and by the blessing of Divine Providence, in the enjoyment of general health. The same benignant Parent of all, who is over all and with all, who watches over all for good, in their out-goings and in-comings, their up-risings and down-sittings, in their travels by land and by water, their sojourn at a distance or their abiding at home, has been with us and the many friends we left behind. The same eye has looked upon, the same potent arm has protected, and the same munificent hand has supplied the wants of all, and to him be all the praise."
"We had two principal motives for our sojourn at the South, during the Winter: the one was, to supply the preaching of the word of life, the First Independent Christian church in Richmond, Va, which had long been destitute and sin a somewhat of a languishing condition for the want of a pastor. The citizens of Richmond, generally, appeared to have learned comparatively little of ur distinguishing sentiments, though we found a few very warm-hearted and devoted friends, who cordially took us by the hand, and co-operated with us in efforts to diffuse more generally our glorious views of the Divine character and government, and the ultimate destiny of our race. Though Superstition frowned upon, and Bigotry denounced us and the doctrine of a world's salvation, yet our meetings were usually well attended, by a very respectable class of citizens, and continued to increase steadily as long as we stayed. And we sincerely hope that they will continue to increase under the labors of our young and highly esteemed Br. Chapin, who succeeds us for a season in that place. Richmond, as the capital of the State and the largest city in the Old Dominion, is an important place, and should not be neglected - the truth should there especially be preached faithfully, fully, and constantly; and if so preached, we doubt not its fruits will be an hundred fold.
Another object in spending the Winter at the South, was to avoid the extreme severity of climate which the inhabitants of this Northern region have for several years past experienced. By a location in a milder region, we hoped to recover from a severe affection and chronic soreness of the throat, or passages leading to the lungs... We were not as successful in obtaining the last object as we hoped to be; for although our general health has been, for the most of the time, very good, and we were able to preach regularly every Sabbath... the difficulty is not removed, nor are we certain that it is in the least mitigated. ..."
thus we add Rev Skinner as the minister in Richmond for circa October 1837 to May 1838, when Br. Chapin took over suppling the pulpit there.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"new" arrivals

I've been in Massachusetts attending the Universalist Convocation, held this year at the historic and former Universalist / UUA owned, now private Clara Barton homestead and Barton Center in North Oxford.
A field trip for us history buffs including visiting the former Church in Oxford Ma, where Hosea Ballou was ordained by (former SC resident) Elehanan Winchester.
I took a side trip to Boston and visited the UUA headquarters and saw a former Universalist HQ.
also a side trip to Gloucester.
while in Boston, I picked up the two volume set of HISTORY OF UNIVERSALISM by Richard Eddy for $25. this is the classic early history. One volume is available on google books, but for us old folks, there is just something about reading paper... I see the early guys in Kentucky are quoted... Waiting for me in the mail were some issuess of Utica NY's Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate of the 1830s. Including an article by "D.S." about his short stay preaching in Richmond Virginia. It's hard to know where to start reading first!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A new name

a new name for the blog ---
same address, just clearer name for what it is.....

(and where are you folks with other church history blogs?)

"Kentucky, you are the dearest place outside of Heaven to Me"

"Kentucky, You are the Dearest Place Outside of Heaven to Me...."
The comment below mine is taken and moved up here to the front of the blog...

The problems with strict congregationalism is that when a church begins to decline, there is no one to fix it but themselves. In the old days, you could count on traveling Universalist preachers who preached because they had too, and had other occupations because they had too.
I have lots of reasons for not wanting to include Kentucky in my dealing with Universalist history - in the days of Enoch Pingree, Universalism swept like fire through Kentucky - with the Restorationist Brethren in the rural areas preaching their verson of the goodnews --- there were probably more Universalist or universalist Churches in Kentucky than in the entire rest of the south.
By the Civil War, the Brethren Restorationists had gone from Kentucky to Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and other parts of the (back then) wild west. Pingree died young, Imagine how much he could have built, if he had lived double his lifespan, until his 60s - and able to do twice the work he had done in Kentucky.
To do right by Kentucky, means that someone should know Kentucky history and Kentucky geography. I'm still struggling to learn about those semi-foreign lands Mississippi and Alabama.
while I feel sure that someone will eventually cover Kentucky Universalist history better than I ever could, right now however is the time we have. and if not me, then yeah......

(so about those pictures...............)
Blogger cdmhogan said...

KY Universalist Convention: Rasnake, 1907-09; Chapman, 1916-1922, Bodell, 1935-1941.

KY is sort of an "Orphan State", isn't it?

There's 3 buildings still standing that Rasnake, Chapman and Bodell waxed eloquent in, 2 abandoned, Beulah and Good Hope, and I fear Hopkinsville will soon join them. It is 45 miles from my house, and after 15 years of attendance, I've slowly withdrawn, and it's wobbling along!

There's no Ohio Valley Universalist History interest, and if your blog abandons KY, it will certainly continue it's slide into oblivion! There are fourteen photos of Universalist ministers who served the KY Convention on display in the Hopkinsville church, but how long they'll survive is problematical. I have photocopies, but the originals are there in a broken frame as of last year.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

1899 South Carolina convention

from the Universalist Herald - thanks to the Canon Universalist folks in Georgia for this scan.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

William Miller Bledsoe KY (1761-1811)

William Miller Bledsoe (1761 -1811)

thanks to an anonymous poster
SC Universalist: a working history: Manford's Monthly Magazine 1880 Jan - April

for pointing out this from
A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
WILLIAM BLEDSOE, the first pastor of Crab Orchard church, was the son of Joseph Bledsoe, the founder and first pastor of old Gilberts Creek church of Separate Baptists. He, with his father and brothers, was among the early settlers of what is now Garrard county. He was a brother of the distinguished judge Jesse Bledsoe, who served two terms in the United States Senate from Kentucky.

William Bledsoe was a native of Culpeper county, Virginia. He was probably raised up to the ministry, under the preaching of his father, in Gilberts Creek church, after he came to Kentucky. He was the most active laborer in that wonderful revival in Lincoln and Garrard counties, in 1789, and the years following. He was in the constitution of Cedar Creek church, at Crab Orchard, in 1791, and became the first pastor of this church. During the revival just referred to, in 1789, two hen's eggs were brought to Gilberts Creek meeting-house with this sentence written on them: "The day of God's awful judgment is near." It was pretended that this writing was on the eggs when they were found in the nest. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "read aloud. The people were alarmed. Elder Bledsoe professed to feel alarmed, preached, exhorted, warned, invited, etc., etc. This revival lasted several months. I have seen from five to twenty come up, or led up, to be prayed for at one time. There were about 400 added to the church."5 "He" [William Bledsoe], says John M. Peck, "was a smart, rather than a pious preacher." John Bailey, who was one of the laborers in this revival, subsequently became a Universalist. Bledsoe also apostatized to Universalism, and then became indifferent to a religious life and reckless in his conduct. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "and many of his converts embraced the doctrine of universal salvation, and soon after he became
[p. 232]
a deist, and died a practicing horse-racer. I continued an acquaintance with these converts for eight or nine years, and then knew not of one that had not, like the dog and sow, turned to their vomit and mire again.” Such were the fruits of this shameful fraud and hypocrisy, and the end of the man who practiced them. "God is not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap."
always hard to know what is what. certainly the last lines is the typical anti-0Universalist messages. Certainly early Kentucky is known in the literature as a hot bed of dietism, and wickedness. Certainly horse racing was a widely popular event in the South - George Washington being one of those sorts.
William Miller Bledsoe (1761-1811) was indeed the son of Rev. Joseph Bledsoe. His father moved himself and his entire Baptist congregation (one source says) from Culpepper County to Kentucky. This apparently in the late 1770s or very early 1780s. William Miller Bledsoe's children and brothers were apparently very active in the Restoration or Campbelite Movement.
WMB had over 13 children. Lived and his buried in Lancaster Kentucky.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Summer 1923

information taken from the UNIVERSALIST LEADER
Lyman Ward (of Camp Hill, Alabama) was part of the contributing staff
Southern Superintendent (of churches): Rev. Frances Briton Bishop, Montgomery Alabama
Georgia State Superintendent: Rev. A. G. Strain, Atlanta, Georgia
Kentucky state Superintendent: empty
Texas State Superintendent: Rev R. L Brooks, Elgin, Texas

May 26, 1923 issue
the director of the Young People's work; Stanley Manning is to be in Winder Georgia on May 26, Chapman Alabama on May 29, Brewton, Alabama on May 30, DeFuniak Springs, Florida on June 3, and Hamburg, Florida on June 4.
Rev. Thomas Chapman (of the Newberry / Saluda SC Chapman family) has an article on the centenary of the church in Belpre, Ohio

June 2, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning writes his column in Deep Run, NC on May 17th. He mentions visiting Suffolk, Virginia, and seeing closing exercises for the year at Rev Joseph F. Jordan's school - he mentions two new African-American ministers preaching within a 50 mile radius of Suffolk - a father and son, but doesn't name them.

June 9, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning writes his column while "down in Alabama" on May 28th. He mentions the depression in Georgia which had been going on for the past three years (yes years before the stock market crash and in the midst of the Roaring 20s). This has led the following Universalist ministers and professionals to head north: Hal Kerns, Will Garner, Mary Slaughter, Armon Cheek, Thomas Chapman and J. M. Rasnake. Manning mentions that he himself had been on the Southern Georgia circuit for his first four years in his ministry.

June 16, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning is back home in Ma. He mentions going to Canon, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; Brewton, Alabama; Outlaw's Bridge, NC; Newberry, SC; Feasterville, SC; Camp Hill, Alabama; Rocky Mount, NC; Kinston, Durham; NC. In Canon Georgia, Manning watched the graduation of Stanley Owens from High School. "my namesake. One of the dangers of being born in Dixie is that you may be named for any tramp preacher than may happen along about that time."
He went to Camp Hill, Georgia, and Americus, Georgia (where he had been ordained by Dr. Shinn), to Winder Georgia, and to DeFuniak Springs, where Manning preached before leaving the south. "Visits there are always a real home-coming". Rev. A. Arnold Ross was the preacher then as well as a writer for the local "The Breeze". In Chapman, Alabama, he stayed with Mr and Mrs. Greeley McGowin - and spoke at the Union Church there. In Brewton, Mrs Miller was ill, so he stayed at the home of Mrs. Sam Foshee. In Pensacola, Florida; Mr. Herrider, a city editor of the local paper, was supplying the pulpit. His last stop was the Hamburg Florida Church near Madison.

ATLANTA.-- " Rev. Ernest J. Bowden, pastor. Rev. Bowden, who took charge of the work here in February, was given a call on May 27 to become pastor for one year, and has accepted. The Sunday School is flourishing under the superintendency of Hamilton Douglas and Mr. Knox. An orchestra has been organized by Mr. Bowden to augment the music of Sunday School and young people's meetings. The Y. P. C. U. meets every Sunday at 6 O'Clock, and the meeting is followed by a social hour with light refreshments. A Hikers' club has been organized among the young people, of which Mr,. and Mrs. Bowden are members. The Women's Union is interested in a movement to improve prison conditions in Atlanta.

The fifth meeting of the Southern Universalist Young People's Institute will be held at he Q. H. Shin Memorial Church, Friday July 20. The opening sermon will be preached by Rev.
F. B. Bishop, D.D.
The faculty is composed of the following: Rev. George A. Gay, Director; Rev. F. B. Bishop, Southern Superintendent; Rev. L. B. Fisher, Dean Ryder Divinity School; Rev. Stanley Manning, Directory Young People's Work; Mrs. Katharine Haskell Ball, Missionary. The program will include lectures each morning from nine until twelve; excursions to Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, and other points of interest; sunset praise services on the mountains; special sermons by noted preachers; delightful social affairs in the homes of Chattanooga members. education, Inspiration, Recreation. " Terms: $1 enrollment fee and $10 board and room.

June 23, 1923 issue
(Women's National Missionary Association)
News from the Clinton Circuit by Martha G. Jones from Clinton NC
Clinton has 20 members, Red Hill has 17, and there are 8 members-at-large. Clinton WNMA had a food both at the County Fair in the fall top help pay the delinquent street paving tax, and the parsonage and church roof painted.

Mr. O. W. Eames of the Crane Theological School will spend the summer in NC preaching for Rev. Harry L. Canfield who plans to be in New England and attend Summer School at Harvard.

Greensboro, North Carolina; Rev. R. S. Kellerman, pastor. four children christened recently and three adults added to the membership in June.

June 30, 1923 issue
Future North Carolina resident, Carl Sandburg, was given an honorary Doctor of Letters at Lombard College, He had graduated from Lombard in the class of 1902.

In Stanley Manning's column he mentions that he will be going to the Southern Young People's Institute in July and the Texas State Convention in August in New Castle)

Rev Dwight Ball preaches the first Sunday evening, two services on the second sunday, and weekly midweek services at Kinston NC since October.
In Deep Run, Rev Ball preaches on the first Sunday afternnon at the home of Martha and Nannie Grady. a large Sunday School has meet weekly for the past two years, currently under the direction of Preston Harper (who is a 19 year old high school student). Current membership is 54, and a lot was donated by Mr. Grady. The church was founded by Mrs. Ball.

July 7, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning's column mentions Clayton Memorial and the Feasterville Church in SC.
and he mentions the 200 year history of Universalism in South Carolina.

Mary Slaughter (picture in this issue) becomes the "Colleague of the President" of the General Sunday School Association. She was born in Camp Hill, Got a BA degree at Judson College for Women and the St. Lawrence University, She taught at the Southern Industrial Institute, and spent a year as the Assistant pastor of the church in Haverhill Mass. (this is described as being interim between ministers).

Christian Hill, NC - Rev Dwight A. Ball minister; weekend of the 4th Sunday, service Saturday evening, and two Sunday services" 5 new members and two children christened. In June 100 attended the Sunday Morning service and a 100 for the afternoon service.

this confirms that Feasterville SC was active in 1923 as was Americus Georgia. This also tells us why the decline of Universalism in the South started post WW1 - the depression led to a shortage of ministers. North Carolina's ministers were being paid for by the WNMA

there are a couple of good quotes that still work 80 years later that will be going on UU-ing, I will link to this post (for those of you who dont read both of my blogs)

some typos corrected April 13, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Plans for the blog.....

Ok, it's been a bit quiet on the old southern Univeralist history blog.....
-those changes that life brings has a tendency to do what it says: change things.

But I plan to get back to this blog on a regular basis, the story of Universalism in the south still has a lot left to tell. And no doubt, a lot left for me to learn.

Some of the stuff I may never learn, such as why did Clayton not mention Simons in his autobiography? Was it non-Church Politics or doctrine? Will I learn more about Rev Laura Simons - what happened to her? When did the church in Charleston SC actually stop having services?

What Ive done recently is give a sermon at both Outlaw's Bridge and All Souls Waccamaw. On Easter Sunday I went to Clayton Memorial in Newberry, and then went to Lynch's Woods, a nature perserve- formerly the property of Rev Lynch (Linch), the SC Minister who formerly hooked his Church up with the Universalist association in New England. His children went west founding early Universalists churches in Georgia, Florida, and west. Walking on this land helps me literally see some of what they saw.
I also got some new books, which I need to read....

the plans for this blog remain that at some point, I will start up a website and start removing material to make for an easier way to find that material. Today, I decided to once again remove Kentucky from the South, because it remains more in character for the Ohio River valley area - I reserve the right to wonder what in the world I was thinking of, and thereby possibly in the future putting Kentucky and West Virginia back in the south..... Hey, isnt it great to have the power to move the states around at whim?????

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dorothy H. Rowe, July 8 1926 to Feb 15, 2008

"If it were left up to us, without doubt we should so order our life on earth that it would be all glad and beautiful, bright skies and a green earth, waving forests, and running streams, and lovely landscapes. No clouds should come between us and the sun, no storms should weep over our path; no disappointments nor griefs should come to us; and sickness and death, and the lone household and the long-sorrowing heart, should be strangers to us and to ours. And so life should be to us a pleasant and merry holiday; and we, like the butterfly or the hummingbird, with bright plumage flashing in the sun, would go dancing from flower to flower, stopping only long enough to gather the honey, and rejoice in the beauty that welcomed us from all sides.
"So should we make life, if God would yield to our vain prayers, and suffer our will to be done."
-Thomas Baldwin Thayer, 1864, Over the River, or Pleasant Walks into the Valley of Shadows

"In an hour like this, nothing can take the place of the outstretched hands of human sympathy and understanding, the spoken or the silent assurance given by friends - "We have walked this way of sorrow also in times past and tasted its bitterness and sense of loss. We stand ready to help you through your valley of sorrow until that time comes when you emerge again into the light, and to continually assure you that you do not walk alone."
- Alfred S. Cole

"Love Never Fails"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Southern Universalist Historical Fiction -

Frankly there isn't much Southern Universalist Historical Fiction - at least that I know of.
But there is one, and now you can read it for free!

The Mockingbird's Ballad
Doak Mansfield

Now I own a copy, liked it enough to give it a good review on Amazon -
and I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from going out and buying a copy.
but you can read it for free on the first link

Free Reading site

(i have the Amazon site linked on the second, but if you go through the Amazon links on the
Universalist National Memorial Church or the, or some other charitable group, then those groups get a couple cents from Amazon for the referral).


I met the author the year after I reviewed the book, and was glad to have him sign my copy- and he's pictured here in this blog (from where he spoke at the 2006 Universalist Convocation) - I'm waiting for his next book - I sure hope he's writing one!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rev. D. D. Smith (1807-1878)

The Rev D.D. Smith (Daniel Drowne Smith) seems to be an interesting person in his own right, but he is overshadowed by his more famous father and brother; both of whom were also preachers who burned brightly in the Universalist skies before moving elsewhere.

His father, Elias Smith, was a free will Baptist minister turned Christian minister. There is a biography of his life available (which I admit to not having read), the Perfect Law of Liberty.
His brother Matthew Hale Smith is best known for being an Universalist minister turned anti-Universalist book writer. These books are available on Google Books.

D.D. Smith was born December 16, 1807 in Portsmouth , NH; and died on March 17, 1878 in Brooklyn NY. He had two careers, first as an Universalist minister; then as a homeopathic medical doctor.

He preached at various Massachusetts and Maine locations from the late 1820s to December 1838. From That date to April 1841, he preached at Gloucester. Something happened to lead him to resign and preach in Richmond, Virginia. The sources that I've read don't spell it out, so I can't even guess as to what happened. But it couldn't have been too bad, as
in 1843 or 44, he returned to lead a new "Independent Universalist Society" in Gloucester, preaching there until the summer of 1848, when he left the ministry.

His medical career was in New York State; and he taught at the Homeopathic Medical College in New York for nine years. Upon his death in 1878, he was a member of Henry Ward Beecher's PLYMOUTH CHURCH in Brooklyn.

He was involved with several newspapers, supossibly the UNIVERSALIST in it's first year (he's not mentioned in my bound volume however), and then changed the name to UNIVERSALIST AND LADIES REPOSITORY in 1834-1835. He edited the Richmond paper CHRISTIAN WARRIOR, a weekly from April 1842 to his removal to the north.
Books include
1834 REPORT OF A PUBLIC DISCUSSION (a debate with A. Ballou. Smith was the Ultra-Universalist; Ballou the restoriationist)

In his anti-Universalist books, his brother states that D.D. stated that he was only in the ministry because it paid so well. Now if there is one thing that gives us pause here in the 21st century, that would be it. Ministry pays well?

addition: 'THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY, lists the middle name as Drown, and that he was born in June 1797. The above name and date are from his obituary.

(corrected January 26, 2008)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gov. C. L. Blease - not an Universalist!

As far as we know, Coleman Blease (and someone came up with a website just for him!) the SC Governor and US Senator, known for his populism and his racism was NOT an Universalist.
(1868-1942) He was quite an interesting figure, but not one most folks would want to stick on their list of highly admired folks.

We did we wonder if he was an Universalist? Well some of the Bleases from Coleman were universalists.... and Coleman Blease was from Helena and Newberry SC, and tied in with other SC universalist families....

All the SC Bleases are descendants from Thomas Wainwright Blease who emigrated from England to South Carolina, and died in the late 1830s, leaving 7 children. Thomas' wife Bethany was converted and baptized by the Baptist minister Basil Manly in 1823 in Edgefield South Carolina.

Their son, Henry Horatio Blease was the father of Gov. Coleman Blease.
Another son, Thomas W Jr; was the father of Luther Blease
Luther's wife and their son were Universalist -
Dunno about Luther Blease himself.

So at this point we can say that Coleman Blease's cousin Luther's family were Universalist;
but there is no evidence that Coleman himself was.

... because, Coleman Blease may be a Methodist. Or at least somebody claims him for the Methodists.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Star In the West May 1843


VOLUME Vi NO. 6 May 20, 1843

Louisville Ky, has between 25,000-30,000 residents. Churches are 2 Episcopalians, 3 Presbyterians, 2 Roman Catholic, 3 Methodist, 1 Unitarian pastor there is Rev. Heywood who recently replaced Rev. Clark), 1 Cambellite, 1 German Methodist,1 English and1 German Lutheran, 2 Baptist, 1 Jewish Synagogue and 1 Universalist Church.
"some years ago" Theolopius Fisk preached here a few times in an amphitheater. An Union church for Unitarians and Universalists was built, which the Unitarians took control of. 5-6 years ago, Wadsworth lived in Louisville, publishing the BUREAN until his death. Br. Dean came to town, and started a new Universalist Church , buying a building on Chapel St (a former Episcopalian Church). this was at the lower end of town, 2 squares below the gaslights. There were problems and the church suspended, and Br. Dean moved to Illinois. Brother Kelso came to the city in Jan or Feb (of 1842) and restarted services in the Chapel Street church. Brothers Rogers and Gaylord preached, and around November (of 1842), Enoch Pingree was invited to be the minister, and he moved to Louisville on April 1, 1843. they begin a building fund to build a church in a more central part of town. Anti-universalism sermons were preached in other churches and Rev Pingree responded by preaching responses several times a a week at various locations in the city(article by Pingree)

Pingree responds that despite the libels of Rev Crane, Rev Peck, and Matthew H. Smith; the "grocery store" owned by G. Chapin in Louisville; sells groceries and Universalist books. It has never sold alcohol, and indeed Brother Chapin does not drink himself. this is response to a question by J. L. C. griffin in the NAZZARENE (
blogger: I'm not sure when Griffin became an Universalist)

correction: Pingree states that the community he reported last month as Wilke's Creek, Ky is actually Welch's Creek, Ky. An Universalist Society had been organized there some months ago.

George Roger's new hymn book is being used in the church in Louisville.

subscribers include someone from Hardin's Tavern, Va, Fleminsburg, Ky and E.R.Smith Centerville Ky.

Volume VI # 7 May 27, 1843
Formation of the Kentucky State Convention
Thursday Evening of last week, held at Warsaw Kentucky lasting to Sunday. while only two societies sent delegates, they undertook the buisness of founding a convention.

"Dear Brother: I write a few lines to inform you that the doctrine of universal love is gaining considerable with us. We have two young men, sons of old Father James Phelps who have commenced preaching the doctrine of the world's salvation with considerable success. - they have formed a little society in butler County, Ky, with something over 30 members, and have built a meeting house which will be finished in the course of the summer. On next Sabbath they will hold a sacramental meeting for the first time. we have the right to rejoice seeing the spirit of Enquiry is aboard and the whys and wherefores are enquired after, and the doctrine of endless misery must cease with intelligent minds.
Jacob Miller; Carneyville Ky, May 11, 1843"

Brother Byington will preach at Bank Link, Kentucky 2nd Sunday in June