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