Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fredonia - part 3

as indicated earlier in the blog - there have been folks who stated that the first Universalist Church (in what is now the USA) was the Fredonia Meeting House in Newberry County, SC.

We still havent found the location or the dates of the Meeting House... but we've found things on the name.

NAMES ON THE LAND (1945) by George R. Stewart, states that Fredonia (the word) was created after 1800 by Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchell. This coinage was an attempt to rename the United States of America, much like "Columbia" was also intended. See the wikipedia biography .
the term is used in his book MEDICAL REPOSITORY (1804) He mentioned the word in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in December 1803 - and apparently in 1804 published " An Address to the Fredes or People of the United States."

It is therefore probable that the name of the Meeting House was based on the term Fredonia created in 1803 by Dr. Mitchell and popularized by him in 1804. If this is so, then we must also find likely that the Fredonia Meeting House was not the first Universalist Church in America (of course if Fredonia was the renaming of an early Church, then we still cant say that it wasnt -it just lessens the possiblity).

(note to GW - the Halfacres bought that land in 1792 - so the term being created in 1803 actualy strenghts your idea that Fredonia was on their land...)

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