Saturday, May 02, 2009

SC Convention 1847 and Henry Summer of Newberry


South Carolina

The following letter from that excellent and devoted friend of our cause, H. Summer, Esq. of Newberry, S. C., though not designed for publication, contains so much information appertaining to the conditions and prospects of our cause in that State, that we have judged it worthy of being laid before our readers. --- Br. S. will pardon the liberty we have taken, and let us hear from him often.
A few men like Br. S. would make our cause flourish any where.

Newberry C. H., August 17, 1847

Dear Brother Balch --
I believe that we of this State took a step at the Annual Convention of Universalists, which will be productive of great good. I have just returned from the Convention, which met at Feasterville, Fairfield District, Liberty Meeting house. The friends met, and we had a good meeting. We passed, in council, a resolution of Br. Walker, adopted a report by myself as chairman, containing the Profession of Faith and Articles of Church Goverment, recommending the same to the friends scattered abroud the State. We have been hereto almost as good as without organization. The procedings will be published in the STAR IN THE WEST, prepared by Rev. A. Fuller, the standing clerk. It devolved on me to sustain the report and reccomend it to the Convention. On its merits, I suspose I spoke at least two hours; and by way of presenting and enforcing it, at least half an hour; so that in refrence to this point particuarly, and some other closely connected with it, I spoke about three hours. I felt the importance of the movement,and believing, that upon its adoption depended the fate of our glorious doctorine for years to come.
Br. S. M. Simons, from the Baptists, recieved the fellowship of our order as a preacher of the Gospel. He left the Baptists after he was ordained. He is a plain but zealous man. Br. N.P. Walker, a man of about 30 years, was ordained a preacher of the Gospel by Brs. A. Fuller and S. M. Simons. Br. Walker is a man of very good talents. Br. Fuller preached the Ordination Sermon from this text, "Preach The Word, " and gave us an excellent discourse. The Profession of Faith,. and Articles of Church Goverment, were taken, with a few variations, from Br. Whittemore's Plain Guide. We have now a platform on which I believe we can go to work and do something. I met an old father (David Coleman) eighty-two years old who had been a Dunker and had heard David Martyn, and was a member of his Church, believing in the doctrine of Universalism for 55 years now. After I finished my address at council in advocacy of the report of which I have abouve given you some account, that old father shook me cordially by the hand, the tears tricking down his cheeks, unable to speak - but his countenance uttered the language of his heart.
Oh Brother Balich, I feel we need help! We must depend upon that God of mercy that we adore, and we must all live according to the vocation wherewith we are called. Dear Br., you can let our friends know what we are doing; and though the work is begun in weakness, yet we look forward to a day of better things. This is with us a day of small things; but we shall go on, turning neither to the right nor to the left. We appointed Delegates to the U.S. Convention of Universalists; but none, I presume, will attend. Next year, Br. Fuller will, he thinks, be with you at your Convention, and he will be able to tell you how we have done.


Henry Summer
"Henry Summer .... had a strong interest in Universalism." Fireside Tales: Stories of the Old Dutch Fork (1984)

there were two Henry Summers in the Newberry area, but most evidence would seem that he was the (1809-1869) lawyer. But his obituary states that that Summer was active in the Lutheran Church. At this point we know that the Universalist Summer was writing and reading Universalist materials from at least 1845 to 1867. That he met with other Universalists in Boston in 1845 at the general convention. Obituaries are written by the living, and not by the deceased - his wife and children were very active Lutherans.

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