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A DREW UNIVERSITY LIBRARY EXHIBIT

‘Gladly Laid Upon the Country’s Altar’:
Methodists and the American Civil War


Introduction

by Christopher J. Anderson
September 2011
Drew University

In his book Stagestruck Filmmaker: D.W. Griffith and the American Theater author David Mayer notes, "The American Civil War has never been a stable field with an agreed-upon historical interpretation. Rather, it was – and is – an evolving, contested subject which is host to vehemence, disruption, and difference, a palimpsest upon which fresh questions about the past are inscribed." Mayer, David. Stagestruck Filmmaker: D.W. Griffith and the American Theater. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 121.

Mayer's thoughts and my work on this exhibit remind me that the presentation and representation of texts, objects, photographs, labels, and even how one names an exhibit can generate boredom, interest, aggravation, and outrage. Exhibits are meant to draw attention to historical and/or contemporary issues so that viewers can both reflect on the past and ask questions in the present. The contents of an exhibition also echo the educational background, interests and biases of both curator and curatorial team. As a result, exhibitions are often positioned historically, sociologically, theologically, politically, and even metaphorically in order to give voice to the voiceless and to champion certain ideological positions from history. This exhibit exemplifies these contested ideologies.

On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address confirmed that American citizens and armies both North and South believed that God was on their side of a destructive and devastating national conflict. That conflict, waged with cannons, guns, and other weapons of war lasted from 1861 to 1865. The name of that conflict has been contested since the earliest moments of the war. Several names have been attributed: The Civil War, The War Between the States, and the War of Northern Aggression to name but a few.

For those four years several hundred thousand Methodists from the United States and the Confederate States of America preached, fought, and labored for both sides. During the conflict Methodists served as government officials, soldiers, chaplains, nurses, and church leaders while fighting for states' rights and against the institution of slavery. With adherents in the millions, American Methodists played a crucial role in the struggle for racial and sectional freedoms. Drew Theological Seminary (now a part of Drew University) was founded shortly after the conflict in 1867, and as a result had several direct connections to the Civil War. Drew landowners, trustees, administration, faculty and students participated in the conflict.

This exhibit looks at the history of both American Methodism and Drew University. There is a high level of overlap considering that most of the earliest Drew administration, faculty, staff and students were Methodists. Ten cases, located in the Drew University Library and the United Methodist Archives and History Center, house 90 items related to the war. Two cases acknowledge the connections between Drew and the Civil War. Eight cases identify the historic tensions within American Methodism over racial identities that led to denominational fracturing and ultimately to sectional conflict. The exhibition brings attention to ten historic Methodist traditions and includes manuscripts, photographs, printed texts and material objects from the collections of the Drew University Archives, Special Collections and Methodist Library. Many of the items on display are a part of the vast collection of resources from the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church.

Pulling together an exhibit from ten individual church traditions was a daunting task. In an attempt to be inclusive of the varieties of American Methodism over 200 items were discovered and considered. 90 of those items are found within the cases. As a result, many interesting and informative materials did not make the exhibit. My hope is that the exhibit echoes some of the ideological and theological issues American Methodists struggled with and eventually fought over during the war. And, I hope the exhibit highlights the vast amount of material available for researchers and students. As mentioned earlier, the American Civil War is a contested subject – much has been written about the conflict and much more will be written. This exhibit contributes to that stream of discussion and hopefully raises more questions for future generations.

I am in debt to the work of several people who made this exhibit a reality. University Conservator Masato Okinaka deserves most of the credit for making the research behind the exhibit enjoyable for viewers to examine. I learn more about curating and mounting exhibits each time we work together – sometimes late into the evening. The staff of Drew University Library, especially the Special Collections and University Archives Committee, encouraged me throughout the process. The staff and student assistants of the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church provided much needed support in gathering the agencies materials for the exhibit. Thank you, Lauren Godwin, for your assistance with scanning historical documents. Thank you also to Corey Fick, Methodist Library and Archive Associate, for assisting me behind the scenes and for helping me sort through this rich collection of material.


Case One (Drew University Library)

The Centennial of American Methodism (1866)

Drew Theological Seminary was founded, in part, by work related to the 1866 Centenary of American Methodism. The Centenary fundraising campaign represented a look back on the first one hundred years of Methodism in the United States and former British colonies. In 1860, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church called for spiritual awakening in local churches and for the raising of funds to assist with missions work and other church enterprises. Educational endeavors as part of the fundraising included Drew Theological Seminary and Centenary College for Women (now Centenary College of New Jersey).

During the 1860s, several leaders from the Methodist Episcopal Church searched for a location to establish a seminary. One of those leaders was an ordained Methodist minister named John McClintock. Reverend McClintock was Daniel Drew's pastor in New York City and later served as the first President of Drew Theological Seminary. Drew wanted to donate money for a Methodist cause – and American Methodists needed funding to start a seminary. Drew was approached by the Methodist entourage and promised several hundred thousand dollars to help establish a seminary for the training of Methodist ministers in the New York City area.

Daniel Drew

Daniel Drew was born in 1797 on a small farm in Carmel, New York. He had been raised in a Methodist home and throughout adulthood attended St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City. Drew was well known as the owner of several steamboats as well as the Treasurer and Managing Director of the Erie Railroad. He made millions on Wall Street and by the late 1850s wanted to donate some of his wealth back to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1867, Drew donated several hundred thousand dollars to purchase the Forest property and help establish a seminary for the educational training of Methodist ministers.

In 1910, Bouck White, a journalist from New York City, published The Book of Daniel Drew. White claimed his narrative on the life of Drew was drawn from fragments of Drew's own diary. White admitted adding his own voice to help shape the story from the first person. In the text, Drew (or White) claims that he had loaned steamboats to the Union Army during the Civil War and that President Abraham Lincoln had paid him a hefty sum of $62,000 for use of the boats. Drew supposedly claimed, "I saw very quickly that the War of the Rebellion was going to be a money maker for me" and "I was really sorry when the Civil War was over." Whether Daniel Drew ever uttered or wrote these words is unknown and perhaps highly unlikely. White's account of Drew's life has been largely discredited by scholars.

Lloyd Tilghman and Tilghman House

The Tilghman House, now home to the Drew University Business Office, Registrar's Office, and Financial Aid Office, was purchased from the Tilghman Family Estate. The house had been built in the 19th century and purchased by New York Stock Exchange magnate Sidell Tilghman. Sidell was originally from Kentucky, where his father, Lloyd Tilghman, served as Brigadier General for the 3rd Kentucky Infantry of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. General Tilghman fought in several battles against Union forces and on May 16, 1863, was shot and killed in the Battle of Champion's Hill near the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. A monument was erected in his name near the place of his death by Sidell and other members of his family.

William Heyward Gibbons

The forest property that encompasses Drew University was once owned by the Gibbons family. The family owned a plantation in Georgia and established the Madison property, including the mansion, now Mead Hall, as their northern residence. William Heyward Gibbons, son of William and Abigail, received the estate following his father's death in 1852. William Heyward soon left Madison to return to Savannah, Georgia, to care for the family's plantation and oversee several hundred slaves. During the Civil War, Gibbons joined the Georgia infantry and fought for the Confederate States of America. Gibbons returned to Madison after receiving a presidential pardon from Andrew Johnson for his participation in the war. He sold the property to Daniel Drew and the Methodist Episcopal Church. His presidential pardon is displayed in this case.

Trustees of Drew Theological Seminary

Drew Trustee Matthew Simpson was born June 20, 1811 in Cadiz, Ohio. As an infant he was baptized by Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury (the personage on the horse statue in front of Mead Hall). Simpson attended Allegheny College and was later ordained an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He became a Bishop in 1852. During the Civil War, Simpson worked in the Washington, D.C. area. In that appointment he interacted regularly with U.S. Government officials. He was well acquainted with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who was also a Methodist, and he was considered a confidant to President Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, Simpson preached the burial sermon at Lincoln's funeral in Springfield, Illinois. Simpson served on the Drew Board of Trustees from 1868 to 1885. He was President of the Board from 1877 to 1880.

Clinton B. Fisk was born December 8, 1828 in York, New York. Fisk attended Hillsdale College and Albion Seminary in Michigan and worked as a banker and insurance agent. He later moved to St. Louis, Missouri. During the Civil War, he served as a Brigadier General for the 33rd Missouri Infantry of the Union Army. He fought in several skirmishes including the Battle of Nashville. Following the war, Fisk represented the United States Freedman's Bureau and was a founder of Fisk University. He served on the Drew Board of Trustees from 1876 to 1891. His letter to his close friend Bishop Matthew Simpson is displayed in this case. In the correspondence Fisk asks Simpson to speak with President Lincoln concerning a rank promotion from Colonel to General.

John T. Martin was born October 2, 1816 in Baltimore, Maryland. Martin attended St. Mary's College and served as minister to Methodist parishes in St. Louis, Missouri and Brooklyn, New York. He established the Martin Institute in Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany for the purpose of educating German Methodist ministers. During the Civil War, he lent the U.S. Government over $8 million dollars and as a business owner supplied the Union Army with $50 million worth of clothing and flannels. He served on the Drew Board of Trustees from 1876 to 1877.

Theodore Runyon was born October 29, 1822 in Somerville, New Jersey. He graduated from Yale University and starting in 1846 practiced law in Newark. He served in the Civil War as a Brigadier General for the 1st New Jersey Brigade and fought in the battles of Second Bull Run and Gettysburg. He was elected Mayor of Newark (1863-1865) and was President of the Manufacturers' National Bank of Newark (1871-1873). He later served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1893-1896). He was a member of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark and served on the Drew Board of Trustees (1868-1872).

Case One Items Listing

1. 1866 Centenary of Methodism Certificate


Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

2. William Heyward Gibbons pardon from President Andrew Johnson

Gibbons Family Papers, University Archives, Drew University Library Collection

3. Image of Daniel Drew

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

4. Vicksburg Battlefield Promotional Pamphlet

Funkhouser Family Papers, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

5. Image of Matthew Simpson

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

6. Image of Clinton B. Fisk

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

7. Letter from Clinton B. Fisk to Matthew Simpson, November 10, 1862


Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Two (Drew University Library)

President John McClintock

John McClintock was born October 27, 1814 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and served on the faculty of Dickinson College. He was a vociferous abolitionist and helped incite a riot in Pennsylvania that helped free several fugitive slaves. During the Civil War McClintock was minister at the American Chapel in Paris, France. He was an outspoken advocate for Unionist causes and wrote articles for the London Times and gave speeches in Exeter Hall. His home in Paris functioned as a gathering space for Americans who were pro-Union in France. As a key figure in the Central Committee of the 1866 Centenary, he was highly influential in helping convince Daniel Drew to fund the start of Drew Theological Seminary. He was appointed Drew's first President in 1867. He also worked as Professor of Practical Theology for the Seminary until his death in 1870.

Professor Homer Baxter Sprague

Homer Baxter Sprague was born October 19, 1829 in Sutton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University, Yale Law School and New York University (Ph.D). He worked as a lawyer and school principal until the Civil War. Sprague raised two companies of soldiers for the Union Army and was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel for the 13th Connecticut Infantry. He fought in several battles including Port Hudson and Cedar Creek. He and several others were captured at the Battle of Winchester and he was wounded at Irish Bend, Louisiana. Following the conflict, Sprague was appointed as faculty to Cornell University and later became President of the University of North Dakota. From 1896-1899, Sprague was Instructor of Elocution at Drew Theological Seminary. He authored several books including Fellowship of Slaveholders (1857), American Liberty (1900), Right and Wrong in Our Civil War (1903) and Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons (1915). Sprague died on March 23, 1918.

Drew Veterans of the Civil War

Private Ellis Franklin Biscoe

Birth: July 30, 1847 in St. Mary's County, Maryland
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, B.D. 1872
Minister: Louisiana/Newark Conferences – Methodist Episcopal Church
Unit: 11th Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Company D
Battle: Monocacy
Death: February, 1920

Frank Ambrose Goodwin

Birth: September 13, 1847 in Biddeford, Maine
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, 1873-1874
Minister: Indiana/South India Annual Conferences – MEC
Unit: Maine Infantry (Rank, Company and Unit unknown)
Battles: Unknown
Death: August 16, 1881

Private Nathan Lewis Guthrie

Birth: March 18, 1841 in Conneaut, Ohio
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, 1874-1875
Minister: Arizona Mission/East Ohio Annual Conferences – MEC
Unit: 120th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Company K
Battles: Port Gibson and Vicksburg
Death: April 1, 1893

John P. Haller

Birth: June 14, 1843 in Frederick, Maryland
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, 1869-75
Minister: Troy Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Unit: 7th Regiment, Maryland Infantry (Rank and Company unknown)
Battles: Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Appomattox Court House
Death: Date unknown

Private Henry Clay Langley

Birth: August 25, 1844 in Green County, Ohio
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, 1878-79
Minister: California/Colorado/Missouri Annual Conferences – MEC
Unit: 8th Regiment, Ohio Cavalry, Company D
Battles: Cedar Creek, Winchester, incarcerated at Libby Prison
Death: Dec. 24, 1922

Private Frank Miller

Birth: December 10, 1845 in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, B.D. 1876
Minister: New Jersey Annual Conference – Methodist Episcopal Church
Unit: Drummer for 6th Kentucky Infantry, 4th Kentucky Infantry
Battles: Chickamauga and Selma
Death: Date unknown

Private Edward H. Roys

Birth: October 2, 1844 in Canaan, Connecticut
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, 1873-75
Minister: New York Annual Conference – Methodist Episcopal Church
Unit: 2nd Regiment, Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Company F
Battles: Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Appomattox Court House
Death: January 23, 1911

Private Phineas Grover Ruckman

Birth: April 26, 1842 in New Providence, New Jersey
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, B.D. 1872
Minister: Newark/Nebraska/Wyoming Annual Conferences – MEC
Unit: 30th Regiment, New Jersey Infantry, Company B
Battles: Chancellorsville and the Defense of Washington, DC
Death: November 26, 1912

Private Truman Weed

Birth: December 20, 1841 in Canton, Connecticut
Student: Drew Theological Seminary, B.D. 1877
Minister: Northern New York/South Kansas Annual Conferences – MEC
Unit: 48th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, C, and D
Battles: Cold Harbor, Fort Fisher, and Wilmington
Death: Date unknown

Sources used for information on Drew student war veterans:

  • Alumni Record of Drew Theological Seminary, 1867-1925. NY: Methodist Book Concern, 1926.
  • National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/

Case Two Items Listing

8. Portrait of Mary Ann (Dew) Wendel

Drew University Art Collection

9. Image of John McClintock

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

10. McClintock, John. Daniel Drew, Esq. S.l.: s.n., [between 1868 and 1870]

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

11. Entry by Henry Clay Langley in Autograph Book of Drew Theological School

Autobiographies of Entering Students, 1873-1881, University Archives, Drew University Library Collection

12. Hillard, George Stillman, and Homer B. Sprague. The Franklin Sixth Reader and Speaker: Consisting of extracts in prose and verse, with biographical and critical notices of the authors; with an introduction on elocution by Professor Sprague. New York: Taintor Brothers; Boston: William Ware, 1878

Drew University Library Collection

13. Civil War Bullets

14. Union Army Buttons

15. Halstead Sword

Funkhouser Family Papers, General Commission on Archives, and History, United Methodist Church


Case Three (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

John Wesley and Early Methodist concerns over Slavery

The American Civil War was fought over several issues including slavery and states' rights. John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist movement, was an avid opponent of the institution of slavery. His first exposure to American slavery occurred during his stay at the colony of Georgia and from visits to the slaveholding colony of South Carolina between 1736 and 1738. This case includes a copy of the original death mask of John Wesley pressed shortly after his death on March 2, 1791. Only six days prior Wesley wrote his last known letter to British activist William Wilberforce. In the correspondence, Wesley condemned slavery as an "execrable villainy" and encouraged his colleague to continue battling the institution in England. Wesley wrote on slavery in his personal journal and also published a book titled Thoughts Upon Slavery (1773). That work echoed the earlier publication Historical Account of Guinea (1771) by Quaker social activist, and friend of Wesley, Anthony Benezet. Both texts are displayed in this case.

Richard Allen and James Varick: Founders, African Methodist Episcopal Church and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

African Americans have historic connections to the Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Race and politics of skin color have produced contestation in American Methodism from the 18th century to the present. In 1787, Richard Allen led a group of Black Methodists out of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia as a result of treatment on account of the color of their skin. Allen would go on to form the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816.

James Varick and many Black Methodists experienced similar treatment at John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City. He and several others led separate Bible studies attended by Black congregants. Eventually these meetings became the genesis for the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1820. This case includes images of both Allen and Varick as well as a first edition copy of the Doctrines and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1817). This copy is one of only five known first edition prints.

Abolitionists and Agitators of 19th Century Methodism

Social justice advocates within American Methodism argued extensively for the eradication of slavery or the removal of slaves to Africa. The floor of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church received many reports and petitions from various annual conferences arguing for a stronger statement on slavery. This committee report from the 1832 General Conference describes emancipation conversations for "People of Colour" and highlights the discriminatory standing of Black ministers and laity within the denomination. The exhibit case also contains the original manuscript memorial to the 1844 General Conference on the subject of slavery signed by 115 members of the Maine Annual Conference.

In 1836, abolitionists had organized to form the Methodist Anti-slavery Society of New York. This pamphlet from 1838 is the only known printing on the early work of the organization. The Evangelical Association, a church body that would later merge into the Methodist tradition, established a strong anti-slavery stance. In the June 15, 1864 issue of The Evangelical Messenger, the English-version newspaper of the denomination, the editor reported "surely the Evangelical Association, with an anti-slavery record older than any of these, and a membership stronger than all these put together (referencing the Wesleyan and Free Methodist traditions), deserves to be mentioned in connection with the anti-slavery churches of the United States."

Case Three Items Listing

16. Copy of Death Mask of John Wesley, ca. 1791

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

17. Letter from John Wesley to William Wilberforce, February 24, 1791

John Wesley Correspondence, Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

18. Wesley, John. Thoughts Upon Slavery. London: Printed by R. Hawes, (No. 34.) in Lamb-Street, Near Spital-Square, 1774

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

19. Benezet, Anthony. Some Historical Account of Guinea, Its Situation, Produce and the General Disposition of its Inhabitants, with An Inquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Slave-Trade, its Nature and lamentable Effects. Also a re-publication of the sentiments of several authors of note, on this interesting subject; particularly an extract of a treatise, by Granville Sharp. Philadelphia: Printed by Joseph Crukshank, in Third-street, opposite the Work-house, 1771

Rare Book Collection, Special Collections, Drew University Library Collection

20. Whip from Sierra Leone, Africa, ca. 1855

Funkhouser Family Collection, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

21. Image of Richard Allen

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

22. Image of James Varick

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

23. Doctrines and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Philadelphia: Published by Richard Allen and Jacob Tapsico, for the African Methodist Episcopal Connection in the United States, John H. Cunningham, printer, 1817

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

24. Report on "People of Colour" presented to the 1832 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference of 1832, Committee Reports and Resolutions, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

25. Memorial Petition on Slavery from Maine Annual Conference presented to the 1844 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference of 1844, Committee Reportsand Resolutions, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

26. Methodist Anti-Slavery Society of New York. New York: Piercy & Reed, 1838

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

27. The Evangelical Messenger, June 15, 1864


Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection



Case Four (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Luther Lee, Orange Scott and the Wesleyan Methodists

Almost twenty years prior to the start of the Civil War American Methodists fractured over issues of slavery. In 1842 and 1843 several thousand Methodist anti-slavery advocates pulled out of the Methodist Episcopal Church to form the Wesleyan Methodist Connection. This new denomination was led by several outspoken northern Methodist ministers including Luther Lee and Orange Scott. Lee and Scott would later publish a polemical treatise The Grounds of Secession from the Methodist Episcopal Church that provided rational for the fracture over slavery and church government.

Benjamin T. Roberts and the Free Methodist Church

The Free Methodist Church began as a reform movement within the Methodist Episcopal Church. The first Free Methodists were called 'Nazarites' and proponents sought stricter observance of class meeting rules, simplicity in dress, free seats in church and emancipation for slaves. The movement emerged in the Buffalo, NY area and was led by a graduate of Wesleyan University named Benjamin Titus Roberts. Roberts was not initially interested in starting a separate denomination but relented to the requests of several hundred others. In August, 1860 at Peking, New York, delegates met to form the Free Methodist Church.

James O. Andrew and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

The Civil War divided the country into two separate and largely regional governments – the United States and the Confederate States of America. Union and Confederate sympathizers lived in both the Northern and Southern states throughout the duration of the conflict. The two nations were separated geographically along what has been called the Mason-Dixon Line. Seventeen years earlier, in 1844, American Methodists created their own regional boundaries. The Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South had conferences and churches in both Northern and Southern states, but the divide was a precursor to the later sectionalism established on the eve of the Civil War.

The split within the Methodist Episcopal Church centered primarily on a church law that bishops could not own slaves. James O. Andrew, a bishop from Georgia, was born in 1794. He became a Methodist minister in 1812 and elected bishop in 1832. Andrew inherited several slaves as a result of his first two marriages to Ann McFarlane and Leonora Greenwood. Though Andrew submitted legal papers to demonstrate that the slaves belonged to his wives, he was brought under charge by the 1844 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A debate ensued led by Northern bishops and ministers. Southern clergy wrote a Protest to General Conference claiming that Andrew had not broken any official church laws nor had he been brought to trial by the church.

Andrew's situation helped initiate a move to split the church into two distinct denominations. General Conference voted for a Plan of Separation that eventually led to the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Immediately a history of the new church was written following a planning conference held in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1846 Southern Methodists held their first General Conference. The two Methodist bodies would remain separated long after the Civil War. In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Methodist Protestant Church merged to form the Methodist Church.

Case Four Item Listing

28. Image of Orange Scott



Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

29. Image of Luther Lee

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

30. Scott, Orange, Luther Lee, et al. The Grounds of Secession from the M.E. Church; or, Book for the Times: Being an examination of her connection with slavery, and also her form of government. New York: Published by C. Prindle, for the Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America, 1848


Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

31. Image of James O. Andrew

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

32. Letter from James O. Andrew to Rev. Brother, February 27, 1845

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

33. Journals of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Volume II, 1840, 1844, together with the debates of 1844. New York: Published by Carlton & Phillips, 1855

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

34. History of the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Comprehending all the official proceedings of the general conference; the southern annual conferences, and the general convention; with such other matters as are necessary to a right understanding of the case. Nashville: Compiled and Published by the Editors and Publishers of the South-Western Christian Advocate, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, by Order of the Louisville Convention, William Cameron, Printer, 1845

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

35. Doctrines and Discipline of the Free Methodist Church. Buffalo, New York: Published by B.T. Roberts for the Free Methodist Church, 1862

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

36. First issue of The Free Methodist, published in Rochester, New York, November 2, 1867

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Five (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Domestic and International War Correspondence

Personal diaries and daily journals were used by Methodists to record impressions and perspectives of the war. These entries evidence surprise, suspicion, shock and the mundane of the conflict. The writings also demonstrate how communication was not as instantaneous in the mid-19th century when compared to today's social media dissemination and breaking news accounts. The writings in this case were scribed by ministers, missionaries, and soldiers. They range geographically from Pennsylvania to Mississippi to India.

Case Five Item Listing

37. Diary entry of Reverend Thomas Armstrong Cass, April 13, 1861

Thomas Armstrong Cass Diaries, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

38. Diary entry of Reverend John Lanahan, April 29, 1861

John Lanahan Correspondence, Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

39. Diary entries of Reverend Frederick Krecker, July 3, 1863 and May 18, 1864


Reverend Frederick Krecker Diaries, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

40. Diary entries of George A. Funkhouser, December 9-12, 1863

Funkhouser Family Collection, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

41. Diary entry of Reverend Ira Taylor Walker, May 7, 1864

Ira Taylor Walker Diary, Methodist Collection, Drew University Library Collection

42. Diary entry of Reverend Frederick Krecker, July 3, 1863

Reverend Frederick Krecker Diaries, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

43. Diary entry of Reverend Thomas C. Nixon, April 21, 1865

Thomas C. Nixon Papers, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

44. Diary entry of missionary Amanda Johnson, May 9, 1865

Amanda Johnson Papers, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

45. Photograph album of soldiers from the 68th Indiana Volunteers

Oliver Halstead Family Collection, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church


Case Six (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Influences of Methodists on U.S. Government: Matthew Simpson and Edwin M. Stanton

During the Civil War several Methodists played significant roles in and around Washington, DC. Matthew Simpson, bishop and later trustee at Drew Theological School, interacted regularly with Abraham Lincoln. Simpson was influential in helping Methodists secure appointments in the Union Army and in Government. His long-time friend Clinton B. Fisk, also a later trustee at Drew, asked Simpson to speak with Lincoln concerning a promotion from Colonel to General. Fisk received the promotion. Throughout the war Simpson was vocal in his support of the Union cause. In his War Address he affirms the pre-war wealth of the United States, questions the actions of the Southern leaders and armies and calls his listeners to prayer.

Another influential Methodist served in the U.S. Government during the conflict. Edwin M. Stanton was U.S. Secretary of War from 1862 to 1868. Stanton and Simpson were close friends, and the Secretary helped guarantee Simpson's travels throughout the South following the war. Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Stanton was highly critical of President Andrew Johnson and his handling of Reconstruction in the South. Johnson took exception to this action and attempted to fire Stanton. This action became part of the impeachment hearings of Johnson that resulted in his eventual removal from office.

Abraham Lincoln and the Northern Methodists

In 1864 members of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church wrote a letter of support to Abraham Lincoln. The letter confirmed that the over one million members of the church were devoted to the interests of the Union and promised to support the current government. The Conference was highly critical of the Confederate government and its armies which had committed "the crime of treason" and committed "sin against God." Northern Methodists confirmed that they were praying for the president and for the end of slavery. Lincoln responded to Northern Methodists on May 18, 1864. He lauded members of the Methodist Episcopal Church as devoted Americans who had sent more soldiers, nurses and prayers to God than any other religious tradition.

Edwin Raymond Ames Takes over Southern Churches

Edward Raymond Ames was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Ames had been ordained by Methodist itinerant minister Peter Cartwright in 1830. Both Cartwright and Abraham Lincoln later ran against each other race for the Illinois seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the 1840s Ames worked as a missionary secretary among Native Americans in the American West. Ames was a vocal opponent against slavery. He served as an Army chaplain during the war and was commissioned by Secretary of War Edwin B. Stanton to commandeer houses of worship from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Ministers with Northern sympathies were to be placed in the pulpits throughout the South. Ames traveled throughout the South largely with official written permission from the U.S. Department of War. The manuscript in this case evidences one such order.

Case Six Item Listing

46. Image of Matthew Simpson

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

47. War Speech given by Matthew Simpson, Rockport, Indiana, October 26, 1861

Simpson Collection, Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

48. Letter from Edwin M. Stanton to Commanders of Military Departments, November 24, 1866

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

49. Edward R. Ames manuscript on Federal commission to visit Union Army prisoners-of-war, January 27, 1862 

50. Letter from General Edward D. Townsend to Edward R. Ames, Army Headquarters, District of Memphis, Tennessee, December 22, 1863

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

51. Address of the General Conference to President Lincoln (1864)

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

52. Facsimile Letter from Abraham Lincoln to the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, May 18, 1864

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

53. An Address to Christians throughout the World by a Convention of Ministers, assembled at Richmond, VA, April, 1863. Philadelphia: s.n., 1863.
In April, 1863, a group of Protestant ministers met in Richmond, Virginia, that included representatives from eleven different Christian traditions. Nineteen attendees were leaders from the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The ministers argued that violence against the South to restore the Union was not logical and that moral and religions interests of Southerners should be respected. The document closed with the ministers protesting the "cruel and useless war."

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Seven (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Henry Turner McNeal – Chaplain of the U.S. Army

Henry McNeal Turner was an ordained minister and bishop for the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He founded the work of the AME Church in the state of Georgia and served briefly in the Georgia State Legislature. He authored several books and was founder and editor of the newspapers Southern Recorder and The Voice of the People. Turner actively promoted the African colonization movement and helped organize AME churches in South Africa, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. During the Civil War, Turner organized the First Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops and was appointed chaplain of the regiment by Abraham Lincoln. Turner was the first African American chaplain commissioned by the United States Government.

John L. Lenhart – Naval Chaplain of the USS Cumberland

John L. Lenhart was an ordained minister for the Methodist Episcopal Church. He served New Jersey parishes in Newark, Paterson, and Flemington. In 1847, he was appointed a Chaplain for the U.S. Navy. He worked on several ships including the North Carolina, Brandywine, and Cumberland. In 1862, as Chaplain of the Cumberland, Lenhart was assigned to Virginia and witnessed the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads. Few know that Methodist minister Lenhart was aboard the Cumberland as it was rammed by the Confederate ironclad vessel CSS Virginia the day before its much-publicized battle with the USS Monitor. The Cumberland sank and Lenhart died while helping injured sailors. He is recognized by the U.S. Navy as the first chaplain to die in the line of fire.

Annie Whittenmeyer and the Unites States Christian Commission

The United States Christian Commission (USCC) formed in 1861 as an auxiliary branch of the Young Men's Christian Association. Many Methodist clergy and laity volunteered to serve as the USCC staff. They were assigned to prisons and sent to battlefields to care for soldiers of ground and sea during the Civil War. Appointed members worked collaboratively with Union chaplains and field medical personnel. Annie Whittenmeyer was a Methodist and significant leader of the USCC. She provided oversight to more than two hundred workers, created special dietary kitchens for soldiers, and opened the first kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee, feeding close to two thousand soldiers. She founded several periodicals including The Christian Woman and The Christian Child. Whittenmeyer also served as President of the Woman's National Association (temperance) and established a home in Davenport, Iowa, for war orphans.

Case Seven Item Listing

54. Wright, R.R. The Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Nashville, Tennessee: A.M.E. Sunday School Union, 1963

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

55. Turner, Henry McNeal. The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity, or the Machinery of Methodism. Practically illustrated through a series of questions and answers. Philadelphia: Publication Department, A.M.E. Church, 1889

Methodist Library, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

56. Obituary of Rev. John L. Lenhart. Minutes of the Fifth Session of the Newark Conference, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held at Newton, New Jersey, 1862. New York: George Russell, Printer, No. 79 John Street, 1862

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

57. "Terrific Naval Battle in Hampton Roads," Christian Advocate and Journal, March 13, 1862

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

58. "Letter from Brother Lenhart," Christian Advocate and Journal, May 8, 1862

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

59. Dadmun, John William, and Arthur B. Fuller. Army Melodies; A Collection of Hymns and Tunes, Religious and Patriotic, Original and Selected. Adapted for the Army and Navy. Boston: B.B. Russell, 1861

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

60. South Carolina Annual Conference Appointing Chaplains as Missionaries to Confederate Army. Minutes of the Seventy-Sixth Annual Session of the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. S.l: s.n., 1864

Methodist Library, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

61. Smith, Edward P. Incidents of the United States Christian Commission. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1869

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

62. Matthew Simpson Speech at Last Meeting of Christian Commission, 1866

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

63. Letter from G. Pearce to Brother Phair, Alexandria, Virginia, December 24, 1864

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Eight (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Nationalism, Propaganda and Methodist Tools of War

Promotional tactics are needed to effectively wage war. Speeches, writings, pamphlets, and broadsides help shape conflicts around particular ideologies. Those ideologies need the support and financial contributions of non-combatants. During the Civil War, government, state and local leaders argued for and against the conflict. American Methodists were no exception. Methodist ministers and editors waged war using rhetoric from the pulpit and the press.

Thousands of spoken and published sermons identified of the place of America, the duty of patriotic citizens, and the ways in which Methodist ministers and laity might participate in the conflict. Editors of American periodicals and newspapers used the press to shape the perceptions of war for readers. Several Methodist publications informed readers of the toll of the war on children and called for women as active participants in the promotion and product-building of the war machines, North and South. Articles from the Christian Advocate and Journal, Ladies' Repository, and Methodist Quarterly Review are found this case.

Case Eight Item Listing

64. Haven, Gilbert. The Mission of America; A Discourse delivered before the New England M.E. Conference at the High Street Church, Charlestown, MS [MA], on the occasion of the annual state fast, April 2d, 1863. Boston: J.P. Magee, No. 5 Cornhill, 1863

65. James, Horace. The Christian Patriot: A Sermon. [Worchester, Massachusetts: s.n.], 1861

66. McCarty, Horace. The American Union: A Discourse. Concord, New Hampshire: Fogg, Hadley & Company, Printers, 1862

67. Newhall, Fales Henry. The Duties of Christian Patriotism; A Discourse preached at the M.E. Church, Warren Street, Roxbury, January 4th, 1861. Boston: John M. Hewes, No. 81 Cornhill, 1861

68. Thornwell, J.H. Our Danger and Our Duty. Richmond, Virginia: Soldiers' Tract Association of the M.E. Church, South

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

69. Clark, Davis W. "Our Country: A 4th of July Address"

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

70. "An Appeal to Christian and Patriotic Women upon Their Duties in Relation to the War," Ladies' Repository (August 1862): 492-497

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

71. "War-Influence on Children," Christian Advocate and Journal, May 29, 1862

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

72. Stickland, William Peter. "Methodism and the War." Methodist Quarterly Review XLV (July 1863): 434-455

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Nine (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Methodist Newspapers Report on the War

Methodists throughout the United States learned about the progress of the Civil War through the weekly newspaper. Methodist newspapers offered readers a variety of stories on American politics, local and regional church news, and samples of sermons or theological treatises. Methodist papers also included poetry, advertisements, and obituaries.

During the Civil War, several Methodist weeklies (including newspapers from the Evangelical United Brethren tradition) helped shape the conflict for readers. Samples in this case include articles highlighting divinely-sanctioned Union or Confederate victories. The articles also supplied readers with updates on battles and reports from the battlefield. Some newspapers included the names of those killed in combat.

Case Nine Item Listing

73. "War is Upon Us!" Western Methodist Protestant, Springfield, Ohio, April 24, 1861


Regional newspaper for the Methodist Protestant Church
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

74. "Praise God for Victory" Nashville Christian Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee, August 1, 1861


Regional newspaper for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

75. "Senator Wilson on War" The American Wesleyan, Syracuse, New York, September 18, 1861


Newspaper for the Wesleyan Methodist Church
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

76. "Aus dem Lager bei Sharpsburg, Md" Der Christiliche Botshafter, Cleveland, Ohio, October 25, 1862


German edition newspaper for the Evangelical Association
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

77. "Progress on the War" Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, New York, July 9, 1863

Regional newspaper for the Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

78. "Patriot Dead" The Evangelical Messenger, Cleveland, Ohio, July 27, 1864


Newspaper for the Evangelical Association
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

79. "The End of the Rebellion" The Religious Telescope, Dayton, Ohio, April 12, 1865

Newspaper for the Church of the United Brethren in Christ
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

80. "Assassination of President Lincoln" Zion's Herald and Wesleyan Journal, April 19, 1865


Independent newspaper published by the Boston Wesleyan Association
Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection


Case Ten (United Methodist Archives and History Center Lobby)

Sermons on Death: Abraham Lincoln

Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, ministers throughout the United States wrote sermons eulogizing the slain leader. These followed similar patterns like sermons given the Sundays following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor or the weekend after September 11, 2001. Heroes were made and legends created. These dates live in the memories of many and have been rehearsed. Two copies of the hundreds of sermons proclaimed and published by Methodist ministers are included in this case.

William H. Miles and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church

William Henry Miles was a minister and bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Born into slavery, Miles was freed upon the death of his owner, Mary Miles. In 1855, Miles joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Two years later he was ordained a minister and in 1870 became Bishop for the denomination. Following the Civil War, Black Methodist leaders of the MECS proposed that the denomination create and fund a separate denomination for its African American members. In December, 1870 the first General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church met in Jackson, Tennessee. A newspaper, The Christian Index, was established and later Lane College and Paine College were constructed among other educational institutions. In 1956, the church officially changed its name to the current Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Lincoln Sunday Celebrations

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Methodists held Lincoln Day events at churches throughout the United States. Special programs and services were prepared that included songs, lectures and sermons. The 1918 Methodist Year-book described Lincoln Sunday:
By order of the General Conference each pastor is directed to observe the Sunday nearest to Abraham Lincoln's birthday, in honor of the emancipation of the Negro race from slavery, and to help its further advance into the freedom of Christian service and character.

Souvenirs and Collectables of War

Following the conclusion of the Civil War markets emerged for souvenirs and collectables associated with the conflict. Uniforms that had been worn in battle were preserved. Men and women, many of whom had not fought in the war, studied the conflicts and spent weekends reenacting the lives, and deaths, of Northern and Southern soldiers. On well-worn battlefields celebratory monuments were erected and maps were made detailing the exact locations of the death of military leaders and the positioning of units.

Three examples are included in this case. The first is a collection of imitation Confederate currency. The second is a bullet that has been transformed into a viewer. Users look into the tip of the bullet and view a scene of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The final item is a coloring book from the 1970s that invites children to use crayons to color various uniforms worn during the war.

Case Ten Item Listing

80. Bust of Abraham Lincoln

Drew University Art Collection

81. McClintock, John. Discourse delivered on the Day of the Funeral of President Lincoln, Wednesday, April 19, 1865, in St. Paul's Church, New York. New York: Press of J.M. Bradstreet& Son, 1865

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

82. Post, Jacob. Discourse on the Assassination of President Lincoln, Preached in Camp by Rev. Jacob Post, Chaplain of the 184th Regiment, N.Y.V., at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, April 23d, 1865. Oswego: S.H. Parker & Co., Printers, 1865

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

83. Memorial to Congress from Indiana Conference of the AME Church.
The Twenty-Sixth Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, for the Indiana District. S.l: s.n., 1865

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

84. Image of William H. Miles

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

85. Doctrines and Discipline of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Louisville, Kentucky: Published for the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by W.P. Churchill, Agent, 1874

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

86. The Third Annual Minutes of Colored Georgia Conference, held with the Colored Methodist Church, of Augusta, Georgia, January 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th, 1871. Augusta, Georgia: Georgia Republican Printing Company, 1871

Methodist Library, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

87. Burdens Unbound: A Service of Worship for Use in the Churches on Lincoln Day. [S.l: s.n., 1920-1929]

Methodist Library, Drew University Library Collection

88. Civil War Ordinance: Bullet with Viewer, ca. 1870

Funkhouser Family Collection, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

89. Confederate States of America Souvenir Currency



Funkhouser Family Collection, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church

90. Copeland, Peter F. Civil War Uniforms: Coloring Book. New York: Dover Publications, 1977

Private collection of Christopher J. Anderson