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History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church:
Electronic Edition.

Payne, Daniel Alexander, 1811-1893

Ed. by Smith, C. S. (Charles Spencer), 1852-1923


Funding from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition supported the electronic publication of this title.


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2001.

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Source Description:
(title page) History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Daniel A. Payne
Ed. by C. S. Smith
xvi, 502 p., ill.
Nashville, Tenn.
Publishing House of the A. M. E. Sunday School Union
1891
Call number BX8443 .P28 (Holgate Library, Bennett College, Greenboro, NC)


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Illustration

Rt. Rev. Richard Allen
1st Bishop of the African M. E. Church
[Frontispiece Image]


        

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[Title Page Image]


        

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[Title Page Verso Image]


NOTICE.

        FINDING it impossible to carry out my original intention of publishing THE HISTORY OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH in a single volume, this is to give notice that the present volume will be considered as Volume I., or, THE HISTORY OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH FROM 1816 TO 1856.

        Volume II. is now in course of preparation, and will be issued as soon as possible.

D. A. P.


HISTORY
OF THE
AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH,

BY

DANIEL A. PAYNE, D.D., LL. D.,
One of the Bishops of the A. M. E. Church; Author of "The Semi-Centenary of African
Methodism;" "A Treatise on Domestic Education;" "Recollections of Seventy
Years;" ["]General Conference Sermons."

EDITED BY REV. C. S. SMITH, D. D.

TWO PARTS. IN ONE VOLUME.

ILLUSTRATED.

NASHVILLE, TENN.:
PUBLISHING HOUSE OF THE A. M. E. SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION.
1891.


Page ii

ENTERED, ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS, IN THE YEAR 1891, BY
DANIEL ALEXANDER PAYNE,
IN THE OFFICE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, AT WASHINGTON.


Page iii

PREFACE.

        THE General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, seeing the necessity and desirability of having the history of the rise and progress of the Church set forth clearly and concisely for the benefit of its ministers and members, authorized Rev. George Hogarth, the General Book Steward and editor of the Magazine from 1840 to 1848, to publish a work entitled, "The Rise and Progress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church," with a revision of the life and death of Bishop Allen. Mr. Hogarth, for various reasons, never accomplished the work which had been thus assigned to him. He had frequently called upon the ministers of the Connection to furnish him with the documents, and other data necessary for him to go on with the history, but owing to the general apathy on the subject no response was made to his inquiries, and at the date of his death nothing had been done.

        In the General Conference of 1848 the question of having the history written was again brought up, and by a numerous vote I was invested with the power and work of Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. During the years from 1848 to 1850, following the example of the General Book Steward, Mr. Hogarth, I sent to the various ministers and officers of the Church, asking for the necessary information to enable me to fulfill the duties of my position, but always met with the same result--no notice was taken of my request, and no responses were made.

        Meanwhile, everything I came across having the nature of history was seized and carefully put away. Finally, I perceived that unless I went in search of material, the history would never be written by me. Therefore, I begged Bishop Paul Quinn to release me from pastoral work in order that I might go in search of historical documents and converse with the contemporaries of Bishop Allen and his coadjutors, for many of his intimate friends and advisers were then living. But the Bishop refused, saying: "I will give you a small appointment which you can manage, and at the same time go on in search of what you need." To this I replied: "That is impossible." But the good Bishop persisted, and at the close of the Baltimore Conference of 1850, which sat in Washington, D. C., in April, he sent me out as pastor of the Ebenezer A. M. E. Church, of Baltimore, Md.

        The announcement was made on Monday or Tuesday. The following Friday morning I went to Baltimore, and in the evening met the class-leaders and stewards, of whom I made inquiries concerning the condition of the charge; but to not one of my questions would they give any information. Therefore, I said: "Brethren, why do you not answer my questions?" The chief steward replied: "Dr. Payne, we might as well tell you at once. The people met here last Wednesday and passed a resolution to reject you


Page iv

as their pastor." Said I, "Is that true?" "Yes," he replied, "it is true." Again I demanded, "Is that true?" He said, "Yes." Then I rose, took my hat and cane, saying, "Good-bye, brethren; I shall never cross your threshold again as your pastor. But," said I, "what are your reasons for refusing to have me as your pastor?" He said: "The people say they have no objection to your moral character. They believe you are a Christian gentleman; but they say you have too fine a carpet on your parlor floor, and you won't let them sing the cornfield ditties, and if any one of them should invite you to dine or take tea with him, you are too proud to do it."

        But the Omniscient Head of the church militant and triumphant overruled this rejection of his servant for good, as the sequel shows:

        (a.) Bishop Quinn, having been informed of the fact that I was rejected, visited Baltimore, and urged me to take possession of the pastorate, assuring me that the civil law would protect and defend me in so doing. I replied that I was willing to go wherever the people were willing to receive me, but my own sense of what was right and proper would not allow me to force myself on a people who had formally rejected me.

        (b.) By this adverse occurrence, I was free to travel in search of material for our Church history.

        My searches and researches commenced at Baltimore, and continued up to Portland, Maine; then through Ontario--called at the time "Canada West"--and Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky to St. Louis. Thence I proceeded by steamer to New Orleans, at that time the extreme southwestern point of our field of labor. Returning from New Orleans, I passed through Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and arrived at New York in time to be present at the General Conference held in that city in 1852.

        As Philadelphia was the fountain and headquarters of African Methodism, I expected to obtain the most information in that city, and in this I was not disappointed. Mrs. Adams, the youngest daughter of Bishop Allen, had in her possession a large old trunk which had belonged to the Bishop. To this I obtained access, and upon examination found that it contained the most valuable documents extant which could shed a ray of reliable light upon the early history and character of the illustrious man.

        These documents are the manuscript basis of what is called "The Life, Experience and Gospel Labors of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen." There was also an unbound manuscript entitled, "Articles Improving, Amending and Altering Articles of Association of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, commonly known by the name of Bethel Church, of the city of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by and with the consent of two-thirds of the male members of said church."*

        * This association to regulate and govern the mother church adopted seven articles. It is dated, Philadelphia, the 24th of March, 1817; certified to be lawful by Joseph McKean, Esq., Attorney General, after which the Articles of Association were persued and examined by the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth, and pronounced lawful by Judges Thomas Tilman, Jasper Yeats, Thomas Smith and H. H. Breckenridge; and then ordered to be enrolled by the Governor of the State.



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        The former document contained thirty-seven pages, and was written by Bishop Allen's son, Richard Allen, Jr. The proof of this statement is confirmed by the minutes of the Baltimore Conference for 1818-19, which are also in my possession. The minutes of these two Conferences were written by young Richard, then about fourteen years old. The manuscript of the Philadelphia Conference of 1818 is also in my possession. It was enveloped by a thin pasteboard cover, which is so colored as to imitate conglomerate stone. Being too small for the manuscript, this cover did not give that perfect protection which a larger covering would have furnished. It was labelled on the back:

RICHARD ALLEN,
JOURNAL,
MARCH 13TH, 1826.

        I also obtained from the widow of Rev. Joseph Cox his own journal, as closely kept as that of Bishop Allen--in a pasteboard portfolio. These were the only two personal journals of the "Fathers" that I found in the city of Philadelphia. Brother Cox was a local elder in the mother church, and in mental power excelled all but Joseph M. Corr, who was "General Secretary" for the three Conferences--Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York. Joseph M. Corr was also a local preacher and class-leader, and a tailor by trade. Although he kept the fullest and best minutes of the three Annual Conferences, he kept no journal of his daily private life. Beyond these two journals nothing was found in Philadelphia concerning the beginning of things--nothing but "tradition," and that was contradictory.

        Elder Clayton Durham and Deacon Walter Proctor were associates of Bishop Allen. Good and useful men were they, but illiterate. Bishop William Paul Quinn was also in the city of Philadelphia (1850). Added to these, I found a stalwart layman named Jonathan Tudas, from whom I obtained an interesting account of the convention--not the General Conference, because at that time (1816) there were no Conferences in existence to be represented by a General Conference. There were only separate and independent churches from Baltimore, Md., Wilmington, Del., Attleborough, Pa., and Salem, N. J., which met in Philadelphia, organized a convention, and in that convention organized the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Jonathan Tudas was present, and from his lips I obtained the "tradition" which is given the reader in the second chapter of this history. But before I would accept his narrative as correct, or approaching correctness, I interviewed Clayton Durham, a member of the convention of 1816, and Bishop Quinn, who, like Jonathan Tudas, was present, but not a member--being permitted to see and hear all that was said and done. Walter Proctor was not present, but he had obtained from Allen and Durham all that was said and done. To these three persons I put the following question:


Page vi

        "Can I depend upon any statement made by Jonathan Tudas respecting the sayings and doings of the convention of 1816?" To this interrogation every one of them answered in the affirmative, and assured me that Tudas had a powerful memory, and was a man of unquestionable veracity.

        Leaving Philadelphia, I traveled throughout the whole of the territories embraced by the Connection, including Canada West. From Washington, D. C., I went to Portland, Me., and then from St. Louis to New Orleans and as far West as Iowa City, in search of historical material.

        At every point and in every place I searched as diligently as I did at Philadelphia and Baltimore (for the latter city was as much a fountain and a factor, original and powerful, as the former).

        Every pamphlet, every Conference minute, Quarterly and Annual, with every scrap of paper that threw a ray of light upon the genesis and progress of the Connection was examined and copied, and, whenever permitted, I took possession of it. But after I had seen and gathered all available material, I perceived and recognized the fact that the materials providentially saved were both sparse and poor. Nothing reliable, nothing indisputable had been obtained--nothing but the minutes of Quarterly and Annual Conferences. What, then, could I do? Tax the imagination? Imagination is not history. It is the source of romance. Could I depend upon tradition? Because it is contradictory, it is therefore unreliable. At first it may be like pure water flowing from a pure fountain, but in its passage through ravines, glens and valleys, through bogs, quagmires and swamps, through creeks and rivers into the ocean, it becomes stained, polluted, muddy and filthy, like the waters of the great Mississippi. No, no, no! History can find no firm foundation in tradition. Neither can it in rhetoric, for that often canonizes falsehoods and lies as well as facts and truths.

        Upon, what, then, must history be based? Upon unquestionable official monuments like the pyramids of Egypt--like its obelisks and its Sphynxes, its Karnac, its hieroglyphics--which have been preserved through thirty centuries, and brought down to us the histories of ancient Egypt, once mistress of the world, but now, alas! alas! "the basest of the kingdoms."

        We say that history must also be based upon documents, official and irrefutable. Such are the minutes of our Quarterly and Annual Conferences. They are manuscript and printed documents of the genesis and development of the past. The sayings and doings which they record were recorded because they were sayings and doings; the facts and events which they chronicle are chronicled because they actually occurred, and were attested by those who were eye and ear witnesses of them.

        Official documents, whether correct and accurate, or incorrect and inaccurate, we cannot go beyond. The facts which they record are recorded because they are facts. It is presumed that all statements were examined and sifted before they were accepted and put on record, therefore they are reliable. If such monuments of the past are not to be credited, what is?

        Once more, the correctness and accuracy of a record depends much upon the competency of the chronicler, the secretary, or upon the printer;


Page vii

but neither accuracy nor inaccuracy can destroy the reality of the facts--neither can they annual the events.

        I am now prepared to inform the reader that our first chapters may be called Documentary History, because they are based upon the minutes of the several Annual Conferences. So if it be objected, the fact that the early part of the history of our Church being based upon such scanty material must be taken into consideration. To such objection our reply is: We cannot make that rich whose nature is poor. Should we make the attempt, it would be fiction, not truth. If the "Fathers" have given us sparse minutes, we cannot make them full. They are gone to their eternal rest; we cannot call them back. They have left for us the records of their labors; we have made the best of them--the best possible to us.

        If Bishop Allen, Bishop Morris Brown and Bishop Quinn had kept daily private records of their private and public lives, the first part of our history would have been ten-fold more interesting than it is. If all the secretaries who succeeded Joseph M. Corr had detailed the transactions of the Annual Conferences which were in existence from 1816 to 1840, when the Indiana Conference was organized by Bishop Morris Brown at Blue River, Indiana, our history would have been fuller and more instructive than it is. Up to that date the most detailed minutes are those given us by Joseph M. Corr and Lewis Woodson--the former of Philadelphia, the latter of the Ohio Conference. For beauty of penmanship and detailed entries, David Ware may be ranked with them; but it is my duty to say, as a faithful historian, these three secretaries were really laymen, i. e. local preachers, who obtained their living by secular employments, who, by the civil and ecclesiastical laws, are ruled out of the ranks of the clergy. These facts indicate the illiteracy of the itinerant ministry up to 1844.

        We now remark that the first parts of our history may seem stiff and monotonous, but they are rocks--unchangeable rocks. The Great Teacher, who is also the greatest factor of human history, tells us that a wise man will build his house upon a rock. But the latter part of our history is full of life, because it represents the living times, many of its actors being now on the stage still performing their part in the drama. The materials of our history are now increasing, and becoming rich as well as abundant. They ought to be carefully preserved for the future historian.

        To this end we cannot be too careful in electing secretaries; and the Bishops ought to conscientiously keep their own diaries and journals, both private and official. The presiding elders should be required to do the same, and no one should be a presiding elder who is too illiterate to register his daily work. Then, too, if the pastors will write monographs of the several pastorates which they serve, including men and women noted for their piety, usefulness and faithfulness, we shall have at the celebration of our first centennial, which will occur in 1916, varied, abundant and most valuable materials, wherewith the historiographer of that day shall be enabled to furnish to posterity an instructive history.

        And now, may I not say a word to my readers as to the nature and uses of history?


Page viii

        As regards its nature, one has said, "History is philosophy teaching by example." Let us regard this definition as scientific. As a Christian educator, I shall say, history is a method which God employs to teach us that righteousness exalteth the individual and the nation, and sin is a curse to the individual and to the nation. This definition can be demonstrated by biography as well as by monography and general history. We say, therefore, that the Creator of man teaches him by the course of history, as he does by no other method. History is illustrative and confirmative of the teachings of revelations and the utterances of prophecy.

        What are the uses of history?

        (a.) History may be used to teach man the truth--that there is a Supreme Being above him, behind him and before him, enlightening him, counseling him, and controlling him by limitations of time and power.

        (b.) A second use of history is to teach that the Supreme Being is not a god; but the ALMIGHTY GOD, the All-Wise. Good, holy, infinite in all his attributes, he is the God who both causes and permits human actions, be they intellectual activities, moral sensibilities, or movements of the will, causing only the good, and permitting the bad.

        (c.) A third use of history is to teach man that God is the supreme, absolute, irresistible factor of history. "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" (Isaiah xiv. 26, 27.)

        "When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only." (Job xxxiv. 29.)

        Indeed, all the prophets from Moses to Malachi teach us the truth that God is the absolute factor of history. And the teachings of Jesus and the apostles go beyond them, as revealing the Omnipotent Hand in human history, individual and universal.

        History, both sacred and secular, reveals another startling, I may say, appalling truth--that good angels and good men are co-operating factors with God, on the one side; while bad men and bad angels are co-operating factors with Satan, on the other side. Behold the contending factors of history!

        So, also, history shows that God deals with his Church as he deals with the state. Both prosper and perpetuate their existence as they observe, reverence and keep his commandments, his statutes and his judgments--both fall under his indignation and are destroyed as they disobey him and contemn his commandments, his statutes and his laws. Sacred history abounds with examples illustrating and confirming these statements we have just made.

        Lastly, both sacred and secular, sometimes called profane history, show that Churches, as well as states, monarchies and empires, are limited by divine power; that when their time expires no human or divine agency can prolong their existence, and that the invisible power brings them to a final end.


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        The antediluvian Church seems to have had no organic form, but we see stars of the first magnitude shining in its firmament--stars such as Abel and Seth, Enoch and Noah. This inorganic four was useful for the antediluvian age. When that age expired it passed away forever.

        Out of the flood and the ark, which sailed upon its bosom, came Noah and his sons as new seed for a new state and a new Church. From the three rescued brothers, the eldest, Shem, was chosen, and of his immediate descendants Abraham was selected as the root of that divine tree which God the Father ordained to become the Tree whose juices and leaves and fruit are for the healing of nations. It assumed two successive outward forms: the Patriarchal, then the Mosaic or Jewish. The first was very simple; the second, very complex and gorgeous. Both continued performing their functions for ages, then each was displaced and gave way to a nobler one. Mark well, each of these was racial. Then came the noblest of them all--called at Antioch the Christian, but styled by the Prince of the Apostles, "The Church of the Living God;" non-racial, therefore, to stand forever on earth till she shall conquer all the races, make them one in Christ Jesus, then ascend into the heaven of heavens, or become "The New Jerusalem," whose foundations are eternal, whose inhabitants are the sinless. This Christian Church, which St. Paul styles the Church of the Living God, is universal and invisible--embracing all the saints on earth and all the saints in heaven. The different denominations may be compared to so many regiments in the "Grand Army," each of which makes and writes its own history.

        Believing as we do that the African Methodist Episcopal Church is one of the regiments of the grand division of the "Grand Army," and that she has to make and write her own history, we humbly present the following pages as preserved sheets of history already made and still developing. May the reading and studying of these preserved sheets contribute to the intellectual, moral and spiritual edification of its laity and clergy, stimulating their continuous growth in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, "be blessing and glory, and wisdom and honor, and power and might, forever given." Amen and amen.

D. A. P.


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Page xiii


Page 1

PART FIRST.

CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTORY REFLECTIONS.

        Three Points of History--The Historian's Task--Its Fulfillment--In Civil Life and Ecclesiastical Life--Churches and Conferences--Pastors and Flocks--Remarkable Men and Women--Bishops--A Perfect History of the Redeemer's Church.

        IN all history there exists the necessity of three great points, and without these being brought forward and cleared of all superincumbent affairs which do not accord with them, no properly written history or accurate knowledge can be obtained. The first of these three points, which must be brought out clearly before the mind, is the actual facts--facts which will stand the severest test and bear the truth upon their face. The next point of importance is the judicial weighing of this testimony--the patient unraveling of the tangled skein; the gathering up of the broken ends and the piecing of the fragments and bringing them into a harmonious whole. To do this, we are required to make inquiries into the nature of things--the condition of affairs which led to the ultimate consummation of what took place--or in other words, Why did the facts, which we know to have occurred, so occur? There must have been some reason for events shaping themselves in the way they did. The third great question before us is the results following such a course of events. In the performance of this duty, the historian, if he will faithfully perform his duty, has no easy work before him. It is his obligation not only to exhibit facts as they are and occurrences as they were; the character of private and public men as their conduct manifested it; to tell of governments and the principles by which they developed themselves; of legislators and the laws which emanated from them; but also to show the effects of these upon the people among whom they obtained, both in times of peace and warfare; to trace their influence upon surrounding nations


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and the influence of surrounding nations upon them, until they have reached the climax of their prosperity; depicting their virtues and vices in the most graphic manner, extolling the one and denouncing the other; thus following the subjects of his story from infancy to old age and from the cradle to the grave of their national existence, bringing to light the invisible hand of the God of nations which led them through all their vicissitudes, now exalting them on account of their virtues and then casting them down because of their vices. Thus does he fulfill his difficult task--teaching mankind by living and striking examples that "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." This is the business of him who writes a history of man in civil life. Similar is the work of him who writes of man in ecclesiastical life.

        May the Great Head of the Church help us to write concerning the African Methodist Episcopal Church as a faithful historian--as one who will not be warped by envy, bribed by gold, nor awed by power. In the execution of the task allotted to us by the General Conference of 1848, we shall describe the most prominent churches and the respective Conferences and show how the one became the legitimate offspring of the other. We shall portray the life and character of the pastors as far and as well as materials will admit. We will show the general character of the flocks and the particular characters of the most remarkable men and women among them. We shall portray the characters of the Bishops and the ministers in general, holding up to public admiration the local preachers who distinguished themselves either by their piety, their talents or their usefulness. We shall show how the several General Conferences were constituted; how these Conferences maintained their intellectual character by their respective enactments; and how these enactments affected the character of the churches for weal or for woe. We shall also give the history of the Fine Arts--architecture, music, painting and poetry--as cultivated by members of the A. M. E. Church. Moreover, we shall give a view of its doctrines and government. The History of the Redeemer's Church cannot be perfect till this is written. Mankind cannot know it as a whole till they shall have read this history.


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CHAPTER II.
PRELIMINARY CAUSES OF ORGANIZATION.

        Bethel in Baltimore or Bethel in Philadelphia--The Baltimore Church Possesses the Older Documents of History--Testimony of Rev. David Smith and Rev. Richard Allen--General Conference of the Methodist Church in 1784-1787--Unkind Treatment of Colored Members in Philadelphia--Bishop Allen Consecrates the First Bethel--The Colored People Disowned as Methodists.

        WHETHER Bethel Church in Baltimore or Bethel Church in Philadelphia is the first born, has been contested. Some of the oldest among our ministers and among our laity contend that the Baltimore church was first organized; others, that the Philadelphia church had a prior origin. Whether the former church is entitled to be considered the oldest church of the Connection or not may be forever a disputed point in the history of our Church, but it is undisputed that the first record of any of the proceedings of the rulers and fathers of the A. M. E. Church is dated from that city, and the testimony of Rev. David Smith, one of the early pioneers of our ministry, corroborated by a letter written by the Rev. Richard Allen on February 18th, 1816, is to the effect that the separation of the Church in Baltimore took place three weeks before the lawsuit in Philadelphia which forever released us from the oppression that really brought about our Church freedom.

        But then again, while the Baltimore Conference can produce older documents touching its history than can be found concerning the Philadelphia Conference, by at least four years, the priority would seem to belong to Philadelphia on the grounds that the church there can produce written records of her origin dating farther back than any discovered in Baltimore.*

        * Of course we are now speaking of these Churches as independent societies, antecedent to their becoming integral parts of the A. M. E. Church.


But, be this as it may, the preliminary causes which led to the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church are to be found in what follows:

        In 1784, the Rev. John Wesley ordained the Rev. Thomas Coke, LL. D. (a member of Jesus College, in the University of Oxford) for the office of Bishop, and sent him over to


Page 4

this country to organize the various societies of Methodists then existing chiefly in the cities of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, into an ecclesiastical association. These societies were planted in America through the agency of certain local preachers from Ireland, the chief of whom were Philip Embury in New York and Robert Strawbridge, who having emigrated to Frederick county in the state of Maryland, therein preached and formed societies. In the month of December and on the 25th day in the year above mentioned, all the societies founded in America by Methodist preachers were consolidated into one body by the General Conference held in the city of Baltimore, Bishop Coke presiding, assisted by Bishop Asbury. The latter was ordained by the former.

        About three years after this organization of the M. E. Church, the colored members of that body in the city of Philadelphia, suffering from the "unkind treatment of their white brethren, who considered them a nuisance in the house of worship," met for the purpose of canvassing their wrongs and devising means to remedy the same. The result of this meeting was the determination to erect a house of worship wherein they could worship God under their own "vine and fig-tree." In their efforts to accomplish this object they met with great opposition from Elder J. McC----,who declared if they did not give up the building, erase their names from the subscription paper, and make proper acknowledgements, they should be publicly expelled. Conscious of their rights as men and Christians, and of the rectitude of their motives, they regarded not the mandate of the reverend gentleman and sent in their resignations. While in this condition the Lord raised up friends to counsel and assist them, in the persons of many of the most respectable and influential white citizens, the chief of whom were Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. R. Ralston. Bishop White was also among their illustrious benefactors, for he ordained the Rev. Absalom Jones to be their pastor, who of course was ordained according to the Protestant Episcopal Church.

        In 1793, the numbers of the serious people of color having increased, they were of different opinions respecting the mode of religious worship, and as many felt a strong partiality for that adopted by the Methodists, Richard Allen, with the advice


Page 5

of some of his brethren, proposed the erection of a place of worship on his own ground and at his own expense, as an African Methodist meeting-house. This movement was violently opposed by the preachers of the M. E. Church, who also insisted that the house should be made over to the Conference. The building was soon finished and Bishop Asbury by invitation consecrated it to the service of the Most High. The house was called Bethel, after the example and, I trust, in the spirit of Jacob.

        It was now proposed by the resident Elder (J. McC----) that they should have the church incorporated that they might receive any donations or legacy as well as enjoy any other advantages arising therefrom. This was agreed to, and in order to save expense, the Elder proposed to draw it up for them. But they soon found that he had done it in such a manner as to entirely deprive them of the liberty they expected to enjoy. In this condition they suffered grievances both numerous and painful. Sometimes demanding the keys, at other times declaring they should have no more meetings without his permission, the Rev. J. S---- thus embarrassed them until they were driven by force of circumstances to ask legal advice. This led the congregation to sign a petition to the Legislature of Pennsylvania for a supplement to their deed, which petition that body readily granted. This liberated them from numerous difficulties, but did not drive their opponents from the field. In order to adjust matters, they proposed supplying them with preaching, if they would give six hundred dollars per year to the Methodist Society. The congregation refused to give so large a sum, and the preacher proposed to serve for four hundred; but this also they refused to give, whereupon the preachers agreed to preach twice a week during the year for two-hundred dollars. But it proved to be only six or seven times a year that they were served with preaching and then, sometimes, by such preachers as were not acceptable to the people and not in much esteem among the Methodists as preachers. Our people being displeased with such treatment, compelled the trustees to resolve to give but one-hundred dollars per year to the preachers. When a quarterly payment of the last sum was tendered it was refused and sent back, the two hundred dollars being insisted upon or they would preach no more.


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        The authorities of the church then waited upon Bishop Asbury and requested him to furnish them with a preacher, promising to give him ample support, provided he would do all the duties of a pastor. The Bishop said he did not think there was more than one preacher belonging to the Conference who could attend to those duties, and that was Richard Allen. The Bishop was again informed that the people would pay a preacher four or five hundred dollars a year if he would perform all the duties incumbent on his office. He replied, "We will not serve you on such terms." Sometime after this interview with Bishop Asbury, Elder S. R---- declared that if the supplement were not repealed, neither he nor any of the preachers, itinerant or local, would preach for our people any more. At length the preachers and stewards of the Academy offered to serve them on the same terms which had been made to the preachers of St. George's Church. This proposition was acceded to and then they had preaching for about twelve months, after which they demanded one hundred and fifty dollars per year. This sum was refused and they declined to preach any more. The local preachers of the Academy were also threatened with expulsion if they dared to serve our people. About this time the elder of the Academy published a circular letter, in which our people were disowned as Methodists. A house was also fitted up, not far from Bethel, and an invitation was given to all who desired to be Methodists to resort thither; but being disappointed in this plan, the resident elder of St. George's went to Bethel and insisted on preaching to them and taking the spiritual charge, declaring that he would do so because they were Methodists. Being told that he should come on some terms with the trustees, he replied that he did not come to consult with Richard Allen nor the trustees, but to inform the congregation that on the next Sunday he would come and take charge of them, to which reply was made that he could not preach for them under such circumstances. At the appointed hour, however, the said elder went to Bethel, but the people had so obstructed the aisle of the church that he could get but halfway to the pulpit; meanwhile one of our number was occupying it. Finding himself thwarted, he appealed to those who came with him as witnesses that, "That man," meaning the preacher in the pulpit, had taken his appointment, after


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which he departed. The next elder stationed at Philadelphia was R. B----, who, following the example of his predecessor, came and published a meeting for himself; but the afore-mentioned precaution having been taken, he went away without effecting the object desired. In consequence of this disappointment he applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus. This brought on a law-suit, which ended in favor of Bethel. Thus we were delivered, forever delivered, as well from a distressing and expensive law suit as from our oppressors.

        About this time the colored people in Baltimore and other places were treated in a similar manner as in Philadelphia, and rather than go to law, chose to seek places of worship for themselves. This constrained the Philadelphians to call a General Convention in April, 1816, to form an Ecclesiastical Compact. At this Convention, Bishop Quinn--then a lad of about eighteen or nineteen years of age--was present, but not a member. Brother Jonathan Tudas was also present, but not a member. Between the two, the writer was enabled to make out the list of members in attendance at this Convention--there never having been any printed minutes, and the manuscript being lost, there were no other sources of information except among the fathers of the Church who were living in 1850. The testimony of Jonathan Tudas does not differ materially from that already stated, except that he gives the incident which led directly to the proclamation shutting out our people from the M. E. Church. A woman was accused and convicted of adultery. Immediately after love-feast she reported to the preacher in charge of St. George's Church that she had been unlawfully and unjustly expelled; whereupon he sent her to Richard Allen with this message, substantially, that he must restore her back to membership. This Mr. Allen stated could not be done. The preacher then filled out a love-feast ticket and bade her take it to the keeper of the door, stating that he would not dare refuse her admission; but she met the refusal, nevertheless, in the reply that if Mr. R----, the preacher himself, should come presenting the ticket with her name, he should not enter. Because of this Mr. Allen took the deed of the church to proper parties, who told him that according to the letter and spirit of the deed, Mr. R---- could lock up the church against him, and that he could prevent this only by having a supplement to


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the deed. This was drawn up immediately, and acknowledged by the Judges of the Supreme Court. It was then confirmed by the authorities at Lancaster, the seat of government, where it was sent. Mr. R---- in the meantime tried to see the deed but was put off by Richard Allen, who appointed the day upon which he could obtain it, and then handed to the discomfited preacher the supplement. "Well, then," said Mr. R----, "I suppose you think you have done it!" On the following Sabbath he published from the pulpit of St. George's Church, that Richard Allen and his adherents were no longer members of the M. E. Church.

        After the failures to abide by what had been promised in the way of preaching for us, and the consequent refusal of the Quarterly Conference to pay for what had not been done, Brother Tudas gives us the details of the next step: Then Mr. Emory fitted up a house at the corner of Third and Lombard streets. Robert Green, a colored man, also bought a house, where in 1851, St. Mary's Street Church stood, and invited the members of Bethel who wished to be Methodists to come there, at the same time telling them he would sell Bethel. Doubting which would have pre-eminence, the supplement or the deed, he made his fears known to the people. Then the trustees and congregation agreed to secure the property for the use of our people by giving Mr. Allen a bond-mortgage upon it, as he held a claim of $6,300 against it. The church had also borrowed about $4,000 from him and was indebted to him, aside from this for his services as a pastor, to the amount of $1,400. Mr. Allen's claims, therefore, amounted to $11,700. The house was put up for sale, Mr. Green bidding against Mr. Allen who bought it in for $10,500. Such were the causes that brought about the origin of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Does it need the eye of a philosopher to see the hand of God in all this? We have often been blamed for our separate organization, and our fathers have been blamed for bringing about that organization. The blame is as unjust as it is cruel. Let it be fastened upon those who pulled our fathers from their knees as they humbly bowed themselves in the sanctuary to worship that God who has, declared himself to be no respecter of persons. Let the censure fall with ten-fold weight upon the heads of those who still perpetuate invidious distinctions in the house of the Living God.


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CHAPTER III.
RESULTS OF SEPARATION FROM THE M. E. CHURCH.

        Beneficial Results to the Colored Men--Colored Members of the A. M. E. Church--A Comparison--One-fourth Colored in 1792--The African Methodist Church a Slander--Self Government--Self Support--Proof of Its Ability.

        AS to the result of this separation from the Methodist Episcopal Church, permit us to remark that it has been really beneficial to the man of color. First: It has thrown us upon our own resources and made us tax our own mental powers both for government and support: For government--viewed in the light of official responsibility--when we were under the control of the M. E. Church we were dependent upon them for our ministerial instructions. They supplied our pulpits with preachers, deacons and elders, and these in the vast majority of instances were white men. Hence if the instructions given were of the right kind, the merit was the white man's and his alone; so also, if the manner of instruction was pleasing, the merit was the white man's and his alone. The colored man was a mere hearer.

        Again: we were dependent upon them for government. Not only were the presiding elders and preachers in charge all white men, but in a multitude of instances the very class leaders were also white. So then, if the churches among the colored people were well governed, the merit was the white man's and his alone. The colored man was a mere subject.

        But, again: Although the colored members of the M. E. Church always supported to their utmost ability the institutions of the Connection, yet because their white brethren were so vastly in the majority, that support which was so cheerfully and cordially given could not be felt. This was not only true of us when we formed a constituent element of the M. E. Church, but it is equally true to-day of our colored brethren who still continue in connection with it. In the southern states the colored members of the M. E. Church are numerous. In 1792 all the colored members of that church amounted to 13,871. In 1815, the whole number was 43,187. In 1828, the whole number was


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54,065. In 1840, it was 87,197. The whole number in the M. E. Church ran thus:

        
Year. Whites. Colored.
1815 167,978 43,187
1828 327,932 54,065
1840 650,357 87,197
1845 1,024,466 145,435

        Since the division of the M. E. Church, which took place in 1844, the statistics of both Churches throw the colored and Indian members into one and the same column, so that is is impossible to know from the tables before us the whole number of colored members belonging to the M. E. Church, North and South. But from this it will be seen that in 1792 the number of the colored members constituted but about one-fourth of the whole Methodist fellowship in the states. In 1828, about thirteen years after, it constituted still about one-fourth. In 1840, about twelve years later, it formed less than one-seventh of the whole Church, and in 1845, it formed about one-tenth. So, viewed in whatever light you please, the existence of the colored man as a factor of the M. E. Church, always was, still is, and ever must be a mere cipher. The tendency of all this was to prove that the colored man was incapable of self-government and self-support and thereby confirm the oft repeated assertions of his enemies, that he really is incapable of self-government and self-support. But is not the existence of the African Methodist Episcopal Church a flat contradiction and triumphant refutation of this slander, so foul in itself and so degrading in its influence? For the last seventy years a period of more than seven-tenths of a century, it has been governing itself and supporting itself. Being compelled to teach others, its ministry has been constrained to teach itself. This has caused them to seek knowledge on the right hand and on the left. It has forced them to implore and explore earth and heaven for information that they might be able to lead the erring souls of men from the one to the other. Compelled to govern others, its ministry has been constrained to read and investigate church history for models of government. They have also been led to cogitate for themselves; to discriminate between laws which were just, and those which were unjust; to expunge


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from the statutes of the Church those which were unequal in their bearings and to substitute those of a more equable character, so that the blood-washed flock of Christ might walk before him in all peace and quietness, feeling that the ecclesiastical yoke and burdens are both easy and light.

        The ability of our Church (as a distinct branch of the Christian family) to provide for itself, even in its early life, can also be clearly demonstrated by the following facts: Within the twelve years from 1841 to 1853, the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church built, and also rebuilt, three churches in the city of Philadelphia, one of which cost about $16,000, the other over $6,000 and the third about $5,000. In the same period we built and remodelled two churches in the city of Baltimore, one of which cost about $16,000. In the same period we built one in the city of Pittsburgh at the cost of about $10,000. At the same time we built one in Cincinnati, one in Washington, D. C., and one in New Orleans--the first at a cost of $10,000.

        Compelled to support their own institutions, our members have learned to economize and to forecast as they never could or would, had they remained in connection with their white brethren. Does any man require the proofs of these assertions? Let him go to all these cities, to New York, to St. Louis, to Nashville, and others as well. There he will see the commodious and beautiful edifices which have been constructed and dedicated by ourselves to the worship of Almighty God--edifices varying in their costs from $3,000 to $60,000. Let him go to Philadelphia and see our Book Concern, where our hymn books, disciplines and weekly papers are published, which, though in a very imperfect and infant state, give every evidence of an intellect that is at work for itself, and for its own development Let him go to our Sunday-School Publishing House in Nashville, where our own Sabbath-school literature is issued and publications brought forth. Let him go to our several seats of learning--to Wilberforce, near Xenia, O., to Allen University at Columbia, S. C., to Paul Quinn College at Waco, Texas, to Morris Brown College at Atlanta, Ga.--there he will see our children and our youth under the culture of educated men and women giving the pledge of minds that will in the development of mature powers, cause the world to know that they lived and lived to good purpose.


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Let him visit our churches where he may often hear preachers, who by their native talents or literary acquirements (and sometimes both) demonstrate to the most prejudiced hearer that the man of color can think for himself and guide the sacramental host into the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of Christ.

        Secondly and lastly: The separation of our Church from the M. E. Church, which was brought about by the agency of our venerated fathers, the Rev. Richard Allen of Philadelphia and Rev. Daniel Coker of Baltimore, has been beneficial to the man of color by giving him an independence of character which he could neither hope for nor attain unto, if he had remained as the ecclesiastical vassal of his white brethren. This is evident from the training which the force of circumstances has given us. These circumstances have been such as to produce independent thought; this has resulted in independent action; this independent action has resulted in the extension of our ecclesiastical organization over nearly all of the States and also into Canada; this ecclesiastical organization has given us an independent hierarchy, and this independent hierarchy has made us feel and recognize our individuality and our heaven-created manhood.


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CHAPTER IV.
ORGANIZATION OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH.

        The Order of the Plan--Election of a Bishop--Daniel Coker Elected--He Declines--Richard Allen Chosen--Bethel Church made a Separate Charge--Weak Financial Condition--Our Exact Fathers.

        IT has been already intimated that the question is not settled relative to the parent churches in Philadelphia and Baltimore, whether the latter had a separate and distinct origin before the former or not. But in pursuing this narrative we purpose for the sake of order and convenience to commence with the churches farthest South and trace them northward; with the churches farthest East, and trace them westward; with the Baltimore Conference first, not only because its written proceedings date beyond the doings of any other, but also because its annual deliberations have always been prior to those of the others, so that its official documents annually date first.

        As to the organization itself of the A. M. E. Church, we must return to the Ecclesiastical Compact formed by the General Convention in 1816. Forced to take this step, the delegates assembled from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., Attleborough, Pa., and Salem, N. J. But sixteen names have been handed down to us as participating in the deliberations of the Convention. The names in the following list were given by Bishop Quinn and Brother Jonathan Tudas, who were present but not participants, as previously stated:

        FROM BALTIMORE:--Rev. Daniel Coker, Rev. Richard Williams, Rev. Henry Harden, Mr. Edward Williamson, Mr. Stephen Hill, Mr. Nicholas Gilliard.

        FROM PHILADELPHIA:--Rev. Richard Allen, Rev. Clayton Durham, Rev. Jacob Tapsico, Rev. James Champion, Mr. Thomas Webster.

        FROM WILMINGTON, DEL.:--Rev. Peter Spencer.

        FROM ATTLEBOROUGH, PA.:--Rev. Jacob Marsh, Rev. William Anderson, Rev. Edward Jackson

        FROM SALEM, N. J.:--Reuben Cuff.

        The men most distinguished in the Convention, were Richard


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Allen, Daniel Coker and Stephen Hill; and to the counsels and wisdom of the last named, more than to any other man, the Church was indebted for the form it took.

        The most important thing that was done was, of course, the organization of the Connection. The speeches which were made in this important Convention are lost to the Church and to posterity, but the following is the resolution under which the Church was organized:

        "Resolved, That the people of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and all other places, who should unite with them, shall become one body under the name and style of the African Methodist Episcopal Church."

        The next thing of importance was the election of a Bishop. The votes being polled, Rev. Daniel Coker was declared the Bishop-elect on the 9th of April, 1816. On the 10th he resigned, or rather, declined the office, and Rev. Richard Allen was chosen in his stead, and was therefore consecrated the Bishop of the A. M. E. Church on the 11th of April, 1816. The next important thing done was to make it constitutional that any minister coming from another denomination should be received in the same official standing which he held in the Church or denomination whence he came. This then was the origin of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Poor and lowly, an outcast and despised of men, it thus feebly entered into being; but with a manifest destiny of greatness which has been unmistakably developing for over three quarters of a century.

        The churches in the city of Baltimore were planted by the Rev. Daniel Coker. The first record of the proceedings of this Conference is dated April 7th, 1818--the first documentary evidence of its existence. It was opened in the house of Mr. Samuel Williams--a fine two-story building, standing in 1843--in Baltimore, under the presidency of Rev. Richard Allen. The minutes of that Conference present to us a very meager number of representatives--Rev. Richard Allen, Rev. Jacob Tapsico and Rev. William Cousins being the representatives of the Philadelphia churches; and Rev. Richard Williams, Rev. Henry Hardin, Charles Pierce, James Fowsin, Jerry Miller, William Quinn and Thomas Robinson representing Baltimore. These were afterwards joined by others as the Conference continued its sittings from day to day.


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        The first transaction we find taken up was a charge brought by James Cole against Daniel Coker. Before a committee was appointed to examine this charge, the following resolution was passed:

        Resolved, That no business of a secret nature referred to a committee shall be taken out of the Conference, and if reported out of the Conference by any member, they shall forfeit all their official functions for one year, and shall not obtain their license until they give proper satisfaction to the Annual Conference


        Why this resolution was necessary we have no means of knowing at this late day, but the wisdom of such a proceeding can hardly be doubted[.]

        A committee consisting of Jacob Tapsico, Richard Williams and Edward Williamson was appointed to hear the report and try the case. This committee met at the house of Don Carlos Hall on the 8th, and on the 10th of April reported to the Conference that it had found the charge proven and Daniel Coker guilty. In the meantime another committee had been appointed to examine the work of the trial committee and, after due examination, concurred in the verdict and Daniel Coker was expelled from the Connection. Whatever may have been the sin with which he was charged, and whatever the evidence produced against him, the whole Conference appears to have been satisfied of the justness of his sentence. Two members of the Conference do not appear to have participated in the case: these were Bishop Allen and Elder William Quinn.

        Daniel Coker had shown himself to be eminently useful, and to his talents and activity the infant Connection was largely indebted for the progress it had made. On that account the two non-participants deeply sympathized with him although we have no record of that sympathy being in any way expressed. In view of his former usefulness to the Connection and the disadvantages under which it might have to labor from his absence from its work and councils, we cannot but admire the stern resolve of this body, which dispensed with all the advantages it might otherwise receive, in order to carry out the principles of right and justice, in order to keep itself pure and free from everything which might militate against its advancement in the cause of the Lord; which cut off every one who by any course of conduct might retard that work, or give rise to offence, no matter


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what the cost might be. It would be well if this course were followed more at the present day and less attention paid to expediency than to right.

        This Conference decided that two deacons were sufficient to present for ordination at present and two were recommended and ordained: Charles Pierce and Edward Waters. The last named was admitted at this time as a regular member of the Annual Conference. Richard Williams and Henry Harden were elected to elder's orders. In the line of progress we find it unanimously agreed upon to lay before the Society the building of a Church on the Point, and a committee was appointed to view the site for the purpose. None had died or withdrawn, and, save in the sad case of Daniel Coker, no charges were preferred against any of the members. There were 1,066 members in the Society reported. The services of the Secretary were recognized by the appropriation of five dollars to pay for the same. This was as it should be. We have already seen how much is lost to the Church by the neglect of the General Convention of 1816, in not preserving its records.

        It was different with the Conference of 1818. Here we find the minutes replete with the details of every transaction entered into; and these really give us the first view of how our fathers carried on the business of the different things committed to their charge. These minutes are written in a careful, clear hand and although the work of a mere lad, they show a striking adaptability for the work. The penmanship is that of Richard Allen, Junior, son of Bishop Allen. He was neither a member of the Annual Conference nor a member of the Church, if we are rightly informed. It is supposed that he was employed as the Secretary, because he was the best scholar that the Conference could obtain. He was then about fifteen years of age. Bishop Allen and the Baltimore Annual Conferences of 1818 and 1819 (for the lad was made Secretary of both) exhibited a degree of common sense and sound judgment which many of the Conferences and leading men of our times will do well to consider and imitate. Better have a boy who can do a thing as it ought to be done, than a man who cannot.

        This was the first characteristic of this Conference, and the second was the election of a Book Steward. In this the members


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"builded better than they knew," and laid the foundation of an institution, which since that time has continued to grow in power and influence. Possibly no man in the Conference had any conception of what he was doing to promote the influence and power of the Church, when he voted for the simple resolutions that a book steward be appointed and that Don Carlos Hall receive the appointment.

        In this selection also there was wisdom. This Don Carlos Hall, who was promoted by the Annual Conference to this office, was not a traveling preacher nor a local preacher, but an intelligent layman. He was appointed because he was best qualified, and this selection of the Baltimore Conference demonstrated the soundness of their judgment. It will be wise for the Annual Conferences of the present hour to follow so good an example. Where there cannot be found an itinerant preacher qualified to fill an office involving labor of such a character, let a local preacher possessing the needed qualifications be employed; and when neither itinerant nor local preacher is competent, let a layman be placed in the position. Indeed, the more we employ laymen to fill such positions, the better for the entire Church. At the same time Henry Harden was appointed book steward for the circuit.

        The good resulting from having printed minutes for reference moved the Conference, for it almost unanimously decided to print one thousand copies, the work being left in the general superintendent's hands and to be performed in Philadelphia, the Conference providing for his expenses.

        We find that three--Richard Williams, Henry Harden and Charles Pierce--were nominated to go to the Philadelphia Conference, with an appropriation of fifteen dollars each for their expenses. They were exact--these fathers in the early Church, for even a small sum was paid for the use of the room in which the Conference carried on its deliberations, though it was in a private house; and they were careful as well, for we find directions for providing a trunk for the Conference papers. At this Conference Bethel Church was separated from the circuit and made a separate charge. The financial condition of the Conference was not very strong, although apparently it had the balance on the right side, as the total receipts were $437.90 and the expenditures,


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including everything, $344.05. After resolving that the next Conference, that of 1819, be held in Baltimore, the Conference of 1818 adjourned April 14th.

        Two things characterize this Conference. First, it is the first Conference of which we have any record. The meeting in 1816, although of the utmost importance in the history of the Church, left no records behind it in a tangible form. The whole of the evidence of its existence, apart from the fact that the independent churches there united to form the A. M. E. Church, is wholly dependent upon statements made verbally. It is true the witnesses are reliable men; but at best, all are liable to error. If any Conference was held in 1817, no knowledge of it whatever is obtainable. It is probable some meeting or Conference was held, but of what may have been said or done we have no means of knowing. The important characteristic we have already emphasized--the beginning of what has since proved to be one of the most important offices of the Connection--the office of book steward and the wisdom of the choice of Don Carlos Hall, which future events fully verified.


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CHAPTER V.
BALTIMORE CONFERENCES, 1820-21-22.

        Conference of 1820--Twenty-one Members Present--Their Names--Conference of 1821--Local Preachers Admitted to Seats in Annual Conference--A General Rule Adopted--Conference of 1822--Bishop Allen Makes an Address--A Long Debate in Reference to Western Territory--An Assistant Bishop Elected.

        THE Baltimore Annual Conference of 1818 opened with ten members, some of whom were from the Philadelphia District. The Conference of 1820, about which we are now to write, opened with twenty-one members, showing an increase of eleven, some of whom, as in the first instance, were also from Philadelphia. The names of the men were as follows:

        Rev. Jacob Matthews acted as secretary.

        Again the reader is asked not to forget that Mr. Don C. Hall, marked here and mentioned as steward, and who had distinguished himself in all the preceding Conferences, was not a clergyman, but yet he participated in all the business of the Conference, moving resolutions and voting for them--in a word, leading on the affairs of the Church, and giving character to them. The Conference of this year was held at his house, a private dwelling. Such also was the case with the first session, in 1818. It was held in a private dwelling, that of Mr. Samuel Williams, while that of 1819 was in the sanctuary.

        Two persons were admitted on trial, John White and Joseph Chane; James Cole was ordained a deacon; David Smith, Charles Pierce, and Edward Waters were ordained elders.


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        Henry Hardin and David Smith were paid by the steward of the Annual Conference twenty-four dollars for their expenses to the Philadelphia Conference.*

        * The Conference minutes show that Richard Allen, Jr. is no longer the secretary of the Annual Conference. Rev. Jacob Mathews fills the office. As in the case of young Allen, he is brought from Philadelphia; but, although a man, as secretary he is not the equal of young Allen, in either writing or recording.


        While there was little or no business of particular interest to us, aside from learning that the number in Society was 1,202, we find in two instances how utterly futile were the "Ways and Means" adopted by the Conference of 1819 to prevent the dreaded "discord, schisms, tattling and tale-bearing."

        The next year (1821) the Conference met as usual in the same city, and was opened on the 14th of April, in the church located in Saratoga street, near Gay. Bishop Allen was in the chair. There were several things done at this Conference worthy of note. Boundaries were enlarged, and business of importance dispatched.

        The eastern shore of Maryland was incorporated in the bounds of the Baltimore Conference under a motion made by Rev. Jacob Mathews, and placed under the charge of the Elder in Baltimore. The local preachers were formally admitted to seats in the Annual Conference. This was brought about by the motion of Brothers Harden and Webster. But, by motion of Rev. David Smith and the said Brother Harden, they were to be deprived of a "voice in the Conference against any one of the traveling preachers," except "in case of a trial," and then "only as witnesses." A "General Rule" was adopted for the government of all the churches. This Rule, it seems, had been drawn up in the city of Philadelphia, on the 9th of July, 1820, at the First General Conference then in session, and the Second in order of time; but to this fact no allusion was made by the Baltimoreans. This "General Rule" was first ratified by the Baltimoreans, and then adopted for "government of all the churches." This fact indicates the false views which the members of the General Conference entertained concerning their power as a General Conference. This Baltimore Annual Conference had not only fixed the place of the meeting of the general Conference, but doubtless did send representatives to attend it; for in those days all traveling preachers were members of the General Conference. But


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we are not informed as to the nature of it, and as there are no minutes of that Philadelphia Conference, they having shared the fate, if they existed, of the other minutes of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, we are left in ignorance of its character and design.

        Exhorters to the number of seven were licensed by this Annual Conference. Then there was a motion that it was resolved that "the Rule for raising moneys for the support of the Gospel be enforced."

        There seemed to have been a spirit of insubordination manifested among the local ministry, who were therefore required by vote to pledge themselves anew to "be in subjection to the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church."

        The number of members in the bounds of the Baltimore Conference had increased to 1,760, Carlisle being the weakest point, with a membership of fifteen, while Baltimore City reached 525, with Caroline County, of recent addition to the work, following next with 192.

        One year later (1822), less two days from the opening of this Conference, the body convened again, upon the 12th of April. Bishop Allen addressed the Conference with special reference to two points always worthy of emulation--love, peace, and harmony among the ministry, and the necessity of conducting the business of the Conference in the fear of God.

        The work was increasing, and there was a consequent increase in the importance of the business to be transacted. Charles Guy, Peter D. Schureman, and Jeremiah Beulah were received on trial in the traveling connection, while Marcus Brown, Amos Crookshanks, and Richard Boone were elected to receive orders as deacons, the work demanding more than two.

        A long and serious debate arose in this Conference relative to the Western Territories and the Conference under whose jurisdiction they should be placed. It was vast enough as a district--these Territories--for the record refers to it as "the country west of the Alleghany Mountains," and after consideration a former rule respecting it was repealed, and it was determined that the supervision should belong to the Philadelphia Conference until it was proper to set it off into an independent district.

        Again the borders were enlarged in another direction through a petition received from Washington, Georgetown, and Piscataway,


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requesting to be admitted into union with the African M. E. Church, which petition was unanimously granted.

        The Church had so increased in its six years of existence that it was thought best to have an assistant to the Bishop. The Baltimore Conference took the matter in hand now, as we see in its motion to create a committee of three traveling preachers to nominate two or three candidates for that position. The committee consisted of Jacob Richardson, William Quinn, and Thomas Webster. The election of the candidates was to be managed in the following manner according to the journal of that date:

        It was moved by Jacob Matthews, and seconded by Abner Coker, that Don Carlos Hall be appointed as a judge with the Bishop in time of election. It was put to vote, and carried, that the person that should be elected for an assistant to the General Superintendent should be voted for by private election, and the name of the person that should gain the election should be sealed up, and for to be kept in secret until after the Conference in Philadelphia has given in their vote, and, according to the Bishop's proposal, for him then to be set apart, if the two Conferences, Baltimore and Philadelphia, wished for it to be done, voted, and carried


        It is a curious paper, showing a very awkward and contradictory movement, at least, in the step toward making a second Bishop; but it was a first experience, in which two Conferences instead of one were concerned, and the authority vested in each body does not seem to be very clearly understood, stated, or acted upon.

        The Philadelphia Conference was not then in session, but in the election held in Baltimore, Morris Brown, Henry Harden, and Jacob Matthews were candidates, and the vote stood: Morris Brown, 7; Jacob Matthews, 9; Henry Harden, 4. The following month the Philadelphia Conference convened the 20th of May, and we find the same three again as candidates for general superintendent, with the following result: Morris Brown, 9; Jacob Matthews, 15; Henry Harden, 9. The total vote stood: Morris Brown, 16; Jacob Matthews, 24; Henry Harden, 13.

        For the first time Bishop Allen's name appears at the end of the Baltimore proceedings, and also in attestation of the genuineness of the electoral votes cast, both in Baltimore and Philadelphia, for the episcopal assistant. The character and constitutionality of this election will be examined at another point. In


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this instance we have an evidence that election to the episcopal office does not constitute any person a Bishop. "The laying on of hands" must follow election in order that the individual may be a veritable Bishop.

        At the Baltimore Conference the question was asked whether the local preachers should have a vote for these candidates set apart for the general superintendent. The answer was in the affirmative, and this answer was given in the form of a vote. There seems to have been some doubt about the employment of Shadrack Bassett as a traveling preacher, in view of the circumstance that having been a slave he had petitioned for his freedom, and having been delivered by the courts from the claims of one slave-holder, it was feared he might be subject to the claims of another, wherefore Brother Abner Coker was appointed a committee to consult an attorney, from whom the Conference received the following instrument:

        Judgment in case of a petition for freedom is not judgment against the whole world, but only against the individual against whom it is filed, so that if a petitioner should succeed in being discharged from slavery to an individual who illegally claimed him, he would still be liable to be seized by his proper owner. The only point gained by Shadrack Bassett, if he sues in case against Hackney, will be that he can make use of the judgment of freedom against Hackney as a security against future molestation, as it is probable that no one would hold him after he had produced such a judgment. It is my opinion that the Conference of Colored People incur no risk in sending Shadrack Bassett forth to preach the Gospel, provided he does not go south of the State of Maryland.

[Signed.]
JOHN TYSON, Attorney.


        All these documents are matters of history, and this is but one of many which might be brought forward to these pages for the eyes of the present and future generations--the present viewing them with mingled feelings of indignation, shame, and regret; the future commingling with these, astonishment and curiosity.

        All that is of other generations teaches us closely--a proof of the unity of the races. All that is of each race inspires that race, or casts it down according to its character; therefore, all that these early journals record of the beginnings of our Church--the trials and triumphs, the failures and successes, the strivings and achievements--moves us to close sympathy and impels us to greater deeds.


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        Our fathers in African Methodism wrought wisely and well for their day and generation, and the documents we gather are indicative of the force which has spread African Methodism far and wide, and from which we learn of the spirit and manner of the men who were leaders then.

        As an Appendix to the Minutes of the Baltimore Annual Conference the following document is recorded, and in furtherance of the above idea, we insert it here:

        It was moved, seconded, and carried that all the local elders, deacons, and preachers shall have a seat in the Annual Conferences, provided that they stand fair, and be in subjection to the elder in charge in receiving appointments and filling up all such appointments that may be given to them from time to time by the elder in charge; provided that the elder does not infringe too much on his temporal affairs; and in case of any of the local preachers should be called upon to fill up any extra appointments, then the minister in charge shall see that the said preacher or preachers shall receive such aid from the Society as is allowed to local preachers in such cases in referring to that discipline that we have recourse to in all giving cases in our ministry or state. If the above rules should be ratified by the Annual Conference, then, if any of the preachers, after receiving appointments from the elder, should refuse for to go and fill up his appointments, without a sufficient excuse, shall, for the first neglect, he be reproved by the elder, and also, if he should neglect the second time, without a lawful excuse, then the elder may, if he think proper, summons that preacher before a committee, and if he gives no proper satisfaction for his neglecting his duty, then the elder, with the committee, shall silence him until the Quarterly Meeting Conference, and his case shall be referred to the Annual Conference for trial and decision.

        Done in the Philadelphia Conference for the whole Connection in General.

Signed by the Superintendent,
RICHARD ALLEN.

Secretary pro tem.,
JACOB MATTHEWS.


        The two points in this document show the men of our times:

        First.--The Quarterly Conference had no jurisdiction over the case of the delinquent local preacher, beyond a mere hearing of the statement and reference of the question to the Annual Conference, which alone could try and pass judgment on him.

        Second.--The Philadelphia Conference was by this extraordinary document invested with the power of the General Conference.

        Again, the report of members from the various churches under the Baltimore jurisdiction shows an increase of 1,938. The Eastern Shore work, so recently added, gives 330 of that number.


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It is wise to make an assistant to the Bishop, in view of this and the nearly parallel increase in the Philadelphia District. This year Jacob Matthews is sent to Baltimore City; David Smith to Washington and Georgetown; Peter Schureman is placed in charge of Piscataway Circuit, while Thomas Webster, Jacob Richardson, Joshua Early, and Jeremiah Beulah are sent on the more scattered work of the Harrisburgh Circuit.


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CHAPTER VI.
EARLY CONFERENCE SESSIONS.

        Morris Brown Admitted into Full Connection--Three Founders Elected Deacons--Stronghold of African Methodism in Philadelphia--Enlarging the Borders--Statistics of Membership--Philadelphia Conference Invested with the Power of a General Conference--An Increase in Numbers.

        THE Baltimore Conference preceded that in Philadelphia by a little more than a month. As has been said of the former, so it can be said of the latter: if any Conference was held in 1817, we are unable to find any trace of the fact. May 9th, 1818, the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church met in Philadelphia, at the house of Richard Allen, and opened at 11 o'clock A. M. with singing and prayer. In the course of the session nearly all the names of the founders, as represented by the list of 1816, were upon the record. Five preachers were admitted on trial; six members were admitted into full connection, among them Morris Brown. Three of the founders, Henry Drayton, Edward Jackson and Reuben Cuff, were elected to deacon's orders, while Morris Brown, with two other of the founders, James Champion and Jacob Tapsico, were elected and ordained elders. One death is recorded: "Joseph Lea, a man of God, who has labored for many years in the ministry, during which time he supported the character of a Christian and a faithful minister, a kind and loving husband and a tender father." There seems to have been no particular business of importance transacted at this meeting. We find on the third day of the session that Thomas Banks, president and trustee of the Snow Hill church corporation applies to the Bishop and Conference to take charge of the spiritual concerns of their church and congregation, which request is unaminously granted, with the promise to supply them with preaching as often as they can make it convenient. The first detailed report of the members in the Society were given at this meeting, and we find sixteen places represented: Philadelphia, 3,311; Baltimore, 1,066; Salem, N. J., 110; Trenton, 73; Princeton, 33; Snow Hill, 56; Woodbury, 29; Attleborough, 41; New Hope, 33; Frankfort, 28; Westchester, 46;


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Plemeth, 8; Whitemarsh, 29; Bridgeport, 6; Brunswick, 40; Charleston, 1,848; making a total of 6,748. It is seen by this that the stronghold of African Methodism was in Philadelphia, with Charleston next in order. On May 20th the Conference adjourned to meet again in Philadelphia, the date not being stated. And here we may say there is an hiatus; for the next proceedings, of which we have any knowledge or record, are dated in 1822. Not until that date have we any Church records to run parallel with those of Baltimore, which were continued yearly from 1818.

        On the 19th of April, 1819, the Annual Conference for the Baltimore District was opened at the A. M. E. Church, Saratoga street. The members present were from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston, S. C., and were as follows at the opening of the session:

        The first duty of the Conference was to appoint a doorkeeper, whose instructions were to admit no one without the leave of the chair. A resolution was also passed that no member of the Conference should leave the room without the permission of the chair; while still another resolution, tending toward the secrecy and safety of the proceedings of the Conference, was one by Don C. Hall, to the effect that the steward shall not present or show the books or papers of the Annual Conference to any person or persons without the permission of the superintendent. These were all directed to the end that the business should be properly and rapidly done. There appears to have been some letters addressed to the official members in Philadelphia which had been detained by the secretary for some reasons, and handed to the Bishop upon his arrival in Baltimore. We do not know what these letters contained, for, although a motion was made


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that they should be read to the Conference, there is no record of this having been done. Probably, however, the contents of those letters caused Henry Harden to place his resolution before the Conference, "that no minister or preacher belonging to the African Methodist Episcopal Conference, or any member, local or traveling, shall write any letter or letters or communications, verbally, or by any other way whatsoever, that will have the bearance of raising discord or hardness in the Connection," as well as another to the effect "that ways and means shall be entered into by the Conference to prevent any member or members of the Annual Conference of taking a part with any person or persons evading the Discipline of the said African Methodist Episcopal Church or Churches; or shall be found guilty of sowing discord, or raising schisms, tattling or tale-bearing, so that the Church or society may suffer injury by the strife of such person or persons, the Elder shall call him or them to trial; if found guilty, the Elder shall silence him or them until the setting of the Annual Conference, then the Elder shall deliver the charge to the Conference, in writing, and the Conference shall deal with the said offender according to Discipline." At this Conference Daniel Coker, who had been expelled in the year 1818, made application to be reinstated in the position which he had formerly held. A committee having been appointed to take into consideration the reinstating of Daniel Coker, reported as follows:

BALTIMORE, April 27, 1819.

        We, the Committee appointed by the Annual Conference on 22d inst., to take into consideration the case of Brother Daniel Coker, deem it necessary for to receive him into Society, and he be in subjection to the Elder stationed in the District, and when they see proper, shall be admitted to the pulpit at their discretion; but he shall not fulfill the office of a deacon until the Annual Conference restores him to fill those offices.

Committee:
JOSEPH COX, DANIEL COKER.
REV. MORRIS BROWNE, DANIEL COKER.
REV. RICHARD WILLIAMS, DANIEL COKER.
JEREMIAH MILLER, DANIEL COKER.
RICH'D ALLEN, JR., Secretary.


        Henry Fox and Jacob Roberts were admitted as members of the Conference, while the former and David Smith were appointed Deacons. At this time we find the Conference enlarging the borders of the Church. First, by the addition of Frenchtown,


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which was taken into the district of Baltimore, and next, by the addition of Caroline County, which was also placed under the charge of the Baltimore Conference, with Charles Pierce in charge. In the appointment of Charles Pierce to the charge of the Circuit we find a remarkable departure from the established usage. No expense was incurred in the admission of Caroline County, or, as it was afterwards called, Harrisburg Circuit, as that was to be borne by the Society in that Circuit. The statistics of membership in 1819 show an increase of over 300 above those of 1818, there being an aggregate within the Conference limits of 1,388. The next Annual Conference was appointed to be held in Baltimore, and the General Conference of 1820 was appointed to meet in Philadelphia. There are several things in this Conference which are worthy of remark.

        First: Frenchtown was added to the field of labor this year; so was Caroline County, afterwards named Harrisburgh Circuit.

        Second: An appointment for the labors of an itinerant preacher on a whole Circuit was made by the members of the Annual Conference during the session of said Conference, and that before the Bishop's face, while the man who seconded the motion to that effect was a layman, viz., Don Carlos Hall, the Conference book steward.

        Third: The preacher was sent, or rather appointed to the Circuit before that Circuit was taken into the Connection.

        Fourth: The Rev. Daniel Coker, after being expelled for one whole year, was restored to the Church, not on probation, but in full fellowship, and in the exercise of his functions as a minister of the Gospel, the exercise of the deaconate excepted. And yet he was allowed to occupy the pulpit only by permission of the elder in charge--that is to say, at his discretion. We also do well to consider the fact that no elder, no church action of an elder, is allowed to intervene the action of the Annual Conference that expelled Mr. Coker, as more merciful and tolerant leaders may now do; but the same power that expelled is the power that restores.

        In our judgment this example is worthy of imitation, for it has too often happened that, after having been convicted by the Annual Conference, one has been allowed to unite with some local church, and then was restored to full standing by that church before the lapse of a single year. We are more enlightened than


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were the founders of the Connection, but are we as moral? Have we as high sense of personal and official character as they?

        Fifth: The stringency of the resolution against a discordant spirit evinced the strength of their hatred against it.

        Sixth: The Second General Conference was appointed and held in Philadelphia by a vote of the Baltimore Conference.

        Seventh: The vain efforts of the Annual Conference to prevent discontented and insubordinate spirits from "taking a part with any person or persons" who might be disposed to inveigh against the Discipline, or "sowing discord," or "raising schisms," or "tale-bearing."

        As long as there is a devil to disturb the peace, harmony, and love of the Church, or to destroy its unity, just so long will evil-minded persons be found to carry out their infernal purposes. And what is the most perplexing as well as lamentable feature of all church troubles is the impossibility of making such persons see that they are Satanic agents.

        We do well to censure every attempt to produce schism and to resist the good government of the Church, not so much by passing resolutions to prevent such evils, as by cultivating the spirit of Christian forbearance, confidence and love.


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CHAPTER VII.
EXTINCTION OF THE CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

        Episcopal Support--Rise of African Methodism in the City of New York--New York and Brooklyn Churches Incorporated with the A. M. E. Church in 1820--Societies outside of New York--Manner of Electing Delegates to General Conference--Finances of the Second General Conference--The Slaveholders' Fear of the A. M. E. Church.

        UP to this period (1822), with the one exception of the Philadelphia Annual Conference of 1818, we have devoted our entire attention and space to the doings of the Baltimore Annual Conferences. The reason for so doing is this: No manuscript, no printed traces, no signs whatever can be found of the sayings and doings of the Philadelphia Conferences other than those of 1818, up to the year 1822. That some must have existed at some period is positive, as is gathered from the resolutions of the Baltimore Conferences during this time, where mention is made of these meetings, but what eventually became of the journal, minutes, or other documents, is not known.

        In 1822, the Philadelphia Annual Conference begins to run in a parallel line with that of Baltimore, and for this year we have both the manuscript journal and the printed minutes of the session which opened in Philadelphia, May 9. The resolutions passed at this Conference were comparatively few, and the general business in most cases unimportant. Bishop Allen presided, and the preachers admitted on trial were Joshua P. B. Eddy, George Bowler, and Noah Cannon. Charles Butler was ordained a deacon and elder for the express purpose of going as a missionary to Africa. Thomas Robinson, Adam Clincher, Samuel Collins, George Bowler, Joshua P. Eddy, Henry C. Mervin, Solomon Walsh, James Scott, and David Crosby were licensed preachers, and William Cornish and Walter Proctor were set apart for the office of deacon, with the proviso that they travel.

        At this time that portion of the law was repealed which said that a preacher should not be stationed in any place longer than two years. Four other licensed preachers were ordained deacons: Thomas Robinson, Adam Clincher, Samuel Collins, and Noah Cannon.


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        It was agreed that in place of salary the Bishop should thereafter receive twenty-five dollars from each Annual Conference, and that each Conference should pay his traveling expenses: that is, he would receive compensation at that period from the Baltitimore, Philadelphia, and New York Conferences,*

        * For the rise of the New York Conference see pages following the Philadelphia Conference of 1822.


for it was decided at this Conference that there should be three Annual Conferences instead of two.

        When the question of the finances of the Conference were being considered, it was ordered by that body that hereafter each member must pay the expenses of his horse himself. As the contingent fund of this Conference eighty-six dollars were collected, which fund was distributed as follows: twenty-five dollars to the Bishop as allowance, seventeen dollars and twenty-seven cents were paid for circular letters to the Bishop, and thirty-three dollars and thirty-seven and a half cents were paid for preachers' horses.

        A resolution was also passed that no preacher in charge should license any person who should make application to them for license to preach or exhort in the African Methodist Episcopal Church until the said person should have been verbally licensed by the preacher in charge twelve months prior to the time that the application was made.

        The election of a general superintendent was brought forward. This action had been taken by the Baltimore Conference of April previous. Then three candidates, Morris Brown, Henry Harden, and Jacob Matthews, had been nominated, and an election had been held, but in accordance with the resolution passed at the time, the results of the election were kept secret until after the election at Philadelphia. The total votes cast at both Conferences were sixteen for Morris Brown, thirteen for Henry Harden, and twenty-four for Jacob Matthews. Jacob Matthews was therefore declared elected. The Philadelphia Conference also decided to hold its next session in Philadelphia. The Society was not yet so extended that it was deemed wise to remove the sessions of these first three Conferences from the cities whose names they bore, and we therefore find the first session of the new Conference--the New York--was held in the city of New York.

        In the Philadelphia Annual Conference of 1822, we also see the brethren acting with the authority of a General Conference,


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first, by the election of an Assistant Bishop; second, by decreeing the existence of three Annual Conferences. The action of this Conference respecting licentiates to preach is also a flat refutation of the assertion that no one, according to our usages from the rise of the Connection, has ever been fully admitted unless they have been recommended by a Quarterly Conference of our Church, but they have "climbed in some other way."

        The limitation of a stationed preacher to two years was also abolished, as was previously done by the Baltimore Annual Conference. By motion, the Conference ordered the ordination of William Cornish and Walter Proctor to the office of deacons, provided they entered upon itinerant work, but there is no record of the execution of the order. This order to ordain was given immediately after they had been received into the itinerant work.

        The motion for the appointment of Rev. Charles Butler to Africa as a missionary resulted in but a paper mission.

        In 1822 the numbers in Society stood as follows:

        
South Carolina City 1,400
In the Circuit Charge 1,600
Smyrna Circuit 31
Riverhead 79
Fredericktown 15
Cookstown 13
Warwick 24
Boheamarnania 10
Frenchtown 41
Middletown 17
Scrabbletown 6
Thorofare 11
Philadelphia City 3,002
Chester and Tenecum 31
Bristol Circuit in Frankfort 25
Bridgeport 29
Attleborough 39
Newhope 29
Mountain 15
Easton 22
Reading 9
Valley 13
Westown 29
Wightmarsh 14
Salem Circuit, Port Elizabeth 17
Tranfield 28
Greenage 42
Salem 72
Bushtown 10
Dutchtown 14
Woodbury 16
Snowhill 42
Evesham 47
Total 6,792

        
City of Pittsburgh 145
Washington, Pa 45
Readtown 30
Pickson 18
Total 238

        
Trenton Circuit, Trenton 72
Princeton 38
Rockhill 37
Siggstown 36
Blandsburgh 27
Brunswick 17
Total 227


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        This gives a final total of 7,257 for the above points; and the joint list of the ministers for 1822 is as follows:


        Before we lay the proceedings of the first Annual Conference of the New York District before the reader, we shall present an account of the rise of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of New York and its vicinity.

        Sometime in the fall of 1819, Brother William Lambert, a licentiate of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, was commissioned by Rt. Rev. Richard Allen to go and labor in the city of New York for the planting of a branch of the African Methodist Episcopal


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Church. He was emphatically a missionary from that Conference. Under God's blessing he succeeded in procuring a school-room in Mott street, and had it fitted up for a house of worship. In the summer of the following year this house was consecrated to the service of Almighty God. The consecration of this church was on the third Sunday in July, 1820.

        In the same year, Rev. Henry Harden, who had been previously appointed at the Baltimore Conference to the Harrisburg Circuit, was sent from the Philadelphia Conference to take the pastoral charge of this church in New York. The membership at that time amounted to twenty souls, the majority of whom were women. From that time the Society increased weekly, though very much opposed by Zion Church. The Society worshipped in this church, in Mott street, for the period of seven years.

        The lease had expired at the end of that time, and the house was taken down. The Society then went to worship for a short period in an old house in Allen street, and afterwards occupied the Mutual Relief Hall in Orange street, No. 42. From there they removed to the basement of the organ factory in Centre street, nearly opposite Canal street. Thence they went to a factory in Elizabeth street, and later again removed to Second street, between avenues B and C, where a house was erected in the year 1835 or 1836, in which the Society worshipped until 1860, when it was sold because the Society was literally dying out. This gradual decay was the result of two important facts, which in all places we will do well to study, and from this study become wiser through the lesson which is taught:

        (a) The population of color, which originally surrounded it, had been almost entirely pressed out by an influx of Irish and of Germans.

        (b) Moreover, many of its members who had been house-servants in the wealthy families, who had moved far away from what was primarily Central New York to the suburbs, found it then difficult to reach the house of worship, especially in the inclement seasons of the year. The spirit of caste would not allow them to ride in the omnibuses then used for public conveyance, so they attended divine service nearer to their homes, or went to no service at all.

        In view of these facts, as we have already stated, Bethel was sold, and the property in Sullivan street was purchased for the


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sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, where we have now the largest congregation of colored Christians in the city of New York. During the last seventeen years this church has had to be enlarged, owing to the great increase in the membership.

        The church in Brooklyn was founded by Rev. Benjamin Croger and his brother Peter, who, with others, had been members of the M. E. Church from 1808 till the 30th of July, 1820, when, by a unanimous vote of the people, they withdrew from that body.

        On the 10th of August, 1820, having had an interview with Rev. H. Harden, elder in charge of our church in the city of New York, they became incorporated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, by a joint meeting of the officers of the church in Brooklyn and those of the church in New York. The meeting was held in Bethel Church, then located in Mott street. At that time the members of the church in Brooklyn consisted of one hundred souls, chiefly women. These were divided into four classes, two male and two female. Four exhorters were among them, but no preachers. Rev. Benjamin Croger, and his brother Peter, were two of these exhorters. They entered the ministry after they had joined our Connection. The property of the church in Brooklyn consisted of two lots, which had been purchased as early as 1817 at a cost of $162.50 for each lot. The original house of worship was built at a cost of $900.

        Societies were also established in various localities beyond the limits of the city of New York, and formed into a Circuit called the White Plains Circuit. One was also established in the city of New Bedford, Mass., then under the care of Brother Charles Spicer, a deacon, subordinate to Rev. H. Harden of the New York charge. What is now called the Branch, and sometimes Thirtieth Street Church, was planted by Rev. Richard Robinson in 1843. The planting of this Society grew out of the following circumstances:

        Many of the members of the church in Second street, who lived at a distance on the west side of the city, could not obtain seats if they did not reach the house of worship at a very early hour. Therefore, in order that they might be furnished with the needed accommodation, Brother Robinson consulted with his official board at a meeting called for that special purpose, and they all agreed to hire a small building in ---- street.


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        The number organized in this Society was thirty. These were placed under the leadership of Brother Richard Baltimore. In 1850 there were three classes and three local preachers, and the total number of members was one hundred and thirty. One of the most active of its official men was Brother Arnold Ricks. This Branch Church passed through many vicissitudes, changing its location several times before becoming definitely settled.

        We are now prepared for the New York Annual Conference, and it is manifest that its basis was weak. Tradition says that an Annual Conference was held in New York City as early as 1821, but there is no evidence of this. The Conference records for the New York District reach no farther back than 1822, and if the organization took place in 1821, there is no indication of it.

        On the morning of the eighth of June, 1822, the first Conference for this district was opened by Bishop Allen in accordance with the resolution passed at the May Conference in Philadelphia. The members present were Rev. Richard Allen, Henry Harden, Thomas Webster, George White, Richard Williams, Samuel Ridley, Charles Corr, Henry Drayton, Joseph Cox, Stephen Dutton, Jeremiah Miller, Jacob Matthews, Thomas Miller, Isaac Cropper, Joseph Harvey, Edmund Crosby, Peter Croger, Benjamin Croger, James Thompson, Charles Spicer, Titus Rosarett, Henry Davis, Michael Parker, Thomas Jones, Charles Butler, James Scott, John Morris.

        Bishop Allen addressed the Conference in a most pathetic manner, impressing upon the minds of the brethren the great utility of having union among ourselves and a steadfastness in the African cause. James Thompson, Thomas Miller, George White, Peter Croger, Edmund Crosby, Benjamin Croger, Charles Spicer, Titus Rosarett, Henry Davis, Thomas Jones, and William P. Williams were admitted on trial. George White and Stephen Dutton were admitted into full Connection. Charles Spicer, Edmund Crosby, Peter Croger, Benjamin Croger, and Thomas Miller were ordained deacons, and Stephen Dutton an elder. Brother William Lambert, the founder of the Connection, died this year.

        The preachers were stationed according to the following order: New York, Henry Harden; Long Island received Stephen Dutton; George White was sent to White Plains Circuit, while Charles Spicer was appointed to New Bedford, "under the special care of Henry Harden." Benjamin Croger was appointed book


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steward for Long Island, and John Morris book steward for the city of New York.

        The Conference continued in session just six days. In those days the time for the meeting of the next Annual Conference was fixed before the adjournment of its predecessor. Hence we find on record the following notices:

        The Baltimore Conference will be held in Baltimore on the second Tuesday in April, 1823.

        The Philadelphia Conference will be held in Philadelphia on the first Thursday in May, 1823.

        The New York Conference will be held on the last Thursday in May, 1823.


        The total number of members in Society in this year, 1822, was 9,888, an increase since 1818 of 3,110; 737 was the number in Society in the New York District, as reported in 1822. New York, Bethel Church, had 347; Brooklyn, Long Island, had 136; White Plains, subsequently called Huntingdon Circuit, had 27; Cove, now called Glen Cove, had 33; Harlem, 24; Jamaica, Long Island, 18; Flushing, 130; New Bedford, 22.

        The minutes of the three Conferences for 1822 were published together, and give the following list of ministers in the Connection at that time, nearly seventy years ago, and but six years after the organization of the Church:

        Rev. Richard Allen was the Bishop; Revs. Morris Brown, Jacob Matthews, Henry Harden, Stephen Dutton, Charles Pierce, Reuben Cuff, Thomas Webster, Jacob Richardson, William Quinn, Samuel Ridley, Richard Williams, David Smith, George White, and Jeremiah Miller were the elders; Revs. Edward Jackson, Noah Cannon, Sampson Peters, Charles Corr, Joseph Cox, Amos Cruckshanks, Clayton Durham, Adam Clincher, James Savern, Thomas Robinson, Edward Williamson, Henry Fox, Thomas Miller, William Cornish, James Towsen, Joseph Chane, Samuel Collins, Peter Croger, Benjamin Croger, George White, Edmund Crosby, Charles Spicer, Richard Boone, Samuel Todd, Henry Drayton, John H. Foulks. The traveling and local preachers were John Messer, Abraham Anderson, Shadrack Bassett, Julius Stewart, Thomas Banks, John Bull, George Anderson, William Johnson, Joseph Oliver, Walter Proctor, Jeremiah Durham, David Crosby, Michael Parker, Charles Butler, John Boggs, John Gustus, Job Gibson, Walter Maxfield, James Cole, Thomas Gibson, Edward Waters, Jacob Piercen, Solomon Welch, Abner Coker,


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Joseph Brown, Jeremiah Brown, James Carr, Thomas Hall, Jacob Roberts, Caleb Guilley, Levi Lea, Abraham Springs, John Smith, Jacob Warner, Thomas Douglas, Titus Rosarett, Paul Williams, Edward Byrd, George Bowler, Joshua P. B. Eddy, Henry Brown, Lewis Cork, John Jones, Charles Grant, John B. Matthews, Primus Hopkins, George Barnett, Samuel Johnson, Richard Harvey, Israel Scott, Anthony Tunison, Edward Smith, Griffin Cooper, Thomas Webster, William Henry, Thomas Henry, Joseph Parker, Robert Butler, Charles Wilmore, James Burton, Jacob Adams, Jonathan Adams, Richard Gibson, James Wollford, Jesse Johnson, Philip Delaney, Stephen Harden, George Harris, Aaron Miller, George Wright, James Chase, John Darby, Toff Lossicks, Nathan Tarman, Charles Grey, Israel Williams, John Joyce, Edward Young, James Lowe, Job Morris, James Smith, William Butler, John Morris, James Thomas, David Davids, Israel Jaimison, John Conover, Adam Hercules, Stephen Stanford, Graves Holland, James Brown, ---- Phillip, Jeremiah Beulah, Peter Schureman, James Eden, London Turpin, Alexander Harleston, Smart Simpson, George Smith, John White and Thomas Morris.

        These, with a few names which could not be ascertained, make up the ministerial force. Some of these were connected with the organization in 1816; some did good work in the new missionary fields as the Connection spread; some reached a high position in the Church, and some dropped into the oblivion of death or obscurity without having accomplished aught that history cares to record.

        According to appointment the Baltimore Conference met on the second Tuesday of April, the 10th day of the month, in 1823. Only six persons were present at its opening, but before its close the number reached twenty-six. The six were Rt. Rev. Richard Allen, David Smith, John Boggs, Charles Corr, Jeremiah Miller, Jacob Matthews.

        Don Carlos Hall having died during the year, the Conference, by a unanimous vote, appointed Brother Charles Hacket, a layman, as steward in his place.

        Henry Harden and Jacob Richardson were the movers in the agreement that was reached "that the Annual Conference have the prerogative of legislating in behalf of the selection of delegates from the District of Baltimore to attend the General Conference." This was followed by a vote that the selection take


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place, and as a result we find that the District of Baltimore sends five; the City of Baltimore, the elder in charge and Abner Coker; Washington City, elder in charge and George Bell; Frederick Circuit, elder in charge; Eastern Maryland, elder in charge and Samuel Todd; Columbia Circuit, elder in charge and John Linenberger.

        Such was the manner of electing members of the General Conference of 1824 at the Baltimore Annual Conference in 1823. What was the manner in 1819 for the General Conference of 1820 is not known, as it does not appear on the face of the journal. All that was done in relation to that General Conference was the passage of the following motion:

        It was moved by Jerry Miller, and seconded by Don C. Hall, that the General Conference in 1820 be held in Philadelphia, and it was unanimously agreed to


        Whether any General Conference was held in 1820 or not can not be ascertained by documentary evidence. There is nothing relating to it beyond the motion just quoted. The rule for the composition of the General Conference, as laid down in the original Discipline, is comprised in the following words:

        The general Conference or Convention shall be composed of one delegate for every two hundred members belonging to our Society, who shall be nominated by the Quarterly Meeting Conference and appointed by the male members of Society, according to the charters or constitutions of the different African Churches belonging to our Society; but no minister or preacher shall be eligible to the office of delegate until he has been licensed according to our Discipline for at least two years


        The conduct of the Baltimore Conference was certainly at variance with the rule, but the wherefore is not apparent. Perhaps they found it was impracticable, or perhaps the General Conference of 1820, if it were held, had abrogated it.

        The following document exhibits the love of order and decorum which actuated the minds of the Annual Conference. There was a motion brought before the house to take into consideration some measures to suppress an evil which had been discovered to exist amongst our people as a body. The Conference took up the subject and appointed a committee of three, Henry Harden, Jacob Richardson and Jacob Matthews, to draw up some rules which should be laid before the House:

        These are the Rules that we, in our judgment, have adopted for our present as well as our future welfare: that is, we are of the opinion that all


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our night meetings ought to commence at one regular hour--that is, from the first of September to the first of March meetings must commence at 7 o'clock, and from the first of March until the first of September to commence at 8 o'clock, exclusive of our Annual Conferences and Quarterly Meetings and Love-feasts. This we have taken into consideration to suppress the rising evils that we have so repeatedly discovered among us as a body; we, therefore, as your brethren and your ministers in Christ, and as those that must have to give an account of our stewardship, we, therefore, deem it our privilege as well as our duty to recommend it to all our members, and in particular for the safe-guard and welfare of our brethren and sisters that are in servitude, and such children as are put out to work or that are under their parents' care, and in particular in cities and towns


        The Annual Conference ratified this by a unanimous vote.

        Three were set apart for deacon's orders on Sabbath morning: Jacob Pierson, Abner Coker and Jeremiah Beulah.

        The amount of collections raised for the use of the Annual Conference was forty-six dollars, and it was expended in the following manner:

        
For the annual services of the Bishop. $12 00
For his passage from Philadelphia to Baltimore and return 9 00
Received for letters at this Conference 12 00
For feeding the preachers' horses 8 05

        From the Baltimore Conference of 1823 we pass, from necessity, to the Baltimore Annual Conference of 1824;*

        *The minutes for the Philadelphia Annual Conference of 1823 are not extant. The minutes for the New York Conferences from 1822 to 1831 are lost. A diligent search in 1850 failed to find any records beyond 1831. Some of the old members of Bethel Church stated that the journal of Conference had been carried to the Court of Chancery, and had never been seen since. It was this Court in which our suit against London Turpin involved us.


but nothing of importance or general interest was done in the Baltimore Annual Conference this year. The tide of affairs was rather dark and turbulent. We shall, therefore, do nothing more than give an abstract of its proceedings.

        It was opened on the 24th of April, in the city of Baltimore, with Rt. Rev. Richard Allen presiding, and Rev. Morris Brown as assistant. Jacob Matthews was its secretary.

        Rev. Jacob Richardson reported his charge in a better condition than it had ever been before. Jeremiah Beulah gave a favorable report of his circuit, and said that he had added another church to it. Edward Waters was not fully prepared to give an account of his charge. It was resolved, too, that if any member of the


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Conference be found carrying out any of its secrets by letter or word, he should forfeit his seat in the Conference.

        As the second General Conference was held this year, we shall give the numbers in Society and the stationing of the preachers:

        Baltimore City and vicinity, 715; Fredericktown Circuit, including Fredericktown, Hagerstown, Greencastle, Shippensburgh, Carlisle, Harrisburgh, Chambersburgh, 317; Eastern Shore, Maryland, including Easton, Concord, Pekin's Island, Denton, Hole-in-the-Wall, Ivorytown, Miles River, Hillsborough, 543; Washington City and Piscataway respectively, 112 and 166; Hartford Circuit, including Havre de Grace, Swamp, Presburgs and Deer Creek, 175; making a total of 2,028.

        The preachers were stationed as follows: Baltimore, Rev. Moses Freeman; Harrisburgh Circuit, Richard Williams, elder, and Peter Schureman, preacher; Easton Circuit, Rev. Jeremiah Beulah and Wm. Richardson; Washington City and Piscataway, Rev. Jacob Matthews.

        The financial report of the General Conference showed the collection for the General Conference to be $42.25; "passage for the Bishop," $9; paid to the Bishop, $25; General Conference, $8.33; paid for letters to the Bishop, $11.12½, and "for horse feed in time of Conference," $8.44; making a total of $104.14½.

        It will be recollected that the Baltimore Annual Conference of 1819, by a unanimous vote, fixed the meeting of the General Conference of 1820 in the city of Philadelphia. This year it was held in Baltimore. The Annual Conference was opened on the 24th of April, and continued in session until the 30th. The next day witnessed the opening of the second General Conference of the A. M. E. Church.

        The preachers' salaries ranged as follows: Jacob Richardson, $26; Jeremiah Beulah, $18.90; Shadrack Bassett, $15; Peter Schureman, $5.75; Jacob Matthews, $10; a total of $125.65 for salaries in 1824 in this Conference.

        We have no record of the proceedings of this General Conference save the vestige found in the financial report given, and bearing date of May 11th, 1824, in which it is declared that Bishop Allen received from it the sum of $8.33. It is also stated in the financial report of the Philadelphia Annual Conference for 1824, that $52.49 were paid to defray the expenses of six delegates to the General Conference at Baltimore. We judge that the General Conference closed its session on the 11th, as it is on


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that date that we find it recorded that it paid the Bishop $8.33. We find that Rev. Jacob Matthews was secretary for both the Annual and General Conferences.

        The Philadelphia Annual Conference for 1824 was opened Saturday morning, May 22d, eleven days after the close of the General Conference. Joseph M. Corr was chosen secretary. He was the youngest man in the Conference, the best educated, and, it is said, the most gifted preacher.

        Some of the pages of this manuscript journal are torn out, and thus some of the doings are a mere matter of conjecture. It was decided to keep the members to their work promptly by a resolution, that if not present after the time appointed each should forfeit twenty-five cents for the use of the Conference. It was also resolved that the circuit should "bear all the traveling expenses through the year of the preachers traveling the circuit, and their expenses coming to Conference."

        This may be considered the origin of the present Rule of Discipline, on page 228, relative to the support and expenses of traveling preachers, as it is the first time we find a written rule defining the duty of the Church on this important subject. The Discipline of 1817 was very indefinite, as the subjoined extract will show:

SECTION II.

        Of the Salaries of the Ministers and Preachers, and allowances to their Wives, Widows and Children.--This shall rest with the Annual Conferences respectively.

SECTION IV.

        Of the Book Concern.--The profits of all the books published by authority of the General Conference, or Convention, shall go to the support of the traveling ministry, as the Annual Conference from time to time may think proper.


        The origin of another present custom among us is found in a resolution "that each preacher stationed on any circuit shall receive a certificate from the president of the Conference, stating the circuit to which they are appointed."

        Shadrack Bassett, William Cornish and Marcus Brown were received into full connection, and Joshua P. B. Eddy was located. There was collected for the contingent expenses of this Philadelphia Conference, $148.92, while the expenses amounted to $139.79, among which we find the expenses of the six delegates to the General Conferences in Baltimore rated as $52.49, while another


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item, $5.75, is for printing the minutes of 1822. From this last we are led to infer that the minutes of 1823 were not published.

        The appointments from this Conference were Rev. Jeremiah Miller to Chillicothe, Ohio; Philip Brodie and Jeremiah Miller to Cincinnati, O.; Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon to Steubenville, O., and George Bowler to Redstone, these two points being under the care of T. Webster; Rev. Richard Williams was sent to Fredericktown, Peter Schureman to Frederick Circuit, Rev. Joseph Harper and Rev. Morris Brown to Bristol Circuit, Rev. William Cornish to Philadelphia, Rev. Samuel Ridley to Trenton Circuit, Thomas A. Dorsey to Salem Circuit, and Rev. John Boggs to Smyrna Circuit.

        In this year (1824) the membership of the Philadelphia District was, for Philadelphia Station and Circuit, 3,000, and Hamilton Village,*

        * Now West Philadelphia.


27. Bristol Circuit, Bucks County, Pa., reported a membership of 438, distributed among the following points: Frankford, 55; Hornesburg, 20; Bridgeport, 50; Attleborough, 105; Newton, 30; Newhope, 50; Whitemarsh, 15; West Chester, 50; Conkerd, 18; Valley, 35; Mountain, 10. Smyrna Circuit, Delaware, reported 173: 19 from Smyrna, 22 from Boheamarnania, 18 from Frenchtown, 15 from Elkton, 17 from Middletown, 11 from Thoroughfare Neck, 36 from Sassafras Head, 8 from Crooktown, 27 from Warwick. Salem Circuit, New Jersey, had 173: 27 from Port Elizabeth, 9 from Fairfield, 38 from Greenwich, 80 from Salem, 36 from Bushtown, 6 from Scrabbletown, 24 from Dutchtown, 25 from Woodbury, 30 from Snowhill, 42 from Cross Roads, 20 from Mount Holly. Trenton Circuit, New Jersey, reported 204: 120 from Trenton City, 29 from Princeton, 22 from Launsburg, 33 from Rocky Hill. Columbia Circuit, Pa., had 210: Columbia, 45; Charleston, 16; Little York, 39; Marietta, 38; Lancaster, 14; Mount Vernon, 38; Martrick Township, 20. The Western District, State of Pennsylvania, comprised Pittsburgh City, 85; Washington, 34; Uniontown, 38; Brownsville, 12; Geneva, 12; Monmouth, 12; making a total of 193. Jefferson County Circuit, Ohio, reported 63, Steubenville, Mount Pleasant, and Cape Belmoths having 45, 12, and 6 respectively. Chillicothe Circuit, Ohio, included Chillicothe, Zanesville, Lancaster and Cincinnati, the last named alone reporting its membership, which was 33.

        The statistics at the second General Conference exhibit two


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facts: First, the loss of territory in South Carolina, and the acquisition of new territory in Ohio. But the loss was in many respects greater than the gain. In respect to numbers and wealth it was really so.

        The loss of South Carolina was occasioned by a terrible civil excitement in 1822, which was produced by the discovery of a contemplated insurrection on the part of certain slaves for the overthrow of slavery in that State. The ringleaders, six in number, were arrested, tried and convicted, and hung on a single gallows at a single blow. Chief of these were Denmark Vesey and Gullak Jack. Subsequently twenty-two of the conspirators were convicted of the same offense, to-wit: a combination to overthrow the most villainous system of oppression beneath the sun. They, too, were hung on the same gallows, and at the same moment. They had not shed a drop of their so-called master's blood, nor had they taken up arms or committed one act of violence, but they had conspired against the infernal system, and that was a crime in itself sufficiently heinous to be punished with death.

        But slavery is a system based upon injustice, born of violence and blood, hence it knows not what is mercy nor justice. But how terribly has the blood of these helpless victims been avenged by the punitive visitation of indignant Heaven during the Civil War and Rebellion against the American Union! How differently has the spirit of Liberty dealt with the blood-stained leaders of the Rebellion of 1860-65! Their conspiracy against Liberty and the American Union resulted in the death of about two hundred and seventy-nine thousand three hundred and seventy-six men, and a National debt of ten billions three hundred and sixty-one millions nine hundred and twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and nine dollars; yet they were allowed to go unpunished.

        The slaveholders of South Carolina were not satisfied with punishing with death the conspiracy against slavery in that State; they did not stop their proceedings till our Church in that State was entirely suppressed. Being an independent ecclesiastical organization, it gave the idea and produced the sentiment of personal freedom and responsibility in the Negro.


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CHAPTER VIII.
THE FIRST DECADE.

        Close of First Decade--A Comparison--Twenty-nine Appointments in the Baltimore District--Sixty-five Appointments in the Philadelphia District--Eight Churches in New York District--Growth since 1818--No Sunday-schools in 1826--Difficulties Under Which the Ministry Labored--Their Improvement--Education of the Colored Population Forbidden--Home Missions.

        AMONG the transaction of the Baltimore Conference for 1825 there is nothing of great importance. The minutes show that much of the time was taken up in strife over a case of maladministration, and from it we find that the order of punishment, in this case at least, was the reverse of the order which now obtains. The party was silenced for six months, after which he was sharply reproved before the Annual Conference, and then restored to his functions as a traveling preacher.

        Nathaniel Peck was received on trial for three months, and Adam Hercules on a full course as an itinerant preacher. Peter D. Schureman applied for deacon's orders, but was rejected, while the permission to go to Hayti, asked by Moses Freeman, was also refused. Rev. Moses Freeman and Charles Hacket were appointed a committee to raise moneys to print the Discipline.

        The total sum raised for ministers' salaries was $472.04, distributed among the ministers as follows: The salary of Rev. Moses Freeman, pastor of Bethel, Baltimore, was $198.25; that of Rev. J. Matthews, of Washington City, $80.00; that of J. Beulah, Easton Circuit, $17.50; that of W. Richardson, of the same circuit, $14.50; of Rev. R. Williams, of Harrisburgh Circuit, $67.89, and of Rev. P. Schureman, of the same circuit, $93.90.

        One hundred and fifteen dollars were raised for contingent expenses, out of which the secretary received six dollars for his services, which is the second instance on record of the Conference paying its secretary.

        In many respects the transactions of the Baltimore Conference in 1826 were the most imposing, the most important, and


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the most interesting of any previous one--we might say, more so than all put together. There is, indeed, a business tact and dignity about it which commands our respect at the same time that it takes us by surprise. It opened its deliberations on Monday, April 10, 1826, with Rt. Rev. Richard Allen presiding. Joseph M. Corr was chosen secretary.

        A resolution was adopted by the Conference "that all exhorters and stewards that stand fair, and who are in full connection, shall be admitted to a seat in the Annual Conference, but have neither voice nor vote."

        Up to this time these two classes of men always had a voice and vote in Conference--the Conference steward most assuredly, who, from the formation of the Connection, had always been Don Carlos Hall, and after his lamented death, Charles Hacket. It seemed good in the sight of the clergy at this Tenth Conference to deprive them of these privileges. The reasons for this action do not appear on the face of the minutes.

        At the opening of the Conference several of the most prominent men were impeached and put on trial. The pastoral letters sent forth to several churches who were interested in the impeachments will show the wisdom and piety of those who controlled the affairs of the Conference and its churches:

BALTIMORE, April 13, 1826.

Dear Brethren of the Church in Christ, in the Borough of Chambersburgh, under the African Methodist Episcopal Bishop and Conference:

        We have taken up our pen to inform you that our Conference commenced in this city on Monday last, and the case of Brother ---- came before us, and, after a thorough investigation of the subject, the Conference thought it no breach of discipline in his calling in the white elder to administer the Lord's Supper; and as it respects his debt on the circuit, which caused his horse to be sold, we are of the opinion that, had Brother ---- received his full quarterages on the circuit, he would have been able to discharge his debts honorably; but having examined his returns, we have found he has come short of receiving his quarterages by eighty dollars. We have found he was totally unable to discharge his debts. By this, we are sorry that so small a circumstance should cause such great interruptions on the circuit. When the preacher errs the official members have no right to shut the doors of the church against him, except the crime is of such magnitude as totally unfits a man for the kingdom of heaven, and even then, the superintendent should be first informed of it, and the case laid before the Annual Conference.

        The Conference is of the opinion that the official members of the circuit should act according to rule and order as well as the preacher. We hope


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in future that peace and tranquility will abound among you, and that preachers and people will pull together for the glory of God and the prosperity of his Church. The Conference does not wish to screen a preacher in his wrongs; but it wishes to have justice done him. The impeachments you sent on the Conference found not sufficient to exclude a preacher. Dear brethren, we ought to be exceedingly careful how we let such small evils get into our Churches, as they do a great harm to the souls of our brethren; but as Methodists, leaders, and stewards that love discipline, we should endeavor to eye the glory of God, and do all things in order for the tranquility and peace of the Church of God. We have at present great prospects in the City of Baltimore of this being the greatest Conference ever held in this place. Great harmony prevails among our preachers, and the slain of the Lord are many. Our congregations are very numerous, and our meetings continue the whole night, which caused our hearts to rejoice at the display of the Lord among us.

        We remain your affectionate brethren in Christ and in the bonds of peace.

REV. RICHARD ALLEN, President.

JOSEPH M. CORR, Secretary.
Signed by order of the Conference.


        Another letter was ordered to be written to Columbia Circuit, and is as follows:

BALTIMORE, April 13, 1826.

To the Church of Christ located in the town of Columbia, under the African Methodist Episcopal Bishop and Conference:

        We have taken up our pen to inform you that our Conference commenced sitting in this city on Monday last, and the case of ---- came before them, and the Conference was of the opinion that his trial was illegal by the preacher having the charge. The Conference proceeded to take up the charges against him, and, after a thorough investigation of them, he was honorably acquitted and restored to his former functions. The Conference recommends to our dear brethren of Columbia to let all hardness and ill thoughts be done away with, and that peace and harmony by your love and union may prevail, and that you will still strive to do everything for the glory of God and the prosperity of the Church by preachers and people working together in the fear of God, and pulling together for the lasting honor of the Church, the glory of God, and the salvation of souls.

        Rev. ----, as a man of God and a friend to the Connection, acknowledges his error in the illegality of the trial, and submitted it to the Conference.

Signed by the Conference.
RICHARD ALLEN, President.

JOSEPH M. CORR, Secretary.


        The means devised for the preservation of order and decorum in this interesting Conference were those savoring of early times, assuredly. If any one should fall asleep during the sitting of


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Conference he should pay a fine of twelve and a-half cents. A penalty of five cents was the price which should be paid if one person should "contradict another while on his feet."

        The preachers received on trial were Reuben Melvin, Washington Dorrill and James Richards. William Richardson was received into full connection and ordained deacon, together with Charles Dunn.

        The preachers' salaries for the three circuits and Baltimore City amounted to $448.30. The sum of $50.50 was collected for contingent expenses. We also find an item of expense for the Bishop's assistant's traveling expenses. This assistant was the Rev. Morris Brown.

        One other pastoral letter, addressed to the Church at Easton, Maryland, shows such a prudent and determined effort to do all things justly that it is inserted here:

BALTIMORE, April 17, 1826.

Dear Brethren of the Church of Christ in the town of Easton, under the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop, and Conference:

        We have taken up our pen to inform you that our Conference commenced in this city on Monday last, and your business came before the Conference. The grievances of our brethren were duly considered, and the case thoroughly investigated, and both parties acknowledged their wrongs, and the Conference thought proper to write you an official letter, to let you know their decision, and that the matter was finally settled, and that the preacher should read the deed of conveyance of the church to you, and let you know the public debt of the Church, to give you general satisfaction, and that the class in Ivorytown shall be removed back to the Church in Easton, and that no class shall meet at Ivorytown but the class that was formed for the aged and infirm, and that your leader shall not encourage any member to meet at Ivorytown in the aged and infirm class, so as to prevent them from meeting the Easton class that meets at the church.

        And we recommend to our brethren and sisters in Ivorytown and Easton to meet their class in the church, and attend to their public services; and we entreat you to let all hardness and ill thoughts be done away, and that peace and tranquillity will abound among you, and that preachers and people will strive to pull together for the glory of God and the salvation of souls; and as the lovers of Methodist rules and discipline, we hope you will comply with all our requisitions for the preservation of harmony, good order, love, and union.

Dear brethren, yours in the bonds of peace.

Signed by order of the Conference.
JOSEPH M. CORR, Secretary.

RICHARD ALLEN, President.



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        Would to God that the good example of this prudent Conference had been followed in all subsequent cases, and throughout our fields of labor! Then, many a rupture would have been prevented, and many bleeding wounds healed, as though the very balm of Gilead had been poured into them.

        The secretary of this and the succeeding Conference, Charles M. Corr, was from Charleston, South Carolina, and was among those who emigrated from that city to Philadelphia after the murderous transactions of the state of South Carolina in the case of Denmark Vesey and his compatriots, whom we have seen were put to death for merely planning against the crime of human slavery, which, according to the just views of Frederick Douglass, was "chronic rebellion against humanity." At the Philadelphia Conference of this same year, he was made the general secretary of all the Conferences, at the expense of each Conference.

        This year (1826) the Philadelphia Conference minutes are again to be found, and this body was convened on Monday, May 1st. A few sentences will show its transactions, with two or three exceptions, to have been of very little general interest. Four preachers were received on trial--William Shats, Austin Jones, and Lewis Cork as traveling, and James Wilson as a local preacher. It also resolved that all African preachers coming to join us from the Methodist Connection, and who are in good standing and well recommended, shall be received into our Conferences, as our own preachers are, by the recommendation of our Quarterly Meeting Conference.

        Brother Peter Woods had died this Conference year. He was a local preacher who had been two years in the work, a native of Virginia, and a young man of "sound judgment, clear understanding, genuine piety, and a humble, holy, and useful laborer in the vineyard of the Lord," so say the records. His death occurred at Washington, Pa., December 22, 1825.

        The salaries of the ministers for the ten circuits and stations amounted to $614.14¾.

        The Philadelphia Conference adopted the following resolution:

        Resolved, That the time appointed for the sitting of the New York Conference be revoked from the 12th of June to the 20th of May, if convenient to the New York brethren


        The first decade of our history as a Church closes with this


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year. By comparing the state of affairs at this time (1826) with our condition at the first Conference on record we shall see what progress the Connection had made at the end of the first ten years of its existence.

        In the last report Baltimore had within her pastorate the Harrisburg Circuit, including nine appointments, Fredericktown Circuit with ten appointments, Eastern Shore of Maryland Circuit with seven appointments, and Washington with three appointments, making a total of twenty-nine appointments. These twenty-nine churches had seven pastors, who had charge of two thousand three hundred and four souls, and the support which these gave to the ministry amounted to only $448.30.

        At the same time the Philadelphia District reported Trenton Circuit with five appointments, Salem Circuit with ten, Bristol Circuit with seven, Smyrna Circuit with eight, Lewiston Circuit with nine, Washington Circuit with five, Steubenville Circuit with three, Chillicothe Circuit with two, Zanesville Circuit with one, and Cincinnati Station; also that of Philadelphia--a total of sixty-five appointments. Fourteen pastors had charge of these, which reported four thousand six hundred and six souls, and the pastors' salaries from these reached the sum of $614.14¾.

        In contrast we bring forward the past. In 1818 Baltimore reported one circuit and one station--Dossett Circuit and Baltimore Station. There were but three pastors, and a membership of one thousand and sixty, who gave to their preachers for salaries, $340.

        New York had received into her soul the vegetating seed in the fall of 1819, for then the first church was planted by Rev. William Lambert, who was commissioned, as we have seen, by the Philadelphia Conference, and in 1822 she reported for the District appointments eight churches, with seven hundred and twenty-seven in Society, over which were placed four pastors.

        The brief records of the Philadelphia Annual Conference for 1818--the earliest records to be found--give very little idea of the work. The members in Society in Philadelphia are given as three thousand three hundred and eleven in number.*

        *The comparison is made between these Conferences in 1818, as far as possible, though the first reported work comes from the New York Conence in 1822.


        It is evident from even this meager data that the Lord had strengthened our cords and strengthened our stakes, so that our


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Zion could say in the language of Jacob, "With my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands."

        At the end of this first decade we find no traces of any efforts for literary improvement among the ministers, nor for the education of the rising generation through any agency of the Conferences.

        There was no missionary society, no "Daughters of Conference" society, for the temporal aid of the preachers, nor any effort of the kind among the preachers themselves. Nor do we perceive any traces of the revision of the Discipline, which was first published in 1817, over the signatures of Richard Allen, Daniel Coker, and James Champion. The minutes of the Conferences were occasionally published. No allusion is made to our Hymn Book, so that up to 1826 we have no proof of its existence. Probably the Hymn Book of the M. E. Church was used.

        The authority to publish books was lodged in the hands of Bishop Allen by a vote of the Baltimore Annual Conference in 1818, and up to this date had never been taken away from him. At this time, too, there was no Sunday-school in existence in our Church.

        The absence of what we are accustomed to consider at the present day the necessary adjuncts of Church life is not to be wondered at when we consider the manner in which the A. M. E. Church was born, the troubles and annoyances heaped upon it by those who should have befriended her in the hour of her birth. The animosity shown by the Methodist Episcopal Church does not reflect any lustre or glory, but rather stands as a strain upon her credit--not wanting the colored people, yet unwilling to let them go; and when of their own accord the despised members separated, resorting to subterfuge, and invoking the action of the law to compel them to return to their position of vassalage and ill-usage. This is the course of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time when the African Methodist Episcopal Church, or rather its progenitor, the African Church in Philadelphia, most needed assistance and friendly advice.

        In addition to the burdens imposed upon the youthful Church by the outside world, she had also to contend with dissensions and turbulence within herself. Many of her ministers and elders were impatient under the rules of the Church, and frequent breaches of discipline took place. These ministers were unaccustomed to the laws governing the progress and purposes of the


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Church--unaccustomed to command or to rule, and with a peculiar notion of the powers of their office, which were often exercised in a degree calculated to lead to complaint from the members of the Conference. As a result we find the time of that body occupied by the listening to, and the rectification of, complaints which should never have come before the Conference.

        The absence of any efforts for literary improvement among the ministers, and the want of any means of education among the rising generation, and the total absence of Sunday-schools, are all to be regretted, but the condition of affairs here indicated cannot altogether be attributed to any apathy upon the part of the Church. Perhaps the lack of literary improvement in the ministry might be considered the fault of the individual minister; but it must not be forgotten that the men appointed to the positions of elders and deacons were all full grown, and had reached manhood before they were so appointed. Many of them had had no opportunities to lay the foundation of an education, even of a most rudimentary kind, in their youth, the time in which an education should be commenced. In manhood, and while acting in the various offices of the Church, their efforts had to be engrossed in the many practical cares of the world. They had to earn a living by the labor of their hands. Earning one's bread by the sweat of his brow is not conducive to any efforts in the way of improving literary attainments. Many of the ministers did improve, however, and showed that improvement in the course of their lives. Others did not advance far in the paths of literary acquirements. The absence of education, however, is to be regretted, as, if the men composing the Conferences had known what lay before them, we might have been able to more fully understand their position, and to judge of their actions.

        While that no provisions were made for the education of the rising generation might be slightly attributed to the neglect of the ministers, yet the portion of the blame attaching itself to the Church is so small that no one can fairly say they were essentially the cause of this neglect.

        The education of the colored population of the states in which the majority of the members of the African Methodist Church were located was strictly forbidden. The laws framed by the various state legislatures were so stringent, and the penalties so


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severe, that we at this present day can only look back at them and shudder. Herein lies the chief cause of the lack of effort upon the part of the Church to increase its members. No one who has given these laws even the most cursory glance can blame the Church for shrinking from the pursuit of this cause; besides, any such efforts as might lead to the spread of education among the colored people, the great proportion of whom were slaves, would not only have called down the law upon the heads of the offenders, but even, as we will afterwards see, have endangered the very existence of the Church itself.

        As for Missionary Societies, Daughters of Conference, Societies for the Temporal Aid of the Preachers, they are all the outcome of a growth in any Church. These betoken an increase in the finances of the Church, due to the increasing numbers and wealth of its members. During the first decade of the existence of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, it was not blessed with members great in number or rich in worldly goods. We cannot, therefore, look upon the want of any of these societies as a reproach to the Church. As for the Church itself, it was at that time mainly in the condition of a mission. Its ministers were missionaries conveying light and hope to many a weary, downtrodden, and oppressed soul. In the way of missionary work it was, we might say, engaged in the noblest of all missionary fields--the home mission. This we conceive to be of infinitely more importance than any foreign field which has or ever may be covered by any Church or Society in the whole course of its history. If fewer efforts were made to enlarge the borders and expend our energies abroad, and if greater efforts were made to reach and bring within the Christian fold the large and evergrowing population of heathen we find within our own towns and cities, it would be better for ourselves and the world generally.

        But while there are many things in the history of the Church during the first decade of her existence which do not altogether fit our ideas, there are many to be approved of, and we ought in fairness to give the men, who, in that day stood in the forefront of the battle, all honor and praise for their noble, unselfish, and unflinching courage, and undaunted bearing and brave efforts to bring order out of confusion. Without their sacrifice, and without their works, the Church, in all probability, would not have the standing she has to-day.


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CHAPTER IX.
CONFERENCES OF 1827, 1828, 1829.

        Baltimore Annual Conference of 1827--Philadelphia Conference--Petition from Canada for Pastors--Election of Delegates to the General Conference of 1828--Rise of the Daughters of Conference--Extension of the Connection--Baltimore Conference of 1828--George Hogarth's First Appearance--News from Port-au-Prince--Philadelphia Conference--Morris Brown Elected and Ordained Bishop.

        THE Conference year of 1827 was opened by the Baltimore Annual Conference the 28th of April.

        Before this Conference, Rev. Scipio Beanes presented himself as an offered missionary to go to Hayti. A committee, consisting of Revs. Morris Brown, Jacob Matthews and William Cornish was appointed to inquire into his qualifications, and after deliberation and examination he was decided upon as a "fit person to be clothed as a missionary to Hayti," whereupon it was then resolved that "Scipio Beanes receive the orders of a deacon and elder in the Church of God for the same mission."

        Another resolution was passed, "that Samuel Dickson, having been a licensed preacher for two years, be received as a member of this Conference." This is another historic fact against the assertion that the action or recommendation of Quarterly Conference was always necessary. In this last case there is no allusion to such a recommendation. His being "licensed for two years" is alleged as the reason why he was received as a member of the Annual Conference. Then, too, we may look at the case of Scipio Beanes, where the action taken was extraordinary. He was received into the itinerant ranks, ordained a deacon, and then an elder--all within one week--for missionary purposes, and no action of the Quarterly Conference was deemed necessary.

        Together with Scipio Beanes, Levin Lee and William Cousins were ordained deacons, the latter if "he travels," and Revs. P. D. Schureman and Lewis Cork, elders.*

        * The action of the Baltimore Conference of 1827 resulted in more than that of the Philadelphia Conference in 1822, which decreed that Charles Butler should be ordained as a deacon and an elder, and be sent as a missionary to Africa, but failed to execute their own unanimous resolution. Scipio Beanes was sent to Hayti, and went.


There was a resolution
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passed admitting no one to a seat in this Conference unless he was licensed exhorter.

        Edward Waters and George Hicks were selected as the delegates to represent the Baltimore District at the next General Conference, to be held May 5th, 1828, in Philadelphia.

        A month later the Philadelphia Conference commenced its deliberations--May 19th. A petition from the western part of New York and Canada was received praying Conference to send them a preacher. After some reflection the Conference referred it to the New York District, as it rightfully belonged to that jurisdiction. Samuel George, William Allen, Nathan Tarman and Isaac Scott were received on trial. Austin Jones was elected to the order of Elders, having been received on probation but one year previous to this step. Samuel George and Walter Proctor were set apart for the order of deacons.

        As the General Conference of 1828 was to be provided with delegates, it was decided that the District embraced by the Philadelphia Conference should be properly represented by choosing two from the West, two from New Jersey, one from Lewiston, one from Bucks County, and two from Philadelphia. The election resulted in the choice of James Byrd from Cincinnati, O., and Samuel Johnston, of Pittsburg, Pa., as the two from the West; Samson Peters, of Trenton, and Thomas Banks, of Salem, from New Jersey; Peter Lewis, of Lewiston, Del.; Edward Jackson, of Bucks County; and Clayton Durham and Joseph Cox from Philadelphia.

        It was also resolved to recommend to the General Conference "The Chartered Fund for the Spread of the Gospel and the Relief of the Traveling Preachers." This "Chartered Fund" of the M. E. Church was founded in their General Conference of 1796, thirty years prior to this, and was now considered as a step it would be wise and timely to follow on the part of the Philadelphians. At this Conference we hear for the first time of the existence of that noble and useful band of women called the "Daughters of Conference," who contributed to Conference the sum of eighteen dollars and seventy-five cents. Other individual friends also gave small sums, which, with the collections of $133.50 from Bethel itself, raised to meet the expense of the session, swelled the amount to $153.75.

        Within the last twelve months, as shown by the journal, the Connection had extended itself into Western New York, taking


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in the cities of Utica, Rochester, and Buffalo; also into Canada, embracing the towns of Erie, Niagara, Gambia, and Malden. At the last-named place there were eighty-five members; at Gambia, six; at Niagara, twenty, and at Fort Erie, thirteen, making a total in Canada West of one hundred and twenty-four; while at Buffalo, N. Y., there were twelve, seven at Rochester, and twenty-seven at Utica, the entire total through this accession of territory reaching one hundred and seventy. Of these Societies, planted in Western New York, only Buffalo has amounted to any thing, and it has been, up to the present, numerically weak.*

        * Its minutes of 1877 give as the membership only one hundred and thirteen, with twenty probationers.


There now exists no A. M. E. Church in Rochester. Previous to 1886 the property was sold, the avails banked, the trustees all died or moved to unknown parts, the bank book was lost, and no claimant has been found. In the next year after this Conference, 1828, the Society in Albany, New York, was taken into the work. But the Canadian Societies multiplied till every important town in Canada West was marked by one of our churches; yet these three, during eighteen years of our missionary labors in that province, never became strong.

        As to the resolution of the Philadelphians respecting the "Chartered Fund," it shared the fate of a still-born child from that day to the year 1872, when the General Conference, sitting in Nashville, Tenn., formally gave disciplinary form to it; but it has remained a mere paper institution, and even now has no existence.

        The doings of the Baltimore Conference for 1828 possesses such little interest as scarcely to be worthy of record or notice here, if we except three or four facts: Rev. Levin Lee succeeded Rev. Joseph M. Corr in the secretaryship of the Baltimore Annual Conference; James High, another layman, succeeded Charles Hacket as steward of this Annual Conference; and Brother George Hogarth, who afterwards distinguished himself as our general book steward and editor of our first monthly magazine, made his first appearance at this Conference, and as steward of the Church in Port-au-Prince, Hayti, he reported seventy-two members in the Mission Church at that place. As Scipio Beanes had been ordained both deacon and elder at the


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last Annual Conference, and sent as missionary to Hayti, these seventy-two members may have been the fruits of his labors.

        The Philadelphia Annual Conference was opened on the 6th of May, notwithstanding the opening of the General Conference had been fixed for the 5th of the same month. Why the General Conference was postponed, in violation of disciplinary rule, does not appear; but it does appear that, after the Philadelphia Conference had been in session from the 6th to the 12th, they adjourned under the following resolution:

        Resolved, The house adjourn until a further period


        Then, after a lapse of fourteen days, we find them meeting again on the 27th, and finishing their business on the same day. Hence, we infer, first, that the Philadelphia Annual Conference was held from the 6th to the 12th; it then adjourned sine die, or till the rise of the General Conference; and second, that the General Conference was opened on the 12th or 13th, and continued in session till the 26th or 27th, after which the brethren of the Philadelphia Annual Conference resumed the session and finished their business; so the General Conference of 1828 must have been in session fifteen or sixteen days.

        We also find that in answer to the Seventh Question--"Who have been elected by the General Conference to exercise the Episcopal Office and superintend the African Methodist Episcopal Church?" this answer is, "Richard Allen." The question was put and answered on the 8th inst., but we find written in different ink, "and Morris Brown," which writing must have been done on the 27th, or some time immediately after the rise of the General Conference, because it was at this Conference that Rev. Morris Brown was elected and consecrated Bishop, which last act took place on the 25th of May, 1828.

        It will be remembered that at Baltimore, on the 10th of April, 1822, three persons were named as candidates for the office of assistant to the Bishop. These were Revs. Morris Brown, Jacob Matthews and Henry Harden, who received respectively seven, nine, and four votes. Then, in the same year, at the Philadelphia Conference, held in May, on the 18th, thirty days subsequent to the Baltimore election, the same three persons were voted for, with the result of nine votes each for Morris Brown and Henry Harden, and fifteen for Jacob Matthews. The last-named had, therefore, a majority of eight as a total over Morris


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Brown, and in each case he received the popular vote; yet he was rejected, and Morris Brown was ordained for the office.

        The reasons for this contradiction and also opposition to the popular vote are not apparent from our standpoint, though it may have been from the standpoint of the men who knew the three--their strong points and their weak ones.

        Four brethren were received on trial as itinerant preachers: John Hite, Anthony Campbell, Jacob Williams and Joseph M. Corr. Anthony Campbell was also ordained an elder at this Conference, but for what reason the excellent injunction of the Apostle was violated does not appear. Three of the traveling preachers located, James Towsen, Jeremiah Beulah and A. W. Allen.

        Three of the watchmen upon the walls of Zion had fallen since the meeting of the last Conference: Charles Corr, the venerable father of the talented and pious Joseph M. Corr, who died in Philadelphia, November 21, 1827, aged 51 years. He was pious in early life, and entered the ministry in his 16th year. He continued publishing salvation to dying men for the period of thirty-five years. For twenty-three years he was in connection with the M. E. Church, during which period he resided in the state of South Carolina, city of Charleston; but as soon as the African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed, he felt it his duty to join it, where he could spend his strength and talents with more effect, and he maintained an honorable position in it to the day of his death, when he laid down his cross to put on his crown.

        James Wilson also departed this life in this year, in the month of September, in the city of Philadelphia, after being twenty years a laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. George Miner was another minister of the Gospel, who died in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, after six years in the work of the ministry.

        In the year 1829, and at the Baltimore Annual Conference, we find, for the first time since the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the seat of Bishop Allen vacant, and Rt. Rev. Morris Brown presiding alone over the deliberations of the Baltimore Conference, which opened on Saturday morning, April 18, 1829.

        Samuel Ente and Jacob Williams were admitted on trial. Scipio Beanes and Levin Lee were admitted into full connection, the former subsequently locating. Nathaniel Peck was ordained


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a local deacon. As there were no other important items, it will be seen that, like the session of 1828, this Conference was extremely barren of interest this year. Not so with the Philadelphia Conference. This was as fertile in interesting matter as the Baltimore Conference was barren of it.

        It commenced its deliberations on Monday, May 11th, although it was organized on the morning of the previous Saturday. The two Bishops were present, but whether they presided singly or jointly, or alternately, day by day, is not stated. Some wise resolutions were made and carried, one to the effect that if any traveling preacher should be impeached, and if there should be no sufficient evidence to convict him, the Conference and superintendent could send him out, if they thought proper, until witnesses could be procured, then he should be brought at any time to trial according to discipline. It was a perfectly just resolution, and gives a precedent that should never be forgotten, and should be applied in all similar cases. They went further in another resolution: "If any preacher should turn out any member from Society without trial by a committee agreeable to discipline, he should be answerable to the Annual Conference, and dealt with as the nature of the case might require, according to the judgment of the Conference."

        They also decreed "that no preacher succeeding another on a circuit, shall, under any circumstances, take up any case that had been legally decided by his predecessor except upon appeal." This was an excellent resolution, and showed the good sense of the Conference. It seems that there had been so many cases of a character violating the principle involved in this decree, and resulting in the most unhappy consequences, both to preachers and people, that the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown, at this Conference, delivered a particular address to the traveling preachers, in which he exhorted them to keep "good rule and order on their circuits," and also urged them "to pay particular attention to the directions of their predecessors." Another decree was "that no preacher should be sent out by its authority who was in any way involved in debt."

        As for the correctness of the position which the Conference occupied in relation to the indebtedness of preachers, no man of correct views and sound judgment would undertake to question it. If there is any man who, above all others, ought to be free from debts, it is the traveling Methodist preacher.


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        That it was a difficult thing to accomplish there is no doubt, in consideration of the small amount obtained by them in the form of support or salary, and because of this fact and its recognition by the Conference, and because of a petition from Joseph Harper and William Richardson requesting Conference "to take into consideration the necessity of forming a sinking fund for the aid of traveling preachers," it was resolved that Noah C. Cannon, Joseph Harper and Joseph M. Corr should be a committee to draw up a constitution for the government of a sinking fund association.

        Respecting the interests of the Book Concern, it was resolved "that all east of the Alleghany Mountains should make their return of moneys once in six months, or sooner, if convenient; at the end of the year the books remaining unsold should be returned to the stewards;" and again, "that Samuel Johnson in Pittsburgh and James Kurtz in Cincinnati be the book stewards for the Western country."

        Wiley Reynolds was admitted into the traveling ministry on probation, and also ordained a deacon, and William Richardson an elder. As in the year previous, so in this, we have to record the death of three of the ministry: Samuel Ridley, Thomas Webster and Philip Broadie. The first named died May 7th, 1828, in Rocky Hill, N. J. His circuit at the time of his death was the Smyrna Circuit, which he had left to attend this Conference, but was stricken down while on a visit to his family. He had been a traveling preacher for a number of years. Thomas Webster died in Philadelphia, October 9th, 1828, after a lingering illness of nearly two years. He had, as it appeared, contracted a cold in his travels in the State of Ohio, having belonged to the traveling department of the Connection for eight or nine years. Philip Broadie died in Cincinnati, O., on the 9th of March, 1829. These are the statements which the journal bears, but concerning the last named we have some additional facts. Brother Owen T. B. Nickens, a local preacher of the Ohio Annual Conference, and a member of the Church in Cincinnati, has furnished further information concerning him:

        "Rev. Philip Broadie, the first preacher having charge of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Cincinnati, O., was a native of the state of Virginia, but when quite young he was taken by his parents to East Tennessee, near Knoxville, where he grew up to manhood, and lived for many years afterwards.


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        "He experienced a change of heart and made a profession of religion, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he continued an upright and exemplary member for many years. At length, feeling it his duty, by the moving of the Holy Ghost, to call sinners to repentance, he applied for and obtained license, first as an exhorter, and then as a local preacher.

        "After laboring extensively, and with abundant success, in that part of the vineyard of the Lord, he left that country, visited and preached in many places in West Tennessee and the state of Kentucky, and at length landed in Cincinnati. Here the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by the lamented Rev. Moses Freeman on the 4th of February, 1824, a few days before Brother Broadie's arrival. He immediately united with it, and began his labors.

        "As a local preacher he continued to preach and build up the little flock of Christ after Brother Freeman left, till the following spring, when he went on to meet the Conference in Philadelphia. There he offered himself, and was received into the traveling ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and was sent back as preacher in charge of the Cincinnati Circuit. In that, his first year in the itinerant service of the Church, though compelled to encounter privations and hardships, to contend and battle with foes strong and wily, he showed himself fully competent to the great task.

        "On almost every part of his large circuit a great and glorious revival of religion broke out, and continued the greater part of the year, during which many souls were added to the Church. In Cincinnati alone the number was increased from six to about fifty. In the following year, owing to its great distance from every other point of the circuit, Cincinnati was cut off and formed into a station, which was filled by Rev. Thomas Webster, and then Brother Broadie's field of labor became the Urbana Circuit. He continued his labors with great and glorious success on that and other circuits till the close of the year 1828, when he was compelled by disease and approaching dissolution to retire from the field and return home to his family in Cincinnati. There he lingered, his constitution gradually giving away, and his soul ripening for heaven, till the latter part of February, 1829, when he fell asleep in death.

        "Philip Broadie was not a man of scientific and literary attainments, but his constant reading of the Scriptures, theological,


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historical, and other useful works, had furnished his naturally active and vigorous mind with a rich fund of biblical and useful knowledge. In the pulpit, though not learned and brilliant, he was solid, plain, practical, and full of good sense. Very different from many of the fathers of our Church, he loved and highly appreciated education and knowledge; not that he valued piety and holiness less. And though not regarding these as paramount objects, he knew their worth, and assiduously urged upon all, both young and old, particularly those just entering into the ministry, the importance of mental culture.

        "And when disease had so wasted and worn him down that he could preach no longer, it was his great delight to call the young members together at his house to instruct and counsel them. The nearer his life drew to a close the more fervent he grew in his advice to the young, more fervent in prayer that God would raise up fit and properly qualified young men to labor in his vineyard. Thus lived, prayed, and labored the pious Philip Broadie, the first pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cincinnati; his life--a living proof of his firm belief in the Gospel which he preached; his death--peaceful and calm, yet triumphant, a striking demonstration of the glorious victory of a dying Christian."


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CHAPTER X.
EARLY MISSIONARY WORK OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH.

        News from Hayti or Santo Domingo--Letter Asking Recognition of the Society in Hayti as a Branch of Our Connection--Pledges to Submit to Our Discipline--Samuel Ente Devotes Himself to the Santo Domingo Fields--Ohio Formed into a Conference--Death of Bishop Allen.

        THE Baltimore Conference of 1830, like that of the preceding two years, presents nothing of general interest but the contents of two letters received from St. Domingo. The first of these relates to their pastor, Rev. Isaac Miller. As the two give us an insight into the state of the work in that part of the island of Hayti at that early period, as well as a knowledge of the workers, their piety, zeal, and abilities, they are here transcribed:

SAMANA, December 19, 1829. *

        * Samana is located in the Spanish part of the Island of Hayti, in the Peninsula of Samana. The town is situated in the southern part of the peninsula. At the time when the Society memorialized our Connection, the whole island was under one government, that of President Boyer. Samana is the most important peninsula in this island, contains the largest bay, and has many advantages not enjoyed by the two others.


        We, the undersigned Board of Trustees, members of Bethel Church, at Samana, doe send unto you our Brother in the Lord and deacon in the Ministry. We recommend him unto you as A Worthy member of our Society And partner in tribulations, and as our redeemer saith, "Wo unto you when all men shall speak well of you."

        Therefore, as our Saviour himself was evil spoken of, We can not expect that his followers Will not share the same fate. Our Pastor We hope you will receive as A gardian Angel over the flock of Christ, and While We have Seen other Shepherds desert the flock, our Brother Isaac Miller in the Holy War stood the Storm, and appears Willing to endever untill the end as A good soldier as such. We claim him as our Worthy, affectionate, and respectable Pastor in Charge.

SAMUEL TACHER, Exhorter.

CHARLES IRWIN, Class Leader.

SAMUEL KETLER, Trustee.

SAMUEL HOLMES, Trustee.

ELIJAH JOHNSON, Trustee.

SOLOMON THOMAS, Trustee.



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        The second letter relates more particularly to their general condition as a Church:

A LETTER FROM STAINT TO MINDAY, Monday 1st, 1830. *

        * The true orthography of this word is Santo Domingo. It is the name given sometimes to the whole island, and is derived from the city which was founded by Bartholomew, the brother of Christopher Columbus. The town or city of Santo Domingo, from which this letter was dated, and doubtless written, is the capital or chief city of the Spanish or eastern part of the Island of Hayti. It is in the southern part, situated on the River Ozama, near its mouth. It is the first, and, therefore, the oldest European city in the Western World. It is surrounded by a wall.


        At A Annual Conference Held in San daming by Brother Jacob Roberts, Preacher in charge, the conference viewing our deplorable Situation; the Conference thought to devise Some Ways or means to remedy our deploreable Situation, then entered into a resolution to Send two of our Brothering on to the Affrican Methodist Episcopal Church in North America, that are under the Control of the Affrican Methodist Bishops and conference, for the express perpose to know of them, to know whether they will acknowledge us to be a Branch of the said conference, as we have unanimously agreed to submit ourselves to the Desipolin of the said conference that now is and may be devised hear or hearafter.

        Dear Brothering, the harvest is great and the labers are few, and notwithstanding Miles and Waves sepparates our boddies, We know the same God is hear that is in the united States, for Bethel is still the same; but not withstanding, sense we have arrived in this dark region a number of our Brothers and Sisters that bid fare when we left the United States for old Cananon, have hung their harps uppon the Willows, and has lost the Song of Zion; but blessed be the name of the God of Betthell, there is yet a few names in Sardeous, there is yet a few names in Hati, that doe contend for the faith that was delivered to the Saints; finely, brothern, pray for us that the word of the Lord may run through this dark region, and his name be glorified as it is with you; brethern, we believe you pray for us as we do for you; by faith We feel the force of your prayers; don't Wery in Well-doing; brothern, we have nothing to fear here but God: our religious devotions are granted to us both by Church and State. We can worship God here in all the ways directed in our disciplain, as we did in the united States; brothern, we care not for the Clambers war furthern; first the Christian and the soilder is the bulwark of contry; but for soldiers We have a plenty, but Christians is few. This letter we send to you by our beloved Brothers Roberts and Miller, greeting, by the order of the Annual Conference, and we hope you will keep them imployed, for that will give you a verbal statement; no more at pressent; finely, Brothern, pray for us, tel all Christian Churches to pray for us.


        Immediately after this letter was read, we are told that "Samuel Ente gave himself up to be sent to Sindemingo;" and


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next, "By motion, the Annual Conference received Jacob Roberts and Isaac Miller in the Affrican Connection," and that these brethren would return to St. Domingo as soon as they could get their "business settled and a passage to the same."

        The journal of this year also tells us that Jacob Roberts was to be set apart for the orders of a deacon, and Isaac Miller for those of an elder, though there is no record of any ordinations. It will be remembered that in May, 1827, Brother Scipio Beans offered himself to Conference as a missionary to Hayti; that a committee was appointed to examine into his qualifications, which committee decided in his favor, and that he was elected to deacon's and elder's orders and ordained, receiving his desired appointment. Up to this date we find no record of the work of that mission. In less than twelve months he was back in Baltimore, and now in 1829 he is found a located man. What he accomplished will be noted in a succeeding chapter.

        There was no addition to the itinerant ministry at this Conference. Both Bishops were present at this session, which was the last Bishop Allen ever attended in Baltimore. Bishop Allen was assisted in stationing the preachers by a committee appointed for the purpose, consisting of Bishop Brown, Samuel Todd, and Edward Waters.

        On the 22d of May, 1830, the Philadelphia Conference commenced its deliberations, with the two superintendents present. Joseph M. Corr and Levin Lee, of Baltimore, were secretaries.

        Five young men were received into the traveling department of the ministry at this Conference--John Cornish, Stephen Stanford, Robert Brady, Robert Evans, Isaac Miller, Henry Allen, and Richard Robinson, from Port-au-Prince. On account of this last-named brother, a petition was sent from Port-au-Prince, praying that he should be set apart for holy orders. In compliance with this petition, Conference ordained Brother Robinson first a deacon, secondly an elder. John Cornish was also ordained to the former office, and Israel Scott, Nathan Turman, and Isaac Miller to the latter. Isaac Miller is the same person who was at the Baltimore Annual Conference of this year. He was first licensed to preach by Rev. Jacob Roberts, the deacon who had charge of the Church at Santo Domingo and, through a vote of the "Convention," the "Church in Samana." This license he bore to the Baltimore Annual Conference, and it was recorded upon the journal as follows:


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ISAAC MILLER, LICENSE.

SANTO DOMINGO, January the 4th, 1829.

        This is to certify that the bearer, Isaac Miller, is licensed to be a preacher in charge of Samara,*

        * Samana is meant.


over the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Signed in behalf of the Convention of said Church, so long as his life corresponds with the Gospel, to be renewed once a year, and he submits to the rules of the Discipline of said Church, given under my hand the 4th of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.

        This given under my hand the 23d day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty.

JACOB ROBERTS, Minister.


        This license, with the two letters already given in this chapter, were laid before the Baltimore Conference on May 3d, 1830, and on the same day it was "moved and seconded that Jacob Roberts and Isaac Miller be set apart by the Annual Conference of Baltimore District to receive deacon's orders." It was also "moved and seconded that Isaac Miller be set apart to receive the orders of an elder." Both of these motions were carried in the affirmative, but it seems that neither of them were executed by the Bishops, both of whom were present. On the other hand, we find the previously mentioned fact from the Philadelphia journal, under date May 29th, 1830, that "Isaac Miller be also set apart as a deacon and an elder for Samana."*

        * The word "also" alludes to the action of Conference in the case of Brother Richard Robinson, for they had just voted to "set him apart" in holy orders as a deacon and an elder.


        Why Jacob Roberts was not ordained, though the foremost man whom the people of the Island of Hayti had sent as one of the commissioners to our Church, we know not, nor can we tell what eventually became of him. We conjecture that he was insulted either by the action of the Baltimore Conference in respect to himself, or by the Bishops referring his ordination to the Philadelphia Conference. The inference is strong that the former hypothesis is true, because the letters from Samana and Santo Domingo represent Brother Roberts first, as a deacon; secondly, as licensing Brother Miller, which he could not have very well done if he had not been a deacon; thirdly, as holding the Convention in which Miller was ordered to be licensed; and fourthly, as presiding over the Annual Conference, which was held in Santo Domingo, and which had ordered the appointment of the commissioners


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to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. Notwithstanding all these marks of superiority, Brother Miller was preferred before him, and the Conference ordered his (Miller's) double ordination; at the same time only a single one was ordered for Brother Roberts.

        Among the parochial reports at this Conference there were no returns from Ohio, because it was formed into a Conference District. We find here, too, the first instance of the preachers' setling for books with the general book steward, and a total of profits is recorded as being $10.45.

        Three local preachers were admitted on trial in the Baltimore Conference of 1831, among whom was Stephen Smith, who was also voted to be ordained a deacon in compliance with a petition from the Harrisburgh Circuit. Two local preachers had died, Brothers George Hicks and Ignatius Currey, the former September 8th, 1830, the latter on the 28th of the same month.

        Bishop Brown is represented as having preached Bishop Allen's funeral sermon on Thursday afternoon, May 5th, at 3 o'clock. Besides these items, the Baltimore Conference of 1831 is destitute of interest.

        This year history had the painful and solemn duty of recording the death of the most distinguished man of color in the United States of America. That man was none other than the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen, the illustrious founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the first descendant of Africa since the day of the Christian fathers who obtained such high authority in any one branch of the Christian Church of which we have knowledge. Yet, notwithstanding this important fact, not so much as a resolution expressive of the honor due his character, nor one expressing condolence with his bereaved family, was passed by the Baltimore Conference--nothing given to the Church and to the world to show what appreciation the Baltimore Conference set upon the character and labors of this illustrious servant of God and the Church.

        Not so the Philadelphia Conference for 1831, which was organized May 21st. The first business done was to pass the following resolution:

        Resolved, That the funeral sermon of the Rev. Bishop Allen, deceased, be preached on Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock, in Bethel, and at the Union on Sunday, May 29th



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        And in connection with the notices of the deaths of the ambassadors of the Cross this year, recorded upon the journal, we find the following of the first and chief one, Rt. Rev. Richard Allen:

        The father and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Connection in the United States of America, who departed this life in the triumphs of faith, and in the full assurance of a better resurrection, on the 26th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1831, in the 72d year of his useful and venerable life, was a preacher for upwards of half a century, and may truly be said to be the great apostle of the African race in the United States. The extent of the Connection through his instrumentality, and the preachers who were ordained and sent out by him, has been as far as the western bounds of Ohio, as well as north and south of Philadelphia, to the Island of Hayti and the wilds of Africa, and thousands, yea myriads of the African race who once sat in darkness now dwell in light, and though last, are not least of those who are crowding the gates of Zion.

        He was born in Philadelphia 1760, ordained a deacon in 1799, and a Bishop in 1816.


        Such is the notice found of the lamented Bishop Allen. The other two who had died were Henry Fox and Stephen Stanford, a licensed local preacher, who died on the Easton Circuit in September, 1830. He was "a man truly devoted to God, and aged fifty years." Henry Fox died on August 9th, 1830, in the ninetieth year of his age, an "acceptable local deacon in Frenchtown" at his death. He is described as a "venerable patriarch" who went down to his grave "crowned with glory and surrounded by a large posterity"--a man who "labored almost to the last for the vindication of the Gospel of Peace, and went down to Jordan's streams rejoicing.["]

        Wardell Parker and Aaron Wilson were admitted on trial, and William Henry was ordained a deacon. Rev. John Cornish and Rev. Wiley Reynolds were ordained elders. Samuel Ente, who had devoted himself as a missionary to Hayti, did not go for some reason, but located this year. William Richardson was received again on trial. Joseph Cox and Clayton Durham were elected delegates from Philadelphia to the ensuing General Conference. Moses Robinson, from Lewiston; Aaron Wilson, from Smyrna; Thomas Banks, from Salem, N. J.; Samson Peters, from Trenton, N. J.; and Joseph Corr, from Bucks County, Pa., made up the list--seven in all.

        Since 1824 we have lost sight of the movements of the New York Conference, and not until 1831 does the stream from its


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history re-enter and flow on with the general current. At this point we find it opened on the 18th of June in the city of New York, about two weeks and four days after the rise of the Philadelphia Conference. Bishop Morris Brown presided over its deliberations. After this lapse of time we find the following members composing this body: Revs. William Cornish, Jeremiah Miller, Israel Scott, William Richardson, Edward Waters, Richard Williams, Samuel Todd, Benjamin Croker, Edmund Crosby, Peter Croger, Henry Brown, Charles Bohomon, Clayton Durham, John Morris, Fortune Mathias, James Burton, Edward Thompson, Abraham Marks, Hercules Schureman,*

        * This was the grandfather of the Rev. William D. W. Schureman.


George Hogarth, London Turpin, Samuel Brown, John Gustive. Benjamin Croger was its secretary.

        This Conference also notes the death of Rt. Rev. Richard Allen by a resolution, "that the funeral sermon of Rt. Rev. Richard Allen be preached on the 23d instant, in Bethel Church, at 3 o'clock; at the Wesleyan Church, in Brooklyn, on the 27th, and in the Macedonian Church, at Flushing." Rev. Edward Waters appears on the face of the journal as Bishop Brown's assistant.

        In 1822 the New York Conference embraced seven charges. This year (1831) nine were reported, showing an increase of only two in nine years. In 1822 the number of members were seven hundred and thirteen, this year they were six hundred and fifty-five, showing a decrease of fifty-eight members.

        Four delegates were elected to the ensuing General Conference: Revs. London Turpin, Edmund Crosby, George Hogarth and Abram Marks; but aside from this election and the funeral sermons of Bishop Allen, the Conference did nothing which had relation to the general interests of the Church.


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CHAPTER XI.
SOME OF THE FOUNDERS.

        Life of Bishop Allen--His Birth in a State of Slavery--His Conversion--He Joins the Methodists--The Way in Which Allen and His Brother Treated Their Master--He Reciprocates Their Attention to His Interests--His Opinion About the Influence of Religion on Slaves.

        ALL that is known of the life of Rev. Richard Allen, prior to 1816, when he became one of the founders and the Bishop of the A. M. E. Church, has been furnished us by his own hand.*

        * The original manuscript entitled, "Journal of Richard Allen," is in the writer's hands. He found it in a chest, which had belonged to the Bishop, in possession of his younger daughter, Mrs. Nase Adams. It was among a great deal of mere rubbish. The old chest seemed to have been to the Bishop what a waste basket is to a literary or business man of our times. The manuscript was written by his son Richard, who was his amanuensis.


We shall, therefore, let him speak for himself:

        "I was born in the year of our Lord 1760, on February 14th, a slave to Benjamin Chew, of Philadelphia. My mother and father and four children of us were sold into Delaware State, near Dover; and I was a child and lived with him until I was upwards of twenty years of age, during which time I was awakened and brought to see myself poor, wretched and undone, and without the mercy of God, must be lost. Shortly after I obtained mercy through the blood of Christ, and was constrained to exhort my old companions to seek the Lord. I went rejoicing for several days, and was happy in the Lord in conversing with many old experienced Christians. I was brought under doubts and was tempted to believe I was deceived, and was constrained to seek the Lord afresh. I went with my head bowed down for many days. My sins were a heavy burden. I was tempted to believe there was no mercy for me. I cried to the Lord both night and day. One night I thought hell would be my portion. I cried unto Him who delighteth to hear the prayers of a poor sinner; and, all of a sudden, my dungeon shook, my chains flew off, and 'Glory to God!' I cried. My soul was filled. I cried, 'Enough! for me the Saviour died!' Now,


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my confidence was strengthened that the Lord, for Christ's sake, had heard my prayers and pardoned all my sins. I was constrained to go from house to house, exhorting my old companions, and telling to all around what a dear Saviour I had found. I joined the Methodist Society, and met in class at Benjamin Wells', in the forest, Delaware State. John Greg was class-leader. I met in his class for several years.

        "My master was an unconverted man, and all the family; but he was what the world called a good master. He was more like a father to his slaves than anything else. He was a very tender, humane man. My mother and father lived with him for many years. He was brought into difficulty, not being able to pay for us. My mother, who had several children after he had bought us, was sold with three of her children. She sought the Lord, and found favor with him, and became a very pious woman. There were three children of us who remained with our old master. My oldest brother and my sister embraced religion. Our neighbors, seeing that our master indulged us with the privilege of attending meeting once in two weeks, said that Stockley's negroes would soon ruin him; and so my brother and myself held a council together, and decided that we would attend more faithfully to our master's business, so that it should not be said that religion made us worse servants; we would work night and day to get our crop forward, so that they should be disappointed. We frequently went to meeting on every other Thursday; but if we were likely to be backward with our crops we would refrain from going to meeting. When our master found we were making no provisions to go to meeting, he would frequently ask us if it was not our meeting day, and if we were not going. We would frequently tell him, 'No, sir; we would rather stay at home and get our work done.' He would tell us, 'Boys, I would rather you would go to your meetings; if I am not good myself, I like to see you striving yourselves to be good.' Our reply would be, 'Thank you, sir; but we would rather stay and get our crops forward.' So we always continued to keep our crops more forward than our neighbors; and we would attend public preaching once in two weeks. At length our master said he was convinced that religion made slaves better and not worse, and often boasted of his slaves for their industry and honesty. Some time after I asked him if I might ask the preacher to come and preach at his house. He being old and infirm, my


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master and mistress cheerfully agreed for me to ask some of the Methodist preachers to come and preach at the house. I asked him for a note. He replied, 'If my word is not sufficient I will send no note.' I accordingly asked the preacher. He seemed somewhat backward at first, as my master did not send a written request; but the class-leader, John Greg, observed that my word was sufficient; so he preached at my old master's house on the next Wednesday.

        "Preaching continued for some months. At length Free-born Garrettson preached from these words: 'Thou art weighed in the balance and art found wanting.' In pointing out and weighing the different characters, and among the rest weighed the slaveholder, my master believed himself to be one of that number, and after that he could not be satisfied to hold slaves, believing it to be wrong. And after that he proposed to me and my brother buying our time, to pay him sixty pounds in gold and silver, or two thousand dollars Continental money, which we complied with in the year 17--.

        "We left our master's house, and I may truly say it was like leaving our father's house; for he was a kind, affectionate, and tender-hearted master, and told us to make his house our home when we were out of a place or sick. While living with him we had family prayers in the kitchen, to which he would frequently come out himself at the time of prayer, and my mistress with him. At length he invited us from the kitchen to the parlor to hold family prayers, which we attended to. We had our stated times to hold our prayer-meetings, and give exhortations in the neighborhood.

        "It had often been impressed upon my mind that I should one day enjoy freedom, for slavery is a bitter pill, notwithstanding we had a good master. But when we would think our day's work was never done, we often thought that after our master's death we were liable to be sold to the highest bidder, as he was much in debt, and thus my troubles were increased, and I was often brought to weep between the porch and the altar. But I have had reason to bless my dear Lord that a door was opened unexpectedly for me to buy my time and enjoy my liberty. When I left my master's house I knew not what to do, not being used to hard work--what business I should follow to pay my master and get my living. I went to cutting cord-wood. The first day my hands were so blistered and sore that it was with


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difficulty I could open or shut them. I kneeled down upon my knees and prayed that the Lord would open some way for me to get a living. In a few days my hands recovered, and became accustomed to cutting wood and other hardships; so I soon became able to cut my cord and a-half and two cords a day. After I was done cutting I was employed in a brick-yard by one Robert Register at fifty dollars a month, Continental money. After I was done with the brick-yard I went to day's work, but did not forget to serve my dear Lord. I used often to pray sitting or standing or lying; and while my hands were employed to earn my bread, my heart was devoted to my dear Redeemer. Sometimes I would awaken from my sleep preaching and praying. I was after this employed in driving a wagon in time of the Continental war--drawing salt from Rhobar, Sussex county, in Delaware. I had my regular stops and preaching-places on the road. I enjoyed many happy seasons in prayer and meditation while in this employment.

        "After peace was proclaimed I then traveled extensively, striving to preach the Gospel. My lot was cast in Wilmington. Shortly after I was taken sick with fall fever, and then the pleurisy. September 3d, 1783, I left my native place. After leaving Wilmington I went into Jersey, and there traveled and strove to preach the Gospel until the spring of 1784. I then became acquainted with Benjamin Abbott, that great and good apostle. He was one of the greatest men that ever I was acquainted with. He seldom preached but what there were souls added to his labor. He was a man of as great faith as any that ever I saw. The Lord was with him, and blessed his labors abundantly.

        "He was as a friend and father to me. I was sorry when I had to leave West Jersey, knowing I had to leave a father. I was employed in cutting wood for Captain Cruenkleton, although I preached the Gospel at nights and on Sundays. My dear Lord was with me, and blessed my labors--Glory to God!--and gave me souls for my hire. I then visited East Jersey, and labored for my dear Lord, and became acquainted with Joseph Budd, and made my home with him near the new mills--a family, I trust, who loved and served the Lord. I labored some time there, but being much afflicted in body with inflammatory rheumatism, was not as successful as in some other places. I went from there to Jonathan Bunn's, near Bennington, East Jersey. There I labored in that neighborhood for some time. I found him and his family


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kind and affectionate, and he and his dear wife were a father and mother in Israel. In the year 1784 I left East Jersey and labored in Pennsylvania. I walked until my feet became so sore and blistered the first day that I scarcely could bear them to the ground. I found the people very humane and kind in Pennsylvania. I, having but little money, stopped at Cæsar Waters, at Radnor Township, twelve miles from Philadelphia. I found him and his wife very kind and affectionate to me. In the evening they asked me if I would come and take tea with them; but after sitting awhile my feet became so sore and painful that I could scarcely be able to put them to the floor. I told them I would accept of their kind invitation, but my feet pained me so that I could not come to the table. They brought the table to me. Never was I more kindly received by strangers that I had never before seen than by them. They bathed my feet with warm water and bran; the next morning my feet were better, and free from pain. They asked me if I would preach for them the next evening. We had a glorious meeting. They invited me to stay till Sabbath day and preach for them. I agreed to do so, and preached on Sabbath day to a large congregation of different persuasions, and my dear Lord was with me, and I believe there were many souls cut to the heart and were added to the ministry. They insisted on me to stay longer with them. I was frequently called upon by many inquiring what they should do to be saved. I pointed them to prayer and supplication at the throne of grace, and to make use of all manner of prayer, and pointed them to the invitation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has said, 'Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' Glory be to God! and now I know that he was a God at hand and not afar off. I preached my farewell sermon, and left these dear people. It was a time of visitation from above. Many were the slain of the Lord. Seldom did I experience such a time of mourning and lamentation among a people. There were but few colored people in the neighborhood--the most of my congregation was white. Some said, 'This man must be a man of God. I never heard such preaching before.' We spent a greater part of the night in singing and praying with the mourners. I expected that I should have had to walk as I did before; but Mr. Davis had a creature that he made a present to me, and I intended to pay him for his horse if I ever got able. My dear Lord was kind and gracious to me. Some years after


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I got into business and thought myself able to pay for the horse. The horse was too light and small for me to travel on far. I traded it away with John Huftman for a blind horse, but large. I found my friend Huftman very kind and affectionate to me, and his family also. I preached several times at Huftman's meeting house to a large and numerous congregation.

        "I proceed on to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I found the people in general dead to religion, and scarcely a form of godliness. I went to Little York, and stopped with George Tess, a saddler, and I believed him to be a man that loved and feared the Lord. I had comfortable meetings with the Germans. I left Little York and proceeded on to the State of Maryland, and stopped at Benjamin Givens, and I believed him to be a man that loved and served the Lord. I had many happy seasons with my dear friends. His wife was a very pious woman, but their dear children were strangers to vital religion. I preached in the neighborhood for some time, and traveled Harford Circuit with Mr. Porter, who traveled that circuit. I found him very useful to me. I also traveled with Jonathan Forest and Levi Coal.

        "December, 1784, General Conference met in Baltimore, the first General Conference ever held in America. The English preachers just arrived from Europe, Dr. Coke, Richard Whatcoat, and Thomas Vassey. This was the beginning of the Episcopal Church among the Methodists. Many of the ministers were set apart in holy orders at this Conference, and were said to be entitled to the gown;*

        * It is evident from the remarks of Richard Allen that he was opposed to a gowned ministry. If he could arise from the dead what would be his feelings and his reasonings upon seeing Bishop Brown, Bishop Campbell, Bishop Cain, and Bishop Turner in black silk gowns.

        It is said "it adds to their dignity." True dignity is found only in character, not in office. Did the God-man dignify himself with white surplices and black silk gowns? No mere man ever lived who was greater than the apostle Paul. Did he attempt to increase his dignity by a surplice or a silk gown? The dignity of an individual lies in a spotless life. The dignity of an officer, civil, political or ecclesiastical, lies in his qualifications for the office which he has been called to fill. These qualifications must be in his head, his heart, and his will; not in his dress, which for gentility's sake he must wear; nor in white or silk robes, which for vanity's sake he need not wear. There was a pamphlet published by some persons which stated that when Methodists were no people they were a people, and now they have become a people they were no people, which had often serious weight upon my mind.


and I have thought religion has been declining in the Church ever since.


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        "In 1785 the Rev. Richard Whatcoat was appointed on Baltimore Circuit. He was, I believe, a man of God. I found great strength in traveling with him, a father in Israel. In his advice he was fatherly and friendly. He was of a mild, serene disposition.

        "My lot was cast in Baltimore, in a small meeting-house called the Methodist Alley. I stopped at Richard Mould's, and was sent to my lodgings, and lodged at Mr. McCannon's. I had some happy meetings in Baltimore. I was introduced to Richard Russell, who was very kind and affectionate to me, and attended several meetings.

        "Rev. Bishop Asbury sent for me to meet him at Henry Gaff's. I did so. He told me he wished me to travel with him. He told me that in the slave countries, Carolina and other places, I must not intermix with the slaves, and I would frequently have to sleep in his carriage, and he would allow me my victuals and clothes. I told him that I would not travel with him on those conditions. He asked me my reasons. I told him if I was taken sick who was to support me? and that I thought my people ought to lay up something while they were able, to support themselves in time of sickness and old age. He said that was as much as he got, his victuals and clothes. I told him he could be taken care of, let his afflictions be as they were, or let him be taken sick where he would, he could be taken care of; but I doubted whether it would be the case with myself. He smiled, and told me he would give me from then until he returned from the eastward to make up my mind, which would be about three months. But I made up my mind that I would not accept his proposals. Shortly after I left Harford Circuit, and came to Pennsylvania, on Lancaster Circuit. I traveled several months on Lancaster Circuit with the Rev. Peter Moratte and Jerie Ellis. They were kind and affectionate to me in building me up, for I had many trials to pass through, and I received nothing from the Methodist Connection. My usual method was, when I would get bare of clothes, to stop traveling and go to work, so that no man could say I was chargeable to the Connection. My hands administered to my necessities. The autumn of 1785 I returned again to Radnor. I stopped at George Gigers, a man of God, and went to work. His family were all kind and affectionate to me. I killed seven beeves and supplied the neighbors with meat; got myself pretty well clad through my own


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industry--thank God--and preached occasionally. The elder in charge in Philadelphia frequently sent for me to come to the city. February, 1786, I came to Philadelphia. Preaching was given out for me in the morning, at five o'clock, in St. George's Church. I strove to preach as well as I could, but it was a great cross for me, but the Lord was with me. We had a good time, and several souls were awakened, and were earnestly seeking redemption in the blood of Christ. I thought I would stop in Philadelphia a week or two. I preached at different places in the city. My labor was much blessed. I soon saw a large field open in seeking and instructing my African brethren, who had been a long forgotten people, and few of them attended public worship. I preached on the commons in Southwark, Northern Liberties, and wherever I could find an opening. I frequently preached twice a day, at five o'clock in the morning and in the evening, and it was not uncommon for me to preach from four to five times a day. I established prayer-meetings; I raised a Society in 1786 of forty-two members.

        "I saw the necessity of erecting a place of worship for the colored people. I proposed it to the most respectable people of color in this city; but here I met with opposition. I had but three colored brethren who united with me in erecting a place of worship--the Rev. Absalom Jones, William White and Darius Jinnings. These united with me as soon as it became public and known by the elder, who was stationed in the city. The Rev. C. B. opposed the plan, and would not submit to any argument we might raise; but he was shortly removed from the charge. The Rev. Mr. W---- took the charge, and the Rev. L. G----. Mr. W---- was much opposed to an African Church, and used very degrading and insulting language to us to try to prevent us from going on. We all belonged to St. George's Church--Rev. Absalom Jones, William White and Darius Jinnings. We felt ourselves much cramped; but my dear Lord was with us, and we believed if it was his will the work would go on, and that we would be able to succeed in building the house of the Lord. We established prayer-meetings and meetings of exhortation, and the Lord blessed our endeavors, and many souls were awakened; but the elder soon forbid us holding any such meetings. We viewed the forlorn state of our colored brethren, and saw that they were destitute of a place of worship. They were considered as a nuisance.


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        "A number of us usually sat on seats placed around the wall, and on Sabbath morning we went to church, and the sexton stood at the door and told us to go in the gallery. He told us to go and we would see where to sit. We expected to take the seats over the ones we formerly occupied below, not knowing any better. We took those seats. Meeting had begun, and they were nearly done singing, and just as we got to the seats the elder said, 'Let us pray.' We had not been long upon our knees before I heard considerable scuffling and loud talking. I raised my head up and saw one of the trustees, H---- M----, having hold of the Rev. Absalom Jones, pulling him off his knees, and saying, 'You must get up; you must not kneel here.' Mr. Jones replied, 'Wait until prayer is over.' Mr. H---- M---- said, 'No, you must get up now, or I will call for aid and force you away.' Mr. Jones said, 'Wait until prayer is over, and I will get up and trouble you no more.' With that he beckoned to one of the other trustees, Mr. L---- S----, to come to his assistance. He came and went to William White to pull him up. By this time prayer was over, and we all went out of the church in a body, and they were no more plagued by us in the church. This raised a great excitement and inquiry among the citizens, insomuch that I believe they were ashamed of their conduct. But my dear Lord was with us, and we were filled with fresh vigor to get a house erected to worship God in. Seeing our forlorn and wretched condition, many of the hearts of our citizens were moved to urge us onward; notwithstanding we had subscribed largely toward furnishing St. George's Church, in building the gallery and laying new floors; and just as the house was made comfortable, we were turned out from enjoying the comforts of worshipping therein. We then hired a storeroom and held worship by ourselves. Here we were pursued with threats of being disowned and read publicly out of meeting, if we did contrive to worship in the place we had hired; but we believed the Lord would be our friend. We got subscription papers out to raise money to build the house of the Lord. By this time we had waited on Dr. Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston, and told them of our distressing situation. We considered it a blessing that the Lord had put it into our hearts to wait upon these gentlemen. They pitied our situation and subscribed largely towards the church, and were very friendly towards us, and advised us how to go on. We appointed Mr. Ralston our treasurer. Dr. Rush did much for us in public by


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his influence. I hope the names of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They were the two first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed, and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in. Here was the beginning and rise of the first African Church in America. But the elder of the Methodist Church still pursued us. Mr. I---- M---- called upon us and told us if we did not erase our names from the subscription paper, and give up the paper, we would be publicly turned out of meeting. We asked him if we had violated any rules of discipline by so doing. He replied, 'I have the charge given me by the Conference, and unless you submit, I will read you publicly out of meeting.' We told him we were willing to abide by the discipline of the Methodist Church, 'And if you will show us where we have violated any law of discipline of the Methodist Church, we will submit, and if there is no rule violated in the discipline, we will proceed on.' He replied, "We will read you all out.' We told him if he turned us out contrary to the discipline we should seek further redress. We told him we were dragged off our knees in St. George's Church, and treated worse than heathens, and we were determined to seek out for ourselves, the Lord being our helper. He told us we were not Methodists, and left us. Finding we would go on in raising money to build the church, he called upon us again, and wished to see us altogether. We met him. He told us that he wished us well, and that he was a friend to us, and used many arguments to convince us that we were wrong in building a church. We told him that we had no place of worship, and we did not mean to go to St. George's Church any more, as we were treated so scandalously in the presence of all the congregation present, 'and if you deny us your name, you can not seal up the Scriptures from us and deny us a name in heaven. We believe heaven is free for all who worship in spirit and in truth.' And he said, 'So you are determined to go on.' We told him, "Yes, God being our helper.' He replied, 'We will disown you all from the Methodist Connection.'

        "We believed if we put our trust in the Lord he would stand by us. This was a trial that I never had to pass through before. I was confident that the great Head of the Church would support us. My dear Lord was with us. We went out with our subscription paper and met with great success. We had no reason to complain of the liberality of the citizens. The first


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day the Rev. Absalom Jones and myself went out we collected three hundred and sixty dollars. This was the greatest day's collection that we met with. We appointed a committee to look out for a lot--the Rev. Absalom Jones, William Gray, William Wicher, and myself. We pitched upon a lot at the corner of Lombard and Sixth streets. They authorized me to go and agree for it. I did accordingly. The lot belonged to Mr. Mark Wilcox. We entered into articles of agreement for the lot. Afterwards the committee found a lot on Fifth street, in a more commodious part of the city, which we bought; and the first lot they threw upon my hands, and wished me to give it up. I told them they had authorized me to agree for the lot, and they were all satisfied with the agreement I had made, and I thought it was hard that they should throw it upon my hands. I told them I would sooner keep it myself than to forfeit the agreement I had made. And so I did. We bore much persecution from many of the Methodist Connection, but we have reason to be thankful to Almighty God, who was our deliverer. The day was appointed to go and dig the cellar. I arose early in the morning and addressed the throne of grace, praying that the Lord would bless our endeavors.

        "Having by this time two or three teams of my own--as I was the first proposer of the African Church--I put the first spade into the ground to dig a cellar for the same. This was the first African church or meeting-house that was erected in the United States of America. We intended it for the African preaching house or church; but finding that the elder stationed in the city was such an opposer to our proceedings of erecting a place of worship, though the principal part of the directors of this church belonged to the Methodist Connection, and that he would neither preach for us nor have anything to do with us, we held an election to know what religious denomination we should unite with. At the election it was determined. There were two in favor of the Methodist, the Rev. Absalom Jones and myself, and a large majority in favor of the Church of England. This majority carried. Notwithstanding we had been violently persecuted by the elder, we were in favor of being attached to the Methodist Connection, for I was confident there was no religious sect or denomination that would suit the capacity of the colored people as well as the Methodist, for the plain and


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simple Gospel suits best for any people, for the unlearned can understand, and the learned are sure to understand; and the reason that the Methodist is so successful in the awakening and conversion of the colored people is the plain doctrine and having a good discipline. But in many cases the preachers would act to please their own fancy, without discipline, till some of them became tyrants, and more especially to the colored people. They would turn them out of Society, giving them no trial, for the smallest offense, perhaps only hearsay. They would frequently in meeting the class impeach some of the members of whom they had heard an ill report, and turn them out, saying, 'I have heard thus and thus of you, and you are no more a member of society,' without witnesses on either side. This had been frequently done, notwithstanding in the first rise and progress in Delaware state and elsewhere, the colored people were their greatest support, for there were but few of us free. The slaves would toil in their little patches many a night until midnight to raise their little truck to sell to get something to support them, more than their white masters gave them, and we used often to divide our little support among the white preachers of the Gospel. This was once a quarter. It was in the time of the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States. The Methodists were the first people that brought glad tidings to the colored people. I feel thankful that I ever heard a Methodist preacher. We are beholden to the Methodists, under God, for the light of the Gospel we enjoy; for all other denominations preached so high flown that we were not able to comprehend their doctrine. Sure am I that reading sermons will never prove so beneficial to the colored people as spiritual or extempore preaching. I am well convinced that the Methodists have proved beneficial to thousands and tens of thousands. It is to be awfully feared that the simplicity of the Gospel that was among them fifty years ago is not now apparent, and if they conform to the world and the fashion thereof, they would fare very little better than the people of the world. The discipline is altered considerably from what it was. We would ask for the good old way, and desire to walk therein.

        " In 1793 a committee was appointed from the African Church*

* This was the colored Protestant Episcopal Church, known as St. Thomas, in Fifth street, Philadelphia.
to solicit me to be their minister, for there was no colored preacher


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in Philadelphia but myself. I told them that I could not accept their offer as I was a Methodist. I was indebted to the Methodists, under God, for what little religion I had, being convinced that they were the people of God. I informed them that I could not be anything else but a Methodist, as I was born and awakened under them, and I could go further with them, for I was a Methodist, and would leave them in peace and in love. I would do nothing to retard them in building a church, as it was an extensive building, neither would I go out with a subscription paper until they were done with their subscription. I bought an old frame that had formerly been occupied as a blacksmith shop from Mr. Suns, and hauled it on the lot on Sixth, near Lombard street, that had formerly been taken for the Church of England. I employed carpenters to repair the old frame, and fit it for a place of worship. In July, 1794, Bishop Asbury being in town, I solicited him to open the church for us, which he accepted. The Rev. John Dickens sung and prayed, and Bishop Asbury preached. The house was called Bethel, agreeable to the prayer that was made. Mr. Dickens prayed that it might be a Bethel to the gathering in of thousands of souls. My dear Lord was with us, so that there were many hearty amens echoed through the house. This house of worship has been favored with the awakening of many souls, both white and colored, and I trust they are in the kingdom."

        Then commenced that systematic series of opposition on the part of certain elders of St. George's Church, which resulted in the secession of the great body of the colored members of the M. E. Church in Philadelphia, also the regions round about, and the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, at which time Rev. Richard Allen was elected and consecrated its first Bishop. Thence, till the day of his death, history regards him, not only as the founder, but also the master-spirit of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Let us, therefore, look at him from that event till the hour when his earthly career was finished.

        After the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Allen found it necessary, not only to provide for the churches already under his care, but also to plan and mature measures for the extension of the Connection, and the good government of the whole, at the same time that he had to provide for his growing family. But as he kept no private journal of his


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official transactions, much of what he did as the leader of the movements of the Connection we are compelled to look for in journals*

        These documents afford very scant information concerning this energetic man. All have been examined that could be found in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, which embraced the field of his personal operations.


of the several Annual Conferences, the minutes of the Quarterly Conferences, and extra meetings of the official board of Bethel Church in Philadelphia.

        In the latter he presided week after week and month after month, from 1816 until October 6th, 1830, and in the New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore Annual Conferences until the summer of the same year. He was the pastor of Bethel, in Philadelphia, as well as the Bishop of the Connection, nearly all the time of his life, dating from 1816. This was business enough for one man, as every one will admit who has ever seen the mammoth congregation of that church; and what it is now, with a little modification, it has ever been, if the Conference journals are to be credited. He was perpetually employed in giving advice about the planning of new circuits, and the founding of the individual churches which constituted them.

        The Bishop's concern for the benefit of his oppressed kinsmen, according to the flesh, was not confined to religious matters. He did as much as he could for their secular improvement. In a letter which was written at his instance to a Mr. Townsend, of Baltimore (a white person), whose influence he solicited, he asked him to procure a large number of colored boys, and send them to Philadelphia, in order that they might be apprenticed to learn the art of manufacturing nails. Thoroughly "anti-slavery," his house was never shut "against the friendless, homeless, penniless fugitives from the "House of Bondage."

        The testimony of that pious man, the Rev. Walter Proctor, says, the "house of Bishop Allen was a refuge for the oppressed, and a house for the refugee from American oppression." The same truthful witness informs us that "he was a man of most active benevolence; he lived to be good and to do good."

        This benevolence he exercised in more than one direction. He was promised a salary of $500 per year. This he never received. All that he ever did receive was the sum of $80, not per year, but for all his services. The balance due him in this direction he bequeathed to the church. "I have," says Brother Proctor,


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"a knowledge of $1,400 being so bequeathed or given by him to the church, at one time, when the house of worship was sold and bought by us. This claim of $1,400 against Bethel in Philadelphia, which the Bishop had served as a pastor, is confirmed by the testimony of Jonathan Tudas, one of the most intelligent of Bishop Allen's lay advisers. At one time the Bishop loaned Bethel the sum of $4,000. At another time his claims against Bethel amounted to $6,300, and once $11,700. At the time that Robert Green sold it, Mr. Allen bought it in for the congregation at the sum of $10,500."

        The above statements, made by intelligent and active advisers of Bishop Allen, proved that he was of more use to the mother church than a mere pastor--that while his tongue instructed her, his purse was also furnishing her with material aid.

        Bishop Allen was a father of six children--four sons and two daughters--namely, Richard, Peter, John, Sarah, Ann and James. These he educated as well as circumstances allowed. These circumstances were two-fold--the opportunities for educating colored children at that time, and the Bishop's own literary acquirements. That the Bishop made good use of these opportunities, as few as they were, is manifest in the fact that in 1818-19, the secretary of the Baltimore Annual Conference was his son Richard, then, as we have elsewhere shown, a lad of about twelve or fourteen years of age. The penmanship, the style, and method of the journal compares favorably with the best records now kept by our secretaries, and better than the greater number of his immediate successors, every one of whom have been men of adult age.

        His son John, who lived several years on the island of Hayti, was skilled in the French language, and could translate it with great ease and elegance. He also spoke the Spanish language. In his latter years the Bishop carried on a boot and shoe store, which trade and business he had learned in the earlier part of his life. He retired from this business two or three years prior to his death, at which time his estate was worth between thirty and forty thousand dollars, all of which was accumulated by his own intellect, industry and thrift.

        The Bishop was a man of mixed blood, his mother being a mulatto and his father a pure African; this gave his complexion a soft chestnut tint, as is shown in the fine oil portrait of him,


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now in possession of his oldest daughter, Mrs. Sarah Wilkins. The expansive forehead and the fulness of the lower eyelids indicate expansiveness of intellect and a ready command of language.

        "When he lived he adorned the Christian life and profession; when he died he was ready and prepared to go, having faithfully accomplished, as a hireling, his day. Thus ended the earthly career of one of the most useful lives of modern times.

        "We ought to consider Richard Allen not a whit behind the chief of protestant reformers, except in the matter of literary attainments."

        The above quoted passages are taken from a private letter addressed to the writer by Rev. Walter Proctor, who was an eye and ear witness of the sayings and doings of Bishop Allen, and who, for upwards of fifteen years, enjoyed the intimate acquaintance of that eminent servant of God. None of his coadjutors knew him better, none loved him more sincerely.

        There can be no more appropriate plan to speak of the consort of the first Bishop of the A. M. E. Church than in connection with her eminent husband--though her death occurred in 1850, nineteen years later. An obituary notice was prepared at the time, which we give in full:

MRS. SARAH ALLEN.
CONSORT OF RT. REV. RICHARD ALLEN.

        In the course of events brought about by the dispensation of an all-wise God, the Church, since the last sitting of its Annual Conference in this district, have been called to mourn, and with sorrowing hearts to lament, the death of Mrs. Sarah Allen, consort of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen, Bishop and founder of the African M. E. Church. Whilst it is true that we should not mourn as those who have no hope, being assured that the righteous have hope in their death, yet it is by no means criminal or unchristian to mourn the loss of those we love. And the more so when those are called to the spirit land with whom we have been identified in matters of moment, trial, and conflict.

        The subject of this notice was one endeared to us by every tie which could link one being with another, and as often as we look back upon the early history of our Church, memory, that monitor of time past, clinches upon our affections emotions too pungent and deep for expression. We can only say, "So seemeth it good and right, Oh Lord!"


                         Thankful we take the cup,
                         Prepared and mingled by thy skill.

        In the death of Sister Allen the Church has not only lost a bright ornament--a


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jewel, precious--a relic of her formation when she was first seen to glide from the stormy element of oppression, but has indeed lost a pillar from the building, a mother in Israel. On Thee may we not cry, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth." Our aged and dear mother was a native of Virginia, Isle of Wight county, and came into the city of Philadelphia to reside at an early age, being not more than eight years old. She was united in marriage to Rt. Rev. Richard Allen about the year 1800. From that period she has been identified as one of those noble spirits who, with her husband, our venerable father in God, battled mightily for the establishing of our beloved Zion. It might be well said that the Church, when contending with a powerful adversary, had no more able advocate than Sister Allen. A staff to her husband, and a counselor and the encourager of the pioneers who, with the Bishop, labored hard to bring the Church out of her captivity, and throw oft her oppressors. Her name will ever be associated and endeared to the Church with those of Allen, Coker, Champion, Tapsico, Webster, Waters, Brown, and others, founders and fathers of this branch of the Church of Christ.

        Mother Allen lived to a good old age, being eighty-five years when she was called from labor to reward. This event took place in the city of Philadelphia on the 16th day of July, 1849, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Ann Adams.

        Reader, let us pause and think of her whose loss the Church mourns, and whose departure from the land of the living has thrown the mantle of sorrow over this community. Mark the upright man, says God, for his end is peace.

        We have known our sister long. We have cherished the liveliest sentiments of regard towards her; never have we known her to be remiss in a single duty which claimed her attention. To the young she was a faithful counselor; the gay, the giddy, the careless and heedless met in Mother Allen one who was faithful to advise even unto tears. The aged met a friend sincere and true, without ostentation, but simple minded, frank and affectionate. To Mother Allen all had access, the high, the low, the rich and poor. The friendless and the outcast found in her one unto whom they could pour out their complaints, and tell their sorrows o'er. The poor, flying slave, trembling and panting in his flight, has lost a friend not easily replaced; her purse to such, as well as others, was ever open, and the fire of those eyes, now closed in death, kindled with peculiar brightness as she would bid them God speed to the land of liberty, where the slave is free from his master, and the voice of the oppressor is no longer heard.

        Her house was the resort of the brethren who labored in the ministry; when weary and worn with the burden of duty, they found a resting place indeed. Long will her motherly counsel be remembered by our itinerant and local brethren, and long will it be, yea, ever, that the tones of her well known voice shall sound upon the ear of the ministers of our Church.

        As it regards her Christian profession, we may say that such was the reflection thrown from it that no one could for a moment question or


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doubt but that she walked with God. The power of which was felt as often as she opened her mouth either to rebuke, to counsel, or encourage. In the Church truly a void has been made; a great light, indeed, has been blown out; and Zion, our beloved Zion, will long mourn the loss of Mother Allen.

        In conclusion, we can only say, Fare thee well, sister,


                         Thy happy spirit hath winged its way,
                         Far, far away.

        Now, even now, thou art happier far than any of earth's sons whose pilgrim journey ends not yet. We bid thee farewell. We hope to meet thee yet, where parting can no more take place; we hope to walk with thee in white, and in the upper sanctuary commingle once again and forever our voices in anthems of praise to Him who hath loved us and given himself for us. Fare thee well, sister.

WM. P. QUINN,

N. C. H. CANNON,

J. G. BEULAH,

ISRAEL SCOTT,

M. BROWN,

J. CORNISH.


        The churches in the city of Baltimore were planted by the Rev. Daniel Coker, of whose life and character it will be proper at this point to give an outline.

        The Rev. Daniel Coker was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, in a state of slavery, and subsequently ran off from his owner to the state of New York, where he so conducted himself as to secure the confidence of the M. E. Church in the city of New York. He became an ordained preacher under Bishop Asbury. Sometime after he left New York and went to the city of Baltimore, where he concealed himself until his friends had purchased his freedom. The chief of these friends were Watts, Hackett, Murray and Hilliard. The Rev. Michael Coate, an elder of the M. E. Church, was also one among the chief ones who secured the liberty of Brother Coker. This reverend gentleman died in 1814. Toward him Brother Coker always cherished feelings of the deepest gratitude.

        The following was learned from the lips of a half-brother of Brother Coker, and who in 1852 was living in the state of New Jersey, in the village of Greenwich:

        He also bore the name of Daniel Coker, to cover his escape from the slave-hunter. He said that his brother, the subject of this biographical sketch, was the son of a white woman, whose


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name was Susan Coker, by a slave whose name was Daniel. Susan was an English woman, and was living in the family of Isaac's*

        * The real name of this informant.


master. She had a child by her first husband, whose name was Daniel; his father's surname was Coker; of course, he bore it. Daniel's real name was Isaac Wright. When Daniel Coker resolved to escape from the slavery in which he was held, to cover his escape he also took the name of his white half-brother, and became Daniel Coker, which name he ever afterwards bore. He obtained the elements of his education through the perverseness of his young master, who would not go to school unless his parents would allow Daniel to accompany him. So while Daniel was his attendant at school, he busied himself in learning to read, write, and cipher. Of his knowledge thus acquired he made an excellent use, for he educated scores of young men in the city of Baltimore, two of whom were Mr. Clarke, of Little York, Pa., and Rev. William Douglas, the talented and well educated pastor of St. Thomas' Protestant Episcopal Church, in the city of Philadelphia, and the author of a volume of sermons and a history of his own pastorate, entitled "Annals of St. Thomas' Church."

        We have no account of his conversion. He is said to have been a man of uncommon talent, and he possessed more information on all subjects than usually fell to the lot of colored men of his day. Those living who had the happiness of hearing him, inform us that he was a powerful and eloquent preacher. It was through his counsel that our people withdrew from the M. E. Church, and by his agency were formed into an African M. E. Church. He was not only their leader in this great movement, but also their able and successful defender against the slanderous attacks of their enemies.

        Among the local ministers of Sharp Street Church, in Baltimore, he was pre-eminently useful, and during his connection with that church laid a plan of finances which resulted in an improvement of the original property purchased to the amount of $3,000. For several years he acted the part of a school-teacher, and his success in this important field of usefulness was such that, whereas he opened the school with about seventeen scholars, when he left it, there were as many as one hundred and fifty.

        He was also a writer of respectable attainments, especially


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when we take into consideration the circumstances under which he was placed--I mean the disadvantages under which he labored in an educational point of view. The proof of the ability of Brother Coker in this particular may be seen in a little book which he wrote on the Slavery Question, and which was published in the city of Baltimore in 1810. The title page runs in the following language:

A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A VIRGINIAN AND AN AFRICAN MINISTER.


                         Written by the Rev. Daniel Coker, a Descendant of Africa, Minister of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore. Humbly
Dedicated to the People of Color in the United
States of America.

        This little volume contains about forty-three pages. After the Slavery argument is finished, the writer gives a "List of the Names of the Descendants of the African Race Who Have Given Proofs of Talents," "A List of African Churches," "A List of the Names of African Ministers" who were in holy orders, and "A List of the Names of African Local Preachers" at that time in the United States. The writer also informs us that the number of African Methodists in the United States at that period was 31,884. He was, moreover, a man equal to the emergency of the hour, and a real hero in times of great public trials and danger. This feature of his character is seen in bold relief by the following testimony of the talented author of a little work on Liberia, entitled "The New Republic;" for our readers must be informed that the subject of our historical sketch left this country in 1820, among the first band of emigrants, to find a home and untrammeled freedom in Africa. The diseases incident to that climate soon laid the government officers and colonial agent in their graves:

        What a pall hung upon the prospects of the feeble remnant. Their leaders fallen, without a guide, or counsel, or protection, they were like sheep without a shepherd in the howling wilderness; but He who led his people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron, gave power to the faint, and to them that had no might he increased strength.

        Before his death Dr. Crozer committed his agency into the hands of one of the leading emigrants, Rev. Daniel Coker, a colored clergyman. Finding himself at the head of affairs in a most perilous crisis, and feeling the need of advice, he determined upon going to Sierra Leone as soon as the condition of the sick would allow.

        

Illustration

Rev. Daniel Coker
ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE AME CHURCH


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        At that hour, with the sick, the dying, and the dead about him, entrusted with new responsibilities connected with the welfare of a large body of people, and the preservation of a large amount of property, with no one to counsel or befriend him, how does this new workman on the foundations of a new republic stand out to light? Does he flag, or flinch, or fear? Alone he stands, with a dark present and a darker future; but does he draw fearfully and timidly back? His language in that night of toil is truly sublime: "We have met trials; we are but a handful; our provisions are running low; we are in a strange, heathen land; we have not heard from America, and know not whether provisions or people will be sent out; yet, thank the Lord, my confidence is strong in the veracity of his promises. Tell my brethren to come; fear not; this land is good; it only wants men to possess it. I have opened a little Sabbath-school for native children. Oh, it would do your hearts good to see the little naked sons of Africa around me. Tell the colored people to come up to the help of the Lord. Let nothing discourage the Society or the colored people."

        Herein do we not read the words of a stout-hearted Christian hero? He daunted! He fearful! He dismayed! No! The work must be done, though hundreds fall in the outset. He sees that Africa must be christianized and civilized, and stands boldly relying upon the promises of God that it will be done.


        Such is the interesting light in which Daniel Coker is placed by the hand of history. The historian quotes Mr. Coker's own words, for they were addressed by Mr. Coker himself to the friends of benighted Africa. And it is to this work of his in Africa--this gathering of "the little naked sons of Africa" into a Sunday-school around him--that Bishop Allen alludes when, in the first revised edition of the Discipline, he tells us that "God has spread the work, through our instrumentality, upon the barren shores of Africa."

        Some time after Rev. Mr. Coker gave up the command of the colony into the hands of the officers appointed by the Society at Washington, he emigrated from Liberia to the British Colony of Sierra Leone. There he planted a church and reared a family. The building in which his congregation worshipped is still standing (1852); it is built of stone, and is one of the largest in the city of Freetown. Beside the pulpit is a marble tablet bearing a memorial of his life and death. Two of his sons grew up to manhood. One of them became a successful trader with the natives of the interior, and at his death endowed his father's church; the other was living as late as 1861, and was then inspector of police at Sierra Leone.


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        Though not faultless, Daniel Coker was one of the most intelligent, active and heroic spirits that opened the glorious career of the A. M. E. Church. The oldest circuits in the Baltimore District were cut out and the churches planted by him. "Peace to his ashes!" Honor to the memory of the man whose heroic labors have shed additional lustre upon our ecclesiastical history, and through whom alone, up to 1863, we have dared to say, "God has spread the work, through our instrumentality, upon the barren shores of Africa." God grant that we may meet him in that better and brighter land, where the redeemed of the Lord are made perfect through the blood of the Lamb.

        In the Baltimore Conference of 1823, in answer to the question, "Who have died this year?" the reply included, "Don Carlos Hall, steward of the Annual Conference. He died on the 18th of March, after a long and serious, as well as a lingering illness. He died in the full triumphs of faith, in the 56th year of his age, and much lamented by the Conference, by the Church, and by his family and his friends in general. It will be remembered that Brother Hall was a layman, and distinguished himself in the General Conference, as also in all the early meetings of the Baltimore Annual Conference.

        Don Carlos Hall was amongst the first founders of the A. M. E. Church in Baltimore. He and the Rev. Daniel Coker were unceasing in their efforts to procure a place where they and their followers could worship God in spirit and in truth. They first assembled in Don Carlos Hall's house, and there held their prayer and class-meetings, also their meetings for ecclesiastical deliberations.*

        * In 1820 the Annual Conference of the Baltimore District was held in his residence.


        The class-meetings were held there until his death in 1823, and for years after. He held the office of both steward and trustee as long as he lived. His charity and benevolence can be told by those who are living witnesses; the old ministers also can bear witness to his religious and exemplary walks. He was beloved by everybody who formed his acquaintance. He was a kind, loving husband, and a dear father. His last dying words were, that he felt happy in the Lord, and that his reward was on high. He said that he was going to die like old Simeon, with Christ in his arms. Before the breath left his body


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he told them to raise him up; he then sent for all the members of his family, and admonished them to meet him in heaven. He raised the hymn:


                         The Lord into his garden, etc.
and while singing it he breathed his last, in the 44th year of his age.


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CHAPTER XII.
THE FIELD OF AFRICAN METHODISM IN 1832-1835.

        Baltimore Conference--Philadelphia Conference--The General Conference--The Black Code--The Book Committee of 1832--New York Conference--A Missionary to Canada--Baltimore Annual Conference, 1833--Delaware Laws--Book Steward's Report--Rev. William P. Quinn Admitted--Ohio Conference Record of 1833--Action in Favor of Common and Sunday-Schools--Baltimore Conference Held in Washington, D. C., 1834.

        FOR several years it is to be noted that little business of importance was transacted in the Baltimore Annual Conference, so that its history has been summed up in a few words. It seems as if a change had passed over the entire character of this once active and leading Conference. Either the master-spirits had departed or they had backslidden, and the energy and enterprise which formerly had distinguished it was transferred to the Philadelphia District. It opened its deliberations on Saturday morning, April 21st, 1832, and the first thing after services it granted a seat to Jeffrey Goulden, without the privilege of participating in its affairs. We find here again Rev. Edward Waters acting as assistant to Bishop Morris Brown, while Rev. Levin Lee was secretary. As Abner Coker desired to be exonerated from the duty of being a delegate to the General Conference, having been elected the year previous, Charles Dunn was appointed in his stead, and so the record of any interest ends.

        On May 8th we find the Philadelphia Conference in session, Bishop Brown presiding, with the same assistant as at the Baltimore Conference. It continued in session two days, when it adjourned to hold the Fourth General Conference (which it seems was opened on the tenth and ended on the twenty-first); it then resumed its deliberations upon the last named date.

        Rev. Walter Proctor was elected a delegate to the approaching General Conference. A case of breach of discipline before this session leads to the reference, "according to page 200" of the Discipline then in use, from which we draw the inference that the original Discipline, which had but one hundred and ninety-two


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pages, including table of contents, must have been revised in the General Conference of 1824 or 1828.

        The state of affairs at this date (1832) was such that our churches in certain quarters were quite seriously threatened, which led to the attendance at this Conference of a delegation of three members of the society at Elkton for the purpose of requesting that something might be done in behalf of the churches in Maryland belonging to Smyrna Circuit, as the Black Code of that state forbade any colored minister, as well as other colored people belonging to another state, from entrance there, unless they went in the capacity of slaves, or servants of some white person. They also prayed the Conference to ordain Brother Aaron Wilson, a local preacher, and ordain him to take the oversight of the churches alluded to, he being a resident of the state of Maryland; the said brother, however, was to remain pastor only until some change might take place in the laws or the feelings of the community so as to tolerate the presence of a minister of the Lord Jesus whom He had been pleased to make a man of color! In view of their peculiar circumstances the prayers of these churches were granted, and Brother Wilson was ordained a deacon at the same time with that eminent man, Joseph M. Corr.

        Samuel Ente, who had located at the last Annual Conference, was readmitted into the itineracy in this. Clayton Durham, Walter Proctor and Charles Bohannon were elected to serve as "Book Committee;" and we find that noble band of women, the "Daughters of Conference," presenting the sum of $57.99 to the Conference.

        The New York Annual Conference met in the city of Brooklyn this year, June 9th. Benjamin Croger and George Hogarth were its secretaries, and for its good government, rules were adopted which subjected the members to fines varying from twelve and a half to fifty cents, if violated. These related to absence and tardiness, to refusal to "come to order," and neglect to vote upon important measures.

        Bishop Morris Brown presided this time, with Rev. John Cornish as his assistant for the session. Cuffee Spence and Eli N. Hall were admitted on probation; Jeremiah Miller was sent as a missionary to Canada, and Samuel George was recorded among the dead, which items were alone of any note, and there are but three things worthy of historical record in the affairs of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the following year, 1833:


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        At the opening of its session a committee of three was appointed to inquire of the judge of the city court whether the Conference could be allowed the privilege of stationing a preacher over the church in Baltimore, who was a resident of another state. Hagerstown, Fredericktown, and the Cattaxon Mountain were attached under the pastorate of the Baltimore Church, and Brother William Moore was admitted on trial to the itineracy.

        The Philadelphia Conference of 1833 opened the 18th of May, and it saw Rev. William Paul Quinn petitioning to rejoin the Connection. He had made application to the Quarterly Conference, or rather to the ministerium of the mother church in Philadelphia, to reunite with the Connection on June 18th, 1828, at which meeting the following action was had:

        Resolved, On motion, that before we proceed any further in Brother William Quinn's case, that he return to New York and consult his people whom he now serves, and amongst whom he now belongs, and hear what they say on the subject, and get their consent for him or them to join the Connection, one way or the other."


        The present petition was referred to the New York Conference.

        Inasmuch as the laws of Delaware did not allow the ambassadors of the Cross, who were colored men, to itinerate in that state, the churches on Lewiston Circuit petitioned Conference to ordain Moses Robinson and Peter Lewis, a local elder, to minister for them in holy things, and their petition was granted.

        The Salem Circuit, in New Jersey, was divided at this date. The upper part was made to extend "from Woodbury upwards," and was called Burlington Circuit; the lower part to extend "from Dutchtown downwards," and to retain the name of Salem Circuit. The former embraced Woodbury, Pendleton, Snowhill, Mount Holly and Burlington, containing two hundred and fifteen members; the latter embraced Salem, Dutchtown, Bushtown, Greenwich and Fairfield, containing two hundred and seventy-nine members.

        Perry Gibson was received on trial, and two preachers were numbered among the dead, Charles Pierce and William Johnson, the latter a deacon, and an old veteran of the Cross.

        At this meeting the book steward reported one thousand copies of the Discipline printed at a cost of $70, and five hundred bound at a cost of $40. The amount of books sold was $20, and with the statement of cash remaining from last year of $28, there was also the recorded fact of a loan of $62 to carry on the concern.


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It is evident that the book concern was not doing a great amount of business, but for the times and under the circumstances, perhaps, it may be looked upon as flourishing creditably.

        The New York Conference began to transact its business upon the 8th of June, in 1833, and opened with added rules for preservation of order and decorum. It evidently had faith in the influence of fines to bring this about, for this penalty was the one attached to some of these rules. The Conference, too, had reached the stage of appreciation of its own dignity and importance as a body to require a post-office messenger, and London Turpin was given that duty to perform--to bring to Conference each day the letters directed to that body.

        Francis Graham was received into Conference and afterwards placed on trial as an itinerant preacher, while Rev. William Paul Quinn was "admitted a member." He had petitioned this body, as he had been referred to it by the Philadelphia Conference of this year, and at last, after the action of that body and of the Mother Church, covering a period of five years, he regained his position in the Connection. Immediately after his reception he was transferred to the Western field of labor--to the Ohio Conference, which had been organized in 1830.

        One laborer had fallen--Enos Adams--who, after laboring extensively through his charge, died of the small-pox, terminating a useful life.

        The Ohio or Western Conference was organized by Rt. Rev. Bishop Morris Brown, in 1830, as has been said; but the first record of its proceedings which are available for information is that found in the printed minutes of 1833.*

        * The journal containing the minutes of its organization, together with the journal of the General Conference for several successive years, has been lost.


In this year it opened in the city of Pittsburgh, and continued in session for nine days. Bishop Morris Brown presided, and Rev. Lewis Woodson was its secretary. Fifteen members were present, seven being itinerants--Revs. John Boggs, Wiley Reynolds, Austin Jones, Jeremiah Thomas, W. P. Quinn, Thomas Lawrence, James Bird--and the remainder local--Revs. Lewis Woodson, Samuel Johnson, Abram D. Lewis, Samuel Collins, Samuel Enty, Pleasant Underwood, George Coleman and Samuel Clingman.


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        The Bishop delivered an appropriate and impressive address to the Conference on the "importance of promoting harmony and good feeling among themselves and all Christian people, and that they should study to show themselves in all their pursuits approved unto God."

        Twenty-four points were reported for the five circuits, while several were not given. Pittsburgh Circuit had three: Pittsburgh, Washington and Uniontown, with an aggregate of 306 members; Zanesville Circuit had Zanesville, Captain, Mount Pleasant, Smithfield, Steubenville and Wheeling, with 205 members; Columbus Circuit had Columbus, Arbana, New Lancaster, Circleville and Springfield, with 166 members; Chillicothe Circuit had Chillicothe, Big Bottom, Jackson and Gallipolis, with 193 members; while Hillsborough Circuit embraced Hillsborough, Wilmington, Zand, Dayton, Harden's Creek and White Oak, with 126 members.

        The total returned for the Ohio District was 1,194. William Paul Quinn was stationed over the Pittsburgh Circuit, and Austin Jones over Zanesville.

        The secretary says that "the following important resolutions were passed:"

        Resolved, As the sense of this Conference, that common schools, Sunday-schools, and temperance societies are of the highest importance to all people; but more especially to us as a people.

        Resolved, That it shall be the duty of every member of this Conference to do all in his power to promote and establish these useful institutions among our people.


        He might well call them important. They constitute a new era in the history of our Church, because they are the first of the kind on record. Seventeen years had passed away from the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church before a word was said in its Conferences on the important subject of education; and it remained for this, the youngest and least of the four Conferences, to give the first utterance on a subject so vital to the interests of the colored race in these United States, considered so in an ecclesiastical, social, moral, or political point of view. In this case the order of light seems to have been reversed. We always look for its rising in the east, but in this instance its dawning was in the west!

        The secretary tells us also that "At the close of this Conference God was pleased, in a most miraculous manner, to display


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his power at the love feast 'so that many souls were added to the Lord;' thus giving a flat and eternal refutation to the oft-repeated falsehood, that 'education destroys religion.'"

        Jeremiah Thomas and Pleasant Underwood were ordained deacons; and one of the traveling preachers had laid down the cross for the crown. This one was Samuel Madison, a licentiate, who was appointed at the last Conference to Hillsborough Circuit, and "finished his course and his life together, dying in the triumphs of faith." In this connection we learn, too, that James Byrd had charge of that circuit at that time.

        At the last Annual Conference for the Baltimore District it was voted to hold the Annual Conference for this year in the city of Washington; accordingly, we find the members of the same assembling themselves at Israel Church, about 9 o'clock, on Saturday morning, April 19, 1834; and sat by adjournments until Monday, the 28th, inclusive. Bishop Morris Brown presided, with Rev. Levin Lee as secretary.

        At the end of the printed minutes we find the following remarks:

        The sitting of this Conference was attended with unusual success; it being the first colored body that has ever convened in the Capital of the United States, caused great excitement. Many hundreds, both of white and colored, assembled at the preaching-house, especially on the Lord's Day, and listened with delight to the embassadors of the cross."


        We also learn that the authorities of the city expressed their good feelings toward the Conference, and offered their protection in case any occurrences should require such action. President Jackson was waited upon by the Conference in a body, and His Excellency expressed his warmest approbation of the work, and wished hearty success to the cause. It is also recorded that the ministrations of the ministers were very successful, fourteen coming forward professing their faith in Christ and joining the Society.

        The Society this year was called upon to suffer the loss of the Rev. Abner Coker. Mr. Coker, who had been one of the founders of the A. M. E. Church, was a useful and zealous local deacon. He died in the fall of 1833.

        The Society appears at this time to have been in great need of traveling preachers, as we find it recorded that Frederick City and Hagerstown were to be served only once in three months by Rev. L. Lee, and William A. Nichols was apportioned to perform the same service to Easton, Maryland.


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        William A. Nichols had only been admitted into full connection at this Conference, and Jeffrey Goulden on trial. Preachers were stationed in Baltimore, and on Chambersburg, Columbia and Lewistown Circuits.

        The minutes state that the members in Society were reported, but how many, or in what districts they were, is not stated; nor do we find anything relating to the financial condition of this Conference.

        The Philadelphia Conference of this year was opened in the usual manner on Saturday morning, May 24th. At this time the Smyrna Circuit, in Delaware, was detached from the Philadelphia Conference and attached to the Baltimore District. Rev. Richard Robertson was received into the itineracy. He had been ordained a deacon and an elder by this Conference in its session of 1830, and that same year he returned to his field of labor in Hayti. We find him at this date representing Trenton Circuit, which he had been serving the three months prior to the opening of the Philadelphia Conference. No report is to be found of his work in Hayti, at least not to the Annual Conferences, though such report may have been given to Bishop Brown.

        This Conference was more fruitful in business and regulations regarding the welfare of the Church than had been the Conference at Washington. Although not the first item of business transacted, the subject of education was the most important, and a resolution was passed "that as the subject of education is one of high importance to the colored population of the country, it shall be the duty of every minister who has the charge of circuits or stations to make use of every effort to establish schools wherever convenient, and to insist upon the parents of children that they send them to school; and that a sermon should occasionally be preached expressly upon that subject; and that it should be the duty of every minister to make yearly returns of the number of schools, the number of scholars in each, the places where they are located, and the branches taught on their circuits and stations, and that every preacher who neglects to do so to be subject to the censure of the Conference."

        This stringent resolution can hardly be said to have originated within the Philadelphia Conference. At the Ohio Conference for 1833, a somewhat similar resolution was passed, and we may conclude in the face of the fact that Bishop Morris Brown, who was presiding, had also presided over the Ohio Conference when


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the resolution was passed, and that the Philadelphia Conference of this year was to some degree influenced by the action of Ohio. Bishop Brown was a man who was always ready to sustain any action looking forward to the upward progress of the colored race, and probably the passage of this resolution was greatly facilitated by his actions. We have seen that no action was taken in the matter by the Baltimore Conference just closed, but the reasons for the silence of that Conference upon such an important work we are at a loss to determine, unless it be on account of the Maryland laws being similar to those of various other states in regard to the education of colored people.

        The most important resolution tending to the uplifting and benefiting of the members of the Church was passed in the interests of temperance. It reads, "that the subject of temperance be strongly recommended to all our members, and that every preacher in this Conference come under the obligation to abstain from ardent spirits, and to cry against it wherever they go."

        Efforts were made at this Conference to aid the Preachers' Aid Fund, although in a somewhat indirect way, by a resolution exhorting the preachers in charge to advise their members to raise twelve and a half cents each a year to aid the publishing fund, the profits of which are to be applied to the benefit of the worn-out and sick traveling preachers. It was also made imperative for every preacher in charge to take up a collection in every principal appointment on his circuit, but for what purpose this collection was to be applied is not stated. The Daughters of Conference this year donated fifty dollars.

        A resolution was also passed by which exhorters were deprived of a seat in the Conference. Previously they had a seat, but no voice in the proceedings. We have only one name, Charles A. Spicer, added to the Connection in 1834, at this Conference, as a local preacher. Two deaths are, however, recorded--Rev. Joseph Harper, who had been admitted in the New York Conference of 1823 as an itinerant, and ordained in 1824, and Rev. Joseph Chain, the latter a local deacon, who formerly lived on the eastern shore of Maryland, and who was admitted on trial into the Baltimore Annual Conference as early as 1820. The former was first appointed to the Bucks County Circuit, Pa., under charge of Rev. W. P. Quinn. He was ordained deacon at the Philadelphia Conference in 1824, and elder at the next Conference. He traveled regularly until his death, and was laboring on the Trenton Circuit


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when he died, February 1, 1834. His place was filled in that work by Brother Robinson.

        This year witnessed the session of the New York Annual Conference in Brooklyn, where it was opened under the presidency of Bishop Morris Brown, assisted by Rev. Edward Waters, and having Rev. George Hogarth as secretary. Its session lasted only nine days, opening on the 14th and closing on the 23d of June.

        By a special resolution Willis Jones, Joshua Jenkins and Cæsar Springfield, licentiates of New York, and Daniel Peterson, of Philadelphia, obtained seats in the Conference, but no voice in its deliberations. Francis P. Graham was ordained an elder. Following in the wake of Ohio and Philadelphia, the New York Conference took up the question of education, and, after discussion, unanimously passed a resolution "that we will use every exertion in our power to advise and encourage our people to send their children to Sabbath and other schools." While this resolution was not as stringent in character as the one passed by the Philadelphia Conference, it showed that the spirit was spreading.

        The cause of temperance was introduced by the Bishop. He called the attention of the brethren to Chapter II., Section 1, Clause II. of the Discipline, which says: "Avoid all drunkenness or drinking spirituous liquors, unless in case of necessity." The members bound themselves to endeavor by example and influence to enforce this rule in the aid of temperance. The curse of gambling, then as now, seems to have obtained a considerable hold upon the people, for we find this Conference dealing with the subject by a resolution to discourage the purchase and sale of lottery tickets so far as they could by example and influence. It is to be regretted that this question of gambling in any form, as well as the purchase and sale of lottery tickets, was not dealt with in a much more stringent manner.

        The affairs of the Book Concern were examined, and Abram Marks elected district book steward for 1835. It was also resolved that the minutes of the three Conferences--Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York--for 1834 should be published together.

        About this time, Rev. N. C. W. Cannon, a man of very eccentric habits and irregular mode of thinking, but as active and laborious as he was eccentric, wrote and published a book, to which he gave the dignified title of "Rock of Wisdom." This book was taken up by this Conference and examined. It resulted in the adoption of the resolution that "the book contains


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many errors," and, we are told, "upon which Brother Cannon came forward and acknowledged that the book is full of errors on almost every page." The secretary further says of it: "It was found to contain many erroneous principles repugnant to the Articles of Faith believed and taught by the Methodist Church. Brother Cannon acknowledged this: his acknowledgment was received, and the book condemned by the Conference." We also find Brother Cannon located the next day by his own request.

        From this Conference Bishop Brown went to take the pastoral charge of the mother church in Philadelphia, taking with him the Rev. John Cornish as his assistant, while Francis P. Graham was sent to take charge of the Harrisburg Circuit in Pennsylvania.

        Here again, at this point, we meet with a chasm in the history of the Ohio Conference District, as the journal of 1834 is lost. This leads us to turn again to the Baltimore Conference to see what it was doing for the Redeemer's kingdom in 1835.

        For the second time we see Rev. Stephen Smith present in the Baltimore Conference, and for the first time John Jordan and Joshua Gilbert. Whether the first mentioned alone, or the two latter with him, aided in diffusing a new spirit into this Conference, which for several years past had exhibited very little vitality, we have no means of deciding. One thing, however, is evident, and that is, it began to act on all points vital to the improvement of the churches with its ancient vigor and wisdom. The well known zeal of Brother Smith for all the various forms of moral improvement, leads us to believe that he was the man in the new measures introduced, although there is no record to that effect other than results.

        Brother Smith was admitted by vote into the Annual Conference as a local preacher through recommendation from the Harrisburg Circuit, and ordained at their request in the year 1831, but with the exception of one day he does not appear present until 1835.

        At this Conference a motion was introduced to inquire into the sinfulness of the u e of ardent spirits, and another to organize a temperance society. The former was sustained, but the latter lost. In spite of this the Conference declared itself in favor of "strictly and perseveringly recommending the temperance cause on the respective circuits and in their stations, both


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by example and precepts." It also provided that in case of default the preacher offending should be dealt with as in all cases of imprudence and neglect of duty laid down in the Discipline.

        It was made the duty of itinerants to impress on the parents the duty of sending their children to school. But, following in the wake of the active measures taken by the other Conferences to promote education, this body did not exhibit much vigor in its educational policy.

        Four delegates were elected to the General Conference of 1836, Nathaniel Peck, Levin Lee, Basil Simms and Stephen Smith. These were local preachers, and the reason for their election as delegates to the General Conference is found in the fact that all traveling preachers who had been in actual service for several years were ex officio members of the General Conference; local preachers were not, and, therefore, to have a seat and a voice in the General Conference, it was necessary to elect them.

        The church at Easton, on the eastern shore of Maryland, was placed under the pastorate of Baltimore City, and the church at Port-au-Prince was asked to nominate a man from among its members competent to fulfil the duties of elder, who might then take charge of it.

        Of the ministry none had fallen by the hand of death this year past but Rev. Scipio Beanes, who at the time was in Port-au-Prince. As he was the first missionary selected and ordained especially to preach the Gospel on the island of Hayti, a short sketch of his life is pertinent in our history.

        Scipio Beanes was born in Prince George's County, Maryland, sometime in the year 1793. He was just about twenty years of age when he moved to the city of Washington. He was born a slave, and had obtained permission from his master to attend the school which was then held in Prince George's County, in which he obtained the elementary principles of an English education. In 1818 Dr. Beanes, his master, made him a present of his freedom. The next year he married Miss Harriet Bell, of Washington City, daughter of one of the most influential members of our church in that city for many years, being trustee and leader at the time of his death, in 1845.

        On the 19th of October, 1824, Scipio Beanes was struck with conviction on account of his sins, and in a few months after he experienced a change of heart in the first Little Bethel at Washington, under the preaching of Rev. Jacob Matthews. After his


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conversion, he daily grew in grace, and in the knowledge of divine things. The first office that he filled in the church was that of assistant class-leader to Rev. George Hicks. Sometime after this he felt deeply impressed to call sinners to repentance, and he immediately obeyed the divine call. Having been duly authorized in 1825 or 1826 to exercise his ministerial gifts by the church at Washington, he was commissioned by Rt. Rev. Richard Allen to visit the churches on the eastern shore of Maryland. His labors among these societies were owned and blessed by the Lord. He remained laboring in the Gospel among them as long as his health permitted such service, but his delicate constitution, the severity of the winter, and the bad accommodations which were afforded him, compelled him to abandon the field and return home. In this homeward journey the snow was so deep that he was compelled to quit the saddle, and on foot pursue his journey, leading his horse nearly the whole distance from Annapolis to Washington. The consequence was that he was seized with a severe pulmonary affection, which induced his physician to declare him in deep consumption, and to advise him to go to some warm climate; so in 1826 he left home for Port-au-Prince to improve his health. There he remained one year, doing all he could by precept and example to lead the American colonists, as well as the native Haytians, to a knowledge of Christ, who taketh away the sins of the world. In the spring of 1827 he returned home. The people had been benefited through his ministrations, and his health was improved. The result of his labors, as reported to Bishop Richard Allen, led the latter to bring him before the Baltimore Conference of that year, and the result of this introduction has been seen in the inquiry and resolutions which led that body to ordain him doubly for the mission in Hayti, and commission him to this point as one among the six appointments read at that session--an instance worthy of notice as being the only instance in the history of our Church where the appointment to a foreign mission is recorded as one and among the regular spots of labor in the regular work of our ministry.

        In little less than one year from the date of Brother Beanes' appointment, he returned and reported (in 1828) that the number in Society at Port-au-Prince was seventy-two, and that place appears again in the regular work. One year from this time he was admitted into full connection, and reported the


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number of 182 members in the Society at Port-au-Prince, and it seems that between the time of his arrival from Hayti and the opening of the Conference, he labored on the Easton Circuit in the Baltimore District.

        In consequence of his infirmities he located in 1829, and remained in this relation until the year 1831, when he was elected to represent the church in Washington at the General Conference of 1832, but it is not known whether he filled the office of delegate or not. It is certain, however, that he was present at the Baltimore Annual Conference that year until its close.

        From this date we see and hear no more of him in the United States until the record is made of his death at the Baltimore Conference in 1835; but his wife tells of their return to Hayti and Port-au-Prince in 1832, where he again took charge, the Lord blessing his labors in the souls added to the Church. His health improved at first, then began to fail. He was a great sufferer, but a patient, uncomplaining one, and without flinching he continued to labor. It was his wife's desire to return home, but the rapid encroachments of the disorder prevented this, and he was content to remain and die in Hayti, saying, "Heaven is as near to Port-au-Prince as to Washington." He literally finished his life and his labors together, for we are told that he baptized and administered the Lord's Supper on a Sabbath (January 12, 1835), and went home to heaven the next morning at dawn, in the forty-second year of his age. He was generally beloved by the people, it seems, and esteemed as well. We are told that he performed the marriage of the French ambassador, Mr. Denney, himself a Methodist. His labors were confined, so said his wife, entirely to the city of Port-au-Prince, because his health did not permit him to travel over the island. So much we know of the life and death of our first worker in the foreign missionary field of the West Indies.

        The ministers of the Philadelphia churches met in annual assembly in 1835, but nothing of importance bearing upon the welfare of the Church was done at this Conference. It followed its action of the previous year by resolutions in favor of temperance, and by calling upon all the preachers to uphold it by precept and advice.

        There was a verbal petition by a delegate from the church at Reading, Brother George Dillon, praying that pastoral labors and the preaching of the Gospel might be given more regularly to


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the flock of Christ. Delegates were elected to the General Conference in the persons of Sampson Peters, Joshua P. B. Eddy, Jeremiah Durham, William Henry, Clayton Durham and Walter Proctor, representing respectively Trenton Circuit, Burlington Circuit, Salem Circuit, Bucks County and Chester, while the last two named were for Philadelphia. Elder Cornish was transferred to Baltimore Conference, and Elder Scott to New York, and all the churches in Maryland on the Lewistown Circuit were placed under the charge of Rev. Andrew Massey.

        In this Conference the Rev. Joseph M. Corr made a report upon the state of the book concern, as its general book steward. He had had printed one thousand copies of the Discipline, and five hundred of these bound. One thousand hymn-books had been printed and bound; also, two thousand minutes of the Conferences. The whole cost was reported as about six hundred dollars, including transportation to different places, commission, etc. There were still some unbound Disciplines and several hundred copies of minutes unsold, and which he feared would be a "dead loss." He had sold hymn-books and Disciplines to the amount of $300. He further stated that when he commenced operations there were but $28.00 on hand, but he had "succeeded in getting through with all this huge debt," and had on hand, clear of all present contingencies, $60.00, with which to commence the Publishing Fund, while he had received from the circuit for the same object $12.19.

        This report, which he hoped to have health and strength permitted him to render more correct another year, was his last--the end of his labors as an excellent secretary for the Philadelphia Conference, and as general book steward of the A. M. E. Church. He died in October of this same year.

        The New York Conference of 1835 met in Brooklyn on June 13th. With the exception of a strong resolution making it the duty of every traveling minister to use his utmost endeavors to promote education, and a resolution to encourage temperance--two things which had gone hand-in-hand down through the Conference--nothing of importance seems to have been done. Bishop Brown presided, and during this visit, assisted by Rev. Edward Waters and Rev. Samuel Todd, laid the corner stone of the church on Second street, New York.

        The district book steward, who was the Rev. George Hogarth, reported sales in the district for the year as amounting to $26.87½.


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There were nine hundred and forty-seven persons members of the New York churches, but only twenty had been induced to purchase the minutes of the Annual Conference, although they were but twelve and a half cents apiece. But it is evident that the appreciation of the work of the book concern was growing in spite of this, or there was good financial management, as in the case of the Philadelphia Conference.

        Of the ministry this year but one had entered the spirit world. That one was Rev. Fortune Mathias, who had died in the city of New York, aged seventy-eight years. He was born a slave, in the state of Maryland, and among the first pioneers of color he entered the Methodist Episcopal Church in Norfolk of that state. He had been a preacher of the Gospel for about forty-eight years, and labored successfully, and with the high appreciation from all classes in that vicinity. About ten years previous to his death he got permission from his owner to move into New York state, and there immediately joined himself to the itinerant service of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Such was his ardent desire to carry the Gospel unto the poor of his brethren in distant parts of the country, that he was somewhat grieved because his brethren, at the sitting of the last Annual Conference, refused him that privilege in consideration of his extreme old age and aggravated state of bodily infirmity. He lived an exemplary life of piety, and was an example to all with whom he had intercourse. He was never backward in reproving sin, and was always ready to give a testimony of his hope in Christ.


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CHAPTER XIII.
END OF THE DECADE.

        Baltimore Churches in 1836--Philadelphia Conference Increases--Western Churches--General Conference of 1836--Revision of Discipline for Publication--Rev. Edward Waters Elected Bishop--Expansion of the Western Field--Book Concern Being Reduced to a System--Church Awakened--A Petition From Canada and Buffalo--Missionaries Provided, but no Support--Decree of Publication of a Quarterly Magazine.

        THE secretary of the Baltimore churches, which met in Conference in 1836, has furnished little information concerning their labors and successes. Brother James High, steward of the Annual Conference, had died on the 9th of April of this year. He was the successor of that remarkable man, Charles Hackett, who was the successor of Don Carlos Hall, who took such an active part in the early affairs of the churches. Like his predecessors, Brother High was a layman. He had filled the office of Conference steward for several years. Jeffrey Goulden and Basil Simms were ordained as deacons, the former as itinerant, the latter local.

        This year closed the second decade of the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and we find the number of circuits to be six and the number of stations two. The itinerants numbered four: Rev. Edward Waters was pastor of the Baltimore city church and the Baltimore County Circuit; Rev. Samuel Todd was pastor of the church at Washington; Rev. John Cornish was pastor of the Columbia Circuit churches, and Rev. Henry Turner was assistant. The same preachers were pastors of the Chambersburg Circuit. Three circuits, Lewistown, Easton and Frenchtown, were destitute of pastors. The total number of members was two thousand.

        The decision must be that, comparing 1836 with 1826, the Baltimorean churches had lost ground. This at least appears from the recorded facts. In 1826 there were seven pastors, now reduced to four. In 1826 Frederick Circuit had ten appointments, which were reduced to three ten years later. Harrisburg Circuit had lost one appointment, having had nine in 1826. Easton and Frenchtown Circuits made no report of their condition, so that


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we are unable to know whether they were abandoned entirely or not. In 1826 the preachers' support amounted to four hundred and forty-eight dollars. It was but three hundred and forty-two dollars and nineteen cents in 1836. But there is every reason to believe that this retrogradation was due chiefly to the influence of slavery.

        The Philadelphia Conference of this year, which met on the 10th of May, immediately at the close of the General Conference, showed an increase, especially when we consider that the western work had been set off in a district by itself within the decade, and that then the total of members, including the western work, reached 4,606, with sixty-five churches and fourteen pastors, while now the total of members, with the western work omitted, reached 3,344. There were but eight pastors in the Philadelphia District for 1836, but they received a total of four hundred and seventy dollars and eighty-two cents in salaries, while the fourteen had received but a few cents over six hundred and fourteen dollars in 1826.

        The Philadelphia Conference of 1836 admitted Henry C. Turner as an itinerant preacher, and David Ware, Moore, Walker, Thomas Pierce, Jacob Adams, Robert S. Holcom and Andrew Radder in a local capacity. This year we find the record of the death of Joseph M. Corr, on the 18th of October, 1835, in the twenty-ninth year of his age. Thus another gap was made in the ranks of the early pioneers.

        The Church had unbounded confidence in his ability as a man and his integrity as an officer, and for the entire period of his connection with the A. M. E. Church to the day of his death he enjoyed this confidence, not only unabated, but with increasing volume and power. When a mere licentiate, and that, too, a local one, he was elected to the secretaryship of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, which office he held to the day of his death. He was also secretary of the Baltimore Conference from 1826 till the opening of 1828, when he ceased to act, simply because engagements at home kept him away from that district till 1830. It was in 1826 that the Philadelphia Annual Conference passed a resolution constituting him secretary-general. He was the first one who gave a report of the condition of the book concern, and we do not hear of the existence of a hymn-book among us until he reports the publication of a thousand copies in 1835. As a general book steward, all things considered, no one has


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yet been more successful than he. When he commenced his labors in the book concern, in 1832, the sum of twenty-eight dollars was all his capital, but within three years from that date he had published one thousand Disciplines, one thousand hymn-books and two thousand minutes of the three Conferences, and reported about three hundred and sixty dollars in stock and cash as clear profits.

        The representative of the New York churches assembled on the 4th day of June in this year. Rt. Rev. Morris Brown and Rt. Rev. Richard Waters were present as the leaders of the deliberations. The items of business were few. The total number of the members in the churches was seven hundred and forty-three. Financially considered, they did as well as the other districts in their moneys raised for their three pastors, the combined salaries being three hundred and thirteen dollars and thirty-eight cents. Over one hundred and seventeen dollars were raised as contingent money. Eight points are given: New York City, Brooklyn, Flushing, South Huntington, John's Cove, Hempstead Harbor, South Jamaica and Albany. Sampson Peters was received as a probationer into the traveling connection. This was all, yet we cannot say that the district had improved to a great extent.

        Over two months later we find the Pittsburg or western churches assembling, through their representatives, in Columbus, Ohio. But it seems that little had been done during the year for the Redeemer's cause. The statistics give a total of one thousand one hundred and thirty-one members in Society at the two stations and on the five circuits. At this time Pittsburg and Cincinnati were the only stations, while the circuits consisted of the Zanesville, Chillicothe, Hillsboro, Richmond and Uniontown. These together gave a contingent collection of nearly one hundred and sixteen dollars. There were seven traveling preachers doing the work in this Western District.

        We have seen the work of the individual districts, and can now turn for a view of the General Conference of 1836, which, as we have intimated, held its session in Philadelphia in May, immediately preceding the meeting of the Philadelphia Annual Conference.

        There were sixteen traveling preachers present: Rt. Rev. Morris Brown, Edward Waters, Richard Williams, William Cornish, John Cornish, Israel Scott, John Churlson, Moses Robinson, William Moore, Jeremiah Miller, Samuel Todd, John Boggs,


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Richard Robinson, William P. Quinn, Thomas Lawrence and Samuel G. Clingman. The delegates were: Six from the Philadelphia Conference--Clayton Durham, Walter Proctor, Shadrack Bassett, Sampson Peters and Jeremiah Durham; three from the Baltimore Conference--Nathaniel Peck, Stephen Smith and Levin Lee; three from the New York Conference--London W. Turpin, George Hogarth and Edmund Crosby; and two from the Western Conference--Abraham D. Lewis and George Coleman.

        This body reviewed, amended and revised the Discipline for publication. George Hogarth, of Brooklyn, N. Y., was elected the general book steward of the Connection for the ensuing four years, to fill the place of the deceased Joseph M. Corr. Resolutions were passed in order that the book concern might be benefited and its usefulness enlarged. The general book steward was to be permitted to "publish such religious books, tracts and pamphlets as may be deemed best for the interests of the Connection, the profits arising therefrom always to flow into the general book treasury," but it was stipulated that such work would be undertaken only "upon the recommendation of the book committee, with the concurrence of the New York Annual Conference." He was also to be "allowed twenty-five dollars for revising and publishing the hymn-book and Discipline."

        The time had arrived when, on account of the spread of the work of the Church, and the extensive labors which this extension called upon the Bishop to perform, the Conference was moved to consider the matter of selecting "an associate to take part with him as a junior Bishop." The labor entailed upon Bishop Morris Brown alone seemed to render it imperative that such a step be taken, and, too, the best interests of the Connection in promoting the general cause of the societies seemed to demand aid in the burdensome work. It was finally decided that such a junior or assistant Bishop should be elected, and as a result Rev. Edward Waters was the one upon whom the mantle of that position fell, and he was solemnly ordained a Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on the 8th of May, 1836, by the imposition of the hands of the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown and several elders present.

        The same year of his election Bishop Brown took him with him to all the Conferences except the Western Conference, thus giving him some idea of the field of labor. After this tour he never left the regions of Baltimore only to attend the Philadelphia


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and New York Conferences, which was once a year. He never presided in an Annual Conference only as a silent looker-on, assistant of Bishop Brown, and though he sat in the episcopal chair from 1836 to 1844, he never ordained a single minister, not even a deacon. The second year after his election he requested the Baltimore Annual Conference to locate him. Indeed, ever after his ordination he held charge of the Ellicott Mills Circuit, and sometimes of Bethel, in Baltimore. In the eighth year of his episcopate he resigned his episcopal authority, although he was able to travel as a Bishop, and returned to the ranks of the effective elders till his death. This was occasioned by the wickedness of some rude white men who ran over him with their horse and buggy, which accident he survived, but lingered only a few weeks, when he finished his days in peace, in the month of April, 1847, in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.

        There was a resolution that no preacher should be permitted "to graduate into ministerial functions who is and continues to be a member of a Freemason's Lodge." The futility of such a resolution is apparent on its face. No church has ever yet been able to expunge Freemasonry from among its ministry and laity. It has been repeatedly tried, not only by this, but by almost every other church in Christendom, but without success. The members of the Conference knew nothing about the order beyond its existence, and to pass such a resolution was to enact a rule which they could never carry into effect. Subsequent facts have shown this to be true.

        As a summary of the work at the end of the second decade, we see that in 1826 there were twenty-one itinerant ministers; in 1836, thirty-two; in 1826 there were ninety-five churches; in 1836, eighty-six; the fourteen circuits of 1826 were reduced to twelve in 1836, but the members, which in 1826 were six thousand nine hundred and four in number, had increased to seven thousand five hundred and ninety-four, and from one station we had seven to report at this time. Salaries, too, had increased from a total of $562.51¼ to $926.39.

        At the end of this second decade of the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, we see some things to humble us and others to make us to rejoice. We are humbled in seeing the decline of the affairs of both the Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences, respecting the extent of their work and the number


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of their workmen, for they had less of both in 1836 than they possessed in 1826. The delinquency of the Ohio or Western District is also painful. Yet we have reason to rejoice:

        First, because the western field--the regions west of the Alleghanies--had expanded itself from a mere adjunct into an indedent Conference District, embracing three stations, the same number of circuits, and seven laborers to cultivate them. And secondly, because the Connection had its eyes opened upon, and its attention also turned to, the instruction of the rising generation and the cause of temperance. Thirdly, the mind of the ministry had also begun to reduce their book concern to a system. The book concern was removed from Philadelphia to New York or Brooklyn as a result of the election of Rev. George Hogarth, local deacon, to the office of general book steward, as his residence was in Brooklyn, where he conducted mercantile operations with Hayti.

        When the Baltimore Conference met in 1837 nothing of interest took place, except the resolution to aid in raising a general fund for the relief of worn-out preachers, but the Philadelphia Conference, which convened in Philadelphia on the 20th day of May, was one of unusual interest. It seems to have been animated by a spirit of light and comprehensiveness unknown to it before.

        As in the Baltimore Conference, so in this, a society was formed auxiliary to the general fund. There were four ordinations: Revs. Clayton Durham, Jeremiah Beulah and William Moore as elders, and Brother John C. Spence as a deacon. Two local preachers, namely, Abraham Bell and Jackson, were numbered with the dead. Of the former it is said that "he was a man truly devoted to God, and left this world in full assurance of a blessed immortality; of the latter it is written that he was "greatly esteemed for his unexceptionable fidelity."

        This Conference was visited by William Yates, Esq., a lawyer from the city of Troy, New York, agent of the A. A. S. Society, and Rev. Joshua Leavitt, then editor of the New York Evangelist. Both were cordially received, and both ably and kindly addressed the assembled ministry on the important subjects of education and temperance. After the address of lawyer Yates, the Conference passed a resolution of thanks "for his able and thrilling address," and as an evidence of how deeply moved it had been, we find a subjoined resolution that there should be a "committee of five appointed to draft some resolutions to offer to the house,"


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and on the morning of the next day this committee made the following report:

1. THE MINISTRY.

        We, the elders and preachers of this Conference, who, according to our ability and the grace that hath been given to us, have in our day preached the Gospel to our scattered and rejected brethren, sensible that like those who have gone before us, the time of our departure will come also when we must give an account of our stewardship, would enter upon the minutes of this Conference an expression of grief at the withering effects of prejudice against color, and in connection with it the deep solicitude we feel that those who will hereafter rise to fill our places should possess the means of securing every qualification for the ministry, that they may be workmen that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly divining the word of truth. Upon this it is evident that the salvation of souls and the right instruction of the Church in the means of grace depend. Besides, the general improvement of the people of color, their advances in knowledge and mutual cultivation, render it necessary; therefore,

        Resolved, That our Rt. Rev. Father and Bishop, with such person or persons as he may associate with him, be a committee to prepare, or cause to be prepared, an appeal or statement of the condition and wants of the Church of Christ among the people of color in regard to the ministry, and the obstacles which embarrass candidates for that office in obtaining suitable preparations, and often hinder access even to the ordinary means of education.

        That the committee lay the same before the presidents and officers of colleges and theological seminaries in the free states, with a respectful entreaty that the advantages of education which their respective institutions afford may be extended to all persons alike, without distinction of color.

        And further, that the Bishop or committee, by correspondence with brethren throughout the United States, with Christian philanthropists, by appeals from the pulpit and press, and by all suitable means, endeavor to awaken a general interest amongst ourselves and friends on this important subject, viz.: a suitable preparation for the pulpit or ministry.

2. EDUCATION.

        Resolved, That as education is the only sure means of creating in the mind those noble feelings which prompt us to the practice of piety, virtue and temperance, and elevate us above the condition of brutes by assimilating us to the image of our Maker; we, therefore, recommend all our preachers to enjoin undeviating attention to its promotion, and earnestly request all our people to neglect no opportunity of advancing it, pledging ourselves to assist them so far as it is in our power.

3. TEMPERANCE.

        Resolved, That our elders and preachers, in their labors to promote the cause of temperance, hold up the principle of total abstinence from the


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use as a beverage of all intoxicating drinks as the true and safe rule for all consistent friends of temperance to go by, and as in accordance with our Discipline and the resolutions of our former Conferences.


        The remainder of the report was upon two topics of such importance that we append it also:

PUNCTUAL ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS.

        Resolved, That the elders and ministers of our Connection do see that the rules of our Discipline be duly observed in regard to the prompt and punctual attendance at the times and places appointed for worship; because a habit of loitering on the way to meeting, coming in after the regular hours, or after the exercises have begun, is extremely hurtful and injurious.

DRESS AND CLEANLINESS.

        Resolved, That the elders and ministers of our Church warn the people, not only in regard to extravagance and useless ornaments and dress, as our Discipline enjoins, but against a slovenly and ragged appearance, which some unhappily, and we believe unconsciously, are not careful to avoid, than which nothing perhaps does more to perpetuate the prevailing aversion and prejudice against color. The malignity of prejudice, we believe, would be much abated if our people were more careful, in their persons and dress, to appear neat and cleanly.


        This report was followed up by another resolution, which said:

        That the members of this Conference, from a sense of duty to ourselves, our people, and our friends, would express feelings of affection and gratitude for those noble men who have extended their privileges of education in their institutions of learning to all alike, without distinction of color, and trust the time will soon come when over the doorway to every school of science and literature in the country will be inscribed the Gospel principle, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come."


        It is to be noted for the sake of those who see only the broader privileges extended throughout the Northern institutions over fifty years later, that at that early period there were but three institutions for higher education to which young men and young women of color then had access. These were Oberlin College, in Ohio; Gettysburg Seminary, in Pennsylvania; and Oneida Institute, in Central New York.

        We also find a record of a more general interest in outside matters pertaining to the race. Two delegates, Rev. David Ware and Richard Robertson, were sent to the "Mental and Moral Reform Society," and Rev. Shadrack Bassett and Noah C. Cannon were delegated to the "Philadelphia Association," while there is noted the invitation to the members of Conference to visit the "Orphan Asylum for Colored Children."


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        That the Church was becoming aroused to its necessities is evident; that it had awakened to a full sense of these necessities is not so apparent. There were opponents to education, and especially the education of the ministry, within its own ranks, though there were exceptions to the attitude these took. Bishop Morris Brown was always in favor of education in the pulpit as well as out of it.

        The 10th of June brought together the ministry of the New York churches, and found Bishops Brown and Waters presiding over their deliberations, the most important of which had reference to church extension; for a petition was received from St. Catherine's, Canada West, and from Buffalo, asking pastoral care. As a result, resolutions were passed to send missionaries thither, and that they be "appointed to go into Canada and the western part of the state of New York, to explore, and, as far as possible, organize and regulate what Societies they can in these regions," with the added provision "that they shall be subject to the order of the Bishops, and amenable to the Annual Conference of the New York District, and, as far as possible, under the advice and patronage of any charitable institutions established for missionary purposes." But no provisions were made for their support for the work other than spiritual, in setting apart a day "for public prayer and supplication to Almighty God for the spread of the Gospel and the success of the missionaries."

        Willis Jones and Cæsar Springfield were admitted on trial as local preachers, and Joshua Jenkins was received into full connection. Samuel Peters and Samuel Edwards were ordained, the former an elder, the latter a deacon.

        The book concern was looked after by the election of Benjamin Croger, Samuel Edwards, H. C. Thompson and Eli N. Hall as a book committee to aid the general book steward in its management. The Conference decreed the publication of a quarterly magazine for the use and benefit of the Connection as another step toward the exercise of what literary talent might be found among the members.*

        * In conversation with Rev. Richard Robinson many years ago, he informed the writer that he was the author of the motion to publish a magazine. During its publication no preacher in the Connection was more active in selling the magazine or the minutes of the Annual Conference. He was in the habit of taking bundles of them when on his pastoral visits, and selling them among his flock. There was, too, an association of Anti-Slavery Christians organized about that time in the state of New York, for the purpose of supporting teachers and a missionary to take charge of the social, intellectual and religious condition of the fugitives from American slavery who had taken refuge in Canada. Rev. Hiram Wilson was the first sent over from the state of New York for that purpose. His wife was Miss Harriett Hubbard, who married him in East Troy, New York, for the special purpose of aiding him in his truly benevolent task. The writer knew her as teacher of the colored school which was held in the basement of the church of which he then was pastor. She was a woman of uncommon faith and powerful in prayer, well suited to be the wife of a missionary.



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        The New York Conference for 1837 reported 810 members within its bounds, and but one was reported among the dead of the year: James Thompson, 70 years of age.

        As to the Ohio churches, the representatives assembled in the city of Columbus, Ohio, on the 26th of August, 1837. They were thirteen in number, and consisted of nine elders, one deacon and two licensed preachers, with Bishop Brown at their head, and Owen T. Burton Nickens, secretary.

        Several resolutions commendatory of temperance and education were introduced, considered and adopted. In the report of the churches, that at Pittsburgh showed a membership of 225, and that at Cincinnati, 146. The churches of Uniontown Circuit reported 187, Zanesville and Columbus had respectively 203 and 212. Richmond Circuit gave in 160; Chillicothe, 204, and Hillsborough, 170. The total membership thus shown in 1837 for the Ohio Conference was 1,507.

        John Caves, Claiborne Yancy and Turner Roberts were admitted on trial; Fayette Davis and Samuel G. Clingham into full connection. Job Dundy withdrew from the church, while Elijah Brown had finished his ministerial career gloriously and gone to his reward in heaven.

        The work of the year 1838 was opened by the meeting of the ministers who watched over the interests of the Baltimore churches, in the city of Washington, D. C., April 22d. They were but ten in number, over whose deliberations Bishop Brown presided, assisted by Bishop Waters. John F. Cook was secretary. Bishop Brown did not forget to impress upon the minds of the preachers the importance of encouraging education among themselves, and especially among the rising generation. This was followed by a resolution making it the duty of the preachers to deliver an address on education in each of their congregations once a quarter. The different points of moral reform were also touched upon.


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        One peculiar phase of our early work is laid bare to the gaze of the Christian world to-day in a portion of the closing resolutions where thanks were tendered for the mercies of the session. It is exhibited in all its simple pathos in the closing words: "Also to the mayor and city authorities and citizens of Washington generally, for their kindness and hospitality, and for our safe and peaceful sessions."

        Samuel Todd and Joshua Gilbert were reported among the dead, and we find a time set for the commemoration of their deaths, "as a mark of our regard and affection." Rev. Stephen Smith was ordained a local elder, and Brother John Jordan a deacon. A change was made in adding to the Columbia Circuit Lewistown, in Mifflin County, and the entire number of members in Society within the Conference bounds was set at two thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.

        At the meeting of the Philadelphia churches eleven ministers were present, and Bishop Brown was alone in the presidency of this body. There was a vigorous and kindly spirit animating the whole body, as seen in the journal for the session, yet there was nothing of moment done, and, with the exception of learning that the churches embraced in this district numbered no less than four thousand two hundred and forty-four souls, there is nothing deserving especial note.

        In the New York Conference for this year, which met in New York City on the 9th of June, 1838, we find both Bishops again present, with fourteen other ministers, traveling and local. Among its first acts was one tending to correct habits of slovenliness in attire by attaching a penalty to any preacher who might appear in other than proper and becoming apparel while attending Conference. It was by no means a trivial matter, whether viewed as a habit to be corrected or an erroneous opinion to be rectified--thinking it a mark of Christian humility to be clad meanly as a beggar, or of worldly pride to appear in the costume of a gentleman.

        Rev. Richard Williams, who was the missionary sent out by the previous Conference to explore the regions of western New York and Canada, for the purpose of planting churches wherever the head of the Church should open an effectual door, made his report. It appeared that he had established a Society at Rochester, consisting of twenty-six persons, and also licensed a local preacher to watch over their spiritual interests. He had also


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planted one at Buffalo, with thirty-one members, and licensed two local preachers. From thence he proceeded to Canada West, where he had an interview with the civil authorities, and, obtaining their sanction, then established one Society at Niagara of twenty-two members, one at St. David's of twenty-nine members, and one at St. Catherine of forty, at which place he also licensed two local preachers.

        To this Conference there was a delegate by the name of Daniel Laing, sent from Boston with a petition that a preacher should be sent to found our Connection in that place; but Conference refused to comply with their request unless they would give assurances of their ability and willingness to support the preacher who might be sent. Before adjournment Conference received a reply from the brethren at Boston, declaring that they were prepared to sustain a preacher, or at least to give him the sum of seventy-five dollars.

        Rev. Edmund Crosby was received into the itinerancy with a view to go as missionary to the West, and was afterwards ordained an elder for the same object. Eli N. Hall, by petition of the trustees and people of New Haven, was ordained a deacon, to serve the interests of that church, at the same time that Brother George Weir was ordained a deacon to serve the Buffalo Society. Israel Scott, who had located in the interim of Conference, was again united to the itinerancy.

        It will be seen from the following sum that not much was done by the three Conferences through their auxiliaries for the "general fund," as the entire amount raised was just three dollars and seventy-nine cents.

        Excepting the passage of two resolutions affecting the cause of education and temperance, nothing of importance was done by the ministry of the Ohio Societies in the year 1838 beyond the answers due disciplinary questions. We find that Rev. Wiley Reynolds withdrew from the Connection, and Rev. David Smith returned to it. Two deaths had occurred--Brothers Job Case and 'Squire Ford. Of the latter we find it said that "he was born in the state of Virginia, where he labored extensively in the vineyard of the Lord, with the most abundant success. In 1834 he moved to Cincinnati, where he again commenced his labors with renewed energy, until it pleased the Lord to transplant him from the Church militant to the Church triumphant."


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CHAPTER XIV.
GROWTH WESTWARD AND IN CANADA.

        Measures for the Improvement of the Ministry--Plan to support the Book Concern--Plan for Replenishing the General Fund Approved--General Recapitulation--Philadelphia Statistics--Admission of Willis Nazrey into the Itinerancy--Increase of Numbers--Birth of the Canada and Indiana Conferences--Canadian Work--Slim Support for Preachers--The Year 1840 was a Remarkable One--A Golden Opportunity to secure Fruits of our Missionary Labors.

        IN the year 1839 the Baltimore Annual Conference proceeded to take some measures for the improvement of the ministry, when it met April 27th, in Baltimore, to report and regulate the affairs of the respective charges. A record of this attempt is found in the following form: "That any person applying for license to exhort or preach shall be examined before the Quarterly Meeting Conference touching his acquaintance of the Articles of Faith and Doctrines of the Christian Religion taught in our Discipline, and if he gives satisfaction thereon, he may have a trial. And the preacher in charge shall appoint a committee of three or five preachers to hear him and judge his abilities, and report to the ensuing Quarterly Meeting Conference." In this the Annual Conference placed the exhorter and the preacher on the same footing, not noting that as the exhorter is never allowed to take a text, he therefore does not need the literary furniture which is required in the preacher. If, however, the Quarterly Conference had rigidly obeyed this rule given them by the Annual Conference, the result would have been an advance of many degrees in intelligence.

        Rev. Jeffry Goulden and Rev. Thomas Henry were ordained elders, and John Vozart deacon. It was decided that the "elders in charge nominate the delegates who shall attend the General Conference," and this was followed by the motion which made N. Peck a delegate from Baltimore city, Levin Lee and John Butler for Washington City, Stephen Smith for Columbia, Pa., and John Jordan for Easton, Md. The number of members in the Baltimore District this year was two thousand one hundred and thirty.


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        But it was left for the Philadelphia Conference of this year to make most marked advance in its spirit of liberality and freedom as is evinced by its deeds. Fourteen elders, four deacons, and fifteen preachers composed the number which so showed its zeal and wisdom. From the first it opened its doors to the free ingress of the people. It expressed its sympathy with their enslaved brethren and its thanks to those who were laboring for their emancipation. It set to work and formed plans to raise funds for the support of the book concern. These plans made it the duty of all traveling preachers to collect from every member, through their leaders, two cents per month, or six cents a quarter, the amount thus collected to be reported to every Quarterly Meeting Conference, and transmitted to the general book steward, requiring his receipt for the same, to be entered upon the minutes of the next ensuing Quarterly Conference. And lastly, it provided that the minutes of each Quarterly Meeting Conference touching the subject of the first duty of all traveling preachers mentioned in the plan, should be sent to the next Annual Conference, the delinquent preacher to forfeit and pay to the Annual Conference, for the benefit of said fund, the sum of five dollars, this amount to be taken from the amount of his salary returned at the General Conference. The men who drew up this report embracing this plan were Rev. George Hogarth, general book steward, of Brooklyn, N. Y., Rev. John Vogart and Rev. John Cornish. The only objectionable feature in this plan was that relating to the last provision. It was impracticable because of the indisposition of those authorized to inflict the penalty upon the delinquents.

        For several reasons, which may be apparent upon perusal, the following address at this time is worthy of a place in our history without abridgment. It was undoubtedly the composition of the then general book steward, Rev. George Hogarth:

Beloved in the Lord:

        The undersigned take this opportunity to lay before you the claims of our aged, sick and worn-out traveling preachers, many of whom have spent the prime of their life in your service, counting their time, their talents, and even life itself not dear to them, but have rather sacrificed all earthly comfort and family in obedience to the heavenly mandate requiring them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, and to compel poor sinners to come to the bounteous table of the Lord. You have heard them. Your souls have been made to rejoice within you while sitting under the pleasing strains and arguments that dropped from their


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lips from time to time in calling sinners to repentance, and in pointing the mourner to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. But recollect that they are in the flesh; age, infirmity, and all these debilities incident to mortality have crept upon them, and they are now thrown upon the charities of the general Church for support the few remaining days they have to linger in this evanescent state. To you, therefore, dear brothers, the Church, in behalf of these ancient worthies and veterans of the Cross, speaks in loud and urgent tones for a little pittance to sustain them the few remaining days of their probation. And shall this appeal to you, dear brethren, be in vain? We trust not, but feel encouraged with the pleasing thought that you will not suffer the righteous to be forsaken, nor see his seed begging bread. The profits arising from the sale of all books published by the general book steward are applied to the above purpose; and all donations of money, etc., directed to him at Brooklyn, New York, for that purpose, will be thankfully received and carefully applied.

        The claims of our young men, too, for aid to sustain them while they are preparing themselves for the ministry (that they may become approved workmen in the Lord's vineyard) are urged upon you, as the future prosperity of the Church and of generations to come is dependent upon the care we now take in raising up suitable teachers for our people well qualified in every respect. We, therefore, sincerely trust that you will unhesitatingly lend us your aid, dear brethren, in this laudable cause, as it is no other than the cause of God.

        To our white friends, upon whom Providence has smiled with all that nature's bounty can afford--to you, poor Ethiopia's sons and daughters look with long desires for the day when you will take her cause at heart, and aid her young men on in the ministry that she may in due time be able to stretch forth her hands to God. You will observe, by carefully perusing these minutes, that the wants of our Church are many and urgent upon us at present, and call loudly for aid from the charitable part of the community, many of whom stand ready, we believe, to assist in raising the character and standing of the ministry of our Church. All aid for the above purpose will be gratefully received and duly applied if directed to our general book steward, Brooklyn, New York.

        We would remind our brethren throughout the Connection, as Methodists, to bear in mind the 22d day of October next as the Hundredth Anniversary of Methodism, and as it is a special day set apart by all the Methodist churches in Europe and America as one of gratitude and praise to God, we, therefore, trust that all of our brethren, in all of our churches, will be careful strictly to observe it in worshipping and praising God for his bounteous goodness.

MORRIS BROWN, Bishops.
EDWARD WATERS,Bishops.
GEORGE HOGARTH,
General Book Steward.

Brooklyn, New York, August 1st, 1839.

        The foregoing is the first document of the kind which has been chronicled by our secretaries, and, like the pastoral letters of 1826,


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which were undoubtedly the composition of Rev. Joseph M. Corr, was an evidence of what incalculable use and benefit are cultivated minds to act as guides in our ecclesiastical movements. It is, too, the first appeal in behalf of ministerial support at a time when they were most in need of it. It is also the first official effort in favor of ministerial education.

        The recommendation to observe the centenary of Methodism is also an evidence of enlarged views of ecclesiastical relations and obligations. It also shows the strength of our attachment to our noble Mother Church in England; for it was not a centenary of American Methodism, but of Methodism, that is, English Methodism expanded over the four quarters of the globe.

        Notice was taken for future consideration of another point bearing upon broad interests--that of free labor produce. Next followed the election of delegates to the General Conference of 1840. They were seven in number, and embraced the following named brethren: William Henry, of West Chester, for West Chester; Thomas Banks, of Snow Hill, N. J., for Burlington; Benjamin Wilkens, of Philadelphia, for Salem; Jeremiah Durham, of Philadelphia, for Trenton; David Ware, of Philadelphia, for Bucks County; Walter Proctor and Shadrack Bassett, of Philadelphia, for Philadelphia.

        The Hurst Street Church, with its pastor and membership, was received into the Connection. Alexander Davis, Robert Collins, Berry W. Wilkens and Henry Brightman were received on trial as local preachers, and Isaac Parker as an itinerant. Thomas Bowser, "a local preacher and an exemplary Christian," was numbered with the dead. The round numbers in this district were 4,304.

        The 15th of June, 1839, beheld the pastors of the New York churches convened in the city of Brooklyn to examine their affairs and to adjust certain difficulties. Bishop Brown was assisted by Bishop Waters. The former's recommendation urging the members "to live in unanimity, peace, and brotherly love," was much needed, for charges of "riot and schism" and other troubles threatened to disturb the desired harmony. The field of labor in this district was enlarged by the planting of a church in Lockport, Western New York; one in Toronto, one in Malden, one in Hamilton and Brandford, Upper Canada; also one in Boston, Mass., and one in Providence, R. I. So that, while Satan was inciting evil in the churches in one direction,


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Christ Jesus, the Redeemer, was carrying on the victories of his cross in another. Asa Jeffry was ordained a deacon.

        Brother Abram Marks, for many years an ordained deacon, was cut down by the scythe of death in 1838. He is spoken of as a "staunch supporter of the doctrines of Christ," and as going about "for many years doing good." The delegates elected to the General Conference were five in number: Rev. Eli N. Hall, Rev. Benjamin Croger, Rev. George Hogarth, Rev. Samuel Edwards and N. C. W. Cannon.

        There was some trouble at Rahway, N. J., factions having arisen, and the church there had been taken possession of by one body under the name and title of African Methodist Episcopal Church. This called forth a resolution "to assist our brethren at Rahway with all the means in our power to bring those intruders to justice."

        The plan for replenishing the General Fund, which was adopted by the Philadelphians, was approved by this Conference, and the usual resolutions recommending education, temperance and fasting, and denouncing lottery dealers, were discussed and adopted. This body also reviewed and put into a more practical form some resolutions passed by the Philadelphia Conference in relation to dispensing of books, pamphlets, etc., which produced "no interest to the Connection," and such sales in our churches and at our altars were forbidden "without permission from the elder in charge, with the concurrence of a committee whom he shall choose to examine them."

        The New York Conference of 1839 reported the total number of members in these churches to be 1,222.

        The minutes of the Ohio or Western Conference for this year cannot be found, but a general recapitulation of members for the four districts for the last four years gives the following:

        
Ohio. Philadelphia. Baltimore. New York. Total.
1836 1,131 3,344 2,052 743 7,270
1837 1,507 3,443 2,345 810 8,105
1838 1,817 4,044 2,794 1,053 9,708
1839 4,479 2,300 1,222 8,001

        The annual transactions of the ministry of the Baltimore churches for the next year (1840) were of very little interest, as may be seen by the following synopsis of its proceedings in session, beginning April 16th:

        Henry Brightman was received on trial, and Isaac Parker was


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referred to the Philadelphia Conference. Rev. William A. Nichols was elected instead of Brother John Butler as delegate to the approaching General Conference. The preachers were requested to solicit one cent per month from each member in their respective charges to aid the General Fund. They were also "enjoined to encourage the principles of education and temperance."

        The year 1840 was the year of General Conference, and as exact an account as possible of the churches should be furnished. The Baltimore churches showed an increase in membership in some way over the preceding year, as we find a total of 2,636 members. The amount of salaries paid for the year was $437.87; the moneys collected for contingent expenses reached $152.33, and a total of twenty-eight itinerant preachers was reported. There was also a slight increase in the Philadelphia District membership, as it reached 4,659, with a total of salaries amounting to $665.21½. The contingent moneys summed up $201.45, including $60.50 from the Daughters of Conference. The number of preachers was not reported.

        The Philadelphia Conference was opened May 23d. Its transactions were characterized by lack of vigor, though from what cause we are unable to say. Education and temperance received the usual attention, while lotteries were condemned, and resolutions passed dealing severely with those preachers who had anything to do with them, even to expulsion from the Connection as a final sentence. Some property transactions were authorized, and the trustees of Lewiston, Delaware, were to part with such a portion of the ground belonging to that church as they might think proper for the benefit of the church. The trustees of Indian River Church, in the same state, were "to grant a deed of exchange for a piece of ground better situated for the church in that place.["] Brother David Ware was offered for the office of deacon, and was ordained. Two ministers had died; one, Brother Simon Murray, died at the advanced age of eighty-six. He was a "faithful minister," and the same who was pastor of the Hurst Street Church at the time of its annexation to our Connection; the other, Rev. Jeremiah Miller, died in his seventy-third year. He was one of the brave and hardy pioneers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a "faithful itinerant."

        In the year 1840 a new agent of power was introduced into the


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body of the New York Conference; yea, more, into the very vitals of the Connection. The brethren of this district convened this year on the 13th of June, in the city of New York. Bishop Morris Brown presided, and the person who was to constitute this agent of power was no other than that remarkable man, Willis Nazery, who applied for admission into the itinerant ranks, and having passed a fair examination was put on his probation. Probably no one thought that in twelve years from that day, and in that very house, he would be elected and ordained one of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of its most efficient.*

        * He was elected and ordained at the same time with the writer. Subsequently, in 1856, he emigrated to the British Province of Canada West, and became the first Bishop of the British Methodist Episcopal Church.


There was nothing striking in the physique of Brother Nazery but his height, which was about six feet and two inches; nor was there anything remarkable in his speech to arrest the attention of the beholder and cause one to predict his future elevation, for all his sermons and conversation were commonplace. It was his activity, his promptness and general force of character that made the place for him.

        A missionary for all the New England states was appointed in the person of Rev. N. C. W. Cannon--a very important and honorable commission. The preachers of this Conference were obligated by a resolution to preach four sermons during the year on the subject of education, and to take up collections for Sunday-schools.

        Brothers Shepherd Holcomb and E. N. Hall were admitted on trial, and Brother George Ware passed into full connection: Brothers Joshua Jenkins and Edward Thompson were ordained deacons in a local capacity, and Brother Eli N. Hall an elder.

        Again we find a slight increase in members, as reported from the New York churches for 1840. Including the work in Upper Canada and the missions in New England--Providence, R. I.; Boston, Mass.; and Springfield, Mass., we find the number to be 1,276, The salaries amounted to $593.34, while contingent collections, with donations from Daughters of Conference, amounted to $175.73; $29.22 were also sent in by the pastors of the missions, circuits and stations for the General Fund.

        Brother Asa Jeffrey, who was ordained a deacon at the last session of this Conference, had fallen this year. Like the two


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mentioned in the Philadelphia Conference as having departed, Brother Jeffrey was a man advanced in years, being in his seventieth year at his death. He had been admitted into this Annual Conference in 1837, and his ordination as deacon, as will be remembered, in the year 1839, was for the benefit of our people at Lockport. For many years he had been a member and preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is mentioned by Rev. George Hogarth as a "man of exemplary piety," and it was because of "his deep interest for the spiritual welfare of his own people" that he came to the conclusion, four years previous to his death, to become attached to our Church, and thereby become wholly identified with us, being satisfied that it afforded the best opportunity of doing the most spiritual good among us. Old and infirm as he was, "he was truly zealous for the promotion of His kingdom," as was evinced by his effort to serve the church at Lockport. Rev. Jeremiah Miller, one whom we noticed in the Philadelphia Conference, was a member of the New York Conference when he died, and this body gives excellent testimony concerning his life and character. For twenty-three years he had been a member of our Church, and the Lord had blessed him abundantly in his labors in the ministry. He was a "very peculiar man in his manners and deportment," we are told, yet it is added that "wherever he traveled, like the apostles of our Heavenly Master, the observer could identify in him the marks of the suffering and dying of his Lord and Master." Indeed, we find him, just before yielding up his life, a strong worker in his protracted meetings, and "adding about sixty-four souls to the Church as a seal to his ministry."

        By the order of the General Conference held this year two more Annual Conferences were brought into existence--the Upper Canada and the Indiana, and from this point we date the organization of our Canadian work. The Upper Canada Conference was organized by the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown, in the city of Toronto, July 21st, 1840. It was a fit place for such an important movement, first, because of the beauty of the place, whose location is on the western banks of Lake Ontario, whose waters seem to reflect the deep azure of that heaven in which the church triumphant is now rejoicing, and to which the church militant is now hastening; second, because the inhabitants of this city were possessed of such a magnanimous and generous spirit shown towards the down-trodden descendants of Africa when they sought


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an asylum from the cruelties of the "Fugitive Slave Law" of these United States; and third, because it has always been the great seat of learning and Christian benevolence for the western portion of British America.

        As to the particular manner in which this Conference was organized, nothing appears on the face of the minutes. There were twelve members of this first Conference. Elder Edmund Crosby, missionary to Canada West, and the assistant of the Bishop, Deacon George Weir, of Rochester, N. Y., with the following preachers, all of whom were residents of Canada West: William Edwards, Samuel Brown, James Harper, Alexander Hemsley, Jeremiah Taylor, Daniel D. Thompson, Peter O'Banyon, Jacob Dorsey and Henry Bullard. Brother Weir was chosen as its secretary, and was ordained an elder, also, at this Conference. Daniel D. Thompson and Peter O'Banyon were admitted on trial, and Samuel Brown into full connection, while he, with James Harper, William Edwards and Alexander Hemsley, was afterwards chosen and ordained deacon, after which Samuel Brown was ordained to the office of an elder. This suspension of the law of the church was manifestly to serve some useful end. The Conference embodied in the work of its first session resolutions against the use of ardent spirits and encouraging to the foundation of temperance societies. It also resolved that all its preachers should preach expressly in favor of education, and everywhere encourage it. Sabbath-schools were to be established wherever possible, and the first Friday of each year was to be set apart as a day of fasting, thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for the general progress of the Gospel throughout the world, and for the prosperity of our Connection, the first failure to observe the same to cause the preacher offending to be amenable to the next Annual Conference.

        The circuits designated as St. Catharine's, Brantford, London Circuit and the West, together with Toronto Station, gave a total of two hundred and fifty-six members in Society, and they were manned by preachers stationed as follows: William Edwards was sent to Toronto Station, James Harper was sent to London Circuit and the West, Jeremiah Taylor was appointed to Brantford Circuit, and Alexander Hemsley was sent upon St. Catherine's Circuit.

        From this organized beginning in new territory we turn to the


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Western Conference--the Ohio, or Pittsburg, as it was sometimes called. It opened its deliberations in the city of Pittsburg on the fifth day of September (1840), with the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown presiding. There were seven elders, six deacons, and six preachers present. Mr. John B. Vashon, a layman, was chosen as its secretary, and the usual resolutions on temperance, education, Sunday-schools, the book concern and slavery were passed. That we may note the utterance of the Ohio ministry of that period upon this last-named question, we present the resolution:

        We, the members of this Conference, are fully satisfied that the principles of the Gospel are arrayed against all sin, and that it is the duty of all Christians to use their influence and energies against all systems that rudely trample under foot the claims of justice and the sacred principle of revelation. And whereas, slavery pollutes the character of the Church of God, and makes the bible a sealed book to thousands of immortal beings, therefore,

        Resolved, That we will aid by our prayers those pious persons whom God has raised up to plead the cause of the dumb until every fetter shall be broken, and all men enjoy the liberty which the Gospel proclaims.


        The Conference reported a total of two thousand four hundred and forty-eight members in Society, a considerable increase over the last report given in 1828, when the numbers reached one thousand eight hundred and seventeen. The appointments at this Conference were as follows: Thomas Lawrence to Pittsburg Station, Henry Addenson to Cincinnati Station, Fayette Davis to Chillicothe Circuit, Simon Ratcliffe and M. M. Clark to Hillsboro Circuit, George Coleman to Zanesville Circuit, George Johnson to Richmond Circuit, Samuel G. Clinghman to Uniontown Circuit, Charles H. Peters to Columbus Circuit, Major T. Wilkerson to Urbana Circuit, Austin Jones to Massilon Circuit. Robert Johnson was transferred to the second new Conference formed this year--the Indiana Conference.

        This Conference was organized at a place called Blue River, in Indiana, October 2d, 1840, when twenty-one ministers assembled for that purpose, and conducted its deliberations. The elders were Rev. William P. Quinn, Henry Addenson, Thomas Lawrence, Fayette Davis, Jeremiah Thomas; the deacons, Rev. George W. Johnson, Claiborne Yancy, Robert Johnson and M. J. Wilkerson; the preachers, Robert Jones, Nathan Ward, Daniel Winslow, Shadrack Stewart, Henry Tryon, Matthew T. Newsom, Benjamin Hill, Willis R. Revels, Matthew Sawyers, Thomas


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Winmon, Benjamin Scipworth. Henry Addenson was made Bishop Brown's assistant in the absence of Bishop Waters, and Major J. Wilkerson was chosen secretary.

        All the preachers mentioned above, excepting the first three, were received on trial, together with M. M. Clark, and out of the whole list only Robert Jones, Shadrack Stewart and Benjamin Hill were itinerants.

        M. T. Newsom was transferred to the Ohio Conference this year under Major J. Wilkerson. A total of one thousand one hundred and sixty-eight in Society was reported from the different circuits, which included Brooklyn Circuit in Illinois. It was a meager support which the preachers and elders obtained that year, as the entire sum only reached $234.88, to be divided into six portions, in sums ranging from thirty dollars to fifty, but it did better than the Canada Conference in its contingent money, collecting $45.50, while the former collected $9.25; yet the Indiana Conference, upon its organization, had twenty-one members representing one thousand one hundred and sixty-eight in Society, while the Canada Conference had twelve members representing two hundred and fifty-six in Society. With nearly five times the number in Society, and nearly double the number of members, it raised nearly five times the amount--small though the larger sum was. Claiborne Yancy was ordained an elder at this Conference, and the preachers were appointed as follows: George W. Johnson to Richmond Circuit, Robert Jones to Indianapolis Circuit, Shadrack Stewart to Terre Haute Circuit, and William P. Quinn and Benjamin Hill were sent to Brooklyn Circuit, Illinois, and at the same time all these circuits were placed under the oversight of Elder Quinn.

        The year 1840 was not only remarkable for the organization of new Conferences, but also for its literary movement; for, by the statement of Rev. George Hogarth, who, at this time, was the general book steward, the idea of publishing a magazine for the benefit of the Connection was considered and discussed at the Annual Conferences of this year. The General Conference, too, was held this year in the city of Baltimore, but not a vestige of the proceedings is handed down to us. It is certain that the minutes were never published, and we are led to infer that the terror of slaveholders led to this death-like silence.

        Another circumstance which renders this a notable year was the fact that the last opportunity for securing the fruits of the


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labors of our three missionaries*

        * Brothers Scipio Beanes, Richard Robinson and Isaac Miller.


to Hayti was lost through want of zeal, tact, and missionary enterprise, as will be evident from the following occurrence in the New York Annual Conference the following year (1841). It seems that while the Conference was progressing in the examination of characters, Rev. George Hogarth, the secretary, impeached Rev. Charles A. Spicer "for having accepted an invitation," at the Annual Conference of 1839, to become part of a delegation from this Connection to a Convention of Methodists which was to meet in the month of December last, in the city of Port-au-Prince, capital of the Republic of Hayti, for the purpose of organizing themselves into a religious body of that denomination in that republic; and our, Bishop, as he understood, had received an invitation from that country to send such a delegation to that convention, that our Connection might be represented in the formation of that body of Christians in that country. But Brother Spicer, instead of going to Port-au-Prince, as he offered himself, went to Europe, contrary to the expectation of the Bishop and the Conference, and deprived this Connection of being represented in that convention, which has given another denomination of Methodists in this country, in opposition to ours, the ascendency in the hearts and feelings of that body of Christians, they having been well represented there.*

        * While this is true, it was so at that time. Fifty years later our Church is found to have a new hold upon that island, and bids fair to wield immense power in future.



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CHAPTER XV.
CLOSING YEARS OF THE FIRST PERIOD.

        Proper Observance of the Sabbath--Ordination of Willis Nazrey and Others--Canada Conference--Promising Growth--Baltimore Conference of 1842--Willis Nazrey Admitted into Full Connection--Action in Favor of Missions--News from the Haytian Methodist Church--Action of Conference--Educational Interests Looked After--D. A. Payne's Preamble and Resolution in Behalf of Ministerial Education--Financial Embarrassment of the Boston Church--Providence Prays for Independent Existence as a Station.

        FOR the first time the ministers of the Philadelphia District held their annual meeting before that of Baltimore was convened, and, as we enter the year 1841, we find its proceedings the first to note.

        They assembled in the City of Brotherly Love April 10th, as usual, with Rt. Rev. Morris Brown presiding, and Rev. John Boggs his assistant in Bishop Water's absence. Sixty members made up the body--fifteen elders, twenty deacons and twenty-four preachers. Six men were admitted on trial--Thomas W. Jackson, Samuel Murray, George Greenly, Lewis J. Conover, John Butler and Wardle W. Parker. Seven were received into full connection--James Burton, Benjamin Wilkins, Robert Collins, John Anderson, Nathaniel Murray, Ishmael Berry and Isaac Parker. The last named and Samuel Murray were ordained deacons. Rev. Adam Clincher had died in the seventieth year of his age. He is spoken of as a "man of exemplary piety and zealous in his Master's cause."

        The proper observation of the Sabbath Day was touched upon in a resolution instructing elders and preachers having charge of circuits or stations to see that no preacher or minister keeps open shop, oyster or eating-house, or shaving-shop on that day. Another resolution was to the effect that any member of this Conference failing to discharge the duties incumbent upon him relative to the instruction of children should be amenable to the Annual Conference for his dereliction of duty.

        The trouble in carrying out this resolution lay in the fact that they would admit men into the itinerancy who had neither talents,


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nor culture, nor taste, which could get them to become sufficiently interested in the Sabbath-school to become themselves instructors of the children and youths who were growing up daily under their eyes. For lack of pastors qualified to oversee and cherish Sunday-schools, hundreds of the most talented and intelligent children of Methodist parents have forsaken us and united themselves with the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, whose ministers have been sufficiently educated to be earnest workers in the Sabbath-schools of all the cities on the Atlantic coast, from New Haven down to Washington, D. C.

        It is to be observed that, as the statistics are compared with the annual returns for the preceding year (1840), there is a decrease in members in Society amounting to four hundred and seven, as the report returns but 4,252 against 4,659 in 1840. Up to this time the increase for the five years previous had been slight, still it was an increase; but there is no reason assigned for such a decrease as occurs this year.

        Both Bishops were present at the Conference of the Baltimore District, which assembled May 8th, 1841. There were in addition nine elders, seven deacons and ten preachers. Five preachers were admitted on probation. These were Benjamin Boyes, John L. Armstrong, Thomas Hall, Darius Stokes and Wm. G. Brown. Willis Nazery and John L. Armstrong were ordained deacons, and Levin Lee was ordained an elder.

        Numbered among the dead were Brothers Phæton Blake, Jacob Howard and Southey Hammond, concerning whom we learn nothing more than that they "died in the triumphs of faith." It is a pity that the early Annual Conferences did not, through intelligent committees, inquire into the life and characters of their preachers who died, and report such a sketch of their lives as would give them the credit due, and at the same time render their biographies varied and interesting as they should be truthful.

        The churches on the Columbia Circuit petitioned the Conference to detach them from the Baltimore and attach them to the Philadelphia District, but this was refused. All the laymen of the churches who were office-bearers were hereafter to be admitted to seats in Conference, but to have no voice. The office of district book steward for the ensuing year was filled by the selection of Brother William G. Brown.

        The statistics show a decrease of membership also in this district, in reporting 2,514 against 2,636 in 1840, a decrease of 122.


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        At this time there were in the Baltimore Station two Sunday-schools, embracing two hundred and eight scholars and nineteen teachers. The sum of $31.99 was raised to sustain them. Washington City Station also reported two schools, in which were two hundred and four children, with twelve teachers, and $17 raised for their support. Fell's Point had no school. Columbia Circuit reported one school, three teachers and thirty scholars; Lancaster, one school, three teachers and twenty scholars; Carlisle, one large school in a prosperous condition; Gettysburg, and Lewiston, each, the same, and Baltimore Station reported one day or common school, one teacher and fifty scholars. This is the first report of Sunday and common schools on the records of our Connection, and the Conference closed its deliberations by pledging themselves to sustain common and Sunday-schools.

        The business growing out of the pastoral relations of the ministers of the New York District was transacted this year in Brooklyn, where they convened the 29th of May, 1841. Neither one of the Bishops were present at the opening, and we learn, incidentally, that at least the absence of one (Bishop Brown) was due largely to the fact that he must attend the laying of the corner-stone of Bethel Church, in Philadelphia, which ceremony was to take place June 2d.

        By his recommendation, Brother John Boggs, of the city of New York, was selected as chairman, to officiate during his absence, organize the Conference, and proceed to the business of examination of members. Brother Richard Robertson was chosen his assistant and Brother Hogarth was made secretary.

        Jabez P. Campbell appears here for admission, with Charles Burch, on trial as local preachers. The former also applied for itinerant work, but, on the ground of his feeble health, Conference refused the application. It saw fit, however, to recommend him as one, among others, who might be ordained a local deacon, at the discretion of Bishop Brown, and that he or another might be placed at Providence, R. I., provided the Bishop found no preacher there already ordained when he should visit that place in the interval of the Conference. An irregular petition from "the brethren" at New Haven for the ordination of Brother Burch as a local deacon was the means of a refusal, as it proceeded from a public meeting and not from a Quarterly Conference. John C. Spence was also located.

        Rev. George Weir, laboring in the Canadian regions, sent information


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to the Conference of the prosperity of the churches under his pastoral care, and expressions of the good feelings of the brethren in those regions. It seems that the Rahway Church was still in pecuniary embarrassment, and in order that it might be extricated, a committee was appointed for the purpose, which was to act in conjunction with a Philadelphia committee.

        This Conference detached the Binghampton Circuit from the Philadelphia District and put it under the jurisdiction of the New York District. We find, also, that aside from this enlargement it made an appointment for the Baltimore District by sending Sampson Peters and L. Conover upon the Columbia Circuit, and one for the Philadelphia District also, while its other appointments, eight in number, including Binghampton Circuit, were filled by stationing Clayton Durham on Long Island Circuit, John Boggs at New York, Eli N. Hall at Albany, Jeffry Goulden at Rochester, George Weir at Buffalo, Charles A. Spicer on the Binghampton Circuit, and N. C. W. Cannon on to New England Mission. The Burlington Circuit of the Philadelphia District was supplied by Israel Scott.

        In a financial way, we find a decrease in the amount paid for salaries, as compared with the previous year. There was raised in 1841, $531.78, while the sum reached in 1840 was $593.34. Contingent collections amounted to a smaller sum as well. There was an effort to improve the finances by decreeing that "two cents a month shall be collected from each member." We find that even those helpful orders, the Benevolent Daughters of Conference and the United Daughters of Conference, were not able to reach the figures of the previous year in their offerings, which, united, amounted to $72.47 this year, while they had presented, in 1840, $92.50. But if the financial part of the work was weaker in one direction, there was evidence that money could be raised in the pledges of a total of $56.50 from N. C. W. Cannon, Richard Robinson, Eli N. Hall, John Boggs, Charles A. Spicer, Isaac Parker and the Philadelphia Church, in support of the new enterprise, which was to make this Conference noted as giving birth to the first literary measure known in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It did this, as has been already intimated, in the following resolution:

        Resolved, That there shall in future be a magazine published, either quarterly or monthly, for the benefit of the Connection, instead of the minutes.



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        So we see, even though we find a decrease in the membership in the churches of fifty-one, that there was an increase in the growing intelligence, which would push forward and strive to uphold such a measure in the face of objections based upon the financial disability of the Connection.

        This Conference, too, presents the first instance in which the report of the general book steward assumes a business-like form, by which a clear view of the whole work of the Conference year is given. By it we find a balance in favor of the book concern amounting to $1,318.54.

        The Indiana churches held their Annual Conference in Rush County, on Blue River, assembling on the 27th of August. Rt. Rev. Morris Brown presided, and Turner Roberts was made secretary. Only two elders were present, William P. Quinn and Thomas Lawrence. Elder Quinn was, by motion, made an assistant to Bishop Brown, as Bishop Waters was again absent. Thomas Elsworth, Allen Graham, Benjamin Coals and William Douglas were admitted on trial, and the first named and the last were also ordained deacons. Robert Jones was elected to the office of an elder and Benjamin Hill was located. Elder Quinn was appointed by Bishop Brown as presiding elder over the states of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, until the meeting of the next General Conference. It closed its deliberations by electing William Davidson as district book steward, and passing resolutions in favor of temperance and Sunday-schools.

        The Indiana Conference showed vigor and growth in its reported increase of two hundred and sixty-two members in Society for the Conference year.

        The representatives of the Ohio churches assembled in Cincinnati on the 11th of September, 1841. Three preachers were admitted on trial: W. T. Newsum, W. C. Yancy and John Gibbons. George Coleman was elected and ordained an elder. Daniel Winslow, M. M. Clark and J. Gibbons were ordained deacons, and Jeremiah Thomas, Claiborne Yancy and J. Gibbons were put upon their probation as traveling preachers. Austin Jones and Isaac Delaney were numbered with the dead, but no obituary is given of these men to indicate their piety, their talents, nor their usefulness.

        Up to this date, and at the Indiana Conference of 1841, there have been found no instances of transfers by motion in an Annual Conference, which was evidently a departure from Methodistic


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usage. Here we have the first record of the kind when Turner Roberts was by motion transferred to the Indiana Conference.

        Among the resolutions passed was one creating a committee of three to draft an address upon the condition of our people, and also, to construct a constitution to govern the Societies of the Western Conferences. It appears that the preachers had complied with the resolutions passed by the last Conference relative to the causes of temperance and education, and that these important causes espoused by the Church were progressing among the members of the Church, particularly in the large towns and cities. The preachers were instructed to preach upon these subjects at least twice a quarter, and by every means in their power to do what was possible towards furthering the objects in view by increasing the educational interests, and suppressing, as far as they could, intemperance, and especially the use of intoxicating drinks. In this connection the Conference resolved that all candidates for the itinerancy should be examined, and be required to give satisfactory evidence as to their temperance principles before being admitted into the traveling connection. The other abuses--that of prolonging the hours of night service, and the singing of fugue tunes and hymns, were corrected.

        The second annual meeting of the pastors of the Canadian churches was held in St. Catherine, Upper Canada, October 2d, 1841. As neither Bishop Brown or Bishop Waters were present, Rev. Edmund Crosby was chosen the president, with S. Brown as his assistant, and George Weir as secretary. This year George Wilkerson was admitted on trial, and Jacob Dorsey, Edward Gant, Jeremiah Taylor and Josiah Henderson were received into full connection. The growth of this Conference was also promising, as there was an increase of one hundred and eighty-three.

        When the Conference year of 1842 opened, the Baltimore District met on the 23d of April to make their parochial reports. Both Bishops were present, and also nine elders, nine deacons, and four preachers. We find Willis Nazery admitted into full connection, and Henry Waters and William Gaines into the itinerant service on probation, while Aaron Wilson was reported as dead.

        The church in Hagerstown was attached at this time to the Frenchtown Circuit. Among resolutions of minor importance the following helped to constitute the business of this Conference:


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        Resolved, That every traveling preacher who shall neglect for one year to take up the collections of two cents per month from each member for the support of the ministry shall be expelled from the Connection, unless he sends a letter or note to the steward of his circuit or station giving satisfactory reason for such neglect.

        Resolved, That the preacher from each circuit or station shall, in future, produce at the Annual Conference a certificate, properly authenticated, containing the number of Sabbath and day schools, scholars and teachers within his charge, and also the amount of collections made during the year for their support.


        Twelve Sabbath and two day schools were found to be in existence in the bounds of this Conference, while progress in good work was exhibited in the petition which came to the Conference, praying its influence and aid in establishing the African and Foreign Home Missionary Society. This was received, and Conference ordered that all our preachers on their circuits and stations shall render their aid in promoting such a laudable society.*

        * This society was the result of the Convention held in Hartford, Conn., the August previous.


        Nine hundred and eighty members were in Society at Baltimore City Station, four hundred and twenty-six on Fell's Point Circuit, four hundred and fifty on Columbia Circuit, two hundred and twenty-five on Chambersburgh Circuit, seventy-nine on Lewiston, sixty-six at Easton, sixty-seven at Frenchtown, and three hundred and ninety-two elsewhere. Their two-cent collections amounted to $60.31, while the collections for contingent expenses amounted to $117.63, of which Washington City raised $30.50.

        As we turn to the Philadelphia churches, the ministry of which commenced their deliberations in the city of Philadelphia on the 21st of May, this year (1842), we find both Bishops present, together with nineteen elders, thirteen deacons, and nineteen preachers, making fifty-three in all. Rev. David Ware was chosen secretary, and three preachers were admitted on trial--William Webb, C. P. Gibson and Daniel A. Payne. Three were admitted into full connection--Adam Driver, Abram Coursey and Stephen Holcomb. Isaac Parker requested to be located, and his prayer was granted.

        There were reported among the departed this year Robert Holcomb, John Hight and Henry Brown. The first named died at the ripe old age of ninety-seven years, and had been a member


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of the church for twenty-five years. He is spoken of as a "plain, simple-hearted Christian, a pointed and solid preacher, a good husband, and a firm friend. He commenced his public labors about 1822." John Hight and Henry Brown were both venerable preachers of the Gospel in our Connection and "wore themselves out in the service."

        The Trenton Circuit was divided into two divisions, the eastern portion bearing the name of Princeton, and the western that of the Trenton Circuit. Strong efforts were made to have the funds of the church properly looked after, and this Conference passed some very stringent resolutions on the subject. Among them, any itinerant preacher neglecting to take up collections in his charge for the purpose of defraying the expense of the Annual Conference, or neglecting to collect the two-cent money, would be liable to expulsion from the ministry. The necessity of these resolutions seems to indicate a lack of prudence in financial matters among the itinerant preachers of that time.

        Whether it had been customary for preachers, after making their returns to Conference, to return to their charges without being located, does not seem very clear, still, from this resolution, it would seem that such was the case, as it prohibited any one from returning and holding quarterly meetings without the episcopal authority expressly granted under the penalty of expulsion.

        The local preachers and exhorters were required by this Conference to establish a home missionary society, which was to be subject to the Annual Conference. But it can hardly be supposed that the Philadelphia brethren really thought that the local preachers and exhorters felt more intensely the need of missionary enterprise, and would evince more zeal in the sacred cause than the itinerants themselves.

        It was at this time that we have news again from the Haytian Methodist Church, as it was now called, as it had separated from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At this period and to this Conference news comes of the pecuniary difficulties which it seems to have been suffering. Henry J. Williamson, on behalf of the Church in Hayti, requested, through a petition, assistance, and this the Conference promised to grant, and at the same time gave Mr. Williamson a letter of introduction or recommendation to the general public and another to the Hartford Conference. But despite the resolutions to grant aid, the Church in Hayti


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received nothing at that time. It was also recognized at this and other Conferences that much good might result from sending one of the Bishops on a visit to that island, but the efforts put forth went no farther than mere resolutions, for some cause or other, and it remained for later workers in the field to take a view of the land that we might have possessed in full had we fully seized as well as recognized the opportunities for our Church. Every such failure is regarded to-day as a loss.

        The Rahway church appears again to have been in an embarrassed condition, and a collection was recommended to be taken up for its relief. "The Church Magazine," too, which had been established in 1841, appears at this early period of its existence in "deep water." It had been published as a monthly, and the first number had appeared in September of that year, but at this Conference a resolution is passed to publish it quarterly. Still, in spite of its embarrassed condition from so many and varied claims, it strove nobly and, as a whole, wisely to steer clear of future difficulties.

        But if financial matters were somewhat clouded, the educational interests were kept clearly before the brethren. The resolutions leading toward progress in this direction are worthy of being kept in mind as the first formulated effort toward a course of regular study. It was first resolved, "That the elders and deacons of the Connection make use of all the means in our power from henceforth to cultivate our minds and increase our store of knowledge." Then, second, "That we recommend to all our elders and deacons, licensed preachers and exhorters, the diligent and indefatigable study of the following branches of useful knowledge: English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, Rollin's Ancient History, Modern History, Ecclesiastical History, Natural and Revealed Theology." These resolutions were introduced by the following preliminary: "Whereas, The great literary advantages which the rising generation enjoys require more than ordinary intelligence in the ministry that may be called to instruct them; and, whereas, our excellent discipline cannot be fully executed, nor our present plans of improvement fully consummated without an intelligent ministry; and still more, whereas, the word of God requires that the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they (the people) should seek the law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts; therefore, etc."


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        These resolutions, presented by D. A. Payne at that date, were the first strong, entering wedges to rive the mass of general ignorance and force the ministry of our Church to a higher plane of intellectual culture. Still, the state of both education and temperance in the bounds of the Philadelphia Conference for the year 1842 was promising. We find that at Princeton, N. J., there were, under the pastoral care of H. C. Turner, one common school, containing thirty-five scholars and one teacher; one Sunday-school, with sixty-seven scholars and fifteen teachers; and one temperance society, with one hundred members. At Trenton we find one common school, containing thirty scholars and one teacher; one Sunday-school, containing forty scholars and twelve teachers, and one temperance society, with thirty members. Rahway, N. J., reported thirty scholars and six teachers in its one Sunday-school, and sixty members in its one temperance society. Gouldtown, N. J., under Rev. J. Beulah, had one Sunday-school and thirty scholars. Bucks County Circuit was under Rev. I. Parker, and had thirty scholars in its one common school, and twenty-seven in its Sunday-school, which was under the care of one teacher. It also had one temperance society, as did Attleboro and Buckingham Mountain. But the largest work was being done at Philadelphia, under the care of Bishop Morris Brown. Rev. D. A. Payne had under his charge one seminary for both sexes, containing forty scholars; one literary society, with twenty members; one Sunday-school, having sixty scholars and nine teachers; and one temperance society, with eight hundred members. The president of this last was Dr. James G. Bias. There was also in Philadelphia, under the care of Rev. David Ware, one common school, with thirty scholars, and one Sunday-school, with three hundred scholars and twenty-four teachers.

        Bishop Morris Brown held the pastorate of Bethel Church this year, as he had done many years before, and his church gave $120 of the total amount collected for contingent expenses, which was $148.74.

        According to appointment the pastors of the New York churches met on the 11th of June, in Bethel Church, on Second street, and transacted the business belonging to the district. Rt. Rev. Morris Brown was present and presided, assisted by Rt. Rev. Edward Waters. Rev. George Hogarth was chosed secretary. Henry Johnson and J. P. Campbell were two itinerants


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who were admitted on trial, together with two local preachers, Goldsbury Warner and John Scott. James Sharp was received into full connection. We find financial embarrassments, as well as in the other districts, for the church at Boston, Mass., prayed Conference not to send them a pastor for the present year, as their embarrassed condition would prevent them from giving him a support; but they asked to be supplied with ministerial help from Providence, R. I. The church at Providence, meanwhile, petitioned to be dismembered from the New England Mission and converted into a station, which was granted. Since then the church at Providence has been the most efficient of all the New England congregations, not only in pastoral support, but also in sustaining all the institutions of the Church and Connection. A body of Christians, who had recently seceded from the Zion Wesley Church, prayed Conference to receive them into the fellowship of the Connection, and be put under the pastorate of the New York City Station. This was granted and provisions were also made for constituting all the licentiates in said church members of the Annual Conference.

        The petition of the Haytian churches, which had been laid before the Philadelphia brethren, was also brought up for consideration and resulted in securing the sympathy and promised aid of the Conference. It was made the duty of all the traveling preachers to produce a certificate from their recording stewards, in proof that they had done their best to raise the moneys created by the two-cent system, expulsion from the itineracy to be the penalty of neglect to produce such a certificate.

        The report on education showed that there were taught in the basement of Bethel Church, Second street, New York, one day school, containing one hundred and twenty-one scholars of both sexes, and one Sunday-school, containing thirty males and thirty-five females, managed by eleven teachers.

        When the general book steward made his annual report, in which he presented his views of a plan for the improvement of the concern, it was approved by all present. It was decreed that the steward should procure a suitable room for a depository of the books of the concern, and that whenever the book committee was called upon to attend to the business of the concern, each member of it should be allowed the value of a half day's work. It was also decided that each subscriber paying one dollar annually should be entitled to one copy of the magazine, and that


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to non-subscribers the magazine should be sold at a price not exceeding twelve and a half cents per copy; also, that the book steward, with this committee, should have power to send out two agents, one northward, the other southward, to solicit subscribers for said magazine, who should be rewarded for their services by a ten per cent. premium, the duty of such agents to be the entering the names of subscribers with the amount of all their receipts on their subscription books, and the making of regular returns to the book concern. There were those who felt that the proper progress in the Connection could best be brought about by the publication of the magazine monthly instead of quarterly, as the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conferences had ordered, so Rev. Daniel A. Payne sent a communication to this Conference (under whose control the book concern had been placed by the General Conference), praying that the resolutions of the afore-mentioned Conferences be set aside, and the magazine be published monthly. After due consideration it was resolved, "That so much of the action taken by the Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences on the part of the publication of our magazine be revoked, and that it shall he published monthly instead of quarterly."

        Rev. D. A. Payne also introduced resolutions concerning ministerial education similar to those introduced by him in the Philadelphia Conference.

        The general book steward and his colleagues were also instructed "to publish the rise and progress of our Church, with a revision of the life and death of the late Bishop Allen, the founder of our Connection; also the journal, or the life and death of the late Joseph M. Corr, the former general book steward."

        The Canadian churches gathered together on the second of July, 1842, in the city of Hamilton, C. W., Bishop Brown presided, assisted by Samuel Brown. Three elders, three deacons and five preachers were present. Henry Ballard, a layman, acted as Conference steward. Four were admitted on probation. These were Peter Smith, Zachariah Estress, Austin Steward and James Walke. At this meeting Josiah Henson was ordained a deacon, and Austin Steward, the exhorter, in whose behalf the brethren at Rochester had memorialized Conference, was received into the itinerant service of the Church, and then immediately transferred back to the New York Conference. Jeremiah Taylor, Jacob Dorsey and Edward Gant were received into full connection.


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Rev. James Harper and Rev. Alexander Hemsley were ordained elders. This was the second year of the existence of the Canada Conference, and the first time that we have a report of their quarterage. We will exhibit their places of appointment and salaries received, so that we may judge somewhat of their financial strength and progress, and also, that we may have data with which to compare the subsequent financial condition of the Church in these regions. Alexander Hemsley received $12.12 at Toronto, Jeremiah Taylor received $22.23 on London Circuit, James Harper received $20 on Branford Circuit, Josiah Henson received $19.50 on Colchester Circuit, and William Edwards and Jacob Dorsey received $24 on St. Catharine's Circuit, making a total of $97.84. The contingent expenses reached the sum of $57.70.

        The territory of the Canada Conference was enlarged this year by the addition of the city of Detroit, in the state of Michigan, and Queensbush, in the township of Peel, Canada West.

        On the 25th of August, 1842, the ministers of the Indiana regions met in the village of Vincennes, and spent eight days deliberating on the condition and prospects of the work of God committed to their care. There were present five elders, five deacons, and ten licentiates. In the absence of Bishop Waters, Elder Quinn was chosen to assist Bishop Brown, and Æneas McIntosh was made secretary. Six persons were put upon their probation as itinerants--James Curtis, Israel Cole, Joshua B. Dunlap, Bird Parker, Æneas McIntosh and Willis R. Revels. Turner Roberts was transferred from the Ohio Conference to this. Two were ordained elders, George W. Johnson and William Douglas, and two were located, Major J. Wilkerson and Robert Jones. Rev. David Smith was appointed district book steward for the state of Indiana, and Rev. W. P. Quinn for Illinois and Missouri.

        The Ohio churches held their annual deliberations this year, beginning on the 17th of September. Nine elders, three deacons and two licentiates constituted the number present. Henry Adcusson was chosen assistant to Bishop Brown, as Bishop Waters did not attend. William Newsum and Thomas Woodson, with Watkins Lee, were received on trial; Augustus R. Green, David Canyon and M. M. Clark, into full connection; and the last named, with Augustus Green, were ordained elders; while Matthew T.


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Newsum, Thomas Woodson and Simon Ratcliff were ordained deacons. Claiborne Yancy retired from the itineracy, and Benjamin Roberts had finished his mortal career, leaving "a bright testimony behind him." We find at this stage of the existence of our Church a number of men entering the work who were above mediocrity, to say the least. Æneus McIntosh and Willis Revels were head and shoulders above the others in the Indiana District in intellectual endowments and literary attainments, and Woodson, Clark and Green were much above the average.

        There was proper and just recognition at this Conference of what was denominated the "Western Missions" and missions generally, and David Winslow was permitted to go home and settle his private affairs, with the privilege of engaging afterwards in mission work lying in the bounds of the Ohio District. Elder William P. Quinn's labors in prosecuting the western work were commended, and he was designated as entitled to "that honor and esteem which is due and is paid to all men of great minds and enterprising habits." Here we find the work of the "Western Missions" summed up: It was begun in 1840, and now (in 1842) it is reported as including eight circuits and stations, embracing a membership of about eight or nine hundred, and comprising a colored community of about twelve to fourteen thousand.


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CHAPTER XVI.
LITERATURE AND VARIOUS SUBJECTS.

        Preparations for the Publication of the Magazine--Contents of the First Number--The Magazine's Existence of Eight Years--Reasons for Failure--Statistical Presentation--First Words on Ministerial Education--Struggle in 1843 Between Ignorance and Knowledge--Bishop Brown favoring an Educated Ministry--Alexander Wayman and others Admitted on Probation--D. A. Payne and Others Admitted into Full Connection--Willis Nazrey Ordained Elder--New York Conference--J. P. Campbell, Charles Burch and Thomas W. Jackson Admitted.

        WE have already furnished the reader with the circumstances under which the magazine of the African Methodist Episcopal Church sprang into existence. After Conference had decided to publish a magazine, the general book steward, Rev. George Hogarth, set about making the necessary preparations. The first copy, as has already been said, was issued in September, 1841. That there was inherent strength and enterprise, as well as liberal mindedness, existing in the bosom of this poor and struggling people is shown, not only by the step taken, but by the material which entered into the literary make-up of the first number of this magazine and the prospectus which heralded its advent. This prospectus is given here in full:

To the Friends of the African Methodist Episcopal Church:

        BRETHREN:--The clergy of our Church, in their Conferences, have long contemplated on the importance and necessity of a magazine, either monthly or quarterly, published under the immediate supervision of our Church as a circulating medium of intelligence throughout the wide extensive bounds of our Connection. Such a work we consider, if properly conducted, will be of vast importance toward advancing the interests of our general Church, and at the same time convey such information periodically through its pages, of the general progress of our Church, as every friend and well-wisher of our Connection materially desires.

        In embarking upon this laudable enterprise it becomes our duty in the outset to inform our friends that such a work cannot be conducted with dignity and honor to our people unless it meets with an ample supply of pecuniary and intellectual means. A fear of failure in obtaining these important contingencies had in a great measure prevented our brethren in their deliberations from coming to any conclusions on this important subject.


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        But, judging from the present aspect of things that the times have greatly changed in our favor as a people, light has burst forth upon us, intelligence in a great measure has taken the place of ignorance, especially among the younger portions of our people, opening the avenues to proper Christian feeling and benevolence, our brethren, from those important considerations, came to the conclusion at our last New York Annual Conference, held in June, in the city of Brooklyn, to order such a work, and lay it before the public for their patronage.

        In soliciting the aid of our friends we would wish it fully understood that it is far from our intention to close our pages to the respectful communications of any who may at any time be so kind as to contribute to the advancement of our enterprise, as we assure our friends that we shall stand greatly in need of talented contributors to our pages.

        Among the prominent objects of our enterprise which call for immediate and particular attention, is primitive Christianity as was understood to exist in the Methodist Church in Mr. Wesley's day; a vindication of the rights and privileges of our Church in all its bearings in this country as African Methodists, its episcopacy and doctrines, holding up to the observance of our Christian brethren, regardless of color, the importance of union among us, not only as Methodists, but as worshippers before the same Lamb in whose blood we are washed; the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom among our brethren of color in this country, who are still perishing for the want of an opportunity of hearing his sacred word to their advantage; the importance of turning the attention of our brethren to the land of our fathers--the millions of souls who are enshrouded in midnight darkness under heathenish superstition and idolatry--that the prayers of our brethren may ascend to the ear of the Lord, that he may in mercy raise up some of our young men and prepare them to carry to Africa's shore the glad tidings of salvation, that the sunbeams of the morning may burst forth with its radiant light upon these benighted regions and dispel the shades of ignorance, superstition, idolatry and death that now lays them prostrate in the dust; the necessity of contributing to the education of our pious young men who may be called of God to the work of the ministry, that they may be able to study unembarrassed to show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly divining the word of truth.

        Sabbath school and every other religious instruction shall meet with our most cordial support, that our members, under God, may become remarkable for science and Christian piety and intelligence in this highly favored land of Christendom. And last, but not least, moral reform in all its branches shall command our special attention, as we are fully satisfied that its principles open to the view the avenues to true Christian piety and holiness.

        This work will be issued from the press monthly, and our terms will be $1 per annum, payable in advance; $1.25 at the end of three months, and $1.50 at the end of the year.

        The ministers in charge of our circuits and stations throughout the


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Connection, or whomsoever they or the general book steward may appoint, will become our special agents to solicit subscriptions, to distribute the work, and collect the funds due from the subscribers and forward to us, for which they will be allowed the usual commission.

        The proceeds of the work, after all expenses are paid, shall be strictly applied to aid our general Church according to the provisions of our discipline. We sincerely hope that our agents will invariably, when they have accumulated five or ten dollars, without delay forward the amount through the mail, that the wheels of our vehicle may at no time be clogged for the want of any immediate pecuniary support.

        We are your affectionate brethren in the Lord,

GEORGE HOGARTH, General Book Steward.

SAMUEL EDWARDS, Committee.
JOSHUA JENKINS, Committee.
BENJAMIN CROGER, Committee.
WILLIS JONES, Committee.


        Such was the prospectus issued by the editor. It is a straightforward document that many other editors would do well to copy.

        The first number was chiefly occupied by reports and minutes of the several Annual Conferences which had been held throughout the past year. From the October number we cull the following short editorial upon the work of Bishop Brown:

        This venerable servant of God, and presiding officer of our Church, is this day, August 19th (while we are preparing our work for the press), engaged in opening his Indiana Conference. We trust that it may be attended with glorious results.

        This man of God, we can safely say, feels his mission deeply at heart. The high, responsible station in which, under God, he has been placed for the last twelve or fourteen years, he has filled with dignity and honor to himself and to our general Church, which requires the gratitude of all as brethren for his devoted zeal in the cause of God and of our Church, for which cause he has not ceased to labor day and night, traveling through hot and cold, east, west, north and south.

        O, that we may always have such a Bishop that feels the interests of the Church so deeply at heart! We trust that he will fail not to drop us a few lines now and then for publication as he is traveling on to his several Conferences.


        There is also a long letter from John M. Brown, of Oberlin College, dealing chiefly with the question of Education among the Colored People, and suggesting several possible means whereby the increase of education may be effected. Among other things he says:

        It is a self evident fact that the people of color of this country have been denied the privilege of a liberal education; therefore, it reasonably


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follows that they stand much in need of one. In order to get an education, they must apply themselves to study. In these days of light and knowledge, every man, woman and child can become educated if he will.

        The above declarations being evident, it follows, of course, that it is the duty of all persons to improve their minds, and become educated . . . . The various resolutions on the subject of education, passed at preceding Annual Conferences, should be put in action, for until there is action on the subject it will be impossible to accomplish anything.

        Literary institutions should be selected by our Conferences, to which those of our young men whom we shall hereafter choose as candidates for the ministry may be sent that they may become prepared for the work.

        In order to secure this, let there be committees appointed from each Conference to seek out such institutions as will receive them on the most favorable terms, and those committees make the most favorable report to some body, that the Conference may be authorized to act for them in the interval of the sessions. I would recommend the Oneida Institute, at Whiteboro, N. Y., for the Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore Districts; the Oberlin Collegiate Institute for the Ohio and Indiana Districts; and the Toronto University for the Canada Districts. Neither of these schools are Methodist institutions. I would advise that the young men first sent out should only remain in those institutions. The course of studies for the junior preachers the first four years should be marked out to them in a manner similar to that of our white brethren.

        I want to see our young men come up filled with the Holy Ghost and cultivated minds. They must build up the foundation thus laid by our venerable fathers. The names of those noble-hearted pioneers will long be borne in mind. Generations yet unborn will call them blessed. Three years, I think, with proper attention on the part of the student, will accomplish this. Will our brethren act upon this important point without delay? Try, dear brother, and urge it upon them; for I consider it the mainspring of all our future actions, and the life of our Church.


        There was still another editorial which is of interest to us today--one upon the subject of "African Missions:"

        Just at this time, August the 19th, while we are busily engaged in preparing our work for the press, our colored Christian brethren of all denominations are convened in Hartford, Conn., deliberating on the ways and means for us to carry the gospel to poor, benighted, downtrodden Africa, the land of our forefathers.

        This is a cause of deep interest to us as a people, and naturally calls the attention of every person who has one drop of African blood running in his veins. Every Christian should be deeply interested in this glorious work.

        We sincerely hope that this convention will result in blessings on our fatherland. Though at present it appears to be a day of small things in this glorious cause, yet we feel that God will not despise it, but bestow honor on those who are engaged in this praiseworthy work. What can


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appear more acceptable in the sight of God than to see the descendants of Africa as missionaries from our country, filled with the Holy Ghost and cultivated minds, scattering themselves throughout those benighted regions, and proclaiming the gospel of light and peace to those millions of poor souls identified with ourselves in color, who in this gospel day are still sitting in the valley of the shadow of death?

        We feel much embarrassed in mind that it is beyond our ability to be present at the convention, though we have had an invitation from the committee to attend, but they have our unceasing prayers to God for their success.


        With this first effort of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to attain a literary standing in the great family of Christian denominations, and to instruct her members in Christian morals, Christian obligations and Christian enterprises, as well as to create a love for science and philosophy through the medium of the press, let us now ask what was the measure of her success at the end of the first year? Only three numbers were issued in this period--one of eleven months.

        The editorial of the May number will be the best and most authoritative answer to this important question. It is well to note here, for the better understanding of what follows, that the Zion's Connection had at that time quite an imposing sheet, which was edited by Rev. Jehiel S. Beman. It was called "The Zion's Wesleyan."

To our Patrons and the Friends of our Cause Generally:

        As much time has elapsed since our last number was issued from the press, the minds of many, no doubt, are on a stretch to ascertain the causes why we should, at our very commencement, suspend our operations for such a length of time.

        It should be borne in mind that upon the cover of our last number we there issued a circular informing the public that as soon as nine hundred subscribers, at one dollar each per annum, could be obtained (which number is needed to defray the expenses of the work), that our next number should be issued forthwith, monthly. We have waited upon the friends of our cause with longing eyes for their patronage of this laudable enterprise until now, but we are sorry to say, to our astonishment, we find but few (out of the large numbers of our members dispersed throughout the country) have lent their aid and influence in support of this important work--a work which has long been wanted among us; which, if well conducted, is calculated, under God, to raise the character of our Church and ministry in the estimation of the public, and place us on a footing inferior to no other Christian denomination. The eyes of our people, however, have been closed thus far to this important subject, much to the hurt of our general cause; for, while the mantle of obscurity has been thrown


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over the efforts, progress and prosperity of our general Church for the last twenty-five years, other denominations (many of whom are inferior to ours in number of members) have their periodicals, through which the public are informed of their existence, and are enabled to place an estimate upon their character and standing among the various denominations of Christians in our country.

        In our last New York Annual Conference many of our brethren concluded that in this day of light and literature, and according to the progress of our Church, it was high time we should awaken out of our moral and intellectual stupor, and shake off this mantle of obscurity now pending over our denomination, and place before the public, through a periodical of our own, our doctrines and tenets, our efforts, progress and determination, under God, to maintain a laudable standing among the various denominations of Christians in our land. This feeling has not become dominant in the hearts of most of those brethren thus associated, but, to the contrary, they have gone forward with a holy zeal, determined to carry out the measures thus adopted. Some have met with favorable results thus far in soliciting subscribers, whilst others have not as yet been quite so fortunate. We trust, however, that our brethren will renew their efforts, and never rest satisfied until our magazine shall become established permanently.


        It is evident from this editorial that, while a few of the ministry were manfully struggling to sustain this literary enterprise, the great mass, both of the ministry and the people, were perfectly unconcerned about its success.

        This magazine, after a varying and struggling existence, stopped in the eighth year of its publication. During that time it was the only medium through which the Church could exhibit its progress in learning and the growth of talent among its members.

        Thus ended the first venture of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the field of journalistic literature, and with the single exception of a small memoir of a child published, it had been the only venture in a literary line of the Church from its beginning. Various attempts had been made to induce the book concern to publish something. The manuscripts of one or two books had been presented by the members, and Conference had voted funds; but, until the appearance of the magazine in 1841, nothing had been accomplished.

        The chief reasons which might be assigned for the failure of the magazine are the almost total want of learning among the laity of the Church, the limited education of the ministers, and the small number who were sufficiently educated or had the time either to contribute to its support by writing or to appreciate the


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efforts put forth for its sustenance. Low as the price was, it was too high for the majority of both ministers and laity who could read, owing to the extreme poverty of the great mass of those to whom the magazine naturally addressed itself. While it existed the magazine showed that it was judiciously managed, and its death showed no disgrace upon the Church, as many magazines before and since, begun upon stronger foundations and with brighter prospects of success, have been forced to succumb in a much shorter period of time.

        As a means of promoting and stimulating the literary spirit as distinct from the work of the magazine, in the spring of 1842 a literary society was formed bearing the name of the Union Theological Association of Philadelphia, whose special object was to cultivate the spirit of biblical research and that of the collateral sciences. It included Bishop Brown and all the local ministry of the sister churches. Its meetings were held in the lecture-room of Bethel. It was very violently opposed by some; but, in spite of opposition, it continued in existence for about twelve months, when some of its leading members were removed, two entering the itinerant service, and one died. The Rev. Joseph Corr was elected president. He took an active part in its work up to the time of his last illness. After his death the Association became extinct. It died just as certain plants will die, because there is no gardener to take care of it--just as an army will become disorganized because there is no general to command it--just as a house will go to ruins because there is no one to repair it. During the twelve months of its existence many interesting debates on various theological questions were had, and several valuable essays were written.

        The year 1842 was remarkable for the erection of new churches in the Connection. We gather from letters written to the editor of the magazine that not less than five were consecrated to the worship of the Most High. The first was that beautiful edifice in Philadelphia, Bethel, at a cost of about $14,000. Then one was built in Lewiston, and one in Hollidaysburgh, Pa.; one in Salem, N. J.; and one in Elmira, N. Y.

        From letters written by a number of brethren it seems that notwithstanding there was no extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Connection, yet the Lord did graciously smile upon various portions of the Church, and added many to the number of the redeemed.


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        From the report of the general book steward we learn that the publications issued by the concern cost it the sum of $224.24, and the profits amounted to $333.57. The amount received into the preachers' fund from the New York District was $36.02; from the Philadelphia District $28.75; and from the Baltimore District $53.63; making a total of $118.40. The numerical strength of the clergy was as a total one hundred and sixty-three, consisting of two Bishops, forty-six elders, fifty-four deacons, sixty-one preachers, and among these were sixty-five traveling preachers and ninety-eight local preachers. Of these, twenty-nine belonged to the Baltimore Conference; thirty-nine to the Philadelphia Conference; thirty-two to the New York Conference: twenty-seven to the Ohio Conference; twenty-three to the Indiana Conference; and fourteen to the Canada Conference.

        There were two thousand nine hundred and ninety-three members in the Baltimore District, four thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight in the Philadelphia District, one thousand four hundred and fifty-four in the New York District, four hundred and forty-four in the Canada District, one thousand one hundred and ninety-four in the Indiana District, and two thousand six hundred and fifteen in the Ohio District--a total membership of thirteen thousand five hundred and twenty-eight.

        With this statistical presentation the year 1842 closes, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church is introduced into a new era in its history.

        It will be remembered that ever since the passage of certain resolutions at the Cincinnati Conference of 1833, calling the attention of the ministry and people to the common and the Sunday-school education of the children, the same idea has been echoed and re-echoed by almost every Annual Conference, but beyond the passage of resolutions touching the subject, the Church had not done anything. It will also be recollected that it was not till four years afterwards that the first word was uttered on the subject of ministerial education; that this occurred at the meeting of the Philadelphia Conference, 1837, through the agency of William Yates, Esq., a lawyer from the city of Troy, N. Y., who acted in the premises as the accredited agent of the Anti-Slavery Society; and that this movement of Mr. Yates was sustained by the Rev. Joshua Leavitt, then the able and enterprising editor of the New York Evangelist, himself a Congregational clergyman, and one of the early advocates of impartial


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freedom. The first article (excepting a single remark by the editor of the magazine in the same year, and a short editorial in the magazine for December, 1842, penned by a minister in the A. M. E. Church) was written by Brother John M. Brown, April 14th, in the year 1841, he being then a licentiate and a student at Oberlin College, as has been previously mentioned. But the year 1843 witnessed the commencement of that struggle between darkness and light, between ignorance and knowledge, between baptized superstition and Christianity, that shall never end till victory shall sit perching upon the banners of the one or the other; and we are certain that God will defend the right, and crown it with the most glorious success.

        April 22d, 1843, saw the ministry of the Baltimore District gathering. The two Bishops were present, with ten elders, four deacons and thirteen preachers. Rev. Levin Lee was secretary. Before commencing its business the Conference voted that all the official members of the church in Baltimore and elsewhere should have a seat but no voice. Benjamin Lynch and Perry Stanton were admitted on trial as local preachers; Benjamin Boyer, John L. Armstrong, Thomas Hall, Darius Stokes, William G. Brown and Savage Hammonds were admitted into full connection, only one being an itinerant--Brother Armstrong.

        An itinerant licentiate by the name of Adam S. Driver made application for the orders of a deacon, at the same time that the Quarterly Conference of Bethel, in Baltimore, petitioned the Annual Conference to ordain Brothers Savage L. Hammonds and Thomas Hall, two local licentiates, to the same rank in the ministry. These three brethren were put into the hands of a committee, consisting of D. A. Payne, John Boggs and Thomas W. Henry, for nomination. The following statements will show what was the result of this examination. It also shows the first open conflict between the advocates of ministerial education and the defenders of an illiterate ministry: A majority of the committee was in favor of ordaining the three candidates. The minority was opposed to it. Therefore two reports were made out and presented to the Conference. The reasons assigned by the majority were, in the case of one of the candidates, that a christening or a marriage might be desired when the elder in charge might be at one end of the circuit, and the minister, though upon the spot, would be unable to act; another reason given in another case was, that though there was no special need for the brother in


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question, "he might be ordained to gratify the Quarterly Conference." Respecting the third case, it was argued that should the brother be placed where a matrimonial ceremony was to be performed, he, if ordained, could serve, and being a poor old man, it would greatly aid him, as thereby he might make some money. But the minority report assigned one reason why they should not be ordained. It was that the candidates were all disqualified for the office, because they had not the information required by the Discipline. The counter report produced quite an excitement, and one brother violently demanded whether we wanted a man to know how to read Hebrew, Greek and Latin before we would ordain him. In the speech that followed, education and those who favored it were denounced.

        In reply to this the minority arose and said that the remarks were altogether gratuitous, because the report said nothing at all about Latin, Greek or Hebrew, but was based simply upon two instruments--the Discipline and the Bible. The minority also maintained that every member of the Conference, and therefore, the whole Conference, was most solemnly bound to heed the Discipline, and still more to heed the Bible. At the conclusion of these remarks Bishop Brown called the attention of the Conference to the fact that he was placed in the chair not to carry out the opinions of any man nor set of men, but to execute the Discipline to its very letter, and he also declared, in a very decided and emphatic manner, that if the whole Conference voted for the ordination of the said brethren, in view of their disqualifications he could not and would not ordain them. He also added, that when men are sent out destitute of the needed qualifications, the people do not blame the Conference, but the Bishop. As a final result the report of the minority was adopted. The Conference also adopted the preamble and resolutions on education which had been previously adopted by the Philadelphia Conference. At this Conference the church at Fredericktown, Md., which had hitherto been a part of the Fredericktown Circuit, petitioned Conference to give them a stationed preacher, i. e., to convert them into a station, but this prayer was not granted.

        Brother John Peck, of Pittsburg, Pa., prayed Conference to recommend some means whereby he could be relieved from the heavy debt for which he became responsible on account of the church in Carlisle, Pa., whereupon a committee, consisting of Brothers David Ware, George Hogarth and John Jordan, was


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appointed to devise some ways and means to relieve Brother Peck. After "due consideration," they recommended that the trustees of the church at Carlisle become securities of Brother Peck by endorsing a note for the amount due, with interest, at the most extended time, and that the said trustees, with Brother Peck, immediately institute collections, or by other means "raise moneys to protect the note when due."

        The Columbia Circuit, which was located entirely in the state of Pennsylvania, prayed Conference at this time to detach them from its jurisdiction and place them under the control of the Philadelphia District. Another violent excitement was produced by this petition. Some, especially those living in the state of Maryland, contended that the prayer ought not to be granted because the churches of that circuit had been planted by the agency of the Baltimore ministry, while on the other hand, brethren living on that circuit argued that their prayer should be granted because it was more convenient for them to attend the Philadelphia Conference than this. The question was put to vote and decided in the negative.

        From the parochial returns it was found that the Lord had so prospered the labors of the ministry since the last meeting of Conference that there was an increase of nine hundred and sixteen members. The two-cent collections amounted to $88.59, and the contingent collection to $138.11. A glance at the statistics of the Sabbath-schools and temperance societies shows that at Baltimore City Station the Sunday-school at Bethel Church contained one hundred and twenty scholars and eighteen teachers, while the school at Ebenezer Church had one hundred and seventy scholars and thirty-eight teachers. At Columbia, Pa., the Sunday-school included ninety-four scholars and sixteen teachers, and that at Harrisburg had fifty-three scholars and fourteen teachers. In Chambersburg and Messersburg, each, there was one school taught by whites. There were temperance societies--one each at Bethel and Ebenezer, in Baltimore, Union, Columbia, Harrisburg, Messersburg and Chambersburg.

        On the morning of the 20th of May, 1843, the pastors of the respective churches in the Philadelphia regions met and commenced their annual transactions with Bishop Brown at their head. There were local and itinerant elders to the number of twenty-one, deacons to the number of thirteen, and preachers to the number of twenty-four, making a total of fifty-eight.


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        Aaron Johnson, Henderson Davis, Henry Davis, Abraham Crippen and Alexander Wayman were admitted on trial--some as local, others as itinerants. Samuel Murray, Daniel A. Payne, George Greenly, Lewis S. Conover, John Butler, Wardell W. Parker and Levin Bond were admitted into full connection. Rev. Willis Nazrey was ordained an elder, Lewis Conover was located, and Rev. Richard Williams was placed on the supernumerary list.

        At this time and always prior, the Union Church, situated in the Northern Liberties, was under the same pastorate as Bethel; but the congregation of Bethel numbered two thousand souls, while that of Union numbered two hundred. It was therefore impossible for the stationed preacher (who was none other than the Bishop himself) to give Union that attention which her own individual affairs demanded. She therefore petitioned Conference to give her a separate minister. This was granted by vote of the Conference, but the trustees of Bethel Church, being also the trustees of Union, refused to allow the Bishop to execute the mandate of the Conference.

        The Little Wesley Church, Philadelphia, and Mount Zion, in Hamilton Village, sometimes called West Philadelphia, were placed in a circuit.

        Conference went into an election for delegates to the ensuing General Conference, with the result of making a choice of Joseph P. Cox, Daniel A. Payne, David Ware, Stephen Smith, Levin Tillman, Shadrack Bassett, Aaron Johnson, Robert Collins and Jeremiah Miller. It was then made the duty of the traveling preachers to take up collections throughout their respective circuits and stations to defray the expenses of the delegates. D. A. Payne presented the preamble and resolutions touching ministerial education, as in a former instance, and which will be found given in full when the subject of ministerial education is reached.

        The report on Sabbath-schools showed that within the bounds of this Conference there were only seven, in which were six hundred and seventeen scholars, taught by seventy-five teachers. There were then three day schools, embracing about one hundred and six scholars, with three teachers. There were six temperance societies, embracing about one thousand four hundred and forty-one members. One of these was founded by Dr. James G. Bias, and contained one thousand and forty-seven members. It is here proper to mention, as history demands it, that of colored


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men there was none living in the American Union who showed the same amount of zeal in the good cause as did this same Dr. James G. Bias.

        As in the Baltimore regions, so in this, the parochial reports show that the God of Zion had graciously visited his people, for there was an increase among the Philadelphia churches of one thousand and thirty-seven souls. And the financial report stood fair, for the two-cent moneys collected amounted to $77.72, and the contingent collection to $254.05.

        In the city of New York, on the 10th of June, 1843, the pastors of the churches in the New York regions were seen engaged in the transaction of their business pertaining to the pastorates in their charge, and continued in session during a period of ten days. Bishop Brown presided alone, but there were present fifteen elders, thirteen deacons and ten preachers. The Conference sat with open doors. At this Conference a young man of fine talents and liberal education was admitted on trial in the itinerant department. He had formerly been a student of Oneida Institute.

        J. P. Campbell, Charles Burch and Thomas W. Jackson were admitted into full connection. The first named and last were also ordained elders. Brother Charles Burch was also ordained a deacon.

        The election of delegates to the General Conference was held, and resulted in the choice of Samuel Edwards, Edmund Crosby, Cæsar Springfield, Benjamin Croger, George Hogarth and Charles Burch.

        The New York territory was enlarged by the creation of two new circuits. One was the Haverstraw, which included Nyack, Goshen, Rockland and Passaic. There was another that included Hudson, Sandy Lake, Lennox and Bethlehem. There was growth in another way as well. As with the other two regions already noticed, the Great God of Zion had poured out his Holy Spirit most graciously upon the New York churches, so that the number added to their fellowship was seven hundred and forty-nine souls.

        The general book steward laid before the ministry the claims of the book concern, endeavoring to show each one his relations to it, and his duty to sustain it, urging upon all who were indebted to it their obligations to make speedy remittance, and clearly showing how their want of punctuality had embarrassed


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its movement. The book steward also paid out to preachers and others for commissions the sum of $104.38. This shows that the book concern was in a better condition than it had ever been before. Its contingent expenses were $222.92, while the net gain on books, pamphlets, etc., sold and unsold, according to their specific valuation, subscribers to the magazine included, was $986.79.

        When the opportunity came for those useful bands of Christian women--the Benevolent Daughters of Conference, the United Daughters of Conference and the Rising Daughters of Conference--to lay their annual free-will offering upon the Lord's altar, they gave a total of $117.68, which, up to this date, was the largest sum ever realized from this source. The collections for the two-cent fund amounted to $95.32, and the contingent collections to $74.75. Sabbath-school statistics showed that there were then in the bounds of the New York District eight schools and two hundred and seventy-three pupils. The temperance statistics showed the existence of ten temperance societies, embracing nine hundred and forty-nine members.

        It was at this Conference that the Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon appeared for the third time as an author. The work produced this time by his pen is entitled "History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church." Of its literary merits we shall speak elsewhere. Here we shall only say that he was considered as having violated the resolution of the last General Conference, which prohibited our preachers from publishing any works touching the history, doctrine, or discipline of our Church unless permission was given them. The same General Conference had directed the general book steward to make such a publication for their special benefit, and the present publication could not be accepted as authoritative.

        The brethren terminated their annual deliberations by passing resolutions in favor of education, temperance, Sunday-schools and all kindred subjects, by denouncing policy and lottery dealing as covetousness and stealing, and by adopting the course of study laid down by the last Philadelphia Conference for the training of the young in the ministry.

        This year the Canadian churches met in Toronto on July 1st, 1843. Three elders, one deacon, and three licentiates were present. Elder Cannon filled the chair, as neither of the Bishops were present. Very little business was done, no new ideas being


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advanced, and only the re-echoes of the doings of the other Conferences were heard on the usual subjects of education, etc. It was decided to make an effort to influence the preachers to have their churches closed at a suitable hour of the night, conforming to the customs of the communities where they live, "thereby removing much of the odium commonly thrown upon our religious worship."

        It appears that there had been an attempt to organize the Conference at St. Catherine's, because of some local differences, which must account for the small number present at Toronto.

        On the 31st of August, 1843, the churches of Indiana were in annual session in Indianapolis, with Bishop Brown conducting their movements. Brother Robert Jones was made the Bishop's assistant, and Brother Æneas McIntosh secretary. Henry Cole and Isaac Knight were put on probation, and Thomas Elsworth was admitted into full connection. Byrd Parker, Willis R. Revels, Robert Johnson and Major J. Wilkerson were ordained elders, and Israel Cole, Æneas McIntosh and James Curtis were ordained deacons, and the ranks of the itinerancy were added to by Major J. Wilkerson, Æneas McIntosh, Henry Cole, Byrd Parker and Henry Travan. Joseph P. Dunlap was the only one who was located. The election for delegates to the ensuing General Conference was held, and resulted in the choice of Thomas Elsworth, Dennis Kiza, Benjamin Shipworth, Peter Smith and Nathaniel Newton. William P. Quinn was appointed district book steward, and a day of fasting and prayer to Almighty God was set apart--the 11th of April--inasmuch as it was the date of the founding of the A. M. E. Church in the city of Philadelphia. It was also made obligatory upon the circuit, stationed and local preachers to hold public services on that day wherever it would be practicable. This was declared to be a standing rule for each year. The ministers also decreed that no church should be suffered to be built among us, "until a deed, according to our Discipline, be first procured, or a title bond is obtained for double the value of the ground on which the church is to be built."

        The amount realized to meet the contingent expenses amounted only to $40.22. The Lord of the harvest, however, did not omit to visit the churches, as may be seen by the number of souls added to their communion the past year, which was five hundred and ninety-eight.


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        The little town of Hillsboro was the place of meeting for the ministers of the churches placed under the jurisdiction of the Ohio District while they were congregated to make their parochial reports for the year 1843. They opened their business on the 15th of September. Bishop Brown presided, and Thomas Woodson and A. R. Green were chosen secretaries. Eleven elders, seven deacons, and five licentiates constituted the enrolled numbers. Solomon H. Thompson, Carey S. Hargrave and Joseph Fowler were admitted on trial. Matthew T. Newsum, John Gibbons, Simon Ratcliff and M. M. Clark were also admitted. John Gibbons and Daniel Winslow were ordained elders. We find three members numbered with the dead--James Byrd, who died November 7th, 1842, aged fifty-eight; Samuel Ente, who died April 7th, 1843, and an aged minister of the Gospel, Frederick Rives, who died June 15th, 1843, at the advanced age of eighty-six years. It is written of Brother Byrd that he traveled and labored several years in the itinerant service of the Church; while of Brother Ente it is said, that he commenced his labors as an itinerant in 1829, in the Baltimore Conference, and that year served under Brother Joseph Harper on the Harrisburg Circuit. The next year he offered himself as a missionary to the Isle of Hayti, but was not sent. The same year he was transferred to the Philadelphia District, in which he located in 1831. Brother Turner Roberts, who was last year transferred to the Indiana Conference, was this year transferred back to this.

        Conference planned the circuits within its boundaries in the following manner: Chillicothe Circuit was made to embrace Chillicothe, Dry Run, Pepee, Big Bottom; Gallipolis Circuit: Gallipolis, Big Run, Strait Creek, Piketown, Portsmouth; Zanesville Circuit: Zanesville, Dresden, Newark, Meig's Creek; Captiene Circuit: Captiene, St. Clairsville, Steubenville, Mount Pleasant, Macantyre, Stillwater; Hillsboro Circuit: Hillsboro, Grassy Branch, Wilmington, Greenfield, Richland, Red Oak, White Oak, Winchester; Hamilton Circuit: Hamilton, Springboro, Palmyra, Harveysburg, Lebanon, Xenia.

        The election of delegates to the approaching General Conference resulted in the choice of Abram D. Lewis, Samuel Johnson, John Peck and Samuel Collons, of Pittsburg, and Joseph Fowler, of Cincinnati.

        Educational statistics showed improvement among our people, for there were reported within the bounds of this Conference at


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least thirteen common schools and about eleven Sunday-schools, including over three hundred children. The report on temperance showed the existence of eight societies, but the reports are by no means full. There was an increase of members, showing that the Saviour of sinners had graciously visited the Ohio churches the past twelve months, for the parochial reports show the number of one thousand and seven.

        We have already spoken of the excitement on the subject of education. It is proper here to remark that this excitement increased as the year 1843 drew to a close, creating on the part of those who were in favor of ignorance and superstition feelings of the bitterest and most uncharitable kind, and on the part of those who were friendly to an intelligent and a thoroughly educated as well as holy ministry, a firm resolution to speak and to write till the dormant energies of the whole Connection should be awakened and enlisted on the side of progress. The state of feeling cannot better be depicted than by quoting the language of the Rev. George Hogarth in an editorial from his pen touching the subject:

        Much as is said for and against the steps taken by our brother in his epistles for the improvement of the ministry, no one has as yet come forward with his pen to propose anything better. Great fear is entertained by some that if the measures proposed by him are adopted by the General Conference, discord and dissolution will necessarily take place in the Church between the ignorant and intelligent portions of it; yet these very brethren who manifest such fear will not come forward and propose anything as a substitute to the measure offered by our brother. They admit themselves to be friendly to education, to an intelligent ministry, and an intelligent congregation; yet they appear to be backward about coming forward with their objections and views on the subject, that we may print them so as, if they are better, to counteract those already offered.


        We have already spoken of the great work of salvation this year as we have noticed the different districts. It was a remarkable outpouring of the Spirit, and began in the city of Philadelphia in the following manner and under these circumstances: A young Presbyterian minister, Andrew Harris, of classical attainments, took suddenly sick, and died at the end of the week. He was the pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of color. Rev. Theodore S. Wright, of New York, came by invitation to Philadelphia, with a view to be present at the funeral of Brother Harris. While there he preached in the vacated pulpit from Psalms, cxix., 59-60, "I thought on my ways," etc. The sermon made a deep and visible


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impression on the audience, and yet it was made evident by no sign beyond the fixed attention of the people. His sermon was followed by an exhortation by Rev. D. A. Payne, and an invitation to all who felt concerned about their souls to come forward and occupy the front pews. This invitation was immediately responded to by some half dozen young men and women, with whom we prayed about an hour or two. This encouraged us to protract the meetings, and every night witnessed an increased interest on the part of the people, and a deepened zeal on the part of the ministry. Soon the cries of the anxious inquirer were exchanged for the shouts and rejoicings of the happy converts. The work extended from St. Mary's street to the surrounding churches. As it deepened sinners were awakened and converted to God by scores and hundreds, till the whole city was enveloped in the hallowed flames, and in every house and every church were heard the cries of the convicted sinner or the praises of the redeemed. Bethel shared largely in the grace of God. Her ministers preached with more than common unction, and her converts were counted by hundreds. Among the precious souls gathered into the ark of safety during this season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, were many of the best educated and most respectable youths of the city, and that, too, of both sexes. Nor was the work confined to the city of Philadelphia. It extended to all the churches of the Conference District. A voice from Princeton, N, J., writes under date of February 9th, 1843:

Dear Brother Hogarth:

        While the Great Head of the Church has been refreshing with the showers of his grace other portions of his vineyard, we rejoice that we have not been left to mourn over a barren and thirsty soil. It will doubtless be pleasing to the friends of the kingdom of Christ, and more particularly to those who have labored in this part of the work in years gone by, to learn that the ground which they spent so much labor to prepare has become a fruitful soil, and the seed which with so much care and anxiety was sown, has been watered, and promises a harvest a hundred fold; nay more, already its fruit appears. The work has not been confined to any particular part of the circuit, but at different and almost every part of our charge. More than one hundred have joined the A. M. E. Church during the Conference year thus far.

        Our people are seeking for holiness of heart, and our prayer is that God will sanctify the Church and convert the world.


        Another account of the work is from the Salem Circuit, N. J. It bears date of February 11th, the same year:


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        While the Great Head of the Church has been visiting various parts of the world with the outpouring of his Holy Spirit, he has not forgotten this part of his vineyard. A sacred shower of his grace has lately been experienced on this circuit, and many souls, through its divine influence, have become awakened and brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus; and from the present appearance of things I am lead to believe that there are many more who are seriously inquiring the way to salvation.

        I have taken into society on probation about one hundred and twenty persons, who, I think, will become useful members during their day and generation to the Church. Pray for me, brother, that the good Lord may continue to bless the feeble labors of his servant, that he may become more instrumental in his hands in the awakening of poor sinners out of their wretched state of slumber and death.


        Brother Israel Scott also writes from still another point, Burlington, N. J., under date of May 7th, 1843:

        The Lord has been pleased to visit us here in a powerful manner. During our protracted meetings about fifty were added to the Church, and many testified that they had found the Lord to the pardoning of their sins. At Snow's Hill eighteen were added to the Church. The Lord truly has visited us on this circuit, and many souls have been inquiring the way to Zion.


        As for Baltimore, salvation was poured down upon it like a flood. Bishop Waters, who was at the head of its pastorate, says:

        The work of the Lord is going on with triumph among us. The enemy has no foothold but what is disputed inch by inch.


        Brother William H. G. Brown, then the district book steward, writes from the same point, and says:

        There has been lately one of the greatest revivals of religion known for a long time in this city. About seven hundred members have become attached to Bethel Church. The church has become so crowded that during service they are obliged to sit in each others' laps.


        Brother Abram D. Lewis, writing from Pittsburg, says:

        Within the period of eight weeks there were three hundred and two members added to the Church, one hundred and eighty-six of whom have been happily converted to God, and many profess sanctification.


        This shows what the Lord was doing in the Ohio District.

        The editor of the Church Magazine, writing from New York, says:

        Within a few months past the Lord has in a remarkable manner refreshed his churches in various parts of our country by a glorious outpouring of his Holy Spirit upon them, which has resulted in a general


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rush of earnest inquirers at the sacred altars for salvation--hundreds, yea, thousands, have been happily converted to God and initiated into the Church, and are now on their march to the heavenly Canaan. Many churches of Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists have held their protracted meetings for several weeks in succession. Our portion of the General church has also participated in these glorious revivals of religion, as may be observed in the communications from our brethren. This precious work of salvation, we are happy to say, continues in most of the churches with the same blessed results. We sincerely hope that the Lord may continue to carry it on among all his followers in all portions of his Zion, until righteousness shall cover the earth as the water cover the face of the great deep.


        So the Redeemer of the world visited the churches in the memorable year of 1843, and opened up the flood-gates of salvation through his saving presence.


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PART SECOND.

CHAPTER XVII.
OPENING OF A NEW ERA.

        A New Period in the A. M. E. Church--Seventh General Conference--Committee Appointed on Revision of Discipline--Condition of the Colored Inhabitants of Illinois and Indiana--Work in Kentucky and Missouri--Election and Ordination of William Paul Quinn to the Episcopacy--Office of General Book Steward Created--Home and Foreign Missionary Society--Conference of 1844--Good News from Canada.

        WITH the year 1844 a new period in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church opens. This year the transactions begin with the sayings and doings of the Seventh General Conference. This body met in the city of Pittsburg, Pa., the 6th of May. Two Bishops were present, Rt. Rev. Morris Brown and Rt. Rev. Edward Waters. Thirty-nine traveling preachers occupied seats, and the local delegates were twenty-seven in number, from the following five districts: Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Ohio, Indiana, the total number being sixty-eight. M. M. Clark, George Hogarth and David Ware were the secretaries. Among the important items of business that engaged the attention of this body was that of the Discipline. A committee was appointed on the revision, and Daniel A. Payne, George Weir, Benjamin Croger, A. R. Green and Willis Revels were the appointees. At the time when the matter came up before the General Conference, and the reconsideration of the Preface to the Discipline took place, some were in favor of omitting it in our future publications of the Discipline; but the majority were opposed to such a measure as exceedingly wrong and heretical. Those who held views favorable to the omission based their desire upon the supposition that its retention in the Discipline had a tendency to perpetuate malignant feelings against our white brethren of the M. E. Church. Others believed no such assertion, and, therefore, the majority voted to retain the Preface without alteration or amendment. The Discipline, however, was amended in the following particulars:


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        The phrases "junior" and "senior" Bishop were altered to "joint Bishops." The basis of the election of delegates to the General Conference was changed as to the number of traveling preachers in each Annual Conference so as to read: "The General Conference shall consist of one delegate for every four hundred lay members returned at the previous Annual Conference," and the power to limit the bounds of each elective department was lodged in the hands of the several Annual Conferences. Here the admission of lay delegates to the membership of the General Conference did really commence, but such was the feeling of the itinerant preachers concerning their superior right to govern, that they allowed only lay preachers, that is, local preachers, to represent the laity. It was also provided that in the absence of the Bishops Conference should "choose a president pro tem. to preside over its deliberations.*

        * See Vol. II. of Magazine, page 4.


On the fourth day the Discipline was amended in five points: 1st. The regulation of the proceeds of the book concern. 2d. The elements to constitute the Annual Conferences. 3d. Regulation of the contingent expenses. 4th. Limiting the number of the Annual Conferences. 5th. Whereas, the General Conference, prior to this period, could expel a Bishop for "improper conduct." That phrase was stricken out, and the phrase "immoral conduct" inserted in its place.*

        * See Vol. II. of Magazine, page 5.


Upon this day Rev. Daniel A. Payne introduced a resolution to institute a course of studies for the education of the ministry. As soon as read it was seconded, and, convinced as he was of the reasonableness and utility of the measure, he thought that the majority of the Conference looked at it in the same favorable light, and that it would be carried without much opposition; he, therefore, did not make any speech for the purpose of convincing his brethren of that utility and excellence which he believed was apparent to all. But in that he calculated without his host, for as soon as the Bishop had put the question to the house, the effect was like unto that which follows when a fire-brand is cast into a magazine of powder. With the greatest apparent indignation the resolution was voted down by a large and overwhelming majority, and the house adjourned amid great excitement. The next day, the fifth of the session, as soon as the house was opened, and first of all, Rev. A. D. Lewis, a brother of lofty stature, venerable appearance, dignified mien and delectable countenance, rose to his feet
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and called for a reconsideration of the rejected proposition. His motion was seconded and stated by the chair. This venerable man then advocated its claims and demonstrated its utility in a speech of uncommon eloquence and power. He addressed the understanding, the conscience, the passions of the audience till it was bathed in tears, and from many a voice was heard the impassioned cry, "Give us the resolution, give us the resolution." It was then put and carried without a dissenting voice. Immediately the Rev. John Peck moved the appointment of a committee of seven "to select a proper course of studies" for the young preachers. It was carried, and Bishop Brown appointed Revs. Daniel A. Payne, H. C. Turner, David Ware, Richard Robinson, Abram D. Lewis, W. R. Revels and George Weir to perform the task. It is also proper here to say that the indignation evinced outside the General Conference by the intelligent laity was equal to that excited inside among the prejudiced preachers. Between the rejection of the resolution in favor of education on the 4th, and its reconsideration and adoption on the 5th, wherever the preachers went they were informed that if the proposition to educate the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church were absolutely rejected, they would withdraw and organize an ecclesiastical establishment that would be in favor of such a measure. Ten amendments were made to the Discipline the fifth day. They relate to the trial of traveling preachers, the admission of itinerants into Conference, licensing local preachers, licensing exhorters, distilling and retailing spirituous liquors, the catechetical instruction of children, public worship and the trial of laymen.*

        * See Vol. II. of Magazine, pp. 6, 7.


On the sixth day the Committee on Education reported the following scheme of studies, which was unanimously carried: I. For exhorters--First year--the Bible, Smith's English Grammar, Mitchell's Geography, our own Discipline, Wesley's Notes. Second year--Original Church of Christ, History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Watson's Life of Wesley. II. For preachers--First year--Smith's English Grammar, Mitchell's Geography, Paley's Evidences of Divine Revelation, History of the Bible, Homes' Introduction (abridged). Second year--Schmucker's Popular Theology, Schmucker's Mental Philosophy, Natural Theology, or Watson's Institutes. Third year--Ecclesiastical History, Goodrich's Church History, Porter's
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Homiletics and D' Aubigne's History of the Reformation. Fourth year--Geography and Chronology of the Bible, with a review of the above studies. After the adoption of this system of studies, Conference decreed that they should be placed as an appendix to the Discipline. Sections 23, 24, 25 and 26 were re-adopted without alteration, so also were chapters 3d and 4th.*

        * Magazine, Vol. II., p. 8.


Petitions were received from Harrisburg, Oxford, Columbia and Marietta, Pa., requesting that their respective circuits be detached from the jurisdiction of the Baltimore District and attached to that of the Philadelphia. A long and exciting debate followed, but the prayers of the petitioners were, in the end, rejected. As to the other alterations and amendments which were made to the Discipline, they are to be found in detail in the magazine of that date.*

        * Magazine, Vol. II., pp. 9-10-18.


On the eighth day Elder Quinn, who had been appointed by the General Conference of 1840 to the very important office of missionary to plant churches in the far West, made the following report:

        DEAR BRETHREN:--That duty I owe to this General Conference and the western community at large, for a faithful notice of what has been done in this enterprise, compels me to submit for your consideration a brief outline of the rise and progress of our mission in the West. Being appointed four years ago by your honorable body, then in session among our people in the states west of Ohio, I now proceed to report to you as follows:

        
Number of colored inhabitants in the states of Indiana and Illinois 18,000
Number of Churches established 47
Number of Communicants 1,080
Number of Local Preachers 27
Number of Traveling Preachers 20
Number of Traveling Elders 7
Number of Congregations 72
Number of Lay Members 2,000
Number of Schools 40
Number of Scholars 920
Number of Teachers 40
Number of Colored Teachers 36
Number of Sabbath-schools 50
Number of Scholars 2,000
Number of Teachers 200
Number of Colored Teachers 100
Number of Temperance Societies 40
Number of Camp-meetings 17

        Our people in these states are chiefly employed in agricultural pursuits,


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and are rapidly improving themselves by cultivation of the ground, from which they make, under the providence of God, a good living for themselves and families, and sustain churches and schools in a manner truly surprising. Although many of them, within the last ten or fifteen years, broke away from the fetters of slavery and settled with their families in these states, yet, by the dint of industry, they are not only supporting their families, schools and churches, but many of them are also acquiring wealth amid opposing laws and chilling prejudice. There is, however, a very good state of feeling evinced toward our people by the more enlightened part of the white community in those states. There are many useful mechanics among them, such as shoemakers, blacksmiths and carpenters. They have, in a word, every constituent principle among them, when suitably composed, to make them a great and good people.

        Beyond the limits of these states the mission has been extended to the states of Missouri and Kentucky. Though slave states, yet a more friendly feeling exists towards our enterprise among the ruling authorities than could be easily anticipated. The church located in St. Louis is in a very prosperous state. It numbers one hundred and fifty communicants. Also the church erected in the city of Louisville, Ky., is in a flourishing condition. I am fully persuaded this mission, if faithfully conducted, will, at no distant period, accomplish wonders for our people settled in these western states in their moral and religious elevation. They need nothing more than proper encouragement and proper direction in order to attain an elevated position that will be truly enviable.

        This grand region of missionary enterprise is truly an interesting spot to excite the benevolent sympathies of the spirit of missions, being broad in its extent, inviting in its agricultural qualities, and grand in its commercial position. There is an immense mine of mind, talent and social qualities, all lying measurably in embryo, but by a proper direction of the missionary hammer and chisel, they can all be shaped to fit in the great spiritual building of God."


        This report of Elder Quinn, as a statement of the condition and prospects of our people west of the state of Ohio, presents a graphic view of what they were at that time, and produced important effects upon the minds of the brethren. For, up to the present moment, many of the eastern men were prejudiced against him as a man, but more particularly as a candidate for the episcopal office. The majority of them went to this General Conference with the determination to place another brother in that important office, but when they saw how useful and important Brother Quinn had been, they said within themselves, "Surely this is the man for the Bishopric." The episcopacy was, therefore, strengthened by the election and ordination of Rev. William Paul Quinn to the office of Bishop in the Church of God under the following circumstances:


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        The subject of electing and ordaining another Bishop was introduced on the ninth day of the session, whereupon a committee of seven was appointed to "confer with the Bishops, Rt. Rev. Morris Brown and Rt. Rev. Edward Waters (both of whom at that time were about seventy years of age), "to know of them whether they in their judgment would be able to travel through the Connection the ensuing four years, and whether there was any necessity for the election and ordination of another Bishop." The committee performed the duty assigned to them, and reported the concurrence of the two Bishops in the desire to see a suitable man elected to that high office, as both felt their advancing years. The next day, therefore, the brethren proceeded to the election which placed Brother William P. Quinn in the episcopal chair, and on Sunday morning, May 19th, 1844, he was consecrated to that office by Bishop Morris Brown and five elders.

        The office of general book steward was created at this Conference.*

        * D. A. Payne was the author of the resolution creating this office, and was subsequently elected to it, but declined to serve.


It was made his duty to travel throughout the Connection to solicit support for the book concern. Power was given him to make arrangements with the district stewards so as to be supplied with books for sale in different parts of the Connection, to remove books from one point to another, wherever he deemed it necessary, giving his receipt for the same, and to collect all moneys from the district stewards, preachers and local agents. He was made amenable to the Annual Conference, having jurisdiction over the book concern, and was subject to the interrogations of any Annual Conference in whose territory he might be operating, and bound to answer, either in person or by proxy. This General Conference also constructed the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Society. The last important act of this body was to elect Rev. M. M. Clark as general book agent of the A. M. E. Church. The total amount of moneys collected for the support of this General Conference was $219.98, of which the city of Philadelphia gave $168.82.

        As the important business of the General Conference of 1844 has been laid before the reader, we will now content ourselves with making a few general remarks on its character. We believe that we speak the sentiments of every intelligent and reflecting mind when we say that there was never before such an amount of talent and general information concentrated in any ecclesiastical


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assembly among us since the memorable convention of 1816. And when we consider the difficult and important questions discussed, we believe that we hazard nothing in saying that there was as much unanimity and order as generally prevail in such large and exciting meetings. The various amendments that were made to the Discipline, and the new enactments that were ratified, if faithfully executed by the different officers of the church, tended to confer great and increasing benefits upon ourselves as a church in particular and the country in general.

        The east was made personally acquainted with the west, and the west with the east, and thereby friendships were formed which tended not only to prove beneficial to the individuals concerned, but also serve to strengthen those cords of union which we hope and pray will forever bind our Connection together, and keep us one till the church militant shall be assembled with the church triumphant in the paradise of God. We cannot close these remarks without briefly noticing the spirit of Christian union which was manifested towards us by our white brethren in Pittsburg. Their churches were kindly opened for the preaching of our clergy, and many of them daily attended the deliberations of the Conference, evincing a liberality of feeling that puts to the blush that narrow-heartedness which distinguishes some professing Christians to-day. The General Conference closed its deliberations on the 20th, and the members took leave of the generous-hearted citizens who had spared no pains to please and make them comfortable. This spirit leads us to speak of our journey to this General Conference in this connection:

        It was on the morning of May 1st that the majority of the eastern delegation left Philadelphia for the seat of this General Conference, taking the cars for Harrisburg, where this mode of travel was exchanged for the packet boat. At this point several white passengers joined us, among whom were two clergymen of the Congregational Church in New England. In this company we proceeded to Hollidaysburg, again changing to the cars for Johnstown, Pa., where we took the packet boat for Pittsburg, the then smoky city of western Pennsylvania. The journey occupied three days, and its interesting character leads us to make mention of it here. The scenery through which we passed was indescribably beautiful, even as we find it nearly fifty years later, but the mode of travel and the time taken gave an opportunity


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to appreciate the beauties of nature as it is not possible with the swift, more direct locomotion of later days. Deep valleys and towering mountains were overspread with the green drapery of nature; crystal springs gushed out of the rocky hills; rivulets, creeks and rivers flowed in graceful meanderings through the vales, and produced musical murmurs among the shrubbery and rocks over which they passed. The artificial waterfalls of the dams contrasted their deep bass with the shrill accents of the birds, and all things were well adapted to inspire the mind with emotions of wonder, love and praise, causing the soul "to look through nature up to nature's God." These valleys, mountains and rivers seem to have been made to test the genius of man. And he has gloriously evinced his God-like power in the structure of canals--those mimic rivers, the formation of railroads, and the application of steam power to these latter. He will not be overcome by difficulties, for if rivers oppose the progress of his canals, he will glide over them by means of aqueducts; if hills intervene, he will pierce their rugged bosoms, and run his liquid pathway through their stony hearts; he will climb their towering summits and descend their precipitant sides upon inclined planes, so that neither length nor breadth, nor height nor depth, nor distance nor time, can hinder his locomotion, but swift as the mountain eagle he flies from point to point, and unites the most distant points of this rolling earth. But it was not nature alone that made this journey an interesting one. It was the companionship as well. Every evening the company of fifty assembled in the cabin, and one of the clergy was appointed to conduct the religious services, which consisted in reading and expounding the Holy Scriptures, prayer, and singing the sweet songs of Zion. At other times conversation embraced topics natural, political, moral and religious. The following incident is worthy of note: One of our clergymen had been separated from his brother when only two months old and sold into grievous bondage. More than thirty-two years from childhood to manhood had elapsed, and he had never seen him; consequently he knew not his person. That brother was now on the boat with him as steward. He saw him again and again, and even spoke to him, but knew him not, till one of the ministers who knew them both introduced them to each other. Who can describe such a scene or utter the rapture of their hearts? They embraced--they kissed each other--they rejoiced--they wept. "I cannot


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express the emotion of my soul," said one, "but I feel all over." The joyful surprise, like electricity, went from soul to soul, exciting the whole company. Upon this journey, the evening before we reached Pittsburg, the venerable Bishop Brown was called to the chair, and an invitation extended through a committee to one of the passengers, an aged gentleman, and one high in civil office, to address us. He complied with the request, and in the midst of his interesting remarks urged us with great emphasis to "establish a college" for the education of our children and young men, as one of the most powerful and successful means of attaining the rights and dignity of American citizens.*

        * This gentleman was the President or Superintendent of the Public Works of Pennsylvania.


We trusted then that such wholesome advice, coming from one so high in office, so experienced in age, so far-reaching in knowledge, and so virtuous in character, would make a deep and lasting impression on our minds, and after the lapse of many years we feel that such was the case. He was followed by one of the Congregational clergymen, whose eloquent speech, flowing from a generous soul, kindled in our bosoms such a flame of Christian affection and fraternal sympathy as made us feel that we are indeed the children of one Father, the heirs of the same heavenly inheritance, and that neither complexional distinction nor sectarian predilections can sever those that have been washed in the blood of the same Saviour, and whose hopes are in the same Gospel.

        At Harrisburg we met in peace, at Pittsburg we parted in love, hoping that in the morning of the resurrection we would all be united in the same heaven to join in the same song of praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was thus auspiciously that we were to enter upon the duties devolving upon us in the General Conference of 1844, and we have already seen how this same spirit of Christian union pervaded the city of Pittsburg during our deliberations, and made it possible to feel that God would crown with his blessings all that was done and said at that memorable session.

        What was done in the Annual Conference in this year can be told in a few words. The Baltimore churches met in the city of Washington on the 8th of June, and continued their deliberations for ten days. All the Bishops were present. Rt. Rev. Morris Brown opened the Conference with an impressive address. Brother Samuel Watts was received on probation


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into the itinerant ranks, and Samuel Wilmore into the local. Henry Waters, William Gaines and Adam S. Driver were received into full connection, and John L. Armstrong was ordained an elder. Brother William Gaines was ordained a deacon before he had finished his probation. The rule of discipline was suspended in his case for the following reasons: The church at Fredericktown, Md., was destitute of an ordained minister, and as the laws of that section of the country rendered it difficult to change ministers according to our Discipline, and in view of the fact that Brother Gaines had secured the confidence of the white community, therefore it was deemed proper to set him apart for that office.

        The churches of Carlisle prayed Conference to alter the dimensions of the Chambersburg Circuit so as to make it consist in the future of Chambersburg, Carlisle, Yellow Beaches and Messersburg, and that but one preacher be sent them for this year's service, which was granted. Another petition prayed for the division of the Harrisburg Circuit, and the division was made as follows: The Harrisburg Circuit was made to embrace Harrisburg, Mount Joy, Marietta, Columbia and Wrightsville, while Lancaster, Pemingtonville, the Valley, Britton, Canastogen and Russellville were constructed into the Lancaster Circuit. A missionary society for the Baltimore District was organized as an auxiliary to the Parent, Home and Foreign Society, and as a step toward the higher education. Rev. H. C. Turner was authorized to establish a high school in the city of Baltimore.

        The statistics show the existence at that period of nine Sunday-schools, with eight hundred and sixty-nine scholars; three common schools, with one hundred and twenty-eight pupils; one educational society; one church library attached to Israel Church, in Washington D. C., and containing forty-five volumes; also three temperance societies, with one thousand and five members.

        Numbered among the dead was Rev. William Nichols. He was one of the persons who aided the martyred Torry in covering the escape of many slaves from the District of Columbia to their asylum in Canada West. Soon after the arrest of Torry he accidentally learned that he was known to be in connection with him, and it is supposed the fear of being arrested was so great as to induce the paralysis which lead to his rather sudden death on the 20th of September, 1843. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and was firmly opposed to the extravagant zeal


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and rude manner which distinguished so many of the leading men of our denomination in the city of Washington, D. C.; for in that early period the men and women who made the most and the greatest noise, and the most extravagant gesticulations, were regarded as the greatest Christians. Brother Samuel Dickerson was another who departed this life this year.

        Four days after the rise of the Baltimore Conference, that of the Philadelphia District was convened in the city of Philadelphia, June 22d. The important transactions were few. Alexander Davis was admitted on probation as a local preacher, and Brother Henry Davis as an itinerant. Following the example of the Baltimore Conference, the Rev. David Ware was authorized to establish a high school in the city of Philadelphia. Little Wesley, or Hurst Street Church, was converted into a station. Rev. Walter Proctor was appointed a home missionary, and Rev. Stephen Smith a foreign one.*

        * Neither the high school nor this missionary work was made an actuality.


The Conference was called upon to record the deaths of two of its strong men and earliest laborers--Rev. Richard Williams and Rev. Joseph Cox. The former was one of the earliest itinerants--faithful among the faithless. Many entered the itinerant ranks about the same time who were like stumbling horses, for they were always falling down with their burdens on their backs; others fell to rise no more, despising themselves and disgracing the whole Connection. But this minister of God was upright and faultless in his moral character, and, always willing to obey the orders of his superior in office, he performed some of the most painful, laborious and important missions of the itinerant service. He was the first regularly ordained and accredited elder who, amid great privations, carried the banners of the African Methodist Church and planted them on the shores of Canada and Western New York. During this long and faithful service of about twenty-seven or twenty-eight years he held some of the most important stations in the gift of the Connection. As early as 1818 we find him in the pastorate of Baltimore, and in 1840-41 we find him associated with Bishop Brown as the joint pastor of Bethel, in Philadelphia. When he died it was in favor with God, and presenting a spotless character to the world. Brother Cox was a man of more than ordinary talents. His mind was vigorous and capable of grappling with and mastering any subject to which he determined to devote his
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attention. One who knew him well says of his analytical powers, that when he heard Joseph Cox in the pulpit he was reminded of the corn-mills of South Carolina, out of whose hoppers the grain comes fine as powder. Though not educated, in the popular sense of the term, yet he had greatly enriched his mind by various reading and patient reflection. As for native eloquence, he had no superior in his day. Possessed of a splendid and powerful pair of lungs, his voice was strong, round and full, and when he became inspired with his subject he employed its wonderful intonations with the happiest effect. With its power he repeatedly moved a congregation of two thousand souls; and this was not the effect of ranting, but the legitimate result of a soul inspired with the sublimity and importance of the great theme of salvation, and possessed of an almost superhuman power to give utterance to the holy, burning, heavenly emotions that swelled it. Both the active Bishops presided at this Conference. Bishop Morris Brown presided alone at that of the New York District, which assembled fifteen days after the close of the Philadelphia, as Bishop Quinn had left for the West. Anthony Treadwell was ordained a deacon, and Brothers Henry Johnson and Isaac Parker were ordained elders in the Church of God. The book committee was authorized to examine and publish the biographical document of Jarena Lee, "if they should approve of it and think it proper to do so." It was the same document that was referred to them by the General Conference. An effort was also made here to establish a high school within the bounds of this district for the "accommodation of the local preachers in the study of grammar and other branches of useful knowledge." These items indicate all the important transactions that took place.

        About three weeks and six days after the close of the New York Conference, the Canadian Conference assembled in Toronto, with Bishop Brown presiding, Bishop Quinn being still at the West. Peter Curtis, James Holly, Nelson Contee and Peter Smith were admitted on probation, with James Walker into full connection. William Edwards and Josiah Henson*

        * This Josiah Henson was the original "Uncle Tom" of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's thrilling volume against American slavery, and had cause, with millions of his kinsmen according to the flesh, to rejoice in its overthrow by the strong arm of God, who has promised to "break in pieces the oppressor."



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were ordained elders, while Edward Gant, Peter Smith and Jacob Dorsey were ordained deacons in the Church. Alexander Helmsley was located. Pleasant Underwood, from the Ohio Conference, was, by resolution, admitted into this. Another effort was made to have the churches closed at a suitable hour of night. There is no doubt in the minds of the thoughtful ones that late meetings, continued for several weeks in succession, are damaging to the intellect, damaging to the pecuniary interests of the individuals who persist in them, and to the pecuniary interests of the church in which they are fostered. The waste of vital power in the bodies of such "midnight religionists," to say nothing of the waste of fuel and lights, greatly outweighs the fancied benefits realized, and ought to constrain every considerate man and woman to enter a solemn protest against the unreasonable and unchristian custom. But it is true that the pastors are responsible for both the usage and the damaging results. "Like priest, like people." A stupid pastorate will produce a stupid flock; a fanatical pastor, a fanatical flock; and the converse of this declaration is equally true.

        Near the close of the Canada Conference Bishop Brown was attacked by a stroke of paralysis, and after its close was conveyed to his residence in Philadelphia by Rev. Noah C. Cannon, who had succeeded him as chairman pro tem. of the Conference. This was the last Canadian Conference that the Bishop ever attended.

        After the rise of the Philadelphia Conference Bishop Quinn proceeded to the West, with a view to hold the Conferences in those regions. He set out in his own private carriage for Terre Haute, at which place the Annual Conference of that district was to convene on the 29th of August. When about twenty miles distant some part of the harness broke, and the horse, naturally fiery, took fright and ran away. The Bishop held him until the reins gave way, and the front of the carriage being already broken, he fell out, and as he still clung to the broken rein, the horse dragged him some two hundred yards, when the animal freed himself from the Bishop's control and fled, breaking the carriage into pieces. The Bishop was severely bruised on the left side and breast, and one of his arms was fractured. Though almost insensible when raised from the ground, his powerful and vigorous constitution, as an auxiliary to the best medical skill, enabled him to open the Conference two days later.

        In the Indiana District this year Aaron M. Parker, Green Harrison,


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Philip Ward, Cyrus Woods, ---- Lee and Lewis Johnson were placed on probation. James Curtis, Joshua Dunlap, Æneas McIntosh, Israel Cole and Byrd Parker were received into full connection. Thomas Ailsworth, Æneas McIntosh, James Curtis, Benjamin Hill and Henry Travan were ordained elders in the Church of God. Application was made from the School Convention to confer with Conference relative to the best means for the establishment of a general system of education in the state of Indiana.*

        * Though there is no documentary evidence of the fact, it is said that there was a convention of colored persons held in the West about this time to promote the cause of education, and that the Rev. M. M. Clark was the appointed agent of it.


A committee was appointed, which reported favorably upon the plan proposed, with some slight alterations in it. In connection with the subject of education, it was made the duty of the preachers to deliver a monthly address upon that subject. Rev. George W. Johnson was elected district book steward, and the Church Magazine was recommended to the patronage of our people. As early as 1844 the subject of the purchase of a homestead for a Bishop came before the churches for consideration.*

        * The resolutions were never executed, and the Bishop was left to find a home for himself, which he did in Richmond, Indiana. The Ohio Conference determined to fix the Bishop's residence in Pittsburg, Pa., but as we have said, no place was settled upon.


It was at this Conference that a delegate was appointed to the Ohio Conference to consult with it in regard to providing a homestead for Bishop Quinn, to be located somewhere in the West.

        The Ohio churches assembled at Columbus on the 17th of September. Bishop Quinn presided alone, as Bishop Brown was still ill. Henderson Gillespie, Eli Wilkens and Peter Jones were received on probation, and William Newman and Thomas Woodson into full connection. Thomas Woodson, Matthew T. Newsom and Simon Ratcliff were ordained elders, and William Newman and Solomon H. Thompson, deacons. It was at this Conference that Brother Newsom proposed the idea of selecting a suitable location for a seminary to educate young men for the ministry. A committee was appointed to effect this noble object, with power to make the selection somewhere in the state of Michigan. This last was the only business of importance that the Ohio churches transacted at this session. This


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Conference was the last held in the year 1844, and the general outlook for the progress of the Church in educational matters was more cheering from that period. Its literature during that year, as found in the pages of the magazine, may be reduced to four subjects--biographical, ministerial support, revivals and educational. Upon the last named subject the contributors to its columns were Rev. John M. Brown, from Oberlin, where he was then a student; Henry W. Simmons, of the District of Columbia; Mr. Abram Fields, of Philadelphia; and Rev. Daniel A. Payne, who contributed essays on the education of the ministry. These were all vigorous appeals for more learning in our midst, and at the same time indicative of the minds among us already influenced by that great lever in the uplifting of any nation or race. But the causes of a revolution in the character of our ministry had just begun to be planted like a few seeds in the ground, and they required time to germinate, then to vegetate, and afterwards to bring forth fruit in the ripened revolution. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has been progressing steadily from the time that the General Conference of 1844 acted in favor of an educated ministry.

        The biographical sketches of this period were more numerous than those of any previous year, some of which were very interesting, commemorating, as they did, some of the workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Among them is one upon the wife of Rev. H. C. Turner, himself one of the strong men of the Connection. Of her, the Rev. Willis Nazery says: "Her life was truly pious, and such as became a disciple of the Lord."

        Good news is also sent from Canada by the Rev. George Weir, who says that, despite the threatened division of the Church at St. Catherine's, the faithful few had labored on with the glorious result that a great outpouring of the spirit of the Lord had taken place in the latter part of the previous December, and that at this time "the peace and good feeling and Christian love that now live in the Society is truly pleasant to witness." Spirited accounts of the revivals which had taken place in Washington, D. C., and in Baltimore, form also a part of the literary efforts of the year.


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CHAPTER XVIII.
LINES OF PROGRESS IN 1845.

        A Flourishing Condition in Schools and Temperance Societies--First Active Effort in Regard to a Connectional School--Measures for a School East of the Alleghenies--Comprehensive Report from the Book Concern--Deplorable State of Affairs--Ignorance Among the Colored People Regarding the Book Concern--Importance of an Enlightened Ministry Evident--A Period of Light Dawning.

        THIRTY-SEVEN ministers represented the Baltimore churches as they assembled in Conference in the Monumental City on the 26th of May, 1845. Among them were eleven licentiates, thirteen deacons, ten elders and three Bishops. The secretaries were Rev. Levin Lee and Samuel Watts. To these servants Bishop Brown delivered a feeling address, referring to his own afflicted condition, and expressing the thought that he might not be with the body again. The question of the privileges and rights of members of the Conference, either itinerant or local, who are on probation, and those who are in full membership, was propounded for settlement as to whether any difference existed, but the house was decided by the Bishop as the body to act in the matter, according to the usual custom. The spirit and movement of the ministers on the educational question at this meeting is indicated by the following preamble and resolutions:

        WHEREAS, The sacred cause of education is of such vital importance to the interest of the Church in particular, and to the world in general, that instead of being contented with what little we have done, we feel it our duty to make new and greater efforts to advance its cause among us in such a way as will result in a general diffusion of its blessings among our benighted race; therefore,

        Resolved, st. That we recommend to our ministers and people the importance of holding a general Convention in the city of Philadelphia on the 30th day of October next, for the purpose of forming a literary institution, and devising such other measures as will place the cause of education among us on a solid and lasting foundation, so that all our people, in a greater or less degree, may hereafter enjoy its benign influence.

        Resolved, 2d. That there be central committees formed for the purpose of carrying into effect the object embraced in the first resolution, and that this committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees in other


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places, for the purpose of securing a general attendance of all persons of influence and means among us.

        Resolved, 3d. That this committee shall consist of seven members of our Church, viz.: four of the itinerant preachers and three of the laity.

        Resolved, 4th. That a copy of this preamble and resolutions be sent to each Annual Conference, with a respectful request for their adoption.


        The names appended to this document as members of the "Central Committee" were Daniel A. Payne, Henry C. Turner, Thomas W. Henry, Adam S. Driver, James A. Shorter, John Henson and Daniel W. Moore.

        The Sabbath-schools, temperance societies and common schools were all in a flourishing condition. In Washington City, Israel Church had established a circulating library among its members. One educational society to assist young men in preparing for the ministry, together with two temperance societies and a missionary society, auxiliary to the "Parent," were among the institutions of that date in the limits of this Conference. Baltimore, at that time under the pastorate of Rev. H. C. Turner, had a flourishing Sunday-school of three hundred and eighteen scholars, one common school and a missionary society.

        Brothers Christopher Jones and Aquila Scott were admitted into the ranks of the local ministry, and Brother Samuel Wilmore into the itinerant.

        The Philadelphia ministers, fifty-six in number, held the Philadelphia Conference in that city. It was Bishop Quinn who delivered the annual address at this Conference. Brothers I. Hollan, J. P. B. Eddy, Shadrack Blackstone, J. W. Stokes and William Jones were added to the Conference as probationers. Alexander Wayman, Aaron Johnson, Henderson Davis and A. C. Crippen were received into full connection. A. Wayman and H. Davis were ordained deacons.

        It will be recollected that Bishop Brown had been struck with paralysis while he was presiding at the Canadian Conference of 1844, and from thence he became increasingly feeble, losing the power of speech as well as that of locomotion, so that the present Conference of the Philadelphia District felt compelled, for his own ease and comfort as well as for the general interest of the Connection, to declare him "incompetent to travel and exercise his episcopal office in the Church;" in other words, to place him in superannuated relations to it. They also declared it their opinion that he ought to receive annually while in that state the


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sum of two hundred dollars, and pledged themselves to raise annually one hundred of that amount, and solicited the Baltimore and New York Districts to co-operate in raising the balance. They also recommended "all the preachers in the Philadelphia District to take collections in their several circuits and stations to assist in carrying out this object." Sincere regret was expressed that the body felt compelled to this necessity by an over-ruling Providence "which deprives us of the long and useful labors of our much esteemed and truly beloved father in God, Bishop Brown."*

        * There is no question but that the brethren felt themselves justified in their act by the inability of the Bishop, but it seems questionable whether this act of an Annual Conference was legal. The General Conference is the only power that can depose a Bishop from office on any account, especially for a reason that does not imply an immorality.


        It was on the 25th of June that the New York churches convened for the annual transaction of their affairs. Their meeting was held in New York City, and, though exceedingly feeble, the venerable Bishop Brown presided alone during the first six days, at the end of which time Bishop Quinn arrived and took his place as president. Rev. M. M. Clark and Rev. George Hogarth were secretaries. But three local men and one itinerant were added to the Conference. Four deacons were ordained, in the persons of E. C. Africanus, James Hyate, N. C. B. Thomas and L. Tilman. Before the brethren closed their deliberations they passed resolutions to "use every laudable endeavor to encourage our young men to obtain a useful education." Brother Hercules Schureman, the grandfather of that gifted and useful man, the Rev. Wm. D. W. Schureman, was one of the two ministers called to their reward this year. He was nearly one hundred years of age. Charles Spicer was the other, and the magazine of that year contains a sketch of him from the pen of Brother C. Burch.

        The Indiana churches held their Annual Conference this year in Indianapolis, with Bishop Quinn presiding alone, and Brother McIntosh as the secretary. Three were added to the ministry--Baker Brown, General Footle and Ishman Thurman--the first as an itinerant, the two latter as local preachers. Henry Cole was received into full connection, but the ranks of the itinerancy were weakened by the location of Revs. Byrd Parker and Benjamin Hill. The items of interest are few, as, aside from the reports of the existence of seven common schools and eight Sunday-schools, and the above points, the minutes are barren.


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        Again we find ourselves at St. Catherine's, Canada West, to note the gathering of the Canadian churches. That Conference opened on the 13th of September and closed on the 17th. Rev. N. C. W. Cannon was voted into the chair, as both of the Bishops were absent, and George Weir and C. T. Williamson were made secretaries. C. D. Williamson, Adam S. Lewis, Henry Bull, Henry Stephens, Lewis S. Lewis and James Walker were the five admitted to the Conference, the latter as an itinerant; but, apart from another endeavor to correct the pernicious habit of late meetings, there is nothing more to add concerning this Conference.

        The Ohio churches were the next to convene in Columbus, on the 18th of October. Four ministers were added to the itinerant service--John P. Woodson, Edward Davis, William Heron and Henderson Gillespie. James Turpine and Campbell Maxwell were ordained local deacons, and Edward Davis a traveling deacon, while S. H. P. Thompson and William Newman were ordained elders. The Urbana Circuit was divided into two parts at this Conference: the one consisted of Urbana, embracing Springfield, Urbana, London, Goshen, Logan, Machadrack and Larrimer, Muddy Creek; while the other, Carthagena, included Troy, Carthagena, Van Wert, Fort Wayne and Eel River. Conference also received into the Connection a congregation in Delaware, O., and one each in Athens, Hocking and Beaver. But its action on the subject of education was the most important of all. A committee had been appointed at the last session, in 1844, and when now called upon to report, gave the following, which was to be the basis, as far as actual action went, of the schools of the Connection found in existence nearly half a century later:

        We, your committee appointed by the Ohio Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, met in the city of Columbus, September 17th, 1844, to select a tract of land for the purpose of erecting a seminary of learning, on the manual labor plan, for the instruction of the youths among us in the various branches of literature, science, agriculture and mechanic arts, and also for those young men who may desire to prepare for the ministry. Being destitute of means to pay our traveling expenses to the state of Michigan to seek its location, we have selected one in Franklin County, state of Ohio, twelve miles west of Columbus, and two miles north of the National Road, containing one hundred and seventy-two acres of land, which can be purchased for $1,720, to be paid in installments.

M. T. NEWSUM, Committee.
LEWIS ADAMS, Committee.
THOMAS LAWRENCE, Committee.



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        Another tract of land was reported by Brother Lawrence, covered with wood, and without any improvements. A committee was appointed to execute the same. They did so, and then recommended the purchase of the first tract. A traveling agent had been appointed to raise moneys to pay for this property, in the person of Major J. Wilkerson, who agreed to serve the Conference for one-third of all that he might collect. A report of $2,537 for that purpose was encouraging. The next thing that the Conference deemed necessary was a committee to draft a constitution for this school in embryo, its government, etc. They produced the following:

PREAMBLE AND CONSTITUTION.

PREAMBLE.

        WHEREAS, We have long viewed with the deepest solicitude the importance of providing for the instruction of the rising generation among us; and

        WHEREAS, There is no institution accessible to our youth that meets our views of their wants; therefore,

        Resolved, That the Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which met in the city of Columbus, state of Ohio, October 24th, 1845, feeling a deep interest in the moral and literary improvement of our youth, do devise a plan for the establishment of a seminary of learning for the dissemination of useful knowledge among us, on the manual labor system, for those who purpose entering into the ministry, and all others who may deem it to their interest to apply themselves to the cultivation of their minds in those branches of science that may be taught therein.

CONSTITUTION.

        ARTICLE 1. This Seminary shall be known and styled "The Union Seminary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church," subject to the Ohio Annual Conference.

        ART. 2. The object of this Seminary shall be the education of those young men who purpose entering into the ministry, and the improvement of our youth generally, both male and female, by instructing them in literature, science, agriculture and the mechanic arts.

        ART. 3. The condition of admission into the Seminary shall be as the by-laws may from time to time prescribe.

        ART. 4. The officers of the Seminary shall be a principal, a board of thirteen managers, nine trustees, a secretary and treasurer.

        ART. 5. The officers of the Seminary shall hold their office for the term of one Conference year, by complying with the rules laid down in the by laws for their government; but in case of failure to choose officers at the stated time, those in office shall continue till others are chosen by the Annual Conference.

        ART. 6. The times of meeting, the times and the manner of choosing


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officers, their power and duties, the liabilities of its members, the causes that shall justify dismembership, and generally the details of its organization shall be prescribed by by-laws

        ART. 7. The funds of the institution shall be derived from contributions, donations, legacies, scholarships, etc., and after the expenses shall be defrayed, any surplus that may be, shall not be appropriated to any other use or purpose than to aid the itinerant, superannuated and supernumerary preachers and Bishops belonging to this district.

        Provided, nevertheless, That a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Annual Conference, at its session, shall be sufficient to alter or amend any of the above restrictions, except those clauses that would destroy the true interest and meaning of said institution, which shall not be altered.


        The seventh article overlooked the fact that an institution of learning has never any surplus for purposes outside of itself, and foreign to its aim; also that with the growth of an institution of learning there is always a multiplication of wants that must be supplied. And, therefore, instead of being able to give away its funds to objects foreign to the cause of education, it must always be soliciting funds to widen its usefulness and perpetuate its existence.

        But the cause of education was on the increase. It has already been shown that the Baltimore Annual Conference, at its session in the spring of this year, passed resolutions in favor of holding a General Convention to consider the interest of education, appointed a central committee for the execution of this laudable purpose, and ordered a copy of the resolutions to be sent to all the Conferences for their adoption. The time for holding it was fixed for the 30th of October. This committee was faithful in the execution of the work assigned to it. On the arrival of that day eighty-six delegates from the Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York Conferences, made their appearance at the appointed place, viz.: Bethel Church, in the city of Philadelphia. By virtue of his office as chairman of the central committee, D. A. Payne called the Convention to order. Bishop Brown was chosen its president, and Revs. J. Beulah, John Boggs, John Cornish, Israel Scott, William Davis and Henry Davis were made vice-presidents. The secretaries were Alexander Wayman and Joshua Woodlin. There was a business committee, consisting of D. A. Payne, M. M. Clark, David Ware, A. Fields, D. W. Moore, J. T. Costin and J. J. G. Bias. In the afternoon session of the first day this committee reported the constitution of a parent society to promote the cause of education.


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Its preamble and fifth article will show the design and character of this constitution, as well as the institution it was adapted to create and perpetuate:

PREAMBLE.

        WHEREAS, The cause of education is of such vital importance to the interest of the Church in particular, and the work generally, that instead of being content with what little we have done, we feel it our bounden duty to make new and greater efforts to advance it in such a way as will result in the general diffusion of its blessings amongst our benighted race; therefore,

        Resolved, That inasmuch as there is being established a high school*

        * This was the projected Union Seminary of the Ohio Annual Conference.


in the western section of the Connection for our special benefit, we hereby constitute ourselves, who are members of this Convention, "A Parent Education Society," for the purpose of aiding poor, pious and talented young men in their preparation for the Gospel ministry in that institution, or such other institution as shall be selected by the persons hereinafter appointed for that purpose.

ARTICLE V.

        Qualified candidates may be aided in each stage of preparatory education for the ministry; but, except in very singular cases, no applicant shall be assisted in the first stage who has not produced, from serious and respectable characters, unequivocal testimonials of his hopeful piety, promising talents and real diligence; nor shall any person be continued on this foundation whose instructor or instructors, except in very special cases, shall not annually exhibit to the directors satisfactory evidence that in point of genius, diligence, literary progress, morals and piety, he is a proper character to receive aid from the sacred funds; in addition to which each beneficiary, after his admission to any college, shall annually exhibit to the directors a written declaration that it continues to be his serious purpose to devote his life to the Gospel ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.


        These two points in the Constitution were zealously discussed pro and con, but were finally adopted. A constitution for the government of auxiliaries was also formed, and preliminary measures adopted for the establishment of a manual labor school east of the Alleghenies.

        The purse of the parent society was to be filled by the payment of one dollar and fifty cents annually, and by the aid of its auxiliaries. But notwithstanding all that was said and done in the Convention to establish and perpetuate this parent society, its history is that of a child that dies as soon as it is born. Before and after the Convention something was done to aid these young


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men who were students in Oberlin College, but this was the work of a few private individuals, of whom Miss Mary Still and Mrs. Eliza ----, of Philadelphia, with Mrs. Harriet Carroll, of Washington, D. C., were chief.

        The condition of the book concern in 1845 was painful. This department of our ecclesiastical affairs was in a deplorable state, as evidenced by the financial report of the general book steward, and also the first annual report of the general book agent, which is as follows:

To the Bishops and Conference:

        BRETHREN:--The general book steward and committee would here respectfully submit to your inspection a report of their doings since the last Annual Conference of this district, and published as the minutes and proceedings of that body:

        1st. In the balance sheet which we place before you for consideration you will find, upon examination, many outstanding debts in the hands of brethren throughout the Connection, amounting to $1,626.42, due by preachers' fund $115,52, and cash in hand $222.59, making a total amount in favor of the book concern of $1,964.53. From this amount deduct credit account to sundries $978.51, and you will find a balance carried to stock account of $986.02.

        2d. By our cash report you may see that $1,550.28 have been placed in our hands during the past year, and that $1,327.69 have been paid out, leaving a balance of $222.59 in the funds.

        3d. Our Preachers' Fund account shows that $443.85 have been collected during the past year, one-half of which--$221.92-- has been applied to the Bishops' salaries, etc., and the other half --$221.93, with the amount of $311.09 collected previously--has been carried to augment our stock account. The Bishops' salaries, amounting to $337.44, have been charged to the Preachers' Fund account. Of this sum $221.92 have been paid, leaving the Preachers' Fund still in debt to the amount of $115.52.

        4th. By referring to the report, you will see that during the past year our contingent expenses amount to $372.00

        5th. In our commission account you will observe that there has been allowed to sundries commission on the sale of books $45.71, and also the general book steward's commission on cash received from sales of books, etc., $75.89--making a total amount of $121.60.

        In reviewing this report, you have a fair opportunity to see who of our itinerant brethren have been most active during the past year in the sale and disposal of our books and magazines, etc., judging from the field of labor in which each brother throughout the Connection is engaged.

        It is seen that about one-third of our itinerant brethren are allowed commissions for their labors in the sale of books, etc.; the other two-thirds are allowed nothing because they have done nothing.

        If any of our brethren have sold books, etc., for the district steward,


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it is the duty of the steward to report annually for publication the amount of cash received by them from each brother on account of such sales, and such brethren to be allowed their portion of commissions placed to the credit of the district steward.

        6th. You are here informed in our publishing report that our expenses during the past year have amounted to $848.55. This has been greatly augmented by the publication of our magazine, which we fear will become a heavy burden upon our funds unless there be some other means provided for their disposal. You will see by the general book agent's report, which we will submit to your notice, that he has done but little for the advancement of the interests of the concern during the past year. Unless proper measures are entered into by this Conference, and vigorous effort used by him in the sale and disposal of our books, etc., and procuring subscribers to the magazine, you may be assured that his bill of expenses for another year will prove ruinous rather than a blessing to our funds.

        There are several publications much wanted among us, which we have hitherto mentioned, but for the want of means we have in a great measure been prevented from attending to them. The history and life of Bishop Allen and that of Joseph M. Corr we cannot publish until we obtain the proper authenticated matter for preparation. The manuscript of Sister Jarena Lee has been written in such a manner that it is impossible to decipher much of the meaning contained in it. We shall have to apply to Sister Lee to favor us with an explanation of such portions of the manuscript as are not understood by us.

        We, with respect, remain your brethren and fellow-laborers in the ministry of the Gospel,

GEORGE HOGARTH, General Book Steward.

BENJAMIN CROGER, Committee.
SAMUEL EDWARDS, Committee.
JOSHUA JENKINS, Committee.
WILLIS JONES, Committee.


        Side by side with this comprehensive report of the general book steward, which was accompanied by a clear, business-like set of accounts, we place an extract from the first annual report of the general book agent, M. M. Clark:

        On concluding this report the agent would beg leave to suggest a few thoughts to the consideration of the Conference relating to the book agency. That an efficient agency is much needed follows from these considerations: 1st. There is not a circuit that your agent visited where he had not been asked such questions as these by not a few individuals, viz.: "When was the book concern established?" "What is the object for which it was established?" "Does it belong to the colored people or to the white people?" "Is there not, after all, some hoax in it? Is it not a money trap?" Well, now, this ignorance, and a hundred times more, prevails among our own Church members, and nothing but an active, efficient and enlightened agency can remove it and get the claims of our book concern rightly before our people.


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        This ignorance prevails not only in regard to the book concern itself but also in regard to our books and their contents. The agent observed in his lecture not long since, that the power of the government of our Church is lodged in four places--and when he had done lecturing, several lay members and two or three preachers came to him to ask where those places were, and, in order to inform themselves, bought Disciplines. From that same place the agent has received, since he has arrived in this city, a letter from an unknown friend, stating that the above lecture had awakened more than an ordinary degree of interest in that city, which shows the necessity of enlightened lectures on the subject. An incalculable amount of good might be done among our people in selling books, in encouraging them in the education of their children, in setting before them the sure and certain advantages arising from an enlightened education--the advantages of virtue, of morality, of religion, of the refinement and cultivation of the natural powers of the mind, and the making of a proper disposition of them for the good of our common race, or the relation in which one moral agent stands to another.

        That these most desirable ends might in some degree be promoted by a proper agency is manifested by a spirit of inquiry which the agent has discovered among the young. Inquiry is everywhere made for books other than those now published by the book concern. Inquiry is made for the life of Bishop Allen--for the biographies of some of the fathers of our Church, whose lives and labors have perished from the eyes of the Church, but which ought to live on the enduring pages of history for the encouragement of the rising generations in the path of virtue, morality and religion, and for the satisfaction of surviving friends and relatives. Inquiry is made for the history of our own Church, concisely compiled and elegantly bound, which will give it a more ready sale. Inquiry is also made for the New Testament, to be bound in neat pocket book style, some plain and some gilded, and the demand is for it to be done in our own book concern. Inquiry is made further for some works on science, to be compiled and published by our own colored men, either on natural science, or moral science, or mental science, or political science, or all.

        Could our book concern be made to meet all these demands it would prove abundantly useful to our race and Connection. And could the agency be sustained free of cost to the book establishment--and would the people give that encouragement to the sale of books and to the subscription for the magazine which the subject demands (I mean the whole of our Church members), the urgent demands of our young people might be easily met, and we could carry out all the objects for which the concern was got up. Seventeen thousand members compose our entire Connection. It is a reasonable thing to expect one half of that number--eight thousand five hundred--would be regular annual subscribers to the magazine, which would afford an annual sum of $8,500 from that source alone. It is also a reasonable thing to suppose that among seventeen thousand members $8,000 worth of books ought to be sold annually, in which case there would be an annual sum coming into the concern of $16,500. Here, then, would


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be an annual sufficient sum to meet all annual demands, and to publish whatever books an inquiring community might ask. But such is the want of interest on the subject, such is the want of taste for reading among our people, except perhaps one-tenth part of them, that the books cannot be sold, or subscribers obtained to the magazine, except at a very sparing rate, barely sufficient to pay the traveling expenses of the agent, which consumes the whole of the profits on the books and considerable more.

        For this consideration, your agent, after returning his sincere thanks and gratitude to that body who created him the general book agent, for the distinguished honor they were pleased to confer upon him, and at the same time expressing his deepest regrets that he has been of little or no use to the book concern since his election, in consequence of the unfavorable state of things among us, and the accident which your agent met with on the first of March last, which confined him to the house for four weeks and prevented him from labor about six weeks, does, with the most profound respect to this sacred body, beg leave, at the will of this Conference, to resign this office, and to be disposed of in any other way which their wisdom may direct.

M. M. CLARK, General Book Agent.

New York, June 21st, 1845.

        The reasons which made the concern fail to produce what was then desired by all, and expected by many, still exist, and are the real cause of its failures from that day to the present. The facts are, that after thirty-three years (up to 1878) it stood where it did not cover its own expenses. It was, therefore, always in debt and unable to pay, and it was frequently threatened with legal process to enforce payment. During all that period of thirty-three years we have had at the head of our book concern some of the best cultivated talents that could be found in our denomination. For our general book stewards and editors we have had such men as Bishop Allen, Joseph M. Corr, George Hogarth, Augustus R. Green, M. M. Clark, J. P. Campbell, James Lynch, Elisha Weaver, A. L. Stanford, Joshua Woodlyn, W. H. Hunter, H. H. Turner and B. T. Tanner, with the best clerical talent which each of these could associate with himself; yet, notwithstanding, that period found us still crippled with debts. The answer to why this continued failure, is found in the reasons given by Rev. George Hogarth, who was a merchant by profession, and therefore not accustomed to deal in oratory nor rhetoric, but with the living facts of business life. He was no mere enthusiastic admirer of his own denomination, so full of ambition to reach the highest office in the gift of his brethren that he would buy their votes at the expense of contradicting facts and palpable truths. He weighed things before he undertook to express


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their value by words, and then he employed just such words as really represented their value. There can be no hesitancy in affirming that what hindered the success of the book concern in 1845 hindered the same in 1878.

        The literature of the year 1845 may be shown in the two following productions from the respective pens of the general book agent, Rev. George Hogarth, and Rev. D. A. Payne. The former relates to the condition of our people in the state of Ohio in 1845. It is a gloomy picture of the religious condition, and had it been drawn by the hand of an enemy, outside of our ministry, one might be led to look upon it as a caricature. But there are two reasons why it is worthy of our belief. It was sketched by our own accredited book agent, who, in the course of his travels, felt it his right, duty and privilege to inform the readers of our Church organ concerning the condition of our people in all the states which he visited; and scenes of this kind might be witnessed in many of our churches at a much later date in other states north of the Ohio as well as in the states south of it, and in the more enlightened regions of the east as well as in the west. Their productions were printed in the magazine of that date. Rev. George Hogarth's article is the first of a series on "The Condition of Our People," and he says:

        Thinking it will perhaps be gratifying to some to see some remarks from the book agent in each number of the magazine on the condition of our people, as I may learn it in traveling among them, I will here commence a series of short essays on that subject. First, their religious condition--and here on the onset I may justly say I have clearly seen the verification of that true remark "like priest, like people;" as the priests are, so will the people be. If the priests are ignorant, unacquainted with human nature, unacquainted with the human mind, their manners low and unimproved, so will the people be. That we need an enlightened, educated ministry no one ought to deny. To give a case showing the necessity of this, permit me to say that I attended a protracted meeting in a certain village where a considerable effort was made to get persons to come forward to be prayed for, but the effort proved unavailing. The minister in charge appointed a meeting for the next night--a general prayer-meeting. After two or three prayers had been offered to the throne of grace the brother again called for mourners, and none coming forward, he then called for one or more benches to be set out; that done, he said that he would now take another tact on the devil, that he intended to defeat him that night. He then declared that the devil was in everybody in the house, and he intended to drive him out of them; that there was not one of them that had


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any religion whatever, therefore every member of the Church must now come forward to the mourners' bench and get religion, for they had none; they were all going to hell. Some eight or nine of the poor creatures, affrighted at what their pastor said, came forward in great agony and distress--all professors of religion, too--and after they had been down to the benches some time they arose, one after another, shouting and declaring that they had again got religion. I observed that the most sober, and perhaps the most exemplary members of the Church, did not comply with the earnest solicitations of their pastor, and he himself observing this, said to them that did not come forward that they must get religion again; they were all on the road to hell, local preachers, class leaders, stewards, and all. After all those that went forward had been converted again--I say again, for they professed to have had religion before--the pastor greatly exulted in the fact that he had defeated the devil by getting several converts, and quietly dismissed the meeting. While sitting there and viewing and reflecting upon this whole transaction, my mind had never before been so deeply impressed with the great importance of an enlightened ministry. Our fathers who have gone before us and those who still do the best they can, and for the great good they have done in organizing our Church, getting it on a good basis, and giving things a proper direction, deserve our gratitude and our thanks and our praise. But O! my God! what a work is yet to be done! Our fathers have only laid the foundation and got the timber in part together, and have left us, their sons, to erect the building. But more particularly in regard to the religious condition of our people: In this state (Ohio) there are from twelve to sixteen thousand colored people. Of that number say twelve hundred are members of our Church; of this number, perhaps six out of ten can read the New Testament. The manner of worship in our churches here in the West is of a character similar to the state of education among the preachers and people, confused and disorderly, owing to the want of cultivated minds and manners. To this remark, however, there are some individual exceptions of persons who have a taste for more regularity and refinement in worship.

        But few of our people can read our hymn-books correctly. This circumstance tends to introduce disorder and confusion in our singing; the great majority, not being able to use our hymn-books, make fugue tunes for themselves, and these fugue tunes are always transcripts of low thoughts, ignorance and superstition, hence, confusion in singing. Their language used in prayer is also characteristic of the want of education, being almost always incorrect, and when it is, only by mere chance. And for the want of good language they cannot express, to the edification of the Church, their own good thoughts, hence confusion in prayer.


        Rev. D. A. Payne (now senior Bishop of the A. M. E. Church) completed his essays on the "Education of the Ministry" sometime in the autumn of this year, 1845. They were eight in number, and created much excitement. It was a vital question with the Church at that time, and provoked much discussion, and


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even strife, between the intelligent and the ignorant. But this movement in the right direction aided the Church largely in the advanced steps it took soon after. The following essay is the last of the series:

ESSAY ON THE EDUCATION OF THE MINISTRY.

BY D. A. PAYNE.

        The Ministers of the Gospel ought to be well educated.

        We now conclude our essays by an appeal to all who are concerned, i. e. the whole Church. And first: We appeal to the venerable fathers of the Connection, and call upon you to assist us in this glorious enterprise by giving your sanction to our efforts. While we acknowledge that your advanced life and domestic cares may present insurmountable barriers to your improvement, we hail you as the pioneers of the Church. You, with the enterprising Richard Allen, have gone forth, the broadax of primitive labors upon your shoulders, entered the forest, hewn down the timber, and erected the stupendous fabric which now constitutes our Zion. O, cheer us, then, while we labor to beautify and array it on to perfection! Let it never be said that you were opposed to the cause of sacred learning, or that you hindered the car of improvement. But while you are descending to your peaceful and honorable graves, let us hear your invigorating voices saying unto us: "Go on, my sons, go on!" Then shall the bright pages of history hand down your memories as a precious legacy to unborn generations, who, with hearts of gratitude, shall look to this period and thank heaven that their progenitors were not the enemies, but the friends of education. Beloved young brethren, we appeal to you, because a glorious career of usefulness lies before you--an uncultivated field, long and wide, invites you to enter and drive the plowshare heavier throughout its length and breadth. Truth declares that the soil is deep and rich, and will yield an abundant harvest. Up! up! to the toil. The reward is in the fruits--your resting place is in heaven. Put forth every effort, employ every means, embrace every opportunity to cultivate your minds, and enrich them with the gems of holy learning. Be not satisfied with little things, lift your standard to the skies, and your attainments will be great. Swear eternal hatred to ignorance, and let your banner float upon the breeze of heaven with this inscription:


                         Wisdom to silver we prefer,
                         And gold is dross compared to her.

        All difficulties then will fade away before you, and knowledge will become just what the Creator designed it to be, an element of your manhood, in which you may live and move and have your being.

        Venerable mothers of Israel! we call upon you to aid us in this glorious reformation. Give us your influence; give us your money; give us your prayers. Hannah-like, dedicate your sons to the work of God before they are born; then Samuel-like, they will be heaven-called and heaven-sent, full of the spirit of wisdom, and full of grace. Teach them from their infancy


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to value learning more than silver and wisdom more than gold. Teach them that the glory of their manhood consists not in eating and dressing, but in the cultivation of the immortal mind and the purity of their morals. Thus will you inspire them with the love of what is great and good, paving the way to their future greatness and their future glory. O, who can sleep when earth and heaven are in motion! Who can stand aloof from a work in which the angels find delight? Who will dare to oppose that which God himself has decreed? The fall of ignorance is as certain as the fall of Babylon, and the universal spread of knowledge as the light of the Son, for the Lord hath said, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." And who does not see that this divine declaration is daily fulfilling? The press is pouring forth its millions of publications every year, in every form, and almost in every language, so that books and newspapers are becoming as common as the stones in the street. Common schools, seminaries and colleges are being erected in almost every land and every nation. Lyceums, literary societies, are being instituted among men of all ranks and all complexions, so that it may truly be said that the beaming chariot of the genius of knowledge is rolling triumphantly onward to the conquest of the world; therefore, the oppressors of education must either ground the weapons of their unequal warfare or be crushed to death beneath its ponderous wheels.

        A period of light has already dawned upon the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its morning star was seen in the doings of the General Conference of 1844; its opening glories were manifested in the decrees of the Educational Convention of 1845. Blessed is the man or woman who will aid the enterprise of heaven! Yea, thrice blessed is the one who will hasten on this age of light! In relation to this subject we can say with Moses, "O, that all the Lord's people were prophets!"

        As for ourselves, we have dedicated our all to this sacred work. We have lain our souls and bodies, our time, our influence, our talents, upon the altar of our people's improvement and elevation; there we intend to bleed, and smoke, and burn, till life itself shall be extinct.

        The calamitous fact that our people are entombed in ignorance and oppression forever stares us in the face; it shall be the fuel of the flames that consume us, and while we talk, and write, and pray, we shall rise above opposition and toil, cheered and inspired by that God whose lips have said, "The priest's lips should keep knowledge."



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CHAPTER XIX.
1846-1847.

        Baltimore Annual Conference--A Proposed Union with the Zion Wesleyan Connection--Philadelphia Churches--Probationers Admitted--The Difficulties of 1848--New York Churches--Decrees of Conference--A Letter to the World's Convention--The Canadian Churches -- Resolutions Against Slaveholding--Ohio Churches--Statistics of the Ohio Conferences--Missionary Field Laid Out--The New York Churches.

        THE Baltimore Conference, at its annual meeting in 1846, made it the duty of the preachers to form educational societies in their respective charges. They ordained general fasting and prayer among their churches on the first Friday in September, 1846. They requested the Bishops to appoint some one of their number to prepare a missionary sermon to be delivered at the next session in 1847. They resolved to publish the minutes in pamphlet form that the pages of the magazine might not be burdened with them. They declared themselves favorable to a union with the Zion Wesley Connection, and they made the disposition known in the subjoined form:

        WHEREAS, It is a fact greatly to be lamented--on account of the disunion in Christian fellowship, on account of the division of means to do good and bless mankind, on account of the towering prejudices thrown up as high as the heavens, reaching like the tops of Alpine mountains between the two Connections, on account of the sacred cause of schools, day and Sabbath, the cause of general education, and on account of the present future and eternal welfare of immortal souls--that the two religious denominations of Christians in these United States, occupying nearly co-extensively the same territory, are in the present positions a heavy weight, the one to the other, in the high mission of the church militant in the spread of the knowledge of the Lord among us, that is to say, the A. M. Episcocal and the A. M. Zion Churches; therefore,

        Resolved, That if, in the providence of the Great Head of the Church, any plan or system of means can be devised and matured by which the two bodies can be amicably brought together into one consolidated body, and in which they could both consistently agree upon terms of Christian fellowship, we, the members of this Baltimore Annual Conference, entertain no objections to the same.


        Rev. M. M. Clark gave notice that if nothing in the providence of God prevented, he would call up the above for adoption at the


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Baltimore Annual Conference of 1847. This praiseworthy intention was never carried into effect by Brother Clark, owing, I believe, to the circumstance that he was in Europe at the time of the meeting of said Conference.

        The number of ministers assembled to transact the business of the Philadelphia churches in this same year was the largest known heretofore. There were three Bishops, twenty-one elders, fourteen deacons, and twenty-eight preachers--a total of sixty-six. There were six young men admitted on probation in the ministry--Edward Farris, William N. Brown, H. J. Young, Thomas Oliver and Richard Wilson. The secretaries of this session were David Ware and Alexander Wayman. Henry Davis and Alexander Davis were admitted into full connection. James Burton had died. The whole number of members reported for the Philadelphia District was five thousand one hundred and seventy-one, of which one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five were enrolled on the register of Bethel in Philadelphia. The decrease, therefore, shows itself to be three hundred and forty. At this Conference we find the location of the ministers as follows: William Moore at Bethel, Philadelphia, where he received only $200 in money as quarterage salary, though he had under his pastoral care Bethel, containing one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five members, with the Union Church of three hundred and twenty-eight members--a total of two thousand one hundred and fifty-one; Willis Nazery was on the Princeton Circuit, A. W. Wayman at Wesley Church, George Greenly on Buck County Circuit, Clayton Dickman on Chester Circuit, Israel Scott on Burlington Circuit, J. L. Armstrong on Salem Circuit, Henry Davis on Trenton Circuit, W. H. Jones on Reading Circuit, Andrew Massey the Smyrna Mission, and Stephen Smith the County Mission. The Conference concurred in the proposition of the Educational Convention to erect a manual labor school east of the Alleghenies. It also elected two book stewards for the district of Philadelphia. These were David Ware and J. J. G. Bias. One motion was made, which we record as the precursor of the great difficulties that took place in Bethel Church, Philadelphia, in 1848. The sense of the house was taken to know if the constitution of Bethel Church was in accordance with the government and discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This was decided in the negative. Then the following resolution was passed:


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        Resolved, That the Bishops be requested to address a pastoral letter to the trustees and constitutional members of Bethel Church, Philadelphia, stating the importance of making the articles of association conform in all respects and wholly to the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, for the reasons which the Conference shall recommend, as far as consistent with the laws of Pennsylvania.


        On Saturday morning, June 5th, the ministers of the New York District met in the city of New York. Bishop Quinn presided alone in this Conference. M. M. Clark and E. Africanus were elected secretaries. As soon as the house was organized Bishop Quinn rose and "briefly delivered his annual address to the Conference, by invoking the attention of the members to the consideration of the special care and protection of our lives and health, through the mercy of God, during the past Conference year, who has brought us from remote regions together in an Annual Conference, for which we have great reason to be devotedly thankful." He enjoined upon the members the all-important necessity of being deeply imbued with the spirit of the Gospel of peace; that being seen by others as ministers would be their best shield against reproach and their surest recommendation as the stewards of Christ. He insisted upon the importance of a strict conformity to order and decorum in debating questions, and against that ungentlemanly and indecorous manner of some who aim to elicit the sentiments of others with a seeming view to attack and ridicule them; also the great need of cultivating a spirit of love and patience, of being much engaged in prayer, and of entertaining a sacred regard for our characters as ministers, who should aim at the highest attainments in Christian manners and morals. The venerable speaker concluded his remarks by solemnly invoking upon the Conference the benediction of our Heavenly Father during its session. One itinerant and seven local preachers were received into Conference as probationers--R. Smith, William M. G. Thomas, William Harman, Peter Schuyler, James P. Thompson, Voss Neal, Thomas Demus and Reuben Leonard. Four brethren were admitted into full connection--John Williams, Stephen Amos, N. C., B. T. and James Hyatt--the two latter being itinerants. The total number of members in Society returned at this Conference was two thousand one hundred and seventy-nine. The decrease was one hundred and two. The points had been filled the previous year as follows: Eli N. Hall, Brooklyn Station, New York; John


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Boggs, New York City Station; Richard Robinson, Boston City Station; J. F. Beulah, Long Island Circuit; H. Johnson, New Bedford Station; Jacob Matthews, Providence, R. I.; George Weir, Buffalo Station; Levin Tilman, Norwich Station; Charles Burch, New Haven and Bridgeport; James Hyatt, Binghampton; Thomas W. Jackson, Albany City; N. C. B. Thomas, Haverstraw Circuit; E. C. Africanus, Hudson Circuit. These preachers' quarterage salaries amounted to $1,656.08.

        This Conference also decreed:

        1st. That any of its traveling preachers who might neglect to raise the two-cent money should be punished as in cases of immoral conduct, unless he produces a certificate from the steward of his charge showing that he had discharged his duty in relation to the money.

        2d. That a committee of three be appointed to collect all information they can relating to the history of our Church, and forward the same to the general book steward at as early a period as possible, to be presented by him to the General Conference in 1848, and that M. M. Clark, E. N. Ware and J. J. G. Bias be that committee.*

        * The committee never discharged the duty assigned to them. The chairman, though a person of fine talents, and one of the best educated preachers in the Convention, was neither by nature nor taste fitted for such a work. His colleagues were, in regard to historical taste, much like himself.


        3d. That an itinerant society be formed among the members of the Conference, whose benefits shall extend to all the traveling preachers in the A. M. E. Church.*

        * This was the origin of what is now known as the Preachers' Aid Society. It is a very useful organization, but its benefits are confined to its own members in each Annual Conference where it exists.


        4th. That a committee of three be appointed to communicate with the convention to be held in London, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, in August next, on the subject of Evangelical Christian Alliance, and that M. M. Clark, George Hogarth and Edward Africanus be that committee.

        Conference also expressed their concurrence with the Educational Convention of 1845, to establish a manual labor school east of the Allegheny Mountains.

        When the time arrived for the report from the committee appointed by the Conference to communicate with the World's


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Convention from the Evangelical Alliance mentioned, it sent by its delegate to said convention, Rev. M. M. Clark, the following letter:

BROOKLYN, July 15th, 1846.

To the President and Members of the World's Convention of the Christian Church, to be Held in the City of London, on the 19th Day of August, 1846:

        BRETHREN:--The undersigned committee, appointed by the New York Conference of the African Methodist Church of the United States of America to correspond with your sacred body, do hereby, through our delegates, Rev. M. M. Clark, of the New York District, formerly a student of Jefferson College, Pa., and Rev. D. A. Payne, of the Baltimore District, formerly a student of the Gettysburg College, Pa., send these presents, humbly soliciting your particular attention.

        It is known that the Church and people whom we represent have always labored in this country under many embarrassments which would be unnecessary for us at present to mention, being satisfied that a full account of this portion of our history is given in the Episcopal Address to the members of our Church, which you will find in the Preface of our Discipline, we now forward to you for your consideration, where you will learn the full cause of our separation from the Methodist Episcopal Church of this country.

        The African Methodist Episcopal Church of America has been in existence thirty years, as you may observe on the perusal of the historical account given of the origin and continuation of its episcopacy, which may be found in Chapter I., Section 1 of our Discipline.

        Richard Allen was our first ordained Bishop, and Morris Brown, Edward Waters and William Paul Quinn are his successors in office. We have at present about seventeen thousand three hundred and seventy-five communicants attached to our general Church, with about eighty itinerants and ninety-seven local preachers, three of whom are Bishops, sixty-two elders, forty-eight deacons and sixty-six licensed preachers.

        The Church is located within fourteen states of the Union, viz.: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, and in the British Province of Canada West. It is divided into six districts, viz.: Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Ohio, Indiana and Canada Districts. In each district there is held an Annual Conference for the regulation of the spiritual affairs of the Church among its ministers, and every fourth year a General Conference, by delegation from each district, takes place to make rules and regulations for its government. There are about seventy-one circuits and stations and two hundred and ninety-six churches and preaching places within those several districts.

        For the support of our itinerant ministry contributions are made by the members throughout our several circuits and stations. In some places they are tolerably well provided for, and in others but poorly. We have many useful institutions among us, especially by the females, for the aid of the Gospel and mutual support of each other in time of affliction.


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        The literary condition of our people, we are happy to say, is gradually improving wherever our Church is established, as evinced in the organization and prosperous state of our numerous Sabbath and day schools, libraries, etc. Strong efforts are being made among us, as may be seen in the resolutions of our late General and Annual Conferences, to raise the literary character of our ministry, especially our young men who may hereafter be admitted, and the dissemination of more refined intelligence among our people generally.

        To carry these resolutions into effect, our brethren west of the Allegheny Mountains have succeeded in the purchase of three hundred and seventy acres of land for the location of a manual labor school, and are now engaged in raising funds by subscription throughout the country to erect a suitable building for that purpose, and on the 30th day of September last a convention was held in the city of Philadelphia, as may be seen in our Magazine, No. 8, page 277, to enter into ways and means for preparing our young men for the ministry, and establishing a manual labor school east of the Alleghenies.

        We are using every measure in our power to carry these designs into effect, but we are sorry to say that in consequence of the limited means among us our efforts are much paralyzed. We, however, sincerely hope that the charity of the Christian Church generally will be turned in this direction in aid of our cause.

        Our book concern was organized in the early establishment of our Church, but for the want of pecuniary means has been in quite a languishing state. It is located in the city of New York, and conducted at present under the supervision of Rev. George Hogarth, our general book steward, and Rev. Benjamin Croger, Samuel Edwards, Joshua Jenkins and Eli N. Hall, the committee acting with him. Its present stock consists of hymn books of various kinds, disciplines, pamphlets, magazines, stereotyped plates, etc., valued at $1,587.99; the outstanding debts, etc., of $1,004.88 added, making a total amount of $2,592.87.

        In the circulation of intelligence among our people throughout our Church we have published a magazine, intended to be a monthly periodical, but for the want of pecuniary aid it has in a great measure failed since it arrived to the tenth number of its second volume. Strong efforts will be made by our people for its continuation, as we are satisfied that much good has already resulted from its circulation, and we intend to raise the tone of its literary character in our future numbers. We here forward you a few copies of the several numbers published, soliciting your attention, and humbly praying your sanction and aid in this particular branch of our efforts in the promotion of the cause of Christ among us.

        The cause of morality, we are happy to say, is on the advance among us, particularly in the establishment of the numerous temperance and other societies, which you will observe in the perusal of our magazine.

        We sincerely hope that you will receive our delegates, whom we here authorize to unite with you in your deliberations, on the common platform with the ministry of the General Christian Church, and in their presentation


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of the claims of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States of America upon your reverend body, give them a respectful hearing.

        We are, brethren, your fellow-laborers in the ministry of the Gospel of Christ.

M. M. CLARK, Committee.
GEORGE HOGARTH, Committee.
EDWARD C. AFRICANUS, Committee.


        It was on the 31st of July that sixteen ministers of the Canadian District assembled in the "Queen's Bush," to set in order the affairs of the churches committed to their care. Bishop Quinn, together with three elders, four deacons, and eight preachers, constituted the little band. Brother Henry Hicks was the secretary. Thomas Keith and Henry Smith were admitted on probation. David D. Thompson, Jeremiah Taylor and Nelson Countee were admitted into full connection. Blessed among the dead was Brother Charles Williamson, of Baltimore, Md. He was a son of Charles Williamson. Resolutions were passed requiring the preachers of the Provinces to preach against intemperance, and in favor of all the reformatory measures of the age; also requiring communications to be sent to the states to be published in the magazine and the Pittsburg Mystery, informing the public of the peace, prosperity and harmony of the churches; and also a resolution prohibiting the use of the Canadian pulpits to slaveholders and their apologists. N. C. W. Cannon had been stationed on Toronto Circuit, Alexander Helmsley on St. Catherine Circuit, Jere Taylor on London Circuit, I. Walker on Grand River Circuit, S. Brown on Queen's Bush Circuit, and I. Palmer at Amherstburg. The total amount of their quarterage as salary amounted to $130.25, and $25.85 was collected for contingent expenses.

        The ministers of the Ohio churches met in the city of Cincinnati on the 12th of September. Bishop Quinn, with thirteen elders, three deacons, and ten licentiates constituted the body. Five were voted members of the Conference. These were E. L. Ishmael, T. W. Stringer, Joseph McClarren, I. Coleman, J. M. Brown. O. T. B. Nickens and M. T. Newsum were secretaries. David Conger, John Peck, William Herrin and J. M. Brown were ordained deacons. The appointments for the year past were as follows: Pittsburg Station was supplied by A. R. Green, Cincinnati Station by Thomas Woodson, Allegheny Station by S. H. Thompson, Union Circuit by T. G. Clingman, Washington, Pa.,


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by F. Davis, Captienne by G. Coleman, Zanesville Circuit by ----, Massillon by C. G. Gillespie, Columbus Circuit by ----, Chillicothe Circuit by William Newman, Gallipolis Circuit by M. T. Newsom, Hillsborough Circuit by T. Ratcliff, Urbana Circuit by C. Peters, Carthagenia Circuit by William Herron, Hamilton Circuit by J. P. Woodson, Allegheny Mission by D. Conyore, Detroit Station by J. H. Thomas. Their total quarterage amounted to $1,550.22, and the collection for contingent expenses was $113.20. The total number of members reported by the Conference District was three thousand one hundred and ninety-nine, of which Pittsburg Station had three hundred and eighty-seven and Cincinnati had two hundred and fifteen. These were then as now the chief stations in the Ohio District. Chillicothe was this year (1846) cut off from the circuit bearing that name and converted into a station, and all the appointments south of it were attached to the Hillsborough Circuit. At this period the Columbus Circuit consisted of Columbus, Lancaster and Circleville; but at this Conference Columbus was severed from the circuit and converted into a station. All the appointments east of Washington, Pa., were cut off from the Washington Circuit and converted into one bearing the name of the Williamsport Circuit. After this Brownsville was attached to the last named, and the Forks to Uniontown Circuit.

        The New York Conference had passed resolutions disapproving "of the conduct of the Western Conferences for not enforcing sections 4 and 5 of our Discipline in the collection of debts due the book concern;" also calling upon them "to arouse to their duty in supporting the Bishops and paying their traveling expenses." Wherefore a committee, through the instance of Brother O. T. B. Nickens, was appointed "to inquire how far the New York Conference was justifiable in passing such resolutions." This committee consisted of Nickens, Byrd Parker, J. Peck, J. M. Brown and E. Davis, who, after calmly and impartially considering the whole question, reported to the effect that they could not deny the fact that there had been neglect on the part of the West; that this neglect was not altogether justifiable, and hoped that measures would be adopted which would lead to a speedy settlement of Western indebtedness. But at the same time they expressed their opinion that the spirit of disapproval of the New York Conference was not only out of place, but also unjust. They declared that the New York brethren had based


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their actions upon false premises, and therefore their conclusions were wrong. They denied that the book concern and Bishops were embarrassed by the negligence of the Western Conferences, and then they instituted a comparison by which they showed that the indebtedness of the West did not amount to more than $293.24, while the Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore Conferences owed $1,771.52. They charged the book concern with delinquency in not supplying the West with hymn-books, Disciplines and magazines; and also the traveling agent, not only for having visited but a small portion of the West, and for not visiting Canada at all, but also for ceasing to travel. They admitted that they had been delinquent in respect to the Bishop's salary, but declared they had done well, so far as his fees and traveling expenses were concerned. The Conference then investigated the financial affairs of the Union Manual Labor Seminary, and appointed a committee of three, consisting of A. R. Green, Thomas Norris and E. Davis, to revise the constitution of this literary institution. This revised constitution differs from the original only in detailing the duties of the several officers created for its management. A home missionary society was organized, and three missionary fields laid out, one bearing the name of the Cincinnati Mission, and embracing the several colored settlements within and near the Miami Valley, the towns of Lawrenceburg and Indiana, twenty miles southwest from Cincinnati; Richmond on the Ohio, twenty miles southeast; together with Batavia and Brown County. The second field laid out was in the northern part of Ohio, and was designated as the Sandusky Mission. The third was in the state of Michigan, and was called the Ypsilanti Mission. Resolutions were passed in favor of the various moral reforms of the age, and three days were set apart for fasting and humiliation, in order that the God of the oppressed might terminate their degradation and oppression. Who knows how much these three days of fasting and prayer had to do with the overthrow of American slavery in 1865, twenty years subsequent. "On the side of the oppressor" there is always power, but it is mere human power, consisting in brute force sustained by a strong public sentiment and unjust laws; but on the side of the oppressed there is always the Almighty arm, which reveals itself at the tears and cries of their broken and confiding hearts. Thanks be given to the Most High God that he has promised to "break the oppressor


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in pieces." When Israel cried, God came down to deliver him.

        Brother Henry Adcussion was one of the veterans who had fallen during this year (1846), and a sketch of his life and death was given at this session by Rev. A. R. Green. It was on the 10th of April, after a long and severe illness of nine months, which he bore with Christian fortitude, that he left this world in the full triumphs of faith and the blessed hope of immortality beyond the grave. Brother Adcussion was an old warrior who enlisted and fought in the cause of his Redeemer in the Methodist Connection for nearly forty years, many years of which he labored in word and doctrine, and for the last half-score and more he had labored as an itinerant in the A. M. E. Church. During this time he filled the most important stations in the district, as well as some of the most humble. He was a faithful servant of his Master, and a worthy minister. He preached the word fearless of the frowns or smiles of his hearers, built up believers in the most holy faith, and persuaded sinners to come to Christ. When asked by one of his brethren of his hope, he gave a satisfactory evidence of his peace with God, and he then bade his friends farewell, and as long as he could be understood his words were, "Glory, glory, glory!" and when his voice was so much lost in death that he could not be understood, he expressed himself happy by a signal with his hands, and exchanged the cross for the crown--a world of sorrow and affliction for one of joy and peace forever.

        The minutes of the Indiana Conference were not published in the magazine for this year (1846). We will now turn the attention of the reader to other phases of the work of the Church. With the year 1846 the third decade of the history of the A. M. E. Church in the United States of America comes to an end. In this last year there was nothing produced in the form of literature, but a comparison of this third decade with the second will give an opportunity to see whether we had been standing still, retrograding, or progressing in this as well as in other things.

        Up to 1836 we had no periodical and no literature. From 1841 we date the dawn of periodical literature in the A. M. E. Church, for it was then produced and circulated by a quarterly magazine, which was designed to be a monthly (but only came out about quarterly), edited by one of the ministers of our Church. The


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character of this literature, however, is of an inferior kind, and consists chiefly of letters about subjects interesting to but few if any outside of the pales of the Connection. The editor himself, as evinced by his leaders, was not possessed of what would be called to-day a good common school education. In the decade now closing we see the book concern assuming a more tangible and systematic form than it had before in the previous decade.

        The spirit of education, especially that of ministerial education, now began to manifest itself by deeds as well as words, for we had one young licentiate at Oberlin College preparing for successful labor in the territory occupied by the A. M. E. Church. This spirit also exhibited itself by a convention especially called for the discussion of the great principles of Christian education, and in this convention an educational society was formed, with two auxiliaries. The spirit of progress also manifested itself in the purchase of one hundred and seventy-two acres of land, for the sum of $1,720, for the establishment of a manual labor school. Lastly, the Connection had been convulsed from center to circumference by the essays and the epistles "On the Education of the Ministry." Then, in addition to these things, the growth of the Church in other ways can be seen by the comparative statistics which follow: In 1836 there were four Conference Districts, in 1846 there were six; in 1836 there were eighty-six organized churches, in 1846 there were two hundred and ninety-eight; there were seven thousand five hundred and ninety-four communicants in 1836, and sixteen thousand one hundred and ninety in 1846; there were seven stations in 1836, and sixteen in 1846; the salaries made a total of $926.39 in 1836, and $6,267.43½ in 1846, while for other things in this last year $963.59½ were raised in addition. In 1846 there were three educational societies and one missionary society.

        The Conference year of 1847 opened with the Baltimore churches meeting in the monumental city on the 17th of April. Six were admitted on trial--Daniel W. Moore, Thomas Williams, ---- Pollard, E. B. Hazzard, Simon Brown, Perry Dobson and Samuel Thorne. Samuel Wilmore, Christopher Jones, Aquila Scott and William H. Jones were received into full connection. The first mentioned was also located. Brothers William H. Jones and P. E. B. Hazzard were ordained deacons. One of the elders prepared a list of questions for the examination of those who applied for admission into the Annual Conference, and as


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they were especially designed to test the fitness of the candidate, as regarded both his knowledge of the law under which he would be placed, and his willingness to carry out the provisions of the laws of the Church generally, they were adopted by the Conference. It was at this session that the First Colored Wesleyan Methodist Independent Society of Baltimore, which had been founded by the talented and energetic Rev. Jacob M. Moore some five or six years previous to this, petitioned Conference for admission into the Connection. This petition read as follows:

A Petition to the Baltimore Annual Conference of the A. M. E. Church in the United States, now in session at Bethel Church, Saratoga street, Baltimore:

        REVEREND AND DEAR BRETHREN:--It is known to most of you the serious difficulties to which we, the members of the Zion Chapel, have been exposed for the last twelve months--they have been brought on through the ambitious and unrelenting anxiety of the Zion Connection to obtain territory in the city of Baltimore. But in the midst of all we yet stand under our own vine and fig tree, authorized to take any course best adapted to our welfare. We have three hundred and thirty-seven members regular in attendance to their classes, and a Sabbath-school containing one hundred and fifty-two scholars and seven teachers.

        Our official board is made up of eleven leaders, five stewards, nine trustees, seven preachers and two exhorters. And having learned by sad experience that episcopal form of government is best adapted to the condition of the people of color in the United States, therefore, we, the committee authorized by the male members of the church, do petition your august body to become a part of the Connection to which you belong, desiring to obtain the privileges of all those who have come this way before us.

        We expect this petition will meet with some opposition (and justly, too,) from the many rumors and reports that have been in circulation, but having confidence in the wisdom and Christian piety of those that compose your Conference, we believe that you will give us a fair hearing before you come to any conclusive decision. Therefore we submit our cause into your hands, hoping to meet with your approbation.

        Any further information in relation to the affairs of the Church will be given by the undersigned, who are authorized with discretionary powers to consummate any contract that may prove satisfactory to your Conference.

Yours in Christ,

J. M. MOORE,
Committee.

X
MATHIAS COLBERT,
His mark.
Committee.

X
DANIEL PARNELL,
His mark
Committee.

X
EMORY WOLFORD,
His mark
Committee.

Baltimore, April 6th, 1847.

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        Another document was also presented by Brother Moore from the Annual Conference of the First Colored Wesleyan Methodist Independent Society of Baltimore, which was signed by himself as president and Emory Wolford as secretary, "by and in behalf of the Connection." It contained the following resolution: "That the preacher in charge be empowered to appoint a committee of three to act under his instructions, and they shall have discretionary power to make any contract, or adopt any book of discipline for our church government, and all articles in the constitution that do not conform to the book of discipline adopted as above mentioned are hereby repealed." The committee presenting the petition was interrogated touching the temporal and spiritual condition of that church, and a committee was appointed from the Conference to investigate the affairs of the church in question. The result of this investigation led them to report:

        First. That in our opinion the Zion Chapel never was really embodied in the African Methodist Zion or Wesleyan Connection in the United States. Second. Whereas they are an independent body, it is at their own disposal to join whatever Connection or denomination they may think best. Third. Whereas the petitioners do solemnly agree to alter all articles in the incorporation and constitution within thirty days after the embodiment, and to make valid according to law, so as to conform solely to the Discipline of the A. M. E. Church, to receive any ministers whom the Bishop in his godly judgment may think proper to appoint, and to do all in their power to sustain him as a minister of Christ. We beg leave to report further, that we found the financial affairs as represented by Rev. J. W. Moore before the Conference.

        We would say in conclusion, that we see no cause why Zion's Chapel should not be immediately embodied in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.


        This was the finding of the committee, and it was signed by J. J. G. Bias, chairman; Willis Nazery, John Jordan, A. W. Wayman. Further evidence was laid before the Conference by two of this committee to the effect that claims of certain persons against Zion's Chapel had been repeatedly dismissed from court as not legal. This evidence came in the form of a document from the Baltimore County Court. The result was, that after discussion and a most powerful appeal from the Rev. Jacob M. Moore, the following resolutions were presented and accepted without debate:


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        Resolved, 1st, That a committee of three be appointed on the part of this Conference to see that the plan of embodying "The First Colored Wesleyan Methodist Church of Baltimore" be executed to the fullness of its spirit and letter so as to comply in all respects with the Discipline and Government of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

        Resolved, 2d. That the said committee shall have plenipotentiary power to employ legal counsel for the consummation of said purpose, to-wit: the embodiment of the First Colored Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America.


        D. A. Payne, Darius Stokes and W. A. Jones were constituted the committee, and discharged their duty by consummating the embodiment. But the Zion's Chapel did not remain long in the Connection--not much over three years. It was so much involved in debts that at the end of that time it was sold, and the man upon whose ground it was built, and who held a claim of ground rent against it for more than $500, with a mortgage of over $3,000, bought it in and put it in the possession of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

        If it be asked why did our churches in Baltimore suffer this property to be sold to others, our answer is that we could not do otherwise; because, first of all, after the chapel became a part of the Connection of the A. M. E. Church, for two successive years, under the financiering of the preachers stationed over it, the original debt was augmented instead of being diminished. Then, secondly, during all this period our three other churches in Baltimore were struggling most diligently to liquidate the heavy debts that they had contracted prior to the reception of Zion's Chapel into our Connection. And thirdly, It was to save themselves from pecuniary ruin that they were compelled to let Zion's Chapel pass out of their hands into others. Efforts were made to prevent its sale by Rev. D. A. Payne, pastor of the church on Saratoga street during the period mentioned, who at one time became responsible for the sum of $500 to save it from the sheriff's hammer, and suffered severely both in purse and reputation for the friendly effort. Rev. Jacob Moore, the pastor of the chapel which thus came to us at this session, remained an honored and useful member of our Connection until he felt it his duty to emigrate to Africa.

        Rev. D. A. Payne brought forward a resolution in favor of establishing a mission on the western coast of Africa as soon as possible. This was done after the business of the missionary


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society was over, and was sustained by the unanimous vote of the brethren.

        A long and severe debate took place upon the manner of electing the delegates to the approaching General Conference. It was questioned whether the people should elect their own delegates, or whether Conference should do it for them. Some declared that, as a matter of right, the people ought to do it; while others declared that such a procedure would bring the Church down from its present peaceful and elevated position to a level with political parties of the day, and the result would be discord as well as agitation, and even dismemberment of the Connection. Some thought that the rules of the General Conference were contradictory upon the subject, while others deemed them harmonious; but it was finally decided as best for the peace and welfare of the Church that the Annual Conferences should elect the delegates for the people. The delegates-elect were Revs. T. L. Hammonds, Darius Stokes, D. W. Moore, J. M. Moore, Nathaniel Peck, J. Evans, C. Jones, G. James, W. Webb and W. H. G. Brown.

        A new mission was formed from that portion of the eastern shore of Maryland embracing Chestertown, Stillpond, Tuesburg, Georgetown, Massey's Cross Roads, Millingstown, Chesterville, Cecil Cross Roads and Morgan's Creek. This mission Rev. J. M. Moore was sent to establish, and it was named the Kent County Mission. It was at this Baltimore Conference that it was decided to have a denominational seal manufactured, and a committee was appointed to accomplish it.

        Although there were a great many empty resolutions passed in favor of various things pertaining to the welfare of the Church, and a large number of other petitions presented, there was nothing more of general interest to record, except perhaps the attitude of the Baltimore Conference toward the Philadelphia. The latter Conference had in 1846 entered upon its record a vote of censure upon the former for publishing the minutes of the Baltimore District. Several members of the Baltimore District Conference had entered a solemn protest against these acts, and now the last-named district made a record of its hearty approval of the protest made by its members at the time mentioned, as carrying out their views and sustaining the course followed by that District Conference. With this action the Baltimore Conference closed.


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        The Philadelphia District met in session in the month of May following the Baltimore Conference. Sixty-four members were present, both Bishops being with the Conference. Patrick Hambleton was received on probation as a local preacher, and J. P. B. Eddy, J. Hollen, Shadrack Blackstone, J. W. Stokes, W. H. Jones and Perry Gibson were received into full connection. H. Davis and A. W. Wayman were ordained elders, and John Butler a deacon. D. Ware and Dr. Bias were elected district book stewards, and thirteen delegates were elected to the General Conference of 1848, in the persons of Rev. W. Proctor, R. Collins, J. Woodland, J. Hollen, S. Smith, D. Ware, T. Holcomb, T. Blackston, Thomas Gibbs, J. P. B. Eddy, J. J. G. Bias, G. McMullen and H. J. Young.

        On the 20th of May the funeral sermon of Bishop Edward Waters was preached, and immediately afterwards the committee from the Baltimore Conference, through Rev. D. A. Payne, presented the episcopal seal to Bishop Quinn as the property of the whole Connection. Rev. D. A. Payne prefaced it by becoming remarks, which were responded to by Dr. Bias. The Conference showed a growing recognition of the need of an intelligent ministry, and passed resolutions indicative of that feeling.

        On June 25th the ministers of the New York District met in the city of New York to hold their Annual Conference. The session, over which Bishop Quinn presided, was made a secret one. T. M. D. Ward, G. H. Washington and W. Harman were admitted on trial, together with J. P. Turner, Edward Johnson and J. L. Smith. L. Tillmon, D. Dorrell, John Elymore and J. Stanford were admitted into full connection. E. Africanus, J. Hyatt, N. C. B. Thomas and L. Tillmon were ordained elders. The following named brethren were elected delegates to the General Conference of 1848: Rev. S. Edwards, R. Parker, J. Jenkins, G. Weir and B. Croger. Conference also adopted measures to raise the salary and contingent expenses of the Bishop, and also called upon the Western Conferences to do their duty towards the Bishop. Resolutions were adopted to enforce the "two-cent" collections on behalf of the magazine. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution for a Sunday-school Union to be entitled the "Allen Sunday-school Union." These measures, with the appointment of a committee to prepare an obituary notice of the life and death of Bishop Waters, made up the important work of the Conference.


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        The Canadian churches held their Annual Conference for this year in what was called "The Queen's Bush," in Peel township, where the ministry assembled on the 30th of July. Bishop Quinn opened with an address. Thomas Keeth and Henry Smith were received on trial, and David D. Thompson, Nelson Countee and Jeremiah Taylor into full connection. The closing of the church in Toronto against its elder, Rev. N. C. W. Cannon, was laid before this body, and the opinion was rendered adversely to the trustees for such action as "unjust and cruel in the extreme." Brothers Dorsey, Henson, Smith and Curtis were condemned for retaining their certificates after they had withdrawn from the Connection, and when they had been demanded of them "by the proper authorities." One resolution passed by the Conference was strictly in keeping with the spirit of freedom which obtained in Canada. It prohibited the use of the pulpits to slaveholders.

        The meeting of the pastors of the Ohio churches was held in Zanesville, O., on the 16th of October. Rev. Wm. Morgan, a deacon of the M. E. Church, was received into full fellowship, and Peter Gardner, Levin Gross, Robert Johnson and David Wheelbanks were received on trial. John P. Woodson, H. C. Gillespie, E. Davis and W. Herren were received into full connection as itinerants, with E. Wilkins as a local preacher. Levin Gross, E. Davis, John M. Brown and William Morgan were ordained elders, and David Smith and John M. Brown were located. Rev. Thomas Woodson was numbered among those who sleep in Jesus. His death occurred October 3d, 1846, when he was in the thirty-fifth year of his age. The secretary of the Conference adds to the record that "the deceased had been for many years a devout servant of God, and labored extensively as a local preacher, leaving all and going far and near to cry to sinners, 'Behold the Lamb!'" He also says: "As a minister, he was fearless of the scoffs or frowns of the world; he proclaimed the truth of the Gospel, and when disease had worn away his constitution, and affliction had well nigh disrobed his tabernacle, he would say, 'All I desire is, the Lord's will be done, and our cause go forward until the millions who are now groaning under the iron hand of oppression shall be free, and the kingdom of our Lord prevail over all the earth.'" Here was a dying saint bearing his testimony against the crimes of a so-called Christian republic--a republic calling itself the "land of the free and the


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home of the brave." His dying desire was for the overthrow of the hand of oppression. God has heard that prayer, and broken is the iron hand of the oppressor, though he still controls the South without fear of punishment at the hands of an American government.

        Brother Fayette Davis was another who departed this life in 1847. He died March 28th, in the thirty-eighth year of his age. We are told that he "espoused the cause of Christianity when a youth, and the last thirteen years of his life was spent in the cause of his Master as an itinerant preacher in this Connection." Such was his confidence in that Saviour whom he had so long obeyed, that when death appeared he could say to his friends, "I have been looking for this for many years. I am ready, I am willing to go and reap my reward." Both of these brethren were members of the General Conference of 1844, and each seemed to promise a long life, but the Lord knew best. Two others are upon the death list of the year--David Conyore and George Boler. The former died on the 30th of April, at the age of sixty-five years. Forty odd years of his life had been spent under the banner of Christ. "For many years, although oppressed by cruel taskmasters, he labored with his brethren in word and doctrine. Through the providence of God he at length bought his time, after having spent near threescore years in labor for his oppressors. Although his body began to sink with age, and his beard to silver with frosts of many winters, yet, when he found the chains off his limbs, such was the zeal he felt for the cause of his Redeemer that he labored much as a local preacher, and was ready to go far or near to do his duty. The last two years of his life he felt it his duty to engage all his time in the itinerancy, and was appointed to several missions." When advised to cease traveling, he said, "My appointments are out and they must be filled. I never intend to stop, but die in the field." Of Rev. George Boler it is written: "He departed this life on the 3d of October, 1847, at Pittsburg, Pa., in the sixtieth year of his age, after a severe illness of some weeks. Brother Boler was one of the first pioneers in the Connection in the western field, and traveled many years in the itinerancy, and labored extensively for the increase of Zion. He embarked in this enterprise in the day of small things, as early as 1822, and he stands in the field as a regular minister of the itinerancy. When ministers had to travel from the West to Baltimore and Philadelphia to receive their appointments, year


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after year, Brother Boler was in the ranks . . . . . As to his Christian career, he had been a follower of the Saviour for many years previous to his ministry. About forty years of his life he spent in the service of his God, and as he often said, 'although weak and feeble have been my efforts, yet I feel that the Lord has owned and blessed my labors--to Him be the glory and the honor in time and eternity.' The latter years of his life he spent as a local preacher, yet was willing at any time to mount his horse and brook the difficulties of an itinerant minister.


                         "'He died in peace with God and man,
                         And left the world and sin behind.'"

        There were five funeral sermons preached at this session of the Ohio Annual Conference; one on the death of Bishop Waters by Rev. Thomas Lawrence, those of Brothers Woodson and Davis by Rev. A. R. Green, and those of Brothers Conyore and Boler by Rev. David Smith.

        The society of people established by David Wheelbanks petitioned Conference to receive them into our Connection. This petition was granted, and Brother Wheelbanks was sent to take the pastoral charge of them. He was also received into the itinerancy. Eight local preachers were elected delegates to the ensuing General Conference: O. T. B. Nickens, Wesley Roberts, John Peck, Xenophon Lee, Jerret Jenkins, David Smith, William Morgan and John M. Brown.

        A committee of three, consisting of A. R. Green, George Coleman and John M. Brown, were appointed to prepare and publish two neat volumes of the lives and deaths of the several members of our Church.

        The Union Seminary next demanded the attention of the Conference. To promote its interest, a committee was appointed to procure the services of a lawyer for the purpose of drafting a petition to the Legislature of Ohio to give a charter; another was appointed to draft a course of studies; and a third was chosen to have the doings of the Conference in behalf of the Seminary published in the Pennsylvania Freeman. They also resolved to appoint a clergyman to open the Seminary as early as possible--this clergyman was to be the pastor of the station at Columbus at the same time. The object of this two-fold appointment was to furnish a support for the teaching without creating an extra expense. The debt of the Conference for the farm at this time was $595. Another act of the


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Conference was to authorize the board of trustees to set apart ten acres of this farm, and divide the same into lots of a suitable size to be leased or sold to any one who might wish to settle around the institution to educate their children--the rent or lease to constitute a fund for the support of the Seminary. This would have been a wise step for any institution except that of poor people like our own, as may be seen. The property was thirteen or fourteen miles from the nearest town, Columbus, O., and was located in the midst of thrifty white farmers. To live around an institution of learning at such a distance from employment for the purpose of educating a family made it necessary for that family to be in easy, if not entirely independent circumstances, neither of which conditions could be found among our people at that time. Therefore the resolution of the Conference to attempt what was determined upon was both unwise and impracticable, and the plan utterly failed. The Conference also resolved to create a ministerial fund by a personal tax of two per cent. on their salary for the purpose of assisting in the education of the children of deceased itinerants. It was an excellent resolution had it been put into execution. That the Conference felt deeply the charges brought against the Western Conferences at the New York Annual Conference of 1846 is evident by the following resolution:

        That this Conference prefer a charge against the New York Conference for the unjustifiable charges against the Western Conference, published in the minutes of the New York Annual Conference of 1846. And furthermore, we prefer charges against the general book steward for neglect of duty, in consequence of which we in the West have been greatly paralyzed in our efforts to make the public more generally acquainted with the Connection. We have in a number of cases received the people's money for the magazine, and forwarded it, and he has failed to send it according to his obligation. Therefore we have no encouragement to solicit subscribers to the magazine, notwithstanding it is the only public organ of the Connection.


        Thus the Ohio Conference explains its position officially, as we have seen it already explained in the said New York Conference, by the committee appointed "to inquire how far the New York Conference was justifiable in passing such resolutions."


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CHAPTER XX.
THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1848.

        Eighth General Conference--Bishop Quinn's Episcopal Address--A Third Bishop--Monthly Magazine to be Made a Quarterly--The Christian Herald--Book Concern Moved to Pittsburg--A Committee to Purchase the "Mystery"--A Plan for Common Schools--Important Amendments to the Discipline--Rev. D. A. Payne Appointed Historiographer of the Church--Consecration of Bethel, Baltimore, in 1848.

        THIS was the Eighth General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. It was opened on Monday, the 1st of May, in the city of Philadelphia. Present at that hour were fifty-five ministers, at the head of whom stood Bishop William Paul Quinn. Rev. M. M. Clark, Rev. A. W. Wayman and Rev. Edward Davis were made secretaries. Ten committees were appointed--on the book concern, the presiding elder question, the itinerancy and locality, the episcopacy, education, home and foreign missions, on temperance, on boundaries, on expenses of delegates, on alteration and amendment of the discipline. The Conference sermon was preached by the Rev. Byrd Parker, and Bishop Quinn delivered the address of the episcopal office. It is the first in the history of our Church that appears in full on the journals. Hitherto the secretaries had only alluded to the Bishop's address, from which it is just to infer that this is the first written address ever presented by a Bishop of the A. M. E. Church to its General Conference, hence it marks a new phase in our history. It abounds with judicious and useful suggestions. He was not alone in his views respecting the necessity and propriety of the presiding eldership, though it was the judgment of the majority that the office was not needed, while some thought it would work injuriously, and many younger brethren strenuously opposed it on the ground that they considered the measure of an oppressive tendency. Others considered it perfectly useless or too expensive. If will be seen, however, that a very large minority favored it. The committee reported in favor of adopting that office as a part of our system. They sustained their report by the following reasons:

        1st. That there were many difficulties occurring on circuits and


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in stations which could not be satisfactorily settled without the agency of presiding elders, as is attested by the experience and observation of many.

        2d. That the episcopacy needed the agency of presiding elders in order that they might always be furnished with a full and exhaustive account of the state of all the churches in their absence.

        3d. That the episcopacy might always be able to make out appointments intelligently, and to the highest satisfaction of the Church.

        4th. That the presiding eldership will prevent the alleged necessity of premature ordinations, as well as the appointment of young men to the charge of whole circuits and stations who were mere licentiates or deacons, and therefore not fully qualified for the able and efficient discharge of the whole routine of duties incumbent upon a minister in charge.

        5th. That there had never been a Methodist Episcopal Church of any extent which had not the office of presiding or ruling elders in name or effect.

        This report elicited a very animated and stubborn discussion. It was finally put and negatived by a vote of 48 against 33.

        The action of the General Conference on Missions was as follows: The Constitution and By-laws of the Society which was organized in 1844 were re-adopted. The following report of the committee was also adopted: "The members of the committee beg leave to say that, in the absence of any general report, either from the parent or district societies, thus depriving them of the opportunity of properly examining the field of labor, they have found themselves surrounded with difficulties insurmountable. We recommend a change in the plan of general administration in our missionary enterprise, believing, as we do, that the failure is to be attributed to the officers of the law, and not to the law itself. That in order to place this institution in a high and flourishing condition, so as to secure the greatest amount of good to the greatest number, we recommend that there be an annual report made of all the general and local operations of all the district Societies, setting forth the true condition and extent of the missionary enterprise. And we further recommend that there be a missionary sermon delivered at each of the Annual Conferences, and a collection taken up to aid in the aforesaid object. Moreover, it shall be the duty of all the officers of this Society fairly and faithfully to discharge all their duties. And


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furthermore, we recommend that there be a sermon preached next Thursday, and a collection taken to aid the missionary fund."

        The committee on the subject of the Episcopacy reported that "the state of the churches throughout the Connection was in a healthy and thriving condition;" that there was a "considerable increase of circuits, stations and missions in every district;" and that they "considered it important to elect another Bishop to aid in the arduous and glorious enterprise of our growing Church." They also recommended the consideration of a third Bishop. The last portion of the report was indefinitely postponed. There was much caucusing in regard to the matter of electing another Bishop. Some proposed one man, others another; but the man upon whom many eyes were turned on account of his splendid talents and great powers of debate, as well as his pulpit eloquence, was Rev. Byrd Parker. But at last the unanimous conclusion was that they were not prepared to act at that time upon such an important question.

        The General Conference decreed that there should be a general book depository in each Conference district, at the head of which should be placed its district book steward. The general book steward, Rev. George Hogarth, presented his report, whereupon it was seen that $393.87 worth of stock had been disposed of, and an estimate of stock on hand, including stereotype plates, was placed at $958.99, with $169.76 in cash balance in hand. Bills of considerable amount were standing against members of the Conference. The committee that investigated the report of the general book steward also recommended the propriety of making arrangements for depositing in the hands of the newly-elected general book steward all the property of the concern, in order that he might engage in the duties of his office as soon as possible. The successor of Rev. G. Hogarth, who had filled the office for twelve years, was Rev. Augustus R. Green, who was elected to fill that office on the 13th of May, 1848. At the instance of Rev. Thomas Lawrence, the monthly magazine was ordered to be made a quarterly, and a weekly paper was also ordered to be printed, to bear the title of The Christian Herald, which was given at the instance of Rev. Dr. J. J. G. Bias and Rev. G. Stokes. Rev. A. R. Green was also to be the editor of this our new Church organ, with assistant corresponding editors. He was deprived of early advantages for intellectual culture of a high order, but he was possessed of great energy of character and a desire for information,


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and made use of many opportunities to enlarge his store of useful knowledge. His literary efforts, laid before the public in several forms, show how far he succeeded in scholarship and as an editor. In 1845 he published a pamphlet entitled "A Treatise on the Episcopacy of the A. M. E. Church," "Duty of Parents and Churches to Baptized Children," "An Examination of the Mother Church." The book concern was decreed to be removed from New York to Pittsburg, and a committee was appointed to purchase the paper called The Mystery, with the press, types and fixtures.

        A plan for common schools, drafted by M. M. Clark, was adopted. The pastor of every church was empowered to establish a high school wherever practicable, provided that the Annual Conference approved and sanctioned such a measure in their respective districts. The four years course adopted at the General Conference of 1844 was revised and recommended to the young ministers, who were required to make themselves proficient or fail of advancement to holy orders.

        Some important amendments were made to the Discipline and government. First, relating to the episcopacy, respecting the trial of a Bishop, which was an improvement on the former method--not so cumbrous, and also swifter in its execution. His power was increased, and his support regulated. The power of the trustees was defined and limited. There was peculiar need of such rules as the last at this time, as will be seen later on, when we come to speak of the Philadelphia Church. The trustees had used the power originally given to that church for the purpose of protecting it against the oppression of certain persons, to become in turn the oppressors both of the ministry and the people, and had produced in many sections of our Connection the most violent commotions and riots, ending in several instances in bloodshed and the rending asunder of whole congregations. It was also made the duty of exhorters to employ their talents and time in the Sabbath-schools as teachers; also to lead and manage the weekly prayer-meetings. A licensed local preacher was also made eligible to the orders of a deacon after he had preached four years, and under the request of the Church through the Quarterly Conference. It was also decreed that "if any minister, preacher, exhorter, or member of our Society, who has been lawfully married and shall separate and marry again while the other is living, he or she shall be expelled, and shall


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never be readmitted during the life-time of the two parties. And any minister who shall marry such knowingly shall forfeit his standing in our Connection." An alteration was also made in section 4, page 238, of the Discipline of 1844, concerning the raising of the salaries of the pastors. The two-cent money at each Annual Conference was also to be divided--one-half to be retained in the district to aid distressed itinerant, superannuated and supernumerary preachers, and Bishops' salaries; the other half to be sent to the general book steward to aid the book concern. All of these alterations and amendments were needed, and would have been beneficial in their results, if they had been mildly and uniformly enforced.

        Rev. John Boggs, one of the pioneer preachers, died on the morning of the eleventh day of the session. Proper resolutions of respect were passed, and General Conference adjourned until the following day. "For more than thirty years he had been calling sinners to repentance, and during all that time he maintained an unspotted character," is what was said of him, and the individual testimony of the writer may be added to this. Though Brother Boggs had been brought up without so much as a common school education, and therefore never made much impression in his pulpit efforts, yet so deep and consistent was his piety that every one who knew him confided in his honesty and was affected by his zeal. Though far advanced in life, when the spirit of learning seized the ministry, he fell in with the enthusiasm of the times and commenced the study of the English grammar, and became so animated with his success that he had been known to stop in the midst of his sermon and parse a simple sentence. His labors were not confined to the East, but were extended to nearly five hundred miles beyond the western spur of the Alleghenies. There are those in the vicinity of Cincinnati to-day who may remember his labors with emotions of delight.

        Thus we have summed up the principal incidents and doings of the General Conference of 1848, to which we may add that D. A. Payne was appointed the historiographer of the A. M. E. Church at this session.

        In this year the Philadelphia ministry met in Annual Conference outside of the city of Philadelphia for the first time in thirty-two years, and conducted their deliberations in the town of Trenton, N. J., commencing on the 3d of June. The documents


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laid before it were almost as numerous as those presented to the General Conference, but too particular and local to be of general interest. Brothers William Catto, A. C. Crippen, T. C. Oliver, J. J. G. Bias and H. C. Young were ordained deacons. A young man from the British West Indies, who had previously connected himself with the Zion's Connection, by the name of Edward E. Garey, was among those who were received into the itinerant service at this time, and was immediately transferred by the Bishop to the Ohio Conference as pastor of the Cincinnati station. He was a man of liberal education, with superior natural endowments and a pleasing address. As a preacher he possessed an amount of eloquence rarely found, and a style so polished as to fit him for the most refined audience in the Union; but his career was very short, and the blazing meteor went out into obscure darkness.

        The Society of Methodists in New Orleans sent the Indiana Conference this year a petition praying it to take into consideration the propriety of establishing the A. M. E. Church in that city. The prayer was granted, and Brother Charles Doughty, who brought it, himself a native Louisianian and a licentiate in the Methodist Church, South, was ordained a deacon and sent back to take the pastoral charge of the "Louisiana Mission."*

        * This mission is now St. James' Church, the largest congregation we have in the state, though it has given the Church an immense amount of trouble on account of rebellious leaders--those anxious to rule but unwilling to be ruled.


        In the Ohio Annual Conference an act of incorporation from the state of Ohio was reported in behalf of Union Seminary, and a sawmill was ordered to be erected on the farm. Rev. Abram D. Lewis, a local preacher in the Pittsburg Station, was numbered among the dead. He was among the earliest members of that church, and for eighteen years had filled the office of a deacon--as exemplary in his daily conduct as he was devout in his profession, a very impressive speaker, a faithful friend and an affectionate husband and father.

        The New York and Canadian churches were unmarked by any unusual interest this year.

        As we glance at the literature of the year we find the Christian Herald absorbing the interest, and communications are noted from the pens of the editor and assistants, A. R. Green and Revs. J. M. Brown and A. W. Wayman. Then, too, the forms for laying


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corner-stones and dedicating churches were established this year. At the close of the General Conference the necessity of such forms was shown, but too late for the work to be done at that session, and a committee of three was appointed to do the work, and instructed to send the result of their labors to the general book steward for insertion in the Book of Discipline, thenceforward to be used as the established forms. This committee consisted of J. M. Brown, Byrd Parker and D. A. Payne. The committee, after having examined the forms used by the Protestant Episcopal Church and those of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, resolved to strike out a new one for ours, and in this effort they labored more to be scriptural than to be original, believing that in all the service of religion man ought to hide himself beneath the glorious manifestation of the God-head as made in his written word. The whole of the standing prayer following the prayer of Solomon is original. The form for laying corner-stones was copied from the Liturgy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

        For many years prior to 1848 there was a struggle for supremacy between the trustees and pastors of many churches in our Connection. This struggle originated in Philadelphia, and extended itself to Baltimore, Washington and many other places. These struggles, however, did not assume an open and violent form till the year mentioned, when it began almost simultaneously in Philadelphia and Baltimore, shaking those churches with the violence of an earthquake, and causing the shock to be felt from "Dan to Beersheba." The printed historical documents which resulted from the trial and the decision of the civil courts show that the trustees of Bethel Church, Philadelphia, had been impeached and tried for certain offenses by the Rev. John Cornish, the elder who was then stationed in that church. The charges were tabled in the month of June. The impeached trustees, anticipating the result, called a meeting in October (the 4th). Those present were Benjamin Miller, Benjamin Johnson, Isaac Lisby, George Miller, Joseph Le Count, William Lee and Joel Ware. In this meeting they passed resolutions to this effect:

        Resolved, That the resolutions and proceedings of receiving the Rev. John Cornish as elder or minister in charge, on the 14th of June, 1848, be and they are hereby rescinded.

        Resolved, That there is no minister in charge of Bethel Church according to its charter.


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        Resolved, That it is expedient for the trustees, ministers, exhorters and leaders of Bethel to choose and elect one from their own body as a presiding minister in Bethel Church.

        Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to confer with the ministers, exhorters and leaders of Bethel Church, for the purpose of calling a constitutional meeting to select a presiding minister from their own body.

        Resolved, That Isaac Lisby, Benjamin Johnson and Joel Ware be that committee.


        The "constitutional meeting" was called, and a deacon by the name of Rev. Shadrack Bassett elected for the pastorate of Bethel. This was done on the 11th of October, seven days after their first revolutionary meeting. Those who constituted this constitutional meeting were nineteen in number, while the official board of the church at that date amounted to nearly one hundred.*

        * These nineteen represented that class of laymen who are always denouncing the preachers as a set of tyrants "lording it over God's heritage," and crying out for a democratical form of government by the people and for the people. In this case nineteen people were acting for one hundred, or the remaining eighty-one.


        On the 13th of October the committee to whom the original impeachment was submitted sent each of the trustees the following notice:

        SIR:--The committee to hear and try the complaint preferred against you as a member and one of the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the city of Philadelphia by John D. Oliver, have found you guilty of the first, second, third and sixth charges in said complaint. You are hereby notified that, by virtue of the authority given me by the Articles of Association and Discipline of the said Church, I do hereby expel you from your office of trustee, and also from membership in said church.

[Signed]
JOHN CORNISH, Minister in Charge of Bethel.


        The next step taken we learn from the following record:

        As soon as the trustees were all informed of the decision of the committee, they closed the church upon the entire congregation, and barricaded the doors on the inside so that they could not be opened.*

        * From this we see nineteen men excluding from the house of public worship a congregation of fifteen thousand persons whose money had paid for the erection of that house--a "governing of the people by the people."



        Brother Isaac Davis, one of the trustees who was opposed to the outrages of his colleagues, with some other members of the


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church, entered one of the windows, removed the barricades and opened the church. The rebellious trustees had them indicted for forcible entry, tried before Judge Parsons and convicted. The same judge restored the trustees to their possession of the church. Rev. John Cornish, sustained by an overwhelming majority of the members of Bethel, appealed from this decision of Judge Parsons to the Court of Common Pleas. The cause was heard. There were four judges on the bench. As two were of opinion in favor of the expelled trustees, and two in favor of the right of Rev. John Cornish as pastor, the judgment was of course in behalf of Brother Cornish. Nothing daunted at this, the expelled trustees appealed the case to the Supreme Court, who, after a patient and thorough examination of these difficulties, did, on the 2d of February, 1850, in the person of Chief Justice Gibson, confirm the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas in the following

OPINION.

        If the meaning of the article in the amendments, upon which the question turns, be, that the trustees, ministers, exhorters and leaders should elect their pastors from among themselves, the members of the corporation have not been, as they most certainly intended and supposed themselves to be, in communion with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The doctrine and Discipline of that Church, as set forth in the published exposition of it, is fashioned in a great measure after that of the white Methodist Episcopal Church in England and America, in which the election and ordination of the priesthood by the General or Annual Conferences, the ordination of them by laying on of hands by a Bishop and elders, and the fixing of their appointments by the Bishop, are cardinal points, the last of them a distinctive one. It is the rock on which the Church is founded, and on which it has prospered. Remove this church from it and it ceases to be Methodistic. The election and ordination of elders, and the fixing of their appointments, are regulated by articles which are fundamental; and how does the article in the amendment comport with them? There is in the terms of it a remarkable want of precision. It provides for the election of a presiding minister to superintend the churches, to license preachers, and to preside over the churches agreeable to the Discipline.

        The person who framed the article in the amendments probably had in view the office of a presiding elder, whose duty in the Methodist Episcopal Church is "to exercise within his own district, during the absence of the superintendents (Bishops), all the powers vested in them by the government of the Church, provided that he never acts contrary to an express order of the superintendent." His action, therefore, would be, at most, provisional and subordinate to the permanent authority of the Bishop;


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consequently, by that interpretation, and it is that which goes farthest to reconcile the amendments to the standards of the Church, the induction of the respondent by the Bishop was legal and canonical.

        But in any aspect whatever, a congregational election of a presiding elder would be neither. To say nothing of the fact that the Discipline requires him to be elected by the Annual Conference, he might be taken from the trustees, ministers, exhorters, or leaders, happen to be a layman, and in that event who was to set him apart? If he was to be ordained by laymen, or not at all, the object of the amendment was to make the church congregational, while it professed to be Methodistical, and it was, therefore, a disingenuous one. The Annual Conference could not ordain him, and its connection with the congregation would be virtually dissolved. Besides, the word minister is not used in the Discipline as the specific name of any clerical office whatever. The clergy are divided into bishops, elders and deacons. The exhorters, local preachers and leaders are laymen. With all the lights obtained from an elaborate argument, I am unable to understand the drift of this strange amendment.

        But contemporaneous practice is a powerful interpreter of doubtful meaning; and when long continued by common consent, as in this instance for more than thirty years, it is irresistible. Perhaps a legal presumption might arise from lapse of time, that this fundamental article, irreconcilable to the usage and practice of the Church, had been expugned in the way known to the law. In every aspect it is a riddle, and the congregation have been wise in treating it as a nullity. They could not have done otherwise without abandoning their standard and falsifying the name of the corporation.

        But even if the corporation had power to choose its ministers, it has failed to exercise it. Surely, then, professing to be a Methodist congregation, and refusing to elect for itself, it might waive its right, and receive its ministers from the hand of the Bishop, according to the regulations of the Church with which it professed to be connected. If it might not, all its spiritual acts since the amendments were adopted have been invalid, and how far its temporal acts might be affected by reason of the illegality of the appointment to office of the president of the board of trustees might raise a serious question. Perhaps the acts of the elder in charge, as an officer de facto, might be good; but it certainly is not the policy of the corporation to encourage strife and litigation. The best friends of its peace and prosperity will not do so.

        The respondent, therefore, is the legally inducted elder in charge, and the trustees who were expelled by him pursuant to the discipline of the Church have no standing in court. Judgment affirmed.

        SUPREME COURT, February 2d, 1850.


        The article above referred to is in the following words:

        The trustees, ministers, exhorters and leaders, or such of them as shall convene upon due notice given them after public worship in the church of churches the Sabbath before such meeting, shall have power to choose and


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elect from their own body a presiding minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to superintend the churches, to license preachers or exhorters, to preside over the church or churches agreeably to the discipline thereof, and to do all other acts which are or may be assigned him to do. And the said trustees, ministers, exhorters and leaders shall also have power, with the consent of two-thirds of the members of the said African Methodist Episcopal Church, from time to time, to make such alteration of these and other articles of the said corporation, both to temporal and spiritual matters, as they shall think expedient.


        This last mentioned article is not the only objectionable and unreasonable article in the constitution of Bethel. There is another, or was at the time of these difficulties, that gave to the trustees the power to prohibit the admission of any person into the membership of the church whom they might dislike, or in whose characters or manners they might see something objectionable--real or imaginary. Upon these two articles they were in the habit of entrenching themselves whenever they felt like it. Here is a case in point:

        In 1847 the members of Union Church in Philadelphia, then numbering several hundred, petitioned Conference to send them a pastor; for, from its organization to that time, it had to depend upon the stationed preacher at Bethel for the supply of all its spiritual wants, so far as they related to preaching and the regular means of grace. The petition was granted, and Rev. Alexander Wayman was appointed by Bishops Brown and Quinn to minister to them. The trustees of Bethel, who were also trustees of Union, heard of the appointment, and instantly sent a note to the Conference by their secretary, Rev. David Ware, forbidding and really annulling the action of the Conference, as well as the appointment of the Bishops. There were men, both in the corporation of Bethel as well as outside, who had foreseen the difficulties to which these articles would lead, and were faithful to warn the people against them: none were more zealous in this respect than that eagle-sighted man, Dr. James J. G. Bias. His repeated warnings not only made him unpopular with the trustees, but also brought down upon his head, and upon all who thought as he did, the wrath of the trustees' friends. In the Conference, at which the trustees vetoed the appointing power, there were brethren found honest enough to expose the mischievous consequences of giving back to the trustees, and bold enough to resist them; but they were ordered by the presiding Bishop--Bishop Morris Brown--to take their


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seats. But Bishop Brown did not thus act because he believed it was wrong to oppose the trustees and right to heed their veto, but because he preferred peace rather than strife; and knowing the determination of the trustees, he thought it better to wave the right vested in him than to have the church distracted by the storm which he knew they would raise. This course did not prevent the apprehended evil, however--it only postponed it to a later period. It would seem that the safe rule, and the only safe one, is the scripture rule--"First pure, then peaceable."

        The suit that grew out of these troubles cost the people of Bethel the sum of two or three thousand dollars and the loss of five hundred members, who were expelled. In connection with these matters we have the following pastoral letter addressed to the "Trustees and Constitutional Male Members of Bethel Church in Philadelphia:"

        BELOVED BRETHREN AND FELLOW CHRISTIANS:--It has been made my duty, by an action of the Annual Conference, to address a pastoral letter for your consideration, relating to the disagreement of the Constitution or Articles of Association of said Bethel Church with the Discipline of the A. M. E. Church.

        In discharging so weighty and responsible a duty, embracing so many and so momentous interests, I beg leave to cast myself upon your indulgence while I endeavor, in the spirit of my Divine Master, to give you what seems to me good reasons why those Articles should conform to the rules of our general Church laws. It cannot be disguised or denied that those Articles, in consequence of their disagreement with the Discipline, have caused much unpleasant feeling among the traveling preachers and among all orders of Christians in our Church. That this feeling has crept into private and public places, into the Quarterly and Annual Conferences, and is fast creeping up (like the plagues of Egypt into Pharaoh's chambers) into the highest judicatories of our Church, and where its course will end no one can foresee. Perhaps in an unhappy rupture of membership, which God in his mercy avert.

        Fearful of such a deplorable result, and desirous to avoid all the painful consequences which would inevitably flow out of that nature, I beg to interpose my pastoral advice in obedience to the instruction given me by the Annual Conference, and to entreat you to look to those most probable results, and weigh them well in your cool and deliberate judgment and reason. You have it now in your power to do what might require years to undo when once the mind becomes excited to a high pitch of irritation, for then it will be difficult, if not impossible, to effect a pacification.

        But as I do not wish to address myself to your fears, I appeal to your unbiased judgment and reason whether it would not be better, upon the whole, viewing the subject in its broadest aspect, for the sake of brotherly


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love and union among His ministers, His Church and flock, so to alter these Articles of Association that they will conform to the Discipline of our Church in the particulars which I will now endeavor to point out:

        1. The first point of disagreement between those two documents may be found in the last supplement, page 15, paragraph 6, where the preacher is prohibited from exercising the plain law of the Discipline in receiving a member into society, and is subject to this law of the Church which sets aside the authority of our general Church law. See Discipline, page 79, answer 11.

        2. The next point is found in the supplement, page 10, paragraph 8, where the power is vested in the trustees to elect a preacher to take charge, under the corporation, for a term of three years, which clearly sets aside all the power of the Bishops in the appointment of preachers under said corporation. See Discipline, page 73, answer 2.

        3. The supplement, page 16, and in paragraph 10, seems to contradict itself where it places the licensing power in the trustees, with the preachers, exhorters, etc. And then says this licensing shall be done agreeably to the Discipline of the Church, which is absurd! For the Discipline admits not trustees in the Quarterly Conference, in which the licensing power is vested. Therefore the document carries inconsistency upon its face, and is objectionable, if for no other reason than its absurdity and inconsistency.

        4. Although there are some other points of disagreement in these instruments, yet I deem those which have already been cited amply sufficient, not only to convince you of their disagreement, but also of the imperative necessity of as strict a conformity to the Discipline of the Church as may be.

        I need not repeat the great utility of preserving peace and harmony in the Church, which are frequently interrupted, even by temporal matters, nor need I remind you of the fact that our Connection is rapidly increasing in intelligence and wisdom, and that whatever errors were committed by our forefathers, and handed down to us, will be scrutinized, exposed and corrected by a wiser and better educated age, and though error may triumph for a season, yet truth crushed to earth will rise again, and reason will sit enthroned and pass righteous judgment upon the actions of bygone days, for the march of intellect cannot be stayed.

        Without adding another argument, I submit this important subject to your Christian and prayerful consideration, and as the Articles of Association provide for their own alteration, I humbly, yet sincerely and importunately, entreat you to give the whole subject that calm, deliberate and faithful attention which it so greatly demands, and which, it seems to me, God requires at our hands. Trusting that the Great Head of the Church may aid you in all your labors and efforts to promote his glory and the peace and prosperity of our Church, I subscribe myself your fellow-laborer in His vineyard, and the best wisher of all your interests--temporal, spiritual and eternal.

WILLIAM PAUL QUINN.

MORRIS BROWN, Bishops.
WILLIAM PAUL QUINN, Bishops.



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        The churches in Baltimore were two in number, and like those in Philadelphia, had been owned and governed by one board of trustees, the majority of whom were always members of the mother church in that city. The lesser, called Ebenezer, had been purchased from another congregation with a ground rent of $204 per annum. To meet this obligation, and to sustain its pastor, was a serious difficulty with the poor people who worshipped in it. Meanwhile, the house was too narrow, too short, and too dilapidated for the comfort of the congregation. For these reasons they desired to enlarge and otherwise improve it. But whenever they determined so to do, they found themselves invariably opposed and successfully hindered by the trustees of Bethel Church. Fretted and galled by repeated movements of this kind, the people of Ebenezer knew not what to do to deliver themselves from such unpleasant circumstances: wherefore the writer advised their pastor, the Rev. William H. Jones, to persuade them to purchase the property from the trustees of Bethel. This was done, and a meeting of the male members of the incorporation of Bethel was called to consider the proposition of the people at Ebenezer. In this meeting the majority of the trustees proposed to sell the property to them for one thousand--or, as some say, five hundred dollars. The pastor*

        * The writer was at that time the pastor of Bethel, in Baltimore.


advised that inasmuch as the people at Ebenezer were very poor, and desirous to improve their house of worship, it ought to be sold to them for a ten dollar bill, and, also, to let them use the five hundred or one thousand dollars to enlarge and beautify the house. To this advice the brethren present (excepting the trustees) agreed, and confirmed it by a large majority, only five of the trustees voting against it. Instead of submitting to this decision of the majority of the male members, which was a constitutional number, the said five trustees contended that another meeting should be called, on the ground that all of the male members were not present. The pastor complied with their request, and a second time did a majority of the male members--legal voters--confirm by their votes the said advice of the pastor. But even this could not satisfy the five trustees. At this latter meeting the pastor of Bethel, who was also ex officio chairman of the board of trustees, was authorized to execute the will of the people. The deed was drawn up by a learned lawyer, who had been for some time previous the
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regular attorney of the church, chosen by these very five trustees. The day and hour was appointed for the trustees to sign the deed. The self-same hour the pastor was called to attend his dying, motherless, infant daughter, a distance of forty miles away. Before his departure he went to the lawyer's office and there met a portion of the board of trustees. As time was rapidly passing away, and steam and cars wait for no one, he inquired of the lawyer whether it was necessary for him to remain until all the trustees arrived. His answer was, "You can sign your name as chairman in the presence of these, and the others can sign theirs upon their arrival." The pastor signed and fled to the crib of his dying child. Upon the arrival of the remainder of the five trustees, they learned that the pastor's signature was made in their absence, at which they became angry. From that hour was dated the sowing of the seeds of discord and schism in their seeming resolve to destroy him. Every means, fair and unfair, legal and illegal, were employed to carry out their purposes, which were even expressed in written resolutions. Congregational meetings were called in which they and their partisans came armed with clubs to enforce their resolutions. The reporter of one of the daily papers was hired to report the pastor's sermons that matter might be found to indict him in the civil courts. In the meetings the pastor met them armed with nothing but arguments, and defeated them. In the pulpit the truths he uttered were such, that when published in the secular papers, they were read approvingly by thousands who otherwise would not have known them. Finally, after every rational and scriptural means were variously employed to convince these five men of their errors, and lead them to repentance, they were impeached, and summoned to trial before the assembled church. In this meeting two women came, armed with a cudgel and a slug-shot. As soon as they saw, from the testimony of the witnesses, that conviction was certain, the women arose in the front pew, where they had been sitting, and exclaiming, "It is enough!" entered the altar, one of them striking at the pastor with her cudgel, and the other assaulting one of the secretaries, Rev. Darius Stokes, laying him almost speechless in his blood. The activity of the pastor saved him from a blow which might have crippled, if not killed him. This assault produced the most terrible excitement, which brought in the city guards, who arrested the assailants and a few of their prominent abettors, and


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threw them into the watch-house, from which their friends soon bailed them. This occurred about the last week in February, 1849. Within two weeks from that riot the trustees were again arraigned before the tribunal of the assembled church, convicted, and expelled for "Rebellion against the Spiritual and Temporal Government of the Church." The lawsuit resulting from this schism cost both parties together about $1,000.

        In the progress of the troubles the Rev. Nathaniel Peck withdrew, and subsequently organized a society of his own, known by the name of the "First Colored Methodist Protestant Church." This brother was a local elder, and had been for many years the leader of a class numbering from two hundred to three hundred members. He was a man of large influence; but if presuming upon that, to not only withdraw himself but to lead off the majority, if not all his members, he "calculated without his host," as will be seen. After the expulsion of the rebellious trustees, five in number, forty-five of their adherents withdrew and helped to organize the above church. At the time of their secession, the register of Bethel showed over twelve hundred members. So the loss, if it could be so called, was very small, and exceedingly so when compared with the five hundred who were excluded from Bethel, in Philadelphia, at a single stroke of the ecclesiastical knife. These five hundred in Philadelphia united with the organization just named.

        This year the corner-stone of the largest, most convenient, and beautiful piece of church architecture we had yet undertaken was laid in Baltimore city, on Saratoga street, near Gay, on the site previously occupied by the old building, which was purchased from a Lutheran congregation in 1816. And as the founders of the First Colored Methodist Protestant Church of Baltimore, Md., assign the building of this house as one of the reasons of their secession from the A. M. E. Church in the United States, it is deemed proper just here to give an accurate account of the same as history for the present and future generations:

        In the great revival of 1842, all denominations in the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania shared largely in it. The converts in the Bethel Church of Baltimore were so numerous that the house became absolutely too small for the worshippers. This circumstance led the people to see and to talk about the need of erecting another of larger dimensions. Meetings were called and plans proposed. Some were in favor of adopting immediate


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measures for building, others were opposed to them. This opposition became so violent that the lovers of peace and good government sent Brother Alexander Murray to Philadelphia to urge Bishop Morris Brown to visit Baltimore and quell the rising storm by his advice. This was done on the part of the Bishop, but nothing decisive was effected by either party. In 1843, the 3d of May, Bishop Brown appointed the Rev. H. C. Turner to the pastorate of the three churches then in Baltimore, with headquarters, like his predecessors, at Bethel Church, on Saratoga street. Full of energy and practical wisdom, this remarkable young man set to improving the condition of the flock committed to his care. In his efforts he had to encounter and correct many an antiquated error. Prominent among these were the classes, which had enormously overgrown the original number, twelve, ordained by the illustrious founder of Methodism, and increased, not only to twenty-five and fifty, but even to one hundred and three hundred members.

        Among the leaders who held charge of these mammoth classes was the Rev. Nathaniel Peck, aforementioned. He at that time was the leader of two classes which averaged about one hundred and fifty persons each. Rev. Turner, perceiving that leaders at the head of such huge classes could become a dangerous power against the government of the church, began to reduce the members of his classes down to a reasonable figure. Of course this excited the displeasure of Brother Peck, as well as others whose classes were reduced. From that time until the hour he left Baltimore, in the spring of 1845, when he was removed to the station at Washington, he became a presecuted man. Meanwhile, he had been taking up collections for building a new church, on certain week-day nights, which had been set apart for that purpose as well as for preaching, but the whole amount collected by him during his labors in Baltimore for said object was less than $100.

        Rev. D. A. Payne, the person to whom Brother Peck alludes in the Preface to his Discipline, was appointed by Bishop Brown as the successor of Rev. H. C. Turner. Soon after his arrival in the city of Baltimore to take charge of the three churches, he was called upon by Brother Peck, and by insinuations advised to pursue a course opposite to that of Brother Turner; at the same time he was requested to let him (Peck) go into the country and preach as he pleased and when he pleased. This last


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request the pastor (Payne) resolved to grant, but at the same time, as far as reformation and progress were concerned, to walk himself in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor. As might reasonably be expected, Rev. D. A. Payne became as much the object of dislike as Rev. H. C. Turner had been. And as he vigorously prosecuted measures to raise the means for church-building, this dislike became more manifest on the part of Brother Peck. Finally, a meeting of all the male members was called to decide by a constitutional vote the question as to the building of a new church. Brother Peck and his adherents contended that they needed none; that if a new one must be built they should wait until they had two-thirds the needed amount; that, to use Brother Peck's published words, he "was of the decided opinion that any effort on the part of the brethren to make an immediate disposition of the property by pulling down the old church and erecting a new one in its stead was premature, uncalled for, and calculated to involve the church in debt beyond its ability to meet." On the other hand, Payne and his friends maintained that one-third of the amount needed to build the required house of worship was all that was necessary to begin with, and that a membership of over one thousand persons, together with the friends of the church, numbering one thousand more, had resources within themselves sufficient to raise the balance and pay punctually when due the notes which might be given; and in that matter every cent of the actual cost could be paid within eight years. When the question was put, a cloud of members rushed to the right of the altar, as had been requested, to signify themselves in favor of building the house as soon as $5,000, or one-third of the needed amount, should be raised. Brother Peck and about a half-dozen adherents took the left hand of the altar as opposed to the measure. Still, against this overwhelming majority, he sent to the next Annual Conference a protesting document, which was unheeded, though he was not treated unkindly either by word or deed. In about one year from this decision of the people the sum of $5,000 in cash and available notes was in bank--of the former about $4,500, of the latter about $500.

        August 2d, 1847, the corner-stone of the new Bethel was laid on the site of the old edifice, and within twelve months from that day the house was finished--a beautiful specimen of the Romanesque style of architecture, about 83 feet by 64, having


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within its enclosures almost every convenience needed for the purposes of an enlightened Christian congregation, and costing about $16,000. By the day the key was put into our hands, $5,000 of that sum was paid. By a written contract eight years were given to pay the balance, in eight equal annual notes, with interest on the whole amount payable half-yearly. All of these notes were met by the day of their maturity, the majority of them being paid a few days before. The result shows whose calculations and judgment were correct.

        On the 9th of July, 1848, this majestic temple of the Lord was consecrated with very interesting and imposing ceremonies. The day that witnessed the finish of the beautiful house of God also dated a new era in the history of the congregation worshipping in it. Up to that time they were regarded by the white community as the most ignorant, most indolent and most useless body of Christians in the city. Since then they have been commended as one of the most interesting and enterprising in it.


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CHAPTER XXI.
THE CHURCHES, 1849-1851.

        Condition of the Baltimore Churches in 1849--Philadelphia Churches--Death of Rt. Rev. Morris Brown--Lost Records of New York and Canada--Statement of Ohio Churches--Deluded Philanthropists--An Unbelieving Disciple--Southern Men's Acquaintance with Northern Proceedings--Philadelphia Churches in 1851--Baltimore Churches--Fugitive Slave Law--Difficulty in Canadian Churches--First Colored Methodist Church, Sacramento, California--Black Laws.

        THE condition of the Baltimore churches in 1849 can be seen from the following statements: There was but one ordination at the Annual Conference, that of Rev. W. H. Jones to the eldership. There had sprung up a spirit of rebellion in the church, and some measures seemed necessary to suppress it. Such were taken, and resolutions were also passed in favor of establishing one mission in Africa and one in the West Indies. But this resolution to establish those missions by the Baltimore Conference was not executed, just because it mistook the desire to do for the ability to perform. The Conference was ignorant of the truth--that it requires thousands of dollars to establish a mission in foreign lands, especially in a land of barbarians and savages, who, for a long while, almost always assume the repellant attitude toward Christian efforts to turn them away from idols and fetichism, and out of darkness into light; therefore no aid can be expected from them, hence the entire support of the missions must be raised at home. And, moreover, the membership included within the regions controlled by the Baltimore Conference was utterly unprepared to undertake such a work--unprepared, because they were too poor to raise the amount of money needed for such a work.

        The condition of the Philadelphia churches in the same year may be briefly disposed of. Some expulsions and silencing of members took place for the same reasons that forced the Baltimore church to take action, viz.: rebellion; and the preamble and resolutions offered by Dr. J. J. G. Bias in the Baltimore Conference to that end were substantially adopted in this.

        The death of Rt. Rev. Morris Brown occurred this year, together

        

Illustration

THE REVEREND MORRIS BROWN.
of Philadelphia.
SECOND BISHOP OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
OF THE UNITED STATES

        


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with that of the Rev. David Ware. Of the latter no obituary notice is found. The former's life and works are mentioned in another chapter.

        Again the records are vacant by inability to find the New York and Canada notes for the year; but the Ohio churches make statement of "fruitless efforts to promote the cause of literature by publishing a Sunday-school hymn book, catechism, and a weekly paper for the children;" also that the same was true of the endeavor to get the Conference to define its position in relation to war and slavery.

        In regard to the Union Seminary it was found that after the debts upon the land were paid, there were left in hand, as an itemized account, seventy-six dollars and forty cents ($76.40), besides twenty kegs of nails, with various other appurtenances of building, including glass, locks, nails and screws, together with eighteen boxes and three packages of books.

        The Ohio Conference numbered Rev. Samuel Collins with those who fell asleep in Jesus this year, while the Indiana Conference reports the deaths of Revs. Robert Johnson and Benjamin Cole. This last Conference found it expedient to deal sternly as regards disciplinary measures this year, and other business gave way to the execution of such measures.

        As we turn to the year 1850 there is a vacancy caused by the lack of the transactions of the Baltimore Conference. But in the Philadelphia Conference one of the first questions was, "Whether it should be tolerated for women to form a Connection, and appoint their preachers to stations in the several districts?" This created a little discussion, and a resolution to appoint a committee to consider the question was offered and passed, but after a moment's reflection it was rescinded. The origin of this question is found in the fact that certain women members of the A. M. E. Church, who believed themselves divinely commissioned to preach by formal licenses, subsequently organized themselves into an association with the avowed intention of laying out a field of usefulness for themselves, and making out appointments for such a field after the manner of our Annual Conferences. They held together for a brief period, and then fell to pieces like a rope of sand.

        The last Friday in June, 1850, was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer for the abolition of slavery. This is the second instance on record of an Annual Conference in the A. M. E. Church setting


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apart a day for general fasting and prayer to the Almighty for the overthrow of that infernal system of oppression, known throughout the civilized world as American Slavery. It must be called infernal, because slavery is a crime against humanity--so heinous in its spirit, and so barbarous in its manifestations, that none but a devil incarnate, or otherwise, could have been the one to suggest it. But more still I call it infernal because the fugitive slave, escaping from the South to their asylum under the ægis of Great Britain, was pursued by four-legged bloodhounds on Southern soil and by two-legged bloodhounds on Northern soil, whose villages, towns and cities were governed with Christian churches, schools and colleges. And yet still more must it be called infernal because the Fugitive Slave Bill, which was in great activity at this time, had provisions in it bribing the courts of justice against the weak and defenseless fugitive, but in favor of his avaricious claimant, on whose side already existed the American sword and the American purse. And yet still more must it be called infernal because the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted by a civilized Christian government, which gave to a white man the right to prove his ownership in a horse, a cow, or a bale of cotton, at the same time that it denied a black man the right to prove his own personal freedom, or that of his wife and children. It was this state of things in the American Republic which was crushing more than four millions of native Americans, and crushing them because they were descendants of the Hamitic family, and which induced the African Methodist Episcopal Church to fall on its knees again and again, and cry out to God against their oppressors.

        Brothers I. R. V. Morgan, Richard Barney and S. Holcomb were introduced into the holy order of deacons. Andrew Roddell had died, and some expulsions and withdrawals took place--the results of the rebellion of 1848.

        A committee, consisting of Brothers Nazery, Beulah and John Cornish, was appointed to collect all the information possible relative to the history of the Church in the Philadelphia District. It was also made their duty to transmit the same to D. A. Payne.*

        * This work was never performed. Had it been, the history of those days would now be enriched by details which the lapse of time renders it now impossible to attain.


        A home mission was also established for the city and county of Philadelphia.


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        Again we find a hiatus in the records, and this time it is the minutes of the New York churches which are missing in 1850. The Ohio churches, however, are known to have assembled, and to have ordained Joseph McLaren and Watkins Lee as elders. This Conference also organized a society, to be named the "Christian Herald and Book Concern Society," the object of which was to aid the book concern, and promote the diffusion of useful knowledge; but we have no further record that it ever accomplished any actual work.

        A resolution condemnatory of American slavery was passed this year, though the Conference chose to be silent upon the subject the previous year.

        The cause of education, as it stood in the hands of this Conference, may be seen in the annual report of the principal of Union Seminary, which is given elsewhere.

        The general book steward also made a report, which is inserted in full at this point:

REPORT OF THE GENERAL BOOK STEWARD.

To the Bishop and Conference of the Ohio District:

        BELOVED BRETHREN:--After another year's toil and much mental suffering, it has become my duty to spread before you the proceedings of this fiscal year, and the enterprise of the General Fund System for the benefit of the Connection. And while I have much to deplore, and great reason for regret at the small advance we have made in accumulating funds, yet we can, amidst all the gloomy scenes through which we have been called to pass, rejoice in being permitted to say that out of all the Lord hitherto hath sustained us! and to his Almighty guidance we attribute the present existence of our enterprise, as well as our hope for future success. First, the report of books sold this year has been very diminutive, from the fact that we could not raise money to print them. The demand for hymn books has been very large, but to the present I have not been able to supply them. This will answer the inquiry of the brethren who have found it in their minds to consider our non-compliance bad treatment when they sent in their orders. However small the amount supplied, it will be seen by our balance sheet that a greater portion is yet unpaid to the treasury. As we had not means to print the hymn book, we felt duty bound to publish the paper regularly, as we had a few advance-paying subscribers whom we wished not to disappoint, as well as to gain the entire confidence of the Connection in carrying on regularly the organ of the Church, which, if properly appreciated and sustained, would prove one of the most powerful means both for revenue and general advancement of our cause. Much more is to be derived from the organ of the Church in a Connection like ours than can be in any other way of raising


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funds and disseminating general information of our own cause, which is by no means the least in our religious, political and civil elevation. And it is yearly in its returns, while books will last for several years, consequently every subscriber to the paper who pays in advance is giving a powerful impetus to the whole concern; for, as the paper succeeds, it will give life to all the other departments.

        The report this year of receipts for the second volume of the Christian Herald, it will be seen, is comparatively nothing to what it should be up to this date: out of the sum of eighteen hundred and fifty dollars subscription we have only received three hundred and twenty-six dollars and seventy-four cents.

        The press for means has been great, and it has demanded extensive traveling to present the claims before the people. To accomplish which I have traveled during the past ten months forty-four hundred and fifty miles, and lectured and exhorted both preachers and people to come up to the work, and have only to regret that our efforts were only successful in a small degree; and with the major part, all the good and flattering resolutions passed for relieving the book concern of her great liabilities have died a natural death; and with one or two glorious exceptions, all the pledges of raising funds is yet to be accomplished. Brethren who felt fully confident of their ability to comply at any moment, are yet to be found in the faithful number in this essential labor for the honor of the cause and prosperity of Zion. It will be seen, by comparing the benevolent operations of the former with the present year, that there has been a falling off from last year's report from that source of the sum of three hundred and ninety-seven dollars. This is truly discouraging, but when fully understood it will, I trust, prove a means to arouse to emulation every preacher and society in the Connection, for it is beyond contradiction that the only reason for a depreciation in the funds is because there was less effort made this year than was in the former, although the demand was equally as great. To establish this fact, I need only to refer to our twin cities, Pittsburg and Allegheny, who in the last year paid into the treasury for the aid of the book concern two hundred and eighty-six dollars and sixty-eight cents. We give to these cities the honor of raising within thirty-eight dollars and sixteen cents of the entire sum raised this year from the Connection. The same good feelings, and considerably better, have been exemplified, so far as words are concerned, for the prosperity of the concern, and the people were as willing as ever, we conscientiously believe; but the exertion was not made, as there always must be a leader. As we had labored extensively at this point, through considerable opposition that should not have been expected, I determined to let the subject of raising funds be with the proper authorities appointed by the Connection to this office; and to this we attribute the declension. This will, we trust, be remedied for the future by the more efficient plan of quarterly public collections, as has been adopted by all the Conferences that I have been permitted to visit. The cash system adopted, I find, will have to be the rule for business with our paper, for it is a demonstrated fact that if we


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have at this early period so great an amount from so few subscribers, the only alternative is to receive whatever we do get in hand, and then if we are to go on a little, we know how to measure our coat; but when hundreds of dollars are expected, and then fall short two thirds, it is too far behind for any business to sustain itself under. Every dollar due the book concern could and should have been paid, as well as the pledged funds, long ere this, if it was only engaged in as any other lawful contract; and thus we should at once rise to a condition that has by many been long desired.

        Another subject which I feel it my duty to apprise you of is the failure of the two Eastern Conferences to raise the sums proposed and published as agreed to be raised, i. e., "the two hundred dollars ($200) pledged at the Baltimore Conference, to be forwarded to the agent by the first of August, 1850" (and, to my detriment in business, I have not received but ten dollars from Rev. L. Lee, of the whole sum), and the failure of the Philadelphia District to raise, by loan, three hundred dollars ($300) to aid in printing hymn-books and paying our liabilities. Up to this time I have not received one dollar of that amount; thus leaving us behind all former calculations from those two points the sum of four hundred and ninety dollars.

        I need not proceed to explain any further the reasons for our making so little progress in raising funds, for it is one of the greatest mortifications of my mind to be compelled to exist at such a poor dying rate, and have to mourn over the conduct of several of our itinerant brethren, whose actions to me appeared to be anything but what they should be in regard to our book concern and Christian Herald. We admit of our unworthiness to fill so responsible a station as that reposed in me in this department of the Church, but amidst all our imperfections, it was not our choice that placed us here, therefore we feel aggrieved at any reflections emanating from those who were well acquainted with every fact before we came to the office.

        We shall, however, give ourself and cause into the hands of Him who knoweth the secrets of all hearts, and will render to all their just deserts. In humble obedience, I remain your humble servant and fellow laborer in the cause of our great Redeemer."


        This document shows a very sad and gloomy state of things among us, and prove how little we care for the cause of literature. There are several points in this report to which I wish to call attention:

        (a.) The negligence of the Eastern Conferences. When the book concern was located in the East, and under the management of an Eastern man, the Western Conferences were always complaining. Now, at this time, from 1848-50, it was west of the Alleghenies, and we see that the West is neglected by the East, as the East had been neglected by the West. The West believed and


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said, "If the concern be moved west of the mountains we will sustain it," but it was not any better sustained in the West than it had been in the East.

        (b.) The subscription list of the Church organ, then called the Christian Herald, amounted to eighteen hundred and fifty dollars ($1,850), but only three hundred and twenty-six dollars and seventy-four cents ($326.74) were received.

        (c.) This failure was not due to any lethargy or neglect of the general book steward, because he traveled during the year four thousand four hundred and fifty miles, lecturing and exhorting both preachers and people to come up to the work. And yet his efforts were only successful in a small degree.

        (d.) The support which he and the concern received was chiefly local, being confined to Pittsburg and Allegheny. Now, what was the money value of that support? Only $286.68.

        (e.) Look at the treatment of the Baltimore Conference. They had pledged $200 for the aid of the book concern. How much did they pay? Only $10, which sum was raised by one man only--Rev. Levin Lee, of Baltimore City.

        Look at the conduct of the Philadelphia Conference. They pledged $300 to aid in printing hymn-books, and gave not one dollar.

        The Indiana churches report a few deaths--Samuel Miller, Nathaniel Bowman and Robert Marsh, local preachers, and Isaac Fourse, an itinerant. This year we have no record of the Canada Conference work.

        Among the literary remains of 1850 we cull the following as showing something of the state of affairs at that time--affairs particularly affecting the subjects of anti-slavery and colonization. Rev. J. M. Brown writes an account of a trip from New Albany, Ind., to St. Louis, Mo., and his "Notes by the Way" give us an insight into our condition as a people:

        On the 5th of September Rev. T. Lawrence and myself, in company with other friends, glided pleasantly from the wharf at New Albany, Ind., for St. Louis, Mo. During the trip we found ourselves comfortably situated midst many defenders of the "Patriarchal Institutions." Having never traveled in a region of the country so at war with every interest of the colored man, I felt it a privilege to gaze upon the doomed shores of slave-holding states.

        The first morning after we left Albany we were detained hard by the shores of Kentucky in consequence of the fog, and for the first time in my life I saw plantation slaves. Being quite a curiosity to me I ventured


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upon the shore to behold what to me was a curiosity indeed, and about the time our boat left one of these defenders of the "Peculiar Institution" came aboard with his slave. Had a wild animal come aboard of the boat I should not have felt more interest to see and know it than I was to see and know that poor brother.

        Soon we were under sail, and at the close of the second day we had a sermon from a clergyman of Kentucky. As my faith is not very strong in these Southern gentlemen in the garb of ministers, I could not feel to approach his services other than Thomas did the Son of God--doubtingly. He, however, manifested talent of an ordinary degree.

        On the 7th we had the addition of a poor woman and child. She had been separated from three other children by the cruel hand of slavery. She appeared the wreck of human happiness. Her poor little ones gone, and had she attempted to gain her liberty there stands in every county in each state a bloodhound in human form ready to seize and drag her back into slavery; and yet we live in a liberty-loving country.

        Sabbath morning, the 8th of September, dawned upon us most sweetly, on the gallant Mississippi River. Having been detained by fog and otherwise, we were compelled to travel on a most pleasant and sweet Sabbath, which we had intended to spend in St. Louis, but were prevented; we had to make the best of it. Our friend and brother, Lawrence, at 9:30 o'clock delivered a most excellent discourse, which led our minds from the swearing and confusion of the boat to a better land. One thing was remarkable: While our brother was portraying the evils of the slavery of Egypt, all were ears; but so soon as he alluded to the slavery of this country, the slaveholders and their friends darted into the doors of their state-rooms as if shot at and missed. The sermon was one of Brother Lawrence's best efforts, and brought out those who had any love for the colonization scheme; and the friends of the institution thought that our friend and your correspondent ought by all means to go to Liberia. Oh, how he loved us! No place so good as Liberia! Neither religion nor education avails anything to these philanthropic oppressors. We conversed with one person, in particular, who placed in our hands a letter from a slaveholder in New Orleans to that more than excellent advocate for the colonization scheme, Rev. Mr. Gurley, of Washington, D. C., and we found that our friend was himself a slaveholder. But his slaves did not wish nor would not leave their master, even to be free in Africa. He said that he had tried to stimulate them with the idea of being governors, legislators, etc., which is now big in the minds of the colonization friends. Poor deluded philanthropists! Any colored man, matters not what his position or competency may be in this country, a slave from the "cotton fields," gentleman's house servant, or boot-black, may go to the colonizationists' Eden and become immediately a governor or statesman! Such delusion is nonsense in the extreme, and at once shows the respect which too many colonizationists have for their pet colony. After conversing at some length with our friend from New Orleans, who found your correspondent rather a hard and unbelieving disciple, we left him abusing Douglas and other


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friends of the fugitives and slaves. I was convinced of one fact by my conversation with him, viz.: that intelligent Southern men are infinitely better acquainted with our proceedings at the North than we generally suppose.

        We had but one sermon, as our boat was so injured that we could not proceed for some hours, and this threw everything into confusion. More oaths I never heard in the same length of time.

        Monday morning, September 9th, about two hours before day, we struck a sand-bar, which frightened the passengers as well as myself. All were preparing for a general rush into the water, but as no accident happened, at 11 o'clock we reached St. Louis, or Illinoistown, opposite St. Louis, and at 1 o'clock we reached Brooklyn, Ill., and had a kind reception by many of our brethren of the Indiana Conference. Brooklyn is also opposite St. Louis, and mostly inhabited by colored friends. Of Brooklyn I will speak more fully in another number, and until then adieu.

J. M. BROWN.


        The meeting of the churches in the Baltimore District for 1851 was marked by great excitement of spirit and irregularity of decision. Four brethren were ordained elders--Rev. William D. Schureman, Samuel Watts, I. R. V. Morgan and Ed. I. Hawkins. Bishop Quinn announced Rev. W. Nazery his assistant or suffragan Bishop till the next ensuing General Conference, agreeably to Discipline; and that we may know how this appointment was in harmony with the Discipline we are referred to page 72, section 3. Bishop Quinn followed in this particular the example set him by Bishops Allen and Brown. Bishop Allen made Elder Morris Brown his assistant two or three years prior to his election by the General Conference, and Bishop Brown made Elders Edward Waters and W. P. Quinn his assistants before the General Conference had elected them; and thus did both the first and the second Bishops of the A. M. E. Church pave the way for the election of their predecessors.

        A case came before this Conference which it seems wise to note because of the principle involved. A pastor and his chief steward disagreed in regard to the amount needful for the former's support. At the ensuing Quarterly Meeting or Official Board, and in the absence of the steward, complaint was made against him, and he was deposed. Subsequently, charges were brought against the said steward, and a committee was formed to examine him. In violation of the Discipline, one of the committee was neither a local preacher nor an exhorter. They proceeded, however, to examine the case, and found, in their opinion, sufficient cause to suspend him until the ensuing Quarterly Conference.


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Meanwhile the steward exercised his functions as a preacher and a deacon by burying or assisting in burying the dead, by marrying a couple and by christening one or more children. He justified himself for so doing by asserting that the committee which suspended him was illegal, and therefore the suspension was null and void, or, in other words, he was under no obligations to heed it. At the ensuing Quarterly Conference the said steward was tried, in his absence, and pronounced expelled. He gave as a reason for his absence that he could not hope for a fair trial, as the majority were opposed to him. But the same Quarterly Conference adjourned their meeting after the trial to another night, at which time the steward sent in his appeal, or signified his intention to appeal to the approaching Annual Conference, of which he was a member. Pending this appeal, the pastor held a love feast, and declared that the said steward was excommunicated; then he soon after met the Quarterly Conference, and finished its business, utterly disregarding the appeal which was laid before him. The steward presented his appeal at the Annual Conference, the minutes of the proceedings of his trial were read, and, "on motion, the proceedings of the Quarterly Conference in the case of ----" were "ratified" by a vote of 23 to 15. A few days later in the session the following was presented to the Conference by a brother:

        WHEREAS, In view of all the circumstances by which the case of Brother ---- is surrounded,

        Resolved, That he be restored to his official standing in the A. M. E. Church.


        A long and spirited debate followed, wherein it was claimed that this Annual Conference had no power given it by the General Conference to restore a man back to the Quarterly Conference by which he was expelled, after the Annual Conference itself had ratified their doings in the case, without the consent of the said Quarterly Conference. Again, it was claimed that the last motion said nothing about the steward's restoration to Bethel Church, but its object was to restore him to the A. M. E. Church, so that he could join where he chose. But the resolution prevailed, and the steward was restored--not to Bethel Church, the particular society from which he had been expelled, but to the A. M. E. Church--to the entire Connection!

        There are some points here worthy of the attention of history, and of all who understand the science of government, both civil


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and ecclesiastical. We see here claimed that an inferior court is above the superior; the court in which a man's case is first tried is above the appellate court, and, therefore, has the right and power to dictate what it shall and what it shall not do with the condemned, who has appealed from its decisions to those whose duty it is to redress the wrongs inflicted by oppressors. The absurdity of this view of the subject is apparent. Every one acquainted with the government of the Methodist Episcopal Church knows that the Annual Conference is the court of appeals to the local minister, and that the object of such a court is that the errors committed by the lower court may be corrected. Take away this power and the appellate court not only becomes useless, but it is a solemn mockery. What would become of Church or state if such an unreasonable and tyrannical doctrine should become universal? Who ever heard of the supreme court of a state, or of the United States, sending to the lower court to obtain its "consent" to reverse one of its decisions? Then, too, the Annual Conference itself did wrong in ratifying the proceedings of the said Quarterly Conference: First, because the committee of examination was improperly formed, as the rule of discipline requires that it consist of local preachers, "or, for want of preachers, as many exhorters or leaders." But one of that committee was neither preacher, exhorter, nor leader. Second, because the Quarterly Conference was in duty bound to correct the error of the committee, and inasmuch as it did not, the Annual Conference was in duty bound to send the case back to the Quarterly Conference in order that they and all others might learn to do their work according to rule. Third, because the Quarterly Conference had no power to expel the said steward or any other local preacher, for, from 1820 to 1856, the Quarterly Conference of the A. M. E. Church had its power in the case of a local preacher, deacon or elder, limited to acquittal, censure or suspension; it had no power to expel.

        No such rule that, when the Connection was formed in 1816, provided for the trial of a local preacher by the Quarterly Conference, was incorporated in the government of the A. M. E. Church at "that day." The historical fact is this: In the convention of 1816, when and where the Connection was formed, they--the immortal Allen and his illustrious associates--made no provisions for the trial of preachers, neither local nor traveling. The organic law, which is nothing more than restriction or


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limitation of the power of the General Conference, was this: "They shall not do away the privilege of our ministers or preachers of a trial by a committee, and of an appeal."

        Upon this negative organic law they made no enactments, excepting in the case of a Bishop, and in doing so, they violated this very law by depriving him of the right of appeal.

        The fact that traveling elders have habitually expelled local preachers, deacons and elders in the Quarterly Conference is no proof that it is lawful or right; on the contrary, a habit or custom, unsanctioned by law, is nothing more than "antiquated error."

        It has been said that "our opponents tell us that the Quarterly Conference can try the case of a local preacher, but has no power to suspend him. If they mean anything by such a remark, it must be this: that a court authorized to try a man for a crime has no power to inflict the punishment." In answer to the first proposition it may be said that the power of the Quarterly Conference to suspend a convicted local preacher has never been denied, but its power to expel, under the rule in question, has been denied; and, in respect to the second, we give this reply: A court has authority to try a man for a crime, and, at the same time, has no power to inflict punishment. This is really the case in the state. A court tries a man for theft and convicts him of that crime, but it has no power to punish him. The punishment is left to the sheriff, who takes the convict and places him in the penitentiary, to be punished there. Again, a court may try and convict a man for murder, but that court has no power to punish him. The judge pronounces the sentence of death, but he has no power to execute it; and if he or any of the jury, or the whole of them, were to hang such a convict, they themselves could be arrested, tried, convicted and hung for such an act. To set the absurdity and injustice, as well as the illegality of such proceedings, clearly before us, let us note a case in point. Our Discipline, from 1816 to 1856, gave power to a committee, or a court, consisting of a given number of elders, etc., to arrest, try, convict and suspend a Bishop in the interval of the General Conference. But, suppose that Bishop Quinn or Bishop Nazery had been tried and convicted by such a committee, or court, and that committee, or court, should have proceeded to expel him, would anybody have submitted to it? Would not every man, free from prejudice and loving the truth, as well as


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justice, have said that the committee had overleaped its power--done what it had neither power nor right to do, and inflicted a grievous outrage upon the Bishop?

        That the view taken by some of the ministry was that illustrated in the foregoing statements, may be seen in the subjoined protest, which was drawn up and signed by thirteen of the brethren present:

THE PROTEST

OF THE MINORITY AGAINST THE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO VOTED, IN THE THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH, FOR THE BALTIMORE DISTRICT, TO SUSTAIN THE DOINGS AND DECISIONS OF THE QUARTERLY CONFERENCE OF BETHEL CHURCH AGAINST THE REV. ----.

        We protest against the decision of the Annual Conference and also of the Quarterly Conference--

        1st. Because we believe that both of them have violated the written law of the General Conference in the expulsion of the said Rev. ---- from the A. M. E. Church, and thereby have done the said gentleman a serious and a grievous wrong. We base our protest upon the following argument: The Quarterly Conference is the lowest court in which a local preacher can be tried by our Connection. This court was wisely created by the General Conference, and invested with a particular power, to be exercised in the case of every local preacher brought before it as an accused person. But the General Conference did also define the power which it gave to the Quarterly Conference, in order that it might know where to begin and where to stop. Now, what is this definition? Hear it: "The Quarterly Conference shall have power to clear, censure, or suspend him." Here it may begin, but there it must end. It may begin with clearing, but it must end with suspension; beyond this limit it cannot go without trampling the law under its feet and inflicting an injury upon the accused.

        To clear, to censure, to suspend, are not words of doubtful meaning. It would argue supreme folly in the man who would attempt to make them signify expulsion. And yet this very thing has been done by the Quarterly Conference; this very thing has been confirmed by the Annual Conference. God tells us, that when he made the seas He also brake up for it a "decreed place and set bars and doors, and said, 'Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.'" Now, why all this? Why this decree? Why these bars and these doors? Because, He knew as long as the sea flowed in this decreed place and stayed within these bars and doors its undulating waters would prove a blessing to mankind, but whensover it forsook this decreed place and overleaped these bars and these doors they must inevitably be destructive to mankind. This is true of civil courts--if they have a decreed power they also have a limitation set to this power, and if they exercise it in a wrong direction, or overleap the fixed boundaries, it always inflicts an injury upon society. And thus is it with the Church. If ever its courts put forth their power in a


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wrong direction, or leap over the decreed limitations, they inflict the most grievous wrongs upon the people. Here, then, is the ground of our protest. We believe the Quarterly Conference and the Annual Conference have overleaped their boundaries, and inflicted a grievous wrong upon one of the best of their members--one of the noblest of their champions, who fought their battles and achieved their victories.

        2d. We protest because we feel that there is no security for a minister's reputation, standing and usefulness while such outrages are allowed. The arm of tyranny which struck down our brother on yesterday may strike us down to-morrow.

[Signed] DANIEL A. PAYNE,
THOMAS C. OLIVER,
WILLIAM THOMAS CATTO,
I. R. V. MORGAN,
WILLIAM D. W. SCHUREMAN,
THOMAS W. HENRY,
ROBERT COLLINS,
STEPHEN SMITH,
WILLIAM WEBB,
JACOB M. MOORE,
WILLIAM H. WARTURS,
J. H. HENSON,
JAMES A. SHORTER.


        There is another duty that history has to perform, and that is to express her dissent from another decision in this case--that a "suspended member could not appeal to the Annual Conference."*

        * This decision of the Baltimore Annual and Quarterly Conferences was a violation of the third restrictive rule of the General Conference.


        Now, suspension is an act of punishment awarded by an ecclesiastical court for some offence, real or imaginary, committed by one holding office under its authority. But if the person upon whom such a punishment has been inflicted believes it unjust, he has no right of appeal to a superior court for redress!

        Slaves may remain silent under such a decision--a freeman never will, never can. A man too ignorant to know the difference between right and wrong in ecclesiastical forms and government, may remain mute; but one who knows better, never can do so without being recreant to his honest convictions. It is the part of the historian, meeting such judicial decisions, to discuss their merits, approving or condemning in the spirit of love and the meekness of wisdom, as he has endeavored to do in this case, which came up before the Baltimore Conference of 1851.

        Other business of the Conference was to elect the delegates to


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the ensuing General Conference. The result of the election was the choice of the following eleven brethren: Revs. Savage L. Hammond, John Jordan, Robert M. Smith, John Gaines, Caleb Hall, Thomas Williams, William Webb, Christopher Jones, James Read, Robert Boston, Charles Sawyer.

        This was the last Conference that was attended by the Rev. J. M. Moore, for he sailed the next autumn for Liberia. He was a gifted man, well read in both medicine and law, and one of the most eloquent preachers that ever graced the pulpit of the A. M. E. Church.

        The approximate number of members in the Baltimore District this year was ascertained to be four thousand seven hundred and seventy.

        The condition of the Philadelphia churches this year seems to have been flourishing. The American Colonization Society was brought forward for consideration, and the feelings and opinions of the Conference upon the subject are indicated in the resolutions offered by J. J. G. Bias, Stephen Smith and William T. Catto, which were adopted. They read as follows:

        WHEREAS, That detestable scheme, the colonization movement, is again formidably presented to the public for their support, and every means set on foot to destroy the fixedness of this, our people, in this their native country; and

        WHEREAS, Our religious and moral institutions must be disbanded in the event of its success. Be it, therefore,

        Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Conference that the highest object of colonization is to remove, as it has removed, a large, increasing and improving free population, that they may hold our brethren the more quietly and safely in chains.

        Resolved, That we earnestly recommend the ministers of all denominations to exert their influence against the direful tendency in carrying out the above project.

        Be it further resolved, That this Conference recommend to its members to suspicion the motives and spurn the advice of any and every man or minister, be he white or colored, who shall attempt to disturb and unsettle the institutions that exist among us by attacking the permanency of our people in their native land.

J. J. GOULD BIAS, Committee.
STEPHEN SMITH, Committee.
WILLIAM T. CATTO, Committee.


        Rev. Dr. Willis, of Canada West, having addressed the Conference, Rev. A. R. Green presented the document hereafter presented. It is worthy a place in history, and as it was


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unanimously adopted by the Conference, it gave unmistakable evidence of the abhorrence with which the people and churches of the Philadelphia District looked upon the Fugitive Slave Law of the American Congress, and of the deep gratitude of their hearts for the generous spirit evinced by the English people:

        As the time has arrived when it has become the duty of this Annual Conference to make an expression to the people on the subject of our condition in this country, and our feelings toward the British Government for the benevolence exhibited in this time of peril and danger to the liberty of the colored race of these United States--

        WHEREAS, The British nation, under the reign and royal majesty of Queen Victoria, has, by its acts and deeds, shown a disposition to be friendly to the negro in this time of oppression and enormous injustice and cruelty by the government of this Republic and states of this Union to the native freeborn colored, as well as the slave population, actually exposing them (free colored persons) to all the perils of interminable bondage from one end of the country to the other, and yet adding insult to injury by using their prejudice to force them from the homes of youth and land of birth to the shores of Africa; and

        WHEREAS, The people of Great Britain, viewing the cruelty of this government and nation, styled a "Free Republic," against the thousands and hundreds of thousands of her home-born children without cause, have arisen, and, to stamp those wicked emanations called laws, enacted for our destruction in this country, as acts of barbarism and of the dark ages, and beneath the dignity of any enlightened and civilized people, have published to the world, and by sheltering the panting fugitive when escaping from this land of blood, proved their Christian sympathy for us by opening their dominions and inviting us to the enjoyments of equal privileges with the natural-born British subjects, and that when this prejudice of the American people, or a majority of them, is falsely asserting that the black and white race cannot possibly live together on equality, thereby giving that libel on the character of God its true coloring, and exposing the fabricators to their own shame for attempting to impose upon the wise and beneficent Creator the injustice of having omitted to appoint to us the bounds of our habitation, but left it entirely with our paler American brethren to choose it for us--first, by forcing our ancestors in part from the land of their birth and enslaving them; and second, by removing their posterity to another land as the only place where the fostering hand of the Creator will be over us; and

        WHEREAS, The entire treatment of the majority of the American people is and has been such that so long as slavery exists, and colored people can be sold here, there never will be confidence enough reposed in them to take us in Ebony, nor any other steam vessel, across the ocean. Therefore,

        Resolved, That under existing circumstances, in our judgment, it is unwise and disadvantageous as well as impolitic for us to resolve that we will not leave the United States, as every such resolve only goes to stamp us as


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being willing to suffer anything that may be imposed upon us rather than remove or emigrate, thereby encouraging our enemies to greater aggressions, and emboldening them in their encroachments on our liberty, and discouraging our friends, who are willing to receive us as part and parcel of their people, free and untrammeled from the powers of wicked laws.

        Resolved, That the action of the British people, by a renewal of their sympathy for us, and inviting the long injured race and people of this boasted land of liberty--the colored people--to the enjoyment of the blessings of liberty and equality, have won our entire confidence and highest regard.

        Resolved, That the benevolent exhibition of the people of Her Royal Majesty in the province of Canada in granting protection and support to the thousands of our race who were forced from their homes in the dreary season of the year have proved themselves true patriots and friends of human liberty.

        Resolved, That the kindness of the British people in opening their hearts and inviting us at this crisis to their land to enjoy the precious boon of liberty and fraternity from the prejudice of American Christianity, is a withering rebuke to the Christians of this land who are striving to encourage the unholy principle at war with the spirit of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, of separation of color.

        Resolved, That we will ever cherish the fondest reminiscences of the people who, in the time of persecution, have come forward and held out to us a helping hand at this time of affliction and distress of our people.

        Resolved, That as a religious body we will ever pray for the peace and prosperity of the British Government, and shall, when emigrating from this land of oppression, seek our homes in Her Majesty's dominions.

        Resolved, That copies of this preamble and resolutions be forwarded to Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria, the Parliament of Great Britain, and the Governor Generals of the Provinces of Canada and British West Indies, as testimonials of our grateful remembrance of their philanthropic acts toward us.


        But the Fugitive Slave Bill produced more than this bitter outburst of feeling against the United States; it forced many of the best families of color to seek an asylum in Western Canada, where they were safe alike from two-legged and four-legged bloodhounds.

        Brother Jeremiah Biddle, a local preacher, was one of the members who had departed this life, and the deaths of two other brothers belonging to the Connection called forth an expression of fraternal regard highly creditable to the Conference. The two were Rev. George Hogarth, at the time of his death a member of the New York Conference, and Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon, the master-spirit of the Canadian churches. Their prominence in the history of the A. M. E. Church calls for the insertion of


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the resolutions passed in relation to the loss suffered by their decease. In relation to Brother Hogarth, the following is on record:

        WHEREAS, It hath pleased Almighty God to remove from his earthly field of usefulness the Rev. George Hogarth, a local deacon in the A. M. E. Church, and formerly, for the period of twelve years, the general book steward of our Connection; therefore,

        Resolved, That we, the members of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, do hereby express our sympathy and condolence with the family of the deceased for their irreparable loss.

        Resolved, That we also express our high esteem for the excellent character of the Rev. George Hogarth, who, as a deacon in the church of Brooklyn, and a general book steward of the Connection, did prove himself a man worthy of the confidence of his brethren and the grateful remembrance of the Church in general.

        Resolved, That we transmit a copy of these resolutions to the family of the deceased by the hand of a committee of three members of the Philadelphia Annual Conference.


        A committee, consisting of J. P. Campbell, J. Beulah and A. Cuppen, was also appointed to draw up an "essay" on the life and death of the lamented N. C. W. Cannon, who, after due consideration, produced a similar series of resolutions, from which we take the historical fact that Rev. Noah Caldwell W. Cannon died in the town of Amherstburg, Canada West, on the 12th day of September, 1850; that he had "traveled in the Connection in perilous times," and was "one of the first pioneers in the cause of our beloved Zion;" also that he labored "extensively for the good of the race and benefit of the people at large."

        Brother Hogarth was one of the most intelligent ministers in the A. M. E. Church. In business tact and knowledge he had few equals and no superior. His publications in the form of Disciplines and hymn-books were remarkable for the beauty of their mechanical execution. His own productions were always simple, clear and pointed. And, although not distinguished for oratory, his sermons were always full of that warmth which belongs to the man whose heart is right with God. He was cut down in the midst of life and in the midst of his usefulness, respected and loved by all who knew him.

        As it respects Brother Cannon, a long and intimate acquaintance enables the writer to speak as one knowing him well. Always presenting an invulnerable front, he was the uncompromising enemy of wickedness. He had many defects and committed


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many errors, it is true; but these belonged to the head, and not to the heart. His early education was very defective, but this was his misfortune, not his crime. His mind was erratic this was constitutional. These were his defects. As to his errors, he was too polemic in his sermons; for, no matter what his text or his subject might be, he invariably finished by an attack upon baptism by immersion, and he seldom failed to make masonic allusions. He was too fond of book-making, while he had too little ability for such a work. His first publication was entitled "The Rock of Wisdom," and was issued in 1834. The New York Conference wisely censured him for it, and forbade its republication. A far more appropriate epithet would have been "The Rock of Folly." It was a pretty good cure for "the blues;" for no one of good sense could read it without laughing, not on account of its wit and humor, but on account of its absurdities, incoherencies and contradictions. One of his pamphlets was entitled "Truth--Instruction to Youth, Seek Ye after Knowledge." The subjects upon which it treats are the duty of repentance, the Sabbath, marriage, immersion, and prejudice against color. They were all heterogeneously mixed up and incoherently discussed--without instruction, without sense and without order. Another was called "A History of the A. M. E. Church." It contains forty-four pages, and, notwithstanding its failure as a history, it may be pronounced the best of all his writings. From all we can learn Brother Cannon was the child of pious parents. His father was Beaves Cannon, his mother Rose Anne. He was born in Delaware, Sussex County. In July, 1806, he was converted at a camp-meeting between Laureltown and Salisbury, in Delaware. His father was nearly seventy years of age at his death; his mother was one hundred and six years old at hers. Brother Cannon was extravagantly fond of camp-meetings, and was in his element when conducting one of them. Few men in our itinerant service labored so extensively as he. He enjoyed a privilege of which but few can boast--of laboring for his Lord and Master in every Conference District in the Connection, excepting the Indiana and Missouri. His last years were spent in efforts to train and confirm the Canadian churches in the doctrines of the Gospel of Christ. In the Colchester Settlement, C. W., he had built an encampment on a piece of ground which was bought for that purpose, and also for the erection of a house of worship. Beside the pulpit where his


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voice had often poured forth its thunder tones, beneath deep shadows of the forest trees, his ashes sleep till the archangel's trump shall wake them into life immortal. Over his grave loving friends erected a rustic tomb, made of young saplings, in the form of a parallelogram--a rough tribute of affection, it is rendered doubly interesting by being the sincere and unostentatious love of those for whose spiritual benefit he had so zealously labored.

        At the New York Conference of 1851 the funeral sermon of Rev. George Hogarth was preached; but, strange to say, no obituary notice is given of him, notwithstanding he had been among the most useful of the useful--one of the leading members of this Conference. Revs. Thomas W. Jackson and Jonah Miller were also numbered with those who sleep in Christ. A committee was appointed to prepare obituary notices of them, together with Brothers Hogarth and Cannon, but it is evident that this duty was neglected.

        Brother William Harmon was inducted into the office of deacon, and Brothers James M. Williams and George Stanford into that of elders. Resolutions against colonization, identical with those of the Philadelphia Conference, were also passed in the New York body.

        An address to the brethren in the West Indies, prepared by the committee for the purpose, was received and adopted by the Conference. It reads:

New York Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America to the A. M. E. Church in the Empire of Hayti, Sendeth Greeting:

        BELOVED BRETHREN:--We, your brethren in the United States, feel indebted to you, realizing as we do that you have been long neglected on our part. The remembrance of such neglect gives us pain, which prompts us to renew our correspondence and intercourse at this time. Hoping that the renewal of this intercourse may not only continue but cement the bond of union between us, notwithstanding the neglect on our part and silence on yours.

        We can assure you, brethren, we have never forgotten, though long neglecting you. Perhaps the growing and increasing progress of our Connection on this side of the water, as well as the constant demands on our talents and labors, may, as much as anything else, account for the neglect we have been candid to confess. It is not only our desire to renew this correspondence and certify our relations with you, but we desire to know the state of your affairs and your prospects.

        We therefore recommend, as conducive to a nearer relation and more constant union, a correspondence with you and between you and our district


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book steward, the Rev. Eli N. Hall, of Brooklyn City. And also that you represent your Church in the General Conference, which meets on the first Monday in May, 1852, either by person or by proxy.

        Your committee further recommends that this Conference create a committee, with the book steward, to continue this correspondence. Respectfully submitted,

RICHARD ROBINSON,
E. N. HALL,
E. C. AFRICANUS,
J. P. CAMPBELL,
T. M. D. WARD.
HENRY HICKS, Secretary.


        Bishop Quinn closed the Conference with a pithy address so full of sound advice that it may be safely presented as a matter of history, if not as one of the literary efforts of the year:

Brethren of the Conference:

        In the providence of God we met here on the 29th day of May. We have filled twenty-seven preaching appointments in the neighboring towns, and have had a good time together. We have been enabled through Divine blessing to conclude our business as members of the New York Annual Conference in peace, unity and love. During the session we have sometimes talked loud, but mostly in good humor. Our voices are loud naturally, and we are apt to speak so when nothing ails us. We can easily fill the church of the largest capacity in the land. Even our women preachers are remarkable for power of voice.

        Thank God! we are at peace with each other, and the affairs of the Church are prosperous. External influences are sufficient to drive us to this. See the difficulties we encounter from prejudice and persecution--the Devil and the Fugitive Law. But we have now come to the concluding matter of the Conference, namely, announcing the appointments for the ensuing year. The making out of the appointments is at best a difficult and trying business. So many interests are to be considered. And when we have done our best, after all, somebody is sure to be disappointed and displeased. It is easy to know how a brother likes his appointment by the expression of his countenance. If he is pleased he will come forward and receive it with a smile, but if not he will frown.

        Brethren must consider the difference in talents, abilities and gifts. Some of our most learned preachers and men, well versed in the Holy Scriptures, and possessed of deep piety and fervent zeal, cannot govern a people. Some cannot preach, but govern well; and some of the most illiterate men in the Connection govern best of all, and churches prosper in their hands.

        We have a fine audience to-day to witness our proceedings. This is an indication of the prevailing interest felt in the appointments among the people. Some are here from all directions in the district. Ordinary business and employment are laid aside, and all are curious to know "who will be our next preacher?" Doubtless there are some here who, if the man they imagine will suit them best is not sent to them, will fly to their places


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and sow seeds of discord and death among the people! No man is fit to be in the church who calls a meeting to know whether the people will sustain the coming preacher or not. I would not license him to pray in secret. No preacher is fit for a charge who goes and calls the people together to know whether they will receive him. Go and preach, brethren! Do not go and fight, for then you may be overcome or rejected. But go and preach. Do not be controlled by any man or by any set of men. No man, no angel, can find one clause in the canons of the Church by which you may be rejected. Be patient. Many a man who has been refused has afterwards been sought after and petitioned for by the same people who at first rejected him. Some of the preachers kick because they have not all good, fat appointments. This is not reasonable. Here the matter is: I receive the places from you. Now, give me all good places and I will give good places to you all. When a preacher goes to an appointment, and the people will resist and starve him out, it is wrong for any other to go and preach to them. Let them alone. Neither go to preach, sing, nor pray for them. Go forth in the spirit of your station. Do not go to cut and slash up things because A or B had the charge there before. Our work is not to tear down but to build up, to strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. Let not those on circuits seek out only the large or considerable places, and there rest in the enjoyment of ease and luxury, but labor for the good of souls day and night. Be instant in season and out of season.

        Be careful of imposters. A great many are about. There is one Isaac Davis, who has been in this city since the sitting of this Conference. He is passing off for a fugitive slave, and collecting money. He has false papers purporting to be from Bishop Waters, Bishop Brown, and even from myself, too. I never gave him any.

        The brethren should exercise caution in forming unions with parties of men who have no permanence or legal foundation--dissatisfied, split off, or rebellious characters. It is not wise to preach for such.

        We should work together. Nine times out of ten when we look into the face of a white man we see our enemy. A great many like to see us in the kitchen, but few in the parlor. Our hope is in God's blessing on our own wise, strong, and well-directed efforts.

        May God bless us, and crown our labors with success.


        The Canadian churches were in difficulty this year (1851), and at the Canadian Conference every minister was impeached "for rebelling against the Government and Discipline of the A. M. E. Church by electing Samuel H. Brown to superintend the A. M. E. Church in Canada until the sitting of the General Conference. Brown pleaded guilty to the charge, but defended himself and brethren by showing that they were led thus to act by the advice of the Rev. Edmund Crosby, of the United States, in whose judgment he relied, and whose intelligence and integrity he respected.


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He said that Brother Crosby based his advice upon the fact that the Canadian churches had been wilfully neglected by the authorities of the Church; that he was exceedingly sorry for them, and that in consequence of their neglected condition they had a right to do whatever they thought best for themselves.

        The statements of Brother Brown were attested by Brothers Helmsley, Warren, Taylor, Dawson, Smith and others. Brother Brown then voluntarily relinquished all claim to the office of general superintendent, and threw himself upon the mercy of the Bishop and Conference to do with him whatever in their good judgment they might think best.

        On motion of Elder Campbell, who had presented the charge, it was resolved that all the brethren charged with rebellion be forgiven. This put an end to all the difficulties.

        Rev. Samuel H. Brown cannot be too highly praised for his ready compliance with what the Discipline of the A. M. E. Church required, because it was evidently in his power to do the Connection in Canada great harm, even if he did not succeed in its entire overthrow. Had he been as turbulent, ungovernable and ambitious as he was talented and shrewd, all the power of the Church in the United States would have been insufficient to subdue him, or prevent the mischief which he could have accomplished.

        After the adjustment of these difficulties, Brothers H. E. Stevens, Henry Dawson and Samuel Peterson were ordained deacons, and the ordination discourse was delivered by Rev. J. P. Campbell. The same day Brother Richard Warren was ordained an elder--the discourse was by Rev. Willis Nazery. Brothers Henry Brall and George Wilkerson were elected delegates to the General Conference of 1852.

        From the Colchester Circuit information was sent to this Conference concerning a parcel of land, two hundred acres in extent, purchased for the use of the Connection, and situated in the township of Sandwich. Whereupon, Bishop Quinn, his assistant, Rev. W. Nazery, and Rev. J. P. Campbell were authorized to investigate the matter.

        The spirit of the Canadian churches in relation to slavery can be seen in this report of their committee to the Bishop and Conference:

        REVEREND SIRS:--Your committee, to whom was referred the subject of Slavery, etc., beg leave to make the following report:


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        WHEREAS, Slavery is a most gross outrage against humanity, and a positive violation of every one of the ten commandments of God, and destructructive of all political, moral and religious rights; and

        WHEREAS, Slavery is in itself theft, murder, robbery, licentiousness, concubinage, adultery, and everything else that is sinful and devilish between heaven and earth; therefore,

        Resolved, 1st. That it is the bounden duty of all our ministers most faithfully to lift up their voices against the monstrous iniquity, and more especially American slavery, for reasons too obvious to be named, it being the vilest upon which the sun ever shone, and in defiance of the laws of God, the claims of humanity, and the rights of our poor, outcast, downtrodden brethren.

        Resolved, 2d. That we will not open the doors of our houses of worship to any slaveholding preacher or lecturer, or their aiders and abettors, under any circumstances whatsoever, where we have a knowledge of the same.

        Resolved, 3d. That the African Methodist Episcopal Church has been, theoretically and practically, anti-slavery from its commencement until the present, and was never otherwise known to be--empty and vain assertions to the contrary, notwithstanding.

        Resolved, 4th. That on account of slavery, oppression, and a desire peaceably to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and to secure these blessings to their children after them, were the causes that impelled our fathers to found and establish, by the grace of God, this, our beloved Zion.

J. P. CAMPBELL,
Committee.
G. W. JOHNSON,
Committee.
H. DAWSON,
Committee.
H. E. STEPHENS,
Committee.
L. ANDERSON,
Committee.


        At the Indiana Conference of 1851 Brother John A. Warren was ordained a deacon and R. M. Johnson an elder. The delegates elected to the approaching General Conference were John Garrow, William Douglas, James Dubois, Abram T. Hall, Frederick Myers, William H. Rice, J. L. Johnson and Jacob Green. To support this delegation, together with the itinerants, an agent was appointed in Rev. B. Parker.

        Israel Cole and William H. Jones were the members of the Annual Conference who had died during the year. Of the former it is said that he had been an itinerant for nearly nine years, and had "labored ardently for the salvation of souls."

        Among the resolutions we find the Conference favoring the presiding eldership, and resolving to memorialize the ensuing General Conference on the quota of representation, so as to reduce the delegation at least one-half.


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        In compliance with a petition from the First Colored Methodist Church in Sacramento, Cal., it was received into the Connection and placed under the control of this Conference. One Discipline, one hymn-book, a few copies of the Christian Herald and twenty-five copies of the minutes were ordered to be sent to the church at Sacramento, and Rev. W. R. Revels was authorized to write them a letter. Pastoral letters were also to be written to the churches in New Orleans and Louisville, Ky., but no traces are to be found of them.

        In regard to the establishment of a seminary within the bounds of this Conference district, the agent, Rev. R. M. Johnson, who had been appointed to raise moneys for the same, reported a failure in consequence of the "black laws" of the states of Indiana, Illinois, etc. This same brother was appointed missionary to California, but never went, because the means to defray the expenses of his journey were not raised.


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CHAPTER XXII.
BISHOP MORRIS BROWN.

        His Death in 1849--An Extraordinary Man--A Christian and a Minister--Itinerant Duties Over Thirteen States--His Early Training--His Personal Appearance--Abreast the Age in Spirit--One of His Sermons--Discourse of Rev. A. W. Wayman on the Death of Bishop Brown--Lines Written Upon His Death.

        THE Rt. Rev. Morris Brown was among those numbered with the dead in 1849. The following is the obituary sketch which, by appointment, was drawn up at the time:

        The Rt. Rev. Morris Brown, the second Bishop or superintendent of the A. M. E. Church, died on the 9th of May, 1849, at 5 o'clock A.M., aged seventy-nine years and four months.

        He was a man of extraordinary character, considered in a moral and religious point of view. He was a native of South Carolina, and in early life gave promise of a great and glorious manhood by his strict regard for the principles of rectitude. This youthful promise was fully realized in mature life, at which period he obtained a change of heart by faith in the atoning blood of the Son of God. Thenceforward, his career, both as a private and public character, was an illustrious comment upon the declaration of the wisest of oriental kings: "The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

        As a husband and father he was affectionate, watchful and provident: ever setting before his family an example that pointed them to the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." As a citizen, he held the laws of his country in sacred regard, and paid a religious reverence to the authority of the civil magistrate, rendering unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's. As a friend, he was faithful even to a fault. As a man, he treated all men as brothers: this could be attested by many, both on earth and in heaven. If the poor asked alms, he freely gave and sent them away rejoicing. If a neighbor in straitened circumstances applied for help it was granted, to the utmost of his power. If the slave solicited means to obtain liberty, the fetters soon fell from his limbs, and he stood erect in the majesty of his holy freedom. As a Christian, he lived with his eyes in eternity and his heart in heaven. As a minister of the Gospel, he was zealous, devout, irreproachable. As a Bishop in the A. M. E. Church, he endured much hardship, privation and suffering in the discharge of his itinerant duties over thirteen states in the union, pursuing a course of conduct which was entirely free from arrogance, pride and


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tyranny, accomplishing much good in the cause of the Redeemer, until, in the summer of 1844, while discharging his episcopal functions in the Annual Conference of Upper Canada, his glorious career was arrested by a stroke of paralysis, beneath which he was literally fading away until the day and hour already mentioned, when he closed his eyes upon his bereaved widow, his mourning children, and the scenes of this dark world, to open them amidst the light and glories of the upper sanctuary.


        The statements we now add will doubtless be gratifying to the friends of the Bishop, and at the same time they will shed light on his character. He was one of those unfortunate men of the Southern States who had no early literary training nor one chance of obtaining it until the cares of a large and growing family had rendered it impossible. He was full six feet high, if not more, and well proportioned, but not corpulent. His countenance was open, sweet, benevolent; his forehead broad and advancing; his cranium was full, the apex very high, giving the moral powers entire control of the animal propensities; his eyes were dark and small.

        As a preacher he was behind many of his brethren. He was seldom eloquent, but there was a deep tone of piety running through his entire discourse that always made an impression for good upon the minds of his hearers. As the Bishop never had so much as a primary-school education, it cannot be expected that he should have left any personal records of his labors, nor the exercises of his mind upon the various subjects which daily engrossed his attention as the Bishop of the A. M. E. Church. We, and all who knew him, can truthfully say, that notwithstanding all the literary disadvantages under which he labored, he was, in spirit, abreast of the age, and to the utmost of his knowledge and power encouraged the education of his people. We can furnish no greater evidence of this than where he is seen refusing to ordain a young itinerant because he had not the literary qualifications required by the Discipline.

        The writer has preserved, for the information of posterity, the substance of a sermon which the Bishop preached in the city of Washington in 1844.*

        * The writer took down the words as they fell from his lips.


Not, indeed, in his own language, because he spoke very broken English; but it is, nevertheless, a faithful picture of his simple and monotonous, but practical, style:


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OPENING SERMON

Preached Before the Baltimore Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Held in Washington, D. C.
BY RT. REV. MORRIS BROWN.

Hebrews xi. 24, 25: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."

        While I endeavor to speak to you this morning, my dear brethren and sisters, I beg an interest in your prayers that God's blessing may rest upon my labors; for I intend to speak as the Lord may give me power. My labors have been great and tedious at the General Conference, so as to fatigue me very much; in addition to this, I took a cold on my way home, so that I don't feel able to speak to you very long this morning. And in these late years I have not been accustomed to divide and subdivide my subjects. I will speak in all simplicity and plainness of speech. We discover in the words selected for this morning's meditation, my brethren, that Moses, when he came to manhood, preferred suffering affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. So we all ought to take his example--forsake the pleasures of the world, and choose God as our rich inheritance.

        We discover, my brethren, that God led Moses through all his life, and made friends for him, even among those who had been the enemies of his injured people. For when his mother took and laid him in the bulrushes, and placed him upon the river's bank, among the flags, she never thought that her babe would find protection from the family of the king's daughter. She sent her maid to fetch it to her: the tears falling from his little eyes created a mother's feeling for the helpless infant. Then said the sister of Moses, "Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?" And Pharaoh's daughter said, "Go." So she went and called the mother of Moses, and Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, "Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." And when the child grew, she carried it to the princess, and he became her son, and she caused him to be educated in all the arts and sciences of the Egyptians. No doubt, my brethren, that from the earliest period of his life his mind was impressed with a great sympathy for his afflicted people. And it must not be supposed that he was without enemies; for, like Joseph, his standing and the peculiar love which the royal family bestowed upon him, must have excited the envy of his neighbors; for those who are useful and men of talents are always disliked by narrow-hearted persons. It will be recollected that the Children of Israel were led into Egypt by a mysterious providence. Joseph, the favorite son of Israel, for whom was made a coat of many colors, was hated by his brethren, and by them was sold into Egypt; and notwithstanding he was by this circumstance placed in a very mean condition, yet so great was his piety that the favor of God rested


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continually upon him, which caused him to increase in popularity and esteem with the king so that he soon became the greatest man in the nation.

        In the midst of his power a universal famine caused his brethren and aged father to remove to the land of Egypt, where they were fed and protected by the authority of the king. The services of Joseph secured his family and immediate posterity, and that of his brethren, the favor of the government of Egypt; but in process of time his greatness and goodness were forgotten, and the hapless Israelites were cruelly oppressed until Moses, who had become of age, was walking abroad one day, and seeing an Egyptian oppressing one of his people, drew near and slew him. The next day he saw two of his brethren contending with each other, and when he went to make peace, one of them charged him with having slain the Egyptian, which caused him to be afraid, so that he fled into the land of Midian, and was there until God sent him to deliver his afflicted people.

        To make a practical use of the text, we say that but few, my brethren, make a choice as wise as that of Moses. For we discover that, although many profess to have forsaken the world and suffer affliction with the children of God, they know but little about his love. They have the form but not the power of godliness; for they will envy and backbite their brethren. It was not so with Moses; for we will discover, my brethren, that he set his whole heart upon God. His heart was in heaven because his treasures were there; for where the treasure is there will the heart be also. Many desire to serve God, but their hearts are upon the world, upon its riches, or honors, or its lusts. I knew a man in Charleston, S. C., who, if he is alive, is about eighty years of age. He was a slave, but he was also a man of prayer; and he used to go with me on a Saturday night to preach the Gospel to the slaves on the plantations in South Carolina. One day he said: "If I should be a free man, I will give half my time to God, the other half to my business." Some time after his master died and left him free. A short while after this I called on him to go and help me preach. He excused himself by saying if he left his work the people who patronized him would complain and say that he neglected his business. About six months after I called again to get his labors, but he was so full of business he could not go. I went again the third time, but he was making too much money to leave his business. I only tell this to show how few will give up the world for God like Moses. Nothing, my friends, could charm him of an earthly character. He was determined to glorify his God, and so it is with the man whose heart is set upon heaven; he will let nothing keep him from doing his duty. No trouble, no crosses, no persecution can hinder him; and so it was in the days of Peter, when he wrote his General Epistle to strengthen his Hebrew brethren under the persecution of the Heathen Romans. So, I exhort you, my brethren, to let nothing keep you from your duty to God, neither persecution, poverty, nor affliction. Oh, let your hearts be in heaven, and God will be with you by night and by day; but if you grow weary and doubt by the way,


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he will forsake you and let you go to yourself; for none get to the kingdom or get his protection, my brethren, whose trust is not in him. O, then, my brethren, strive to live for God. As the apostle saith, faith, hope and charity, but the greatest of these is charity--have charity, then, or love for God, and he will give you grace to meet all things. Yes, my brethren, where faith and hope shall fail, charity will bear you through the gates of death in triumph. In this unfriendly world he will be with you as he is with our dear brother Richard, Williams, who died last week in the triumphs of faith, and is now singing doxologies with the saints and angels in heaven. Let his example encourage you, and then, like Paul, you will be able to say: "I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished my course; henceforth there is a crown laid up for me which the Righteous Judge shall give me in that day."

        Now, my brethren and sisters, deceive not yourselves, but love God as did the Apostle Peter, who could say: "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." I would to God that all of you be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord. And let the young, like Moses, refuse to be among the wicked, to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but come and suffer affliction with the people of God.

        And let me exhort you, my Christian friends, this morning to lay aside every weight and the sins which so easily beset you, and run with patience the race which is now set before you. And, as Bunyan observed, though I fell among thieves and was robbed, yet I still feel the jewels in my bosom. So God will bless you and be with you when you come to the gates of death. Don't deceive yourselves as you may deceive others, but be honest before God. And you, my brethren in the ministry, set a good example before the people. Oh, that God would let these few broken remarks rest upon your hearts, and bring us all to heaven, for Christ's sake. Amen.


        These are Bishop Morris Brown's utterances, and it is fitting that they be followed by extracts from the discourse on the life and death of the Bishop, delivered in Ryder's Grove, near Baltimore, on the 16th of September, 1849, by Rev. A. W. Wayman, from the text found in Hebrews, xi. 4, "By which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it being dead yet speaketh." These extracts will serve as an exhibit of our literature in 1849. The preacher divided his sermon into three heads: 1st. The faith of the righteous man. 2d. God testifies of two gifts. 3d. By the testimony of God, he being dead yet speaketh. Upon the first he said, in conclusion:

        Such a life as this, my brethren, cannot soon be forgotten; it may be termed an evangelical faith--such faith as this Rt. Rev. Morris Brown had from youth to an old man.



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        Upon the third, after speaking of all those things which death terminates here below, the preacher goes on to say:

        In view of this subject, we feel authorized to receive much consolation in reference to our deceased father, though dead he yet speaketh in a better world. We hope to see him again in that day when the Lord shall come to make up his jewels, and will mingle in that innumerable company which no man can number, that come up out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb! The faith of the righteous was tested by the sickness and death of our lamented father and brother, Rt. Rev. Morris Brown, of whose public ministry we need not speak only so far as necessary to set forth his Christian character as a Bishop of the Church of God. He was (as you are all aware) a native of Charleston, S. C. At an early age he obtained faith in Christ. He was said to be a man of piety, which, doubtless, exerted a powerful influence in preserving him from the fashionable vices of the generation. He was ordained a deacon and elder by Bishop Allen, and was subsequently, in 1828, elected Bishop. He then became an associate with Bishop Allen. They suffered together till March 25th, 1831, when Bishop Allen was called hence by the voice of death, and left the Connection in the care of Bishop Brown. From 1831 to 1844 he stood in front of the battle, and led on the sacramental host. Through hot and cold, wet and dry, he went to regulate the militant churches.

        He fell under the stroke of affliction, far, far in Canada West, and resting on the arm of his brother (N. C. W. C.), was brought to his residence in Philadelphia. His afflictions were great, yet he attended several of the Conferences, and often were of such a nature that at times his mind appeared to be destroyed. His speech toward the last left him, yet he knew every person who called to see him; and while singing a song of praise he would wave his hand as a sign that he had faith in God. In this state he remained until the day before the sitting of the thirty-third Annual Conference of the Philadelphia District. The Lord blessed him with the return of his speech; he spoke to his wife and children, and just about the rising of the sun on the 9th of May, 1848, he bid his wife and children farewell, and without a groan he fell asleep in death. Though dead, yet he speaketh in the regions of light and glory of God, waiting the day of his appointed time till his change shall come, when God shall call him forth to mingle forever with the redeemed.

        My brethren, he has left us in the wilderness. As his sons in the Gospel, let us follow his example. Though dead, he speaketh to-day from the realms of bliss to his brethren, and says, "Come on! The victory will be ours!"


        The sermon of Brother Wayman upon this occasion was followed by the reading of the touching lines of Rev. Robert M. Johnson on the death of the same prelate, which are inserted here:


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TO THE MEMORY OF BISHOP BROWN.


                         He is gone from the toils and cares of life,
                         From a scene of confusion, the ferment of strife;
                         On the plains of bright glory, all verdant and green,
                         In concert with angels, Father Brown will be seen!
                         He is gone from destructive and odious laws,
                         The glare of deception and prejudicial wars;
                         With the choir of glory, who daily surround
                         The throne of the Lord, Father Brown will be found!
                         He has gone from reproach and decrepit old age,
                         Leaving with us his name to record as a sage;
                         'Midst the blood-washed throng we'll find Father Brown,
                         Singing anthems of praise to the great three in One.
                         He is gone from all hunger, thirst and pain,
                         To regale in the riches of Heaven's domain!
                         Exultingly happy in the Saviour's mild beam,
                         And bathing his soul in salvation's pure stream!
                         He has gone from the field of the Lord of Host;
                         He proved a true soldier, he died at his post!
                         'Midst the warriors of glory that merit renown,
                         All clothed in bright honors we'll see Father Brown,
                         He is gone from the Church, by which he was loved,
                         To join the Church triumphant above;
                         There hard by the altar with elders bowed down,
                         In a concert of praise is the blest Morris Brown.
                         He is gone from the preachers with whom he convened
                         In annual successions to oppose wicked fiends;
                         Hence his loss from our ranks we all deeply deplore,
                         And weep at the thought Father Brown is no more!
                         He is gone from companions, children and home,
                         Just leaving a group his absence to mourn,
                         Although they must undergo great mental pain,
                         This thought should console them, their loss is his gain.
                         He is gone to enjoy what heaven contains,
                         Her enameled fields and elysian plains;
                         There to pluck the fruits of paradise,
                         And better than all, an eternal life.


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CHAPTER XXIII.
GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1852.

        Opening Sermon by Rev. D. A. Payne--Bishop's Address by Bishop W. P. Quinn--Licensing Women--The Question Discussed--Election of Bishops--Rev. Willis Nazrey and Rev. D. A. Payne Elected Bishops--D. A. Payne Ordained--The Christian Herald Changed to Christian Recorder.

        THE General Conference of 1852 was opened in the A. M. E. Church, in the city of New York, May 3d, about 10 A. M. It was called to order by the Rt. Rev. William Paul Quinn, and M. M. Clark, A. W. Wayman and Edward C. Africanus were the appointed secretaries. One hundred and thirty-nine persons were enrolled as members, but all were not in attendance.

        Rev. D. A. Payne was called upon to preach the opening sermon, which is given below, with but two hours to prepare for the occasion:

        Who is sufficient for these things?--II Cor., ii. 16.

        To comprehend the meaning of the Apostle in these words, it is necessary to remember that the cause of his writing the first Epistle to Corinth was the existence of certain evils in the Church therein located, such as the dissensions growing out of a preference on the part of some for Paul, of others for Apollo, of a third class for Cephas, and of a fourth class for Christ; also the incestuous person who had married his own father's wife, and that after reproving for the first, he commanded them to cure this latter evil by excommunicating the transgressor. After rebuking their spirit of litigation, with every other prominent evil among them, he showeth them the structure of the Church of Christ, briefly alludes to the manner in which this Church is to be governed, and then closes with a graphic description of the glorious results of the death and resurrection of Christ. But in this, the second Epistle, he seems to have written for the restoration of the incestuous person, who had heartily repented of his sin, and given the proofs thereof by an utter abandonment of his evil way. He then compares the law of Moses with the glorious Gospel of Christ, showed his faithfulness and diligence in preaching it, his power as an apostle to punish obstinate sinners, and concludes with a general exhortation and prayer; from all of which it is evident that the ministry of the Gospel and Church government were the themes that fill up his vision when he exclaims in the language of the text, "Who is sufficient for these things?" Do not our hearts respond "Who is sufficient for these things?" To consider these things as clearly, and yet as briefly as possible, is our duty on this occasion, and may the Lord assist us in the important task.


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        First, then, the preaching of the Gospel. What do we understand by this? Various are the answers given. Some there are who believe it to consist in loud declamation and vociferous talking; some in whooping, stamping and beating the bible or desk with their fists, and in cutting as many odd capers as a wild imagination can suggest; and some err so grievously on this subject as to think that he who hallooes the loudest and speaks the longest is the best preacher. Now all these crude ideas have their origin in our education, for we believe just what we have been taught. But if any man wishes to know what is preaching the Gospel, let him not ask of mere mortal man, but let him find his answer in the teachings of Him who spake as never man spake, and whose wisdom is without mixture of error. Hear him in the matchless sermon on the Mount, teaching us to find blessedness in poverty and meekness, in peace and righteousness, in mercy and purity, and to find exceeding great joy in persecution for righteousness sake. See with what divine skill he expounds the moral law, and carries its application beyond the outward and visible conduct into the interior and invisible workings of the human soul. Behold Him either in private houses or on the sea shore, or in the temple, by parables of the most striking beauty and simplicity, unfolding the great principles upon which the moral government of the universe is based, enlightening their understandings and warming their hearts with the sunbeams of eternal truth. This is preaching--preaching of the highest kind. We will do well to imitate it, in aid of which let us look for a few moments at the work of the Christian minister as a preacher of the Gospel; and

        First. It is his business to make man acquainted with his relations to his God as a sinner.

        To accomplish this he must re-echo the thunders of Sinai until the slumbering rebel is started into a sense of his danger, and looking into his own heart, he sees it a cage of unclean birds, or a lair of hissing serpents--the enemy of God by wicked works, and the enemy of his own soul. Listening, he hears the fearful sentence: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in everything written in the book of the law to do it." Looking below, he sees hell, as it were, moving from beneath to meet him at his coming; looking above, he beholds an indignant judge ready to pour out the vials of his wrath upon his guilty and defenseless head. Now, hear the cry of his anguished heart: "What shall I do to be saved?" The minister of the Gospel answers: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Immediately faith springs up in the soul of this trembling sinner, and looking to Calvary he sees there the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. With a bounding heart he exclaims, "My Lord and my God," and feels, pervading his whole being, "a peace that passeth all understanding, and a joy which is unspeakable and full of glory."

        But the work of the Gospel minister stops not here--a flock of rich souls is committed to his care, and it now becomes his duty to train them for usefulness and for heaven. "But who is sufficient for these things?"


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                         "'Tis not a cause of small import
                         The pastor's care demands,
                         But what might fill an angel's heart,
                         And fill'd the Saviour's hands."

        Therefore, with all possible diligence, he must feed the babes with the sincere milk of the word until they are able to eat strong meat; then he must feed them with that until they have attained the stature of a man in Christ Jesus, and teach them by all manner of good works to glorify "Our Father who is in heaven." But this does not terminate his work; still he must, with untiring diligence, arm every soldier of Christ with the panoply of God, and then lead on the sacramental host from truth to truth, from grace to grace, from victory to victory, until each of them shall have laid down his armor to take up his crown in heaven. "But who is sufficient for these things?"

        And yet, the work of the Christian minister stops not here; for he is to discipline and govern the Church. This brings us to consider:

        Second: A very difficult and important part of a minister's duty. Some of us believe that to discipline the Church simply means to try and expel the incorrigible. Is not this a great mistake? Is it not the very last thing the pastor should perform? Nay, dear brethren, to discipline a church implies more than this. It means to indoctrinate, to instruct, to reprove, to admonish, as well as to try and expel. You see, then, what is the pastor's duty; he is to make his flock intimately acquainted with the doctrines of the Christian Church, instruct them in the principles of Church government, reprove them for negligence and sin, admonish them of their duties and obligations, and then try and expel the obstinate, so as to keep the Church as pure as human wisdom, diligence and zeal, under divine guidance, can make it. "But who," I ask, "is sufficient for these things?"

        Sufficiency is not to be found in man, but in God. Saith the apostle: "Our sufficiency is of God, who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Yes; our sufficiency is of God! But how is this sufficiency to be obtained? Is man a mere passive being in the matter; or does God require some action on his part? We answer, in this respect man is not like a seed placed in the ground, which can be developed by the morning and evening dews, together with the native warmth of the earth and the sunbeams. He must use the mind that God has given him; he must cultivate this mind, and seek that aid which is given to every one whom he has called to the work of the ministry.

        First, then, let him cultivate his mind by all the means in his power. With the light of science, philosophy and literature, let him illumine his understanding, and carry this culture and this illumination to the highest point possible.

        Secondly, then, let him seek the unction from above, the baptism of the Holy Ghost; let him live the life of faith and prayer--the life of unspotted holiness; for such was our Lord and Master Jesus Christ the


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Righteous--his head was all knowledge, and his heart all holiness. He was as free from ignorance as he was free from sin. God grant that we may all seek to be like him as much in the one case as in the other. Then will we be able ministers of the New Testament, and be able with the illustrious Paul to say, "Our sufficiency is of God." Now, it is for teaching sentiments like these that I have been slandered, persecuted and hated. This has been the head and front of my offending. But brethren, am I not right? Is it not proper that I should seek the improvement of those who had not the chance of an early education? Yes; I have done it, and still will seek the improvement of all my young brethren, that they may be both intelligent, well educated and holy men. Like Moses, I can truly say: "O that all the Lord's people were prophets." Yea, indeed, I would that I was the most ignorant man among you, possessing at the same time the amount of information which God has given me, and I deem it very little compared with that which others enjoy.

        But to return to the text, I ask who is sufficient to preach the Gospel of Christ, and govern the Church which he has purchased with his own blood? Who is sufficient to train this host of the Lord, and lead it on from earth to heaven? Who is sufficient to guide it through this war against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places, against all the hosts of earth and hell, and place it triumphant upon the shining plains of glory? Who is sufficient? I answer, the man who makes Christ the model of his own Christian and ministerial character. This man, and he alone, is sufficient for these things.


        After the preliminary adoption of certain rules to regulate the deliberations and the appointment of the different committees, the Rt. Rev. William Paul Quinn then delivered the Bishop's address, which of all those hitherto given is the best, and reflects credit alike upon his head and his heart. It is here presented in full:

        BELOVED BRETHREN:--Another period of four years has passed since, in the providence of God, we were permitted to assemble in a similar capacity. I am happy to see on this occasion so many faces with which I am familiar; and that Providence which has spared our lives should be gratefully adored by us, and His presence supplicated for a continuance of his mercies upon us. But while we are happy in the enjoyment of again beholding the faces of each other, we should not be unmindful that death has been in our midst and has called from among us many of our fellow-laborers, among whom was our esteemed father in the Gospel, the Rt. Rev. Morris Brown. Of the piety, labors, talents and exemplary life of this good and dear man I cannot fully speak. I trust all of it is stamped upon our memory, and I also hope some able hand may hand down to posterity his name, with all his usefulness and piety. It remains with us to emulate his example, and strive like him to "do the work of an evangelist, and make full proof of our ministry," that when our work, like his, is done,


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we may meet him and others of our brethren in "that rest that remains to the people of God." Others have fallen whose loss we deplore, whose virtues we will cherish, and whose names we will remember with the liveliest emotions.

        It is a source of heartfelt satisfaction to look over the labors of our brethren during the last four years. Our Connection has wonderfully prospered, and union and harmony to a great extent have prevailed; our borders are enlarging, and from east, west, north and south the cheering tidings have come to us of our people flocking to the standard of truth.

        Dear brethren, met, as you are, in the highest ecclesiastical court known to our Church, to promote by your legislation the temporal and spiritual welfare of our large and growing Connection, I humbly trust that in the enactment of laws for its regulation you will have an eye to the general good of the whole, and make only such as are strictly necessary, as plain, concise and perfect as human learning and intelligence can make them. In order to do this, you will have to invoke the Giver of all Good, and may his blessing rest upon you.

        In my address to you four years ago I had occasion to call your attention to several things that I conceived to be of great importance to the well-being of our Church, some of which were acted upon, and some were not. To those which were not acted upon at that time I would again invite your special attention.

        The first of these is the electing of another Bishop. The necessity of this must be at once plain to all without my entering into a minute detail of all the reasons that suggest such a desire upon my part; suffice it to say, that the interest of the Church in all its bearings demand it.

        The second thing to which I would call your attention is the creating of the office of presiding elder. This is authorized by the Discipline, but as yet has never been carried out. The want of them, in my humble opinion, has been the cause of a great many mistakes in administering the laws, while upon the other hand all difficulties would be removed and harmony be restored to such portions of the Discipline that make provision for the office. I hope, therefore, that during your deliberations this will be carried out.

        Our book concern still continues in an embarrassed condition for the want of proper and adequate support; as also the organ of the Church which was ordered to be established at your last session. As you will be put in possession of the general book steward's report during your deliberations, I will not speak definitely on the subject, hoping, however, that you will see that the whole concern is placed on a more permanent foundation.

        The Discipline of the Church will also claim a share of your deliberations, as in its present form it seems hard to be understood, and several very important alterations might with propriety be made, especially in that part relating to the ordination of elders and deacons. I would recommend a thorough revision of all the Discipline, except the doctrinal part, and so arrange it as to make it at once intelligible and easy to be understood.


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        I would suggest the propriety, also, of diminishing the delegation to the General Conference. As it now exists, the representation is far too large for our limited resources; and I am of the opinion that business could be facilitated, and our time of sitting would be shortened, while at the same time it could be so arranged that every department of the Church would be as generally and ably represented as now, providing the delegation was lessened. I hope that you may look upon this suggestion favorably, as in so doing you will afford great relief to the finances of the Connection, and detract nothing from its general wants or privileges.

        One more subject to which I would invite your attention, and then I shall have done. The subject will, doubtless, come before you in some form or other during your session, as it occupied some of your attention during the last General Conference. It is the licensing of women in the Church. I have given the subject some thought, but not enough probably to warrant one to give an opinion in the case. All that I ask is that something distinct may be done that will be satisfactory to all, and the question be put to rest.

        Should you, dear brethren, give to these different subjects that consideration and regard that they seem to require at your hands, your time and talent will be taxed to the utmost, and you will stand greatly in need of Divine help that whatever disposition is made of them, it may be done to the honor and glory of God, that when you go forth from this place you may part with mutual good will, and in the hope of a better state of things growing out of your united labors here. Let union and concession actuate you, and when the time arrives for us to take the parting hand, each one of us can go with renewed vigor and determination to battle with increased hopes of success in the vineyard of our common Master. May his Holy Spirit guide us in all our deliberations here, and when we are all done with the duties of life, bring us with peace into His presence forever.

WILLIAM PAUL QUINN.


        On Friday evening, May 7th, the question of licensing women to preach, alluded to in the Bishop's address, was discussed with a great deal of judgment and spirit. Rev. Thomas Lawrence moved that license should be granted them. The motion was put and lost by a large majority.

        The hour having arrived for the election of Bishops, according to a motion passed on Wednesday, all business was suspended for that purpose. Revs. Stephen Smith, J. M. Brown and E. N. Hall were appointed judges. A hymn having been sung, and a prayer offered to the Great Head of the Church that he might overrule the affairs of the Church, and especially guide the brethren in their choice, the polls were opened, and the result was the election of Rev. Willis Nazrey, of Philadelphia, Pa., a native of Virginia,


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and D. A. Payne, of Baltimore, Md., a native of Charleston, S. C.*

        * Four elders were put up as candidates by their friends: W. Nazrey, R. Robinson, A. R. Green and D. A. Payne. Rev. W. Nazrey was elected a Bishop by sixty-four votes; Rev. D. A. Payne was elected by fifty-five votes. Rev. R. Robinson received forty-six votes; Rev. A. R. Green, forty votes; and Revs. M. M. Clark, J. Cornish, T. Henry and William Moore each received one vote.


        On the following Thursday they were both consecrated to that responsible office by Rt. Rev. William P. Quinn, assisted by several elders.

        There are powerful reasons why I should here state that while both men were elected at the same time, and Nazrey by nine more votes than Payne, the latter was the first upon whom ordination was confirmed, which established the right of seniority, because it is not mere election that constitutes a Bishop. If five or ten men were elected at the self-same moment, but one could be ordained at a time, and the first ordained is necessarily the senior of all who may be elected by the same ballot.

        The third important discourse of the Conference was given upon the occasion of the ordination, by Rev. Molson M. Clark, the outlines of which we here present to the reader:

        This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.--I Timothy, chap. iii., verse 1.

        The word bishop means overseer or superintendent. It was so used in the Jewish Scriptures. Joseph was an overseer or bishop in Potiphar's house. The Levites were overseers or bishops in the temple at Jerusalem. Solomon appointed many thousand overseers or bishops to oversee the work of building the temple. The apostles and primitive ministers were bishops in establishing and overseeing the Gospel Church, and our Saviour is the bishop or overseer of the souls of all men.

        The idea of a bishop or overseer is seen in almost everything around us. See the busy tribes of bees in their industrial labors--they have an overseer or superintendent to direct their work. See the birds of passage, when the season to migrate to a warmer climate arrives--one takes the course and pursues the passage in front of the marshalled train, who, guided by an instinct peculiar to their nature, arrive with unerring certainty at their destined haven.

        Our episcopal ordination came down to us from apostolic hands with but one small link missing out of the chain. It is known that St. Mark was a bishop of the church of Alexandria for a number of years, and after his death there was no regular succession to the time of Dionysius, a space of two hundred years. (See St. Jerome, as quoted by Bishop Hoadley in his controversy with Dr. Calamy).


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        Here (two hundred years) is the only link wanted to make the episcopal chain entire from the Apostles down to our day. About this time, A.D. 250, Constantine the Great embraced the Christian faith and became head of the Church. He ordained Bishops, and placed them, under himself, over the churches in the various Roman provinces. These Bishops, in their annual assemblies, chose one of their number to preside. These presidents and ex-presidents constituted the Archbishops, and these Archbishops made a Pope. From the days of Constantine to the reformation in Germany, the episcopal claim was unbroken. Then, at the reformation, many of the regularly ordained Bishops passed over into the Protestant Church, and the succession came down through the Church of England. When John Wesley broke a small link from the English Church, he left episcopacy behind, and again broke the episcopal chain. Our Church being a branch from Wesley, and seeing that the chain had been broken, and desiring to weld it or mend it again, did so in the ordination of Bishop Allen, our first Bishop, for one of those who ordained him was himself ordained by Bishop White, a regularly constituted Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which never lost the regular succession. Here, then, we have the advantage of our white Methodist brethren, who cannot boast of regular episcopal succession, it having been broken by Wesley, and was not renewed till Asbury was ordained by Thomas Coke, LL.D., in the city of Baltimore, December 27th, 1784. We, therefore, can trace back the claim of episcopal succession, unbroken, to the primitive Church.

        Our episcopal order commenced in the person of Rev. Richard Allen, thence down to Brown, Waters, Quinn, and to Nazrey and Payne, who are this day to be ordained. We hope to be excused if we conclude our remarks with a few extracts from the sermon delivered by Thomas Coke just before he ordained Francis Asbury, in Baltimore. He thus addressed him:

        "1. A Bishop should possess humility. This is the preservatrix virtutum--the garb of every other grace. As some one beautifully observes, other graces, without humility, are like a fine powder in the winds without a cover. Let a man be ever so zealous, ever so laborious, yet, if he wants humility, he will be only like Penelope with her web, in the ancient fable, undoing at one time what she does at another.

        "2. He should have meekness. This is a passive grace which flows out in the converse and the carriage. It is certain courtesy. Grace is poured into his lips, for out of the fullness of the Lord he receiveth grace for grace.

        "3. His patience. This is the grace that 'endures all things,' that flows out in sufferings and trials, and bears up the soul under every difficulty; sub pondere crescit. The more it is exercised, the stronger it grows.

        "4. His impartiality. This is the rarest of all virtues, and yet one of the most important for a ruler of the Church. There is nothing more intolerable to mankind than partiality in him that governs, and it always springs, in part, from a meanness and a baseness of mind. It always meets with resistance from the governed. But the Christian Bishop is without partiality and without hypocrisy.

        "5. His wisdom. This reigns over all his soul. He is prepared for it by


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the God of nature, and endowed with it by the God of grace. He was born to govern.

        "Finally, Oh thou man of God, follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness. Be thou an example to the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Keep that which is committed to thy trust."

        Oh thou who art the Holy one of Israel, consecrate these, thy servants, with the fire of divine love; separate them for the most glorious purposes; make them stars in thy right hand, and fulfill in them and by them all the good pleasure of thy goodness. Amen.


        This discourse of Brother Clark was uttered in a power and with a melting unction that bathed the audience in tears.

        During the progress of our deliberations, certain distinguished divines of other denominaations visited us, and were introduced to the General Conference. Among these were Dr. Pennington, of the Presbyterian Church, N. S.; Dr. Thompson, of the M. E. Church, president of the Ohio Wesleyan University; and Rev. Charles Avery, founder of Avery College, Allegheny, Pa. The last named gentleman, having been introduced to the Conference by Rev. Stephen Smith, rose and said that he felt grateful to God for the privilege he enjoyed of speaking in the presence of the Conference. He spoke of the Allegheny Institute as a place of learning for the colored youth of this country; that a complete course of classical education could be obtained there. He said that his hopes were, that in the further progress of his college, young men would be educated for usefulness in the ministry, in schools, and other colleges, etc., and concluded by urging upon the ministers the importance of using their influence among the people, by encouraging them to send their children to schools and to college. He thought the great aims of the Church should be, first, to educate the young men for the ministry, and, second, to educate the entire community for usefulness in society; for our only hope of future elevation under God depended upon this.

        To this, Brother D. A. Payne replied, substantially, as follows:

        VENERABLE SIR: As one of the Bishops elect in the A. M. E. Church, I have the honor to reply to your appropriate remarks and excellent advice, and in so doing, permit me to say that we highly appreciate all that you have done and said, for we are sensible of the fact that if we are ever elevated to the rights and privileges of American citizens we must become an educated people.

        When a mere youth, in my native city, Charleston, S. C., a wealthy


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planter from the state of North Carolina, who was passing through that city on his way to New Orleans and the West Indies for the improvement of his health, which had been violently attacked by consumption, desired to obtain an intelligent, free young man for his body servant. Application being made to me, through the agency of my guardian, I called at the Planters' Hotel to see him. There he endeavored to persuade me to travel with him, and among the inducements which he plied to my mind was the following statement: Said he, "Daniel, do you know what makes the master and servant? Nothing but superior knowledge--nothing but one man knowing more than another. Now, if you will go with me, the knowledge you may acquire will be of more value to you than three hundred dollars"--the amount of the salary promised by him. Immediately I seized the idea. Instead of going to travel as his servant, I went and chained my mind down to the study of science and philosophy, that I might obtain that knowledge which makes the master.

        Sir, in the language of one of England's greatest philosophers, "Knowledge is power;" and the history of nations, as well as that of human progress, fully demonstrates its truthfulness. The most enlightened and powerful nations of the earth were formerly among the most ignorant and powerless; so, also, the most ignorant and imbecile in any given community may, by the same means, become a component part of the most enlightened and powerful in it.

        Let every minister, therefore, among us educate himself! Let every mother and father educate their sons and daughters. Then, as water rises to its natural level, so will we rise to the position destined by reason and heaven. This is also the advice of all our real white friends both North and South. As it regards the institution which you have established, my Reverend Sir, we have been there, and have knowledge enough of the students and professors to know that the latter are ripe scholars and Christian gentlemen; that they educate the heads as well as the hearts of their pupils; that they labor to develop all their mental powers, and make them useful members of society. And that this institution is exciting a happy influence on the surrounding communities of Pittsburg and Allegheny is evident to every one who will compare these two communities at the present time with what they were eight years ago.

        You, Reverend Sir, are the founder of this institution. The sculptor who takes the rude marble out of the quarry and carves it into a beautiful human figure, immortalizes himself by enshrining his genius in the almost breathing statue, and to him the praise of mankind is due. But what shall be said of or given to that man who takes the rude intellect of human kind, and develops, cultivates and refines it? Sir, he does more to commemorate his name and his greatness than monuments of brass--because he places in heaven such monuments as will live and shine when the blazing stars shall be blotted out from the map of the skies. It now remains for us to do all that is in our power, which is: First, to tender, in the name of our hapless race, our unfeigned thanks for your noble efforts to educate it; and secondly, to do our utmost to promote its prosperity.



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        The committee on Revision of Discipline reported an amendment to the rule regulating the composition of the General Conference, the basis of representation and the mode of election. A counter report was also introduced by Dr. Bias, which led to the discussion of the relative merits. Under the greatest feeling, Conference rejected both, and the committee resigned.*

        * The most important alterations and amendments to the Discipline may be seen among the debates in the General Conference of 1852.


        After a thorough investigation of the condition of the book concern, which by order of the General Conference had been removed to Philadelphia, it was resolved to change the name of our weekly sheet and call it the Christian Recorder. Rev. M. M. Clark was elected editor; Rev. William T. Catto, general book steward; and Rev. William H. Jones the traveling agent for the book concern. These were three of the best educated men in the Connection. During the next four years we shall see how the concern prospered in their hands. As soon as possible after the rise of the General Conference, and under the jurisdiction and direction of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, the editor issued the subjoined

PROSPECTUS

OF THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

        Our Church organ, the Christian Herald, was created by the General Conference in Philadelphia in 1848. It commenced its career under very inauspicious circumstances, with only a few subscribers; but the number daily increased till sixteen hundred were obtained. Its former editor, Rev. A. R. Green, who has now retired from the editorial chair, was indefatigable, day and night, in his devotion to the interests of the paper, and did, to the extent of his ability, what he could to redeem the pledge set forth in the prospectus. Our gratitude, with that of the membership of our Church and of the community as far as the Herald circulated, is due to him for his untiring zeal and efforts to sustain the paper during the past four years.

        We, his successors, conscious of our inability to fill his chair, and being unaware to some extent of the difficulties which surround it, shall enter upon the responsible duties with much caution, and with a firm determination to do our whole duty, as God shall point it out, asking most fervently the prayers and best wishes of the Bishops, itinerant and local brethren, membership and community at large.

        The paper shall be issued weekly in Philadelphia, Pa., at one dollar and fifty cents per year, paid in advance.


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        The objects to which the paper shall be devoted are:
1. Religion.
2. Morality.
3. Science and Literature.

        The paper shall not know any social or geographical distinction among our people of East or West, of North or South, but shall be the equal friend of all.

        The Bishops, the itinerant brethren, the locality, the laity, and all friends shall have free access to its columns by their communications, when not inconsistent with our position. Our reputation and honor are here pledged to make it a paper--in print, in size, in type and in general appearance--that shall give respectability and credit to us and to the Church and community. It will be in form so as to be folded as a book or pamphlet, that families and individuals may have books made of it and preserved for historical references.

M. M. CLARK, Editor.


        The officers of the Connection now stood as follows: Rt. Rev. W. P. Quinn, Rt. Rev. W. Nazrey and Rt. Rev. D. A. Payne, Bishops; Rev. W. T. Catto, general book steward; Rev. M. M. Clark, editor; Rev. W. H. Jones, general traveling book agent.


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CHAPTER XXIV.
THE FIRST DIVISION INTO EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS.

        A New Order of Things--A Committee Appointed to Aid in the Management of the Book Concern--New York Conference in Buffalo--A Stranger as Foreign Missionary--Birth of a New Conference--New Home Mission Field--First Division of Church Work into Episcopal Districts--The Bishops' Respective Fields of Labor.

        THE doings of the Baltimore churches for 1852 cannot be had, and we now proceed to those of the Philadelphia churches, that we may find an index to their condition. The Philadelphia Conference was thronged with visitors from every Conference in the Connection but Canada. But a new order of things was introduced--not one of these visitors was allowed to participate in the deliberations. The reasons for this can be easily stated. From 1816 it had been customary for brethren to visit any Conference they pleased:

        (a.) To the neglect of their own business, even for two, three and four weeks at a time.

        (b.) To the interference with the particular business and local affairs of the district visited;

        (c.) And thereby not only making an unnecessary tax upon the funds, but also increasing the responsibilities as well as the labors of the visited district, but

        (d.) Also, often distracting the business and increasing its difficulties.

        (e.) If A, B or C desired to carry through a favorite measure, and he feared the majority was opposed to it, all that he had to do was to invite members from the neighboring district, and he was sure of success.

        Many of the honest-minded brethren saw these evils, and often privately, sometimes publicly, complained of them for years; therefore, at the session of the General Conference of 1852, they passed a rule cutting of from a voice and a vote every one not a member of the district in which a particular Conference was held. So that, thenceforth till 1856, no visitor was allowed the privilege only as a special favor.

        The things mentioned were abuses of the Christian and fraternal


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privilege they had so long enjoyed--often, indeed, to the spiritual profit of the district visited, and as often to its detriment. At this meeting the venerable John Cornish requested and obtained a superannuated relation to the churches. Dr. James J. G. Bias was inducted into the office of an elder, and Brothers George McMullen and Thomas Kinnard were ordained deacons.

        Gone to their everlasting rest was Rev. J. L. Armstrong and Ishmael Berry. The former was an itinerant, the latter a local preacher. No obituary of either is given, but of the former it may be said that he was an active, intelligent and shrewd man, an excellent preacher, frequently getting into ecclesiastical troubles, but always getting out of them. Brother Shadrack Basset returned to the bosom of the Connection at this Conference.

        Revs. J. J. G. Bias, Stephen Smith, Robert Collins, J. P. B. Eddy, and the three stationed preachers--Revs. William Moore, H. C. Young and G. W. Johnson, were all elected to constitute a committee to aid in the management of the book concern. The western part of Philadelphia county, known as the Penn District, Cohocksink, Kensington and White Marsh, were formed into a mission at the instance of Dr. Bias, and at the instance of Rev. S. Smith, the southern and eastern portions of the city were formed into another.

        The following points were decided by the bench of Bishops:

        1st. Bishop Quinn, being in the chair, decided that when a man has been impeached in an Annual Conference, he should have no appointment to preach until his difficulties shall have been settled. No dissent by his colleagues.

        2d. The bench of Bishops decided that the preacher having the charge of a circuit or station is the pastor of that charge until his appointment to another charge is announced in the Annual Conference to which he belongs.*

        * Of course elections to office on the part of the General Conference form an exception to this rule.


        3d. The bench of Bishops decided that when a preacher having the charge is applied to by another church, whose pastor died in the interval of the Annual Conference, for pastoral care, he, the preacher in charge to whom such application is made, is at liberty to give such pastoral aid as his other duties and obligations permit.


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        Bishop Payne being in the chair, decided that the rule of the Discipline, giving to the minister or preacher in charge, who may differ from the majority of the society or the select number concerning the innocence or guilt of the accused person, the privilege of referring the case "to the ensuing Quarterly Conference meeting," applied to all the cases enumerated from the commencement of section 26 to the said rule. No dissent by his colleagues.

        The New York churches met in session in the city of Buffalo for the first time. The business laid before them was of a very exciting and perplexing character. All the brethren seemed to have been Ishmaelites, for every man's hand seemed to have been raised against his fellow. No less than sixteen stood impeached, and the charges with specifications were quite generally "maladministration."

        Brothers Thomas Doremus, John Elsemore, William H. Ross and J. W. Jackson were ordained deacons. Another act of the New York Conference was that it took in a stranger as a member of the Conference, and appointed him as a missionary to the West India Islands, putting the whole Haytian Empire and Jamaica, the most important of the British possessions, under his jurisdiction. The result was--failure.

        Gone to his glorious reward was Brother John Williams, of Albany City Station. He was a local preacher and a "man of most exemplary devotedness, piety and Christian zeal--a man of God."

        The First Congregational Church in the town of Schenectady, state of New York, petitioned to become part and parcel of the A. M. E. Church, and be placed under the jurisdiction of this Conference. Their petition was favorably received, and they were formally admitted to the rights and privileges of the Connection. The following official transaction of said church was satisfactorily received:

Know all men by these presents:

        This is to certify that the male members of the Church and congregation that statedly meet for Divine worship in the house now known as the First Congregational Church, in the town and county of Schenectady, and state of New York, did assemble on the evening of the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, for the purpose of organizing themselves into a body known as the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of the aforesaid town, county and


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state; and also to elect three trustees to act in accordance with the Discipline of the aforesaid church (see page 58 of the Discipline), in accordance with an act of the legislature of the state of New York, for such purposes made and provided, etc. At which meeting the Rev. James Morris Williams presided as judge of the election, assisted by Rev. Henry Hicks and Mr. John Jackson. They proceeded to nominate candidates as follows: John Wendal, opposed by Francis Lature. John Wendal was elected by five votes. Jacob Baker, opposed by Tobias Hartless. Tobias Hartless was elected by a majority of three votes.

        The presiding judge then announced as his decision that John Wendal, Tobias Hartless and John Jackson were duly elected trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and classed as follows, viz.: Class No. 1, John Jackson; Class No. 2, Tobias Hartless; Class No. 3, John Wendal. Class No. 1 will serve one year; second class, two years; and the third class, three years.


        The most important subjects which occupied the time of the ministers of the Ohio churches this year were those of the book concern and the Union Seminary.

        In relation to the book concern at Philadelphia, the Committee on Ways and Means assumed an attitude hostile to their action, declared the book concern still within the bounds and under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Conference, and recommended the appointment of an agent to travel and raise means and collects the debts which the concern held against individuals in the different parts of the country; and decided, also, to use all proper means to liquidate the debts held against the Connection. Their alleged reasons for so doing were:

        (a.) The declaration of the officers at Philadelphia of their unwillingness and their incapability to assume the debts of the concern.

        (b.) That no principle would be violated, nor any injury sustained, if the Ohio Conference, upon whose shoulders the burden then rested, should act to save its own honor, to preserve the integrity of the Connection, and to save one of its members from total bankruptcy and disgrace. Five other resolutions, solemnly protesting against the book committee in the city of Philadelphia, were adopted.

        Judging from the report of the principal of Union Seminary, as well as other transactions of the Conference, we are led to believe that its condition was not prosperous. It seems that the whole amount of the salary which the principal received during the entire year was but $85, and yet the school was never below thirty-four scholars nor over sixty-two in number.


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        Orders were given to lay out a portion of the farm into lots of half an acre each, the whole number not to exceed twenty-five, these to be leased "for a term of thirty years, to be renewed in valuation every five years, renewable forever," the price of each lot to be $5, subject to an annual rent of $3, to be collected "on the first day of December for the remaining four years of the first valuation."

        Now, when it is remembered, in connection with all these arrangements, that the farm was located in an imaginary village called Allenville, about fourteen miles from the nearest large town or city, it would seem that the Conference must have been dreaming, or that they had more faith in the credulity of our people than the people had in them. As to the improvements made there, a building was nearly finished at an expense of $725. It was thirty-six feet by eighteen, with the first story nine feet, and the second eight and a half feet high; having two rooms on the first floor for teaching purposes, and four rooms with a hall on the second floor. Such was Union Seminary in 1852.

        Brothers Ridgeway, I. M. Williams and G. Andrews were ordained deacons, and Rev. Lewis Woodson, a local elder from the True Wesleyan Connection, was admitted a member of this Conference. Two local preachers, Brothers Allen Brown and Thomas D. Lawrence, were among the dead of the year, but no account of their character and usefulness is given.

        The doings of the Indiana churches for this year may be stated in very few words. Rev. John A. Warren, Horace B. Smith, Lewis Johnson and Turner Roberts were ordained elders; Brothers I. W. Early, William Davidson, John Curtis, William Jackson, L. W. Bass, Willis Miles, R. Bridges and William I. Davis were ordained deacons.

        There were some little disciplinary measures used, but all for minor faults.

        One piece of intelligence was gratefully received: The officers of the South Hanover College, in the state of Indiana, Jefferson county, addressing a letter to this Conference, to inform it that provisions had been made for the education of three colored youths of that State, free of charge.

        A new Conference comes into being this year. By order of the General Conference of 1852 the churches in the New England states were severed from the jurisdiction of the New York Annual Conference, and organized into a district called the New


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England Annual Conference. These churches were a society in Portland, Maine; one in Boston, one in New Bedford, and one in Worcester, Mass.; one in Providence, one in Newport, and one in Bristol, in the state of Rhode Island; one each in New Haven, Norwich and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

        After the organization the brethren laid out two missions: the New London Mission, embracing New London, Norwich and Plainfield, Conn., with Worcester, Mass.; also the Pittsfield Mission, including Pittsfield, Lennox, Barrington, Lee, Williamstown, Old and New Stockbridge.

        As one entire generation had passed away, and more than one-third of a century had elapsed from the organization of the first Conference, and the doings of the first on record, to the opening of the New England, it may be interesting to judge from a comparison what progress the A. M. E. Church had made in knowledge and ecclesiastical transactions. This new Conference--the first Annual Conference of the New England District--met in Bethel Church, Kempton street, New Bedford, Mass., June 10th, 1852, Rt. Rev. Daniel A. Payne presiding. Rev. T. M. D. Ward was made the secretary of the Conference.

        The presiding Bishop delivered the address, reviewing briefly, after his introductory relating to the nature of church work, the advance, in the following passages:

        Now, that the Head of the Church militant has enabled us to do something toward the accomplishment of his own will in the great work of salvation, is manifest in the progressive history of our Connection, let it be remembered that about thirty-six years ago our fathers commenced their operations as ministers of the Gospel in the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia under circumstances the most adverse and trying. The prejudices of the community were against them, the institutions of the country were against them, the laws of the country were against them, the literature of the country made them its ribaldry. Poor, ignorant, despised, we have gradually advanced from state to state until now our Connection unfurls the blood-stained banners of the Cross from the mountainous regions of Maine to the lowlands of Louisiana, and from the blue waves of the Atlantic to the majestic billows of the Pacific ocean. First, the Philadelphia; second, the Baltimore; third, the New York; fourth, the Ohio; fifth, the Canada; sixth, the Indiana; and now the New England Conference will constitute the seventh of these royal sisters. I call them royal, because their Father "Is the King of saints and angels, too."

        Dim were the twin stars that first shone upon the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania. They have not only continued to shine, but they have


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been increasing their luster and ascending the skies, adding to their number until seven now form the glittering galaxy. May they continue to ascend the heights of heaven, and to increase both in number and radiance until they shall have formed a magnificent constellation, filling the firmament with their glory, and causing the American continent to bask in their holy light.


        The remainder of the address consisted of sound advice to "educate ourselves by the light of science and philosophy," to "labor for holiness of heart," to "be just men," and to "follow the apostolic example in visiting much," with "the holy design of instructing, admonishing, reproving and consoling as the occasion may dictate," and lastly, to "care for the children," closing with these hopeful words:

        Be not discouraged because your number is small. One hundred and eight years ago a little band of six humble, despised, persecuted ministers met in the city of London to do just what you have assembled to do. These six, with Wesley at their head, constituted the first Conference of Methodist preachers the world ever saw. Now that little band has multiplied in Europe and America to thousands, and constituting a host of energetic, earnest ministers as terrible "as an army with banners." Our number now is seven, but who can tell what will be its increase a century hence? May not one become a thousand, and two ten thousand? Remember the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong!


        William J. Fuller was admitted into full connection, and, with James D. S. Hall, received the orders of deacon. The preachers were stationed this year as follows: New Bedford, D. Dorrell; Providence, James D. S. Hall; Boston, T. M. D. Ward; Bridgeport Station, Geo. A. Stanford; New Haven, W. J. Fuller; Portland, T. C. Oliver. Newport and Bristol, with New London and Pittsfield Missions, were to be supplied. The number in Society was five hundred and two.

        Sundry resolutions of importance were passed, censuring the brethren for remissness in collecting contingent money, and cutting off such delinquents from any part in the avails of that fund. Word having been received that if the church at Portland, Maine, could receive a man possessing proper qualifications the Society would be "revived and established at once," the Conference resolved to concentrate its energies for its relief and permanent establishment. It also resolved to carry out the ten-cent system for the creation of a permanent capital of $10,000 for the book concern, pledging themselves to sustain the Christian Recorder.


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        The new home mission field was called for consideration, and the Conference resolved to improve it by creating a fund, as per Discipline, for those who would devote time to so doing; also to lift collections quarterly, if practicable; to preach a sermon quarterly upon the subject; to keep it before the people by frequent reading of that section of the Discipline relating to it to the congregation; and to recommend the forming of auxiliary societies to the Parent Society located at Philadelphia.

        The New England Conference did not forget its fortunate geographical location in its resolutions upon education, as evinced by this portion of one:

        While we admit that New England contains one of the smallest fractions of our growing Church, nevertheless, there is no part of this great republic more attentive to the disciplining and improving of the human mind than those who are styled the denizens of the rock-land states of New England.


        A set of "standing resolutions for the government of committees" was also adopted, and, with those upon the usual topics of intemperance, slavery and Sabbath-schools, made up the business of the Conference near the close of the session, which closed the Conference work for the year.

        This year, at the General Conference, the Church work had been laid off into three Episcopal Districts for the first time--the first Bishop's Council being held at its close. These three districts were laid off, thus: First, embracing the Philadelphia and New England Conferences and their territory, to which Bishop D. A. Payne was assigned; second, embracing the Baltimore and New York Conferences with their territory, under Bishop Willis Nazrey; third, embracing the Indiana and Canada Conferences with their territory, under Bishop Quinn.

        The year 1853 opened with the Conference of the Baltimore churches. Not much important business was transacted, if we may judge from the minutes. This was the first Annual Conference in which Bishop Nazrey was the sole presiding officer, and, as history gives few of his contributions to literature, we present here his first annual address:

        MY DEAR BRETHREN IN THE GOSPEL:--We should certainly be thankful to God for the privilege of assembling together in an Annual Conference capacity. There have been some changes since your last Annual Conference. I feel to be indebted to the members of this Annual Conference for the position I now occupy--not that I wished it, by no means; but for the confidence you had in me. I have visited many of your


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charges this year, and have traveled about six thousand miles, and have found many of the churches in a prosperous condition. I have come to the conclusion that our people want a visit from some person, and it is my candid opinion that if we act out the principle, our Church is destined to spread over the land. God should, therefore, have the glory, and not ourselves.

        We have come together to render an account for our year's doings. It should remind us all of our being brought before God to render an account of our stewardship, when our appointment will be fixed forever. Let us have the great work at heart, and act as Christian ministers should act. While we preach to others, let us take heed to ourselves, and let our motto be honesty.

        I will deal with you all as every Christian should do. I shall have no pet nor pocket-pieces. Let every man examine the law well before he convenes to caucus; and don't think when I call a man to order that I have something against him, for it is the duty of every presiding officer to preserve order. Don't look to me for any favors beyond the law, for my best friends stand before me as my enemies, and my enemies my friends. Reformation is wanted among us, for we are responsible for the example we present to the people. There is no use of our preaching to the people to be holy when we are ourselves unholy.

        There is another thing that will bring up something to mind. We have been in the habit of leaving the most important part of the business till the last, and examine the character before we ascertain whether the traveling preachers had done their duty according to the Discipline, page 131. We shall defer the examination till after the Conference, and ascertain if the traveling preachers have done their duties. These are the reasons when a man is examined and there is something against him sufficient to expel him, he goes with all that he has belonging to the Connection. [A case in the New York Conference was referred to ] May the Lord preside over our deliberations.


        Thus the two newly-made Bishops took charge of their respective work.

        Two local preachers fell from the ranks of the ministry this year--Brother Simon Brown and Brother Thomas Williamson. The former has no notice given of his life and works. Of the latter the writer's recollection can be given. He was a man of a dark chestnut complexion, tall and erect in stature. He was an acceptable preacher--not profound, but pathetic, and maintained through life an upright character. His discipline was amiable, hence he had many friends and admirers.

        At the meeting of the Philadelphia churches Bishops Payne and Nazrey presided, sometimes jointly, sometimes alternately. Several episcopal decisions were required and made. Dr. J. J. G. Bias presented a document condemnatory of African colonization,


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and advising such of our people as intend to emigrate to go to Canada, Hayti, or the British West Indies. Deacons Shephard, Holcomb, J. Holland, C. Sawyer and C. Woodyard were ordained elders. These items covered the important business of the session.

        The condition of the book concern is evidenced by an extract from the report of the general book steward and editor, Rev. M. M. Clark:

        On presenting this report to the Conference, it will not be amiss to state to the brethren that the past year has been one of experience and trial--of experience to us in the proper management of the finances, not previously having a practical knowledge of book-keeping. The most important consideration in all business regulations is a systematic arrangement of the finances. . . . This has been a year of trial to us also. The ministry were to be tried as to their devotion and attachment to this great and noble cause, the diffusion of books and papers among the people, and in the execution of the laws of the General Conference in reference to this department of our business; the raising of the two-cent money and the ten-cent money, as recommended by the general laws of the Church to be raised. The Baltimore District did admirably, all things considered, in raising the two-cent money. . . . It now remains to be seen what the other districts will do.

        The following report of the finances and state of the book concern will tell the sad story of the great deficiency in many sections of the Church in point of interest and energy among the brethren in sustaining this cause, which in usefulness to the community is next to the preaching of the word; and for beneficial ends to the ministry, if fully appreciated and supported, is second to none.

        In conclusion, we would suggest to the Conference the propriety of urging the necessity of purchasing the press and printing apparatus belonging to Mr. George Eckert, who prints our paper, and who will sell us his office, containing everything requisite for printing newspapers, books and every kind of job printing, at a reasonable rate. Perhaps, at a fair valuation, the property is worth not less than one thousand dollars, which he offers to us for six hundred dollars--two hundred dollars in cash when the bargain shall be confirmed, and two hundred per year till paid. . . . A very experienced and competent foreman, Mr. Wise, who is now foreman in the office, can be had to be foreman for us, and he would be willing and is now anxious to learn colored boys the entire art of printing, and by that means in a short time put the whole of the art into our own hands.

        The art of making and binding of books, which is a separate trade and distinct from the art of printing, might, at no distant period, be connected with our printing establishment, and thus give employment to a number of both males and females in the respectable and useful arts of printing


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and binding. All of this vast amount of usefulness is now within the competency of our Church to do for our race, and the bounds and utility of such an influence upon the future destiny and happiness of our people, growing out of an establishment of the kind, all time and eternity would only be sufficient to explain.


        But, despite this appeal, it was years before the publishing committee had sufficient enterprise to purchase and work a press of our own.

        The annual address of the presiding Bishop gives, this year, a more particular view of the condition of the Philadelphia churches, as well as a general statement of the educational facilities enjoyed by the colored citizens included in the Conference district. In it he says that "no less than four houses of worship have been finished and dedicated" within the district. These are described as "neat and sufficiently commodious for the population around them." Two others are mentioned as nearly finished, and as ready, "doubtless, to be consecrated within three months." But the Bishop makes a solemn "protest against this mode of building," in some cases, which he describes as not "constructed on the health-promoting principle--too low in the basements, or not sufficiently ventilated." He claims that "it has been laying the foundation of disease and premature death among both people and preachers for the last forty years." He gives directions for construction based upon pure hygenic principles, and says, that in view of this fact--poor construction--"Who can wonder that such gifted preachers as Joseph Corr and Thomas Woodson were cut down in the very midst of their usefulness, and at a time when the Church most needed their talents and piety."

        On the subject of "education among the rising generation" he says: "In the towns and villages we are, with few exceptions, but poorly provided. These exceptions are in favor of Morristown, Fettersville, West Chester, Burlington and Bordentown. These schools are not only provided with teachers of respectable qualifications, but are also continued throughout the year. Other villages have schools six months--some only three months." He also notes the evil of the "perpetual change of teachers" as "very injurious to children." The peculiar advantages which the city of Philadelphia had enjoyed for more than twenty years are also noted: "During this period she has had almost always from seven to fourteen private and three or four public schools. At


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present she has no less than seven public, sixteen charity, and seventeen private schools, making no less than forty to a population of about twenty-four thousand." In these schools "there were (on the 1st of March, 1853), in the public and charity schools, 1,914; in the private, 325, making a total of 2,319 scholars. The increased average attendance in the public schools has been, for the past year, 190; in the private, 44, making a total increase of 234." The Bishop calls upon the people, however, to increase this increase, and speaks of the private schools "kept by Miss Sarah Douglass, Miss Margaretta Forten, and Miss Ada Hinton, as most excellent, as far as they go." He places the high-school at the head of all, with "Professor Charles Reason as the principal, assisted by Miss Grace Mapes, a young lady whose qualifications are said to be of a highly respectable character." Of Professor Reason he says: "In my humble judgment, it seems as if he was born for the important office of an educator, not only on account of his peculiar fondness for it, but also because of his extraordinary aptness." Respecting the "diffusion of knowledge among adults," he draws attention to a reading-room, established by the directors of the high-school, "containing upwards of a thousand volumes, and with funds sufficient to increase that number to ten or twenty thousand." The attention "which our people are giving to scientific lectures" is another evidence of progress. He sums up the obstacles in the way of the success of the book concern as "the ignorance of the mass of our people, the want of capital, and the apathy of many in the itinerant ministry."

        Leaving the temporal, he gives a view of the spiritual condition, noting the evils that retard the progress of our Sunday-schools, and advising remedies in the shape of a Bible-class of teachers formed for week-day, mutual instruction, furnishing schools with books and maps, and the pressing of exhorters into the service of the Sunday-school. Concerning Church government, he gives this warning: "To those who would have the Church of the Living God reduced to a form corresponding to the American republic, let me say, stop and consider well what you are about." This is the contrast presented: "A monarchy oppresses the peasants--the American republic oppresses and enslaves every man who has a drop of African blood in his veins, and hunts the panting fugitive like a wild beast;" and he draws from it the fact that "the purest democracy under heaven is the most


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despotic and unrelenting towards its victims. The form of a government is nothing; its just laws, impartial administration and equal freedom, everything."

        Here is his advice respecting large churches like the one in which the Conference was then assembled. It was reported as having sixteen hundred and four communicants: "Now," said he, "let twelve of its principal men lead off the six hundred and four and establish another church of our Connection in the western, southwestern, or northwestern part of the city. Let this be done as soon as a convenient place can be procured wherein to hold the meetings." His grounds for the advice are, briefly: "1st. The man is not living who can discharge all the obligations which such a church imposes. 2d. In a church as large as Bethel there is too much latitude for evil-doers. 3d. It is the surest method which can be adopted to prevent another schism. 4th. It will do good because it will extend the boundaries, influence and wealth of our Connection. All other denominations act upon this principle. There is talent now in this church that cannot be brought into requisition just because there is no space for its exercise, and, like a pent-up fire, if it is not put out it will burn down. Therefore, let Bethel take my advice, and the men who are now aspiring to be leaders, exhorters, preachers, stewards, and trustees, will find ample room for the exercise of their gifts and graces."

        The "education of the ministry" is another topic in this lengthy address where advice is offered, and the reflection is added "that sanctified knowledge is a power at once beneficent, glorious and tremendous, because the man in whom it dwells is like an angel of God armed with thunderbolts, crushing the strongholds of the empire of Satan." He mentions the fact that the revivals of religion, while not "as deep and extensive as in the years 1841-2," yet the Head of the Church "has most kindly distilled upon us the evening and morning dews of his sovereign mercy." With this the Bishop closes his most exhaustive address of the year.

        The New York Annual Conference of 1853 located William Harmon and John Elsemore, at their request, and ordained Thomas Legg, Edward B. Davis and Leonard Patterson deacons at the same time that Rev. William H. Ross was ordained an elder.

        Rt. Rev. Willis Nazrey, the presiding officers of this district managed the business of Conference alone this year. As in the


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Baltimore Conference, so also in this, he introduced a change in its disciplinary transactions, which has proved itself as beneficial as it then appeared strange and unreasonable to many who can see nothing good, right, or proper only in what has been done by the fathers and rendered sacred by a number of years--that is, by custom. It was an examination into the financial affairs of the Conference before the investigation of character. At the end of four years the several Annual Conferences found the change so useful and beneficial that, at the General Conference of 1856, they reduced it to a rule, by placing the fourteenth question of discipline in the stead of the first, so as to always enforce the judicious idea of the Bishop.

        Bishop Nazrey also made some decisions involving some cases in dispute as to government, which seemed to evince correct and just judgment. His annual address to this Conference contains nothing new or remarkable. He speaks of having visited all the circuits and stations in the district during the past year, with two exceptions, having traveled over six thousand miles since the sitting of the Baltimore Conference for 1852, and he finds himself impressed, by what he has heard and seen, to say: "It has more plainly and fully set before me the duty of the A. M. E. Church to assist in sending the Gospel to the heathen, who are out of the limits of civilization and christianity. We have, as an Episcopal Church, as much right to look after perishing Africa, the West India Islands, St. Domingo, and others--and all those who are not christianized--as any other Christian Church upon the face of the globe."

        But in our opinion the good Bishop erred in his views of the relation of the A. M. E. Church to the cause of foreign missions. Now, the right to do a thing involves the duty to do it, but the duty also involves the ability. Now, where there is no ability to perform an act, there can be no duty to perform it; hence, to exercise a right under such circumstances would place us in a very painful and ridiculous position--even in the position of the man who commenced to build, but was not able to finish his house, and, therefore, became the laughing-stock of his neighbors. The zeal of the zealous Bishop outran his knowledge of the cost and difficulties of establishing missions in foreign lands. Even the planting of a foreign mission necessitates an outlay that our Connection was not altogether prepared to meet in 1889; still less was it in a position to meet it in 1853. The Church Missionary


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Society raised last year the enormous sum of £230,000, equal to $1,150,000. In 1884 the M. E. Church appropriated for her foreign missions $381,898. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society raised for missionary work, in 1883, $680,905.

        Then, as to the ideas of ecclesiastical inferiority, all men are not equal in every respect. In regard to personal liberty, to enjoy freedom, life, and to pursue happiness, all men are equal; but as regards mental power, mental culture, the possession of property, the extent of influence resulting from wisdom, varied experience, variety and length of service, they are not equals.*

        * What is true of individual men is also true of individual organizations of men, be they social, political, or ecclesiastical.


        It has been seen that the last newly made district was cut off from the New York and organized into the New England Conference in 1852. In 1853, it, therefore, held its first annual meeting in New Bedford, the very place of its organization.

        Rev. Ransom Parker was admitted on trial as a local preacher. Rev. J. D. S. Hall was ordained an elder, and E. J. Adams dissolved his connection with the A. M. E. Church to become the pastor of one of the Presbyterian churches in Philadelphia, Pa. The number in Society was set at five hundred and seventeen, of which New Bedford had the largest share--two hundred and twenty. The total of moneys collected reached $640.17.*

        * Common sense tells us there is no equality between the A. M. E. Church and the churches represented by these figures. An individual denomination, like an individual local church, is like a tree. It must attain a certain age, and a certain amount of productive power, before it can produce fruit.


        A review of the field, especially those points left destitute at the last Conference, and the missionary work was made in the Bishop's annual address. The Society at Bristol "had become a thing of the past," though they had a "neat little house of worship built through the kind agency of Mr. Spooner, who gave $200, and collected another $100 to pay the cost of its erection.["]

        In Newport were "found the elements of a thriving society." Twenty-four persons had purchased a lot, and laid the foundation of a house of worship, but the work was poorly executed, the location of this property most unfortunate, and the Bishop's advice was to sell and purchase another site in a more eligible


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situation. The church was left under the care of a local preacher, Rev. Luke Waldron, a resident of Newport.

        Portland, Maine, presented a "forlorn condition," yet not as bad as Bristol. By bad management they had lost their house of worship, still they were hungering and thirsting for a pastor's care, while in Bristol there was perfect indifference. The whole number in Society was eight, who gladly made provisions for the support of a preacher for one year.

        The condition of the New London mission, as well as that of Pittsfield, led the Bishop to the belief that unless a single young man of proper qualifications could be obtained, no one had better be sent to cultivate the field until a missionary fund could be established to afford him some aid.

        The New England District was then very far behind the Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences in church building, but it could be attributed to the greater poverty of the people, the smallness of numbers, and the short existence as a church.

        Bishop Quinn presided over the Canadian Conference of 1853, which assembled in Peel, C. W., July 13th. He was assisted by Bishop Nazrey and Rev. W. H. Jones was the secretary. Brother J. F. Copeland was received on probation as an itinerant and agent of the Industrial Institute at Sandwich. Rev. H. J. Young, from the Philadelphia Conference, as an itinerant elder, was received into this district. Aaron Mackey and Thomas Pearce were also admitted into its membership, while H. L. Dawson was located.

        The city of London was formed into a station. Dansville and Grand River were detached from the Hamilton Circuit, and the latter was exalted to the rank of a station. A new circuit was formed called the Brantford Circuit, which included Brantford, Simcoe, Norwich and Grand River. The Colchester Circuit was divided. Windsor, Sandwich and the Industrial Institute were included in the one called the Sandwich Circuit, while Amherstburg and Colchester were reduced to one called Colchester.

        Bishop Quinn was at the head of the Indiana Annual Conference of 1853, Rev. I. A. Warren and Mr. William Jay Greenly being secretaries. Benjamin Cruden, Bryant Smith and William A. Dove were admitted on probation. Basil L. Brooks, John Turner, Salem Campbell and Elisha Weaver were ordained deacons, while William Jackson, William J. Davis and Bryant Smith were ordained elders. An agent, E. Weaver, was appointed to


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solicit funds for missionary purposes and itinerant aid. The relation of Asbury Church in Louisville, Ky., to the Indiana Conference was investigated, but not definitely fixed, wherefore a committee, consisting of W. R. Revels, Byrd Parker and J. Curtis was appointed to adjust the matter. Bishop Quinn was also requested to meet this committee.

        The church at Indianapolis being in such proximity to the railroad, its trustees were authorized to sell it and purchase another lot in a more favorable position upon which to erect another house of worship.

        The Ohio Conference assembled in Washington, Pa., Sept. 17th, Bishop Quinn being the only Bishop present. A. R. Green and Hiram Revels were the secretaries. M. J. Wilkerson was located. George Andrews, John Tibbs and Thomas Handfield were admitted on trial. Jeremiah Lewis, Jeremiah Bowman, Nelson Carter and Samuel T. Wells were ordained elders; E. Epps and John Tibbs, deacons.

        On Thursday afternoon, September 22d, the Rev. Lewis Woodson, a local elder from an evangelical church, came forward and took the ordination vows, and was received into the Connection as a local elder. He was afterwards placed upon two committees, and participated in the business of the Conference from that hour till he left the house for his own home. Before he left he obtained the certificate of his membership from Bishop Quinn, written by the hand of Rev. Hiram Revels, one of the secretaries. Some arrangements were made for the opening of Union Seminary upon the farm owned by the Conference, for the support of the teacher and the boarding of the pupils.

        A missionary society was formed, and the brethren also pledged themselves to prepare for an examination in certain studies at the next session, that they might be better fitted to do the "work committed to their hands as ministers of the everlasting Gospel." Had the promise been kept, it would have resulted in inestimable benefit to the work and the workers.


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CHAPTER XXV.
SOME LITERATURE OF 1852-53.

        The First Number of the Christian Recorder--Contents--Extracts--"Dedicatory Lines," by Rt. Rev. D. A. Payne--Dr. J. W. C. Pennington's Contribution--An Editorial on Licensing Women to Preach--Arguments Against It--Lines by Rev. T. M. D. Ward--Other Writers and Contributors.

        THE prospectus of the re-christened weekly paper of the Church, the Christian Recorder, has already been given. The first number of this paper was issued on Thursday, July 1st, 1852. Its columns were almost entirely filled with the doings and sayings of the General Conference. Two pieces of poetry, one obituary, and two or three short editorials made up the rest of the matter. Some extracts from this first number we purpose to give our readers, and possibly the most appropriate selection to first present will be found in the following "Dedicatory Lines to the Recorder," by Rt. Rev. D. A. Payne:


                         Fly, wing'd Recorder, o'er the spreading realms!
                         With a fair tablet and a flowing pen,
                         Swift as the lightnings from the rosy east,
                         To where the sun displays his setting beams,
                         And paints the hills and clouds with glittering gold;
                         From where the Northern bear laves his white limbs
                         In the clear water of the emerald lakes,
                         To where the Sunny South spreads out her fields
                         Of canes and rice, of cotton and sweet flow'rs.


                         O! do thou
                         Be the child of deep, of high research,
                         And contemplation sweet; their highest mount
                         Ascending, cast thine eyes, Recorder, cast
                         Thine eagle eyes o'er all the verdant lands
                         And dark blue seas; then piercing all their depths,
                         Extract the treasures hid by God's own hand
                         In their wide bosoms ever since the earth
                         Began to promenade the starry way,
                         And sweep the vast expanse, and smile, and bathe
                         Her virgin face in morning dews, and drink
                         The rushing sunlight. In golden caskets
                         Place these priceless gifts for wondering man.


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                         From the blue sky
                         Detach the glories of its countless orbs,
                         And fling them o'er his deathless soul. Array
                         Him with it. 'Tis a garment richly wove
                         In heaven's resplendent loom by the skill'd hands
                         Of angel weavers. Thine own pristine robe,
                         O man! which deck'd thy form where majesty
                         And grace once brightly shone, and sweetly kiss'd
                         Each other's coral lips. Recorder, hear,
                         Whate'er thine eyes behold, note down--
                         The beautiful in nature, or the grand,
                         The curious or sublime.


                         In all the arts
                         Whate'er is useful to the world portray,
                         And show its application just to all
                         The ends of mortal life--the ends of God.
                         With chaplets cull'd from the bright fields of truth
                         And science, deck thy towering crest, and shed
                         Their pure, their vivifying light into
                         The darken'd chambers of the human soul,
                         To give the force of philosophic power.
                         O teach! and educate our hapless race;
                         Into each mother's heart distil the dews
                         Of holy wisdom--teach her how to train
                         The infant mind, the rising youth, to deeds
                         Of godlike greatness. All that's just and right
                         Instill, instill! and urge on every man
                         To cultivate, unfold and strengthen all
                         The native forces of his mind, and then


                         The chains
                         Of mental bondage shall decay. With might
                         The bounding spirit then shall snap each yoke
                         Asunder, as old Samson did the ropes
                         That bound his giant arms. They then shall all
                         Rejoice in freedom's holy light, and ev'ry
                         Hill and mountain leap and clap its hands,
                         And echo the sweet song of liberty.


                         Seize the harp!
                         And with an angel's skill, an angel's voice,
                         Attune its strings to notes of life and joy;
                         Soothe the deep sorrows of the sadden'd heart;
                         Wake ev'ry joy, fill ev'ry soul with bliss;
                         O swell its lofty numbers, sweet and loud,
                         Till the charm'd earth and list'ning skies echo
                         Its melting strains.


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                         The Church! the Church of Christ!
                         Lead on from truth to truth, from grace to grace,
                         From one degree of virtue to the last
                         That caps the climax of the glorious height--
                         This sacramental, this embattled host
                         Lead on to fight the battles of the Lord.
                         'Tis our Emmanuel who does command;
                         His flaming sword is winged with death,
                         Upon his blood-stained banner conquest sits,
                         And ev'ry friend shall fly--the field is ours!


                         Recorder,
                         Heed my good advice. With steps unfalt'ring
                         Press thy grand career unaw'd by threat'nings,
                         Alike unbribed by gifts of artful men;
                         But as the sun, in his vast circle, moves
                         Right upward--onward move, an orb replete
                         With light, and life, and hope for each, for all.
                         The high vocation guard. O guard it well!
                         The eye of God is on thee, and will watch
                         Thy hidden thoughts. Then, run, O run the race
                         Of glory. Fight the fight of holy faith;
                         Ne'er, ne'er give o'er, nor lay thine armor down,
                         But to ascend on high and take thy crown.

        The following is from the pen of Dr. J. W. C. Pennington, who, though not a member of the A. M. E. Church, contributed this, with others, to the literature produced through the agency of our Church. He was a clergyman of the New School Presbyterian, and highly distinguished for his learning. He received his degree from one of the most popular universities of Germany. The subject is a pertinent one to-day:

THE DESTINY OF THE COLORED RACE IN THE UNITED STATES.

        It was remarked by a distinguished statesman that the future destiny of the colored race will be identified with the interests of the Anglo-Saxon race in America. That sentiment will be verified. The colored race will never be entirely separated or removed from this country as a race, and located somewhere else. History forbids the indulgence of the supposition. Nowhere in the history of nations, where slavery has existed, have the enslaved been entirely separated or removed from the land of their oppression, except in the solitary instance of the Hebrews from Egypt, and their separation was the effect of Heaven's purpose, or their destiny to this day would have been identified to some extent with the land of Miriam. The Grecian and Roman slaves, after their emancipation, had their destiny with those nations, and rose to every degree of distinction as


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laborers, mechanics, merchants, agriculturists, manufacturers, men of science and literature, men of professions--in religion, in medicine, in law and the military profession. In all the Atlantic islands dependent upon Spain, France and England, where slavery has obtained and emancipation has taken place, the emancipated remain upon the soil, and have and are becoming the owners of the same to a considerable extent, and are rapidly rising in the scale of civilization, like the cloudless sun appearing above the horizon, bending his way to the high point of the zenith, scattering darkness and diffusing warmth and light abroad; so they in whose favor right has triumphed over wrong and truth over error, are rising above the night of ignorance and slavery to the bright zenith of civil, social, political and religious privileges.

        Such will be the destiny of the colored race in this country. That thousands will emigrate while their condition is being agitated, to escape from the noise and the strife of the mighty contest between truth and error, like those who live in the immediate vicinity of the battle-field, to secure their safety and avoid the sight of the deadly onslaught, flee to more remote parts, is not denied. Some will take the false advice of the colonizer, that their condition can only be improved materially by breaking up every tie and happy association of their native civilized land, and going to a purely heathen and, to a great extent, barbarous country.

        A few, attracted by the fact that Hayti has a government conducted by their colored brethren, will seek repose under the shade of the mountains of that eventful island, and be protected by the laws of the second colored emperor in the history of man. Others, in consequence of the known humanity and benevolence of the British Isles toward the colored race, will go there to share their hospitality and good-will, and will improve as those islands are rapidly advancing in all the arts of civilized life.

        Many hundreds, amid a thousand opposing difficulties, will cross our inland seas to the country reserved by a beneficent Providence for the safe repose of abused humanity, and find comfort and succor under British laws, while the two opposing elements, truth and error, shall be contesting upon the field of right for the unconditional freedom of the captive on the one side, and his continued servitude on the other. Truth, it is pleasing to reflect, being armed cap-a-pie with omnipotent energy, will doubtless place her victorious flag upon the high summit of conquest, and command the admiration and shouts of an exulting world. While this fearful contest shall be going on, the refugees on British soil will be advancing in personal improvement, in mental culture, in the arts and sciences, and the acquisition of ownership in the soil--all of which combined will secure for them a public respect and confidence such as will make them feel at home and at ease. But the millions will remain in this country, and be identified with the history of the white race, be that history what it may.


        The foregoing essay was to be continued in following issues of the paper. The editor had also an editorial on "Licensing Women to Preach," which we give:


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        Four years ago this subject of licensing women to preach in the church came up for consideration before the General Conference in the form of a petition from the Daughters of Zion. It then went so far in their favor that they were granted permission to preach in our churches, but not to receive licenses from the Conference. They again petitioned this General Conference to grant their license in all respects as men are licensed, and so to graduate up to the highest office in the church.

        The General Conference received their petition, and then a motion was made to grant them their request. This brought on a spirited discussion, in which a number of members took part, some on one side, and some on the other. Finally, the vote was taken and lost, as may be seen from the minutes.

        In every sphere of labor, physical and moral, Providence seems to have appropriated the proper laborers. In agricultural labor all the heavy work is assigned to the man, because he is physically best constituted for it. The same in all mechanical labor. In the army, in the navy, in mercantile employment, and in all the learned professions where mighty thought and laborious investigation are needed, the man, strong in body and mind, is fitted by nature to execute what the weaker sex is incapacitated for, both physically and mentally. Must the Church, that needs the most manly strength, the most gigantic minds to execute her labors, confide them to those whom nature has fitted for the easier toils of life? Shall the labors of a Paul, a Silas, a Peter, a Luther, a Calvin, a Wesley, be trusted to the weaker sex? Shall the mighty monuments of the translations and commentations of the Scriptures, and historical investigations of truth, be committed to her who is clearly designed by the Creator to labors less, much less, in exercise and exertion of body and mind? Has this ever been the case? No, verily. How has God appropriated the labors and toils of his Church in all past time? When the ground was to be "tilled," and "flocks" to be herded, whom did God employ? When the Ark was to be reared as a type of spiritual salvation, whom did God instruct to fashion it after heaven's will, Noah or his wife? When the father of the faithful was to be called and sent into strange and foreign lands to meet the frowns of kings and the opposition of foes, was it the gentle, the easy, the confiding Sarah, or was it her lord, her head? When a proud, a haughty Pharaoh, was to be instructed and counseled with the mighty plagues to be wrought, who was the instrument, the well instructed Moses, or some one of Israel's tender daughters? When the mighty Oracles were to give forth heaven's predictions of the coming Messiah, or a priest to typify the sacrifice by bloody offering, or Israel's throne to be occupied, in type of the Messiah's everlasting throne, who were chosen, the daughters or sons of Levi? When the Messiah's grand mission was to be executed, was the male or female form assumed? When his mighty truths were to be promulgated to a listless world, who were sent forth by heaven's Son, the tender, gentle daughter of Israel, or her more hardy enduring brothers?"


        Among the productions of 1853 we have selected two poems by Frances E. Watkins (now Mrs. F. E. W. Harper):


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THE SOUL.


                         Bring forth the balance, let the weight be gold!
                         We'd know the worth of a deathless soul;
                         Bring rubies and gems from every mine,
                         With the wealth of ocean, land and clime.


                         Bring the joys of the green, green earth,
                         Its playful smiles and careless mirth;
                         The dews of youth and flushes of health--
                         Bring! Oh, bring! the wide world's wealth.


                         Bring the rich, rare pearls of thought
                         From the depths of knowledge brought,
                         All that human ken may know,
                         Searching earth and heaven o'er.


                         Bring the fairest rolls of fame--
                         Rolls unwritten with a deed of shame;
                         Honor's guerdon, victory's crown,
                         Robes of pride, wreaths of renown.


                         We've brought the wealth of ev'ry mine,
                         We've ransacked ocean, land and clime,
                         And caught the joyous smiles away,
                         From the prattling babe to the sire gray.


                         We've wrought the names of the noble dead,
                         With those who in their footsteps tread,
                         Here are wreaths of pride and gems of thought,
                         From the battle-field and study brought.


                         Heap high the gems, pile up the gold,
                         For heavy's the weight of a deathless soul--
                         Make room for all the wealth of earth,
                         Its honors, joys, and careless mirth.


                         Leave me a niche for the rolls of fame--
                         Oh, precious, indeed, is a spotless name,
                         For the robes, the wreaths, and gems of thought,
                         Let an empty space in the scales be sought.


                         With care we've adjusted balance and scale,
                         Futile our efforts we've seen them fail;
                         Lighter than dust is the wealth of earth,
                         Weighed in the scales with immortal worth.


                         Could we drag the sun from his golden car,
                         To lay in this balance with ev'ry star,
                         'Twould darken the day and obscure the night--
                         But the weight of the balance would still be light.


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        The second poem from the same pen is entitled:

THE DYING CHRISTIAN.


                         The light was faintly streaming
                         Within a darken'd room,
                         Where a woman, faint and feeble,
                         Was sinking to the tomb.


                         The silver cord was loosened--
                         We knew that she must die--
                         We read the mournful token,
                         In the dimness of her eye.


                         We read it in the radiance
                         That lit her pallid cheek,
                         And the quivering of her feeble lip,
                         Too faint with joys to speak.


                         And in the thoughts of life and fire,
                         Learn'd from God's encamping band,
                         Her words seem'd like a holy lyre
                         Tun'd in the spirit land.


                         We read it in the glorious spark,
                         Of strange, unearthly light,
                         That ever and anon would start
                         The dimness from her sight.


                         'Meet, O meet me in the kingdom,'
                         Said our lov'd and dying one,
                         I long to be with Jesus,
                         I am on my journey home.


                         Like a child oppressed with slumber,
                         She calmly sank to rest,
                         With her trust in her Redeemer,
                         While reposing on his breast.


                         She faded from our vision,
                         Like a thing of love and light,
                         But we feel she lives forever,
                         A spirit pure and bright.

        Brother Edward Cephas Africanus died in 1853, a young man, at the age of thirty-three years. The Philadelphia Conference spoke of him as "a bright and shining light, a worthy, efficient and zealous minister, and a rare example of true virtue and vital piety," and as one who "towered high as scholar and pulpit orator." Rev. T. M. D. Ward (now Bishop Ward) then wrote these lines:


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LINES ON THE DEATH OF REV. E. C. AFRICANUS.


                         'Twas good to see him die--to note the star
                         With beauteous beaming sink in western skies,
                         To keep its vigils in that better world.
                         'Twas sweet to hear the music of his words,
                         As if some kindred ones in angel tones
                         Held converse with earth-dwellers, ere the morn
                         Smote on the hills and tipp'd the spires with gold--
                         Such was his voice, as if the furtive winds
                         Had borne a wandering strain from seraph lyres.


                         O, how triumphant, when the strippling bared
                         His bosom to the blow, and calmly bade
                         The monster do his worst. For he had bathed
                         His soul in Heaven's own dew, and deeply thought
                         How Jesus went into the vale alone,
                         Shook its unearthly caverns--broke
                         The crown and reft the sting--
                         And lighted heavenly fires along
                         The mansions of the voiceless tomb.


                         He is clothed in white--the starry crown
                         Entwines his lofty brow--an angel
                         Harp he strikes, and sweeps the
                         Sounding chords with songs divine.

        One more specimen by the same writer is given:

THE HEROIC CHRISTIAN WARRIOR.


                         My soul, the conflict grows severe,
                         The troops of hell are drawing near--
                         But the strong guard that for the fight
                         Will guide thee to the worlds of light.


                         Gird on thy arms, march to the field,
                         With glittering blade and burnish'd shield;
                         High floats the spotless flag of truth,
                         Upborne by hands that never droop.


                         The battle trump sounds long and loud,
                         Bidding each warrior grasp his sword;
                         Jehovah's great Eternal Son
                         Will lead the fearless army on.


                         Methinks I hear the glorious shout--
                         The victory's won, the battle's fought,
                         Emmanuel's troops have won the day--
                         His foes have fled in wild dismay.


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                         No more the clarion sound we hear
                         Thrilling each heart with hope and fear;
                         The warrior wears the victor's palm
                         High in the bright and better land.


                         There in the realms of endless day,
                         Where stirring zephyrs lofty play,
                         We'll stand amid the spotless throng
                         And chant redemption's gladsome song.


                         Cease not the strife, my blood-bought soul;
                         Press onward to the blissful goal--
                         Broad streams of everlasting light
                         Will burst upon thy ravish'd sight.

        Among other writers who contributed to the Christian Recorder, and their productions, we note the following: Miss Sarah M. Douglas' "Scientific Conversations between a Mother and her Children;" Rev. A. G. Beman on the "Printing Press;" "Essays," by Mr. Johnson Woodlin; Essays upon "Christianity" and "Women's Rights," by Miss Frances E. Watkins; "Essay" and "Review of Mrs. Johnson's Lecture on Physiology," by Miss Mary Still; Essay on "The Soul," by Mr. I. C. Wear; "Review of Mr. Wear's Essay," by Rev. Jabez P. Campbell; "Reminiscences by a Colored Traveler," by Dr. Pennington; poetry, by Joseph W. Curtis, and various productions from other writers.


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CHAPTER XXVI.
AFRICAN METHODISM IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1854, 1855.

        The New England Conference--Testimony Against American Slavery--Prosperous Condition of the Churches--Temporal and Spiritual Blessings--Indiana Conference--State of the Book Concern--Christian Recorder Suspended--Two Ministers to be Appointed to Bethel Church, Baltimore--Bishop Nazrey's Practical Advice--Canadian Churches--A Startling Movement.

        IN the Baltimore Conference of 1854 five young men were admitted to the itinerant field--Savage L. Hammonds, Samuel Watts, Jacob Brooks, William H. Hopkins and John H. Gaines. Michael Sluby was admitted into full connection. Isaac Brown, William H. Russell, William Cook and John Martin were ordained deacons, and Pompey Finney an elder; the latter's recommendation being that "he was aged and venerable." This year witnessed the close of the labors of Bishop Nazrey as the presiding officer of the Baltimore churches.

        The ministers of the New England churches assembled in Providence, R. I., this year, and Bishop Nazrey assisted Bishop Payne, who presided over their deliberations. Rev. William J. Fuller was secretary. Two young men were admitted on trial into the itinerant ranks--Charles H. Pierce and William M. Watson. Jacob Mitchell was received into full connection.

        A resolution was adopted to expunge the name of every local member from the minutes who should absent himself from the deliberations of the Conference for two successive years. That aged veteran of the Cross, Rev. Richard Robinson, called the attention of the Conference to the Island of Hayti. He spoke of it as a wide field of labor, promising a rich reward if a suitable young man could be obtained to send into it.

        Bishop Nazrey presented the claims of the Christian Recorder. He said:

        If the ministers and people would use their influence in favor of it, the paper would be sustained. It was the great organ of the Connection, through which we could hear from every part of it. We live too much estranged from one another, and will ever be so until we will support a weekly paper that can connect every portion of the Church by weekly intelligence. That it may shed light and truth among us, it must be ably


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supported. But this cannot be done without sleepless and untiring efforts on the part of the ministry.


        He concluded with the following appeal:

        Let us, therefore, be aroused from our sleep. Let us take hold as one man, laughing at difficulties and opposition. O, let us but will it, and it shall be done.


        The Committee on Missions--William J. Fuller, James L. Smith and Charles H. Pierce--reported a constitution for a missionary society, which was adopted. A society was immediately organized according to its provisions, and the sum of $13.00 was paid into the treasury. The Daughters of Conference from Boston and New Bedford, Mass., and Providence, R. I., contributed a total of $114.50 to the moneys of Conference. The support which the whole district gave its ministry, not including table expenses, fuel and house-rent, amounted to the sum of $765.80. This was not a very mean sum when it is remembered that the Conference was only two years old, and the total number of communicants only six hundred and eight.

        The testimony which Conference bore against American slavery may be seen in the report of the committee on that subject:

To the Bishops and Annual Conference of the A. M. E. Church now in session in the City of Providence, R. I.:

        We, your committee to whom was referred the subject of slavery, beg leave most respectfully to submit the following report as the result of our deliberation:

        WHEREAS, The slave power is bent on its course of systematic oppression and injustice towards our race, robbing us of our liberty, breaking in upon the peace of our homes, carrying many of our dear friends from a land of liberty to that of cruel and merciless bondage, without due process of law, regardless of all the groans and tears of a Christian community;

        AND WHEREAS, New slave territories have been added to it, wresting a large section of country from the domain of freedom, a section whose freedom from slavery rested upon a historic fact in the Annals of American Legislation, but which has been denied by the slavery propaganda; therefore,

        Resolved, That we, as a body, do, in the name of Almighty God, utter a solemn protest against slavery in all conditions, believing it to be the sum of all villainies--that is, take wrong, violence and injustice; take cruelty, hard-heartedness and contempt for the rights and interests of humanity; take fornication, adultery, concubinage of the different races of the human family, in all their acts--among all, there is none more cruel, more wicked, more unrighteous, than the cruel system of slavery. In its system are


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theft, robbery and murder. Add them all together, and the sum total will be slavery.

        Resolved, That in the enactment and passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, and the more recent act, namely, the repealing of the Compromise of 1820, in the passage of the Nebraska Bill--in these wicked and cruel acts are burning coals of fire, which will burn to the lowest hell. Over them all hovers the dark angel of night, covering them with the dark mantle of wickedness.

        Resolved, That we have entire confidence in the promises of God to deliver the oppressed nations of earth from the thraldom of sin and slavery, and to establish righteousness and truth, life and liberty, to all the human race.

        Resolved, That until our voices are heard no more we will wage a life-long and sleepless warfare with the principles of slavery in all its varied forms.

        Resolved, That we appoint a committee at this Conference, now in session, to wait on the Hon. William W. Hoppin, now Governor of this state, and present to him a copy of our resolutions on the slavery question, and ask his influence in behalf of the colored citizens of this state, many of whom are members of our churches.

        Voted that the committee consist of the Bishops of this Conference--Rt. Rev. Daniel A. Payne and Rt. Rev. Willis Nazrey.

REV. W. H. JONES, Chairman, Committee on Slavery.
W. M. WATSON, Committee on Slavery.
REV. G. A. STANFORD, Committee on Slavery.
C. H. PIERCE, Committee on Slavery.
REV. JAMES HYATT, Committee on Slavery.

Providence, January 26th, 1854.

        The examination of the affairs of the New England churches exhibited a prosperous condition.

        The Ohio churches held their Annual Conference in the city of Detroit, in the month of August. Bishop Quinn had presided over the affairs committed to their charge from 1852 to the present year. The acting secretaries were Green and Davis. H. C. Gilispie was placed on probation as an itinerant, and E. Epps, J. Tibbs and S. T. Jones were received into full connection.

        The churches in general were in good condition, as shown by the parochial reports. Pleasant Hill Church was attached to the Zanesville Station, Dresden to the Lancaster Circuit, and Troy to the Urbana. The Meadville Circuit was formed. The Toledo Mission was incorporated into the Sandusky Mission, and Beaver was attached to the Allegheny Station.

        The Union Seminary reported thirteen students during the past year, declared its condition a favorable one, and the farm under good culture.


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        The two who had died during the year were Rev. John P. Woodson and Rev. Thomas Lawrence. The former was a man of thirty-four years, and died at the residence of his father in Jackson county, Ohio., on the 21st of November, 1853, after a "severe illness of most extreme suffering for more than a year, which he bore with Christian resignation." Our efforts to collect the facts of interest in his history were useless, but a sketch of Brother Lawrence is herewith given. He died of cholera August 3d, 1854.

        He was a native of South Carolina, and was born in Wilkesborough, near Granville Court-house, in the year 1805. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Lawrence. His mother was a praying woman. She often took little Thomas to class-meeting from the time he was five years old; and, according to his statement, he was never out of the class-meeting afterwards. On a certain occasion he was in company with his two aunts on the way to a prayer-meeting in the country. They told him to step aside while they were praying in a thicket. Here they remained thus engaged till they became so happy as to rejoice aloud. This circumstance so deeply affected little Tommy that he trembled with fear on account of his sins, and begged his aunts to pray for him, while he himself sought the Lord continually for the period of three weeks. At the end of that time he went to hear the word of God at the afternoon service. Under the ministrations his distress became so great that he ran out of the sanctuary into a garden, where he prayed until one of the preachers found him thus engaged, took him upon his knees, and instructed him in the way of life. At night he returned to the house of God, where many were praying. There also was his grandfather, then an awakened sinner, crying for mercy at the hands of God.

        The feelings of Tommy became very deep; he believed in Christ, and rejoiced in a sense of his pardoning love. In this faith he continued till his nineteenth year, when he received license to exhort. This license was given him by Rev. Mr. Young, of the M. E. Church. He exercised the gift as an exhorter for four years, when he was licensed to preach by Rev. Wiley Reynolds, with whom he traveled in the Chillicothe Circuit, in the state of Ohio. This was in 1828. At Chillicothe City he labored for one week, and he was made to rejoice in the fact that the Great Head of the Church sealed his labors with the conversion of five persons.


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        On the Chillicothe Circuit he labored three years, one year with Brother Reynolds, one year with Brother Cousins, and one by himself--the Lord blessing his labors in every direction. In the third year he experienced great difficulties through the opposition of a zealous brother until his third Quarterly Meeting, at which time the Lord poured the grace of his spirit so copiously that many were pricked to the heart, and twenty or thirty converted to God, two of whom became local preachers. In this year he built a church in Chillicothe, and organized a society in the Big Bottom. Brother Lawrence also organized one in Brown County, one at Harden's Creek, and one at Piketon.

        From Chillicothe Circuit he was removed to the Columbus Circuit, where he married his first wife, Miss Joann Martin. While riding this circuit he organized the society at Springfield, now one of the most interesting churches in the state. He also organized one at Muddy Creek, and one at Circleville. In those times traveling was difficult, and the circuit so long that it often took a man a whole day to reach a single appointment. On one occasion he had to ride through a winter storm so severe that when he reached his journey's end his feet were so frozen to the stirrups that a friend had to knock them loose with a stick.

        At the expiration of two years he was sent back to the Chillicothe Circuit. During the first year of the second term he established the society at Gallipolis. This place had the character of stony ground, and the enemy did all in his power to render the labor of God's servant ineffectual by blasting the good seeds which were sown. But Christ was with him and made him conqueror; for the ringleader of the party who opposed him, who was also the fiddler of the town, was led captive by the Prince of Peace, and is now an itinerant preacher in the west. Another of these ringleaders, who had given a corn-husking party with the intention of destroying the good effects of Brother Lawrence's labors, subsequently became the subject of redeeming grace, and years later was an excellent man, a class-leader, a steward, and a very pillar in the church at Gallipolis.

        The society at Jackson was also established by him. In this church is the family of the Woodsons, of whom the father is Thomas Woodson, and the mother, Jemima, who are remarkable for their piety, intelligence, and family government.

        He organized a society at Clinton during his labors, in which


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Brother Lee was converted, subsequently joined the ministry, and became a traveling preacher in the Ohio Conference.

        In the year 1834, while laboring on the Zanesville Circuit, he organized a society in Wheeling, Va., which afterwards became scattered to the four winds. He also organized a society in McIntyre; but this was like the hot deserts of Sahara that yield nothing. If he formed a class, and placed it under a leader, by the time he had gone halfway around his circuit this class would turn out the leader and appoint some one else.

        As a general thing, however, his labors on the Zanesville Circuit were temporally and spiritually blessed. In this year his wife died at Columbus, where her ashes sleep in hope of a joyful resurrection. While this sad event was transpiring he was at Mount Pleasant holding his last quarterly meeting. From Zanesville he was sent to Hillsboro Circuit. There, in 1835, he organized a society at Martinsville. In 1836 he was appointed to the Pittsburg Station. His appointment embraced three churches--that in Front street, that on the hill, called Allen Chapel, and the one in Allegheny City. During his labors there, Front Street Church was enlarged and reconstructed. This appointment lasted but one year. From this he was sent to Washington Circuit. On this circuit he organized four societies: one at Connellsville, one at George's Creek, one at the Ten Mile Run, and one at Black Lick. From Washington Circuit he was removed to Cincinnati Station. This year he married Miss Melinda Hill in the village of New Albany, Indiana. His labors in Cincinnati resulted in the conversion of many souls. In 1838 he was re-stationed in the city of Pittsburg. There his labors were blessed in an extraordinary manner, and the flock under his care increased from two hundred and fifty to five or six hundred. In this appointment he remained two years. At the end of that time he was sent again to the Washington Circuit in Pennsylvania. During this appointment he organized a society at Red Stone, and built a house of worship at Brownsville. From this he was sent to Columbus Circuit, on which he labored two years more, during which time he built the neat house that adorned that city for many years, and added many to the sacramental host. From thence he was moved back to the Zanesville Circuit, where he labored two years. The first year but few plants sprang up from the seed that was sown. Meanwhile he formed a society at Dresden.


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        During this year he suffered from slander and backbiting, but the slanderer experienced a change of heart, and confessed to bearing false witness against him, consequently the second year of his labors did not only witness the restoration of public confidence in him as a Christian minister, but also the revival of the work of God in his hands. At the expiration of his service on this circuit he was sent the third time to fill the Pittsburg Station. At this time the state of religion there was cold and barren. Brother Lawrence felt deeply interested for its change to a better condition; and as many were guilty of both secret and public backsliding, upon one occasion he took the text, "Will ye also go away?" The unction of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the sermon, and an interesting work followed. At the end of one year he was removed to the Allegheny Station. During his first year's labors his opposition was great, nevertheless some good was attendant upon them. The second year was crowned with signal blessings. A large number of young men were pricked to the heart, constrained to cry aloud for mercy, and finally rejoiced in a Saviour's love. By the end of this term ninety souls were added to the flock. From Allegheny he was sent again to the Cincinnati Station. This was in 1851. During his labors here he was compelled to direct his energies chiefly to raising money to complete the erection of a new house of worship which he found in progress upon his arrival. In this effort he was as successful as the state of the money market and the means of the people permitted; $3,000 was the amount raised.

        In September, 1853, Brother Lawrence received his last appointment--from the Cincinnati to the Pittsburg Station--and from the hands of Bishop Quinn. There, in his old pastorate, he labored with his usual acceptance till he fell a victim to the cholera, August 3d, 1854.

        Brother Lawrence was a man of tall stature, with a slight inclination to corpulency; of a light complexion, with a round face and an elongated head. His manners were open and pleasing, and he was of a social, jovial disposition. He was illiterate, but, notwithstanding, he was an instructive preacher. His style was not brilliant, but clear and massive. He was not a razor, but a broadaxe. He left a wife and three children to mourn their loss, together with his beloved congregation and numerous friends.

        The Conference summed up the general feeling when, in its resolutions of respect, the ministers best acquainted with his


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character and usefulness said, that "the young men of the west have lost a father, and the cause of education an advocate."

        The Indiana Conference met--the fifteenth year of its labors in this particular field--in the city of Indianapolis. Bishop Quinn, who presided over the district, was absent at the opening, but subsequently arrived.

        William J. Greenly, an intelligent layman and an excellent scribe, with Rev. E. McIntosh, were secretaries. Five brethren were placed upon probation as itinerants--W. Trevan, D. Rush, G. Nelson, E. Wilkerson and J. M. Garrow. J. W. Early, William Davidson, J. Bass and John Curtis were admitted into full connection. Seven were ordained elders--John Turner, E. Weaver, L. W. Bass, F. Myers, C. Doughty, Richard Bridges and W. Miles. Three were numbered with the dead--John Morgan, Abraham Burtch and Benjamin Crider. Of the three, the first had been for sometime a member of the Indiana Conference, and died October 9, 1853. "He was about fifty-two years of age, and had been a member of the church twenty-four years, a licensed preacher twenty years, fifteen a deacon, and four an elder. During his ministry, in connection with the A. M. E. Church, he was an active and useful member of this Conference. He was firm and true to his Master's cause. The young men who were placed under him had nothing of which to complain. They loved him as a father and guide. He lived a Christian, a faithful working man; he died at his post in full triumph of faith, saying to many of the flock committed to his care, who stood weeping about his bed: "Brethren, I am the object of your care; I have been sent among you to serve you; be encouraged, and put your trust in God; I have examined myself and find nothing wanting."

        Benjamin Crider died August 5th, 1854. He "had long been a minister and member of the M. E. Church, and but recently a minister of ours;" but it is said of him that he "labored for its good." Rev. Abraham Burtch died May 5th, aged forty-two years.

        The Indiana churches showed an increase for the closing year of three hundred and one. Four thousand four hundred and ninety-three souls were in communion with the Church of this district.

        Hill's Chapel, in Grant County, Ind., was attached to the Lafayette Circuit; Cabin's Creek Settlement to the Richmond Circuit; and Graysville to the Madison Station. A mission was


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opened at Corvington, La., on Lake Ponchartrain, and one was also ordered to be opened in St. Louis.

        The annual meeting of the Home Missionary Society was held, and its claims advocated by Rev. J. M. Brown (now Bishop J. M. Brown) and Bishop D. A. Payne. Its agent, Rev. Elisha Weaver, reported the sum of $414.90. The benevolent societies of the Roman Street Church, in New Orleans, made a donation of $33.00 to the Conference.

        It was made the duty of each circuit and stationed preacher to raise the sum of two dollars to aid the widows of deceased itinerants. Thirteen dollars were contributed on the spot for widow Morgan.

        Action was taken on various questions, but the report upon education showed the dawn of a new era for our people. These extracts from that report will indicate the source of the new light, and the prospects in store for us:

        And in the great work of educating the rising generation of our people in the Western free states, we have at present the greatest encouragement from the Cincinnati Conference of the M. E. Church, which, at its last session in Hillsboro, took into consideration the many disadvantages under which the colored people labor in the above states, and propose making efficient arrangements for the obviation of those difficulties which hitherto have retarded their educational progress, by a unanimous agreement on their part to give to those of the colored people who will make an effort to educate their children, and those for whom they act as guardians, their aid. The said Conference proposes to co-operate with the A. M. E. Church in this great and laudable undertaking. Whereupon, we recommend the adoption of the following preamble and resolutions:

        WHEREAS, the Cincinnati Conference of the M. E. Church, at its last session (at Hillsboro), kindly and benevolently expressed its sympathy for the free colored people of the Western free states, in view of the educational disadvantages under which they labor, and unanimously agreed to render them aid in the obviation of said disadvantages, and also in the elevation of the colored people generally in said free states; and

        WHEREAS, the said Conference proposes a co-operation with the A. M. E. Church in this great work; therefore,

        Resolved, 1st. That our people in the Western free states should be grateful to said Conference for its sympathy and kind offer.

        Resolved, 2d. That the A. M. E. Church hails with hearty welcome and heartfelt thanks the doings of the Cincinnati Conference as above explained.

        Resolved, 3d. That it shall be the duty of each of our traveling preachers to establish and encourage day and Sabbath-schools in their charges, and to preach two or more sermons on the subject of education during the year.



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        This report was signed by H. R. Revels, J. M. Brown, A. M. McIntosh, E. Weaver and L. W. Bass as the committee. A committee, consisting of Revs. Willis R. Revels, Æneas McIntosh and Emmanuel Wilkerson, was then appointed to correspond with the committee of the Cincinnati Conference and others of the same denomination in the West, if need be. A committee, consisting of the first two of the above committee and A. M. Parker, was appointed to meet the Board of Managers and Trustees of the Union Seminary, first, to adopt such measures as would promote its well-being, and secondly, to negotiate with the Board aforesaid for such an interest in the institution as would enable the Indiana Conference to participate in the government of the said seminary.

        The Philadelphia Conference of 1854 assembled in Philadelphia. At the opening of the deliberations Bishop Payne was the only prelate present. His colleagues, Bishops Nazrey and Quinn, subsequently came and aided him in presiding over the business of the Conference. Nothing of much historic importance was transacted. Joseph H. Smith and William Norris were continued on trial, and Ephraim Wilson, Robert Gibson and William H. Jackson were placed on trial. Brothers Richard Burney and Andrew Till were ordained elders. Rev. M. M. Clark, who was elected editor at the last General Conference, and who subsequently, through the resignation of Rev. W. T. Catto, became general book steward, resigned his twofold office. Before this act he made his annual report, which exhibited the true condition of the book concern. From this we gather several facts: That the cash on hand at the close of the previous fiscal year was $12.70; the total receipts for the present year, $1,120.68; the expenditures, $1,068.45; cash in hand, $52.23; its total indebtednesss, $189.54; its claims against others, $384.13; the receipts of the store during the year, $245.24; the expenditures, $243.23; the available stock in hand, $400.00; that all other effects added and sold, the total profits would be $1,230.00; that the book concern may be regarded as worth the sum of $1,780.00; that the committee appointed by the Bishop to revise the hymn-book had nearly finished their work; that it was the design of the book steward to publish two forms of the hymn-book, one for the pews, of large print and size, the other for the pulpit, of smaller type and dimensions; that the weekly paper, the Christian Recorder, was suspended for the want of means; that it was


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his opinion, "nothing ought to induce the Conference to resume its publication until by some effort the measure recommended by the late General Conference be carried out in raising capital to do its business. Every trial without a capital will prove an utter failure in the present state of things. All confidence is now lost. Therefore, let the public mind in reference to the paper take its balmy repose; meanwhile, let a capital be raised, and then resume under a fair prospect of restoring confidence."

        The church in West Philadelphia sent a memorial complaining of the fact that many of its members who could, would not contribute to support its institutions, and propounding the following question: "Is a member of the Church, having the ability to contribute for its support, and refusing or neglecting so to do, an acceptable one, and as such entitled to all the privileges of the Church?" It was referred to a committee, who answered in the negative. There is a very important principle involved in this question and answer, which does not fully appear in their present form. It is this: "Is any man or woman a Christian who can but will not support by their money the institutions of Christianity?" The answer was equivalent to saying that if a man or woman professes to be a Christian, but will not give money to support the Christian institutions of the Church, that man, or that woman, being able, is not a Christian, and therefore is not entitled to the privileges of the Christian Church. Our opinion is that this is a just decision. It seems that after due allowance is made for absolute poverty, decrepitude and sickness, no one should be considered or treated as a reputable Christian who does not give to all the institutions of Christianity according to his ability; provided, that the claims of these institutions are fairly laid before them. Even the widow, whose poverty was so abject that she was reduced to two mites--a single farthing could give--yes, give not one of those mites and keep the other, but both--her all, even her all, her whole life, as the original has it. Those who love much will give much; those who love a little will give but a little; those who love none will give none.

        If the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and he assures us of this truth, what must He think of him who gives grudgingly, and how does he regard such a man? In the case of the poor widow, a mean spirit would have said, "You have but two mites, can you spare one? No, you can't. Suppose you give one, what


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will you do for your bread and butter to-morrow? You will want it, you better not give it; no, you better not." "I will," said the noble heart of this poor Christian, "I will give, not one, but both--my all. I have a Father in heaven; He will provide for me." It was done, and God did not betray her confidence. She never wanted bread. No, never. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." So, also, "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered himself."

        Marcus Brown and William Henry had died this year. The former was a native of Africa. He was stolen, and sold a slave in Charleston, S. C. There he was awakened and converted to God. Sometime after his manhood he obtained his freedom through the kindness of Elder Morris Brown, subsequently Bishop Brown, and followed him to Philadelphia, Pa., in 1822-3. Here Brother Marcus, under Bishop Brown's auspices, was permitted to exercise his ministerial gifts and graces as a local preacher. He was perfectly illiterate, and could not utter the simplest sentence in good English, and his pulpit performances did not amount to more than a plain exhortation, except when he was telling his experience, as he very often did. He was the most illiterate man that was permitted to occupy the pulpit of old Bethel. He was a local man to be sure, but he had an influence over his inferiors. He was a good man, and ended his career in peace.

        In the city of Baltimore the session of the Baltimore Conference was held in 1855. Bishop Quinn presided alone. Rev. A. W. Wayman was secretary. Four young men were admitted on probation into the itinerant field. These were Leonard C. Speaks, W. W. Grimes, William H. Russell, John H. Gaines. Charles Hicks was received as a local probationer. James Sterritt was admitted into full connection, and Michael Sluby and Jacob Brooks were ordained elders.

        The members in Society were reported as five thousand five hundred and eight; the contingent collection amounted to $258.09; the two-cent collection to $193.28; for episcopal support, $153.98. Conference decided to raise $200 for the last object the ensuing year. Local delegates were elected to the approaching General Conference in the persons of C. Dunn, D. W. Moore, W. H. G. Brown, C. Hicks, J. W. Brown, J. L. Brister, S. S. Carr and C. Dobson.

        After a protracted discussion it was decided that two ministers


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were to be appointed to Bethel Church, in the city of Baltimore, one of whom was to take the special charge of a mission to be opened in that city. Rev. J. A. Shorter was the mover of this motion, and at the instance of Rev. A. Massey, the Lewiston Circuit, in the state of Delaware, was divided into the Georgetown and Lewiston Circuits. When the cause of missions came up, resolutions were submitted and approved which, in addition to home fields, looked to foreign lands by recommending the opening of a correspondence with the Liberia Mission of the M. E. Church in Africa.

        As usual, the Philadelphia ministry held their Annual Conference in Philadelphia this year. Bishop Nazrey presided, assisted by Bishop Quinn. Rev. Joshua Woodlin was secretary. Four young men were admitted into the itinerant field as probationers--Joshua Woodlin, Robert Gibson, John T. Jackson and Jeremiah Young. Joseph A. Smith was admitted into full connection. Rev. William T. Catto withdrew from us and joined the Old School Presbyterians. Three were numbered with the dead--Edward M. Ferris, William Harmon and William N. Brown.

        The delegates elected to the General Conference of 1856 were Dr. J. J. G. Bias, S. Smith, J. P. B. Eddy, J. M. Brown, Robert Collins, A. Johnson, L. J. Conover and H. Dickerson.

        The general traveling book agent resigned from his agency. So, within three years the three chief officers of the book concern had all resigned and forsaken that particular field of labor. Rev. William T. Catto, the general book steward, resigned within three months from the day of his election; Rev. M. M. Clark, the editor and general book steward, resigned at the end of two years; and Rev. William H. Jones, the book agent, now resigns at the end of three years. This would seem to prove to every discriminating mind that our Church was not yet prepared to sustain a literary department. These three brethren were among our best educated men, and as for the last mentioned he was neither wanting in intelligence, activity nor thrift, because he himself had published more literary matter upon his own responsibility than the whole book committee put together. These facts may have set the brethren to thinking, as Rev. P. Gardner proposed to be one of an hundred men to pay one dollar monthly for one year to support the Christian Recorder, whereupon Rev. Stephen Smith proposed to give one hundred dollars if fifty men would


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pay fifty dollars, or if one hundred men would give one hundred he would give two hundred. But there was not enough public spirit in the Conference to accept the propositions of either of the two men. All that could be raised on the spot in this behalf was $21.00; but it was resolved to publish the Christian Recorder semi-monthly as long as it could be sustained.

        The general book steward reported $988.57 as receipts for the year, and $1,000.50 as the expenditures. Still the district raised this year for the support of the various institutions of the Church $3,960.79.

        The Committee on Missions advised the establishment of a Home and Foreign Missionary Society; that all the means raised for this purpose be forwarded to the general book steward, to be deposited in the hands of the book concern treasurer, and believed that if the rules of the Discipline on this subject were enforced, no small amount of means could be raised within a short time to send one or more missionaries to Africa, or any other foreign point. They also recommended the sending of a missionary to take care of the Stroudsburg Mission, which had been opened in 1853; and also to provide support for a city missionary whose field should extend over Philadelphia and its vicinity. In this connection a very revolutionary motion was injudiciously adopted by this Conference. It empowered the Bishop to ordain a man for missionary purposes by bringing him before any Quarterly Conference of the African M. E. Church.

        Bishop Nazrey's annual address this year was full of practical advice. He still pleaded for a foreign mission, referring to the fact that in the "early days of the Church" there was a "missionary in Africa and St. Domingo from our Connection." He felt that "the spirit had died," and prayed for an awakening. He also said, "Those who will sit down in the Church and enjoy all its blessings and privileges, and do nothing to sustain it, are doing the work of the slaveholder in oppressing the poor or his brother; and the minister or preacher who will favor such, or encourage it, is partaking of and indulging in the same sin." The Bishop, among other decisions, made two, which for their truthfulness and equity deserve special mention.

        A question arose in Conference in relation to what would be a justifiable process of law. The Bishop decided--

        "1. That it was governed by circumstances; for instance, if a member of the Church is acting under the direction of the common


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law, and is bound by oath to make returns at a court or any other place, according to law, and comes in contact with a member of the Church whose acts are about to make him violate his oath or forfeit his obligation to the court, it would constitute a justifiable process at law.

        2. "If a member is in debt to another, or has done him a serious injury, and is fleeing from justice, the aggrieved parties would be justifiable in a process at the civil law, from the fact that in the one case the Church has no power to act, and in the other it has not time to arrest the parties fleeing from justice; and other similar cases according to circumstances."

        On the 19th of May the New York Annual Conference convened, Bishop Quinn presiding alone, with Rev. Leonard Patterson secretary. Four preachers were admitted on probation--Edward Thompson, Richard J. Cliff, Jeremiah V. Thomas and E. Sparrow. Leonard Patterson and Edward Thompson were ordained elders for the itinerant service, and Joshua Jenkins for the local. George C. Clark and Willis Jones were ordained local deacons. The total number of communicants in these churches were reported as two thousand and eighty-eight. The total of the collections which were reported reached $2,505.64, many Sunday-schools not reporting what was raised to sustain them. The Daughters of Conference gave $206.68. Delegates to the General Conference were elected: Edward Johnson and J. E. Dallas, of New York City, and George Wills, of Long Island.

        Brother Thomas Legg was the only one whose death was recorded. Rev. J. M. Williams, one of the leading members of the New York Conference, has written of him: "Brother Legg was born in Sangerties, Ulster county, state of New York, December 20th, 1820, and died in Newark, N. J., September 8th, 1854, in the thirty-fifth year of his age. He was the subject of converting grace in the year 1845. He connected himself with the A. M. E. Church, in Second street, New York. He was licensed to preach in 1847. In 1852 he joined the itinerant service, and was appointed to the Huntingdon Circuit, Long Island, which he traveled for two years. In 1854 he was appointed to the West Chester Circuit, which he traveled about three months, when he was attacked by the hasty consumption and bleeding at the lungs, which soon brought him to the grave. He left a wife, mother, sisters and many friends to mourn their loss. Brother Thomas Legg was a man of fine talents and of


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great promise as a Christian minister, and a young man of ardent and devoted piety. Under a deep conviction of his ministerial responsibility, he prosecuted his work with undeviating fidelity. As his health declined, there was a manifest ripening for heaven, and the people of his charge will not soon forget the almost inspired words which fell from his lips as he addressed them for the last time, almost from the borders of the grave. Brother Legg was a zealous and useful laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. He died as the Christian and Christian minister should die--in the triumphs of the Christian faith; and in the solemn hour of death he was permitted to realize that unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. Our brother sleeps in Jesus, and rests in heaven."

        The month of June saw the Annual Conference of the New England churches in session in Providence, R. I. William Watson was secretary, and Bishop Nazrey presided alone. Two young men were admitted on trial--Thomas Sunrise and George A. Rue. Ransom Parker, a local deacon, was admitted into full connection. Jacob Mitchell was ordained an elder; Charles H. Pierce and William M. Watson, deacons. Six hundred and sixty-one members were in communion. The total amount raised for contingent expenses was only $60.45, while the total of all moneys raised--for support of ministry and missions, two-cent money, Sunday-schools and episcopal support--reached $1,101.52.

        A fault common to all the Conferences was the omission to report amounts raised for fuel, house-rent and board for the pastors. It is certainly a great omission, at once unjust to the people and to themselves.

        Bishop Nazrey gave the Conference his usual wholesome advice. Resolutions were passed on the usual subjects, and the ministry parted without having made any provision for local delegates to the General Conference.

        The three Bishops were present at the meeting of the ministry of the Canadian churches, on July 21st, in the town of Chatham. Bishop Payne was president of the Conference, but the three presided alternately. Brother I. W. Hall was received on probation, and, with Benjamin Stuart, was ordained to the office of elder, as was L. C. Chambers to that of local deacon. The communicants of the churches were numbered as two thousand and ninety souls. The total of moneys raised was $1,076.76.


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        Rev. Benjamin Stuart here started the movement which we shall see developed later on. He presented the following document:

        WHEREAS, We, the members of the Canada Annual Conference of the A. M. E. Church, now in session in the town of Chatham, Canada West, see the great disadvantages under which we labor by not having a Discipline in conformity with the laws of the province in which we live; therefore, be it

        Resolved, That it is our indispensable duty to have a Book of Discipline in accordance with the laws of Her Most Gracious Majesty, under whose scepter we enjoy our rights as men; and that we do hereby petition the General Conference to set us apart as a separate body.


        This preamble and resolution fell upon the ear of the Conference like a clap of thunder in a clear sky. The mover of this had been all his life a member of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, and had been resident in the province just about twelve months. Apparently, he was the most timid man present--how came it to pass that he should make so bold a movement. The answer was found in every man's inner consciousness. There was an absolute need for it. That need was clearly set forth in the document presented, and every man present who was acquainted with the state of things in Canada knew that the document stated a fact that no reasonable man would attempt to deny. Hence, after due consideration of the question, it was unanimously carried. Bishops Nazrey and Payne assented to the measure as needful, just and beneficial. Bishop Quinn was apparently elated. He arose and declared himself a British subject by birth, which relation to the British government he had never forfeited. He said that he had property in the province. "Bishop Nazrey is already here," he continued; "I will soon be here, and very likely my other colleague will ultimately make his home here from the very force of circumstances. Indeed, I believe we shall all make our homes here."*

        * Bishop Quinn's remarks were induced by the unhappy condition of our people resulting from the action of the Fugitive Slave Law.


        It will be seen that we were approaching a period in which some great changes were to take place. The Canadian churches were to detach themselves from the A. M. E. Connection, and education was to crystalize into a specific shape for our people.

        The Ohio Annual Conference met in August, in Columbus, Ohio. All the Bishops were present, and J. P. Underwood and


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Edward Davis were secretaries. John Ridgeway, L. T. Jones and John Tibbs were ordained elders. Richard C. Gardener was ordained a deacon. James H. Payne was admitted into the itinerant service on probation. One young itinerant, Rev. James F. Copeland, had died. He was a young man of twenty-six years, well educated, urbane in his manners, prepossessing in appearance and of sound character. He promised a long career of usefulness, but so rapid were the invasions of that disease, pulmonary affection, that he was able to preach but one sermon in the Columbus Station, where he had been sent. He died November 21st, 1854.

        The Ohio churches had raised this year for preachers' support--salaries alone--$2,034.45; and the total amount of moneys reported for 1855, in this district, was $2,497.93.

        This was an interesting session. The Rev. Mr. Asbury of the M. E. Church, once an itinerant, now a local preacher, was introduced to the Conference by Rev. M. M. Clark, and addressed the body on the great question of education, substantially, as follows:

        He resolved many years ago that if he ever became wealthy he would act as a steward for God. Through his own labors, by God's blessings, he had come into possession of some of the most valuable real estate in the city of Columbus. By invitation of Rev. M. M. Clark he had paid a visit to the Union Seminary. He was disappointed in his expectations of it. He said that it did not afford the conveniences nor facilities of a common district village school, and that the population around it did not justify its continuance. If it were his own property he would sell it and purchase in another position where patronage and advantages could be found sufficient to sustain it. In a word, he recommended the establishment of a manual labor school, in which all the sciences should be taught, but not the dead languages.

        He alluded to an Annual Conference of the M. E. Church, which, at a time when the state of education was so low among the people of that denomination, had sent out four or five agents to collect moneys for educational purposes, but they had all failed; finally, he was sent out, and, after great diligence and labor, succeeded. Since the M. E. Church has multiplied seminaries of the highest order, till they now number more than sixty, besides ten colleges. He said laziness and a want of thrift are a curse to the people of color--that the men who let their wives follow washing clothes for their bread, till they sunk from excessive


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labor into their graves, are murderers. He respected the honest, intelligent, wealthy colored man as he does the white. If the colored people as a mass would be laborious, industrious and economical, all parts of the community, private men and legislators, would come up to their help.

        Many years ago he had labored for the advancement of Methodism, through heat and cold, sometimes with a sheet of frost upon his face; he was not discouraged; he foresaw that his labors would result in great good, and he has lived to see his hopes fulfilled. Now the M. E. Church is numerous, powerful and rich.

        He related an interview which he had with Bishop Asbury over forty years ago, in which that venerable prelate encouraged him to persevere in his labors amid all the difficulties which surrounded him. He gave a sketch of his itinerant life. It abounded in thrilling anecdotes, showing the hardships which the itinerancy of that day had to endure, and the moral strength which was furnished them from on high to conquer difficulties and win souls for Christ.

        About twenty-four hours after, the Rev. John F. Wright, agent of the Cincinnati Conference of the M. E. Church, appeared in the midst of our Conference. Bishop Payne was then called upon by the Conference to present any documents or correspondence in his possession touching the propositions of the Cincinnati Conference to establish a school of a high order for the education of colored children and youth. After they were produced and read, Rev. Wright addressed the Conference. He wished to have it understood that he appeared there as an advocate of the highest interests of the colored man. This venerable man of God then showed in a clear and impressive manner the disadvantages under which we labor. He said even the benevolent provisions of the state laws of Ohio concerning our education were, in many instances, rendered null and void through the prejudices of the whites: this he confessed with shame. He showed the difference between the power of the rich man and that of the educated, making many pertinent remarks touching the great subject, and alluding to the approaching General Conference of his own and of our Church, and the good which might result from the combined action and influences of the two bodies.

        It was an occasion for felicitous speeches, and they were made, with the motion presenting Rev. Wright a vote of thanks, by M. M. Clark and A. R. Green, the latter referring to the time


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when he lay sick and helpless in Cincinnati and Brother Wright visited him, consoled him, and prayed with him. He welcomed this movement of the Cincinnati Conference as a heaven-sent blessing, and thought that we ought to give it our hearty support.

        Rev. John Peck, full of years and rich in experience among his down-trodden race, rose and, in a powerful speech that was full of pathos and fiery words, hailed the enterprise of the Cincinnati Conference as the very thing we needed. He had long listened to the professions of friendship which were made by the members of the M. E. Church. These were all good in themselves, but they were nothing more than words. Here, however, was something practical--a deed that would result in real and permanent benefit to our people. He had spent the better part of a long life laboring for the elevation of his injured people, and now in its decline he was about to see his ardent prayers answered and his hopes realized. The M. E. Church had it in her power to do much--it was her duty to do much--and she was about to do something for the benefit of those who most need her aid. With streaming eyes this "old man eloquent" sat down, surrounded by the throbbing hearts of his brethren.

        The report of the board of managers of Union Seminary was a confirmation of the statements of Mr. Asbury. It was also learned that the establishment of another seminary of learning, to be called Quinn Seminary, was in the minds and on the hearts of the brethren on Marshall Circuit, Michigan; but while the Conference resolved to give their "sympathies" to the enterprise, these assumed no practical form. Such institutions are not sustained by "sympathies."

        The Indiana Conference met this year (1855) on the beautiful camp-ground in the midst of the Lost Creek settlement, in Vigo county, state of Indiana, September 1st. Bishop Payne was president of the Conference district, but all three Bishops were present, and presided alternately. Five were admitted on probation--P. Tyler, Lewis Finley, Samuel Chandler, I. R. Revels and York Collier. Of these but one has served the itinerant cause. York Collier and David Wilson were recommended for the office of local deacons, and Brother W. A. Dove was received fully into the itinerant service.

        The total number of communicants were three thousand five hundred and three--an increase of ten. The total sum of moneys raised reached $2,655.20, and the benevolent societies of New Orleans


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donated $47.00. At this time the total amount in the missionary treasury was $150.15. Communications to Conference included a letter from Rev. Thomas M. D. Ward, giving an account of the California Mission, and documents from Rev. Wright in relation to the matters of education presented to the Ohio Conference.

        The educational report came from the committee, recommending that an "intelligent committee" be appointed, authorized to propose and receive any proposition "which our brethren of the M. E. Church have to offer." It also recommended that the presiding Bishop act with that committee. It further suggested that "meanwhile we should be actively engaged in building up the cause of education in our midst," and to this end the suggestion was made, if negotiations failed to secure an interest in Union Seminary, a location be selected "somewhere in the state of Indiana or Illinois for a seminary." It also recommended the establishment of an organ "through which we can publish our thoughts, thus concentrating our great work."

        It will be seen by all these movements that aside from freedom, the one great theme engaging the hearts and souls of the people was that of education. This report was a most truthful document, transparent as truthful, and bearing an awful testimony before God and Christendom against the pseudo-Christianity, pseudo-philanthropy, and pseudo-democracy of this pseudo-Republic.

        For the first time, at the instance of the presiding Bishop, particular days in the ensuing year were set apart to take up the several Conference collections. The election of local delegates to General Conference resulted in the selection of E. McIntosh, C. M. Barber, A. Hall, Y. Collier, D. Stokes and W. H. Rice.

        Some changes took place in the district. The Alton Circuit was divided into two--the Alton Circuit, embracing four churches at Alton, Brooklyn, Ridge Prairie and Rocky Flat; the Chester Circuit, embracing the six churches of Chester, Sparta, Mt. Vernon, Bellville, Shoal Creek and Turkey Hill. Madison Church was attached to the Charleston Circuit, as it was too poor to support a stationed preacher. The St. Paul Mission, in Minnesota, and the Wisconsin Missions were voted to be opened--the former embracing no other place, but the latter taking in Racine, Milwaukee, Madison and Knoshea.

        This year saw the setting off of a new Conference district--the Missouri Churches, as they were to be called. For several years past it had been seen by many that the Indiana Conference


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stretched over such a vast territory that it was very expensive for many of the laborers at the extreme points to reach annually the seat of Conference. Moreover, our churches in the slaveholding portions found it very prejudicial to them to be constrained to send their pastors into the free states, or to receive pastors from them. It was therefore deemed judicious to divide the Indiana Conference, and to call one of the parts the Missouri--to embrace all the churches in the slaveholding states of the West and Southwest. At the last meeting of the Indiana Conference, and according to the power vested in it by the General Conference of 1852, it was decreed that this should be done, and a committee was appointed to lay off the boundaries. This committee, consisting of Rev. J. M. Brown, Rev. A. M. Parker and Rev. W. R. Revels, reported "that the boundary be all the state of Missouri; all Illinois south of longitude 38°, running in a straight line from the Mississippi River to the Wabash; all Kentucky west of the Kentucky River; Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama." This was approved, and the laborers divided on the spot and notified to meet on the 13th of September, 1855, at 9 A. M., in the city of Louisville, Ky. There the following brethren appeared at that time in Quinn Chapel: Bishops W. P. Quinn and D. A. Payne; Elders Willis R. Revels, Aaron M. Parker, John M. Brown, Willis Miles, E. Wilkerson, Charles Doughty; Deacons Basil L. Brooks, Salem Campbell, John M. Garrow, Page Tyler; Licentiate Lewis Finley. All these were itinerants.

        Bishop Payne pronounced the address of this new Conference, of which John M. Brown, of New Orleans, was secretary. "The Holy Communion was then celebrated by all the ministers and brethren present. A deeply solemn and impressive season it was." Rev. Tyler and Lewis Finley were placed as probationers among the itinerants; York Collier and Clark M. Barber among the local. Basil L. Brooks was ordained an elder. A preachers' aid society was organized; also a missionary society, and a society for mental and moral improvement. The spirit and sentiment of this new-born Conference on missions and Sunday-schools were excellent, as the reports bore evidence. At its organization the Missouri Conference contained one thousand six hundred and ninety-eight members in Society. There were collected for contingent money $67.43, and the Conference ordered the sum of $108.00 to be raised for episcopal support.


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CHAPTER XXVII.
GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1856.

        Quadrennial Address--Attention Called to the Increasing Literary Advantages--Need of Financial Improvement--Need of "Oneness of Administration"--The Book Concern Incorporated--Request of Canadian Churches for Separation Granted--Report of Committee on Slavery--A Lengthy Debate Results.

        THE Tenth General Conference of the A. M. E. Church convened in the city of Cincinnati, state of Ohio, May 5th, 1856. It was opened by Bishop Quinn, then senior Bishop, who gave out the hymn,


                         "Come, Let us use the grace divine,"
and then addressed the throne of grace, after which Bishop Payne read the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of St. John. The secretaries finally elected were Rev. A. W. Wayman, Rev. James and Rev. George Broadie. A committee of one from each Conference was appointed to draft rules for the government of the General Conference, with A. R. Green chairman. His colleagues were Wayman, of Baltimore; Moore, of Philadelphia; Turner, of Indiana; Ed. Johnson, of New York; Broadie, of Canada; and W. R. Revels, of Missouri. Their work received the approval of the Conference.

        The Quadrennial Address of the Bishops is of such a nature that it is here presented in full:

        REVEREND AND DEAR BRETHREN:--In the opening of the Tenth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, it is our duty to address you on subjects relating to the general government and prosperity of the Connection; particularly on such points the importance and utility of which have been experimentally and providentially impressed upon our minds.

        Respecting the ministry, we feel, as heretofore, that we all ought to cultivate our minds by the study of every science--physical, mental and moral--to the end that we may be better qualified for the study and just apprehension of the great Book of Books--the Bible. The sciences to which allusion is made unfold nature in her varied, interesting and beautiful forms, and thus introduce us to the God of nature, who made her for and uses her as a medium through which he manifests himself to man.


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        God has also given us the Bible, and uses that wondrous book--like nature--only as a medium for revealing to man such features of his character as could not be realized by the study of nature alone. In the statement of this glorious truth we see the relation which nature bears to the Bible--which science sustains to revelation. Consequently, he who would read his Bible intelligently, and understand it thoroughly, must also make himself familiar with science; for, as they mutually shadow forth the Almighty One, so they mutually illustrate and confirm each other. Indeed, there are many portions of the word of God, the meaning, force, beauty and truth of which cannot be realized without a large amount of scientific information. To make this evident we could adduce many passages from the sacred text. Let one suffice. That is the 139th Psalm, particularly the 14th verse: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." A careful analysis of this text will show that it cannot be thoroughly understood by the preacher, nor rendered intelligible to the hearers, without some knowledge of anatomy, physiology, metaphysics and ethics.

        No man should be more intelligent than the ambassador of the Cross; because no position is so commanding, and no office freighted with such important results as his. The instructor alike of the learned and the ignorant, of the servant and his master, of the king and the peasant, should be well furnished with every species of useful knowledge. And still more: Of all the ministers of Christ, there is no class who need to be so thoroughly educated as those of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Called to traverse almost every section of this vast Republic--now in the North, then in the South; to-day in the East, to-morrow in the West; at one time to speak in the presence of the most refined and enlightened; the next before the most ignorant and rude; sometimes advocating the claims of the Cross before those who believe that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth," and then before those who ignore this divine truth by declaring that the man of color is nothing more than the connecting link between the man and the brute--they should so acquit themselves, both in and out of the pulpit, as to constrain our enemies to acknowledge the doctrine of the unity of the human race, and our downtrodden people as an integral part of it. We, therefore, affectionately urge all our young men to bestir themselves, and omit no opportunity of mental culture. That they may have the means to purchase needed books, let them abandon every needless expense, especially such as cigars and chewing tobacco. Let them also postpone the day of marriage till they shall have mastered the sciences, or made, at least, some respectable progress in them.

        The literary advantages which the great Head of the Church has opened to our access demand our gratitude, our praise, our love. Twenty-one years ago there were but two institutions of a high order in the whole Union where colored men could be educated in the same class and on an equality with the whites. These were Oberlin and Oneida. The latter has ceased to exist; the former still flourishes as a green bay tree, and has educated


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more colored young men and women than all put together. One of her graduates, Mr. George B. Vashon, is now filling a professor's chair in Central College, N. Y. Iberia and the Albany Manual Labor University, in the state of Ohio, are doing a good work for us. The last mentioned has created, in its immediate neighborhood, a social and civil atmosphere in which the colored man can breathe equality with others. Not only scholarships but also ownerships can be purchased in it. This will enable parents to send their children to it, not by permission merely, but as a matter of right."*

        * Shares could be bought for $25. The actual ownership was vested in the shareholders, who were entitled to one vote for every share held by each, in the election of trustees and other officers, and in the transaction of all business at the annual meeting.


        Nor should we forget Avery College, founded for the special benefit of our people by that noble and generous philanthropist, the Rev. Charles Avery. That institution is doing her part in illuminating our minds, and preparing the rising generation for extensive usefulness. We commend all these to the liberal patronage of our people.

        It is a cheering fact that colleges accessible to colored youth are multiplying in every state north of Mason and Dixon's line, except Pennsylvania and Indiana. These are still "bending the knee to the dark spirit of slavery," and will doubtless maintain this mean attitude till a progressive public sentiment compels them to change it.

        The property owned by the Ohio Annual Conference of one hundred and seventy-two acres, has erected on it a small building for school purposes. During its last term there were but seven children in it. The Annual Conference has done nothing for its support for the last two years; hence it is in a very feeble condition, and greatly embarrassed for want of pecuniary support. The Rev. Edward Davis is the principal. What can be done to give it respectability and to command the public confidence?

        The lands owned by our Church in Canada are still unimproved (so far as we know) by the erection of any buildings for the education of the rising generation. Three agents have been employed to collect funds for the purpose of founding schools of a high order on the said lands, but not one of them has been of any profit. It is for you to inquire into and determine the cause of these repeated failures.

        The High School in Philadelphia furnishes excellent facilities for the education of the young. We regret to hear that Professor Reason has left it, as his abilities as a teacher are of the highest order; but we hope that his successor will be found equal to the task of educating the numerous children and youth of that great city.

        The Cincinnati Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church is about to present a noble offering of Christian charity to the colored people of the country, but with no intention of excluding any one on account of color. Their agent, the Rev. John F. Wright, visited the last annual meeting of the Ohio Conference. He will be present at this General Conference to lay before you the proposition of the respectable and


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influential body which he represents. We trust that you will receive and hear him in the same spirit of Christian regard and courtesy that made his visit to the Ohio Conference so pleasant and gracious.

        Canada, that genuine asylum of the oppressed, is also doing much for the education and future elevation of our people. The government has made ample provision for the education of the young without regard to the color of the skin or the texture of the hair. From the common school to the university, the colored youth has ready access. The only exceptions are at St. Catherine's, Chatham, and a few other villages, where the folly, ignorance and prejudice of the colored people themselves created them. One of the Bishops has recently visited some of the best schools in the Province, including that of Mr. King at Buxton, the Normal School at Toronto, and the Lancasterian at London. Therefore we speak that which we know when we say, that while the literary machinery of the Canadian schools are of the best kind, the moral and Christian teachings cannot be excelled. This remark is specially true of the school under the supervision of the Rev. Mr. Dillon. Truly, no one of unprejudiced mind can visit these schools without thanking God for their existence, and saying of every colored man whose home is in Canada, "The lines are fallen unto him in pleasant places;" yea, he has "a goodly heritage."

        The financial system of our Connection is greatly in need of improvement. It lacks ease in its play, as well as accuracy and promptness in its execution. It bears the same relation to our movements that steam does to the locomotive. Cannot something be done to give it vigor and effect?

        The book concern is in need of a patient, careful and rigid investigation. Its improvement must be radical. Unless this be done we had better bring it at once to an end, or it will bring itself to a shameful termination. It is true, and we feel proud to declare it, that during the last four years the editorial chair has been filled with a great deal of tact and literary ability; also that the book committee has proceeded with a caution and judgment in contracting debts and meeting their obligations unknown in the history of the concern for the last twelve years; yet it has not attained that position of prosperity and permanency which we all desire. This is made evident by the fact that in four years we have succeeded in publishing but thirty-nine numbers of our church paper! Whatever success has attended the sale of books, with the credit and debit account of the concern, will be made known in the report of the general book steward. The experience of forty years should convince every wise man among us that something must be done, and that speedily, if indeed we wish to make the concern prosperous, permanent and adapted to accomplish its design in the publication and diffusion of useful knowledge among our hapless people. To this end we suggest the raising of a capital--say from ten to one hundred thousand dollars. This will enable us to put into the establishment an able corps of editors, and secure such a number of literary correspondents as will give to our paper and contemplated magazine that elevated character which will command the respect and secure the patronage of an enlightened public.


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        The cause of missions demands our serious and careful consideration. But whether we are able to cultivate the foreign as well as the home field is a grave and important question. Some think we ought to cultivate both. One thing, however, is certain, for it is a fact of history that we have made two attempts to occupy foreign fields, but have never maintained ourselves in them. More than thirty years ago, in Africa and Hayti, we unfurled the blood-stained banner of the cross. Did many rally beneath it? If so, where are they now? If there were fruits to the labors of those venerable pioneers, one of whom now sits in our midst, whose gray hairs are now an ornament to this imposing assembly, where are those fruits? Do others enjoy them? Then the cause is a subject that challenges the inquiry of your august body. Twelve years ago we established a parent missionary society, and formed several auxiliaries to collect funds for missionary purposes, but their existence was like the flying cloud. O, that the Head of the Church would awaken in our hearts a deep, lively and abiding interest in the cause of missions!

        Oneness of administration is a great desideratum among us. But how to realize it no one has yet been able to tell, and it is certain we never will be able to accomplish so desirable an end until some standard shall have been adopted to aid us in this good purpose, as that of Bishop Baker. It is the best which we have seen on Methodist Discipline, and although there are many points in it which are not applicable to our economy, yet it is equally true that there are many which exactly touch us, and upon these points better counsel cannot be given than what is furnished in his excellent manual.

        To this end, we also cite your attention to page 64, section 5, and last exception, five lines from the bottom; also page 65, answer to question first; to page 70, section 4, in relation to the suspension of preachers by the Bishop in the interval of the Annual Conference; to page 71, section 5. "What is meant by Conference applying the law?" also to pp. 92-93. "There should be some provisions made for arresting the character of traveling preachers who may do wrong, or be tearing the churches to pieces by bad administration." An unequivocal law should be created for the trial and exclusion of any member of the Annual Conference who might be guilty of misdemeanor during its session.

        The chapter on boundaries needs correction; and also section 10, p. 241, on raising a fund for the propagation of the Gospel.

        The whole section touching the book concern needs to be remodeled and abridged. Moreover, there should be such an equal distribution of power that the ends both of mercy and justice cannot be defeated, nor the chief officers compelled to stand powerless and see a church rent asunder.

        It is also recommended that a section be created to govern the case of traveling preachers who may be in debt, and will not put forth the proper efforts to meet their obligations. Lastly, we recommend such an arrangement of the chapters and sections of the Discipline that the items naturally belonging to one may not be scattered over the surface of another; but


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each subject, as well as each item of it, be put in its proper place; that the top of the margins be headed with captions indicating the contents of each page; that the forms of trial be made to accord with the general rules or constitution of the Church, and each made to express just what it means, and nothing else.

        In conclusion, dear brethren, permit us to exhort you to that holiness of heart and life, without which no man can see God, and no one of us can be made a real, lasting blessing to the Church over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers; without which a preacher is perpetually contradicting his teachings by untoward example and scandalizing the Great Redeemer's name. O, for that holiness which is always soaring towards heaven! O, for the mind which was in Christ! This will give every one of us power to trample the world under our feet, keeping us not only from evil, but from its very appearance, and make us to walk so circumspectly that our character shall be like Cæsar's wife, not only pure, but unsuspected. This is the power which, while it causes us to stand in the Church militant, will also plant us in the Church triumphant. And now, being assembled in the General Conference, it is desirable that all things be considered on these occasions as in the immediate presence of God; that every person speak freely whatever is in his heart, to the end that our condition may be improved, a greater number of souls saved, and the Triune God forever glorified. Yours in the Gospel,

WILLIAM PAUL QUINN,
WILLIS NAZREY,
DANIEL A. PAYNE.


        The report of the general book steward and editor shows that at the time it was presented the stock of the concern and its claims upon others gave its total value, if these last were met, as $768.40, the stock being deemed worth $500.00. The analysis of the report of the chief officer of our financial and publishing department, J. P. Campbell, exhibits several facts:

        First. That the book committee had obtained an act of incorporation from the Pennsylvania Legislature.

        Second. That the stereotyped plates, which were introduced in the days and service of Rev. G. Hogarth, the deceased book steward and editor, had been repaired and rendered capable of clear and distinct printing.

        Third. That in two entire years they had been able to publish only nineteen numbers of the Christian Recorder.

        Fourth. That they were free from debts to their printer.

        The following propositions are also presented:

        First. That the office of general book steward and that of editor be invested in the person of one individual.

        Second. That the office of general traveling agent be abolished,


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and colporteurs be substituted for it--this power to substitute to be invested in the book committee.

        Third. That both to put them in and to put them out of office be "at the option of the committee."

        For these proposed changes in and management of the book concern they assigned the following reasons:

        "We have reported against the existence of these general officers for three reasons, viz.: First, because under the present embarrassed state of the concern they cannot be supported; secondly, because they are not immediately wanted to carry on the working operations of the concern; thirdly, because it would be productive of more good to the concern to place all the agents of it under the immediate control of the book committee or trustees of the book concern."

        It is a painful and mortifying fact to tell posterity that such little support was given to the publishing department of the Church from 1852 to 1856--a period of four years--that instead of pouring forth from the press two hundred and eight numbers of our Church paper, there were issued only thirty-nine--that is to say, in every fifty-two weeks less than ten numbers! It could not have been from want of ability on the part of its editors, for during these four years there were two of our best educated and gifted minds filling the editorial chair. The first two years witnessed the intellectual labors of Rev. M. M. Clark, who had been educated at Jefferson College, Penn; the last two, those of Rev. Jabez P. Campbell, a man of fine talents, and a laborious student who by his own industry and application enriched his own mind with many forms of knowledge. Never, from the origin of the book concern, had we such able men in the editorial chair. The office of traveling agent, too, was filled for three years of that time by Rev. William H. Jones, an active, intelligent man. He was enterprising--more so than the whole committee. Of his own accord, though for his own personal benefit, he published a new edition of the "Life of Richard Allen," a new edition of Nell's "Colored Patriots of the Revolution, or Services of Colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812," besides thousands of "corn-field ditties," as they are quaintly called. All things considered, the causes of failure must have resided in the book committee, in the lack of unity between it and the editor, and in the lack of intelligence among our people. This committee did not contain a single literary man, and, having


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no taste for literature and no acquaintance with the literary world, the members were utterly disqualified for the management of the literary department of the Church. Then, with the two managing parties, officers and editor, lacking mutual confidence in each other's opinions and views, with the views and measures of the latter often in advance of the former, there could only be friction and failure. But the chief cause, after all, lay in the people. In a community of about twenty-five or thirty thousand persons not five thousand could be found who were sufficiently educated to read a newspaper readily and intelligently. In a congregation of more than fifteen hundred persons not one hundred could be found with a hymn-book in their hands. Twelve months after the issue of the first number of the Christian Recorder there were not more than one hundred subscribers in the city of Philadelphia, notwithstanding there were at that time on the churches' registers about two thousand two hundred and seven souls, and in that district alone five thousand seven hundred and thirty-six members.

        The questions which came up before this General Conference for debate and settlement, outside of the personal ones of appeal cases, were those relating to the Canadian separation, slavery, divorce, dress, Bishops' council, Bishops' residence; while education and missions came in for a share of the discussions, as well as the Discipline generally, in the form of amendments touching these and other questions.

        The Committee on the Canadian Separation, consisting of Revs. John Peck, J. P. Campbell, Dr. Bias, H. J. Young, J. A. Warren, A. R. Green and A. W. Wayman, made a report in favor of the "request" of the Canadian Church. This subject will be found given in detail in another chapter, both as to actions and results.

        The Committee on Slavery were Revs. J. A. Warren, Peter Gardener, J. A. Shorter, J. R. V. Morgan, H. J. Young, A. Woodford and W. R. Revels, who, after due reflection on the subject, divided into two parties and presented two different reports, a majority and a minority report. The twofold action of the committee produced a protracted and exciting debate that occupied the larger portion of two days. The two reports are here presented. The majority report reads thus:

        Your committee, to whom was referred the subject of slavery, beg leave to report that they have had the subject under consideration, and would suggest:


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        First. That page 124, 13th and 14th lines from the top, be altered so as to read: "The buying and selling of men, women and children, except with an intention to free them immediately; or if he or they do not immediately emancipate them, he or they shall be immediately expelled."

        Your committee are of the opinion, as that sentence is found on the same list with a number of crimes named, some of which are of infinitely less magnitude than that of buying men, women and children, that the penalty should graduate with the nature of the crime. The penalty now annexed to this many-headed sin in our Discipline is expulsion: but not until after a long and indeterminate season of forbearance, which may extend over a year or more, giving time for the habit of buying men, women and children to become a fixed habit and settled custom. Hence your committee believe that if men, women or children do not immediately emancipate them, he, she, or they ought to be immediately expelled from the church, and not suffer a habit of slaveholding to grow either upon the church or the individual.

        Second. Your committee thinks that the Discipline, page 136, section 12, should be so altered as to read: "We will not receive any person into our society as a member who is a slaveholder, and any that are now members that have slaves shall be expelled, without immediately emancipating the slave or slaves." We, your committee, believe that all sins need to be immediately corrected; and we also believe slaveholding, as practised in this country, is a sin of the first magnitude, and should not for one moment be allowed in the holy communion of the Church of God.

        Your committee, not desiring to enter into the discussion of the broad question of slavery, will offer for adoption the following:

        Resolved, 1st. That the sin of slaveholding, as practiced in the American churches, is a sin of the first degree, and the greatest known in the catalogue of crimes--the highest violation of God's law--a shameful abuse of God's creatures, shocking to enlightened humanity, and should unchurch, and does unchristianize every man and woman who is a slaveholder.

        Resolved, 2d. That the A. M. E. Church, composed, as it is, of colored persons identified with the slaves in chains, who never can be dissevered from them in their sufferings, do deeply sympathize with them in their tears and blood; and they shall have our constant prayers, good wishes and help as far as it may be in our power to render them.


        A motion to adopt was advocated by Dr. Bias, J. A. Warren, M. T. Newsome, Henry J. Young and M. M. Clark, and opposed by R. M. Johnson, J. P. Campbell, William Moore, R. Robinson and J. R. V. Morgan, but the question when put was lost.

        The minority report read as follows:

        First. That in our book of Discipline, under page 124, in the Rules, we find the buying and selling of men, women and children, with an intent to enslave them, expressly forbidden. Also, under page 136, we find in positive terms the following: "We will not receive any person into our society


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as a member who is a slaveholder. Any person now a member, having slaves, who shall refuse to emancipate them after due notice has been given by the preacher in charge, shall be expelled." We are of the opinion that in the above our sentiments as a Church are fully expressed. And while we deplore that American slavery exists, we can do no more than pray that God, in his providence, may hasten the day when equity and justice shall be equally distributed to all mankind, and insist that our laws on that subject be rigidly enforced. We furthermore recommend the passage of the following resolutions:

        Resolved, 1st. That we deprecate the spirit in any professing Christian denomination that would attempt to excuse its members from the sin of slaveholding by offering as an apology the example of the apostolic church.

        Resolved, 2d. That there is not the most distant likeness between them; for while the apostolic church in the then existing government was held in a similar position to the A. M. E. Church now in government, both apostles and followers were deprived from any protection from the existing laws, much less to vote in making or abolishing them, as we are now.

        Resolved, 3d. That while we have no voice in the affairs of this nation, we recommend that both our preachers and people, like Israel of old, set apart special days of fasting and prayer to Almighty God that he, in his divine providence, may hasten the day when all oppression shall come to an end, and when the whole earth shall be filled with his glory.

        Resolved, 4th. That while we, as a denomination, have no power, so far as political rights are concerned, but are groaning under the yoke and burden of oppressive laws, we do earnestly recommend the enforcement of our law, as it is, on slavery.


        The record of the General Conference then states that "J. P. B. Eddy moved that the above report be adopted. It was opposed by Messrs. Warren, Clark, Bias and Brodie, and advocated by Messrs. Green, Campbell, Eddy and Woolford. The motion prevailed."

        In the long and heated discussion upon the subject we find the fear developed that the minority report was not sufficiently radical upon the subject of slavery; while, on the other hand, we find that the majority report was too much so, and might interfere with mercy and justice. The advocates of the latter report referred to the fact that a state of things similar to that in the Methodist Episcopal Church seemed about to be introduced into the A. M. E. Church. Dr. Bias said that the M. E. Church "was once a truly apostolic church, but she suffered slavery to get into her bosom like a little acorn; that acorn has developed itself--struck its root deep down into its heart, thrown its gigantic trunk up towards heaven, and makes almost everybody tremble


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before its monstrous aspect." Another idea presented in opposition to any "ultra-slavery action," by Rev. John Morgan, was that the great object of the Church was "to give religious liberty to the down-trodden man of color," that "the fathers of our Connection never designed that our preachers should not cross Mason's and Dixon's line." It was also stated in opposition to the majority report that much good had been done in the state of Louisiana. But for a clear view of the debate upon the subject, which was then exciting so much attention, it is necessary to give, in general, the substance of the individual remarks as found in the records of that General Conference of 1856. Rev. Morgan continued: "Though a thorough anti-slavery man, I will not take out of the mouths of our brethren the bread of life by any ultra anti-slavery action in this assembly. Some are great anti-slavery men in the North, but not such in the South. I am acquainted with one such man, who, being down South, and having heard that a certain slaveholder was in search of him, immediately jumped into the cars, and went flying over hills and vales as fast as steam could carry him."

        Robert M. Johnson was opposed to the ultra ideas of Dr. Bias. He knew there were many colored persons down South who had purchased slaves on what is called "conditions," and these slaves were freed just as soon as they would pay back the purchase money. He hoped the majority report would be voted into oblivion. W. R. Revels said this report opposed the spirit of prayer--that Christ did not limit the preaching of the Gospel to geographical lines. He told of cases where persons had purchased slaves in the South with the intention to set them free, and in many cases the contract was made in the presence of a civil magistrate. He would not have a rule created here which would hinder such acts of mercy.

        J. A. Warren favored the majority report. He said we should not regard policy, but always heed our duty. "The city in which we are now deliberating, yea, the whole country, is looking for us to take high grounds on this question--we have nothing to do with the consequences." Rev. William Moore was opposed, and referred to the general rule on the slavery question, and said "We need no more action on the subject. The majority report cannot speak out our sentiments any better. The minority report is in keeping with our general rule, and expresses all that need to be expressed. In adopting the report of the majority we


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have nothing to gain, but much evil to apprehend. If this is what you call abolitionism, I am not an abolitionist. If men will take such grounds as will drive acts of mercy out of the Church, I have nothing to do with such abolitionists. I envy not the Christianity nor humanity of such men. They will cast a man out from the bosom of the church because he would buy a slave to set him free."

        M. T. Newsome said that every religious body was legislating on this question, "but we desire to shun it. There is no difference between the white man and colored. Both will enslave their own blood. We are told that we have slaveholders now in our Church. If we do not stop our members from slaveholding, our ministers will soon become slaveholders also. I say again, every religious body is speaking out, and shall we not do the same. Shall we fear to speak out? I say to-day, being no prophet nor a prophet's son, if we allow our brethren to deal in this charitable slaveholding, in less than twenty years we shall have practical ones."

        Elder Robinson rose and said: "If you take any of these brethren who are so anxious to adopt the report of the majority but two hundred miles south, you will find them holding their peace; but being in Cincinnati we speak very loudly." He then told how a package of magazines had been sent him while he was stationed in Baltimore, and the postmaster had broken them open to see if anything obnoxious to the institutions of the South were contained in them. "Every colored man is an abolitionist and slaveholders know it."

        J. P. Campbell said, in substance: "The position we now assume is this: That we ought to do all that is in our power to put down human chattelism, but nothing more. Can we alter or change a single law in one of the slave states? We cannot. But in all these states we can keep slavery out of the Church. Now, the question is: Can we keep slavery out of the Church in the free as well as the slave states? We can and do. The state of Louisiana has bowed down to our Church by incorporating it with an anti-slavery Discipline; therefore, if there is any stooping, Louisiana has stooped to the black man, and as soon as she rescinds her act of incorporation, we shall quit the South."

        Elder John Peck said: "The hour is come when we are about to repeal the charge of pro-slaveryism. The M. E. Church, with a rule in its Discipline against slavery, just like ours, went on


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till it covered under its influence and protection hundreds of thousands of slaveholders. If our brethren will trust in God he will protect them."

        A. W. Wayman said: "The statement of the first resolution in the majority report is not true historically. It accuses all the American Churches of practicing the sin of slavery. There are the United Brethren, the Wesleyan Methodists and the Covenanters, who never did allow the sin of slavery among them; and the A. M. E. Church never did."

        At this point M. M. Clark moved to strike out the word "all" and insert the word "some," but the speaker held that "the whole must go down." He continued, saying that the M. E. Church "can and will do something. Some of her leading members are in the civil departments of the country--some are governors, some judges, and others are in the state and national legislatures; but what can we do? We have neither civil nor political power; hence, no civil or political influence, and, therefore, the responsibility does not rest upon us. But there are many things wanted to be done in our Church which we can do. We want more vital piety, more holiness, more intelligence, more sinlessness. These we can have, and these will greatly aid in lifting us out of the dust of degredation and elevating us to respectability in the land."

        Brother Edward Davis was opposed to the majority report on the ground of the good our Church had been able to do in the slave states.

        Elder Young spoke in favor of its adoption, saying that our Discipline, with an anti-slavery rule, had done no good; that we should speak still more explicitly and boldly in the language of the report, and more good would be accomplished.

        When the main question was put, it was lost by forty against six. The motion to adopt the minority report was then made, which led to further argument. M. M. Clark opposed it, basing his opposition upon the "fact that it was based upon our Discipline, and that was pro-slavery." He illustrated his position by supposing himself to purchase a slave, requiring her to pay back the purchase money. Before this is done she marries and has children, who by law become his slaves as well; he dies insolvent, and all are sold for debt; and he asked: "Am I not guilty of the sin of slaveholding?" He then continued: "Mr. President, we have slaveholders in our Church; colored slaveholders


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in the very state of Ohio! Not fifty miles from this city (Cincinnati), where I labored some years ago, I found a woman, a member of the church under my care. That woman was then holding slaves in the South. I notified her of her duty to emancipate her slaves according to the requisition of our Discipline. She required the 'due notice,' or time allowed by the Discipline, during which time she went South and sold her slaves for the sum of $3,000, and returning, showed me the check on a Northern bank for the said amount of money. I knew another person, a man, also a member of our Church. He held slaves in the South, and when I gave him the 'due notice' of the Discipline, he acted as the slaveholding woman did, and is now living upon the avails of twenty-one slaves. He still retains his standing as a member of our Church."

        E. Weaver argued at length to show that it was not expedient to change the rule, and showed that M. M. Clark had misrepresented the Discipline. He (Weaver) also read the Discipline touching the point at issue, showed its spirit and meaning, then ridiculed adducing cases that occurred fourteen years before, asking why the things of the present were not brought forward, and why these slaveholding cases were not brought to light years ago. Weaver closed his remarks by giving a concise view of the history of the A. M. E. Church as it relates to slavery, and showed its condition in the regions of New Orleans.

        A. Woodfork thought that M. M. Clark laid too much stress upon the phrase "due time," and that he had done wrong in not expelling the slaveholders immediately. Said he: "I have spoken to slaveholders as boldly as man ever did. I have done my duty on this question, and God has both protected and blessed me in my efforts." He then related an anecdote showing the ignorance of a certain slaveholder.

        M. T. Newsome said that the speech of A. Woodfork reminded him of a certain preacher who took his text from the 40th chapter of "Generations" and ended his sermon with the last of "Evelation." He declared that if there be one man or woman in the A. M. E. Church holding slaves, we cannot be an anti-slavery Church.

        A. R. Green read the first resolution of the minority report, and defended the A. M. E. Church from the charge of slaveholding. He arraigned M. M. Clark for not doing his duty if he had not expelled such slaveholders; and as he claimed he had, he


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questioned as to how they could now be slaveholders, having sold their slaves, and how could they be still living in the bosom of the Church. He claimed that the A. M. E. Church was thus misrepresented. He emphatically disclaimed the charge of its having a pro-slavery Discipline, saying: "But the 'due notice' required by the Discipline means nothing more than five or six days at least--time enough for the slaveholder to take the necessary measures for emancipation. Therefore, Brother Clark misinterprets the Discipline when he tells us that it is a pro-slavery Discipline. The General Conference is called upon to set itself right. She has been branded by some of her ministers as being pro-slavery. This is false; therefore, this Conference must set itself right. She is pure. She is free from the sin charged upon her. Look, also, if you please, upon the helpless condition of our Church in the South. Poor, ignorant, without civil or political influence, without friends, fettered by the very laws that ought to have been made for her protection, what can she do to help herself? She is in the same condition as the apostolic church.["]

        G. Broadie said we ought to discuss the question coolly and deliberately. The color of a man's skin does not change his disposition to apologize for slavery. He would ask the question, What evidence have we this day that our Church is not proslavery? It has been affirmed on the floor that there are slaveholders in our Church, and he believes it. As long as we have slaveholding churches hanging on to the Connection, so long will we be bowing down to the spirit of slavery. He thanked God that he "lives on free soil, and will, therefore, speak out against the monster slavery. This very thing will tear our churches to pieces."

        At this point in the debate several brethren endeavored to obtain the floor. W. R. Revels was successful. he said that Brother M. M. Clark deserved to be impeached for tolerating slavery in the church under his pastoral care in the state of Ohio. He then clearly showed that our Church was anti-slavery. He wished to know if the written rule in our Discipline was a truth or a falsehood? It had always prohibited slaveholding; it had done so ever since the formation of our Connection in 1816; it had never changed itself to suit white men or black men in the far south nor the far north; it had always excluded slaveholders, and "we demand from these brethren whether this rule, written,


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printed and published to the four winds of heaven, is a lie? If it be, why have they not proven this before? Why do they not prove it now? He who contends that our Church is pro-slavery, with this law in his hands, has to contend with the fearful odds of ten to one! They are joining the company of those who are the worst enemies and slanderers of our Church at the time they ought to be engaged in her defense. If these brethren are so heroic, so brave, so valiant for the truth, why do they not go down South and fight the enemy on their own ground? Nay! They stand at a distance, where the enemy can neither see nor reach them, to discharge their rifles and field-pieces; this is cowardly. But what is the position of the brethren who are required to labor in the South? They are like a man in the wilderness surrounded by hornets. They are without a voice in the Church general or in the state. They are without arms and without the protection of those who have the power to protect. They are gagged and fettered beneath the iron heels of the powers that be--powerless themselves, they are down-trodden by power, and yet these brave brethren who stand beyond sight and hearing of the enemy demand that they shall do what no man living under the circumstances can perform."

        Elder Robinson again obtained the floor, and appealed to the historical fact that our Church had occupied an anti-slavery position from the very beginning until now. These brethren, who are so noisy and clamorous, joined the Church with this rule staring them in the face and looking them in the eyes ever since. Yet, notwithstanding, they here to-day unblushingly tell us that the A. M. E. Church is pro-slavery. As well might they undertake to demonstrate the absurd proposition that black is white and darkness light. At the close of his speech, and after he had stated that the young men made these speeches to show how well they could speak, and that they knew better, he moved the previous question.

        This threw the house into great excitement, when one of the Bishops obtained the attention of the house, and begged the brethren to allow the greatest liberty, if by so doing this discussion should occupy forty-eight hours more, because it would accomplish more for the cause of freedom, the cause of truth, and the cause of God.

        Pending this question, adjournment took place until afternoon, when the discussion was resumed.


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        Dr. Bias rose to defend himself, as he stated, "against the imputations which were thrown out against him on yesterday." He wanted the Conference to notice some things, and he proceeded to make some severe retorts upon the other speakers, claiming that all the "four aspirants to the episcopal office were agreed on this question." He quoted Bishop Payne's definition of slavery, given as far back as 1838, in an address delivered before the Franklin Synod of the Lutheran Church, "Slavery is the assumption that it is right for one man to hold property in another," and that "he who enslaves a fellow man sins as much against God as though he had enslaved an angel." "This," said Dr. Bias, "is the daring, impious, heaven-insulting system we are called upon to oppose and legislate against. Revels has made out our case clearly; he has told us that slaveholders gave eight hundred feet of lumber to build one of our southern churches; those eight hundred feet are the fruit of the slave's labor, and does not every one know that it is also the blood of the slave? To this very thing, so infamous and shameful, Brother Green is shouting, 'Glory!'" The doctor also alluded to the fact that ever since that time when Louisiana was a slave territory under the French crown, she was a comparatively mild slaveholding state; so to quote her example was but to throw dust in our eyes. Her governors, judges, and other officials, he said, have generally had colored wives, so that their sympathies have generally been on the side of the colored man, and this fact also accounted for the phenomenon that there was more commercial and mechanical enterprise among the few colored people of Louisiana than in any other state in the Union.

        Brother Green rose to set the doctor right. He again read from the report of the committee, and declared himself prepared to show, as he had already done, that the A. M. E. Church was free from the sin of slavery. He also read the disciplinary rule on slavery, and showed that in establishing our Church in a new country we could not tell who were slaveholders till after they had got in--after which the rule is to be made known to them, and if they did not repent by emancipating their slaves, they are to be expelled. "If the preachers having charge of churches in slaveholding states will not execute the laws, the fault is theirs, and not that of the Church. Where is the conscience of the preacher, with this rule in his hand, that does not exclude a slaveholder? To charge the Church with the sin of slavery


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under such circumstances is to charge God with the sin of Adam, who did previously transgress in the very face of the law which forbade him to eat the forbidden fruit. The Church is free from this accursed sin--standing forth as a beacon light, and as glorious as the unclouded sun!"

        The speaker had waxed eloquent, and as soon as he was done, from every side of the house was heard the cry of "Give us the question--the question! the question!" Amidst confusion the question was put and sustained by a vote of forty in the affirmtive and twelve in the negative.

        Thus ended the debate on slavery in the General Conference of 1856.


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CHAPTER XXVIII.
GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1856--CONTINUED.

        The Divorce Question--Points Involved--Proposed Amendment Postponed--Lengthy Debate on Dress--Limitation of Bishops' Power Proposed--Bishops' Residences--Synopsis of Important Points--The Proposition from the M. E. Church Concerning Education Rejected--How a Bishop Shall be Constituted--On Maladministration--The Bishops to Itinerate--Their Salary--A New Episcopal Seal.

        THE divorce question also came up for discussion. The rule of the Discipline, as found in section 28, page 139, from 1848 to 1852, touching this subject, says:

        If any minister, preacher, exhorter, or member of our Society, who has been married, and shall separate and marry again while the former companion is living, he or she shall be expelled, and shall never be admitted during the life-time of the parties. And any minister who shall marry such knowingly, shall forfeit his standing in the Connection.


        But at the General Conference of 1852, by motion of Rev. R. V. Morgan, this rule was so altered as to allow any one of our members to marry after divorce, if he or she had obtained a legal divorce, provided that divorce had been based on the criminal action alluded to by our Saviour in the Sermon on the Mount. This amendment, however, was not published in the revised Discipline of 1852; therefore, Dr. J. J. G. Bias moved "That section 28 be amended on page 138, by striking out question fourth, with its answer, and inserting the rule adopted by the last General Conference.

        There was then a movement to postpone indefinitely the consideration of this motion.

        A discussion then took place as to the questions involved in the settlement of the matte