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June 11, 2017

I have thought that my coming West was a great mistake. I must be in the wrong place or work, or I would not be so forsaken. In the midst of all my affliction vc [sic] in Africa, I could feel that I was in God’s work: but not so here. The trouble is the trying to serve two masters.”[1]

This was the reflection of the Revered John Menaul, a Presbyterian missionary, after five years of service in the New Mexico and Arizona Territories. A former missionary to Corisco, an island off the coast of West...

June 8, 2017

--by Ed Wicklein

It is an amazing thing that Americans moved west from the thirteen colonies so rapidly, even before the Revolution. The Presbyterian Church had a challenge keeping up with the migration to organize churches and to follow up with the creation of presbyteries and synods. The experience of Missouri and Illinois was typical. Already by 1800, Americans outnumbered the French in Missouri and, surely also, in nearby Illinois.

We know that Scotch-Irish Presbyterians from...

April 7, 2017

--By Christopher D. George

Little did the elders and members of the Second United Presbyterian Church of Allegheny City, PA, know what they were getting themselves into during the summer of 1860. Being “destitute of a fixed Pastor,” a call was made for Rev. John Barr Clark, then a little-known minister in Canonsburg, PA, to lead the church and take “charge of our souls.” Soon after Rev. Clark accepted this...

March 23, 2017

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Philadelphia’s importance as a center of African American history rests in part on its role as the birthplace of the nation’s first black churches. It was the churches which gave shape and protection to the emerging African American community in the urban North—educating their young, disciplining their members, and providing young and old with material support, moral guidance, and spiritual hope. Philadelphia saw both the...

February 22, 2017

--by Kelly Kean

I share a love of history with my mother. As a dedicated family historian she has been researching our genealogy since the age of seventeen, developing a particularly keen interest in the branch of our family that settled in western South Carolina in the decades before the Revolutionary War. Equally captivated by the complex history of the region, I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history, writing a “farm-to-fork” history of provisioning urban Charleston in the antebellum era.

While catching up on episodes of PBS’s...

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