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August 21, 2012

The formative years of American Presbyterianism occurred between 1706 and 1789. During those 83 years, early Presbyterians founded the first presbytery in Philadelphia, organized the first synod in 1716 and the first General Assembly in 1789. In addition, American Presbyterians formed about 24 presbyteries.

Of the original presbyteries formed between 1706 and 1789, PHS holds records for 17 of them. The public services staff has created an early presbytery records guide that lists all the documents from these original presbyteries held at the Presbyterian Historical Society. From...

January 13, 2012

One hundred and seventy-five years ago, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. split into Old School and New School factions. Significant differences about theology, polity, and slavery exacerbated tensions to the point that the Old School branch expelled the New School adherents from the General Assembly in 1837. Indeed, the differences between the two groups were so evident that a Philadelphia-based newspaper announced in 1836 that:

The necessity for separation of the parties is urgent. They do not agree; they cannot agree. We can

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