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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

July 11, 2019

--by Julia Flynn Siler

Donaldina Cameron (1869-1968) captured the nation’s imagination at the turn of the 20th century by running a “safe house” for vulnerable girls and young women on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown. She was a tall, auburn-haired woman with a Scottish lilt who fascinated headline writers and the public alike.

Cameron wasn’t the founder of the Presbyterian Mission House in Chinatown, nor did she run it single-handedly. The home opened in 1874, more than two decades before Cameron first arrived as a sewing...

July 8, 2019
 

--by Ira Dworkin

I first visited the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2002 when I began working on Congo Love Song: African American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State. The Montreat branch is now closed, but most of its holdings are at PHS in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including the papers of the ...

March 17, 2019

--by Youngeun Koo

I visited PHS in August 2018 as part of my doctoral project. My thesis examines the development of intercountry adoption from South Korea between 1953 and 1979. I’m particularly interested in better understanding activities and efforts carried out by state and institutional actors to support needy children and families in Korea.

Since 2017, I’ve gathered archival and oral data from Korea, Sweden, and Denmark. The United States was my last stop for data collection. I was very fortunate to receive a ...

September 11, 2018

--by Jennifer Graber

Session minutes of the Anadarko Presbyterian Church, founded in Indian Territory in 1889, referred to the “problem” of Native American church membership on the very first page. Rev. Silas Fait, along with an elder, examined an “Indian named Emma.” Though she “accept[ed] Christ,” the leaders rejected Emma’s application as she maintained that Christ could not “interfere with her own gods.” In the follow-up notes, Rev. Fait worried that “great harm will come to the mission if care is not exercised...

November 14, 2017

--by Nakia Parker

While investigating sources for a final paper in an undergraduate course on the American Civil War, I painfully discovered the history of American Indian participation in chattel slavery. Previously, I had viewed African Americans and Native Americans as identical comrades in the struggle against racism and oppression in this country. My desire to correct this thinking and contribute to the scholarship about the African American diaspora and the practice of chattel slavery in Southeastern Indian nations became the foundation for my current research...

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