Resources related to the historic role of the Presbyterian Church in Georgia now freely available online

ATHENS, Ga. — Three new collections featuring historical resources related to the Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian educators, and their role in Georgia history are now available through the Digital Library of Georgia. 

Housed at Columbia Theological Seminary, the resources are freely available online thanks, in part, to the DLG’s competitive digitization grant program, a funding opportunity intended to broaden DLG partner participation in statewide historic digitization projects.

The three digital collections are:

  • Joseph R. Wilson papers, from the late 1800s, including the sermons of Presbyterian minister and educator Joseph Ruggles Wilson dating 1858 to 1893. View at dlg.usg.edu/collection/gcl_wilson.

Wilson served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga., and at First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, S.C. He also taught at Columbia Theological Seminary and Southwestern Presbyterian University and was the father of President Woodrow Wilson.

  • John Newton Waddel papers, 1821‐1881, including manuscripts and print material belonging to John Newton Waddel (1812-1895) and Moses Waddel (1770-1840). The father and son were Presbyterian ministers and educators in Georgia and Mississippi. View at dlg.usg.edu/collection/gcl_waddel.

Moses Waddel served as the fifth president of the University of Georgia. John Newton Waddel served as president of Presbyterian Synodical College in LaGrange, Tenn., and as chancellor of the University of Mississippi. 

  • Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Presbytery of Hopewell minutes, 1797‐1866, the official minutes of the Presbytery of Hopewell, the first Presbytery in the state of Georgia. View at dlg.usg.edu/collection/gcl_hopewell.

The Hopewell minutes provide descriptions of early missionary efforts among Native Americans, deliberations about slavery, and other collective decisions that offer perspectives from the state of Georgia between the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. Special thanks to the Northeast Georgia Presbytery for permitting the digitization of these records.

Erskine Clarke, professor emeritus of U.S. religious history at Columbia Theological Seminary, describes the research significance of these three collections: 

“The Wilson sermons will have interest for anyone wishing to probe the religious life of Woodrow Wilson. In addition, they will provide insight into the theological assumptions and rhetorical and homiletical strategies of an influential nineteenth-century Georgia pastor. 

“Presbytery minutes are rich resources for cultural and religious history, and the years of the Hopewell minutes (1797-1866) will be of great interest to historians working in that period of Georgia history. 

“The links with the University of Georgia presidents are astonishing. The Waddel papers are even more exciting…To have these important documents available online will be a great gift to those who in the future explore the history of Georgia.”

About Columbia Theological Seminary

Columbia Theological Seminary exists to educate and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the church and the world. It is an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the church of Jesus Christ. Visit ctsnet.edu.

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New Collections from the Middle Georgia Archives

Francis T. Tennille slave medical care accounts, 1859-1860. Middle Georgia Archives.
Francis T. Tennille slave medical care accounts, 1859-1860. Middle Georgia Archives.

We are eager to announce the arrival of four new collections from our longstanding project partner, the Middle Georgia Archives.

 

The Middle Georgia Archives, located in the Genealogy and History Room of Macon’s Washington Memorial Library, serves middle Georgia as a resource center for archival and manuscript collections. Muriel Jackson, the head of the Genealogical and Historical Department at the Middle Georgia Archives, notes that their collections include materials that represent “at least twenty-five Georgia counties.”

 

The new collections that are now available in the DLG include:

 

 

 

  • Francis T. Tennille Slave Medical Care Accounts, 1859-1860  This collection consists of a single journal page of expenses incurred by medical treatment of Francis T. Tennille’s slaves in Calhoun County in southwest Georgia just prior to the Civil War. The page details what medical treatment was given and to whom. The fees were incurred by Dr. Walter T. Murchison mainly for tooth extraction and delivery of children. The entries list the cost of medicine, doctor visits, and treatments.
  • Henry A. Hunt Letters, 1931  This collection contains two letters, with enclosures, concerning Henry A. Hunt, long-time African American educator, agriculturalist, and president of what became Fort Valley State College. The letters concern New Deal farm policies and poetry by a teacher on Hunt’s faculty.
  • Isaac Scott Diary  Diary kept by Isaac Scott of Macon, Georgia. The diary comments on Macon’s economic trends, social life, the weather, and the Scott family. The diary also provides some detail on Scott’s involvement in local banking and railroads. The entries are most heavily concentrated during 1859 to 1861, and taper off between 1862 to 1864.
  • Macon-Knoxville Store Ledger, 1825-1831  Account book of a small general store based in Macon and Knoxville, Georgia covering the period from 1825 to 1831.

 

Jackson hopes to see these collections ignite interest in research projects about Georgia history. She notes that the Isaac Scott Diary “has some very good information on Macon history from a northern businessman who made his home in Macon” and that the Francis T. Tennille Slave Medical Care Accounts are remarkable in that “even though it is only one page it is very rare to locate original documents on slaves let alone medical treatment.”

 

We hope that you get a chance to look through these new resources that are now available from the Middle Georgia Archives.

 

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