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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 9, 2019

The following are autographed photographs from 1980 of then-sitting Senators to the Reverend Edward L.R. Elson on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination. The Reverend Dr. Edward L. R. Elson (1906-1993), pastor of National Presbyterian Church (1947-1973) and Chaplain of the Senate (1969-1981), played a particularly active role in advocating for a Presbyterian program in Washington, DC. He also baptized President...

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 ...

June 18, 2019

Every year on July 4th, Americans celebrate their freedom and the founding principles of our great nation. Presbyterians love to celebrate and our collections document this experience in many ways.

In 1989, the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appointed a Bicentennial Celebration Committee to coordinate events for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first General Assembly, which convened on May 21, 1789, at the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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June 17, 2019

At the 1974 General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., David Sindt stood on the Assembly floor holding a hand-written sign that read, “Is anyone else out there gay?”

David Sindt was born in 1940 and grew up attending Presbyterian churches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his Masters of Divinity in 1966 from...

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