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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.

August 12, 2019
John E. Johnson, one officer in the second row, sailed on the USS Idaho, 1939. Courtesy of Merwyn Johnson.

--by Merwyn S. Johnson

Before he sailed the world’s great oceans as a career U.S. Navy chaplain, my father John E. (“Johnny”) Johnson surveyed the “amber waves of grain” in Iowa, the ancestral home where he spent his summers as a youth. Whether on land or on ship, the seas gave him a wide horizon for his entire life. Navigating them for almost 100 years, May 2, 1899 to November 17, 1998, he immersed...

July 18, 2019

--This summer Richard W. Reifsnyder is looking at the ways Presbyterianism influenced the life and politics of Theodore Roosevelt, who died 100 years ago. Read Rich's first post on TR, "Presbyterian and Paternal Influences," here. His third post will be available in August.

The language of religion was applied easily to Theodore Roosevelt’s style as President. Although he was initially uncomfortable with what he...

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 ...

June 3, 2019

--by Richard W. Reifsnyder                                                                                                            

“The old lion is dead.” Archie Roosevelt telegrammed these words to his older brother, Kermit, to announce their father’s death in 1919, a hundred years...

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