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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.

May 8, 2020
The William Tennent House. Photo by Dan Yowell of MeganDan Photography

--by Wendy Wirsch

In 1735, the Reverend William Tennent purchased a hundred-acre plantation in Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Near his home, he built a log cabin structure for the training of Presbyterian ministers. This school, known as the Log College, became the first college in Pennsylvania. In this rustic building, Tennent educated young men for the ministry. Shortly after his death on May 6, 1746, the doors of this rural school closed.

I’m sure...

January 27, 2020
John Bingham, ca. 1860-1865, by Mathew Brady. Photo negatives courtesy of the National Archives

--by Sam Kidder

In a New York Times opinion piece in 2013, constitutional law scholar Gerrard Magliocca wrote, “More than any man except Abraham Lincoln, John Bingham (1815-1900) was responsible for what the Civil War meant for America’s future.”[1]

While a Congressman Bingham...

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...

March 10, 2018

In the fall of 2017, students from the Community College of Philadelphia visited 425 Lombard Street to conduct research.

In preparation for the Society's first collaboration with an entire CCP class--part of a long-term effort to use the archives' primary-source materials to bolster student research and problem-solving skills--Technical Services and Reference Archivist Jennifer Barr worked closely with CCP Professor Joel Tannenbaum. Their planning included familiarizing students with the archives (...

February 24, 2018

The Presbyterian Historical Society contains over 32,000 cubic feet of archival materials. Items from around the world have found a safe home here since the 19th century, when the foundations of today’s collections were laid by two Samuels, one in the North and one in the South: Samuel Agnew and Samuel Tenney. The collectors led very different lives, and yet they had one important thing in common: both were lovers of Presbyterian history.

Samuel Agnew was born in central Pennsylvania in 1820. He moved to Philadelphia and is reported to have made a lot of money early in his life...

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