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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.

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...

June 26, 2017
 

--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 ...

September 13, 2016

--by Christopher N. Phillips

How much do you love your church’s hymn-singing tradition? Enough to steal its hymnbook? That was the case for George Fleming, a newspaper publisher in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Why would he do such a thing? A quick history of Presbyterian hymnbooks gives some clues.

Presbyterians, like most English-speaking Calvinists, didn’t sing hymns in church until the second half of the 18th century; it took the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America’s General Assembly (GA) until 1802 to declare that Isaac Watts’...

July 29, 2016

--by Crystal R. Sanders

The Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) Head Start program was black Mississippians’ next battle in the long struggle to secure freedom and equality after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Presbyterian Church offered important support at crucial times for the effort.

Head Start, a component of President Lyndon Johnson’s...

May 31, 2016

--by Christine B. Lindner

One piece of advice I often give students and colleagues commencing a research project is to start with a research goal or question, but to let the archives guide your project. This advice reflects not only my commitment to empirically based research, but also my experience as a historian. Research projects are often refocused after hours of sorting through the dusty pages from the past when it becomes evident that there is scant archival material on a designated project. This does not mean abandoning the original project, but rather...

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