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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.

March 18, 2022

Lucy Craft Laney was many things. A college graduate, a loving daughter and sister, a fervent and faithful Presbyterian, an educator, a leader, and the headstrong founder of the Haines Institute—these are only some of the things that characterize the history and far-reaching influence of her life.

A Learned Adolescence: Lucy’s Childhood and Teenage Years

Lucy Craft Laney was born on April 13, 1854, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who bought his and his wife’s freedom twenty years before the birth of their child. Theirs was a large...

March 10, 2022

An American modernist poet and life-long Presbyterian, Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was considered by many critics to be the nation’s greatest living poet in the mid-twentieth century. Moore's most famous poem is perhaps the one entitled Poetry, in which she hopes for poets who can produce "imaginary gardens with real toads in them." Poetry begins with the following stanza:

“I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it,...

September 8, 2021

-- by Reverend Blanca Estrella Otaño-Rivera--also known as Blanqui Otaño

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are celebrating Reverend Blanca Estrella Otaño-Rivera--also known as Blanqui Otaño--the first Hispanic clergywoman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA), in June 1975.

The Reverend Otaño-Rivera was born in Lares on the island of Puerto Rico. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of...

May 11, 2021

On March 18, 2021 staff from the Presbyterian Historical Society shared stories from the PHS collections that highlight the extraordinary work of women in the church.

Click below to hear Allison Davis talk about the In Her Own Right digitization project; Sonia Prescott share about Tillie Paul Tamaree, the first Native American woman elected as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S...

April 16, 2021
Lois Stair, General Assembly 183, Rochester, NY, 1971. [Pearl ID: 175778]

“Well, here I am, filled with amazement and gratitude, and standing in need of prayer.” 

Presbyterian Elder Lois Harkrider Stair had just been elected as the first woman to serve as General Assembly moderator of a U.S. Presbyterian denomination. The year was...

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