|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is organized in three series: Series 1: Photographs; Series 2: Published and Unpublished Writings; and Series 3: Congregational Church of Christ.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains family photographs, including images of various members of the Patton family and houses where they lived )some photographs include captions and annotations); books written or owned by the family, including some written by W.W. Patton's father, William Patton, and others by William Weston Patton himself; and newsletters, service programs, and other materials relating to the Congregational Church of Christ in Westfield, NJ.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Please see the detailed contents list for fragile materials and handle with care.
Series 1 onsite storage.
The following boxes are located offsite: Box 2.1-2.4 and Box 3.1. Please note that requests for use of boxes held in offsite storage must be made three business days in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: William Weston Patton papers, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Rev. William W. Patton diaries and account book, 1835-1889, Ms 68129. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the library at Union Theological Seminary by Mr. Patton's descendant in 2004.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Any folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Any items in an advanced state of deterioration were placed in Mylar envelopes. Photographs that are in frames were wrapped in acid-free paper. The finding aid was created by Maya Naunton and Rebecca Nieto in 2017 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-08-05 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
William Weston Patton was a minister and a key figure in the abolitionist movement. Patton wrote the lyrics to what became the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." He was the president of Howard University from 1877 to 1889. William Weston Patton was born on October 19th, 1821. He was the oldest surviving child of Rev. William Patton, D.D., and Mary Weston Patton. His father was one of the founders of the Union Theological Seminary (and briefly served as director from 1836 to 1849) and the Evangelical Alliance. Patton's grandfather was a colonel in the Revolutionary War and the first Postmaster of Philadelphia in the new Republic. William Weston Patton graduated from New York University and the Union Theological Seminary and became a minister at age 20. Not long after that, Patton left the Presbyterian Church partly because of his anti-slavery stance and became a minister in a Congregational Church. He married Sarah Jane Mott in 1843. They had 3 children, two of whom died in childhood. His first wife died in childbirth and he married Mary Boardman Smith in 1851. With her he had 6 children all of whom survived into maturity. Patton served as a minister in Chicago and was one of the organizers and a President of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Theological Seminary. During the Civil War Patton was a vice-president of the Northwestern Sanitary Commission. In that capacity he inspected army camps throughout the central United States. It was during his travels for the commission that he wrote new lyrics to the song that was then familiarly known as "John Brown's Body". The text was published in the Chicago Tribune and then was modified by Julia Ward Howe into what is known today as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." In 1862 Patton presided over a mass meeting in Chicago, where he drew up a memorial on proclamation of emancipation and he was the head of the Committee that presented it to President Lincoln. In 1867 he resigned his pastorate and became an editor of the Advance, a Congregational paper in the Northwest. In 1877 he became a president of Howard University. He held that post to shortly before his death on December 31, 1889, at the age of 69.