|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in numerical order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains approximately 1261 sermons and talks given by William Channing Gannett at Rochester, NY, Salem, MA, East Lexington, MA, St. Paul, Minnesota, and elsewhere between 1872 and 1921 (with a gap from 1889 through 1906). Most are handwritten in pen or pencil, though some are printed as submitted to newspapers. Sermons are for Sunday worship, funerals, baptisms, commemorations, and ordinations, and discuss topics including self respect, books, characteristics of Christianity, the League of Nations, peace, war, home worship, and liberalism. Sermons often note when and where they were delivered. One of the most notable sermons was that given on the occasion of the women of New York achieving suffrage (number 1230).
Burke Library record group:
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Sermons are extremely fragile; please handle with care.
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, William Channing Gannett sermons, 1872-1921, box #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Gannett Pamphlet Collection, UTS Ms. 130. The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased from The Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts Co., LLC circa 2015. Former owner: Colgate-Rochester Divinity School.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Gannett's manuscript sermons were separated from the sermons of others, pamphlets, and clippings (these form the Gannett Pamphlet Collection). Materials were placed in new acid-free boxes. The finding aid was created by Leah Edelman in 2022.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
William Channing Gannett (1840-1923) served as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, N.Y., from 1889-1908, and then pastor emeritus until his death. From a prominent Boston Unitarian family-- his father, Ezra Stiles Gannett, wrote the constitution for the American Unitarian Association and served as its first secretary-- William was a pastoral activist working on behalf of abolition, women's suffrage, education of the poor and under served, and breaking down barriers to social advancement. One of his projects was the Boys' Evening Home, which opened in 1890 in the church's parish house, and served as a place where underprivileged boys of any faith or none could take classes and socialize in a safe environment. Gannett married Mary Thorn Lewis, a social activist who from 1889 to 1908 led First Unitarian's Women's Alliance, which organzied and executed a great deal of the church's activity. Among the church's prominent congregants were suffrage leaders Susan B. and Mary Anthony, and African American activist Hester C. Jeffrey. Gannett died in 1923.