|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one chronological series.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains three bound volumes: the first is a record of marriages from 1830 to 1836, as well as a few entries recording baptisms in 1836; the second and third volumes contain Blagden's self-indexed writings relating to plans for sermons from 1863 to 1873.
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.
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: George Washington Blagden Papers, 1830-1873, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Blagden, George W. Remarks, and a discourse on slavery. Ticknor, Reed, and Fields: Boston, 1854. MB64 1854. The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The George Washington Blagden papers are part of the Union Theological Seminary Archives, which comprises institutional and administrative records of the Seminary, combined with the papers of many organizations, scholars, pastors, laypersons, and others connected with the school.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-07. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Katherin Palm in 2015 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2020-08-26 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
George Washington Blagden was born in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 1802. Despite early intentions to join the legal profession, Blagden instead became a well-known and esteemed pastor. He spent the bulk of his career at the Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts, serving that pastorate during two periods of spiritual revival, in 1842 and 1856, and through the Civil War. His parents were George Blagden, originally of Yorkshire, England, and Anne Davies, originally of Richmond, Virginia. Blagden had one brother, Thomas, and two sisters. In June 1831, Blagden married Miriam Phillips, daughter of the Honorable John Phillips of Boston and sister of abolitionist Wendell Phillips. The couple had eight children: five sons (two of whom served in the Union Army) and three daughters. Blagden graduated from Yale College in 1823 and Andover Theological Seminary in 1826. He later received the honorary degrees of Doctor of Divinity from Union College and Harvard University in 1849 and 1850, respectively.
In 1827, he Blagden preaching in Brighton, Massachusetts (later annexed to Boston) in the newly organized Brighton Congregational Church, which had been formed by seceders from the First Parish upon its transformation into a Unitarian church. On December 26, 1827, Blagden was formally ordained. In October 1830, Blagden became the pastor of Salem Street Church, also in Boston and founded in 1827. Blagden then was called to become the pastor of the long-established Old South Church, where he served from September 28, 1836 until his retirement in 1872. Blagden was voted a salary as pastor emeritus for the remainder of his life. In addition to his duties to his pastorate, Blagden served as a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1853 and as an Overseer of Harvard University from 1854-1859. Blagden died on December 17, 1884, in New York City, where he lived for the last two years of his life at the home of his daughter and son-in-law. He was buried next to his wife, who predeceased him in 1874, in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was survived by four sons and one daughter.