|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in original order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains one volume (211 pages) handwritten by Hezekiah Waterman Ripley and titled "Sketch of the History of the American Home Missionary Society." Pages 1-132 contain newspaper clippings pasted over the handwriting. The newspaper clippings pertain to the New School Presbyterian Church and Assembly, the Old School General Assembly, and other Presbyterian Church information. The Assemblies contain detailed material on sessions and meetings in 1869. Some pages have been removed. Page 133 begins the section titled, "Documents in regard to the origin of the Home Missionary Society," which include handwritten copies of correspondence, letters to the editor, and chapters from books. Many of these refer to Rev. Nathaniel Bouton; another name of note is Hiram Chamberlain, graduate of Princeton and Andover Theological Seminary, and one of four missionaries who intended to go west under auspices of the United Domestic Missionary Society of New York. This section continues unbroken to page 211. Ripley added notes throughout this section and signed certain sections with "Compiler. Although the clippings date to 1869 and the history section date to the 1860s, it is unknown when the book was officially assembled.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL10, North America
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, MRL10: Hezekiah Waterman Ripley papers on the American Home Missionary Society, 1860-1869, box #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
American Home Missionary Society records, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Congregational Home Missionary Society Records. Microfilm. Film Ms24. Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library.
American Home Missionary Society. Correspondence, 1816-1839 [microform] / American Home Missionary Society. Presbyterian Historical Society.
American Home Missionary Society. Papers of the American Home Missionary Society, 1816-1894. Library of Congress.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-02. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Volume was wrapped in acid-free tissue and tied with cotton tying tape. The finding aid was created by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2012 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-09-20 PDF converted to EAD and description, including title of collection, updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Hezekiah Waterman Ripley was born July 2, 1796 to Rev. William B. and Lucy Clift Ripley. His father was a Yale graduate who first settled in Ballston, NY and later in Lebanon, Goshen, CT. His parents married in 1792. Hezekiah was one of seven children. Hezekiah married Maria Huntington on June 4, 1826 with whom he had three children: a daughter, Maria, and twin sons, William Huntington and Hezekiah Bradford. They lived in Harlem, NY. Hezekiah had outlived his children and wife at the point he wrote and published the Ripley Family genealogy in 1867. Ripley was assistant treasurer of the American Home Missionary Society until 1860. By 1870 he was listed as Director for Life.
The American Home Missionary Society was created from a number of fledgling Home Missions groups in the United States. The National Domestic Missionary Society began after a conversation between Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, Rev. Aaron Porter of Andover Seminary, and other theological students, in 1825. Together they discussed the need to enlarge operations of Home Missions and the importance of providing settlement of ministers, especially in the West. The discussion continued to 1826 in Boston at a meeting attended by area ministers. It was voted that the previously organized United Domestic Missionary Society of New York, formed in 1822, become the American Domestic Missionary Society. The United Domestic Missionary Society invited other Home Missions organizations throughout America to come to New York for the purpose of forming an American Home Missionary Society. In May 1826, 126 individuals from thirteen states representing four religious denominations voted to officially form the AHMS. According to their Constitution, the purpose of the AHMS was "to assist congregations that are unable to support the gospel ministry, and to send the gospel to the destitute within the United States." The northern and western frontiers were of utmost importance. Originally represented by Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed Dutch and Associated Reformed denominations, by mid-century the organization represented Congregational Home Missions only. The New School Presbyterians fully withdrew in 1861. As a result, the name of the organization changed to the Congregational Home Missionary Society in 1893. The Congregational Home Missionary Society continued until 1975.