|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in four series: Series 1: Administrative records; Series 2: Correspondence; Series 3: Proposed General Conference in New York City; and Series 4: Special formats.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the administrative records of the Evangelical Alliance in the United States, including lists of the Alliance's various committees, lists of Branch Alliances and officers, registers of guests, and Executive Committee Minutes; bound letter copying books and loose correspondence comprised of telegrams, postal cards, and letters, as well as the correspondence of Heli Chatelain, field manager in Africa of the Philafrican Liberators' League; material related to the Alliance's General Conference of 1870 in New York City, including proposed conference programs, lists of individuals who have accepted their invitations to the conference, and a list of people invited to speak or present papers at the conference; as well as images and scrapbooks, which include pamphlets, conference programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and various documents broken down by Branch Alliances across the United States.
Burke Library record group:
William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives
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, WAB: Evangelical Alliance records, circa 1800-1944, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
WAB: Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Records, 1905-1971, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Various material available on the Internet Archive, including: Report of the Deputation of the American Branch of the Evangelical Alliance, Appointed to Memorialize the Emperor of Russia in Behalf of Religious Liberty (1871), by the Evangelical Alliance for the United States of America, is available via the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/stream/reportdeputatio00amergoog#page/n6/mode/2up. Christianity practically applied. The discussions of the International Christian Conference held in Chicago, October 8-14, 1893, in connection with the World's Congress, Auxiliary of the World's Columbian Exposition, and under the auspices and direction of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States. The general conference (1894), by the Evangelical Alliance for the United States of America, is available via the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/stream/christianityprac00evan#page/n7/mode/2up. National perils and opportunities; (1887), by the Evangelical Alliance for the United States of America, is available via the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/stream/cu31924029357013#page/n5/mode/2up.
UTS1: Philip Schaff Papers, 1838 - 1896, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The papers are part of the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives, which was founded in 1945 by the Union Theological Seminary Board of Directors.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown. Earlier papers within this collection related to Philip Schaff 's involvement with the Evangelical Alliance may previously have been sourced from Philip Schaff's papers donated to the Burke Library by his son, David, in 1896.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Some material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-08. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and 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. Books were wrapped in acid-free tissue. A fragile scrapbook consisting of newspaper clippings in envelopes was disbound and is now in Box 13. The finding aid was created by Rebecca Weintraub in 2012 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2023.
2023-04-06 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The first incarnation of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States of America was founded by American delegates to the London Conference of 1846 (which established the Evangelical Alliance in the United Kingdom) at a five-day meeting that took place on May 5-11, 1847. The group had its issues from the start, which lead to its early demise only three years later. One of the major contributors to the Alliance's downfall was the issue of slavery and whether or not to allow slave owners membership. Some wanted the complete exclusion of slave owners, while others were more open to their inclusion. The Alliance came to a compromise in its stance regarding slavery in what became Article Seven of the Alliance's organizational criterion. While it was believed that the institution of slavery was an evil one, and that they seek its end, the object of the Alliance was still that of the "promotion of Christian union and brotherly love." The disbanding of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States, however, did not eliminate its presence completely. Though the Civil War divided evangelicalism, public meetings took place that carried on the traditions of the Alliance in a more informal way. Finally, in 1866, the Evangelical Alliance was revived in New York. Philip Schaff, soon appointed as the corresponding secretary of the Alliance, played an important role in its revival. According to Schaff, the "essence" of the Alliance was: The 'Evangelical Alliance' is not an ecclesiastical organization, and has, therefore no authority to issue and enforce an ecclesiastical creed or confession of faith. It is a voluntary society for the manifestation and promotion of Christian union, and for the protection of religious liberty. Its object is not to bring about an organic union of Churches, nor a confederation of independent Churches, but to exhibit and to strengthen union and cooperation among individual members of different Protestant denominations without interfering with their respective creeds and internal affairs. It aims to realize the idea of such a Christian union as it is consistent with denominational distinctions and varieties in doctrine, worship, and government. It may ultimately lead to a closer approximation of the Churches themselves, but it may and does exist without ecclesiastical union; and ecclesiastical union would be worthless without Christian union. A good amount of the Alliance's efforts throughout its existence was directed towards religious liberty at home and abroad. Appeals were made to the Czar on behalf of the Alliance protesting the persecution of Baptists and Jews in Russia, to the Sultan in Turkey protesting the Protestant discrimination of the Armenians by the Turks, in addition to those regarding the religious persecution of all non-Roman Catholics in Peru and Ecuador. The Alliance continued to fulfill its missions until 1944, by which time it had been deemed to have "outlived its usefulness." The Evangelical Alliance for the United States of America formally dissolved and turned over its assets to the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America.