Religion

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Waller went to Africa in 1861 as Lay Superintendent of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. He resigned from the Mission in 1863 following a disagreement related to liberated slaves under the care of the Mission. These papers document the Zambezi expedition of David Livingstone (1813-1873) and the early history of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa.  Waller’s deep interest in Africa and the problem of slavery continued throughout his life and is reflected in his correspondence with Livingstone and in diaries dated 1875-1876, after his return to England.  Selections from Waller’s diaries for1875 and 1876 have been scanned.

The Society originated in a bequest by Robert Boyle in 1691 for advancing religion amongst infidels. In 1794, the charity was reconstituted as “The Society for the Conversion and Religious Instruction and Education of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands,” and in 1836, after the abolition of slavery, as “The Society for Advancing the Christian Faith in the British West-India Islands, and elsewhere, in the Dioceses of Jamaica, and of the Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, and in the Mauritius.” The papers document the Society’s activities from the 17th through the 20th centuries.

Established in Philadelphia in the 1700s by Richard Allen, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was the first black church to expand on a national level in the United States. These extensive records of the first AME church detail the establishment and daily operation of the church. The collection also contains committee meeting minutes, records of marriages and baptisms, financial records, receipts, lists of church officers, class roll books, records of committee activities, and other items. More information is available online.

The Freedmen’s Missions Aid Society was the British Counterpart to the American Missionary Association. It provided financial support for educational and religious work among former slaves and their descendants in Africa and the United States.

Freeborn Garrettson (1752-1827) became a Methodist minister due to the influence of Bishop Francis Asbury. He opposed slavery and freed his own slaves when he began his ministry. He was instrumental, along with Asbury, in organizing the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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