Schuyler Presbytery

From: Green, Ashbel. (1831). The Christian Advocate. Vol 9. p. 667.

Synod of Illinois, in session at Hillsborough, have under consideration the subject of Domestic Missions, and have endeavored to ascertain the best mode of conducting them within their bounds.  They have viewed with regret the apparently conflicting interests of the two great missionary Boards.  Our missionaries are from both, and find themselves obliged to unite all their efforts in building up the public churches of this wide waste.  We have enemies to meet, and conflict with, who leave us no time, nor strength to contend with each other in regard to those great and good institutions, which bless us, and our people with their patronage.  We love, and cherish; and pray for both, as the fountains of benevolence; and we look to them, we cry to them, unceasingly, “Come over and help us.”  When a messenger comes, filled with love, and joy, and peace, from either, we all hail him as a brother, and buckle on the harness with him, as a “true yokefellow.” But should our brethren continue to send among us pamphlets, whose tendency must be to stir up wrath, or, should they, at any time, send agents unhappily disposed to sow the seeds of strife and sedition, we must turn away our eyes and weep for wounds, which will thus be inflicted on our beloved Zion.

To shut out these evils from among us, and close our doors against all efforts to introduce them, in future, we express our strong desire, that the missionary operations within our bounds may be under the contract of committees appointed by our own judicatories. Therefore,

Resolved, that the Assembly’s Board of Missions, and the Board of the Home Missionary Society, be respectfully requested to communicate freely with our Presbyterial and Synodical Committees on all important subjects connected with Missionary operations within our bounds, and without the mediation of any other Board whatever.

Adopted, unanimously, at Hillsborough, Illinois, the 17th of September, 1831.
Signed by order of the Synod,
John G. Bergen, Moderator; William S. Potts, Clerk of Synod.

At the General Assembly of 1828 an overture to related to Missions, specifically to the “Plan of Union”, was presented under the signatures of:

  • Ashbel Green (President of Board of Missions of General Assembly, Philadelphia, & editor of Christian Advocate)
  • Francis Herron (1st Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg, moderator of GA in 1827)
  •  Jacob J. Janeway (pastor in Philadelphia, who had long-standing interest in Board of Missions)
  • James Moore (layman, Capt., member of 1st Pres of Philadelphia, member of the Board of Missions executive committee),
  • George W. Blight (layman from Philadelphia,Recording Secretary of Executive Committee of Board of Missions)

From: Proceedings of the Schuyler Presbytery, Rushville, August 1, 1838

At a pro ne rata meeting of Schuyler Presbytery, for the purpose of taking into consideration the doings of the late General Assembly.  The meeting was opened with prayer by Rev. G. W. Gale, moderator; then W. K. Stewart was appointed clerk pro tem. Ministers present as follows, to wit:

R. B. Dobbins, John Waters, W. K. Stewart, S.S. Mills, G. W. Gale, I.G. Bell, R. Stewart, M. Kimbal, S. Wilson, R. K. M’Coy, Wm. M. King, J. M. Chase, J. J. Mitre –13.

Elders as follow: H. H. Miles, Cyrus Walker, Wm. Holvoke, Luther Birge, M. Chambers, S. G. Wright, J. Catlin, H. King, J. G. Walker, J. McCoy, J. Vandyke, Wm. Patterson, J. Bell, G. Allison, R. N. Curry –15.

Members absent as follows: L. Dunlap, J. Montgomery, M. Hummer, T. Cole, W. Nicholas, __ Mead, S. Hardy.

M. Kimbal presented a resolution – Western Reserve Presbyteries cannot be excluded, that the actions in 1837 were inappropriate, thereby 1838 Assembly was voided, and the Assembly who met at 7th Presby in Philly was the True assembly; [Vote on this resolution was postponed; when voted results were opposite of L. G. Bell’s resolution.]

L.G. Bell presented an alternate resolution – that May 17, 1838 Assembly in Philadelphia was the true one, approving Rev. Samuel Wilson our commissioner; adhering to the reforms of 1837-1838 as required by first act of this Assembly, censurable conduct at the 1st Presbyterian in Philadelphia & that therefore they succeeded from true church.  They voted on this resolution first. For (supporting Old School): Dobbins, Bell, W.K. Stewart, Wilson, Chase; Miles, C. Walker, J. G. Walker, Allison, Patterson (10); Against (supporting New School): Waters, Miles, Gale, R. Stewart, Kimball, King, M’Coy, Miles. Elders – Holyoke, Chambers, Birge, Wright, J. King, McCoy, Vandyke, Bell, Curry, Catlin (18).

Rev. R. B. Dobbins then read the act that states that minorities in Presbyteries should assume the name & authority of their Presbytery. Wm. K. Stewart was nominated moderator, L. G. Bell, clerk. The minority had requested majority to not vote.

A session of prayer was led by one of each party & the moderator of each. Robert Stewart was appointed clerk pro tem of the remainder. Kimball, Miter, and Stewart were appointed to a committee to prepare minutes.  Appointments for churches:

  • Pike & Adams: Cole & McCoy
  • Pike & Hancock: Kimball & Dunlap
  • Fort Madison: King & Nicholas
  • Fulton County: Stewart & Porter
  • Knox, Mercer, Henry, Warren, Rock Island & vicinity: Gale, Waters & Miles

Adjourned to Canton on 24 Sept.

from: Sangamo Journal, Aug  25, 1838, p. 2, c. 5

In the next issue of Sangamo Journal, John G. Bergen of Springfield (O.S.) asked editor to print info from the authentic General Assembly to clarify actions of Schuyler Presbytery for the readers.  The following week, D. Whitney wrote to the editor that there were two true parties, not one only, formed from General Assembly, and he countered Bergen’s interpretation.  The interchange between Bergen and Whitney continued into future issues of the Journal.

Presbytery of Sangamon at its late session held in Irish Grove, passed the following resolutions– 1. that slavery, as it exists in the United States is a sin against God; and therefore ought to be immediately abandoned. 2. As amended by Brother Whitney that the Presbytery recommend to all the Churches under their care, to do all in their power for the accomplishment of this object. Submitted by T. Galt; Sangamo Journal, S29/38-2:7

“…..whereas the Synod of Illinois, having by their moderator, refused….. have refused to admit the Rev. W. J. Frazer, being a member of the Kaskaskia Presbyterian church, to a seat and vote in the synod; thus rebelling against the General Assembly, on an adjudicated case of appeal and complaint in the case of Mr. Frazer….. Peoria, Sept 27, 1837 (sic 1838?)

Ministers: John Matthews, B. H. Spillman, W. J. Frazer, T. A. Spillman, J. Stafford, J. G. Bergen, T. Galt, R. B. Dobbins, W. K. Stewart, G. G. Sill, J. W. Little, L. G. Bell, D. C. Alien, J. Montgomery, J. M. Chase, J. Keilar;

Elders: J. A. Ramsey, W. White, J. N. Moore, C. Walker, R. Taylor, J. Jameson, O. Griffith, A. Rice, S. Lowry, W. C. Pasey


Lots of filings in these months; Cyrus atty for Abner Walker bankruptcy petition: Mr18/42-3:6;

Comments are closed.