Tuesday, June 29, 2010

from an 1886 Watch Tower article:

Another similar effort to hand-truck Christian people into the
great Omnibus of Spiritism, is a little paper published on the
Pacific Coast, which goes under various names, one of the most
popular of which is the "Father's Love." This journal selects
from other papers some good, simple articles as a sugar coating,
which with its title, we doubt not often entraps for a time at least
God's hungry children, only to feed them on no ransom, and
dispensational evolution, and to introduce to them out and out
spiritist publications.

- View from the Tower, Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1886, page 4.

Does anyone KNOW anything about the magazine Father's Love to which Russell refers?


Monday, June 28, 2010

Fredrick Clapham

Anyone with an ancestry.com account? Lived in Albany, New York in 1900. Meetings were held in his house? Data? Anyone?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Simon O. Blunden

I no longer have an ancestry.com account. If you have one, please send me the material on S. O. Blunden found there, including the city directory information. Blunden was born in Ireland in the 1840s and died just past 1910. Anyone?

Friday, June 25, 2010

A bit of good news ...

We've finally located some of the 1877 Pittsburgh newspapers we want to examine. The library that has them is willing to lend the microfilms. This is good. No guarantee we'll find what we're looking for in either of these newspapers. We know only that it was in one of the Pittsburgh papers in 1877.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

District Messenger Boy - London

Messenger boys such as this one distributed Food for Thinking Christians


S. T. Tackabury is listed in the ohio obituary index on acestry.com. Anyone have a membership? Can you email me the information? Or post it here?

Tackabury was born about 1832 and died in 1888.

Friday, June 18, 2010


It seems that all i'm posting lately is requests for help. Here is another:

We need the exact details of a Advent and Sabbath Advocate article on parousia that appeard in 1881 or 1882. It is mentioned on page 348 of Watch Tower reprints.

Any contemporary comment by the press, a magazine or anyone about the circulation of Food for Thinking Christians would be helpful. Anyone?

A "brother McGranor" is mentioned in the reprints on page 291. Anyone have an exact name? Who was this?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

George M. Myers

Myers is mentioned only by last name in Zion's Watch Tower. We need to see a booklet he wrote in the 1880's entitled "The Atonement." It's mentioned in The Bible Advocate, December 15, 1908, 103-04.

We havent' found a copy. Anyone?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Boston; the rules; old posts; and stuff

To answer an emailed question: This site contains more material than appears on the front page. Use the “older posts” button on the bottom of the page.

Rachael continues to work on the early publishing ministry. I’m still probing the months Russell and Barbour spent traveling and preaching. There is a mass of documentary evidence to which we have no access. The problem is the amount of the material exceeds what the archive is willing to photocopy. It runs to about eight hundred pages, I’m told. I cannot afford to travel to Boston, and I certainly can’t afford to pay for 800 pages of photocopy at the through the mail rates. They are letter size pages, but probably could be reduced to photocopy as two to a page. All this material relates to Arthur Prince Adams and represents his defense during the “trial” that removed him as a Methodist minister.

If you live anywhere near Boston and wish to help, let me know either through an email or post. I am not happy with the limited material we have for this era, but I’m treading new research ground. I don’t think anyone has really followed this trail before. If they have, they haven’t published their findings.

We have good solid biographical material on most of the really significant Barbourites within the time of Russell’s association. But we lack key detail on some events. We have only one of the semi-monthly issues of Herald of the Morning. The missing issues obviously contain material we should see. Anyone know where they are?

Important material is in the 1877 Pittsburgh newspapers. The library that owns the microfilms does not share them via interlibrary loan. I’m too poor to travel and too sick.

I don’t question your beliefs on this blog. Readers take both sides of the issue when it comes to Russell. Your beliefs are not my business. Every one who behaves is welcome. I need to repeat that if you post stupid comments, they won’t make it to the blog. If you have comments or questions on facts or merely wish to say you appreciate the blog, those are always welcome.

This is hard work. I’m not sure some of our readers know just how difficult, expensive and time consuming finding the facts is. In this past week we’ve purchased something like six books, 400 pages of photocopy and written eight letters or emails to various university libraries or private archives. It takes valuable time to digest what we find and follow up on leads and hints.

Four hundred pages may not seem like much. But when a library asks an initial fee of thirty-five dollars and then charges by the page, it becomes a significant investment. I have to calculate how much I can afford on a mostly fixed income.

There’s a book out there now, used, ratty and fifty dollars plus postage. The man selling it hasn’t a clue what he has. He’s priced it solely on the basis that he has the only one for sale. I want to read this book. More, I want to own it. There simply is no way for me to spend the money. It will have to wait.

Then there are the things that seem to be gone for good: Barbour’s spiritism booklet; Adam’s Bible Harmony; issues of various magazines, many of which most Witness researchers have never heard of or read.

This week I wrote to a group notorious for not sharing its research, and I asked for the moon. I’ve tried to appeal to them on the basis that what is said about the issue is wrong and harmful. They’d do better by putting the raw material in the hands of someone who will consider it fairly. I don’t expect an answer anytime within the next few months. They’re notoriously slow to answer requests like that. But, surprisingly, they do sometimes provide help. We’ll see.

The way we handle that in the current research is to simply say in text or footnote that such-and-such a library or archive owns the material and declined to make it available. It’s time some of these institutions be exposed to their own policies.

Years ago I did extensive research for someone else’s book. I had a great working relationship with the Library of Congress. That was back in the late 1980s and early 1990’s. The people that were helpful have all retired. The current crop of Library of Congress employees leaves me frustrated. They can’t read the text of an email, only skimming what I write and answering with comments that do not match my question. It’s become an unfriendly, difficult resource, unless you are in Washington, D. C. In contrast, The American Antiquarian Society is superior, friendly, helpful. The Library of Congress should take lessons from them. Boston University seems to hate outside scholars. Rochester Public Library is helpful and the staff I’ve contacted are superior. You can see it’s a very mixed experience.

Some of these institutions and societies seem to delight in withholding material from professionals – or anyone else. My worst experience was with a staffer at the Wyoming State Library who refused to fill an interlibrary loan request because it was critical of her religion, or so she thought. The material was from 100 years in the past. This is insane.

I’m wandering from my topic. Old men do that. Sorry. We need immediate help with the material in Boston. Anyone?

Friday, June 11, 2010

William Lee Stroud

Stroud was editor of Eusebia: A Montly Journal for Bible STudents, published in Oakland, California in the 1880's and 90's. He was Born 15 Jan 1833 in New York and Died 23 Aug 1911. I no longer have access to ancestry.com. If any of you do, will you please provide me with a good copy of the two photos and other information found there.

Plan of the Ages - Saalfield & Fitch edition

Advertisement in the back of another Saalfield publication.

Publishers' Weekly

In 1892 the religious publishing house Saalfield & Fitch published an edition of The Plan of the Ages. It was advertised in Publishers Weekly (February 20, 1892) and in the after-matter in some of their other publications, but without connecting it to Zion's Watch Tower. A notice in Review of Reviews of the Saalfield edition gives Russell's name as author. There are adds and notices in scattered magazines, including the Febuary 13, 1892, issue of The Critic.

Does anyone have this edition? Have you seen it? Do you know of anyone who has it?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anyone in Boston

A significant archive related to A. P. Adams is in Boston. We need a volunteer interested enough in Watch Tower history to consult it, make photo copies, and share them with us. This would be a labor of love. What little research funds we have left have been committed to something else.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We urgently need to see ...

The Kingdom of God; The Covenant with David and David's Seed, by G. M. Myers - 1885 - 16 pages

Controversial on the Nature of Man: A correspondence, G. M. Myers and J. M. Henry
- 1885 - 48 pages

The Millenarian, published by Myers, established in 1882, circulation in 1885 said to be 2000 published at Lanark, Illinois

Anyone know the locations? Have copies?

Monday, June 7, 2010

A. D. Jones

Albert D. Jones’ embezzlement of funds is discussed elsewhere on this blog. Thanks to research by Rachael de Vienne, we know more about the back ground.

Jones’ investment in the Knickerbocker Bank went up in smoke. Other transactions reduced him to near poverty. A judgment against him for $7,044.00 was entered in January 1892, in favor of George F. Whipple on notes made in 1886 and 1887. [The New York Sun, January 19, 1892]

An article in the New York Tribune, February 12, 1892, shows that he had secured an investment with his furniture. His belongings were subsequently sold for six thousand dollars, a considerable sum in those days. He had mishandled the investments of Jane Crossley, the widow of a prominent carpet dealer.


In December 1889 many of Jones’ creditors took him to court and won judgments. The total of the December judgments approached $40,000.00. The record is found in the December 28, 1889 issue of The Real Estate Record and Guide.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Help? Anyone?

In 1900 William C. Couch of the Disciples of Christ debated a brother Whitaker. The debate was printed, but we can't find a copy. Anyone? Any details? Brother Whitaker's initials may have been "I. P." The debate is mentioned in Thomas N. Thrasher's Encyclopedia of Religious Debates, volume 1, but no details are given. ANYONE?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We Need to See This ...

With the January/February 1882 issue of Zion's Watch Tower, Russell sent as a supplement a combined pamphlet that included both Tabernacle Teachings and Food for Thinking Christians. We would like to see the title page. Anyone have this? If you do, a scan of the title page would be helpful.