Saturday, January 31, 2015

Separate Identity

Sales from Amazon show up slowly. Amazon is slow to pay, pays poorly, and, frankly, I detest their staff. This has become a deeply personal loathing. But after two months, they do seem to have fixed our issues, other than the unfair profit grab.

A Separate Identity’s sales rank has changed dramatically. Last month we were three-million-something in rank. Today we’re three hundred thousand and something. Because Amazon is slow to report sales, we’ve seen none of this reflected in our royalties report. If you buy our book, buy it from

Amazon mistreats authors. 

Our ranking on lulu has improved dramatically. This is good. But sales are still slow. We finance our research from sales. Original research is often expensive. If you like our books, tell others about them.  

We appreciate everyone who reads this blog and our books.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mr. Schulz

Bruce can't answer your emails. He's ill and confined to bed. His youngest daughter and I are trying to take care of his affairs until he regains a measure of health. Please be patient.

Henry Weber

by Bernhard

Henry Weber has a special place in Watch Tower history. He was a director of the WTBTS from 11 April 1892 until his death on 21 January 1904 (a total of 11 years and 9 months). On Saturday, 6 January 1894 he succeeded Rose Ball as Vice President of the WTBTS, a position he retained until his death.

Henry’s German name was Heinrich, and he was born on 3 June 1835 in Klein Seelheim (Hessen), Germany. He married Katherine (Katherina) Schultz (Schutz) in 1866. She lived from Feb.1846-1929. The couple had eleven children. The names of ten are known:

Mary Weber                           1866-1954
William Weber                       1869-1935
Elizabeth Weber                     1871-1960
Katherine Weber                    1873-1960
George B. Weber                    1875-1958
Diana Weber                           1877-1971
Edith L. Weber                        1879-1970
John W. Weber                       1882- ?
Walter Franklin Weber           1884-1910
Ralph Enoch Weber                1887-1981

As so often happens with historical research, some of his children lived until quite recent times, but the opportunity to ask them about their father’s religious activities is alas, gone.

This article will address his secular history first and then his association with CTR.

Secular history

Weber was a horticulturist, and most of the material that follows is taken from The American Carnation – How to Grow It; Illustrated; by Charles Willis Ward –1903; pp. 273-274.

Henry’s father, John (Johann) Weber, was a farmer who died at the age of sixty-three. Henry Weber attended Government schools until he was fourteen years old, when he was apprenticed to a florist, and a few years thereafter was made foreman of his employer’s gardens and greenhouses. At nineteen years of age he entered the British Army, serving during the Crimean War. During his ten years’ service in the British Army he was stationed at various points in Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1865 he decided to come to America, and with his brother John, who had preceded him, embarked in general farming and market gardening, at Mount Savage, Allegheny Co., Maryland. At the end of five years he sold his interest to his brother, and removed to Cumberland, Maryland, where he established a general market gardening and florist business.  In 1879, he bought a tract of land in Garrett County, adjoining the town of Oakland, where he established a florist business specialising in carnations. He became an active member of The American Carnation Society, The Society of American Florists, and other organizations. (Another source states that he was Vice President of the American Carnation Society in 1901).

Shortly after that account was published, Henry died in 1904. His business, H Weber and Sons Co. was directed after his death by son William (1869-1935). The Smithsonian Institute has a collection of business records for the company, which operated up until 1978 when the remaining greenhouses were torn down.

Bible Student history

According to the funeral discourse given by CTR when Henry Weber died, his religious background had first been as an active Episcopalian and Y.M.C.A. worker, before “he was counted of the Lord worthy to know of Present Truth.”

In ZWT for 1 June 1901 pages 190-191 (reprints page 2828) Edna Mary Hammond of Maryland relates how she came to understand “the truth.” She writes to CTR:

I was a very small child (10 years) when your publications were first introduced into our family, through the kindness of Mr Henry Weber, of Oakland, who was then my brother’s Sunday School teacher, and whose name I cannot mention without the sincerest gratitude.

Edna Mary Hammond’s details can be found on Find a Grave. She was born in 1873 and died in 1941. Her younger sister Lulu’s details (1882-1976) state that she was a Jehovah’s Witness.

So if Edna Mary was born in 1873, we would find Henry Weber circulating Bible Student publications in 1883. Edna Mary’s letter specifically singles out Food for Thinking Christians.

Henry’s name first appears in ZWT in 1887. He gave a donation to assist in the distribution of ARP tracts. From ZWT December 1887 page 8 (reprints page 989).

The March 1889 ZWT page 7 (reprints page 1108) carried a letter from Henry in which he described his colporteur experiences, selling 109 books in a little over four days, and expressing how he wished he could give his entire time to “this blessed work.” The letter is prefaced with a comment from CTR that gives a bit more of his background.

[The following is from Brother Weber of Maryland. Though a florist and gardener on a large scale, he is not seeking worldly prominence or wealth, but divine approval and heavenly riches. To do this he uses his garden, hot-houses, etc., as ways and means for honoring the Lord by spreading the truth. He is out as much as possible in the "harvest" field selling DAWN Vol. I. A man of keen business judgment and good address, he enlists his best endeavors in this highest service-- the service of God—and we believe is laying up treasure in heaven.--EDITOR.]

ZWT for 15 January 1893, page 31 (omitted in reprints) contains another letter describing Henry’s experiences and expressing regret that, unlike others, he can’t give his “entire time to this great work.”

In the special edition of ZWT for 25 April 1894, Henry Weber features quite prominently.  On pages 17-19 he actively supported CTR in the controversy involving Elmer Bryan and J B Adamson. Henry personally met with both men, the latter together with CTR, to try and resolve the problems. It got messy. Adamson wanted to get the Dawn colporteurs to sell his own publication, using the Old Theology and WTBTS mastheads, but without informing CTR. He complained about the expense he had already incurred and Weber offered to compensate him out of his own pocket. Adamson then publicly accused CTR’s “spokesman” of trying to buy him off. And on it went.

From page 40 onwards, when Elmer Bryan made his list of accusations against CTR, Henry Weber and M M Tuttle were asked by him to be present when the charges were put to CTR. They supported CTR on every point in the dispute. One incidental that came out from the discussion was that it was Henry Weber, and not CTR, who had used his contacts to organize special railroad rates for colporteurs, which was not fraud but open and above board.

In ZWT 15 December 1894 page 393 (reprints page 1746) Weber is mentioned in a list of names of those business people who were current sharing in part-time colporteur work.

In the 1890s, meetings were held at the Weber home. A letter from Henry Weber in ZWT 1 May 1895 page 112 (omitted in reprints) said in part:

DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--At the request of the Church at Philadelphia, I met with them, after making arrangements with Bros. Gillis and Jackson to be with the little company at our house. At 2 P.M. we met to consider the subject of baptism, and at 4 P.M. we adjourned for this service to a small church building kindly put at our disposal. Four brethren and six sisters symbolized by water the burial of their wills into the will of their Redeemer and Lord. Between forty and fifty participated in the Memorial service, which was preceded by a praise and testimony meeting.

A further letter in ZWT 15 April 1896 page 87 (reprints page 1966) from Henry Weber spoke of a little company meeting at his house in Oakland to celebrate the Lord’s last Memorial supper. There were seven partakers. This suggests that this was quite a small gathering on this occasion.

Henry had a new house built c. 1898 called Seelheim, and it was probably here that a small convention was held in 1901. J.H. Bohnet attended and sent in his report as published in ZWT 15 September 1901, page 301 (omitted in reprints):

Dear Brother Russell:--To my mind the Oakland convention is the best I ever attended, due perhaps in some degree to the fact that it was in the country, amid nature's surroundings, God's own handiwork, instead of being in a city; and again, due largely to the fact that it was at Bro. Weber's home. We have much to be thankful for to the family who did so well by us all, and to the Lord be the praise for his "goodness and mercy (which) shall follow us all the days of our life." I cannot find words to express my gratitude in having been privileged to assemble with those of like precious faith on this blessed occasion…… Your brother in hope, J. A. Bohnet,--Washington.

A letter from A N Pierson in ZWT 15 October 1901, page 335 (reprints page 2897) to Henry Weber was published with Pierson’s permission, in which he thanked Weber for his hospitality at this same gathering.

“I...ask you to extend my thanks to dear Mrs Weber and the girls for all their work of labor and love, also to the boys that were kept so busy.”

Pierson met CTR at the Weber home. He would later briefly become another WTBTS Vice President. Like Weber he ran a horticultural business.

Henry Weber’s house – built c. 1898

Henry died in early 1904, and CTR travelled to his home to conduct the funeral service. The funeral report was in ZWT 1 February 1904 page 36 (reprints page 3314):

The report read (in part):


PILGRIM Brother Henry Weber has passed beyond the vail, to be forever with the Lord. We rejoice on his behalf. He finished his earthly course on Thursday, January 21st, at 2.15 p.m., at his home --Oakland, Md.--and was buried on Saturday, the 23rd. A large gathering, composed of his family, friends and neighbors, was addressed by the Editor of this journal....Brother Weber left a very interesting family--his wife and one of his sons being confessors of the Lord and his Truth. For the remainder of the family we have strong hopes that the good influence of the father's character in daily life may be still stronger with them since his death – drawing them also to full consecration to the same Savior and his "reasonable service."

Henry was buried in the Weber Family Cemetery, Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland, USA. His wife, Katherine, was laid to rest beside him 25 years later. The cemetery is still in use for Weber descendants.

This photograph from the Weber family cemetery shows the headstone for Katherine Weber nearest the camera. It is most likely that Henry’s stone is the one next to her.

(Some additional material researched by Jerome)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Edward Bishop Elliott

Photograph by James Holroyd - albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s - 3 1/2 in. x 2 1/4 in. (89 mm x 57 mm) image size - Transferred from Victoria & Albert Museum, 1980 - NPG x132252
Reproduced under creative commons licence from National Portrait Gallery

Author of Horae Apocalypticae, a book of some influence.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


An article by Jerome appears on the private blog. We haven't used it much and you may not check it often. If you are a member of the invitation only blog, you will want to read his article.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Blog

Blog readership has increased, and most visitors spend some considerable time reading older posts. This is a significant improvement. We’ve picked up new readers too. The new statcounter shows unique and returned visits. Our readership is more balanced than it used to be. Interestingly, we have almost no Canadian or Australian visitors. Readers in Europe predominately come from the UK and Italy. We also have regular readers in Russia, Germany and Austria, with scattered visits from other nations.

This map shows blog traffic from approximately 3:30 am Pacific Standard Time to 9:00 am PST. It does not show multiple visits from the same location. For instance, in that period we had six visits from the Newark, New Jersey area, each from a different IP address. Those visits show on this map as a single ‘pin.’


We write this blog to be read, as a resource for those interested in Watch Tower history. It seems to be drawing more interest than it ever has. This is good. Tell others about our blog. And about our books. We finance our research from book royalties and an occasional donation. The more who know about and read our books, the easier it is to move forward.

Thanks for your blog visits and thanks for buying our books.

A note from A P Adams

The New York Times, for Saturday, February 17, 1906, page 106, had a section entitled Queries, where readers could enquire about the source of literary snippets they half-remembered. Thanks to Miquel for supplying this one from A P Adams.

Friday, January 9, 2015


by Jerome

Acknowledgement is given to Rachael and Miquel who supplied information that has been incorporated into this article, and also to Find a Grave contributor Beverly, who gave permission for her photograph of Ophelia’s gravestone to be reproduced.

Ophelia Adams has an interesting history. For a while her name and writings featured regularly in the pages of ZWT. She wrote in support of CTR when he had his problems with S D Rogers. She actually wrote a poem called The Divine Plan of the Ages that was published in ZWT. She organized a Dawn Circle, giving chart lectures on the Divine Plan, and was praised by CTR for so doing, when there were no men prepared to help. And yet within ten years of these events, she was to get married to one of CTR’s theological opponents, Arthur Prince Adams.

At the head of this article is her gravestone. Ophelia is buried near her two husbands. The pillar in memory of her second husband, Arthur Prince Adams, is next to her; but while this is in very good condition her stone is covered in moss, and its location under a tree has not helped its preservation. The inscription reads Ophelia Browning Adams, 1856-1946, and then there is a scriptural reference at the bottom – from Ruth 1:16,17 which reads (in the King James Version):

‘And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.’

According to her death certificate, Ophelia was born on 21 February 1856, and died in April 1946.

Outside her Bible Student connections, Ophelia’s main claim to fame was that she was a prolific writer of religious poetry in her day, and some hymnals today still contain her work. She first started publishing under her maiden name Browning. A brief biography was given in the magazine Bible Training School (A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Interests of House to House Bible Work) in its issue of March 1911. Reprinting her poem Sometime, Somewhere (sometimes named after its first line: Unanswered Yet) it stated:

This poem has attracted much attention in America, and frequent inquiries have been made as to its authorship and origin. It has occasionally been ascribed to Robert Browning. It was written in May, 1880, by Ophelia G. Browning, the daughter of an American Methodist minister. In 1884 she was married to Thomas E. Burroughs, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., since whose death a few years ago she has been married again, her present husband being the Rev. Arthur P. Adams, Beverly, Mass.

The Bible Training School magazine (which interestingly included the expression “House to House” in its by-line) was not connected with the Bible Students but was a Seventh Day Adventist publication. To be pedantic, the poem was actually written in 1879 and then first published in May 1880, in The Christian Standard, a magazine linked to the Barton Stone-Campbell movement and its subsequent offshoots. This was Ophelia’s earliest known published work. It was immediately copied in another magazine The Christian Advance and there misattributed to Robert Browning. Next, The Methodist Review wrote an elaborate article on Robert Browning and used Ophelia’s poem as evidence of his ripening spirituality! The misunderstanding eventually got sorted out.

Sometime, Somewhere aka Unanswered Yet, was also later published in the pages of ZWT in the issue for January 1, 1895. It was now entitled Pray Without Ceasing and credited to Mrs F G Burroughs. It also appeared in some editions of Poems of Dawn, when that volume was issued separately from Hymns of Millennial Dawn.

The website lists the history of nearly 100 of Ophelia’s lyrics from the 1880s until quite recent times. While re-titling is rife, it seems that some of her ZWT contributions are not included, so were not republished elsewhere. Some of her published poems in ZWT include Father Glorify Your Name (reprints page 1467),Faithful Over Few (page 1625), Behold the Bridegroom (1636), Pray Without Ceasing aka Unanswered Yet (1753), The Plan of the Ages (1901), and Cumbered with Much Serving (2184).

When the special musical Tower was published on February 1, 1896 with its selection of new hymns, four of them had Ophelia’s lyrics as set to M L McPhail’s music. The new hymnal entitled Zion’s Glad songs was republished and expanded on several occasions. The largest edition produced while McPhail was still an associate of CTR came out in 1908 and Ophelia’s share had now increased to a dozen hymns, lyrics by F G Burroughs, music by M L McPhail.

During her writing career she used at least five names. She seems to have started as Ophelia G Browning, then F G Browning, then on her marriage to Thomas E Burroughs as Mrs T E Burroughs, and then back to her own initials with (Mrs) F G Burroughs, and finally Ophelia Adams or Ophelia G Adams.

Not many poems were published as Browning. She married dry goods merchant, Thomas E Burroughs, in 1884. Her wedding ceremony was conducted by her father, Methodist minister, William Garritson Browning.

Once married, the name she generally used for her most prolific period was (Mrs) F G Burroughs. The F may have been a diminutive of Ophelia. According to information supplied by Ophelia’s daughter for the death certificate, the G stood – not for the family name Garritson – but Guyon. Maybe it was a nod towards the French mystic and poet Madam Guyon. Or maybe not.

At some point she came in contact with the writings of CTR and ZWT doctrine. As well as the aforementioned poems and hymns printed in ZWT between 1892 and 1897, she also wrote letters.
In the June 11, 1894 special extra issue of ZWT, page 203 (but omitted in reprints), Ophelia was one of many writing in support after the schism involving S D Rogers and others. Her letter reads:

 Then in ZWT for Dec 1, 1895 (page 279 – reprints page 1902) she had a letter published about starting a Dawn Circle in the absence of any suitable males prepared to assist.  

CTR’s following remarks praised her for her initiative. He commented: “If a sister has preeminent talents, by all means use them. You did well, too, in starting the class with a chart exposition.” He also published her poem The Divine Plan of the Ages in the same ZWT issue.
How long she remained in association is not known. The regular run of her poems in ZWT stopped in mid-1897, leaving the field open to Gertrude Seibert and Rose Ball Henninges. Since Ophelia was a forceful enough character for that era to start up a Dawn Circle without the assistance of men, it may be that she was sympathetic to Maria in the Russells’ marital problems. However, that is pure speculation. What it does show is that her first husband, Thomas Burroughs, was not actively involved in her religion.
Husband Thomas died in 1904 and as the cutting below from the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle for March 2, 1904 shows, he left her well provided for.

Just over a year later, on 5 April 1905 she married Arthur Prince Adams. He was 57 and she was 49. The wedding was conducted by the Rev. A H Evans of New York.  Arthur gave his occupation as minister, and Ophelia was a housekeeper. She had probably been keeping house for her elderly father.

Some poems, old and new, were now published and re-published under her new married name, Ophelia Adams. And in 1909 the WT re-published two of her poems but under the old name of F G Burroughs (see reprints pages 4390 and 4407). ZWT transferred to New York that year. Whether that was the reason, or whether it was connected with her new life with Adams, or whether it was just coincidence is not known.

In the 1910 census her elderly father was living with them. He died later that year. Her husband, Arthur, is listed as a publisher, but Ophelia has no occupation.

Arthur P then died in 1920. Ophelia lived on until 1946. She was survived by her one daughter, Grace T Burroughs, who was then in her 50s and unmarried, and who had lived with her mother for decades. When Ophelia died I have not been able to find an obituary anywhere.

I would have liked to have interviewed her about her experiences, but alas, am nearly 70 years too late.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Thanks to Roberto!

Roberto put the book cover images up for us. Super thanks for that!

Roberto's blog is here:

Monday, January 5, 2015

To continue the discussion in previous post

This letter appeared in the June 11, 1894, special issue of Zion’s Watch Tower:


New York.


I feel I must emphasize the dear; for since this fearful trial has come upon you and you have so clearly proven the groundlessness and injustice of the attack upon you, you look nobler to me than ever before. You are kept in peace, but now go further, rejoice! Rejoice that you are counted worthy thus to suffer for his name! Yes, rejoice; for out of this you come forth purer and brighter--and those who really love the Lord, not in word or tongue only, but in deed and truth, will love you more, trust you more fully and show themselves more willing to heed all your words of advice and encouragement. Well, the sifting is going on. The Lord will have only clean ones, and he knoweth them that are his--praise his name! Such favor to be chosen of him! How can any be other than humbled at the thought!


Ever your sister, filled with blessed hope,

F. G. Burroughs.

Bible House workers are noted as such in that issue. She is not. 

In the Conspiracy Exposed Extra we find this: 

Sister Burroughs writes on the subject as follows:  

“A sister here asked me if I did not think it would be well to let Bro. Russell know how much harm had been done here by Mr. Rogers in his very disagreeable manner of insulting those who refused to buy `DAWN; ’ but I thought he was in England and beyond giving further offense here, so we would not trouble you, but took him to the Lord in prayer–that he might be humbled and given a better spirit.”


Burroughs lived in New York State in 1894, not in Allegheny. We have no record of her association with Bible House.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Arthur Prince Adams and family

Arthur Prince Adams’ memorial is in the Rhinebeck cemetery, Dutchess County, New York.  The photograph is reproduced by kind permission of Find a Grave contributor, Beverly.

This memorial pillar is in the form of an elaborate tree trunk, with an engraved plaque hanging on a branch on one side. It reads in full: Arthur Prince Adams, 1847-1920, A Man of God. At the bottom right hand corner of the inscription is a reference to a verse from scripture – Job 14 v.7.  Quoting from the King James Version Bible, it gives the appropriate tree reference:  For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.

Adams’ early career (expelled from the Methodist ministry after association with Barbour, Paton and Russell) has been detailed in A Separate Identity, pages 275-285. How he split from CTR will be discussed in the second volume. Suffice to say here is that he promoted his Universalist views through a paper The Spirit of the Word that started publication in 1885.

Adams’ career and self-view can be summed up by the census and other records of him – in 1870 and newly married he is a student. In 1880 he is a clergyman. (The 1890 census is largely missing due to a fire in 1921, compounded by a Library of Congress blunder in the 1930s). In the 1900 census Adams is a lecturer. In 1905 at the time of his second marriage, he is a minister. In 1910, he is a publisher. Finally, in 1920 he is a retired min(ister) in the census and a writer and publisher on his death certificate.

As noted above, Adams married twice. His first wife, Adeline A Shaw, gave him two children, Arthur and Charles. She died in 1902. On 2 April 1905 Arthur P married a widow, Ophelia G Burroughs Browning, daughter of the Rev. William Garritson Browning, whose gravestone proudly announced that he had been a member of the New York annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 62 years. William Garritson Browning (1825-1910) published several books, one of which (Beyond Fourscore – 1907) had a whole chapter attacking universalism and future probation. Just quoting from pages 309-310:

The relation of Universalists to the Atonement may be anything. The final and future results will be the same if what they teach is true. They make much or little, or nothing of the plan of Redemption. They may ignore it, or deny it. It makes no difference as to the outcome.

I know that there is much said in the writings of those who advocate and teach the salvation of all, about the “first fruits,” and the “little flock,” and the advantages that will come to them when they become the center of admiration and authority in the settlement of the affairs of this world. But much of this is mysticism. Some writers have a passion and faculty for finding types and allegory in the simplest statement of the facts of scripture history.

It probably made for some interesting family discussions.

Ophelia had one daughter from her first marriage, Grace T Burroughs, who likely never married and lived with them.

Ophelia lived to be 90 and died in 1946. She is buried near Arthur as are many of the Browning family, with a less impressive grave stone that looks a bit like a tree stump.

Now wouldn’t it be nice if Arthur P’s records had been inherited by Ophelia, and then on her death in 1946 by an archivally-minded branch of her family – with descendants still living. And who may one day produce more volumes of his magazine for examination. Well, one can always hope.