We have one chapter and a bunch of edits to go before volume one of our next book is released. (for those who don't know or have forgotten, the first book in this series is Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet. It's a history of Barbour and his associates.) Our next book details Watch Tower history from Russell's childhood to about 1887. There is overlap on each side of that date.
To further our research we're seeking Brother Russell's
letters. We've located a few. We would like to see more. If you have some to
share, please contact me through our blog.
also interested in the personal letters (and photos) of early Bible Students.
Some of you may be interested in our new book. If you visit our public
history blog you can see some pages in rough draft. I think Miss de Vienne and I
tell a compreshensive story, giving more detail than ever published before. We
draw on contemporary records and avoid when possible secondary sources. There
will be photos you've never seen before. We used personall letters, court
documents, county records, wills, contemporary newspaper articles and similar
items. If you look at the sample pages, you'll see an illustration taken from
church records of the Russells' membership in a presbyterian church in
We recount in considerable detail the history of Russell's
friends and associates, setting the record straight in several areas. We
consider Russell's association with One Faith believers, something no one else
has done. Though we do not have a firm page count for volume one yet, it will be
about 325 pages and have perhaps fifty or more mostly never seen photos.
The chapters are:
1. Developing a Religious Voice. Russell's
childhood to young adulthood. His family's history. A huge amount of detail is
here. It's about fifty single spaced pages with illustrations.
2. Among the
Second Adventists, Millenarians and Age-to-Come Believers: 1869-1874. This
chapter contains extensive biographies of J. Wendell and G. Stetson. It explains
their belief systems and shows Stetson's shift in association from the AC Church
to One Faith (today best represented by Abrahamic Faith congregations). We draw
some of this from Stetson's personal letters. We also consider G. D. Clowes, J.
T. Ongley and G. Cherry, each of whom played a part in Russell's history. Among
the illustrations is a Church Directory taken from an early isse of an
Age-to-Come journal that lists the Allegheny Church not as Adventist but as One
3. Among the Second Adventists, Millenarians and Age-to-Come
Believers: 1874-1876. We present an extensive biography of G. Storrs,
demonstrating his shift from Adventism to independent Age to Come belief. We
tell much of this story from his own words as found in Bible Examiner and Herald
of Life. The focus of this chapter is on the interactions between the Russell's
and Storrs especially as shown by letters and notices found in Bible Examiner.
We detail the Russells' experience with E. L. Owen. We tell what happened to the
Church of God group in Allegheny, later Pittsburgh. We tell about Russell's
stormy relationship the the Christadelphians in Pittsburgh and near by places.
We mention his interatctions with independent millenialists and SDA believers.
4. Separate Identity. This chapter, some thirty pages, considers the
independent Bible Class, its known memebers and the development of a clearly
5. Meeting the Principals: Russell's Entry into the
Barbourite Movement. This considers those who were prominent among Barbour's
associates. We present an extensive biography of J. Paton. Among the sources are
numerous issues of Paton's magazine, his diary and other similar items. We also
present biographies of B. W. Keith, S. H. Withington, Ira and Lizzie Allen, Avis
Hamlin. Each of these played a part in the Watch Tower's development. Most of
them are unknowns. We solve that problem. There are photos of Paton (from his
family) and Hamlin and Keith. We tell exactly what the place of each was in
6. Barbour and Russell: The Early Ministry. Huge amount
of detail on their interactions between August 1877 and the Spring of 1878. This
is a key period in Russell's personal history. It is taken from original
documents, newspaper articles and the writings of both men. About 45 pages of
material few have ever seen.
7. Russell and Barbour: The Fruitage. This
chapter considers the historiaclly most important of those accepting their
message. We consider Caleb Davies, W. I. Mann, J. Tavender, J. C. Sunderlin, A.
P. Adams, telling our readers why each of these men was important to Russell. We
dran on Sunderlin's personal letters, the records of Adams' trial before the
Methodist authorities, and other original records. There are photos of Davies,
Tavender, Sunderlin and Adams. We also present details that help one understand
issues not fully explained in Zion's Watch Tower.
8. Aftermath of Failure.
This considers their expectations for the spring of 1878 and the separation and
controversies that followed.
Volume 2 will take up the story, following
it to just past the publication of The Plan of the Ages. Everything is footnoted
so there are no unsupportable claims and anyone who wishes can follow our
So this is nearly our last call for documentation that may
help before we publish volume one. Anything you have, no matter how trivial you
may think it would be of interest. Can you help?