Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Still Working ... Help with this?

Our focus is on finishing volume two,  but we're also gathering material for the next book, assuming we write it. We are collecting the notices of Watch Tower speakers from newspapers of the era. I'm especially interested in the advertisements and notices of Russell's speeches. They're usually a paragraph or two in length, giving the subject matter and address. Here is one from 1901:

This is found in the Monroe County Mail, a paper published in a suburb of Rochester, New York. This may seem insignificant, but announcements such as this one sometimes lead us to other things. Here are my working notes:

"Conventions remained small, hardly more than local meetings. In late September 1901 a meeting held in the room 16 of the Durand Building in Rochester, New York, was advertised as “a convention of believers in the great redemption sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The Rochester, New York, Democrat and Chronicle said that Russell “was heard with interest and close attention by an intelligent audience which occupied the entire seating capacity of the hall.” Still, the gathering seems to have been small.

An announcement appearing in the Monroe County Mail the Thursday prior described Russell as “one of the greatest Bible students of the age.” While this probably tweaked Barbour’s nose, it wasm't directed at him. This descriptor or something like it was used in most of Russell’s announcements and advertisements. There are a number of similar examples. One is found in the November 9, 1907, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Inquirer: “Rev. Mr. Russell is said to be one of the foremost Bible scholars in this country.”

Barbour was a factor, though to what extent is uncertain. By 1901 Barbour’s influence was significantly reduced. But in Rochester there was still interplay between Watch Tower adherents and the Barbourite congregation. And some continued to read Herald of the Morning, though at this point the Herald’s circulation reached fewer than a thousand. Barbour continued to preach insult and half-truth about Russell. In the …"
So you see that small things can lead to a larger story. If you have in your files anything like this, please share it.


Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Here you have a quotation from a 1904 newspaper in which M.L. McPhail and C.T. Russell are mentioned.

"M.L. McPhail, of Chicago, author of 'Zion's Glad Songs,' will preach at K.P. Hall, corner Third and Piasa streets Thursday night, Sept. 29th. Mr. McPhail is enroute to St. Louis to attend the Bible Students' Convntion, to be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1st and 2nd, in Coliseum building 13th and Olive streets. Pastor C.T. Russell, (editor of The Watch Tower, of Allegheny, Pa.) and many other well known bible students will take part in the St. Louis convention."

(Alton Evening Telegraph [Alton, Illinois], 1904, September 27th, p.5)

Anonymous said...

Your work is much appreciated up here in Ontario! You have probably been using this archive already but will mention it anyway ---Chronicling America-Library of (I dont know how to send you the actual image) Thanx for your blog- pollymath

jerome said...

Thank you very much Anonymous from Canada for giving the link to that archive, which I personally have never consulted before. I have been looking through it and there is masses of excellent material there.

B. said...

Perhaps the wording about the greatest or one of the greatest Bible students of the age or of the world, came from the revivalist movements???