Presbyterians of the Past

The lives, places, writings, and events of Reformed history



John Hunter was born on June 29, 1806 to James and Eleanor (Thompson) Morrison in Wallkill Township, Orange County, New York. His early studies were completed in Bloomfield Academy, New Jersey. At twenty-two years of age he professed his faith in Christ in the Presbyterian Church on Cedar Street in New York (currently, Fifth Avenue […]

Communion tokens became prominent in Reformed churches at least partially due to John Calvin advocating their use. In a letter to Guillaume Farel written from Strasbourg, March 29, 1540, Calvin commented regarding the Lord’s Supper that “On Easter-day, when I gave out the invitation that we were to celebrate the Supper on next Lord’s day, […]

James Woodrow was born in Carlisle, England, May 30, 1828, the son of Rev. Thomas Woodrow, D.D., a native of Scotland. In 1886 the family moved to Canada, then the next year settled in the United States in Chillicothe, Ohio, where Rev. Woodrow was installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. James’s preparatory education for […]

Joseph was born to physician Joseph and homemaker Rachel Harker Caldwell, April 21, 1773, in Lamington, New Jersey. His paternal grandfather had emigrated from Ulster in the north of Ireland to New Jersey; his mother’s father was a Presbyterian minister and her grandfather, surnamed Lovel, was a Huguenot refugee from France. Joseph had commenced the practice […]

The transcription of the article, “A Belligerent D.D.,” that follows this introduction is from the Public Ledger, Memphis, Tennessee, Nov. 14, 1867. The belligerent Doctor of Divinity was Robert J. Breckinridge. The Presbyterian National Union Convention (PNUC) convened in the First Reformed Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1867. The meeting had been proposed […]

One of the subjects mentioned in the two-volume set, Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, 1623-1731, by Thomas Witherow, as well as other histories of Ireland and its churches is the regium donum. The Latin regium donum means “Royal Gift” or “Royal Bounty.” It refers to funds given in Ireland to select denominations […]

The military chaplaincy in the United States began with the presidency of George Washington. However, by the time of The Great War there were a number of non-militarily connected organizations involved in support services. For example, Roman Catholicism was not only represented by chaplains in the military but also by the Knights of Columbus. Other […]

The recent death in Northern Ireland of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness and the passing of Ian Paisley in 2014 are reminders of the more recent conflicts caused by England’s rule of the Irish. Some in the States will remember the days when the evening news often reported violence between English troops and the Irish Republican Army […]

Even though the United States did not enter the First World War until 1917, there were several Americans that defied President Wilson’s policy against U.S. involvement and left the country to help in the war effort. One of the many men and women that decided to cross the Atlantic and assist France in its fight against the […]