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The Lutheran Church 
and the Civil War 

The Lutheran Church 
and the Civil War 



A.M. (Univ. of Pcnn'a), Ph.D. (George 
Washington Univ.) 

Instructor of Religious Education and Church History^ 
fhe Temple Uni'uersity 

New York Chicago 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 

Copyright, igig, by 





My First Teacher in Church History, 

This Volume is Affectionately Dedicated. 




NO study of history can approach complete- 
ness and no explanation of its course 
approximate the truth that excludes 
from its view all but those outstanding and pic- 
turesque events of political struggle, diplomatic 
contention and armed warfare which, in the 
popular mind, are the most important happen- 
ings in the life of a people. Particularly is this 
true of the history of a democracy where, oft- 
times, the great forces are the most unobserved 
and the strongest influences are the product of 
the quiet leaven of individual or local opinion 
gradually determining the mass action of the 
great majority of the "common people" whose 
individual acts are little heralded and individual 
lives all but unrecorded. If from the thoughts 
and actions of men it would teach us to under- 
stand the needs and aspirations of other men, if 
from the past it would teach us lessons for the 
present and the future, history, in its investiga- 
tions, must pass beyond the sphere of mere gov- 
ernmental action and study people, people in all 
that concerns their daily lives, the ordinary 
people who make up most of the world and live 
and die by the millions each passing decade, 
leaving the world, because of their lives even as 
well as because of the lives of the great, better 
or worse for those who follow after them. 


8 Introduction 

The religious life of peoples and the interplay 
between religious forces and political and eco- 
nomic forces has too little concerned students of 
modern history. When church and state were 
one, when religious differences fostered wars, 
both national and civil, when the state was free- 
ing itself from the church and the church from 
the state, religion was politics and the two were 
often inseparable. But here, in America, where 
every man may worship God as he wills and the 
church flourishes independently of the state, we 
are too apt to overlook the fact that the church 
exercises an influence on the people, even in 
matters seemingly political or economic only, 
more potent by far than is generally appreciate 
or, ofttimes, even known to any but the most 
conscious observers. It is with the relation to 
each other of the Lutheran church and slavery 
that our author here deals and his study, it is 
hoped, is the forerunner of many other like con- 
tributions to our national history. 

The Lutheran church in America, conceiving 
the true mission of the church to be the spread 
of the Gh>spel and the saving of men's souls and 
believing that political and social issues are the 
province of citizens in their civil capacities and 
not in their ecclesiastical organizations, has per- 
sistently refused to permit itself to be drawn, 
either as a 'champion or an opponent, into the 
arena of affairs of state, whether they be politi- 
cal or of so-called '^social reform," just as, with 
equal steadfastness, it has resisted any at- 

Introduction 9 

tempted exercise of state domination or control 
in purely religious matters. As long as the in- 
stitution of slavery remained a political, an eco- 
nomic or even a social problem, the Lutheran 
church, as such, took sides neither for nor 
against it, but, when the progress of ideas forced 
slavery to the front as a great moral issue on 
which the church could not remain silent, the 
Lutheran church, like others of the great Ameri- 
can denominations, found its district synods and 
individual churches declaring themselves and as- 
suming positive positions. The conflicting views 
of its members, reflecting the influences of their 
respective geographic environments, split the 
Methodist church into a northern and southern 
branch in 1844-1845, the Baptist church into a 
northern and southern branch in the same years 
and practically split the Presbyterian church 
into a northern and southern branch in 1850, 
although that denomination retained its unity 
of organization until the Civil War. So con- 
servative was the Lutheran church that it was 
not until after the Civil War had well begun, in 
1862, that its southern churches severed their 
connection with the old General Synod and or- 
ganized a separate general body on Confederate 
territory. It is highly indicative of the essential 
unity of American Lutheranism, in its devotion 
to its historical doctrinal position and its concep- 
tion of its mission to mankind, that this con- 
servative denomination, which was the last to 
divide of the great denominations which split 

10 Introduction 

over the Civil War issne^ was the first to con- 
summate a reunion of its thus divided parts in 
the organization, in November 1918, of the 
United Lutheran Church in America by the con- 
stituent synods of the old General Synod, Gen- 
eral Council and United Synod in the South. 

Geographic unity, ethnic unity and religious 
unity were controlling factors in determining the 
degree of stability attained by the monarchical 
states of old. It is instructive to learn, from 
studies such as this prefaces, that still, in the 
modem democratic states, where church and 
state are separated, the sectional division of those 
of the same faith in separate ecclesiastical or- 
ganizations is one step in the direction of politi- 
cal separation, while ecclesiastical unity of 
peoples from widely separated sections of a na- 
tion constitutes one of the most powerful bonds 
of nationality. 

L. BUSSBLL Aldbn. 

Wdshmgtan, D. C. 



/" I AHIS historical study, "The Lutheran 
Church and The Civil War," was begun 
in the spring of 1908. The writer's pur- 
pose in developing this historical monograph has 
been to develop a portion of American Church 
history which has received little or no attention 
from historians. The historical studies of the 
Civil War vary, and writers have presented its 
phases from different angles, but to make an ex- 
tended study of the Church in its relation to that 
war, very little has been done. 

In the history of Church and State the Civil 
War period was an important one. During this 
time the church did an important work and aided 
the Federal government not a little in the pres- 
ervation of the Union. This .monograph is an 
effort to portray the story of the Lutheran 
church, as one of the important denominations, 
in its part, during that crucial period of the his- 
tory of the United States. 

One of the obstacles which the writer met with 
at the incipiency of the work and which ham- 
pered throughout the preparation of it was the 
^ dearth of material. We have drawn our re- 

searches primarily from synodical minutes and 
records, church almanacs, papers and periodi- 
cals, private letters and the public press. 


Author's Foreword. 12 

The writer has aimed to present the material 
from an impartial viewpoint. The aim of the 
historian must be an unbiased one. The re- 
searches reveal their own results. The narra- 
tive may not be free from errors^ but if there are 
anjy the discovery of sources not available to the 
writer will correct them. 

The writer desires to express his appreciation 
for the kindly help given to him by Professor L. 
Bussell Alden of George Washington IJniversityy 
and to his wife for her sympathetic interest. 

0. W. H. 

June 1919. 


Chapter I. The Lutheran Church in 

America Up To 1820, 15 

" II. Slavery in America Up To 

1820, 28 

" III. Slavery And The Lutheran 

Church Prior to the Civil 
War, 40 

" IV. The Lutheran Church- 
North, 70 

" V. The Lutheran Church- 
South, 90 

** VI. Lutheran Institutions And 

The War, 110 

" VII. Lutheran Church Since The 

Civil War, 127 

Bibliography, 149 

Index, 159 




UP TO 1820. 

THE trade routes to Asia have always been 
an important factor in European history. 
Trade with the East enriched and en- 
larged the Roman Empire. Mediaeval Europe 
grew and prospered from Oriental trade. This 
was true, particularly when Venice and Genoa 
Causes for controlled the Levantine commerce. 
European In the fourteenth century Venice 
Emigration wrested commercial supremacy from 
me ca (jenoa; and from that time on, her 
monopoly was supreme in the importation of 
myrrh, sandalwood, camphor, indigo and spices.^ 
She supplied all the markets of Europe and ex- 
acted high prices for her commodities. Naturally 
her commercial power was resented. 

In order to wrest this trade from Venice, ex- 
plorers of that period sought to discover a new 
and shorter ocean route to India. The real pur- 
pose of Columbus' expedition, made possible by 
Spanish royal patronage, was not to discover a 
new country, but to procure the "spices of the 
Indies." It remained, however, for Vasco de 
Oama, in 1498, under Portugese patronage, to 
chart a new trade route by rounding the Cape of 

iVenice by Wiel, pp. 311 seq. 


16 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

Good Hope and sailing into Calicut. He re- 
turned to Lisbon with his vessels laden with 
spices. From that time on, Venetian commer- 
cial monopoly was doomed. 

Later discoveries, however, showed that the 
westward route was not the shorter one to the 
Indies, but that a new world had been discovered 
which abounded in untold wealth. Large num- 
bers of adventurers came to America with the 
hope of easily attaining gold. Eventually later 
immigrants lost the gold fever and established 
permanent settlements. 

Coincident with the search for gold which 
brought a large number of immigrants to Amer- 
ica, was the missionary objective. Vasco de 
Gama well summed up the thought of the age 
when he said, "We come in search of Christians 
and spices." But this missionary zeal animated 
not only the Catholic countries. One of the 
causes which inspired the English colonial spirit 
during the closing part of the sixteenth century 
was the desire to spread the Protestant religion.* 

Thus missionary zeal, and closely related 
thereto, the religious persecutions of Europe 
caused many immigrants to come to America. 
They were not attracted by the lure of gold or the 
hope of finding a shorter passage to the Spice 
Islands, but they realized that America gave 

^Growth of English Industry and Commerce^ Cunningham, 
Vol. II, p. 337 seq.; Beginnings of American People, Becker, 
p. 46. 

The Churcli in America Up to 1820 17 

them an opportunity to worship God according 
to their conscience. The most important of 
these immigrations were those of the Pilgrims 
and the Puritans of England to New England 
from 1620 on; the Huguenots from France to 
North and South Carolina because of the revoca- 
tion of the Edict of Nantes, 1685; the German 
Palatines to New York and Pennsylvania, 1701 
on, and the Salzburgers, from upper Austria, to 
Georgia, 1734. North America offered an asy- 
lum and refuge for those who held to the ideals 
of religious liberty, which was denied to those 
oppressed and suffering people in their native 

The first Lutherans who came to North Amer- 
ica were Dutch. In 1623 a Dutch settlement was 
founded near Albany and in 1625 New Amster- 
dam was settled. It was during the governor- 
ship of Stuyvesant (1644-1664) that the history 
of the Lutheran Church figures largely in New 

Stuyvesant, a Calvinist, was strongly opposed 
to any other form of worship than the Reformed. 
The Lutherans appealed to the authorities at 
^ j^ ^ Amsterdam against this poUcy, but 
lutticnuis apparently with little or no success.' 

When New Amsterdam was captured 
by the British in 1664 the old policy of Stuyves- 
ant was repealed and religious toleration on a 
broad basis was introduced. The Dutch Luther- 

sNarratives of New Netherlands, JamesoBy p. 393 seq. 


18 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

ans were never numerically strong^ and after 
1702 their history merges into the history of the 
German Lutheran Church.* 

In 1627, the Estates of Sweden^ realizing the 
tremendous opportunities presented by America 
for commercial and religious propaganda^ sanc- 
tioned plans to begin work along these lines at 

once. The purpose originated with 
intherang' *^^* great king^ leader and states- 

man^ Gustavus Adolphus. He waB 
moved, in part, by the commercial possibilities, 
but his real purpose was to institute missionary 
work among the Indians and to promote Chris- 
tian liberty. When the plans were about to bear 
fruition, Gustavus Adolphus became involved in 
the Thirty Years War in order to save Prot- 
estantism from destruction ; and he gave his life 
for the cause on the battlefield of Liitzen in 

After the death of the King, the colonial proj- 
ect was held in abeyance for a few years; but 
Oxenstiern, the f arsighted chancellor of Gustavus 
Adolphus, appreciated the wisdom of the King 
in the project and proceeded to carry out his 
plans. A decade after the estates had approved of 
the colonial project, namely in August, 1639, two 
Swedish vessels set sail and, after a voyage of 
about six months, landed at Lewes, Delaware. 

They purchased immediately from the Indians, 
land which was west of the river and extended 

«I>utch and CJuaker Colonies in America, Fiske, p. 232, 

The Church in America Up to 1820 19 

from the mouth of the Delaware Bay to the Falls 
of Trenton, which was "ceded to the Swedish 
crown forever." Their fort and settlement were 
called Christina in honor of the virgin Queen of 
Sweden. Here the first Lutheran Church was 
erected in America. A second and third expedi- 
tion arrived in 1639 and 1643. The Swedes were 
an industrious and i)eace-loving people ; and be- 
cause of their thrift and earnestness their colo- 
nies prospered and developed very rapidly. 

The Dutch colonists bitterly opposed the Swed- 
ish settlements, because they said they infringed 
upon their territory, and because the honest deal- 
ings of the Swedes with the Indians were injuring 
Dutch trade relations. The result was that war 
ensued between the Dutch and Swedish colonists ; 
the Dutch were successful; and 1655 marks the 
end of Swedish rule in America.* 

In the meantime Swedish, immigration to 
America had ceased, and until 1696 the Swedish 
colonists were left without spiritual leadership. 
Their condition was deplorable and distressing. 
After many vain appeals. King Charles XI, in 
1696, equipped a vessel with supplies. Three pas- 
tors accompanied the expedition. After this for 
many years, pastors sent over by the Swedish gov- 
ernment rendered much help in the Swedish lan- 
guage, but a large number of the i)eople desired 
services in the English tongue. Finally, the 

^Swedish Annals by Clay, p. 30; Original Settlements in Del- 
aware, by Ferris, p. 184 seq.; Swedish Settlements on the 
Delaware, by Johnson, VoL II, p. 581ff. 

20 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

American Lutherans demanded English-speaking 
pastors^ but the Swedish government refused the 
request, and ceased sending over any more min- 
isters of any kind. At last the Swedish Lutherans 
severed their connection with the great mother 
Church of Protestantism and became affiliated 
with the Episcopal Church, an outcome, largely 
due to the fact that the Episcopal organization 
cared for them during the American Revolution. 

The German people were late arrivals among 
the immigrants from Europe. The princes of 
Germany were involved in wars and were unable 

to turn their attention to colonial 
S^tr" enterprises in America. A smaU 

number of Germans came to America 
in 1683, and settled at Germantown, near Phila- 
delphia, Pennsylvania.* The first part of the 
eighteenth century, however, marks the beginning 
of a large influx of German immigrants, many of 
them fugitives from the Palatinate. Louis XIV 
of Prance invaded their fair province in 1673, 
and, from that time to 1697, he carried on a series 
of invasions which brought ruin and desolation 
to the country. In the end he realized he could 
not secure permanent control of the province, and 
he ordered the half -million inhabitants to leave 
within three days under penalty of death. This 
was in mid-winter. As the exiles left their homes 
they beheld their houses, bams, and orchards be- 

«Historical Biographical Sketches, by Pennypacker, p. 14 
seq.; Schmauk History Lutheraik Church in PennBylvania, p. 
66 seq. 


The Church in America Up to 1820 21 

ing destroyed. Large numbers perished from ex- 
posure and hunger. They scattered throughout 
the cities of Germany and in vast numbers made 
their way to England. Queen Anne became inter- 
ested in their condition and helped them to emi- 
grate to America. In 1701 the first group reached 
New York and by the Queen's command were 
given 2,000 acres of land near Newburgh. An- 
other group of about 3,000 arrived in New York 
on July 10, 1710, and were given land in the Cats- 
kills along the Hudson. They were required to 
pay for these benefits by hard and toilsome labor. 
Many of the English governors took advantage of 
their condition, treated them harshly, and caused 
them to suffer in many ways. Large numbers left 
and travelled westward into the Schoharie Valley, 
where they purchased land from the Indians. In 
1717, while troubles in the Schoharie were at their 
height, three shiploads of Palatines were landed 
at Philadelphia. There can be little doubt that 
the change of direction on the part of this com- 
pany of 1717 from New York to Philadelphia was 
due to the report of the tribulations sent home by 
the Palatines from New York.^ The immense tide 
of German immigration which came into Pennsyl- 
vania after 1720 was dominantly Palatine. Dur- 
ing the summer and autumn of 1749 more than 
19,000 came. About 1750 the population of Penn- 
sylvania was estimated to be between 175,000 and 
220,000. One-half of this population was esti- 

TTlie Story of the Palatines, by Cobb, p. 269 seq. 

22 The Lutheran Cliurch and Civil War 

mated to be German^ and of these more than 60,- 
000 were Lutherans.' 

Another important group of German immi- 
grants, who came to America as the result of re- 
ligious i)ersecution, were the Salzburgers, who 
settled in Georgia. Archbishop Leopold Anton 
of Salzburg claimed to be tolerant in his religious 
views, and asked each one in his diocese to write 
down his religious preference. By this means he 
found that there were twenty thousand "Evan- 
gelicals" in his diocese. He based his actions 
upon the result of this clever ruse. The Salz- 
burgers found they were deceived, and that it was 
the archbishop's plan to exterminate them. Beal- 
izing the dangerous position in which they were 
placed, 300 of them organized a league, "The Salz- 
bund," pledging that they would not give up their 
religious connections, though they were forced to 
live on salt and bread. Their heroic resolve in- 
censed the archbishop and he used this action as a 
charge that they wished to overthrow the Catholic 
Church. By a decree of O ctober 31, 1731, it w as 
ordered that all th€s5" wno refused to become 
Catholics should leave the country but that their 
children under age must remain^ The Salzburjgers 
appealed to Protestant Europe, but only two 
rulers heard their cry. Frederick William of 
Prussia made provision for 20,000 of them to set- 
tle in Lithuania, and the King of England sent 
?200,000 which was collected for them. Thou- 

sWolf, Latherans in America, p. 202ff. 

The Cliiirch in America Up to 1820 23 

sands of these x>ersecuted people became exiles 
throughout Europe, separated from their chil- 
dren, homes, and native land.^ln 1734 large 
numbers came to America and established a col- 
ony at Ebenezer, Georgia. In a short time the 
population of the colony numbered about 12,000. 
They established four churches, Jerusalem, Zion, 
Bethany, and Goshen.® 

Other important Lutheran colonies were es- 
tablished in the South; in South Carolina on 
James Island, 1674, (Dutch) ; Newbeme, North 
Carolina, 1710, (Palatines) ; Charleston, South 
Carolina, (Germany) before 1734; Orangeburg, 
South Carolina, 1735, (German) ; Saxe Gotha, 
South Carolina, 1737, (German) ; in North Caro- 
lina in Cabarrus and Bowan Counties, 1750, 
(Germans from Pennsylvania) ; Hard Labor 
Creek, South Carolina, 1763 and 1764, (Ger- 
man ) ;^® on Bappahannock Biver, near Germanna, 
Virginia, 1715, (German) ; on the Bobinson 
Biver and White Oak Biver in Madison (then 
Spottsylvania County, Virginia) 1725-1733, 
(German) ;^^ and near the present site of Win- 
chester, Virginia, 1738, (German). 

The large majority of the Lutheran people 
throughout the colonies at this time were un- 

©History of Salzburgers, hy Strobel, p. 59. 

loGermazi Settlements and the Lutheran Church, in the Garo- 
linas, by Bemheim, pp. 56-161. 

iiHistory of Hebron liutheran Church, Madison County, Va., 
1717-1907, by Huddle, pp. 2-13; Genealogy Fishback Family in 
America, by Kemper, p. 53 eeq. ; Story of Our Fathers, by Gil- 
bert, p. 8. 

24 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

churched and without pastoral leadership. The 
work of organization became the task of the great 
pioneer missionary Heinrich Melchior Muhlen- 
berg, who came to America in 1742 in response to 
what he considered to be a divine call for service. 
He began his work at Philadelphia, but during 
his ministry he carried on his activities through- 
out all parts of the country. He was gladly re- 
ceived wherever he went. People 
Mnwenberg'8 ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ j^j^^ preach, and not 

infrequently it was necessary for him 
to gather them in the open fields. 

Although such unbounded enthusiasm was no 
doubt pleasing, yet he realized the need of thor- 
ough organization, if effective work was to be ac- 
complished. With this end in view, he was in- 
strumental in the organization of the Pennsyl- 
vania Synod, August 26, 1748, which consisted of 
six clergymen and twenty-four laymen." This soon 
became the means whereby effective and progres- 
sive work could be carried on. But the great lead- 
er did not stop here. Muhlenberg continued to 
advance the prestige of the Lutheran Church in 
America as long as he lived. He died at the 
Trappe, Penn'a, October 7, 1787. His death was 
a great loss to the Church. He came to America 
at an opportune time, and without a doubt he 
saved the Lutheran Church from disintegration. 

i2Documentary History Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsyl- 
vania, pp. 3-23; Life and Times of Muhlenberg, by Mann, pp. 

The Cliurch in America Up to 1820 25 

But diflSculties were still to be met. The long 
struggle in the war for independence wrought 
havoc among the Lutherans as well as the other 
Churches. Of the two Lutheran congregations in 
New York City one was entirely dispersed. In 
Pennsylvania, where the Lutherans were very 
ardent in the support of the cause for freedom, 
the congregations suffered severely." The Lu- 
therans of Ebenezer, Georgia, suffered intense 
The Eevoiu- hardships. They were positive in 
tionary their convictions in the struggle for 

Period. liberty. They took an active part in 

the struggle and, because of this, they were driven 
from their homes by the English troops. Their 
church edifice was turned into a stable.^* The Lu- 
therans in the Carolinas were impoverished by the 
war." This was the story wherever the Church 
was found. At the close of the Revolutionary 
I)eriod the Church was in a disorganized and 
chaotic condition. Yet there was life. The 
Churches were rebuilt. Wherever it was x>ossible, 
the remnants of the scattered congregations were 
gathered together and new congregations organ- 
ized. The work of rehabilitation went on slowly 
and, at least, successfully in a small measure. 

The disorganization of the Lutheran Church 
continued, however, until 1800. Leaders in the 
Church realized that if effective work was to be 

isLife and Times of Muhlenberg, Mann, pp. 484-485. 
i*History of Salzburgers, hj Strobel, pp. 202-214. 
loQennan Settlements and the Lutheran Church in the Caro- 
linas, by Bemheim, pp. 269-273. 

26 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

accomplishedy there must be organization. An 
attempt at this was accordingly made. During 
the next twenty years the following Synods were 

organized. North Carolina, May 2, 
SSn^^^ 1803; The Joint Synod of Ohio, Sep- 
tember 14, 1818 ; Maryland and Vir- 
ginia, October 11, 1820; and Tennessee, July 
17, 1820. 

The want of a closer bond of union, however, 
was still manifested, and the best men in the 
Church thought that the time was ripe to secure 
this object. The desire seemed general that there 
should be some central connection in order that 
unnecessary and injudicious divisions might not 
arise ; that more general uniformity in the usages 
and devotional work of the Church might prevail ; 
and that strength and increased efficiency might 
be imparted to those enterprises, in which con- 
centration is so essential to success.^* In order to 
strengthen the influence and increase the use- 
fulness of the Lutheran Church, therefor, the Gen- 
eral Synod was organized at Hagerstown, Mary- 
land, October 22, 1820 ; Pennsylvania, New York 
( organized 1786 ) , North Carolina, Maryland and 
Virginia were the Synods represented in its or- 

At this time in America the Lutheran Church 
had nine hundred churches and one hundred and 
seventy-one ministers, divided as follows : 

i«Evangelical Eeview, Vol. V (October, 1853), p. 240. 

The Church in America up to 1820 27 

Synod Ministers Churches Com'u'cants 

Pennsylvania, 74 278 24,794 

New York, 20 ... 3,114 

Maryland & Virginia, 22 ... 4,935 

North Carolina, ... 19 ... 1,358 

Total, 135 278 34,201 

The Ohio Synod had twenty-six ministers and 
the Tennessee Synod six pastors and four dea- 
cons. These two Synods were not a part, how- 
ever of the General Synod. Further statistics 
are consequently not easily available." 

i^The above statistics were submitted at the second meeting 
of the General Synod at Frederick, Maryland, October, 1823; 
Evangelical Review, October, 1853 — ^Vol. V, p. 245. 



SLAVERY existed in the world previous to 
the advent of Christianity. It was not for- 
bidden by the early Church. Even Paul 
counselled servants to be obedient to their masters 
and masters to be just to their servants.^ True^ 
according to the fundamental truth of Christi- 
anity, there is neither bond nor free, in the first 
instance, for all are one in Christ Jesus.* But the 
Church objective of the Church has always 

and been the saving of men's souls, not 

Slavery. ^j^^ altering of their social institu- 

tions. These last have been subject to its r^en- 
erating forces only indirectly as the rising tide 
of Christian life and thought has comi>elled their 
adjustment to its increasing appreciation of these 
fundamentals. The attitude of the mediaeval 
Church towards slavery was similar to that of 
primitive Christianity. The institution was not 
condemned per se, but only when particular and 
unique circumstances contributed to bring into 
prominence particular cases. The buying and 
selling or holding of slaves was a practice, un- 
doubtedly well known to the Church. 

iCol. 3: 20; 4: 1. 
sQalatians 3: 28. 


Slavery in America Up to 1820 29 

Prior to the discovery of America, Spain and 
Portugal had carried on slave trade on^ the coast 
of Africa. After the discovery of America, the 
Spaniards brought slaves into the West Indies. 
Slavery was introduced into Continental America 
Slavery i^^ 1620, by the Dutch, who brought 

in twenty slaves into the James River 

America. district of Virginia. They were pur- 
chased immediately by the colonists. In the sev- 
enteenth century, however, slavery did not grow 
very rapidly in the colonies, but during the eJight- 
eenth century larger numbers of slaves were im- 
ported. South Carolina, particularly, became the 
center of extensive slave traffic, since climate and 
agricultural conditions were favorable to its de- 

The early attitude of the public to slavery in 
America varied. For example, when Georgia was 
settled in 1733, the introduction of slavery was 
prohibited. However, it was not long before the 
planters were hiring negro slaves from South 
Carolina. The law was evaded wherever possible, 
and eventually slaves were brought from Africa 
and sold in Savannah.^ Whitefield, the great 
Early atti- Methodist evangelist, urged that 
tnde Towards slavery be introduced into Gteorgia, 
Slavery. ^^ j^^ believed it would be the means 

of evangelizing and Christianizing the negro. He 
believed that slavery was an ordinance of God, 
and "though they are brought in a wrong way 

^History of Georgia^ by Jones, Vol. 1, pp. 423-426. 

30 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

from their own country, and it was a trade not to 
be approved of, yet, as it will be carried on wheth- 
er we will or not, I should think myself highly 
favored, if I could purchase a good number of 
them in order to make their lives comfortable, and 
lay a foundation for breeding up their posterity 
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."^ 

In the colonies farther north the slaves were 
used mostly as house servants. In Pennsylvania, 
they were also employed in the iron furnaces.'* 
From the earliest days, slavery was never popular 
in New England, except in Rhode Island, where 
Newport was a thriving center for the Slave 

The attitude of the English during the earlier 
colonial i)eriod was favorable toward slavery. 
During the reign of William and Mary an act of 
Parliament stated that *'the trade is highly bene- 
ficial and advantageous to the Kingdom and Col- 
onies."* The English Government did all in its 
power to encourage slave traffic. By the treaty of 
Utrecht ( 1713 ) England secured the monopoly of 
supplying slaves to the Spanish-American prov- 
inces. The English company formed for this pur- 
pose, did an extensive business and made large 
profits from it. In the early days, mother country 
and colonists felt alike for the most part on this 

*Life and Times of John Wesley, by Tyerman, Vol. 2, p. 132. 
Blron in All Ages, Swank, p. 143 — ^Negro in Pennsylvania — 
Turner, p. 41. 
•Bancroft's ffistory of United States, Vol. 2, pp. 77-279. 

Slavery in America Up to 1820 31 

By 1770, however, the Virginia assembly fav- 
ored prohibiting the slave trade. For some time 
this attitude had been growing, but King George 
III opposed this i)oliey and in 1770 wrote to the 
Governor of Virginia, "upon the pain of the high- 

coioniai Anti- ^®* displeasure, to assent to no law 
Slavery Scnti- by which the imx>ortation of slaves 
ments. should be in any resi)ect prohibited or 

obstructed."^ Maryland and many other of the 
Northern States on the other hand, shared the 
views of Virginia.® 

During the War for Independence, the question 
of slavery frequently came up for discussion in 
Congress. On April 6, 1776, Congress resolved 
without opposition, "that no slave be imported 
into any of the thirteen united colonies."* How- 
ever, later discussions brought a change in the 
status of slavery. In several of the states the 
The Beroiu- slave interests added very materially 
tionary to the wealth and property of the 

Period. state. The question of wealth and 

also of representation with quotas of revenue, 
complicated the issue. 

The conditions of the times demanded large 
revenues and to raise the much needed funds, each 
state was expected to raise its share in proportion 
to the number of population. In the discussions 
in Congress on the subject of taxation, the ques- 

TBancroft's History of the United States, Vol. 3, p. 410, 1895 
sBaneroft's Histoiy of the United States, Vol. 3, p. 411. 
oJoumals of Congress, Vol. 4, p. 258. 

32 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

tion aroBe as to the status of the slave. Some 
thought that the slaves should be included in the 
"number of the Population" and others claimed 
that the "negroes were property, and no more 
members of the state than cattle/' and others that 
slaves should be exempt from taxation. Finally 
in October, 1777, Congress passed the resolution 
that slaves should be exempt from taxation alto- 
gether, either as inhabitants or property. 

During the War for Independence many of the 
negroes took part in the struggle on the side of the 
colonists. Several fought in the Battle of Bunker 
Hill; Rhode Island emancipated the slaves on 
condition that they serve in the army during the 

In 1777, Vermont framed a State Constitution 
which prohibited slavery forever." Pennsylva- 
nia, by Act of Assembly, 1780, instituted a plan 
of gradual emancipation," Massachusetts in the 
same year adopted a state constitution, which 
abolished slavery and conferred citizenship on the 
negro, including for those who had the necessary 
qualifications of age, property, and residence, the 
right to vote." 

Further complications arose when the land 
claims in the Northwest Territory demanded set- 
tlement. During the greater part of the Revolu- 
tionary period, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New 
York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 

loHistory of Vermont, by Robinson, p. 147. 
"Laws of Pennsylvania, Vol. V, p. 492. 
i^History of Massachusetts, by Austin, p. 350. 

Slavery in America Up to 1820 33 

and Georgia claimed the territory west of them to 
the Mississippi River. Eventually, during the 
years 1780-1786, New York, Virginia, Massachu- 
setts, and Connecticut which claimed lands north- 
west of the Ohio River to the Mississippi, agreed 
to give it to the United States. It was during this 
time that Jefferson, who realized a new opportu- 
nity had presented itself to prevent the extension 
of slavery, introduced ( 1784 ) an ordinance which 
prohibited slavery, after 1800, in the western terri- 
tory above the parallel of 31 degrees north lati- 
tude. Much to his disappointment, however, the 
anti-slavery clause was defeated by only one vote. 
Finally, in 1787, after considerable debate. Con- 
gress passed a series of laws for the government 
of this vast territory. The ordinance granted en- 
tire religious liberty and forbade slavery, al- 
though provision was made for the return of fugi- 
tive slaves who should escape to this territory.^* 
The courts held, however, that the ordinance did 
not free pre-existing slaves. 

During the same year, the Constitutional Con- 
vention convened in Philadelphia to make a new 
Constitution in order "to form a more perfect 
union." The slavery question cropped up here 
and resulted in stormy debates. The question 
arose as to whether or not slaves should be count- 
ed in computing the numbers of the 
and'siaVcry^ population with respect to represen- 
tation in Congress. The northern 
delegates opposed it and the southerners favored 

isConstitutional History TJ. S., Curtis, Vol. 1, pp. 203-208; 
Fugitive Slaves, by MacDougal, p. 14. 

34 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

it. Eventually, the compromise was made that 
three-fifths of the slaves should be counted in the 
settlement of questions of representation and tax- 

Washington, at this time, stated very clearly 
his views on slavery. He favored the gradual 
extinction of slavery in his own state," and during 
his presidential term in a letter he expressed the 
view that before long it must be abolished in both 
Virginia and Maryland." At his death his own 
slaves were freed. In the Constitutional Conven- 
tion debates, Madison urged the immediate pro- 
hibition of the slave trade instead of waiting until 
1808 when the law should be effective. He said, 
"Twenty years will produce all the mischief that 
can be apprehended from the liberty to import 
slaves. So long a term will be more dishonorable 
than to say nothing about it in the Constitution.''^* 
John Adams, likewise, opposed slavery and never 
owned a slave. 

The attitude of the southern states toward slav- 
ery was changed however, by Whitney's invention 
of the cotton gin in 1793. It made possible the 
development of the great cotton industry of the 

South." The cotton plant was pecul- 
Cotton o^n! i^rily adapted to southern soU and 

climate. Previous to Whitney's in- 
vention it took one man a day to separate a 

i^Bancrof t 's History of U. S., Vol. 6, p. 179. 
isSpark's Life of Washington, Vol. 12, p. 326. 
i«Life and Times of Madison, Rives, Vol. 2, p. 449. 
iTRhodes' History of the U. S., Vol. 1, p. 25; American 
Conflict, by Greeley, Vol, 1, pp. 58-66. 

Slavery in America Up to 1820 35 

pound of cotton fiber from the seed ; but by the 
new process one man was able to separate 50 
I)ounds of fiber. The chief agricultural products 
of the South were rice, sugar, cotton, and tobacco. 
In raising these products slave labor was exten- 
sively used ; and the invention of the cotton gin 
made cotton king, and according to the southern 
conception, made slave labor indispensable. New 
economic conditions arose, more land was culti- 
vated, and hence more slaves were required to do 
the work. Slavery became a profitable business. 
Consequently Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky 
became strong pro-slavery centers. The question 
grew more and more complicated by other issues, 
upon a brief consideration of which it mighf be 
profitable to enter. 

The invention of the cotton gin, as has been 
seen, gave slavery a more permanent foothold in 
the United States, and the acquisition of the vast 
Louisiana territory made possible the later ex- 
tension of slavery. President Jefferson's wisdom 
and foresight were shown by taking advantage of 
Purchase of ^^^ opportunity presented for the 
Louisiana, purchase of the Louisiana Territory. 
1803. i^ enlarged and made more secure the 

borders of the United States and opened up mar- 
velous commercial possibilities. At the time the 
slavery question was not interjected into the dis- 
cussion as to the advisability of the purchase. At 
this time all of the southern states except South 
Carolina had passed laws prohibiting the slave 
traffic. The opinion of the day was that slavery 

36 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

would gradually die out. Perhaiws it would even 
have been x>06sible at the time to have passed legis- 
lative acts to have prevented the extension of 
slavery in that territory, but the opportunity was 
not taken. Of course, it would not have been 
possible to have kept it out of the part which later 
became the State of Louisiana, as slavery already 
existed there, and was protected by the treaty 
making possible the purchase.^* 

Even as early as Washington's first adminis- 
tration ( 1790 ) a group of anti-slavery i)eople in 
the North had sent a petition to Congress, urging 
the abolition of slavery in the United States. Con- 
gress returned the petition with the 
Compromise, answer that slavery was a "domestic 

institution,'^ and therefore subject to 
state law and not national laws.^® This was the 
attitude Congress assumed to all later i)etitions, 
as well. During these years new territory was 
opened up to the slave interests and several slave 
states were admitted to the union. 

In the autumn of 1818, however, when Mis- 
souri, a slave territory, applied for statehood, a 
discussion of the slavery question arose which re- 
sulted in a bitter debate. The pro-slavery men 
were surprised at the opposition engendered by 
their application. The bill for admission to state- 
hood was laid before the House of Representatives 
for debate on February 13, 1819. James Tall- 
madge of New York moved an amendment to the 

isConstitutional History U. S., Curtis, Vol. 2, p. 199. 
i^Select Documents, MacDonald, Vol. 2, p. 59. 

Slavery in America Up to 1820 37 

bill on the same date, "that the further introduc- 
tion of slavery or involuntary servitude be pro- 
hibited, and that all children born within the said 
state after admission thereof into the union shall 
be free at the age of 25 years."^^ The House passed 
the amendment by a narrow margin but the Sen- 
ate rejected it by a vote of 31 to 7. Congress ad- 
journed without admitting Missouri to statehood. 

The whole country was inflamed by the debates 
which engendered bitterness and sectionalism. 
Meetings were held by anti- and pro-slavery advo- 
cates, the one demanding that slavery should not 
be further extended and the other that the rights 
of slave owners under the Constitution should be 
maintained. The state l^slatures of Pennsyl- 
vania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Dela- 
ware passed resolutions opposing the admission of 
Missouri to statehood with slavery. Thus a seri- 
ous task confronted Congress when it convened in 
December, 1819. 

When Congress met the great question seemed 
to be "Does Congress have the right to impose 
conditions on new states for entrance into the 
union ?'' The supporters of the Tallmadge amend- 
ment claimed that Congress had the right to ad- 
mit, or refuse to admit new states into the union, 
and consequently it had the power to make con- 
ditions whereby new states could be admitted. 
For example, they argued that Ohio, Indiana, and 
Illinois were admitted when they drew up anti- 

20Middle Period Burgees^ p. 67; Schurz-Henry Clay, p. 188. 

38 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

slavery constitutions. On the other hand, the 
pro-slavery men stated that these states would 
have been within their legal rights, if they had in- 
sisted when they became states on determining for 
themselves the nature of their "domestic institu- 
tions." They also contended that the states that 
Congress should admit to the union must be ac- 
corded the same privileges as those claimed by 
the states which originally united in forming the 

The debates in Congress and throughout the 
United States renewed the bitter sectional feel- 
ing. The anti-slavery party claimed slavery was 
a moral evil and as such it should be eliminated as 
a so-called "domestic institution." On the other 
hand, the pro-slavery adherents replied, that if it 
was a moral evil it would be much better to dif- 
fuse the evil by extending it, for example into the 
new West.^^ Furthermore, by diffusion the evil 
would be diminished. The evil would be consider- 
ably lessened, particularly since negro slaves 
could no longer be imi)orted into the United 

While these debates were going on, Maine, with 
an anti-slavery Constitution, petitioned Congress 
in December, 1819, for admission into the union. 
The application of Maiiie aroused the pro-slavery 
party to greater activity, for they knew that if 
Maine were admitted into the union, the anti- 
slavery party would control the Senate, with 

2iSchurz-Henry Clay, p. 188. 
22Turner, The New West, p. 163. 

Slavery in America up to 1820 39 

twelve states. At present each section had eleven. 
To increase this representation, the anti-slavery 
party also put forth every effort. In order to end 
further agitation on the subject, the Senate com- 
bined the Maine and Missouri bills and substituted 
for the Tallmadge amendment the Thomas amend- 
ment which prohibited slavery in the Louisiana 
Territory north of 36 degrees 30 minutes except 
in Missouri. In this form the bill passed the 
Senate. The House dropped the Tallmadge 
amendment and passed the Senate compromise 
measure by a vote of 90 to 87.^^ Upon the en- 
trance of Maine and Missouri into the union, the 
balance between the slave and free states, as each 
section had twelve, was preserved. 

Many people believed that the question of the 
extension of slavery was now settled forever, but 
in less than a quarter of a century, the question 
was to come up again in an even more serious 

28Constitutional History of the United States, by Curtis, Vol. 
11, pp. 200-220. 




THE permanent foundations of the Luther- 
an Church in the United States were laid 
by the Germanic peoples. It was during 
the years from 1800 to 1860 that results in growth 
and organization larger than those previous were 
accomplished. However, the Lutheran Church, 
in comparison, for example, with the Episco- 
palians, Presbyterians, and Methodists, was late 
in developing its i)Ossibilities in growth. 

About the time the Church was put on an organ- 
ized basis for effective work, violent contentions 
arose in its midst over the language question. 
Large numbers of its members, especially the 
young people, requested services in the English 
language, as they did not understand or care for 
the German services. However, the adherents to 
Grerman were in the majority, and the requests 
were invariably overruled. Many of the Gterman 
congregations took such x>ositive action as to 
have their charters amended to require the ex- 
clusive and permanent use of the German tongue. 
This hostile and unwarranted attitude drove 
thousands of young i)eople away from the Church, 
and large numbers affiliated with the Episcopal, 
Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations. The 


Slavery and Churcli Prior to Civil War 41 
heaviest losses occurred in New York and Phila- 


delphia. Many English Lutheran Churches were 
founded, but the majority of the English language 
adherents united with other denominations.^ 
This insane policy, which was so tenaciously fol- 
lowed for many years, hampered the Church in 
establishing educational institutions and develop- 
ing missionary activities. 

However, by 1825 the English party had become 
stronger, and consequently many of the congrega- 
tions held services in English and German. Nev- 
ertheless the language question remained unset- 

Prom the beginning of immigration to America, 
Germans had always manifested a love for free- 
dom. It was for this blessing they came. Tfiey 
found here an opportunity to earn an independent 
livelihood from their farms and plantations and 
to enjoy civil and religious liberty. A German 
brought to America the habits of labor which he 
learned in the Fatherland. It was his custom 
to have his wife and each one of his children cap- 
able of helping in the labor required, for example, 
on the farm. In the settlement of the farm lands 
in Pennsylvania, consequently, there is a striking 
contrast between the choices of the Scotch-Irish 
and German settlers (1736-1770). In the Cum- 
berland Valley, for example, the Scotch-Irish set- 
tlers invariably chose the slate-lands on account 

iMuhlenberg and His Times, Stoever, p. 80; Early Hist. 
Luth. Ch., by Schaeflfer, p. 142; Lutherans in Ameriea, Wolf, 
p. 293. 

42 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

of their natural attractiveness and their freedom 
from surface rock. The German settlers bought 
the limestone land, which the Scotch-Irish refused 
to consider. It was unattractive and disfigured 
by gullies, protruding and surface rock, and in 
many places bereft of good soil.^ The industrious 
and persevering German bought it for a trifle as 
it was considered of no value, but it was not long 
before he had it in a fine state of cultivation. In 
Lancaster and York Counties, Pennsylvania, also, 
the German settlers again purchased the lime- 
stone land, but in these counties the land was 
heavily timbered and required patient and toil- 
some labor to clear it.* These habits of industry 
and thrift which might be classed under the social 
life of the i)eople, together with the industrial, 
I)olitical, and religious life led the majority of 
these earlier German Lutheran people to oppose 
slavery or to have nothing to do with it. 

Perhaps this may best be seen by some statistics 
and the distribution in 1790 of the population of 
states according to nationality shows the follow- 
ing results. The percentages are based on the 
distribution of the white population of each state 
according to nationality as indicated by names of 
heads of families : 

2The Seventy-fifth Year of Lutheranism in Cumberland Val- 
ley, p. 7. 

^Lutheran Ch. and Limestone Districts, Art., Lutheran Quar- 
terly, Vol. 13, p. 509. 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 43 

State English — per cent German — per cent 

Maine, 93.1 0.5 

New Hampshire, 94.1 0. 

Vermont, 95 . 4 Less than 1/10 of 1% 

Massachusetts, . 95. Less than 1/10 of 1% 
Rhode Island, . . 96. 0.1 

Connecticut, ... 96.2 Less than 1/10 of 1 % 

New York, 78.2 0.4 

Pennsylvania, .59.0 26.1 

Maryland, 84.0 5.9 

Virginia, 85.0 4.9 

North Carolina, 83.1 2.8 

South Carolina, 82.4 1.7* 

The number of white families, slaveholding and 
non-slaveholding, classified according to nation- 
ality in the above mentioned states show the fol- 
lowing results : 


& Welsh. Scotch, Dutch. German. 

Total number families . . . 336,651 27,250 9,399 23,300 

Slave holding 38,146 4,362 2,625 871 

Non-slave holding 298,505 22,888 6,774 22,429 

Per cent, slave holding 

famines 11.3 16.0 27.9 3.7 

The smallest proportion of slaveholders is 
shown among the Germans, who even at this early 
period were obviously opposed to slave ownership, 
although this small x>ercentage among them is due 

*For New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia and Kentucky schedules 
of population are lacking for the census of 1790. 

44 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

in part to their poverty and geographical loca- 
tion. Had the proportion of slaves for the entire 
white population of the United Stat^ in 1790 
been the same as for the German element, the 
aggregate number of slaves at the first census 
would have been but 52,520 instead of approxi- 
mately 700,000.'^ However, from 1790 to 1838 
there are no records to show that the Lutheran 
Church in its district Synodical or General 
Synodical conventions took any action pro or con 
on the slavery question. 

The attitude of the Lutheran Church in its 
official life at this time was not to interfere or 
legislate on questions which concerned the state 
or national government, but to take action pri- 
marily, on questions concerning chul*ch polity and 
doctrinal matters. Though slave owners were 
members of the Church no action was taken con- 
cerning the slavery question. Lutherans might 
quarrel bitterly in their Church councils and 
Synodical bodies over the language and doctrinal 
questions as applicable to their own church polity, 
but their councils of this period are peculiarly 
free from discussions of the slavery question as 
it existed either outside of the Lutheran body or 
within it. 

When the abolitionist movement, however, 
spread over the country and when its propaganda 
became nation-wide particularly during the years 
between 1830 and 1838, the movement made itself 

eA Century of Population and Growth, 1790-1900, pp. 116- 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 45 

felt in the Lutheran Church. Sentiment on the 
anti-slavery side was crystallized in 1838 under 
the leadership of the Franckean Synod of New 
York, and gradually spread over the Lutheran 
Church throughout the United States. Eventual- 
ly, as among the Methodists, Presbyterians, and 
Baptists, there were pro-slavery and anti-slavery 

The leader of the abolitionist movement at this 
time was William Lloyd Garrison of Boston, who 
became actively identified with the cause in 1828 
and at once engaged in a radical propaganda 
against slavery. On New Year's Day, 1831, he 
published the issue of a paper called the "Liber- 
ator," in which he demanded "the immediate and 
unconditional emancipation of every slave held in 

the United States." He went so far 

tionists.*^ " ^^ statements as to say that the union 

should be destroyed, if necessary, he 
believed, in order to liberate the slave. Large 
numbers of anti-slavery people opposed his radi- 
cal views. Not infrequently meetings he ad- 
dressed in the cause of emancipation were broken 
up. So bitter were many people toward Garri- 
son's views, that on one occasion a mob dragged 
him through the streets of Boston. The police 
rescued him with great difficulty. The opposition 
was directed primarily, not against the condition 
of the negro, but against the radical views of Gar- 
rison, as it was thought he would destroy the 

^Garrison's Life, by his children, 1, p. 224ff, 

46 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

In 1835 the abolition agitation was carried into 
Congress ; a large number of i)etitions, presented 
in both houses, asked for the abolition of slavery. 
The southern members of Congress opposed these 
petitions and sought to prevent them from being 
presented. Mr. Wise of Virginia (Feb., 1835) 
stated in the House, "Sir, slavery is interwoven 
with our very political existence and guaranteed 
by our constitution. You cannot attack the insti- 
tution of slavery without attacking the institu- 
tions of our country."^ In the meantime, Mr. 
Garrison and others had succeeded in forming a 
large number of abolition societies ; and after this 
first opposition i)etitions in even larger numbers 
were sent to Congress. 

In May, 1836, the pro-slavery and anti-aboli- 
tionist members of the House presented the fol- 
lowing resolution : "That all petitions relating in 
any way to the subject of slavery or the abolition 
of slavery shall, without being either printed or 
referred, be laid upon the table, and that nc 
further action shall be held thereon." John 
Quincy Adams opposed the resolution as a "gag- 
rule" and contrary to the constitution. The "gag- 
rule" passed the House by a vote of 117 to 68. 
Nevertheless, this did not prevent Mr. Adams 
from presenting every petition that was sent to 
him, not infrequently he presented more than two 
hundred a day, and invariably he was interrupt- 

^Garrison's Life, by his children, 1, p. 271. 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 47 

ed by derisive shouts of "Treason" or "Put him 

The result was that during the two years a 
marked change took place in the North and South 
with respect to the attitude toward slavery. The 
debates which took place in Congress awakened 
the i)eople throughout the whole of the United 
States to the seriousness of the problem. In the 
North, the anti-slavery men co-operated more 
closely with the elimination of slavery; but the 
southern legislatures passed harsher measures 
governing slavery and the humane interests suc- 
cumbed to the domination by the slave-holding 
financial aristocracy. 

Prom 1836 on the Church in general throughout 
the United States began active anti-slavery propa- 
ganda. As we have already noted this opposition 
to slavery existed in several denominations during 

the Revolutionary Period. But the 
Church. debates incidental to the Missouri 

Compromise, the passage of the 
"Gag-resolution," and the refusal of the slave 
owners to co-operate in a friendly way to 
emancipate the slave, led the churches of the 
North to carry on an active and i)ositive cam- 
paign to abolish slavery and to detach the Church 
from slavery. A writer of the period observes, 
"The Church will be free. The time will come 
when in all this land every church shall be wholly 
and forever detached from all connection with 

sGarrison, by his children, Vol. 2, p. 68fP; Wilson's Slave 
Power in America, Vol. 1, p. 307 seq. 

48 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

Blavery. Nothing can be more certain than this. 
The very spirit of the age demands it ; the religion 
which is professed in the lands will ultimately se- 
cure it; the spirit of our civil institutions will 
make this certain in the Church; the onward 
progress of liberty among the nations will compel 
the churches, if they will save the world from in- 
fidelity, to detach themselves altogether from 
slavery."** From this time on, the discussion of 
slavery never ceased unUl the question was set- 
tled on the battlefields of the Civil War. 

At this i)oint, it is necessary to pause in the nar- 
rative to follow the anti-slavery contest as it took 
place in several church denominations other than 
the Lutheran. The slavery question came up 
very early for serious consideration in the Meth- 
odist Church. In 1784 the Baltimore Conference 
set forth several stringent rules, one of which 
stated that "Any member who bought, sold, or 
gave slaves away except on purpose to free them, 
were immediately to be expelled," Later these 
rules were modified. In 1800 it was stated that 
Church officials and ministers were not allowed 
to be slave owners. The members were permitted 
to hold slaves but they could not buy or sell them. 

When Garrison began his anti-slavery agita- 
tion, he was given considerable encouragement, 
Mcthoditt particularly by the New England 
Episcopal Methodists. However, the Church as 
Ghuroh. ^ whole was gradually receding from 

the positive position which it had taken in the lat- 

•Church and Slavery, by Barnes, p. 168. 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 49 

ter part of the eighteenth and the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. At the general conference 
held at Cincinnati, 1836, the anti-slavery senti- 
ment as well as opposition to abolition tendencies 
was at low ebb as the following resolution shows, 
"Modern abolitionism, and wholly disclaiming 
any right, wish, or intention to interfere in the 
civil and political relation between master and 
slave as it exists in the slaveholding states of the 
union.'^^^ This resolution was carried by 120 yeas 
and 14 nays. 

The Southern Conferences went on record de- 
claring the Church had no right to interfere with 
the slave question as it was a domestic and civil 
institution. By 1840, however, the anti-slavery 
sentiment was rapidly increasing in the Church. 
But the General Conference which met during 
the same year refused to adopt stringent anti- 
slavery resolutions. This action created con- 
siderable dissatisfaction among a large number 
of the members and many withdrew from the 
Church. This procedure added to the anti-slavery 
sentiment throughout the Church which rapidly 
increased during the next four years. 

At the General Conference which met in New 
York on May 1, 1844, the slavery discussion came 
up for serious consideration. From the time the 
conference began its session, the anti-slavery sen- 
timent was exceptionally strong. The first dis- 
;cussion arose because the Baltimore Conference 


lOAnti-Slavery Struggle and Triumph in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, Matlack, pp. 93-102. 


50 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

had suspended one ministerial member from his 
office because he had refused to free a slave which 
had come into his i)ossession by marriage. He ap- 
X)ealed his case to the General Conference; and 
after a five days' debate the conference supported 
the Baltimore Conference by a vote of 117 to 56. 
On May 21st a report was submitted by the Com- 
mittee on Episcopacy stating that Bishop James 
O. Andrews, of Georgia, was a slaveholder and he 
had not complied with the rules of the Church. 
After the submission of this report a resolution 
was offered stating : "That it is the sense of this 
General Conference that he desist from the exer- 
cise of this office so long as his impediment re- 
mains." After a discussion of ten days it was 
passed by a vote of 110 yeas to 68 nays.^^ This 
decision led to the introduction of a resolution 
which provided for a separation of the Church, 
North and South. Finally after much bitter de- 
bating and agitation, a series of resolutions was 
adopted providing for the separation of the 
Church in the slave-holding states, from the 
Church, North, "Should the Annual Conference 
in the slave-holding states find it necessary to 
unite in a distinct ecclesiastical connection." 
This action took place on June 8th, and confer- 
ence adjourned June 10th. 

The following May, 1845, a general conference 
composed of delegates from the Southern District 
Conferences convened at Louisville to consider 

iiSlavery and The Episcopacy, by Peck, p. 10 seq. 

Slavery and Cliurch Prior to Civil War 51 

the action of the General Conference. The re- 
sult was that by vote of 94 to 3 they decided to 
separate from the Northern body and to organize 
then and there the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. This plan was carried out with consider- 
able enthusiasm. 

The Methodist Church, North, became almost 
solidly anti-slavery from the break and it main- 
tained this attitude until the Civil War deter- 
mined the status of the slave. On the other hand, 
the Methodist Church, South, strongly upheld the 
pro-slavery plans. 

As in the Methodist Church, the slavery issue 
came up for discussion in the Presbyterian 
Church at an early period. For example, as early 
The Preaby- ^ 1787, the Synod of New York and 
terian Philadelphia passed resolutions op- 

Churoh. posing it and seeking its abolition, 

recommending, "To all the people under their care 
to use the most prudent measures, consistent with 
the interest and the state of civil society in the 
parts where they live, to procure, eventually, the 
final abolition of slavery in America."" 

From that time until 1818 the Presbyterian 
Church was active in the interests of the slave. 
In that year the General Assembly passed a mem- 
orable and epoch-making resolution calling for a 
"total abolition of slavery." They stated, "it is 
manifestly the duty of all Christians who enjoy 
the light of the present day when the inconsist- 

isChurch and Slavery, Barnes, p. 54. 

52 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

ency of slavery both with the dictates of human- 
ity and religion, has been demonstrated, and is 
generally seen and acknowledged, to use their 
honest, earnest, and unwearied endeavors to cor- 
rect the errors of former times, and as speedily as 
possible to efface this blot on our holy religion, 
and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery 
throughout Christendom, and, if possible, 
throughout the world."" 

In 1838 a division took place in the Church 
upon doctrinal questions which resulted in the 
formation of the Old and New School. The insti- 
tution of slavery was bitterly assailed by the New 
School Assembly repeatedly ; and in 1850 more de- 
cided resolutions were adopted. They stated in 
part, "We exceedingly deplore the working of the 
whole system of slavery as it exists in our country 
and is interwoven with the jyolitical institutions 
of the slave-holding states, as fraught with many 
and great evils to the civil, political, and moral 
interests of those regions where it exists."^* The 
Presbytery of Lexington, South, was reported to 
the General Assembly in 1857 in that many of 
their members "hold slaves from principle and 
choice, believing it to be, according to the Bible, 
right." The Assembly strongly condemned this 
position and stated "such doctrines and practices 
cannot be permanently tolerated in the Presby- 
teran Church." 

i^Church and Slavery, Barnes, p. 56. 
i*Church and Slavery, Barnes, p. 65. 

Slavery and Churcli Prior to Civil War 53 

The Old School Assembly frequently went on 
record as opposing slavery, particularly in 1849 
and 1850. However, after 1850 until the outbreak 
of the Civil War, the subject received less consid- 
eration. It was not so pronounced in its opposi- 
tion as was the New School. 

The slavery struggle assumed a different phase 
in the Baptist Church. It was not a denomina- 
tional struggle like that carried on in the Meth- 
odist, Presbyterian, or Lutheran 
cluwh.^**"* Churches. Among the Baptists the 

attitude toward slavery depended 
upon the individual Church. In some of the 
churches there was a strong pro-slavery and in 
others a strong anti-slavery attitude. However, 
the Free- Will Baptists were more strongly united, 
and as early as 1839 refused Church fellowship to 
slave owners." 

During the years preceding the outbreak of the 
Civil War discussion was kept out of the General 
Assemblies of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
However, the break came in 1861 ; at a convention 
held at Montgomery, Alabama, composed of dele- 
gates from the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the Confederate States, action was taken separat- 
ing those in the South from the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States." 

It has already been mentioned that the Church 
in general throughout the United States in 1836 

ISA. B. Hart, Slavery and Abolition, p. 160. 
i«Hi8t. P. E. Church by Tiffany, p. 496 seq. 

54 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

began to take an active part in the slavery de- 
siavcry and bates.. The Church, North, began an 
Lntheranism, anti-slavery propaganda; and the 
1838. Church, South, supported slavery .^^ 

It was but the natural outcome of the events of the 
day, that the Lutheran Church with sister denomi- 
nations should be drawn into the struggle. Conse- 
quently, under the leadership of the Franckean 
Synod of New York State, 1838, the anti-slavery 
discussion was begun in the Lutheran Church. 
The Franckean Synod was organized in 1837 at 
Fordsbush, New York. At this time it comprised 
21 congregations, 10 ministers, and 1,650 com- 
municant members. The bounds of the Synod 
included Schoharie, Rensselaer, Onondaga, Her- 
kimer, Oswego, and Monroe counties of New 
York." It was an aggressive missionary synod 
and for a time sustained mission stations in Wis- 
consin. The Franckean Synod at this time was an 
independent Lutheran Synod, and it was not re- 
ceived into the General Synod until 1864, at York, 

It was the first synod to go on record with anti 
slavery resolutions ; these were adopted at a con- 
vention which met at Clay, Onondaga County, 
New York, June 7, 1838. The president of the 
Synod in his report sounded the keynote against 
slavery when he stated : "Slavery in the Christian 
nation and practiced by ministers and members 
of Christian Churches. Slavery in the Lutheran 

i^A. B. Hart, Slavery and Abolition, p. 167 seq. 
isMinutes, !EVanckean Synod, 1837, p. 14 seq. 

Slavery and Churcli Prior to Civil War 55 

Church ! We dare not be silent on this subject! 

The corrupting influence of slavery is 

plainly discovered when we consider the apathy 
of Christians and the silence of ministers of the 
gospel, as individuals or in their ecclesiastical 
capacity, to rebuke the sin of slavery. We are 
alone as yet of all the Synods in the Lutheran 
Church who have considered the subject except 
those Synods which have either defended, advo- 
cated, or ax>ologized for the system of American 
slavery."^' The president's report was sustained 
and resolutions were unanimously adopted from 
which the following is quoted : "That we conceive 
it to be our imperative duty to speak boldly and 
plainly against this great national and heinous 

"That we calmly, importunately, and faithfully 
beseech the Church of God no more to be a par- 
taker in the guilt of slavery, and from henceforth 
with clean hands, consistently labor for the evan- 
gelization of the world."^^ The feeling expressed 
by the Pranckean Synod was but an expression of 
a feeling which was gradually spreading over the 
New England and Middle States. 

By 1833 the abolition sentiment was so strong 
in the New England and certain parts of the Mid- 

i»N"ote — ^Por the last part of this statement, the writer has 
been unable to find any records extant to verify it to give any 
additional information in the history of the Lutheran ChurclL 

20Minutes Franckean Synod, 1838, p. 30. 

ziMinute Franekean Synod, 1838, pp. 15-16. 

56 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

die States, that many of the leading abolitionists 
American and thought the time was at hand to call 
Foreign Anti- a national convention for the organi- 
siavery zation of a national society in order 

Society. ^^ advance their principles with a 

larger degree of unanimity and prestige. They 
finally decided to call such a convention, which 
met in Philadelphia, December 4, 1833. They 
continued in session for several days and organ- 
ized the American Anti-slavery Society. The 
object of this society was clearly set forth. It 
aimed to bring about the "entire abolition of slav- 
ery in the United States.'' "While admitting that 
each state had exclusive right to legislate in re- 
gard to its abolition, it avowed as its aim to con- 
vince the people of the slave states, by arguments 
addressed to their understandings and con- 
sciences, that slave-holding was a heinous crime 
against God, and that duty and safety required 
its immediate abandonment, but without expatri- 
ation."" The society soon grew in numbers, in- 
fluence, and prestige. A large number of publica- 
tions were put out under its direction and auxil- 
iary societies were also organized. 

However, by 1838 dissension had broken out 
among the abolitionists ; various causes brought 
this about, but the chief reason was the question 
of exercising the right of suffrage. Large num- 
bers of the society declared that it was the duty 
of every abolitionist "to inquire into the senti- 

22Siave Power in America, Wilson, Vol. 1, p. 253; Old South 
Leaflets No. 8, Vol. 4, Pa. Hist. See. Lib. Phila. 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 57 

ments of candidates for ofl&ce, and that he was un- 
worthy the name of an abolitionist who did not 
put the aliti-slavery qualification above all others, 
in selecting candidates to receive his vote." Many 
also objected to allowing women to take part in 
the business affairs of the society. The dissen- 
sions continued ; and as time drew near for the 
annual convention of the organization in 1840, it 
seemed more than likely that a division would 
take place in the society. 

The convention met in New York City on May 
12, ] 840. A large number of state delegates were 
in attendance. One of the first questions brought 
before the society was the right of women to take 
part in the proceedings of the convention. After 
a sharp debate the majority decided to permit 
women to vote. That evening a special meeting 
was held by those opposing woman suffrage, when 
it was unanimously agreed that a division should 
take place, and that a new society should be or- 
ganized at once. The following day they proceed- 
ed to organize a convention of their own. During 
the next two days they organized an American 
and Foreign Anti-slavery with a membership of 
about three hundred and adopted a new constitu- 
tion. The principles of the organization were as 
follows: "Not to enforce uniformity of action, 
subject the wide spread anti-slavery hosts to the 
decrees of one central power, follow the footsteps 
of any earthly leader, or glorify any man of like 
passions with themselves, but to labor for the 

58 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

speedy and x>eacef ul triumph of liberty and to 
give God all the glory."** 

The principles of the new society received 
favorable support in many parts of the North. 
Many church bodies pledged active support and 
co-operation. For example the Franckean Synod, 
which met in annual convention at Stone Mills, 
New York, shortly after the organization of the 
new society, passed the following resolution of 
June 4, 1840, "That we approve of the Constitu- 
tion and organization of the society called and 
known as the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society."** This Synod co-oi)erated with the so- 
ciety which rendered efficient service to the anti- 
slavery cause for several years. 

The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery So- 
ciety, however, met serious opposition and criti- 
cism also. This came particularly from the Col- 
onization Society, which as early as 
« * B^ ?"fc *" 1828 went on record to the effect that, 

tlon Society. . . „. , , v tx- 

^ut IS no wise allied to any abolition 
society in America or elsewhere; and is ready, 
when there is need, to pass a censure upon such 
societies in America.^" 

As the slavery discussion became more bitter, 
the Colonization Society utilized every opportuni- 
ty to censure the abolition movement. At the 
time of organization of the American Anti-Slav- 

28Slave Power in America, Wilson, VoL 1, p. 421 seq. 

24Minute8 Pranckean Synod, p. 19. 

s^Wilson's Slave Power in America, Vol. 1, pp. 249 and 253. 

Slavery and Cliurcli Prior to Civil War 59 

ery Society, Elizur Wright, Jr., stated: "I 
wish that the difference between our purpose and 
that of the Colonization Society should be ex- 
plicitly stated. We mean to exterminate slavery 
from our country, with its accursed influences. 
The Colonizationists only wish to get rid of the 
slaves as soon as they become free. Their plan is 
unrighteous, cruel and impracticable withal. Our 
plan means but a good will and a right spirit 
among the white people to accomplish it."*" 

The Colonization Society, which we have men- 
tioned above, had been organized in 1816 for the 
purpose of colonizing the free negroes.** Later the 
society secured Liberia, Africa, where settlements 
were made. The society was primarily a southern 
organization and large numbers of its members 
were influential slave-owners. Although its pur- 
poses were laudable, its colonial schemes were 
failures. "In 1853 it had spent ?1,500,000 and 
sent only 9,000 negro colonists to Africa," as a 
writer observes.*^ 

Because of the continued intolerant and cen- 
sorious attitude of the society, the Franckean 
Synod in annual convention at West Sand Lake, 
New York, June 1, 1843, passed the following 
resolution, "That we view the Colonization So- 
ciety as originating in sheer selfishness and the 
opponent of universal and impartial emancipa- 

2«Fir8t Annual Baport, 1818, p. 3. 

27 Am. Colonization Soc, Stebbins, p. 180. 

60 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

tion ; therefore, we cannot exercise any sympathy 
for its measures."^* 

The jKMsitive position of the Franckean Synod 
against slavery intensified the anti-slavery senti- 
ment throughout the Lutheran Church. Efforts 
Growth of were made to inject the discussions 
Anti-Slavery into the General Synod conventions, 
Sentiment. i^^^ without success. Considerable 
discussion and debate took place at the General 
Synodical Convention in Chambersburg, Pa., in 
June, 1839,^" but the convention did not go on 
record defining its attitude to the slavery ques- 
tion. At this time slavery was seriously debated 
in the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Gen- 
eral Conventions, and it was clearly evident that 
divisions would take place in those denomina- 
tions, which divisions occurred as we have shown. 
The General Synod, however, during these trying 
years confined itself to general Church legisla- 
tion. However, every year a larger anti-slavery 
sentiment was growing in the Lutheran Church in 
the North and the time was coming when the 
General Synod could no longer evade the slavery 
question and it would be necessary to legislate 
concerning it. It did eventually take such action 
at the meeting at Lancaster in 1862. 

As the slavery agitation became more acute 
throughout the country the Franckean Synod 
took a more positive stand in its anti-slavery atti- 
tude. Thus at the annual convention held at 

28Minute8 Franckean Synod, 1843, p. 20. 
2»Franklin Repository, 1839, Chambersbnrg, Pa. 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 61 

Argusville, New York, June 5, 1845, after careful 
and deliberate consideration, the following reso- 
lution was passed : "That this Synod, from a con- 
scientious sense of duty cannot hold fellowship 
with any Synod, Presbytery, Conference, Classis 
or other ecclesiastical body, while under its juris- 
diction, or in its connection it tolerates, apolo- 
gizes for, or isjsilent on the sin of ATi?firic^^ «l«^- 
QKy^jgfipedallyJf Mid .ecclesiastical bodies Justi^^ 
and defend the above specified sin by an-appeal to 
the Holy Scriptures which in the judgment of this 
Synodjs blasphepay against Almighty God and a 
shocking prostitution of the Word*"*® 

This action of the Franckean Synod without 
doubt led the Pifj^bni^g^i SyTiAfi tJipffYilo^ncyear 
at their annual convention to legislate against 
slavery. The Pittsburgh Synod of Pennsylvania 
in 1846 embraced the following counties : West- 
moreland, Butler, Washington, Armstrong, Clar- 
ion and AUeghwiy. It was composed of 64 con- 
gregations and 4,162 communicant members. The 
convention which met at Greensburg, May 28th, 
resolved : "That the practice of buying and selling 
men, women, and children, with the intention of 
enslaving them or holding them in involuntary 
servitude or bondage, is, in the opinion of this 
Synod, a moral and national evil, and an offense, 
condemned by the principles of humanity and the 
Word of God."*^ The influence of the Franckean 
Synod continued, from this time on until the out- 

soMinutes Franckean Synod, 1845, p. 18. 
aiMinutea— Pittsburgh Synod, 1846, p. 36. 

62 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

break of the Civil War, to lead the Lutheran 
Church in its struggle against slavery. 

The passage in 1850, after a stormy and bitter 
debate, of the Fugitive Slave bill brought forth 
a tremendous protest from the x>eople in the 
North. The bill provided for the arrest of all 
fugitive slaves found in the North and for their 
return to their masters without trial by jury. 

The law was condemned by the secu- 
sivc^uh ""^ lar and religious press of the North 

as well as by various Church bodies. 
The Franckean Synod, at their convention held 
at West Sand Lake, New York, June 25, 1851, 
passed the following resolution against it : "That 
the late Fugitive Slave Bill, passed in Congress, 
is the ill-shapen and hydra-headed oflPspring of 
bold usurpation and unmitigated cruelty ; that it 
has no safeguard in the natural and social rights 
of man, nor can it find any sanctions in the clear 
pealing thunders of Sinai, its blazing fires and 
the voice of God or in the teachings of Calvary, 
sending its mellowing notes of love and pity upon 
a despairing world ; therefore, the Church of God, 
its altars, its worship, and its solemn notes of 
praise should afford no retreat of protection; 
nay, not even the smile which the harlot of slavery 
might give as a cordial approval or willing acqui- 
escence to its foul conspiracy against justice and 
the inherent rights of coequal man.''*^ 

The passage of the law was unsatisfactory to 
the North and South and brought only a tempo- 

82Min. Franckean Synod, 1851, p. 16. 

Slavery and Cliurcli Prior to Civil War 63 

rary i)eace. In the North the Fugitive Law was 
evaded and even disobeyed. Fugitive negroes 
were not infrequently taken away from officers. 
Many of the northern states passed laws protect- 
ing the runaway slaves and thus prevented their 
return to the South. On the other hand the slave- 
owners protested against the action of the North. 
Consequently the slavery discussion broke out 
again with renewed forces.** 

The various religious denominations of the 
North became very much aroused when Senator 
Douglas of Illinois in 1854 introduced the "Kan- 
sas-Nebraska Bill" which proposed to repeal the 
Missouri Compromise measure of 1820. More 
than three thousand New England clergymen 
signed a memorial protesting against the measure 
and on their behalf it was presented to Congress, 
by Mr. Everett. Senator Douglas was very much 
The Kansas- provoked by this action and he stated 
Kcbraska in a si)eech in Congress, "I doubt 
Bin. whether there is a body of men in 

America who combine so much profound igno- 
rance on the question upon which they attempt to 
enlighten the Senate, as this same body of preach- 
ers.** The Franckean Synod in session at Black 
Lake, New York, June 11, 1854, went on record 
as follows : "That while we cherish feelings and 
sentiments of respect for the many thousand 

«8Fugitive Slave Acts, 1850; Fugitive Slaves, McDougall, p. 
29 seq. 

»*Wil8on'B Slavery in America, Vol. 11, p. 393; Kansas 
Confliet, Bobinson, p. 160ff. 

64 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

clergymen who charged the moral batteries of 
righteousness and earnestly protested in the name 
of humanity and of God against the infamous bill 
of abominations called the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 
we regret with feelings of contempt and indig- 
nation the course pursued by Douglas and his 
compeers to prostrate the ramparts of freedom 
and to browbeat, vilify, and disfranchise Ameri- 
can citizens because of their official relations as 
ministers of the gospel, thereby proving them- 
selves traitors to liberty and unworthy of the con- 
fidence of free men.'''** 

However, the bill passed Congress, President 
Pierce signed it, and it became a law. From that 
time, 1854 to 1859, Kansas became the scene of 
Civil War as the anti-slavery and pro-slavery set- 
tlers endeavored to gain control of it. In the end 
the "Free-staters" won the victory, and Kansas 
was admitted to the union in 1861 without slav- 

The trend of i)olitieal conditions in the latter 
part of 1860 made a marked impression on the 
Lutheran Church. The spirit of sectionalism so 
rife at the time was interjected into the Church 
as never before, and the prospect for continued 
unity of the Church was not very bright. Up 
to this time the unity of the Church had been pre- 
served in spite of the slavery agitation that took 

8»Minute9 Franckean Synod, p. 13. 

8«The Kansas Conflict, by Robinson, p. 427 seq.; Kansas 
by Spring, p. 37 seq. . ' 

Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 65 

place within its councils. The Meth- 
in^i8«K^* odists, Presbyterians, and Baptist 

denominations had divided. Of the 
larger bodies, the Lutheran Church alone re- 
mained intact. The editor of the Luthercm Ob- 
server commented upon the state of affairs as fol- 
lows : "What the effect of this agitation will be 
upon the Lutheran Church, South, we cannot yet 
positively know. The state of South Carolina has 
seceded from the union, and we fear that, if not 
immediately, it will before long produce a di- 
vision in our church."" 

The fall of Port Sumter, April 14, 1861, and 
the call of seventy-five thousand volunteers by 
President Lincoln, April 15, made it more prob- 
able that the Church would be divided. How- 
ever, many Lutherans as well as a large number 
of other x)eople in the North thought that the dif- 
ferences between the two sections would be ad- 
justed without a terrible war. 

In view of this opinion the officers of the Gen- 
eral Synod posti)oned for one year the meeting 
which was to have been held on the third Thurs- 
day of May, 1861, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 
Foitponemeat ^^^ comment upon the action of the 
of Oenerai officers varied. The majority of Lu- 
Synod. therans approved of the plan, as they 

thought a possible break of the Church might be 
thus avoided. An editorial in the Lutheran Ob- 
server, published in Baltimore, Md., stated: 
"This act on the part of the officers will meet with 

s^Lutheran Observer, De^t 28, 1860. 

66 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

cordial approbation of the Church generally. But 
few of the delegates could have attended : and in 
the present, condition of affairs the various inter- 
ests of the Church could not have received that 
calm consideration which ought always to char- 
acterize the deliberations of ecclesiastical bod- 
ies."" In another issue of the same paper a west- 
em delegate wrote that he disapproved of this 
action. "The Synod should have met and prayed 
to God to roll back the tide of anarchy, and pre- 
vent civil war and bloodshed in our beloved 

It soon became evident that the ])ostponement 
of the general synodical convention would not 
avert the division in the Church. Then the effort 
was put forth to hold the Church together on the 
doctrinal basis. Concerning this move the editor 
of the Lutheran^ Observer stated, "The deplorable 
conflict which disturbs our nation cannot alter 
or modify the doctrines or usages of the Church. 
And our hopes of the Church demand a continued 
and vital union of all her parts and sections."*** 
However, the slavery agitation transcended all 
doctrinal considerations, and every day it be- 
came more evident that a division would soon 
take place in the Church. 

In the meantime, the editor of the Luthercm 
Observer, together with a number of pastors, 
North and South, exerted their influence to pre- 

ssLutheran Observer, May 10, 1861. 
89Lutheran Observer, May 24, 1861. 
*oLutheran Observer, May 17, 1861, 

Slavery and Churcli Prior to Civil War 67 

vent the disruption of the Church. To further 
the plans of holding the Church together, the ed- 
itor took a flying trip to the South. There he 
found the sentiment strongly expressed in favor 
of secession although there were many conserva- 
tive citizens who were opposed to secession and 
division. Concerning his trip he wrote, ^'AU 
through Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, 
the people were in a state of feverish excitement, 
some appeared to be frantic and to desire nothing 
on earth so much as a fight with the ^Black Re- 
publicans.' Yet we also met in every state with 
sober, thoughtful, conservative citizens, who 
mourned with us over the maddened passions of 
men, and the recklessness of mendacious poli- 
ticians, denied that there was any real necessity 
for such theatrical devastation and wholesale 
slaughter, that the evils complained of would not 
be cured by an expensive and bloody war and 
might all have been remedied in the union much 
more surely and eflfectually than out of it."*^ | 

However, every effort to prevent the division of | 

the Lutheran Church was unavailing. 

At the outbreak of the Civil War the General 
Synod numbered two-thirds of the Lutheran 
Church in the United States, having j864 .out of 
1,313 ministers and ([g4,226 dut of 245,726 com- 
municant members. The Synods composing the 
General Synod were located in the following 
states and had the following number of ministers, 
churches, and communicant members as follows : 

AiLutheran Observer, May 10, 1861. 

68 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 














Mlnisterium Jk Hartwiek . . 

Pennsylyania. Bast Pa., West 
Pa.. Alleshany ft Pitta- 

Maryland ft Melanehthon . . . 


Weet Va 

North Carolina 

South Carolina 



English, East Wittenberg ft 

Northern ft OlWe Branch .... 

Illinois — ^Northern ft South- 
ern tllinois 

Iowa Iowa . 

New York 

Maryland . . . 


West Va. . . . 
N. Carolina . 
S. Carolina . 

Kentucky . . . 

Ohio .. 


















' 11 






; 94 

138 / 






Slavery and Church Prior to Civil War 69 

The following Synods not connected with the 
General Synod show the following statistics as 
to location in states, number of ministers, 
churches, and communicant members : 



Joint Synod 

Joint Ssmod 





Oerman Synod 

Buffalo Synod (at this time 
part of membership In New 
York and Wisconsin) .... 




Scandlnaylan Augustana 
(membership found In 
Minnesota. Wisconsin and 


Missouri . 
Indiana .. 
Iowa .... 

New York 











































The grand total of ministers was 1,313 ; of con- 
gregations 2,219 ; and of communicants,** 245,726. 

42Lut]ieran Almanac, 1861. 



THE fall of Fort Sumter, April 14, and the 
call next day by President Lincoln, for 
seventy-five thousand volunteers, were the 
immediate causes of the crystallization of politi- 
cal and religious feelings both in the North and 
in the South. 

In the North, men forgot their quarrels and all 
united to defend the flag and to save the union. 

In the South, amidst general rejoic- 
1861*^*^^^'' ing and festivities, efforts were made 

at once, in defiance of the call of the 
President, to raise an opposing army of 100,000 
men and to secure a loan of ^50,000,000. The di- 
vision in political and religious matters was ac- 
companied by a widening of the gap between the 
Lutheran Church in the North and that in the 
South. By the middle of June, 1861, the division 
in the Church was complete. Every effort on the 
part of conservative leaders. North and South, to 
hold the Church together on doctrinal questions 
failed. The political differences of the time tran- 
scended doctrinal union. The men of the Luther- 
an Church in the North, responded to Lincoln's 
call in large numbers. A news letter from Wash- 
ington, published in the Lutheran Observer, 
June 28, 1861, stated: "Swne of the Pennsyl- 


The Lutheran Church — ^North 71 

vania regiments indeed are ahnost exclusively 
composed of Lutherans and hence the denomina- 
tional element is largely represented in the war 
...... a most gratifying testimonial to our loyal 

and patriotic character."^ The men of the Lu- 
theran Church in the South, and on the other 
hand, called xxpon to decide between loyalty to 
state or nation, cast in their lot with their fellow 
citizens, and joined the movement for secession. 

The Lutherans in Virginia and Georgia were 
particularly active in the supi)ort of the secession 
movement and advocated the separation from the 
Lutheran Church in the North. Virginia Luther- 
ans, afterwards took the leadership in the forma- 
tion of the Oeneral Organization in the South. 
Of course the Church in the North, in the pulpit 
and in the periodicals, was strongly outspoken 
against the attitude of its southern brethren. 
The Missiona/ry of Pittsburgh stated editorial- 
ly : ^^The idea of some persons, that the Christian 
ought to keep silence at a time like this, when the 
very existence of government is threatened and 
every interest of humanity and religion is at 
stake, is simply an absurdi^. Government is an 
ordinance of God, as much so as the most positive 
institutions of religion, and both Christ and the 
apostles have illustrated and enforced our duty 
in relation to it."* In reply to the pro-union and 
anti-secession attitude of the press in the North, 
southern Lutheran leaders made spirited re- 

ilrutheran Obeierver, June 28, 1861. 
2Tlie Missionary, May 16, 1861. 

72 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

sponse. A leading minister in Georgia wrote, ^^1 
look upon the secession of the southern states as 
the grandest, most noble, chivalrous, patriotic 
and Ood-Iike achievement ever effected by any 
oppressed people in the world."* Another promi- 
nent Lutheran wrote, "All my influence hence- 
forth will be in favor of a southern Church and a 
southern Church paper. We will have no further 
connection with abolition in either Church or 

Thus the division in the Lutheran Church oc- 
curred before any of the synodical bodies took 
legislative action on the question. When the 
synods convened in the Northern branch of the 
Church, the division was so firmly established, as 
the result of the sectional strife, that continued 
union was no longer possible. Consequently, the 
synods went on record as pledging their allegiance 
and support to the preservation of the union and 
the constitution. The following resolutions show 
their attitude. The first extract is taken from the 
proceedings of the Pranckean Synod which met 
at Argusville, New York, June 6, 1861, and "Re- 
solved, ...... It is the duty of every Christian 

patriot to supi)ort and co-operate with the gen- 
eral government to defend and maintain both 
(viz: freedom and the constitution).*^ The East 
Ohio Synod meeting at New Philadelphia, Ohio, 
August 15-21, stated, "That we, in imitation of 

8The Observer, June 7, 1861. 

^Lutheran Observer, July 1^, 1861. 

BMinutes, Franckean Synod, June, 1861, p. 20. 

The Lutheran Church— North 73 

their (our Lutheran forefathers) patriotic ex- 
ample, and in admiration of their valor, declare 
it to be a Christian as well as a civil duty to sui>- 
port the government in its constitutional efforts 
to punish treason, and put down rebellion by all 
the means within our power/'* The New York 
Ministerium at Rochester, August 30-September 
4, went on record as "deeming it to be in strict 
harmony with sound Christianity as well as with 
true partiotism, to stand by the government and 
to exert all the influence which God has given us, 
to aid it in its arduous and praiseworthy efforts 
to indicate its power, and maintain its authori- 
ty."^ The East Pennsylvania Synod meeting, 
October 9-15, at Germantown, Philadelphia, re- 
solved, "That our brethren in the faith who have 
gone forth to fight the battles of their country, 
may have the consciousness that they are acting 
in the defence of the i)Ower that God has ordained 
and signally blessed : that they have our sympa- 
thy in their cause as just and righteous, and that 
our prayers will be offered at the throne of grace 
unceasingly to crown their arms with suc- 
cess, etc."' These are a few of the many resolu- 
tions passed in the early days of the war. The 
quotations could be multiplied to show the pro- 
union attitude of the Lutheran Church in the 
North, as expressed by various district synods. 

«MinuteSy Bast Ohio Synod, August, 1861, p. 20. 

^Minues, New York Ministerium, August, 1861, pp. 42-43. 

sMinuteSy East Pa. Synod, October, 1861, pp. 21-22. 

74 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

After all the district synodical conventions had 
been held in 1861, definite arrangements were be- 
gun for the convening of the General Synodical 
Convention Convention at Lancaster, Pennsyl- 
of the Gen- vania, May 1-8, 1862. Unusual inter- 
crai Synod, ^g^ prevailed throughout the Church 
as to the action the Oeneral Synod might take 
concerning the division of the Church and the 
questions of slavery and secession. 

When the General Synod convened, 110 dele- 
gates were present from the district synods of the 
northern states as follows: Maryland, West 
Pennsylvania, Miami, East Ohio, Hartwick, New 
York Ministerium, Allegheny, East Pennsylvania, 
Wittenberg, Illinois, Olive Branch, Pennsylvania 
Synod, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh, English 
Ohio, Kentucky, Central Pennsylvania, North 
Indiana, Southern Illinois, Iowa, Melanchthon, 
New Jersey. There were no delegates from the 
southern states, except from Tennessee from 
which came one delegate. Very early in the ses- 
sion a committee was apointed to consider the 
crisis in the Church and State and to rei)ort the 
results of its investigations at its earliest con- 
venience. After mature and careful deliberation 
the committee presented its report on May 6. 
Because of the importance of this document the 
following rather lengthy quotation has been in- 
serted : "Whereas, our beloved country, after hav- 
ing long been formed with a degree of political 
and religious freedom, security and prosperity, 
unexampled in the history of the world, now finds 

The Lutheran Church — ^North 75 

itself involved in a bloody war to suppress an 
armed rebellion against its lawfully constituted 
government ; and Whereas, We, the repre- 
sentatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 
the United States connected with the General 
Synod recognize it as our duty to give pub- 
lic expression to our fellow citizens in sustaining 
the great interests of law and authority, of liberty 
and righteousness, be it therefore 

"Resolved : That it is the deliberate judgment 
of this Synod, that the rebellion against the con- 
stitutional government of this land is most wicked 
in its cause, unnatural in its character, inhuman 
in its prosecution, oppressive in its results to the 
highest interests of morality and religion. 

Resolved: (2) That, in the suppression of this 
rebellion and in the maintenance of the constitu- 
tion and the union by the sword, we recognize an 
unavoidable necessity and sacred duty which the 
government owes to the nation and to the world : 
and that, therefore, we call ujyon all our people 
to lift up holy hands in prayer to the God of 
Battles, without personal wrath against the evil- 
doers, and without doubting the righteousness of 
our cause on the other hand, that He should give 
wisdom to the President and his counsellors and 
success to the army and navy. That our beloved 
land may speedily be delivered from treason and 

Resolved : That while we regard this unhappy 
war as a righteous judgment of God visited upon 
us because of the individual and national sins, of 

76 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

which we have been guilty, we, nevertheless re- 
gard this rebellion as more immediately the nat- 
ural result of the continuance and spread of do- 
mestic slavery in our land, and therefore, hail 
with unmingled joy the proposition of our Chief 
Magistrate, which has received the sanction of 
Congress to extend aid from Gfeneral Government 
to any state in which slavery exists, which shall 
deem fit to initiate a system of constitutional 
emancii)ation/'* So much for the attitude of the 
General Synod toward the questions of the war 
and slavery. Concerning the division of the 
Church, the Synod went on record as follows: 
"That this Synod cannot but express its most de- 
cided disapprobation of the course of those Syn- 
ods and ministers heretofore connected with this 
body, in the open sympathy and active co-oper- 
ation which they have given to the cause of trea- 
son and insurrection."^® 

Upon the submission of the report from which 
extracts have been given above, an animated de- 
bate took place. The Lancaster Dailp Express, 
Debate on which reported the debates at some 
the Besoiu- length, recorded that the first and 
*^**^'- second resolutions were unanimously 

adopted with the most hearty endorsement, but 
that the third resolution brought forth heated dis- 
cussion. Dr. T. Stork, of Pennsylvania, stated, 
"his objection was not because he was no friend 
to the slave, or would not do all in his i>ower for 

^Minutes, General Sjnod, 1862, p. 30 seq. 
loMinutes, General Synod, 1862, pp. 30-32. 

The Lutheran Church— North 77 

him, but because the resolution was a virtual en- 
dorsement of slavery. It recognized that he is a 
chattel, by saying that the owner be compensated, 
in that the negro might go free. He opposed it on 
that ground. The President and Congress, he 
knew could view the matter in no other light in 
their action, as the Constitution had marked out 
their limits, but he would never give his vote to 
say that the black man is property as the nesolu- 
tion does." Dr. W. A. Passavant, of Pennsyl- 
vania, said, "The President and Congress of the 
United States, and its citizens must recognize the 
legality of the legal relation. The ground taken 
by the resolution is the middle ground, between 
abolition and slavery: it is the true ground on 
which a Church and a Synod should stand. We, 
as part of the i)eople will be called on to pay for 
slavery in the border states and it becomes our 
duty to lead the way and prepare our people for 
this great movement. When we assist an un- 
fortunate brother with the means to buy back 
his wife and children, we do not by any means 
recognize the right of property in man." Dr. S. 
Sprecher, of Ohio, contended, "It would be better 
if, instead of this latter part of the resolution we 
should express the hoi>es that God, through the 
war, would bring the nation to see what is the 
right way to remedy this evil." Honorable H. H. 
Vandyke, of New York, said, "He did not recog- 
nize the right of proi)erty in the South any more 
than in the North and of course the slaveholder 
can thus have no claim for pTopevtj which he has 

78 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

not the right to hold. But he was willing to con- 
sent to the governmental plan of emancipation 
and compensation. On this ground he consented 
to the resolution."" When the vote was called 
for, the amendments and substitutes for the 
emancipation resolution were offered, but were 
voted down, and the entire report as it came from 
the committee was adopted. 

So much for the action taken by the General 
Synod. It is interesting to note what was the at- 
titude of the papers toward this action. In an 
editorial which appeared in the Lutherun (md 
Missionary^ the resolutions were strongly en- 
dorsed. The opinion expressed was as follows: 
"They put our General Synod, and through it our 
Church in the true attitude to the great question 

Editorial ^' *^® hour Our Stars and 

Comment on Stripes are very glorious, — ^that is 
the RcBoiu- taken for granted now — and the prac- 
®^*' tical question is : Shall this glorious 

standard be the unsi>otted symbol of freedom or 
be converted into a rag to hide and bandage the 
running ulcer of slavery? On this i)oint our Gen- 
eral Synod has spoken firmly and moderately, and 
has demonstrated that its long silence gave no 
consent to the system of slavery ; that if it gave 
proof that it loved erring brethren too well to love 
altogether wisely it nevertheless did not love the 
wrong itself. The resolutions say enough : they 
do not say too much.^* On the other hand an 

iiLancaster Daily Express, May 7, 1862. 
isLutheran aiid Missionary, May 15, 1862. 

The Lutheran Church— North 79 

editorial in the Observer deemed the passage of 
the slavery resolution as "unnecessary and inex- 
pedient." The writer states, "Not that we disap- 
prove in the abstract of that portion, — ^by no 
means. ^ We presume that no man in the Synod 
more cordially concurred with it, but we deemed 
the Synod's action in regard to it unnecessary, 
inexpedient and calculated to effect little or no 
good, while, on the other hand it might do harm. 
That portion of the resolution will, so far as it 
exerts any influence, undoubtedly, weaken the 
hands of sound anti-slavery union men in the 
border states while they ought to be strengthened 
and render more plausible, the opposition of the 
disloyal everywhere; in its practical operation 
it will not, in our judgment expedite the work of 
emancipation a single day, and may render it 
more difficult, if it does not seriously retard it."'^^ 

The foregoing are a few examples of the inter- 
est which the action of the General Synod 
aroused. But that body was not content merely 
with the passage of resolutions, however well they 
expressed its attitude. It felt that something 
more effective should be attempted. 

By action of the General Synod a committee 
composed of the following brethren, Professor L. 
Sternberg, New York; T. Stork, D.D., Penna.; 
G. A. Lintner, D.D., New York ; H. N. Pohlman^ 
D.D., New York; and Honorable H. H. Van 
Dyke, New York, was therefore apjminted to car 
ry these resolutions to Washington and present 

isLutheran Obaerver, May 23, 1862. 

80 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

them to the President. The Syftod adjourned on 
Saturday and the following Monday the commit- 
tee went to Washington. Upon arrival they went 
to Secretary Seward's oflBice where arrangements 
were made to meet the President at eleven 
o'clock. After the committee was introduced to 
President Lincoln, the chairman, Professor Stem- 
berg, addressed him : "Mr. President, we have the 
honor as a committee of the General Synod of the 
Lutheran Church in the United States, to pre- 
sent to your excellency a copy of the preamble 
and resolutions, in reference to the state of the 
country, adopted by that body at its late session 
in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We are 
further charged to assure you that our fervent 
prayers shall ascend to the God of Nations, that 
Divine guidance and support may be vouchsafed 
to you in the trying and responsible position to 
which a benignant Providence has called you. 
With your permission the Rev. Dr. Pohlman, of 
Albany, New York, will briefly express to you 
the sentiments which animated the committee 
and the Church they represent in. view of the pres- 
ent crises in our national affairs. '^ 

Dr. Pohlman then si>oke, saying in the course 
of his remarks that the late session of the Gen- 
eral Synod was the first that had been held since 
the strife had broken out in our country, that the 
General Synod represents twenty-six district syn- 
ods, scattered over the Middle, Western and South- 
ern states, — ^f rom twenty-one of which delegates 
were present except one from Tennessee who 

The Lutheran Church— North 81 

stated at the conveBtion, "I am the only minister 
who dares to pray for President Lincohi and the 
reason I am allowed to do it is because I pray in 
German and the rebels don^t understand German, 
but the Lord does." Furthermore, that the Lu- 
therans represented the German element in our 
country; and that the Germans had saved Mis- 
souri to the union. He said also that it was his 
deep conviction that we were greatly indebted 
for the degree of success that had crowned the 
efforts of the government to quell the rebellion, 
to the prayers of Christians. He concluded, in- 
voking the Divine benediction upon the President 
and on their beloved country. 

The President replied as follows : "Gentlemen, 
I welcome here the representatives of the Evan- 
gelical Lutherans of the United States. I accept 
with gratitude their assurance of the sympathy 
and a support of the enlightened, influential and 
loyal class of my fellow citizens in an important 
crisis which involves in my judgment, not only 
the civil and religious liberties of our dear land, 
but in a large degree the civil and religious lib- 
erties of mankind in many countries and through 
many ages. You well know, gentlemen, and the 
world knows, how reluctantly I accepted this 
issue of battle forced upon me, in my advent to 
this place by the internal enemies of our country. 
You all know, the world knows : the forces and the 
resources, the public agents have brought into 
employment to sustain a government against 

which there has been brought not one complaint 

82 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

of real injury committed against society at home 
or abroad. You may all recollect that in taking 
up the sword thus forced into my hands, this 
government appealed to the prayers of the pious 
and the good, and declared that it placed its 
whole dependence on the favor of God. I now 
humbly and reverently in your presence reiterate 
the acknowledgment of that dependence, not 
doubting that, if it shall please the Divine Being 
who determines the destinies of nations, that this 
shall remain a united people. They will humbly, 
seeking the Divine guidance, make their pro- 
longed national existence a source of new bene- 
fits to themselves and their successors and to all 
classes and conditions of mankind."" With these 
words from the President the formal interview 
came to a close. 

The action of the General Synod, as expressed 
in the resolutions and in the visit of the commit- 
tee to the President, was heartily endorsed by the 
Lutheran Church, in the North, both unofficially 
by the members and officially by the District 
Synods. However, considerable opposition was 
developed at the meeting of the Wittenberg 
Synod, Wepokaneta, Ohio, August 21-26, 1862, 
when several delegates were very outspoken 
against anti-slavery legislation and voted against 
the resolutions endorsing such action. These who 
voted against the resolutions recorded their rea- 

i*McPherson: History of Bebellion, p. 479 seq.; Hartwick 
Seminary Monthly, p. 10; No. 4S, Dr. HiUer's BeminiBceneeB 
of Civil War. 

The Lutheran Church— North 83 

sons. The following extract is typical of them 
all : "The undersigned feels an unusual pride in 
being permitted to publicly record his vote, for 
the scrutiny of the Church and the worid, against 
the parts in the resolution referring to the sub- 
ject of slavery, as incendiary, fanatical, and un- 
wise, and as calculated to stir up strife and di- 
vision and so retard the progress of righteousness 
and truth, as contemplated in the whole work of 

With this brief review of the action of the Wit- 
tenberg Synod of 1862, the discussion of the at- 
titude of the Lutheran Church in the North, 
toward the Civil War, the questions of union and 
slavery, draws to a close. A brief survey of the 
activity, and sufferings of the Lutherans during 
the war will follow. 

From the beginning of the war until its close 
the Lutheran Church co-operated with the other 
denominations in an active support and advance- 
ment of the various organizations which sprang 
up as the result of the conditions of the time. 
The most imjmrtant of these organizations was 
the United States Christian Commission, which 
was organized at the Young Men's Christian As- 
sociation in New York, November 14, 1861. 
Previous to the time of its formation various 
churches, auxiliaries, relief organizations and the 
Y. M. C. A. had been active in furnishing various 
supplies to the soldiers in the camp and in the 

iBWittenberg Sy. M., 1862', p. 22. 

84 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

field. The purpose of this new organization was 
to unite all the old agencies under one head and 
thus direct the benevolent work under a more 
centralized organization. The churches con- 
tributed financially very liberally to the support 

of the Christian Commission^ and at 
interdenom- ^j^^ ^^^^ ^^^ furnished men and 

Inational Co- . . . . -i. i_ rm. 

operation. women to assist in the work. The 

women did the nursing. The men 
who were commissioned as delegates were expect- 
ed to visit hospitals, camps, and battlefields for 
the relief of the soldiers ; to contribute necessary 
articles; to circulate good literature among the 
soldiers and sailors ; to aid the work of chaplains 
wherever possible ; to discourage vice, to aid sur- 
geons; in brief, so manifold were their duties 
that it is difficult to define them explicitly.^* 

The commission sent out appeals at stated and 
special times to the churches and through the 
Church papers, to the people, asking for benevo- 
lent contributions. From 1862 to 1865 the com- 
mission received in cash, f2,524,512.26, most of 
which came through the Church sources. 

Most of the Synods of the Lutheran Church 
conventions held during the war commended most 
heartily the work of the commission. The fol- 
lowing resolutions passed by €teneral Synod, 1864, 
at York, Pennsylvania, are similar in tenor to 
many others. "The operations of the Christian 
Commission have been before the Church during 

laAnnals of the United States Christian Commission, by 
Moss, p. 540 seq. 

The Lutheran Church — ^North 85 

the last three years. Their work is most noble 
and praiseworthy. Every battlefield and hospital 
bears testimony to the timely relief administered 
to the bodies and souls of our suffering soldiers. 
To continue and carry forward this work this 
commission requires funds; especially now dur- 
ing the fearful battle in progress^ in this, it is 
hoped the last campaign of the rebellion. God 
has put it in the power of the churches in this 
way to preach the Gospel to hundreds of thou- 
sands, under circumstances favorable to success. 
Your committee, therefore, present the following 
resolutions: ^Resolved, that we recommend the 
Christian Commission to our churches as a safe 
and successful channel for the preaching of the 
gospel to our soldiers. 

" ^Resolved : That we recommend the formation 
of relief associations in every church for the pur- 
pose of procuring clothing, food, beverages, stimu- 
lants and other articles useful to the wounded 
and sick. 

" 'Resolved : That we recommend that monthly 
or quarterly collections be taken in our church 
for the support of this truly Christian work.' "^^ 

These resolutions similar to many others 
passed at that time are indicative of the hearty 
support and aid given by the Lutheran Church 
in the North, to the causes, the principles of 
which they had endorsed in the early years of the 

iTGeneral Synod Minutes, 1864, p. 37. 

86 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

Early in the struggle the ravages of war were 
brought to the very doors of the northern x)eople. 
The Lutherans did not escape their share of the 

This was true particularly in Pennsylvania. 
The i)eople of the Cumberland Valley, within 
Buffering twenty-flve miles of the Potomac, 
of the which was known as the "front," 

luthcrani. were the first to feel the disastrous 
and destructive effects of the war. In Septem- 
ber, 1862, during the Antietam campaign, the 
Confederates made a raid into the valley and cap- 
tured Chambersburg. The raiders carried off 
much live stock, provisions and other valuable 
plunder. Again during the Gettysburg campaign 
the Cumberland Valley was again visited by the 
southern army. The worst suffering of the entire 
war, which the people near the border endured, 
was from the invasion of the Confederate cavaliy, 
who burned and plundered Chambersburg July 
30, 1864. Prom the first of July the people of the 
Cumberland Valley were kept in a state of sus- 
pense and uneasiness, as the news came that the 
enemy were active again along the border and 
that there was no military force to oppose their 
advances. Finally, on the evening of July 29, 
word was brought to Chambersburg that a large 
Confederate force of cavalry was rapidly ap- 
proaching the town. Immediately merchants 
packed up their goods and as they had done on 
previous occasions, sent as much away as x>ossible. 
Men hid their valuables and rushed their stock 

The Lutheran Church— North 87 

off to a place of safety. In the meantime a small 
force of union soldiers was stationed on the hills 
west of the town with two cannons, with which 
to delay the enemy's advance during the night. 
About two o'clock in the morning the Conf eder- 
aties came and were halted temporarily by several 
cannon shots. A heavy mist had settled over the 
hills and valleys, so the Confederates waited until 
break *of day before advancing further. The 
union force was too small to cope with the Con- 
federates so they withdrew to escape capture. 
This left the town entirely at the mercy of the in- 
vaders. Finding their advance no longer resisted, 
the entire Confederate forces under the command 
of General McCausland entered the town and 
took possession of it." Concerning the burning 
and plundering of the town a Lutheran sufferer 
wrote as follows: "As soon as they had their 
breakfast. General McCausland demanded f 500,- 
000 in currency and was preemptorily refused. On 
the instant the town was fired in some fifty places, 
without a word of warning to anyone. The very 
citizens whom McCausland had arrested, and 
from whom he had made the demand found their 
homes fired before they reached them. Every 
thing was done to add to the terror and confusion 
of the panic stricken women and children. Soon 
the hunger of the little ones added new horror to 
the scene. Families were separated, and distract- 
ed fathers and mothers could be seen everywhere, 

isThe Burning of Chambersburg, by Schneck, p. 12 seq.; 
From Franklin B^ository, July 30, 1913. 

88 Tke Lutheran C!hiircli and Civil War 

seeking amid the confusion for those that were 
missing; and yet no selfishness was apparent. 
Everyone was willing to aid and sympathize with 
his neighbor."^* 

The Confederates took much valuable proi)erty, 
provisions and live stock. This loss was aug- 
mented through the loss by fire. As a result of 
the raid 537 buildings, valued at |713,294.34, 
were destroyed and personal property amounting 
to f 915,137.24, was lost. The loss to Lutherans 
alone amounted to |250,000.** 

After the war was over and i)eace restored, the 
Church in the North responded liberally to the 
demands made for aid in ameliorating the dis- 
tressing conditions of their brethren in the South. 
Many of the Synods oflScially commended to their 
churches the need of co-operating generously to 
relieve the want and suflPering in the South. 

Although the sympathy for suffering was great, 
there was also rejoicing and gratitude expressed 
in the North, that the union was preserved and 
that slavery was abolished. The Synods ex- 
pressed their gratitude to God, by a series of reso- 

lutions. The one from which the fol- 
1885. ^^'' lowing extract is quoted is typical of 

the rest. It was adopted by the West 
Pennsylvania Synod at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 
September 14-20, 1865, and read as follows : "Re- 
solved : That the results to which this war has, 
by the blessing of God, been conducted, securing 

i^Lutheran and Missionary, August 11, 1864. 
2oLutheran Observer, September 16, 1864. 

The Lutheran Church— North 89 

to us the unity of the nation, the stability of our 
civil institutions, the abolition of slavery, and 
the elevation of the colored race to the enjoyment 
of those natural and inalienable rights which 
God, who made us all of one blood, designed for 
all the members of the human family, call for the 
most profound and lasting gratitude of the na- 
tion, and for the united efforts of all true patriots 
throughout our land to restore harmony and 
Christian friendship between the lately alienated 
portion of our country."^^ 

In this chapter, the history of the Lutheran 
Church, North, has been sketched briefly, during 
the Civil War period, when shortly after the fall 
of Fort Sumter, the Lutherans in the South sepa- 
rated from their northern brethren, until that 
time when in 1865, the years of dissension and 
suffering over, a lasting concord between Chris- 
tian brethren seemed again in accordance with 
patriotic and religious duties, a possibility. 

2iMiiiutes, West Pennsjlvania Synod, 1866, p. 9. 



IT HAS already been stated that the Civil War 
was begun before the break in the Lutheran 
Church officially took place. Hostilities ex- 
isted only a short time, however, when the Lu- 
therans of Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia 
began active measures to organize a general body 
in the South. 

The first official action took place under the 
leadership of the Virginia Synod at a convention 
held at Mt. Tabor, Virginia, October 18-22, 1861. 

It was here that measures were taken 
Conduions. ^ separate the southern Lutherans 

from the General Synod of the Lu- 
theran Church, U. S. A., and to organize a Gen- 
eral Synod in the South. At this convention the 
following resolutions were adopted : "Whereas it 
is manifest to us, in view of the final disruption 
of the former United States, the hostile attitude 
of those yet adhering to the remaining unscru- 
pulous despotism at Washington and the unchari- 
table and intolerant spirit and bearing of many 
of those whom we once esteemed as brethren in 
the same faith, and the interest of our Church, 
loyalty to our government, as well as promptings 
of selfrespect, imperatively demand that we 


The Lutheran Church — South 91 

should at once dissolve all ecclesiastical alliance 
with them therefore, 

"Resolved: That we do hereby withdraw our 
connection with the General Synod of the United 
States, and earnestly favor the organization of a 
General Synod of the Confederate States."^ 

The Synod of South Carolina followed the ex- 
ample of that of Virginia. The annual synodical 
convention which was to have been held in 1861, 
was postponed, on account of war conditions, 
until 1862, when it met January 16-20 in St. 
Paul's Church, Newberry Dist., S. C. 

It passed resolutions unanimously supporting 
the Confederate government, approving the with- 
drawal of the southern Lutherans from the Lu- 
theran Church in the North, and proposing to co- 
operate in the organization of the General Synod 
of the Confederate States. An extract from the 
resolutions is as follows : "Whereas, the duty of 
rendering obedience to rulers and magistrates, as 
those ordained by God for the exercise of justice 
and the maintenance of order, enjoined in the 
word of God, and, 

"Whereas, after years of injustice and oppres- 
sion in palpable violation of the Constitution of 
the United States, these states seceded and 
formed a government under the name of The 
Confederate States of America; therefore, 

"Resolved, that we recognize the right of these 
states in having seceded and formed an inde- 

iMinutes, Meeting of Synod of Virginia, Mt. Tabor, Va., 
October 18-22, 1861, p. 10. 

92 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

pendent government, to which our undivided al- 
legiance is due. 

"Also, whereas, this Synod was formerly con- 
nected with the General Synod of the United 
States of America, in which we were represented 
by delegates, we have now arrived at the solemn 
conviction that it is essential to the good of our 
Church and the promotion of the glory of God, 
that the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of these 
Confederate States withdraw all connection with 
the Northern General Synod, and by this solemn 
and unanimous act declare this connection as 

The North Carolina Synod took similar action 
at their fifty-ninth annual meeting held at Or- 
gan Church, Bowan County, May 1-5, 1862. 

Resolutions were unanimously passed annul- 
ling their former connection with the General 
Synod in the North and agreeing to send dele- 
gates to the informal convention to be held in 
Salisbury, N. C, to bring aoout the organization 
of a Southern General Synod. The resolutions 
passed by the Synod in which its members said, 
"That we recognize the right of these states in 
having seceded and formed an independent gov- 
ernment, to which our undivided allegiance is 
due," show that the attitude of North Carolina 
Lutherans was much the same as that of their 
brethren in Virginia and South Carolina. The 
Synod also expressed its attitude toward the pre- 

2Minutes, South Carolina Synod, January 16-20^ 1862, p. 20. 

The Lutheran Church— South 93 

liminary convention to be held in Salisbury. The 
delegates to that meeting were not only "em- 
powered to vote for such an organization (a 
Southern General Synod) but it was accredited 
by resolutions, "That in the event of the forma- 
tion of a Southern General Synod our delegates 
be empowered to represent us in that Synod."* 

The action taken by Virginia, South Carolina 
and North Carolina, as represented above, i» in- 
dicative of the attitude of the state or district 
Synods in the South. A more concerted action, 
than that expressed thus, was, however, desired 
and measures were set on foot, as has been indi- 
cated for the organization of a General Synodical 
body which should in some measure take the place 
in the South of the General Lutheran Synod, 
U. S. A. 

Under the leadership of the Virginia Synod, a 
preliminary convention was held at Salisbury, 
General ^- C., May 15, 1862, to consider the 

Synod advisability of forming a Southern 

c. s. A. General Synod. It was attended by 

only a few delegates. All it accomplished was 
the api)ointment of a special committee to provide 
for a later convention which should draw up a 
constitution, a formula of government and disci- 
pline, a hymn book, catechism, and a liturgy. 

The convention reassembled at Concord, N. C, 
May 20, 1863. It was comi>osed of delegates. 
Synods of the following states: Virginia, West 

sMinntes, North Carolina Synod, May 1-5; 1862, p. 17. 

94 I The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

'ginia^ North Carolina, South Carolina and 
Georgia. The president of the preliminary con- 
vention, Rev. N. Aldrich, called the assembly to 
order. In his opening address, he sounded the 
keynote for the convention when he stated, "Con- 
cerning the grounds of separation from the north- 
ern section of the Church," as follows : 1 So far as 
sympathy and harmony of the section is con- 
cerned, the northern and southern i)ortions of our 
Church have for years been divided. The prevail- 
ing spirit of the northern portion is a spirit of 
fanaticism, which has been nurtured and intensi- 
fied until like a devouring flame it permeates all 
their religious, social and political relations. It 
brooks no restraint, and knows no interest beyond 
its own. That which it cannot convert to itself it 
endeavors to destroy, and glories in every oppor- 
tunity to accomplish its wicked purposa^h 

"On the other hand the spirit of the southern 
portion is that of conservatism. We claim for 
ourselves nothing beyond that which reason and 
God's Word allow. While we have always cheer- 
fully conceded to the northern Church the right 
to judge for themselves in matters of conscience, 
we at the same time have demanded that this 
privilege be extended to us. But how often has it 
been denied! And in the General Assemblies, 
how frequently of late had Christian courtesy 
been violated, and all the generous emotions of 
our nature mortified by the intemperate zeal of 
those in whom we confided as brethren of the same 
household of faith. And now that a cruel and 

The Lutheran Church — Soufh 95 

sanguinary war is waged against us by the gov- 
ernment of the United States with a spirit of 
malignity, that disgraces our common humanity, 
so far from uttering a word of remonstrance, or 
protesting against its continuance, the Northern 
Church has actually gloried in these scenes of 
blood and carnage and by a formal resolution de- 
clared it to be a duty of the government to prose- 
cute this war even to our subjugation."* The 
president's report, having been read, an official 
title for the central organization of the Lutherans 
in the South was suggested and adopted. The 
body was henceforth to be known as, "General 
Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the 
Confederate States of America.'^ The Synod now 
officially so called, then proceeded to elect officers. 
The following gentlemen were elected: John 
Bachman, D.D., LL.D., of South Carolina Synod, 
president ; D. F. Bittle, D.D., of Virginia Synod, 
secretary. A special committee was then ap- 
pointed to consider the action of the preliminary 
convention held at Salisbury, N. C, May, 1862. 
Somewhat later a report was brought in unani- 
mously endorsing all that had been done. It 
stated in part : "That the action of the delegates 
meets with our hearty approbation, and that as a 
general synod, we tender to the officers of that con- 
vention 6ur sincere thanks for the energy and 
discretion which they have exhibited in their 
prompt efforts for the promotion of the welfare 
of the Church." 

^Minutes, General Synod C. S. A., p. 13, May 20-26, 1863. 

96 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

After the completion of other less important 
business^ the first session of the General Synod 
C. 8. A. came to a close. 

Two very important documents, the one setting 
forth the reasons for organizing the General Synod 
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South, 
the other expressing the views of the members of 
the convention on slavery were also formulated 
by this convention and issued to the public some- 
time after the meeting closed. In the first was 
set forth very clearly the views of the delegates 
to the convention as follows: "Up to the com- 
mencement of this unnatural war the Lutheran 
Church was not divided. The fanaticism and 
abolitionism of the North had not divided her 
councils, nor drivai her, as the other denomina- 
tions were compelled to seek x>eace in separation. 
But it was only a question of time. Attempts 
have been made from time to time to introduce 
upon the floor of the General Synod, North, the 
very question that separates other denominations 
into churches North and South. If the previous 
history of the Lutheran Church does not prove 
the subject-matter under consideration, the last 
meeting of the General Synod, held in Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania, has assuredly settled the question. 
That ecclesiastical body, composed of the most 
influential Lutherans of the North, acknowledged 
and endorsed the unconstitutional acts of the 
Federal government; called and denounced se- 
cession as a crime, proclaimed through the 
Church that the defenders of liberty were rebels, 

The Lutheran Church — South 97 

insurgents and solemnly declared and branded 
our southern brethren as traitors to man, to 
their government and to God. Hence we can never 
exi)ect from them mercy or pardon, much less 
equal rights and privileges, unless we bow in sub- 
mission to their opinions and denounce as wicked 
what we conscientiously believe to be just and 
right."** Thus it seemed to the Lutherans in the 
South, that separation from their brethren was, 
under present conditions, not only desirable and 
justifiable, but also inevitable. The second docu- 
ment issued by the Synod, "Expression on Slav- 
ery," was in part as follows : "As a Church judi- 
catory we find it (slavery) existing in our midst 
and only feel bound to r^ard the moral relations 
that exists between the master and the slave. If 
slavery be a sin and in this respect only can the 
institution be a sin — the Church has the authori- 
ty to call her members to account and legislate 
upon the subject. Sin is the transgression of the 
moral law. What divine law does slavery vio- 
late? No express command. No, thus saith the 
Lord ; not even the golden rule of our Redeemer. 
To do unto others as you would have them do 
unto you. Certainly no moral law or precept in 
the Mosaic economy, or God would not have given 
a command regulating the moral relations of 
master and servant in the decalogue, nor i)ermit- 
ted slavery to exist among his ancient people, 
Israel. Certainly no moral law or precept in the 
Christian dispensation; or our Saviour or His 

^Appendix, Min. GeQi ^Tnod C. S, A., 1863. 

98 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

apoBtles would have denounced slavery, in ex- 
press terms and have enumerated the sin in the 
catalogue of crimes mentioned ; and the inspired 
Paul would never have sent a runaway slave back 
to his master with special instructions that they 
\ might have no difficulty in the future. Wonder- 
I ful, indeed, is that Book, whose object is to en- 
' lighten the world in morals, to omit to mention, 
in express terms, this crime which is the sum of 
all villainies, and a crime too (if it be a crime), 
prevalent in the world when Christ instituted Btts 
kingdom. The Word of God is the only rule to 
guide us in determining this question, and not 
the deductions of philosophy falsely so called, 
not the sophistical conclusions drawn from the 
abstract ideas of human freedom, nor the fanati- 
cal notion of those philanthropists who would 
be wise above what is written in the unerring 
record of truth."* In no uncertain terms, as has 
been shown did the Church in the South denounce 
the attitude of its Lutheran brethren in the 
North, on the question of slavery and no less 
forcibly did it set the seal of its own approval 
ux>on that institution. 

How the Lutheran laity in the South received 
the news of the split in the Synod, North and 
South, and how it regarded the new organization 

will now be seen. According to a Lu- 
commeSs. theran writer in Bichmond, Va., 

whose statement was afterwards 
copied in Adam^ Sentinel and General Adver- 

oMln., Ist Con. Gen. Synod Lutheran Gh. C. S. A., pp. 28-29. 

The Lutheran Church— South 99 

tiser, August 18, 1862, Gettysburg, Pa., the south- 
em branch of the Lutheran Church was not in a 
very prosperous condition. The original article 
was evidently written prior to the meeting of the 
General Synod at Concord, N. C, May 20, 1863. 
The writer believed that little or nothing would 
be accomplished by the convention. Further- 
more the writer declared that, "With not a single 
plan projected for benevolent operations, and not 
a line of Church or Sabbath school literature ap- 
proved, we are truly as powerless an organization 
as we were at the first moment of separation from 
the northern section of the Church."^ The criti- 
cisms were, however, unjust, for one of the pur- 
I)oses of the organization of the Southern General 
Synod was to meet these needs of the Church. 
Furthermore, action had been taken at this con- 
vention to develop a Southern Church and Sab- 
bath school literature. Just what was done along 
these lines will be seen in the following state- 
ments. One of the first things accomplished by 

the Southern Church after the break 
luthcran!'^"^ with its northern brethren was the 

establishment of the weekly paper. 
The Southern Luthera/ti. It was first inaugu- 
rated by the officers of the South Carolina 
Synod, who exi>ected it to be taken charge of by 
the General Synod in the South, after the official 
organization of that body. The first number is- 
sued August 3, 1861, was published in Charleston, 

7Adam8 Sentinel and Gen. Advertiser, Aug. 18, 3.8^3, Gettys- 
burg, Pa. 

• * « 

100 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

S. C. The editors made an appeal in this issue 
for the hearty supi)ort of all Lutherans in the 
South. The api>eal stated, "It remains for us 
now, but to entreat you brethren to sustain us in 
this undertaking. Let it be the determination of 
all of us to carry it forward with becoming energy 
and spirit and we will soon have a paper worthy 
of our Southern Church." 

In the same issue, several articles appeared, in 
which the writers stated, concerning the division 
in the Church that the South was fully justified 
in withdrawing from the North. One article 
read, in part, as follows : "How can we associate 
in sweet communion with those (or they with us) 
who wish our destruction, whose war cry is booty 
and beauty, who are urging on the dogs of war to 
kill our sons ...... and utterly exterminate this 

I)eople. No, brethren, we can never unite with 
them again; we must have a General Synod 
South." Another wrote, "These influences show 
that no sympathy exists for us in the northern 
Church, but all their efforts tend to our destruc- 
tion, and the desire of their hearts is our utter- 
overthrow." Thus in the first issue of this new 
weekly, were expressed the feelings and beliefs 
which filled the hearts of the Lutherans in the 

The editorial board of the same paper upheld 
and advocated slavery. In an article appearing 
in an early issue, it stated its position in these 
words: "That institution (slavery) has had the 
sanctjgta of heaven from early scriptural history 

'wo It 

The Lutheran Church— South 101 

down to the present day. Those who would de- 
prive the slave of the privilege of a master appear 
to be utterly unacquainted with the characteris- 
tics of his mind and his dependent character." 

The work thus begun by the editorial board was 
continued in an unofficial capacity until the con- 
vention of the South Carolina Synod, Jan. 16, 
1862. The Synod, then officially endorsed the 
project and promised to support the paper until 
the organization of the General Synod when it was 
proposed to transfer the paper and leave it in the 
hands of that body as the property and organ of 
the whole Church. 

The suggestion was followed out at the meeting 
at Concord, N. C, May 20, 1863. The General 
Synod, in its report upon the conception and pur- 
pose of this paper said in part : "The Lutheran 
Observer^ which we had been accustomed to re- 
gard as the organ of our southern Church, though 
published in a southern state, had not only aban- 
doned our cause, but had actually joined with the 
religious and secular press of the North in de- 
nouncing us as traitors and rebels, and in calling 
upon the Federal Government to send forth its 
armies for our subjugation. Under such circum- 
stances it was but natural that we should turn 
from it with aversion and disgust, and desire the 
establishment of a paper that would be introduced 
into the family circle, and be read by our people 
generally without the fear of having their feel- 

102 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

ings outraged by opprobrious epithets and un- 
charitable remarks."* 

At the General Synodical Convention then the 
management of the Southern Lutheran was 
transferred to the general body. In making the 
transfer, the committee said, "The difficulties we 
had to encounter at the beginning of this enter- 
prise have been overcome, and to-day we have 
2,218 subscribers and up to the first day of May 
had $1,336 on hand. In making the transfer of 
the pai)er, we state that it is free from all pecuni- 
ary embarrassments — ^for it has been the practice 
of the committee from the beginning of the work, 
to meet all liabilities. We were compelled to re- 
duce the size of the paper from a scarcity of ma- 
terial, finding it impossible to print a full sheet."* 

Although the inception of this weekly journal 
was so highly favored during the following year, 
due to drastic war conditions the publication of 
the paper was beset with trials and difficulties. 
It was necessary to raise the subscription price 
from $2 to $5 per annum and on account of the 
scarcity of paper it was reduced to a half sheet. 
The list of subscribers was reduced to 1,482.^® 

However an attempt laudable in its conception, 
though lamentable in its result (through no fault 
of its own ) had been made to meet the demand of 
the southern leaders for a paper which should be 

8Min., S. C. Synod, Newberry Dist. S. C, Jan. 16, 1862, p. 20. 
©Minutes, Gen. Synod, South, May 20, 1863, pp. 18-19. 
loMinutes, Gen. Synod, South, Organ Church, Bowan County, 
N. C, May 12-17, 1864, pp. 10-11-12. 

The Lutheran Church— South 103 

a reflection of their needs and desires. But the 
Southern Lutherans like their brethren in the 

North, were not content with mere 

cJSderate ^^^^^' ^^ *^^ South, as in the 
Clergy, 1863. North, their action took the form of 

cooperation with the other denomi- 
nations of Christians. In January, 1863, a con- 
ference of ministers of the Gospel from various 
parts of the Confederacy met in Richmond, Va., 
in order to consider ways and means to aid the 
southern cause. The meeting resulted in the for- 
mation of an address directed to the Christians 
throughout the world. The names appended rep- 
resented more or less fully every accessible sec- 
tion of the Confederacy and nearly every denomi- 
nation of Christians: Baptists, Disciples, Meth- 
odist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, Protestant 
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Associate Reformed, 
Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran and Grerman 
Reformed. The causes for meeting they set forth 
as follows: "We feel most deeply impressed by 
the conviction, that for our own sake, for the 
sake of prosi)erity, for the sake of humanity, for 
the sake of the truth and above all, for the sake of 
our Redeemer's Kingdom, it behooves us to testi- 
fy of certain things in our beloved land, which 
seem to be neither understood nor appreciated 
by our enemies, nor yet clearly appreciated by 
Christians of other nations." The tenor of the 
address may be expressed briefly as follows, the 
writers represented that the war, the purpose of 
which was in part, the restoration of the union 

104 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

was forced upon them (the South). Quoting di- 
rectly, "After a conflict of opinions between 
North and South in Church and state, of more 
than thirty years, growing more bitter and pain- 
ful daily, we withdraw from them to secure peace 
they send troops to compel us into re- 
union." Against this action they protested. They 
stated that the separation of the southern states 
from the United States was universally r^arded 
as final and the formation of the Confederate 
States Government as a permanent fact which 
promised in no resi)ect a restoration of the former 
union. The writers also urged "That the war 
against the confederate states has achieved no 
good result and we find nothing in the present 
state of the struggle that gives promise of the 
United States accomplishing any good by its con- 
tinuance." The writers go on to state that 
though hundreds of thousands of lives have been 
lost, and many millions of treasure have been 
spent and property destroyed, no part of the 
country is as yet subdued. Subjugation is there- 
fore, in their eyes, clearly imi>06sible. Concern- 
ing the question of slavery they continued, that 
they rejected abolition and protest against eman- 
cipation which cannot help the slave. "The prac- 
ticable plan of benefiting the African race must 
be the Providential plan, — ^the Scriptural plan. 
We adopt that plan in the South ; and while the 
state should seek wholesome legislation to re- 
gard the interests of the master and the slave, we 
as ministers, would preach the word to both as 

The Lutheran Church— South 105 

we are commanded of God." In conclusion they 
wrote, "Christian Brethren, think of these things, 
arid let your answer to our address to the voice of 
an enlightened Christian sentiment going forth 
from you against war, against i)ersecution for 
conscience sake, against the ravaging of the 
Church of God by fanatical invasion."" This 
was the position of southern gentlemen, ministers 
of God, of all denominations, who here set forth 
their convictions honestly and sincerely, on the 
question of secession and slavery, addressing 
their plea to Christians everywhere, with the 
hope that its effect might be beneficial in some 
small degree at least to the cause which they so 
earnestly espoused. 

The Lutheran congregations throughout the 
South, like their brethren in the North, sustained 
losses due to the conditions of the war which they 

endorsed both with their lips and 
Sufferingt their actions. Large numbers of 
lutSTran.. the men perished on the battle- 

fields, for as has been shown, the 
Lutheran congregations supported loyally the 
confederate cause. The congregations in the 
war zone suffered most severely. Grace Lu- 
theran Church, in Winchester, Virginia, was in 
the midst of many conflicts. Much of the time 
the church was used as a hospital and services 
were necessarily irregular. Despite conditions 
the congregation remained faithful and after the 

iiMcFherBon's History of Bebellion, pp. 517-521. 

108 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

tion held at Organ Church, Bowan County, N. C, 
May 12-17, 1864, their support and loyalty were 
reaffirmed, and at the same time their separation 
from the northern Church was reemphasized. 
The report read in part as follows : "We seceded 
from a union which had become intolerant and 

oppressive I regard our separation from 

the Northern Synods as final and without the pos- 
sibility of a reunion on any future occasion. It 
has never been a cordial union. Their most 
prominent and influential men during the meet- 
ings of the General Synod, were in the habit of 
preaching sermons in which they held up their 
Lutheran brethren, as oppressors, tyrants, etc."^* 
From mid-summer ip 1863 until General Lee sur- 
rendered on the ninth of April, 1865, the Con- 
federates fought, with indomitable courage and 
valor, a losing battle. Their bravery and self- 
sacrifice must always arouse our admiration. 
Less than a month after General Lee's surrender 
the North Carolina Lutheran Synod, in conven- 
tion at St. Michael's Church, Iredale County, 
May 4, sounded the keynote for the restoration of 
law and order, the rehabilitation of the South and 
the development of a common country. From the 
resolution adopted the following is an excerpt: 
"That as a Church we recognize it to be the duty 
of all good Christians to accept the changes which 
have been occasioned by the late war, as of Divine 
appointment, and to submit ourselves to the Con- 

isMin., Gen. Synod, South, May 12-17, 1864, pp. 6-7. 

The Lutheran Church— South 109 

stitutional authorities of the land."" Peace was 
again restored and the union between Lutheran 
brethren, North and South, once so rudely shat- 
tered, bade fair to be again established on prin- 
ciples of Christian concord. 

The Lutherans in the South, no less than those 
in the North, had been called upon to decide at 
the fall of Sumter and the call for troops, between 
state and country, and having made their choice, 
for the right as they saw it, under God, they 
fought the good fight bearing with eager and joy- 
ful hearts the suffering it entailed, until that time 
when in defeat they saw their error and with un- 
wonted courage, offered to renew once more their 
brotherly relations with those so lately their con- 

i^Minutes, N. C. Synod, St. Idlchael's Church, Tredale County, 
May 4, 1865, p. 18. 




MANY of the LutheraB( colleges in the 
North and South, as well as the Church- 
es, suffered in various ways during the 
war. In common with all the colleges of the coun- 
try, the Lutheran institutions contributed a large 
number of students to the army. In other ways, 
less easy to estimate and to chronicle, the Lu- 
theran institutions contributed their share to the 
history of the struggle. 

Of the Lutheran institutions in the North the 
Theological Seminary (founded 1826) and Penn- 
sylvania College (founded 1832) lo- 
Theoiogicai cated at Gettysburg, sustained a pe- 
and^Penns 1- ^^^^^^ relation to the war through 
vania CoUcge, t^^ great battle fought there July 1, 
Gettyabnrg. 2, and 3, 1863. Perhaps mention 

should be first made, however, of the 
patriotism of the students of the Seminary and 
College when General Lee began his Northern 
Campaign. Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, 
in order to meet General Lee's invasion called for 
50,000 men, for the emergency. In response to 
this call about sixty, or a majority of the college 
students, and four from the Theological Semi- 
nary, gave their names, and, together with some 


Lutheran Institutions and the War 111 

young men from the town, they assembled in the 
evening on the college campus and organized the 
company and offered their services to the gover- 
nor. They were ordered to report at Harrisburg. 
Early the next morning, June 17, after a brief 
address from Professor Muhlenburg, they took 
train for Camp Curtin, at the capital.^ They 
were mustered into the United States' service as 
"Co. A, 26th Regiment, P. V. M.^' and were sent to 
do guard duty near Gettysburg along the Cham- 
bersburg Pike, as the Confederate forces were re- 
I)orted to be approaching the town. On June 26 
they had a skirmish with a body of Confederate 
cavalry, and later, they fell back to protect Har- 
risburg. They reached Harrisburg on Sunday, 
June 28th and remained on duty there until July 
30th when their term of service expired. Their 
patriotism and prompt response to the call of the 
Governor were the cause of a resolution passed 
by the Board of Trustees of the College, at a meet- 
ing on August 12, 1863, in which it was said, 
"That this Board have heard with proud satis- 
faction of the heroic conduct of those students of 
the College who rushed so promptly to the defence 
of their country during the late invasion and that 
their course is hereby heartily approved." 

But the' College and Seminary were destined to 
play a more immediate part in the Battle of Get- 
tysburg than at first likely through the enlist- 
ment of their students. On the opening day of 

ipennsylvania College Book, 1832-82, by Breidenbaugh, p. 
88 seq. 

112 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

the battle^ Oeneral Reynolds and Buford, of the 
Union army used the Seminary cupola for obser- 
vation purposes. At 8 : 30 o'clock one of General 
Howard's officers was in the cupola, making ob- 
servations when Professor M. Jacobs, of the 
college faculty, directed his attention to Ceme- 
tery Hill, south of the town, "as being of the high- 
est strategic importance, and commanding the 
whole country around for many miles." General 
Howard, upon receipt of this information, at once 
sent General Steinwehr, with a division of the 
Eleventh Corps to occupy Cemetery Hill. To 
this act may be attributed, in large degree, the 
favorable results of the next two days. 

Later the Seminary came into the possession of 
the Confederates and the cupola was used by 
them as a signal station. "During the day ( Fri- 
day, July 3) General Lee had reconnoitered our 

XK)sition from the college cupola , and had 

come to the conclusion that our left center was 
the weakest part of our lines. Anderson and Mc- 
Laws had failed to turn our left flank on the pre- 
vious evening : Ewell had most signally failed to 
turn our right ; and now some other point must 
be assailed, — that point was the position held by 
Hancock.* General Pickett's division was or- 
dered to capture this point but after courageous, 
though desperate attempt the charge failed. 
After the first day's fight at Gettysburg, the Con- 
federates secured possession of the college build- 

2Battle of Gettysburg, by Prof. M. Jacobs, p. 41. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 113 

ings, which they used as a hospital. "The college 
was filled with wounded and those waiting on 
them, — ^probably not less than 500. Many were 
placed in the library, and in the halls of the so- 
cieties, as well as in the recitation rooms, chapel 
and student rooms. Many blood soaked volumes 
in the library still remind us of the use to which 
it was put. Surgeons were plying their work of 
amputation and dressing in the public halls and 
the porches. For four weeks after the defeat and 
repulse of the enemy, the building was kept thus 
by the Government as a hospital. Many of the 
wounded died and their bodies were buried on the 
college grounds, most, if not all of which were 
afterward removed. Of course, though wanton 
destruction seems not to have been at all commit- 
ted, the building was much defaced, the furniture 
destroyed, the fences, etc., swept away. The com- 
mencement exercises for the year were omitted. 
A regular programme, however, was issued. The 
work of thorough cleansing and repair was begun 
as soon as possible, and by the time for the open- 
ing of fall session, September 24, the college was 
ready for the reception of the students.'^* 

At a meeting of the board of trustees, after the 
battle, the following resolution was adopted: 
"That from motive of patriotism and gratitude 
to God for the glorious victory vouchsafed to our 
arms at Gettysburg, during the first three days 
of July, 1863, no compensation should be solicited 

sPennsylvania College, 1832-1882, by Breidenbaugh, p. 92. 


114 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

from the government for damages sustained to 
the building^ but will look to the free-will offer- 
ings of the Church for the means necessary to re- 
pair the same." Later, Dr. Morris reported, 
^^Four thousand two hundred and ten dollars 
were raised for this purpose, and yet in the pro- 
ceedings of the board, a year later, August, 1864, 
I find that six hundred and sixty dollars and fifty 
cents were received from the government for the 
use of the seminary as an hospital."* 

But Gettysburg was to give a more permanent 
memorial of her intimate connection with and 
service for the union. On November 19, 1863, 

four and a half months after the bat- 
Smeti?!'''''^ tie, the Soldiers^ National Cemetery 

was consecrated. A brief history of 
the selection and dedication of this site will not 
here be out of place. In view of the significance 
and magnitude of the battle fought there, it was 
deemed fitting that a site should be selected for 
a national cemetery near this place. Governor 
Curtin, of Pennsylvania appointed Judge David 
Wills (class of ^51, Pennsylvania College) of 
Gettysburg, to purchase a site and to co-operate 
with the governors of the seventeen other loyal 
states which had men who had fought in the bat- 
tle in the consummation of the plans for dedica- 
tion. The Board of Commissioners, of which 
Judge Wills was president, purchased seventeen 
acres on Cemetery Hill, "at the apex of the tri- 

*Fif tj years in Lutheran Ministry, Morris, p. 632. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 115 

angalar lines of battle of the Union Army." 

Plans were thus set on foot for fitting ceremonies 

of consecration. The following programme was 

arranged : 

Music, by Birgfield's Band. 

Prayer, by Rev. L. H. Stockton, D.D. 

Music, by the Marine Band. 

Oration, by Hon. Edward Everett. 

Music, Hymn composed by B. B. French, Esq. 

Dedicatory Remarks, by the President of the 

United States. 
Dirge, sung by choir selected for the occasion. 
Benediction, by Rev. H. L. Baugher, D.D., presi- 
dent of Pennsylvania College. 
The day selected, November 19, 1863, arrived, 
and exercises were carried out as arranged. Mr. 
Everett, the orator of the day, spoke for two 
hours. In his address he touched upon the vari- 
ous aspects of the war, stating that, under the 
Constitution, the South had no right to secede. 
He said in support of his theory, "Certainly I do 
not deny that separate states are clothed with 
sovereign powers for the administration of local 
affairs. It is one of the most beautiful features 
of our mixed system of government; but it is 
equally true, that, in adopting the Federal Con- 
stitution, the states abdicated by express renunci- 
ation, all the most important functions of nation- 
al sovereignty and, by one comprehensive, self- 
denying clause, gave up all right to contravene 
the Constitution of the United States, si>eciflcally, 
and by enumeration, they renounced all the most 

116 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

lniiK>rtant prerogatives of independent states for 
peace and for war, as the right to keep troops or 
ships of war in time of peace, or to engage in war, 
unless actually invaded; to enter into compact 
with another state or a foreign power ; to lay any 
duty on tonage, or any import or exports, without 
the consent of Congress ; to enter into any treaty, 
alliance or confederation; to grant letters of 
marque and reprisal, and to emit bills of credit, — 
while all those i)owers and many expressly vested 
in the general government. To ascribe to iK)liti- 
cal communities, thus limited in their jurisdic- 
tion, — who cannot even establish a post office on 
their own soil, — the character of independent 
sovereignty, and to reduce a national organiza- 
tion, clothed with all transcendent powers of 
government, to the name and condition of an 
"agency*^ of the states proves nothing but the 
logic of secession is on a par with its loyalty and 
patriotism."*^ He spoke also of the heroism and 
patriotism shown in the battle of Gettysburg. 
Near the close of his address he said, "And now, 
friends, fellow-citizens of Gettysburg and Penn- 
sylvania, and you from remoter states, let me 
again, as we part, invoke your benediction on 
these honored graves. You feel, though the oc* 
casion is mournful, that it is good to be here — 
God bless the Union, it is dearer to us for the 
blood of brave men which has been shed in its 

^^Consecration of the Cemetery at Gettysburg (Collection of 
Doonments), pp. 67-68. 

^Consecration of the Cemetery at Gettysburg, p. 81. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 117 

After Mr. Everett had finished speaking^ Presi- 
dent Lincoln delivered his address of dedication, 
which has since become immortal. He said, in 
part, "We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, 
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, 
living and dead, who struggled here, have con- 
secrated it far above onr poor power to add or to 
detract." Moreover, he took occasion to call at- 
tention anew to the responsibilty resting upon the 
citizens of the United States when he said, "It is 
rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task 
remaining before us, — that from these honored 
dead, we take increased devotion, to the cause for 
which they here gave the last full measure of de- 
votion, — that we here highly resolve, that these 
honored dead shall not have died in vain, that this 
nation under God shall have a new birth of free- 
dom, that the government of the i)eople, by the 
people, and for the i)eople, shall not perish from 
the earth."^ When Lincoln finished, a hush lay 
upon the vast multitude profoundly stirred, not 
by the sonorous phrases and swinging cadences of 
the orator of the day but by the simple, homely 
words of the man on whose heart and face had 
fallen the imprint of an everlasting sorrow, an 
ennobling purpose. 

The dedicatory exercises were brought to a 
close by the benediction, pronounced by Dr. H. L. 
Baugher, president of Pennsylvania Collie. He 
invoked Divine blessings upon the occasion, the 

7Consecraion of the CemeteTy at Gtottysburg, p. 84. 

118 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

President, all in authority and the people of the 
United States, concluding with the prayer that 
*^This great nation may be delivered from treason 
and rebellion at home, and from the power of 
enemies abroad."* 

With the dedication of the National Cemetery 
at Gettysburg in November, 1863, the most im- 
portant connection of that town and its college 
with the war, came to an end. 

Gettysburg was not the only Lutheran institu- 
tion, however, which played an important part in 

the story of the Civil War. Many of 
SiiS**'^ the students of Wittenburg College 

(founded 1845) in Springfield, Ohio, 
enlisted in the service of jthe United States, until 
by June 30, 1863, fifty-two of her students were 
in active service. But her contribution to the 
cause did not end there. The Alumni Association 
also was active in supporting President Lincoln. 
At the thirteenth annual meeting of the associ- 
ation, held June 25, 1863, at Springfield, resolu- 
tions were adopted from which the following ex- 
tracts have been taken : "Resolved, That we have 
entire confidence in the integrity and patriotism 
of the President of the United States, and that he 
merits the unqualified support of the loyal men 
of the country. 

"That we congratulate our Alma Mater upon 
the devotion and loyalty to the government 

sConsecration of the Cemetery at Gettysburg, p. 88. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 119 

which universally pervades its officers and stu- 

Much more might be said of the efforts and suf- 
ferings not only of those two colleges in the 
North, Gettysburg and Wittenberg, but also 
others, whose names are not here even mentioned, 
suffice it to say that no sacrifice was too big, no 
effort too great, to offer on the altar of the coun- 

All the suffering, all the sacrifice, all the toils 
were not, however, put forth by the North alone. 
Although for a different cause, yet for one, none 
the less dear, the institutions of the South, will- 
ingly, even gladly and proudly gave of their best. 

Roanoke College (founded 1853 ), 
couw * Salem, Virginia, by 1861 had a stu- 

dent body numbering 118. Towards 
the close of the session in that year the tocsin of 
war "was sounding its shrill notes through the 
land and the gathering of armies was seen on 
every land. The martial spirit was aroused in 
every breast. The students of military age 
caught the contagioji, and laying down their text- 
books, entered their names on the matriculation 
rolls of a sterner school. The majority connected 
themselves with the volunteer companies then 
being organized in Salem. A few of these re- 
turned in former years, covered with honorable 
scars to resume their studies; others alas! are 
sleeping "the sleep that knows no waking," in 
honored soldiers^ graves.^® 

sirutheran Observer, July 17, 1863. 

loSemi-Centennial, Roanoke College Publ., by College, p. 97. 

120 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

However, fortunately for the continued exist- 
ence of the college, in September, 1861, Beveral 
members of the faculty who had not entered the 
army, determined to reopen the college for stu- 
dents who were not old enough for service. This 
laudable attempt to persevere in the purpose of 
its foundation, in spite of all obstacles, was re- 
warded. The college continued its classes 
throughout the war and was the only institution 
in the State to do so. Its enrollment during this 
period numbered more than 100 students for 
each academic year. After 1862, until 1866, no 
degrees were awarded, however, as the courses 
were of a preparatory nature.^^ 

Shortly after the war started, President Bittle 
made arrangements with the Secretary of War of 
the Confederate States, whereby any of the stu- 
dents, who during the academic year, reached the 
age of 18 years (the age prescribed for military 
service) might be permitted to remain at college 
until the end of the year. The Secretary of War 
required, however, that all students sixteen years 
of age and upwards should have guns, furnished 
by the government, and be organized into a com- 
pany and be drilled regularly, once a week. The 
company was placed under the command of Pro- 
fessor George W. Holland, who had lost an arm 
in the service. It was called out on several oc- 
casions when United States troops, on raiding 
expeditions threatened Roanoke County, but 
never participated in an active engagement. 

iiCatalog, Boanoke College, 1865-1866. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 121 

On December 16, 1863, General Averill, of the 
Union Army, made a raid on Salem. He ordered 
all the buildings containing Confederate army 
supplies to be burned, but all others including the 
college buildings were exempt. As he withdrew 
to Mason's Grove, he took with him a number of 
prisoners, including both citizens and students. 
The following morning he released all who were 
not connected with the Confederate service. He 
paid respects thus to the students calling them 
before him, he asked each one where he was from. 
All answered with some trepidation. "Now," he 
said, "boys, tell me candidly, what do you think 
of the Confederacy?" The boys, by this time re- 
covering from their fear, and reassured by the 
pleasant mood of the general, answered promptly, 
"We think it is doing very well." "Oh, now, boys, 
you know it is almost played out !" he continued. 
"You all go back to your books and study your 
best." And then he gave the command to release 
them. He was doubtless glad to be free from the 
"impedimenta" of student prisoners, for his bold 
venture was attended with great difficulties from 
beginning to end. He is said to have thus con- 
cisely reported his travels. "My command has 
marched, climbed, slid and swam 350 miles since 
the 8th instant."" 

Due to this and other raids, in the early spring 
of 1865, provisions were about exhausted in Roa- 
noke County. The college community, as well as 
the others in the neighborhood suffered greatly 

izSemi-Centennial, Boanoke College, pp. 101-102. 

122 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

for lack of supplies. But this difficulty was small 
in comparison with that which confronted the 
college at the close of the war. After General 
Lee's surrender, everything was in a chaotic state 
in Salem, a condition here, typical of what was 
general throughout the South. Confederate 
money was useless; the students could not pay 
their board, and consequently, for the time being 
the colleges suspended their exercises. All stu- 
dents who could get home were permitted to go. 
Those who remained helped President Bittle to 
plant com. Although a number of colored men 
were engaged to do this work, before the close 
of the war, afterward refused, claiming that they 
were "free." 

Yet the exigencies suggested in this brief his- 
tory were only temporary. After the distracting 
conditions of the Civil War were over, the col- 
lege entered upon a new era of growth and pros- 
I)erity. The student body numbered 145 for the 
academic year 1865-6, a large increase over pre- 
vious years. "It indicates the wise purpose of 
our people to educate the young men for the use- 
ful arts of peace, as one of the best remedial 
agents for repairing the desolations wrought by 
the war."" 

The history of Boanoke College in Virginia 
was multiplied many times, in the case of other 

isSemi-Centennial, Boanoke College, p. 105. 

Lutheran Institutions and the War 123 

institutions in the South. Newberry 
Newberry College, Newberry, S. C, chartered 

SoitT' ^y *^^ S*at® Legislature in 1856 had 

Carolina. an even less fortunate experience- 
Founded and opened shortly before 
the outbreak of the war between the North and 
South, Newberry College began its career with 
every prospect of success and usefulness. "It pos- 
sessed handsome buildings, a liberal endowment, 
a faculty trained in the best institutions of this 
and other lands, and a student body drawn from 
various portions of the South, numbering nearly 
two hundred. Under those circumstances the in- 
stitution, which had been established by the Lu- 
theran Church of the South, was well fitted to 
arouse pride, in its brilliant beginning and ex- 
I)ectation and high hope of its future success. 
Just why, therefore, a work so well begun, so 
vigorously and prayerfully prosecuted of what 
appeared to be a long and honorable future 
should have been suddenly interrupted and seri- 
ously crippled, is a question as far beyond human 
solution as are the graves on the battlefield of 
Virginia and Tennessee, where sleep some of the 
brightest of Newberry's older sons."^* 

In 1860 Dr. J. A. Brown, professor of theology 
and ancient languages, was elected president of 
the college, to succeed Dr. Theophilus Stork who 
had tendered his resignation. It was a time when 
partisan feeling ran high and Dr. Brown, who 

i^Historical Sketch Pablished by College^ pp. 77-78. 

124 The Lutheran Church and CivU War 

was fearless in his convictions, unequivocally ex- 
pressed strong union sentiments. On January 
8, 1861, Dr. Brown was informed that a com- 
mittee would wait upon him, to ascertain "His 
views and feelings on secession," and if his reply 
was unfavorable, he would be advised to leave the 
state. At five o'clock in the evening of the same 
day, when all the professors and students had 
assembled in the college chapel for the customary 
evening prayers. Dr. Brown, very pale but with 
a look of firm determination, arose and told the 
audience of the notice he had received and said 
that he then and there would anticipate an inter- 
view on the part of the committee. He then said 
he was born in the union, reared in the union and 
hoped to die in the union; that his sympathies 
were unequivocally with the Federal Government, 
and that he proposed to resign as president of the 
college, return to his native state and if necessary, 
join the ranks in defense of the union. This soon 
spread through the town and the effect on the i)eo- 
ple was electric. Mr. Johnston, chancellor of the 
State of South Carolina, and a firm friend of Dr. 
Brown, fearing violence from the excited popu- 
lace, offered to take him quietly to a small station 
nine miles from Newberry and to send his family 
by the next train. Dr. Brown declined the offer. 
He said he had come to South Carolina openly 
and without fear and he proposed to leave with 
his family in the same manner. Fortunately he 

' Lutheran Institutions and the War 125 

was able to do this without any hostile demon- 
strations from the people."" 

The four years of war, so inauspiciously begun, 
brought dark days upon the college. During 
these trying times, when all financial support 
from the Church was cut off, President Smeltzer 
untiringly carried on his self-sacrificing labors. 
For a time he supported the college by his own 
efforts, turning baker and selling bread to the 
Federal troops in Newberry. During the period 
of the war and the misfortunes of the reconstruc- 
tion, the college was naturally very seriously 
handicapped. Indeed so serious were its difficul- 
ties that it was not until 1877 that it entered upon 
a new career of life and usefulness. 

The fate of these two colleges in the South was 
typical of the experiences of many during the try- 
ing period of the war. The teachers, students and 
graduates of Lutheran institutions both North 
and South, took an active part in the great civil 
conflict. They entered into that part of the strug- 
gle into which they were led by their ideals and 
convictions. The war had settled the great ques- 
tion whether this republic may or may not be 
divided — ^the question which split the Church 
into opposing camps. The cause for division was 
past; the wound in the nation remained to be 
healed. The history of this nation since the war, 
would be incomplete without taking into consid- 
eration the large part played since 1865 by Lu- 

ifiLutheran Quarterly, Vol. 2111, p. 426. 

126 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

theran institutions in moulding the ideals of a 
common national life. These institutions in co- 
operation with other similar institutions are fur- 
nishing leaders who are earnestly laboring in the 
Church and State for the '^solution of a successful 
national life." As in the i)eriod between 1861-5 
the energies of all were bent toward securing 
what seemed to each, best, though that best was 
in opposition to other ideals, so now the energies 
of all are united in a common purpose for the crea- 
tion of a common ideal. 




After the close of the Civil War many of the 
Lutherans, North and South, felt that the Church 
should be reunited. The editor of the Lutheran 

Observer gave expression to this idea 
Early Efforts in the following words: "Many im- 
L ^*^^** portant obligations now rest on good 
Church, North citizens and good Christians. One 
(General among the first should be an effort 

jTth^^ *^* to heal divisions and alienations, in 
Church, communities and churches, among 

South, 1865. neighbors and friends."^ Reunion 

with the southern branch of the 
Church was advocated by the Lutherans of the 
North for the following reasons: (1) The out- 
come of the Civil War had removed all sectional 
differences. The outbreak of the war, it is true, 
had created a need for a southern Lutheran 
Church, for the southern Lutherans were cut off 
by the war from all intercourse with the Church 
in the loyal states. There had been a time when 
the Lutherans had believed in the permanency of 
their separate and independent government ; but 
the southern Confederacy now no longer existed 

iliatheran Obserrer, April 21, 1865. 


128 The Lutheran CJhurch and Civil War 

and peace had been restored. The necessity for 
a southern Church organization had, therefore, 
been removed, and there seems to be no justifi- 
cation for its continued existence. The Luther- 
ans in the South should be one with those in the 
North, as they had been before the strife, now 
happily over, had begun. (2) The southern Lu- 
therans who had been prominent years before in 
the organization of the General Synod, must still 
feel a deep interest in it and attachment thereto. 
It was chiefly south of the Mason and Dixon line 
that the idea of a union of all the Lutheran Syn- 
ods into one General Synod had originally taken 
deep hold of the churches. Southern churches 
had been among the most devoted friends of the 
General Synod. Because of this deep interest 
prior to the war, in the common good of the Lu- 
theran Church they should reunite with the Gen- 
eral Synod, now that the way is once more open. 
In order that the union might be consummated 
as soon as possible, the Synods in the South were 
urged to elect delegates to represent them at the 
General Synodical Convention to be held at Fort 
Wayne, Indiana, May 17-24, 1866. In an edi- 
torial of the Lutheran Observer, June 30, 1865, 
this suggestion was ably seconded as follows: 
"Therefore, let the Synods of Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, 
elect delegates to the General Synod and send 
them to Fort Wayne which will be the most de- 
lightful ever held. Our Church has a great work 

Lutheran Cliurch Since the CivU War 129 

to do in this country. We should unite every sec- 
tion of it. We should combine our eflforts."* 

The suggestion, however, met with very little 
response of any kind and none officially. The 
southern churches determined to continue the 
Southern General Synod. At the meeting of the 
Southern General Synodical Convention held at 
Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, June 14, 1866, a 
pastoral letter was officially ordered to be pre- 
I>ared which stated that the determination to 
continue the existence of the Southern General 
Synod, was not caused by a desire to perpetuate 
sectional strife or animosity, but by the belief 
that "the prosperity of our beloved Zion in the 
South can best be subserved in this way." The 
reasons why the southern branch refused to re- 
unite at this time may be summarized as follows : 
(1) They maintained that true progress in the 
South demanded independence. The northern 
branch of the Church was numerically stronger 
than the southern and its influence predominated 
in ecclesiastical legislation to the detriment of 
Southern prosperity. The war had made possible 
a Southern General Synod, and the future growth 
and prosperity of the Southern Lutheran Church 
demanded the separate and independent existence 
of that body. (2) Problems peculiar to the South 
demanded southern Lutheran institutions and 
literature. These can best be secured by the 
separate organization of Lutherans in North and 

^Lutheran Observer, June 30, 1865. 

130 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

South. Prior to the war, numbers of the young 
men of the South had attended northern Luther- 
an educational institutions, to the detriment of 
the southern institutions which thus failed to de- 
velop. At the meeting of the Gteneral Synod, 
South, June 14, 1866, this condition of affairs 
was deplored and it was decided to foster and 
sustain southern Lutheran educational institu- 
tions in the future. Prior to the war the southern 
Lutherans had also patronized northern litera- 
ture. During the war they had established their 
own official Church paper. The Southern Lduther- 
(m, and published a "Book of Worship." These 
publications were adapted to their own peculiar 
needs. Henceforth it was resolved to publish 
their own literature. (3 ) There were prospective 
divisions in the General Synod, North. At the 
General Synodical Convention at York, Pennsyl- 
vania, 1864, a serious controversy had arisen 
over the admission of the Franckean Synod, New 
York, to the General Synod. This controversy 
had developed into a serious factional strife 
which threatened to bring about disintegration 
in the general organization. Southern Lutherans 
cited this evidence of factional strife already ex- 
isting, as an argument against reunion, with a 
body which they said already seemed on the eve 
of self-annihilation. (4) The strong anti-seces- 
sion and anti-slavery resolutions adopted by the 
General Synod at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, May, 
1862, likewise prevented reunion. A large num- 
ber of southern Lutherans believed that these 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 131 

resolutions constituted an impassable barrier in 
the way of the return of the southern Synods to 
the General Synod, North.® All of these reasons 
united to present to the southern mind insur- 
mountable barriers in the way of reentrance into 
the General Lutheran Synod. 

At the meeting of the Southern General Sy- 
nodical Convention June 14, 1866, although con- 
tinued separate existence was determined upon, 
yet it seemed advisable because of the restoration 
of the union, that the official title of the body be 
changed from the "General Synod of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church in the Confederate 
States of America," to the "Evangelical Lutheran 
General Synod in North America."* Later still 
(1878) the official title was changed to "The 
General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church of the South.'"^ Because of the union of 
the Tennessee and Holston Synods with the 
southern general organization at Roanoke, Vir- 
ginia, June 23, 1886, the title was again changed 
to "The United Synod of the Evangelical Lu- 
theran Church in the South."' By 1889 the nu- 
merical strength of the Synod was constituted as 
follows : eight district Synods, 189 ministers, 386 
congregations, and 33,929 communicants,^ a body 
which by its numbers at least, gave evidence of 

31/utheran Observer, July 7, 1865. 
^Minutes, Gen. Synod, C. S. A., 1866, p. 27. 
sMinutes, Gen. Synod, South, 1878, p. 18. 
«Minutes, United Synod, South, 1886, p. 52. 
TMinutes, United Synod, South, 1889, p. 78. 


132 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

its prosperous condition. The decision of the 
southern Lutherans for the continued existence 
of a separate body in the South seemed in view of 
circumstances not unwise. The refusal of the 
Lutheran Church in the South to reunite with 

the General Synod, went far toward 
^isii in disrupting the organic union of that 

Synod, North. ^^^J- -^.t the General Synodical 

Convention at York, Pa., 1864, sec- 
tional differences had already arisen which 
threatened its very existence. These differences 
were occasioned by the petition of the Franckean 
Synod, New York, for admission into the Gen- 
eral Synod. Now the Franckean Synod which 
was organized in 1837 had not adopted the Augs- 
burg Confession as its doctrinal basis. This dif- 
ference in doctrine from that of the General 
Synod was the cause of heated discussion as to 
the eligibility of that body, as a member <rf the 
General Synod. After a lengthy debate, how- 
ever, the Franckean Synod was admitted by a 
vote of 97 to 40, on condition that at its next 
regular convention it should adopt the Augsburg 
Confession as its doctrinal basis.^ 

Against this action, twenty-eight delegates, 
under the leadership of the Pennsylvania Synod, 
protested. Beside the Pennsylvania delegates 
there were also the following from other Synods : 
Pittsburgh, 4 ; New York, 4 ; Illinois, 3 ;, Mary- 
land, 2 ; East Pennsylvania, 1 ; Olive Branch, 1 ; 

BMinutes, Gen. Synod, York, 1864, pp. 18-19. 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 133 

Northern Illinois, 1, and Iowa, 1. Their protest 
was based on the ground that the General Synod, 
in admitting the Franckean Synod violated the 
constitution which stated that only Lutheran 
Synods were to be received into the union ; that 
the Franckean Synod was not Lutheran because 
it had not adopted the Augsburg Confession as 
a doctrinal basis®; and that therefore, it should 
not, and could not be admitted. The Pennsyl- 
vania delegates, furthermore withdrew from the 
convention on the ground that the resolution 
adopted at the General Synodical Convention at 
Winchester, Virginia, 1853, in order to satisfy 
the Pennsylvania Synod, when this body reunited 
with the general body, at that time — ^was violated. 
The resolution in question reads as follows: 
"That we neither intend nor ever expect that the 
principles which have hitherto governed our syn- 
od, in respect to Church doctrine and Church life 
shall suffer any change whatever by our con- 
nection with the General Synod, but that should 
the General Synod, as a condition of admission or 
of continuation of membership, require assent to 
anything conflicting with the old and long estab- 
lished faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 
then our delegates are hereby required to protest 
against any such actions, to withdraw from its 
session and to rei>ort to this body."^^ The other 

•Minutes, Gen. Synod, York, Pennsylvania, 1864, p. 23; Ev. 
Review, Vol. 18, p. 122. 

loMinutes, General Synod, York, Pennsylvania, p. 23, 1864; 
Ev. Eeview, Vol. 18, p. 122. 

134 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

delegates who voted in the minority, unlike the 
Pennsylvanians abided by the decision of the ma- 
jority and remained at the convention. 

The final rupture, nevertheless, did not occur 
until the twenty-second convention of the General 
Synod at Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 17-24, 1866. 
The Pennsylvania Synod sent delegates to this 
convention. At the calling of the roll for the 
presentation of credentials of Synodical dele- 
gates, when the Pennsylvania Synod was reached, 
the president of the General Synod, Dr. Sprecher, 
ruled as follows: "The chair regards the act of 
delegates of the Pennsylvania Synod, by which 
they severed their practical relations with the 
General Synod and withdrew from the partner- 
ship of the Synods in the governing functions of 
the General Synod, as the act of the Synod of 
Pennsylvania, that consequently that Synod was 
out of practical union with the General Synod, 
up to the adjournment of the last convention, and 
as we cannot know officially what the actions of 
that Synod has been, since she must be considered 
as in that state of practical withdrawal from the 
governing functions of the General Synod, until 
the General Synod can receive a report of an act 
restoring her practical relations to the General 
Synod; and as no such report can be received 
until said Synod is organized the chair cannot 
know any paper offered at this stage of the pro- 
ceedings of the Synod, as a certificate of delega- 
tion to this body."^^ 

iiMinutes, General Synod, Fort Wayne, 1866, p. 4. 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 135 

After all credentials of undisputed delegates 
were received the decision of the chair was sus- 
tained by a vote of 77 to 24 of those duly ac- 
credited. Afterwards a special committee was 
appointed to consider the case of the Pennsyl- 
vania Synod. On report of that committee a reso- 
lution was passed by the convention, inviting the 
Pennsylvania Synodical delegates to present their 
credentials. This they now refused to do. Every 
advance of the General Synod was met with per- 
sistent silence from the delegates. After debat- 
ing the case Friday and Saturday, the following 
resolution was unanimously adopted : "Resolved, 
That the delegates from the Pennsylvania Synod 
be requested to waive what may seem to them 
an irregular organization of this body, and to 
acquiesce in the present organization."^^ The 
delegates of the Pennsylvania Synod were then 
asked if this resolution would be satisfactory to 
them. The answer was, that it was believed that 
it would. On Saturday evening, it seemed there- 
fore, that the question was settled satisfactorily 
and the unity of the Church would be maintained. 
But on Sunday the Pennsylvania delegates re- 
fused to commune with their brethren. This 
action was followed on the following Tuesday by 
a response by the Pennsylvania delegation to the 
resolution of the General Synod, "arraigning the 
General Synod, denying the constitutionality of 

its organization and consequently the validity of 

■■ • • 

i2Minutes, Fort Wayne, General Synod, 1866, p.Jli;,. 

136 The Lutheran Church and CivH War 

its action, and closed with the demand of such 
acknowledgments from the General Synod, as 
were not only derogatory to its character, but in- 
consistent with the very continuance of its pres- 
ent existence."" To these demands it was utterly 
impossible for the General Synod to accede. 
After very full discussion the final action of the 
General Synod was recorded as follows: "That 
after hearing the response of the delegates of the 
Pennsylvania Synod, we cannot conscientiously 
recede from the action adopted by this body, be- 
lieving after full and careful deliberation, said 
action to have been regular and constitutional, 
but that we reaffirm our readiness to receive the 
delegates of said Synod, as soon as they present 
their credentials in due form."" The result was 
that the delegates of the Pennsylvania Synod 
withdrew. When the Pennsylvania Synod met in 
Lancaster a few weeks later the action of the dele- 
gates was ratified and all unicm with the General 
Synod was severed. At this convention it was 
decided to organize a new general body upon a 
Lutheran basis as advocated primarily by the 
Pennsylvania Synod. At this same convention it 
was decided to issue an invitation *^ all Evan-* 
gelical Lutheran Synods, ministers, and congre- 
gations in the United States and Canada, which 
confess the unaltered Augsburg Confession," in 
order that a General Convention might be held so 

isEvangelical Eeview, Vol. 18, page 130, Art. by Dr. Brown. 
i*Minute8f General Synod, Port Wayne Convention, 1866, p. 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 137 

that the proposed general body might be organ- 
ized. In response to this invitation a convention 
was held at Beading, Pa., December 12-14, 1866, 
attended by representatives from the following 
Synods: Pennsylvania, New York Ministerlum, 
Pittsburgh, Minnesota, English Ohio, Joint 
Synod of Ohio, Pittsburgh, English District- 
Synod of Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Can- 
ada, Norwegian, and Missouri. At this con- 
vention a temporary organization was elBfected 
and it was decided that another convention 
should be held at Fort Wayne, Ind., the following 
year. This convention met, November 20-26, 
when the organization of the general body was 
completed and an official title was adopted as 
follows : "The General Council of the Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Church in North America." 

Statistics of the General Council of 1868 show 
the following : 575 ministers, 1,101 congregations 
and 144,716 communicants.^* 

The General Synod in 1860 comprised about 
two-thirds of the Lutherans in America, however, 
its losses from 1860 to 1868 were enormous, and 
at this time (1868) it comprised about one-fourth 
of the Lutherans in America, namely : 590 min- 
isters, 970 congregations, 86,198 communicant 
members/* However, its vitality was not de- 
stroyed and the next half century witnessed rapid 
growth and development. Statistics of 1918 

i<^Minute6, General Council, 1868, p. 38. 
i«Minutes, General Synod, 1868, p. 68. 

138 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

show it has 1,438 ministers, 1,857 congregations, 
and 364,072 confirmed members/^ 

In order that the history of the Lutheran 
Church since the Civil War may be more com- 
plete, it is necessary to sketch briefly the history 

of the Lutheran Synods other than 
other those which have already been men- 

Bynods. tioned. At the preliminary conven- 

tion held at Beading, Pa., in 1866, 
which resulted in the organization of the General 
Council, one of the Synods represented was that 
of Missouri. The delegates of that body advised 
against the formation of a general organization 
at that time, saying that they thought it would 
be advisable to hold conferences with various 
Synods on points of difference and agreement, 
before the general organizations were effected. 
Their advice was not accepted and at the next con- 
vention of the General Council at Fort Wayne in 
1867, the Missouri Synod was not represented. 

During the next five years negotiations were 
carried on by the various Synods with the Mis- 
souri Synod, for the purpose of forming a union 
of other Synods with that body. Finally at a 
convention held at Milwaukee in 1872 the Synodi- 
cal Conference was organized, composed of Syn- 
ods from the following states : Missouri, Wiscon- 
sin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio, and of the Nor- 
wegians. However, the union so brought about 
was not destined to last long. The Joint Synod 

i^Lutheran Year Book, 1918, p. 99. 

Lntheran Church Since the Civil War 139 

of Ohio withdrew in 1881 and the Norwegians 
followed in 1883. At the present time the Synodi- 
cal Conference is composed of the following Syn- 
ods: Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, 
and Slovak. Statistics of 1918 show that it has 
3,201 ministers, 3,689 congregations, and 807,017 
confirmed members,^® a body which in spite of its 
loss in the eighties is still of no mean size. 

As has been mentioned above, the Joint Synod 
of Ohio withdrew from the Synodical Conference 
in 1881. This separation was due to doctrinal 
and personal controversies and has been main- 
tained ever since. The Synod was originally or- 
ganized September 14, 1918, at Somerset, Ohio. 
Statistics of 1918 show tEat'it has 685 ministers, 
916 congregations, and 138,542 confirmed mem- 

In 1845 another independent Synod was or- 
ganized at Milwaukee, which was known at first 
as the "Synod of Lutheran emigrants from Prus- 
sia." As the name implied its constituency was 
made up mostly of Lutheran emigrants who came 
to America from Prussia, from 1839 on. The 
name of the Synod was afterward changed to 
the Buffalo Synod, because the majority of its 
members were located about Buffalo, N. Y. Sta- 
tistics of 1918 show it has 36 ministers, 49 congre- 
gations and 7,395 confirmed members.^® 

isLutheran Year Book, 1918, p. 99. 
loLutheran Year Book, 1918, p. 100. 
20Lutheran Church Year Book, 1918, p. 100. 

140 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

The Iowa Synod was organized at St. Sebald, 
Iowa, August 24, 1854. For many years it led 
a precarious existence. Through the earnest 
missionary zeal of its pastors and leaders, it 
eventually had a steady growth. Statistics of 
1918 show it has 565 pastors, 1,056 congregations 
and 125,458 confirmed members.^^ 

The Danish Lutherans were brought together 
in an organization in 1872 and again in 1896. 
They have now ( 1918 ) a total of 217 ministers. 
297 congregations and 29,459 confirmed mem- 

The Suomi Synod composed largely of Finnish 
Lutheran constituents was organized at Calumet, 
Michigan, March 25, 1890. Statistics of 1918 
show it has 40 ministers, 151 congregations, and 
16,511 conftrmed members. ^^ 

The Lutheran Free Church composed largely of 
Norwegians, was organized in 1897. It now has 
(1918) 198 pastors, 421 congregations and 20,- 
536 confirmed members.^^ 

The Norwegian Lutheran Church in America 
was organized in June 9, 1917, at St. Paul, Min- 
nesota, by the merging of the three Norwegian 
Synods, the Hauge, the Norwegian and the Unit- 
ed Norwegian." The new organization (1918) 
numbers 1,247 ministers, 3,378 congregations and 
300,000 confirmed members.^^ 

2iLutheraii Church Year Book, 1918, p. 100. 
22Art. Lutheran Quarterly, July, p. 422. 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 141 

Other Lutheran Synods represent a summary 
total of 6,314 ministers, 10,294 congregations, 
and 1,499,136 confirmed members." 

The year 1876 will always stand out promi- 
nently in the history of the Lutheran Church 
since the Civil War*. That year marked the be- 
ginning of a closer union of the Gen- 
Period of eral Synod, South, General Council 
Reconstnio- ^^ General Synod. The first step 
v^olT toward bringing the three Lutheran 
1876-1917. bodies into a closer union and coop- 
eration was made by the General 
Synod, South, when in convention at Staunton, 
Virginia (1876), a resolution was passed which 
proposed that negotiations be oi)ened with the 
General Synod and General Council for the pur- 
pose of preparing a common service hymnal for 
aU English speaking Lutheran Churches in the 
United States.*" Although at that time it was 
thought that such an advanced effort would be 
futile, nevertheless, cooperation was promised, in 
1879 by the General Council," and in 1883 by the 
General Synod. The latter body stated "we here- 
by declare our readiness to labor to this end." 

In the meantime a Joint Committee represent- 
ing the three bodies went to work, and so thor- 
oughly did they accomplish their purpose that at 
Harrisburg, in 1885, the General Synod ratified 
the report of the committee.** The General Coun- 

28Minute8, Gen. Synod, South, 1876, p. 29. 
2«Minutes, Gen. Council, 1879, pp. 34^.35. 
28Minute8, Gen. Synod, 1883, p. 17. 
2ei£inat6B, Gen. Synod, 1885, p. 15 seq. 

142 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

cil and the General Synod, South, did the same. 
The first editions of the new hymnal api)eared in 
1888, published by the General Synod at Phila- 
delphia, Pa., and by the United Synod, South, at 
Columbia, S. C. Shortly after the api)earance 
of the "Common Service," a storm of criticism 
arose against it, in the General Synod from many 
quarters. The two most imi)ortant objections 
raised against it were (1) that it was an historic 
misnomer (2) that it was un-Lutheran. The 
storm centered particularly in the Gteneral Syn- 
od. The liturgical controversies continued for 
several years, occupying a prominent part in the 
discussionis in the General Synodical conven- 
tions at Allegheny, Pa., in 1889; Lebanon, Pa., 
in 1891, and Canton, Ohio, in 1893. At these 
meetings every effort was made to revise or modi- 
fy synodical action previously taken in favor of 
the "Common Service" but in vain.'^^ 

The New Common Service Book and Hymnal, 
which api)eared in 1917 is the result of the work 
begun by the Joint Committee in 1885. The pres- 
ent hymnal is likewise the result of Joint Com- 
mittee plans and work. Thus the work of the 
Joint Committee was the first step in bringing 
about closer cooperation and union of the Gen- 
eral Synod, General Council and United Synod, 

The next step toward closer union with the 
General Synod, North, was taken by the General 

27Gen. Synod Minutes, 1889, p. 54, 1891, p. 57, 1893, pp. 

Lutheran Church Since the Civil War 143 

Synod, South, in 1878, when official fraternal re- 
lations were resumed, — ^after the Southern body 
was assured that the famous war resolutions of 
the General Synod adopted at Lancaster in 1862 
were not meant to reflect upon the Christian 
character of the brethren and members of the 
Southern Synod. At the same time a delegate 
from the General Council was received.^® By the 
renewal of fraternal relations the bitterness of 
sectional strife was removed. 

A still more advanced step looking toward or- 
ganic union of the Lutheran Churches in the 
United States was taken by the General Synod, 
South, at Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1882, 
when the following resolution was passed. "That 
this General Synod does honestly and earnestly 
desire to promote unity and concord between all 
the parts of our Evangelical Lutheran Church 
in this land and stand prepared to cooperate in 
any concurrent movements of other general 
bodies toward an organic union of our entire 
Church upon one unequivocal Lutheran basis.*' 
In consequence of this spirit manifested by the 
Southern Lutheran Church a broader basis was 
laid ui)on which future efforts could be made to 
bring the Lutheran bodies into closer affiliation 
and union. 

For more than a quarter of a century the Gen- 
eral Synod, the General Council, and the United 

28Miiiutes, General Synod, South, 1878, p. 24. 
2»Minute8, General Synod, South, 1882, p. 33. 

144 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

Synod have cooperated in the most fraternal man- 
ner. It was not surprising then that at a meeting 
of the Joint Committee on the Celebration of the 
Quadri-Centennial of the Reformation in Phila- 
delphia, April 18, 1917, representing the General 
Synod, the General Council and the United Syn- 
od, it was resolved to bring about a merger of the 
three bodies, as a fitting memorial of the 400th 
Anniversary of the Reformation. The Presidents 
of the three organizations were requested to form 
a Joint Committee which should formulate a con- 
stitution for the proposed united Church, and to 
present it to the general bodies for their consider- 
ation. Accordingly at the General Synod Con- 
vention held at Chicago, Illinois, June 20-27, 
1917, the proposal of merging the three bodies 
and forming the basis for ^^The United Lutheran 
Church in America," and constitution drawn up 
in pursuance of this plan were presented and 
after careful deliberation was unanimously 
adopted.*^ The General Council Convention held 
in Philadelphia, October 24-29, 1917, endorsed it 
vrithout a dissenting vote,** and the United Synod 
in convention at Salisbury, North Carolina, No- 
vember 6-8, 1917, took similar action.'* 

Later it was arranged to hold the great Merger 
Convention in New York City November 14, 1918. 
In the meantime all of the district Synods of the 
three bodies ratified the constitution of the pro- 

wMiimtes, Gen. Synod, Chicago, 1917, p. 75 seq. 
aiLutheran Church Work and Observer, November 15, 1917. 
82Lutheran Church Visitor, November 15, 1917. 

Lutheran Churcli Since the Civil War 145 

posed merger, with the exception of the Angus- 
tana Synod of the General Council which for- 
mally withdrew November 12, 1918. On Novem- 
ber 15, 1918, the oflficial act of merging was ac- 
complished aud the new organization became 
known as "The United Lutheran Church in 
America." This remarkable accomplishment has 
brought into an organic union 2,754 ministers, 
3,747 congregations and 757,886 confirmed mem- 
bers.** However, the plan is even more far-reach- 
ing whereby it is proposed to nnite all other Lu- 
theran Congregations and Synods in America 
into one general organization. When this is ac- 
complished, "The United Lutheran Church in 
America" will show the following statistics: 
9,788 ministers, 15,266 congregations and 2,448,- 
412 confirmed members.** 

The history of the Lutheran Church in America 
is distinguished primarily by its conservative 
spirit. However, this conservatism has never 
marred the growth and development of the 
Church. If, at times, the Lutheran spirit has 
failed to make itself felt as it ought, this failure 
has been due to controversies in the body of the 
Church and not to the conservatism of the Luther- 
an body. The history of the Church reveals that 
at times violent controversies prevailed, very 
often arising from i>ersonal antipathies rather 
than from problems of doctrine and polity; but 
after the clouds of battle have rolled away, men 

^sLutheran Year Book, 1918, pp. 98-101. 
s^Iiutheran Year Book, 1918, pp. 98-101. 

146 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

have come to see eye to eye and to understand 
each other better ; as a result the Church has ad- 
vanced each time with surer progress. Construc- 
tive scholarship has neither been destroyed or 
checked by the spirit of conservatism. Let it be 
said to the everlasting credit of the Lutheran 
Church, that it has held true to the fundamentals 
of Biblical doctrine and truth which it inherited 
four hundred years ago from the Reformation. 
In this age, with the growing multiplicity of new 
faiths and promulgation of Neo-Bationalism, 
Neo-Stoicism and benevolent humanitarianism, 
the Lutheran Church still holds to the Bible as 
the Word of God and preaches the Gospel of 
Christ as the solution of the problems of life and 
the way of salvation. 

Another distinguishing feature of the Lutheran 
Church is its Americanism. It has a distinct mis- 
sion in America to-day. The Church has a mani- 
fold work to i)erform because of peculiar ability 
to minister to so many people of various tongues. 
It has the responsibility resting upon it of Ameri- 
canizing the vast numbers who have come and 
will continue to come from Lutheran countries to 
the United States. Ex-President Roosevelt, in an 
address at the Memorial Evangelical Lutheran 
Church, Washington, D, C, January 20, 1905, 
emphasized this responsibility when he said: 
"Therefore the Lutheran Church can do most in 
helping upward and onward so many of the new- 
comers to our shores and it seems to me that it 
should be, I am tempted to say, well nigh the duty 

Lutheran Church Since the CivU War 147 

of this Church to see that the immigrant, especial- 
ly the immigant of the Lutheran faith, from the 
Old World, who comes from Scaudinavia or Ger- 
many, or whether he belonged to one of the Lu- 
theran countries of Finland or Hungary of 
Austria may not be suffered to drift off, with no 
friendly hand extended to him, out of all the 
Church communion, away from all the influences 
that tend toward safeguarding and uplifting him, 
and that he find ready at hand, in this country, 
those eager to bring him into fellowship with the 
existing bodies. The Lutheran Church of this 
country is of very great power numerically and 
through the intelligence and thrift of its mem- 
bers, but it will grow steadily to even greater 
power. It is destined to be one of the two or three 
Churches most distinctly American, among the 
forces that are to tell for making this great coun- 
try even greater in the future. Therefore, a 'pe- 
culiar load of responsibility rests upon the mem- 
bers of this Church."** Consequently it is a God- 
given duty, privilege and responsibility to the Lu- 
theran Church in America, to uphold, develop, 
and i)erpetuate the ideals of religious and civic 
liberty, as promulgated by the Protestant Refor- 
mation, upon which the whole national structure 
of the United States rests. 

86Ex-Ptesident Eoosevelt 's Speech^ p. 4 seq. 


I. Primary Sources. 

Minutes of General and District Lutheran Synod- 
ical Bodies as follows : 

(a) Proceedings of Conventions in the United 
States of America General Synod, 1862, 1864, 1866, 
1868, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1891, 1893, 1917. 

2. District Conventions of General Synod held an- 
nually. Minutes of District Synods consulted as fol- 

Franckean, 1837, 1838, 1840, 1843, 1845, 1851, 1861. 

Pittsburgh, 1846. 

East Ohio, 1861. 

New York Ministerium, 1861. 

East Pennsylvania, 1861. 

Wittenberg, 1862. 

West Pennsylvania, 1865. 

3. Proceedings of Convention of General and Dis- 
trict Lutheran Synodical bodies in the Confederate 
States of America as follows : 

General Synod, 1863, 1864, 1866. 

District Conventions of General Synod held an- 
nually. Minutes of District Synods consulted as f ol- 
lows * 

Vii^inia, 1861. 1862. 

South Carolina, 1862. 

North Carolina, 1862, 1863, 1865. 

4. After the Civil War the Southern Lutheran 
Church continued its independent existence but 
changed its official name and title several times. The 
following minutes of conventions relate to the South- 


150 The Lutheran Church and Civil War 

em Church since the dose of the Civil War. The ref- 
erences relate to the conventions of the General Or- 

Evangelical Lutheran Church of the South, 1876| 
1878, 1882. 

United Synod of Lutheran Church, South, 1886, 

5. As result of factional strife in the ^'Oeneral 
Synod of the Lutheran Church, U. S. A.," the "Gen- 
eral Council of the Lutheran Church of North Ameri- 
ca" was organized 1866-1867. 

The following references relate to minutes of Gen- 
eral Council Conventions : 

General Council, 1868-1879. 

Copies of the above minutes may be found in the 
Historical Library of the Lutheran Theological Semi- 
nary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and also in the 
Krauth Memorial Library of the Mount Airy Lu- 
theran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 


The Lutheran Observer, published at Baltimore, 
Maryland, from 1860 to 1865. 

The Missionary, published at Pittsburgh, Pennsyl- 
vania, 1861, then changed to Lutheran and Missionary 
and published at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 
1861 to 1864. 

Lutheran Church Work and Observer, (established 
1912), official weekly paper of General Synod, pub- 
lished at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, November 15, 1917. 

Lutheran Church Visitor, official weekly, paper of 
United Synod, South, published at Columbia, South 
Carolina, for November 18, 1917. 

Bibliograpliy 151 

Lutheran Almanac, 1861, and Lutheran Year Book 
for 1918. 

Hartvnck Seminary Monthly, Volume X, Number 
48, published by Hartwiek Seminary, New York. 

Copies of the above papers and magazines may be 
found in the Historical Library of the Lutheran Theo- 
logical Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and also 
at Krauth Memorial Library, Mount Airy Lutheran 
Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 


Adam^ Sentinel and General Advertiser, August 18, 
1863, weekly newspaper published at Gettysburg, 

Century Growth of Population, 1790-1900, 303 
pages — ^Bureau of the Census, Washington Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1909. 

Congress, Journals of Volume 4, April 6, 1776 — 
Pennsylvania Historical Society Library, Philadel- 
phia, Pennsylvania. 

Consecration of Cemetery at Gettysburg, Collection 
of Documents — 88 pages, published by Little, Brown 
& Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 

Documentary History Lutheran Ministerium of 
Pennsylvania and Adjacent States from 1748 to 1821 
— 619 pages, published by General Council Board, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1898. 

Roosevelt, Ex-President Theodore, address at reop- 
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pages. Published by the Lutheran Board of Educa- 
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Schneck, B, 8, Burning of Chambershurg, Pennsyl- 
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152 The Lutheran Ghnrch and Giyil War 

Society of American Colonization. Reports, Vol- 
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Published by Swank, Philadelphia, 1884. 

The Seventy-fifth Tear. A History of the Second 
Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1836-1911. Also a 
brief history of Qeneral Synod Lutheranism in the 
Cumberland Valley. Repository Press, Chambersburg, 
Pennsylvania, 1911. 

Tiffany, C. C, History Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the United States, 593 pages. Published by the 
Christian Literature Company, New York, 1895. 

Turner, E. B. Negro in Pennsylvania; slavery, 
servitude, freedom, 1639-1861, 314 pages, Washington, 
D. C, American Historical Association, 1911 (Ameri- 
can Historical Association, Publications). 

Turner, F. J. The Rise of the New West, 1819-1829, 
366 pages. Published by Harper, New York, 1906. 

Tyerman, Luke, Life and Times of John Wesley, 
founder of the Methodists, with an appendix by Abel 
Stevens, 3 volumes. Published by Harper, New York, 

Wiel, A., Venice, 475 pages. Published by T. Fish- 
er, TJnwin, London, 1894. 

Wilsons, Henry, Slave Power in America, in three 
volumes. Published by Osgood, Boston, 1873-1877. 

Wolf, E. J. Lutherans in America, 544 pages. 
Published by Hill & Company, New York, 1890. 


The following list of Lutheran Synodical Minutes 
was carefully consulted, but no references were found 
to give any additional information on the slavery 
discussion : 

General Synod, from 1819-1859. 

AUegheny, 1842-1867. 

Central Pennsylvania, 1855-1865. 

Bast Ohio, 1856-1860. 

East Pennsylvania, 1842-1861. 

Hartwick, 1831-1865. 

Iowa, 1856-1865. 

Kentucky, 1834-1865. 

Illinois, 1846-1865. 

Northern Illinois, 1851-1865. 

Olive Branch of Indiana, 1855-1865. 

Northern Indiana, 1855-1865. 

Melanchthon, 1857-1865. 

Mississippi, 1857-1858. 

Miami, 1845-1865. 

Pittsburgh, 1847-1865. 

West Pennsylvania, 1824-1860. 

Indiana, 1836-1855. 

Wittenberg, 1850-1865. 

Southern Illinois, 1857-1865. 

Pennsylvania Ministerium, 1813-1865. 

Virginia, 1831-1860. 

West Virginia, 1842-1860. 

North Carolina, 1803-1860. 

South Carolina, 1824, 1860. 

Tennessee, 1820-1865. 

Copies of the above minutes may be found in the 
Historical Library, Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, 



AbolitioniatSy The, 45 seq. 

Adams, John Quiney, 46. 

AdolphuB, GuBtavus, 18. 

Alden, L. Bussell^ Introduc- 
tion by, 10. 

Ameriean and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery Soeiety, 56. 

Anti-slavery sentiment, growth, 

Augsburg Confession, 131. 


Bachman, John, 95. 
Baptist Church, 53. 
Baptists, Free Will, 53. 
Baugher, H. L., 115, 117. 
Bibliography, 148 seq. 
Bill, The Fugitive Slave, 62; 

Kansas-Nebraska, 63. 
Bittle, D. F., 95. 
Brown, J. A., 123. 


Chambersburg, Burning of, 

86, 87. 
Colonization, Society, 58. 
Conditions in 1860, 65'; in 

1861, 70; in 1865, 88. 
Confederate clergy, address 

of, 103 seq. 
Contents, 13. 
Constitutional emancipation, 

Constitution and slavery, 33. 
Cotton gin, invention of, 34. 

Danish Lutherans, 140. 

Douglas, Senator, 63. 
Dutch Lutherans, 17. 


Emigration, causes for Euro- 
pean to America, 15. 

Everett, Hon. Edward, 115 


Free-staters, 64. 


"Gag-resolution," 46. 
Garrison, William Lloyd, 45. 
General Council, 136, 137, 143- 

German services, 39; settlers, 

40 seq. 


Huguenots, 17. 


Institutions, Lutheran and the 
War, 110 seq. 

Interdenominational Coopera- 
tion, 84. 

Introduction, 7 seq. 


Jacobs, Professor M., 112. 
Jefferson, Thomas, 33. 

Kentucky, 68. 


Lincoln, President, 65, 80, 

Lintner, G. A., 79. 
Louisiana, Purchase of, 35. 




Lutheran, Church in America 
to 1820^ 15 seq.; German, 
20 seq.; Free Church, 140; 
North, 70 seq.; Since Civil 
War, 127 seq.; South, 89 
seq.; Slavery Prior to Civil 
War, 40 seq.; Southern, 99 
seq.; Suffering of, 86, 105; 
United in America, 144 seq. 

Lutheran Observer, 65, 70, 

M . 

Maine, 38. 

Massachusetts, 32. 

Methodists, 40, 48 seq.; 63. 

Missionary, 23; The, 71. 

Missouri Compromise, 36 seq. 

Muhlenberg, Heinrich Mel- 
chior, 24; Professor, 111. 


National Cemetery, 114 seq. 
Newberry College, 123 seq. 
Norwegian Lutheran Church 
in America, 14P. 


Palatinate, 20. 
Passavant, W. A., 77. 
Pennsylvania College, 110 seq. 
Pierce, President, 64. 
Pilgrims, 17. 
Pohlman, H. N., 79. 
Presbyterians, 40, 61; Old 

and New School, 51. 
Protestant Episcopal, 20, 40. 
Puritans, 17. 


Beconstruction, Period of, 141 

Besolutions, 74 seq.; Debate 

on, 76 seq. 

Revolutionary Period, 25^ 31. 
Boanoke College, 119 seq. 
Boosevelt, President, 146 seq. 


Salzburgers, 22 seq. 

Schoharie, 21. 

Sectionalism, 64. 

Slavery in America to 1820, 
28 seq.; and Church, 28, 47 
seq. ; Colonial sentiments, 
29; early attitude, 29; and 
Lutheranism, 54. 

Slave-holding, Scotch, 43 ; 
Dutch, 43; German, 43; 
English and Welsh, 43. 

Sprecher, S., 77. 

Sternberg, L., 79. 

Stork, T., 76, 79. 

Stuyvesant, Peter, 17. 

Swedish Lutherans, 18 seq. 

Synod, Allegheny, 68, 74; 
Buffalo, 69, 139; Central 
Pa., 74; East Ohio, 74; 
East Pa., 68, 73, 74, 131; 
East Wittenberg, 68; Eng 
lish Ohio, 68, 74; Franck- 
ean, 45, 57, 58, 59, 69, 7a, 
132; General, 59; Post- 
ponement, 65-66; Conven- 
tion, 72, 84, 144; C. S. A., 
92 seq.; Crisis in North, 
132 seq., 136; South, 140, 
141, 142; German, Iowa, 
68; HJartwick, 74; Dlinois, 
74, 131, 137; Northern, 68, 
73, 131; Southern, 68, 74; 
Indiana, 68; Iowa, 68, 74, 
131, 135; Joint Missouri, 
68; Ohio, 68, 138; Ken- 
tucky, 68, 74; Maryland, 
26, 68, 74, 131; Melanch- 
thon, 68, 74; Miami, 74;