History of the American Missionary Association:
Its Churches and Educational Institutions among
The Freedmen, Indians and the Chinese
Index: Lieut Gedney, New London, U. S. District Court, New Haven, Africa, Havana, Principe, U. S. supreme court, Queen of Spain, John quincy Adams, Roger S. Baldwin, Framington Ct., Union Missionary Society, Hartford Ct., Amistad
Committee, Kaw Mendi, West Africa, American Missionary Association, Committee for West India Missions, Rev. David S. Ingraham, Lane Seminary, Oberline, Jamaica, The Western Evangelical Missionary Society, Western Reserve
Association, Minnesota, Canada, Jamaica, Sandwich Islands, Siam, Home Department, Moravian Kentucky, North Carolina
1 The Union Missionary Society. The society was organized on May 5, 1841 by Rev. James W. C. Pennington. This
committee was an organization of African-Americans. On August 18, 1841 a convent was held in Hartford, Connecticut
to consider the Missions to Africa. Forty-three needs were enrolled (mostly African-Americans) from Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. This total included five of the Mendi. At this meeting Rev. J.
W. C. Pennington was chosed President' Rev. A. G. Beman, Corresponding Secretary; Rev. Theodore S. Wright,
Treasurer, Ichabod Codding, Chairman of the Board of Managers; and Rev. Josiah Brewer, Chairman of the Executive
Committee. The Amisted Committee would unite with this committee.
2. The Union Missionary Society in May 1844 started the publication of a monthly paper entitled Union Missionary.
3. Committee for the West India Missions followed in the footsteps of Rev. David S. Ingraham a former member of
Lane Seminary in Ohio then Oberline who was the first to enter the mission field among the emancipated people of
Jamaica in 1837. In the fall of 1839 five Congregational ministers sailed from New York to join this mission. The
association was formed as the Congregational Association of Jamaica on November 4, 1842. A committee was formed
on behalf of the mission: Wm. Jackson, J. P. Williston, Marshall S. Scudder, Prof. William Smyth, Josiah Chapin, Lewis
Tappan, Sam'l Osgood, D. D., Rev. Amos A. Phelps, James M. Whiton, Rev. John M. Whiton, and John T. Norton. The
committee issued a "Quarterly Report," that included letters from the missionaries, information about Jamaica and
information on the importance of the mission.
Oberlin students with their wives were the first missionaries to support Rev. Ingraham. In the fall of 1838 Revs. J. O.
Beardalee, Amos Dresser, Ralph Tyler, C. Steward Renshaw and George L. Hovey joined Rev. Ingraham in Jamacia. In
1858 Thorton Bigelow Penfield and Sarah Corban Ingram were married and commissioned as missionaries of the AMA
for Jamacia. She was the daughter of David Ingraham.
4. There were eight stations of the Mission: Brainard - Missionaries - Rev. A. M. Richardson, Mrs. Richardson;
Teachers - A. Moffat, Mrs. Moffatt, A. B. Hills, Mrs. Hills' Assistants - W. J. Davis, L. J. Henry. Elliot. -- Missionaries --
Rev. L. Thompson, Mrs. Thompson; Teacher -- Miss Lucy Woodcock. Union (embracing Hermitage and Chesterfield).
Missionaries - Rev. S. T. Wolcott, Mrs. Wolcott; Teacher, (at Chesterfield) Miss Mary Dean. Devon Pen. - Missionaries -
Rev. C. B. Venning, Mrs. Venning. Oberlin. - Missionaries - Rev. P. M. Way, Mrs. Way; Teacher - Charles Sims.
Providence. Missionaries - Rev. H. B. Hall, Mrs. Hall; Teacher - Miss Maria Hicks. Brandon - Out station of Providence,
under the charge of Mr. Hall. Golden Vale. - Missionaries - Rev. A. D. Olds, Mrs. Olds; Teacher - H. Myers; Teacher at
Rock River, Miss Margaret Stuart.
5. The Western Evangelical Missionary Society was formed in 1843 by the Western Reserve Association. Its
objective was to prosecute missionary operations among the Western Indians. The society established a mission
among the Ojibue (Chipaway) Indians in the Minnesota Territory.
6. They merged with the American Missionary Association in 1848.
7. The Western Evangelical Missionary Society had four stations: Red Lake Station with missionaries Rev. S. G. Wright,
Robert Lafferty, E. W. Carver, O. A. Coe, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Lafferty, Mrs. Carver, Mrs. Coe. Cass Lake Station -
Missionaries J. S. Fisher, Francis Sprees, Mrs. Spees, Mrs. Fisher, Miss Ferry. St. Joseph Station - Missionaries - Rev.
A. Barnard, David B. Spencer, Mrs. Barnard. Belle Praire Station - Dr. William Lewis, Physician and Teacher; Mrs.
Lewis. Rev. J. P. Bardwell was the agent of the mission.
6. Founding of the American Missionary Association. In 1846 a call was issued for a Convention of friends of bible
Missions to be held at Syracuse N. Y. on February 18th. An address was given by the Rev. A. A. Phelps on the position
of the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missions
7. The committee developed the following points:
(1). An enlargement of the Mendi Mission, including the establishment of schools.
(2) The employment of missionaries to Hayti, and British Guiana.
(3) The employment of one or more missionaries among the Indians on this continent.
(4) The employment of missionaries to labor in the slave States.
(5) Sustaining ministers and churches, who embrace anti-slavery principles, in the slave States.
(6) Affording aid to missionaries in foreign lands, and in this country, who have support withdrawn from them, or who
voluntarily relinquish it, on account of their anti-slavery principles and preaching.
(7) Affording aid to ministers in establishing new churches where they have been dismissed on account of their
(8) Employing missionaries in the free States, and in Canada.
(9) Establishing new missions in heathen countries, especially in such places as an anti-slavery gospel is not preached.
8. Louis Tappan was the Corresponding Sec.
9. The following persons were appointed a Committee on calling a general Missionary Convention: Gerrit Smith, William
Goodell, A. A. Phelps, Lewis Tappan, and Marshall S. Scudder.
10. At the Convention was held at Alabany on the 2 of September 1846. The association was incorporated January 30,
1849. Rev. J. H. Payne of Illinois presided. Rev. J. W. C. Pennington and John H. Byrd were secretaries. The Executive
committee was Arthur Tappan, Theo. S. Wright, Simeon S. Jocelyn, Amos A. Phelps, Charles B. Ray, J. R. Johnson, S.
E. Cornish, William H. Pillow, William E. Whiting, J. W. C. Pennington, Josiah Brewer, and Edward Weed.
Other members of the executive committee during the War of Rebellion and after included: During the war, among
those who shaped the history of the Association as its Executive Committee were Rev. William B. Brown, D.D.,
1855-1880, and Rev. John Milton Holmes, 1862-1869. At this time the Corresponding Secretaries and Field Secretaries
were members of the Executive Committee and were largely responsible both for the plans of the work and for their
execution. Of prominent names on the Executive Committee since, there were Hon. Samuel Holmes, who served with
great faithfulness and constancy of devotion for thirty-three years; General O. O. Howard; General Clinton B. Fisk,
1875-1890; Mr. Charles L. Mead, 1875-1898; Dr. Lyman Abbott for ten years; Dr. A. J. Lyman, fourteen years; Dr. J. W.
Cooper, sixteen years; Dr. Elijah Horr, twelve years, and Dr. Nehemiah Boynton, ten years. Of the present members
those longest in service are Mr. Charles A. Hull, twenty-five years, and for several years chairman of the Committee; Dr.
William H. Ward, twenty-seven years; Dr. L. C. Warner, sixteen years, and Dr. Lewellyn Pratt, eleven years.
The corresponding secretaries: The Corresponding Secretaries, previous to changes which came by the outbreak of
the Civil War, were Rev. George Whipple, D.D., from 1847 to 1876, and Rev. S. S. Jocelyn, from 1853 to 1863. In 1864
Rev. M. E. Strieby, D.d., succeeded Mr. Jocelyn and continued until 1895, when he was appointed "Honorary
Secretary," which office he held until his death. Rev. J. R. Shipherd served for two years, from 1866; and Rev. W. W.
Patton, D.d., for two years from 1868. Rev. James Powell, D.d., who had served both as District Secretary and
Associate Corresponding Secretary, was Corre* sponding Secretary in 1887 and died in the same year. Rev. A. F.
Beard, D.d., who was called from the American Church in Paris, France, to be Associate Corresponding Secretary in
1884, was elected Corresponding Secretary in 1887. After a service of eighteen years in this capacity, Dr. Beard was
elected " Honorary Secretary and Editor." Rev. Frank P. Woodbury, D.d., was Corresponding Secretary from 1890 to
1905. Rev. C. J. Ryder, D.d., who was Assistant Corresponding Secretary in 1892, became a Corresponding Secretary
in 1895. Rev. James W. Cooper, D.d., was elected Senior Corresponding Secretary in 1903.
Treasurer: The first Treasurer, Lewis Tappan, served, from 1846, nineteen years. He was succeeded by Exlgar
Ketchum, who was Treasurer from 1866 to 1879. In 1876 Henry W. Hubbard was called from Fisk University as
Assistant Treasurer, and was appointed Treasurer in 1879. (See Officers for 1872)
11. The following articles were part of its Constitution (see Constitution of American Missionary for full constitution):
Art. II. The object of this Society shall be to send the gospel to those portions of our own and other countries which are
destitute of it, or which present open and urgent fields of effort.
Art. VIII. Any person of evangelical sentiments, who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not a slaveholder, or
in the practice of other immoralities, and who contributes to the funds may become a member of the Society, and by the
payment of thirty dollars, a life member; provided that children and youth who have not professed their faith, may be
constituted life members without the privilege of voting.
Art. IX. Churches and other local missionary bodies, agreeing to the principles of this Society, and wishing to appoint
and sustain missionaries of their own, shall be entitled to do so through the agency of the Executive Committee, on
terms mutually agreed upon.
12. Understanding Art. VIII: By evangelical sentiments we understand, among others, a belief in the guilty and lost
condition of all men without a Savior; the Supreme Deity, incarnation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the only
Savior of the world; the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit; repentance, faith, and holy obedience, in order to
salvation; the immortality of the soutl; and the retributions of the Judgment, in the eternal punishment of the wicked, and
salvation of the righteous.
13. The executive committee that was chosen was Hon. William Jackson of Massachusetts (President), Professor
George Whipple of Ohio, Corresponding Secretary; Lewis Tappan of New York, Treasurer. The executive committee
was located in New York.
14. The first annual meeting was held on September 29, 1847. The new society had raised $13,033.67 and spent
15. Foreign Missions: Hawaii, Siam.and Copts. Five missionary stations were established in the Sandwich isles
under the American Missionary Association including Makawao and Keokea. The Siam Mission was adopted in 1848.
Rev. D. B. Bradley, M. D. and Rev. Jesse Caswell started in Bangkok. Rev. D. B. Bradley, Md and his wife Rev. John
Silsby and his wife and Rev. L. B. Lane, M. D. and his wife became part of this mission. The Copt mission (in Egypt) had
as missionaries Rev. C. F. Martin, Lazarus S. Murad, and Mrs. Martin.
By 1854 there were seventy-four missionaries located in Africa, Jamaica, the Sandwich Islands, Siam, Egypt, Canada
among the fugitive slaves, and among the Indians in North America.
|Second President of the
American Missionary Association
|First President of the
American Missionary Association