Individual Stories

Amasa Converse (1795-1872)

Amasa Converse founded the Christian Observer in 1840. After the Civil War, it became the flagship newspaper of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. In his unfinished autobiography, Converse recorded his view on the volatile debates over slavery, which had split the Presbyterian church before the war:

"…In 1854 and afterwards while…the Christian Observer was pursuing the even tenor of its way, and gaining many new patrons, the abolition party was not at rest.

The Church had repeatedly recorded its judgment on the subject of slavery: but nothing which the Church could say in its General Assembly seemed to quiet the agitators, the demand was reiterated by that party and continued from year to year for more action.

At length in the New School Assembly of 1857, the blow was struck which severed the commissioners of the Southern from all connection with the Church in the Northern New School Assembly…"

To read more about Amasa Converse and the Christian Observer, please click here.