Google+ Georgia On My Mind: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Methodist Split According to Andrew

It is already well known the issue of slavery was very divisive in the United States prior to the Civil War. The issue split families, split friendships, split business ties, and even split church denominations including the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Prior to the 1844 split the Methodist church in America was referred to as the Methodist Episcopal Church, and it was during their 1844 conference that the church had to face the issue of slavery head-on. The controversy centered on Bishop James Osgood Andrew, a Georgia Methodist minister who found himself in the position of slave owner not once but a few times even though records suggest he never actually purchased the slaves.

During the 1844 conference a resolution remembered as the Finley Resolution was passed by delegates asking Bishop Andrew to step down from his position as long as he had slaves in his possession. In retaliation many of the southerners drew up a Plan of Separation, and they withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church. The newly formed Methodist Episcopal Church, South held their first conference in Virginia in 1846.

The split in the church resulted in two factions…one in the north where many members supported the abolitionist movement, and one in the south where views were somewhat different regarding holding slaves.

A Time magazine article from March, 1923 advises many Southerners argued that the issue of slavery was a civil issue and not a religious one. Southerners also argued against the Finley Resolution stating that by passing it the resolution would serve to destroy the church in states where emancipation of slaves was prohibited. The resolution passed by a vote of 110 to 69.
The Methodist churches in Georgia followed in lock-step other Methodists across the south and joined the newly formed Method Episcopal Church, South.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia states:

Despite such divisions, in 1861 the Georgia Conference of the MECS retained a clear majority of the Methodists in the state. The MECS remained active during the Civil War, providing chaplains and religious material to Confederate soldiers.

On the flip-side the Time article advises:

During the Civil War, Lincoln said of the Methodist Church in the North that it “sent more soldiers into the field, more nurses to the hospitals, and more prayers to heaven than any other.”

I happened upon the Time article while I was researching something else and decided to find out more about the split in the church. When I teach students about the American Revolution we always take a look at major denominations and how they influenced the cry for liberty or the cry for long live the king. I think it would be interesting to present the same information to students regarding the influence of the church approximately seventy years after the Declaration of Independence during the years leading up to the Civil War.

Bishop Andrew’s story opens up many questions such as:

How did a religious man condone slavery?

How did Bishop Andrew end up with slaves if he didn’t purchase them?

Why would it matter if slavery was considered a civil or religious issue?

Why couldn’t Bishop Andrew just free the slaves if he was the owner and his owning them was causing issues in the church?

James Osgood Andrew was a native Georgian and the son of John Andrew, the first native Georgian to enter the Methodist ministry. It would seem that there is no firm paper-trail regarding how Bishop Andrew ended up owning slaves, but the most accepted story is he became a slave owner through his wives. An article at New Georgia Encyclopedia suggests Bishop Andrew married Ann Amelia MacFarlane in 1816. When she died in 1842, she left the ownership of a slave to him. Andrew’s second wife, Leonora Greenwood, owned slaves as well and upon her death Bishop Andrew took possession of them.

The same article referenced above from New Georgia Encyclopedia states:

Some evidence exists, however, to suggest that Andrew may have first acquired slaves earlier than 1842. A man named James Osgood Andrew is listed on the 1830 Athens census as the owner of two slaves, although this man may not have been the bishop. The U.S. census of 1840, taken four years after Andrew is known to have moved to Newton County, lists him as a resident of that county and the owner of thirteen slaves.

The issue remains murky as there were no laws that required any recordation of bills of sale regarding slaves .

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t that easy for Bishop Andrew to free the slaves that had been willed to him. Going all the way back to 1801 the state of Georgia General Assembly had passed legislation banning manumission of negro slaves. The same law (Georgia Laws 1801, Vol. 1, page 71 Sequential #024) also made it illegal for the Clerk of Superior Court or any Officer of the state to record a manumission. By 1815, the law was amended (Georgia Laws 1815, Vol 1, Page 15 Sequential #010) to allow recording of Wills and Testaments that call for manumission of slaves as long as said Will [did] not have for its object the manumission of slaves only. Parts of the said Will pertaining to the manumission of slaves [were] to be disregarded. Wills whose sole object [was] the manumission of a slave or slaves [could not] legally be recorded. Finally, in 1859, the Georgia General Assembly passed an act making it illegal to free a slave on the death of the master within or without the state though a Supreme Court Decision states that a slave can be removed to another state by the executor(s) of the will to be set free providing all estate debts of the late owner have been paid (Georgia Laws 1859, Vol. 1, Page 68 Sequential #093, Law #091)

Clearly Bishop Andrew had a dilemma…a dilemma that would be the perfect fodder for my students to research, analyze, and discuss.

Throw in the story of Miss Kitty and Bishop Andrew I’ve posted at History Is Elementary (see the link below) and the story takes on a real twist.

We end up with a clergyman who finds he owns slaves but didn’t purchase them…yet he can’t free them because he will then be in violation of state law and subject to fines and arrest. He could sell the slaves under his ownership, but they might end up in a worse condition with a master who would treat them poorly…as if being a slave wasn’t poor treatment enough. To make matters worse Bishop Andrew then becomes the focus of the split in the Methodist Church.

Bishop Andrew did lead the Southern churches in their split and later became the first bishop of the newly formed Methodist Episcopal Church, South. During the Civil War he resided in Alabama and retired from his post in 1866. Bishop Andrew is buried in Oxford, Georgia and is remembered as the namesake for Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia.

The Time article from 1923 I reference to above indicates there were two Georgia clergymen who prompted this split in the Methodist church. I was only able to find information regarding Bishop Andrew. If someone knows the identity of the other minister please drop me an email or leave a comment.

The Methodist Episcopal Church remained split until Reconstruction when talks began to unify the two factions, but it actually took until 1939 for the two divisions to become one again.

A History of the Methodist Church, South in the United States by Gross Alexander, D.D. written in 1894 is a good resource to read online regarding the Methodist Church. Information regarding the Finley Resolution begins around page 23.

For more on the story of Bishop James Osgood Andrew visit my post at History Is Elementary titled From Eye of the Beholder to Presenting History Accurately

Friday, January 9, 2009

Georgia Carnival: Edition 51

Welcome to the Georgia Blog Carnival!

The bloggers featured here are all part of the extensive list of bloggers from Georgia I have listed in the right sidebar of this site. The blog roll has not now been completely rebuilt from scratch and is no longer hosted by, so I can add and delete as I need to…finally. In case you missed them the latest blogs added to the blog roll are here.

Any Georgia blogger can submit a post to the carnival, or a blogger from another state or country can submit a post for inclusion if the topic is Georgia related.

Our monthly format will continue for at least a couple of more months as I’m scheduled for surgery on the 26th. I appreciate each and every person who continues to submit to the carnival even though I haven’t been doing the best with it that I could. Things will improve by February.

The next carnival will be published here at Georgia on My Mind on Friday, February 13th. Submissions will be due Thursday, February 12th.

If you maintain a Georgia blog and would like to host the carnival at your site e-mail me to set up a date. It’s a great way to put your own personal spin on the carnival.

The last edition of carnival can be found here, and the carnival archives are found here.

Since January seems to be the month we all make lists….lists of things to do, goals to achieve, resolutions to keep, etc. I thought it appropriate to present the carnival in list format.

Now on to the carnival:

Angela M. Otwell presents Voices in My Head posted at amo.

Steve Williams presents Ideas For More Road Money posted at The Georgia Road Geek.

Kevin Fleming presents Watch NCIS Episodes Online and Watch Lost Season 5 Episodes Online posted at Satellite TV Guru.

at Got Bible? I’ve posted Living the Christian Life and over at History Is Elementary I’ve posted The Great State of Franklin.

William Cotter presents Pragmatist In A Pear Tree and Bunker Mentality posted at Paw Paw Bill.

Felicia Haywood presents where abandoned projects go to die posted at Fluffy Flowers.

Well, that’s it for this edition of the Georgia Carnival.

Please support these fine Georgia bloggers by letting them know you have visited them with a comment. Your continued support with your links and shout-outs at your site helps to alert others to what we Georgia bloggers have to offer.

The next edition of the carnival will be found here at Georgia on My Mind on Friday, February 13th. Posts can be sent to or use the handy submission form. Submissions are due by Thursday, February 12th by 6:00 p.m.

Thanks for your continued support of the Georgia Carnival!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wordless: Centennial Olympic Park

This is a short video about the park that was front and center during the 1996 Summer Olympics:

Check out other bloggers who are participating in Wordless Wednesday here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Beginning 2009 with New Georgia Blogs

With the arrival of 2009 this blog is now officially two years old, and even with a few twists and turns and stops and starts...I'm still here.

What a better way to begin the New Year than with some new additions to the blogroll.

Here they are:

The Underwriter- This blogger writes about hip-hop culture, politics, death, sex, alcohol….well, really just about everything. In his own profile, The Underwriter states he is a crusader. He is not arrogant, but he is a brilliant genius and is God’s gift to the Internet. He rules over all fraudulent critics and he can destroy you with a single paragraph. In a recent post The Underwriter lives to see 2009.

The Georgia Conservative-Another great Georgia political blog! The Georgia Conservative is written by Bill Mauldin. In a recent posting Bill laments Cynthia McKinney Returns. Our Georgia Conservative says, The darling of Georgia, that modern day Scarlett O-Hara of the south has done it again. Yes, friends and neighbors, just when you hoped the nightmare was over, Cynthia McKinney comes out of the woods to embarrass us once again. It seems that causing a stir at the capitol with a little face slapping, losing her seat in Congress, and losing a bid for the White House as the first African American /female president (I’m sure Obama and Hillary were worried) just wasn’t enough. She has seemingly injected herself into a warzone, and as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!, she’s on the wrong side.

Ken's Place- I found Ken’s blog through my weekly participation in the Wordless Wednesday meme. I recognized his header image as something local and discovered Ken is a Marietta boy. Ken uses his blog to post a picture a day, and in his everyday life he is a photographer. His professional blog can be found here. Did you see the night sky Friday night? Ken did. It’s a great shot.

Rose Cottage- This blog is related to Ken’s Place in that the author of Rose Cottage is Ken’s wife. The tagline states featuring the loquacious ramblings of Jamie: homemaker, homeschooler, tea-drinker, flower-gardener, bookworm, shutterbug, wife and mama….all rolled into one. Prior to the New Year Jamie wrote about the Ministry of the Mailbox….We are all called to encourage one another. As part of my intentional living, I want to become more of an encourager, and writing letters and notes is one way I can do this. Jamie….I couldn’t agree more. Jamie also blogs at Rambling Rose, a blog she uses as a Bible study tool.

Old Tybee Ranger-The writer of this blog tells me that if he were to characterize his blog he would say it is a commentary on politics, current events, cultural history, and the American experience. He goes on further to state he can’t narrow it down more than that as he was trained to observe and understand “the big picture” and spent almost 37 years in a career perfectly designed for that perspective. On the Tenth Day is a recent post that discusses the old Christmas favorite, ..A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd as well as Dylan Thomas who wrote A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Don’t miss the video Old Tybee Ranger included of Thomas reading Do not go gently Into that good night. Good stuff!

Southside Atlanta Memories- The tagline states…Living, moving around the south side of Atlanta, Georgia in the 20th century, looking, linking for a great 21st. Archival photos, links to songs, other media, and especially other fun ATL related sites. One post in particular caught my attention… Life Magazine Pics of Georgia Military Academy aka Woodward…I’m a 1980 graduate of Woodward Academy, and I love any old photos of the south side institution.

Keri's Korner- This blog is written by Keri, of course….a paralegal by day and many other hats all the rest of the time. Keri writes about her daily life including crafts and OMG… there's going to be a wedding! Check back often over the coming days and weeks for more wedding preparations. I just love weddings.

That's it for this week. If you know of a great Georgia blog that isn't already on the blogroll let me know by sending the url to ....and yes, you can tell me about your own great Georgia blog as well.
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