New England's Hidden Histories

Congregational church records are an unparalleled source of information about the religious activities of the early colonists, and about many other aspects of early American life. The Congregational Library and Archives, in partnership with the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale is currently preserving these records and making them available to the public.

Transcribe an 18th-Century Document

The Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, CT
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

During the wave of missionary conversion in the 19th century, many Protestant ministers in the United States pushed to educate and "civilize" the native peoples of North America and beyond. A school born with the ideal of universal "salvation" plummeted into a controversy that exposed American racial attitudes and set off a chain of events that lead to the Trail of Tears.

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The Kenneth Beckwith collection features a  personal tally as an officiant during his 22 years as an active Congregational minister. Rev. Beckwith also acted as the Associate Minister for the Massachusetts Conference for the latter part of his career.

The Reverend Raymond Bradley, Jr., who sadly passed just this year, was a champion in the struggle for several human rights campaigns. He served as a UCC minister for churches in Maine and Rhode Island.

This collection consists of the records of South Congregational Church. The church was founded originally as Memorial Church of Chicago, Illinois in 1871. The following year, it was changed to Forty Seventh Congregational Church.

Today we are very pleased to announce the publication of four new New England's Hidden Histories collections!