Hidden Collections

J. Taylor Hamilton Papers


Archival Description

Title: J. Taylor Hamilton Papers
Dates: 1886-1936
Quantity: 3 boxes
Identification: PP HJT
Language of Material: English
Location: Moravian Church Archives
Alternate View: View Moravian Archives Finding Aid

Scope/Contents

This collection contains J.Taylor Hamilton's correspondence, notes, speeches and addresses, written reports, articles about missions and other documentation concerning Moravian missions.


Biography/History

John Taylor Hamilton was born at the Moravian mission station of Lebanon, on the Island of Antigua to Rev. Alan Hamilton (b. 1814 in Glasgow, Scotland; d. 1885 in Salem, NC) and Jane Taylor (b. 1823 in Newfield, d. 1863 in Nisky/St. Thomas). Hamilton attended the Moravian Boys' School in Fulneck, England, and he subsequently attended Moravian College and Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the college in 1875 and from the seminary in 1877. Between 1877 and 1881, he taught at Nazareth Hall Military Academy. In 1881 Hamilton was ordained as a deacon. Following his ordination, he became pastor of the Second Moravian Church in Philadelphia where he served until 1886. He was consecrated as presbyter in 1883 and became associate editor of "The Moravian" the following year. He married Cecilia Elizabeth Beck in 1886. From 1886 until 1903, Hamilton served as Resident Professor of Moravian College and Theological Seminary. In 1889 Hamilton was a delegate from the Northern Province to the General Synod of the Unitas Fratrum held in Herrnhut, Germany. Hamilton was also named editor of "The Moravian" in 1897 and held this position until 1899. In 1898 he was elected a member of the Provincial Elders' Conference of the Northern Province, serving on the board until 1903. In 1903 he was elected as the American representative on the General or International Mission Board of the Moravian Church. For this post he had to move to Herrnhut, Germany, where he lived with his family until 1916. During this period he was consecrated a bishop of the Unity in 1905. For his position at the General Mission Board, Hamilton made several trips and official visits to Moravian missions in Alaska, the West Indies, Nicaragua, Dutch Guyana (Suriname), East Central Africa and the Indian Mission in California. Two years after his return from Germany, Hamilton was elected president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary (1918). He held this position until 1928 when he was elected president emeritus. He continued teaching until 1937 when he retired. Hamilton authored several works, including: "The History of the Moravian Church in the USA," "The History of Moravian Missions," and "Twenty Years of Pioneer Missions in Nyasaland." Hamilton's most famous works were his book, "The History of the Moravian Church during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries" and the compilation, "The Offices of Worship and Hymns," the most complete collection of Moravian hymns ever published in the English language. Hamilton's wife passed away on May 4, 1944, and he died on January 29, 1951 at the age of 91. He had three children: Constance B. Martin, Arthur B. Hamilton, and Kenneth G. Hamilton.


Custodial History

Items in this collection were given to the archive by Robert J. Desh in 1969 and by Miss Elizabeth Bahnsen in 1969. The records were organized by Mark Whitmeyer in 2011. Some of the items were moved to other collections (see documentation in file).


Related Material

PP HKG (son)


Records

J. Taylor Hamilton Papers
Records
1. Miscellaneous Notes
Date: 1886
Physical Description: binding fragile
Scope/Content: Includes:
Translated excerpts from the Bethlehem Diary, notes from Synods, and other notes relating to the Moravian Church
2. Anecdotes etc. from the Eskimo Mission and Himalaya
Date: 1902 - 1913
Physical Description: 1 volume
3. Anecdotes etc. Mosquito
Date: 1905 - 1914
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Notebook containing stories about the Moravian mission in the Mosquito region of Nicaragua.
Note: Included a photo which was moved to the photo collection.
4. Anecdotes etc. Suriname
Date: 1906 - 1914
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Stories from the Moravian mission in Suriname
5. Anecdotes etc. Africa and Medical Missions
Date: 1906 - 1913
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Stories from the Moravian missions in Africa and descriptions of Medical missions.
6. Anecdotes etc. German East Africa
Date: 1909 - 1913
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Stories from the Moravian missions in present-day Tanzania
7. Written items concerning the mission in Suriname
Date: 1911
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. "Our Mission among the Bush-Negroes of Surinam," by Bishop R. Voullaire, translated by J.T. Hamilton
2. "Die Buschnegermission Surinames," no author
3."Shadow and Light in the Bushland-Mission", no author, 1911
4. "Die Mission unter den Britisch-Indiern in Suriname", by J.T. Hamilton
5. "The Mission amongst the Immigrants from British India in Surinam," by J. T. Hamilton
6. Collection of articles with no title and no author
8. Articles about the missions in Suriname
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. "Superstitions of the 'Creoles' of Suriname", no author
2. "Der Aberglaube des Surinamischen Volkens", no author; notes inserted
3. "Training Teachers in Surinam", by J.T. Hamilton
4. Two other untitled articles, no author, incomplete
9. Details about schools in Suriname
Date: 1912
Physical Description: 1 volume
10. Documents concerning the Missions in Tanzania
Date: 1914
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. "Unser Schulwesen in Nyassa," 1914; includes newspaper clipping of an article published by Hamilton
2. "Ein Sonntag mit einem Missionar in Nyasaland"
3. "Die Taetigkeit unsrer [sic] Eingebornen Helfer und Evangelisten in Deutsch Ost Africa," includes newspaper clippings
4. "The Mission in German East Africa"
5. "Some Obstacles in the Way of the Progress of the Gospel in Nyasaland"
11. "Lights and Shadow of the Himalaya Mission."
Date: 1915
Physical Description: 1 item
Scope/Content: Article about the Himalaya Mission
12. Notebook
Date: 1915
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Various notes and musings on a diverse array of topics
13. Notebook containing information on Missions and other topics pertaining to the Moravians
Date: 1915
Physical Description: 1 volume
14. Nicaragua Documents
Date: 1916 - 1926
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. "The Evangelization of the Indians of Central America," by J.T. Hamilton
2. Documents concerning the breach of the agreement signed at the "Mosquito Convention"
a. Letter Hon. Andrew J. McConnico; Bluefields, Nicaragua (May 4, 1926)
b. Decree of the Mosquito Convention
c. Letter of G.R. Heath to the David Zeisberger Society concerning Jack Coleman; (Oct. 3, 1917)
3. "Unsere Mission in Nicaragua," no author; contains newspaper clippings
4. "Auszuege an den Jahresberichten der Missionsprovinz, Nicaragua"
15. Correspondence
Date: 1923 - 1928, n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content:
1. Correspondence, S. Baudert
a. To Hamilton from S. Baudert; Herrnhut, Saxony (12/10/1924)
b. Proposed reply to Baudert from Hamiliton (c. 1924-1925)
c. To Hamilton from Baudert; Herrnhut, Saxony (2/19/1925)
d. To Baudert (copy) from Hamilton (3/10/1925)
e. To Baudert (copy) from Hamilton (5/22/1926)
f. To Hamilton from Baudert; Herrnhut, Saxony (11/26/1928)
2. To Hamilton from E.S. Hagen; Bethlehem. PA (12/31/1925)
3. To Hamilton from P.O. Hennig; Herrnhut, Saxony (8/15/1923)
4. Correspondence, J. Hettasch
a. To Hettasch from Hamilton; Bethlehem, PA (7/9/1924)
b. To Hamilton from Hettasch; Herrnhut, Saxony (7/23/1924)
c. To Hamilton from Hettasch; undated postscript.
d. To Hamilton from Hettasch; Hernnhut, Saxony (7/23/1924)
e. To Hamilton from Hettasch; Hernnhut, Saxony (1/21/1925)
f. To Hettasch (copy). from Hamilton; Bethlehem, PA (2/14/1925)
5. Correspondence, P.T. Jensen
a. To Hamilton from Jensen; Hernnhut, Saxony (11/22/1923)
b. To Hamilton from Jensen; Hernnhut, Saxony (3/30/1925)
c. To Hamilton from Jensen; Hernnhut, Saxony (10/23/1925)
d. To Hamilton from Jensen; Hernnhut, Saxony(12/7/1925)
6. To Hamilton from T. Meyer; Hernnhut,Saxony (5/25/1925)
7. Corresondence, E. Rondthaler
a. To Hamilton from Rondthaler; undated note; see 15.7.b.
b. Copy of a letter sent to P.T. Jensen (Hernnhut Germany) from Rondthaler (Winston-Salem, NC; 1/12/1925).
c. To Rondthaler, unsigned (probably Hamilton); 9/1/1925.
8. To Brother Selzer, "The Charge", undated, unsigned.
9. Correspondence, H.G. Steinberg
a. To Hamilton from Steinberg; Herrnhut, Saxony (12/29/1923)
b. To Hamilton from Steinberg; Hernnhut, Saxony (5/12/1925)
c. To Hamilton from Steinberg; Hernnhut, Saxony (4/16/1926)
10. To Hamilton from A. Ward; London, England (12/4/1925)
16. Notebook with sermons and other religious writings
Date: 1925 - 1935
Physical Description: loose notes inserted
17. Speeches
Date: 1936
Physical Description: 2 items
Scope/Content: 1. "Cup of Covenant" 2. Untitled; encourages missionary work
18. Pamphlet: "Moravians and their Faith"
Date: 1936
Physical Description: 1 item
Scope/Content: revised by J.T. Hamilton
19. "First Part of the Report of the Official visit of J. Taylor Hamilton to Nicaragua in 1916"
Date: 1916
Physical Description: 1 item
20. Notebook with notes on the Nicaragua Mission
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: note insterted
21. Miscellaneous documents pertaining to missions
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 5 items
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. Notebook, "Mission Funds"
2. "Die Mission der Brueder-Kirche in Daenisch West Indien", no author
3. "A History of the Women's Missionary Society of the Moravian Church at Bethlehem, Penna", by J.T. Hamilton
4. Other notes about missions
5. Handwritten notes including those related to women's missionary work
22. Miscellaneous articles about missions
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. "A translation from the 'Herrnhut', Brethren's Unity and Missions"
2. "Some Characteristics of Moravian Missions", (speech)
3. "Einfuehrung des Evangeliums bei Naturvoelkern", by J.T. Hamilton
4. "Die Mission als Traegerin der Kultur, illustriert durch Beispiele aus der Bruedermission", by J.T. Hamilton (Draft)
5. "Der Einfluss des Krieges auf die Helden-Mission der Evangelischen Brueder-Kirche"
6. "The Reflex Action of Foreign Missions upon the Churches in Christian Lands"
7. Hand written notes; possibly associated with 22.2 (27.a) and 22.3 (27.b)
23. Notes on Hymns
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Histories and notes on hymns concerning their evolution and development
24. Notebook: "Material for Public Worship"
Date: 1908
Physical Description: loose note inserted in notebook
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. Sermons and other religious writings; one loose note inserted
2. "Concept of Ordination-Sermon"; Bluefields (5/5/1908); document was originally inserted into the notebook
25. Miscellaneous religious writings and notes
Date: 1904 - 1930
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. Notes on Resurrection (hand written, collected newpaper articles)
2. Notes on the Second Coming, salvation, and missionary work (hand written, collected newspaper articles)
3. "The Virgin Birth of Christ, Jesus our Savior"
26. Notes on the Geography of the Bible
Date: c. 1925
Physical Description: 1 folder
27. Articles and notes on various people
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. John Matthew Otto
2. "Memoir of the Pilgrim,John Ettwein"
3. Benjamin Franklin
4. J.H. Danke. Notes written on a letter from Paul de Schweinitz, Atlantic City, NJ (12/12/1918); a draft of letter to Rondthaler, 6/16/1919; a letter from James M. Beck, New York (4/7/1919)
5. Other Moravians
28. Article: "The events preceding the Thirteenth of August 1727"
Date: c. 1925 The text was typed on the back of a document dated November 1925.
Physical Description: 1 item
Note: The actual title is "The events preceding the Thirteenth of August 1927." Based on the content it is probable that Hamilton intended 1727.
29. Article: "The Story of the Moravian undertaking at Oley, Berks County, Penna"
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 folder
Scope/Content: Includes:
2 drafts of the article
30. Notebook
Date: n.d.
Physical Description: 1 volume
Scope/Content: Handwritten encyclopedia-like notebook with other items inserted.