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Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Preferred Citation

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Related Material

Subject Terms

Container List [ + ]

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Guide to the Francis Asbury Collection

Prepared by Archives Staff

United Methodist Archives and History Center
General Commission on Archives and History, Madison, New Jersey

11/30/2007
(Published for the Drew University Methodist Library)


Overview of Records

Record Creator: Asbury, Francis
Title: Francis Asbury Collection
Dates: 1768- 1813
Abstract: Francis Asbury (1745-1816) was the most influential person in American Methodism during its formative years. He, with Thomas Coke, became the first General Superintendent (Bishop) of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Born in England, Asbury was sent to America by John Wesley to oversee the Methodist societies in the colonies. His ministry lasted forty-five years. Asbury never owned a home and was never married. This collection contains mostly original and copies of letters written by Francis Asbury to preachers and his parents. There are a few letters which were written to him. Also included are ordination certificates, mite subscriptions, an incomplete address to the 1816 General Conference as well as other related documents concerning his work for the church.
Extent: 0.66 cu. feet
Resource ID: dumc. ms. 2373



Biographical Note

Francis Asbury, best- known Methodist man in America, first General Superintendent (Bishop) of American Methodism, was born in the parish of Handsworth near Birmingham, England, on August 20/21, 1745. He was the only surviving child of Joseph and Elizabeth Rogers. His sister died in infancy. Francis was never married. his seventh year. He became an apprentice blacksmith at Old Forge, which was owned by a Methodist named Foxall. Asbury became intimate with Foxall's son, Henry, who later became an iron merchant in America and built the Foundry Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. He became a Local Preacher, joined the conference and served five circuits. At the Conference in Bristol, on August 17, 1771, He responded to John Wesley's call for volunteers to go to America. Asbury and Richard Wright landed in Philadelphia on October 27th. do" and "My brethren seem unwilling to leave the cities, but I think I will show them the way" he mounted a horse and through the ensuing years he rode more than a quarter of a million miles. Asbury ministered for forty-five years and never had a home of any kind. His accommodations included cabins of settlers, vermin-infested room with sixteen other adults, sleeping in jail and the homes of distinguished persons such as governors and judges. During the Revolution he retired to the home of Judge Thomas White near Dover, Delaware, where he continued to preach in that state. independent Methodist denomination, at the Christmas Conference in Baltimore, December 24, 1784, to January 3, 1785.� At that conference Dr. Coke ordained Asbury as a deacon and elder. Then both Asbury and Coke were consecrated as General Superintendents of the new church. It was during this conference that Asbury and Coke assumed the title of "Bishop". Asbury also founded the first Sunday school in America at Thomas Crenshaw's in Hanover County. In 1780, he raised the first money ever given for Methodist education in America. He promoted the Ebenezer Academy in Virginia which was established in 1784. Asbury founded the Arminian Magazine in North Carolina in 1789. In that same year, he started the Methodist Publishing House. House, Lebanon, Tennessee. He became ill while traveling to the General Conference which was to be held at Baltimore. Asbury died on Sunday afternoon, March 31, 1816, in Spottsylvania, Virginia.


Scope Note

This collection contains mostly original and copies of letters written by Francis Asbury to preachers and his parents. There are a few letters which were written to him. The bulk date on the letters is 1766-1816. They were mostly letters encouraging the preachers in their ministry. These were hand-written, with the exception of some copies which were typed by other individuals. The letters are dated except for the few undated ones which are placed in the front of the collection. Towards the back of the collection are Ordination Certificates dated 1787-1813. These ordinations were done by Asbury and the certificates were signed by him. Then, there is a folder of " Mite Subscriptions" dated 1815. The next folder contains Francis Asbury' s incomplete, hand-written address to the 1816 General Conference. There is an extract from Asbury's journal of 1788 and a few financial records. There are also two folders of letters written to Elizabeth Asbury dated 1772 and 1800. Also included are two folders of supporting documents and pictures relating to the donation of Francis Asbury's Hebrew Bible to Drew University. Another item of note is Asbury's personal notes which were created when he examined Methodist circuit riders between the years of 1810 to 1813. At the end of the collection is a letter from Asbury to the Reverend John Carver.


Arrangement

Materials have been arranged in the following manner.

Series: Elizabeth Asbury
Series: Francis Asbury

Preferred Citation

When citing material from this collection please use the following format: Direct reference to the item or its file folder, Francis Asbury Collection, Drew University Methodist Collection, Madison, New Jersey. Do not make use of the item's call number as that is not a stable descriptor.


Access Restrictions

Copyright still owned by Drew University. Permission to publish must be directed to Drew University Methodist Library.


Restrictions on Use

Detailed use restrictions relating to our collections can be requested from the office of the archivist at the General Commission on Archives and History. Photocopying is handled by the staff and may be limited in certain instances. Before using any material for publication from this collection a formal request for permission to publish is expected and required.


Related Material

Francis Asbury's Hebrew Bible has been catalogued as part of the Drew University Artifact Collection and is located at 5027-4-1.


Subject Terms

Subject Names - Personal
Rogers, Elizabeth.
Subject Names - Corporate
Methodist Episcopal Church-History
Subject Topics
Bishops
Circuit riders
Clergy
Early Methodism
Episcopacy
Methodism History 18th century
Methodism History 19th century.
Bible
Subject Geographic
United States.
Genre
Addresses.
Certificates
Financial records
Correspondence
Occupations
Bishop.
Minister


Container List


Series: Elizabeth Asbury
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2491-2-3: 158 Letter: January 20 (John Allen) 1772
2491-2-3: 160 Letter: (Richard Whatcoat) 1800

Series: Francis Asbury
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2491-2-3: 1 List of Asbury Letters Undated
2491-2-3: 2 Letters Undated
2491-2-3: 3 Letter: May 23 (To: Asbury) 1766
2491-2-3: 4 Letter: November 6 1769
2491-2-3: 5 Letter: May 27 1771
2491-2-3: 6 Letter: March 4 1774
2491-2-3: 7 Letter: September 2 1776
2491-2-3: 8 Letter: September 20 1783
2491-2-3: 9 Letter: June 7 1784
2491-2-3: 10 Letter: December 6 1784
2491-2-3: 11 Letter: January 14 1786
2491-2-3: 12 Letter: September 15 (copy) 1787
2491-2-3: 13 Letter: October 26 1788
2491-2-3: 14 Letter: December 24 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1788
2491-2-3: 15 Letter: May 27 (copy) 1789
2491-2-3: 16 Letter: June 19 (copy) 1789
2491-2-3: 17 Letter: September 9 (copy) 1789
2491-2-3: 18 Letter: October 3 1789
2491-2-3: 19 Letter: November 16 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1789
2491-2-3: 20 Letter: July 20 1790
2491-2-3: 21 Letter: September 27 (copy) 1790
2491-2-3: 22 Letter: November 12 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1790
2491-2-3: 23 Letter: April 19 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1791
2491-2-3: 24 Letter: May 29 1791
2491-2-3: 25 Letter: January 1 (copy) 1792
2491-2-3: 26 Letter: January 7 To Asbury 1793
2491-2-3: 27 Letter: January 24 1793
2491-2-3: 28 Letter: July 3 (copy) 1793
2491-2-3: 29 Letter: September 1 1793
2491-2-3: 30 Letter: September 5 1793
2491-2-3: 31 Letter: October 29 (copy) 1793
2491-2-3: 32 Letter: November 10 1793
2491-2-3: 33 Letter: November 23 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1793
2491-2-3: 34 Letter 1794?
2491-2-3: 35 Letter 1794
2491-2-3: 36 Letter: January 22 1794
2491-2-3: 37 Letter: July 26 1794?
2491-2-3: 38 Letter: September 22 1794
2491-2-3: 39 Letter 1795?
2491-2-3: 40 Letter: January 2 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1795
2491-2-3: 41 Letter: March 31 1795
2491-2-3: 42 Letter: October 30 1795
2491-2-3: 43 Letter: November 1 1795
2491-2-3: 44 Letter: January 23 (copy) 1796
2491-2-3: 45 Letter: January 30 1796
2491-2-3: 46 Letter: March 23 (copy) 1796
2491-2-3: 47 Letter: June 27 1796
2491-2-3: 48 Letter: July 29 1796
2491-2-3: 49 Letter: November 11 1796
2491-2-3: 50 Letter: December 17 (copy) 1796
2491-2-3: 51 Letter: February 11 1797
2491-2-3: 52 Letter: October 24 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1797
2491-2-3: 53 Letter: November 20 1797
2491-2-3: 54 Letter: October 5 1797
2491-2-3: 55 Letter: May 6 1798
2491-2-3: 56 Letter: June 3 1798?
2491-2-3: 57 Letter: September 27 (copy) 1798
2491-2-3: 58 Letter: October 4 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1798
2491-2-3: 59 Letter: January 8 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1799
2491-2-3: 60 Letter: January 9 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1799
2491-2-3: 61 Letter: June 22 1799
2491-2-3: 62 Letter: June 28 1799
2491-2-3: 63 Letter: August 9 (copy) 1799
2491-2-3: 64 Letter 1800
2491-2-3: 65 Letter: To Asbury 1801
2491-2-3: 66 Letter: January 6 1801
2491-2-3: 67 Letter: January 8 1801
2491-2-3: 68 Letter: January 20 1801
2491-2-3: 69 Letter: February 4 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 70 Letter: February 6 1801
2491-2-3: 71 Letter: March 26 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 72 Letter: March 27 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1801
2491-2-3: 73 Letter: June 6 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 74 Letter: June 11 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 75 Letter: June 26 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 76 Letter: July 1 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 77 Letter: July 10 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 78 Letter: July 11 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 79 Letter: August 4 (copy) 1801?
2491-2-3: 80 Letter: August 12 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 81 Letter: August 22 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 82 Letter: September 27 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 83 Letter: December 30 (copy) 1801
2491-2-3: 84 Letter: December 31 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1801
2491-2-3: 85 Letter: May 15 To Asbury 1802
2491-2-3: 86 Letter: May 31 1802
2491-2-3: 87 Letter: June 3 (copy) 1802
2491-2-3: 88 Letter: June 23 (copy) 1802
2491-2-3: 89 Letter: August 5 (copy) 1802
2491-2-3: 90 Letter: August 21 1802
2491-2-3: 91 Letter: August 23 (copy) 1802
2491-2-3: 92 Letter: December 30 (copy) 1802?
2491-2-3: 93 Letter: January 3 1803
2491-2-3: 94 Letter: January 5 (copy) 1803
2491-2-3: 95 Letter: June 27 (copy) 1803
2491-2-3: 96 Letter: July 19 1803
2491-2-3: 97 Letter: July 21 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1803
2491-2-3: 98 Letter: July 24 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1803
2491-2-3: 99 Letter: August 18 (copy) 1803
2491-2-3: 100 Letter: January 4 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 101 Letter: January 11 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 102 Letter: May (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 103 Letter: May 24 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 104 Letter: May 31 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 105 Letter: June (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 106 Letter: August 10 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 107 Letter: August 16 1804
2491-2-3: 108 Letter: August 16 (copy) 1804
2491-2-3: 109 Letter: March 8 1805
2491-2-3: 110 Letter: June 15 1805
2491-2-3: 111 Letter: July 12 1805
2491-2-3: 112 Letter: July 26 1805
2491-2-3: 113 Letter: July 26 (copy) 1805
2491-2-3: 114 Letter: October 4 (copy) 1805
2491-2-3: 115 Letter: October 17 (copy) 1806
2491-2-3: 116 Letter: March 10 (copy) 1807
2491-2-3: 117 Letter: July 30 1807
2491-2-3: 118 Letter: November 18 1807
2491-2-3: 119 Letter: December 10 1807
2491-2-3: 120 Letter: March 5 1808
2491-2-3: 121 Letter: March 6 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1808
2491-2-3: 122 Letter: December 6 1808
2491-2-3: 123 Letter: April 21 1809
2491-2-3: 124 Letter: May 20 1809
2491-2-3: 125 Letter: March 22 1810
2491-2-3: 126 Letter: April 2 1810
2491-2-3: 127 Letter: May 7 (copy) 1810
2491-2-3: 128 Letter: June 2 [Garrett Evangelical Seminary] 1810
2491-2-3: 129 Letter: March 19 (copy) 1811
2491-2-3: 130 Letter: May 12 (copy) 1811
2491-2-3: 131 Letter: June 30 1811
2491-2-3: 132 Letter: May 25 1812
2491-2-3: 133 Letter: August 11 1812
2491-2-3: 134 Letter: August 13 (To: Asbury) 1812
2491-2-3: 135 Letter: September 7 1812
2491-2-3: 136 Letter: September 24 (copy) 1812
2491-2-3: 137 Letter: September 24 (copy) 1812
2491-2-3: 138 Letter: November 10 1812
2491-2-3: 139 Letter: January 16 1813
2491-2-3: 140 Letter: July 3 (copy) 1813
2491-2-3: 141 Letter: August 21 1813
2491-2-3: 142 Letter: August 29 1813
2491-2-3: 143 Letter: March 7 1814
2491-2-3: 144 Letter: July 7 (copy) 1814
2491-2-3: 145 Letter: November 9 (copy) 1814
2491-2-3: 146 Letter: August 26 1814
2491-2-3: 147 Letter: September 9 1815
2491-2-3: 148 Letter: July 19 1815
2491-2-3: 149 Letter: July 5 1815
2491-2-3: 150 Letter: January 15 (copy) 1816
2491-2-3: 151 Ordination Certificates 1787-1813
2491-2-3: 152 Mite Subscription for aged Preachers 1815
2491-2-3: 153 Uncompleted Address to General Conference 1816
2491-2-3: 154 Miscellaneous Undated
2491-2-3: 155 Miscellaneous Copies of Letters Undated
2491-2-3: 156 14 letters to Thomas L. Douglass 1807-1815
2491-2-3: 157 Journal Piece 1788
2491-2-3: 159 Financial Records Undated
2491-2-3: 161 Supporting Documents Concerning Asbury's Bible 1948-1951
2491-2-3: 162 Spine Strips and Boards from Asbury's Bible 1753
2491-2-3: 163 Letter Undated
2491-2-3: 164 Program: Dedication of Asbury's Statue in Washington, D.C. 1924
2491-2-3: 165 Letter: February 14 1790
2491-2-3: 166 An Original Leaf from the First Printing of Asbury's Journal 1821