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Biographical Note

Scope and Content


Preferred Citation

Restrictions on Access

Subject Terms

Container List [ + ]

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Guide to the Francis John McConnell Family Papers

Prepared by Peter Cole, Student Assistant; Robert Drew Simpson, Assistant Archivist and Mark C. Shenise, Associate Archivist

United Methodist Archives and History Center
General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church

(Published for the Drew University Methodist Library)

Overview of Collection

Record Creator: McConnell, Francis John
Title: Francis John McConnell Family Papers
Date Span: 1894-1984
Abstract: Francis John McConnell was a Methodist Church bishop. The collection is made up of material relating to his ministry, family, social.
Extent: 2.7 cubic feet
Resource ID: drew.ms.2400


Francis John McConnell (1871-1953), American bishop, was born in Ohio August 18, 1871, the son of I. H. and Nancy J. Chalfant McConnell. His father was a Methodist preacher.

McConnell was educated at Ohio Wesleyan College and Boston University School of Theology. On March 11, 1887, he married Eva Thomas. They had two sons and a daughter.

McConnell became a member of the New England Conference in 1894, and served several churches in Massachusetts before joining the New York Conference.

From 1909 to 1912 he was president of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. McConnell was elected to the episcopacy in 1912. As bishop he served, Denver, Pittsburgh, and New York. He retired in 1944.

McConnell's service in the larger church included the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America and the Methodist Federation of Social Action. He served as a visiting professor at Columbia University, Yale University, Drew Theological Seminary and Garrett Seminary. McConnell died on his 82nd birthday, August 18, 1955 in Lucasville, Ohio.

Eva Thomas McConnell (1871-1968), wife of Bishop Francis McConnell, was vice -president of The Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church and traveled widely with her husband. She died at Lucasville, Ohio, in her ninety-seventh year.

Dorothy McConnell (1900 - 1989), American editor and author and the daughter of Francis and Eva McConnell, was born at Ipswich, Massachusetts, on September 18, 1900.

She received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1920, and the M.A. in 1922 from Columbia University. Dorothy McConnell was a social worker (1922-1926), and an editor (1926-1932). From 1940 to 1966 she was editor of World Outlook, a periodical of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. McConnell served as a member of the Board of Higher Education in Asia, on the executive committee of the World Methodist Council, on the national board of the Y.W.C.A., committee member of the National Council of the Churches in Christ in the U.S.A. and of the World Council of Churches.

Scope Note

The Francis John McConnell collection brings together significant material documenting the church leadership of one of the foremost persons in the Methodist Episcopal Church of the 20th century. McConnell wrote extensively about church history, theology, the Bible, higher education, and social and political issues. He was an early defender of Hinkley G. Mitchell in the heresy controversy which led to the action of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church adopting a resolution giving the Conference the role of approving each professor of theology teaching in a Methodist institution. (Hinkley had lost his teaching position at Boston School of Theology because he doubted the traditional interpretation of Genesis.)

When McConnell was bishop of the Denver area, he was also responsible for the Methodist Episcopal Church in Mexico during the Mexican revolution and civil war. Bishop McConnell was a vocal supporter of the revolution.

When McConnell was a pastor in Pittsburgh, he became deeply involved in the steel strike of 1919 and was a strong advocate in the cause for labor rights. This was a harbinger of the strong social role he took throughout his ministry in every social issue from peace and justice to racism. A large correspondence is a source for reviewing the varied concerns of McConnell's ministry including his deep family relationships.

The collection also includes the manuscript of McConnell's autobiography. The family correspondence, especially with his wife Eva, is a source for appreciating the depth of family and marital bonds.


Materials have been arranged in the following manner.

Series: Administration
subseries: Correspondence
subseries: Writings
Series: Family
subseries: Charles McConnell
subseries: Correspondence
subseries: Dorothy McConnell
subseries: Images
Series: Mitchell Case
subseries: Clippings
subseries: Correspondence
subseries: Supporting Documents
Series: Non-McConnell Records
subseries: Correspondence
subseries: Reports by Others
Series: Social Issues
subseries: General Issues
subseries: Mexico
subseries: Steel Strike

Preferred Citation

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

Access Restrictions

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

Subject Terms

Additional Creators - Personal
McConnell, Charles
McConnell, Dorothy
McConnell, Eva
Mitchell, Huntley G.
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano.
Subject Names - Personal
Bowne, Parker Borden
Cadman, Samuel Parker
Davis, Jerome
Mitchell, Huntley G.
Thomas, Norman
Wesley, John.
Subject Names - Corporate
Boston University
DePauw University
Methodist Church (U.S.). Council of Bishops
Methodist Church (U.S.). General Conference
Methodist Federation for Social Action
National Council of Churches
United Methodist Church (U.S.). General Board of Global Ministries. Women's Division
University of Denver
Subject Topics
Bible-Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Christian education
Church and industry
Church and international organization
Church and labor
Church and social problems
Church and state
Church colleges
Church history-20th century
Ecumenical movement
Human rights
Methodist colleges
Mexico-History-Revolution, 1910-1920
Modernist-fundamentalist controversy
Religious education
Social ethics
Social justice
Strikes and lockouts-Steel industry
Theological seminaries, Methodist
Theology -Study and teaching -Methodist Episcopal Church
Trials (Heresy)
Subject Geographic
United States.
Annual reports
Financial records
Legal documents

Container List

Series: Administration
Sub-series: Correspondence
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-2: 1 Fragments Undated
2131-4-2: 2 Correspondence Undated
2131-4-2: 3 Correspondence 1900-1919
2131-4-2: 4 Election to the Episcopacy 1912
2131-4-2: 5 Election to the Episcopacy 1912
2131-4-2: 6 Election to the Episcopacy 1912
2131-4-2: 7 Correspondence 1920-1928
2131-4-2: 8 Correspondence 1929
2131-4-2: 9 Correspondence 1930
2131-4-3: 1 Correspondence 1931-1936
2131-4-3: 2 Correspondence 1937
2131-4-3: 3 Correspondence--Book--Francis J. McConnell 1937
2131-4-3: 4 Correspondence 1938-1946
2131-4-3: 5 Correspondence 1947-1949
2131-4-3: 6 Correspondence 1950-1952
2131-4-7: 3 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Correspondence 1933-1938
Sub-series: Writings
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-3: 7 Education 1926-1938
2131-4-3: 8 Sermon Notes Undated
2131-4-3: 9 Fragments 1922-1953
2131-4-3: 10 Articles and Addresses---A-B 1910-1938
2131-4-4: 1 Articles and Addresses---C-D 1928-1940
2131-4-4: 2 Articles and Addresses---E 1948
2131-4-4: 3 Articles and Addresses---F-J 1926-1950
2131-4-4: 4 Articles and Addresses---K-L 1928-1939
2131-4-4: 5 Articles and Addresses---M-P 1926-1953
2131-4-4: 6 Articles and Addresses---R 1907-1939
2131-4-4: 7 Articles and Addresses----S 1938-1939
2131-4-4: 8 Articles and Addresses----T-W 1925-1949
2131-4-4: 9 Wesley Material 1932-1939
2131-4-4: 10 Sermons 1925-1949
2131-4-5: 1 Autobiography---Manuscript Draft---thru Block 3 1949
2131-4-5: 2 Autobiography---Manuscript Draft---Blocks 4-5 1949
2131-4-5: 3 Autobiography---Manuscript Draft---Blocks 6-7 1949

Series: Family
Sub-series: Charles McConnell
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 4 Miscellaneous 1957
Sub-series: Correspondence
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 5 Correspondence Undated
2131-4-6: 6 Correspondence 1895-1923
2131-4-6: 7 Correspondence 1924-1972
Sub-series: Dorothy McConnell
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 1 Correspondence Undated
2131-4-6: 2 Correspondence 1919-1984
2131-4-6: 3 Reports and Documents 1958-1979
Sub-series: Images
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 8 Images 1933-1956

Series: Mitchell Case
Sub-series: Clippings
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 9 Clippings 1905
Sub-series: Correspondence
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 10 Correspondence 1899-1908
2131-4-5: 11 Correspondence 1907-1908
Sub-series: Supporting Documents
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 8 Supporting Documents 1899-1900

Series: Non-McConnell Records
Sub-series: Correspondence
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 9 Correspondence 1894-1978
Sub-series: Reports by Others
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-6: 10 A-F 1909-1977
2131-4-6: 11 G-L 1913-1978
2131-4-7: 1 M-U 1899-1984
2131-4-7: 2 W-Y 1922-1973

Series: Social Issues
Sub-series: General Issues
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 7 Articles and Reports 1920-1976
Sub-series: Mexico
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 4 Correspondence 1919-1921
2131-4-5: 5 Articles and Reports 1919-1927
Sub-series: Steel Strike
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2131-4-5: 6 Articles and Reports 1920-1937