GCAH Home > Archival Finding Aids Home Page> Electronic Guide to the Abel Stevens Papers


Biographical Note

Scope and Content


Preferred Citation

Restrictions on Access

Subject Terms

Container List [ + ]

You can print a clean version of this finding aid by selecting FIle -> Print from the menu above or you can download a nicely formatted pdf version from here

Electronic Guide to the Abel Stevens Papers

Prepared by 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: Stevens, Abel
Title: Abel Stevens Papers
Date Span: 1827-1931
Abstract: Abel Stevens (1815-1897), Methodist Historian, was born in Philadelphia on January 19, 1815, and joined the New England Annual Conference in 1834. He was editor of Zions' Herald and The National Magazine, and corresponding editor of The Methodist. Abel Stevens died on September 11, 1897. The collection comprises various record types dealing with the slavery question and how it related to the denomination.
Extent: 1.23 Cubic feet
Resource ID: drew.ms.2423

Biographical Note

Abel Stevens (1815-1897), a Methodist historian, was born in Philadelphia on January 19, 1815. He became a member of the New England Conference in 1834. His first station was in Boston until 1848, when he was appointed editor of Zion's Herald. Stevens held this post for twelve years. He became widely known in the church for his editorial skills, and for the strong positions he took on controversial issues. He was known as a moderate regarding the growing abolitionist party in the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1852, Stevens became editor of the new periodical, The National Magazine. The southern members of the Methodist Episcopal Church saw Stevens as a balancing influence respecting abolition. From 1860 to 1874 Stevens was corresponding editor of The Methodist. His four-volume History of the Methodist Episcopal Church remains today as one of the important authoritative works regarding the general history of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the period in which he wrote. Stevens died September 11, 1897.

Scope Note

This collection includes eight scrapbooks and an index on the subject of Slavery and the Methodist Church. There is another scrapbook on personal topics. Finally there is a scrapbook which contains a large collection of 19th century John Wesley and British Methodist lithographs was collected by Stevens. There is also the complete manuscript of his book entitled The Life and Times of Nathan Bangs. The correspondence covers the years 1827 to 1931 as well as five undated letters. There are biographical notes about the Reverend Matthew Newhall, Jesse Lee, Solomon Sias, and one unidentified circuit preacher. Miscellaneous notes, clippings, resolutions regarding slavery offered at the New England Conference, and two printed portraits are a part of the collection as well.


Materials have been arranged in the following manner.

Series: Bangs Manuscript
Series: Biographical Notes
Series: General
Series: Scrapbooks

Preferred Citation

When citing material from this collection please use the following format: Direct reference to the item or its file folder, Abel Stevens Collection, Drew University Methodist Collection, Drew University, 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. Permissions to publish must be directed to Drew University

Index Terms

Subject Names - Corporate
Methodist Episcopal Church
Subject Topics
Subject Geographic
United States

Container List

Series: Bangs Manuscript
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2127-3-7: 2 Bangs Manuscript undated
2127-3-7: 3 Bangs Manuscript undated
2127-3-7: 4 Bangs Manuscript undated
2127-3-7: 5 Bangs Manuscript undated
2127-3-7: 6 Bangs Manuscript undated

Series: Biographical Notes
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2127-3-7: 7 Biographical Notes undated

Series: General
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2127-3-7: 8 Clippings and Notes undated
2127-3-7: 9 Slavery Resolutions undated
2127-3-7: 10 Portraits undated
2127-3-7: 11 Collection Price List undated
2127-3-7: 12 Correspondence 1827-1931

Series: Scrapbooks
Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
2127-1-2: 1 Scrapbook 12 1835-1869
2127-3-6: 1 Scrapbook 1 1855-1856
2127-3-6: 2 Scrapbook 2 1848-1856
2127-3-6: 3 Scrapbook 3 1854
2127-3-6: 4 Scrapbook 4 1854-1855
2127-3-6: 5 Scrapbook 5 1856-1858
2127-3-6: 6 Scrapbook 6 1856-1858
2127-3-6: 7 Scrapbook 7 1858
2127-3-6: 8 Scrapbook 8 1858-1859
2127-3-6: 9 Scrapbook 9 1859
2127-3-6: 10 Scrapbook 10 1859-1860
2127-3-6: 11 Scrapbook 11 with Index undated