This Day in Dayton, 27 May

In the last days of May 1861 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church Old School, after five days of debate that were reported in newspapers all over the nation, voted to support the Federal government (the Union side) in the Civil War. In the hope of placating the Southern delegates, the issue was phrased as disunion, not slavery, but in spite of that, the Southern delegates walked out. The Old School Presbyterians had now followed the path of their New School brothers and sisters who split along North and South lines in 1857, and their Methodist and Baptist cousins, who had split in 1844 and 1845, respectively. The Presbyterian Church at Dayton was New School, and so was not directly affected by this vote, but members must have noted with sadness that their denomination had now split into four churches: New School North, New School South, Old School North and Old School South. The split was not fully repaired until 1984.


Susan ClawsonComment