A Friend to God's Poor: Edward Parmelee Smith

A Friend to God's Poor: Edward Parmelee Smith

by Armstrong
     
 

A Friend to God's Poor is the first full-length biography of Edward Parmelee Smith (1827-1876), a Congregational minister from New England and a leading light in forming an evangelical response to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The biography weaves together important strands of American church history: the reform movement, the assistance the churches gave to… See more details below

Overview

A Friend to God's Poor is the first full-length biography of Edward Parmelee Smith (1827-1876), a Congregational minister from New England and a leading light in forming an evangelical response to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The biography weaves together important strands of American church history: the reform movement, the assistance the churches gave to President Grant's Indian Policy, and the movement to bring the gospel to Africa. While he was a student at Union Theological Seminary, Smith spent his spare time working for the Children's Aid Society, going among the poorest tenements of New York City seeking out destitute children. One "cold, raw, wet day, passing up Second Street, near First Avenue," Smith noticed a pair of boots exposed under a cart box. Bending down to look in, he saw a young boy preparing for breakfast: "From a deep pocket of his long coat he brought up a dry crust, from the other he pulled out a dirty package and began unwrapping a bit of paper, then a rag, and so on for several layers till he came to the bone, which he gnawed like a dog." During his time with the Children's Aid Society, Smith helped place hundreds of such children in homes. While serving a church in Pepperell, Massachusetts, he volunteered as a delegate of the United States Christian Commission, established during the war to provide religious and relief services for Union soldiers, black as well as white. After serving in the Army of the Potomac, Smith was sent west to organize the commission's work in the Army of the Cumberland. By the end of the war, he was the commission's field secretary. After the Civil War, Smith was employed by the American Missionary Association, an "undenominational" organization formed by evangelical Christians who worked for the welfare of freed slaves. In close cooperation with the Freedmen's Bureau, Smith helped organize scores of schools for freedmen, including such institutions as Fisk and Atlanta universities, Hampton Institute, a

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820314938
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
08/01/1993
Pages:
512

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