Andover faculty show down: "their union on the Beecher matter enforces their union in other things"
AUSTIN PHELPS (1820-90) HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED, "Very truly yours, Austin Phelps", 5 x 8, 4 pages, May 15, 1877, to Rev. Joshua Wellman, D.D., Andover, Mass.[on the Board of Trustees of Andover Theological Seminary, author, pastor of Eliot church in Newton, MA, and experienced some controversy when he defended Henry Ward Beecher at the Plymouth Church Council], by the American Congregational minister and educator, President of Andover Theological Seminary for 10 years (1869-79) whose writings became standard textbooks for Christian theological education and remain in print today. He is the author of Theory of Preaching (1881), The Still Hour, English Style in Public Discourse (1883). Andover Theological Seminary created the educational model used by almost all Protestant seminaries today and pioneered many training programs for prospective clergy, including field education. Its alumni and alumnae included important abolitionists educators, clergy, and theologians; In this letter Phelps is President of Andover and is updating Board member, Dr. Wellman about a faculty disagreement regarding teaching methods. In part: "...done my best to prevent any misunderstanding of my feelings towards my colleagues...you must be prepared for opposition from the three young professors...their union on the Beecher matter enforces their union in other things...if the views of other members of the faculty come into debate, permit me to suggest that Prof Churchill be conferred with...I hope you will express them with the force which you so well know how to command...." The letter has some paper loss from mice chewing at the center fold but does not deter from being able to read the complete content, minor age toning and the usual mailing folds, otherwise in fine condition.