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Special Home > Guide to the First Unitarian Church of Manchester Papers, 1842-1964

Guide to the First Unitarian Church of Manchester Papers, 1842-1964

Collection number: MC 171

Size: 5 boxes (1.66 cu.ft.)

About the First Unitarian Church of Manchester

The first preaching in Manchester, New Hampshire of the doctrine belonging to the Unitarian faith was given in March 1841 by the Reverend S. Osgood, of Nashua, but it wasn’t until July 19, 1842 that an assembly met for the purpose of organizing a Unitarian church in the city at city hall. The first pastor, Rev. Oliver H. Wellington, was ordained the same day.

The society’s first place of worship, after it left city hall, was a small wooden chapel built in 1841 on the corner of Hanover and Chestnut Streets by the Second Methodist Episcopal society. In 1843, when the Methodists built their brick church on Elm Street, they leased this chapel to the Unitarians. Rev. Wellington first preached in it July 2, 1843. That same month, however, the society purchased and moved it to the corner of Merrimack and Pine Streets, the gift of the Amoskeag Company, enlarging it in the process.

In 1852, in his will, the Hon. Richard H. Ayer left the society a house on the corner of Chestnut and Central Streets, which was used as a parsonage and then sold in 1864. In 1859 the society exchanged its house for the one built by the First Freewill Baptist society on the corner of Chestnut and Merrimack Streets. This they sold in 1871 and in 1872 they dedicated a new house of worship on the corner of Beech and Concord Streets.

About the First Unitarian Church of Manchester Papers

The First Unitarian Church of Manchester, N.H. papers include record book ledgers and treasurers’ account books documenting the formation of the church, its membership and finances; a manuscript book on the formation of the Unity Club in 1872 with signatures of 150 of its members; a cash book of the Unity Club’s transactions in the 1890s, various other records, publications and programs, 34 photographs related to the church Sunday school’s activities, and 12 printing blocks.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], First Unitarian Church of Manchester Papers, 1842-1964, MC 171, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchased: Charles Apfelbaum, Feb. 16, 2000 (Accession number: 2000.05)

Collection Contents

Series I: Records, 1842-1947

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 Record Book Ledger, 1842-1896 (Approximately 400 pages)

Documents the formation of the church in 1842, its constitution, annual meeting minutes, other business, and treasurer’s accounts.

Box 1, Folder 2 Record Book Ledger, 1842/1874 (Approximately 100 pages)

Documents the history of the church up until 1874 – its formation in 1842, its business, various orders of services, pew rentals, and a contract for a new building in 1871. Includes a list of church members, births, deaths, marriages (1842-1861) and baptisms in back.

Box 1, Folder 3 Treasurer’s Account Book Ledger, 1902-1939. Tipped in, printed financial reports for the years ending Oct. 1877, 1879, 1893 and 1915 (400 pages)

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1 Church membership list ledger with, tipped in, a typed list of members, 1842-1942, 1842-1947
Box 2, Folder 2 Record Book Ledger, Unity Club, 1892-1896 (55 pages)

Documents the formation of the Unity Club in Sept. 1892, lists its members, and records its business. Includes two publications tipped in, Unity Clubs: or Mutual Improvement Societies in Town and Church by Emma Endicott Marean (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr and Co., 1886) and Tract 4 of the National Bureau of Unity Clubs, Suggested Plans of Study and Work For Unity Clubs and Study Classes (Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, 1891).

Box 2, Folder 3 Treasurer’s account book ledger for the Unity Club, 1892-1896 (33 pages)

Box 2, Folder 4 Treasurer’s account book ledger for the Women’s Alliance formed in 1906, 1906-1926 (132 pages)

Includes a program for the 1914-1915 season of meetings of the Women’s Alliance of the First Unitarian Society of Manchester and two flyers advertising a chicken pie supper and an afternoon tea, all tipped in.

Box 2, Folder 5 By-Laws of the Unitarian Society, 1894-1897
Box 2, Folder 6 Mortgage deed for a sum of $2500 needed for repair of the church steeple. The First Unitarian Society mortgaged land to the American Unitarian Association in Boston. Nov. 27, 1929
Box 2, Folder 7 Programs for various installations of ministers, 1905-1937
Box 2, Folder 8 Receipts and notes, 1860-1883
Box 2, Folder 9 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1861-1942 (8 letters)

Box 2, Folder 10 Miscellaneous manuscripts, including an address by Ella Hope before the Alliance in 1932, reporting on Alliance Week at the Isles of Shoals; an historical address by Lauretta B. Sawtelle, Parish Historian, at the centennial meeting at Grace Church, Dec 2, 1941; notes on early religious education in the First Unitarian Society, n.d. (but ca. 1930); and various notes toward a history of the church, including a list of members on the original church roll, 1932-1941
Box 2, Folder 11 Miscellaneous printed items, including program for the dedication of the “new church edifice of the First Unitarian Church of Manchester, N.H.”, May 1, 1872; program for the fiftieth anniversary of the church, April 27, 1892; program of the “exercises in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary,” Sept. 20-22, 1908; booklet containing services conducted for the fiftieth anniversary of the church building in 1922, historical addresses, constitution and by-laws, list of origin members, and other historical information; various programs of services; a typed report for the annual parish meeting, Jan. 12, 1933, and a program for the “Festival of the Arts,” Nov. 13-15, 1941, 1872-1941
Box 2, Folder 12 Various printed items concerning the exposition of the faith of Unitarians, undated, including cards and one-page sheets of the Creed, the scriptural belief, and cornerstones of the faith, probably for use in the Sunday school; Unitarian Catechism by M.J. Savage, 1890; a completed questionnaire from 1881; and a folio sized double-fold picturing the three hundred delegates to the convention that formed the Unitarian Layman’s League, April 11-12, 1919, with a list of names, 1881-1919
Box 2, Folder 13 Pen and ink drawing of the First Unitarian Church, Manchester by Margarete Gravas, undated (See this item)

Series II: Publications 1848-1964

Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1 Unitarian publications: Unitarian Annual Illustrated, 1894-1895, The Unitarian Club, Boston; The Unitarian, Vol. XII Number 11, Nov. 1897; Services and Hymns for Alliance Meetings, The Alliance of Unitarian and Other Liberal Christian Women, Boston, 1914; Star Island Chronicles (Unitarian), Summer 1916. First issue; Unitarian News Letter, (headline: “When Star Island Calls”), May 1932; The Fulfilment of Citizenship, Boston: American Unitarian Association, n.d., 1922-1931
Box 3, Folder 2 Sermons: A Discourse in Vindication of Unitarianism From Popular Charges Against It by Rev. Arthur B. Fuller, delivered in the First Unitarian Church in Manchester, N.H., May 14, 1848; Discourse Occasioned By The Death of Hon. Richard Hazen Ayer, Rev. Arthur B. Fuller, delivered in the First Unitarian Church in Manchester, N.H., Feb. 13, 1853; The Spirit of Human Liberty As One Among The Democratic Issues of Christianity and Another Sermon by William Leonard Gage, First Unitarian Church in Manchester, N.H., Nov. 2, 1856; A Discourse Occasioned By The Death of Dr. Warren F. Chamberlin, Pastor of the Unitarian Society, Manchester, Nov. 30, 1856; An Easter Sermon by Rev. C.W. Heizer, First Unitarian Church in Manchester, N.H., April 17, 1892; The Simplification of Life by Samuel McChord Crothers, Minister of the First Parish and First Church in Cambridge (Cambridge: The Co-operative Press, 1900); William Makepeace Thackeray by Rev. Chas. J. Staples, Lecture delivered before Section E of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, January 15, 1901′ A Sermon: The Divineness of Christ, The Divineness of Manhood by Rev. Chas. J. Staples, First Unitarian Church in Manchester, May 12, 1901; The Spiritual Vision of Human Life: A Sermon by Frank Abram Powell, Delivered in the Pulpit of the First Unitarian Church, Helena, Mont., Oct. 29, 1912, 1937-1953
Box 3, Folder 3 Miscellaneous: “The London of Dickens,” fold-out flyer, n.d.; “The Old March Meeting Day,” poem by John Foster, read by John Foster at the Amoskeag Old Home Day, Aug. 26, 1905; Eric Alton Dyer Presents…, publicity flyer; “Centennial Hymn,” words by Herman Christophe, music by Blanche Hayes Cornell, part of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of the First Unitarian Society celebrations, April 24, 1942 1905-1942 and undated
Box 3, Folder 4 Newsclippings, 1850-1942
Box 3, Folder 5 New Hampshire Book Fair publicity flyers and posters (held at the First Unitarian Church), 1939-1942
Box 3, Folder 6 Programs for the Branch Alliance, First Unitarian Society, 1916/17-1921/22

Box 3, Folder 7 Programs for the Branch Alliance, First Unitarian Society, , 1923/24-1932/33
Box 3, Folder 8 Programs for the Branch Alliance, First Unitarian Society, 1934/35-1938/39
Box 3, Folder 9 Programs for the Branch Alliance, First Unitarian Society, 1939/40-1954/55
Box 3, Folder 10 Programs for the Branch Alliance, First Unitarian Society, 1955/56-1963/64

Series III: Photographs, 1942

Box 4
Box 4, Envelope 1 Altar at Christmas, undated
Box 4, Envelope 2 Church organ decorated for Harvest Festival, undated
Box 4, Envelope 3 Interior view of church showing aisle, altar, church organ and arches, undated
Box 4, Envelope 4 Interior shot of church, undated
Box 4, Envelope 5 Church door in winter, undated
Box 4, Envelope 6 Interior view of church showing aisle, altar and church organ (close-up), undated
Box 4, Envelope 7 New Hampshire Book Fair display in the vestry of the church. The dining room at the back was called “The Christmas Tea Shoppe” in which The Women’s Allaince served tea and a light supper, undated
Box 4, Envelope 8 Children who attended one of the children’s sessions at the New Hampshire Book Fairs, undated
Box 4, Envelope 9 Reverend George E. Hathaway, undated
Box 4, Envelope 10 Chapel, Star Island, Isles of Shoals (glued on board); closer view (3×5), both undated
Box 4, Envelope 11 Group of boys outside church, undated
Box 4, Envelope 12 Group pictured outside church door in winter, undated
Box 4, Envelope 13 Older woman pictured on church steps, undated
Box 4, Envelope 14 Unidentified trio inside church, undated
Box 4, Envelope 15 Mrs. Copadis, a Greek lady who spoke to the church school about her native land, undated
Box 4, Envelope 16 Pageant: The Spirit of Truth, six of the virtues and three of the pages who participated in the Easter Pageant, “The Consecration of Sir Galahad”, undated
Box 4, Envelope 17 Pageant: Three photos: The Spirit of Truth, “Love,” and Love and Sir Galahad, undated
Box 4, Envelope 18 Pageant: The Spirit of Truth, four boys, undated
Box 4, Envelope 19 Pageant: The Spirit of Truth, girls and young women, undated
Box 4, Envelope 20 Pageant: Knights at “The Consecration of Sir Galahad”, undated
Box 4, Envelope 21 Pageant: “The Consecration of Sir Galahad” (played by Lloyd Kendall), undated
Box 4, Envelope 22 Pageant group photo outside church, undated
Box 4, Envelope 23 Pageant group photo inside church, undated
Box 4, Envelope 24 Five children with perfect attendance at Sunday school: Willard Huntress, Phyllis Daniels, Wendel Walton, Jr., Barbara Daniels, and Romola Huntress, undated
Box 4, Envelope 25 Group of older women, undated
Box 4, Envelope 26 Women and children eating at picnic table, undated
Box 4, Envelope 27 Children at lakeside picnic table, undated
Box 4, Envelope 28 Women and children posing at picnic table, undated
Box 4, Envelope 29 Group photo at picnic, undated
Box 4, Envelope 30 Five boys in Miss Ayer’s Sunday school class standing next to a Temple of Goodwill, undated
Box 4, Envelope 31 Children with Santa Claus in front of Christmas tree, undated
Box 4, Envelope 32 Children seated on sofa, undated
Box 4, Envelope 33 Schoolchildren with their guest, Miss Rachel Hefterman, young daughter of the local Rabbi, who had just given a talk on her trip to Palestine, undated
Box 4, Envelope 34 Women’s Alliance at home of Grace and Margaret Wallace, Nubble Light, York Beach, Maine, summer 1942 1942 (b and w, 3×5)

Series IV: Printing Blocks

Box 4
Printing block, 6×7″
Box 5
Printing blocks: four 5×7″, one 6×6″, six smaller blocks

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