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Featured "Divining America" Essay:
The Middle Colonies as the Birthplace of American Religious Pluralism by Patricia U. Bonomi


Links to Online Resources
  General links
Links by colony
Links by denomination


General

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/religion.html
Superb online exhibition from the Library of Congress, abundantly illustrated with artifacts and documents. Very accessible for secondary level students. J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, 1782; Letter III: "What Is an American?"
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CREV/letter03.html
Crèvecoeurís letter of 1782 (quoted by Prof. Bonomi in this essay) in which he comments on American religious diversity. The full text of Crèvecoeurís work, a series of letters recording his observations on Americans, begins at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CREV/home.html. From the American Studies Program of the University of Virginia.

Religion, Society, and Culture and Newfoundland and Labrador (18th/19th Centuries)
http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~hrollman
For an interesting contrast, review the histories of the Catholics, Anglicans, Moravians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and other religious groups in eastern Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries. From Dr. Hans Rollman, Dept. of Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The Middle Colonies

NEW NETHERLAND/NEW YORK

The New Netherland Project
http://www.nnp.org/index.shtml
Presents a timeline of the Netherlands and Scandinavia relating to North America, a "historical calendar" of New Netherland, online documents, a newsletter, and more. From the independent New Netherland Project sponsored by the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York.

Flushing Stands up for Tolerance
http://www.newsday.com/community/guide/lihistory/
ny-history-hs316a,0,6371264.story?coll=ny-lihistory-navigation

On the protest of several Flushing residents to Gov. Peter Stuyvesant in 1657 repudiating his order to refuse entry to Quakers, stating that if Quakers, Jews, or Muslims "come in love unto us, wee cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town." From the Newsday online history "Long Island: Our Story."

The "Great Negro Plot" of 1741, New York City
PENNSYLVANIA

The Quaker Province: 1681-1776
http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/pahist/quaker.asp?secid=31
Best one-page overview of the immigrant settlers of colonial Pennsylvania, with a subsection on religion. From the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Pennsylvania
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11638c.htm
In this entry on Pennsylvania from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to the sections "History," "Ethnology and Denominational Statistics," and "Religious Conditions."

The Germans Come to North America
http://www.anabaptists.org/history/ss8001.html
A clear overview of the German sects that migrated to America, primarily to Pennsylvania: Anabaptists (Swiss Brethren, Mennonites, Amish), Pietists, Moravians, Schwenkfelders, and Seventh Day Baptists. Also check the Anabaptist-Mennonite History page on this site, the personal page of Mennonite Mark Roth.

The Germans in the United States
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06475c.htm
A history of German religious sects in colonial America, including a major section on German Catholics, from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

A German-American Chronology, 1608-1990
http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/adams/chrono.html
A timeline including events of German-American religious history. Click the link "Table of Contents" for the online edition of Willi Paul Adams, The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience, 1990. From the Purdue University German-American Center.

From "An Historical Description of the Province and Country of West-New-Jersey [and Pennsylvania]" by Gabriel Thomas, 1698
http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/36-tho.html
Among this colonistís observations are comments on the religious tolerance of the colonists, e.g., that the Anglicans and Quakers in Pennsylvania "live Friendly and Well together; there is no Persecution for Religion, nor ever like to be." From a Swarthmore College course collection, accessed through the American Religious Experience project of West Virginia University at http://are.as.wvu.edu.

From "Journey to Pennsylvania" by Gottlieb Mittelberger, 1750
http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/40-mit.html
Another commentary by a Pennsylvania colonist, here a recent German immigrant, who states that the colony "possesses great liberties above all other English colonies, inasmuch as all religious sects are tolerated there." From a Swarthmore College course collection.

William Penn
http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/ppet/penn/page1.asp?secid=31
Attractive student-friendly biography of Penn from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

William Penn, Visionary Proprietor
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/PENN/pnhome.html
An extended study of William Penn from the American Studies Program of the University of Virginia.

"William Penn, America's First Great Champion for Liberty and Peace"
http://www.quaker.org/wmpenn.html
A review of Pennís activism for religious liberty written by libertarian Jim Powell, a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute.

The 1764 Massacre at Paxton, in John F. Watsonís Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, 1857
http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/pa/philadelphia/watsontoc.htm
Scroll down the Table of Contents on this page to Vol II, Ch. 3, Part I at http://ftp. rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/pa/philadelphia/areahistory/watson0206.txt, and then scroll about halfway through the document to "The Paxton Boys and Indian Massacre" on the "outrage . . . committed by those memorable outlaws [on the] friendly, unoffending, Christian Indians" in the course of religious disputes over the settlement and protection of the western lands. From the Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Archives on USGenWeb: Pennsylvania.


NEW JERSEY

New Jersey
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10790a.htm
In this entry on New Jersey from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, read about the Protestant sectsí influence in the section "Civil History," and of New Jersey Catholicism in the section "Ecclesiastical History."

A Synopsis of New Jersey History
http://www.state.nj.us/hangout/synopsis.htm
A brief history of New Jersey with several paragraphs on its religious groups, written by the research director of the New Jersey Historical Commission.


DELAWARE

Delaware
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04692a.htm
In this entry on Delaware from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to the sections "Catholic Progress" and "Other Religions," which includes this statement: "From its earliest settlement, at no time did religious intolerance ever appear in the government of the Swedish colony which grew into the State of Delaware."

State of Delaware: A Brief History
http://www.state.de.us/facts/history/delhist.htm
Includes information on the religious origins of the colony. From the official site of the State of Delaware.

Old Swedes Church, Wilmington, Delaware
http://www.oldswedes.org/
History and a detailed virtual tour of the church built in 1688-1689 by Swedish Lutheran immigrants and cited as the "nation's oldest church building still standing as originally built." From the Old Swedes Foundation.

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Denominational Histories

AMISH

The Amish
http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~jkh8x/soc257/nrms/amish.html
Well-organized introduction with a brief history, weblinks, and a bibliography. From The Religious Movements Homepage @ the University of Virginia.

The Amish
http://www.religioustolerance.org/amish.htm
Overview of Amish history, current issues, and beliefs and practices, plus weblinks and a bibliography. From the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, which provides similar overviews of over thirty Protestant denominations.

The Amish and the "Plain People"
http://www.800padutch.com/amish.html
Basic introduction in a question-and-answer format from the Pennsylvania Dutch Country Welcome Center site.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


ANGLICANS/CHURCH OF ENGLAND

The Church of England in Early America
http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/eighteen/ekeyinfo/chureng.htm
Essay by Prof. Christine Leigh Heyrman on this site.

"A Memorial Representing the Present State of Religion, On the Continent of North America" by Thomas Bray, 1700
http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/spg.html
Document prepared by an Anglican clergyman for the Archbishop of Canterbury to outline the missionary needs, colony by colony, in British America. From The American Colonistís Library.


BAPTISTS

The Baptists in the United States
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02278a.htm
In this entry on the Baptists from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to Part II: "History, The Baptists in the United States."

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


CATHOLICS

The German Catholics in America
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06475c.htm
In this entry on Germans in the United States from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to Part II: "The German Catholics in America."

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


CONGREGATIONALISTS
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04239a.htm
Entry from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia that includes several brief sections on the Congregational Church in America (primarily in the New England colonies).


DUNKERS

The Dunkers
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15090b.htm
A brief entry in the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


REFORMED

History of the Reformed Church in America (formerly Dutch Reformed Church)
http://www.rca.org/aboutus/archives/outline.html
Brief history and links list from the official site of the Reformed Church in America.

The Reformed Church (Dutch and German) in the United States
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12710a.htm
In this entry on Reformed churches in the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to the histories of the Dutch (Part I) and German (Part II) Reformed Churches in America.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


HUGUENOTS (French Protestants)

The National Huguenot Society
http://huguenot.netnation.com/
An abundance of historical information and links from the National Huguenot Society.

A Huguenot Timeline
http://www.genealogyforum.com/gfaol/resource/Huguenot/hug0006.htm
A chronology of the Huguenots and Protestant Reformed in Europe and America. From Genealogy Forum.

The Huguenot Historical Society of New Paltz, New York
http://www.hhs-newpaltz.org/
Historic information and a virtual tour of Huguenot Street, a National Historic Landmark District.

A Huguenot Historic District in New York State
http://www.hvnet.com/museums/huguenotst/index.htm
Another virtual tour of the historic district of New Paltz, New York, founded by the Huguenots in 1677; especially valuable for its weblinks. From the Hudson Valley Network.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


JEWS

Creating American Jews
http://www.nmajh.org/exhibitions/caj/index.htm
In this online exhibition from the National Museum of American Jewish History, go to the sections "Beginnings" and "A New World" for a review of early Jewish immigration to the British colonies.

Portuguese Immigrants in the United States
http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/portam/chron1.html
Information on Portuguese Jews in the Middle Colonies begins at 1634 in the timeline on this page. From an online exhibition of the Library of Congress.

Abigail Levy Franks: Jewish "Continuity" in Early America
http://www.ajhs.org/publications/chapters/chapter.cfm?documentID=243
On the Levy-Franks family, an elite Jewish family in New York City in the early 1700s; a segment in a continuing series from the American Jewish Historical Society.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


LUTHERANS

History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
http://www.elca.org/communication/roots.html
From official site of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Lutherans in America
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09458a.htm
In this entry on Lutheranism from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to Part II: History, to the subsection "Lutherans in America."

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.


MENNONITES

The Mennonites
http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/mennonites.html
Well-organized overview from The Religious Movements Homepage @ the University of Virginia.

Mennonite Connections on the World Wide Web
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/menno.html
A megalink directory with history sites maintained by Dr. Bradley Lehman, a Mennonite, on his personal website.

Mennonites
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10190b.htm
Brief entry on the Mennonites from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


METHODISTS

200 Years of United Methodism: An Illustrated History
http://www.drew.edu/books/200Years/200UM/001.htm
Bountifully illustrated online history of Methodism in America from 1766 to 1984. From Drew University.

History of the United Methodist Church
http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=1&mid=346
On this official site of the United Methodist Church, go to the first section, "Roots: 1736-1816."

A Timeline of the United Methodist Church and the American Heritage
http://www.gcah.org/methchart.pdf  (PDF file)
PDF. Timeline in a useful column format, on the site of the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.

Methodism in the United States
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10237b.htm
In this entry on Methodism from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to Part III: History, subsection "Methodism in the United States."

Francis Asbury, First Bishop of American Methodism
http://rylibweb.man.ac.uk/data1/dg/methodist/asbury.html
A brief biography with documents from the John Rylands University Library of Manchester (UK), accessed through the American Religious Experience site of West Virginia University at http://are.as.wvu.edu/linkfig.htm.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic: The Eighteenth Century.


MORAVIANS

The Moravian Church
http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Moravian.html
Well-organized overview from The Religious Movements Homepage @ the University of Virginia.

Beginnings of the Moravian Church in America
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02616a.htm
In this entry on Moravian Brethren from the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to the section "Beginnings of the Moravian Church in America."

History of the Moravian Church
http://www.moravian.org/history/
A brief introduction to the European origins of the Moravian Church from the official website of the Moravian Church.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


PRESBYTERIANS

Presbyterianism in the United States
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12392b.htm
In this entry on Presbyterianism in the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, scroll to Part II: History, subsection "The United States."


QUAKERS / SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

The Quakers
http://www.religioustolerance.org/quaker.htm
Good overview of Quaker history, beliefs & practices, organizations, and bibliography and weblinks. From the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, which provides similar overviews of over thirty Protestant denominations.

The Quakers
http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~jkh8x/soc257/nrms/quak.html
Well-organized overview from The Religious Movements Homepage @ the University of Virginia.

The Religious Society of Friends
http://www.quaker.org
A lengthy but minimally annotated set of links to web resources on the history, doctrine, and current issues in the Society of Friends. Maintained on his personal site by Mr. Sippel (M.Div, Earlham School of Religion).

Journal of John Woolman, Quaker, 1774
http://www.strecorsoc.org/jwoolman/title.html
Journal of the abolitionist Quaker from New Jersey who travelled throughout the American colonies to protest slavery, especially slaveholding among Quakers. Also available in one webpage from the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/WooJour.html

Biography of Isaac Norris, Philadelphia Quaker, 1671-1748
http://www.bdopl.com/bdopl/samples.html
Click "Isaac Norris" at this page for an intriguing look into the life of one colonial Quaker who personifies the moderating influence of the Middle Colonies (but who insisted on remaining a slaveholder): "Although Norris's faith was fervent, it was characterized by moderation and tolerance rather than by fanaticism or dogmatism." From the online Biographical Dictionary of Pennsylvania Legislators.

"Negro Membership in the Society of Friends [on the American continent]," c. 1650Ėc. 1900.
http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qwhp/hcjnh1.htm
Scholarly history by Henry J. Cadbury, a founder of the American Friends Service Committee and a former professor in the Harvard Divinity School; originally published in the Journal of Negro History, 21 (1936).

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


SCHWENKFELDERS

Schwenkfelders in the Colonies
http://pages.prodigy.com/JPBC05A/schwenk3.htm
A chapter in an extended history of the Schwenkfelders on the personal site of a Schwenkfelder family (site recommended by Schwenkfeldian Magazine).

Schwenckfeldians
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13597a.htm
A brief entry in the online 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.


SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS (not related to the Seventh Day Adventists whose sect originated in the nineteenth century)

History of a Choosing People: A Thumbnail Sketch of Seventh Day Baptists, 1650-Present
http://www.seventhdaybaptist.org/7DB/A_Choosing_People_EN.asp?SnID=189108500
From the official site of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of the United States and Canada.

See above: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and the Pennsylvania/German-American links.

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