Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Lecture in 1877 to Raise Money for the New Huguenot Memorial Church in Pelham Manor

On July 9, 1876 (the first Sunday after the Fourth of July that year), the Pelham Manor Church we know today as Huguenot Memorial Presbyterian Church opened the doors of its first church building for worship. The little wooden building was known for decades thereafter as the "Little Red Church". That first Sunday, The Rev. C.E. Lord, D.D. delivered the sermon. He spoke on “The Religious History of the Huguenots in America, and Reasons for the Erection of Huguenot Memorial Church”.

Raising money to build the Little Red Church was difficult given that the nation was in the throes of a financial depression that followed the Financial Panic of 1873. To learn more about some of the efforts to raise money to build the little church, see:

Fri. January 27, 2006: Lectures to Raise Money To Build the "Huguenot Memorial Forest Church" Building in Pelham Manor

Of course, raising money to build the little church was one thing. Raising the money necessary to operate the institution in the midst of a financial depression was quite another. Research has revealed the fact that in 1877, Reverend Lord of the Church took his sermon on the history of the Huguenots in America "on the road", so to speak, to raise money for the tiny church. Today's Historic Pelham blog posting will describe one such instance.

The February 15, 1877 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle detailed a lecture presented the evening before at the Church of the Pilgrims by Rev. Charles E. Lord, D. D., pastor of the Huguenot Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pelham Manor, New York. According to the account, the subject of the lecture was "the 'Huguenots'". Proceeds from the lecture were for the benefit of the Pelham Manor Church that, as noted by the article, "has been erected as a memorial to the French emigrants who, two hundred years ago, there signalized in exile by lofty living their devotion to their libery and convictions".

The article about the lecture provides a brief synopsis that reads, in part, as follows:

"He paralleled the coming of the Huguenots hither with that of the Puritans. The former came as a recoil against the recovocation of the edict of Nantes, and he claimed that the Protestants whom Henry IV protected promoted every moral and material good of France. Dr. Lord contended that the mistake of Henry in espousing the Papcy, the fanatical assassination of that monarch, the intolerance of Louis XIII, and that of his Minister, who was worse than himself, logically issued in the absolutism of Louis XIV. Against his tyranny and bigotry and licentiousness, the Huguenots (Dr. Lord maintained) were the opposing forces, the moral protest, the political antithesis. Rome and Louis being unable to match the Huguenots on their merits, resolved to crush them. Hence the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685. The effect of that was described with picturesque and scholarly moderation by the lecturer, who also enlarged upon the benefits the Huguenots, dispersed through the world, confered on the race and on all the coming ages. Louis lived to see that in France intellect had become moribund, commerce obsolete, and military prowess destroyed. The debt these States are under to Huguenot men and principles was then state in felicitous and graphic principles was then state in felicitous and graphic terms by the lecturer. The discourse being one of unusual interest and importance, Dr. Lord's ability to instruct and entertain through its statement, was warmly appreciated by his hearers."

Source: The Revocation, Brooklyn Eagle, Feb. 15, 1877, p. 2.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.


Post a Comment

<< Home