Brown Bag Lunch: "A Free Negro Who Also Owned the Covenant With Us"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Speaker: Richard Boles

Early African Americans in Congregational, Reformed, and Presbyterian Churches

This discussion will address African American affiliation with northern Congregational, Dutch Reformed, and Presbyterians churches during the eighteenth century. Although these three denominations were each part of the "Reformed" tradition, levels of black affiliation in these churches varied significantly. Many blacks were active and willing participants in Congregational churches, but few blacks affiliated with Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian churches in the same period. What accounts for these differences and what does this information suggest about the histories of enslaved and free blacks in the North?

Richard J. Boles is an advanced Ph.D. candidate at The George Washington University. His dissertation, "Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Racially Segregated Northern Churches, 1730-1850", examines the transition from racially diverse churches during the early eighteenth century to separate Indian and black congregations by the early nineteenth century. Mr. Boles previously completed a BA and a MA in history at Boston College. He has received fellowships from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as being last year's ACA / Boston Athenaeum fellowship scholar.

Tuesday, February 5th
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Program begins promptly at noon.

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