This Week In History

April 16, 1835

Rev. Alfred W. Wright, missionary to ChoctawsIn Little Rock, on April 16, 1835, the Presbytery of Arkansas was formed. The Presbytery included the eastern part of Indian Territory, James Wilson Moore and two missionaries to the Choctaw Nation, Rev. Alfred E.Wright (shown at right) and Rev.Loring S. Williams, were present. Wright and Williams had worked on a written Choctaw language as well as setting up schools in Mississippi, and later in Oklahoma when the tribe was moved by the Federal Government.

April 17, 1735

On April 17, 1735, the Rev. Samuel Hemphill was put on trial by the Synod of Philadelphia on charges of not adhering to the Adopting Act of 1729 requiring ministers to essentially agree with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. The trial was highly publicized, with Benjamin Franklin defending Hemphill in his newspaper, although he did not argue that Hemphill had preached according to the Westminster Confession. The synod dismissed Hemphill later that year, and Hemphill went into obscurity. Franklin left the Presbyterian Church he attended, although he continued financial support of its ministers for some time. Franklin attended the Anglican Christ Church.

April 18, 1833

On April 18, 1833, Elijah Parish Lovejoy (Nov. 9, 1802 - Nov. 7, 1837) was ordained by the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia. The Presbyterian minister and abolitionist newspaper editor was killed in Alton, Illinois, on Nov. 7, 1827, while he was defending his printing press.

April 19, 1865

Lincoln's funeral at the White HouseOn April 19, 1865, Abraham Lincoln's funeral at the White House was held shortly after noon (drawing at right). About 600 guests entered the same way the public had the day before — through the crepe-covered South Portico and the Green Room and into the candle-lit East Room.

Rev. Dr. Phineas GurleyAt left, Rev. Dr. Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, delivered the eulogy: "Probably no man since the days of Washington was ever so deeply and firmly imbedded and enshrined in the very hearts of the people as Abraham Lincoln. Nor was it a mistaken confidence and love. He deserved it — deserved it well — deserved it all.... He was simple and sincere, plain and honest, truthful and just, benevolent and kind. His perceptions were quick and clear, his judgments were calm and accurate, and his purposes were good and pure beyond a question. Always and everywhere he aimed and endeavored to be right and to do right. His integrity was thorough, all-pervading, all-controlling, and incorruptible."