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Watertown Methodist Class record book and journal, 1829-1843

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/r851z

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Watertown Methodist Class.
Title: Watertown Methodist Class record book and journal, 1829-1843
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 361
Extent: 0.20 cubic ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Consists of a record book for the Watertown Methodist Class in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], Watertown Methodist Class record book and journal, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Brandon Wason, 2015.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

This class book records member information for a local Methodist society in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The records date from 1829 to 1843 and the book refers to Methodist activities in the towns of Watertown, Goshen, Litchfield, and Plymouth. Methodists were organized into groups of twenty or thirty at the local level. These groups were called classes. A class was usually led by a layperson who would be responsible for leading the meeting, collecting contributions, and disciplining members. Classes would meet weekly on Sundays and then quarterly with the other classes in the circuit. Fasting often coincided with the quarterly meetings, as indicated by a note at the beginning of the class book: “A fast is to be observed every Friday previous to a quarterly meeting.” There was roughly an equal number of both men and women members in this class book.

This class book not only provides critical information regarding the organization of New England Methodism in the 1800s, but may be of use for those conducting genealogical research, or historical research on Watertown or Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Scope and Content Note

The manuscript is bound in a homemade calf leather cover, which reads “Watertown Class Book July 12, 1829. The first date of recorded activity is August 23, 1829 and the final record is March 12, 1843. Tipped into the front of the book is a four-page pamphlet, “The General Rules of the United Methodist Societies,” published in the 1820s by N[athan] Bangs and T. Mason, at the Methodist Book Store, 55 Fulton Street, New York. There is also one manuscript page inserted into the class book, titled, “Subscription for Preaching, 1839-1840.”

The membership rosters indicate individual members’ statuses in the organization, their status in life (i.e., married, single, or widowed), their attendance at each meeting, and significant life events (e.g., death, transfer of membership). In addition to membership information, the book records data about leaders, preaching elders, and circuit preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church.