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William Heth Whitsitt Manuscripts

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William Heth Whitsitt Manuscripts, 1841-1911 | Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives

By Adam Winters

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Collection Overview

Title: William Heth Whitsitt Manuscripts, 1841-1911Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 002/003/001

Primary Creator: Whitsitt, William Heth (1841-1911)

Extent: 134.0 Items

Date Acquired: 00/00/1961. More info below under Accruals.

Languages: English

Biographical Note

William Heth Whitsitt, Southern’s third president, was born on November 25, 1841, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1857, Whitsitt entered Union University, where he earned the B.A. and M.A. degrees. Whitsitt served in the Confederate army during the U. S. Civl War.

Following the war, Whitsitt undertook further postgraduate study at the University of Virginia, Southern Seminary, and the University of Berlin. Southern then called Whitsitt back to Greenville in 1872 to teach Hebrew and biblical instruction. Whitsitt’s main subject, however, was church history. Whitsitt married Florence Wallace of Woodford County, Kentucky in October 1881, and their union produced two children, William (b.May 27, 1883) and Mary (b.July 1, 1886). Notable among his early scholarly projects, Whitsitt composed a 1400 page biography of Mormon pioneer Sidney Rigdon, whom Whitsitt saw as the true founder of Mormonism.

Whitsitt composed a 1893 article for Johnson’s Universal Cyclopedia that generated contentious debate within the Southern Baptist Convention, the culmination of years of his personal study and four articles published anonymously in The Independent (1880-81). In the article, Whitsitt argued that the practice of immersion began in seventeenth century England and that Roger Williams's church in Providence, Rhode Island did not initially immerse. Many nineteenth-century Southern Baptists, especially those adherring to the tenents of Landmarkism, held that an unbroken succession of legitimate baptisms from the apostolic era was a necessary basis for the existence of true churches.  In 1895, prior to the outbreak of controversy, the seminary trustees elected Whitsitt the seminary’s third president. After Whitsitt's views on Baptist history became a matter of public knowledge, intense controversy ensued. Whitsitt released a fuller explanation of his views in his 1896 book A Question in Baptist History, but his attempts to clarify his position resulted in further denominational contention. Enrollment fell and many Baptist churches and associations pledged to withdraw support for the seminary. Having lost the support of some of his closest allies, Whitsitt resigned from the seminary in 1899.

Following his departure from Southern, Whitsitt joined the University of Richmond in 1901 as a professor of philosophy and continuing in that role until 1911. He died in Richmond, Virginia on January 20, 1911.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives

Accruals:

In November, 2012, Jeffrey P. Straub (Acting Director of Library Services, Central Baptist Theological Seminary) arranged for the transfer to SBTS of two bound volumes of Whitsitt's handwritten notebooks resulting from his 1899 research at the British Museum.  Central Baptist Theological Seminary had previously acquired these materials as part of a large purchase of volumes from the library of Colgate-Rochester-Crozer Divnity School of Rochester, New York. Straub noted that the materials seem to have been in possession of Edward Bagby Pollard (1864-1927) prior to their donation to Bucknell Library of Crozer Theological Seminary, where Pollard taught homiletics from 1906-1927.

SBTS Library cataloged these two items as MSS 286.1081 .W617m V.29 Pt.1-2.

Acquisition Source: Mary Whitsitt Whitehead

Acquisition Method: Donation faciliated by SBTS Librarian Leo T. Crismon (see Crimson Records, Series 2, Box 4)


Box and Folder Listing


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[Series 1],
[Series 2],
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Series 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: Lectures as delivered by Rev. W.H. Whitsitt on Biblical introduction and recorded by W.D. Powell at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary : Greenville, S.C. Session of 1872-1873., 1872-1873Add to your cart.
Notebook of handwritten lecture notes, damaged binding.
location: MSS 220.61 .W617L
Item 2: Lectures in Biblical introduction by Dr. W.H. Whitsitt, 1877-8 & Hebrew syllabus by Dr. Toy, 1877-1878, 1912-1913Add to your cart.
Holograph, signed. Pages 200-210 missing. Hebrew syllabus section by Dr. Toy missing. Class notes taken by H.C. Smith. Summary of work for S.M. [state mission, Virginia] Board: p. 211-219. Principal works on gospels, 1873-1878: p. 270-274. Inserted Appointments for H.C. Smith, to the State Mission Board of Virginia, 1912, 1913, sermon notes, various other notes. "100 Bible questions" : p.150-160.
barcode: 0199700726730
location: MSS 220.61 .W617Lb
Item 3: Lectures in Old Testament English by C.H. Toy, 1877-8 & Polemic Theology by Dr. Whitsitt, 78-79, 1877-1879Add to your cart.
Holograph, signed.
barcode: 0199700726185
location: MSS 221.08 .Sm58Lo
Item 4: Lectures on Biblical introduction [by W.H. Whitsitt and Basil Manly, Jr.], 1879-1881Add to your cart.
Handwritten manuscript. Notes taken during 2 semesters: Sept. 3, 1879-Nov. 27, 1879 as taught by W.H. Whitsitt (p. 1-29) and Jan. 23-Apr. 14, 1880 as taught by Basil Manly, Jr. (p. 30-66)."Notes of each days doings while at Louisville commencing Aug. 31, 1880" / Jerome R. Baer. Ended with Friday, Apr. 22, 1881. Blank page: 67-70, 73, 99-100, 102-192; p. 71-72 torn out.  Handwritten manuscript. Notes taken during 2 semesters: Sept. 3, 1879-Nov. 27, 1879 as taught by W.H. Whitsitt (p. 1-29) and Jan. 23-Apr. 14, 1880 as taught by Basil Manly, Jr. (p. 30-66). "Notes of each days doings while at Louisville commencing Aug. 31, 1880" / Jerome R. Baer. Ended with Friday, Apr. 22, 1881. Blank page: 67-70, 73, 99-100, 102-192; p. 71-72 torn out.
Item 5: Essays on Feet-Washing, by Plato Griffin Maness, 1897-1898Add to your cart.
Holograph, signed. At head of title: Historical seminarium papers : Prof. W.H. Whitsitt. Preface refers to thesis entitled "Feet-washing in the early history of the Christian Church. A.D. 30-A.D. 694 / [by Plato Griffin Maness].
barcode: 0199700732761
location: MSS 265.9 .M313f
Item 6: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Holograph; Accompanied by 6 envelopes with enclosures (10 cm. x 12 cm.). Date from postmarks on envelopes.
barcode: 0199700947450
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.1
Item 7: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 1. Introduction
barcode: 0199700947443
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.2
Item 8: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 2. A.D. 30-100
barcode: 0199700946965
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.3
Item 9: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 3. A.D. 100-800. Immersion less than firmly established
barcode: 0199700947203
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.4
Item 10: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 4. A.D. 800-1200, The Roman Church Saves the Day
barcode: 0199700947195
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.5
Item 11: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 5. A.D. 1200-1517. Revolt against immersion in the West
barcode: 0199700946957
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.6
Item 12: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 6. Practice of the Greek gnostic church
barcode: 0199700947435
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.7
Item 13: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 7. Gnostic-Manichaean parties
barcode: 0199700947187
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.8
Item 14: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 8. Waldensian and related parties
barcode: 0199700947427
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.9
Item 15: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 9. Immersion overthrown in the West
barcode: 0199700946940
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.10
Item 16: Distinctive Principle of Baptists, 1902Add to your cart.
Part 10. Mode of baptism among Anabaptists
barcode: 0199700947179
location: MSS 286.09 .W617d V.11
Item 17: Henry Jessey, A Repository of Divers Historical Matters Relating to the English Antipedobaptists : Collected from original papers or faithful extracts, 1712-1896Add to your cart.

Collected manuscript notes concerning the history and practices of early English Baptist churches. Constituted part of source documents used by Thomas Crosby (1685?-1750?) in his History of the English Baptists. Used by William Heth Whitsitt in his A question in Baptist history.

Holograph, signed (with handwritten transcripts). On leaf 1: I began to make this collection in Jan. 1710-11. The records of an antient [sic] congregation of dissenters from wch [sic] many of ye independent and Baptist churches in London took their first rise: esc. mss. of Mr. Henry Jessey, wch [sic] I received of Mr. Richard Adams. [Handwritten copy on ruled paper / by William Heth Whitsitt?]. Includes copy of The Kiffin Manuscript, accredited to William Kiffin (1616-1701). On verso, p. 21: "Copy of Jessey Records." Richard Adams. Pastor of Devonshire-square Baptist Church, London, 1690-1718. William Kiffin. Pastor of Devonshire-square Baptist Church, London, pre 1690. With: The Crosby collection / William Heth Whitsitt.

barcode: 0199600558340
location: MSS 286.0942 .J496r
Item 18: The Crosby Collection, 1880-1896Add to your cart.

Documents concerning Dr. Whitsitt's defense of his use of the Jessey documents in journal articles and in his book: A Question in Baptist history.

Holograph (Some typescript). With: A repository of divers historical matters relating to the English Antipedobaptists / [Henry Jessey].

barcode: 0199600133474
location: MSS 286.0942 .J496r
Item 19: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
Holligraph, signed. To which is added an appendix containing correspondence with J.G. DeHoop Scheffer of Amsterdam.
barcode: 0199700947153
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.1
Item 20: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
Holligraph, signed.
barcode: 0199700947401
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.2 Pt. 1
Item 21: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
Holligraph, signed.
barcode: 0199700946932
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.2 Pt.2
Item 22: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1879-1880Add to your cart.
Includes Whitsitt's appendix of the J.G. DeHoop Scheffer correspondence, 1879-1880.
barcode: 0199700946684
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.3
Item 23: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1879-1880Add to your cart.
Includes copies of Whitsitt's correspndence with Scheffer.
barcode: 0199700946924
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.4
Item 24: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700946676
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.5
Item 25: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700947161
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.6 Pt. 1
Item 26: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700946916
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.6 Pt.2
Item 27: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700946668
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.7 Pt.1
Item 28: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700946429
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.7 Pt.2
Item 29: Edward Barber, the Founder of the Practice of Immersion among the Baptists, 1880Add to your cart.
barcode: 0199700946411
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617e V.8
Item 30: [Scrapbook containing clippings on the Whitsitt Question], 1880-1898Add to your cart.

Scrapbook created by George Augustus Lofton.

Holograph (with printed clippings). William Heth Whitsitt, President, Southern Baptist Thological Seminary, 1895-1899, was accused by J.T. Christian of plagiarism and falsification of source records (Jessey Records) in editorials in the Western Recorder, June-October, 1880.

barcode: 0199700732969
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617Lc
Item 31: A Question in Baptist History : Whether the Anabaptists in England practiced Immersion before the year 1641?, 1896Add to your cart.
Holograph, signed (some typescript). Parts written on verso of letterhead: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisivlle, Ky., Office of the president. Parts of 2 copies. Published: Louisville, Ky. : C.T. Dearing, 1896.
barcode: 0199600143374
location: MSS 286.0942 .W617q
Item 32: [Letter, 1910 Aug 15] Richmond, to Bro. Manly, 1910Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Whitsitt describes his present physical condition, lists the birth date and place of his father and grandfather, tells of his first American ancestor, his own conversion, and "sorrow about 1641."  Holograph, signed.
barcode: 0199700915549
location: MSS 286.108 .W617L
Item 33: The Southern Situation, 1910Add to your cart.
Typescript (with Handwritten corrections). Cites the Civil War as example of political division within the South. Quotes W.J. McMurray's statistics on the service of Southern troops. Warns of both the profit and the dangers he sees coming as a result of the Panama Canal Construction.
barcode: 0199700950546
location: MSS 286.1081 .W617s
Item 34: Origin of the Disciples of Christ (Campbellites) : a contribution to the centennial anniversary of the birth of Alexander Campbell, 188uAdd to your cart.
Typescript (handwritten corrections), published by A. C. Armstrong in 1888.
barcode: 0199701013518
location: MSS 286.6 .W617o
Item 35: [Materials relating to William H. Whitsitt], 1899-1911Add to your cart.
No. 1. Banquet to Dr. Whitsitt : a fond farewell -- No. 2. Obituary of Dr. W.H. Whitsitt.
location: MSS 922.6173 .W617m
Item 36: Life and times of Judge Caleb Wallace, sometimes a justice of the Court of Appeals of the state of Kentucky, 1888 (approximate)Add to your cart.
Typescript. Published as: Life and times of Judge Caleb Wallace, sometimes a justice of the Court of Appeals of the state of Kentucky. Louisville : J.P. Morton & company, printers, 1888. Accompanied by: [Letter] 1890 Jan. 18, Lexington Va. to Wm. H. Whitsitt, Louisville, Ky. / J.A.R. Varner (2 p. on 1 leaf ; 27 cm. holograph, signed). Accompanied by: [Letter] 1890 Feb. 8, Lexington Va. to Wm. H. Whitsitt, Louisville, Ky. / J.A.R. Varner (4 p. on 2 leaves ; 27 cm. holograph, signed). Varner's letters, written after publication, gave more family information and requested Whitsitt's help in tracking down missing information. Accompanied by: [Notes for Wallace Ms.] / William Heth Whitsitt (ca. 50 leaves ; 21 cm. holograph).
location: MSS 923.4 .W15w

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