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bMS 743

Winchester, Elhanan, 1751-1797. Letters, 1786: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 743
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Winchester, Elhanan, 1751-1797
Title: Winchester, Elhanan, 1751-1797. Letters, 1786.
Date(s): 1786.
Date(s): 1751-1797
Date(s): 1771
Date(s): 1774
Date(s): 1795-1796
Date(s): 1797
Date(s): 1786
Date(s): 1738-1816,
Quantity: 1 collection (2 letters)
Abstract: These two letters are written by Elhanan Winchester, and they are addressed to Captain Zephaniah Andrews of Providence, Rhode Island. In the letters, Winchester thanks Andrews and friends for their kindness.

Acquisition Information:

These letters were purchased in 1980 from an unknown source.

Processing Information:

Processed by Fran O'Donnell, 2014.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Elhanan Winchester,1751-1797, was one of the founders of the U.S. General Convention of Universalists, later the Universalist Church of America. He was the self-educated son of a farmer. As a youth, he joined the Baptists, and in 1771 he was ordained a Baptist minister in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. In 1774 he traveled to South Carolina to accept a position which he left upon the death of his first wife. Winchester was an itinerant preacher, and one of the first to share the gospel openly with slaves. He settled in Philadelphia, and then moved to London, England. He was there for seven years, and then returned to Philadelphia, where he ministered from 1795-1796. He traveled to Connecticut to preach, and died there in 1797.

Scope and Contents

These two letters were written by Winchester in 1786 and mailed together to Zephaniah Andrews, 1738-1816, of Providence, Rhode Island. The first letter expresses his gratitude to his friends in Providence, Rhode Island for their hospitality. He also exhorts them to "stand fast in the truth." The second letter is addressed to Andrews, who was one of the early Universalists in Providence, and was also the Colonel of the Marine Artillery. In the letter, he reports that he arrived safely in Philadelphia despite a difficult journey, and mentions some books and sermons which he asks Andrews to give away.

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