Tag Archives: The Christian Recorder

Where Tornadoes Begin

The most remarkable and interesting features of the development of tornadoes is the fact that they nearly always from southeast of a moving center of low pressure, and their tracks, scattered here and there, conform closely to the progressive direction of the main storm.

For example, on Feb. 19, 1884, forty-four tornadoes occurred in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, but principally in Georgia and Alabama. They developed at a distance of 500 to 2,000 miles from a storm-center that moved across the northern part of the United States, beginning at the northern extremity of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, thence south-easterly through Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to northern Illinois and Indiana, northward through Michigan, across Lake Huron, disappearing north of Quebec.

This sudden sharp turn of the storm center southward into Illinois and Indiana. Seems to have relation to the unprecedentedly large number of tornadoes that developed not far from the south Atlantic coats, extending inland as far as southern Illinois and Indian. This southward lunge of a mass of cold, moist air seems to have caused the abnormal conditions of temperate and due point, and the high winds necessary to case the most tremendous exhibition of destructive, terrible tornado power ever recorded by the signal service.

This invariable location southeast of the storm center is one of the main peculiarities of tornado development upon which the predictions depend.

Popular Science Monthly

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Source: The Christian Recorder, February 4, 1884
Top Image: Damage from a tornado which struck Fort Smith, Arkansas on the night of January 11, 1898. From NOAA Public Domain Photo Archive

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An Alphabet of Proverbs from 1862

The Christian Recorder

This alphabetical list of proverbs appeared in the September 20, 1862 issue of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States’s newspaper The Christian Recorder.

Alphabet of Proverbs

  • A grain of prudence is worth a pound of craft.
  • Boasters are cousins to liars.
  • Confession of faults makes half amends.
  • Denying a fault doubles it.
  • Envy shooteth at others, and wounds herself.
  • Foolish fear doubles danger.
  • God reaches us good things by our hands.
  • He has hard work who has nothing to do.
  • It costs more to avenge wrongs than to bear them.
  • Justice overtakes many a rogue.
  • Knavery is the worst trade.
  • Learning makes a man fit company for himself.
  • Modesty is a guard to virtue.
  • Not to hear conscience is the way to silence it.
  • One hour to-day is worth two to-morrow.
  • Proud looks make foul work in fair faces.
  • Quiet conscience gives quiet sleep.
  • Riches is his who wants least.
  • Small faults indulged are little thieves that let in greater.
  • The boughs that bear most hang lowest.
  • Upright walking is sure walking.
  • Virtue and happiness are mother and daughter.
  • Wise men make more opportunities than they find.
  • You never lose by doing a good turn.
  • Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.

And a good newspaper is a well-spring of knowledge.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.
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Moody and Boys-og

Happy Birthday D.L. Moody

Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 -– December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.

Moody began his educational ministry with the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 (later called the Northfield School for Girls) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. Moody built the girls’ school in Northfield, Massachusetts, the town of his birth, and the boys’ school a few miles away in the town of Gill. Moody’s goal was to provide the best possible education for young people without privilege, and he enrolled students whose parents were slaves as well as Native Americans and people from other countries, which was unprecedented among elite private schools at that time.

Moody and his Success

We were privileged on the morning of Nov. 21st., Sunday, to hear Dwight L. Moody, pronounced by Theodore Cuyler to be the “mightiest preacher to the common people” since the days of Whitefield. Mr. Cuyler had reference to the success of this plain speaking man – this preacher in the dialect of the street. And how unparallelled has that success been! It is questionable whether any apostle or preacher of the Master ever had such crowds to wait upon his ministry.


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The books of Horatio Alger, Jr.

Happy Birthday Horatio Alger, Junior!

Horatio Alger, Jr. was born in the coastal town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, on January 13, 1832, to Horatio Alger, a Unitarian minister, and his wife Olive Augusta Fenno.

Horatio Alger, Jr. in 1852

Horatio Alger, Jr. in 1852

The future author was the descendant of Plymouth Pilgrims Robert Cushman, Thomas Cushman, and William Bassett. He was also the descendant of Sylvanus Lazell, a Minuteman and brigadier general in the War of 1812; and Edmund Lazell, a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1788.

Horatio attended Gates Academy, a local preparatory school, and completed his studies at age fifteen. In July 1848 Alger passed the Harvard entrance examinations, and was admitted to the class of 1852.

His first novel Marie Bertrand: The Felon’s Daughter was serialized in the New York Weekly in 1864. His first boys’ book Frank’s Campaign was published in Boston later the same year. Alger initially wrote for adult magazines, including Harper’s Monthly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

A friendship with William Taylor Adams, a boys’ author, led him to begin writing for the young.

The following short piece by Mr. Alger appeared in The Christian Recorder in 1865.

Edward’s Temptation

It was six o’clock in the afternoon. At this time the great wholesale warehouse of Messrs. Hubbard & Son was wont to close, unless the pressure of business compelled the partners to keep open later. The duty of closing usually devolved upon Edward Jones, a boy of fourteen, who had lately been engaged to perform a few light duties, for which he received the sum of $50 annually. He was the boy, but if he behaved himself so as to win the approbation of his employers his chance of promotion was good. Yet there were some things that rendered this small salary a hard trial to him – circumstances with which his employers were unacquainted. His mother was a widow. The sudden death of Mr. Jones had thrown the entire family upon their own resources, and these were indeed but slender.

There was an elder sister who assisted her mother to sew, and this with Edward’s salary, constituted the entire income of the family. Yet by means of untiring industry, they had continued thus far to live, using strict economy, of course. Yet they had wanted none of the absolute necessaries of life.

But Mary Jones – Edward’s sister – grew sick. This not only cut off the income arising from her labor, but also prevented her mother from accomplishing as much as she would otherwise have been able to do.

On he morning of the day on which our story commences, Mary had expressed a desire for an orange. In her fever it would have been most grateful to her. It is hard, indeed, when we are obliged to deny those we love that which would be a refreshment and benefit to them.


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Happy New Year

A New Years Eve Poem in The Christian Recorder

The Christian Recorder is the oldest existing black periodical in America, and the only one in the United States whose existence dated before the Civil War. It had its genesis in the Christian Herald, which was established by the General Conference that was held in Philadelphia in 1848. The Christian Herald was a published weekly and subscribers paid one dollar and fifty cents a year.

The name of the Christian Herald was changed to The Christian Recorder at the Ninth Quadrennial Session of the General Conference that was held in 1852 in New York City.


By Rev. Augustus W. Watson, LL.B.

We linger on the threshold
Of another dying year,
And we listen to the echoes
Which mem’ry bids us bear;
For e’en the day is waning
And the shadows lengthen fast;
Ere it ushers in the future
We yet muse upon the past.

Our mind flies backward- backward
To the springtime of our life,
When we called the fairest flowers,
Knowing naught of worldly strife;
When the buds of hope expanded
As they drank life’s morning dew,
And fancy’s brush flew swiftly
As it gorgeous pictures drew.

Ah! The bells of joy rang sweetly,
Not a discord in the chime,
Not a thought of coming sorrow
Marred the happiness sublime;
For experience had not taught us
We must sometimes meet with snares,
And on our life’s long journey
We are burdened oft with cares.

And the echoes still are ringing
At the beck of memory’s wand,
But the sound is somewhat changing,
Aye, more solemn, yet still grand;
For the footsteps now which greet us
On our further march through life,
Are of busy, busy toilers,
Whose minds with thoughts are rite.

For the summer days are passing
With their sunshine, rain and dew,
And we work, must, for the future
Ere the harvest time be through,
For the Autumn soon is on us
With its yellow leaves and sear,
And ere aware how soon it pauses-
Bleak, wintry winds are here.

But hark! the bell is telling
Of the midnight’s solemn gloom,
And we know its last sad accents
Will speak the old year’s doom;
And we rouse from dreamy mem’ries,
And we list with bated breath
To its solemn, sad, sad tolling,
Which tells the old year’s death.

And we think, alas! How swiftly
The years will onward speed,
When to the old year’s dying
No more shall we give heed;
For another bell’s sad tolling,
With its solemn, solemn chime,
Will record our spirit wafted
Into some other clime.


Collection: African American Newspapers
Date: January 1, 1885
Location: Philadelphia, PA

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.
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