Letter from Brother Turner
Christian Recorder: March 1, 1862
Turner writes about recent union victories, updates on preachers in the area, and the need for
both the Recorder and Repository literary operations.
Keywords: Newspapers, Preachers, Churches
Mr. Editor: - Some mementos of Baltimore events may not be out of place;
notwithstanding nothing extraordinary has transpired in our city more than what you are kept
posted on either through your own means of information or other artificial expedients.
The recent victories achieved by the superior strategy and bravery of the Federal forces, I
find, are making more Union proselytes among those who have hitherto been flavored with
secessionism than all the logicians and rhetoricians in the country could have made.
Disloyalty, traitorism, tyranny, and oppression are all fruits of one corrupt tree, and the
God of heaven has commissioned his holy imperial watchers to hew it down. And we might as
well talk of….extinguishing the luminaries of heaven by the blackening sweep of an unchained
passion, as to think of rebutting the proud march of Federal strength interblended with a
determinable ambition for the establishment of justice, equality, and right, sam in hoc vincit
Rev. J. M. Brown has just closed a very successful protracted meeting, which resulted in
adding several to his church. Brother Brown is making quite an intellectual and moral reform in
his Federal Hill charge. He has also commenced preparing for the erection of a new church, as
the present church does not begin to accommodate the people who convene there to hear the
word of life. Should Brother Brown be returned to the same station another year, we may look
out not only for a magnificent church, but one that shall vie very strongly with Big Bethel.
Rev. A. W. Wayman has also commenced a protracted effort in his charge, which has not
been in continuance long enough yet to say how the current will run. We can only say the
prospect is good.
1 Turner was probably talking about the Battle of Port Royal which resulted in a Union Victory.
Rev. Bishop Payne, D. D., is still with us. He has quite recovered from the ill attack
which had him prostrated for several weeks upon his bed. I think he looks better now than I have
ever seen him for a long time. I am not able to say whether the Bishop will remain out till our
Conference is over or not. I am happy to state, however, that his remaining with us is giving
character to our literary-standard with the whites and a beneficial impetus to our people.
Rev. W. H. Waters has been complaining for some time. He has contracted a severe
cold, which has reduced him considerably.
We had a very fine week’s meeting at my church, (Union Bethel) which is just
over. The Lord was with us. Considering there is no epidemic in our city, the people are dying
very fast. My church, in a week’s time, lost two of her most prominent members – Sister Folks
and Brother John Waters, exhorter. Let glory be to God they both died in faith. Two happier
deaths are seldom witnessed.
Ever since the Rev. (Savage) S. L. Hammond wrote to you that letter which you
published of his, stating, as he thought, that the Repository detracted from the Recorder, and the
Recorder from the Repository, a great many persons have looked upon these two organs as being
derogatory to each other’s interests, as well as the editors being somewhat prejudiced against
Now I don’t think that Rev. Hammond ever intended to convey so radical an idea as what
has gained prevalence among the people, and hence I think the people have both extremed his
idea, and misapprehended the design of the editors, also the bulk and literary wants of our
Now, sir, you know it never was the intention either for the Recorder or Repository to
antagonize each other, for yourself have been the prime editor of both. And did you give up the
executive editorial department of the Repository, after having so honorably served it, to wage
hostility against it by resurrecting the Recorder? Was not your purpose and intention in the latter
conferential to your design in the former? Must all things be converged into one thing before our noodles can perceive they are not inimitably executed? Must we forever lag for the want of the
inestimable power of joint operations? No! God forbid; it is time for the people to see that there
is need for every grade of literary application among us. And this leads me to say, that we need
both the Recorder and Repository. We should have an organ for both current and solid
matter. The literary reputation of our ministry, the extensiveness of our connexion (sic), the
wants of our people in general, the numberless pupils in our Sabbath Schools, all argue not only
the necessity of a Reorder and Repository, but of a regular printing house. This is no time to be
fanning literary opposition. But let us support both. Let both organs battle together, and let the
subscribers for one subscribe to the other also, and down with this false idea that they are hostile
to each; down with the false idea that we do not need them.
H. M. Turner
Baltimore, Feb. 17, 1862