Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York - Vol. 7

By E. T. Corwin; James A. Holden | Go to book overview
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PREFACE

The present volume is the outcome of efforts begun by the Honorable Hugh Hastings while State Historian. The Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York were originally compiled under the auspices of the State Historian by the Reverend Edward T. Corwin D.D. LittD., who was well fitted for the task by reason of his familiarity with the Dutch language, and by his personal acquaintance with the ecclesiastical authorities in Holland, where he lived for some time. The General Synol of the Reformed Dutch church originally started this work, and through its generosity much of this valuable material relating to the ecclesiastical history of New York State, and including every denomination from the earliest Dutch times, has been secured for the students of religious history.1 The first and second volumes of these records were published in 1901, the third and fourth in 1902 and the fifth and sixth in 1905. It was the original intention of both Mr Hastings and Doctor Corwin to complete this valuable and monumental work by the addition of a proper index. In their present condition, except to the student who is possessed of infinite patience and an abundance of time, a great deal of the value of these really interesting and important documents is lost. As has been stated, they are not merely a compilation of the reports of the Reformed Dutch churches in America to the Classis of Amsterdam, but through their collateral references, selected from the contemporary written records either in manuscript or printed form, they contain the history of nearly every religious denomination then prominent in the New World, having more especial relation to those to be found within the boundaries of New York as a colony, and likewise as a state from 1621 to 1810.

Through the efforts of Mr Hastings, an item was placed in the supply bill of 1907 calling for an appropriation of $1500 for preparing a suitable index for the Ecclesiastical Records. During the compilation and preparation of these records, Doctor Corwin acquired a great deal of index material and made ready therefore to enter upon the final part of the work.

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1
For the history of the procurement of copies of the Ecclesiastical Records from Holland and other sources, see 1 :5-31.

-7-

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