Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828

By Niels Henry Sonne | Go to book overview

IV
PRESBYTERIANISM AND
THE STATE

THE opposition of a portion of the Presbyterian clergy to the liberal political leadership of Kentucky became very acute during the War of 1812. Kentucky's representatives in Washington, particularly Henry Clay and Richard M. Johnson, had been among the leaders in precipitating the war.1 Behind them stood the aroused opinion of the greater part of the state's population. Kentuckians in general supported the war with fiery zeal, and were remarkable for their enthusiastic patriotism. The business and industry of the state also benefited very substantially.2

Yet there were a few people who were strongly opposed to the war. Most prominent among these was John Pope, United States senator, who had voted against the declaration of hostilities.3 Historians have consistently noted this, but have failed to observe that several Presbyterian clergymen, and one very assertive Presbyterian layman, actively concerned themselves in criticism of the men and policies responsible for the war, on religious principles, and gave their support to John Pope. This policy and this criticism necessitated a reconsideration of the principles of separation of religion and state, such as would enable the Presbyterians to justify their attacks. This, in turn, precipitated an angry

____________________
1
Kerr, History of Kentucky, I, 549.
2
Ibid., II, 592.
3
Ibid., I, 551.

-108-

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Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - Intellectual Viewpoints in Pioneer Kentucky 1
  • II - Early Transylvania 46
  • III - Dr. Joseph Buchanan 78
  • IV - Presbyterianism and the State 108
  • V - A Revolution at Transylvania University 135
  • VI - Horace Holley, Liberal Theologian and Educator 160
  • VII - Liberalism on the Defensive 191
  • VIII - Liberalism Defeated 242
  • Bibliography 263
  • Index 275
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