School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary

In 1834 anti-abolitionist riots ripped into New York City. In 1837 the Old School and New School Presbyterians split. In 1836, between those uproars, the New School founded Union Seminary, with two unusual moves: 1) an ecumenical commitment, and 2) in New York rather than in a smaller, more remote place. The Board made another unusual move. On 12 April 1837, Abner Jones [fl. 1830-60] (this is not the ‘Elder’ Abner Jones [1772-1841] who organized ‘Christian’ churches) offered to raise $25,000 for a professorship of sacred music. The Board and President Thomas McAuley (1778-1862) accepted the offer and on 6 May 1837 elected him to this post. Four days later the banks failed. The money never...

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