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Cha[rle]s A. Hammond to Frederick Douglass, April 24, 1853


Letter from C. A. Hammond.

DEAR DOUGLASS:—Will you allow me a small space in your columns for a few comments upon N. Y. Central College? In a communication in your paper of March 11, I stated that, so far as my knowledge extended, the "supper" was not spread here on the plan of inviting "all Christians" and none others. This is, I believe, still true—although, in some other matters, progress has been made within a few months. There now exists here a body of persons called the "Church of McGrawville," or the "Free Church" of McGrawville, (I am not certain which cognomen is used—the former is the only proper name of a church,) although they are yet without officers or ordinances. In regard to Eld. A. Caldwell, upon whose notice I commented, it gives me pleasure to be able to state, from a private conversationI had with him, that he has repudiated the odious dogma of sectarianism, that any of the true disciples of Jesus Christ may be rightfully debarred from His table. There are various mistakes in the typography of my article, which those can correct who read.—In regard to "sectarianism being unknown" here, I will say that the constitution of the


College Association applies no denominational test to its members, or officers, or teachers. Still, many, perhaps a majority of those members, officers, teachers, &c., are sectarians; and even Bro. Caldwell is unwilling that the school assume an anti-sectarian character, because, he says, it could not be supported in that position. He wishes it to be neutral in the matter.
But if sectarianism be an evil—a sin-a Reformatory Christian Institution ought to take ground hostile to it. Strength consists in being on the side of God and Truth, not in seeking to be neutral. I submit to the friends of reform and education, if it be manly and Christ-like to seek to avoid odium and to court the applause and patronage of those who rend asunder Christ's body, (the Church,) by withholding a free out-spoken utterance of Truth on this subject. O, for men of more than one idea of reform! who will have faith enough in the God whose gospel they are proclaiming their attachment


to, and of which they claim to be preachers even, to trust Him for success, instead of seeking to so trim their sails as to catch the support of anti-sectariams on one hand, and of sectarians on the other. Let such remember the old saying that "between two stools we come to the ground." There are now some fifty or sixty students in the school, while it is much in debt, scantily supplied with library, apparatus, &c., and dependent on the efforts of agents for subsistence. I cannot but believe that an anti-sectarian establishment of the right stamp might be better sustained. Who will start such an institution?
Yours for all righteousness,
MCGRAWVILLE, April 24, 1853.


Hammond, Charles A.




Cha[rle]s A. Hammond to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick DouglassP, 13 May 1853. Comments on the sectarian character of New York Central College.


This document was calendared in the published volume and has not been published in full before.


Frederick Douglass' Paper



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Frederick Douglass' Paper