George Bush papers  1830-1859
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The George Bush papers consist of letters addressed to Bush, an active member of the New Jerusalem Church, about Swedenborgian beliefs and practices including a few letters about abolition.

The Bush collection is strongest in documenting the beliefs and practices of Swedenborgians, mystics and spiritualists during the 1840's and 50's. The correspondence provides insight into Swedenborgian religious views (e.g., their conception of the soul (item 13) and documents a diversity of viewpoints among members of this 'non-traditional' sect (e.g., items 2, 18). The papers also provides insight into how New Church views were propagated and received in the US and Britain (e.g., items 23, 43, 20).

Although the collection contains only four items concerning anti-slavery movements, these represent a wide range of opinion. Thus Joseph Tracy (of the American Colonization Society; item 14) has very negative comments for the tactics of William Lloyd Garrison, while the New Church clergyman Richard K. Crallé suggests that the evil ("if evil it be") of slavery does not warrant imperiling the spread of the New Church in the south by taking a strong, public pro-abolition stance.

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