1816.040: An Illustration of the Presbyterian Church in Virginia.

Published: 1816

Full Title: An illustration of the character & conduct of the Presbyterian Church in Virginia.

Author: Rice, John Holt (1777-1831).

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: DuVal & Burke

Description: 56 pgs.; 23 cm. (8vo).


In December 1815, the Presbyterian Synod of Virginia petitioned the Assembly asking for an act incorporating a Theological Seminary of Virginia in Farmville; such an act would separate the clerical training functions of Hampden-Sydney College into an independent entity there; however, that petition was tabled after a favorable committee report when concerns were raised that granting this request was a way for Presbyterians to induce a re-establishment of state-supported religion in Virginia. In this essay, dated January 6, 1816, Rice attempted to both calm those misgivings and pressure the Assembly by an appeal to the general public; his efforts were fruitless, however, as the session adjourned seven week later without acting on the now controversial petition; the Union Theological Seminary that emerged in its place was not a corporate entity until the 20th century; Rice was a pivotal figure in its early operation. This title is one of the few known imprints produced by DuVal & Burke; that concern was an interim arrangement lasting just five months (December 1815 to April 1816) after the abrupt retirement of Arthur G. Booker from the printing trade for medical reasons; that press was a remnant of the Argus Office of Samuel Pleasants, acquired by Booker and Burke in the sale of their former master's estate in December 1814. The firm was also then publishing the weekly Christian Monitor, Rice's first venture into religious journalism.

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