Numerous Baptist documents of the Antebellum and Civil War era have been preserved. Following is a list of key primary documents, other than associational and local church records, that are available on the Internet. The documents are arranged in chronological order.
“Rev. Dr. Richard Furman’s EXPOSITION of The Views of the Baptists, RELATIVE TO THE COLOURED POPULATION In the United States IN A COMMUNICATION To the Governor of South-Carolina” (Link) – This document represents a pivotal point at which white Baptist leaders of the South began consolidating around a pro-slavery view. Furman was speaking on behalf of the white Baptist Convention of South Carolina.
“Journal of the Public and Secret Proceedings of the Convention of the People of Georgia, Held in Milledgeville and Savannah in 1861, Together with the Ordinances Adopted,” January (Link) – Perhaps the most activist among Confederate state governors, Governor Joseph Brown, a Southern Baptist, presided over the state’s secession convention proceedings. Brown led the state of Georgia through secession and the war, his pro-slavery views reflected among state politicians (voiced in this document) and state Baptist leaders. The document expressly identifies the defense of black slavery as the cause of secession.
“Address of the Baptist General Association [of] Virginia,“ June 4 (Link) – Virginia Baptists directly addressed the war in late spring of 1863. Identifying slavery as the cause of the conflict and placing the blame on northern abolitionists, Virginia Baptists also recognize immorality in the South – but not slavery – as the reason for battlefield losses.
“Fast-Day Sermon” by Isaac Taylor Tichenor, August 21 (Link) – One of the most well-known and respected ministers in the state of Alabama reflects upon war weariness and moral imperative of defending slavery and the Confederacy.
“Southern Slavery & the Bible: A Scriptural Refutation of the Principle Arguments Upon Which the Abolitionists Rely. A Vindication of Southern Slavery From the Old and New Testaments” by Ebenezer W. Warren, (Link) – Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia, Warren was a strong pulpit voice for slavery and the Confederacy.
The Baptist Encyclopedia by William Cathcart (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3) – Published not long after the Civil War, this encyclopedia is a helpful source of information about notable Baptists prior to the 1880s, including many of the Civil War era. Some of the biographical information on this site uses Cathcart, and the reader can often find additional biographical information on many individuals.
History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia, by Samuel Boykin (Vol 2) (link) – Boykin was editor of Georgia’s Christian Index during the Civil War years.