University of Chicago Library

Guide to the American Baptist Education Society Records 1887-1902

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


American Baptist Education Society. Records




0.5 linear ft. (1box)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Founded in 1888 for "the promotion of Christian education, under Baptist auspices, in North America," it was under the Society's supervision that the University of Chicago was founded in 1890. Frederick Taylor Gates served as first corresponding secretary of the Society, 1888-1892. Succeeded by the Board of Education of the Northern Baptist Convention, 1911. Minutes of the "Provisional Committee" (1888); printed proceedings of the National Baptist Educational Convention and organization of the Society (1888); printed annual meeting reports (1889-1902); financial records (1889-1890); clippings concerning the Society (1887-1902).

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: American Baptist Education Society. Records,[Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

In 1887 Henry L. Morehouse, Corresponding Secretary of the American Home Mission Society, a national Baptist agency to spread the gospel in North America, recommended the establishment of a new denominational body to supervise the founding of Baptist colleges and schools in the West. This work had fallen by default to his organization. Thus, in 1888, the American Baptist Education Society was established for "the promotion of Christian education, under Baptist auspices, in North America." Under these auspices, the present University of Chicago was founded in 1890, during the tenure of the first Corresponding Secretary of the Society, Frederick T. Gates [1888-92]. Folders 1 through 11 of The Correspondence of Frederick Taylor Gates contain what is, in effect, the correspondence of the American Baptist Education Society during this period.

Scope Note

The immediate collection consists of sixteen folders of reports, pamphlets, and miscellaneous printed materials of the American Baptist Education Society. The pamphlets in Folders 1 and 2 relate the founding of the society and generally illustrate the philosophy toward higher education of the Baptist Church. The First Annual Report [Folder 3] indicates that "The Board has decided to undertake the establishment of a Baptist institution of learning in the city of Chicago." In the Second Annual Report, Thomas W. Goodspeed relates the academic and financial status of the young university. The Third Annual Reports states that the University of Chicago is able to exist autonomously.

The remaining reports include additional material regarding the young University of Chicago and relate the activities of the American Baptist Education Society to 1902. Two cashbooks are included in Folder 15. They record contributions made to the University of Chicago, 1889-1890. Folder 16 contains a scrapbook compiled by Edward Goodman.

The minutes of the "Provisional Committee" of the society from July to December 1888, as kept by its secretary, J. A. Smith, are contained in Folder 17.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Gates, Frederick Taylor. Papers

Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

The Church and the University, 1888, to which is appended a detailed argument and plan

Box 1   Folder 2

The National Baptist Education Convention and Organization of the American Baptist Education Society-May 16-17, 1888

Box 1   Folder 3

First Annual Meeting Report May 18, 1889 (3 copies)

Box 1   Folder 4

Second Annual Meeting Report May 27-28, 1890

Box 1   Folder 5

Third Annual Meeting Report May 8-9, 1891

Box 1   Folder 6

Fourth Annual Meeting Report May 28, 1892

Box 1   Folder 7

Fifth Annual Meeting Report May 11, 1893

Box 1   Folder 8

Sixth Annual Meeting Report May 22-23, 1894

Box 1   Folder 9

Eighth Annual Meeting Report May 25, 1896

Box 1   Folder 10

Tenth Annual Meeting Report May 5, 1898

Box 1   Folder 11

Eleventh Annual Meeting Report May 24, 1899

Box 1   Folder 12

Twelfth Annual Meeting Report May 10, 1900

Box 1   Folder 13

Thirteenth Annual Meeting Report May 25, 1901

Box 1   Folder 14

Fourteenth Annual Meeting Report May 8, 1902

Box 1   Folder 15

Cashbook, 1889-1890; Cashbook, 1890

Box 1   Folder 16

"Scrapbook, June 9, 1887-December 2, 1902 relating to the founding of the American Baptist Education Society and the University of Chicago," [Edward Goodman]

Box 1   Folder 17

Minutes of the "Provisional Committee," July-December, 1888, manuscript, J. A. Smith, secretary