Marie Metcalf began a survey to demonstrate interest in a Sunday school on Asylum Hill

10/29/1860 |

Category: 1860-10-28-asylum-hill-congregational-church

Marie (or Maria) Metcalf, who, undertook a survey of all residents of the neighborhood in order to determine the level of interest in a new Sunday school.  She was assisted in her effort by her neighbor, Mrs. Joseph Kellogg.

 

Trust but verify

The date is the day after the annual meeting of the City Missionary Society, so this is the earliest that Metcalf could have begun her survey.  She does seem to have started promptly, especially if the date of the first class of the Sunday school is correct – she would have had five days to conduct her survey, get permission to use West Middle School, and get the teachers and students organized to attend. 

Put into context

Metcalf lived on Broad Street in Asylum Hill, and she had witnessed boys playing outside on Sundays for lack of a Sunday school to attend.  When she heard Hawley’s speech at the annual meeting of the City Missionary Society, she was likely primed to act.  Atwood Collins described her as “recognizing the fact that she was on the missionary ground indicated by the speaker” (i.e., Hawley) but that she undertook this survey on her own initiative.

The Kelloggs were important figures in the formation of Asylum Hill Congregational Church.  Joseph Kellogg attended the first meetings at the American Asylum on February 3 and February 6, 1864, and it could well be that his wife’s efforts with Marie Metcalf encouraged him to get involved.  I'm still looking for Mrs. Kellogg's name.

Questions to pose

Was the Sunday school planned and started in six days?  It seems unlikely, but it certainly isn’t impossible, especially given that Erastus Collins was the chair of the local school district.  Metcalf wrote a letter at a later date describing her efforts, and this letter may clarify the timing – but I haven’t read it yet. 

Sources

Swartz, Melva J., “Hill Church Will Observe Anniversary,” Hartford Courant, March 18, 1940, page 1.

Unattributed, “Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twichell Honored at Anniversary of His Church,” Hartford Courant, March 24, 1915, page 16.

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