Vincentian Lens: Erasure of Southern Historical Documents

Authored by Lauren King

This photograph shows the early members of the Emmaus Christian Church outside of the church building, date the picture was taken is unknown.

Emmaus Christian Church was founded in 1826 as the first organization for the Disciples of Christ located in Caroline County; it is described as “rather small” but with approximately a 100 living members at the time of survey (Farmer and George 1937, 1). The survey conducted by Farmer and George (1937) describes the current church members as being a prominent part of the community providing a list of names. Yet, that is all that is known about those members. Without existing church records there is no supplemental information is available (i.e. marriages, deaths). The records from the churches are a vital source of social information that can increase the available knowledge to the public that might be lacking otherwise (Olson 1942). However, the records from Emmaus Christian Church were destroyed in 1864 during the Civil War (Collins, n.d.).

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