Mijamin Priest journal, circa 1848-1865
Mijamin Priest (1808-1884) was born December 23, 1808 near Huntsville, Alabama. He was orphaned during childhood and moved to Moulton, Alabama. Priest became affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1832 and was licensed to preach. He moved to Texas and preached in Palestine, Kickapoo, Crockett, and Rusk. In 1859, Priest published a controversial pamphlet and later a paper that propagated viewpoints that differed from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He and three other clergymen founded a new denomination entitled The American Presbyterian Church which disappeared after the Civil War.
Priest was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1836-1839. He later ran for Senate as member of Whig Party, but was not elected. He then studied law and, later in life, was elected to the Texas Senate in 1870. He became a judge, but was removed from office due to his affiliation with the Republican Party. Priest died in 1884.
More information on Mijamin Priest and his family can be found at “Mijamin Priest and His Descendants: A Pictorial History” (http://priest.jvilletx.com/Priest2.htm, accessed 04 May 2011). And the book Mijamin Priest and his family: from William Penn's colony to east Texas, 1684 to 1884, by Ruth Priest Dixon (Baltimore : Gateway Press ; Mitchellville, MD), 2000.
The Mijamin Priest journal (circa 1848-1865) contains handwritten sermons, an autobiography, a will, “receipts” (recipes) for medical treatments, family genealogical records, and a hand drawn map of the “Great Battle Ground at Manassas or Bull Run.” Several loose items have been removed from the journal, but their former locations are noted. The date of one newspaper clipping implies that it was added to the journal after Priest’s death.
Materials in accession #2007-009 were originally held at the Montreat office of the Presbyterian Historical Society. They were transferred to the Austin Seminary Archives in 2007. Some items in this collection have handwritten numbers in pencil that were added by staff at the Presbyterian Historical Society.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Mijamin Priest journal, circa 1848-1865, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Detailed Description of the Collection