John Paris Papers

1839-1883, 1930
Manuscript Collection #143
Paris, John, 1809-1883
Physical description
0.108 Cubic Feet, 49 items , consisting of correspondence, sermons, church conference reports, writings, theological manuscripts, two notebooks, a magazine, and a newspaper.
Preferred Citation
John Paris Papers (#143), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1839-1883, 1930) consisting of correspondence, sermons, notebooks, magazine, newspapers, church conference, reports, writings, theological manuscripts, etc.

Biographical/historical information

John Paris (1809-1883) was a leading minister and theologian of the Methodist Protestant Church in North Carolina. A native of Orange County, N.C., he was licensed to preach in the Methodist Church in 1839, serving the Bolivar Circuit in Tennessee. In 1844 he was chosen as a church elder. Paris authored several works including History of the Methodist Protestant Church (1849) and The Methodist Protestant Manual (1878). During the Civil War he served as chaplain to the 54th N.C. Regiment. After the war, Paris preached in the Albemarle Church District in eastern North Carolina and there is reference to his work both in Washington and Lenoir counties. There is some evidence that he visited England in 1878. He married first Sally Ann Bellamy (1817-1848) of Edgecombe County, N.C., in 1845 and second Maria C. Yancey of Mecklenburg County, Va., in 1849 by whom he had at least nine children. Paris died on October 6, 1883, at Buffalo Springs, Va.

Scope and arrangement

The correspondence centers around his publications and the routine problems with the Methodist Protestant Church. Of special interest is Paris' license to preach (1839) and his appointment as a church elder (1844). Also, two accounts (1851 and 1852) show the cost of various religious works in the period. There are two letters (dated 1878) from Liverpool and York, England, which describe the organization of the Methodist Church in England along with its most important books, journals, and schools.

Among his writings are an essay on the Eighth Annual Conference held in Georgetown, Virginia, in 1866; a preface and revision of a chapter of a book dealing with relations between the Methodist Protestant and Methodist Episcopal Churches; an essay on doctrinal differences within the church; essays written for The Central Protestant and TheMethodist Protestant; an essay on ministerial ordination; and a short story on the problems caused by drinking. Also included are copies of prayers used during the period, speeches to the North Carolina Conference, and numerous notes on various chapters of the Bible. Of special interest are two notebooks based on writings of a Reverend J. Fletcher, which contain notes on High Church Episcopacy Succession and on the solar system.

The collection also includes a sermon by William McB. Roberts (1866), an essay by Maria Yancey on the life of Zebulon B. Vance, a poem by A. Campbell, an "African spiritual" song, a report on the size of the Maryland Methodist Protestant Conference, and an 1835 Bible containing birth and baptism records for Rev. Paris's children and dates concerning his first wife who died in 1848 and his second wife (the mother of the children). The Bible records indicate that John and Maria Paris lived in Lynchburg and Mecklenburg County, Va., in the 1850s.

Publications consist of a copy of The Methodist Protestant (November 30, 1910), and The Davis Cadet (La Grange, N.C., June 1883). The latter publication (found in the oversize folder) contains an article by Paris concerning the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

Administrative information
Custodial History

September 18, 1970, 32 items; Correspondence, sermons, theological manuscripts, etc.

October 13, 1970, 3 items; Credentials (1844), Zebulon B. Vance biographical sketch and copy of The Methodist Protestant (November 30, 1910).

February 17, 1971, 3 items; Correspondence (1878, 1930) and copy of The Davis Cadet (La Grange, N.C., June, 1883). Given by Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives, Greenville, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Dr. Ralph Hardee Rives

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon; M. Elmore, March 2002

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Paris, John, 1809-1883
Vance, Zebulon Baird, 1830-1894
Corporate Names
Methodist Church (Great Britain)--History
Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Protestant Church (U.S. : 1830-1939)
Methodist Protestant Church (U.S. : 1830-1939). North Carolina Conference
Clergy--North Carolina
Methodist Church--North Carolina--Clergy