Finney, Charles G., 1792-1875

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Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875), revivalist, educator, and second President of Oberlin College (1851-65), abandoned the practice of law after a dramatic religious conversion and, following ordination in the Presbyterian Church, launched a decade of extraordinarily successful revivals in New York state (1824-33). He left the Presbyterian Church in 1836 and identified himself as a Congregationalist from then on. Finney's brand of theological perfectionism helped to make Oberlin College famous after Finney arrived in 1835 to establish its theological department and take up the pastorate at the First Congregational Church in Oberlin (1835- 72). Finney died in Oberlin in 1875.

From the description of Papers, 1817-1875. (Oberlin College Library). WorldCat record id: 25029702

Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875); noted evangelist, temperance advocate and preacher. In 1837 he moved to Oberlin, serving the college as professor, president (1851-66), founder and editor of the Oberlin Evangelist and editor of the Oberlin Quarterly Review. He published several volumes of sermons and lectures, in addition to many articles in various journals.

From the description of Papers, ca. 1870. (Presbyterian Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 48272809

Famous evangelist of the Second Great Awakening and second president of Oberlin College (1851-1866).

Born in Warren, CT, and raised in Clinton and Henderson, NY, Finney was educated at the Hamilton Oneida Institute. He taught from 1812 to 1816 and studied privately. In 1816, he began reading law in the office of Judge Benjamin Wright in Adams, NY, and was admitted to practice in 1818. In 1821, he was converted to Christianity and was subsequently licensed to preach by the St. Lawrence Presbytery in 1823. He conducted highly successful revivals throughout upstate New York, in New York City, and in England. From 1835-1872, he was pastor of the First Congregational Church of Oberlin. Finney served Oberlin College as professor of theology and mental and moral philosophy (1835-1875), as a member of the board of trustees (1846-1866), and as president (1851-1866).

He was married three times: Lydia Andrews (b. 1804, m. 1824, d. 1847); Elizabeth Ford Atkinson (b. 1801, m. 1848, d. 1863); and Rebecca Allen Rayl (b. 1824, m. 1865, d. 1907).

From the description of [Papers] 1817-1875. (Oberlin College Library). WorldCat record id: 20347580

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Ockenga, Starr,. Nineteenth century friendship albums, 1828-1891 (bulk 1830-1870). Cornell University Library
creatorOf Norton, Smith, 1824-1912. Papers, 1856-1891. Oberlin College Library
creatorOf Weld family. Weld-Grimké family papers, 1740-1930, bulk 1825-1893. William L. Clements Library
referencedIn Moynan, Mary Goforth. Papers of Mary Goforth Moynan, 1918-1994. Billy Graham Archive & Research Center
creatorOf Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842. A discourse delivered before the Benevolent fraternity of churches in Boston, on their anniversary, April 9, 1835. Miscellaneous sermons, 1811-1835. Virginia Theological Seminary, Bishop Payne Library
referencedIn Webster, E. F. Autograph letters, 1873-1899. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Howland, Emily, 1827-1929. Emily Howland papers, 1797-1938. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Marks, David, 1805-1845. David Marks papers, 1835-1845. Bates College Library, George and Helen Ladd Library
referencedIn Brown, Sidney S. Sidney S. Brown papers, 1833, 1836 and 1878. Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Cowles, Henry, 1803-1881. Papers 1824-1908. Oberlin College Library
creatorOf Reed, Benjamin E. Papers 1855-1872. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Finney, Charles Grandison, 1792-1875. Papers, 1817-1875. Oberlin College Library
creatorOf Cox, Jacob D. (Jacob Dolson), 1828-1900. Papers, 1851-1901. Oberlin College Library
creatorOf Finney, Charles Grandison, 1792-1875. [Papers] 1817-1875. Oberlin College Library
referencedIn Hooker, Richard James, 1913-,. Hooker collection, 1788-1890 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Taylor, W. (William). Survey of Finney letters. Wisconsin historical society
referencedIn Weld-Grimké family papers 1740-1930 1825-1893 Weld-Grimké family papers William L. Clements Library
referencedIn Emily Howland papers, 1797-1938. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Goodell, William, 1792-1878. The William Goodell Family Papers 1780-1892 1820-1878 Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn George Nelson Allen Family. Papers, 1804-1924. Oberlin College Library
referencedIn Taylor, Herbert John, 1893-1978. Papers of Herbert John Taylor, 1916-1979. Billy Graham Archive & Research Center
referencedIn Fairchild, James H. Papers, 1819-1910. Oberlin College Library
creatorOf Finney, Charles Grandison, 1792-1875. Papers, ca. 1870. Presbyterian Historical Society, PHS
referencedIn Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874. Correspondence, 1829-1874 Houghton Library
referencedIn Monroe, Julia Finney, 1837-1930. Papers, 1838-1921. Oberlin College Library
referencedIn Monroe, James, 1821-1898. Papers 1819-1898. Oberlin College Library
referencedIn Brown, Sidney S. Sidney S. Brown papers, 1833, 1836 and 1878. Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Robie, L. C. Oral history interview with L.C. Robie, 1979. Billy Graham Archive & Research Center
referencedIn Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874. Papers, 1762-1962 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Finney, Charles Grandison, 1792-1875. Charles Grandison Finney papers, 1817-1878 (inclusive), 1824-1875 (bulk), [microform]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Oberlin College. Alumni Information Services. Records, 1833-1991. Oberlin College Library
referencedIn Broadway Tabernacle Church and Society Papers, 1835-1980 (bulk 1840-1970) New-York Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Beman, Nathan S. S. (Nathan Sidney Smith), 1785-1871. person
associatedWith Brown, Sidney S. person
associatedWith Bushnell, Horace, 1902-1876. person
associatedWith Chapin, Josiah. person
associatedWith Cowles, Henry, 1803-1881. person
associatedWith Cox, Jacob D. (Jacob Dolson), 1828-1900. person
associatedWith Cushman, John P. person
associatedWith Dwight, Timothy, 1752-1817. person
associatedWith Emily, Howland 1827-1929. person
associatedWith Fairchild, James H. person
associatedWith Finney, Elizabeth Ford Atkinson, 1801-1863. person
associatedWith Finney family. family
associatedWith Finney, Lydia Andrews, 1804-1847. person
associatedWith Finney, Lydia Root Andrews, 1804-1847. person
associatedWith Finney, Rebecca Allen Rayl, 1824-1907. person
associatedWith First Congregational Church (Oberlin, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Gale, George Washington, 1789-1861. person
associatedWith George Nelson Allen Family. family
associatedWith Gilbert, E. W. (Eliphalet Wheeler), 1793-1853. person
associatedWith Goodell, William, 1792-1878. person
associatedWith Grimké family family
associatedWith Hooker, Richard James, 1913-, person
associatedWith Howland, Emily, 1827-1929. person
associatedWith Keep, John, 1781-1870. person
associatedWith Leavitt, Joshua, 1794-1873. person
associatedWith Marks, David, 1805-1845. person
associatedWith Monroe, James, 1821-1898. person
associatedWith Monroe, Julia Finney, 1837-1930. person
associatedWith Moynan, Mary Goforth. person
associatedWith Norton, Smith, 1824-1912. person
associatedWith Oberlin College. corporateBody
associatedWith Oberlin College. Alumni Information Services. corporateBody
associatedWith Ockenga, Starr, person
associatedWith Parker, Mary A. person
associatedWith Reed, Benjamin E. person
associatedWith Robie, L. C. person
associatedWith Sears, Willard. person
associatedWith Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874 person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith Tappan, Lewis, 1788-1873. person
associatedWith Taylor, Herbert John, 1893-1978. person
associatedWith Taylor, W. (William) person
associatedWith Webster, E. F. person
associatedWith Weld family family
associatedWith Weld family. family
associatedWith Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
United States
United States
United States
Antislavery movements
Congregational churches
Congregational churches
Evangelistic work
Spouses of clergy
Women and religion
College presidents


Birth 1792-08-29

Death 1875-08-16





Ark ID: w6w95cw3

SNAC ID: 45119779