Baptists and the American Civil War: February 23, 1862

New York City of the Civil War era

New York City of the Civil War era

Today’s New York Times reports of a unique church “fair” the city’s Sixteenth Street Baptist congregation is planning:

The ladies of this [Sixteenth Street Baptist] Church have completed their arrangements for a fair for the benefit of the Church treasury. Space will admit of but limited description; yet three objects of design, so original as to attract attention, deserve notice, and will, no doubt, meet with liberal and appreciative purchasers before the close of the fair. One is an imitation brown-stone model of their church, lighted throughout with tiny gas jets. The second noticeable feature is a complete representation of a military camp, so roughly natural that you could almost fancy the pickets and sleeping soldiers to be real personages. The third and most complicated design is the arrangement of a quilt in carefully selected colors, depicting the “Ship of Life” sailing up the Sea of Time to the Shore of Eternity. The corners of this rich piece of needlework are emblazoned with appropriate emblems, such as the Rock of Ages, the Anchor of Hope, etc. It is a work of great skill, and was wrought by a lady of the congregation. The refreshment table is also distinguished by favors from high quarters, and ice-cream from the freezers of the Fifth-avenue Hotel seemed to be discussed with marked favor.

Technology (gas jets), the war and the theme of death and heaven thus characterize this war-era church fund raiser.

Source: “Fair in the Sixteenth-Street Baptist Church,” New York Times, February 23, 1862 (link); photo (link)