The First George Bush: Philosopher, Minister, and Swedenborgian Ancestor of American Presidents

    by Francesca McCrossan, Ph.D. and Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence

 The great granduncle of George Herbert Walker Bush and great, great granduncle of George Walker Bush, the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States, wrote the first American biography of Mohammed, produced well-received scholarly commentaries on several Old Testament books, and championed the New Christianity of Swedenborg.

George Bush

George Bush [1796 – 1859]

Professor Bush and Swedenborg

It is a grievous thing to be obliged to class two such men together.  The former is a scholar, a gentleman, and we hope a good man.  The latter was a gifted, calculating imposter, or else he was a fanatic, a religious maniac, so wild and bewildered as to entitle him to the commiseration of mankind.  In either case he deserves no confidence.  Yet he has the confidence of Professor Bush.

Boston Recorder (Calvinist) for November 13, 1845

 In the autumn of 1845, the East Coast Presbyterian establishment was stunned, bewildered and angry.  One of their highly respected scholars had denounced his Presbyterian faith publicly, voicing his realization that the theological system of Emanuel Swedenborg was more in line with his own than with the Calvinism of his upbringing.  The Rev. George Bush’s reputation as a scholar and theologian had scarcely been limited to denominational circles.  In his heydey, he rivaled Emerson on the public lecture circuit and was well known to scholars and laity for his views on religious views of the topics of the day. In fact, Emerson was in the midst of his own essay on Swedenborg in his classic Representative Men when Bush made his pronouncement.  George Bush taught Hebrew at New York University and published well-received editions of Old Testament interpretation, but his penchant for pursuing many of the same radical idealist currents of thought as did Emerson tended to push Bush into increasingly controversial arenas.

What caused Bush to risk his income, position in society and security for the later years of his life by taking a stand out of the mainstream?  The answer provides a snapshot of religious and scholarly life in nineteenth-century America and adds complexion to the history of the American Swedenborgian church.

Bush’s Conversion to Christianity

This George Bush, a namesake of the two most recent Republican American presidents, was born in Norwich, Vermont and raised by his father, as his mother died when he was only 4 years old.  Although his parents were not church-goers, wee George was quite taken by prayer as a child when he saw a small boy praying at his mother’s knee.  “He was not, as he has often been heard to say, taught to pray, but he went out visiting one day, when about six years old, and saw a little child pray at his mother’s knee…he thought he should like to pray too, and he accordingly then began….He had always thought the Lord was good, and would take care of him, but he believed in the Devil also, and greatly feared him. So he used to have two prayers, one to the Lord and one to the Devil.  He knew it was no use to flatter or cajole the Lord, but the Devil, he thought might be somewhat appeased in this way…. “(Memoirs and reminiscences of the late Prof. George Bush : being, for the most part, voluntary contributions from different friends, who have kindly consented to this memorial of his worth, edited and arranged by Woodbury M. Fernald., p.2.)

Described as a bookish young man, this trait eventually caused his family concern. His father found the boy an apprenticeship in the printing trade at the age of 15.  But George was soon sent home by the printer as he kept reading the manuscripts, rather than learning the trade.  This caused his father to find him a place at Hanover Academy so that he might prepare for college.  He went on to study at Dartmouth College, where his father had also taken his degree.  His classmates included those who would also become worthies of the time, such as Massachusetts lawyer and politician Rufus Choate.

Early anecdotes indicate that Bush was a typical, secular college student, but something affected a change in him and upon graduation from Dartmouth, Bush entered the Princeton Theological Seminary.  He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1823 and taught for a year at Princeton before being posted to Indianapolis as a Home Missionary.  Soon after, he married and he and his wife had a son.  Sadly, Mrs. Bush died in 1827, and the Rev. Bush decided to return east and concentrate on a life of letters. “He had already written occasionally for literary and theological journals, but now he determined to consecrate his life to letters and learning; and in the various departments of dogmatical and ethical theology, general commentary, biblical antiquities, hermeneutics and criticism, the fruits of his industrious pen have ever since engaged the attention of scholars and thinking men.” (Ibid: 5)  It seems his character had always leant itself to reading, writing and philosophical thought on the topics he was engaged in, and so he formalized this as his life’s work, rather than taking a parish.

Bush as Versatile Religious Scholar of Languages, Biblical Texts, and Islam

In 1831, his life of letters expanded when the newly formed New York University appointed him Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature.  One writer notes that this was a position without salary where little was expected of him in an official capacity (New Jerusalem Magazine, V.32 #7, Jan 1860, p. 403), but we have not been able to corroborate this, as he seems to have done a considerable amount of work in that field academically.  His first full-length book, The Life of Mohammed, had already been published the year before in 1830. It was recently re-published once his relation to the current US president was determined, as it is a strange coincidence that the first American book-length treatment of the founder of Islam would have two descendants as the only American presidents to wage war on one of the major Islamic countries—twice.

A Grammar of the Hebrew Language followed in 1835, then eight volumes of commentary on books of the Old Testament. According to an online introduction to the Bush Papers located at the University of Michigan, these works show “the marks of Bush’s encyclopedic knowledge and his highly rationalistic approach to theological and scriptural questions.”

But this rationalistic approach started to slowly change as Bush became interested in symbols and semiology.  At this point Bush “became an important figure in the intellectual life of mid-19th Century New England,” writes Shalom Goldman, in a Newsday article from 1989.  Goldman continues, “His mystical, non-conformist bent drove him to the intellectual freedom only the world of scholarship outside the church could offer…”   It was this trend toward interpreting the Bible as symbolic rather than literal that would eventually lead him to the writings of Swedenborg.  In 1842, Bush began publishing a Journal, The Hierophant, or Monthly Expositor of Sacred Symbols and Prophecy, and he writes, “Comparatively little attention has been paid to the department of sacred symbols and prophecy.  Although of intrinsically surpassing interest, yet from numerous causes, …this class of themes has been studiously shunned by the sober-minded, and the whole province to which they pertain given up as a kind of waste ground of revelation, where only thorn and thistles were expected to grow and only spiritual Quixotes would be found to wander” (Ibid: 404).   Although far from a spiritual Quixote himself, Bush seemed intellectually ripe to discover the writings of Swedenborg.  This is further reflected in his first article in The Hierophant, where his language uncannily follows Swedenborg’s own.  He is attempting, he says, “to show that not the millennium but the New Jerusalem is the proper designation of that august era of grace and glory to which the instructed expectancy of all good men looks forward.”

Simultaneously with his thoughts on the New Jerusalem, he began writing and lecturing on his growing theory of a “double sense of Prophecy”.  His concern for his scholarly reputation is revealed in letters to a colleague, “I know, indeed, that the generic term ‘mystical’ is of import sufficiently wide to include a great deal that I should deem as offensive and mischievous as you would.  It defines a mental region in which lurk a great many evil spirits of allegory and fiction, which need to be driven out by the demonifuge of an austere logic; but I must still protest against bringing everything ‘mystical” under such a ban…” (Ibid: 405).  Soon thereafter he published the highly controversial Anastasis: or, the doctrine of the resurrection of the Body, rationally and scripturally considered (1844).  “It would seem, then…that the judgment of reason would be, that a spiritual body is developed at death…. We mean the disengagement – the extinction — of that psychical part of our nature with which vital and animal functions are…intimately connected” (Ibid: 406).

Bush’s Conversion to Swedenborgianism and Public Discourse with Emerson

Bush was certainly undergoing a fundamental change of spiritual worldview, and would very soon encounter the works that would finalize the shift.   Bush recalled in detail the moment he was made aware of Swedenborg’s writings.  He notes that while giving public lectures in New York on spiritual resurrection, “a lady incidentally remarked to me that the views I had advanced bore a striking analogy to those of Swedenborg on the same theme, and intimating her impression that I must have been conversant with his works.  The suggestion was unfounded; but my curiosity was excited, and I determined, at the first favorable opportunity, to acquit myself with the system, and thus apply a conscious desideratum in my knowledge.  Not many months elapsed before a copy of Noble’s “Appeal in Behalf of the Views of the New Church” fell into my hands (and) I was deeply impressed and was compelled to form an entirely new estimate of the man and the system” (Ibid).

On September 21, 1845, Rev. George Bush publicly renounced Calvinism and converted to Swedenborgianism.  This public renunciation of the faith by one of Calvinism’s stalwarts caused quite a stir, and helped bring the Swedenborgian denomination into the public’s eye.  1845 was an important year for the Swedenborgian Church on the East Coast.  The annual Swedenborgian Convention took place in Boston in early June of that year.  The Church of the Boston Society was also consecrated during that Convention.  And all of this came to the attention of another famous man of letters who was a Bush contemporary, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Emerson had been drafting a piece on Swedenborg to be included in his treatise, Representative Men (1850).  He had been hesitant to include the piece because, as Emerson scholar Clarence Hotson reports, Emerson did not want to identify himself “…in the public minds with a small and unpopular, though temporarily aggressive and increasing religious body. (Hotson, Clarence; “George Bush:  Teacher and Critic of Emerson.”  The Philological Quarterly, Vol. X, No. 4, Oct. 1931: 371).  Hotson continues, “Evidently at this time Emerson seriously doubted the prudence of lecturing on Swedenborg.  What finally persuaded him to do so was, most probably the stir produced in New York, in Boston, and throughout New England, by the public announcement, six days later, of the conversion from Calvinism to Swedenborgianism of the eminent theologian, George Bush….(Ibid: 372). It is worth noting that two of Emerson’s closest friends at Harvard College, Thomas Worcester and Sampson Reed, founded the Swedenborgian church on Beacon Hill and became leading authorities in the American sect.

Hotson continues. “Professor Bush, scholar in Oriental languages, and commentator on the Scripture, had been for a number of years a pillar of orthodoxy.  He fearlessly sacrificed his comfort, and almost his livelihood, in obedience to his new convictions.  His conversion was a great coup of Swedenborgianism, and a blow to orthodoxy….in December, 1845, Professor Bush expounded and defended his new faith before crowded Boston audiences in the vestry of the newly dedicated New Jerusalem Church in Bowdoin Street.  His lecture course received extensive publicity, notably in the Boston Daily Star, whose quote leads this article.

Hotson notes that Bush defended his new faith on Swedenborg at the Boston Odeon, December 9, 1845.  This lecture began a public debate on Swedenborg between Bush and Emerson.   At the same venue just sixteen days later, Christmas Day, 1845, Emerson overcame his hesitation and lectured on his ideas on Swedenborg, considering him mostly as a philosopher and scientist, rather than as a theologian.  Bush then published a response to Emerson’s lecture, carried in several in local newspapers, January 18, 1846.   This public debate seems to have spurred the ire of many mainline leaders who began to criticize Swedenborgianism more openly.  N. F. Cabell, a prominent Virginian who broke from Presbyterianism to join the New Church and who wrote numerous articles in Swedenborgian publications and published a spirited defense of Swedenborgianism in the public press, reportedly remarked to a friend, “The accession to our cause of a man of mark such as Professor Bush …drove our opponents from the policy of silence, or secret denunciation, which they had so long and systematically pursued….” (Ibid: 374).  In other words, the mainline denominations now felt the need to defend themselves in public from a doctrine they considered heretical and a strong threat to their livelihoods.

Emerson’s attitudes toward Swedenborg would evolve; much like William Blake’s had.  Between 1835 and 1840 his journal notes that he viewed Swedenborg favorably as a religious leader.  After 1840 he began to see him unfavorably as a mystic.  Yet eleven years later, they were favorable again, and by 1861, Emerson considered Swedenborg, “as one of the world’s five greatest poets.” (The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Supplementary Letters, Boston:  Tickner and Co., 1886:  35).   The strong influence of George Bush’s lectures on Emerson’s perceptions of Swedenborg is finely detailed in Hotson’s doctoral dissertation at Harvard.  In closing, Hotson sums up the influence this way, “A criticism which could impel Emerson to such eccentric behavior as he evinced in ‘Swedenborg’ must certainly have had great effect upon him.  The reports of Professor Bush’s lectures on Swedenborg in reply to Emerson are therefore important sources of Emerson’s final version of ‘Swedenborg; or the Mystic,’ and indispensable documents for understanding the relation of the Concord sage both to Emanuel Swedenborg and to Christianity in general.”  (Hotson: 383).

More Controversies: Spiritualism and Mesmerism

A foremost feature on the George Bush landscape is the extent of his interest and for a time his advocacy of two strands of metaphysical thought and activity both widespread and controversial in the latter half of the nineteenth-century in both the United States and England: spiritualism and mesmerism. Both movements shared in common a presumed or claimed experience directly with the spiritual realm. In the case of mesmerism, also called animal magnetism and issuing from the work of Franz Anton Mesmer, there was the theory that the human body maintained a healthy state through a free flowing energy throughout, and various maladies were most often blocks and obstacles of this flow, which could be cured by restoring this flow through an invisible force called animal magnetism. Mesmer in the very earliest days had actually used magnets, but he believed physical magnets were unnecessary. Mesmer though controversial became quite famous (new metaphysical healing theories were rife and popular throughout the nineteenth-century, including homeopathy—another movement closely frequently studied in connection with Swedenborgian principles), and many Swedenborgians, and most famously George Bush, became enthusiasts. Bush in 1847 wrote a full-length book, Mesmer and Swedenborg. The majority of the Swedenborgian clergy, however, were largely cautious and many skeptical. Swedenborg wrote a great deal about the spiritual basis of the human body, but he did so from a metaphysical point of view. Practice of a specific medical technique never entered Swedenborg’s thought.

In the appendix of his book, Bush dealt with a subject that was to create a real storm of controversy for him within the Swedenborgian church. Appendix A was titled, “The Revelations of Andrew Jackson Davis,” who was one of the early and famous spirit seers in the spiritualist craze that swept through mid-century America (leading even to Lincoln’s famed séances in the White House). Bush took up the Davis cause with great energy. He was a true believer in the ability to access the spiritual world, but since Swedenborg dissuaded his readers from dabbling in overt attempts to contact disembodied spirits, the great majority of Swedenborgian clergy and laity have been unwilling to participate in Spiritualist activities. There have been exceptions, however, and Bush was one of the most prominent. A vigorous discourse ensued in church periodicals, and later when Davis seemed to come up as something of a charlatan or at the least of a less-than-consistent psychic, Bush publicly admitted his error.

 Final Years and Postscript

George Bush continued his life of letters and added to his work, ministering to Swedenborgian congregations in New York City and upstate New York.  He died, September 19, 1860, in Rochester, New York.  His conversion to Swedenborgianism was a major event in nineteenth-century scholarly and theological circles, bringing widespread public attention to the growth of the Swedenborgian denomination in North America.  The Swedenborgian Library located at Pacific School of Religion of the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California) possesses over 200 original items of correspondence to George Bush, as well as most of his published works, including numerous articles in rare periodicals. More of his papers can be found at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.  An index of a small selection of his correspondence follows this article, as well as overview of related Bush materials held by the Swedenborgian Library.

The Swedenborgian Library and Archives contains a wide selection of works authored or edited by George Bush.  This collection spans the entire range of his publishing career, and includes several early works from before his conversion to the New Jerusalem Church in 1845.  Early titles of note in the Library’s collection include The life of Mohammed, first published in 1830, A treatise on the millennium, published in 1832, and The Hierophant : or monthly journal of sacred symbols and prophecy, a periodical he edited in 1844.  The Library also holds many of his commentaries on books of the Old Testament published during this period.  After 1845, his published works mainly focused on Swedenborg and the New Church.  The Library’s collection includes, Mesmer and Swedenborg, published in 1847, Statement of reasons for embracing the doctrines and disclosures of Emanuel Swedenborg, first published in 1846, and the complete Swedenborg library, issued in parts between 1846 and 1848, that he contributed to, and edited.  Also included in the Library’s collection is the biography of George Bush, Memoirs and reminiscences of the late Prof. George Bush : being, for the most part, voluntary contributions from different friends, who have kindly consented to this memorial of his worth, edited and arranged by Woodbury M. Fernald.

Partial Index of Correspondence of George Bush (1796-1859)

 Volume 1, 1846-47

With selected excerpts

Bush, George.  4 pp., undated.  [To Brooklyn Society?] Letter regarding conditions of employment.

[W. B. Van Nosturck?] 15 pp., Sept. 1816.

[W. B. Van Nosturck?] 3 pp., Nov. 1816.

16 pp., Jan. 27, 1816.

Reed, Caleb.  1 p., Boston, Dec. 1, 1845.  Invitation to give a course of lectures.

Whippo, Charles T.  2 p., Newcastle Mercer les Plan.  To George Bush.  Asks Bush for help in obtaining some books.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., Boston [Jan 27, 1846?]  Concerns the sending of some magazines, reply to Emerson.  Also mentions Mr. Allens, Mr. Parsons.

Reed, Sampson.  2 pp., Boston, Jan. 30, 1846.  To George Bush.

Reed, Sampson.  3 pp., Boston, Jan 28, 1846.  To George Bush.  Itineraries, health of common acquaintances.  Mentions Mr. Peabody, [Mr. Barrett], Mr. Clapp, Mr. Worcester, Mr. Webb, Mr. Parsons.

Reed, Sampson.  2 pp., Boston, Feb. 13, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mr. Parsons, Mr. Chandler, Sleeper, Mr. Clissold.

Parsons, Theophilus.  3 pp.  Boston, March 18, 1846.  Concerning the meaning of “sclopeta”

Parsons, Theophilus.  4 pp., Boston, Sept. 7, 1846.  Responds to Bush’s “Reasons for Belief” and raises “metaphysical” questions.  Mr. Barrett.

Reed, Sampson.  3 pp., Boston, Feb. 20, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mr. Parsons, Mr Mayer, [Dr. Love?].

Ropes, Nathaniel.  4 pp., Cincinnati, Feb. 23, 1846.  To George Bush.  Subscriptions to the Library.  Sampson Reed, reply to Emerson.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., Boston, Feb. 3, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mr. Allen, Emerson’s lecture.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., [Feb. 6, 1846].  List of members of Boston Society.  Wolf Dodge, Emerson lecture, Mr. Reed.

Worcester, Benjamin.  3 pp. Boston, March 13, 1846.  To George Bush.  Comments on the translation of the Spiritual Diary, ns. 3428-3453.

Pomeroy, Charles S.  1 p., Cincinnati, March 26, 1846.  To George Bush.  Payment for Swedenborg Library.

Loronley, Robert.  4 pp., Springfield Liverpool, March 25, 1846.  Comments on Bush’s Anastasis, discussion of the Second Advent.

Wick, W. W.  2 pp., Washington, April 14, 1846.  Mr. Barrett.

Worcester, Benjamin.  1 p., Yarmouth Port, April 19, 1846.  Translation of Spiritual Diary.  Mr. Allen, Mr. Reed.

Reed, Caleb.  1 p., Boston, April 28, 1846.  To George Bush.  Disagreement over reason and revelation.  Mr. Tulks.

Gosewisch, J. C.  2 pp., Wilmington, May 20, 1846.  To George Bush.  Somnambulism and Mesmerism.

Hough, Sabin.  4 pp., Columbus Ohio, June 8, 1846.

Small, A. E. 2 pp., Philadelphia, June 6, 1846.  To George Bush.  Invitation to attend Convention.  Mesmerism and the NC.  Mr. Benade.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., June 25, 1846.

Clapp, Otis. 2 pp., Boston June 19, 1846

Worcester, Benjamin.  1 p., Boston, July 31, 1846.

Small, A. E. 2 pp., Philadelphia, July 31, 1846.  To George Bush.  Call to Philadelphia?

Ropes, Nathaniel.  4 pp., Cincinnati, July 1, 1846.  To George Bush.  Subscription matters.

Tooley, Henry. 1 p., Natchez, July 20, 1846.  To George Bush.  Requests Bush to read materials Tooley has written on Genesis.

Paine, Albert W.  3 pp., Bangor, July 28, 1846.  To George Bush.  Letter of introduction for Jabez True.

Reed, Sampson.  2 pp., Boston, August 20, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mr. Parsons, Prof. Woods, Prof. Pond, mesmerism, Dr. Smith, Mrs. Wood, Newton.

Ropes, Nathaniel.  4 pp., Cincinnati, Sept. 30, 1846.  To George Bush.  Subscription matters.  Distribution of “Reasons for embracing the doctrines of Em. Swed.”

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Sept. 26, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mr. Beaman. DLW 42.

Lesher, Jacob. 2 pp., Sept. 28, 1846.  To George Bush.  Concerning Swedenborgian publications.

Ropes, Nathaniel.  4 pp., Cincinnati, Oct. 28, 1846.  To George Bush.  Subscription matters.

York, William.  3 pp., North Yarmouth, Me., Oct. 5, 1846.  Favorable response to Bush’s work on the Millenium.

Stevenson, Thomas. 1 p., Middle Pavement, Nottingham. Pasted in item 38. Sample of engraving.  Mr. Brown.

Ropes, Nathaniel.  3 pp.,  Oct. 4, 1846.  To George Bush.  Subscription matters.

Joslyn, Hezekiah. 1 p.,  Little Fort Lake Co, Illinois, Oct 4, 1846.  Orders from Library.

Joslyn, Hezekiah. 3 pp., Little Fort Lake Co, Illinois, Nov. 8, 1846.  To George Bush.  Mesmerism.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp,. Nov. 10, 1846.  To George Bush.  Publication of the Diary.

4 pp., Huntington, Fairfax Co. Va., Nov. 10, 1846.  [Apparently from a reader of Swedenborg]

[Holbrook, ??].  2 pp., Dubuque, Iowa, Dec. 5, 1846.  Response to “Reasons for embracing Swedenborgianism”.  Mesmerism.

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Dec. 30, 1846.    To George Bush.  Book sales.

Joslyn, Hezekiah. 2 pp, Little Fort Lake Co., Illinois, Dec 16, 1846.  Subscription orders.

Mason, V. J.  2 pp., Canastota, Dec. 11, 1846.    To George Bush.  Subscription.

Mason, V. J.  2 pp., Canastota, Dec. 7, 1846.   To George Bush.  Subscription.

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Boston, Dec. 4, 1846.  To George Bush.

Clapp, Otis.    To George Bush.  Swedenborg a “mystic”

Clapp, Otis.  1 pp., Boston, Dec. 5, 1846.    To George Bush.  Book trade.

Loomis, I. N.  1 p., Franklin College [Tenn?], Jan. 20, 1847.   To George Bush.  Preparing lectures on the New Church.  Mr. Fanning, Mr. Prescott of Cincinnati.

Reed, Sampson.  2 pp., Boston, Nov. 12, 1846.    To George Bush.  Death and the spiritual perception of the Word.

Hampton, C. S.  1 p.,  Lebanon, Ohio, Jan. 26, 1847.  To George Bush.  Letter of support.

Caball, N. F.  3 pp., Warminster, Nelson Co. Va., Jan. 29, 1847. To George Bush.  Response to Pond’s book.  Mr. Parsons, Prof. Lewis.

Clapp, Otis.  3 pp., Boston, Jan. 25, 1847.  To George Bush.  Response to Dr. Woods.  “I am not well informed as to the effect of such keen collisions, upon the public mind.  I must confess that portions of it, where questions of veracity have been so prominent, have been rather painful to me.  My organization is so sensitive that these things fall upon it sharply.  I am glad to see, however, that you have met these fierce assaults with much coolness and good nature.  It may be harmless to be reviled, if we revile not again!  I have always had a presentiment that your old Calvinistic friends would not let you off, without a token from them which it would not be easy to forget.  It strikes me that it has now been proffered, & that its quality is fully in keeping with its source.”

Ropes, Nathaniel.  2 pp., Cincinnati, Jan. 9, 1847.   To George Bush.  Subscription matters. Mr. Barrett.

Hampton, Charles D.  2 pp., Lebanon, Ohio, Jan. 4, 1847.  To George Bush.  Mesmerism, Davis.

[??].  1 p., Worcester, Feb. 18, 1847.  To Otis Clapp.  Bush’s reply to Emerson.

Mandell, D. J.  3 pp., Framingham, Feb. 21, 1847.  To                 George Bush.  The second advent.

Cabell, N. F.  3 pp., Warminster, Nelson Co. Va., March 9, 1847.  Response to Pond and Woods.  “My Celtic temperment & southern blood & sense of the ludicrous are so irresistibly excited by the apparent ignorance or malignity – of the two Professors – alternating with abortive attempts at humour that I find it extremely difficult to check my pen as I read either Pond or Woods.”  Richard K. Cralle of Lynchburg, Mr. Barrett, C. Reed.

Clapp, Otis.  3 pp., Boston, March 31, 1847. To George Bush.

Burnham, D. N.  1 p.,  Saskets Harbor, March 13, 1847.  Book Order.

Houghton, H.H. 2 pp., Galena, March 26, 1847.  To George Bush.

Elder, Wm.  4 pp., Liberty [], Cty [], March 1847.  To George Bush.  Letter of support.  The “war of Dr. Pond against the New Church.”

Hampton, C. S.  3 pp., Union Village, Ohio, April 14, 1847.  To George Bush.

Wick, W. W.  1 p., Indiannapolis, April 22, 1947.  In appreciation Bush’s reply to Dr. Woods.

Sturtevant, T. S.  2 pp., Portland, April 27, 1847.  To George Bush.  In appreciation of Bush’s reply to Dr. Woods.

Clapp, Otis.  1p., Boston, April 29, 1847.  To George Bush.  Business matters.  Dr. Tafel, A. P. Turner.

4 pp.  St. Augustine, April 25, 1847.

Wick, W. W.  2 pp., Indiannapolis, May 21, 1847.  To George Bush.  Reply to Dr. Woods.

Hayden, W. B.  2 pp., [??]ton, May 10, 1847.  To George Bush.  Concerning a reply to Dr. Ponds by Hayden.  Mr Allen, Mr. James.

Arnold, [George?], B.  3 pp., [Alston?], May 9, 1847.  To George Bush.  Reply to Dr. Ponds.  Mr. James, Barrett.

Murdoch, John.  2 pp., Cincinnati, May 3, 1847.  To George Bush.  [Le Boys] de[s] Guay’s letters.

Baker, Joseph.  1 p., Ogdensburg, May 15, 1847.  To George Bush.

Gibbs, Josiah.  1 p., New-Haven, May 17, 1847.  To George Bush.

[??]  3 pp., St. Thomas, May 9, 1847. To George Bush.

Hayden, W. B.  5 pp., May 27, 1847.  To George Bush.  The nature of causality.

Munroe, N.  1p.,  Bradford, May 7, 1847.  To George Bush.

[??], David.  4 pp., Indiannoplis, May 29, 1847.  To Mr and Mrs Bush.  Church matters.

Loomis, I. N.  1p.,  Franklin College, May 5, 1847.  To George Bush.  Book orders.

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Boston, May 23, 1847.  To George Bush.  Money matters, Hayden’s review of Dr. Pond.

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Boston May 25, 1847.  To George Bush.  subscription matters.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., Boston, May 17, 1847.To George Bush.  Money and subscription matters.  Mr. Barrett.

Beymouth, Charles E.  3 pp., Middleton, Jefferson County, Ky, May 31, 1847.  To George Bush.  Concerning Bush’s Reply to Dr. Woods.

Huntington, B. W.  2 pp., Tuskaloora, Ala., May 18, 1846.To George Bush.  Response to Bush’s “Anastasis.”

Huntington, B. W.  4 pp., Livingston, [??] Co., Ala., May 9, 1847.  Response to Bush’s publications, Cralle response to Dr. Pond.

Proud, Henry.  2 pp., Philadelphia, June 10, 1847.  To George Bush.  Response to Dr. Woods.

Munroe, N.  1p., Bradford, June 22, 1847.  To George Bush.  Money matters.

Hayden, W. B.  4 pp., Castleton, June 28, 1847.  To George Bush.  Bro. Leonard.  Hayden’s Reply.

Whitaker, David H.  3 pp., Charleston, July 22, 1847.  To George Bush.  Hayden’s reply to Dr. Pond, Bush’s reply to Dr. Woods.

Bliss, Sylvester.  1p., Boston, July 16, 1847.  To George Bush.  Payment.

Loomis, I. N.  2 pp., Shelbyville, Tenn.,  July 31, 1847.  To George Bush.  Replies to Pond and Woods.

Sterry, Dewitt C.  3 pp., Norwich City, Conn., July 14, 1847.  To George Bush.  Animal Magnetism and J. Davis.

Wellington, O. H.  3 pp., Waltham, July 21, 1847.  Dr. Pond, Mr. James, Mr. Ford.

[??].  3 pp., Castleton, July 31, 1847.  To George Bush.  Dr. pon and Dr. Woods.  offer of financial support, animal magnetism, Dr. Pon and Dr. Woods.

[Same handwriting and signature as 97].  3 pp., St. Thomas, Aug., 1847.  To George Bush.

Barker, James.  4 pp., St. Augustine, Aug., 1847.  To the Society of the New Jerusalem Church of New York City.  A life-long reader of Swedenborg.

Kierulff, C.  1 p., Brooklyn Aug. 7, 1847.  To George Bush.  Sends regrets, Mr Davis’s travel plans.

Lesher, Jacob.  1p., Mount Carmel, Aug 6, 1847.  To George Bush.  Receipt of books,  Mr. Charles W. Eldridge, Mr. John Allen.  “… I was very much pleased & satisfied in reading the 2 replys to Dr. Woods and Dr. Pond.  I pity the poor literati that they can’t understand Swedenborgs Theology.  Perhaps it is owing to a disorder of their Eyes what we call Nyctalopia…”

Clapp, Otis.  3 pp., Boston, Aug 2, 1847.  To George Bush.

Plumbe, [??]  1 p., New York, Aug. 23, 1847.  Sitting for a portrait [apparently a daguerrotype]

Haven, C.  3 pp., Joliet, Aug. 8, 1847.  To George Bush.  The resurrection, the annihilation of the wicked.

1 p., Pittsburg, Aug. 17, 1847.  Response to “Mesmer and Swedenborg.”

Smith, Harrison.  1 p., Utica, Aug. 23, 1847.  To George Bush.   Invitation to deliver a lecture.

Bliss, Sylvester.  2 pp., Boston, Aug. 24, 1847. To George Bush.  An apology.

Huntington, B. W.  1 p.,  Livingston, Aug 27, 1847.  To George Bush.  Davis’s lectures.

Lanadis, R. W.  1 p., Sidney, N. J., Aug. 28, 1847.  Davis’s book.

May, Samuel.  2 pp., Syracuse, Aug. 26, 1847.  The nature of Christian union.

Huntington, B. W.  1 p., Livingston, Aug. 30, 1847.  To George Bush.

Ludlow, N. M.  2 pp., Sept. 1, 1847.  To George Bush.

Wellington, O. H.  4 pp., Waltham, Sept. 3, 1847.  Davis’s book, whether good spirits can transmit erroneous views.

Kierullf, D., 8 pp.,  St. Thomas, Sept. 4, 1847.  To George Bush. Davis.

Clapp, Otis.  1 p., Sept. 7, 1847.

Clapp, Otis.  2 pp., Boston, Sept 14, 1847.  To George Bush.

Wilder, Alexander.   4 pp., Verona, N. Y., Spet. 17, 1847.  To George Bush.  Objections to NC teaching.  Davis’s revelations.

Van Wyck, A.  4 pp., Mount Holly, N. J., Oct. 2, 1847.  Mr. Davis’s book.

Joslyn, H.  1., Little Fort Lake, Oct. 4, 1847.  To George Bush.  Dr. Woods, Davis.

Wilder, Alexander.  4 pp., Verona, N. Y., Oct. 8, 1847.  To George Bush.  Swedenborg’s “clairvoyance,” Davis.

Barrett, B. F.  3 pp., New York, Oct. 9, 1847.  To George Bush.  Personal and church news.

Mowatt, James.  2 pp., New York, Oct. 13, 1847.  Itinerary.

Carpenter, T. F.  1 p., Providence, Oct. 16, 1847.  To George Bush.  Payment.

Wick, W. W.  1 p., Indiannapolis, Sept.  17, 1847.  Comments on particular numbers of the writings.

Wick, W. W.  2 pp., Indiannapolis, Oct. 15, 1847.  Doctrinal questions.

Wick, W. W.  2 pp., Indiannapolis, Oct. 13, 1847.

Wick, W. W.  3 pp., Indiannapolis, Oct. 17, 1847.  To George Bush.  Doctrinal matters.

Eldez, William.  4 pp., Liberty Union City, Indiana, Oct. 20, 1847.  To George Bush.  The Genius of Freedom. Structure of Convention.

Wick, W. W.  1 p. Indiannapolis, Oct. 25, 1847.  To George Bush.  TCR.

Wick, W. W.  1 p. Indiannapolis, Nov. 3, 1847.  To George Bush.  TCR, Spiritual Diary

Landis, R. W. 1 p.  Sidney, NJ, Nov. 5, 1847.  To George Bush.  subscription.  “blast on reputation.”  Davis.

Hayden, W. B.  3 pp.  Albany, Nov. 6, 1847.  Mr. Cralle.  Old vs. New Church. Mr. Cabell.  Davis.  Dr. Bushelt. “I have read attentively “Davis’ Revelation Revealed” and think you have fully succeeded in showing that New Churchmen are the only ones that possess any real clue to the phenomena in question.  The short notice in the last Mumber of the Christian Examiner is a rare specimen of candor and blundering — and shows conclusively that the old Church cannot deal with the new facts.”