Guide to the Shirley Nelson collection of Shiloh material, 1853-2005 | MC020

Summary Information

Repository
Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Creator
Nelson, Shirley, 1925-
Title
Shirley Nelson collection of Shiloh material
ID
MC020
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1896-1998
Date [inclusive]
1853-2005
Extent
3.5 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
Comprised of various Shiloh publications, photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, and newspaper articles and other writings related to Frank Sandford, the Shiloh religious community he founded in Durham, Maine, and the Kingdom religious philosophy he espoused. The material was collected by Shirley Nelson, whose parents Arnold and Merlyn Brackett White, grew up in the community. Some of the material in the collection was compiled by Mr. White for his book, "The Almighty and Us: the Inside Story of Shiloh, Maine."

Preferred Citation

Shirley Nelson collection of Shiloh material, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.

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Historical Note

Shirley Nelson, whose parents grew up in the Shiloh community, is the author of Fair, Clear and Terrible: The Story of Shiloh, and is the compiler of this collection of material related to Frank Weston Sandford and his Shiloh sectarian community which flourished at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Frank Weston Sandford was born on October 2, 1862, in Bowdoinham, Maine. In 1882, he entered Bates College and was a star player on the baseball team. After graduating in June 1886, Sandford entered the Maine State Seminary in September, having decided to pass up offers to play professional baseball. However, he stayed there for only three months and on New Years' Day 1887, Sandford was ordained a Freewill Baptist minister.

Sandford preached in several towns in his area until 1893, when he resigned his pastorate and became an independent evangelist. He soon founded The Kingdom as an evangelistic, apocalyptic Christian movement. A few years later, in 1896, Sandford and several others began construction of a Bible school in Durham, Maine, called Shiloh. Shiloh would eventually grow into a self-contained town of over 600 people.

The Kingdom sought to prepare the world through prayer for Christ's second coming. As a means of doing this, Sandford and some of his followers made the first of several voyages around the world on the schooner Coronet in 1907. Following a voyage in 1911, on which several of his crew died from scurvy and starvation, Sandford was convicted of causing death at sea and served nearly seven years in the Federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the Shiloh community ended shortly after his release, Sandford continued to lead his followers while in strict seclusion until his death in March 1948.

Most of the Shiloh complex is gone today. However, The Kingdom still maintains a headquarters, now located in Dublin, New Hampshire, and has approximately 2,000 members nationwide.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes various materials created by or related to Sandford and his Shiloh community, including various Shiloh publications, photographs, correspondence, and audio recordings of interviews. In addition, there are several publications and a college paper written about Shiloh, a diary of a Coronet crew member, Sandford's autobiographical account, newspaper articles from the Lisbon Enterprise and material on Frank Sandford's manslaughter trials. Also includes more recent material on the Kingdom, including letters to the membership and Shirley Nelson's research material including the updated page notes from "Fair, Clear and Terrible."

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into eight series: I. Shiloh Publications; II. Writings about Shiloh; III. Correspondence; IV Lawsuits against Frank W. Sandford; V. Audio Recordings; VI. Photographs; VII. Kingdom letters to members and related material; and VIII. Research material and notes

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, Maine, 04240
207-786-6354
muskie@bates.edu

Access Restrictions

Student papers may be restricted for privacy reasons. Please consult the archives staff for more information.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of Shirley Nelson. Accession No.: xx-049, 06-013.

Processing Information

Initial arrangement and description by Scott Kelly, Class 2000.

Final arrangement and description by Kurt Kuss, Special Collections Librarian, 2002.

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Related Materials

Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Shiloh (Me.)--History

Personal Name(s)

  • Nelson, Shirley, 1925---Archives
  • Sandford, Frank W., 1862-1948

Subject(s)

  • Cults--Maine--Shiloh

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Collection Inventory

 MC020/01 Shiloh Publications 1897-1970, n.d.   1.25 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series contains a variety of Shiloh publications, including "Tongues of Fire" (1897-1899); "The Everlasting Gospel" (1901-1903); "The Young Warrior" (1902); "The Glad Tidings of the Kingdom" (1904); "The Golden Trumpet" (1912-1916); "The Truth" (1917-1918) and "Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God" (1919). Also includes several issues of "Kingdom News" (1905) published by the Shiloh High School. In addition, there are more recent publications including "Beulah" (1935); "The College World" (1934, 1939, 1941-1942) and "The Standard" (1964-1970).

Also included are a number of Frank Sandford's writings--his autobiographical account entitled "Seven Years With God;" "The Sent One;" "Two Great Prophets-One Hundred Utterances;" "The Art of War" and Mr. Sandford's account of his arrest and journey south, written from the federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia.

In addition are several booklets of religious teachings written by various members of the Shiloh community ; funeral service programs for two Shiloh members; a hymn book published by the community and a few Bible reading guides.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title and then chronologically.

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 MC020/02 Writings about Shiloh 1896-1997   5.0 folders

Scope and Content Note

The series contains material written about Frank Sandford and Shiloh including newspaper articles, primarily from the Lisbon Enterprise, and several other published articles as well as a student paper. Also includes Frank Sandford's obituary and a news article on Shiloh's centennial.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

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 MC020/03 Correspondence 1890-1930, n.d.   0.25 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

The series includes typescripts and handwritten letters the majority of which are photocopies with a few originals. The correspondence is primarrily from Frank Sandford to his mother but includes letters to his wife and children and to several other family members. Also includes Sandford's correspondence with members of the Shiloh community including Merlyn Bartlett, R.E. Gleason, Arnold White, A.A. Whittaker and J.B. Harriman. Also includes several printed letters from Sandford to the general Kingdom community. Other correspondence includes letters written by Helen Sandford, Adnah Guptill, Herbert Jenkins, Everett Knight, Merlyn Bartlett and Mrs. W.N. Gleason.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Box

Frank Sandford to his mother January 6, 1890   

3

Frank Sandford to mother, Charles and all at home November 8, 1890   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother December 6, 1890   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother December 16, 1890   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother December 26, 1890   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother January 23, 1891   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother February 19, 1891   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother October 28, 1891   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother February 7, 1893   

3

Helen Sandford to her mother-in-law February 21, 1893   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother March 2, 1893   

3

Helen Sandford to her mother-in-law April 8, 1893   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother August 28, 1896   

3

Adnah Guptill to the students at the high school at Shiloh Dec. 1, 1903   

3

Frank Sandford to his sister June 25, 1907   

3

Herbert Jenkins to Merlyn Bartlett October 1907   

3

Herbert Jenkins to members of the Bible school December 19, 1908   

3

Everett Knight to members of the Bible school December 20, 1908   

3

Frank Sandford to Merlyn Bartlett August 30, 1909   

3

Frank Sandford to a friend September 20, 1912 

3

Frank W. Sandford to R. E. Gleason Nov. 4, 1912   

3

Frank Sandford to A.A. Whittaker (re: the farming of the Kingdom) April 1, 1913 

3

Frank W. Sandford to J.B. Harriman Apr. 3, 1913   

3

Frank Sandford to A.A. Whittaker (re: farming of the Kingdom) April 28, 1913 

3

Frank Sandford to the Kingdom May 25, 1913 

3

Frank W. Sandford to Captain Knight Jan. 7, 1914   

3

Frank W. Sandford to Miss Grace Brown for the members of the high school at Shiloh, Maine Feb. 1, 1914   

3

Frank Sandford to the Future Students of the University of Truth August 9, 1914 

3

Frank Sandford to John Sandford and the Young People May 2, 1915 

3

Frank W. Sandford to Miss Esther Sandford 1915   

3

Frank W. Sandford to My Precious People July 15, 1916 

3

Frank Sandford to Arnold White June 21, 1917   

3

Frank W. Sandford to John Sandford June 3, 1918   

3

Frank Sandford to Merlyn Bartlett February 29, 1919   

3

Merlyn Bartlett to Frank Sandford March 23, 1919   

3

Frank Sandford to Merlyn Bartlett White May 12, 1920   

3

Mrs. W.N. Gleason to People June 1930   

3

Frank W. Sandford to Mrs. Helen Sandford Undated   

3

Frank Sandford to his mother Undated   

3

Frank Sandford to the Kingdom Undated 

3

Frank W. Sandford to Mrs. Sandford and the Kingdom Undated   

3

Unaddressed letter from Frank W. Sandford Undated   

3

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 MC020/04 Lawsuits against Frank W. Sandford 1904, 1911-1912   4.0 folders

Scope and Content Note

The series contains the transcript of the first manslaughter trial of Frank Sandford in the case of Leander Bartlett, a teen-aged member of Shiloh who died of diptheria. Also includes typescript of the diary of John Adamson which covers his time as a sailor on the last voyage of the Coronet. During that voyage the deaths of six sailors from scurvy, including Adamson who died shortly after the Coronet's return, resulted in the manslaughter trial which sent Sandford to prison for almost eight years. In addition is material on the case of Florence Whittaker who brought charges of false imprisonment against Frank Sandford.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

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 MC020/05 Audio Recordings 1968, 1971, 1984 

Scope and Content Note

The series includes three interviews done by Judith Swartzbaum with Shiloh member Mary Hastings Thomas, concerning her impressions of Frank Sandford and of the community. Also included is an interview by Shirley Nelson with Charles Jones telling of his experiences at Shiloh and as a sailor aboard the Kingdom. Additionally is an interview done by Arnold White with Dr. Alton Lancaster, Frank Sandford's nephew, who reminisces about his uncle.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

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 MC020/06 Photographs ca 1900s-1950s, 1990, n.d.   2.0 folders

Scope and Content Note

The series is comprised of thirty-five photographs, four of which are in color. Included are Frank Sandford and members of the Shiloh community; buildings and grounds of Shiloh including the cemetery and a photograph of the Coronet; most of these photographs appear in "Fair, Clear and Terrible" and in Arnold White's book, "The Almighty and Us." Also includes photocopies of addtional Shiloh photographs that do not appear in either book. Oversize photograph is located in the map case.

Organization and Arrangement

By subject.

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 MC020/07 Kingdom letters to members and related material 1993-1998   1.0 folder

Scope and Content Note

The series is comprised of assorted material written by the Kingdom Executive Committee and others associated with the Kingdom Corporation, including pastoral letters and memos to the membership; vision, mission and position statements; and other writings, including articles by Frank S. Murray, Timothy Murray and Neil R. Sanford.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

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 MC020/08 Research material and notes 1887-2005   0.25 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

The series includes a variety of material compiled by Shirley Nelson while researching her book, "Fair, Clear and Terrible." Includes updated page notes for the book; lists of newspaper sources; news articles about Bates College and the local area, written by her great uncle and Bates graduate, George Loring White,'76; material on Dwight L. Moody and John Alexander Dowie; and a book of poetry by L. H. Beal which includes several poems about Shiloh and Frank Sandford. Also in the series is genealogical information on the Sandford family including correspondence with Edward Webber, a great nephew of Dr. Alton Lancaster; a draft of a chapter from Arnold White's book, "The Almighty and Us," and miscellaneous papers from the White family including Avis White's composition book; a copy of Arnold White's Shiloh High School diploma and the class prophecy and valedictory addresses and graduation program from the 1907 class of Shiloh High School.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

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