Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 139
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CHURCHES.    139

The office of School Commissioner was created by law April 12, 1856, and by the same act the
office of Town Superintendent was abolished. This substantially reinstated the office of County
Superintendent, the abolishment of which in 1847 was so disastrous to the interests of education.1
On the 15th of March, 1856, an act was passed directing that the school laws should be digested and
codified.2 By act of April 12, 1858, the school year was changed so as to commence Oct. 1, and
tlie annual district school meetings were directed to be held on the second Tuesday of October.

Mercantile Colleges, especially adapted to instruction in opening, conducting, and closing
business accounts of every kind, and an elucidation of the laws and customs that have been esta¬
blished concerning them, have within a few years been opened in most of our cities. They de¬
pend entirely upon individual enterprise for support, and instruction is usually given by oral illus¬
trations, lectures, and examples.3

CHURCHES.

The various church organizations in the State are independent of each other and are supported
entirely by private contributions. The aggregate amount of church property in the State, and the
amount annually raised for religious purposes, are immense. The following is a list of the different
denominations, arranged in alphabetical order:—

Tlie African Methodist Episcopal (Zion) Clmrcli was formed in 1820. The
State of New York forms one conference, having in 1852 1,928 members.

The American Swedenhorgian Association was formed in 1857, and has its
office in New York City. A Printing and Publishing Society of this denomination, formed in 1850,
collected in the year ending in 1858 $3,108.25. It owns the stereotype plates of all the theological
writings of Swedenborg.

The Anti Mission or Old School Baptist, in 1855, had in the State 18 churches and
1,101 members.

The Associate Presbyterian Church, in 1855, had 26 churches and 3,926 members,
and The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church 38 churches and 5,634 mem-,
bers. These two denominations united in May, 1858, under the name of The United Pres¬
byterians.

The Baptist Church has in the United States 570 associations, 12,371 churches, 8,952
ordained ministers, 1,025 licentiates, and 923,198 members. Of these 43 associations, 812 churches,
738 ordained ministers, 90 licentiates, and 84,266 members are in New York. Its general Benevo¬
lent Associations are the “American Baptist Missionary Union,” “American Baptist Publication
Society,” “American Baptist Historical Society,” “American Baptist Home Mission Society,”
“ American and Foreign Bible Society,” “American Baptist Foreign Mission Society,” “Southern
Baptist Convention,” 1845, and “ Southern Baptist Publication Society,” 1847. It has in this State
2 colleges and 2 theological seminaries, and has 5 periodicals devoted to its interests.1

of great value to the villages and towns in which they are es¬
tablished.

* The Missionary Union was formed in 1814; its receipts for
1857-58 were $97,808.77. It has 19 missions, 80 missionaries,
and over 300 churches. The headquarters of the Society are at
Boston.
The Baptist Publication Society was formed in 1824,
and has its depository at Philadelphia. It supports 53 colpor¬
teurs, and its receipts for 1857-58 were $60,585.12.
The Amer¬
ican Baptist Home Missionary Society
was formed in 1832, and
has its office in New York. It employs 99 missionaries and
supplies about 250 stations. Its receipts for 1857-58 were
$52,093.33.
The American and Foreign Bible Society, formed in
1838, has its office at New York. Its receipts for 1857-58 were
$57,049.98. Madison University, at Hamilton, and the University
of Rochester are Baptist institutions; and attached to each is a
theological seminary. The papers published by this denomi
nation are,—The New York Examiner, New York Chronicle,
American Baptist, (newspapers,) and the Home Mission Record,
and Mothers’ Journal, (magazines,) all published in New York
City


1

The School Commissioners have generally succeeded in
awakening a new interest in their respective districts by per¬
sonally visiting the schools and teachers, by encouraging the
formation of teachers’ associations and institutes, and by re¬
quiring a higher standard of qualification on the part of teachers,
The schools under their supervision are steadily improving.

2

The expense of this codification of the school laws was de¬
frayed from the library fund.


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