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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Little Known Histories of Newark, 1758-2008

Early Religious Heritage

After the Swedes, Newark's early settlers were primarily English, Scots-Irish, and Welsh, who brought their religious heritages with them. Religious edifices are part of the historic landscape in Newark.

Graphite sketch [St. Thomas Church] by Seth Brace, 1842-1844.
Seth C. Brace collection.

"The Church (Episcopal), Wesley, Calvin, Whitely"--by denomination and location--is how Seth Brace titled his sketches of old Newark churches. Brace documented views and architectural landmarks in the small village, where he was a math instructor at Delaware College in the 1840s.

Graphite sketches of Newark's churches / by Seth Brace, between 1842 and 1844.
Seth C. Brace collection.
Gift of Mariam Hill

The Village Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church, White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, and Head of Christiana Church are the early Newark churches represented in a transcription project supervised by Henry Clay Reed, the noted Delaware historian and University of Delaware professor. Early family names such as Armstrong, Handy, and Hossinger are noted on an 1815 list of members of White Clay Church, along with Martha Morgan, who is noted as a black member of the church.

Transcripts of early Newark, Delaware, church records (1739-1906), 1 volume. Transcribed in 1936-1937 by National Youth Administration project workers directed by Dr. Henry Clay Reed.

Contemporary postcard of White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, founded in 1721.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Joseph L. Staton (1836-1891), minister of Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church, who succeeded his brother George to the position in 1881.
Everett C. and Louise Staton Johnson papers.
Gift of Marjorie Johnson Tilghman

Two postcards of Welsh Tract, "Old Baptist," founded in 1703. The chapel depicted here dates to 1746.
Delaware Postcard collection.

(graphite sketch of church)
Graphite sketch [Whitely] by Seth Brace,
Seth C. Brace collection.

Head of Christiana was the first of three Presbyterian churches founded in Newark between 1706 and 1703. It shared a minister with White Clay, on the east side of town.

The commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the organization of the Head of Christiana Presbyterian Church, Newark, Delaware, June 20th, 1907. Newark, Del. : Head of Christiana Presbyterian Church, 1907.

Recipes : a collection / by Head of Christiana Presbyterian Church on the occasion of its 300th anniversary. Kearney, Neb. : Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006.

(Welsh Tract Church)
Postcard of Welsh Tract, "Old Baptist."
Chapel depicted dates to 1746.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Postcard of St. John the Baptist R.C. Church, originally St. Patricks, was built in 1883 on the site of the Old Village Presbyterian Church (1843), which merged with First Presbyterian.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Postcard of First Presbyterian Church (before moving to its site on West Main Street), now part of the Trabant Student Center, University of Delaware.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Historical discourse delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, Newark, Delaware, July 22, 1876 / by George J. Porter. Philadelphia : J.P. Bryan & Co., 1876.

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