Universalists Booth Preparation for 1895 Atlanta Cotton Exposition

Shall we Bombard Atlanta?

On to Atlanta. The cry has the right ring. We feel as though we belonged to the army of Sherman. We must have a church in Atlanta and it must be built by the young people. Atlanta is the key to the South. Let us capture it. What can we do immediately toward that end?

There is at the present time a great exposition being held in Atlanta. All the cotton states are represented there. From all over the South people are gathering, and in the month of December the exposition grounds will be thronged. How can we reach this multitude and plant in their minds some seeds of Universalist philosophy? It would be well, if we could, to have some of our ablest preachers stand at the corners and cry our truth to the passers by. How much would the young people give to have Dr. Pullman, and Dr. Shutter, and Dr. Cone, and Dr. Sweetser, and Dr. Sawyer, and a score of the enthusiastic younger clergy of our church stand in the midst of the exposition all day long and speak the word of Universalism to any who would listen? What a splendid thing that would be. We cannot do that, but we can do something almost as good.

Before Sherman captured Atlanta, he planted his guns outside the city and sent solid shot and bursting shell into its midst. We have no such unfriendly messengers. Our word is one of peace and goodwill, of hope and faith. We have it in our power to bombard Atlanta. We can have a booth in the very midst of the exposition and there we can have hundreds, thousands, of leaflets written by these very men ; written to meet just such an emergency as this; written to inform those who know nothing about us, what we stand for, and why we stand for it. These leaflets will be for free distribution and will find their way into homes in all parts of the South. Reading matter is not so plenty in many sections of the South as it is with us. One tract carried away from the table at Atlanta may be read by dozens of people. No one can tell how far such a word may reach. It is a great opportunity. But most of this literature will find its way into the homes of Atlanta. How many seeds may thus be sown which will spring up to be fruit in a living church by and by!

Shall we have the booth at the Atlanta Exposition? The committee on Po3t Office Missions has the matter well in hand. Already the books and pamphlets are being packed to send to Atlanta. Brother McGlauflin will be there to look after the details of distribution. But in all this the committee are depending upon the Unioners to furnish the sinews of war. It will be expensive. You must help us. The committee is planning large things.

The work that has already been done shows what magnificent results may be accomplished in the future through the medium of the leaflet and the book. We want to print more tracts. We must pay out large sums for postage. We mean to enlarge the loan library with many new books, and send them free to anyone who will read them and return them or pass them along. We need a $100 to pay the salary of the best secretary that any Post Office Mission ever had or ever could have, and who for this sum renders work worth a thousand.

We propose that every Union in the nation shall on the second Sunday in December, or as near that date as possible, at a devotional meeting take a collection for the benefit of the work of the Post Office Mission. The amount of this collection should be sent immediately to H. L. Canfield, 30 West St., Boston, Mass. This is the best immediate way to help our work in Atlanta. This is the way to spread our gospel all over the union.

Let us take the collection Dec. 8th. Moreover let the pastor, if he will, tell the people that morning in the church what the Unioners want to do, and invite any who will, to lend the young people a helping hand. In this way we shall be able to carry the work of the Post Office Mission forward in a larger way than ever before. Let us begin by bombarding Atlanta.

H. Shinn.
A. Bisbee.
O. Hall.
B. Heath.
H. Parker.

Natl. P. O.M. Commission. (Archivist: Post Office Mission)

Source: Onward in Google Books, Vol II, No. 42, Nov 15, 1895 Page: 166