William McKendree Papers

Identifier: MSS.0277

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The William McKendree Papers are comprised of .84 linear feet of correspondence, sermons and collected materials of Bishop McKendree. Also contained within these papers is his personal diary as well as a church business journal and several of William McKendree’s sermons. Aside from McKendree’s related papers there are a few Methodist relics such as a classbook of the year 1796, a partial diary of Hester Ann Rogers and outlines of sermons by Samuel Bradburn. Of note is a letter from John Wesley and a square of bedclothes from the bed in which John Wesley died.

Included in the collection are three small rolls of microfilm that were held by the Divinity Library until 2015 when they were transferred to Special Collections. These rolls contain reproductions of some of the papers.


  • 1790 - 1834

Language of Materials


Biography of William McKendree

William McKendree was born in Virginia in 1757. In 1810 his family moved to Sumner County, Tennessee. At the start of the American Revolution, McKendree joined a group of Tennessee volunteers. After leaving the army he served as a school teacher for a bit. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1787 and worked as a minister. He worked in places such as Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In 1801, he was sent to oversee the church of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. After a number of years ministering to those areas he was appointed to become a bishop. William McKendree was the first Methodist Bishop born in the United States. A school in Lebanon, Illinois is named after him because of the missionary work he did there. He died in 1835 in Sumner County, Tennessee at his brother’s house.


.84 Linear Feet (2 Hollinger boxes)

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Dr. Frank Gulley.
Finding Aid for the William McKendree Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


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