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House of David

Image - Benjamin Purnell

Benjamin Purnell
(founder)

Description of the House of David Collection

These are materials related to the Israelite House of David community founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The Israelite House of David, and The Israelite House of David as Reorganized by Mary Purnell (commonly called Mary's City of David), communities are active at present. Popularly known for their athletic teams (baseball and basketball), amusement parks and jazz bands, the Israelites are a fascinating and understudied part of American history. The faith that underpins the public face of the Israelites is rooted in the Bible, and mystical Christianity from Jane Leade through the six messengers of the Christian Israelite tradition beginning with Joanna Southcott in the late eighteenth century.

The Special Collections Department of Hamilton College holds thousands of manuscripts, imprints, ephemera, visual materials, audio/video materials, and artifacts documenting the entire history of the Israelites. The printed materials can be researched through our online catalog, ALEX.

 

Research on site at Hamilton College

To schedule a research visit, please contact us in advance.

Christian Goodwillie, Director and Curator of Special Collections and Archives
E-mail: cgoodwil (at) hamilton (dot) edu
Telephone: (315) 859-4447

Special Collections
Burke Library
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
Regular hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

House of David materials on this website

  • 396 Photographs and slides
  • 1,435 Postcards
  • Shiloh's Messenger of Wisdom - Index (vols. 1 to 12)
  • Shiloh's Messenger of Wisdom (vols. 1 to 15, 1903-1919)

View related materials in the Jezreelite Collection on this website.

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1776-1976 Bicentennial calendar, House of David
Description: Two of the copies have come unstapled at the center where the calendar attaches to the top. 3 copies., Bicentennial calendar 1776-1976 , House of David
A tribute to Wilford A. Harmon
Description: Tribute to Wilford A. Harmon in January 1972 "signed" by Manna Woodworth., Tribute to Wilford A. Harmon
A.R. Putnam Consulting Sanitary Engineer, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Description: Upper left corner reads: Benton Harbor, Mich. Phone 5-2405, upper right reads" "Valparaiso, Ind. Phone 665-R"., Letterhead from A.R. Putnam Consulting Sanitary Engineer, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Administration Building, House of David
Looking SE towards the Shiloh bldg. In background is Britain Avenue and across street are apple orchards. Also in photo is the first automobile purchased by the colony in 1907.
Administration Building, House of David
Looking SE at the Shiloh bldg. across street ( Britain Ave.) in background is apple orchards. In photo is the first automobile purchased by the colony in 1907.
Administration Building, House of David, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Standing 4th in from left is Dominic__________ one of the HoD longest lasting gardeners and growers of the Eden Springs Park flower gardens. This photo is from mid 1930s. Dominic told me in 1972-3 that he was 90 years old and had come to the colony at 45 and had been in the colony 45 years. Dominic was all of 4 ft 10inches tall. I was giving him a ride to the park with some flowers to plant the f... [description clipped]
Administration Building, House of David, Benton Harbor, Mich.
In foreground to left are Benjamin and Mary. On right are foundation members, Silas and Cora Mooney. The girls band and in middle with bass drum is Josie Lewis.
Administration Buildings, House of David
View looking east across driveway between Jerusalem and Shiloh. Building annexed to the left is the "New House" also known as "Benjamin's House", was built in 1915. Benjamin Purnell moved from Shiloh at the completion of the newer house in 1915. Mary stayed in Shiloh until her leaving on April 1, 1930.
Administration Buildings, House of David
View looking east across driveway between Jerusalem and Shiloh. Building annexed to the left is the "New House" also known as "Benjamin's House", was built in 1915. Benjamin Purnell moved from Shiloh at the completion of the newer house in 1915. Mary stayed in Shiloh until her leaving on April 1, 1930.

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