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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.

View House of David materials on our other website

House of David materials on this website

  • 396 Photographs and slides
  • Jezreelite Messenger of wisdom and Israel's guide (vol. 1, 1887-1888, 7 scattered issues)
  • Jezreelite Pioneer of Wisdom (vols. 1-10, 1889-1899, all 252 issues) (vols. 11-14, 1901-1906, 11 scattered issues)
  • Shiloh's Messenger of Wisdom - Index (vols. 1 to 12)
  • Shiloh's Messenger of Wisdom (vols. 1 to 15, 1903-1919)
    • Additional copies of a few issues are available. See separate listings below for copies 1-3.

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Pages

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
Admit one South Bend Bears vs. House of David
South Bend Bears vs. House of David
Admit one South Bend Bears vs. House of David
South Bend Bears vs. House of David
Agreement For House of David Preserve Dept.
Description: Consists of several pages loosely "bound". MCD #4549, Agreement for display of House of David jellies, jams and grape juice
Allen Benson combing his beard
PA 1022; Text from caption glued to back: Wash. "Acme photo" Washington Bureau. Shades of King Ben. Allen Benson, star House of David pitcher, just signed by Clark Griffith as a moundsman for the fast slipping Senators, pictured in Washington uniform as he combed his red beard before taking initial practice with the Nats Aug. 14th. Bureaus, Wash'n. Cleve. 8-14-34. Your credit line must read (Acme).; Stamped on back: This photo is supplied by Acme Newspictures Washington Bureau 1322 New York Ave. Washington, D.C. Not to be used for dyndication or advertising purposes without written permission
Allen Benson in Washington Senators uniform posed while batting
Stamped on back: Aug 15 215 PM 193[unclear], Front: Allen Benson; Back: Baseball, PA 1045; Stamped on back: Aug 25, 1934; Stamped on back: The Cleveland News reference department Cleveland, Ohio; Text from caption glued to back: Associated Press photo from Washington Bureau please use credit. Bearded menace of the ball parks. Not since the days of Pop Anderson and Abner Doubleday has a face and figure like that of Allen Benson graced the diamonds of the big leagues. Introducing Allen, Benson, 25 year old pitching star who was signed by the Washington Senators. Benson broke into the big time after making a reputation with the House of David team under the tutelage of Grover Cleveland Alexander. hkw--Aug. 14-- wx list- cxfx ag-) Associated Press photo.
Announcement of entertainment at House of David Park for August 1-August 7
Description: Advertisment for entertainment for the week of August 1 to 7, ladies orchestra, Chic Bell, Amateur contest, Franklin Wiltse, Mayfields & Virginia, Midget autos etc., At House of David Park, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Announcement of entertainment at House of David Park for August 17-August 29
Description: Advertisment for entertainment for the week of August 17 to 23, Billy Shaw and his great swing band, Miss Frances Kerr, 11 Death Defying Auto & Motorcycle Maniacs etc., House of David Park, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Announcement of entertainment at House of David Park for August 24-August 31
Description: Advertisment for entertianment for the week of August 24 to 30. Billy Shaw and his Great Swing Band, Miss Frances Kerr, Coming Aug 31 to Sept 7 "Britt" Wood The boob and harmonica., House of David Park, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Announcement of entertainment at House of David Park for June 26-July 9
Description: Advertising "Chic" Bell, Baseball game between Pure Oils and Colored Giants. Claiming to have Jesse James the outlaw still alive, a roping performance by Hank Farris and Ann Alexander as well as the Ladies Orchestra., At House of David Park, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Announcement of entertainment at House of David Park for September 6-September 8
Description: Advertisment for entertainment for Sept. 6-7-8. Bus Driver's Ball, Farmers night!......House of David v. Sturgis baseball game etc., House of David Park, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Announcement of the opening of the House of David Greenhouses
Description: Invitation/advertisment for opening of House of David Greenhouses., St. Joseph Michigan Dec. 12th, 1933
Announcement on letterhead of souvenir selections of jams and jellies available at the House of David Preserve Department
Description: Typed offering on Preserve Dept. letterhead of a "Souviner Selection of Jams and Jellies--"., House of David Preserve Dept. 1104 Broad Street Box 392, St. Joseph, Michigan
Application for membership
Description: Application for membership to the Israelite House of David. States that the new applicant is ready to turn over all money, deeds and personal property which they possess or will possess in the future. Signature blanks and witness signature blanks., Application for membership into the House of David
Arena, Benton Harbor, Mich., 6-18-3
Jack Dempsey, Stage built just north of HoD property, Back: Arena, Benton Harbor, Mich. [i.e., Michigan] Dimsey [Demsey?] 6-18-3, PA 1052; Stamped on back: 24
Art Dept. House of David, Benton Harbor, U.S.A
Description: Small foil label with blue background and silver lettering., Label from Art Department, House of David
Arterene Vieritz on a horse on the House of David dairy farm
Dairy barn built in 1936, first refrigerated barn in America, H of D [i.e., House of David] Dairy Farm, Arterene Vieritz, mid 40's, PA 1018

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