Southern Methodist University

David Morton papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Morton, David, 1833-1898
Title: David Morton papers
Dates: Circa 1859-1898
Abstract: This collection comprises four bound volumes of manuscript and typescript sermons and addresses written by the Rev. David Morton, D.D. (1833-1898). Accompanying these writings are typed transcriptions of tributes to Rev. Morton and letters of condolence received by his wife, Hannah W. Morton. David Morton was a leading clergyman in the Louisville Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS), an advocate of educational ministries, and the founding Secretary of the MECS Board of Church Extension. The David Morton papers document the ministry of a significant figure in nineteenth-century Kentucky Methodism.
Accession No: Collection BridArch 3.100
Extent: 1 box (.5 linear foot)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

David Morton (1833-1898) was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the third son of Marmaduke B. and Nancy Caldwell Morton. He studied at Russellville Male Academy, a Baptist-related school later known as Bethel College. On December 25, 1851, Morton had a dramatic conversion experience. A few months later, in the spring of 1852, the Russellville station quarterly conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS) granted him a license to preach. In 1853 Morton was admitted on trial to the Louisville Conference, and in 1855 he was ordained Deacon and admitted in full connection. Elder’s ordination followed in 1857.

Rev. Morton’s ministerial appointments in the Louisville Conference of the MECS included: Mammoth Cave circuit (1853-54); Campbellsville circuit (1854-1856); Bardstown station (1857); Owensboro station (1858-1860); Agent, Southern Kentucky College at Bowling Green (1860-1861); Elkton circuit (1861-1863); Hopkinsville circuit (1863-1864); President, Russellville Female Academy (1864-1868); Agent, Board of Education of the Louisville Conference (1868); Agent, Logan Female Academy (1868-1873); Presiding Elder, Russellville district (1873-1876); Educational Agent, Louisville Conference (1877); Elkton circuit (1878-1879); and Presiding Elder, Louisville district (1879-1882). Morton also served briefly in the Denver Conference of the MECS as Presiding Elder of the Montana district and as Chaplain of the Montana Senate (1876-1877).

David Morton served as a delegate to seven consecutive General Conferences of the MECS beginning in 1870 and as a delegate to the Ecumenical Methodist Conferences of 1881 and 1891. He was instrumental in the founding of the MECS Board of Church Extension and guided the board as Corresponding Secretary from 1882 until his death in 1898. In 1883 Centenary College, Jackson, Louisiana, conferred upon Rev. Morton an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. From 1891 to 1898 Morton served as President of the Board of Managers of the Vanderbilt Training School in Elkton, Kentucky.

David Morton married Hannah Wilson Bottomley (1831-1924) on August 8, 1854. Their nine children included Daniel Morton, M.D., who donated the David Morton papers to Southern Methodist University on June 15, 1929.


Hoss, Elijah Embree. David Morton, A Biography. Nashville: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1916.

Lewis, John W. David Morton, D.D., First Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. David Morton papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Short, Harry R. “Morton, David.” Encyclopedia of World Methodism, Volume 2. Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1972.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The David Morton papers primarily shed light on the public ministry of a notable Southern Methodist preacher and administrator who was active throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. This collection also documents perceptions about Rev. Morton in the form of memorial tributes and letters of condolence.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains a single series:
Series 1: Bound volumes, circa 1859-1898


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bridwell Library assumes no responsibility.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Morton, David, 1833-1898.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Louisville Conference -- Clergy.
Letters -- Kentucky -- 19th century.
Sermons -- Kentucky -- 19th century.

Related Materials

Filson Club Lectures, The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], David Morton papers, Bridwell Library Special Collections, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Daniel Morton, 1929

Processing Information

Processed by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2014.

Finding aid written by

Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2014.

Encoded by

Encoded by Ada Negraru, 2014.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Bound volumes, circa 1859-1898

This series comprises four volumes of documents by and about the Rev. David Morton (1833-1898). The bindings are marked 1, 3, 4, and 5, indicating that the set originally contained five volumes. The location of volume 2 is not known. The four volumes at Bridwell Library contain manuscript and documents. The final volume (volume 5) comprises typescript transcriptions of sermons, other public addresses, memorial tributes, and eighty condolence letters.
Box File
1940A 01 Volume 1: Manuscript sermons, circa 1859-1898
Sermon on Acts 26:28
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17
“My Son, Give Me Thine Heart” (Proverbs 23:26)
“What is the Love of God” (1 John 5:3)
“Subjective Benefits of Prayer” (Matthew 7:7)
“Objective Prayer” (James 5:16)
“Prayer for Secular Blessings” (Zechariah 10:1)
“Have Faith in God” (Mark 11:22)
“Strive to Enter In the Strait Gate” (Luke 13:24)
“Moses” (Deuteronomy 34:10)
“Walking in Christ” (Colossians 2:6)
Sermon on Luke 19:26
Sermon on Mark 6:37
Sermon on Psalm 90:12
Sermon on 1 Chronicles 28:9
Sermon on Mark 5:6
Luke 19:10 [2 sermons]
“Prejudice and its Antidote” (John 1:46)
“Fear God” (1 Samuel 12:24)
“The Accepted Time” (2 Corinthians 6:2) [3 sermons]
Sermon on Luke 19:13 [2 sermons]
“Help Thou My Unbelief” (Mark 9:24)
“So the Hart Panteth” (Psalm 42:1)
Sermon on Romans 13:14
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:20
“Epistles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:3)
“O God, My Heart is Fixed” (Psalm57:7)
“Let us Therefore Fear” (Hebrews 4:1)
“Naaman” (2 Kings 5:1-16)
“The Resurrection” (1 Corinthians 15:35)
“Instruction of Children” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Sermon on Psalm 37:1
“Guide Me and Lead Me” (Psalm 31:3)
“Death of Saints Precious” (Psalm 116:15)
“Personal Effort to Save Sinners” (John 1:42)
“The Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
“The Benediction” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
“Bearing Precious Seed” (Psalm 126:6)
“Our Father, Which Art in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9)
Sermon on John 6:12
Index to sermons
02 Volume 3: Manuscript sermons and addresses, 1859-1898
“The Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
Louisville Conference Jubilee Address delivered at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 1896 September
Louisville Conference Jubilee Address delivered at Louisville, Kentucky, 1896 May
“If you Know These Things” (John 13:17)
03 Volume 4: Manuscript and typescript sermons and addresses, 1859-1898
“A Watch Night Sermon” (John 13:17), 1881
“The Grace of Our Lord” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
“Bearing Precious Seed” (Psalm 126:6)
“Awake, Thou that Sleepest” (Ephesians 5:14)
“Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
“The Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
“[Remarks on the Observance of] the Lord’s Supper” (Luke 22:7-20)
“Memorial Address: Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh” 1884
“Draw Night to God” (James 4:8)
“Only Fear the Lord” (1 Samuel 12:24)
04 Typescript transcriptions of sermons, addresses, tributes, and condolence letters, circa 1859-1898
“Draw Night to God” (James 4:8)
“The Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29) [2 sermons]
“Awake, Thou that Sleepest” (Ephesians 5:14)
Joshua 13:1
Psalm 14:1
“Bearing Precious Seed” (Psalm 126:6)
Sermon read before the third year’s committee of Lousiville Conferrence, Elizabethtown, Kentucky (Mark 12:30), 1856 October
“Something About Moses” (Deuteronomy 34:10)
“Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
“Only Fear the Lord” (1 Samuel 12:24)
“Ministers should be Holy” a composition read before the committee for second year’s class of Louisville Conference, Greenville, Kentucky, 1855 October
“A Watch Night Sermon” (John 13:17), 1880
Inaugural address of the Louisville Conference Historical Society, 1897
Address delivered at the Methodist Jubilee, Louisville, Kentucky, 1896 May 5 Sermon on 2 Corinthians 13:14
“Patriotism, the Distinguishing Characteristic of a Good Citizen” a lecture delivered at Owensboro, Kentucky, during the winter or spring of 1859
Letter to the Preachers Aid Society of the Louisville Conference, 1886 September 24
David Morton Resolution: Logan Female College, Russellville, Kentucky
David Morton Resolution: Warren College, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Memorial sermons for Bishop Doggett preached at Louisville, Kentucky, 1880
“Reverend David Morton” paper read by James M. Bourne at the Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky, 1898 May
“David Morton, D.D.” memorial statement by Rev. John W. Lewis, D.D. 80 Letters of condolence upon the death of David Morton, D.D., 1898