1887 SAM SMALL. Rare Broadside of Revivalist & Evangelist Converted Under Sam Jones
1887 SAM SMALL. Rare Broadside of Revivalist & Evangelist Converted Under Sam Jones
1887 SAM SMALL. Rare Broadside of Revivalist & Evangelist Converted Under Sam Jones

1887 SAM SMALL. Rare Broadside of Revivalist & Evangelist Converted Under Sam Jones

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Very rare 5.5 x 14.5 inch finely preserved broadside advertising the evangelistic meetings of Sam Small.

Converted in 1885 and authoring books by 1889, the present most likely dates to 1887 or 1888. As intent as it is on building Smalls' resume as a communicator and voice, it seems highly unlikely it would not have mentioned his Pleas for Prohibition [1889] if it had already been released. 

Sam Small [July 3, 1851 – November 21, 1931] was one of the most significant Methodist evangelists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Born on a plantation near Knoxville, Tennessee, he enlisted in the Confederate Army during the Civil War at the age of just 13. After the War and with the help of a family relationship, Small began working for former President, Andrew Johnson as a Secretary and was later Secretary to the Commissioner of the Paris Exhibition. Along the way through politics, he acquired a drinking problem and a checkered home life.

Small also began writing. He published a series of now very politically incorrect dialect sketches in the Atlanta Constitution in the voice of an aged African American, "Old Si." They were well-received and distributed nationally. However, Small was by this time a full-blown alcoholic and was unable to continue. Joel Chandler Harris, of Uncle Remus fame, was asked to continue the tales.

In September 1885, Small was reporting on a revival meeting of evangelist Sam Jones in Cartersville, Georgia. There Small was so "overwhelmed by conviction of sin" that on arriving back in Atlanta, he immediately started drinking . .  and did not stop for four straight days. After four days, Small "pleaded with Christ that he would let me cling to his cross, lay down all my burdens and sins there, and be rescued and saved by his compassion." Small's family at first feared he was slipping into madness. He  soon began testifying to his deliverance from alcohol and Sam Jones heard him preach in Atlanta. "Small's fame and newspaper connections ensured that his conversion would garner publicity," and Jones invited Small to be his associate.

Small's collaboration with Jones lasted only a few years, in part because of heavy debts Small had contracted while he was drinking. He was later appointed a chaplain during the Spanish–American War. Small also lectured on behalf of the Anti-Saloon League. In a florid address to the Anti-Saloon League's 1917 convention in Washington, DC, Small told the cheering crowd that if the United States enacted prohibition, "then you and I may proudly expect to see this America of ours, victorious and Christianized, become not only the savior but the model and the monitor of the reconstructed civilization of the world in the future." Small also kept his hand in politics. In 1892 he ran for Congress as a prohibition-supporting Populist.

In 1927, Bob Jones, Sr. asked Small to write a creed for the proposed Bob Jones College. The creed written quickly on the back of an envelope has been memorized and recited daily by generations of Bob Jones University students.

Some folds; mirco-tear at top right of sheet.