In the late 1800s, Rev. Talmage became the first "money-making" American preacher. This guide provides access to materials related to “Reverend Talmage” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Despite Rev. Talmage’s blatant disregard for pressing issues like hunger and poverty, the firebrand preacher ravages the countryside with his fire and brimstone speeches, making him America’s “most famous pulpit orator” in history. Newspapers contest Talmage as both wildly brilliant and scandalous, but the press unanimously agrees “the world will never see another Talmage” after he passes away in 1902. Learn more about the original “money-making preacher”. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Reverend Thomas De Witt Talmage becomes famous after being syndicated in national newspapers.
Talmage resigns from his position at Brooklyn Talmage and it quickly goes bankrupt; papers suspect his financial motivation.
October 19, 1895
Talmage takes a position with the largest Presbyterian Church in the nation, the First Presbyterian Church of Washington, DC.
March 10, 1899
After some political problems within the church, Talmage resigns from his position at First Presbyterian Church.
Talmage continues giving sermons, preaching against intellectual heavyweights such as Sigmund Freud.