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American Sunday School Union

Britain: The creation of the Sunday-School concept was an answer to the need to educate poor children. Robert Raikes, Hannah More and others started schools in the late 1700’s, when the “Enabling Act” of 1779 allowed dissenters to teach without subscription the Church of England. The Sunday-School Society was formed in 1785, by William Fox and others. The London Sunday-School Union was formed in 1803, at Surrey Chapel, the church of Rowland Hill. The London Sunday-School Union became a very active publisher.

America: “The First Day Society,” a society to reform the use of Sunday (and other days) by teaching from the Bible, began in 1790. Many Sunday-school societies were formed and the “Sunday and Adult School Union,” changed its name to the “American Sunday school Union” in 1924. Their main job was to establish schools, but they became a very active publisher as well. In 1824, the American Sunday School Magazine was published.

Interesting people involved in this work:

  • Francis Scott Key - manager (Star Spangled Banner and earnest Christian.)
  • Samuel Austin Allibone - editor (Bibliographer)
  • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz - author
  • Lucy Ellen Guernsey  - author


  • American Sunday-School Magazine
  • American Sunday-School Union Quarterly (1880)
  • Bible Dictionary
  • Child's World
  • Illustrated Treasury of Knowledge (1882)
  • Infants' Magazine  (1829)
  • Judson's Questions
  • Junior Quarterly begun (1917)
  • Little People's Lesson Pictures
  • People's Paper (1888)
  • Picture World (successor to Child's World)
  • Primary Quarterly
  • Quarterly Review Paper
  • Scholars' Companion (1878-79)
  • Scholars' Handbook (1874-89)
  • Scholars' Magazine
  • Sunday Hour (1883)
  • Sunday-School at Home (1915)
  • Sunday-School Banner (1859)
  • Sunday-School Gazette
  • Sunday-School Journal and Advocate of Christian Education
  • Sunday-School Magazine
  • Sunday-School Times (1859)
  • Sunday-School World (1861)
  • Superintendents' Review Paper
  • Teachers' Offering
  • Truth in Life (1882)
  • Union Primer
  • Young People's Paper (1891)
  • Youth's Friend
  • Youth's Penny Gazette (1842)
  • Youth's Sunday-School Gazette
  • Youth's World

Edwin Wilbur Rice, The Sunday-School Movement, 1780-1917, and the American Sunday-School Union, 1817-1917. (Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1917).