Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis, a biography of Pardee Butler, traces both the activities of Butler as a frontier minister and as an exponent of reform, especially the anti-slavery and prohibition movements. He was actively involved in the anti-slavery controversy from 1855 until the early 1860's and in the Prohibition crusade from the latter half of the 1870's until the early 1880's. Reared on the Western Reserve of Ohio, Butler was converted at the age of seventeen to the Disciples of Christ. Throughout his life, he constantly attempted to proclaim this church's appeal for a return to primitive and apostolic Christianity. It was as a minister for this church, that Butler sought aid from the American Christian Missionary Society but was denied support because of his outspoken anti-slavery position. He was involved in 1859 in organizing the Christian Missionary Society, an anti-slavery missionary society, and served as their first missionary in Kansas. Later, from 1865 to 1869, he served as a missionary for the American Christian Missionary Society. He became occupied with the prohibition movement as early as 1874 and supported the 1880 Kansas prohibition amendment. However, after its passage, he opposed the law of 1881 that enforced the amendment. Despite active engagement in these various areas, Butler still found time to develop his farm into a profitable enterprise, and for a time, to engage in freighting and lumbering. It was while working on his farm that he received the injury which weakened him, leading to his death. This thesis was written primarily through the writings of Butler himself, which are located in the Kansas state Historical Society collections. The Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler, a series of articles written by Butler and compiled into a book by his daughter, Rosetta B. Hastings, shortly after Butler's death, provided additional material which outlined his life. Sarah Eastman compiled a scrapbook of published articles written by Butler which provided a detailed idea of Butler’s position and activities in several areas. Other materials utilized included newspapers, church convention minutes, and other religious publications.


Gordon W. Davidson

Date of Award

Summer 1966

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1966 William Thomas Scates


For questions contact

Off Campus FHSU Users Click Here