John Emory's 1820 Journal
John Emory was born in Maryland on April 11, 1789. He graduated from Washington College in 1804, studied law, and became a lawyer at the age of nineteen. Emory entered the ministry in 1810 as a probationary member of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Six years later, in 1816, he was elected a delegate to the General Conference. In 1820, the year featured in his manuscript journal on exhibit, Emory served as a fraternal delegate to the British Conference.
During the decade of the 1820s, John Emory served his denomination as a writer and editor of books and periodicals. His most influential work was A Defense of "Our Fathers,” and of the Original Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Against the Rev. Alexander McCaine, and Others With Historical and Critical Notices of Early American Methodism, published in 1827. The General Conference of 1832 elected Emory to the office of bishop.
Bishop Emory died on December 16, 1835 after being thrown from a carriage. To honor his keen interest in higher education, two Methodist institutions founded in 1836 were named in his honor: Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia, and Emory College in Oxford, Georgia. Emory College moved to Atlanta in 1915 to become Emory University.