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Collection 098 Ephemera of William Booth

Identifier: CN 098

Scope and Contents

An audio tape with excerpts from two of William Booth's sermons, one of which contains a reference to Salvation Army; two autographs of Booth, one dated 1921, one undated; one video tape containing black and white photos and filmed segments of Salvation Army activities, including Booth's funeral. Also includes a brief commentary of Salvation Army history in Depression years in the United States, and activities during World War II. Included on the video tape is a 5 minute sermon by Harry Ironside, filmed at Moody Memorial Church.

The audio tape, T1, consists of two brief excerpts from sermons preached by Booth; no dates or locations are given, however. The video tape contains black and white photographs and filmed segments of Salvation Army activities, including Booth's funeral. A brief portion of a sermon by Harry Ironside is followed by a five-minute segment repeating the photos and films with a commentary outlining the Salvation Army's years during the 1930s depression in the United States and expansion of their services in World War II.

A piece of stationery engraved with the crest and name of the Salvation Army International Headquarters in London is signed by W. Bramwell Booth, Booth's son and in 1912 his successor as General. It is dated November, 1921.


  • Created: 1921

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

William Booth was born to Samuel and Mary Booth on April 10, 1829, in Nottingham, England, the third of five children. When Booth was thirteen, his father encountered several severe financial losses coupled with what would prove to be a fatal illness. Booth was apprenticed to a local pawnbroker for whom he worked six years. Samuel Booth died later that year [unknown] after experiencing a conversion to the Christian faith.

Working in the pawnshop, Booth became increasingly aware of the needs of the poor and determined to help ease their sufferings. He was baptized into the Church of England, but broke his ties with it and joined a Wesleyan fellowship. He underwent conversion at the age of fifteen and became active in Christian work.

By 1852, Booth was preaching full-time on a Methodist circuit. During one of his services, he met his future wife, Catherine Mumford. Together they had seven children. The young couple asked the Methodist Conference repeatedly for permission to engage in full-time evangelism, but their requests were always denied. In 1861, therefore, the Booths left the circuit and set up their own work. For the next few years, Booth conducted revival services all over England in such places as Cornwall, Hayle, Cardiff, Wales, and Walsall.

The Salvation Army grew out of revival meetings held in an East London suburb in 1865. Chains of mission groups were established, though the groups often suffered physical abuse for their religious involvement. The name "Salvation Army" was officially adopted in 1878 and the group was reorganized using military terms for their workers and activities. In 1880, after the Army was incorporated in the United States, the entire organization also started wearing uniforms and music bands were also organized.

The Army became involved not only with saving souls but with social concerns--setting up homes for girls in trouble, helping convicts find jobs, conducting a prison ministry, operating homes for the aged, holding camps for the deaf, setting up Evangeline homes for Christian business women, and hospital visitation. The official publication of the Salvation Army is the War Cry, begun in 1879.

Booth continued a rigorous schedule of speaking, writing, and traveling. In 1912, Booth underwent two unsuccessful operations on his eyes. Complications arose which led to his death on August 20 of that year.


1 Folder

1 Audio Tape

1 Video Tape

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this colleciton were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in October and December 1979, November 1980, and September 1983.

Accession 79-118, 179-143, 80-147, 83-110, 84-116

February, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns

Revised, May 27, 1983

Frances L. Brocker

J. Nasgowitz

Revised, April 28, 1987

Frances L. Brocker

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 098 Ephemera of William Booth
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US