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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CUYAHOGA COUNTY SABBATH SOCIETY

CUYAHOGA COUNTY SABBATH SOCIETY

The CUYAHOGA COUNTY SABBATH SOCIETY was a mid-19th-century organization dedicated to preserving the Sabbath as a sacred day of rest. The Annals of Cleveland mention only one meeting of the society, but the resolutions adopted at that 10 Mar. 1844 gathering at a Baptist church suggest that the large audience had strong concerns. With lawyer and reformer JOHN A. FOOTE as chair, and exchange broker TRUMAN P. HANDY as secretary, the meeting opened with prayer. The gathering resolved that since God had "appointed and sanctified the Sabbath, its strict observance . . . must always be in accordance with the highest interest of all His creatures"; that the laws of God took precedence over human laws; that maintaining the Sabbath was a matter not only of "true piety" but also of "patriotism and philanthropy"; and that "all secular employments on the Sabbath, excepting those works of mercy by individuals, chartered companies, or governments, call down the wrath of Heaven, impoverish the land, and inflict cruelty and injustice on all the people, but especially on the laboring poor." The society apparently took little other action; this meeting adjourned after agreeing to publish the resolutions in the newspapers.