Nineteenth-century denominational newspapers, relatively unavailable to historians until recently, constitute an important untapped source of information regarding public attitude toward national issues. Unlike the more commonly cited religious quarterlies and convention records, the weekly newspapers sought to provide their readers with regular news and comments about secular events. To be sure, articles on doctrine and evangelism seldom relinquished the prominence of page one. But news of the latest steamboat disaster, the new moldboard plow and last week's congressional proceedings were regularly mixed with local church items on pages three and four. And as the nation faced crises of significant proportion, editors often felt it their duty to offer their prescriptions in lengthy editorials on page two. Nowhere in the church apparatus was there a more obvious place for secular concerns to receive religious scrutiny. Widely circulated, welcoming reader response and edited by clergymen responsible to the denomination as a whole but particularly to the churchmen of their respective regions, the papers provide the best running account of religious response to troubles of the nation. For an age still steeped in the discourse and habit of churchly practice, they provide a perspective which historians can ill afford to neglect.