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William Hiss collection of Shiloh material

Identifier: MC019

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of photocopied newspaper articles from the Lewiston Evening Journal and The New York Times from 1895-1977 (bulk 1895-1920), as well as a few miscellaneous items, dealing with the Kingdom movement and the Shiloh complex. Among the "miscellany" are contemporaneous (ca. 1970s) worship information for ongoing Sunday services. All of these items were compiled by William C. Hiss, who used the materials to write his doctorate dissertation in philosophy at Tufts University. Completed in April 1978, the title of the dissertation is "Shiloh: Frank W. Sandford and the Kingdom: 1893-1948." A copy of the dissertation is available in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library.


  • 1895 - 1977
  • Majority of material found within 1895 - 1920


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

William Hiss, who wrote his doctorate dissertation on Shiloh, is the compiler of this collection of material related to Frank Weston Sandford and his Shiloh sectarian community which flourished at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Frank Weston Sandford which flourished in the beginning of the twentieth century. Sandford was on October 2, 1862, in Bowdoinham, Maine. In 1882, he entered Bates College and was a star player on the baseball team. After graduating in June 1886, Sandford entered the Maine State Seminary in September, having decided to pass up offers to play professional baseball. However, he stayed there for only three months and on New Years' Day 1887, Sandford was ordained a Freewill Baptist minister.

Sandford preached in several towns in his area until 1893, when he resigned his pastorate and became an independent evangelist. He soon founded The Kingdom as an evangelistic, apocalyptic Christian movement. A few years later, in 1896, Sandford and several others began construction of a Bible school in Durham, ME, called Shiloh. Shiloh would eventually grow into a self-contained town of over 600 people.

The Kingdom sought to prepare the world through prayer for Christ's second coming. As a means of doing this, Sandford and some of his followers made the first of several voyages around the world on the schooner Coronet in 1907. Following a voyage in 1911, on which several of his crew died from scurvy and starvation, Sandford was convicted of causing death at sea and served nearly seven years in the Federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the Shiloh community ended shortly after his release, Sandford continued to lead his followers while in strict seclusion until his death in March 1948.

Most of the Shiloh complex is gone today. However, The Kingdom still maintains a headquarters, now located in Dublin, New Hampshire, and has approximately 2,000 members nationwide.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Photocopied clippings from the Lewiston Evening Journal and other newspapers, plus some miscellaneous items, about the Kingdom religious movement and Frank Sandford the founder of the Shiloh complex in Durham, Maine which practiced this religion. The clippings were compiled by William Hiss in the course of researching his dissertation.

Organization and Arrangement

Clippings are arranged in chronological order.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of William C. Hiss (Bates 1966), Sept. 1982. Accession No.: xx-050.

Processing Information

Initial processing by Kurt Kuss, undated.

Finding aid updated and revised by Pat Webber, 2023.

Guide to the William Hiss collection of Shiloh material, 1895-1977
Edited Full Draft
Kurt Kuss
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
207-755-5911 (Fax)