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The Plan of Union

1801-1852. The scheme to prevent duplication of Presbyterian and Congregational work on the western American frontier fostered the development of Presbyterianism more than Congregationalism. John B. Smith, president of Union College in Schenectady, New York; Eliphalet Nott, a Congregational missionary; and the younger Jonathan Edwards all had a part in its adoption by the Presbyterian and Congregationalist denominations in 1801. The Plan united adherents of the two denominations in the West into congregations with local church government being that of the majority. The minister could be of either denomination. Larger disputes were to be resolved by the presbytery or association or a bidenominational council. Presbyterianism gained most adherents as the Plan developed from the Hudson River to Chicago. The Presbyterian general assembly ended cooperation in 1837, and the Plan was finally ended by its abrogation by a Congregational convention at Albany in October 1852.