Julia Kinney Scott was the most famous Universalist poet from Bradford County, but there were a few other local Universalists who were known for their writing.  One of them was Asenath Woodburn Davies.

Asenath Woodburn was born in 1803 in Cherry Valley, N. Y.  Her family moved to Wysox about 1808, then to Sheshequin in 1818.  I don’t know if her parents were Universalists, but her sister Sally was married to Rensselaer Jenks, who is on the earliest (1833) membership list of the Sheshequin Universalist Society.

Asenath Woodburn married Thomas Davies, a native of Wales, in 1822.  They moved to Athens before 1830.  Asenath Davies was one of twelve “charter members” of the Athens Universalist Society in 1849.  Her husband is not recorded as a member, but he made a sizable donation toward construction of the meeting house in 1851.

Two of Asenath Davies’ hymns (words only) were included in Women in Sacred Song, a collection of hymn texts by women that was published in 1888.  About Davies, the book’s editor wrote:

“Mrs. Asenath Woodburn Davies … was one of the sweet spirits of earth.  Her Gospel hymns are numerous, and some of them are set to music in ‘Great Joy’ and other collections.  As early as the age of three years, she evinced a deeply pious turn of mind.  A little testament was given her, and every time she found the name Jesus, she would kiss it, for said she – ‘I love Jesus.’”

The two hymns in Women in Sacred Song are “Victory” and “The Potter and the Clay.”  They were written in 1878 and 1879, respectively.


  1. Be one with “Our Father” who loves you,

Be one with the friends that you love;

Be one with Humanity ‘round you,

And one with the angels above.

2. One fault at a time you must conquer,

One by one your passions subdue,

One by one weed out the old errors,

One by one plant Truths that are “new.”

3. “The kingdom of heaven is within you,”

If the victory over self you have won;

While laboring in kindness for others,

Your life-work is faithfully done.

4. Then one with “Our Father” who loves you,

Then one with the friends that you love;

And one with Humanity ‘round you,

And one with the angels above.


  1. As clay in the hands of the potter,

Am I in Thy hands, O my God;

If on life’s highway I falter,

And faint ‘neath Thy chastening rod;

2. If temptations thro’ weakness and blindness,

Cast shadows along on my way,

May Thy Spirit within, in its wisdom,

Prevent me from going astray.

3. May Thy presence, O Father, go with me,

Molding the vessel aright,

Till meet for the heavenly kingdom,

In the beautiful mansions of light.

Asenath Woodburn Davies died on Apr. 5, 1883.  She is buried in Old Athens Cemetery (Riverside).