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Full text of "Methodism in Charleston : a narrative of the chief events relating to the rise and progress of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. : with brief notices of the early ministers who labored in that city"

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METHODISM IN CHARLESTON: 



Of THE 

CHIEF EVENTS RELATING TO THE EISE AND 

PROGRESS OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL 

CHURCH IN CHARLESTON, S. C, 

WITH 

BRIEF NOTICES OF THE EARLY MINISTERS 
WHO LABORED IN THAT CITY. 



BY THE 

KEV- F. A. MOOD, A.M., 

OF THE BOOTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE. 



EDITED BY THOMAS 0. SUMMERS, D.D. 



PUBLISHED BY E. STEYENSON & J. E. EVANS, AGENTS, 

FOR THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 

1856. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by 

STEVENSON & EVANS,' Agents, 

In the Office of the Clerk of the District Court 'for the Middle District of 

Tennessee. 



FEINTED BY A. A. STITT, 
SOUTHERN METHODIST PUBLISHING HOUSE, NASHVILLE, TENN. 



itMntiun. 



TO 

MY BROTHER, 
JAMES R. MOOD, M. D., 

AT WHOSE SUGGESTION IT WAS UNDERTAKEN, 
Efjta little Folwroe 

IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED, 

BY THE ATTTHOB. 

1* (y ) 



tdtflfottdifltt. 



The principal part of this work appeared in 
successive numbers of the Southern Christian 
Advocate, published in Charleston. A strong 
desire having been expressed for its appearance 
in a booh, the author revised and enlarged it, and 
very kindly submitted it to our disposal. Being 
a member of the South Carolina Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a native of 
Charleston, the preparation of the work was a 
pleasing task to the author. He has not, how- 
ever, unduly magnified his subject. He has paid 
less attention to the graces of style than to the 
faithful narration of facts. This is a matter of 
vast importance in works of this class. By refer- 
ring to old records, and by consulting with old 
members of the Church in Charleston, he has 

(vii) 



Vlll INTRODUCTION. 

secured a great deal of reliable information co 
ceming the introduction and progress of Metho 
ism in that city, -which will not only be interes 
ing to the reader in its present form, but w 
also be available to the future historian of tl 
Church. 

&he dbitox. 

Nashville, Tstss., July 26, 1856. 



(ftflttUnis. 



DEDICATION ▼ 

INTRODUCTION Vii 

CHAPTER I. 

Mr. Wesley's visits — Mr. Whitefield's visits — Bishop As- 
bury's first visit — Jesse Lee — Henry Willis — Preach- 
ing in a deserted Baptist meeting-house — Conversion 
of Mr. Wells 11 

CHAPTER II. 

John Tunnel — Henry Willis — Worship in Mrs. Stoll's 
residence — Conversion of George Airs — Isaac Smith 
— Erection of Cumberland Church — Visit of Dr. Coke 
— Rev. Wm. Hammet — Hammet' schism — Beverly 
Allen, his fall and flight^Official members — Arrange- 
ment of classes 29 

CHAPTER III. 

Conference session— Visit and labors of Bishop Asbury 
—Death of Mr. Wells— Death of James King— Per- 
secutions— Erection of Bethel Church— Tobias Gib- 
son — Fresh persecutions — Pumping of Mr. Dougherty 
— Erection of the Parsonage — Bishop Asbury's first 

visit to it— Death of Nicholas Watters 72 

(ix) 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

J. H. Mellard — Measures to repress disturbances — 
Cranmer and Brady — Mr. Owens and the mob — Ar- 
rest of the congregation by the military — Richmond 
Nolley — Dr. Capers — Singular incident — Illness of F. 
Ward — Measures for building a brick church — S. 
Dunwody and J. B. Glenn 97 

CHAPTER V. 

John Collingsworth — Camp-meetings — African schism 
— Cession of Trinity Church — Prosperity of the Church 
— Schism of 1834 — Asbury Chapel — Burning of 
churches — Division of charges 123 

CHAPTER VI. 

Eminent ministers — Deaths of ministers — Itinerant 
preachers sent out from the city — Members of former 
days — Aged living members — Colored membership — 
Anecdotes of colored members — Benevolent institu- 
tions — Preachers stationed in the city 154 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON, 



CHAPTER I. 

Mr. Wesley's visits— Mr. Whitefield's visits— Bishop Asbury's first 
visit — Jesse Lse— Henry Willis— Preaching in a deserted Baptist 
meeting-house— Conversion of Mr. Wells. 

On Saturday, July 31st, 1786, John and Charles 
Wesley reached Charleston from Savannah, after 
escaping a perilous storm in St. Helena's Sound. 
Though neither of the Wesleys visited Charleston 
on this occasion as Methodist preachers, as the 
term is now understood, it is not uninteresting to 
know that Charleston was one of the few places 
on American soil trod by those men of God who 
afterwards shook the world. 

John Wesley says of his visit: "We came to 
Charleston. The church is of brick, but plastered 
over like stone. I believe it would contain three 

(11) 



12 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

or four thousand persons. About three hundred 
were present at the morning service the next day; 
(when Mr. Garden desired me to preach;) about 
fifty were at the holy eommunion." 

The church here alluded to was the building 
occupying the. site of the Protestant Episcopal 
church, now known as St. Philip's. Mr. Alex- 
ander Garden, of whom Mr. Wesley makes men- 
tion, was the rector of that congregation thirty- 
four years. At the time of Mr. Wesley's visit, 
he was the Bishop of London's commissary. He 
was held in high esteem by the literati of Europe, 
and, in compliment to his valuable botanical inves- 
tigations, Linnaeus named after him that beautiful 
and popular flower of the South, the Gardenia. 
He was, as we will see, a great stickler for the 
forms of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Wesley was much struck with the presence 
of several negroes at church, and sought occasion 
for conversation with one of them. "She told 
me," he says, "she was there constantly; and that 
her old mistress (now dead) had many times in- 
structed her in the Christian religion. I asked 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 13 

her what religion was. She said she could not 
tell. I asked her if she knew what a soul was. 
She answered, 'No.' I said, 'Do not you know 
there is something in you different from ,your 
body ?t— something you cannot see or feel?' She 
replied, ' I never heard so much before.' I added, 
' Do you think then, a man dies altogether as a horse 
dies?' She answered, 'Yes, to be sure.' God, 
where are thy tender mercies ? Are they not over 
all thy works ? When shall the Sun of righteous- 
ness arise on these outcasts of men with healing 
in his wings !" 

The answers given by this poor creature do but 
little credit to the church or home instructions 
she had received'; but the conversation proves 
Mr. Wesley to have been fully imbued with the 
spirit of a true missionary. How satisfactorily has 
this prayerful inquiry of his been answered! It 
may be much doubted if in all the streets of 
Charleston, now numbering its ten thousand ne- 
groes, one adult among them could be found so 
utterly ignorant of religious truth. Little did 
Mr. Wesley think while conversing with this be- 
2 



14 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

nighted slave, and lamenting her ignorance, that 
he was soon to set in motion agencies and influ- 
ences which would set all England in a blaze of 
religious zeal, awaken the American continent 
from its religious torpor, and which, under* the 
blessing of G-od, would penetrate the darkness of 
these ignorant Africans, and 

"O'erthe negro's night of care, 
Pour the living light of heaven : 
Chase away the fiend Despair, ' 
Bid him hope to be forgiven!" 

After paying a visit on Monday to the Governor, 
Mr. Wesley desired to' return immediately to Sa- 
vannah; but experiencing some difficulty in ob- 
taining either a vehicle or vessel, with his charac- 
teristic activity, he started to make the journey on 
foot. Between Charleston and Beaufort, however, 
he was kindly provided with a horse by a Mr. 
Bellinger. During this trip his escape from ill- 
ness and death seems miraculous. Though the 
heat of summer was upon him, besides travelling 
on foot during the day, he slept at night in the 
open air/ and was wet by rain more than once; 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 15 

yet he experienced no inconyenience from it. It 
was regarded, then, as it is now, almost certain 
death to inhale at night the malaria of that low 
country at that season of the year, and particu- 
larly dangerous to he wet by the summer rains. 

He visited Charleston again in April of the 
next year, "determined," as he says, "if possible, 
to put a stop to the proceedings of one who had 
married several of my parishioners without either 
banns or license." 

During this visit he again preached in Mr. 
Garden's church, His text was 1 John v. 4: 
"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh- the 
world." He must have spoken on that occasion 
as a Methodist preacher should speak, for, after 
service, a man of education and character seriously 
objected to .the sermon, saying, "Why, if this be 
Christianity, a Christian must have more courage 
than Alexander the Great." 

After obtaining from Mr. Garden the proper 
assurances in reference to the irregularities com- 
plained of, he remained until the following Sat- 
urday, and met the ministers of the neighboring 



16 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

parishes in their annual convocation. He says 
that during their assembly "there was such a 
conversation for several hours on ( Christ our Righ- 
teousness' as he had not heard at any visitation in 
England, or hardly on any other occasion." 

Mr. Wesley visited Charleston but once after 
this, and that was on the occasion of his reem- 
barking for England, after his ill-treatment in 
Savannah. When determined to leave the last- 
mentioned place, after posting a handbill on the 
public square to that effect, he again started for 
Charleston on foot, accompanied on this occasion 
by three friends. 

Between Purysburgh and Beaufort they were 
lost in a swamp ; and after wandering about all 
day, they spent the night on the ground, worn 
out with hunger and fatigue, having eaten nothing 
all day but a small ginger-cake divided between 
them, which Mr. Wesley found in his pocket : 
their sufferings were the greater as it was the month 
of December, and the cold severe. 

After travelling about in uncertainty nearly the 
whole of the next day, which was Sunday, they 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 17 

reached the house of a French family before night, 
and as soon as he was somewhat refreshed, Mr-. 
"Wesley had the family and neighbors summoned, 
to whom he read prayers in their native tongue. 

Tuesday of the week following he reached 
Charleston; but the cold and exposure brought 
on severe sickness; notwithstanding, on Thursday 
he set sail, bidding a final adieu to America. 

After a tedious voyage of several weeks, his 
vessel east anchor at the Downs. His friend, Mr. 
Whitefield, had set sail for Georgia from that very 
port but a few hours' previous to Mr. Wesley's 
arrival! The vessels passed in< sight of each 
fc£her, but neither of them': knew that the vessel 
at which he wag gazing held so dear a friend. 
• About a year after Mr. Wesley's final depar- 
ture, Mr. Whitefield reached Charleston. He 
also preached for Mr. Garden. In a mention of 
his sermon, it is said, « The people at first de- 
spised his youth, but his engaging address soon 
gained their general esteem, and Mr. Garden 
thanked, him most cordially." . Mr. Whitefield, 
alluding, to the church building, calls it "a 
2* 



18 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

grand church, resembling one of the new churches 
in London." 

Mr. Garden, in conversation with Mr. White- 
field, made a free allusion to Mr. Wesley's 
troubles in Savannah, vindicating his conduct, 
and assuring Mr. Whitefield that if ever they 
attempted arbitrary proceedings against him of a 
similar character, he would defend him with his 
life and fortune. 

Upon his second visit, however, he remarked 
an evident change, both in the appearance of the 
people, and in the conduct of his former friend, 
Mr. Garden. He says, " When I came to Charles- 
ton, Saturday, Jan. 3d, 1740, I could scarcely 
believe but that I was amongst Londoners, both 
in respect to gayety of dress and politeness of 
manners." 

He discovered, also, that through field-preach- 
ing he had forfeited the friendship and good 
wishes of the commissary. Proceedings were 
instituted against him in the ecclesiastical court 
of the province, and he was cited by Mr. Garden 
"to answer to certain articles and interrogatories 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 19 

which were to be objected and ministered to 
him concerning the mere health of his soul, and 
the reformation and correction of his manners 
and excesses, and chiefly for omitting to use the 
form of prayer prescribed in the communion 
book." 

Mr. Whitefield appeared, but denied the au- 
thority of the court to proceed in his case, and 
" prayed time to exhibit his objections." 

Upon the second convention of the court, Mr. 
Whitefield entered his caveat, and was ably de- 
fended by Andrew Rutledge. The court con- 
sisted of the Rev. A. Garden, commissary, and 
the Revs. Messrs. Guy, Mellichamp, Roe, and 
Orr. They unanimously decreed « that the ex- 
ception be repelled." The final result was a 
sentence from the court, suspending Mr. White- 
field from his ministerial oflice. 

And so this apostolic man, whom the Christian 
world delighteth to honor-with a greater mind 
wd soul than any or all of his judges-would 
have had his voice for God hushed by them, 
could they have done it, because his great 



20 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

soul could not comprehend a ministerial zeal 
which was only limited to a certain routine of 
printed prayers and a few written sermons — be- 
cause his godly zeal overleaped metes and hounds, 
set up by neither Christ nor his apostles. But 
such a man could not be hid, his voice could not 
be hushed. He preached for the Independent 
minister in his meeting-house, called then the 
"White Meeting-house," and occupying the site 
of the present Circular church. The Huguenot 
congregation also, with their characteristic catho- 
licity, insisted upon having his services part of 
the time. It is said of his labors on that occa- 
sion, "At the first sermon all was gay and trifling, 
no impression seemingly made at all. But next 
morning at the Huguenot church the scene was 
quite altered. A visible and almost universal 
concern appeared.. Many of the inhabitants 
earnestly desired him to give them one sermon 
more, for which purpose he was prevailed upon 
to put off his journey until next day; and 
there was reason to think, his stay was not in 
Tain." 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 21 

On the next day lie started for the seat of the 
Orphan House he was then laboring to establish; 
by the way of Savannah, going in an open row-boat. 
At a brief visit made to Charleston, the March 
following, he took up his first collection for his 
Orphan House, preaching an impressive sermon 
in behalf of its inmates. He obtained donations 
to the amount of £70. 

On another visit, five or six years afterwards, 
when he was again collecting money for the Or- 
phan House, which was encumbered with a heavy 
debt, Charleston proved herself then, as now, the 
queen-city of liberality. He remarks, "The 
generous Charleston people raised a subscription 
of £300, thus, for a while, stopping the gap." 
With this he purchased some valuable lands, in- 
cluding a large plantation and slaves upon it, for 
the assistance and support of the orphans. 

Although since his second visit Mr. Whitefield 
had personally separated from Mr. Wesley, it 
was, no doubt, of advantage to the future estab- 
lishment of Methodism, that "justification by 



22 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

*faith" was fearlessly and powerfully proclaimed 
in Charleston. 

Twenty-rthree years afterwards, only a . few 
months previous to his death, this zealous servant 
of God again visited Charleston. He landed there 
in feeble health, after a tempestuous voyage 
from London of sixty-five days ; and yet so great 
was his eagerness to do something for- the salva-, 
tion of souls, that he consented to preach on the 
day of his arrival. His reception was as hearty 
as ever, if not indeed more hearty than formerly. 
He says himself, "Friends receive me cordially. 
Praise the Lord, 0, my soul, and forget not all 
his mercies. 0, to begin to he a Christian and a 
minister of JeSus I" 

Four years after this, in 1773, the Rev. Joseph 
Pilmoor, one of the ministers sent to America by 

« 

Mr. Wesley, visited Charleston and preached. 
Of the particulars of his visit we have no account. 
He seems to have been passing through the 
South, discovering the places most destitute of 
religious teaching, and concluded Charleston toe 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 23 

closely occupied to alloW of his permanent labor 
there. 

The first regular effort for the establishment 
of Methodism in Charleston, as a distinct part of 
the Christian Church, was not made until the 
year 1785. In that year Bishop Asbury, accom- 
panied by the Rev. Jesse Lee, of celebrated 
memory, and the Rev. Henry Willis, visited the 
city, the latter preceding the Bishop several days, 
and announcing for him his appointments along 
the route. They spent several days in George- 
town, S. C, on their way to Charleston, stopping 
with a Mr. Wayne, a cousin of the celebrated 
General Wayne. After spending several days 
with him, preaching several times, and leaving 
Mr. Wayne under deep distress for his sins, they 
started for Charleston, having letters of recom- 
mendation from him to a Mr. Wells, a wealthy 
merchant of the city, to whose house they re- 
paired immediately on their arrival 

Mr. Willis met them some miles out of the 
city. They found Mr. Wells at home, but in a 
condition far from anticipating the visit of two or 



24 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

three Methodist preachers, the bugbears to all 
the worldly and irreligious people of that day. 
They found him and his family in the midst of a 
studied preparation for a visit to the theatre that 
evening, where a favorite play was to. be acted. 
His plans of amusement, however, were speedily 
abandoned : he gave these messengers of God a 
warm and gentlemanly reception, and family wor- 
ship was the instituted engagement of the evening. 
Through the perseverance of Henry Willis, 
they obtained the use of a deserted Baptist meet- 
ing-house, situated on the west side of Church 
street, between Water and Tradd streets, and 
occupying the site of what is now known as the 
First Baptist Church. The congregation who 
had once worshipped in it had been almost en- 
tirely scattered during the Revolution ; and while 
Charleston was in the hands of the British, the 
church building had been used by them as a de- 
posit for army stores. It was being used by a 
Baptist merchant as a storehouse for. salt, bacon, 
etc., at the time Mr. Willis endeavored to obtain 
its use. Through his efforts it was cleaned out 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. AO 

mi fitted- up with rough benches, ready for the 
Bishop's arrival. 

Jesse Lee commenced operations, after having 
given notice through the city papers, Tby preach- 
ing on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 27th ; and 
Henry "Willis followed in the afternoon. Mr. 
Lee preached .from Isaiah liii. 5, 6: "But he 
was wounded ' for our transgressions, he was 
bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of 
our peace was upon him ; and with his stripes 
we are healed. All we like sheep have gone 
astray : we have turned . every one to his own 
way; ,and the Lord hath laid upon him the in- 
iquity of us all.". Speaking of the services, h6 
says, "I preached with some faith and, liberty, 
and the people appeared to be quite amazed." 

The Bishop. seems to, have spent the day en- 
deavoring, to form a proper notion of the religious 
condition of the community. In the morning 
he visited St. Philip's l Protectant Episcopal 
Church. In the afternoon, he attended the In- 
dependent (Circular) Church, where he says he 
heard an excellent discourse. 
3 



26 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

The congregations of these pioneers through 
the day was quite small, although they would 
have been encouragingly large had all remained 
who came to the, church; but numbers having 
never seen nor heard a live Methodist preacher, 
came and sat long enough to satisfy their curi- 
osity, and then left. By night the curiosity of 
the community was fully aroused, and the house 
was crowded. Jesse Lee preached, and a goodly 
number were moved under the faithful appeal of 
this giant of early Methodism. 

The Bishop says of the first day's proceedings: 
"The Calvinists, who are the only people in 
Charleston who appear to have any sense of 
religion, seem to be alarmed." If their alarm 
arose from the fear of having another church 
established in their midst, they had cause for it, 
for from that first Sabbath's labors in Charleston, 
the existence of Methodism there was a fixed 
fact. 

The Bishop, possibly from previous fatigue, 
as well as other reasons, did not preach until 
Wednesday of that week, when he delivered hi? 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 27 

first message, from 2 Cor. v. 20, "Now, then, 
we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did 
beseech you by us: we pray you, in Christ's 
stead, be ye reconciled to God." 

Service was continued every night of the week, 
and on Saturday afternoon, Mr. Wells, the gen- 
tlemanly host of the strange preachers, acknow- 
ledged himself under deep convietion for sin. 
The Bishop remarks, " My soul praised the Lord 
for this first fruit of our labors, this answer to 
our prayers." We know not what were Mr. 
Wells's prejudices up to this time about the 
Methodists, but if he was opposed to becoming 
one, he placed himself in great danger of such a 
result when he entertained three Methodist 
preachers of such faith and prayer as Asbury, 
Willis, and Lee. 

The second Sabbath morning of Charleston 
Methodism was characterized by much feeling in 
the congregation, though it was few in number. 
At night the Bishop says, "A large wild com- 
pany were in attendance.^ Several of the minis- 
ters of the other churches had taken the pains to 



30 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

January, 1786, for quarterage, £11 lis. 9<L 
He is represented as " a man of great depth and' 
uniformity in piety, an indefatigable laborer, and 
a preacher of commanding talents/' a man also<j 
" of great simplicity.' ' 

Henry Willis, his co-laborer, was especially, 
adapted to the work assigned him. " He was a 
man of deep piety, amiable manners, general 
intelligence, with an entire devotion to his work,- 
and the most inflexible perseverance in accom- 
plishing the important work of his mission." 

It is probable that Charleston, during this 
year, was ateo visited by the Rev. Workman 
Hickson, as the steward's book shows him to 1 
have received £10 10s. 5d., for services ren- 
dered. 

Under the labors of these men, but particu- 
larly through the pious zeal and indomitable en- 
ergy of Henry Willis, Methodism, this the first 
year of its existence there, attained respectable 
foothold in Charleston ; for, at the end of the 
year, thirty-five whites and twenty-three colored' 
Were reported as members of the society. It i g 



METHODISM IN .CHARLESTON. 31 

cot probable, however, that all these were resi- 
dents in the city: the steward's book, of which 
mention has been made, is for " Charleston Cir- 
cuit." , The collections from Cainhoy and George- 
town are recorded with those from the pity, and 
there is no separate return made in the minutes 
of the membership — the numbers given are from 
the entire circuit. 

The infant society must be regarded as hav- 
ing done nobly in money matters. From their 
books it seems they paid to their preachers this 
first year a!5out $425. ■ Henry Willis received 
but a small portion of it. This is accounted for 
in the fact that, to the day of his death, he skil- 
fully managed a business of his own while labor- 
ing for the church, and, when he died, was able 
to leave his family an ample fortune. His me- 
moir says, "His argument for his intense appli- 
cation to temporal husiness was his bodily inca- 
pacity to labor constantly in word and doctrine. 
By his own hands he ministered to the necessity 
of himself and family : he would not eat the 
bread of the Church of God, because he could 



32 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

not be wholly employed therein, though he was 
prevented only through weakness of body. He 
considered the travelling ministry the most ex- 
cellent way, and nearest to the apostolic plan of 
spreading the glorious gospel of Christ with 
success." 

After Bishop Asbury's departure, they contin- 
ued to worship in the old meeting-house for 
some months, but their success would not permit 
them long to retain it. 

When the congregation assembled one Sabbath 
morning, they found the benches helter-skelter 
in the street, and the doors and windows barred 
against them. This was taken as a hint that 
they were desired to change their quarters ; and 
a Mrs. Stoll generously offered them the use of 
her residence on Stoll' s Alley. 

They worshipped at her house until, the con- 
gregation becoming too large to be comfortably 
accommodated, they obtained the use of an unfin- 
ished dwelling, situated on Wentworth street, 
near East Bay, which, though enclosed and cov- 
ered, was not made very comfortable. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 33 

This house witnessed some scenes entirely new 
to Charleston. Among them we may mention 
the conversion Of George Airs. He was a man 
of impulsive, ardent temperament, and had been 
long confirmed in sinful habits. He was seeking 
religion for some days under poignant- grief for 
his sins. Light at length broke .in upon his 
darkness, his captive soul was freed, and, as we 
might expect, the demonstration he made was 
not a little boisterous: After strongly assuring 
all present of the wondrous change which had 
passed upon him, he rushed from the building, 
anxious to tell the world what a merciful Saviour 
he had found. He ran towards East Bay, " Hal- 
lelujah !" bursting from his strong lungs at every 
step. This produced a great sensation in the 
neighborhood, and quite a crowd took after the 
supposed maniac, who had been rendered so at 
the Methodist ■meeting. After ranging around 
several squares, much to the horror of the people 
living thereabout, what was their surprise to see 
him quietly return to the house, the big tears 
streaming down his face ! Instead of finding a 



34 METHOpiSM IN CHARLESTON. 

maniac, they had in truth fallen upon one who 
had been just clothed and put in his right mind, 
as his subsequent life of piety abundantly proved. 

Henry "Willis and Isaac Smith Were the preach- 
ers sent to the city for the year 1786, each of them 
to labor six months. 

Isaac Smith had been a faithful and brave pa- 
triot during the war of the Revolution. He was 
in the main army under Washington, and in all 
the principal battles in which it engaged. He 
underwent the sufferings of the camp during the 
sad winter the army spent at Valley Forge, and 
was in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, and 
Brandy wine, at the defence of Fort Mifflin, the 
battle of Monmouth, the capture of Stony Pointy 
and the surrender of Yorktown, and he bore in 
his forehead to his grave the indentation where 
he was struck by a musket-ball. After his con- 
version and assumption of ministerial vows, he was 
an efficient laborer in many parts of the low country 
in South Carolina, establishing what was for years 
known as the JMisto Circuit, embracing what is 
now included in the Cooper River, Cypress, St. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 37 

George's, Walterboro, Orangeburg, and tJarnwell 

Circuits. 

Early in this year measures were taken toward 
the erection of a church. It was located on Cum- 
berland street; was sixty feet long by forty wide, 
with galleries for the accommodation of the colored 
people. • This must have been a considerable un- 
dertaking for the society, then so weak, both as it 
regarded wealth and numbers. Yet so economi- 
cally and prudently was the whole affair managed, 
that it was completed by the middle of the year 
following, unencumbered with debt, the ground 
and building costing £1300. 

It is interesting to look through the Steward's 
book and see their method of proceeding. Some 
of the present day would have regarded their pro- 
ceedings as decidedly "fogyish;" but it was evi- 
dently a resolution on the part of tha trustees not 
to have their house of worship threatened by the 
sheriff, or their consciences annoyed by the thought 
of using a house unpaid* for, and they therefore 
stepped very cautiously. 
4 



38 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

Jfit the laying of the foundation, they took up 
collection of £2 14s. The first Sabbath's colte^ 
tion, 4aken up at the dedicatory services of-tfic 
morning, and through the day, was more favor* 
able, amounting to £20 7s. 7d. Some of the 
entries are of a primitive style, hard for the Charley 
tonians of the present day to realize. The most 
costly is the amount paid for the lot, £300; then 
there are entries like these : — To brother Brough- 
ton, to buy stones, £1- For cartage of boards, os. 
To brother Hughes, for nails, £1. To brother 
Seavers, for work, £10. To brother Seavers; for 
corn for workmen, 10s. 6d. To brother some one 
whose name is illegible, for shingles, £8 4d. To 
brother Hughes, for sills, £6. For one dozen 
hooks and staples, 4s.; etc., etc. These entries 
show the Methodists to have been liberally patron* 
ized, and that if a Methodist- was engaged in any 
avocation that could be of any avail in connection 
with their church building, his services and goods 
and attention received the preference. It is true, 
in the big schemes of the present day, these little 



METHODISM IN .-CHARLESTON. 



39 



niceties of Discipline and courtesy are sometimes 
unobserved, but not to the advantage of Method- 
ism. 

No distinct name was, given to the building. 
It was for a long time known as the ''Blue Meet- 
in"- " in contradistinction from the "White Meet- 

Id". 

ing," of which mention has been. made. After- 
ward it took the name of the street, and Cumber- 
land Church became the scene of many pleasing 
and painful incidents. At the time of its^occupa- 
tion it was without glazed sashes, but was lighted 
by small glazed lights from above the doors and 
windows: the other* was a luxury of later date; 
and to the time of its demolition, in 1839, it had 
no other than plain pine benches. Though never 
ornamented with Brussels carpet, the floor was 
always covered with a layer pf clean white sand. 
The congregations during this year Were large, 
especially the night meetings. It is worthy of 
mention also that in connection with the building 
c*f the -church the trustees purchased, as the nu- 
cleus of a library for the preachers, all the works 
then published by Mr. Wesley's approbation, and 



40 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

bestowed them in a convenient place for their uag* 
An official record is also made of the purchase of - 
a box with three different locks, whose keys were 
distributed among the stewards, so that three were 
required to be present at the solemnity of disburse 
ing the funds. 

Beverly Allen and Lemuel Grreen were the sta* 
tioned preachers for 1787. The occupation of 
their church building was an important era for 
Methodism in Charleston. As Bishop Andrew 
in reference to it remarks: "It gave them an es* 
tablished and permanent character. It, was a 
public declaration that we had driven down our 
stake and intended to hold on." There was no 
actual increase in the white membership this year 
as reported m the minutes, but fifty-three colored 
were reported. It - is probahle that the supposi- 
tion heretofore made about the connection of 
Charleston with the circuit, accounts for this 
seeming want of progress. 

They were visited this year by Bishop Asbury?: 
"Here," says he, "we 'already have a spacious 
house prepared for us, and the •congregations 'are 



BftETHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 41 

crowded/' Dr.- Coke paid his first visit here this 
year; and this year the first Conference held in 
Charleston convened. 

Keuben Ellis and Ira Ellis were appointed here 
at this Conference fqr the year following. The 
first -was a man of tjomrnanding- person, but of 
feeble constitution. "He was a weighty and 
powerful preacher," and a man of great self-de- 
nial. It is said of Mm in- the notice of his death 
by the Conference : "He sought not himself, dur- 
ing twenty years of labor. To our knowledge he 
never laid up twenty pounds by preaching: his 
house, his clothing, and immediate necessaries 
were all -be appeared to want in the world." Ira 
Ellis was in several respects' his ©ontrast. "He 
was a man," says Bishop Asbury, "of quick and 
solid ' parts, with undiss'epbled sincerity, great 
modesty, deep fidelity, great ingenuity, and un- 
common powers of reasoning, and most even 
temper." These preachers remained here until 
the Conference of 1790. The (Shurch seems te 

bave progressed steadily ttoder their administra- 
tion. 

4* 



42 METHODISM IN CHAKtESTON. 

The second Charleston Conference met in Feb- 
ruary, 1788, and is characterized by the Bishop as 
" a free and open time." On Sabbath morning of 
the Conference, while one 6f the preachers "was 
delivering his message to a crowded audience, they 
were greeted with. the first open demonstration of 
hostility from the inhabitants. There, was a riot 
raised at the door. A general panic seized the 
audience, and, terror'Strickeu, the ladies leaped 
from the windows, to make good .their escape. 
This was only the prelude. At night, while the 
Bishop was preaching, the house again crowded 
to overflowing, it was assailed on all sides with 
stones and brickbats. The Bishop narrowly es- 
caped being badly hurt, as one of the missiles 
struck the inside of the pulpit near him; but, 
undisturbed, he finished his sermon. His text was 
Isaiah lii. 7 : " How beautiful upon the mountains 
are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, 
that-.publisheth peace:. that bringeth good tidings 
of good, that publisheth salvation: that saith unto 
Zion, Thy Gpd reigneth.," The uproar without 
seems to have awakened the good old man to fresh 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 43 

rfc, as his sermon was one of- great unction. 
He says ; " Upon the whole, I have had more lib- 
erty to speak in Charleston than ever before, and 
I am of opinion that God will work here." 

Dr. Coke was present at fhe Conference held 
in Charleston in 1789. It was during this session 
of Conference, most probably from the presence 
of Dr. Ooke, that a fierce attack upon the Church 
rules on slavery was made in the city papers. 
Bishop Asbury, though : knowing who the -author 
was, does not in his journal disclose his name; 
yet he makes mention of the circumstance. Thus 
commenced, through the -indiscreet interference 
of a pious minister with a "civil institution, a se- 
ries of assaults, public and private, upon the Meth- 
odists of Charleston, which, more than all else, 
prevented their success with every class. 

In addition to the riotous molestations we have 
noticed, and have yet to record, the public news- 
papers were filled with the most bitter invectives 
and fierce denunciations of Dr. Coke, and of all 
eomiected with him; and the public, unable to 
&»tinguish between the individual and his Church, 



44 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

united as heartily in denouncing the entire sect. 
The least patriotic of us can easily imagine how 
soon a prejudice could be raised, and how easily 
it could be sustained, against a society which had 
found its origin on a distant shore, and which 
seemed to be in the leading-strings of a foreigner 
who had undertaken, to dictate laws to a young 
republic — a republic whose blood was yet hot with 
the excitement of a newly acquired independence, 
and whose homesteads were rnany of them yet 
smouldering in -ruins, the work of this foreigner's 
own prince. 

We do not pretend to attempt, in the slightest 
degree, to palliate or justify the-illegal and cow- 
ardly assaults made by the "young chivalry" of 
Charleston upon unoffending women and children 
while worshipping their God. But we do feel 
astonished that - any Methodist preacher would 
press before the public his notions of reform, at 
the sacrifice of the peace, comfort, and good name, 
of others, and continue his conduct in the face 
of their sufferings and remonstrances. Dr. Coke 
did not suit the latitude of the Carolinas; and 



METHODISM* IN CHARLESTON. 45 

while we rdvere his pious zeal and $el£s.acrifierng 
devotion, we believe it had been better, far better, 
had he prudently remained away from the city 
of Charleston. From the session of the Confer- 
ence, regarded by the "public as a convention of 
wily incendiaries, much comfort to the ministers 
or advantage to the Church could not be expected, 
The Conference was' again held there the win- 
ter following. Bishop Asbury was accompanied 
at this visit by Richard Whatcoat, afterwards 
Bishop. The meetings during Conference -were 
iively and interesting, several'yotirig persons hav- 
ing come under awakenings;' and during the 
Wednesday of Conference, while the Bishop was 
preaching, much feeling exhibited itself- in 'the 
congregation/ upon which he dryly remarks,- 
"And wie had noise enough." He complains of 
this visit, "Friends are too mute and fearful, and 
many of the outdoors people are violent and 
wicked ;•> from which we judge that they were 
■tiH* annoyed and insulted during their publie 
gatherings. 

At this Conference an important movement 



46 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

was projected, which was the establishment- of 
"Sunday-schools for poor children,, white and 
black." The establishment , of any sort of Sab- 
hath-school in South Carolina' has- been se4 down 
to a much later date : — 1819 or 1820 — -but the 
record of this movement shows differently- It is 
not probable, however^ that the resolutions, which 
passed this Conference contemplated the estab- 
lishment of Sabbath-jschools on %he present plan. 
The children of slaves were allowed at that time 
the privilege of schools of their own, in which 
they received elementary instruction ; and as it is 
particularly specified, li Sabbath-schools for poor 
children, white an&black," they probably intended 
to .afford them on the Sabbath the opportunity 
of learning to read, free of charge. While no 
Sunday-schools existed, the. children were af- 
forded catechetical, instruction by the preachers 
-every Saturday afternoon : no mean substitute, 
as the. preachers thereby became acquainted with 
and interested m the children of the congregation, 
James Parks labored here during the year 
1791 ; nothing special occurring during, that time 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 47 

Conference convened here again the follow- 
ing winter; Bishop Asbury, with indefatigable 
punctuality, reaching the city a day or two before 
its opening. He seems, at this visit, to have 
been much depressed in spirits. The congrega- 
tions to whom he first preached, from some cause, 
were small; and he indulges his melancholy as 
follows : " We grow here but slowly. I feel the 
want of religion here: indeed, the gross immo- 
ralities of the place are obvious to every passen- 
ger in the streets." 

During the next week, hearing that Dr. Coke 
was on his way to the city, the Conference pro- 
tracted its session one day, in order to have him 
with them. On that day he arrived, accompa- 
nied by the Kev. Win. Hammet, having both 
narrowly escaped drowning by shipwreck off 
Edisto Island. The Doctor's preaching during 
this brief visit seems to have been received with 
toore forbearance by the inhabitants than pre- 
viously; for "the poor sinners appeared to be a 
httle tamed." Bishop Asbury preached also, with 
unusual power ; and he says that in his last ser- 



48 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

mou he "let out freely against :the races/' then 
in full play. " " • : 

Up to" this time Methodism in Charleston had 
stea-dily progressed. If 'there had been no extra- 
ordinary enlargement of its memberships the com- 
munity had gradually become better informed as 
to its principles and doctrines; and a goodly num- 
ber of colored persons^ redeemed from the thral- 
dom -of sin, and leading pious lives, were vindi- 
cating the purity of its intentions, .and extending 
its hallowed influence. It numbered", at the close 
of this year, six$y-six whites, and • one' hundred 
and nineteen colored. 

r But at this Conference, or rather just after", 
evil symptoms began to* appear, which -broke out 
with alarming violence during the year. Bishop 
Asbury says :'"I am somewhat* distressed at the 
uneasiness of our people here, who ejaintf the right 
to-dfhoose their own preachers- — a thing quite new 
among Methodists. None but Mr. Hanimet will 
do for them. We shall see how'it will end." ' 

The Rev. Wm.Hammet was b native of Ire- 
land. He had been converted through the in- 



MSIT^ODISM IN CHARLESTON. 49 

gtrumentality of the Wesleyan preachers, and had 
entered the itinerant r.anks of the British Confe- 
rence. He was a man of attractive bearing, cour- 
teous in his manners, and one " whose pulpit per- 
formances had. acquired for him almost unrivalled 
popularity." He sailed from England in 1785, 
in company with Dr. Coke, as ,a missionary to 
Nova Scotia. They had a fearful passage over. 
For ten weeks they were driven about over the 
sea, and finally were compelled to return to the 
point whence the,y started. Twice they narrowly 
escaped being run down by larger vessels, and 
several times as narrowly escaped, shipwreck. 
During this voyage Mr. Hammet proved himself 
to have been prompted by the noblest , impulses. 
Several times he had an opportunity to return; 
but, with a noble firmness, he remained fixed in 
his purpose. In one of the violent storms which 
assailed the vessel, and in which they expected 
every moment to sink, and when the missionaries 
were offering up prayers for its. safety, " Brother 
Hammet," says Dr. Coke, " was superior to us all 
m. faith for the occasion. His first prayer, if. it 
5 



50 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

could be called by that name; was little less than 
a declaration of the fall,- assurance he possessed 
that God would deliver us; and his second address 
was a thanksgiving for our deliverance." 

After reembarking, the same ill fate of tempest- 
uous weather attended them, and they were com- 
pelled to put into the island of Antigua, whence, 
after touching at other islands, they proceeded to 
St. Christopher's, the place to which Dr. Coke 
now appointed Mr. Hammet, 

He immediately entered upon the discharge of 
the duties of his mission, preaching in the court- 
house to crowded audiences. A number of ■ the 
first families of the place sent him pressing in- 
vitations to stay with them ; and in Basse Terre, 
the capital of the island, seme friends were 
found who engaged to rent a house for Mr. Ham- 
met, to induce him to make it his place of abode. 
Here he labored faithfully and zealously, so that 
three years after, when Dr. Coke again visited the 
island, where at his first visit "vital religion was 
totally unknown, through the indefatigable exer- 
tions of this missionary, a society of seven hun- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 51 

dred members was formed, and the far greater 
part appeared to be devoted to God. In addition 
to this, and what was of considerable importance 
to the work, two local preachers had been raised 
up among .them, and their labors had been ren- 
dered exceedingly beneficial." One of these last, 
a Mr. Brazier, we will have occasion to speak of 
hereafter. 

After this Mr. Hammet was appointed to 
Kingston, in Jamaica. But here such uninter- 
rupted success did not awai| him. After meeting 
with greai success and erecting a commodious 
church building, attended by large congregations, 
finding him in connection yith .Dr. Coke; whose 
opinions are so well known upon the subject of sla- 
very, the people began to persecute him severely ; 
tod these measures of hostility succeeded to a 
surprising extent. When Dr. Coke reached him 
en his regular tour of visitation, he found Mr. 
Hammet in a most deplorable condition,, through 
excessive fatigue and violent opposition. Fre- 
quently his very life was in imminent.peril. His 
house of worship had feeea.repeatedly assailed by 



52 METHODISM IN CHAELESTON. 

mobs, and for weeks he had been compelled to 
ask the assistance of the authorities ts defend it 
by an armed force. 

The papers of the island teemed with the most- 
virulent calumnies against the Methodists, and 
every species of falsehood that malice could frame 
or ignorance credit found a ready publication^ to 
poison the public- mind, and make the denomina- 
tion an object ©f abhorrence. On one occasion, 
about eleven o'clock at night, the mob, attacked 
the church, breaking down the gates leading into 
the yard, and it was only after the sternest inter- 
ference of the magistrates and chief men of the 
place that further violence did not ensue.' As" 
an evidence of the spirit that prevailed there, 
when Mr. Hammet indicted some of the most 
riotous, the G-rand Jury threw out the indictment, 
giving it as their opinion that both preacher and 
chapel ought to be pronounced public nuisances. 
From anxiety of mind and excessive fatigue, Mr. 
Hammet was quite ill, and all service was sus- 
pended in his church for several weeks. It be-' 
came reported through the community that the 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 53 

preacher. had been killed by the niob, and secretly 
buried; and, so bitter was the feeling against the 
oh-urch, assort of public jubilee was held over the 
announcement. When this was proven false, 
they continued to predict his. death, which they 
seemed determined to occasion. 

Mr.' Hammet's indisposition increasing, his 
physicians directed his removal to the continent, 
for which he set sail, in company with Dr. Coke. 
Misfortune again ' attended them. They expe- 
rienced a long and tempestuous voyage : in a 
storm their vessel was dismantled and driven upon 
Edisto Island, from which they reached Charles- 
ton, just at the close of Conference, making a 
large part of the journey on foot. 

Allusion has been- made to some excitement in 
connection with Mr. Sanimet which was becom- 
ing visible just after the. Conference of 1791. 
He remained in the city, preaching to the un- 
bounded admiration of immense congregations, 
and during the year the discontent in the church 
was clearly developed. From what appeared to 
be only a transient feeling of discontent, it in- 
5* 



54 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

creased- to an open agitation and final secession, 
which shook the church to -its centre, and well- 
nigh made an entire shipwreck of Charleston 
Methodism, as yet small and feeble. 

Mr. Hammet, it must be Remembered, -reached 
Charleston, in company with Dr. Coke, the day 
after the business of the Conference had been 
dispatched by that body. It was only in compli- 
ment to Dr. Coke that they remained together one 
day longer ; for they had heard of his shipwreck 
and other misfortunes, and desired to extend to 
him their sympathies, as well as do him honor. 
With the rest of the Conference business, the ap- 
pointments had all been arranged by Bishop As- 
bury, and every preacher was ready to. enter upon 
his work. Mr. Hammet preached immediately 
upon his arrival, to the great delight of all ; and 
before the Bishop's departure the evil symptoms 
alluded to made their appearance. Although a 
man of estimable traits had been appointed to la- 
bor in the city, the disaffected ones were found 
clamoring for Mr. Hammet's appointment among 
them. This was, in every respect, a most unrea- 



METHODISM IMT CHARLESTON. 55 

sonable demand. Mr. Hammet was not a mem- 
ber of the American Conference, but claimed bis 
attachments with the British Connection • and 
when asked to connect himself with Methodism 
in this country, declined doing so. He therefore 
did not recognize any. control which would have 
been attempted over him by Bishop Asbury. Be- 
sides, Conference was past: the Revs. Messrs. 
Ellis and Parks had been appointed to labor in 
the city ; and to have removed them after the ad- 
journment of Conference, would have been gross 
unkindness to them, and, also, a proceeding be- 
yond all order. It was, moreover, in entire hos- 
tility to Methodist ktw and usage for the congre-J 
gation, in part or whole, to decide- upon iheir fa- 
vorite, and demand hia appointment among them. 
And with all this, no doubt Bishop Asbury found 
a strong reason for declining to yield to their 
demand in the bearing of the man himself : at 
whose conduct we cannot but feel astounded when 
we recall the scenes through which he had just 
passed. 

The entire proceeding, in connection with him 



56 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

and his followers, seems to have been about this: 
He was from, abroad, where he had, been emi- 
nently successful; and where, too, he had been 
almost a martyr. Here, in Charleston, he found 
himself to be the "star." Persons who before 
had despised the collection of "common people" 
at the Methodist " Blue Meeting," now crowded 
to hear the great Irish orator; and hung, -in 
breathless attention, upon his lips. Some of the 
more progressive in the Church of that day, over- 
whelmed at this condescension of the "elite," be- 
gan to think that they were baited, and now was 
the time to catch them, and their demand must 
be yielded to. True, it was contrary to all law 
and order : true, it would be an insult to the 
preachers already stationed there; but what of 
that? Was not this Charleston? Should not 
they be heard ? 

This feeling of the people was not near so sur- 
prising as the conduct of the preacher. He en- 
couraged the disaffection, kept conspicuously be- 
fore them his claim to preference, and finally, 
enraged at the calm, firm,, dignified consistency 



METHODISM* IN CHARLESTON. 57 

of the Bishop, he hurled his anathemas at his 
head. He assailed him through the prints of the 
city in the most bitter spirit. Marvellous to 
relate, he declared himself a persecuted man : 
thought the American preachers had insulted 
him ; complained that his name was not printed 
in the minutes of the American Conference ; de- 
clared that a Nota Bene cautioning the' Method- 
ists in the United States against strange preach- 
ers, and whitm was framed previous to his arrival 
from the West Indies, was directed against him. 
Finally, he declared the whole of "American 
' Methodism a schism, because their preachers did 
not wear gowns and powder, and because he 
judged they did not pay respect enough to Mk. 
Wesley. It is palpable that all these were the 
merest pretests for his unjustifiable conduct. 
The truth is, he had become one of those 
splendid meteors who despise the ordinary rou> 
tme of toil, cannot live subjected to common 
law, and think they must have an eccentric 
course, or rather think the , law must be made 



5$ METHODISM IN CpAKLESTON. 

to work eccentric, so as to let them range and 
shine. 

A number, some of them regarded as the most 
valuable and estimable members of the church, 
went with him. He set up for himself under 
the title of the Primitive Methodist Church. He 
preached for some time in the market-place to 
large audiences ; and so great was his influence, 
that in a short time he succeeded in erecting a 
fine, commodious church at the corner of Hasel 
street and Maiden. Lane, which he named Trin- 
ity. To this also was attached a building-lot, 
with a comfortable parsonage and outbuildings, 
all deeded to him in person, and all free of debt. 
Better, far better for his fame, had he remained 
in Kingston, Jamaica, and suffered' martyrdom 
from the mobs, than thus have brought disaster 
to the church, and subsequent ttnhappiness to 
himself and others. 

" While memory lasts," says the Rev. Henry 
Smith*, " I never can forget a lecture our venerable 
Aabmry gave us a great many years ago, in the 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. -59 

Baltimore Conference, on Popularity. He re- 
lated a. ease of a Wesleyan preacher (Mr. Ham- 
niet) who had been sent to one of the islands, 
where he preached the gospel with the Holy 
Ghost sent down from, heaven, and great was his 
success; but he was very unpopular, and dread- 
fully persecuted — perhaps oast into prison. But 
he bore up under all this like a Methodist 
^preacher; and even rejoiced that he was worthy 
to suffer persecution for Christ's sake. The cli- 
mate, his excessive labor, together with his suf- 
ferings, soon wore him down, and he came to 
America to recover his health. In this country 
he became popular, very popular indeed. When 
the Bishop came to this part of his history, he 
closed hig eyes and raised his hand, and said, 
' The breath of the people came down upon him, 
and he sank !' Yes, he sank low enough. 
Strange indeed that the breath of the people in 
this land of liberty should prove more fatal to 
the preacher than rough persecuting hands in 
another."* 

* Hei-oes of Methodism. 



60 METHODISM IN CHABLESTON. 

The Hammet schism was a most disastrous 
affair for Methodism here, as yet only struggling 
into life. It was felt severely, not only from the 
withdrawal of so many members, some of them 
the most conspicuous and influential, but also 
from the feelings it engendered, and the devas- 
tating influence it had upon the piety of the 
membership. Mr. Hammet sent abroad letters 
denouncing the. presiding eldership and other 
things connected with Methodist Church govern- 
ment. These were replied to by the Rev. 
Thomas Morrell, then stationed in New York. 
We judge, however, > that Mr. Morrell's reply 
must have been rather inefficient; for Bishop 
Asbftry, in alluding to the two papers, says/ "I 
am not surprised that Hammet should ►find fault 
with the presiding eldership : its duties he was h 
man not likely to fulfil. • Had brother 

Morrell known niore, he would have replied 
better" 

Mr. Hammet also wrote an appeal to the Brit- 
ish Conference, but of the character of its recep- 
tion we have no account. He also, through the 



METHODISIvr IN' CHARLESTON. 61 

papers, vented his wrath against Dr. Coke, de- 
nouncing him as a sacrilegious tyrant. All of 
these proceedings, with their attendant excite- 
ment, were enough, it would seem, to the infant 
church here.' Well for them had this been their 
only misfortune at this juncture. 

We have mentioned the name of Beverly 
Allen as having been stationed here in 1787. 
Frpm that time he had been mostly in and about 
Charleston; and, at. the time to which we are 
about to allude, was preaching on Edisto Island, 
and was possessed of much- popularity. He was 
a man of elegant manners and brilliant parts, 
and by these, and his marriage into one of the 
first families of the low-country, had acquired an 
extensive influence and wide-spread reputation 
as a preacher. , About the commencement of the 
Eammet' affair, suspicions of a foul nature were 
raised against him : he was watched, his guilt 
proven, and he was promptly expelled. Bishop 
Asbury had entertained suspicions of his real 
iteracter. several years previous to his detection, 

6 



62 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

and speaks of the ill-treatment he had received 
from him. 

After his expulsion, he too spoke bitterly 
against Bishop Asbury, and repeatedly wrote to 
Dr. Coke and Mr. Wesley injuriously to the 
Bishop's character. Shortly after his expulsion, 
Major Forsyth, United States Marshal, undertook 
to serve a writ against him, upon which he made 
a precipitate flight from the city. He was over- 
taken by him in Augusta, and arrested. So per- 
fectly affable and polite in his manners was he, 
that this officer of justice mercifully declined 
placing manacles upon him, and was walking 
alongside of him, when they came opposite to 
Allen's place of lodging. He asked and obtained 
permission to go in and select a few articles of 
clothing to take with him. The marshal pa- 
tiently waited a proper time, and finally went to 
his room, where he found him seated upon his 
trunk, and when required to leave, obstinately 
refused to go. The marshal insisted, and was 
about to use compulsion, when Allen dared him 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 63 

to attempt it, telling him it would be at the risk 
of his life. He advanced toward him, when 
Allen drew a pistol and shot him dead. He fled 
and buried himself in the Western forests, his 
devoted wife accompanying him in all of this 
misfortune. 

It is said that while this unhappy man was 
flying from justice, his heart torn with fear and 
remorse, he chanced to stop at a church near the 
frontiers on the Sabbath day, where he found a 
Calvin istic clergyman enforcing the doctrine, 
" once in grace, always in grace," with the kin- 
dred doctrines of election and reprobation. He 
listened respectfully to the close of the discourse, 
when, to the astonishment of the congregation, 
with a haggard countenance, he arose and warned 
them against the teachings of the sermon. He 
told them he was a living proof of its falsity. 
He told them of his early convictions, of his 
happy conversion, and how for years he had 
"walked in the light of God's countenance ; and 
then he told them of his foul and grievous fall, 
and in solemn accents declared that he felt the 



64 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

doors of damnation ready for his reception, that 
he believed there was no mercy for him, and he 
did not dare to hope to be saved; and then 
withdrew, leaving the whole audience deeply im- 
pressed by his narrative. 

A greater blow than Allen's fall, through one 
man, couid scarcely have fallen upon the Church 
in South Carolina, and especially the church in 
Charleston. At this, time the indiscreet inter- 
ference of Dr. Coke with slavery had aroused 
hostility against the Church in all quarters. 
Methodists were watched, ridiculed, and openly 
assailed. Their churches were styled "negro- 
churches," their preachers "the negro preach- 
eia.*' Any slander, however vile or absurd, 
about the members or preachers, or about their 
church meetings, was eagerly received and as 
eagerly circulated. And now in the midst of all 
this, for these slanders through this conspicuous 
man to have really the appearance of truth, in his 
detection in the worst immorality, made it an 
overwhelming calamity. Such an occurrence 
could not be hidden : it flew upon the wings of 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 65 

rumor, and the double crime of incest and mur- 
der was exaggerated with, every repetition. The 
consequences were immediate. The flourishing 
society on Edisto, previously known as Cainhoy, 
which was made up of the first men of that region, 
was soon disbanded, and to this day the odium 
of that occurrence has prevented Methodism 
from ever again obtaining countenance among 
them. 

It may not be uninteresting to mention the 
names of the leading men of the Church at that 
day, and to know also who it was among them 
who stood firm in their attachment to Method- 
ism, amidst the strife and excitements of the 
year previous. There was one local preacher in 
the society, Alexander McFarlane, afterwards 
sire and grandsire to nine Methodist preachers, 
seven of them now living. The stewards and 
several of the leaders, as put down in the 
Church book for that year, are as follows : — 
Edgar Wells, who seems ever to have been fore- 
most in every good word and work : A. Seaver, 
I- McDowell, W Adams, J. Milne, G. Milnor, 
6* 



66 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON- 

W- Smith, J. Hughes, M. Moore, W Bee, B. 
Lukeson, J. Cox, J. Gordon : all of them were 
leaders of classes, the first five being stewards. 
There was also a class led by the preachers, and 
one by the local preacher. Several of the lead- 
erg had charge also of a colored class, over which 
they exerels&d the usual oversight, besides leading 
one among the whites. Thus the preachers in 
charge, Alex. McFarlane and William Smith, 
had under their charge large colored classes. 

It is worthy of note also that there was at that 
early day a class styled, " The Young Men's 
Class," and one also entered on the books as 
"The Young Women's Glass." This is worthy 
of special- notice, and worthy also of imitation by 
those in charge of circuits and stations, where* 
the thipgis practicable. 'This method of placing 
together, under a proper leader, all the young 
persons of the church, had a great tendency to 
bring about a unity of feeling and sentiment, not 
otherwise attainable, and tended to produce a 
laudable emulation in liberality and piety. 

The facts exhibited above give decisive indi- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 67 

cations of a wide-spread piety through the entire 
society. ^ To have been able to array sixteen or 
seventeen class-leaders in a society of two hun- • 
dred and nineteen, white and colored, thus giv- 
ing about a dozen members only to each class, 
shows that there must have been very few luke- 
warm or unconverted men among them, and, 
therefore, there was no difficulty in finding a 
large and efficient official board. It indicates 
also a very general attendance upon class-meet- 
ing. Each leader had only a dozen or less, and it 
appears, from the statistics given in the stew- 
ard's books, the far greater majority were in 
regular attendance. The books show the class- 
meetings to have been very punctually held: 
their weekly class-collections are given, and 
every interruption from the weather, or inter- 
ference of love-feasts or other meetings, is care- 
fully entered. The size of the classes seems to 
nave been arranged upon the supposition that 
a ll would attend: a very different one from the 
principle that obtains in their arrangement in 
some places at the present day. Some time ago, 



68 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

a preacher, in the examination of a class-book of 
his charge, found forty-eight names put down 
in it as under the charge of one leader. Upon 
declaring his intention to divide the class into at 
least two, as soon as possible, he was met by this 
objection from the whole official board : " Why, 
sir, that will break up the class entirely ; for, as 
it is, we have only five or six in attendance out 
of the forty-eight ; now what will be done when 
the attendance is divided into two or three ?" A 
puzzling problem, truly ! 

It must have been with great discouragement 
that the newly-appointed preacher, Daniel Smith, 
entered upon his labors for the following year, 
(1792,) after all the exciting events heretofore 
noticed. His labors, however, appear, to have 
been owned of the Lord; and when Bishop 
%.sbury visited the city in December, to attend 
the session of Conference there, he found them 
to some extent recovering from their previous 
misfortunes, and enjoying a season of revival. 
He says, "I am happy to find that our principal 
friends have increased in religion. that God 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 69 

ftild Mess the wild and wicked inhabitants of 
is city I" 

Daniel Smith was returned for the year 1793, 
ith Jonathan Jackson as a colleague ; Reuben 
[Kg being Presiding Elder. This Was the first 
ar that two preachers were stationed in the 
jy to remain together the whole year. In the 
evious mention of two preachers/ one only 
mained as preacher in charge ; the " other 
ending only a part of the year in the city. 
Jonathan Jackson is represented as a real "son 
thunder." He dealt but the terrors of the law 
th overwhelming power, and it Was- frequently 
e case under his preaching in the city, that 
awful was the sense of danger that came 
er the unconverted present^ they would rush 
ttn.the house, fearing the immediate Vengeance 
Heaven. Bishop Asbury paid them a visit 
two weeks this year, doing efficient service for 
e cause of Christ in preaching night and day, 
d visiting from house to house'. He calls 
Weston "a growing, busy, dreadfully dissi- 
*ed place." He met the stewards in their 



70 METHODISB T IN CHARLESTON. 

weekly meetings, every other one of which was 
purely spiritual, consisting of their narrations of 
experience, " and opening their hearts to each 
other." 

During this year the necessity for a buryiag- 
ground began to be felt by the society, the lot 
upon Cumberland street being too contracted for 
that purpose. A subscription was set on foot 
for a suitable purchase, and it was proposed also 
to erect another church building upon the 
newly -procured lot. The latter project, how- 
ever, slumbered for several years. The subscrip- 
tion for the burying^-ground was also suppressed, 
for upon the trustees making application to Mr. 
Bennet, (the father of ex-Governor Bennet, now 
living,) to sell them the lot on the corner of Pitt 
and Boundary (now Calhoun) streets, he gene- 
rously deeded it to them without cost. 

During the year 1793 the 1 interest of the com- 
munity in the church privileges seems to have 
been awakened to a surprising degree. The 
number of hearers was largely increased, and 
full houses were had at the week-night prayer- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 71 

meetings. Alluding to the morning service of a 
Sabbath which he spent in the city, Bishop 
Asbury says, " Brother Smith and myself let 
loose ; and, according to custom, they [the con- 
gregation] fled : they cannot, they will not, 
endure sound doctrine/' From which it appears 
that it had become quite common for the people, 
when they found the preacher presenting the 
truth clearly and forcibly, to make a general 
stampede. A few days after, the Bishop left 
the city, as he says, " The seat of Satan, dissipa- 
tion, and folly," after appointing Joshua Cannon 
and Isaac Smith to the station. 

The close of this year completed the first de- 
cade of Charleston Methodism. It has been 
shown what peculiar difficulties, heavy disasters, 
and fierce trials, the church was called to pass 
through, in this brief period of its early exist- 
ence. The membership numbered, at the close 
°f the period, sixty-five whites, and two hundred 
a ^d eighty colored. A gratifying increase from 
fcaught— -when we remember, too, that by the 
Hanimet schism about one half of the white 
Membership were withdrawn. 



72 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 



CHAPTER III. 

Conference session— Visit and labors of Bishop Asbury — Death <5f 
Mr. Wells — Death of James King — Persecutions — Erection of 
Bethel Church — Tobias Gibson — Fresh persecutions — Pumping 
of Mr. Dougherty — Erection of the Parsonage — Bishop Asbury 's 
first visit to it — Death of Nicholas Watters. 

Philip Bruce was appointed • to Charleston 
for the year 1795. -He was a descendant of the 
Huguenots, and had been a valiant soldier of the 
Revolution. He proved himself as efficient in 
battling for the Lord of hosts, as he had been in 
the field of blood, fighting for the liberties of his 
country. Mr. Bruce was assisted by Enoch 
George — who Was afterwards made Bishop-— 
James Rogers, and Henry Hill, each of whom 
spent three months in the city. Bishop Asbury 
also spent two months with them, preaching both 
at the church and in private houses, visiting from 
house to house, and regulating the affairs of the , 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 73 

society. He still complained of " the desperate 
wickedness of the people/' " ignorance of God, 
the playing, dancing, swearing, and racing." He 
had good reason to complain of their wickedness ; 
for about this time persecution ran high. He 
was repeatedly openly insulted, he says, in the 
streets, " with some as horrible sayings as could 
come out of a creature's mouth on this side of 
hell." One Sabbath evening, while the congre- 
gation were quietly engaged in worship, a crowd 
assailed the church/ beating open the doors, and 
breaking open the windows ; but were finally in- 
duced to disperse. 

During this year a partial reaction seems to 
have taken place among the followers of Mr. 
Hammet. The names of several who went off 
with him are found again recorded on the church 
books. The cause is not developed. Mr. Ham- 
met retained his popularity as a man and min- 
ister for a number of years after the schism. Thf 
labors of the preachers this year were greatly 
blessed of Grod, ; A season of revival was enjoyed 
throughout a considerable part of the year ; and 
7 



74 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

a goodly number of promising young persons con- 
nected themselves with the church. Conference 
convened in Charleston at the close of this year; 
but was marked rather by a feeling of distress 
and discouragement than otherwise. Early in the 
session, Dr. Coke, who was with them, received 
the melancholy intelligence of the burning of 
Cokesbury College, with its library and appa- 
ratus, involving a loss of fifty thousand dollars. 

During the session of Conference, the Rev. 
Henry Hill made the experiment of street- 
preaching, but unsuccessfully. He stood in the 
market-place on the corner of Broad and Meeting 
streets, occupying the site of the present City Hall. 
Just after he had succeeded in engaging the at- 
tention Of a large audience, a posse of the city 
guard was delegated to stop him. The attempt, 
however, had the effect of attracting a large con- 
gregation to the Methodist church that night, 
which for the most part listened respectfully. 

Bishop Asbury spent January and February 
here, occupying every moment in faithful toil, and 
improving every possible opportunity of doing 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 75 

good. He mentions on one occasion holding 
prayer-meeting for the blacks in Mr. "Wells's 
kitchen, while one of the preachers conducted 
the love-feast for the whites in the parlor. Dur- 
ing his stay in the city, though weighed down 
by infirmities — being considerable part of the 
time in the doctor's hands — he preached eighteen 
sermons, met all the classes, black and white, fif- 
teen in number, wrote eighty letters on church 
business, read several volumes of books through, 
and visited thirty families again and again ; and 
yet he is found lamenting his want of zeal and 
diligence ! 

Benjamin Blanton was appointed to Charleston 
in 1796. He labored alone the whole year, but 
with gratifying success ; for at the close of the 
year a large increase in the membership was re- 
ported. 

We find Charleston for the year 1797 united 
With Georgetown, and Benjamin Blanton, John 
•N- Jones, and James King, the preachers ap^- 
pomted to the joint station. It was a year of 
s Peeial affliction to the church in Charleston. 



76 METHODISM JN CHARLESTON. 

While Conference was yet in session, Mr. Edgar 
Wells, who had been feeble for some time, was 
stricken down by severe disease. About fourteen 
months previous to this, he seems to have had 
his soul blessed to an extraordinary degree, and 
to have been more than ever given up to the work 
of God. Any service that he could render to the 
church, he most cheerfully afforded; and, though 
harassed by difficulties of a mercantile character, 
he found much time to devote to the church, 
while he was a proverb of liberality. Bishop 
Asbury was in the city during his illness, and 
visited him frequently ; but despite the attentions 
of physicians, and the prayers of the pious, he 
gradually sank, until death relieved him of his 
sufferings. He made a most peaceful end, and 
was followed to the grave by nearly all the mem- 
bers of the grieved and stricken church. Dr. 
Coke read the funeral service, and pronounced 
an oration at the grave, and Bishop Asbury, on 
the following Sabbath, preached his funeral 
discourse, from Rev. i. 10. He was buried in 
a small piece of ground attached to Cumber- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 77 

fend Church. A plain marble slab, containing the 
following inscription, marks his last resting-place : 

" Sacred to the memory 

of 

MR. EDGAR WELLS, 

whose dear remains lie under this 

marble, a beloved and never to be forgotten 

friend. 

He departed this life, Jan. 17th, 1797, 

aged 44 years. 

Amongst Husbands, Brothers, Fathers, and Parents, 

he had few equals. 

Ever ready for all the duties of piety, 

his carriage toward all mankind 

was eminently benevolent." 

During the year 1797, they had not only to 

lament the loss of their most efficient member, 

Edgar Wells, but in the summer the yellow-fever 

broke out with violence, and James King, the 

junior preacher, was attacked by it, and after a 

short illness passed peacefully away. He was a 

young man of great zeal, excellent sense, and of 

attractive appearance in the pulpit. He was of 

the age of only twenty-four when he died : the 

first martyr to this fatal epidemic among the 

Preachers sent to Charleston. 

7* 



78 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

The church this year was still called to suffer 
much annoyance from rioters and mobs. On one 
occasion, a young Scotchman deliberately com- 
menced an uproar in the church during service, 
by shouting out in a loud voice, and struck three 
or four men while being taken out of doors. This 
outrage was too flagrant to be passed over in 
silence, and he was indicted by the official board ; 
but the Grand Jury refused to find a bill against 
him. For a long time after this, every night the 
services were interrupted by riotous proceedings 
outside; and the congregation, while in-doors, 
and especially when dispersing, were grossly in- 
sulted, because their cowardly assailants felt they 
could do it with impunity. 

The writer, as a native of Charleston, is sorry 
to be compelled to record these disgraceful pro- 
ceedings ; and he must confess that it excites in 
his mind no small feeling of contempt for the 
leading men of the community of that day, who, 
ignorant of any thing to be alleged against an 
unoffending people, except that they were called 
Methodists, would jsuffer them thus to be hope- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 79 

lessly trampled upon and injured. The sum and 
substance of their crimes was, that they preached 
without gowns, sang without organs, and worship 
ped without a steeple to their church building; 
and that, though wanting these, people were con- 
verted and made better. But, thank God! amidst 
it all, they were undaunted; for, be it known, 
difficulties must be nothing short of insurmount- 
able that will stop the progress of the Methodists. 
They have everywhere sustained the character 
given them in the Charleston Court, by one of 
the State Judges, several years after. A similar 
occurrence to the one just mentioned had called 
tor the interference, of the law, and during the 
proceedings the counsel of the defendants com- 
menced a bitter onslaught upon the Methodists. 
v Stop," . said the venerable Judge, raising his 
hand, " I have watched these Methodists for many 
years, and I have ever found them like the 
calves mentioned in Ezekiel's vision — they never 
go backwards." 

■Notwithstanding the discouragements they were 
called to meet with this year, with a true progres- 



80 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

sive spirit, they determined upon the erection of 
another church upon their recently acquired lot in 
Pitt street. I have before me the " Minutes of a 
meeting, and resolutions entered into by the Min- 
isters and Stewards of the Society of a People 
called Methodists, in Cumberland street, Charles- 
ton, S. C, which aforesaid Society is in con- 
nection with the general body of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the United States of Amer- 
ica, Feb. 14th, 1797." 

At this meeting, Francis Sutherland, G-. H. 
Myers^ Wm. Smith, and Alex. McFarlane, were 
appointed a committee to act with the preachers 
in collecting money and soliciting subscriptions, 
and to act as a building committee in the erection 
of the house. Bishop Asbury presided at this 
meeting. At a subsequent meeting, it was "Re- 
solved, first, That when we can get a carpenter we 
will undertake td build a house, forty by sixty 
feet. Second,. That the name of the house shall 
be Bethel, the Hebrew word for the house of 
God." The first resolution was afterwards quali- 
fied to read, "As soon as three hundred pounds 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 83 

can be raised, supposing the building to cost six 
hundred pounds." 

The building was occupied during the next 
year. Only the outside of the building was up 
at the time of its dedication : it was not lathed 
nor plastered until eleven years afterward. Ben- 
jamin Blanton, the presiding elder, preached the 
dedicatory sermon, to a crowded congregation. 
He preached his discourse from a platform of rough 
plank — the pulpit as yet not being erected. The 
formidable sounding-board which hung over the 
pulpit, a terror to very tall men, and to the child- 
ren in windy weather, lest, as it swayed to and 
fro, it might crush the unlucky one underneath, 
was a modern innovation — a real foreign importa- 
tion. It was not swung into its position until the 
erection of the new Scotch Presbyterian Church, 
and was purchased from the old building. 

A large increase of colored members was re- 
ported at the end of the year. At its close Con- 
ference assembled in Charleston ; but Bishop As- 
kwy-was unable to attend, and Jonathan Jackson 
Presided, assisted by Jesse Lee. John N. Jones 



84 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

and Tobias Gibson were sent to the city. The 
latter was a native of South Carolina, and a man of 
superior parts, and the one just then needed in 
their effort of Church extension. Though pos- 
sessing a property sufficient to give him an ample 
support, he left the ease and comforts of home, 
to brave the dangers, and submit to the odium, 
and undergo the toils, of an itinerant preacher's 
life. He was handsome in person, in manners 
soft and affectionate and agreeable. 

Some idea may be formed of his perseverance 
in duty from the following : Shortly after his ap- 
pointment in Charleston, he was sent to labor as a 
missionary to Natchez and the adjoining country. 
After travelling six hundred miles to the Cumber- 
land river, finding his progress impeded by the 
lameness or death of his horse, he took a canoe 
and put his saddle and equipage on board, and, all 
alone, paddled himself out of the Cumberland 
into the Ohio river, and made a passage of eight 
hundred miles through the meanderings of that 1 
great stream. It is no wonder that a man po 8 ' 
sessed of such an earnest spirit should have been 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 85 

successful in Charleston, though, daily discourage- 
ment awaited him. 

Mr. Jones was a man of feeble constitution, 
and was sent to labor in Charleston) when unable 
to undergo the fatigues of circuit work. He was 
a man of great zeal, a fervent preacher, primitive 
in his manners and appearance. Soon after -en- 
tering upon his work here he was seized with se- 
vere illness, and entered joyfully into his reward. 
.Thus, for two years successively, the church in 
'Charleston was called to mourn the death of its 
junior preachers. 

Nothing worthy of special note occurred dur- 
ing the year 1799. John Harper, the father of 
■Chancellor Harper, so widely known through the 
State, and Nicholas Snethen, afterwards the re- 
nowned preacher of the Methodist Protestant 
Church, were the stationed preachers. The 
Church seems to have had some rest this year 
from mobs and violence, under their administra- 
tion. John Harper's name is upon the minutes 
for three years successively. He was among the 
f ew upon whom this honor was conferred — for 
8 



86 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

we suppose it should be regarded as Such — pre- 
vious to the establishment of the Disciplinary 
limitation, restricting the length of any pastorate 
to two years. 

Mr. Harper was returned the following year, 
with George Dougherty as preacher in charge. 
Mr. Dougherty was a man of much affliction. 
He was tall and slender, disfigured in the face 
by small-pox, by an attack of which he lost 
one of his eyes : he was also of a consumptive 
habit. He possessed uncommon fortitude, and 
"his mind and memory were exceeding capa- 
cious. He was possessed of a fund of knowledge. 
It seemed as if he retained the substance of all he 
heard or read. He was plain, sentimental, and 
pointed in all of his pulpit discourses." These 
men labored faithfully and acceptably during the 
year, and at its end were both returned to the 
same field of labor. 

During the year 1800 the hostility to the 
Methodists assumed a graver and more violent 
aspect than at any time previous, and the rest 
and quiet they had enjoyed- was only the prelude 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 87 

to more flagrant insults and more open outrages. 
During the Conference of 1800, the church ser- 
vices were repeatedly interrupted by rioters, and 
Bishop Asbury was frequently insulted by these 
outlaws. On one occasion, knowing that he was 
to preach at Cumberland, they gathered in large 
numbers at the door and awaited his Coming, and 
when he appeared, and while entering the build- 
ing, they greeted him with sneers, hurrahs, and 
shouts. 

Not long after Conference, and shortly after 
the Bishop left the city, John Harper, one of the 
stationed preachers, received a package from one 
of the Northern societies or Conferences, con- 
taining resolutions from that body to memorialize 
the Legislatures of the Southern States to abolish 
slavery in the commonwealths represented by 
them. Upon Mr. Harper's finding them filled 
with undisguised abolitionism, he declined letting 
any one see them, and carefully stowed them 
away. It appears, however, that a local preacher 
of Mr. Hamme't's churchy on terms of intimacy 
With Mr. Harper, hearing of the reception of 



88 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

these pamphlets, begged, as a special favor, that 
he might he permitted to see one of them. Mr. 
Harper gave him one, but not without suitable pre- 
cautions, and with the promise that, no one else 
should see it. This gentleman, astonished at the 
boldness of the measures proposed in the papers, 
thought it no harm to confide his pamphlet to a 
friend of his, who felt under no obligation to 
keep it secret. - Soon the wildest reports about 
the abolitionists and the Methodist preachers 
spread over the city. The Intendant soon heard 
of it, and . promptly called upon Mr. Harper, 
who stated the case as it really was, and, to con- 
vince the Intendant that no harm should follow 
their introduction, threw them into the fire while 
he was present. He left apparently quite satis- 
fied of the preacher's loyalty. 

But they were Methodist preachers, and were 
not therefore to be allowed thus to escape. Here 
was a fine pretext for the young bloods of Charles- 
ton to display , their chivalry, and a large mob 
collected around Cumberland Church the follow- 
ing Sunday night, prepared to undertake sum- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 89 

jnary measures. Being very brave young gen- 
tlemen, they selected the night-time for their 
deeds of daring. They seized Mr. Harper com- 
ing out of church, and were carrying him in 
triumph down Meeting street, when they were 
confronted by the city guard, and, in the confu- 
sion of the moment, his friends dexterously extri- 
cated him, and led him to a neighboring house. 
The rage of the mob, upon discovering the escape 
of their victim, was, of course, intense. Fists 
were clenched, lips bit, and the Methodist Church 
in general, and the preachers in particular, were, 
in their imprecations, consigned to a very dread- 
ful place. 

Their blood was up, and, upon holding a council 
of war, it was determined to catch the so-called 
villain, or some of his crowd, the night following. 
Mr. Dougherty led the prayer-meeting, and, as 
one Methodist preacher in their eyes was as good 
or rather as bad as another, he was seized by the 
tttob, and, though winter-time, and he a man of 
feeble health, they thrust him under a spout near 
the church, and pumped him almost to drowning. 
8* 



90 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

In the midst of their work of cruelty, while some 
of the members in affright had fled, and others 
stood by, unable to give assistance, a Mrs. Kug- 
ley rushed into their midst, and, tearing off her 
apron, pushed it into the pump-spout, and com- 
manded them to desist. At the same time, a 
gentleman, forcing his way into the midst, sword 
in hand, threatened death to any one who should 
touch Mr. Dougherty's person. The crowd of 
patriotic bullies, as might be anticipated, in- 
stantly made a precipitate retreat. 

Mr. Dougherty never recovered from the ill- 
treatment of that terrible night. It precipitated 
the disease to which his lungs were predisposed, 
and shortly afterward he made a triumphant end. 
The whole affair was as unreasonable as it was 
cruel and disgraceful. It was preposterous to 
suppose that Messrs. Harper and Dougherty, born 
and brought up and spending their whole lives 
on . the soil of Carolina, in the very heart of the 
institution — the jealousy about which gave them 
so much trouble — would have meditated mischief 
to their own homes. " There is one fact more/' 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 91 

gays Bishop Andrew in his mention of this oc- 
currence, "connected with the history of this 
business which deserves to be noticed. Of all 
the principal leaders in this outrageous proceed- 
ing, not one prospered afterwards. Most of them 
died miserable deaths in a short time. One of 
them lived some time,. only to feel and acknow- 
ledge that the curse of God was upon him for his 
conduct to that good man." 

- The next year Charleston missed its annual 
festival, as the Conference was held in Camden. 
Bishop Asbury, however, visited the city just 
after the close of the Conference, and, reaching 
it on Saturday night, preached once on the Sab- 
bath, and administered Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper. John Garvin and Benjamin Jones were 
the preachers sent to labor that year in the city. 
Of Mr. Garvin's character and labors we have 
but little account, and he located at the following 
Conference. 

Benjamin Jones was a native Carolinian, "of 
Sl gnal solemnity of countenance and manner, 
deeply serious, of gentle mind and Christian 



92 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

spirit, having always walked as the Christian and 
minister." Shortly after his appointment to 
Charleston, he was drowned in an inlet of Wac- 
camaw Lake, having fallen into it, as supposed, 
in convulsions, as he had been several times at- 
tacked with them. 

During this year the trustees determined to 
build a parsonage upon the vacant part of the lot 
occupied by Bethel Church. This appears to 
have been quietly accomplished from funds in 
hand, without specially soliciting aid from with- 
out, showing their affairs to have been managed 
with praiseworthy discretion. It is not the least 
remarkable thing connected with the early his- 
tory of Methodism in Charleston, that they moved 
along with so much ease in money matters, yet 
exercising great liberality. 

Bishop Asbury, upon paying a brief visit to 
the city towards the end of the year, was per- 
mitted, among the first, to occupy the new parson- 
age. He seems to have enjoyed the ease and 
quiet of his new home very much. He says, "I 
continued a week in Charleston, lodging in our 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 93 

own house near Bethel, receiving my visitors, 
ministers and people, white, and black, and yel- 
low. It was a paradise to me and some others ;" 
and afterwards adds, "Who knows what God 
may yet do for wicked Charleston?" As few of 
the preachers of that day had families, the stew- 
ards provided a housekeeper. 

The account given of Bishop Asbury's first 
visit to the parsonage is characteristic of the 
man. The building had been completed for 
some time, but no step had. been taken toward 
supplying it with furniture. The old gentle- 
man had heard of its erection and completion, 
and when he reached the city, passing by his old 
stopping-places, he went directly to the parson- 
age, where he hitched his horse, took his saddle- 
tags and put them in one of the rooms, and 
gravely sat down upon the door-step, no one 
knowing of his arrival. A negro man passing 
observed him sitting there, and recognizing him 
to be the Bishop, stopped, and told him no one 
h ved there. "I know that/' said the Bishop. 

"here do you want to go, sir? I will show you 



94 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

the way." "I want to go nowhere," said the 
Bishop : "I will spend the night here." The 
negro started off and informed several of the 
members of the church of the Bishop's arrival, 
and of his intention to .stay at the parsonage. 
Soon a number of his friendjg waited on him, and 
found him still sitting there, reading his Bible, 
and quite at home. "Come, Bishop," said one 
and another, "come, go home with us." "I 
cannot," said he : " this is the parsonage, and I 
desire to stay here." " But there is nothing in 
the house : you cannot stay here," they said. "I 
do not need much," he replied. "Well," said 
they, "if you will stay, we must try and make 
you comfortable." So away they went, one soon 
bringing a bed, another a bedstead, chairs and 
tables and kitchen utensils, until they had two 
rooms^-one in which to sleep, and the other in 
whieh to receive visitors — with the kitchen, com-" 
fortably furnished. This was the object of this 
observant man, and soon the preachers were abl e 
to move in and take possession. 

The good old man called his new home a pai" a " 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 95 

dise; for he was able there, untrammelled by forms 
or customs, to manage things his own way, and, 
as far as possible, make a paradise below, by con- 
stant communion with his God. Kising at four in 
the morning, the call was sounded for family wor- 
ship. This was attended regularly for years by a 
number of persons, who were themselves among 
irreligious families, or who were otherwise cut off 
from this privilege ; also, by a number of colored 
•persons ; so that often at family prayer at the par- 
sonage, there would be an assembly of forty or 
fifty persons, and that between the hours of four 
and five in the morning, showing a love for this 
precious privilege quite in contrast with some 
toore modern Methodists. 

When persons called through the day, the 
"Bishop generally conversed upon religious sub- 
jects, frequently holding miniature class-meetings. 
Before they left he generally prayed with them, so 
that twelve or fourteen times a day the voice of 
prayer went up from this house, rendered memo- 
ra -ble by his frequent residence within it. 

Bennet Kendrick and Thomas Barley labored 



96 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

here during 1803. Bennet Kendriek was re- 
garded as one of the choice preachers of the Con- 
nection. He was quite young, yet he filled in 
succession the important stations of Wilmington, 
Columbia, and Charleston. He was remarkably 
plain in his manners and dress — entirely free from 
any thing like the affected gentleman — yet bland, 
courteous and dignified, as equally free from the 
levity of youth. He was a close student, and a 
skilful, eloquent preacher; and, with it all, per- 
haps his highest eulogy is, " The poor Africans 
repeated his name and death with tears. He was 
a willing servant to slaves for the sake of Christ." 
His qualifications, spiritual and mental, for the 
duties of a Methodist preacher, can well be esti- 
mated from the circumstance that, though so 
young, he was appointed to fill the place of George 
Dougherty as Presiding Elder on the Camden Dis- 
trict, whose loss was regarded as irreparable. 

His colleague, Thomas Darley, was a rough- 
hewn son of nature. He had been, for several 
years before his conversion and entrance into the 
ministry, a seaman; and, as a preacher, he ^ 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 97 

Characterized by all the frankness, candor, and 
generosity of the sailor. 

The Conference of 1804, held in the city of 
Augusta, appointed Nicholas "Watters to labor with 
Bennet Kendrick, who was returned. The first, 
though a sensible, well-informed man, was not a 
ready speaker ; but this deficiency in the pulpit 
was more than supplied by his untiring labors as 
% pastor. His memory was embalmed in the hearts 
of many, around whose bedside he waited, minis- 
tering to them the word of life, and affording com- 
fort in the hour of affliction and bereavement. 
Early in the summer the yellow-fever broke out, 
and from frequent contact with it he soon con- 
tracted it, which, with a constitution then feeble, 
soon bore him from his scene of labor. 

Thus fell the second martyr to this dire- 
ful plague among the Methodist preachers in 
Charleston. 

During the ten years just notieed, there was a 
decrease of three white members ; and, as it in- 
cludes the period of most violent open hostility to 

the church, this should go far toward convincing 
9 



98 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 



those who think that persecution is the time most 
favorable for the growth of the Church, that they 
may be mistaken. The colored membership, 
however, continued to increase with a steady 
growth. They averaged, during this decade, a 
yearly increase of sixty-two ; so that at the close 
of the year 1804, they numbered nine hundred 
and three. 




METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 99 



CHAPTER IV. 

J. H. Mellard — Measures to repress disturbances — Cranmer and 
Brady — Mr. Owens and the mob — Arrest of the congregation by 
the military — Bichmond Nolley — Dr. Capers — Singular incident 
—Illness of F. Ward — Measures for building a brick church— 
S. Dunwody and J. B. Glenn. 

Conference again assembled in Charleston at 
the close of 1804. A good state of feeling was 
developed during the session, the preachers left 
with a general feeling of satisfaction, and the 
church seemed much encouraged. Buddy W 
Wheeler and James H. Mellard were appointed 
to labor in the city. Their labors were crowned 
with considerable success. 

James H. Mellard 'is widely known through 
the South by the older members of the church. 
He survived most of his compeers, and died while 
the author was yet employed on this little work. 
He ^as in person small, thin, and pale, with an 



100 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

open countenance, cheerful and pleasant to all, 
and possessed of great tenderness of soul. He 
was an energetic, and often an eloquent and pow- 
erful preacher; and one that knew not the fear 
of man in the proclamation of truth. It is re- 
lated of him, when stationed at Georgetown, and 
while yet young in the ministry, upon finding the 
congregation small, he determined to go into the 
highways and seek for hearers. Accordingly, 
without previous notice, one Sabbath morning he 
was found near the river, standing on a platform, 
at the hour of worship, ready to conduct public 
service. A large crowd were immediately at- 
tracted by this novel" proceeding. Some wicked 
men of the place determined, if possible, to make 
him desist, and, dressed in old uniforms, they ap- 
peared on the street, shouting, hallooing, beating 
a drum, and blowing a bugle. Finding that he 
noticed this no more than the music of t Qe 
waves at his feet, they threatened to throw hi© 
into the river ; but, with a wonderful indifference, 
he proceeded in his preaching, and deliberately 
closed the service and went home. He never 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 101 

wanted for a congregation after that; and during 
the year, a powerful revival of religion took place 
under his ministry, by which the church there 
was established on a firm and respectable footing. 
He died 18th November, 1855, in great peace. 

Lewis Myers and Levi G-arretson were ap- 
pointed to labor in Charleston for the year 1806. 
The latter left at the commencement of the sickly 
season. 

Mr. Myers was a man of sound judgment, 
deep piety, and warmly attached to all the pecu- 
liarities, or rather excellences, of Methodism. He 
was a very laborious man and successful preacher. 

During this year Cumberland Church was 
lengthened twenty feet, and Bethel received its 
first coat of paint. It was also determined to en- 
large the parsonage, and purchase another burial 
lot, the one on Pitt street having this year, by a 
resolution of the trustees, been divided, and the 
southern half devoted to burial purposes for the 
blacks. 

The oflicial board seem not until this year to 
a ve become fully awake to the importance of 
9* 



102 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

suppressing the riots around Cumberland Church, 
and the maintenance of their civil privileges. 
We find upon their books the following record : 

" Whereas, there have been lately* very great 
disorders by many troublesome persons, who have 
frequently attended, on preaching and prayer- 
meeting nights, at Cumberland Church for the 
purpose of disturbing the congregation ; therefore, 
Resolved, That any persons, members or other- 
wise, who attend the congregations, and are 
suitable persons, who will volunteer in the busi- 
ness, shall be united into a body or society for 
the purpose of watching and suppressing, by all 
possible lawful measures, all such riots or dis- 
orders. Also, Resolved, That said society shall 
be appointed by the corporation, and act under 
the authority of the same. 

(Signed,) "Amos Pillsbury." 

It was not an unwise proceeding to solicit the 
aid of persons out of the church; for the first 
effectual step towards bringing about good order 
was, we believe, the work of one of this class- 
His name was Cranmer. He regularly attended 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 103 

the church for some time, and, though wicked 
and thoughtless about religion, he seemed always 
to find a pleasure in the services. He was a man 
of powerful frame, and withal no coward; and 
was fully prepared to defend any one or any thing 
to which he took a fancy. 

On a certain Sabbath, a man by the name of 
Brady came into the church. He was probably 
one of the leaders' in the church riots, and one 
who professed sovereign contempt for the Method- 
ists. He commenced a series of antics, by which 
the congregation was greatly annoyed. Cran- 
mer, who happened to be in attendance that day, 
left his seat, and placed himself alongside the 
disturber, and in a whisper directed him to be- 
have himself. Brady paid no attention to his 
requirement, and began to make himself more 
conspicuous : whenj to his amazement, Cranmer 
deliberately laid hold of him, and, despite his 
e fforts to the contrary, coolly took him out of 
doors ; and upon Brady's continuing obstreperous, 
ae gave him the necessary dressing, and left him 
a Qiazingly cool. Of course, Brady, having before 



104 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

him the example of his illustrious predecessors, 
gave vent to the usual amount of boasting and 
terrible threatening; but it got out that the 
Methodists had begun to fight for their rights, 
which, for a time, seemed to check the valor of 
the persecuting knights. Cranmer, as long as he 
continued punctual at church, was really a terror 
to evil-doers. 

Jonathan Jackson and William Owens were 
the preachers for 1807. Of the first we have 
already made mention. William Owens appears 
to have been a man of general amiability, firm- 
ness, and good sense. 

During this year, with all their previous efforts 
to maintain tranquillity in their congregations) 
they were once threatened with the repetition of 
the Dougherty tragedy in the person of Mr. 
Owens, which, however, ended in quite a farce, at 
least in the estimation of the beholders. It was 
at a Monday night prayer-meeting in Cumberland* 
the church, as was usual on such occasions, being 
quite crowded, a couple of young men bega n 
some very improper conduct. Mr. Owens mildly 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 105 

reproved them, but they took it in high dudgeon. 
We judge that Cranmer must have been absent; 
for after meeting, assisted by a crowd, they seized 
Mr. Owens in the aisle, and theery was, "Pump 
him." Some, probably from fear of consequen- 
ces, said an apology would be sufficient, and 
finally the crowd separated into two parties, the 
one crying, "Pump him," the other, "Let him 
apologize." In the midst of the uproar, both 
parties trying to make themselves heard, and each 
trying to prove itself the strongest, Mr. Owens 
made his escape, and safely reached home. Mean- 
while, the two parties of the mob proceeded from 
words to blows ; and, scattered in pairs down the 
street, there were probably fifteen or twenty couple 
of zealous young men beating each other about they 
hardly knew what. In the intervening time, some 
°ue ran to the guard-house and informed the In- 
tendant of the uproar down the street. He sent 
^°wn a posse of the city guard, who came upon 
''hem in the midst of their bloody engagement, 
aQ d landed them safely in the calaboose. We are 
a °t informed which side proved itself in the 



106 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

ascendent ; certain it is that Mr. Owens was never 
pumped, neither did he apologize. 

We must not judge, however, from the cir- 
cumstance of the interference of the city guard 
on this occasion, that the authorities were any 
more favorably disposed towards the church than 
previously. Indeed, from appearances, it would 
seem as if they were then more determined than 
ever to subject their congregations to annoyance 
and alarm. On a Sabbath afternoon of this yeat, 
while Jonathan Jackson was preaching at Bethel, 
to the amazement of the assembly, a large body 
of the city guard, in full uniform, and armed 
with . muskets, surrounded the building. The 
blacks had become so subject to annoyance at 
Cumberland, that they preferred to attend Bethel; 
which thus so far had not seemed to attract much 
attention from the rioters. The church, as was 
always the case on Sabbath afternoon, was crowded 
with blacks. Having thus formally laid' siege ■*> 
the house, the captain of the detachment, blazing 
in a full uniform, walked in, sword in hand, a» d 
demanded the dispersion of the congregation' 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 107 

But it was not necessary to make this formal de- 
mand. The clatter of arms had already aroused 
the fears of the blacks, who, with indiscreet haste, 
rushed down the stairs, and tumbled themselves 
from the gallery windows ; but emerged into the 
street and graveyard only to find themselves cap- 
tured. Then, in a hollow square, as felons or in- 
cendiaries, they were deposited en masse in what 
was then popularly known as the " Sugar House." 
Singular to state, no reason was ever assigned for 
this outrage, nor any explanation given for this 
extraordinary procedure. 

We have again to add, that it seemed enough 
for the public to know it was a Methodist church 
to render any thing of the kind altogether reason- 
able. We may judge what an impression was 
toade on the public mind by the presentation of 
Su ch a scene during the quiet of a Sabbath day, 
a nd that, too, under sanction of the authorities. 
^ s no explanation was ever given to the public, 
°* course they were left to conjecture any 
tri ghtful cause that their imaginations would 
SQ ggest. 



108 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

Bishop Asbury, about this time, seems to have 
become quite discouraged as to the prospects of 
Methodism in Charleston. He says : " I doubt 
if in Charleston we have joined more than one 
hundred and seventy-eight members of the fair 
skin in twenty years, and seldom are there more 
than fifty or sixty returned : death, desertion, and 
backsliding : poor fickle souls, unstable as water, 
light as air, bodies and minds." 

It is worthy of remark, however, that with this 
discouraging aspect of things, a year' seldom 
passed without a season of revival being enjoyed 
by the church. The Bishop does not make men- 
tion of the numbers who, converted and brought 
under religious convictions in the Methodist 
church, connected themselves with other com* 
munions. It would be an interesting table of 
statistics, could we by any means reach the figures 
in the case. The crowded audiences who so con- 
stantly attended the Methodist meetings were fre- 
quently moved under their earnest appeals, but; 
unwilling to identify themselves with those wh° 
were the instruments of their salvation, the? 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 109 

joined other churches. Methodism in Charleston 
may have lived to see herself outstripped by 
other churches in the number of church or- 
ganizations, but not in the number of converts. 
In the rapid extension of other denominations 
here, no one will deny that Methodism has been 
an efficient agent. 

William Phoebus and John McVean were sta- 
tioned in the city in 1808. The former was a 
man of fine pulpit talents, as he was of handsome 
personal appearance, and afterwards filled various 
important stations in the New York Conference. 
Mr. McVean was regarded as an eccentric char- 
acter : he subsequently gave decided evidences 
of mental derangement. 

This was a year of great prosperity to the 
church: a powerful revival took place early in 
the year, extending through several months. A 
large increase in the membership was reported at 
its close, and the church in all its departments 
^as in a flourishing state. A number who 
joined about this time, became afterwards the 
ttiost faithful and influential of the church mem- 
10 



110 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

bers : a few, but very few, survive, venerable in 
years, the remnant of early days. 

At the close of the year,. Conference again con- 
vened in the city, and was attended by Bishopg 
Asbury and McKendree. A gracious influence 
attended its session, mtich of the preaching being 
of a powerful and impressive character. 

We begin now to reach names familiar to us 
all. Samuel Mills and William M. Kennedy suc- 
ceeded to the station, presenting quite a contrast 
in manners and appearance. The one was a 
thin, spare man, of consumptive appearance: 
the other stout-built, erect in his carriage, and 
fresh and healthy in his appearance. The one 
was of a stern and solemn countenance, serums 
always in his bearing and intercourse : the other 
of a lively, cheerful aspect, pleasing and affable 
to all, ever ready with bis lively anecdotes and 
dry wit to provoke a smile from the gravest. 
The one was emphatically a rigid disciplinarian, 
bordering upon extreme severity in his adminis- 
tration of church law : the other mild, tender? 
and forbearing. Both were faithful pastors, both 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. Ill 

highly esteemed, and to this day their praise is 
in all the churches. 

The year following, William M. Kennedy was 
returned as preacher in charge, with Thomas 
Mason and Richmond Nolley as junior preachers. 

Thomas Mason was in his preaching always 
lively, often powerful : he was much beloved, 
and his active, zealous pulpit ministrations com- 
manded large audiences. 

Richmond Nolley was a young man, tall, thin, 
and delicate in appearance. He was extremely 
diffident, but beloved as .a man of great holiness 
and faithfulness. He was exceedingly timid in 
the pulpit, and frequently after reading his text 
would close his eyes and preach his entire sermon 
Without once opening them. He was possessed,, 
however, of remarkable energy, as was displayed in 
his subsequent career. Not long after the close 
°* bis labors in Charleston, he volunteered as a 
Missionary to the frontiers, where, after several 
years of faithful and successful labor, he fell a 
Martyr to his work. He had attempted in the 
e P ta of winter to ford one of the tributaries of 



112 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

the Mississippi, then swollen in a freshet, when 
his horse was swept from under him and carried 
down the stream. He swam to the shore, and 
after walking a long distance, feeling overcome 
by fatigue and cold, he knelt down and com- 
mended his soul to God ; and in that attitude 
was found a corpse. Wherever he labored he 
was much beloved, and his death has long been 
a watchword to the missionaries of the Western 
wilds in their attempts to push forward the vic- 
tories of the cross. 

The Charleston churches, during the adminis- 
tration of Messrs. Kennedy, Mason, and Nolley, 
were again visited by a powerful revival, and 
peace and prosperity reigned throughout their 
borders. 

They were succeeded by William Capers and 
William S. Talley, with Francis Ward as 
preacher in charge. The last was a man of 
pleasing manners, excellent preaching talents, 
and he was also a faithful pastor. William S. Tal- 
ley was of easy, gentlemanly bearing, an excel- 
lent preacher, and diligent in visiting from house 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 113 

to house. It was only the third year of William 
Capers's ministry when sent to the city, yet his 
preaching, from its eloquence and earnestness, 
with his youthful appearance and pious zeal, pro- 
duced a profound sensation. Large audiences 
crowded to hear him, and many and lasting im- 
pressions for good were made. 

During this year a novel incident occurred 
with William Capers, and one that for a time 
was painful and alarming to him ; for we must 
remember that at the time of its occurrence, in 
addition to his youth, it was his first appointment 
in the city. One day, while busy in his study, 
a handsome equipage made its appearance at 
the parsonage gate, and a finely-attired female 
Was handed out by a liveried footman. She was 
shown to the parlor, and upon her inquiring for 
Mr. Capers, he was called. In a bland, ladylike 
banner, she stated that she had called upon him 
to request his attendance at her house to conduct 
the funeral services of a young lady, an orphan 
Whom she had befriended, but who had died pre- 
maturely of consumption. He signified his will- 
10* 



114 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

ingness to attend, and she left, telling him the 
carriage should be in waiting at the hour speci- 
fied. He arrived at the house, which even to 
his unsuspecting mind seemed to' have a singular 
if not questionable appearance. He was con- 
ducted up stairs, where in truth he found the 
corpse of a young woman; but judge of his 
horror when he discovered that he at the same 
time had been betrayed into a house of ill-fame ; 
for around the room, in disgusting array, were 
Beated the unfortunate inmates of this vestibule 
to hell. 

His first instinct was to make an unceremo- 
nious retreat ; but, upon reflection, he concluded- 
that all the proper dictates of humanity were to 
extend to the unfortunate creature before him 
the rites of burial. After taking his position 
near the corpse, he stated to those present that 
he had been unknowingly brought within a 
building which, if its character had been known, 
he could never have entered, at least thus unat- 
tended ; but he may have been allowed to enter 
there through. the merciful providence of God, 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 115 

to offer them salvation through Christ, and to 
stop their certain passage to darkness and damna- 
tion. With streaming eyes, an overflowing heart, 
and an eloquent tongue, he preached to them 
Jesus and the resurrection, warned them of their 
impending danger, pointed to the horror of their 
course, and besought them to abandon their life 
of wretchedness and crime, and> to flee from the 
wrath to come. And, amid the bitter tears of 
his audience, previously lost to shame or remorse, 
he read the funeral service, and retired. 

In January, 1812, Bishop Asbury made a 
brief visit to Charleston, preaching twice. Fran- 
cis Ward was returned, and Jacob Humph as 
his colleague. 

Francis Ward, about the middle of. the year, 
was seized with severe fever, which terminated 
m dropsy, from which he never recovered. He 
remained, however, on his work until the close of 
the year. 

Jacob Rumph, his co-laborer, is represented as 
"abstemious, steady, studious, and uniform, 
touch in prayer and meditation, in discipline 
10* 



116 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

strict and persevering." In September he was 
taken ill of bilious fever, at that time common to 
the climate of Charleston, and, despite the atten- 
tions of physicians and friends, it terminated 
fatally in a few days. He was much lamented, 
especially by the children ; for he was remark- 
able for his attentions to the young of all his 
charges. 

Notwithstanding the sickness of the senior and 
death of the junior preacher, this year was only 
second to the previous year in prosperity to the 
church. The year 1811 was a more prosperous 
year among the whites than any previous one. 
A powerful religious influence rested upon the 
congregations during the year, and at its close 
an increase was ireported of eighty-one whites 
and four hundred and fifteen colored members. 

During this year, also, an important step was 
taken toward church-extension. At a meeting 
of the male members, at which Bishop Asbury 
presided, it was resolved to open subscriptions 
toward the erection of a commodious brick 
church in a central part of the city, so that * 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 117 

more permanent building might be secured to 
their growing congregations than they then 
possessed. 

Among their proceedings in connection with 
this movement, we find the following record : 

■ " Upon a retrospect of our temporal affairs, we 
think, first, that there has been great attention 
paid our temporal concerns ; that they who have 
served us deserve great credit for their fru- 
gality and economy ; that we have done the best 
we could, as circumstances have been; but we 
think that houses made of wood are only tempo- 
rary buildings, subject to waste and decay, and 
that in a very short time. A brick house 
properly built may last one or two hundred years, 
besides its security against fire. We think the 
society in Charleston should not stand back more 
than in other cities — that they ought to have at 
least one permanent house. Bethel was designed 
for a relief, and so it is, but it is in too remote a 
situation to be any thing more. Cumberland, 
though it be very accessible to the centre of the 
c %> is dangerously situated. We marked with 



118 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

serious concern the near approach of the late 
fire. 

" When we consider the increase of our con- 
gregations and our societies, and the good 
effects resulting from the night lectures, (a prac- 
tice peculiarly ours,) in drawing hundreds to our 
ministry when other churches are shut up, we 
think we should enlarge our borders, we should 
make them room, we should build another 
house. And that we. may not be continually 
taxed in repairs, in enlargement, etc., we will 
build a house of brick, eighty-four by sixty-two, 
two stories high. 

"Finally, as this is a business of magnitude 
and importance, we cannot expect it very soon 
completed ; but it must have a beginning. We 
lay it before the society: we will enter into it 
with zeal and faith, and, under the present and 
promised favorable circumstances, a short term 
of years will complete it. 

"Francis Asbury, CJiavrman. 
"Wm. Capers, Secretary." 

We have been thus careful to give a copious. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 119 

extract of this part of the proceedings, to show 
the policy of the early trustees and preachers, 
directed by the venerable Bishop Asbury. Some 
have erroneously conceived that the fathers of 
the Church scarcely ever looked to the permanent 
and enlarged establishment of Methodism in the 
city. Some have even ventured to attach to the 
more recent erection of brick churches the seem- 
ing want of progress in the Church. We believe 
that it would have been a good thing for the 
church in Charleston could this well-conceived 
project have been consummated; but it never 
was. The Bishop, shortly after, became too 
feeble to accomplish much for the church here 
of his own planting. The year after the project 
Was started, the preacher in charge was taken 
s ick, as we have mentioned, and the other died, 
a nd the result was, the entire abandonment of 
the affair. 

The foregoing record sets the seal of the 
Church's approbation to the frugal and wise 
Management of the church by its trustees and 
Rewards. The opinion has prevailed in later 



120 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

years that theirs was a narrow-minded, stingy 
policy. It has been shown all along just the 
opposite. It is easier now to ridicule the 
churches and parsonages erected through their 
frugality, than to tell how they . could have 
erected more costly ones. 

Some one has spoken contemptuously of the 
Methodist churches in Charleston as "barns." 
Let us thank God that the Methodists of Charles- 
ton have so much more inviting places to wor- 
ship their God than the " wise men" had in their 
first adoration of the Saviour ; for that was even 
meaner than a barn — it was only a stable. No 
doubt, could the parents of Christ have found a 
better place of lodging, they would have chosen 
it. The venerable men who had these houses 
built would possibly have built churches equal to 
St. Michael's or St. Paul's, in the same city? 
could they have procured the means. 

N. Powers, John Capers, and S. Meek, la- 
bored in the city in 1813, all men of good pulp^ 
talents. Nothing, however, of special interest 
occurred during their labor there. They were 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 121 

succeeded by Samuel Dunwody, Alexander Tal- 
ley, and J. B. Glenn. 

We have already made mention of Mr. Talley. 
S. Dunwody is well and widely known as a man 
of. extraordinary eccentricity, but of great powers 
of. speech and Bible knowledge. 

His colleague, Mr. Glenn, was scarcely lesjs 
eccentric. A thousand anecdotes, both impress- 
ive and amusing, are told about each. 
■ Of the one, we might tell of his leaving the 
church and walking home with the saddle on his 
own back, forgetting his horse, and having after- 
wards to send for it; and of his singular mistakes 
While visiting in the city, making the most curi- 
ous and sometimes astounding visits to persons 
whom he never knew, and who therefore took 
him to be deranged. But we prefer to recall his 
ceaseless and earnest labors for good, and his ex- 
cellent and as yet unanswered dissertations upon 
Calvinism, Baptism, and Slavery. 

Mr. Glenn is well known as the preacher who 
collected an immense congregation, by giving out 
that on a certain day at that church he would 
11 



122 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

kill witches. His method was to draw the pic- 
ture of some error by which he thought the com- 
munity were bewitched, and then discharge gos- 
pel truth against it. 

The following is told upon him, though the 
particulars cannot be vouched for. He had vis- 
ited one of his week-day appointments several 
times, and finding no one out to hear him, he 
stuck up a placard on the door, stating that he 
would be there four weeks from date, and preach 
whether any one was present or not. He dame, 
and finding no one present, true to his word, he 
proceeded into the pulpit, sang a hymn, and was 
at prayer, when one of the neighbors, a wicked 
man, passing by, hearing a voice within and see- 
ing no one, went in to see what it could mean. 
Mr. Glenn arose and gravely proceeded with the 
service, the man remaining through mere curi- 
osity. He announced for his text Nathan's re- 
proof to David, "Thou art the man," and pro- 
ceeded to tell his solitary listener that he was the 
one God's Spirit had been following for many 
years, etc.; and closed by inviting him to the 



METHODISM IN CHAELESTON. 123 

altar for prayer. Deeply agitated and alarmed, 
he went to the altar, remained several hours in 
prayer, and finally gave his name to Mr. Glenn 
for membership in the church. Mr. Glenn's 
friends at the next church were curious to know 
what had been the result of his visit at his rep- 
robate appointment. He told them he- had, to 
his agreeable surprise, a fine meeting, and that 
every wicked man in the house was converted 
and joined the church. He lacked a congrega- 
tion there no more, having crowded houses to 
the close of the year. 

During this decade was the most prosperous 
era of the Charleston churches, so far as an in- 
crease in the membership of the church is con- 
cerned. The largest yearly increase ever known 
Was during this period. They averaged an in- 
crease each year of twenty-two whites, and eighty- 
nine colored; so that at the Conference of 1815, 
a membership was reported of two hundred and 
eighty-two whites, and three thousand seven hun- 
dred and ninety-three colored. The greatest in- 
crease in any one year of this time was in 1810, 



124 METHODISM- IN CHARLESTON. 

while William M. Kennedy, Thomas Mason, and 
Richmond Nolley were stationed there. During 
the greater part of that year, the city was kept 
in consternation hy the frequent recurrence of 
earthquakes, and the churches were often crowded 
during that time, even in the week. This cir- 
cumstance gave them access to a much greater 
number of persons than otherwise. 




METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 125 



CHAPTER V 

John Collingsworth — Camp-meetings — African schism — Cession of 
Trinity Church— -Prosperity of the Church — Schism of 1834— As- 
"bury Chapel — Burning of churches — Division of charges. 

In the previous notices of Methodism in 
Charleston, a narrative has been given of the 
principal events occurring yearly, from its estab- 
lishment in 1785 until the year 1815. It is my 
purpose now merely to sketch the chief events 
occurring from that' time until the present, with- 
out special reference to the order of time. 

John C6llingsworth was the Presiding Elder 
of Edisto District for 1814, in which district 
Charleston was included; Alexander Talley, 
John B. Glenn, and Samuel Dunwody, being the 
preachers of the station. The Presiding Elder 
^as in some respects a remarkable man. He was 
powerful in prayer, and seemed possessed almost 
of an almighty faith. 
11* 



126 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

It is said of him that on one occasion, passing 
through the State of Virginia, his righteous soul 
was vexed upon seeing the land wholly given to 
tobacco. He preached, and after a fierce denun- 
ciation of the vices of the day, the one of tobacco 
included, he got down to pray. He presented 
the wants of the congregation in an earnest 
manner, and besought the Lord to convince the 
people of their error in spending, in the cultivation 
of a noxious weed, their time, and means, and 
toil, that should have been devoted to the pro* 
duction of serviceable things. He prayed the 
Lord to signalize his disapproval by destroying 
the crops, then in a flourishing state, if nothing 
else would convince them. Sure enough, a ter- 
rific hail-storm passed through that section during 
the afternoon, knocking up, or rather knocking 
down, the prospects of the Virginians for a boun- 
tiful crop; for the fields were torn up most sadly. 

An ungodly old planter, who was one of the 
sufferers, and who had heard of the preacher's 
demonstration, the next day pursued after him in 
hot haste. Riding up to him, in fierce wrath he 



METHODISM IN CHAKLESTON. 127 

demanded, "Are you, sir, the Methodist preacher 
who prayed the Lord to destroy my crop of to- 
bacco V He replied, " My name is Collingsworth : 
I preached yesterday in the neighborhood, and 
prayed the Lord to show his disapproval of rais- 
ing tobacco." "Well, sir, you are just the man 
I am after : I am ruined for this season, and I 
have come to take my revenge out of you, sir \" 
at the same time brandishing a frightful-looking 
wagon-whip. Commencing to dismount, the old 
man coolly replied, " Well, if I must be whipped 
for it, I suppose I must submit; but take care 
ihat, before you have done, I do not pray the 
Lord to overtake you with something worse than 
overtook your crop." That thought had never 
entered the planter's mind. Hastily putting 
Spurs to his horse, he galloped off, glad to try if 
possible to get out of the reach of the prayers of 
such a man. 

Under his auspices the first Charleston camp- 
meeting was held. The spot selected for the 
purpose was upon G-oose Creek. Large congre- 
gations attended, and several times the services 



128 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

were marked by overwhelming displays of the 
Divine presence. The service most strikingly 
signalized in this respect was the one of Satur- 
day night. Samuel Dunwody preached, from 
Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones. His sermon 
on this occasion is spoken of as one of the most 
powerful ever delivered by him. From a silent, 
wrapt attention, the throng was- gradually melted 
to tears, and finally the speaker's voice was 
drowned amid the cries, and sobs, and shouts of 
the multitude. An invitation was extended for 
mourners to come to the altar, when a general 
rush was made in opposite directions, many hast- 
ening forward to obtain the prayers of the pious, 
and numbers endeavoring to make their, escape 
from under the arbor. Many of these last, over- 
whelmed by their sense of guilt even in their 
flight, fell to the earth in every direction, as if 
smitten by the hand of death; and until the 
dawn of the Sabbath, from under the arbor, the 
tents, and over the ground, the voice of weeping 
and intercession was heard. This scene was re- 
newed under the sermon of Mr. Collingsworth, 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 129 

and a number were added to the church as the 
result of this meeting. 

The camp-meetings for the city have been con- 
tinued, with occasional interruptions, until within 
the last four years. There are those who think 
such a meeting superfluous, with all the other 
church privileges enjoyed in the city; but whe- 
ther it may be accounted for physiologically or 
religiously j our ministry rarely have failed in ac- 
ifomplishing much on occasions of this kind. 
The preachers preach better, and the people seem 
to hear to more profit. Besides, for the city we 
can conceive of nothing more calculated to pro- 
mote a union of feeling, sentiment, and interest, 
between the different charges, than a joint gath- 
ering of this kind. And if affording sound doc- 
trine and Methodist preaching to a large multi- 
tude, who never hear any preaching or other 
religious service, be an argument, surely the 
camp-meeting should be continued. The thought- 
less, unconverted multitude of Charleston, the 
thousands for whom no church accommodation is 
Provided, should, must be reached, and if the 



130 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

camp-meetings be too inconvenient or expensive, 
let some form of street-preaching be devised. It 
is worthy of mention in behalf of the utility of 
the camp-meetings near Charleston, that some 
twenty of the actiye itinerants of the South Car- 
olina Conference trace their conversion to God 
at these annual festivals. 

During the year 1815, under the administra* 
tien of Anthony S enter, preacher in charge, a 
careful revision was had of the state of the 
colored society. They numbered at that time 
about four thousand. Upon a close investigation 
of the conduct and management of their mone- 
tary affairs, much corruption was found to exist. 

Up to this time the colored official member? 
were allowed a distinct Quarterly Conference, 
and their collections, taken up by their leaders 
and preachers, were held and disbursed by them. 
Mr. Senter, upon the discovery of the improper 
workings of this system, required of them to de- 
liver the collections, according to Discipline, in* 
the hands of the stewards. And their chufcfi 
trials^ also, which had been hitherto entirely 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 131 

among themselves, were now conducted in the 
presence of the preacher in charge. His proceed- 
ing awakened considerable opposition among the 
leaders, particularly after the abolition of their 
Quarterly Conferences, and their opposition soon 
awakened quite an agitation among the colored 
membership. This agitation was secret in its 
character for a long time, and during the two 
years of this hidden movement the enormous in- 
crease of two thousand was reported. 

It appears, as was afterwards developed, that a 
regular scheme had been devised for the formal 
'secession of the disaffected ones from the church ; 
and, as a preparatory step, two of them had gone 
to Philadelphia and obtained ordination, with 
a view of assuming the pastorate over them. 
Measures were also commenced by them to obtain 
possession of Bethel Church by legal process, be- 
cause, as they had heard by tradition, the colored 
^embers at the time of its erection had contri- 
buted liberally towards it. 

For two years their plans were being matured, 
a id they awaited a pretext for a demonstration. 



132 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

An occasion was afforded in the erection of a 
hearse house upon their burial lot on Pitt street. 
This lot, it will be remembered, was the gift of 
Mr. Bennet, and it was only a benevolence to 
them in allowing them its use. Upon the trus- 
tees paying no heed to their protests against the 
erection of the house, great excitement ensued, 
and at the time fixed upon for the deploy, at one 
fell swoop nearly every leader delivered up his 
class-papers, and four thousand three hundred 
and sixty-seven of the members withdrew. None 
but those who are accustomed to attend the 
churches in Charleston, with their crowded galle- 
ries, can well appreciate the effect of such an 
immense withdrawal. The galleries, hitherto 
crowded, were almost completely deserted, and it 
was a vacancy that could be felt. The absence 
of their responses and hearty songs was really 
felt to be a loss to those so long accustomed to 
hear them. \ Comparatively a few, numbering 
thirteen hundred and twenty-three, who had 
hitherto found the' Methodist preachers their best 
friends, hung bravely to the old side. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 138 

The schismatics combined, and, after great ex- 
ertion, succeeded in erecting a neat church build- 
ing at the corner of Reid and Hanover streets. 
Their organization was called the African Church. 
They, however, were never permitted to worship 
in their own building. They dragged out a mis- 
erable existence until the year 1822. In that 
year, upon the discovery by the authorities of an 
intended insurrection among the blacks, the 
church building was demolished by their order, 
and a deserted burial-place is all that is left to 
mark this singular movement. Numbers of them 
——like all real schismatics — found the new scheme 
did not work as well as they had expected, and 
returned again to. the Methodist Church. Large 
numbers connected themselves with the Scotch 
Presbyterian Church, and the rest were peeled 
and scattered. Thus the eventful history of 
Methodism in Charleston was marked by another, 
schism. 

Ah account has been given of the Hammet 
schism, and the circumstances leading to the erec- 
tion of Trinity Church. Mr. Hammet continued 
12 



184 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

to preach in it until the year 1813. Early in 
that year his health, hitherto precarious, failed 
entirely, and he died on May the 15th, under 
very melancholy circumstances. He was buried 
back of the pulpit of Trinity Church, and bis 
remains now lie under the pulpit of the new 
building. 

, For a year or two, the congregation were with- 
out a minister. In the deed by which the church 
property was secured to Mr. Hammet during his 
life, it was provided that at his death it should 
be the property of a Mr. Brazier during his life- 
time, and then to be at the disposal of the con- 
gregation; Mr. Brazier acting as pastor while he 
lived- His name has been previously mentioned 
as being a convert of Mr, Hammet in the West 
Indies. Upon the death of their pastor, the con- 
gregation wrote to Mr. Brazier, informing him 
of the provisions of the deed, and requesting him 
to assume the pastorate among them. He came 
to the city and preaehed a short time, but, "from 
all accounts, not to the great admiration of his 
congregation. 




y «5*i'*i 1 



-fi 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 137 

About this time the Rev. Mr. Frost, rector of 
St. Philip's (Episcopal) Church, on account of a 
rupture among his congregation, had determined 
upon the erection of a church building for the 
accommodation of the party favorable to him. 
Discovering that Mr. Brazier was not sanguine in 
his attachment to his church, he made proposals 
to him for the purchase of Trinity, to which he 
assented; and the church building, graveyard, 
and parsonage, were all relinquished for the sum 
of two thousand dollars. Pews were immediately 
erected, and the church dedicated by the Bishop, 
according to the forms of the Episcopal Church. 

This proceeding, however, aroused the violent 
hostility of Mr. Hammjet's members, and they in* 
stituted proceedings in law for the recovery of 
their buildings and land. While the suit was 
pending, the counsel for the plaintiffs expressed 
to them the opinion that could they obtain peace- 
a «le possession, it would enhance the probabilities 
of the suit in their favor. 

Shortly after, while public service was being 
held by Mr. Erost, one of the Hammetites who 
12* 



138 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

happened to be present, observing where the keys 
were hung, quietly slipped them into her gown 
pocket; and after service there was no small ado, 
among the newly-appointed officers of the church, 
about the keys so suddenly los.t. M&m while, mes- 
sengers were dispatched to the absent Hammet- 
ites, who hurried to the rescue, barred up the 
windows, and locking themselves in, held peace- 
able possession of the building. 

Several months intervened between that occur- 
rence and the decision of the question by the 
court, yet the church was never empty of its pos- 
sessors: here they slept, sewed, and ate; and it 
was not a little singular to see the grave old ma- 
trons seated in the churqh before the window 1 ^ 
plying their needles, with the doors carefully 
barred and watched against presumptuous intru- 
ders. It has been whispered that one Charleston 
nian was honored with old Trinity as his birth- 
place; for this I cannot vouch: his name at 'least 
has not escaped oblivion. 

Upon the decision of the court against the 
claims of the new preachers, the congregate* 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 139 

who remained made proposals for the cession 
of the property to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church : this was acquiesced in under the follow- 
ing agreement. The paper, after enumerating 
the members and their families, reads : 

" The above-named members of the Primitive 
Methodist society aforesaid, are to continue mem- 
bers of the aforesaid society during their natural 
lives, and at their death they and their families 
have the right' of being buried near where their 
relatives have been buried. Nevertheless, nothing 
is to be so construed as to oblige the officiating 
minister to administer the gospel ordinances to 
any who should live immoral lives. The son 
and daughter of the late Mr. Hammet are 
included in the provision for burial, and should 
they ever be in want of pecuniary aid, they are 
recommended to the liberality of those having 
control over the funds. Those of the members 
°f the aforesaid Methodist society who have 
entered into full connection with the society of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, are 
herein entered in alphabetical order, and are 



140 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

accordingly expeeted to attend to all the rules 
and regulations of said church. But, should they 
ia future neglect class-meetings, or any other 
rule, so as to oblige us to erase their names from 
the list of members in connection with the 
society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, they 
will still continue members of the Primitive 
Methodist society* and as such we are obliged to 
administer the gospel ordinances to them, unless 
they are guilty of such immorality as would 
justify their exclusion from the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. 

"Alexander Talley, P. E." 

St. James's Chapel, which had been erected 
by the Primitive Methodists upon King street, 
upon what was then known as the Neck, was at 
the same time transferred to the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. Thus ended this schism, as 
singular as it was unnecessary. The venerable 
Henry Muckenfuss is now the only surviving 
member of the original society of Primitive 
Methodists. 

From the time of the accession of Trinity 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 141 

Church in 1816, and the schism among the 
blacks in 1818, the church in Charleston, for the 
following fifteen years, enjoyed uninterrupted 
peace and prosperity. During that time, the 
molestations from rude men and mobs, which we 
have hitherto had occasion so frequently to 
notice, entirely ceased. The congregations were 
generally large, attentive, and respectful, and 
frequently the power of Grod was displayed in 
the salvation of souls. A just idea of the state 
of the church about this time, may be gathered 
from a report presented at the Fourth Quarterly 
Conference of 1831, by the preacher in charge. 
The Third Quarterly Conference had passed the 
following preamble and resolutions : 

" From information adduced before the Quar- 
terly Conference, we have reason to believe that 
a number of the members of our church here do 
constantly neglect partaking of the ordinance of 
the Lord's Supper, while others attend but sel- 
dom; therefore, 

"Resolved, That each class-leader be requested 
to make a special report to the preacher in 



142 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

charge, specifying who of the members of his 
class constantly partake of the sacrament, who 
partake but seldom, and who do not partake at 
all, and that the preacher in charge be requested 
to report to the next Quarterly Conference." 

The following is the report : 

"According to a request from the last Quar- 
terly Conference, that information be furnished 
the preacher in charge concerning the attend- 
ance of our members on the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper, the following statement is sub- 
mitted. There are in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Charleston six hundred and twelve 
white members, divided among twenty -six Glasses. 
Of these, after a proper investigation into the 
subject, it is found that about four hundred and 
ninety-five are regular and constant communi- 
cants, thirty-six commune occasionally, leaving a 
remainder of eighty-one who do not attend upon 
this ordinance. We may mention however, that 
there are seventy-six members 1 on trial, now 1° 
the church. Among these, there may be some 
whom we, ourselves, should prefer to rema*° 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 143 

$ little time in a probationary relation to the 
church, before attending upon this sacred ordi- 
nance. Again, there are many who, not hav- 
ing satisfactory conviction of their acceptance 
with Grod, feel some conscientious scruples on 
this subject. In all cases of the kind which 
have offered themselves to the notice of the min- 
isters of the station, suitable- efforts have been 
made to correct the evil — in some instances, we 
trust, with success. But observation too clearly 
proves that we may, in these times, appropriately 
adopt the report of Mr. Wesley, concerning 
another and earlier period of Methodism, that 
there are many in our societies who neither 
repent nor believe to this day. 

i( We have only to add our sincere prayer, that 
our successors may be more wise in their admin- 
istration of discipline, more successful in their 
e fibrts to build up, enlarge, and establish the 
c ause of Zion, the interests of which we have 
e ndeavored, however feebly, yet sincerely, to 
Promote. Nicholas Talley, 

"Preacher in charge." 



144 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

With the facts stated in the church boots, 
taken in connection with the above report, 
we think no Methodist society, at any pe- 
riod, could have given better evidences of a 
wide-spread piety, or more decisive indications 
of genuine prosperity. In the short period 
included between the years 1818 and 1833, the 
church in Charleston had nearly doubled its 
membership, having increased from three hun- 
dred and fifty to six hundred and fifty. In the 
same time, the colored membership had been 
tripled, presenting in that time the enormoua 
increase of over two thousand. The Quarterly 
Conference had become a large, influential, well- 
informed body, numbering frequently, at its sit- 
tings, between twenty and thirty. The classes, 
and a young men's prayer-meeting, at which 
conversions were frequent, were in active opera- 
tion, and well attended. No difficulty was found 
in meeting the expenses of the preachers and 
their families, and the church, out of debt, 
was yearhr adding to its real estate; in fact) 
every thing seemed to promise a glorious career 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 145 

of uninterrupted success for Methodism in the 
city, when suddenly, in the midst of all that was 
cheering, clouds and darkness intervened, and a 
lasting blow was again struck at its advance- 
ment. " Behold how great a matter a little fire 
&ndleth I" 

In a previous article, the large size of the 
colored membership has been mentioned. At 
the time to which I am now about to allude, the 
Uelored portion of the membership was rapidly 
recovering the injury sustained by the schism of 
1818, and was enjoying great prosperity. They 
N numbered, in 1833, over three thousand. To 
accommodate such a multitude with comfortable 
church-sittings, was a matter of no small diffi- 
culty. Cumberland, Trinity, and Bethel, though 
having each galleries around the entire body 
of the building, could not accommodate unitedly, 
at the utmost, more than fifteen hundred. To 
afford additional accommodations, as well as con- 
venience to the aged and infirm, at the instance 
°f Bishop Asbury, in each church a panelled 
division was erected near the doors, which was 
13 



146 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

generally known as " The Boxes." It appears 
that after the erection of the boxes, when the 
white congregations were small, a few of the 
older free persons of color were accustomed to 
take their seats beyond the boxes in the body 
of the church; and what was conceded as a 
privilege, was finally claimed by them as a right. 
Gradually others among the colored people be- 
gan also to pass the barrier of the boxes, and 
their boundaries were finally so much enlarged 
as to encroach seriously upon the comfort of the 
whites. 

As early as the year 1829, complaints on this 
subject were formally presented to the Quarterly 
Conference, and a correction of this evil requested 
from that body ; for it had become not an un- 
frequent occurrence that some of the whites were 
compelled to leave the church, their seats in the 
lower part of the church being preoccupied by 
colored persons, who refused to surrender theffl- 
Complaints were renewed to the Quarterly Con- 
ference in 1830, and, as a step towards the. cor- 
rection of the evils complained of, it was deter- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 147 

mined to appoint quarterly a committee of two 
for each church from among the official mem- 
bers, whose duty it should be to maintain order 
in the several congregations. The appointment 
of these committees was continued until 1833, 
when difficulties of a more serious nature arose. 

In that year, Dr. Capers was stationed in the 
city, and his preaching generally attracted 
crowded white audiences; and the complaints 
about the sittings of the colored people be- 
came constantly greater. On one occasion, the 
fflfe&eher in charge being complained to on the 
subject, told those complaining that they should 
not trouble the preachers on that point, as it was 
properly the business of the members to arrange 
the sitting of the congregation. 

The committees last appointed to preserve 
order were almost entirely from among the young 
men of the church, who felt fully empowered by 
these remarks to proceed in the matter as their 
judgment should dictate. The result was that a 
few Sabbaths afterward, when Bethel Church was 
crowded to overflowing, upon some of the colored 



148 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

people refusing to vacate their seats for the 
whites, the committee forcibly ejected them from 
the church ; and upon their returning the Sab- 
bath following, their expulsion was repeated. 
This proceeding produced quite a sensation in 
the church : some, who had been annoyed, highly 
applauding their course, and others, who sympa* 
thized with those long sitting there, reprobating 
it as harsh and unkind. Some reference wag 
made to it by one of the preachers at the love- 
feast following, and his remarks, conveyed to the 
committee probably in an exaggerated form, gave 
them great offence ; and as far as the beginnings 
of this unhappy affair are traceable, it com- 
menced just at this point. After mutual expla- 
nations, this wound was healed, and, as all parties 
felt the necessity of completing some arrange' 
ment by which these complaints among the 
whites should be properly met, at the ensuing 
Quarterly Conference resolutions were passed 
recommending some inconsiderable alterations 
about the boxes, by which all the slaves should 
be sent into the galleries, and the seats on the 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 149 

lower floor secured to the free persons of color,.. 
A committee, selected from among the young 
men, was appointed to convey these resolutions 
to the trustees, and also authorized to collect 
money to defray the consequent expense. 

A disagreement between these parties ensued. 
What appears to have been a commendable 
spirit of energy and activity on the part of the 
young men, was considered a spirit of innovation 
or rebellion, and they were treated accordingly. 
They were foiled in every attempt to carry out 
what they seem to have regarded the general 
wish of the membership. They became factious, 
and finally organized a party in the church, so as 
systematically to accomplish their intentions. 
This step produced an entire estrangement of 
feeling between the preachers and older members 
on the one side, and the young men's party on 
the other. The young men, from endeavoring 
to correct a local evil, with their feelings imbit- 
tered, finally repudiated some of the important 
features of the Discipline, and they were accord- 
ingly arraigned for church trial. 
13* 



150 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

At this juncture, a compromise was offered by 
Bishop Emory ; but it seemed never to have been 
fully acquiesced in by both sides, and after the 
suspension of hostilities for a while, before the 
compromise was consummated, fresh difficulties 
arose, and, after an unparalleled excitement, nine 
of the most prominent were expelled from the 
church. Upon their expulsion, about one hun- 
dred and sixty-five members withdrew, and or- 
ganized under the discipline of the Methodist 
Protestant Church. This must be regarded as 
the greatest misfortune that has ever overtaken 
the Methodist church in Charleston. At one 
blow the church was deprived of a large body 
of intelligent young men, who probably com- 
bined the larger part of the energy and activity 
of the membership ; while at the same time, from 
the attendant excitement, a tremendous shock 
was given to the spirituality of the church. 
The writer thinks he can safely say, after en- 
deavoring to give an impartial attention to all 
the facts and circumstances, as presented in the 
church books and the printed pamphlets of both 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 151 

sides, that, under the present rigime of Method- 
ism, a recurrence of such a case would be almost 
an impossibility. 

At a meeting of the trustees of the church, 
held September 2d, 1834, the following resolu- 
tion was passed : 

"Resolved, That it is desirable and expedient 
to have a chapel somewhere in the south-west 
part of the city, west of King street, not -farther 
north than Queen street, nor farther south than 
Tradd street." 

A committee was accordingly appointed to 
purchase a suitable lot, and to make arrange- 
ments for the erection of a building. The lot 
at the corner of Broad and Logan streets, then 
containing a large building, known as the "Acad- 
emy of Fine Arts," was purchased, and the 
building, arranged with galleries and pews, was 
dedicated to the worship of God, and called 
\Asbury Chapel. Services were held in it until 
the middle of the year following, when it was 
'ent for some time to the congregation of St. 
Philip'g (Protestant Episcopal) Church, who by 



152 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

a disastrous fire had been deprived of their 
church building. Public services by the Method- 
ist preachers being resumed in it, they were, as 
before, attended for several years by large, intel- 
ligent congregations; but, in the mean time, 
St. Peter's (Protestant Episcopal) Church was 
erected a few squares above, on Logan street, 
which so materially affected the congregations at 
the chapel that its sale was considered expedient. 
It was purchased in 1837 by a Mrs. Seabrook, 
whose spacious dwelling constitutes what was 
formerly Asbury Chapel. 

Soon after this, it was determined to erect a 
spacious brick church upon Cumberland street. 
Accordingly, the old church, the scene of so 
many interesting occurrences, was taken down, 
and the corner-stone of the new building laid, with 
appropriate ceremonies, in 1838. The building- 
had progressed favorably, when a devastating fire 
swept over the city, destroying several millions 
of property. The portion of the new building 
that was erected was ruined, and Trinity Church 
also Was consumed ; so that, at once, the Method- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 153 

ists were deprived of their two principal houses 
of worship. Through the kindness of the con- 
gregation of St. Philip's (Protestant Episcopal) 
Church, they were provided with a temporary 
place of worship in a large building erected for 
their own use, while their new church was in 
process of building, and which was known as 
the Tabernacle j while services were provided for 
the blacks in the " old circus," which then occu- 
pied the corner of Queen and Friend streets. 
The injury done to the new building, with their 
Other losses, seriously embarrassed the trustees, 
and they were consequently compelled to modify 
the plan of Cumberland Church, so as to reduce 
its cost. 

Measures were immediately taken for the re- 
building of Trinity ; and the two buildings were 
completed at a joint cost of fifty-seven thousand 
dollars. They were both dedicated during the 
summer of 1839 — Dr. Capers conducting the 
dedicatory services of Trinity, and the following 
Sabbath the Kev. James Sewell those of Cum- 
berland. 



154 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

Methodism in Charleston, in its enlarged form, 
as has been shown, was the result of a gradual 
but constant growth. The labors commenced by 
Bishop Asbury and his compeers, on February 
27th, 1785, in the deserted Baptist meeting- 
house on Church street, had been steadily con- 
tinued by his successors, until the Methodists, 
though long struggling with many difficulties, had 
risen to be a numerous body in the city. In 
1842, though numbering four church buildings, 
with a membership of five hundred and thirty- 
five whites, and thirty-five hundred colored, they 
were all united under one charge. One board of 
stewards, one of trustees, managed the affairs of 
the church in the city ; and though several 
preachers were sent to labor there, but one was 
put in charge. 

The following is a plan of the appointments 
for one Sabbath, and also for the Tuesday 
evening, .Wednesday evening, and Friday evening 
services in the several churches, as they were pub- 
lished weekly in the Southern Christian Ad- 
vocate : 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 155 

Plan of Appointments for preaching' in the Methodist 
Churches, Sunday, July 30th, 1837 .■ 

MORNING. AFTERNOON. NIGHT. 

Bethel, N. Talley. J. N. Davis. B. English. 

Trinity, B. English. W. Capers. J. Sevrell. 

Cumberland, J. N. Davis. N. Talley. W. Capers. 
St. James, A. R. Danner. J. Sewell. Gr. W. Moore. 
Tuesday Evening, Aug. 1st, Bethel, J. Sewell. 

Wednesday Eve'g, Aug. 2d, Trinity, J. N. Davis. 

Friday Evening, Aug. 5th, Cumberland, W. Capers. 

In the year just mentioned, the necessity for a 
different arrangement began to be felt. Indeed, 
a separation of the congregations into distinct 
charges had been agitated in 1840 ; but, at the 
church meeting held for the discussion of the 
question, a majority decided against it. 

In 1842, however, at a meeting of the male 
members, after a long, free, and earnest discus- 
sion of the whole question, a majority decided in 
favor of the change suggested. Accordingly, a 
petition was sent, at the Conference following, to 
the presiding Bishop, who appointed a preacher 
in charge to each church ; and in 1844 a division 
Was also had of the church debts and property. 



156 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Eminent ministers — Deaths of ministers — Itinerant preachers sent 
out from the city — Members of former days — Aged living mem- 
bers — Colored membership — Anecdotes of colored members — Be- 
nevolent institutions — Preachers stationed in the city. 

In reviewing the history of Methodism in the 
city, one cannot but be struck with the fact that 
the large proportion of ministers who have labored 
there have been men possessed of far more than 
ordinary abilities. It can be safely asserted that 
no denomination in the city can show the same 
proportion of gifted men as their regular pastors : 
none of them the same constancy of sound, evan- 
gelical, eloquent, popular preaching. Nor has it 
been the fitful, evanescent glare of an occasional 
preacher here and there in ten or twenty years; 
but since the first planting to the present time, 
the Methodist churches in the city have enjoyed 
the ministrations of gifted, holy men, whose abil- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 157 

ities have only been surpassed by their untiring 
zeal and faithfulness. In the darkest hour of 
trial and persecution to the church, a respect was 
extorted from its worst foes, for a ministry who 
so boldly and eloquently enforced, by their lives 
and labors, the great doctrine of holiness. The 
high grade of the ministry is indicated in the 
fact that,, besides its first establishment by a ven- 
erated Bishop, four of the Bishops of the Church 
have at different timeSj before their election to 
that office, been stationed in the city. 

Need we dwell upon the labors of the venera- 
ble Bishop Asbury, that prodigy of goodness and 
toil ? It was at his instance that the establish- 
ment of a society was projected in the city; and 
it was a regular place of visitation until the last 
year of his life. Indeed, Charleston, with other 
points in Carolina, was among the last places he 
tbited and preached at, a few months before his 
death. Glorious old man ! Who can fully speak 
his praises? Soundest in judgment, great in 
holiness, zealous and untiring in labors, for many 

years he travelled up and down the conti- 
14 



158 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

nent, preaching, praying, visiting, suffering, then 
'"ceased at once to work and live." Is he not 
properly called the Wesley of America? Or, 
rather, should he not be styled the Apostle of the 
New World ? 

Enoch George was for one year a regular laborer 
in the city, and was for several years Presiding 
Elder of Edisto District, in which Charleston was 
included. He labored there at so early a date, 
that nothing authentic can be gathered about his 
city labors ; but it is enough for us to know that 
he belonged to the number of spotless worthies 
who have held the highest office in the gift of 
the Church. 

Fifteen years of the life of our late lamented 
Bishop Capers were spent in the city of Charles- 
ton- — ten years as a regular pastor, four years as 
an editor, and one as missionary secretary; and 
during that time he never ceased to be honored, 
and revered. Of the good accomplished by his 
pulpit labors, which were always given without 
stint, we have nothing by which we can form a 
proper estimate. Eternity alone can reveal it- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 159 

Let one fact suffice. Daring his regular labors 
in the city, a sister denomination, whose "churches 
were frequently almost deserted from the general 
desire to hear the eloquent Capers, was enlarged by 
the establishment of two additional congregations. 
Of Bishop Capers's life in Charleston, what a 
history might be given of powerful sermons, 
crowded audiences, and remarkable conversions ! 
How many affecting scenes might be depicted, oc- 
curring in sick-rooms, and on death-beds ! And 
had a journal been spared to us, what a soul -stir- 
ring picture should we have of the triumph of our 
blessed religion; as in 1826, when stern death 
seemed to have already claimed him as its victim, 
and life seemed to be breathed anew into him in 
special answer to prayer; or in 1834, when fierce 
discord threatened destruction to the church. 
And ! who that used to see and hear him will 
Dot feel it a lifelong privilege to recall those 
Messed seasons afforded at the Cainhoy and Goose 
Greek camp-meetings, where listening thousands 
hung entranced upon his lips, and the divine 
glory seemed almost visible about his person, 



160 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

where stern hearts Bowed before his eloquence as 
the oak before the hurricane, and the proud sin- 
ner quailed beneath his eye, lit up with holy fire ! 
Well may the Charleston churches mourn the ab- 
sence of his venerable form. 

Bishop Andrew, also, for three years was a 
stationed preacher in the city, and also for a term 
its presiding elder. His labors here were unre- 
servedly bestowed, and met a just reward in the 
number brought into the church during his pas- 
torate here. A goodly number of the converts 
of his ministry still remain, who are able to re- 
member him as their pastor and spiritual guide \ . 
and who still grow warm when recounting his 
labors and successes in the city. 

In Charleston, too, our admired Bishop Pierce 
labored as a stationed preacher, and that, too, in 
very troublous times, when were required " pru- 
dence, and piety, and patience, all." And the 
older heads, who heard his burning words of 
truth and eloquence, declare that his election to 
the bishopric was nothing more than they had 
predicted many years ago. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 161 

But many pages would not suffice for a proper 
mention of every one of the great and good men 
who have in Charleston, as elsewhere, been bright 
and shining lights. Some of their names have al- 
ready been mentioned, and to the names of Willis, 
Kendrick, Dougherty, and Dunwody, of early 
days, we mention among distinguished names 
of later days, Olin, Wightman, Summers, and 
Smith, all of whom the Church still delights to 
honor. 

Methodism in Charleston has not only to boast 
of a ministry distinguished for learning and elo- 
quence, but one characterized also by deep piety 
and fervent zeal. It may have been remarked, 
in the brief notices already given of the ministers 
there, that one attribute was in almost every in- 
stance accorded them ; and that was their faith- 
felness and energy. 

I hate vain boasting, and will not indulge in it ; 

and, in attributing this to each, it has only been 

done because it was strikingly developed in their 

lives. What candid heart does not swell with 

8ublime emotions of admiration as it contemplates 
14* 



162 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

the energetic lives and the triumphant deaths of 
the early Methodist preachers? Many theories 
have lately been set afloat to account for the 
amazing success of the Methodist preacher — some 
of them plausible enough ; but they may be all 
laid aside in the light of their untiring energy. 
Here was, here is now, the secret of their success : 
that, with a sound creed, and working by a system 
wonderfully adapted to the wants of the masses, 
they combined with fervent piety an energy of 
spirit that became irresistible. No distance was 
too great for them to travel to preach the gospel. 
No hovel was too mean for them to enter and 
minister the bread of life. No soul was too 
humble or too degraded for their care and 
teaching. No time was inopportune, no labor 
too hard, no sacrifice too great, no danger too 
threatening for them to encounter. Day and 
night, amid the shivering blasts of winter and 
the sweeping pestilence of summer, they were 
found praying, exhorting, preaching and liv- 
ing for God. Illustrious immortals! that 
our souls might more fully catch" their holy 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 168 

zeal, and transmit it to the latest ages of the 
Church ! 

Charleston has for many years been subject to 
the periodical visitations of that fatal pestilence, 
the yellow-fever; and, with her sister cities, she 
too suffered from cholera and different contagions. 
Previous to the establishment of the Methodist 
Church there, it had been, from time immemorial, 
a settled custom for the Protestant ministry, at 
the first appearance of such diseases, Jonah-like, 
to take- passage for some distant port. So accus- 
tomed had their congregations become to this pro- 
ceeding, that it was not uncommon for them to 
pay an extra dividend to hasten their retreat. 
But such a course was not consonant with the 
fervid souls of Wesley's followers. They believed 
that when the hand of God was laid in afflic- 
tion upon his people, then, if ever, they needed 
the care, attention, and sympathy of their shep- 
herds. And although, from their itinerant sys- 
tem, they were more exposed to danger than any 
other class of ministers, they always stood firmly 
to their posts. Not a few among them were hon- 



164 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

ored with a call from their Master as they stood 
among the dead and dying, and, like heroes, fell 
all covered with glory. 

First among them was James King, a promis- 
ing young man, only twenty-four years of age, 
who in 1797 made a glorious exit to the heavenly 
world from the scenes of horror and death among 
which he was called to labor. 

In the year following, fell John N. Jones, 
"worn out with pain and afflictions of body." 
In the impressive language of his memoir, "He 
was rapt up in the vision of God at the time of 
his departure." 

In 1804, Nicholas Watters died also of yellow- 
fever. When on his bed of death, and weeping 
friends stood around him, after many precious ex- 
hortations, he said: "I am not afraid to die, if 
it be the will of God. I desire to depart and be 
with Christ;" and soon after exclaiming, 

"Farewell, vain world, I'm going home: 
My Jesus smiles and bids me come," 

he passed triumphantly away. 

Then, there was Jacob Eumph, than whom, 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 165 

perhaps, there was never a more godly, faithful 
minister. On the sacramental occasion preceding 
his death, while administering the communion, 
he exclaimed : "This day the Lord hath enabled 
me to be perfectly willing to die in Charleston." 

The truth of his exclamation was soon satis- 
factorily tested. With songs of praise he en- 
tered into rest, his countenance lit up with the 
smiles of peace and triumph. 

In Charleston, too, Francis Ward took the yel- 
low-fever, which terminating in dropsy soon after, 
caused his death. He was an able minister of 
the New Testament; and it is recorded of him 
that, like a scribe well instructed, he "brought 
forth out of his treasure things new and old." 
V* Here, too, died " the Rev. Henry T. Fitzgerald, 
a young man of uncommon sweetness of temper, 
an active, discriminating mind, great amiableness 
of manners, and ardent love for God and his 
cause. He shrunk not in the day of pestilence ; 
but did as every Christian pastor should do — gave 
himself uninterruptedly to the service of the 
flock committed to his care, and undauntedly met 



166 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

death in the work to which the Holy Ghost had 
called him." 

In Charleston, also, the amiable and humble 
Asbury Morgan met his fate, falling a victim to 
the insatiable yellow-fever, ere he had passed the 
noon .of life. But as in life his unaffected hu- 
mility, his meekness and affability were always 
present, so in death his peace forsook him not, 
and he left the world leaving a radiant path be- 
hind him. 

Here, too, in 1830, the lovely Thomas L. Winn 
was attacked by- the same fatal malady, which 
rapidly developed his constitutional tendency to 
consumption, which soon hurried him away. He 
died in Camden, whither he had been removed 
in the hope of improvement by the change ; but 
death had marked him as its victim. "As a 
preacher, altogether he richly merited the high 
estimation in which he was held ; ' and what he 
was by the grace of God, as a man and Christian., 
let his death-bed speak." 

Charleston, too, witnessed the death of that 
man of God, the Kev. Urban Cooper. While 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 167 

the shafts of death were playing thick and fast, 
and the same dire disease which had smitten his 
predecessors was snatching away many of the 
loveliest and best, he was found firm at his post. 
While ministering at the bedside of a brother 
minister, the Rev. Dr. Flynn, of the Presbyterian 
Church, he imbibed the fatal contagion. But it 
did not meet him unprepared, for his spirit, with 
joyful haste, flew away to meet its God. 

This seems like a heavy tribute to pay to one 
city, and nearly all to one disease; but it has not 
been without its fruit. Their .examples still live. 
They fell, but gained the victory in their death. 
The current has been turned, and for years, like' 
the Methodist preachers, the ministers of all de- 
nominations, amidst the peril of disease, cease 
not to administer warning to the living and solace 
to the dying. 

Not the least significant fact in the history of 
Methodism in Charleston, is the large proportion 
of travelling preachers it has sent forth. The 
Writer, however, is forbidden, on this point, to 
utter all he knows and feels. He has included 



168 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

in the list of preachers, several who were not 
actually recommended from the Quarterly Con- 
ferences of the city; but as they had lived and 
were converted in the city, -and made their reso- 
lutions to preach while there, he thought they 
could be properly enumerated among the sons of 
Charleston Methodism. 

1797. Alexander McCain, located in 1806. 
He afterward connected himself with the Method- 
ist Protestant Church. He is now living* at 
Aiken, South Carolina, probably one of the oldest 
survivors of the early movements of Methodism 
in America. 

1798. Hanover Dennan, located in 1808. 
1800. Jeremiah Russel, located in 1806. 

1819. John Sehroeble joined the Conference, 
and located in 1821. Christian Q-. Hill joined 
the same year, and located in 1823. 

1820. Robert Adams, now living, a local 
preacher in the bounds of the Alabama Con- 
ference : located in 1836. 

* He died at Augusta, Georgia, June, 1856.— [EmtoB- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 169 

1824. John Mood and Joseph Galluchat, Sen. 
The first located in 1830, and now lives in the 
city of Charleston.* The latter located in 1825, 
and died in the city in 1835. 

1825. George W- Moore, who is now an effi- 
cient member of the South Carolina Conference, 
m Cooper River Mission. 

1827. John Honour, Sen., and John Coleman, 
ffhe first died at his post in 1830, on Ashley River 
Mission, from bilious-fever, contracted in the 
swamps where he labored. He was one of the 
first missionaries to the colored people in the 
United States. John Coleman located in 1828. 

1828. Samuel W. Capers, Matthew Bythewood, 
and William M. Wightman. S. W. Capers died 
in Camden in 1855. Matthew Bythewood located 
in 1830. William M. Wightman is now Presi- 
dent of Wofford College, South Carolina Con- 
ference. 

1829. David Allen, now a member of the 

* A most excellent man, the father of the author of 
*his book, and of three other ministers in the South 
Carolina Conference. — [Editor. 
15 



170 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

Memphis Conference, and one of the Professors 
in the Female College, at Holly Springs, Alabama. 

1833. Whitefoord Smith, supernumerary in 
the Conference and Professor in Wofford College. 

1834. Charles S. Walker and Alexander W. 
Walker, The first now agent of Wofford College : 
the latter an efficient preacher on Walterboro' 
Circuit. 

1836. Robert J. .Limehouse, located in 1848: 
he resides within the bounds of the Conference. 

1838. Wm. P. Mouzon : an efficient mem- 
ber of the Conference, and stationed in the city. 

1839. Abel M. Chreitzberg: travels the An- 
derson Circuit. 

1840,, William H. Fleming, now stationed in 
the town of Sumter. John A. Porter, on the 
Graniteville and Aiken Mission, and Dennis J. 
Simmons, now on the Orangeburg Circuit. 

1841. Henry M. Mood, now on the Bennetts- 
ville Circuit, and James Wesley Wightman, 
teacher in Cokesbury School. 

1842. Henry A. Bass, located in 1854. 
1844. William Tertius Capers, located in 1851- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 171 

1845. Urban Sinclair Bird, whose health failed 
the year following, and he located. 

1846. Osgood A. Chreitzberg, who located in 
1852, and John A. Mood, now on Black Kiver 
and Pee Dee Mission. 

1847. John T. Wightman, now stationed in 
the city. James T. Munds, a supernumerary of 
the Conference, and Benjamin Jenkins, one of our 
missionaries to China. 

1848. Elias J. Meynardie, now in the Barn- 
well Circuit. 

1849. Julius J. Fleming and Edward J. Pen- 
nington. The former now travels the Sumter Cir- 
cuit. The latter located in 1852. 

1850. John Wesley Miller, now a supernume- 
rary in the Conference. William W. Mood, now 
on the Orangeburg Circuit. Francis Asbury 
Mood, in Columbia, South Carolina. Charleston 
0. Lamotte, who withdrew from the connection 
in 1854. 

1851. Osgood A. Darby, now stationed in 
Wadesboro', South Carolina Conference. 

1853. Edward D. Boyden. A young man of 



172 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

great promise, who was sent this year to the 
Conwayboro' Circuit; but soon after entering upon 
his work, was called to his reward. Joseph B. 
Cottrell, an efficient member of the Alabama 
Conference. 

1854. Samuel Barksdale Jones, now the sta- 
tioned preacher in the town of Spartanburg. 

1855. Peter M. Byburn, who joined the Geor- 
gia Conference, and now travels the Jeffersonville 
Circuit. 

It would take a much larger space than could 
properly be allowed to give even a tithe of the 
many interesting anecdotes and impressive facts 
connected with the lives, labors and death of 
many of the members of the Methodist Church 
in Charleston. There have never been wanting 
among them men and women of great holiness, 
sterling worth and brilliant virtue. Many of 
them joined the Church at a time when, by such 
a connection, they perilled their good name in 
the community. Many of them, for years, 
witnessed the scenes of trial and the alarming 
excitements which frequently threatened the 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 173 

existence of the Church ; yet they quailed not, 
and by their integrity and consistency lived down 
and silenced the calumnies of its foes; and, in 
their deaths, fully vindicated the truth and power 
of the religion they had professed. A brief 
biography of every one of these worthies, how- 
ever interesting it might be, would of itself oc- 
cupy many pages; and it will be allowed, there- 
fore, only to make a brief mention of a few of 
them. 

To the names of those mentioned among the 
male members of earlier date, may be added those 
of George Airs, Philip Reader, and Eliab King- 
man, who were for many years stewards and 
trustees of the churches in the city. They came 
up to the disciplinary requirements of a steward, 
being men of solid piety,, who both knew and 
loved the Methodist doctrines and discipline, and 
Were of good natural and acquired abilities to 
transact the temporal business of the Church. 

The names of Amos Pillsbury, John Kugley, 
and Robert Riley, should be mentioned out of the 
lisij of class-leaders, as men of special qualifica- 
15* 



174 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

tions for the office which they held. The first 
was possessed of a thorough knowledge of vocal 
music, and taught the singing-classes of the 
church. He also compiled a book of sacred 
hymns and songs, called the Zion's Songster, which 
was at one time extensively used throughout the 
South and West, and at camp and protracted 
meetings. 

There are also several who lived within the 
recollection of many of the present living mem- 
bers. 

Jacob Miller, an humble, holy man, for many 
years, like Enoch, " walked with God." 

George Just was one for whom the writer would 
fain express his love and admiration. He was 
a native German, unacquainted with the wisdom 
of the schools, but fully taught of God. For 
years he led the class which numbered the 
largest of the young men of the church, many 
of whom, should this meet their eye, will quicken 
with the recollections of the exhortations, pray? 
ers, and tears, which he shared with them. 
Though an orphan from a foreign land, by his 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 175 

sterling integrity and undeviating consistency, he 
won his way to an enviable position in the com- 
munity; while, by his faithful attendance to 
duty, and his remarkable aptitude for encour- 
aging, chiding, and guiding the young of his 
class, he obtained the universal confidence of the 
church. 

Nor should we omit the name of John Honour, 
Sr., for many years a local preacher of influence, 
as were also Duke Groodman, Joseph G-alluchat, 
Sr., and Urban Cooper, whose names have 
already been mentioned. 

Among the females qf the church, there are 
many names worthy to be had in lasting remem- 
brance. 

We have spoken of Mrs. Martha Kugley, the 
heroic woman who rescued Mr. Dougherty from 
being drowned by a mob. The wetting she re- 
ceived at the pump from the heartless ruffians 
who were the leaders in the infamous proceed- 
ings of that night, was the cause of her prema- 
ture death. Like Mr. Dougherty, she was of a 
consumptive habit, and the cold acquired that 



176 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

wintry night never left her, and she and Mr. 
Dougherty died about the same time. 

Mrs., Catherine McFarlane, whose house was 
for years the home of the preachers sent to 
Charleston, was long honored — for she felt that 
she was honored — with the regular visits of 
Bishop Asbury while he stopped in Charleston ; 
and was, by special selection, the maker of the 
Bishop's knee-breeches. He used to say, "No 
one can suit me as sister M." 

Mrs. Ann Vaughn was for many years an 
humble saint. 

Mrs. Seavers, wife of the steward of that name, 
was a godly woman, " full of mercy and good fruits." 

Mrs. Selina Smith, who was for years the 
housekeeper of the parsonage" during the dispen- 
sation of clerical bachelorism, was truly an 
humble and devoted servant of Grod. 

Mrs. Matilda Wightman, another Dorcas, 
" full of good works and almsdeeds which she 
did," always ready for every good word and 
work, was a leading spirit in all the benevolent 
and religious enterprises of the church. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 177 

Mrs. Agnes Ledbetter died but a few years 
ago at a very advanced age. The closing part of 
her life, with which many of the readers of this 
book are familiar, was a faithful index of her whole 
previous course. When weighed down with in- 
firmities and age, unable to go to the house of 
God and mingle with his people, her heart was 
still among them, and still alive to the inter- 
ests of the Church. By her needle, with eyes 
dimmed and hands palsied by age, she yearly 
earned a liberal contribution to the missionary 
cause, while to every one who went to see her, 
she told of the goodness of God. 

Time, in Charleston as elsewhere, has brought 
about surprising changes. The old ministers 
who planted the Church — those faithful watch- 
men of Zion — have, most of them, ceased to 
utter their notes of warning, and are gone to 
their reward. And, one after another;, the great, 
and good, and conspicuous among its early mem- 
bership have gradually faded away, and been 
released from earthly toil. But a few among 
them now live to tell of the powerful and some- 



178 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

times tragic scenes of earlier days. Old Cum- 
berland, old Trinity, and old Bethel, have each 
been removed out of their place, and so most 
of the members who identified themselves with 
Methodism in those plain structures have been 
removed to the family above. A few remain — 
the remnant of a larger band. Let them be 
duly honored while they live. 

The youngest, and most earnest, and most 
hopeful of us in the strife of the holy warfare in 
which we are engaged, cannot but feel our hearts 
dilate when we read or hear the old men tell of 
the wonderful works God performed for Method^ 
ism in earlier days : when men, self-made in let- 
ters, wielded "the sword of the Spirit" with 
such wondrous power and dexterity, that their 
congregations were smitten to the earth, and, as 
on the day of Pentecost, cried in beseeching 
tones : " Men and brethren, what must we do ?" 
And do we not instinctively wish that this living 
power could ever abide with His ministers ? 

The oldest living white member, as indicated 
by the church books, is Mrs. Sarah Venroe, who 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 179 

joined in 1804. She has for over half a cen- 
tury been permitted to worship with the Method- 
ists in Charleston ; and during all that time has 
maintained her consistency. 

There are, besides her, several other pious 
female members, who joined forty or fifty years 
ago, and whose lives have ever been in accord- 
ance with their profession : as, Mrs. Susannah 
Seyle, who joined in 1811; Mrs. Catherine 
Mood, who joined in 1812 ; Mrs. Susannah Bird, 
who joined in 1809; Mrs. Charlotte Will, who 
joined in 1808 ; Mrs. Magdalene Brown, who 
joined in 1810; Mrs. Mary dhreitzberg, who 
joined in the same year; and Mrs. Margaret 
Just, who joined in 1807. 

Among the male members but very few sur- 
vive, and all their names could be mentioned 
without occupying much space. 

The oldest male white member is John Mood, 
who joined in 1808. 

Abel McKee, who joined in 1810, is the old- 
est official member in the church, having been 
appointed steward and trustee in 1817, both of 



180 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

which offices he retained until the year 1848. 
He is now class-leader at Trinity Church. 

John Mood is a local elder, belonging also to 
Trinity, who having reached almost fifty years' 
connection with the Church, still lives and prac- 
tices the doctrines and discipline that he em- 
braced so many years ago. 

Samuel J. Wagner is still one of the most 
active and influential members of the Church : 
he joined in 1811. 

George Chreitzberg joined in 1810, and, 
though seldom permitted to worship with the 
brethren whom he loves, still lives a Methodist, 
or rather, still lives a Christian. 

John C. Miller is also, one of the oldest, official 
members of the Church. He joined in 1811, 
and was for years one of its stewards. 

William Bird, a member at Bethel, is in the 
new, as he was in the old, house, always at his 
post. He joined in 1817. Not long ago, the 
writer dared to remonstrate with him, finding 
him on his way to church on a very cold and 
wet evening. Said he, " It has always been my 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 181 

rule to allow nothing to keep me from church 
which does not keep me from my daily business. 
I was at my business to-day, and it is my pur- 
pose to be at church to-night." A capital rule, 
which can be recommended to all. 

Henry Muckenfuss is one of the few who are 
permitted to tell of scenes occurring even before 
the Methodists preached at all in Charleston. 
He first; joined at Trinity, under Mr. Hammet's 
ministry, and became a member of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church when the house was ceded 
to that Church. No one living, it is presumed, 
can recall the time when his venerable form has 
been absent from its place in church. Glod 
bless the old man, and spare him to us yet 
awhile ! 

Were a stranger in . Charleston, visiting the 
Methodist churches in the city, asked to point 
out what impressed him as the most remarkable 
feature of those churehes, as contrasted with the 
other congregations of the city, it is very proba- 
ble that he would point to the large congrega- 
tions of colored persons who are every Sabbath 
16 



182 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

to be seen filling the •galleries. And to one 
made familiar with the prejudices of the com- 
munity and the difficulties of the Church, proba- 
bly the success of the Methodists among them 
would be quite astonishing. 

It is a matter now of great ease, since preju- 
dices have been outlived, and false clamors 
choked down, to stand oif and philosophize and 
surmise and speculate upon this subject. It is 
not my purpose to attempt either— but simply to 
say, that if any one desires to ascend to first 
causes, and to discover the hidden springs which 
brought about success, let' him follow the history 
of the Church in Charleston back through all its 
vicissitudes — let him recall the patient endu- 
ance — the ceaseless, painful toil — the earnest, 
parental, affectionate care and attention of those 
holy men of God who have lived and labored 
here as their pastors. 

The names of five thousand two hundred col- 
ored persons are enrolled in the city as members 
of the Methodist Church, and very many of them 
may be pointed out as patterns of humble piety. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 183 

While much of the success of the Methodist 
preachers among the colored population is trace- 
able to the simple, earnest and powerful manner 
in which they enforced gospel truth— as we have 
just indicated — much more is traceable to the 
efficiency of the class -system, and to the un- 
wearied attention paid to their spiritual interests 
by the white members, and particularly by the 
preachers who have labored in the city from time 
to time. They have been " willing servants of 
servants for Christ's sake." 

Much of the embarrassment thrown in the 
way of early Methodism in the city, is attribut- 
able to the jealousy and suspicion of its public 
men, about the success which attended the 
Methodist ministry among them. With the 
Church, as with individuals, good deeds are soon 
forgotten, while evil ones have a life-long remem- 
brance. Not that the Charleston Methodists are 
conscious, at any period in their history, of hav- 
ing done evil ; but a hue and cry was for many 
years maintained against them, though they were 
entirely innocent of doing any thing but good,. 



184 METHOMSM IN CHARLESTON. 

and this undefined prejudice was always the 
basis of an argument against them by their foes. 
We fear from all the evidence now in possession 
of the Church in the city, that this prejudice was 
stirred and kept hot against them by jealous 
churches, who were either unwilling, ashamed, 
or afraid to do for the negroes what the Method- 
ists persevered in doing, and cheerfully continue 
to do. 

And now, after unwearied pains and care 
have secured a large, pious, and consistent col- 
ored membership, and a persistent determination 
to save their souls has resulted in unexpected 
good, and has secured the influence and affection 
of the immense majority of the blacks — an 
attachment, too, which cannot be broken or 
diverted — how painfully uncharitable and puerile 
does it appear to an honest heart, for jealous 
ones , to be always sneeringly asserting, that 
" Methodism is successful among the negroes, 
because it is only suited to them." Had 
Methodism in Charleston courted the favor of 
the wealthy, and kissed the feet of political 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 185 

aspirants, and let go her hold and interest upon 
the blacks, she too might have claimed the favor 
of those who affected to despise her; but her 
mission was to spread holiness and to save souls, 
and, thank Grod, she would not be diverted from 
her design by the enticements of secular favor, 
or the opposition and contempt of enemies. 

Be it recorded, in the memory of every one 
who loves the cause of truth, and who wishes to 
remember facts worth remembering, that in 
1822, when an insurrectionary movement was 
discovered among the blacks, when good and bad 
among the slaves were suspected, out of the hun- 
dreds who were placed under ban, and the many 
Who were tried and condemned — numbers of 
them members of other churches— not one of 
them was a member of the Methodist Church, 
out of the thousands then belonging to it. And 
yet no one would be impressed by the fact, 
though the effort to force an impression by it 
upon the public was repeatedly made. The 
fact that numbers of the condemned were at- 
tached to other churches, was buried with the 
16* 



186 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

other fact, that seemed to the enemies of 
Methodism as alarming, that not one was a 
member of that Church; and the community 
WOttld allow themselves to be impressed with 
neither the one nor the other. 

Did it seem necessary, much might be said 
about the management, etc., of the colored por- 
tion of the membership. It must be seen at a 
glance that with such an immense number, of a 
©lass with whose lives and Christian deportment 
it was impossible for the ministers or white 
members to become acquainted, it required a 
thoroughly organized and well -maintained sys- 
tem of observation and discipline. Suffice it to 
say, that the plan developed in the Methodist 
system has been found completely adapted to the 
emergency, and has been vigorously maintained, 
and has resulted in amazing good, as may be 
everywhere seen in the city at this day. 

It would hardly be in keeping with the plan 
hitherto followed, to pass over in utter silence 
the names of the many worthy and excellent 
people who, among the colored Methodists in 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 187 

the eity, have vindicated the truth and power 
of godliness. Much might be written about 
them that would be appropriate and profitable as 
well as interesting; but the unexpected length 
to which these chapters have been extended 
warns against such an attempt. A mention of 
a few of the names conspicuous in former days 
must suffice. 

Arnong the early colored members remarkable 
for their intelligence and business traits, were, 
Harry Bull, Quaminy Jones, Peter Simpson, Abra- 
ham Jacobs, Ben McNeil, Smart Simpson, Alick 
Harleston, Amos Baxter, Morris Brown, Bichard 
Holloway, Castile Selby, and John Boquet. 

Harry Bull and Morris Brown went oif in the 
African schism : the last moved to Pennsylvania, 
where he was afterwards known as Bishop Brown, 
of the African Church in that State. 

Castile Selby was eminent for his humility, ho- 
liness, and unbending integrity. Though a black 
man, an humble carter, moving in the humblest 
position in life, he was eminently a good, and no 
doubt, in the sight of God, a great man. But I 



188 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

will give his character as summed up by Bishop 
Capers in a private letter to a friend, the use of 
which has been granted me. 

The Bishop says : " The weight and force of 
his character was made up of humility, sincerity, 
simplicity, integrity and consistency, for all of 
which he- was remarkable, not only among his fel- 
lows of the colored society of Charleston, but I 
might say among all whom I have ever known. 
He was one of those honest men who need no 
proof of it. No one who ever saw bim would 
suspect him. Disguise or equivocation lurked no- 
where about him. Just what he seemed to be, 
that he invariably was — neither less nor more. 
Add to this a thorough piety, which was the root 
and stock of his virtues, and you find elements 
enough for the character of no common man; 
and such was Castile Selby." As early as 1801, 
his name is on the record as one of the leaders, 
and he held the office untarnished for over half a 
century. 

John Boquet, a slave, was very intelligent and 
deeply pious, and in consideration of his virtue 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 189 

and good service was set free by bis owner. The 
following affecting occurrence is related of him by 
Bishop Capers, in the letter referred to.. "Vis- 
iting him on his death-bed, I found him unspeak- 
ably happy in, the love of God, but not as well 
provided as I thought he ought to be,, with little 
comforts and refreshments which his wasted body 
anight require. I noticed it, and told his wife of 
several things which he might take for nourish- 
ment, and which she must procure for him. ' He 
wants them/ said I, 'and he must have them. 
The expense is nothing, and he must want for 
nothing.'' 'Want, want!' exclaimed the dying 
man, 'glory be to God, I am done with want for 
ever ! Want ! want ! I know no want but hea- 
ven, and I am almost there by the blood of 
Jesus/ " 

Hichard Holloway was also conspicuous for his 
intelligence and zeal. His zeal, however, was 
sometimes ill-judged, but he died much beloved 
and respected. 

There are two or three names among the fe- 
males which must not pass unnoticed. 



190 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

Mary Ann Berry will be long remembered as the 
tender, careful, ladylike nurse, and humble saint. 
Bishop Capers says of her: "I never knew a fe- 
male, in any circumstances in life, who better de- 
served the appellation of Deaconess than Mary 
Ann Berry : one who seemed to live only to be 
useful, and who, to the utmost of her ability, and 
beyond her ability, served the Church and poor. 
And I might say too, that what she did was al- 
ways exceedingly well done, directed by an intel- 
ligent mind as well as sanctified spirit; so that, 
humble as was her position in common society, 
she was really a mother in Israel. Her meekness, 
her humility, and a peculiar gentleness and soft- 
ness of spirit, which distinguished her at all 
times, might have done honor to a Christian lady 
of any rank." 

Rachel Wells, top, was remarkable for her hu- 
mility and piety, and in most respects was the 
counterpart of Mary Ann, except in personal ap- 
pearance. Of her, the Bishop in his letter also 
speaks in high terms. He states, that not long 
before her death, he called to see her, after she 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 191 

had received a severe contusion which prevented 
her going to church, at which a protracted meet- 
ing was then in progress. Upon sympathizing 
with her upon the unfortunate accident which 
prevented her getting to church, she replied: 
"Ah, Mr. Capers, since this occurred to me, which 
you call an unfortunate accident, God has found 
a much nearer way to my heart than by Trinity 
Church." 

Nanny Coates also was a colored ■ woman of 
marked piety and generosity. And here again 
let Bishop Capers speak. "Did I mention Maum 
Nanny Coates? Bless old Maum Nanny! If I 
had been a painter going to represent meekness 
personified, I should have gotten her to sit for 
the picture. It was shortly after I had been ap- 
pointed Secretary for the Missions, that being in 
Charleston at the house of my brother, as we 
were sitting together in the parlor one evening, 
Maum Nanny entered. I wish I could show her 
to you just as she presented herself, in her long- 
eared white cap-kerchief and apron of the olden 
time, with her eyes on the floor, her arms slightly 



192 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

folded before her, stepping softly towards me. 
She held between her finger and thumb a dollar 
bill, and courtesying as she approached, she ex- 
tended her hand with the money. 'Will you 
please, sir/ said she in subdued accents and a 
happy countenance, 'take this little mite for the 
blessed missionaries?' I took it, pronounced that 
it was a dollar, and said, ' Maum Nanny, can you 
afford to give as much as this?' '0 yes, sir/ 
she replied, lifting her eyes, which. till then had 
been on the floor, 'it is only a trifle, sir. I could 
afford to give a great deal more, if — I — had — it.' " 
The three last mentioned were all freed by 
their owners for their faithfulness and virtue. 
But these names are those of a very few, and 
these incidents but a meagre mention of the 
many souls and many interesting facts which 
might be gathered about the colored membership 
of the Charleston churches. Their names are not 
enrolled among the great and mighty of the 
earth, but, what is far better, their names and 
deeds have honorable mention in the Lamb's 
Book of Life. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 193 

There are several institutions of a benevolent 
character connected with the Church in Charles- 
ton, a mention of which seems appropriate here. 
Giving the precedence to age, the first institution 
of the kind deserving notice is the Methodist 
Charitable Society. It was established in the 
year 1808, and incorporated three years after- 
wards, under the following officers : H. P. Wees- 
ner, President; Amos Pillsbury, Vice President; 
William Cruikshanks, Treasurer; Robert Riley, 
Secretary; William McKewn, and Robert Will, 
Stewards. It is based upon the mutual aid prin- 
ciple, and has been in active operation ever since 
its first establishment. None are allowed to be- 
come regular pensioners upon its bounty but 
members or their families, and they cannot be- 
come pensioners until they have been members 
for seven years, or have paid into the treasury 
fees equal to seven years' cost of membership.- 
The constitution allows of donations to aged and 
indigent members of the Methodist Church, with' 
out reference to place, and yearly these silent 
messengers of mercy relieve the sufferings of the 
17 



194 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

needy, both in and out of the city. The entrance 
fee is ten dollars, and its yearly contribution two 
dollars. It has funds invested to the amount of 
nine thousand four hundred dollars, and the an- 
nual average amount distributed is about two 
hundred and fifty dollars. Singular to state, it 
numbers but twenty-three members, and has but 
one regular pensioner. 

Another excellent institution, established on 
the same basis, and also confined to the members 
of the Methodist Church, is the Methodist Fe- 
male Friendly Association. It was founded in 
1810, and incorporated in 1819. It has funds 
invested to the amount of six thousand dollars, 
and its annual charities average about four hun- 
dred dollars. It numbers twenty-six members, 
including five regular pensioners. Though its 
stated benevolence is allowed only to its members, 
the constitution permits donations to any females 
of the Church in indigent circumstances, without 
reference to place. Its officers consist of a Di- 
rectress, Secretary, and three Trustees, who are 
elected annually. One third of all the donations, 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 195 

regular or occasional, are retained to swell the 
capital fund, while the entire interest is expended 
for benevolent purposes. 

Connected with the church of the same name, 
is the Cumberland Benevolent Society, founded 
in 1845, and incorporated in 1847. Its funds 
invested amount to two thousand five hundred 
dollars, and it numbers sixty-five me'mbers, male 
and female.' Qne thousand dollars of its funds 
was the legacy of Mrs. Sarah Hewie, formerly a 
member of Cumberland. Members of the Meth- 
odist Church have the precedence in its benefac- 
tions, but its object is to relieve distress wherever 
found, and it has its regular visiting committees, 
appointed quarterly, to search out cases of suffer- 
ing and want. 

A generous spirit must be accorded to the 
Charleston churches. The rates of living in the 
city are enormous, even at the cheapest; and 
though their white membership is neither lai-ge 
nor wealthy, it has been only very occasionally 
that the churches have failed to meet every de- 
mand necessary for the support of the ministry. 



L96 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

During the. year 1855, the aggregate cost for 
the support of the preachers and their families, 
lighting the churches, and meeting other neces- 
sary expenditures, was over eight thousand dol- 
lars. In addition to this, they paid fifteen hun- 
dred dollars into the Missionary Treasury, two 
hundred and seventy-seven dollars for their Sab- 
bath-schools, one hundred and seventy-one dollars 
to the tract cause, and four hundred dollars to 
the Conference Collection, making the expendi- 
ture of the church for one year amount to more 
than ten thousand dollars. They have ever been 
liberal to the cause of Missions, and on this point 
there has generally existed between the different 
charges a generous rivalry. 

Besides the regular organizations among the 
whites for the collection of missionary money, 
there is a small colored missionary society, which 
usually sends to the Conference one hundred dol- 
lars or more. This society extends to the free 
colored females of Trinity charge. 

Indeed, while upon the subject of giving, it 
should be remarked, that after an observation of 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 197 

years, the writer lias never known a benevolent 
enterprise of any kind to be presented to any one 
of the Methodist churches of the city that did not 
meet a generous response. .Their contributions 
are not the liberal donations of a few wealthy 
ones, but the heart-offerings of the many, includ- 
ing — God bless them — the boys and girls of the 
Church. 

The following is the decennial increase of the 
membership for the period passed through in the 
last two chapters : 

From 1815 to 1825, there was an increase of 
one hundred and twenty-seven whites, making a 
yearly average increase of fourteen. There was 
in the same time a decrease of one thousand three 
hundred and thirty-eight colored. The African 
schism in 1818 carried off four thousand three 
hundred members, so that branch of the member- 
ship recovered surprisingly in seven years. The 
greatest increase in one year among the whites 
was in 1818, when Lewis Myers, Z. Dowling, and 
H. T. Fitzgerald were the preachers, who re- 
ported an increase of seventy-six whites. 
17* 



198 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

From 1825 to 1835, there was an increase of 
only fifteen whites, — the schism of 1834 having 
directly and indirectly caused the loss of over two 
hundred members. Among the colored there 
was an increase of six hundred and ninety-six 
members. 

From 1835 to 1845, there was an increase 
among the whites of five hundred and ninety- 
seven, averaging nineteen members each year. 
The greatest increase during any one year of this 
decade was in 1836, when William Capers, James 
Sewell, J. W- McColl, and W- A. Gamewell 
were the preachers. They reported an increase 
of one hundred and forty-four members — the 
largest increase among the whites ever reported in 
one year since the establishment of the church 
in the city. During these ten years there was an 
increase of four hundred and twenty-five colored. 

From 1845 to 1855, there was an increase of 
one hundred and ninety-two whites, making an 
annual average increase of nineteen members- 
being the same rate of increase as the ten years 
previous. The greatest increase in a year during 




;i\>: ! 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 201 

this decade was in 1846, when an increase of 
ninety-two was reported, Samuel Leard, White- 
foord Smith, Claudius H. Pritchard, and John W. 
Kelly, being the stationed preachers. The larg- 
est increase was at Cumberland and St. James's 
— the one reported an increase of thirty-seven 
members, the other an increase of thirty-nine. 
During these ten years there was an increase of 
four hundred colored. 

The churches now number an aggregate mem- 
bership of eight hundred and thirty-five whites 
and five thousand two hundred and sixty-seven 
colored, with eight Sabbath-schools in active ope- 
ration, numbering one hundred and fifty-seven 
ofiicers and teachers, and four hundred and nine- 
teen whites, and fifteen hundred colored children. 
The above facts are suggestive of many thoughts, 
both sad and pleasing; but I will leave the reader 
to ponder them and make his own observations. 

The congregations at Cumberland, Trinity, and 
Bethel, now worship in spacious, but plain, sub- 
stantial brick buildings, each occupying the sites 
of the original churches named as above. A 



202 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

portion of the St. James congregation have re- 
cently determined to emigrate a few squares from 
the site of the present building. They will now 
soon enter their new building on the corner of 
Coming and Spring streets. When finished it 
will probably be the handsomest Methodist ehurch 
building in the city. 

It will be satisfactory to append a list of all the 
preachers who have been stationed in Charleston, 
with the year of their appointment : 

1785. John Tunnel. 

1786. Henry Willis. Isaac Smith. 

1787. Lemuel Green. 

1788. Ira Ellis, 

1789. No preacher named on the minutes. 

1790. Isaac Smith. 

1791. James Parks. 

1792. Daniel Smith. 

1793. Daniel Smith, Jonathan Jackson. 

1794. Joshua Cannon, Isaac Smith. 

1795. Philip Bruce. 

1796. Benjamin Blanton. 

1797. Benjamin Blanton, J. N. Jones, J. King 



METHODISM TN CHARLESTON. 203 

1798. John N. Jones, Tobias Gibson. 

1799. John Harper, Nicholas Snethen. 

1800. George Dougherty, J. Harper. 

1801. George Dougherty, J. Harper. 

1802. John Garvin, Benjamin Jones. 

1803. Bennet Kendrick, Thomas Darley. 

1804. Bennet Kendrick, Nicholas Watters. 

1805. Buddy W. Wheeler, J. H. Mellard. 

1806. L. Myers, Levi Garrison. 

1807. Jonathan Jackson, William Owen. 

1808. William Phoebus, J. McVean. 

1809. Samuel Mills, William M. Kennedy. 

1810. W. M. Kennedy, T. Mason, It. Nolley. 

1811. Samuel Dunwody, F. Ward, William 
Capers, William S. Talley. 

1812. F. Ward, J. Kumph. 

1813. N. Powers, J. Capers, S. M. Meek. 

1814. S. Dunwody, A. Talley, J. B. Glenn. 

1815. A. Senter, A. Talley, S. K. Hodges. 

1816. J. W Stanley, E. Christopher, James 
O. Andrew. 

1817. Solomon Bryan, W. B. Barnett, W- 
Kennedy, W Williams. 



204 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

1818. L. Myers, A. Talley, H. Bass. 

1819. L. Myers, Z. Bowling, Henry T. Fitz- 
gerald. 

1820. William M. Kennedy, Henry Bass, J. 
Murrow. 

1821. William M. Kennedy, D. Hall, W. 
Kennedy, Asbury Morgans 

1822. James Norton, D. Hall) J. Evans, K. 
Flournoy. 

1823. John Howard, William Hawkins, Thos. 
L. Winn, Elijah Sinclair. 

1824. S. Dunwody, J. Howard, J. Galluchat, 
Sen., S. Olin. 

1825. William Capers, A. P. Manley, sup., 
Benjamin L. Hoskins, S: Olin. 

1826. Wm. Capers, H. Bass, P. N. Maddux. 

1827. J. 0. Andrew, H. Bass, N. Laney. 

1828. J. 0. Andrew, A. Morgan, Benjamin 
L. Hoskins. 

1829. N. Talley, J. Freeman, William H. 
Ellison. 

1830. N. Talley, Thomas L. Winn, William 
M. Wightman. 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 205 

1801. C. Betts, Bond English, W Murrah. 

1832. William Capers, William Cook, Thomas 
E. Ledbetter, William Murrah. 

1833. William Capers, J. Holmes, H. A. C. 
Walker, Reddick Pierce, (to change after three 
months with J. K. Morse.) 

1834. William M. Kennedy, William Martin, 
G. F. Pierce. 

1835. William M. Kennedy, William Martin, 
J. J. Allison, W- A. Gramewell. 

1836. William Capers. J. Sewell, J. W Me- 
Coll, W. A. Gamewell. 

1837. B. English, J. Sewell, J. N. Davis, 
James W. Welborn. 

1838. B. English, J. E. Evans, Samuel Arm- 
strong. 

1839. N. Talley, J. E. Evans, W. Capers, P. 
A. M. Williams. 

1840. N. Talley, H. A. C. Walker, White- 
foord Smith. 

1841. B. English, J. Sewell, J. Stacy, T. 
Hutchings, city missionary. 

1842. B. English, H. Spain, A. M. Shipp. 
18 



206 METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 

1843. Cumberland, W. 0. Kirkland; Trinity, 
James Stacy; Bethel, B. Bass; St. James, J. 
Nipper. 

1844. Cumberland, S. W. Capers; Trinity, 
J. Stacy; Bethel, William C. Kirkland; St. 
James, J. A. Porter. 

1845. Cumberland, S. W. Capers; Trinity, 
T. Huggins; Bethel, C. H. Pritchard; St. James, 
D. Derrick. 

1846. Cumberland, S. Leard; Trinity, W. 
Smith; Bethel, C H. Pritchard; St. James, J. 
W. Kelly. 

1847. Cumberland, A. M. Forster; Trinity, 
Whitefoord Smith; Bethel, W. P. Mouzon; St. 
James, M. Eaddy. 

1848. Cumberland, W. Smith ; Trinity, sup- 
plied by Alexander Speer, local preacher of Geor- 
gia ; Bethel, W. P. Mouzon ; St. James, William 
T. Capers. 

1849. Cumberland, W- Smith ; Trinity, C. H. 
Pritchard; Bethel, J. A. Porter; St. James, A. 
G. Stacy. 

1850. Cumberland, William Gr. Conner; Trin- 



METHODISM IN CHARLESTON. 207 

ity, James Stacy ; Bethel, Henry M. Mood ; St. 
James, A. Gr. Stacy. 

1851. Cumberland, W A. Gramewell; Trin- 
ity, W. A. McSwain ; Bethel, C. H. Pritchard ; 
St. James, J. R. Pickett. 

1852. Cumberland, W. Smith; Trinity, W. 
A. McSwain; Bethel, C. H. Pritchard; St. James, 
John B.. Pickett. 

1853. Cumberland, W. Smith, sup., .John T. 
Wightman ; Trinity, C. H. Pritchard ; Bethel, 
Joseph Cross; St. James, Allen McCorquodale. 

1854. Cumberland, John. T. Wightman, W. 
Smith, sup.; Trinity, H. C. Parsons; Bethel, J. 
Cross; St. James, A. McCorquodale. 

1855. Cumberland, S. Leard; Trinity, J. 
Cross; Bethel, J. T. Wightman; St. James, 
William E. Boone. 

1856. Cumberland, W P. Mouzon ; Trinity, 
Joseph Cross; Bethel, John T. Wightman, St. 
James, William E. Boone. 

THE END.