Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of early Methodism in Texas [microform]"

See other formats


U^ of Cbica^o 






= OF 


I ' = 

1 1817-1866 I 



I I 

I I 



1 'H 



i i 






i i 





_ - - = 

1 I 





Copyright, 1924, 








THE writer of the following chapters first became in- 
terested in the subject of which they treat in 1917, when 
some sporadic efforts were made to celebrate the cen- 
tenary of Methodism in Texas. A plan was formulated 
by a MstoriMl -committee, organised at Dallas, whifch pro- 
vided that each pastor should collect and have re-corded 
in his church conference minutes the history of his 'own 
local church ; each presiding elder should collect and put 
upon his district conference minutes the history of his 
district ; and the secretary of each annual conference was 
requested to collect and place iii Ms records the history 
of his conference. The plan was an admirable one ; but, 
lifee all previous plans set on foot for collecting and pre- 
serving our history, it met with but little response. The 
writer was then on the Vernon district, Northwest Texas 
Conference. With no interest whatever in the subject, 
but recognizing the value *>f the plan, he undertook to 
follow it out. He discovered that the history of the 
Vernon district was for many years the history of the 
whole of Panhandle Methodism, and in tracing it out he 
became deeply interested in the research. His investiga- 
tions led him into other sections of Texas, an-d at length 
he opened up correspondence with some of the older men 
of the Church, with 'a view of arranging for some con- 
certed effort toward the preparation of a complete his- 
tory of Methodism in Texas. He found very little inter- 
est in the subject and but little encouragement, further 
than the general response that "it ought to be done." 



Led, then, only by his own growing interest in the sub- 
ject, the writer set out to make at least a beginning in 
this field. The present volume is offered as that begin- 

The materials covering the early period of our history 
have been gathered from various sources. In the summer 
of 1918 the writer came into possession of the collection 
of books and papers left by Oscar M. Addison, one of 
our pioneer preachers, and a man of decided literary 
and antiquarian habits. A voluminous correspondence 
carried on with the preachers and others of his day, cov- 
ering a period of fifty years from about 1839, and all of 
which had been preserved, formed the most valuable part 
of this collection from a historical viewpoint. A liberal 
use has been made of these old letters and miscellaneous 
records in the present volume. 

All of the old files of the Texas Christian Advocate 
now in existence have been examined, page by page, and 
almost item by item, and these have been drawn upon 
to a very considerable extent. Eeferences are made to 
this source from time to time in the following pages, and 
for the sake of brevity usually the initials only of this 
periodical (T C A) are used. 

The Eev. E. L. Shettles, of the Texas Conference, a 
book collector of the widest knowledge and activities, has 
been the writer's most helpful advisor in the field of 
literature bearing upon Texas Methodist history, and he 
has been generous beyond words in supplying much rare 
material needed in preparing this volume. 

The writer, and all future writers on Texas Methodist 
history, must acknowledge a debt to the "History of 
Methodism in Texas," by Homer S. Thrall, D.D., first 
published in brief form in 1872, and in a somewhat larger 
edition in 1889. The greatest fault of this work is its 
brevity. Thrall lived through most of the early period 
of our history, and he had peculiar advantages in per- 
sonally knowing all the important persons and facts of 


those days, and he might have collected a vast storehouse 
of historical material. But in his book he gives us only 
the outlines of this great period. His collection of ma- 
terials was evidently far from complete, as he was much 
given to devoting pages to unimportant details, and para- 
graphs, or only sentences, to more important events. He 
was careless, or poorly informed, in the statement of 
many facts and dates. But let it be said to his everlast- 
ing credit that he wrote and published much of what he 
knew of contemporaneous Methodist history, which but 
few of the makers of our history have done. The present 
writer gladly acknowledges his debt to this pioneer 
volume, and due credit is given herein when use is made 
of it. 

The selection and arrangement of the materials which 
he has been able to command has been made according 
to the writer's own plan. The most painstaking regard 
for facts and figures, for names and dates, has been exer- 
cised, but prominence has been given to the human side 
of the story; and the purpose has been to make this book 
something more than a mere transcript of conference 
minutes. The conditions political, natural and moral 
under which the Church was planted in Texas, the prob- 
lems and struggles of our pioneers, stories of their 
failures and of their triumphs all these are given a 
large place in this record. So far as possible the author 
has let the makers of our history speak for themselves 
and in their own way. This method he has thought adds 
to the interest of the subject in hand, and besides, he 
has felt that when our pioneers have written on matters 
of present historical interest, they are entitled to be 
heard, rather than some one else who might give only his 
version of their report. 

The time and labor involved in sorting and comparing 
and organizing the materials in hand have been such 
as only those who have done similar work can appreciate. 
It looks simple and easy enough after it is finished. 


The field is a large one, and the present volume by no 
means pretends to exhaust it. And after all these years 
of unremitting search for facts, and after all the care 
exercised in their use, the writer admits it as possible 
that some future historian, more expert in these matters, 
may give the present work a "going over" and be able 
to point out numerous omissions and faults. 

May 1, 1924. 









THE YEAR 1838 93 

THE YEAR 1839 103 


THE YEAR 1840 125 




TEXAS IN 1840 156 


THE YEAR 1841-1842 194 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 206 


THE YEAR 1845-1846 238 

THE YEAR 1846 259 


v "-'"!^ 

1850 276 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 294 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 319 


THE YEARS 1853-1854 346 

THE YEARS 1854-1857 376 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 416 


THE YEARS 1860-1866 459 

INDEX 501 





IT was not until after the Louisiana purchase in 1803, 
whereby the United States suddenly expanded and be- 
came the big next-door neighbor of the Spanish territory 
on the southwest, that the wide domain called Texas 
began to slowly emerge from its long obscurity. On an 
old map of North America, published in the United States 
near the beginning of the last century, the name Texas 
appears in the neighborhood of the present common- 
wealth of that name, but the scant features of the country 
which are shown were evidently filled in by the imagina- 
tion of the geographer. Before the period of American 
expansion, and the coming of the first American adven- 
turers and prospectors, the history of Texas is a long 
dreary story of neglect and failure on the part of its 
Spanish claimant. Some efforts had been made by 
|j Spanish ecclesiastics to subdue and christianize the native 
|| Indian population. Missions were established at an early 
f| day, and about these had gathered small communities of 
ft soldiers and settlers. But the first American visitors 
;| found but three of these settlements in Texas ; namely, 
: 1 Nacogdoches in the east, first settled in 1716, restored in 
i;;|1779 as an outpost against French aggression from 
I I Louisiana; LaBahia (Goliad) in the southwest, founded 


in 1749 ; and San Antonio de Bexar, founded in 1718. The 
"Old San Antonio Road," running from the Eio Grande 
to Nacogdoches, which became a landmark in the sub- 
sequent development of the country, had been marked 
out. On the wide coastal expanse, fronting on a busy 
world of migration and trade, not a permanent settle- 
ment had been made, and no commercial ships ever put 
in to the Texas shores. 

It was only, then, after American influence had begun 
to be felt that Texas history has any interest for us, for 
it is among the first American settlers that we shall find 
the beginnings of the special history which we have set 
out to trace. In 1800 the population of the United States 
had passed the five million mark. The energetic and 
restless frontiersmen already wanted more elbow room, 
and they were pressing upon the Mississippi and looking 
with longing eyes upon the vast unexplored regions be- 
yond. The immediate demand was not so much for more 
land, however, as for unrestricted use of the great river 
whose outlet was in the hands of a foreign, power. Spain, 
which had held the Louisiana territory since 1762, had 
begun to feel the pressure of the American prospector, 
and in 1800 retroceded Louisiana to France, with the 
stipulation that it should not be transferred to any other 
power. Formal delivery of possession to France was 
delayed until 1803, and only twenty days after France 
had come into possession, Napoleon sold the vast ter- 
ritory to the United States, over bitter protest from 
Spain. The Spanish forces, which had not yet been with- 
drawn from the lower Mississippi, sullenly retreated 
westward only under the steady pressure of the advanc- 
ing American. 

A long-standing dispute between France and Spain 
over the boundary between the Louisiana territory and 
the Spanish claims on the west was inherited by the 
United States when Louisiana was acquired. France 
had contended that her territory extended to the Rio 


Grande, and on the basis of this claim American forces 
were set in motion, soon after the Louisiana purchase, 
toward Texas. Troops of the opposing Spanish claimant 
were encountered near the Sabine, and a clash seemed 
imminent. Bloodshed was averted by an agreement 
reached between the respective commanders to set aside 
a "neutral ground," to be occupied by neither side until 
the boundary question should be settled. Negotiations 
over this boundary dispute dragged on for years. Mean- 
while all the territory adjacent to Texas was being 
rapidly settled up. Louisiana was admitted as a state 
in 1812. Arkansas territory was set off, and the Indian 
territory set aside as a reservation for the Cherokee and 
other Indian tribes. Indians and white settlers crossed 
over Eed River from the north and established them- 
selves in Texas, on the assumption that they were still 
on American soil, as the United States claimed Eed River 
and its watershed on both sides. The Neutral Ground 
on the east became a refuge for many lawless characters 
from the States and a rallying ground for various ex- 
peditions into Texas. The Spaniards were again and 
on their last frontier feeling the weight of the American 

In 1819 the historic treaty was concluded with Spain, 
by which the United States acquired Florida, but con- 
ceded much to Spain in the west, relinquishing all claims 
west of the Sabine. In the meantime the Mexican prov- 
inces had revolted against the mother country, the first 
blow having been struck for independence in 1810. In 
1821 the Spanish power was finally overthrown in Mexico 
and Texas, being succeeded first by the short-lived 
"empire" of Iturbide, and in 1824 by the constitutional 
republic of Mexico. The newly acquired independence 
of the country, and the reports of the natural resources 
of Texas disseminated by returned adventurers, awak- 
ened a lively interest in the province in many portions 
of the United States. 


Moses Austin, a Missourian, who had gained conces- 
sions in that portion of Louisiana territory in 1798, while 
it was yet under Spanish rule, was attracted to Texas 
in 1820. He succeeded in obtaining from the tottering 
Spanish government the privilege of settling in Texas 
as many as three hundred American families. Austin 
died in 1821, but before his death committed to his son, 
Stephen F. Austin, the task of completing the enterprise. 
Despite the long and toilsome journeys required and the 
untold hardships endured by the immigrants, to say 
nothing of the difficulties which Austin himself encoun* 
tered in having his grant confirmed by the new govern- 
ment which had succeeded to power, the colony was 
established by the year 1825, the locality selected lying 
below the San Antonio Eoad, and "on the waters of the 
Brazos and Colorado." The first of these American 
settlers located on the Brazos, in what is now Washing- 
ton County. Austin's success in this undertaking led him 
to secure other grants, which provided for the settlement 
of twelve hundred additional families. The Mexican 
government opened wide the doors to American immigra- 
tion, and passed colonization laws providing liberal land 
grants to the new settlers, and special grants to the 
"empresarios," or promoters, who should fill their 
colonies. Under these inducements there were by 1830 
as many as fourteen colonization grants in course of 
settlement, and almost the whole of southern, central 
and eastern Texas had been allotted in claims. Many of 
these contracts were only partly filled; some were can- 
celled or abandoned entirely, while only a few of them 
were carried to complete success. These new settlers 
came mainly from various portions of the United States, 
as the empresarios advertised widely for their recruits ; 
but the Southern States contributed the largest part of 
the inflow. One or two colonies were partly or wholly 
settled by native Mexicans, while one contract was en- 
tirely filled by Irish immigrants, whence comes the name 


San Patricio the Spanish form of St. Patrick County. 
Besides the population settled under the colonial grants, 
there were numerous independent settlers in eastern and 
northeastern Texas, and many families intended for the 
colonies stopped nearer the border, or turned aside and 
settled elsewhere. This great southwestern drift had 
planted in Texas by the year 1835 between twenty-five 
and thirty thousand Americans. 1 

As to the character and condition of these first 
settlers of Texas, they were a mixed multitude, brought 
together from nearly every state in the Union, and from 
every condition of life. There were many adventurers 
and camp-followers, as well as an element who had left the 
' ' States ' ' to escape a criminal or an unsavory reputation. 
There were professional men doctors, lawyers, a few 
teachers and preachers ; there were a few sof t-souled 
dreamers and idlers, who were soon lost in the wilder- 
ness; there were families of gentle breeding and man- 
ners, of education and religion, who readily and cheer- 
fully adapted themselves to the raw conditions of this 
far frontier. By far the largest element in the new 
population consisted of honest and industrious planters, 
who took life seriously, and who had sought a home here 
in order to better their condition, those who had been 
slave-holders in the States bringing their slaves with 
them. 2 And those who had been mechanics, or of other 
trades, at home here adopted the occupation of farming 
or stock-raising, as land was the one thing which all could 
easily possess. 

Mrs. Mary Austin Holly, one of the early settlers, 
and an early historian of Texas a relative she was of 
the first empresario reports in 1835 that there existed 
a " town-building mania" something which survives 

1 School History of Texas, Barker, Potts and Eamsdell, p. 71. 

2 ' ' From the beginning of American immigration into Texas, settle- 
ment and slavery went hand in hand. The Mexican government abolished 
slavery throughout the Mexican states in 1829, but Texas was soon after, 
at the request of Stephen F. Austin, exempted from the decree." Art. 
S-W Historical Quarterly, XVIII, 42. 


with unabated ardor to this day. At the time of the pub- 
lication of her work the following towns had been settled, 
or projected these in addition to the old Spanish settle- 
ments, Nacogdoches, Goliad and San Antonio, already 
noticed: San Felipe de Austin, Brazoria, Columbia, 
Anahuac, Gonzales, Bastrop, Bolivar, Matagorda, Wash- 
ington, New Washington, Harrisburg, Galveston, 
Velasco, Victoria, Liberty, Lynchburg, and Houston. 
"Houston contains between three and four hundred 
building lots, and a large quantity of out-land, ' ' says the 

We are, of course, here chiefly concerned in ascertain- 
ing as far as possible the state of religion and morals 
among this early people. If we accept the views of the 
narrator just quoted, conditions in this regard were al- 
most ideal. Her idyllic descriptions of the country and 
people are charming to the imagination, but one is led to 
suspect from a perusal of her work that it was intended 
mainly as a piece of advertising literature on Texas for 
circulation in the States. Texas, she says, had been 
peopled by "the active and enterprising New Englander, 
the bold and hardy Western hunter, and the high-spirited 
Southern planter. " Their first homes here in the wilder- 
ness were built "on the cottage style"; the man with a 
rifle out after a turkey or deer for his dinner was always 
"leatherstocking." She knows much of the class of 
women who rode "fifty miles to a ball, with their silk 
dresses in their saddle-bags, " but her acquaintance with 
the calico-clad element, who were often put to it to sub- 
sist at all, seemed to be slight. For this happy, prosper- 
ous and free people their religion was appropriately of 
the same free and romantic sort, according to our author. 
Says she : 3 

Texas was not, like New England, settled by Puritans, flying 
from persecution. It was, however, settled by men who know the 

s Mrs. Holly's " Texas," 1835, pp. 176, 177. 


value of freedom of conscience, as well as of civil liberty. They 
accepted lands from the Mexican government on condition of 
becoming nominal Catholics . . . and though not Romans, they 
were so far Catholic as not to contend for points of faith, and 
had sense enough not to quarrel about forms and technics. The 
introduction of protestant preachers was contrary to law, and 
had it not been so the contests of sectarians would have de- 
stroyed the country. Hence all have been silent on the subject 
of religion, and there is not to this day a church in the colonies. 
Some have objected to Texas it is no place for them there 
is no religion there. "With their bibles in their hands, can they 
not carry their religion in their hearts and act it out in their 
lives, where there are none to molest or make them afraid? Can 
they be insensible to the profusion of good things which heaven, 
as by a miracle spreads out before them to the beautiful visions 
and the still voice, which cries, Eise, Peter ; kill and eat ? 

Mrs. Holly, it is said, was a Unitarian in faith. At 
any rate it is certain that, whatever use her volume 
served in inducing people in the States to seek a home 
here, hers was not a true portrayal of religious conditions 
and needs in Texas at that day. But, fortunately for 
Texas, there were other voices raised in the colonies, and 
other views published abroad, to which consideration will 
be given in due time. 

By the terms of the colonization laws of Mexico, all 
settlers were required to profess allegiance to the Eoman 
Catholic faith. An interesting reminiscence touching upon 
this point, as well as illustrating the living conditions of 
some of the colonists, is here given in part. 4 

We landed at Harrisburg, which consisted at that time of 
about five or six log houses, on the 3d of April, 1831. Captain 
Harris had a sawmill, and there was a store or two, I believe. 
Here we remained five weeks, while Pordtran went ahead of us 
and selected a league of land. "While on our way to our new 
home, we stayed at San Felipe for several days at Whiteside's 

* From the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Assn., II, 227, 
translated from the German of Caroline von Hinueber by Eudolph Kleburg, 


tavern. The court house was about a mile out of town, and 
here E. M. Williamson, who was then the alcalde, had his office. 
. . . S. F. Austin was in Mexico at the time, and Sam Williams 
his private secretary, gave my father a title to land which he 
had originally picked out for himself. My father had to kiss 
the Bible and promise, as soon as the priest should arrive, to 
become a Catholic. 

After we had lived on Fordtran's place six months, we moved 
into our own house. This was a miserable little hut, covered 
with straw, and having six sides, which were made out of moss. 
The roof was by no means waterproof, and we often held an 
umbrella over our bed when it rained at night, while cows came 
and ate the moss. Of course we suffered a great deal in winter. 
My father tried to build a chimney and fireplace out of logs and 
clay, but we were afraid to light a fire because of the extreme 
combustibility of our dwelling. So we had to shiver. No one 
can imagine what a degree of want there was of the merest 
necessities, and it is difficult for me now to understand how we 
managed to live and get along under the circumstances. We 
were really better supplied than our neighbors with household 
and farm utensils, but they knew better how to help themselves. 
Sutherland used his razor for cutting kindling, killing pigs, and 
cutting leather for moccasins. My mother was once called to 
a neighbor's house, five miles from us, because one of the little 
children was very sick. My mother slept on a deer skin, without 
a pillow, on the floor. In the morning the lady of the house 
poured water over my mother's hands, and told her to dry her 
face on her bonnet. 

At first we had very little to eat. We ate nothing but corn 
bread. ... At first we grated our corn, until father hollowed 
out a log and we ground it as in a mortar. We had no cooking 
stove, of course, and baked our bread in the only skillet we 
possessed. . . . The nearest mill was thirty miles off. 

The country was very thinly settled. Our three neighbors 
lived in a radius of seven miles. San Felipe was twenty-eight 
miles off, and there were about two houses on the road thither. . . . 

We lived in our doorless and windowless six-cornered pavilion 
about three years. 

One section of the colonization laws of Mexico, under 


which the earlier settlements in Texas were made, con- 
tained provision for "a competent number of pastors" 
for the new settlements ; but it appears from the fact that 
the first colonials were exempted from taxation for a 
period of six years, an empty treasury at the seat of gov- 
ernment did not permit of a plentiful supply of "pastors" 
in Texas. And with scarcely no priestly oversight, it 
turned out that the Catholic faith was but slightly 
observed among the American settlers in Texas, or not 
observed at all except in compliance with necessary forms 
of law in perfecting land titles and in other legal trans- 
actions. "In the spring of 1831," we are told, 5 "Padre 
Michael Muldoon was sent to Texas to initiate the gen- 
erally heretical colonists into the Sacraments of the 
Eoman Catholic Apostolic Church. He was a jovial, 
good-hearted Irishman. He baptized and remarried such 
families as assented to the duplicate ceremonies, and 
such as would not, he kindly let alone. No coercion was 
used, except the withholding his official certificate, which 
was indispensable to obtaining any extra concession of 
land. The prescribed headrights were granted irrespec- 
tive of, or rather without inquiry into, his priestly min- 
istrations. We know of one gentleman with a family who 
declined his supererogatory services, on the ground of a 
precedent administration; but, by doing so, he failed to 
obtain an augmentation of some five or ten leagues to 
which he was entitled by the usage in those early times, 
for a costly improvement then in process of completion." 
The following extract, taken from a contemporary 
source, may be inserted here to throw more light upon 
the religious and educational conditions which sur- 
rounded the early Texans : * 

Of our educational advantages I cannot boast. Mexico has 
recently passed two laws: one that a school shall be established 

o Article on "Early History of Texas," Texas Almanac, 1859. 
From a letter written in 1830, given in Pennybacker 'B History of 


in each division of each State; the other that children shall be 
taught reading, arithmetic, Roman Catholic religion and a cate- 
chism of all the arts and sciences. These laws amount to nothing. 
We really have no system of education. A few excellent private 
schools exist. As the country becomes more thickly settled these 
will increase. 

Last week we had the pleasure of entertaining for the night 
Mr. T. J. Pilgrim, who about a year ago came out to Texas from 
New York. After many adventures he reached San Felipe de 
Austin, and was most kindly received by the great empresario, 
Austin. He at once opened a school, and soon had forty pupils, 
the most of whom were boys. . . . Mr. Pilgrim also organized a 
Sunday school, and this, too, was a great success until some 
trouble arose between a few of the settlers and some Mexicans; 
the Mexicans, much out of humor, came to San Felipe to settle 
the matter, and Austin fearing they would report to the authori- 
ties that he was violating the law (for, you probably know, we 
are not by law allowed to teach or believe the Protestant religion, 
though really I don't believe the officers care), thought best to 
close the Sunday school. 

How often do we attend church? Don't be too shocked when 
I tell you we heard our last sermon in Virginia. If we wanted 
to go to church ever so much we could find in this part of Texas 
no church and no minister. I have heard that in other portions 
of the country a few preachers, in spite of the laws, do live and 
hold services ; but we have not even a Catholic church anywhere 
near us. Sunday is spent by most Texans in hunting, fishing, 
and breaking wild horses. All elections are held on Sunday. 
Some of us, however, observe the Sabbath, and try to live as if 
we were still in Virginia. 

Evidences will multiply as we proceed that the re- 
ligious and educational advantages of the Texan pioneers 
were of the most limited sort, reaching the point of entire 
destitution in all but a few local instances. The govern- 
ment was over-generous in offering wild land, which cost 
it nothing, to new settlers; but for the rest they could 
shift for themselves. Protestant worship was forbidden 
in the colonies by the terms of the same law which re- 


quired the observance of the Catholic faith. The general 
result was, that no public religious services of any sort 
were held, though there were occasional neighborhood 
gatherings for such purposes at private houses. And 
the Texas colonial settlements present the unique in- 
stance perhaps in the history of the English race, of a 
population of thousands gathered in a new country to 
make their home, and not a church building or a " meet- 
ing house " for public worship among them. The efforts 
at repression of all Protestant preaching and practice 
were not entirely successful, as we shall see ; but the fact 
that it was under the ban gave it a sort of "smuggled" 
character, and made it the more precious for all that to 
the few who enjoyed it. But the masses of the people, 
deprived of all the privileges and restraining influences 
of public worship, and in the freedom and excitement of 
subduing a new country, drifted into a state of religious 
indifference and moral carelessness. 

But there was a vital leaven at work even then, which 
came in with the tide of immigration, and which could 
not be wholly destroyed, and we turn now to consider 
for our part the Methodist elements and activities among 
the first settlers of Texas. 



THE first American settlements in the province of 
Texas were made in three distinct localities ; namely, in 
the Eed River section of the northeast; in the " Red- 
lands ' ' of the eastern portion ; and in the colonial grants, 
located in south-central Texas. It is in these regions, 
therefore, that we hear of the first activities of the 
Methodist preacher. Speaking in ecclesiastical terms, 
we shall find that it was within the bounds of the present 
Paris district, North Texas Conference, and in the 
Nacogdoches and Brenham districts of the Texas Con- 
ference that the first preaching and organization of our 
Church in this state occurred. The earliest of all these 
settlements was made in the Red River section, and to 
this region we must look for the first Methodist preach- 
ing on what is now Texas soil. 

The first settlers on this side of Red River made their 
appearance there about 1815, before the boundary line 
between American and Spanish territory had been de- 
fined. It had not yet been determined which fork of the 
river Red River proper or Sulphur Fork was the main 
stream, and as the United States claimed "all the Red 
River water-shed on both sides" these pioneers from 
the States assumed that they were still safely within the 
bounds of their native country. 

The first preacher of any denomination to visit these 
remote settlements was undoubtedly William Stevenson. 
It has been stated that Stevenson preached on this side 



of Eed Eiver as early as 1815, "at the house of a Mr. 
Wright, who had recently moved out from Smith County, 
Tennessee." 1 This visit must be placed a year or two 
later. The records of the Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, 
and Mississippi Conferences furnish us with a fairly com- 
plete history of Stevenson's ministerial career. He was 
admitted on trial into the Tennessee Conference, held 
late in October, 1815, in Wilson County, Tenn., about 
twenty-five miles east of Nashville. His first appoint- 
ment was Bellevue circuit, in what was then the Missouri 
district (all of this territory at that time being included 
in the Tennessee Conference), Bellevue being located in 
Washington County, Missouri. All the available data on 
Stevenson's life show that he had lived east of the Missis- 
sippi Eiver up to the time of entering upon his first 
appointment. It is seen to be out of the question, there- 
fore, to suppose that he could have appeared on Eed 
Eiver in 1815. In 1816 the Missouri Conference was 
created, embracing all of Arkansas. Two circuits were 
laid out in Arkansas, one of which was the Hot Springs 
circuit, embracing all the territory lying south of 
Arkansas Eiver. On this circuit, at the Missouri Con- 
ference in the fall of 1816, William Stevenson was placed, 
and he was reappointed to the same circuit in the fall 
of 1817. From certain biographical notes we learn that 
Stevenson settled in Hempstead County, in southwestern 
Arkansas, about 1816, and he lived here for about ten 
years, and the conference minutes show his name in con- 
nection with circuits and districts in this region through 
all these years. These facts furnish a substantial sup- 
port, therefore, for some accounts of Stevenson 's preach- 
ing on this side of Eed Eiver as early as 1817 and through 
subsequent years. 

The main point of entry into Texas in those days was 
known as Jonesboro, situated on this side of Eed Eiver. 
Many of the early settlers about that point unite in the 

i Thrall, History of Methodism in Texas, p. 20. 


testimony that a Methodist class was formed in Jones- 
boro in 1817, antedating by several years any other 
Protestant organization on Texas soil. How long the 
Jonesboro society existed, or who composed it, there are 
no known records in existence to show. 2 It has been quite 
generally stated by Thrall, Dr. McLean and Andrew 
Davis that the leader of this class was named Tidwell, 
a name associated with one of the early families of Jones- 
boro which gave us a Methodist preacher by the name 
of Andrew Davis. Andrew Davis was born at Jones- 
boro, the son of Daniel Davis by a second marriage. 
Daniel Davis settled at Jonesboro in 1818 with a first 
wife, whose name was Tidwell. Our Jonesboro class- 
leader, then, was probably a brother or other near rela- 
tive of the first wife of Daniel Davis. 

Jonesboro nowhere appears in the minutes of the con- 
ferences of that day, and as the name soon dropped out 
of use there is some uncertainty as to the exact location 
of the place. Andrew Davis, a native of the village, says 
that the place now called Pecan Point on Bed Eiver was 
the old Jonesboro of his nativity. He ought to know. 
But others, among whom were the McKenzie's, who came 
in a later day to that region, say that the present village 
of Davenport on Red River is the successor of Jones- 
boro. The Methodists of that country should settle this 
question, and mark the spot. 

Pecan Point whether the same as the present Pecan 
Point on Red River we do not know appears in the 
minutes in 1818. In that year the following appoint- 
ments were made : Black River district, William Steven- 
son, presiding elder; Hot Springs circuit, Washington 

2 Our knowledge of this Jonesboro society and of the date of its organi- 
zation is furnished mainly by James Graham, an early day preacher. Dr. 
John H. McLean informed the writer that he had known Graham; that he 
had such information from him, and had been in possession of Graham's 
papers and letters until they were turned over to Thrall. A letter to the 
writer from John T. MeKenzie, of Clarksville, says that he himself had the 
fact and the circumstance of the Jonesboro class from an old lady who 
was one of the first settlers of the place. 


Orr ; Mount Prairie and Pecan Point, William Stevenson 
and James Lowrey. In 1819 we have : Black River dis- 
trict, William Stevenson, P. E. ; Arkansas circuit, Wash- 
ington Orr; Mt. Prairie, Wm. Stevenson; Pecan Point, 
Thomas Tennant. In 1820: Arkansas district, Wm. 
Stevenson, P. E. ; Pecan Point, Washington Orr; Hot 
Springs circuit, Henry Stephenson. So, besides Steven- 
son, other preachers who labored through this early 
period in this region were Henry Stephenson, Washing- 
ton Orr, James Lowrey and Thomas Tennant. Of the 
last two we know nothing. Of Henry Stephenson we 
shall have much to say hereafter. Washington Orr was 
a useful preacher in this section from 1818 to 1823, when 
he located and removed to Missouri, where he. died in 
1853. A brother, Green Orr, was one of the first settlers 
on this side of Bed Eiver, and for twenty years he labored 
in that country as a local preacher. He subsequently 
removed to Indianola, on Matagorda Bay, where he died. 
William Stevenson, the forerunner and leader of this 
early company of Methodist preachers who labored in 
southwestern Arkansas and northeastern Texas, was not 
only the first preacher to enter Texas, but he was the 
first regular itinerant to enter and preach in Arkansas 
as well. 4 He was the pathfinder for all the southwestern 
frontier of Methodism. Born in a frontier settlement of 
South Carolina in 1768, his long life of eighty-nine years 
was spent along the outposts of settlement and civiliza- 
tion in the west and southwest. His parents belonged to 
the Presbyterian Church, in which he was baptized in 
infancy. At the age of twenty-four he removed to 
Tennessee. Here he was converted, at the age of thirty- 
two, joined the Methodists, and soon thereafter was 
licensed to preach. He labored as a local preacher with 
a good degree of success in the great revival which 
spread over Tennessee, Kentucky, and other regions dur- 
ing the early years of the last century. As we have seen 

* Jewell's History of Methodism in Arkansas. 


he was admitted on trial at the session of the Tennessee 
Conference in October, 1815, and sent at once into the 
wilds beyond the Mississippi. We have already given 
some account of his labors during the years following his 
settlement in Arkansas. In 1820 he was elected a mem- 
ber of the first Arkansas territorial legislature, and was 
chosen speaker of the house, but this office he resigned on 
account of indisposition. 5 

About the year 1826 Jesse Haile came on the Arkan- 
sas district as presiding elder. He was an ultra-aboli- 
tionist on the slavery question, and sought literally, and 
sometimes harshly, to enforce the rule then standing in 
the Discipline making a slave owner ineligible to hold 
official position in the Church, and requiring traveling 
preachers who might come into possession of slaves to 
emancipate them, or forfeit their ministerial standing. 
Haile 's outspoken views and his administration of the 
Discipline on this point produced much excitement and 
resentment in the church, and as a conseqiience many 
substantial Methodist families removed from this ter- 
ritory into northwestern Louisiana. Among them came 
William Stevenson and Henry Stephenson, though these 
preachers did not own slaves, and were not themselves 
victims of the "Haile storm," as this disturbance was 
long afterwards called. 6 This new community of Metho- 
dists, now living within the bounds of the Mississippi 
Conference, was soon afterwards visited by a presiding 
elder and a traveling preacher in connection with that 
conference ; a camp meeting was held, a new circuit was 
formed, called Nachitoches circuit, and William Steven- 
son placed in charge. The following year Stevenson 
transferred his membership from the Missouri to the 
Mississippi Conference, and he continued his relation 
to that conference until the creation of the Louisiana 
Conference in 1846, when his membership fell into that 

5 Jewell, History of Methodism in Arkansas. 

e J. G. Jones, History of Methodism in Mississippi, II, p. 110. 


received the impress of Ms ministry before entering 
Texas. Stevenson is described by a fellow-laborer in the 
Mississippi Conference 7 as " a small man, compactly 
built, lithe and active, and capable of great endurance; 
with rather a small face, long nose, and a natural or acci- 
dental defect in the upper lid of one eye, by which the 
ball was about half obscured, which gave him, when quiet, 
a sleepy appearance. When in a state of repose there 
was nothing in his countenance to indicate his superior 
intellectuality but the luster of his quick, flashing and 
penetrating eye. He had not the shadow of a doubt as 
to the truth of the glorious and awful doctrines of the 
gospel, and he preached in view of the final results of 
the gospel scheme both to those who received it and those 
who rejected it. In all his public exercises he was short 
and direct. In his prayers, exhortations and sermons 
there was nothing redundant on the one hand, while on 
the other there was no deficiency. The most listless and 
captious hearers could not justly complain at the length 
of his prayers or sermons, and they could not be unin- 
terested. He was a sharp-shooter, and everybody was 
apt to be hit somewhere who came within the range of 
his gospel missiles. He was in the proper sense a re- 
vivalist. He was, with his excellent wife, industrious 
and economical in his domestic affairs, and always 
seemed to have a comfortable living; but devoting him- 
self so exclusively to the work of the ministry, mostly in 
new countries, he passed through his long life with but 
little property. ' ' 

Dismissing then our honored brother, except for a 
few incidental references, we return to consider another 
matter or two bearing upon Methodist foundations in 
northeastern Texas. The work in this region was for 
many years until 1844 in fact a remote extension of 
Arkansas Methodism, and beyond a few items which may 
be gathered from the conference minutes the records 

7 J. G. Jones, History of Methodism in Mississippi, II, p. 156. 


covering this period are extremely meager. In addition 
to the preaching and organization at Jonesboro, we are 
told that "in 1817 William Stevenson and Henry 
Stephenson preached on Sulphur Fork of Bed Eiver," 
and that preaching was afterwards kept up there. 8 But 
several years elapsed before the efforts of the first 
preachers in this rude wilderness appear to have yielded 
permanent results. The sparseness and roving disposi- 
tion of the population, their freedom from legal restraint, 
together with the natural difficulties of the country, 
united to make this an unhopeful field. ' * Jonesboro was 
a hard place," writes John T. McKenzie, 9 "and its citi- 
zens were the same. In talking with an old lady who 
lived there for several years, and who was well ac- 
quainted with the old settlers of that community who 
have long since 'passed over the river/ she informed me 
that they told the preacher he must come back no more 
to preach, and if he did they would nail him up in a barrel 
and throw him into the river." 

Besides the difficulties already noted, the Indian was 
then in the land, and the frequent incursions of the wilder 
tribes from the west made permanent settlement and a 
stable society a matter for future years. Andrew Davis, 
who was born at Jonesboro in 1827, and who spent 'his 
youth in that region, says in his autobiographical 
sketches : 10 

My father came to Northern Texas and settled in Jonesboro 
in 1818. The settlers were few in number, and like all new 
countries, in a wholly unorganized condition, which made them 
an easier prey than they would otherwise have been. These 
Indian troubles caused my father to make a number of hasty 
moves. The community at Jonesboro was one well-nigh broken 
up. Many left there, some going to Arkansas, and others to 

8 J- P. Sneed, a contemporary member of the Mississippi Conference, 
in historical sketches written out and found among his papers. 

In a letter to the author. 

10 Written out by Davis in later life, but never published. Kindly 
loaned to the author by his daughter, Mrs. A. Laswell, Waxahachie, Texas. 


Nacogdoches and San Augustine. ... A Mr. Trammel was the 
first man to move his family from this Eed Eiver country prior 
to 1825 to Nacogdoches. There had never been a road prepared 
that a wheeled conveyance could pass from one section to the 
other. Mr. Trammel, with chopping axes and hatchets, cut out 
a road from Pecan Point, or Jonesboro, to the East, so that pack 
horses could pass over it. 

That settlements were "few and far between," even 
up in the thirties, is indicated from the fact that when 
General Houston came to Texas in 1832, "he crossed Eed 
Eiver at Jonesboro, 11 and proceeded from there to 
Nacogdoches, seeing but two houses on the way." 12 

We have given a sketch or two in the preceding chap- 
ter illustrating the rude conditions under which the first 
settlers in Austin 's. colony lived. As a companion piece, 
portraying conditions on Eed Eiver in the earliest days, 
we will add the following from Andrew Davis : 

I was not born in a mansion. The home was, with all its 
surroundings, of an humble character. A neighbor of my 
father's at the time of my birth described the place to me after 
I was a grown man. He said the house was a double-hued log 
house, with a ten foot entry between the rooms. The floor was 
of puncheons, laid down out of hewed timbers. All the houses 
were covered with boards rived from the oak timber of the 
country. The fire places were from three to six feet wide, and 
deep enough that large logs could be piled in them, making log 
fires. The cracks in the houses were first closed up with wood, 
over which clot boards were nailed on the outside, and the cracks 
were daubed with mortar. The doors and window shutters were 
made of boards. The windows were protected with a kind of 

II An item of interest from Davis 's reminiscences: "My father was 
almost the first man to see General Houston on Texas soil. I feel war- 
ranted in saying that my father's house was the first house that General 
Houston entered in Texas. The information I have on this point is directly 
from Houston. I filled the pulpit in Huntsville a term just before the Civil 
War, and was frequently at General Houston's house. When he found 
out that I was a native of Texas, and born at Jonesboro, he said, 'Are you 
a son of Daniel Davis?' I told him I was. He then said that he rested 
at my father 's house eight or ten days after crossing Eed Biver. ' ' 

> Thrall, History of Texas, p. 556. 


clarified raw-hide that admitted light into the rooms much bet- 
ter than anyone would imagine. The yard was large, with but 
little shrubbery, enclosed with an old-fashioned rail fence. This 
was the best character of homes in the early day. Most of the 
houses had dirt floors, and beds were often upon forks driven 
in the ground, on boards placed upon the poles. I have slept on 
such a bed-stead myself in my frontier ministry, back in the 
forties. Some people had feather beds; others used mattresses 
of the most common character, and all the under beds were 
made of the better quality of prairie grass. ... 

My apparel was of course common character. The panta- 
loons were generally made of buck-skin, and also the vest and 
coats, or rather hunting shirts, for they were more common than 
coats. As time advanced the people began to make looms for 
weaving a coarse kind of cloth. The spinning wheel and cards 
came into use. The women made a coarse kind of cotton and 
woolen cloth, which began to take the place of buck-skin cloth- 
ing. As to shoes, they were not to be had at all. A moccasin 
after the fashion of those worn by the Indians was common. I 
never wore a shoe until I was nine or ten years old. . . . The 
nearest place for supplies, both as to clothing and groceries, was 
Calafabra (now Camden), on White River, Arkansas. The liv- 
ing, therefore, was mostly on wild animals, beef and some kind 
of hominy ; and sometimes the hominy was not to be had because 
the corn was not in reach. 

We shall take leave of this region for the present, 
which is as yet little better than a wilderness and a soli- 
tary place, to consider Methodist beginnings in other por- 
tions of Texas ; but we will return in later chapters, to find 
conditions improving and Methodism taking root in the 
Red River country. 



WHEN we come to consider Methodist foundations in 
East Texas we at once meet the names of Stevenson and 
Stephenson, with which we became familiar in the last 
chapter. These pioneers have been often confused in 
published historical sketches, and the inference has been 
drawn that they were brothers, due to the similarity of 
their names and to the fact that they were contem- 
poraries and labored much together in the same fields. 
But they were of different families ; they spelled their 
names after the forms used herein, and there is no evi- 
dence whatever that they were related. We have given 
an outline of the life of William Stevenson, in which it 
was noted that he was born in South Carolina in 1768. 
Henry Stephenson was born in Virginia in 1772, and, like 
Stevenson, of Presbyterian parentage. At the age of 
twenty he emigrated with the family to Kentucky, and 
later to Missouri, locating near the present town of St. 
Charles. Stephenson was soon thereafter converted and 
entered the membership of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. He was licensed to preach by Jesse Walker 
in 1812. After his marriage he removed to Arkansas, 
first to Lawrence County, and in 1817 to Hempstead 
County. Here for the first time he came in contact with 
William Stevenson, and henceforth they are associated 
much together in pioneering for Methodism in the south- 
west. They removed with their families together into 
northwestern Louisiana in 1826, and after that time we 



are to become much better acquainted with Henry 

As to which one of these preachers was the first to 
lift his voice on this side of the Sabine we cannot posi- 
tively determine. There is some respectable testimony 
to the effect that William Stevenson visited and preached 
in the old town of Nacogdoches in the year 1817, while 
still a resident of Arkansas, the year being the same that 
marks his entry into northeastern Texas. Joseph P. 
Sneed, who was one of the first regular preachers to labor 
in Texas, leaves on record this item: "William Steven- 
son preached in Texas in the old stone house at Nachi- 
toches in 1817, while traveling Nachitoches circuit, ac- 
companied by Rev. Joseph Eeed, who died in Hempstead 
county, Ark." Before examining this scrap let us add 
another from a different source, which seems to confirm 
the main point. James P. Stevenson, a son of William 
Stevenson, lived through his later years in Stephens 
County, Texas, and died there in 1885. From The Texan, 
published at Breckenridge in that county, we have a clip- 
ping giving a sketch of Stevenson's life and something 
about his father, based upon information obtained from 
Stevenson himself. The story was written during Steven- 
son's lifetime, and is signed by Wm. W. Schermerhorn. 
The following is extracted from the article: 

In 1817 William Stevenson, a Methodist minister, preached 
at the village of Nacogdoches to a mixed assemblage of citizens 
and Mexicans, who received the American priest by reverently 
kissing his hands in homage ,to his holy office. The strange 
priest departed, and the event, which may for a time have been 
theme for comment in the barracks and around the rude hearth- 
stones of the pioneers, gradually faded from memory from those 
who had listened to the strange songs of praise. 

In the Sneed account the names of places are a little 
mixed, he evidently having confused Nachitoches, La., 
and Nacogdoches, Texas. And the record is plainly 


against his statement that Stevenson was on the Nachi- 
toches circuit in 1817. The minutes list him during that 
year as on the Hot Springs circuit, Arkansas. The Eev. 
Joseph Reed, or Reid, mentioned by Sneed as having 
accompanied Stevenson to Nacogdoches, we have been 
able to identify as a local preacher in southwestern 
Arkansas, and this is a circumstance in favor of the 
truthfulness of the account. The account from Steven- 
son's son in the Breckenridge paper appears to be 
authentic and clear on the main point. Still, after taking 
into account all the circumstances which seem to favor ac- 
cepting the item as historical, we must say that the prob- 
abilities are strongly against it, when we consider the 
distance from Stevenson's home, in Hempstead County, 
Arkansas, to Nacogdoches, the greater part of it a track- 
less wilderness lying in an unknown and a foreign coun- 
try. The fact that Stevenson first preached in Texas in 
1817, and that in 1827 he was on the Nachitoches circuit 
in Louisiana, in close proximity to the Texas border, and 
could have easily made the visit alluded to in the latter 
year such a combination of dates and circumstances 
could have given rise to the tradition recorded above. 

Another instance of early preaching and work in East 
Texas which has been advanced may be referred to here, 
although we have been unable to uncover more evidence 
than that submitted, or to arrive at more of the details. 
This relates to James English, a Methodist local 
preacher, who is said to have settled in Shelby County 
in 1825. In a letter from a later relative, but himself an 
old timer of Shelby County, 1 it is declared that English 
"was the first minister of the Church to enter what is 
now Shelby county ; he preached the first sermon, organ- 
ized the first church, and built the first church house 
here. He was a faithful servant of the Master, and 
highly respected among all classes of people here. He 
located here in 1825 and remained here many years. He 

i James W. Truitt to E. L. Shettles, dated Sept. 30, 1915. 


had a very large and influential family, being the eldest 
of six brothers, two of whom, Joshua and Jonas English, 
married two sisters, Candace and Martha Todd, who 
were sisters of my mother, Susan Todd, all of whom were 
well known to the old timers who are still surviving 
here." We find the name of James English mentioned 
once in the records left by some of the later preachers 
who labored in this section, referring to him as assisting 
in a revival held in 1834 ; but we have seen no reference 
anywhere to the church he is said to have organized, or to 
a church house credited to him. 

Henry Stephenson, while serving a circuit in Louisi- 
ana, held a camp-meeting on the Texas border in 1829, 
probably on the Louisiana side, but many neighboring 
Texans attended this meeting. We have no further notice 
of preaching in this section until 1832, when Needham 
J. Alford, a Methodist local preacher residing in 
Louisiana, preached at San Augustine, Texas, and on the 
site of the present town of Milam. To J. P. Sneed we 
are indebted for an account of Alford 's preaching, as to 
him we are also indebted for many other incidents of our 
early history. No one had better opportunity of know- 
ing the facts. Says Sneed, referring to the events of 
1832 : 2 

The first protracted or camp meeting held in East Texas was 
near the town of Milam, Sabine county, on the old King's high- 
way at a little branch. The meeting was appointed for Nedon 
J. Alford and Bro. Turner [Sumner] Bacon, a colporter sent out 
by the Natchez; Tract and Sunday School society of the 0. S. P. 
Church [Old School Presbyterian]. The meeting was held by 
Bro. Alford, probably better known as the Bull-dog preacher. 
He was a Methodist preacher living in Louisiana, about twelve 
miles from the Sabine river on the road. As soon as the meet- 
ing was appointed it met with opposition from a Mr. Gomez 
Gaines, who owned the ferry on the Sabine, and who as an 
officer of Spain [Mexico] thought it his duty to oppose it, but 

a Article T. 0. A., 1860. 


especially by a Mr. Johnson who appeared on the ground before 
the preacher, Bro. Alford, arrived, with a long cow whip in his 
hand, declaring that he would whip the first man who entered 
the stand. Bro. Alford arrived in the midst of the confusion 
and threats, and was met by Jesse Parker an old friend who had 
known him from a boy. He walked up to him as soon as he 
arrived and said, "Nedom, I am glad to see you, I was afraid 
you would not come. ' ' During the conversation one of his sons 
came up and said, "Pa, Mr. Johnson says that the first man that 
goes into the stand I will put him out and whip him with my 
cow whip." On hearing this Bro. A. replied, "I am as able to 
take a whipping as any man on this ground I'll go on to the 
stand and see if hell pull me out and whip me." So he walked 
in and looked over on Johnson, who soon left the ground, and 
died soon after. Bro. A. preached with power. The meeting 
continued till Sunday night. Immediately after the commence- 
ment of the meeting the commander at Nacogdoches, Col. Piedras, 
was informed of it. He asked if they were stealing horses. The 
answer was "No." Are they killing anybody? No. He then 
replied, "Let them alone," and from that day there was no 
more opposition to Protestant preaching in that section of the 

We are not to infer from BrotKer Sneed 's direct way 
of disposing of the bully Johnson that he died at once, 
from shock produced by Alford 's accepting his challenge. 
But at any rate we have the assurance that Johnson is 
dead. His threatenings, however, or the hostile attitude 
of the ferryman Gaines, seemed to lend caution to the 
next preacher who came the following year. 

In 1833 East Texas received its first visit from a 
regular preacher, in the person of James P. Stevenson, 
then serving on the Nachitoches circuit, Louisiana. 
Stevenson's preaching tours and the work that was done 
on this side of the border that year are well authen- 
ticated, as we have not only his own account, but this is 
corroborated, on the facts which follow, by Joseph P. 
Sneed, a contemporary. 3 In May, 1833, Stevenson 

3 Stevenson 's account from article in Breckenridge Texan and sketch 
in T. C. A., 1880. Sneed 's account contained in his papers. 


casually met some Texans in a store at Nachitoches, 
Louisiana, who invited him to preach in Texas. Steven- 
son replied that he was afraid to undertake it, as he 
understood that it was a penal offense to hold Protestant 
services in Texas. The Texans, Lowe and Milton by 
name, insisted, and the latter, a man of giant frame, gave 
a full guarantee of protection. "You come," he insisted, 
"and I'll stand at your back and see you through." In 
consequence of this interview a two days' meeting was 
appointed at John Smith's in Sabine County, where 
Milam now stands, and Stevenson was to preach at the 
house of Lowe on the Friday preceding. In due time 
Stevenson crossed over to proceed to his appointments, 
and true to his word Milton met him and conducted him to 
the place. A large congregation was awaiting the 
preacher at Smith's, where he preached without inter- 
ruption. Col. McMahan, residing some eight or ten miles 
distant, sent an urgent invitation to the preacher to visit 
his house and preach on the following Monday, and 
Stevenson responded, being greeted here by another 
large congregation. Stevenson thought so well of his re- 
ception and of the opportunities in this locality, that 
before returning to Louisiana he appointed another 
meeting for the McMahan neighborhood, this time for the 
4th of July. At that date he returned and held a three 
days' meeting, being assisted by local preachers Alford, 
McKinney and Matthews. He left another appointment 
for September, and this meeting was on even a larger 
scale. He was assisted this time by local preachers 
McKinney, Gordon and Dawdy, the last named having 
just arrived in the country. On Sunday of this meeting 
the people insisted on the organization of a church. 
Stevenson was not willing to leave a church organization 
as an open and a standing violation of the laws of the 
country. After some deliberation he organized a "re- 
ligious society, ' ' consisting of forty-eight members, over 
whom he appointed Col. McMahan as "class-leader." 


Stevenson made one more visit to this congregation, this 
being in October of that year. 

It is hardly correct to say that a church was organ- 
ized at McMahan's in 1833, as Thrall and others state. 
Stevenson himself says that the organization did not take 
the name of church, and that none of the ordinances or 
formalities of the church were observed. Sneed did not 
regard the action taken as amounting to the formation of 
a church, and he says that after Stevenson left, "the 
society scattered and never met again." But while no 
church was formally organized here this year, the ma- 
terial was prepared and the foundation laid for the most 
historic Protestant church in Texas. There were many 
conversions at the meetings of 1833, and many of the 
persons who loosely united themselves in a temporary 
society became charter members of a regularly organized 
church which was set up here the following year. 

James P. Stevenson, the first itinerant to hold meet- 
ings in these woods, was not returned by his conference, 
and after two years he ceased to travel. He was born in 
Smith County, Tenn., in 1808, the son of William Steven- 
son. He was converted under his father's ministry after 
removal to Louisiana. He attended school for a time at 
Augusta College, Kentucky, while Dr. Martin Ruter was 
president of that institution. At the age of twenty-two 
or twenty-three he was licensed to preach in Louisiana 
under his father as presiding elder. He was admitted 
into the Mississippi Conference (which embraced the 
state of Louisiana) in 1831, and continued in connection 
with that conference until 1835, when he located and re- 
moved into East Texas. He bore arms in the Texas 
revolution the following year, and after the war he settled 
down as a farmer and local preacher. In later years he 
removed to western Texas, locating in Stephens County. 
He died near Breckenridge in 1885, in his seventy-eighth 

Early in 1834 Henry Stephenson was placed in charge 


of all the work in Texas. His appointment, with that of 
a colleague, Enoch Whatley, appears as Sabine circuit, 
in Louisiana (embraced in the Mississippi Conference) ; 
but Stephenson was instructed by his presiding elder to 
spend one-half of his time in Texas. In the spring 
Stephenson made a journey into Texas as far as the 
Colorado River, and again in the fall he returned to that 
section and assisted in a camp-meeting in Austin's 
colony, which will be noticed in the next chapter. In 
July of this year 1834 Stephenson held a camp-meeting 
at McMahan's, on the spot where James P. Stevenson 
had preached the year before. From some recollections 
written in later life Joseph P. Sneed says of this meet- 
ing: "The preachers present at this meeting were 
Henry Stephenson, Joseph P. Sneed, Uriah Whatley, 
Enoch Whatley, Jeptha Hughes, James English and a 
Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, Sumner Bacon. The 
congregations were considered large and well-behaved. 
There were several conversions. The society that Bro. 
James Stevenson formed and never met was scattered. 
Henry Stephenson formed one and appointed Bro. 
McMahan leader. This society remains to this day 

There is a note of certainty about this record, as there 
is the mark of permanency upon the work done. Stephen- 
son, Sneed and the two Whatleys were all regular travel- 
ing preachers of the Mississippi Conference, who had 
come over in force from their circuits in Louisiana to 
unite in planting a church in Texas. And that they suc- 
ceeded is borne out by the long period of subsequent 
history. The church planted at McMahan's in July, 1834, 
remained not only until 1873, the date Sneed writes, but 
it remains to this day, the oldest church having a continu- 
ous existence in Texas. The spot at which these early 
meetings were held and where the first church was 
organized was at the home of Col. McMahan, " which 
consisted of four cabins enclosing a court in which the 


especially by a Mr. Johnson who appeared on the ground before 
the preacher, Bro. Alford, arrived, with a long cow whip in his 
hand, declaring that he would whip the first man who entered 
the stand. Bro. Alford arrived in the midst of the confusion 
and threats, and was met by Jesse Parker an old friend who had 
known him from a boy. He walked up to him as soon as he 
arrived and said, "Nedom, I am glad to see you, I was afraid 
you would not come. ' ' During the conversation one of his sons 
came up and said, "Pa, Mr. Johnson says that the first man that 
goes into the stand I will put him out and whip him with my 
cow whip." On hearing this Bro. A. replied, "I am as able to 
take a whipping as any man on this ground I'll go on to the 
stand and see if he'll pull me out and whip me." So he walked 
in and looked over on Johnson, who soon left the ground, and 
died soon after. Bro. A. preached with power. The meeting 
continued till Sunday night. Immediately after the commence- 
ment of the meeting the commander at Nacogdoches, Col. Piedras, 
was informed of it. He asked if they were stealing horses. The 
answer was "No." Are they killing anybody? No. He then 
replied, "Let them alone," and from that day there was no 
more opposition to Protestant preaching in that section of the 

We are not to infer from Brother Sneed's direct way 
of disposing of the bully Johnson that he died at once, 
from shock produced by Alford 's accepting his challenge. 
But at any rate we have the assurance that Johnson is 
dead. His threatenings, however, or the hostile attitude 
of the ferryman Graines, seemed to lend caution to the 
next preacher who came the following year. 

In 1833 East Texas received its first visit from a 
regular preacher, in the person of James P. Stevenson, 
then serving on the Nachitoches circuit, Louisiana. 
Stevenson's preaching tours and the work that was done 
on this side of the border that year are well authen- 
ticated, as we have not only his own account, but this is 
corroborated, on the facts which follow, by Joseph P. 
Sneed, a contemporary. 3 In May, 1833, Stevenson 

'3 Stevenson 's account from article in Breckenridge Texan and sketch 
in T. C. A., 1880. Sneed's account contained in his papers. 


casually met some Texans in a store at, 
Louisiana, who invited him to preach in Texas. Steven- 
son replied that he was afraid to undertake it, as he 
understood that it was a penal offense to hold Protestant 
services in Texas. The Texans, Lowe and Milton by 
name, insisted, and the latter, a man of giant frame, gave 
a full guarantee of protection. "You come," he insisted, 
"and I'll stand at your back and see you through." In 
consequence of this interview a two days' meeting was 
appointed at John Smith's in Sabine County, where 
Milam now stands, and Stevenson was to preach at the 
house of Lowe on the Friday preceding. In due time 
Stevenson crossed over to proceed to his appointments, 
and true to his word Milton met him and conducted him to 
the place. A large congregation was awaiting the 
preacher at Smith's, where he preached without inter- 
ruption. Col. McMahan, residing some eight or ten miles 
distant, sent an urgent invitation to the preacher to visit 
his house and preach on the following Monday, and 
Stevenson responded, being greeted here by another 
large congregation. Stevenson thought so well of his re- 
ception and of the opportunities in this locality, that 
before returning to Louisiana he appointed another 
meeting for the McMahan neighborhood, this time for the 
4th of July. At that date he returned and held a three 
days' meeting, being assisted by local preachers Alford, 
McKinney and Matthews. He left another appointment 
for September, and this meeting was on even a larger 
scale. He was assisted this time by local preachers 
McKinney, Gordon and Dawdy, the last named having 
just arrived in the country. On Sunday of this meeting 
the people insisted on the organization of a church. 
Stevenson was not willing to leave a church organization 
as an open and a standing violation of the laws of the 
country. After some deliberation he organized a "re- 
ligious society, ' ' consisting of forty-eight members, over 
whom he appointed Col. McMahan as "class-leader." 


Stevenson made one more visit to this congregation, this 
being in October of that year. 

It is hardly correct to say that a church was organ- 
ized at McMahan's in 1833, as Thrall and others state. 
Stevenson himself says that the organization did not take 
the name of church, and that none of the ordinances or 
formalities of the church were observed. Sneed did not 
regard the action taken as amounting to the formation of 
a church, and he says that after Stevenson left, "the 
society scattered and never met again. " But while no 
church was formally organized here this year, the ma- 
terial was prepared and the foundation laid for the most 
historic Protestant church in Texas. There were many 
conversions at the meetings of 1833, and many of the 
persons who loosely united themselves in a temporary 
society became charter members of a regularly organized 
church which was set up here the following year. 

James P. Stevenson, the first itinerant to hold meet- 
ings in these woods, was not returned by his conference, 
and after two years he ceased to travel. He was born in 
Smith County, Tenn., in 1808, the son of William Steven- 
son. He was converted under his father's ministry after 
removal to Louisiana. He attended school for a time at 
Augusta College, Kentucky, while Dr. Martin Ruter was 
president of that institution. At the age of twenty-two 
or twenty-three he was licensed to preach in Louisiana 
under his father as presiding elder. He was admitted 
into the Mississippi Conference (which embraced the 
state of Louisiana) in 1831, and continued in connection 
with that conference until 1835, when he located and re- 
moved into East Texas. He bore arms in the Texas 
revolution the following year, and after the war he settled 
down as a farmer and local preacher. In later years he 
removed to western Texas, locating in Stephens County. 
He died near Breckenridge in 1885, in his seventy-eighth 

Early in 1834 Henry Stephenson was placed in charge 


of all the work in Texas. His appointment, with that of 
a colleague, Enoch Whatley, appears as Sabine circuit, 
in Louisiana (embraced in the Mississippi Conference) ; 
but Stephenson was instructed by Ms presiding elder to 
spend one-half of his time in Texas. In the spring 
Stephenson made a journey into Texas as far as the 
Colorado River, and again in the fall he returned to that 
section and assisted in a camp-meeting in Austin's 
colony, which will be noticed in the next chapter. In 
July of this year 1834 Stephenson held a camp-meeting 
at McMahan's, on the spot where James P. Stevenson 
had preached the year before. From some recollections 
written in later life Joseph P. Sneed says of this meet- 
ing: "The preachers present at this meeting were 
Henry Stephenson, Joseph P. Sneed, Uriah Whatley, 
Enoch Whatley, Jeptha Hughes, James English and a 
Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, Sumner Bacon. The 
congregations were considered large and well-behaved. 
There were several conversions. The society that Bro. 
James Stevenson formed and never met was scattered. 
Henry Stephenson formed one and appointed Bro. 
McMahan leader. This society remains to this day 

There is a note of certainty about this record, as there 
is the mark of permanency upon the work done. Stephen- 
son, Sneed and the two Whatleys were all regular travel- 
ing preachers of the Mississippi Conference, who had 
come over in force from their circuits in Louisiana to 
unite in planting a church in Texas. And that they suc- 
ceeded is borne out by the long period of subsequent 
history. The church planted at McMahan's in July, 1834, 
remained not only until 1873, the date Sneed writes, but 
it remains to this day, the oldest church having a continu- 
ous existence in Texas. The spot at which these early 
meetings were held and where the first church was 
organized was at the home of Col. McMahan, " which 
consisted of four cabins enclosing a court in which the 


meetings were held." The ground, as described by 
Stevenson, was "on a high ridge, covered by an open 
growth of large hickory timber, interspersed with red 
oak, the opening between the towering forest trees being 
covered with a luxuriant growth of grass." 

While more detailed reference to this church may be 
made in later chapters, we note now that this congrega- 
tion completed its first church building in 1839, when the 
church took the name of McMahan Chapel. This building 
was displaced by a new one in 1872, and this one in turn 
gave place to another in 1900, all occupying in succession 
the same location, and situated on or near the first camp- 
meeting site. The church is located about twelve miles 
east of San Augustine, and is now included in " Geneva 
circuit. ' ' 

The nestor of Methodism in this quarter was Col. 
Samuel McMahan, who removed with his family from 
Tennessee and settled in Texas in 1831, locating about 
twelve miles east of San Augustine. " While engaged 
in secret prayer on the bank of Aish Bayou in 1832 he 
was happily converted," says Thrall. J. P. Sneed thinks 
that Col. McMahan 's was the first conversion in Texas. 
That it was genuine was amply attested by the work and 
influence of his life. We have seen that lie was appointed 
the first class-leader of the first permanent church in 
Texas. A son, James B. McMahan, became a local 
preacher, and the Colonel himself was licensed to preach 
by Eobert Alexander at the first quarterly conference 
held in that section in 1837. It is also said that among 
those brought into the church by his instrumentality were 
J. T. P. Irvine, Enoch P. Chisholm, and Acton Young, 
all of whom married daughters of Col. McMahan, and all 
of whom subsequently became traveling preachers. Col. 
McMahan died in 1854, and sleeps in the grave-yard near 
the church which bears his name. 

It is recorded that in June, 1834, Henry Stephenson 
made a preaching tour of San Augustine County, .and 


organized a church at the house of George Teel, at which 
"a number of the Teels, Zubers and others joined the 
Church". 4 Among the others was Miss Eliza McFarland, 
the first to give her name, who had been a charter member 
of the first church organized in Monroe, La., and the 
daughter of a former distinguished family of Cincinnati. 5 
She later married Dr. Lawhon, a Methodist local 
preacher. A daughter of this George Teel married Tom 
Farmer, a famous Methodist in his day: Farmer first 
settled after his marriage on Sabine Bay, and Stephenson 
visited the Farmer home and preached there in 1834. It 
appears that while the church formed at Teel's antedated 
by one month the McMahan church, to which more atten- 
tion has been devoted above, and which dates from July 
of this year, 1834, yet we have no further account of the 
Teel organization, and, like the predecessor of the church 
on the Polygoche, it must have "scattered, and never 
met again." 

At the session of the Mississippi Conference, held at 
Clinton, Miss., in November, 1834, Henry Stephenson 
was returned to the Texas field, this time by official 
appointment to the "Texas Mission." This is the first 
time that Texas, or any distinctive Texas appointment, 
appears in the minutes of any conference. It was 
attached to the Louisiana district, Preston Cooper, pre- 
siding elder. The province of Texas had long been looked 
upon as a great and needy field by the Mississippi Con- 
ference leaders, but they had been slow in sending a 
missionary across the border on account of the prohibi- 
tory laws against Protestant worship. But the movement 
of events in Texas now appeared to be toward revolution 
and independence from Mexico, and the time seemed 
opportune to plan a regular mission among that distant 
people. "Henry Stephenson was more than willing to 
take charge of this mission," says J. G. Jones, in his 

* Thrall, p. 25. 

s Jones, Hist. Methodism in Miss., II, p. 108. 


" History of Methodism in Mississippi. " "For more 
than a dozen years he had kept his eye and his heart on 
the establishment of Methodism in Texas. He seemed to 
feel a providential call in that direction, and kept himself 
poor in worldly substance by devoting much of his time 
and labor, mainly at his own expense, to these pioneer 
preaching excursions. ' ' Stephenson removed to Texas 
early in 1835 and settled on Cow Creek, a branch of the 
Sabine, and made this new location his base of opera- 



THAT Henry Stephenson visited and preached in 
Austin's colony in the earliest days of its existence that 
he was, in fact, the first Protestant preacher to do so is 
without question. J. P. Sneed, a contemporary member 
of the Mississippi Conference, and who subsequently 
traveled in Texas over much of the country first trav- 
ersed by Stephenson, says: 1 " Conversing a few days 
since with Sister Gates, who was the first or second white 
woman that crossed the Brazos at the Labahia [Goliad] 
crossing, where Washington now stands, and settled some 
seven miles below on the bank of the river. Her husband 
and herself were both members of the Methodist E. 
Church. The conversation turned on religion in those 
days, and the privations of the early settlers, which took 
place in 1822 [that is, the settlement of the Gates 's on 
the Brazos] . This country was then a Mexican province, 
and continued such up to 1836. No protestants were 
permitted to enjoy their religious privileges openly or 
publicly; but Brother Gates and a few others once and 
awhile united in the service of God. About one year after 
they had settled an old acquaintance (Henry Stephenson, 
a Methodist preacher) visited them and preached for 
them and a few other neighbors, not desiring to let it be 
known publicly. This was no doubt the first protestant 
sermon ever preached west of the Brazos." 2 

iFrom MS., evidently prepared for publication, addressed to "Messrs. 
Editors," found among Sneed 's papers. 

2 The accounts of the earliest preaching in Texas of other denomina- 
tions, as furnished to Yoakum by representatives of these Churches, is as 



It appears from the same account that Stephenson 
had on this occasion "seven or eight hearers," and that 
on this journey he visited San Felipe, Col. Austin's new 
capital, but was not permitted to preach. Thrall names 
other places at which Stephenson preached on this 
journey, as follows: James Cummings's, on Cummings 
Creek; Andrew Jackson's, on Peach Creek; Nathaniel 
Moore's, on the Colorado; Samuel Carter's, near Colum- 
bus; and at Castlemen's and John Rabb's, near San 
Felipe. John Eabb fixes the date of this visit of Stephen- 
son as June, 1824. The Moore's and the Babb's had 
originally settled in the Sulphur Fork country, in north- 
eastern Texas, and they had known Stephenson there; 

follows: "The first Baptist minister who preached in Texas was the 
Key. Joseph Bays, who emigrated from Missouri, in company with Joseph 
Lindley, and preached on Peach creek, on the west side of the Brazos, in 
1826. In the latter part of 1827 he removed to San Augustine, where he 
continued his labors until he was compelled by the Mexican authorities to 
leave. In 1829 Eev. Thomas Hanks from Tennessee preached at Moses 
Shipman's on the west side of the Brazos. ... In 1830 and 1831 Elders 
George Woodruff and Skelton Allphine emigrated to Texas, and immedi- 
ately commenced preaching the gospel. A number of Baptists who had 
emigrated from New York, established in 1829 at San Felipe a sabbath - 
school the first in Texas. It was taught by T. J. Pilgrim, then inter- 
preter of the Spanish language in Austin's colony." Yoakum, History of 
Texas, II, pp. 536, 537. This sabbath school at San Felipe was broken 
up, at the instigation of the Mexican authorities, as we have seen in a 
former chapter. Of the Cumberland Presbyterian pioneers, we have the 
following : "As early as 1828 Eev. Sumner Bacon penetrated as far as 
San Felipe. He was a native of Massachusetts, had served his period of 
enlistment in the United States army, and then became a minister of the 
gospel. . . . He continued preaching in Texas until 1832, when he ob- 
tained the appointment of bible agent. He scattered the Word of God 
from San Antonio to the Sabine. . . . While Bacon and others were 
preparing to hold a meeting not far from San Augustine, it was under- 
stood that certain persons would break it up. Col. Bowie, 'hearing of it, 
went to the place where the meeting was to be held, and making a sign of 
the cross on the ground, informed them that he was captain in those 
parts, and that the meeting should be held. They knew Bowie, and the 
meeting proceeded quietly. . . . About the year 1833 Eev. Milton 
Estill came to Texas, and established the first church of this order, in 
Bed Eiver county then supposed to be Miller county, Arkansas. In 1836 
Bacon organized another church in San Augustine county." Ibid., pp. 
542, 543. The first preaching and organization of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church occurred at Matagorda and at Houston in 1838, and in the same 
year the Eevs. Hugh Wilson, John McCulloch and Daniel Baker, preachers 
of the Presbyterian Church, began their labors in Texas, at San Augustine, 
Galveston and elsewhere. Ibid., pp. 532, 534. We have, however, the name 
of Henry Fullenwider, a Presbyterian preacher, appearing in our records 
as preaching in Austin's colony in 1835. 


but in 1821 they removed to Austin's colony, settling on 
the Colorado. Eabb's account of Stephenson 's visit in 
1824 is as follows : 3 "In 1824 I was driven by the Indians 
from the Colorado Eiver to the Brazos, and compelled to 
remain there one year before I returned. During my 
stay there, in June, 1824, the Eev. Henry Stephenson 
made his first visit to Western Texas. I lived or stayed 
at that time three miles below San Felipe. He came to 
see me where I was encamped with my wife and one 
child. There he preached the first sermon ever preached 
by a protestant minister in Texas, to a party of four 
families. Col. Austin knew nothing of his preaching 
until after he had gone." 

Whether Stephenson preached first at Eabb's or at 
Gates 's is immaterial. It is certain that he made a con- 
siderable preaching tour in these settlements on this visit 
among the first Methodist families, some of whom he 
had known on Eed Eiver, and to whom he had preached 
before. Thrall records that Stephenson paid these settle- 
ments another visit in 1828 and again in 1830, but we 
have no account of his preaching on these subsequent 
visits. In fact we learn that it was quite other business 
that brought him on his long rides to the west in these 
latter years. Our account this time is from Lydia 
McHenry, a member of an early Methodist family in this 
region, who received her version of Stephenson 's visits 
from the preacher himself during a visit to her home in 
1834. This writer * says that Stephenson had made two 
previous visits to the colony for the purpose of "collect- 
ing a debt. " As he had made three journeys before, we 
are left to infer that, as there is no account of his 
preaching on the visits of 1828 and 1830, his presence 
here during these years was on personal business, and 
is without significance. This writer says that Stephenson 

s Article, Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, July, 1909, copied from 
Eabb's "Recollections," published in Texas Wesleyaii Banner in 1850. 
4 Texas Christian Advocate, Feb. 16, 1860. 


was a very timid man, and not disposed to disregard the 
advice of the officials of "the colony, his caution on this 
point leading him to refuse to perform a marriage cere- 
mony on one occasion. On a former visit he had met 
Col. Austin, and discussed with him the subject of 
missions to Texas, but Austin gave him no encourage- 
ment. On the contrary, the empresario had expressed 
his unqualified disapproval, saying that "one Methodist 
preacher would do more mischief in his colony than a 
dozen horsethieves, ' ' by which our writer explains that 
"political mischief" was meant. But there is no evidence 
that Col. Austin ever displayed any friendly interest 
toward missionaries in Texas even when the danger of 
political mischief was past. This cannot be said of some 
other officials of the colony, as will be noted. 

It is not intended to misrepresent the "Father of 
Texas" in the matter of his prohibiting public religious 
services in his colony. There is abundant evidence to 
show that Austin had little personal respect for the 
Roman Catholic hierarchy in Mexico, and that he de- 
ferred to that religion and forbade the public exercise 
of any other chiefly as a means of keeping the peace. He 
expressed the hope of ultimately securing complete 
religious freedom in Texas. It is plain that he regarded 
the Methodists as especially obnoxious at this time. In 
private letters he expresses himself on this point as 
follows : 5 

The Methodists have raised the cry against me, this is what 
I wished for if they are kept out, or will remain quiet if here 
for a Short time we shall succeed in getting a free toleration of 
all Religions, but a few fanatics and imprudent preachers at 
this time would ruin us we must show the Govt that we are 
ready to submit to their laws and willing to do so, after that we 
can with some certainty of success hope to have our privileges 

5 Quoted by W. S. Bed, The Texas Colonists and Keligion, pp. 77, 
80, 81. 


I am of opinion that no evils will arise from family or neigh- 
borhood worship, or from the delivery of moral lectures, pro- 
vided it is not done in a way to make a noise about public preach- 
ing, so as not to start excited Methodist preachers, for I do say 
that in some instances they are too fanatic, too violent and too 
noisy. Moral instruction delivered in that pure, chaste and 
dignified language and manner with which such instruction 
ought to be imparted to rational beings, will certainly not be 
objected to, by the government, on the contrary it will be highly 
approved of. I give this as my opinion. . . . The subject of 
preaching must be managed with prudence, for I do assure you 
that it will not do to have the Methodist excitement raised in 
this country. 

During the ten years following Stephenson's first visit 
to the west in 1824 the country had been rapidly settling 
up with American families. Of course many of these had 
been members of Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and 
other churches in the homeland, and the more substantial 
of these families continued to hold, and in some degree 
to exercise, the faith which they brought with them. It 
is certain that such families wielded no small influence on 
the moral life of the communities in which they settled. 
These families attracted the first preachers who came in- 
to the country to the communities where they lived, and 
thus began to form about themselves the first churches. 
Mention has already been made of the Gates family, 
whereas there were three Gates families who were early 
settlers in Austin's colony. 6 William Gates removed from 
Arkansas to the Brazos in 1821, arriving at the present 
site of old Washington in October of that year, and was 
one of the first of Austin's colonists to arrive on the 
ground. It may be seen, therefore, that "Sister Gates was 
the first or second white woman to cross the Brazos" in 
this locality, as Sneed says. Samuel Gates came with 
his family soon afterwards, and Amos Grates, a son of 


The Old Three Hundred," L. G. Bugbee, Quafrjterly Texas State 
Historical Assn., I, 108; C. C. Crane, "Centennial Address," on Washing- 
ton county ; Obituary of Amos Gates, T. C. A., 1883. 


William Gates, arrived on the Brazos in 1824. Coming 
to the same locality at about the same time as the elder 
Gates there settled another substantial Methodist family, 
that of Josiah H. Bell. Bell's land was the first surveyed 
out in Austin 's colony, the first line being run on October 
10, 1823, the surveyor being Horatio Chriesman, whom 
Austin had brought from Missouri. 7 Chriesman was a 
Methodist by persuasion, and subsequently joined this 
church. So that it may be said that the first peg driven 
in Austin's colony was a Methodist peg, so to speak. It 
is impossible, of course, at this day to pick out all the 
Methodist families included in the "Old Three Hundred" 
of Austin's first colonists, or to designate those who 
came in during the next few years. Some of these will 
be mentioned in other connections and in later chapters. 
For the present we can refer to only a few others. The 
Kerr family settled on Yegua Creek in 1824, and was 
from the first a center of Methodist influence. A. B. F. 
Kerr, in later years a prominent member of the Texas 
Conference, perpetuates the name. In 1830 Alexander 
Thomson, a brother of Mrs. Kerr, arrived on the Yegua 
with a company of immigrants intended for Eobertson's 
colony. Thomson had been a steward and class-leader 
in his native srate of Tennessee, and soon after arriving 
in Texas he "'commenced assembling a small company, 
including his own family and his sister's, Mrs. Kerr's, 
and some others, on Sunday morning, and holding a 
prayer meeting, or reading one of Wesley's sermons. 
This he continued until Texas was visited by regular 
preachers," says Thrall. A company of families from 
North Alabama, who settled on the Navidad River in the 
fall and winter of 1830-31, was composed of Methodists. 
"It would be impossible to estimate the influence which 
these North Alabama colonists have exerted upon the 
destiny of Texas," continues Thrall, who himself became 
acquainted with many of these and their descendants. 

7 Obituary of Horatio Chriesman, T. C. A., 1878. 


"They have occupied distinguished positions at the bar 
and on the bench, in conventions and legislative assem- 
blies, in the pulpit and on the battle-field. They have 
especially exerted a wholesome moral and religious 
influence, not only where they first settled, but wherever 
they have been dispersed over the country." Among 
these families were the Heards, Menefees, Sutherlands 
and Rectors, and Samuel Rogers, a local preacher all 
of whom had been accustomed to filling official places in 
the Church. And this company made at least one contri- 
bution to the itinerancy in Texas Alexander Sutherland. 
There came in also, with the tide of immigration in the 
earliest days, a few Methodist local preachers and former 
members of conference, who brought their families to 
Texas to find a new home and improve their condition. 
The most of these, moved by the destitution of the settle- 
ments into which they had come, began to exercise their 
gifts here. The first of these who became active in 
Austin's colony, of whom we 'have any notice, was 
William Medford, who arrived in Texas in 1833. The 
following account of Medford and his work appears, with- 
out signature, in the Texas Christian Advocate in 1856 : 

The first sermon I ever heard in Texas was delivered by Eev. 
Win. Medford, in the spring of 1833, at the house of Widow 
Kerr, now in Washington county. It was a funeral sermon on 
the death of the wife of Mr. George Kerr, now of Fayetteville, 
Fayette county. The house was crowded; the sermon was ap- 

Mr. Medford had been a member of one of our Annual Con- 
ferences (I think Illinois), but having a large family to provide 
for he was induced by the offer of the Mexican government of 
a league of land to emigrate to Texas early in 1833. Immedi- 
ately after his arrival he obtained an interview with Stephen F. 
Austin, introduced himself as a Methodist preacher, and asked 
Col. Austin if there would be any objection to his preaching. He 
first settled himself near Chappel Hill, and opened a school, 
which he taught five days in the week. His first attempt to 


preach was in the log hut in which he taught school. He soon 
formed a four weeks' circuit, and on his first round he walked. 
His course was to start on Saturday for his appointment, preach 
two sermons on the Sabbath, and return early on Monday morn- 
ing to his schoojp His four appointments were, first, at his own 
house; second, at Walker's, on New Year's creek; third, at 
Cooper's, on Mill creek; fourth, at Clokey's, now known as Madi- 
son's, in Washington county. On his second round he was pre- 
sented with horse, saddle and bridle. Quite a number were 
awakened and converted under his ministry. He was much more 
popular in his own immediate vicinity than elsewhere, and no 
man could command a larger congregation. 

He lived to see the church regularly organized, his house a 
regular preaching place for the circuit minister, and the weekly 
class and prayer-meeting regularly held at his house up to the 
day of his death. The first Sunday school in that neighborhood 
was organized and kept in his house until long after his death. 

Medf ord was from Missouri, and held membership in 
the Missouri Conference from 1826 to 1830, when he 
located. In Texas he fell into disrepute in his later 
years, due to some unnamed improper conduct, according 
to John Rabb ; but he was in a large measure exonerated 
and forgiven before his death. 

There arrived at Washington on the Brazos in Decem- 
ber, 1833, a Methodist local preacher and former itinerant 
who from that day fills a large place in the foundation 
period of Methodism in that region. This was John 
Wesley Kenney, who had traveled with his family, 
accompanied by a talented sister-in-law, Miss Lydia 
McHenry, all the way overland from Illinois. Kenney 
was cut out for an itinerant, and for places of distinction 
in the ministry, being a man of strong physical frame, 
of unusual mental endowments and gifted as a preacher ; 
but fortune, or rather personal misfortune, had led to his 
location and removal to Texas. Here he did itinerate, 
actually and officially, for something like thirty years, and 
here his talents found opportunity for the widest play. 


Kenney was born in Pennsylvania in 1799, two years 
after his parents had arrived from Ireland. His mother 
had been converted under John Wesley's preaching. The 
family removed to Ohio, where young Kenney was con- 
verted, and where he began preaching at the age of nine- 
teen. Here he became acquainted with Martin Ruter, the 
two, as we shall see, coming together again in Texas many 
years later. Kenney was a successful itinerant in Ohio 
and Kentucky until he located in 1828. In 1824, while 
on Fountain Head circuit, under Peter Cartwright as 
presiding elder, he was married to a daughter of 
Barnabas McHenry, one of the distinguished preachers 
of his day. In 1832 Kenney served as captain of a com- 
pany of militia in Illinois against the Black Hawk 

The town of Washington had been laid out in blocks 
and streets when the Kenney family arrived in 1833, but 
not a house had been built, says his daughter, Mrs. A. J. 
Lee, in her reminiscences of her father. 8 " Captain Hall 
gave father a lot, on which he soon built a log cabin, the 
first house in the town of Washington, which afterwards 
boasted of being the capital of the Republic of Texas. 
. . . He preached his first sermon at the house of 
Samuel Gates, not far from Washington, in March, 1834. 
I remember being at the house. This year he moved 
twenty-five miles southwest from Washington, and 
settled on his headright league." 

It will be remembered that in 1834 Henry Stephenson, 
though officially appointed to the Sabine circuit in Louis- 
iana, was instructed by his presiding elder to spend one- 
half of his time in Texas. He had devoted much labor 
to East Texas through the summer, as we have noted, 
and late in August of this year he appears in the west. 
Soon after Kenney had settled in his new home, in what 
is now Austin County, 9 Stephenson and Kenney came to- 

8 'Published in the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, July, 1909. 
9 The old Kenney homestead was located four or five miles east of the 
present station of Kenney on the Santa Fe railroad. 


gether there, and, as we should expect, a camp-meeting 
was soon arranged. We leave it to John Rabb to give 
us the account of this meeting: 


In August, 1834, the Eev. Henry Stephenson again visited 
Western Texas. He consulted with the Eev. J. W. Kenney on 
the propriety or impropriety of holding a camp-meeting in 
Texas. They felt perfectly satisfied, so did all the citizens of 
Texas, that the general government had dissolved the constitu- 
tion of 1824; that they were clear of their oath, although not 
more than one-fourth of the citizens had ever been required to 
take it. They determined in the name and strength of the Lord 
Jesus Christ to set up the blood-stained banner, although it was 
on enchanted ground. They appointed a camp-meeting which 
commenced on the 3d of September, assisted by the Rev. Mr. 
Fullenwider, of the old school of Presbyterians, to all appear- 
ances a man of God, and two other Methodist ministers, Mr. Bab- 
bit and Wm. Medford. ... On Saturday, the 5th, Father 
Stephenson preached the 11 o'clock sermon. After he was 
through he opened the door to receive members into the Church. 
I thought, what a venture on the devils' territory! The words 
had hardly passed from his lips before I had him by the hand. 
There were no others joined that day. I had professed religion 
about two months before this meeting, on the Colorado, in the 
woods. On Saturday night and Sunday and Sunday night, 
some eight or ten professed religion. On Monday morning we 
were called together, and Bro. Kenney opened the doors to 
receive members. We were seated together on a bench, eighteen 
in number. A few joined by letter, but the greater part were 
converted at that meeting. He then addressed us as the little 
band, for about thirty minutes, from the 2d chapter of 1st John : 
<{ Little children," &c. Our names were then all taken down, 
and the meeting dismissed, and we scattered to the east side of 
the Brazos river and to the Colorado. This meeting was held in 
the upper side of Austin county, on a branch of Caney Creek. 
I never pass that old camp ground without stopping and getting 
on my knees and thanking God that he then and there gave me 
resolution to join his Church. 

10 Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, July, 1909, pp. 81, 82. 


On Sunday of this meeting Kenney 's daughter, Mrs. 
Lee, relates that Stephenson preached, and "baptized 
my younger brother and myself. ' ' 

We have evidently reached the place where a real 
foundation is being laid, as to all intents and purposes 
a Methodist church was formed here on Caney in Sep- 
tember, 1834 about two months after the church was 
organized at McMahan's in East Texas. There are some 
conflicting reports as to the number of persons who 
united in forming this first church in the colonies. Eabb 
says there were eighteen. Thrall says there were thirty- 
eight names enrolled, and he appends a list which he says 
was in Kenney's handwriting, dated September 8, 1834. 11 
But it is unaccountable how he arrived at his figures, 
as this list contains only twenty-six names, includ- 
ing those of Kenney and his family. Robert Alexander, 
who appeared upon the ground here three years later, 
and in his ministry came to know personally perhaps 
nearly all the persons who attended this meeting, says : 12 
" There were eight or ten conversions, and eighteen 
joined the church by letters." This would account for 
the Kenney list of twenty-six names, which was probably 
composed of eighteen joining "by letters," and the eight 
or ten who were converted during the meeting, and 
joining de novo. 

At this meeting Henry Stephenson, before his depart- 
ure, was urged to present the great needs of Texas to 
the forthcoming session of his conference, and it was 
due largely to his representations that the Mississippi 
Conference appointed Stephenson to the "Texas Mis- 
sion" in December following. There is no account of 

11 Thrall, p. 33. The list is as follows: John W. Kenney, Mariah L. 
Kenney, Lydia A. McHenry, John Eabb, James Walker, Catherine Walker, 
William Medford, Elizabeth Medford, John Ingram, John Crownover, 
Amelia Stephenson, B. Babbit, Dudley J. White, Henry Whitesides, Laura 
J. Whitesides, Eaehel Dever, Eliza Alford, Elizabeth Scott, Malinda Bargely, 
Catherine Bargely, Demaris Stephenson, Priseilla Chandler, Mary Huff, 
Thomas Bell, Abigail Day, Bethel White. 

12 Historical statement furnished for Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 538, 


Stephenson's preaching in the west in 1835. In the fall 
of that year, pressed by increasing age and infirmities, 
and the needs of a growing family, together with the 
unsettled political conditions in the west, Stephenson 
discontinued his conference relation. He continued to 
reside in Texas and preached as opportunity offered. 
We shall note the close of his career in another con- 

In the meantime, in September, 1835, one year follow- 
ing their first camp-meeting, the scattered Methodists on 
the western border came together again near the same 
place on Caney for another camp-meeting. This meeting 
was in charge of John W. Kenney, assisted by "Wm. 
Medford, "Wm. P. Smith, a physician and local elder in 
the Methodist Protestant Church, and Henry Fullen- 
wider. By Dr. Smith's account, 13 there were at this 
meeting twenty-one tents, or covered wagons, "between 
20 and 30 communicants" the members received the 
year before and a congregation of about four hundred 
persons. The meeting continued from Thursday, Sep- 
tember 3, to the following Monday. Fortunately we have 
a still fuller account of this meeting from a contemporary 
source, and it is here inserted, as several matters of 
historical interest are brought out : 14 

The first camp-meeting that I attended in Texas, and the 
second camp-meeting held west of the Trinity, was in 1835, 
within a mile of where the first camp-meeting had been held a 
year previous by Rev. Henry Stephenson, near Caney, Austin 
county, assisted by Revs. Kenney and Medford. Mr. Kenney 
resided near the ground, and not only personally superintended 
the preparing of the ground, but actually with his own hands 
did most of the work, and on him fell the burden of providing 
accommodations for strangers. There was a large attentive con- 
gregation assembled and the best order was observed from first 
to last. This meeting was held when the country was in corn- 
is Published in Western Methodist, Cincinnati, 
i* From an unsigned article in the Texas Christian Advocate in 1856. 


motion in consequence of the disposition evinced by Santa Anna 
to oppress us, and many were fearful that some might take 
advantage of the existing state of affairs, as by the Mexican laws 
we were liable to fine and imprisonment for holding or attend- 
ing any but Catholic religious services in Texas. Mr. K. had 
previously consulted with Col. Wm. Travis, Dr. Miller and other 
leading men, who said, "Go ahead and hold your meeting; we 
will be there, and we pledge ourselves that you shall not be dis- 
turbed, ' ' and nobly did they redeem their pledge. 

Mr. Kenney was assisted in conducting the meeting by Eev. 
Wm. Medford, Eev. W. P. Smith, and Eev. Mr. Fullenwider, 
of the Old School Presbyterian church; and never did any con- 
gregation appear to take more interest in hearing the word 
preached. This was the last time that Col. Travis had the priv- 
ilege of hearing the gospel preached. At the close of the service 
the Lord's Supper was administered, and a more solemn, feeling 
time I never before witnessed. It was truly a season of refresh- 
ing from the presence of the Lord. There were two families who 
came in ox-wagons over forty miles and brought their provisions 
with them, and some of them returned home rejoicing in God 
their saviour. 

During the continuance of this meeting, after much consulta- 
tion, a notice was published from the stand requesting all who 
had been members of any quarterly conference to meet together 
at a place designated, for the purpose of holding an informal 
quarterly Conference. We assembled. Bro. Alexander Thorn- 
son, then of Burleson county, was then appointed chairman, and 
David Ayers secretary. Eev. Messrs. Kenney and Medford pre- 
sented their ordination parchments and certificates that they 
were ordained elders in good standing in the Methodist Episco- 
pal church, and Eev. W. P. Smith presented evidence that he 
held the same relation in the Methodist Protestant church. A 
resolution was offered that we request Eev. J. W. Kenney to 
take the pastoral charge of us until such time as we could have 
regular ministers sent us by the bishops of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. . . . This quarterly conference passed a resolu- 
tion that we would apply to the Missionary Board of the M. E. 
church, requesting them to send missionaries to Texas, pledging 
ourselves to receive whoever they might send, and support 
them. . . . 


Mr. Kenney immediately entered on his laborious work. His 
circuit was extended west of the Trinity, over nearly all the 
settled parts of western Texas. He labored faithfully until the 
invasion of Santa Anna, when he quitted his circuit, shouldered 
his rifle and went as a volunteer to defend us from invaders. 

As this meeting was held, as the writer above notes, 
under the shadow of the clouds of war fast gathering over 
the country, it is little wonder that, looking back and 
remembering the deluge that fell upon the land a few 
months later, the narrator recalls this as "a solemn, feel- 
ing time." In view of certain events of the following 
year, it is interesting to note the presence here of Col. 
William Barret Travis; and that his heart was in this 
cause, as well as in that of securing the freedom of 
Texas, we have other evidence to submit shortly. 

It will be noted that this meeting was held with the 
express permission of the political authorities then in 
Texas. Stephen F. Austin was not consulted because of 
his absence in Mexico. In addition to the interview of 
J. W. Kenney with the authorities, noted in the record 
above, Alexander Thomson had also assisted in paving 
the way for more religious freedom in the province by 
consulting the political chiefs. "Alexander Thomson 
. . . visited the Alcalde, Horatio Christman, at San 
Felipe de Austin," says Dr. Smith in his account. "After 
a circuitous train of conversation with the Alcalde, with 
caution and solicitude, Brother T. presented to his con- 
sideration the subject of introducing the preaching of the 
pure gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into 
the Province of Texas. Brother Thomson intimated to 
the Alcalde that it was his opinion that the Mexican 
Government would not care for any of the Protestant 
exercises, notwithstanding they might be considered con- 
trary to law. To the high gratification of Bro. Thomson, 
the Alcalde replied, 'I am much of the same opinion.' 
Bro. Thomson then remarked, 'If any Protestant 
preachers come on, I shall open my doors for the 


preaching of the gospel.' The Alcalde replied, 'I shall do 
so, too,' which he did, and as a blessed consequence 
resulting from it, the Alcalde and the major part of his 
family are now happy participants of vital religion, 
and honorable members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church." 15 

Mr. Thomson subsequently visited Dr. James B. 
Miller, the highest political functionary of the Mexican 
government in Texas, and reported to him the main inci- 
dents of the camp-meeting which had recently been held. 
Among other things he reported that it had been de- 
termined to provide for a preacher, John W. Kenney, to 
make a regular circuit among the settlements and preach 
to the people, and that his support had been provided 
for by a popular subscription. Whereupon the chief 
replied, "You have done wrong, sir; you should have 
left your subscription open, for some more of us wish to 
subscribe. ' ' The subscription paper was then laid before 
him, and the chief subscribed twenty dollars. 16 

Of the extent of Kenney 's first circuit, or how far he 
got on his rounds, we have no account. But we know 
that before many weeks he was interrupted by the com- 
motion resulting from the invasion of the Mexicans. But 
at that September meeting on Caney another step was 
taken which is of more historical importance than any- 
thing else done there, and which the war did not forestall. 
That was the action taken looking to the enlistment of 
the interest and help of the Methodist Church authorities 
in the United States. That which these loyal and fervent 
Methodists desired most of all was connection with the 
great itinerant system which would provide them with 
regular pastors. We have seen that a "quarterly con- 
ference" was organized and held toward the close of the 
meeting. It was irregular in some important details, to 

is Communication to Texas Wesleyan Banner in 1850, quoted in Texas 
Methodist Historical Quarterly, July, 1909, pp. 84, 85. 
is Ibid., p. 85. 


be sure, but in spirit and in its results it served the 
purpose, and is entitled to the honor of being the first 
quarterly conference ever "holden" within Texas bounds. 
The attending ministers produced the evidence of their 
orders, including Dr. Smith, who here entered into 
affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The 
conference made it the special duty of its secretary, 
Mr. David Ayers, to correspond with Dr. Nathan Bangs, 
missionary secretary in New York, and to report of his 
action "at the next quarterly conference." The next 
conference was appointed to meet at Samuel Gates 's in 
October, but this conference was never held, owing to the 
rising prospect of war. But Mr. Ayers fulfilled his in- 
structions, and he was joined in his appeal by others who 
were present at his house in November, when the com- 
munications were prepared. Miss Lydia McHenry wrote 
urgent appeals to the missionary secretary and to others 
in the United States. Col. Wm. B. Travis, then present 
at the Ayers home, penned an earnest call for spiritual 
reinforcements in Texas, which, while not as tragic as 
his appeal from the Alamo a few months later, yet met 
with a readier response when published in the United 
States. We are not in possession of this particular 
communication from Col. Travis, and can only judge of 
its spirit and contents from a letter forwarded on the 
same mission a few months earlier to the New York 
Christian Advocate and Journal, as follows : 


San Felipe de Austin, 
Texas, Aug. 17, 1835. 
My dear Sir:- 

I take the liberty of addressing yon from this distant quarter 
of the world for the purpose of requesting you to receive my 
name as a subscriber of your widely circulated Advocate. We 
are very destitute of religious instruction in this extensive fine 
country, and the circulation of your paper here will be greatly 

17 Published in the N. Y. Oh. Adv. and Journal in 1835. This copy 
appeared in Texas Christian Advocate, April 4, 1861. 


beneficial, in the absence of the stated preaching of the Gospel. 
Although the exercise of religion in any form is not prohibited 
here, but is encouraged by the people, yet but few preachers have 
come among us to dispense the tidings of salvation to upwards 
of sixty thousand destitute souls. I regret that the Methodist 
church, with its excellent itinerant system, has hitherto sent the 
pioneers of the Gospel into almost every destitute portion of 
the globe, should have neglected so long this interesting country. 
I wish you would do me and the good cause the favor to publish 
such remarks as will call the attention of the reverend Bishops, 
the different Conferences, and the Board of Missions, to the 
subject of spreading the Gospel in Texas. About five educated 
and talented young preachers would find employment in Texas, 
and no doubt would produce much good in this benighted land. 
Texas is composed of the shrewdest and most intelligent popu- 
lation of any new country on earth; therefore, a preacher to do 
good must be respectable and talented. In sending your heralds 
in the four corners of the Earth, remember Texas. 


Col. Travis was evidently speaking of a very recent 
condition, or of what might be expected in the future, in 
reporting a state of religious toleration in the province. 
He also overestimates the population of Texas by 
several thousand. 

Of the effect and results of the various appeals dis- 
patched to the United States we shall see later. But the 
outlook from another direction for the few scattered 
Methodists, as well as for all American settlers in Texas, 
soon became dark enough. Early in March of the follow- 
ing year Col. Travis and his entire outpost guard of 
nearly two hundred men, which had been stationed at 
San Antonio, were overwhelmed in their last retreat in 
the old Alamo mission, and brutally slaughtered by Santa 
Anna and his invading hosts from Mexico. The story of 
how this despot came to power, and the details of the 
policy he had set out to effect in Texas would require 
too much space to recite here. But the blow that fell at 
San Antonio, and another that fell a few days later at 


Goliad, spread general alarm throughout Texas. While 
most of the able-bodied men shouldered their guns and 
hurried to join the army forming under Gen. Sam 
Houston, women and children and the few men who were 
left in the settlements hastened to gather all together 
and set out eastward for safety. The country west of 
the Brazos was within less than a month almost depopu- 
lated and left as a spoil to the invader and the Indian. 
The "Bunaway Scrape," as this exodus of settlers was 
called, and the military campaign of the Texas revolu- 
tion ended together by the decisive battle of San Jacinto, 
April 21, 1836, in which the Mexicans were completely 
routed and Santa Anna captured. This event brought 
joy to the distracted country, and cleared the ground for 
the setting up of the Eepublic of Texas. 



BEFORE closing our account of the pre-r evolution 
period of Methodism in Texas, we will add a few personal 
records, illustrating conditions and experiences in the 
earliest days. The first will be the recollections of Martin 
McHenry Kenney, a son of John W. Kenney, covering 
his first school experiences; and though the account 
takes us into the years following the revolution, the 
educational situation is shown to be still crude and 
primitive. "The first school that I remember, though I 
did not attend it, was in Austin's Colony in 1835," he 
writes (Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Associa- 
tion, I, 285-296). 

It was taught by an Irishman named Cahill. My older 
brother was one of the pupils of that primitive academy. It was 
distant about two miles from our house, and the way was through 
the woods without any road or path. When he started to school 
our father was absent, and mother went with him, carrying a 
hatchet to blaze the way. 

Of the discipline of the school and its studies I only know 
that my brother, in relating the experience of several of the 
boys, made the impression on me that the rod was not spared. 

The next school was at the same place in 1838 or 1839, taught 
by Mr. Dyas, an old Irish gentleman, and I think a regular 
teacher by profession. The session was three or four months 
and the studies miscellaneous, but the discipline was exact. He 
had an assortment of switches set in grim array over the great 
opening where the chimney was to be when the school house 
should be completed. On one side was the row for little boys, 
small, straight and elastic, from a kind of tree which furnished 



Indians with arrows and the schoolmaster with switches. At the 
same time I remember thinking of the feasibility of destroying 
all that kind of timber growing near the schoolhouse. My terror 
was a little red switch in that rank which I caught too often, 
usually for the offense of laughing. The larger switches were 
graded, partly by the size of the boys and partly by the gravity 
of the offense, the gravest of which was an imperfect lesson. . . . 

As for the studies we all had Webster's spelling book, and 
were classed according to our efficiency in that great classic. The 
last few pages contained some stories and fables, intended for 
reading lessons. They were illustrated, and the last one had a 
picture of a wolf, a fact which tended to established that book 
in our estimation, because we saw wolves every day. "The pic- 
ture of the wolf in the spelling book" this became the synonym 
for graduation. . . . 

The pupils brought such books as they happened to have, 
and one young man had Robinson Crusoe for his reading book. 
His readings interested me greatly, but I fear that my attention 
was given to the adventures of Crusoe rather than to the teacher's 
precepts for reading well. Several had Weem's Life of Wash- 
ington, in which the story of the little hatchet and the cherry 
tree was most impressed upon our memory. There were no 
classes in arithmetic. Bach boy ciphered through his text-book 
as fast as he could, and the stern teacher pointed to the errors 
with the switch held like a pen, and a wag of the head, which 
meant correction. 

We walked morning and evening to and from school, carry- 
ing our dinners in tin pails, and milk in a variety of bottles. . . . 
The Eobinson Crusoe boy, of whom I have spoken, one day took 
it into his head to teach us some arithmetic. There were five 
cows grazing by the side of the path, and he maintained there 
were fourteen, proving it in this way: "There are four in a 
bunch on the right and one by itself on the left; four on the 
right and one on the left make fourteen." We admitted the 
correctness of the numeration in the abstract but could not see 
the cows in the concrete. "Well," said he, "apply your arith- 
metic ; when you buy cattle count in the old way, but when you 
sell cattle numerate them." 

In the fall and winter of 1841 and 1842 another school house 
materialized as far to the east as the other was to the west, 


nearly two miles from home. It was a neat log house in a grove 
in the prairie, with no spring near, but the patrons substituted 
a well. The house was an improvement on the other, in that 
it had shutters to windows and doors ; glass was still far in the 
future. We had also a chimney and a wide fire-place where we 
kept a roaring logheap in cold weather, when the neighbors 
brought wood in their wagons (which they did turn about), and 
a flaming, crackling brush-heap when we had to bring fuel by 
hand from the neighboring woods. 

The following brief scrap of human history, accident- 
ally discovered among some old papers, brings to light a 
touching case worth inserting here. It is that of a brother 
of Bishop William Capers, Bev. Dr. James Capers, once 
a successful preacher and physician in South Carolina, 
who in later years becomes an unknown rambler and at 
last totters into an obscure grave in Texas. The item 
is as follows : * 

About the last of October, 1834, an old gentleman rode up 
to my father's, about one mile west of Bound Top, in Fayete 
county, and requested to spend the night. He appeared to be 
very unwell, and had to be assisted from his horse. He gradu- 
ally grew worse, and was never able to rise from his bed. In 
March, 1835, he died. He was a very intelligent man, and gave 
us a complete account of his life. He said he was the brother 
of Dr. William Capers, afterwards bishop ; that he had been an 
ordained minister for many years, and showed us a certificate 
of ordination from Bishop McKendree. He had preached for 
many years in South Carolina and Georgia. Finally he began 
to take an undue interest in politics, and in religious and doc- 
trinal controversies. He became embarrassed in business, and 
lost ground religiously, which caused him to leave and come to 
Texas. After leading a negligent life he attended a meeting 
held by Sumner Bacon and was reclaimed and began to preach 
again. On his sick bed he prayed that he might see Bacon again, 
and Bacon being found and told of it, came to see the old man, 
and they prayed and shouted together. My grandfather, who 

i From a writer, signing J. T. J., in T. C. A., 1857. 


lived near us, and who knew William Capers, by long conversa- 
tions with the old man was convinced that he was his brother. 
He had a regular diploma degree of M.D., which, with many 
other papers, he left with my mother, including his Bible; but 
these were all lost in the runaway scrape in 1836. He preached 
often, eloquent, inspiring sermons while lying in bed. His re- 
mains lie in an obscure, secluded spot about one mile east of 
Round Top. 

Texas Methodism perhaps has never had a more use- 
ful layman than David Ayers, who came to Texas in 
1834 from New York State. He tried farming for a 
year, and after the revolution he embarked in business, 
first at Washington, removing later to Center Hill, and 
finally to Galveston, where he became one of the merchant 
princes of his day. Something of his services in the days 
of spiritual destitution in Texas, and of the hardships 
and losses of the pioneer, are set forth in the following 
letter, written to a friend in 1843 : 2 

You will recollect that I sailed from New York in May, 1834, 
in the brig Asia, Captain Johnson. Contrary to my express 
agreement with Captain Johnson, he shipped a barrel of whiskey. 
The consequence was, he was intoxicated most of the time. He 
ran us aground on the Bahama Banks, where we were aground 
eight days. We suffered much from exposure to the scorching 
rays of the sun, having no awning. To enable us to get afloat, 
we threw overboard all our heavy lading, and about two-thirds 
of our water. After we got afloat we were becalmed. Our water 
failed us. We had on board one hundred persons, one-half of 
whom were women and children. We were out at sea six weeks. 
We suffered much for want of water; and when our last half 
pint was served out to us our vessel was run aground near Cor- 
pus Christi Bay. We escaped from the wreck in a small boat, 
and landed on a desert island, where we encampel four weeks. 
I succeeded in securing from the wreck the box of Bibles and 
Sunday School books, which we had received from the Bible 
and Sunday School Societies in New York. I also saved most 

2 Published in the N. Y. Christian Advocate and Journal, 1843. 


of my goods. I was compelled to leave my goods on the beach, 
while I went in the boat, with my family to San Patricio, the 
nearest settlement. We arrived at this place three months from 
the time of my departure from New York with my family. Three 
of my children were dangerously ill with a bilious fever, and 
I was obliged to remain with them. When I returned to the 
beach I found the boxes of goods had been opened, and most of 
the valuable articles were carried off, including the most of our 
clothing. The box of Bibles I found safe, and secured it, and 
felt thankful that things were no worse. 

In San Patricio I procured a small cabin for my family ; this 
was made of poles drove in the ground, and covered with grass, 
without a floor. We were thankful for the shelter. This settle- 
ment was composed of Mexicans and Irish Roman Catholics all, 
or nearly all, were very ignorant. Having some testimonials 
from several Catholic clergymen in New York, one of which from 
Rev. Mr. Powers was a very flattering one, I called on the priest 
and presented them. These testimonials procured us a very 
hospitable reception, and we were soon supplied with all com- 
forts the place offered. The priest called at our cabin and ex- 
pressed a desire to inspect my library, which the rabble had not 
thought worth carrying off. A Spanish testament attracted his 
attention; he examined it and pronounced it a correct edition 
and expressed a desire to possess it. I immediately presented it 
to him, and he appeared pleased with the present. Father Malloy 
was our constant visitor, and his example was followed by the 
inhabitants including the officers of the garrison. My library 
was the chief attraction to our visitors, and I took care to have 
two copies of the Spanish Testament always in a conspicuous 
place. These they all were sure to see, and invariably they 
would express a desire to procure a copy, and then I would avail 
myself of the opportunity to present it to them at the same 
time informing them that Father Malloy had examined it, and 
pronounced it a genuine translation. In this way nearly all the 
intelligent part of the inhabitants procured Spanish Testaments. 
My supply was nearly exhausted, when one day the priest came 
to my cabin in a rage, and demanded of me how I dared to 
circulate that damnable book among his flock. He threatened 
me with imprisonment, and said he would burn my books and 
confiscate the little property I had remaining. (He actually did 


seize on a quantity of tracts which, by order of the alcalde, were 
publicly burned in the public square.) I reminded the priest 
that he had pronounced the translation a good one, and that I 
supposed he wished his people to read the word of God. He left, 
denouncing me in the severest manner. In a few minutes I was 
called on by the alcalde, who informed me that I had committed 
a great offense. He threatened me, &c. I showed him my pass- 
port as an American citizen, and claimed my protection as an 
American. I afterwards learned that the priest went around, 
and demanded all the Testaments he could find. I was much 
gratified that he could not procure all. Some from whom the 
priest had taken their Testaments away came and requested 
another copy, promising to conceal it from the priest. I con- 
cealed the box of Bibles under my bed. The priest soon made 
the place too hot for me; and I was constantly annoyed with 
vexatious lawsuits before the alcalde, which always went against 
me and in this way my resources were nearly exhausted. Here 
I was, two hundred miles from my intended home, robbed and 
deprived of almost all my means of support, by unjust suits 
before the alcalde, with a large family, amid an ignorant Catho- 
lic population, who were ready to obey the priest, and this 
priest my enemy. I determined immediately on removing east, 
and was fortunate to procure a large ox wagon, in which I placed 
my effects, and I mounted my wife and children on ponies, and 
we left this place, esteeming myself fortunate in being able to 
get away with the wreck of my property ; I arrived in safety at 
my place, having spent the last dollar I had in paying ferriage 
across the last river. The wagoner gave me credit for his bill. 
On this route I supplied every family I found destitute with a 

The revolution broke out; we were invaded, and we had to 
flee before the enemy, leaving behind us all our property, except- 
ing some bedding, clothing, some provisions, and a box of Bibles. 
We wandered from place to place to keep out of reach of the 
enemy, and lived in the woods eleven weeks, destitute of almost 
every comfort. The memorable battle of San Jacinto was fought. 
The enemy retreated; Santa Anna was taken prisoner, and we 
once more returned to our home. But what a scene presented 
itself to our view. The spoiler had been there, and nothing was 
remaining but an empty cottage every article had been de- 


stroyed or carried off. Our bee-hive was split open, and furni- 
ture all gone all presented a scene of desolation which made 
our hearts sink within us. 

We had escaped the horrors of war, and now famine stared 
us in the face. No corn nearer than 40 miles; nothing to buy 
corn with but four quarts of salt. No meat our smoke-house 
had been emptied. At this juncture a bull passed my cottage, 
and we shot him down, and on him we subsisted until we pro- 
cured supplies. My farming prospects all blasted, my stock all 
gone, I removed to Washington, and there commenced a small 
business. Mrs. A. and my daughter took in sewing, and God 
prospered our efforts, and we soon got in good business. 

At this period, the Spring of 1836, there was not a solitary 
church organized in all Texas 3 nor was there a Sunday school. 
I started a prayer meeting at my house, and there in a back 
room a few pious females met with my family, and united with 
us in praying that the Lord would send us Ministers of the 
Gospel. I started a Sunday school. The books I had received 
from the Sunday School Society in New York furnished us with 
books. On enquiring of the children if they had Bibles at home, 
I found most of them were destitute of Bibles. These I supplied, 
and soon my box of Bibles was emptied; and to supply the de- 
mand I gave away nearly every Bible I had in my house, except 
my large Bible. In 1837 I removed to Center Hill, and left 
the Sunday school prospering. 

From the memorials of another Methodist family of 
those days we give a personal reminiscence never before 
published. The family was that of Isaac Addison, from 
which there went forth three sons into the Methodist 
itinerancy in Texas. Mr. Addison had been a respectable 
and prosperous mechanic in Baltimore, who, though long 
settled and confirmed in the habits of city life, and with 
the best of religious and educational advantages for his 
family, was nevertheless attracted by the reports of 
Texas which reached that distant city, and early in 1835 
broke up and shipped for the new country. The family, 

s The church in the McMahan settlement had been in operation since 
1834, too far away for the writer to know of it perhaps. 


as a part of a large company of immigrants, arrived on 
board the schooner Elisabeth off the mouth of the Brazos 
in the month of May. In an endeavor to make anchorage 
at Velasco in the night the vessel hung up on a sandbar 
and went to pieces before dawn. The passengers escaped 
in a panic by one way and another, but lost nearly all 
their goods. 

"Our vessel was to have landed us at Columbia, on 
the Brazos," says 0. M. Addison, a son, in his personal 
recollections of his introduction and early days in Texas, 
then a boy of fourteen; "but the voyage ending sooner 
than was expected found us in the country of our future 
home shipwrecked, among strangers, without shelter or 
protection from the weather. Our household goods, wet 
and damaged, were piled up on the beach, and night fast 
settling down upon us induced a feeling of depression 
that seemed an unwelcome augury of coming evil. How- 
ever, no one shed tears or gave way to discouragement. 
Obtaining a good supper at the hotel in the little town of 
Velasco, we then extemporized some rude tents, and 
began our Texas life by the new experience of camping 
near the beach." 

Following the same narrative we may trace the for- 
tunes of this family in Texas until the close of the stormy 
period of the revolution. 

From Velasco we ascended the Brazos in a keel boat to Co- 
lumbia. Here our passage by water ended, and our further 
journey to a point near San Felipe was made in ox-wagons, the 
only mode of transportation in that day, except horseback. 

The life was new and exhilarating; the weather mild and 
pleasant ; the camping and life outdoors novel and exciting, and 
in such contrast with former experience as to make the trip 
most delightful. On the evening of the third day our wagons 
drove up to a long log cabin of a single room in the midst of the 
prairie, where our goods were unloaded, and where we were to 
make a temporary home until the country could be explored in 
order to make a suitable location of our land and permanent 


residence. Although before starting for Texas we had reduced 
our household goods to a minimum the little cabin was too small 
to hold us and our "plunder," as the neighbors called it. We, 
however, soon adapted ourselves to the necessities of the case, 
and improvising a shed, covered it with palmetto found in an 
adjacent creek bottom. This added materially to our accommo- 
dations, though the floor of both house and shed were only of 
native earth. . . . 

My father having located a part of our land in Robertson's 
Colony, on the old San Antonio Road, five miles northeast of the 
present town of Caldwell, in the latter part of the summer we 
removed to its vicinity in a couple of large ox-wagons, a journey 
of about one hundred miles. . . . The place selected was then 
on the extreme frontier. Securing the occupancy of a little log 
cabin with a dirt floor about a mile distant from our location, 
we here passed a season of acclimation with fever and ague. Of 
doctors there were none, and the little medicine obtainable, im- 
properly administered, probably did more harm than good. In 
the absence of well, spring or cistern, we used water found in 
pools in the creek. Warm and impure, it was sometimes suffi- 
ciently unpalatable to nauseate a sound stomach; but to a sick 
person, wrestling with a burning fever, and languishing for a 
drink of pure, cold water, instead of relief it only cruelly tanta- 
lized him with the remembrance of the many refreshing foun- 
tains from which he had slacked his thirst in other days. 

Our settlement on the frontier necessarily cut us off from 
supplies to be procured at the centers of trade, and also placed 
us in unpleasant proximity to the Indians, just about that time 
becoming hostile. Thus, to a great extent thrown upon our 
own resources, we soon learned to adapt ourselves to the corn 
bread and dried beef, the staple bill of fare, and to keep constant 
watch for the Indians. 

Although up to this time there had been no general outbreak 
of the Indians, some of them were known to be hostile, while 
the good faith of all was considered doubtful. A short time 
before our coming a young man, the son of a near neighbor, had 
been slain by them within sight of his father's house. . . . Know- 
ing our liability to any sudden attack of these savages, it was 
with no little trepidation that one day soon after our arrival, 
I saw some dozen or more of them ride up to our cabin. Whether 


friendly or hostile, I could not tell, and in the latter case I could 
not depend upon their truthfulness. I went out to meet them 
and found them avowedly friendly, and outspoken in their kindly 
salutation in broken English. But the honesty of an Indian 
was at a discount, and he could not be trusted. 

Seeing no one at home but my mother and myself, they soon 
became rather rude and uncivil. We had just obtained a supply 
of fresh beef, which, according to custom, was cut up and spread 
on a scaffold in the sun to cure. This attracting their attention, 
they rather demanded than asked for a supply for themselves. I 
at once gave them what I thought a fair share, when, instead of 
showing gratitude, they insolently clamored for more. I was not 
disposed to yield, but mother, anxious to get rid of them, in- 
structed me to give them all they wished. This I did, when 
seeing nothing more they wished they took an unceremonious 

In the quiet seclusion of our frontier home, opening a farm, 
improving the place, and laboring to make things comfortable, 
for long seasons together one heard nothing from the outside 
world. There was neither mail route, post-office nor newspaper, 
and the only means of communication with distant points was 
the occasional passing of some traveller, or the rare sight of a 
well-read newspaper. From these sources we had heard of the 
overturning of the Federal Government in Mexico by the dic- 
tator, Santa Anna, who, having ordered the disarming of the 
Texas colonists, had sent a large force to San Antonio to enforce 
the decree. That this force had been defeated, and captured by 
the Texians, was made known to us by the visit of my eldest 
brother, whom we had left behind in Baltimore. On his way 
to rejoin us in Texas he had encountered in New Orleans the 
war spirit in favor of the young Republic, and volunteering as 
one of the "New Orleans Greys," had fought in the ranks at 
San Antonio and assisted in the capture of the Alamo. 

We had hoped that this success had ended the struggle with 
Mexico, and did not know that Santa Anna in person was on 
the march to Texas with a large army, in a war of extermination, 
until Travis and his heroic comrades had fallen with the Alamo, 
so long and so nobly defended. The startling news of these 
tragic events reached us by special courier at midnight, fol- 
lowed at early dawn by a throng of fugitives from the upper 


settlements on the Colorado river, who, having received earlier 
intelligence of the fatal distaster, were. already fleeing for their 
lives. The old San Antonio Eoad was the uppermost highway 
through Texas, and on this thoroughfare passed as forlorn and 
desponding company as ever fled from blood-thirsty pursuers. 
Like ourselves, somewhat remote from the seat of war, and in 
fancied security, the news of the recapture of the Alamo burst 
upon them like an unexpected storm, and giving them no time 
for preparation, forced them to hasten their flight by leaving 
everything not easily transported. A little provision, some bed- 
ding and clothing and all else left, with no hope of a return 
to enjoy it. 

In a straggling crowd the fugitives passed, with just such 
means of transportation as was at immediate command car- 
riages, wagons, carts, sleds, pack-horses, oxen packed, on foot 
and on horseback; old men, old women, young men, young 
women and children of all condition and ages. These with an 
occasional drove of cattle and horses interspersed, enlivened the 
usually quiet roadway that morning, and indicated that busines 
of more than ordinary interest was pressing them forward. . . . 
In that sad procession passing our house that morning I suppose 
were fifty or seventy-five families, some already with represen- 
tatives with Houston in the army, and others intent on placing 
their wives and children in a place of safety, and then go to 
the front and unite with those already in the field against the 
invader and secure the freedom of Texas. 

The passing of the fugitives from the Colorado increased the 
alarm of the few families in our immediate neighborhood, and 
hastened our preparations for departure. Some provision and 
bedding were placed in a cart, on truck wheels, the only convey- 
ance obtainable, drawn by two yoke of half broken oxen, and 
part of the family walking, we joined the rear portion of the 
scattered fugitives. The promiscuous throng of men, women and 
children with whom we united had already been on the road 
for several days, and harassed by fear and weary with travel, 
having spent the greater part of the previous night on the march, 
allowed themselves but a short halt for breakfast. This need 
of haste, we subsequently learned, was well founded, for a 
division of the Mexican army was actually on the road behind 


us, and nothing but an order from headquarters changing their 
line of march prevented them from overtaking us. 

The Brazos was reached in the afternoon, and not being 
fordable, in the absence of a ferry-boat, two canoes lashed to- 
gether made a good substitute; and after some delay all were 
crossed in safety. "With the river between us and the Mexicans 
we felt comparatively secure; and while the greater part of the 
fugitives continued their flight, a few families, including my 
father's, remained to hear further tidings from the seat of war. 

About this time a continuous rain set in, and the whole 
country became flooded with water. The river became swollen, 
and our canoes were washed away. This latter circumstance was 
a serious affair to our family, for father and an older brother 
had both re-crossed the stream in the hope of being able to 
procure better means of conveyance. The rain and high water 
delayed their return until we became somewhat alarmed for 
them. Our new friends promptly decided that they had been 
drowned in the overflow. One old man, in mistaken kindness, 
took it upon him to inform my mother that from all indications 
it. was quite certain that her husband had been drowned, and 
that she might as well consider herself a widow. This was al- 
most equal to a confirmation of the fears of my mother. But 
the suspense and anxiety were soon ended by the absent members 
of the family presenting themselves on the opposite bank of the 
river. There were no means of crossing the river, and anxious 
to hear the news brought by the new arrival, they were closely 
questioned as to the state of war. My brother incautiously 
announced the defeat and massacre of Fannin's division of the 
Texas army. A panic seized the people, and while some waited 
to hear the close of the story, the greater portion hitched up 
their teams and fled. The remainder soon followed, leaving but 
a single family besides our own, and they only because their 
cart had been left on the other side of the river. Constructing 
a skiff out of the flooring of a house, in due time the cart and 
our folks were safely ferried over. 

The swollen condition of the Brazos, rendering it difficult to 
cross, had given us some slight sense of protection from the 
Mexicans, but knowing they were not idle, we hastened our de- 
parture. We found the road in fearful condition cut up by 
recent travel, alternately covered with water and deep in mire, 


the laboring teams made slow headway. To relieve this strain, 
many of the women and children were compelled to walk through 
the mud and wade through the water, with wet garments, to 
be only partially dried at the next night's camp-fire. The ex- 
citement attendant upon such hardships and exposure may have 
nerved the sufferers to their full endurance, but the discomforts 
of that memorable flight implanted the germs of disease that 
shortened many a useful life. . . . 

At the Trinity river our road formed a junction with another 
road, crossing the country lower down. At the ferry here a 
large number of families had already crossed before the freshet, 
but the flooded bottom made it tedious to cross, and hundreds 
were now waiting their turn to be ferried over. As late arrivals 
would be too long delayed at this point, and as the Navisota river 
was in a similar condition to the Trinity, my father with several 
others made a detour to the left, intending to cross both of those 
streams higher up, where there would be less water and fewer 
people. The route travelled was a newly made trail, but little 
used by wagons; the ground wet and boggy and difficult to 
travel over. 

"While thus seeking to escape the Mexican we were risking 
an encounter with the but little more savage Comanche. A 
merciful Providence spared us, and in due time we safely reached 
Fort Parker. This was the upper settlement on the Navisota, 
within a few miles of where the old town of Springfield subse- 
quently stood. To protect themselves from the Indians the 
people had constructed a fort and moved into it. "We rested here 
a few days, and continued our journey. A few families here had 
already fled from the Mexicans; a few went with our company, 
while some remained to meet whatever fate awaited them. 

"We were fortunate in finding a rude bridge of logs spanning 
the Navisota, placed there by fugitives who had preceded us. At 
the Trinity we encountered the rear of a considerable number 
of families, and by the aid of some canoes, crossed with but little 
delay. Reaching Fort Houston, a nice little village, already 
deserted, we rested awhile, hoping soon to ascertain whether the 
fortunes of war would force us to cross the Sabine, or permit us 
to return home. 

It was well for our company that our stay at Fort Parker 
was not of longer duration. Sometime after our departure from 


that place a band of Comanehes appeared at the gate, under 
protection of a white flag. Confiding unwisely in their honesty, 
the inmates of the fort permitted them to enter. Having by this 
stratagem lulled suspicion, the savages soon threw off the mask 
and massacred or captured their unsuspecting victims, save a 
few who prudently got out of the way before the tragedy began. 
Cynthia Ann Parker, then a girl of eight or nine years, was one 
of the captives. Her relatives made unavailing efforts to rescue 
her. Years afterward, when the wife of an Indian chief, she, 
with a child in her arms, was captured in a battle by a party 
of Texas rangers. Quanah, the noted Comanche chief, is said 
to be her son. 

At Fort Houston, in painful suspense, we waited for infor- 
mation from the seat of war. From the disasters hitherto be- 
falling our arms there was but little grounds for the expecta- 
tion of good news. Another battle may have been fought, and 
Houston's army, our last hope, may have been destroyed. . . . 
Suddenly the looked for intelligence reached us, but who can 
believe it! Instead of the dreaded reverse there was victory. 
Instead of the continued flight to the border, we may now return 
home. . . . The story seemed incredible, and found in every 
man who heard it a doubting Thomas. Such a combination of 
favorable circumstances was simply out of the question, and 
some practical joker had victimized the people by an ill-timed 
story, too good to be true. But it was true gloriously true! 
Gen. Houston, by special messengers, had sent forth the good 
news, to stop the fleeing colonists, and invite them back to their 
homes. This confirmed the report, and with thanksgiving in 
many a rejoicing heart, the weary fugitives turned their faces 
again to the west, and thus ended what was known among the old 
Texians of that day as the "Runaway Scrape." 

The alarm caused by the Mexican invasion spread to 
the border settlements on the Sabine, carried thither by 
the rush of the fleeing population from the interior, and 
raised almost to a panic by deserters from the Texas 
army, hurrying out of the country, after the Alamo 
slaughter. A member of a Methodist family just recently 
entering Texas gives us a glimpse of the effects of the 


war on the border population. 4 "At San Augustine we 
were advised not to go any further until the affairs of 
the country became more settled," we are told. "My 
brother-in-law, Dr. Wells and family, with myself, con- 
cluded to remain through the winter [of 1835-36]. My 
brother and his son went on and joined the army, and 
the latter was killed in the Alamo. I remained in the 
family of Dr. Wells at San Augustine until about the 
first of April, when the news reached us of the fall of the 
Alamo, and the advancing of the Mexican army, which, 
together with the fear of Indians, compelled us to retreat 
across the Sabine, where we camped in the woods and 
remained several weeks. There were some hundreds of 
women and children, with nothing to protect them but 
the branches of the trees, or very poor tents, and many 
of them almost without food." 

In the short but costly struggle for independence the 
few Methodist preachers and other Church leaders then 
in Texas bore or took their full part. James P. Steven- 
son, who had removed into East Texas in 1835, bore 
arms in the military operations, as did John W. Kenney. 
Dr. Wm. P. Smith was appointed surgeon in the army, 
and he served in that capacity until the close of the war. 
Alexander Thomson was a member of the first provisional 
government, as was also Asa Mitchell, whom we have not 
noticed hitherto. Mitchell was one of Austin 's original 
300 colonists, having come to Texas in 1822, settling first 
at Velasco. He was a Methodist who took a pronounced 
interest in all the affairs of his church, although he is best 
known for his participation in public affairs during the 
revolutionary period. He was not only a member of the 
first "Consultation" government in 1835, but in 1836 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention, and a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. He joined 
Houston's army, and fought in the battle of San Jacinto. 

* From an unsigned letter published in N. Y. Christian Advocate and 


Mitchell County is named for him, jointly with a brother, 
Eli Mitchell. Present also and taking part in the battle 
of San Jacinto was Eobert Crawford, who soon there- 
after became a prominent Methodist itinerant in Texas. 
Capt. Moseley Baker, afterwards a prominent local 
preacher in Houston, commanded a company at San 
Jacinto. Capt. W. J. Russell, who as a sailor first landed 
in Texas in 1818, returned and settled at Harrisburg in 
1827, subsequently removing to Brazoria County. He is 
said to have fired the first gun for Texas independence 
at Anahuac in 1832, and the same year participated in the 
battle of Velasco. 5 After the war he served a term as 
senator in the Congress of Texas. Some of his activities 
in connection with the Church and our school interests 
will be noticed later. 

Dr. Smith explains that he did not reach San Jacinto 
until the day after the battle. "I, as one of the surgeons 
of the army, was left at Donaho's, in charge of some 
sixty sick with the measles, being the sick of both Regi- 
ments," he says. 6 "So soon as I got them in condition 
so that some could go to the settlements, to regain their 
health, Capt. Hill, of Washington county, and myself, 
took those who were able to join the army and dashed 
on as rapidly as possible to join the main Army before 
the battle. When we arrived on April 20, 1836, at the 
upper encampment, [we found that] the end was knocked 
out of the ferry-boat, and while some workmen were 
repairing it, Cos's division came on, fired on the work- 
men, and wounded one. Then, as Cos's division was 
between us and the main army, we could not arrive there 
until the battle was over, and then we hastened to the 
scene as quickly as possible. I was there in time to aid 
in attending to the sick and wounded." 

With the Texan's sweeping victory at San Jacinto 
the country is now open for a general invasion of another 

s Obituary, T. C. A., 1882. 

6 Account in Texas Almanac, 1859, p. 165. 


sort and from another direction, which is to begin the 
following year with the coming of Enter, Alexander and 
Fowler. But before setting out upon that part of our 
history we will first take leave of our old friend, Henry 
Stephenson. Though Stephenson is to survive a few 
years more, the active period of his ministry practically 
closed with the pre-revolutionary days. We have seen 
that he located in 1835 and removed into Texas. He was 
now advanced in years ; his health was poor, and with a 
large family dependent upon him, we hear no more of 
the extensive rounds over Texas which he had made 
before. His ministerial career was a checkered one. The 
records show that he was admitted on trial into confer- 
ences three times once in the Missouri Conference, and 
twice in the Mississippi Conference, and as many times 
he was discontinued ' ' at his own request. ' ' The ministry 
paid him practically nothing toward the support of his 
family, and yet he kept returning and knocking at the 
conference door for admission and for "work." And yet 
with all the vicissitudes through which he passed as local 
preacher and itinerant, and struggling always with 
poverty, this old horsebacker of the front lines of 
Methodism rides on to the end with "nothing against 

After his final location in Texas we have an account 
of his last visit to the west, made in 1837, to the settle- 
ment of the Eabbs and Moores, on the Colorado. His 
horse gave out, and he entered the settlement on foot. 
Hearing of the expected arrival of regular missionaries 
in Texas, he was greatly rejoiced, and used the words of 
old Simeon, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord, 
according to thy word in peace." In 1840 he preached 
and organized the first church in Jefferson County, near 
Beaumont. In 1841 he attended his last meeting, held 
near Jasper. He was a sufferer from asthma, and ' ' such 
was the difficulty of his breathing that he could scarcely 
get his breath while lying down, and had to rise fre- 


quently during the night," says Thrall. This meeting 
was a good one, and the old gentleman had the satis- 
faction of seeing his youngest son and daughter con- 
vertedthe last of ten children. He expected to return 
home Monday morning, but learning that the Lord's 
Supper would be administered, said he would remain 
and take it for the last time. He died November 20, 
1841, in his sixty-ninth year. 

Stephenson is described as having been "neither 
learned nor eloquent, in the ordinary acceptation of those 
terms; but he was a good man, and cherished a single 
purpose to glorify God and do all the good in his power. 
He was of a meek and quiet spirit, winning friends by 
his gentle manners. In one respect nature had favored 
him. He possessed a most musical voice, a voice which 
ringing out upon a camp-ground, charmed into silent 
and attentive listeners all classes of people. " An 
example of the effect of his preaching is related by the 
famous Tom Farmer, who had been converted under 
Stephenson 's preaching in Louisiana. Later removing 
into Texas Farmer heard more of Stephenson 's preach- 
ing. At TeePs, in Sabine County, where Stephenson 
preached in 1834, young Farmer formed the acquaintance 
of Miss Rachel Teel, who was not then a professor of 
religion, and who had not heard any preaching. "I 
thought she would suit me," says Farmer, quoted in 
Thrall, "if she had religion, and I thought it was only 
necessary for her to hear Father Stephenson preach to 
make her religious. Not long afterward he had an 
appointment at Bayou Sara, La. This young lady and 
another and myself went to hear him. "We had to ride 
twenty miles the last morning before preaching. As we 
got in Father Stephenson was just taking his text. It 
was: 'Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many 
things ; but one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen 
that good part, which shall not be taken away from her/ 
The two young ladies were quite gay; they had got hold 


of some starch that a merchant had brought to Texas, 
and used some, and felt exalted. Father Stephenson had 
got about half through his sermon when he took the 
starch out of the girls, and both cried aloud for prayer, 
and were soon converted. Rachel and I fixed things up 
at once. I was now a married Methodist, with a 
Methodist wife." 

Henry Stephenson sleeps in an abandoned country 
cemetery near Burkeville, Newton County. Some belated 
effort has been made to mark his grave with a plain, inex- 
pensive monument. He left numerous descendants in 
that region, while two of his sons became local preachers. 



THE news of the decisive battle of San Jacinto reached 
the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in session at Cincinnati, Ohio, in May, 1836, and 
produced no little rejoicing. Much had been published 
in the press of the country about Texas, and lately the 
struggle with Mexico had awakened a keener interest in 
the fortunes of this distant province. The letters and 
appeals from Methodists in Texas, heretofore noted, had 
been published widely in the Church papers, so that to 
the body of representatives of the Church gathered at 
Cincinnati San Jacinto meant first of all the providential 
opening of a great door of opportunity for the gospel, 
and the feeling was general that the response should 
be instant. 

One prominent member of the General Conference, 
Dr. Martin Ruter, offered himself on the spot as a mis- 
sionary to Texas, "to go whenever it should be deemed 
a proper time for entering that field of labor. The 
superintendents were all consulted on the subject, and 
all agreed in an opinion favorable to the enterprise. It 
was believed that the unsettled condition of the country, 
in reference to its political relations, was not suitable to ' 
the immediate establishment of a mission, but that in all 
probability it might be within a few months. ' ' x When 
the superintendents were at length convinced that the 
freedom of Texas was measureably secure, and that they 
were not invading a forbidden land, the mission in Texas 

i Martin Euter, by E. A. Smith, p. 98. 



was officially established. Dr. Enter received his ap- 
pointment in April, 1837, as " Superintendent of the 
Texas Mission," from Bishop Elijah Hedding, who was 
in charge of all foreign mission work of the Chnrch. 
Other volunteers selected and appointed the same year 
to accompany Dr. Euter as " missionaries to Texas'* 
were Eobert Alexander, of the Mississippi Conference, 
and Littleton Fowler, of the Tennessee Conference. It 
must be remembered that Texas was, even after its inde- 
pendence was won, a foreign nation, or, in the terms of 
the Mission Board, a ' 'foreign field," and the first 
preachers sent out were chosen and supported by the 
Mission Board, and hence called ''missionaries." But 
the term was a little unfortunate as it applied to the 
American population in Texas, however destitute they 
were of the gospel, and here and there awakened some 
prejudice against the first preachers. 2 

Henceforth the names of Euter, Alexander and 
Fowler are to be associated with Texas Methodism all 
three are to spend the remainder of their lives in the 
Texas wilderness, and all are to find their graves in 
Texas soil. No better choice could have been made for 
this raw and extensive field than the Church made in 
sending these three pioneers to Texas. They were all 
men of experience and ability, filling at the time of their 
appointment places of prominence and responsibility in 
their home conferences, and all alike displayed wisdom, 
courage and enthusiasm under the hardships of their new 
field. The life of Euter was cut short after entering 
Texas, but the character of the man and his work have 
stamped his name indelibly upon our history. Fowler, 
though a young man, yet never very robust in health, 
lived and labored a little less than a decade through our 

2 The writer well remembers the prejudice of the old Texians against 
the word "missionary," as applied to the early preachers. To their 
understanding it implied that the people they came to serve were neces- 
sarily heathens. Since then the word has become better understood as 
describing a minister sent to any destitute field. O. M. Addison. 


formative period. Alexander, also a young man, and a 
giant in body as well as in mind, outlived all his first 
co-laborers, his career in Texas alone extending over a 
period of forty-four years. 

Alexander, being nearest the field, was the first to 
enter. "Our itinerant system is the best for a rapid and 
successful spread of the gospel," comments J. G. Jones 
on this event. "While other denominations were 
anxiously looking around for men and means to supply 
Texas, and were waiting for a call to invite them here 
and there, the Methodists had a corps of minutemen 
ready to mount their horses and enter the field, regard- 
less of a special call from any community or the promise 
of a competent salary. Hence they had entered and 
taken possession of the field, already white unto the 
harvest, while others were getting ready to begin the 

Eobert Alexander was born in Smith County, Tenn., 
in 1811, and was therefore twenty-six years of age at the 
time of his entering Texas. He was converted and united 
with the Methodist Church in his seventeenth year. He 
was licensed to exhort at eighteen, and licensed to preach 
and admitted on trial into the Tennessee Conference the 
following year. He served in turn the Bedford, Goose 
Creek, Fountain Head, Murfreesboro and Mill Creek cir- 
cuits. He was transferred to the Alabama Conference, 
but before entering upon that field he was transferred 
to the Mississippi Conference, and appointed to Port 
Gibson and Grand Gulf. "In 1835 he was made the 
Superintendent of the Chickasaw District," says Bishop 
Fitzgerald, 3 "and began the sort of work which thence- 
forth was to be peculiarly his own, the occupancy and 
organization of new fields of evangelization." In 1836 
he was appointed to Natchez station one of the most 
difficult situations in the whole southwest which place 
he was occupying at the time of his appointment as mis- 

3 Life of Alexander, in "Eminent Methodist" pamphlets. 


sionary to Texas. "His family," continues Fitzgerald, 
"was of the North Carolina Alexanders. They were a 
sturdy clan, Covenanters in Scotland, and among the 
very first to set the ball of liberty rolling in America. 
Two of them were signers of the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence. It was a family much given to 
preaching, pedagogy and a patriotism ever ready to talk 
or fight for their country. They made Presbyterians of 
the strongest and best type. Such of them as became 
Methodists went their whole length as Methodists in 
theology and Christian experience. When one of them 
was a Hardshell he was hard indeed double-cased and 
almost impenetrable." 

Alexander "mounted his horse" and set out for Texas 
in August, 1837. He crossed the Sabine on the nineteenth 
of that month, and on the same day preached his first 
permon in Texas at the house of a Mr. Walker. After 
a few days he proceeded to the McMahan settlement, 
where he held a few days ' meeting, at which were present 
James P. Stevenson and Messrs. Crawford, English and 
Johnson. Alexander spent a month in this section, re- 
viving and organizing the work which had been begun 
in previous years. He held a quarterly conference, 
licensed two men to exhort, who afterward became travel- 
ing preachers, and organized the San Augustine circuit. 
Leaving the work here temporarily in charge of his two 
new licentiates, he hurried on to Austin County and got 
in touch with John W. Kenney and other Methodists in 
that section. His coming was hailed with delight by the 
faithful few in that region, who had time and again 
appealed to the Mission Board for a regular preacher. 
It was the announcement of the appointment of preachers 
to Texas, contained in a letter from the secretary of the 
Mission Board, and read a few months before at a little 
prayer meeting in Washington, that produced the "first 
Methodist shout in that place," according to David 
Ayers. Soon after Alexander's arrival a camp-meeting 


was appointed, which was held near the old camp ground 
on Caney, in October, 1837. At this meeting there were 
ten conversions, including the wife of John Babb and 
three children of David Ayers, and at the close the first 
missionary society in Texas was organized and subscrip- 
tions taken for the support of the work, amounting to 
an annual pledge of about $1,000. 4 

Littleton Fowler arrived in Austin County and joined 
Mr. Alexander in November. He had set out on his 
journey to Texas in August, leaving Tuscumbia, Ala., 
where he had been serving as financial agent of LaGrange 
College. Mr. Fowler took a more circuitous route and 
made a more leisurely journey to Texas than his col- 
league, traveling by way of Memphis, Little Eock and 

4 The following is a copy of the subscription paper, included in an ac- 
count of this meeting, published in the Texas Christian Advocate in 1857. 
It was explained that many of the subscribers were not members of any 

We, the subscribers, promise to pay the sums annexed to our respective 
names annually, as members of the Texas Missionary Society, auxiliary to 
the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United 
States, to John Eabb, Treasurer of the Texas Missionary Society, or Ms 
order. October, 1837. 

J. W. Stoddard $5; John Ingram 5; C. Longley 2; James Eees 5; 
J. W. Kenney 20; David Ayers 100; B. G. Canon 1; John Eabb 50; J. E. 
Chambers 1; W. E. Allcorn 1; W. W. Marley 3; Thomas Polk 5; John 
Fennel 1; N. Breeden 5; John Breed en 5; J. E. Scott 5; J. W. Crawford 1; 
B. F. Eavell 20; John Tyler 5; John Crawford 5; James Stevens 5; A. 
Brown 7 ; Thomas Bell 20 ; J. Tumlinson 5 ; Eobert Price 1 ; Wm. Medf ord 
5; John Davis 1; John Martial 1; B. M. Carr 2; B. F. Foster 5; Asa 
Mitchell 5; W. Sanders 5; L. P. Moore ; James Foster 10; J. P. 
Lynch 5 ; Thos. Cohorn 5 ; Abner Mallory 1 ; Nancy Chance 20 ; Parmelia 
Foster 1; Julia Bracey 3; L. A. McHenry 10; Martin Stephens 5; B. H. 
Grover 5; S. Y. Eeams 5; B. Grenville 5; Catherine Gates 10; Eobert 
Crawford 5 ; Jacob Castleman 2 ; Daniel Gilliland 2 ; James Duff 2 ; Andrew 
Miller 5 ; Eobt. W. Scott 5 ; Eandle D. Heek 5 ; James E. Stevens 5 ; J. 
Stephenson 10; Amasa Ives 5; Ewald Cox 5; Wm. Francis 1; W. E. Mar- 
tin 5 ; B. Thomas 10 ; J. H. Bostick 5 ; John Stevens 5 ; James Bell 5 ; John 
B. King 2; James H. Scott 20; Wm. Camiss 5; J. P. Wyatt 1; Wm. A. 
King 5; Joseph B. Crosby 100; Ann Simpson 5; Eliza McFaden 5; Mrs. 
Peare 1 ; Mary A. Harris 5 ; Mary McCrory 5 ; G. W. Grimes 5 ; J. A. 
Simpson 5; A. W. Burk 2.50; A. J. Simpson 5; James Hall 4; Abner Lee 
& wife 5; M. W. Dikes 5; James Stevens 5; James Chappel 5; James 
Simpson .50 ; S. Miller 2 ; Z. Jackson .50 ; Martha Brean 5 ; Eliza Jackson 
2; Esther Bardsley 2; Mary Ann Tyler 1; Thos. M. Penick 35; J. B. 
Crawford 5 ; J. W: Lancaster 10 ; H. M. Smith 10 ; Geo. W. Cox 5 ; Samuel 
Carl 5; D. E. London 5; John Shrupski 5; J. Dosland 5; M. M. Davis 5; 
M. Pearl 5; B. H. Eucker 5; E. T. Armstead 4; F. W. Hubert 5; Cyrua 
Campbell Ij H. O. Campbell 2; Allen Ingram 5; J. G. Heffington 5. 


through, the Choctaw Nation, where he had relatives, and 
where he was detained by illness. He entered Texas by 
way of Eed Eiver, traversing and preaching in the 
country where some efforts had been made twenty years 
before to plant the Church. Mr. Fowler kept a journal 
covering the period of his introduction into Texas, and 
from it some extracts are given. First, he sets down his 
reflections on leaving home: 

Tuscumbia, Alabama, August 22, 1837. This day I leave 
this place for the Eepublic of Texas, there to labor as a mis- 
sionary, having lately been appointed to this field by the Board 
of Foreign Missions of New York. The impression made on my 
mind to go as a foreign missionary to Texas is as strong as the 
one which first called me to the ministry; consequently I shall 
expect the presence and blessings of God to attend me. In view 
of the labor and privations which must await me my soul is 
firm and undaunted. I rather rejoice that I am worthy to labor 
and suffer for my blessed Master. Yet the fact of being severed 
from my country, my kindred, my friends and brethren fills me 
with deep sorrow and affliction. 

Passing on to his entrance into Texas we have : 

On my departure from Arkansas I employed Rev. John B. 
Denton, a local preacher, to labor in the Texas mission. Sept. 
30 we reached the Sulphur Fork praries. Travelled up the 
[river] sixty miles, where I preached at Bro. Duke's to fifteen 
hearers. . . . Held a camp-meeting near Clarksville, [Eed Eiver 
County}. ... In company of three others, with provisions 
packed for four days' travel, we struck out across Texas for 
Nacogdoches. On the way we passed the unburied body of a 
man who had been shot six weeks previously for horse stealing. 
We slept in the woods four nights, using our blankets for beds. 
. . . Eeached Nacogdoches Oct. 16, preached two sermons, one 
by J. B. Denton, one by the missionary. On 19th, in company of 
Brothers Spear and Denton we got to San Augustine, where I 
preached four nights in succession and held a two days' meeting. 
At the close of the meeting I began a subscription for lumber to 
build a church for the use of a Methodist Episcopal church. In 


less than two weeks from the time the suscriptions were opened, 
a lot was deeded to us 160 feet square, central in town, with three 
thousand five hundred and twenty-five dollars subscribed. Trus- 
tees were appointed and the house under written contract to 
be finished by the first of September next [1838]. . . . This 
success to raise funds to build a church was never equalled in 
the United States in any efforts which have come under my 
observations. . . . From Nacogdoches I travelled to Washington 
on the Brazos, then on twenty-five miles southwest to Brother 
Kenney's, where to my great delight I met on Sabbath morning, 
November 12, my coadjutor, Robert Alexander; here we held 
a two days' meeting [illegible]. It was the most impressive and 
delightful meeting I have seen in Texas. . . . On the night of 
the 14th I preached in Washington to a crowded assembly in a 
school house. Many stood out before the door and listened 
attentively. While in Washington Mr. Gay gave two lots, 100 
feet by 120, on which to build a Methodist church, which is to 
be frame of plain character and moderate size. . . . From Wash- 
ington I travelled to Houston through a poor and flat country. 
Arrived on Sunday morning, 19th [Nov., 1837] , preached in the 
afternoon to a crowded house that paid the closest attention. In 
this capital of the new Eepublic there is much vice gaming, 
profanity and drunkenness the most conspicuous. Houston is 
now ten months old, with eight hundred inhabitants, good State 
House, many stores, and a vast number of doggeries [saloons]. 
. . . Nov. 21, the Senate of the Texas Congress elected me 
chaplain for the remainder of the session. . . . Nov. 26, preached 
morning and night to large congregations in the Capitol. . . . 
Am busy visiting the sick and writing letters back to the United 
States. Steamboat arrived with 103 passengers. . . . Congress 
adjourned Dec. 19, 1837. . . . Dec. 21, this morning I leave for 
San Augustine to be absent nearly a month. Have obtained a 
deed for a lot in this place [Houston] for a house of public wor- 
ship. The lot lies near the Capitol and is 125 feet by 250. 

Some features of Mr. Fowler's narrative impress us 
that he had the eye of a church extension secretary, as 
he was much imbued with the idea of building in all the 
rising young towns which he visited. Thus on his first 
visits to San Augustine, Washington and Houston he 


secured eligible and ample lots, and at San Augustine a 
building was soon tinder way. 

Leaving Mr. Fowler for the time being, we must drop 
back just a month and note the arrival of Dr. Euter in 
Texas. Fowler and Alexander had parted in Austin 
County, Fowler going to Houston and Alexander setting 
out for Natchez, to attend the session of his conference 
to be held there early in December. At Gaines's ferry 
on the Sabine he met Dr. Euter entering Texas, Novem- 
ber 21. The two spent the night together, the most of it 
in conversation relating to the work in Texas. 

Dr. Euter had had the longest journey of any of the 
missionaries in reaching Texas, having come from Mead- 
ville, Pa., where he had resigned the presidency of 
Allegheny College to accept the appointment to Texas. 
He had left Meadville in July (1837), and after bestowing 
his family at New Albany, Ind., he found that he would 
be compelled to remain in the upper country until frost, 
on account of the prevalence of yellow fever on the lower 
Mississippi. He came down in the fall by boat, landed 
at Eodney, La., and rode horseback across the country 
to Texas. Dr. Euter was fortunate in having for a travel- 
ing companion on this journey a well-informed Texas 
Methodist, David Ayers, returning from a journey to the 
East. Mr. Ayers wrote down his impressions of the 
Doctor and many incidents on the way, which we re- 
produce: 5 

The Doctor preached his last sermon, before leaving for 
Texas, in the presence of the Indiana Conference, in session at 
New Albany, in November, 1837, Bishops Soule and Eoberts both 
being present. On Thursday afternoon he bade farewell to his 
wife and children, no more to meet them on earth. On the 
steamer on which he took passage for New Orleans the writer 
of this was his room-mate. He spent much of his time in private 
devotion and hi reading the Bible. He was never idle, and 
though quite cheerful and affable toward all with whom he 

s Published in the Annals of Southern Methodism, 1857. 


mixed, yet his demeanor was marked by a calm dignity and 
thoughtfulness, which, with his great earnestness in devotion, 
indicated that his heart was burdened with the grandeur and 
importance of his mission. 

The number of the passengers was very large. Among them 
was a company of actors, on their way to New Orleans. . . . 
Before reaching the mouth of the Ohio one of the passengers 
died. Dr. Kuter attended him in his last moments, offered him 
the consolations of the gospel, and when the boat stopped to 
bury him he read over his grave the beautiful burial service of 
our ritual. On Sabbath a committee appointed by the actors 
waited on Dr. Euter and requested him to preach to the passen- 
gers in the gentlemen's cabin. The Captain, all the hands that 
could be spared, and all the passengers attended, and he preached 
one of his best sermons. In the evening the ladies invited him to 
preach in their cabin, which he did to a large audience of both 

We landed opposite Rodney and proceeded on horseback. The 
first night Dr. Euter spent in Texas was at Games' Ferry, on the 
Sabine, where he met Eev. Eobert Alexander . . . who had 
come this far to meet him, and was also on his way to the session 
of the Mississippi Conference at Natchez. They spent most of 
the night in conversation, consulting as to the plan of their fu* 
ture operations, and next morning separated. After a hard day's 
ride we reached San Augustine, and the Doctor resolved that 
if he could get a congregation he would commence his work in 
Texas. The school house was procured, lighted, the notice cir- 
culated, the school bell rung, and as soon as he obtained some 
refreshment he found a good congregation assembled, to whom 
he preached a plain, practical sermon. 

Proceeding the next day (Saturday) to within eight miles 
of Nacogdoches, he determined to spend the Sabbath and preach 
in that place. His traveling companion was requested to pre- 
cede him early on Sabbath morning, and having procured the 
court house, at the hour of service a large congregation, includ- 
ing the principal citizens, was assembled. Dr. Euter requested 
that some one would lead in the singing, when Hon. Adol- 
phus Sterne raised the tune ; the whole congregation united with 
him, and a stranger would have supposed he was in the midst of 
an old Methodist society. A sermon of great interest followed. 


When about dismissing the congregation several persons simul- 
taneously arose and requested that he should preach a second 
sermon, to which he consented, and in the evening addressed a 
crowded house. . . . 

Nothing else of interest occurred until we arrived at 
Mitchell's [James Mitchell] west of the Trinity. In a conver- 
sation with the writer Mrs. Mitchell casually observed: "I have 
lived in Texas several years, and have not heard a gospel sermon 
during that time. ' ' Dr. Ruter, who was sitting by the fire read- 
ing his Bible, asked: "Did I understand you to say that you had 
not heard a sermon in many years?" Being answered in the 
affirmative, he said: "My good madam, if you will hasten your 
supper, clear off the table and call all the family, you shall not 
say that when you retire to-night." She complied with the sug- 
gestion, and Dr. Ruter held service with the same formality as 
if in a church ; reading the lessons, singing, praying, and preach- 
ing a most elaborate and instructive discourse, his congregation 
consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, the children, one stranger 
and the writer. He was remarkably tender and fervent during 
this sermon. In the morning he asked for his bill. "I have no 
bill against you," said Mr. Mitchell; "but Doctor," he added, 
"if you are the good man I think you are, the first news that I 
expect to hear from you will be a report that you have stolen a 
horse, or run away with another man's wife." Seeing that Dr. 
Ruter was considerably startled by this remark, he continued: 
"You may expect all sorts of evil reports; you need not look for 
anything else. ' ' The Doctor was not fully aware of the suspicion 
engendered in the minds of the citizens of Texas by the many 
impostors and doubtful characters who were coming into the 
country. Mr. Mitchell told him to make his house his home 
whenever he came that way. He and his wife afterwards joined 
the Methodist church, and ever since Dr. Ruter preached there 
his house has been a home for the itinerant preacher, frequently 
a preaching place. 

We suspend this narrative here to say that Texas had 
had perhaps more than its share of impostors, or would- 
be ministers whose character did not comport with their 
pretensions. Fowler records in Ms journal that he had 
encountered a prejudice on this account more than once. 


In May, 1837, a "Committee of Vigilance " was organ- 
ized by a few ministers who happened to meet in Houston. 
This committee included the names of Dr. Smith, then 
a Protestant Methodist ; Eevs. Mathews, Methodist Epis- 
copal, and Morrel, Baptist. The object was to protect 
the public from ministerial impostors, by giving publicity 
to all such, and requiring that proper credentials should 
be produced before recognition should be extended. But 
the ministry was given a better standing in Texas more 
by the character of a few men who were now coming to 
the Republic, like Euter, Alexander and Fowler, with a 
few strong and faithful men of other denominations who 
soon began to labor here, than by the operations of any 
" Vigilance Committee/' though this agency perhaps 
served some good use. 

To resume the course of Dr. Euter, the superintendent 
proceeded from Mitchell's to Washington, where he re- 
mained over Sunday and preached, and journeyed thence 
to Center Hill, then the home of Mr. Ayers. He visited 
J. W. Kenney, and accompanied by Kenney he went to 
San Felipe, and then rode thirty-five miles through rain 
and mud to a settlement on the Colorado, where he and 
Kenney preached and a class of nine members was organ- 
ized. The Doctor then set out for Houston, reaching 
that city about the middle of December, where he met 
Mr. Fowler before the latter had departed for San 
Augustine. Dr. Euter reached Houston before Congress 
adjourned, arid by invitation he preached to both houses 
of that body and other officials of the government in 
Congress Hall. He also consulted with many of the lead- 
ing men of the government about certain educational 
plans which were maturing in Ms mind. 

Dr. Euter had also formulated an arrangement which, 

a Z. N. Morrel, ' ' Fruits and Flowers, ' ' p. 74. The Methodist preacher, 
Mathews, mentioned was evidently Z. H. Mathews, whom we find named 
in but one other instance that of having performed the marriage cere- 
mony in the case of the first license issued in Harris county, July, 1837, 
from History of Harris Co., S-W Hist. Q., XVIII, 4. 


with his limited supply of laborers, he thought would 
best take care of the work in Texas temporarily, and this 
plan he communicated to the Mission Board in a letter 
dated Houston, December 18, 1837. 7 In this he set forth 
his plan for the immediate formation of three circuits, 
v as follows: Houston circuit, to embrace Houston, 
Velasco, Columbia, Matagorda, Brazoria, Egypt, Texana, 
San Felipe and four other appointments not named, with 
Fowler in charge ; a Washington circuit, including seven 
or eight appointments which had already been visited 
by Alexander, with Alexander in charge ; a San Augustine 
circuit, having six appointments, to be supplied by such 
local preachers as he could command. In a later com- 
munication the superintendent points out that his plans 
had to be altered somewhat, without giving reasons, but 
indicating that the substitute arrangement was not as 
well pleasing to him. Alexander returned from the 
Mississippi Conference and took up the work on the 
Washington circuit, to which Dr. Euter had appointed 
him; and with the aid of local preachers he reached out 
and embraced a wide territory in his labors. Fowler 
remained at San Augustine, and spent the winter in that 
territory. The territory of the proposed Houston circuit 
went unsupplied, except as the Doctor himself, or an 
occasional local preacher, touched it. Dr. Euter had laid 
out for himself the greatest task of all, and that was 
during the winter to visit every settled portion of Texas, 
to see and study conditions at first hand, and to return 
late in the spring to the North and attend the meeting 
of the Mission Board and Bishops and lay the whole 
matter before them and ask for a large force of helpers. 
For a man of his antecendents, the energy and enthu- 
siasm displayed by Dr. Euter in prosecuting this self- 
imposed task of endless horseback travel over the raw 
wilderness of Texas, through the rains and mud of mid- 
winter, will ever remain a source of wonder to the readers 

7 Published in N. Y. Christian Adv. & Journal. 


of his journal. David Ayers says that he often went 
with the Doctor on some of his journeys, and that while 
he considered himself a hard rider, he found it no easy 
task to maintain the pace set by his companion. Thrall 
records that Dr. Euter rode a large hlack horse, always 
"in a sweeping trot," and that on one occasion when 
advised by a traveling companion to turn in and await 
better weather the Doctor insisted on continuing his 
journey with the remark that "the Master's business re- 
quireth haste. ' ' 

From Houston Dr. Ruter returned to the interior. 
He held a quarterly meeting at Center Hill in January, 
1838, at which Mr. Alexander was present and the work 
of the Washington circuit was formally begun. This 
quarterly meeting was held in the woods, near Caney 
Greek, the members sitting on logs. Here Dr. Win. P. 
Smith transferred his membership to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, with the same ministerial standing, 
and Dr. A. P. Manly and D. N. V. Sullivan presented 
their credentials as local preachers, both of whom later 
entered the traveling ministry. Dr. Ruter then visited 
Washington, Independence, Gay Hill and other places in 
that region, and then struck out for the frontier settle- 
ments to the west. He preached and organized a church 
at Bastrop, consisting of fifteen members, and traveled 
and preached among the upper settlements on the 
Colorado. He then returned to the lower country and 
made preparations for setting off on a tour of eastern 
Texas, after which he expected to proceed to the United 
States. But in the spring death overtook the great mis- 
sionary and laid him low. Before taking up the account 
of Dr. Ruter 's last sickness and death we will lay before 
the reader many interesting extracts from his letters and 
reports showing the wonderful amount of travel and 
labor he was able to crowd into the few months he lived 
in Texas. These will be given in more or less continuous 


form, without interrupting to note every date or circum- 
stance of writing : 8 

On Saturday the 9th we arrived at this place which, on ac- 
count of its fruitfulness, is called Egypt, and in the evening 
preached, as we did also on the Sabbath, morning and evening, 
and formed a society of ten members. In the afternoon I gath- 
ered a small assembly of colored persons, and preached to them. 
The colored people in this country are not numerous. From 
this place I expect to proceed to Bastrop, on the Colorado, and 
to some settlements thirty or forty miles above that place; and 
if I can find an armed company in readiness to proceed to Bexar, 
on the San Antonio river, I intend going with them to that 
city. My object will be to know, by personal observation, the 
state of the inhabitants, and in what settlements they will readily 
receive preaching. Those who go at this time into that part of 
Texas generally go in companies of five, six or more, armed with 
pistols or rifles on account of the Indians ; but whether in com- 
pany or alone, I shall carry no weapons made with hands. . . . 
Wherever any of us have been, we have met with a kind recep- 
tion, and there seems to be general willingness that the gospel 
shall spread in the land. The immoralities of some that have 
come here, professing to be ministers of Christ, have created 
prejudices, and caused some of the people to act cautiously to- 
ward preachers of the gospel. But it is a remarkable fact that 
imposters in this community are very soon known, and persona 
of good standing in their own country are very soon duly esti- 
mated. . . . The accommodations, of course, are often poor. 
Many of the houses are cabins, without glass windows, and with 
but little furniture. The chief food is corn-bread, sweet pota- 
toes and meat. Butter, cheese and milk are scarce. Though I 
find it necessary to dispense with most of the luxuries and com- 
forts of life, yet how glorious the privilege of doing good among 
the destitute. ... I have just returned from a neighborhood 
lying fifteen or twenty miles from this place, one part of which 
is called Independence. The inhabitants are generally in good 
circumstances and some are wealthy. I found them ready to hear 

s Extracted from records published in connection with Life of Di. 
Ruter, by C. C. Cody, in Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, I, 1. 


preaching, and some urged me to think of that place for the 
residence of my family, as they seem to take it for granted that 
I shall remove to Texas. . . . This neighborhood and Bastrop 
on the Colorado are two places which I have thought might be 
kept in view, if we all come to Texas. Washington, where I am 
now, will soon be a place of some importance in business, but 
being shut in by forests is not so desirable a spot. The country 
generally on the Colorado is said to be very fine. Beyond it is 
the San Antonio country, said to be the most brilliant part of 
Texas, but it has but few settlements, though the city of Bexar 
is in the midst of it. I expect next week to visit Bastrop and 
proceed above it forty miles up the Colorado, which I am told is 
as far as I can go safely, on account of the Indians ; but so far 
as they have expressed a desire for preaching I shall form a 
circuit to include them. The emigrants are generally aiming at 
the Colorado, and will soon form upon its banks a dense popu- 
lation. I have been down near the mouth of it, but the country 
there is not so healthful as farther north. . . . My labors in 
Texas will be directed to forming societies and circuits, estab- 
lishing schools, and making arrangements for a college or uni- 
versity. Some of the people here are very rich, some are very 
poor, some religious and some profligate. But preachers are 
needed, and preaching beyond measure. I feel certain our mis- 
sion will have entire success. We have now twelve societies. . . . 
Texas is a country where darkness, ignorance and superstition 
have long held their dominion. Profaneness, gaming and in- 
temperance are prevailing vices against which we have to con- 
tend. The scattered state of the population renders it neces- 
sary to travel far between the appointments, and the want of 
convenient places for public worship serves to increase the ob- 
stacles in the way; yet amidst difficulties, dangers and suffer- 
ings we rejoice in being able to say that the great Redeemer's 
kingdom is rising in this distant and destitute land. I have just 
returned from Bastrop, one of the upper settlements of the 
Colorado river, where the inhabitants informed me that they had 
had but three sermons preached among them during the last 
three years. In coming to this place we passed through a part 
of the country not inhabited, but occasionally infested by Indian 
robbers who come on horseback from the north (travelling either 
by night or in the forests), for the purpose of stealing horses, 


and murdering and plundering the travellers whom they may 
find unarmed. I went in company with three friends armed 
with rifles. ... It has appeared to me that we ought, as soon as 
practicable, to establish in this Republic a well endowed uni- 
versity and several subordinate schools of different gradations. 
In two or three places subscriptions have been taken sufficient 
for buildings, and to provide permanent funds we propose ob- 
taining donations in land. Many of the citizens are extensive 
land holders, and would, while lands are cheap, make large sub- 
scriptions. But as lands are rising in value, a fund thus invested 
would in a short time be sufficient for the above purposes. We 
propose to pursue a similar course in obtaining grounds for 
churches and parsonages. I have been hitherto prevented from 
visiting Bexar and its vicinity, as I had intended ; but it seems, 
in some instances, more needful to supply and occupy places 
which we have explored, than to explore others which we can- 
not occupy. . . . Under many disadvantages the glorious work 
of God is advancing, and thousands are not only willing but 
eager to hear the word of salvation. We have already formed 
twenty societies in Texas, have obtained a number of lots for 
churches and school, secured by deeds, and several meeting 
houses are commenced, with a prospect of being soon completed. 
I trust by the grace of God to lay the foundation for a glorious 
superstructure, and that the Church of Christ will be here estab- 
lished in its purity, power and glory. I have now travelled fif- 
teen hundred miles in this distant and destitute land, over its 
prairies and forests and streams of water. 

The impetus which Dr. Enter gave to the establish- 
ment of an educational institntion in Texas will be con- 
sidered in another connection ; also a more exact report 
as to the condition of the Church at the time of his death. 
"We turn now to the sad records which lead to the close 
of his career. The last entries in his journal record the 
onset and progress of his fatal illness: 

April 1, 1838, Sunday. Preached in the morning and eve- 
ning to the white people; in the afternoon to the blacks. This 
was a day of comfort. Monday, 2. Eode to Brother Kesee's. 
Tuesday, 3. To Mr. Cochran's. This day makes me fifty three 


years of age, and I this day set out to devote myself more than 
ever to God; first, by more prayer; second, by more attention 
to the Scriptures; third, by general reading and meditation. 
Wednesday, 4. Bode to Mr. Ayers'. Thursday, 5. Rode to Mr. 
Cochran's and attended a marriage. Friday, 6. Rode to Mr. 
Bracey's. Saturday, 7. Being afflicted with fever, rode to Mr. 
Ayers and then to Brother Kenney's. Sunday, 8. Too ill to 
preach, and Brother Kenney went to my appointment and 
preached in my stead. Sunday evening. Find myself better, 
and my mind stayed on God, to whose service I hope to be de- 
voted forever. Monday, 9. Eode to Mr. Ayers' ; still unwell and 
under temptation. Tuesday evening to Mr. Rabb's. "Wednes- 
day, 11. To Mr. Kesee's. Feel somewhat improved in health. 
Thursday, to Mr. Hall's, trying to recruit my strength. Feel 
myself relieved in trusting in God, my only helper. Saturday, 
14. Rode to Washington, and found at the post office letters 
from home, which gave me comfort. Consulted a physician con- 
cerning my health. Sunday, Rode to James Hall's, and preached 
to an attentive audience ; received one awakened sinner on trial ; 
then rode to Brother Kesee's. Monday. Amidst afflictions 
rode to Mr. Ayers'. Wednesday, 18. Rode to Brother Kesee's. 
Thursday, 19. Set off in company with Brother Chapel for the 
Red River, on my way home. Found at night my illness increas-. 
ing. Found Brother Chapel urgent to travel. Friday, 20. We 
reached a Mr. Rivers' where we stayed through the night. Sat- 
urday, 21. So ill I thought it prudent to take an emetic, and 
advised Brother Chapel (as he was uneasy) to go on alone. He 
delayed till 2 o'clock, and finding me no better, went on. Now 
here I am with a threatening fever, among strangers. But my 
trust is in the Most High; his mercies are abundant, and live 
or die, let me do and suffer his blessed will. I commit to him 
myself and dear family, wife and children, now and forever. 
Amen. Sunday, 22. Found myself somewhat relieved, but per- 
ceived that my disease was settling upon my lungs, and thought 
there was danger of serious injury. Being entirely without medi- 
cal aid or advice, and too ill to venture on my journey, it seems 
judicious to return, if able, to Washington. Rode with more 
ease than I expected to Mr. Kennard's, twenty miles. After rest- 
ing there I proceeded to Mr. Fanthorpe's, eight miles; then to 
Washington, arriving there on Monday, being seventeen miles. 


Feel much fatigued, but comforted with the goodness of God. 
0, how unsearchable his wisdom, and his ways past finding out. 

Here Dr. Ruter 's journal closes. He wrote letters to 
his family, explaining his inability to proceed home, but 
expressing hope of ultimate recovery ; also letters to Dr. 
Bangs, of the Missionary Society in New York, apprising 
him of his sickness, and giving a complete report of the 
work which had been accomplished. At Washington he 
was among his friends, including two physicans, Drs. 
W. P. Smith and A. P. Manly, and his faithful co-laborer, 
Robert Alexander. Alexander, not anticipating the end, 
was away to fill an appointment, when at 2 A.M., on May 
16, 1838, Dr. Euter died. At 5 P.M. on the same day his 
remains were buried at Washington, after a funeral 
service conducted by Dr. Manly. 

The news of Dr. Ruter 's death, as it spread over those 
portions of Texas which he had so recently visited, car- 
ried gloom to every heart that had known him ; and the 
intelligence, as in course of time it came to be published 
in the Church press of the United States, together with 
many of the Doctor's letters and reports, awakened a new 
interest in the field which had claimed his life. For many 
years there had been but few men better known through- 
out the Church at large, or who had rendered more dis- 
tinguished service, than Dr. Ruter, and the fevers of 
Texas struck down no ordinary man when he fell. The 
career which ended at Washington on the Brazos in May, 
1838, began at Charlton, Mass., where Martin Ruter was 
born April 3, 1785. The family removed to Bradford, 
Vt., and here in 1799 Martin was converted and joined 
the Methodist Church, which his parents had recently 
joined. The father was an honest, hard-working black- 
smith, and unable to contribute much toward the educa- 
tion of his children. But Martin records that he had a 
taste for learning and a thirst for knowledge from his 
earliest recollections, and that he diligently improved 


every opportunity for study, both at home and in the 
neighborhood schools. His parents having removed to a 
neighboring town, Martin returned to Bradford to attend 
.school, where he boarded with and came under the strong 
and sympathetic impress of Mrs. Margaret Peckett. This 
lady, formerly Margaret Appleton, had come from Eng- 
land, where for three years she had served as house- 
keeper for John Wesley. She was staunch in the Wes- 
leyan faith and she had imbibed much of the Wesleyan 
spirit. "Her home was not only a preaching place for 
the early itinerant, but was also a small seminary where 
Martin Euter, Laban Clark and four other young men 
received from her the Wesleyan impress and enthusiasm, 
arousing in them a desire and capacity for general read- 
ing and private study which was the secret of their suc- 
cess in subsequent life as pioneer Methodist preachers. " 
No one can read Dr. Euter 's journal, or go over his 
systematic and accurate reports, without noting the 
Wesleyan type. 

In his fifteenth year Euter consecrated himself to the 
ministry. He was licensed in 1800, and entered upon a 
travel and study tour with Dr. John Brodhead, his pre- 
siding elder. He was admitted on trial into the New 
York Conference in 1801, "the youngest man, save one, 
ever admitted to an American Conference." He filled 
appointments in that region, and at Montreal, Canada, 
and in 1808 was appointed to Boston. He served as pre- 
siding elder on the New Hampshire district for two years, 
and subsequently filled the appointments of Portland, 
Me., and Philadelphia, Pa. He was elected a member of 
the first delegated General Conference in 1812, and he 
was a delegate to the General Conferences of 1816, 1820, 
1828, of which he was secretary, of 1832 and that of 1836, 
when he volunteered for Texas. In 1818 the degree of 
Master of Arts was conferred upon him by Asbury 
College, Baltimore, and he was appointed head of New 
Market Wesleyan Seminary, in New England, which place 


he filled for two years. In 1822 fell to him what was 
then a unique honor among Methodist preachers the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity; this from Tran- 
sylvania University, Lexington, Ky. "This is believed 
to have been the first instance of such an honorary title 
accorded to a Methodist preacher/' says a biographer 
of Dr. Euter, Ernest Ashton Smith. 9 

It is interesting to note how such matters were re- 
garded in those days. "Many of the brethren of his 
denomination were disposed to look askance at such an 
artificial distinction, possibly associating it with the wear- 
ing of jewels and costly raiment. Finally, in the General 
Conference of 1832, a number of memorials on the subject 
of preachers accepting the title of Doctor of Divinity 
was submitted by the Philadelphia Conference. . . . The 
petition and the debate following . . . developed much 
difference of opinion. At length the Eev. J. B. Finley 
said he believed it to be a foolish waste of time to debate 
such a question; the colleges would do as they pleased, 
and would honor such ministers as they thought worthy 
of it, and the ministers would do as they pleased about 
accepting the honors. Whether the colleges recognized 
our ability to teach divinity or not, the world knew it. 
We have been doctoring the divinity of this country for 
half a century or more and have got it in a convalescent 
state, and if the people would let us alone we would cure 
it entirely. Finally Dr. Martin Buter got the floor . . . 
and described how his title had come to him unsought. 
He was not aware that it had made him any wiser or 
better, nor had it done him any harm. He did not know 
that he preached any better or any worse, nor did it 
confer on him any special gifts or talents. The degree 
had its influence with a certain class of the community 
and gave him an access that he could not otherwise have 
had. . . . Dr. Euter moved the indefinite postponement 

Martin Enter, p. 35. 


of the whole subject, which was carried by a large 
majority. " 10 

By election of the General Conference of 1820 Dr. 
Enter became the first Book Agent of the Western Divi- 
sion of the Book Concern at Cincinnati. He established 
this business and conducted it almost without assistance 
for eight years. At the close of this period he was elected 
president of Augusta College, Kentucky, which place he 
filled for two years. In June, 1834, he was called to the 
presidency of Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., for the 
purpose of rehabilitating that institution. After two 
years of arduous labors here, he laid down his work and 
volunteered for the new mission field in Texas, thus 
gratifying the inclination which he says had always been 
strongest in him that of doing pioneer gospel preaching. 

One word more, touching the final disposition of Dr. 
Euter 's remains after his death in Texas. Through the 
efforts of Eobert Alexander a marble slab was placed 
over his grave in the little burying ground at Washing- 
ton, which bore a lengthy inscription by Dr. William 
Winans, of Mississippi. In April, 1852, his remains were 
removed from this cemetery and re-buried with Masonic 
ceremonies beside a brick church in the town, named in 
his honor. In after years this church, because of a sink- 
ing foundation, became unsafe and was abandoned, and 
the town of Washington became almost deserted, be- 
cause of rising centers of population elsewhere. In 1899, 
at the instance of Eev. C. L. Spencer, a Methodist 
preacher in the neighborhood, who had formerly been the 
pastor of Dr. Euter 's family in the North, the remains 
were again removed and finally deposited in the cemetery 
at Navasota, six miles distant. After "having appealed 
in vain to Texas Methodists, for money to erect a suit- 
able monument, in keeping with the few surroundings,'* 
Mr. Spencer wrote to Bishop Mallalieu, who became in- 

10 Smith, Euter, p. 36. 


terested in the matter and' raised the funds. The 
memorial, a plain shaft of Vermont granite, twelve feet 
high, was dedicated by Bishop I. W. Joyce on Dec. 3, 


THE YEAR 1838 

exact report of what had been accomplished in 
Texas at the time of Dr. Enter's death is contained in 
his last letter to the Mission Board in New York, dated 
Washington, Texas, April 26, 1838, and forwarded to the 
Board after the Doctor's death. "Our present numbers," 
he says, "are twenty societies, three hundred and twenty- 
five members, twelve local preachers, six of whom are 
elders, and three exhorters. In San Augustine, Nacog- 
doches, this town, Cedar Creek and Caney Creek we have 
churches in progress or soon to be commenced. In San 
Augustine, Washington and Nacogdoches we have regu- 
lar Sabbath schools. We have taken some steps toward 
founding a college." In a foot-note he adds: "Our 
church in Washington is completed, the Sunday school 
large and prosperous, with a library consisting of 150 
volumes, obtained in New Orleans. The churches in San 
Augustine and Nacogdoches will be finished by Septem- 
ber, worth $4,000 in San Augustine and the other worth 
$2,500. Several small country meeting houses will be 
finished soon." 

In a letter to the Mission Board, accompanying Dr. 
Euter's report, and containing the announcement of his 
death, Eobert Alexander says: "The new church in 
Washington has just been opened, and has been preached 
in by Dr. Manly and Bro. Kenney, local preachers." 
Comparing these reports with other circumstances, it 
appears that the church at Washington was practically 
completed before Dr. Euter's death, but that it was not 


THE YEAR 1838 93 

ppened or used for services until after the Doctor's death, 
and burial. In the one brief reference to his funeral 
service which we have there is no hint that the new church 
was used on this mournful occasion, as would have been 
most appropriate if it had been in readiness; but, on the 
contrary, it appears to be plain that it was not used. 
"At 5 o'clock P.M. the same day," says the account, 1 
referring to the day of Dr. Euter's death, "the corpse, 
followed by a large concourse of citizens, was conveyed 
to the burying ground at Washington where it was de- 
cently interred. The funeral service was performed by 
Eev. A. P. Manly, M.D." We must, therefore, fix the 
date of the completion and opening of this church which 
was the first Protestant church building in Texas as 
occurring shortly after Dr. Euter's death. As it appears 
that Alexander was absent from Washington at the time 
of Euter's death, it was probably during this same 
absence that the church was completed and used, as the 
following from Dr. Manly would indicate: "For want 
of lumber we split out and hewed oak timber for the 
frame, and made and hewed oak and ash boards for 
weatherboarding. We covered it with common oak 
boards. When completed, as Bro. Alexander, our mis- 
sionary, was then on some other part of his work, I 
preached the first sermon in it." 

The church in San Augustine was the first building 
projected, but as it was on a more ambitious scale it was 
not expected to be finished, according to Dr. Euter's re- 
port, until September. We have seen that Littleton 
Fowler, on his first visit to San Augustine in October, 
1837, secured the lot, appointed trustees, and raised a 
subscription for this church. In January, 1838, upon 
Fowler's second visit, returning here from Houston, the 
corner-stone of the church at San Augustine was formally 
laid. Mr. Fowler records in his journal, under date of 
January 7 (1838): "To-day the cornerstone of the 

i Dr. W. P. Smith in Texas Wesleyan Banner, 1851. 


Methodist Episcopal Church was laid in this place [San 
Augustine] with the usages of the Masonic Order, be- 
tween forty and fifty of whom were present. Five or 
eight hundred persons were assembled, more than one 
hundred of whom were ladies. Agreeably to the arrange- 
ments previously made, two speeches were delivered on 
the ground, the speakers standing on the newly laid 
cornerstone. The first was by Littleton Fowler, the other 
by General Thomas J. Eusk, in his usual forceful and 
eloquent style. The event was one of moral grandeur, 
calculated to excite deep and strong feelings in the bosom 
of every patriot and Christian. This cornerstone is the 
first one of a Protestant Church ever laid west of the 
Sabine River in the infant Republic, where the inhabi- 
tants were so lately under a government of religious and 
civil despotism. " 

Mr. Fowler remained in eastern Texas until April 
of this year, preaching alternately in San Augustine and 
Nacogdoches. In the latter place he secured a lot, " cen- 
trally located, with subscription of two thousand five 
hundred dollars to build a Methodist Church. Organized 
a society of eighteen members ; also two other societies, 
one twenty-five miles north, the other forty miles west. ' ' 
Fowler's building enterprise at Nacogdoches, which was 
projected with such promise early in 1838 as to lead Dr. 
Ruter before his death to report that it would be com- 
pleted "before September," nevertheless failed com- 
pletely. Preaching was kept up here continuously there- 
after, the meetings being held at various places; but it 
was not until 1860 that a church building was erected in 
Nacogdoches. 2 

In April, 1838, Mr. Fowler returned to Houston, 
where he remained for nearly two months, serving as 
chaplain of the Texas Senate, and preaching in the city 
occasionally. A graphic picture of the appearance of 

2 From report in Texas Christian Advocate, signed ' * Timothy, ' ' June 
21, 1860. 

THE YEAR 1838 95 

the new capital city and the then metropolis of Texas 
is given by Audubon, the famous naturalist, who visited 
it about this time and thus describes what he saw : 3 

As I ascended the banks of the bayou I saw located on the 
edge of a prairie a town of about 800 houses, some framed, some 
log cabins, most of them unfinished. The merchants seemed to 
be doing much business; but the saloons and of these there 
were a large number seemed to be doing the heaviest business 
in the place; everybody seemed to patronize them. 

The inhabitants are of many nationalities, and from many 
States. The mud is about a foot deep, and the men wear their 
trousers inside their bootlegs. I visited Congress, and found it 
very orderly, and business was conducted according to parlia- 
mentary rules, though occasionally a member went out for "a 
drink." I visited President Houston, and found him busy exam- 
ining papers. I was puzzled to understand how he could be so 
indifferent to his surroundings ; the floor was covered so deep in 
mud it could not be seen ; papers and books were piled on two 
tables, and save a few chairs, there was no other furniture in 
the house. Mrs. Houston was still in New Orleans for medical 

When the President finished the work on which he was en- 
gaged, he invited me to go across the street for a drink. I de- 
clined, but he went, and soon returned with two or three friends. 

At first, in view of the scarcity of hotel accommodation, I 
could not understand where so many people could be lodged. I 
soon learned that the prairie was dotted with tents; these tents 
were partially concealed by the tall "coffee bean" weeds, which 
were cut down just enough to make room for tents. 

Mr. Fowler records in his journal that during this 
sojourn in Houston he attended the organization of the 
Grand Lodge of Masons, "with about forty members 
present," that he was elected Grand Chaplain, and that 
he visited the rising young city of Galveston, accompany- 
ing an excursion party which went with "the President 

3 Quoted in Blandin's "History of Shearn Church," p. 11. 


and his suite." We will let Fowler give his own account 
of this incident: 

May 14: I have been seriously ill for more than two weeks. 
When sufficiently recovered I took a trip with the President and 
suite and members of Congress to Galveston Island. . . . On 
our return from Galveston Sunday afternoon about one-half on 
board got wildly drunk and stripped themselves of their linen 
and pantaloons. Their Bacchanalian revels and blood-curdling 
profanity made the pleasure boat a floating hell. To me the 
excursion was one of pain, not pleasure. I relapsed from this 
trip, and was brought near the valley of death. 

Houston gives yet no promise of becoming a Metho- 
dist stronghold, as Fowler makes no record of the dis- 
covery of any Methodists in the town, or of anything 
done looking toward organization beyond the lot for a 
church, which had been donated by the original pro- 
prietors of the town. Fowler was in Houston at the time 
of Dr. Enter's death at Washington, but soon afterwards 
he returned to eastern Texas, where, on June 21, he was 
married to Mrs. Missouri M. Porter. After his marriage 
he settled on a farm in the McMahan community, east of 
San Augustine. While located here he was instrumental 
in the erection of a house of worship, to shelter the 
congregation which had been formed here by Henry 
Stevenson in 1834. In September Mr. Fowler set out 
for the United States to attend the session of his con- 

It might be noted in passing that Eobert Alexander 
had, on January 25 of this year, married Miss Eliza 
Ayers, a daughter of David Ayers ; and so both he and 
Fowler had soon found a life-companion in Texas. 

The death of Dr. Rater and the departure of Mr. 
Fowler later left but one lone traveling preacher in the 
country Robert Alexander for the remainder of the 
year. Alexander was vigorous and energetic, but not 
equal to the task of covering the entire field. As many 

THE YEAR 1838 97 

local preachers as possible were enlisted, and the most of 
these then in the country magnified their office during all 
this early period. Dr. Euter had reported that there were 
twelve local preachers in Texas. There were others, but 
it may be that their standing had not been formally or 
officially recognized. The following are known to have 
preached in Texas during this period: Wm. C. Craw- 
ford, James English, Mr. Martin, Job M. Baker, J. W. 
Kenney, Dr. Wm. P. Smith, Dr. A. P. Manly, D. N. V. 
Sullivan, Daniel Carl (licensed this year by Littleton 
Fowler), Samuel Rogers, and Henry Stephenson and 
James P. Stevenson, both of whom had removed into 
Texas. Crawford, English, Martin and Baker were 
located in eastern Texas, in Shelby County and its neigh- 
borhod. Wm. C. Crawford had been a member of the 
Georgia and Alabama conferences. He had located and 
removed to Texas in 1835. He was a member of the Con- 
stitutional Convention which met in Washington in 1836. 
Thrall says of Crawford and this convention: "It was 
fortunate that Mr. Crawford was in it. The course of 
the Romish priesthood in Mexico was strongly condemned 
in Texas, and a prejudice excited against all ministers 
of religion. A section was introduced into the Constitu- 
tion disfranchising all preachers, and forever prohibiting 
them from occupying any office of profit or trust in the 
republic. Mr. Crawford succeeded in getting this so 
modified as only to exclude preachers from seats in 
Congress and holding executive offices. In this shape it 
passed, and a similar provision was ingrafted in our 
State Constitution in 1846. No such clause is found in 
our present Constitution. However unclerical it may be 
for ministers to seek political preferment, it is manifestly 
unjust to proscribe them like common felons. ' ' To which, 
while thus digressing, it may be added that the charity 
of this historian is notable in that he ascribes the con- 
stitutional action against Protestant ministers in Texas 
to the "course of the Romish priesthood in Mexico." 


Crawford and others during 1838 organized a church at 
Shelbyville, and held a series of meetings in that region 
in which there were some two hundred added to the 

It is to be regretted that it was not agreeable to the 
taste or disposition of Eobert Alexander to write about 
his own work in Texas. He kept no journal; wrote 
nothing to the papers, and only the briefest scraps from 
his hand remain. He did, at the solicitation of the his- 
torian Yoakum, prepare a brief account of the beginnings 
of Methodism in Texas for that author's history, in which 
he has more to say of others than of himself. In this 
account we are first apprised of some new difficulties 
which the early preachers had to face in a few places; 
namely, the disturbance of worship by rowdies. "The 
population of Washington," we are told, "was recklessly 
wicked"; which needs a word of explanation which we 
gather from other sources. The war with Mexico in 
1836 had drawn into the country a multitude of adven- 
turous spirits who had enlisted in the Texas army. After 
independence was won the new government was slow in 
disbanding the army through fear of further molestation 
from Mexico ; and yet, with an empty treasury, there was 
nothing with which an army could be paid or provisioned. 
The plan was adopted of releasing the larger part of 
the troops on furlough, and these furloughed soldiers 
remaining in the country became a public nuisance. They 
congregated in various places, or moved from place to 
place, drank, gambled, caroused at night, and otherwise 
made life miserable to the peace-loving citizens. They 
of course drew after them every lewd fellow of the baser 
sort, and many thoughtless and wayward youngsters. 
An example of the reckless wickedness referred to by 
Mr. Alexander and of the indifference of the govern- 
ment to the welfare of religion is related by Z. N. 
Morrell, one of the first Baptist preachers in Texas, and 

THE YEAR 1838 99 

who labored with Alexander in Washington in 1838 : 4 

Our meetings on Sunday were very regularly kept up, and 
the prayer meetings continued. About midway between my resi- 
dence and the little house of worship, and about sixty yards from 
each place, in the principal grocery 5 in town, an opposition 
prayer-meeting was organized. At first they did not interfere 
with our meeting. All the crowd would attend ours, and imme- 
diately after it was closed they would gather in the grocery, and 
the leader of the band would open in due form. Our services 
were imitated to the best of their ability. Our names, who led 
in public prayer, were called at the grocery with a loud clear 
voice, and parties there responded with prayers and exhorta- 
tions. . . . There was no law then that we could use to break 
down this great evil, that was so fearfully contagious in its 
character. The bread and wine, emblems of a Saviour's love, 
were frequently administered by these mockers of God and re- 
ligion, before the public gaze. . . . Elder Eobert Alexander, 
the first missionary from the Methodist Episcopal Church, had 
come to Washington {he previous year, and had preached on 
several occasions. Dr. Smith, a Protestant Methodist, had fallen 
in among us. Two Cumberland Presbyterian preachers arrived 
Eoark and Andrew McGowan. . . . These preachers were 
now present, intending to hold a protracted meeting. This 
was the first meeting of days ever held in the town, and it was 
rather more than the fiends and mockers could willingly submit 
to. The house in which they proposed to hold the meeting was a 
vacated billiard-room on Main street, with a long gallery in 
front. On the second night of the meeting there was a general 
attendance of the citizens, loafers and gamblers of the place. 
We soon discovered that the disturbers of our peace on former 
occasions were present, with the purpose of interfering with the 
worship of the congregation, without the fear of God or man 
before their eyes. A man was stationed outside of the house, 
just behind where the preacher stood, with a hen in his arms. 
While the preacher was lining out his hymn he would hold the 

* Z. N. Morrell, ' ' Fruits and Flowers, ' ' pp. 80-82. The meetings re- 
ferred to were evidently held in Washington prior to the completion of 
the church building, as the services were held in another building. 

5 This name' in those days was applied to saloons. 


chicken by the neck. When the congregation would sing he 
would make it squall. A large copper-colored negro man was 
stationed on the gallery in front, with some twenty or more of 
these lewd fellows around him, partly intoxicated. When the 
congregation sang and the hen squalled, the negro, acting under 
orders, would put his head in at the window and shout at the 
top of his voice, "Glory to God!" The response from outside 
was given, "Amen and Amen." I was sitting near by the win- 
dow from whence the disturbance came. My wife and daughter 
were near by me. I arose and stood by the window, with the 
walking cane in my hand that I had brought from Tennessee, 
made of hickory, with a buck-horn head. My bosom heaved with 
holy indignation, and as the negro put his head into the window 
the second time, and as the congregation sang and the hen 
squalled, I struck him just above the left eye, making a scar that 
he carried to his grave. . . . After the stroke with the cane 
they were preemptorily ordered away, with the statement that 
there were more dangerous weapons behind. It had been cus- 
tomary with us, since the Indians killed two of our men during 
religious service at Nashville the year before, to take our weapons 
with us to church, as well as to other places. Some usually stood 
guard, while others worshipped. There was no further dis- 
turbance of consequence until the service was over. The sermon 
was preached by Mr. Eoark; Mr. Alexander closed. 

In default of legal protection, a hickory stick was as 
good means as any for preserving order about religious 
gatherings. It proved effective at the Washington meet- 
ing, as the writer adds that the services were continued 
for several days without any further molestation what- 

The old town of Washington on the Brazos, in which 
John W. Kenney erected the first cabin in 1833, early 
forged to the front as a place of prominence in state 
affairs, as a point of commercial importance, and it was 
for a time the "hub" of Methodism in the wilderness. 
It was here, on March 1, 1836, that the convention of 
colonists met, and, on the following day, declared Texas 
independent of Mexico, Dr. Euter made his headquarters 

THE YEAR 1838 101 

at Washington during his brief missionary career in 
Texas, and it was here he died and here he was buried. 
At Washington, as we have seen, was completed the first 
Methodist, and the first church of any Protestant faith 
in Texas. 

Referring to another instance of services held in 
Washington by Robert Alexander, evidently prior to the 
completion of the church there, we have in this case to 
refer to a hall over a saloon, a place which afterwards 
became historic. In 1842, due to a Mexican invasion of 
Texas, the capital of the Republic was moved from Aus- 
tin to Washington. The second story of a saloon was 
fitted up as the "Hall of Congress." This hall had been 
used as a gambling and billiard room, and on occasion 
as a ball room. 

"In the same hall, some years before, occurred an 
incident that may be worth relating, " says J. K. Hol- 
land, 6 a survivor of an early State Legislature ; and pro- 
ceeding, he says : 

A large body of gamblers and like characters had gathered 
in the town of Washington and held complete sway. The citi- 
zens were cautious of what they said and to whom they said it, 
for these men defied all law. While things were in this condition, 
Eev. Eobert Alexander . . . stopped in Washington. He at 
once engaged the room over Hatfield's saloon and announced 
that he would preach there on the following Sunday. The 
gamblers sent him word that he could not use that hall, that 
it was employed for other purposes, and that they would not 
allow him to preach in it. Mr. Alexander was a man of gigantic 
frame, being nearly seven feet in height, and had courage in 
proportion to his size. He repeated Ms announcement, and was 
there on time. He walked leisurely into the hall and spoke 
courteosuly to the men there assembled. Assuming that they 
were there to hear him, though he knew that it was not so, and 
that they were getting ready for their usual game, he affected 
not to notice the cards that he saw them slipping into their seats 

s Quarterly Texas State Historical Assn., I, 94. 


behind them, and made preparation to begin his sermon. He 
arose, and some of the more determined men in the crowd made 
demonstrations as if to rise also, but did not. He opened his 
Bible and laid it on the billiard table, then remarked that if 
there were those present who did not wish to hear him they 
could leave. None left. He said he had come to preach, and he 
meant to do it. He again remarked that if any were present who 
did not desire to hear the gospel he wished them to leave. Still 
nobody went. He then proceeded with a fire and brimstone ser- 
mon. Soon after beginning he discovered a little commotion 
among his hearers. He paused and simply said he wished their 
attention, and order was restored at once. When he got through 
the men came forward, shook his hand and thanked him heartily, 
made up a purse for him, told him if he ever needed more money 
to call on them, and sent him on his way rejoicing. 

With the forms of great preachers and statesmen, 
who once could be seen walking through, the old town, 
and who lifted their voices in its improvised halls, the 
old settlement of Washington itself has gone the way of 
all the earth. Nothing remains to mark the spot but the 
beginnings of a State Park, a 50-acre tract of lonely 
ground, enclosed by a wire fence, and containing a small 
monument erected by the school children of Washington 


THE YEAR 1839 

the fall and winter of 1838-1839 the forces in Texas 
were largely increased, the Mission Board responding to 
the appeals and needs with a serious effort to take pos- 
session of the field. But while the Mission Board pro- 
vided the funds, the selection of " missionaries," for 
Texas and their assignment was left to the Mississippi 
Conference, to which Texas remained attached. The ses- 
sion of the Mississippi Conference for 1838 was held at 
Grenada, opening on December 5, Bishop Morris in 
charge. We cannot forbear, before noting the appoint- 
ments for Texas, making record of a certain action taken 
by this conference, expressing the convictions of our 
fathers on certain questions then being debated. The fol- 
lowing extract is from a series of resolutions adopted : 

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Conference that the in- 
troduction of instrumental music into public worship in our 
churches and the conducting of the music in our churches by 
choirs, in the common sense of the term, is injurious to the spir- 
ituality of singing, and is inconsistent with the directions of our 

The following appointments were made for the 
"Texas Mission District": 

Littleton Fowler, P. E. 

Houston and Galveston, Abel Stevens. 

Nacogdoches, Samuel A. "Williams. 

Washington, Eobert Alexander, Isaac L. G. Strickland. 

Montgomery, Jesse Hord. 

Brazoria, Joseph P. Sneed. 



The bishop and his cabinet, none of whom had ever 
been in Texas, wisely left it to the discretion of the Texas 
presiding elder and preachers to rearrange these ap- 
pointments. Accordingly those preachers who were first 
on the field, or who could be gotten together, were called 
in council at San Augustine in December, 1838. Present 
were Fowler, Hord, Williams and Strickland. The fol- 
lowing arrangement of the work was agreed upon : San 
Augustine, including Nacogdoches and Shelbyville, S. A. 
Williams; Montgomery, including all the territory be- 
tween the Trinity and Brazos rivers, I. L. Gr. Strickland ; 
Washington, embracing all the country between the 
Brazos and Colorado rivers (except the lower country), 
E. Alexander; Houston, with all the coast country be- 
tween the Trinity and San Antonio rivers, Jesse Hord. 
Abel Stevens and J. P. Sneed had not yet arrived in 
Texas, and were given no assignments in this plan. 
Hord was from the Memphis Conference ; Strickland and 
Williams from the Tennessee Conference, and Stevens 
from the Baltimore Conference; but all, by taking work 
in Texas, became transfers to the Mississippi Conference. 
Sneed was a member of that conference. 

The preachers who had reached Texas entered upon 
their appointments in mid-winter, and in what appears 
to have been an unusually cold and rainy season, and the 
difficulties in blazing the way through a country almost 
without roads and wholly without bridges, and seeking 
out and collecting into societies the widely scattered 
and in too many instances backslidden Methodists, form 
a chapter of hardships and heroisms seldom equaled in 
our history. Jeese Hord, one of the ablest of these new 
recruits, and who was destined to a long and useful min- 
istry in Texas, fortunately put to writing many interest- 
ing chapters covering his early labors, and these records 
we shall use liberally. 1 Hord was born in Tennessee in 

i Hord kept a journal, and long extracts from this, expanded by his 
recollections, were published in T. 0. A. shortly before his death, which 
occurred at Goliad in January, 1886. 

THE YEAR 1839 105 

1809. He was soundly converted in his seventeenth year, 
and soon took up the work of the ministry. He was ad- 
mitted into the Tennessee Conference in 1834. In 1838 
he and Strickland, a fellow-memlber of the Conference, 
volunteered for the Texas Mission. Hord received his 
appointment on June 4 of that year, but he did not leave 
for his new field until at the close of the succeeding Con- 
ference, held at Huntsville, Ala., in October. From 
Huntsville he and Strickland set out, riding together by 
way of Memphis, Little Rock, Benton and Hot Springs, 
Ark. From Hot Springs they proceeded southward, but 
soon the path of travel played out. They hired a guide, 
who conducted them to Washington, Ark., where they 
found the Arkansas Conference in session. Thence 
southward they traveled for four days, through a track- 
less wilderness in the pouring rain. Hord had a brother 
living in Louisiana, whose place they reached, and after 
a brief sojourn here they turned their faces westward, 
reaching Gaines's ferry on November 29. They tarried 
in eastern Texas for several days, and on December 17 
set out from San Augustine for the fields of labor to 
which Fowler had assigned them. Here we will let 
Hord take up the narrative: 

After travelling some twelve miles we came to a swollen 
creek. I ventured to try its depth; was suddenly submerged 
made for the opposite shore, which I reached safely, but wet 
enough. Mr. Strickland was more fortunate. A few paces above 
the ford a long pine log spanned the creek, upon which he 
crossed, keeping himself and effects dry. But I am wet and cold ; 
the north wind strong; no fire; no house nearer than fourteen 
miles. These miles were behind me about the close of the second 
hour; house comfortable, family refined, kind, hospitable. Here 
we passed the night happy, hearts full of gratitude to our Father 

Dec. 18 This morning I feel quite well. No bad effects from 
the wetting and cold ride on yesterday. We travelled all day 
through an uninhabited pine country, arriving at a tavern on the 


river Neches. A tavern ? Yes ; one without meat, coffee or veg- 
etables milk out of the question. However, a great lusty fellow 
wound his horn nearly two hours for the hogs. They came ; one 
was shot, and at ten o'clock p. m. he gave us a supper of fried 
pork. In the meantime, some other travellers having arrived 
from the West, we had coffee. 

Dec. 19 This day's travel has been through a variegated 
country some very good. All these settlements are deserted 
from fear of the Indians. 

Dec. 22 This morning I left Brother Strickland in the 
bounds of his work, and alone, with a sad heart, go forward to 
the south and south-west, for the district assigned me. At noon 
I stopped at a country house for refreshments and rest ; the lady 
discovered that I was reading the Bible, and asked: "Sir, ain't 
you a preacher?" "Yes, madam, I preach some when I have op.- 
portunity. " "Will you read and speak some for us if I'll call 
in the neighbors?" "I '11. try, madam." They came together, 
and I redeemed my promise as best I could, and was quite de- 
lighted with the feeling and interest manifested. 

Dec. 23 Am thirty miles from Houston ; no intervening set- 
tlement; a cold north-west wind howling loudly. However, I 
set out for the city; did not travel far before encountering a 
swollen creek; no alternative, I entered its turbid waters; my 
horse, being brave, strong and a good swimmer, bore me safely 
to the desired shore. Now a vast prairie (the first I had 
seen) lay before me, flooded with water. No use to mind this 
am already wet from the swimming ; so forward I go with a cold 
norther playing sportively on my back. At evening the city 
was entered; put up at the City Hotel; crowded to uncomfort- 
ableness; yet, by pressing, gained a seat in front of the blazing 
fire, where I remained until ten o'clock p. m., when I sought 
rest in sleep. 

Dec. 24 I arose refreshed. After breakfast went out to 
make acquaintances, especially of two ministers said to be in the 
city. I soon found Rev. Mr. Allen, Presbyterian, with whom 
satisfactory arrangements were made for harmonious preaching 
in the city. I next visited Congress, which was in session ; had 
an introduction to several members, all of whom received me cor- 
dially. They spoke in high terms of the importance of the gospel 
being preached in Texas; gave many good wishes for sue- 

THE YEAR 1839 107 

cess, and promised every assistance that lay in their power to 

Dec. 25 This sacred day I spend in travel through mud and 
water, in transit from Houston to Richmond, on the Brazos. 

Dec. 26 Spent in Richmond; preached at night to a good 
congregation ; good feeling ; much interest ; the Holy Spirit rests 
upon many. 

Dec. 27 I made a detour for San Felipe, travelling through 
mud and water under foot, and water falling violently from 
above; and last though not the least, I met a violent norther. I 
embraced the first opportunity to enter a house. 

Dec. 28 After a hard day's travel I reached San Felipe; 
put up with Dr. Matthews, a Methodist preacher, well educated 
and intelligent, with whom I counseled with reference to leaving 
an appointment ; he pronounced it impracticable under existing 
circumstances ; so I declined any subsequent visit. 

Dec. 29 This morning I started for Egypt. Between me 
and it is a vast flat, muddy prairie, in width forty miles ; but by 
a desperate effort I made the ride. I called at the first house 
and asked to be entertained for the night. The gentleman of- 
fered some objections. "Sir, if you please, I am wet, tired and 
worn out. I am a Methodist missionary, and wish to preach in 
the settlement on to-morrow. " ' ' Enough ; get down. " ' ' Thank 
you, sir. ' ' I went in and was made comfortable and happy, too, 
for the night. This was my first acquaintance with Dr. John 
Sutherland, of precious memory. 

Dec. 30 I preached this morning to a good congregation, 
which came together on short notice. The "word was with 
power." All seemed glad and quite happy; for the time I 
forgot my cold, wet fatiguing ride to this settlement. Among 
them was a number of "old-time Methodists." The congrega- 
tion seemed to vie with each other in hearty expressions of wel- 
come. Here I felt as if I should love to rest; "but the King's 
business requireth haste." 

Dec. 31 I left Egypt, going down Peach Creek to another 
settlement; found no professed Christians, yet the people were 
anxious for preaching; I left an appointment and went on for 
the head of Bay Prairie, where I spent the night incognito. I 
saw that these people were sinners indeed "such Jesus came to 
seek." I left an appointment. 


January 1, 1839 I started for Matagorda, pulling through 
black mud, a pouring down rain and a howling norther. About 
noon I reached a house where I remained till the morning of the 
3d, to rest my horse and to have my clothes adjusted for the 

Jan. 3 Much refreshed I set out through the black prairie 
mud for Matagorda, and entered the city at 3 o'clock p. m., a 
stranger to all. Having a letter of introduction from Rev. 
Fowler to Colonel Horton, I went to his residence. He was ab- 
sent, and I handed the letter to his wife, who, after reading it, 
gave me a cordial welcome, and tendered me a room in their 
house during my stay in the city, which was accepted with 
thankfulness. Here, through the goodness of God, I was well 
domiciled with this very refined and intelligent family. 

Jan. 6 I attended the Episcopal service at 11 o'clock a. m. 
At 3 p. m. I preached. We had much interest. I also preached 
at early candle light with much liberty. I opened the doors of 
the Church, and four came forward. This was the beginning 
of the first Methodist class in Matagorda. 

Jan. 8 This day I travelled thirty miles up Old Caney to 
a settlement. The people had heard that a preacher was 
coming, and they were much elated, so much so that when I 
got to the settlement I was thus hailed as I passed: "I suspect 
you are the man of whom we have heard. Won't you preach for 
us to-morrow?" Certainly this people were hungry. 

Jan. 9 To-day I had the exquisite pleasure of preaching to 
this people, so hungry for the gospel. They literally drank in 
the word, all suffused in tears. After services I travelled four- 
teen miles to a Mrs. Hardeman's, where I had a good rest. 

Jan. 10-11 I went to Brazoria. No opportunity was of- 
fered for preaching, but I left an appointment and proceeded to 
the Gulf Prairie Colony and put up with Major J. P. Caldwell, 
with whom I passed a most pleasant night, and with whom I 
left an appointment for preaching. Thus far every town and 
settlement visited has accepted an appointment. So I thanked 
God and took courage. 

Hord proceeded from this place to Velasco; thence 
returned to Caldwell 's. He visited Brazoria and the Bell 
settlement, near Columbia; preached at Columbia and 

THE YEAR 1839 109 

East Columbia, and then proceeded to Houston. Arriv- 
ing at Houston he makes this entry in his journal : 

Jan. 18 Four weeks previous I was here and left an appoint- 
ment for this time, and came to meet it as best I could. I had 
visited all the cities, towns and villages, except Gralveston, as 
directed by Eev. L. Fowler, and had preached at the most of 
them and left appointments for future work. I realized it would 
put to the utmost test the strength of both man and horse to 
meet twenty-odd appointments, embracing a circuit of about five 
hundred miles, over a flat and muddy country. I resolved to 
try. On my arrival I learned that two ministers had just ar- 
rived and had taken lodgings at a private boarding house. 
Thither I went, and found Mr. A. Stevens, accompanied by Mr. 
Hoes, agent for the American Bible society. I made their ac- 
quaintance, and was very happy at additions to the ministry in 

Jan. 21 In visiting yesterday for the distribution of tracts, 
I found some Methodists; very cordial, anxious for preaching 
and class-meeting, and more of it; consequently we sought and 
obtained the privilege of holding our services in an academy ; so 
when I return I purpose to preach both in the morning and at 
night, and have class-meeting at 3 p. m. This arrangement gives 
me some encouragement, and it inspires a hope of some success 
in this "Babel" city. 

But, having left twenty appointments scattered over 
the muddy coast country, to be covered in the next four 
weeks, Hord hasn't much time to tarry in the capital 
city, and the following day he sets out. 

Jan. 22 I rode eight miles to Richmond; put up at Dr. 
Bryant 's ; removed my muddy garments ; repaired to the house 
for preaching; found a good congregation; preached with some 
degree of liberty; considerable interest and feeling in the audi- 
ence. I then organized a society consisting of six persons. This 
is the first Methodist society ever formed in this village or vicin- 
ity. After dinner I accompanied Kev. J. Patton to his home 
twelves miles from Eichmond; here I had a night's rest, in the 
profoundest sleep. Thank God for sleep. 


Jan. 23, 24 These two days I rested at Brother Patton's. 
Am quite worn and weary, even to sickness, and my poor horse 
is more worn than I, for he has carried me about four thousand 
miles with but little intermission or rest. I thank God for a 
good horse. 

Jan. 25 I purchased a horse of Brother Patton, and, though 
rather unwell, set out for Egypt, my next appointment. My 
friend Patton accompanied me a mile or so; gave me the course, 
there being no road or trail leading from this section to the 
crossing of the East Bernard. With the given directions set 
out alone, and after a ride of some five hours reached the % desired 
point, having passed through miles (as I thought) of water, 
reaching from the knees of my horse to the seat of my saddle. 
Such a chain of lakes, lagoons and marshes I never before en- 
countered. But here I am at a house, wet, cold, and alive, and 
here is the landlord. "Sir, can I stop with you and get some 
refreshments?" "Where did you come from?" "Jones's set- 
tlements on the Brazos." "Across the prairie?" "Yes, sir." 
"Well, well; nothing but a duck or a goose ever crossed that 
prairie. Get down; you can have accommodations." 

The next day the intrepid circuit rider crossed both 
branches of the swollen San Bernard "dry-shod, by rid- 
ing upon my knees in the seat of my saddle," and by 
evening he was comfortably housed among friends at 
Egypt. On January 30 he organized a class at the head 
of Bay Prairie, and on the following day the last day 
of January he had a memorable service and organized 
a class in the DeMoss settlement on old Caney among 
the people who were so hungry for preaching on his first 
visit. At the night service held here, in the depths of the 
forest, by the light of a burning log-heap, the preacher 
records that "many, if not every sinner of the assembled 
company, bowed and cried aloud for mercy. This service 
continued to a late hour in the night unabated in interest. 
Several professed to have obtained a degree of comfort. 
There was however, one poor soul who from the begin- 
ning seemed to be overwhelmed with a sense of the guilt 
and burden of sin, whose conversion was clear, pente- 

THE YEAR 1839 111 

costal. The tongue of fire seemed to rest upon her, and 
she confessed her conversion in the language of praise 
and thanksgiving to God. This lady, Mrs. Tone, with 
other persons, joined the Church at the close of our 
service for the night. . . . Mrs. Tone, now living with 
her second husband, had been from early womanhood to 
middle age the wife of the notorious Laffitte, and with 
him had encountered all of his various fortunes by sea 
and land. . . . Here, then, I enlisted in the Church of 
God an eccentric character. I determined to try to keep 
posted in the history of this case. I did so, and now 
would record the facts as I learned them: She main- 
tained her relation to the Church in a firm, bold and in- 
dependent manner, making no compromise with the 
world. The end came ; she had peace and triumph 
through Jesus Christ." 

Here, for the time being, we leave Hord, the great 
pathfinder of the coast country, in the midst of the second 
round on his " Houston circuit," after recalling that to 
date he had organized four societies, the first in their 
respective localities namely, Matagorda, Richmond, 
Bay Prairie and in the DeMoss settlement. Hord has 
noted in his journal the arrival of Abel Stevens and a 
companion in Houston in January, 1839. Mr. Stevens' 
companion was the Eev. Shuyler Hoes, the first agent 
of the American Bible Society to enter Texas. Messrs. 
Stevens and Hoes purchased a Mexican pony apiece and 
set out from Houston for the home of David Ayers. A 
terrible rain and sleet-storm prevailed, and as the second 
night came on they found themselves lost in the wilder- 
ness, with the prospect of having to spend the night with- 
out food, fire or shelter. As they rambled on they came 
within sound of a human voice, raised to a high pitch, 
and guided by the voice they came to a cabin. This was 
the home of Thomas Bell, a devout Methodist, who at 
that hour was engaged in family prayer, and who, "when 
in the spirit, as he was that evening, was famous for loud 


praying." They found themselves within three miles of 
their destination, and traveling on, by Mr. Bell's direc- 
tions, they reached the home of Mr. Ayers at eleven 
o'clock that night. 

Mr. Stevens began preaching at Independence, Wash- 
ington, Center Hill and other places. Fowler came into 
the country and held a quarterly meeting at Center Hill, 
and assigned Mr. Stevens to the Washington circuit. 
Alexander, who had occupied this ground, moved farther 
west, taking up his residence at the new town of Ruters- 
ville. But Mr. Stevens remained in Texas only until 
June of that year, when he returned to the North. While 
his residence and work in Texas covered a period of only 
six months, his later prominence in Methodist councils 
and as a historian of his Church gives weight to his 
observations on conditions in Texas at this time. His 
interest in Texas continued long after his return to his 
native country, and he wrote and published many appeals 
in behalf of the religious welfare of the new Eepublic. 
The following appeal, addressed to the Corresponding 
Secretary of the Missionary Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, appears in The Christian Advocate 
and Journal (New York), issue of August 16, 1839: 

In my last I endeavored to show the importance of the Texian 
Mission from the importance of the nation among whom it is lo- 
cated, and the present incipient nature of its institutions a 
condition which places its religion and education at the command 
of our missionairies. I referred to the growth of its population, 
and the disproportion between its population and its supply of 
ministerial labor. I have failed to present the argument in its 
true force if it has not been made to appear that few if any 
other missionary fields present so many facilities for success and 
such rich promises of the future, and attracted so little sympathy 
from the Church of Christ. 

As a second reason why greater attention should be bestowed 
on this mission I would mention that, though its rapidly increas- 
ing population are scattered not a small number of our own 

THE YEAR 1839 113 

people. There are two thoughts connected with this fact worthy 
of attention. The first is, that these members of our Church, 
distributed through all the settlements, give peculiar facility for 
the introduction of the gospel. No other missionary ground 
presents this advantage. Wherever we go we find Methodists 
in Texas. I have not met with a single settlement in Texas where 
there are not more or less. Such settlements there may be, but 
I have not found them yet. These stand forth to welcome us as 
fast as we penetrate to their abodes, and many are in the habit 
of going ten or twenty miles to hear preaching. They are the 
elements of the future religious organization of the country. 
Many of them are substantial families, trained up in our South- 
ern Churches, and fervently attached to all our doctrines and 
usages. About 550 are already collected into classes, though we 
have but six circuits and eight preachers there; and there are 
many more, no doubt, spread over the regions not included in the 
range of our present labors. 

The other thought to which I have referred is, that while 
many of our people, on removing to Texas, have retained their 
fidelity to the Church, and are preparing a highway for it 
through the country, many apostatize and become a reproach to 
the name which they bear. Back-slidden Methodists are sprinkled 
over the whole settled extent of Texas. Among them are found 
former leaders, stewards, exhorters, local preachers and even 
members of Conference. Nor is this to be wondered at when 
their circumstances are considered. They lived for years in a 
primeval wilderness, with but very few of the conveniences of 
civilized life . . . with no religious teachers, no sabbath, and 
too far separated from each other for even occasional religious 
intercourse. I heard a Methodist say he was five years in Texas 
before he saw a professor of religion. It is more difficult to avoid 
spiritual declension under such circumstances, especially when 
they continue long, than most, who are better situated, would 
imagine. Many who would be shining lights for our cause, have 
been lost through our tardiness in providing them with the 
means of religion. Many more are now likewise endangered 
from the same cause. The chief influence of Methodism is on 
our Southern States ; and it is from these States that the immi- 
gration to Texas mainly flows. There is a general movement 
of the South toward it, which is bearing thither a large quan- 


tity of our wealthiest influence. Not only members of our 
Church call thus for our solicitude, but hundreds who have been 
educated under our influence, and to whom we can be more use- 
ful than other Churches, are likewise borne along in the current. 
Now with all the peculiar advantages widening into a prospect 
of success truly sublime, which I have described in my former 
letter, and with an army of immigration marching, as it were, 
under the pillared cloud of ancient Israel, into this unparalleled 
field, what is the Church in its official powers doing toward the 
improvement of these circumstances? . . . I am not saying that 
apostacy is peculiar to Texas. The cause mentioned, viz, a de- 
ficient supply of religious means, has led to the same result in 
all our Southwestern States. The cities of these States are 
thronged with backsliders. An army of them could be collected 
in New Orleans. What, then, must we expect of Texas, where 
the institutions of religion are just beginning to be established? 
The Methodist Episcopal Church bears the chief responsi- 
bility of the spiritual salvation of Texas. God points her to that 
land. His providence has directed thither many of her best 
members, to prepare the way for her. It is estimated that of 
the Christians in Texas, nineteen out of twenty are Methodists. 1 
These are so disposed over the country that if twenty more 
missionaries were now to enter it they would find the material 
to form as many new circuits. Double this number would not 
be too many; but there should be no delay in reinforcing the 
mission with this increase. Not only are we summoned to this 
field by hundreds of our own people, but by the general senti- 
ment of the nation. I have mentioned that most of the immi- 
gration to Texas is from the Southern States. The influence 
of Methodism in that part of the Union is general. The people 
of Texas have carried with them their attachment to our Church. 
Other sects have their members and friends, but the religious 
predilections of the country, take it in its length and breadth, 
are for the Methodist Church. Not only their old attachments 
to us have this effect, but they know that our peculiar modes 
of operation are best adapted to their immature state. They 
remember, too, the sympathy we have already shown them. They 

i An epigrammatic description of Texas a few years later, contained 
in the Scientific American: "Texas is a great, beautiful, dry, windy, cot- 
ton, cattle, Methodist, live-oak State." 

THE YEAR 1839 115 

have not forgotten, that when dangers and uncertainty beset 
them at home, and the voice of the civilized world scorned them, 
the form of the Methodist itinerant, with his horse and saddle- 
bags, appeared as by magic in the very center of their land. . . . 
While the grave of Euter is in their midst they will be grateful 
to the Methodist Church. . . . Other sects are showing an in- 
terest for it a distinguished Catholic clergyman has been sur- 
veying the field for his own Church ; a bishop of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church has visited it; and one or two missionaries of 
that denomination are there. One of the leading men of the 
Presbyterian Church made a similar visit on behalf of its Board 
of Missions. One denomination I understand is making efforts 
at this moment to dispatch a score of missionaries. I am un- 
feignedly glad of the interest taken by any evangelical sect in 
this unevangelized field. . . . But I am anxious that the Metho-. 
dist Church should have the conviction that the field is peculiarly 
her own. 

The foregoing letter, if it should evoke any com- 
ment at all, betrays a situation having characteristics 
not uncommon to-day. Every open door of opportunity 
before the Churcji tempts to an overdrawn appeal, par- 
ticularly on the part of those who have had a short or 
superficial view of conditions, and the "many adver- 
saries," or difficulties in the way, are ignored or mini- 
mized. The Church papers of that day contained no end 
of appeals on behalf of Texas, the one used above being 
one of the most conservative among a great number at 
hand. In a former communication Mr. Stevens had 
argued that Texas was the key to Mexico and to the whole 
of Latin America. Another enthusiastic advocate pleads 
for the immediate winning of Texas, as it would mean 
possession of the whole western part of the country "to 
the Pacific ocean." It may be needless to say that the 
score of missionaries which Mr. Stevens understood was 
soon to be dispatched by another denomination did not 
come. Other Mission Boards, like our own, could respond 
only to the extent of their funds. 


In March, 1839, Joseph* P. Sneed, the last of the new 
recruits appointed for that year, arrived in Texas. Mr. 
Fowler appointed him to Montgomery circuit, while 
Strickland was sent to the assistance of Jesse Hord in 
the lower country. But these scattered forces now on 
the field, few as they were, were soon to suffer depletion. 
Stevens, as we have seen, left for the North in June. 
Isaac L. G. Strickland, though a young man and devoted 
to his work, as the summer came on was stricken with 
fever and soon afterwards succumbed, dying at Columbia, 
where he had recently organized a church. His end came 
at the house of Mrs. Bell, mentioned in Hord's journal. 
He was buried under a live-oak tree in the family bury- 
ing-ground on the Bell plantation. But some years later 
a little church was built at Chance's Prairie, and named 
in his honor Strickland Chapel, and his remains were 
removed to the church-yard, and a modest monument 
erected to his memory. Isaac L. G. Strickland was ad- 
mitted into the Tennessee Conference, held at Pulaski, 
Tenn., in November, 1833. He traveled in connection with 
that conference until his transfer to the Texas Mission 
in 1838. He was thirty years of age at the time of his 

J. P. Sneed had preached in Texas, as we have seen, 
as early as 1834, while on a circuit in Louisiana. He 
was born in Davidson County, Tenn., in 1804. His mother 
was a member of the Baptist church, and died when he 
was eight years of age. Though he was much attached 
to her he says that he did not remember any religious 
instruction or show of concern on her part for the re- 
ligious welfare of her children. His father was reared 
in the Protestant Episcopal Church, but professed to 
be an unbeliever, although he exhorted his children "to 
read the Bible." It is very remarkable, under the cir- 
cumstances, that there went forth from this family three 
Methodist preachers Nicholas T., a pioneer in Alabama 
Methodism; Joseph P., and George W., both of whom 

THE YEAR 1839 117 

preached and finished their course in Texas. The Sneed 
boys early came under the influence of Methodist preach- 
ers about Nashville, and Joseph P. was converted at the 
age of twenty. In 1826, having removed to Tuscaloosa, 
Ala., he was licensed to preach, and in 1829 admitted on 
trial into the Mississippi Conference. He served charges 
in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all of which 
territory was included then in the Mississippi Conference, 
until he received his appointment to Texas in the fall of 
1838. He visited his old home in Tennessee before start- 
ing for Texas, and on January 1, 1839, he set out on 
horseback for his new field of labor. He crossed the 
Texas border early in February, having ridden -more 
than eight hundred miles as he found it by the course he 
came. Mr. Sneed at once proceeded to the McMahan 
settlement, where he had assisted in a meeting in 1834, 
and here he found Mr. Fowler, superintendent of the 
Texas district. Fowler and his wife joined Sneed, and 
together they set out for the west. They picked up 
Strickland on the Montgomery circuit, and proceeded to 
Washington and to Center Hill, where they were joined 
by Stevens. Here in conference the readjustments were 
made which have been noted Strickland to join with 
Hord on his work; Stevens on the Washington circuit; 
Alexander on the new Eutersville circuit, and Sneed to 
return and take charge of the Montgomery circuit. 
Montgomery circuit at this time embraced all the terri- 
tory between the Trinity and Brazos rivers, "from 
Cypress Creek on the south to the Old San Antonio Road 
on the north," or to the borders of the Indian country. 
Sneed first "had only eleven appointments," but in 
June Mr. Fowler summoned him to another conference 
at Independence, Washington County, where another 
readjustment had to be made, due to the decision of Mr. 
Stevens to vacate the Washington circuit and return to 
the North. At this conference the Washington circuit, 
embracing the larger part of Washington, Austin and 


Burleson counties, was joined to the Montgomery circuit, 
and Daniel Carl, a local preacher, was employed to assist 
Sneed. The instructions were, that each should follow 
the other and make a round in six weeks. Sneed, on his 
first round of exploration of his new territory, visited 
and consulted with Robert Alexander at Rutersville, and 
he journeyed and preached as far as Bastrop, returning 
through Burleson County, where he was confined by sick- 
ness for some time at the home of Alexander Thomson. 
He observes that "this settlement is on the extreme 
frontier, and the family carry their guns to the field to 
guard against the Indians. ' ' 

Returning to the Montgomery circuit, Sneed appointed 
ia camp-meeting for the Robinson settlement in Septem- 
ber, the first ever held between the Trinity and Brazos 
rivers. At this meeting the preachers present were J. P. 
Sneed, Jesse Hord, Robert Crawford and R. Hill. The 
occasion was one of great interest, and attracted for that 
day an unusual congregation of three hundred people. 
Twenty-seven members were added to the church. Mr. 
Sneed records that "the Lord has abundantly blessed us. 
I think it is the best for order and the universal out- 
pouring of the Spirit I ever saw. ' ' A quarterly meeting 
had been appointed for this time and place, which was 
convened by Sneed, but owing to the absence of Fowler 
the conference was adjourned. A regular quarterly 
meeting was held here on November 3.* Fowler was not 
present, and Sneed conducted the business. At this 
conference Daniel Carl was recommended to the Missis- 
sippi Conference for admission on trial. 

The Robinson settlement, located in "Walker County, 
about eight miles below the present town of Huntsville, 
is entitled to more than passing notice,- as it became one 

s The author is indebted to Kev. E. L. Shettles for the quarterly con- 
ference record books for Montgomery circuit, containing the complete 
records for this charge, from the first quarterly meeting held on Feb. 25, 
1839. Some interesting extracts will be made from these in subsequent 

THE YEAR 1839 119 

of the early strongholds of Methodism. William Robin- 
son from Tennessee, afterwards a local preacher, had 
settled here in 1830 or 1831 with a large family. Bishop 
Morris, who visited Texas in the winter of 1841-42, 
preached in this settlement, and says of the Robinson 
family then: "This old brother has lived here eleven 
years on a league of land obtained by headright; has a 
wife and ten children in Texas, all members of our 
church, and twenty-two grandchildren, who are natives of 
Texas, and four out of five sons-in-law are also Metho- 
dists the whole family a most interesting family. " 4 A 
famous camp-ground was established at Robinson's, be- 
ginning with the Sneed meeting of 1839, and the Texas 
Conference held its session here in 1843. 

Two other successful revivals were held in the fall of 
1839 on Montgomery circuit, one in the Lindley neighbor- 
hood and the other at Thanthorp 's, where the town of 
Anderson now stands, and Sneed closed his labors of 
that year with thirteen appointments and four organized 
societies. A camp-meeting of greater historical interest 
than any of those mentioned was held by Sneed within 
the bounds of the Washington circuit, and known as the 
"Centenary Camp-meeting," in celebration of the cente- 
nary of the founding of Methodism. Sneed 's account of 
this meeting is as follows : 5 

Thursday, October 24, 1839, our centenary meeting began 
at New Year's camp-ground, about eight miles southwest of In- 
dependence, half a mile below the road to San Felipe, on the 
west side of the creek, within half a mile of the old camp-ground 
the first meeting of the kind I believe ever held in Texas [re- 
ferring to the old camp-ground and the meeting of 1834 and 
years following]. 

The centenary commenced with a class-meeting and the Lord 

4 T. A. Morris, Miscellany, p. 332. 

5 Thrall is in error in fixing this meeting ' ' in the bounds of Mr. Alex- 
ander 's circuit," and in other particulars, Thrall, p. 65. O. M. Addison 
Bays Thrall "has counfounded this meeting with one held a year or two 
later, both of which it was the privilege of the writer to attend. ' ' 


was present to bless. I felt comfortable, and thankful that God 
had permitted me to attend this celebration. No travelling 
preacher but myself was present at the class-meeting. Our 
superintendent, Bro. Fowler, was sick at San Augustine, and 
the two brothers appointed to deliver addresses, R. Alexander 
and Jesse Hord, were also sick. The meeting was commenced 
under unfavorable circumstances, but the Lord was with us in- 
deed. Brother Alexander was with us on Sunday and delivered 
his address on "The Eise of Methodism," with some good effect. 
A collection was taken up, amounting in money and subscription 
to $900. 

The meeting was attended by people from Velasco, Texana, 
Bastrop, near Nashville, Trinity and San Jacinto. The Lord 
blessed us abundantly. Thirty-seven whites joined, and a good 
many colored, and equally that number were converted. 

We will now see the preachers off to conference, to 
be held at Natchez, Miss., on December 4, which is 
the last time those in Texas will have to make the long 
journey beyond the bounds of the Republic in order to 
attend conference. All of them except Hord and Sneed 
took the overland route horseback. As conference time 
approached Hord was in Houston, convalescing from 
sickness, and he had determined to go to Natchez by 
boat. Sneed had made a final round of Herd's circuit 
for him, and reached Houston in time to accompany him 
to conference. Eef erring to Herd's journal here we 
have an interesting account of the first part of their trip, 
from Houston to G-alveston : 6 

The steamer was crowded, yet Bro. Sneed secured a double 
berth for us ; in the one he placed me and his own affects in the 
other. There is one thing which perhaps I should mention: at 
this time the yellow fever was epidemic in Houston, of which 
we were apprised before our arrival, and the fact reflects fa- 
vorably on the character and heroism of J. P. Sneed, as he could 
have gone without entering an infected city. The most of the 

6 This account from MS. Life of J. P. Sneed, prepared by O. M. 
Addison, but never published. 

THE YEAR 1839 121 

passengers were young adventurers, who had left the United 
States to help Texas in her struggle for national liberty. They 
were a wild, reckless, noisy set of inebriates. They danced, sung, 
shouted and blasphemed. That boat's saloon was a pandemo- 
nium. Our brother Sneed went round about them cautiously 
and at every opportunity would politely ask one here, and an- 
other there, to try and suppress the noise, adding as a reason 
that there was a sick preacher aboard. This was enough. A 
new theme was given, a new thought. Soon everywhere could be 
heard, "Jonah's aboard Jonah's aboard We'll go to the bot- 
tom to-night." . . . Soon after midnight a storm from the 
north struck the boat with overwhelming force. In less than 
an hour that boat plowed, rolled, tumbled, pitched and groaned 
at every joint, as if every piece of timber were leaving its fel- 
low, while within and without was a storm of noise that beg- 
gars description. Without, the angry billows foamed and dashed ; 
the wind howled and the thunder roared amid the frantic glare of 
the lightning. Within the scene was equally indescribable. Some 
uttered yells of despair ; some exclamations of Lost Lost ; others 
were thrown into spasms, while others prayed as for life. Such 
a storm and such a scene I have never before nor since witnessed. 
But thanks be to God that amid its raging there were some calm 
and quiet on the boat. The morning came; the wrath and bel- 
lowing of the storm were hushed, and a more beautiful and 
brilliant sun never rose to brighten earth and to sparkle upon 
rippling waters than did that morning as we steamed into Gal- 
veston and anchored safely at its wharf. 

From Mr. Sneed 's journal the following is a continu- 
ation of the story : 

Landed at Galveston at 10 a. m., and find none to comfort us. 
It is raining and a norther is blowing, and there is scarcely a 
fire-place in the city. There is one tavern where there is some 
accommodation, but no fire for us. At 2 p. m. we left the 
steamer to try the tavern. The steamship Columbia is lying off, 
but will not take us on board. I have tried several places 
to get Bro. Hord some fire ; the people seem to live without fire. 
There are only two fireplaces in this large house; the ladies 
occupy one, and the other is the kitchen fire. After hard work 


and the assistance of a gentleman, on making Bro. Herd's situ- 
ation known to the tavern-keeper, and by consent of the ladies, 
he had the privilege of the lady's parlor; the rest of us scarcely 
see fire. 

Two days and a half, were thus uncomfortably passed, 
one of them spent by Mr. Sneed in bed to keep warm, 
waiting for the moderation of the weather. The sea 
becoming smooth enough to cross the bar, on Saturday 
afternoon the preachers embarked on the Columbia for 
New Orleans, which they reached after three days of 
rough passage. Here, as in Galveston, the Texas preach- 
ers were not only without acquaintances and friends, but 
found themselves short of funds. We will here let Mr. 
Hord again take up the tale : 

Our trip across the Gulf was under a prevailing norther, 
with much rain, but we reached the city in safety. Bro. Sneed 
went ashore and learned that our baggage had to pass through 
the custom-house; duties were to be paid, and he returned to 
inform me, which he did with a cheerful smile, as if the thought 
that the Lord would provide reigned within. 

"How much is required?" 

"Fifty cents." 

"Well, here it is; the last cent." 

Sad hour with me; sick; no money, in New Orleans, and 
hundreds of miles from home. Sneed took the fifty cents and 
entered the custom-house, and soon had written permission to 
carry ashore what two pairs of saddle-wallets could contain: 
Bible, Hymn-Book and Discipline, with a few well-worn gar- 
ments. He now awoke to a true sense of our condition, and went 

into the city in quest of the stationed preacher, Eev. "W , 

with whom he was acquainted. He soon met him, and made 
known our condition, wants, &c., to which the answer was 
promptly given, "I can do nothing for you." Sneed immedi- 
ately returned to me on the boat. He appeared calm and thought- 
ful, with no sign of agitation or despondency. During his ab- 
sence a news-boy came aboard to distribute the city papers, one 
of which I was reading, or rather vacantly looking over on 
Sneed 's return. 

THE YEAR 1839 123 

"Well, what's to be done," said he. 

"Take this paper," said I, and pointing out the card of a 
cotton-factor, go to him and tell him all about our situation. He 
found the place that total stranger calmly heard his statement, 
made some figuring on a slip of paper, and handing it to Sneed 
said, ' ' Get a hack and carry your friend to this number, on such 
a street." Before long he was back, as happy as he could be 
with the good news, and soon had his sick friend with two pairs 

of saddle-bags rolling for No. on Street, into which 

we were ushered and found it such a home as would make any 
sick or sad man happy. Glory to God for a special providence 
He will provide. 

With this lovely Christian family we spent two days, until 
a boat could be had going up the river. The time came to leave, 
and our kind host said, "How much money will you need?" 
We answered ten dollars each. He replied, "Accidents some- 
times occur on these boats; take twenty each," at the same time 
handing us the money, which with grateful hearts we accepted. 
This generous man's name has passed from my mind for many 
years, but his kindness still lives within me. In a few days we 
were in Natchez, amid the engaging busy scenes of the Confer- 
ence. While here we borrowed money, remitted forty dollars to 
our kind benefactor in New Orleans, and bought us each a horse, 
resolving to return to Texas by land. 

Shall we insert the name of the stationed preacher in 
New Orleans, seeing that Bro. Hord does not do so? We 
will let the reader, if he is interested enough to do so, 
look it up in the appointments of the Mississippi Confer- 
ence for 1838. We would like to inscribe here the number 
and the street and the benefactor whom these preachers 
subsequently found in New Orleans, but it is impossible 
to do so, since Hord himself was unable to recall them. 
But there is a Book of Eecord where all these matters 
are doubtless enrolled. 

The conference at Natchez elected delegates to the 
General Conference, to be held the following year, and 
in this election Littleton Fowler was chosen an alternate. 
Applicants for admission on trial from Texas were 


Daniel Carl, Henderson D. Palmer, Robert Crawford, 
and Robert H. Hill. These were duly admitted and all 
returned to Texas in the appointments. The conference 
statistics show 750 white members and 43 colored in the 
Texas district. In a report, transmitted to the Board 
of Missions in August, 1839, covering about three-fourths 
of the conference year, the superintendent, Littleton 
Fowler, gives the distribution of the membership then 
enrolled, with other details, as follows : Jasper, 50 mem- 
bers, 2 local preachers, no Sabbath school; San Augus- 
tine, 207 members, 7 local preachers, no Sabbath school ; 
Montgomery, 57 white members, 3 colored members, 1 
local preacher, no Sabbath school; Washington, 178 
members, 2 local preachers, 3 Sabbath schools; Ruters- 
ville, 50 members, 4 local preachers, 1 Sabbath school; 
Brazoria (formerly called Houston circuit), 120 members, 
2 local preachers, no Sabbath .school. 


THE YEAH 1840 

AT the Mississippi Conference in 1839 the Eepublic 
of Texas was divided into two vast districts, with a list 
of appointments reaching to quite respectable propor- 
tions. Surely we are growing, and Texas cannot much 
longer continue as a remote corner of missionary terri- 
tory attached to another conference. 

The appointments made in 1839 were as follows : 

Bast Texas District 

Littleton Fowler, Presiding Elder. 

San Augustine, S. A. Williams. 

Jasper, Daniel Carl. 

Nacogdoches, Francis Wilson. 

Crockett, Henderson D. Palmer. 

Montgomery, Moses Spear, Eobert Crawford. 

Harrison Circuit, to be supplied. 
Rutersville District 

Eobert Alexander, Presiding Elder. 

Rutersville, C. Eichardson, and President of Rutersville 

Austin, John Haynie. 

Matagorda, Robert Hill. 

Brazoria, Abel Stevens. 

Victoria, to be supplied. 

Houston, Edward Fontaine. 

Galveston, Thos. 0. Summers. 

Washington, Jesse Hord, J. Lewis. 
| Nashville, Joseph P. Sneed. 

Texas, it is well to note, had already become a pro- 
ductive field, as five of the preachers in the above list had 



gone up for admission from this territory ; namely, Carl, 
Palmer, Crawford, Haynie and Hill. Henderson D. 
Palmer, after spending some time at Lagrange College, 
Tuscumbia, Ala., came to Texas and engaged in teaching 
at Nacogdoches. Under the ministry of Littleton Fowler 
he first became a class-leader in the church, and later was 
granted license to preach. He is said to have been the 
first man licensed to preach in Texas. 1 Daniel Carl was a 
native of New York, where he was born in 1808. He 
removed with his parents in childhood to Tennessee. In 
1837 he came to Texas, and engaged in teaching in Wash- 
ington County. He was a tutor in the family of William 
Kesee at Cedar Creek, when under the influence of 
Fowler he yielded to- a call to preach and was granted 
license. Eobert Crawford, the best known of these first 
Texas recruits, is to enjoy with Alexander, Sneed and 
Hord, a ministry extending into the modern period of 
our history. He was a native of South Carolina, where 
he was born May 31, 1815. He was reared, like Alex- 
ander, in a staunch Calvinistic faith, but at the age of 
nineteen he was soundly converted and united with the 
Methodists. He was making preparations to enter 
Lagrange College, under a call to the ministry, when the 
Texas revolution attracted him, and in company with 
many other young men from Tennessee, where he was 
then living, Crawford came to Texas and joined the army 
of Sam Houston. He was present and took part in the 
battle of San Jacinto. After the war he again turned 
his thoughts toward the ministry. He was licensed to 
exhort by Dr. Martin Euter at Washington in March, 
1838, and was licensed to preach by J. P. Sneed in Sep- 
tember, 1839. For the rest, both as to Crawford and the 
others, their history will be found interwoven with others 
in this book. 

Austin, the new capital of the Republic, appears for 

i From a very brief and imperfect memoir in Journal of Trinity Con 
ference, 1869. 

THE YEAR 1840 127 

the first time in the appointments. The commissioners 
which had been designated by Congress to select a new 
capital, in aiming at the geographical center of the 
country, had agreed upon a picturesque spot on the Colo- 
rado ; but they had really located the capital in the Indian 
country, beyond the borders of the settlements. The 
nearest settlement and Methodist preaching place was 
Bastrop, thirty-five miles down the river. Toward the 
north and west there was nothing but the Indian and the 
buffalo. San Antonio was eighty miles to the southwest, 
with nothing between. However, the dauntless faith of 
the pioneers in the future development of the country 
and the hardihood of the early settlers held the day, and 
Austin remained the seat of government. Town lots 
were blocked off and sold in August, 1839, and by Novem- 
ber Congress and the public officials were transacting 
the business of a nation in this frontier post. And in 
December John Haynie was appointed to Austin, his 
circuit to include Travis and Bastrop counties. 

John Haynie had rem6ved to Texas in January, 1839, 
and settled in the region embraced in his first circuit. 
He had been a local preacher in Tennessee and Alabama 
for many years, and though now past fifty he had yet 
many effective years before him in the itinerant ranks. 2 

2 John Haynie was born in Virginia, April 7, 1786. In infancy he was 
consecrated in baptism in the Episcopal Church, of which his parents were 
members. The family removed to East Tennessee, near Knoxville, while 
he was young, and subsequently his parents united with the Methodist 
Church. In his twentieth year he was married to Elizabeth Brooks. "On 
the 9th of August, 1809," Haynie says, "I rode out to the field to shoot 
some squirrels, and while trying to get a shot at one suddenly this thought 
struck me with force 'There is one who watches all your actions with 
more care than you watch that squirrel.' Instantly all my sins passed in 
review before me. I had at the same moment such a view of the holiness 
of God as I never had before. My limbs trembled; immediately I clasped 
my hands together and cried for mercy." He returned home in such 
great distress of mind that a fever ensued which threatened to cut short 
his life. He was at one time tempted to commit suicide. Soon thereafter 
while in the field on his knees in an agony of prayer he was gloriously 
converted. In the -same year while attending church he joined and had his 
wife 's name put down, ' ' as we always go the same way, ' ' he said. He 
went home and told her what he had done. She was struck with conviction, 
and about a week later was converted while the family were at prayer. 
In June, 1811, Haynie was licensed to preach. In 1815 he located in 


"I gathered up the scattered members in town and 
country, having formed a few societies in a two weeks 
circuit," he says in his journal, referring to the year 
spent on the Austin circuit. "I placed the Sabbath 
preaching in Austin and Bastrop, and filled up the inter- 
mediate ground in the week. The Indians were quite 
troublesome this year on my circuit. They were fre- 
quently before me and behind, within a few hours, killing 
the people and stealing horses. I frequently saw their 
tracks in my path. I was often pressed to carry arms, 
but I trusted in the Lord. In the spring when I was 
from home the Indians went down and stole all my work 
horses, and left us with only the horse I rode. As there 
were no ferries on the Colorado river above Bastrop, I 
was compelled to swim the river to meet my appoint- 
ments. Corn was $3 per bushel, and with the exception 
of three places on my circuit I do not think my horse 
was put up and fed during the whole year. The way I 
managed was this : when I drew near my stopping place 
or place to preach I tied him to grass, as I always carried 
a lariat for that purpose, and thus night and day- 
attended to him myself." At the close of this year 
Haynie reported for this circuit three organized classes, 
with sixty-seven white and four colored members, besides 
various appointments where he had not formed societies. 
Austin had fourteen members, with David Thomas 
leader ; Bastrop, thirty-two whites and four colored mem- 
bers, C. Anderson, leader; Moore's Fort, twenty-one 
whites and one colored, Wm. Thorp, leader. "At Austin 
the prospects of a revival had been destroyed by a 
dancing school." 

In 1839-40 began the realization of the dream of Dr. 

Knoxville. He was chiefly instrumental in the erection of the first Metho- 
dist church in that city. One of the trustees of this church was John 
Menifee, whose children and grandchildren have figured so largely in Texas 
Methodist history. Haynie spent fifteen years in Knoxville in the mer- 
cantile business, and fourteen years at Tuscumbia, Ala., whence he re- 
moved to Texas. 

THE YEAR 1840 129 

Enter in the founding of a literary institution for 
Methodists in Texas. In his brief survey of the country 
in 1837-38 the Doctor became inclined toward Bastrop as 
the location of the future institution, which he came to 
refer to as Bastrop University. Like the commissioners 
who located the capital of the Eepublic, he had an eye 
to the future development of the country, and he wanted 
to plant the school near the geographical center. The 
site chosen, however, after the Doctor's death, was one 
lower down in the settled portion of the country. Eobert 
Alexander, John Eabb, J. W. Kenney and a few others 
selected a spot in Fayette County, about four miles from 
the present town of Lagrange, and in 1838 laid out the 
town of Eutersville 3 as the future college town for Texas 
Methodism. A petition was presented to Congress for 
a charter for the proposed institution, but this applica- 
tion was rejected. In the spring of 1839 Eev. Chauncey 
Eichardson, then president of Tuscumbia Female College, 
Alabama, visited Texas and looked over the situation at 
Eutersville. He was elected president of the college-to- 
be, and his wife chosen preceptress, to commence their 
labors in January of the following year. Early in No- 
vember, 1839, the president arrived on the ground, and, 
as shown by the appointments above, his selection was 
confirmed by the Mississippi Conference in December. 
Dr. Eichardson 's first task was to prepare a charter, 
which he did, and proceeding to Austin he secured its 
passage, though in a modified and a very defective form. 
Congress granted four leagues of land, amounting to 
17,776 acres, to the college, but limited its property hold- 
ings to twenty-five thousand dollars, and set a limit upon 
its corporate existence of "ten years and no longer." 
Within a year or two these provisions were amended, 
allowing property holdings of one hundred thousand 

3 Eutersville and Euterville are both used indiscriminately in present 
day references to this old town and the college of that name; but con- 
temporary usage favors Eutersville. 


dollars, over and above necessary buildings, and extend- 
ing its life to ninety-nine years. 4 The name adopted for 
the new institution was Rutersville College. It was 
intended to open the school in January, 1840, but 
" neither of the buildings being ready for occupancy, the 
opening was deferred to the first of February, when both 
departments [Male and Female] were opened in one 
small building, with about twenty-five students in attend- 
ance. ' ' 5 The first faculty was composed of Chauncey 
Richardson, A. M., president ; Charles W. Thomas, A. B., 
tutor, and Martha G. Richardson, preceptress. In May, 
1840, the trustees met and organized under the provisions 
of the charter. At this meeting the president was 
appointed agent, to travel and secure funds for the insti- 
tution, and Rev. D. N. V. Sullivan was appointed to 
supply his place in the school. Dr. Richardson's success 
was "unparalleled," in the language of the Report, 
quoted above, "and as a result a beautiful and com- 
modious college building has been completed [1843], the 
building of the female department finished (or nearly so) 
and other improvements essential to the prosperity of 
the college, besides about twenty-five thousand acres of 
land, nearly two thousand dollars in notes, and some 
fifty town lots have been secured." Of this princely 
endowment of lands the Congress of Texas, as we have 
noted, gave four leagues, and the town of Rutersville 
gave for the college site fifty-two acres, and for the 
female department, twenty-four acres. 

And so, with the greatest promise, the first educa- 
tional institution of college ambitions is launched in 
Texas, 6 opening its doors eleven months "to a day" 

* C. C. Cody, in various articles on our educational institutions. 

B Historical statement by Board of Trustees, 1843. 

Baylor University was chartered Feb. 1, 1845, and opened at Inde- 
pendence in 1846. In later years its name and chartered rights were taken 
over by Waco University, and the institution at Independence ceased to exist. 
. . . Land grants were made by Congress in 1839 for two universities to 
be established by the Eepublic, but no further steps were taken until 1856, 
when further grants were made and provisions adopted for the founding 
of one State university. The present institution opened its doors in 1883. 

THE YEAR 1840 131 

before a Methodist conference was organized in Texas. 
Happy in its location, prospectively rich in lands, and 
fortunate in its choice of its first head and guiding spirit, 
Eutersville College is to run well for a while. Its sub- 
sequent fortunes will be noted in due time. 

Eev. Chauncey Richardson, first president of the first 
college in Texas, was a prominent figure in the country 
from the day of his arrival. Born in Vermont in 1802, 
of Methodist parents, he entered the Church at the age 
of nineteen, and was licensed to preach at the age of 
twenty-one by Dr. Wilbur Fisk, presiding elder of the 
Vermont district. He filled circuits and stations in New 
England until 1832, when by reason of failing health he 
was forced to locate. He entered and spent some time 
in Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., of which Dr. 
Fisk had become president. Subsequently he was called 
to the presidency of Tuscumbia Female College, Ala- 
bama, which place he filled with great acceptability and 
success until he was elected president of Eutersville Col- 
lege. As a member of the Tennessee Conference, which 
he had joined on coming South, Mr. Eichardson had 
attained prominence as a preacher and educator, and he 
brought with him to the infant institution in Texas a 
reputation and prestige which inspired confidence from 
the first. Mr. Eichardson 's impressions and expecta- 
tions of the new college in Texas were as favorable as 
were those of the Texas Methodists of him. In a letter 
following his first visit to Eutersville the following ex- 
tract is taken : T 

The country between San Felipe, on the Brazos, and La- 
Grange, on the Colorado, in point of beauty of landscape, scen- 
ery and fertility of soil, excellent water, and salubrious breezes, 
will not suffer in comparison with any country of equal extent. 
The surface is undulating, and from the summit of each swell 
a prospect of inimitable beauty and richness is presented to the 
eye of the traveller. The most beautiful portion of this rich and 

7 Published in the N. Y. Ch. Adv. and Journal, 1839. 


romantic country embraces Eutersville and its vicinity. At this 
new and flourishing town I was kindly entertained by Rev. Dr. 
Manly, from whom I received much information respecting the 
plan of the town and its prospective importance. The League 
embraced in this town was the choice of the proprietors out of 
a great number which they examined. It contains numerous 
romantic lots for family residences and public buildings. The 
college site commands an extensive view of the richest landscape 
scenery in the world. It is ornamented with a rich oak grove 
and macadamized with nature's own hand with a stratum of 
quartz pebbles of several inches in depth. The college campus 
will be most beautiful without any polish from the hand of man. 
. . . During my detention in Eutersville I became acquainted 
with several of its citizens, with whom I was highly pleased. 
Indeed the more I saw of this town the better I liked it, and I 
consider it a very eligible location for the literary institution 
of our church in Texas. It is literally the heart of Texas, and 
by the blessings of God, it can be made so morally, evolving the 
fountain of sanctified literature, and diffusing it through thou- 
sands of channels throughout the length and breadth of the Re- 
public, making it like the garden of the Lord. 

Taking now a brief survey of other work going on in 
the west, or in the Rutersville district, in 1840, we note 
that the vast coast country through which Jesse Hord 
had splashed on horseback the year before is now divided 
into five appointments Matagorda, Brazoria, Victoria, 
Houston and Galveston. Abel Stevens, who had been 
appointed to Brazoria, never returned to Texas. The 
Brazoria circuit was supplied a few months during the 
winter by Orceneth Fisher, of Illinois, who had come to 
Texas to look over the country and for Ms health. He 
returned to Illinois in the spring, but had made up his 
mind to cast his lot in Texas, which he did at a later 
day. The Brazoria circuit was left vacant during the 
remainder of the year. Victoria, on the western border, 
was left in the appointments "to be supplied, " and so 
it remained through the year, notwithstanding loud and 

THE YEAR 1840 133 

repeated calls from that section for a preacher. Both 
Houston and Galveston were for the first half of the 
year under the care of Edward Fontaine, a young man 
from Mississippi, who had been appointed to Houston 
only, but as Dr. Summers did not arrive in Galveston 
until June that city was joined to Houston. Alexander, 
the presiding elder, devoted much attention to these 
rising young cities, and in company with Fontaine he 
held a meeting in Galveston, organized a church there, 
and accepted lots for a church from the founders of the 
town. After the arrival of Dr. Summers, Fontaine con- 
fined his labors to Houston, but some time during the 
year he surrendered his charge and passed into the ranks 
of the Episcopal clergy, and Houston and Galveston are 
again joined together, this time under Summers. Thomas 
0. Summers was put down for Galveston " against the 
judgment of the Bishop, who thought the work in Texas 
too rough" for one of Summer s's antecedents and cul- 
ture, but Summers proved himself perfectly adaptable to 
the conditions of his new charge. He came to Texas from 
Baltimore, where he had remained after his appointment 
until after the sessions of the General Conference of 
1840, which met in Baltimore, when he departed for Gal- 
fyeston. Summers labored in Galveston and Houston 
until 1844, and he may be justly regarded as the father 
of Methodism in these cities. He also took an active 
interest in the work of the Church throughout the 
Eepublic, of which, as well as the work in his own charge, 
more will be said. 

Butersville district, which Eobert Alexander travels 
this year, extended from Galveston to the upper limits 
of the new Nashville mission, embracing the territory 
about the falls of the Brazos, or the present town of 
Marlin, and the district extended westward to include 
Matagorda, Victoria and Austin. Alexander took Hord 
with him on one trip to the Nashville mission, and the 
latter records an incident or two which occurred: 


I remember going with Bro. Alexander to the San Antonio 
Prairie to attend a quarterly meeting. We reached the settle- 
ment about night, and lodged, I think, with a Bro. King. Had 
some religious services on Saturday. Bro. K. invited me to his 
house to spend the second night. I declined, saying I wished to 
go to a house with more air holes. A gentleman present said, 
"Go with me; I can accommodate you." I accepted, and that 
night I enjoyed a lone bed between two open doors, where I had 
a full supply of oxygen. . . . Sometime about midnight or 
after I was aroused by a call in front. I arose to enquire the 
cause. I was informed the Indians had attacked the settlement, 
killed one man and perhaps carried off the family, and this mes- 
senger was out gathering help. All were aroused. Men and 
strong boys, with all the implements of death at command were 
off in hot pursuit. Its finale I cannot give, for I was sick, and 
have no knowledge of the events of the Sabbath day following. 

On Monday Mr. Hord, finding himself too ill to con- 
tinue up the country, set out for home, forty miles 
distant, leaving Alexander and Sneed on the Nashville 
mission. The Indian alarm referred to was caused by 
an incursion made by the savages on an outside settle- 
ment, where they had murdered a Mr. Tidwell and his 
.children, and carried his wife away captive. The Indians 
were not overhauled, but escaped with the woman. 
Several years later Mrs. Tidwell was found and pur- 
chased from the Indians at Coffee's trading house on 
Bed Eiver. 

The Nashville mission in 1840 embraced twelve ap- 
pointments, lying within the territory now covered by 
Burleson, Milam and Falls counties, on the west side of 
the Brazos, and Brazos and Robertson counties on the 
east side of the river this entire section, with much 
pther territory being included in the original Robertson 
colony, or the Nashville Company's grant. The point at 
which the quarterly meeting referred to above was held, 
and near which the Indian raid had occurred, was San 

THE YEAR 1840 135 

Antonio Prairie, located six or seven miles northeast of 
the present town of Caldwell. The first Methodist family 
which settled in this region was the Addison family, 
coming from Baltimore in 1835. Some of the history 
and experiences of this family have already been given. 
The following from 0. M. Addison bears upon the early 
religious advantages and the rise of Methodism in this 
frontier community: 

As soon as his house was built the writer's father invited 
his neighbors to send their children to it on Sabbath morning, 
which with his own he formed into and taught the first Sunday 
school in Texas west of the Brazos and north of the San An- 
tonio road. As other settlers soon after came in the school 
was removed to Mrs. Scott's, as a more central point. From that 
place it eventually found more suitable quarters at Elizabeth 

An adjoining neighborhood, some seven miles south, known 
as the Post Oak settlement, was composed of Baptists honest, 
simple minded and pious people. There were but few Baptists 
preachers in Texas at that time, and the Post Oak settlement 
for awhile remained without the gospel. As the exclusiveness 
that now so widely separates the people of this faith had not yet 
been inaugurated, the destitution was to some extent supplied 
by social meetings among themselves and with their Methodist 
neighbors. About this time there came to Washington county 
a gentleman owning a negro slave, " Uncle Mark," a Methodist 
local preacher. These guileless Baptists, hungering for the true 
word, engaged from his master the services of this negro 
preacher, who for some time gave them a regular monthly ap- 
pointment. The first time the writer heard "Uncle Mark" was 
on one of these occasions. . . . With a younger brother he 
walked seven miles to Mrs. Katie Smith's, whose best room was 
improvised into a chapel for the occasion. "Uncle Mark" was 
coal black, with a serious cast of countenance and a wide fore- 
head. He was grave and dignified, and his manner becoming 
and impressive. He read his opening hymn with marked em- 
phasis and correctness. It was one of Cowper's, beginning: 


Lord, we are vile, conceived in sin, 
And born unholy and unclean ; 
Sprung from the man whose guilty fall 
Corrupts his race and taints us all. 

The preacher has long since gone to his reward. He proved 
faithful to his earthly as well as to his heavenly Master. Meek 
and obedient, he won the respect of all who knew him. Some 
years before his death he was purchased from his master by 
the church and left free to dispose of his time and preach as he 
might determine. 

One word more about "John Mark." From an obit- 
uary notice by E. Alexander, published in 1879, the year 
of the colored preacher's death, we gather that the 
"deed" to John Mark was first held by a Masonic lodge, 
but on the request of Mark himself, who wanted the 
Church to be his master, the Texas Annual Conference, 
aided by several generous Methodists, purchased him and 
held the deed. To the day of his death, we are told, John 
Mark occupied his time in a faithful and fruitful ministry 
to Ms own people. He had been ordained deacon by 
Bishop Paine. 

From the Addison memorials we learn that the first 
Methodist church in the Eobertson colony section was 
organized by Robert Alexander at the house of J. W. 
Porter, on the San Antonio Prairie, a year or two before 
the arrival of Mr. Sneed the exact date not given. This 
church was composed of the following members : H. B. 
King, Susan King, John E. King, Rachel King, Peter 
Jackson, Susan Jackson, Elizabeth Scott, Jas. W. Scott, 
Patsy Scott, Philip B. Scott, Robert Scott, Isaac S. 
Addison, Sarah Addison, Joseph J. Addison. From the 
families which constituted this organization which was 
housed after a few years in Elizabeth Chapel, named 
after Mrs. Elizabeth Scott there went forth the follow- 
ing Methodist preachers in Texas : James "W. Scott, 
Oscar M. Addison, James H. Addison, John W. Addison, 

THE YEAR 1840 137 

John E. King, Kufus Y. King, Willis J. King, Milton H. 
Porter, John Porter, and from the Scott's of the second 
generation, J. Fred Cox. It is not discoverable thus far 
that any community of Methodists in Texas has con- 
tributed so many of her sons to the itinerancy as did this 

There came to be planted at an early day in this 
settlement one of the famous camp-grounds of the 
country, the old Waugh Camp-ground, located upon ten 
acres of ground donated by Isaac S. Addison. Nearly all 
the early preachers of the Church ministered here at 
different times, and many of the later preachers were 
converted here, besides hundreds of others. B. H. 
Carroll, one of the great Baptist preachers of Texas, was 
converted here "at two o'clock in the morning," having 
tarried, as was not uncommon in that day, until that 
hour, attended by the Methodist preachers in charge and 
a few saintly women. 

This, then, was one of the points on the Nashville 
mission in 1840. The other appointments, which we de- 
cipher from a faded "plan" of the work, made out by 
Sneed himself that year, were: Nashville, Tenoxtitlan, 
Mount Prairie, Mrs. Smith's, Irish Settlements, Whee- 
lock's, Franklin, Timmons on Navisot, Falls of Brazos, 
Stroud's, and Yellow Prairie. An extract from Sneed 's 
journal relates to his visit to the Falls of the Brazos : 

Mondy, March 4, 1840. Eode with Mr. Porter from Frank- 
lin toward the falls of the Brazos, ten miles west of Mr. Stroud's, 
thence northwest up the river, passing one house and overtaking 
Mr. Porter's wagon near the Little Brazos, we encamped in the 
bottom. We kept guard all night to prevent being surprised 
by the Indians. The wolves howled around us, but I slept very 
soundly, waking but seldom. The Lord preserved us, and the 
next day we reached Port Milam, five miles from the falls of 
the Brazos, where I preached at night from Matt. 4-17. The 
garrison was commanded by Captain Holliday, one of Fannin's 


men, who gave me the account of his escape from the massacre 
at Goliad. 

There was a considerable settlement about the Falls 
of the Brazos, under the protection of the garrison at 
Fort Milam, but we have no record of any organization 
as yet attempted so far on the frontier. 

Before turning from the Rutersville district we will 
add a report from the presiding elder, Robert Alexander, 
written to the Missionary Secretary in New York from 
Galveston on March 16, 1840 : 

I have performed my first round on Rutersville district, and 
embrace the present opportunity of making a brief statement of 
our prospects and necessities in this very interesting field of 
ministerial labor. In this district we have seven circuits and one 
station as arranged by the bishop and his council, and circum- 
stances seem to require the addition of another. These appoint- 
ments are scattered over an extensive territory, including more 
than half of the settled portion of the republic, and the work is 
very laborious. 

The preachers in their respective circuits are truly in the 
spirit of their work, and do not seem to regard the difficulties 
and privation with which they have to contend, but rather es- 
teem it a privilege to range these wilds in search of the lost 
sheep of the house of Israel, and regard the swimming of creeks 
and rivers and sleeping alone in the prairies, surrounded by 
howling wolves and beasts of prey, as very trivial circumstances, 
while the people appear hungry for the bread of life. Fre- 
quently they publish the gospel to some who have grown up in 
this country to men and women who never before heard the 
gospel, and to others who once belonged to the church and en- 
joyed religious privileges but have long been deprived of the 
privileges they once enjoyed. These are grateful to God that 
they again have these privileges. 

Our quarterly meetings have been well attended, except when 
the weather was so rainy or disagreeable that the people could 
not attend with any comfort. We have had some truly interest- 
ing meetings, and some have found the pearl of great price, 

THE YEAR 1840 139 

and many others appear truly penitent. More than 100 mem- 
bers have been added to the church in this district by letter or 
on probation. Our prospects indeed are truly encouraging, 
though it is deeply to be regretted that some very important 
points are yet destitute. Victoria is not supplied, though I have 
made every effort in my power to get a supply, but have failed. 
We have a number of members scattered in that portion of 
country, but are as sheep having no shepherd, and every time I 
hear from them their request for help becomes louder and more 
importunate. They say, Send us a minister; we will do all we 
can to make him comfortable and to give him a support, but we 
have none to give. "Lord of the harvest, hear thy needy chil- 
dren's cry." 

Brother 0. Fisher, of the Illinois Conference, came to this 
country last winter for his health, and he has labored efficiently 
on this circuit the past quarter; but he is compelled to return 
home, and Brazoria circuit is now destitute. This is an impor- 
tant point. The people are able to support their own preacher, 
and pledge themselves to do it, but we have none for them. 
Brother Fisher reports that the prospects on this circuit are en- 
couraging. Shall it remain destitute? 

Galveston has no Methodist preacher to take charge of the 
scattered members of our church in that city. The stationed 
preacher from Houston and myself held meetings here two days 
and preached to attentive hearers. We organized a church and 
a quarterly conference. When we collect all the scattered flock 
together we will have at least 30 members. Some have been 
faithful and zealous, and have held prayer and class-meetings, 
while others have grown cold in religion. On Sabbath the at- 
tendance was numerous, and never have I preached to more 
attentive hearers. Many wept and appeared to feel deeply, par- 
ticularly at the communion table. It is cause of much regret 
that Galveston has not been supplied, as there is a population 
of about five thousand, and it is growing rapidly in every re- 
spect. The claims of the people are strong. They are willing 
to build us a church and to do all in their power to promote 
the best of all causes. Brother Summers, of the Baltimore Con- 
ference, has been looked for to take charge of this station, but we 
hear nothing from him. [Footnote : He will soon be on the way. 
N. Bangs.] I leave this place today for the interior to visit my 


family and commence my second round of quarterly meetings. 
May the Lord of the harvest send us more help speedily. 

Turning now to look over the East Texas district, we 
have a territory almost as large as that embraced in the 
western district, but having fewer appointments within 
its bounds. Crockett appears for the first time as a 
center of operations, this section filling an intermediate 
place between the east and the west. The newly created 
Harrison circuit indicates the extension of the work 
northward, toward the Red River country in northeastern 
Texas ; and these two sections of Methodism are destined 
'soon to unite and become one. One might suppose that 
along the East Texas line, far from the ground of the 
roving Comanches on the one hand, and the ever threat- 
ening Mexicans on the other, that peace and order might 
be found, where the institutions of civilization could grow 
up undisturbed. But conditions quite the contrary pre- 
vailed. The Cherokee Indians, occupying a section of 
ground in eastern Texas, and regarded as a "civilized 
tribe," became troublesome in 1839, which brought on 
the Cherokee War. But the Indians were not the only 
disturbers of the peace and safety of the inhabitants. 
The fact is, that certain sections of eastern Texas, par- 
ticularly along the border, were the most lawless of any 
in the country. The climax of civil strife was reached in 
the "war" of the "Regulators and Moderators" in 1842- 
44. Dr. John H. McLean, whose grandfather emigrated 
to Texas in 1839, bringing his own widowed mother and 
her children with him, and settled in Harrison County, 
about eight miles east of Marshall, says in his "Remi- 
niscences" that conditions in that day were unsettled and 
chaotic. "Law existed scarcely in name still less in 
fact while organized bands of thieves depredated upon 
the property rights of the early settlers, stealing horses, 
negroes, and other species of property. Should a thief 
be arrested and committed to the log jail, the clan would 

THE YEAR 1840 141 

liberate him by night and he would resume his depre- 
dations." Continuing, the narrator refers to measures 
adopted to restrain such gangs. The Capt. Eose referred 
to was Dr. McLean's grandfather. 

Under this state of things Capt. Eose was chosen by the 
citizens to head an organization to rid the country of these law- 
less clans and characters. The inadequate protection of the law 
made it necessary for the citizens to organize in their own de- 
fense. This was not a mob, visiting summary punishment upon 
whom it might please, but a well organized company of reputable 
and responsible citizens, who, in case of an arrest for theft or 
other offense, gave the accused an impartial hearing, or trial, 
before a competent committee. If found guilty, he would re- 
ceive the canonical number of stripes "forty save one" hu- 
manely administered with a hickory switch and the criminal 
would then be admonished to leave the country within ten days. 
If caught again and found guilty of like offense then might 
summary punishment be inflicted, but none were ever hanged 
the flogging sufficed, and the criminal sought a more congenial 
clime. This organization has been improperly known as the 
"Regulators" whereas the Regulators properly belonged to an 
organization in Shelby county. The best citizens were members 
of the Rose organization. The writer recalls Rev. James Gill, a 
local Methodist preacher, as a member, who was a most exem- 
plary man and citizen, who died not many years since at Tyler. 

The lawless spirit of the times often invaded the 
sacred precincts of religious meetings, and sometimes 
manifested itself in acts of the most shocking sacrilege. 
Dr. McLean relates the incident of a district judge who, 
in a drunken spree, administered the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper in a saloon to several lawyers, using 
whisky and crackers for the elements. "We have seen the 
quelling effect of a hickory stick in one of Robert Alex- 
ander's meetings in the west. Here in Harrison County 
on at least one occasion severer measures were resorted 
to in one of Littleton Fowler's meetings. While Fowler 
was conducting a camp-meeting near Marshall a drunken 


desperado invaded a private tent while the occupants 
were attending service at the arbor near by, and began 
shooting up the tent and dishes on the table, one shot 
passing through the clothing of a servant girl with a 
babe in her arms, the intruder swearing all the while 
that he would kill the owners of the tent. The proprietor 
of the tent and others, hearing the disturbance, hastened 
to the scene, pistols in hand, and opened fire on the in- 
truder, who ran to the arbor and fell wounded at the 
feet of Mr. Fowler, who at the time was calling penitents 
to the altar. The wounded man died next day. 

The same tragic incident, with other interesting facts, 
is related by Dr. Job M. Baker, a local preacher who had 
settled in the country, and who was employed in 1840 
by Fowler to supply the Harrison circuit. The following 
extract appears in Thrall : 

In the year 1839 I moved my family to Harrison County. 
There was not a preacher of any kind in the county besides my- 
self. I settled in the neighborhood of Mr. Page and his son-in* 
law, Mr. Josephus Moore, men of uneviable reputation. Mr. 
Page was an industrious, energetic man. He was hung by a com- 
pany of "Regulators" from Red River County for an alleged 
murder. His family said the Indians committed the murder. 
I afterwards took the widow Page into the church, and baptized 
her by immersion. Her son John also became a useful church 
member. There was a good deal of horse and cattle stealing 
between the whites and Indians. The Indians stole from the 
whites and the whites stole from the Indians, as they said, by 
way of reprisals. It is hard to tell which party came out winner 
in this game, though I believe the whites a little more than held 
their own. 

In the year 1839 the Cherokee war broke out. We moved 
into Fort Crawford, and for months had no flour, meat or coffee. 
We lived on corn pounded in a mortar. During this period I 
preached one sermon to a few hearers in Fort Crawford. At 
this time the war between the "Regulators" and "Moderators" 
was growing very bitter, and it was difficult to conduct religious 
services, though I occasionally had appointments to preach. 

THE YEAR 1840 143 

Dissatisfied with the sparce population and bad society, 1 
moved down near the Louisiana line. . . . The first camp-meet- 
ing held in Harrison County was in the neighborhood of Mr. 
William Scott's, about five miles from Marshall. This meeting 
had a very beneficial influence. The next was held in the neigh- 
borhood of Jacob Booker's, a local preacher from East Tennes- 
see. He lived near the Sabine river. One of his sons died in 
the itineracy. . . . While Mr. Fowler was presiding elder a 
second camp-meeting was held near William Scott's. It was 
progressing finely until a desperado came on the ground and 
created a disturbance on Sunday night. Mr. Scott remonstrated 
with him and reproved him. This only made him worse, and he 
swore he would kill Mr. Scott. He went to Marshall, got drunk, 
armed himself, and came back to execute his threat. While 
hunting for his intended victim he was himself shot and mortally 
wounded. This broke up the meeting. The preachers exhorted 
the wounded man to repent and prepare for death. At first 
the dying man was defiant, but before his death he became 
penitent and asked the preachers to pray for him. 

Baker and two or three others who appear in this 
field this year merit more than a passing word of intro- 
duction. For a third of a century Baker's name appears, 
more or less irregularly, in the appointments of different 
conferences in Texas. But when we turn for information 
to the minutes of the conference in which he labored 
longest, and in which he died, we are disappointed. Here, 
for example, is the memoir of the man in question, 
appearing in the minutes of the East Texas Conference 
for 1878 : 

Job M. Baker died Feb. 5, 1878, at the home of his son, 
William, near Jefferson, Texas, aged 84 years and 20 days, hav- 
ing spent 60 years of his life in the ministry. Dr. Baker was of 
a high order of mind, well cultivated, and possessed of a large 
store of knowledge. 

It requires no stretch of the imagination to suppose 
that some person about the conference room who had 


known him was asked at the eleventh hour to prepare a 
sketch of the deceased, and in the hurry of the occasion, 
and with only one or two facts in mind, the memorial 
writer drew forth an old envelope and upon the back of 
it composed the above gem to go into our historical 
records. And thus scores of our best men in the ministry 
have been allowed to drop into obscurity and go to their 
death with no adequate memorial left on record; and 
many of 'the founders of Methodism in Texas sleep in 
unmarked and some of them in unknown graves. Our 
present-day records, while usually showing more com- 
plete memorial notices of deceased preachers, neverthe- 
less contain many examples of "how not to do it." 8 

Concerning Dr. Baker, fortunately an old friend, 
Daniel Morse, had gathered from him the facts of his 
life, and these are contained in a long obituary appearing 
in the Texas Christian Advocate soon after Baker's 
death. From this we obtain the following items : Baker 
was born in Maryland in 1794. The family moved to 
Knox County, Tennessee, in 1798. His parents were 
Presbyterians. After ten years' residence in Tennessee 
the family moved to Ohio. While living in Ohio young 
Baker served as a volunteer under Gen. Harrison in his 
Indian wars. He united with the Methedist Church in 
1812, but was not converted until two years later. He 
was licensed to exhort in 1815, and the same year was 
licensed to preach. In 1818 he was admitted into the 
Ohio Conference. On one of his circuits Marietta he 
was a colleague of Thomas A. Morris, afterwards Bishop. 
He was ordained deacon by Bishop Roberts, and ordained 
elder by Bishop McKendree. In 1824, on account of 
failing health, Baker located, and took up the study of 

s Example of memoir in one of our present-day Conference Journals: 
wa s converted in middle life and entered the ministry, and 

for more than 25 years he was faithful to every trust. Nothing is known 
of his early life or parentage," etc., etc., and then follows a half page 
of general characteristics and words of praise; but a future historian would 
scan such an article in vain for facts. 

THE YEAR 1840 145 

medicine. He graduated at the Medical College of Ohio 
in 1830. He practiced medicine in Indiana, Mississippi, 
Louisiana and Texas. He re-entered the itinerancy in 
connection with the Missouri Conference, transferring 
later to the Mississippi Conference, and in 1851 he was 
formally transferred to the East Texas Conference, 
although he had lived in this territory for many years 
previously. We find Baker's name figuring prominently 
in the "History of Methodism in Mississippi" in the 
early thirties. A well-known church over in that state, 
which he assisted in erecting, was called after him, 
"Baker's Chapel." 

Of Francis Wilson, who appears in this region in 
1840, but little is known, for though he was a picturesque 
character in East Texas for several years, he became in 
later life somewhat embittered toward his Church, and 
declined to furnish information about his life when re- 
quested to do so. He came from Ohio, where he had been 
preaching for twenty years. Wilson was in charge of 
the camp-meeting at Jasper in October, 1841, which has 
been mentioned as being the last one attended by Henry 
Stephenson. At this meeting, we are told by E. L. Arm- 
strong, in certain reminiscent sketches, a company of 
rowdies gathered in a grove near by for the purpose of 
holding a mock service, with the view of breaking up 
the meeting. Francis Wilson, a towering figure, ap- 
peared among them and proposed to lead their service. 
The gang dispersed without further trouble. Wilson in 
later life removed into Louisiana, and died there in 1867. 

Moses Speer, another name appearing in East Texas 
in 1839-40, had already reached his three score and ten 
years when he came to Texas, and he is soon to find his 
grave here. He began preaching in Kentucky, but about 
1804 appears on the Cumberland circuit about Nashville, 
Tenn. Soon thereafter he located and settled near Nash- 
ville, where he reared a useful family. Two sons entered 
the ministry in Tennessee. In 1838 we find Speer preach- 


ing on Red River, in connection with the Arkansas 
Conference. In 1839 he entered Texas, and was assigned 
by Fowler to the country in southeast Texas. As a 
result of his labors a flourishing church was organized 
at Jasper. At the close of that year he was assigned to 
the Montgomery circuit. In the summer of 1840 he died 
in the Robinson settlement, and was buried there. 



IT was a welcome change for the preachers in Texas 
in the conference season of 1840 to be spared the long 
and toilsome journey into another state in order to attend 
conference. The General Conference, which met at 
Baltimore in May, 1840, set off the Texas Conference, 
"to include the Republic of Texas except that portion 
now embraced in the Arkansas Conference." The 
Bishops designated Bishop Beverly Waugh to visit the 
Republic and to assemble and organize the first con- 

Bishop Waugh resided in Baltimore, and was at this 
time in his fifty-first year, and the fourth year in the 
episcopacy. He was a great traveler and writer, a wise 
administrator and was described as a sound preacher. 
The announcement of his coming to Texas stirred not 
only the little band of preachers, but Methodists far and 
near as well as others made preparations to attend the 
conference. Bishop Waugh arrived in Galveston early 
in December, and accompanied by Thomas O. Summers, 
he immediately set out for the interior. They visited 
Rutersville, where the conference was to assemble, and 
where the embryo college was located, and went on to 
Bastrop and Austin. The Bishop and Dr. Summers 
preached in the capital on Sunday, December 20th, 
looked over the city and visited Congress on Monday, 
and then set out for Rutersville again, visiting and hold- 
ing services in Bastrop on their return. They reached 
Rutersville on Thursday, December 24th, and on Christ- 



mas Day, Friday, December 25th, the first session of the 
Texas Conference was opened. 

Fortunately we have Bishop Waugh's own account 
of this conference, with certain reflections born of the 
occasion : x 

This was the first time a Conference of Methodist preachers 
ever assembled in Texas. Our number was, indeed, small, con- 
sisting of nine members. There were six probationers, five only 
of whom were continued. We organized in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, nothing daunted at the fewness of our num- 
ber, remembering, as we could but do, the first conference of 
our venerable founder about one hundred years ago, when the 
immortal Wesley and nine others convened to converse of the 
deep things of God ; and also the first annual conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church which convened on Christmas Day, 
fifty-six years ago, at which time the Church received her pres- 
ent organization. With these recollections, and especially in 
reliance on the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill 
his promise to be with his ministers "always, even unto the end 
of the world," we set up our Ebenezer on the soil of the republic 
of Texas. Small and feeble as was this beginning, when, after 
the lapse of half a century, some pious minister or Christian 
shall trace the operations of Methodism from her commencement, 
how will his enraptured soul exclaim, "Behold, what hath God 
wrought ! ' ' Our conference continued in session four days, with 
much love and harmony. During the session there were several 
sinners converted to God, and many of our members who were 
in attendance from far and near seemed to say by their excited 
looks, "Lord, it is good for us to be here." We received on trial 
four preachers, and readmitted one into the travelling connec- 
tion. The number of members reported from the several cir- 
cuits was eighteen hundred and fifty-three, and twenty-five local 

One hundred years and a few months following the 
organization of the first distinct Methodist society in 

1 Prom letters published at the time in the N. Y. Christian Advocate 
and Journal. 


London, 2 the Texas Conference was organized a fact 
which the little band at Eutersville could but reflect upon, 
with rejoicing over the past and abundant hope for the 
future. And the rapidity with which the work had ad- 
vanced in Texas it is worth while to recall a Texas 
mission circuit first officially appearing in the records in 
1837 ; a Texas district in 1838 ; two districts in 1839, and 
an Annual Conference in 1840. Whether a parallel in 
development from a circuit to an Annual Conference in 
four years can be found in our history is doubtful. 

"Our Conference continued in session four days" 
almost as long as the largest of our Annual Conferences, 
with two or three hundred preachers, holds to-day. But, 
then, neither the bishop nor the preachers, and least of 
all the people in attendance, were in a hurry to get 
through and be gone. There wasn't much business to 
transact, and the work of appointing the preachers was 
a small task. But there were four days Friday, Satur- 
day, Sunday and Monday filled up with something. The 
bishop says that " there were many sinners converted," 
and that the people, "from their excited looks, seemed 
to say 'It is good to be here.' " It is easily assumed 
that this meeting looked very much like a great four 
days' revival meeting, leisurely carried on, in which 
preaching, singing and other camp-meeting exercises 
were prominent, interspersed with intervals of confer- 
ence business. The records of the first few years of the 
Texas Conference were lost, and so an exact account of 
the routine followed cannot be given. From various 
other sources we learn that the business transacted con- 
sisted of the following items, though not necessarily in 
the order here shown : 

2 "The first society of converts was brought together in 1739 and 
attached to a Moravian congregation in Fetter Lane, London. Wesley soon 
found it necessary to dissent from some doctrines taught by the Moravians, 
and in the following year he transferred his society to an old and disused 
government building known as the Foundry, and here in July, 1740, 'The 
Methodist Society in London' was formed." From art. "Methodists" in 
the author 'a Handbook of All Denominations. 


1. The election of Thomas 0. Summers as secretary. 

2. The reports of the preachers, which summed up 
showed 1878 members within the bounds of the Confer- 
ence 1623 white, 230 colored and 25 local preachers. 

3. The admission of four preachers on trial; namely, 
Nathan Shook, James H. Collard, D. N. V. Sullivan and 
Richard Owen. 

4. The election and ordination of two to deacon's 

5. One preacher discontinued. 

6. One elder readmitted. 

The result of these ministerial transactions gave, with 
those already in the active service, eighteen conference 
members and probationers to receive appointments at 
this session. There were no transfers to Texas shown at 
this conference. Abel Stevens was transferred out of 
the conference, he having returned to the North six 
months before. 

7. The meeting of the "Texas Missionary Society, " 
which, as was shown in a previous chapter, was organized 
in 1835 at the Kenney camp-ground. This missionary 
society became the forerunner of the Conference Mission 
Boards, and this meeting at conference was the first of 
what later became the "anniversary" meetings of our 
Conference Mission Boards. This missionary society 
meeting at the Rutersville session was one of the great 
occasions of the conference. To quote again from 
Bishop Waugh : 

It was my intention to present to your readers a sketch of 
the missionary meeting which was held on the last evening of 
the Texas Conference. ... I will only say that most happy 
should I be to witness in any portion of the United States a 
missionary meeting as fully imbued with missionary feeling, 
and as prompt to missionary action as I beheld at Rutersville, 
in Texas. The whole scene was a beautiful combination of Chris- 
tian simplicity and moral grandeur. Never shall I forget the 
overflow of generous feeling which occured in connection with 


the following incident in the progress of the meeting. A brother 
who had been quietly and silently, though with deep emotion, 
observing everything that transpired, modestly arose, and with 
diffidence, addressed himself to the president of the meeting in 
the following words: "Silver and gold have I none, yet the 
Lord has greatly blessed me, and I want to do something for his 
cause. Such as I have I give unto you. I will give a quarter of 
a league of land, on the Brazos river, to the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church." Here the suppressed feel- 
ing of the audience broke out into an audible applauding, which 
was as genuine as it was spontaneous. Every man, woman and 
child seemed to have forgotten everything else for the evening, 
and concentrated their thoughts, their feelings and their doings 
on the cause of Christian missions. 

8. An address was prepared, by the authority of the 
conference, and transmitted to the government of the 
Eepublic at Austin. The address and the correspondence 
attending its presentation follows: 

To His EXCELLENCY, DAVID G. BURNET, President of the Re- 
public of Texas: 3 

Sir: The Texas annual conference of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church during its first and late session, influenced by Chris- 
tian and patriotic feelings, unanimously adopted the accompany- 
ing address to your excellency and the honorable congress, 
which, in compliance with a resolution of the conference, the 
undersigned have the honor to present. With distinguished re- 
spect, sir, we are, yours, 

Austin, Jan. 5th, 1841. 

Executive Department, Austin, 

Jan. 7, 1841. 

Gentlemen : It affords me unusual pleasure to transmit to the 
honorable congress the accompanying "Address from the annual 
conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church," which was pre- 
sented to me on last evening. 

3 President ad interim. President Lamar was out of the country. 


This manifestation of patriotic zeal has emanated from the 
first session of the annual conference of that pious and distin* 
guished society, holden in our young republic. To those who 
believe that "righeousness exalteth a nation," and that "sin is 
a reproach to any people," the first meeting of such an assembly 
will be regarded as an auspicious omen, promising a more ex- 
tended diffusion of the principles of the Bible, which are always 
coincident with the spread of religious and civil liberty. 


To His EXCELLENCY, DAVID G. BURNET, President of the Re- 
public of Texas, and to the honorable, the Senate and the 
House of Representatives of Texas, in Congress assembled : 

Gentlemen: I take pleasure in complying with the request 
of the Texas annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, on the occasion of its recent organization, to present 
to your excellency and to your honorable bodies, the respect and 
affection which its members cherish toward you, as the consti- 
tuted guardians of the independence, rights and privileges of 
this growing republic. The objects of this organization are 
religion, morality and literature. Believing that the peace, pros- 
perity and perpetuity of this infant republic will be secured 
in proportion to the prevalence of sound learning, sound moral- 
ity and sound religion, it will be the aim of the conference to 
promote these with energy and perseverence. While thus en- 
gaged, it confidently relies upon the ability and disposition of 
the government to extend to it the protection and privileges 
which are common to all Christian denominations, under the 
provisions of the constitution. It seeks no peculiar immunities, 
nor does it desire any special legislation in its behalf. The con- 
ference, however, in availing itself of the occasion to present 
this testimony of its patriotism, cannot refrain from the expres- 
sion of its deep conviction of the importance of religion and 
morality, in every department of the government, and among 
all ranks of its fellow citizens. Without the protection and bless- 
ing of Him who setteth up or putteth down nations at His 
pleasure, what people can prosper or continue? Righteousness 
only can exalt a nation to true dignity, and secure to it per- 
manence. Sin is a reproach to any people. 

The conference cherishes lively hope that the men, who from 


time to time shall be elected to make and to execute the laws 
of the country, will give forth the conservative influence of 
good examples to the community before whom they occupy a 
ground so conspicuous. It is and shall continue to be the prayer 
of this body of Christian ministers, that the blessing of Jehovah 
may always rest on Texas for her glory and defense, and that 
her independence, peace and prosperity may continue while the 
sun and moon shall endure. 

Signed by order, and in behalf of the Texas annual confer- 
ence of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at its first session, held 
at Rutersville, this twenty-ninth day of December, A. D., 1840. 


9. Another item of business was fixing the place, and 
the time as was customary in those days for the next 
Annual Conference. San Augustine was chosen, and the 
date fixed was December 23, 1841. 

10. The appointments, made and announced, were as 
follows : 

San Augustine District 
Littleton Fowler, P. E. 
San Augustine, Francis Wilson. 
Nacogdoches, to be supplied. 
Harrison, Nathan Shook. 
Jasper, Henderson D. Palmer. 

Galveston District 

Samuel A. Williams, P. E. 

Galveston and Houston, Thos. 0. Summers. 

Brazoria, Abner P. Manly. 

Montgomery, Eichard Owen, Jas. H. Collard. 

Liberty, to be supplied. 

Crockett, Daniel Carl. 

Nashville, Robert Crawford. 

Rutersville District 

Robert Alexander, P. E. 
Austin, John Haynie. 
Washington, Jesse Hord. 


Centre Hill, Robert H. Hill. 

Matagorda, Daniel V. N. Sullivan. 

Victoria, Joseph P. Sneed. 

Chauncey Richardson, President Rutersville College. 

Abel Stevens, transferred to Providence Conference. 

And so, with the reading of the appointments, the 
first conference in Texas is brought to a close, and. after 
lingering farewells the people disperse, and the preachers 
mount their horses and ride off in various directions. 
Bishop Waugh remained in Texas two weeks longer, and 
that his heart was with the young conference which he 
had launched, and with the small band of preachers whom 
he had sent out, was abundantly manifested. For the 
first time since regular missionaries were sent into 
Texas, the Missionary Society of the Church was unable 
to contribute anything toward the support of the preach- 
ers here. "It was to me a source of great gratification," 
said Bishop Waugh, "to see the noble spirit of our 
brethren of the ministry and membership not to burden 
the embarrassed Missionary Society with the support of 
Texas missionaries. It was difficult to determine which 
ought most to be admired, the manly and Christian pro- 
posals on the part of the membership to assume the 
support of the preachers, or the noble confiding of the 
preachers in the good will of a people having more of 
the spirit of Christian honesty and kindness than avail- 
able means for their practical manifestation. I could 
not draw upon an indebted treasury lest it might become 
bankrupt, but there was no dismissal nor withdrawal 
from the field on that account, for the people said : Give 
us the ministers of Christ, and we will divide with them 
the means of our subsistence; and the preachers said, 
Here are we, under such circumstances, send us. These 
were sent, and my prayers follow them, that they have 
the best year they have ever lived and labored." 

We shall have occasion a little later to inquire into 
the support of the preachers during this period, and we 


shall find it meager enough. It is worth while to note 
now that there was not a parsonage anywhere in 
Texas, nor the semblance of a woman's missionary 
society, to look after the comfort of the preacher and 
his family. The financial condition of the country and 
of the people was at the lowest ebb. And yet in the face 
of all, the charter members of the Texas Conference rode 
forth to disperse themselves over Texas, from Harrison 
County to Victoria, and from the Gulf to the Falls of the 

On Monday morning, December 21, 1840, a few days 
before the opening of the Texas Conference, Bishop 
Waugh and Thomas 0. Summers, while in Austin, walked 
up and surveyed the elevation upon which they were told 
the future capitol was to be erected. The capitol at that 
time was a small frame building, of inferior construction, 
picketed in with palisades as a protection against the 
Indians. The Bishop described the city as containing 
between eight hundred and twelve hundred inhabitants, 
occupying houses but little in advance of shanties and 
cabins. If, after more than eighty years, Bishop Waugh 
could visit the capital again and walk about that noble 
eminence upon which stands our present imposing state 
capitol, he would have reason enough to exclaim, "What 
hath God wrought." He could view, situated upon the 
capitol grounds and in the building, the monuments of 
the heroes of Texas the Alamo defenders, the Texas 
Bangers, the Confederate soldier, and the volunteer fire- 
men. But he would also probably vision another hero, 
whose monument has not been erected there or else- 
where, but one whose labors have contributed perhaps 
more to the growth and stability of our civilization than 
any other; and if he had his due his monument would 
stand there among the others in the form of a pioneer 
preacher on horseback. 

TEXAS IN 1840 

WE have had glimpses here and there in the corre- 
spondence and journals of the preachers of conditions 
existing in Texas under which Methodism was planted 
of difficulties natural and moral, of Indian depredations 
and Mexican invasions j of floods of waters and scourges 
of fevers ; of lawmakers and of lawlessness. And much 
of the contemporary records simply descriptive of the 
country or reflecting the conditions of the times we have 
not used ; but it is proper that as we go along we should 
take some account of contemporary Texas history and of 
the conditions under which Methodist preachers labored. 
A movement like the one whose course we are following 
is not something apart from the general current of human 
affairsj but Methodism perhaps more than any other 
Church has always related itself to the life of the people, 
and its history and the history of the community where 
it works are always closely interwoven. And while 
Methodism is leavening the history of the people, it on 
the other hand is being influenced and colored by the 
course of human events. Texas Methodism has a charac- 
ter all its own, just as Texas the state and the people 
has had its peculiar history and has its own character. 

The impression that early got abroad in the United 
States concerning Texas and which persisted more or 
less among the uninformed for a generation or more 
was that the population was largely made up of a wild, 
free and an uncouth people, among whom religion, educa- 
tion and "good society" could not be found. The bowie 


TEXAS IN 1840 157 

knife and the six-shooter were looked upon as peculiar 
Texas institutions, and the only instruments that made 
for law and order. Eeports of Indian horrors and 
threatened Mexican invasions, with more prospective 
Goliads and Alamos, were widely circulated and exagger- 
ated, and the somewhat general belief which prevailed 
for years was, that Mexico would finally come hack and 
conquer Texas. These reports, combined with other 
unfavorable impressions, served to retard the full tide 
of immigration into the Republic for years until annex- 
ation to the United States in fact had removed this 
danger. It is likewise true, judging from the tenor of 
some of the appeals from Texas to the Mission Board, 
that the Church authorities in New York were at first 
not very enthusiastic about throwing forces and money 
into Texas. It is surprising at this day also to discover, 
as one may, that here and there in the United States, 
through the press or in the halls of Congress, voices were 
raised against the Texas revolution and its successful 
issue, charging that it was an insurrection of rebels and 
irresponsible bandits and adventurers, and protesting 
against the recognition of the independence of Texas. 

That Texas and Texans were much slandered abroad 
in the early days is now evident to everyone; but that 
there was a modicum of truth in much that was published 
and circulated of an unfavorable nature cannot be denied. 
Still, in admitting this, it is only meant to say that Texas 
was no better nor worse in the character of its first 
settlers and the condition of its society than other new 
settled states of the West and Southwest. Texas was 
simply more in the public eye because of its recent tragic 
history and because of its claims for recognition as an 
independent nation, and the resulting question of an- 
nexation to the United States. 

As to the trouble between Texas and Mexico, and the 
threatenings from that quarter, these continued almost 
up to the time of annexation in 1846. Mexico had re- 


pudiated the treaties entered into by Santa Anna with 
the Texan authorities after his disastrous defeat at San 
Jacinto, in which Texas was to be dissolved from all con- 
nection with Mexico, on the ground that the pledge was 
made under duress, while the Mexican president was a 
prisoner in the hands of the Texans. Of course Texas 
had fairly won her independence, and she was able to 
maintain it, and she meant to do so ; but the menace from 
below the Eio Grande hung there like a cloud for years. 
It would have been much less and would have ended soon- 
er had it not been for provocations and irritations origi- 
nating on the Texas side. For example, several hundred 
Texans, most of them from that adventurous "paroled 
soldier" class, joined with a few Mexican rebels in north- 
ern Mexico in 1839-40 to set up the ' Republic of the 
Eio Grande," and thus take from Mexico several of her 
states bordering on Texas. This ambitious scheme failed, 
and had no other result than further embittering Mexican 
feelings against Texas. Another ill-advised and ill-fated 
move, and this time by the express authority of the Texan 
government or, rather, of President Lamar, as the Con- 
gress of the Republic refused to appropriate funds for 
the enterprise was the Santa Fe Expedition, a caravan 
formed of more than three hundred soldiers and mer- 
chants, which set off in June, 1841, "to invite the people 
of Santa Fe to renounce the authority "of Mexico and join 
Texas." The claim of Texas to that portion of country 
rested only upon the action of its Congress in declaring 
that "the Eio Grande from its mouth to its source shall 
form the western boundary of the Eepublic." The ex- 
pedition to Santa Fe, traveling through a new and an un- 
known country, lost its way in northwest Texas; the 
members of the party had numerous clashes with the 
Indians; the food supply became exhausted, and water 
could not be found, and in their extremity the forlorn 
party became reduced to eating prairie dogs and snakes. 
At length the expedition reached its destination, in the 

TEXAS IN 1840 159 

month of October, depleted in numbers, and in different 
straggling companies, only to be taken in hand as a hos- 
tile force by the Mexican authorities, and sent to the city 
of Mexico as prisoners. The survivors were finally re- 
leased only through the good offices of the United States. 
The result of this adventure was, of course, further irri- 
tation of Mexico, and a depreciation of Texas in the eyes 
of her enemy, as well as among her friends in the United 
States. 1 The temper of the Texans at home, when re- 
ports reached them of the fate of the Santa Fe party, 
was retaliatory in the extreme. The Texan Congress 
passed an act ' ' extending the boundaries of the Eepublic 
so as to include portions of the states of Tamaulipas, 
Coahuila, Durango and Sinaloa, and the whole of Chihua- 
hua, Sonora, New Mexico and the two Californias 
embracing a country of greater extent than the American 
Union at that time, and including two-thirds of the ter- 
ritory of Mexico, with two millions of her inhabitants." 2 
This ridiculous and hot-headed measure President Sam 
Houston, who had come to the head of affairs for the 
second time, vetoed. 

Under such conditions it is not surprising that Texas 
could not settle down to fixed and peaceful habits of in- 
ternal development, nor afford that security to life and 
property which would have made it a more inviting field 
ito immigration. Fortunately for Texas there was on 
this side of the Eio Grande the stabilizing and peaceful 
influence of Sam Houston, twice president during the 
days of the Eepublic, and below the Eio Grande Mexico 
was for many years so exhausted and torn by civil war 
as to be unable to unite in an effort to reassert its claims 
over Texas, and could make but a feeble effort to strike 

i ' ' The wild-goose campaign to Santa F6 was an ill-judged affair ; and 
their surrender without the fire of a gun has lessened the prowess of the 
Texans in the minds of the Mexicans, and it will take another San Jacinto 
affair to restore their character." Gen. A. Jackson to Gen. Houston, May 
25, 1842, quoted in Yoakum, II, 329. 

2 Yoakum, II, 343. 


back even when she deemed her own territory invaded. 
A Mexican army twice crossed into Texas following the 
Santa Fe expedition, but each time without serious re- 
sults except in the last instance to draw an invading 
army from Texas into Mexico. This force dwindled to 
another adventurous band which ended in disaster. So 
the "war" with Mexico dragged on until the annexation 
of Texas transferred the quarrel to the United States. 

The relations of Texas with her Indian neighbors 
were quite as unsettled as were those with Mexico. Of 
course the original ground of hostility of the savages was 
that which prevailed throughout all our history that of 
the gradual invasion and settlement of their country by 
the white man. But in Texas as elsewhere that hostility 
was often provoked into unnecessary activity by unwise 
governmental policy or by unfriendly dealings of indi- 
viduals or communities. The Indian population of Texas 
was estimated in 1836 at 14,200 s of which 8,000 were 
embraced in the civilized tribes, such as the Cherokees 
and Choctaws, and the remainder divided among several 
hostile tribes, of which the Comanches were the largest 
about 2,000 in number. The Cherokees, the largest tribe 
in Texas, occupied a large territory in eastern Texas 
now included in Cherokee and Smith counties, having 
settled in that country in 1823, and by treaty with Mexico 
given possession of the land. Their peaceful occupation 
was not questioned by Texas until 1839. The gradual 
encroachment of the whites brought on occasional clashes 
between the two races, and charges and counter-charges 
of theft and depredations were made. In 1838 the 
Cherokees were charged with the murder of two white 
families and the breaking up of a white settlement which 
had been located in what is now the northwest portion 
of Cherokee County. The Cherokees alleged that the kill- 
ings had been done by prairie Indians from the west. 
The events alarmed that section of country and aroused 

3 Yoakum, II, 197. 

TEXAS IN 1840 161 

the civil and military authorities to take drastic steps 
against the Cherokees. The government had satisfied 
itself also that the Cherokees had allied themselves with 
Mexico in meditating a general onslaught on Texas. In 
a bloody conflict between Texan forces and the Indians 
in July, 1839, the Cherokee tribes were broken up and 
expelled from the country. 

To the west and northwest the tribes that are best 
known in Texas history were: (1) the Wacoes, living in 
villages on the Brazos and pursuing the peaceful art of 
agriculture, though they were not free from the blood of 
the white man; (2) the Caddoes, a powerful and warlike 
tribe early driven from East Texas and settling near 
the present location of Fort Worth; (3) the Pawnees 
and the Anadaquas on the upper Brazos, the latter 
located near the present town of Graham, and guilty of 
at least one bloody incursion into the white settlements ; 
(4) the Apaches, located near Bandera Pass, allies of the 
Comanches. For a century it is said this tribe depredated 
upon the citizens of San Antonio; (5) the Townkawas, a 
small tribe on the Colorado, which through mortal dread 
of the Comanches always lived near the American settle- 
ments. They were sometimes guilty of committing petty 
thefts but were never openly hostile; (6) the Kiowas, 
having their homes in the Indian Territory and Arizona, 
but occasionally followed the buffaloes to the Brazos and 
committed depredations on the Texas settlements. And 
last of all (7) the Comanches, the largest and fiercest 
band of hostile Indians in Texas. As already noted the 
estimated number of Comanches in Texas in 1836 was 
2,000; but the Texas Comanches were only the southern 
extension of a family which ranged over the west and 
southwest, whose numbers were variously estimated at 
from 12,000 to 30,000. The principal villages of the 
Texas Comanches were on the upper Colorado. The old 
San Saba mission, founded by the early Catholic mission- 
aries, was established for the benefit of the Comanches. 


Their estimated number as late as 1854 was 1,100. But 
whatever the number of the Comanches, it is certain that 
the trouble they caused along the Texas frontier was out 
of all proportion to their numbers. And whether always 
guilty or not, their reputation gained them the credit for 
nearly all the murders and burnings and captures per- 
petrated along our border for a generation. 

The most noted Indian tragedies in our history, be- 
ginning in 1836 and running through the period we have 
been considering, were the following : * 

The Parker's Fort massacre, of May 19, 1836. The 
Parkers and others, originally from Tennessee, but lately 
from Illinois, settled near the present town of Groesbeck, 
in Limestone County, in 1833. They were " Hardshell " 
Baptists, the elder Parker being a preacher of that faith. 
Daniel Parker, a relative, was the originator of the ' ' Two- 
Seed" doctrine, and he preached in the early days in 
East Texas. As a protection against the Indians the 
families of this community had "forfed up." On the 
above date the fort was visited by several hundred Co- 
manches and Caddoes some say Kiowas who, by a 
show of friendship, induced Benjamin Parker to come 
outside, when he was instantly killed. The savages then 
made a murderous attack upon the company, killing four 
men and making prisoners of some of the women and 
children. A few escaped, making their way to the near- 
est settlement on the Brazos. Cynthia Ann Parker, then 
a girl eight years of age, was carried away a prisoner, 
and was never heard of until 1860, when she was taken 
and restored to the remnant of her people by a company 
under Captain Sul Boss. This fight occurred near 
* ' Medicine Mounds, ' ' on Pease Biver, in Hardeman 
County. The captive girl had married a chief of the 
Comanches, and one of her sons, Quanah Parker, re- 
gained with the Indians and became a noted chief. 

4 A complete list of Indian raids and killings may be found in Thrall 's 
History of Texas, pp. 451-466. 

TEXAS IN 1840 16:5 

One of the most heroic and memorable single-handed 
fights of a family in defense of their home against the 
Indians occurred in 1836 also, and was that of the 
Taylors, located on the Leon Biver, just below the 
present town of Belton. This point was remote from 
the settlements, and Taylor's was the " outside house" 
in that day. Notwithstanding his exposed position, 
Taylor's home was not molested for nearly a year after 
he had ventured to settle there. In November, 1836, how- 
ever, the Caddoes paid him a hostile visit. The account 
which follows is that of Mrs. Taylor, related to a Metho- 
dist preacher who later visited her home : 5 

A beautiful autumn day had ended, and the full moon which 
had just risen flooded the valley with its light as Captain Taylor 
observed a party of Indians approaching the house from the 
direction of the settlements below. As a small company had 
stopped at his cabin a few days before, on their way down the 
country, he supposed it was the same party returning, and felt 
no alarm at their presence. Instead of halting, they marched 
in silence in single file and passed beyond the house. Seeing 
that something was wrong the Captain felt some alarm, yet he 
knew not what to do. Before he could decide, the Indians 
stopped and the leader shouted out to the Captain in a loud, 
defiant tone: 

"Me Caddo; Caddo and white man good coboshealas, but 
you kill Caddo on Little River." 

This statement referred to a difficulty between Col. Coleman 
and a party of friendly Indians, found in possession of citizen's 
horses which by some means had become lost. The Indians 
claimed that they had been employed by the proper owners to 
find and bring them in, and were so doing. Coleman and his men 
chose to believe they had stolen them, and put them to death. 

This peremptory challenge to battle on such short notice took 
the Captain completely by surprise. There were thirteen In- 
dians, and the disparity of numbers gave them greatly the ad- 
vantage. The Taylor family consisted of Taylor and wife and 

s 0. M. Addison. 


two sons, about grown, one of whom, however, was not at home, 
and two girls. 

Without further parley the savages opened fire ; but the door 
was promptly shut and preparations made for defense. There 
were two rifles on hand, but a scarcity of bullets. While a part 
of the family moulded a fresh supply the Captain used the rifle 
to the best effect, shooting through the openings between the 
logs. Depending upon their superior numbers the Indians be- 
came very defiant. What little English they knew had evidently 
been learned from bad white men. Consequently their vocabu- 
lary was limited mainly to curses and imprecations, which they 
dealt out with furious energy. For awhile there was no response 
to this from the Taylors, but at length the wife concluding that 
an answer in kind might show that the besieged were not dis- 
pirited, said to the Captain: 

"Old man, curse them, curse them, old man." 

The Captain, having his own reasons for silence, neither re- 
plied to his wife nor to the Indians; seeing which Mrs. Taylor 
undertook to reply to the savages herself, and with the most 
horrid oaths and imprecations she could command, hurled de- 
fiance at the Indians. 

The Indians displayed great personal courage in exposing 
themselves to the deadly fire of Taylor. At an early stage of 
the conflict one of them came to the door, which was too short 
to fit the opening, and placing his hands on top of it tried to 
break it down. Mrs. Taylor's vigilant eyes discovered him, and 
seizing an axe applied it to his hands and forced him to make 
a hasty retreat. One of the assailants being shot down near the 
house, a comrade ran up to bear off the body, but a well-directed 
bullet from Taylor's rifle laid him beside the other. 

Although defiant toward the Indians, and constantly cheer- 
ing her husband and the children, Mrs. Taylor made prepara- 
tions for the worst. In the thickest of the fight she instructed 
her daughters to tie up in convenient bundles some of their 
clothes, that in case of their defeat and capture they would leave 
behind them a trail of torn bits of cloth to guide any searching 
party that might come after them. 

The house was a double cabin of logs, with a hall between. 
During the fight the family were all in one room. The Indians 
thus had the unoccupied room between them and the Captain's 

TEXAS IN 1840 165 

rifle, and they could easily approach this end of the house pro- 
tected and undiscovered. Taking advantage of this protection, 
they approached and fired the vacant end of the house. This 
made the situation of the family desperate in the extreme. After 
the fashion of that day the roof was laid on of loose boards, held 
in place by long poles. Mrs. Taylor with a board in her hand 
climbed up and succeeded in pushing off the poles and boards 
where the roof of the adjoining part of the house would com- 
municate the fire to the occupied room, and by heroic work here, 
assisted by a liberal supply of vinegar to extinguish the flames 
as they took hold as there was not sufficient water in the house, 
but fortunately a barrel of vinegar on hand the occupied room 
was saved, though the other end of the house was completely 
burned down. 

The savages had certainly expected the family to be de- 
stroyed and leaving them to their fate they had made off unob- 
served during the fire, leaving the two dead members of the 
party lying where they had fallen. After waiting and watching 
in suspense for sometime after the fire for a possible renewal of 
the attack, and this not occurring, the family removed their 
bedding and other household effects into the river bottom for 
the remainder of the night, one of the boys standing guard on 
top of the unburned part of the house while this was going on. 
The next day the Taylors made their way to the fort at the 
Three Forks of Little River, about three miles below. The next 
day a party of rangers went up to the Taylor house and found 
everything as it had been left the night before, and the Indians 
lying dead in the yard. The rangers cut off their heads and 
stuck them on long poles and raised them as a monument to the 
heroic defence of the Taylor home, and as a warning to other 
Indians that might pass that way. 

Taylor County is named for the family that so hero- 
ically defended their frontier home in 1836, and the val- 
ley where they first settled also bears their name. 

An Indian tragedy of the Bepublic days, a survivor 
of which remains to this day to tell the story, was that 
of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Gilleland in Refugio 
County in 1842 and the attempted stealing of the chil- 


dren. The children were rescued, and one of them is 
Mrs. Rebecca J. Grilleland Fisher, widow of the Rev. 
Orceneth Fisher, who, at the age of ninety-one (Aug. 31, 
1922) lives in Austin, and who has for many years filled 
the honored place of president of the Daughters of the 
Republic of Texas. Mrs. Fisher, in relating the horrible 
experience of her childhood, says : 6 

The day my parents were murdered was one of those days 
which youth and old age so much enjoy. It was in strange con- 
trast to the tragedy at its close. We were only a few rods from 
the house. Suddenly the war whoop of the burst 
upon our ears, sending terror to all hearts. My father, in trying 
to reach the house for weapons, was shot down, and near him 
my mother, clinging to her children and praying God to spare 
them, was also murdered. As she pressed us to her heart we 
were baptized in her precious blood. We, a brother and myself, 
were torn from her dying embrace and hurried off into captivity, 
the chief's wife dragging me to her horse and clinging to me 
with a tenacious grip. She was at first savage and vicious look- 
ing, but from some cause her wicked nature soon relaxed, and 
folding me in her arms, she gently smoothed back my hair, indi- 
cating that she was very proud of her suffering victim. A white 
man with all the cruel instinct of the savage was with them. 
Several times they threatened to cut off our hands and feet if 
we did not stop crying. Then the women, in savage tones and 
gestures, would scold, and they would cease their cruel threats. 
We were captured just as the sun was setting and were rescued 
the next morning. 

During the few hours we were their prisoners, the Indians 
never stopped. Slowly and stealthily they pushed their way 
through the settlement to avoid detection, and just as they halted 
for the first time the soldiers suddenly came upon them, and 
firing commenced. As the battle raged the Indians were forced 
to take flight. Thereupon they pierced my little brother through 
the body, and striking me with some sharp instrument on the 
side of the head, they left us for dead, but we soon recovered 
sufficiently to find ourselves alone in that dark, dense forest, 
wounded and covered with blood. 

o Quarterly Texas State Historical Assn., Ill, 210-213. 

TEXAS IN 1840 167 

Having been taught to ask God for all things, we prayed to 
our Heavenly Father to take care of us and direct us out of 
that lonely place. I lifted my wounded brother, so faint and 
weak, and we soon came to the edge of a large prairie, when as 
far as our swimming eyes could see we discovered a company 
of horsemen. Supposing them to be Indians, frightened beyond 
expression, and trembling under my heavy burden, I rushed 
back with him into the woods and hid behind some thick brush. 
But those brave men, on the alert, dashing from place to place, 
at last discovered us. Soon we heard the clatter of horse's hoofs 
and the voices of our rescuers calling us by name, assuring us 
they were our friends who had come to take care of us. Lifting 
the almost unconscious little sufferer, I carried him out to them 
as best I could. With all the tenderness of women, their eyes 
suffused with tears, those good men raised us to their saddles 
and hurried off to camp, where we received every attention and 
kindness that man could bestow. 

The little boy recovered and lived to be an old man. 
Albert Sidney Johnston was a member of the rescue 
party which saved these children. 

The year 1837 witnessed the killing of two rangers 
under Capt. Geo. B. Erath in a fight with the Indians in 
Robertson's colony. A number of colonists were killed 
near Nashville, and James Coryell was killed near the 
falls of the Brazos. On the headwaters of the Trinity 
a scouting party of soldiers lost nine of their number in 
a fight with the Indians. In 1838 occurred the "Battle 
Greek Fight," in the Navarro County. A party of land 
seekers from Robertson County were attacked while sur- 
veying, and the party broken up, losing seventeen of their 
number. In the winter of 1838-39 the Indians attacked 
the settlements about the falls of the Brazos, killing sev- 
eral whites, which brought on a general conflict between 
the whites and Indians in that locality. 

The years 1839-40 were red with the toll taken by 
tbe Indian from the white man, although the penalties 
exacted from the warriors were heavy also. In 1839, 


besides numerous clashes between the whites and the 
Indians in the west, occurred the " Cherokee War" in 
East Texas, already noticed. In March, 1840, occurred 
the " Council House Fight" in San Antonio, in which 
seven Texans were killed and many wounded. In August 
there followed a general invasion from Comancheland. 
More than four hundred warriors descended upon the 
western country, depredated upon Victoria and other 
settlements, and burned the town of Linnville on the 
coast. The Indians were intercepted on their retreat and 
.attacked by Texas forces, the fight being known as the 
1 * Plum Creek Fight. ' ' But the invaders made good their 
escape without much loss. During this raid twenty-one 
white people were killed. 

We have yet to recount more than one Indian tragedy 
occurring on the boarder of the North Texas country, 
in one of which John B. Denton lost his life ; but these 
will be noted when we return to that country in other 
chapters. But suffice it to say that the chief engagements 
noted above do not fill up the whole story. For a full 
decade, from 1836 to 1846, settlers, traders, surveyors 
and preachers, traveling beyond the borders of the oldest 
settlements, were in danger of attack by roving Indians, 
and for a full generation the Indian was an occasional 
menace all along the western and northwestern frontier 
of Texas. 

Besides her troubles from without, the statesmen of 
the young Republic had their hands full of internal prob- 
lems in those days. The chief problem, and one that was 
aver pressing and always growing, was that of raising 
money enough to keep things going. Texas found herself 
at the beginning of her separate national existence with 
ian empty treasury and a million and a quarter dollars in 
debt. With a scattered population of less than 50,000 
raw settlers, with scarcely no internal improvements, and 
with her natural wealth undeveloped, it would seem that 
a modest and economical beginning in governmental mat- 

TEXAS IN 1840 169 

ters would have commended itself to Texas 's first states- 
men. But the machinery of state was set in motion on an 
ambitious scale. The president of the Republic was to 
receive $10,000 a year, and other officers in proportion 
and there was no lack of officers and commissioners and 
foreign agents. At first there was a considerable stand- 
ing army, until inability to pay and equip the troops made 
it necessary to release the larger part of them on parole. 
Continuous efforts were also made to fit out a "navy" 
as a defensive measure against Mexico. All of this 
national machinery required money, and yet more money, 
and yet funds in anything like adequate amounts could 
never be raised, though every method known to state 
financiering was used. Taxes and duties on imports 
brought in mere driblets. The raw public lands were 
drawn upon by the issuance of land scrip to be sold 
abroad at fifty cents an acre, but most of this went beg- 
ging. It had no attraction to actual or prospective 
settlers, as they could obtain more land than they could 
use by simply settling upon it. Loans were sought here 
and there abroad, and on the prospect of these loans 
further princely expenditures were made. Finally paper 
money was issued as a medium of exchange, and this 
gradually depreciated in value until it reached the low 
mark of fourteen cents on the dollar. By 1840 the fiscal 
affairs of the country were gloomy enough. Gold and 
silver had about disappeared from sight, and the income 
of the government consisted mainly of its own promis- 
sory notes which it had made acceptable for taxes and 
customs. In his message to Congress at the beginning 
of his second administration in 1841, Gen. Houston said : 
"There is not a dollar in the treasury; the nation is in- 
volved from ten to fifteen millions ; we are not only with- 
out money, but without credit, and for want of punctu- 
ality, without character. Patriotism, industry and enter- 
prise are now our only resources apart from our public 
domain and the precarious revenues of the country. ' ' 


With such a meager and uncertain income, with an 
expensive government to support, and with extravagant 
defensive measures against Mexico and the Indians, 
while at the same time often provoking attacks from 
these external enemies, it is plain that the Texas govern- 
ment had not the means, if it had possessed the inclina- 
tion, to turn to internal improvements and development. 
The then settled portions of the Republic were in that 
part of the country supplied with the most numerous 
and the largest streams. The journals and letters of the 
traveling preachers of that day would indicate that these 
streams were nearly always on a "rise," and frequently 
overflowing the country; yet nothing was being done to 
bridge them or to confine them within bounds. In the 
winter usually and at the flood times the river bottoms 
and all the lower country were little less than seas of 
water and mud, so that trade and travel were not only 
difficult, but dangerous. Bishop Andrew, who visited 
Texas in 1842, and made the journey from Houston to 
the interior, after some observations on the commercial 
advantages of Houston, adds in his Journal: "Had 
there been a tolerable and certain communication estab- 
lished with Houston by means of a passable turnpike or 
canal, it would long have continued to command the trade 
of this fertile region; but on my way from Houston I 
passed a whole company of wagons encamped at Little 
Cypress, about thirty miles from Houston, many of which 
had been lying there two weeks, when one week's work 
with twenty hands would have thrown a good bridge 
across the stream; and at Johnson's Bayou, only nine 
miles from town, wagons are frequently detained a day 
or two, when ten hands could put up a good bridge in 
three days. These are only given as specimens, and 
whether it results from want of spirit or want of money, 
the effect is the same." 

But in spite of all the drawbacks which have been 
noticed, there continued to flow into Texas a consid- 

TEXAS IN 1840 171 

erable stream of immigrants, induced to move hither by 
the widely advertised offers of free lands to the settler. 
Texas from the earliest days was a good advertiser. The 
charm of her history and the lure of her vast and pro- 
ductive lands were more than an offset to the libelous 
stories and the specters of Indian and Mexican horrors 
which floated about in the States, and many a caravan 
.of "movers" continued to cross the border while Texas 
was still a ' 'foreign nation." The white population of 
Texas in 1836 was between 25,000 and 30,000. 7 Within 
ten years, or at the time of annexation, the population 
had increased to 100,000, and there were in addition some 
thirty-five thousand slaves. From these figures an esti- 
mate may be made of the average annual inflow, so that 
by the close of 1840 the white population of Texas may 
be set down at somewhere around fifty thousand. It is 
evident also from the large number of slaves present, 
that this population came mainly from the Southern 
States. But there were quite a few colonies of settlers 
from Germany made about this time and later, located 
for the most part in south and southwest Texas. 
Eo'ughly speaking the settled portions of Texas in 1840 
were within the area bounded by the Nueces Eiver and 
a line drawn from San Antonio through Austin to 
Marshall, and again from Marshall to Eed Eiver, about 
Bonham. Much of this territory was only very sparsely 

Thus, briefly and imperfectly sketched, was the vast 
field into which rode those eighteen preachers from the 
Texas Conference at Eutersville late in 1840. 

7 Population figures from ' ' School History of Texas, ' ' Barker, Potts 
and Eamsdell, pp. 157, 166. No census was taken in Texas until 1846. 



WE left the Bed Biver country a few chapters back 
with only the merest beginnings made, with a scant and 
unsettled population, and with nothing substantial or 
permanent in the way of church organization. We have 
now reached a period when real foundations are being 
laid, both in the settlement of the country and in church 
building, and in the present chapter we will take account 
of conditions existing and the progress of our own work 
there from 1835 to the early forties. 

A record which completely reflects early times in this 
section is a reminiscential sketch of Andrew Davis, 1 for 
more than fifty years a traveling Methodist preacher in 
Texas, and who gloried in the fact that he was born with- 
in her borders. Davis was born at Jonesboro, on the 
Texas side of Bed Biver, in 1827, his father having 
settled at that place in 1818. It was then Coahuila and 
Texas; the Mexican, Victor Blanco, was governor, and 
the seat of government was in far-off Saltillo. Of course 
in this remote corner of the Mexican dominions, where 
the Mexican claim was disputed, American population 
and American influence predominated, and, as we have 
shown, this portion of Texas, both as to its ecclesiastical 
and political connections, was for many years under the 
jurisdiction of Arkansas. 

Andrew's father, Daniel Davis, though a man of 
recognized ability and leadership wherever he lived, was 

i Manuscript prepared by A. Davis, and loaned to the author by his 
daughter, Mrs. A. Laswell, Waxahachie, Texas. 



a rough, free, honest frontiersman, a stranger to all the 
refinements of life, and indifferent to things religious. 
His first wife was a Tidwell, from the family which tra- 
dition says came the first class-leader of the Methodist 
society organized at Jonesboro in 1817. His second wife, 
of whom Andrew was born, was a devout Methodist, and 
a housewife of some note. An event in the family history 
was the sojourn of Sam Houston in the Davis home near 
Jonesboro, "to rest and feed up his horse," when Hous- 
ton first entered Texas in December, 1832. It was but a 
month following Houston's visit, or in January, 1833, 
that Andrew's mother died. After this the elder Davis, 
with his only son and a negro servant, in whose charge 
Andrew had been placed, removed to Shelby County, in 
eastern Texas. Daniel Davis returned to the Red River 
country in 1836 and recruited a company for Gen. 
Houston's army, and this force had arrived within thirty 
miles of the General's camp when news reached them of 
the battle of San Jacinto. While living in East Texas 
Daniel Davis married his third wife, a widow named 
Mrs. Bascus, 2 the union being solemnized by Emory 
Rains, the Alcalde. Here also Davis became acquainted 
with the Farmers, the Teels, the English and other 
families noted in Texas and Methodist history, whose 
life-long friendship his preacher son enjoyed. 

In 1836 Davis returned and located again in the land 
of his first love, northeastern Texas. Here we will let 
Andrew Davis take up the narrative and give his own 
recollections of the times : 

When my father moved back to Red River he settled out on 
the prairies eight or ten miles from Clarksville to Paris. This 
settlement was made the latter part of the spring of 1836. . . . 
From 1834 on that section of country now known as Red River 
county filled up very fast. Pecan Point where I was born was the 
first place of any notoriety. Then sprung up out from the river 

2 The third Mrs. Davis also came to be a noted Methodist. After 
Davis 's death she married J. D. Boone. She died at Sweetwater in 1889. 


on the prairie a little place LaGrange. There was a little store 
and blacksmith shop there. A small school also taught at La^ 
Grange before Clarksville existed. In 1835 Clarksville was lo- 
cated and named for James Clark, one of the old settlers of that 
portion of the country. In 1836 Richard Ellis and A. H. Lati- 
mer represented Eed River in the convention that declared the 
independence of Texas. At the same time Judge Ellis, son of 
Richard Ellis, represented the same territory as Miller county 
in the legislature of Arkansas. My father had located his land 
certificate in what was finally the territory of Fannin county, 
on North Sulphur, eight miles south of Honey Grove. In 1837 
he moved on his own land. I do not remember dates, but our 
house was the outside one. We had not been there long until 
the Indian depredations in stealing and murdering became so 
alarming that father did not feel safe in keeping my step-mother 
and myself at the house at night. Late of evenings he would 
take some little bed clothes and carry my step-mother and my- 
self and her own little baby girl about one year old a half a mile 
from the house into a dense thicket and put us down there until 
next morning. Father would return and with the colored peo- 
ple guard the house through the night. It was believed that the 
Indians never killed negroes ; that the worst to them was to take 
them prisoners. It was not often that they did that. When I 
look back to my first experiences and earliest memories they are 
a great mystery to myself. To think of little children spending 
long dark nights without saying a word above a whisper. Taken 
away from home and from all the other members of the family, 
out to where nature has never received a mark from human 
hand, or the slightest impress of civilization is to be seen any- 
where, the children seemed to be filled with awe and alarm. Like 
little scared partridges they hover down as if trying to fill the 
least possible space. In the morning, after the sun is up and 
well out on his daily course, these little children assume their 
wonted life and cheerfulness. For a year or so I, with a little 
half-sister, were accustomed to this kind of life. I and that child 
joined universal nature in unbroken silence for the night. 

At the now frontier home we were in camps for a month or 
two. Log houses were to be built, and until that was done we 
were in camps. Except whatever of childish fear of Indians, 
I felt I was able to enjoy myself more here in this frontier life 


than any place we had ever lived. I was now about nine years 
old, and had been trained to the use of a gun from the time I 
was five years old. I had been killing turkeys, squirrels and 
other things for sometime previous. An Indian had trained 
me to hunt for deer and other game. I had been bred and 
born in the woods. Game of some kind was in sight of the house 
almost every hour of the day. The bottoms of North Sulphur 
and its tributaries abounded in bear, panther and all the small 

: Here the writer relates how he, as a nine year old 
woodsman, accidentally discovered a bear asleep in a 
cave, and after scampering away in his first fright, re- 
covered himself and returned and killed the bear, which 
gave him considerable notoriety. But we hasten on to 
the tragic ending of this frontier life. 

My boyhood life would have been completely happy on the 
frontier but for the fact that the Indians were a just occasion 
of alarm. They were in the country during the light of every 
moon. The fattest and best cattle were being killed on the 
prairie and a small portion of the meat taken and the balance 
left. There never was a month that passed that horses were not 
stolen, and in addition to all this many valuable lives were being 
taken all along the frontier line for fifty or sixty miles. It was 
found to be necessary to go into a fort for safety. Immediately 
the place for the fort was selected and the fort built. It was 
some ten miles down the Sulphur Fork from our home, and that 
distance back in the settlement, father's being the outside house. 
Mr. Isaac Lidy was elected captain, and the fort took his name. 
There was, I suppose, twenty-five or thirty families that took 
protection in the fort. There was about the time a somewhat 
similar fort built on Bois D'Arc creek, where Bonham is located. 
This was first known as Gilbert's Camp, and afterwards as Fort 
English, after a prominent citizen, Bailey English. The fam- 
ilies on the north and west, or the Red River section, went into 
it, while those on the south and east went to Fort Lidy. There 
was eighty-five men under Captain Lidy. He kept scouts out 
all the time, but the Indians would get through their lines by 
some means. Occasionally horses stolen and a man caught out 


and killed. There was therefore not much hunting done while 
we were in the fort. The scouts were constantly killing game 
and bringing the meat in to the fort. Wild game was plentiful, 
often buffalo would come and mingle among the cattle of the 
fort. Our cows would get greatly excited at the presence of the 
buffalo. They would collect in great numbers and bellow furi- 
ously, showing the wildest excitement. When you observe the 
cows so excited you knew the buffalo were among them. The 
captain always sent out a few men to kill them, and it was re- 
markable when they were so mixed with our gentle stock the men 
could ride close to them without being noticed and shoot them 
down. My father took cows to the fort for the milk and butter 
and a few hogs for fresh meat. ... It may seem strange to 
you who read this after the long intervening years to hear me 
say that all the men in the fort made good crops that year. They 
formed a company and all moved out of the fort together under 
a guard of twenty-five men from the fort. Bach man took all 
his teams and force, be it large or small ; they struck camps on 
a farm and worked it over, and then moved to another, and on 
in this way until all the farms were well and thoroughly cleaned. 
This was repeated the crop season through. But we are just 
now on the eve of a great change. There had been no Indian 
depredations of any kind for quite a while. All are anxious to 
get out of the fort. The fort would still be kept up and scouts 
would be out scouring the country all the time. All therefore 
decided to move out to their farms and ranches. My father 
moved home, his house eight or ten miles from the fort and the 
outside house. He had only been at home eleven days. On 
the morning of the twelfth day he was killed. ... 

In another part of his narrative Andrew Davis re- 
lates the circumstances of his father's death, and of the 
breaking up of their frontier home, as follows : 

I have said that he was industrious. He always went to 
bed early and arose early ; always got up at four o 'clock in the 
morning. The morning that he was killed he arose at his usual 
hour. He walked to the back door and called the cook woman, 
who occupied a cabin in the back yard. He called up the col- 
ored man also, who did the feeding of the stock. My father 


would never wear boots. He had a way in the morning of 
slipping his feet in his shoes, in a slip-shod manner, and walk- 
ing in that way until he had made the calls as above, and then 
slip off his shoes and lie down again until just time to prepare 
for breakfast. He did this the morning he was killed. After 
father had been lying down a short time, Susie, the cook woman, 
came to the back door and called my step-mother and said, "Miss 
Margaret, there are Indians about the place." This kind of 
announcement would naturally panic a lady. She whirled to 
my father and said, "Mr. Davis, Susie says there are Indians 
about the house." Father arose with his usual self-possession, 
walked to the door and said, "Susie, what makes you think there 
are Indians about?" "Why," she called, "because I hear them 
hollowing at the lot like owls." "Well," said father, "that is 
just what it is it is nothing but owls you hear," and added, 
' ' Susie you know you are a great coward. Now go back to the 
kitchen and see that you have your breakfast in time. ' ' 

Just about daybreak father got up, walked to the front gate, 
where he met Mr. Glothlin, a young man father had hired. 
They stepped out in front of the gate and were standing talking. 
At that moment the Indians fired on them from the horse lot, 
some sixty yards away. The young man was not hurt ; his clothes 
were torn some, and a lock of hair cut from his head. My father 
had one arm broken and received a deadly shot in the breast, 
ranging through the region of the heart and lungs. He died 

The evening before my father was killed there had fallen 
a heavy rain. This rain drove twelve or fourteen scouts to our 
house, who had been out from Fort Lidy, looking for Indian 
signs. If they had not been at our house the Indians would have 
murdered the whole family. After they fired upon father and 
the young man they raised a terrifying Indian war-whoop, and 
came running like hyenas. Just at the time the Indians ar- 
rived at the yard fence, and some of them on the fence, these 
rangers threw the door open, which showed such a number of 
men that it made them afraid to venture. They dropped back 
and retired, and in a moment they were out of sight. The 
rangers, not apprehending any danger, were in no condition for 
immediate action. There was therefore not a gun fired at the In- 
dians. I was a mere child at the time my father was killed, and 


was not at home at that time. The evening before father sent 
an old servant and myself to Fort Lidy after some hogs that 
he had left there, for the family had been in the fort with mem- 
bers of others families for twelve months. My father's was the 
outside house, eight miles from Honey Grove. They moved my 
father and the family to Mr. McFarland's, which was three 
miles from my father's, and on the road to the fort. The old 
servant and myself arrived at Mr. McFarland's about ten o'clock, 
to find my father a corpse, the family completely torn up, and 
the whole community filled with alarm. 

With the recital of this Indian tragedy we will sus- 
pend this personal narrative for a time, and introduce 
the record as we have it of the work of the Methodist 
preacher in this section, which is now beginning to be 

In the fall of 1835 John H. Carr was appointed to 
Sulphur Fork mission by the Arkansas Conference. 3 His 
labors extended over Bed River and Lamar counties. 
Revs. Ramsey, Overby and John B. Denton had preached 
irregularly on this side of Red River in 1834 and 1835, 
while on Miller circuit in Arkansas. John H. Carr dur- 
ing 1836 laid out twelve appointments on Sulphur Fork 
mission. In the fall of 1836 this work was left to be 
supplied, but the presiding elder, R. Gregory, in Febru- 
ary, 1837, moved E. B. Duncan over from the "Washing- 
ton circuit, Arkansas, to the Sulphur Fork mission. 
About this time Wm. G. Duke, formerly a member of the 
Arkansas Conference, settled in Lamar County, near the 
Sulphur Fork. The first quarterly meeting ever held in 
this portion of Texas, of which we have any account, was 
held near where Clarksville was afterwards located, 
11 commencing on the Saturday before the second sabbath 
in April," 1837. Robert Gregory, presiding elder, was 
in charge; William Duncan, preacher in charge, was 

'3 The facts here given, covering the years 1835-41, are from an article 
by Andrew Gumming in Texas Christian Advocate, Aug. 8, 1857. 


present, and Win. Duke was secretary. The conference 
was organized with seventeen members. 

In the fall of 1837 John B. Denton was appointed to 
this work. He came over in company with Littleton 
Fowler, who was on his way to the interior of Texas to 
join his fellow-missionaries, Alexander and Ruter. 
Fowler and Denton traveled up the Sulphur Fork, and 
at the home of "Win. Duke Fowler preached his first 
sermon in Texas. During the year Denton spent on this 
mission it was arranged to hold a camp-meeting at a 
place known as Shelton's camp-ground, hut a short time 
before the time appointed for the meeting Indian dep- 
redations so demoralized the country that the meeting 
was not held. In the fall of 1838 Jacob Whitesides was 
appointed to Sulphur Fork. In September of the year 
1839 a great camp-meeting was held in this country, 
located about three miles northeast of Clarksville. The 
preacher in charge, Whitesides, was absent on account 
of sickness. The preachers who conducted the meeting 
were R. Gregory, presiding elder, Wm. Duke, Wm. Craig 
and Wm. Mulkey. There were about thirty conversions 
at this meeting. This was the beginning of a general re- 
vival throughout that region, and sometime late in the 
year another camp-meeting was held at the camp ground 
near Clarksville, at which a larger number of persons 
were converted than before. In the fall of 1839 another 
circuit was formed in this region, called DeKalb, with S. 
Clark in charge. J. W. P. McKenzie was appointed to 
Sulphur Fork, and he was returned to the same charge 
the next year. The revival spirit which first manifested 
itself in 1839, continued to work through the next few 
years, and the Church throughout all this region pros- 
pered greatly. 

During the next four years, or until this portion of 
the work came to be united with the main body of Texas 
Methodism, the preachers who labored here were suc- 
cessively James Graham and Wm. G. Duke on the Sul- 


phur Fork, and G-eo. Benedict, Jefferson Shook and 
David L. Bell at DeKalb, some of whom will receive 
further mention later. For the present we take special 
note of three of those who appeared here before 1840 
John B. Denton, Wm. Mulkey and J. W. P. McKenzie. 
Denton did not serve long in the ranks of the traveling 
ministry, and soon took up the profession of a lawyer, 
and is really best remembered on account of the Indian 
fight in which he lost his life. He was the son of a 
Methodist minister, and was born in Tennessee in 1806. 
The family moved to Indiana, where his father soon died. 
He was then apprenticed to a blacksmith, who took him 
to Arkansas, about 1822. Denton 's youth was a hard 
one, spent in slavery under his blacksmith master, and 
he was reared without educational advantages, and, he 
says, " almost without clothes." But possessed of ambi- 
tion and gifted with no mean talents, his conversion and 
frequent attendance upon Methodist meetings awakened 
him to the point where he abandoned the blacksmith 
trade and took up the ministry. His early marriage to 
a noble young woman also helped him up in the world. 
His wife taught him to read and write after two children 
had been born. Denton became much noted locally as an 
orator. He preached irregularly in Arkansas and Texas 
during the years, 1834 and 1835, and in 1836 he was ad- 
mitted into the Missouri Conference. In the fall of 1837 
he was sent into Texas. According to the extract al- 
ready cited from the journal of Littleton Fowler, Denton 
accompanied Fowler into Texas as far as Nacogdoches 
and San Augustine; but he had not been " employed" 
for a work, as the latter puts it, but had been regularly 
appointed by his conference to Sulphur Fork mission, 
and he returned and filled out the year on that charge. 
At the end of that year or in the fall of 1838 Denton 
dropped back into the local ranks and settled at Clarks- 
ville, where he took up the practice of law, as the neces- 
sity of providing for a growing family led him to abandon 


the regular ministry. He formed a law partnership with 
John Craig, himself a local Methodist preacher. Denton 
figures in the political history of that section to the ex- 
tent of being one year an unsuccessful candidate for the 
Texan Congress. 

Denton participated in a memorable Indian fight in 
what is now Tarrant County in 1841, in which he lost 
his life. The hostile Caddo Indians had located their 
villages on what is known as Village Creek, and from 
thence made murderous incursions into the white settle- 
ments to the east. In May, 1841, a company under Gen- 
feral Tarrant attacked the savages in this locality and 
defeated them. After the battle Denton was sent out 
with a scouting party to locate the remnant of the In- 
dians. We here append the account of this Indian fight 
and of the death of Denton left by Andrew Davis, who, 
though but a lad of thirteen at that time, had slipped 
away and joined the expedition against the Indians : 

Denton was killed (as I might say) on our return home. ' On 
the day before the taking of the village a lone Indian was dis- 
covered. Gen. Tarrant divided the company and ordered them 
to cut him off from the timber and to capture him. This was 
nicely and quickly done. The capture of the Indian occurred 
on the high prairie some ten miles west of the village, at a point 
not far from where Fort Worth is located. Tarrant left the 
prairie and went into a secluded place on the river, where we 
remained all night. About sunset every preparation was made 
to kill our prisoner. He was placed upon an elevated spot a few 
paces from the company. He was then placed with his back 
against an elm tree, his hands were drawn around the tree and 
made secure, and his feet were tied together and secured to the 
tree. Then twelve men with their guns were ordered to take 
their position before the Indian. The scene was an awful one 
in its solemnity to me and to all. The men were ordered to 
present arms. At this moment the alarmed and terrorstricken 
Indian became greatly excited, and in great agony of spirit he 
cried aloud, "Oh man Oh man" While he did not utter the 
above words with distinctness, yet it was more like these words 


than any other. Gen. Tarrant sent Capt. Yeary with an inter- 
preter to the prisoner to see if he would reveal anything, for 
prior to this he had been sullen and would not say a word. He 
was made to understand that if he would tell where the village 
was and how to find it he should not be hurt. He made a full 
revelation of the whole matter, and closed by saying, "We be 
friends. ' ' He was relieved, but kept under guard all night. After 
dark Tarrant sent ten men under Henry Stout, who was ordered 
to go to the village, reconnoiter the same and select the point of 
attack, and report by 4 o'clock in the morning. This was done, 
and by daylight all were in motion under guidance of our trusty 
pilot for the village, which was reached about 9 or 9 :30 in the 

From our position we could see the Indians passing about 
in every direction. We were ordered to deposit our baggage 
and free ourselves of every encumbrance, and be ready for the 
charge in five minutes. When the time was out Gen. Tarrant 
said: "Are you all ready?" The response was in the affirma- 
tive. Then Tarrant in a low, yet clear, distinct voice, said: 
"Now, my brave men, we will never all meet on earth again 
there is great confusion and death just ahead. I shall expect 
every man to fill his place and do his duty." The command to 
charge was given. A level prairie about three hundred yards 
wide lay between the command and the first huts. This dis- 
tance was measured off in less than half the time I am telling it. 
In a moment the sound of firearms, with a voice of thunder, 
rang out over the alarmed and terror-stricken inhabitants of that 
rude city of the wilderness. Tarrant and James Bourland, with 
Denton, led the charge, while every other man followed with the 
best speed his horse could make. I was riding a mule, furnished 
me by Aunt Gordon. . . . Well, pardon the digression. That 
mule was a mule, and, just like its kind, it was slow and made 
me among the last to reach the enemy. As I passed the first 
huts I saw to my right a number of Indians. I fired into the 
crowd with the best aim my excited nerves would allow. In a 
moment our men came upon them from a different direction, 
and for a short time the work of death was fearful. It was here 
that my mule was shot from under me. I felt like that I had 
lost my best friend. The air was full of bullets, and I took a 
tree. In a moment, however, I saw a number of our men on foot, 


some of them from choice, and others, like myself, because they 
could not help it. I left my tree and joined them. In less than 
an hour the village was cleared of Indians, and it seemed like 
the work of death was done. 

Covered with dust and dirt and wet with sweat, and almost 
famished both for food and water, Tarrant called the little 
company together at a little spring. On roll-call it was found 
that not a man had been killed. A dozen perhaps had been 
unhorsed. Quite a number were hatless. As many as eight or 
ten were slightly wounded, but none in a painful manner. Many 
had made narrow escapes from death, as their rent clothes abun- 
dantly testified. Tarrant commended the men for their good 
behaviour and said, "Thank God, we are all here. You have 
had water; repair to the nearest huts and get your hands full 
of dried buffalo meat, and in fifteen minutes be ready for 
further advance." 

My My How the buffalo meat was used up by those hun- 
gry men. At the expiration of the fifteen minutes Tarrant 
called the men together and ordered John B. Denton and Henry 
Stout each to take a squad of twenty men and pursue the re- 
treating Indians, as a great number went north into the Trinity 
bottom by two paths leading out of the village. It so happened 
that I fell into the squad commanded by Capt. Henry Stout, 
who took the trail which led out from the northeastern part of 
the village. John B. Denton with his men took the trail which 
led out from the northwestern part of the village. Within some 
sixty yards of the river the trails came together. When Capt. 
Stout came to this point he halted and addressed his men : "Here 
the trail from the west unites with ours; a great many Indians 
have gone out on both trails ; from the large cottonwoods in view 
we are near the river. I think it is imprudent for a little squad 
of men to enter such a trap, for if the Indians make a stand 
at all, it will be at the river." 

Just at this moment someone said, "I hear the sound of 
horse's feet." 

Captain Stout said, "That is Denton; we will wait until he 
comes and we will consult." 

When Captain Denton came up he said, "Captain, why have 
you stopped?" 

Stout repeated to Captain Denton what he had just said 


than any other. Gen. Tarrant sent Capt. Yeary with an inter- 
preter to the prisoner to see if he would reveal anything, for 
prior to this he had been sullen and would not say a word. He 
was made to understand that if he would tell where the village 
was and how to find it he should not be hurt. He made a full 
revelation of the whole matter, and closed by saying, ""We be 
friends. " He was relieved, but kept under guard all night. After 
dark Tarrant sent ten men under Henry Stout, who was ordered 
to go to the village, reconnoiter the same and select the point of 
attack, and report by 4 o 'clock in the morning. This was done, 
and by daylight all were in motion under guidance of our trusty 
pilot for the village, which was reached about 9 or 9 :30 in the 

From our position we could see the Indians passing about 
in every direction. We were ordered to deposit our baggage 
and free ourselves of every encumbrance, and be ready for the 
charge in five minutes. When the time was out Gen. Tarrant 
said: "Are you all ready?" The response was in the affirma- 
tive. Then Tarrant in a low, yet clear, distinct voice, said: 
"Now, my brave men, we will never all meet on earth again 
there is great confusion and death just ahead. I shall expect 
every man to fill his place and do his duty. ' ' The command to 
charge was given. A level prairie about three hundred yards 
wide lay between the command and the first huts. This dis- 
tance was measured off in less than half the time I am telling it. 
In a moment the sound of firearms, with a voice of thunder, 
rang out over the alarmed and terror-stricken inhabitants of that 
rude city of the wilderness. Tarrant and James Bourland, with 
Denton, led the charge, while every other man followed with the 
best speed his horse could make. I was riding a mule, furnished 
me by Aunt Gordon. . . . Well, pardon the digression. That 
mule was a mule, and, just like its kind, it was slow and made 
me among the last to reach the enemy. As I passed the first 
huts I saw to my right a number of Indians. I fired into the 
crowd with the best aim my excited nerves would allow. In a 
moment our men came upon them from a different direction, 
and for a short time the work of death was fearful. It was here 
that my mule was shot from under me. I felt like that I had 
lost my best friend. The air was full of bullets, and I took a 
tree. In a moment, however, I saw a number of our men on foot, 


some of them from choice, and others, like myself, because they 
could not help it. I left my tree and joined them. In less than 
an hour the village was cleared of Indians, and it seemed like 
the work of death was done. 

Covered with dust and dirt and wet with sweat, and almost 
famished both for food and water, Tarrant called the little 
company together at a little spring. On roll-call it was found 
that not a man had been killed. A dozen perhaps had been 
unhorsed. Quite a number were hatless. As many as eight or 
ten were slightly wounded, but none in a painful manner. Many 
had made narrow escapes from death, as their rent clothes abun- 
dantly testified. Tarrant commended the men for their good 
behaviour and said, "Thank God, we are all here. You have 
had water; repair to the nearest huts and get your hands full 
of dried buffalo meat, and in fifteen minutes be ready for 
further advance." 

My My How the buffalo meat was used up by those hun- 
gry men. At the expiration of the fifteen minutes Tarrant 
called the men together and ordered John B. Denton and Henry 
Stout each to take a squad of twenty men and pursue the re- 
treating Indians, as a great number went north into the Trinity 
bottom by two paths leading out of the village. It so happened 
that I fell into the squad commanded by Capt. Henry Stout, 
who took the trail which led out from the northeastern part of 
the village. John B. Denton with his men took the trail which 
led out from the northwestern part of the village. Within some 
sixty yards of the river the trails came together. When Capt. 
Stout came to this point he halted and addressed his men : "Here 
the trail from the west unites with ours; a great many Indians 
have gone out on both trails ; from the large cottonwoods in view 
we are near the river. I think it is imprudent for a little squad 
of men to enter such a trap, for if the Indians make a stand 
at all, it will be at the river." 

Just at this moment someone said, "I hear the sound of 
horse's feet." 

Captain Stout said, "That is Denton; we will wait until he 
comes and we will consult." 

When Captain Denton came up he said, ' ' Captain, why have 
you stopped?" 

Stout repeated to Captain Denton what he had just said 


to his men but he added, ' ' I am willing to go as far as any other 
man. ' ' 

Instantly and without another word Captain Denton spurred 
his horse on in the path. Stout followed, and their men dropped 
into line, and the little company, in death-like silence, moved on 
toward the river. We found no prepared ford, but a merely 
well-worn buffalo trail, which led down into the river, and went 
out some eighty yards below. The north bank of the river was 
high and covered with a closely set undergrowth of brush. Here 
the Indians had secreted themselves. When the company reached 
the point opposite and under the Indians, they opened a deadly 
fire upon us, it being mainly directed upon our men at the 
front. Captain Denton was instantly killed, and Captain Stout 
had his arm broken. In this condition of affairs no command 
was given. The scene of death and the moment of suspense was 
awful to endure. Capt. Yeary hollowed out at the top of his 
voice, "Why in the h 1 don't you move your men out to where 
we can see the enemy ? We will all be killed here. ' ' 

The men began at once a kind of irregular retreat, and Capt. 
Stout had so far recovered from his shock as to be able to say, 
"Men, do the best you can for yourselves; I am wounded and 

About this time some one exclaimed: "Captain Denton is 
killed. ' ' The shot was so deadly that there was no death strug- 
gle. He had balanced himself in his saddle, raised his gun and 
closed one eye, intending to deal death upon the enemy, when the 
death shock struck him. When his death was discovered his 
muscles were gradually relaxing, and his gun, yet in his hand, 
was inclining to the ground. The men nearest to him took him 
from his horse and laid him on the ground, and then we returned 
to the command at the village. We feared that after we left the 
Indians would scalp Captain Denton and otherwise mutilate his 
body, but this was not done. A squad of men were sent back 
to river to bring Denton 's body, which was done. I am glad 
to this day that I am one of the number to volunteer to go back 
and, if need be, to brave death to recover the body of Captain 

About 4 or 4:30 p. m. the body of Captain Denton was se- 
curely tied upon a gentle horse, and the command moved out 
from the village, with some eighty head of horses and fifteen or 
twenty head of cattle taken from the village. We moved up the 


river a point not far from Fort "Worth, and there spent the night. 
Early next morning we crossed the river at a point where the 
timber was narrow. After crossing the river we travelled in the 
direction of Bird's Station, aiming for Bonham as our objective 
point. At about 11 a. m. we halted on a prairie on the south 
side of a creek, with a high bank on the north. On one of these 
elevations Captain Denton was buried. 

The remains of Denton were exhumed in 1860 and 
reburied on Chisholm's ranch; but in 1901 the Old 
Settler's Association of Denton County took charge of 
the remains and reburied them on the courthouse square 
in Denton, and erected a monument to the memory of 
this pioneer for whom both the county and the town are 

Two sons of Jno. B. Denton became itinerant 
preachers J. F. and John B., of the West Texas Con- 
ference; and another son, Dr. A. M. Denton, served for 
many years as superintendent of the State Asylum for 
the Insane at Austin. J. B. Denton 's widow was married 
in later years to Abner McKenzie, a brother of Kev. 
J. W. P. McKenzie ; and a daughter of this union became 
the wife of Milton Ragsdale, and Miss Belle Eagsdale 
and Allen K. Eagsdale are children of this marriage. 

The name Mulkey is so well known in our later his- 
tory that we pause here long enough to obtain an outline 
of "William Mulkey, the father of the Texas Mulkeys, who 
appears on the Bed River in an obscure way before 1840. 
"At the third session of our Conference," says Andrew 
Hunter, the nestor of Arkansas Methodism, 4 "there came 
to us by transfer from Tennessee one whose name should 
be preserved from oblivion. That was William Mulkey. 
He was a unique character. He was one of the best 
English scholars I have ever known." Continuing, the 
writer says: 

His first appointment was in the Choctaw nation, as the col- 
league of McKenzie. Knowing Mulkey as we knew him after- 

4 Quoted in Jewell 'a History of Methodism in Arkansas. 


wards, it was a great mistake to send him to preach to Indians 
through an interpreter. It was like putting a steam engine to 
a common road wagon. Mulkey ran away from the interpreter 
and left him wondering where he would take up. In the fall the 
presiding elder brought him down into the white settlements, in 
Sevier and Hempstead counties, where, after the novelty 
growing out of the preacher's manner passed away, he did most 
effective work. Br. Mulkey served the church a number of years 
as a missionary to the colored people on the Eed River planta- 
tions, the owners giving him a good support. He located after- 
wards; went to Nashville, Tenn., and afterwards to Texas. My 
recollection is that he took to the lecturing field, and in travel- 
ling in a stage coach at one time became very sick and was left 
at a roadside house, where he died. He left several children, 
sons and daughters. One of his sons is in the evangelistic work 
in Texas, and his praise is in all the churches. 

Mr. Hunter adds this anecdote of William Mulkey : 

We were sitting together talking on various topics. The 
question was raised as to how much it was a Christian man's 
duty to bear from the wicked without resistance. I remember 
asking him the question direct: Brother Mulkey, suppose a 
wicked fellow should come up to you and say, "Bro. Mulkey, 
I am going to whip you" what would you do? To which 
Mulkey replied, "I would say to him 'Sir, if the Lord gives 
me grace I will bear it ; but if not, woe be to your hide.' " 

While associated with McKenzie in the Indian mis- 
sion field the two preachers found it necessary or con- 
venient to live with their families in the same house. On 
one occasion during McKenzie 's absence, and while 
Mulkey had gathered the two families for morning de- 
votion, one of the Mulkey boys and a girl of the other 
family interrupted prayer by engaging in an open fight. 
Mulkey suspended his prayer, ordered the others to re- 
main upon their knees, and took the offenders into an 
adjoining room and settled with them. Quiet being re- 


stored lie returned, and in the midst of an awful stillness, 
finished his prayer. 

John W. P. McKenzie, after entering Texas, came to 
be one of the great figures in Methodist history in North 
Texas, as Robert Alexander became in the south, and 
both alike enjoyed an active career of more than forty 
years in the state of their adoption. Like Alexander 
also, McKenzie was of Scotch extraction and a native of 
North Carolina, where he was born April 26, 1806. His 
mother was converted in girlhood under Francis Asbury, 
and she became a staunch Methodist. Her adherence 
to the Methodists cost her for a time her place in the 
family circle, as her parents, Scotch Seceders, were so 
prejudiced against the Methodists that her father de- 
manded that she renounce her faith or leave home. She 
chose to do the latter, though but a girl of fourteen. But 
her firmness not only won her place back in the home, 
but won her parents to the Methodist faith. McKenzie 's 
father was thrown from a wagon and killed, leaving the 
son when but a youth with his widowed mother. When 
but fourteen years of age McKenzie had shown such ad- 
vancement in his books and such a thirst for knowledge 
that he was entered in the University of North Carolina. 
After two years he was sent to the University of Alabama 
at. Athens. Here he graduated with distinction, and for 
awhile filled the chair of ancient languages in his alma 
mater. 5 In 1829 he returned to his native state, and in 
the same year he was united in marriage to Miss Matilda 
Parks, whom he found to be through all the activities of 
his later life a helpmeet indeed. In 1831 he removed to 

s The facts about Dr. McKenzie 's education here given are from a 
Memoir contained in the Journal of the North Texas Conference, 1881. 
Dr. J. H. McLean says in a biographical sketch, Texas Methodist Historical 
Quarterly, July, 1909, that Dr. McKenzie was educated at the University 
of Georgia, then called Franklin College, "a few years after Bishop Pierce 
and Senator Toombs were graduated from the same institution," and that 
' ' it was there he received the life-long sobriquet of ' Old Master ' for 
having quelled a difficulty among the students that had baffled the faculty, 
and by way of compliment the president remarked that 'Old Master him- 
self could not have done better.' " 


Maury County, Tennessee, and for five years he con- 
ducted a successful school near Columbia. "Up to this 
time," says a memoir, "he had been quite irregular in 
his religious life. Here he was thoroughly awakened 
. . . and he was regularly licensed to preach. " In 1836 
he was admitted on trial into the Tennessee Conference, 
but having failed to reach the seat of the conference he 
met Bishop Morris in Little Rock, Ark., when he was 
ordained deacon and sent as a missionary to the Choc- 
taw Indians. We have seen that Dr. McKenzie received 
his first appointment in Texas in 1839. Of this work he 
says : 6 " The writer was appointed to a field of labor 
south of Bed Eiver (1839), and his first circuit contained 
thirty-two appointments. This circuit was made in four 
weeks ; but soon the cry, ' Come over and help us, ' became 
so urgent that ere we were aware we had a six week's 
circuit. The labor was arduous, but there was no safe 
way to say No. In those days men came to Texas to 
work, not to hide away from a scene of failure, or to seek 
a soft place. . . . The receipts on our first circuit in 
Texas amounted to fifty-six dollars and seventy-five 
cents, and a wife and four children were to be supported. 
But the wife was not a mere boarder but a help-meet 
a producer and by rigid economy and constant industry 
we managed somehow to live. ' ' 

Dr. McKenzie, whose heart was ever inclined toward 
teaching, saw the dire need in this raw country for a 
good school of high grade. Besides, his health was be- 
ginning to fail under the strain of attending so large a 
circuit. In 1841 he took the supernumerary relation, and 
settling four miles west of Clarksville, opened his first 
school in a log house, with sixteen pupils. This was the 
beginning of McKenzie College, Methodism's first school 
in North Texas, which opened about eighteen months 
after Rutersville, her first school in the south, had been 

6 Introduction to North Texas Pulpit, a book of sermons published 
by J. W. Hill in 1880. 


launched. Of the McKenzie school and her "Old 
Master" much more will need to be said as our history 
progresses. At this point we will turn again to the nar- 
rative of Andrew Davis, and extract his account of how 
a boy of that day could reach his thirteenth or fourteenth 
year without sight or sound of preacher or religious 
service of any sort, and find and example of the benev- 
olent and forceful influence of the McKenzie 's in bring- 
ing the wild and uncouth children of that country into 

I suppose it was about one year after my father's death that 
I went to Rev. McKenzie 's. My life was so divided and unsettled 
that I can hardly say where I did live. I hung on to my step- 
mother. I knew nothing any better. She was kind to me as my 
own dear mother could have been. . . . My step-mother could 
not think of remaining at the old home. She therefore had to 
get protection wherever she could find it, that made life un- 
settled and unsatisfactory until she married again, and by that 
change procured a home again. Though near a hundred miles 
from Pecan Point, where I was born, and the old friends of 
my father, they soon heard of his death, and also the character 
of life I was living, and knowing that there was not anything in 
my environments that promised the least future good to me, they 
began to plan to get me back to Eed River county, and if pos- 
sible to get a home for me at Rev. J. W. P. McKenzie 's. 

Among the friends of Red River county that took an active 
interest in me on my father's account were Mr. John Robbins 
and Ibbie Gordon. They conferred together and planned for 
the accomplishment of my return. They finally concluded to 
engage some teamster hauling supplies to Fort Lidy to hunt 
me out and bring me back and leave me at Mr. Robbin's. They 
finally found a teamster by the name of Crowder, who, by the 
way, had been a soldier at Fort Lidy and knew me. Providence 
soon ordered that I was at the Fort when Crowder arrived. 
When Mr. Crowder named his business to me I in a moment 
decided that I would not go. I loved my freedom. I loved the 
wild scenes of frontier life felt that I had as soon die as to 
leave them. Additionally the reflection came to my mind that 


I was so far behind in everything that life would be miserable if 
I should go back. After long importunity I consented to go back. 
We were on the road two weeks. Mr. Crowder was driving an 
ox team. . . . Some days we never travelled more than six 
miles. . . . My imagination was all the while filling my mind 
with scenes and surroundings that would be embarrassing to me. 
Finally we arrived at Mr. Bobbins 's. . . . Near by the place where 
our old double-log house stood there had been reared a large 
two-story framed building, with all the modern improvements 
and conveniences, and painted until it looked as white as snow, 
with window blinds painted in impressive contrast. The floor 
was finely carpeted, and nice mates were profusely spread about. 
Mr. Bobbins met us in the most cordial manner. He seemed 
glad to see me and said I must enjoy myself again at the old 
home. My father had improved the place and sold it to him 
some years before. The family, even the children, saw my em- 
barasment, and seemed .to sympathize with me. I was dressed 
in buck-skin clothes from head to foot. These clothes were 
glazed with a mixture of grease (mostly bear's oil) and dirt. 
The elbows, knees, and even the seat of my pants, were all worn 
and patched, which I thought made me look like a comic picture. 
Mr. Eobbins had a large number of colored peaople, and the 
colored cook, with a parcel of little negroes, came upon the scene 
and stood around and looked at me as if I was on exhibition. 
The room all furnished with fine chairs, many of them finely 
cushioned, all so clean and nice, that I felt my clothes would 
soil them. I had been used to old chairs, patched up to make 
them go as far as possible, and stools and benches. But finally 
I had to come to terms and set down on these clean, nice 
chairs. . . . 

I was at Mr. Bobbin's about two weeks. . . . Finally one 
day about 11 a. m. Mr. Bobbins came out to where I was playing, 
and said Uncle Ab had come for me to come on up to the 
house ; dinner would soon be ready. He took me by the hand, 
and as we walked on to the house I asked him who Uncle Ab 
was. He said he was a brother of McKenzie's, and superintended 
all the affairs of the home and farm. As we approached the 
gate Mr. Bobbins said, "That is Uncle Ab's horse and buggy 
there." The buggy right new had never been soiled in the least. 
I had never seen one so clean and nice. I knew what it was for, 


but me to sit in it with my dingy clothes would soil it. ... 
Dinner over, Uncle Ab seemed to be in a hurry. The farewell 
was taken, and at once we started for my new home. I was 
perpetually uneasy about the fine new buggy, afraid my clothes 
would soil it. I labored not to touch against the buggy any more 
than I could help. . . . Uncle Ab saw that I was not well at 
ease, and labored to draw me out in conversation about the 
frontier, about my past life and all the rough scenes through 
which I had passed. When we were nearing our destination 
Uncle Ab said to me, "John and Matilda are not at home; they 
are at the camp-meeting. Some of the servants are at home. 
We will stay at home to-night, and go out to the camp-ground in 
the morning." The term camp-ground I did not understand. I 
had known a great deal about common camp-life, and also about 
military encampments, but had never heard the word used in 
that way. It was impossible for me to eliminate from my mind 
the idea of military. I had never been to any religious encamp- 
ment up to that day. I had never seen any kind of religious 
services, nor had any person ever talked to me on the subject 
of religion. . . . Next morning we started for the camp-ground. 
Uncle Ab said it was 12 or 15 miles from John's out there. We 
passed through Clarksville. It had grown wonderfully in the 
past three or four years. But on we went at slow pace until 
near 11 o'clock a. m. Uncle Ab said we would soon be there. 
We were in post oak timber. I began to look out for camp. 
Sure enough directly the encampment began to come into view. 
"Yes," said I to myself, "there is trouble here." Here, there 
and everywhere in all directions, covering a large space of 
ground, were the white tents and covered wagons. There were 
a large number of horses, mules and oxen tied all about the tents. 
. . . Uncle Ab drove up among the tents and got out. After 
hitching his horse he said, "John's in the pulpit now." I don't 
think that I bad ever heard the word pulpit used before. And 
the whole thing to me assumed the appearance of a military en- 
campment or gathering. What kind of addition a pulpit could 
be was a great mystery to me. Just as these reflections were 
passing through my mind Uncle Ab said, "Let us go on up to 
the stand." As he said that he started on, I moving in a slow 
reluctant manner. When we arrived in about fifty yards of 
the stand, as Uncle Ab called it, I saw Brother McKenzie in 


some kind of rough looking box. I saw a large collection of 
people, men, women and children, all seated in a quiet mood. 
Brother McKenzie the only person that seemed to be in trouble. 
He seemed to be as restless as though he stood on embers, 
running first to one end of the box and then to the other, as 
though he wanted to get out of the box. He was talking loudly, 
and his gestures were of the most violent character. At once 
I concluded that for some cause they had him confined in the 
box so that he could not get out, or that he feared to come out. 
It all indicated some serious trouble to me, that whatever the 
nature of the trouble it was just reaching a crisis, that some one 
was in trouble and some one was going to be hurt. So I decided 
to keep out of it. Just at this moment we were pasing a large 
post oak. I said, "Mr. McKenzie, you can go on up there; I'll 
stop here at this tree." "Oh, come on," he said, "we will get a 
seat behind the pulpit." I said, "I am not going there; you 
can go on." He saw the state of my mind and that it would 
not do to try to force me, so he started, but after going a few 
steps he turned around and said, "Now will you stay here until 
I come back?" I replied, "Well, I recon I will" but I intended 
to take to the woods if trouble came. Mr. McKenzie went on 
up to the arbor and sit down back of the pulpit. I kept to the 
tree watching with a hawk's eye every movement. My eye was 
on J. W. P. McKenzie all the time. He seemed the center of 
interest. All at once, like a flash, he bounded out of the box, 
ran around out of my sight. Just at this moment the congrega- 
tion stood up. "There, there," I said "he's broke out of the 
box; the row is going to come off now." But just at the mo- 
ment of my most intense excitement and alarm there arose from 
the congregation the sound of music. It reverberated to the 
highest heaven and broke in mellow and melting tones among 
the boughs of the trees. "Well," said I to myself, "there can- 
not be any trouble here ; the whole thing is a mystery to me, but 
there cannot be any danger." So I ventured to sit down in the 
shade of the tree and wait for my friend Uncle Ab. After 
awhile I saw Uncle Ab and his brother coming. The manner in 
which J. W. P. McKenzie met me and talked to me impressed 
me deeply and won my heart at the very first, and taking my 
hand he said, "Come on with me up to the tent and see Mrs. 


McKenzie; you need a mother, and she will be a mother to you 
from this on." 

The tent and all about were alive with people, all clean and 
well-dressed. I still had on my well glazed suit of buck-skin. I 
was greatly embarrassed. The children stood around and gazed 
at me as the wonder of the day. But Mrs. McKenzie met me 
with such an expression of love and sympathy that no mortal 
could keep from loving her. She led me away from the crowd, 
back into the cook room, and said to an old colored woman that 
seemed to have universal oversight of the cooking department, 
"This, Aunt Dicey, is our adopted boy. I want you to spread 
him a good dinner here on this side table and see that he gets 
plenty to eat." Sister McKenzie sent a young man to Clarks- 
ville that afternoon after cloth to make me a suit of clothes. By 
2 p. m. next day I laid aside my deer-skin suit of clothing and 
put the new suit on ; but I was still shy about the arbor ; never 
went under it, but stood about the edges of the congregation, 
and sometimes would sit down on the outside. This camp-meet- 
ing was the first religious assembly I ever saw, the first preach- 
ing and praying I ever heard. . . . J. W. P. McKenzie was the 
first preacher I ever saw. I shall never forget that Sister McKen- 
zie, though cumbered with care all the time, gave marked at- 
tention to me. . . . The camp-meeting closed at a late hour on 
Sunday night. Everybody seemed to be happy, and on Monday 
morning all the tenters pulled up stakes and returned home. 
Late on the afternoon of this day my life began in my new home. 

We can rest assured that Andrew Davis is now in 
safe hands. We shall hear from him, and many others 
who, from time to time, came under the influence of Dr. 
McKenzie and his noble wife. 


THE YEAR 1841-1842 

THE years 1841-42 were fruitful ones for the 
Church in Texas, and witnessed the spread of the work 
into many hitherto unoccupied localities. On the south- 
western border the Victoria country, which had called 
so loudly the year before for a preacher, was covered in 
1841 by J. P. Sneed, who succeeded in organizing 
churches in Victoria, Gonzales, Port Lavaca and Seguin. 
The statistics returned for that section in the fall showed 
64 white members and 24 colored. On the northwest 
frontier, covered by Austin circuit, embracing all the 
upper Colorado, John Haynie reported at the close of 
the year 1841, 147 white members and 11 colored. From 
the new Harrison circuit, which was rapidly forming the 
connecting link between Texas proper and the Bed Eiver 
territory, a membership of 334 white and 24 colored was 
shown at the end of the year. 

The year 1841 saw the organization of the first perma- 
nent Methodist Church in Houston, under the pastorate 
of Thomas 0. Summers, according to Mrs. Blandin, a 
local church historian. 1 "Previous to Mr. Summers' ar- 
rival in Houston," says this author, "Mr. Alexander had 
organized a class of fourteen; but the first permanent 
organization was made in 1841 by Mr. Summers." Jesse 
Hord, who included Houston in his circuit in 1838-39, 
records in his journal in April, 1839, the following item 
relating to a church in Houston: "Our church or class in 

i History of Shearn Church, p. 23. 


THE YEAR 1841-1842 195 

this populous city numbers 14, joined by letter. Bro. 
Stringfellow was appointed class-leader & Bro. Fisher 
class steward. This I presume is the first Methodist class 
ever organized in the city; if one had been previously 
formed I think I should have heard something of it, 
having canvassed the city from center to circumference 
in the distribution of tracts." Although Hord does not 
say in so many words that he organized this church, the 
fact is made plain in the journal of another early 
preacher in Houston. From "Allen's Eeminiscences of 
Texas" we have the following: 2 " Just a year after my 
first preaching in Houston [this would make it, according 
to previous entries, March 31, 1839] organized the Pres- 
byterian Church, the first Church in the city, ten mem- 
bers. . . . During the winter and spring of 1839, many 
ministers of different denominations appeared in Hous- 
ton. . . . The first Methodist Church was organized soon 
after the Presbyterian by a Bro. Hord, as also the 
Protestant Episcopal, all within a month or six weeks." 
The fact then is, according to these concurrent testi- 
monies, that Hord organized a Methodist Church in 
Houston in April, 1839, with fourteen members. Whether 
this organization disintegrated or suspended its activi- 
ties is another matter. The historian of Houston 
Methodism thinks it did, and credits Mr. Summers, as 
above, with giving Methodism a permanent existence in 
Houston. The same writer adds: "As there was no 
church building in Houston, and the capital had been 
removed to Austin, and the old capitol converted into 
storehouses, Mr. Summers preached in a room over a 
store on Capitol Avenue, between Milam and Louisiana 

Among the earliest members of the church in Houston 
were Charles Shearn, Alexander McOrowen, Mrs. Winn 
(daughter of Dr. Euter), Capt. Mosely Baker, Darius 
Gregg, Dr. John L. Bryan and wife, Francis Moore 

2 S-W Historical Quarterly, XVIII, 303. 


((mayor in 1843), and G. S. Hardcastle. Charles Shearn 
came from England and settled in Texas in 1834. In 
1837 he located in Houston and entered business. Re- 
ligiously he was described as "an old fashioned Metho- 
dist, loyal to the doctrines, faithful to duty, and gen- 
erous with his time and money in the interest of the 
church." He was one of Houston's first class-leaders, 
and was on the first board of stewards, filling both places 
in his church for more than thirty years. We shall have 
occasion to note more in detail his services to the church 
in Houston and to the Church at large in Texas in after 

Alexander McGowen was a true fellow-laborer with 
Shearn in Houston. A native of North Carolina, he came 
to Houston in 1839. He became prominently identified 
with public affairs in the city and state, serving for three 
terms as mayor of Houston, and taking a prominent part 
as a member of the constitutional convention of 1845. 
He was converted in Houston, and joined in the organ- 
ization of the first church. He served as trustee of his 
church for fifty-odd years and for many years as 
steward. Mr. McGowen died in 1892, and his funeral 
service was held at Shearn Church, conducted by Dr. 
G. C. Rankin, then pastor. 

Darius Gregg and G. S. Hardcastle were both among 
the earliest settlers of Houston ; both successful in busi- 
ness affairs, and both were among the first officials and 
loyal supporters of the first Methodist church in 

Like the Roman centurion, who "loves our nation and 
hath built us a synagogue," the name of T. W. House 
holds an honorable place in Methodist annals in Hous- 
ton, though he was never a member of the church. Mr. 
House, who was a native of England, located in Houston 
in 1837 and entered business, his first venture being a 
bakery and confectionery. After a few years he founded 
a bank and established the largest wholesale dry goods 

THE YEAR 1841-1842 197 

and grocery house in the state. He became prominently 
connected with many other interests and succeeded in 
amassing a large fortune. Mr. House married the only 
daughter of Charles Shearn, and this relation, together 
with his early formed friendship for Dr. Summers both 
being Englishmen led him to devote much interest and 
means toward church building in Houston. He was a 
trustee of the Methodist church until his death in 1880, 
and after his death a son, T. W. House, Jr., succeeded 
to that office, so that for sixty-five years the name of 
T. W. House appears on the records of Shearn Church 
as a trustee. Col. Edward M. House, of recent inter- 
national note, is another son of T. "W. House. 

Mr. Summers 's work in Houston and Galveston in 
1841-42 resulted in getting under way church buildings 
in both cities. The church in Gralveston was erected in 
1841-42 and was named Ryland Chapel, in honor of 
the Eev. Wm. Eyland, of Washington, D. C., who con- 
tributed liberally to its cost. The first church building 
in Houston was launched at a quarterly meeting held 
there in March, 1842, by Eobert Alexander. The building 
committee was composed of Charles Shearn, T. W. House, 
D. Gregg, A. McGowen and Gr. S. Hardcastle. The build- 
ing, thirty-five by sixty feet, with a sixteen foot annex, 
and galleries for colored people, was erected of brick, 
and was the first brick church in Texas. It was not com- 
pleted or used until 1844. 

From various sources we have a few glimpses of how 
the work was going on here and there in the interior of 
the country during this period. A contributor to the 
Texas Wesley an Banner in 1850 remembers the follow- 

On the 4th of July, 1841, a Sunday school was organized in 
Yellow Prairie, then Milam county, Texas, by Brothers Alex- 
ander Thompson and D. W. Wright. It was well attended and 
much interest manifested, and while some who attended that 


school have died and gone to reap their reward in the unfading 
climes of glory, many others are duly pious and useful members 
of society. 

In the latter part of 1841 the first camp-meeting ever held in 
San Antonio Prairie was held at Waugh Camp-Ground, then 
Milam county, by Bros. R. Crawford, D. N. V. Sullivan, D. N. 
Wright and C. W. Lewis. There were about twenty old fash- 
ioned conversions. 

In the fall of 1841, previous to the meeting held at Waugh 
Camp-Ground, there was a camp-meeting held on Cedar Creek 
in Robertson county (the first held at that place), by Bros. S. 
A. Williams, R. Crawford, D. N. Wright, W. C. Lewis, D. Carl 
and J. H. Collard. Many spreading their tents to shelter them 
from the sun by day and the dew by night ; using the hindgates 
and other parts of their wagons for tables. They ate their frugal 
meals, worshipping God in the simplicity and beauty of holiness. 
About 18 or 20 were happily converted at this meeting. 

Dr. Summers made a camp-meeting tour in the in- 
terior during 1841, and in a series of communications to 
the church paper in New York he reports on some of 
these and other conditions and incidents. He assisted in 
camp-meetings at Rutersville and Montgomery camp- 
ground, and at both places he and J. W. Kenney carried 
on the meetings, due to the sickness and absence of many 
other preachers. " While at Enter sville," he says, "I 
made inquiries in respect to the college and was pleased 
to learn that it was increasingly prosperous. There are 
in both departments between 70 and 80 students. They 
are progressing rapidly in their studies ; and what is bet- 
ter still, a number of them have recently given their 
hearts to God. ... A building, 52 by 26, two stories high, 
will soon be finished for the better accommodations of the 
male students." 

Another circumstance noted was much sickness 
among the preachers, and their poor financial condition. 
The health of Littleton Fowler had failed, Dr. Summers 
says, and he had been driven into the cornfield to seek 

THE YEAR 1841-1842 199 

a support for his family. "I have since inquired into 
the affair, ' ' says the writer, ' ' and find that it is not only 
true of him, but of some others of our number, if not all, 
who have families to support.'* It is but one of many 
references to be found in contemporary records of the 
straits the preachers often found themselves in. A few 
quarterly conference reports will explain these circum- 
stances, as well as reveal to us what business was carried 
on in those days, and how. Here are the full minutes of 
a quarterly conference for Montgomery circuit in 1840, 
given verbatim et literatim: 

Second quarterly m. Conference for Montgomery circuit June 
20th 1840 Spring Creek. 
Members Present 
Moses Speer A P 
Eobert Crawford A P 
John Woolam Ex 
H. G. Johnson 
Richard Davidson C L 
James B Hogan C L 

Question 1 are there any complaints or appeals 
A none 

Br John C. Woolam came dewly recommended Befour the quar- 
terly M. Conference Montgomery circuit for License to preach 
as local Preacher and was dewly Elected 

Br Richard Davidson came before the quarterly M. Conference 
Dewly Recommended For License to Exhort and is dewly au- 
thorized by Conference to use his gifts that way 
Robinsons Camp ground was appointed for the next quarterly 
M. Conference Sept 26th & 27th 1840 , . . 

Collected at Robinsons Society 17$ Good money Texas $21.50 
John Collard T Cooks Lindleys Mrs Landrums Dickensons 
Cypruss Spring Creek Sister McCurley Br Files Grimes 
Prairie Black Prairie $12 texas promisory notes Br Benj Rob- 
insons Parkers Huntsville 


Eed and approved 

James B. Hogan See 

Reed of Bro Wm Robinson sercuit steward $78 25 cents in 
Texas treasury notes and in arkan [obscured] Funds 10$ 

Eecd of Wm Robinson 
$7.25 cents 
Moses Speer 

The minutes of the first quarterly conference of 1841 
are exceedingly brief, and show that the preachers de- 
parted as they came with empty pockets : 

First Quarterly Meeting Conference for Montgomery Circuit 
held in Crabbs Prairie on the 17th day of April A D 1841 

Members present Samuel A Williams presiding Elder in the 
chair R W Owen P. C. J H Collard A. S. Richard Davidson 
& Wm Robinson L. Stewards 

Br W Robinson B. B. Stansell & J Matthews Class leaders 

Question are there any complaints or appeals Ans none 

C Dukeman nominated & appointed Circuit Steward also C 
White nominated & appointed C Steward 

Moved & seconded that the next quarterly Meeting be held 
at Father Spillers on 5th & 6th of June next carried 

appointments on the circuit 

[Here follows a list of twenty-four appointments. No finan- 
cial report or other business. Signed by S. A. Williams, P. B., 
and J. H. Collard, Sec.] 

The minutes of the third quarterly conference show 
a financial report of "ten dollars Texas $1.12 specie " 
from one point, and $20 (unspecified) from another. 

Dropping over into 1842 conditions do not appear to 
have much improved on this circuit. The minutes of the 
fourth quarterly meeting close with a little unconscious 
humor : 

What are the collections this quarter not one cent 
On motion it was ordered we now adjourn 

THE YEAR 1841-1842 201 

The small monetary dividends accruing to the min- 
istry did not seem to discourage others who felt moved 
to preach. An examination of the quarterly conference 
records for Montgomery circuit, for example, through the 
years 1839-41 show that eight applicants were granted 
license to preach. These were Daniel Carl, Nathan 
Shook who was licensed "on condition that he place 
property in the hands of Bro. Joshua Eobinson and J. H. 
Collard to liquidate his debts in the United States" 
John C. Woolam, J. H. Collard, E. W. Owen, Wm. Eobin- 
son, Eichard Davidson and Isaac Tabor. Six of these 
were recommended for admission into the traveling con- 
nection; namely, Carl, Shook, Woolam, Collard, Owen, 
Davidson. Another item worth noting is, that at the 
second quarterly conference for this circuit in 1842 it 
was "Eesolved that the stewards of this circuit be and 
they are hereby appointed a committee to receive dona- 
tions in land, money and other property for the purpose 
of building and furnishing with heavy furniture a parson- 
age for Montgomery circuit." This is the first instance 
we find of such steps being taken in Texas. 

Eeferring again to the financial support of the 
preachers, we have seen that the Mission Board in New 
York was at this time in such an embarrassing situation 
as to be unable to relieve the forces in Texas, contribut- 
ing nothing in 1840, and only a small amount in 1841. The 
missionary appropriations for Texas for the years 1838- 
41 were as follows : 8 

Year ending May, 1838 $1761.44 

1839 1435.29 

" 1840 No entry for Texas 

1841 643.00 

s From Annual Eeports. Information furnished by Wm. B. Tower, in 
charge of Bureau of Surveys and Eesearch, Board of Foreign Missions, 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Tower says in a letter to the author: 
"After May, 1841, expenditures for Domestic Missions are not given in 

geographical groups; they are chiefly like this 'Draft of Bishop , 

favor of .' Texas minutes are not available for that period, 


Notwithstanding the poor financial reports, the 
preachers and the Church prospered in spiritual things, 
as the returns made at the next conference showed a net 
increase of nearly one thousand in membership. The 
exact figures were: 4 2352 white members, 407 colored, 
and 36 local preachers, making the whole number in 
society 2795, a net increase over last year of 917. The 
conference met in San Augustine on December 23, with 
Bishop Thomas A. Morris presiding. Bishop Morris had 
traveled overland from St. Louis, in company with John 
Clark and family and J. W. Whipple, who had come from 
Illinois to enter the work in Texas. We will let Bishop 
Morris add some observations on his trip to Texas, in 
which he gives an account of the conference : 5 

The road from Nachotoches to the Sabine is broad, much 
travelled, and though passing over a broken country, would be 
tolerably pleasant if it were not torn to pieces by the cotton 
wagons ; but we were almost constantly meeting teams of horses, 
mules or oxen, mostly from Texas, drawing ponderous loads of 
this staple to Nachotoches, the great cotton depot for eastern 
Texas, as well as its own vicinity, in consequence of which much 
of the road was in bad condition. . . . 

Friday, 17th, we came down to Sabine river, at Gaines's 
Ferry ; stopped on the east shore ; took our last luncheon in the 
United States; crossed over and were within the limits of the 
"virgin republic." . . . Pendleton is the name of a poor vil- 
lage on the west bank, containing some six or eight houses, most 
of which are empty. Leaving this we passed over level ground, 
ploughing through white sand, which tried the strength of our 
teams for four miles, when we rose onto high ground and en- 
tered the border of that interesting part of Texas called the 
Redlands, which is thickly settled and well improved. Our first 
night in the republic was passed at Redland Camp, near a pure 
fountain of excellent spring water, clear, soft and pleasant to 

so I was unable to trace down these names and find which ones represented 
the Texas Conference. . . . For this reason expenditures for 1842, 1843, 
and 1844 cannot be given here. ' ' 

* Report of Board of Missions. 

5 Thomas A. Morris, Miscellany, p. 324 et seq. 

THE YEAR 1841-1842 203 

the taste, a short distance east of Milam. Here we found our- 
selves in a pleasant and plentiful country. Whatever we desired 
for ourselves, or horses, was readily obtained, and on reasonable 
terms, compared with what we had been paying for the same 
articles in Arkansas and Louisiana. . . . Saturday morning, 
18th. After breakfast we passed through Milam, the seat of 
justice for Sabine county, which is built on the red clay, and 
contains from twelve to twenty houses, nearly the color of the 
dust in their streets. In sight of town was a gallows still stand- 
ing, where there had recently been an execution, the particulars 
of which we did not learn, and I only advert to it to remind 
bad people in the United States, that if they do not wish to be 
hung, they had better keep away from Texas. . . . There are 
in this part of the republic an enterprising community, and 
strong indications of growing wealth among them. 

Saturday evening we reached San Augustine, the seat of 
justice for the county of the same name. This is one of the 
largest towns in Texas containing some eight hundred or one 
thousand inhabitants. The houses are mostly frame, and are 
painted white. There is in the town an academy, of respectable 
appearance ; also a new Methodist chapel, about forty by thirty 
feet, just brought into use, but not finished. We were glad to 
finish this tedious journey. My travelling companions had come 
from the extreme north part of Illinois, more than one thousand 
miles, with the same teams, and I had accompanied them from 
St. Louis to this place about seven hundred and fifty miles. Our 
time from St. Louis through was two months, but deducting the 
Sabbath and other days on which we stopped to preach or rest, 
we were actually on the road thirty-seven days, and slept in our 
own camp twenty nights. . . . 

The Texas conference met on the 23d instant, in the city 
of San Augustine. Most of the members were present; two were 
absent, and one or two of those in attendance were in poor 
health. There has been no death among them in the past year ; 
but some of the first band of missionaries are nearly worn out. 
The conference was reinforced by four transferred, one read- 
mitted, and three young men admitted on trial ; one located, and 
two probationers were discontinued. The whole number of names 
on the Minutes is twenty-three sixteen are members of con- 
ference, and the balance are on trial. ... Seven deacons and 


two elders were ordained, all local brethren except three of 
the deacons. . . . The missionary meeting was held on Monday 
night; and though the weather was damp and chilly, it was 
well attended; the amount collected was seventy-four dollars 
and forty-four cents. Some jewelry was thrown in, after which 
one gave four town lots ; another fifteen lots ; one one hundred 
acres of land, two others three hundred and twenty acres each, 
and one a quarter of a league. . . . Tuesday evening the con- 
ference terminated a harmonious and pleasant session of five 
days, and every man repaired to his own field of labor, ready to 
spend and be spent in its cultivation. 

At this conference Charles W. Thomas, Jacob Craw- 
ford, James G. Johnson and George West were admitted 
on trial. H. D. Palmer, Daniel Carl, Eobert Crawford, 
John Haynie and Josiah W. Whipple were ordained 
deacons. Dr. A. P. Manly was granted a location, and 
S. A. Williams took the supernumerary relation. The 
transfers into the conference were John Clark, J. W. 
Whipple and Orceneth Fisher, all from the Illinois Con- 
ference, and William Craig from the Mississippi Confer- 
ence. The appointments were as follows : 


San Augustine District 
Francis Wilson, P. E. 

San Augustine, Geo. West, Samuel A. Williams, super- 

Nacogdoehes, William Craig. 
Harrison, to be supplied. 
Panola, Jacob Crawford. 
Jasper, to be supplied. 
Liberty, Joseph Sneed. 
Crockett, Nathan Shook, Jas. H. Collard. 

Galveston District 

Robert Alexander, P. B. 
Brazoria, Jesse Hord. 
Montgomery, Daniel V. N. Sullivan. 
Huntsville, Henderson D. Palmer. 
Nashville, to be supplied. 
Franklin, Jas. G. Johnson. 

THE YEAR 1841-1842 205 

Butersville District 

John Clark, P. E. ' 

Rutersville, to be supplied. 

Austin, Josiah W. "Whipple. 

Washington, Orceneth Fisher. 

Matagorda, Robert Crawford. 

Victoria, Daniel Carl. 

Chauncey Richardson, President Rutersville College. 

Chas. W. Thomas, Professor Ancient Languages, Ruters- 
ville College. 

Littleton Fowler and John Haynie, Agents Rutersville 

The preachers are now becoming too numerous to give 
an extended introduction to each one as he appears in the 
appointments; but a way will be found of giving each 
one due notice somewhere in this record. Suffice it to say 
now that the three new recruits from Illinois were all 
strong men. Fisher had been in Texas before, as we have 
seen. John Clark is to remain in Texas but two years, 
but he cuts no small figure in our history, in more ways 
than one. Josiah W. Whipple is to become a household 
word over a large section of our Church in Texas for 
many years. 

After the close of the conference at San Augustine 
Bishop Morris traveled on to Washington, where he 
sought out the grave of Dr. Euter, and he visited Buters- 
ville, Bastrop and Austin. He then journeyed to Houston 
and Galveston, and returned home. Bishop Morris 
writes of his visit to the grave of Dr. Euter: "The 
mournful spot sought for was easily found without a 
guide, the grave being enclosed by a stone wall and cov- 
ered with a white marble slab, three feet wide and six 
long, with a suitable inscription. At the foot of the slab 
stands a small hickory tree, hung with Spanish moss, 
waving in the breeze over the charnal-house. As we 
stood under this three reading the solemn epitaph, the 
sun was disappearing in the west, while a thousand 


thoughts of the past rushed upon our minds, and forcibly 
reminded us that our own days would soon be numbered. 
With Dr. Ruter I had often united in preaching the 
Gospel to crowded assemblies in Ohio and Kentucky. 
He now rests from all his toil, enjoying the promised 
reward. . . . When we read on the cold marble, 'thirty- 
seven years an itinerant minister of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and superintendent of the first mission of 
that Church in the republic of Texas,' and then remem- 
bered that the same mission had already become a re- 
spectable annual conference, and was still increasing, the 
thought arose, whereunto will this mission grow, and 
what cause of rejoicing must this be to its first superin- 
tendent forever? Our visiting the graveyard at sundown 
in a village where we knew no one, and where no one 
knew us, seemed to excite some curiosity. A colored boy, 
sent no doubt for the purpose, came and inquired whence 
we journed? Our answer was, 'Into all the world/ That 
night we were kindly received and entertained at the 
house of brother Lynch, sheriff of the county, two miles 
west of town. ' ' 


THE YEAR 1842-1843 

THE summer and fall of 1842 were the gloomiest 
Texas had known since the battle of San Jacinto, accord- 
ing to H. S. Thrall, a preacher who arrived in Texas that 
year. The Mexicans had sent another army into Texas, 
and San Antonio had fallen into their hands. They at- 
tempted, or threatened, to blockade the Texas coast, 
which intimidated trade and travel from that direction. 
The government had temporarily abandoned Austin for 
the more interior location of Washington. The Indians 
were unusually hostile and threatening along the fron- 
tier. The whole lower country was flooded with water 
from excessive rains and overflows. Texas money was 
almost worthless, and there was no "good money " in 
circulation. Cotton brought from three to five cents a 
pound in Houston, when it could be delivered there. 

The conference met on December 23d at Bastrop. 
The bishop didn't come a most disappointing announce- 
ment to any conference, especially in those days. The 
venerable Bishop Roberts, who had been appointed to 
hold the conference, was taken sick at the Arkansas Con- 
ference, and had to return to his home in Indiana, where 
he soon died. Robert Alexander was elected president of 
the conference, and Thomas 0. Summers secretary. The 
sessions were held in a back room of a storehouse, some 
ten by twelve feet, containing a fireplace, and in a vacant 
storeroom nearby temporary seats were placed where a 
larger company might assemble for the preaching ser- 
vices. Nearly all the preachers were present, and it is 



said a revival spirit prevailed, resulting in many con- 
versions and some fifteen additions to the church. 

At this conference J. T. P. Irvine, Jno. C. Woolam, 
Robert B. Wells, Preston W. Hobbs, and Wm. C. Lewis 
were admitted on trial. John W. Kenney was readmitted. 
James H. Collard and Nathan Shook were elected to 
deacon's orders, and Daniel V. N. Sullivan to elder's 
orders, but they were not ordained, owing to the absence 
of the bishop. The reports of the preachers showed a 
net increase in membership over the previous year of 
956, making a total of 3738 members, of whom 3202 were 
white, including 40 local preachers, and 536 colored. The 
Church in Texas had evidently been imposed upon by 
some one or more unworthy preachers, as a resolution 
was adopted at this conference to the effect that "no 
preacher who has been expelled from the Church else- 
where should have his ministerial character recognized 
here until his credentials are restored by a vote of the 
Conference that had previously taken action in his case. ' ' 
It is to be noted from the minutes of the conferences in 
those days that certain funds, which are now handled 
separately, were then carried under one head. The mis- 
sionary fund, or "the amounts necessary to make up the 
deficiencies of those who have not received their regular 
allowance on the Circuits," and "the amounts necessary 
for the superannuated preachers, and the widows and 
orphans of preachers," were reported under one ques- 
tion, and in the distribution of the fund we note that a 
certain part was alotted * ' To the Bishops. ' ' At this con- 
ference the fund distributed amounted to $1094.65, of 
which $800 came from the Book Concern in New York. 
But as usual the Texans were not merely receivers of 
mission funds, but they were ready to lend their support 
to the general work of the Church. ' ' The various benev- 
olent enterprises of the Church also came before the Con- 
ference," says the Report of the Board of Missions, "and 
evidently excited a deep interest among the preachers. 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 209 

Resolutions were passed in which the preachers pledged 
themselves to take up collections for the liquidation of 
our missionary debt, and to carry out, as far as possible, 
the 'cent-a-week system.' The anniversary of the Con- 
ference Missionary Society was held toward the close of 
the session, at which a most excellent spirit prevailed. 
As the people in Texas are almost entirely destitute of 
money, they were obliged on this occasion to evince their 
attachment to the missionary cause by the consecration 
of their property. One gentleman gave to the Society 
500 acres of land situated near St. Marks [probably San 
Marcos] ; and another the one-half of 150 acres near 
Rutersville. One gave a cow and calf, others jewelry, 
etc., while a deep interest for the missionary enterprise 
seemed to pervade the whole assembly." 

Before the adjournment of the conference the mem- 
bers repaired in a body to the " preaching room," where 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered 
by Thomas 0. Summers, after which Robert Alexander, 
the president, read the appointments. In these appears 
the new district of Lake Soda, covering the upper por- 
tion of eastern Texas, with Littleton Fowler presiding 
elder, and the new charges appearing for the first time 
were Shelbyville, Lamar Mission, Franklin, and Hunts- 
ville. Thirty-five preachers received appointments at 
this conference, among whom we find a number of new 
names, transfers to Texas. In fact there entered Texas 
that winter one of the largest and best known companies 
of recruits which our history has known, and these all 
from Ohio. Homer S. Thrall, one of them, says in his 
"History of Methodism in Texas": 

There was still a demand for more preachers. To secure 
volunteers Mr. Fowler attended some of the Northern Confer- 
ences. Among others he visited the Ohio Conference, held by 
Bishop Morris in Hamilton, 0., Sept. 28, 1842. Before Mr. Fow- 
ler arrived at Hamilton, H. S. Thrall, who had just been elected 


to deacon's orders, had applied for a transfer to Texas. Dr. 
Ruter's letters, published in the Advocate, in New York, in 
1837, had influenced Mr. Thrall to select Texas as the ultimate 
field of ministerial labor. 

Mr. Fowler made a speech and called for volunteers for 
Texas. J. B. Finley and Z. Connell took a vacant seat in front 
of the speaker, as though they were ready to go. These ven- 
erable men were crowded off by some younger brethren, who 
persisted in taking their places. Something was said about 
the best route to Texas, when Daniel Poe arose and gave some 
valuable information. Mr. Poe had lost a brother, Major G. W. 
Poe, of the Texas army, in Texas, and had visited the Republic. 
Mr. Finley, the old chief, moved that the Conference send Mr. 
Poe to take charge of the boys. This was agreed to at once. 
Some one asked Mr. Poe if Mrs. Poe would be willing? He 
replied that the first time he saw his wife she was teaching 
among the Indians at the head of Lake Superior, and she would 
go wherever the authorities of the Church thought it best to 
send her husband. The Minutes of the Ohio Conference for 
that year show that Daniel Poe, Homer S. Thrall, John W. 
DeVilbiss, William 0' Conner, Richard Walker, and Wilbur J. 
Thurbur were sent as missionaries to Texas. Mr. Poe called the 
Texans to meet in Cincinnati. They were here joined by Isaac 
M. Williams, from the North Ohio Conference. 

We are told in another connection * that among those 
who arose at the Ohio Conference and started to take 
his seat among the volunteers for Texas was Randolph 
S. Foster, afterwards Bishop Foster, when a member of 
the conference sitting near him caught him by the coat- 
tail and pulled Mm back, saying, " Randolph, you have 
no business in Texas. ' ' Mr. Thrall in Ms ' ' History ' ' says 
that of this Ohio company of volunteers "Mr. Poe was 
the only one who reached Conference at Bostrop," but 
strange to say he records in certain "Reminiscences" 
that he himself reached WasMngton on the 17th of De- 
cember, and that he arrived at Bastrop, the seat of the 
conference, on the 21st (two days before the conference 

i Life of J. W. DeVilbiss, p. 13. 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 211 

opened). "Here," he says, "I met Brothers Fowler and 
Poe, and I learned that the other brethren from Ohio 
would not be at the Conference, having entered Texas by 
the way of Red River." Thrall had taken passage on 
the first river packet out of Cincinnati for New Orleans, 
ahead of the rest of the company, thence he proceeded 
to Galveston and up to Houston, where he met David 
Ayers, who had brought his carriage to Houston expect- 
ing to meet Bishop Roberts. The bishop, as we have 
seen, did not come. Mr. Thrall accompanied Mr. Ayers 
to the interior, arriving at the Wade neighborhood on 
the Brazos on the first of December. He says he re- 
mained there a week, assisting Brother Robert Alexander 
at a quarterly meeting. The class there numbered over 
fifty members, and had been organized during the year. 
For want of money they paid the presiding elder in cattle, 
the stewards agreeing to send them up to his "rancho" 
in Austin County. 

Fowler, Poe, DeVilbiss and the others shipped from 
Cincinnati on November 20. On reaching New Orleans 
it was reported that Galveston was blockaded by a 
Mexican fleet. This report induced the company to take 
a Red River packet, which, however, could get no higher 
up that stream than a point below Nachitoches, on ac- 
count of low water. The party hired a wagon and team 
to transport the women and children and baggage across 
to Texas, and the men took it afoot. After crossing the 
Sabine it was agreed, on account of the nearness of the 
date of the conference and the scarcity of horses, that 
Fowler and Poe should go to conference, and the rest 
of the company would await the appointments and better 
means of transportation. In the meantime the preachers 
remaining behind were not idle, but united in holding a 
few protracted meetings in which they had several con- 

In due time the appointments made at Bastrop 
reached them. Homer S. Thrall and John W. DeVilbiss 


had been appointed to neighboring circuits, Thrall to 
Brazoria, and DeVilbiss as a colleague with Henderson 
D. Palmer on Egypt circuit. Thrall and DeVilbiss had 
been neighbors in Ohio, and were members of the same 
class. Thrall was a native of Vermont, where he was 
born in 1819, being, therefore, twenty-three years of age 
when he entered Texas. He was educated at Ohio Wes- 
leyan University, and throughout his long career in 
Texas, covering more than fifty years, he manifested a 
literary turn of mind. He was admitted on trial at the 
Ohio Conference in 1840. DeVilbiss was a native of 
Maryland, and was of German extraction. He was of the 
same age as Thrall, though the latter is to outrun him 
fry a few years in Texas. Taking up DeVilbiss 's 
"Reminiscences" and obtaining an account of the hard- 
ships which he encountered in Texas, we wonder if he 
did not sometimes cherish the secret regret that some 
friend had not pulled him back "by his coat-tails," when 
he volunteered at the Ohio Conference. But DeVilbiss, 
as we shall discover, was a man of heroic spirit, deeply 
devoted to his calling, and able to display in the face of 
the worst difficulties a saving sense of humor and opti- 
mism. "I was now three hundred miles from my field of 
labor," he says, referring to his place of sojourn in 
eastern Texas when his appointment reached him, "and 
how to get there I did not know. Providence opened my 
way. Brother Sneed had bought a bunch of horses, and 
wished them taken to Washington county on the Brazos, 
and offered me one to ride provided I would assist in 
getting the others across the country. Could you have 
seen Brother Palmer and myself on this trip, you would 
not have taken us for Methodist preachers. Each had 
two horses tailed to the one he rode, and a few more 
followed of their own accord. We had a pleasant trip, 
and in due time delivered the stock safely to the owner, 
who had preceded us a week or ten days. Brother Sneed 
loaned me a horse to ride to my circuit and keep till 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 213 

I could procure one of my own. The nearest point to our 
circuit was thirty-five miles, which we made in a day. "We 
were now on the Colorado, two miles from Columbus, our 
initial appointment. We put up at a Mr. Wright's, 
and were informed that the Colorado was higher than 
ever known by the oldest citizen. Columbus was on the 
west side of the river, and the following Sabbath was 
the day for preaching. It was Friday night, and we saw 
no way of crossing the river unless we could construct 
a raft. Mr. Wright informed me that Mr. Beason had 
some dry willow logs which lay very near the water, and 
at a good place to launch a raft. In the morning early 
I went to see Mr. Beason, and without any difficulty got 
the logs. Armed with augur, saw, axe, hammer and 
nails, Brother Palmer and I went to work, and by 3 p.m. 
our raft was finished and launched, and appeared to be 
entirely seaworthy, though Brother Palmer and the by- 
standers thought otherwise. We would have to run down 
the river about two miles to make Columbus, and these 
gentlemen thought the eddies and flood-wood together 
would cause our raft to founder. Just as we were mak- 
ing our preparations to go aboard a messenger arrived, 
informing us that a Mr. Williams had been drowned that 
morning in attempting to cross a slough and requested 
Brother Palmer and myself to make a coffin for him. I 
confess this news rather dampened my confidence in the 
raft, and we abandoned the enterprise. We gathered 
some rough tools, found some rough planks, and by noon 
on Sunday finished the coffin. We buried our young 
friend, and that night I preached to a small congregation 
at Mr. Wright's, and Brother Palmer delivered a warm 
and appropriate exhortation." 

The Egypt circuit embraced all the settlements in 
what are now Colorado, Lavaca, Jackson, Wharton and 
Matagorda counties. Within this territory there were 
sixteen appointments, and it required nearly four hun- 
dred miles of travel to get round the circuit. The nar- 


rator adds: " During about three months of this year 
we had to travel at night, on account of the green-headed 
flies. If we attempted to cross the prairies in daylight, 
we did it at the risk of losing our horses." Other ac- 
counts of that day refer to this plague, which spread over 
all the lower country, and made life miserable to man 
and beast. During about half of this year Palmer was 
absent in eastern Texas, having been relieved to look 
after business matters, and DeVilbiss had the big circuit 
all to himself. In June a notable camp-meeting was held 
at Spanish Camp Springs, on Peach Creek, six miles be- 
low Egypt. The preachers present were John Clark, 
presiding elder ; Chauncey Eichardson, John W. Kenney, 
John Haynie, Homer S. Thrall, Wm. S. Hamilton, Isaac 
M. Williams and J. W. DeVilbiss. The church in these 
parts was greatly strengthened by this meeting, but it 
closed with both DeVilbiss and Haynie down with fever. 
The following instance of early Methodist hymnology 
is recorded by DeVilbiss : 

I had a week-day appointment at a private house on Old 
Caney. The first time I preached there, while the people were 
gathering, a pious old lady ventured to give us a voluntary 
hymn. She sang it to the tune of "Old "Windham," in rather 
slow time, with a peculiar nasal twang. The hymn went on this 
wise : 

A Methodist it is my name, 

I hope to live and die the same, 

And when I die I'll go to rest 

And live among the Methodist. 

The devil hates the Methodist 

Because they sing and shout the best, etc. 

At the close of the service I told the good sister that I did 
not like her hymn. "You don't," said she with emphasis; "Why, 
I think it is the best hymn in the book. ' ' I told her it was not 
in the book. Said she, "Yes, sir-ree, but it is"; and she drew 
from her pocket an old rusty little book and showed me the 
hymn. So I had to give it up. 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 215 

One more reminiscence of this year we will give from 
this source. We have been pained to note that many of 
our preachers in those days were on certain occasions 
wholly wanting in dignity. Witness the journey of De- 
Vilbiss and Palmer to their circuit with that bunch of 
horses, already noted. Another instance where all dig- 
nity seems to have been cast to the winds or to the 
waters, rather is the following: 

During this year Brother Thrall and myself met at a camp- 
meeting in Washington county, near where Chappell Hill now 
stands. He was then on the Brazoria circuit. At the close of 
this meeting we started for Egypt. We spent the first night 
at Kev. Robert Alexander's. Here we were told that Mill Creek, 
some eight miles on the way, was impassable. Brother Thrall 
said we would go and see. On the way we met a colored man, 
who told us that about 300 yards below the ford some person 
had cut a small tree across the stream; and, said the darkey, 
"if you is good at cooning you'll get over." We went and found 
the tree, which looked like a slim chance. Bro. Thrall said we 
would try it. I tied his saddle and saddle-bags on his back, and 
he cooned it safely over the stream. He then returned and fixed 
me up in like manner, and I made the trip safely. The next 
thing was to get the horses over. There was a bluff about ten 
feet high on the north side of the creek, while on the south side 
the bank was low. We concluded to lead our horses, one at a 
time, near this bluff and push them off into the water. Bro. 
Thrall then led Fox (my horse) up to the bluff, gave him a 
push, and off he went. He floundered considerably, and for a 
few moments I thought my horse was gone, but he finally made 
the shore all right. Bro. Thrall then led up Brazos, as he called 
him. He was a strong, well built pony, but he had no hair on 
his head or face. He looked in his face for all the 
world like an alligator. Bro Thrall pushed off Brazos, and he 
went to the bottom, and apparently the horse was gone; but in 
a few moments the alligator head appeared near me, and Br. 
Thrall shouted: "Oho, I have got a Campbellite. " After 
Br. Thrall got over we ate our lunch, and said our prayers, 
and Bro. Thrall proposed that we then and there enter into a 


covenant never to take anybody's word for the condition of a 
stream, or any other difficulty or hindrance that might be in 
the way to an appointment, but to go and see. This resolu- 
tion has been a great help to me in meeting my appointments. 
On many occasions, during my forty years ministry in Texas, 
I have had frequent reports of impassable streams, epidemics 
and other hindrances ahead, but have kept my covenant with 
Brother Thrall, and have gone and seen, and have made my 
way through. 

The camp-meeting referred to above, held near where 
Chappell Hill came to be, marked the beginning of the 
rise of the church there, which was destined soon to be- 
come one of the most important appointments in Texas. 
Among the first settlers of that community were the 
families of Stevenson, Hubert, Chappell, Hargrove, 
Kesee, Eeavill, King, and others, all Methodists. The 
great camp-meeting of 1843 commenced at Cedar Creek, 
the then name of the place, on October 19. There were 
eleven preachers present, among whom were Clark, pre- 
siding elder, Kenney, Richardson, Alexander, Haynie, 
Fisher, Whipple, DeVilbiss and Thrall. Nearly all the 
giants of that day were there, and of the preaching "we 
have never heard it excelled," says Thrall. 

Some very important camp-meetings were also held 
in eastern Texas that year. Francis Wilson, presiding 
elder of the San Augustine district, held eight meetings 
in succession on one round of Ms district, as follows: 
near Crockett ; at Wolf Creek, Polk County ; Corn Street 
community, Jefferson County ; Little Cow Creek, Newton 
County (near where Henry Stephenson had located and 
died) ; near San Augustine ; at Milam ; at the Box Camp- 
ground, on the Neches; and at Fort Houston, Anderson 
County. At the Milam camp-meeting there were eighty 
accessions to the church, a wonderful ingathering for 
those days. 

Daniel Poe, as we have seen, succeeded in reaching 
the conference at Bastrop in December, 1842. An inci- 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 217 

dent of his journey from conference to his first appoint- 
ment makes a somewhat dampening and chilling experi- 
ence for a new recruit. "As the Conference adjourned 
in the middle of the day," says Thrall, "a number of 
the preachers were enabled to start for their work, stay- 
ing that night with families living on Hill's Prairie, 
fifteen miles below Bastrop. During the night a heavy 
rain fell. About 3 o'clock the next day the preachers 
reached the bank of Rabb's Creek, and found it ten feet 
deep and running with great rapidity. In spite of the 
remonstrances of the younger brethren, Brother Frank 
Wilson plunge in. His horse sunk, and horse and rider 
disappeared under water. Brother Wilson came to the 
surface, his head bleeding from a blow received from his 
horse. He and his horse finally reached the opposite 
shore safely. Mr. Sneed, who had navigated the swamps 
and bayous of Louisiana, was then selected to construct 
a raft. He did so. It was launched, and whirled rapidly 
down-stream. Those on it, among whom was the writer, 
were glad enough to get on terra firma on the same side 
we started from, thoroughly drenched with water. A 
council was called, and it was determined that we must 
wait until the creek had fun down. Mr. Poe, however, 
declared that he would cross over and accompany Mr. 
Wilson. In crossing Mr. Poe was thrown from his horse, 
and had to swim ashore. The horse did the same, but lost 
saddle and boots and Mr. Poe's outer clothing that had 
been tied to the saddle. It was now drawing near sun- 
down, and Mr. Poe had to ride bareback in nothing but 
underclothing, ten miles to Euterville. As for the rest 
they concluded to camp for the night at an empty cabin 
Mr. Sneed had found a little off from the road. Mr. Hord 
rode to Rabb's Prairie and got a bushel of sweet potatoes 
to roast. Mr. Fisher improvised a prayer meeting, as- 
sisted by Messis. Fowler, Johnson, Lewis, Palmer and 
Shook. When they bivouacked for the night upon their 
blankets, the winds, sighing amid the grand old pines on 


the bank of Rabb's Creek, lulled to sleep men who have 
left a profound impression upon society in Texas." 

Daniel Poe proceeded to his appointment, the Lake 
Soda mission, in the Lake Soda district, Littleton Fow- 
ler, presiding elder. Poe had brought a wife and three 
children to Texas, a wife well adapted to a wilderness 
career, and who had the pioneering spirit akin to that of 
her husband. Poe early became impressed with the lack 
of schools and teachers in Texas, and this lack was more 
forcibly brought home to him by the prospect of rearing 
his own children here. He determined during the year 
to take steps to improve these conditions. After con- 
sulting Fowler, who heartily seconded him, he returned 
to Ohio and spent several months within the bounds of 
his old conference recruiting a corps of teachers for 
Texas. Having, after a few months, accomplished the 
object of his visit to Ohio, he returned to Texas, and 
shortly after commenced laying the foundations of an 
institution of learning at San Augustine. The next con- 
ference resolved to adopt it and give it their patronage. 
This was the beginning of ^Wesleyan College, " of which 
more anon. 

We have to record that Wm. 'Conner, one of the 
band of volunteers from Ohio, did not live out his first 
year in Texas. He died in 1843, while serving the Har- 
rison circuit, in the twenty-seventh year of his age. He 
was a native of New Jersey, but the family removed 
early to Ohio. He entered the Ohio Conference with 
Thrall, DeVilbiss and others in 1840. 'Conner left a 
young wife in Ohio, who expected to follow him to the 
new country at a later day. They never met again. The 
young preacher was buried where he fell. 

The conference of 1843 was held in the Eobinson 
settlement, the old established Methodist stronghold a 
few miles below the present town of Huntsville. The 
church which had been erected here bore, according to 
the conference minutes, the classic name of "Trinity 

THE YEAE 1842-1843 219 

Church," deriving the name perhaps more from geo- 
graphical than theological influence. The church was ' ' a 
spacious building, constructed of hewn pine logs, the first 
of its kind perhaps in all that region, ' ' says 0. M. Addi- 
son, who was later pastor on the circuit. * ' Though some- 
what rude in appearance, compared with the present 
style of city churches, it was creditable to the community, 
and comported well with the condition of the people and 
the country. ' ' 2 

Bishop James 0. Andrew was present and presided 
at this conference. Bishop Andrew found in Houston 
that "they have a Catholic Church, and also a house of 
worship for Presbyterians. The Methodists have a very 
neat brick chapel nearly finished, for which we are mainly 
indebted to the indefatigable labors of Brother Summers, 
and the liberality of our friends in the States. The Epis- 
copalians have a minister . . . but the Presbyterians are 
without a pastor. Of the Methodist society I ought to 
speak more particularly ; but can only say that they are 
not numerous, and there is but little of this world's 
wealth among them. They have, however, some pious 
spirits, and it is confidently hoped, when they get their 
church finished, and have a minister statedly among them, 
that they will experience enlarged prosperity. Beyond 
all doubt there is great need for a deep, a thorough, a 
sweeping revival of religion in Houston, for in addition 
to the usual evil influences exerted against what is holy, 
they have here more of infidelity, subtle, organized and 
boldly blasphemous than I have met in any place of its 
size in all my journeyings. " 3 

The season was described as "the wettest ever known 
in Texas," and the bishop and preachers had to make 
their way to the seat of the conference through seas of 
water and mud. One preacher reported that in getting 

2 This church was later displaced by a better one, known as ' ' Martha 
Chapel." The old building was removed to the home of Wm. Kobinaon 
where it served the uses of a barn. 

3 Andrew's Miscellany, p. 88. 


ninety miles he had to travel two hundred, swimming 
numerous creeks and traversing boggy prairies without 
a road, the extra travel being to head impassable streams. 
Other preachers reported that they had to ferry two 
miles and a half in crossing the Brazos, and others five 
miles in crossing the Trinity. Bishop Andrew and his 
company from Houston, consisting of Messrs. Summers 
and Shearn, reached the conference after a horseback 
ride of eighty-five miles, without having to swim any of 
that distance. The conference opened on December 13. 
Thomas 0. Summers was for the fourth time elected 
secretary. Owing to the loss of all the early conference 
records, we again turn to the Annual Eeport of the Board 
of Missions for our information : 

Two preachers were received by transfer, and eight on trial ; 
three were discontinued, one received a supernumery and one 
a superannuated relation. The number of preachers now in 
Texas is forty, being an increase of four over that of last year. 
The number in society, as reported at conference, are,, whites, 
4,114 ; colored, 856 ; local preachers 55 ; making an increase over 
last year of 952 whites, 320 colored, and 15 local preachers 
the net increase being 1,287. 

Increased attention has also been directed to the Sabbath 
School cause, and notwithstanding the peculiar difficulties of 
their establishment in a new country, whose population is so 
widely scattered, twenty schools have been organized and re- 
ported to the Conference. Connected with these schools there 
are 28 superintendents, 98 teachers, and 629 scholars ; also three 
Bible classes and 1,248 volumes in their libraries. . . . 

The Rutersville College, incorporated by congress, has suf- 
fered much from its direct exposure to the border warfare which 
has been carried on in that region. Every rumor of an invasion 
must necessarily affect the operations of such a school. This 
interruption, however, to its prosperity, must be temporary only, 
and the college is destined to be an honor and a blessing to the 
infant republic. 

At the late session of the Conference, another chartered lit- 
erary institution was taken under its fostering care. It is called 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 221 

the "Wesleyan College," and is located at San Augustine, East- 
ern Texas. It has a male and female department, and is reported 
as being already in a flourishing condition. The Board cannot 
but observe, with gratitude, these noble efforts to provide with 
the blessed gospel the means of imparting sound religious and 
literary instruction among the inhabitants of that growing com- 

The zeal of the church in Texas to advance the cause of mis- 
sions is worthy of special commendation. As an evidence of this, 
we take great pleasure in recording the fact, that the amount 
assigned to the Conference for liquidating the debt of our Mis- 
sionary Society, was all secured at its last session referring to 
the session of 1843. One or two preachers, with a wife and 
children, who received only $50 on their circuits, and a part of 
this sum in cows and calves, paid at the Conference $30 in cash 
for missions. At their Conference anniversary the same holy 
spirit of liberality prevailed; some retaining scarcely enough 
money to pay their expenses home. 

The preachers admitted on trial at this conference 
were: William H. Hamilton, Win. K. Wilson, Francis 
M. Stovall, James W. Baldridge, Chas. H. Wright, Isaac 
Tabor, James M. Wesson, Milton H. Jones. The two 
transfers into the conference were Orin Hatch and 
Lester James, the latter appointed to the head of the 
new Wesleyan College at San Angustine. The confer- 
ence suffered a great loss at this session by the transfer 
of Thomas 0. Summers, who went to the Alabama Con- 
ference, but lie was very soon to become a servant of the 
Church at large. 

As the following year was to tie a General Conference 
year, the first delegates from Texas to a General Con- 
ference were chosen at this session. These were John 
Clark and Littleton Fowler. The slavery question, which 
in the older sections of the Church was now being crowded 
to the front, was not so acute in Texas, and it could not 
jbe seen that a division of the Church was possible ; least 
of all was it suspected that the Bishop now presiding 


over the Texas Conference would, within a few months, 
prove to be the rock on which the Church should split. 
If coming events had cast a shadow so far away as Texas 
it is certain that the Texas preachers, a majority of 
whom were Southern in birth and sympathies, would not 
have chosen to represent them in General Conference 
a man of the traditions and sentiments of John Clark. 
In view of the events of 1844, to be noticed in the next 
chapter, an interesting reminiscence of this conference 
of 1843 is here added, bringing into relief two men who 
are soon to stand in quite different relations from that 
shown here. The sketch is by W. P. Zuber, 4 and is as 
follows : 

The Conference of 1843 was held in Robinson's settlement, 
about eight miles south of Huntsville. This was a prosperous 
settlement, located on a hill in the piney woods. At least one- 
third of the adult settlers were Methodists, and a majority sub- 
scribed to the Methodist doctrines. There were two houses of 
hewn pine logs, one a school house and the other a church, each 
30 by 40 feet, and located about fifty yards distant from each 
other. Each had a door in the south end, windows without glass 
in east and west sides. The school house had two writing shelves, 
one on each side running full length. The church had a large 
tall pulpit in the north end. The seats in both houses were 
benches of hewn timber, very hard, but quite smooth, with strong 
supports. The Conference assembled on Thursday and adjourned 
on Monday morning. The Conference meetings were held in the 
school house, and preaching and missionary meetings were held 
in the church. All the preachers and visitors were entertained 
in the farmer's homes. I attended, from beginning to close, and 
I am the only adult survivor. Bishop Andrew was very affable 
and courteous, yet his plainness of speech often made him blunt. 
What I remember as singular was his special courtesy toward 
Clark. This Mr. Clark had a strong but melodious voice, and 
was a fine singer. The bishop usually called upon him to lead 
the singing and they usually walked arm in arm to and from 
the Conference. On the morning of the appointments several 

* From a scrap-book clipping from T. C. A.; date not given. 

THE YEAR 1842-1843 223 

ladies and gentlemen came from Huntsville. The reading was 
in the school house, and just before the secretary commenced 
reading them, Clark announced that many ladies waited outside, 
and requested all men except preachers to leave and give room. 
Many preachers moved and seated themselves on the writing 
shelves along the sides, and I took a seat there. But the officious 
Clark imperiously ordered me to leave and give room for the 
ladies. To avoid becoming a cause of confusion, I left the house. 
After adjournment I mounted my horse, but E. Alexander told 
me to wait, that the bishop was going to my house. I sat on my 
horse several minutes looking at the preachers, many assembled 
and bidding each other farewell and sending word, some of 
horseback and some on foot. Soon the bishop rode around and 
called Summers, and he soon rode around, and these and two 
other brethren rode away with me. We took a course to avoid 
high water. About sunset we arrived at my father's house, about 
three-fourths of a mile below the present hamlet of Shiro, Grimes 
county. After supper and prayers Summers presented the min- 
utes to the bishop to sign. They had been written on loose leaf 
sheets, and the bishop refused to sign them, saying he would not 
sign them until they were transcribed in a book. Summers had 
no book, but the bishop was prepared, and furnished him a book, 
and told him this would be his only opportunity to transcribe 
them, and the bishop retired to bed. Summers sat up until 1 
o'clock to finish the job, and Brother Johnson, a local preacher, 
and I sat up with him and snuffed his candle. Next morning we 
had breakfast by candle light; the bishop signed the minutes, 
and they were off to Houston. 



THERE was a general feeling of an impending crisis 
on the slavery question as the delegates assembled in 
the City of New York for the General Conference early 
in the month of May, 1844. Bishop Andrew had written 
just a year before : ' * The state of the church, too, afflicts 
me. The abolition excitement, I fear, has never presented 
an aspect so threatening to the union of the Church as it 
does at this moment. ... I look forward to the next 
General Conference with no little apprehension. . . . The 
policy of a majority of the General Conference on this 
subject, I think, is fully settled, and I greatly doubt 
whether the South will longer submit to this avowed 
proscription. ' ' * But the state of feeling in the North 
was mild in 1843 compared to that existing in 1844. The 
more radical anti-slavery element had left the Church in 
1843 and set up the Wesleyan Methodist Connection ; but 
still there was no sense of settled peace, and a new 
source of irritation had arisen. In January, 1844, after 
Bishop Andrew had closed his round of conferences, in- 
cluding the one in Texas, he entered into his second 
marriage relation, this time with a widow in Georgia who 
owned a family of slaves. 2 Bishop Andrew had been the 
legal owner of slaves before. In one instance a mulatto 
girl had been bequeathed to him by an old lady, to be 
held in trust until she was nineteen years of age, when 

1 Letter to Bishop Soule, in Life of Andrew, by G. G. Smith, p. 325. 

2 "Fourteen or fifteen," as stated in debates of General Conference. 
Debates of G. C. of 1844, p. 200. 



she was to be sent to Liberia. When she arrived at that 
age the girl refused to go, and remained with him, legally 
his slave. In another instance the mother of Bishop 
Andrew's first wife had left to her a negro boy, who, 
upon her death without will, had legally fallen to her 
husband. In both instances his connection with slavery 
was involuntary, and the laws of his state would not 
permit of their emancipation. But it was the relation 
entered into in 1844 that brought upon the Bishop the 
censure of his brethren at the North. This was, in their 
view, a voluntary act of becoming a slave-holder, while 
occupying the high office of a general superintendent of 
the Church, and when sentiment throughout a large sec- 
tion of the Church had become settled that slavery was 
an unmixed evil. 

When Bishop Andrew reached the seat of the Con- 
ference and became apprised of the feeling against him, 
he immediately resolved to resign his office. But he was 
dissuaded from this course by the action taken at a meet- 
ing of all the delegates from the slave-holding states, 
when it was resolved that "We unanimously concur in 
requesting the Bishop, by all his love for the unity of the 
Church, which his resignation will certainly jeopardize, 
not to allow himself for any consideration to resign. ' ' 

Early in the sessions of the Conference a case from 
the Baltimore Conference came up on appeal. A mem- 
ber of that conference, named Harding, had married a 
woman who owned slaves. His conference had suspended 
him "until he gives assurance that he has taken the neces- 
sary steps to secure their freedom." The General Con- 
ference sustained the action of the Baltimore Confer- 
ence, by an overwhelming majority. This was a forecast 
of what might be expected when the graver case of a 
slave-holding bishop should come up. On May 20 the 
question relating to Bishop Andrew's case reached the 
floor, in the presentation and adoption of a resolution 
of inquiry concerning his connection with slavery. In 


response to this inquiry Bishop Andrew submitted a 
statement to a committee of the General Conference, 
containing the facts as noted above. 3 Upon the receipt 
of this statement a resolution was offered requesting 
Bishop Andrew to resign. On the following day the his- 
toric "Finley Substitute" was offered, which was as 
follows : 

Whereas, the Discipline of our church forbids the doing any- 
thing calculated to destroy our itinerant general superinten- 
dency, and whereas Bishop Andrew has become connected with 
slavery by marriage and otherwise, and this act having drawn 
after it circumstances which in the estimation of the General 
Conference will greatly embarrass the exercise of his office as 
an itinerant general superintendent, if not in some places en- 
tirely prevent it; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is the sense of this General Conference that 
he desist from the exercise of this office so long as this impedi- 
ment remains. 

This resolution was debated upon the floor of the 
Conference for ten days, when on June 1 it was adopted 
by a vote of 110 to 68. On the second day following this 
action a resolution that "it is the sense of this General 
Conference that the vote in the case of Bishop Andrew 

a " It was true, then, that one of the bishops of the church had become 
a slave-holder, though certainly under very peculiar circumstances. Never- 
theless, it was a tremendous matter. The personal character of Bishop 
James O. Andrew was above reproach and above suspicion. During all 
those terrible ten days when the searching gaze of the General Conference, 
of the whole church, and, indeed, of the whole nation, was focussed upon 
him; amid the feverish excitement of that high debate, no railing accu- 
sation was brought against him. One who reads his biography will find 
that his private life was one of exceptional character. . . . But that 
Bishop Andrew should, in view of the history and exciting agitation of 
the slavery question in his church, have allowed himself to become con- 
nected with slaveholding after he was made a bishop in that church seems 
not merely ' an indiscretion, ' but a very grave and grievous error. . . . 
If Bishop Andrew did not know the history of the slavery agitation in the 
church and country, and the attitude of the two sections well enough to 
have reason for fearing that his marrying a slave-owner would occasion 
serious trouble, then his ignorance, for a man in his position, was inex- 
cusable. If he did know these things and was indifferent to them, his 
indifference was more inexcusable. In any case, his position in 1844 was 
not one to be envied." A History of The Methodist Church, South, by 
Gross Alexander, D.D., pp. 19, 20. 


be understood as advisory only, and not in the light 
of a judicial mandate," and that final disposition of the 
case be postponed until the General Conference of 1848, 
was laid on the table. The last action taken in Bishop 
Andrew's case was the adoption of a resolution, in re- 
sponse to inquiries of the bishops, that "Bishop 
Andrew's name stand in the Minutes, Hymn-Book and 
Discipline as formerly"; that "the rule in relation to the 
support of a bishop and his family applies to Bishop 
Andrew" ; and that "Whether in any, and if any, in what 
work Bishop Andrew be employed, is to be determined by 
his own decision and action in relation to the previous 
action of this Conference in his case. ' ' * 

It is not our purpose, nor does it lie within our prov- 
ince, to go into this historic case more at length, nor to 
dwell upon the causes which here in 1844 divided the 
Church. The above facts have been set out with a view 
of showing the reaction in Texas of certain aspects of 
the case. It should be observed, however, in dismissing 
the Andrew case, that while it was undoubtedly true that 
Bishop Andrew's connection with slavery was the occa- 
sion for the division, yet division was sooner or later 
inevitable from an ever-widening divergence of senti- 
ment on slavery North and South. But Bishop Andrew 
is dead, and all that generation, and slavery has been 
abolished, and there is no division of opinion on the evil 
of that institution. The fact that the gulf between the 
two branches of Methodism, opened in 1844, remains 
unclosed, is not due so much to "harking back to ancient 
history," as to fundamental differences of views on 
Church law, or the relative powers of the episcopacy and 
the General Conference, differences which exist quite 
as much to-day as they did when the case of Bishop 
Andrew first brought them to the surface. 

The delegates from Texas to the General Conference 
of 1844, J. Clark and L. Fowler, are both shown to have 

* Journal G. G., p. 118. 



THEBE was a general feeling of an impending crisis 
on the slavery question as the delegates assembled in 
the City of New York for the General Conference early 
in the month of May, 1844. Bishop Andrew had written 
just a year before : ' ' The state of the church, too, afflicts 
me. The abolition excitement, I fear, has never presented 
an aspect so threatening to the union of the Church as it 
does at this moment. ... I look forward to the next 
General Conference with no little apprehension. . . . The 
policy of a majority of the General Conference on this 
subject, I think, is fully settled, and I greatly doubt 
whether the South will longer submit to this avowed 
proscription." 1 But the state of feeling in the North 
was mild in 1843 compared to that existing in 1844. The 
more radical anti-slavery element had left the Church in 
1843 and set up the Wesleyan Methodist Connection ; but 
still there was no sense of settled peace, and a new 
source of irritation had arisen. In January, 1844, after 
Bishop Andrew had closed his round of conferences, in- 
cluding the one in Texas, he entered into his second 
marriage relation, this time with a widow in Georgia who 
owned a family of slaves. 2 Bishop Andrew had been the 
legal owner of slaves before. In one instance a mulatto 
girl had been bequeathed to him by an old lady, to be 
held in trust until she was nineteen years of age, when 

1 Letter to Bishop Soule, in. Life of Andrew, by G. Q-. Smith, p. 325. 

2 "Fourteen or fifteen," as stated in debates of General Conference. 
Debates of G. C. of 1844, p. 200. 



she was to be sent to Liberia. When she arrived at that 
age the girl refused to go, and remained with him, legally 
his slave. In another instance the mother of Bishop 
Andrew's first wife had left to her a negro boy, who, 
upon her death without will, had legally fallen to her 
husband. In both instances his connection with slavery 
was involuntary, and the laws of his state would not 
permit of their emancipation. But it was the relation 
entered into in 1844 that brought upon the Bishop the 
censure of his brethren at the North. This was, in their 
view, a voluntary act of becoming a slave-holder, while 
occupying the high office of a general superintendent of 
the Church, and when sentiment throughout a large sec- 
tion of the Church had become settled that slavery was 
an unmixed evil. 

When Bishop Andrew reached the seat of the Con- 
ference and became apprised of the feeling against him, 
he immediately resolved to resign his office. But he was 
dissuaded from this course by the action taken at a meet- 
ing of all the delegates from the slave-holding states, 
when it was resolved that "We unanimously concur in 
requesting the Bishop, by all his love for the unity of the 
Church, which his resignation will certainly jeopardize, 
not to allow himself for any consideration to resign. ' ' 

Early in the sessions of the Conference a case from 
the Baltimore Conference came up on appeal. A mem- 
ber of that conference, named Harding, had married a 
woman who owned slaves. His conference had suspended 
him "until he gives assurance that he has taken the neces- 
sary steps to secure their freedom." The General Con- 
ference sustained the action of the Baltimore Confer- 
ence, by an overwhelming majority. This was a forecast 
of what might be expected when the graver case of a 
slave-holding bishop should come up. On May 20 the 
question relating to Bishop Andrew's case reached the 
floor, in the presentation and adoption of a resolution 
of inquiry concerning his connection with slavery. In 


response to this inquiry Bishop Andrew submitted a 
statement to a committee of the General Conference, 
containing the facts as noted above. 3 Upon the receipt 
of this statement a resolution was offered requesting 
Bishop Andrew to resign. On the following day the his- 
toric "Finley Substitute" was offered, which was as 
follows : 

Whereas, the Discipline of our church forbids the doing any- 
thing calculated to destroy our itinerant general superinten- 
dency, and whereas Bishop Andrew has become connected with 
slavery by marriage and otherwise, and this act having drawn 
after it circumstances which in the estimation of the General 
Conference will greatly embarrass the exercise of his office as 
an itinerant general superintendent, if not in some places en- 
tirely prevent it; therefore, 

Eesolved, That it is the sense of this General Conference that 
he desist from the exercise of this office so long as this impedi- 
ment remains. 

This resolution was debated upon the floor of the 
Conference for ten days, when on June 1 it was adopted 
by a vote of 110 to 68. On the second day following this 
action a resolution that "it is the sense of this General 
Conference that the vote in the case of Bishop Andrew 

s " It was true, then, that one of the bishops of the church had become 
a slave-holder, though certainly under very peculiar circumstances. Never- 
theless, it was a tremendous matter. The personal character of Bishop 
James O. Andrew was above reproach and above suspicion. During all 
those terrible ten days when the searching gaze of the General Conference, 
of the whole church, and, indeed, of the whole nation, was focussed upon 
him; amid the feverish excitement of that high debate, no railing accu- 
sation was brought against him. One who reads his biography will find 
that his private life was one of exceptional character. . . . But that 
Bishop Andrew should, in view of the history and exciting agitation of 
the slavery question in his church, have allowed himself to become con- 
nected with slaveholding after he was made a bishop in that church seems 
not merely 'an indiscretion/ but a very grave and grievous error. . . . 
If Bishop Andrew did not know the history of the slavery agitation in the 
church and country, and the attitude of the two sections well enough to 
have reason for fearing that his marrying a slave-owner would occasion 
serious trouble, then his ignorance, for a man in Ms position, was inex- 
cusable. If he did know these things and' was indifferent to them, his 
indifference was more inexcusable. In any case, his position in 1844 was 
not one to be envied." A History of The Methodist Church, South, by 
Gross Alexander, D.D., pp. 19, 20. 


be understood as advisory only, and not in the light 
of a judicial mandate," and that final disposition of the 
case be postponed until the General Conference of 1848, 
was laid on the table. The last action taken in Bishop 
Andrew's case was the adoption of a resolution, in re- 
sponse to inquiries of the bishops, that " Bishop 
Andrew's name stand in the Minutes, Hymn-Book and 
Discipline as formerly"; that "the rule in relation to the 
support of a bishop and his family applies to Bishop 
Andrew" ; and that "Whether in any, and if any, in what 
work Bishop Andrew be employed, is to be determined by 
his own decision and action in relation to the previous 
action of this Conference in his case. ' ' 4 

It is not our purpose, nor does it lie within our prov- 
ince, to go into this historic case more at length, nor to 
dwell upon the causes which here in 1844 divided the 
Church. The above facts have been set out with a view 
of showing the reaction in Texas of certain aspects of 
the case. It should be observed, however, in dismissing 
the Andrew case, that while it was undoubtedly true that 
Bishop Andrew's connection with slavery was the occa- 
sion for the division, yet division was sooner or later 
inevitable from an ever-widening divergence of senti- 
ment on slavery North and South. But Bishop Andrew 
is dead, and all that generation, and slavery has been 
abolished, and there is no division of opinion on the evil 
of that institution. The fact that the gulf between the 
two branches of Methodism, opened in 1844, remains 
unclosed, is not due so much to "harking back to ancient 
history," as to fundamental differences of views on 
Church law, or the relative powers of the episcopacy and 
the General Conference, differences which exist quite 
as much to-day as they did when the case of Bishop 
Andrew first brought them to the surface. 

The delegates from Texas to the General Conference 
of 1844, J. Clark and L. Fowler, are both shown to have 

* Journal G. C., p. 118. 


been present in the preliminary meeting of Southern 
delegates which requested Bishop Andrew not to resign, 
and as it appears that the action taken was unanimous, 
they both evidently voted for the resolution. But on 
most other aspects of the case when it came up in the 
Conference, including the Harding appeal case from the 
Baltimore Conference, J. Clark voted with the Northern 
majority, while Fowler appears voting uniformly with 
the Southern delegates. On the Finley substitute reso- 
lution ' ' during the call for yeas and nays J. Clark asked 
to be excused from voting, as he was compelled, by the 
want of health in some members of his family, to remove 
from Texas. Conference by a vote declined from ex- 
cusing him." 5 Whereupon J. Clark voted "Yea." To 
the Declaration of the southern delegates, and to the 
Protest following the action on the Andrew case and 
both preliminary steps to the division Clark's name 
does not appear, but Fowler signed both of these docu- 
ments. Clark, who had been stationed at Galveston in 
1844, had disposed of his effects prior to the meeting of 
the General Conference and took his family with him to 
New York. At the close of the General Conference he 
transferred to the Troy (New York) Conference, and 
never returned to Texas. 6 

The action of the General Conference in Bishop 
Andrew's case became a subject of general debate in the 
Church press, North and South, and floods of resolutions 
and impassioned oratory were turned loose in annual 
conferences and even in many erstwhile quiet quarterly 
conferences. In Texas the course of one of her delegates 
in voting with the North was strongly resented, and his 
immediate transfer and failure to return added to the 
odium attaching to his action. An example of the man- 

s Journal G. C., p. 84. 

e He subsequently was transferred to the West, and was filling a station 
in Chicago when he died in 1853. During his pastorate in Chicago he 
induced a Mrs. Garrett, the wealthy widow of a former mayor of that city, 
to give property valued at $300,000 toward the founding of "Garrett 
Biblical Institute." 


ner in which many of the quarterly conferences expressed 
themselves is the following : 

Whereas, at the third quarterly meeting Conference for 
"Washington Circuit, Texas, held at Wesley Chapel on the third 
day of August, 1844, it was represented to said Conference, that 
one of our delegates to the General Conference, the Kev. John 
Clark, had manifestly abused the trust and confidence reposed 
in him as a delegate to said General Conference, and had even 
opposed the interests of that portion of the Church which he 
then represented: 

Whereupon, on motion, the chair appointed the following 
named persons, to wit: John W. Kenney, J. D. Giddings and 
Enoch King, a committee to draft a preamble and resolutions 
expressive of the sense of this Conference, in relation to the 
conduct of our said delegate therein : 

Whereupon, said committee reported the following, to-wit, 
which were unanimously adopted 

Then follows a lengthy preamble of three sections, 
and a set of eleven resolutions. The action of the Gen- 
eral Conference in Bishop Andrew's case is denounced as 
"the iron tread of a monopolizing Northern majority, 
trampling under foot common right and common justice, 
in thus personally attacking our Bishop, and suspending 
him for no other cause than the gratification of the rabid 
appetite, the wild phrenzy, and infatuation of the pre- 
vailing epidemic of modern abolitionism." Among the 
resolutions pertaining to Clark's case are the following: 

Eesolved, That the intercourse of the Eev. John Clark, was 
so intimate and extensive with the preachers and people of 
Texas, that it was impossible for him to be mistaken in relation 
to their sentiments and feelings upon the all absorbing subject 
of slavery; and he evidently must have foreseen that questions 
involving the rights of the South, upon that subject, would 
become matter of discussion and action before that body. 

Resolved, That it is with heartfelt fear and regret that we 
are obliged to record, that contrary to the known wishes of those 
whom he had engaged to represent, and in the very face of his 
obligation, he applied the fratricidal knife to that portion of 


the Church that had confided her interests to his care. . . . 
And while we cannot expect to reach him in his retreat to a 
clime more congenial to his feelings than ours, yet we would 
deter others from a similar course who hereafter offer to repre- 
sent us in a like capacity. 

By the same resolutions the thanks of the conference 
were extended to Fowler; the ensuing Texas Conference 
was requested to take action in the matter ; copies of the 
resolutions were to be sent to Clark and to Fowler, and 
publication requested in the Southwestern Christian 
Advocate and the National Vindicator. 

Similar resolutions are found in the minutes of the 
fourth quarterly conference of the Montgomery circuit, 
except that Clark's course is characterized by even 
stronger language. In this paper he is placed in the same 
class with Judas Iscariot; but before the long and solemn 
indictment ends he is in a measure forgiven, and told to 
' ' Go Clark & sin no more. ' ' The resolutions of the Wash- 
ington circuit were sent by the pastor, B. B. "Wells, to the 
Southwestern Christian Advocate, at Nashville, and were 
published in full. Eesolutions were also adopted at the 
next session of the annual conference, and these were 
published. The published resolutions from Texas drew a 
reply from Clark, which elicited a reply from Wells, and 
a desultory controversy between them ran in the Church 
press until 1846, with, no other result than came from 
numerous other debates which were carried on across the 
ever-widening chasm between the North and the South/ 

One is likely to remember the General Conference of 
1844 as being wholly absorbed in the overshadowing issue 
of slavery, but this body found time, by prolonging its 
sessions, to give the usual attention to other Church 
interests. The Texas Conference was divided into two 
conferences, to be named respectively the Texas and the 

7 The resolutions and the entire correspondence between Clark and 
Wells are presented in an article entitled "The Clark-Wells Controversy," 
by the Eev. E. L. Shettles, in the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly, 
January, 1910. 


East Texas Conference, with the Trinity Eiver as the 
boundary line between them. All of that portion of the 
Arkansas Conference lying in Texas, known as the ' ' Sul- 
phur Fork" country, was henceforth to be embraced in 
the East Texas Conference. A resolution introduced by 
L. Fowler was adopted by the General Conference advis- 
ing that ' ' all the preachers in Texas, both East and "West, 
meet together in Conference at their next session, in 
order the more effectively to form their plans for their 
future action in both divisions of the work. ' ' Two bishops 
were elected Leonidas L. Hamline and Edmund S. 
Janes, both from the North ; but the latter owed his elec- 
tion to the votes of Southern delegates. Bishop Janes 
was designated to hold the conference in Texas. 

The Texas preachers assembled for the last time as 
one body in San Augustine on January 8, 1845, with 
Bishop Janes in charge. Chauncey Eichardson was 
elected secretary. It was really two annual conferences 
meeting as one body, as separate minutes were kept for 
the two sections. Wm. G. Booker and L. D. Bragg were 
admitted on trial into the Texas Conference, and L. S. 
Friend, Silas W. Camp, Andrew Davis, Enoch P. Chis- 
holm and Daniel Shook into the East Texas Conference. 
John W. Kenney and John Haynie dropped back into 
the local ranks, and Orceneth Fisher was granted the 
superannuate relation. Mordecai and Pleasant M. Yell, 
John S. Williams and Eobert Guthrie, all from the 
Memphis Conference, were received by transfer into the 
Texas Conference, and David L. Bell and Jefferson 
Shook from the Arkansas Conference, and John W. 
Fields from -Kentucky entered the East Texas Confer- 
ence. The membership statistics were as follows : 

White Colored 

Texas 1,627 517 

Bast Texas 3,450 488 

Total 5,077 1,055 


Of the East Texas membership, the new accession of 
the Bed River district from the Arkansas Conference 
contributed 700. There were 65 local preachers, making 
a total of 6154 members, all classes and colors. Increase 
over past year, 1129. 

There was one figure missing from this conference 
who, within only a few months had come to be greatly 
beloved by his Texas brethren. This was Daniel Poe, 
who together with his faithful wife, had gone to his 
reward in July, 1844. Poe was born in Oolumbiana 
County, Ohio, October 12, 1809, and was cut down, there- 
fore, in his thirty-first year. He was converted and 
united with the Methodist Church in his sixteenth year, 
and immediately he was appointed a class-leader and 
licensed to exhort. He attended an academy in Ohio, and 
later spent some time at Augusta College, Kentucky. In 
1832 he was licensed to preach, and soon thereafter was 
admitted on trial into the Ohio Conference. In May, 1836, 
he was sent by Bishop Soule as a missionary to the 
Indians in "Wisconsin, the mission then being in charge 
of John Clark. Poe's missionary career among the 
Indians was attended with such success, and he displayed 
such a spirit of heroism in meeting the conditions of that 
far western and undeveloped country, as to give him a 
place in Finley's "Sketches of Western Methodism." 
Associated with him in this work was Miss Jane West 
Ingram, formerly a teacher of Pontiac, Mich. In June, 
1837, these fellow-workers were united in marriage. As 
before noticed, Poe had lost a brother in the war of the 
Texas revolution, and he had visited Texas soon there- 
after to look after his deceased brother's affairs. This 
led to his being suggested as a guide for the company of 
Ohio preachers who volunteered for Texas in the fall of 
1842. Poe was asked if his wife, who was not present, 
would consent to go to Texas. He assured the conference 
that he had no fears on that score, saying, "The first 
time I ever saw her she was among the Brothertown 


Indians alone, teaching the children in the wigwams," 
and that she would go wherever the conference thought 
best to send him. Accordingly we find Poe and his wife, 
with three children the youngest but a few weeks old 
settled in Texas before the close of the year. Poe 
served in the Lake Soda district during 1843, but having 
manifested considerable interest in the improvement of 
educational conditions in eastern Texas, and having 
aided in launching the new college at San Augustine, he 
was appointed to the San Augustine circuit in 1844. Here 
he served as a sort of local financial agent of the in- 
stitution, and the teacher of mathematics having resigned 
early in the year, Poe engaged to fill that place, though 
the demands of his circuit required extensive traveling 
and preaching five times a week. In the latter part of 
June, 1844, his wife was attacked with fever, but after 
a few days, appearing to be better, Poe left to fill an 
appointment on his circuit. After preaching Poe was 
himself taken violently ill. He was the next day con- 
veyed to his home in San Augustine, and found that his 
wife had relapsed, and that his three children were pros- 
trate with fever. "On Tuesday evening the doctor felt 
constrained to tell him that his wife was past all hope of 
recovery. They were unable to see each other, as they 
occupied separate chambers ; but he sent an affectionate 
message to her, begging her to commend her soul and 
her children to God. . . . His disease now made rapid 
progress, and on Wednesday morning it was told him 
that his own case was hopeless. He immediately com- 
menced giving some directions in respect to his worldly 
affairs; but his mind soon began to wander, so that he 
was unable to proceed. The next morning the Eev. Mr. 
Fowler, who had been with him before, called again to 
see him, and found him actually making the passage 
through the dark valley. He took him by the hand and 
said, l Daniel, you are going.' He answered in a 
whisper, 'Yes.' 'And how do you feel?' said Mr. Fowler. 


He replied, 'Happy, very happy,' and expired. His wife, 
in the immediate prospect of her departure, had her three 
children brought to her, commended them to God in a 
few words of prayer, gave each of them her last kiss, and 
requested the friends who stood around her bedside to 
take care of them until their uncle should come to take 
them away. Though she was one of the most affectionate 
of mothers, she gave them up without a chill of distrust, 
and then shouted 'Glory' till her voice sunk to a whisper, 
and she, too, was gone. They died within forty minutes 
of each other, and were buried in the same coffin, im- 
mediately in the rear of the Methodist Church in San 
Augustine." 8 Agreeable to his brother's dying request 
the Eev. Adam Poe came to Texas in December, 1844, 
wound up his deceased brother's affairs, and gathered 
up the three children, who had fully recovered from their 
illness, and had been taken in charge by different friends, 
and after a farewell visit to the grave of their father and 
mother, where "the scene was one of most melting that 
can be imagined," the children and brother left their 
dead as a precious memory to Texas Methodism. 

We give the appointments for the Texas and the East 
Texas Conferences for the year 1845, that the reader 
may be informed of the new conference relations of the 
preachers who have hitherto belonged to one body. It 
will be noted that in the East Texas Conference the 
Sabine district largely supplants the former Lake Soda 
district, and the new Clarksville district appears. In the 
Texas Conference the new Washington district appears, 
covering the upper portion of the old Galveston district. 
We have come to a period when a great many new names 
occur in the appointments, too many to introduce one by 
one as they appear ; and except in a few instances we will 
leave biographical notices to appear in connection with 
the death of their subjects. 

sFindley's "Sketches." 


The appointments were as follows : 

East Texas Conference 

San Augustine District, F. Wilson, P. E. 
San Augustine, J. W. Fields, J. T. P. Irvine. 
Jasper, Jacob Crawford, H. Z. Adams. 
Jefferson, James W. Baldridge. 
Liberty, L. S. Friend. 
Trinity, Isaac Tabor. 
Crockett, M. H. Jones, Wm.. K. Wilson. 
Wesley College, L. Janes, N. W. Burks. 

Sabine District, L. Fowler, P. E., John C. Woolam, Silas W. Camp. 

Eusk, Henderson D. Palmer. 

Henderson, Wm. Craig. 

Shelbyville, Orin Hatch. 

Marshall, S. A. Williams, F. M. Stovall. 

Harrison, to be supplied. 

Clarksville District, Daniel Payne, P. E. 

Clarksville, N. Shook. 

DeKalb, B. P. Chisholm. 

Paris, Jeff Shook, Andrew Davis. 

Fannin, Daniel Shook. 

Lake Soda, P. W. Hobbs, Eobert Crawford. 

Texas Conference 

Galveston District, R. Alexander, P. E. 

Galveston, I. M. Williams. 

Houston, J. W. Whipple. 

Brazoria, D. N. V. Sullivan, W. S. Hamilton. 

Brazos, James M. Wesson. 

San Jacinto, W. G. Booker. 

Washington District, M. Yell, P. E. 
Washington, E. B. Wells, L. D. Bragg. 
Montgomery, James G. Johnson. 
Huntsville, Wm. C. Lewis. 
Franklin, James H. Collard. 
Nashville, Pleasant M. Yell. 


Eutersville District, C. Richardson, P. E. 
Rutersville, H. S. Thrall. 
Bastrop, John S. Williams. 
Columbus, Robert Guthrie. 
Egypt, Daniel Carl, Jesse Hord. 
Victoria, David L. Bell. 
Gonzales, John W. DeVilbiss. 

Rutersville College, C. Richardson, President; H. S. 
Thrall, Professor. 

In glancing over the above list it will be noted that 
our young friend, Andrew Davis, whom we left a few 
chapters back, now appears among the prophets, and 
goes on his first appointment to the region near where he 
spent most of his childhood. It will be noted also in con- 
nection with Rutersville that Chauncey Richardson fills 
two places, which he had done also the year before ; and 
H. S. Thrall is also to do double work. Rutersville Col- 
lege is now to become the separate charge of the Texas 
Conference, while Wesley College at San Augustine is to 
occupy the same relation to the East Texas Conference 
for a short time. The name of J. P. Sneed does not 
appear in the appointments this year, and there is no 
recorded disposition of his case otherwise. Sneed had 
returned to Tennessee to get married, and being absent 
at the time of conference, and there being no report from 
him, he was simply left "without an appointment." 

Returning to note the course of general Church affairs, 
the delegates from the slave-holding states at the Gen- 
eral Conference of 1844 had met together, before leav- 
ing the seat of the Conference, and after consultation 
had issued an address to the Southern conferences, 
which included a call to send instructed representatives 
to meet in a convention at Louisville, Ky., in May, 1845. 
All the Southern conferences responded by adopting 
resolutions and electing delegates to the convention. The 
Texas Conference, at the session reported above, elected 
Robert Alexander and Littleton Fowler as its represen- 


tatives to the convention, and resolutions were adopted 
instructing these delegates, from which the following is 
taken : 

The delegates were To endeavor to secure a compromise be- 
tween the North and the South to oppose a formal division of 
the Church before the General Conference of 1848, or a general 
convention can be convened to decide the present controversy. 
But should a division be deemed unavoidable, and be determined 
on by the convention, then, being well satisfied with the disci- 
pline of the Church, as it is, we instruct our delegates not to 
support or favor any change in said discipline, by said conven- 
tion, other than to adapt its fiscal economy to the Southern 
organization. ... 

That we appoint the Friday immediately preceding the meet- 
ing of the proposed General Convention of the delegates of the 
Southern and Southwestern Conferences as a day of fasting and 
prayer for the blessings of Almighty God on said Convention 
that it may be favored with the helpful influence of His grace, 
and the guidance of His wisdom. 

At the convention held at Louisville, May 1-19, 1845, 
it was determined that a separate ecclesiastical organ- 
ization was necessary, and a General Conference was 
provided for, to be held in Petersburg, Va., in May, 1846. 
The bond, therefore, is formally and finally broken, and 
henceforth Texas Methodism, as originally constituted 
in 1840, is to be a part of the " Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South." 


THE YEAE 1845-1846 

IT was in 1844 that the first Methodist preaching 
occurred in or near two of the future metropolitan cen- 
ters of the state San Antonio and Dallas. In March of 
that year the first Methodist preacher visited Dallas 
County, near the present locality of Dallas, and in April 
of the same year a Methodist circuit rider first visited 
and preached in San Antonio. The latter was already 
an old town, having sprung into existence as far back 
as 1718 as a Spanish frontier post and a center of early 
Catholic missionary operations. In 1840 its population 
was estimated at 3000, mostly Mexican or Spanish, with 
a sprinkling of Anglo-Americans and other nationalities. 
There was a vast stretch of country between the settle- 
ments in Texas and San Antonio, as well as between San 
Antonio and the Mexican border. 

In 1844 John W. DeVilbiss was on the Victoria cir- 
cuit, which included all the settlements on the Guadeloupe 
Elver, and as far down as Port Lavaca, on the bay. He 
made a reconnoitering visit to San Antonio this year, 
the following account of which he records in his " Remi- 
niscences ' ' : 

In April of this year (1844), in company with Eev. John 
McCullough of the Presbyterian Church, I made my first visit 
to the ancient city of San Antonio. We started at Victoria, 
and travelled up the Guadeloupe river to Seguin. At this place 
we procured an escort of Captain Hay's Texas Rangers. . . . 
"We put up at a hotel kept by Anton Lockmar, an Italian, situ- 
ated on Soledad street, not far from the convent. It was the 


THE YEAR 1845-1846 239 

outside house in the direction of San Pedro Springs. We took 
a general look about the city, visiting San Pedro Springs, and the 
missions below the city. We notified the English-speaking peo- 
ple that we would have preaching on the Sabbath. We met at 
the county clerk's office on Commerce street. . . . The old 
building has long since been torn down to give place to a 
better one. About fifteen persons attended the services. I tried 
to preach from 1 Tim. iv : 8, and had a good degree of liberty. 
Rev. Mr. McCullough closed with a very appropriate prayer. 
On Monday we visited the mill, eight miles below the city, and 
called at the ranger's camp on the way. At the mill we found 
Messrs. Kerr & Higginbotham, builders and proprietors of this 
mill, doing a good business, sawing lumber and grinding corn. 
The people from Seguin and below on the Guadaloupe had their 
grinding done here. Mr. Kerr was a strict member of our 
church, and with his wife and sister-in-law, Miss Martha Ann 
Higginbotham, were the only members in all that region. Mr. 
McCullough and I left on Tuesday for Seguin, where we parted, 
but to meet again in this same city of San Antonio. 

At the next conference the Victoria circuit was 
divided, the upper portion being called G-onzales circuit, 
with DeVilbiss the preacher in charge for 1845. On his 
return from conference he was married at Egypt to Miss 
Talitha Ann Menefee, of a well-known Methodist family 
of that place, this occurring in February, 1845, Jesse 
Hord officiating. DeVilbiss decided to locate at Seguin 
as the headquarters of his new circuit, and here he built 
his own log cabin for a parsonage. Soon after moving 
in he and his wife made a visit to San Antonio, which he 
made a regular appointment on his circuit for the re- 
mainder of the year, though no organization was effected 
until the following year. On this second visit to the old 
city DeVilbiss preached in the parlor of the same hotel 
where he had been entertained on his visit the year be- 
fore. He says : 

The hotel was kept by Messrs. Krump & Lockmar, the latter 
the same gentleman who was mine host on my first visit to the 


city. Mr. Lockmar fixed up the room in a very neat and proper 
manner for divine service, with a clean white cloth on the table, 
a pitcher of water, and comfortable seats for the audience. He 
also placed on the table a bottle of port wine. I told him I 
would rather he would remove the wine. He contended that it 
would greatly assist me in speaking, and that the priests in 
Italy would not preach at all without some good wine to assist 
them, and added with emphasis: "This is a first-rate article." 
I told him that Americans did not approve of such things, so 
the wine was taken away. Mr. Lockmar was a model of hos- 
pitality and politeness. I was kindly entertained free of charge 
by Messrs. Krump & Lockmar at every visit, and had good con- 
gregations once a month during the year. 

At the ensuing conference, held at Houston early in 
1846, which we have yet to notice, DeVilbiss was returned 
to the Gonzales circuit. He found upon his return to 
Seguin that a little surveying had been done and he had 
been surveyed out of his cabin, the new owner refusing 
to pay or to treat on the matter at all. DeVilbiss then 
took up headquarters at San Antonio, locating in the 
only vacant house he could find some distance below the 
city, near the Kerr & Higginbotham mill. Here, in order 
to supplement his living, he taught a small school in his 
house. He had some difficulty in securing a permanent 
place for preaching services in San Antonio, but finally 
secured the use of the court house, situated on the main 
plaza. He relates that he procured lumber from the mill 
below the city, and with his own hands made the seats 
and a pulpit. ''Here we began a small Sunday school 
which constantly increased in interest," he says. "Some 
of the members of that Sunday school are now prominent 
citizens of San Antonio. 1 We had one great annoyance. 
Just at the hour of preaching a large crowd would as- 
semble in the same plaza and engage in a chicken fight- 
ing. The noise of this iniquitous assembly greatly dis- 
turbed our worship. I am sorry to say that the leaders 

i This was written in the early eighties. 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 241 

in the affair were Americans. ' ' During the year his old 
friend McChillough moved to the city, and they made an 
arrangement by which each should preach on alternate 
Sundays. On the intervening Sundays DeVilbiss 
preached in the Kerr mill neighborhood, where he con- 
tinued to make his home. Following the same record we 
are told : 

In June of this year 1846 I organized a class. So far as I 
am able to recollect it consisted of the following members: Mr. 
Win. P. Kerr and wife, Miss Ann Higginbotham, Mrs. Tabitha 
Ann DeVilbiss (the pastor's wife), Mr. M. G. Cotton and wife, 
and Gustavus Ely, and Martha Lucinda Kerr, who joined on 
probation. Not long after this organization Mrs. Trumble joined 
by letter, and in the fall of this year Matt E. Evans, his wife 
and daughter Miss Augusta Jane, the authoress, 2 came out from 
Georgia and joined by letter. . . . We took preliminary steps 
toward building a church in the city. I secured an eligible lot 
on Valita street, and we elected five trustees, viz : Wm. P. Kerr, 
Matt E. Evans, M. G. Cotton, Gustavus Ely and Marcus Y. 
Trumble. Mr. Trumble was not a member of our church, but a 
good friend of our cause and his wife an earnest and faithful 

The work of housing this small congregation in its 
own building is to be a long and arduous task, to which 
we will return at a later period. This was a year of 
scant means and hard living for this far western pioneer, 
and it was one marked also by great sadness. In June 
he lost his first-born child, and in August his wife died, 
whom he characterizes as "a true helpmeet and a faith- 
ful servant of the Lord." 

So much for the beginnings of Methodism in San 
Antonio. But before turning from DeVilbiss 's narrative 
there is a story or two too good to leave unrepeated. 
During the year 1844 he reports that the Indians were 
hostile and travel was dangerous. There were seventy- 
eight horses stolen from the neighborhood of Gonzales 

2 Later Mrs. Augusta Evans Wilson, of Mobile, Ala. 


alone, and four or five men killed within the bounds of 
his circuit. "On my first round," he says, "as I was 
passing through the town of Gonzales, near night, on my 
way to Mr. T. J. Pilgrim's, who lived a mile above town, 
a man by the name of Jones came out of a saloon and 
caught my horse by the bridle, saying, Aint you our 

I told him I was the preacher sent to that circuit. "Well," 
he said, "you must go and stay with me. We keep the preach- 
ers." I saw he was in liquor and tried to beg off. I showed 
him the plan of the circuit, with Brother Pilgrim's name on it 
as a house for the preacher, and told him I felt it my duty to 
go there first. "No, no," he said, "you are to go with me. 
Pilgrim is a Baptist, and my wife is a Methodist, and you are 
to stay with us this good night. When we get to the house 
I '11 show you why I am drinking. ' ' I concluded to go. As soon 
as I was introduced to the family, Mr. Jones requested me to 
walk out to the stable with him. There lay a large Newfound- 
land dog with an Indian arrow pierced right through his heart. 
"There," said Jones, "was as good a dog as ever wagged a tail. 
The Indians killed him last night and took out of this stable 
as good a colt as was ever raised in Gonzales county. Now, look 
here; do you see that door cheek of heart post oak, six inches 
wide and one inch thick. See how the red rascals have cut it 
off with their butcher knives to get the lock chain out? Well, 
sir, I had a race on that colt which was appointed for to-day. 
The forfeiture was forty dollars if I did not run. I went down 
to pay up like an honest man, and on the strength of it got glori- 
ously drunk. Now you understand it all; let us go to supper." 
I found Sister Jones a very pleasant lady, and spent the night 
under their roof very agreeably. This man was generally known 
by the cognomen, " Go it Jones, ' ' or for short, ' ' Goat Jones, ' ' to 
distinguish him from the numbers of the Jones name who lived 
in the vicinity. Not very long after this he was converted at 
a Cumberland Presbyterian meeting, joined that church, and 
for many years lived a most exemplary Christian life, and an 
honored and respected citizen. His wife died near the close 
of the year, and I had the mournful pleasure of preaching her 

; THE YEAR 1845-1846 243 

And the following snake story we add for no other 
reason than that we enjoyed it : 

In May or June of this year I started from Lavaca, in com- 
pany with United States Consul Smith, his wife, and two little 
Mexican girls that Mrs. Smith was raising, to go to Victoria. 
On account of the green-headed flies, we concluded to go at 
night, and, as the road was very muddy and much farther, we 
concluded to cross the prairie, taking the north star as our guide. 
After we had travelled about three hours our beacon became 
obscured by clouds, and we had to make our way as best we 
could. About one o'clock we came to a bunch of timber, and 
I knew we were lost, as there was no timber between Lavaca 
and Victoria. There was no alternative then but to stop and 
wait for the morning. Before I proceed I must say a few things 
about my friend, Consul Smith. He had a fine education; was 
an excellent business man, but was lacking in good, practical 
common sense. He was of low stature, somewhat stooped; was 
terribly disfigured by small-pox, and withal, lisped very badly. 
At the place where we stopped, the grass was very tall and 
thick and the mosquitoes just as bad as they could be. Mr. 
Smith and I had each a good mosquito bar, so we strung up his 
bar for Mrs. Smith and the children, and he and I fixed up mine 
for our accommodation. Mrs. Smith and the children were soon 
fast asleep, and I had just got off when Mr. Smith called out, 
"Mithter DeVilbith, I feel a thnake." I told him to lie still; 
if it was a snake it was under the blanket, and could not hurt 
us. He quieted down and I went to sleep again. He called 
again, louder than ever, "I tell you I feel a thnake, and I will 
not lie here any longer." As soon as he arose I felt a snake, 
too, and we got up and went to a log near by and fought mosqui- 
toes until daylight. We looked for our snake in the morning, 
and found a crooked stick lying crosswise under our blanket, 
so that when I would move it would turn under Mr. Smith, and 
when he would move it would turn under me. So this was the 
snake that made us lose our rest. 

Unlike the south and southwest Texas country, the 
rich prairies of northern Texas remained the free range 
of the Indian and buffalo until the early forties. To 


encourage a more rapid settlement of the country the 
Congress of the Bepublic adopted measures looking to 
the introduction of new colonies of immigrants into 
Texas. Among other colonization schemes formed were 
those of W. S. Peters, who contracted during 1841-42 
to introduce 800 families into the upper Trinity and 
Brazos country, and C. F. Mercer, who contracted to 
settle 600 families in the country between the Peters 
colony and Bed River. These contracts covered all of 
the north Texas country, excepting the counties of Bowie, 
Bed Biver and Lamar, and reached into the lower Pan- 
handle country, including what was later "Greer 
County." The region on the Trinity, immediately about 
the present city of Dallas, was first settled in 1842-43. 
John H. Cochran, a late survivor of the first settlers, has 
written his recollections of this period, 8 from which the 
following extract is taken : 

Early in 1843, my father, William M. Cochran, moved from 
Missouri to Texas in an ox wagon, stopping a few weeks in Eed 
Biver County during a snowstorm. In February of that year 
he left Eed River County in company with two other families, 
the Jamisons and the Watsons, and started south. Our family 
then consisted of my father and mother, two brothers, a sister 
and myself. There was also in the party a young man by the 
name of Steve Webb. 

All together we came across this then wild and beautiful, 
but pathless, country, fording White Bock Creek just above 
where the home of Captain William C. McKamy now stands, and 
from there we went across the divide and down the branch, which 
my father afterward named "Farmers Branch.." We stopped 
near this place with two bachelor brothers, John L. and Simpson 
Pulliam, two Virginia boys who had preceded us two or three 
months, and who had come to Texas with Thomas Keenan, an 
Indian, a man who himself settled in the forks of the branch 
about 300 yards north of the Pulliam place. 

My father lived with the Pulliam brothers until he built him- 
self a house of hewn logs, 16 by 18 feet, about 500 yards east 

s Letter to Dallas News, 1918. 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 245 

of the Pulliam cabin, near a lone elm tree which still stands 
there to mark the spot and remind me of a young buffalo which 
once came running toward me and stopped under the shade of 
that tree, within three feet of where I was, causing me to make 
a somewhat precipitate entrance into the house. 

During the entire year of 1843 the population of Farmers 
Branch was limited to John L. and Simpson Pulliam, Thomas 
Keenan, his wife and three daughters Elizabeth, afterward 
Mrs. Hiram Vail ; Hannah, afterward Mrs. Thomas Chenoweth, 
and Mary, who married George Newby; two boys, William and 
Marion Keenan; my father's family of wife and four children, 
and the young man, Steve Webb. These sixteen persons consti- 
tuted the total population of Farmers' Branch in 1843. 

About this time a man by the name of John Hewitt planted 
a late patch of corn in the open prairie, near where Carrollton 
now stands, and the buffalo took possession of the patch. Mr. 
Hewitt then moved to Cedar Springs and with Dr. John Cole 
established the Cedar Springs neighborhood. In addition to 
Hewitt and his family and Dr. Cole and his family there were 
in the Cedar Springs settlement in 1843 Jackson and S. Hewitt, 
Joe Dalton, Dr. W. W. Conover, E. Shirley, and also Al. Hewitt, 
a negro, who was the first of that race to live in Dallas County. 

Between Farmers Branch and Cedar Springs lived a man by 
the name of Joseph Graham, and one by the name of Browning 
(for whom Browning's Branch was named). Franklin Fortner 
later settled on Browning's Branch. 

At Dallas was Colonel John Neely Bryan, the father of 
Dallas. East of Dallas was John Beeman and family and James 
J. Beeman and family. On the south side of the Trinity River 
M. Gilbert and family and William Coombes and family settled. 

On Cedar Creek were George L. Leonard and family, John 
W. Wright and George W. Dooley, and on Mountain Creek lived 
Timothy Carpenter and family. 

The above constituted the population of Dallas County in 
1843. Those of us who lived here prior to 1845 lived under the 
Republic of Texas, and were here during the war of the United 
States with Mexico. 

As each succeeding year rolled around the population in- 
creased and this then wild country gradually became a pros- 
perous and happy home for thousands of people. With the in- 


crease in population, the conveniences of churches, school -houses, 
stores, gins and other evidences of civilization kept pace. So 
rapid was the increase in population that on July 13, 1846, 
Dallas County was organized, with John Thomas as Chief Jus- 
tice, Dr. John Cole as Probate Judge, John C. McCoy as District 
Clerk, William M. Cochran as County Clerk, and John Hewitt 
as Sheriff. Benjamin McCracken was the first Tax Assessor. 
Those settlers who moved into Dallas County during the period 
between December, 1842, and July, 1845, were mostly from In- 
diana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. 

Another family which entered this country early in 
1844 was that of the Webbs, from whose memorials we 
get more light on the Cochrans and others, and pick up 
an important thread in Methodist history. The "Webbs, 
the Cochrans and the Hughes families were living in 1835 
in Maury County, Tennessee. Isaac B. Webb during that 
year married Mary N. Hughes, a sister of W. H. (' 'Uncle 
Buck") Hughes. William M. Cochran (the father of the 
John H. Cochran quoted above), married another sister 
of W. H. Hughes. The Webbs and the Cochrans later 
removed to Missouri, but having "read much of the won- 
derful country lying contiguous to the three forks of the 
Trinity, they determined to locate permanently there. ' ' 4 
Webb came down first on a prospecting tour in the spring 
of 1843, leaving Cochran in Missouri to make a crop. On 
his return he gave wonderful accounts of the possibilities 
of the country, and displayed samples of the black soil 
he had found. Cochran then came down in the summer or 
early fall of 1843, leaving Webb to gather the crop and 
follow later. Mrs. Cochran was doubtless, therefore, the 
first Methodist to actually settle in what is now Dallas 
County. From Webb's diary we have: "Commenced 
moving to Texas October 16, 1843, and four weeks later 
crossed the Bed River at Beal's Ferry. Stayed in the 

4 These facts and the records which follow are from an article, ' ' Early 
Methodism in Dallas County. " by W. C. Everett, Texas Christian Advocate, 
Aug. 26, 1920. All the dates bearing upon the first settlement of the 
Coehrans do not correspond exactly with those given by Cochran. 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 247 

neighborhood some two months and then moved on to 
the Colony. . . . Landed at Win. M. Cochran's January 
27, 1844." The Webbs lived in the Cochran home nearly 
two months, and during that time this entry is made in 
the Webb diary: " March 19, 1844, Thomas Brown, the 
first traveling Methodist preacher that visited the Colony, 
stayed all night with me and preached at Wm. M. 
Cochran's the first sermon in the neighborhood. From 
Romans 1: 16; hymn, 'From All That Dwells Below the 
Skies,' tune 'Kedron.' " Webb records that he moved 
into his own cabin 16x16, on Mustang Branch (now 
Farmer's Branch) April 19, 1844. During the following 
year there is this entry: "The first circuit preaching 
was at my cabin on May 5, 1845, and a society was 
formed, consisting of five members. Isaac C. Kimble 
preached good." We have no record of this Isaac C. 
Kimble, and he must have been a local preacher. We 
know that Daniel Shook, who was that year on the Fannin 
circuit, Clarksville district, visited the community and 
took charge of the work. The names of the members of 
this first church in Dallas County were as follows : Isaac 
B. W^ebb, Mary Webb, Mrs. W. M. Cochran, M. F. Fort- 
ner and Mrs. Fortner. Wm. M. Cochran was not at that 
time a member of the church, but joined later. "The 
first camp meeting in this part of the country," says this 
old diary, "was held on Joe's Branch in the fall of 1845, 
and four families camped on the ground." The exact 
location of this spot, it appears, is not easy to determine. 
Mr. Everett gives us this information about the first 
church building: "Webb's Chapel was the first church 
building in the Colony, and was erected in the spring of 
1846. It was located between what is now Cochran's 
Chapel and Farmer's Branch. No trace of it, so far as I 
can find, exists to-day. Mrs. Ford, a daughter of Isaac 
B. Webb, now owns the farm on which it was located. 
She lives on the corner of McKinney and Bowen Streets, 
Dallas. The church cost very little money, if any, and 


was built by the members. No architects were employed, 
and no ornamental or memorial windows adorned it. It 
was a plain, substantial log meeting house, and met the 
requirements for a place to engage in real and sincere 
worship. That it soon became a community center is 
evidenced by this entry in the diary : ' The first school in 
the neighborhood was taught in the meeting house by 
Thomas Williams from Tennessee. ' This was in the fall 
of 1846." 

The following letter from Isaac B. Webb, dated 
" Upper Trinity, Texas, May 11, 1845," appeared in the 
Southwestern Christian Advocate, Nashville, in June of 
that year: 

Brother McFerrin Dear Sir. Believing that a large por- 
tion of your numerous readers would be interested in hearing 
from this new and favored land, I beg leave to submit a few items 
to them, through your excellent paper, and if this fall under the 
notice of any of my old friends in Tennessee, and especially of 
Fruit's Lick class, I would say to them, read this; and then 
determine whether or not it is your duty and interest to emi- 
grate to this new, but desirable portion of the South-West. This 
portion of the Republic lies on what is called the forks of Trin- 
ity, in latitude 32 degrees North, in what is called Peters' Col- 
ony ; a large grant of land made by the government of Texas to 
Peters and others, for the purpose of settling the public land of 
the Republic. The company donates three hundred and twenty 
acres of land to all actual settlers on their grant, who are the 
heads of families, and one hundred and sixty acres to single men. 
The land is equal in fertility to any in the West, being of a 
black, sticky soil, and very deep, with a consistency of about 
twenty per cent lime. The prairies are large and beautifully 
undulating and interspersed with . springs, rivulets and fine 
streams of water, gushing from crystal fountains, and flowing 
off in bold and living streams, during the year. The timber is 
somewhat scarce, and chiefly along the water courses, consist- 
ing principally of post oak, Spanish oak, ash, chitum, elm, 
black walnut, and a variety of shrubbery. I have found the 
country, so far, to be healthy in general. Persons when first 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 249 

settling here, sometimes, have some chills and fevers, but this 
is generally light, and afterwards they are healthy. The Trin- 
ity river is thought to be navigable to the forks ten miles 
below my residence. We can raise, in this country, good corn, 
wheat, oats, and all kinds of garden vegetables, and as fine cotton 
as in any part of the United States. Our crops in the colony are 
very promising, corn above knee-high, and we are now harvesting 
our wheat, which is as good as I have seen in any country. We 
have a class formed here, consisting of eight or ten members, 
and have circuit preaching every four weeks. There are five 
appointments within the compass of fifteen miles. Methodism, 
with its characteristic zeal and untiring perseverence, is pioneer- 
ing this far west with great success. Let Methodism be stopped 
and what will be the situation of the frontier settlers ? Literally 
without a preached gospel for years yet to come. And, Oh, what 
indescribable anguish it gives us to witness the dark and por- 
tentious cloud that hangs over our beloved Zion. We can but 
give ourselves to prayer, that the God of Israel may direct her 
destinies. We lift our voices in the Macedonian cry to the local 
preachers of the States "come over and help us." Here is a 
wide field for usefulness. Does not duty say, go where you 
are needed most ? Here many can better their temporal circum- 
stances and be more extensively useful as ministers. Yours, &c. 

Isaac B. Webb, the mudsill of Methodism in Dallas 
County, was a native of Sullivan County, Tennessee, 
where lie was born June 4, 1802. We have seen that by 
marriage the Webb, Cochran and Hughes families later 
became connected, and the first two families were rep- 
resented in the first little church organized in Dallas 
County. Several members of the Hughes family later 
came to this country, and became closely identified with 
Methodism in many portions of northern Texas. After 
Jsaac B. Webb moved into Ms own cabin on Farmer's 
Branch in 1844 he lived continuously in that locality until 
his death in 1880. What changes lie saw in that time we 
will return to notice in later chapters. 

In 1846 the Eev. Abner Keen moved to Texas from 
Indiana (though he was a native of Virginia), and settled 


on Duck Creek in Dallas County. He was a local 
preacher, and for twenty-five years he ministered in that 
capacity in that region. In the same year James A. 
Smith, another local preacher, moved from Mississippi 
and settled in Dallas County, and for many years he was 
prominent in church affairs in that county. 

Most of the preachers and others who came from the 
States to Texas were transformed into enthusiastic 
Texans at once, and became good advertisers for the 
country. They wrote letters "back home," and many of 
these letters were published in the Church press and other 
papers; and the influence these reports had in swelling 
the stream of immigration to Texas it is impossible to 
estimate, but it must have been very large. During 1845- 
46 the tide of immigration set in to Texas in real 
earnest. A letter from "Red River" to the editor of 
the Washington (Texas) National Register (March 21, 
1845), says that "not less than 1,000 waggons have 
crossed Red River into Texas within six weeks." John 
W. Fields, in a letter to the Southwestern Christian Ad- 
vocate, remarking about the great inflow of new popula- 
tion, estimates from the best information he could obtain 
from all sources, that the population of Texas was in- 
creasing at the rate of ' * about 500 souls per day. ' ' This, 
however, was only an example of the disposition to ex- 
aggerate which the bigness of Texas seemed to generate 
in most newcomers. We are informed from an extract 
from the secular press that German immigrants were 
coming in by the shiploads, and forming colonies in south 
and southwest Texas. This increasing German immigra- 
tion received the attention of our Church at the confer- 
ence of 1846 in the appointment of a missionary to the 
Germans in Galveston. 

Out of a flood of correspondence from Texas, con- 
tained in files of the old Southwestern Christian Ad- 
vocate, we will present only one other communication, 
containing reference to another matter which was receiv- 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 251 

ing the attention of the preachers. This from M. Yell, 
presiding elder of the Washington district, dated Nov. 
14, 1845 : 

Brother McFerrin, We have good times in Texas. The 
Lord has been with us at all our quarterly meetings; but more 
especially our camp meetings. Many have been converted and 
added to the Church ; but you will hear from the preachers. I 
will say, if my former letter has not come to hand, we have had 
a glorious work in the way of temperance. At Caldwell on Mon- 
day night, 25th August, we held a temperance meeting. There 
were in attendance about 75 or 80 persons ; 67 out of that num- 
ber joined or took the pledge. It is the Washingtonian 
pledge. On Monday evening, 3 o'clock, September 16th, 
at our camp meeting, which has been reported to you by the 
preacher, Eev. Eobert B. "Wells, Washington circuit, out of 225 
or 300 persons present, something near 200 took the pledge. 
On the Franklin circuit our camp meeting closed yesterday 
morning. We had rather cold times, but few converts. But 
on Monday evening, 3 o'clock for we devoted Monday evening 
to that work we had an interesting time on the subject 
of temperance. There was a speech delivered and the pledge 
circulated. Out of about 150 persons, something over 90 took 
the pledge. So you can see we are beginning to do some- 
thing for our people. I love my old friends in Tennessee and 
Memphis conference, but, brother, Texas is the country. We 
have a fine hospitable people; yes, and a people who love their 
preachers much. Give my respects to the preachers, and tell 
them that we should like much that the young men would look 
this way. 

The sixth session of the Texas Conference met in 
Houston January 7, 1846, with Bishop Joshua Soule in 
charge. 0. Eichardson was again elected secretary. This 
conference formally ratified the action of the Louisville 
Convention in declaring for a separate church organiza- 
tion, and all the members declared their adherence to the 
Southern Church, in accordance with the privileges 
granted all members of annual conferences in the "Plan 


of Separation." This action completed the division, so 
far as the Texas Conference was concerned, and all min- 
utes, records, titles, etc., thereafter bore the name of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Eobert Alexander 
and Chauncey Richardson were elected delegates to the 
General Conference, to convene in Petersburg, Va., the 
following May. 

At this session of the Conference Stephen B. Whipple, 
Thos. B. Wooldridge and Jas. G-. Hardin were admitted 
on trial. David L. Bell, John S. Williams and Jos. P. 
Sneed located. In the appointments the three districts 
Galveston, Eutersville and Washington remained as last 
year, but C. Richardson was changed from the Rutersville 
to the Galveston district; M. Yell was changed from 
Washington to Rutersville district, and Daniel N. V. 
Sullivan was placed on the Washington district. Robert 
Alexander was stationed in Galveston. Orceneth Fisher 
at Houston, and three ' ' stations ' ' appear in the west this 
year Austin, with H. S. Thrall; San Antonio, John W. 
DeVilbiss, and Corpus Christi, John Haynie ; but this was 
done because the missionary treasury was so depleted 
that missions could not be organized or supported. 

Bishop Soule, who was accompanied by his wife, left 
for New Orleans ; thence he was to make his way up Red 
Biver toward Marshall, where the East Texas Conference 
was to assemble. Bishop Soule had not yet formally 
declared his adherence to the Church, South, but he was 
soon to do so. He had evidently made up his mind on 
the matter, and therefore felt thoroughly at home in the 
Southern conferences. 

The first session of the East Texas Conference opened 
at Marshall on February 4, 1846. The bishop had not 
arrived at the opening, and Francis Wilson was elected 
president. Robert Crawford was elected secretary. 
Bishop Soule arrived on the 6th, and conducted matters 
to the close. The conference had met under the im- 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 253 

mediate shadow of a great loss, as its most prominent 
member, Littleton Fowler, had died at his home near 
(McMahan Chapel on January 29. A more extended notice 
of Fowler and his death will close this chapter. It 
seems to have been the custom in those days for the mem- 
bers of conference to wear a badge of mourning during 
the sessions in memory of deceased brethren, as we find 
a resolution adopted at this conference "that each 
preacher of this conference wear the usual badge of 
mourning during the session of the conference." 

The following resolutions, and the action taken there- 
under, appear in the reports of the conference : 

Inasmuch as the Delegates from the Southern Conferences, 
in Convention assembled, in the city of Louisville, in May 1845, 
found it expedient to organize the Southern Conferences into 
a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction, according to the Plan of 
separation adopted by the General Conference of the M. B. 
Church, in May 1844, by which every preacher is allowed to 
attach himself to either division without blame; 

Therefore, Resolved, That the roll be now called, and each 
preacher be required to answer North or South, that we may 
ascertain the relative position of each member and probationer 
also, that each preacher be required to state the relative posi- 
tion of the membership where he has travelled during the past 

The roll being called, all the preachers present, heartily took 
their position South. Bros. H. D. Palmer, A. J. Fowler, and 
F. H. Blades, though absent, sent their hearty assent to the 
South. Bro. Lester Janes, President of the Wesleyan College, 
sent his request to be transferred to the North, not that he is 
dissatisfied with the Southern Organization, but because his busi- 
ness requires him at present to remove North. 

The question being asked each individual preacher, What is 
the relative position of the membership? It was found that 
there were three sisters and two brethren in the bounds of the 
Conference who were dissatisfied and preferred the North. . . . 
If there is any further dissatisfaction or murmuring we know it 


not. The unanimous opinion of the Conference is, that the 
church has nothing to do with the relation that exists between 
slave and master. 

The following resolutions were adopted: 

Whereas, the embarrassed state of our finance has most as- 
suredly made it the duty of this Conference to adopt a rigid 
and well regulated system of finance. Therefore, Eesolved, That 
it shall be the duty of each preacher who shall have charge of 
a circuit or station during the ensuing Conference year, to call 
a meeting of the Stewards at the earliest possible period, and lay 
before them his claims, and in case of neglect to do this, he shall 
have no claims upon the dividend at the next Conference. 


Whereas, many of our travelling preachers have been re- 
duced to poverty, and thereby compelled to reduce their work 
to a local itineracy for want of parsonages ; and believing this to 
be the time when we should take immediate action on this sub- 
ject; Therefore, 

Eesolved, that each minister or preacher in charge of the 
respective circuits within the bounds of the Eastern Texas Con- 
ference, shall use his influence and best efforts to erect, or cause 
to be erected (where it is practicable), a good comfortable par- 
sonage during the ensuing Conference year. 


At this conference Michael F. Cole, Henry B. Kelsey 
and Andrew J. Fowler were admitted on trial. Robert 
Crawford and Henderson D. Palmer took the superan- 
nuate relation. Francis Wilson was elected a delegate 
to the General Conference. 5 A detailed report of the 
"number in society" throughout the conference is given, 
extracted from the General Minutes : 

5 If more than one delegate was elected there is no account of it in 
either the scant records of the Conference, or in the General Conference 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 



San Augustine 467 

Jasper 283 

Jefferson 50 

Liberty 80 

Crockett 337 

Nacogdoches 189 

Kusk 195 

Henderson 217 









Shelbyville 365 

Marshall 300 

Lake Soda 339 

D. Calb (Dekalb) 101 

Clarksville 196 

Paris 341 

Panning 150 





Total membership, white including 48 local preach- 
ers 2773 ; colored, 694. Increase over last year, white, 
1030; colored, 270. The appointments this year show 
three districts San Augustine, Geo West, P. E. ; 
Marshall, S. A. Williams, P. E. ; and Clarksville, Daniel 
Payne, P. E. ; F. H. Blades was appointed president of 
Wesley College, and Andrew J. Fowler a professor and 
Harrison Z. Adams agent for the same institution. 
" Dallas Mission" appears for the first time in the ap- 
pointments, with Orin Hatch in charge ; also ' ' Fort Sher- 
man, ' ' afterwards Sherman, with Daniel Shook in charge. 
Francis Wilson was appointed missionary "to the people 
of color" within the bounds of the Conference. 

The next conference was appointed for Clarksville, 
and March 31, 1847, fixed as the date. 

Littleton Fowler, whose passing this conference was 
called upon to mourn, was born in Smith County, Ten- 


nessee, in 1803, the son of Godfrey and Clara Wright 
Fowler. In 1806 the family removed to Caldwell County, 
Kentucky, where Littleton grew to manhood. In June, 
3-820, he was converted at a camp-meeting held by the 
Cumberland Presbyterians, and soon thereafter joined 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was admitted on 
trial into the Kentucky Conference, at Louisville, in 1826, 
and appointed to the Eed Eiver circuit. A long spell of 
sickness forced him to return home, and he was not able 
to take work the following year. In 1828 he was ap- 
pointed to Bowling Green station. In 1829 he was 
appointed junior preacher under H. H. Kavanaugh at 
Louisville station. This church, out of compliment to 
him, after his appointment to Texas, donated their old 
church bell to Be installed in the church at San Augustine. 
Fowler filled various appointments in Kentucky until 
1832, when he was transferred to the Tennessee Con- 
ference and stationed at Tuscumbia, Ala. He subse- 
quently was appointed financial agent of LaGrange Col- 
lege, Tuscumbia, Eobert Paine, afterwards elected 
bishop, being president. In this capacity Fowler served 
until his appointment as a missionary to Texas in 1837. 
His life and work in Texas are recorded in previous chap- 
ters of this history. 

Two brothers had preceded Mr. Fowler to Texas, who 
became well known in the political affairs of the Republic. 
These were Col. John H. Fowler, who represented Eed 
Eiver and Lamar counties in the upper house of the 
Texas Congress in the winter of 1838, and Judge A. J. 
Fowler, who represented Lamar County in the lower 
house in 1841-42. 

We have before noted that Littleton Fowler was 
married in June, 1838, to Mrs. Missouri M. Porter. Mrs. 
Porter was the widow of a merchant who came to Nacog- 
doches in 1835. Fowler was survived by his wife and 
two children Mary Pitt and Littleton M. The daughter 
became the wife of Prof. G. M. L. Smith, who conducted 

THE YEAR 1845-1846 257 

a school for many years in Nacogdoches County, and a 
son of this marriage was Ellis Smith, who became a 
prominent member of the East Texas Conference. Little- 
ton M. Fowler was educated at old McKenzie College and 
entered the East Texas Conference in 1876. Littleton 
Fowler's widow later married Eev. John 0. Woolam, of 
the East Texas Conference. She lived to be eighty-four 
years of age, dying in 1891. 

Littleton Fowler, after his marriage, though he con- 
tinued to serve regular appointments until his death, 
settled on a farm twelve miles east of San Augustine, 
and one mile from the McMahan Church, the oldest 
permanent Methodist society in Texas. Here in 1838 
Mr. Fowler was instrumental in the erection of the first 
"MeMahan Chapel," which has been displaced by two 
other buildings successively on the same spot. At his 
home here on January 29, 1846, at the age of only forty- 
three, Fowler died a triumphant death. His funeral ser- 
vices were conducted, by previous request, by Samuel A. 
Williams, and the funeral discourse was from a text also 
of Fowler's choosing "I am not ashamed of the gospel 
of Christ. ' ' His remains were buried under the pulpit of 
the old McMahan Chapel, and in the present building, 
which stands on the same spot, the pulpit covers the 
grave, and his monument lifts itself into the pulpit, a 
conspicuous and perpetual reminder of the life and labors 
of one of the founders of Methodism in Texas. 

Mr. Fowler was described as of striking personal ap- 
pearance, above the ordinary height, of natural and easy 
manner, free from austerity and frigidness, and one who 
was at home in all social circles. His early education 
was very limited, but he possessed unusual intellectual 
powers, and being a great reader and student all his life, 
his manner and his preaching created the impression of 
culture and education. He reasoned accurately and 
logically, and addressed much of his sermon to the judg- 
ment. In the pulpit he would begin in the mildest man- 


ner, and continue as if in conversation, or as if demon- 
strating a problem in mathematics; then warming with 
his subject his eye would kindle, his voice would be lifted, 
and his closing appeals were always earnest and winning. 
The impression which Fowler left upon our early history 
was out of all proportion to the brief span of his life in 
Texas. He wielded a great personal influence especially 
upon young men in drawing them into the ministry. 
Henderson D. Palmer and Daniel Carl were two con- 
spicuous examples of Fowler's influence. The latter sur- 
rendered to a call to the ministry while in a private 
prayer-meeting which Fowler held with him in William 
Kesee's corn crib in Washington County, on a rainy day 
in the winter of 1837-38. Fowler's untimely end 
brought great sorrow to his brethren in the ministry, and 
cast a gloom over Texas, for he was known in circles 
beyond the bounds of his own Church. 


THE YEAR 1846 

THE year 1846 was notable on account of several 
epochal events. One of these was the organization of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Another was 
the completing of annexation of Texas to the United 
States, and following annexation in the same year oc- 
curred the War with Mexico, which settled the western 
boundary line of Texas, and established peace along that 
border. Besides these matters of general interest, the 
year witnessed many developments of local interest. It 
was in 1846, as we have seen, that the organization of 
the first Methodist Church in San Antonio occurred, and 
it was the year of the building of the first church in 
" Peter's Colony," as well as the year in which Dallas 
first appears in the appointments. It was in 1846 that 
beginnings were made in Corpus Christi, and this point 
on the southwest, and Dallas and "Fort Sherman" on the 
northwest are this year the points of our farthest ad- 
vance westward. In 1846 a society was organized in 
Collin County by Rev. John Culwell, at the house of 
A. J. Culwell. 1 This was the year also when Methodism 
was first premanently established in Austin. 

Concerning this last event we need to remember that 
Methodism in the capital and everything else there 
was bound up largely with the fortunes of the national 
government. In 1839, when the government was first 
moved to Austin, the young city enjoyed a considerable 

i Thrall. We have no further particulars of this organization. 



boom, and Methodist preaching was more or less regu- 
larly kept up there from that time until 1842, first by 
John Haynie, and then by Josiah Whipple. But 1842 
was a disheartening year at the capital. In March the 
Mexicans came up and took San Antonio, and they ap- 
peared there again in the fall. The Indians continued to 
protest against the location of the capital in their ter- 
ritory by killing citizens caught off the reservation. 
President Lamar had had much labor and money ex- 
pended on the erection of a stockade surrounding the 
capitol, but, according to a sarcastic local editor, this 
" would keep out pigs, but it would not turn Mexicans or 
Indians. ' ' President Houston called his congress to meet 

in Houston, and he and all the state officials vacated the 
' > 

capital, and most of the population followed. The num- 
ber of inhabitants dwindled to less than one hundred; 
the streets grew up in weeds, and general dilapidation 
set in. The few citizens who remained were determined 
to retain the governmental effects, and they prevented, 
at one time by force of arms, the removal of the national 
archives, and when a more peaceful state of the country 
prevailed the government again took up quarters in 
Austin. In 1846 H. S. Thrall was appointed to Austin. 
He says he found no church organization of any kind. He 
organized a prayer-meeting and Sunday school, using the 
capitol for his services. He had no missionary appro- 
priation and no stewards, and in order to pay expenses 
he opened a school. Following the return of govern- 
ment and the opening of the legislative body he says he 
found it difficult to find lodgings, and that he slept for 
weeks on the floor of a lawyer's office, obtaining his meals 
at different boarding houses in the city. For such a hard 
lot he was compensated in some degree by having the 
governor, senators, legislators and judges for his 
auditors when he preached at the capitol plenty of 
honors, but little to eat or wear. " Preached this morn- 
ing," is an entry he makes for April 26, 1847, "saw in 

THE YEAR 1846 261 

my congregation Gov. Henderson, Gen. Burleson, Ex- 
Pres. Lamar, Gov. Eunnels, Judge Hemphill, E. M. 
Pease, and a majority of the members of the Senate 
and House." To advance a little into the next year, 
Thrall was returned in 1847. At a quarterly conference, 
held April 17, 1847, it was determined to build a church. 
Thrall says that he was that year not only preacher, but 
teacher, building committee, collector, pay-master and 
general manager of the building. Wanting funds on one 
occasion to pay for labor on his church he went down on 
Congress Avenue and entered the " grocery " of Tom 
Collins. The crowd gave him a hurrah, and wanted to 
know his business. He told them his troubles, where- 
upon they made up the money instantly and sent him 
away happy. The church was completed that year. 

The annals of early Methodism in Austin would not 
be complete without a word concerning William Stuart 
Hotchkiss, a Methodist layman of the highest type and of 
the greatest usefulness. He came from Tennessee and 
settled in Austin in 1839, before the first sale of lots. 
He was a member of the first Methodist Church organized 
there, and through the succeeding fifty years of his life 
he died in 1889 he served in various capacities as 
steward, class-leader, Sunday school superintendent and 
exhorter. By a second marriage he became the father of 
three Methodist preachers, well known in our later 

Methodism in Houston, under the pastorate of 
Orceneth Fisher, came to the front in 1846 more rapidly 
than had been the case any year before. Mr. Fisher's 
first task was to clear the new brick church of debt. To 
accomplish this he made a tour in the States and raised 
most of the money. He then devoted himself to bring- 
ing about the long needed revival in Houston, and this 
he also accomplished that year beyond all expectations. 
A correspondent, reporting the meeting in the South- 
western Christian Advocate, says : ' * The Lord is doing 


a good work for us in our city. We have had a pro- 
tracted meeting in our church for the last twenty days, 
and it is now in progress. There are some conversions 
daily, and the good work seems to be going on. Forty- 
four whites and thirty or forty blacks have joined since 
the meeting commenced, but a larger number have been 
converted. Some have joined other churches. I believe 
that I never have seen a greater excitement in religion. 
In every group of men, from the church to the grog shop, 
their conversation is on religious subjects." 

John Haynie at Corpus Christi had a "station" un- 
like any other in the country. The population of this 
place consisted largely of United States soldiers and 
camp followers, a situation the explanation of which we 
shall find in the annexation of Texas to the American 
Union. Texas, peopled as it was largely by citizens of 
'the United States, and weak and exposed to enemies 
which endangered her existence, from the start sought 
.annexation. But her big neighbor regarded her first 
overtures with indifference, and granted her only a 
grudging recognition of her independence. Houston, the 
first president, then had the offer withdrawn. Lamar, 
the second president, was opposed to annexation, and in 
Texas the subject lay quiescent for a few years; but it 
came to be discussed more and more in the United States. 
A strong party in the American republic opposed the 
absorption of Texas, as it held out a prospect of war with 
Mexico, and a large section of the North was averse to 
the proposition, as it meant the addition of more slave 
territory to the Union. The Texas annexation question 
came to a decisive issue in the presidential campaign of 
1844, when "Polk and Texas" won a decisive victory 
over "Clay and no Texas." Mexico, as well as France 
and England, used every effort to prevent the consum- 
mation of the union; but the voice of the people of the 
United States and the people of Texas expressed also 
in a popular election agreed on the matter, and arrange- 

THE YEAR 1846 263 

ments were soon concluded putting the popular will into 
effect. On February 19, 1846, both the laws and postal 
service of the United States were extended over Texas, 
and on that date " President" Anson Jones turned over 
the affairs of the Eepublic of Texas to J. Pinckney Hen- 
derson, the first governor of the new state. Mexico had 
never acknowledged the independenc of Texas, and had 
not relinquished its claim to the country, and the Mexican 
government had notified the United States that it would 
regard the annexation of Texas as equivalent to a 
declaration of war. The movement of events, and all the 
causes, leading up to war with Mexico, are matters to 
be found in Texas and United States histories. In the 
winter and spring of 1845-46 an American army under 
General Zachary Taylor occupied a camp near Corpus 
Christi, which brought that hitherto insignificant point 
suddenly into prominence, and explains the sending of a 
preacher there by the Texas Conference. 

As portraying conditions there during Haynie's stay 
we can do no better than to take Haynie's own account, 
which is given in a letter to the Southwestern Christian, 
Advocate, under date of February 15, 1846 : 

Bro. John B. McFerrin, You will see from the minutes of 
the Texas Conference West, I was appointed to this place as 
missionary this year. I reached here on the 4th inst. I may say 
to you that Corpus Christi is situated on the Gulf of Mexico, in 
latitude 27.36 north, and west of the Nueces, some 75 or 100 
miles out of what is called settlements; this being one of the 
depopulated counties. There is no law here ; as the courts have 
not been organized as yet, and I must say, for a place where 
there is no law that can be brought to bear on crime, it is not 
as bad as I expected to find it. True, a few fellows get knocked 
down once and awhile, or shot or cut with a knife; but it is 
generally an unruly, drunken fellow, and there it ends, until 
he gets sober and knocks down some other drunken man, and so 
on to the end of the chapter. As it was when there was no king 
in Israel, every man walks in Ms own way or in the way of 


somebody else. Well, I may tell you how I reached here (as my 
family is 200 miles from this;) when I reached old Laborde, 
famous for the struggle of Col. Fannin and his brave comrades, 
Capt. John T. Price, of the Rangers, politely furnished me an 
escort through. As to population I suppose soldiers and citizens, 
there must be somewhere between 5 and 7000 souls; and as to 
the character, of every hue ; the object of the citizens would seem 
to be to make money, and they seem to be of almost all nations ; 
some in houses, and some in cloth camps or cloth houses ; there 
are said to be some 50 groceries, two Theatres, and I am told 
some 500 gamblers here. In fact it is the world in miniature, 
and must be seen to know anything about it satisfactorily. As a 
place to dispose of Mexican horses and mules, it beats anything 
I ever expected to see; horses sold from $2 to $20, and mules 
from $6 to $20, and no man that never saw a Mexican roping 
a wild horse can form any idea of their dexterity in roping them. 
The Union Theatre was obtained for me to preach in, and on 
the Sabbath, the 8th, I preached my first sermon, to a very at- 
tractive and well behaved congregation. After preaching, I 
explained the object of my mission, and that if a house could be 
obtained, I should like to preach twice on Sabbath and on Thurs- 
day night; when Major Brion, the manager of the Theatre, 
politely stepped forward and offered the use of the Theatre, 
when not otherwise occupied, which I as politely accepted, as 
no other house could be obtained, and notified the congregation 
that they might expect preaching there every Sabbath unless 
otherwise advised. So you see I have attacked the enemy on 
his own ground ; what will be the result, God only knows. All 
things considered I think I have been as well received as I 
expected; several gentlemen have expressed themselves willing 
and anxious for my support. Owing to the scarcity of house 
room, I found some trouble to obtain a place to board and sleep 
in. Maj. Mann for the time furnished me with a berth in his 
counting room, which is as good a place as I have found as yet. 
I have obtained board at $4 a week, so that all my expenses put 
together will be some $5 a week. I have at least the honor of 
raising the standard of the cross at this outpost of our zion. . . . 
What Corpus Christi will be when the army leaves (which I am 
told will be in a few weeks) I cannot say, as the population 
seems to be mostly a floating one ; and should they all leave of 

THE YEAR 1846 265 

course I will leave too ; but certainly by nature it is designed for 
a place of considerable trade at no distant day. 

The movement during the following month of Gen. 
Taylor's army toward the Bio Grande had the effect of 
almost depopulating Corpus Christi, and soon thereafter 
Haynie returned to his family at Butersville. 

The first General Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, held at Petersburg, Va., in May, 
1846, need not detain us long, as its work was chiefly that 
of organizing and setting in motion general Church in- 
terests. Bishop Soule declared his adherence to the 
Church, South, and he and Bishop Andrew, William 
Capers and Eobert Paine, the latter two elected at this 
conference, made up our first College of Bishops. There 
was no break or necessary readjustments in Church ma- 
chinery except in minor matters and in terminology, re- 
ferring to the Church name. A new missionary society, 
with E. W. Sehon as secretary, assumed supervision of 
all missionary interests, and separate publishing inter- 
ests were instituted. The following action was taken, 
constituting an important relief measure for the preach- 
ers in Texas : 

The Committee on Missions respectfully report, that it ap- 
pears to be necessary for this General Conference to authorize 
the payment of some money from the Missionary funds, forth- 
with, for the relief of the most needy of the preachers of the 
Texas Conferences, no appropriations having been made at the 
last sessions of these Conferences. Your committee therefore 
recommend that you adopt the following resolution : 

Resolved, That the Missionary Board be requested, and are 
hereby requested, to appropriate one thousand dollars to each 
of the Conferences in Texas, for the present relief of the 
preachers of said Conferences, and forward the same as early 
as practicable. 

Thus with the year which marks the incorporation of 
Texas into the American Union, and at the same time the 


passing of Texas Methodism under the jurisdiction of 
the new Methodist Episcopal Church, South, we close the 
first section of this history. But before passing from 
the " Republic" period it is in order to introduce a few 
of our miscellaneous collection of old letters and records 
which will help to fill up the picture of the times through 
which we have been passing. 

Here is a letter from "Milam County," dated Sep- 
tember 21, 1842, on rumors following Gen. Woll's capture 
of San Antonio: 

Times are much as they were when you left, with the excep- 
tion of the invading war spirit which has in a measure sub- 
sided, owing principally to the course pursued by our worthy 
President ! ! 2 I suppose you have seen Ms celebrated veto mes- 
sage, which taken with his message to the extra session and sev- 
eral other state documents of Ms, is the most foolish and incon- 
sistent thing imaginable. Popular opinion run strongly against 
him at the time, but has now settled down to a tacit acquiescence, 
leaving the responsibility on him. 

A circular is going the round purporting to be from the 
citizen soldiers of San Antonio, which states that on last mon- 
day week a party of Mexicans appeared in town they were im- 
mediately fired on by the Texians who imagined it to be a small 
robbing party thought to repel them, in this they were mistaken, 
for it proved to be the advance of an invading army under the 
command of Gen Don Adrien Woll, finding this to be the case 
they were compelled to surrender prisoners of war, the number 
being fifty-three. Gen Woll is represented to be quite a Gen- 
tleman allowing them to write this circular to apprise us of their 
capture and likewise to request of the Texians to treat well any 
prisoners they might make, as they were "treated well," this is 
signed by a dozen names among which is Judge HutcMnson, 
who was holding court, and whose situation was soon changed 
from a Judge to a prisoner. There is no doubt but that the 
Mexicans are there but in what force is not known, it is the 
prevailing opinion here that Mexico is not able to send an in- 
vading army and this is to believed to be a marauding party 

2 Lamar. 

THE YEAR 1846 267 

similar to the one which entered the place in the spring, if it 
is an invasion you will hear it before long. 

A letter from Baltimore, written in instalments from 
Oct. 28 to Nov. 10, 1844, advising a family in Texas of 
the progress and results of the presidential campaign, 
reached Washington, Texas, Jan. 20, 1845. Under date 
of Nov. 3 : 

Tomorrow is the election of President and Vice President of 
these United States, the excitement is high all sorts of senti- 
ments and emblems are resorted to by Both parties the Demo- 
cratic show on thare (emblems) and go for it strong Texas and 
Origin our southern and north-western boundary line. 

Under date of Nov. 7 : 

The election excitement has not subsided although the Presi- 
dent is made yet excitement now is to get the results together 
Pensylvania has gone for Polk Va has Do we are all on the 
qui vive for the returns from N Y which will decide the contest 
the Whigs are low spirited they are the opposition to annexation 

And in the closing paragraph of the letter, after a 
few days more: 

The contest is over, and James K Polk is Elected President 
of this great Republic. . . . Never was thare so dangerous set 
of people in the world as the partie denominated the Whig 
partie I must confess Honestly that my opinion is that the for- 
eigner Holds the balance of power but why have they not got 
them as well as the Democrat 

A farm boy from Burleson County tries "city life" 
in Houston and G-alveston during the winter of 1844r- 
45, and there follow a few sketches from his letters 

Galveston, Jan. 25, 1845 I arrived here on thursday morning 
in the steamer Col. Woods twelve hours from Houston, and four- 


teen days from home. My "Pilgrimage" to Houston was a long 
and tiresome one, it would be too tedious to enumerate the many 
times we stuck in the mud, and were compelled to unload 
suffice it to say we arrived safe and sound on the twelfth day 
sold my cotton for 3% cts per pound and at % past 9 on the 
evening of the next day embarked for this place. 

Business is dull at present, lumber is scarce and the place 
overstocked with Dutch carpenters, no less than three brigs now 
lying in port from Bremen . . . board and lodging is four 
dols per week . . . my lodgings command a view of four 
churches and the principal part of town. . . . Tomorrow is 
Sunday I will try and write you an account of the way I spent 
it, so for the present good night. 

Monday 27th Yesterday morning the bell of the catholic 
church rung for Mass before I was out of bed, and by the time 
I dressed breakfast was waiting, so this much of the day passed 
off unimproved. After breakfast I went to the Methodist church 
in which Sunday school is held here the days of yore came 
up strong in my remembrance and my feelings were such as I 
cannot describe after school Mr. Huckins a baptist minister 
preached Text "Is there no balm in Gilead" &c Judge Long- 
street concluded the services by prayer. ... At four Oclock we 
repaired to the presbyterian bible class held in their church 
and here let me express my satisfaction at the society here 
Galveston is not so aristocratic as Houston those in atten- 
dance on the bible class were the young ladies and gentlemen 
(apparently) of the first class in the city, and I was much 
pleased with them, from here we returned home and after Tea 
repaired again to the Methodist church and heard a sermon by 
Judge Longstreet Text "And they all with one consent began to 
make excuse." The singing carried my mind back to the days 
of the "old frog eyes" (illegible) the same tunes were sung here 
tunes that I had forgotten. 

Tuesday 28th The brig "Rodney" from New York has just 
come to anchor outside the wharf, and the steam ship "McKim" 
from New Orleans having on board Col- Navarro, who has 
made his escape from Mexico. The military are making prep- 
arations to receive him in a suitable manner. . . . Tell Gregg 
I forgot in my letter to him, to mention what I got for my 
cotton. You can inform him, there was 450 Ibs and I sold it 

THE YEAR 1846 269 

for 3 dols 5 bits per hundred and I could not have got so much 
for it but I got it off with a lot of hides, the amount received by 
me for the cotton was 16.31 cts 

30th 9 Oclock P M. I've just returned from Class meeting 
we have an excellent leader 

Galveston, Feb. 23, 1845 Upon my first coming here times 
looked quite gloomy nothing to do and expenses heavy, the first 
week I spent in walking through town, but finding it fatiguing 
and unprofitable I had almost made up my mind to go to Corpus 
Christi when I fell into a small job of 8 or 9 days at two dols 
per day, before concluding this I was engaged again at the 
same price and have been employed ever since and expect to be 
for some time to come. ... I find City life agrees with me very 
well, and should things work round to suit I may settle per- 
manently here. 

March 2d This is the anniversary of Texian independence 
and in honor of the occasion the flags of the shipping are flying, 
and three salutes were to have been fired, the first I did not 
hear, being sound asleep (for I sit up late on Saturday nights) 
the second at twelve, jarred the church in which bro Williams 
was preaching and unfortunately the vent of one of the guns 
not being properly stopt one of the persons engaged had an 
arm blown off the next will be fired to night the Galveston 
Guards are to parade this afternoon As to day is Sunday to 
morrow is to be the great day, the occasion will be celebrated 
by the Sunday schools a eolation will be served in the Metho- 
dist Church, and Oration &c 

Houston, Dec. 8, 1845 There is one thing that makes against 
me so much rain and as my work is principally out of doors if 
it continues I will have to lose a great deal of time which will 
go very much again the grain the city now is more like a pig 
stye now than any thing else mud from shoe mouth to half 
leg deep and if it continues to rain much longer it will be 
utterly impassable Wm King wrote up in his letter that goods 
was remarkable cheap but it is all a mistake goods groceries and 
in fact every thing except coffee is very high Flour is selling 
at $12 per Barrell and coffee 12cts per pound every thing ac- 
cording . . . now I think of it I sent up that bottle of ink 
by Alvin and before this reaches you he will have gotten home 
. . . the first good chance I get after I get some money I will 


send you up some goose quills for you to take notes with and 
so forth 

An extract or two from replies to the above letters 
may Ibe added. Among other items may be mentioned a 
strong protest against a charge of $2 postage made by 
the postmaster at Oaldwell on a bundle of papers sent up 
from Gralveston. The writer in this case is Isaac S. Ad- 
dison, father of the young man writing from Galveston : 

I laid the floor and hung the doors of the meeting house 
since the time you left here. Robert Scott brought some plank 
to make a pulpit to day; so soon therefore as possible, I shall 
begin to work on it. I am charged by your mother to write to 
you to get you to buy her two lids for the oven and two for the 
scillet and to try and get them conveyed here before camp meet- 
ing, for her old lids are worn out. ... I have right smart of 
work engaged here; but when it will be done I cannot tell. I 
am tired of working and never getting one red cent, no not so 
much as $1.27 to pay my taxes, my land was sold for this 
trifle; Niebling had 23,000 acres sold, Lewis's with them; the 
reason mine and his was sold we did not know the time (illegible) 
he has redeemed his and mine by paying one dollar on mine 
and one on his ; I stand pledged to pay him again $2.27 in money, 
and where I am to get it I know not; nor is this the worst, 
one quarter has gone, and the second far advanced, and I have 
not been able to give our Minister any quarterage. 

The following letter from "home" is by a younger 
brother, and contains some observations about the camp- 
meeting at Waugh Camp-Ground which an older head 
would have overlooked or ignored: 

July 8, 1846 We received your letters on yesterday, the day 
that our camp meeting broke up, and as you desired to hear how 
we got along I will give you a short sketch of it. It commenced 
on last Thursday the 2d with very dull prospects, the incessant 
rains had filled all the streams so that but very few could get 
there. ... On Thursday night all the preachers that we had 
was Bro Sullivan & Bro Bragg the meeting commenced with 

THE YEAR 1846 271 

poor prospects on Friday night Brothers Sneed Harden (who 
was below the Yegua) Cyrus Campbell an Exhorter Bro Belvin 
a young Preacher arrived on the ground which constituted all 
our force, a very weak one you must confess to fight the friends 
of Satan, But notwithstanding the work commenced and but for 
Bro Sulivan might have went on with power But from some 
cause or other, he became a great enemy to excitement, he did 
not like to see people getting religion under an excitement, he 
wanted them to come coolly and deliberately there was sev- 
eral very warm sermons preached and Exhortations delivered 
but Old Dan would throw water on it all It continued this way 
(with but one conversion) till Monday night when Bro Sneed 
Preached a very .warm feeling sermon and set down. Bro S 
getting up immediately after he read out a long Hymn and 
after exhorting a few moments told all those that had made up 
their minds to get religion to come forward without any excite- 
ment of any kind, as he did not like to see people scared into 
religion. Now just come along without any persuasion or any 

singing Just at that moment Brother Bragg rose up and 

calling to the Brethren, said sing that good old song "Come ye 
Sinners poor and needy" perhaps some will come that was 
just taking it out of the Presiding Elders Hand and the Brethren 
being nothing loth went to work with a will that soon filled the 

Alter with Mourners Well after all had come up that would 

come Bro Dan got down in the Alter and read off his long Hymn 
again a half stanza at a time and commented on it as he went 
along without any singing however when he got down and prayed 
a long prayer and kept on that way until they just took it out 

of his hand and carried it by main force after he left the 

work commenced and before the meeting broke up (which it did 
at 15 minutes before three) there was eight professed to obtain 
the pearl of great price 

Another letter from a member of the same family, 
written to the father, who had gone to Houston in the 
fall to seek work, is of interest in that it informs us of 
the sort of texts used by the preachers in those days, and 
contains the first reference we have seen to the " second 
blessing," or the experience of perfect love. The meet- 
ing referred to was a quarterly meeting : 


I will commence with our meeting which commenced the 
fourth friday and lasted till sunday night we had five preachers 
at the beginning Sullivan bragg belvin Rottenstine I believe 
that is the way it is spelled and stansberry the meeting was com- 
menced by brother stansbery who preached from Seek ye first 
the kingdom of god and his righteousness and all these things 
shall be added unto you which was followed by bro Belvin from 
believe on the lord Jesus christ and thou shalt be saved Satur- 
day morning bro Rottenstine the dutch preacher preached an 
excellent sermon from some have not the knowledge of god I 
speak this to your shame Saturday night bro belvin preached 
from for we must all appear before the judgment seat of christ 
and be punished or rewarded according to the deeds done in 
the body whether they be good or whether they be evil Eotten- 
stine Preached again Sunday morning from let there be light 
a great sermon Sunday at dinner time a Preacher came here 
on his way from Austin belonging to the eastern conference by 
the name of friend he preached for us at 3 oclock I forget his 
text bro Belvin Preached again at night from He that hardeneth 
his heart and stiffeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed and 
that with remedy there was a very good feeling throughout the 
meeting but no conversions and thus ends our meeting . . . our 
society is getting along pretty well I believe they all or the 
most of them are striving for the blessing of perfect love 

The last of these family missives is from the young 
man who had spent the winter in Galveston, but who 
has since been licensed to preach and is now (June, 1846) 
in eastern Texas studying and " practicing" with a 
friend, Eobert Crawford, preparatory to entering con- 
ference : 

Yesterday morning at 11 Oclock I attended meeting in the 
town of Marshall and was much gratified at the appearance of 
the congregation. This county you must know for the last 3 
years has been in a state of anarchy the law set at defiance, 
every man thinking he had a right to avenge his wrongs pro- 
ceeded to dispence Justice, and gratify revenge. The result 

was a formation of two parties The "Regulators" took it 

upon themselves to manage affairs, punish offenders in a sum- 

THE YEAR 1846 273 

mary way and conduct affairs to their own liking. The better 
class opposed this and hence the "Moderators." Various acts 
of attrocity were committed by both parties, and Dr. Kelsey 
(the gent at whose house I am staying) informed me to night 
that since he had been living in the county, 60 murders have 
been committed, and a greater part under his immediate obser- 
vation. Such acts of lawlessness have gained for the community 

a bad name, and not undeservedly a short time before my 

arrival here two men were shot in the streets in broad daylight, 
and an affray occured in port Caddo yesterday in which a man 
was wounded, supposed mortal. On the whole society is rap- 
idly improving there are but a few of the lawless ones left, and 
they will have to yield to the moral improvement daily increas- 

The congregation was highly respectable, both in size and 
character and gave me a very favorable idea of the society of 
the place. Both the circuit preachers were present bro Stovall 
gave us a discourse from "The righteous is more excelent than 
his neighbor" my lot was to conclude which I did, much against 
my inclination. After service we were invited by a gentleman 
home to dine, during which the wine bottle was passed around, 
though out of three preachers but one partook. In the afternoon 
attended Class meeting and at night tried to preach to a large 

and interesting congregation I tried hard to beg off, but 

It would not do this was a great trial, and I felt like 

I had made a complete failure The gentleman with whom I 
spent the night seeing my discomfiture, tried to encourage me 
by telling me I done quite well and advised me to go ahead and 
thunder away this from a man who made no pretentions to 
religion was a little comforting, but still I could not get over 
my bad feelings. 

One characteristics of this early period, and which 
survived in the Church until far later times, was the prac- 
tice of a strict administration of discipline against those 
who walked disorderly. Numerous examples and records 
might be cited of thorough and solemn procedure in such 
cases, the majority of them being lay members; but a 
few local preachers also appear for trial. Be it said to 
the credit of the traveling preachers that, though often 


sorely tried with, much profitless labor and scanty sup- 
port, there appears nothing against any of them so far 
as our records go. 

With the following case as an example of "dis- 
cipline," we will bring our record to a close for the 
present : 

March 25th A. D. 1845 

The fowling charges ar Prefurd against James Davis a mem- 
ber of the M. E. Church at New hope (V. Z.) the first charge 
is for having shot a yearling Bull a stray and skinning it and 
Leaving the carcus in the woods. 

the Second is for having shot a Beef Belonging to Mortimer 
Dunehew three or four times Leaving it un Kiled 

the Day Being set for tryal after Due notice having ben 
Given to the accused all Parties being Present the Rev. . J. G. 
Johnson took the Chear, and E. D. Johnson D. G. White and 
James Bell ware appointed committy Prear by the Eev. . J. G. 
Johnson after which E. D. Johnson was appointed Sec. . 

Mr. . Davis Pleads not Guilty to the first charge Mr. . Smith 
a witness states that he was in the woods and meets Mr. . Davis.s 
Son with the hide and asked him if he had been Boochering 
and he Replide that it was a hide they had just taken of from 
a Little Bull they had found Dead he then ast him where it 
was and he told him it was Just over the turn of the hill he 
Left the Boy and went to the carcus and found that it had been 
shot threw the heart and the Blud was Running warm Round 
the heart he then Left it and went and Got W. B. Whitfield 
and Mr. . Arnold to Go with him to Examine the carcus and 
they found some strips of hide having in them the appearance 
of a Bulit hole that had been cut out with a knife 

W. B. Whitfield a witness States the Same of Mr. Smith in 
Relation to the carcus and strips of hide Mr. . Arnold.s testi- 
mony coresponds with Mr. . Smiths and Mr. . Whitfield.s 

Testomoiiy in Part and Behalf of Defendant R. Davis a 

son of Defendant states that Mr. Smith Son shot this Bull Some 

time Before Say fore or five Days Before the Bull was Skiiid 

Galliton a Son of Defendant States that he met Mr. . Smith and 
told him that the carcus was over the turn of the hill Mr. 

THE YEAR 1846 275 

Lewey States that the Bull was his and Mr. Davis Paid him for 
the Bull Mr. Floyd States that Mr. Davis Paid Lewey 
2d Charge 

Mr. Davis States that he Did Shute the steer with an Entente 
to kill the Same Beleaving it to Be his it Being in the Same 
Mark and Brand Excepting J it Being very "Wilde 

Mr. Smith States that the Beef was very Gentle and Lay 
at his Cow Pen Every Night 

We the Committy Do unanumously agree that James Davis 
is Guilty of the Charges aleged against him which Charges we 
Beleave to be Suficient to Exclude a Person from the Kingdom 
of Grace and Glory 
March 25 th A. D. 1845 

E. D. JOHNSON Com. . 


This case was appealed to the quarterly conference 
of Montgomery circuit, and the minutes of the confer- 
ence show that the action of the committee in expelling 
the accused was affirmed. 




THE third session of the East Texas Conference was 
held at Clarksville, opening on March 31, 1847, and clos- 
ing on April 7, with Bishop Paine in charge. Oscar M. 
Addison and Eichard Eansom were received on trial; 
Jacob Crawford, Milton H. Jones and Nathan Shook 
located; Job M. Baker took the supernumerary relation, 
and Robert Crawford and Henderson D. Palmer were 
placed on the superannuated list. Joab H. Biggs, from 
the Arkansas Conference, R. W. Kennon, from the 
Louisiana Conference, and A. Gumming, from the Indian 
Mission Conference, were received by transfer, and Lewis 
S. Marshall and Oscar M. Addison were transferred to 
the Texas Conference. 

The "numbers in society," reported at this confer- 
ence were as follows : 







San Augustine Sta. . 
San Augustine Cir. . 








Shelby ville 







TTnri- TTniiQt.nn 

















This year 




Local preachers 


Last year 




Dallas Mission 



Fort Sherman 







These figures disclose the fact that Paris leads the 
conference in total membership, followed by Jasper and 
Nacogdoches in order, although San Augustine circuit, 
the oldest Methodist territory in the conference, shows 
.the largest number of white members. 

In the appointments the districts stand as last year, 
.and these, with their presiding elders for 1847, are as 
follows : San Augustine district, John W. Fields, P. E. ; 
Marshall district, Samuel A. Williams, P. E. ; Clarksville 
district, Daniel Payne, P. E. No new appointments ap- 
pear, except Trinity, in the San Augustine district, and 
Jefferson, in the Marshall district. Bonham and Dallas 
missions are combined, with Joab H. Biggs and M. F. 
Cole the preachers. 

Of the conference year that followed we have but one 
brief reference, and this from the written journal of 
'John W. Fields, as follows : 

April, 1847. At the Conference at Clarksville, I was ap- 
pointed P. E. of the San Augustine District. This was an afflict- 
ing appointment to me in many respects, especially in view of 
my age in the ministry (this being only my fifth year in the 
Itineracy) ; and in consequence of a severe difficulty between 
two ex-Presiding Elders "Wilson & West both of whom now 
resided in the bounds of my work. 


But I set out in trembling & in tears resolving to go and do 
the best that I could. Attended the wedding of Bro. Blades & 
Miss Swanson on Soda Lake had a pleasant time, spent a few 
days recreating chiefly fishing on the Lake. Long will I remem- 
ber this feast, especially the kind family of Bro Blocker. 

Eeached my District, and commenced my labors under many 
embarrasments. Spent the year as best I could; and to what 
profit if any to the Church, the Lord must judge. 

This was a short conference year, the next session of 
the conference being held in San Augustine, opening on 
December 8, 1847 just nine months from the close of the 
former session. Bishop Capers presided. Only one 
preacher was admitted on trial Felix G-. Fawcett. Job 
M. Baker, Foster H. Blades, Eobt. Crawford, Orrin 
Hatch, Robert W. Kennon and Francis "Wilson located. 
The statistics show an increase of 521 white members, 
and a decrease of 127 colored. The appointments show 
the same districts, with the same presiding elders, with 
the exception of Clarksville district, for which no presid- 
ing elder is shown in the minutes. New appointments 
appearing are: Henderson, Cherokee, Upshur, Smith 
County Mission, Grayson, Greenville, Mt. Pleasant, 
Boston, Beaumont (in connection with Liberty), and 
Palestine. Concerning the organization at Palestine 
Thrall says: "In 1840 John Wilson, a supply on the 
Crockett Mission, organized a class near where the city 
of Palestine now stands, in the house of Roland Box. 
When the county of Anderson was created, and Pales- 
tine selected as the county seat, the Society removed to 
the new town." Henderson D. Palmer was appointed to 
the first Palestine circuit in December, 1847. 

Reverting to the Journal of John W. Fields we learn 
of another incident or two occurring at this conference : 

Deer 1847. Conference held at San Augustine. Bishop 
Capers presiding. At this Conference we had troubles times. 
The old Wilson & West case revived; and after spending two 


days in trial, resulted in the suspension of both. The Confer- 
ence afterwards reconsidered the case of "Wilson and granted 
him a location. This was an injudicious step. The Bishop was 
in bad health; and his stock of patience being exhausted, gave 
vent to a petulant class of feelings which very much soured the 
Conference with him. Here too we had a dreadful "blow-up" 
of the Wesleyan College. The Trustees, through intrigue taking 
advantage of some legal defectability of the Charter, had amal- 
gamated it with a state University, over the head of the Confer- 
ence. Now all the recourse we had was to their honor, and that 
be (ing) so lean nothing in return could be had for buildings 
& fixtures worth say $15,000. Alas the folly of a weak young 
Conference to undertake to rear Colleges, before she is able to 
sustain them ; or understands how to legally hold them 

We could, of course, eliminate from these remarks all 
personal references, as the writer's observations were 
not made for publication ; but so long as nothing appears 
to be set down in malice we see no reason for expurgat- 
ing the record. It is always easy to think of the pioneers 
as being a more heroic and saintlier company of men than 
we know to-day. But in reality they were men "of like 
passions with ourselves," though we must concede to 
them more hardihood and heroism than we are called 
upon to exercise to-day. 

The loss of Wesleyan College was a severe one to the 
Eastern Conference. The institution was granted a 
charter by the Congress of Texas on January 16, 1844, 
but this charter, it was discovered when too late, was 
fatally defective so far as it was intended to guarantee 
Methodist control. The Rev. Lester Janes, a relative of 
Bishop Janes, was the first president. He was later 
succeeded by the Rev. Foster H. Blades, A.M., who was 
in charge at the time of the " blow-up." Francis Wilson 
had acted as financial agent, and during the four years of 
its existence under Methodist control the preachers and 
others had raked and scraped for funds until the build- 
ings and equipment represented an investment of fifteen 


or twenty thousand dollars. The energy and spirit which 
projected this educational venture is worthy of all praise ; 
the preachers and people did their part nobly, but their 
efforts were defeated by the internal management. As 
to the courses offered at Wesleyan College, these seemed 
to run mostly to languages. In a printed circular sent 
out under date of February 1, 1846, it was stated that 
"in addition to Latin and Greek, other ancient languages 
will be taught when desired Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, 
Samaritan." Also full courses were offered in French 
and Spanish, and " German and Italian will be taught if 
required." The institution was credited with one A.B. 
and one A.M. graduate. During the year 1847, appar- 
ently without the consent of anybody, the trustees 
" amalgamated" the institution with a state school 
located at San Augustine, and a new charter was pro- 
cured, placing it under state control. The old college 
building was burned down in 1868, while the East Texas 
Conference was in session at San Augustine. 

The conference met in December, 1848, at Henderson, 
with Bishop Andrew presiding, and Isaac M. Williams 
secretary. From Bishop Andrew's "Miscellanies" we 
learn: "There is as yet no house of worship, but the 
different denominations occupy the lower room of a 
house, the upper part of which is a Masonic hall, and a 
Division room for the Sons of Temperance. "We are 
about building a house of worship pretty much in the 
same way. . . . Henderson is not the only place in the 
state where the church and the lodge are in close neigh- 
borhood. . . . One single fact indicates that temperance 
principles are quite influential. I was told that there 
were about five hundred voters in the county, and there 
are two Divisions of the Sons of Temperance, numbering 
about four hundred members." 

At this conference the following were admitted on 
trial: William Jameson, Samuel C. Box, E. S. Powell, 
Wm. N. Harmon, Thomas L. Burnes, Samuel G. Culver, 


Wm. Blue, Jas. G. Hardin. Henderson D. Palmer, D. 
Shook, Jas. H. Stakes, and Daniel Payne located. 
William G. Booker and Henry B. Kelsey had died during 
the year. John B. Tullis was received by transfer from 
the Alabama Conference and Orceneth Fisher and Eobert 
B. Wells from the Texas Conference. The published 
obituaries give the following facts relating to the de- 
ceased brethren : 

William G. Booker was born in Tennessee Nov. 13, 1816; 
was sometime a resident of Alabama, and from thence emigrated 
with his father in 1839 to Panola county, Texas. Was con- 
verted and joined the M. E. church about 1834 ; was licensed to 
preach, in 1842; joined the Texas Conference in 1845, during 
which year he travelled the San Jacinto circuit; in 1846 ap- 
pointed to Liberty circuit; admitted into full connection and 
ordained deacon in 1847, and appointed to Henderson circuit. 
During the year his health entirely failed, and at the ensuing 
conference he was granted a year's rest. He died on the 21st 
of January, 1848, at Col. Hardin 's, in Liberty county, in much 
peace. He left a widow. He was a pious man, a zealous min- 
ister, and a faithful pastor. He would often arise from a sick 
bed and go to an appointment, and his early death was brought 
on by his excessive labors. 

Henry B. Kelsey was a native of the state of New York, 
born in 1798. Entered the ministry in South Carolina about 
the year 1820 or 1821. Travelled two or three years and lo- 
cated. He then studied medicine and engaged in the practise of 
physic. Removed to Tennessee in 1832 or 1833, and about 1838 
came to Texas. When our ministers found him in Texas he 
was in a backslidden state, out of the church and totally fallen. 
He again joined the church, and was restored to his standing 
as a local preacher. Received on trial into the East Texas Con- 
ference at Marshall in 1846. As a physician he stood high with 
the medical faculty; as a minister he was much admired for 
his talents. 

At the conference of 1848 a new district was formed, 
called the Trinity district, covering mainly the Trinity 
valley. John W. Fields was appointed presiding elder. 


Fields had returned to Kentucky the year before, and on 
August 6th, 1848, had married Miss Winna Ann Duncan, 
making the trip back to Texas in a buggy. From Field's 
journal we learn of some of the events of the year on his 
new district: 

In January after a month's rain we set out for my new 
home in Kaufman county, then in a central portion of my new 
district, which was about 200 miles square. After wading and 
swimming mud and water and staying in the most miserable 
huts at night we reached Kaufman about 1st Feby, a distance of 
140 ms. My poor wife bore it all with uncommon cheerfulness 
and fortitude. But when we arrived my house was not yet fin- 
ished, so we remained boarders a while, and finally moved into 
a log cabin 16 feet square, without door, shutters, without kitchen 
or anything to put in it. Thus we lived one year, from hand 
to mouth, when we could get it. My wife taught a small school 
3 months for which she realized about $12. I travelled my dis- 
trict for which I realized about $300. The expense and trouble 
of moving was great; and the privations after reaching there 
still greater. The country new provisions scarce and high, the 
season extremely wet and sickly. At last my wife and I both 
took sick and lay for weeks without much attention. ... In 
the fall of this year (1849) my friends at Palestine made me 
a liberal offer to move and settle there. Accordingly in the 
following winter I left my Prairie home in the care of a brother 
and moved to Palestine. 

The fifth session of the East Texas Conference met 
at Paris, Nov. 29, 1849, with Bishop Paine presiding, and 
I. M. Williams as secretary. At this conference William 
P. Sansom, H. B. Hamilton, Calvin Askins, Neil Brown, 
and Sam. Lynch were admitted on trial. Richard Ran- 
som, Arthur Davis, and Joab H. Biggs located, and Enoch 
P. Chisholm took the supernumerary relation. Orceneth 
Fisher, after one year on the Marshall circuit, trans- 
ferred back to the Texas Conference. 

The statistics showed an increase of 690 white mem- 
bers and 12 colored. The new Trinity district included 
the appointments of Kingsboro, Dallas, Grayson, Green- 


ville, Smith. County, Cherokee, Palestine, and Sabine 
mission, with 1348 white members and 39 colored. Dallas 
mission had increased in membership to 279. The finan- 
cial report of the conference, covering the " Conference 
Collections," shows $17.61 raised to apply to deficits on 
preacher's salaries and for the relief of widows and 
orphans of preachers. This munificent amount was ap- 
propriated as follows: D. Poe's children, $2.60; to L. 
Fowler's children and widow, $5; W. G-, Booker's widow, 
$5; H. B. Kelsey's widow, $5. Total amount raised for 
missions, $414. 

A notable rise in membership had taken place at 
Marshall. In 1847, 233 white members were reported. 
In 1848 this number had increased to 644, and in 1849 
to 707, being more than double the membership of any 
other charge in the conference. The explanation is given 
in the "Reminiscences" of Dr. John H. McLean, whose 
boyhood was spent in this section. Eeferring to these 
years he says: "My mother moved back to Harrison 
County in 1849 with her possessions and established a 
home with her parents five miles east of Marshall. On 
the premises stood a peck sawmill, as it was called a flat 
blade about three feet in length, with a peck or tooth at 
each end, which manufactured about four or five hundred 
feet of lumber per day. ... On the place was erected a 
gin and cotton press, with a capacity of one and a half 
to two bales a day. . . . Here for the first time in my 
life I was brought in contact with an organized Christian 
community. We had regular circuit preaching by Rev. 
N. W. Burks as pastor. For the two years he was on 
this, the Harrison circuit, he had over one thousand con- 
versions and additions to the church, and of the number 
were my mother and other relatives. He was a master 
of men, of commanding size and forceful speech, and 
well educated for his day." 

This writer gives us all we know of Daniel Payne, 
who had served the previous year on the Clarksville dis- 


trict, while the McLean family lived in Bowie County. 
Payne, we have noted, located at the end of the year, and 
we are told that he joined in the first rush to California 
after the gold discovery, but that he was murdered by 
Indians on the way. 

In the appointments made in 1849 we note that the 
new Trinity district is much reduced in size, and that 
John W. Fields is reappointed presiding elder, with 
headquarters at Palestine. From his " Notes From My 
Raddle-Bags" we have a more detailed report of one 
round made on his district : 

April 1st and 2d Attended the Quarterly Meeting for 
Palestine circuit, at Wilson Academy congregation large and 
serious preached with some liberty from Eph. Ill 14 20. 

Sabbath morning had a most precious Love-Feast. At 11 
o'clock, preached from IX, 26-28, the Lord applied the word; 
and at the table we felt His presence very near. 

April 8th and 9th Attended the Quarterly Meeting for 
Cherokee circuit at Rusk. Found a feeble, faint and fearful 
church, everything unfavorable to religion to contend with. Dur- 
ing Quarterly Conference I started a proposition to build a meet- 
ing house, subscribed $5 myself to encourage the country breth- 
ren to do something. In this little mite I was nothing loser, as 
a liberal California gold-digger placed in my hand the amount 
at the close of conference. A new and important lesson was this 
in the doctrine of special providence. This church is likely to 
be completed in a few months, as there are now several hundred 
dollars subscribed, and the right class of men on the building 

Sabbath morning Attended a fine Sabbath school in the 
infancy of its organization. About 100 pupils present. Also 
attended a fine Bible class in the afternoon. These institutions 
tell well -on the little town, and will doubtless make the rising 
generation better, if indeed it should fail to redeem the present 
adult, adulterated population which have hitherto been con- 
sidered irredeemable. I preached a plain sermon at 11 o'clock, 
leveled at sin generally and all the views of this day, particu- 
larly. Some gnashed their teeth, some laughed to scorn, while 


others looked serious and wept. At night we had a very appro- 
priate discourse from Brother Cole, L. P. A few came forward 
for prayer, four joined the church. I felt much gratified at this 
my first pastoral visit to Eusk. 

April 13th and 14th After encountering much difficulty by 
water, mud and quicksand I reached Kennedy's School House, 
the place of the Quarterly Meeting for Tyler circuit ; found old 
brother Craig, like an old Regular, well disciplined to holy war, 
at his post a good congregation in attendance, Quarterly Con- 
ference well attended a most excellent official board, mostly 
school in the old countries and brought their Methodism with 
them. Financial reports on the infant circuit good, very good. 

After preaching and administering the sacrament on Sab- 
bath, I rode 15 miles to Brother McDough's, in order to reach 
my next appointment, distant 140 miles, which, owing to high 
waters and other inconveniences, made me haste to "make hay 
.while the sun shone." 

April 21 and 22 Attended the quarterly meeting for Kings- 
borough circuit, at Smith's chapel. Owing to the constant flood 
of rain, but little was effected in the form of visible good but 
the seed was sown in faith, the result we leave with God. 

Monday morning I started for Dallas, but the creeks being 
iiripassable I was compelled to return to Brother S 's where most 
of the congregation, who had attended the Quarterly Meeting, 
still remained owing to rain and high water. I thought it best 
not to be idel, so I proposed to Brother H, the p. c., that we 
should have preaching. This we had forenoon and afternoon as 
it continued to rain. 

I started again, found the little creeks lower but the big 
ones higher. The Bast Fork of the Trinity, the worst and most 
dangerous stream in Northern Texas, covering its miserable bot- 
tom for two miles. What shall I do? inquired I of the ferry- 
man, and then of the Lord. "Go," said the Lord, "and lo I 
am with you even to the end of the world." 

But the ferryman reluctantly took me over the channel and 
two or three of the worst sloughs ; and then he took a horse and 
piloted me through the most dangerous parts of the bottom. At 
our parting I silently offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God, 
and after compensation and many cheerful thanks to him, I 
made my way out finding terra firma in about one mile more. 


April 27th and 28th Attended the Dallas Qt. M. at Webb's 
chapel. This place was dear to me from the recollection that 
here the first standard of Methodism was planted in this circuit, 
a few years ago. That time I had the privilege of attending a 
two days' meeting at this place, when the Lord was pleased to 
own and bless His word, and the poor preacher felt it a privilege 
indeed to be among the first to bear the good tidings to the feeble 
few in the wilderness. They number some 50 members. Our 
Quarterly meetings were well attended; much good feeling pre- 
vailed. One circumstance I was forcible struck with in the 
Love Feast. A very pious sister had lately gone to the spirit- 
land, her name was frequently called and one said, "Sister 

W is here indeed, her sainted spirit seemed to mingle 

with us. Does not this prove the doctrine of ministering angels?" 

May 4th and 5th Attended two day's meeting at Warsaw. 

May llth and 12th Attended a Quarterly Meeting at Saline 
Mission at Gilmore's school house. 

Monday, 13th Home again, after encountering much diffi- 
culty by land and water. 

It is time to note what progress is being made in the 
new town of Dallas, mentioned in the presiding elder's 
ramblings. We have seen that Dallas circuit appears in 
the minutes as early as 1846. In a memorandum made 
by Rev. W. 0. Young, in connection with some old quar- 
terly conference minutes, he says: "In the minutes of 
the Quarterly Conference of the circuit Dallas is men- 
tioned as a preaching place on the round of appointments 
for the years 1848 and 1849, but during these two years 
there was no organization in the town and no response 
appearing of record to the Seventh Question 'What has 
been raised for the support of the Ministry,' until after 
the 4th Quarterly Conference of 1850, when the first in- 
stalment ever recorded was paid to the support of the 
Methodist Ministry in the town even $7. ' ' 

The minutes of the first quarterly conference, Dallas 
circuit, for 1848, show the following preaching places, 
with the financial report from those paying: Honey 


Creek Camp Ground; Wm. Pulliam's; Welburn's School 
House, $1; Webb's Chapel, $3.20; Cedar Springs, .75; 
Dallas; Keen's; Vance's (or Vann's); BusselPs; 
Coone's. Total collected, $4.95, distributed as follows: 
"To Bro. J. H. Biggs Traveling Expenses $J.95; Bro. 
W. C. Lewis Traveling Expenses, $2.57; J. H. Biggs 
Quarterage .43." Biggs was the preacher in charge and 
Lewis the presiding elder. In the quarterly conference 
reports for the second, third and fourth quarters of this 
year Dallas does not appear in the list of preaching 
places. In the report for the second quarter, 1849, Mc- 
Kinney appears. At the second quarterly conference, 
1850, a committee was appointed "to receive proposi- 
tions to select a suitable place for a parsonage." This 
committee reported at the third quarter, "accepting 25 
acres of ground offered by Abner & M. H. Keen on Duck 
Creek, in Dallas County, ' ' and a committee was appointed 
to solicit subscriptions and another to superintend the 
building. Our first record of a "class" in the town of 
Dallas is the Class Book for the circuit, dated Nov. 11, 
1850, showing a Dallas class of twelve names, as follows : 
Elizabeth Browder, Lucy I. Browder, Perry Deacon, 
Thomas Cruchfield, S. A. Cruchfield, Sarah Zachre, A. S. 
Sampson, Isabella P. Harwood, Mary McOmis, A. D. 
Eice. The Cedar Springs class had forty-four names, 
among which the Knights, Coles and Brandenburgs are 
prominent. Webb's Chapel shows fifty-six names, of 
whom are the Webbs, Cochrans, Armstrongs, Hunts, and 
Wm. K. Hasten, L. P., and Jesse Daniel, L. E. 

A full account has already been given of Webb's 
Chapel, the pioneer church of Dallas County. Four or 
five years after the Webb's Chapel society was organ- 
ized a church was formed at Cedar Springs, not far from 
the present Oak Lawn section of Dallas. Sometime in the 
middle fifties the Webb's Chapel and Cedar Springs 
societies united in the erection of a church on half-way 
ground. This church was named Cochran 's Chapel, after 


Mrs. Nancy J. Cochran, the donor of the ground. 1 It was 
dedicated "by J. W. P. McKenzie soon after its completion. 
Cochran 's Chapel has had a continuous existence down 
to the present day and it has made a large contribution 
to Dallas Methodism and to other fields of the Church. 
The original building was displaced by another in 1885, 
and now this one is giving place to a handsome brick 

We have noted in a former chapter something of the 
life and character of J. W. P. McKenzie; that he was a 
pioneer itinerant on both sides of Bed River in 1839- 
40-41, and that on account of failing health he 
located in the fall of 1841, and settling four miles west 
of Clarksville, opened a private school for boys in a one- 
room log house. He enrolled sixteen pupils the first year. 
This was the beginning of McKenzie College, which for 
the period before the Civil War came to be the most 
prosperous and the most influential school west of the 
Mississippi River. While most of our early schools were 
projected on a more ambitious scale, and had the ad- 
vantage of official conference support, the McKenzie 
school was of slow development and simply grew up 
around a great educator. Within a few years the log 
house was displaced by a larger building, and in the 
course of time four large two-story frame buildings were 
erected, where as many as three hundred boarding pupils 
found ample and comfortable quarters. The institution 
extended its curriculum to a full four year's college 
course, equal to any of the standards of that day, and a 
female department was added. "Itinerant's Retreat" 
was the name which the ex-itinerant gave to his school 
community, and this spot became classic ground during 
the life of McKenzie. While McKenzie College was never 
regularly owned or supported by the conferences or the 

i The deed to the property was made in 1854, and W. C. Young says 
that Cochran 's Chapel was built the same year the deed was made, and 
that it was dedicated the same year. He places the cost at $1400, but 
says it was not ceiled until later years. Others writing on this subject 
fix various years for the erection of this church, or of its dedication, as 
1856, 1858, or 1859. 


Church it was generally recognized as a Methodist in- 
stitution. One of its distinguishing characteristics was 
the positive religious influence which it wielded over its 
pupils. Of this and of other features of its work, as well 
as of some of the men who were products of the school, 
we shall have occasion to refer later. Here, to give a 
contemporary view of some things in its earliest days, 
we introduce a "statement of account" of one boarding 
pupil, who, drawn by the fame of the "log college" had 
ridden all the way from Burleson County on a mule to 
seek his education. 

1847. 8&9 Itinerant Eetreat. 

Bev. O. M. Addison 

To J. W. P. MeKenzie Dr. 

To board & tuition of bro. Malcom 15 months $13.00 pr m $195.00 

' ' Lights 10.50. gram 1.00. Arith 1.50. quills 20. pap 50 13.75 

" quills 20. ink 12%. slate 50. pap 37%. quills, ink 25 Lat 

les 2.50 4.00 

" Lat Die 3.50. pap 50. shoes 2.50. pap 37%. Hist 3.00 Phil 2.00 11.87% 

" Soct 50. pap 50 shoes 1.50 geog at 2.00 pap 50 do 50 5.50 

" Comb 30. Chemis 125. Lat les 2.50. Caea 3.00 shoes 2.00 ... 9.05 
" post 20 do .05. do .05. do 10. Sallust 2. 50 post 10. bill at 

Alex 11.50 14.50 

' ' pap 50 key 75 gr 1.00. Lat les 2.50 Virg 4.00 Ment Ph 3.25 12.00 

' ' Will 2.50 Let Die 5.00 Grk gr. 2.75 slate .50 post 05 10.80 

' ' pap 20 sund 4.70 4.80 

Or by horse $50.00 125.00 

" " Cash 75.00 

Due 156.92% 

125.00 Or for (illegible) 25.00 

1848&9 Malcom Addison 

To 10 months board & tuition $15.00 pr m $130.00 

" Light 6.50 Cicero 4.50. paper 50. ink 20. quills 20 12.00 

' ' pencils 20 cash 1.00 pills 1.50. logic 1.75 Ehet 2.50 7.00 

" pills 25. post 25. post 10. comb 30. pap 50. Gr. Test. 2.50 3.90 
" Horace 4.50 post 05 Colb 1.00 Grk Gr 2.75. Grk Lex 10.00 17.30 
" (illegible) 2.50. Hym 50 pap 50 pst 10 do 05 shoes 1.75 5.40 
" pap 50. comb 37% pills 1.00 pills 50. post 05 pills 50. 2.92% 
" post 15 (2 letters) 15 


Cr per book 1.50 1.50 

cash 1.90 



Summing it all up, the above bill, which may be taken 
as typical, represents all the expenses in school, covering 
.a total attendance of twenty-five months during the years 
1847-48-49, including board, tuition, books, a few 
items of clothing, "pills" and other sundries, as amount- 
ing to $460.59^, or an average of about $18.50 a month. 

To the above may be added a report of a visit to the 
institution by the ministerial brother of the student 
whose account he stood for : 

My last was dated from Clarksville, which place I left on 
Monday the 24th ultimo (letter bears date of Feb. 1, 1848), 
having spent four days and a half very pleasantly. I am more 
than ever pleased with bro McKenzie's Institution; and the ad- 
vantages Malcolm is enjoying. And it is not a stretch of the 
imagination, to suppose, that the time here spent, will form an 
era in his history, from which he may date his rise to an hon- 
orable distinction in any profession in which he may engage. 
. . . The students have a debating society which meets weekly. 
On friday night, while in the sitting room in company with bros. 
Stovall and Davis the latter preacher in charge we were 
waited upon by a couple of young gentlemen, who announced 
themselves as a committee appointed, to invite us into the society. 
The exercises were in progress as we entered, which consisted in 
reading compositions previous to the discussion of the subject. 

The question read for debate was as follows. "Which is 
the stronger passion, love or hatred?" This was argued pro 
and con for sometime, Malcolmn closing on the negative. A call 
was then made for Mr. Addison to participate in the debate. 
Your humble servant then rose and delivered his sentiments in 
favor of hatred being the stronger, not that he really thought 
so ; but the other side of the house had the best of the argument, 
and I thought I would assist the weaker party. The other 
preachers were invited to speak who respectively presented the 
merits of the two passions in glowing colors. But love was 
thought by the deciding power to be much the stronger. 

A single extract from a letter from "Malcolm" home, 
on June 16, 1848, will suffice to close this subject at 
present : 


"We have been again visited by the monster death, and under 
circumstances the most calculated to afflict, on day before yester- 
day, in the afternoon, William McKenzie (son of Dr. McKenzie) 
started to a wedding, in company with a number of others, all 
as gay as it is possible for people to be, but they had not been 
gone perhaps over five minutes before he was thrown from his 
horse, his father had went on before to perform the ceremony 
he was immediately sent for, but William never spoke again, he 
lived till twenty five minutes after twelve. I need not try to 
tell you how it affected his parents. . . . Old Master told us 
some weeks ago that some heavy calamity would fall upon us 
but this was unexpected to all and more so at the time at which 
it happened, never have I seen a more sudden change, in about 
two hours from the time he started, or perhaps a good deal less 
time, he was brought back insensible and in less than twenty 
four hours from the time he was perfectly well he was buried. 
. . . With the exception of that calamity every thing is about as 
usual, several of the students have professed religion since I 
last wrote to you. I think that about seven or eight have pro- 
fessed this session. 

The second General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, met in Centenary Church, St. 
Louis, on May 1, 1850. The representatives from Texas 
were : from the Texas Conference, Robert Alexander and 
Chauncey Eichardson ; from the East Texas Conference, 
Eobert Crawford and William C. Lewis. A letter from 
Eobert Crawford, written en route, and one from Eobert 
Alexander written after the Conference had opened, fol- 
low : 

We are now on board a S. Boat passing up the River and we 
are about 30 or 40 miles above Memphis. It will take us about 
two days yet to get to St. Louis. The Boat shakes so that I can 
hardly write so that you can read it. 

Bro. Lewis and myself and wife came on in company. We 

took a Boat at Shreveport, and came to New Orleans there 

we fell in with Alexander, Eichardson and Peel from your Con- 
ference. Also a part of the Alabama Delegation We all 
took a Boat for St. Louis and at Natchez and other points we 


fell in with others from Ala. Miss. & La. and we have now on 
board about 13 Preachers all bound for St. Louis. 

There have been 8 or 10 deaths from Cholera since we left 
N. Orleans on board the boat and there are several more cases 
that will doubtless die. 

The Preachers have all been well during the voyage. . . . 

I arrived here the night of the 1st of May but learned on 
our arrival that a majority of the members were not at their 
place on the 1st day so nothing was done until we arrived Since 
the morning of the 2d of May we have been hard at work in the 
morning from Sy 2 until 12^ & 1 o'clock then from 3 O P. M. 
until 5 & 6 &c And I do assure you it is a wearing business 
these Cholera times and this cold weather for this is a cold 
region, and we Southern men all have bad colds and are cough- 
ing & hawing all the time We had Cholera aboard all the way 
up the river have had & still have that waisting disease in this 
city though not in a very allarming extent 

I presume we will make two new Bps and that Dr, , Bascom 
will be one of them further than this your deponent doth not 
say "We are about to have plenty of Book depositories and news 
papers and really I am much in hopes we will get the Banner 
adopted but it is yet uncertain All of our Bps are present 
Bp Soule is in feeble health and is excused from effective labors 
in fact from all labour only such as he may feel that his health 
will justify We have a large amount of business cut out and 
more than we will get through soon yet I hope we will not have 
a long session . . . today we obtained a general conf sanction 
and recommendation for the Euter Church and for the agent so 

I think the thing will go well very well and I doubt not P 

will get $2.000 for the Washington Church. 

Referring to several items mentioned above we find 
that the General Conference approved the effort to build 
a church at Washington, Texas, in honor of Dr. Ruter; 
but beyond recommending the enterprise to the liberality 
of the community the Conference did not go. 

Provision was made for establishing Conference Book 
Depositories, which resulted in a book supply house later 
in Texas. The Texas Wesleyan Banner, was adopted as 

EAST TEXAS "CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 293 

one of the papers of the Church, and C. Eichardson was 
elected as editor. 

But one bishop was elected at St. Louis Henry B. 
Bascom, of Kentucky, whose episcopal career was cut so 
short that, unlike other new bishops, he did not have the 
opportunity to be tried out in Texas. 



THE seventh session of the Texas Conference con- 
vened in Galveston, March 10, 1847, Bishop Paine pre- 
siding. Chauncey Eichardson was elected secretary. 
George Tittle, David Eose, William J. Wilson, A. B. F. 
Kerr, Eobert N. Stansberry, and Eobert H. Belvin were 
admitted on trial. Isaac Tabor, James H. Collard and 
Eobert B. Wells located. John Haynie took the super- 
numerary relation. James E. Ferguson was received by 
transfer from the Arkansas Conference. 

The "numbers in society," as reported at this con- 
ference, were as follows : 












Washington Ct 






Montgomery ....... 















San Jacinto 






Galveston German 




















Rutersville Ct 



Members . 




Local preachers 



Last year 






San Antonio 








This conference was called to mourn the loss of one 
of its leading members, Daniel N. V. Sullivan, who had 
died just a few days before the session, while serving as 
presiding elder of the Washington district. "The com- 
mittee have been unable to obtain any information re- 
specting the early history and conversion of Daniel V. N. 
Sullivan,'* runs his memoir. "It appears from docu- 
ments found among his papers that he received license 
as a local preacher in 1833 from the Quarterly Conference 
in Lecksapilita circuit, Alabama Conference, under the 
administration of E. V. Levert, P.E. In 1838 he removed 
to Texas and engaged in teaching school. He was or- 
dained deacon in 1840 by Bishop Waugh; was admitted 
on trial and appointed to Matagorda circuit. In 1842 he 
was appointed to Montgomery circuit; in 1843 to Nash- 
ville circuit; in 1844 he was ordaine'd elder by Bishop 
Andrew, and appointed to Brazos circuit; in 1845 to 
Brazoria; in 1846 he was appointed P.E. of the Wash- 
ington district, which office he filled at death." In 
February, 1847, Bro. Sullivan was attacked with what 
was called inflammation of the brain, and after much 
acute suffering he died on Saturday, February 20, at the 
home of Alexander McGowan, in Houston. His memoir 


characterizes him as "a deeply devoted Christian, but a 
man of serious and reserved deportment ; a minister of a 
high order of talents, and especially eminent for the 
clearness with which he stated, and the ability with which 
he defended and enforced the doctrines of the Bible. ' ' 

At the Galveston conference no new districts were 
formed, and no important changes were made in the ap- 
pointments, except that Josiah W. Whipple was placed on 
the Washington district, made vacant by the death of 
D. N. V. Sullivan. 

The eighth session of the Texas Conference was held 
at Cedar Creek 1 a rising young Methodist center in 
Washington County, convening on December 29, 1847, and 
closing on January 3, 1848 thus scarcely ten months 
elapsing since the last conference. Bishop William 
Capers presided, and Chauncey Richardson was secre- 
tary. At this conference Harvey H. Allen, Isaac G. John, 
Henry Bauer, Charles Goldberg, Thomas M. Williams, 
and Bryant L. Peel were admitted on trial two of these, 
as their names indicate, Tbeing the fruitage of our mission 
to the Germans. Leonard S. Friend, Wm, S. Hamilton 
and Wiley W. Whitby located. John Haynie and Jesse 
Hord took the superannuate relation. Oscar M. Addison, 
who had been admitted on trial into the East Texas Con- 
ference the year before, was received by transfer, as was 
also Lewis S. Marshal from the same conference. 
William C. Lewis and Isaac M. Wliliams were trans- 
ferred to the East Texas Conference. 

i Thrall and others after him say that this Conference was held at 
Chappell Hill; but Thrall in his ' ' Eeminiscences " does not agree with 
Thrall the historian. There was no Chappell Hill in 1848, this point 
taking its rise the following year, if we are to believe the following ac- 
count in the ' ' Eeminiseences " : "During my second year on the Wash- 
ington circuit [which was 1849] there was a camp meeting held at Cedar 
Creek. . . . During the year Chappell Hill was laid out, and Jacob 
Haller opened a store. There were many accessions by immigration this 
year, including Dr. Swearingen, Major Browning and Judge Felder." Con- 
cerning the above Conference he says in these papers: "The sessions 
were held in the second story of Father Chappell 's new house, three miles 
distant from Cedar Creek." Contemporary references to this Conference 
and to this settlement in 1848 use simply the name "Cedar Creek." 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 297 

The statistics showed an increase of three hundred 
and eighty-four white members, and two hundred 
seventy-nine colored. In the appointments the "Washing- 
ton district is dropped, never to appear again, and the 
two new districts Austin and San Antonio appear ; the 
four districts, with their presiding elders, now being as 
follows: Galveston district, C. Richardson; Rutersville 
district, R. Alexander ; Austin district, Josiah W. 
Whipple; San Antonio district, Mordecai Yell. Galves- 
ton station is filled by James M. Wesson; Houston, 
Robert H. Belvin. A Houston German mission is organ- 
ized, with Charles Goldberg in charge, and a Houston 
African mission is set off, with Orceneth Fisher the 
preacher. The German work in the southwest is in- 
cluded in a Victoria and Indian Point German mission, 
with Henry Bauer in charge. 

The ninth session of the Texas Conference was held at 
Lagrange, January 3, IB49, Bishop Andrew in charge, C. 
Richardson, secretary. This was just twelve months to 
a day from the close of the last conference. Charles F. 
Rottenstein, James M. Folansbee, Charles Grote, 
Falacius Reynolds, Reuben Long, and James H. Addi- 
son were admitted on trial six preachers, exactly the 
same number as at each of the two conferences before. 
John Haynie and Jesse Hord were continued on the 
superannuate roll. 0. Fisher and Robert B. Wells were 
transferred to the East Texas Conference, and John C. 
Kolbe was left without an appointment "on account of 
pecuniary embarrassment." John W. Phillips was re- 
ceived by transfer from the Tennessee Conference. The 
statistics showed an increase of three hundred twenty- 
one white members and of twelve colored. The financial 
statistics at the conferences in those days were com- 
prehended under the following questions, with the an- 
swers given at this conference : 

Question 14, What amounts are necessary for the superan- 
nuated preachers, and the widows and orphans of preachers, 


and to make up the deficiences of those who have not obtained 
their regular allowances on the circuits? (Answer) $1218.41. 

Question 15, What has been collected on the foregoing ac- 
counts, and how has it been applied? Collected from circuits, 
$60.26; at Conference, $16.45; draft on McFerran and Henkle, 
$75 ; draft on Bishop Soule, $75. Appropriated ; M. E. T. Out- 
law, $50; J. W. DeVilbiss, $40; David Thompson, $34.90; E. 
Alexander, $21.10 ; Bp. Andrew, $75 ; Conference expense, $5.71. 

Question 16, What has been contributed for the support of 
Missions, what for the publication of tracts and Sunday school 
books, and what to the aid of the American Bible Society and 
its auxiliaries? Missions, $308; Sunday schools, $83.35; Bible, 

These were the " Conference Collections" of that day 
meager enough, compared 'with the budgets of to-day, 
but then those were the days of simplicity and but little 
church machinery. It is to be regretted that there are 
no salary statistics available except a few examples from 
old quarterly conference records, as there are no con- 
ference journals extant covering that period, and the 
general minutes put to record only the barest outline 
of conference transactions. 

The tenth session of the Texas Conference was held 
at Seguin, opening on Dec. 6, 1849. Bishop Eobert Paine 
was in charge, and C. Richardson was again elected 
secretary. Cyrus Campbell, "William F. Hubert, Joshua 
Shapard, George W. Rabb, William G. Nelms, Edward 
Schneider, and Dioclesian Wright were admitted on trial. 
The minutes show that David Thompson, L. D. Bragg and 
0. Fisher located, although the minutes of the previous 
session state that Fisher was transferred to the East 
Texas Conference, which in fact he did. It is only an- 
other instance of the imperfection of these records. It 
is not always possible to trace out an accurate course of 
a preacher's career through these minutes, as there are 
examples of a preacher being located one year, and ap- 
pearing on the superannuated list the following year. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 299 

And so on. At this conference M. E. T. Outlaw took the 
supernumerary relation, and John Haynie and Jesse 
Hord remain on the superannuated list. Thomas F. Cook 
transferred to the Texas Conference from the Mississippi 
Conference. He was a son of Valentine Cook, of great 
fame in his day as a revivalist. 

The statistics show a larger increase in membership 
than for any previous year 585 white members, and 168 
colored. While old Washington has lost its place at the 
head of a district, the Washington circuit leads the con- 
ference in membership 392 white and 112 colored, be- 
sides 120 colored gathered in a special Washington 
colored mission. E-utersville shows the next highest 
membership 289 white and 24 colored; followed by 
Nashville, 244 white, 25 colored ; Austin and Bastrop, 247 
white and 30 colored (the most of whom are outside of 
Austin), and Seguin, where the conference was held, 
which a year or two ago was a frontier settlement, has 
forged to the front as an appointment, with 232 white 
members, and 8 colored. The first church building in 
Seguin had been completed in time for this conference. 
The "stations" are showing little growth in member- 
ship. Galveston has 67 whites and 57 colored ; Houston, 
103 whites and 114 colored. Austin alone reported the 
year before 33 white members, and San Antonio has 
reached a total of only 35 members 20 whites and 15 
colored. Corpus Christi brings up six members. The 
places of "strategic" importance were of slow growth, 
but were more permanent than the others. The German 
mission work in the conference reported 169 members, 
with one church building about completed in Galveston. 

In the appointments the Austin district is dropped, 
and the Springfield district appears, which includes the 
appointments of Springfield, Wheelock, Nashville, Bed 
Oak and Leon missions. Georgetown mission appears 
for the first time, included in the San Antonio district, 
James W. Lloyd, preacher in charge, a transfer from the 


Arkansas Conference; and also Brownsville mission, N. 
A. Cravens, from the Alabama Conference. The districts, 
with their presiding elders, are: Galveston district, 
James M. Wesson; Eutersville district, Eobert Alex- 
ander; Springfield district, Mordecai Yell; San Antonio 
district, Josiah W. Whipple ; and Victoria district, Daniel 
Carl. The delegates elected at this conference to the Gen- 
eral Conference of 1850 were E. Alexander and C. 

A running sketch of the progress of the Texas Con- 
ference during the above years shows the following facts : 
The districts have increased from three to five ; the mem- 
bership in the conference has increased by 1649 whites 
and 458 colored; present total membership, 3374 whites 
and 959 colored; local preachers have increased from 
thirty-nine to fifty-nine, and itinerants, actually listed in 
the appointments, have increased (net) by ten from 
thirty-one to forty-one, a small net increase in the itiner- 
ant ranks. By no sort of checking up of the minutes can 
the exact status of the itinerant ranks be determined. 
The system in operation took no account of accessions 
by transfer. There was no question, "Who is received 
by transfer?" New names simply appear in the appoint- 
ments, and only by sifting the minutes of all the annual 
conferences can it be even approximately determined 
where the new preacher came from. And it frequently 
occurs that a name disappears from the appointments, 
with no account of what happened in the case. 

The minutes of those days take no account of church 
buildings or parsonages. A United States census report 
for 1850 shows 328 churches of all denominations in 
Texas, of which the Methodists owned 173, valued at 
$58,195; the Baptists are credited with 70, valued at 
$23,190; Presbyterians, 47, valued at $20,070; Epis- 
copalians, 5, valued at $15,400; Eoman Catholics, 13, 
valued at $79,700; "Christians" 5, valued at $1,500. 

The minutes make no record of what we now call 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 301 

"Educational Statistics, " and our information of the 
progress of our schools must be gathered from other 
sources. We know that 0. Richardson had resigned the 
presidency of Rutersville College, and that he was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. William Halsey, a native of New York, a 
graduate of Wesleyan University, who had come to Texas 
and engaged in teaching in 1845. A brief reference to 
Rutersville College contained in a report of the Mission 
Board for 1847 states that 68 pupils were then in at- 

Homer S. Thrall, who was sent to the Washington 
circuit at the conference held in January, 1848, says of 
that historic ground: 

This circuit embraced the section of country in which Mr. 
Kinney settled and organized his first societies, and that in 
which Mr. Alexander married and settled. Messrs. Alexander, 
Kinney, Fisher, Sneed, and Wells, travelling preachers, lived 
on this circuit; local preachers, Thomas Wooldridge, Thomas 
E. Nunn, and A. C. Delaplaine; exporters, B. L. Peel, A. T. 
Kerr, H. O. Campbell, Cyrus Campbell, and J. C. Harrison. 
The following were class-leaders: N. Chambliss, E. D. Tarver, 
Adolphus Hope, James Gray, John Atkinson, and Thomas Bell; 
stewards, Fletcher W. Hubert, "William Dever, "William Kesee, 
J. D. biddings, William P. Kerr, William Chappell, B. F. Eea- 
vill, John M. Brown, Amos Gates, and Eufus E. Campbell. The 
plan contained 14 appointments, and 254 white and 55 colored 
members. At the close of Mr. Thrall's second year the circuit 
was divided and subdivided into several pastoral charges, and 
Washington Circuit as such disappeared from the Minutes. Be- 
fore Mr. Thrall took charge of the circuit it had been travelled 
successively by J. W. Kinney, E. Alexander, Abel Stevens, Jesse 
Hord, Mr. Kinney again with E. B. Wells, Joseph P. Sneed, and 
William C. Lewis. At that early period the necessity for houses 
of worship was as great as at the present time, and in many 
places cheap structures were built, so that we could have our 
own denominational Sunday schools. A plain church was erected 
at a neighborhood called Cedar Creek, in Washington County, 
in 1847. Soon afterward the village of Chappell Hill was laid 


out and a church erected there. . . . Soon afterward churches 
were built at Brenham, Bastrop, and La Grange. 

The years 1847-49 mark the rise of Methodism at 
San Marcos. According to the version of a surviving 
member of that church 2 the following is the story: "In 
1847 my father moved from Grimes County to the spot 
upon which San Marcos is built. There was no house 
here then, but Gen. Henry McCullough with a company 
of Bangers was camped here. Indians were occasionally 
around here at that time. A few months after our arrival 
my father, Jno. D. Pitts, got in touch with Eev. A. B. F. 
Kerr, our former pastor, and got him to come here and 
preach to the few who had formed a settlement. In 
August, 1847, Bro. Kerr organized the church. The meet- 
ing was in our house, and nine persons constituted the 
charter roll. Besides my father, mother, brother and 
myself, there were Ed Pitts, Wm. C.Pitts and wife, Thos. 
McGehee and wife and Mike Sessums. Services were 
held at intervals in our home until 1849, when the first 
church was built." 

We have noted the projection of the Springfield dis- 
trict in 1849, which was the seed germ of the future 
Northwest Texas Conference. Springfield, in the heart 
of Limestone County, first appears in the minutes of 
1846, and returns at the end of the year 98 white mem- 
bers and 1 colored. Eichland, in Navarro County, with 
Jas. E. Ferguson and Jas. G. Hardin, in charge, appears 
in 1847, and for this mission at the end of the year 162 
white members and 2 colored are returned. 

Although Denton County was, according to the offi- 
cial boundary, properly in the territory of the East Texas 
Conference, as the Trinity Eiver was the line, preachers 
from the Texas Conference first pushed northward into 
this region and planted Methodism there. Two accounts 

2 Mrs. Eliza Malone, now past ninety years of age, quoted in article 
T. 0. A., 1920. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 303 

of Methodist beginnings in Denton County which we have 
seen are not in exact agreement, and a third account, 
which we are about to offer, does not agree with the 
others, though all have some points in common. In a 
lengthy account of Methodism in Denton and Denton 
County, appearing in the Texas Christian Advocate in 
1918, we are told that "Denton County was attached to 
and became a part of Bed Oak Mission, and in July, 
1846, Eev. J. E. Ferguson, presiding elder of the Austin 
District, and in charge of Bed Oak Mission, organized a 
church near where the town of Lewisville now is, with 
nineteen members." Another account, from Bates 's 
"History of Denton County," is as follows, the state- 
ment having been prepared by the son of John W. King 
mentioned : * ' The first Methodist class in Denton County 
was formed in July, 1846, by James E. Ferguson, pre- 
siding elder of the Bed Oak Mission. John W. King was 
class leader." The names of the members included the 
Harmonsons, Kings, Waggoners, Suttons and others, 
to the number of nineteen. We are told further : ' * The 
class met regularly, had monthly meetings from 1846 to 
1852. . . . The preachers in charge were as follows : Bev. 
James E. Ferguson in 1846-47, Bev. George Tittle in 
1848, Bev. Bandalls, a native Texas preacher, in 1849." 
In the above accounts, the first probably derived from 
the second, some matters are badly mixed. The confer- 
ence records show that James E. Ferguson did not come 
to Texas until the winter of 1846-47, transferring from 
the Arkansas Conference. The Texas Conference, at 
which he received his first appointment in Texas, was 
held in March, 1847, at which time he was appointed, with 
a colleague, J. Gr. Hardin, to the Bichland circuit, 
Navarro County. Josiah Whipple was presiding elder of 
the Austin district that year, and not Ferguson, as stated 
above ; and the Bed Oak Mission, referred to as existing 
in 1846, was not created until 1848. That Ferguson 
visited Denton County in 1847, and left a church organ- 


ization there, we are certain, from his own account ; and 
that he had been preceded there a year before by another 
preacher, Wiley W. Whitby, we are told also. Ferguson's 
account is as follows : 3 

In 1847 the territory now embraced in Navarro, Ellis, Tar- 
rant, and a part of Limestone, Dallas and Denton counties, was 
served by a young man of twenty-two summers. It was his third 
year in the ministry and first in Texas. The country was newly set- 
tled by a hardy, hospitable class. He met a kind reception among 
the people, and found them kindly disposed toward religion. 
The highest point visited by my predecessor, Rev. W. W. Whitby, 
was in Denton county, called "Harmonson's School House." 
While at this point in the month of August I received a message 
from Mr. John Waggoner, living on Elm Pork of the Trinity, 
twelve miles distant, requesting an appointment at his house. 
The appointment was made for the following Sunday at 4 p. m. 
I found about 25 persons present. I gave out a two days meeting 
in September at the house of Peter Waggoner, brother of John. 
In the early part of the week in which the two days meeting 
had been set the missionary passed through the settlement on 
his way to preach at Fitzhugh's Station 18 miles further up on 
Elm Fork. . . . The second Saturday in September I began the 
meeting at Peter Waggoner's. A Mrs. Sutton was gloriously 
converted, and died before the end of the year in great joy. 
Another man King, an ex-Campbellite preacher in Missouri, 
after a hard struggle was converted, with his wife and three 
daughters. Over 20 joined the church. This man King was 
left as class-leader. 

While the above piece of historical reminiscence is 
unsigned, the description which the writer gives of him- 
self corresponds exactly with Ferguson's age and min- 
isterial career. 

Red Oak mission (Eed Oak being in Ellis County) 
was created in 1848, and George Tittle appointed to the 
charge. This fact leads us to the beginning of Methodism 
in Waxahachie. In a historical sketch of the Waxahachie 
Methodist Church* we have the following: ''The first 

s From the T. C. A., 1857. 

4 Journal Central Texas Conference, 1916. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 305 

sermon preached in what is now Waxahachie was in 1848 
by George Tittle, who was preacher in charge of Eed 
Oak Mission. On one occasion he lost his way on the 
prairie, and stopping at the cabin of Major E. W. Eogers 
to make inquiry, he was invited to spend the night and 
preach. That cabin occupied the ground where the Hotel 
Eogers now stands. In the spring of 1849 Eev. Mr. Eey- 
nolds organized a Methodist Society, consisting of nine 
members, in Major Eogers' cabin. This was one year 
before the town of Waxahachie was located." 

Continuing our search of the minutes, Eed Oak Mis- 
sion returned at the end of the year 74 white members 
and one colored. In the fall of 1848 Falacius Eeynolds 
was appointed to Eed Oak Mission, and in the following 
year Springfield district appears, covering this territory, 
with the following appointments: Mordecai Yell, P.E. ; 
Springfield ct., Fabricius Eeynolds (his name never ap- 
pears the same way twice); Wheelock, Eeuben Long; 
Nashville, John W. DeVilbiss; Eed Oak Mission, D. F. 
Wright, Win. G. Nelms; Leon Mission, James H. Addi- 
son. Georgetown Mission, as we have noted, appears 
for the first time this year, but is included in the San 
Antonio district. 

The following report from the new settlement of 
Waxahachie, and noting the projection of its first church, 
signed D. W. Wright, and dated Eed Oak circuit, July 
15, 1850, appeared in the Texas Wesley an Banner: 

Waxahachie, the county site of Ellis county, Texas, is pleas- 
antly situated on the north side of Waxahachie creek, on the 
road leading from Dallas to Austin, about thirty miles from 
Dallas, and about eighteen miles west of the Trinity river, sur- 
rounded by a country of rich, undulating land, and from its 
central position, the intelligence and moral worth of the citizens 
in and around the town, it bids fair to become a pleasant and 
thriving inland town. 

Here we have a little band of generous Methodists, who, aided 
by their generous neighbors, are taking steps preparatory to the 


erection of a church. Brother B. W. Eogers has donated a lot 
for the purpose of a church and parsonage. Our plan for rais- 
ing funds to build said church, is by subscription, and already 
quite a number of names appear. 

This is followed by a subscription list amounting to 
$330, headed by E. W. Eogers, $50, and on which appears 
the name of Gen. E. H. Tarrant, $30. This first build- 
ing was located on what was later called East Franklin 
Street. It was a building 16 by 20 feet, constructed of 
clapboards, and was completed and occupied in 1852. 

Extracts from the same church paper the Texas 
Wesleyan Banner for the same year give us the begin- 
nings of two other future important points. The first is 
from James W. Lloyd, P.O., on the new Georgetown 
mission, two items, dated October 3 and November 10 
respectively : 

Our meeting commenced on the 27th of September, and under 
somewhat unfavorable circumstances, but we were not discour- 
aged. The ministers and the Church put their trust in Him, 
who never deceives his faithful followers, and went to work with 
all their energy. The result was one conversion on the first 
night of the meeting. The meeting progressed with interest, 
notwithstanding we had a severe blow from the North on Sat- 
urday night, which broke up our services, turning over our 
tents, and exposing us to the dripping clouds ; but the Lord was 
with us, and amidst the roar of the storm you might hear the 
songs of Zion from the neighboring wagons and vehickles. And 
ere our meeting closed, which was Monday, we numbered sev- 
enteen conversions and as many accessions to the M. E. Church, 
South. And the members of the Church were much revived and 
strengthened in faith and doctrine. Our prayer to the great 
Head of the Church is, that the revival may extend all around 
the Mission, and throughout the borders of our Israel. Pray 
for us, dear brother, while we labor in the frontier part of our 

J. W. Whipple, the P. E v A. B. F. Kerr, and James E. 
Ferguson, also the local preachers on the Mission, John T. Cox, 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 307 

Charles C. Cook, Noah McCuistion and Thomas F. Windsor, 
were with us, and labored faithfully in word and doctrine. 

Suffer me through your columns to make a meagre report 
from the Georgetown Mission. When I was appointed to the 
work there were about forty members in full connection, and 
about twenty on probation. We dropped six of the probationers, 
and gave letters to two of the members, which left fifty-two in 
all, scattered over a territory comprising two counties. There 
have been twenty-five members received on probation, and 38 
by letter, making in the bounds of the Mission 115 communi- 
cants; out of which there are four local preachers and two ex- 

And this from N. A. Cravens, at the far-away post of 
Brownsville, under date of May 15, 1850 : 

It may afford your readers pleasure to learn that, since my 
arrival at Brownsville, the field assigned me as the field of my 
ministerial labors for the present Conference year, we have suc- 
ceeded in building a church edifice, sufficient for our congrega- 
tion. I arrived here 27th of February, and found Brother 
Chamberlain, a minister of the Presbyterian church, had pre- 
ceded me about five weeks, and he had secured the use of Brother 
Stansbury's School house, the only suitable house for religious 
worship at that time in our city, except a house then occupied 
by the Catholics; so that there was no chance for me to enter 
efficiently upon the discharge of my ministerial duties until we 
could build; in this state of things time was valuable, and to 
work we went; and the result is a building 60 feet long, 20 
feet wide, ten feet cut off for bed room and study for the 
preacher. Our house is canvassed inside and overhead, and a 
set of good seats, suitable pulpit, and yellow-washed outside, 
paled in, and the palings white-washed; the floor of the 
preacher's room carpeted with oil canvas, and suitable furni- 
ture for comfort of preacher. Last Sunday the house was 
solemnly dedicated to the service of God. 

In the absence of any other preacher for our church, it be- 
came my duty to preach on the occasion; Brother Chamberlain, 
by special invitation, assisted in the services, following the ser- 


vices with appropriate and eloquent remarks, and a very solemn 
dedicatory ceremony, after which a subscription, amounting to 
nearly one hundred dollars was raised to help in defraying the 
expenses of the building. 

This you are aware is the first church built in the valley of 
the Eio Grande since the Mexican War. The only Protestant 
church on this whole frontier. May God make it a great bless- 
ing to the city and the country adjacent to it. 

The Texas Wesleyan Banner, from which the forego- 
ing extracts have been taken, was a new thing in Texas 
Methodism, and as it came into existence during the 
period we are now considering, an account of its origin 
is here in place. 5 In 1847 Eobert B. Wells, a son-in-law 
of Orceneth Fisher, located and settled in Brenham, and 
commenced the publication of a paper which he named 
The Texas Christian Advocate and Brenham Advertiser. 
Having had some previous experience in the printing 
business, Mr. Wells was encouraged to undertake the 
establishment of a church paper by such men as Fisher, 
Eichardson, Kenney, Thrall, Whipple, and Yell, and a 
few citizens of Brenham, notably Col. J. D. Giddings and 
others, subscribed liberally toward the expenses of the 
paper. As a consequence the paper began with a dual 
name and a dual character half church and half secular. 
The editor was assisted in getting out the paper by his 
wife, Mrs. Mary E. Wells, a daughter of Orceneth Fisher, 
a sister of 0. A. Fisher and an aunt of Sterling Fisher 
the last two later of the West Texas Conference and 
Mrs. Wells recounts some of the difficulties which finally 
defeated the enterprise. The citizens of Brenham were 
all liberal supporters of the paper, "but," says she, 
"when we came to the work, and tried to get printers to 
set type and hands to work off the papers we were at a 
loss to know what to do a long ways from market, and 

5 The account is derived from an article on C. Eichardson, by H. S. 
Thrall, in T. C. A., 1877, supplemented by a letter from the widow of 
B. B. Wells, in T. C. A., 1904. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 309 

news of interest was scarce. The editor was a good 
printer and good manager, and also a hustler, for he 
worked night and day on the paper, and had it ready on 
time. His wife made up the mail with very little help. 
Houston was our nearest market, and in rainy weather 
the road was almost impassable. We would have trouble 
with our press, and it was hard to get paper. We soon 
found that Brenham was not the place for the Advocate 
there were too many difficulties to overcome, there be- 
ing no conveniences at hand, it was such an uphill busi- 
ness. But we struggled on until the end of the year, 
when its managers decided to move to Houston, where 
there were more conveniences. Then the Eev. 0. Fisher, 
D.D., took charge, Eev. E. B. Wells returning to travel- 
ing and preaching. ' ' 

The paper, now called simply The Texas Christian 
Advocate, was conducted as a private enterprise in Hous- 
ton by O. Fisher until the fall of 1848. At a consultation 
of preachers and laymen, held at the Eutersville camp- 
ground in September of that year, it was determined to 
take over the paper and carry it on as a church periodical. 
A committee was appointed to make the necessary ar- 
rangements, and at the request of the committee H. S. 
Thrall prepared a " prospectus," which appeared in the 
Houston Telegraph of October 12. At the succeeding 
conference, held at Lagrange, the enterprise was ap- 
proved, and C. Eichardson was elected editor. The new 
editor, on his own motion, changed the name of the paper 
to Texas Wesleyan Banner. In February, 1849, Messrs. 
Alexander and Thrall took a horseback ride from Wash- 
ington County to Houston, and on behalf of the publica- 
tion committee of the conference, they entered into a 
contract with Messrs. Cougen and Moore, by which the 
latter were "to furnish everything and deliver to the 
editor weekly one thousand copies of papers of imperial 
size, at $2,500 per annum. It was expected that the sub- 
scriptions would pay the printers, and the advertisements 


the editor," whose salary had been fixed at $800 a year. 
In due time the Banner was unfurled, beautiful in ap- 
pearance, and in size equal to any paper in the state. 
It was popular both with preachers and people. The 
East Texas Conference adopted the paper, and appointed 
a committee to act jointly with a committee from the 
Texas Conference; and in 1850 the General Conference 
gave it official recognition. We shall leave t~hs Banner 
floating in the Texas breezes for the present, simply add- 
ing with reference to the story so hopefully begun "to 
be continued." 

In 1847-48 no little disturbance was created in 
church circles in Houston and elsewhere by the defection 
of Gen. Moseley Baker, a local preacher and a man of 
prominence and influence, who had been a captain in the 
Texan army at San Jacinto, and a member of Congress. 
An extract from a letter, dated Houston, May 4, 1848, 
gives some' account of the origin and course of the 
trouble : 6 

In my last I informed you Gen. Baker had withdrawn from 
the church. This has not much surprised me, as I knew he was 
not altogether satisfied in our church. ... I am now at Gen. 
Baker's, who is my host during this visit to Houston. There is 
an old man here named Alley, who has (or professes to have) 
received great spiritual light. He has been sanctified, and en- 
joys a state of holiness higher than this blessing. He contends 
the Millenium commenced from the year "40," and that Christ 
has now come the second time. From scripture he says that 
there was to be a night of darkness or a dark age previous to 
the Millenium, in which we were not to be able to enjoy much 
spiritual light; but now Christ has come the second time, there 
is a state of glory to be enjoyed by the church she has never 
before known. All sectarian feelings are to be done away with 
and the followers of Christ are to be united. This he is com- 
manded to preach, &c &c. Now bro. Baker professes to have 
received great spiritual light, and receives the preaching of 

G Letter of O. M. Addison, then on New Washington Mission, to his 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 311 

Mr. Alley as from God. This may have had some influence in 
his withdrawal from the church. He says he is happy, and 
would not join again for the world. 

Gen. Baker, whose strange doctrines seemed to be 
partly derived from this man Alley, who was described 
as "a shrewd Yankee from the North," and partly con- 
sisted of the new fads of mesmerism and spiritualism, 
began the publication of The True Evangelist, 
through which he disseminated his railing accusations 
against the Church. A heated controversy was kept up 
for some time between the Evangelist and The Texas 
Wesley an Banner. The name "Bakerites" came to be 
applied to the readers of the Evangelist; however, 
but few persons followed the General's example in with- 
drawing from the Church, and in the course of a year or 
two the excitement subsided. Gen. Baker died of yellow 
fever in the latter part of 1848. 

A few further extracts from the letters and journals 
of various preachers may be used as reflecting conditions 
here and there within the wide bounds of the Texas Con- 
ference during the period 1847-50. The following para- 
graphs are from letters from William Young, San An- 
tonio, dated at different times in 1848 : 

I have now been here about four months, and truly I can say 
I have been blessed in a very peculiar manner. I have never 
met with a more kind reception anywhere than in this place. It 
is true we have not a great many members of the church, but 
our citizens generally are friendly to the cause of religion, our 
congregations are large and attentive, and where these markes 
are exhibited there is hope of doing good. "We stand very much 
in need of a few more members to aid us in carrying out our 
purposs, and if you felt dispose to move from where you are 
now settled I think you might do very well here, we certainly 
have a much more healthy climate than any of the Brazos coun- 
try the coolest water and the purest air that can be found in 
Texas I suppose and if you and brother Joseph were settled 
here and disposed to follow your occupation as mechanicks I 


think you might do very well our people are very much in the 
spirit of building and good workmen who do their business prop- 
erly are very scarce. . . . 

I spoke of the kindness and attention of this people to re- 
ligion and ministers of the gospel but at the same time it needful 
to remark that there is a great deal of wickedness amongst a 
portion of our community and we have a great many opposite 
influences to contend with, but what else could we expect under 
the circumstances It is now the rendesvous for a portion of 
the army and where ever soldiers are embodied wickedness will 

prevail to some extent Col. Hays of the Texas rangers 

arrived here this after-noon and they are now greeting him 
with a round of artilery so you see I spoil a word sometimes by 
jumping at roar of that awful gun. 

We have been getting along peacibly most of the time since 
I last wrote, an attempt however was made on last Saturday to 
kill me off, and I consider that I made quite a fortunate escape, 
but bro. McCullough our Presbyterian minister escaped still 
more narrowly than I did. A gambling fellow by the name of 
Glanton, who had some difficulty with bro. M. about a church 
lot came on his horse, drunk, and attacked our house he first 
rode into my room and presented a large six shooter at me but 
I jumped out of his way and he did not fire, he then rode out 
and stood before Mc's door and as he opened it he fired, the 
bullet passing through his hat, he shut the door when he fired 
again the ball passing the second time through his hat, he then 
rode arround and fired at the window and broke it with his 
pistol firing again, and after which he came to my room, and 
fired at me but did no damage, for I did not stay to see it. He 
was arrested and bound over to court. This is taking things by 
storm. "We are not doing much at present in the white congre- 
gation but there is a deep interest among the colored people. 
Our conference year is drawing to a close, and we have not seen 
any fruits of our labors worth naming yet, and can you wander 
at it in such a state of things as we have here? It would take 
something extraordinary to affect much of a change for the 
better here. 

The next letter is given almost entire, as it reflects 
certain characteristics of the writer, James E. Ferguson. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 313 

Ferguson was born in Alabama in 1824; removed to 
Arkansas in 1835, and entered the Arkansas Conference 
in 1844. In 1847 he was transferred to the Texas Con- 
ference and appointed to Richland circuit, as we have 
noted before. In 1848 he was on Nashville mission. He 
subsequently filled some of the leading stations in the 
conference, and was said to have been a man "of much 
force of character, and decidedly original in his manner 
of administering the affairs of a station." Following is 
the letter : 

Waugh Camp ground, Texas, Oct 19th 48' 
Dear brother Addison. 

Yours of the 13th. ultimo was received on last evening, and 
read with pleasure by your friend Jimmy. I expect that your 
letter has been some time in the office as I have been absent for 
some time on a trip with bro Whipple on a Campain of Camp- 
meetings, and a few items in relation to the trip will be the 
most interesting topic that I have on hand. The first meeting 
that we attended was near Dallas on Bro Tittle work. There 
was a heavy norther down upon us all the time of the meeting, 
and sin and the cold so frose up the people's hearts that little 
good was done in comparison to some others. There were only 
three conversions, but quite a time with the church, from that 
meeting I whent to see my brother in Kaufman Co found he and 
family well. From thence I whent to Bro Rose's meeting at 
which place we had a fine meeting. 20 converts and near as 
many accessions at which place I met the Cicero of the Eastern 
Conf Bro Davis. He is truly eloquent, but not that kind that 
warms the heart, but fills the head with many grand ideas. You 
would all ways hear him with more pleasure than profit, while 
he is preaching you are in a continual blast, but when done 
there's not a trace behind. He is very companionable and has 

marks of piety. Bro did not marry the Lady I heard 

he did. Would to God he had. He has got a woman I fear not 
a wife Her character epitomized stands thus, she has neither 
wealth nor beauty nor sense, and as to her broughten up she 
didn't have any. She is not religious without she has been 
converted since I left. ... At Wheelock we had a splendid 


meeting 38 joined the church, the conversions we estimated 
at 30 or 40 I know that there was a great many, and enough 
fuss on Monday night to have made the walls of Jericho fall. 
And today my Campmeeting commences. It is now four oclock 
P. M. Thursday and the tents are all occupied, and I am all the 
preacher on the ground. More anon Oct 24th, The Camp- 
meeting is now over. We had Bros Whipple, Snead, Rotten- 
stein, Tittle, Wooldridge, J. H. Addison and your humble Ser- 
vant. I am certain we had ten conversions we had many 
mourners, and had not the rain come down on Saturady night 
and Sunday we would have had a good meeting. Bro Whipple 's 
wife is very low and he left us on Sabbath evening. Bro Snead 
immortalized himself on Monday. My humble self reminded 
him of a Black leg gambler. The Baptist were Sheep Thieves 

& c & c 

I have nothing more to say in relation to meetings more 
than I am now on my way to one on the Colorado. ... I can 
say to you that I have more religion than usual. I feel a fresh 
call to the ministry. May the good Lord bless you abundantly 
is the prayer of your brother 

Eev'd 0. M. Addison 

Since a son of J. E. Ferguson and of the same name 
afterwards became governor of Texas, it is interesting 
to have the elder Ferguson's observations on the retire- 
ment of one governor and the inauguration of another, 
the following description of the event being contained in 
a letter, dated Jan. 29, 1850, written after a visit to 
Austin : 

Brother Phillips and I visited Austin, and was present at 
the Inauguration of Gov Bell. In my humble judgment the 
Ex, & Elect, Governors made poor speeches. I will tell you 
what Wood put me in mind of Bro Snead trying to be eloquent, 
or at least very interesting. He drank water, spit and Pawed 
and with all his awkwardness he was cheered, huzzahed, as if a 
thunderstorm of Eloquence was pouring like a burning river of 
fire. Bell read his speech, in a dry, solo style and stop occa- 
sionally to wet his whistle. He also was cheered at a round rate. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 315 

I am of the opinion, if any of our preachers were to go to Austin 
and make as stumbling an out that half of the congregation 
would leave the house in high dudgion. Bro Phillips acted as 
Chaplain, and did his part well. 

Forbearing the use of numerous other letters, which 
might extend this chapter indefinitely, a few words cover- 
ing episcopal labors in Texas during this period may 
well close this section. Bishop Paine, a new accession 
to the episcopal " bench" as the order was then called 
held the Texas Conferences in the winter of 1846-47; 
Bishop Capers, another recently elected bishop, was in 
charge in 1847-48; Bishop Andrew in 1848-49, and 
Bishop Paine again in 1849-50. Of the long journeys 
made to and from the far southwest, traveling by steam- 
boat, stage and on horseback, and usually in mid-winter, 
Bishops Andrew and Paine wrote interesting accounts 
for the church press, and also in letters home, extracts 
from which are given in the "Life" of each. 7 Bishop 
Andrew had been in Texas five years before, and he notes 
many changes; among them the wide sweep of country 
now occupied by the Church in Texas. He gives it as his 
opinion that the Texas Conference would soon be ex- 
tended to embrace the ' ' provinces of Mexico. ' ' The mis- 
sionary problems of the country the Mexicans, the 
negroes and the Germans and the want of workers, 
brought forth extended observations. " There are too 
many men in the East, many standing about the market 
places idle," he says, "and too few in the West." The 
Germans, coming in such large numbers, and settling so 
often in colonies, bringing with them their own pastors 
or priests, and retaining their own language and customs, 
constituted a hard missionary problem, and under such 
conditions they would sooner or later become a political 

7 Life and Letters of James Osgood Andrew, by G. Gr. Smith, and Life 
of Bishop Paine, by E. H. Elvers. Also "Miscellanies," by Andrew. 


Bishop Paine reports that, while at Fort Smith, Ark., 
while on his way from the Indian Mission Conference, he 
saw thousands moving to Texas. "Wagons, wagons 
were crowded along the banks of the river" all headed 
for Texas. Bishop Paine entered Texas for the first time 
at G-alveston, in March, 1847, en route to the seat of the 
Texas Conference, at Cedar Creek, Washington County. 
The Bishop 's account of one stage of this journey, given 
several years later, 8 is as follows : 

In one of my trips to Texas to hold the conference we had 
to ride on horseback several days from Houston. Quite a num- 
ber of us made the trip together, and we had a merry and 
pleasant party. One morning when we got up it was warm and 
pleasant, but a blue haze lay to the northwest, and the knowing 
ones among us prophesied a "Norther." Along toward noon, 
the norther, a wet one, struck us. It was a fearful wind from 
the north, with a driving mist in our faces. The temperature 
dropped almost instantly from summer to winter. The sun was 
blotted out, and it was indeed a blue and disagreable day. 
Overcoats were soon put on, and the most of us were reasonably 
comfortable. Some though had insufficient wraps, and suffered 

After a rather cheerless lunch we rode on north. The pierc- 
ing wind driving the cold mist to the very bones, grew in force 
as the afternoon wore on. About three o'clock a young man rode 
up beside me. He had no overcoat or shawl, and was indeed 
thinly clad. His teeth were chattering, and his face looked blue 
and bloodless. 

"Bishop," he said, "I honestly believe I am freezing." 

I said, "Why, my brother, turn your horse around, and 
ride as hard as you can back to the last house we passed. You 
will have your back to this wind, and can get back all right." 

"But, Bishop, I am going up to enter Conference, and the 
committees I understand are exacting, and if I come in a day 
or so late I don't know whether they will give me an examina- 

"You go right back and I will be answerable for all the 
consequences. Go at once." 

Beported by Jno. E. Allen, Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly. 

TEXAS CONFERENCE, 1847-1850 317 

And he did. About three days later he came in, and I was 
as good as my word. 

Well, we rode on, getting colder and colder. It was near 
midnight when we reached the settlement we were making for. 
It was just a one room log hut in a clump of timber. The fron- 
tiersman was very kind. He invited us into his house, where 
there was a good fire in an old fashioned fire-place. We had to 
hitch our horses to the trees, without food of any kind. In the 
one room there were two beds, one occupied by our host and his 
wife, and the other by his mother-in-law. There was nothing 
for the rest of us but the dirt floor. We soon had made a 
pallet, and stretched out side by side, covering with our shawls, 
overcoats, etc. It was warm in the house out of the wind, and 
when we lay down I asked for the outside place, which was 
readily granted. I fell promptly to sleep, but woke up after 
awhile exceedingly cold. The fire had died down, and the wind 
was coming in through a huge crack under the door. Covering 
up the best I could, and getting as much warmth from the 
next brother as possible, I again fell into a troubled sleep. After 
awhile I again woke, but was warm and comfortable. For a 
moment I could not understand it, but turning over I found that 
a large dog had crept through the crack under the door, and 
had curled up just at my back. I patted him on the head and 
said, "Good doggie, you stay here." And he did, and I got a 
good sleep until things were stirring next morning. 

On a subsequent trip to Texas, in 1849, Bishop Paine 
entered from the north, and having held the East Texas 
Conference at Paris, he had before him then a horseback 
journey of more than three hundred and fifty miles, to the 
seat of the Texas Conference at Seguin. Andrew Davis 
accompanied him on a part of the journey, when J. W. 
Whipple met the party and conducted the bishop to Aus- 
tin. An instance of the bishop's " entertainment" on the 
route is given by Davis. While staying overnight at a 
certain place, supper was called, and the bishop and com- 
pany sat down to a dish of bacon and peas. On casting 
his eyes about a little the bishop saw that his supply of 
needful instruments for managing the peas was very 


limited, as he had nothing but a pegging awl. So after 
taking in the condition of things he determined to make 
the best of the situation, and without a word started in 
after his peas with the awl. His companion, sitting near 
at hand, seeing the bishop's plight, quietly slipped him 
the half of knife which he had found at his plate about 
half of the blade had been broken off and although the 
knife had been seriously damaged, it served better for 
handling peas than a pegging awl, and the bishop 
graciously accepted the favor. 

On this long and arduous journey Bishop Paine was 
taken violently ill. A physician was called, who pre- 
scribed enormous doses of calomel, blue-mass and quinine, 
twenty grains of calomel at night, and ten grains of 
quinine every few hours during the day. Although so 
sick that he thought again and again that death would 
be the result, the bishop pushed on, because he found no 
place at which he could stay. At length tired, sick and 
wasted, he reached Austin, where Chauncey Richardson 
and Bobert Alexander, friends of other days, had come 
to meet him, and where he could rest and receive proper 
attention. He reached the conference at Seguin late, and 
was scarcely able to travel at its close. But he proceeded 
on horseback to Houston. ''Arriving at Mobile on Janu- 
ary 1, 1850," says his biographer, "he heard from his 
wife for the first. time since leaving home in September. 
Amid all his labors, dangers, sufferings, his heart had 
not been gladdened by one line from the loved ones at 
home so uncertain were the mails in what we then called 
the Far West." 


THE YEARS 1850-1852 

THE East Texas Conference met at Palestine, Novem- 
ber 27, 1850. Bishop Henry B. Bascom, after his elec- 
tion at St. Louis in May, 1850, had been assigned to the 
Western District, to include the Missouri, Arkansas, 
Indian Mission and East Texas Conferences ; but within 
less than four months after his elevation to the episco- 
pacy Bascom was in his grave. He held but one confer- 
ence the St. Louis, at Independence, Mo., July 10th, 
from which he returned home sick. He died on Septem- 
ber 8. The East Texas Conference was left without epis- 
copal supervision for the remainder of the year. Samuel 
A. Williams was elected to preside at the Palestine ses- 
sion, and John W. Fields was chosen secretary. 

The conference held its sessions in a new Methodist 
church, just completed, at Palestine, and in memory of 
the deceased bishop was named Bascom Chapel. On 
Sunday morning, December 1, after a sermon by Dr. 0. 
Fisher, the house was dedicated. ' ' After the sermon ' ' says 
an account in the Texas Wesleyan Banner of that day, 
"a collection of $135 was taken up to finish paying the 
debt due against the church ; also $21.80 to finish paying 
for the bell; also $36 to paint the house. Total $192.80." 

In the same report of the conference we learn that 
the Missionary anniversary was held on Saturday 
evening. The speakers were 0. Fisher and S. A. Wil- 
liams. The collection amounted to $147.75, besides 325 
acres of land, donated by J. S. Tanner to the children of 
Daniel Poe, a deceased preacher of the conference. 



At this conference the following were admitted on 
trial: Win. 0. Guigley, Joseph McMillan, John Poe, 
Edward F. Thwing, Acton Young, William E. George, 
William K. Masten. F. M. Stovall located ; Eobert Craw- 
ford and E. P. Chisholm took the supernumerary rela- 
tion, and Geo. West is the sole name on the superannuated 
roll. In answer to the question, "Who have died this 
year," is the brief answer, "Andrew J. Harris died in 
great peace." John Powell transferred to this confer- 
ence from the Louisiana Conference, and William C. 
Lewis and Francis Wilson transferred back to the Texas 
Conference. The minutes state simply that Isaac M. Wil- 
liams was "left without appointment"; but from Fields' 
journal we are informed that Williams was under 
charges of immorality at conference, and that he was 
finally expelled. 

The following are the appointments made at this con- 
ference : 

San Augustine District 
S. A. Williams, P. E. 
San Augustine Circuit, J. W. Shipman, 
Shelbyville, John Poe, 
Panola, Wm. Craig, 
Henderson, Jesse L. Daniel, 
Jasper, Hugh B. Hamilton. 

Marshall District 
Aiken N. Eoss, P. E. 
Marshall and Jefferson, Eobt. B. Wells, 
Dangerfield, W. K. Masten, Robt. Crawford, Supny. 
Mt. Pleasant, Sam'l Lynch, 
Gilmer, P. W. Hobbs, 
Wood County Miss., S. G. Culver, 
Harrison County Af . Miss., Wm. Jamieson. 

Clarksville District 
H. W. Burkes, P. E. 
Clarksville, John B. Tullis, 
Boston, M. F. Cole, 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 321 

Paris, Edward P. Thwing, 
Bonham, F. G. Fawcett, 
Grayson, Win. C. Guigley, 
Greenville, Calvin Askins. 

Palestine District 
J. T. P. Irvine, P. E. 
Palestine, John W. Fields, 
Cherokee, Win. K. Wilson, 

Kaufman, John McMillan, E. P. Chisholm, Supny. 
Dallas, Jas. G. Hardin, 
Athens Miss., Wm. E. George. 

Nacogdoches District 
Orceneth Fisher, P. E. 
Nacogdoches Ct., John C. Woolam, 
Crockett, John Powell, 
Lexington, Jefferson Shook, 
Woodville, Acton Young, 
Liberty, Andrew Gumming, 
Beaumont, William P. Sansom, 
Marion, Sam'l C. Box. 

The eleventh session of the Texas Conference was 
held at Eichmond from December 11 to 16, 1850, with 
Bishop Andrew presiding, and Chauncey Richardson as 
secretary. Ulyses Salis, Thaddeus 0. Kidd, Lewis B. 
Whipple, Simon B. Cameron, Chas. "W. Thomas and 
Joseph Derrhammer were admitted on trial. Lewis B. 
Whipple was a brother of J. W. Whipple, already a lead- 
ing member of the conference; S. B. Cameron had for- 
merly been in connection with a conference in Kentucky ; 
Chas. W. Thomas, it will be remembered, was one of the 
first teachers in Eutersville College; " Joseph H. Derr- 
hammer, ' ' says a report in the Texas, Wesleyan Banner, 
"formerly a Roman Catholic priest, took upon himself 
our ordination vows as an elder, without the imposition 
of hands." M. R. T. Outlaw and R. H. Belvin located, and 
John Haynie and Jesse Hord remain on the superan- 
nuate roll. 


In answer to the question, "Who have died this 
year?" appears the name of David L. Bell, and the fol- 
lowing obituary is given : 

David L. Bell was a native of Kentucky. His father was a 
Baptist minister. In the year 1841 he was brought to the knowl- 
edge of God under the ministry of Rev. J. M. Steel. He was 
admitted into the Arkansas Conference in 1842 ; ordained deacon 
in 1844, and transferred to the Texas Conference. Here from 
pecuniary embarrassment he was compelled to locate. But his 
heart was still in the work of the ministry. He was resolved 
to re-enter it at the earliest possible period. By diligence and 
industry he succeeded in relieving himself of his difficulties, and 
at the Conference of 1849 presented himself for readmission. 
From the Conference he returned home to prepare for his new 
field of labor (which was Victoria circuit), but Providence or- 
dered otherwise. His days were numbered, and his public labors 
ended. He was quite unwell when he reached home, and his 
disease (pneumonia) grew worse until on the 25th of January, 
1850, he ceased from suffering and toil, and entered into an 
immortality of rest and recompense. One who knew him well, 
and was with him during his sickness, says: "I had several 
interviews with him during the first days of his sickness, in all 
of which he spoke as one determined on the accomplishment of 
a great enterprise. . . . With this sainted brother it was my 
happy lot to be associated for some three years on this Western 
Frontier. I have known his public walks and private ways, in 
prosperity and adversity, in times of plenty and scarcity, in 
calm and storm, in safety and in peril. ... In every relation, 
I have known him to be an agreeable companion, a gentleman, 
a dauntless Soldier of the Cross, a conscientious Christian, and 
a faithful minister." 

The following are the appointments made at this con- 
ference : 

Galveston District 

James M. Wesson, P. B. 
Galveston, Homer S. Thrall, 
Galveston German Miss., U. Salis, 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 323 

Houston, Simon B. Cameron, 

Houston German Miss., to be supplied, 

Brazoria, John W. Phillips, Thaddeus 0. Kidd, 

San Jacinto, to be supplied, 

Richmond, 0. M. Addison, 

Matagorda, Chas. F. Eottenstein. 

Rutersville District 
R. Alexander, P. B. 
Rutersville, "Wm. S. Hamilton, 
Washington, Wm. C. Lewis, 
Washington & Rock Island, I. G. John, 
Montgomery, A. B. F. Kerr, G. W. Rabb, 
Huntsville, Geo. Rottenstein, 
Mill Creek, Wm. F. Hubert, Joseph Derrhammer. 

Springfield District 
M. Yell, P. E. 
Wheelock, W. G. Nelms, 
Springfield, P. M. Yell, 
Nashville, J. W. DeVilbiss, 
Red Oak, D. W. Wright, 
Waxahachie Miss., J. W. Lloyd, 
Leon, Geo. W. Tittle. 

Victoria District 
D. Carl, P. B. 
Victoria, B. L. Peel, 
Victoria German Miss., Edward Snider, 
Goliad, Reuben Long, 
Gonzales, Thos. F. Cook, 
Texana, C. W. Thomas, 
Columbus, John C. Kolbe, 
Egypt, to be supplied. 

Austin District 

J. W. Whipple, P. B. 
Austin, to be supplied, 
Bastrop, Jas. B. Ferguson, 
Bastrop Colored Miss., Fr. Wilson, 
Seguin, Jas. M. Follansbee, 


San Marcos, Lewis B. Whipple, 
San Antonio, "Wm. Young, 
Seguin German Miss., H. P. Young, 
Georgetown Miss., James H. Addison. 

The above is the official list, as published in the Gen- 
eral Minutes, but it is incomplete. In the appointments 
as they appear in the Texas Wesleyan Banner, following 
the conference, are the following additions : 0. Bichard- 
son, editor Banner; a Montgomery station appears with 
Jas. G. Johnson in charge, and a Eio Grande district, 
Nehemiah A. Cravens, P. E., with these appointments: 
Brownsville Station, N. A. Cravens; Point Isabel, to be 
supplied ; Eio Grande City, to be supplied which appears 
to have been a temporary arrangement for allowing 
Cravens to serve as his own presiding elder, as his post 
was so far removed from other portions of the work. 

The appointments all through this early period will 
show in most instances that the preachers were changed 
at the end of one year. They were nearly all unmarried 
men, and moving from one appointment to another was a 
.small matter. A preacher's possessions usually con- 
sisted of a horse and a pair of saddle-bags, in which 
could be conveyed "a change of raiment" and a few 
books and personal articles. A preacher frequently had 
a wornout horse at the end of the year, and sometimes 
borrowed one to ride to conference, with the understand- 
ing that his successor would return it. It was nearly 
always "Good-bye" to the folks when a preacher left a 
charge for conference, as there was no returning to pack 
up, or to enjoy lingering farewells, or to store up in 
memory expressions of regret. 

A few extracts from letters will serve to give a glimpse 
here and there of preachers and conditions during the 
year 1851. The first is from James H. Addison, appointed 
to the Georgetown circuit, giving an account of his first 
round, and this is followed by others from the same 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 325 

source during the year. The first letter is dated " Web- 
ster's Valley, Brushey, Jany. 14th/51." 

Through the goodness of God I have at last arrived at my 
field of labour, and have went about half way round. Not hav- 
ing an opportunity before of writing, is my excuse for my 
seeming neglect, for you must know that we are not so pleasantly 
situated in this up country as perhaps you folks are in the lower 
country. For our one house serves for Parlour, bed-room, 
kitchen, smoke-house, and in fact for everything else that houses 
are used for, add to this, you know the proverb, "A poor man 
for children," and as the folks are poor here, there is no lack 
of noise. But at present I am at a very clever house near the 
head of Brushey, the proprietor of which is by the name of 
Windsor, a methodist Local preacher, and though not exempt 
from the poor man's blessing, yet they have sense enough to keep 
them out of the Preacher's way. 

I left home, as you know, on Wednesday evening, rode to old 
Father Thompsons spent a pleasant night off early and ar- 
rived at Cameron about three oclock Had my horse put 

up at the Tavern. About sun-down I went to the stable to see 
my horse. I found that he had not been fed, and on inquiry I 
learned the startling fact, that there was not an ear of corn 
about the whole place. I was told however, that the Landlord 
was after some. . . . Late at night supper came on, and such 
a supper. But it is useless to try to give you an idea of our 
bill of fare. Suffice it to say that there was very little to eat, 
and that so badly cooked that it was not fit to eat. About this 
time "mine host" made his appearance with his few nubbins of 
corn. Pilgrim got a few of them, but very few. In the morning 
I was waked by the Landlord and one of his boarders quarrel- 
ling. The poor boarder a Doet F had been heating his cop- 
per a little too much with whiskey and he woke up very thirsty. 
He called to a negro girl to bring him. a cup of coffee He still 
in bed The Landlord told him there was none, the Doc de- 
clared there was, for he seen the negro with the coffee pot. One 
word brought on another till they got at it. ... I was soon 
up, saw three or four nubbins doled out very sparingly, tried to 
eat my breakfast, but couldn't got my horse paid my $1.00 
and went on my way. . . . Got up to my appointment, or rather 


the place where it was to be about one oclock found the folks 
(Glenns) very clever a little dirty or so took dinner. ... At 
night I arrived at a Mr Marshall and though living in a hut of 
a place, and very much crowded, yet they treated me very well, 

indeed- Next morning rode to the appointment at Griffin's 

found them disposed to treat me well preached to a few folks 

that gathered No one seemed to be very much interested, in 

fact they set still, but I dont know that they heard much 

After dinner I rode about 4 miles further to the house of my 

class-leader bro Karnes Here I enjoyed myself very much 

The old man I found to be very intelligent, and his family was 
ditto at least a great deal more so than those around them 
Next morning Sabbath Eode to my appointment on the Lam- 
pases The people had forgotten the appt as usual, and 

there were but few that attended I got up read and gave out 
a hymn, and commenced singing the folks set still, got down 
to pray still they set Preached the best I could prayed 

again, still they wouldn't kneel I did not like to commence 

scolding the first time I preached to them, but I promise myself 
that they will rise to sing and kneel to pray the next time I 
preach to them 

Took dinner at bro Blair's, and in the afternoon rode to the 
little town of Nolensville * Here I found the town in a per- 
fect stir, anxious to see and hear the new preacher I found 

bro A. McCorkle ready to receive me, bro Stickney too The 

town was literally emptied, a very fine audience indeed. I tried 
to preach the best I could I am very much in hopes we will be 
able to turn this little town up-side down we have a pretty good 
class in town next morning after arranging matters as well as 
I could I rode over to the "Salow" I don't know how to 
spell the word 2 to bro "Whitefield Chalks Found him doing 
finely as far as this world is concerned but doing very little 
for his soul. . . . Chalk has a very fine grist and saw mill and 
is making money very fast 

Next day rode to bro C. C. Cooks found a very clever fam- 
ily staid till f riday evening preached to them on f riday morn- 
ing in the evening rode to an old mans by the name of Queen 
Dirt, DIRT, DIRT was the distinctive feature of the whole con- 

1 A year or two later the name was changed to Belton. 

2 The Salado. 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 327 

cern the old man an "Arkansawen" and an old Granny the 
old Lady a Baptist and an ignorant one at that One that wants 

every body to "follow the Lord down in the water" The 

Lord save me from old Baptist women 

Preached to them the best I was able, after which in com- 
pany with old bro Queen, alias the ' ' ancient of days, ' ' to George- 
town went to the Tavern and put up went to the Division of 
the Sons 3 

Preached the next day to a very fine audience the next day 
rode to my present station 

In a subsequent letter from the same correspondent 
we learn of his immediate round of Sunday or, as it was 
then always expressed, "Sabbath" appointments. These 
were, first Sundays, at Nolensville; second, "at the Sta- 
tion high up on the Leon"; third, at Georgetown; fourth, 
at Ben Allen's, on Brushey Greek. The first quarterly 
meeting was held on February 23, at John T. Cox's, near 
Georgetown. From Nolensville he writes in April, in 
response to a preacher's complaint about his own seedy 
clothes, that "I :know by bitter experience what it is to 
have 'an old coat, a seedy vest and a shocking bad cra- 
vat,' " and describes his wardrobe as being in the last 
stage of " consnmtion. " But he exhorts, "Cheer up, my 
brother, there is a better day coming, and may be you 
and I will see it." He confesses, however, that his pre- 
cept is at variance with his practice, "for I find it hard 
to be cheerful when my pockets are empty and my clothes 
torn." At Nolensville during a meeting some kind 
women, observing his torn pantaloons, went to the store 
and bought goods, and cut out and made him a new pair, 
of which he writes later in boastful pride. 

A more detailed view of Georgetown circuit we may 
gather from a letter penned later in the year, as well as 
an epitome of the religious condition of the people. 
"Your circuit is an old one," he writes to his correspond- 

s Sons of Temperance. 


ent, "and Methodism is established there. Here, on 
the contrary, the prowling Wolves of Campbellism, 
Drunkardism, and Devilism of every grade, are ready to 
devour the sheep. . . . There is a great deal of hard rid- 
ing to be done, and very little good being effected, save 
at certain portions of the work. Nolansville is improv- 
ing very much, in more ways than one, it improves in 
sin and wickedness, as well as in every other way. There 
are a set of milk and water Methodists at this place 
[Lampasas, where the letter was written] who do more 
injury than all the wicked put together atTraid to serve 
God fully, for fear they will miss some of the pleasures 
of the world, and affraid to cut loose from God, for fear 
of Death and Judgment. ... I will now give you my 
appointments, so that there will be no difficulty in find- 
ing me the 1st Sabbath in July next month I am at 
Nolansville The next week after is spent between that 
point and Fort Gates on the Leon (try to make it so 
that you will meet me any other time, as there are no 
roads through the up country and I would be difficult to 
find) The Tuesday night after 15th of July I am at 
Joel Blair's, on the Lampases, where the road leading 
from Georgetown to Nolansville crosses On Wednesday 
evening 16th at bro Cooks on Willis creek On Thursday 
evening 17th at Queens, just above where the Camp-Meet- 
ing was held on Gabriel on Sat & Sab 19 & 20 the 3d 
Sunday at Georgetown Sunday afternoon, at Eev John 
T Cox's 7 miles west of Georgetown, on Brushey on the 
road leading from Georgetown to Austin The following 
Wednesday 23d at Websters Valley alias bro T F Wind- 
sors alias on the head of Brushey Friday following 25th 
July 10 miles below Berry Aliens on Brushey The 4th 
Sabbath 27th at Berry Aliens about 5 miles below Ken- 
neys fort on Brushey The Tuesday after 29th at Tom 
Aliens on the Gabriel 3 miles above Mercers old Fort the 
friday after on Little Eiver, at Mr Glenns 4 miles above 
Bryants, and the next Sabbath 1st in August at Nolans- 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 329 

ville Thus do I go round, like a dog following his tail, 
till I get tired" 

Georgetown mission, then, 1850-51, from the best 
deciphering we can make of this circuit geography, em- 
braced portions of Williamson, Bell, Coryell, and Lam- 
pasas counties, and perhaps one or more points in Burnet 
County, and was the northwestern frontier mission of 
the Texas Conference. Cameron, which our circuit 
preacher passed through en route to his charge, was em- 
braced in the Nashville circuit. 

In the lower country we have accounts of the first 
church buildings being completed and dedicated during 
1851 at Matagorda, Bastrop and Montgomery, all of 
which places were among the first to be visited by Metho- 
dist preachers in the early days. The Methodist church 
at Matagorda was subsequently destroyed by a storm. 
"It is supposed that the roof of the building was blown 
out to sea, ' ' says Thrall, " as it was never found. " " Our 
church in Bastrop is nearly ready for use," writes J. E. 
Ferguson, the preacher there, in June, 1851 ; ' ' and think 
when it is finished it will be the finest wood church in 
the state. It is 40 by 60 gallery across one end 
Plastered Lighted by ten lamps Eight of them swing- 
ing." Continuing he says: "I must not forget to tell 
you of our good meeting on Cedar Creek 12 miles west 
of Bastrop. It was my 2d Quarterly meeting. Our meet- 
ing was a triumph, for it was in the face of iceberg Camp- 
bellism, and sneering Infidelity. Eighteen joined the 
Church on probation, and among the number, many 
bright, convincing Holy Q-ost Conversions. Bro J. W. 
Whipple preached Monday night one of his best sermons. 
Our boy Whipple (Lewis B. Whipple) astonished the 
natives on Sunday." 

In the Banner of November 9, 1851, is an account of 
the dedication of the church at Bastrop. The sermon was 
preached by J. W. Kenney, and an afternoon sermon was 
delivered by Father Haynie, both of whom had helped 


to plant the church at Bastrop and surrounding country. 
A subscription amounting to $2300 was raised, an ex- 
traordinary collection for that day. Father Wilson, in 
charge of the Bastrop colored mission, preached at night. 
" Quiet and unobserved in the congregation," says the 
account, referring to the dedicatory exercises, "sat the 
man, to whom more than any other, perhaps all others, 
we are indebted for this beautiful temple. I mean our 
energetic and talented Elder Whipple." The church at 
Montgomery, called "Alexander Chapel," was dedicated 
by C. Richardson in July, 1851. 

An interesting report of the German mission at 
Fredericksburg is contributed in May, 1851, by C. A. 
Grote, as follows: 

The Mission has been two years in existence and on entering 
upon the discharge of my duties I found forty-five members 
on record, who all more or less enjoyed some degree of the grace 
of God. . . . The members had bought a house last year which 
is now occupied for divine worship. There are also lots obtained, 
two of which were bought with the house, and the other was 
given by a brother, all of which, is according to our Discipline, 
deeded to the M. B. Church, South. Our second quarterly meet- 
ing was held on the 27th and 28th of April. Brother Young 
from the Seguin German Mission was with us, in the place of 
the presiding elder, and it was indeed a time of refreshing 
from the presence of the Lord. . . . Fifteen persons joined on 
probation at this time, one of whom was a Eoman Catholic ; and 
I think it would not be unprofitable to present the circumstances 
of his conversion for the benefit of the German work. When the 
Catholics learned his intention the priest asked him if he would 
not go to confession 1 The man replied, no, as he had concluded 
to join the Methodists. The priest became excited and appointed 
a prayer-meeting for the benefit of this back-slidden brother. 
His wife also joined, and although a Protestant had as much 
or more opposition from her parents. Another family which 
belonged to the Lutheran Church, had a little child which the 
mother would have baptized by the Methodist minister. Her 
husband did not like it, but at last consented, and they called 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 331 

upon me to dedicate the child to God by holy baptism. One day 
the man was asked by his associates who baptized the child. He 
told them the Methodist minister. In the dispute that followed, 
when they saw that he held with the Methodists, they whipped 
him thoroughly, and since that time he and his wife never fail to 
fill their place in our church. 

The years 1850-51 saw the rise of three new Metho- 
dist schools in Texas, these being at Chappell Hill and 
Bastrop, in the Texas Conference, and at Henderson, in 
the East Texas Conference. Chappell Hill, located in the 
eastern part of Washington County, was rising into prom- 
inence as a Methodist community, and here in 1850 the 
" Chappell Hill Male and Female Institute" had its be- 
ginning, with two male and three female teachers and 
one hundred students. The conference of 1850 took the 
Institute under its patronage, and from the first the 
school prospered. At Bastrop, during the same year, a 
Methodist academy was projected, which opened its doors 
in 1851. A report to the church paper stated that more 
than $20,000 had been raised at Bastrop during the year 
for the new church building and for the academy. The 
progress of these schools will be noticed in a later chap- 
ter. At present the question arises as to the cause 
which gave birth to these new institutions in the Texas 
Conference, located as they both were within only a short 
distance of Eutersville College. 

With regard to the pioneer venture at Eutersville 
we are told that "Eutersville College, through unwis- 
dom somewhere, was on the decline, though it had been in 
operation only about ten years. " 4 Some such general 
statement is as far as our modern references go in ex- 
planation of Eutersville 's decline. But the correspond- 
ence of the preachers of that day throws some light on the 
situation. From this we gather that one Applewhite, a 
Methodist local preacher residing at Eutersville, and con- 

4 C. 0. Cody, in several articles on our early schools. 


to plant the church at Bastrop and surrounding country. 
A subscription amounting to $2300 was raised, an ex- 
traordinary collection for that day. Father Wilson, in 
charge of the Bastrop colored mission, preached at night. 
" Quiet and unobserved in the congregation," says the 
account, referring to the dedicatory exercises, "sat the 
man, to whom more than any other, perhaps all others, 
we are indebted for this beautiful temple. I mean our 
energetic and talented Elder Whipple." The church at 
Montgomery, called "Alexander Chapel," was dedicated 
by C. Richardson in July, 1851. 

An interesting report of the German mission at 
Fredericksburg is contributed in May, 1851, by C. A. 
Grote, as follows: 

The Mission has been two years in existence and on entering 
upon the discharge of my duties I found forty-five members 
on record, who all more or less enjoyed some degree of the grace 
of God. . . . The members had bought a house last year which 
is now occupied for divine worship. There are also lots obtained, 
two of which were bought with the house, and the other was 
given by a brother, all of which, is according to our Discipline, 
deeded to the M. B. Church, South. Our second quarterly meet- 
ing was held on the 27th and 28th of April. Brother Young 
from the Seguin German Mission was with us, in the place of 
the presiding elder, and it was indeed a time of refreshing 
from the presence of the Lord. . . . Fifteen persons joined on 
probation at this time, one of whom was a Roman Catholic ; and 
I think it would not be unprofitable to present the circumstances 
of his conversion for the benefit of the German work. "When the 
Catholics learned his intention the priest asked him if he would 
not go to confession ? The man replied, no, as he had concluded 
to join the Methodists. The priest became excited and appointed 
a prayer-meeting for the benefit of this back-slidden brother. 
His wife also joined, and although a Protestant had as much 
or more opposition from her parents. Another family which 
belonged to the Lutheran Church, had a little child which the 
mother would have baptized by the Methodist minister. Her 
husband did not like it, but at last consented, and they called 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 331 

upon me to dedicate the child to God by holy baptism. One day 
the man was asked by his associates who baptized the child. He 
told them the Methodist minister. In the dispute that followed, 
when they saw that he held with the Methodists, they whipped 
him thoroughly, and since that time he and his wife never fail to 
fill their place in our church. 

The years 1850-51 saw the rise of three new Metho- 
dist schools in Texas, these being at Chappell Hill and 
Bastrop, in the Texas Conference, and at Henderson, in 
the East Texas Conference. Chappell Hill, located in the 
eastern part of Washington County, was rising into prom- 
inence as a Methodist community, and here in 1850 the 
" Chappell Hill Male and Female Institute" had its be- 
ginning, with two male and three female teachers and 
one hundred students. The conference of 1850 took the 
Institute under its patronage, and from the first the 
school prospered. At Bastrop, during the same year, a 
Methodist academy was projected, which opened its doors 
in 1851. A report to the church paper stated that more 
than $20,000 had been raised at Bastrop during the year 
for the new church building and for the academy. The 
progress of these schools will be noticed in a later chap- 
ter. At present the question arises as to the cause 
which gave birth to these new institutions in the Texas 
Conference, located as they both were within only a short 
distance of Eutersville College. 

With regard to the pioneer venture at Eutersville 
we are told that " Eutersville College, through unwis- 
dom somewhere, was on the decline, though it had been in 
operation only about ten years." 4 Some such general 
statement is as far as our modern references go in ex- 
planation of Eutersville 's decline. But the correspond- 
ence of the preachers of that day throws some light on the 
situation. From this we gather that one Applewhite, a 
Methodist local preacher residing at Eutersville, and con- 

4 C. C. Cody, in. several articles on our early schools. 


nected with the College, came under serious charges of 
immorality and swindling. The accused was brought to 
trial in the church, all the details relating to the case it is 
not necessary to relate here; but the reports growing 
out of the matter spread far and wide. Says J. E. 
Ferguson, in a letter of May 18, 1850: "You wish to 
know something about the Applewhite case. To give you 
a history would require a weeks writing, but my private 
opinion is, that it is worse than we want it. ... But 
this it has done, it has given the death blow to the Euters- 
ville College. And I will say this to you if we can not 
move the College from that place I want the Conference 
to have no connection with it whatever; for I fear that 
the egg was laid wrong, and has never been hatched prop- 
erly, and appears to be an ill stared thing. The citizens 
of Fayette county so far from fostering & patronising 
the College they have taken great delight in pulling it 
x down. ' ' Under date of July 24th he says : ' ' The Euters- 
ville school is well ny dead. There is not a student from 
Travis or Bastrop Counties that has returned, and to 
name the matter to any parent is to insult them, and the 
reasons for all this I will not put on paper. Applewhite 
is up before the church for a new trial with some other 
charges of swindling &c &c." 

The reports to which reference has been made cast 
a shadow upon the domestic life of one of the best known 
and best loved men of the early days of Eutersville Col- 
lege Chauncey Eichardson. Time has kindly drawn the 
curtain upon the situation which existed at Eutersville 
in 1850, and it shall not be our part to lift it. Eef erence 
is here made to these things, which then were matters of 
common knowledge or report, only to show that Euters- 
ville College did not die a natural death. The institution 
lingered along with a small patronage until 1856, when it 
ceased to be a Church school, being succeeded by the 
"Texas Monumental and Military Institute," under pri- 
vate management, and its course thereafter was very 

THE YEAES 1850-1852 333 

brief. Most of the old Methodist families, who had 
gathered about this early " Athens of Texas," moved 
away from the town, and it dwindled to the obscure vil- 
lage described in later years in a History of Fayette 
County, published in 1902, as follows: "Rutersville 
about six miles northeast from Lagrange, in the fertile 
Rutersville prairie, hog-wallow land, near the banks of 
Rocky Creek. Rutersville consists of a store, a saloon, 
a gin and a blacksmith shop. It is a voting place in the 
county and a post-office. Mr. G. D. Wessels is the owner 
of a fine hall for dancing, the best in the county. He is 
also the owner of a first-class saloon. ' ' 

Editor Richardson's report of the East Texas Con- 
ference of 1851 may be given almost entire, except the 
appointments, as it contains information which the scanty 
General Minutes do not furnish. One may also, if he is 
careful, discover some editorial characteristics which 
were not confined to the olden days. The account is as 
follows : 

Henderson, Texas, December 1st, 1851. 

In company with Rev. S. B. Cameron, I arrived in this town 
on the 25th inst. (25th ult. he means). We found the roads very 
bad and of course we made very slow progress. We found that 
we had been expected, and arrangements made for our accommo- 
dation in the family of Mrs. Shed, a member of our church, and 
a most estimable Christian lady. 

The town of Henderson is handsomely situated on a beautiful 
elevation with slightly undulating surface, and contains a popu- 
lation of some twelve hundred inhabitants, and many fine build- 
ings, which evince taste, enterprise and wealth. Our first view 
of the town impressed us favorably. Being the seat of justice 
for the enterprising county of Rusk, it is destined at no distant 
day to become a town of commercial importance. It is also 
spoken of as the Athens of Eastern Texas as it is the seat of 
East Texas Conference Institute. Of the prospects of this insti- 
tution, I am not prepared to speak at this moment. 

The East Texas Conference commenced its seventh session in 
this town on the 26th ult. Rev. 0. Fisher conducted the de- 


votional service. The Bishop not having arrived a President 
was balloted for, resulting in the election of Eev. S. A. "Williams. 
Brother Williams was quite modest in the acceptance of the 
Presidency of the Conference, and on taking the chair made 
some appropriate remarks. Rev. J. W. Fields was re-elected 
secretary, and Eev. James W. Shipman selected Assistant Secre- 
tary. Rev. James R. Bellamy of the Holston Conference pre- 
sented his certificate of transfer, and took his seat within the 
bar of the Conference. Rev. Edward F. Thwing was readmitted. 
Appropriate committees were appointed on " Public Wor- 
ship," "Sabbath Schools," "Books and Periodicals," "Mem- 
oirs," "Necessitous Cases" and "Finances." 

The second day Nathan S. Johnson was re-admitted. The 
following were admitted on trial: Henry Fullingim, John P. 
Simpson, Daniel M. Stovall, James Johnson, John McMillan, 
Harvey W. Cumming and Samuel D. Sansom. Other names 
were presented, but action was deferred for the present. The 
increase by admission on trial will not be less than ten, and 
two by re-admission. 

The Conference held two sessions each day, Friday and Sat- 
urday. The business is conducted with great harmony all 
evincing a high regard for the feelings and interest of each 
other. The examination of the candidates for full admission was 
conducted by Rev. 0. Fisher, in the church. His address to 
them was highly appropriate and impressive. The committee 
on Sabbath Schools made an excellent report which was adopted. 

The missionary anniversary was held on Saturday night, at 
which $101.00 was collected. The house was crowded, and all 
seemed interested in the missionary enterprise. Of my speech 
I will not speak, but that of Rev. 0. Fisher was worthy of the 
man, and of the occasion. 

Sunday was a high day in Henderson. The love feast at nine 
o'clock, conducted by Rev. S. A. Williams, was highly interest- 
ing. At the eleven o'clock service the house could not accomo- 
date the congregation. It was my privilege to occupy the pul- 
pit hour. At 3 p. m. Rev. O. Fisher delivered a most eloquent 
and effective sermon on the sacred office, to a crowded and 
deeply interested audience. Brother Fisher stands deservedly 
high in the estimation of the Conference and of the people. 

The night service comprised a sermon from Rev. S. Kingston 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 335 

and the administration of the holy sacrament of the Lord's 

Rev. 0. Fisher was desirous that the Conference should send 
a missionary to California, in response to Dr. Boring's proposi- 
tion, and wished to be the appointee to that field. But it was 
considered that the call for missionaries in East Texas was as 
urgent as the California call. The proposition of Bro. Fisher in 
the premises was declined because he could not be spared, and 
not for the want of missionary zeal in the Conference. 


In a brief statistical summary which accompanied the 
foregoing editorial correspondence we have for the first 
time information of the number of church buildings in the 
conference " Chapels (deeded) 40." Eef erring to the 
General Minutes we are told that "No minutes of this 
conference were received until July, 1852, and when re- 
ceived were so imperfect that we had to answer the 13th 
question (relating to membership statistics) by the min- 
utes of last year." There was a considerable dropping 
out of preachers, as shown in the list of appointments. 
Robert Crawford was appointed Sunday school agent; 
Job M. Baker was "left without appointment at his 
request"; J. G. Fawcet "left without appointment on 
account of ill health"; S. G. Culver "left without ap- 
pointment at his request"; Neil Brown "left without 
appointment in consequence of ill health ' ' ; John Powell 
"located at his request"; R. B. Wells was transferred 
to "Western Texas Conference"; J. W. Fields, "agent 
East Texas Conference and Fowler Institute." The fol- 
lowing were received by transfer : J. R. Bellamy, from 
the Holston Conference ; Geo. W. Lentz and Alex. Henkle, 
from the Tennessee Conference; John N. Hamill, from 
the Louisiana Conference, and Job M. Baker, from the 
Missouri Conference although Baker had been living 
land preaching in Texas for many years, by a peculiar 
circumstance his membership seems to have been re- 
tained with his former conference until now. 


Fowler Institute, located at Henderson, and named 
for Littleton Fowler, is first mentioned in the minutes of 
the conference of 1851. J. W. Fields, who had been 
named as its "agent," says that a brick edifice had just 
been erected, and "we were ready to open (and did 
shortly afterward open) the institution, manned by Isaac 
Alexander, A.M., and his brother as teachers. But there 
stood a ghost at the door. A debt of about one thousand 
dollars was calling loudly on the trustees for payment, 
and suit threatened if not liquidated soon. Under these 
circumstances the Agent was appointed. . . . The year 
was spent in expensive traveling in Texas and other 
states hard begging, and after my traveling expenses 
and a small salary which did not meet half my entire 
family expenses for the year, I only had about $50 for 
the Institution. This was the most mortifying result of 
my itinerant life. After my wife spending the summer 
with her parents, we returned in the fall fully satisfied 
with College agencies. ' ' 

The Texas Conference for 1851 was held at Bastrop, 
opening on December 17th three weeks following the 
East Texas Conference. Bishop Capers had been as- 
signed to the conferences in Texas, but on account of 
illness he was absent from both. Robert Alexander was 
elected president at Bastrop, and C. Eichardson was 
again elected secretary. 

At this conference efforts were made to rehabilitate 
the sagging fortunes of Eutersville College. E. Alex- 
ander was appointed special agent for the College in 
Connection with his pastoral charge of Chappell Hill and 
Brenham with authority to appoint sub-agents ; and J. 
M. Wesson, David Coulson and I. Gr. John were appointed 
a visiting committee to examine into its affairs. A visit- 
ing committee was appointed for the Chappell Hill In- 
stitute also, consisting of W. C. Lewis, J. M. Derrham- 
mer, and James E. Ferguson. 

The conference committee which had charge of the 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 337 

publication of the Banner found it necessary to report 
that that enterprise was not meeting expectations, and 
that curtailment of expenses was necessary. We have 
seen that a contract was made in Houston for the print- 
ing of one thousand copies of the paper, at $2500 per 
annum; and that it was expected that the subscriptions 
would pay the printer, and that the advertising would 
take care of the editor. At the end of the conference year 
1851 it was found that the number of subscriptions had 
run to only eight or nine hundred, and that many of 
these had not been paid for and had not been discon- 
tinued. In consequence a considerable debt had ac- 
cumulated. The committee reduced the salary of the 
editor from $800 a year to $300, following which Editor 
Richardson resigned. George Eottenstein was elected 
editor, and he took charge of the paper and carried it on 
in connection with an appointment on the Houston 
African Mission. Following the conference at Bastrop 
,the Publication Committee raised funds from a few finan- 
cial friends sufficient to purchase a printing outfit for the 
Banner, and Charles Shearn of Houston, a prominent 
layman and merchant, was induced to supervise the finan- 
cial end of the paper, which he did successfully, and with- 
out remuneration until the enterprise was tided over its 
immediate embarrassments. 

At the conference at Bastrop the following were ad- 
mitted on trial: Peter Moelling, John Patton, Marcus 
L. Smock, Lewis J. Wright, and Thomas Lancaster. E. 
B. Wells, who had just transferred back from the East 
Texas Conference, W. S. Hamilton, and E. Long located. 
John Haynie and Jesse Hord remain on the superan- 
nuated list, to which is added the name of William Young. 
Charles F. Eottenstein withdrew from the conference, 
and later entered the ranks of the Episcopal clergy. The 
statistics give an increase of 997 white members the 
largest increase of any previous year. In the appoint- 
ments the districts with their presiding elders are as 


follows: Galveston, C. Richardson; Rutersville, James 
M. Wesson; Springfield, W. C. Lewis; Austin, J. W. 
Whipple; Victoria, D. Carl. The "Rio Grande District" 
of last year disappears. Chappell Hill and Brenham 
appear the first time in the appointments, united, with 
Robert Alexander ; and Waco makes its first appearance, 
with P. M. Yell in charge. J. W. Phillips and B. L. 
Peel are "left without appointments on account of ill 
health, and J. W. DeVilbiss on account of pecuniary em- 
barrassments." Asbury Davidson and Daniel W. Fly 
were transferred from the Mississippi Conference to the 
Texas Conference this year, but they did not appear in 
the Texas appointments until later. Geo. W. Sneed, a 
superannuated member of the Tennessee Conference, and 
a brother of Joseph P. Sneed, died in Texas during 1851. 
Our correspondent of last year on the Georgetown 
circuit, James H. Addison, was changed to the Corsicana 
circuit, and a few extracts from his letters during 1852 
while riding this newly settled black larid circuit to the 
northwest will be of interest. His first letter was dated 
Corsicana, January 9, 1852, from which the following is 
taken : 

I left home as you are aware on Monday, and arrived safe 

and sound the same day at Nashville On tuesday I after 

getting badly lost arrived at bro Carroll Powers, and on Wed- 
nesday I got to Yells (at Springfield). . . . Our Mordecai a'nt 
hopping about his appointment. He declares he will not ride 
the circuit at all. I will try and give you some of his reasons 
for not taking the circuit. In the first place he had made an 
arrangement just before Conference to put a Steam Saw Mill 
on old Billy Nelms' piney in Leon County, he was to furnish 
the mills and nelms the pine, and they both were to share the 

profits Yells calculation was to still remain on the district, 

and be able to attend to the mill, without interfering with his 
Quarterly meetings, but being confined to a circuit he could not 
attend to it at all Another reason was that at the very utmost 
Springfield circuit couldn't pay more than $100.00 and that 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 339 

would starve his family A still greater cause of complaint than 
either of the above consisted in this, that by the hand of P. M. 
Yell he addressed three several communications to the Conf. 
One directed to the Bishop containing suggestions in regard to 
the men to be sent to this District. Another giving an account 

of his work, as well as of his preachers And still a third 

directed to the Bishop and members of the Conference. Not one 
of the communications were read in Conf. and no attention 
paid to them at all. . . . Left Yells Thursday morning and 
late at night arrived at a good bros house by the name of Ward, 
who lives in the forks of Pin Oak and Richland creeks just 
below where Peter Jacksons land is situated. . . . Friday in 
the evening after stopping by the way I got to Corsicana. 
stoped at the Tavern the proprietor of which is a Methodist 

local Preacher Found a large crowd of boarders Soon 

the supper bell rung. It was Hurra boys; the first one gets 
there gets the best chance, no blessing asked, as fast as they 
struck the seat, so quick would their fork stick fast in a piece 
of meat, and they fell to eating Well we got through supper 
after awhile, and went into the Hall, all the boarders, or most 
all of them went to see the Elephant which is a ten pin alley 
over which is the following impressive sign "Corsicana Ele- 

From another, dated Waxahachie, February 22, 1852 : 

My circuit is a pleasant one in several respects 1st. The 
rides are not hard, twenty miles being the farthest ride in a 
day, and only twice do I make such rides in a round, the dis- 
tance averaging each day about 8 miles. 2d. In having a very 
hospitable set of folks to deal with, those who feel for a preacher 
a correct moral community. As an evidence of this I may 
state that in this town (Waxahachie) which has not been in 
existence more than about 12 months, and which now numbers 
about 100 souls has a very fine M. E. Church, and no Doggery, 
nor has there been one. Beat that if you can 3d. Because there 
is no jarring with other denominations all is peace and pros- 
perity, and methodism takes the day But as usual there are 
drawbacks, one for instance, a Lady at whose house I was 
Kopping, a member of the church, after supper placed the books 


down on the table, invited me to hold prayers, and then quietly 
took up her knitting I selected my chapter & hymn, and waited 
till she quit she knit on and I waited, till she was convinced 
I would not commence till she quit, she folded up her work & 
I commenced, but as soon as she had got me fairly started she 
recommenced her knitting with a will. I soon put a stop to 

it by calling her to her knees All such as this however, 

is easily gotten over and if there is no greater drawbacks than 
this I can get along. ... I have taken about 16 in the church 
since I have been here, and I think there is a fair prospect of a 
good many more. Day before yesterday (Sabbath) I tried to 
preach four times at this little Town at 9 I tried to preach a 
sermon on Sabbath schools, at 11 to the citizens, at 3 to the 
negroes, at night to the citizens again I also organized a Sab- 
bath school, and obtained 30 or more members. Our Quarterly 
Meeting (held at Corsicana) went off pretty well considering 
all things. It was very bad cold weather, and the house we 
worshiped in was a very open one, Yet we had some intimations 
of good nine joined the church Brother Lewis was with us, in 
good health and spirits, and earned for himself a name as a big 
preacher in the town of Corsicana 

From a number of letters written during the year a 
variety of observations on persons and conditions are 
taken : 

Your letter found me indulging in a fit of the blues caused 

by the absence of my "sliding Elder" Did you ever have 

a Quarterly meeting coming on and be bored out of all patience 
by the enquirys of your flock in reference to his (the Elder's) 
coming? . . . And did you ever start to the Q. M. with awful 
forebodings in reference to your ability to say any thing profit- 
able, and at the same time feel a presentiment that he would 
not come? . . . My Quarterly meeting came, but no P. E. I 
felt a little fretted as there were folks who had come about 
twenty two miles to see him. I heard that he was sick so that 
contented me, and the people concluded that if they couldn't 
get biscuit they would take dodger and they set and listened 
to me. The meeting closed with 13 accessions . . . bro Lewis 
got up to the two days meeting at Waxahachie (held at a later 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 341 

date) and informed me that he had the misfortune to have his 
horse stolen. When this became known the folks of Waxahachie 
with characteristic liberality made him tip between 60 & 70 
dollars in the hard money. This for a little town of seven or 
eight houses is doing very finely indeed, is'nt it?.. . My 
circuit has been very slow in paying their preacher this year, 
nearly three quarters of the year gone, and I have received about 
twenty eight dollars. I have great difficulty to keep myself 
decent. I should have not been able to do that, but I had the 
good fortune to marry several of the folks this year, for which 
I received $16.95 all told. That helped me out considerably. 
I have collected, however for Missionary purposes some $50 
odd, and I hope to increase it before I leave the circuit. . . . 
We had bro McKenzie to preach to us last night, and to my 
shame be it spoken, I haven't laughed as much in Church in 
twelve months, as I did then, he makes so many quaint remarks, 
as well as so many rough expressions, for instance "Poor knock- 
kneed scabby sheep" "pigeon livered coward." But I need 
not attempt to give you an idea of his preaching. . . . We had 
a sweet revival in Corsicana some four weeks ago. This place 
has been considered one of the hardest places around, all efforts 
to get up a revival had failed, by the help of the Lord however, 
we were enabled to kindle a little fire, it took hold of the 
giants, and the tallest sons of Anak about this place fell before 
it 26 united with the church some of the most influencial ones 
of the town. I think we will have a camp meeting grow out of 
the revival here, and if so, I think we will have a very moral 
place of a town. Bro McKenzie gives rather a doleful account 
ul matters and things pertaining to your circuit, bro Morse sick, 
unable to attend to his appointments, the Baptists and Camp- 
bellites stealing your sheep, and the devil triumphing. Lord 
help us all. I had rather dwell with a community of savages 
than with Campbellites. I thank goodness have none on my 
work, but occasionally I go to bro Nelms' circuit, where they 
are as thick as hops, and you may be sure we have some rare 
times. They are death to spirituality, killing religion as dead 
as a stone. ... I have had a continuous revival all round my 
circuit A hundred and thirty one joined and I think before the 
year is out, I will make it a hundred and fifty. . . . What a 
difference does the appearance of the country present now, from 


what it did the first time I came up here then there was hardly 
people enough to fill a little rail pen, now the whole face of 
the country is covered with farms &c. 

We will close this correspondence with a list of the 
appointments on Corsicana circuit, as the preacher sets 
them down: 

Tuesday April 


Tuesday " 

Wednesday ' ' 

Thursday ' ' 

Friday " 

Sunday ' ' 

Friday " 

Sunday " 







May 1st 


six miles below Corsicana 
Rush creek 
Richland town 
Head of Richland 
Chambers creek 

Do " Singletons 

Head of Waxahachie Hawkins 
Town of Waxahachi 
Trinity City On the River Trinity 
Chatfield point 14 miles from Corsicana 
Baggett. Trinity river below 
In the forks of Trinity & Chambers 

12 miles above on Chambers creek Hil- 

still above on the Corsicana road Ham- 

At Corsicana 

The appts will stand this way but the one round, then the 
Q M knocks them all out. 

Dropping in among the older churches of the lower 
country we have an example of how a church often wasted 
its energies, or perverted them, rather, in an attempted 
application of discipline, when the courts of the church 
were too often used as a means of airing personal griev- 
ances. The case in point is one of which we have the 
record, occurring on the Victoria circuit in 1852, and was 
introduced by the following letter: 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 343 

Canaan November 6th 1852. 

Rev Mr 

Sir after my respects to you I will commence the painful yet 
dutiful task of giving you my charges against Joel Heard as an 
offending Brother As you are well aware I have not done this 
without waiting a due time and giveing all parties conserned 
in this matter ample time to make such disposition of the mat- 
ter as they saw proper I have been trampeled on and that not 
a little and thus far have submited but to proseed to my charge 
without any more remarks on the subject 

Joel Heard did on the^thirty first day of July A D 1852 
willfully malignantly and with forethought knowledge and in- 
tent to rong and injure your complainant swear false in the 
Court House in the Town of Victoria and state of Texas and has 
continud to state that which was false varias times since to 
the great injure and damage to your complainer 

In like manner did Humphry Heard on the same day and 
place as above mentioned state under oath that which was not 
so and has at varias other times continued to state false to the 
great damage of your complainer all of which I am prepaired 
to prove your petitioner would tharef ore pray that the offenders 
Joel Heard and Humphrey Heard be caused to appear before 
a commtee of the Church in legal form and manner to answer 
the (illegible) they cannot expect that any sivel not say re- 
ligous society can put up with such behavior your petitioner 
would farther pray that the offenders be brought to trial before 
your next appointment at this place and that they be suspended 
this matter has been defered long enough all ready yours with 


Evidently the complainant was advised that his 
charges were not specific, and he subsequently comes 
back with the following: 

the special charges that I would make against the two mr 
Heards to wit Joel and Humphry Heard are simply these that 
on the day and place before mentioned stated false concerning 
the fense of my own and concerning the hogs which are thomas 
C Heards they both stated that the hogs in controversy wer 


Thomas C Heards which I am prepaired to prove is false and 
Joel heard stated that my f ense was down for six weeks after I 
had planted my corn which I am prepaired to prove is false and 
humphry heard stated that the hog that was killed would weigh 
from 175 to 200 Ibs which I am prepaired to prove is not so 
with respect yours & C 

Upon receipt of this bill of charges the machinery of 
the church was set in motion by the preacher in charge, 
with a view of bringing the offenders strictly to account. 
Citations containing the charges and specifications were 
written out and handed to the accused, and both were 
cited to trial. A committee of trial was appointed, a 
time set, and the matter came on to be heard. The record 
contains several pages of testimony of direct and cross- 
examination and the findings of the committee. The 
charges were not sustained, in the opinion of the com- 
mittee, and the following remarks were added: "Com- 
mittee think the Plaintif manifest bad disposition and 
unchristian temper." The following entry is made by 
the preacher presiding: "Bailey walked up to the altar 
and addressing me in rather a spiteful maner said, 'You 
will please take my name off of the class paper.' " 

At the conference at Bastrop in 1851 we have seen 
that Chauncey Richardson resigned as editor of the Ban- 
ner and was appointed to the Galveston district. H. S. 
Thrall records in his "Beminiseences" that after the ad- 
journment of conference he had a long, private conversa- 
tion with him. "He seemed depressed," says the writer ; 
"he spoke of Rutersville College, for which he had labored 
so hard, and of the Banner, which he had hoped to see a 
power in Texas. His experience in college and editorial 
work was not satisfactory, and henceforth he intended 
to devote his whole life to the regular itinerant work. 
We shook hands with moistened eyes and parted with 
words which proved to be final farewell. The next tid- 
ings I had of Chauncey Eichardson he was dead." 

THE YEARS 1850-1852 345 

It was a sad decline, hastened by the misfortunes 
which had overtaken Rutersville College though the 
responsibility for these were in no sense his and by the 
embarrassments of the Banner, of which he had been 
editor for two years. Mr. Richardson immediately after 
conference moved his family back to Rutersville from 
which they had departed a year or two before, where he 
had a home, and from that point served his district. He 
had completed one round on his district and was pre- 
paring to set out home, when he was taken down with 
pneumonia at the house of Rev. John Patton, in Fort 
Bend County. His family was notified, and his wife 
reached him a short time before his death. He expired 
on April 11, 1852. His remains were transported to 
Rutersville and buried, and there he sleeps until this day, 
upon a hill overlooking the site of what was once Ruters- 
ville College. 


THE YEARS 1853-1854 

THE East Texas Conference met on December 2, 1852, 
at Busk, with Bishop Paine presiding. J. W. Fields was 
again elected secretary. 

Win. McCarty, Jesse S. Vann, and F. A. Medaris were 
admitted on trial. S. Q-. Culver and Jas. W. Shipman 
located ; F. Gr. Fawcett and Greo. "W. Lentz took the super- 
numerary relation, and E. P. Chisholm, Robert Craw- 
ford, Geo. West and M. F. Cole are reported on the super- 
annuated list. Jno. N. Hamill was transferred to the 
Louisiana Conference, to be re-transferred back, how- 
ever, at the end of the year. 

The Texas Conference assembled again at Bastrop, 
meeting this year on December 22. Bishop Paine had 
another long, cross-country ride from one conference to 
another, and he was met and attended, as he was three 
years before, by J. W. Whipple. " While traveling with 
Brother Whipple of the Texas Conference," says his 
biographer, "a report sadder than any ordinary death- 
wail came to the travelers that Brother Whipple 's son 
had been drowned, and that his body could not be found. 
He gave to his afflicted brother the tenderest sympathies, 
and expressed the hope that the report might be false. 
Upon their arrival at Bastrop, the seat of the confer- 
ence, they found the report too true. The father was 
overwhelmed, and the distress was increased by the loss 
of the body. On the first day of the conference the body 
was found, and the conference adjourned to attend the 
funeral of Wilbur Scott Whipple. The Bishop officiated, 


THE YEARS 1853-1854 347 

and gave great comfort to the family by his tender 
Christian counsel and sweet words of consolation, so 
radiant in our holy religion. As he returned to the labori- 
ous duties of the conference at two o'clock, P. M., he 
simply wrote in his diary: * Sleep on, sweet one.' " 

This incident cast a gloom over the occasion, and be- 
sides the conference was saddened by the absence of the 
one who had served it for so many years as secretary, 
Chauncey Bichardson, whose death we have noticed. 
Homer S. Thrall was elected secretary. 

At this conference John W. Chalk, Benj. Dashiell, 
Wm. L. Kidd, Thomas Wooldridge, Henderson Lafferty, 
Joseph E. Bankin, and John W. Addison were admitted 
on trial, the last named being the third son out of one 
family who had entered the Texas Conference. The ranks 
were depleted by six locations : John C. Kolbe, Jas. W. 
Lloyd, Samuel M. Kingston, C. W. Thomas, Asbury 
Davidson, and D. W. Fly, the last two having transferred 
to Texas only the year before. S. B. Cameron, who had 
filled Austin station during the year, took the super- 
numerary relation. Our old friends John Haynie, Jesse 
Hord and William Young remain on the superannuated 
list. A considerable company of reinforcements were re- 
ceived by transfer, as follows: John S. McG-ee, "Wm. P. 
Bead and Ivy H. Cox, from the Kentucky Conference; 
F. S. Petway, J. W. Cooley and John W. Ledbetter, from 
the Tennessee Conference; and Garrett L. Patton from 
the Alabama Conference, and Thomas G-. Gilmore from 
the Louisiana Conference. 

In the appointments a new district appears Hunts- 
ville, with B. Alexander, P. E. The other districts with 
their presiding elders were: Galveston, B. W. Ken- 
non; Butersville, James M. Wesson; Austin, J. W. 
Whipple; Springfield, Q-arrett L. Patton; Victoria, 
Daniel Carl. 

John W. Addison was appointed to Lavacca circuit, 
with G. W. Cottingham, who had come out from Arkan- 


sas, as Ms senior colleague. From Addison's journal 
and his letters home we will extract some of his experi- 
ences and observations on conditions. The first from his 
journal : 

On. Thursday, the 14th of January, in the year eighteen 
hundred and fifty-three, I left my home near Caldwell to travel 
on the Lavacca Circuit, the first appointment I ever received 
from the Conference. 

I reached a good Bro. Baptist's where I spent the night very 
pleasantly. The following morning was a rainy one, but my 
appointment being two days' ride farther on, I took my leave, 
and after riding all day in the rain and swimming one stream, 
I reached the home of a Campbellite, where I was hospitably 
entertained. On the morrow I rode to within thirteen miles of 
my appointment, when I was stopped by the Navidad, which 
was impassable; so I was forced to wait until Monday when I 
crossed the creek and rode to Bro. Hester's. I got my dinner 
and then rode to the town of Hallettsville. 

Jan. 21st. This evening I tried to preach to a handful of 
people from St. John, 5th Chapter and 6th Verse. 

Jan. 22. Had an appointment today at Petersburg, very few 
in attendance. 

Jan. 25th. Day before yesterday (Sunday) I preached at 

Feb. 4th. Bro. G. W. Cottingham and I have been around 
the circuit and have gotten things tolerably straight for the 
year's work. 

Feb. 17th. We have held the first Quarterly Conference, had 
a very good congregation on Sunday. The amount required of 
this circuit for the pastor's salary this year is 375 dollars. Bro. 
Cottingham receives 275 dollars and one hundred dollars is to 
be paid me. The amount I received at this Quarterly Confer- 
ence was $7.05. 

Feb. 27th. Today I preached at Cuero. There was a little 
circumstance that made me feel bad. It was this : An old school 
Presbyterian preacher during last week had made an appoint- 
ment at this time and place, tho' my appointment had been out- 
standing for four weeks, but it seems he did not know it. When 
he stepped in at the door, I was standing up reading Hymns. 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 349 

He stood for one moment like he was thunderstruck, then took 
a seat, and I preached. 

March 5th. Yesterday I preached at Lyons to twelve or four- 
teen women and three men. When I think of the home I have 
left, and the friends who are far away, I feel that I have indeed 
left all to follow Christ. 

March 12th. Today about six o'clock p. m. my horse laid 
down to rise no more. Don't know how I am to get to my ap- 
pointment Friday unless I walk, or can borrow a horse, which 
is doubtful. 

March 26th. At last I succeeded in getting a horse to ride, 
a spoiled Spanish thing. I have saved two appointments I ex- 
pected to lose. . . . 

April 1st, I preached the first sermon that has ever been 
preached on Mulberry Creek. 

April 4th. Went to Bro. Chambliss' and found that Br. 
Cottingham had purchased a horse for me from a Mexican cava- 
yard a pretty good horse. Bro. Cottingham 's family not being 
well, I started around the Circuit to fill his appointments as well 
as my own. The year is stealing away and I have done no study- 
ing of any importance. 

The slender entries of a journal may be supplemented 
by extracts from some of Addison's letters: 

Our Q. M. closed last Sunday evening we had a tolerably 
cold time of it. There is no appearance of a revival on this ct 
but I hope for better things soon. ... I wish I could give you 
an exact account of this ct. it is a four weeks ct. but it has 
rained so much that I have only went around it once, but expect 
to start again tomorrow and will get back here in two weeks: 
there are something like twenty appointments in all. or will be 
when they are all made out. I think of all the cts in the Conf 
this is one of the greatest for having a few of all kinds of people 
in it. from Methodists down to Papists, not forgetting Camp- 
bellites, and almost every kind of ite and ism in the Creation, 
and they are all as hidebound as the Devil himself. 

(April 25th). I do not know what to say about Br. Cot- 
tingham He has rec'd news from Ark. that his moral char- 


acter is impeached, & that if he is not there at His trial, it will 
be very apt to go hard with him, but it is impossible for him 
to get there in time, he talks of locating on the Bay and going 
into stock raising. . . . He appears to have lost all his zeal, 
and in a great measure, to have backslidden, some of the official 
members have begun to lose confidence in him. they think, which 
is the truth, that he is too careless about preaching, that he 
spends all his spare time fishing. Think not that I say this with 
any other feelings than of deep regret, for I feel much hurt 
at the course he thinks of pursuing, but I cannot help it. 

(May 7th). I presume you have heard that the folks have 
built a fine academy in Halletsville and are going to establish 
a school, they have employed a Methodist Preacher by the name 
of Spencer to take charge of it. the house cost them 4.000 dol- 
lars. I am no judge of such matters, but Spencer appears to 
be a well educated man fully competent to take charge of the 
"Alma Institute" (that is its name). 

Another Methodist school? This is the only informa- 
tion we have of the "Alma Institute" at Halletsville. 

The minutes have shown that Charles Eottenstein 
withdrew from our ministry. He immediately joined the 
ranks of the Episcopal clergy, and one of our letters of 
this year gives a portrait of him in robes, as well as some 
attendant incidents of interest. The letter is from J. H. 
Addison, this year on Bastrop circuit, and dated Bastrop, 
May llth (1853) : 

As there was a revival going on in Bastrop I came over yes- 
terday and learned that Bishop Freeman (of the Episcopal 
Church) had sent an appt down to preach at night. Bro 
Whipple gave way for the Bishop, and expectation was on tip- 
toe to hear him. Well, at the appointed time the Bishop in his 
black robe, and the Bevs Messrs Eucker and Bottenstein in their 
white ones came sweeping down the isle with all the dignity that 
could be assumed I was so irreverant as to laugh at the appear- 
ance of "our Charley" he looked and acted so consequential. 
The service commenced by Bucker, the Bishop and Charley re- 
sponding. . . . The Bishop took his text "Except ye be con- 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 351 

verted and become as little children" & c He commenced by 
stating that "there were many men who taught the doctrine that 
the sacrament of the Lords Supper was designed for none but 
those who had assurance of present acceptance, and that which 
was designed to impart all the assurance necessary, was with- 
held until that assurance was imparted. This assurance the 
men taught was preceded by deep remorse, or pungent convic- 
tion, and then by a joy and peace inexpressible, and men were 
terefied from approaching what those self-constituted teachers 
caled merely the emblems of the broken body and shed blood 
of Christ, and as a warrant for this belief, they relied among 
other passages on the text selected by me, but I will leave it 
to the judgment of all present, after I am done, whether with 
just grounds. He then opened the subject first by presenting 
the meaning of the words "Kingdom of Heaven," declaring that 
in the passage under consideration it referred to the "church." 
Next the meaning of the word "converted" was defined to be 
a turning. . . . Hence the popular theory of the self-called 
and self -constituted teachers of the present day, that conversion 
was a change of heart, or the pardon of sin, was all wrong. . . . 
He then defined it Convertion to be a change in the mind, 
not by any inward impression but alone by the power of the man 
himself, a making himself righteous by his own actions. . . . 
Then is he fit for the sacrament. This is the evidence of Con- 
version, and no man know this save by receiving the sacra- 
ments. These are the appointed channels of God 's grace and man 
need not look for any other. . . . 

After he got done preaching he bowed and scraped and 
prayed, and pronounced the benediction and the Parsons had 
got down upon their knees to pray the congregation out of the 
house. Whipple jumped up and told them we would have a 
prayer meeting and asked them to stay. I tell you the Bishop 
and his aids, or laqueys left in a hurry and Whipple commenced 
I never have heard him come out as plain in my life. He told 
them that he believed and preached heart-felt religion and that 
those who trusted to any thing else might be in the fix of those 
who demanded admittance into Heaven on the score of their 
having taught in his name and in his name done many wonder- 
ful works, they might receive the sentence ' ' I never knew you. ' ' 
We then had a real Methodist prayer meeting, and anoyed the 


Bishop and company no little with our noise, they being at 
Halls could hear us very plain. 

A great variety of subjects persons, events and con- 
ditions are discussed in the correspondence of several 
preachers of that day, which we have in much patience 
deciphered and sifted. We learn that early in the year 
1853 George Rottenstein, editor of the Banner, yielded 
up the tripod, surrendered his credentials as a Methodist 
preacher, and followed his son Charles into the Epis- 
copal ministry. There was great rejoicing apparently 
among the Methodist preachers, as the Banner and its 
editor had been growing more and more unpopular, and 
the paper was scarcely able to keep its head above water. 
Bro. S. B. Cameron, who had taken the supernumerary 
relation at the previous conference, and had moved to 
Houston, was temporarily placed in charge of the paper. 

A letter from Chappell Hill says that the school is 
prosperous; that the people had all united to sustain it; 
attendance, about ninety pupils, "all under good disci- 
pline," and more than one hundred expected before the 
end of the session. A new church expected to be com- 
pleted before the end of the year. 

A very remarkable expression of temperance senti- 
ment is recorded. ' ' We in the Colorado valley are driving 
right ahead," says a writer, referring to temperance 
reform. ' * In the Corporation of Bastrop an election was 
ordered by the Mayor to test public sentiment in regard 
to the liquor traffic within the bounds of the Corporation. 
When the votes were counted out it stood one hundred 
and seventy three against licensing doggeries in the town 
to three in favor of it. In Webberville the citizens met, 
and appointed delegates to the state convention, and I 
believe we will be able to get a Maine liquor law passed 
by the next legislature." 

Spiritualism was having an extensive vogue. "We 
have spiritual communications from the other world 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 353 

plenty and I am of the opinion that many of the good 
folks of Burleson county will go totally deranged," 
writes J. E. Ferguson. "Dead men's spirits are called 
up with as much facility as one would whistle up a gang 
of dogs, and then the astonishing revelations that are 
made, why it is enough to harrow up the soul, freeze thy 
blood, and make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their 

This good year 1853 was the open season for the dele- 
gates to he elected to the ensuing General Conference, 
and the subject nils no little space in the communications 
of the preachers. A little conference politics now and 
then is relished by the best of men. "As to Deligates," 
says one, "I have nothing to say. I intend to vote if I 
get to Conference but some men and probably the choice 
of the Conference I never can vote for to fill responcible 
stations. ... I would like to know that the young men 
of the Conference would seek out such as would not lay 
such burdens on our shoulders the next four years as we 
have borne these : but I look for it to be as in the days of 
Jeroboam The thigh will be substituted for the finger." 

It was in the year 1853 that a new brick church was 
completed at Washington, erected and named in honor 
of Dr. Martin Euter, the first superintendent of the Texas 
mission, who had died and was buried at Washington in 
1838. Early in May of this year the remains of Dr. Euter 
were removed from the old burying ground and re-in- 
terred at a spot adjacent to the new church. J. E. Fer- 
guson, who was present on the occasion, thus writes of 
the events of the day : 

I have been to Washington to the re-enterment of Dr- Euter 
since I wrote to you, where I met with Bros Alexander, Kinney, 
Peel & Lewis The excessive rain, and other causes had a bad 
influence upon the exercises of the occasion about fifty to eighty 
masons were in the procession. Nothing but Ms bones remained, 
the Coffin was entirely decayed. His wig was entire, and his 
teeth looked natural, but nothing ramained of the great and 


good man but the skeleton. The eye was gone from, beneath 
the massive and noble brow. The tongue of eloquence had 
mouldered to the clay. The large and ardent heart was no 
more the thing of life, but like other parts of his body had 
crumbled to dust. The soul was gone, the dust remained to us 
to honor. I felt while we were handling his dust that if he was 
not displeased with us he pitied the empty pageantry of earth 
Bro Kinney made a complete failure in the eulogy, and Craw- 
ford's oration was without points the Collection was meager, 
only about 275$. But Judge Felder has agreed to seat the house 
and finish the belfry &C &C. 

In 1853 Methodism took a new start in San Antonio 
and Corpus Christi, according to reports published by 
the Missionary Society of the Church, South. 1 Lewis B. 
Whipple was the preacher at San Antonio, and Hender- 
son S. Lafferrty was at Corpus Christi: "The city of 
San Antonio," says the Report, "has hitherto been rather 
a barren field upon which we have bestowed labor. But 
this year it has pleased God to bless the labors of his 
servants, and some 18 souls were happily converted to 
God. A noble two-story rock church edifice has been 
built, 35 by 60 feet. The upper room is used for divine 
worship. The basement (entirely above ground), for a 
schoolroom. In March last a church was organized in 
Corpus Christi by the missionary, which numbers 18 
white and 6 colored members. The walls of the church 
building are pretty well up, and they have some of the 
materials for completing it. ' ' 

The East Texas Conference met at Marshall on No- 
vember 30, 1853, Bishop Andrew presiding, and John W. 
Fields secretary. Marshall C. Simpson, Bennett Elkins, 
A. W. Goodgion, Jas. A. Scruggs, William G. Coons, A. 
C. McDougald, James Greene, Calvin Cocke, John Mc- 
Millan were admitted on trial the largest class in the 
history of the conference, and Henderson D. Palmer, M. 
C. Robinson, and J. K. Hawkins were re-admitted. J. 
Johnson and Robt. Crawford located; Geo. W. Lents, 

iBeport of Missionary Society, 1854, pp. 84r-85. 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 355 

M. F. Cole and J. G. Hardin went on the supernumerary 
list, and Geo. West remained on the superannuated roll. 
Samuel W. Bobbins was received by transfer from the 
Indian Mission Conference, and John W. Ellis, Sr., from 
the Alabama Conference. 

The following delegates were elected to the General 
Conference, to meet the following year: S. A. Williams, 
0. Fisher, and Jeff erson Shook ; N. B. Burkes, reserve. 

Four appointments in this conference have now 
reached the dignity of stations, namely, San Augustine, 
Henderson, Marshall, and Jefferson, although each place 
was also the head of a circuit. The membership in these 
stations was small 41 whites at San Augustine, 82 at 
Henderson, 70 at Marshall, and 43 at Jefferson. It was 
the day of great circuits, and some of the strongest men 
of the conference filled these circuits. Paris, Bonham, 
Greenville, Dallas, Grayson, Palestine, Tyler, Jackson- 
ville, Clarksville and Cherokee were the great circuits of 
the conference, from the standpoint of membership, Paris 
standing at the head, with 784 white members, and 112 
colored. The membership in the conference has reached 
a total of 9230 whites, and 1268 colored ; increase during 
the year, 2227 whites and 310 colored the best year yet. 
The districts remain as last year, which, with their 
presiding elders, were as follows: San Angustine, J. T. 
P. Irvine; Marshall, N. W. Burkes; Clarksville, A. N. 
Eoss ; Palestine, 0. Fisher ; Woodville, Wm. K. Wilson. 
The Texas Conference met at Huntsville, December 
21, 1853. Bishop Andrew was in charge, and H. S. Thrall 
was elected secretary. 

Fountain P. Bay, Absalom C. Delaplaine, Bufus Y. 
King, Henry D. Hubert, Williamson Williams, Thomas 
F. Windsor, and Augustus C. Fairman were admitted on 
trial. Transferred in : H. E. McElroy, from the Missouri 
Conference; Wm. G. Foote, from the Virginia Confer- 
ence; Solomon S. Yarbrough, from the Tennessee Con- 
ference; William H. Seat and John H. Davidson, from 
the Mississippi Conference. 


Two members of the conference had died during the 
year : William Young and Simon B. Cameron. 

William Young was born December 17, 1822, in Madi- 
son County, Alabama. He was converted and joined the 
Methodist Church in Benton County, Ala., in 1838. He 
was licensed to preach in 1844, and immediately took 
work by appointment of the presiding elder on Caffee- 
ville circuit. In the fall of 1844 he was received on trial 
into the Memphis Conference. In the fall of 1845 he 
transferred to the Texas Conference. During his brief 
ministry in Texas he served on the Nashville, San An- 
tonio, Austin and Bastrop, Seguin and San Antonio, and 
again San Antonio charges. During the year 1850 his 
health failed, and in the fall of that year he took the 
supernumerary relation. At the close of the next year he 
was superannuated. He returned to Mississippi, and in 
March, 1853, he was married to Miss Eliza M. Sims. His 
health had greatly improved, and he expected soon to 
return to Texas and resume his place in the ministry. 
But in the latter part of the year he fell into a rapid de- 
cline. He died in Mississippi on February 18, 1853. Bro. 
Young was described as a man of vigorous mind, of fine 
tastes, and as a preacher his ministrations were often 
highly spiritual and awakening. The people always heard 
him gladly. 

Simon B. Cameron was a native of Ohio. He entered 
the travelling connection in Kentucky, where he labored 
two years, then came to Texas in feeble health. He en- 
tered the Texas Conference in December, 1850. He served 
one year in Houston, and one at Austin. He then took 
a supernumerary relation, and removed to Houston. He 
was for a few months editor of the Texas Wesleyan Ban- 
ner. He was stricken with yellow fever in Houston, and 
died there on October 2, 1853, leaving a wife and one 

Delegates elected to the General Conference : E. Alex- 
ander, H. S. Thrall, James M. Wesson and J. W. Whip- 
pie; William A. Smith and William C. Lewis, reserves. 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 357 

The Texas Conference closes the quadrennium with 
a total membership of 6234 whites and 1687 colored, 
showing an increase over the previous year of 1397 whites 
and 301 colored. The membership for the two confer- 
ences now standing, 15,464 whites and 2955 colored 
number of local preachers in Texas Conference, 104, 
number in East Texas Conference not given. The Texas 
Conference covers a much wider territory everything 
west of the Trinity Eiver, and has six districts and not 
including these and special appointments has sixty-two 
regularly listed appointments. The East Texas Confer- 
ence has five districts, and only forty regularly listed 
appointments ; but as shown, the membership in the East 
Texas Conference far exceeds that in the Texas Confer- 
ence, showing the comparative density of population. 
The Texas Conference has no such populous circuits as 
are found in the eastern portion of the state. And 
strange to say the charge that stands up toward the head 
of the list in the west is one of the newer black land cir- 
cuits Waxahachie, with a white membership of 337. The 
leading circuits in the conference are, in the order of 
membership: Bastrop, 393; Waxahachie, 337; Caldwell 
(formerly the old Nashville), 301; Anderson 276; Hunts- 
ville, 258; Leona, 247; Goliad, 221, and Belton, 200. 

The minutes of the Texas Conference for 1853 show 
that two new schools had come into being Andrew Fe- 
male College, at Huntsville, to which James M. Follansbee 
was appointed principal, and Paine Female Institute, at 
Goliad, with A. B. F. Kerr as agent, in connection with 
his appointment as pastor. The minutes also show that 
Robert Alexander was not only presiding elder of the 
Huntsville district, but he was also " agent of Chappell 
Hill Institute and Andrew Female College." "We have, 
then, existing at the same time five schools within the 
bounds of the Texas Conference namely, at Huntsville, 
Chappell Hill, Bastrop, Goliad, and Eutersville, as the 
last named had not yet closed its doors, or been trans- 
ferred to other hands. The East Texas Conference had 


two Fowler Institute at Henderson, and McKenzie Col- 
lege, near Clarksville. It is little wonder that we find 
talk of concentration going on in the Texas Conference, 
and that such sentiments should find expression within a 
few months in the projection of a "central university," 
to be located at Chappell Hill. The school at Chappell 
Hill soon came to be the most prosperous in the confer- 
ence. Originally started under the name of "Chappell 
Hill Male and Female Institute" in 1850, it was reor- 
ganized in the fall of 1852 and its name changed to 
"Chappell Hill College." An announcement issued in 
the winter of 1852-53 says: "The next Spring Session 
will commence on Monday the 7th of March, 1853. Both 
departments of the College are under the superinten- 
dence of Prof. P. S. Euter, late of Transylvania Univer- 
sity, Ky. . . . The Female Department occupies a new 
and spacious building, 50 feet by 24 in size, two stories 
high, and at some two hundred yards distance from the 
former one." The Female Department was in charge 
of Miss Elizabeth Knox, of Pittsburg, Pa., while Miss 
Charlotte Euter was in charge of the music department. 
President Euter and Miss Charlotte Euter were children 
of Dr. Martin Euter, as was also A. "W. Euter, who came 
to Texas about this time and engaged in teaching. 

Other information given in this announcement in- 
cludes "Tuition Fee for Session of Five Months," as 
follows : 

For Beading and Spelling $8 00 

' ' Writing and First Lessons in Arithmetic 10 00 

" Arithmetic, Geography, English Grammar, Composition or Dec- 
lamation 12 00 

' ' History, Geology, Logic, Ehetoric, Moral or Mental Philosophy 15 00 
" Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Physiology, Alge- 
bra, Geometry, Latin, Greek, or the higher branches of 

Mathematics 20 00 

' ' French or Hebrew languages, each extra 10 00 

' ' Music, Pianoforte, with use of instrument 25 00 

' ' Drawing, Painting, or Embroidery, each extra 10 00 

Board for girls and young ladies can be obtained in good 
families at $8 to $10 dollars per month. For young men and 
boys, at $7 to $10, according to accommodations. 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 359 

Students from a distance are requested to bring with them 
whatever school books they have. These will be used as far 
as practicable. Whatever new ones are required can be had at 
the stores in town. 

The two Departments of the College, (male and female), 
are kept distinct and apart, with no intercommunication, save 
through the officers of the Institution. 

Eev. Bryan L. Peel has been appointed travelling agent for 
the College, to raise funds with a view to the endowment of 
the Professional Chairs. 

For any further information desired, address President 
Ruter, Chappell Hill, Washington County, Texas. 
By order of the Board of Trustees, 

R. J. SWEARINGEN, Chairman. . 


As the Chappell Hill community and church became 
one of the famous centers of Methodism during this 
period, it might be of interest to transcribe here a part 
of the contents of the " Church Book" for 1853, which 
has been preserved and has fallen into our hands. In 
common with all church records of that day, this book 
is prefaced by a " charge to the membership," this one 
containing the following : 

Brethren be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, 
live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 
Remember the Friday preceding each Quarterly Meeting as a 
day of fasting and prayer, for the general prosperity of Zion. 

Also pray for us your Ministers, that the words of the Lord 
may have free course, and be glorified. 
November 9th 1853. 

A. M. Box P. C. 

The membership is listed under the following heads, 
the male members appearing first : 

No. Male Members Life Soul Remarks 

and under the headings "Life" and "Soul" initials are 
set down to indicate the state of life married, single, 
widowed and the state of soul. 


The membership roll is as follows : 

No. Male Members Life Soul 

1. William Keesee, CL & St W B 

2. B. L. Peel, LE CL & St M B 

3. James S. Hanna, St M B 

4. Joseph W. Routt, St M B 

5. J. A. Hargrove, St S B 

6. Lod Robinson, CL M B 

7. Jesse W. Glass, CL M B 

8. Hiram M. Glass, LP M B 

9. D. A. Bland, Ex S B 

10. Dr. R. J. Swearingen, St M B 

11. Frederick Ray S B 

12. Kedar Ballard W B 

13. James Glass M B 

14. James Chappell M B 

15. Andrew H. Glass M B 

16. George W. Keesee M B 

17. Robert W. Keesee M B 

18. C. Witteburg S B 

19. Joel J. Wilburn M B 

20. A. J. Robinson M B 

21. S. W. Punchard. . . M B 

22. James Levi M B 

23. W. W. Woodward, St M B 

24. Robert P. Ashford M B 

25. Joshua Fielding S B 

26. Joseph Davis S B 

27. John May S S 

28. John Cochran S B 

29. Wm. E. Ballard S B 

30. Wesley Glass, Pro S S 

31. Thos. Keesee, Pro S B 

32. Gideon Keesee, Pro S S 

33. William D. Hargrove, Pro S S 

34. James S. Turner, Pro S B 

35. William Keesee, Jr., Pro S B 

36. A. J. Jackson, Pro S B 

37. Thos. W. Glass, Pro S B 

38. H. S. Hedrick, Pro S B 

39. Charles B. Harris, Pro S S 

40. M. P. Wilson, Pro S B 

41. Robert D. Glass S B 

42. John M. Glaze S B 

43. Caleb Wyman S B 

44. Richard Crawford M B 

45. James B. Degges M B 

46. Robert F. Degges M B 

47. Thos. McCown, Pro S B 

48. Fletcher Glass, Pro S B 

49. W. M. Baker S B 

50. Zeno. Carpenter S B 

51. J. W. Dodley M B 

52. Henry Feelen S B 


Travelling preacher now 
Removed by letter up the 

Wishes to resign; better let 
him, I reckon 

Remove by letter 

Joined by letter Dec. 18th, 
1853, from Miss, good 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 361 

Following this list of "Male Members'' is the roll of 
"Female Members," listed under the same heads, and 
numbering fifty-six names. On succeeding pages is the 
roll of "Coloured Members," numbering eighty-nine, 
with sundry additions following. The following is an ex- 
tract from the colored roll : 

Owners Members 

Mrs. Hubert, s. 1. Joe 

2. John 

3. Judah 

" 4. Cynthia Dead 

" 5. Lucinda Belongs to Frank 

" 6. Reme 

' ' 7. Caroline Belongs to Frank 

" 8. Jane 

Frank Hubert, s. 9. Wiley 

Wm. Keesee, s. 10. Cubit Drinks 

" 11. Franky 

" 12. Jimmy 

13. Sarah 

14. Joe 

" 15. Missouri, Pro. 

We have also class books of the Chappell Hill and 
other old societies, when the class-meeting was in its 
day. In these the members are enrolled as in the church 
book, their " state of life" and "state of soul" being 
designated, with the addition of their presence or absence 
rioted at weekly class-meetings through the year. 

The third General Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, was held at Columbus, Ga., in May, 
1854. Among its membership appear for the first time 
some men who are just rising into prominence, and who 
later are to link the old generation with the new. Among 
these were E. M. Marvin, H. N. McTyeire, and John C. 
Keener. But many of the towering figures of a former 
period had not yet fallen out. Joshua Soule was now 
seventy-three years of age, and was very feeble. Bishops 
Andrew and Capers were also well advanced in years. 
Bishop Paine was at the height of his strength and use- 
fulness, but he was the only one of our general superin- 


tendents who had yet the promise of many years of 
labor. The General Conference, therefore, deemed it 
necessary to add new life to the episcopacy, and accord- 
ingly three new bishops were elected, as follows : George 
F. Pierce, of Georgia, John Early, of Virginia, and Hub- 
bard H. Kavanaugh, of Kentucky. 

A long period of litigation over the publishing inter- 
ests of the Church, North and South, had resulted in a 
decision in favor of the Church, South. The total sum 
inherited by this decision amounted to $275,000, and the 
decision was at once made to invest this sum in a publish- 
ing establishment of our own. The city of Nashville, 
Tenn., was chosen as the location of the enterprise, and 
in consequence that city soon came to be recognized as 
the headquarters of our Church. Eev. Edward Steven- 
son and Eev. F. A. Owen were elected the first publish- 
ing agents. Depositories were opened in other cities, 
including one at Galveston, Texas. Thomas 0. Summers 
was elected book editor; D. S. Doggett, editor of the 
Quarterly Review; J. B. McFerrin was elected editor of 
the Christian Advocate (Nashville), and C. C. Gillespie 
was elected editor of the Texas Christian Advocate, suc- 
cessor of the Texas Wesleyan Banner, and the Texas 
organ was moved from Houston to Galveston, and with 
a book depository and the Texas church paper located 
there, the Island City was for a few years to be looked 
upon as Methodist headquarters in Texas. 

The fifteenth session of the Texas Conference was 
held at Chappell Hill on December 13, 1854. Bishop John 
Early, who had been elected to the episcopacy the pre- 
ceding May, presided over this conference. Homer S. 
Thrall was elected secretary. 

A class of ten were admitted on trial, as follows: 
Frederick Vordenbaumen, John "W. Cope, Jas. W. Points, 
T. B. Buckingham, August Engel, Chas. L. Spencer, Gus- 
tavus Elly, John E. White, John C. Kopp, Anthony 
Warns. The following were readmitted, all in elder's 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 363 

orders : James McLeod, Eobert L. Drake, G. W. Cotting- 
ham, Andrew Davis, P. M. Yell, Wm. G. Foot, J. W. 
Ledbetter. "Wm. L. Kidd located. Jesse F. Walsh was 
received by transfer from the Memphis Conference, and 
Byron S. Garden and Hyram G. Garden from the Arkan- 
sas Conference. 

Three preachers had died during the year Garrett 
L. Patton, Marcus L. Smock and John W. Addison. 

Garrett L. Patton was a native of Tennessee. Ad- 
mitted on trial into the Tennessee Conference in 1842, 
and was transferred to the Alabama Conference. Trans- 
ferred to the Texas Conference in 1851, and appointed 
to the Springfield district. At the end of one year he was 
appointed to the Galveston station, and died while serv- 
ing that charge. His memoir characterizes him as "a 
good man, a close student, a man of varied information 
and a useful preacher/' 

John W. Addison, as we have seen, was the youngest 
of three brothers who had entered the Texas Conference. 
He was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1828, the son of Isaac 
S. and Sarah Addison, and was brought to Texas as a 
child with the family in 1835, and settled in Burleson 
County. The family was one of primitive culture, and of 
piety after the old-fashioned Methodist order devoted 
and loyal to every rule and custom of the Church. Follow- 
ing the course of two older brothers, Oscar M. and James 
H., John Wesley Addison was first licensed as a local 
preacher, and in 1852 was admitted on trial into the 
Texas Conference. His first appointment was Halletts- 
ville circuit. We have already given extracts from his 
journal and letters while on this work. At the confer- 
ence at Huntsville in 1853 he was appointed to Lynchburg 
circuit. His letters during 1854 reveal very hard and 
trying conditions existing on this charge, often discour- 
aging to a young man. From one of his last letters, dated 
Lynchburg, November 2, 1854, we extract the following, 
addressed to his brother Oscar, in far-away Brownsville : 


Through the blessing of a kind Providence I can report 
myself well, and willing to do my duty, and the only thing I 
have cause to grumble at, is my own f ruitlessness : I do know 
that I might have done better. I feel a degree of self accusation 
that I have not been more devoted, but as our failings may be 
used for profit, and as it is useless to spend the time in vain 
regrets, will you not pray for me, that I may remember the 
past only to improve? ... I coincide with you in your obser- 
vation about Ministers possessing a spirit different to those 
around them, and I would that I had all the mind that was in 
Christ; then should I be better able to dispense the word of 
life to those who are making their way to eternal ruin. . . . 

The Yellow Fever has not been in Harrisburg, that I have 
heard of, but it has been and is still in Houston & Galveston; 
there was a death in this place some said from yellow fever, 
and one reputed case in town now, but I do not much believe 
it, there have been no other cases in any part of my work, I 
think we will have frost in a few days, and I hope the fever will 

Our 4th Q M is to be held in this place the 18th & 19th inst. 
and that will close my labors on Lynchburg Circuit. Jimmy 
F's meeting comes on the week after and I think I shall visit 
him, and if the Lynchburg Circuit Rider can get a chance he 
may hold forth to the citizens of Houston. . . . 

Before this reaches you I expect to be on the way to Chappel 
Hill. I have sold my horse, and shall have to go up on the 
stage from Houston. I presume you will come by water to Gal- 
veston & H. and take the stage from there, I would like to fall 
in with you if you do either at this place or Houston. . . . 

I feel like I wanted to be more devoted to the Saviour, that 
I want to love him more. Lord revive thy work in my heart, 
fill me with Thyself 

Let all I am in the be lost 
Let all be lost in God 

May God prepare your heart and mine for our work, is the 
prayer of your Bro 


THE YEARS 1853-1854 365 

The last entries made in his journal give an account 
of his visit to Houston, at the close of his year's work, 
on his way to conference : 

Nov. 22d. I came up from Lynchburg to Houston last night 
on a boat, a very disagreeable trip, boat was so crowded. Went 
to the parsonage and stayed with Bro. Jim Ferguson, spent the 
night at the vestry. 

Nov. 23d. Went to see Bro. Shearn during the day, and 
stayed with Ferguson at night. 

Nov. 24th. Visited different families today and met at night 
with the Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria. 

Nov. 26th. Heard Bro. Kennon preach at eleven o 'clock. At- 
tended Quarterly Conference in the afternoon, and I preached 
at night. 

Nov. 30th. Heard Bro. Fairbairn preach a Thanksgiving 
sermon, and at night heard Ferguson preach his farewell ser- 

Dec. 1st. Still in Houston. At night I went to the Lodge. 

Saturday, 2d. (No entry, and here the record closes.) 

On Sunday, December 3, Bro. Ferguson, the pastor, 
went to the country, and arranged with J. W. Addison to 
fill the day in Houston. While in the pulpit at 11 o 'clock 
Sunday morning Addison was taken violently ill. A let- 
ter from Charles Shearn to James H. Addison, dated 
Houston, December 15th, may well be used to give the 
account of the sad and sudden closing of the young 
preacher's career: 

You have before this heard all Particulars Respecting the 
Sickness and Death of your Brother I have written to several 
Brethren and I should have Wrote to you but for the Reason 
We fully expected your Brother here from Brownsville. Pre- 
suming now he has gone by Land I am of necessity compelled 
to write for it is Doubtful if I come to Conference or not. . . . 
Your Brother was taken sick in the pulpit at morning Service 


the 3 Inst, and on thursday morning at 10 minutes before 3 
o'clock he Expired, we gave him the best attention possible, and 
you may Eest assured that nothing could have been done more 
than was done, we had two Physitians frequently coming in, as 
friends, and the best we could get Hired as the Practitioner 
he told me he was as well Prepared for the Change now as he 
would ever be. If it was the Will of God to take him now, It 
was his will to go. We buried him on the evening of thursday 
and a very large procession there was Revd Mr Fairbairn 
Performed the Funeral services in the Church and the Good 
Samaritans at the grave. . . . We buried him in his best suit 
of clothes, a new pair of Black Broad Cloth pants, a new Satin 
vest, and his best coat, his trunk is at my House. . . . Brother 
Hardcastle and myself . . . Packed up all we found in his 
trunk. . . . His watch if I come to the Conference I will Bring 
with me. the amount of money he left is $37 25 I have paid 
for funeral expences all the difference which is small, I am 
Willing to bear ... he left a New Silk hatt, and a very good 
Panama the Silk one he has scarcely ever worn ... we 
found but very few books, he left a fine new overcoat. 

The most important action taken at the Texas Con- 
ference in 1854 was that looking toward the establish- 
ment of a " central university*' for Texas Methodism. A 
committee was appointed to which this project was re- 
ferred. The committee was composed of E. W. Kennon, 
Eobert Alexander, J. W. Whipple, H. S. Thrall, D. Morse, 
J. M. Wesson, W. H. Seat, J. S. McGee, and M. Yell. 
This committee came together in Galveston on April 1, 
1855, and promptly selected Chappell Hill as the location 
of the proposed university. The following session of the 
Texas Conference, held in Galveston in December, 1855, 
ratified the action of the committee as to location, named 
the prospective institution "Soule University," and 
elected a board of trustees and a financial agent. Fur- 
ther than this we shall see when we get on into the year 

As the conference at Chappell Hill begins a new 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 


quadrennium, following our plan, and in order to keep 
up with the preachers and the various charges, we shall 
give a detailed view of the statistical tables and the ap- 
pointments : The membership statistics reported at that 
conference were as follows : 








Galveston German Mission 



Galveston Colored Mission 





Houston Colored Mission 







Columbia and Brazoria 



Oyster Creek Colored Mission 






San Felipe 














Rutersville and Lagrange 




Navidad Mission. 



















Cameron .... 




Caldwell Colored Mission 


















Cold Springs 







Trinity Mission 














Rock Island 







Chappell Hill 




















Cedar Hill 






Alton Mission 













THE YEARS 1853-1854 






Victoria Sta 






Pt. Lavacca and Indianola 













Lavacca Ct 




Coletto Ct 



Corpus Christi 













Austin Sta 



Austin Ct 




Bastrop Sta 




Bastrop Ct 








San Marcos 




San Antonio 




Medina Mission 






Fredericksburg German Mission 



New Braunf els German Mission 










This year 




Last year 









The following were the appointments made in 1854 : 


E. W. KENNON, P. E. 
Galveston, to be supplied 
" Col 'd Mis " 
" Ger Mis, Peter Moelling 

Houston Sta & Af. Mis., Lewis B. 


Lynchburg, Williamson. Williams 
Union Chapel Ct., to be supplied 
Colored Mission, Wm. C. Lewis 
Richmond & Col'd Mission, James 


Columbia & Brazoria, Ivey H. Cox 
Oyster Creek & Col'd Mis., James 

W. Points 

Brazoria Col'd Mis., to be supplied 
Old Caney Col 'd Mis., to be supplied 
Matagorda, to be supplied. 


Rutersville, B. W. Dashiell 
Lagrange, to be supplied 
Navidad, Geo. W. Tittle 
Columbus, J. H. D. Moore 
Fredericks 'bg & Industry, F. Vor-- 


Brenham, Jno. H. Davidson 
Bellville Ger. Mis., August Engel 
Egypt Ct., and Col'd Miss., Geo. S. 

Caldwell, J. W. DeVilbiss 

" Col'd Miss., to be sup. 
Cameron, T. B. Buckingham 
Belton, Wm. H. Hubert 

Huntsville, F. A. McShan, Jas. M. 
Follansbee, Prin. Andrew Fe- 
male College 

Cold Spring, B. S. Garden 
Montgomery, to be supplied 
Madisonville Ct., H. D. Hubert 
Anderson, C. L. Spencer 
Retreat, C. H. Brooks 
Washington, A. B. F. Kerr 

" Col'd Miss., to be sup. 

Chappell Hill, O. M. Addison 
Brazos Col'd Miss., Thos. Woold- 


Bryant L. Peel, Agent for Chap- 
pell Hill Female College 
Robert Alexander, Agent Ameri- 
can Bible Society 

A. M. Box, Agent Conference 
Tract Society 

Austin, James M. Wesson 

" Ct., Thos. F. Windsor 
Onion Creek, Wm. A. Smith 
Bastrop, I. G. John 

". Ct., & Col'd Miss., to be 

San Marcos, Wm. P. Read 
San Antonio, Jno. W. Phillips 
" Ct., R. H. Belvin 

Georgetown, Rufus Y. King 
Hamilton Miss., Jno. W. Cope 
New Braunf 'Is & Castroville, H. P. 

Young, Gustavus Elly 
Frederieksb 'g & Llano, Charles 

Grote, John C. Kopp 
Josiah W. Whipple, Agent for 
Bastrop Academy 

M. YELL, P. E. 

Springfield, A. Davis 

Wheelpck, Wm. G. Nelms, Thos. G. 

Gilmore, Supny. 
Waxahachie, J. W. Cooley 
Cedar Mountain, L. J. Wright 
Fort Worth Miss., to be sup. 
Lexington, F. P. Ray 
Waco, James H. Addisou 
Bosque, Jno R. White 
Centreville, H. G. Garden 


Victoria & Goliad, Geo. W. Cotting- 
ham, and Agent Paine Female 
Port Lavacca & Indianola, Robt. L. 


Helena, Jno. S. McGee 
Gonzales, Wm. H. Seat 
Texana, Joshua H. Shapard 
Coleto, H. S. Lafferty 
Clear Creek Ger. Miss., E. Schneider 
Victoria Ger. Miss., Anthon Warns 
Nueces Miss., A. C. Fairman 
Corpus Christi, J. G. Johnson 
Brownsville Miss., to be sup. 
Laredo Miss., to be sup. 

Francis Wilson and J. W. Chalk transferred to East Texas Conference. 
J. F. Walsh transferred back to Memphis Conference. Next conference 
to be held at Galveston, Dec. 12, 1855. 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 


The East Texas Conference met at Tyler on Novem- 
ber 29, 1854, some two weeks before the session of the 
Texas Conference. Bishop Early presided, and John W. 
Fields was elected secretary. The conference met in a 
new church just completed, at Tyler, which was dedicated 
by Bishop Early on Sunday, and called " Andrew 

The following were admitted on trial : "West D. Love- 
lady, Eobert C. Mount, Laban B. Hickman, J. W. H. 
Hamill, Lewis C. Grouse, Milton H. Porter, Win. E. 
Bates, Win. A. Stovall, Abner Brown, and Solomon T. 
Bridges. Job M. Baker and Johnson McMillan located. 
J. W. Ellis was transferred back to the Alabama Con- 
ference, and Francis Wilson and J. W. Chalk came from 
the Texas Conference, and Levi E. Dennis was received 
by transfer from the Tennessee Conference, Wm. Monk 
from the Alabama Conference, and John S. Noble from 
the Indian Mission Conference. M. F. Cole, Samuel W. 
Bobins and F. G. Fawcett took the supernumerary rela- 
tion, and Francis Wilson (just re-transferred from the 
Texas Conference), J. Gr. Hardin, Eobert Crawford, J. 
T. P. Irvine, E. P. Chisholm, and Henry Fullingen, were 
placed on the superannuated list. 

The following are the membership statistics reported 
at this conference : 





San Augustine Ct 




San Augustine Sta 



Jasper Ct 




Shelbyville Ct 



Panola Ct 




Henderson Ct 




Henderson Sta 




Salem Ct 
















Palestine Ct 




Jacksonville Ct 




Tyler Ct 




Vanzant Ct 




Kaufman Ct 




Athens Mission 









Marshall Sta 



Marshall Ct 




Jefferson Ct 




Sulphur Mission 




Mt. Pleasant Ct 








Harrison Co. African Mission 


Wood Co. Mission 




Cypress Mission 











Clarksville Ct 




Paris Ct 




Bonham Ct 




Greenville Ct 



Dallas Ct 




Grayson Ct 







THE YEAES 1853-1854 






Woodville Mission 





Liberty Sta 



Livingston Ct 




Liberty Ct 







Beaumont and Sabine Pass 



Madison Ct 











This year 




Last year 








It is seen at once that this had been a year of pros- 
perity in the East Texas Conference, and a glance at 
the tables reveals that the Church has had its greatest 
development in the northern and western portions of the 
conference. The tables will also show the location of 
the "black belt/' Marshall district leading all others in 
its colored membership. The tables of the Texas Con- 
ference also show that the strength of the Church was 
drifting more and more to the north and west, while 
the black population is confined mainly to the plantation 
regions of the lower country. 


The following are the appointments made at Tyler in 



San Augustine Ct., Alexander 
Henkle, Bobert 0. Mount 

Shelbyville, Geo. C. Lentz 

Panola, Marshall C. Simpson 

Pulaski, A. W. Goodgion 

Henderson, J. B. Tullis 

" Ct., West D. Lovelady 

Salem, Wm. Craig 

Nacogdoches, H. D. Palmer, H. C. 


J. C. Woolam, Agent Fowler In- 


Clarksville & McKenzie, Milton H. 

Bed Biver, Andrew Cumming 

Clarksville Col'd Miss., E. F. 

Boston, John McMillan 

Paris, M. C. Bobinson, H. W. Gum- 

Bonham, J. W. Chalk, F. G. Faw- 
cett, supny 

Grayson, F. H. Medaris, Wm. A. 

Alton, Wm. E. Bates 

Dallas, Alex Dixion, L. C. Grouse 

Greenville, Jesse S. Vann 

Sulphur Ct., Bennett Elkins 

Palestine, Neil Brown 
Anderson, Solomon T. Bridges 

Jackson, Wm. Monk, L. B. Hickman 
Tyler, Francis M. Stovall, Abner 


Garden Valley, Wm. E. George 
Vanzant, to be supplied 
Millwood, J. A. Scruggs 
Kaufman, Wm. McCarty 
Athens, S. D. Sansom 

W. K. WILSON, P. E. 

Woodville Miss., J. K. Hawkins 
Marion Miss., James Grave 
Cherokee, J. Shook 
Crockett, A. L. Kavanaugh, one to 

be supplied 
Livingstone, S. C. Box 
Liberty, J. L. Angel 
Madison, Calvin Cocke 
Newton, Acton Young 
Jasper, Wm. P. Sansom 

N. W. BURKES, P. E. 

Harrison Ct., Jno. N. Hamill 

<' Col'd Miss., P. W. Hobbs 
Jefferson, Sam'l W. Bobins, super- 

Dangerfield, A. N. Boss 
Linden, H. B. Hamilton, M. 

F. Cole, Supny. 
Mt. Pleasant, Sam'l Lynch 
Wood Co. Mis., N. S. Johnson 
Gilmer, D. M. Stovall 
Coffeeville, J. W. Hamill 
Upham, A. C. McDougald 

Orceneth Fisher transferred to California in April, 
1855, and spent several years on the 'Pacific Coast, but 
finally returned to Texas. Fisher, as we have seen, first 
came to Texas in the winter of 1839, supplying Brazoria 
circuit for a few months ; and thus he is to be numbered 
among that earliest company of preachers who labored 
in Texas before the organization of the first conference. 
He returned to Illinois, but after a year or two he moved 
his family to Texas and regularly took work here. He 

THE YEARS 1853-1854 375 

was born in Vermont (1803), and began his ministry in 
Ohio. His first wife having died after coming to Texas, 
in 1848 he was married to Eebecca Gilliland, one of the 
survivors of an Indian tragedy, recounted in a former 
chapter. At the time of their marriage Fisher was forty- 
five and his wife seventeen years of age. After a few 
years in California Fisher returned and finished his 
course in Texas. His widow still lives, at the age of 
ninety-three, residing in Austin. A son by his first mar- 
riage, 0. A. Fisher, became a member of the Texas Con- 
ference, and a grandson, Sterling Fisher, perpetuates the 
name in our ministerial ranks. Orceneth Fisher was one 
of the greatest preachers of his day, and was especially 
noted for his exposition and defense .of Methodist "doc- 
trines/' He was the author of a large volume on "The 
Christian Sacraments. ' ' 

THE YEABS 1854-1857 

THE period covering the middle fifties from 1854 
to 1858 was one marked by unusual development in 
Texas, and by a hitherto unequaled prosperity in the 
Church. It was an era of great increase in population, 
and of an increasing drift westward, to the great open 
country in the western and northwestern portions of the 
state. Twenty-seven new counties were organized dur- 
ing these years, among which were Coryell, Comanche, 
Bosque, Erath, Brown, Lampasas, Hamilton, San Saba, 
and the counties of Palo Pinto, Montague and Wise on 
the northwestern frontier. This period saw the first 
railroad building in Texas, and resulting from this many 
new centers of population and trade arose. The first 
railroad was called the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colo- 
rado Railway. The line was later incorporated into the 
Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio railroad, a part 
of the Southern Pacific system. The road was completed 
from Harrisburg to Richmond, on the Brazos, in 1855, a 
distance of thirty-two miles. The Brazos River at Rich- 
mond was bridged with "a cheap pile bridge, only six 
feet above the water at low stage, the middle sections 
being removable on flat boats to permit the passage of 
steamboats and other vessels that occasionally navigated 
the river at that time." This piece of engineering, de- 
scending from high banks on both sides, and swinging 
low in the middle, in the shape of a hammock, was said to 
have been a wonder in its day. 


THE YEARS 1854-1857 377 

The Galveston and Bed Eiver Eailway, afterwards 
the Houston & Texas Central, threw up its first grade 
out of Houston in 1853. The road reached Cypress City 
in 1856, twenty-five miles, and to Hockley, ten miles fur- 
ther, in 1857, to Hempstead in 1858, and to Millican in 
1860, where it rested until a year or two after the war. 
The Washington County railroad, another link in the 
present H. & T. C. line, was built from Hempstead to 
Brenham in 1857-60. The Galveston, Houston & Hen- 
derson line was built from Galveston to Houston during 
the period 1854-58. A tap line from Houston connecting 
with the B. B. B. & C. Ey. was built by the city of Houston 
in 1856, seven miles. Other short lines projected or ac- 
tually begun in the fifties were the Texas & New Orleans, 
the Eastern Texas, and the San Antonio & Mexican Gulf. 
The " Southern Pacific, " afterwards the Texas & Pacific 
line, had twenty miles of road in operation about Mar- 
shall by 1858. The Transcontinental branch of the same 
road was begun near Texarkana in 1857, but only a small 
segment of the line was completed before the outbreak 
of the war. A " railroad map" of Texas, showing com- 
pletions prior to the Civil War, gives a total construction 
of 492 miles. Most of this is in short lines radiating from 
Houston. We have not yet reached the railroad era in 
the state. 

The minutes of the conferences during these years 
show that unusually large classes were being admitted 
on trial. The ranks of the ministry were largely aug- 
mented also by transfers coming into the state. We shall 
dispose of these conference sessions at once, before pro- 
ceeding to a more detailed view of these busy years. 

The East Texas Conference met at Marshall on No- 
vember 21, 1855. Bishop George F. Pierce was president, 
and Neil Brown was elected secretary. Isaac W. Over- 
all, William H. Crawford, Charles L. Hamill, Thomas W. 
Eogers, John P. Lard, John Stubblefield, Isaac B. 
Walker, Eandle Odum, Martin Matthews, and Isaac Alex- 


ander were admitted in trial a class of ten, the same as 
the year before. Nearly as large a number located, as 
follows: Jesse S. Vann, Francis H. Maderis, Aiken N. 
Ross, Andrew Gumming, Alexander E. Dixon, John S. 
Noble, William Monk, and Jonathan K. Hawkins. Eobert 
S. Finley was received by transfer from the Texas Con- 

The Texas Conference met in 1855 at Galveston, 
Bishop Pierce in charge, and Homer S. Thrall secretary. 
A class of thirteen, the largest on record thus far, was 
admitted on trial. The members of the class were as 
follows: Isaac P. Jeffries, John Carpenter, Henry 
Bowers, Eobert "W. Pierce, Eobert J. Gill, James A. J. 
Smith, Benjamin A. Kemp, Hiram M. Burrows, Geo. W. 
Burrows, "Wesley Smith, Frederick Imhoff, Hiram M. 
Glass, Joshua E. Wittemberg. Eeadmitted: Charles W. 
Thomas, John C. Kolbe, Joseph P. Sneed, Job M. Baker, 
James W. Shipman, Eobert G. Eawley, William G. Foote. 
Only one location : Eobert H. Belvin. Henry W. South 
was received by transfer from the Louisville Conference, 
James Eice from the Washita Conference, and Edward 
F. Thwing from the East Texas Conference. 

The East Texas Conference for 1856 met at Paris, 
Bishop Paine presiding, James T. P. Irvine secretary. 
Jonathan C. Smith, Matthew H. Neely and William J. 
Joyce were admitted on trial. John S. Mathis was re- 
ceived by transfer from the Arkansas Conference. 

One preacher had fallen during the year Henry Ful- 
lingin. He was born in North Carolina, November 18, 
1788. Eemoved to Georgia at age of seven with family, 
settled in Cherokee nation. He received a limited educa- 
tion. Served in the Creek war in 1812. Married in 1816. 
Converted in 1817, and joined the M. E. Church. Served 
as class-leader for several years, then as an exhorter. 
Eemoved to Benton County, Alabama, where he was 
licensed to preach. Came to Texas in 1850, and settled 
in Lamar County. Admitted into East Texas Conference 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 379 

in 1852, and appointed to Boston circuit. He served the 
Upshur mission the following year, and in 1854 was 
placed on the superannuated list. He died during the 
year 1856. 

The Texas Conference met at Gonzales in 1856, De- 
cember 3-9, Bishop Paine in charge, Homer S. Thrall 

The record is again broken in admissions and read- 
missions. Eobert P. Thompson, Walter S. South, Or- 
ceneth A. Fisher, Thomas P. Ferguson, John Budd, 
Horatio V. Philpott, William F. Compton, Jackson L. 
Orabb, William Eees, Jas. M. Stringfield, Buckner Har- 
ris, Ulrich Steiner, Joseph B. Perrie, and Thomas H. 
Ball were admitted on trial. Readmitted in elder's or- 
ders : Leonard S. Friend, Alexander F. Cox, Franklin C. 
Wilkes, Pleasant M. Tackett, Valentine H. Hey, and As- 
bury Davidson. J. L. Terry received by transfer from 
Georgia Conference, Preston W. Hobbs from the East 
Texas Conference. 

The 1857 session of the East Texas Conference was 
held at Eusk, November 18, Bishop Kavanaugh presi- 
dent, C. C. Gillespie, secretary. 

The record for this conference was broken in admis- 
sions. The following composed the class : John Adams, 
John H. Low, Eufus B. Womack, Elisha Blanton, George 
W. Harwell, Edward P. Eogers, Jacob M. Binkley, John 
T. Kennedy, Everett L. Armstrong, Joshua Y. Young- 
blood, Harin W. Moore, Wm. N. Bonner, Bennett Elkins 
(deacon), Lorenzo V. Brown, Joshua H. Wooten, James 
L. Terry 16. 

We have for the first time to record an answer to the 
Minute Question 9 Who are expelled? Answer, Samuel 

John A. West comes by transfer from the West Vir- 
ginia Conference. 

Alfred Leroy Kavanaugh had died during the year. 
He was born in Davidson County, Tenn., June 12, 1819. 


Removed to Randolph County, Ark., 1829. In 1840 or 
1841 converted and joined the M. E. Church. Licensed 
to preach May 12, 1842. Immediately employed by P. E. 
oil Little Red River mission. Admitted Arkansas Con- 
ference 1842. At close of first year discontinued at own 
request. In 1844 came to Texas and engaged in teaching 
and surveying. In 1845 married Miss Martha Frazer, of 
Tyler County. In 1851 admitted into East Texas Confer- 
ence. He served Livingstone one year, Woodville one 
year, Crockett two years, and Anderson one year. His 
name disappears from the minutes of 1856. He died 
May 31, 1857, of pneumonia. He was described as a man 
of feeble constitution, yet of much energy, and of a san- 
guine temperament. He was possessed of a good mind 
and fine social qualities. 

The Texas Conference met in 1857 at Waco, Decem- 
ber 9, Bishop Kavanaugh, president, James W. Shipman, 

Another record breaking class for admission, com- 
posed of the following: Wm. R. Fayle (deacon), Jasper 
K. Harper, Quinn M. Menef ee, Charles J. Lane, David G. 
Bowers, Joel T. Daves, Adley E. Killough, James A. J. 
Smith, Wm. McK. Lambden (deacon), Oliver B. Adams, 
Richard W. Thompson, James C. Wilson, John L. 
Harper, John T. Gillett, Albert G. May, John Carmer, 
William G-. Veal, John A. Shaper, George D. Parker, 
Marcus L. Tunnell 20. Readmitted: Wm. G. Nelms, J. 
W. B. Allen, J. M. Jones, Drura Womack, Geo. S. Gate- 
wood, W. L. Kidd. 

Question 10 Who have withdrawn! Henry P. Young, 
our old friend the original missionary to the Germans in 

Robert T. P. Allen received by transfer from the Ken- 
tucky Conference. 

In the East Texas Conference appointments for 1855 
we have a Dallas district for the first time, John B. 
Tullis, presiding elder. We have already given an ac- 

THE YEAES 1854r-1857 381 

count of the first Methodist families and first preaching 
and organization in Dallas County. Methodist preaching 
in the town of Dallas is reported in 1853. "One of the 
first accounts of service in Dallas, then a village of 100 
or 200 people," says Dr. J. H. McLean, in his "Reminis- 
cences" was in the summer of 1853, when, as related by 
Uncle Buck Hughes, the Rev. James A. Smith, a local 
preacher of the Cochran neighborhood, preached in a 
small room 14 by 14 feet, on the southwest corner of the 
courthouse square, to an audience not exceeding one 
dozen. He mentions the following names as constituting 
the Methodists of town at that time: J. A. Crutchfield 
and family, Mrs. Sarah Cockrell, Mrs. Browder, Ed 
Browder, Dr. Eice, Marlin Thompson, Andrew Moore, 
and their families, and adds that we had no church house 
in Dallas until 1868, and that preaching was held in 
the lower room of the Masonic Hall, and in the court- 
house." Dallas appears in the minutes almost continu- 
ously from 1846, and it has been shown that a class 
existed in Dallas in 1850, and it is a bit singular that we 
hear of no Methodist preaching there until 1853. The 
spot was first settled in 1841, and a village had sprung 
up here by 1846, when the county was organized. Dallas 
became the county seat in 1850. The town was incor- 
porated in 1855. 

A Gainesville appointment appears in 1855, revealing 
the westward trend of things; but Gainesville was 
dropped after one year, and this extreme territory of the 
conference was embraced in a ' 'Border Mission. ' ' An old 
Gainesville class-book of 1855 contains thirty names, one 
colored; and on the mission there are three or four 
preaching places listed, without any lists of classes. 

We have noticed the introduction of Methodism into 
Denton County in an earlier day by preachers from the 
Texas Conference. Preachers on Bed Oak mission, in 
Ellis County, continued to visit Denton County, and in 
1852 John W. Chalk, the preacher on that mission, or- 


ganized a church, at Alton, the first settled county seat. 
In 1853 an Alton mission was created, and in 1854 this 
charge was transferred to the East Texas Conference. 
The Alton church was disbanded in 1857, when the county 
seat was moved to Denton, and a church was organized 
at the latter place. A pioneer preacher of Denton County 
and the country west was WHI. E. Bates, who moved from 
Kentucky and settled in Denton County in 1851. He was 
admitted into the East Texas Conference in 1854, and 
placed on the Alton mission, and in 1855 he was on the 
Gainesville mission. We are told * that he organized the 
churches at Denton, Gainesville, Montague, Jacksboro, 
and other frontier points. "On his last circuit," says 
this account, "he rode from Denton up Clear Creek to 
Chisum's ranch, thence to Decatur and Big Sandy; thence 
to Montague, thence to Jacksboro and Weatherford and 
back through Tarrant County via Birdsville, to Lewis- 
ville, and then home to the eastern part of Denton 
county.' 1 On this round he had thirty-one appointments. 
( In 1857 a Tarrant mission is named in the minutes, 
East Texas Conference, but it does not include the vil- 
lage or post of Fort Worth, as that point was now in- 
cluded in the Texas Conference appointments. The 
Cedar Mountain and Fort Worth missions appear in the 
appointments of 1854, with Lewis J. Wright in charge of 
the Cedar Mountain work, and Fort Worth was "to be 
supplied." During the same year F. P. Eay was on the 
Lexington mission. Lexington was in Hill County, first 
organized in 1853, and was for awhile the county seat and 
the most important settlement in the county. In Septem- 
ber, 1853, the new town of Hillsboro was laid out, and 
the county seat located there, although, as the minutes 
show, the circuit covering Hill County bore the name of 
Lexington the following year. But in 1855 Lexington is 
dropped and Hillsboro circuit appears, "to be supplied." 
Fort Worth does not appear by name in the appoint- 

i Bates, History of Denton. County, p. 44. 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 383 

ments of 1855, but in 1856 the Fort Worth district was 
created, James Gr. Johnson, P. E., and F. P. Bay was 
on Forth Worth mission. The same year appears a 
" Brazos Station Indian Mission," to be supplied. We 
have noted the gathering of certain Indian tribes in a 
reservation on the upper Brazos. Major E. S. Neighbors 
was 'in charge of this reservation. Major Neighbors was 
a Methodist, and encouraged by him some efforts were 
made to establish a mission among the Indians. Rev. 
Pleasant M. Tackett, who was on Clear Creek mission 
in 1856, and on Fort Belknap mission in 1857, preached 
a few times to the Indians. But we are told that trouble 
arose between the whites on the frontier settlements and 
the Indians, and that ' ' a company of about one thousand 
men collected and drove the Indians out of Texas," and 
that Major Neighbors was killed. Following this the 
Indian remnants remaining in Texas became trouble- 
some, and "within a year after they were driven out at 
least one hundred persons fell victims to savage barbar- 
ity." The frontier preacher, Tackett himself, and one 
of his sons were on one occasion badly wounded by the 

In none of the cities of the state is the history of 
Methodist beginnings so scant as in the case of Fort 
Worth. Aside from the references made in the preceding 
paragraph, gathered from the minutes, we have been able 
to find nothing except the following somewhat indefinite 
items : 2 

Rev. John W. Chalk, the father-in-law of Dr. J. W. Hill 
(Gulliver), of the North Texas Conference, claims to have been 
the first Methodist preacher to preach a sermon in Fort Worth. 
He was here probably as early as 1855. Rev. Walter South, 
father-in-law of Bishop Ward, also preached here about that 
time and says that he knew Fort Worth as a part of the Grape- 
vine mission. 

2 Brief History of Fort Worth Methodism, pamphlet, W. Erskine 

ITT'll * A ' 



The Walter South mentioned was admitted into the 
Texas Conference in December, 1856, and appointed to 
Corsicana; in the fall of 1857 he was appointed to Fort 
Worth mission, which is probably as early as he preached 
there. Chalk was on the Alton mission, then included in 
the Texas Conference, in 1854. In December, 1854, Chalk 
transferred to the East Texas Conference and was 
appointed to Bonham; in 1855 he was appointed to Eed 
River mission. So that it was in 1854 that his work lay 
next to Fort Worth, and it was probably during that 
year that he preached there. A circumstance which makes 
it more probable is, that we find him in 1854 assisting 
in a meeting at Elm Grove, eight miles east of Weather- 
ford, in Parker County. 3 "At about the same time," we 
are told, "Rev. P. Tackett established a church in a grove 
on Walnut Creek (Parker County)," later called Goshen. 
The church at Weatherford, according to the same 
account, was organized by Tackett in April, 1857, with 
eleven members. 

We have seen the statement that a class was organ- 
ized in Waco in 1850, consisting of fifteen members, but 
beyond that bare fact nothing appears. Waco appears 
in the minutes in 1851, Pleasant M. Yell preacher. At 
the end of that year 54 white and 3 colored members are 
reported. In 1852 Geo. W. Tittle was appointed to the 
work, and in 1853 James H. Addison. At the end of that 
year the reports show 249 white members and five col- 
ored. The Waco district was created in 1855, Josiah W. 
Whipple presiding elder. By 1857 the place had attained 
sufficient importance to entertain the Texas Annual Con- 
ference. Waco Female College was chartered in 1854, 
but it did not open its doors until September, 1857, in 
charge of F. C. Wilkes, local pastor. Wm. McK. Lamb- 
'den was then elected president, and the institution moved 
to the front rapidly. In October, 1857, F. C. Wilkes, 

s Historical Sketch of Parker County, H. Smythe. 

THE YEARS 1854-1857 385 

pastor at Waco, reports in the Advocate the progress of 
a great revival meeting. It had been running for two 
weeks in the Baptist church, protracted from a Baptist 
association, and then moved to the Methodist church, 
where it was still in progress. Sixty-one members had 
been added to the Methodist church, and forty-two to 
the Baptist church. 

From the voluminous and somewhat racy correspond- 
ence of James H. Addison and concerning the latter 
feature be it remembered that his letters were not writ- 
ten for the public eye, but for the perusal of his brothers 
only, and one of these a much younger brother who might 
be expected to appreciate the strain in which the missives 
were written from these letters we may gather many 
interesting items relating to Waco and vicinity, including 
Marlin, during the years 1854-55. Without indicating 
exactly their date or circumstances the following extracts 
are from letters written in 1854 : 

I suppose you would like to have an account of my trip up 
to this country, well I will gratify you in part by detailing a 
little of my ups and downs since we parted. On Thursday 
morning I jog'd on my way towards Bastrop. I went on till 
the Norther struck me, when I began to repent of starting, but 
by dint of perseverence I reached Bastrop late at night, and 
almost froze stoped at the house of Doct Rector, where I re- 
mained till Saturday. ... On Wednesday, though a stiff 
Norther was blowing, I took up the line of march for Webber- 
ville Eeached there that night, and remained till friday went 
to Austin on friday, and on Saturday I reached Eound Eock 
on Brushey. ... On Sunday afternoon I rode to bro Wind- 
sor's. Here my horse hurt his back with a fence rail, and I 
remained till Thursday morning. Got to Belton on friday morn- 
ing and here a severe norther met me. . . . Here I remained 
till Monday when I rode fifteen miles on the road to Waco 
and stoped at the house of Bob Childres alias Tonchucha Bob, 
who is increasing in this worlds goods amazingly Next day, 
after a diligent ride reached Brother John M Stephens the first 


point on the Circuit that I was able to reach. I knocked about 
til Sunday (yesterday) and had the pleasure of holding forth 
to quite a fine audience of Brazos, Bosque and surrounding 
country, in a little bit of a stick and dirt school house about ten 
miles above the capitol of McLennan Co. to wit "Waco. ... I 
am at present at the house of Brother Gurley, in the town of 
Waco, where I shall remain a day or two, then I have to go out 
in the country and marry a couple on thursday night, then Back 
to the City and fire upon them on Sabbath as hard as I can. 

You want to know if there is any religion up here. If you 
had been with me a few weeks ago, at the town of Marlin, and 
seen the way the folks joined the church, you might have con- 
cluded there was a little religion up here. 

We are in the midst of the highest state of excitement per- 
haps you ever saw. I know that I never saw greater stirs 
among the "Sovereigns" than now. I will give you a short 
account of the origin and extent of the difficulty If you get no 
other news but this you must be content, as this at the present 
seems to swallow up every other consideration. Last year there 
was a company of men stationed at Fort Graham (which is in 
the bounds of this work) under the command of Major Arnold. 
During the time they were there, the surgeon of the army, 
Doct Steiner, and Leiutenent Bingham got into a quarrel, and 
carried the matter so high that Arnold had them both arrested, 
and confined to their quarters. The next morning Doct Steiner 
left his quarters and marched up to Arnold's quarters, armed 
Arnold asked him if he wasn't under arrest, he answered Yes : 
and asked why he was arrested? Arnold ordered him back to 
his quarters, when the Doctor refused to go. Arnold then shot 
at him and missed him when Steiner shot five balls into him, 
killing him immediately. The military then arrested Steiner 
to try him by a Court Martial, but by a writ of habeas Corpus, 
he was arrested from the military to be tried by the Civil law. 
The District Court came on, but the case was put off, and it 
was very evident that the object of the Lawyers of Steiner was 
to put it off from court to court till the military were worn 
out, then bring it on in the District Court and clear him of the 
charge. Things continued in this condition till a Court Martial 
was ordered at Austin to try Steiner, and a Leiutenent and 
company of men were dispatched to arrest Steiner who was 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 387 

living at Fort Graham, nominally under arrest, but in reality 
as free as I am. It will be proper also to state that the troops 
had all left Fort Graham and' the place was filled up with citi- 
zens. "When the Leutenent came to Graham, the Sheriff refused 
to give up Steiner, and the Officer returned without him. Sub- 
sequently General Harney [or Harvey] sent him back with 
orders to arrest the Doctor and bring him back to Austin, unless 
he was under corporeal arrest at Graham. The officer got there 
in the night, and early in the morning arrested the Doctor. He 
was at home in his own house, without a guard or under any 
restraint at all. The Doctor submitted with such good grace 
that the Officer Leutenent Anderson who had him in custody 
was thrown off his guard, and the Doctor easily persuaded him 
to go with him by the way of "Waco. Now commenced the 
grand excitement the plea for which was, that it was time to put 
a stop to the encroachments of the Military, and that as Steiner 
was under Civil arrest for murder, the Military had no right 
to claim him out of the hands of the civil authorities to try 
him for mutiny and insubordination, which is true enough, but 
the true reason was that Steiner was a f elow of like kidney with 
themselves, and they determined to clear him, right or wrong. 
While the officer was proceeding deliberately to Waco with the 
prisoner, the Ft Graham folks were riding all over the country, 
trying to muster men to arrest the officer. The company from 
Graham got into Waco, and had everything prepared for the 
reception of Anderson when he should come. Accordingly when 
he made his appearance, about eight oclock the next morning, 
they managed it so that they induced the Officer to cross the 
River with Steiner, and but three of his men, the balance of the 
sixteen dragons were left on the other side. So soon as the 
Officer got over they got him into a house, and the sheriff served 
a civil process upon him and attempted to arrest him. He im- 
mediately drew his revolver and declared he would submit to 
no civil arrest, at the same time calling his three guards around 
him. The passion of the bloodthirsty rabble could no longer 
be restrained, but from both doors protruded guns enough to 
have shot the Leutenent into a thousand pieces, and even when 
the Officer understood the nature of the writ and had submitted 
it was with the greatest difficulty that some of the rabble could 
be restrained from taking the life of Anderson. Altogether it 


was one of the most shameful scenes that has ever occurred in 
all this country, and will bring some of the perpetrators of it 
I hope with deserved ignominy. After the shameful proceedings 
narrated above, they released a murderer and retained Ander- 
son, intending to try him for obeying the orders of his superior, 
or in other words for abducting a prisoner from the hands of the 
civil authority. No man can remain neutral here, he must 
either be a Steiner man or against him, and those who are 
against him are fearfully in the minority. 4 

You complain about the hardness of your folks at Browns- 
ville, but really I am inclined to think that our little town of 
Waco can equal if not surpass it. Here wickedness forms the 
rule and refraining from it the exception. Gambling is prac- 
tised by nearly all, not only the doggery set but the "high- 
minded and honorable" the "top-of-the-pot" those who walk 
about the streets with puritanical faces, attend church on Sun- 
day and then set up all night Sunday night betting on Cards 
or Pharo Bank. Indeed it is hard to distinguish the moral from 
the immoral. Men that you would suppose would be above such 
vices can be found night after night in the little "Halls" around, 
staking their all upon the turn of a card. 

I think by cutting my cards right I will have a revival here. 
. . . "We have had some fine revivals with us and about seventy 
or eighty have united with the church since I have been here. 
We had a very fine camp meeting near Waco. We had quite a 
number of tents, and but few preachers. The meeting 
continued a week. There were forty two joined the church. . . . 
Methodism received a fresh impetus, and I think it is well es- 
tablished that nothing can move it now. The combined powers 
of the Baptists and the Devil will be unavailing towards shak- 
ing the fabric thus reared. 

[1855] There has been such an influx of immigration to 
this place the past six months, and there has been such great 
demand for house room that every little shanty has been crowded 
to their utmost extension. The case is being altered now, how- 
ever, as the good folks are building rapidly all over town, and 
I do not think I would miss it, were I to say that fifty houses 

* The fact that this was a celebrated case in its day, stirring up the 
country round about, is our excuse for inserting this account of it here in 
the midst of church affairs. 

THE YEAES 1854r-1857 389 

have been put up this year in Waco. . . . We had a two-days 
meeting at Gatesville the county seat of Coryeel county, at 
which there were about 8 professed religion and fourteen joined 
the church. . . . Our 2d Q M has just closed, and as you are 
disposed to grumble at your receipts I will have to inform you 
of mine to keep you in countenance. Stewards report, almost 
nothing. P E put up a pitiful mouth about money, gave it all 
to him by my consent. Publick collection $12.30. I kept eight 
quarters and three dimes, gave the rest to Yell. Claim of your 
humble servant $150.00 receipt $5.30. This is the total amount 
that your worthy brother has received for the present year. 

The Waco charge, as we see, embraces Marlin and 
Gatesville, and all the Bosque country between, including 
also Fort Graham. In 1856-57 Benjamen A. Kemp was 
on the Gatesville mission, and he organized the work in 
Coryell, Bosque and Erath counties. In 1857-58 he or- 
ganized the Fort Graham mission, in Hill and adjoining 
counties. The work in Bosque County took the name of 
Meridian in 1856, John E. White preacher. In 1857-58 
Weatherford mission appears as the frontier work on the 
northwestern border of the Texas Conference, with J. 
M. Jones and W. G. Veal in charge. In 1856 Wesley 
Smith who was a brother of the James A. Smith who 
pioneered in Dallas County organized the San Saba mis- 
sion, on the western side of the Colorado above Austin. 
Hamilton mission the place was later called Burnet 
makes its appearance in 1854, in the Austin district, John 
W. Cope in charge. 

A few scattering notes from along this firing line one 
may glean from the Advocate of that day. A note from 
B. A. Kemp in October, 1857, states that he had just 
closed a camp-meeting at Fort Gates, and that 29 had 
joined the church, making 71 since conference. J. L. 
Crabb reports from Hillsboro a camp-meeting at Eock 
Spring, near the village of Peoria, with thirty conver- 
sions and as many accessions. A note from Eobert Alex- 
ander, Bible Agent, from Veal's Station, Parker County, 


is of interest, as it describes the progress of the mails in 
those days. Says he: "I have been pleased to see with 
what promptness the readers of the Advocate get their 
papers. At Waxahachie I read the Advocate five days 
after date ; at Fort Worth ten days after date, in Parker 
County it came to hand after fourteen days." The Advo- 
cate it will be remembered, was published in Galveston. 
Alexander adds: "Fort Worth is now a nice village and 
improving in a very substantial way." 

All along this western frontier the local preacher con- 
tributed a large part in establishing the Church, and in 
many sections he was the pioneer and the first preacher 
in a settlement. A few examples of these outpost guards, 
many of whom never got their names in the conference 
minutes or in the papers, may here be cited. In 1856 
Rev. Francis Marion Caldwell moved from Washington 
County, Ark., and settled in Parker County, Texas, near 
Springtown. For the next ten years, so long as he lived 
in that country, he preached regularly in Parker, Wise, 
Tarrant and other northwestern counties. He also taught 
school in Parker and Wise counties. In 1858 he supplied 
the Keechi mission. A camp ground was established at 
Springtown, and one also at Goshen. 5 

"My father (Eev. M. 0. Coker) came overland from 
Tunnell Hill, Ga., to Texas in 1854," writes Eev. J. W. 
Coker, of Oklahoma. "He located in Bell county and 
made one crop. In the spring of '55 he was licensed to 
preach by Dr. Homer S. Thrall. In the fall of '55 my 
father moved to Comanche county, and there spent the 
remainder of his life. His family was the eighth family 
to settle in the county. He preached the first Methodist 
sermon in the county, and assisted in organizing the first 
two Methodist churches in the county. Some time in the 
late spring of 1856 our Church sent a missionary to 
preach to us in the person of Rev. Benjamen Kemp. He 

B Information furnished by a son, Eev. James P. Caldwell, a super- 
annuate member of the Southwest Missouri Conference. 

THE YEARS 1854KL857 391 

left his family at Gatesville, Coryell county, that being 
considered then the outpost of civilization. . . . Rev. 
Elisha Guilders preached the first Methodist sermon ever 
preached in Brown, Coleman and Runnels counties." 

Rev. Sam C. Vaughan, a superannuate member of the 
Northwest Texas Conference, in recalling early days in 
Burnet County, writes as follows: "My father came 
from Osage county, Missouri, and settled in Burnet 
county, Texas, in 1852. It was a thinly settled and In- 
dian-infested country, full of unmolested nature. . . . 
In 1856 Rev. C. C. Arnett moved to Burnet County, and 
settled six miles north of us. Two years later Rev. Sam 
W. Moreland came from Tennessee and settled one mile 
west of Arnett. He was born and licensed to preach in 
Tennessee, and travelled as pastor for some years. He 
was a matter-of-fact, sober-minded, Christian gentleman. 
He and Brother Arnett were of great use as local Metho- 
dist preachers. Bro. Moreland had some negroes, one 
old man so large he had to have shoes made for him, his 
feet too big for bought shoes. Ed Whitlock, a negro 
preacher, was holding a meeting there. He said, 'Let us 
pray; Brudder Sam, lead us in prayer.' Sam replied, 
'Skuse me, Bruder Ed; I'm not a good hand at it.' " In 
the same narrative we have the following : 

The Comanche Indians were giving us much trouble by steal- 
ing our horses and killing our people. They would come down 
the Colorado Mountains in day time and then come out through 
the settlement at night and get a bunch of horses and lead to 
the Brakes by daylight. The Methodists were holding a big 
camp meeting on Bear Creek, and the Campbellites a camp 
meeting on the Gabriel, three miles apart. A runner came to 
report the Indians coming, but the Indians beat the messenger 
to the Campbellite camp and got a big lot of fine horses. But 
the messenger beat them to the Methodist camp and the campers 
jumped up and struck lights and rounded in their horses. The 
Indians had got within a half mile of camp, but when they saw 
the lights they turned abruptly west and went right through 


Arnett 's and Moreland 's horse range. The trailers that were 
after the Indians came back and said to Brother Moreland: 
"They got all your horses." Bro. Moreland was sitting in his 
tent. He put his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands 
and sat thus a moment, then rose up and said: "I can't believe 
they got my big bunch of horses." Some one said "Why?" 
He said, "When my wagons were loaded and all started to the 
camp ground, I went back in my house and on my knees I told 
God I was going down to worship and asked him to care of 
all my affairs ; I believe he has done it. " So he ordered a. negro 
to saddle his horse and he rode away home and returned and 
said, "Not a horse gone." 

D. N. Arnett, one of the best known ranchmen of West 
Texas, now living at Colorado City, and his wife, Ophelia 
Moreland, are children of these Burnet county preachers, 
Arnett and Moreland, and both uphold the best traditions 
of their families in their Christian character and in 
church life. 

Wesley Smith says that he made a trip to San Saba 
valley in 1854 to look at the county, and that there was 
not a house in the valley. 6 He was admitted on trial into 
the Texas Conference in 1855, and appointed to San Saba 
mission, with nothing to go to. The Mission Board had 
appropriated $500 for his support, and of this he ex- 
pended $125 for a horse and $50 for a revolver. He made 
a round, visiting the Fowler settlement, in Burnet 
County, thence to Harrington's, and to Dancer's (a local 
preacher, to meet his death later by Indians), thence to 
Honey Creek, and into Llano county. After returning 
home he accompanied J. W. Whipple to a quarterly con- 
ference at Hamilton (Burnet) for the Hamilton mission, 
and at the same time and place a San Saba mission quar- 
terly conference was held. Smith held camp-meetings 
this year at Burnham's Springs, Burnet County, and at 
Simpson's Creek. During the year he moved into San 

In a booklet giving account of his life. 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 393 

Saba valley. He was returned to the same work the 
following year, and records that he preached higher up 
on the Colorado than any one had gone before. 

On the southwestern frontier the missions of Cibolo, 
Medina and Blanco appear in 1855, and in 1856 Kerrville 
and "Uvalde and Live Oaks." For this latter charge 
the appointment stands, ' ' one to be supplied, and James 
M. Stringfield." But we often learn that the minutes 
are not a safe guide as to what really occurred. This 
new charge was the western outpost of the conference, 
in the Victoria district, Oscar M. Addison, presiding 
elder. We learn from Addison 's correspondence that 
early in the year the charges were separated, Thomas 
Myers being placed in charge of the Uvalde mission, 
Stringfield was released, and the Live Oak mission was 
supplied for the year jointly by 0. A. Fisher, of Corpus 
Christi, and "Win. C. Eees, of Eefugio mission. A report 
from Thomas Myers, under date of April 2, 1857, and 
published in the Texas Christian Advocate, gives an ac- 
count of his first appointment and the organization of 
the first church in Uvalde: 

Having passed over the fertile high table lands of the Sabinal 
and Bio Frio, I reached Uvalde in good time to fill my appoint- 
ment at that place. This town is situated at the head of the 
Leona river. This river rises in a beautiful valley country 
and has a bold, rapid current, which is sufficient to drive any 
machinery, even in low water, and at little expense, without the 
danger of overflow. On my arrival in town, I found the citizens 
engaged in fitting up a large upper room of a rock building, 
for an accommodation, in which to hold our meetings. The 
services commenced at early candlelight, with a respectable con- 
gregation in attendance. Though much fatigued by a heavy 
drive, yet I felt refreshed and nerved for the occasion ; there was 
an unusual seriousness pervading the congregation when I en- 
tered the room and commenced religious exercises ; my own heart 
fealt unusually solemn, knowing that we were about to plant 
the Christian standard, and unfurl the banner of the Cross 


within fifty miles of the banks of the Rio Grande, and sixty 
miles farther out than the gospel had ever gone before in our 
regular itinerant work. "I felt how important it is for us to 
begin the work right, according to our cherished institutions, 
around which cluster the hopes of the church in time to corne. ' ' 
We had a solemn weeping blessed time. In closing our meet- 
ing on Sunday night, I found the Lord had given me some seals 
to my ministry. We organized a small society of seven members, 
and, under God, we expect to add many more before the close 
of the present Conference year. 

The "rim" of the occupied territory was thus ex- 
panded during this period to embrace Gainesville, Port 
Worth, Weatherford, the San Saba country, Kerrville 
and Uvalde, giving a tremendously wide sweep to the 
frontiers of the Church in Texas. But this, it will be 
seen, occupies but about one half of the state, leaving 
the settlement and conquest of the other half to be wit- 
nessed by the next fifty years or more. 

Referring to certain conditions affecting the ministry 
during this period, we refer to Thrall, who was one of 
those who passed through all these scenes. "As yet," 
he says, "very inadequate provision had been made for 
the support of itinerant ministers. A few inferior build- 
ings had been secured for parsonages, but the great mass 
of married preachers had to provide homes for their 
families. The pay was inadequate to the necessities of 
pastors who had families to provide for and children to 
educate. Stern necessity drove many men, men of large 
experience and eminent qualifications for the work, to 
location." Continuing, he says: 

Preachers were scarce, and some were received on trial who 
had but inferior qualifications for the great work they under- 
took. At that time the course of study was limited, and in 
many instances examinations were superficial, and many were 
received who soon gave up the itinerant work. It seems incred- 
ible, but the Minutes show that during these ten years (1846- 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 395 

1855) thirty-two were located in the East Texas Conference, 
and twenty-nine in the Texas Conference; and not a few who 
were admitted on trial were discontinued before being received 
into membership. But not a few of these locations were tem- 
porary, and after a short period, in which their families were 
provided for, we find the same preachers again in the itinerant 
ranks. The want of parsonages, with the difficulty experienced 
in getting suitable houses in which to live, was one great reason 
for these locations. . . . Eev. Dr. Alexander, who labored so 
long in the itinerant work, had homes at different times in 
Butersville, Cottage Hill, Austin County, Galveston, Bell 
County, Harris County, and Chappell Hill, where he finally 
died. The present writer, during the fifty years that he has 
been in the active itinerant work, has lived in parsonages twelve 
years, in the following places: Galveston, Lavacca, Brenham, 
Chappell Hill, Corpus Christi, San Marcos and Seguin . . . 
but has lived in rented houses, or houses which he was compelled 
to buy or build, while presiding elder on the Galveston, Ruter- 
ville, Austin, Victoria, Columbus, and San Antonio Districts, 
and on some circuits. At this present writing (1887) there is 
but one district parsonage in the West Texas Conference, and 
only a few in Texas. 

Apropos of these observations, an extract from a let- 
ter from R. Alexander during Ms residence more prop- 
erly an " encampment " in Bell County during 1857 is 
given. From all reports that was a year of great drouth 
and financial stress. The letter was dated "Howard, 
August 29th, 1857," and was addressed to 0. M. Addison, 
presiding elder on the Victoria district : 

It has been my intention to give up the agency [for Ameri- 
can Bible Society] this winter, but I am in a very unsettled 
condition and it is more than probable that I will continue in 
it until I get to some place that is more like home than my 
present camp arrangement. I did think I would settle in this 
county but I can only take it on trial for the present for if 
we do not starve for bread it appears that we might perish for 
water. "We are in a poor fix up here health we enjoy but bread 


and water are necessary for its continuance. . . . You astonish 
me by intimating that you are ready to leave the high position 
assigned you as P. E. upon so short an experience. And yet 
again that your finances should be so low as to straiten you. 
What cannot one large district support one Bachellor Presiding 
Elder of your dimentions how is this What will the brethren 
do who have wives & children I fear our preachers who have 
wives and children will starve out during this awful calamitous 

And where and when did the proverb originate that 
" times of drouth are times of revival?" It is sufficient 
to say that it did not originate in 1857. Says Alexander 
in this letter: " Religion seems to be at a quiet if not at 
a low ebb pretty much all over our land. We are dull 
enough in these parts hope for better times for Bread 
water and religion." And the minutes of the conferences 
for 1857 show a decrease in " probationers" received 
the class drawn largely from new converts. 

A sketch of church affairs in Houston for 1856 may 
be given to illustrate how matters were going in a " city 
church" in that day. The pastor was Charles H. Brooks. 
The writer is Mrs. Blandin, before quoted as the historian 
of Shearn Church. "The stewards," we are informed, 
"were Charles Shearn, Jas. F. Dumble, Alex. McGowen, 
Vanbibber and Dr. Bryan. Jas. F. Dumble was superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school and "Charles Shearn was 
class leader. The singing was congregational, not even 
a melodeon had been introduced at that time, and Mr. 
Brooks says it was good." Continuing, she says: 

The system of renting pews had been adopted during Mr. 
Summers 's pastorate, at his suggestion, and was still the plan 
for raising church revenue. These pews were of the old English 
style, with doors fastened by locks; all expenses were paid by 
the rent. When Mr. Brooks took charge of the church he found 
the roll of members had either been lost or destroyed; he made 
a new one ; reorganized the church and found he had seventy less 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 397 

members than had been reported at the last conference. In the 
early spring he held a protracted meeting for four weeks and 
the church was crowded day and night with eager workers and 
penitents. More than 100 professed conversion. One incident 
will serve to show the interest taken in the day services of the 
meeting. One day there was quite a commotion in the back 
part of the church, but the altar and the aisles were so crowded 
that the pastor could not reach the place. After the congrega- 
tion was dismissed he found a German who had been so power- 
fully convicted that he could neither wall? nor stand for some 
time. All services were well attended, the Sunday School was in 
the first rank of Sunday Schools for that day, the class meetings 
and love-feasts were times of refreshing from the Lord. 

An inkling of the kind of "sowing" that was done 
prior to the revival mentioned above is found in a letter 
from Brooks, written March 10, 1856. Says he: "My 
prospects for doing good in Houston are increasing. I 
preached to a large congregation on sabbath, on the de- 
pravity of the human heart, which I illustrated 1st from 
the bible 2dly from the City of Houston. Sabath night 
the house was crowded. I preached an hour & a half from 
Hbrs llth & 7th. I am laboring night and day for a re- 
vival of religion, without it Houston is gon. pray for us." 

Some of the bishops who visited Texas gave to the 
church press full accounts of their journeyings and ob- 
servations. The correspondence of Bishop Pierce is pre- 
served in a book entitled, "Incidents of Western Travel," 
and from this we take certain incidents occurring on his 
first Texas tour in 1855: "After inquiring the way to 
Marshall," he records, his point of departure being 
Shreveport, "we drove through and as we had been told 
to follow the telegraphic wires, we found no difficulty in 
sticking to the right track. The posts and wires seemed 
like old acquaintances, after our long sojourn among the 
prairies and woods ; and they indicated, too, that we had 
returned to the highways of a progressive people. But 
this is a new country; and although the citizens have 


availed themselves of the electric news-carrier, yonder 
comes a relic of the past a primitive medium of trans- 
portation a cotton wagon drawn by oxen. For forty 
miles we were rarely out of sight of these clumsy vehicles 
and their slow-moving teams. But their days are num- 
bered: one more season of toil, and the patient ox will 
rarely travel beyond his owner 's broad acres, and the 
cumbrous wagon will stand still in its shed. There upon 
the right is an embankment, and just ahead an excava- 
tion. These foot-prints of the engineers are the forerun- 
ner of an iron track, the iron horse his speed and his 
burden. When once the steam whistle wakes the echoes 
of these woods and vales, and the country commands all 
the facilities of a well-managed railroad, emigration from 
the East will receive a new impetus, and capital and in- 
telligence will work new wonders in the West/' 

The East Texas Conference over, of which the Bishop 
gives only brief mention, but in the highest terms, he sets 
out on a leisurely journey for Galveston, with many 
preaching appointments on the way. Following his nar- 
rative we find: 

Brother Gillespie was our travelling companion, and on the 
way we picked up Brother Angell. . . . We reached Eusk, the 
county seat of Cherokee, in a storm of wind, rain and hail. The 
Methodists, contrary to their usual custom of building on the 
outskirts, had located their church in the center of the town. 
Despite the wind and weather, the house was lighted ; the people 
assembled, and I tried to preach. Here Brother Hobbes met us 
with horse and buggy to take us to another stage of our journey. 
A two days' meeting had been given out at Shiloh, about twenty 
miles distant, and on Saturday morning (the next day) we set out 
quite a troop Gillespie, Angell, Hobbes, Shanks, and Lovick 
and I. "We left the highway, and if I were to say, took the woods, 
it would be no exaggeration. We reached the place a little be- 
hind time, but the people were waiting, and I preached once 
more, and made an appointment for Brother Gillespie at night. 
Next day, Sunday, I preached again, and for variety's sake 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 399 

must say a little about the singing. After prayer I gave out 
a short metre hymn. A brother who had been leading the sing- 
ing raised a common-metre tune. Thinking to relieve him, I 
announced the metre again. He tried the second time, and 
failed. Seeing that he was embarrassed, I remarked, "We will 
omit singing," and commenced giving out my text. When I 
had stated book, chapter and verse, another brother, apparently 
resolved upon a song, tried his voice upon a tune. He missed 
badly. Supposing that he had not heard me, I said a little 
louder, ' ' We will omit singing, ' ' and again was telling where my 
text might be found, when, to everybody's amusement, and nearly 
to the overthrow of my gravity, a third man lifted his voice, and 
the sound "sprangled" among notes generally, without specify- 
ing any. The privilege of laughing would have been a relief, 
but that would have been a rare preface to a sermon, and so, 
holding my muscles to the right place by a stern will, I pro- 
ceeded with the text and the discourse. It was a good time. 
. . . During the next day ... we reached Sumter, a little 
straggling, piney woods town, before night, and stopped to 
preach. We had to use the Campbellite Church, the only one 
in the place. . . . Service over, we dispersed; all for awhile 
going the same direction. The night was very dark, and con- 
versation was free. One fellow, who seemed to have his precon- 
ceived notions wonderfully upset, spoke out as though he were 
soliloquizing : ' ' Well, that is a Bishop : I have often heerd of 
'em, but never seed one before. Why, he is nothing but a man, 
after all. He talks like other people; in fact he preaches like 

Mr. Z " Brother Angell told me that Mr. Z was 

considered a tolerable exhorter, but about the poorest preacher 
in Texas. . . . Brother Gillespie, on going from Galveston to 
Marshall had a series of appointments, where he preached and 
presented the claims of the Texas Advocate. On his return with 
me, he concluded every service with a brief speech, and opened 
his books for patronage. Going and coming he obtained four 
hundred subscribers. This plan is wise; the policy is good in 
more respects than one. I recommend it to all the brethren. Two 
or three months every year spent in visiting the people, would 
largely promote our publishing interests. Let the editors come 
into personal contact with the people; represent the interest 
they manage; diffuse their ministry a little; show the Church 


that they can preach, and do preach as well as they write; and 
by labor, sympathy, and service, identify themselves and their 
paper more directly with the masses, and the effect will be a 
quadrupled circulation. Neither the preachers nor the people 
ever see these editorial knights of the quill until they come down 
to Conference to settle up. Show yourselves, brethren. 

We have but a brief report in Bishop Kavanaugh's 
"Life" of his visit to Texas in 1857, and this confined to 
an account of his sermon at the East Texas Conference 
at Eusk. The occasion was Thanksgiving Day. The text 
was from Psalms 65 : 9-11. J. M. Binldey, who was 
attending his first conference and who had seen his 
first bishop, writes: "This was the most powerful and 
overwhelming sermon I ever heard. He carried all with 
him; nor have I ever on any other occasion witnessed 
such an effect as was at that time produced. The audi- 
ence were completely overcome by a power that was more 
than human. Some laughed, others shouted or wept, 
while many rose to their feet, and some fell as dead men 
fall in battle. I was watching my presiding elder, who 
was a strong man every way. For some time he was 
calm, and seemed resolved not to yield to the tide that 
was sweeping over the assembly ; but unable to hold out 
longer he, too, yielded, and praised God aloud. Twenty- 
seven years have come and gone since then, but never 
have I heard that sermon surpassed for its grand 
thoughts, its unction, and its power. " 

It is now time we were turning attention to our edu- 
cational work during this period to the rise of new 
institutions and the progress of the old ones. It is dur- 
ing this period also that we bid a sad farewell to Buters- 
ville College, whose decline had set in some years before, 
as we have noticed. 

In 1856 a memorial was presented to the State Legis- 
lature by the trustees of Eutersville College, headed by 
Capt. W. J. Eussell, requesting that the right conferred 

THE YEARS 1854-1857 401 

upon the Texas Conference of appointing trustees for the 
institution be withdrawn, and at the same time applica- 
tion was made for the consolidation of Eutersville College 
with a certain military school in Galveston. The action 
of the trustees excited much unfavorable comment among 
the preachers, and some steps were taken to forestall the 
action requested. Rev. J. M. Wesson, of Washington, 
went to Austin, and in conference with J. W. Phillips, 
presiding elder of the Austin district, decided that noth- 
ing could be done. A letter from Wesson, dated Austin, 
July 15, 1856, explains the situation : 

Bro. Phillips readily consented to unite with me in endeavor- 
ing to procure at best postponement of Legislative action. We 
could not appear as representatives of the Conference, but 
simply as members of that body. Senator Bryan kindly spoke 
to me before presenting the memorial, assuring me that he would 
not present it, if I had evidence that the Conference was op- 
posed to it. When the matter was discussed before the Sena- 
torial Educational Committee Col. Caldwell strongly urged ob- 
jections to it. But the Committee unanimously resolved to 
report favorably upon the memorial. After the report was pre- 
sented Mr. Bryan promised to procure its recommitment if Br. 
Phillips and I would draw up, in behalf of the Conference, a 
statement showing why the prayer of the Memorialists should 
not be granted. We sat down to do so, and gave the subject 
hours of thoughtful attention; but we could draw up no state- 
ment satisfactory to ourselves, and that we believed would in- 
fluence the members of the Legislature. We had access to no 
documents, and were in possession of no information calculated 
to give force to our remonstrance. We therefore informed our 
friends that we should take no further action in the premises. 
Had we had solid ground to stand upon we would have contested 
it inch by inch, but as the matter stands resistance was useless. 
It is true we might have used our influence among our acquain- 
tances in both houses, and by log rolling secured its defeat. 
Indeed Br. Webb said that he knew we could defeat it if we 
tried. But if we could not accomplish our purpose by fair and 
honorable means, we neither felt disposed to employ any other. 


The fact is, so far as we can ascertain the Conference has had no 
vested right in the property of the institution. Br. Wilson 
gave it to me as his opinion that such is the case. The property 
is vested in the trustees, and they have the entire control of 
it. The amendment of the Charter simply confers upon the 
Conference the power to appoint trustees. That power can be 
taken away at any time by the body that conferred it; and 
though it may be discourteous, it is not illegal. . . . The truth 
is, the great curse of that institution, to my mind, has been 
the State grant of four leagues of land. This prevented it from 
becoming legally a denominational institution. If we attempt to 
claim it as a Methodist institution we are met by the charge of 
fraud against the State. I am disposed to think that perhaps 
after all it will be a benefit to the Church. We must see that 
the foundation is right at Chappel Hill, and then work in good 
earnest to build upon it. 

The necessary legislative action was taken, and in 
October, 1856 the "Texas Monumental and Military In- 
stitute," under the superintendency of Col. Caleb G. For- 
shey, opened its first session in the halls of Eutersville 

We have noted the preliminary steps taken at the 
Texas Conference in 1854 toward the creation of Soule 
University, at Chappell Hill. That institution came into 
actual being in 1856. The first Board of Trustees, ap- 
pointed at the Conference of 1855, was composed of the 
following: Thomas B. White, J. D. Giddings, J. H. Da- 
vidson, J. W. Whipple, Eichard Crawford, James Mc- 
Leod, Eobert Alexander, H. Yoakum, Gabriel Felder, C. 
P. Barton, W. S. Day, H. S. Thrall, L. D. Bragg, William 
Chappell, J. C. Wilson, and W. C. Webb. The trustees 
held the first meeting at Chapell Hill on January 18, 
1856, when T. B. White was chosen president of the 
Board, Eev. James M. Follansbee, A. M., M. D., was 
elected president of the University, and John N. Kirby, 
principal of the Preparatory Department. The Prepara- 
tory Department of the University was opened on Feb- 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 403 

ruary 1, 1856, in one of the buildings of the former Chap- 
pell Hill College. A charter was secured from the 
Legislature, which was approved February 22, 1856. 
"This charter declared nowhere that Soule University 
was the property of the Methodist church, or that the 
Board of Trustees held the property in trust, for this 
church, but were a 'body corporate under the name and 
style of the Board of Trustees of Soule University, and 
by that name shall have succession for a term of ninety 
years.' However, the charter was very definite in its 
second section as to the control of the institution, for it 
says: * Soule University shall be under the control and 
supervision of the Texas Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, and the Board of Trustees shall 
be re-elected from time to time under the direction of 
the said Texas Conference, and when elected shall have 
power to fill all vacancies that may occur therein, sub- 
ject to ratification by the succeeding conference. ' " 5 An- 
other section of the charter required the Board of Trus- 
tees to make an annual written report to the conference, 
showing the exact condition of the institution and of the 
work done, and the conference was given authority to 
change the conduct of affairs, and to transmit to the 
Board of Trustees such instruction as the conference 
deemed necessary for the welfare of the institution. 

Rev. R. W. Kennon had been appointed financial agent 
of Soule University. He went before the East Texas 
Conference at its session in 1856 and solicited the co- 
operation of that body in building the enterprise, and 
offered them the privilege of naming ten of the twenty- 
five trustees required by the charter. The conference 
acceded, and named the following trustees: Rev. John 
Powell, Rev. W. D. Ratcliffe, Rev. A. J. Shanks, Rev. R. 
Wyche, L. V. Greer, M.D., J. H. Griffin, Esq., J. J. Hall, 
A. S. Kyle, Alexander McClure, and Henry Ware. "It 

5C. C. Cody, article "Soule University," Texas Methodist Historical 
Quarterly, January, 1911. 


does not, however, appear that any change of the charter 
was ever made which gave the East Texas Conference, or 
the trustees appointed by them, any legal rights whatever 
in the premises. " 

"At the close of the first session/' says Dr. Cody, 
"the commencement address was delivered by Col. H. 
Yoakum, and at this time, June 23, 1856, William Halsey, 
A. M., former president of Eutersville College, was 
elected president of Soule University. He at once entered 
upon the duties of his office and the next year ninety-five 
students were enrolled, most of whom were in the pre- 
paratory grade. The following year Eev. W. G-. Foote, 
A. M., was elected Professor of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy. The chair was then endowed by a gift of 
$25,000 from Col. Jared Kirby and called the Kirby Pro- 
fessorship. The Chair of Languages was at the same 
time endowed by Hon. Gabriel Felder for the same 
amount and called the Felder Professorship. At the fol- 
lowing commencement, June 30, 1858, the annual ad- 
dress was delivered by Eev. W. H. Seat. The number 
enrolled for this year was one hundred and fifteen." 

The University building was erected on a tract of land 
containing ten acres, given to the trustees for the Uni- 
versity site by Dr. E. J. Swearingen. The corner-stone 
of this building was laid November 2, 1858, on which 
occasion addresses were made by E. Felder and Eev. J. 
W. Kenney. The building was of stone, 56 feet front and 
84 feet deep, three stories high, a very commodious and 
imposing structure for that day, having cost, when com- 
pleted, not less than $40,000. 

Soule University did not allow co-education. No 
woman was connected with the institution, either as 
teacher or pupil. The old Chappell Hill Female College 
continued to function as a separate institution. Soule 
University had simply absorbed the Male Department of 
this original school. A written pledge, we are told, was 
demanded of all pupils in Soule University, promising 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 405 

obedience, punctuality, and application to study, and clos- 
ing with the following : "And I hereby certify that I have 
delivered to the President all my concealed weapons." 

The trustees of Soule University in 1857 authorized 
the establishment of a Law Department, to be located in 
Houston, and a Medical Department, to be located in 
Galveston, and faculties were elected for these branches, 
but no serious efforts were made to organize these de- 
partments until after the Civil War. 

McKenzie Institute, located near Clarksville, was 
seeing its palmiest days during the period now under re- 
view. The Institute now occupied four large three-story 
frame buildings, one as a dormitory for young ladies, two 
for boys, and one for chapel and recitation purposes. 
The two boarding halls for boys were called respectively 
the Duke and Graft houses, named in honor of the 
builders. The third floor of the recitation building was 
devoted to the two debating societies the Philologian 
and the Dialectic. The student body published a college 
paper, called the "The School Monthly." 

An advertisment of the school, appearing in 1856, 
names the following faculty: Eev. J. W. P. McKenzie, 
principal; Smith Eagsdale, B. F. Fuller, J. T. Kennedy, 
J. N. B. Henslee. Teachers in Female Department : Rev. 
J. W. P. McKenzie, Smith Eagsdale, Martha E. Eagsdale. 
Vocal and Instrumental Music, D. Danforth. The rates 
for a term of ten months, including "board, washing, 
room rent, and tuition in English Department, if paid at 
close of session," are given at $110. "Those entering 
the Institute are required to furnish lights, stationery, 
and text-books." The "lights," provided by the Insti- 
tute, but charged on the bill of the student, were tallow 

"In 1854 when the writer entered," says Dr. J. H. 
McLean in his "Eeminiscences," referring to the McKen- 
zie school, "there were nine professors and tutors, over 
three hundred pupils and, with very few exceptions, all 


boarded in the institution. I can never forget my first 
night at the college, when, at a most inopportune hour 
4 a. m. the college bell pealed out on the stillness of 
the night, calling us to the chapel for morning prayer. 
This exercise consisted of a scripture lesson, lecture, 
song and prayer. It was then in the dead of winter, crisp 
and cold, and yet 'Old Master' was seen, candle in hand, 
wending his way to the chapel in his shirt sleeves and 
slippers, while the girls and boys were wrapped in 
shawls and blankets. His plea for this practice was that 
it was a health measure, a morning air bath. . . . Chapel 
service over, four successive tables were then served for 
breakfast by candle light. Similar chapel services were 
held at 8 a. m. and in the evening. On Sunday we had 
Sunday school led by the president, preaching at 1 1 a. m., 
class meeting at 3 p. m., and preaching or prayer meet- 
ing at night. There was also prayer meeting on Thurs- 
day nights. In addition to these stated religious exer- 
cises, the environment was kept free from all contami- 
nating influences, so much so, that the writer during a 
stay of nearly six years never heard an oath nor saw a 
bottle of whisky or a deck of cards. As a result of all 
this spiritual painstaking and the annual revivals of re- 
ligion, it was not unusual that during the session more 
than ninety per cent of the student body became pro- 
fessed Christians, and the records show that out of an 
aggregate of 3,300 pupils, 2,250 were converted while at- 
tending school." 

The same writer says that Dr. McKenzie received no 
financial aid from any source, but built up the institution 
and maintained it out of the income from his patronage. 
"It is also true that no boy or girl, however poor, was 
ever turned away from his school. The writer well re- 
members when the Eev. E. A. Bailey, who became one of 
the most honored and useful members of the Northwest 
Texas Conference, came afoot with a bundle of clothes 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 407 

on his back from Greenwood, Louisiana, to McKenzie Col- 
lege, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, and was 
warmly greeted, notwithstanding his impecunious con- 
dition, and for several years shared freely .the benefits of 
the institution. Another such student was John Burke, 
who * footed it' from Jefferson to McKenzie College, a 
distance of 100 miles, and later became a brilliant lawyer, 
partner and brother-in-law of Gov. Murrah, of Mar- 

The contribution of McKenzie Institute to the min- 
istry, the bar, the teaching profession, and to almost 
every field of usefulness in Texas is beyond estimation. 
Many of the earlier graduates of this school rose to dis- 
tinction and fell in the Civil War. Among those students 
who afterwards became well known in the Methodist 
ministry in Texas may be mentioned the following : An- 
drew Davis, whose romantic early career and entrance 
at McKenzie we have recounted; E. A. Bailey, John H. 
McLean, J. Fred Cox (whose wife was also a McKenzie 
student), Milton H. Porter (who also married a McKen- 
zie student), John Adams, M. H. Neely, E. C. Armstrong, 
L. M. Fowler, J. T. L. Annis, W. J. Joyce, John F. Neal, 
H. B. Phillips. Of lawyers and statesmen, W. S. Hern- 
don, Geo. N. Aldredge, W. J. Swain, W. E. Collard, W. . 
L. Crawford and many others who graced the courts and 
legislative halls of this and other states. Judge B. F. 
Fuller, a Baptist, and author of " History of the Baptist 
Church in Texas," was a McKenzie student. Milton 
Bagsdale, brother of Smith Eagsdale, long one of the 
teachers at McKenzie, was one of the first graduates of 
McKenzie Institute. He engaged for many years in the 
teaching profession. His wife was the daughter of Ab- 
ner McKenzie, and her mother was the widow of John B. 
Denton. Both Professor and Mrs. Eagsdale are still liv- 
ing in Dallas. 

The time would fail us to go into details concerning 


numerous other small schools which arose in the 'fifties 
some to endure but for a day, and others to continue 
a struggling existence for many years. The Starrville 
Female High School, with Milton H. Porter as principal, 
appears in the minutes of the East Texas Conference in 
1855. The Murray Institute, located west of Jefferson, 
in Upshur County, was started as a private academy in 
1856 or 1857 by Eev. J. J. Clark, a Methodist preacher 
from Tennessee, and father of Eev. I. "W. Clark. The 
school flourished for many years, and did a splendid 
work. Andrew Female College, at Huntsville, and Paine 
Female College, at Goliad, we have noticed in a former 
connection. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas H. Ball. father 
of a better known Thomas H. Ball of our day was presi- 
dent of the school at Huntsville. The Paine Institute at 
Goliad reported fifty-three students in 1857. The Waco 
Female Institute, mention of which has been made before, 
had its origin in 1857, when Franklin C. Wilkes was ap- 
pointed agent, in connection with Waco station. The 
Seguin Male and Female College, with J. W. Phillips 
president, appears the same year. The Bastrop Acad- 
emy, whose rise has been noted, was divided in 1857, the 
female department being known thereafter as Bastrop 
Female Academy, and the male department being or- 
ganized into the Bastrop Military Institute, with Eev. 
Col. E. T. P. Allen, A. M., a distinguished educator from 
Kentucky, as superintendent. The Institute was contin- 
ued under the patronage of the Texas Conference, and 
for many years Col. Allen and his school wielded a pow- 
erful influence for good throughout that section. The 
catalogue of 1858 shows an enrollment of ninety-two stu- 
dents, listed in order of merit in their respective depart- 
ments; and standing next to the head of the list is the 
name of Joseph D. Sayers, afterwards governor of Texas. 
The Fairfield Female Institute, Eev. H. V. Philpott prin- 
cipal, is advertised in the Texas Christian Advocate in 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 409 

1856. The Southern Methodist Almanac for 1855 re- 
ports, in addition to the schools already mentioned, the 
"Methodist Female Institute, at Tyler," with about 30 
pupils, and the "Cedar Mountain Academy, Dallas 
County, about 75." 

At the risk of extending this chapter beyond due 
limits, and also of incurring the charge of introducing 
too much matter from one source, or from one family, 
we append a few more items from the "literary remains" 
of 0. M. Addison. Our object is not to draw attention 
to a name, but simply to convey a reflection of the times, 
as faithful and complete as possible; and this must be 
done from those sources only which have come into our 
hands. The Addisons wrote much, and gathered together 
much which others had written ; and all of this collection 
is in our possession. But even at that it is no easy task 
to select from the scrap pile, composed of a miscellaneous 
and unorganized mass of things, like leaves which the 
winds of fifty years have blown together, that which is 
real history and piece it together in an orderly and read- 
able fashion. It is a task which should have more insight, 
time and patience expended upon it than this writer pos- 
sesses. But so much as he has he will continue to employ 
until the story is finished. 

From an unmarried preacher's account book we may 
derive some curious information as to expenses and 
prices which prevailed in 1855-56-57 : 

To ferriage on way to Conf 1.15 

" Fare on Railroad 5 00 

" ." " Steamboat 1000 

' ' Hack fare in Galveston 7 50 

" Daguerrotype (group) 500 

" Kid gloves 125 

" Cigars 50 

" Baker on the discipline 75 

" Eepairing Buggy 125 

" Servant fee in Galveston 50 

" Missionary Anniversary $5. Tract do. $5 10 00 

' ' Washing bill in Galveston 2 00 

" Repairing boots in " 20 


To one pair shoes bot of Sledge & Buck 3 00 

' ' umbrella 2 00 

" Bridle 75 

" 6 hankfs 50 3 00 

" 3 undershirts 80 240 

' ' 1 cake shaving soap 25 

' ' I Deges to one pair pants 10 00 

' ' making 1 pair pantaloons 2 00 

" 1 % yds black cloth 6.50 11 37% 

' ' Trimmings for coat 2 50 

' ' Harvey & Warner 1 vest 5 00 

" 4 pr socks 37% 150 

To freight on luggage from Brownsville 14 98 

' ' repairing boots 1 00 

' ' Eepairing watch 2 75 

' ' horse shod 75 ferriage 20 95 

' ' book Nelson on Infidelity 50 

' ' riding whip 10 

' ' repairing bridle & girth 1 25 

' ' repairing saddlebags 2 50 

' ' beggar Woman 1 00 

' ' stake rope 75 

' ' watch chain 25 

' ' dinner & horse feed 50 

We have at hand the journal of the presiding elder 
of the Victoria district for 1857, which, however, is 
largely routine and personal. A few extracts from this 
will suffice. Beginning with a trip to Live Oak County 
we have : 

March 5. At the distance of 18 miles we reached Mr. Cook's, 
where we turned our horses to grass and obtained dinner. The 
country is newly settled, and the people live in primitive style. 
The house of our entertainer was constructed of poles with a dirt 
floor. A couple of rough scaffolds for bedsteads, 2 old trunks & 
as many chairs constituted the furniture. Shortly after sunset 
we reached bro. Francis' and received a genuine welcome from 
a true hearted brother. Here we met with bro. Myers & lady, 
obtained corn for our horses & fared sumptuously. 

March 6. In company with bro. Myers & wife rode to Oak- 
ville distant 10 miles. We drove to the only hotel in the place 
and were kindly welcomed by the landlord, who was sick in 
bed. At night I preached in the dining room of the hotel. After 
preaching the sheriff of the county invited me home with him. 
I went but was sorry. His establishment consisted of a single 

THE YEARS 1854-1857 411 

log house, through the open cracks of which the cold north wind 
entered as if pursued by the furies. We entered by the land- 
lord removing the door bodily and & depositing it at a convenient 
distance, for it was not supplied with hinges or lock. Two beds 
and divers chairs and trunks crowded together left but little 
space on the dirt floor. 

March 7. This morning on returning to the tavern I found 
M. (Myers) & S. (Stringfield). Our landlord's library consisted 
of two volumes of the recent acts of the legislature, one spelling 
book, the (life) of P. B. Barnum and a novel, "A Tale of 
Circumstantial Evidence." The latter, S., had selected for his 
morning reading, in which he was pretty well engaged until the 
time of preaching. In the afternoon our Conf met in the other 
room of the tavern, and as there were no members but the 
preachers we elected bro. John Francis & Jas Green stewards. 
Three hundred dollars were appropriated for the support of 
the work (Live Oak and Uvalde Mission), a small amt had been 
raised on the Miss out of which the stewards paid me my first 
qr claim $3.25. Up to the present time neither of the preachers 
had been to Uvalde country, an intervening distance of more 
than one hundred miles separating the two portions of the work. 
Bro M. was in favor of having Uvalde assigned to him sep- 
arately, leaving Live Oak to S. I finally concluded to send M. 
to Uvalde to explore the country 

Monday, April 6 A heavy frost last night again laid the 
corn low. Drove to Texana & heard bro Devilbiss preach at 

Sunday 12. During the night the mercury fell down to a 
wintry temperature, sleet and ice without made fire necessary 

Friday, 17. In company with bro. C. (Cooley) drove to 
Judge Wofford's and spent the night. Soon after our arrival 
learned the overseer had that day whipped one of the most 
valuable negroes to death. C. and I, at the invitation of the 
judge's father, started to the quarter to see the corpse, but 
meeting the judge on the way he turned us back, saying "it was 
of no use." As C. knew him better than myself I advised him 
to induce Wofford to have an inquest held on the body of the 
servt and place the overseer under arrest. 


Saturday 18. A stiff cold norther sprang up this morning 
making blankets and overcoats necessary. Had a conversation 
with Wofford, who declined taking any steps to have the murder 
investigated, fearing, as he stated, by so doing to frighten off 
his overseer, by which he would lose the value of his negro. 
The overseer had a growing crop which W. thought might be 
made available if action were delayed a few months. I told him 
he by silence was liable to be brought in as accessory after the 
fact, and left, disgusted at the meanness of such a calculating 

Monday, August 10 In company with bro. F. M. Box an 
exhorter set out for Uvalde Miss. Drove 12 miles to Yorktown 
& dined with bro. King's. Late in the afternoon resumed the 
road intending to travel at night, but a threatening rain storm 
coming up we were glad to seek refuge at a house 5 miles from 
our noon stopping place. 

Tuesday 11 It rained but little after all & before daylight 
we were under way. Beached Dr. Sutherland's at Sulphor 
Springs 35 miles, having crossed the Ecleto & Cibolo. The rain 
of the night before had extended a few miles, but the greater 
part of the road was quite dry. The dry weather having killed 
the crops the farmers had taken advantage of a recent rain on 
the Cibolo & planted corn. I saw some just coming up. 

Wednesday 12 The Dr returning from San Antonio in the 
stage before breakfast & recognizing me would have no pay for 
our entertainment. Our own corn we had hauled from York- 
town, for which we paid $1.75 per bushel. Dined at Shaw's 
18 miles and at sundown drove into San Antonio 12 miles. 
Hunted up bro. Belvin with whom I put up and accompanied 
him to the presbyterian prayer meeting and spent the night with 
the pastor Bunting. 

Thursday, 13 Before sunrise enjoyed a fine bath in the San 
Antonio river, breakfasted at Mrs. Van Vleet's with Bunting 
and after dinner drove 25 miles to Castrovile and put up at a 
very decent hotel kept by a Frenchman named Tarde. . . . The 
whole country in the vicinity of San Antonio is parched up & 
grass all gone. The prospect changes near Castroville, as it is 
evident they had recent rains. 

Friday 14 A bill of $2 each was paid this morning and the 

THE YEARS 1854-1857 413 

journey resumed. Ten miles brought us to the little Dutch vil- 
lage of Quihi situated on a creek of that name miles farther 

we crossed the Verd at another village called New Fountain. 
The country is settled with French & Dutch. Four miles brought 
to bro Harpers on the Hondo where we were expected, & found 
a cordial welcome. Dined and spent the afternoon. 

Saturday 15 Supplied with a mule we left our horses to 
rest and at 8 o'clock reached the Sabinal the place of the qr. m. 
having driven about 30 miles. Preached in the afternoon from 
the Prodigal son & at night Behold now is the accepted time 2 

Sunday 16 Felt unwell, bro. Myers preached a funeral 
sermon at 11. Preached at 3 and after a short lecture on the 
ordinance baptized seventeen children, at night I made a talk 
on the communion & administered the ordinance mourners were 
then invited six were converted closed the meeting 16 having 
joined the church 

Some details of the conference at Waco in 1857, held 
by Bishop Kavanaugh, we have from journal of Ad- 
dison, who came up from his year on the Victoria dis- 
trict : 

Tuesday, Dec. 8 Boad very bad. . . . Reached Waco about 
4 o'clock and found a home at Capt. Barrow's, an old Texian. 
Horses very tired. 25 miles. At night Thrall preached to a 
large audience from He that goeth forth weeping &c. 

Wednesday, Dec. 9 Conference met this morning and was 
opened by Bp Kavanaugh, a stout homely man. . . . There were 
but few absentees among the preachers, & the morning session 
was very harmonious. In the afternoon I met for the first time 
in council with the bishop & presiding elders. The plan of each 
district was first written out by the bishop at the suggestion of 
the elder after which the preachers were stationed, each elder 
taking a man by turn. At night bro Phillips preached the Con- 
ference sermon, from Ezekiel 33: "6 son of man I have set 
thee a watchman unto the house of Israel," &c. This was a 
plain, pointed and powerful discourse. 

Thursday, Dec. 10 A busy day again in the Conf room & 
in the cabinet. Bishop Kavanaugh preached tonight from "If 


ye then be risen with Christ &c." The early part of the dis- 
course was a masterly exposition of the context. After speaking 
half hour he became warm & wound up a sermon of over an 
hour with an overwhelming burst of eloquence. 

Friday Dec. 11 A busy day in conference. The council 
met afternoon & night. Our session bids fair to be a protracted 
one. There are 35 applications for admission on trial and not 
quite that number of vacancies. 

Saturday 12 Business progressing finely. The bishop dis- 
pensed with the council this afternoon at which time the con- 
ference had its session at night J. C. Wilson & the Bishop made 
missionary speeches 500 acres of land & $1500 were subscribed. 

Sunday 13 Heard the bishop preach at 11 from Now then 
we are ambassadors from God. In the afternoon Eev. R. W. P. 
Allen from "Without controversy great is the mystery &c at 
night Gillespie from "And Jesus suffered him not, but said go 
to thy friends & show &c 

Monday 14 My good friend bro Shapard has been writing 
to some of the preachers against my being sent back to the 
Victoria Dis. His wife's condition does not allow him to leave 
her & he is trying to have bro Carl put in my place. Progressed 
with business rapidly today. 

Tuesday 15 In the council the P B were appointed Com- 
plaints were urged against Thrall & reasons assigned for his 
removal from the Disttrict. He plead his cause & stated if 
he were removed he saw nothing else to do but ask a transfer. 
When he retired no one voted for him & he was removed. Seat 
was then put in his stead M Yell having served his 4 years on 
the Springfield Dis. his place became vacant, he was assigned to 
the Waco circuit & Aff. Miss. I was consulted as to my willing- 
ness to take the Springfield Dis. and agreed so to do & was ap- 
pointed. . . . Thrall getting out of the notion of transferring 
was placed on Austin Dis. & J. W. Shipman put on Victoria 

Wednesday 16 Today the appointments were finished late 
in the evening. The winding up was the most difficult part 
many of the previous appointments had to be changed. The 
Mission Com. met after supper, but being limited by an appro- 
priation of only $4000 we had great difficulty in dividing it 
among the needy districts. Finding we were not likely to settle 

THE YEARS 1854r-1857 415 

the matter in the short time alotted us we adjourned & pro- 
ceeded to the church to have the appointments read. Found the 
Conf in session and some of the preachers speaking against time 
until the bishop could come. The bp. made a good talk, an- 
nounced the stations of the preachers & adjourned amid the 
confusion usually attending such occasions. 

Thursday 17 A heavy rain last night left the streets in 
a sad plight this morning. The horses came in early and every- 
thing was astir. My ponys looks like starvation they had been 
to a place scarce of corn, & every thing else. From the com- 
plaints I was not alone in this misfortune. Nothing was to be 
seen in the early part of the day but preachers dressed in trav- 
elling togery and getting ready for a departure home. 


THE YEARS 1858-1859 

THE fourth General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, was held at Nashville, Tenn., 
in May, 1858. The delegates from the conferences in 
Texas were as follows: East Texas Conference C. C. 
Gillespie, J. W. Fields, S. A. Williams, J. B. Tullis, N. 
W. Burkes; reserves, Jefferson Shook, J. T. P. Irvine. 
Texas Conference R. Alexander, J. W. Phillips, J. W. 
Whipple, W. H. Seat, E. W. Kennon, M. Yell, W. C. 
Lewis ; reserves, Daniel Morse, Daniel Carl, Asbury Da- 

Among the important actions of general church inter- 
est taken at this conference was the following resolution, 
adopted by a majority of one hundred and forty-one to 
seven : 

Resolved, By the delegates of the Annual Conferences of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in General Conference as- 
sembled, that the rule forbidding "the buying and selling of 
men, women, and children with an intention to enslave them," 
be expunged from the General Rules of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. 

Resolved, that in adopting the foregoing resolutions, this 
Conference express no opinion in regard to the African slave- 
trade, to which the rule in question has been understood to refer. 

The new publishing house at Nashville, provided for 
and located by the last General Conference, had been 
completed and was in operation. The conference in ses- 
sion at Nashville elected John B. McFerrin as the head 
of this institution. Thomas 0. Summers was elected edi- 


THE YEARS 1858-1859 417 

tor of the Quarterly Review, and Holland N. McTyeire 
was elected editor of the Nashville Christian Advocate. 
There were no bishops elected at the conference of 1858. 

The "Bio Grande Mission Conference" was author- 
ized at this General Conference. Its territory was de- 
nned as "including all that part of the State of Texas 
west of the Texas Conference, including Fredericks- 
burg." The Guadaloupe river was the lower boundary 
line between the conferences; the upper boundary line 
was largely "guessed off," giving all that portion of the 
state west of the 100th meridian to the new conference. 
The division did not become effective until the appoint- 
ments were made in the fall of 1858. 

The East Texas Conference was held at Tyler, No- 
vember 10-16, 1858, Bishop Pierce presiding, John W. 
Fields, secretary. The following were admitted on trial . 
William J. Popham, Sims K. Stovall, William H. Me- 
Phail, Jesse H. Walker, James M. Hall, Alfred B. Man- 
ion, William C. Collins, Charles D. Chandler, William B. 
Hill. The following were re-admitted : Archibald C. Mc- 
Dougald, John W. P. McKenzie, Jesse M. Boyd, Thomas 
W. Eogers, William W. Colder, Alexander E. Dixon, and 
James Graham. 

The Discipline contains a new conference question 
Who are received by transfer from other conferences? 
But in the answer to this question we are left in the dark 
as to where the transfers come from. EzeMel Couch, 
James B. Eabb, Eichard Lane, John Patillo, William T. 
Melugin, William Patillo, E. W. Thompson, and Alfred 
D. Parks were received by transfer at the East Texas 
Conference. From other sources we learn that Melugin 
came from the Tennessee Conference, and that Eabb and 
the Patillos came from the Alabama Conference. In ad- 
dition to the list given, J. E. Carnes transferred from the 
Louisville Conference this year, and was appointed edi- 
tor of the Texas Christian Advocate. 

Two members of this conference had died during the 


year William P. Sansom and Bennett Elkins. 
their brief memoirs we learn the following : 


William P. Sansom was born in Tennessee in March, 1812. 
Married in 1835. Emigrated to Texas in 1837 ; licensed to 
preach in 1842, and in 1846 joined the East Texas Conference, 
of which he remained a useful and zealous member up to the 
time of his death. 

Bennett Elkins was born in March, 1800, in South Carolina. 
Was married to Miss Frances Owen in 1820, and after her 
death was married to Miss Ann Forman, in 1833. Converted 
in his fourteenth year. Served about twenty-five years as a 
local preach. Admitted to the East Texas Conference in 1857, 
and appointed to Shock's Bluff Mission, on which he was serving 
with great acceptability when stricken with his last illness. On 
being asked if he was ready to die he replied, "I have made the 
necessary preparations for that long ago." 

The statistics of the various charges of the conference 
are given at the beginning of this new quadrennium. But 
as formerly they are confined to membership figures 
not a word about church property, finances or other items 
of church progress. 







San Augustine Circuit 





Shelby ville Mission 




Carthage Circuit 






Henderson Station 




Henderson Circuit 






Mount Enterprise 












Melrose . 





Elysian Fields 





Mud Creek Mission 










THE YEARS 1858-1859 








Marshall Station. . . .'. 



Harrison Circuit 




Harrison Colored Mission. . . 



Dangerfield Circuit 



























Mount Pleasant 

















Clarksville Circuit 











Red River Colored Mission.. 
Paris Circuit 





Honey Grove 









Fannin Colored Mission. . . . 
Greenville Circuit 




























Dallas Circuit 






Sherman Mission 




Kaufman Circuit 












Border Mission 




Canton Circuit 




























Palestine Circuit. 






Crockett Circuit 











Rusk Station 



Jacksonville Circuit 






Tyler Circuit 



Tyler Colored Mission 



Sumpter Mission. ... 















THE YEAES 1858-1859 








Woodville Circuit 






Jasper Circuit 




































Shook's Bluff Mission 













Total this year 






Total last year 













The following are the appointments made in 1858, 
from which it will be seen that the Greenville and the 
Rusk districts appear, and a preacher is thrust as far 
west as the "Decatur Mission." The reader will dis- 
cover other new places mounting into the list of appoint- 


San Augustine, William J. Joyce, 
Alexander Hinkle, Sup 'y. 

Milam, Martin Matthews. 

Shelbyville Mission, Henderson D. 

Carthage, William W. Colder. 

Mount Enterprise, Isaac W. Overall. 

Douglass Mission, Isaac Taylor. 

Melrose, Laban B. Hickman. 

Jasper, Solomon T. Bridges. 

Newton, Bufus B. Womack. 

Buena Vista Mission, Alexander W. 


Marshall, Richard Lane 
Harrison and Colored Mission, Wil- 
liam B. Hill, Alfred B. Manion. 
Dangerfield, John Patillo. 
Coffeeville, James B. Eabb. 
Gilmer, James A. Sruggs. 
Linden, Charles L. Hamill. 
Elysian Fields, John C. Woolam. 
Jefferson, John Adams. 
Macedonia, to be supplied. 


Clarksville and McKenzie Institute, 
William T. Melugin. 

Boston and Colored Mission, Thomas 
W. Eogers. 

Savannah and Colored Mission, 
James L. Terry. 

Starksville and Colored Mission, 
James M. Hall. 

Paris, James Graham. 

Paris Circuit, John S. Matthis. 

Honey Grove, Calvin J. Coeke. 

Bonham, Alexander E. Dixon. 

Paris Female Institute, to be sup- 

McKenzie Institute, John W. P. 
MeKenzie, Principal. 


Dallas, Archibald C. McDougal. 
McKinney, Benjamin W. Scrivener. 
Sherman, Ezekiel Couch. 
Gainesville Mission, Andrew Gum- 

Decatur Mission, William E. Bates. 
Denton, William Patillo. 
Eockwall, Jacob M. Binkley. 
Kaufman, Matthew H. Neely. 


Greenville, Jesse M. Boyd. 
Sulphur, Harvey W. Gumming. 
Tarrant Mission, John H. Low. 
Mount Pleasant, Joseph W. H. 


Quitman, to be supplied. 
Canton, Eichard W. Thompson. 
Garden Valley, Lewis C. Grouse. 

JOHN B. Tutus, P. E. 

Palestine, Marshall C. Simpson. 

[ Kickapoo, Acton Young. 

| Anderson Colored Mission, to be 

( supplied. 

Tyler, John W. Field. 
Smith, Milton H. Porter, Sims K, 


Smith Colored Mission, to be sup- 

Jacksonville, Alfred D. Parks, 
Charles L. Chandler. 

Athens, John W. Chalk. 

Henderson, Francis M. Stovall. 

Henderson Circuit, Neil Brown. 

Fowler Institute, Napoleon W. 
Burke, Principal. 

Starrville Female High School, John 
T. Kennedy. Agent for Starr- 
ville Female High School, to be 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 



Busk, Bobert S. Finley. 

Cherokee, Bobert Crawford, S. Box., 

Sumter Mission, Jarvis L. Angell. 

Bandolph Mission, Nathan S. John- 

Marion, Abner Brown. 

Shock's Bluff Mission, Edward P. 


Wopdville, Everett L. Armstrong. 

Livingstone, David M. Stovall. 

Liberty, Harwin M. Moore, J. G. 
Hardin, Supny. 

East Bay Mission, William 0. Col- 

Beaumont Mission, Bichard A. 

Village Creek Mission, William J. 

Madison, William H. McPhail. 

Texas Christian Advocate, J. E. Carnes, editor. 

John N. Hamill transferred to Indian Mission Conference. 

George W. Harrell transferred to Bio Grande Mission Conference. 

Joseph A. West transferred to Western Virginia Conference. 

Jesse H. Walker transferred to Indian Mission Conference. 

William E. George transferred to Texas Conference. 

C. C. Gillespie transferred to Louisiana Conference. 

The Texas Conference was held at Austin, November 
24r-30, 1858, with Bishop Pierce presiding, James W. 
Shipman, secretary. 

The following were admitted on trial: Francis E. 
Wilkinson, Isaac J. Wright, John M. Whipple, John 
Pruenzing, Solomon Fehr, Marcus L. Tunnell, Eghert H. 
Osborne, W. R. D. Stockton, H. G. Horton, Eli Y. Seale, 
August Tampke. Readmitted: John Carpenter, Thomas 
G. Gilmore, Robert H. Belvin, David Coulson. Transfers 
received: Samuel C. Littlepage, Wm. E. George, Jesse 
Boring, John J. Pittman, H. G. Horton, George W. Har- 
well. Littlepage was from the Missouri Conference ; Bor- 
ing and Horton were from the Georgia Conference. In 
the case of Horton we have another instance, according 
to the minutes, of the transfer of a man and of his ad- 
mission on trial into the conference to which he was 
transferred the same year. Perhaps Brother Horton, 
who is still living, can explain this. 

The conference had lost one member by death during 
the year Wm. F. Hubert. He was born in Madison 
County, Miss., September 26, 1826. In 1839 his father, 
the Rev. Robert L. Hubert, a local preacher, removed to 
Texas and settled in Washington County. He gave two 


sons to the traveling ministry within the bounds of the 
Texas Conference. William F. was admitted on trial in 
1849 at Seguin. He served first as junior preacher on 
the Eichmond circuit, then was successively in charge of 
San Jacinto mission, Mill Creek circuit, Eichmond, Wax- 
ahachie, Springfield circuits, and Corpus Christi station. 
In 1857 he was returned to the Springfield circuit, and 
for the year 1858 appointed to the Port Lavacca and In- 
dianola charge, but during the year he fell a victim to 
a terrible scourge of yellow fever. He was stricken while 
out on his circuit, and died at the home of Col. Ben j amen 
F. Hill. In all his ministerial career he deported him- 
self as a man of God, and had the confidence and esteem 
of the people and of his brethren, who deeply mourned 
his untimely death. He was buried near the place of his 
death, in Calhoun County. 

A quadrennial membership report within the Texas 
Conference, by charges and districts, follows : 











Galveston Colored Mission. . 






Cedar Bayou 





Houston and Af. Mission. . . 







Oyster Creek and Af. Miss. . 








San Felipe and Af . Miss .... 
Galveston German Mission. 
Houston German Mission. . . 
Union Chapel 










THE YEARS 1858-1859 





































Columbus African Mission . . 















Egypt and Wharton 





San Bernard 






Matagorda and Trespalacios 
Old Caney African Mission. . 























Cold Spring 




Montgomery and Danville. . 


















Montgomery African Miss . . 






Chapell Hill 





Brazos African Mission 





























Centre ville 


























Trinity African Mission. . . . 





















Waco Ct. and African Miss . 












Port Sullivan African Miss. . 







Georgetown Mission 






Hamilton Mission 






West Yegua Mission 










THE YEARS 1858-1859 








Fort Worth Mission 




Weatherford Mission 





Fort Graham Mission 





Meridian Mission 















Fort Belknap Mission 




















Austin Circuit 










Bastrop Circuit 





Bastrop African Mission .... 
Perry ville 






Cedar Creek 


















Upper Colorado Mission 

















San Antonio 

















Seguin Circuit 






Gonzales. . . . 





Gonzales Circuit 





Helena Mission 





San Marcos 





Gonzales African Mission. . . 
























Port Lavaca and Indianola. . 








Clinton and Guadalupe Afri- 
can Mission 






Corpus Christ! Mission 
Refugio Mission 






Live Oak Mission 



Brownsville Mission. . . 







THE YEARS 1858-1859 








New Braunf els German Miss. 
Victoria German Mission. . . 
Yorktown German Mission. 
Industry German Mission . . 
LaGrange German Mission. 
Bastrop German Mission. . . 
Medina Circuit 















New Fountain German Miss. 






















Total this year 






Total last year 













The appointments made for the Texas Conference, 
and the first list of appointments made for the Eio 
Grande Mission Conference made and announced at the 
same time and place are given below : 



Galveston, Lewis B. Whipple. 

Galveston African Mission, to be 

Cedar Bayou, to be supplied. 

Lynchburg, William Rees. 

Houston and African Mission, Wil- 
liam R. Fayle, B. L. Peel, 

Brazoria and African Mission, Ben- 
jamin D. Dashiell. 

Columbia and African Mission, 
Horatio V. Philpott. 

Sandy Point, Byron 8. Garden. 

Velasco Mission, Valentine H. Hey. 

Richmond, James M'Leod. 

Union Chapel, James E. Ferguson. 

Book Agent of the Texas Confer- 
ence, James W. Shipman. 

Evangelische Apologete, Peter Moel- 
ling, Editor. 


Huntsville, James M. Wesson, Fran- 
cis A. McShan, Sup'y. 

Cold Spring, Hiram G. Carden. 

Montgomery and Danville, Thomas 
B. Buckingham. 

Madisonville, to be supplied. 

Anderson, Hiram M. Glass, C. L. 
Spencer, Sup'y. 

Plantersville, Job M. Baker. 

Montgomery African Mission, to be 

Washington, Urban C. Spencer. 

ChappeU Hill, Benjamin F. Perry. 

Hempstead, one to be supplied, Dan- 
iel Morse, Sup'y. 

Brazos African Mission, William C. 

Andrew Female College, Thomas H. 
Ball, President. 

Soule University, James M. Follans- 
bee, Wm. G. Foote, Professors. 


LaGrange and African Mission, 

Homer S. Thrall. 

Rutersville Circuit, Charles J. Lane. 
Navidad, Quin M. Menif ee. 
Navidad African Mission, to be 


Columbus, Wesley Smith. 
Eagle Lake African Mission, to 

be supplied. 
Brenham, Henry D. Hubert, Thos. 

Wooldridge, Sup'y. 
Union HiU, Adley A. Killough. 
Bellville, David G. Bowers. 
San Felipe and African Mission, 

George D. Parker. 
Sam Bernard and African Mission, 

to be supplied. 

r Egypt and Wharton, William T. 
I Harris. 

1 Old Caney African Mission, to be 
(. supplied. 

Matagorda and Trespalacios Mis- 
sion, Egbert H. Osborne. 


Springfield, Henry W. South. 
Martin, Jackson L. Crabb. 
Owensville, James Rice. 
Centreville, George W. Burrows. 
Navasota, Francis E. Wilkinson. 
Waxahatchie, Thomas Whitworth, 

S. S. Yarborough, Sup'y. 
Corsicana, Drury Wamack. 
Tellico, William F. Compton. 
Bopnville, Joel T. Davis. 
Fairfield, James H. Addison. 
Trinity African Mission, William E. 



[ Waco, Samuel C. Littlepage. 
I Waco African Mission, Mordecai 
1 Yell. 

Bosuqe Mission, William M. Lamb- 

THE YEAES 1858-1859 



Belton, Rufus Y. King. 
Cameron, William G. Nelms. 
San Gabriel Mission, Thomas G. Gil- 

Port Sullivan African Mission, 
Joseph P. Sneed. 

[ Caldwell, John M. Whipjple. 

| Caldwell African Mission, to be 

( supplied. 

Post Oak Island, to be supplied. 
Georgetown, Hiram M. Burrows. 
Florence Mission, John Carpenter. 
Hamilton, Isaac H. Wright. 
American Bible Society, Bobert 
Alexander, Agent. 


Fort Worth, Albert G. May. 
Weatherford Mission, James M. 


Buchanan Mission, William G. Veal. 
Meridian Mission, William L. Kidd. 
Gatesville Mission, John R. White. 
Hillsborough, Walter 8. South, 

Fountain P. Ray, Sup'y. 
Fort Belknap Mission, Pleasant 

Keechi Mission, to be supplied. 


Austin, William H. Seat. 
Austin Circuit, Joshua H. Shap- 


Webberville African Mission, 
David Coulson. 

Bastrop and African Mission, Rob- 
ert T. P. Allen. 

Bastrop Circuit, John W. B. Allen. 

Bastrop Military Institute, Robert 
T. P. Allen, Superintendent, 
John Carmer, Joshua B. Whit- 
tenberg, Professors. 

Cedar Creek Mission, Thomas F. 

( San Marcos, Buckner Harris. 

\ San Marcos African Mission, to 
I be supplied. 

Lockhart, William A. Smith. 

Blanco, Benjamin A. Kemp. 

San Saba Mission, Marcus L. Tun- 

Victoria, Orcenith A. Fisher. 
Lavacea Mission, Gideon W. Cot- 


Indianola Mission, Robert N. Drake, 
f Texana, Allen M. Box. 
l Jackson African Mission, to be 
[ supplied. 

Hallettsville, Daniel Carl. 
Gonzales, James 0. Wilson. 
f Gonzales Circuit, Thomas F. 

Gonzales African Mission, to be 


Seguin, John W. Phillips, and Pres- 
ident of Seguin .Male and Fe- 
male College. 

Seguin Circuit, William P. Reed, 
and Agent of Seguin Male and 
Female College. 

Seguin African Mission, to be 



Galveston German Mission, Solomon 

Houston German Mission, Ulrich 

Industry German Mission, Edward 

Victoria German Mission, John 

Bastrop German Mission, John C. 

Austin German Mission, to be sup- 

Richard W. Thompson, Alfred D. 
Parks, transferred to East Texas 

John C. Kolbee, transferred to 
Pacific Conference. 

IVY H. Cox, P. E. 

San Antonio, Jesse Boring. 
Medina Mission, Geo. W. Harwell. 
Uvalde Mission, H. G. Horton. 
Cibolo, Eli Y. Scale. 
Kerrsville, Oliver B. Adams. 
Mason Mission, to be supplied. 
Pleasanton, Thomas B. Ferguson. 
Eagle Pass Mission, Jasper K. 


BEOWNSVILLE DISTBICT Llano Circuit, to be supplied. 

DAVID W. FLY P. E. ^an Antonio Mission, August 

P * New T poSt'ain Mission, John A. 

Yorkto Mission, Gustavus Elly. 
Bio Grande City & Boma Mission, to 

be supplied. GOLIAD DISTBICT 

Laredo Mission, to be supplied. _ _ _ _ _ 


NTPW RT?ATTTJT'T?TJ fTpm/TATtf Goliad, James W. Cooley. 


Befugio Mission, John S. Gillett. 

JOHN W. DEVILBISS, P. E. Clinton Mission, Preston W. Hobbes. 

New Braunfels, August Engel. Helena Mission, W. B. D. Stockton. 

Fredericksburg Mission, Frederick Sandies Mission, John I. Pittman. 

Vordenbaumen. Oakville Mission, Robert W. Pierce. 

While a large portion of the territory of the Eio 
Grande Conference had already been pioneered, it re- 
mained for the forces of this new conference to more com- 
pletely survey and occupy the ground to. kill out or drive 
out the Indians, and to establish the landmarks for a 
future great conference the West Texas. At least two 
newcomers to this field may properly receive special no- 
tice here Jesse Boring and Hamilton G. Horton as the 
first returned to his native conference after ten years, 
and died there; the second still living and writing his 
historical notes. Dr. Boring (he was both a D.D. and 
an M.D.) had risen to prominence in Georgia Methodism 
before he was sent to California in 1849 as superinten- 
dent of the new Methodist mission there. After a few 
years he returned to Georgia. In the fall of 1858 he and 
Horton, the latter just ready to enter conference, came 
to Texas. Their appointments had already been made, 
Boring to San Antonio and Horton to Uvalde mission. 
The two traveled together by boat and stage over the 
long journey to San Antonio. "Here Dr. Boring and I 
parted company," says Horton. "I mounted a mustang, 
putting on a pair of spurs, buckleing a big six-shooter 
around my waist and starting west for another hundred 
miles. Arriving on my work in December, I found every 
western cabin a fortification and the Comanche Indians 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 433 

raiding the country on nearly every light of the moon. 
. . . Most of the men were then out in pursuit of the 
Indians, who had just raided through the country. Soon 
I was used to everything, and found the people brave 
and hospitable. Sunday following was our appointment 
eight miles down the country on the Sabinal in a log 
school house with dirt floor. At the hour of service every- 
body in the community was there, the men all with rifles 
and six-shooters, they stacking the rifles in one corner 
of the house, but keeping the pistols around their waists, 
for they might be called into play at a moment's notice. 
My dragoon pistol was placed on the wooden stand by 
the side of the Bible. ' ' 

During the following year an Indian raid broke up 
a camp-meeting on this work and resulted in loss of life. 
Says Horton: 

In August we held a camp-meeting on the Sabinal just below 
where the Southern Pacific railroad now crosses that stream (the 
farthest west at that time of any camp-meeting in the State) 
assisted by the presiding elder and one other missionary. In 
the midst of the meeting just at the close of a late night service, 
a scout dashed into camp shouting Indians. ... A large band 
of Indians had passed down within a few miles of the camp- 
meeting and stole a herd of horses six miles below us. Eations 
were prepared quickly, and most of the men were on horseback 
and off like a flash. They followed the Indians for several days, 
recaptured many of the horses and killed several of the raiders. 
The women, children and old men were hustled off at daylight 
to a rock house and forted up. ... In the fall of that year 
(1859) my last appointment before starting for Conference was 
in the school-house where I first preached on the mission. The 
night after services (full light of the moon) the men could 
not sleep, the dogs barked, some of them howled, and now and 
then some one would step to the window with rifle in hand 
and look out. Most of us had tied our ponies near the front 
doors to cedar posts, put there for the purpose to keep them 
from being stolen by Indians. Next morning the Comanches 
were in sight, and after a daylight breakfast old Mr. Bowles and 


myself started out, I mounted and on my way to strike the San 
Antonio road eight miles up the country on my way to Confer- 
ence, and Mr. Bowles afoot with bridle in hand to catch his 
pony, which he supposed was grazing a half mile off behind a 
large dense thicket. We parted just before we reached the 
woods, he to the right and I to the left. ... A half mile be- 
yond the woods I espied a company of men hurriedly driving a 
herd of horses directly toward me. Soon two of them separated 
from the rest and came in a gallop my way. I saw in a, moment 
they were Indians armed with bows and arrows. ... I soon 
distanced them and swept into the upper country. Mr. Bowles 
had entered the skirt of timber, ran into a band of Indians, 
and being old and afoot, he was instantly killed, his body being 
found afterwards. The two straggling Indians rejoined their 
comrades, and the band passed a few miles west of where I 
stopped, killed a man driving a pair of oxen, and then sped to 
the mountains. 

Referring to the upper portion of his mission the 
writer says: "Over those mountains in 1859 Newman 
Patterson, as sheriff, and I as preacher, passed, both 
armed with pistols and rifles, he to collect taxes and I 
to call sinners to repentance. . . Six or seven men were 
killed by the Indians that year in the bounds of my work. 
That year Bishop George F. Pierce passed through my 
work on his way to California. At Uvalde he preached 
for us during a two hours' stay, I loaning him my pistol 
until he could secure one at Fort Clark, when he returned 
it. In the Sabinal Canyon my home was at Mrs. Kinche- 
loe's log castle." Of this noted frontier Methodist woman 
we have the following account : 

Mrs. Kincheloe was a famous hostess and the most devout 
Methodist in that valley. From early childhood she was given 
to prayer and holy living. She was born in Texas in 1838, now 
Montgomery county, and her whole life of nearly eighty years 
was spent on the frontiers. I have just received notice of her 
death, which occurred December 31, 1917. Like all tho pioneer 
settlers of that section, Mrs. Kincheloe endured privations and 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 435 

hardships and in constant danger from the Indians. During 
the early part of the Confederate "War, when her four elder 
children were quite small, Mr. Kincheloe left his family at home 
in company with a neighbor, Mrs. Bolen and two children, while 
he went to mill. During the several hours of his absence a band 
of Indians came to his home. The two frightened women hid 
the children the best they could and Mrs. Kincheloe made a 
brave demonstration with a rifle. The Indians attacked them, 
killing Mrs. Bolen and leaving Mrs. Kincheloe bleeding from 
fourteen arrow wounds and supposedly dead. After robbing 
the house and stealing the stock the Indians hurriedly departed. 
The two Bolen children escaped to the brush and made their 
way to a neighbor's, who summoned aid and went to the rescue. 
Mrs. Kincheloe recovered and died fifty-five years afterward. 

Despite the terror of the Eed Man this outpost mis- 
sion of Texas reported forty-four members and twenty- 
nine received on probation in 1859. 

At San Antonio the noteworthy feature of Dr. Bor- 
ing's work was the founding of the San Antonio Female 
College. This began as a small school taught in the base- 
ment of the church. Dr. Boring induced Mrs. Jane T. 
H. Cross, a brilliant literary woman, and her husband, 
Dr. Joseph Cross, to come out from Tennessee and take 
charge of the work. The plan contemplated the founding 
of two schools a female school to cost $30,000, and a 
male school of like cost. The first $30,000 was raised in 
San Antonio, and it was expected to raise the remainder 
in the States, but the threats of war suspended the en- 

We have had mention of Bishop Pierce's overland 
journey to California in 1859. The stage road from San 
Antonio through Uvalde and El Paso was laid out by 
United States army engineers in 1849 under Col. Joseph 
E. Johnston, and Jose Policarpo Eodriguez, afterwards 
a famous Mexican Methodist preacher, was one of the 
guides. Bishop Pierce tells us that he found the road a 
well-defined, beaten highway, "worn smooth and seem- 


ingly as much used as though it led to a commercial city 
close at hand. The explanation is found in the fact of the 
trade from New Mexico, Chihuahua, and Sonora to San 
Antonio; the passage of government trains between the 
forts, and the heavy emigration along the southern route 
to California. ... At this place (Uvalde)" he says, "I 
met Brother Horton, a young man whom I transferred 
from Georgia last Conference, and appointed to this out- 
side circuit. I found him in fine health, pleased with 
his work ; he is loved by the people, and likely to report a 
well-organized circuit at his Conference this fall. I 
preached for him at night in the Court-house, and on 
coming out he told me that in all my wanderings I had 
preached at last on the outskirts of civilization. From 
this point to Fort Clark is fifty miles, and I think there 
are only two settlements one at Turkeyville, twenty 
miles distant, and the other at Alum Springs, still twenty 
miles further. The last settler I found to be a Methodist, 
holding on to his religion and waiting for the Gospel. I 
promised to embrace him and his family in the circuit 
next year." 

The brethren assembled for the first session of the 
Eio Grande Conference at Goliad on November 9, 1859. 
Bishop Pierce had engaged to return from California and 
hold all the Texas conferences again that year. But he 
had not arrived at Goliad, and Dr. Jesse Boring was 
elected president, and John "W. DeVilbiss was elected sec- 
retary. The business proceeded, and on the last day of 
the session the bishop hove in sight, more dead than 
alive. The bishop relates that he had arrived in San 
Antonio late, and sick from his interminable hardships 
and exposure. "I left at midnight, in another 'norther,' 
being the third I had faced on the trip, ' ' he writes. l ' The 
driver, to protect himself, got down into the boot under 
his seat, and trusting to the mules to keep the road, went 
to sleep. By and by, finding the motion of the stage very 
peculiar, and hearing the wheels crashing along among 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 437 

the bushes, I called out to know what was the matter. 
There were three of us all buttoned up inside, and by a 
united effort we at last waked up our driver, and found 
ourselves nobody knew where. "We were lost. The team 
had left the road, but whether they had gone to the right 
or the left, backward or forward, nobody could tell. We 
were in a fix, and no mistake. After all, I was to be 
disappointed in reaching the Conference. I had perilled 
life, endured more than I shall ever tell, to get there 
before adjournment, and now to be so utterly defeated by 
a sleepy-headed coachman it was too bad. . . . That 
night was one to be marked. We were freezing, and could 
not stand still. So we journeyed north, east, west and 
south, around and across and about. Just before day 
we reached a creek, with steep, sandy, broken banks, 
which we must cross. My fellow-passengers gat out to 
walk. Too sick to stand, much less to climb, I sat still, 
but soon found that to turn over was inevitable. I got 
out and left the driver to his doom. Presently here he 
came, sailing in the air, and the mules and the stage after 
him, over and over such a pile. This was the consum- 
mation of trouble. We helped to set up the stage and 
left the driver to get the mules out of the creek as best 
he could, while we returned a little way to a house we had 
seen in search of fire. Finally all was ready, and we 
reached Goliad the following night. I was present at 
one session of the Conference." 

The Eio Grande Conference received Thomas F. 
Kainey, James M. Stringfield, Thomas Myers, and John 
J. F. Brunow on trial, and received Joseph Cross and 
John J. F. Brunow by transfer so the minutes state. 
The membership statistics showed a total of 1257 white 
members, 377 probationers, 138 colored members, with 
58 probationers, and 23 local preachers. Of this total 
the Brownsville district had 8 members and 1 probationer, 
perhaps the smallest membership of any district in the 
entire Church. 


The Texas Conference for 1859 was held at Lagrange, 
November 16-23, Bishop Pierce president, J. W. Shipman 
secretary. The following were received on trial : Edwin 
P. Angel, Thomas W. Blake, Wm. C. Campbell, Peter W. 
Gravis, George W. Fleming, Alexander A. Smithwick. 
The following were received by transfer: Preston Phil- 
lips, John S. McGee, William Shegog. Jesse Hord, a 
superannuate, and Alexander A. Smithwick transferred 
to the Rio Grande Conference. 

The East Texas Conference was held at Palestine, 
November 30-December 6, 1859, Bishop Pierce in charge, 
J. W. Fields secretary. The following were admitted 
on trial : William K. Hasten, John R. Cox, Frederick C. 
Dowdy, William P. Petty, Samuel 0. Kaempfer. Wm. 
H. Hughes, William G. Williams, and Jedidah B. Lan- 
dreth were readmitted, and William Witcher, Thomas B. 
Ruble, William H. Gilliam, and Valerious C. Canon were 
received by transfer. Milton H. Porter was transferred 
to the Texas Conference, and Thomas B. Ruble to the 
Pacific Conference. 

During the session of the conference at Palestine the 
Rev. Hugh B. Hamilton, a member of the conference, and 
presiding elder of the Clarksville district, died. He was 
born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, November 18, 
1818, but was brought up in Jackson County, Alabama. 
He was converted and joined the Church in his sixteenth 
year. During the following year he joined a company 
of volunteers and engaged in an Indian war in Florida. 
During this campaign he backslid, and was not fully re- 
stored until 1843. In that year he was licensed to exhort 
in Arkansas. He was licensed to preach in 1844, and given 
an appointment in Little Rock. In 1846 he was married to 
a Miss Roberts, and removed to Texas. In 1849 he en- 
tered the East Texas Conference, of which he remained 
an active member until his death. During the winter of 
1854 he lost his wife, and in 1855 he was again married, 
to Miss Cynthia Brinley. During the years 1857-58 he 

THE YEARS 1858-1859 439 

was Tract Agent in the East Texas Conference. At the 
conference of 1858 he was appointed presiding elder of 
the Clarksville district, which office he filled with much 
acceptability and success. A few weeks before the close 
of his year's work he was taken down with typhoid fever. 
He lingered until the 5th of December the day before 
his conference closed when he fell asleep. Frequently 
during his closing days he imagined that some of his 
brethren returning from conference entered his room, 
and rousing up he asked again and again, "Where is my 
appointment 1 ?" But, in the words of his memoir, he had 
received an appointment, "but not to labor in this world 
of sin and sorrow, but among the blood-washed around 
the throne. " Dr. John H. McLean records that he re- 
ceived his license to preach from Hugh B. Hamilton at 
a quarterly conference on Clarksville circuit in 1859, and 
that a daughter of H. B. Hamilton, Miss Dona Hamilton, 
he later received into the Church and that she became a 
missionary to China. 



WE have not before had occasion to note the presence 
in Texas of the Methodist Episcopal Church, or, as it 
came to be called in the South after the division, the 
Northern Methodist Church. But during the years just 
preceding the outbreak of the War between the States 
the northern body had gradually extended its activities 
in the southwest, in the slave states of Missouri, Arkan- 
sas and Texas. Due to the pronounced antagonism of 
the Northern Church against slavery, the presence of 
their preachers in slave territory was a constant source 
of irritation, and gave rise to some very unfortunate 

By the Plan of Separation agreed upon in 1844, when 
the original Methodist Episcopal Church was divided, 
the conferences, societies and stations along the border 
between the North and South were given the option of 
choosing the Church to which they would adhere. In 
accordance with this plan the Missouri Conference at its 
session of 1845 voted upon the matter, and a majority of 
its members voting for the Church, South, placed that 
conference under the jurisdiction of the Southern Church. 
But a few of the conference members refused to submit 
to the decision; some removed into northern territory 
and reunited with northern conferences; others remain- 
ing in the territory of their former ministrations, con- 
tinued to preach independently as ministers of the 
"Methodist Episcopal Church." Among these last was 
Anthony Bewley, formerly of the Holston Conference in 



Tennessee, but who had removed into Missouri and united 
with the Missouri Conference. "Mr. Bewley utterly re- 
fused to unite with the Southern Church," we are told, 1 
"and labored in Southwestern Missouri from 1845 to 
1848, working with his own hands for support, and 
preaching to those who remained in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church as he had opportunity. Several of our 
preachers labored with him as best they could." There 
were four or five preachers in Missouri and three in 
Arkansas who thus continued their relations to the 
Northern Church. These came together from time to 
time and appointed themselves to various portions of the 
territory, with Bewley as presiding elder, until the Gen- 
eral Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
1848, when the Missouri Conference of that Church was 
organized, to include Missouri and Arkansas. Four years 
later, or in 1852, the Arkansas Conference of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church was formed, and presently we find 
a preacher or two in connection with that conference ap- 
pointed to Texas points. In 1855 Mr. Bewley was placed 
m charge of the "Texas Mission District," and he re- 
moved from Missouri to Texas, first locating in Johnson 
County, but later removed to Millwood, Collin County. 
The same year B. M. Scrivner was appointed to Bonham 
mission, but soon thereafter withdrew and joined the 
Church, South. Mr. Bewley continued to be the chief 
minister and representative of the Northern Church in 
Texas until 1859, residing at different times in Johnson 
and Collin counties, "holding prayer meetings, etc., but 
finding it impossible to do little besides." 

In the meantime both the Church and secular press, 
North and South, was filled with controversy over the 
slavery question, and everywhere along the border ex- 

1 "A History of the M. E. Church in the South- West," by Eev. Charlea 
Elliott, from which much of the material for this chapter is taken. The 
author's work is not a "history," however, so much as it is a venomous 
indictment of the South in general and the M. E. Church, South, in par- 


cited feelings were beginning to flare up and express 
themselves in mobs and raids which presaged the coming 
storm. On the 4th of March, 1859, a citizen's meeting 
was held at Millwood, Collin County, at which a protest 
was issued against the abolition sentiments of the North- 
ern Methodists, and a committee was appointed to attend 
the meetings of that church to ascertain the facts. The 
proceedings of the Millwood meeting were published in 
the Bonham Independent, which commented editorially 
as follows : " We kindly warn these people (the Northern 
Methodists) to beware lest, in an hour when they least 
expect it, they will be visited by citizens entertaining 
adverse sentiments." On Friday, March 11, 1859, the 
Arkansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
convened at Timber Creek, near Bonham, Fannin County, 
with Bishop JaneS presiding. During the opening ses- 
sion, we are told by our northern historian, "two 
preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
Messrs. Dickson and Porter, attended as observers, spies, 
or reporters, which of these we say not." On Saturday 
it appears that a minister in sympathy with the Northern 
Church indulged in some inflammatory remarks upon the 
streets of Bonham, denouncing slavery, and announcing 
it as the intention of the Methodist Episcopal Church to 
extirpate that institution. On the same day a mass-meet- 
ing was held in Bonham, at which resolutions were 
adopted and a committee appointed to convey the senti- 
ments of the meeting to the conference in session at 
Timber Creek. What ensued may be told by the two 
leading actors in the events of the following day. Says 
Bishop Janes : 2 

The Arkansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
met at Timber Creek, Fannin county, Texas, on the llth day 

2 Extracted from a lengthy article in the Bonham Weekly Era, this 
and a subsequent article, being a reply, appearing in an article, "The 
Disturbance in Texas," by Eev. E. L. Shettles, in Texas Methodist His- 
torical Quarterly, January, 1911. 


of last March. The Conference proceeded with its business 
pleasantly until Saturday evening, at which time the conference, 
being small, had so nearly finished its work that we might have 
adjourned, sine die, without inconvenience. But the brethren 
felt that it would be pleasant to retain their conference associa- 
tion over the Sabbath, and therefore adjourned to meet at six 
o'clock on Monday morning. This early hour was fixed upon 
because the brethren, most of whom came on horseback, desired 
to make a full day's ride on their return journey. I had also 
engaged a conveyance to take me to Sherman, about 30 miles, 
where I desired to take the Overland mail stage on Tuesday 
on my way to New York. Soon after I reached my lodgings 
some brethren came in and informed me that a public meeting 
had been held in the court house at Bonham, about three miles 
from the seat of the conference ; that inflammatory speeches had 
been made; that great excitement had been created, and that 
they were coming the next day to drive us off, etc. I advised 
them to be careful not to give any just cause for offense, and 
prayerfully await the hour, and religiously meet its responsi- 
bilities. ... A social meeting had been appointed for nine 
o'clock on Sunday morning. The sacrament of the Lord's Sup- 
per was to be administered as a part of the service. It was 
announced that I would preach at eleven o'clock, and at the 
close of the service ordain deacons. Only one person had been 
elected to elder's orders, and he had been ordained on Friday. 
At the appointed hour all the ministers, and most of the mem- 
bers, in the place were present, and united in the exercises of 
the social meeting. A very devotional spirit was manifest. Near 
the close of the service the sacrament of the Lord's supper was 
administered, and the members of other churches present gen- 
erally partook of it. At eleven o'clock I commenced the more 
public services. The house was not full, though, for the place, 
the audience was good in point of numbers. . . . While reading 
the Scripture lesson, I accidentally lifted up my eyes in the 
direction of the window, and saw the mob approaching the 
church. They were mounted on horseback, and marching with 
considerable regularity, as I judged from the momentary side- 
glance I had of them, in platoons of from three to five. The 
Bonham paper states their number to have been about two 
hundred. I think most of them were armed. The revolvers and 


bowie knives of some of them were exposed. During prayer they 
gathered around the church. While singing the second hymn, 
as many as could crowded into the church. At the close of the 
singing I commenced giving out my text. At the same time 
their "spokesman," as he termed himself, standing about half 
way up the aisle, said, "Do I address the Bishop?" I made no 
reply, but continued giving out my text. He repeated, "Do I 
address the Bishop?" I then replied, "I am a Bishop of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church." He then said, "I have an un- 
pleasant duty to perform, and I presume it will be equally un- 
pleasant to you." He then described the meeting at Bonham 
the previous day, when, looking around upon his associates, and 
pointing me to them, he said, "This large and respectable com- 
mittee was appointed to wait upon you and the conference, and 
to make known to you the determination of the meeting." He 
then called upon one of his company to read to us the resolutions 
adopted by the meeting. (These were as follows:) 

Whereas, as a secret foe lurks in our midst, known as the 
Northern Methodist church, entertaining sentiments antagonistic 
to the institution of slavery, and the manifest intention of these 
Northern coadjutors is to do away with slavery in these United 
States; and 

Whereas, the further growth of this enemy would be likely 
to endanger the perpetuity of that institution in Texas ; and 

Whereas, sentiment diametrically opposed to the interests 
of the South have this day been proclaimed upon our streets by 
a minister of said Northern Methodist church ; therefore, 

Be it Resolved, that the Methodist church has separated into 
divisions, North and South, the organization of a Northern 
branch of that Church in our State as a screen behind which the 
emissaries of a Northern political faction known as abolitionists 
is dangerous to our interests, and ought not, therefore, to be 
tolerated by the people of Texas. 

2. That the public denunciation of the institution of slavery, 
and the public action, by a minister of their church, to the effect 
that the Northern Methodists designed the extirpation of the 
institution in our land, heard in our streets this day, was a 
gross insult to our people, and should be boldly and summarily 


3. That the teaching and preaching of the ministers of that 
Church do not meet the views of the people of Fannin county, 
and must therefore be stopped. 

4. That a committee be appointed to memorialize the Legis- 
lature to pass laws to punish the utterance of such seditious 
sentiments as are mentioned in resolution second, and that other 
counties be earnestly called on to consider the matter. 

5. That a suitable committee be appointed to wait on the 
bishop and ministers now in Conference assembled, on Timber 
Creek, in this county, and warn them to withhold the further 
prosecution of said Conference, as its continuance will be well 
calculated to endanger the peace of this community. 

6. That our motto be, Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we 

7. That we hereby bind ourselves to cooperate in the future 
to do all we can to suppress abolitionism in our midst, and that 
henceforth we will suffer no public expression of abolition doc- 
trines or sentiments in our streets or county to go unpunished. 

When the reading was ended he resumed his remarks. . . . 
They knew their rights and would have them ; peaceably if they 
could, forcibly if they must. That as the law could only reach 
us when overt acts were committed, they could not obtain legal 
redress. They were therefore, under the necessity of adopting 
this present mode of procedure in order to rid themselves of 
what they consider a dangerous organization in their midst. He 
begged me not to suppose that the move was a trifling or unim- 
portant one. He assured me that nine-tenths of all the respect- 
able men in the county were engaged in it; that they were de- 
termined to carry it out; and he forewarned me, that if their 
demand was not granted if we did not cease to prosecute our 
church organization among them blood would be spilt, and 
the responsibility would be on us. They would have no discus- 
sion. They demanded a categorical answer, yea or nay. They 
would give us two hours to determine what answer we would 
give. Then taking out his watch he said, "It is now half past 
eleven; in two hours we demand your answer, yea or nay" and 
began to turn to leave. The speaker was excited, and his manner 
was vehement. The language and delivery of the address was 
inflammatory. As he began to withdraw I asked him his name. 
He stopped and replied, "My name is Eoberts." 


The bishop relates that some discussion then fol- 
lowed ; that he replied that he had no authority to answer 
as to the demands made ; that the conference was not in 
session, and would not meet again until the following 
day. The spokesman of the company then reiterated the 
demands for an answer, and the party withdrew to a 
distance away from the church. The bishop continues: 

I then re-announced my text, preached and performed the 
ordination service, and dismissed the congregation. When the 
audience had retired the ministers and a few laymen had an 
informal conference. . . . The matter had been sprung upon 
them so very suddenly they knew not how very generally the 
public sympathized with the mob, or what might be the effect 
of an answer upon the laity of the church, some of whom were 
men of families, and could not be forced away without great 
suffering. They finally concluded to say this much: "We will 
consult our quarterly conference on the subject, and, until we 
can do so, we will refrain from preaching here." Two of this 
number were requested to go out and make this statement to 
them. They did so, and though the answer was not "categori- 
cal," yet, after some debate among themselves, they dispersed. 
Monday morning the conference met pursuant to adjournment, 
deliberately finished up its business, enjoyed together a season 
of devotion, the appointments were read, and the final adjourn- 
ment had. 

Eeference is then made to two subsequent mass-meet- 
ings of the citizens at Bonham one on Monday and the 
other on Saturday following the conference at Timber 
Creek, and the bishop concludes his article as follows : 

The question has been repeatedly asked : Had the Methodist 
Episcopal church, South, any agency in getting up this move- 
ment? In my judgment leading members of that church were 
the principal instigators. A local minister of that church was 
present and actively concerned in the proceedings of the meet- 
ing on Saturday. The leader and spokesman of the mob on 
Sunday said in his speech, "We are of the church, South," by 
which I understood him to mean, at least, that he was a member 


of that church. In the meeting on Monday another local min- 
ister of that church was present and made a speech. I do not 
think that all the members of that church were parties to the 
outrage, or sympathized with those concerned in it. The preacher 
in charge of the Bonham church, South, met me at Sherman, 
treated me with fraternal courtesy, invited me to his house, 
attended most of the sessions of the conference, partook of the 
sacrament with us on Sunday morning, and was seated by me 
when the mob interrupted our worship. I am unwilling to 
believe him guilty of such duplicity as would allow him to be 
secretly concerned in the transaction of the mob. Neither do 
I think the church, South, in general, should be held responsible 
for this wanton violation of law and the most inalienable rights 
of men, only so far as they endorse them. 

To the foregoing account, and to several newspaper 
articles which had appeared in the North on the subject 
of the Timber Creek incident, Judge Samuel A. Eob- 
erts replied in a lengthy article in the St. Louis Christian 
Advocate of September 8, 1859, from which the following 
is taken : 

Some time in March, 1859, I first heard that the M. E. 
Church, North, were to hold a conference at a small school house, 
about three miles from Bonham, on Timber Creek. ... I gave 
the matter no second thought, and probably never should, but 
for an occurrence which took place in Bonham on Saturday of the 
Conference week. As I was going from my residence to my 
office, about the middle of the afternoon of that day, I heard 
the town bell ringing for so long a period that I knew something 
unusual had happened. On reaching the public square I observed 
a great many persons going to the court house. I went into 
my office to transact some business, when several gentlemen of 
my acquaintance stepped in after me and informed me that the 
whole town had been thrown into the most intense state of 
excitement by the public declaration, in the presence of many 
gentlemen, of a man who had declared himself to be a preacher 
of the M. E. Church, North, that he and his church heartily 
endorsed the sentiments of some of the Northern Conferences, 


(Maine, I think), which had been read to him by a gentleman 
present, to the effect that they regarded slavery as a great evil, 
and that it was the duty of every one, especially the preachers 
of that church, fearlessly to teach and preach that doctrine, 
and to do all in their power to extirpate it. This was certainly 
sufficiently alarming to put every one on the alert, and to call 
instantly for investigation. On looking around, I found that 
at least nine-tenths of the people of our town, and those 
of the country on a visit of whom there was a considerable 
number, it being Saturday were present. The mayor pre- 
sided and explained the object of the meeting. I then asked 
that some one, who heard the remarks of the preacher alluded 
to, would arise and make an accurate statement of what he did 
say. This request was responded to by a gentleman present, 
and corroborated by many who heard the conversation on the 
streets, and contradicted by no one. The preacher alluded to 
came in about this time and took his seat and heard all that was 
said. I will not attempt to give even a synopsis of the speeches 
that were then made. 

We are then told that numerous resolutions were 
offered ; that a committee was apointed to pass upon and 
report resolutions; that "in the course of a few hours " 
the committee made their report, and resolutions were 
adopted, and that a committee was appointed to present 
these resolutions to the Methodist Conference. The 
writer continues: 

And here is the birth of the "mob," whose acts have exer- 
cised so many pens and caused such an uplifting of hands by 
many who know nothing about it. The Committee was ap- 
pointed, our best citizens were placed on it all noted for their 
integrity and moderation. The number I never exactly knew. 
The committee met the next morning about nine o'clock in the 
public square. It was determined that we should proceed as 
we were some on horseback, but most in carriages to the 
place of holding the convention; that in the event we found 
them at worship, we would not interrupt them, but wait until 
they had concluded, and then I alone should act as the mouth- 


piece of the committee. It is my belief that not a single man 
was armed who went on the committee. I was not, I saw none 
who were, and I feel confident no one armed for the express 
purpose; but every one knows that on a frontier country like 
this, arms were frequently worn, and there might have been a 
few on the ground in their every-day garb. The committee cer- 
tainly had no fear. They intended to deport themselves quietly 
and peaceably, and, of course, had no apprehension of violence 
from the handful of well martyrs on ' ' Timber. ' ' They, there- 
fore, had no use for arms. Well, accoutered as we were, we 
approached the meeting house riding and driving without the 
least pretense to order. . . . There was nothing bearing the 
least appearance of "platoons," or "regular" file or officers in 
command, or order, even . . . Arriving at the meeting house 
the congregation were singing the first hymn. As had been 
agreed we retired to a little distance to wait until the sermon 
was over. We had not been long in this situation until we 
were informed that the conference, having heard of our meet- 
ing in town, and of the resolutions passed, had concluded all 
of their business the night previous, and had resolved to disperse 
,as soon as the Bishop had finished his sermon, and thus balk us 
in our design. That, if true, and we had no means then of deter- 
mining, would have left us, as was designed, in an awkward 
predicament; and it was at once determined that we should go 
into the house, and, at the conclusion of the last hymn, discharge 
our office. We did so. I walked foremost. The hymn was about 
half through. Not a word was said. No disorder, not even 
the singing interrupted for a moment. I took my position in 
front of the Bishop, and as the church was crowded, remained 
standing. The Bishop himself handed me a chair, (strange 
courtesy to the leader of a "mob"). At the conclusion of the 
hymn I said, "Do I address Bishop Janes?" He answered the 
first inquiry, and did not wait for the second, as he asserts, 
but answered promptly the first inquiry, "I am the Bishop." 
I then said that I had a " disagreable, even a painful, task to 
perform," stating briefly the cause which led to a meeting of 
the citizens of Fannin, the resolutions adopted by them which 
were read by Mr. Delisle to the Bishop and demanded a ' ' cate- 
gorical" answer to our resolutions requiring the ministers of his 
church henceforth to cease their ministerial functions in our 


county. I said, ""We are here now in peace; it will depend 
upon your action whether we shall have to come again in a 
different attitude." I begged him not to allow himself to be 
cheated into the belief that this was the movement of a few 
idle and dissolute malcontents, but assured him that the wealth, 
the talent, and the best elements of our society were in it, with 
a unanimity unprecedented. I also alluded to the immediate 
cause of the meeting, viz: the declaration of one of their 
preachers on our streets the day previous, particularly men- 
tioned before, and concluded by alluding to what has always 
been inexplicable to me, but upon one hypothesis. The Northern 
and the Southern Methodist churches differ in nothing except 
on the slavery question. We know the position of the Northern 
church on the subject. No one living at the South need adhere 
to the Northern branch, then, upon conscientious scruples, save 
on the one point alone, there being no difference. He must be 
conscientiously opposed to the institution of slavery, or an imbe- 
cile, to persist in his adherence to the North while living at the 
South. He must mean to teach the "eradication," or, in other 
words, the abolition, of slavery, and, therefore, a church claim- 
ing such privileges could not, and would not, be tolerated among 
us ; that we were not disposed to sit quietly by until they had lo- 
cated themselves firmly in our midst, when it would be too late 
to help ourselves; that we thought we knew our rights, and 
intended to maintain them, etc., etc., and closed by saying that 
we could have no discussion, and expected a categorical answer 
in two hours time. . . . He then observed in substance that 
he was taken by surprise; that he had no suspicion that the 
conference would not be well received here; that four years 
ago (I think) a similar conference had been held on the same 
spot, and that no objection had ever been heard to its sessions ; 
that he had no authority to answer our demands, and was going 
on with further objections when I interrupted him, and said 
that we understood his position; more had already been said 
than was intended, and that we could no longer parley, but 
would expect their answer at the stated period. I was in the act 
of going when the Bishop again addressed me and asked if he 
would be "permitted" to go on with the service of the hour. I 
replied that" we came not for the purpose of interrupting them 
at worship, and that they were at liberty, as far as we were 


concerned, to consume the two hours as they pleased in worship 
or in deliberation and left the room. 

The Judge then argues at some length the question 
of " constitutional privileges," in answer to Bishop 
Janes 's reference to that subject, and replies to the 
Bishop's use of the term "mob," and in reply to the 
Bishop's expressed opinion that the movement was insti- 
gated chiefly by members of the Church, South, Judge 
Roberts says : 

The accidental circumstance that two or three members of 
the committee were of that church would no more prove it a 
Methodist church movement than the presence of Baptists or 
Presbyterians would prove it a Baptist or Presbyterian move- 
ment, for there were fully as many members of the two latter 
churches as of the former on the committee. It was the move- 
ment of no church, of no party, but the unpremeditated upris- 
ing of the people for the protection of their rights, their firesides 
and their homes. 

The "Texas Mob," as one can readily believe, became 
a subject of endless comment in the Church press, par- 
ticularly in the North, the most of it of scorching denunci- 
ation; while the few references to it in the Southern 
Church papers were either mildly deprecatory or openly 
defensive. A single extract from each "side" will suf- 
fice. Says Dr. Elliott, editor of the Central Christian 
Advocate: "In none but slave states is it necessary to 
resort to violence, rob the mail, interfere with assemblies 
worshiping God, etc., in order to guard securely their in- 
stitutions. But freedom of speech, of the press, or of 
worship cannot exist alongside of slavery. Everything 
inconsistent with the interests of slaveholders must be 
suppressed at once and at any cost. The Church itself 
is a chattel, and its ministers must be dumb unless they 
choose to speak as their masters dictate." Says the 
Texas Christian Advocate: "We hope the meeting will 


insure the end designed, in a manner at once thorough 
and immediate. Thorough, because, however fondly the 
Northern Church may cherish the delusion that it is her 
mission to extirpate slavery in the South, there can be 
nothing better for her and for us than that she should, if 
possible, be at once radically cured of this benevolent 
folly ; immediate because it is evident that the citizens of 
Fannin County, and all other Southern people similarly 
beset and outraged by this pestilent overplus of Northern 
ingenuity or fanaticism, do not desire to be troubled with 
taking measures to rid themselves of it further than to 
give a plain intimation that its absence is desirable. This 
should be enough, and we hope the Northern missionaries 
will not force any additional action upon the Southern 
people. . . . They should not stand upon the order of 
their going, but go at once. Let them shake off the dust 
of their feet if they choose, and consign us to any fate 
which their nutmeg genius may deem pungent enough 
for our iniquities." 

The Northern Methodists did not withdraw their 
preachers from Texas, as demanded by the " committee" 
at Timber Creek, but at least two ministers of that 
Church continued to reside in the state, and to some ex- 
tent exercise their ministerial office. It came to be 
charged that the Church authorities had evaded the issue, 
and that they had intended to do so, and that it was their 
purpose to continue to introduce " abolitionism" into 
slave territory behind the screen of public worship. Pub- 
tic feeling came to be more and more excited, and excit- 
able, as the public press reported a continued succession 
of incidents, speeches and resolutions occurring through- 
out the country. In 1860 rumors were rife in Texas of 
the presence of secret abolition plots and incendiarism. 
The Texas State Legislature enacted a law practically 
legalizing mob measures for putting down or punishing 
acts or words inciting to incendiarism or abolitionism. 

The Rev. Anthony Bewley resided in Johnson County, 


below Fort Worth, from 1858 to about February, 1860. 
At the conference of which he was a member, held in 
Franklin County, Arkansas, in the spring of 1860, Bewley 
was consulted by Bishop Ames as to the situation in 
Texas, and as to his willingness to return. Bewley re- 
plied that it was not likely that he could do any good, and 
gave his reasons, but said that "there were large Ger- 
man settlements on the Nueces, west of the Colorado, 
who wanted our preaching." After some discussion of 
the matter Bewley and Willett were appointed to the 
Nueces field, with missionary appropriations for the sup- 
port of their families, Bewley being appointed superin- 
tendent of the mission. After spending some time visit- 
ing in Missouri, Bewley returned to Texas, bringing his 
family and some other relatives with him. Whether he 
reached the exact field of labor assigned him we are not 
informed, but his stay in Texas was cut short this time 
by an untoward incident which put a sure-enough mob 
upon his track. A letter addressed to Bewley, and sup- 
posedly committed to a private messenger to be deliv- 
ered, came to light early in September, 1860, the contents 
of which will explain some subsequent events. The let- 
ter was as follows : 

Denton Creek, July 3, 1860 

Dear Sir, A painful abscess in my right thumb is my 
apology for not writing to you from Anderson. Our glorious 
cause is prospering finely as far south as Brenham. There I 
parted with brother Wampler; he went still further south; he 
will do good wherever he goes. I travelled up through the 
frontier counties a part of the time under a fictitious name. I 
found many friends who had been initiated, and understood the 
mystic red. I met a number of our friends near Georgetown. 
We had a consultation, and were unanimously of the opinion 
that we should be cautious of our new associates; most of them 
are desperate characters, and may betray us, as there are some 
slaveholders among them, and they value the poor negro much 
higher than horses. The only good they will do us will be 


destroying towns, mills, etc., which is our only hope in Texas 
at present. If we can break Southern merchants and millers, 
and have their places filled by honest Republicans, Texas will 
be all easy prey, if we only do our duty. All wanted for the 
time being is control of trade. Trade, assisted by preaching 
and teaching, will soon control public opinion. Public opinion 
is mighty and will prevail. Lincoln will certainly be elected; 
we will then have the Indian nation, cost what it will. Squatter 
sovereignty will prevail there as it has in Kansas. That ac- 
complished we have at least one more step to take, but one more 
struggle to make; that is, free Texas. We will then have a 
connected link from the Lakes to the Gulf. Slavery will then 
be surrounded, by land and by water, and will soon sting itself 
to death. I repeat, Texas we must have, and our only chance 
is to break up the present inhabitants, in whatever way we can 
and it must be done. Some of us will most assuredly suffer in 
accomplishing our object, but our Heavenly Father will reward 
us in assisting him in blotting out the greatest curse on earth. 
It would be impossible for us to do an act that is as blasphemous 
in the sight of God as holding slaves. We must have frequent 
consultations with our colored friends. (Let our meetings be 
in the night.) Impress upon their clouded intellects the bless- 
ings of freedom ; induce all to leave you can. Our arrangements 
for their accommodation to go North are better than they have 
been, but not as good as I would like. 

We need more agents, both local and travelling. I will send 
out travelling agents when I get home. We must appoint a 
local agent in every neighborhood in your district. I will recom- 
mend a few I know it will do to rely upon; namely, brothers 
Leake, Wood, Evans, Mr. Daniel Viery, Cole, Nugent, Shaw, 
White, Gilford, Ashley, Drake Meek Shultz and Newman. 
Brother Leake the bearer of this, will take a circuitous route, 
and see as many of our colored friends as he can ; he also recom- 
mends a different material to be used about town, etc. Our 
friends sent a very inferior article they emit too much smoke, 
and do not contain enough camphene. They are calculated to 
get some of our friends hurt. I will send a supply when I get 

I will have to reprove you and your co-workers for your 
negligence in sending funds for our agents. But few have been 


compensated for their trouble. Our faithful correspondent, 
brother Webber, has received but a trifle not so much as ap- 
prentice's wages; neither have brother Willett, Mangum and 
others. You must call upon our colored friends for more money. 
They must not expect us to do all ; they certainly will give every 
cent if they knew how soon their shackles will be broken. My 
hand is very painful, and I close. 

Yours truly, 


The author of "Methodism in the Southwest" treats 
this letter as a forgery, and calls it a stratagem to lead 
to Bewley's undoing and says that the existence of such 
a person as W. H. Bailey was doubtful; but the letter 
was everywhere accepted in Texas and elsewhere as gen- 
uine. It was widely published, appearing even in New 
Orleans and St. Louis papers. The New Orleans Delta, 
under the head of "The John Brownites in Texas," says : 
"The following well-authenticated and clearly proved 
document has been sent to us from Texas, by a gentleman 
of this city, who assures us that there cannot be a particle 
of doubt as to its genuineness. It is a startling and 
fiendish document, which is quite worthy of the perusal 
of those credulous, easy-going citizens who have no anxi- 
eties about the South no fear of any real design to in- 
terfere with our institutions by Northern emissaries." 
The same paper copies an item from the Fort Smith 
Herald that "Eev. W. H. Bailey was caught, and arrived 
in Fort Smith on Sunday last, in the orerland stage, 
under the charge of Mr. Johnson, an officer from Texas. 
Bailey is one of the disciples of the John Brown school, 
and has been engaged in burning, stealing, etc., in a sister 
State ; and a reward of three thousand dollars has been 
offered for his delivery in Fort Worth." Aside from 
this item the fate of Bailey is not known. 

A copy of the Bailey letter was sent to the St. Louis 
Christian Advocate by "Eev. J. E. Burk," of Henderson, 


Texas, who writes: ''Brother J. E. Bellamy (then presid- 
ing elder of the Dallas district) furnished me with the 
enclosed document, which he has read in manuscript. 
... I think there is no fiction in the letter to run 
Bewley from Texas, as a few days before it was found, 
this town of Henderson was burned, over one hundred 
miles from the place where it was found ; and the man in 
that letter, as the Corresponding Secretary of this State, 
was taken at Henderson, acknowledged himself to be act- 
ing in that capacity, and was hanged. Many others have 
shared the same fate, both black and white, and others 
will soon go the same way." 

It appears that Bewley and his family had quit their 
Texas home before the Bailey letter had come to light, 
and when the excitement arose, growing out of the find- 
ing of the letter, it was reported that Bewley had fled to 
Kansas or Missouri. A reward of $500 was offered for 
him by a Fort Worth "Committee," and other rewards 
were offered, the whole amounting to $1000. 

To make a long and unpleasant story short; Bewley 
was pursued by officers and others from Texas, found 
and arrested near Springfield, Mo., and the company with 
their prisoner started back to Texas. At Fayetteville, 
Ark., during a delay, Bewley was permitted to forward 
a letter to his wife, in which he says : " After I left there 
that day, I was hurried on, and the next day, about nine 
o 'clock, we got to Fayetteville. . . . They are now after 
Tom Willet. So soon as they succeed in getting him, I 
suppose they will set out with us to Texas in the over- 
land stage, and if so, hand us over to the Fort Worth 
Committee, and receive the reward. Then we will, I sup- 
pose, be under their supervision, to do with us as seemeth 
them good. And if that takes place, dear and beloved 
wife and loving children, I shall never in this life expect 
to see you, but I shall look to meet you all, with our little 
babe that has already gone to that blessed heaven of 
repose. The reason why I so speak, in these times of 


heated excitement, mole-hills are raised mountain-high, 
and where there are none it is frequently imagined they 
see something. That being the case, it seems it is enough 
to know that we are 'North Methodists,' as they are 
called, and from what we learned in Texas about the 
Fort Worth Committee, they had sworn vengeance 
against all such folks. . . . But, dear wife and children, 
you know that all these things are false. You have been 
with me, and you know as well as I do that none of these 
things have never been countenanced about our house, but 
that we have repudiated such to the last. So you see 
that I am innocent, and you, my love, will have the lasting 
satisfaction to know that your husband was innocent, for 
you have been with me for some twenty-six years, and 
your constitution is emaciated and gone down to feeble- 
ness. You will have to spend the remainder of your life 
as a bereaved widow, with your orphan children, with 
one blind daughter. ... As I was taken away and not 
even permitted to see you, that I might bid you and the 
children farewell, I have to do it this way. ... I feel no 
guilt, from the fact that I have done nothing to cause 
the feeling ... I with a portion of the vigilance com- 
mittee will leave Fayetteville to-night sometime. The 
committee has returned without Willet, and have given 
up hunting him any more. ... I can only leave you in 
the hands of Him in whom I put my trust. " 

The events which follow have been somewhat vari- 
ously reported. According to Elliott's "History," 
"When the mob had reached Fort Worth, Texas, with 
Mr. Bewley, they put him in charge of a hotel-keeper. 
He was much fatigued and was suffered to retire early. 
... A little slave showed him to his room up stairs. 
. . . About eleven o'clock he was taken from his bed by 
three men, and when they reached the street they were 
joined by a crowd there assembled. They took him a 
few hundred yards away . . . and suspended him upon 
the same limb and tree upon which several negroes and 


a Northern man named Crawford had been hung. This 
gallows had been called 'the Crawford limb'; after that, 
however, the people called it 'the Bewley limb.' " An- 
other report has it that Bewley was ' ' tried and convicted 
by a jury of three hundred men. ' ' The St. Louis Chris- 
tian Advocate published the following, which it said was 
"from a reliable source": "Mr. Bewley was carried to 
Fort Worth, after his arrest by the men from Arkansas, 
and there, at or near Fort Worth, he was tried by the 
civil authorities, and required to give bail to appear for 
trial before a higher court. This he could not or did 
not do, and was ordered to prison. On the way to prison 
a mob overpowered the sheriff and his posse, took Bew- 
ley and hung him. Our informant did not see these things, 
but heard them in Texas, from what he regarded as re- 
liable authority, and believed them to be true. The evi- 
dence on which Bewley was sent on for further trial, 
consisted partly in what sundry persons testified they 
had heard him say, and partly in statements made by 
others who had been arrested and punished. These state- 
ments implicated him as one of the party organized to 
carry out the purposes expressed in the Bailey letter ; but 
the evidence consisted mainly in the fact that the original 
Bailey letter was produced at the trial, and Bewley ac- 
knowledged he had received and subsequently lost it." 

With the passing of Bewley ended the activities of the 
"Northern Methodists" in Texas before the War. But 
portions of Texas continued to be alarmed by abolition- 
ist's plots. Reports of incendiarism were numerous, and 
"hangings" were frequent. Some accounts of more 
trouble in North Texas will be noticed in the chapter 
covering the War period. 


THE YEAES 1860-1866 

WE propose in this concluding chapter to carry our 
history through the War period, embracing also the great 
reconstructive General Conference of 1866 and the ses- 
sions of our annual conferences of the same year, includ- 
ing the organization of a new conference in Texas and 
the projection of another. There is history enough in 
this period to make a volume all by itself, but the essen- 
tials of the material which we have been able to gather 
may be contained in a single chapter, though it may 
prove to be the longest in the book. 

The year 1860 found both the State and the Church 
in a prosperous and growing condition. Texas had 604,- 
251 people, by the Federal census, an increase of 391,623 
during the previous decade, or 184.2 per cent. The in- 
crease during the war decade, or from 1860 to 1870, 
dropped to 35 per cent. Of the population in 1860, 136,- 
853 were negro slaves, who had been "rendered for tax- 
ation ' ' the previous year at a total valuation of $85,630,- 
748, average value "per head" of $625.54 1 The slave 
wealth of the state overtopped that from any other 
source, even exceeding the value of land rendered for 
taxation, and being two and one-half times the value of 
all the horses and cattle put together. These figures are 
of interest as pointing to the sacrifice of wealth which 
the war was to entail upon Texas alone. And it is little 
wonder that, with so much property at stake, short work 

1 Figures from Texas Almanac, 1860. 



was made of all "abolition" crusades, whether political 
or ecclesiastical. 

The annual conferences met in the fall of 1860 un- 
der conditions of great excitement growing out of the 
national presidential campaign. It was generally felt 
that if Lincoln should be elected it would be a portent of 
national division and war ; and the announcement of his 
election, which traveled incredibly fast for those days, 
reached Texas in the midst of the conference season. 
Bishop Andrew, now growing quite venerable, though 
not by any means feeble, was in charge of all the Texas 

The East Texas Conference was held at Jefferson, 
October 24-30. There were reported 89 traveling preach- 
ers, 241 local preachers, and 15,881 members. Maddi- 
son Thompson, John C. Smith, John Stubblefield, Wil- 
liam Allen, William F. Cummins, John H. McLean, 
Cadwell W. Raines and David Austin were admitted on 
trial. Eobert M. Leaton was received by transfer. Hugh 
B. Hamilton and M. C. Robertson had died during the 
year, an obituary of the former appearing in a previous 

The Texas Conference was held at Chappell Hill, No- 
vember 14r-21. Traveling preachers, 124 ; local preachers, 
190; members, 12,922. James W. Baldridge, Nicholas H. 
Boring, Jackson Perry, J. Frederick Cox, Thomas M. 
Glass, Charles Biel, William Harms, Love M. Harris, 
Archibald McKinney, Archibald B. Duval, Eugene R. 
Smith and Ira E. Chalk were admitted on trial. William 
A. Parks, Thomas W. Rogers, William Shegog and Jacob 
S. Matthews were received by transfer. John Haynie 
and Henry D. Hubert had died during the year, further 
mention of whom will be made. 

The Rio Grande Conference met in San Antonio on 
November 29, reporting 31 traveling preachers, 30 local 
preachers and 1858 members. Roswell Gillett, Warren 0. 
Shely, Thomas F. Cocke, Robert H. Mangham, Theodore 

THE YEAES 1860-1866 461 

M. Price, and James T. Gillett were admitted on trial. 
Alexander A. Smithwick had died during the year, the 
minutes stating "No memoir." 

The total statistics for the Church in Texas in this 
year before the war show 244 traveling preachers, 461 
local preachers, and 30,661 members. The General Min- 
utes, our only source of detailed information, make no 
report of number of churches or value of church property. 
Turning to the Federal Census reports for 1860 we find 
that the Methodists are credited with 410 church build- 
ings in Texas, valued at $319,934; the Baptists had 210 
church buildings, value $228,030; Presbyterians, 72 
churches, valued at $120,550; Christians, 53 buildings, 
value, $27,395; Cumberland Presbyterians, 52 houses, 
value, $47,430 ; Eoman Catholic, 33 churches, value, $189,- 
900 ; Episcopalians had 19 churches and Lutherans 19. A 
copy of the Texas Conference Minutes for 1860 report 
"Value of Buildings" for churches and parsonages, but 
the number of these is not shown. From the valuation 
figures of these for the various charges we can at least 
learn what charges had one or more churches or parson- 
ages. Fifty-five charges show church buildings, and 
eleven had parsonages, or parsonage lots. The churches 
range in value from $400 to $10,000, the charges showing 
the largest valuations being the following: Galveston, 
Houston, Huntsville, Brazoria, Eichmond, Montgomery, 
Anderson, Washington, Chappell Hill, Waxahachie, 
Waco, Belton, Austin, and San Marcos. 

At the risk of its being monotonous we shall dispose 
of all the war conference sessions at once. The East 
Texas Conference was held at Marshall, October 23-28, 
1861, Bishop Early in charge. Daniel T. Lake, Wiley A. 
Shook and James M. Suton were admitted on trial; Na- 
than S. Johnston had died during the year. 

The Texas Conference was held at Huntsville, No- 
vember 6-12, 1861, Bishop Early presiding. Joseph 
Hines, George W. Graves, Eobert D. Allen, Cyrus M. 


Carpenter, and James B. Shapard were admitted on 
trial. James C. Wilson and Geo. W. Burrows had died 
during the year. 

The Eio Grande Conference was held at Corpus 
Christi, November 20-25, 1861, John W. DeVilbiss presi- 
dent. No one admitted ; no transfers and no deaths. 

For the years 1862-63-64 and '65 no minutes of the 
East Texas Conference were published in the General 
Minutes, the editor simply entering "No Minutes re- 
ceived," and there are no records extant for these con- 
ferences except a few brief references from private 
sources. The Rio Grande Conference was held at Goliad 
in 1862, J. W. DeVilbiss president. Two German preach- 
ers, J. Gleiss and Conrad Pluncke, were admitted on 
trial. The Texas Conference was held at San Marcos, 
Asbury Davidson president. Granbury S. Sandle ad- 
mitted on trial. Byron S. Garden had died. The Eio 
Grande Conference for 1863 was held at Sutherland 
Springs, R. H. Belvin, president. Ferdinand Mummee 
admitted on trial. William J. Joyce received by trans- 
fer from the East Texas Conference. Jasper K. Harper 
had died during the year. The Texas Conference was 
held at Columbus in 1863, R. Alexander president. B. 
Ahrens, George V. Ridley, D. B. Wright and J. B. Allen 
admitted on trial. Robert N. Drake had died during the 

The Rio Grande Conference was held at Helena in 
1864, Jesse Boring president. The Texas Conference 
met in Waco, no entry as to who presided. L. H. Bald- 
win and J. P. Mussett admitted on trial. William A. 
Shegog had died. In 1865 the Rio Grande Conference 
met at San Antonio, J. W. DeVilbiss president. Robert 
Blassengame admitted on trial. The Texas Conference 
was held at Chappell Hill, with Bishop Andrew back in 
the chair. George Whitaker and Edwin Duvall admitted 
on trial. J. W. Kenney and D. Carl had died during 
the year. Thos. Stanford, Jno. S. McCarver and Wm. 

THE YEARS 1860-1866 463 

M. Mathis transferred from the Arkansas Confer- 

To go back over this period now and take note of 
some personal matters. First a few scattered reports 
gleaned from the Texas Christian Advocate, 1860-61. 
There are no files of the Advocate for the years 1862-68, 
a period during which a file of these papers would prove 
invaluable now, but one must know that the Advocate 
suspended publication during a part of the war. 2 A re- 
port from W. T. Melugin, Dallas, in July, 1860, gives an 
account of a great meeting on his circuit: 38 joined the 
church at Dallas; 13 additions at " Harding/' 26 at "Cot- 
tonwood." From Stephenville T. B. Ferguson writes 
that Indians are stealing horses ; that he and a compan- 
ion had scared off an attacking party of Indians with 
sticks flourished as guns ; hard to do anything religiously 
on account of disturbed state of public mind. From 
Comanehe the same preacher writes later that a meeting 
at Comanehe had resulted in 14 additions to the church. 
J. M. Marshall writes from McKinney in October, report- 
ing that 120 had joined the church during the year. Six 
Sabbath schools on the work, 240 scholars. "We have 
established a literary and theological society, ' ' he writes, 
"for improvement of local preachers and exhorters." 
From Buchannan circuit, scattered over Johnson, Ellis 
and Parker counties, Thomas W. Rogers reports that 
the class books show 400 members, and that two houses 
of worship had been built during the year. From a ' ' Fly- 
ing Trip to North Texas" John W. Fields gives an ac- 
count of a visit to McKenzie College, July 25, 1861. 

2 The Advocate resumed publication as a half -sheet, at Houston in 
1864, as Galveston was in the hands of the Federals J. E. Games, editor. 
In 1865, after the suspension of hostilities, the paper was returned to 
Galveston, H. B. Phillpot editor. Games had left our Church, gone to the 
Swedenborgians, and later became editor of the Galveston News. I. G. 
John was elected editor of the Advocate at the General Conference of 
1866, but he ' ' edited the Advocate for pleasure and preached for a living. ' ' 
In the fall of 1866 a young printer, L. Blaylock by name, entered the 
Advocate service, and after a few years he proved to be the man to 
put this struggling paper on its feet. 


"Only about 50 out of 150 pupils left to witness the 
close," he writes. Many had gone to war. 3 The country 
had an abundant wheat harvest; all barns full, enough 
to feed the Confederate army for one year; prices 40 
to 50 cents, and the only markets at Jefferson and Shreve- 
port, after a wagon haul of 90 to 150 miles. 

Several new schools begin to sprout up just at the 
opening of the war, only to be nipped soon thereafter. 
"Butersville Female College" was an unsuccessful effort 
by H. S. Thrall to rehabilitate the old Eutersville insti- 
tution. "Port Sullivan Female Institute" is mentioned 
for a few years, first under "Prof. Carmer and Lady," 
and then run by our old friend, Joseph P. Sneed. But 
one of the saddest chapters in our educational history 
was the decline of Soule University, the leading insti- 
tution of our Church for a few brief years. A Medical 
Department had been provided for, to be located in Gal- 
veston, but this did not come into existence until 1865, 
when Dr. Jesse Boring and his son, Dr. Nicholas Boring, 
were appointed professors in the Medical Department. 
This department began operations, but soon thereafter 
Dr. Boring, Junior, was killed in a railroad accident, and 
the elder Dr. Boring returned to Georgia. The Medical 
Department became detached from the institution at 
Chappell Hill, and set up a separate existence. In Janu- 
ary, 1860, George W. Carter, D.D., from Virginia, was 
elected president of Soule University. An advance move- 
ment was planned. The curriculum was expanded. 
Chairs of English Literature and Metaphysics were 
added, also departments of Biblical Literature and Law. 
The Department of Biblical Literature embraced "the 
Hebrew Language, systematic theology, ecclesiastical 
history, Church polity, homiletics, and hermeneutics." 

'3 McKenzie College graduated no classes from 1862 to 1869. It closed 
in 1871, by reason of age and infirmities of the president. During its 
history it had more than 3300 students enrolled, and of these 2250 were 
converted in its halls. And all this fruitful and honorable record was 
made without one dollar from the Church. 

THE YEAJRS 1860-1866 465 

Plans were carefully laid, we are told, to avoid a repeti- 
tion of the blunders which had brought disaster in so 
many educational ventures before. "Besides this," says 
Dr. C. C. Cody, "Soule University was enthusiastically 
sustained by many of the most influential and wealthiest 
citizens of the State. Abundant means necessary for 
material progress seemed in easy reach. The reports 
of the trustees and the forecasts of the university at this 
period were luminous with bright prospects and coming 
greatness." But, alas, from the same educational author- 
ity we learn : 

In spite of an outlook so full of promise, scarcely had Dr. 
Carter entered fully into the discharge of his official duties be- 
fore the call to war was sounded and the young men of the 
South were challenged to arms. In vain the conservative ones 
advised against the young men leaving the colleges, and Presi- 
dent Davis protested in vain against such an expensive policy, 
declaring that "we are grinding up our seed corn by sending 
college boys to war." 

Dr. Carter, instead of following this wise course, secured a 
colonel's commission and urged his students to enlist and follow 
him to the front. Having resigned as head of the institution, 
Dr. Pollansbee, who had filled the Chair of Languages from the 
organization of the faculty, assumed the duties of President. 
But the war spirit was abroad, and, in spite of his best endeavors, 
after a few months the halls of the university were deserted and 
silent. A few months later, under the urgent demands of the 
Confederate government, the building was converted into a mili- 
tary hospital. At the close of the war it was left with bare and 
defaced walls, its equipment gone, its endowment swept away, 
and with neglected liabilities that had increased to seventeen 
thousand dollars. 

Extracts from two letters, written by a member of the 
faculty of Soule University, will furnish first-hand con- 
firmation of the change in the fortunes of the institution. 
The first was written on March 25, 1860, portraying con- 
ditions in glowing colors : 


The Lord lias lately blessed us with a gracious revival of his 
work in our colleges [Soule University and Chappell Hill Fe- 
male College]. We trust the fruits will be seen many days 
hence. The schools are also prospering otherwise. We are 
crowded in the University with students. Dr. Carter of Mis- 
sissippi [Cody says Virginia] has accepted the presidency and 
will be on here in May to organize the faculty anew. Bro. Foot 
resigned last winter, purposing to withdraw in June next. Bro. 
Kirby resigned about two weeks ago & withdrew immediately 
without ceremony. The place is now temporarily filled by Bro. 
Matthews. We anticipate largely when the new order of ar- 
rangements shall have transpired. 

The second letter was dated March 26, 1861, one year 
later, and reveals the fact that anticipations had not been 
realized. Says the writer : 

The crises, secession, the prospect of war, and the current 
famine of our land of Texas have produced their effects. Hence 
I arose from a sick room to realize circumstances of straitened 
character to such an extent as to amount to actual suffering. 
The want of all material aid from College, the scarcity of money 
& provisions and a general destruction of all commerical faith 
shut up supplies to cash transactions. Add to all this, a gen- 
eral neglect and a bad management of University affairs, and 
you may readily imagine me in no plight to give you any good 
news, or a good account of matters & things, while an unwilling- 
ness to speak evil, led me to delay a reply. ... It is true there 
are a goodly number of students here. But too many are bene- 
ficiaries, or have failed in payment of tuition fees to enable 
teachers to live. Besides, I think, the proceeds of too many 
scholarships have found their way either into the stone walls, 
or attendant expenses. ... I look upon the Institution as in 
the woods at least for the present. What the future will pre- 
sent, it is impossible to tell. The darkest hour, it is said, is 
just before day. That may be the case with our College. 

Unfortunately this was not the case with Soule Uni- 
versity, but the darkness increased, as we have seen. 

THE YEARS 1860-1866 467 

Efforts were made to revive the institution after the 
war, but an epidemic of yellow fever which was es- 
pecially severe about Chappell Hill and in the colleges 
there, brought on another period of depression and de- 
cline. Dr. Francis Asbury Mood, of South Carolina, was 
at length called to the presidency. He came, but only to 
witness the ultimate demise of Soule University. His 
subsequent labors for education in Texas belong to a 
period not included in this volume. 

Naturally one would suppose that the political agita- 
tion preceding the war, and then the actual outbreak of 
war, had a demoralizing effect upon all church work, and 
that a greater laxness in the moral life of the people 
should result. And such was the case. Moreover, there 
seems to have been a general complaint of "hard times." 
Several letters of the preachers, which we have, dated 
early in the war period, reflect these conditions. From 
one we learn that the class-meeting was being sadly neg- 
lected in some places. H. S. Thrall, presiding elder of 
the Columbus district in 1860-61, who at the same time 
resided at Rutersville and endeavored to carry on a 
young ladies' boarding school at old Rutersville College, 
writes under date of April 25, 1861 : 

Our prospects on the Columbus district are not very flatter- 
ing. The hard times preclude the practicability of doing any- 
thing in the way of church building, and I fear there will be 
a great falling off in all our Collections this year. The unsettled 
state of the country is unfavorable to the revival spirit. Still 
the most of the preachers are at their post and doing their duty, 
as well as circumstances permit. . . . Our boarding school, not- 
withstanding some opposition, is doing remarkably well. When 
I left home we had thirty young ladies in our family, and were 
expecting another last Monday. Still, hard times, opposition, 
and some uncertainty as to retaining our teachers, may cause a 
falling off next session, and may possibly end in a change of 


At least one preacher proposes to declare war on 
moral conditions in his charge this W. A. Parks, at 
LaGrange. He writes early in 1861 : 

I am still visiting, praying and preaching hard as I can, 
and with fear and trembling. As yet we see no change in the 
moral condition of the town. The people are so absorbed in 
the "Crisis" that it seems that many have forgotten that they 
have souls. I think that the moral crisis in this country is 
much greater than the political. Perhaps there is a change but 
it is for the worse. The apathy of the church and the careless- 
ness of sinners cause me much anxiety and solicitude. And then 
it seems that the people in this country have the dancing mania. 

I expect about next Sunday I will tare open a hornet's nest, 
as I intend to preach a set sermon against dancing. I intend to 
do my duty and the people can think and say as they please 
about it. ... I expect you will hear of me geting into a difi- 
culty for I intend to throw a few Bum shells right into my 
congregation. I think this will be for the best in the end. 

The presiding elder of that district reports a little 
later that war had been made "against Bro. Parks at 
Lagrange," and that it became necessary to call an in- 
vestigating committee, which, after full investigation, 

II unanimously acquitted Bro. Parks and expressed sym- 
pathy with him in his difficulties. ' ' 

After the secession of Texas and war had actually 
opened between the North and the South, the belligerent 
spirit took possession of many of the preachers and car- 
ried them off to war. The German preacher, Peter Moel- 
ling, writes from Gralveston in October, 1861 : 

Such a moving as there is now a going on here you never 
have seen in all your life ; most every house is emtyed to Houston 
or Liberty. If Lincoln's fleet should come now, his myrmidons 
will not find much to steal, and I am satisfied that their blood 
will make the grass come up a foot higher on our prairie here. 
If our rifled guns should not come, then we will let them land 
and fight them whilst they cannot use their big guns against us. 

THE YEARS 1860-1866 469 

The good Lord have mercy on us and deliver us all. Pray for 
me, my dear Brother, and if I should never meet you on earth, 
meet me in heaven. I shall die a true patriot and a soldier of 
the cross, the gun in hand and Christ within my heart. 

From the minutes of the war conferences we note 
that preachers who went to war were usually appointed 
as colleague with some other preacher to a charge, and 
then listed in footnotes as "In the C. S. Army," or 
" Chaplain in C. S. Army." In the minutes of the Eio 
Grande and the Texas conferences (no minutes of East 
Texas Conference published) the following preachers 
from these conferences are listed at different times as 
being in the army: F. C. Wilkes, Geo. W. Carter, J. L. 
Crabb, W. G. Veal, H. M. Burrows, E. Y. King, D. M. 
Stovall, Wm. C. Collins, Wm. B. Hill, W. J. Joyce, Jno. 
C. Smith, A. B. Manion, Jesse Boring, Nicholas H. Bor- 
ing, Hamilton G. Horton, W. E. D. Stockton, Thomas F. 
Cocke, J. Hines, F. C. Wilkes, H. W. South, F. J. Cox, 
E. T. P. Allen, H. M. Glass, J. P. Shapard, J. E. Fergu- 
son, Geo. Tittle. The following received appointments 
as chaplains: 0. M. Addison, F. P. Eay, C. H. Brooks, 
B. F. Perry, P. W. Phillips and W. A. Parks. The 
doughty Simon Peter Moelling, who was ready to fer- 
tilize Galveston island with Yankee blood, did not enlist, 
but moved safely to Houston, and later to the interior, 
and survived the war. S. C. Littlepage says in his 
"Eeminiscences": "When the war broke out I joined 
Major Farrow's company, and went with it with Par- 
son's regiment of State troops. Drilled with them by 
day and preached to them at night. When an effort by 
arbitration was made, thinking hostilities about over, I 
took another appointment. Stationed at LaGrange in 
1861 ; at close of year went to Fairfield circuit. In 1863 
I was appointed missionary to Forney's division of the 
Confederate army. Joined this command at Camden, 
Ark., and remained until the war closed. During the 


connection with the army I organized four army churches, 
one in each brigade of the division." 

We have the written journal of Oscar M. Addison, 
covering the period of his service as chaplain of Col. 
Bates 's regiment. This contains but little of general 
interest, except to the antiquary. Addison at first ac- 
cepted an offer of a captaincy of a company of "Lancers" 
which he was to raise for Col. Carter's regiment at Chap- 
pell Hill, but after some effort "I found a reaction among 
the people," he says, "and but few were disposed to 
enlist. There were many recruiting officers in the field, 
calling for 12 months men, who met with but little suc- 
cess. This being the case men for the war (these I de- 
sired) could scarcely be obtained on any terms, and feel- 
ing disgusted with the apathy of the people, I gave up 
the business and returned home." Finding that his ap- 
pointment in the conference had been filled, he visited 
Col. Allen's camp at Austin, with the view of applying 
for a chaplaincy, but "finding some 8 or 10 preachers in 
the camp," he proceeded to Velasco, where Bates 's regi- 
ment was encamped, and received appointment as chap- 
lain of that regiment. A few abbreviated extracts may 
be taken from his journal : 

Aug. 4, 1862: I have made some few acquaintances among 
the officers and men, a very small per centum of whom I find 
to be church members. Wishing to have prayer meeting I had 
Liet. Herndon to send for all his religious men to come to his 
tent. Out of the 10 or doz. who came I found but one who 
would consent to pray in meeting. 

Oct. llth: From the best information to be obtained Gal- 
veston was taken possession of by the enemy on Wednesday af- 
ternoon, our troops marching out in tEe morning. Our board- 
ing house was overrun this morning before breakfast with a 
large number of planters and merchants from the upper portion 
of the country, on a self-appointed mission to our Col. to obtain 
permission to place obstructions in the river to prevent the 
ascent of Yankee gunboats. They offer 1000 negroes for the 

THE YEARS 1860-1866 471 

purpose. Previously a negro could not be hired by the QrMaster 
only at the highest rates, and the apathy of the wealthy citizens 
of this country has been the subject of frequent remark by 
our soldiers. Their selfishness has exceeded their patriotism, 
and though they shouted loud and long for secession, they have 
done nothing since. A general spirit of rejoicing pervades the 
camp that the proximity of the foe has had the effect of alarm- 
ing our long-at-ease patriots, and given them at last, even though 
forced to it, to feel some interest in the fate of the country. 

Nov. 12 : Yesterday we buried Farmer, a private in Hamil- 
ton 's company. His sickness was severe and quite brief. On 
my first visit he seemed much excited and asked my opinion 
of his case. I feared to tell him, for I thought him dangerous, 
but asked him of his spiritual condition. He told me he thought 
he was a converted man though he had never joined the church. 
I prayed for him and by his request for his family. He soon 
gave evidence of a change for the better & we all hoped was 
getting well but inflammation of the stomach soon took place, 
this added to congestive fever, his original complaint, in a few 
days carried him off. Poor fellow he seemed quite anxious 
about his family (a young wife and one child) and in his de- 
lirium before his death enjoined on one of his Lieuts. to send 
his wife 50 bushels of corn. [This is only one of many instances 
of soldiers dying in camp, with the heart-breaking anxiety of 
leaving destitute families at home.] 

Dec. 8 : Set off a week ago for Houston. Reached there on 
Tuesday night & put up at the Fannin house. Found the city 
& hotel full. . . . While there Col. Bates invited me to call with 
him and others on Gen. Magruder, who had but recently arrived. 
. . . Mother had written to me to get a pair of cotton cards 
at any price. Meeting while there a good chance to send them 
home I hunted them up. Found them at a place where they 
would not sell, though a gentleman told me he had bought two 
pair there that morning at $25 each. At another place where 
I found a fresh placard announcing "Cotton Cards and nails" 
I was informed that the former article had not been brought 
from the depot, but would be on hand before the departure 
of the cars, price $25. They did not come until after the cars 
had left. Missing the chance to send them, I did not think I 
would get any, hoping that by the time I could forward them 


the price would come down, but on the day I was leaving I 
concluded to get a pair and trust to chances of sending them 
home. My man who had promised them to me at $25 now asked 
$30. I told him he had promised me a pair at the former price, 
but it did no good, and not having time to look elsewhere I 
bought them. At another place I paid $5 for what they called 
1^ Ib flax thread, but I think there was not half that amount. 
The cars advertise to leave H. at 10 oclock. After waiting more 
than 2 hours after that time in the cold we finally got under 
way, and after a tedious run reached Columbia after dark. 

May 27, 1863 : The peaceful quiet of our soldier life has been 
disturbed by Bank's raid into Louisiana and our regt. is now 
en route to that State. 

The regiment moved into Louisiana, where most of 
the year was spent. Under date of June 25 there is a 
long recitalof the successful battle of Brashear City, 
where 1400 Yankee prisoners were taken, 4000 stands of 
arms, 11 siege guns, and "an incredible amount of stores 
of all kind, including flour, bacon, crackers, pork, rice, 
pickles, beans, dried apples, butter, lard, prepared milk, 
sugar, coffee, mackerel, cheese, potatoes, desiccated pota- 
toes, and sutlers supplies generally, including clothing of 
all description. " The chaplain of the victorious regi- 
ment came off with a number of books, some picked up 
on the battlefield, others of a theological nature from the 
deserted tent of a Yankee chaplain who had fled, and 
who, a year or two after, opened up correspondence with 
a view to their return. But they were retained as the 
" spoils of war," and are now in the possession of this 

An interesting survival of this army life, found among 
the papers of the chaplain, is a " Covenant of the Chris- 
tian League of Bate's Regt. 13th Tex Vol C S A," with 
the following preamble and regulations : 

We, the undersigned, members of Bate's Regiment, C. S. 
Army, and belonging to different branches of the Christian 
Church, or intending to become so, absent from home and our 

THE YEAES 1860-1866 473 

usual places of worship, banded together in the defense of our 
common country, and feeling still desirous of practicing the 
precepts of Christ our Master, and giving our influence and 
example in favor of his cause, do hereby solemnly covenant to- 
gether, and unite for these purposes, under the following regu- 
lations : 

I. The association shall be known as the Christian League, 
a religious organization for temporary use while we are connected 
with the regiment. 

II. Our object shall be the cultivation of a spirit of piety 
among ourselves, and the aiding of others who may be disposed 
to a religious life. 

III. We will regard the chaplain of our Eegt as our pastor 
for the time being, and if for any cause there should cease to 
be one to officiate, we will in the best manner we can supply 
his lack of service from among our number. 

IV. Business meetings of the League shall be convened by 
the chaplain at such times as may be necessary, at which we 
promise attendance when in our power. 

V. We pledge ourselves to attend the stated religious ser- 
vices held by the chaplain, when possible, and to aid him in 
his work to our utmost by upholding both the practice and pro- 
fession of religion. 

VI. As our only design is improvement in practical religion 
in the present relations we sustain to each other, we will ignore 
our peculiar theological differences, and uniting on the broad 
platform of Christian Charity and brotherly love, require no 
other test of fellowship than an expressed desire to join with us 
& a willingness to subscribe to these regulations. 

The paper bears date of September 12, 1863, and has 
twenty-nine signatures twelve Methodists, five Baptists, 
two Episcopal, one Lutheran, one Presbyterian, and the 
rest express no church preference. 

Note has been taken in passing through the minutes 
of the death during the war period of some of the best 
known Methodist pioneers in Texas. Full biographical 
notices of some of these have been given in previous 
chapters; but these and some others, including a few 


prominent laymen, merit a further word as they come to 
the end of their labors. Says J. E. Carnes, editor of the 
Advocate, in an article reporting the Texas Conference 
sessions of 1860 : 

At night the nestor of the Conference, Eobert Alexander, 
preached the funeral of the sainted young Hubert, who fell 
during the year at Bastrop. He had seen the boy converted, 
inducted the young man into the Conference, and now arose to 
tell that he has gone to heaven and how he got there. What a 
sight it was that vast sea of humanity swelling with emotion 
under the potent words of this pioneer preacher. Alexander 
. is an engine of vast stroke, and when the hull of his subject is 
big enough for him "one would think the deep to be hoary." 
His allusions to Euter, Fowler and others of his compeers were 
irresistible. Everybody wept, and nearly everybody shouted. 

While I write at the hospitable home of Bro. Peel Father 
Kenney is looking up his text for the funeral of Father Haynie. 
In ten minutes I am to be listening to one pioneer telling of 
the departure of another for the better country. The fountain 
of my tears begins to grow uneasy in the anticipation. All un- 
conscious of my occasional glances the Old Man Eloquent of the 
Texas ministry is looking into a volume of Clarke's Commen- 
taries which once belonged to Euter, or picking up a hymn book. 
I hope he may find the right text and the best hymn in the book. 
The bell rings and we rise to go. 

Haynie was of a type rare in his day, and still scarcer 
to-day. "John Haynie was my father's pastor in the 
early days of the Austin church, " writes 0. T. Hotch- 
kiss, late secretary of the Texas Conference, "and was 
much loved and honored, and was considered one of the 
most useful members of the Conference. He often did 
and said the unexpected, and was a strong defender of 
his church, and other religious pugilists found in him a 
foeman worthy of their steel. I have heard my father 
tell often of an incident at his table when a minister 
of another church was made to beat a hasty retreat. Bro. 
Haynie was then pastor of the church in Austin, and with 

THE YEARS 1860-1866 475 

other ministers of the town was invited to supper by 
my father. While at the table Mr. Haynie complained 
of the difficulties of his work, and the little success he 
was having, and said how much discouraged he was some- 
times, when the preacher of another church said : ' Come 
over and join us, and you will get along so much better 
and have an easier time. ' Mr. Haynie turned on him and 
as quick as thought said, 'I know I am not worth much 
to my church, and I am often discouraged, and sometimes 
feel very much backslidden, but I haven't backslid near 
far enough to go into your church." 

A witness of the scene, H. S. Thrall, thus describes 
Haynie 's last appearance at conference: 

At the Conference at LaGrange in November, 1859, John 
Haynie, then in feeble health, and suffering from paralysis, was 
carried into the Conference hall to look for the last time upon 
his brethren. Besides the members of the Conference present, 
the venerable Jesse Hord was there to ask that his name be 
transferred to the West Texas (then the Rio Grande) Confer- 
ence. Father Thomson and his sister, Mrs. Kerr, who had been 
present at the organization in 1840, were also there. (Both died 
soon afterward.) When the venerable Haynie, surrounded by 
so many veterans of the cross in Texas, pronounced the word 
"Farewell," it was such a spectacle as those who witnessed it 
can never forget. He died August 20, 1860, and his excellent 
wife did not long survive him. 

Henry D. Hubert, the young man referred to in con- 
nection with Alexander's funeral sermon above, died at 
Bastrop in October, 1860. M. C. Eobertson, who had 
been a useful member of the East Texas Conference for 
seven years, died in August, 1860. James C. Wilson, 
who had had a short but brilliant career in the Texas 
Conference, died in February, 1861. An Englishman by 
birth, he came to Texas and settled in Brazoria County 
in 1837. He volunteered for service against Mexico in 
an expedition following General WolPs raid into Texas 


in 1842, and he became one of the Mier prisoners who 
landed in a Mexican prison. He made his escape and 
returned to Texas, after which he spent several years 
in the service of the state. The county of Wilson was 
named for him. Byron S. Garden, who had transferred 
from the Arkansas Conference to Texas in 1854, died in 
January, 1862. William A. Shegog, who had come from 
the Alabama Conference in 1860, died in 1864. The clos- 
ing year of the war marked the close of the earthly 
careers of three servants of the church with whom we be- 
came acquainted in our earlier chapters. William Craig, 
a local preacher, but who had served intermittently as a 
supply since 1841, died in 1865. Daniel Carl died id Vic- 
toria County in August, 1865, in his fifty-seventh year. 
As we have seen, he was among the first to receive license 
to preach in Texas, this under Littleton Fowler, and in 
1839, before the Texas Conference was organized, he had 
gone up with John Haynie and others to the Mississippi 
Conference for admission on trial. And the Church in 
Texas never had a more loyal or faithful son. " Daniel 
Carl," says his memoir, "was a man of genial temper, of 
unsullied reputation and strict integrity. . . . He was an 
able expounder of the Holy Scriptures, and a faithful ad- 
ministrator of Church discipline. After more than a quar- 
ter of century of labor his toil ends, and his mortal 
remains sleep in hope of a better resurrection in Victoria 
cemetery, on the banks of the beautiful Ghiadaloupe." 

John Wesley Kenney died on January 9, 1865, after 
battling many months with pulmonary trouble. Although 
his official relation to the Church for more than thirty 
years had been that of local preacher, yet during that 
time he contributed as much perhaps to the founding and 
upbuilding of Methodism in Texas as any man in the 
regular ranks. Says his memoir: "There was scarcely 
a neighborhood between the Trinity and San Antonio 
rivers which he did not visit, often spending weeks to- 
gether away from home. When Bro. Alexander arrived 

THE YEAES 1860-1866 477 

here as a missionary Bro. Kenney traveled with him 
sometimes for six or seven weeks, assisting in protracted 
meetings. He was often sent for to dedicate churches, 
and preach special sermons, and attend camp- and pro- 
tracted meetings at distant points." Thrall, who was a 
contemporary, and who often, as he says, enjoyed the 
splendid hospitality of Kenney '& home, writes: "He was 
an able expounder of Methodist doctrine. A Baptist 
preacher having stirred up a controversy on that subject 
at Bastrop, Mr. Kenney went up there and preached one 
sermon that settled the Baptist controversy for ten years 
in that section of country. So a sermon of his on apos- 
tolic succession settled that controversy in the minds of 
hundreds who heard it at Brenham, Independence, Chap- 
pell Hill, Anderson, and other places. Whenever and 
wherever he preached crowds flocked to his ministry, and