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William Lander Sherrill 

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in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 



A Imf Iftstorg 

of the Lander Family 




|s|orth Carolina State Libraf^y, 






Late of Lincolnton, N. C. 








9 ^ ^1 "^^ 


North Carolinians are modest people who strive constantly 
to obey the State motto: Esse quam videri, for they are in 
general so diligently engaged in the duties of the present that 
they forget to preserve the records of the past. This brief 
history of the Lander family has been prepared in order that 
the younger generation may have better knowledge of fore- 
bears who wrought well in their day and left to their de- 
scendants a record of which they need not be ashamed. 

William Lander Sherrill, 
Charlotte, N. C. 

February 1, 1918. 

4 A Brief History 

Reverend Samuel Lander, Senior 

and his wife 
Mrs. Eliza Ann (Miller) Lander 

Kev. Samuel Lander, Sr., (son of William Lander) was 
born in Tipperary, Ireland, November 12, 1792. His ances- 
tors migrated from England several generations before. 
Eliza Ann Miller, whom he married October 12, 1812, was born 
May 1, 1793 in Ballingran, Ireland. Her early ancestors 
were Lutherans who on account of Roman Catholic persecu- 
tion fled from Alsace-Lorraine and settled in Southern Ire- 
land. About the same time many other citizens of the Pala- 
tinate country, for the same reason, migrated to America and 
were the ancestors of the sturdy and frugal Dutch of Lincoln, 
Catawba and Gaston counties, in North Carolina. 

It is worthy of mention that Mr. and Mrs. Lander were 
confirmed as members in the English church in the same class 
when strangers to each other. 

The Millers were staunch church people, but even in tlie 
early days of Methodism were tolerant of the new sect and 
more than once entertained John Wesley when he visited the 
city of Cork. 

The fact has been handed down in the family that on one 
occasion when Wesley was preaching in the Miller home in 
Cork, using a table for a pulpit, that Adam, one of the smaller 
children, was asleep under the table, and Mr. Wesley preach- 
ing on the fall of Adam and Eve, when describing the scene 
in the garden, quoted in a loud voice the scripture : ' ' Adam, 
where art thou?" This aroused the sleeping child, who re- 
plied, "here I am under the table." This amusing incident 
created merriment in the congregation. 

The Millers later joined the Methodists and to this day 
the great body of their descendents are active members of the 
Methodist churches of Ireland, Canada and the United States. 

On account of Catholic intolerance Mr. Lander came to 

OF THE Lander Family 5 

America landing in Boston in September 1818 and soon there- 
after was convinced that his best interests would be promoted 
in this new country, so he soon sent for Mrs. Lander and the 
two children, Anne (who afterwards married Mr. John Weber 
and became the mother of Rev. Dr. Samuel A. Weber of South 
Carolina) and William, (a sketch of whose life appears in this 

The family then dwelt for a short while in Newark, N. J., 
after which they moved southward, lingering for a time in 
Washington City and also in Lexington, Va., but in 1824 they 
had reached Salisbury, N. C, w^iere Mr. Lander took out 
naturalization papers and became a full fledged American 
citizen, as shown by the following record. 

State of North Carolina, 
Rowan County. 

Be it remembered that heretofore, to wit, at a Court of Pleas 
and Quariter Sessions begun and held for the county of Rowan at 
the Court House in Salisbury on the third Monday in August A. D. 
One thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, (1824) and In the 
forty-ninth year of our Independence. 
The following Record is made, to wit: 

"State of North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 

Rowan County. August Sessions 1824. 

Samuel Lander a native of Ireland, being desirous of becoming 
a citizen of the United States, and of making a Declaration of his 
intention being sworn in due form of Law, deposeth and sayeth. 
That it is his bona fida Intention to become a citizen of the United 
States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to every 
foreign prince. Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever, and 
particularly all allegiance and fidelity to his Majesty George the 
4th King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He 
further states that he is a native of the County of Tipperary in 
Ireland, that he is thirty-one years old, and a subject of George 
the 4th., King of Great Britain, &c, and to' whom he still owes al- 
legiance. That he sailed from the City of Cork on the 18th day 
of April 1818, and landed in the City of Boston in the State of 
Massachusetts on the 18th day of May 1818 and has resided since 
that period in the United States, and for the last eight months in 
North Carolina. In testimony whereof he has hereunto set his 
hand and affixed his seal this 17th day of August 1824, and in the 
49th year of American Independence. 

Samuel Lander (Seal.) 

Upon the filing lof the Declaration the Petitioner Samuel Lander 
appeared in open Court and took the oath of allegiance to the State 
of North Carolina, as prescribed by Law." 

6 A Brief History 

North Carolina, 
Rowan County. 

I Jolin Giles clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for 
said County, do hereby certify tliait the foregoing is a true copy of 
the Record. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the 
seal of said Court at Office the 19th day of June 1824. 

John Giles Clk. 

By John H. Hardie, D. C. 

While living in Salisbury their home was destroyed by fire, 
in which they lost all their effects. 

Soon thereafter they moved to Lincolnton where they spent 
the remainder of their lives. 

While, as already stated, Mr. Lander was confirmed in his 
youth as a member of the Church of England, he was never- 
theless, a man of the world, showing little interest in things 
religious, but in August 1828, by the invitation of the Rev. 
Jacob Hill, he attended the Rock Spring Camp meeting in 
Lincoln County and there under the preaching of Malcolm 
McPherson, the Presiding Elder and Hartwell Spain the 
preacher in charge, he was deeply convicted and power- 
fully converted. He and his wife soon thereafter joined the 
Methodist church in Lincolnton and were faithful even unto 
the end. 

In 1833 Mr. Lander was licensed to preach and continued 
a useful local preacher until his death. He was ordained 
deacon loy Bishop Morris in 1838 and elder by Bishop Waugh 
in 1842. He was founder of Lander's Chapel, a church six 
miles south of Lincolnton. 

It can be truthfully said of him, that he was a man of deep 
convictions, very rigid in his ideas of right and wrongs and 
scrupulously honest in all his business relations. He possessed 
a remarkably strong mind, he loved the truth, he hated sham 
and was the very soul of honor. He ever f oliov/ed where con- 
science led and stood for the right no matter how great the 

When he came to Lincolnton he soon established himself as 
a Coach-maker, and his business grew and prospered so that 
he amassed a considerable fortune for that day. 

OF THE Lander Family 7 

Mrs. Lander was a woman refined by nature, of deep piety, 
with a brilliant and well furnished mind and a memory so 
acute that she never lost an incident or a date. Her knowledge 
of history was so accurate and her conversational gifts so at- 
tractive that she could entertain her friends by the hour, re- 
lating the romances and daring deeds of the English celebri- 
ties from the time of Alfred down to Victoria. 

The study of history was her delight, though she defied 
the public opinion of her day and read some fiction, a great 
offense then for a minister's wife. She loved flowers and was 
wonderfully successful in growing them. Her flower garden 
in Lineolnton was at all seasons a delight to the eye. 

The home-life of these people was beautiful and their child- 
ren were trained to fear God and to love the church. One of the 
most sacred recollections of my early childhood is the time 
I spent in that home, and I never shall forget when at the 
morning and evening hour the family gathered for worship, 
how the old people sat, one at each side of the fireplace with 
the other members of tlie household between and the slaves 
in the rear while the patriarch read the lesson from the holy 
book and prayed. 

Mr. Lander died on December 17, 1864. The Rev. E. G. 

Gage, his pastor said of him: 

"Those who most intimately knew him, had the greatest possible 
deference, both for his feelings and his opinions. He was a most 
perfect specimen of la high toned gentleman, having most perfect 
contempt for all that was low, mean, deceptive or dishonorable in 
character lor practice." 

Mrs Lander died December 29, 1875, and the bodies rest 

side by side in the family plot in the Methodist grave yard in 


For several years after they came to America fortune failed 

to smile upon them and they had a hard struggle all of which 

is explained in the following letter which was discovered and 

published several years ago : 

Newmarket, Ireland, May 19th, 1832. 
My Dear William, 

I hasten to inform you that I have received a letter from Sam 
Lander and your Sister Eliza after an absence of fourteen years. 
After praying for forgiveness for their great neglect in not 

8 A Brief History 

writing before, they mentioned that they had ten years struggling, 
but about four years ago they went to live in Lincolnton, 
North Carolina, United States, where they joined the Methodist 
Society and began to serve the Lord with all their hearts, that 
then everything prospered with them. Since they left this coun- 
try they had four children one of which, George, died at ten 
months old, the remaining children's names are, Anne, Wm. Mar- 
garet, Eliza and Sarah Catherine. Poor Eliza enjoyed good health 
and looks nearly as young as when she left Ireland. They do 
not expect to see us this side of the grave, but they do expect to 
meet us in a better world.. May God in great mercy bring all our 
family to his eternal Kingdom. He states that Methodism is rapid- 
ly spreading in America. He likes the country much, and enquires 
whether any of us are likely to cross the Atlantic. I intend to 
write them soon and will inform, them of Poor Martha's* voyage, 
and when I receive a letter from Murphy I intend to let them 
know their address, so that they may have mutual comfort. After 
Sam concluded his letter, Eliza with her own hand writes the fol- 
lowing, which I copy for you. "Yes, my brother, I am still alive and 
in better health this year past than ever I have been. You know 
I was always so weakly. I am ashamed of myself for not writing 
before now. O pardon me my brother, and I never will be so un- 
grateful again, the reason for not writing was our unsettled situa- 
tion till within these 4 years past, when we all began to serve 
the Lord with all our hearts. Since then everything we under- 
took, the Lord made it to prosper. The children join me in love 
to you all. I remain still your loving sister Eliza A. Lander." He 
promises to give a more exact account in his next letter. 

May I trouble you to call to O'Grady's with the enclosed Note 
and receipt and get the balance for me L8 I I, which you will please 
to send by post, and when you do send it write a few lines to me 
by the man that drives the car. He leaves Patrick Street every 
second day at 2 o'clock. Let me know how the Cholera is in Cork, 
and whether any of my acquaintances died since I was there. 
Remember me affectionately to Anne and George and his wife. Tell 
him I called to see him one evening before I came away but could 
not get in. 

I am, my dear William, your affectionate Brother, 

Peter Miller. 

*Martha referred to is Mrs. Martha Miller Murphy who was a 
sister of Mrs. Lander and the wife of Jeremiah W. Murphy, the 
teacher. The Murphys were staunch Episcopalians and their sons 
Rev. Joseph W. Murphy, Rev. William Murphy and Rev. Reginald 
Heber Murphy, all now deceased, were clergymen in the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. Two other children. Dr. Samuel W. Murphy of 
Washington City and Miss Hobart Murphy of Philadelphia are 
still living. 

After the above letter was written the Murphy family found the 
w^ay to Lincolnton and there Mr. Murphy for many years taught 
in the old Academy. 

OF THE Lander Family 9 

A pen-picture of these good people appeared in the Southern 
Christian Advocate about the year 1882, by the late Rev. 
Landy Wood of the South Carolina Conference as follows : 

The Rev. Samuel Lander, Sr. 

' ' The snow lay two inches deep when I drove into Lincoln- 
ton on the 14th day of December, 1855, and called at the hospi- 
table residence of the above named gentleman. My ''plan" 
had sent me a v^^eek in advance of the time when the people 
were expecting me. The parsonage was not ready for occu- 
pancy. He cordially invited us to lodge with him. It was 
well that we did so. His age and experience, and his knowl- 
edge of the people among whom and for whom I had been 
sent to labor, were wisely used to prepare me for entering 
intelligently upon my pastoral duties. The high estimation 
I then learned to put upon him and his family have never 
abated. He was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to this 
country and settled in Lincolnton soon after his marriage in 
early life. For several years he followed the ways of the 
world, as a man of the world, shrewd, sharp, industrious and 
successful in business. A coach maker by trade, he soon es- 
tablished a reputation for good workmanship and fidelity in 
the fulfillment of contracts which secured him a custom equal 
to the capacity of his shop, and this continued to the close of 
his life. On turning his mind to religion his naturally noble 
character shone forth with such a steady brilliant light as at 
once to command the ardent respect of all classes of society. 
He became zealous for the truth as held b}^ the Methodists. 
Opposition called out all the faculties of his great mind and 
heart- He became a student of the scriptures, and strong in 
colloquial controversy. The new light which flashed upon his 
soul in the hour of his conversion burned with increasing 
lustre drawn from the sacred pages until he became a blazing 
light by which others might walk the path of life safely. His 
zeal could not be abated nor resisted. He burst forth with 
energy to assault the enemies of Christ, and subdue them to the 
sceptre of his kingdom. He was licensed to preach. He was 

10 A Brief History 

soon an acknowledged man of power in the pulpit. Feeling 
the truth of his own utterances he spoke with authority, and 
though respecting other creeds he never failed on suitable 
occasions to wave the banner of Methodism as worthy and 
certain to lead the hosts of Immanuel to victory. I met him 
in his riper years. As he appeared then I fancy I see him 
now — his stalwart form towering in the pulpit as he persuad- 
ed his neighbors in his full sonorous voice, not loud, but deep 
and heavy, to turn to God, or as he hurled the denunciations 
of the law against the wickedness of the times. Such a man 
could not labor in vain. As a preacher he was eminently 
practical, but by no means lacking in theory to harmonize 
every great truth with the doctrines and rules of the Method- 
ist Church. He would often ascend to the loftiest plane of 
sublimity, and especially when on subjects relating to family 
government or Christian fellowship. He was a true Irishman, 
and one of the noblest specimens. 

Although no man's enemy, he made no compromise with 
evil, and he despised deception in trade or hypocrisy in re- 
ligion. His word was his bond, and no man thought of 
doubting it. He was a man of sterling integrity in all the 
relations of life- 

The name of Samuel Lander deserves to be enrolled as a 
patriarch of Methodist preachers. Three of his immediate 
descendants are Methodist preachers. The Kev. Samuel Lan- 
der, D. D., now President of the Williamston Female College, 
in South Carolina, is his ison; the Rev. John M. Lander, a 
Professor in the same College, is grand-son of the former, and 
son of the latter; and the Rev. S. A. Weber, editor of the 
Southern Christian Advocate, is his grand-son. The late 
Rev. Wm. I. Langdon, a prominent and eminently useful 
member of the North Carolina Conference in his brief day, 
was his son-in-law. The Rev- Geo. H. Wells, of the South 
Carolina Conference, married his grand-daughter, who now 
sleeps in the public cemetery at Conwayboro, S. C. Thus, 
five Methodist preachers are connected by immediate descent. 

OF THE Lander Family 11 

or marriage with his posterity. And there is not a man of 
them, bu.t honors his name.* 

Mrs. Eliza Ann Lander, wife of the Rev. Samuel Lander, 
Sr., of Lincolnton, was also among the mothers in that day.. 
She was a native of Ireland. It may be truly said that she 
was horn in the Methodist Church, for at the time of her birth 
in 1793 her father's house was a preaching and meeting place 
of the Methodist Society of that neighborhood. In her quiet 
way she was ever doing good. So quiet and unobtrusive was 
she that few knew her open heart or hand until ishe came in 
the hour of grief or hardship to minister to their wants. The 
good deeds of such can never be duly honored here, for they 
are not done to be seen of men, but of God. If she fed the 
hungry she did not permit them to know she thought they 
needed her benefactions ; if ^he clothed the naked, they never 
felt that she considered that they were paupers. A kind word 
and a pleasant smile she gave to all in trouble, or else she wept 
with those that wept- All her neighbors, and all the church 
loved her. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Their 
lives have honored her name.— They all became members of 
the Methodist Church in early life. I used to think her 
daughter Sarah, who afterwards married Mr. S. P. Sherrill 
and sank, alas ! too soon into the grave, was the most devoted- 
ly pious young lady I ever knew." 

* Since the above appeared his grand-daughter Kathleen Lander 
was married to Rev. Dr. John O. Willson, now a member of the South 
Carolina Conference and President of Lander College. 

A grand-son, William Lander Sherrill, the editor of this pamphlet, 
is a member of the Western North Carolina Conference. 

A great-grand-son, the Rev. Norman Lander Prince deceased, was 
a local preacher who on account of feeble health was prevented 
from joining the itinerancy. He was the eldest son of Judge George 
E. and Mattie Lander Prince, of Anderson, S. C. Another great- 
grand-son. Rev. Dr. John Langdon Weber, is a leading preacher of 
the Memphis Conference, and his younger brother. Dr. William 
Lander Weber, deceased, though a layman, was an intensely devout 
Christian and a widely known educator, having filled the chair of 
English in both Emory and Millsaps Colleges, and later was Presi- 
dent of Centenary College, Mansfield, La. He died in 1911. The 
last mentioned are sons of Rev. Dr. Samuel A. Weber, of South 


A Brief History 


Born Nov. 12, 1792 Oct. 12, 1812 Born May 1, 1793 

Samuel Lander, Sr. Married Eliza Ann Miller 

Died Dec. 17, 1864 Died Dec. 29, 1875 

Their Children Were: 

Born April 29, 1814 
Anne Maria Lander 
Died June 10, 1845 

Born May 9, 1817 

William Lander 

Died Jan. 8, 1868 

Born Nov. 24, 1820 

George Lander 
Died Sept. 15, 1821 

Born Sept. 15, 1822 

Miargaret Jane Lander 

Died April 15, 1892 

Born Dec. 14, 1824 
Eliza Ann Lander 
Died Nov. 3, 1877 

Apr. 15, 1835 

May 9, 1839 

Dec. 17, 1844 

Born Dec. 1, 1805 

John Weber 
Died June 7, 1861 

Sarah Tillman Connor 
Died April 1, 1863 

Born Feb. 25, 1814 
William L Langdon 
Died Aug. 24, 1859 

Born Oct 18, 1831 Dec. 8, 1857 Born Feb. 21, 1834 

Sarah Catherine Lander Married Samuel Pinckney Sherrill 
Died Sept. 15, 1865 Died Jan. 17, 1913 

Bom Jan. 30, 1833 
Samuel Lander, 2nd 
Died July 14, 1904 

Dec. 20, 1853 

Born Nov. 4, 1833 

Laura Ann McPherson 

Died Dec. 2, 1914 

Born Feb. 25, 1835 Feb. 25, 1854 Born March 12, 1833 

Martha Suzanna Lander Married Eli H. Fulenwider 

Died May 19, 1855 Died Nov. 5, 1874 

Children of John and Ann Lander Weber 
Born April 28, 1836 

Elizabeth Ann Weber Married Rev. Geo. H. Wells, Dec'd. 
Died Aug. 25, 1862 

Born Jan. 19, 1836 
Samuel Adam Weber 

Nov. 19, 1861 

Born Oct. 31, 1840 

Sarah Alston Langdon 


Dec. 27, 1899 

Bom April 27, 1840 Oct. 7, 1861 

Margaret Louise Weber Married 

June 7, 1876 

Emma C. S. Jeffreys 
Died Jan. 4, 1909 

Born 1830 
Jerome B. Fulton 

Died 1871 

Born March 24, 1839 

James Wm. Seay 

OF THE Lander Family 


Bora Sept. 24, 1842 

Jolin Simpson Weber 

Died June 2, 1900 

Born Feb. 16, 1845 

Sarah Narcissa Weber 

Died Sept. 8, 1845 


Children of William and Sarah Connor Lander 

Born Nov. 4, 1841 MaiTied 

Samuel Lander, 3rd July 26, 1882 

Died Sept. 20, 1908 

Born March 30, 1844 

Julius Alexander Lander 

Died Sept. 3, 1844 

Born Aug. 15, 1846 
Mary Agnes Lander 

Born Oct. 1, 1859 
Alice Jenkins 

Born May 16, 1848 

El a Lander 


Eoin 1850 

William Lander, 2nd 

Died 1871 

June 24, 1868 Born Aug. 18, 1837 
Married Dr. John Means Lawing 
Died March 8, 1894 

Married Dr. G. Lagare Connor 


Born March 20, 1853 Dec. 15, 1880 Born Sept. 15, 1861 
Frank Connor Lander Married Louisa Templeton 

Died July 7, 1902 

Born Jan. 1855 

Jasper Stowe Lander 

Died Sept. 3, 1856 

Born March 8, 1859 

Clara Connor Lander 

Died July 19, 1878 


Warren Lander 


Children of Rev. Wm. I. and Margaret Lander Langdon 


Samuel Lander Langdon 


Born Nov. 4, 1847 

Alice Deems Langdon Sept. 24, 1868 

Died Aug. 13, 1890 Married 

Bom Aug. 24, 1851 

Ida Elizabeth Langdon 

Died May 1, 1881 

Born Aug 11, 1831 

Marcus Ammon 



A Brief History 

Children of S. P. and Sarah Lander Sherrill 

Born Feb. 9, 1860 May 21, 1884 Born Jan. 26, 1862 
*William Lander Sherrill Married Sarah Luetta Connor 

Born Feb. 24, 1862 
Bettie Lee Sherrill 

June 6, 1885 Born Sept. 25, 1843 

Married Edward Wilkinson Ward 
Died Dec. 13, 1897 
Childr'en of Samuel Lander, 2nd, and Laura McP. Lander 

Bom Oct. 31, 1854 

Lily Lander 
Died Oct. 4, 1856 

Born Oct. 4, 1856 Jan. 24, 1878 

Msxtlia, McPherson Lander Married 

Born Dec. 17, 1858 Jan. 14, 1886 
John McPherson Lander Married 

Born Feb. 27, 1861 
Wm. Tertius Lander 

Dec. 25, 1889 

Nov. 4, 1914 

Bom Sept. 26, 1863 Nov. 29, 1888 
Angus McPherson Lander Married 

Bom Jan. 24, 1855 
Geo. Edward Prince 

Born Sept. 3, 1862 
Sallie Thompson Hall 

Born May 27, 1868 

Hannah Ford 
Died Aug. 13, 1894 

Susie Rumph 

Bom Nov. 23, 1870 
Eliza W. Porcher 

Born Dec. 19, 1865 

Neil McPherson Lander 

Died July 1915 

Bom Feb. 12, 1868 
Kathleen McP. Lander 

Aug. 27, 1896 

Bom Jan. 27, 1845 
John Owens Wilson 

Bom June 19, 1870 
Malcolm McP. Lander 

Oct. 10, 1901 

Born June 14, 1877 
Rosa Olivia Dantzler 

Bom Dec. 17, 1872 
Frank McP. Lander 

Oct. 8, 1902 

Mary Eliza Matthews 

Born Jan. 20, 1875 

Christie McP. Lander 

Died Sept. 17, 1877 

. Bora Sept. 17, 1877 
Ernest McP. Lander 

^ Their son 
Henry Connor Sherrill 
Born July 9, 1885 

Nov, 15, 1916 

June 15, 1905 

June 3, 1914 

Bessie Barnes 

Kizzie Ezzell Jones 

Bettie Dixon King 
Born April 27, 1885 

They have one child, Sarah Elizabeth Sherrill, Born June 12, 1917. 

OF THE Lander Family 1 5 

Daughter of E. H. and Martha Lander Fulenwider 

Bom Feb. 2, 1855 Dec. 18, 1877 Born Dec. 2, 1851 

Mary Elizabeth Fulenwider Married Reuben McBrayer 

Died July 12, 1892 

The absence of complete data and the difficulty of promptly se- 
curing it is the explanation for not publishing a full list of the de- 
scendants after the third generation. 

16 A Brief History 



Jurist — Orator — Legislator 

By William Lander Sherrill 

Lincoln County though small in territory has been the home 
or birthplace of many noted men. Froon revolutionary 
times down, each generation has produced its share of these, 
and while the people have always appreciated these leaders 
of thought and sentiment, they have generally been too modest 
to laud their virtues or even make simple record of their bril- 
liant deeds. It is a fertile field in which the historian may 
glean to preserve the splendid record made by so many rare 
and brilliant men. 

Massachusetts and Virginia have, to their credit, kept a 
full record of their history and if our people had been half 
so faithful to preserve our past we and our children would 
appreciate more genuinely the honorable service which the 
generations gone have rendered the State and Nation. 

Distinguished Jurists 

Lincoln County has been famous for its distinguished jurists 
and for the great number of them for a century past. Among 
them were Michal Hoke, Bartlett Shipp, James R. Dodge, Al- 
fred and Robert H- Burton, Haywood W. Guion, William 
Lander, William P. Bynum, William M. Shipp, David 
Schenck, John D. Shaw, John F. Hoke, and among younger 
men Theodorus H. Cobb and William Alexander Hoke. The 
last mentioned only, of this distinguished company, still 
lives and is an honored Justice of our State Supreme Court. 

Several of these were noted judges in their day and almost 
any one of them would have added distinction to any court 
or legislative body. 



Carolina Sfafe Library 

OF THE Lander Family 17 

William Lander 

In this paper I desire especially to give some facts relating 
to the life of the late Hon. William Lander, who ranked high 
in the regard of his notable compeers. 

It has been my purpose for many years to prepare a paper 
setting forth some of the characteristics of this brave and 
brilliant man, but I have postponed the task to this late day 
when about all his old friends and contemporaries have pass- 
ed beyond and therefore it is impossible to secure much rich 
material which was lost b}^ the death of those who possessed 
it. This much, however, has been gathered from various 
sources and records and will enable the reader to get a better 
knowledge of the man and the times through which he lived. 

He was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, May 9, 1817, 
eldest son of Rev. Samuel and Eliza Miller Lander and came 
with his parents to America in 1818. A few years later they 
settled in Lincolnton, N- C, and here he spent the remainder 
of his life. On May 9, 1839, he was married to Miss Sarah 
Tillman Connor, daughter of Doctor Francis Connor, of 
Cokesbury, S. C. He died in Lincolnton January 8, 1868, 
and was buried in the family plot in the Methodist graveyard 

Every great man is the son of a great mother. Mr. Lander's 
mother possessed a mind of rare brilliancy, stored with a 
wealth of knowledge gleaned out of all literature and his 
father, too, was a man of wonderful strength of character, 
mental vigor and sanctified common sense. These parents did 
their best by their dhildren and their son William was given 
all the advantages to be secured in the schools of his day. 

His Childhood 

He was a precocious child. In his early teens he showed 
signs of remarkable mental vigor and was a diligent student 
at the old Lincolnton Academy where he received instruction 
from his uncle, Prof. J. W. Murphy, a teacher of rare gifts 
and scholarship. Later he attended the Cokesbury (S. C.) 

18 A Brief History 

school and was a classmate there of the late Holland N- Mc- 
Tyeire, who later became a distinguished preacher, bishop 
of the Methodist Church and founder of Vanderbilt Universi- 

At Cokesbury young Lander was soon distinguished among 
the student body for his rare intellect and ability in debate 
and was admired by the whole community for his magnetism 
and warmth of heart. 

There dwelt in Cokesbury in those times a quaint and ec- 
centric Methodist preacher, James Donnelly, of whom most 
all the bo3^s were afraid but young Lander was a great favor- 
ite with him. When Lander was preparing for a debate or to 
speak on some phase of philosophy, the old preacher would 
say to the young orator, "All right, Lander, the audience 
will think it a great speech because they won't know what 
it means." He regarded Donnelly a very great preacher es- 
pecially because of his imaginative power and severe denun- 
ciation of sin. 

Wlien Mr. Lander finished the course at Cokesbury he re- 
turned to Lincolnton and read law with Col. James R. Dodge, 
then a prominent member of the Lincolnton bar for whom he 
formed a friendship which was never broken. 

Colonel Dodge 

Colonel Dodge possessed superior literary gifts and on one 
occasion, I think it was at Eutherford court, while associated 
with Hillman, Governor Swain and Thomas Dews, in the de- 
fense of some litigants, he hurridly scratched off the following 

verse and laid it on the desk of Dews : 
"Here lies a Hillman and a Swain, 
Their lot let no man choose, 
They lived in sorrow, died in pain, 
And the devil got his Dews." 

Quick as a flash, Thomas Dews, who was a brilliant genius, 
wrote the following reply for the benefit of Colonel Dodge : 
"Here lies a Dodge who dodged all good, 
And dodged a deal of evil, 
But after dodging all he could 
He could not dodge the devil." 

OP THE Lander Family 19 

Col Dodge was a native New Yorker and a nephew of Wash- 
ington Irvin, the noted author. He was overtaken with 
financial misfortune, and the homestead law not then in ef- 
fect, all his personal goods were sold for debt. The hand- 
some collection of Irving 's works, a gift from his distinguished 
uncle, was sold with his other property. Mr. Lander bought 
these books and presented them back to Colonel Dodge, who 
very greatly appreciated the gracious deed. jColonel Dodge 
was for many years clerk of the Supreme Court and a man 
of broad culture and learned in the law. He was, too, the 
grandfather of Hon- R. B. Glenn, late Governor of this State. 

Lander County Solicitor 

Soon after his admission to the bar Mr. Lander was elected 
county solicitor under the old system which made it his duty 
to prosecute in all criminal actions in the county court. One 
of his first cases was against a man of high position in the 
county. He was influential and strong minded and when Mr. 
Lander began his argument this man determined to abash the 
young attorney and look him out of countenance. This, how- 
ever, had the contrary effect of inspiring the young lawyer to 
greater effort. He made a powerful appeal to the jury and 
convicted the defendant, who never afterward fully regained 
standing with his neighbors. 

This single legal victory distinguished Mr. Lander at once 
and from that time he never lacked for clients. 

He was a Democrat in politics and while not a seeker of 
political position was active in support of his friends. In 
1848, when only 30 years old, he was the Democratic candi- 
date for the State Senate and was sure of success but the day 
before the election Mr. Henry Cansler, one of his political 
friends discovered that he was ineligible, the Constitution 
at that time requiring that a Senator should possess 300 acres 
of land, for one year at least, immediately preceding his elec- 
tion. He owned the amount of land but had not held it for 
the required time. At once he withdrew and rushed messen- 

20 A Brief History 

gers over the county giving notice that Hon. Henry W. Con- 
nor had taken his place on the ticket- The next day Major 
Connor was chosen by a large majority over Honorable Bar- 
lett Shipp the Whig candidate. 

Lincoln Delegation 

In 1852 the Lincoln delegation in the House of Commons 
was composed of William Lander, J. A. Caldwell, John H. 
Wheeler and Henderson Sherrill. The law which required 
a Senator to own 300 acres of land also required that the 
voter should own 50 acres in order to vote for Senator. The 
Democratic party in the canvass of 1852 waged battle against 
that law which tinctured of aristocracy, and advocated free 
suffrage instead. In the Legislature Mr. Lander was an 
active and leading supporter of legislation which freed North 
Carolina from a qualified suffrage. 

By way of digression let me say that Hon Stephen A. 
Douglass in 1850 made a visit to Hon. David S. Reid, of 

The Whigs had long controlled the State. Douglas told 
Reid that the land qualification for suffrage was contrary to 
American ideas of equality and freedom and if the Democrats 
would make free suffrage the issue in the next campaign they 
would wrest the State from Whig control- The Democrats 
heeded the suggestion of Senator Douglas and sure enough 
in 1852 Reid was elected Governor over Hon. John Kerr and 
the Democrats have controlled the State, with brief excep- 
tions, ever since. 

In the same legislature of 1852 Mr. Lander was elected 
State Attorney or Solicitor for his judicial district over Wil- 
liam P. Bynum, the Whig candidate. He was peculiarly fitted 
for that responsible office. His years of active practice had 
made him an extraordinarily well furnished lawyer and 
eminently qualified to cope with the legal giants who contested 
with him in the courts. He was an advocate who had no 
superiors and few equals before a jury. The late Judge 

OF THE Lander Family 21 

David Schenck who knew him well and appreciated his 
splendid gifts, and who too, was widely acquainted with the 
North Carolina bar, more than once said: 

"I have traveled all over North Carolina and listened to all her 
great orators and lawyers and have never heard one who was the 
equal of William Lander before a jury." 

The Langford Case 

Some time after he entered upon his duties as solicitor the 
noted case against Langford for the murder of his wife was 
tried in Lincoln Court. There were a:bout 150 witnesses 
and all the evidence was circumstantial. Mr. Lander appear- 
ed for the State, personally examined every witness and made 
no memorandum or note of testimony, but in the concluding 
argument before the jury, from memory reviewed the testi- 
mony of every essential witness and after a speech which took 
him a full day to deliver the defendant was convicted and 
sentenced to death. 

While he felt morally sure of Langford 's guilt, yet the 
evidence, all being circumstantial, he feared the possibility 
of having convicted an innocent man. This fear, however, 
was relieved when Langford on the scaffold, just before his 
execution, confessed his guilt and further said that : 

"Mr. Lander in his speech before the jury had described in his 
imagination the scene and circumstances of the murder as vividly 
and accurately as if he had been present and witnessed the deed." 

A gentleman who heard his argument in that noted trial 
said it was a powerful appeal to reason and the finest oratori- 
cal effort he ever listened to. He not only knew how to carry 
a jury but he thoroughly knew the fundamentals of the law 
and the history of its growth from Runnymede all the way 
down to the establishment of American liberty- 

As a Criminal Lawyer 

The late Judge Badger, one of the greatest North Carolin- 
ians of the past, once testified that as a criminal lawyer he 
hardly had an equal in the State. The late Mr. Cyrus B. 

22 A Brief History 

Watson told the writer that he was noted for his ability to 
draw an indictment so free from flaw or technical error that 
opposing counsel was never able to quash it. Further on the 
same line he referred to a bill of indictment for murder re- 
corded in either Yadkin or Surry, which was drawn by Mr. 
Lander and which was a model form and guide for lawyers. 
His large judicial circuit gave him full opportunity to expand 
his talents and his fame as a lawyer and orator became State- 

Gavernor Ellis 

In 1858 Mr. Holden who had dictated Democratic policies 
in North Carolina for two decades, was ambitious for the 
nomination for Governor and when the party leaders met 
at the Charlotte Convention that year it looked as though 
he would succeed. The west was for Judge Ellis and such 
leaders as Mr. Lander, Mr. W. W. Avery and others, after 
a very spirited contest finally secured the nomination for 
Ellis and from that time the influence of Mr. Holden began 
to wane in Democratic councils. 

In the contest which followed at the polls Mr- Ellis was 
triumphantly chosen Governor over Duncan K. McEae. 

In 1860 the mighty storm began to brew. 

Cliarleston Convention 

The Southern Democrats were alarmed at the turn thing's 
had taken in the North since the memorable Douglas-Lincoln 
debate in 1858. They wanted assurance that Southern rights 
would be protected and regarded with a measure of suspicion 
the promises of the Douglas leaders. 

The National Convention met in Charleston April 23, 1860. 
Among the leading men in the North Carolina delegation 
- were Bedford Brown, W. W. Avery, William Lander, Wil- 
liam S. Ashe, Walter L. Steele, Robert P. Dick, L. W. Hum- 
phrey and Dr. Columbus Mills. Mr- Lander was made chair- 
man of the North Carolina delegation and W. W. Avery chair- 
man of committee on resolutions. The two-thirds rule was 

OP THE Lander Family 23 

adopted and no ballot was to be taken until a platform was 
agreed on. 

Dred Scott Decision 

The Southern delegates and a minority of the Northern 
portion believed in the Dred Scott decision and held that slave 
property was as valid and entitled to the same protection 
everywhere, under the Constitution, as other property. 

The Douglas delegates on the other hand stood firm for 
popular sovereignty, holding to the theory that States and 
Territories should decide the question according to local senti- 
ment. Therein came the hitch. 

The Southern majority report demanded Federal protection 
to the slave property in the Territories but the Douglas fac- 
tion wanted the platform of 1856 reaffirmed, leaving the Ter- 
ritories free to act for themselves. The Douglas men had a 
majority on a straight vote and forced their platform, where- 
upon the delegations from the States of Alabama, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and South Carolina 
bodily withdrew from the convention but Virginia and North 
Carolina thought it better for the time at least to "abide in 
the ship," for while the Douglas forces could make the plat- 
form they could not nominate a candidate repulsive to the 
South under the two-thirds rule. 

Forty-eight ballots were taken without a nomination. Ben 
Butler, of MassachuiSetts, though instructed for Douglas, 
violated his State's request and voted every time for Jeffer- 
son Davis. Finally, after 10 days of fruitless effort to agree 
the convention passed a resolution to adjourn to meet in 
Baltimore June 18 and the Douglas leaders shrewdly added 
to the resolution a request that the ' ' Democratic party of the 
several States make provision for supplying all vacancies in 
their delegation to this convention, when it shall reassemble. ' ' 
The significance of this request will be seen later. 

Returning from Charleston, Mr- Lander stopped in Char- 
lotte and addressed a large audience in the court house and 

24 A Brief History 

The Charlotte Democrat, of May 22, 1860, gives a partial re- 
port of his speech as follows : 

'^He was opposed to war. If the Union must be dissolved, 
as he hoped would never be the case,the States that remained 
in the convention would have to bear the first shock of civil 
war and it is but natural that their citizens should do all in 
their power to avert such a calamity. While opposed to the 
doctrine that Congress or a Territorial Legislature had power 
or right to legislate against slavery in the Territories, he was 
also opposed at this time to demanding a slave code for the 
Territories, but was in favor of non-intervention, for if the 
right of Congress to interfere on the one side was acknowl- 
edged, then the same right w^ould be claimed by the enemies 
of Southern institutions to intervene on the other side. Some 
who withdrew demanded that the convention should acknowl- 
edge the right of intervention. But those who have been all 
their lives fighting for Southern rights deemed it unwise at 
present to spring that question. In concluding a very able 
speech he hoped that an acceptable nomination would be made 
at Baltimore and a platform adopted to the entire satisfaction 
of all Southern Union loving men." 

^ Action of Convention 

When the convention reassembled in Baltimore the resolu- 
tion as to vacancies was interpreted by the Douglas majority 
to mean that the delegates from Southern States who with- 
drew at Charleston were no longer delegates, the act of with- 
drawal on their part eliminating them entirely and actually 
they filled some of their places with Douglas men. 

After long and spirited debate it was finally made clear 
that harmony could never be reached except by a complete 
surrender to the Douglas majority. The South with such 
vast property values at stake regarded such a policy as un- 

Others Withdraw 

Finally the delegation from the conservative States of Virgi- 

OF THE Lander Family 25 

nia and North Carolina concluded that the time to withdraw 
had arrived. After the Virginians took leave, Mr. Lander, 
of the North Carolina delegation, said : 

Mr. Ohairman: Painful as the duty is, yet nevertheless, it is my 
duty as one of the representatives from the good State of North 
Carolina, call her Rip Van Winkle if you will, to say that a very 
large majority lof our delegation is compelled to retire permanently 
from this convention, on aocount, as we conceive, of the unjust 
course that has been pursued toward some of our fellow citizens of 
the South. 

The South has heretofoTe relied upon the Northern Democracy 
to give us the rights which are justly due us, hut the vote today 
has satisfied the majority of the North Carolina delegation that 
these rights are now refused and this being the case, we can no 
longer remain in this convention. 

Others Join 

Then delegates from all the border States, together with 
those from California and Oregon, withdrew. Even Caleb 
Cushing, of Massachusetts, who had presided over the con- 
vention to that hour, vacated the chair and with Ben Butler 
and several other Massachusetts leaders joined in with the 
Southern delegates and nominated Breckenridge and Lane. 

The North Carolina delegates who stood for Douglas to the 
last were Robt- P. Dick, William W. Holden and J. W. N. 
"Watson. The Douglas faction then proceeded promptly to 
nominate Mr. Douglas for the Presidency and Herschel V. 
Johnson, of Georgia, for Vice-President. Then came the 
break that gave Lincoln the Presidency and freedom to the 
slaves. But it was inevitable. The South with the immense 
interests it had at stake could no nothing less than its repre- 
sentatives there did. 

Southern Whigs joined with the Northern Conservatives 
and supported John Bell, of Tennessee, for President and Ed- 
ward Everett, of Massachusetts, for Vice-President. 

The Campaign 

The campaign which followed was the most spirited the 
country had ever seen. The champions of each candidate were 
active from start to finish of the long and bitter struggle. 

26 A Brief History 

Mr. Lander was of course enthusiastic for the Breckenridge 
ticket, making many speeches during the campaign. Immedi- 
ately upon his return from Baltimore there was a great mass 
meeting of his fellow citizens held in Lincolnton. In a speech 
on this occasion, reported in the Charlotte Democrat, July 10, 
1860, he gave a detailed report of the Charleston and Balti- 
more Conventions, portraying the injustice sought to be per- 
petrated on the South by men "who came to Baltimore for 
Douglas or nothing."' 

"His account of the ciiicanery practiced to exclude the regular 
State delegations from the South and the admitting of the bogus 
delegations, some of whom had never cast a Democratic vote and 
of the vindictive power which sacrificed the the noble Hallett, 
made every heart beat with Indignation and the applause which 
met his appeal for his vindication in repudiating such men, told 
that his fellow citizens at home appreciated and loved him for his 

"Mr. Dander claimed that Breckenridge and Lane were nominated 
by the National Demooi^ats and as such would go before the coun- 
try, but especially did he appeal to the South to sustain the only 
platform of principles where her rights were distinctly recognized 
and to rally to the support of nominees upon whom there was no 
spot or political blemish, men who have both sustained their coun- 
try's honor on the bloody fields of Mexico and adorned her councils 
with their wisdom and eloquence. His speech was a magnificent 
vindication of his course and a masterpiece of argument and elo- 

Vance and Lander Debate 

In October, 1860, just two weeks before the election, Mr- 
Lander and Zebulon B. Vance, the young lion from the moun- 
tains, met in Newton in a joint discussion of the issues. 

Vance was a supporter of Bell and Everett and opened the 
discussion with a speech of about two hours in his own charac- 
teristic style, in which his points were clinched with anec- 
dotes. Of course he stood for the Union and assailed Demo- 
cracy for its rebellious spirit. He eulogized Andrew Jack- 
son, commended his course in the days of nullification and 
asked Mr. Lander when he came to reply, to say what he would 
do, if Lincoln was elected. He made of course an able defense 
of the old Whig party and pleased his friends with his open, 
manly and powerful argument. 

OF THE Lander Family 27 

Lander's Reply 

Mr. Lander when he came to reply was greeted with pro- 
longed applause and in most caustic and withering style ex- 
posed the weakness of the Bell party, the inconsistency of Mr. 
Bell on the Nebraska bill, and his anti-Southern record, and 
the subterfuge on which he relied for a platform was held up 
in contempt to his audience. He gravely depicted the crisis 
of the country and depreciated the use of ridicule and comedy 
at such a time as this when men should be seriously consider- 
ing the safety of their homes and firesides. 

He told his fellow Democrats 'Ho beware of Whigs who 
praised dead Democrats," for it was part of their scheme to 
mislead. In reply further, he said that he did not think 
the election of Lincoln would in itself be a cause for secession 
but that it was impossible to judge of the consequences which 
might surround that event, and that he held himself ready to 
cast his lot with North Carolina whatever it might be. 

The debate was a contest of giants. The Whigs were satis- 
fied with the argument of their great champion and the Dem- 
ocrats, who were largely in the majority, all thought that I-ian- 
der won the day. 

The four-sided contest resulted in the election of Lincoln 
who received 180 electoral votes while Breckenridge got 72, 
Bell 30 and Douglas only 12- 

Convention of 1861 

The election of Lincoln filled the South with consternation. 
South Carolina hastened to secede and other States followed 
but North Carolina, noted for her conservatism, was slow to 
take that serious step and gave 1,000 majority against the 
convention. The whole country was worked to a fever heat. 
Fort Sumter fell the 13th of April and still North Carolina 
had taken no action. 

The Legislature then without a further referendum called 
an unrestricted convention to meet in Raleigh May 20, 1861. 
Mr. Lander was the deleo-ate from Lincoln to that convention 

28 A Brief History 

of very able men, which included Thomas Riiffin, Bedford 
Brown, George Howard, R. P. Dick, Kenneth Rayner, W. M. 
Shipp, John A. Gilmer, J. W. Osborne, William S. Ashe, Col. 
William Johnson, Robert Strange, William A- Graham, David 
S. Reid, George E. Badger, Kemp P. Battle William W. 
Holden, Burton Craig, H. C. Jones, R. F. Armfield, Weldon 
N. Edwards, and others. Many of these were already well 
schooled in statecraft and many others were destined later 
to become distinguished in service to the State. 

The only living member now of that body of distinguished 
men is Dr- Kemp P. Battle, of Chapel Plill. 

He counted William Lander as one of the best and strong- 
est speakers in the convention. Mr. Battle writes : 

I belonged to the Badger-Graham party, while Mr. Lander was 
claissed with the original Secessionists, but I regarded him as a 
very able, honorable, courteous, high minded man, and he was con- 
sidered one of the best members of that very able body. 

He was identified with the Clingman-Craig party and voted 
for the ordinance of secession introduced by Burton Craige. 
It is remarkable that when the final vote was taken it was 
unanimous for the Craige paper. Governor Ellis tendered Mr. 
Lander the appointment to the judgeship which he declined, 
but was soon thereafter elected without opposition to the Con- 
federate Congress, from the eighth district, which embraced 
the counties of Cleveland, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Mecklen- 
burg, Union Cabarrus and Rowan, and then his brilliant 
friend and law partner, David Schenck, was chosen to succeed 
him in the convention as the delegate from Lincoln. 

Congress of Confederacy 

It being the first Congress of the Confederacy the body was 
all new, but Mr. Lander took high rank as a speaker and able 
supporter of the Davis Administration. His most notable 
speech was in opposition to the Gaither resolution which re- 
flected upon the consistency of the Secession record of North 
Carolina. From that speech we glean the following para- 
graphs : 

OF THE Lander Family 29 

"Nothing could be more unpleasant than to reply at this time 
to my honorable colleague for whom I have the highest personal 
regard, but the vindication of the truth of history as well as justice 
to my constituency, demands that I enter my most unqualified dis- 
sent to some of the allegations made by my colleague. He states 
and I know not on what authority, that North Carolina has always 
denied and repudiated the right of Secession and I join issue with 
him there. 

"The Democratic party which has been in power most of the 
time for 25 years past, upheld it as a constitutional right and to call 
the gentleman to the record proof I will state here that I had the 
honor of being a member of the convention which dissolved the 
connection of North Carolina with the old Government of the United 
States and in that convention the Hon. Burton Craige introduced 
the ordinance of Secession. Judge Badger offered a substitute which 
did not eitheir deny or admit the right of Secession and appealed 
to the convention to adopt his substitute as a concession to those 
members of the body who denied the constitutional right of Seces- 
sion. The convention by a pronounced majority, rejected the Bad- 
ger substitute and then passed unanimously the ordinance contain- 
ing and recognizing the right to secede. 

"My colleague has also thought proper to say that the conscrip- 
tion act, though very odious and believed to be unconstitutional, 
had been faithfully executed in North Carolina. Here again I beg 
to take issue with him and I give it as my opinion that the con- 
scription act has not been regarded in North Carolina las either 
odious or unconstitutional and foir my own constituents I can speak 
with certainty, for on my own return home after the passage of 
the conscription act I was met with congratulations for having 
sustained a measure which had saved the country, but on the con- 
trary, I believe that the intelligent and patriotic citizens of the 
State consider it the wisest and most commendatory act that this 
Congress has ever passed. 

"Further, I beg to say that I cannot for my life see the necessity 
for the adoption of the resolutions by the North Carolina Legis- 
lature, and if I had been a member of that body I should have 
opposed them because North Carolina had previously plighted her 
faith to stand by and defend the Confederacy with both men and 
money to the last extremity and I can see no cause for making 
any new confession of faith unless there had been some falling from 

"But if nothing more was necessary to vindicate her patriotism 
she can proudly refer to her more than 60,000 brave soldiers on the 
battlefields of the Confederacy and to the thousands of her noble 
sons who have shed their blood and sacrificed their lives in the 
vindication of the honor and patriotism of North Carolina. She 
needs no resolutions to show forth her loyalty but I can tell you 
the cause of their introduction. The House of Commons passed 
the ten regiment bill which came in direct conflict with the con- 
scription act of the Confederacy and which had it become a law 
would have reflected upon the fair fame of the body which passed 
it, but thanks to the patriotic Senate it was killed by a large major- 
ity, so now the advocates of that bill think it necessary to do some- 
thing to retrieve their falling fortunes and hence the resolutions. 

30 A Brief History 

As to the Conservative party of wtiich the gentleman speaks I will 
simply state that the only principle which I know they consistently 
adhere to is to put the 'ins out and the outs in.' " 

In an address announcing his candidacy for re-election to 

Congress, Mr. Lander said : 

Abstract of Speech 

"Since the lime of my election to Congress the Confederacy has 
been engaged in a stupendous war for the purpose of driving back 
the ruthless invaders of its soil and in establishing the peace and 
independence to which it is justly entitled. Overtures having 
been repeatedly made by ovr Government to terminate hostilities 
and settle the existing difficulties by negotiations and honorable 
adjustment and these overtures having been as often indignantly 
rejected, no alternative iremained but to drive back the invaders 
and conquer a peace by force of arms. I have used as your rep- 
resentative every exertion in my power to strengthen and iTicrease 
the Army, to give proper assistance and encouragement to the 
Executive and to prevent as far as possible those disastrous col- 
lisions between the civil and military authorities which are so 
apt to occur and which are so difficult to adjust in time of war. 

"I voted for both conscription acts, not because I desire to force 
the Southern citizen from his home and family to the camp and 
battlefield, but because I considered it indispensable to the Inde- 
pendence of the country. 

"I voted to raise the pay of non-commission ofiicers and privates 
in the Army because I believe they both deserved and needed it. 

"I voted against the exempt'on acts, not because I was opposed 
to all exemptions, but because I considered these acts wrong In 
principle, dangerous in policy and unjust in many of their discrimi- 

"I voted for the funding bill because I thought it necessary to 
reduce the volume of currency and thereby to give more healthy 
action to the finances of the country. 

"In fine I voted foir every measure which I thought would give 
strength to our Army and vigor to the Government and confidence 
to the country. I desire peace as ardently as anyone and shall 
use every honorable means to secure it, yet I will consent to no ad- 
justment which does not bring with it the independence of the 
Confederate States, their total separation from the United States 
and lall the blessings of liberty to which we are entitled by inheri- 
tance. Ouir cause is just. Our trust is in God. Our destiny I 
firmly believe is to be victorious in this struggle and to enjoy a 
career beyond all parallel. Let us prove ourselves worthy of our 
cause and woonthy lof our destiny." 

Comment on Speech 

The Charlotte Democrat, always conservative and safe, in 
concluding a lengthy report of a speech which Mr. Lander 

OF THE Lander Family 31 

delivered in Charlotte just before the election, made the 
following closing comment : 

"Though we have not and may not take an active part in the 
present canvass we will say that as an honest and conscientious 
public man William Lander has no superior. Unimpeachable in his 
private and public life, industrious and energetic, he merits the 
confidence of the people." 

"Less than this we oould not say, more is unnecessary." 

There had from the start been a strong union sentiment in 
the State as evidenced by the rejection of the first call for a 
Convention, but once into the strife the war party did not 
anticipate much opposition from the original peace element. 
In 1862 the peace party did support Vance for Governor and 
elected him over Col- William Johnston by 24,000 majority, 
but as the war continued and Vance was developing as one of 
the greatest of war Governors, the Administration at Kichmond 
felt secure as to the result of the congressional election. 

Lander's Defeat 

The administration was solidly behind the candidacy of Mr. 
Lander for re-election and his friends were sorely disappointed 
when it was found that he had been defeated by Dr. J. G. 
Ramsay, of Rowan, by only 147 votes. As only three of the 
ten Congressmen from North Carolina were re-elected the 
friends of Mr. Lander regarded his defeat not so much the 
result of personal opposition, as the expression of a temporary 
though general sentiment in which it was his misfortune to be 
one of the victims. While he was hopeful of the final victory 
of the South, in giving that opinion he voiced the general 
Southern sentiment and that of many people of the North. 
When we recall that as late as 1864 with McClellan a candi- 
date on a peace platform which proclaimed the war a failure, 
Mr. Lincoln, himself, far-seeing politician that he was, be- 
came so alarmed as to the result that he did not see a week 
before the election how it was possible for him to secure a 
majority of more than three in the Electoral College, but in 
the course of time when the result was known he had carried 

32 A Brief History 

all but three of the States and had 191 electoral majority, it 
proves that the wisest may err in judgement before the fact. 

Last Speech of Lander 

Mr. Lander never held any public position after his retire- 
ment from Congress, but continued the practice of the law 
and the last speech he ever made was in defense of Owen for 
murder at Gaston court in August, 1867. Judge Jam^s Y\. 
Osborne and William P. Bynum prosecuted and Mr. Lander, 
David Schenck and Governor Vance defended, which proves 
that there were giants in those days. 

Mr. Yates, in The Charlotte Democrat, commenting on the 
trial refered to the high courtesy and respect the opposing 
lawyers exhibited for each other in the conduct of that hotly 
waged contest. 

The great orator must be a man of afbsolute 
sincerity. He must believe with all his soul the truth he ut- 
ters. In a resume of the characteristics of Mr. Lander, it 
should be stated that he possessed rare native oratorical gifts 
that had been cultivated by long experience and training and 
in his latter days he was widely recognized as one of the 
superb orators of the land. 

Lander as an Orator 

The late Col. John F. Hoke, a very competent critic, class- 
ed him as one of the most polished and finished speakers in 
the South in an age, too, when oratory was in flower in Dixie. 
His perfect intonation, graceful gestures and musical voice, 
his classic English, his resistless logic, his overpowering 
earnestness, and his persuasive eloquence, all combined, 
stamped him as a master of assemblies. 

I have often heard my father say that Rev. Henry H. Du- 
rant, a Methodist presiding elder, and Mr. Lander were the 
most eloquent speakers he ever heard, and that while Durant 
sometimes failed Lander never failed. 


at 40 

OF THE Lander Family 33 

Lander's Preacher 

During the sitting of the Convention of 1861, Durant pass- 
ing through Raleigh visited the Convention as a spectator. Mr. 
Lander knew him as a South Carolina preacher and had the 
presiding officer invite him to conduct the opening religious 
service. It was said that the prayer that he offered wonder- 
fully thrilled and moved that very thoughtful body of men 
and at its close a large number of the delegates went for- 
ward and spoke to the visitor, whom they always afterward 
referred to as "Lander's preacher." 

Mrs. Lander's Death 

While at Richmond in the Cofederate Congress he was 
called home on account of the illness of Mrs. Lander. Rush- 
ing to the railway station to catch the first car going South 
he learned that there would be no train for several hours 
except a military train just about to depart. In attempting 
to board this car he was politety but positively informed by 
one of the officers that he could not travel on it. He re- 
monstrated with the officer and finally stated that sometimes 
circumstances were superior to law and that this was one of 
those times and that he would therefore go on that train or 
die. The commanding officer took in the situation and to re- 
move the technical objection made him temporarily a member 
of his staff and thus secured him passage to the South. 

Mrs. Lander died, however, before he reached his home. 

Lander as a Student 

He was a hnrd student. He delved deep into the law an.^ 
into every department of literature, poetry, history, science, 
philosophy. He knew Shakespeare thoroughly and was 
familiar with the ethical teaching and the wide range of 
history covered by the Bible. 

He had the capacity to scan a book at a sitting, gather all 
the salient points and remember to the last day every fact 
worth retaining. He never forgot a date, a detail or an in- 

34 A Brief History 

cicleiit and possessed the rare ability of commanding any 
fact stored away in memory just when he needed it. His 
ver*l)al memory was something wonderful, and made him 
ready and accurate in quotation in his extemporaneous speak- 

Hi5 Characteristics 

It has often been said that intimate knowledge magnifies 
the Aveak points in character, so that no man is therefore 
great in the estimation of his valet. Mr. Lander possessed 
many elements of greatness and one strong proof of the state- 
ment is that his warmest and most intimate friends regarded 
him most highly. 

His personality grew in the estimation of men as he was bet- 
ter known by them. His warm magnetic heart and well 
furnished mind combined to make him the most companion- 
able of men. His wide fund of information and fluent 
speech made him a conversationalist of rare brilliancy. 

He loved his friends and all he had belonged to them, for 
he was by nature generous, free-handed and full of the milk 
of human kindness. His door stood wide open to his friends 
and his hospitalitj^ was far famed and general. 

Gentle as a woman he was always merciful. 

Brave as a lion he was a stranger to fear. 

His superior ability and chivalrous spirit commanded the 
highest respect and admiration from that large company of 
brilliant men who grappled with him in the forum and on the 

One of these has beautifully said : 

"He was a brilliant impetuous, chivalrous and noble gentleman, 
who passed by the stately honors of the judgeship that he might 
enjoy the more splendid triumphs of the forum, and whose bril- 
liant eloquence found congenial fellowship amid the fiery spirits 
of the Confederate Congress." 

In politics he was a Democrat of the Calhoun-Macon strict 
constructionist school and held firmly to the constitutional 
right of Secession. 

Believing in the righteousness of the Southern cause he went 

OF THE Lander Family 35 

his full length to support the principles upon which the Con- 
federacy was built. He threw his all into the breach and took 
a bold stand with his people. He was a red-hot Secessionist 
when the conflict was inevitable and with all his section, 
wanted the barriers between the North and South to be as 
impassable in figurative phrase as ' ' rivers of blood and moun- 
tains of fire." But while he was enthusiastically sure of 
final triumph he calmly predicted a long and fierce contest. 
When the cause was lost he felt keenly the disappointment 
with his people. 

He was a very bright and enthusiastic Mason and to the 
end of his life was active in its councils. At his death he 
held the position of senior grand warden of the Grand Lodge. 
Because of his complete mastery of the Masonic ritual he was 
high authority in Masonic circles. 

Being well trained in a positive Christian home he had a 
firm faith in Grod, the greatest regard and reverence for re- 
ligion and was all his life a generous supporter of the Method- 
ist Church, which was his faith, though he never became a 

He was the friend of education and from 1859 to 1867 was 
a trustee of the State University. " 

When he died the State lost one of her most loyal and 
patriotic citizens. Had he lived she would surely have further 
honored him with responsible public position. 

His Children 

His children have all died except the eldest daughter, Agnes, 
widow of the late Dr. J. M. Lawing, who still abides in Lin- 
colnton, in the old residence of her father, where she was 
born and where she has continued to dwell ever since. 

His Toast to Woman 

His chivalrous spirit is revealed in the beautiful tribute he 
paid to woman, responding to a toast at the celebration of 
July 4, 1848, in Dallas, N. C. 

36 A Brief History 


In infancy tlie guardian angel who watches over us; in youth 
the inspiration which gives us vivacity; in manhood the smile 
which impels us to deeds of emulation; in old age the stay of frail 
mortality, and in death the oracle which points us to blissful im- 


More than fifty years have passed since the close of the 
great Civil War. Nearly all the heroic men who wrought 
in that mighty contest have passed over the river and now 
rest under the shade of the trees. The wondrous changes 
time has wrought since peace was made were never dreamed of 
by the patriotic leaders of the sixties. Those terrible days 
are behind us now. The wide breach has been healed. A 
mighty Nation has been built on the ruins of the past and 
sectionalism is now almost forgotten. 

To clearly understand the conditions which surrounded 
our fathers in 1861 we must go back as nearly as possible to 
their time and look from their angle at the difficulties they 
faced, in order to appreciate fully the problems they tried 
to solve. Remember that slavery as an institution had for two 
hundred years been taking deeper root in the Southern soil, 
that it represented vast millions in property, that it per- 
meated every Southern commercial interest and that it com- 
pletely molded Southern thought and sentiment. A great 
system like that, accepted without question by long genera- 
tions could not be uprooted without a terrific struggle. That 
conflict was bravely sustained by our fathers. Let us not 
forget the devotion to principle and the heroic self-denial 
which they practiced in the days that tried men's souls. To 
even think about it should do us good and inspire us with 
high resolve to do our work today with a measure of faithful- 
ness akin to that which they put forth in doing their work in 
"their day. That we might thus gain a clearer view of that 
past is one reason why this paper has been written. 

OF THE Lander Family 37 


Minister — Scholar— Educator 

By Mrs. Kathleen Lander Willson 

In the home of a staunch Methodist local preacher two re- 
markable sons were reared. The elder gave himself to the 
legal profession and became a lawyer distinguished for his 
profound knowledge of that science, and for his wonderful 
eloquence. The younger was called to the ministry and gave 
himself to that and to educational work, and he achieved 
equal success in these spheres. So that William Lander, the 
lawyer, was widely known in the old North State, and Samuel 
Lander, the Christian educator, is a familiar name in the land 
of the palmetto and pine. It is our special task to tell a 
little of the life of the younger of these gifted brothers. 

Samuel Lander was the son of Rev. Samuel and Mrs. Eliza 
Ann Lander, and was born January 30, 1833, at Lincolnton, 
N. C. The South Carolina Conference was in session in 
Lincolnton at the time of his birth. He was given a prophet 's 
name and he walked a prophet's road. Eminent preparation 
for life was his good fortune and eminent service was the 
return he rendered. From the beginning to the end he was 
like Samuel of old, listening to the Divine voice night and 
day and always saying, ''Here am I." 

His Education 

Samuel Lander was sent to school at the early age of four. 
It was taught by Mrs. Bevins, a native of Charleston, S. C, 
and particularly well educated for a woman of eighty years 
ago. The school was ''kept" almost all day long. The dear 
old teacher punished her pupils by putting them into her 
dining room closet. None of them objected to this treatment, 
for the closet was filled with jams, jellies and preserves and 
pupils naughty enough to be shut up there, were naughty 

38 A Brief History 

enough to help themselves to the good things. The old lady 
took occasional naps, but despite this was a good teacher, and 
little Samuel profited by being under her influence. 

Even before entering Mrs. Bevins' school the little boy had 
learned his letters and had been taught to read by a Miss 
Jacobs. During his first year at school (at the age of 
four) his uncle, Rev. J. W. Murphy, gave him some lessons in 
Greek and the study of Latin soon followed. Both of these 
classics were taken up before English Grammar. From Mrs. 
Bevin's school the boy went to the Male Academy and taught 
by Mr. Murphy, who was a noted teacher in his day. He 
was a native of South Ireland and was educated for the 
Romish priesthood, but became an ardent Protestant, a High 
Church Episcopalian. He was a fine classical scholar, and a 
rigid disciplinarian. ^' There was only one rule in th6 
school," Dr. Lander often said, ''and that was twelve inches 
long and one inch wide, usually applied to the palm of the 
hand." Being an Irishman Mr. Murphy had not all the 
patience in the world, and did not hesitate to pop over the 
head with his beloved Latin Grammar the boy who failed to 
learn its contents. He was very proud of his little nephew 
who was in a class of big boys, and he was delighted with 
the child's great fondness for the languages and mathematics. 

After teaching a few years at Lincolnton, Mr. Murphy 
moved to Lexington, North Carolina. Our young student's 
life was much the same as in any village school. At recess 
the boys played cat-ball, stealing clothes, and shinny. (Foot- 
ball is a product of modern pedagogy). On Friday after- 
noons they "said speeches," a time honored custom too little 
observed now-a-days. At the close of a session an ''exhibi- 
tion" was usually given with all that word can mean. On 
one occasion the boys gave Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures. 
Samuel Lander, being one of the smallest boys in the school, 
was selected to impersonate Mrs. Caudle, and was dressed in 
cap and gown, while John Shuford, a great big boy, was the 
poor, henpecked Mr. Caudle. 

At this period he began the study of music. His sisters at 

OP THE Lander Family - 39 

home taught him to play the piano and the guitar, and he 
went after his school hours were over to the Female Academy, 
where Mrs. Rogers, the music teacher, gave him lessons in 
sight-singing. A little later he studied at a singing school 
taught by Rev. Mr. Hank, an excellent teacher from Virginia. 

Mr. Murphy moved to Lexington about 1846. In a year 
or two the youth, Samuel Lander, followed his uncle there to 
prepare for college. He boarded in Mr. Murphy's family 
and had all the advantages this cultured home could give. 
Here he studied with the greatest diligence. During part of 
the time at least, he compelled himself to submit to great 
physical discomforts. For instance, he would sleep on a 
hard bench to discipline himself to endure hardships in case 
they ever came. Perhaps he had heard his uncle tell of the 
lives of privation led by the monks while studying for the 
priesthood. Perhaps he thought that severity had had some- 
thing to do with the remarkable literary attainments his uncle 
had made, and his boyish mind may have fancied that if he 
made himself uncomfortable he would some day know as much 
as the uncle whom he revered. We cannot account for all a 
boy thinks or does. 

At the age of sixteen and a half years he was ready for 

college, and Randolph-Macon, Virginia, was selected by his 

good old Methodist father. In 1849 there were no railroads 

in North Carolina, so the long journey was made in a car- 
riage. The trip from Lincolnton to Boydton, Virginia, occu- 
pied almost a week. The journey was usually broken at 
Yanceyrille, where Sunday was spent at Poteat's Hotel. This 
hostelry by the way, was conducted by the father of the dis- 
tinguished Dr. Edwin Poteat. The young student entered 
Randolph-Macon College when the old institution was almost 
at its zenith of prosperity and fame. William A. Smith was 
president, and Dr. David Duncan, Professors Charles B. 
Stuart, John C. Wills, and 0. H. P. Corprew, made up a fine 
faculty. He entered the Sophomore Class in the fall of 1849. 
He was examined in Latin and Greek classics, which he had 

40 A Brief History 

read carefully six years before, when only ten and a half years 
old, and was fully approved. 

Samuel Lander's habits at college were most painstaking 
efforts at culture. Of course in a college for men the idea of 
teaching penmanship would have been hooted at. But the 
young student realized that to write a beautiful hand was a 
great accomplishment, so he got for himself a copy-book and 
every day wrote a small portion as nearly like the copy as he 
could possibly make it. The result was that in early life 
his writing might have been mistaken for an engraver's work. 
Another illustration of his effort to improve himself was 
shown in his daily walks. Of course they were arranged for 
exercise and recreation, but he would invite a college chum 
to go with him, suggesting that they confine themselves to 
some object of study in which they both were interested. He 
mentioned chemistry among other subjects thus discussed. 
Such earnest and painstaking habits of study w^ould have 
made him an educated man at any college or at no college. 

At the end of his Junior year, the strain of hard study prov- 
ed too much for him, and his health, which was never robust, 
gave way completely. He managed to stay at college until 
the final examinations were over, then having official permis- 
sion, he hurried home before commencement for repairs. This 
journey was made in the stage-coach. On the way a fellow 
passenger Avas attracted to the pale-faced youth, and during 
their conversation the stranger recommended the medicinal 
value of dogwood. Soon the stage stopped near a dogwood 
tree, the kind man got out and cut a branch of twigs and put 
his new patient at once to chewing them. The bitter juice 
proved a tonic and a help for digestion, and before the young 
man reached home he was much better. Throughout all his 
life he was a great believer in dogwood twigs. During the 
vacation he spent most of the time out doors helping on the 
farm, and by the next fall he was sufficiently built up to re- 
turn to Randolph-Macon and begin his Senior j^ear. On the 
back of his report which was sent to his father June, 1851, 
the president of the college wrote: "Your son has suffered 


OP THE Lander Family 41 

somewhat in his health the past session, chiefly, I suppose, 
from his close confinement to study, but I hope nothing seri- 
ous will result. His studies next year will be comparatively 
light; and with two months rest and recreation, among his 
friends, I doubt not will go through with ease." A note 
written by Dr. Smith on the first report must have been most 

gratifying to the father's heart. It read: 

Dear Brother: This son of yours is a first rate boy, and a first 
rate scholar of his class. You will not be ashamed of him. If you 
have any more of the same sort left, please send them on and 
oblige, your friend, W. A. Smith." 

His report sent in his Senior year contains the message : 
"Samuel still maintains a high character as a gentleman and 
a scholar. ' ' 

One of his favorite chums at college was Virginius Parham, 
a bright young man whose standing in class was almost identi- 
cal with his own. Young Parham also broke down in his 
Junior year and had to go home sometime before the close of 
school. The following quotation from a letter written by Mr. 
Parham during the vacation of 1861 shows the close friend- 
ship existing between these two rival students : 

"Dear Sam: I am in hopes that these lines may find you en- 
tirely restored to health. As for myself I have improved a great 
deal since my arrival in Richmond, and am at present as well as 
usual. If I continue in as fine health as I now enjoy, I will return 
to college and hope to join you once more in peaceful strife. We 
are destined it seems (and I hope it will be so) to be side by side 
all through our collegiate course. J am happy to say that your 
fortunate disposition does not allow us to act, as is so often the 
case, with envious or inimical feeling toward each other. And I 
can rejoice that while you are my rival in a friendly warfare, I am 
enabled to recognize in you one whom I sincerely admire and re- 
spect. I have always and still do number you among my choice 
friends, and shall be happy to see the same relation ever sustained." 

A few paragraphs follow about the recent commencement 
both had missed. Then comes a request which shows that 
our young student had devised a system of shorthand which 
he used in college. Mr. Parham writes : "I have been in- 
duced to learn stenography. So if you will send me a copy 
of the synopsis that you showed me of your construction I 
shall be highly obliged to you." Virginius Parham died be- 
fore the opening of the next session. In his exceeding mod- 

42 A Brief History 

esty, Dr. Lander always said that if his friend had lived, the 
honor of being valedictorian might not have fallen where it 

One little incident occurred at college which may have led 
him to the habit of learning everything possible about every 
study. It was the night before examination in Geometry. 
An older student whom the boys called ''Father Adams" 
came to his room and asked if he were ready for tomorrow. 
He replied that he could demonstrate every proposition in 
the book except one, the "12th of the 8th." Father Adams 
suggested that he 'd better get that one clear in his head. So 
he went to work and mastered that difficulty. Imagine the 
feeling the young student must have had when next morning 
he drew from the hat as the only proposition he must demon- 
strate, the 12th of the 8th ! He went through it so beautifully 
as to call forth the warmest praise of his professor. From 
that time to the end of his life he made it his rule to know 
all about every subject ; not one single proposition was omitted. 

The graduation of Samuel Lander was June 10, 1852, when 
he delivered the valedictory and received his diploma. But 
this was only the commencement, in very truth, of the student 
life which kept up to the end. At once he returned home 
and began the study of civil engineering, doing some practical 
work in the survey of a road from Charlotte to Lincolnton. 
To gratify his elder brother, he took up the study of law, and 
while he was always gratified for the knowledge he obtained 
during these months, the law had no charm for him, and he 
gave up the course to resume the broader field of letters. 

During his later years he gratified his love for language 
by studying, without a teacher, German, French, Spanish 
and Italian, and he was able to read these languages, though 
he never ventured to speak them. In 1878, Trinity College 
N. C, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. 
His modest soul seemed oppressed by this honor. He re- 
marked that he was certainly unworthy of the title for he did 
not even know the Hebrew alphabet. At once, however, he 
set about studying that language, and it was not long before 

OP THE Lander Family 43 

he could read the Old Testament in the original text. He 
afterwards made it a rule to read a few verses in the Hebrew 
Bible every day. Later he became very much interested in 
Volapuk, the world-language, and mastered it. When in 1889, 
his oldest son went as a missionary to Brazil, Dr. Lander be- 
gan the study of Portuguese in order to read the Brazilian' 
papers and keep up with the affairs in that land. He fre- 
quently wrote letters in Portuguese. Just three years before 
his death he took up the study of the Irish language. 

His Marriage 

December 20, 1853, a little while before his twenty-first 
birthday, he married Laura Ann McPherson, his life-long 
sweetheart. There were eleven children born to them, the first 
dying in infancy. For more than fifty-three years the cur- 
rents of their lives were blended and at their golden wedding 
day their romance was as real as it was in '53. The resilience 
of her nature, the sunshine of her soul, the buoyancy and 
kindness and goodness — yes, and faith — these were what she 
brought into his life and who could live in such a presence 
and fail of greatness ? 

His Life Work 

After his work on the survey and the partial study of law, 
he entered upon the work for which Providence intended 
him — teaching. His first service was at Newton, N. C, with 
Henry Hildreth Smith, the father of Hoke Smith, United 
States Senator from Georgia. The next year he taught at 
Olin. In 1855 he was adjunct Professor of Language at his 
Alma Mater where he also took an A. M. course. Receiving 
this degree he went back to Olin, and a year later was called 
to a Chair in Greensboro Female College. Upon the death of 
Kev. William I. Langdon, the presidency of High Point Nor- 
mal School, founded by Mr. Langdon, became vacant and 
Samuel Lander, although only 26 years of age, was made pres- 
ident. Three years later he took charge of the Lincolnton Fe- 

44 A Brief History 

male Seminary and after six years at this post wes elected 
president of Davenport Female College. At the division of the 
conference he moved into South Carojlina and taught one 
year with Dr. S. B. Jones at Spartanburg Female College, 
and in 1872 was removed to Williamston where the rest of 
his life was passed. In all these schools his success was re- 
markable; in those where he had charge the attendance 
increased and the teaching improved. 

While at High Point he prepared two text books at the re- 
quest of the Educational Board of North Carolina. These 
were "Our Own Primary Arithmetic/' and ''Our Own 
School Arithmetic." The South being shut off from the out- 
side world could not obtain text books and had to produce 
them. These Arithmetics were so satisfactory that they were 
used long after the War between the States was ended. He 
published a Verbal Primer in 1864. For many years it was 
thought to have been the first ever written which did not be- 
gin with the alphabet, and certainly he had no access to any 
book of the kind in preparing it. He would read these les- 
sons to his little daughter and son and if any word puzzled 
them, he would change it to a simpler one. The lessons were 
suited to some cuts sent from England. 

Williamston Female College, Now Lander College 

The magnum opus of Dr. Lander is the college which now 
bears his name, tiere he was untrammelled by anything — 
save the lack of funds — and was free to plant and develop 
the seed thoughts he had been gathering for twenty years. 
At the conference of 1871 he was appointed preacher in 
charge of Williamston Circuit with the understanding that 
he would supplement his salary teaching. On reaching his 
field, after full conference with his Presiding Elder, the Eev. 
E. P. Franks, he leased the old hotel building and on Febru- 
ary 12th opened the Williamston Female College, which was 
incorporated in 1873. Seventeen boarders and twenty-one 
pupils from the town were enrolled on the first day. These 

OF THE Lander Family 45 

were joined by others and when the year closed, 61 students 
were in attendance. Encouraged by this success, the hotel 
property was bought by Dr. Lander and his friends, and in 
1873 it was enlarged. 

His purpose was to found an institution which would give 
thorough education to young women; and his further pur- 
pose was to put it under the control and at the service of his 
conference and church. The education of the young women 
at that time was lamentably defective, embracing chiefly what 
might be termed ornamental studies. He determined to 
make it cover the substantial branches of an education and he 
insisted upon thoroughness and accuracy. These aims he 
pursued during his life. And it can be modestly claimed that 
he was a leader in the movement to make the education of 
women equal to that of men. He was too wise to attempt too 
much at the beginning, but was content to advance by de- 
grees, insisting upon accuracy all along. It was not long be- 
fore the Williamston woman (now the Lander woman) was 
recognized as having a thorough education, and as one who was 
efficient wheresoever duty called her. 

At Williamston he developed several distinct ideas of his 
own. The first was a system of reviews taken along with col- 
lege work. He found that students entered with deficient 
knowledge of the elementary studies, and he determined to 
make up for these deficiencies. So all the school was required 
to take the lessons in Spelling, Eeading, Writing, Arithmetic, 
etc. In this way his college graduates could spell correctly 
as well as construe Cicero and Virgil. Similar work is now 
done in many places. 

Another educational idea was what has been erroneously 
styled ' ' the one study plan, ' ' but is more than that. Instead 
of giving a pupil work in Mathematics, Languages, Physical 
Science and other departments all at once, he had these princi- 
pal branches taken up one at a time along with reviews and 
other minor studies. The whole college course was covered in 
a year, but during each section the students concentrated their 
work on a principal study and finished it during that section. 

46 A Brief History 

By this means thorough scholarship was secured in all the col- 
lege course. It prevents favorite studies from having more 
attention than those less popular, and it was found by this 
concentration of work that the students made greater pro- 
gress than under the strict class system. This study plan 
was introduced about 1877. In Lander College it is still pur- 
sued with modifications. 

In January 1876 he introduced the Kindergarten for his 
primary pupils, competing with Charleston for the honor of 
being the first in the state. 

Another idea was the simplification of commencements. 
The showy scenes, the waste of time and extra dressing that 
generally obtained in colleges for women were cut out and 
only the sermon and addresses of such occasion were retained. 

These innovations were doubted, but they have proven their 
usefulness. Dr. Lander believed that "the education of girls 
was a serious and vital business and that close application 
to study, thorough discipline and broad and accurate scholar- 
ship was as necessary and as helpful for girls as for boys." 
And all means for securing these results he was not only will- 
ing but determined to use. Education at Williamston, as at 
Mount Holyoke, "was meant for culture and not mere 
accomplishment. ' ' 

The founding of a school is a great achievment. The found- 
ing of a school to stand "for essential womanliness, and hon- 
esty and thoroughness of work" is a still greater achievment. 
At the Founder's Day services, some remarkable testimonies 
were given him and his college : Dr. W. P. Few, President of 
Trinity College, said : 

"So far as I know the old Williamston Female College was a pio- 
neer among southern colleges for women in the handling of solid 
intellectual wares. The battle for plain, straightforward honesty 
in education has not been completely won, and the man who start- 
ed the fight in a part of the field where it was most urgently need- 
ed ought to be remembered with gratitude." 

Dr. T. N. Ivey, Editor of the Nashville Advocate, said: 
"No history of American education, no catalogue of high Ameri- 
can exploits, no record of American success built on the self- 
sacrifice of God-filled hearts can be complete without the name 
of Samuel Lander, the Evangel of Christ and a Christian educator." 

OF THE Lander Family 47 

Bishop John C. Kilgo declared : 

"It is not going too far to say that Dr. Lander knew hov^ to make 
edacatior a saving force, that he knew how to reach and bring out 
those energies of mind and spirit which make for real progress, 
that he rigidly distinguished between the frivolous and the vital 
qualities of mind and character. By fidelity to his belief he has 
sent out into this commonv/ealth a young womanhood whose dis- 
tinct traits are seriousness, sincerity and womanly integrity. He 
has founded an institution that has a clear and definite mission to 
yourig women." 

Dr. Stonewall Anderson, Secretary of Education of the 

Methodist Episcopal Church, South, bears this testimony: 

"Samuel Lander belonged to the last generation, we to this. In 
recounting his worth and his deeds we do honor to his memory 
and at the same time serve our generation. Lander College be- 
longs to both his day and to ours, for It is and is to be the work of 
his hands as well as of ours. I wish to speak to you this evening 
on the "Triumph of Dr. Samuel Lander's Idea on the Education for 

Dr. John G. Clinkscales, of Wofford College, declares : 

"Of the four men that had most to do with shaping my life Sam- 
uel Lander was by no means the least." 

In his address Dr. H. M. DuBose, editor of the Methodist 

Review, said : 

"These commonwealths have had great sons in the civic and 
political spheres. Which of them has added a more enduring ele- 
ment to the forces that are to expand and preserve their lives than 
this man who educated so many of their sons and daughters, and 
who, dying, left behind him so substantial a contribution to Christ- 
ian culture?" 

Other testimonials from similar men tell the same story. 

For thirty-two years he conducted the Williamston Female 
College in the town where it was founded. In 1903 the city 
of Greenwood offered fifteen acres of land within the corpor- 
ate limits and to erect thereon a first class, up-to-date building 
containing all the necessary apartments with dormitories to 
accommodate 100 boarding pupils; the whole property to be 
offered to the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, on condition that the college was 
moved to Greenwood. The offer was accepted. Greenwood 
went beyond its promise by purchasing a beautiful lot of 
eighteen and six-tenth acres on which they erected an elegant 
building: with aecomoda,tion for about 130 boarders. Dr. 

48 A Brief History 

Lander not only united with his trustees in accepting this offer 
but he arranged for the removal. He selected his faculty and 
appointed September 27th, 1904 as the date for the transfer. 
On July 14th, 1904, he passed to his reward. The school was 
opened on time by his successor. Dr. John 0. Willson. In 
1911 a new building was added which increased the capacity 
to 175 boarding students and the teachers staying with them. 
In 1905 the name was changed to Lander College by the en- 
thusiastic consent of all. And this fine institution stands to 
day as his greatest memorial. 

His Christian Life 

Reared in a home of piety, Dr. Lander was good and re- 
ligious from childhood. He never sowed wild oats. Trained 
in the way of righteousness he had faith in God, but not until 
he was fifteen years old did he profess saving faith in Chri,^,t. 
This was in 1848 a little while before he entered college when 
visiting one of his sisters in Beaufort, N. C. A revival meet- 
ing was in progress, and he attended the services, became 
very serious, sought for salvation, was converted and joined 
the church. So obedient and good outwardly, had he always 
hitherto been that his mother often remarked that the only 
change she could notice in Samuel was that after his conver- 
sion he ceased to engage actively in boys' sports. He lived 
to the end of his days a beautiful, devoted Christian life. 

As a Preacher 

In 1861, Dr. Lander felt called to preach and. was licensed 
as a local preacher on March 30th. In 1864 he was admitted 
on trial into the South Carolina Conference. His appoint 
ments were : 1865, Lincolnton Female Seminary ; 1866-67, 
Lincolnton; 1868-69-70, President of Davenport Female Col- 
lege, Lenoir, N. C. ; 1871, Spartanburg Female College ; 1872, 
Williamston Circuit and President of Williamston Female 
College ; 1873, and to his death on July 14th, 1904, President 
of Williamston Female College. In addition to his work in 

Established by Samuel Lander in 1872 

Moved to Greenwood, S. C, in 1904 
and Name Changed to Lander College 

OF THE Lander Family 49 

the college, he served Williamston Station in 1877-78-79, and 
Williamson Circuit in 1885 and 1889. In the conference he 
was a most useful member, serving faithfully on many com- 
mittees and boards. Besides he was Statistical Secretary for 
many years. He served as Secretary and Treasurer of the 
Conference Brotherhood from its organization in 1885 until 
it was absorbed by the Nashville Brotherhood in 1904. He 
was a member of the General Conference in 1890 and 1894. 

The gifts of Dr. Lander as a teacher were so conspicuous and 
the demand for his service so great that he was given little 
opportunity in the ordinary pastorate. But he had marked 
success when engaged as pastor. In 1867 when in charge of 
the church in his native town of Lincolnton he conducted a 
revival meeting which continued for six weeks and a great 
multitude was converted and fully one hundred joined the 
church. It was the greatest meeting ever held in that con- 
gregation. But for the most part his school was his charge 
and his pupils his congregation, and well he met the demands 
of both. He often longed for the pastorate but realized that 

(to teach the young was truest preaching and to care for the 
choice young women of the South was worth any man's gifts. 
His son, Dr. John M. Lander, of Brazil, says : 

"I must mention his evangelistical influence over his girls and 
his well rewarded efforts for their conversion. No one will ever 
know how many young tender hearts he led to Christ as he talked 
to the mourners around "the altar of the church" or prayed or 
reasoned with them in his own study at the college. One by one 
or in classes he often invited his pupils to an "after meeting" in 
the study and showed them the way more perfectly, leading them 
into the light of the marvelous love of the Father." 

Dr. Lander was a preacher of superior gifts. His sermons 
were prepared with great care. In the pulpit his style was 
simple, tender and impressive. His utterances were as clear 
as a sunbeam and a child could understand him. He believed 
the word of God — was orthodox. He examined new things 
I but his clear mind detected the fallacies of so-called "new 

thoughts" and kept him in the old paths wherein is the ''good 
way. " 

50 A Brief History 

As a Citizen 

Dr. Lander kept in touch with the currents of the day and 
fully recognized his duties as a citizen. No 'burning question 
nor public interest was neglected. He threw himself into 
all movements for the welfare of his town, county, state and 
nation. Dr. Clinkscales says that in 1871, 

"Williamston had four stores, one cotton gin, one tannery, three 
churches, one small school house, a mineral spring and three bar- 
rooms. The churches and the academy were sandwitched between 
the tannery and the mineral spring on the one side and the devil 
and Saluda river on the other. iNot a very desirable place for 
building a female college, you say? Yes; and no. A man had 
come to town — a man of both physical and moral courage. Samuel 
Lander modestly announced his plans for founding a college for the 
education of women, and boldly declared his purpose to drive out 
the damnable whiskey traffic from the little town over which the 
curse had settled like the blackest midnight. This aroused all the 
antagonism and bitterness of the liquor dealers, the bums and 
slugs of the community. Nothing daunted, the courageous leader, 
backed by such noble spirits as W. L. Prince, George W. Anderson, 
J. E. Pickle, Elijah Horton, and others, pressed steadily forward 
toward the accomplishment of his purpose. Things got hot; yes, 
that's the word — they got mighty hot. The liquor element tried 
to intimidate the prohibitionist. But it was no go. The toughs 
threatened the Tar Heel who dared to come here to teach the 
Palm.etto boys the meaning of good morals. Still that small band 
of determined men, lead by the dauntless Lander, went forward. 
The battle was not wholly one of words. I betray no secret when 
I tell you that there were a few clashes of the opposing forces — 
a few fisticuffs, a few broken noses, a little blood-letting. The 
leader of the movement for a dry town was never attacked on the 
street, for the boys soon learned, despite his uniform courtesy and 
PiOliteness, that God Almighty made Samuel Lanaer a man before 
He made him a preacher; and in making him a preacher, He made 
him no less a man. Dr. Lander believed in God, in humanity, and 
in the righteousness of the cause he espoused." 

Liquor was driven out and Williamston got to be a most 
delightful place to live in. 

Personal Characteristics 

Dr. Lander was of slight figure, medium height and was 
utterly unostentatious, but inevitably commanded attention 
in any assembly. Modest and retiring, but gifted in mind, 
courteous and considerate towards all men he could not avoid 
exerting a strong influence anywhere. Some of his firmest 

OF THE Lander Family 51 

friends were among the plain and illiterate people; some of 
his warmest admirers were among the intelligent and in- 

He was ready to learn from all men. Having occasion to 
wait on a train he climbed into the cab of an engine on a side 
track and began to ask the engineer about the locomotive. In 
that hour he declared he learned more of mechanics than ever 
the books had taught him. On a cross-country ride, he 
noticed that the driver had on a pair of shoes of peculiar 
make and he inquired about them. The man who hitherto 
had been disinterested ''began to talk about the kind of 
shoes he wore, about shoes in general, about preparation of 
leather for shoes, and about the making of shoes of all kinds 
and quality. He had worked in a tannery when a boy and 
for twenty years in a shoe factory." Dr. Lander found his 
theory that something could be learned from everybody was 
emphatically true. In this way he learned many things which 
few men know. 


The life and influence of Dr. Lander were devoted without 
stint to the service of his day and generation. No duty was 
despised because it was small, none neglected because it was 
great. He was an independent thinker and had the courage 
of his convictions. In every department of life he was faith- 
ful and effective, but God made him to teach young women. 
There he was at his best and there he had no superior. ''The 
Lander woman" was early recognized as a woman of admir- 
able character. He and his good wife found some way to 
awake the very best in their students and so send out into the 
world winsome, womanly women who blessed home and neigh- 
borhood; or, if called to distant fields, impressed in far off 
Missions the people of those distant lands with the beauty and 
charm of the highest type of life. And their names are 
household words all over the Carolinas and sister states and 
under the Southern Cross and in far Cathay. Only God and 
eternity can tell the result of the life of Samuel Lander. 

52 A Brief History 


From an address made by Dr. John 0. Willson at a meet- 
ing of College representatives in Winston-Salem, N. C, March 
18, 1908, the following is selected : 


Beyond all doubt. Dr. Lander's greatest success as a teacher 
or as a manager of a school grew out of his personality. His 
pure life, his refinement, his sympathy, his modesty, his en- 
thusiasm, his openness to truth, his patience, his capacity to 
love and awake love, these splendid characteristics were fully 
developed. , 

But to these gifts of nature Dr. Lander added large and 
accurate scholarship. He knew far more than most of our 
best educated men, and he knew all accurately, minutely, 
thoroughly. While unusually gifted in language-study, he 
had also special gifts for mathematics, science and all that 
constitutes a liberal education. He could teach in any de- 
partment and often did so. It was never necessary to send 
an inquiry to some specialist when help was sought of him. 
He was master of all the curriculum and could explain all 
like a master. 

A third characteristic of great value was his love of teaching 
It was not an unpleasant work to do ; it was a peculiar pleas- 
ure. Only the man who loves his work can do well in it. Too 
often a teacher is employed only as a hateful steppingstone 
to some other task ; perhaps some might be interested most in 
the money made. Not so with the man we study. Nothing, 
save teaching the Gospel gave so much real enjojmaent 
as teaching some lesson; and for money he cared too little. 
Well-nigh all he made went straight back into the institu- 
tion he might be serving. 

Along with these traits was his teachableness. It was 
wonderful to see how this cultured gentleman of wide knowl- 
edge would listen eagerly to some one far less scholarly but 

OF THE Lander Family 53 

who knew something particularly well. He was not wise in 
his own eyes. He was ever ready to learn. 

Teaching Methods 

Passing other characteristics, let us inquire how Dr. Lan- 
der used his gifts ; let us examine his career as a teacher. 

His gifts were fully exercised in all the schools in which he 
taught, but to most advantage at Williamston. There, from 
the moment he decided to establish the college, he determined 
to advance the usual college course, to raise the standard of 
teaching, and to insist inflexibly upon thorough learning of a 
study before advancement to one of higher grade. These are 
his own words: 

"From the outset it was our aim to elevate the standard of female 
education, which at that time throughout this region of country 
was lamentably low. To this end we have been laboring with en- 
couraging success from that day to this." 

I have quoted from a letter dated April 16, 1904, within 
three months of his death. 

He advanced the course of study beyond anything then 
obtaining in this section. This was only a beginning. Every 
few years he added to his curriculum. And this advancement 
was a fact ; every claim he made in his catalogues ne more than 
fulfilled. He despised sham anywhere, and especially in 
education. If anywhere there should be truth to the word, 
it surely must be in a school claiming to be Christian. 

He required the students to learn not merely to meet class- 
es or be in school for so many months or years. Students 
came who had been elsewhere graded '^99" or '^excellent" 
to find real work required, real knowledge obtained, and to 
value 75 at Williamston above the perfect records they had 
been accustomed to. But when they advanced they knew 
what had been studied ; when they graduated they had fairly 
won their diplomas. No influential parents could induce un- 
merited promotion nor could avail the better plea of a student 
working to her limit and yet failing to grasp the lesson. 

Dr. Lander found, as did all teachers and as do all today, 

54 A Brief History 

amazing deficiencies of students in elementary studies. Many 
could not spell, could not read decently, wrote execrably, 
knew little grammar, geography or arithmetic. They were 
accredited for college from the schools and yet these founda- 
tions were not truly laid. He could not endure to send out 
such students. After mature thought, he placed along with 
his college work a ceaseless review of these elementary studies, 
and it came to pass that his graduates could read and write 
English, as well as stammer some Latin and French. 

Method of Physical Culture 

Solicitous of the health of his pupils, he studied carefully 
the problem of wise exercises. Convinced that occasional 
violent or protracted efforts were dangerous, he adopted gen- 
tler movements and required these daily. One day he saw 
cadets at ' ' setting-up ' ' drill. Some of these exercises he knew 
would benefit his girls, and he studied the army tactics and 
adopted what was suited to women. Long ago he read of 
''deep breathing" and from the day he felt sure of its value 
till now his school has had daily deep-breathing exercises. 
His eyes were ever open to note any good thing, and his 
girls were certain to share in the benefit of any new method 
of athletics or anything else. 

Concentrated Study Plan 

Dr. Lander not only kept an open eye to see any improve- 
ments he could gain of others, but he thought deeply upon 
education and educational methods. The experience of years 
convinced him that there was some better method than that 
in universal use in schools and colleges. Varieties of students, 
differing ability, losses by sickness or by calls home for good 
cause, dissipation of energies — these and other reasons forced 
him to believe that there was possibly a better way than that 
of requiring the same of the brightest and the dullest, the 
most faithful and those less diligent. After 24 years of ex- 
perience, he thought out his chief peculiarity as a teacher, 

OF THE Lander Family 55 

his plan of ^ ' concentrated study, ' ' improperly called ' ' tlie one- 
study plan. ' ' It was this : 

The college year was divided into seven sections of five 
weeks each. The main body of students devoted themselves 
to the same branch of study throughout one section — for in- 
stnce, one section is given to mathematics. During that time 
each pupil makes two recitations a day in algebra, plane or 
solid geometry, trigonometry or surveying, and one recitation 
in the parellel minor (review) arithmetic. A second section 
may be devoted to languages and all the school studies, Latin, 
French or German, with review English grammar as a minor. 
In the physical science section a pupil will find her place in 
botany, physiology, physics, astronomy, chemistry or mineral- 
ogy, taking geography as review or minor study. In the belle 
lettres section the classes are rhetoric, English literature, 
American literature, logic, psychology, ethics and pedagogy, 
wdth history as review. 

These are the principal studies. Besides the students have 
exercises each day in written spelling and English, chorus or 
sight-singing, penmanship and physical culture, and these, 
with their regular parallel readings and Bible study furnish 
sufficient diversion without distraction. At the end of each 
section examinations are held, reports are filed, promotions 
are announced and another department is taken up. 

So, as long ago as 1877, Dr. Lander found a plan for the 
promotion by subjects which educators are now urging and 
which President Charles W. Eliot favors, saying, during the 
past year: ''It is high time the American schools promoted 
by subjects instead of by the year or half-year. ' ' He had per- 
haps been guided by the university method, but the plan was 
original with him. It is an ideal plan for securing thorough 
work with the least waste of strength or time. For, if a girl 
is not strong, she ean study a few sections and then rest, re- 
turning after recuperation, or she can take a part of the 
course at a time. We have had such to graduate this year. 
And if sickness or absence causes the loss of time to a student, 
she loses only five weeks instead of a year or half-year. It 

56 A Brief History 

follows that the full four years' college course is often com- 
pleted during the late autumn or winter or spring — it may 
be at the end of any section — and a student can graduate 
before the June commencement. This very year students 
graduated January 14, and one was earning money by teach- 
ing on January 20th and another was doing the same on 
January 27th. 

Dr. Lander regarded this study plan as his best contribu- 
tion to education. It is a pity his thought has not had wide 
circulation and adoption. 

An Appreciation 

From the address at Lander College by William L. Sherrill 
on the life of Rev. Dr. Samuel Lander, on Founders' Day, 
January 30, 1909, the following excerpt is taken : 

"He was 41 years old — in the very prime of life — when 
he went to Williamston. All the years had been preparing 
him for his work and now a ripe scholar, well furnished in 
head and heart, he was ready to do better work than ever be- 
fore. From that time you well know his history and the 
wonderful service he rendered to the church through the col- 
lege at Williamston. 

''Among the strong points in the character of this good 
man I would say : 

"That he had faith — an unwavering faith — in God and in 
Jesus Christ His Son, and his whole life to the minutest de- 
tail was built on that truth. He knew in whom he believed 
and he considered it his only business in this world to fear 
God and keep His commandments. Life to him, therefore, 
was a serious fact, an eternal truth, and to be faithful, and 
consequently useful, he regarded as the service due from him 
to God and to his fellowman. 

"The possession of such a faith quickened to the tensest 
degree an already sensitive conscience. He was painstaking in 
all he did and was never guilty of shoddy work, for he put 
his conscience into every task. 

OF THE Lander Family 57 

"If it was writing a copy or preparing a lesson or teaching 
a class or preaching a sermon he, for conscience sake and love 
for righteousness, was careful of details; appreciating the 
great value of what we are pleased to call little things, he 
magnified duty and did his best, and, hear me, he who lives 
by this rule is charged with righteousness, even td the finger 
tips, for his common work becomes sanctified service and he 
worships God in all he does. 

"He was a good man — guileless, unsuspicious — he had con- 
fidence in human kind and every man who knew him well 
loved him for his goodness' sake — and while he, like all men, 
was subject to human infirmity, yet I have never personally 
known a man whose life was so nearly ideal, so free from 
blemish, so full of commendable traits, so rich in good works. 
His motives were never questioned and from his childhood 
even down to old age I never heard of an act of his that de- 
served or called forth an adverse criticism. 

' ' He came to his own when he came to the class room. He 
possessed all the requisites of a great teacher, namely — faith, 
humility, magnetism, strong commonsense, accurate and wide 
scholarship, broad culture and unusual capacity to impart 
knowledge. If he taught a lesson, absolute thoroughness was 
his aim, and I shall never forget how, when a very small boy 
in the reading class, in the Linoolnton seminary in 1867, he 
kept us during the whole recitation hour on one sentence 
until we learned to observe correctly the punctuation. 

"He not only had the capacity for details, but also for 
great undertakings. During the time of the Civil War, when 
communication with the outside world was cut off and neces- 
sity became the mother of invention, books were scarce and his 
thorough knowledge of mathematics enabled him to prepare 
"Lander's Common School Arithmetic," which was the stand- 
ard in the early days of my school life, and which was used 
in his school up to recent years until the edition was exhaust- 
ed. Not only was he skilled as a mathematician, but he was 
also the master of seven languages. In 1878, when the honor- 
ary degree of doctor of divinity was conferred on him by 

58 A Brief History 

Trinity College, he felt that he did not deserve the honor un- 
less he was able to read the whole Bible in the original. Al- 
ready versed in Greek, he at once took up the study of Hebrew 
and made rapid progress, so that it was his rule in all after 
years to daily read portions of the Old and New Testament 
Scripture in the original Hebrew and Greek. A student 
from his youth, his inquiring mind never ceased to search in 
new fields and in all fields where truth was hid, and in his 
mature years his rare and ripe scholarship and varied learn- 
ing was hard to duplicate. 

* ' Dr. Lander was also a preacher of superior gifts, a teach- 
ing preacher. His pulpit ministrations were full of instruc- 
tion to his hearers. He was a man of prayer and deep spirit- 
ual discernment with a heart overflowing with love for sin- 
ners. In his earlier ministry in 1867, when pastor in his 
native town of Lincolnton, he conducted a revival meeting, 
which continued for six weeks, and a great multitude was con- 
verted and fully 100 joined the church. It was the greatest 
rheeting ever held in the history of that congregation. The 
people had faith in and loved him, both as pastor and friend. 
His humble spirit was a source of power, as it always is with 
preachers and other men as well. An old gentleman, capable 
as a critic, once told me that many years ago, in company 
with a friend returning from church, after hearing for the 
first time a sermon by Dr. Lander, his companion remarked 

that "when Mr. was here he stood before the pulpit 

and his whole demeanor suggested his self importance, but Mr. 
Lander tries to hide behind the cross and seems to feel that 
he has nothing to do with the matter but to be a voice, a mouth- 
piece for his Master." That was his spirit; he never forced 
himself to the front, he never sought preferment. He was 
clothed in humility. He desired not to be ministered unto, 
but to minister. All honors which came to him came unsought 
and were an appreciation of his worth and character. Rest- 
ing in the consciousness of duty faithfully clone he cared 
nought for recognition. He knew that honest work was 
righteousness and that God would take knowledge of it and he 

OF THE Lander Family 59 

was too busy with his work to think of the applause of men. 
Through his long life as a teacher the impress of his person- 
ality was marked upon the thousands of young women who 
came under his tuition. His gentility, his pure life, his guile- 
less nature, his sturdy adherence to principle, his thorough 
and honest performance of duty — all these, together with his 
faith in God, which was the foundation of all the rest, ap- 
pealed to and effected the conduct of his pupils, and they 
carried back to their homes and through their lives those 
larger conceptions of duty and service whicn they learned 
from him. 

''He was all of a gentleman, all of a scholar, and all of a 
Christian, chivalrous, cultured, consecrated. There were 
blended in him in just proportion those elements which go to 
make a nobleman. 

"North Carolina has furnished to the church and state a 
large number of men, who have distinguished themselves in 
peace and war, but I am sure that only a few of her sons, 
when final results are measured, have rendered to mankind 
a service so far-reaching and uplifting as did this humble 
and unpretentious but truly great man, who, to the end of 
his days, was busy in season and out of season, striving to 
prepare the young women of the land for larger life and 
nobler service. 

' ' He is no longer with us, but his holy influence abides, and 
his work continues, for when God buries the workmen he 
still carries on the work. " ^ 

60 A Brief History 



When the idea of publishing this brief history was first 
considered it was my purpose not to make prominent mention 
of any living member of the family ; but as Rev. Dr. Samuel 
A. Weber is the oldest living person in the connection, being 
now eighty years of age, with a record of service which has 
given him, distinction among South Carolinians, as well as 
in all Southern Methodist circles, I feel sure that his kinspeo- 
ple will agree that recognition of his useful life should be 
given in these pages. 

Samuel Adam Weber, son of John and Ann Lander Weber, 
was born in Iredell County, N. C, January 19, 1838. His 
paternal ancestors were Dutch people, originally from Hol- 
land, who, upon reaching America, first settled in Campbell 
County, Virginia. From thence they came to Iredell County, 
North Carolina, in 1800. His mother, Ann Lander Weber, was 
born in Ireland in 1814 and came to America with her par- 
ents in 1818. The Weber's were Methodists from the time 
of their early settlement in this country and though the 
Lander's before leaving Ireland were members of the Church 
of England, many of the connection joined the Wesleyan 
Methodists in the old country. 

When Samuel Weber was only eleven years old he joined 
the Methodist Church in Shelby, N. C, under the ministry 
of Eev. Jacob L. Shuford. Later he was prepared for college 
at Olin Institute, Iredell County, in part under the tutelage 
of his uncle, the late E,ev. Samuel Lander, 2nd. He gradu- 
ated from Wofford College with the A. B. degree in 1859 and 
from the same institution received the A. M. degree in 1862, 
For three years after his graduation he was instructor in 
the Conference School at Cokesbury. On November 19, 1861, 
he was married to Sarah Alston Langdon, daughter of the 
late Rev. William I. Langdon, of the North Carolina Con- 
ference. Mrs. Weber's mother came from the famous Alston 

OF THE Lander Family 61 

family, while the Langdon's, distinguished New Englanders, 
removed from New Hampshire to Eastern North Carolina 
early in the Nineteenth Century. 

Mrs. Weber was a woman of rare culture and deep piety, 
indeed a helpmeet to her husband in his life work. She died 
in 1895. The children by their marriage were: (1) John 
Langdon Weber, D. D., now one of the leading preachers of 
the Memphis Conference; (2) William Lander Weber, Ph. D., 
a prominent educator who filled the chair of English, first 
in Emory and later in Millsaps College and died in 1910 while 
President of Centenary College, Mansfield, La.; (3) Lillian 
Alston Weber Moore, wife of Mr. Leland Moore, a prominent 
merchant and leading citizen of Charleston, S. C. 

Dr. Weber was admitted on trial into the South Carolina 
Conference at Spartanburg in December 1862. Was ordain- 
ed Deacon by Bishop Pierce at Newberry in 1864, and Elder 
at Marion by Bishop Wightman in 1866. His appointments 
were as follows: Union Circuit (Junior Preacher), Pacolet 
Circuit, Professor in Davenport College for tw^o years, Ander- 
son Station, Greenville Station, Bishopville Circuit, Union 
Station, Williamston Station and Professor in Female College 
for three years, Orangeburg Station, Editor Southern Christ- 
ian Advocate for seven and a half years, Abbeville Station, 
Union Station, Winnsboro Station, Yorkville Station, Lan- 
caster Station, Assistant Editor of the Southern Christian 
Advocate for three years. Supernumerary from 1900 to 1912, 
Superannuate from December 1912 to the present time. 

The total is a record of fifty-five years in the Conference — 
twenty years on stations, ^ye on circuits, thirteen in college 
and editorial work, twelve years a supernumerary and &Ye 
years a superannuate. 

He commands not only the high confidence of all his 
brethren, but their warm and affectionate regard. 

On December 27, 1899 he was married to Mrs. Camilla 
Jeffreys, of Yorkville, S. C, with whom he lived happily 
until her death which occurred January 4, 1909. 

Dr. Weber is widely recognized as a ripe scholar and a 

62 A Brief History 

writer of superior gifts. His exceptional record as editor 
of his Conference paper for long years and liis regular contri- 
butions to the religious press have given him high rank among 
the leading men of the church. 

Though eighty years of age his heart is young and his mind 
clear and active. A late number of the Methodist Review 
contains a brilliant article from his pen, entitled '^A Great 
Pastor-Evangelist," being an appreciation of the life work 
of a distinguished New England divine, Dr. Stephen Hig- 
ginson Tyng (1800-1885). Dr. Weber is a scriptural preach- 
er who always goes into the pulpit with beaten oil. His ser- 
mons are prepared with great care and then saturated with 
prayer. He delivers the message as one who believes with 
all his heart the truth he utters, and his hearers are impressed 
with the fact that the preacher knows what he is talking 

Such a messenger always commands a hearing and the word 
he speaks cannot fail to reach the hearts and consciences of 

The following excerpt from a recent letter received from 
Rev. Dr. R. E. Stackhouse, one of his intimate Conference 
friends, will enable the reader to appreciate the large place 
which Dr. Weber occupies in the hearts of his brethren of the 
ministry. Dr. Stackhouse says : 

"It was but natural that a man of such character, attainments 
and usefulness should receive unusual honors at the hands of his 
Conference and the church at large. In 1892 Emory College be- 
stowed on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. By the election 
of his brethren he was a member of the Centenary (Christmas) 
Conference, of 1384, and represented the South Carolina Conference 
in the General Conferences of 1886, 1894, and 1898. He led the 
delegation in 1898. He was a trustee of Wofford College for 
twenty-five years, and for many years chairman of the Conference 
Board of Education. It has frequently been stated in the press that 
it was a communication of his in the Southern Christian Advocate 
that started the movement that resulted in the Epworth Orphanage 
at Columbia, and he was chairman of the first conference com- 
mittee on the subject. He was chairman of the committee that 
made the first report to the South Carolina Conference leading to 
Church Extension, and chairman of the committee that organized 
the colportage work of the Conference. For sixteen years he 
was chairman of the committee on examination of applicants for 

Carolina State Library 

OF THE Lander Family 63 

admission into the Conference, and he has rendered the church a 
very useful service by the painstaking and tactful care with which 
he guarded the door to the itinerant ministry. 

Dr. Weber is a most instructive and helpful preacher. His 
method is largely that of the teacher, his analysis of the subject 
always clear and illuminating, his argument logical and convincing, 
and illustrations selected from his richly furnished memory with 
exquisite taste. 

As a writer he excels in his command of clear, choice, concise 
English, and perhaps his most useful as well as distinguished ser- 
vice to the Church has been rendered with his pen. If gathered 
together his composition, consisting of published sermons, con- 
ference reports, editorials, and correspondence (much of it con- 
tributed serially), magazine and review articles, and three year's 
work on our Sunday school periodicals, would make several 

Since the death of his second wife, in January 1909, he has made 
his home with his daughter, Mrs. Leland Moore, in Charleston, S. 
C, and perhaps no superannuated Methodist preacher ever passed 
a serener and happier period of rest at the end of long years of 
toil. iNo tinge of sourness or disappointment clouds his old age. 
He is still a reader of good books, and of many of our church 
periodicals, and still occasionally writes for the church papers, 
to the delight of a large circle of readers, lie maintains his 
earlier interest in all young preachers, and many of them still 
profit from his wise and fatherly counsel." 

Personal contact with such a character is an inspiration to 
any man. 

The influence, through many decades, of his work in the 
class-room, the pulpit and the editorial chair will flow on as 
a mighty current to enrich and purify the heart of humanity 
and this influence will never cease to grow so long as the years 

It is cause for thanksgiving that in the evening of his life, 
there are no heart-burnings, but surrounded by gentle at- 
tendants, his heart is filled with love and peace, together with 
glad assurance that He who has, for these four-score years, 
guided him through devious paths, still leads and will continue 
to lead him unto life eternal. 

This is written on his eightieth birthday, January 19, 1918. 

W. L. S. 

GR 929.2 L255S 

Sherrill, William Lander, 1860- 

A brief history of Rev. Samuel Lander, s 

3 3091 00174 4606 


PAMPHLET binder" 

"Z:^! Syracus*, N. Y. 
— ~- Stockton, Calif.