A BRIEF HISTORY OF REV. SAHTIEL UNDER, SENIOR,
AND HIS WIFE ELIZA ANN (MILLER) JANDER.
THEIR Tm SONS V/ILLI/vM LANDER AND SAMUEL LANDER
AND TIISIR CtRANDSON SAMUEL A. V^^BSR
William Lander Sherrill
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2011 with funding from
LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation
A Imf Iftstorg
of the Lander Family
|s|orth Carolina State Libraf^y,
A BRIEF HISTORY
REV. SAMUEL LANDER, Senior
AND HIS WIFE
ELIZA ANN (MILLER) LANDER
Late of Lincolnton, N. C.
THEIR TWO SONS
AND THEIR GRANDSON
SAMUEL A, WEBER
WILLIAM LANDER SHERRILL
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,
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
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
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
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,
*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
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
Died Jan. 8, 1868
Born Nov. 24, 1820
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
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
Jerome B. Fulton
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
Born May 16, 1848
El a Lander
William Lander, 2nd
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
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
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
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
Died Aug. 13, 1894
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
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
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM LANDER
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.
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.
THE HON. WILLIAM LANDER
Carolina Sfafe Library
OF THE Lander Family 17
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.
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 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.
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-
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.
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
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-
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 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.
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 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
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-
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
"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.
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
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.
THE REV. SAMUEL LANDER, A. M., D. D.
OF THE Lander Family 33
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-
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 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
THE REVEREND SAMUEL LANDER, A. M., D. D.
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."
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
REV. SAMUEL LANDER AT 70 YEARS OF AGE
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.
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
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-
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
WILLIAMSTON FEMALE COLLEGE, Wl LLI AMSTON, S. C.
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
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.
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
THE EDUCATIONAL WORK OF DR. LANDER
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
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.
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
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.
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
''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
' ' 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
THE REV. SAMUEL A. WEBER, A. M., D. D.
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
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
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.
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Sherrill, William Lander, 1860-
A brief history of Rev. Samuel Lander, s
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