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76^. 2:1 


kRD James Parrish 

Durham, N. C. 





IRortb Carolina Conference 

Methodist Episcopal Church (South). 


Price, Twenty-five Cents. 




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At the meeting of the Conference Historical Society at 
Elizabeth City, N. C, 1895, ^^ was decided to begin an annual 
publication of historical papers, and an editor was elected. 
For more than one reason it was not thought wise to issue 
such a publication last year. In compliance with further 
instructions from the Society, the present work is now pre- 
sented to the public. It is hoped that it will meet the expec- 
tation of its friends and that it may arouse the spirit of history 
so that this modest collection will increase with each succeeding 
year till at last it will become an annual bound volume of 
considerable size. I ask indulgence for its imperfections and 
united efforts for its future improvement. 

John S. Bassett, 


Trinity College^ Durham^ N. C. , 
November 25, 1897. 




Earlt Methodism in Wilminoton, N. C 5-24 

Our Historical Problem 25- 41 

Life and Labors op Rev. H. Q. Leigh, D. D 42-63 

The History of Trinity Church 64-89 

Methodism in Beaufort 90-106 

Book Reviews 107-109 

Advertisements 110-112 



Highly honored by the call to address this Historical 
Society on "Early Methodism in Wilmington. N. C," 
your speaker claims no higher merit than that of Scott's 
"Old Mortality" in relettering the monuments of de- 
parted worth. Methodism, as we all believe, was a great 
revival of pure religion, and it is still blessing the earth. 
The Reformation was another, causing even Rome to share 
its benefits. Looking at Rome before and after, we see 
the Papacy, the holy Roman empire, Latin Christianity 
and crime orthodoxy lame bulls contradictory doctrine 
unsettled. A great reformation was needed, and it came, 
putting Rome in line with evangelism opposing its errors. 
The Church of England needed revival, as much so as 
Rome itself. Of greater purity it is true, and truly Scrip- 
tural in rubrick and creed; the dry-rot of formalism had 
deprived the truth of its power; and glorying more in her 
historic episcopacy, royal patronage and power, had ceased 
to regard the divine spirit as at all necessary to worship. 
Holding to the right divine of king, she seemed, like Fes- 
tus, lightly to esteem "One Jesus which was dead, whom 
whom Paul affirmed to be alive," and who is "God over 
all, blessed forever more." Abiding in spiritual death, 
blindly she cast forth her sons, who by that faith would 
have made her incorporate with life. And yet the Wes- 
leyan revival awoke her to the life she now enjoys. 

The people called Methodists were never troubled by the 

*An address delivered at the first regular meeting of the Conference 
Historical Society at Durham, N. C, December 2, 1894. 


6 Conference Historical Publication. 

arrogant claims of either the Anglican or Romish churches, 
but building on the apostles, prophets and martyrs "Jesus 
Christ the chief corner-stone," have wrought mightily 
through God unto this hour. In their advent they met 
with little favor. Even co-religionists shunned them. 
Like PeJ;er and John the most of their preachers "were 
unlearned and ignorant men," yet "notable miracles" 
being wrought through their ministers "they marvelled," 
and men were obliged to acknowledge "that they had 
been with Jesus." 

These men were entirely unselfish in their ministry. 
They sent out no pioneers hunting golden placers, ran no 
lines of circumvallation, built no fortresses on rich alluvial 
sites, hung not around commercial centers waiting for 
goodly openings ; but in the city and in the wilderness 
raised the cry : ' ' Repent, for the kingdom of God is at 
hand." The charge that they were turning the world 
upside down never ^moved them. Mountains towered and 
rivers rolled in vain to stop them. They wrestled with 
floods of water, but neither floods of water nor floods of 
ungodly men made them afraid. They slept by camp -tires, 
saddles their pillows, the heavens their covering ; explored 
forests, traversed sand hills, their dainties the homeliest 
fare, their theme "Jesus and the Resurrection, the Lord 
working with them, and confirming the word with signs 
following. ' ' 

Truly at first some of the old church forms affected them. 
Even Asbury for the while essayed a surplice, gown, and 
bands ; but all this frippery soon fell off. Crape and lawn — 
poor symbols of saintliness anyhow — were much in the 
way in the holes and corners, dens and caves of the earth 
which they sought out. But with all their sacrifice of 
ease, slanderous tongues were busy. Reports crossed the 
Atlantic concerning Csesarism, bishops strutting, soaring, 
etc. Dear Mr. Wesley, dazed by what his eyes saw of the 
glare and splendor of mitred priests, gorgeous palaces and 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 7 

mighty revenues, had his wrath excited and exclaimed : 
' ' Men may call me a knave, a fool or a rascal, but never 
with my consent a bishop." 

In a book entitled, "Dialogues of Devils," it is said at 
a council in Pandemonium the question was once up how 
they should stop the Wesley an revival. Among many 
schemes proposed, one sleek, knowing little imp, with 
piping voice, advises: "Make John a Bishop." Pity it 
had not been done, then had the grand old English church 
been sooner leavened. The brilliant Junius in the matter 
of Johnson's "Taxation No Tyranny" and Wesley's 
"Calm Address" declared that Wesley " had one eye on 
heaven and the other on a pension." Pension ! forsooth ! 
the poor earth worm saw nothing else so desirable. And 
yet indeed that was in Wesley's thought; he would have 
men pensioners on heaven, and God's exchequer their 
source of supply. And to do it he would have them 
"Count all things loss that they might win Christ." 

To the accusation about soaring, Asbury mildly replied : 
"That he did soar, but it was over mountains;" and we 
know that his episcopal palace was often some hut, the 
stars shining through its roof, his gardens and pleasure 
walks the grand old forests, and his couch of ease at the 
foot of some old pine, his dainty fare fat bacon and coarse 
bread, his episcopal revenue sixty-four hundred — cents. 
You and I have been along that road, dear brethren, happy 
too in the love of God. And didn't we soar? If no more 
it was in thought to the palace of our King. Asbury 
writes : " Two bishops in a thirty dollar chaise, a few dol- 
lars between them in partnership. What bishops ! " But 
he adds : ' ' Prospects of doing good glorious. ' ' Ha ! they 
knowing that joy, know it to be more moving than the 
gold of Ophir. But how great the changes of a century ! 
A few years ago, being a sort of sub-bishop, I stepped into 
a Pullman sleeper to greet a real bishop on his way to my 
district conference. He was all alone in all the glory of its 

8 Conference Historical Publication. 

rich upholstery. We were there but a moinent or two, and 
we had to pay for the privilege. It was worth the quarter 
to see the difference between the now and the degenerate 

But to our proper theme. It was several years after the 
entrance of Methodism into the Carolinns that Wilmington 
was reached. During or before the Revolution a small 
society was formed by Philip Bruce and James O'Kelly on 
the Cnpe Fear, somewhere nenr Wilmington. The preachers 
being comi)elled to leave, it was broken up, only three 
godly women remaining. In 1784 a cultured, polished and 
afterwards wealthy man Avas appointed to Wilmington. 
His was the unenviable notoriety of being the first apostate 
Presbyter of American Methodism, Beverlj'' Allen. In 
1785 John Baldwin was sent. He was a man of mark, 
undoubtedly, being afterwards book steward for the con- 
nection. He died some time after 1820. 

There is no other mention of Wilmington in the General 
Minutes until 1800. The canse for this is not far to seek. 
Mr. William Meredith, formerly a Wesleyan missionarj'^ in 
the West Indies, oomins: over with Dr. Coke and Mr. Bra- 
zier, and not affilinting with Mr. Hammer, set up for him- 
self and pre-empting the territory wrought exceedingly 
well among the negroes. Mr. Jenkins, at the Conference 
in Charleston in 1798, was sent that year to Bladen Circuit, 
partly in North and partly in South Carolina. It included 
Conwayboro, Lumberton, Elizabeth, Smithville and Old 
Brunswick Circuit. James Jenkins that year visited Wil- 
mington, and Mr. Meredith told him "as he was passing he 
had found these sheep without a shepherd and had con- 
sented to serve them." A small house had been built in 
the then suburbs of the town ; it was surrounded with negro 
shanties. Persecution raged, the house was burned, the 
preacher was imprisoned, and from the window of the 
prison preached to his afflicted Hock. Soon after the town 
was nearly destroyed by fire. The released preacher gath- 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 9 

ered his flock in the market place and told the people: 
"As they loved fire so well, God had given them enough 
of it." One of the leading persecutors had a Nenif^sis 
following him to the bitter end. Look at all religious 
persecutions on this earth. Is it not a solemn fact, 

" Truth forever on the scaffold, 

Wrong forever on the throne ; 
Yet that scaffold sways the future, 

Ami besides the dim unknown 
Standeth God!— within the shadow 

Keeping watch above His own." 

If permitted to digress I would say that James Jenkins 
was a pioneer preacher, belonging to the "thundering 
legion." At the session named above he had preached in 
polished Charleston precisely as he would have done to a 
backwoods congregation. Some said "it had loo much 
fire in it." Of what sort we are not told, but any one 
knowing the man would know it was not of the fox-fire or 
sheet lightning sort. At this twelfth session George Daugli- 
erty, said to be "Carolina's great Methodist preacher" and 
flrst martyr, was admitted into the Conference. In 1807 he 
died in Wiluiington, and his dust, with William Meredith's, 
long lay under the porch of the Front Street Church, until 
scattered by its burning.* 

The time had come fi)r Meridith's removal — not into some 
earthly arch-episcopal p.ilace — how ridiculous the thf)ught 
for any poor negro preacher — hut into the highest heaoens. 
He willed to Bishop Asbury his little domain. It was not 
much then in a worldly point of view, but looking at it in 
the light of a century's work, well may we sing with 
Deborah: "O, my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. 
Then was the horse's hoofs broken by means of the pranc- 
ings, the praaci/ifjis of their mighty ones." 

*Mr. W. W. Shaw, of Durham, N. C, tells me that this is an error. 
After the fire the ashes of these two honored men were removed by a com- 
mittee consisting of W. H. Parker. Geo. H. Kelly, and W. W. Shaw, and 
buried under the pnlpit of the new Grace church. — Editor. 

10 Conference Histoeical Publication. 

To realize this fully think of what Wilmington was then 
and what it is now. And to make it so, remember "That 
Zebulon and Naptali Jeoparded their lives unto death in 
the high places of the field." So doing, then may you 
continue the song of triumph : 

"Awake, Awake, Deborah: 
Awake, awake, utter a song : Arise, Barak, 
And lead thy captivity captive. 

Thou son of Abirioam." 

There was some small trouble in the transfer of the 
property as may be seen in our Conference journal of 1799. 
All happily arranged in its unconditional surrender. Then 
came the appointment of Nathan Jarrett, a native of North 
Carolina, who was soon after transferred to Virginia, where 
he died in 1803. The Minutes say : "A man of great zeal, 
pleasing address, and greatly beloved." Awakening from 
seeming insensibility just previous to his death, he sang 
in a rapture of joy : 

" Arise and shine, O Zion fair, 
Bahold thy light is come, 
The glorious conquering King is nigh 
To take his exile home. " 

No lo Triumplie of victor athlete or belted knight can 
exceed it. 

In 1801 and 1802 that Prince of Methodist preachers, 
Bennett Kendriclc, was in Wilmington. When editing the 
Conference Minutes in 1880, the editor wrote to Dr. Lovick 
Pierce, of Georgia, for sketches of the earlier preachers 
known to himself, and he kindly furnished several. 
From them we gather that Kendrick "was beautifully 
symmetrical in person, attractive in address, pure in style, 
liberal in thought, easy in delivery, indeed, there seemed 
to be a harmonious sympathy between his mind and his 
nerves in their influence on his muscles. His whole body 
seemed to preach, and every motion was a grace. He was 
then the brightest star in our Conference constellation. ' ' 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. ii 

At the Sparta Conference of 1807, he, having been again 
in Wilmington in 1806, essayed location. It was sorrow- 
fully granted, but he could not get away. The third day 
he begged to be put back as before, which was joyfully 
done, and he was made Presiding Elder on Camden District. 
But in a few months he died. Such a spirit was needed 
doubtless in the upper sanctuary. 

In 1803 Joseph Pennell and Thomas Jones had the 
charge. The hrst transferred to Virginia, the other dis- 
appeared. They were followed in 1804 by Jeremiah Rus- 
sell, who located in 1806, and in 1805 by Zachariah Madox, 
who located in 1806. The only pictures we get of this time 
we find in the Bishop's Journal. "On Saturday, 19th 
January, 1805, crossed Northeast before sunrise, and to 
our own house to breakfast. Our chapel in Wilmington 
is excellent, sixty-six by thirty-six feet. Sabbath our en- 
larged house was filled with both colors.'' You will see 
presently, ten years after, he grieves over "broken" win- 
dows and "the house a wreck." On his visit the next 
year : "We had about 1,500 hearers in our chapel, galleried 
all round. I gave orders for the completion of the taber- 
nacle and dwelling house according to the charge left me 
by William Meridith. In 1807 Joshua Wells was the 
preacher. He transferred afterwards to Baltimore. 

In Asbury's Journal, January 16, 1807, we find : 
"Through Lumberton, in North Carolina, lodging with 
Peter Gautier, we found ourselves obliged to ride on the 
Lord's day, through the cold to Wilmington, crossing the 
river in a snow and hail storm. " "O, dear ! a bishop, and 
on the Lorcfs day, iooV says some judaical, puritanic soul, 
with possibly nothing to show for his religion but a Sab- 
batical strictness, forgetting that Jesus is Lord of the 
Sabbath. "Why, where was his conscience?" he asks. 
Said an old covenanter once: "Noo Sandie as one o' the 
elec', you can never fa', so work, get money; marry, get 
children ; drink, get drunk — sometimes, but never, nen&r 
whustle on Sunday.'''' 

12 Conference Historical Publication. 

Asbury's Journal continues under same date : ''Sunday, 
25th January, 1807 : A high day on Mount Zion. At the 
rising of the sun John Charles began, his subject : 'Now 
no condemnation.' At 11 a. m. I held forth on the 'Evil 
heart of unbelief.' At 3 p. m. on 'Seek ye the Lord. 
Stith Mead closing at night." Now, think, what was the 
Mount Zion over which he exults? That man had seen 
England's Baronial castles, its gorgeous cathedrals and 
ministers. How did they compare with that humble tem- 
ple ; its rickety parsonage, that waste of sand and clus- 
tering negro hovels? To worldly eyes it was "Hyperion 
to a Satyr," or fair mountain to a barren moor. But this 
man had the eagle eye of faith and the warm heart of love. 
To him : "The hill of the Lord was as the hill cf Bashan — 
a high hill as the hill of Bashan." And with David, look- 
ing upon lowly Zion in contrast with towering Bashan, he 
cries exultantly : "Why leap ye, ye high hills?" "This 
is the hill that God desireth to dwell in ; yea, the Lord 
will dwell in it forever." And who was John Charles? 
A negro brother, an unlettered slave, but the Lord's freed- 
man. And he talks of freedom and "no condemnation" 
through Christ Jesus. The same spirit that struck the 
shackels of sin from your soul and mine, breathed in the 
African, giving him the hope long since realized, and for 
which we patiently wait. 

But there are lights and shadows in every earthly pic- 
ture, and under the same date we read: "We took our 
flight from Wilmington. What I felt and suffered there, 
from preachers and p«-ople, is known to God." What 
troubled him we can only conjecture. The people, they 
may have been clamorous for Kendrick's return ; they are 
so sometimes. The preachers, they may have wanted bet- 
ter appointments ; such, of course, rarely happening now. 
It may have been connected with that fruitful topic of 
trouble, matrimony. He was, as you all well know, averse 
to that. Once he wrote of a small congregation at Rock- 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 13 

ingham, N. C, and says: "Here the people would have 
assembled, but there was a wedding afoot. This is a mat- 
ter of moment, as some men have but one during life, and 
some iind that one to have been one too many." Did you 
ever hear the like? Again he writes, with a sigh : *'Wm. 
Capers is married, himself twenty-three and his wife eigh- 
teen years old." Just as if one should put off that awful 
event until near seventy. Philip Bruce once consulted 
him on the subject, and he advised against it. And at 
Travis in this very Wilmington, where he married, he 
gravely shook his head on seeing him sitting near his in- 
amorata, and on his marriage wrote him : "/ told you so.'''' 
He once said he "was afraid the devil and the women 
would get all his preachers." Brethren, bishop as he was, 
he was afraid of the devil, as you and I well may be. if far 
from our Shepherd's side. He was never brought under 
the yoke, although he came near it once. Strickland, in 
his life, tells of how once Asbury was compelled to accept 
the escort of a young lady to an appointment, reluctantly 
yielding to her father's proposal for her accompaninient,and 
hoping to shake her off. Coming to a wide gully, he made 
his horse leap it, and turning in his saddle to bid her good- 
bye, said: "You can't do that. Miss Mary." Sad banter 
to a noble Western girl. "I'll try, Frank," was her re- 
sponse, and in a second was at his side. And the dear 
man, as is usual with us all, had to submit. Oppose a 
woman? 0, no. 

"For when she will, she will, 
You may depend on't ; 
And when she won't, she won't, 
And there's an end on't." 

As to '■'■Home Rnle,'''' to be sure you favor it. But come, 
now, will the madam allow you to practice it? Talk of 
'■'■Woman Suffrage,''^ as the colored sister said: "I want 
no more suffering; I'se had enough of it." 

This is but a silhouette of Francis Asbury. He rever- 

14 Conference Historical Publication. 

enced the sex, almost worshipped motherhood ; but as for 
marriage — well, the church was his bride, and in her some- 
times waywardness he felt he had just as much as he could 
manage. Dear, noble man of God, with the spirit of the 
gospel-winged angel flying in mid heaven ! He compassed 
the earth in weariness weighed down with life's intimities, 
but weighed down no longer since his spirit soared to God. 
Said the friends of Socrates as he drank the fatal hem- 
lock : "How shall we bury you?" "Any way you please, 
if you can catch me;" and he, mark you, a heathen. 

In 1808 Samuel Dunwoddy was appointed to Wilming- 
ton. Of him much could be said, but we forbear. In 
1809 Richmond Nolly was in Wilmington. He, with his 
own hands, built the little place of worship on the sound. 
Nolly thought the poor, however degenerate, had souls 
to save, and he tried to save them. He died in the West — 
you remember it — frozen on his knees while on a mission- 
ary tour. In 1810 James Norton was the preacher, a man 
of deep piety, indefatigable as a worker, and much be- 
loved. He died in Columbia, S. C, in 1825, in great peace. 

In 1811 and 1812 Joseph Travis was stationed in Wil- 
mington ; and his reception bears away the palm. None 
in this presence, I presume, ever had a whole congregation 
to rise en masse on their entrance into a church. This 
they did to Travis. Reaching the town late on Saturday 
night, few had seen him. The news of his arrival had gone 
abroad, and it was announced that he would preach at 11 
a. m. Sunday. None of the congregation knew that he was 
a lame man. The eyes of the crowd were ever and anon 
cast towards the door to see him walk in. He says : "Ul- 
timately I hopped in, when behold, the congregation was 
about rising en niasse, supposing I was boioing to them. 
And believing me to be the most polite preacher they had 
ever seen, believed it was but right to bow in return. 
They soon found, however, that my act of politeness was 
from necessity, not of choice." Surely a luminous smile 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 15 

must have rippled over each countenance on discovering 
the mistake. 

In the year 1813 there was stationed in Wilmington a 
young man who afterwards was long revered among us as 
Bishop William Capers. To him we are indebted for 
memorials of the time which none would willingly lose. Of 
Hugenot descent, with great beauty of person, and a man- 
ner denoting the Christian gentleman, with an eloquence 
of speech that was charming, he was well calculated to 
captivate any with whom he associated. The parsonage to 
which he brought his bride of a few weeks was not pala- 
tial. It is best described in his own words : 

"The parsonage, which I might call a two story dwell- 
ing-house or a shanty, according to my humor, was a two 
story house, actually erected in that form, and no mistake, 
with its first story eight feet high, and the second between 
six and seven ; quite high enough for a man to stand in 
with his hat off, as men ought always to stand when in a 
house. The stories, to be sure, were not excessive as to 
length and breadth any more than height ; each story con- 
stituting a room of some eighteen by twelve or fourteen 
feet, and the upper one having the benefit of a sort of step 
ladder on the outside of the edifice, to render it accessible 
when it might not rain too hard, or with an umbrella when 
it did rain, if the wind did not blow too hard. And be- 
side this, there was a room constructed like a shed at one 
side of the main building, which, as madam might not rel- 
ish going out ef doors and up a step ladder on her way to 
bed, esyecially in rainy weather, was appropriated to her 
use as a bed chamber. But we were content. A palace 
might scarcely have been appreciated by us, who, by the 
grace of God, had in ourselves and each other a sufficiency 
for happiness." This house, the church, and the lot they 
stood on (the church a coarse wooden structure sixty feet 
by forty) and several adjoining lots, rented to free negroes, 
had belonged to Mr. Meredith, and had been procured for 


16 Conference Historical Publication. 

the most part, by means of penny collection among the 
negroes, who almost exclusively had composed his congre- 

There you have fully the pi^'ture of your first church 
and parsonage in Wilmington. Mr. Capers speaks further 
of his flock, it will not bear condensation. 

'"Of my flock much the greater numbers were negroes. 
The whites were very poor or barely able to support them- 
selves with decency. Here, too, none of the wise men 
after the flesh, nor mighty, nor noble were called. Indeed, 
of men of this closs, I know not that there was one, and 
believe that if one, there was but one, who belonged to 
any church at all as a communicant. They were very gen- 
erally at least, too much tincture with the French deistical 
philosophy for that. Of churches in the town claiming for 
mine to be one, there was but one other, the Protestant 
Episcopal church, of which the Rev. Adam Empie was 
rector. Comparing- numbers between the churches as lo 
white members communing in each, I had the advantage 
of Mr. (since Dr.) Empie, having some ten or a dozen males 
to his doubtful one, while the females may have been about 
equally divided as to numbers, giving him, however, and 
his church the prestige of worldly wealth and honor. 

"At that time it was admitted that the Methodists on 
the whole were a good sort of enthusiasts, their religion 
well suited to the lower classes, especially the negroes, who 
needed to be kept in terror of hell fire. It was called the 
negro church, long after the blacks had left the lower floor 
for the galleries. And by those of the historic episcopacy 
it was especially considered the proper cognomen. They 
from the difficulty, as a plain countryman phrased it, of 
learning to 'rise and sot,'' failed in capturing the masses. 
And though wanting the earth, this did not seem to trouble 
them. But as far as position, power or the spoils of office 
go — ah! that was another matter. And that high claim 
is not abated yet in this year of grace. Reminding one of 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 17 

the resolutions of the Puritan Conclave : Resolved 1st, The 
earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. Resolved 2d, 
The Lord has given it to the saints. Resolved 3d, We are 
the saints. You can count upon your fingers the Presby- 
terian, Baptists and Methodists in high public office, while 
the historic folk are legionary. 

"But better than all political place and power, what was 
the doctrine proclaimed from that plain pulpit? There 
had come down the ages from a master theologian, the 
warning: 'Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine.' 
Was there 'anything of foolish questions and genealogies, 
contentions and strivings about the law,' so vain and un- 
profitable? Anything of 'vain babblings and oppositions 
of science falsely so called.' Anything of priestly func- 
tion (save the One Great High Priest), baptismal waters, 
genefluctions to east or west? Candles lit or unlit, or 
aught of upholstered haberdashery? Not a whit! But 
the grand doctrine of Justification by Faith, and its cog- 
nates of original depravity, regeneration and the witness- 
ing spirit. These rang through those old walls and caught 
the understanding of the philosophic and unlettered, the 
white patracian and the negro plebian were alike moved to 

Mr. Travis just tvt-o years before Mr. Capers gives an in 
stance. The Hon. Benjamin Smith, Governor of North Car- 
olina, meeting him in the street, at Wilmington, desired 
him to call and see his wife, supposed to be unbalanced in 
her mind, her head shaved and blistered, who, after all her 
seeking physicians, grew worse. The preacher diagnosed 
the case at once and administered the proper remedy, 
instruction and prayer. In a few days a carriage drove up 
to that humble parsonage, and Mrs. Smith entered it ex- 
claiming, "0! Sir, you have done me more good than all 
the doctors together. You directed me to Jesus. I went 
to him in faith and humble prayer and confidence. He 
has healed my soul and body. I feel quite well and 

18 Conference Historical Publication. 

happy." Anything of hypobole and eastern romance in 
this. Is it not entirely in accord with the doctrine? 

William Capers gives another example. "Mrs. G. of the 
first-class of the upper sort, deeply interested in what she 
had head, under cover of a call upon the preacher's wife, 
came to consult the preacher. The doubt on her mind 
was as to the possibility, since the Apostles' day, of com- 
mon people knowing their sins forgiven. The preacher 
gave the scriptural proofs freely, received with the "How 
can these things be?" Mrs. G. was accompanied by her 
sister, Mrs. W. better established in the old creed. And 
Mrs. W. as a last resort, turning to Mrs. Capers said : 
"Well, Mrs. Capers, it must be a very high state of grace, 
this which your husband talks about, and I dare say some 
very saintly persons may have experienced it, but as for us 
it must be quite above our reach. I am sure you do not pro- 
fess it, do you?" Mrs. Capers blushed deeply and replied 
in a soft tone of voice, "Yes, ma'am, I experienced it at 
Rembert's camp meeting year before last, and by the grace 
of God I still have the witness of it." That was enough. 
This witness is true, and glory be to God, millions still 
testify to it on the earth. 

But let us glance at this preacher's exchequer. To have 
looked at him, who, "though poor, made many rich," and 
having nothing yet was in "possession of all things," to 
have seen his seraphic smile, and heard his persuasive 
speech uncovering the glory many an earth worm witling 
would have considered him a bloated bond holder. And 
without being bloated, such indeed, he was. Why, breth- 
ren, you and I — I speak it reverently — have sued the Al- 
mighty on His own bond, over and over again, and intend 
to do it until we come into full possession of our vast es- 
tates in heaven. And mark you, at this very time of a 
drained purse, his presiding elder coming. All itinerant 
preachers know what that means. It was the supreme 
moment when the best foot was to be foremost. And only 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 19 

a thrip in his pocket to entertain him. There was nothing 
better than the apostolic fare of a '-fish on a fire of coals," 
and to that last analysis it came. But to his great surprise 
$200.00 was handed him by the presiding elder. God's 
economy and wealth is seen in surprising contrast in the 
sacred word. Behold the prophet at the brook Cherith : 
' ' Bread and tiesli in the morning and bread and flesh in 
the evening." And the bird's God's almoners; a widow 
woman his hostess for long, long years of famine ; a hand- 
ful of meal in the barrel her sole supply. Ahab's princes 
and Ahab himself would gladly have cared for this man of 
power, who held the rain of heaven at his command. But 
no. God hath chosen the weak things of earth to confound 
the mighty. And so He deals with His own to this very 
hour. He might make them ride upon the high places of 
the earth and pour into their lap the treasures he consumes 
in flame and sinks into the sea. But no. Although they 
fear bankruptcy He is determined not to give them the 
shadow of independence from himself. And it is still the 
handful of meal and the drop of oil in the cruse to many 
of his b&loved children. How true the child's remark : 
"Ma, I do believe God hears when we scrape the bottom 
of the barrel." And He does, brethren, as you and I have 
often proved. 

Now look at the means for living in 1813, eighty years 
ago, in Wilmington. From all sources class and church 
collections ^'^ six or seven dollars a week for all purposes, 
amounting to the enormous sum, in figures, of (350,000) 
three hundred and fifty thousand — mills. Does it take 
your breath away? Well it might. Financial Methodism 
was projected on the most economical scale. The penny or 
the cent was always the highest algebraic factor. Why it 
was so may be traced to the preachers themselves. So 
anxious were they to show that they did not preach for 
money as to be content to do without it. Of course the 
people were willing, and the same men that gave a dollar 

20 Conference Historical Publication. 

or two for ministerial support gave away hundreds in a 
generous support of camp and other meetings. For ten 
years of itinerant married life your speaker received but 
$300.00 per annum on an average. It was not until he 
reached Wilmington in 1847 that it ran up to $700.00, and 
then fully one-third came from the colored membership. 
The green baize-covered table in his office at colored lead- 
ers' meetings used to be covered with greasy coppsre. 
Fielding said as a magistrate his income was made up of 
the dirtiest money in the British kingdoms. Not so here, 
dear sirs. Every copper bore the impress of heaven and 
had the blessing of Him who immortalized the 'widow's 
mite" and Mary's box of ointment. It was the product 
of the self-denying slave given for the love of God. 

But let us take a last look of the W'ilmington of an early 
day, 1815, nighty years ago. The bishop writes, January 
22, 1815: "'Went forward thirty miles to Wilmington. I 
preached in the chapel. wretched appearance of broken 
windows. Were I a young man I should not wish to be 
stationed in Wilmington. Our funds are low here, and our 
house a wreck." Think a little, will you ! " Broken win- 
dows," "a wreck" and " undesirable for a young man." 
And who were the young men of that day ? William Capers 
and J. O. Andrews, both of them bishops afterwards. The 
young Thomas Stanly, then the preacher, must have been 
somewhat well known. But how about the "broken win- 
dows?" Oh, say you, the man could hardly live himself. 
Pshaw! Could he not have fixed the windows with his 
ovn hands? But, think again! What young man now, 
or for that matter any old one either, thinks Wilmington 
undesirable now? I am sure some would almost give their 
eyes to get there. 

But at this rate we shall never have done. "Time 
would fail to tell of Gideon, of Barak, and of Sampson, 
and of Jeptha, of David also and Samuel and the prophets, 
who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteous- 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 21 

ness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, * * 
who out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in 
fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." 

Of one of the lesser lights, because we know more of 
him, >ve may speak. He was greatly surprised when he 
was read out for Wilmington in 1847. Doubtless others 
were also. He felt his deftciency. Often has he walked 
on Saturday evenings the aisle of that church and poured 
out prayer before that chancel. Often he seemed deserted, 
for God 

"Hides himself so wondrously, 
As though there were no God ; 
He is least seen when all the powers 
Of ill are most abroad ; 

*' Or he deserts us in the hour 
The fight is all but lost ; 
And seems to leave us to ourielves 
Just when we need him most. 

"It is not so, but so it looks; 
And we lose courage then ; 
And doubts will come if God hath kept 
His promises to men.'' 

But we met such noble men as James Cassidy, Henry 
Nutt, Dr. Bellamy, the Berrys, the Bowdens, Smiths, 
Kellys, Casons, the patriarch, Jesse Jennett, the St. John 
of Wilmington ; of elect ladies not a few — Mrs. Kennedy, 
Mrs. Miller, and not least Mrs. Poisson, an invalid long 
but a great strengthener of many in the faith and patience 
she exhibited ; and others too numerous to mention. Of 
the colored of saintly character in olden time were William 
Campbell and Roger Hazell. In modern days Harry Mer- 
rick led the band. Many on the close of service on Sunday 
nights, by his power of song, were carried up to the very 
gates of gold. 

A revival begun at Old Brunswick camp-meeting was 
carried on for weeks in the city, resulting in doubling the 
membership. A week night meeting was held at the Dry 
Pond, resulting in such success that the next year an assis- 

22 Conference Historical Publication. 

tant preacher was sent, Rev. Hilliard C. Parsons, of pre- 
cious memory, the outcome finally leading to the elegant 
Fifth Street Church. 

All this some forty-five years ago. Of what has hap- 
pened since you tell me much more than I could tell you. 
Nobly has the old North Carolina Conference carried on 
the work the Southern Conference turned over to her. 
Historical records! You do well to gather them up 
When I regard the past and now, it is matter of amaze- 
ment. Do yoa remember Jacob at Bethel? A wanderer, 
homeless, fatherless, nay, not Godless. Take him then 
when at Penial he wrestled with the angel ot the cov- 
enant and hear his words: "With my staff I passed over 
this Jordan, and now I am become two bands." Do you 
ask for its counterpart? All I say is, Circumspice. 

And now with a little small talk I will close. When 
your speaker came to Wilmington our country was at war — 
don't start, it was the Mexican war. Everything was in a 
stir. Many thought it was a huge affair ; they saw a bigger 
one not long after. They called my State the Palmetto State ; 
yours the Pine Tree. Mine some called after Harry Percy — 
Hotspur. Right ; I reckon she was hot enough and did 
spur folks alarmingly. Her attempt to dissolve co-part- 
nership resulted like that famed commercial enterprise 
where one party had the capital and the other the expe- 
rience, turning out in the final issue in that vice versa 
arrangement by which the South got the experience and 
the North all the capital. Poor, dear Old South Carolina, 
it rather looks like she is a nice place to leave; at least so 
some of our preachers seem to think. Virginia got one 
and North Carolina got two. They are not by nature ' ' Tar 
Heels, '^ but if you treat 'em well they'll stick. Hope you 
will say Esto Perpetua. 

They called your State once, almost fifty years ago, 
remember, "Winkle," not Dickens', but "Van" — "Old 
Rip," that sturdy youth of the twenty years nap. But if 

Early Methodism in Wilmington. 23 

she ain't awake now I'm greatly mistaken. Some daring 
miscreant called you '''-Tar Heels''' a cognomen indicative of 
sticking proclivities. You did it in the Civil War undoubt- 
edly. I never heard of a North Carolina regiment flinch- 
ing. And I have no doubt that to all things " true, hon- 
est, just, pure, lovely and of good report" you will hold 
on to the very end. 

And now a last advice. This is Durham, ain't it? You 
have a college here? Endow it quickly. A word in your 
ear : Forty years ago in Edgefield county, South Carolina, 
a brother Holloway gave $20,000.00 to Cokesbury School. 
It was before Wofford gave his $100,000.00 to Spartanburg. 
A modicum of the interest on that money put two boys 
through Wofford College. They are men now ; one is now 
in Norfolk, Va., the other in Asheville, N. C. If they 
ever ' ' achieve greatness or have it thrust upon them ' ' it 
may be traced to that bequest. I say to your men of 
wealth. Do likewise. Hunt up your boys for the founda- 
tion. By so doing you build memorials more enduring 
than sculptured bust or monumental marble. 

Running back to 1830 there was not an academy of high 
grade in all the South. Cokesbury, near Baltimore, was 
burned; Mt. Bethel, in Carolina, was a ruin, two chimneys 
standing as the only memorial. New England got the 
start of us long before that ; sterile as she was, she built 
school houses and reared men. Wilbrahan Academy, in 
Massachusetts, was the only Methodist school of note in 
America. Under the peerless Fisk she drew patronage 
from far and near — one boy from Virginia, the late Leo 
Rosser; one boy from Baltimore, J. C. Keener, and one 
boy from Charleston (nameless), were there from 1830 to 
1833 and '34. It is on record that he from Baltimore, full 
of innocent mischief, climbed the lightning rod on the 
high boarding house to the very top. As the senior bishop 
of the Southern Church he is deservedly at the top yet. 
The last named, whether deservedly or not, is at the bot- 

34 Conference Historical Publication. 

torn still, where many of you, beloved, if you only live 
long enough, will assuredly be likewise. But what of it 
all if at the end of the days we shall stand in our lot and 
hear the well done of our Master and Lord. And yet 

"01 It is hard to work for God, 

To rise and take His part 
Upon the battle fields of earth, 

And not sometimes lose heart ; 
But right is right, since God is God, 

And right, the day must win, 
To doubt would be disloyalty, 

To falter would be sin." 

OuB Historical Problem. 25 



\Vheii your kind letter, Mr. President, came to rae with, 
the information that I had been selected for the duty of 
this occasion I had many misgivings as to my right to 
accept the honor. I had great difficulty to select a subject 
which would be satisfactory either to you or to me. Pass 
ing over subjects connected more immediately with our 
church history I at length chose to speak of the ideal that 
is embodied in this Historical Society, to show its grounds 
for existence, to urge on you its importance, and to sug- 
gest, if I may, some means of realizing its greatest suc- 
cess. In the beginning of the existence of our Society we 
cannot too deeply impress on ourselves the nature of our 
work and how it is to be accomplished. 

Somehow the thought is to-day filling the minds of 
Americans that the South is entering a poriod of new life. 
The intuition of our continent is aglow with idea of 
Southern development. The beginnings of the process are 
easily to be discerned in industrial lines. Many people, 
also, are earnestly scanning the horizon for the dawn of an 
intellectual renaissance. Such a movement indeed is slowly 
beginning to be. We can feel it in an increased desire for 
education and in a better demand for a better kind of 
education. The building of towns, centers of life and 
centers of thought, conduces to it. The gaining of greater 
wealth and the consequent endowment of colleges and the 
increase of a leisure of class facilitates its coming. A 
hundred other forces of our more prosperous life may be 

» An address delivered before the North Carolina Conference Historical 
Society at its second annual meeting, Dec. 14, 1895, at Elizabeth City, N. C. 

26 Conference Historical Publication. 

expected to make for its development. I rejoice at the 
thought that it may not now be far distant. Of this, how- 
ever, we may be sure: It will never come of its own 
accord. If it is in the air it will never be visible till it is 
distilled through the product of our own personalities. It 
will never come till the manhood and the womanhood of 
the South — you and I and other intellectual force in our 
country — can realize in our souls the great ideas of those 
that long for life. It will come when we as individuals 
shall form the serious resolve to live, not merely during 
our college periods, but throughout our entire lives, with 
most earnest efforts for true self-culture. 

Let us then as an Historical Society talk seriously about 
the future. What will such a movement mean for the 
purposes that we have in view? If it means anything, it 
will mean that we shall throw in our efforts to build up a 
greater interest in, and a greater love for, the past. When 
I stand to-day in the presence of our past, unrecorded 
and forgotten as it largely is, I find my heart all lit with 
a great call to duty. From the Potomac to the Rio 
Grande there are piles of documents, records, reports, cor- 
respondences, memoirs, files of newspapers, and occasional 
publications — all rich in the experience of our ancestors. 
Yet is there no hand that is set to transform this richness 
into active life force. So far as the advantage posterity is 
reaping from this experience is concerned the majority of 
our distinguished men, both in religious and civil life, 
might as well never have lived. We have failed in any 
vital sense to perpetuate their lives. As a solitary hut in 
a vast plain, as the single house of the poet that looked 
out over the ruins of desolated Thebes, so are the few 
books we have produced in reference to our history. Let 
the name of Southerner be a reproach among peoples if we 
let this condition continue. 

Will you allow me to tell you why we need this con- 
sciousness of the past? 

Our Historical Problem. 27 

We need it, in the iirst place, because the New South 
must be built out of the Old South. The shattered frag- . 
ments of the old structure must be replaced in better posi- 
tions in the new ; but they will be the old fragments still. 
The ideas and habits of our people must be what they have 
been, only they must be lit with a new radiance. This is 
especially true in our ideas of public affairs. It would be 
a sad mistake if we forgot the spirit of government that 
our father's had and went suddenly atield after some new 
and crude thing, for whose workings we are by no means 
prepared. Our statesmen have always been characterized 
by a spirit of solid English conservatism. Vain and false 
will be the progress that suddenly leads us away from it. 
And yet there is danger that we shall have just such pro- 
gress. We expect a number of immigrants. They will 
be welcomed, yet they will bring new habits of thought. 
Our thinking men are bein<.' educated abroad, where dilFer- 
ent conditions warrant different ideas ; and that is a good 
thing. Yet if from either of these influences there should 
come a concept of government based on the socialistic 
idea, the result would be calamitous. To guard against 
such a result we should so fill our common thought with 
the spirit of the past that it will be impregnable against 
such ideas. If we know our history we shall have this 
spirit, and what has for a century been noted as a strong 
individualistic democracy will be in no danger of becom- 
ing a social democracy. 

History is valuable to us, not only as a means of getting 
good government but also as a means of culture. By cul- 
ture I mean the enlarging of man's noblest nature to its 
greatest extent. The mission of man, his only excuse for 
existence, is the ennobling of his own soul and the souls 
of others. I should not have to make an argument to 
show you that the mission of the Church is to do good. 
Assuredly elevating man in his finer nature, in his soul, is 
doing good. It is in keeping with the very purposes of 

28 Conference Historical Publication. 

the Master. To save the world from sin, to free human 
hearts from baser tendencies, to teach man the dominion 
of the spirit over the body, finally to record in all its inef- 
fable loveliness the purity of a god-like soul ; this is doing 
good. This is also true culture. 

Our ideas of what culture is have not always been the 
clearest. Man's nature is two sided. It is intellectual and 
emotional, if I may so say. If we cultivate the intellec- 
tual side solely we shall become rationalistic, I use the 
term in its broader significance. If we cultivate the emo- 
tional side exclusively we become aesthetic and possibly 
fanatical. Either extreme should be avoided. We have 
at times been disposed to say that a man who is cultured 
has cultivated the intellect solely ; and so we have had a 
tendency to say that culture has nothing to do with reli- 
gion. This idea, I admit, has been aided also by the asser- 
tion of many whom we are accustomed to put down as the 
apostles of culture. Yet I conceive that the finest and 
truest type of culture is not this intellectually developed 
man, with no emotions, no religious impressions. Only he 
is cultured who has developed both sides of his nature in 
the best way. Furthermore, I shall venture to say that we 
of the South have not followed this idea as strictly as I 
could wish. We have not cultivated the emotional side of 
our nature too much. Speaking absolutely I should say 
that we could hardly do that, provided we kept in the 
bounds of common sense ; but we often fail to cultivate the 
intellectual side enough. As a result we are generous, 
loyal, religious, and that is a good thing ; but we are not 
so calm, judicial, or self-contained as we ought to be. I 
stand here to plead for that kind of thought that will 
advance equally the intellect and the emotions, the mind 
and the heart, and that will give as a result a perfectly 
poised soul. 

This can be attained very successfully by the study of 
history. I should not say it is the only way to get it, 

Our Historical Problem. 29 

but it is certainly one of the most excellent ways, and in a 
certain kind of development it is the only way, of getting 
it. History gives the mind a culture grasp on the life of 
the world. To live over again the life of a great man, to 
trace the growth of an institution which is indeed the 
•product of the successive lives of many people, is the con- 
tribution of history to the educational process. In its 
scope it is as broad as humanity and to master it broadens 
the soul till it embraces the life of the world. A book 
thoughtfully mastered becomes in a healthy mind a part 
of one's soul. Such a soul broadened by a knowledge of 
the past is as great as all the great qualities of all the 
great men of the past. It not only broadens but it gives 
fineness. Your great historian is an aristocrat in the cul- 
ture world. He takes the best wine from a thousand 
presses. By observing the hollowness of the evil and the 
permanency of the good, he learns to despise all that is 
untrue. I confess to you that until I became to a certain 
extent acquainted with the experiences of the peoples of 
the past, I never realized for once the force of that tine 
Biblical thought, "righteousness exalteth a nation." If 
I were asked to name the general law that underlies the 
science of history, I should say unhesitating that it is the 
law of the ultimate survival of the righteous. It is just 
as accurate as a law as the most ardent evolutionist could 
claim for Mr. Darwin's law of natural selection. To get 
this broadness and this intenseness of the finer feelings is 
history's contribution to culture. 

Perhaps you may say that this is all good enough in 
reference to secular history and for the secular reader, but 
that preachers have to do with church history only. I do 
not believe it. I cannot see how a teacher could send out 
a boy into the world well equipped in the field of general 
history who did not know the great facts in reference to 
the part religious life has played in developing our civil- 
ization. I confess, I should be as little able to see how he 

30 Conference Historical Publication. 

could send out a man, be he preacher or not, who had a 
just knowledge of history who did not know the parts that 
law, politics, art, and industry have played in that same 
development. History is a unit and he who knows the 
history of the religious past and nothing of the secular 
past is as poorly equipped as he who knows the secular- 
part and is ignorant of the religious. Our ideas must be 
no smaller than life and life is as broad as human thinking. 
Some evil, I fear, has come in these latter days from the 
habit of shutting off a young preacher's line of study from 
the thoughts that reach other people. Against this I pro- 
test. I beg that you do not shut him up in history to the 
contemplation of dogmas, and their defenders of councils 
and their work and of popes and their privileges. Let 
him, in common with all other historical students, take 
for his motto to know the life of the past and by it to in- 
terpret the present. 

Such a thing affords the preacher an opportunity to 
guide culture. As a layman standing on the outside of 
your ranks, but as one on whose heart has weighed se- 
riously the problems of our society, I beseech you that you 
will put your finger on the culture life of our country. 
Hallow it with the Christ ideal. Consecrate it with the 
great purpose of the Son of Man. Be cultured yourselves 
and so teach those who are coming into the great stream 
of our culture, that history, fiction, verse, dialectics, and 
all other literature shall throb to the great common object 
of a clearer, and sweeter, and stronger manhood. If we 
are to have a renaissance in our literature let us see that it 
be turned the right way from the first! 

The preacher does not always realize his power. No 
people has ever risen superior to their priests. The state 
may boast of its battles, its glories, its progress ; but he 
who stands guardian over the individual conscience con- 
trols the state and its destiny. Laws may be effective 
without being good, industry may succeed without being 

Our Historical Problem. 81 

just, literature may be beautiful without being enobling, 
art may be skillful without being helpful ; but in propor- 
tion as laws, industry, literature or art have in them any- 
thing great it comes from the elevating effect they have on 
the common life. Show me a people's faith and I will 
write its history. Give me the power to appeal to their 
ideals and I will shape their destiny. I will say more : 
Show me the ideals that appear in their literature and I 
will tell you what their priests believe or what influence 
their priests have over them. Too often, I fear, I shall 
find that the priests have lost control over the literary class. 
Such a thing is vicious in its results. It is a fearful thing 
when our writers have begun to lose the impulses of relig- 
ious conviction. Vain and false is this modern purpose- 
less art. It gives no soul development. It is as a beauti- 
ful garment that clothes a skeleton. To be valuable a 
book should not merely please or a picture be merely 
graceful. They each would by that leave unused an op- 
portunity for reaching the soul. May the day be not far 
distant when our literature and art shall be the embodi- 
ment of conscience. 

I have said this much on the subject of what I conceive 
to be a preacher's opportunity in order to show what rela- 
tion our Historical Society as a part of the larger culture 
life may have to that opportunity. I have in this spoken 
of the abstract side of my subject. I shall henceforth be 
more specific. Let us first enumerote the advantages that 
may come to us from the development of this society : 

1. It will teach us self-knowledge. "Know thyself" is 
an old Greek maxim that summed up a great deal of wis- 
dom. To know history is to know ourselves, our race, 
in all its progress and trials. The religious body that 
knows its past is broader and stronger by reason of it. 
Furthermore, a man, or a church, never knows himself or 
itself till he or it knows others. Knowledge is compara- 
tive. On considering ourselves we are led to ask by how 


much we differ from others. If we do not measure up to 
others we want to renew our efforts. Thus will history act 
upon us and re-act upon us as a church through the agency 
of this Historical Society. 

2. An historical society will help to make us cosmopol- 
itan in thought. The progress of the world is toward unity 
of thinking. Provincialism of ideas too often means crude 
and undeveloped minds. Strengthened and enlarged is 
the mind that can hold in its grasp the experience and the 
import of the experience of a number of different social 
groups. If we know the histories, present and past, of 
other churches we shall know how to correlate our own 
church policy to the development of the religions of the 
world. We shall the more clearly know how to take our 
place in the vast cycle of influences that make for civiliza- 
tion. Would that every christian had the enlarged ken 
that he should have in order to see as our Master saw the 
plan by which a score of distinct forces could be brought 
into harmonious operation to effect the redemption of 
humanity from sin. 

3. I am led to say also that a vigorous historical society 
will help us better to appreciate present conditions. There 
comes a time in every man's life when he asks himself if it 
pays to struggle any longer. He is like a man swimming 
on the surface of the billows. As the waves leap up aroand 
him he has no appreciation of direction and surroundings. 
He must be elevated above their surface if he desires to 
understand the waves. So it is in life ; we can never gauge 
properly our difficulties while we are battling with them. 
We need to look down on them in the light of past expe- 
riences before we may know how to estimate their forces. 
This much I need only remind you, will come to us through 
our Society. 

4. An effective historical society will develope the read- 
ing and writing habit. To show you the importance of 
this I need only refer to a recent utterance of that able 

OuE Historical Problem. 83 

editor, Dr. Hoss. A young minister complained that he 
did not have time to read. It took him all of his time to 
prepare his sermons. At this the editor exclaims : "What 
a notion ! As if the reading of good books were not the 
very best way of making preparation of sermons a delight- 
ful and uplifting task. Reading alone will not suffice. 
Some people may do too much of it, but it is sure that 
many do too little. The higher mental processes cannot 
go forward without material on which to work, and this 
material is drawn very largely from contact with literature. 
There is no possible method of threshing a noble thought 
out of an empty mind." Besides setting us to reading it 
will also set us to writing. If it is a good thing to speak 
a great thought, surely it is a better thing to write a great 
thought. By the former means you may reach several 
hundred minds ; by the latter you may reach several thou- 
sand. In these modern days a movement is in a way 
measured by the printed literature it produces, t want no 
better way of judging of our Conference than by going 
through the files of our Conference paper. 

6. We shall need this Historical Society because it will 
cultivate in us love for the past. The reasons I have 
already given are purely utilitarian. This reason is not 
utilitarian. Let us love history for its own sake. If it 
yield me nothing in return then will I love it for the mere 
sake of loving it. If I get no boon from it, then will I 
give it one, hoping that there may be somewhere in the 
broad expanse of the empyrean a divinity to whom the 
incense of my altar may be grateful. I will love it because 
a rich soul full of reverence must love what is pure, and 
noble, and wise. 

But why carry this enumeration farther? I take it that 
you need only to be set thinking and you will see many 
more advantages of this nature. The point to which I 
desire now to direct your attention is how to make our 
Society attain to its best work. Will you alfbw one whose 

34 Conference Historical Publication. 

experience is, perhaps, not as broad as yours, but who yet 
has a rather definite idea of our needs to recount some of 
these needs? 

1. We need to get a deep and broad historical spirit. 
We must love truth for truth's sake and we must most 
zealously sift all evidences before we are satisfied that we 
have the truth. We must not go about writing it in a 
spirit of self-glorification. Healthy research will not come 
that way. These patriotic investigators who take it for 
their task to defend some disputed points of history merely 
on the basis of local pride most generally fail to accom- 
plish anything lasting. Your true historian has another 
idea, although it does not preclude that of local pride. He 
takes as his object the discovery of truth. He assumes a 
judicial attitude and carefully avoids the methods of an 
advocate. His purpose is expressed in the words of von 
Ranke, the great modern German historian, who said that 
the aim of an historian is to tell a thing wie es geweseh isl, 
that is to say, to tell a thing as it was. To accomplish this 
requires a great deal of impartiality, a great deal of imper- 
sonality. It demands that we hold in subjection our feel- 
ings and previously formed judgments until we have 
exploited our evidence. It demands that we handle facts 
as acutely as a lawyer and as carefully as a Chief Justice. 
It demands that we take nothing for granted, that we never 
grow weary, that we use hands, ears, eyes and tongue to 
arrive at the truth. Such is the clear, chaste, and impas- 
sive spirit of history that I should like to call into the 
bosom of this Historical Society. 

2. The objective point of our activity must be life. We 
must distinguish the things that concern life from those 
that concern death. We must catch the genius of the 
growth of mankind. We must be able to mark out the 
processes by which we have gone forward, and those whose 
tendency has been to draw us backward. When we shall 
have done this there is no danger that we shall go to the 

Our Historical Problem. 35 

world with a measure of chaff instead of a measure of 
good grain as a result of our labors. 

Will you pardon me for a digression into the realm of 
the secular? I am the more willing to make it because I 
want us to guard against an error that the secular history 
of our State has fallen into. Our State history has suf- 
fered because investigators have gone afield after doubtful 
points. Outside of our own borders we are chiefly known 
in an historical way by reason of the controversies over the 
Mecklenburg Declaration, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, 
the conduct of the North Carolina militia at Guilford 
Court House, and the claim that the Regulators began the 
Revolution ; and, unfortunately, in addition to all of these 
there is now threatening us another controverted point, 
viz. : "Was Peter S. Ney Marshal Ney?" To settle these 
questions, even though they could be settled in favor of 
our most ardent patriots, would be a matter of small im- 
portance in the face of the laws, the religion, the industry, 
and indeed the life of our past. Permit me to say that so 
long as I have the honor to preside over the department of 
history in that institution which is so dear to the hearts of 
us all, I will never consent to lead the boys that come 
to me away from the meat of life to the husk of renown 

3. We need also to strive to discover not only the life, 
but the lives of the past. History should be read for two 
purjDoses : (a) to get experience in the conduct of affairs, 
that is to say, for the lessons of statesmanship, and (b) to 
get its great influence on the inner life. In view of this 
latter purpose read biography. There is no surer way of 
transfusing goodness into the heart than by the example of 
a good man. The surest impulse to nobleness comes from 
the impact of one soul on another. Therefore for this rea- 
son, as well as for a reward for services for which no reward 
was asked, we ought to perpetuate the lives of our great 
preachers. We have not done it. What assurance is 

36 Conference Historical Publication. 

there that fifty years from to-day our children shall have 
any siifiicient means of knowing the lives of our Burkhead, 
our Craven, our Bobbitt, our Robey and a hundred more 
whose toil has enriched our church and our State? 

4. We need also to get the spirit of collecting materials. 
In our State there are, both in the fields of secular and 
church history, a vast number of documents, newspapers, 
magazines, printed addresses, fugitive articles, books that 
are rare, and in many cases out of print — all absolutely 
essential to the correct writing of our history. These 
ought to be collected in some central accessible place. 
Those that relate to church history ought to be placed in 
the archives of this society, and, if you will allow me to 
say it, those that relate to secular history will be very 
gladly received by the Trinity College Historical Society. 
The opportunity we have to collect these is exceptionable. 
The members of this society scatter themselves over half 
of our State. They possess the confidence and love of a 
large number of our people. From these two facts I 
should say that all we need is the effort on their part, and 
we shall have in the rooms of this society the richest col- 
lection of historical material in the South. I would that 
each of us could go out to his place with this purpose 
deeply graven in his heart. There is the greatest need 
that we get materials now — and to that end I should like 
to request any hearer who knows of anything that is val- 
uable in this line to communicate such knowledge to the 
ofl&cers of this society before he leaves this place. 

5. I should suggest also the establishment of an histor- 
ical museum. We desire to arouse general interest in our 
work. Not every one can write a sketch of a church or a 
preacher ; but nearly every one can find something of inter- 
est to Methodists that he should like to preserve. This 
may appear to be a small affair, but let us not despise the 
day of small things. Will you permit me to give you an 
example which has come under my own observation? A 

Our Historical Problem. 37 

year and a half ago the Trinity College Historical Society 
was languishing. Some of its members were much dis- 
couraged. A movement for an historical museum was 
undertaken. It was rather a matter of a joke at first. A 
few relics were, however, brought in ; a few more were 
soon added. A case with a glass door was then provided. 
It was seen to be a matter of earnestness, and a great num- 
ber of relics then came in, and to-day we have enough 
relics to fill two large cases and more are coming contin- 
ually.* From the day the Museum was founded the inter- 
est in the Society sprang into new life. I am satisfied that 
it was the turning point in the life of the organization. 
We have now no trouble to get papers for our monthly 
meeting, and the spirit of research with which they are 
prepared shows that the future is very bright. Just what 
our college students have done we who are met here 
may do. 

6. Lastly, we should have a publication. An historical 
society without a place in which to publish the results of 
its research can only half fulfill the purposes for which it 
has its existence. It is not suflBcient that we publish in 
newspapers or in occasional pamphlets. Such methods are 
better than not publishing at all, but they lack the element 
of permanency. A year ago in a certain city in our Con- 
ference bounds, a certain newspaper published the history 
of the Methodist church there. Not more than a month 
ago I heard the author of that history say that he did not 
have a set of the papers, nor did he have any idea who did 
have them. If we had a yearly publication that history 
would appear in it. It would be preserved along with 
other similar sketches that have been prepared. Such a 
publication would not only preserve history, but it would 
give the world a definite idea of what we are doing, and for 
our own membership, it would be a center of interest and 

*There are now, 1897, five cases and more room is needed. —Editor. 

38 Conference Historical Publication. 

effort in every respect beneficial. It would rally the pride 
of Methodists at large, and while it spread among them a 
more general knowledge of our own history, it would 
make among them many a friend to our enterprise. In- 
deed, I do not see how we can get along in any satisfactory 
way without such a publication. 

Historical societies have not been ordinary affairs in our 
Southern Conferences. Of the few in existence one is in 
South Carolina. In 1856 the Methodist preachers of South 
Carolina, at the suggestion of the Maryland Conference, met 
in Yorkville and organized an historical society. For thirty 
nine years that body has struggled on with great success. 
Who shall say what influence it has had on the type of 
Methodism of that State. It is certainly true that one of 
the most influential Conferences in our whole Southern 
Church has been that of South Carolina. Its preachers 
have been marked by a culture influence that have made 
them leaders wherever they have gone. Its Wightman, 
its Duncans, its Kirklands, its Carlisle, its Capers, and 
many more are evidences of its vitality. I do not think I 
should be too sanguine if I should say that I expect that 
when this Society shall have reached its full fruition, 
North Carolina Methodism will be as generally prominent. 
I think I may at least predict with confidence that the 
spirit of progress that will go with the development of our 
organization will be felt in a thousand reactions on our 
whole intellectual life. 

Without any intention to discredit the South Carolina 
society, I must yet say that the working of such societies 
with us is in a certain sense experimental. We may find 
features in which we can improve on other societies. The 
item of a publication is something that the South Carolina 
society has not reached. There is presented to us an 
opportunity to lead in this direction. Some years in the 
future when the South shall have come to the conditions 
of a thickly populated country, there will be historical 

Our Historical Problem. 39 

societies and publications too throughout our Conference. 
In that day it will be worth something to have led in this 

Before I take my seat I am impelled to speak of the 
interest these surroundings have to those who have at heart 
the cause of North Carolina history. When our ancestors 
left their homes in Virginia, in New England, and indeed 
in Old England in order to settle in this State, they came 
first of all to the banks of the streams that empty their 
waters into the Albemarle Sound. You need not be told 
that you stand on historic ground. The story of white 
supremacy in our State began in this region to which the 
Methodist Church is now come with glad messages on its 
tongue and with rejoicings in its heart for a rich harvest of 
good. The very atmosphere which we here meet is historic. 
I have heard that the warm hearts of the people who live 
here are rich with the flavor of the past. We up-country 
people will have much to learn while here. Let us of all 
things carry away an abiding consciousness of the histori- 
cal which we find. An incident in this connection may be 
worth reciting : 

One day in December, 1677, there came sailing up the 
river that flows by this hospitable little city "a pretty 
ship," as the Proprietors called her. She was a trader 
from London, and it seems likely that she was trading with 
little or no regard for the English navigation laws. Thomas 
Miller was then, by no very certain right, recognized as 
President of the Council and, as such, was temporarily chief 
executive of the colony. He had made himself very un- 
popular by doing, as was alleged, "many extravagant 
things, making strange limitations for the choice of a par- 
liament, getting the power in his hands of laying tines, 
which 'tis to be feared he neither did nor meant to use 
moderately, sending out strange warrants to bring some of 
the most considerable men in the colony alive or dead 

40 Conference Historical Publication. 

before him, setting a sum of money upon their heads,"* 
Now when on that crisp winter morning of 1677 Captain 
Gillam sailed his ' ' pretty ship.' ' up the Pasquotank river 
the President, on a charge which the people considered 
unfounded, proceeded to arrest him and to treat him in a 
violent manner. The captain had brought in his vessel 
three times as many goods as he had brought the preceding 
year. These he expected to sell to the planters as they 
came down to his ship, taking in exchange their tobacco 
and other produce. The people were as anxious to get his 
goods as he was to sell them. When, however, he suffered 
so badly at the hands of the President he threatened to 
take his cargo elsewhere. This was doleful news to the 
men of Pasquotank. In genuine alarm they induced Capt. 
Gillam to abandon his design, and then with an armed 
force they arrested Miller and the Deputies, locked them up 
in a log house, and issued a call to the inhabitants of the 
other precincts for a new assembly. They were grimly in 
earnest, and a short time afterwards when the Governor of 
Virginia was preparing to subdue them as rebels, they made 
ready for a stout resistance. The remonstrance they pub- 
lish to arouse their neighbors is the first document in the 
cause of local liberty in our State history. Whatever we 
may think of their motives, we must agree that they stood 
for self-government. It is worth a great deal to have been 
the first people in this State vvho resisted by force the con- 
trolling hand in England. I should be unjust to the men 
of Pasquotank as well as to this body if I let this occasion 
pass without reminding you of this most important event 
in our history. 

Now my task is done. I have endeavored to show you 
the need of historical study in the South, the relation of 
such study to a broad culture life, indeed its relation to 
our church life. I have stressed the advantages we shall 

*Col. Recs. of N. C, vol. L. p. 287. 

Our Historical Problem. 41 

get from our Historical Society, and I have suggested some 
means by which I think we may realize very fully our 
opportunity. If I have so dwelt on these things that we 
have gotten a better concept of the work before us, the 
effort will not have been in vain ; and if it is not in vain, 
I shall be satisfied. 

42 Conference Historical Publication. 


BY REV. W. H. MOORE, D. D., 

To honor the living who deserve our esteem on account 
of their virtues, is both a duty and a pleasure. We are 
not slow to recognize the worth of those who have put us 
under obligations to them, by enriching us in material 
things, whether their services have been rendered to us as 
individuals, or as the benefactors of mankind. But, to 
hold in grateful and loving remembrance the names and 
virtues of our sainted dead, and to keep these fresh in the 
minds of the living, making of them an inspiration to a 
nobler life for ourselves, and coming generations, is a duty 
we owe both to the dead and the living. 

It has been said that the refinement of a people can be 
judged of by the care they take of the graves of their dead ; 
and, it may be more truthfully said, that a people's appre- 
ciation of a noble life is manifested by the sacredness with 
which the memory of that life is cherished. 

Nations build monuments of brass, and stone, to perpet- 
uate the memory of those who have rendered signal service 
to their country, and the Church should not be less slow 
to embalm in grateful remembrance the memory of those 
who have wrought well in her interest. It is piety, not 
patriotism, which says, "The righteous shall be had in 
everlasting remembrance." 

I could have wished, at the time your partiality devolved 
on me the task I am now attempting to perform, that it 
had fallen to the lot of one more competent worthily to 

I An address delivered before the North Carolina Conference Historical 
Society at the third regular meeting, at Kinston, N. C , December 8, 1896. 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 43 

fulfill your wish; for surely, a life so consecrated, and 
useful should have a rarely gifted tongue to perpetuate its 
memory. But, however far I may fall short of a worthy 
performance of my task, I shall be conscious that I have 
brought to its accomplishment a heart loyal to the purpose 
of the Society, and as earnest a desire as any can cherish 
that the picture of our distinguished brother's life should 
have a frame as noble as itself in which to hang it on the 
walls of our memory. 

Like some tall peak which lifts itself far above the moun- 
tain range and which seems to grow taller by recession 
from it, so does the life of this eminent servant of God and 
the Church in the lengthening distance of time grow larger 
and more impressive to those who contemplate it. 

In reviewing the life and labors of him who is the sub- 
ject of this address, his family history will naturally claim 
our attention first. 


Hezekiah Gilbert Leigh was born in Durand's Neck, 
Perquimans County, North Carolina, November 23, 1795, 
and was of Scotch-Irish descent. His early ancestors came 
to "the James River section" of Virginia, and settled 
there soon after the establishment of "the Jamestown 
Colony." Gilbert Leigh, the grandfather of Hezekiah, 
moved from the James River section to Durand's Neck, in 
the year 1760. He bought lands near the New Hope M. E. 
Church, and built a residence there, which is still standing, 
and occupied as a dwelling. It was in this house that 
Hezekiah was born. Richard Leigh, son of Gilbert Leigh, 
and Elizabeth, his wife, was born October 14, 1773. Rich- 
ard was married to Charlotte Spruill, December 18, 1794, 
and their son, Hezekiah Gilbert, was born November 23, 

Of Hezekiah's childhood I have not been able to gather 
anything of public interest. Imagination must fill a gap 

44 Conference Historical Publication. 

of fifteen years ; but we may well believe him to have been 
a bright and healthy lad, with more than ordinary ambi- 
tion for mental culture. Socially, his family ranked 
among the best, and, having both lands and slaves, his 
parents were able to give their son the best educational 
advantages offered by the schools of that time. 

The old colonial town of Edenton, though not then so 
populous as now, was, nevertheless, a place of great im- 
portance. It was the rival of any town in the State for 
commerce, culture, and social life. There was an Academy 
there, and, as this school afforded better facilities than 
could be obtained nearer home, Hezekiah was entered at 
this Academy in 1810, at which time he had attained the 
age of 15 years. He remained in this school two years, 
and, on leaving it, returned to his home in Durand's Neck, 
where he taught till he was about 22 years old. 

What purpose in life he may have cherished, what avo- 
cation, or profession he intended to follow, is unknown. 
Though his education was only academical, it was equal to 
that of any of the young men of his section, and placed 
him far in advance of the multitude. An honorable career 
might have been his at the Bar, in Medicine, or in the 
halls of Legislation. For the first, and the last named, he 
was pre-eminently endorsed. But, whatever may have 
been his purpose, this year was remarkable as the one in 
which occurred the event which proved to be the turning 
point in his whole subsequent life. God had a great work 
for him to do, and this was the year of his conversion. He 
who took David from the sheep-cote, and anointed him to 
be the King of Israel, took this young man out of the 
school-room and anointed him with divine power, as a 
preacher of the gospel of His Son. 

Tradition says "he was converted in an old-fashioned 
Methodist Camp -Meeting, held at Nag's Head Chapel," 
one of the appointments of the present Perquimans circuit. 
The meeting in which he was converted was conducted by 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 45 

the Rev. Henry Holmes and others. Doubtless there were 
others converted at this meeting, but had young Leigh 
been the solitary convert, as is said to have been the case 
in Georgia, where young James Osgood Andrew was the 
only convert, the meeting would have been a great success. 
The conversion of one such soul is worth a life -time effort. 
Who but God can tell what shall be the result, in all its 
bearings, on the Church and State, or on individual souls? 

At the time of his conversion, much the larger part of 
the territory now embraced in the North Carolina Confer- 
ence, was in the bounds of the Virginia Conference. Be- 
lieving himself to be called of God to preach the gospel, he 
' 'conferred not with flesh and blood, ' ' but devoted himself 
at once to the work, offered himself to the Virginia Con- 
ference, in the bounds of which he was living, and to 
which, under God, he was indebted for his conversion. 

His application was favorably acted upon, and he was 
"received on trial," by the Conference at its session in 
February, 1818. He remained an honored, as he was a 
distinguished member of that body, till the creation of the 
North Carolina Conference in 1836. At that time he 
became a member of this Conference, which membership 
he retained till his death, September 18, 1853. 

On January the 5th, 1830, he was married to Miss Mary 
Jane Crump, a daughter of Major Richard Crump, of North- 
ampton county, in this State ; and soon after his marriage 
bought a plantation, and settled his family near Boydton, 
Mecklenburg county, Virginia, which was the seat of Ran- 
dolph-Macon College, of which institution he was founder. 

There were born to him six children. The oldest child, 
Lieut. Col. R. W. Leigh, of the 43d Mississippi Regiment, 
was killed in the battle of Corinth, October 22, 1862. 

H. G. Leigh, M. D., now resides, as he has long done, 
in Petersburg, Va., and is an honored member of that 
community, and distinguished in his profession. 

J. E. Leigh, whose surpassing eloquence crowned him 

46 Conference Historical Publication. 

as "the silver-tongued orator of Mississippi," died Novem- 
ber 7, 1891. 

Louisa C. Leigh married Judge John B. Sale, of Missis- 
sippi, and died in the summer of 1864. 

Mary Alice Leigh married Capt. James E. Craddock, and 
is now a widow, living in Columbus, Mississippi. 

F. M. Leigh, the youngest child, lives in Columbus, 
Mississippi, and is now a man of 52 years, having been 
born in February, 1844. 

Mary Jane Leigh, widow of the Rev. H. G. Leigh, D. 
D., died in Columbus, Mississippi, April 14, 1881, and is 
buried in the city where she died. The mortal remains of 
her husband rest in the old Randolph -Macon cemetery, 
Mecklenburg county, Virginia. Widely separated is their 
sleeping dust, but they rest well after life's toilsome day, 
and he who watched over them so tenderly while living, 
shall one day call them thence, and glorified together, they 
shall be forever "present with the Lord." 


Having given this much of Dr. Leigh's family history, I 
may be permitted now to speak of his labors, and the emi- 
nent success with which they were crowned. 

As we have already seen, he was "received on trial" by 
the Virginia Conference at its session in February, 1818. 
His splendid physique and his mental and spiritual endow- 
ments brought him into prominence at once, and so well 
did he meet the responsibilities of his position, in all places 
where he became known, that he was held up by the Laity 
as a model for his successors. There were giants in those 
days, and Hezekiah G. Leigh stood at the head, the peer of 
any, and the most influential of them all. 

A list of the appointments he fllled in both the Virginia 
and North Carolina Conferences will abundantly confirm 
this statement. His appointments were : Bedford, Raleigh, 
Gloucester, Norfolk, Petersburg, Meherrin District, James 

Life ai^d Labors of Eev. H, G. Leigh. 47 

River District, Agent for Randolph-Macon College, Peters- 
burg District, Raleigh District, Henderson Circuit ; and, 
finally, he was for a second time Presiding Elder of the 
Raleigh District, and Agent for Randolph-Macon College. 

For eighteen years he was a member of the Virginia, and 
seventeen a member of the North Carolina Conference; 
nearly six years of which latter period he was without an 
appointment, on account of bodily affliction, which inca- 
pacitated him for active work. 

With the mental endowments he possessed, and the 
academic training he had received, added to by an exten- 
sive course of reading, which made him familiar with the 
English classics, and gave him a readiness of speech in 
conversation, and an elegant diction in public discourse, it 
is not to be wondered at that his broad mind should be 
pained at, and keenly sympathize with, the masses who 
were not only living in ignorance, but were indifferent to 
their surroundings. Still less is it to be wondered at that 
he should be pained to see a young man entering the min- 
istry of the Church, with every qualification for success 
save that of mental culture, and doomed by its lack to an 
almost barren ministry. 

An "experience of grace" — a sound conversion — to 
"know God in the pardon of sins," has always been re- 
garded by the church as the -first necessity for a preacher. 
In the earlier days of her history a man who had none of 
the subtile forms of sin to figlit, but only its grosser ones, 
could, by "telling his experience" out of a warm heart, 
win those who were out of Christ. But the times were 
changing, had changed, in so many places, that if Method- 
ism held her own as a spiritual force in the world, particu- 
larly in the towns, and more thickly settled rural sections, 
the education of the ministry, far beyond what it then 
was, had become a necessity. 

Dr. Leigh was one of the first men in the church to see 
this necessity, and, with him to see a thing, was to act. 

48 Conference Historical Publication. 

His action was along two lines, both of which looked to 
the accomplishment of the same result. He first secured 
the raising of the standard for admission into the Con- 
ference, and then a wider compulsory course of study for 
the four years preceding ordination to the full duties of 
the gospel ministry. 

This was of incalculable benefit to the churches, and to 
the men themselves. It sharpened many a battle-axe, and 
tempered many a trenchant blade, which otherwise would 
have remained as dull as a hoe, and as untempered as mor- 
tar into which no lime had been put. 

But, to get the best results, he knew that more thorough- 
ness was essential than this "Conference Course" would 
give. He saw that an institution of college grade was 
necessary, in which at least a good proportion of young 
men called of God to preach might receive a more liberal 
education. Some younp men who believed themselves 
called to preach, hesitated from lack of preparation. 
With Dr. Leigh a call to preach, meant a call to get ready 
to preach, for those not already prepared ; and he earnestly 
desired to put a liberal education in reach of all who could, 
and would take it. And, besides this. Dr. Leigh saw the 
disastrous effects of educating our young people in colleges 
of other denominations, or, worse than that, of educating 
them in colleges where religion is ignored. His motto 
was: "Religion and learning must go together." But 
state institutions did not offer such, and those of other 
denominations did it with a bias that tended to alienate 
our young men from the church of their fathers. His 
watchful eye detected these influences at work against the 
progress of the church in the more intelligent communities, 
and he set himself to remedy them. But how could it be 

To raise a sum sufficient to put up such buildings as 
were desirable, was, indeed, an herculean task. The mass 
of the church were then, more than now, indifferent to 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 49 

higher education ; and it was questionable if the minority 
who were interested and had the means, could be induced 
to contribute it. A man without faith in God would not 
have thought of taking on himself such a task ; but, actu- 
ated by that faith, Dr. Leigh began to talk the matter of 
a college in private, and to preach about it in public. He 
met with many discouragements (and who has not in any 
great and new enterprise?), but he triumphed over them 
all. Such was his success the Conference, at its session in 
3829, determined to build a college, and appointed a com- 
mittee to select the site. 

Several communities competed for the prize; but the 
college was located near Boydton, Va. One strong reason 
for locating it in Virginia was the hope of getting some aid 
from the State treasury ; there being a law that as soon as 
the School Fund reached a certain point, the residue should 
be disbursed for the benefit of other schools in the common- 
wealth. That proved, however, it is said, to be only "a 
trick of political demagogues for securing offices." The 
college has never received any help from the State. 

Disappointed in this expectation, the enterprise was 
threatened with disaster. Virginia and North Carolina, 
together, furnished only from one hundred to one hundred 
and fifty students, a part of whom came from South Caro- 
lina and Georgia. The income was not sufficient to meet 
expenses, and we hear the great-souled founder exclaim- 
ing : ''Why do not our men of head and heart come to the 
rescue? Why do they not send in their offerings to the 
Lord, and whilst they live, rejoice in the good their liber- 
ality is effecting? Dying I — Why do they not remember 
this great interest of their beloved church? Has not Ran- 
dolph-Macon another friend like Jesse Harper of Orange, 
in all our bounds? Oh! have we no Wofford among us 
who would be the benefactor of his race? Let him rear a 
monument to his memory which shall last as long as reli- 
gion and learning shall be honored amongst a free and 
happy people." 

50 Conference Historical Publication. 

He had borne the college on his heart ; he had contrib- 
uted to it liberally of his means. It was the child of his 
prayers and toils, and he who had never failed in any other 
undertaking, could not see it struggling for life, and be 
indifferent to the cries. It needs were his needs ; and all 
the fires of his great soul were kindled by its neglect, till 
they poured themselves out on the ears and into the heart 
of an unwilling church, and compelled her to nurse the 
starving infant into healthy life. 

The gift of such a man is one of God's best boons to men. 
Oh, for one such in every Conference of Southern Method- 
ism to-day! One such, to shame the rest with the magni- 
tude of his gifts from a scanty store, and scorch with fiery 
eloquence the consciences of those who hoard, till all the 
church needs to meet this demand shall be put at her dis- 

To Dr. Leigh more than any other, perhaps all others, is 
the church indebted for the existence of Randolph-Macon 
College, with the stream of beneficent influences it has 
been pouring into her church life since it was founded. 
It was the enterprise he cherished most of all, and one 
that shall perpetuate his memory as one of the wisest men 
with whose labors the church has been blest. 

It is not claimed, however, that he was the sole instru- 
ment in the establishment of this, the first successful effort 
to found a distinctively Methodist college. The name of 
G. P. Disosway deserves, as it will always have, honorable 
mention in this connection, as an ardent friend and sup- 
porter of the scheme ; but Dr. Leigh was its first promoter, 
as he was its most influential and life-long advocate. The 
College stands to-day a monument to his wisely directed 
zeal for the upbuilding of Christ's Kingdom in the world, 
and none better could be desired to perpetuate his memory. 
Its buildings may decay in the lapse of time, but others 
shall take their places; and when "storied urn" and 
bronze, or granite piles, in silence point to some forgotten 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 51 

liero of the world, lier walls shall ring with the glad voices 
of those who seek in them not only the wisdom of this 
world, but that which cometh from above, and which makes 
its possessor doubly blest — the inheritor of this world, and 
of that which is to come. 

In 1868 the college was removed from near Boydton to 
Ashland. Va., wherewith new buildings and equipment, it 
has had a career of which its most exacting friends may 
be Justly proud. The plant now includes the Woman's 
College, located at Lynchburg, Va., with an endowment of 
more than an hundred thousand dollars, besides the acade- 
mies at P>ont Royal, and Bedford City, which cost an 
hundred thousand dollars each to erect them. These 
schools, attended by five hundred students, are all the 
property of the Church, and controlled by one Board of 

Great as are these results, the services of Dr. Leigh to 
the cause of higher education would be but imperfectly 
conceived did we stop here. He was a member of the first 
Board of Trustees for Greensboro Female College, and by 
his labors made Trinity College an easier possibility. The 
tree which he planted is filling both States with its fruit- 
age. The name given to the college wisely sought to bind 
to its interests the two States, the liberality of whose citi- 
zens had given it existence, and to which it must look for 
its principal patronage. Randolph was a name as illustrious 
in Virginia as was that of Macon in North Carolina; and, 
indeed, the two were of national repute. The blending of 
the two names in one gave each State an identity of inter- 
est in the institution, and a common pride in its successful 

Dr. Leigh was a North Carolinian by birth, and a mem- 
ber of the North Carolina Conference by preference ; but 
he had fixed his residence near the college in Virginia, and 
was so fully identified with both the Church in North 
Carolina and the college in Virginia that to him there was 
no divisional line in feeling or in fact. 

62 Conference Historical Publication. 

The church in North Carolina was, by this means, 
brought to feel that the college was her property, in com- 
mon with the church in Virginia ; and so fully was this 
sameness of interest felt, a large share of its patronage was 
obtained from this State, and a strong feeling of affection 
engendered for it, which remains with many among us to 
this day. 

Let the college stand in the future, as it does now, and 
has stood in the past, for "Religion and Learning," as 
differentiated from culture divorced from religion, and 
North Carolinians must feel a genuine affection for it, be- 
cause of their identification with its history— its having 
been founded by one of our noblest citizens, and bearing, 
in part, the name of one of her most illustrious statesmen. 

The founding of the college being the great work of his 
life, it is by that he will be chiefly remembered ; but this 
great work was carried to success while he was doing full 
and exceptionally distinguished service in the pulpits and 
at the altars of the church. Multitudes attended on his 
ministry, and to hear him preach was reckoned among the 
greater privileges of life. The larger part of his ministry 
was spent in the Presiding Eldership, and the Quarterly 
Meetings of his district were seasons of gracious visitations. 
It is said he never preached three sermons, consecutively, 
at a church without having a revival. Of course he did not 
preach at all times with equal effect, but his sermons were 
always carefully prepared, and left no feeling of disap 
pointment with his hearers, except that which arises from 
comparative excellence. 

They never compared him with others, but always with 
himself ; and, sometimes, when he had finished, they were 
satisfied, but knew he could do better. Under one of his 
sermons, in Franklin county, it is said that sixty souls 
were converted at a single service — the service continuing 
through the day, and all of the following night. 

I remember to have heard the late Luther Clegg, of 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 53 

Chatham county, tell delightfully of two sermons preached 
by Dr. Leigh, while Presiding Elder of the Raleigh Dis- 
trict. One of these contained a description of the resur- 
rection of Lazarus. The tomb, the crowd about it, the 
difference of feeling which actuated them; the weeping 
sisters, and their touching address, "Lord, if thou had 
been here, my brother had not died ;" the agitation of the 
Saviour, himself in tears, was so graphically described 
that the congregation became oblivious to everything save 
the voice and thought of the preacher. Repeating the 
command of Christ, ' ' Take ye away the stone, ' ' he then 
exclaimed in trumpet tones, "Lazarus, come forth !" The 
congregation was startled. The scene was as real to them 
as it was to the Jews of old. They looked to see the dead 
man come up before them, and when he added in a gentler 
but authoritative tone, ' ' Loose him and let him go, ' ' some 
involuntarily left their seats to unbind him. 

The other instance occurred in Johnston county. It was 
a Quarterly Meeting occasion, and Dr. Leigh had preached 
one of his masterly sermons. Among his auditors at that 
service was an infidel, attracted to the service by the fame 
of the preacher. As he left the church he made this com- 
ment on the sermon : "I have heard other men preach, and 
they have struck me sledge-hammer blows ; but Dr. Leigh 
throws at a man hammer -anvil-and-all P'' 

The Rev. John E. Edwards, D. D., writing his personal 
recollections of Dr. Leigh, says: "I first saw Rev. H. G. 
Leigh at the Conference held in Norfolk, Va., February, 
1836. His personal appearance impressed me favorably. 
He was then in the prime of his life. He was, I should 
say, five feet ten inches in height, perhaps six feet. At 
that time he was not so fleshy as at a later period of life. 
His face was radiant, and of a very handsome cast and 
mould ; his nose a striking feature ; his eyes clear, calm, 
and full of expression; his head magnificent; his hair 
rich and lustrous, inclining to ringlets; his complexion 

54 Conference Historical Publication. 

ruddy and bright ; his whole physique perfect ; his voice 
unsurpassed in melody, intonation, and compass. 

"I heard him preach but once during the Conference 
session. His text was, ' I am crucified with Christ ; never- 
theless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ; and the 
life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of 
God, who loved me and gave himself for me.' His exegesis 
of the text was delivered in a quiet, natural manner. The 
statement of his text was distinctly announced, the doc- 
trine strikingly illustrated and enforced ; but it was not 
until he came to the application of his subject that he 
reached the highest power as an orator and public speaker. 

' ' In this department of his great sermon on that occa- 
sion he made climax after climax of surpassing grandeur 
and sublimity. He had a peculiar shrug of the shoulder, 
and a peculiar breathing, approaching a suppressed cough 
(I can't describe it), that always preceded these great and 
overwhelming outbursts of eloquence. In describing the 
man who 'lived after the flesh,' in opposition to the one 
* crucified with Christ, ' he had occasion to allude to the 
sensualist ; and, in speaking of a certain sin to which this 
character was addicted, he raised his voice to its high 
trumpet tones, and in the most impassioned manner pealed 
out the sentence: "This is the sin that deals damnation 
round the land ; what I should call the very steamboat of 
h,ell !" The effect of his sermon was powerful and impres- 

"He possessed an extraordinarily magnetic power over 
his audience. I have seen vast multitudes, under his camp- 
meeting, out-door sermons, sitting and gaping — tears fall- 
ing — lips quivering — apparently unconscious of anything 
around them ; and then, suddenly, by a striking gesture, 
and a corresponding utterance of the wonderful voice that 
never broke, I have seen a whole crowd swayed and moved 
like the forest before the storm. 

"On one occasion, which comes up distinctly to my 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 55 

memory, at a camp-meeting, held at Soap Stone Church, in 
the Raleigh circuit, some twelve miles from the city of 
Raleigh, he was preaching to a very large congregation. 
The subject led him to describe the perilous condition of a 
sinner, unconscious of his danger. This he illustrated by 
one of his inimitable figures of speech. He represented a 
little child in pursuit of a butterfly. In its chase, around 
and around, it came to the brink of a deep well — for a 
moment it paused ; then it was in the act of extending its 
hand to pluck a flower. It toppled Just at that moment 
he sprang across the platform, and cried out in a most 
startling and plaintive voice, 'My God, it's gone!' The 
whole congregation, by a common impulse, sprang to their 
feet, and many shrinked as if they had seen the child 
actually disappear in its downward descent. ' ' 

For nearly six years preceding his death he was without 
an appointment. The strong, well-knit frame, of which a 
Grecian athlete might have been proud, was tortured by 
rheumatism ; but his zeal for the glory of his Master was 
unconquerable. He preached at the College and in the 
neighboring churches as often as his health would permit 
and occasion offered. Once when the college chaplain was 
absent he had engaged Dr. Leigh to fill his puljnt for him 
on the following Sabbath. The Doctor prepared a sermon 
for the occasion, but, as he entered the pulpit, a different 
text from that which he had selected impressed itself upon 
his mind, and the conviction came that he should preach 
from that, instead of the other. What the one first selected 
was we do not know. The one from which he did preach was, 
' ' He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall 
suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. ' ' One 
who was present says : ' ' The sermon was one of remark- 
able power, and, at its close, he called for penitents. A 
large number of students, with streaming eyes, went to the 
altar of prayer ; and that service was the beginning of a 
revival which embraced nearly all the young men in the 

5»^ Conference Historical Publication. 

We must not suppose from this incident that his ser- 
mons were not carefully prepared. Many of his discourses 
were not only thought out, but they were written in full. 
He had too high a sense of ministerial responsibility to go 
before a congregation without having made the very best 
preparation his circumstances would allow, and too much 
respect for the intelligence of those who came to hear him 
to think they could be entertained and benefitted by "airy 
declamations." His sermons in manuscript constitute 
about all of his literary remains ; yet his mind was of a 
high order, capable of grasping the most abstruse themes 
of science and theology. 

It has been a matter of surprise, to which those who 
knew his fitness best, have not failed to give expression 
since his death, that he did not give the world a volume, 
or volumes, on some of the great themes with which he 
was familiar, and for which he was so eminently qualified. 
But we really need not wonder at this. If he had any 
ambition for authorship he had no time to gratify the 
desire. His hands and heart were full of work on lines 
that Providence had chosen for him, and he wisely con- 
centrated his energies on his pulpit work, and carried to 
a successful issue the educational matters he had enter- 

Dr. L. C. Garland, late Chancellor of Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity, regarded him as one of the greatest minds of the 
age, and this opinion is echoed by Drs. W. A. Smith and 
J. E. Edwards, and, indeed, by all who knew him and 
were capable of judging. 

Rev. W. A. Smith, D. D., said of him in a funeral dis- 
course delivered at the time of his death, ''The first time 
I saw Dr. Leigh was at the Portsmouth Conference, Feb- 
ruary, 1826. His movements in social life, his speeches 
and bearing in Conference session, and particularly his 
preaching, engaged my special attention. I soon determined 
in my mind, that in many respects, he was by far the 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 57 

most prominent member of the body. I have known him 
well since that period ; served with him in important pub- 
lic positions ; broken many a lance with him in debate ; 
and have found to the present time no reason to change 
my opinion. Dr. Leigh had few equals in the pulpit. 
Sound in theology, bold in conception, often brilliant in 
all his efforts, no less to the heart than to the head, he 
stood a prince among pulpit men." 

Bishop John C. Granberry, says, "My personal knowl- 
edge of Rev. H. G. Leigh was slight, chiefly confined to 
the years of my student-life at Randolph-Macon College. 
I counted it a great privilege to hear him preach at a 
camp-meeting in 1848. He had then passed the meridian 
of his power ; but that sermon sustained his fame as one 
of the foremost preachers of his day, and it was a day of 
great preachers. The text led him to dwell on the judg- 
ments against sinful men and nations which the Holy 
Scriptures record. His discriptions were graphic, vivid, 
terrific. He stirred and swayed the multitude. Dramatic 
genius was possessed by him in an eminent degree, with- 
out affection, without seeking, almost without conscious- 
ness. The stories he told, and the scenes he depicted 
seemed present to the senses of the congregation, as they 
gave themselves up, eye, eat, and soul to the impassioned 
speaker. When I was a young man, I heard Dr. Landon 
C. Garland remark that of all the men he had met, he re- 
garded Dr. Leigh as by nature the most highly gifted. I 
repeated this remark to Dr. Garland while he was Chan- 
cellor of Vanderbilt University ; he had forgotten it, but 
said he would not take back the judgment which he had 
expressed so many years before." 

Rev. C. F. Deems, D. D., who was himself a master of 
assemblies, says: "Dr. Leigh was great as an orator. I 
have heard Summerfield, Bascom, Maffitt, Breckenridge, 
Hawkes, Bethune, Cookman, and Henry Clay and his com- 
peers — and I have never heard a man who seemed to me 

58 Conference Historical Publication. 

to approacli Hezekiah Gilbert Leigh as a natural orator. 
I never saw him try to produce an effect, but the magnetic 
power of his genius seemed naturally to shoot itself into 
his audience whenever he was fired with the themes of the 
Gospel. This power was wondrous, and wondrously unap- 
preciated by its possessor." 

If other testimony be needed to convince the most scep- 
tical, I may point them to the commanding position to 
which he so early attained among his brethren of the Vir- 
ginia Conference, and which he held in that, and, after- 
ward, in the North Carolina Conference, to the close of 
his life. Within six years of his reception on trial, he 
was elected by hig Conference a delegate to the General 
Conference — a very unusual occurrence — and was re-elected 
at each succeeding election. He was a member of the 
ever memorable General Conference of 1844, but sickness 
prevented his attending. He was also a member of the 
Convention, called upon the "Plan of Separation," for the 
organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 
He was elected to the General Conference, the most august 
body of the church, as soon as he was of eligible age, and 
this fact, and the one to which allusion has already been 
made, that he was re-elected as long as he lived, in proof 
beyond question of the high estimate put on his abilities, 
as well as of the affectionate regard of his brethren. 

"But in the midst of a glorious career of usefulness, it 
pleased God by a most painful and prostrated affliction, to 
command him to comparative retirement." About ten 
years before his death he was attacked by a painful rheu- 
matic affection, which soon became chronic, and, for the 
most part, disqualified him for any very active service 
as an itinerant preacher. At intervals his sufferings were 
very great. Eighteen months before his end he suffered a 
partial paralysis of his left side, and in July following, a 
paralysis of fhe kidneys, which it was thought at the time, 
would prove fatal in a few hours. He rallied, however, so 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 59 

far as to encourage the hope that he might recover his 
usual health. On the 9th of September he was seized with 
a violent attack of dysentery, which so prostrated him 
that he sank into a comatose state, from which he never 
recovered, only as he was aroused for a few moments at a 
time, till he slept in death on the 18th of September, 1853. 

His life and labors here have closed; but "'he, being 
dead, yet speaketh." " His works do follow him, " and a 
grateful Church rises up to repeat the commendation which 
the Master long ago gave him : ' ' Well done, good and 
faithful servant!" Happy shall it be for us if the recol- 
lection of his life and labors shall stimulate us to fulfill in 
our measure the ministerial office with such fidelity that he 
and co-laborers shall not be ashamed of us in the kingdom 
into which he, and they, have entered. 

I shall close this address with some reflections on the 
sources of Dr. Leigh's great usefulness to the church in 
which his life was spent, and to the cause of Christ in 
general. \ > ) 

Among these sources of usefulness 1 would specify the 
following : 

1. A sound body and an active, well trained mind. 

The description of his bodily appearance by Dr. Edwards, 
given in the body of this address, though highly wrought, 
is but the sober truth. A medallion likeness of him, 
struck by Randolph-Macon College, and furnished me by 
Richard Irby, Esq., Secretary and Treasurer of the College, 
(and which I have the honor to present to the Historical 
Society in his name), and a crayon portrait which I per- 
sonally present, shows the head and bust of an Apollo. 
The masters of art could desire no better model after which 
to fashion a likeness of one of the gods. Revs. S. Lea, J. 
B. Martin, and 1. W. A vent, each of whom knew him 
well, declare him to have been " the handsomest man they 
ever saw." 

But to this symmetry of form was added a vigorous con- 

60 Conference Historical Publication. 

stitution, which gave him great power of endurance, and 
enabled him to perform, with comparative ease, tasks 
which would have been impossible to men less fortunate 
than he. 

A strong mind in a weak body is not to be despised, but 
a strong mind in a strong body, is one of nature's most 
priceless gifts. An oil lamp soon burns itself away, but 
the sun shines on forever. 

To a mind not only bright, but strong, he added the 
embellishments to be obtained by cultivation, in the study 
of text books, and an acquaintance with what has come to 
be denominated for their worth — the "English Classics." 
This gave him not only the readiness of speech which never 
allowed him to falter for a word, but an elegance of diction 
which was a delight to all, and a never failing charm to the 
more cultured ones among his hearers. And, above all, 
his intellect had received the anointing of the Holy One ; 
and this gave him an insight into the truth of God which 
made his thoughts luminous, and gave to his sermons a 
directness and power not to be obtained by ' ' the trickery 
of art." He wrote much, and, by this mental discipline, 
gave to his discourses a methodical arrangement, an accu- 
racy of statement, and a beauty of expression, impossible 
to extemporary speech. 

2, He had a clear, and deep, religious experience. 

He was converted at an old-time camp-meeting. His 
experience was satisfactory after the songs, prayers, and 
shouts of the meeting had died away. The root of the 
matter was in him, and in the joy of a conscious posses- 
sion of salvation, he longed to tell others 

" The old, old story 
Of Jesus and his love." 

His heart was full of it, and he never wearied in telling 
about it. Justification, Adoption, and the Witness of the 
Spirit, were themes on which he delighted to dwell, and 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 61 

were the solace of his hours of affliction. Dr. W. A. 
Smith, President of the College, was with him much dur- 
ing his last illness. He tells us : " The topics which inter- 
ested him most were the faith of assurance, inspired by 
the Holy Spirit ; the rich comfort it afforded him as he 
drew near the Jordan of death; the bright and glowing 
light it threw over its otherwise dark valley; the glory 
that awaited the children of God in the heavenly rest ; the 
curious and interesting inquiries which would be answered 
in the heavenly state ; the difficulties in both mental and 
moral nature which would be solved ; and the glorious ad- 
vance of mind along the illimitable fields of infinite know- 
ledge, developing at every step of the vast progression; 
the amazing wonders of Deity, filling the ever- in creasing 
capacities of the immortal soul with that large measure of 
heavenly joy which the eternal fountain of light and love 
could alone supply." 

At the period when it was supposed he was in a few 
hours of his dissolution, I spent some time with him. The 
conversation turning on his state and prospects, he dwelt 
with peculiar interest on the rich comfort afforded him by 
the great Bible truth of the Witness of the Spirit ; and 
though he felt confident of a safe trust in Christ, a sweet 
assurance of acceptance, there seemed to open to his view 
so bright and glowing a prospect of the truths yet to be 
revealed in the fields of knowledge and comfort provided 
by the love of Christ, that he narrowed down, by compari- 
son, the attainments already made to a point so contempti- 
ble in his own eyes as to cause him to loathe himself, and 
exclaim: "Oh, if there were not a days-man betwixt God 
and me, how could I stand his searching eye ! Thank God, 
bless God, for such a Saviour.'* 

The day before his death I visited him, and found him 
fast sinking. Just before leaving, as it was not deemed 
proper to fatigue him by conversation, I only sought to 
enquire: <♦ Watchman, what of the night?*' He turned 

62 Conference Historical Pubwcation. 

his fading eye upon me, and with a smile of triumph play- 
ing on his countenance he softly said in reply to my inquiry 
if he still felt that his trust was in his Saviour : "Oh, yes ! 
What should I do without that? Jesus is with me! My 
trust is in him alone.'' 

"Calm on the bosom of his God " 
He leaned his weary head ; 
And passed beneath the chast'ning rod 
To where the Christ had led. 

3. Another^ and the final source, of his great useful- 
ness, which 1 shall mention, was his consecration to his 

He was a man of one work, and seems never to have lost 
sight of the vow he, in common with all our ministers, 
take, to " draw all their cares and studies this way." The 
words of St. Paul, ' ' This one thing I do, ' ' might have 
been the motto of his life. He did not fritter away his 
life in indolence nor dissipate his energies on that which 
had no immediate connection with his labors as a servant 
of the Church. His ministerial life, for the most part, was 
spent in ministerial work. At that time the districts were 
geographically much larger than now, and, as there were 
but few railroads, they were more laborious to travel. The 
exposure necessary, under such conditions, was doubtless 
the main cause of the rheumatic affection to which, after a 
struggle of ten years, other complications having risen in 
the meantime, he succumbed in death, at an age when he 
should have been but little beyond the prime of life. 

He died in his fifty-eighth year, eaten up by his zeal for 
God's house and for the glory of His name. 

The sword never rusted in his hands. He kept it sharp 
and bright by constant use, and when it was wrested from 
his grasp by death ' ' it was warm with recent fight. ' ' It 
has been forty-three years since he left us to be " present 
with the Lord," and near a half century since his voice 
and the sound of his battle-axe were heard on the fields of 

Life and Labors of Rev. H. G. Leigh. 63 

conflict with ''powers of darkness;" but the influence of 
his life and labors still lives as an inspiration to his suc- 
cessors in the ministry, and an ever increasing blessing to 
the Church. 

"The memory of the just is blessed," and, though his 
works shall give him immortality, ungrateful shall we 
be, if we fail to keep his memory fresh in the minds of 
men. To this purpose I consecrate this effort, in behalf 
of the Historical Society, and of myself, to whom its prep- 
aration has indeed been a labor of love. 

The memory of such a life can not perish ; but it were a 
crime in us to contribute to its neglect ! 




Previous to the year 1861 little influence was exercised 
in this community by the Methodists. The few members 
who were in this section worshipped about two miles and 
a half east of Durham, in a church known as Union Grove, 
which was in the Orange Circuit, and visited regularly by 
the preacher in charge. On Saturday before the first Sun- 
day in June, 1861, Rev. Jesse A. Cuninggim and others 
contracted for the building of a church on the site now 
occupied by Trinity. Captain William Mangum, one of 
the principal builders in the vicinit}^ contracted to build 
this house at a cost of $650.00. It was built of wood with 
a shingle roof, and furnished with plain seats and plain 
altar and pulpit, just such a church as might be found in 
those days in the country. It had a seating capacity of 
about 200 persons or perhaps 250, Previous to its com- 
pletion and dedication there was a great excitement on a 
subject of Secession and Anti- secession. Party lines were 
closely drawn and some of our greatest men, honest in 
their convictions, presented the question to the people with 
all the earnestness of their hearts, and in this house ex- 
Governor Graham and Captain John Berry spoke against 
the Ordinance of Secession and in favor of the preservation 
of the American Union. Hon. Henry K. Nash and Dr. 
Pride Jones as earnestly discussed the question in favor of 
Secession. These were troublesome times and the Methodist 
pulpit would frequently allude to the injustice of the 
North, and especially to the bitter animosity on the part 
of Northern Methodists, which now and then cropped out 
in the secular press and church papers of the North. There 
was no more faithful advocate of the Southern side of the 

The History of Trinity Church. 65 

question than the Rev. J. B. Alford, who served the church 
here about that time. During the years 1861, '62 and '63 
he was faithful in the discharge of his duty as minister to 
this people, and gave every evidence of his devotion to the 
cause of the South, which men were then upholding on the 
field of battle and in the tented camp. With their minds 
excited by war and the rumors of war, there was no room for 
much revival interest, but many were added to the church 
during the ministry of this faithful man of God, both 
by certificate and by profession of faith. His work upon 
the circuit, known then as the Orange Circuit, was emi- 
nently successful, and his name is now held in high esteem 
by the old Methodists who knew him in that day. He was 
heard to say on one occasion • ' that he was pretty sure the 
Yankees had a through ticket and their baggage checked 
for sheol." This is given to show his great devotion to the 
cause of the South, and that he was ready at all times to 
sacrifice even his life in its behalf. 

About the years 1864-'65 Rev. W. M. Jordan succeeded 
to this charge. He was a devoted servant of God, and at 
one time professed sanctification. He was ever ready to 
hold up the standard of his Lord and did efficient work as 
a revivalist. He kept up all the interests of the church in 
these times which tried men's souls. The records have not 
been obtained of the years in which the church was served 
by this pastor, but there was some increase in the member- 
ship, until the house was taken by the Northern army and 
used for hospital purposes, and otherwise rendered unfit 
for public worship. 

In 1866 Rev. R. S. Webb was assigned to the Chapel 
Hill church, with Durham, Orange church and Massey's 
chapel attached. In 1867 the Durham Circuit was formed, 
consisting of Durham, Orange Church, Massey's Chapel, 
Pleasant Grove, Mount Hebron and Fletcher's Chapel. 
Brother Webb continued in this work through the years 
1867, '68 aad '69, when he took charge of the church in 

66 Conference HiSTORicAi Publication. 

Durham. He informs the writer that in 1866 the village 
was small and the church, which had been built a few years 
before, had been badly damaged by the armies, but that the 
few noble Methodists in the village and surrounding country 
rallied and reseated the church, from which time its growth 
was steady. He also stated that he had frequently to walk 
from Chapel Hill to Durham to serve the church, as the 
war had left the country so destitute that the preacher 
could not afford to keep a horse. Only two Methodists 
were living in the village at that time, viz : R. F. Morris 
and Mrs. J. R. Green, and from all accounts Methodism 
owes a great deal to that energetic man, R. F. Morris, who 
had some excellent traits of character. He loved the 
church and made many sacrifices for its promotion. The 
following families, besides others living in the surrounding 
country, held their membership in Durham, viz : Wash- 
ington Duke, Z. I. Lyon, James Stagg, N. W. Guess, John 
and Grey Barbee, William Proctor and Wesley Cole. 
During this pastorate Rev. John A. McMannen and D. C. 
Parrish moved to Durham and united with the church. 
These families composed the body which formed the nucleus 
out of which the Methodist church grew. There were 
many glorious revivals during the four years of Brother 
Webb's administration and many added to the church, 
some of whom have become quite prominent. A few may 
be mentioned. On the 20th of August, 1869, the records 
show that the following persons united with the Methodist 
church, viz : Maggie L. Guess, Ben N. Duke, J. B. Duke ; 
and on September of the same year, Nannie B. Lyon, Ann 
E. Durham, Mattie E. Lyon, W. J. Lyon, R. F. Morris, 
and several others. Brother Webb refers to an incident 
which occurred just at the close of the war. President 
Johnson and others were on their way to attend a com- 
mencement at Chapel Hill, and had just walked out on the 
piazza of the hotel when old Mr. Pratt, a well-known pio- 
neer of " Ye Olden Time " (dressed in a blue spiked-tail 

The History of Trinity Church. 67 

coat with brass buttons), who had been greatly troubled 
about the curtailing of his liberties by military orders, 
walked up to President Johnson and said; "Mr. Johnson, 
can I make brandy?" The President smiled and turned 
him over to General Sickles, who was standing hj. 

Brother Webb made an effort for jirohibition in Durham 
in these days of her infancy, and at an election held the 
prohibitionists came in one vote of succeeding. The saloon 
men turned the tables on the preacher and drove him from 
the town in the following way : There was but one house 
for rent in town, which he had been occupying for two 
years, and they offered $20.00 more for it then he could 
j)ay. The result was that he had to live in Chapel Hill the 
last year he served this people. As a consequence he has 
appreciated living in a parsonage ever since. 

Rev. John Tillett was preacher in charge of Durham Cir 
cuit during the years 1870 and '71. After making one or 
two rounds and many pastoral visitations he found some 
irregularities, and at a quarterly meeting held at old Bethel 
church about April, 1870, he made complaint, in his report 
on the general state of the church, that some of his mem- 
bers had not been conforming strictly to the rules of 
the discipline. At this some took exception, and a 
discussion ensued. This gave rise to much disaffection 
and many were aggrieved that the preacher should carry 
the matter into the pulpit, although some concluded that 
it was owing to his zeal for the purity of his flock. In 
order to bring the matter to a settlement charges and spec- 
ifications were preferred against Brother Tillett. and an 
investigation was made by the presiding elder and a com- 
mittee of preachers. The charge was immorality, in that he 
had made statements from the pulpit which could not be 
sustained. They, however did not find him guilty of the 
charge, whereupon thirty-one members of the church with- 
drew. Among these were R. F. Morris and family, Rev. 
John A. McMannen and family, Col. D. C. Parrish and 

68 Conference Historical Publication. 

family — except Mrs. Emma A. Lockhart — John and Grey 
Barbee and their families. Under the leandership of Rev. 
J. A. McMannen several members united with him in a so- 
ciety of nineteen members, and they established a church 
near Lipscomb's Cross Roads. The attempt was made to 
form other societies to be called independent Methodists, 
but in this he failed. His plans ended by his being re- 
stored, together with his Lipscomb congregation, to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he died in its 
communion at peace with God and man. This occurred 
during the first and second years of the ministry of Brother 
J. J. Renn, who followed Brother Tillett; in fact the 
former succeded in restoring the thirty-one members which 
had left during the former pastorate. These difficulties 
threatened at one time the dissolution of the church at this 
place and injure the advancement of Methodism, but Time, 
the preat healer of all things, and the spirit of love and 
conciliation displayed by Brother Renn, saved much bick- 
ering and strife, whereby the church was doubtless made 
stronger than ever and went forth conquering and to con- 
quer. Enough has been learned from those who were 
actors in these scenes at the time to prove that Brother 
Tillett was conscientious in the administration of the dis- 
cipline and left the church upon a higher plane of piety 
and better prepared than ever for the revival seasons which 
followed. He has gone to his reward and has doubtless 
many stars in the crown of his rejoicing. 

In the year 1872 Rev. J. J. Renn was sent to this charge 
and served four years. We learn from him that when he 
came to this place, Durham had about 300 inhabitants 
and all of Methodism was embraced in one congregation. 
About that time the town took a rapid growth and Meth- 
odism with it. During the year 1872 the church building 
was an unfinished shell, but through the efforts of the La- 
dies' Aid Society the first fair and festival ever seen in 
Durham was held. It continued for two days and nights 

The History of Trinity Church. 69 

and was immensely popular. Enough money was secured 
to make important repairs to the church, such as plaster- 
ing, remodeling the pulpit, furnishing new pews and 
painting the building inside and out. This church in the 
same year was one of nine composing the Durham circuit, 
the other churches being Orange Church, Pleasant Grove, 
New Bethel, Mount Bethel, Hebron, Stagville, Fletcher's 
Chapel, Massey's Chapel. At the end of the year New 
Bethel was taken out, leaving eight. Near the close of 
1873, Durham, Orange and Massey's Chapel were set off in 
one pastor's charge and remained so until 1875. At the 
Conference of 1875 Durham was made a station. When 
Brother Renn took charge of the church in January, 1872, 
the membership was 57, and during his four year's pasto- 
rate there were added to the membership : By restoration, 
27 : certificate, 67 ; baptism and ritual, 68 ; which added 
to the former members, 57, made a total of 218. Removed 
by death and otherwise, 17 ; leaving a total at the end of 
the year 1875, 201 members. He informs the writer that 
during these four years there were many gracious revivals 
every year, and from the summer of 1872 the general state 
of the church was very good. The members were divided 
into small classes under competent leaders, and prayer 
meetings were held regularly in private houses. Visible 
results followed and spiritual strength developed rapidly. 
The church paid annually for the support of the ministry 
in 1872, $162,30; in 1873, $169.40; in 1874, $696.95; in 
1875, $781 .10. Its contributions to other objects developed 
in proportion to the above. We find the following breth- 
ren on the official board during this pastorate, viz : James 
Stagg, exhorter; W. W. Gruess, R. W. Cole, Washington 
Duke, D. C. Parrish, J. S. Lockhart, W. B. Proctor, S. 
A. Thaxton, J. W. Gattis, Alexander Walker, A. Nichols, 
Sr., J. S. Carr, J. T. Driver, John A. McMannen, local 
preacher, A. Nichols, Jr., A. D. Wilkinson, Wallace Sty- 
ron, exhorter, Wm. Halliburton, G. F. Watts. The fol- 

70 Conference Historical Publication. 

lowing marriages are recorded : J. S. Carr and Miss Nannie 
G. Parrish ; Robt. E. Lyon and Miss Mary E. Duke ; T. G. 
Cozart and Miss Bettie F. Walkert B. L. Duke and Miss 
Mattie V. McMannen; William Halliburton and Miss 
Fannie V. Parrish ; Rev. E. R. Raven and Miss Annie E. 
Styron; Dr. A. G. Carr and Mrs. Annie E. Moore. The 
following deaths of prominent members are recorded, viz : 
R. F. Morris, Mrs. Annie E. Whitt, R. W. Cole, C. H 
Lyon, Sarah Barbee, A. Nichols, Sr., W. J. Green, Mrs. 
Rebecca J. Morris, Mrs. Caroline Morris, Rev. John A. 
McMannen. The last act of Brother Renn was to read the 
burial service over the remains of Brother McMannen. 
The text of his first sermon to this charge was "God is 
Love," and the last, "The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ 
and the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy 
Ghost be with you all, Amen. ' ' He states that the memory 
of those years is a precious benediction to him now. The 
light of heaven seems to shine on him from the alter place 
of the old church, from the homes of the truest friends he 
ever had, and from the cemetery where the ashes of some 
of them are sleeping. Through many of the members who 
were the parishioners of this devoted preacher of the 
Gospel of Christ, we learn that Methodism took a new 
and firm hold upon this community and that under the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit many were consecrated to the 
work of the Master. Through his influence also, some of 
the most prominent men in Trinity church of to-day, and 
who have in great measure dictated its policy and watched 
with concern its progress from year to year, were brought 
to Christ during the refreshing seasons of revival in the 
years just mentioned. Probably the most important work 
of Brother Renn was to harmonize the discojdant elements 
of the community and bring back to its communion several 
prominent families who had left in 1871 to form other con- 
gregations. This policy sremed to be in accordance with 
the injunction in Holy Writ, "If a brother be overtaken 

The History or Trinity Church. 71 

in a fault ye which are spiritually-minded should restore 
such a one in the spirit of meekness and brotherly love." 
Rev. J. A McMannen was one of the most noticeable of 
those restored, and he lived thereafter in peace with all and 
died in the faith of that Gospel which he had so often 
proclaimed to others. 

Rev. W. H. Moore succeeded Brother Renn in the year 

1876, when the church had been made a station, and the 
principal work of these years was its organization as a 
separate charge, and Brother Moore states that it was pos- 
sibly the most uneventful year of all his ministry. There 
was some revival interest during the fall and a few acces- 
sions were made to the church, but they were mostly young 
people. There was not a death in the congregation during 
the year, nor was there a marriage celebration by Brother 
Moore. His preaching was of a high order and greatly 
enjoyed by his people. He was sincere in all his actions, 
faithful in the performance of duty, and left with the good 
will of the entire church. 

He was succeeded by Rev. W. H. Call, who stated in a 
letter to the writer that when he reached Durham in June 

1877, he found the social element of the church needed 
special attention. It was a town of strangers collected 
from all sections of the country, of all sorts of dispositions 
and training, and it taxed his time in gathering many of 
these into the Methodist Church, and he believed that his 
labor in this direction was not without its fruit. During 
this pastorate Rev. Dr. Leo. Rosser, of Virginia, labored 
with this church in a meeting lasting about six weeks, and 
although there were not a great many converts, much good 
was done. Many consecrated themselves to the service of 
their Master and some valuable members were received into 
the church ; prominent among these was Brother Thomas L. 
Peay, who was converted in this meeting and cast his lot 
with the people of God. The preaching of Dr. Rosser 
won all hearts. It was of a superior order and always 

72 Conference Historical Publication. 

accompanied with the demonstration of the Holy Ghost. 
He was a man of great faith and has gone to his reward, 
doubtless carrying many sheaves with him. Brother Call 
says in his letter to the writer : "Your sainted father died 
during the year and it was my good fortune to have the 
privilege of visiting him often during his last illness, and 
it was a benediction to go to his room." This pastor was 
much attached to the people of Durham and he now 
remembers them most kindly. 

The ministry of F. H. Wood was embraced in the years 
1879 and 1880, and it was during these years that the found- 
ing and building of Trinity Church were projected. Brother 
Wood and his faithful coadjutors among the laymen, 
worked hard upon the congregation before the plans were 
submitted and the contract made for the new building. 
The corner-stone of Trinity Churh was laid in the year 
1880, and the address upon that occasion was delivered by 
Hon. A. H. Merrimon, now dead. The subject of his 
address was, "The Influence of Christianity on the Mental 
Interests of the World." It was listened to with undi- 
vided attention by a large audience, and the verdict was 
unanimous that it was a masterly effort. Two marriages 
were celebrated during this pastorate on the same day, viz : 
the 13th of November, 1878. Not one of the parties to 
these contracts were members of Trinity Church, and all 
were of different churches. They were Henry T. Jordan, 
of Henderson, N. C, Methodist, and Miss Annie I. Wynne, 
a resident of Durham, Episcoi)alian ; Chas. P. Howerton, 
Baptist, and Mrs. Ducey, Catholic. Both of the latter 
lived in Durham. It was during this pastorate that one 
of the greatest revivals that the church had yet passed 
through was held by the Quaker preacher, Mrs. Mary 
Moon. Large additions were made to the membership and 
a deep work of piety and consecration was the result. 
A young man's prayer meeting was started after this 
revival and kept up for many years. One of the impor- 

The History of Trinity Church. 73 

tant events of Brother Wood's pastorate, besides the 
projection and building of Trinity, was the building of 
McMannen Chapel, three miles west of Durham, and the 
organization of the society by him. He was a zealous pas- 
tor, well acquainted with all the details of station work, 
and ever to uphold the doctrines of the church of his 
adoption. He has always been a Methodist in the true 
sense of the term. Although he worked with greatest 
assiduity for the completion of the new church, yet it was 
destined that the dedication should be under the admis- 
tration of another, for after three years of faithful service 
he was succeeded in December, 1880, by Rev. Jesse A. 
Cuninggim, who remained two years. 

During the first year about thirty-five persons were con- 
verted and added to the church, and about fifty during the 
second year. On the first Sunday in June, 1881, just 
twenty years after the occupancy of the first church, new 
Trinity was dedicated by Rev. N. H. D. Wilson, the Pre- 
siding Elder. This was an occasion which had been looked 
forward to with great pleasure by the entire congregation, 
who had worked so hard and prayed so fervently for the 
success of the enterprise. Several of the old pastors were 
present and took part in the Service, viz: Revs. R. S. 
Webb, J. J. Renn, F. H. Wood and W. H. Moore. About 
$4,000 was raised to finisli and furnish the church by the 
arduous labor of Brother Cuninggim. During this pastor- 
ate, among others, the following were brought into the 
church, viz : Samuel H. Turrentine and family, Chas. C. 
Taylor, James and Bettie Gibbons, Mrs. Luena McCabe, 
J. B. Whitaker, Jr., Charles Whitaker and family, L. W. 
Grrissom and wife, H. N. Snow and wife, Mrs. Emma An- 
derson, Mrs. Decie H. Proctor, Mrs. Laura C. Middleton, 
Geo. S. Scruggs and wife, J. Scott Burch, Louisa M. Perry, 
Mary E. Perry, Emma Leathers, Lena Cox, E. W. Ken- 
nedy. It was about this time that the plan was projected 
of using the old church for a female seminary, and it was 

74 Conference Historical Publication. 

soon carried into effect, and for several years there was a 
good patronage by the Methodists of the town. The seminary 
continued until the year 1893, when it was abandoned, the 
building was removed and a parsonage erected on the site. 
One of the most interesting incidents of this era of Meth- 
odism, was the reception of Chas. J. Soon, a Chinese boy, 
under the patronage of Trinity Sunday-school. Rev. T. 
Page Ricaud gives the following account of him : "He was 
born in one of the Eastern provinces of China, where his 
social position was good, judging from the fact that his 
uncle was a Mandarin, which is considered no ordinary 
position, there, in social circles. Being of an adventurous 
spirit, at about 16 years of age he ran away from home. 
He took position on an American vessel as cabin boy, came 
to the city of Boston, and being considered very preco- 
cious, he was taken charge of by Captain Gabrielson, who 
was in command of the steamer Colfax, then stationed at 
Boston. While in port, he was noticed by a pious Presby- 
terian lady, viz : Miss Harriette Carter, 14 Western avenue, 
Cambridgeport, Mass., went to her Sunday-school, and 
was instructed in the principles of the Gospel. After 
awhile the steamer was sent to North Carolina, and Charlie 
was appointed steward. On board there was a pious man 
by the name of Jones, filling the position of boatswain, 
who took an interest in him (Charlie), and whenever 
ashore, attending Divine worship, he always induced him 
to accompany him. At a meeting held by me at South- 
port, on a Sunday night I called for mourners, and he 
came forward for prayer, but was not converted. The 
next week, at Fifth Street M. E. Church, on Wednesday 
night he found forgiveness, and the following Sunday 
morning was baptized and taken into the church, and be- 
came a faithful member. After awhile he became exer- 
cised concerning his relatives in China, and anxious for 
their conversion. I at once felt convinced that God 
had work for him to do in his native land, and took 

The History of Trinity Church. 75 

him into my family, where we endeavored to train him in 
the elementary principles of onr blessed religion. The 
question now arose concerning his preparation for the 
great work before him. I at once consulted with Col. 
Julian S. Carr, who, with his usual generosity, invited him 
to his home, most cheerfully, and the Colonel induced the 
Durham Sunday-school to become enlisted in his behalf, 
and got him entered in the fall seszion of Trinity College, 
and from there he was sent to Vanderbilt University, all 
the time showing his aptness for the acquirement of knowl- 
edge. After spending two years at the University, he 
attended Conference at Charlotte, N. C, passed the usual 
examination very creditably, was ordained Deacon, and in 
due time left for China, as a Missionary from our Confer- 
ence. After his arrival there (China) he labored a few 
years on circuits, but in the meantime having married, he 
found the amount allowed inadequate to his support, and 
was forced to locate. Fortunately, immediately following, 
the American Bible Society employed him as their agent 
at Shanghai, which position, with teaching school, aided 
by his good wife, enabled him to live. He also is pastor 
of a large church in the city, as I have been informed, and 
is very useful. I have always, since knowing him, regarded 
him as both wonderfully precocious and gifted, and not 
lacking in moral courage. The prayers of Trinity Sunday- 
school have often ascended in his behalf, and it still prays 
that the Holy Spirit may help him in his work and finally 
bring him to the abode of the Saints in Light. 

For the years 1883 and 1884, Rev. T. A. Boone was 
pastor, and gave faithful service to the church. There 
were two revivals of some interest. One conducted by 
Miss Paynter, of the Quaker church. It was thought by 
some that her preaching was of a higher order than Mrs. 
Moon's, though the results of her meetings here were not 
so manifest, nor were so many brought into the church as 
in the revival by Mrs. Moon, during the pastorate of F. H. 

76 Conference Historical Publication. 

Wood. Brother John F. Butt had heard both of these 
Quaker ladies referred to, and was asked which he con- 
sidered the better preacher and the greater revivalist. 
After considering awhile he said that it was difficult to 
decide, but finally remarked, "Mrs. Moon sings." He 
therefore gave the verdict in favor of Mrs. Moon. In a 
report made by Brother Boone, at the Church Conference 
on July 16, 1883, he gave the number of members on the 
church register as 293, twenty -nine of this number having 
been added recently. Unusual interest was taken about 
this time in the Sunday-school, and large additions were 
made. At this same Conference the Superintendent of the 
Sunday. school reported 7 officers, 20 teachers, 215 pupils, 
or a total on the roll of 242, and the total collection from 
the Sunday-school for that year was $211.24. In the year 
1884 a revival was held. Rev. Dr. John T. Bagwell assist- 
ing. In May, 1883, Wallace Styron, an exhorter in the 
church, died. This aged man of God came from near 
Ocracoke, in Eastern North Carolina, in the early days of 
Durham, and by his faithfulness and pious walk, endeared 
himself to many in our community. He died in the tri- 
umphs of the Christian faith, and left behind him a large 
number of friends to mourn his loss. In August, 1883, 
Minnie Moore, the beloved daughter of Mrs. A. G. Carr, 
died, and little Mary, the daughter of Col. W. T. Black- 
well, in the same month. Mrs. Wilkinson, the mother of 
Mrs. A. B. Cox, died sometime in the spring of this year. 
Col. D. C. Parrish, one of the most prominent members 
of the church, died in June, 1884, and in token of love by 
his family and friends, and his life of usefulness to the 
church, a beautiful memorial window perpetuates his mem- 
ory. Thomas D. Jones and Miss Mattie L. Southgate were 
married during this pastorate, also Robert L. Walker and 
Miss Eva P. Halliburton, and J. S. Mesley and Miss Maid 
Turrentine. During the year 1884 Brother Boone began 
agitating the question of dividing Trinity congregation and 

The History of Trinity Church. 77 

the building of a new church in West Durham. He was 
rebuked for so doing. But time has proved the wisdom 
of the movement. He also divided the city into nine parts 
and appointed eighteen official men to hold monthly prayer 
meetings, which brought about some good results. Action 
was taken toward the purchase of a parsonage, and Brother 
Boone secured, by subscription, $2,800. The house known 
as the William Halliburton dwelling, near the church, was 
purchased and used as a parsonage until the present one, 
on the seminary lot, was occupied by Brother Beaman in 
1893. At the fourth quarterly conference Brother J. S. 
Carr, who had for several years served the Sunday school 
with distinguished ability, resigned his superintendency in 
these words : 

Rev. T. A. Boone: 

My Dear Sik— I beg to tender to you my resignation as Superintendent 
of the Sunday school at Trinity Church, I beg to thank you and your 
Board of Stewards for the confidence heretofore reposed in me, in esteem- 
ing me worthy to fill this very honorable position. May the love of God 
and che grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the communion and fellowship 
of the Holy Ghost rest and abide with Trinity Church in all her relations 
and connections, and may an abundance of love and grace abound in the 
hearts of her elder, pastor and all her membership, is the humble prayer of 
Your Brother in Christ, 

J. S. Carr. 

This resignation was accepted, provided he would serve 
in his capacity as superintendent until the close of the 
conference year. He was succeeded by E. J. Parrish, who 
was elected at the first quarterly meeting the following 
year, and has served the school continuously to the present 
time (1895) most acceptably. His great success in this 
department of church work is evidenced by the steady 
growth of the Sunday school during his incumbency. 

At the Conference held in Wilmington in November, 
1884, Rev. B. C. Phillips was stationed at Trinity Church 
by Bishop Parker. No pastor, up to this time, had entered 
upon the duties of his charge with brighter prospects of 
success. His sermons evinced careful and prayerful study. 

78 Conference Historical Publication. 

He was a deeply pious man, fully consecrated to his work, 
energetic and active in pastoral labor, but exposing him- 
self in bad weather, he contracted pneumonia and died in 
March, 1885, a few months after his term began. A mem- 
orial window in the church testifies the great esteem in 
which he was held by those who mourned his untimely 
death. It was indeed a sad affliction to the congregation, 
and there are persons who now remember with love and 
affection his kind ministrations during his brief sojourn 
among us. The sum of $500 was donated to his widow for 
her support during the unexpired part of the year. 

Rev. W. S. Davis was called to occupy the pulpit made 
vacant by the death of Brother Phillips, and filled it with 
acceptability to December following. There were a goodly 
number received into the church by certificate and profes- 
sion of faith, and more than usual interest in infant bap- 
tism was manifested, the record showing a larger number 
of children baptized during the year than for several years 
previous. All the interests of the church were kept up by 
Brother Davis until the conference year closed. At the 
fourth quarterly conference he reported the Sunday school 
as the pride of the church, well organized, growing in 
numbers and interest, and doing a glorious work. Its in- 
fluence was seen during the revival, at which most of the 
converts were pupils of the school. On October 31, 322 
pupils were on the roll, which was a gain of 47 during the 
quarter. The incident of greatest interest during this 
pastorate was a union meeting held by Methodists in con- 
nection with the Baptist and Presbyterian churches under 
a gospel tent, located east of the church in front of the 
Hopkins House. The meeting continued seventeen days 
and resulted in great blessing, both to the church and com- 
munity. Thirty- three members joined Trinity Church by 
profession of faith and twenty-one by certificate. Sixteen 
adults and two infants were baptized. Great harmony pre- 
vailed between the several denominations representing the 

The History of Trinity Church. 79 

union meeting, and the Christian people are reported as 
praying for and confidently expecting a more glorious 
meeting during the coming spring under their gospel tent, 
which had been paid for and stored away. (We regret to 
state that it was not insured when burned in the Parrish 
warehouse.) Mrs. Pattie Walker and Mrs. Luena McCabe 
are recorded among those who died this year. The trustees 
report at this time one brick church building and lot valued 
at $20,000, one frame parsonage and lot bought this year 
for $3,000, and one female seminary and lot valued at 
$2,000. It was during this same quarterly conference 
that a committee, informally appointed, secured $1,625 in 
pledges for a new church to be erected in "West End 
Durham," and a tender of five different lots from which 
to select a site for the church. On a motion of Rev. A. 
Walker, the following building committee was appointed 
for the "East End Church," known afterwards as Carr 
Church, viz. : Brothers J. M. Odell, J. S. Carr, J. B. 
Walker, A. H. Stokes, W. Duke, T. D. Jones and J. C. 
Angier, and for the "West End Church," W. Duke, J. 
W. Gattis, S. A. Thaxton, G. W. Burch, A. Wilkerson, 
J. Ed. Lyon, B. N. Duke, J. S. Lockhart and J. H. 

Rev. W. S. Creasy took charge after the Conference 
held in Charlotte in November, 1885, and proved to be one 
of the most popular preachers which had yet served the 
church. Large congregations assembled at the morning 
and night services on the Sabbath, and the weekly praper- 
meetings were well attended. A gracious revival occurred 
during this pastorate, which resulted in the conversion of 
about one hundred and twenty-five souls, one hundred of 
whom joined the church. The meeting continued in Trin 
ity for five weeks, and was then transferred to Main Street 
Church and continued there for three weeks. Eighty pro- 
fessions were made and most of them joined that church. 
During the pastorate of Brother Creasy about one hundred 

80 Conference Historical Publication. 

and seventy-five persons were received into our communion. 
The funeral of Miss Annie M. Southgate, who died on the 
21st of September, was conducted by Brother Creasy. She 
had been an active member of the church, and was noted 
for her kindness to the sick and afflicted. By the unani- 
mous request of the ''Ladies' Aid Society," of which she 
was an active member, a memorial window was placed in 
the church. Z. I. Lyon, for many years a devoted Meth- 
odist, died during this pastorate ; also Mrs. Annie Hender- 
son and Dr. R. W. Thomas. The following marriages were 
celebrated by Brother Creasy, viz. : P. W. Vaughan and 
Miss Emma Leathers; A. H. Stokes and Miss MoUie 
Angier. These two years, said the pastor, were successful 
in many respects. The church was in a harmonious con- 
dition and the spiritual state was good. The churches 
known as Carr Chapel and Main Street were organized dur- 
ing the year 1885 as East and West Durham. Next year 
they became separate charges, each having a pastor. There 
was a grand union rally of the three churches held at 
Trinity, at which more than $6,000 was raised to liquidate 
the debt on all of them. It was a memorable and success- 
ful day, never to be forgotten by those who were present. 
Bishop Galloway preached at and dedicated Main Street at 
11 o'clock A. M., preached at and dedicated Carr Church 
at 3 p. M., and at night preached to a crowded house in 
Trinity Church with great power. This writer has often 
heard that one man cannot be expected to preach but one 
good sermon the same day. This, however, was an excep- 
tion. The three sermons by the bishop on this interesting- 
occasion were all grand displays of oratory and impressed 
the hearts of the hearers, and were accompanied with the 
unction of the Holy Ghost. Under all the circumstances, 
this visit of Bishop Galloway, the foundation of two addi- 
tional societies, and the building of two churches by the 
Trinity congregation, made this pastorate one of the most 
interesting to Methodism in Durham that had ever occurred, 

The History of Trinity Church. 81 

and stamped its influence upon these people as never before. 
During the revivals alluded to above, Dr. Creasy evinced 
the power of endurance in an eminent degree. He did all 
the preaching, except five days at Trinity, and nearly every 
night for three weeks following at Main Street, and he 
asserts that taking all in all these were the best meetings 
he ever attended. Main Street Church has been enlarged 
and its borders extended so that nearly all of the western 
portion of Durham worships there. Carr Church also has 
made substantial advancement in its work in East Durham, 
and is to that people a power for good. Revivals have 
occurred in both of these churches and many souls been 
brought to a knowledge of the truth. 

Rev. Dr. E. A. Yates succeeded Rev. Dr. Creasy, and 
for the years 1888, 1889 and 1890, filled the pulpit of 
Trinity Church with great acceptability. His sermons were 
powerful and impressive, There were, jierhaps, more per- 
sons taken into the church during this pastorate than at 
any other time, for it was during his administration that 
the renowned Sam P. Jones held most remarkable meetings 
in Durham, beginning on the 17th of October, 1888, by 
which the church was revived and hundreds of souls con- 
verted and added to the various churches of the town. 
Parrish warehouse was used during this meeting. Throngs 
of people crowded from the various parts of the city and 
surrounding country to hear this wonderful preacher of 
the Gospel. He visited Durham two years in succession, 
and while the revival interest at the second was not so 
great as at the first visit, yet larger crowds attended his 
ministry, and a most profound impression was made upon 
the church. A cordial invitation was extended to all de- 
nominations to take part in these revival services, and all 
seemed to be deeply interested. Probably more attention 
was paid to the holding of church conferences by Rev. Dr. 
Yates than others who preceded. The work of class- 
leaders was more particularly attended to as a result of the 

82 Conference Historical Publication. 

Jones meetings, and tlie reports that were brought in from 
time to time from the leaders were most encouraging. The 
condition of the Sunday school was also healthy. The 
attendance upon its sessions were also good during the 
years 1888, 1889 and 1890. Prom a statistical report made 
of Trinity Sunday school for Sunday, August 14, 1889, we 
find the membership of the school consisting of 9 ofiicers, 
31 teachers, 272 pupils ; a total of 312. For 1888, 298, 
and the same number for 1887. The average attendance in 
1887 was 222 ; in 1888, 235, and in 1889, 244, showing a 
slight increase. The contributions during 1887 were 
$502.84; in 1888, $504.29, and in 1889, $470.30. In view 
of the fact that large drafts were made on this Sunday 
school from Main Street and Carr churches, these figures 
are remarkable. The following deaths occuiTed in 1888 : 
J. T. Driver, who had been a trustee and oflicial member 
from the very earliest days of the church here. Samuel 
A. Thaxton went to his reward. Although he did not die 
in the communion of Trinity Church, he was a member for 
many years, and wrought hard from 1872 for the upbuild- 
ing of Methodism in Durham. He engaged earnestly in 
its pioneer work, and being one of the officiel board, in- 
sisted that they repair the old church, and was one of the 
most energetic advocates of the building of the new church. 
Living in the West End, he considered the necessity for a 
new church in that portion of the town, and was among 
the first to advocate the building of Main Street, and when 
completed, thought that he should cast his lot and influ- 
ence there, which he did. He was a zealous worker in the 
Sunday school and in all the interests of the church. He 
died in peace and his funeral was conducted from Trinity 
Church by Rev. Dr. Yates. In the same year died also 
Dr. T. W. Harris, who came here from Chapel Hill 
church, Daisy L. Robbins, Effie Rollins and Numa Dur- 
ham. In 1889, Mrs. James Southgate, Cora L. McMannen, 
Mrs. W. H. Stephens, Miss Pearl Yates and Mrs. J. C. 

The History of Trinity Church. 83 

Younger passed from the church militant to the church 

One of the most important undertakings during the pas- 
torate of Dr. Yates, was the projection and completion of 
Trinity College, which will for ages stand as a monument 
to the benevolence, energy and enterprise of the city of 
Durham. While many devout Methodists in various parts 
of the State were deeply interested in the success of the 
college, and a great many friends of "Old Trinity" were 
bitterly opposed to its removal to Durham, yet it must 
be admitted that the greater burden of the expenses of 
this huge enterprise was borne by our citizens. It is 
well known that our liberal, and enterprising friends, 
the Dukes and J. S. Carr, contributed largely and 
almost entirely the money and land required for the 
college, and it was a grand time for Durham when the cor- 
ner-stone was laid. We are indebted to the Trinity Archive 
for the following account of this interesting occasion : 
"According to the announcement, the corner-stone of the 
main building of the college was laid at Durham November 
11, 1890, under the auspices of the Masonic order. The 
evening was beautiful and inviting. Early in the afternoon 
the people began to assemble on the grounds, when the 
procession, which was formed in town, arrived on the spot. 
There had already an immense crowd gathed to do honor 
to the occasion. Trinity College suspended operation at 
the old stand in Randolph county for that day, and a large 
number of the boys, as well as several members of the 
faculty, were with glad hearts in attendance to catch a 
glimpse of the new scene of operations, and for the pur- 
pose of witnessing the ceremonies, which were to them 
peculiarly interesting and important. The military com- 
pany was on parade and the band interspersed the exercises 
with delightful music. The two orators of the day, Gen. 
R. B. Vance, who delivered the Masonic oration, and Hon. 
T. J. Jarvis, who favored the attentive audience with the 

84 Conference Historical Publication. 

"Educational Address," were listened to with interest. 
Both orations were excellent productions and in every way 
worthy these talented gentlemen. Altogether it was a day 
not to be forgotten in the history of the college, but will 
ever stand to mark another epoch in her onward march 
toward still higher and greater success." The work was 
prosecuted »vith vigor by C. H. Norton, the contractor, 
and the beautiful structure was dedicated on the 12th of 
October, 1892. 

Rev. R. J. Moorman succeed Rev. Dr. E. A. Yates and 
served the church during the year 1891 . In his report to 
the second Quarterly Conference, he stated that the general 
state of the church was encouraging, the condition of the 
finances gratifying, and from all the indications, progress 
had been made. Fifteen conversions were reported as the 
result of a revival, most of whom joined the church. A 
goodly number were received during the year by certificate. 
He reported the Sunday school in good condition, and the 
number on the roll showed an increase over the last year. 
He called attention to the contracted facilities for the 
accommodation of the Sunday school, and advised the 
building of a new Sunday school room. In his final report 
for the year, he called attention to the fact that all the col- 
lections ordered by the Annual Conference had been paid 
in full, and that the collection for Foreign Missions far 
exceeded the assessment. He reported on the roll of 
members 452, which was a net gain of 24 over the previous 
year. He reported the congregations as good as usual, with 
some indication of divine power and blessing. The mar- 
riage ceremonies performed were: Prof. Thomas J. Sim- 
mons and Miss Lessie M. Southgate ; Louis Barnes and 
Miss Uva Lyon. The following deaths were among those 
recorded, viz: Emma A. Lockhart, Ruth A. Parrish. 
These had been members of Trinity Church from its early 
beginning, and were faithful to every trust. Father, mother 
and daughter are now united in the church above. 

The History of Trinity Church. 85 

Rev. R. C. Beemau served the church during the years 
1892 and 1893. Early in his pastorate he saw the neces- 
sity of building a new church or making such repairs in 
the old one as would give more seating capacity, and 
better facilities for the Sunday school, and in general to 
have a building more in keeping with growth of Method- 
ism in the town. It was soon determined to have estimates 
made, and the opinion of the best architects was obtained, 
plans submitted and the contract was let out to Messrs. 
Porter & Godwin, builders at Goldsboro, N. C. The con- 
gregration engaged the court house as a place of worship. 
Conducting this immense undertaking and the inconven- 
ience of the court house for accommodating the congregation 
comfortably handicapped the pastor very considerably : 
yet, in spite of all hinderances, he kept his people together, 
and there were a goodly number of accessions during the 
pastorate. Of the Sunday school he reports to the Quar- 
terly Conference that it was well equipped and doing faith- 
ful and efficient work. He also reports the Sunday school 
in North Durham, in charge of Brother P. M. Briggs as 
superintendent, as doing faithful work. He reports that 
there were more family altars among the membership of 
Trinity Church than any other of his acquaintance, and, 
taking all in all, he did not know a church of larger pos- 
sibilities and better outlook than Trinity. While not per- 
fect, and having peculiarities as all churches have, yet it 
has a large constituency of true, godly, consecrated men and 
women who count it all honor that they have been given a 
place in the Kingdom of God's dear Son and endeavor to 
glorify Him in their bodies and their spirits, which are his. 
The following deaths, among others, are noted : Thomas C. 
Goodson, John A. Cox, Lena Perry; and in 1893, Mrs. 
Robert E. Lyon, who had been for several years an active 
member of the Ladies' Aid Society, and prompt in the 
performance of all her church duties. A beautiful altar 
rail has been placed in the church in memory of her great 


86 Conference Historical Publication. 

worth and service in the cause of Christ. Mrs. James H. 
Southgate and Mollie Whitted died in peace and "have 
gone up to join the church of the first born, whose names 
are written in heaven." Among those who united with 
the church by certificate may be mentioned Rev. W. H. 
Pegram and family, A. B. Cox and wife. May Allen, 
Charles C. Weaver. The Epworth League was established 
in the latter part of this pastorate, but an account of the 
organization will appear later on. The friends of Trinity 
College realized to the fullest extent their fond anticipa- 
tions in seeing this noble structure completed and dedi- 
cated, as before announced, on the 12th of October, 1892. 
We also acknowledge our indebtedness to the college 
Archixie for the following account : ' ' Trinity College has 
been formally set apart for the great work for which she 
was intended. The ceremonies took place on October 12, 
and surely the participants could not have celebrated the 
discovery of America in a more appropriate manner. The 
dedicatory sermon was preached at 11 o'clock a. m. in 
Main Street Church, by Br. Hoss, of the Nashville Advo- 
cate. The sermon was in keeping with the occasion; a 
discourse pregnant with logical reasoning, rather than with 
flights of eloquence. At 2 p. m. the parade formed in the 
city square and marched to the Park. The city band came 
first and was followed by the different fraternities ; military 
company, and a throng of citizens. In front of the main 
building the column was met by the faculty, students and 
visitors. The whole crowd then proceeded to the Inn, 
where Captain Parrish delivered a warm address of wel- 
come, to which Dr. Crowell, the president, responded. Mr. 
Washington Duke then formally presented the main build- 
ing and the Inn to the board of trustees. Next, Hon. J. 
S. Carr, in a very neat and appropriate speech, presented 
Trinity Park. Dr. Crowell presented the technological 
building, erected in memory of Laura K. Crowell. Dr. F. 
S. Reid presented the furniture in behalf of the donors. 

The History or Trinity Church. 87 

The board of trustees made suitable acknowledgment of 
the various donations through their spokesman, Rev. Dr. 
E. A. Yates. Long may Trinity College live to bless the 
young men of this State, and be instrumental in training 
thousands for the pulpit, the press, the bar, the school- 
room and the farm." 

Rev. B. R. Hall became pastor in 1894, just about the 
time of the completion of New Trinity. The first occur- 
rence of interest during this pastorate was the opening of 
the church. These interesting services were held on the 
fourth Sunday in January, 1894, and as Rev. R. C. Beaman 
had nearly completed the work before his term as pastor 
expired, he was invited to officiate on that occasion, and 
preached able sermons both morning and night, to the de- 
light and gratification of his many friends in the congre- 
gation. The interest in the Epworth League being on the 
increase, a report was called for at the first quarterly con- 
ference in this year, and that we may get an idea of the 
work of the League we insert the report made by the 
President, M. W. Reed, at that meeting : 

Organized in Trinity Church September 28th, 1893, with 
104 members; received since, 28; total members, 132. 
The League is composed almost entirely of the young peo- 
ple of the church and congregation, and the interest and 
enthusiasm shown are remarkable. It has truly been a 
success from the beginning. 

The devotional department has been arranged for and 
had devotional meetings every Sunday afternoon at 4 
o'clock. The character of these meetings has been discus- 
sion of Biblical topics, prayer, praise and experience meet- 
ings, and have been participated in largely by the members. 
The attendance varies from 75 to 125. 

The literary department, so far, has only attempted to 
have such meetings every Tuesday night as would tend to 
entertain and cultivate the social features of the church. 
We have given one public entertainment for the benefit of 
the poor. 

88 Conference Histobigal Publication. 

The charity and help department has done a good work 
among the poor and sick, so far as our time and means 
would permit. Besides contributing to their necessities we 
have tried to encourage parents to send their children to 
Sunday school, as well as to attend upon the preaching of 
God's word themselves. 

We have raised during the quarter $43 11 

Have expended 33 22 

Leaving balance on hand $ 9 89 

Some revival interest has been manifested during the 
year, and as a result there were several accessions to the 
church. The following were reported at the second and 
third quarterly conference by certificate or profession of 
faith: Mr. H. N. Snow and wife, Mrs. Boggess, J. W. 
Jenkins, and three sisters, Mrs. H. Cobb and M. Cobb, the 
Misses Cozart, R B. Crawford, R. B. Boone, Arthur Cobb, 
Maude Lambe, Mary Piper, Alice Lamond. L, L. Cham- 
berlain and wife, C. E. Turner, Profs. M. H. Lock wood and 
Edwin Mimms, and Rev. R. H. Black. 

The following died in peace : Mrs. Mary Whitt, an old 
and faithful member of this church. Prof. B. C. Hinde, 
of Trinity College, after great suffering, passed to his re- 
ward, and Mrs. Fannie B. Stone and Mrs. Agnes Cooper 
are also found on the list of those who passed beyond the 
river. In his report to the fourth quarterly conference, 
Brother Hall states "that his intercourse with the board 
of official members of the church has been exceedingly 
pleasant, and to them he has been indebted for much kind- 
ness." All the interests of the church have been kept 
well in hand. Our congregations both morning and night 
have usually been good, and the general welfare of the 
church seems to dwell in the hearts of its members. 

To sum up all, Trinity Church has impressed itself upon 
Methodism in this community in no uncertain way. Com- 
ing as it did. almost from the throes of war and famine, it 
emerged from one of the darkest periods in our church's 

The History of Trinity Church. 89 

history, and like a steady light has illuminated the path- 
way of many a traveler to the grave. It may truthfully 
be called the Mother of Methodism in this community. It 
has given forth some of the very best material in the for- 
mation of two other churches, it has established union 
meetings in North Durham which have been productive of 
much good and may eventuate in the establishment of a 
society and church in that community ; it has projected 
plans for the formation of a mission in South Durham and 
committees have been appointed to erect a chapel building 
in the near future. Its local preachers, notably Alex. 
Walker, J. A. McMannen, W. H. Cuninggim, and others, 
have made their impression upon this community, and es- 
pecial mention might be made of Rev. Alex. Walker, a 
member of Trinity Church, who has been abundant in 
labors, faithful in service, punctual in ministering to three 
or four charges in this immediate vicinity, and he will 
doubtless receive a rich reward for unremitting efforts in 
spreading the gospel of his Lord. Time fails to make men- 
tion of all the prominent men who have taken part in the 
great and successful work of projecting and maintaining 
Methodism in Durham. They have each performed their 
part in the good work, and their devoted services will not 
only be a source of gratification to them in the hour of 
death, but will doubtless enhance their reward in the world 
to come. The hope of the church is in the young, and we 
bid God speed to the Ep worth League, which is a school 
for bringing up and training in Christian labor those who 
must take the place of men and women who have fought 
Trinity's battles heretofore, and we pray God that the 
members may be armed with the whole panoply of the 
gospel and go forth as valiant soldiers in the army of the 

*Thi8 article was published in The Trinity Eptvorth League, December, 
1894— April, 1895. The Conference of 1895 assigned Rev. J. N. Cole to the 
Trinity charge and he has since filled it. — Editor. 




Beaufort is one of our oldest towns. There are records in 
the court house dating as far back as the second decade of the 
eighteenth century, being grants of land from the Lords 
Proprietors, John, Lord Carteret, and Henry, Duke of Beau- 
fort. The oldest graves in the cemetery date back to the first 
quarter of the eighteenth century. 

Among the early colonists there was established a Church 
of England ; how early we do not know. There is a record 
of the vestry meetings beginning in the forties. In those 
early days ' ' tithes ' ' were collected by law and placed at the 
disposal of the vestry. There is repeated mention made in 
these minutes of the payment of ;^5 to sundry persons for 
reading the services of the church for one year at various 
points, as Hunting Quarters, Davis Shore, Straits, Harker's 
Island, North River and Newport. There is also mention 
made of the payment of money to the poor. Names of the 
vestrymen of a century and a half ago are the same as those 
of prominent men in the county to-day. The church build- 
ing belonging to this denomination stood about fifty yards in 
the rear of the spot upon which Anne Street Methodist Church 
now stands. It is remembered by many persons now living, 
and is thus described, in a manuscript history of Methodism 
in Beaufort, by L. A. Potter : 

"This building was what we would now consider a quaint, 
old-fashion affair, with immense stone under-pinning for a 
foundation. The superstructure was of native pine, heavy 
sills, joists, and plates, and doors calculated to insinuate that 
supernatural strength would have to be exercised by the 
emissaries of the Evil One who effected an entrance with 
felonious intent. 

Methodism in Beaufort. 91 

"The seats were straight benches with centre supports but 
no backs, one half being assigned to either sex, and he would 
be considered a bold bad man who ventured to walk up the 
aisle set apart for females in search of a comfortable seat. 
The pulpit, for it was then a pulpit and not a rostrum with a 
stand, was a structure resembling somewhat the watch-tower 
on an ancient wall, erected at one end of the church near the 
ceiling and approached by a flight of steps. It was enclosed 
by a tight box about as high as an ordinary man's waist and 
contained a bench seat and a desk for the Bible and a prayer 

At the close of the Revolutionary war this building was 
occupied by preachers of different denominations, and also 
used for school purposes. 

This building was purchased a short time before the late 
war by Mr. White, who moved it to the front part of the lot 
on which his residence stood, on Water street, and used it as 
a store house. It was blown down by the great storm of 1879. 
The material of it was afterwards constructed into a wood 
house, which still stands in the rear of the White residence. 
The early Methodists sometimes worshipped in this church 
and sometimes in the court house, which stood in Market 
street, a short distance south of the present residence of Mr. 
W. S. Chadwick. This building was moved to the northeast 
corner of Anne and Turner streets, and is the Cramer resi- 

At the outbreaking of the struggle of the colonies for inde- 
pendence most of the clergy retired to Great Britain, 
and this pajish was left without a minister. 

Methodism was very early introduced into this section of 
the State. In October, 1769, Joseph Fillmore landed in Phil- 
adelphia, and soon after, says Bangs in his history, visited 
North Carolina, "where he preached with success and formed 
some societies." Fillmore again visited North Carolina in 
the early part of 1773, and so did Robert Williams. In 1774 
Williams came again and had "a most remarkable revival " 

92 Conference Historical Publication. 

and formed societies. In 1775-76 there was a great revival, 
resulting in the formation of the Carolina Circuit at the 
Conference at Baltimore, May 21, 1776, and Edward Drum- 
gole, Francis Poythress, and Isham Tatum were appointed 

Bishop Asbury visited Beaufort in 1785. I find the follow- 
ing in his journal : "Wednesday, December 21, 1785, sailed 
down to Beaufort and preached in the church ; the people are 
kind but have very little religion. On the same evening I 
pushed down to the Straits, and the next day preached at 
Straits Chapel ; thence I returned to town and preached 
again ; after which we sailed back to Col. Bell's, whence we 
first started." 

There is a tradition that among the earliest Methodists to 
visit Beaufort was the Rev. Jesse Lee, and "l\is memory has 
been wafted down from generation to generation, so that some 
of our present members seem almost to have personally re- 
ceived his blessing." Enoch George, afterward Bishop, served 
as second man on the Pamlico Circuit in 1790. Beaufort was 
at first included in the Goshen and Trent circuits, the former 
of which first appears on the minutes in 1792. 

In tracing the rise and progress of Methodism in Beaufort, 
I discover that once in each decade, and near the middle of 
the decade, occurred a great revival of religion. Other revi- 
vals were held, resulting in much good, but those to which I 
refer were attended by larger displays of divine power, and 
left more permanent impression upon the community. These 
I will especially note as we pass along, for the revival is the 
life and power of Methodism. 

The great revival which swept through Methodism in the 
early days of the present century visited Beaufort in 1806. I 
quote the following from brother Potter's manuscript : 

"Philip Bruce was Presiding Elder, and William Barnes, 
James E. Glenn and Bridgers Arendell were the preachers on 
the circuit, then almost as large as some presiding elders'' dis- 
tricts are now. During this powerful awakening, in which 

Methodism in Beaufort. 93 

the meetings in Beaufort were for the most part led by Rev, 
James E. Glenn, Caleb Bell and Jacob Bell were converted at 
the home of Mr. George Reed, who was the clerk of the court. 
He had carried them to his residence from the church, where 
they had been brought under deep conviction. Their father 
and mother, Caleb and Susanna, with an elder sister, had 
been the first in this section to join the Methodist church. 

' ' Caleb and Jacob began exhorting at once and were soon 
licensed as preachers. Joseph Bell another member of the 
same family, also became a preacher and together the three 
brothers wielded a powerful influence for good. Caleb joined 
the Conference while in session at Tarboro, N. C, and in the 
year 1809, he was the pastor in charge of the circuit in which 
Beaufort was located. He moved to Kentucky about the 
year 1820, and lived until 1872, being widely known as one 
of the Fathers of Methodism in Kentucky. Perhaps no 
more brilliant man has ever gone out from Beaufort, and 
the fact that the Methodist Church at this place sent out 
such an examplary christian and such an eloquent preacher, 
such a useful instrument in the hands of Providence for the 
salvation of souls, is a chapter in her history of which we 
may well be proud. "Bell's Chapel, in this county, one of 
the first Methodist houses of worship in this vicinity, was 
built by his grandfather; and Bell's Chapel in Todd County, 
Kentucky, built by him and afterwards replaced by a large 
brick church, through his exertions and contributions, is an 
appropriate monument to his memory." 

Bishop Asbury mentions this revival: "Wednesday June 
2 2d, 1806. A heavy storm of rain, I rode to Eli Perry's, 
son of John ; here is a son of faith and prayer ; I walked with 
his dear good father — now, I trust, in the Paradise of God. I 
met Elder Bruce: all our talk is. What hath God wrought ! 
In Beaufort the Lord hath put forth his power ; the whole 
town seems to bow to the scepter of the Lord Jesus, after be- 
ing left and visited again, within the last twenty years by his 
faithful ministers." The name Beaufort first appears on the 

94 Conference Historical Publication. 

minutes in 1810, with Bridgers Arrendell and William 
Crompton as preachers. Bridgers Arrendell was from Frank- 
lin county. He married in this section, and as was customary 
with early Methodist preachers, located at the first Conference 
after his marriage. 

He settled in Beaufort, remained a staunch Methodist, and 
the Quarterly Conference Records from 1815, in his hand- 
writing, are still extant. His numerous descendants are to- 
day, as they have ever been, firm supporters of Methodist 
doctrine and polity. 

These were followed by Robert Thompson, Humphry Wood, 
James Avant, Erasmus Stinson, R. F. Carney, Thomas Mann, 
Jas. Thomas, Richard Wright, John Doyle and Joshua Law- 
rence ; with Jas. Boyd, John Weaver and Canellum H. Hines 
as Presiding Elders. 

In 1816 Beaufort and Straights were joined together and so 
remained until 1830, when Beaufort was made a separate sta- 
tion. Waddell Johnson was the pastor in 1816, and Wm. H. 
Starr in 1817. Under the latter's ministry occurred the second 
Great Revival. I quote again from Brother Potter : "During 
his ministrations, the church was pretty firmly established. 
Ask some of our older Methodist, Did you ever hear of Brother 
Starr? 'Oh ! yes,' they will reply, 'I have heard my mother 
or my father often speak of Starr's prayer." At the close of 
the second war with England, the people of Beaufort were 
the victors of extremely hard times. Small crops were raised, 
no markets could be found for naval stores or fish, and 
although the government offered a bounty on all fish that 
weie exported, exportation could not be done with profit. 
Money was scarce, the luxuries of life were dispensed with, the 
comforts were relinquished, the necessaries became limited in 
supply, and bread was an object looked upon as a friend soon 
to be seen no more. Brother Starr, in his pastoral visits, saw 
the destitution and became much exercised about the temporal 
condition of his people. 

One day while visiting one of the very poor families he 

Methodism in Beaufokt. 96 

interspersed his usual prayer with the followiug plea for Divine 
interposition : "Oh ! Lord, I do not ask that somebody may 
suffer injury, or that some one's property may be lost to them, 
but if it must be that a vessel shall be stranded, send her to 
these shores, may she be cast on our beach and may her cargo 
be food for these poor destitute ones who are so near to the 
door of starvation." Was his prayer answered, do you ask? 
In less than a week a vecsel, laden with flour, was cast on 
the beach, and all over the town could be seen smiling faces 
and whitened clothes as the relieved citizens spread the staff 
of life on piazza floors and impoverished platforms to receive 
the benefit of the sun's rays, 

Brother Starr was followed by Stephen Rowe and Enoch 

From the Journal of the Quarterly Conference of this early 
period kept by Rev. B. Arrendell, I transcribe some striking 
entries. June 24, 1815, a camp-meeting held at Chadwick's 
Point : "The Camp-meeting was conducted with as much 
prudence as the situation of the case admiited. There were 
some professors stirred up to more diligence, and some few 
converts to the faith, principally with the children of the 
Methodist." March 38 and 29, 181 7, Quarterly Meeting at 
Beautort : "On Saturday, a few of the members of society 
attended, and a sermon preached by our assistant preacher, 
and in the evening at candle-light, the house was crowded, 
and Freeman Ellis, a local preacher from the Straits, deliv- 
ed a sermon, and the meeting was concluded by Wm. Starr, 
the assistant preacher of the Circuit. Sabbath day, the 29th, 
proved a rainy day, and so concluded ourq. m." July 8-12, 
1819, Quarterly-meeting and Camp-meeting at Adams Creek. 
Ten Methodist preachers present, "and preaching at the stage 
four times a day;" thirty converts. July 22, 1820; Adams 
Creek. Quarterly-meeting and Camp-meeting. "Power of 
God was wonderfully displayed in the conversion of nearly 
an hundred souls." 

The membership on the circuit fluctuated as follows: 1819, 

96 Conference Historical Publication. 

white, 240; colored, 230. 1820, white, 320; colored, 256. 
1 82 1, white, 192 ; colored, none. 1822, white, 205 ; col- 
orred, 36. 1823, white, 313; colored, 170. William Har- 
ris reported an increase of 80 white and 26 colored, the year 
the church was erected. These were chiefly, doubtless, from 
the Adams' Creek Quarterly-meeting already mentioned. 
This report embraced the entire circuit, and whether some 
churches were taken off in 1821, reducing the membership 
so largely, or what else became of the colored members, I 
know not. 

In 1820 came William Harris, during whose pastorate the 
first Methodist church in Beaufort was erected, on the north- 
east comer of the cemetery lot, and is now known as Purvis 
Chapel. This was dedicated January, 1821, by Rev. Lewis 
Skidmore, whose great sermons are still held in memory, and 
Lewis Skidmore Forlaw, of the present board of stewards, was 
the first infant baptized in the new church. In regard to this 
building I find entries on the Quarterly Conference records as 
follows: ''Tune 19, 1825, trustees resolve to appoint J. 
Pigiot, Thomas Murray, E. Whitehurst, and O. Barnes to 
superintend, carry on and have said house completed." Jan- 
uary 2, 1830, trustees report: "The house needs immediate 
attention. It has never been plastered, consequently is decay- 
ing fast. And the wind has blown the sand from about the 
church so much that after a large or heavy fall of rain it is 
difficult to get to the church dry-footed. Of course the safety 
of the house is somewhat endangered." The house was re- 
paired in 1836 and reported out of debt in 1840. 

For the next four years the preachers were : 1821, Robert 
Wilkerson ; 1822, Marm Dulton ; 1823, Joseph Carle; 1824, 
Joshua Leigh, with William Compton, Presiding Elder. 
Thomas Howard served as Presiding Elder on this district in 
1825 and 1826, and was reappointed for 1827. His memoir 
contains the following : "The manner of his death was very 
affecting. On his way from the Conference, held in Peters- 
burg, Va., in 1827, he was overtaken by a tremendous storm, 

Methodism in Beaufort. 97 

and it is supposed was thrown from his carriage, as he in- 
formed the people he had been entangled in the reins of his 
horse. His face was stained with blood, and such were the 
bruises he received that he survived but a short time. He 
died, however, in great peace. He was gifted as a preacher, 
and eminently useful." He was greatly beloved, and mothers 
named their children for him. While he lived in Bpaufort 
one of his boys was drowned while bathing in the sound. 

Upon the death of Thomas Howard, Moses Brock was 
taken from the Charlottesville, Va., Circuit and sent to his 
district as Presiding Elder, remaining three years, an oflfice 
he administered with eminent ability for many years. 

In 1825 Thompson Garrard was pastor; in 1826 John Pen- 
nabaker, under whose ministry occurred the third great revi- 
val. He was a young man of thorough consecration and 
great power. He had joined the Conference in 1824, serving 
first the Culpeper Circuit, where he was useful. In 1825 ^^ 
was sent to Granville Circuit, where three hundred souls were 
converted. Next he came to Beaufort and Straits, "at which 
place also," says his memoir, "his labors were much blessed." 
Brother Potter says: "He is still remembered as the thunder 
and lightning preacher. It is related that during his pastor- 
ate he held a protracted meeting, but for a long time without 
a visible spirit of awakening. At length, weary and discour- 
aged by the apathy of the people and their utter disregard of 
his pleas and warnings, he prayed earnestly at one of his 
meetings that the Almighty might manifest to the congrega- 
tion as he did to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai, with 
a voice and appearance of thunder and lightning. Almost 
immediately the reverberations of the thunder were heard in 
the distance. Peal followed peal in quick succession, ap- 
proaching nearer and nearer, and soon the flashes of lightning 
became almost a constant flame, lighting up the church and 
disclosing a congregation livid with fear and trembling under 
the convicting influences of the spirit of God upon their 
awakened consciences. Then started a revival which spread 

98 Conference Historical Publication. 

through the community and many conversions resulted there- 
from." The following year Brother Pennabaker traveled the 
Princess Anne Circuit, and between seven and eight hundred 
persons were added to the church, and two years later he died 
at the early age of thirty-one, having garnered many sheaves 
for the kingdom of God. While in Beaufort he boarded with 
George Dill in the house now owned and occupied by Joseph 
Robinson. Many children in Beaufort were named for him. 

The preachers were : 1827, Irvin Atkinson; 1828, James 
W. Bell. This name binds us in touch with the living pres- 
ent. We have seen among the records, signed in a beautiful 
hand by Brother Bell, a certificate of the marriage of one 
who still lingers among us, with mind clear and bright, at 
the ripe age of 89. May her presence long continue, a bene- 
diction to the community. 

In 1829 came George A. Bain. The following year Beau- 
fort was made a station, and has so continued to the present. 
The preachers were : 1830, John D. Hal stead ; 1 831, Abra- 
ham Harrell ; 1832, F. D. Tompkins, with Joseph Carson, 
Presiding Elder. I notice that David S. Doggett, afterward 
Bishop, was on the Mattamuskeet Circuit in 1830. 

The next four years, James Reid was Presiding Elder. In 
1833, Thompson Garrard was pastor. Then in 1834 came 
James Pervis, who left his impress indelibly engraven upon 
the religious life of the community. A great revival still 
remembered and talked about, was conducted by him. At 
times the interest became so absorbing that the people would 
stay all night long in church, going home by day-light next 
morning. At this revival, was converted the late Rev. John 
Rumley, one of the most useful and faithful members this 
church has ever had. To the fourth Quarterly Meeting held 
January 3, 1835, Brother Pervis reports on the state of Sab- 
bath Schools : "The Superintendent, one male and two 
female teachers, seven female and four male students and the 
librarian have professed religion during the year. This school 
is in a more prosperous state than heretofore." The Super- 

Methodism in Beaufort. 99 

intendent was Isaac Hellen, who taught a day school and 
had charge of the Sunday School. Brother Cicero Bell, who 
remembers this meeting, tells me that Isaac Hellen was a 
Master Mason, and when he started forward he turned to his 
fellow Masons and said : "Brethren of the Square and Com- 
pass, you have followed me on the Square, now follow me to 
the Cross," and many of them followed and joined the church. 

In 1835, W. H. Kelly was pastor, and in 1836, J. M. Boat- 
right, who received into the church Mrs. Sallie Thompson, 
who is now the oldest member. Brother Boatright had small- 
pox soon after his arrival. Ke was placed in an isolated house 
np the creek, and Alice Oliver, one of the members carried 
him his meals. He soon recovered. 

In 1837, came James E. Joiner, who received into the church 
Mrs. Nancy Prior, at present the next oldest member. James 
Jamieson was Presiding Elder in 1 837-' 38. 

Now came a cluster of names that are household words. 

In 1838, William Closs, greatly admired and beloved, a man 
of strong original character, thoroughly consecrated to his 
work, whose bright utterances are often repeated and who left 
his impress upon all this section of the State. 1839, John 
E. Edwards, a brilliant preacher, an able writer well known 
throughout the South. 

In 1840 Sidney D. Bumpas, the father of the present writer, 
of whom Dr. Deems says : "Brother Bumpas was a man of 
acute mind. He was a laborious student. He sought to cul- 
tivate his intellect to his highest capacityr He was a theo- 
logian — a clear, discriminating, original and impressive 
preacher. He had few equals in succsssful pastoral labor." 
He wrote in his Journal of his year in Beaufort : "The past 
has been the most dull and fruitless year of my ministry. 
Till the 6th of July, I was able to labor ; and as many as six 
or seven professed conversion. On the 6th of July, I was 
taken with fever, and was able to do no more efficient labor 
until it became necessary for me to leave," viz: on Septem- 
ber 10. A year later when sent to Raleigh, he prayed God to 
give him two hundred converts ; a prayer more than answered. 

100 Conference Historical Publication. 

In 1 841, came John Tillett, an earnest, consecrated, faith- 
ful preacher, and firm disciplinarian. In 1842 came R. P. 
Bibb, who in his prime, wonderfully moved his audience, and 
in 1848, John Todd Brain, of blessed memory. He was one 
of the youngest preachers ever sent to Beaufort. He was 
unmarried. His widowed mother accompanied him in his 
itinerancy and was his house-keeper, companion and admirer. 

In 1844 came Chas. P. Jones, who still lingers in a green old 
age, on the Pacific Coast. In a recent letter to the writer he 
says: "The Board of Stewards had engaged board for me 
with Capt. Manson. Dr. Arrendell, J. Davis, William Bell, 
E. Piggott and John Forlaw were students. I preached one 
Sabbath in each month to the colored people in the audito- 
rium, who at all regular services occupied the galleries. 
Many of the members, both white and colored, were deeply 
spiritual. No special revival blessed the charge during the 
year. There were a few communions and accessions. A camp- 
meeting was held on Harker's Island in the Summer. Tenters 
were few and congregations, except on Sunday, were small. 
Preaching by D. B. Nicholson, Presiding Elder, William E. 
Pell, Thomas Lowe and others was very good, but few turned 
to the Lord. The church however, was refreshed and strength- 
ened. As Beaufort was a summer resort for health and rec- 
reation, large numbers visited the place in the summer 
months and early fall, increasing the congregations, at times, 
to overflowing. Altogether, it was a pleasant and profitable 
year." The Presiding Elders of this period were, 1839, Ben- 
nett T, Blake ; 1840, Robert I. Carson ; 1841, William E. 
Pell ; 1 843-' 46, D. B. Nicholson. 

In 1 845-' 46 the pastor was T. Page Ricaud, who after more 
than half a century of active itinerant labor is still a benedic- 
tion to North Carolina Methodism, — his name being now the 
second on the roll. Brother Ricaud, writes : "We had revi- 
val work both years, but the first was, indeed an extraordinary 
work. I was aided by Rev. W. I. Langdon, and his cousin, 
W. S. Langdon, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister ; also 

Methodism in Beaufort. 101 

by our sainted Brother John Jones. There was then but one 
organized church in Beaufort and the membership was gener- 
ally true and faithful. The first year, I obtained thirty odd sub- 
scribers for the Richmond Advocate^ we having no paper of 
our own. These two years were among the most pleasant of 
the early days of my life." This was one of the great revi- 
vals, and at it, the Rev. Samuel Lander, D. D. , of the Soutli 
Carolina Conference, who at that time was attending the 
school of his brother-in-law, the Rev. William I. Langdon, 
was converted, also some of the best members. From 1847 
to 1850, William Closs was Presiding Elder. In 1847, W. 
J. Parks was pastor. He married Mrs. Buck Hill, and spent 
his latter years in this county. A marble shaft to the mem- 
ory of his son Charles, who married a Miss Lecraft but died 
young, stands near the present church. 

In 1848 Joel W. Tucker was pastor, and in 1849 William W. 
Nesbitt, who is described as, '*a bashful man, always fearful 
of attracting too much attention, and whenever he bought a 
new suit of clothes or a hat, he would put them on and take 
a long walk in the country, that he might get use to them 
and cover up the gloss with a coat of dust." In 1850, Rev. 
J. B. Martin was sent to the station. He says, "I remained 
there but two or three months, owing to a throat trouble with 
which the climate did not agree, and was succeeded by the 
Rev. J. P. Simpson, from the Baltimore Conference." 
Brother Simpson's labors were blessed with a good meeting 
in which Mrs. Elizabeth Buckman and Miss Elizabeth 
Gabriel joined the church. 

From Brother Potter's sketch, I copy the following: "About 
the year 1850, a Rev. Mr. Rolfe, of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, came to Beaufort and seeing an opportunity to build 
up a congregation, he made several visits and preached to the 
people using the forms of worship of his church. A history 
of the Methodist church would be incomplete without this 
mention, for Rolfe was succeeded by a Rev. D. D. Van Antwerp, 
who was pastor for a number of years. A church was organ- 


ized and a membership, made up almost entirely of the mem- 
bers of the Methodist Church, was soon secured. It is a 
noteworthy fact that the Methodist Church of Beaufort has 
contributed largely toward the elongation of the work of other 
denominations. Liberal in her teachings and doctrines, she 
has recognized sister churches to be what they claim, the 
Church of God, and believing that those who were truly con- 
verted, should find a home in the church in which they could 
do most good and receive most help in a spiritual life, and 
with whose doctrine and forms of church government they 
would most nearly perfectly accord, that church has had no 
incentive to be or to become a seeker after proselytes. She 
has tried to fulfil the missions of Christ, to seek and save that 
which was lost, and going out into the highways and hedges 
she has at most compelled the sinners to come in. At her 
altars the shouts of happy hundreds have been heard, and the 
welkin has been made to ring with the Hallelujahs of sin- 
ners redeemed and made to rejoice because of the conscious- 
ness of a full and free salvation ; but in a history extending 
into three score years or more, not a dozen names have been 
inscribed upon her roll of those who have withdrawn from 
other churches, or have been persuaded to change their mem- 
bership from other denominations. Can any other church in 
Beaufort show such a record of Christian soldiers recruited 
from the ranks of the arch enemy of our souls?" 

From 1851 to 1854 D. B. Nicholson was Presiding Elder. 
In 1 85 1, T. B. James was Presiding Elder. It was during 
this year the Baptist Church in Beaufort was organized. A 
Baptist minister, Rev. Nathan Askew, visited Beaufort and 
by permission of the the trustees made an appointment to 
preach at night in the Methodist Church. After the congre- 
gation assembled, Mr. James walked into the church and said, 
it was his night to hold prayer meeting, whereupon the Bap- 
tist minister, followed by most of the congregation walked 
out. Elder Wade said, "you can preach at, my house," the 
minister preached, and organiged a church with five or six 

Methodism in Beaufobt. 108 

members. In the next few years the Baptist Church was 
built, which has since been enlarged and beautified. 

In 1852, Albert Weaver was pastor, and in 1853, James A. 
Dean, who in the summer, at the solicitation of Rev. John 
A. McMannen, took charge of the South Lowell Academy in 
Orange County, and the Rev. LaFayette W. Martin was 
appointed in his place. Brother Martin married a Miss King, 
of Beaufort. He was afterwards located and made Beaufort 
his home, engaging in the practice of medicine, and filling 
several distingished civil offices. Some of his descendants 
still live in the community. He was succeeded in 1854, ^Y 
Rev. D. C. Johnson, who preached plain, very short sermons, 
and drew, I am told the largest congregations the church has 
ever had. Men of intelligence and talent of other commun- 
ions frequently waited upon his ministry. On one occasion, 
while he was taking a collection, a prominent lawyer, who 
greatly admired him, cast in a fifty dollar bank note. He re- 
ported a $102.60 Missionary collection. It was during his pas- 
torate that the Anne Street Methodist Church was erected. I 
think it quite remarkable, that the Quarterly Conference Jour- 
nal contains no record of this new building. No mention 
is made of the appointment of a building committee, or of 
the collection of any money for the building. However, the 
late Rev. John Rumley had charge of the work, and it was 
largely through his indefatigable labors the church was erected. 
From 1855 to 1858, the Rev. Ira T. Wyche was Presiding 
Elder and in 1855, Rev. Thomas W. Guthrie was pastor. 

Under his labors and following immediately upon the erec- 
tion of the new church, there occurred a great revival, which 
is often spoken of as the "Laughing Revival," as most of those 
converted manifested it by laughing. Upon the completion 
of the new church, the old church building was turned over 
to the colored congregation, and from that time forward 
known as Pervis Chapel. Uhder date of November 20, 1894, 
Brother Guthrie, wrote me of this revival, embracing both 
white and colored congregations, of which he was pastor, as 

104 Conference Historical Publication. 

follows : "All ages and sexes were its subjects. I have never 
in all my ministry seen such a display of divine power as I 
witnessed. Beaufort, from that time on was considered one 
of the strong appointments of the Conference." 

In 1856 and 1857, Rev. L. L. Hendren was pastor, and in 
1858 and 1859 the Rev. Joseph H. Wheeler, both lately fallen 
on sleep. Brother Wheeler, served a second term as pastor, 
from 1872 to 1875, and was greatly attached to the people, 
as they were to him. William Closs is again Presiding Elder. 
In 1859 ^"^ i860, Isham H. Hill was appointed pastor in 
charge of Pervis Chapel, and in 1861 John Jones. 

In 1859, the Annual session of the North Carolina Confer- 
ence was held in Ann Street Church. The venerable Bishop 
Early presiding. In i860, James L. Fisher was pastor, and 
in 1861-62, R. G. Barrett. Brother Barrett, remained until 
after the fall of Newbern, when he withdrew within the 
Conference lines. 

A parsonage had been erected near the west end of Anne 
Street, and was occupied by the last four mentioned pastors, 
but owing to the accumulations upon a debt contracted in its 
erection, had to be sold, and the church lost the money 
invested in it, "a misfortune for which the civil war is held 
responsible." It was at this period, when the dark clouds of 
war hung over our land, and Beaufort was cut off from the 
Conference, Rev. John Rumley stood by the flock preached 
to them, and conducted the great revival ot 1865, receiving 
into the church 105 white members, and perhaps as large or 
larger number of colored members. He commanded the con- 
fidence and respect of all classes. The Northern people, who 
had settled in the town, contributed liberally to his support, 
making up for him, atone time, a purse of $200.00. Brother 
R. C. Beaman, writing of him, says : he was "a most saintly 
man, whose prayers sometimes lifted me into the third heaven. 
He had an unction and power in prayer I have seldom known 
surpassed. ' ' 

When the way was opened by the surrender, the late Rev. 
Charles F. Deems, D. D., then Presiding Elder of the Dis- 

Methodism iic Beaufort. 105 

trict, came to Beaufort to look after the interests of the church. 
He wore a shabby Confederate suit and the people made up a 
purse and purchased a handsome new suit for him. Carta- 
ret County has contributed her share of distinguished men to 
the nation. Among them I may mention the late Edward M. 
Stanton, Mr. Lincoln's great War Secretary, whose relatives still 
reside within her borders ; and Commodore Cook of the United 
States Navy ; but perhaps no more distinguished son of hers 
has gone forth to bless the nation than the late Rev. Thomas 
W. Mason. He was received on trial in the Virginia Con- 
ference and first stationed in Fayetteville, N. C. Then in 
South Carolina and Georgia, for a few years, he ranked in 
his appointments with such men as Lovick Pierce and William 
Capers. He was sent to the General Conference and elected 
along with Lane, agent of the New York Book Concern, a 
position he filled four years. Then for some years he was 
stationed at New York City, and Presiding Elder on the Dis- 
trict. He was re-elected Book Agent and died in 1844. 
Some of his children and grand-children were and are among 
the prominent ministers of the New York and Philadelphia 

Rev. John Jones was a native of Beaufort, was for four- 
teen years a local preacher, and for twenty-seven years a 
member of the Conference, toiling successfully as pastor 
and Presiding Elder. His children and grand-children still 
love and foster the work that was so dear to his heart. 

Beaufort has also given to the church, Revs. M. C. Thomas 
and Julian Rumley of the Conference, and Levi W. Pigott 
and Needham Canady of the local ranks. Beaufort has also 
furnished the church with many faithful preacher's wives. 
Brothers Parks, Clegg, James, Ricaud, L. W. Martin, E. A. 
Yates, J. O. Guthrie, N. M. Journey, G. F. Smith and possi- 
bly others have married here. 

There is in existance a remarkable document, conveying a 
half interest in a slave, named Enoch Wallace, to the trus- 
tees of the Methodist Church. The same also is a matter of 
record in the Journal of Quarterly Conference of April 39, 

106 Conference Historical Publication. 

1859. The explanation of this, is as follows : Enoch had 
saved enough money to buy one-half of himself and that he 
might get one-half of his time to work for himself and so 
make money the faster, to own himself he had the title to 
one-half interest in himself conveyed to the Trustees of the 
Methodist Church as those in whom he had perfect confidence, 
feeling that they could never abuse the right thus conferred. 

Beaufort church has had, comparatively speaking but few 
janitors or sextons, and has employed two whose terms of 
office embraced a period of about forty years. "Mrs. Lee, 
the first of these, was a widow who for years officiated at 
Pervis Chapel, and when the new church was built trans- 
ferred her labors with the moving of the congregation. She 
would take her little boy with her to the church when meet- 
ings were to be held during week-day evening, and building 
her fires and trimming the lamp, and snuffing the candles, 
would sit quietly at her knitting waiting for the coming of 
the congregation." She was succeeded by "Uncle" John 
Henry, who for more than a score of years filled the position. 

The strength of the church is somewhat indicated by the 
following table of membership: There were reported from 
the entire circuit in 1816, white, 268 ; colored, 228. 182 1, 
white, 320 ; colored, 256. 1827, white, 258 ; colored, 87. 
And in 1830, when Beaufort was first made a station, white, 
164 ; colored, 94. 1854, white, 202 ; colored, 152. 1866, 
white 343 ; colored 200. 

When I wrote these sketches three years ago, I closed with 
a statement of the following remarkable fact : In the forty 
years this building (the old Anne Street Church,) has stood, 
the North Carolina Conference has appropriated to it nineteen 
pastors, all of whom are now living^ at the present writing, 
November 21, 1894, except J. T. Arrington, who died while 
stationed here, and J. L. Fisher, of whose later history I am 
not informed. Three pastors of the old church are living : 
Charles P. Jones, stationed here fifty years ago, now in 
Washington, on the Pacific slope, T. Page Ricaud (1845-46), 
j^ndj. B. Martin (1850). 

Book Reviews. 107 


A Manual or Chriitian Doctrine. By John S. Banks. Edited by John J. Tig ert, D. D. 
(Nashville, Tenn. Barbee & Smith, Agents. 1897. Pp xxii, 391. Price $1.50.) 

As the editor remarks, "The interest of the Christian Church in dogmatic 
systems is perennial." Never was that interest more necessary than iust 
now. In the face of modern latitudinarianism it is important to understand the 
doctrines of the past. Every intelligent man wants to think for himself 
He has a right to want it. But he has no moral right to think for himself 
unless he fully and firmly understands the matter on which he proposes to 
form a judgment. If we essay to become thinkers we must become readers. 
The present work is written by a leading Methodist. It is not elaborate. It 
is edited by Dr. Tigert, after the fashion of his edition of Summers's System- 
atic Theology. It has been put into chapters, etc. in such a way as to make 
it more readable by students and by young ministers. Dr. Tigert's name is 
warrant for thinking that the editing has been ably done. 

SouTHBHN Writbrs. By William M. Baskerville, of Vanderbilt University. (Nashville, 
Tenn. Barbee & Smith. Agents. Vol. I., I897. Pp. viii., 401. Price 75c.) 

The promising literary movement in the South to-day has demanded a histo- 
rian and a critic. No man is better fitted to meet this demand than Dr. Basker- 
ville. His educational work has long been for the progress of literature 
among our people. This volume of essays is all that was demanded. It 
deals with Irwin Russell, Joel Chandler Harris, Maurice Thompson, Sidney 
Lanier, George W. Cable, and Charles Egbert Craddock. Others to follow 
are James Lane Allen, Thomas Nelson Page, Richard M. Johnston, Mrs. 
Burton Harrison, Grace King, "Sherwood Bonner," Margaret J. Preston> 
Samuel M. Peck, and Madison Cawein; and a closing chapter is promised on 
other writers. There is little fault to be found with Dr. Baskerville's judg- 
ment or with his style. He is clear, sympathetic, interesting. He makes 
his characters live. Perhaps the opening of the chapter on Irwin Russell is 
so put that the reader will conclude that Russell and not Randall wrote "My 
Maryland ;" but if one will read carefully page 8, he will see that the former 
was not quite eight years old when this stirring song was written. Take it 
all through, every Southern man and woman of literary taste ought to own 
this book. 

PiONBBRS OF SoVTSBRM LrTBRATURB. By Samuel A. Link. (Nashville, Tenn. Barbee 
& Smith, Agents, 1897. Pp. 221. Price 10 cents each.) 
This is a series of four booklets corresponding in a way to Dr. Basker- 
ville's "Southern Writers." The writers treated, however, are those of the 
old regime. These four booklets are "A Glance at the Field," "Paul Ham- 
ilton Hayne," "Dr. Frank O. Ticknor and Henry Timrod," and "William 
Gilmore Simms." Prof. Link has a clear and attractive style. His work is 

108 Book Reviews. 

not prosy. At times it has the facility of the modern newspaper reporter. 
His eyes are Southern and his heart also. He feels a mission, as every good 
writer ought. On the whole he has done Southern readers a clear service in 
bringing these writers up before them. The weakest of the pieces is "A 
Glance at the Field." There is a tendency to claim too much for the South. 
For instance, it is too much to claim Lincoln as a product of Southern intel- 
lectuality. While he doubtless inherited some traits of character that were 
distinctly Southern, that which made him distinctly Lincoln was not South- 
ern. It is not accurate to say : ' ' Southern skill directed all the land fighting 
Americans care to remember of the war of 1812." There was good fighting 
at Lundy's Lane and Jacob Brown was not a Southerner. There was bad 
fighting and good running before Gen. Ross when he marched on Washing- 
ton, and Gens. Winder and Alexander Smyth were Southerners. Moreover 
it is a little too much to say : "The history of Southern oratory is the historj- 
of one of the most splendid periods of the world's history." In oratory, and 
in fighting in the war of 181 2, we did well. We are justly gratified that we 
did not flinch. But we do ourselves no good to take more credit than is due. 
Suspect a man or a nation who boasts. 

The books of Dr. Baskerville and Prof Link are designed for use in con- 
nection with Epworth League work. They ought to be widely read. In 
publishing them our Publishing House has conferred a real benefit on our 

The Spiritual Dkvblofment of St. Paul. By Rev. Geo. Matheson, M. A , D. D., F* 
R. S. E (T. J. Gattis & Son, Durham, N. C. Pp 293. Price |i. 00. To Ministers, poat 
paid 85 cents.) 

This is a great book, thought-provoking, soul-stirring, mind -stretching. 
You will not agree with the author in all his positions, but you will be better, 
broader, stronger and have a larger conception of the character of St. Paul 
and get nearer the Christ who made Paul truly great by reading and re-read- 
ing it. The author begins with Paul as a converted Jew, he gives us some 
autobiographical reminiscences and follows him through all his conflicts 
with self. His prejudices are preconceived notions until he presents him as 
overleaping the walls of orthodox Judaism itself, transcending the limits of 
Palestine and penetrating the very heart of Paganism. Each stage was an 
expansion, each step was a step nearer to man until he was "ready to preach 
the gospel to them at Rome also." 

Paul ascended into the third heavens and heard unspeakable words, 
but this vision humbled him, and broadened, deepened, heightened his 
character, and made his the best form of humanitarianism because it began 
with the divine and not the human side of the question. 

Paul touched every side of life, human and divine, and the vital questions 
of every age, theological, domestic, social, national, are being adjusted by 
what God revealed in and through him. He fought the fight, kept the faith, 
finished his course and was ready. G. A. O. 

A Young People's History of the Chinese. By Rev. W. G. E. Cunninggim, D. D.' 
Nine Years Missionary in China. (Barbee * Smith, Naihville, TeEn. Pp.285. Price 

This book is in the doctor's best style, and while written for young people 
is exceedingly interesting and instructive to old as well. It is illustrated with 
some of China's representative characters and with cuts showing her peculiar 
customs. The author discusses the antiquity, population, people, language, 
literature, government, religions, superstitions, ancestral worship, architec- 
ture, the sciences, diet, dress, and many other questions giving a clear insight 
into the habits, customs and ways of this wonderful people. He discusses 
mission work in China, and concludes with a chapter on the present condi- 
tions in China. Persons wishing information about China and not having 
time to read the large standard histories, cannot do better than to order and 
read this succinct history. It ought to be in every Sunday school library. 

G. A. O. 

Book Reviews. 109 

Cbild Lips in Ocr Mission Fields; Oa Pbn Pictukbs Pkok Bust Wokkbks gath- 
ered By Daity Lambeth and Kate Harlan. (Barbee A Smith. Nashville, Tenn. 
Pp. 159. Price $1.00.) 

Who is not interested in child life ? There is nothing more cheering than 
to behold children under the best influences develop into noble, pure man- 
hood and womanhood, and nothing more Christ-like than to contribute what 
we may to the freedom and development of unloved and neglected children. 
This little book puts you in touch and sympathy with this last thought. 
But few more helpful books have been given to the public by the Southern 
Methodist Publishing House in recent years. Get it and read it, and have 
the children read it. There is much in it that missionary workers need and 
can use to advantage. G. A. O. 

A Mam's Valub to Socibtt. Studies on Self-culture and Character. By Newell Dwigh 
Hillis. (T. J. Gattis & Son, Durham, N C. Pp.320. (Price $1. as, to Ministers pre- 
paid | 

This is one of the happy hits in book-making. It has passed the fifth edi- 
tion and the end is not yet. It is a book for the bookish man and for the 
busy man, and will compel the interest of the non-reader if he will give it a 
chance. The style is vigorous, concise, comprehensive, clear, charming. It 
fixes the attention at sight and grows on you with every page. The author 
discusses The Elements of Worth in the Individual ; Character ; Its Materials 
and External Teachers ; Aspirations and Ideas ; The Physical basis of Char- 
acter ; The Moral Uses of Memory ; Concience and Character ; The Reve- 
lators of Character ; Making the Most of One's Self, and other vital questions. 

It is a suggestive book, tells you much, makes you see more. It warns 
you, thrills you, instructs you,strengthens you. You cannot invest the price 
to better advantage. G. A. O. 


practical and comprehensive Commentary with Hints to Teachers. Illustrations. 
Blackboard Exercises, Question Maps, and Class Registers. (T J. Gattis & Son, Dur- 
ham, N. C. Pp.335. Price 60 cents.) 

The notes are equal to the best furnished on the International Lessons, 
while the "Practical applications are prepared by a specialist and are very 
fine." The "Blackboard Exercises" and Hints to Primary Readers are very 

I think this volume equal to any, Peloubet's possibly excepted. 

G. A. O. 


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PROCTOR YY. n, 1 KUUIUK, and don't you forget it 


W. K. .*C=D§t=-. T. B. 

TV ^1 

®v> Motto: "Quick Sales and 'Small Profits" <i^ 

FOR casii. 


■I TO — 


J7 Years a Drug Clerk. 







On accommodating or cash terms, 
please see what we can do for you. 
We handle the well-known 


and BEHR BROS'. 

— E^ I -A- 3^T O S ! — 

which are too well known to need any 
recommendation. We also sell the 


lnt«r«State Phone 44. Bell Phone 137. 


Fine Furniture of all Kinds, Buck Stoves and Ranges, 

Wheeler it Wilson and Standard Se^intf Machin»s, 


> When you want to Furnish your OflSce, Room or Home, or if you only wamt a nice odd 
piece of Furniture please call in, we will try to suit you. 


Durham, N. C. 

Il^ebster's Internationall 


The purpose of which has been not display nor the 
provision of material for boastful and sno-wy adver- 
tisement, but the due, judicious, scholarly, thorough 
perfectiiif^ of a work which in all the stages of its 
RTowth has obtained in an equal degree the Favor and 
confidence of scholars and of the general public. 

It is the Standard of the U. S. Supreme Court, 
all the State Supreme Courts, the U. S. Government 
Printing Office, and of nearly all the Schoolbooks. 
Warmly commended by State Superintendents of 
Schools, and other Educators almost without number. 

The International is Invaluable in the household, the school- 
room, ami to the teacher, scholar, professional man, and self -educator. 

Words are easily found * * * Pronunciation is easily ascertained. 

Meanings are easily learned * * » The growth of words eaailjr traced, 
and because excellence of quality rather than auperfluity of quantity 
characterizes Its every department. • * * * • QET THE BEST. 

'Specimen pages sent on application to 

G. & C. ME^RRIAIII CO., Pnlillsliera, 

Springfield, Mass., IJ. 0. A. 

Date Due 



Sch.R, 975.6 N875H 1st 1897 24744^ 


Schooi ui Kci-fe^*^