(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Memoir of Rev. John L. Prichard : late pastor of the First Baptist Church, Wilmington, N. C."

LIBRARY 

OF THE 

University of Xorth Carolina. 

Endow I'd by thi- Dialectic and Pliilantliro])!*- 
Societies. 

Cai.1. Xo. Z. V^ .^_??^V'^ 




UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00032690927 

3HIS T1TL& HAS BEEN MICROFILMEO 

This book must not 
be taken from the 
Library building. 




v< 



i 



MEMOIR 



OF 



KEY. JOHN L. PRICHARI) 



LATE PASTOR OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 
WILMINGTON, N. C. 



EY 

KEY. J. D. HUFHAM. 



EALEIGH, N. C. 

HUFHAM & HUGHES, PUBLISHERS 

1867. 



PREFACE. 

The little volume, which is now offered to the public, 
^asto have been issued soon after Mr. Pnehards death 
.vhile his name, his virtues and his labors were fresh ur the 
.ninds of the people. The work has been delayed by sev- 
eral causes, principally by the difficulties experienced m 
collecting the materials which make up the Memoar, whde 
the war was raging. 

It may be, however, that the delay will be rather advan- 
ao-eous than otherwise, so far as the accomplishment of 
lod is concerned. It is believed that the record of an 
earnest life, as set forth in the following pages, has a pecu- 
liar adaptation to the times in which we live ; and hat 
young men especially-those who are now takmg then- 
fir«t lessons in adversity, as well as those who hke Mr. P., 
have been struggling with poverty since chrldhood-may 
study that record with advantage. 

The profits accruing from the sale of the book will be 
applied to the education of Mr. P's. children. If it shall 
accomplish anything in this direction, and shall be instru- 
mental in quickening the spiritual life of any who i^ad it, 
by stimulating them to newness of hope andefJovt, the ob- 
ject in preparing and publishing it will have been accom- 



plished 
^ Ealeigh, N. C, 186 

o 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Birth — Early Childhood — First Affliction — Reverse of Fortune — Early 

Struggles — -Maternal Influence — Conversion Christian Devotion — 

Thoughts of the Ministry. 

CHAPTER II. 

Baptists of North Carolina Previous to 1830 — Extensive Revivals — Origin 
of the Baptist State Convention- -Prominent Movers — Wake Forest Insti- 
tute—Agency of Mr. Armstrong— Mr. Prichard Enters the Institution — 
Character as a Student — His Trials — Graduation. 

CHAPTER III. 

Removal to Murfreesboro, North Carolina — Labors in the School Room 

Visit to Milton — Preaching in North Carolina and Virginia — Rev. John 

Kerr — Settlement in Danville — Marriage — Extensive Labors — Revival 

Protracted Meeting at Bethany — Constitution of Bethany Church Roan- 
oke Association — Influence in Favor of Missions — Extracts from Letters. 

CHAPTER IV. 

A Severe Trial — Sickness ard Death of his Wife — Letters Referrino- to this 

Event — Attendance upon General Association — Various Letters Second 

Marriage— Call to Lynchburg— Yanceyville Meeting— Removal— Estimate 
of his Worth and Labors, 

CHAPTER V. 

Description of Lynchburg— Entrance Upon the New Pastorate— Discourage- 
ments — Diversified Labors— Completion of Meeting-House — Difficulties in 
the Church— Adjustment— Mrs. Hollins— Temperance Cause— Incident— 
Letters— Results of Labors in Lynchburg— Call to Wilmington— Accep- 
tance — Labors in Lynchburg. 



Vlll 



CHAPTER VI. 



Wilmington, North Carolina— Pastorate Commenced— Sense of ResponsiMi- 
ity— Heav}^ Labors— Associational Meetings — Sympathy with the Suflfer- 
ing- Family AfflietioH Sanctified— Remarkable Revival— Extracts from 
Diary and Letters. 

CHAPTER Vn. 

New House of Worship in Wilmington — Enterprise Difficnit — Increased 
Labors and Solicitude of Pastor — Extracts from Diary— Condition of the 
Countr}' — Love ofthe Union — Extracts from Diary — War — Work among 
the Soldiers— Affecting Incident — Extracts from Diary -Letters — Visit to 
Richmond — Testimony of a Soldier. 

CHAHTER VIII. 

Blockade-Running Vessels — Introduction of Yellow Fever — Great Consterna 
tion — Removal of Families — Death of Rev. Robert Drane, D. D. — Dr. 
Dickson and other Prominent Citizens — Medical Aid and Supplies Fur- 
uished — Remarkable Beauty of the Weather — Mr. Prichard's Self-Deny- 
ing Toils — His Congregation Scattered — Sense of Loneliness — Letters. 

CHAPTER IX. 

Fever Still Raging — Mr. Pricbard Continues his Arduous Labors — Confi- 
dence in Divine Sovereignty — Letters — Arrested by Fever — Afi'ecting De- 
tails — Death — Reflections. 

CHAPTER X. 

Extensive L^sefulness — Vigorous Intellect — Retentive Memory — Courage — 
Confidence in his own Judgment — Strength of Will — Little Poetic Imag- 
ination — Warm bympathies — Consecration — Interest in Works of Benev- 
olence — Manner in the Pulpit — His Domestic Habits — Family Worship — 
Touching Incident — Estimate of Character by a Virginia Pastor. 



MEMOIR OF 

REV. J. L. PRICHARD 



CHAPTER I. 



BiKTH— Early Childhood— First Affliction— Reverse of 

Fortune—Early Struggles — Maternal Influence 

Conversion— Christian Devotion — Thoughts of the 
Ministry. 

John Lamb Prichard was born in Pasquotank countj, 
N. C, on the 6tli of June 1811, and was the second of six 
children. There was little either in his appearance, diirinir 
his earlier years, or in the condition of his family, to indi- 
cate the commanding influence and eminent usefulness to 
which he afterwards attained. His parents were in mode- 
rate circumstances, possessing enough property, with the 
aid of inaustry and economy, to furnish them a comfortable 
living. They saw and desired to see little of fashion's gay 
throng and were strangers to the luxuries which wealth 
brings in its train. 

But they had what is far better, contentment with their 
lot, and a quiet, unobtrusive yet earnest piety. Both were 
members of a Baptist church, and by their blameless lives 
won the confidence and esteem of all who knew them. Mr 
Prichard used to relate that his father would arise a crreat 
while before day in order that he might have opportunity 
to study the Scriptures and oflf'er praise and prayer to God 
before entering on his regular routine of labor. ' It is also 
known that he was a liberal and unselfish man, always 



10 MEMOIR OF 

ready to relieve the sufferings of others, without reference 
to his own comfort or convenience. 

His wife was a fit companion for him. Industrious and 
frugal, always careful to provide the physical comforts of 
home for her family, she still kept their spiritual interests 
uppermost in her mind, and strove, by her example, her 
precepts and her prayers, to lead her children to Christ. 
Her maternal faithfulness had a rich reward even here; 
for she lived to see them all consistent and useful christians. 
Four of them have passed away from the earth, and within 
a recent period she has gone to join them in a brighter, 
happier sphere. 

In this peaceful, happy home, surrounded by these gra- 
cious influences, the first nine years of Mr. Prichard's life 
were spent. What wonder that his memory should often 
have reverted to this brief sunny period, amid the struggles 
and sorrows of his later years, or, young as he was, that it 
should have been protential in shaping the w^hole of his 
subsequent career ? He was growing up a delicate boy, of 
slender frame, ardent temperament and social disposition, 
yet having a keen relish for active out-door sports, and by 
enquiry and observation already laying the foundation 
for the stores of knowledge which he afterwards accumula- 
ted. As yet he knew nothing of real trials or sorrows. 
But God, when He would prepare His servants for some 
great work, not unfrequently carries them first through a 
course of discipline in the stern school of suffering, and Mr. 
Prichard's term of pupilage was about to commence. 

When he had reached his ninth year, death came into 
the household and tore the husband and father from hearts 
that clung to him wdth agonizing tenderness. On the sub- 
ject of this memoir the event made a deep and lasting im- 
pression. To the close of his life he remembered his feel- 
ings " w^hen aroused from sleep at night to see the best of 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 11 

fathers die." This first great family grief was rendered 
more poignant b}^ what followed. The liberality and kind- 
heartedness of the elder Prichard has been alluded to. He 
had become surety for several persons .and after his death 
most of his property was sold to pay their debts. 

Her husband laid in the grave, the widow with the rem- 
nant of her little fortune and her six children, the oldest of 
them but eleven years of age, left the scene of her purest, 
sweetest joys and of her keenest sufferings, and returned to 
Camden county, where she had been reared and where most 
of her kindred still resided. Here she settled and com- 
menced life anew. Her lot seemed hard, but her trust in 
God was firm and unwavering and she neither murmured 
nor desponded. 

It will be a suitable tribute to the memory of this excel- 
lent woman to refer to the patient endurance and the cheer- 
ful application to the discharge of duty which distinguish- 
ed her in the painful circumstances in which she was 
thrown. These attributes were marked in her character. 
Is it too much to believe, that besides the influence of a 
natural buoyancy of spirit, the widow's God imparted pe- 
culiar, supernatural wisdom and strength, to qualify her 
for the new trials and responsibilities of her position ? The 
promises of the Bible addressed to the widow and orphan, 
are perhaps more numerous and explicit, than to any other 
class of afflicted ones. Is it then surprising that Mrs. 
Prichard, borne down by the pressure of heavy calamity, 
and out of the depths of her sorrow, looking up to the God 
of her salvation, should have been upheld and sustained ? 

Labor was a necessity both to her and her children, 
John was employed on the farm a while, but afterwards 
choosing a vocation more in accordance with his character 
and tastes, he served an apprenticeship as a house-carpenter. 
The terms of his contract were faithfully observed, and it 



12 MEMOIR OP 

was a matter of principle with him to do neatly and with 
dispatch whatever he undertook — characteristics which he 
maintained through life. 

Many evidences of his skill and industry are still to be 
seen in the region where he lived. Xor was he ever asha- 
med to refer to the fact that his earlier years were spent at 
the plough and in the work-shop. In one or two instances 
members of his congregation, with a feeling of worldly 
pride, manifested a restless uneasiness lest their position in 
society should be injured by tliese references of their pastor. 
He however shared not such feelings and for the purpose of 
elucidating some ti'uth or enforcing some duty would often 
introduce in liis discourses, allusions to ilie time of his ap- 
prenticeship. Eeferring too, to visits afterwards made to 
Camden, he would advert with satisfaction to buildings 
more or less important which had risen under his direction. 
For the encouragement of the young, especially of young 
ministers, he would point to the way along which God had 
led him, deeming it no disgrace to himself or his ministry 
that his earlier years had been spent in toilsome employ- 
ments. 

Although, during the whole of his youth and early man- 
hood he labored constantly at his trade, it did not quench 
his thirst for knowledge. At night and in the brief intervals 
of leisure he eagerly perused such books as came within his 
reach, adding to his stock of information and fc.rniing the 
nabit of reading which he ever afterwards retained. 

His ardent temperament and social disposition led him, 
at this period, to enter with zest into the amusements com- 
mon to persons of his age, and he afterwards deeply deplor- 
ed the frivolities in which he then indulged. 

In 1831, when he was twenty years old, the great event 
of his life occurred. The good seed sown in his heart by 
parental instruction and example sprung into life under th^ 



EEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 13 

blessing of God and brought forth fruit. He was happily 
and thoroughly converted, and was baptized into the fel- 
lowship of the church at Shiloh, Camden county, by Rev. 
Evan Forbes. His convictions were deep and pungent and 
his sufferings intense, while he was groping his way slowly 
througli the darkness of ignorance and unbelief. Light 
came suddenly, and with it ecstatic joy and perfect peace of 
mind. So clearly marked was the work of grace in his 
heart that the time and the place where his sufferings were 
relieved were indelibly impressed on his memory. In. the 
free interchange of thought and feeling which he held with 
those he loved and trusted, he used tell, with trembling 
lips, how he went to a solitary place to pray, bowed down 
under a load of guilt, distressed by fearful forebodings and 
brought to the verge of despair ; how, as he poured out his 
soul before God, he was enabled to accept Christ as his 
Raasom, his Mediator, his Portion, his all ; and how joy 
and peace unutterable filled his soul. 

It was doubtless due to his experience of the preciousness 
of Christ and the plan of salvation, in this the hour of his 
conversion, that throughout his ministerial life he dwelt so 
much and so urgently on the simplicity and eflicacy of the 
gospel as the only foundation of human hope. His views 
of this system, and its adaptation to human necessity, seem 
to have been remarkably clear. 

It is, too, an interesting fact that his conversion occurred 
during a season of religious excitement in the community 
which continued many months, and which resulted in large 
accessions to the churches of that region. The idea is 
sometimes entertained, that such a season is unfavorable to 
intelligent apprehensions of spiritual truth. But it will be 
found that more depends on the judgment and fidelity of 
those who conduct these' seasons, than on a mere freedom 
from excitement. Thus while the subject of this memoir 



14 MEMOIR OF 

was in the mid>-^t of influences peculiarly exciting, he failed 
not to apprehend in a large degree those doctrinal truths 
wliich lie at the basis of all true religion. 

Though his christian experience was so clear in its 
earlier stages, he was not without sore temptations and trials 
afterwards. He mentioned among other things, that he 
was strongly tempted to use profane oaths. " Sometimes," 
he said, " I was afraid to open my mouth lest I should 
swear in spite of myself." Doubts and fears came now 
and then, but they were only the ripples which appear on 
the surface of the lake. The hidden depths of trust and 
hope, far beyond the reach of the adversary, maintained 
an unbroken calm. 

Kovr commences that career of christian activity and 
usefulness which for more than thirty years had no inter- 
mission. As soon as he accepted Christ he began to talk 
and to labor for Christ. The region in which he lived, 
continued to enjoy the gracious revival of religion already 
referred to, more than a year. It was the custoni to hold 
prayer-meetings from house to house through the neigh- 
borhood. Mr. Prichard regularly attended these meetings 
and often conducted them. After working all day at his 
trade he would walk three or four miles, and even farther, 
in order that he might have his own soul refreshed and, if 
opportunity was oftered, speak a word for Jesus. Nor 
did he confine his efforts to these public meetings. He never 
failed, when he could do it, to present the claims ot religion 
to those whom he met in the walks of his daily life. The 
church at Shiloh esteemed him so highly that they called 
him to the deaconship and in this office he served them ac- 
ceptably till he was led into another and wider field of 
usefulness. 

In subsequent life, Mr. Prichard frequently rel erred with 
deep interest to the scenes and circumstances familiar to 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 15 

him at this period. Those night meetings, so frequent and 
refreshing, he never forgot. Along the public thorough 
fare and more retired pathwa3^she was accustomed to pass, 
on his way to these religious gatherings, he employed the 
time in the contemplation of the Lord's ways, and in med- 
itation on his word. Often, as he then mused, the word of 
the Lord was like fire in his bones, and he could not res- 
train himself. It is not wonderful that reaching the social 
meeting, he should give vent to the pent up feelings of liis 
soul, nor, that in these hortotary appeals, he should have 
given promise of future usefulness in the ministery. 

His thoughts, at this time, were occasionally directed to 
the duty of preaching the Gospel, but it was not till sev- 
eral years afterwards, while pursuing his studies at Wake 
Forest College, that he decided to enter on the work.— 
Doubtless he was restrained from an immediate devotion 
to the ministry by a sense of personal unfitness. His views 
of responsibility in this department of christian labor, 
were somewhat peculiar. The momentous issues, for weal 
or woe, growing out of the office, and the high quali- 
fications essential to the right performance of its duties, 
prepared him to shrink from it. He thought too, it would 
not be right for him to preach, withuut more of preparation 
by mental culture, and enlarged general, as well as Scrip- 
tural knowledge. It were well if more of this solemn 
dread of rushing uncalled into a work so important, were 
entertained by the young men of the churches. Then 
with earnest beseechings for Divine education would they 
approach the mercy seat, and with more of assiduity and 
perseverance would they seek the attainments requisite to 
becomino: able ministers of the IsTew Testament. Thus it 
seemed to be with Mr. Prichard. 

His thirst ior information continued unabated. Before, 
he had sought it in order that he might improve his world- 



16 MEMOIR OF 

Ij condition. ^N'ow he desired it for a higher, nobler pur- 
pose — that he might be more extensively useful. He longed 
to take a regular course of study, but this seemed impossi- 
ble. He was poor, dependent on his daily labor for food 
and raiment; he had no wealthy or influential friends to 
take him by the hand or smooth his pathway; schools 
were few and expensive and books were not then so 
cheap and abundant as tliey have since become. How 
could his heart's desire be gratified ? There seemed to be 
little ground for hope. And yet the day was fixed when, 
by God's blessing on a childlike faith and an unyielding 
will, knowledge should unfold to his delighted vision '' her 
ample page rich with the spoils of time." 



CHAPTER II. 

Baptists OF North Carolina Peevious to 1830 — Exten- 
sive Bevivals — Origin of the Baptist State Convention 
— Prominent Movers — Wake Forest Institute — Agen- 
cy OF Mr. Armstrong — Mr. Prichard Enters the In- 
stitution — Character as a Student — His Trials — 
Graduation. 

Until the year 1830, tlie Baptists of North Carolina 
were without an organization which had for its object to 
bring the whole denomination in the State into harmoni- 
ous and efiicient co-operation in the work of spreading the 
GospeL For a few years there was a Missionary Society, 
but it did not last long and its operations were confined to 
a small portion of the State. There was also a •' General 
Meeting for correspondence," but it was not a Missionary 
body. Neither had the district Associations adopted the 
present plan of attempting to supply the destitution of the 
home field through Boards of their own. In a few cases 
ministers were instructed to labor as evangelists and a 
specified sutn was raised for them by public collections. By 
far the greater part of the missionary work of th<jse early 
days was performed by the churches and their pastors. 
Many of the churches had out- stations, which were visited 
by the pastor or some member of the church, and services 



18 MEMOIR OF 

were held in school-houses, private residences, or the open 
air, as circumstances required. Many of these out-stations 
exist to thii day — out-stations no longer, but flourishing 
and self-sustaining churches. It was the custom of the 
pastors to obtain leave of absence from their churches for 
weeks or months, and make protracted journeys through 
the country, preaching at night or during the day, wher- 
ever the people could be gathered together. Commencing 
at the home of some family willing to hear the Gospel, they 
labored from house to house till whole neighborhoods were 
converted to God and churches were organized where 
preaching had previously been almost unknown. 

Those who scattered the seeds of which we are reaj)ing 
the harvest, were little versed in the learning of the schools. 
Plain men called to this holy work from secular pursuits, 
they brought to the study of the English Bible, large, 
round-about common sense and a spirit of earnest prayer 
and humble dependence in God. They went forth, impell- 
ed by the love of the Redeemer which was burning within 
them, guided in their movements by what they term- 
ed their '' impressions" and by the indications of Prov- 
idence, and labored without pecuniary reward. In- 
deed they did not expect this. They received only the 
free-will offerings of the communities in which they preach- 
ed. How little this was, is demonstrated by the poverty 
in which most of them lived and died. 

Their sermons would hardly stand the test of criticism 
according to the standards of to-day, but they were rich in 
Gospel truth, presented in language and enforced by argu- 
ments and illustrations which at once took hold on the pop- 
ular mind. They dealt largely in christian experience, 
and in their exhortations and appeals there was a tire, an 
unction, which at times made them almost irresistible. 
Under their ministry revivals prevailed, which in extent 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 19 

and power have too few parallels now. They frequently 
extended through the greater portion of a year, or two 
years, in the same section of country and the number of 
souls added to the churches during their continuance was 
truly wonderful. 

Through the ministry of these men the multiplication of 
Baptist churches and the spread of Baptist sentiments in 
the State were remarkably rapid. From one church in 
172T, and one Association in 1758, they were to be found 
at the period of which we write, in all parts of the State. 

The time for concert of action among the Baptists of 
^orth Carolina had now come. The preliminary meeting 
w^as held in Greenville, in 1830, and the firot session of the 
Baptist State Convention of ]S"orth Carolina was held in 
1831, with the church at Cross-Koads, Wake county. — 
There were present forty delegates from thirty six churches 
and se^/enteen counties. The object of the Convention was 
the promotion of home and foreign missions and of ministe- 
rial education, and the collections for this purpose, during 
the year, were $819.90. 

Many of the members were pioneers such as we have 
described above, but men of large souls and liberal views. 
Most of them have since gone to their reward, but 

" The memory of their virtues lingers 3'et, 
Like solt twilight hues when the sun is set." 

It is pleasant to iind, among them the names of such men as 
John Purefoy, Q. H. Trotman, George M. Thompson, W. 
P. Biddle, Eli Philips, George Fennell and Job Goodman. 
They were a tower of strength in their day. 

It will not be understood that there was any real incon- 
gruity between the spirit and labors of these noble men, and 
of those who succeeded them. They were eminently 
adapted to the times in which they lived. Anything 
like state action, or general combination, would have been 



20 MEMOIR OF 

exceedingly inconvenient, if not impossible. The benefits 
of the printing: press were but little enjoyed. Mail facili- 
ties were infrequent and uncertain. Railroads were things 
unthoiight of, and communication with distant places, even 
by the stage coach, was expensive and irregular. In the 
earlier history of the Triennial Baptist Convention, Jesse 
Mercer was, by necessity, compelled to travel from his 
home in Georgia to Philadelphia or New York by private 
conveyance. To make such a journey was an event in 
those days. It is said that this devoted man on the Lord's 
day before his departure from home found himself surround- 
ed by weeping crowds, sorrowing most of all, lest they 
should see his face no more. It must not be assumed there- 
fore that tlie fathers in their sacrifices and toils were ani- 
mated by a spirit which is not breathed by their sons, or 
that the latter in their superior advantages of position are 
governed by a more elevated devotion to the cause of 
Jesus. 

But in this assembly there were some men of liberal cul- 
ture. First among these we mention Rev. Samuel Wait, 
D. D., then a young man fresh from college and the Theo- 
logical Seminary, full of enthusiasm and energy, wise in 
laying plans and patient in executing them. One of the 
most prominent and active among the originators of the 
Convention he identified himself thoroughly with it, can- 
vassed the State for it, striving by every means in his pow- 
er to enlist all the churches in its support, and for more 
than tliirty years gave to it his contributions, his labors 
and his prayers. He still lingers, honored and loved, 
amid tlie scenes of his earlier years, quietly awaiting the 
summons home. 

Rev. John Armstrong was a valuable co-laborer in the 
new movement. J\[ore scholarly but less impassioned than 
Dr. Wait, he brought to the consideration of every question 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 21 

a clear head and a strong will. He settled in Xorth Carolina 
as a teacher, was afterwards pastor of the church in New- 
bern, then Corresponding Secretary of the Convention and 
agent for the Institute at Wake Forest. For a short time 
he filled a Professor's chair in the Institute, but went to 
Paris to prepare himself better for the discharge of his du- 
ties. Subsequently he removed to Columbus, Mississippi, 
and there died. 

Rev. Thomas Meredith was also there. He was educa- 
ted for the law, but God had a nobler work for him. Hav- 
ing been converted to God he entered the ministry and 
settled iij this State as pastor of the church in Edenton. 
There he published the Baptist Interrjjeier, a monthly, and 
the first Baptist periodical ever issued in JN^orth Carolina. 
Subsequently he was called to the pastorate in Newbern 
and there the Interpreter was changed into the Biblical 
Recorder^ a weekly newspaper. To extend its circulation 
and increase its usefulness he removed to Raleigh and there 
remained till the close of his life. A man of dignified and 
commanding presence, a fiuent speaker, a clear and forci- 
ble reasoner, and thoioughly informed on all the topics of 
the day, he at once took a high rank among the Baptists 
of the State. !N"or did it stop here. His power as a writer 
was fully equal to that w^iich was conceded to him as a 
speaker. At different times he was brought into collision 
with many of the first men, not only of his own denomina- 
tion but also among the Pedobaptists. It is needless to 
say that he proved himself a match for the ablest of his 
opponents. A laborious man through the whole of his life, 
all his wealth of influence and knowledge and intellect was 
devoted to the promotion of the Baptist cause. He sleeps 
in the cemetery in Raleigh, and a monument erected by 
his brethren marks his resting-place and indicates the es- 
timation in which he was held. 



22 MEMOIE OF 

If it were proper to speak of those who still remain, 
"abundant in labors" as in days of yore, honorable 
mention might be m.ade of Kev. W. Hooper, D. D., L. L. 
D., Avhose praise is in all the churches, and of Rev. James 
McDaniel who, for seventeen years, has presided over the 
deliberations of the body in whose organization he bore an 
active part. 

By such men the Convention was organized. Their 
views were liberal and their plans were large, reaching far 
out into the future. They encountered opposition, but met 
it fearlessly yet wisely, and were permitted to see it give 
way before them and the whole denomination in the State, 
nominally at least, enlisted with them in the great enter- 
prises which they originated. 

Let it not be supposed that these are mere useless details 
thrown in to fill up space. They are necessary to a proper 
estimate of the subject of this memoir. His earlier expe- 
riences were among the pioneer laborers mentioned at the 
beginning of this chapter. Under the ministry of one of 
them, and in one of those remarktible revivals which char- 
acterized that period of our denominational history, he 
was converted to God. His dawning manhood witness- 
ed and entered into the new order of things, and the 
principal actors were his instructors or his cherished 
friends and advisers. He carried with him through 
life many of the best elements of both periods. His 
piety was strongly marked and experimental in its 
character. He had great fondness and aptitude for the 
work of the home missionary and colporter, while he was 
equally happy and successful in the settled life of the pas- 
tor. He had all the earnestness of manner and plainness 
of speech of the fathers, with the study and research of a 
later day. 

The promotion of education, especially among the rising 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 23 

ministry, was one of the primary objects of the Conven- 
tion. At its first session two young brethren were receiv- 
ed as beneficiaries and sent to schools of established repu- 
tation. At the second session a committee of which Eev. 
W. Hooper, D. D., L. L. D., was Chairman, recommended 
the purchase of a suitable farm and the establishment of a 
school for young men " on the manual labor principle." 
The plan was, to allow the young men to work a certain 
number of hours each day at a stipulated price. It was 
hoped that many would thus be enabled to secure the ad- 
vantages of education, who would otherwise be deprived of 
them forever. It was thought that they might at least pay 
their board in thie way. 

The farm was purchased and in 1834: Wake Forest Insti- 
tute went into operation under the supervision of Dr. 
Wait. 

In may 1831:, Rev. John Armstrong took the field as 
agent of the Institute. On one of his trips through the 
Eastern part of the State he made the acquaintance of Mr. 
Prichard, then working as a carpenter witli his brother. 
He became interested in the young man, drew from him 
his short, sad history, his desires, his poverty, his hopes, his 
fears. Mr. Armstrong related a portion of his own history 
— told him how through his childhood and youth he toiled 
in poverty and obscurity at the trade of a tinner, and how 
by perseverance and the favor of God he had risen to the 
position Avhich he then occupied — and his listener at 
length promised to go to the Institute after he had finished 
the house on which he and his brother were then engaged. 
That house is still standing and there are those yet living 
who remember the hour when, his work completed, he 
threw down his hammer, saying in his emphatic way, 
" This is my last job here. I am now going to school," 
Some of his companions in study and labor also remember 



24 MEMOIR OP 

Ills arrival at the Institute at night, with his scanty ward- 
robe, his tools and such books as he had been able to 
gather too^ether. 

He entered the Institution about the middle of 1835. 
Here new employments and new trials awaited him. He 
was to retain his old habits to some extent, for he had little 
money and on the labor of his hands depended the one 
cherished purpose of his heart. Yet for a part of each day 
he must be another man, must change his habits and be- 
come a student — no easy ta-k certainly. The history of his 
inner life at this period would be interesting and profitable. 
Unfortunately he has left behind him few memorials of 
its stru.igles and triumphs; and we must judge of it by 
the fruits which afterwards appeared and by the state- 
ments of his teachers and his fellow students. That he 
faithfully attended to his studies is evident from the accu- 
racy and extent of his knowledge in later years and the 
habits which he carried with him to the close of his life. 
Few men had a larger fund of general information. Few 
preachers are more careful in their preparation for the pul- 
pit This would not have been the case had he not laid a 
good foundation while he was a student at Wake Forest. 

That he worked with his hands is also well known. 
Even the vacations brought no rest for him. They were 
precious seasons, however, as by plying his trade through 
their brief, fleeting days and weeks he was enabled to earn 
something with which to meet the expenses of the next 
session. During one of these vacations he laid the floor of 
the dining-room of the Institute ; and there are some hou- 
ses still standing, monuments of his earnestness and con- 
scientiousness. He tenderly loved his mother and sisters. 
Yet he visited chcm but twice during his college course. 
Time and money were too precious to be diverted from the 
great object which he had in view. 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 25 

College life is usually a trying season to the young 
christian. Many who are consistent and active servants 
of the IMaster at home, are either silent amid the unholy 
revelry of gay companions or are drawn with them into 
the paths of folly and sin. Not so with Mr. Prichard. 
There was no decline in his spirituality, no irregularity in 
his private devotions, no neglect of his public duties. In 
the Sabbath school and the prayer-meeting he always bore 
his part. More than once during his stay tliere, the In- 
stitute was visited with revivals of religion. During tliese 
gracious seasons there was no one whose couuncI md sjm- 
pathy and prayers were more eagerly eought than those of 
Mr. Prichard. 

The followiner testimonials concerning him at this period 
of his life will be read with interest. Dr. AVait, his vener- 
ated instructor and friend, writes : 

" It is but just to state that from the commencement of 
his course of study at Wake Forest, he was the christian 
stiidefit. He seemed never to forget that he had conse- 
crated himself to God in baptism ; that he was not his 
own ; that he had been bought with a price and m.ust 
therefore glorify God in both body and spirit. Hence in 
all his exhibitions in the chapel, whether, in the earlier 
part of his course, he used for declamation the thoughts of 
another, or whether, when farther advanced, he used only 
original compositions, he was sure to say something in fa- 
vor of religi'tn. 

From a circustance which I have heard him relate more 
than once in the course of our long acquaintance, 1 think 
he did not decide that it was his duty to preach the gospel 
till near the close of his college course. He Mud a class- 
mate, who also entered the ministry, had charge of a Sab- 
bath school about one mile from the college for two years. 
On the occasion referred to they closed the school with an 
address and prayer. Our departed brother informed me 
that while speaking to the children, some of them very 
small, he often saw the starting tear, and other indications 
2 



26 MEMOIR OF 

that what he said was un lerstood and felt. This circum- 
stance settled the point. He felt that he must preach." 

Prof. W. T. Brooks, who was his intimate friend then 
and through life, writes : 

" He came here when the aianuai labor system was in 
operation, expecting to work liis way tlirough college. 
And this he strove to do, using his plane and saw a part 
of the time, and poring over his books when not thus e:i- 
guged. His progi'ess w^as rapid, lor he knew the value of 
time and thirsted for knowh^Jge. He was universally es- 
teemed hy his fellow-students. All had contid nee in him 
as a christian, and in difficulties many sought his advice. 
The younger students looked up to him as to an elder 
brother and always found him ready to sympathize with 
them in trouble oi' to redress their wrongs. He was al- 
ways on the side of good order and his inlluence in this 
particular was most liappy. 

His efforts to sustain himself by his own exertions were 
not entirely successful, even while the manual labor system 
was retained, it was abolished before the completion of 
his course and then he was reduced to great straits by 
want of funds. But the Hand that had led him thus far 
sustained him in this seas(>n of trial. A friend who sus- 
suspected his condition came forward voluntarily and re- 
lieved him. This difficulty returned at intervals till near 
the close of his stay here when the Board of the Conven- 
tion gave him such assistance as he needed." 

The following letter throws light on^the statement of 
Prof. Brooks : 

AVake Forkst Institute, Feb. 8th, 1837. 

Dear Sir :—l trust I shall find an excuse, in your kind 
feelings, for the liberty 1 take in addressing you. From a 
conversation I had this afternoon with Professor Arm- 
strong, I am induced to believe that a communication from 
me would not be altogether unexpected by you. 

I have always felt an unquenchable thirst for knowledge 
and have been wiiiiLg to make any sacrifice to obtain it ; 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 27 

but my very limited pecuniary means have presented ob- 
stacles, whicli I have never been able to overcome. When 
the Wake Forest Institute was put in operation, a new 
hope sprung up in my bosom. 1 persuaded myself that 
I should be able by my labor to meet the expen- 
ses of an education. With this view, 1 entered the In- 
stitute about two years ago. But alas! my hopes have 
been disappointed. 1 am now in debt to the Institute, and 
my labor is far from being adequate to meet my expenses. 
My immediate relatives, you know, are poor, and where to 
look for aid, but to yourself, I know not. I am now in the 
College department and have lour years to remain before 
I can graduate. Must I now give up all hope ot an educa- 
tion ? The very idea, to me, is as bitter as the dying 
struggle. Will you be my kind friend ? With the bless- 
ing of God upon me, you shall not lose, by your kindness, 
one cent. I am persuaded that 1 shall be able to return 
with interest all that my education may require, within 
eighteen months after 1 shall have graduated. I am now 
in debt to the Institute, $116.27. If, in addition to this 
sum, I can obtain $100 a year for four years, I shall ob- 
tain the most ardent wish of my heart. I shall make my 
labor help me in procuring clothes and books. Dear sir, 
will you befriend me? Will you become the most valuable 
friend I can have on earth ? O sir, 1 shall be bound to you 
by an aifection that can never can cool, by gratitude that 
never can change. 

With profound respect, &c. 

JNO. L. PEICHARD. 

Little need be added to the extracts and to the letter 
whicli are given above. Brief as they are, they contain 
volumes. They set before us the picture ot an earnest 
young man engaged in the pursuit of knowledge under the 
most serious difficulties and embarrassments. A stern 
sense of duty and a burning desire to rise in the scale of 
intelligence and usefulness urging him forward ; poverty 
standing, like a lion grim and gaunt, in his path to turn 
him back. The story of those years — that struggle with 



28 MEMOIR OF 

the mind so often recurring, the effort, so often made and 
at last successful, to gain the mastery over it ; those houis 
and days of severe physical labor, when the thoughts 
would steal away from the plane and saw and hammer to 
the text-book and the approaching recitation ; the careful 
husbanding of money, and the intense anxiety and the ago- 
nizing prayer when it was all gone ; the overwhelming joy 
and thankfulness when relief came unexpectedly ; the 
temptation to give np ; the bitter feeling, so often repress- 
ed but so often returning, as young men more favored 
passed his place of trial with laugh and song and jest ; 
the steady pursuit of the object, notwithstanding these 
things, and the final triumph ;— this if it could be written 
would make a volume of thrilling interest, and one full of 
instruction and encouragement to many in all parts of the 
land. 

All through this trying period. Prof. Armstrong was his 
friend and counsellor. Others sympathized with him in 
his struggles and sorrows, and advanced money from time 
to time. The kindness was remembered with fervent 
gratitude and the money was returned with scrupulous ex- 
actness. 

There is little reason to doubt that the trials that beset 
Mr. Prichard, during his college life, were eminently sanc- 
tified in preparing him for more extensive usefulness in 
his Master's service. They proved a wholesome discipline, 
by which he learned to sympathize with the sons of pov- 
erty and toil, and especially with such young men as were 
compelled to wade through difficulties in their educational 
course. Then too he was the better fitted for the peculiar 
trials of the ministry. He had learned during his college 
life to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, so 
that no privations or sacrifices were sufficient to deter him 
from the prosecution of what he conceived to be his duty. 



no 

BEV. J. L. PRICHABD. 



In this aspect of the subject, he was always accustomed m 
\J :Zl recognize the trials of his student l.fe as a part 
of his training necessary to his proper entrance upon the 

fyrpat work before him. , . -, 

^Tle period was now reached when the prxvat.ons and 
toil of- several years were to be repaid by the comp et.on 
of tL cX iate course. In 1840 he graduated with honor 
to im e tmd to the institution of which he was a mem- 
be WW. buoyant heart he stepped forth from he halls 

o ..citation, not to recline on abed of ease or o lu— 
in the pleasures of social life, or even to gratify his taste 
Lnd tctat his general knowledge of men and things by 
travel, but, to labor in the vineyard of the Lord. 



CHAPTEE III. 
Removal to Muefreesboro, North Carolina — Labors in 
THE School Room — Visit to ^ilton- Preaching in 
KoRTH Carolina and Yirginia — Rev. Jofin Kerr — 
Settlement in Danville — Ordination — Marriage — 
Extensive Labors — Revival — Protracted Mepjting at 
Bethany— Constitution of Bethany Church — Roanoke 
Association — Influence in Favor of Missions — Ex- 
tracts from Letters. 

We have seen Mr. Prichard a child in tlie seclusion of 
his early home ; h youth, laboring at his trade through all 
the years of i.is apprenticeship ; a student, striving to oh 
tain the mastery of himself and t© acquire that knowledge 
and those habits i'i<-li would fit him for usefulness in after 
life, and waging all the while a fierce warfare with pov- 
erty. His faithfulness, earnestness, and unwavering fixed- 
ness of purpose and his final triumph have been set forth in 
the preceding pages. We are now to contemplate him in 
the arena of real life, where so many who start with greater 
advantages and fairer prospects either fail ingloriously or 
fall far short of e goal to which their own ambition and 
the fond hopes of admiring friends point them. 

With that foresight which stern experience had made 
habitual to him he had been looking out f >r a field of la- 
bor before the completion of his college course. At one 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD, 31 

time Lis thoughts were directed to the great West which 
was then attracting so many of the unfortunate and the 
adveritiirous from the Atlantic States. But God had al- 
ready prepared a place for him in a region nearer his old 
home. 

As already noted, he graduated in June, 1840, and in 
July of the same year became the principal of a large school 
in Murfreesboro. His hedth, impaired by the labors and 
trials through which he had passed while at Wake Forest, 
required rest and recreation, but some debts necessarily 
contracted during his student-life rendered idlene ;s, even 
for a short time, an impossibility with him. These debts 
must be paid. He could not even give himselt wholly to 
the ministry, which he had now decided to enter, till this 
was done. The thought of dependence, or of placing him- 
self in a position which might in any way compri)mise or 
tarnish his reputation for honesty he could not brook for a 
moment. From his purpose to discharge his pecuniary 
obligations fully and promptly, nothing could divert him. 
Several situations which would have been eagerly accepted 
by men of less conscientiousness and devotion to principle 
were offered him, but he resolutely though respectfully 
declined them. 

He remained in Murfreesboro a year, devoting himself 
to his school during the week and preaching as opportuni- 
ties were presented in the surrounding country on the iSal)- 
bath. Arrangements had been made to spend still another 
year in this place, but the field prepared for him by Provi- 
dence and already white unto harvest was awaiting him 
and to it he must go. Failing health compelled him at 
last to seek recreation in the up-country. While in Ral- 
eigh, with this object in view, in July 1841, he formed the 
acquaintance of N. J. Palmer, Esq., of Milton, for many 
years one of the most liberal and active Baptitts of North 



32 MEMOIR OP' 

Carolina. Ho invited Mr. Pritchard to his home and the 
invitation was accepted. He rornained several weeks in 
the beaiitifal and Iiealthful region adjacent to Milton, en- 
joying tlie lavish and genial hospitality everywhere ex- 
tended to liirn and preaching every Sabbath. lie went to 
Danville, Ya., among other places, and there formed the 
acquaintance of llev. John Kerr. That venerable servant 
of God, burdened with the weight of years and desiring to 
be relieved of the active ducies of the ministry, urged Mr. 
Prichard to remove to Danville, become an inmate of his 
house and acce])t the care of the church in that place. 
This pressing invitation, enforced by folicitations from ad- 
jacent communities which he had visited, was finally ac- 
cepted. A union was thus formed which continued for 
years and was attended by the happiest results. Mr. P. 
always regarded it as clearly providential, and without 
doubt his opinion was correct. 

The following entries iu his diary, the ear' i est t'nat have 
been preserved, will now be intelligible and interesting : 

McRFREKSBOKO, X. C. July 29th, 1841.— To-day my 
health is quite feeble and 1 have some very arduous duties 
to discharge. It is the day of my examination. '^ "^ * 
At nine o'clock the bell was rung, and at ten the exercises 
commenced. House tilled to overflowing. All acquitted 
themselves with much credit. Afternoon — congregation 
still larger. Finished our examination and closed with de- 
clamation and dialogues, amid the a])plause ot all present. 
Thus ended the first year of my teaching — thus ended my 
toils. But that which pleased me most was, that i had 
given 6atisf\u'tion to those who had patronized my school. 

Friday, SOtu. — To-da}^ I have rest and the pleasure of 
the company of my sister L. Commenced making ar- 
rangements for going up the (country. 

3 1st. — Attended meeting at Parker's Avith Bro. Thomp- 
son. Two leceived for baptism. Kemarks made in be- 
half of the BiuLicAL Recordp:r. 



KEY. J. L. PRICHARD. 33 

August 1st.— Attended Sabbath School for the hist tune 
this season, perhaps forever. Attended preaching. 

3kd. — This morning bade my dear sister an atfectionate 
farewell Felt deeply aifected. 'Tis hard to part from 
those whom we dearly love. At 2 o'clock I left M. for 
Boykin's Depot. 

5th.— Reached the College. Health improved. 

gTi£. — Spent the day in visiting my old friends— families 
and students. Much pleased and refreshed. 

15xH. — In Raleigh. Endeavored to preach in the Bap- 
tist Church in the" forenoon and afternoon, also to colored 
people. 

22d atHillsboro. Much fatigued— quite unwell. At- 
tended the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. 

23d.— Feel much better. Oh, that I could feel more 
thankful. Lord help me more fully to appreciate all thy 
blessings. 

25th. — Spent the day principally in reading Scott's 
letters. Yery interesting. Borrowed Hall's works. — 
Read his sermon on the death of the Princess Charlotte. 
Beyond my praise. 

2Tth. — Felt better this morning. After preaching at 
night in the Methodist church from Mark, 1: 35, left 
HilLsboro for Milton. On arriving at brother IST. J. Pal- 
mer's, was kindly received by Mrs. P., his good lady. 
Felt that I was with a friend and endeavored to return 
my thanks to God for his protecting care, in giving me 
journeying mercies and placing me among friends. 
that I couki feel and act as God's goodness, long-suffer- 
ing and unbounded love justly require of me ! Lord, 
help me by thy grace and the influences of thy Holy 
Spirit to dedicate myself unreservedly to thy service — to 
do thy will and enjoy thy smile. 

28th. — Feel quite feeble after my ride. Took a short 
walk in the town. Looked at all I saw as a stranger and 
sojourner, as I really am and as all my fathers were. — 
Unw^ell in the evening. Retired early, with thoughts of 
home and friends far away. 

29th, — Endeavord to preach for the people in the Meth- 
odist church, from, '' Lay up for yourselves treasures in 



* 



84 MEMOIR OP 

Heaven &c. &c." A lartre and attentive congregation. In 
the afternoon went to hear Mr. H. (Presbyterian) preach 
the first time in Milton. 

30th. — Spent the dav visiting^. Took tea with Sister 
. Passed the time conversing on several relig- 
ious eiibjects and listening to music sweet enough to 
charm and captivate the hardest heart. 

1st. — Weather beautiful. Health somewhat improv- 
ing. Rode with brother P. in the country to visit Mrs. 
Y., a Baptist. At night preached at the Methodist church. 
Text, " if any man will come after me, let him deny 
himself, &c.'' 

Sept. 3lst. — My health is certainly improving. Broth- 
er P and I. dined with Dr. Gr. I was much pleased with 
my visit. 

2nd. — Went to Yanceyville, a delightful village. Ev- 

^erything has the appearance, of wealth, refinement and 

taste. Stayed with brother J. Gr — . Preached at night 

in the Baptist church. Text^ " What must I do to be 

saved ?" 

3d. — Left Yanceyville; went to Gilead and preached. 
Text, ^'The men of Ninevah shall rise, &c., &c." Some 
seriousness appeared in the congregation. I was glad I 
went to Gilead. Promised to preach there again on the 
17th. Returned to Milton. 

4th. — Rested to be prepared to preach on Sabbath. 

5th. — Morning bright. Health better. Brother P. 
and I went, on horseback, to Sandy Creek M. H., Pitt- 
sylvania, Co., Ya. 

It appears that this ride to Sandy Creek was his fi.rst 
visit to Virginia. Here commenced a train of influences 
which was benelicially to affect the cause of Christ in the 
Old Dominion. God was thus leading him into a field 
where a rich harvest of souls was to be gathered, to the 
honor of Jesus. lie thus continues his reference to the 
visit to Sandy Creek ; 

*' Ascertaining that the ordinance of baptism was to be 
administered, we went to the spot, and saw a man and 

t 



BEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 35 

his companion follow their Lord and Master, '^ down in- 
to the water,' and ''come up straightwiv out of the 
water," A laro:e concourse of peoi)le present. Nearly 
all strangers. From the water we went to the church, 
where I preached from 2 Cor. v : 20, 21, to a very atten- 
tive and serious audience. Brother Plunkett followed. 
Text, *' Mary hath chosen that good part, &c." Became 
acquainted with several precious brethren. We then 
went to Danville. The bell soon rang and we went to 
church, where I preached from Luke, 18 : 1, to a very 
attentive congregation. Returned much fatigued, 

6th. — Morning beautiful. Returned thanks to God, 
and prayed for the continuance of his blessings both 
temporal and spiritual. Made several calls and was ear- 
nestly solicited by all to stay and preach that night; but 
we had to bid them adieu. Ah ! this is the lot of all here. 
We meet but to part. Well, it is right, and we will not 
complain. But these fj-ieiids shall all have a place in my 
memory ; yes, always." 

Literally were those words fulfilled. The mutual at- 
tachment commenced during this visit continued through 
his life, and his memory is green in the hearts of the peo- 
ple of this section. He thus continues his diary : 

''Keturned to Milton quite fatigued. I am tar away 
from ''/iome," but I thank the Lord he has given me 
friends, wherever my lot has been cast. Am exceedingly 
anxious to hear from home. Hope I shall soon receive 
letters. 

11th. — Arose early to attend meeting at Kentuck, Pitt- 
sylvania Co., Va., 12 miles distant. Preached from Gal. 
n : 20. Some indications of a work of grace. 

12th.— Went to church, where we found a large congre- 
gation, which the house could not hold. I preached from 
Heb. IV : 16 and a more attentive assembly I never saw. 
They crowded the doors and windows. A collection was 
taken in my behalf. Many thanks to l^hem. I went home 
with brother W., of Danville, and saw brother Kerr for 
the first time. Preached at night. *' If any man will 
come after me, &c., &c." 



36 MEMOm OF 

13th. — Went to brother Kerr's and Rpent the day most 
agreeably with brother Kerr and his wife, an amiable 
pair. Earnestly solicited by brother Kerr to come and 
settle in fhis region and preach, witli an assurance of hav- 
ing plenty to do, and being well sustained." 

Here the journal is interrupted and we find no more 
from his pen till after his settlement in Danville, where 
he was invited to preach Nov., 1841, and was ordained, 
March, 1842. At this time he became pastor of the 
church. 

In September, 1842, Mr. P. was united in marriage to 
Miss Mary B. Hinton, daughter of Jas. Hinton, of Wake 
county, N. C. This devotedly pious lady was indeed a 
help meet to him and a. blessing to the community in 
which she lived. 

For some time, both before and after his marriaj2^e, he 
boarded in the family of Rev. John Kerr, who had been 
one uf the instruments of inducing his settlement in Dan- 
ville, and for whom he ever entertained a profound respect 
and a strong affection. He often acknowledged his indebt- 
edness to this aged minister for many valuable lessons. 

Until the death of Mrs P., her two youngest sisters, 
left orphans at an early age, were members of the family 
and were always regarded and treated by Mr. P. as his 
daughters. The tender solicitude of their sister and her 
husband was rewarded in their early conversion. The 
elder of the two was baptized by Mr. P. in Danville, 
when but fifteen years of age. 

Mr. P's labors while in Danville were very arduous. 
Preaching at points widely separated, he necessarily 
spent much time in journeying on horseback Lo his differ- 
ent churches, and, being very generally known, he was 
frequently called on to officiate at funerals and weddings 
and to attend protracted meetings in the surrounding 



REV. J. L PEICHARD. 37 

counties. He here commenced what he continued 
through lite, the distribution of religious hooks and pe- 
riodicals. He was in every sense of the word a colporteur 
beiore that office was recognized in the religious world. 
The bills containing long lists of books purchased and 
sold or distributed by him, found among his papers, show 
the amount of labor he performed in this way. 

His influence and usefulness steadily increased, and the 
last year of his residence in Danville was marked by a 
most gracious and extensive revival uf I'eligion IS'ot con- 
fined to the Baptist church it embraced all denominations 
and the union and christian fellowship existing during the six 
weeks oi its continuance will never be forgotten by any 
who were present. Many were added to the various 
churches in town who have proved valuable members and 
who still live in various places, bearing evidence to the 
faithful instructions of this minister of Jesus. 

In 1842 he commenced preaching at Bethany, a few 
miles from Danville. In September, 1843, he held a pro- 
tracted meeting at that place which resulted in the conver- 
sion of more than one hundred persons and in the organiza- 
tion of a church which remains to this day. A gentleman 
who was one of the first fruits of this revival and who has 
been an able and useful minister of the New Testament 
for many years, says : " I well remember the first Sabbath 
of the meeting. There was a vast concourse of people 
in attendance. The body of the house, the aisles, 
the doors, the windows, and every point from which the 
preacher's voice could be heard, were crowded and still 
many were unable to gain admittance or to hear. After 
the services were opened, a hoary-headed but irreligious 
man, pressing through the crowd, begged in behalf of the 
congregation that the preacher would occupy a stand near 
the door, exclaiming with evident emotion, *Mr. P., we 



38 MEMOIR OF 

want to hear the GospeL' The request was granted, and 
as Mr. P. arose to address the people he remarked that 
such a liungering and tliirsting after the glorious gospel of 
the blessed God tilled hid soul with an overwhehnitig sense 
of the Divine presence, and but for the hope that his hum- 
ble efforts would be blessed to the good ot souls he could 
say with Simeon of old, ' Lord, now lettest thou thy ser- 
vant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salva- 
tion.' The audience was melted to tears and many dated 
their first serious convictions from the services of that hour. 
At the close of the meeting a church was organized with 
a membership of more than fifty, from which number God 
called two young men to the work of the gospd ministry. 
Similar results attenled his labors with the other cliurches 
in this region." 

In the minuses of the Roanoke Association for 1844, we 
find the following : 

^' Resoved^ That Elder John L. Prichard be requested 
to explain the objects of the General Association and 
make a collection in aid of its funds to-morrow." 

" Lord's day. Elder Prichard commenced the services 
of the day with a sermon from Isaiah 53 : 5. Elder James 
followed with a discourse from 2 Gor. 4 : 1-2, after which 
Elder P. explained the objects of the General Association 
and took up a collection amounting to $20.20." 

Again, in 1845, " Rev. J. L. Prichard laid the claims of 
benevolent societies of Virginia before the Association and 
took up a collection amounting to $23.83." 

These are the first instances in which specific reference 
is made to raising funds for benevolent purposes in this 
Association. The following extract from the writer already 
quoted will enable the reader to understand them and ap- 
preciate their importance. He says, " While Mr. Prich- 
ard's labors here were greatly blessed in the conviction and 



REV. J. L. PitlCHARD. 39 

conversion of sinners, his special mission has ever seemed 
to me to have been another, which if not so pleasant was 
scarcely less important. Differences of opinion had divided 
the oid Roanoke Association into the Ban River and Roa- 
noke Associations, the former incorporating in her constitu- 
tion the obligation resting upon tlie churches to aid in 
sendino^ the gospel to the heathen ; the latter denying this 
obligation, though some of the leading bretliren and a few 
of the churches acknowledged it. The honor of revolu- 
tionizing thi-i important and inflaential Association, the 
Roanoke, was conferred on J. L. Prichard. At the first 
session of the body which he attended he introduced reso- 
lutions in favor of Foreign Missions. They were voted 
down He then announced that he would present the 
claims of the enterprise and take up a collection on the 
Sabbath. The Association objected. He replied that he 
would not in any way compromise the body, but it was 
his duty as well as his inalienable right to do whatever he 
could to extend the Redeemer's kingdom among men, and 
this right he should exercise wherever his lot might be 
cast. On the Sabbath, therefore, he eloquently presented 
the claims of Foreign Missions and then took up a collec- 
tion, himself going among the congregation to receive their 
contributions. Many who have since cast their hundreds 
into the treasury of the Lord, that day gave their first 
dime. The efiect was wonderful. Public opinion was 
rapidly revolutionized, and at subsequent sessions of the 
body the resolutions which are given above were unani- 
mously adopted.'' 

The following account of the same matter is from the 
pen of Rev. A. M. Poindexter, D. D. : 

" As a member of the Roanoke Association, he at once 
took a decided stand in favor of the cause of missions. 



40 MEMOIR OF 

The Association had long been disturbed and crippled by 
Antinomianism. To escape the unpleasantness and injury 
resulting from this, twelve churches in 1840 asked for let- 
ters of dismission, and formed the Dan River Association. 
The withdrawal of these churches did not bring peace to 
the Eoanoke Association. The Antinomians had repre- 
sented those who withdrew, as the cause of all disturbances. 
Bat no sooner had these withdrawn, than they determined 
to force from the position of neutrality, into their own 
course, the remaining churches. Failing in this they with- 
drew and formed the Staunton River Association — a de- 
cidedly Antinomian body. This second division with con- 
curring events, tended to prepare the Association for the 
reception of liberal yiews. This result was accelerated by 
the labors of Rev. J. J. James, who for a time preached 
statedly at Strait Stone, and perhaps elsewhere within the 
Association ; and of Rev. Elias Dodson, who, as a mission- 
ary of the General Association, sustained by the Dan River 
Association, travelled regularly and extensively among the 
churches; and the occasional labors of others. But at the 
commencement of brother Prichard's connection with the 
Association, the results of these labors were but little seen, 
lie at once decided upon an independent course. The As- 
sociation met at Republican Grove in the spring of 1842. 
On Lord's day he addressed the assembly on behalf of mis- 
siotjs, stating that he did so on his own responsibility, and 
should give to any who might wish to do so, an opporut- 
nity to contribute. After an earnest appeal he requested 
brethren to pass through the congregation and receive con- 
tributions. It was done, and the exercises were product- 
ive of much good feeling. This course he pursued at each 
session of the Association until the fall of ISl-i. Then, 
thinking opposition sufficiently overcome, he stated, in the 
session on Sunday, that he had enjoyed the honor of these 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 41 

collections as long as he desired, and now wished to trans- 
fer it to the Association, and proposed that thej order a 
collection to be taken next day. It was agreed to, and 
from that time the Roanoke Association has ranked as a 
missionary body, and has become to a considerable extent 
liberal." 

It will thus be seen how potent for good was his influ- 
ence in this ancient body of believers, it required strong 
love for the cause of missions, and a strong will to breast 
the current of opposition which had set in against it. Many 
of the opposers were greatly his seniors, and were held in 
christian regard on account of their labors in the ministry. 
But he believed them to be mistaken, and a solemn sense 
of duty to the heathen, and to the Author of the great com- 
mission, urged him on. 

What renders this action more worthy of note is the 
fact, that the Association was thus led back to the practical 
acknowledgment of a principle which had been dear to 
the able men who were active in its earlier history. John 
Williams, one of the fathers of the Roanoke Association, 
referring to the spread of the gospel in Yirginia, about the 
period of the Revolution, thus expresses himself: " May 
the Divine effusion become general, and the blessed Jesus 
go forth conquering and to conquer, until his name and 
his praise be one in all the earth." John Weatherford, also 
a minister of this body, and who in 1773 was for weeks in 
prison as a preacher of the gospel, evinced the same spirit. 
When Judson went to Burmah his heart was greatly elated, 
and as he learned the story of his labors and sufferings, he 
expressed the liveliest concern for his success. It was the 
privilege of Mr. Prichard to become the instrument of 
bringing back the Association to the recognition of that 
claim which looks to the spread of the gospel in heath- 
en, lands and which had been opposed or ignored. 

3 



42 MEMOIR OP 

A few extracts from letters written by him during the 
period already referred to, will not be uninteresting. 

NovEMBEK, 2nd, 1841. 

*' My health has not been so good for five years. How 
thankful I leel for this. I had a very pleasant time in 
Fayetteville. I remained until Sabbath evening and 
preached every day to a large, attentive and serious con- 
gregation. Many were made to cry, , What shall I do to be 
saved?' Two professed hope in.Christ and I have no doubt 
there were otliers. To day 1 leave Hillsboro for Milton. 
I am exceedingly anxious to get home. ISTo place so sweet 
as home." 

Danville, Dec. 21:th, 1841. 

" My health has been unusually good. I am &s pleasant- 
ly situated as I could wish. I receive the kindest atten 
tions from all classes. There is a most excellent feeling 
existing among all the different churches at this place. I 
am as often invited to the houses of Presbyterians and 
Methodists, as by the Baptist brethren, and as often go.*' 

Danville, May 9th, 1842. 
'' My health since I saw you has been unusually good. 
I feel quite confident that a few years in this healthy and 
delightful region will entirely restore my health. For 
this 1 feel humbly thankful. My mind has recently been 
greatly exercised in consequence of a call I received while 
in Raleigh to come and take the pastoral charge of that 
long neglected church. For what cause I cannot tell, my 
brethren generally and the church unanimously urge me to 
come to R. They seem to think I could succeed in building 
up a church in that place. But I fear they are mistaken 
in this. I have been much at a loss to know how to decide. 
I have endeavored to make it a subject of prayerful con- 
sideration to ascertain. ' Lord what wilt thou have me to 
do?' After calm, deliberate consideration, I have thought 
it best to remain where I am, at least this year, or until cir- 
cumstances shall seem to indicate more plainly that I 
ought to go. I dislike the idea of appearing fickle and 
unstable, being well aware that much of a man's success 
in life depends upon his strict integrity and firmness of 



REV. J. L. PBICHARD. 43 

principle. It is a high compliment paid to a man, when it 
can be said of him in truth, ' He is a man to be relied upon; 
what he promises, he will most assuredly perform.' This 
is the character I have long been endeavoring to form. 
How well 1 have succeeded I leave for others to judge. 
There are many things that I could name, which have m- 
duced me to remain here. This is certainly, by far the 
most healthy region af country. It is also a more produc- 
tive and plentiful region. Here too is a wide and inviting 
field ot usefulness. I know of no position of ministerial la- 
bor, that promises a richer harvest of precious souls to a 
faithful minister of Jesus Christ, than that in which I am 
now engaged. ' The fields are white already to harvest.' 
And the cry comes from many more places than I can pos- 
sibly attend, 'Come and help us;' 'Will you come and 
preach for us ?' I preach every Sunday to large and at- 
tentive congregations. My brethren in Ya. say that tliey 
cannot consent for me to leave them. They offer me many 
inducements to stay and co-operate with them. 

'J I am not sure that I shall not attend the General As- 
sociation of the Baptists of Ya., to be held in the city of 
Eichmond on the 1st Sabbath in June. I have just re- 
turned from an Association held in Halifax Co., Ya., where 
we had a most pleasant meeting and where I greatly en- 
larged the circle of my acquaintance. 1 am solicited to 
preach at Halifax C. H. Probably I shall do so." 

Danville, June 8th, 1842, 
" I received your deeply affecting letter on the 19th. I 
cannot say I was surprised at the sad intelligence of the 
death of your affectionate father. Though I did sincerely 
hope that he might again recover and be restored to the 
bosom of his dear family, yet I knew that nothing but Di- 
vme interposition could bring that to pass. I feel that I 
can sympathize with you an^ryour dear mother, because I 
know by sad experience what it is to lose a tender and af- 
fectionate father. It brings afresh to mind the grief that 
wrung my young heart, and the tears that so freely flow- 
ed when I saw one of the best of fathers laid in the cold 
and silent grave. It affords me consolation to hear you 
express your resignation to the disDensation of that AH^ 



44 MEMOIR OF 

wise and good Being. 'He doth not afSict willingly.' 
With all my heart I adopt your yrayer, that ' it may prove 
a blessing to each of our souls.' 

The following extracts speak of his attendance on the 
General Association of Virginia, from whose meetings he 

was rarely absent. 

(to his wife.) 

June 4th, 1843. 

*' We arrived in Richmond about 4 P. M. ; stopped at the 
Columbian Hotel, where a great many persons, not less 
than one hundred, I judge, sat down at once. We went to 
the Herald office, then walked about some, and at night 
attended a concert of sacred music at the Second Baptist 
church. The music was delightful, soul-enraptnring. 
They had several instruments, but none so sweet as the 
human voice. 

Friday morning the Bible Society met in the Second 
Church. We had a delightful meeting, several very good 
addresses, full of thrilling interest. At night attended 
preaching. We were invited to Brother Crane's and are 
now with him. He has a very pleasant family. Brother 
Stringfellow is staying there with us and others. 

Saturday morning the General Association convened. 
There is a large attendance. I do not know the number. 
Sabbath was a delightful day I attended Sabbath School, 
was delighted. In the morning heard Andrew Braadus 
preach — in the afternoon, A. McClay, of New York. At 
night, Burrows, of Philadelphia. Most of the pulpits of 
the city were filled by Baptists. I have never seen any- 
thing to equal the splendor of the First and Second Bap- 
tist churches. They were filled with attentive hearers. 
The music was heavenly. 

I do not regret my trip. I have formed many acquain- 
tances. Am much pleased with the Richmond people ; 
they are kind, plain and hospitable. There is among them, 
I think, much deep-toned piety. I have been mostly over 
the city. There are many splendid edifices, the *' Ex- 
change" particularly. There is much here to please the 
eye, delight the ear, and aff*ect the heart for good and for 
evil. There are many warring elements. Truth and er- 



BEV. J. L. PRICHAED. 45 

ror, vice and virtue, wordly mindedness and heavenly 
mindedness, each striving for the mastery. God grant it 
to virtue, piety and godliness. I wish some of our Dan- 
ville friends could come here, and see that they are not the 
only folks in the world. 

To-day we nu^et again^; shall adjourn Wednesday, I think 
not before. My health was never better." 

The next meeting of the Association is thus referred to: 

Richmond, June 2d, lS4ti. 

" We arrived at this " many-hilled city," about six A. 
M., Friday. Are staying at Brother Worthaui's, and as 
comfortably lodged as we could be. At 11, A. M., Friday 
our anniversaries commenced. The American and Foreign 
Bib e Society met at the First Church. A great many 
delegates had arrived. We had an interesting meeting. 
I did not attend church at night, having travelled all the 
night before. Saturday the General Association met. 
Brother Hume, of Portsmouth, preached at 11, A. M , an 
excellent discourse on 'The want of spirituality in the 
church.' Evening session — very interesting. A commit- 
tee beins; appointed to say where the next meeting of this 
body should be held, Lynchburg, Eichmond and Peters- 
burg were proposed. On this question several .^peeclies 
were made. The question being taken, it was decided by 
a large majority that it should he held in Lynchburg. 
Brother Walker, of Hampton, preached the Educ>ttion ser- 
mon last night — very good. This morning at 9 o'c'ock, I 
heard Brother Bagby preach at the Penitentiary. 

I cannot describe my feelings when I saw before me 
more than one hundred convicts from 18 to 40 years old, 
and this was only half of them — only half being allovv-ed 
to come out at a time The sight was enough to make 
one's heart sicken within him. At 11 o'clock, t.»-day, I 
had the unspeakable pleasure of hearing Andrew Broadus. 
This afternoon, did not attend church. There has been 
much troud preaching here to-day. Dr. Babcock, from 
JSTew York, is here, and also brother Harrison, ot' jN^ew 
York 1 have to preach to-night in the Methodist church. 
I trust the Lord will help me to preach, to His glory. 

There are a great many persons in the city at this time, 



46 MEMOIR OF 

and miK'h to interest, please and profit. 1 was quite un- 
well the lirst day and a half, but now I feel very well in- 
deed ; how could I feel otherwise when I see such a host 
of able ministers of the Xew Testament f" 

xi letter is here inserted, written during his attendance 
on the General Association in 18tl:6, and indicating the 
special pleasure he enjoyed in meeting the missionary from 
China, and his native assistant : 

EicHMOND, June 6, 1846. 

*' My Deak Wife :— T have delayed writing until this 
morning because 1 wished first to be settled. My ride on 
the first day and night was quite fatiguing. I travelled all 
night, but had tiie entire stage to myself, and my overcoat 
for a pillow, and could have slept "quite comfortably but 
for the rough read. 1 reached Henderson at seven the 
next nioi-ning, w^here I rested until five in the afternoon, 
and felt quite refreshed and prepared for another night's 
travel. We passed through Petersburg at five in the morn- 
ing and reached Eichmond at seven, having travelled all 
night. I went to the Columbian Hotel to breakfast, rested 
awhile and walked up to Ball & Harold's, Avhere 1 met 
brother Jeter, who took me home with him. I am very 
agreea])ly situated with brethren W. H. Jordaa, A. M. 
Poindex'ter and D. Witt. Sister Jeter is fast sinking with 
con8un)])tion. How mysterious are the ways of Provi- 
dence ! I ihink she is fully ripe for Heaven. * 

Our meeting commenced yesterday. There seems to be 
a full delegation and brethren are still coming in. At this 
early hour many trom a distance are here to attend the 
Southern Baptist Convention. Brother Shuck and Yong 
Seen-Sang aie here. I took tea with them last night at 
brother T's. Brother Shuck is quite a young looking man. 
Yong Seen-Sang delivered an address last evening, inter- 
preted by brother Shuck. He is a singular but noble 
looking man. His dress is a loose robe, coming just be- 
low his knees, under which are loose trowsers. The fore- 
part of his head appears to be shaven; but behind, his hair 
is suffered to grow and is plaited in a cue, nearly four feet 
long. He is of a bright mulatto color, and wears a cap. 



EEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 47 

I have much to attend to and shall have to close, but 
shall write again soon. Notliing is wanting now to make 
me perfectly contented but the presence of my two Marys. 
How is the dear little one? Kiss her many times for 
papa. Love to mother, sister and the little girls, and ser- 
vants, and accept a double portion from your aifectionate 
husband." 

The following letter was addressed to a relative who had 
just entered the ministry : 

Danville, Ya., March 3d, ISttT. 

" My Dear Brother L : — I trust the apology my wife 
has made for our long delay in writing is entirely satisfac- 
tor}^ The place which I have bought was so much out of 
repair that I found it necessary to work, myself, very hard, 
and now my hands are in no condition to write. You will 
remember the place, when I tell you that it is at ' Lover's 
Leap,' where you and 1 walked. I hope soon to make it 
a very desirable residence. 

My dear brother, I am truly glad that you have devoted 
yourself to the office of the christian ministry. There are 
some few things I may take the liberty of suggesting to 
you. There will be not a little expected from you by the 
churches and your family. Many eyes are turned towards 
you, as one who is to be eminently useful. But especially 
the cause of Christ has claims upon you superior to all 
others And in order to meet these expectations and these 
claims, it will be necessary to have a fixedness of purpose. 
' Give thyself wholly to these things,' always esteeming 
the approbation of Christ and your own conscience, as be- 
ing worth far more than all things else. My sincere 
prayer for you is, that you may be an able minister of the 
JJ^ew Testament' a 'burning and a shining light,' that 
many may rejoice in your light, that God may give many 
seals to your ministry as stars in your crown of rejoicing, 
and that at last- you may say, ' Lord, here am 1 and the 
children thuu hast given me.' 

Sincerely and affectionately yours, 

J. L. Prichard." 

The "|new residence " to which reference is made in the 
above letter, was situated on an eminence commanding a 



46 MEMOIR OP 

fine view of Danville, from which it was separated by Dan 
river. Here he resided for about four years, during which 
cime the place was much improved by hit* labor. The 
bridge over Dan river having been carried away by a 
freshet in August, '50, and his residence being thus isolated 
from the scene of his pastoral labors, a circuitous and 
rough ride being necessary to reach Danville, he removed 
into the town — feeling, also, that his time could be more 
devoted to his great work when not interrupted by atten- 
tion to a farm. 

Peteksbijeg, June 6th, 1848. 
''My Dear Wife:— * * ^ * * * I have now 
been absent a week, and a long one indeed it has seemed. 
I had a pleasant trip, and rpached Petersburg early Thurs- 
day morning. I have been staying at Mr. D.'s His family 
has indeed been very kind. We have had a very interest- 
ing meeting. I have met many acquaintances. And now 
the meetings are all over and we have given each other 
the parting hand. All are in a great hurry to get home. 
1 confess 1 have no little struggle in my mind to decide 
what I shall do. I want to be at home with my dear wife 
and sweet little babes — names full of music to me. Kiss 
my dear little Mary and Robert many times for me. Give 
my love to Eugenia and Fannie^ and the servants. I ex- 
pect to start foi' Norfolk in the morning — shall make but a 
short stay in Came' en. ■?«• * -h- -x- -^ -k- 

And now, dear wife, let us pray that God will bless us 
all, and permit us once again to meet, more determined to 
consecrate oui'selves to the great work of spreading the 
Redeemer's kingdom. ^ ^ * ^ ^ ^" 

As may be seen from the foregoing letters, he was 
always present at the meetings of the General Association 
of Virginia, enjoying the exercises much. He was equally 
regular in his attendance at the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion, not permitting slight obstacles to prc^vent it. In 
April, 1849, he started to the Convention, which had been 
appointed at Nashville, Tennessee, but on account of the 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 40 

appearance of cholera in that section, the time and place 
of mee^ng was changed. The following letters refer to liis 
disappointment, and his perseverance in accomplishing the 
object for which he set out : 

Wilmington, April 25th, 1849. 
"My Dear Wife : — How strange are the ways of Prov- 
idence ! How little do we know of wliat is before us. 
The future to us is a blank which every moment is filling. 
And how differently it is tilled up oftentimes from what 
we expect. You see from the date of my letter that I am 
now in Wilmington, N, C. You can scarcely imagine my 
disappointment when atGoldsboro I met the cars from 
Richmond, to find that not one of the brethren from that 
place was in the cars. Disappointed and discouraged I 
scarcely knew what to do. I determined, however, to go 
on, and on reaching Wilmington, I came very near going 
on board the steamer and being off to Charleston. I 
thought, however, I would go and see brother McDaniel. 
From him I learned that the Convention would ??o^ beheld 
in Xashville, but in Charleston on the 23d of May. So I 
am now within twelve hours sail of the Convention. 
Brother McD. invited me to stay with him and hold a pro- 
tracted meeting. I have concluded to do so. I shall be 
absent until the last of May. The trip will not cost me a 
fourth of what it otherwise would. I expect to be all the 
time engaged in preaching. I trust that this decision will 
meet with your approbation, and that of my brethren. 






Wilmington, May 8th, 1849. 
^' My Dear Wife : — ^ * ^ My mliid has been great- 
ly relieved, to hear of the goodness of the Lord to you, our 
Gear little ones, and all the family. Bles^^ed be his holy 
name ! It is a great comfort to me, to have you so cheer- 
fully acquiesce in what seems to be a Providential arrange- 
ment. Especially us I feel, in your own language, ' to be 
acting in the conscientious discharge of duty.' I assure 
you that nothing else could induce me to forego the pleas- 
ures of my family. No place on earth is to me like home. 
No pleasures like those I find in the bosom of my family. 



50 MEMOIR OF 

Brother Tompkins is dead ! O iny soul, be thou quicken- 
ed on thy j(»urney, live thou nearer to thy God, and be thou 
more conscientious and faithful in the discharge of all thy 

duties ! I feel that I have lost a brother and a friend. 
^ * -;(• -;f * •?{■ -x- -A- * 

Wilmington is a much lai'ger place than I expected ; over 
eight thousand inhabitants. It has much commercial im- 
portance. You can have no idea ot the quantity of lumber, 
tar, turpentine, etc., that find a market here. Shipping, 
from various parts of the world, may be seen. 1 went on 
board of a ship from Liverpool and haveseeu several others 
from Europe. In every direction, you see turpentine dis- 
tilleries, steam, s«w and grist mills, rice mills, &c. 

I have preached several times since I have been here, 
and expect to preach to night, and many more times. Time 
moves slowly. It seems that I have been absent a long 
time. But it w^ill soon fly off, if I can only be usefully em- 
ployed. We expect to start to Charleston, Monday week." 

CHxVRLiLSTON,May 24:th, 1849. 

"My Dear Wife: — The Convention met yesterday, 
about eighty delegates present and more expected. The 
business is nearly laid out, so that we are now at work. 
We were most cordially received. This is a beautiful and 
fashionable city. '^' -x- * -x- j shall expect to leavf^ here 
Tuesday and go directly home. May God, in his mercy, 
keep you ail in safety and may we soon be permitted to see 
each other and then I can tell you all about things I have 
seen and heard. * * * ^ "^'^ 

Having been so long absent from home, he failed tliis 
vear, for the first and only time, to attend the meeting of 
the Association, which occurred soon after his return. 



CHAPTER lY. 

A SkvereTkial — Sickness and Death of his Wife — Let- 
ters Referring to this Event — Attendance Upon 
General Association — Yarious Letters — Second Mar- 
riage — Call to Lynchburg — Yanceyville Meeting- — 
Removal — Estimate of his Worth and Labors. 
In the midst of abundant labors, the subject of this 
memoir was called upon to sufferer a severe calamity in 
the death of the principal member of his family. Per- 
haps no man was ever more happy in the ties which 
bound him to the home circle. In the selection oF a com- 
panion for li^e, he seemed to have been directed by his 
all-Avise, all-gracious, Heavenly Father, and he had 
cherished the hope of many years of unbroken domestic 
felicity. His wife and children he loved with an ardor 
never exceeded. In the joys of his happy home he found 
an unspeakable delight. Often, as he returned from 
his long, wearisome journeys, to ittend his appoint- 
ments, he realized a peculiar refreshment and comfort in 
the presence of his family. Unbending himself from the 
severest duties of his ministry, he evinced a tenderness 
and affection of manner which showed how pure and deep 
was the current of his domestic bliss. 

But it was the will of God to arrest this tide of earthly 
joy. His much loved wife gave early indications of de- 



52 MEMOIR OF 

dining health. She suffered much from general debility 
for many months, and then premonitions of decay were 
beheld by him with deepest grief. No earthly affliction 
could have been apprehended, so painful as a separation 
by death. But his diviae Sovereign, the same gracious 
Friend that gave her to him, was about to visit upon him 
this affliction and to take her away Tiiis was to be a 
part of the discipline requisite to a better preparation 
for the great work before him. He was to be himself a 
a sufferer, that he might know how to sympathise with 
and comfort the sorrowing. 

Mrs. Prichard's health had declined so much in the 
summer of 1819, that a trip to the Virginia Springs was 
recommended. It was tried, apparently with good effect. 
She seemed to rally for a while, but soon after her return 
she began to decline again, and it was evident that the 
end was approaching. On the 2-4th of November she 
was removed from her sphere of usefulness on earth to 
her home of glory in heaven, leaving two children, a son 
and a daughter, who still surviye. An extract from the 
Danville Roister shows the estimation in which this ex- 
cellent lady was held by the community in which she 
lived and died : 

'* The deceased was, ia 'the true sense of these terms, 
a kind friend, an obliging neighbor, a faitiiful mistress, 
a dutiful child, a fond mother, a devoted wife, a true 
chi'istian. 

This excellent lady came among us, a few years since, 
a stranger^ with no relative or even acqaiintance to wel- 
come her arrival. By a meek and humble life, in short, 
by an exhibition of every christian grace and a practice 
of every christian virtue, she so won the confidence and 
affection of this whole community, that when the church 
bell tolled her departure, sorrow and sadness seemed to 
fill every heart. 



REV. J. L PRICHAED. 53 

As the solemn procession passed througli our streets, 
and during the services at the church, the doors of the 
stores and work- shops were closed, their occupants uniting 
with every portion of our population in honoring the 
memory of one whom all acknowledged to he one of ^ the 
most excellent on earth.' Truly may it be said that this 
was a striking exhibition of that involuntary homage 
which mankind, even in its fallen condition, feels con- 
strained to offer to exalted virtue. 

Let no one speak of her as dead. ' She is not dead, 
but sleepeth.' Fitter for Heaven than Earth, she has 
been removed to her appropriate sphere, where she lives 
and will forever live, in immortal health." 

The closing scenes, and the views and feelings of Mr. 
P. under this afflicting dispensation are best given by 
himself: 

(to his brother-in-law.) 

Danville, Nov. 19th, 1849. 

"Dear Brother L.: — I have no doubt you wish to be 
iniormed of the condition of your sister. None but those 
who are constantly with her can have an idea of what 
she suffers at times. And yet in the midst of her suffer- 
ings she is enabled to rejoice in Christ Jesus. This 
morning after reading to her the language of Paul in 
Phillippians, ' That I may be found in Him, not having 
mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Uhrist, &c.,' she exclaim- 
ed :' O husband, what a precious thought it is, to be 
clothed in the righteousness of Christ ; had I a thousand 
lives I would devote them all to His service. I never felt 
him more precious in my life.' * * * jj^r appetite 
is not good, and to this I attribute the more rapid decline 
of her strength. We do not know how long she has to 
suffer thus. We can only say with Job, ' Have pity 
upon us, have pity upon us, O ye my friends, for the 
hand of the Lord God hath touched us !' My dear wife 
sends much love to you all. The rest of the family are 



54 MEMOIR OF 

well. Pray for us my brother that we may be sus- 
tained. We feel the need of your prayers. 
Sincerely and affectionately 

Your Ijrother, 

J. L. Prichard." 
(to the same.) 

Danville, [Rov. 25th, 1849. 
"Mt Dear Brother L.: — With feelings unutterable 
I sit down to communicate to you the mournful intelli- 
gence of the death of my dear wife. She died on Satur- 
day evening, twenty minutes before 6 o'clock, with the 
consolations of that blessed religion that had sustained 
her in all her protracted and painful illness. No one 
could have borne such suffering with more fortitude and 
resignation. She retained her senses to the very last, 
spoke to me not more than two minutes before she 
breathed her last. I have not now time to write particulars 
of her illness and death. Bro. Wait preached her funeral 
to-day in the Baptist Church, and she was interred in the 
public Burying Ground. It was her special request that 
brother Wait should preach her funeral before she was 
buried, if she should die while he was at Yanceyville, 
and that she should be buried where she is. Greater 
demonstrations of sympathy for us, and of sincere affec- 
tion for her, could not have been shown. All the stores 
in town were closed, and i believe nearly all the commu- 
nity attended her funeral. I feel, my dear brother, that 
I have lost my best earthly friend. We are smitten in 
the dust, but we shall see her again. 
' Yet again we hope to meet her 
Where no farewell tear is shed.' 

0, I do wish you all could have been here with us. We 
did not expect she would die so soon. Dr. G. thought 
she would live two or three months or more. But the 
blessed Saviour came at an hour when we did not expect 
Him, She longed to be gone, and 1 doubt not she is now 
with all our pious relations in Heaven. Pray for us and 
believe me 

Your sincere brother, 

J. L. Prichard," 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 55 

These extracts evince the deep feeling of grief endured 
in this painful trial, and the power of christian principle 
in sustaining tlu sufferer. God was his support. He 
found at this period a peculiar comfort in committing 
himself and his motherless children into the hands of the 
Lord. Nor did he intermit his labors in the ministry. 
He seems with new energy to have fulfilled his pastoral 
duties, and to have preached the word with more than 
usual earnestness and power. 

His engagements at this time were nnmerons and press- 
ing. Besides a large congreL'ation, and a church which 
had become flourishing under his care in Danville, he 
filled a monthly appointment at Harmony Church, and 
another at Bethany, both in Pittsylvania county. At all 
these points he labored with increased fidelity, and was 
favored with tokens of the special blessing of God. 

Aboiit this time, too, fie was greatly encouraged in see- 
ing several young men, some of whom were baptized by 
him, enter the work of the gospel ministry. He in this 
recognized the special favor of the great Head of the 
church, for he had been praying and ^vaiting for some to 
be raised up in that region, who should become pleaders 
for Christ. In the letter which follows, he refers to the 
joy he experienced in connection with these results. 
Writing to a christian friend he says : 

Daxville, July 24th, 1850. 

„ I have been constantly engaged since returning from 
the General Association. I have I aptized four persons 
since I saw you, and expect to baptize one, next Sabbath, 
who was a soldier in the Mexican war, and now wishes to 
become ' a soldier of the cross.' I trust he will ' endure 
hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,' and fight 
manfully the battles of the Lord. We commenced a pro- 
tracted meeting on the evening of the 18th, which is 
still in progress. We have had a crowded house. Sev- 



56 REV. J. L. PEICHARD. 

eral of my young brethren in the ministry have been 
with me and preached with great acceptance to our peo- 
ple. This, to me, is inexpressibly gratifying. I have 
stood here almost alone for nearly nine years, and have 
had but little assistance in this way. I trust, however, 
that my labors, imperfect as they are, have not been in 
vain in the Lord. One of these young brethren 1 bap- 
tized. He is now tutor in Wake Forest college, and a 
young man of great promise. Another W these young 
brethren was recently ordained pastor of the church in 
Milton, 'N. C. He bids fair to be a very useful man and 
an acceptable preacher. There is a young brother Fer- 
guson, who preached in the afternoon of last Sabbath to 
our people, who took us by surprise. He has only been 
licensed five -or six months, and I feel that his discourse 
would have been listened to with interest in your highly 
favored city. He is now teaching school, but v/ill go to 
college this winter. I am deeply interested in these 
things. ^ ^ ^ * -K- ^ ^ v^ * 

* ^ "^ * * * 4here is a most excellent 
state of feeling existing here between the diiferent 
churches. At eight in the morning we agree to pray at 
home, and at four we meet at the church, and at night 
we have preaching. At these times, though sundered 
far,' may we not feel that by prayer ^ we meet around 
one common mercy seat?" 

(to' the same.) 

August l7th, 1850. 

** Our meeting though pleasant, was not so profitable as 
we fondly hoped it would be. Good, I have no doubt, 
was done. There was much seriousness and our congre- 
gations were constantly large. We expect to renew our 
efi'orts soon. My time is very precious now. Our Asso- 
ciation meets next Friday, over sixty miles from here. 
I shall have to leave here on Wednesday, as I am ap- 
pointed to preach the introductory sermon. ' 

About the same time, in a letter, he refers to his at- 
tendance at the meeting of the Association, when very de- 
cided measures were adopted, bearing upon the work of 



REV. J. L. PEICHAED. 57 

missions. He seems especially to rejoice in this. He 
thus writes : 

" I left home on Wednesday, after I wrote you, to at- 
tend our Association, and the next day reached White ville, 
within four miles of the church at Avhich our meeting 
was to be held. My route lay through a most interest- 
ing portion of country, not far from Dan river at any 
point. The fields of corn were indeed beautiful. The 
fruit trees were bending and even breaking, so full were 
they ot the most delicious fruit. I felt that this was 
truly a land that the Lord had blessed, ' a land of corn 
and wine and oil, favored with God's peculiar smile, with 
every blessing, blessed. ' 

'^ On Friday morning, I reached the church, through 
quite a heavy shower of rain. Soon most of the delegates 
assembled, and I preached the introductory sermon from 
Acts XVII : 16. The Association was then called to or- 
der, and letters from twenty-three churches were read ; I 
was chosen Moderator, and the usual business was attend- 
ed to. Several corresponding messengers and visiting 
brethren were present— Mason, Shaver, Gwaltmey, Jen- 
nett and others. The attendance was large. Our ses- 
sion was truly a harmonious one ; I have never f^ttended 
one so pleasant. I feel that our body may now be called, 
truly, a missionary body. A systematic plan of benevo- 
lent effort was unanimously adopted. I think we shall 
carry it out. Efficient ministers, under the blessing of 
God, is all that we need. We have the numbers and the 
ability. My visit was a most delightful one ; 

On Saturday night we had a storm of wind and rain- 
such as has not been seen, for many years. The water- 
courses were all full. JSTearly all the bridges on Staun- 
ton, Banister and Dan rivers are gone. Our bridge at 
Danville is gone. The crops are greatly injured, if not 
destroyed. Thousands and tens of thousands of dollars 
will not repair the losses. 

On Thursday reached home, found all well, and felt 
truly thankful that my crops had suffered but little. Ear- 
ly Saturday morning, I left home for my appointment at 



58 MEMOIR OF 

' Harmony churcli,' fourteen miles west from Danville. 
This is my appointment for the first Sahhath in the month. 
Next Sahbath is my time at ^ Bethany church ' six miles 
north east of Danville. On the third and fourth Sab- 
baths I preach in Danville. 

* * * "Every sympathy of my heart has been 
drawn out' for your father and tbe family. If the ' fervent 
prayers' of God's people can ' avail' anything, then I feel 
there is good reason to hope for tlie speedy recovery of one 
loved by all. 

" I feel that I hiow something of your present feelings. 
I know them, because I have been schooled in them. I 
can truly say, ' I am the man that hath seen affliction.' 
When I was but ten years old, I was called up from my 
bed, at midnight^ to see my father die! It is all fresh in 
my mind now. The anguish that wrung my 3'outhful heart 
.cannot be forgotten. My mother was thus left a widow, 
with six children — the oldest but twelve years old, two 
sons and four daughters, und, alas ! two of these * are 
not.' In 1845, 1 visited ' my native land,' Camden county, 
K. C. Then we were all alive. We parted to meet no 
more ' till Gabriel's trump shall sound.' Since then two 
of my sisters, both mothers, have died. They were lovely 
sisters. Both of them were truly pious. My mother has 
lived to see all of her children members of the church, and 
in this we have been wonderfully blessed. Though she is 
now sixty-five years of age, I know of no person of her age, 
more active, cheerful and happy. You see, without pro- 
ceeding any farther, that I have passed through scenes of 
affliction. 

" One thought in connection with affliction is consoling. 
It is that we have to endure the same affliction hut once. 
Every one borne, leaves one the less to bear. Every w^ave 
moves the frail bark nearer the shore. How difierent do 
afflictions seem to us whilst we are passing through them, 
from what they do after they are gone. Now we are as 
the fearful mariner, upon whom is coming the terrible 
storm wdth its angry billows. Look which way we will, 
all is danger ! We surely shall be swallowed up ! ^ Hath 
God forgotten to be gracious % Is his mercy clean gone 



my. J. L. PKICHAKD. 59 

iPorever V ' Be not afraid, 'tis I,' is the voice that hushes 
every miirmnr of the winds, calms every wave, lights up 
the countenance, and thrills the heart with joy. And now, 
that same storm, that ivas our terror^ having passed us, is 
an object truly sublime and beautiful — God's ' bow of prom- 
ise' is between us and that, assuring us that, ^ behind a 
frowning providence, he hides a smiling face.' Other 
storms of afflictions may come \ but this one, never. It is 
gone, gone forever. 

I trust I can say, * It is good fur me, that I have been af- 
flicted.' You say, you fear you know nothing ot that 
change of heart, whi'eh you have professed. Is this the Jlrst 
tnne,you ever had any misgivings on this subject? In this, 
I'can assure you, you are not alone. Of all the afflictions of 
this life, there is none like the hidings of God's face. 
* Tliere's not a drop of real joy, 
Without thy presence, Lord.' 

I have much bitter experience in this too. I trust I can 
say to you, as was said to me by brother Wait, President 
of Wake Forest College, vrhen I was in great distress of 
mind, as to my ' acceptance in the Beloved.' ' God,' said 
he, 'is preparing you for a great work. How could you 
comfort the distressed, if you had never tasted the bitter 
cup?' Feel assured you have my sympathies and pray-- 
ers. 

" My last Sabbath was indeed a pleasant one and, I trust, 
profitable also. Brother Hankins was with me. We both 
preached. The congregation was large, attentive and se- 
rious. We expect to commence a protracted meeting there 
(Bethany) on the 29th. I feel there is some interest in our 
congregations. O for a general outpouring of the Spirit 
upon us all ! 

This is a lovely evening. The sun is fast sinking. The 
prospect from my window is beautiful It command's a view 
of several miles of undulating surface. The last rays of the 
sun are tinging the distant hills and the tree-tops. And 
now, ' our spirits meet,' in prayer, ' around a blood bouo-ht 
mercy seat.' " ^ 

The following communication gives some insight into tho 



60 MEMOIR OF 

feelings of tlie christian minister, in view of the responsi- 
bilities and privileges belonging to his office. 

Danville, Sep. 24th, 1850. 
<' '^ " " "I spent the thii'd S^bbalh in this 

month, in the pleasant little town of Milton, N. C, with my 
excellent brother Lacy. I preached several times to his 
congregation and trust that good was done. I returned 
home on Tuesday, found all well, and was made to feel as 
none but a fathor can feel, when met by my sweet little 
Mary and Robert. 1 have given them to the Lord. I 
wish' to ' train' them for Him. The weather during the past 
week has been delightful. Being busily engaged in my prep- 
arations for the Sabbath, the week glided almost impercepti- 
bly away. Our meeting on Saturday was pleasant. Most 
of the members were present, though many of them live in 
the country. My family remained in town all night. I 
went home and spent that beautiful moonlight night a one. 
And yet, I felt, I was 'not alone.' With my books, and 
singing and prayer, ' I forgot all time, all care and pain.' 
' I laid me down and slept ; I awaked for the Lord sustained 
me ' O ! how beautiful and bright was that Sabbath 
morn ! ' Safely through another week, &c.' expressed the 
sentiment of many a glad heart on that lovely morning. 
I went early to t!ie Sabbath School. And what an inter- 
esting sight was there. About sixty scholars were present. 
All seemed delighted. At eleven, I preached to a large 
and deeply interested congregation from i Peter^ i : 4 I 
felt it to be a great privilege to preach such truths to God's 
people. They seemed to enjoy it. After sermon, w^e as- 
sembled around the ' Lord's table,' and there partook of 
the bread and wine and 1 think there were many who felt 

to ask, 

* Why was I made to to bear thy voice? &c.' 

In the afternoon I held a meeting for our colored mem- 
bers. We have about one bunded. We restored one, 
heard them sing some of their sweet songs, &c. 

At night, I preached again to a densely crowded house, 
on the training of children, having often been requested to 
do so. It is a subject about which I have thought and 



EEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 61 

read much. I know of nothing more important or in which 
I take a deeper interest. ^^ * * 

His tender sympathy for the afflicted is evinced in tlie 
following lines : 

Danville, Aug. ITth, 1850. 
•jf -X- vf Most sincerely do I sympathize with yon in 
the affliction of your dear father. I am gratified to hear 
you express yourself as you do, in reference to this severe 
triaL 'Godliness is profitable unto all tilings.' You 
must not expect to feel an e7itire acquiescence in his deal- 
ings with you at first. It requires much prayer and medi- 
tation and exercise of faith. Jacob, with all his piety and 
experience, was unprepared to part with Joseph and Ben- 
jamin. ' AH these things are against me,' said he. But 
when he saw through the whole he said, ' It is enough.' 
David was grieved when he saw ' the prosperity of the 
wricked,' but when saw their 'end,' then he ceased to envy 
them and cornplain against God. Paul wa? impatient un- 
der his affliction, whatever it was, until God assured him, 
that his 'gra-ic shouJd be sufficient for him.' And then, 
but not till then, he most gladly acquiesced in God's will. 
So it must be wit h us. The christian life is a growth. 
We sliouid have great reason to suspect ourselves, if these 
trials and afflictions did not, to some extcTit, render us un- 
happy. Disease, whether moral or physical, struggles 
hard and long against the remely. And during this 
struggle the patient must of necessity suffer in body or 
mind. Bat, though painful at present, 'twill cease before 
long. And then how pleasant the conqueror's song." 
(to the same.) 
^'Eartli has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure." 
Yes, in despite of all that sin has done for our world, 
there is much of happiness to be enjoyed here after all. 
^The bitter is sweet and the medicine is food.' 

What could we do in many of the couditiona of life with- 
out the consolations of religion ? And yet sustained by 
these consolations, the very trials, afflictions, anxieties and 
disappointments of this life, are converted into so many 



62 MEilOIR OF 

Avings and pleasant gales, to lift our souls- above, and wafc 
lis to some Fif-gah's top, from wliicli we have a view of the 
heavenly Canaan. And, O, what a view it is ! AVhat 
foretastes ! I rej<»ice to know you derive such comfort 
from til e 'precious promises^ with which our Heavenly 
Father's word is tilled." 

October SOtlu 1850, lie was married to Miss Jane E.. 
daughter of Kev. Ja'-. B. Tayloi*. D. D., of Eichmond, 
Ya. In this, as in his former union, he was peculiarly fav- 
ored. Mrs. P. proved a mother to his little children, so 
sorely bei-eaved, and to him.self a wife in the highest sense 
of the word — a help-n:ieet in all his labors, and a comfort 
in his trials. 

He remained in Danville, preaching there and in the 
adjacent country, ten years — busy^ fruitful years as we have 
seen. A flourishing church organized at Bethany ; two 
hundred and fifty six members added to the church in 
Danville, and ail his other churches greatly revived ?jnd 
strengthened under his ministry ; the Roanoke Association 
saved from antinomianism mainly through his instrumen- 
tality ; — these are some of the fruits with Avhich his earlier 
labors were crowned — enough for a life-time surely. But 
his stay here was drawing to a close. He was strongly at- 
tached to the people of his charge and tenderly they loved 
him in return. But his life had been one of unceasing ac- 
tivity and arduous labor, and he longed for aplace in which 
he could have more time for study and self-improvement. 
Nor was he long in finding it. Li January, 1852, he re- 
ceived a unanimous call to the church at Lynchburg, and 
soon afterwards removed to that city. With this statement 
we resume our extracts from his letters and diary. 

The accompanying letter was addressed to his wife from 
Yanceyville, whither he had gone to till his regular ap- 
pointment. For some time he had been serving the church 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 63 

at this i)lace in a monthly visit. His connection with this 
people had been peculiarly pleasant, and the happiest re- 
sults had attended his ministry. The interest which existed 
in the congregation at this time, is referred to : 
(to his wife.) 

Yanceyville, Nov 25th, 1851. 
"1 am now alone in an upper-room, comfortably seated by 
ii good lire, and my thoughts turn to you and my dear little 
ones at home. You will be glad to know how it has been 
with me and what are the prospects for a revival, &c. 
I reached here in good time, preached to the church, had 
a pleasant meeting. The church agreed unanimously^ to 
invite brother Reynoldson to come and hold a meeting. 
On Sabbath morning I preached to a very large congrega- 
tion, had prayer meeting at 3 o'clock, and preached again 
at night— congregation good, attentive and serious. Mon- 
day I spent in visiting from house to house. The day 
passed off pleasantly. Christians seem anxious for a revival. 
Held prayer meeting at, -t P. M. I preached at night ; se- 
riousness still more apparent. I feel encouraged to go on. 
I believe the Lord will bless us. I received a letter this 
mornino; from brother Reynoldson. He expects to be here 
on Friday, so I do not see how I can come home this week. 
Eighty persons had professed in Milton up to yesterday, 
and twenty one are now anxious— a great and glorious wcrk 
is going on there. I sincerely trust we shall have a good 
time— 1 know I have your prayers that I may be faithful 
and successful." 

(to the same.) 

Yanceyville, Dec. 4th, 1851. 
* -5^ '^ * I wish to keep yen informed of the 
state of things here. Tuesday night we had a good meeting. 
Several professed and many more became anxious. The 
congregations have been large and attentive all the time. 
Last night we had the best meeting of the series. It was 
a solemn time. The people seemed loth to leave the place. 
They lingered, they wept, they rejoiced. Up to this time 
thirty have professed, and theie are now over twenty in- 



64 MEMOIR OP 

qiiirers. I feel it to be my duty to stay here now, and I 
therefore think I shall not go to Harmony. 1 trust you 
will agree with me in believing ic my duty to remain liere. 
It seems that this is the time to thrust in the sickle and 
reap, ' for tlie fields are already white unto harvest.' 

Fi'iday morning — A beautiful morning. I liad a ])leas- 
ant night's rest and hope to be able to do something to-day 
to glorify Him who suftered for us. I trust I am making 
sacrifices for Christ in thus leaving 'wife and children, 
&c.,'even though it be but for a time. God knows my 
heart, and I can appeal unto him, that it is no little sacri- 
fice to be absent so much from those who are so dear to 
me. But this is the time to sufter and make sacrifice-, and 
the only time. For in that ble-sed world ai»ove, our em- 
ployment will doubtless be of a different kind. You, too, 
are no less making sacrifices. There is a c7'oss for every 
one, and there shall be for all a crown. You will remem- 
ber that they who staid and took care of the stuff", shared 
equally with those who went out and fought the battles. 
Yes, eternity will declare it that she who rem.ained at home 
in quiet, and, it may be, unknown to the world, has done 
much of the work. She is hid from the public view, pour- 
ing oil upon the flames that opposition and discourage- 
ment would extinguish. 

Love to all. Kiss the dear children many times for papa 
and believe me ever your affectionate husband." 

The meeting to which the above letter refers resulted in 
the conversion of a number of persons, some of whom, it 
will be seen from succeeding entries in his journal, he 
baptized on the day he dissolved his connection with the 
church. 

EXTRACTS FKOM IITS DIARY. 

" Jan. 8th 1852. — Received a unanimous call to the 
church in Lynchburg. 

10th. — Satuiday. Bethany meeting. Did not go. It 
snowed until dinner. Spent the day mostly at home. 
Talked much of the probability of going to Lynchburg. 

11th. — Still cold. Ground covered with snow. Went to 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 



65 



Bethany. Met only a few, with whom I read the scrip- 
tures, Kino", prayed, and talked some. 

12th— Spent the dav restinoj. Mind much engaged. 
What shall I do i Shall I go? or shall I not go ? Lord, 

direct. -n . i i i> 

l-7th._A solemn day. Formally resigned the care ot 
the chnrch in Danville, having held it ten years. There 
was much deep feelins^ by ns all. None blamed. 

ISth.— Rained all d\y. Preached to a small congrega- 
tion. I-lad some liberty in speaking. Trust some good 
was accomplished. 

lOtb.—lntensely cold, ^yrote a letter of acceptance to 
the Lynchburg church. Brother Palmer spent the night 
at our house—the coldest recollected by any of us. 

90th. The coldest weather ever known here. The falls 

entirely frozen over. Ice from 5 to 6 incdies thick. Began 
to make ariangements for moving." 

To decide upon a course was, with him, to act, as will be 
seen by his rapid preparations to enter npon his new field 
of labor. 

''21st. -Still extremely cold. Mercury below zero. Could 
do nothing except keep good fires. 

23rd.— A little milder. Went to brother H's., on my way 
to Yancey ville. Spent a pleasant night, much religious 
conversation. 

24th.— Yancey ville. Made two calls and then met a good 
number at church. Received fifteen by experience. Re- 
signed my charge. A veiy solemn time. 

"25th.— Suhday. A beautiful morning. Yery large, con- 
gregation. In the afternoon baptized fifteen. An immense 
crowd present. Preached again at night and took leave. 
Much feeling by ns all." 

He was compelled to visit Lynchburg to make arrange- 
ments for removing his family andwas absent four days. 

''Feb. 1st.— Sunday. Danville. Preached to a large con- 
gregation. Took a review of the ten years' labors, I trust 
with good effect. Much sympathy manifested for me and 
my family. « 



66 MEMOIR OF 

2nd, — Commenced packing with brother M's. help. 
Many friends called in. We loaded tlie wagons before 
night and my family went to brotlier AV's. 

3rd. — Transacted much business. Paid off accounts. 
Yisited and took leave of only a few families. 

4th. — Made an early start for Lynchburg, travelling till 
sun-dowm, and stopping through the night at Mrs. B's. 

5th. — Starred at sun-rise. Mild, pleasant day. Jieacli- 
ed Mr. HoUins' house in Lynchburg about sim-down. De- 
voutly thankful to God for his mercy.'' 

The retirement of Mr. Fricliard from a field which he 
had so diligently cultivated for a series of years, w^as the 
result of a stern conviction of duty. As already stated, he 
desired the opportunity of devoting a larger portion of 
time to systematic theological reading. In leaving Dan- 
ville, how^ever, he found himself the subject of painful emo- 
tions. He had scarcely known how strongly attached were 
the people of that wdiole region, to him as their spiritual 
counsellor. He had been abundant in labors in the coun- 
ty of Pittsylvania, and in the surrounding counties, and in 
every direction the seals of his ministry were to be found. 
The sincerest grief was manifested by many, that they were 
to fee his face no more, in the regular assemblages where 
they had been accustomed to meet him. It is not strange 
that wdien the parting hour came, he should have felt deep- 
ly under the pressure of fraternal love so strongly evinced. 

The estimate in which he was held in Danville and its 
vicinity is revealed in the following tribute furnished by a 
highly intelligent gentleman of another denomination : 

"Although I w\asnot a member of his congregation, it 
was my privilege to be on terms of intimacy with Mr. 
Frichard, and to be a frequent attendant on his ministry. 
I have had, therefore, a good opportunity of observing his 
manner of life, and of judging of his ministerial fidelity 
and efiiciency. 



KEY. J. L PKrCHAliD. 67 

*'His preaching was plain, direct and pungent, lie 
never addressed the imagination or endeavored to 'pUc^^e 
the fancy of his audience. lie had too cori'ect an appre- 
ciation of the solemn nature of his calling to lower the 
dignity of the chiistiin minister by seeking to attract th^ 
admiration of his hearers to hvnsclf. Ilis effort was rather 
to induce them to fall in love with, and heartily receive the 
great and important truths which he was commissioned to 
proclaim. 

As a pastor he labored zealously t3 instruc'6 the ignorant, 
to reclaim the wayward, to reform those who had gone far 
out of the way, and to confirm and comfort such as habit- 
ually strove to continue in the right path. He rebuked 
with firmness yet with affection, exhorted with earnestness, 
and reproved v/ith a fearlessness which was characteristic 
of himself. 

He had the courage to discharge his duty, under circunr- 
stances which would have discouraged it not appalled most 
men. His, however, was not the brute recklessness of 
danger which distinguishes the lion of the forest, but that 
true cliristian courage wd;ich was founded on the assurance 
that whilst he was in the path of duty, he was surrounded 
and shielded by an Omnipotence which was pledged for his 
protection and on which he could confidently trust for 
safety and deliverance. With this conviction he went 
forth to the discharge of duty, nor felt nor feared the dan- 
gei that beset him. The only fear he knew was that he 
should ' come short of the promise set before him; ' or, as 
St. Paul expresses it, thac ' after having preached the Gos- 
pel to others' he himself should be a castaway. 

I have often remarked that I had never known an indi- 
vidual on whom I would more confidently rely, to march 
up to the cannon's mouth, if duty should call him to the 



68 MEMOIR OP 

trial. This was the cstiniate whicli was put upon his char- 
acter by all, in this region of countrj', who had the pleasure 
of knowing Lim. 

That such a man should exert a wide and a liealthj in- 
fluence in the church, of which he was an ornament, might 
liave been reasonably expected. And so he did. It was 
mainly through his instrumentality that the anti- missionary 
spirit, which at the time of his coming among us was in 
the Association to which he attached himself, was crushed 
out and this body became an active co-worker with those 
who were endeavorin ;• to obey the great command, ' Preach 
the Gospel to every creature.' Nor was his influence con- 
fined to his own church ; his preieuce was a strong though 
silent rebuke to all evil-doers wherever found.'' 



CHAPTEB V. 

Description of Lyxciibukg— Entrance Upon the New 
Pastorate — Discc^uragements — Diversified Labors — 

Ct)MPLKTI()N OF MeETING-IIoUSE— D1FFICULTII.S IN THE 

Church — Adjustment — Mrs. IIollins — Tem cerance 
Cause— Incident — Letters — Results of Labors ij? 
Lyn^^hburg — Call to Wilmington — Acceptance —La- 
bors in Lynchburg. 

Lynchburg is the most important place in that section of 
Virginia lying between the head of tide-water and the Blue 
Ridge, and known as the Piedmont country. It contains 
about ten thousand inhabitants and derives its importance 
from being the junction of the Orange & Alexandria, the 
Southside, and the Yirginia and Tennessee railroads, and 
till recently the terminus of the James river and Kanawha 
canal ; from its position ns the centre of trade to a fertile 
and extensive region; and from its numerous and large 
manufactories. The great staple of tobacco, specially, here 
finds a mart second only to Richmond, while its manufac- 
tm-e is conducted on a scale which gives the place a na- 
tional, if not a world-wide reputation. One of the features 
which most struck the stranger, w^alking through the streets 
in former years, was the sonorous swell of song which con- 
stantly rolled from the bitsy, cheerful negto laborers en- 



70 MEMOIR OF 

gaged in the various operations by wliicli tlie weed is pre- 
pared for the use of the consumer. 

The city is roniantically, if not pleasantly situated on 
the hills which rise precipitously from the waters of the 
James, and is in full view of the Blue Ridge just distant 
enough to wear that azure hue which most enchants the 
soul of any one who has an eye for the beautiful in nature ; 
while the far-famed Peaks of Otfer, towering like Alps 
on Alps constantly direct the mind from the busy, 
changeful scenes of life to thoughts of the infinite and the 
everlasting. 

The steepness and roughness of the streets must, how- 
ever, largely absorb the attention of the pedestrian in 
Lynchburg, or he is likely to be in the condition of the 
philosopher of old, who, wrapt in the contemplation of the 
heavens, stumbled over the milk-pail placed in his path 
by a mischievous maid. AYe remember on one occasion^ 
visiting Lynchburg, we were directed by a friend to his 
residence somewhat thus : " Keep up the street, and go 
any way you can without breaking your neck and you will 
not go wrong." We thought, at the moment, the direction 
exaggerated, but when we pursued the course indicated, 
seeing on one hand frowning cliffs, and on the other yawn- 
ing ravines, we felt tliat it was not so. Even the principal 
thoroughfares of the city, paved though they are, still retain 
a grade which renders them almost impassable when covered 
with ice, and a weariness to the flesh of the pedestrian on 
a summer day, while the stone steps constantly occurring 
give ample warning that vehicles maj^ not pass, nor even 
horsemen unless they be of nerve which would make them 
worthy to follow a Forrest or an Ashby. 

To the pastorate of the Baptist Church in this place, Mr. 
Prichard was called in Janiiarv, 1S52. and after mature de- 



EEV. J. L. PlilCHARD. 71 

liberation decided to accept tlie position. To this conclu- 
sion he was led, not by a desire for change, for no man ever 
had less love of novelty; not by anxiety for a larger or 
more pleasant field, for the one afforded by a residence in 
Danville could scarcely be surpassed ; certainly not from 
any alienation between himself and the cliurches which he 
served, for the mutual confidence and love increased rather 
than diminished to the close of the connection. We believe 
that the one motive which decided him to remove to Lynch- 
burg was, that confining his labors to a single church and 
relieved from the necessity of spending a large portion of 
time on horseback, he might enjoy at once the stimulus 
and the opportunity for reading and elaborate preparation 
for the pulpit. 

But the care of the Lynchburg church by no means af- 
forded a position for the enjoyment of quiet, literary leisure. 
On the contrary, probably no church in Yirginia, of its size, 
demanded a greater amount of exhausting pastoral labor. 
We remember to ha^^e heard Dr. Ryland say in a public ad- 
dress that when he was pastor in Lynchburg, the property of 
the church, leaving out a single member, did not average a 
good cow for each family. Under the labors of Smith, 
Clopton, Shaver and Williams, it had indeed increased in 
ability : but still the majority of the members vrere poor 
and were scattered over the hilly suburbs. The church 
had been without a pastor for more than a year before Mr. 
P's. settleoaent among them, and the congregation had in 
consequence been dispersed. During the pastorate of his 
predecessor, Rev. J. W. M. Williams, now of Baltimore, a 
new building had been commenced and had progressed suf- 
ficiently for the basement to be used as a place of worship. 
But after Mr. W's. resignation and removal, the church be- 
came involved in a lawsuit with the contractors and the 
enterprise was suspended. 



72 MEMOIR OF 

Here then was the first work of the new pastor. It was to 
gather the scattered flock together and win their confidence 
and aftection ; seek out and restore ihe congregation; and 
finish the house of worship. It was an herculean underta- 
king, and yet he did not falter or shrink from it. As noth- 
ing could be done on the house till the lawsuit was decided, 
he devoted himself the more assiduously to the exploration 
of his new field. Some conception of his spirit and his la- 
bors at this time may be gathered from the following entries 
in his diary : 

" Lynchburg, Feb. 7th. — Saw^ many of the brethren, who 
appeared to be in fine spirits. Felt encouraged. There 
seems to be much harmony of feeling. I have no language 
to express our gratitude for tlie goodness which has attend- 
ed us. 

8th. — Pleasant morning at Sabbath School. Talked a 
little to the children. Preached to a good congregation. 

March 4th. — This day moved home. Feel thankful that 
we are once more at home. O that it may be home to us 
in the Lord ! God preside over us, and rule in us, and 
guide us ! 

5th.— Much engaged in fitting up and arranging for the 
comfort of my family ; find it fatiguing, having all the er- 
rands to go myself. 

6th. — During the past month could do little, except in 
getting ready for my regular pastoral duties. 

21st.— Spent the day in preparation for Sabbath. Felt 
it was good to be alone with God and my books. 

Apkil 1st. — Still in my study, writing my sermon. Feel 
it a great privilege thus to be permitted to study God's 
Holy Word and prepare for more extensive usefulness. 

lith.— Preparing a sermon on justification. Am deeply 
interested in my subject. Company came in. Could not 
do much, JNeed mucti patience. 

loth. — Ilaid at work on my sermon. Had a quiet day. 
O, how delightful to study the Scriptures. Enjoyed the 
day." 



REV. J. L. PEICHARD. 73 

25th, Sabbath. Attended Sabbath school. Preached 
in the morning, Sunday school sermon, to a large and at- 
tentive Congregation. At night from Col. I: 28. Much 
good, I trust, done. 

29th.— In my study, reading the life of Lord Bacon, as 
reviewed by Macaulay. Much interested, and more sur- 
prised than interested. 

^Iay 2nd. At Sunday school — a good number present. 
Preached on 'Justification,' and again at night on the 
' Blessings of Justification.' Had quite a good time. " 

The diary for tliis year here ends. The diary for 1853 
is continued but a few months, and the entries are simply 
to refresh his memory as to the even s of his daily life as 
they p^ss. Many are such as this : 

'' Spent to-day visiting the following families, &c., &c." 

" This day passed off pleasantly in my study, &c." 

Such was the pressure upon his time, amid his diversi- 
fied dnties, that little opportunity was lefc even to make a 
record in his j nirnal. Over the hills and in the suburbs 
of the city he was constantly engaged in visiting the fami- 
lies ui his flock, while a due attention was given to the 
preparation of his sermons. The hours appropriated to 
reading and study were peculiarly prized, and when on 
any account they were lost to him, it was felt to be a real 
afiiiction. In a constant endeavor to enlarge his rano-e of 
general knowledge, and especially his acq a'ntance with 
theological truth, his library became an object of peculiar 
interest. He rapidly improved in his investigations of the 
word of G-od, and in his method of sermonising. His profit- 
ing was thus made to appear to all. Ir was soon found 
that the basement-room of the house of worship in which 
the church met, was beginning to be inconveniently small. 
The congregation had been increasing from his first en- 
trance upon the pastorate. He now turned his attention 
to the removal of the difficulty which the law suit involved, 
5 



74 MEMOIR OF 

with the purpose of securing the completion of the upper 
room. It was due to his discreet management ot the whole 
matter that it reached a speedj issue. 

The lawsuit, to which] we have referred, being decided, 
the only barrier to the completion of the house of worship, 
now rendered a necessity by the constantly increasing size 
of the congregation, was the lack of funds. Pastor and 
church zealously and heartily co-operating, the requisite 
amount was secured in a few days, and after a season of 
patient waiting the work was done. The event is thus re- 
corded in his diary : 

" Preached from Isaiah LIY: 23, ' Enlarge the place of 
thy tent, &c.' Gave notice that our new house of wor- 
ship, would be dedicated next Sabbath. 

7t,ii. — Went to my house to prepare a dedication sermon, 
but brethren coming in to have some conversation, did no 
writing." 

The above is explained by the fact that interruptions in 
his study, which was in the basement of the church, were 
so frequent that he retired for greater privacy to his own 
dwelling. 

8th. — " At home at work on my sermon. The ladies 
putting down carpet in the church. I spent the day pleas- 
antly, reading and writing. 

9th. — Still at work on my sermon. Have become deeply 
interested in the subject. Hope I have learned something. 

10th. — Sermon nearly completed. Spent a part of the 
day at the church, altering some doors. 

11th. — At home nearly all day. Finished my sermon and 
feel greatly relieved. Willing now to have Sunday come, 
and yet feel much anxiety. 

12th. — The day fine for finishing our preparations. Pur- 
chased materials' for cushions and aided in completing the 
arrangements. 

13th. — Dedication. Dense fog in the morning. Cleared 
away and sun shone out. A large congregation. Preach- 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 75 



ed from 1st Tim. Ill: 15. Communion at 3 o'clock, and 
preaching at night from Phil. 11 : 11:, 16. 

14th. — Beaiitifal day, which I spent in visiting. De- 
lightful church-meeting at night." 

After the above date his diary was intermitted and not 
resumed till 1856, from which time it is continued till the 
day he was stricken with the fatal disease. One more en- 
try is found which Avill suggest something of his manner 
and influence with his servants : 

*'Apeil 8th, 1853. — This morning, at 9 o'clock, Dick 
died of pneumonia, after a sickness of over four weeks. 
We feel this to be a great affliction. Well, I did all I 
could. The will of the Lord be done. We shall miss him 
much. He was a faithful servant, and I sincerely believe 
a christian. I had some interesting conversation with him 
a few days ago, last Sabbath especially. O, let us try to 
do our duty and be ready." 

During Mr. P's. pastorate in Lynchburg some difficulties 
in the administration of church discipline arose, which for 
a time impaired his usefulness and put to the test all his 
wisdom and firmness. In these trials he manifested those 
traits of character which marked his course through life, 
mingled tenderness and firmness. His family and the 
brethren and sisters who stood by his side in the season of 
painful perplexity can testify to the sleepless nights and 
anxious days through which he passed. But he steadfast- 
ly maintained his position, and the cloud ere long passed 
away, and he rejoiced in the thought that matters were 
settled, as he believed, finally, and that the members of the 
church could unite their energies and efforts to promote 
the Kedecmer's cause anion (? men. In the folio wins; ex- 
tract from a letter to a friend he tells the story of his trials : 

Lynchburg, April, 22nd 1853. 

■^'Dear Brother L. — Since I last wrote you, I can almost 
adopt Ps. Lii : 7. ' All thy waves and thy billows are gone 



76 MEMOIR OP 

over me.' Almost, I say, not fully, ^ deep hatli called un- 
to deep,' but in the midst of the rearing of the storm, I 
heard a voice sayinof, ' Be not afraid ; it i> 1' and still an- 
other, ' it is through much tribiilation, we must enter the 
kingdom of heaven' and 'these are they that have come 
out of great tribulation, &c.' Now don't be alarmed — but 
to the point. We have had great dithculties in the church, 
difficulties of thirty years standins^. They did not com- 
mence during my ministration. You recollect your first 
visit to this city, t\\Q first time you gazed with rapturous 
delight upon the Blue Eidge! You know that I was go- 
ing to Lynchburg to assist in settling a difficulty in the 
church. A committee of about sixteen of our experienced 
brethren, ministers and laymen, labored from Wednesday 
until Saturday, day and night, and hoped we had adjusted 
the difficulty. But some of the ' old leaven' was left, and 
has been at work ever since. I very soon saw it was im- 
possible to build up a church of the materials then in it — 
endeavored to act cautiously and discreetly, and to take no 
Btep without much deliberation and prayer. We excom- 
municated one, and about a dozen have taken letters. We 
have now about one hundred and forty members, and a 
more united, working set of men and women I have 
never seen. I think it likely the minority will form an- 
other church. I hoi^)e they will and go to work. So, it may 
be, we shall see the proverb fullilleJ, 'There is tha^. scat- 
tereth and yet increaseth.' God grant it. I rejoice that 
He can make the wrath of man to praise liim. I do not 
judge these brethren. I can but hope they mean to do 
right. But I certainly think they have greatly erred." 

In the above extract a reference is made to the cordial 
co-operation of the members of his church in all his plans 
and labors. Perhaps no pastor was more happy in this 
respect. In the adjustment of the long pending difficulty, 
the church seemed to enter with new energy upon the 
work of building up and extending the cause of truth. 
Several notable examples of efficiency in this work might 
be named. One of these examples especially deserves at- 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 77 

tention in this memoir. Fram the earliest history of the 
church, Mrs. Ann llollins had been one of the most consis- 
tent and nseful members, ller husband, Mr. John llol- 
lins, an enterprising and successful merchant of Lynch- 
burg, though not h\mself a member of the church, 
spared no expense or pains to gratify his wife in all 
that related to the building up of the Baptist cause. She 
was indeed and in truth, a helper in the Lord. Singularly 
gifted as she was, in all that ennobles the sex, she conse- 
crated herself and her talents to the promotion of her Re- 
deemer's giory. For several years she was the principal 
support of the Baptist interest in Lynchburg. Nothing 
could divert her from the cherished purpose of her heart, 
to live, and labor for its promotion. When the Baptists 
were few, poor and despised, she clung the more closely to 

n ^-i^ r appropriations were large and liberal. Every 
object of cliristian benevolence shared in lier benefactions. 

The large and flourishing Female College at Botetourt 
Springs received from her an endowment of several thou- 
sand dollars, and its name was changed as a tribute of 
respect to Hollins Institute. In all these deeds of love, her 
excellent husband evinced an abiding sympathy. Both of 
this noble pair have passed away. It may be said of them, 
"Lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death thej 
were not divided." Those most intimately acquainted 
with Mr. Hollins rejoiced in the assurance that he died an 
humJ)h believer in the Lord Jesus, and that he with his 
much loved companion now^ swells the song of redemption- 
in the bright world above. 

In Mrs. Hollins the subject of this memoir found a per 
sonal friend and earnest co-worker, and carried with him 
to the end of life a grateful estimate of her sjmpathv and 
influence. 



78 MEMOIR OF 

In Lyncliburg, as at all times and in all places, Mr. 
Prichard was the zealous advocate of Temperance. During 
the earlier part of his ministry in that city, an effort was 
made to elect only such municipal officers as were in favor 
of restricting the issue of licenses to sell intoxicating liquors. 
Of course the movement excited active and bitter opposi- 
tion. In the progress of the struggle an incident occurred 
which is in every way honorable to Mr. P. We give it in 
the words of the friend who has kindly furnished it for 
publication : 

" The prospect, to the friends of Temperance, had become 
very dark. Its enemies were about to triumph. The best 
talents, legal and other, that they possessed were brought 
into requisition. Plans laid in secret were about maturing. 
A panic seemed to sieze even those who had been pillars in 
the cause. But a few hours and the meeting would be 
held and the final blow would be struck. Late in the day 
Mr. P. was informed of the state of affairs. His mind was 
made up. His friends feared for him, not that they doubt- 
ed his ability but lest his welljvuown excitability should 
carry him too far. Some of the fiiends of Temperance 
urged the abandonment of the cause. Others, embarrassed, 
knew not what to advise. The prevalent impression was, 
that inaction was the highest policy. At the appointed 
hour a dense throng filled the hall. The Commonw^ealth's 
Attorney who hadfjbeen looked to, as a champion, by the 
friends of the cause, but had declined to speak on the ground 
of its uselessness, united with others in urging Mr. Prichard 
to decline also, for his own sake and that of the cause. 
He replied, ' Til speak if it's tlie last time I ever appear 
before a public audience ; if it costs me my life I'll speak.' 

"A Judge and a prominent lawyer appeared in favor of 
the traffic and delivered able addresses. It was then time 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 79 

for Mr. Prichard to reply. Never was he known to be more 
calm, more self-possessed. Point by point, with the accu- 
racy of a practiced pleader, he took up and answered the 
arguments of his opponents, exposing and shattering their 
gilded but hollow sophistries. He seemed to revel amid 
the creations of his own fertile fancy. The audience was 
so thrilled and electrified by the powerful, burning portray- 
als, that, at a word from the almost inspired speaker, they 
would have turned on his opponents and thrust them from 
the hall. Said a gentleman who was present, 'I have heard 
eloquence on other occasions, but nothing I ever heard has 
enabled me to realize, to such an extent, what is said of the 
overpowering force of Patrick Henry.' 

Some who had been cool towards him on the ground of 
religious denominationalism, took him to their arms from this 
time, and to the latest hour of his sojourn in this city mani- 
fested the genuiness of their conversion." 

His letters, which are given below, are descriptive of his 
life in Lynchburg, and tell what needs to be told better 
than we can do it. During a temporary absence of his 
wife from home he thus writes : 

" Last Sabbath was a delightful day. At seven in the 
morning I baptized Mrs. N. ; a precious season. We had a 
good Sunday School, a large and attentive congregation. 
Subject, ' Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make 
you free.' John YIH: 32. It was communion season. 
Again at night, a good congregation. I have visited sev- 
eral families this week. * ''^ ^ You know^ something 
of my trials and discouragements here. But you do not 
know all. I feel that I need all the consolation that this 
world can afford me. And I do know that there is nothing 
in this world that can contribute so largely to my consola- 
tion and encouragement as your sympathy. Till we meet 
let us often remember each other at a throne of grace, that 
God wdll bless us and our children and make us a great 
blessing to the people among whom our lot is cast." 



80 MEMOIK OF 

(to the same.) 

July 12th, 1852. 
" * * * * * Yesterday was a very warm 
day, but very good congregations, and I felt more tlian 
usual, 1 trust, while endeavoring to discharge my duty to 
them. In the morning my subject was, ' And Moses, 
when he was come to years, refused to be called, etc., tfec' 
At night, ' 1 was alive without the law once, &c,' I trust 
a good impression was made. I felt much exhausted wlien. 
I reached home. I am very feeble this morning and shall 
not visit as usual to-day, but remain at home and rest." 

(to the same.) 

Lynchburg, March 28th, 1853. 
ic * -x- -^ To day I had truly a pleasant time in my 
study. Really enjoyed my work. Finished my prepara- 
tion for Sunday — wrote, yoj- a rarity, several letters and 
then took a little recreation. Last Sabbath our congrega- 
tion was good and attentive — subject: 'Wilt thou not 
revive us again ? &c., &c.' In the afternoon I went to 
hear Rev. Mr. Mitchell, but it was communion. Quite a 
goodly number out and they had a solemn time. I preached 
at night from the words, ' Men, brethren, and fathers, to 
you is the word of this salvation sent.' I think there was 
some tenderness in the congregation. Thank 3^ou for your 
words of encouragement — I 7ieed it. By the help of the 
Lord my mind is made up. I offer myself a sacrifice to his 
cause here. * ^ ■^" 

(to the same.] 

Lynchburg, April, 4th 1853. 

" * * * Many thanks for your promptness in 
writing. I feel thankful to our kind Preserver that you 
have been kept by a Father's eye,' and that the dear lit- 
tle boy, though sick, has also been mercifully preserved. 
Ought we not to be devoutly grateful that our children 
have had and recovered from most of the diseases common 
to childhood? Many parents have had to part with their 
dear little ones, whilst ours are spared to comfort us. O 
that it may be to comfort us, and prove a blessing to our 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 81 

race ! I do want us to feel that our ciiildren are the Lord's. 
Let it be our constant prayer that God will, at an early age, 
chauge their hearts. We have much to encourage us in 
doing this. His word abounds with encouragements, and 
in your own family you have a practical demonstration of 
these two truths — God's faithfulness and the parent's re- 
ward, ^^^^.-r^^^ 

Mj time lias been occupied as usual. I spent the entire 
day on Tuesday in visiting. Wednesday and Thursday I 
was closely eno-aged with my books and papers. Wednes- 
day night a hirge Temperance meeting was held at Tempe- 
rance Hall. Mr. Edwards and I addressed the meeting. 
It was by far the largest meeting that has been held for a 
long time. It was the anniversary of the Lynchburg Di- 
vision. * -^- * * ^" 
(to the same.) 

Lyxchbueg, April 11th, 1853. 
u ^- ->f * * I would have liked you to peep in- 
just about the time I was seated to read your letter. 
Grandma stopped her knitting, Sister her woi-k, and M. and 
B. their play ; and all were intent on henring it except little 
B.j^wdio could not refrain from an occasional nee at his 
pretty new book. All of us were delighted at the referen- 
ces to ourselves. Expressions of love from ab? m' friends 
are, beyond expression, sweet. The christian is surely not 
in want of proofs of God's love when he looks back upon 
a life crowned w^ith loving kindness and tender mercies, but 
notwithstanding all this, such is his nature, he often wants 
a renewal of these same tokens. Moses had seen and en- 
joyed much of the loving kindness of the Lord, yet hi? pray- 
er was, 'I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.' And Phil- 
ip's desires were increased by what he had seen, to ask, 
'Lord show us the Father and it sufficeth us.' I^ow the 
application of all this is easy and natural The fields that 
were refreshed by the showers in days past, will soon need 
the return of the clouds again. Often have you contrib- 
uted to our happiness and most heartily do we thank you 
for a renewal of these proofs. You are in the midst of 
those who love you tenderly, but feel assured, there are 



82 MEMOIK OF 

none in K. who think of you oftener or more aifectionately 
than does one little group in L. Your absence and dear 
little Jemmie's has created avoid, that nothing but your re- 
turn can till. ^ - v^ -A- ^ ^ v:- ^^ 
Our congregations on Sabbath were very good and at- 
tentive. Many of the Episcopalians w^ere out, as they had 
no preaching at their church. To-night is our church 
meeting. I trust we shall have a pleasant time. It is now 
getting to be a rare thing to have our former difficulties 
spoken of. We are determined to let the matter die. I 
think the citizens care but little about it. ^ - '-^ 

* * The church in Liberty will be dedicated next 
Sabbath. I have a pressing invitation from the church 
and pastor to attend. Shall probably go on Saturday." 

(to the same.) 

April 18th, 1853. 
'^ Another week with its responsibilities, anxieties and 
privileges has gone to vast eternity since I last wrote you. 
So I am another week nearer to my journey's cad and to 
my dear ones whom I long to see. I do love to think of 
that one idea of heaven, given us in Revelation : 

* And there was no sea there,' No, there is nothing there 
to separate us from those we love. Ilere^ ' lands and 
rivers roll between, &c.' Well, it can all be turned to 
good account. It will only make heaven the sweeter. 
Self-denial is no small part of religion. And I will look 
at Christ, think of Him, and ^ press towards the mark, 
&c.' You will wish to know how I have passed my 
time. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in my study. 
Monday night we had church-meeting. It was a very 
pleasant one. Two joined by letter. Others will join 
soon. Thursday, at 10, I preached the funeral of Mr. 
E. at our cliurcti. He was buried by the Odd Fellows. 
Text : ^ death, where is thy sting, &c.' Friday morn- 
ing was beautiful ; I spent the day in visiting. Saturday, 
at six o'clock, I took the cars for Liberty, and reached 
there at seven. It commenced raining about eight and 
continued all day, much of the time very hard. So I 
preached the Jlrst sermon in the new church — text : 'One 



EEY. J. L PKICHARD. 83 

thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek aiter, 
&c.' I enjoyed it much and I believe the congregation 
more. It was off hand completely—the number of peo- 
ple out Avas small; as it rained, I was interested in my 
subject — intend preparing a sermon from that text some 
of these days. I reached home a little after live, having 
enjoyed my trip much. Brother C. L. Cocke came to 
Liberty as'l left. I liad little time to speak to him. He 
is anxious I should attend the 3xamination of the school 
at Botetourt Springs, in May, and make an address on 
education. lie has made me a life-member of the Vir- 
ginia University Education Society. 

Yesterday was rainy — Sunday School small. 1 preached 
to quite a good congregation — text: 'I will guide thee 
with mine eye, tfec.' i spent the afternoon profita- 
bly I trust, reading Bishop Butler's sermons on the 
'Son of God,' and 'Self-deceit.' I would recommend 
them to every christian. He goes to the bottom of things, 
analyzes them, tests them. I preached to a small 
congregation at night in the basement. I went down, 
not expecting to preach, and did not carry my sermon, 
but preached from the words of the Publican." 

-:f TV * •» * TV- * V5- 

(to the same.) 

Lynchburg, May 1st, 1S55. 

Ti^ vr ^ ^ * * -;r vf 

''I left home Thursday, for Franklin, with brother C. 
and reached Gogginsville at nine that night, having 
crossed the Blue Kidge twice, through it on the cars and 
over it on the stage. Gogginsville, though in the midst 
of the mountains, is east of the Blue Ridge proper. It 
was warm and very dusty travelling. Duing the night 
the wind blew quite hard and the next morning was cool, 
fire being comfortable. Friday morning we went to 
church, met a small number of persons, to whom I preach- 
ed. Then held a consultation with brethren Goggin, 
Brown, Leftwich and Sanderson in reference to what we 
should do next day. The next morning, on going to the 
church, found the house full, examined the individuals, 



84 MEMOIR OP 

fottjteen in number, and organized the churcli. I then 
preached, by request — subject : ' Co-operation of church 
and pastor.' Being much fatigued, I left at intermission 
but brother Leftwich preached. 

Sunday was a beautiful clay and a large congregation 
was out. The house did not hold all the ladies and many 
gentlemen stood all the time of my long sermon — text : 
* Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, &c.' 
After an intermission brother Goggin preached. 1 then 
rode over a beautiful mountain, a distance of six miles, 
to Kocky Mount, at the earnest solicitation of the people 
of that place, and preached to them on ^Christ's second 
coming.' After preaching I laid down on a sofa until 
eleven o'clock, when I was aroused t y the stai'e-horn. 

We left Big Lick at nine and reached Lynchburg at 
twelve, finding all well at home. I was delighted with 
Franklin county and think the prospect very encouraging. 
The General Association must send them a good preacher 
and I feel sue the ])eople there will very soon take care 
of him. They more than paid my expenses, and one 
gentleman said if they would g.t me to preach once a 
month he would give $25. I would not be afraid to go 
there at once without an appointment from the Board. 
Almost ieel like going, felt so much at home there. Peo- 
ple so hungry for preaching. ^ When will you come 
again ? Do come and see us often,' were remarks fre- 
quently made.'' * * 4f 

Mr. P's labors in Lynchburg were drawing to a close. 
They had been arduous and incessant and had been prose- 
cuted, as we havj seen, in the face of many discourage- 
ments au'l often of fierce opposition. But nothing daunt- 
ed, he ])ressed forward patiently, cheerfully, earnestly, 
and triumphed in the end. His pastorate in Lynchburg 
extended through four years and had been eminently suc- 
cessful. The little flock, scattered and almost discouraged, 
had been gathered together and encouraged and strength- 
ened. Seventy-seven members had been added to the 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 



85 



company of believers, thirty-seven by letter and forty by 
baptism. The neat and commodious house of worship, 
which at his coming, seemed likely to fail of completion 
if not to pass out of the hands of the Baptists, was fin- 
ished, and it stands there to-day to tell of his patient 
perseverance in well-doing. The discordant elements in 
the church had either been harmonized or removed, and a 
long career of peaceful, useful labor seemed opening be- 
fore°him. His brethren thought that he ought not to 
entertain the idea of leaving. But, though he loved Vir- 
ginia as he had reason to do, his heart turned yearningly 
to his native State, and two invitations received at the 
same time from different quarters decided him to return. 
The circumstances attending his removal and the motives 
which influenced him are best narrated by himself. 

EXTRACTS PROM HIS DIARY. 

Dec 21st, 1855.—'' This day received a call to the 
pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Wilmington, 
N. C." 

As was his custom, he without delay proceeded to 
make the inquiries necessary to enable him to come to an 

early decision. 

*' 27th.— Left home to visit Wilmington. Eeached there 
at seven, the next morning, and spent Saturday and 
Sunday there, preaching twice, and left Monday to return 

Tan 2nd, 1856,— Received letters from Trustees and 
President of Oxford Female College, inviting me to take 

charge of the same. n .^ ^ ^.^ 

3rd —Had an interview with some of the brethren in 
reference to the calls to Wilmington and Oxford. What 
shall I do ? Lord, direct in tiie right way. . . „ 
4th —Had conversations with brother M. and sister M 
All seem deeply affected and none more than L J feel it 
my duty to go, but dread to say so to the church. O 



86 MEMOIR OF 

Lord, send them a better pastor tlian I have been, and 
bless him. 

5th.- — At home all day. Talked much about going to 
W. Wrote to Oxford, declining the call. 

6th. — Sabbath. Beautiful and bright. Preached 
from Eom. XII : 1, 2. Gave notice of a church-meeting 
Tuesday night. 

7th. — Saw some of the brethren and conversed with 
them in reference to my leaving. Wrote to W.^ indica- 
ting my acceptance of the call to the pastorate of the 
church. 

8th. — Consulted with some of the brethren about leav- 
ing, a successor, &c. At the meeting that night offered 
my resignation, which was accepted, and the very kindest 
sentiments of regard for me expressed, and deep feeling 
evinced by all." 

In his letter of resignation he says : ^' Most of you are 
aware that, within the last few weeks, I have received a 
call to the pastorate of the Front Street Baptist Church, 
Wilmington, N. C. You are also aware that, in order 
to enable me to decide more correctly and speedily what 
I ought to do, I have made the church a short ^ visit. And 
now, dear brethren and sisters, after much anxious and, 
as I believe, prayerful deliberation I feel it to be my duty 
to ofler to you my resignation as pastor of this church. 

^^Let me assure you that it is no diminution of love 
to you personally, or to the church and congregation 
generally, that has influenced me to take this step. So far 
from this I have never been, nor do I ever expect to be, 
associated with a people to whom I shall be more at- 
tached. I entertain the kindest feelings for every mem- 
ber. Nor can I allow that any one feels a livelier interest 
in the prosperity of the church than I do. You have be^n 
uniformly kind to me, and courteous in all our intercourse, 
in the church and elsewhere. You have been prompt in 



KEV. J. L. PEICHARD. 87 

meeting your obligations to me and my family. At the 
end of every year my salary lias been paid. To part from 
such brethren can not but be painful. 

^^ I trust I shall be believed when I say a sense of duty, 
and this only, has prompted me to sever the connection 
which has subsisted for nearly four years. I feel that I 
can be more useful there than I can expect to be here. 

^' And now, dear brethren and sisters, may the great 
Head of the church guide you in securing an under- 
shepherd who shall be more able to instruct and comfort 
you, and more successful in winning souls to Christ, and 
thus building up a large, efficient and prosperous 
church .'^ 

We continue the extracts from his diary : 

9th. — Much engaged in making arrangements to leave. 

11th. — A number ot brethren and sisters called. It 
was a pleasant time. 

12th. — Snowed ! Snowed ! 1 piled up Avood and had 
coal brought. I do feel devoutly thankful for all my 
mercies. 'My times are in thy hands.' Lead me, 
Lord. 

13th. — Beautiful day and much warmer. Preached 
in the morning in the basement; at night in the upper 
part to a good congregation. Took a retrospect of my 
coming here and all that had transpired. It was an af- 
fecting season. 

14th. — Attended church-meeting at night. Had a 
most delightful time. 

15th. — Packed my books and attended prayer meeting 
at night. Lectured from John XV. Quite a good num- 
ber out, and I really enjoyed the meeting. Hope some 
good was done. Lord, direct the church. 

As in Danville, so in the city he was now about to leave, 
a general feeling of regret prevailed among all classes of 
the people that his valuable ministerial services among 
them were about to close. This feeling was manifested in 



88 MEMOIR OF 

vari 11^ ways. The families of his own congregation were 
ready to yield to a feeling of sadness in sundering the ties 
which had bound him to them. He had. so often knelt 
with tliem at the famil}^ altar — had. been their counsellor 
and comforter in times of difficulty and trial, and had 
shared so freely in all their joys, that they felt as if they 
were about to lose a sincerely cherished friend. Even the 
children evinced sorrow at his departure. He had always 
shown the kindest sympathy with them in all their pains 
and pleasure-^. The citizens also, and members of other 
religious congregations shared in tJiis feeling of the regret 
at his removal. 

It would seem scarcely in accordance with a wise dis- 
creiion to cliaiijre a fi(3ld of labor under under circumstan- 
ces feucli as existed in this care. But as already suggested, 
from the time of le t\ i.ig his native State, the most urgent 
appeals liad been made to induce a return. Oxford, I^ew- 
bern, Riileigh and other positions had been brought before 
his attention, and flattering inducements to occupy them 
were repeatedly presented. May it not be believed that 
in this, as in other events ofhis history, his steps were or- 
dered by Lord ? 



CHAPTER YI. 

Wilmington, North Carolina — Pastorate Commenced — 
Sense of Responsibility — Heavy Labors — Association- 
AL MKi^rrrNGS — Sympathy with the Suffering — Fam- 
ily Affliciion — Death of a Child — Extracts from 
Diary and Letters— Affijct ion Sanctified — Kemakk- 
able Revival — Extracts from Diary and Letters. ^ 
Wilmington is pleasantly situated (.n the east bank of 
the Cape F^ar river, thirty five miles from its month, and 
is the largest town in North Carolina. In 1860 it had a 
population of 9,500, with a considerable and rapidly in- 
creasing trade. It was the principal depot for the ex )orta- 
tion of cotton, turpentine, &c. from an extensive and pro- 
ductive region, and here the imports for a large part of the 
State were br«")nght in. 

Tlie first Baptist cliurch in this city, as we have seen, 
had extended a call to Mr. Prichard and he had accepted 
it. He reached his new field of labor on the 31st of Janu- 
ary, 1856, as appears from the following : 

"Jan 31st.- Arrived in Wilmington at 8, P. M. First 
prayer-meeting there to-night. O, how thankful that we 
are at our journey's end." 

The following entries may be surprising, perhaps amu- 
sing, to some who remember Mr. P's. fluency in extempo- 





^90 MEMOIR OP 

raneous discourse, but tliey are characteristic — show his 
scrupulous conscientiousness : 

" Fk?.. 2. — Boxes of furniture and books not arrived. 
Felt o-reat anxiety for the Sabbath. I^o sermons. Loul 
Jielj) me.'' 

That this was a sore trial to him there can be no doubt, 
for he was deeply impressed with the solemn responsibili- 
ties which rest on him who preaches the Word, aiid never, 
unless there was a call which lie could not decline, ventured 
into the pulpit without careful and prayerful L-tudy. But 
in this instance, as in all his trials, he looked Above for 
help and it came. On the followinsc day he wrote : 

" Feb. 3rd. — Morninor somewhat cloudy and cold. Con- 
gregation good— text: 1 Cor. 11 : 1, 5. Had sone liberty 
in s^>eaking, but did not feel right to commence my labors 
here with so little preparation. O God, forgive and bless. 
At night prcaclied from 'Beh(»ld the Limb of God.'" 

For a while he was busily engaged in removing to his 
new home and fitting it up. This task performed ho com- 
menced exploring his field of labor and laid the foundations 
of his subsequent usefulness by visiting from house to 
house, forming the acquaintance of his flock, studying 
their condition and their wants and se-uring their confi- 
dence and affection. His diary, which was kept up, with- 
out intermission, from this time till his death, gives us his 
life in miniature. The entries are brief, recording, ibr the 
most part, only the facts and events of his dully life, but 
they are sufficient to show the man as lie was, his zeal and 
industry, his consecration, his unselfishness, his prayerful- 
ness, his firmness. One day we have a record of visits to 
the people of his charge, witli a brief prayer for God's 
blessing on eacli of them. Then in liis study laboring 
lowly and with but partial success to prepare for the Sab- 
bath : 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 91 

"Felt unusnally oppressed in spirit. In my study. An 
unprofitable day." 

And again : "In my study all day, but did nothing to- 
wards preparation for the Sabbath. It was one ot mj 
dark, unprofitable days. Lord, forgive my unprofitable- 
ness." 

But these gloomy seasons came only at rare intervals. 
More frequently he tells of brighter days when ]ie glides 
smoothly and easily througli his task and study is not a 
wearine-s to the flesli. as in the follovvino;: 

" At liome in my study, preparing a sermoi for the Sab- 
bath, on the ' new birth.' Had a pleasant time." 

'^ A good day— studying text— 'He that bolieveth not 
shall be damned.' Felt great interest and had more than 
usual pleasure in preparation." 

And again on the next da}^ : 

" Still engaged in my preparation and did not get 
through tiL dinner." 

The Sabbath was to him a busy, but delightful daj. 
Always in the Sabbath School, to cheer and encourage by 
his presence and his example, he often acted as teacher or 
Superintendent, It was a pleasant place to him. The 
songs, the faces and voices of the children, and the con- 
sciousness that in all which was going on, good seed were 
being sown in you^hful hearts, which were to bring forth 
fruit unto usefulness here and unto eternal liie hereafter, 
gave to the place and the exercises a charm which often 
soothed him into forgttfulness of weariness, weakness and 
care. The Sabbath School over, he entered the pulpit and 
presented to his congregation the great truths which h:.d 
occupied his mind during the week. The amount of labor 
which marked many of his Sabbaths must have taxed his 
strength to the utmost. It is not strange th^^t he sliould 
have been tired and felt little like doing anythinj^ on the 



92 MEMOIR OF 

following day. But we let him speak for himself: 

"In ."'ahbath school as Superintendent, seventy scholars 
in attendanoi^ Baptizid Mrs. M's. servant, an humble 
lookin*^ man. God bless him." 

"Visited a Sunday school in thesuburbs andopene 
exercises with ])rayer. Talked to the children. Visited 
sister B. who is sinking fast but is strong in faith. 
Preached •-.'» large congregations, in the morning on 'Ty- 
ranny of sin ;' at night on ' Freedom fro^n sin.' " 

The early hours referred to in the next item, were occa- 
sioned by the state of the tide, which it was necessary to 
consult in administering the ordinance. 

"Aiose at half past four. Repaired to the river and 
baptized M^ss F. A most interesting tinie. Attended 
Sunday Sciiool. Preached, communion; preached again 
at 5 o'clock, P M. Very good congregations/' 

" Went to Sabbath School. Preached at half past ten 
o'clock. Held meeting for the colored people in the after- 
noon. Vi.^itc'd an affl cted lady. Preached at night," 

He was always at the w^eekly prayer-meeting, unless 
necessarily kept avv'ay. It was not a formality, merely a 
part of his ordinary routine, but a precious season to him. 
He see me i to realize, and wished to make others realize 
that the union of brethren in prayer at these stated periods 
was a living and inestimable privilege. To improve it to 
the utuu)6t, both for himself and others, was his constant 
desii-e. 

Once a month came the concert of prayer for Missions 
which was luwer forgotten or neglected. The following 
entr}^ shows how he regarded it: 

" Monday.— Felt like resting. At night concert of 
prayer for Missions. Collected $7.00. Felt that it was 
good to try to do something for Christ." 

From these graver duties, which tasked him heavily, he 
found ncrcatiun in various ways. Reading was a constant 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 93 

source of pleasure to him. He had stocked his library with 
many of the old authors. These were his ia»niliar compan- 
ions, his most valued friends, though he kept iip with the 
best pe' iodical and other literature of the day. 

Frequently he was pleasantly diverted froin his regular 
duties by visits from his brethren in the minisrry. Few 
men enjoy such visits more, and his pleasure, manifested in 
every word and movement, made tlie visitor feel at home 
at once. Many, very many, in differ<'nt parts of tb.e land, 
will cherish, through life, sunny memories of tlie genial and 
hearty hospitality of this servant of God. He was (.specially 
gracious to his younger brethren. The s'ruggle.s and hard- 
ships of his early hfe imparted to his manner towards them 
much of the tenderness of an elder brother. 

Extracts from his diary, such as the following, could be 
multiplied indefinitely : 

" Called to see brethren K — and S — . They walked to 
my house. The day passed off most pleasantly." 

"Went to S. S. Dr. K. addressed the school and preach- 
ed to a large congregation. Brother S. preached at night. '^ 

"Went early to visit the brethi-en. Made several calls. 
Church-meeting at uight. Received two." 

" A rare day ! I'ich in enjoyment. Biethren K — , S — 
and R — , spent a part of the day with ns. So pleasant ! 
Much religious conversation." 

Ordinarily these note? are concluded with a prayer that 
the visit may be blessed to the spiritual good of all the 
parties. 

He was not unfrequently called off to other points to 
preach occasional sermons or to assist in revivals. Twice 
this 3^ear he went to the assistance of neighboring pastors, 
once to take part in a revival in Goldsboro. AVhile there 
he wrote in liis diary : 

" Left early for Goldsboro. Went to prayer meeiing ; a 



94 MEMOIR OF 

very interesting season. Many serious, and some professed. 

"Preaelied last night to a crowded house. Se^^erai pro- 
fessed. A very interesting prayer meetinu: tliis niorniMg. 
House nearly filled. I jireached; some found peace. Yis- 
ited sonie. A gk>rious time" 

" Prayer meeting. (), it was sweet beyond expression. 
So glnd I'm here. The Lord is hero. ISeveral pjot'cssed. 
Held a meeting for young men, and pre;ched at night-" 

In May of this year he attended the meeting of the 
Chowan Association, the first time, we think, that he had 
visited the body since his connection with it was dissolved. 
It v/as a sad and yet a pleasant season Mdth him, and the 
brief entries in his diary do not express a tithe of what his 
full heart experienced : 

"Arrived at Camden. JMet many relatives— mother, 
brother, sinter, &c. Had to preach the introductory ser- 
mon — Rom. 3 : 25, 26. 

To^-k active part in the deliberations on Cliowan Female 
Institute and Reynoldson Institute. Met many old and 
dear friends. O how delightful thus to meet. 

Still liad much to say for Wake Forest College. 

Sunday. An immense concourse. Brother T. preached 
first and'l followed. Brother T. closed. O God, bless the 
word. 

Brother and I went to see cousins G. and M. L. Much 
plea-ant conversation. Cousin C. gave me my note for $25 
and ijiterest since Jan. 1839 Lord, reward liim. 

All day at my brother's. Had much conversation about 
old times and our iuture prospects. Shall not all meet 
again on eai'th !" 

Took leave of my mother and all, and went to Elizabeth 
City. Preached at night to a crowded house — 'Able to 
save to the uttermost, &c.' 

Eeachcd home, found all well. O God, accept our 
heartfelt thanks, and bless and save us." 

In June he attended the Commencement exercises of 



KEY. J. L PRICHARD. 95 

Wake Forest College, his Alma Mater, in whose prosperity 
he ever felt a deep interest. On his return he wrote : 

''lleached home at 6, A. M.— found all well. Feel glad 
I went. O, that some good may result to mc and those 
whom I met." 

In October he attended the session of the Union Assoc'a- 
tion for tlie hrst time. lu November he was a delegate to 
the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, a .d an 
active participant in its deliberations. This was one of the 
most important sessions of that body ever held. Indeed it 
was the beginning of a new era in the history of the e- 
nomination in the Staie. The addresses which were deliv- 
ered and the spirit which pervaded the assembly are stiil 
remembered by those who were present. The cause of be- 
nevolence received an impetus which is felt in some meas- 
ure even now. In addition to the usual contributions to 
mission?, $25,000 w^ere sf^cnred for the endowment of Wake 
Forest College, and $13,000 for the erection of a new hous3 
of worship in Ealeigh. In such an assembly no one 
more at home than the subject of this memoir; none felt 
mere deeply the importance of the objects under conside- 
ration, spoke more earnestly or gave more freely in support 
of them. 

The year closed prosperously for him. His steady per- 
severance in pursuing his studies under severe trials and 
great discouragements in early life, the reputaMon for schol- 
arship and piety, with which he graduated, and his labors 
in Virginia had prepared the Baptists of jS^orth Carolina to 
I'eceive him favorably. When he came among them once 
more, his social qualities, chastened and perfected by Divine 
grace, and he ability and enlightened zeal with which he 
advocated every good cause, raised still higher their estimate 
of the man and extended the sphere of his influence and 
usefulness. 



96 MEMOIR OP 

In his pastoral relations lie was equally favored. The 
year was one of arduous labor and of severe trials. lie 
had to explore the ground, seek out and gather together 
his scattered fleck, ascertain their condition and wants, and 
secure their confidence and affection, so that they would 
follow and co-operate with him through the coming years. 
To God he looked for direction in a work so dithcult and 
delicate, and he did not look in vain. Twelve persons were 
baptized during the year, and ii8 close saw the church re- 
vived and united, and the hearts of the pt-ople l)0und to 
their pastor by ties as strong as death. This last result 
would have followed in the regular < ourse of tLings, but 
it was accomplished much sooner than is usu if, and niandy 
through the blessed ministry uf sanctified suffering. Com- 
mencing in April at. I extending through a period of sev- 
eral months are entries in his diary such as the following: 

'' In mv study till 4, P. M., when I attended the funeral 
of sister B.— text: Psalms 116 : 15. Many out. The tii.t 
of our members buried ince my settlement iiere (> that 
all may be as well prepared as was she. She died in 
Christ.'' 

"Called early to see Miss C. F." (an o imab"'e young 
lady, daughter of on.- of his deacon ,) "who is very ill." 

" Went to see Mis ', F., found h r extremely II. Con- 
versed and prayed with her. Slio died at 12, M. I hnp- 
tized a colored woman at 2, P. M., and preached at night." 

" Preached Miss C. F's. funeral sermon — • Be ye also 
ready, &c." 

" At four and a half, A. M. Sister J. sent for me to go 
and pray for her husband. I went, found him very ill, n 
great axiety. Prayed with him. He died about 12, M. 
A distre-sed family ! O Lord, ble .s them." 

" Made several calls. Found E. T. sick in in bed, but 
rejoicing in Christ." 

" Brother D. very ill. All very much afflicted. Sym- 



Ki:V. J. L. PKICllARD. 97 

pathizft with them. Little Henry C. died! Called to see 
the family." 

^'Preiched litHe H's funeral ; then w^^nt to Dr. D'a. 
Qait(^ ill. Remained with him most of the day." 

"Mide many calls. Had religions conversation and 
praver with most of the families." 

These brief notes express volnmes. They tell of the 
smitten fold and the constant, ten ier ministrations of the 
faittifiil shepherd, pointing the sici and dying to the 
Friend ot* sinner.^, and then turnino^ to the bereaved and 
sorrowing ones, in their desolation of spirit, with words of 
tearful sympathy and heavenly consolation. Yerily, he 
had In^i lewai'd 

Soon his time of trial came and he had need of that 
sympathy which he had so freely expended to others. iSTor 
was it withheld. He notes it thus : 

*' Quite sick ; had a chill and. fever list night ; sent for 
Doctor ; completely prostrated. Felt I wms a worm and 
no man. Fi'ee fr in pain, but did not sleep any la it night. 
Man}' s.^nt to inquire, or cam j to s e ns." 

"Still on mv bed, but more comforta!)ie. Many friends 
called. All seem very kind. Oh! to be humbled and have 
this affliction sanctified." 

"Not quite so well. Quite exhausted. Concluded I 
could not go out on Sabbath and baptize. Felt disappoint- 
ed." 

How great a trial this was, may be i ifcrred from the 
fact, that this \vas they? rs'Z^ time, as he rem -irked, that he 
had ever been prevented from tilling his regular Sabbath 
appointment, from personal indisj)asition. But a greater 
affliction awaited him. He thus records it : 

" Little Jemmie," his son, " taken sick." 

This little boy nearly five years old, was a specially 
cherished object of affection because of many little attrac- 
tive ways, and in view of what seemed to his loving pa- 



68 ' MEMOIR OP 

rents to be a peculiar precocity of mind. He had become 
deeply interested in the exercises of the Sunda\' school, and 
was always prepared to repeat his hymn which had been 
mem'oi'ized. Though quite sick on Saturday, he was suf- 
ficiently improved on Sunday to appear in liis class. All 
the hymns in his book had been previously repeate'l, up to 
the ISth, and on this morning, he recited those beautiful 
lines : 

" We iufauts sing, ^ 

To Christ our king ^ 

A song of praise and love ; 
The lisping praise 
Which now we raise, 
Is heard in heaven above. 

" Twas babes like us 
Whom thou didst bless, 
Dear Lord, and lionorcd much. 
' Forbid them not ' 
Were his kind words, 
' My kingdom is of such.' 

** Kind Savior sti.l 
On Zion's hill 
Oh, bless our infant band : 
And be thou near, 
When storms appear 
To shield us with thy hand. 

Thus far he repeated. Tlie last verse he was to recite 
©n the following Sunday : 

" The ocean crossed, 
No wanderer lost. 
May we the haven gain, 
To join the throng 
And swell the song 
Of cherubs' raptured strain." 

But crethe next meeting of the Sunday school,he had cros- 
sed the ocean/' had gained the haven, and was swelling the 
song of the redeemed. 

This will prepare the reader to understand the deep feel- 
incr with which the father alludes to the brief illness and 



REV. J. L. PRICIIAKD. 99 

nnexpected death of his darling boy. To return to the di- 
ai*y : 

''J. better and wert to Sabbath school. S3 s^iholars. 
Communion ; received seven members Preached tv/ice. 
J's fever returned ; quite sick all ino;lit." 

" J. no betlor— worse! Dr. D cm.e 5 or six times. A 
day of great anxiety. O Lord help us! Save Lord ! _ lie 
is thine. I will trust in thee, for thou iviU do only right. 
O, ^vhat a nii^dit ! Thought el. would die." 

" 0:ir deaHirtle Jemmie seemed better — only seemed so, 
was di^lighteil with flowers a littki fiiend sent liim. Soon 
grew worse and worse until 7, P. M., when he breathed his 
last ! O God i.e with us for Christ's sake ! Frieu'is so kind." 

" Our sweet litth^ i\. was taken sick at 2, A. M. _ Lord, 
we know noc what is in the future for us, uor would we. 
Passing under 1 he rod, aud tltrough the deep waters. O 
Lord, s'ustaiu ua and sanctify all to our good. Sat up all 
night." 

The folhnvincr extracts are from letters written during this 
time of trial. Alter speaking of the extreme illness ot his 
little son, he writes : 

"Ev.Mwthing XT as done, no doul)t, that could be. Many 
of our brethren and sister:^ cai]iein and manifested all possi- 
ble kinciness. He continued to grow worse until about 
one, A. M., wdien it seemed he must sink, miless some re- 
lief could be given. It was a most solemn time. All the 
children were called up, as we supposed, to see our sweet 
little Jemmie die. Bnt presently the blisters drew and 
that seemed to revive him. lie had failed to recognize uf, 
and could not talk. AVhile Si>ter C. was dresMug his blis- 
ters his consciousness and speech returned. This morning 
he seemed moi-e quiet and indeed much better^; but 
he is far from being out of danger, novr past 3, P. M. 
Much and fervent prayer has been, and still is oifered tor 
his recovery." 

The hopes of all were disappointed, and in a ^i'.\'^ hours 
the little suftVrer passed from his earthly home to 
one in heaven, to be followed in a few short years 



100 MEMOIR OF 

by his devoted fatlier. Too-ether, tlieir earthly forms 
rest in Oakd;de Cemetery, Wihiiington, far from kiiidi'ed, 
but among those, some of wliom, at least, will long remem- 
ber the faitiiful ministry of their devoted pastor. To a 
friend he wrote : 

Aucj. 0th. — A. is certainly better. AVe feel much en- 
couraged to hope tliat she will soon he up agjin. Our 
friends are so kind. Tlu'v do all they can to assuage our 
grief I am sure they t'-iily sj^mpathizo with us. We are 
irving to hear O'lr affliction with hjcoming resiarnatiun. 
I "desire to Itarn the lesson God would teach us. "^ ■^*' * 
Our sweet little Jemmie is burled in brother F's. lot in 
the cemt3rery. His coffin is enclosed in a strong box, with 
reference t</ having it removed to mv own ground after 
awhile." 

We resume the extracts from the journal : 

"Aug. 9th.— At home all day. Felt lonely. Afflicted." 

"l;)th. — Made some remarks at Sunday School. Much 

aifected, so were all. Preached — Rom. viii: 17. Felt 

somewliat relieved. Brother R. prt-.ached at 5, P. M. 

Many friends called in after preaching." 

" Rode to the cemetery with wife, sister and little A. 
We went to our Jittle J's. grave. 

'' Thou art. f;:one to the grave, 
But we will not deplore thee." 

Attended the funeral of Brottjer P. at 9, A. M. After 
coming home had a chill. Felt discouraged." 

He and each member of his family were quite sick for 
several daj^s. In this season of suffering and anxiety he 
wrote : 

" Thus all are being afflicted to-niglit. Lord help us, 
we've no other help." 

The storm could not last forever. lie, who holds the 
eeas in the hollow of his hands, spoke and the winds were 
hushed into silence, and the glad sunshine and the fair sky 
appeared again, wearing a milder, softer loveliness than 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 101 

ever before. The dawning of this brighter dav is thus re- 
corded : 

" Felt q'^.ite feeble. Went into Sunday School. Much 
affected, hiaring tlie singing. Tliouglu of deai' little J. 
Preached trom'lf any man Avili come after me, e^c' 
Comniuiiii.n Onlj one service." 

"Felt thankful that the health of my family and my 
own is much better. Keading in my study, and feel that I 
enjoy it, alter a long interruption. Arranged my thoughts 
for th(^ Sabbath. O, to be prepared." 

With the return of health to iiim-;elf and his family he 
devoted himself with subdued and chastened spirit but 
with renewed energy to his legitimate work. His afflic- 
tions had been severe but he neither murmured nor com- 
plained. He recognized the hand of God in them all and 
believed what he now sees from the serene and blissful 
home which filled so large a place in his heart while on 
earth, tliat the)' wei'e sent in infinite wisdom and infinite 
love. The prayer, which he so frequently ofi'ered uj), that 
these trials might be sanctified to his own good and that of 
the church, was heard and granted, liis ministrations at 
tlie bed-ide of the si^k and the dying, and his words of com- 
fort to the bereaved ones gave him a firm hold on every 
heart, on some who could not have been reached in any 
other w;)y. In like manner their kindness to him when he 
was passing through the deep waters eiidearcd. them to 
him by ties which neither toil, nor care nor the fiight of 
years could seer or loosen. He purchased a lot in Oak- 
dale Cemetery and transferred little Jemmie's remains to 
it. Thenceforward Wilmington seemed to be the home of 
his heart as it had been in reality before. He felt that 
here his earthly labors for the Master were to end. How 
true ! Alas, that they should have ended so soon ! 

The followins^ entries are found at this time in his diarv : 



102 MEMOIR OP 

"I liave removed the remains of m}- dear cliild to the 
new lot! I leel so thankful it is done. 'There sweet be 
his rest, &c.' I went to the cenieterj twice to-day. 

lYth. — VVitli brother Mitchell, agent for W. F. College, 
I do not enjoy this so well, but it mast be done, the col- 
lege must be endowed. 

'22nd. — I went to the cemetery and saw the tomb-stone 
erected by the Sunday School of Fro.it Street Baptist 
Church, to the memory of our dear little James. 

23pd. — Intensely cold, blowing almost a gale. In doors 
all day. Much interested in reading the Christian Review. 
Sat up late and read aloud in 'Rise of the Dutch Re- 
public' 

27th. — Made up a little amount to present to a brother 
minister. Found no difficulty at all. O, chere is a real 
plea=^ui-e in trying to do good! 

2Sth. — Beautiful morning— in the Sunday School. — 
Preached on Edrosjjedion. 'Thou shalt remember all the 
way, c^oc' 

29tii. — Church meeting— large number out — did much 
business. 

^{Oth. — Met the committee to consult about building a 
new church.'' 

The nev»^ year (lav;ncd on a happy christian household. 
The old year had seen them sorely tried under thechasten- 
in^*- rud, aJid fi'om that little group one cherished form had 
gone out to return never more. But faith had recognized 
in these trials the Hand that do'-^h not willingly afflict, and 
this morning, as they gathered around the family altar, 
gratitude for past mercies and blessings, and hope for the 
future filled each, heart. What a pleasing picture is pre- 
sented in the follov/lng brief extract from Mr. P's. diary, 

" 1857 Jan. 1st. — AroL-e early and all tlie family joined 
in reading the iir.st chapter of Genesis. Sung a new year's 
hymn and i)raycd." 

All through this year he was earnestly engaged in efforts 
to promote the spiritual well being of the church. These 



REY. J. L. PRICHAKD. 103 

efforts, if jud2:pd by tlie apparent and immediate results, 
were only partially successful. But his labor was not in 
vain in the Lord. The blessing was delayed for a while 
but came in rich measure at len<]r<"h. 

Wl' introduce a f3w items from the diary of this year, 
illustrating something of the nature of his varied employ- 
ments. Attendance at the commencement of Wake Forest 
College is thus referred to : 

"June 10th, — To day Dr. Hooper delivered a very able 
addro3?, 0!i ' I'lio sacvodness of hun^an life and American 
disregard of it.' Had interesting conversation with breth- 
ren. 

11th. — Commencement day. Six graduates." 

On reaching home he wrote : 

"loth. -Remained at home all daj, tryino^ to get ready 
for Sabbath. Felt very tired. 

23d. — Making arrangements for Sabbath Scliool pic-nic. 

21-th. — Pleasant morning. Feel so thankful. Sabbath 
School met at rhe church and went to the ' Oaks.' Mr. F. 
made a speech at U o'clock and we had dinner about 12 
1-2. At least 150 present. All passed off very pleasantly. 
Got home about 5 F. M. 

July ist.— In my study, preparing sermon on the sub- 
ject of EUdion — tha- much misunderstood doctrine. 

5th. — Ninety-one se-holars at Sunday School. Preached 
on Election. A very large and attentive congregation. 
Attendeu funeral at 4 1-2 o'clock, P. M. Baptized, at 5 1 2, 
six colored persons. Preached at night on E Lection— 
crowd. 

6th. — Felt so much better than I expected. Worked in 
my flower garden till 9. Went to Post Office. Spent the 
day in reading and writing. 

7th — Endeavormg to prepare to meet the most plausible 
objf^ctions to the doctrine of election. 

8th. — Deii<2httul morning, so cool and pleasant. Little 
J. quite unwell — went for the doctor. Busily engaged in 
Sabbatli prepnrations, particularly in an endeavor to show, 
that though there are mysteries and difflculties connected 



104 MEMOIR OP 

witli Election, yet not more tlian witli otlier doctrines re- 
ceived. It is to he believed, j'ot iindei'S<"ood. 

KUh. 'O Lord, how manifold are thy mercies ' Little 
J. is better. The ot er children well. Spent the day in 
reading. 

12tli. — Preached— *Obje:'tions to Election considered, ' 
preliminary to a fuller answer tonight. Preached to- 
night. 

loth. — In my s'udy all day, readino: and arranging for 
a sermon, on the iin.p'trtaiice of a right understanding of 
doctrines^ iri order to peace (f mind and hapjP-ness. 

2Grh. — Baptized three col sred persons. 

31st. — Took M. and R. and went to Lenoir county, via 
Goldfeboro. At Mosely ILill, met many of the brethren 
and sisters, Went ro brother VV^'s — hovv pleasant a family. 
What fields of cotton and corn, and plenty of fruit. 

August 2iid. — Sabbath. Brother G. preached from I. 
King-i viil : 'IQ. I preaclied troai 'Mercy and truth ^Twre 
met, &c.' 

5th — Dear littld J^mes died one year ago to-day. Re- 
turned home. 

8th. — iSpent the morning in study. The health of all is 
quite (ood now. I desire to be truly thankful for all our 
mercies. 

12th~Feel quite fteMe. Called to see Mr. II. ; deliv- 
ered W's. dying iiie^sage to him. Talked and prayed with 
him. It is very WMTm. Shall endeavor to keep ch)se in 
the house out of the sun. O Lord, grant me and my fam- 
ily Ijealth and strength to labor for thee. 

23rd. — Sabbath. One hundred and four in Sunday 
School ; good concrregation. Preached from Psalm viii : 8. 
Enjoyed tiie services very much. A good da\\ Lord, 
bless. 

Some months after his deathj a gentleman heai'ing his 
name mentioned, remarked : *' Being detained in Wilming- 
ton once, I attended the Baptist church and heard Mr. P. 
preach on the pr per observance of the Sabbath. I 
was at that time connected with the railroad, and compell* 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 105 

ed to travel on the Sabbath. I was convinced by his ser- 
mon thMt I could not consistently continue in this business, 
and so resigned my situation." 

30th.— Preached on ^ Observance of Lord's Day,' and 
at night on ' Taking the name of God in vain.' I enjoy- 
ed the day very much. O that a rich blessing may at- 
tend the labors of God's people. 

Early in the Spring of the following year, 1858, Wil- 
mington was visited with the most remarkable religious 
awakening ever knoven in that city. It extended to all the 
religious denominations, and continued more than two 
months. For a time religion was the most prominent topic 
of tbuught and conversation among all classes of the citi 
zens. The Baptist churches shared largely in these gra- 
cious influences. The First church was especially favored. 
Her strength was much increased, whether we consider 
the numbers added to her fold or the renewed spiritual life 
imparted to the whole body. 

Mr. P's. diary, as illustrating his mode of life at this 
time : 

'' ilth.— In my study and found it good to make prepara- 
tion for to-night. Felt a deep interest in being prepared 
for this meeting. I was also studying Ps. cxxxiii, for 
Sabbath morning. O God, give me and give us all, as a 
church, the goodness and pleasantness and the blessing of 
that Psalm. There was quite a good number out at night 
and I enjoyed the meeting very much. 

12 tb. — A most delightful day in my study. Sat up till 
eleven reading 'Livingstone's travels in South Africa.' 
It is a thrilling book. O, that there were more Bowens, 
Living-tones, &c. Lord, send many good men to Africa. 

13th. — I spent the entire day with mv family, in read- 
ing the papers, Kecorder, Herald, Journal of Commerce, 
&c., &c. It was a rare treat for me and I enjoyed it 
much. It was stormy without, bat a good coal fire, 
Iiealthy, playful children and affectionate wife, made it 

7 



106 MEMOIR OF 

sunshiny within. A sweet day. Lord, sanctify it to us 
all. 

Itlrtli. — Sabbath. Text — cxxxiii Psalm. O, it was a sweet 
time to me, and I think to many. May it indeed prove a 
great blessing to the church. Preached at night on 'Trans- 
liguration.' Congregation very attentive. 

ISth. — In my study. Could not get my mind interest- 
ed as I sometimes have it. There was a dullness, a slug- 
gishness, which I could not overcome. O, to be free from 
these clogs. 

19th. — How diflerent a day from yesterday. lean truly 
say, I felt it good to be here. Had to read much in rela- 
tion to my subject. 

21st.— Went early, at eight, to attend a funeral. Back to 
Sunday School; one hundred and forty-three present. — 
Preached — Luke xvii : 2. At 2, P. M.. Attended a funeral 
over the Railroad. Preached at night. 

26th. Borrowed a volume of Webster's works, and read 
his argument on the Girard College, to my great delight 
and, I trust, j)i'ofit. Read several articles beaiing on 
the christian ministry, and then commenced preparing a 
discourse on that subject, and continued until eleven and 
could have continued much longer, but felt 1 ought to 
sleep. 

2Sth. — A lovely morning. One hundred and thirty-three 
in Sunday School. A large congregation. Preached on 
the ' Christian Ministry, its nature, object and claims,' Isa. 
Hi : 9, Nahum I : 15, Eom. x : 15. took up a collection 
for our Beneficiaries, $28. At 2, P. M., baptized two per- 
sons. A very large crowd and very good attention. At- 
teu'.'edmy Bible class, rested a little and preached again at 
night. 

March 5th. — In my study, finished my sermon for Sun 
day morning, and after clinner commenced one for the 
night. Spent the evening reading the papers. Amidst all 
my cares and anxieties, I have my joys and delights. 

14th.— One of the loveliest of mornings. So clear, mild 
and calm. The beautiful river reflects every object. One 
hundred and twenty in Sunday School. A large congrega- 
tion and very attentive. ' Behold 1 lay in Zion, for a foun- 



REV. .T. L PRICHARD. 107 

dation, a stone, &c.' Bible class at three. A goodly num- 
ber out. Enjoyed it much. Lord bless these humble ef- 
forts. Preached at night from, ' If any man build upon 
this foundation, &c.' Eead. till eleven. 

The beginnings of the gracious I'cvival to which we have 
referred above are indicated in the extracts which follow : 

"|15th. — Rose at live and ielt entirely refrcslied l)y sleep. 
The most spi'ing-like morning yet. Went to prayer-meet- 
ing. About twenty-three out and a most deliofhtfn I time. 
Called to see Mr. M., talked and prayed; and at brother 
A's., talked and prayed. AVent to Dr. JJ's. prayer- 
meeting, prayed. Thirty-three ladies at Society. Went 
to brother ^K's. meeting." 

" March 16th. — At sunrise prayer-meeting again this 
morning. About forty -five persons there. It w^as a pre- 
cious season. At night preached from Rev. ii : 5. The 
congregation was large and attentive. Three knelt for 
prayer. Lord, bleis all." 

" March 17th.— At sunrise prayer-meeting again. A 
large number out. It was one of the sweetest meetings I 
ever attended. Preached at night from Isaiah 53 : 12. Sev- 
eral knelt for prayer." 

" March 2^'rd.— Cloudy and raining hard, but a large con- 
gregation at the prayer-meeting. It was a melting time. 
O for the Spirit's power. Lord, grant it to thy people to- 
day. Preached at night — text, Matt. 11 : 27, 30. A pre- 
cious meeting. Lord bless the efforts." 

'' April 15th. — Just one month ago we commenced our 
sunrise prayer-meetings. This morning we came together 
to thank God for what he had already done for us all. A 
more delightful season I have not yet enjoyed." 

Thus the record runs on through April and May. The 
sunrise prayer meeting was the first labor of the day. 
Then visiting among his people till 10, A. M., or 12, M., 
when he usually attended a prayer- meeting in another part 
of the city. In the afternoon a brief interval of rest, then 
among his people again, and in the pulpit at night. The 



1Q3 MEMOIR OF 

labor was herculean, but he loved it, and it was not till 
near the close that he shoved signs of failing strength. 
His diary makes occasional mention of assistance from vis- 
iting niinisterrJ, as in the following : 

'' Makuii 3()th. — Brother McA -, of Sampson, took 

tea with us, and preaclied at night. 'Be ye also ready/ 
A heavenly meeting." 

'' April 27th. — Brother K — y, of Duplin, preached — 
Eph. 3:8. A good sermon. Congregation large, serious 
and attentive. Many asked for prayer in their behalf." 

These visits of liis brethren in the ministry were very- 
refreshing to him, but they did nat come often during the 
progress of this gracious work. Most of the tin:je he was 
alone. 

Two letters of his written at this period have been pre- 
served. We make the following extracts : 

Wilmington, May 21st, 1858. 

* * ^ * vf vf '^ vf * -X- ^ 

I was truly glad to hear of the in teres t in the college and 
in the Grace Street Church. O, that it may become more 
deep and general. I am sorry I have not time now to an- 
swer J'e. letter. I remember preacliing from the text to 
which be alludes. 1 believed it fhen, 1 know it 7iow. We 
still continue our morning prayer- meetings, and they are 
still very interesting and "profitable to many of us. Sev- 
eral saj,' ' Don't give them up.' On Wednesday night we 
held a meetTng for attending to the regular bu&iness of the 
church. My heart was deeply affected when I saw so 
many there,' members of the church, who a short time ago 
were in ilieir sins. Our meeting was a delighful one. The 
interest has very sensibly subsided, but thei'c is a very 
hap])y state of things and several are anxious. * "'^' ^ 

I i'eel amazed at myself, that I have not felt more the 
effects of my arduous and protracted labors. I have de- 
termined to take a week or two of rest, lest I should not be 
able to stand the warmer weather that is now at hand. I 
now think of leaving home on Monday week for Hichmond; 



EEV. J. L- PRICHARD. 109 

thenci3 to tlie General Association of Virginia; and from 
thence to Commencement at Wake Forest. Do not feel 
disappointed if I do not come, for life and health are very 
uncertain. I anticipate no little pleasure, however, if it 
be the will of God to permit me to visit you all once more 
and to see the brethren whom I so much love in tlie Lord." 
-::- ii: ^ ^ -r- -k- -:f -Ar 

The text alluded to in the above letter was : '" They that 
sow in tears shall reap in joy." He hiezo by experience the 
truth of the declaration in the happy revival throngh 
which he had just passed. 

WiLMiXGTON, May 14th, 1858. 

"My Dear : Your very welcome letter was 

received, and we were trul}^ glad to hear of tlie welfare of 
the family, and also the encouraging prospects of the For- 
eign Mission Board. I trust 1 do teel a deep interest in 
all that relates to the Kedeemer's kingdom at home af5d 
abroad. Since I last wrote, nothing of special interest has 
Occurred in our meetings. Sunday was indeed a deliglitful 
day with us as a church. It is so different from what it 
used to be. The young men's prayer-meeting is very in- 
teresting, many of the young men praying and giving a 
word of xixhortation. There is a very interesting state of 
things among our colored people in all the churches. There 
were thirt}^ or forty anxious enquirers in our church, Sun- 
day afternoon. I could not attend. Several of the brethren 
met with them 'and the colored brethren mostly conducted 
their own meetings. Our sunrise prayer-meetings are still 
continued, though by no means so largely attended as for- 
merly. But I think they are sweeter, if possible, than 
before. 

Last night we had a thanksgiving meeting to return God 
special thanks for what he had done for our town and espe- 
cially for our church. And notwithstanding Dr. llav^dvS 
lectured before the ' Mount Yernon Association,' we had a 
very large congreo-ation and the services were of a most 
interesting character. The singing was spirited, the pray- 
ers fervent, and the remarks of some of the young con verts 



no MEMOIR OF 

most impressive. An old man, a sailor for over thirty 
years, and a Catholic — a Scotchman by birth, spoke of his 
thankfulness to God that he had been permitted to live to 
attend this meeting and find the Saviour, etc. ^^ * * * 

Most sincerely do we sympathize with sister H. and all 
the famil)^ in the loss of one so dear to us alL But no ! 
she is not' lost, even to ns. ' She is not dead but slespeth.' 
Present to the afflicted family our kindest regards. 

We tliought and spoke of you all yesterday and last 
night. May God bless our dear brother and sister and 
make them a great blessing to one another and to many 
others Love to all. 

Truly yours, 

J. L. Prtchaed." 

On the 31st of May he writes in his diary : 
"Awoke early. Thought of the sunrise prayer-meetings 
which I had been attending so long and with so njuch 
pleasure and profit. Lifted my heart to God in supplica- 
tion for all who attended them." 

The daily meetings are over. During their continuance 
nearly one hundred members have been added to the 
church, and the whole body has been awakened into new 
life and activity. The pastor, worn down by excessive 
labor, need'd recreation ; and on the 2nd of June he took 
leave of his family and flock to attend the meeting of the 
General Association of Virginia at Hampton. After a 
brief sojourn among his friends in the Old Dominion he 
returned to his home b}^ way ol Wake Forest college, 
where he stopped to attend the Commencement exercises and 
preach the sermon before tlie graduating class. In July 
he attended the Commencement exercises of the Chowan 
Female Collegiate lur^titute. Murfreesboro, X. C. While 
there he wrote to his daughter the letter which we give 

below : 

(to his daughter.) 

MUEFREESBOKO, JuLY YtH, 1859. 

" My Dear M. : — ^You can scarcely conceive how much 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. Ill 

jou were contributing to the happiness of your father 
When on .Monday h\st, you penned those lines at home. ^ I 
am very much obli<<ed to you, dear child, for your alFec- 
tionateletter. I am glad you have vacation, so that you 
can rest awhile. - - * ■^'' Thinking it may interest you, I 
will say a few words in reference to the Institute at this 
place. It is a large and beautiful building, situated from 
a half to three fourths of a mile from the village. The 
grounds are beautifully laid out, aud beautiful elm trees 
are planted in such a manner as to represent the planets. 
This was Mr. Fory's taste. There are about ten acres con- 
nected with the Institute, so that the young ladies can walk 
miles, within their own grounds. Besides, the college 
building has porticoes, extending the entire length, which 
aiiord a good place for exercise in damp or rainy weather. 
The chapel is a beautiful room, containing a large organ. 

I was present at the Commencement. The music was 
good so far as the instrumental part was concerned. There 
are eighty pupils connected with the school. There were 
thirteen graduates. It was an interesting sight, tu see thir- 
teen young ladies, dressed in white, standing up to receive 
their diplomas. The essays were good. Dr. Hooper^s ad- 
dress to the graduating class was excellent. Dr. Kean's 
address was also very good. His subject was 'Develop- 
ment, Physical, Mental and Moral.' I have no doubt this 
is a line institution. I should be glad to have you come 
here or to some other such school and complete your studies. 
I shall try to give you as good an education as my means 
will allow. I doubt HOt, my dear child, you will endeavor 
to improve your golden opportunities. One thing Dr. 
Hooper said last night, I regi-etted to hear, that so ' many 
of the young ladies had not made choice of the better part 
which Mary chose.' My daughter, ' with all thy gettings, 
get wisdom.' I feel great anxiety about this. Do try, my 
dear, and give your whole heart to the Saviour. Love him 



nolo, ''-" ^ * 



I am, dear Mary, your affectionate father." 



CHAPTEE YII. 

J^EW House of Worship in Wilmington — Enterprise 
Difficult — Increased Labors and Solicitude of Pas- 
tor — Extracts From Diary — Condition of the Coun- 
try — Love of the Union — Extracts From Diary — 
War — Work Among the Soldiers — Affecting Inci- 
dent — Extracts From Diary — Letters — Yisit to 
Kichmond — ^Testimony of a Soldier. 

When Mr. P. took charge of the church in Wihnington 
it was with the understandiDg that they would build a 
larger and better house of worship, on a more eligible site, 
as the one in which they were then worshipping was not 
at all adequate to the wants of tlie denomination in that 
growing city. His attention was never diverted from this 
object, though, from various causes, no formal action in the 
matter was taken by the church for more than a year after 
the settlement of the new pastor among them. Towards 
the] close of 1857 they began to consider the matter in 
earnest, and early in 1858 a lot on the corner of Fifth and 
Market streets was purchased. In the Fall of this year 
Mr. P., with one of the deacons of the church, visited 
Richmond, Baltimore, Washington and other cities, exam- 
ining models and consulting architects, with the view of 
securing the best plan for their new edifice. In February 



REV. J. L. PRICHAKD. 113 

1859 the Gubscription list was opened, and pledges to the 
amount of $10,000 were secured the first day. He then 
eniracred dilii^ently in the work of collection and canvassed 
the city with considerable sncce^s. All that could be 
raised at home was secured and the building was com- 
menced. Subsequently he visited many portions of the 
State, soliciting contributions in belialf of the enterprise, 
and though he often encountered indifference or opposition 
yet each trip swelled the amount of funds. Slowly but 
surely the work went forward till the breaking out of the 
war and the blockade of our ports rendered it impossible 
to procure the necessary materials. 

This new undertaking illustrates the character of the 
man. It was of sufficient magnitude to discourai;e one 
who had less earnestness and faith. The reqi.isite amount 
of funds could not bo raised in Wilmington, and the 
slow and tedious proce>s of soliciting aid from abroad 
must be resorted to. This part of the labor he must per- 
form. He encountered indifference or opposition at home 
Much more must he expect it in communities that had no 
local interest in the enterprise. His pastoral labors were 
heavy, and to these must be added the task of surpervising 
the work as it progressed, and of travelling over the State 
to collect money. The danger of fiiilure on the one hand 
and the magnitude of the work on the othir, might well 
have made him shrink back and wait for a more conveni- 
ent season. But he neither gave up the scheme nor even 
hesitated about it. The house vras needed. It was to be 
built for God and God v?ould provide the means. So he 
reasoned and so he acted, and subsequent events have 
shown that he was right. The work which was sus- 
pended by the war has been vigorously prosecuted by his 
successor, Rev. W. M. Young, and there is every pros- 



114 MEMOIR OF 

pect of its completion at an early clay. We give a few 
extracts from Mr. P's. diary to show the views and feel- 
ings with which he hegan and prosecuted the enterpiise: 

" Spent the whole evening in conversation with the 
brethren in reference to building a church, buying a lot, 
&c., &c. O God, help us to build a good house and pay 
for it and worship thee in it. Wilt thou not ?" 

'^ Early the sisters commenced coming to form a society, 
according to appointment, to raise funds for the chui'ch. 
Nineteen names given in. A pleasant meeting." 

Again, before meeting the brethren ibr consultation, 
he wrote : 

^^ Lord, grant us thy wisdom for Jesus' sake." 

Again he wrote : 

^'I am about to start once more to solicit aid to build 
a house for the Lord. Lord, the gold and the silver 
and the hearts of men are thine. Thou canst dispose 
them aright. Help me for Jesus' sake to succeed this 
day." 

'* Hope to be able to do something to-day for the Lord's 
house. God, prepare me to labor, and the hearts of 
the people to give liberally." 

Later in the day he states the amount received, and 
adds : 

"I feel very thankful for these sums and encouraged — 
confident that my prayer was answered." 

" "Wrote a piece for each of the daily papers in behalf 
of the new church enterprise. Saw several of the mem- 
bers in relation to subscriptions and secured §700 before 
2, P. M." 

With these aims and in this spirit he labored on, and 
the measure of success which crowned his efforts was all 
that could have been expected. How could it have been 
otherwise ? 

To raise the money as it was needed, and give his per- 



EEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 115 

sonal attention to the work on the new buihling as it pro- 
gressed made Large demands on his time, but he did not 
on this account neglect his pastoral duties. He was as 
careful as ever in the preparation of his sermons and as 
punctual in visiting the people of his cliarge. Nor did 
he or his cliiirch, though so heavily t;vxed, forget the 
great objects of christian beneficence. Their contributions 
in behalf of missions, b^th at home and abroad, were as 
frequent and liberal as ever. 

We turn now to his diary for 1860. The entries are 
more copious and give us a clearer view of his life and 
character during the eventful months that followed : 

^' Jan. 7th. — Enjoyed family prayers. I know not how 
any Christian family can disjjcnse with family worship 
and live as a Christian desires to live inwardly ! How 
does he keep the fire always burning on the altar of his 
heart ? I feel I need it. 

14th. — I am very much pleased with my new Alias by 
Mitchell. I feel more than ever the importance of a knowl- 
edge of Geography. 1 intend to give more attention to it 
than I have done and encourage ni}^ children to do so. 

31st. — Reading the Eclectic Magazine and was truly ed- 
ified and instructed. O, that I had more time to read. 

Feb. 8th. — I do not think it easy to over estimate the 
importance of a knowledge of Geography and History and 
deeply regret my limited knowledge of both. I will try 
even now, at the age of forty-nine^ to correct this deficiency. 
I rejoice that my children are enjoying advantages which 
I did not. J3ut I would only know these things to be more 
useful. 

10th.- — I know not when I had so pleasant a time witli 
my books, as I have had to day. O Lord, L thaidv thee for 
these bunches of grapes from Eshcol. 

19th. — At Sabbath school. Had some good singirgand 
enjoyed it much. Preached from Song of Solomon, 1; 6. 
'But my vineyard I have not kept!' The congregation 
attentive. I felt more than nsual. Hested awhile and 



116 MEMOIR OF 

read from A. Fuller's and John Howe's works in reference 
to 'future punishment,' and preached at night from Isaiah 
X: 14. Congregations good and very attentive. 

20th. — Church meeting to night. A good number out 
and a very pleasant time. O, I do pray that we maybe 
kept in the bonds of peace. Lord, help us to keep the 
unit}' of the Spirit, <fec. I feel the deepest anxiety for the 
church." 

After a day of visiting, he writes : " I enjoyed my visits 
very much. O that good may result. I am more and 
more convinced of tlie great good that may be accomplish- 
ed hy pastoral visiting. Help me, O Lord, to do my duty." 

'' 22i]d. — Enjoyed the work of the day very much. There 
is nutliing like having the heart in our work, giving our- 
selves wdiolly to these things. I do trust that my brethren 
and sisters nuiy be half as much edilied in hearinq^ as I 
was in preparing. 

Makcpi 8th. — A goodly number out at prayer-meeting. 
Commented on ' AVhy should a living man complain?' 
Enjoyed the exercises and trust others did. May we all 
cease to complain and be cheerful and be resigned. 

iGth. — Our dear little J. was so much better that I 
brought him down stairs to-day. He was delighted. I 
think that A. and G. are taking measies. O Lord, be pleas- 
ed t'j ^])are them, for us. Make ihem tliine for Jesus sake. 

19th. — Bouo-ht fruit cake, ci:c. for Johnnie's birthday. 
He is four years old. Lord, bless the dear child and help 
us traiii him for Thee. 

2Uh. — My throat is worse. Could not sing this morn- 
ing! It seems strange to have morning prayers without 
singin.x. 1 regard it as a most interesting part of family 
worship. In my study continued to read and arrange for 
Sabbath. Find it much easier to prepare a sermon by 
writing, than in another way. I can tiiink more readily, 
and become more interested. It is hai'd to break off from 
old habits, good or bad. Hence the importance of forming 
right luibits at first. 

April 5th — A day of barrenness. I could not get my 



UEV. J. L. PRiCHAPwD. 1 17 

mind interested in anything. I wonder if uny good iiiinis- 
ter of the aospel experiences anything like this. O liiati 
may be delivered fr.)m this deadness. ' My soul c'l-aveth 
unto the dust, quicken thou me according to th} word.' 
Saviour, precious Saviour, come to my rescue. 

May 4th. — \Yalked to the church. The workmen are 
laying brick. Tlie v/alls are rising. Yet I hope to sec 
them rise. 

6th.-^Sweet li^^tle Georgie'd birthday ; two years old. A 
calm and lovely Sabbath morning. The bii'ds smg very 
sweetly. The children aie well and happy. ]SIow O Lord, 
come and fill our hearts with heavenly mindedness and 
peace and J03', even the joy of the x^oly Gliost. Went to 
Sabbath school ; not quite a hundred out. We sang two or 
three pieces. A large congregation. Preached from CoL 
II: 9, 10. Communion, a very pleasant time. Eeceiv- 
ed Sister W. who was baptized 24th April. 

Yth. — Made this a rest day in part. Spent the time in 
reading. It seems very strange to nie to l)e resting. Eter- 
nity for rest." 

This month he attended the Chowan Association in 
Edenton, obtaining more funds for the church. 

June 21st. — Saw brother H. Had conversation with 
him about doing good — mentioned to him how— by buying 
me some books, now selling at cost at Pierce's. He agreed 
and 1 selected the books, 820 worth, ly volumcb. B ought 
them home and opened them. Children vrith me much de- 
lighted. 

"July 19th. — Called in to see a poor man without Christ 
and no heart to desire Him ! Talked to him kindly. Then 
went to see brother Harry, (a colored broth. er.) Wliat a 
contrast. He is prepared, come what v\'ilL He is a calm and 
peaceful and happy man. Went to church. Saw the door 
sills, which had just arrived in the steamer ' Parkersburg.' 
'I delight in the stones thereof,' Ps. civ : 14, (of the house 
of God.) 

21st. — They have raised tiie window frames on the west 
side of the church. I was so ghid to see it. 

July 29th. — At night preached from Jer. viii : 20. This 



118 MEMOIR OF 

service was peculiarly affecting to me as I expected to bo 
absent for several weeks. O, I felt deeply. Shall we all 
meet again ? O, what shall betide us ? Hush, my soul I 

Aug. 3rd. — Left home on a trip to secure funds for build- 
ing our church edifice. 

On the 2d of September, after returning from one of 
his trips to collect funds, he writes : '' Attended the 
funeral of old Sister Y. Preached at 10^ — -'The love of 
Christ constraineth us.' Communion. An interesting 
time. Preaclied again at night. This has been a day 
full of enjoyment to me. One month since 1 preached 
on Sunday to my congregation ! I feel this absence from 
home was a great sacrifice, but a necessary one. I have 
made it cheerfully." 

5th. — Spent the day at home resting. A rarity for me. 
Well, I do not think I feel as well as if I had been at work 
all the time. 

9th. — Spent the early morning in my study, then to Sab- 
bath school. Enjoyed preaching. At 4, P. M., baptized M. 
B. A solemn time. Preached again at night. 

14th. — A very pleasant day in my study. Found it good 
to be engaged in my work. At such a time, ' I had rather 
be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to enjoy all 
that the vvorld can do for me. It U sweet to have a few 
moment.' foretaste of heaven ? ' O heaven, sweet heaven, 
when g .x'l I see, O when shall I be there!' 

loth.- -Late in the afternoon I walked again to the church. 
They have just commenced the vestibule wall. The outer 
walls are now up to the height of gallery, and soon the gal- 
lery will be raised. O Lord, help us to build and pay for 
this house and give it and ourselves to thee forever. 

iTth. — I know not when I ever enjoyed reading anything 
more than the Life of Richard Kniil O to be like him, 
because he was so much like Christ. Walked to the church. 
Commenced reading Doddridge's life. Talked with the 
young ladies about being useful and happy. 

22nd. — At 2, P. M., took all the dear children to see the 
Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress. They have just returned 
delighted. 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 119 

28th. I am so glad brother has determined to go 

to the Theological Seminary. O that I conld have enjoyed 
such an advantage in the early part of my ministry. But 
as I could not, I desire to encourage all young men who 
can, to go. The Lord bless our young brother. 

29tli.— This has been a day of unusual anxiety. I just be- 
gin to reahze that M'., his daughter, " is going off to School! 

Lord, I pray thee, bless my child. Make her a christian. 

1 do give her to thee, thine she is. make her a dear 
child of Jesus. I desire to consecrate myself and family 
anew to Thee. Bless us and make us a blessing !" 

During the session of the X. C. Baptist State Convention 
in Goldsboro he made the following entry : 

" Nov. 3rd.— At the assembling of the Convention I was 
allowed to explain in reference to our enterprise of building 
a church. Received about $265 in cash and subscriptions. 
Many pleasing events occurred, especially the effort by 
which the debt of the church in Goldsboro was nearly 
liquidated. I have never attended a more harmonious ses- 
sion than this has been. Grant, Lord, that it may be the 
beginning of better times." 

About this time the clouds, which afterwards gathered 
into such a terrific storm and swept in desolating fury over 
the South, began to appear above the political horizon. 
No man more clearly understood their dreadful portent or 
strove more earnest^ to avert the impending evil than the 
subject of this memoir. He was ardently attached to the 
Union and, while he could, sought to preserve the govern- 
ment under which our country had risen to such greatness 
and glory. But when the issue came and he must take the 
part either of the North or the South in the struggle, he 
could not hesitate. When Virginia and North Carolina 
cast their fortunes with the Confederate States, he appro- 
ved their action, and thenceforward the Southern cause 
had no more devoted adherent and supporter than he. 
Committing the cause of his country, as he did everything 



120 MEMOIE OF 

else, to God, he did not despond even in the darkest hour 
of the fearful and bloody struggle. With this brief ex- 
planation Ave continue our extracts from his diary : 

'',Nov. 7th. — The telegraph says that Lincoln ig^ elected 
President ! The deepest feeling is manifested by all. 
Secession is talked of. God, undertake for us, Ave be- 
seecli Thee. 

8t]i. — At prayer meeting. But few out. ' Blessed are 
the peacemakers.' ISpoke of the political excitement — 
urged upon all to be careful to use no exciting language — 
''grievous lo^rds.' I am not afraid. Jehovah reigns ! 
Our trust be in Him alone. 

15th. — Went to the new church — it has grown some. 
But 0, I feel so sad at the tlionght of the troublous times. 
Lord shall the work cease ? let it not, I pray Thee ! 
* -x- ^ J j-qqI profoundly the importance ot this crisis 
in political matters. God, forsake us not. Give us 
men for the times. 

IGth — The morning is bright and lovely, but the po- 
litical sky is dark and lowering ! Men's hearts tremble 
for Jear ; deep niutterings are heard from the South, it 
does seem that a dissolution of the glorious Union is in- 
evitable ! * * ^^ * 

18th. — Preached from Jeremiah xviii : 7, 11, in refer- 
ence to our national affairs. I urged moderation and de- 
liberation, and above all to distrust man, all mere parties 
&c., and to trust in God, to pray to him, have faith in 
him. 

20th. ^ ^ ^- Feel sad — no desire to be in company. 
I feel it is a time for prayer, meditation and deep hiinail- 
iation before God. Lord, humble our hearts beibre thee as 
a nation. I pray that thou wilt avert the threatened 
danger. 

26th. — Was called upon to attend the funeral of Mr. 
B. — a sad time, but few there. 1 walked to the the cem- 
etery. I went to the grave of our darling little James ! 
Sweet child, how calm is thy rest. Revolutions may 
come, but not to thee. ISTo, thou art beyond them all, 
safe in the bosom of Jesus. Ptcst, my child ! We will 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 1 21 

all try and meet thee ere long ! Lord, save us all as a 
family ! Let none be lost. Save us from our sins through 
Jesus' blood. 

Dec. 21st. — Walked round by the church. At work 
on west side, turning arches over the windows. * * * 
Heard cannon firing at the news of the secession of South 
Carolina. 

The next entry in his diary refers to ^' six or seven na- 
tionalities." This is explained by the fact, not only that 
Wilmington is a sea port city, but that the Baptist house 
of worship was near the river and occupied an elevated 
position. It was no uncommon thing to have quite a 
number of seamen as his hearers, and he always felt a 
special interest in their welfare. 

23d. — Preached to at least six or seven nationalities, 
I^orwegians, Scotch, Swedes, Prussians, &g. Text, Ps. 
Ixxxv: 6. ' Wilt thou not revive us again?' Without 
notes — enjoyed it very much and believe most of the 
hearers did also. I never felt more in praying for ^ oic7' 
country,^ ^ my couniry.'' Congregation very large in the 
morning, and at night good. The singing was truly de- 
lightful. 

Dec. 25th. — A dark, dreary day. Remained at home, 
reading the news. There is a war spirit all over the 
world. China has a double war, Africa is at war, all 
Europe is stirred to its deepest foundations, and our own 
America is in a most perilous condition. I^othing but 
Divine interposition can save us from war — internecine 
war ! 

29th. * * * South Carolina has declared herself 
independent. Will the General Government allow it ? 
If not, what then ? War? I suppose so. Lord, undertake 
for us. 

30th.— Preached at night from ^Harve3t is past, &c.* 
It was truly a solemn time. I think all felt deeply on 
taking leave of the last Sabbath in the year. It is a sol- 
emn thought — how have I lived ? 

31st. * * * * All is confusion and uncertainty, 
8 



122 MEMOIR OF 

South Carolina is precipitating things, and thus goes 
down the sun on Dec. 31st, 186Q. How will it rise and 
set to-morrow ? Will it behold our country stained with 
Mood ? God forbid it, we pray. 

¥eb 1st, 1861. — I enter to-day on my sixth year as pas- 
ter in this place. How man> more shall I be here ? 
Lord help me to be faithful, more than ever. Went to 
see brother Harry, (an aged colored member) he sleeps 
sweetly in death. 

April 13th. — Fort Sumter homharded all night! Every 
body is excited. War has commenced ; when will it end ? 
Sumter surrendered unconditionally, by Major Anderson, 
commander I Great rejoicing in Wilmington, flag rais- 
ing, &c. The windows on towers of our church raised 
to-day. So glad. 

15th.— Lincoln's proclamation received, saying he w^ould 
order out 75,000 men to take the torts, &c. Greatest ex- 
citement on the streets. 

21st. — A most lovely morning, but my soul, what a 
spectacle does our country present ! God have mercy on 
lis ! I preached and talked to a good congregation — a 
deeply solemn time. Text : — Deut. xxxiii : 26, 29. At 
night, trom Job ii : 10. 

22d. — Companies from West and South concentrating 
* * * * Went on the roof of our new church." 

During the year 1861 the work on the house pro- 
gressed slowly and his pastoral duties were attended to 
as usual. In addition to this, a wider field of usefulness 
was opened to him among the troops that were concen- 
trated about Wilmington from the commencemont of the 
war, and he was not slow to enter and occupy it. 

Every one remembers the eagerness with which the 
Southern soldiers, suddenly gathered into the camp from 
the pursuits and pleasures of home, sought for reading- 
matter with which to relieve the tedium of their daily 
life. It was Mr. P's. custom to visit them daily, taking 
with him such magazines, pamphlets, &c., as he could 



REV. .T. L PKICHARD. l2o 

Spare from his own library or could collect from others. 
Thus J by becoming acquainted with the men and mani- 
festing his interest in them, he induced them to attend 
preaching at the Baptist church ; and his congregation 
which had been thinned by the war, removal of families, 
and other causes, was greatly increased. His regular 
services at such times often had a special adaptation to 
the condition and wants of the soldiers. He frequently 
conducted religious exercises in the various camps around 
the city, and as regiments were passing through on their 
way to the scene of strife he met them at the depot and 
distributed tracts and Testaments among them, and by 
pleasant words and many little kind offices assured them 
of his regard for their spiritual welfare. He was also 
careful of the physical comfort of the soldiers. They 
always received a cordial welcome to his house and his 
table. On many occasions he took sick soldiers to his 
home that they might enjoy the kind attentions of his 
family. One of these recipients of his generosity, a 
young man from Virginia, had no sooner left the hospital 
than he exclaimed — feeling doubtless that he was with 
one who could sympathize with him and instruct him in 
the right way — '^ ISow I think I can give my heart to the 
Saviour." He had received a letter from his mother, a 
short time before, informing him of the death of his only 
brother and urging him to seek the salvation of his soul ; 
and he seerued deeply convicted indeed. Though suffer- 
ing much bodily pain he seemed to think only of his 
soul's danger. Mr. P. wrote to the young man's mother : 
'* Though I have been a pastor twenty years, I have never 
seen any one more penitent and humble." 

It soon became evident that he could not recover, and 
during his last hours he was constantly ministered to by 



124 MEMOIR OF 

Mr. P. and his family ia the tenderest and most faithful 
manner. His dying whisper — realized we trust — was : 
^^ Heavenly Father, save me." The letter to which 
we have referred says : 

^' At one o'clock on Sabbath morning, without a strug- 
gle or a groin, he breathed his last. In the most tender 
manner possible, we shrowded him. Early in the morn- 
ing I informed his company ol his death and every ar- 
rangement was made to forward his remains to you. I 
sincerely sympathize with you in the loss of your dear 
boys. May God bless and more than sustain you." 

Thus, while ministering to the bodily wants of this 
youthful soldier, he was permitted to soothe with the con- 
solations of the Gospel one who might otherwise have 
died in the loneliness of the hospital with none to point 
him to the Eedeemer of sinners. 

We now resume our extracts from Mr. P's. diary. The 
entries again become brief and hurried, making a simple 
record of the events and labors of the day : 

"June 4th. — ^Lord, bless me and all thy people to day. 
Guide our rulers, our officers and soldiers. Be our God. 
Let not our enemies have dominion over us, I pray thee. 
Enjoyed the day much in my study. Drilled several hours 
this afternoon — was quite tired but enjoyed it. Everything 
is warlike. 

11th. — Walked to the church. Front gable nearly done. 
Lord, I thank Thee for this, and will trust Thee for the rest. 

13th. — ^National Fast day. Lord be wdth the Southern 
people to day. Have mercy on our enemies. Quite a good 
congregation. Read portions of the Scripture, Joel ii ; Jo- 
nah iii ; Matt vi. Services solemn. All attentive. I 
urged confession of sin, supplication for the mercy of God. 
Gave many reasons why 

19th. — .... In my study. O, it is so difficult to read 
the war news and be devotional. Lord help me. 

July 7th. — . . . How sad to think of our country's con- 



EEV. J. L. PEICHAED. 125 

ditioii. God be merciful to us. Delightful singing. Large 
congregation. Many soldiers. Communion. Delightful. 

8th. — .... Selected all my pamphlets. Magazines, ad- 
dresses, &c. in order to give to the soldiers. . . . 

30th. — Went to the new church — upon the tower, &c. 
The doors and windows are being closed and the lumber 
piled. . . . 

Sep. 8th. — One of the lovliest of mornings. Surely there 
will be no battle to-day ! Gracious God, help our rulers to 
think of the present and future. ''•' -" Opened Sabbath 
school. Preached to a good congregation — again at 5, P. 
M. Enjoyed the services more than usual. 

17th. — In my study, reading ' McCosh.' I have enjoyed 
unusual pleasure to day. that I may have a right ap- 
preciation of my privileges and responsibilities. 

Oct. 2nd. — . . . Took a basket of tracts and pamphlets, 
&c., went to one of the camps. The men were eager for 
the tracts, &g. Spent several hours very pleasantly with 
the officers and men. 

6th. ^ — . . E. and I went to the hospital, many sick, but 
they seemed cheerful. Went to Sabbath school. Preached 
from Isa. iv : 8-11. Many soldiers present. . . . 

Having returned from the Eastern Association sick, he 
writes : 

" 12th.— This was a sick day, but I felt so thankful that 
I was at home on a good soft bed, receiving the attentions 
of my wife, sister and dear children. But I felt especially 
thankful that the hand of the Lord was in it, controlling 
everything for my good. 

13th. — Beautiful Sabbath morning. The bells rang so 
sweetly, but I was unable to go out. My wife sat by me 
and read much, which I enjoyed. Many of the brethren and 
sisters called in to see me. This was gratifying. ... A 
long time since I spent a Sabbath without attending 
preaching." 

The following letters to his daughter may appropriately 
find a place here, though some of them run into the follow- 
ing year : 



126 memoir of 

Wilmington, Oct. 16th, 1860. 
" My Dear M. : — "We were truly glad this morning to 
receive your letter which was very interesting and gratify- 
ing to us. Your writing shows that by care you will soon 
excel. I beg of you, my dear, always to take great pains 
in your writing as well as your other studies. Be sure to 
act in such a way as to secure the esteem of your teach- 
ers and schoolmates. ^ * * * ^^^ncl now, my 
dear child, let me affectionately urge upon you the impor- 
tance of giving your heart to the Saviour. We miss you 
very much, at prayers, at the table and on all occasions. 
Dr. Doddridge said to his daughter : ' The most costly 
thing connected with your education is the separation from 
you.' So, my dear child, we feel towards you. Your 
name is often mentioned by us all. Little Georgie says : 
" Kiss me for Mamie." All join me in much love. From 
your affectionate father." 

Another extract : 

" I am truly glad to hear that there is some seriousness 
in school and that one has made a profession of religion. 
My dear child, I* am much gratified at your progress in 
your studies, but I feel much more anxiety about your sal- 
vation than I do about everything else that concerns you. 
Do, my child, try and give your heart to Christ, Let me 
beg you to make it a subject of prayer, that God will ena- 
ble you to do this now. I should be glad to know how you 
feel on the subject of religion. Can you not write me ? 
Be sure and read your Bible carefully. Don't allow your- 
self to become alarmed about the exciting subject now agi- 
tating our country. ' The Lord reigneth,' you must look 
to him for pr(~)tection." -x- ■» * v:- -x- * 

Wilmington, Nov. 29th, 1860. 
" My Dear M. : — We were truly glad to get your letter 
on Tuesday, to see you are so prompt in writing and also 
to find such manifest improvement in your composition and 
penmanship. * -x- 4f j ^j^^ much pleased that 

you are so well satisfied and seem to have so high an ap- 
preciation of your advantages. Your privileges are very 
great, and you must not forget that your responsibilities 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 127 

will bo corresponding'ly great. Try and make the most of 
your advantages. If &od shall spare your life, you will 
live in eventful times — times that will require no ordinary 
men and women to perform their duties. Try, dear Mary, 
to be prepared to act w^ell your part, so that the Judge of 
all will say, ' Well done good and faithful servant, <fec.* 
Cultivate your head and your heart. Ask God to give 
you a heart to love and obey him. ^ •» -Jv ^ "^Ye have 
some very nice oranges and bananas. I wish I could send 
you some. To-day was thanksgiving day, but we observed 
it as a day of humiliation and prayer to God for our court 
try. Quite a goodly number were out at chiu'ch. There 
is little news. We are all well. Often do we think and 
speak of you and pray for you. All send much love. I 
am your affectionate father." 

Wilmington, Dec. 22nd, 1860. 

" My Dear M. : — It would afford us unfeigned pleasure to 
have you with us on Christmas day, to enjoy your company 
and that you might also enjoy ours, but I highly approve 
of the arrangement in not giving vacation in Winter. 
Since we cannot have you with us, to partake of your usual 
pleasures with your little brothers and sisters, we propose 
to send you a little box, as a small token of our remem- 
brance of ' Sis Mary.' Accept of this, my dear child, from 
us, for all are anxious to assist in fixing up the box. It 
is a small thing, to be sure, but you wull value it 
not so much for its own sake as for the sake of those who 
do not forget you in your absence. * * -sf ^ •«• 

The secession movements are all the talk now. South 
Carolina is out of the Union. The Lord only knows wdiat 
is to be the end of all this. -5^ ^ * --^ * ^•• 
Let us look to God to preserve our Union, but above all, 
our souls. Do try, my dear Mary, to give your heart to 
Christ. All send*^ much love. Your affectionate father." 

Wilmington, Jan. 24th 1831. 

" My Dear M. — I have been so much engaged of late, 

that I have not written you for some time. You wdll not 

construe this into indifference. I can assure you, my dear 

child, that you are never forgotten a day, or half a day, by 



128 MEMOIR OF 

11^^ here. For besides the frequent mention of your name 
in our conversation, at the family altar, twice every day, the 
blessing of God is invoked upon our dear absent child. 
Do you pray for yourself, my dear ? I trust you do. I am 
glad to hear you speak of your prayer-meetings. Do at- 
tend them, Mary : it is a precious privilege, whether it is ap- 
preciated or not — for the good are there, but better still, 
Christ is there ! And who would not love to go where 
Jesus is ? It is good to be there. Your letter was receiv- 
ed Wednesday morning. We were very glad to get it. 
I once loved to roam over the same high hills and deep 
shaded valleys along the banks of the little winding Meher- 
rin. Often have I bowed in prayer in those secluded vales. 
I frequently walked in the rear of Sister Thompson's house 
and thence to the river. But I was always alone ! and yet 
not alone, for God, I trust, was often with me, even there. 
* ^ "^ " ^ We have nothing in the w^ay 
of news. We have become so accustomed to the most 
startling things now-a-days, as to count them worthy of 
but little notice. Such is our nature. Things that would 
not have been tolerated twenty years ago, are now of every 
day occurrence and no one is greatly moved by them. * 

" -H- -Jr -K- ^ -K- -;f i'- 4^ -x- -^ 

I want you to exercise your mind in composition as much 
es your other duties will allow. Take any subject and try 
to express your ideas upon it, on paper. This is the way 
persons have been enabled to write for the amusement and 
instruction of others. Do try and become a good reader. 
In a word, my dear child, let your profiting be manifest to 
all, make the best use of your time and distinguished priv- 
ileges. And do not, I beseech you, neglect to secure the 
'pearl of great price' — that inner adornment which adds a 
lustre and grace to all the rest. See Proverbs iii : 1-26 : 
iv : 5-9. Take these words as coming from a merciful 
God to you. Believe them, trust in them. * * -5^ I 
want you to be sure and take much out-door exercise, ex- 
ert yourself so as to secure physical development. Exer- 
cise mind, heart and body. This is the only true develop- 



EEY. J. L. rRICHAED. 129 

Wilmington, Maech 28th, 1S61. 

" My Dear Child : — Your very welcome letter was re- 
ceived on the regular day. We were glad to hear of yonr 
continued good health and that you were in the enjoyment 
of po many and snch distinguished privileges. The com- 
position interested ns very much. It was very natural, 
well conceived and happily expressed. I hope you will 
cultivate a talent lor writing — it will greatly improve your 
taste. Write about reat things — things that are lovely, ele- 
vating and relining. Describing things or persons is like 
paintmg them — they make a deepimi)r^si>ion en the mind 
A person's character becomes like the objects of his contem- 
plation How different are tlie writings of Cowper and 
Byron. Both wrote as they thought and felt. An educa. 
tion will be of but little advantage to one who has neither 
a gift nor talent for conversation or writing. And it will be 
of less advantage to the world. Then always endeavor to 
read well, write well and converse well, and while your 
knowledge will afford you unspeakable pleasure, it will 
enable you to be both agreeable and profitable to others. 

And this is your sixteenth birthday ! Can you realize 
it ? It seems but a short time to me since I first pressed 
you to my bosom as my first-born. God has been very 
good to you, my dear child. ' The lines have fallen to you 
in pleasant places and yours has been a goodly heritage ' 
compared with many others. It would have been very 
pleasant to have you at home to-day, but it will not be 
long bofore the end of the session and then we hope to 
have you with us again. So you must try and be cheerful 
and the time will soon pass away. We are having pleas- 
ant weather. The work on the new church will now go 
on. We have all been very Avell. Your little brothers 
and sisters grow finely and are very interesting to 
us. You would be greatly delighted with little J., she 
is so sprighly, and laughs and crows, greatly to the delight 
of us all. The other children love her very much. 

The Lord bless you, my dear M. I am your affectionate 
father.'' 



130 MEMOIR OF 

Wilmington, April 25th, 1S61. 

'' My Di-:ar Child : — I snatch a moment to drop jou a 
line. I do not think it proper to say much about the all- 
absorbing topic now, as tlie papers will tell you all I could. 
The appearance of our town is greatly changed within two 
weeks. Then all was active, but now all is dull as to trade. 
Soldiers are arriving and departing, passing from the Soutli 
to the Xorth every day. I hope it will not be necessary 
to dismiss the school. But if your teachers shall judge it 
best, vvliy, I will make any arrangement that is necessary 
for your return home. Look up to them as your advisers 
and they will tell you what is best. GoJ, 1 am sure, is 
going to teach us, as a nation, a lesson which his goodness 
has failed to teach us. And now, my dear Mary, let me, 
with all the affection of a father, urge upon you the im- 
portance of giving yourself to Christ. Let us look to him, 
not only for our salvation from sin, but also for protection for 
our persons and our friends, and our dearest interests for time 
and eternity. Let us not trust in an arm of fltisli, not in ar- 
mies, or navies, nor in the prowess of man, but in God alone. 
Our cause is a just one, let us commit it to God, as did our 
fathers. He defended them and he will defend lis. Try 
and be composed. It is hard for us to get used to the war, 
but we must learn the lesson. May God preserve you all. 1 
sliall not cease to pray for you. Into God's care I comoait 
you. Your affectionate father." 

Wilmington, May 2nd, 1861. 

^' My Dear Cuilu : — I was truly glad to receive your 
letter, to learn that you felt willing to remain to the end of 
the session, but above and beyond all, did I feel glad to 
hear that some of the girls had found the Saviour precious, 
and that your heart loas interested, and desired that we 
would pray that you might be a Christian. 

Dear Mary, you are the child of many prayers. Your 
pious mcther's," offered while she lived and when she died, 
stand recorded before the throne of grace pleading lor you. 
And the prayers of your father continually ascend to God 
for you. But above all, the precious Saviour stands con- 
tinually pleading for you. But you must also pray ; and 



REY. J. L. TRICHARD. 131 

with confidence you may go to Christ as a sinner. 
He died for sinners. He came to save the lost. Ke- 
member, He is able to save to to the uttermost, all 
that come t© God by Him. Eepent sincerely ; believe 
in Him, for He is exalted to be a Prince and a 
Saviour, to give repentance and forgivenness of sins. 
His blood cleanseth from all sin. Go to him then with 
confidence. Go, nothing doubting ; say ' I must, I can, I 
do believe.' God bless you, my sweet child, a-id make you 
His, to suffer for Him, or do anything. Put all your trust 
in Plim. Your loving father." 

WiLMiNGTOX, May 17 th, 1861. 

" My Deak M : — You will perceive that I am again at 
home, but I have only time to drop you a line, as I shall 
be very busy preparing for Sunday. I left home on the 
8th for Savannah, Ga., where the Convention met on Friday. 
You will see the proceedings in the Recorder and I will 
not give an account of them. The country from Wilming- 
ton to Savannah is level and abounds in pines and swamps. 
Savannah is a beautiful city, having uiany public squares 
or miniature parks. There are some beautiful monuments, 
one to Pulaski, who fell defending the city, Oct. 9ih, 1779. 
Many of the streets are very w^ide, having four rows of trees 
in the middle. There is a magnificent Park and one of the. 
mosc beautiful Fountains I ever saw. It is in the midst of 
a ciicle, and has many devices, beautifully executed , from 
which jets of w^ater are thrown. Hundreds of men, women 
and children walk there in the evening. The walks are 
covered with shells. 

When in Charleston, we obtained permission to visit 
Forts Sumter and Moultrie, and the various places render- 
ed famous in the recent bombardment. Cannon bails and 
bomb shells are teriible things. Nothing can resist them 
long. I never could have conceived the terrible destruc- 
tion, had I not seen it. I brought home some fragments 
from Fort Sumpter, as mementoes. -j:- -x- * * ^> *" 

EXTRACTS FROM HIS DIARY. 

Jan. 18th. — This is one of the darkest moroings we have 
had, really wintry weather for this climate. O God, bless 



132 MEMOIR OF 

onr brave soldiers ia every camp. Came into my study. 
M}^ little children with me, playing. 

Eeb. Tth. — Spent some time reading ' Macaulay on His- 
tory,' and the 'Revolution of 1688, by Sir James Mackin- 
tosh.- Was greatly interested in the latter piece, though 1 
had read it before. O, that the Revolution of 1861-62 
may be for the glory of God and the progress of man- 
kind. 

22nd. — I suppose President Davis is being inaugurated ! 

God, if it please Thee, own and ratify our government. 
Give us a name and a place among the nations of the 
earth. 

25th. " ^ * It is about given up that Xashville has 
fallen ! I don't give it up yet — I will hope against hope. 
Lord, I look to thee^ alone. Spent the day in my study, 
reading Macaulay's History of England. Had a quiet, 
pleasant time. Sanctity to us the blessings of the day. 

March 2nd. — Sabbath. -^ * * I have spent a most 
pleas-ant day. I thank Thee, O Lord, that in the midst of 
war with man we have peace with Thee. 

loth. — Heard the sad tidings to-day, that l^ewbern had 
fallen ! A stirring day. Captain G's. artillery company, 
from Mississippi, and Captain B's. passed through town, 
also Cols. P. and J's regiments. ''^ * '-"^ * 

April 18th. — Had a most delightful time in my study 
It was sweet, yea passing sweet, to read and think and 
write, and thus the time glided away till about -1, P. M. 

1 went to the Hospital and spent the entire afternoon in 
conversation and prayer with many from Xorth Carolina, 
Yirginia, Georgia, Mississippi, etc.. Some deeply interest- 
ing cases. 

May 12th Letters from Richmond. Great solic- 
itude felt. Lord, deliver our Capitol from our invaders. 
Went to the new hospital, conversed with all the sick. 
Found several Baptists, Methodists, A:c. Enjoyed talking 
with them. After restmg went to the other hospital and 
visited all the wards but one a?id talked with the sick. 

18th.— All nature smiles, but O, how dark is the cloud 
over sinful man. It is just — we have sinned and God has 
frowned. I preached from 'I will bear the indignation of 



EEV. J. L. PRICHARD. 133 

the Lord, for I have sinned against Him." House crowded. 
Lord, bless alL Preached again at 4, P. M., congregation 
good and very attentive. 

24th Went to hospital — spent a very pleasant 

time. Find it a delightful work. The sick seem so thank- 
ful for Christian sympathy. 

29th. . . . At prayer-meeting — no brethren there — quite 
a goodly number of -listers out. Thank the Lord, they will 
not forsake their pastor and their Master's cause in the 
time of trial." 

While he was absent from home, attending the regular 
session of the Ministers and Deacons' Meeting of the East- 
ern Association, held at Bear Marsh, Duplin county, news 
came that the seven days' battles around Pichmond had 
commenced. A scene not easily forgotten followed the 
announcement. Every one present was interested, directly 
as well as indirectly, in the issue of tlie conflict. Among 
the gallant young spirits engaged in the bloody strife was 
some repre^gentative from every family, and the anxiety 
which pervaded the assembly was painful to witness. Xor 
was it without cause, as the list of casualties afterwards 
proved. Mr. P. announced his intention to go to Pich- 
mond to aid in caring for the sick and wounded, and the 
next day found him on his way to the Southern Capitol* 
A week was spent in the crowded hospitals, in minister- 
ing to the sufferers. He writes ; 

"I make it a point to talk to each individual about his 
soul and ascertain whether he has a hope in Christ. It is 
interesting to find so large a percentage of pious persons 
and especially of Baptists. I regard this as one of the 
most interesting fields for the minister and colporter. I 
love the work." 

And again : 

" North Carolina has suffered severely in the recent bat- 
tles. Not less than 3,000 has she lost in killed, wounded 
and missing. Her devotion to the cause can never be 
questioned." 



134 MEMOIR OP 

About three weeks afterwards he again visited Riclimond 
in charge of a car coiitaining fruits, vegetables and other 
articles needed for the sick and wounded, sent from Wil- 
mington and other points on the road. The distribution 
of these articles involved much labor but he cheerfully per- 
formed it, feeling that he could not do too much for his 
country's defenoers. Of this trip he writes : 

" At almost every station additions were made to the 
load. I wish you could have seen tlie quantity at Warsaw, 
Faison's, Mount Olive and other places. Another car could 
have been almost tilled. All things went on smoothly till we 
reached Weldon, where the conductor on the Petersburg 
road refused to take my car. 1 entreated but it was useless, 
and there was no alternative but to submit. My car was 
rolled out from under the shed and as it was now 3 o'clock, 
A. M., I got into the car and spreading my overcoat on the 
boxes tried to sleep, but in vain. There were three coops 
of chickens on board, and as it was early dawn, such a flap- 
ping of wings and crowing of roosters you have never 
heard. It was rather a singular bed-chamber, but far bet- 
ter than many a poor soldier has. They have only the 
cold, damp ground. They have only hard bread and 
fat bacon — and sometimes not even that — to eat, while I 
was in the midst of all sorts of good things. Fruits 
of the most delicious flavor were around me in great profu- 
sion. One comfort I had : it was all for the soldiers. 

Soon the Petersburg train came in and the conductor 
said he would take ray car. At Peter:?burg I delivered the 
packages for that place, and reaching Richmond about 9, 
P. M., had to see the car unloaded. It was about lU o'clock 
when we got through and I was so tired. The next d.-iy I 
was very busy delivering the packages. The Gov.a-nment 
sent wagons and hauled them to the hospitals. I expect 1o 
spend to-morrow in looking after those persons Avhom I 
was requested to find." 

His labors in behalf of the soldiers, continued to the 
close of his life, were highly appreciated by them; and 
while some have on earth hare acknowledged him as their 



KEY. J. L. PRICHARD. 135 

spiritual father, doubtless he has already met in the world 
of bliss many of those to whom he ministered on earth. It 
is a touching cii'cumstance that among the few present at 
his burial were several soldiers who thus testified their re- 
gard for one who like them offered himself a sacrifice for 
the good of humanity. In this connection we give a touch- 
ing testimonial furnished by a soldier after Mr. P's. decease. 

" 1 never knew him well," says tlie writer, " until the 
summer before God took him from ns. lie had come to 
Richmond on a mifsion of mercy to the sick and wounded 
soldiers of I^Torth Carolina. It was a work of love and 
pleasure with him. Being at home wounded, at the time, 
I was constantly thrown into his company, and never have 
I seen any man more earnest or conscientious in the dis- 
charge of his duty. From early morning till night he was 
engaged passing from one bedside to another in the various 
hospitals. Once I urged him to rest. Said he, in reply, 
'While I rest this evening, sor^^e man may die whom I 
might tell of Jesus. Xo, I must work.' 

" What most won my admiration and love was his cln'A- 
like ways and simplicity of heart. His thoughts and ac- 
tions were alike pure and unselfish. Utter self-abnegation 
was to l»e read in everything he did. How hard it seems 
that such a noble spirit could not be permitted to warm 
and brighten this cold, unfeeling atmosphere of society 
below. 

" His veneration and love for the soldiers — the private 
soldiers — were very great. I remember that, in a crowded 
car between Petersburg and Weldon, he voluntarily gave 
his seat to a soldier, apparently stronger and in better 
health than he, and stood the whole way, paying ^ the poor 
fellows need rest more than I do.' 

"In 1862 I stood with him on the shell covered beach at 



136 MEMOIR OF 

Fort Caswell, N. C. The surf was rolling heavily in, and 
wave after wave broke at our feet. He stood in deep 
thought, looking out on the vast expanse, for some min- 
utes, and presently exclaimed : ' Life is like thone restless 
billows. O for peace, for rest in Jesus !' His prayer for 
peace has been answered. Now in the presence of Jesus, 

' Not a wave of trouble rolls, 

Acroes his peaceful breast.'" 



CHAPTER YIII. 

Blockade-Eunning Vessels— Introduction of Yellow 
Fever — Great Consternation — Removal of Fa:siilies— 
Death of Rev. Robert Drane, D. D. — Dr. Dickson and 
Other Prominent Citizens — Medical Am and Sup- 
plies furnished — Remarkable Beauty of the Weath- 
er — Mr Prichard's Self-Denting Toils^ His Congre- 
gation Scattered — Sense of Loneliness — Letters. 
The blockade of the Southern ports, at the beginning of- 
the late war, threw the people of those States on their own 
resources, and some time elapsed before their energies were 
directed to a revival of commerce. Indeed it was not until 
their necessities became so urgent as to drive them abroad for 
such of the materiel of war as they could not produce, and 
without which their struggle for independence must cease, 
that their efforts were turned in this direction. Private 
speculation, with the certainty of enormous gains, aided 
this movement. The summer of 1862 saw the Confederate 
Government preparing to go largely into the business of 
blockade-running. Such capitalists as John Fraser & Co., 
of Charleston, with their world-wide credit, had already 
broken ground and were bringing lich cargoes — muni- 
tions of Tvar and the prime necessities of life — into all the 
ports not then in possession of the Federal forces. But 



138 MEMOIR OF 

this business, wlilcli was lightly considered of such in^- 
timable benefit to the cause and the people at large, was 
about to strike a heavy blow at the community of Wihniug- 
ton — a blow unequalled, in its shocking severity, by any of 
the bloody campaigns participated in by the sons of that 
city. 

In July, 1862, the dashing little Kate^ formerly a Charles- 
ton packet-boat, steamed boldly through the Federal fleet 
blockading the mouth of the Cape Fear river, and brought 
up to the wharves of Wilmington a valuable cargo from 
Nassau, IS". P. She rapidly unloaded, as rapidly reloaded 
with cotton, and departed on her second voyage. But she 
left behind her that which brought to Wilmington many 
a sad day, and before which even the horrors and excite- 
ment of a great war were forgotten. She left behind her 
the seeds of the dreadful scourge, the yellow fever. 

It did not spread at first — was not acknowledged by the 
physicians^ was not even suspected by the ijiass of the 
people. Still it crept insidiously about among the habita- 
tions of the poor and amidst the urlieus of the wretched. 
An uneasy feeling at length began to prevail. There was 
a singular .increase of certain types of fever — a continually 
increasing mortality in the physicians' lists, until at the end 
of August people began to enquire into the causes. Still 
the idea of yellow fever in Wilmington was ridiculed — it 
was simply absurd. 

Thus time wore on, the uneasiness growing, the mortality 
increasing until the 13th of Septeoaber, when the point was 
conceded, and on the ITth Dr. Dickson, one of the leading 
physicians of tlie city and himself soon to become one of 
the victims, reported five cases ti*eated by him. Two days 
Liter he reported three more cases, making eight, of whom 
six died. The way being opened, the physicians began 



REV. J. L PEICHARD. 139 

their regular reports, and in a week twenty-six cases and 
nine deaths were given as the total. With the acknowl- 
edgment of the disease and tlie dread confirmation of those 
dim forebodings which had made the community restless 
for weeks, one of those senseless panics, which every one 
can argue away and so few withstand, set in, and all wh^ 
were able to get away left at once. For several days the 
railroads and the high-ways leading from the city were 
crowded with families seeking safety in flight. This in- 
creased the anxiety and alarm of those who remained. 
The weather was very warm and rain set in. Aided by 
these causes the disease spread rapidly, and for the week 
ending October 3rd, 267 cases and 82 deaths were reported. 
The following week there were 395 cases and 40 deaths. 
Tliis falling off in the mortality led the people to believe 
that the disease had culminated; but their hopes were 
rudely dashed to the ground when the following week 
footed up 431 cases and 102 deaths, and the week after, 
194 cases and 111 deaths. Here the pestilence seemed to 
have spent its force and rapidly declined : the next week 
to 116 cases and 40 deaths ; then to 47 cases and 30 deaths ; 
then to 21 cases and 21 deaths ; the number constantly 
growing smaller till the fever disappeared. 

These statistics include only the white persons who died 
in Wilmington. Many who fled, bore the seeds of the 
disease with them to their places of refuge and there died. 
The negroes were spared at first, almost universally, but 
towards the close the mortality was greater among them 
than among the whites. About 150 deaths of blacks are 
reported. 

Thirty-seven per cent, o f the cases resulted^fatally. The 
mortality was also greater, but the number of cases smaller, 
in cool weather, while warm weather favored the spread of 



140 MEMOIR OF 

the disease but moderated its virulence. As in all epideni' 
ics the fatality was greater at the beginning and the close. 

Am< ng those who perished in this memorable season, 
besides Mr. Prichard, were, Kev. Robert B. Drane, D. D., 
rector of St. James (Prot. Epis.) church ; Dr. James H. 
Dickson, one of the most eminent surgeons of the State 
and President of the IS". C. Medical Society, a man beloved 
by the whole community ; Dr. T. C. Worth, brother of our 
present Governor, one of the leading merchants of the place, 
admired by all for his hearty energy and genial manners ; 
James S. Green, Treasurer of the W. and W. R. R., the 
perfect type of the Cape Fear gentleman, one whose large 
heart embraced all mankind, and whose gentle, cordial char- 
ities endeared him to everybody ; Col. James T. Miller, 
chairman of the County court, a polished gentleman and a 
rough but true friend ;— these and many others whose 
loss, humanly speakings was irreparable, were swept off 
in that carnival of death. Every family deplored the fall 
of some of its members or connections. In some instances 
whole families were stricken down and followed each other 
in rapid succession to the city of the dead. 

As we have stated above, nearlj* all who were able to 
leave the city did so, soon after the prevalence of the epi- 
demic was known. This necessitated the dosing of many 
places of business, and as the stock of provisions in the city, 
already small by raason of the exhausting demands of the 
army grew smaller and smaller, the distress among the poor 
and even among those who were able to purchase, became 
alarming. 'No carts laden with the good gifts of the coun- 
try came to the beleaguered city. Every one shunned it 
as a doomed place, and it seemed that the horrors of fiimine 
were to be added to those of pestilence. Experienced nur- 
ses^ attendants and physicians were also sadly needed^ as 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 141 

the burdt^.n of those who remained in the city and were not 
stricken down, became ahnost insnpportable. 

Gen. Beauregard was then at Charleston, in command of 
a department which embraced the infected district. He 
was rapidly rising to the zenith of his reputation, and, ad- 
mired by all his countrymen, was especially the idol 
those immediately about him. When the condition of the 
smitten city was made known to him, he at once detailed 
Dr. Chopin of his staif, to go to its relief. Through his 
efforts other experienced physicians and a number of skil- 
ful nurses soon followed. 

In answer to an appeal foi; provisions, supplies came in 
from the villages and towns of our own State and from 
Richmond, Charleston and other Southern cities. A chari- 
table association was formed under the direction of the 
Mayor, Hon. John Dawson, and when these various ener- 
gies were concentrated and put in motion, destitution dis- 
appeared and the struggle between the belligerents became 
less unequal. 

Thus briefly have w^e sketched the ravages of the yellow 
fever in Wilmino-ton, but no pen can adequately picture 
the utter desolation and loneliness of the place, as the 
weary days " dragged their slow length along." The 
weather, much of the time, was beautiful. Said one wdio 
was there through it all : 

*'For days and days the sun has risen in a sky as clear 
as ever overhung the shores of Italy — 'Deeply, darkly, 
beautifully blue ' — and has poured down his rays with a 
power and splendor that might well entitle our climate to 
be called a ' sunny ' one. And the evening has settled 
down mild and dewy, as calm and as peaceful as though 
war, pestilence and famine were unknown. Even the 
flowers, neglected and run wild, as they too often are in 



142 |[EMOIR OF 

the gardens of deserted houses, are io the fullest bloom, 
and no leaf falls yet. The trees are green — there is little 
sign of decay. To-day the sun came out without a cloud 
and bids fair to continue so. The sky is really beautiful, 
but it is a fatal beauty, or at least it seems so to us, who 
know that yesterday over sixty persons sickened, and that 
of these av number must die. Who know that now, out of 
our thinned population, some four hundred must be sick 
with a fearful epidemic. It will be long before any of us 
who have seen this October through in Wilmii:igton, will 
take pleasure in the splendors of autumn weather, rivalling 
the more seasonable glories of summer." 

How striking the contrast between this beauty of earth 
and sky, and the gloom and desolation which brooded over 
the liearts and homes and avocations of men. The ordi- 
nary pursuits of pleasure and gain were forgotten. Tbe 
streets, deserted by pedestrians, echoed only to the quick 
rattle of the doctor's buggy or the solemn rumble of the 
hearse. 

In this scene of fear and anxiety and suffering, we need 
not sav that Mr. Prichard w^as no lao^o^ard. At such a 
time and in such a place, no one was more at home than 
he. His active sympathies every w^here suggested what was 
best to be done, and his hands were skilful to prepare what 
his .heart suggested. 

On the 12th of August he had parted with his wife and 
four younger children who were about to visit relations in 
Kichmond, Ya., little thinking that he would never meet 
them again on earth. He continued in the diligent dis- 
charge of his duties, visiting the soldiers in the hospital and 
at the depot, and preachinfij on the Sabbath to large crowds 
till his congregations were scattered and broken up by the 
pestilence. The last Thursday evening prayer-meeting 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 148 

was attended only by liim and two faithful female members 
of the clmrch. Their next meeting was where ^'congrega- 
tions" ne'er break up" and prayer is turned into praise. In 

short time they had all passed away from the earth. 

When it was ascertained that the pestilence was at work 
in the place he did not advise others to remain. But he 
quickly decided that home was his place, and there was no 
faltering or hesitating after this. Those who knew his 
social disposition will appreciate the feeling of loneliness 
which crept over him as one and another of his brethren 
left. "Sister C. moving away!" This brief entry in his 
journal notes his sadness at the departure of one who, in 
seasons of affliction, had always been a ministering angel 
in her pastor's family. But he was not the man, and this 
was not the time, to indulge in idle despondency or grief. 
The snfiering ones all about him were crying for relief and 
he was soon at work like an angel of mercy. His views 
and feelings and labors at this time are touchingly set forth 
in his letters to his family. 

Before the letters are introduced which refer to the fever, 
a communication written to his four little children the 
oldest of whom was nine years old, will be given as 

illustrative of the tender interest he took in their welfare : 

" My Deak Ohildken, Annie, Johnnie, Georgie anp Lit- 
tle Sis Janie : — I wonder what you are all doing this 
morning. If it has been raining in R. as it. has been here, 
I expect you are all in the house — Annie nursing little 
sissie, and Johnnie and Georgie looking at the books and 
pictures and playing with little cousin J. I am so glad 
you are having such a nice time, walking, riding and 
visiting your cousins and seeing so many interesting things. 
And you went down to the Capitol Square, and saw the 
great horse rearing upon the top of the monument. Did 
you see those men standing below the horse ? 1 want you 
to tell me their names when you come home, and 



144 MEMOIR OF 

to tell me what they seem to be doing, tfec. Did you see 
Henry Chiy,? and the water spouting up and raining down, 
and the beautiful walks and trees? O, is it not a beautiful 
place to play in ? Did Mama show you the Governor's 
House? Did she take you into the State Library and show 
you the large flags and beautiful banner^! and muskets and 
swords? You must see them all, and tell n)e about them. 

" And you went to see dear little ccusits' graves. Now, 
you see, litte children die everywhere. O, > ou don't know 
how much Pa,>a does miss you. One night last week — 
Auntie and Bobby were away and I was left all alone. O 
it w^as so still ! Papa had to to read and have prayers 
alone! But you may be sure I thought of my darling 
children and prayed for them and dear M^mia, and all our 
friends, ' I hope you will be very good children. I was 
very glad to get dear little G's. letter. It his first one to 
Papa. I shall prize it very highly. Is not yot your little 
sissie a fanny little girl, to say ^ Buddy Annie V What 
does she call cousin J ? I suppose Uncles J. and C. are 
gone before this. I reckon you have had « nice time with 
Uncle G. How did he get another horse? Did he linu 
hisj 

You must give a great deal of love to all from Papa, 
am your affectionate father." 

LETTER TO HIS DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL IN SOUTH CAROLIXA. 

September, 16th, I8(i2. 
" 1 am truly glad that the school is so liberally patron- 
ized Hud that everything moves on so harmoniously. My 
earnest pi'ayer is that the school may be blessed w^th a gra- 
cious revival of religion, and that you, and E., and B., and 
indeed all the daughters who are there may become the 
happy subjects of it. I have made this a special subject 
of prayer. Think seriously of this, my dear child. With- 
out an interest in Christ, all else is nothing and vanity. 
Without it, all your advantages, intellectual and religious, 
so far from proving blessings, will turn out to be curses. 
But possessed of religion all these advantages will turn out 
to be bright jewels, to adorn and make you useful here and 
happy hereafter. O, then, seek ' the pearl of great price,' 
and seek it now f * * - 



REV. J. L. PEICHAED. 145 

There has been much sickness here for the last fortnight 
and it is now pronounced yellow fever, by the physicians. 
There is great excitement. Wilmington has never appeared 
so desolate since we have lived here. I am ti-nly ghid you 
are so far removed from these sad scenes. The hand of 
God is in all these things. I feel just as safe here as any- 
where else. I could <i?et no nearer to God, except ^j^e 
should take me to Himself, where there is no war and no 
sickness. My times are in his hands. I would not have 
it otherwise." 

(to the same.) 

October 1st, 1862. 

-'Your aunt and E. and I have all been well 

thus far, but sickness and death have been and still are all 
around us. We are in the midst of death. I attended the 
funeral of one of the first who died of fever, not knowing 
it at the time, and ever since have been in the midst of it. 
Our once happy town is almost depopulated. Many have 
died and a great many have left. It is impossible to give 
you an adequate idea of the desolate scene you witness at 
every turn. Many physicians and nurses have been sent 
from Charleston, lor which we feel truly thankful. All 
will be done that can be, but our trust is in God alone, for 
Kq alone can help us and deliver us from this dire calamity. 
My trust is in Him and to His merciful care and protec- 
tion 1 commit you and all my dear family. Mary, my 
dear child, let me v/ith ail the entreaty of a lond father, 
beg of you to seek an interest in Jesus Christ. My heart 
is set on you and all my dear children, to educate you in 
the way of holiness and usefulness here, and for happiness 
hereafter. But we know not what God may see proper to 
do with us. I still hope to see you at the end of this ses- 
sion, but we know nut what a day may bring forth. Try 
and be calm and trust in God, that He will take care of us 
who are so much exposed. God is with us and cari shield 
us here as well as anywhere else." ^^ ^ ''^ 
(to the same.) 

Oct. Sth. 

*'..-...' We are thus far well, through 

mercy, but I cannot tell how long we may continue so* 



146 MEMOIR OF 

Try, my dear child, to realize the true state of things. The 
Lord will hear us pray to Him. Should I die, I trust I 
have given my heart to Christ, and that I should go to 
meet your fcainted motlier and dear little brother Jenunie. 
But I trust, my dear child, that God will spare us to meet 
again in our humble home, to thank and praise him tor 
his loving kindness. And 6, Mary, if 1 could only be per- 
mitted to embrace you as a true child of liod, my grati- 
tude and joy Avould know no bounds. I have consecrat<^d 
you and all the dear children to the precious Saviour." 

* w -if ^ -^ ^ 'Ar :¥ 

(to the sa^ie.) 

October, Iotii. 

Dr. Drane died yesterday. O, how 

much he will be missed by his people. But God kno\^'S 
best what to do. ' The Judge of all the earth ' will do 
right ! My dear child, I have but little time to write you 
now. My whole time is taken up with trying to do what 
I can for others. A. (a servant) was taken with the fever 
last Friday, but is now better. L. (another servant) was 
taken this morning, so you can imagine our condition. ^ 

■^ ^ jSTow, my dear, you see on how slender a thread, 
hang our lives. The Lord alone can keep us or prepare us 
for aliiiction or death. Let me urge you, with all a fond 
father's love, to try and give your heart to the precious Sa- 
viour. Why should you delay ? By delaying all may be 
lost. I have recently felt unusual solicitude for your con- 
version and Robert's. O, if I could only feel that you were 
truly the children of God I should be relieved of a great bur- 
den. Do tell me, my dear child, how you feel on this subject." 

(to mS WIFE.) 

Wilmington, Sept. 15th, 1862. 
'' - - " - - ^ At 3, P. M., Monday, I at- 
tended the funeral of Mrs. C, just as a heavy storm of wind 
and rain commenced, and immediately afterwards I went 
to mail your letter and got almost wet. It was the heavi- 
est rain I almost ever saw, accompanied by severe thunder 
and lightning. It tore the streets and roads badly. Wed- 
nesday morning 1 attended the funeral of a child near Kid- 
der's brick-yard. 



EEV. J. L. PEICHARD. 147 

Thursday, most of the day at liome. Hearing that the 56th 
Eegt. was up, I started to see them. There is a company 
of our Camden friends in it, hut tlicy had not come up from 
the Sound. We liad a pleasant prayer-meeting in the af- 
ternoon — more out tlian usual. Friday, went to see 56th 
Kegt., met several Camden men — all glad to see me — call- 
ed to see brother M., brother P. and E. B., all sick. At 
home till after tea. E. B. died at 6, P. M. I went round 
there a while, Saturday morning. At 3, P. M., attended 
E's. funeral, and at 6 attended the funeral of M. S. over the 
Bail road. And now it began to be rumored that yellow fe- 
ver was in town, and at a consultation of the doctors, Sat- 
urday evening, it was agreed that it was really yellow fe- 
"^er ! So I have been in the midst of it without knowing 
it. -Mrs. C's. disease is said to have been the same — there 
liave been nearly a dozen cases, and others are reported to 
day. Many families are leaving. 

I hear that the Provost Marshal granted passes to over a 
hundred families yesterday. Yesterday I preached twice, 
held -church meeting, appointed delegates to our Associa- 
tion, took collection for colportage, also called to see a sick 
lady. I have been to see brother M. this morning. He is 
better and will leave to-morrow. Black columns of smoke 
are rising all over the town from burning rosin. I have 
tried to commit all to God and to feel ' Our times are in his 
hands.' 1 have written plainly. I have been much better 
for some days past and now feel quite well. May God 
mercifully preserve us all to meet again. Let us often be 
in j^rayer for each other and our dear family. My kindest 
regards to all. Love to the dear children from Papa." 

(to the same.) 

WiLMiNGTox, Sept. 22d, 1862. 
*• You don't know how much pleasure your letters gave 
us. We are beholding a true picture of life. Clouds rest 
on some, while the sun shines on others. I am glad yonrs 
is the sunshine, or ' sunny side,' while ours is 'shady side.' 
It is all right. God knows what is best, and He will do 
right. After writing 3^ou, on Monday, I remained at home. 
After tea I was alone, yet not alone, for in heart I was with 
you and our dear little ones, and my prayer was for God's 



148 MEMOIR OF 

protecting care over us all. Tuesday mao}^ families con- 
tinued to leave. I spent the day mostly at home read- 
ing, S:c. 

Wednesday afternoon I went t(j see a poor, degraded 
woman who 'had sent for me. She was dying, but in her 
right mind. She wanted me to pray with her — I did so — 
she died that night. I then called to see Mrs. L. and 
prayed with her, and then went to Mr. G's. On reaching 
hon'ie Mrs. W. had sent for me. I ^^'ent to the hospital and 
found a man quite ill, but happy, with whom I conversed. 
Xow, I was tired — the day's work was done. Thursday 
was a beautiful day. We had services at the usual hour — 
small number out. I enjoyed the meeting. At ^J, P. 
M., Iliad a meeting at the Light-I louse Battery, and at 5, 
married a couple. "^ ''" '" ^-aturday 1 was sent for 
to see a man with the fe^er. I cisked Dr. D. what he 
thought I ought to do. ' Well,' he said, ' I reckon you will 
have to do as I do. It is like war, we must take our 
chances You will have to go and see many during their 
illness, &c., ifcc' It rained in torrents during the day, and 
Sunday it contuiued raining all day, until at sunset, it 
cleared. I preached to very tew in the morning. At 9J, 
I attended the funeral of bi'nther B's child, which died of 
fever, and at -i, the funeral ot* a Mr>. B. We had no after- 
noon services. 

I do not think there is any visible abatement in the dis- 
ease. There have been many deaths-^some of other dis- 
eases. Two men died just below u.. Saturday night of yel- 
low^ fever. It has been showery all day and is raining now 

3 p. M. ^ '/: ^ YVe will write you fully. 

Don't be alarmed. We are just a^ near to God here, as 
we would be anywhere out of Heaven. Let us humble 
ourselves before 'God and pray for his protection. I feel 
calm and resigned. I pray that God will bless you all." 



CHAPTEB IX. 

jPev£r Still EactIxg — Mr. Peichakd CoNTiNtES His 
Arduous Labors — Confidence in Divine Sovereignty 
• — Letters — xIerested bv Fever— Affecting Details—^ 
Death — Eeflections. 

The citj of Wilmington is still wrapped in gloom. All 
hope of m-resting tlio disease seems now to liave passed 
away, and the comparatively f(fw remaining families are 
awaiting, with hourly apprelieusion,it3 terrible march. Al • 
most every one of theye families has been alreaiy smitten. 
They have seen dearly loved ones borne to the grave, or 
lying prostrate beneath the touch of the pestilence as it 
swept through the city. How sadly desolate those streets ! 
How mournful the salutation of familiar friends ! With 
what tender sympathy and solicitude these stricken ones 
clung to each other ! 

In the midst of this sorrowing population, the subject of 
this memoir still remained. He could not consent to listen 
to the yearning pleas of his absent wife and children, fie 
with anxious fear, they were ready to desire liis retirement 
from the post of danger. Gladly would they have shared 
in the perils of his position, but for his remonstrances and 
those of others. He could not dare to leave what 
he believed to be the path of duty. His sesitiven 



150 ' MEMOIR OF 

heart bled with anguish as he saw his fellow.citizens pass- 
ing a^vaj, and heard the lamentations of survivers. For 
himself he felt no fear. He was ready to live and labor, 
or to die. The Divine will, he knew, must decide his des- 
tiny, mid with unfaltering trust he committed himself to 
God, as unto a faithful Creator, 

A moral sublimity appears in this survey. The letter 
which follows reveals the quiet confidence with which he 
awaited the return and passao^e of each day. "Xo one 
thought of God is more precious than that of his sovereign- 
ty,' lie writes. That thought was a sustaining power in 
the midst of his suiTerings nnd toils. Writing to his wife, 
under date of September 29th, he says : 

"This is a most beautiful and lovely morning, costrasting 
most fitriki ugly with the state of things around us. But 
who can tell but that it is a cheering omen of the early 
passing away of the dark death-cloud, that now hangs over 
oar once happy and prosperous town ? Thoughts of God 
have been very precious to me during the prevalence of 
this disease and our troubles generally, but no one thought 
of God is more precious to me than that of His Sovereign- 
ty. ' The Lord reigneth.' Yes, he reigns in this disease. 
It is permitted for a most wise and gracious purpose. 

" After writing to you last Monday, I attended to con- 
siderable business and was quite tired at night, but re- 
tired early and slept sweetly. Tuesday, it was manifest 
that the tever was on the increase, and the people are mo- 
ving rapidly away. All the drays were hauling rosin, 
lime, and coal-tar from the gas house. This lime is strong- 
ly impregnated with the pungent odor of gas and since it 
lies at nearly all the doors in town, the whole town smells 
of gas. Hundred of barrels of rosin have been burnt. I 
know not whether there is any efficacy in this. It can 
do no harm. 

" Wednesday was truly a gloomy day as to the fever. I 
attended two funerals, then called at brother T's. and Dr. 
D's. The Dr. was taken Tuesday, was out till 11, A. M. 



REV. J. L. PRICHAED. 151 

"U^ent home with a chilL About four I called over to Mr 
S's. Mrs. S. had just died! Thursday morning I attended 
the funeral of a child and at 1 1-2, P/M., attended Mrs. S's. 
funeral and went to the Cemetery. Friday afternoon I at- 
tended the funeral of Mrs. II. and also the funeral of an 
old man, born in 1TS5. Then made several calls. Satur- 
day visited several sick families, heard of a number of 
deaths. Dr. Choppin of Beauregard's staff arrived— heard 
Dr. Dickson was dying, had made his will, &c. After din- 
ner, sister made soup and I carried it to brother Vs. They 
were so thankful. Sunday morning again went to brother 
T's and Mr. P's. Mr. G., Mrs. B. and Dr. D. dead ; in all I 
heard from 9 to 12 dead. At 10, A. M., attended Mrs. 
D's. funeral ; went to brother B's. and Mrs. (i's. The latter 
almost dead ! Held a short service in the church, and at 1 
attended the funeral of Mr. N., and at 4 went to Dr. Dick- 
sons' funeral— no lady with Mrs. D. Dr. Drane and I 
rode to the Cemetery, and some four or five other gentle- 
men, also Mrs. D. From his grave went to Mi*. G-'s., and 
home at sun set. " In deaths oft.'' So you can imagine 
somewhat only of the state of things around ns. It is no 
longer the Wilmington you left. But the Lord is with us 
and still will be. When 1 went down town this morning 
I saw several from the Sound. Mr. J. died there yester- 
day of yellow fever. Mot Mr. M. from Charleston who is 
here to aid us in nursing, several nurses have arrived. I 
have heard of several deaths this morning, several others 
expected to die. Have attended one funeral and expect to 
attend another at 4, P. M. You can not conceive of the 
desolation of our town. Scarcely a store open. We find 
that many who have left have died. It is thought that it 
is safer to remain than to leave. I cannot reconcile it 
to myself to leave the many who must suffer, if soin« 
one does not attend to them. I try to be much in 
prayer. Dr. D. will remain. Mr. E. is here. The Cath- 
oHc Priest is here, no other ministers. I have thought 
much of brother II. remaining in Portsmouth. 'No one 
would have blamed him for remaining if he had died. On 
the other hand every body praised him for his devotiont?at 
such a time. His conduct and that of other ministers has 
received the approbation of all. 



152 MEMOIR or 

" Let 110 one think me reckless of life, or regardless of 
my wifo and children. Ko indeed, I yield to none in my 
love of life or of my family. But must a minister fly from 
disease and danger and leave poor pe pie to suffer for want 
of attention ? How can he more appropriately die, than 
when facing disease and death for Christ's sake ? Did the 
Saviour ever draw back ? I know not what will be my 
fate. I have committed myself and family to God, pray- 
ing Him to take care of us all. And if I fall, I leave you 
tohis merciful care and protection. I think much of you. 
I took a mournful pleasure, yesterday, in looking at all the 
daguerreotypes. My heart was moved. Some here, and 
some have crossed the river and are happy. How soon 
others may go, God only knows. Are we prcpaied for it? 
I feel deeply for M. and H. Do all of you unite in prayer 
for their salvation and the servants also. I speak of them, 
for they are older. 

Tell your father, I thank him for his kind words. They 
are such as I have always received from him. I will try 
and write him ere long. He will still be your father and 
the father of our dear little ones, if I bhall see them no 
more. But I expect to see you all again on earth. I de- 
sire to be affectionately remembered to every one of the 
family. Kiss the sweet children for Papa.'' 

It was not the will of God that his hopes should be realized. 
His beloved family was to be seen no more on earth. But 
every day he was waiting for the surn^nonsof his Divine 
Master. The details of the communication which follows, 
are peculiarly affecting, giving a view of the sickening 
horrors of the position, and illustrating the sublime hero- 
ism of this servant of Jesus, as well as the faith and hope 
which so triumphantly bore him along the pathway of 
danger. He writes to his family, October 5th : 

*' IS; otwithstanding it is Sunday, I conclude that it will 
not be displeasing to God for me to write you. And vvhat 
a great privilege I osteon it, to be permitted again to let 
you know of our welfare. Through the abounding mercy 
of God we are all spared and well thus far. 1 will give 



HEV. J. L. PEICHARD. 153 

you a running sketch of each day since 1 last wrote. Mr. 
\Vm. H. died on Tuesday morning. The same day I at- 
tended the funeral of brother B. and his little babe— three 
of this family are gone. At 2 J, P. M., attended the funeral 
of a little boy living near us. ^ * ^ Wednesday 
was a most beantifui day. . . . Went for medicine for 
Mr. T., who has the fever, also Mrs. P., her mother and 
little J. So yon see it is around us and even at our door. 
In the afternoon I went to see J. P., who has the fever, and 
also to brother H's., then to brother T's, Mr. P's. and home. 
Thursday, at 10, A. M., I went to attend the funeral of 
Mrs. K's daughter, thence on by brother T's. and bouo-ht 
some things for them. I had a distressing headache much 
of the day. Mr. M.Jsent a barrel of flour, of the Gallego 
brand, for ns to distribute among the poor. We sent some 

to , and I carried some to sister S. We have no 

prayer-meeting on Thursday afternoon now. There is no 
one to go. Dr. D. is very agreeable— consults freely with 
me, and is acting nobly and doing all he can. So also is 
Father M. very sociable. I met him the other evening and 
he introduced me to another Priest from Charleston, who 
came with the ' Sisters of Mercy ' to nurse. 

Friday.— I slept sweetly last night, and this morning 
my head is entirely easy. It is somewhat cloudy. I do 
not go out till 81, or 9, A. M. Just as I was going 
down sister S. sent for me. I went, found Mr. S. dying ! 
He died a little after y. As you may suppose, sister S. 
was crushed. At 10, A. M., attended the funeral of old 
Mrs. S. In the afternoon went to see Mr. S., who has 
the fever. It was his mother who died. Attended an- 
other funeral at 11, A. M. After tea went for medicine 
for Mr. P. Poor fellow, I pity him, he has to do every- 
thing. And poor Mrs. T. has no one to aid her, except 
what we do. She seems very thankful. I am glad we 
can do anything for anybody. "^ * * . 

This, Sunday morning, we had services in our church — 
a dozen or more whites and as many colored persons pres- 
ent. I spoke from Jno. iii : 35. The morning was beau- 
tiful, but very warm. Just as we were going to church, 
I perceived that the wind had shifted from South to 
10 



154 MEMOIR OP 

Northwest. It was a little cooler. About 2 it began to 
cloud up and at 3, P. M., the wind changed to Northeast, 
and whilst I have been writing this, in my study, we have 
had thunder and lightning, and a heavy shower. I feel 
confident God will do all things well. Indeed I find no 
comfort, only as I am enabled to trust him implicitly. 
"We are so prone to think that some otlier way than His 
way is best. I feel constant need of correcting myself. 
But I do find it sweet to bring my mind to feel that ^ His 
Kingdom ruleth over all,' and that ' He is head over all 
things to the church,' and that the ^ Father has commit- 
ted all things into His hands/ Now, if the Father has 
committed all his vast concerns to Him, can we not com- 
mit ourselves and all that's dear to us, to Him ? Surely, 
we can, we will. But this resignation, so far from causing 
us to feel indifferent or to relax our exertions, is our only 
encourag ment to feel interested and to put forth all pos- 
sible efi'ort. ^ ^ ^ ^ 

'^ 0^ yes, we thought of darling little J's. birthday. 
God bless the dear children, and dear mama, and all. 0, 
He has greatly blessed us. ' Shall we receive good at the 
hand of the Lord and not evil ?' We must not expect 
an uninterrupted course of enjoyment in this world. 
And if we are all spared through this time of great 
afiliction, there is assuredly a day ahead of us that will 
fill us with sorrow and mourning. I reckon, if Lazarus 
could have been consulted, he would rather not have been 
raised from the dead. ' To die is gain ' to the christian. 
I often think of John Foster's consoling words to Miss 
Sarah Saunders : ' But if He, who is the sovereign and 
gracious Disposer of our life and all our interests, has 
determined otherwise, it is, indeed, Miss Sarah, it is be- 
cause that will he better : and you yourself will know and 
pronounce it to be better. Oh, it is better be a happy 
and immortal being in the presence and enjoyment of the 
infinite good and mingling in the society of angelic 
spirits and of the ' spirits of the just' that are already 
associated with them, than to stay in this world, in even 
the happiest lot that Providence ever allots to the moat 
favored of mortals. To make a complete, final, trium- 



REV. J. L PRICIIARD. J55 

pbant escape from all the evils of our degraded and 
afflicted nature and this melancholy world ; to be clearlv 
and forever beyond the region, and beyond ail possibility 
of sin and sorrow— this 2,9 worth resigning all on earth 

It matters but little ivlien, where or koto we die so we 
are prepared for it. Let us strive for it. I trust mv 
dear wife, you will try and be cahn and trustful 1 siu- 
cerely pray we may ail meet again on earth. IS'"o one's 
lamily is dearer to him than mine is to me. I thanl^ God 
xor what he has permitted us all to eajov tos^ether— few 
families have enjoyed more. I am conscious of many 
very many imperfections and weaknesses. No one re- 
grets It so much as I do. 0, that I were freer-yea, en- 
tirely free W all imperfections and a more lovable man 
tiian i am. ihrough abounding grace I trust to be made 
clean and pure and holy, not having ^ spot or wrinkle 
or any s^f. tiling.' * - .. We have had a fine 
-shower. It IS 4, P. M and yet cloudy. Sincerest love 
to all. i^iys the dear children for papa." 

A few days pass away, all filled up with pains-takin- 
endeavors to soothe the bereaved and to nurse the sick"" 
Under date of October 12th, he again writes to his anx- 
ious wife : 

^ '' We were glad to get your lettersthis mornins;, inform- 
ing us tliatyou were ail well and enjoying so many priv- 
ileges It IS such a comfort to us to know that whatever 
may be our lot, the lines have fallen to you in -oodly 
places. It would add much to our already great afflic- 
tion, to hear that any of you were sick. God, I trust and 
believe, will take care of you ail. 

Another week has passed away since I wrote you, and 
still, through mercy, we are yet spared. On goino- down 
t^ mail my last letter to you I found that Mr. S. was dead ^ 
And just as I got liome, about .5, Mrs. P. died ! It was' 
indeed, a gloomy afternoon to us. Mondav mornincr I 
called to see Mrs. Dr. D. She was so glad to see me. 
She was calm but deeply affiicted. She called in the ser- 



156 MEMOIR OF 

vants and asked me to have prayer. I did so. I then 
went to see poor E. It was truly affecting to hear her 
lamentations. I tried to comfort her. Went to brother 
T'.-. — he is better. Called to see a brother P., very ill of 
fever. Pie died on Tuesday. I was sent for to see a poor 
woman dying, and went. That afternoon brother W. was 
taken sick of fever. Tuesday, I carried refreshments 
to brother T. They were so thankful. Old Mr. M. came 
for me to see his wife — she was dying. It was a 
truly affecting scene. They had lived so long to- 
gether. She died that night. Col. M. died to-day. 
lie will be much missed in our town and county. Wed- 
nesday, called to see brother W. — he was doing well. 
Sister P. had sent for me — I went, prayed and conversed 
with her. * * =^ At 4, P. M., I attended the 

funeral of Mrs. M., and called to see sister S. — she is 
deeply afflicted. After going to the office went to see 
brother W. — heard that Mrs. D. was taken sick Tuesday. 

Thursday, remained at home most of the day. After 
tea brother B. came for me to attend the funeral of brother 
D. to-morrow early — had not heard a word of his illness. 
Friday at 8 J, A. M., attended brother D's funeral, and 
at 10, went to poor little S's. funeral. Mr. D. is getting 
better. Heard to-day that Dr. D. was sick. Called to 
see brother T's. family — they are improving. Called to 
see old Mr. M. — very sick. Also sister S. — her baby is 
sick but better. While at dinner sister H. sent for me — 
that the Dr. was dying. I hastened there. He died at 
2J, P. M., and his sister was also dying. I helped to 
shroud the Dr. Miss S. died a little after midnight — both 
dead in the house at the same time! This is affliction 
indeed ! You cannot conceive the state of things we are 
in. The Lord deliver you, I pray, from ever experiencing 
it. You can scarcely get any one to help shroud and bury 
the dead. Miss S. had a female nurse from Charleston, 
the Dr. had none — he was only taken Tuesday night. 
All Mrs. H'S. servants but one have had the fever. She 
is now alcne ! 

'' This, Sunday morning, it was raining quite hard. 
At 9, A. M., I went to bury Dr. — one gentleman went 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 157 

witli me — it rained all the time. I desired to bury tliem 
both in cue grave, but we couhi not get Miss S's. coffin in 
time, so at 2, P. M., I went alone to bury Miss S. I rode 
both times in the Dr's. rockaway So father, son and 
aunt sleep together. Mrs. II. has no one here to look to 
but me. I feel sorry for her. 

" We have had no services to-day in any of the churches. 
Surely there never was a darker day in Wilmington than 
this has been. The Lord only knows what is in the fu- 
ture for us. To Him, I desire to commit all. It ia now 
getting late and I am tired, so good night, 

Monday, 11|, A. M. Attended a funeral at 9. I hear 
of a great many neAv cases this morning. Kot a drug- 
store open. They will try and get some apothecary from 
Charleston, It is still cloudy and showery. And novr, 
I again commit you and the dear children to our merciful 
Father. Tell the dear children ' Papa often thinks of 
them, and prays lor them, and hopes to see them ac^ain. 
I want them to be good children and mind mama.' A 
great deal of love to all. Let us continue to pray for one 
another, God bless you all." 

Two days later, and his last letter is begun. It narrates 
the details of the overwhelming trial wdiich was upon him, 
in witnessing the increasing number of cases of sickness 
and death. It w^ould seem to have been a miracle, if his 
sensitive nature had not yielded to the pressure which w^as 
upon him. Tenantless homes were all around, and those 
which were occupied presented only scenes of suffering and 
lamentation. At length his own home is invaded by the 
pestilence. His servants and his sister are stricken, and then 
the premonitions of fever are felt in his own person. All 
these are noted with an aifecting particularity in the letter 
which follows. The worst apprehensions of his absent and 
agonized family were about to be realized. He who w^as 
so deeply loved, and who had been so eminently their 
guide and support, was to be taken from them. The com- 
munication, dated Oct. 17th, fell with crushing weight 



158 MEMOIR OF 

upon their spirits, and gladly would they have rushed to 
soothe his dying moments. It is here given : 

" Though it is only Friday morning, I conclude to com- 
mence my Aveeldy letter to you. I did not go on the street 
till after dinner, Monday, then heard that Mr. McE.,of the 
Commercial bank, was dead, that sister H. had the fever 
and Dr. Drane also was ill. I called to see Sister H. It 
was very damp and cool. Tuesday, at 12, I attended the 
funeral of ilr. M. ; at 1 that of our brother K. • and at 2 that 
of Mrs. B. who Kved near us, mother of that little boy who 
always seemed so glad to see us. Poor little fellow, at the 
funeral, he cried as if his heart would break. ' O mama I 
my Mama !' And poor Mrs. K. is heart-broken. She has 
two little children. 

Old Mr. M. is thought to be better. To-day I called at 
Mrs. D's., she is also better ; thence to see sister S. They 
are all better there ; then to brother T's., they are up and 
much better. Their little servant boy died Saturday. 
From there I went to Mrs. K's.; the remains had just been 
carried to the grave without any minister being there ; the 
family all sick — then to sister H's. and inquired for Dr. D., 
no better. Wednesday, our other servant was taken sick. 
Dr. C. came to see her. Heard that Dr. Drane died last 
night, also Mr. H. and Mr. N. ! Brother H. sent for me, 
has tlie fever. Called on Mr. C. He and his Avife both in 
bed. The children have had the fever and are up ; another 
lady sick with fever, with them ; I prayed with them ; 
they seemed so glad I called. At 3, P. M., I attended Dr. 
Drane's funeral. Mr. Terry read the burial service. He 
looks very badly. He is staying at the sound, but says he 
is coming up to town next week. I advised him not, he is so 
feeble. Only two ladies went to the grave, several gentle- 
men. On my way home from the Cemetery called on sis- 
ter P. She is well. Thursday. Sister had a chill last 
night, and is in bed sick 1 So you see, step by step the fe- 
ver advances. I went for Dr. C. Sister was very sick all 
day. I had to do a hundred things and knew not how to 
do any, but did the best I coald. I rested a little while at 
4, P. M., then went out and had provisions sent to sister 



EEY. J. L. PRICHARD. 159 

P. On coraing home I had our supper and gave the 
servants theirs. They are both better. About 9 I retired, 
but was so tired I did not get any sleep, till after 12. Sis- 
ter is extremely feeble this morning. I made coffee and 
we had our breakfast ; attended to getting dinner. "-^ ^ 
'^' Mr. T. and wife are both better. Mrs. G. better, but L. 
has black vomit. Six of Dr. S'r. family are sick. I have 
not been out to-day, 1, P. M. I have rested while writing 
you and soon must commence my evening duties. It is 
quite clear and pleasant. We know not what a day may 
bring forth. Look to God. 

Saturday morning, 9, A. M. O, such a night as my poor 
sister had ; perfect prostration and utter weakness. I sat 
up some time and did all I could and then went to bed, 
but not to rest and sleep, but to listen to sister's plaintive 
moan. I think I heard the clock strike every hour except 
five. Late last evening I went down to try and hear from 
brother H., &c.; heard they were improving and that Mr. 
Q., of the Cemetery, was dead. He helped to bury Dr. H. 
on Sunday. This morning is quite clear, and cooler. L. 
G. died at day break this morning and J. is thought to be 
dying ! ! I have not heard from the street and shall not go 
out to to day. Mr. M. will have something cooked for us 
to day, but the Lord only knows who will eat it. ^^ ^ ^'" 

Well, my dear Wife, and do you ask me, how I feel in 
view of never meeting my loved ones again on earth ? I 
cannot tell you. I must not conceal from you the true 
state of the case by which we are surrounded. I am sick 
now. My poor back and head ache, the true symptoms of 
fever. This is my bodily condition. I have no other trust n 
but the precious Kedeemer and He is precious to me. 
Though it may be feverish excitability, I am not afraid to 
commit you and my dear six children to Him. He has ta- 
ken care of me and He will take care of you all. But, O, 
it is hard to think we cannot wipe the death-damp from 
each other's brow ! Notwithstanding this, I would* not 
have you here on any account. I know every feeling of 
your heart impels you to share our fate. But think of dear 
Mrs. Judson and those most beautifully touching lines be- 
ginning, " We part on this green islet love, &c." They ex- 



160 MEMOIR OF 

press my present feelings. But I must finish this for R. to 
mail this evening. I hope to be spared, but in case I 
should not, I \vish to make some suggestions." ' 

Here follow some arrangements and directions for his 
family : 

" O, I could writ e a volume ! But my history is before 
the world, and I trust my record is on High. * I am in a 
strait, &c.' To God I commit you all, and my spirit I 
commit to Him. Sweet babes, dear wife, friends and 
brethren, vain world, adieu ! In hope of eternal life.'' 

The hand of the destroyer was upon him as he wrote. 
He felt it and remarked to one near him, " This is the last 
letter I shall ever write to my wife." Alas ! that his present- 
iment should so soon have been realized. 

Always very prudent in his habits, it was hoped that he 
might escape. Many hearts, far aw^ay and in different parts 
of the country, were deeply solicitous about him, and many 
prayers were offered up for his safety. About the first of 
November the Baptist State Convention met at Wake For- 
est College. During one of the evening sessions of that 
body. Rev. R. B. Jones, of Hertford, arose and announced 
that Mr. P. lay dangerously ill at his home in Wilmington 
and suggested that special prayer be offered for his recov- 
ery. A stillness as of death prevailed, as the speaker pro- 
ceeded, and the petition which followed found a response 
in every heart. But Mr. P's. work on earth vv'as done. 
Faithfully had he toiled in the Master's vineyard for more 
than thirty years, and now the summons had come for him 
to enter into that eternity of rest for which he had been so 
long ripening and to which he had so often looked forward 
with earnest longings. 

For several weeks the work of death had been dravring 
nearer and nearer to his residence, until at last he wrote, 
as whole families, in houses on every side, were prostrated : 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 161 

" Death all around us. They fall as in battle on OTir right 
hand and on our left." Now the disease enters his own 
household, attacking his servants first, and then his only- 
sister who refusing to be separated from him had cheered 
his loneliness. Two days after his sister was prostrated, 
he too, smitten with fever and worn down by anxiety and 
fatigue, retired to his chamber, never again to leave it on 
errands of mercy. 

The only well person now left in the family was his eld- 
est son who succeeded in securing an excellent nurse and 
experienced physicians. For two weeks his condition was 
critical and his sufferings were great. Then the crisis 
seemed to be past and he was evidently better. His phy- 
sician pronounced him out of danger. He Avas able to sit 
up a while, enjoyed his nourishment and even began to 
speak ot the return of the absent members of his family. 
But he did not gain strength or improve as rapidly as his 
friends fondly hoped he would, aaid an attack of jaundice 
soon came on. Such was the prostration of his system that 
he sank rapidly under the new attack. 

The details of those days of weariness and watchfulness 
are affectingly given in letters of the son and sister of the af- 
flicted one : 

" My Dear Mother : — ^I went to the of&ce this morning 
and was very glad to find a letter from you, and will ansvv^er 
it immediately. Every one in the house, but myself, is now 
sick. Pa was taken yesterday morning, though he had a 
chill the night before.- The servants are improving, they 
can be up a little, though they don't help us much. I v/as 
at the store yesterday, when I was sent for, as Papa was 
taken sick. Capt. E. immediately came here, while I Avent 
to get a nurse. Mr. S. the superintendent let me have a 
very good one, a mulatto man, who nursed at Norfolk and 
Portsmouth. ^ * •^- 

" The Journal has suspended at last, on account of sick- 
ness of hands, though tiiey issue a bulletin nearly every 



162 jrEMOIR OF 

day, with the most important intelligence ; the highest 
number of cases yet in 24 hours is 87. Tell Johnnie, that 
Johnnie and Lizzie G. both died yesterday, and while I 
write, a wagon stands at the door with J's. coffin in it. 

There has been a scarcity of meat here ; the country 
carts have stopped coming in altogether, but with the con- 
tributions, which have been very liberal, I suppose there 
has been no actual suffering. I have seen several dray 
loads of coffins, from abroad I suppose, going to the depot 
' of supplies, our carpenters not having been able to supply 
the demand. Dr. C. attends us and he says, of 138 patients, 
he has lost but two in the last 19 days. Capt. E. says, 
there is more in the nurse than the Dr., and he says we have 
a faithful nurse. - ^ ^' The town, as you may imagine, 
is quite deserted ; you scarcely see a vehicle but the hearse 
and the doctor's bu^'CT! 

o, p. M. I have just been to Papa's room. He says his 
medicine has operated finely, and having bathed his feet 
in salt water, and applied mustard plasters to his limbs ,he 
is now in a profuse prespiration and pretty comfortable. 
He says, that, till after midnight, he had a fearful time, suf- 
fering very much with his head and back. The Dr. says 
he is better and doing very Vv^ell." 

WlLMITs-GTON, OCT. 25th, 1862. 

" Dear Mamsia : — Supposing you would be anxious to 
hear from us as soon as possible, I will write to-day. Mon- 
day Papa was not so sick as he was Tuesday. Wednesday 
and Thursday he seemed better, but Thursday night and 
yesterday, he v/as prostrated by weakness and want of 
sleep. This morning he seeujs rather better and stronger, 
having slept several hours, last night. All who know any- 
thing about this disease agree that it brings the pa- 
tient down faster than any orher. Dr. A., Avho only 
Jiad a slight attack, said he was so weak, it was positively 
painful. ^ ^^ You need not be uneasy about our having 
friends. Capt. Ellis, Mr. S. Martin and others have been 
very kind. ^^ '-" "' I am very glad to say that the dis- 
ease is abating ; yesterday there were only three new cases, 
but eleven deaths. Egbert."' 



-REV. J. L. rPJCIIARD. 163 

Here follow extracts from letters from his sister who, 
amid the feebleness attending- a partial recovery, so ten- 
derly watched over and nursed her dear brother in his last 
days of sufiering. 

" Thursday ni<:;-ht brother had a dreadfid time ; did not 
sle^-'p at all, his mind wandering. Yesterday he was pros- 
trate. I asked the Dr. to tell me what he thought of his 
case. He said it was extremely critical, but hopes by care- 
ful nursing he may be spared. Myers, our niu'se, is very 
kind, does ever^^hing I ask him cheerfully. He talks so 
kindly to brother ; I feel thankful we have such a nurse. 
The i)r. did not feel much encouraged this morning, but 
Myers thinks him a little stronger. He appears inclined 
to sleep, but when awake is so feeble he can scarcely talk. 
Dr. A. made him a friendly call, said he Vv^as doing very 
v\^eil, he must have sleep, &:c. Brother has been troubled 
with hiccups since Thursday. Mr. M. and his mother are 
unbounded in their kindness and often come to see us. The 
' Sisters' have been in once. I was glad to see them. 
They talk so kindly. 

2,' P. M. Capt. EUis thinks brother better this after- 
noon.'' 

" Oct. 26. This is one of the most dreary Sabbaths I 
ever saw. The rain poured in torrents till after eleven, 
then, for an hour, a high east wind ; now a steady rain. I 
hardly know vvhat to say about brother ; the Dr. says he 
does not see much change in him. He is inclined to sleep 
most of the time, has nothing to say to me to-day ; yester- 
day, he talked to me a good deal. He takes his nourish- 
ment, but I am anxious to see him more like himself 

'' Capt. Elhs comes in twice a day. We missed him to- 
day. He is very kind. I shall always love him. 

Monday Moexing, Oct. 27th. — Cold and clear, with high 
vnnd. ; almost cold enough for ice, very unfavorable for the 
sick. O ! such an anxious night 1 had ! Though the 
w^eather was so piercing, I had to get up in the night and 
come into brother's room, to see how he was. To-day, I 
am sitting in brother's room, by a good fire. I feel encour- 
aged about him. The Dr. thinks he has passed the crisis, 



164 MEMOIR OF 

and says the cold weather will brace him up. O, that our 
hopes may be realized. Brother certainly appears better 
to-day, though he says he does not feel any stronger. Yes- 
terday he could scarcely speak to be iniderstood. I felt, 
when I had written one page, I never would finish this 
letter, for I feared the scenes of to day would not be such 
as I could write. 1 pray that I may feel as humble and 
thankful as I ought, if my brother is spared. He looked 
so changed yesterday. He is very yellow. Yesterday he 
had an unnatural look about the eye, in fact, everything to 
me was then discouraging, but Myers did not appear clis- 
couraged. This morning I sent early into brother's room 
to see how he was. I heard him answer in my room ; how 
glad J felt to hear his voice. 

The Dr. thinks there will hardly be many more cases of 
fever, after this ; said Saturday, he had twelve new cases, 
but none since. If the vnnd falls to night and unless there 
is a change in the weather, we will be apt to have a white 
frost. How glad I should be if brother was only as strong 
as I am !" 

OoT. 29t]]. — "Thanks te ourPIeavenly Father, my dear 
brother is, I hope, much better. He is still very feeble, 
but says, he enjoys his nourishment. He did not sleep 
much last night, but said he rested and he had several 
naps througli the day yesterday. I feel very much en- 
couraged. Dr. C. told him yesterday he should dismiss 
him in a few days. Dr. A. called last evenin2:. said all 
brother's symptoms were very good and he expected to see 
him up in a few days. You would be shocked to see him 
now, his skin is so yellow, but his eyes look clearer. * '" * 
If you do not get a letter for several days yon need not 
feel anxious. If any thing happen Capt. E. will let you 
know." 

Nov. 4th. — "Brother is still very feeble, indeed lie does 
not appear any stronger than he was a week ago. Though 
he takes nourishment, he does not gain his strength. He 
can't sleep at night, but I tell him he sleeps in the day. 
He says, he dreamed of you last night. When he 
speaks of getting well, he talks of his desire to see the 
children and says he shall mi^ss Annie so much if she re- 



REV. J. L. PEICHAED, 165 

mains in R., but appears willing she should do so. He 
says, he had made up his mind he should die, and felt per- 
fectly resigned, I think Dr. Drane's death had a very sad 
efiect on him. They had been together a great deal, before 
the Dr. was sick, and you know he was a man of very so- 
cial manners. Brother became more attached to him than 
ever. Dr. Ws. death afflicted him very much, it was so 
unexpected to us all — 1 think it was rather too much for 
brother in his weak state. * '•' "-• 

" Brother tells me to write you just how he is and 1 try 
to do so. You must not think 1 wish to excite your feel- 
ings. 1 did hope by this time he would be able to sit up. 
Dr. C. has just f)een in. He had not been in since last 
AVednesday, said he left brother doing well, and he had 
been very busy. He says brother has the jaundice, but 
gives me gieat encoui-agement. * ^ * * Two of the ' Sis- 
ters of Mercy ' have just called. I wish you could see 
Mother Theresa, she is one of the sweetest looking persons, 
I ever saw. I do love to have her come. Shelvi-oiight Dr. 
Corcoran, a Catholic Priest from Charleston, with her one 
time.^ She has been in often."- "^^ ^^ 

"IS'ov. 8th. 1SG2.— * - I hardly know what to say 
about brother. He had a bad night, last night, sufferd 
much with his back ; has not been as well to-day. Dr. 0. 
has gone up the country. Dr. A. came in to-day. He 
talked very encouragingly, but brother appears discouraged, 
says he can't live unless he is relieved. Dr. A. is here 
now, brother told him he felt better. I try to be as cheer- 
ful as I can. The nurse leaves to-night, being obliged to 
look after his family in Charleston, but I can do very well ; 
am glad to have the opportunity to sleep in the room with 
him, for I can hear him at night and wish I was with him. 
I know what it is, to lie awake so much when every one 
is asleep. ^ * ^ 

" Well, we have had a frost and 1 do hope the fever will 
disappear. A great many persons were up from the Sound 
at night. I do not want you to come too soon. You spoke 
of hoping soon to get a letter from brother. He has not 
even read one of your letters yet. You cannot imagine 
how feeble he is. I feel hopeful, but when he seems so 



166 MEMOIR OF 

low-spirited, yon must know I feel badly. I often wish I 
could see jour Father witli hit; cheerful face. I never saw 
Capt. E. appear so cheerful." 

Sunday, 8, A. M., Nov. 9th. 
^^ Another frost, and ice I Brother had a more comfort- 
able night. The Dr. told me to give him pareejoric every 
hour till it quieted him. Two doses were sufficient and 
he slept pretty well till four o'clock this morning. He 
has now had his breakfast and is quiet." 

The next letter was more startling than previous ac- 
counts gave reason to expect. It is from his oldest son : 

November, 12th, 1862. 

" Dear Mama : — Knowing you will be anxious to hear 
from us — I will write a few lines. Since Saturday papa 
has had a change for the worse, suffering a great deal of 
pain. Yesterday and last night, he was very sick — in- 
deed I think the Dr. had little hopes of him in the even- 
ing. Between nine and ten last night, he was some- 
Avhat relieved, and this morning he may be a very Utile 
better, but I am afraid not. Yesterday he seemed im- 
pressed with the idea that he was dying, but this morn- 
ing he lies quiet and says little. Mr. W. and Mr. C. sat 
up with him night before last, and Mr. W. last night. 
Aunt L. hardly leaves him a moment. Y^esterday even- 
ing he kept calling for you and would not be pacified till 
aunt L. came in, who had gone down stairs. I do trust 
he will be spared, but he is very sick now. 

We have had three white frosts, and ice a quarter of an 
inch thick, but the cool weather does not check the fever 
much. Nine or ten new cases yesterday — the reason of 
v^hich, it is thought, is, that so many people have come 
back and taken it almost directly. * * ^r * 

Your affectionate son." 

(from captain ELLIS.) 

November 13th, 1862. 
"Dear Sister: — I have just left brother Prichard, and 
it is with pain I have to announce the Dr. informs me 



REV. J. L. PKICnAED. 167 

he has no hopes of his recovery. God give grace to bear 
up under the heavy -affliction. I v;ill write by next mail. 
Affectionately your brother, 

C. D. Ellis." 

(from tde same.) 

November IStii, 1862. 
"Dear Sister P. : — I dropped you a line yesterday with 
promise to write again to-day. Your husband, our dear 
pastor, is still alive, but I cannot say he is any better. 
While life lasts there is hope. Our most earnest prayers 
are going up continually that God will spare him. 

Yery truly, 

' C. D. Ellis." 

The hour of his dismission had come. Asa few lovins: 
ones surrounded him, on the 13th of November, nearly 
a month after he was taken sick, his spirit entered into 
rest. Ilis devoted friend and constant attendant, Capt. 
C. D. Ellis, communicated the sad intelligence to his be- 
reaved wife in the following note : 

'^ It becomes my painful duty to announce the depar- 
ture of our dear, dear pastor. lie left us last night, at 
halt past eleven o'clock, and with a s"weet smile on his 
face, has gone to reap the reward of his works. I am 
sure, if he could communicate with us, he would say : 
' Grieve not for me.' May we not comfort ourselves with 
the thought that he is now a ministering spirit watching 
over us ? 0, that the Lord may give us grace to bear 
this heavy loss and say, 'Thy will be done.'" 

(from miss LTDIA PRICnARD.) 

November 14th, 1863. 
"My Distressed Sister: — I feel I cannot sleep to-night 
without writing to you about my dear brother. How sad 
and lonely we are ! Our friends have done every- 
thing they could. All the neighbors have been so kind 
and seem to feel so deeply. My dear brother would 



168 MEMOIR OF 

not let me leave liim one minute. When he slept a little 
I would lie down by bis side and drop asleep, but waked 
the moment he stirred. Brother W. staid with us, all 
the time, from Monday till after ail was over, he was so 
good to brother, lifting him and waiting on him. Brother 
could not bear him to be absent ; but if I told him he 
was eating or sleeping, he would I e satisfied. Other 
brethren did all they could. * ^ ^ ^ - Oh ! how 
pleasant my dear brother looked after he was dead. 
Brother W. said he appeared as he did when he was ad- 
ministering the communion. There was a sweet smile on 
his countenance. '^ "" " I do not tliink brother 

wanted you to come hom.e ; he never said anything like 
it to me. Mrs. S. was sitting where he could see her 
one day — he was suffering very much- — he called her to 
him and said : ^ Mrs. S. you are a wife and a mother and 
you will know hov/ to sympathise with my wife.' The 
morning he was t«,ken sick he was writing a letter. To a 
colored woman w^ho came in he said : ' I am sick ; I ex- 
pect this is the last letter I shall ever write to my wife.' 
I think he was impressed with the idea he should die from 
the first. Being asked, if he was going to write for you 
to come home he replied : ' Ko, I do not want wife to 
come home.' " ^ " He wis truly patient, during his 
sickness, never murmuring or complaining at anything. 
I shall always feel thankful for the privilege of nursing 
him. He told me to have him buried on the right liand 
side of dear little Jemmie." * ^ '- - 

During his sickness he conversed but little except in 
the few days of his apparent convalescence. Then he en- 
joyed hearing his sifter read the Bible, Jay's Exercises, 
and occasionally the newspapers. He read hiniself, with 
his accustomed interest, a part of the proceedings of the 
ISTortli Carolina Baptist State Convention, as published 
in the Biblical Recorder. This was the only session of 
that body from which he had been absent since his return 
to his native State. 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 169 

About his absent ones he said but little — the subject 
was too tender to pass his lips. But his letters show that 
they were ever present to his memory. May we not im- 
agine how his heart yearned towards the loved group in 
a distant city, and his darling first-born, absent at school ? 
Doubtless many of the lonely hours of those long, wake- 
ful nights were occupied with thoughts of the dear ones 
whom he was to meet no more on earth. Thoughts too 
of the flock with which he had labored, and which would 
now be as sheep without a shepherd, came over him. 
Knowing him as we do, we seem to hear him exclaim, as 
he turns from these things to the doctrine of God's sov- 
ereignty : '' The Lord reigneth." 

It was a merciful arrangement of Providence, that he 
was not stricken down during the early prevalence of the 
epidemic. After laboring for weeks in behalf of others, 
administering to their physical and spiritual wants, he 
was permitted to receive the kind attention of friends, 
some of whom had but recently recovered from the dread- 
ful disease. He was also permitted to enjoy the tender 
care of his sister, who was wonderfully strengthened for 
her labor of love. 

So rapid was his decline, and so unexpected his death, 
that while the absent members of his family were antici- 
pating a speedy reunion around the fireside, and his 
friends were rejoicing over the tidings of his improved 
health, a little band of sincere mourners accompanied his 
remains to their last resting-place and laid him — in the 
spot selected by himself— by the side of " darling Jem- 
mie," there to repose till the morning of the resurrection. 



11 



CHAPTEB X. 

Extensive Usefulness— TiGoEors Intellect — Eetenitve 
Memoey— Courage — Confidence in his ovm Judgjment — 
Strength of Will — Little Poetic Imagination — 
Waem Sympathies — Consecration — Interest in Works 
OF. Benevolence — Manner in the Pulpit — His Do- 
mestic Habits— Family Worship — Touching Inci- 
dent — Estimate of Character by a Yirgesia Pastor, 

Mr, Pricliard's character is so fully illustrated in the 
preceding pages that i1 is perhaps needless to say more ; 
but the pe)i lingers as the memory of all that he did and 
all that he was rises before ns. That he wa&a man of more 
than ordinary ability is shown by the success which he 
achieved and the position to which he rose in spite of the 
most serious disadvantages. " By their fruits ye shall 
know them," is a rule which is susceptible of application 
to the intellect as well as the heart. Judged according to 
this standard Mr. Prichard's talents were of a very high 
order. Who that saw him in hk youth, toiling at his trade, 
would have anticipated the brilliant and useful career od 
wdiich he entered a few years afterwards, and which he 
steadily pursued, rising step by step till the close of his 
life? All the probabilities were against such a suppositios 



REV. J. L. PBICHAED. 171 

for the poor young man. Few accomplisli more even un- 
der the most favorable circumstances. 

He had a vigorous and active intellect, rather ])ractical 
than speculative, preferring to take the materials within 
his reach and fashion them for purposes of usefulness, in- 
stead of striking out as a pioneer or adventurer in the 
the world of thought. On all subjects which engaged his 
attention his reasoning was rapid yet cautious and accurate. 
His judgment, when uninfluenced by disturbing causes, 
was correct. His nervous organism was unusually deli- 
cate, and when it was excited or deranged by disease or 
other causes the careful discrimination, which marked his 
calmer moments and made him so safe a counsellor, some- 
times failed him temporarily. This was especially the case 
amid the confusion incident to the proceedings of delibe- 
rative bodies. At such times he occasionally missed the 
point under discussion, but pressed his views with force 
and earnestness till a brief interval of ciuiet reflection serv- 
ed to show him his mistake. 

He had a retentive and ready memory— gathered knowl- 
edge from every available source and what he once digest- 
ed and stored away he could easily recal when the occa- 
sion required it. His information, not only on general 
topics, but also on many which lie beyond the range of or- 
dinary discussion and investigation, was extensive and 
thorough. Nor was it thrown together promiscuously, as 
is sometimes the case, like the articles in a lumber room. 
Order and taste presided over memory and his knowledge 
was like the armament of a fort under the direction of a 
skilful commandant, each part brought out at the proper 
time and used to the best advantage. 

Courage, both physical and moral, he possessed in a re- 
markable degree. The thought of what others would say, 



172 MEMOIR OP 

of personal popularity or unpopularity, bad not a feather's 
"weight in forming his opinions or determining his course of 
action. The fear of the Lord, of doing wrong and thereby 
incurring the displeasure of the Master, was the only fear be 
ever knew. Opinions wliich he bonestl}^ held, no considera- 
tions of expediency could keep him from avowing. A course 
of action which he felt to be right, be steadily pursued, no 
matter what the opposition which be encountered. And yet 
he was neither rash nor reckless. Ordinarily he was pru- 
dent, both in word and deed. 

As might be expected, from his early experiences and 
his positive character, he had great confidence in his own 
judgment. But there was about him no pride of opinion. 
Always open to conviction and willing to hear both sides, 
he would urge his own views and plans till convinced that 
be was in the wrong. Then he never hesitated to make 
full acknowledgment of his error. In the heat and excite- 
ment of debate he was sometimes apparently discourteous 
— never intentionally so — to others, but when it was made 
known to him or he had reason to suspect it, he made 
prompt and ample reparation. One who had much pleas- 
ant intercourse with him, famishes the following incident, 
and many others of a similar character might be added : 

" In the earlier part of ray ministry I was frequently 
thrown with Mr. P. and we conversed freely on many top- 
ics about which we differed. He had spoken very plainly 
to me but I had not thought of taking offence. One night 
we were guests of the same family, while attending the ses- 
sion of an Association ; and as we were walking out to- 
gether after supper, he turned suddenly to me and said : 
i I have been thinking of what has passed between us, and 
I have feared that at some time I may liave w^ounded your 
feelings by my plainness of speech. If so I did not intend 
it and I wish to ask your pardon/ " 



REV. J. L PRICHARD. 



173 



" This to a mere youth, from one so tar above me in every 
respect, both surprised and humbled me, wliile it raised still 
higher my already exalted estimate of the man " 

His who^e life demonstrates his strength of will and 
firmness of purpose. An undertaking once entered upon, 
he prosecuted it with unfaltering energy. Failure did not 
discourage him. Again and again he returned to the work, 
his courrge and his resources rising with the emergency, 
till at last opposition gave way and victory crowned his 

efforts. 

Of poetic imagination he had but little; of poetic feel- 
ing a great deal. The grand and the beautiful in nature, 
an'cl the nobler qualities of the heirt, manifested in the 
scenes of real life, affected him deeply. In his friendships, 
in his ministerial labors and within the sacred precincts of 
home, he evinced much of the tenderness, patience, con- 
stancy and firmness with which writers of fiction delight to 
invest their heroes, 

His heart was keenly alive to all the claims of humanity. 
Whether he sat by the bedside of the sick and dying and 
pointed diem to the Saviour ;of sinners, or visited the sor- 
rowing and the bereaved, or entered the abodes of the poor 
and w^'retched, or mingled in the brighter scenes of social 
enjoyment, his warm heart and active sympathies prepared 
him for the task and rendered him ever a welcome guest. 

To his natural endowments of head and heart Grace had 
imparted its ennobling and beautifying influence. His re- 
ligious experience was clearly marked, and his piety intel- 
ligent, earnest, active and consistent. He had, on the one 
hand, a lively sense of his need of the Saviour, and, on the 
other, an unwavering confidence in the all-sufficiency of 
Christ. Hence, while he was always humble he was al- 
ways cheerful. 



174 MEMOIR OF 

He was a consecrated man. Himself and all that lie 
possessed, he had given to the Lord. When a friend adv'sad 
him to read a popular novel he replied, "I have nirver 
read a novel. I can not spend my time in reading such 
things when there is so much to do for God." His time, 
he felt, was not his own. So with his children. When 
they were sick his prayer was : " O God, spare them, for 
thyself first ; then for usefulness in the luorld ; then for us." 

He recognized fully the doctrine of a special Providence 
— saw in everything a Father's hand, directing, restraining, 
controlling — and as a consequence he was a man of prayer. 
Said one wdio knew him well: "I do not remember a 
single instance of Mr. P's. retiring at night wit out first re- 
turning thanks for mercies received and invoking a contin- 
uance of the same. After traveling all day, or mingling 
with his brethren in the deliberations of religious bodies, 
no matter how much exhausted he was at night, he would 
say to his room mates : ' Let us ask God's blessing before 
we retire.' And kneeling at his bedside he would lead us 
in prayer or request one of the company to do it." 

His views in reference to benevolent enterprises were en- 
lightened and liberal. He could not be localized and he 
had no hobbies. He was the ardent friend and promoter 
of Home Missions but equally zealous as an advocate of 
Foreign Missions and Education. Whatever had for its 
object to build up the Kedec-mer's kingdom found in liim 
a cordial friend. 

As a preacher he stood high. His sermons were care- 
fully and prayeifully prepared. His favorite themes were 
the great tr-.ths of the Gospel, such as Justification by Faith, 
the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness, Election, &c., 
&c. His style was plain and his manner simple but ear- 
nest. He was careful to fortify every position which he 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 175 

took, with testimony from the Scriptures. lie o^athered il- 
lustrations from a great variety of sources and used them 
freely and often with great effect. In the ordinary accep- 
tation of the term he was not an eloquent preacher, and yet 
at times, as he discussed some of the grand truths of 
the New Testament and wanned with his subject, there 
was about him a sort of eloquence that made him almost 
irresistible. 

It is needless to speak of him as a pastor. The living 
fruits of his labors toll, better than we can, his capacity and 
faithfulness in this impurtant sphere of usefulness. 

In the domestic circle, he ever aim.d to promote the hap- 
piness of each individual. By constant acts of attention, 
trivial in themselves, he sought to add to the comfort of 
his liousehold— to lessen the cares of the elder members 
and increase the pleasures of tlie younger. Many tender 
allusions to the " dear children," in his diary, as he planned 
various amusements for the little ones, or furnished some 
interesting book or magazine to the older children, thow 
what a devoted father he was. Whatever strictness ap- 
peared in his discipline, was only caused by his earnest 
desire to have his children examples of goodness. While he 
commanded their respect and implicit obedience, their 
affection for him was not the less. '^Papa's study" was 
always a favorite resort for the little ones, to enjoy a quiet 
play, or look at the pictures in his books, which he always 
permitted them to use, saying: ''They would be kss apt 
to abuse books, if accustomed to the v.se of them." " My 
children, never disturb me," he would say, '' when good- 
naturedly playing;" and he loved to have tliem with him, 
even when writing and studying. Indeed, they early 
learned to restrain the exuberance of playful fetling, while 
" Papa was studying his sermon." 



176 MEMOIR OP 

Said one of his little sons, while speaking of the pleas- 
ant hours he had spent here with his father: ''Papa al- 
ways used to pray before he commenced studying his ser- 
mon and we used to kneel down with him." Feeling, as 
he did, the want of early educational advantages, he af- 
forded his children every opportunity for mental culture. 
B}^ sending ihem to the best schools, and supplying them 
with useful and entertaining reading, he encouraged the 
love of books which they early manifested. " What would 
I not have given when I was your age," he would tell 
them, "for the books and periodicals you have access to ?" 
That his children might, " if possible, receive a good edu- 
cation," was the only special request he left in reference 
to their future management. But above every thing else, 
as has been said, he desired that they might become holy 
men and women, and from their earliest infancy they were 
specially dedicated to God in prayer. The regular obser- 
vance of family worship was deemed by him an important 
measure for promoting piety ; and this service, instead of 
being a cold, unmeaning formality, was rendered interest- 
ing to every member of the family by requiring each to 
share ia its exercises. His children will never forget the 
" first verse " they learned to repeat at morning prayers. 
After a passage of Scripture was repeated by each mem- 
ber of the family^ all joined in reading a chapter and sing- 
ing a hymn. Then followed a prayer suited to the peculiar 
condition of the family. This was the order of exercises 
for the morning. At night they were somewhat shorter 
in order that the youpger children might retire early. In 
these family devotions the Xew Testament was read many 
times through, and the whole Bible once or twice. 

When Mr. P. was at home nothing was ever allowed to 
prevent family worship. On several occasions, when con- 



EET. J. L. PRICHAED. 177 

fined to his bed hy sickness, the family assc-nbled in his 
chamber, at the appointed hour, and after tiie chapter for 
the day had been read, he led the devotions while all bowed 
aronnd him. 

One incident may be related in this connection. On the 
morning of the 3rd of August, 1853, all had assembled 
for prayers. Little Jeinmie, after a night of great suffer- 
ing, lay quiet in his cradle. When the others ha 1 repeated 
their verses of Scripture, Mr. P. turned to little J. and 
said : " My son, can you say your verse for papa?" Some 
who were p'-eseut seemed surprised at the question, suppos- 
ing the child unconscious of what Wcis passing. But \Yith.- 
out the slightest hesitation he distinctly repeated one of the 
last verses he had learned : "As the mountains are. round 
about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people 
from henceforth, even forever.'' 

How touching and appropriate was this precious promise 
to these parents as repeated by their d^^ing child. In after 
years, as memory recalled that passage, so impressively 
uttered, it seemed to them like a message of comfort from 
heaven. 

Mr. Prichard's influence could not but be widely felt. 
The preceding pages show, to some extent, what it was. 
One phase of it, which has not been referred to, demands a 
passing notice. The story of his eai-ly struggles was ex- 
tensively known in his native State and in other States ; 
and it has awakened in more than one heart aspirations for 
the advantages whicli education gives, and a stern resolve 
to obtain them. Some of those who, toiling on in poverty 
and ignorance, caught their first gleam of hope from his 
example, and afterwards rose to honor and usefulness, are 
known to the writer. The full influence of that example 
will be known only in eternity. 



178 MEMOIR OF 

This siirve}' will be closed l)y a reference to Mr. Pricli- 
ard's character and influence by one of his Virginia breth- 
ren, who knew him intimately : 

''Though I am conscious of inability to speak of liim as 
I feel, I shall aim to give my impression as to the more 
salient points of his cliaracter. He was by nature, a noble 
spirit, generous, affectionate and courageous. Ilis will was 
strong, his feelings intense, and his moral tone pure and 
lofty. When he gave himself to Christ, the consecration 
was entire ; and love to ^an unseen Saviour was thence- 
forth the motive power, the guiding and controlling princi- 
ple of his life. 

" His disposition was em.inently social, and he seemed 
never happier than when surrounded by congenial brethren 
in his own hospitable home. Were those bretbren less cul- 
tivated or experienced than himself, he would, when the 
occasion demanded, kindly and unassumingly extend 
to tlieni the benefits of his superior attainments. If, on the 
other hand, his companions were men more able than him- 
self, he regarded them with an admiration unmixed with 
envy, and would gladly sit as a learner at their feet. But 
these sentiments never degenerated into a cringing defer- 
ence to their opinions, when those opinions did not com- 
mend themselves to his own judgment ; and whenever he 
differed with others, no mock modesty prevented him from 
frankly expressing his dissent. Still less was he ever res- 
trained by fear, an emotion of which, I believe, he was ex- 
perimentally ignorant. If, as sometimes happened, he en- 
countered an opponent as fearless and as decided as liim- 
self, long and sharp word- battles might ensue ; but, on his 
part certbinly, they were never accompanied or followed 
by a trace of wounded feeling ; while he never intentional- 
ly gave occasion for such feeling to the other party. 



REV. J. L. PlilOHARD. 179 

" Wliile lie would not have been deemed an imprudent 
man, lie was, less than most men, restrained andinliueuced 
by motives of expediency. If honor or justice seei^ed to 
indicate a certain course, he never stop])cd to consider 
wliether it whs popular or likely to succeed ; but promptly 
entered upon it, and unhesitatingly pursued it to the bitter 
end. lie thus, at times, doubtless incurred the disapproba- 
tion and the dislike of some persons ; but if they knew him 
at all, and were possessed of ordinary candor, ihey could 
not fail to admire liis noble independence — his almost sub- 
lime abandonment to whbt he thought. 

'* I will cire an instance in illustration of this point. It 
has long been the rule of the Yii'ginia Baptist Education 
Board, to requij-e of each beneficiary a bond for the amount 
furnished him, payable, however, only when he should feel 
himself able to pay it. Mr. Prichard was opposed to this 
plan. He had lively recollections of his own experience in 
securing an education, and his sj'mpathy for the student 
for the ministry had almost amotherl)^ tenderness. Hence, 
while rio man ou earth would have been j)rompter or 
more cei'tain to |>ay such a claim, he yet thought that it 
ought not, even in the mildest form, to be held over the 
young minister ; but that the ciiurches should send him 
forth to his work, debt-free. 

" Well do I remember the earnestness with which, at a 
meeting of the Society held at the 2nd Baptist Church, 
Richmond, nearly twenty years ago, he attacked the rule 
which has been mentioned. Several noble young men, 
beneficiaries, were sitting near me in the gallery, and man- 
ifested deep emotion at his warm championship in their 
behalf. He was unsuccessful, and sonie annoyance ma}^ 
have been f»^lt at his persistence, by those whose policy he 
opposed ; but in after years, again and again, when the 
subject came up, he would urge his protest. 



180 MEMOIR OF 

"His mind was not what would be called of the logical 
order, and he had not enjoyed the advantage of an early 
and the most thorough training. His conclnsious seemed 
to be often rather the result of intuition than of reasoninir : 
but if this was so, his intuitions were certainly remarkable 
for tlieir acuteness, and his conclusions for their accuracy. 
His thougtits were tlie effect rather than the cause ol his 
emotions; an^l when some strong feeling stirred his heart, 
his mind often flashed with the corruscations of genius. 

"On this account, as might have been anticipated, his 
pulpit elforts were peculiarly unequal. Though he was a 
hard student, and specially in his later years was generally 
instructive, yet as he was not a Biblical critic, nor a great 
reasoner, his sermons, when he lacked the inspiration of 
deep feeling, may not have been powerful . but when his 
heart was glowing, when his sensibilities were aroused 
and the surroundings were favorable to the play of his 
emotional nature ; — then, he was truly eloquent, carrying 
his audience away by his appeals or melting them by his 
pathos Hence, he probably never did himself justice in 
his efforts in ^' strange cities," or on occasions when he 
conceived himself surrounded by the unappreciative or the 
critical. The presence of such a congreo: ition, while it in- 
spired no fear, cliilled him, and rendered impossible that 
mysterious sympathy so essential to effective speaking. 
But with his own people, of whose appreciation he felt 
sure, or at some Association, where he was perfectly at 
home, he often felt the divine afflatus, and his discourses 
were characterized by that highest of all qualities in tlie 
pulpit— that blended fervor and tenderness which constitute 
what w^e call unction. 

*I shall never forget a familiar sermon which I lieard 
him preach in his Lecture-room in Lynchburg, in '52 or '53, 



REV. J. L. PRICHARD. 181 

from PKil. lY : 6, 7. Perhaps no new truth was brought 
to light; but, as with a deep and quiet tone, he unfolded 
the precious contents of the text, an almost painful stillness 
prevailed, and many eyes were swimming in tears. Spe- 
cially do 1 remember how he dwelt on the fact that it was 
through Christ that the believer enjoys the promised peace. 
"Jesus, that name — that golden key which unlocks to us 
the store house of guspel blessings f these words, and the 
amplification of tlic idea, were presented within describa- 
ble pathos, and produced an effect that was thrilling. 

" The secret of his preaching was also the secret of the 
influence which he exerted. This influence was strictly 
personal^ and was due to the sympathetic power of his ge- 
nial yet decided and positive character. More than by his 
arguments, he was by his pure life, and his pious spirit, a 
motor for good, a leader of his fellow men into the paths 
of truth and righteousness. 

" Among his minor yet distinctive traits of character, was 
the intense love that he felt for his mother state — his strong 
State pride. He loved the very dust of North Carolina, 
and would have resented any imputation upon her honor 
more warmly than a personal affront. This trait, however, 
co-existed with as enlarged a catholicity as I ever saw in 
any man. His heart was too big, botli by nature and by 
grace, not to love ardently every good object, every lova- 
ble person, whenever found. I am reminded that the last 
time I saw him was in the Summer of 1S62, when he came 
to Eichmond to visit the sick and wounded North Caroli- 
na soldiers who were in the hospitals in that city. It was 
to him, in a three fold sense, a labor of love ; and day af- 
ter day, despite the enervating sun, and his own feebleness, 
he ministered to their temporal and eternal wants. 

"Indulge me in a word as to the circumstances of his 



182 MEMOIR OP 

death. He died nobly. ITnstimulatcd by the excitements 
of the battle field, he stood firmly at his post, amid the 
rasjir.g epidemic, earnestly working, patiently waiting, and 
calmly looking death in the face. All have applauded the 
heroism of his course and the purity of his motives ; but 
some may have regarded his remaining in Wihnington as 
a needless and a wrong expo-nire. I cannot so regard it. 
I do not blame any man who, in similar circumstances, 
feels cahed upon to leave his ]>ost. It is a matter which 
every one must decide for himself; but he wJio elects to 
' stand and wait,' though ' plagues and deaths around 
him fly,' seems to me to have 'chosen the better part.' 

" In the prevalence of a fatal epidemic, it would indeed 
be well, if the entire population could be removed from the 
infected regions, that the fuel being removed the fire 
might die. But it is seldom that this is possible. Various 
causes may render it necessary for many to renmin. Gen- 
erally si)eaking, the bulk of a church — mainly poor peo- 
ple — do not and cannot get awa3^ The pastor, who vcdun- 
tariiv forbears to avail himself of his opportunity to go, 
and of his own accord remains with the many who cannot 
leave, sharing the perils and troubles which he might 
avoid, seems to me eminently acting in the spirit of Him, 
who, possessed of infinite ])ower5 torebore to Urc it for his 
own good, but shared the lot of the lowly and the poor 
whom he came to save. And if such a pastor falls under 
such circumstances, verily, he 'falls, a blessed martyr.' 
His last labors may be, in every sense, his best, and from 
his fall more good may follow than a prolonged life could 
have ;5ecured. I rejoice that Pastors, as well a? Priests, 
are ready to minister in the infected hospital and on the 
bloody battle field, though the former do not lay the stress, 
that the latter do, upon ministrations performed for the 
dying and for the dead."