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3 1833013697187 










18GI). ! 


l".nt<T.-J. nceoniing to Act of C'on^'ii-K, in the year 1SC9. by 
tlio I'i.-tik'lCoiirt of tho UiiitC'l States for the MiddU- District of Teiin'.'.i.^ce. 

sTr8.-.inn'it> at tue soitiiekx metkopist rtBUJniNo iioc-f., 



ClIArXER 1. 

Parextage AND Nativity ■ 9 r 

Removal to Kentucky 16 ' 

CHAPTEU 11. j 



Kt'UCATION 21 . 





The same— continued 31 ^ 


Mr.. Johnson's Fauentage and Nativity 40 j 


Mk. Johnson's Education — Removal to Texne-see 44 j 


Mr. Johnson's Conversion and Call TO I'REACTi 49 


Mr.. JoiiNJON on lIorKiiocKiNG Circuit, in Oinn 53 




Mr. Jounson on WniTK Oak Circuit, ix Ohio 58 


i Mr. Johksox on Bjg Sandy Circuit C2 


Mr. Johnson on Natchez Circuit, in ]Mi3.-issipri 68 


1 Mr. JonK.soN on Nashville Circiit, in Tenne.'^ske 80 


Me. Johnson on Livingston Circuit, in Kentucky— Marriage. SO 


Mr. Johnson on Christian Circuit, in Kentucky 100 

Mr. Johnson on Goose Creek Circuit 107 

The same— continued 115 

Mr. Johnson on Livingston Circuit, in Kentucky 122 


Second Year on the same Circuit 129 


Mr. J0HN.SON Stationed at N.^shville, Tennk^.-^ee 110 

Second Year at Nashville 149 



Mr.. JoHXSox ox Ri:u Rivkk Cii;ciit, in TEN->-Essi:r: 157 | . 


Mk. Joussox at lIoi'KixsviLLr, KLxxrcny 1G7 


Mn. .Tons?o:? Stationed at Loui.svn.r.r: 177 


Mk. Johnson Stationed at May?vili.f. ISG ; 


Mu. Johnson on Ked River Cikcuit, in Tennessee 195 \ 


Mr. Johnson is SurERANNUATED 210 , 




Mh. Johnson on Green PavER, or Hopkinsviixe District 220 i 


The same— continued 23..> j 


Kiftken Years in Mount Yerncn, Illinois 214 ' 


The same — continued ""'* 

The same— continued 2C4 




: My Josei'II 274 

Nine Yraks in the Country 2S2 


Mr. Johnson's Last Illness and Death 291 


CoNCLVsioN — Ten Years of 'Wilowiiood 297 

Mr. Johnson's View.o on Slavery 305 


Funeral-sermon in T^Iemoky of Valentine Cook 312 


Mr. Johnson's Exposition OF TEE CnuRcn-TRiALS AT Louisville. 326 


Letters Referred to in Chapter xnxiv 341 


Letters Referred to in Chapter xxxv ' 345 


Tjik substance of tlic following pages was cliclatc-<l by ip- 
venenUcd niolbcr, and taken do^Yn in sliort-liand by myself, 
two or three years ago; and I have waited thus long for 
time and opportunity to prepare her rveoollcctions for the 
l))-ess. This delay has caused me to forget, or to feel a de- 
gree of uncertainty respecting, some minute details whiih, 
trusting to ii usually faithful memory, I neglected to embody 
in my notes. Yet I can assure the reader that cverfj state- 
ment, in cvcnj particuhir, Avith three or four possible excep- 
tions—this is the number in regard to which I feel a shade 
of uncertainty* — is perfectly accurate. 

In clothing the statements and the thoughts of my mother 
Avith words, I have studied to avoid inappropriate language, 
and to use no expression which I had reason to fear that she 

*TIius, I am not positive that tho occurrcnco related on page 200 
took place at Slater's; nor tliat. the details of tho old lady, a3 given 
on page 132, are exactly as related to me; nor that the incMouts of 
tho debate with Vardiiaan occurred in tho crvact order stated on 
page 1G2. 


. . ^ ••* ' J..;. . 


•I -would cHsiipprovc. This I have been more careful to do, 

■ because it is impracticable fur me now to submit the work 
' to l\er for examination, licA>re going to press. 

Without asking the charity of the reader, I may remind 

, him that the splendor of diction, the breadth of view, and 
the disregard of minor detnils, ^vhich "we expect of the his- 
torian, we do not expect in any autobiography, and least of 
all in the personal recollections of a woman of the olden. 

The funeral-sermon in memory of Valentine Cook, Ap- 
pendix, No. 2, 1 had to decipher from an imperfect, defaced, 
and mutilated copy, which has been exposed to the wear 
and tear of removals, etc., of the last forty-five years, and 

\ looks as if it were not very legible at first; but I thought it 

j worthy of preservation. 

! '^hc volume is sent forth with an earnest prayer that it 

■ may do good. Adam C. Johnsox. 

* \ 







What a sliaiigc and beautiful light it is tliat gath- 
ers around the morning of life ! But especially 
when we catcli its beams from beyond a life of sev- 
enty years, and yet more when those have been 
years of darkness and trial, it seems to acquire the 
brightness and beauty of heaven itself. 

The home of my nativity was a large and tasteful 
dwelling, but lialf a mile from Newberry Court- 
liouso, in South Carolina. It has always seemed to 
inc that that home was a pleasant one. The garden 
was spacious, and looked diversified ; but I cannot 
recollect what it contained. The yard, or court, 
was covered with sand, as bare and as smooth as a 
Band-beach; but two or three groups of evergreens 
relieved its sterile aspect, and aflbrded an almost 



impenetrable sliadc. Tlie village of jSTeAs-bcrry — a 
dozen or so of elegant mansions — was full in view; 
and half as many farms, with residences scarcely vis- 
ible through clustering trees and shrubbery, made 
up the landscape around it. 

Here I was born, on the 22d of October, 1794; 
and I have heard my mother say, that for three 
months I was never known to utter a cry, or to cx- 
liibit any sign of suffering or distress. Indeed, she 
had become so much alarnicd at my protracted 
quiet, that she was overoome with joy when she 
heard the first cry that I uttered. Strange that so 
long an exemption from tears should begin a life as 
tearful as ever a daughter of Adam led! 

^My father's name was Thomas Brooks, lie was 
the youngest of ten children. His brothers were 
Jesse, Matthew, AVilliam, James, Daniel, David, and 
Joel. I remember Jesse well. lie was a Daptist 
preacher. When I was but a child, he visited us. 
In holding family worship, he read the third chapter 
of Galatians; and liis white head, his venerable 
bearing, and his slow and tremulous enunciation, 
produced an impression upon me that time can 
never eflace. Little did the old man think that liis 
very words on that occasion would be remembered 
for seventy years ! Indeed, we all too seldom reflect 
how deep and lasting an impression a word or act 
of ours may make up<Mi the infant mind. David 
was a Quaker [ireaeher; my fatlier, also, was a mem- 
ber of the same society. Jiis eldest sister, Judy, 
was married to George Pcmbcrton ; the younger, 
Alary, to a Mr. Thornbcrry. My grandmother'd 


iiitiidoii name was Elizabeth Warren; my grand- 
fatlicr, Matthew Brooke, a native of Virginia, was 
horn of English parentage, and lived near Rich- 

Of the fate or fortnne of the relatives named, I 
know ]>ut little. Jesse removed to Kentucky, near 
the Tennessee line, on Ked Kiver. .James, Matthew, 
and Daniel, lived in South Carolina, and David in 
Xorth Carolina. AV^illiam and Joel remained in 
Virginia. George Pemberton removed to Kentucky 
with my father. Tliornberry lived in East Tennes- 
see, not very far from Crab Orchard. "William was 
a sportsman. My grandparents both died while 
my father was a boy, and he was bound to a man 
whose name I liavc forgotten. Wlicn grown nearly 
lo manhood, unable to endure this man's severity, lie 
ran away to South Carolina, and took refuge with 
Ills si-t.-r ]'emberton, making his home tlicrc until 
he was niarried, in 1775. 

My modjcr's maiden name was Susannali Teaguc. 
JliT father, Elijah Tcague, was captain of a com- 
jiany of what might be called Itegulators, who 
before, and at the beginning of, the Revolution, 
were employed to hold in check the outhiws that 
abounded in that part of Korth Carolina. AVhcn 
the war came on, the desperadoes received such ac- 
cessions IVom that wild and profligate class of men 
whicli wars always let loose to prey upon the country, 
that they soon became too strong for the Regula- 
tors, and Captain Teague was compelled to tly the 
country. Truly those were " troublous times." 
Those wicked men visited the homes of the old ami 


defenseless, and plundered them of money and other 
valuablc3 in open day. Id. parties of from two to 
fifty, according to tlio ontcrpri'^e they had in hand, 
they scoured the country, assnming sometimes the 
guise of the British, sometimes that of the Amer- 
ican forces ; and taking, by force or by fraud, by 
theft or by violence, whatever was of value and 
could bo carried away. Old hates and jealousies 
that had lain concealed and festering long for lack 
of opportunity to get revenge, now burst forth with- 
outTcstraint; and the torch and the rifle-ball, arson, 
and robbery, and assassination, from week to week, 
rehearsed the tale of glutted vengeance. So nu- 
merous were these marauding parties that no sex, 
age, rank, or station was safe. "Danger encircled 
every dwelling, and death lurked in every path." 
The number of those who were willing to be known 
as avowedly hostile to the lawless clans, diminished 
as the danger increased, and those who had been 
marked as such, were forced to iiee for safety to the 
cities, the mountains, or the adjacent States. 

i Captain Teague left his home and family, as before 
stated, and lied to South Carolina. In a short time 
his family followed him. So also did his savage 
enemies. " Skulking stealthily about in the vicinity, 
tljey waited for an opportunity when he was lielp- 
lo?:3, and waited not long. One day, when none of 
his family were at home but his wife, eiglit villain- 
ous-looking fellows came upon him as ho sat at his 
fireside, and without stopping to ask or to answer 
questions, seized him, and conveyed him, by force, 
to the lawn in front of the house. He was a pow- 


erfiil man, but his strengtli was vain against such 
odds. Perfectly heedless of the tears, and entreat- 
ies, and frantic sliricks of the poor woman, they 
fastened a rope about his nock, swuncj him to a tree, 
and completed their bloody and dastardly work by 
sending half a do/:on balls through his body before 
life was extinct. But the feud did not end here. 
Afy grandmother had recognized the murderers ; 
she had three sons, and some other relatives ; and 
tliesc soon united, prepared themselves, and set out 
in pursuit. And such was their desperate determin- 
ation that, though months were required to com- 
plete their terrible task, not one of the heartless 
band, except one Ned Mitchusson, escaped their 
deadly rifles. 

The sons of Elijah Teague were Joshua, Elijah, and 
Samuel. Joshua and Elijah lived and died in South 
Carolina — Samuel removed to Ohio. Elijah Teaguo's 
daughters., were Lurania, Isabella, Susannah, and 
Charity. Lurania was married to William Somers, 
or Summers; Isabella, to Benjamin Simpson; 
Susannah, to Thomas Brooks; and Charity, to 
John Bclton. Simpson went to Alabama; the 
rest, I think, remained in South Carolina. My 
Grandmother Teague's maiden name was Ailsey 

Two things must have impressed the reader's 
mind, as they have my own: the size of the fami- 
lies in those days of simplicity, and the extent to 
which they drew upon the Bible for the names of 
their cliildren. Two-thirds of all the persons that I 
have mentioned, were honored with names derived 


from Holy AViit. It is also remarkable tbat not one 
of them liad a double name, and not one was named 
for a distinguished person of modern times. 

My parents ^vere married, as belbrc stated, about 
tlie year 1775; and it is well known 1o readers of 
our national liistor}' that the South was not visited 
by troops in very large numbers till some time in 
the year 1778. From the battle at Sullivan's Island, 
in 1770, till the capture of Savannah, in 1778, the 

I heavier tramp of open warfare was scarcely heard 
in South Carolina. But during this period the peo- 
ple experienced that fearful uncertainty of life and 
property which is so little in the eyes of the histo- 
rian, and so vast in its effect upon the popular 

I On one occasion a band of pretended soldiers 

j came to my father's, in quest, as they said, of arms 

I and ammunition. JTot satisfied with the assurance 
that there was nothing of the kind on tha premises, 

• they searched in every place where it was possible 
or impossible for a gun or a pound of powder to be 

j concealed; and, as my mother expressed it, "turned 
every thing in the house upside down." And 
though they found no guns or ammunition, they 
found some things which seemed to satisfy Ihem as 
well; for one went off Avith a coat under his arm, 
auothcr a blanket, a third a pair of pants, a fourth 
a couple of bacon-hams, while the tips of mother's 
new spoons were visil.>le in the pocket of another. 

, This was but the beginning of such troubles : horses, 
provisions, stock of all kinds, were taken and driven 
away ; and many a time was the loaded mu.-^ket lev- 



C'lcd at my fallicr's breast, while lie moracntly ex- 
pected to be hurried into eternity. So frequent 
were such depredations, that it was with extreme 
diffieulty that lie managed to sustain his little flimily 
throuiih the war. 




In 179G, my fallicr deten-nined to remove to Keu- 
1 tucky, nnd scUlo near liis Brother Jesse, on lied 
' Kiver. His family was now large, and lie wished to 
1 locate where his children could find homes around 

him when they chose. He had four sons and four 

daughters; and, like the rest, he gave but one 
I name to each: Tahitha, Thomas, Elijah, Jesse, 
i David, Mary, Elizaheth, Susannah. The second 
I child was called ^lary, hut died in iufoncy, and 
I the same name was given to the next daughter. 
' Another was born in Xentucky, and named lie- 
:■ becca. -My father detested a nickname, but he liad 
j shortened names for us all : Bitha, Tommy, Lijah, 
I Davy, Tolly, Betsey, Suky, Becky. 
I . My mother never crossed my father in any of his 
• purposes; but her heart clung most fondly to her 
I South Carolina home. She thought that her chil- 
I drcn, when arrived at maturity, might seek homes 

in new count rles; and for the sake of keeping the 
' family together, she consented to remove. Yet she 

could never talk about it without tears. She vrept 
I incessantly while packing up and preparing for the 
I journey. Father was pained, but hoped that time 


would bring resignation and cheerfulness. As wc 
filarted, she sobbed convulsively. i\t every stream, 
and at every hill, she burst forth afresh into weej)- 
iiig, exclaiming, "There is one more liill, or one 
more stream, betv/een inc and my lovely home!" 
Often she would say, when father was not present, 
"I M'ould willingly sec every thing we possess on 
earth in flan\es, if that would take us back to our 
old home! " 

vStill onward we pursued our way. Our neigh- 
bor, James Wadlington, was in company; and most 
of the time right merrily did liis boys and ours 
travel along. Kight merrily did they caper around 
when the day was past, when the teams were munch- 
ing their food, and the blazing camp-fire? began to 
ilhiminate the woods. 

A little accident aflorded us a great scare at 
tlio time, and a great deal of sport afterward: 
Wiulliiigion'B wagon was upset, and it really seemed 
tlint the boys would lose their wits. AVilliam — 
afit-rward Oeneral — -jerked off his hat and throw 
it up to an astonishing height, wishing that he 
WHS dead, and using other frantic exclamations. 
Tlius M'ent we gaily on; but still her grief pressed 
like a mountain of darkness on my mother's 

On reaching our destination, father proceeded at 
once to plant a crop: and with various labors the 
f^nmnior slowly wore away, ^fother grew feeble 
iind ].alo. }>y nature tall and slender, she became 
'nore frail and slender still; and her mind began to 
•'how too plainly that her distress was greater than 


she coiilJ bear. Fatlicr at Icugtli ngTOcd to return 
to Carolina as soon as lio could gather and dispose 
of his crop; and this lie accordingly did. It ^va3 
barely in time; for weeks elapsed after our return, 
and she was still tottering on the veigc of the grave. 

But, as time ])asscd on, she regained her strengtii. 
Iler mother died; a brother removed to Ohio, and 
a sister to Alabama. ]My eldest sister had been 
married to Jesse Pemherton, son of George, before 
mentioned; and he and his father both were desirous 
to emigrate to the AVest. Five years had severed 
many a tender tie, and many a fond association only 
lived in memory now; so mother agreed to a second 
removal, and early in the spring of 1801, we made 
the journc}'. 

I was then in my seventh year. The morning of 
our departure was bright, serene, and beautiful. 
how brightly the sun shone, and how joyously the 
whole world glittered, seventy years ago ! We 
were all delighted with the prospect of novelty and 
adventure ; and the fact that mother looked pleased, 
and often smiled upon us, excited us to transports, 
and to frequent bursts of uncontrollable hilarity. 

AVe stopped a M-cek or two at the Crab Orchard, 
at Uncle Thornberry's, to rest and recruit our teams; 
and while there, they told us a circumstance that 
had jnst occurred in that vicinity. It had been 
raining for a day or two, and tlie ground was satu- 
rated witii water. On one of the spurs of the 
mountains the road was cut down hy raijis and co'i- 
stant use to such an extent that a bank of twenty 
feet was left on one side, while the hill sloped grail- 


ually away on the otlicr. Boiiie movers were coming 
aloii!?, and a little girl of tlie party Lad stepped 
:iM(lo to pluck a flower or a piece of shining ore, 
wliioh she saw a few steps from the roadside. This 
(hlaycd her, and she fell behind. All at 0)ico the 
oomiiaiiy were a}ipalled by a sudden crash, and on 
looking- luK'k they saw that a portion of the bank 
had fallen, and completely obstructed the road. The 
little girl was missed at the same instant, and of 
course it was supposed that she must have been 
])uried under the falling bank. Search was made, 
and their fears were confirmed ; it was even so. 
The parents were frantic, and the rest of the com- 
)>any so excited that it was some time before any 
tiling rational could be done ; but one of the young 
in<M\ seized a hoc, and another a spade, and right 
manfully did they begin the work of digging out 
tho buried child. Presently they heard lier voice ; 
it ujis faint and husky, but it served to guide them 
in ihc'ir operations, and to encourage more vigorous 
exertions. ICvery tool in the train that could be 
u-od in digging, was brought into requisition, while 
the mother and the other children used their hands 
' in throwing out the stones, and even in clawing 

desperately in the dirt. In about two hour.-, she was 
restored to her mother's arms, absolutely unhurt! 
AVhen the crash came, she was looking up into a 
large, hollow tree, of which about one-third had 
been burnt a\\ay by the camp-fires of emigrants; 
and she stood, as it were, in a huge, natural Frank- 
lin-stove, which comi)letely sheltered her from the 
falling mass. 


Again Avc were on oiii- way, and steadily })ursucd 
our course till, in due time, we arrived at Eddy 
Grove, a part of wliat is now Caldwell county, Ky. 
Hero father bought some four hundred acres of 
land, and located for life. JIc seemed to feel that 
he was in a wild, unpolished country; quietly sub- 
mitted to the influence, resi^nied his ambition, and 
laid aside Ids pride. He erected a double cabin of 
logs — two large rooms, witli an open passage be- 
tween — and in tliis house he resided till death. 




Ouu first school in the Eddy GJrovc was tanu'ht by 
l>rother Elijah in an old coru-crib. The crib was 
of logs, about twelve by sixteen feet in size; mid it 
had been improved by having another log or two 
Fawed out to enlarge the door, having the cracks 
*' chinked and pointed," and liaving a spacious 
wofidon chimney, with a fire-place about ten feet 
h'Ug, built at one end. Here Elijah agreed to teach 
thrwo months; and every child was to bring liim a 
d-'lhir in silver on the last day of the school. There 
\v<Te two seals, each running the whole length of 
the room, and both being formed of a log split open, 
llio Ihit f>ido being liewu or trimmed to something 
like a smooth surface, and the round side liaving 
rwugh pegs stuck in for legs. Of course they were 
without backs, except that they were placed against 
the walk There were two or three stools also, con- 
structed in the same style. A large hewn slab, 
about two feet wide by six in length, supported on 
hui:;e pegs about two feet and a half in Icngtl;, served 
'''•^ general writing-desk for all. 

This school, like, in fact, all that I ever at- 
tf'iidcd, was what they denominated "loud." And 


loud it undoubtedly was. Every scholur studied at 
the very top of his voice, eadi one secmiug intent 
iCt excel his neighbor; and the result ^va8, a noiso 
"as of many waters" that might at times be licard 
at the distance of lialf a mile. But I soon became 
accustomed to the confusion, and progressed so 
rapidly as to learn the alphabet, to spell pretty Avell, 
and to read a little in the Testament, before the 
close of the session. 

I went a while to a school taught by an Irishman 
named Hugh MoClellan; and from the photographs 
I liave seen of General George 13., I should sup- 
pose they must have been of the same stock. lie 
was as rough and passionate, however, as a man 
could be. If a large boy showed the least imperti- 
nence, he would knock him down with his fist in an 
instant. Yet he was very kind when not enraged, 
especially to the little girls. lie was quite kind to 
mo. I lieard him tell father, "Suky minds as well 
as any girl in school;" so I exerted myself to please 
him, and was so fortunate as to succeed. He had a 
parcel of types, and would frequently amuse us by 
showing us samples of his printing. At the close 
of his school, lie presented each of his pupils with a 
pamphlet of some dozen pages, ofhis own printing, 
entitled the "Eddy Grove vSongster." Like all the 
Irish tcuohcrs — and most in early days were 
Ii-isli — lie pretended to be very learned ; and would 
frequently astonish us by the fluoney with which 
lie quoted Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. I suppose 
his quotations were in the native Irish tongue; 
but, as far as we were concerned, they answered 


h\n i)urposG fully as ayoD as if tlicy had been gen- 

An old man named Taylor tanglit for us a ^vlnlo, 
but was not very liiglily esteemed, lie was a good, 
mild, kind-hearted man; and liis pupils did very 
much as they pleased. I never heard of liis being 
aroused l)ut once. There was a very bad boy in the 
8cliool, of the name of Ford. lie liad brought to 
seliool with liim what all boys will at once know^ by 
the name of "a squirt-gun;" that is, a joint of elder 
l)orcd out, a pierced plug made fast in one end of it, 
and a miniature piston working tiglitly in the "bar- 
rel." There was a bole behind the liouse — what is 
familiarly called a "clay-hole" — wlierc dirt had 
been procured to daub the chimney; and whenever 
Ford could get out, he would slip to the "clay-hole," 
and ^'jicnd some time in squirting the water about. 
At K-nglh be discovered a little hole in the wall, 
where some of the daubing had fallen out; and on 
p'?c'jting through this hole, he saw that Father Tay- 
lor JKid Ids head within six inches of the wall. To 
conceive the project of squirting some water into 
the old man's ear, and to start for the hole, required 
not a moment; and hurrying back, he discharged 
the entire contents of his "gun" exactly, as he said, 
"where be wanted it." Ford, being a little excited, 
threw the water with great suddenness and force; 
the old man leaped from his seat, and shouted, 
"Heavens and earth! AVliat was that? "Who did 
that? I'll catch the scoundrel, so I will!" So out 
he dashed, and away went Ford; and the whole 
f^chool followed, laughing and yelling a^ if they 


Averc craz3'. But tlio raco was short, for Ford was 
soon out of sight, and the old man returned; hut he 
certainly lacked his usual good humor for the re- 
mainder of the day. It is imnecessary to add that 
Ford came hack to school no more. 

My fourth and last session, making in all twelve 
months, was a school taught by John Ford — not a 
relative of the miscreant just referred to. He was 
far superior to any teacher that had taught in the 
Grove. Jlis education Avas good, and he was a man 
of fine appearance — neat and gentlemanly. His 
school was very large; for by this time quite a neat 
and spacious school-house had been built, albeit it 
was made of logs, and the settlement had become 
comparatively strong in numbers. This, I sn])pose, 
was in the year 1S09, as I was nearly grown. Here 
I completed my education by learning to write. 
I For a girl to study arithmetic, grammar, or geogra- 

i phy, was a thing we never thought of. The two 

I latter studies Avere scarcely known even among the 

boys. The New QV^stamcnt was the only reading- 
book for schools that I had ever heard of; and I 
studied the same spelling-book that had served all 
the family botbre me, so well were books of that 
day bound, or so well taken care of. It was, I 
scarcely need sa}-, Dilworth's; it was bound in calf, 
and recovered with buckskin, and is still preserved 
in the library of my son, J)r. T. 1>. Johnson, of 

Singing-schools liad now become pretty common. 
I attended one regularly, which was taught by a 
Mr. Hall, about the year 1S12. He oi>eiiod the ex- 


crciscs by singing and prayer; and so truly devo- 
tional was he, that he often exclaimed, "I wish no 
one to sing these words who cannot truly sing them 
from the licart." Sometimes he got quite happy; 
and more than once we liad "tlie shout of a king in 
the camp." I remember no pecnliarity in his mode 
of teaching, except that he wrote all the music that 
was used in the school. Every scholar had a Utile 
blank-book, and in this the favorite hymns and 
music were written by the teacher. 

Most of my education was obtained at home. 
Here I leai-ned to card and spin both cotton and 
wool, and to weave in all the fashions of the da}-. 
I could lay out my patterns with various-colored 
threads upon a stick, and calculate how many cuts 
of each color I should want for a piece of cloth. 
1 learned to make shirting, sheeting, cotton for 
drc'ssc?, counterpanes, table-cloths, jean, linsey, and 
every other fabric that was used in the country; 
.'iiKJ as lor knitting, I could do that in the dark as 
Well as in daylight, and even when in full trot from 
I'laoo to place. I knew all about milking, and 
making butter and cheese; washing, ironing, and 
bleaching; and in short, was skilled in all the labors 
that pertained to early life in the West. 

Our family lived in unusual harmony. Father 
was quick and excitable, though all his words and 
actions bcsiioke the Quaker; and a more tender and 
eoniprissionate father I never sav.-. lie a couple 
"f inches over six feet tall; and he was perfectly 
erect, and his step iirm and elastic, till he was more 
than eighty years of age. Mother was less cxcita- 

2G iiEcoi.LECTioxs or 

blc — her emotions were deep, strong, and abiding. 
She licld the reins over us with a steady hand, and 
yet — I know not ^Yh3■ — wo feared our father wore. 
So happily our time passed on, tliat I was wont to 
cheer my labors with o)ie ceaseless song. I kept 
time with streams of milk when milking, with every 
cast of the shuttle in weaving, with every stroke of 
the <'dash" in chniiiing, with every turn of the 
wheel in spinning; everything I did was "set to 
music;" every thing began and ended with a song. 

THE KKV. JOHN' .70IIN'j?OX. 27 



I.\ my earliest recollection, tbc Methodists were 
few and despised. The Baptists liad meeting in our 
ncio-hborliood once a month ; and, as mother was a 
I'aptist, we attended these meetings quite regularly. 
We went to onlv the camp-meetings of the Meth- 
odists. AVilliam McKendree was Presiding Elder 
^vll(■n we came to Kentucky, but I do not think he 
Im Id any camp-meeting in our vicinity— in fact, I 
do not know that wc so much as saw him. John 
P.ig«' v.-as Presiding Elder, and Thomas Wilkerson 
anil .bv--:o AValkcr circuit-preachers, at the first camp- 
mrciings that we attended— 1802, 180.3. 

It was during their ministry that th.ose celebrated 
revivals occurred, which were accompanied by such 
» -lingular species of excitement. This was familiarly 
b-iio\vn among us as '* the jerks." I saw women, who 
Wire held by two or more strong men, throw them- 
selves back and forward with such violence, that tlicy 
111 row the combs out of their liair, and then their 
1" >>oned lock'^ would crack nearly as loud as a com- 
\\\()\\ carriage-whip. I saw one old lady spring from 
her seat, and jjass a dozen times across the liouse in 
<'vcry direction, by a succession of leaps of froni two 


to six i'eot ; aiul, to my astouislimcnt, she never 
foiled to light squarely and firmly upon a bench! 
This was the more remarkable, as the scats were 
like those in the school-lioiise before described, sim- 
ply split logs, somewhat smoothed upon tlie flat 
side, and averaging about seven inches in width. 
Another old lady of our acquaintance, who had 
heard of these strange exercises, but had not wit- 
nessed them, was fully convinced that it was "all 
put on ; " but went to the meeting on purpose more 
fully to satisfy lierself She sat for some time look- 
ing about, wondering who would be the first " to 
pop up and take one of them there tantrums." All 
at once, as she afterward told us, she felt something 
like a bullet rise up in her throat, with a taste as 
sweet as honey. She fell helpless to the ground, 
and was for a long time unable to breathe. Then 
she began to laugh; and nhc declared that her 
laughter was perfectly uncontrollable, and she found 
it impossible to stop; though she was seriously 
afraid it would take her life. When the paroxysm 
passed off, she seemed to feel exceedingly happy; 
and she expressed herself as entertaining views dif- 
fering materially from those with which she came. 

Our next Presiding Elder was Lewis Garrett, aud 
circuit-preachers Jesse "Walker and Joshua Jjarnes 
in 1804, 180.3. Tlicy held one camp-meeting about 
two miles from us, at what M'as called the Head 
Spring. It was a time of "demonstration of the 
Spirit and of power." Garrett was then a middle- 
aged man, perhaps less than thirty-live years of age, 
of line ]>orsonal a[qK':uancc. lie dressed, of course, 


ill the primitive Alctliodist style; but liis clothes 
were of the best materials, and "without spot or 
hlcniish." lie was a man of great dignity of car- 
jjago, though not large, and was a very impressive 
and elUcient preacher. His congregation " came 
up" slowly; but when they did become aroused, 
tlioy wore stirred up from the profoundest depths, 
and their emotions were still more slow to subside. 
Jle had lost a front tooth; and he had a peculiar 
liabit, cs])ccially when excited, of partially opening 
his mouth, ins])iring with great force, and thus pro- 
ducing a whistling sound so loud as to be heard to 
u considerable distance. 

McKeudree was our Presiding Elder in 1806, 1807 
— Wm. Houston being circuit-preacher in the for- 
mer and David Young in the latter year. I may 
hero state, that we did not often attend the meetings 
of the circuit-preachers, partly because it was incou- 
vcnient, ]>artly because wc did not esteem them very 
highly, and partly because our regular place of wor- 
ship was the Baptist meetings. It may also be 
added, that the preachers of that denomination — 
liaptist — were generally men of so little ability that 
they made no great figure in the world ; and at this 
time I remember nothing worthy of note in connec- 
tion with their meetings. We went to church, saw 
the people, saluted old friends, the ju-eacher said 
what he wished to say, and we came home. 

As was our custom, wc attended the ^.Icthodist 
camp-meeting, v.-hich was within three miles of us; 
hut uttendetl only on Sabbath. McKcndrce was 
proinpt to a minute, and walked up into the stand 


soon aftcT WG arrived. He was a large, raw-boned 
man, apparontl}' built for strcngtli and power of 
endurance; and bad clear-blnc eyes set nndor very 
lii^di eyebrows, dark bair, and fair complexion. His 
cbeek-bones M^erc liigli as an Indian's ; bis brow 
actually jntted out over bis eye, especially toward tbc 
temple ; and bis moutb and eyes expressed a deter- 
mination and a severity tbat was painful to bebold. 
Yet tberc was an expres:3ion of intellect and of lofty 
purpose tbat riveted tbc eye upon liim. 

Standing for a i'cw minutes after be entered tbc 
pulpit, be said, in an abrupt and peremptory man- 
ner that startled us all, " Pull your bats off, and sit 
down ! " My fatber bad bis on, as usual. Tbc elder 
observed bim, and pointing bim out, said, in a tone 
60 loud as to approacb tbc vociferous, "Pull your 
hat off!" Fatber mildly replied, "I intend no dis- 
respect for thee, friend, nor for any one ; but I wear 
my hat because it is the principle and practice of tbc 
Society to wbicb I belong." " Well," retorted Mc- 
Kendrec, with something of a sneer, *' we must 
bear tbc infirmities of the weak." Fatber was deeply 
wounded, lie arose and said, "I wear my bat in 
tbc presence of God Almighty, and I sha'n't take it 
off to such a creature as thee." And lie walked 
away, while the tears ran rapidly down bis face. 

I think tbc elder could not have been in a very 
pleasant luimor on that occasion ; and the congre- 
gation manifested more or less of tbc same uncom- 
promising spi)-it. My cousin, Miriam Prown, sister 
to Judge Tom C. Prown, of Illinois, a young lady 
of splendid personal appearance, and, of course, a 

•Till!; RKV. JOHN JOHNSON. 31 

fair sliarc of pride, came sweeping down the r.islo 
with uu air, and a face withal, that would not have 
luishoeomc a queen, and paused a moment to look 
ahout for a seat. The preacher was just rising to 
hegiti the services; and he ordered her, in a very 
lond and imperious tone, to sit down. She turned 
upon liim a look of indescribable archness, and re- 
plied, " So I will, sir, if you will please to bring me 
a seat." ^McKcndree, I scarcely need say, was not 
generally a revivalist, and there was not a great deal 
of excitement at this meeting, at least whilst we 
were present. 

James AVard succeeded to the charge of the dis- 
trict including our section of the country, iu 1808, 
and :Mi]cs Harper in 1809. Of Ward I remember 
little ; but we knew inore of Harper. lie diflercd 
in n\any respects from McKendrec. He was a large 
and somewhat corpulent man, with round, full, and 
ruddy face, a fine, large, and pleasant eye, a]\d a 
voice which, when ho was excited, really seemed to 
shake heaven and earth. He was a most eliective 
speaker, carrying his hearers along with the resist- 
less sweep of the hurricane. 

Learner Blackman, who followed him, 1810-11, 
was a man of still another type; and the circuit- 
preacher, Peter Cartwright, was equally unlike them 
all. ]Jlackman was tall, rather slender, but erect, 
gentlemanly, dignified, grave, and impressive ; Cart- 
wright was short, thick, heavy-set, witli a large head 
and short neck, coar.-e and rough in his manners, 
and any thing else but grave. Blackman was a man 
^v]lom everybody loved — no word but A;^; will express 


the feelings willi which all regarded hiin ; Caitwright 
was admired by some, hated by some, feared by others, 
and loved b}' none. Blackman was apparently 
always the fame; but Cartwright, after preaching 
with power, and praying as few other men could — 
for ho was unsurpassed in prayer — would have a, 
dozen or twenty persons, fro<piently some of them 
the roughest in the congregation, all indulging in 
uproarious laughter at his jests, before he was ten 
feet from the i)ulpit. JIo liad an indescribable "te- 
he-he" in laughing, Asliich Avas expressive of infinite 
merriment, and irresistibly contagious. 

My first recollection of Cartwright is connected 
with a public exhibition at the close of a school 
which he attended. He jterformcd a part in a dia- 
logue, in the course of which something was to be 
read; and he acted well the part of an old man as 
I he slowly drew out his huge leathern spectacles and 

adjusted them upon liis nose. From this time, 
I which must have been 1802 or 1803, I lost sight of 

him until lie came on as our preacher, though wc 
knew his relatives well — at least as well as was de- 
sirable. It adds to his praise that he was of such 
I liumblc origin. His father, old Justinian Cart- 

! Wright, was quite a poor man, and not so much a 

bad as a good-for-nothing kind of man. >rrs. Cart- 
wright liad licoi\ a widow Wilcox, and had two sons 
— ]Odmund, who became a local preacher in the 
}kIethodist Church, and ejohn, who after a life of the 
]nost lawless wickedness, fraud, theft, perjury, and 
I murder, atoned for his crimes upon the scalFold — 

i stained in soul, as many believe, with the l/lood of 


Itif? own son. I believe the rest of the brothers anJ 
eistcrs kept "tlie noiseless tenor of tlieir way" 
"alonij the cool, sequestered vale of life," except 
Carlwright's Sister Polly. She "took up" with a 
nuin named rentecost, led a life of dissipation and 
(k'bauchery, and died respected or lamented by no- 
body. Old Mvs. Cartwright was a woman of tierce 
and ungovernable passions, suVyngating liusband, 
children, and all others in her power, in most relent- 
less Btvle. The last time I remember seeins: her, 
she was in what in her corresponded with a pleasant 
humor in other people ; and still her aspect was such 
that I was really afraid of her. 




I I TiiixK 111}' lir:>t religious impressions were received 

under the preaching of Miles Harper, about the year 
1809. I exerted mysoir, as young people usually do, 
I to stillc them, and banish them iVom my mind. I 

j liad heard something of, and the more 

' I felt myself in danger of hell.^ the harder I strove 

I to doubt its existence. So deeply were these things 

' impressed upon me, that I liad ii terrible dream. I 

seemed to stand upon a large platform of logs, and 
on looking dov.-n from its .^ido, I beheld a boundless 
sea of fire. Gazing intently, I could distinguish the 
1 points of the wavering ilames, and ever and anon an 

j ami and clenched fist extruded above the surface, 

I with here and there a head and face peering out for 

I a moment, and sinking back with terrilic groan. 

I looked up, and saw William Ford, a neighbor of 
ours, and a devoutly pious man, and asked him what 
\ this was. lie answered, "It is hell !" I hastened 

from the si)ot, and found my way to father's orch- 
ard, and knelt down upon a largo white limcstono 
rock, partially shaded by an apple-troe. lli.-re 1 be- 
gan to I'ray, and i)rosontly motlicr, and a very pious 
neighbor — liachcl Osborne — seemed to stand at iny 



hick'. 1 M'ns aljoul. to tell tliom my trouLlo, \vlicn my 
ii:.fOiiy bocnmc so intense thai 1 awoke. T iinmc- 
liiately resolved iliat I would escape tlie liorrors of 
the second death, if escape was possible. 

i'reseiitiy I fell asleep again, and a strange form 
seemed to stand before mc, and to announce, in 
kIow and measured tones, "Tlirec years from this 
time you must die I " and it vanished. I awoke in 
great alarm, but soon afterward went to sleep again, 
wlien the same vision was repeated. This was done 
the tliird time in less than two hours ; and I could 
not help regarding it as a warning divinely sent. 
Well did I note the day, and often did I count tliC 
months and weeks that I had yet to live. It was the 
0th day of September, 1810; and I felt as sure that 
I should die on the Gth day of September, 1813, as 
ever did a criminal condemned to death. 

Jt may well be supposed that these things had a 
depressing ell'ect upon my usually light and buoyant 
.•spirits; and in truth, I soon became sensible of a 
loss uf strength, and an unnsual pallor began to steal 
over my face. 1 heard father ask mother the ques- 
tion, *'AVhat ails Suky?" more than once, with a 
voice expressive of much solicitude. 

Tiie great object now was to prepare to meet my 
fito. I attended preaching as often as I could, 
which was only once or twice a month, and cLcvotcd 
evrry opportunity to reading the Xew Testament — 
all the book I had in the world, and all I desired. 
<' how eagerly I listened .to every word that the 
minister uttered, and how devotedly I ai>plicd myself 
to tr<jasure up and to understand the words of JFoly 


Writ ! Still the way of salvation seemed a mystery, 
and still I walked in utter darkness. A hundred 
times a day I sent up the petition of the convicted 
publican ; and every day, as nearly at a certain hour 
as I could, I repaired to the foot of a little plum-tree, 
which stood in a low and retired nook in the orchard, 
and there, with many a sob of heart-felt penitence, 
I poured out my soul before the Lord. I think he 
often blessed me, for ol'ten there came a peaceful 
serenity over my soul that made me love the spot; 
and so regularly did I visit the sacred resort, that I 
beat across the orchard a path that remained for 
many a day. 

One day I had been out to pray, and my sky was 
overcast and gloomy. I hardly knew what religion 
really was, and I almost despaired of obtaining the 
blessing. Thoughtful and dejected, I was returning 
to the house; l)ut just as I reachud the gate, and 
was about to enter the yard, this thought struck me 
with wonderful force: "Jesus died for sinners, and 
lie died for me!" In a moment my gloom was 
gone-, and my mind and heart were tilled with the 
thought, "lie died for hid'' In my joy I turned 
and ran all the way back to the hallowed tree, as if 
God were there, to give free vent to my joyous feel- 
ings. Here I spent some time in praising God. I 
then skirted home, resolved to tell mother, if not the 
whole family; but the devil wliispercd, "Be sure 
you're not mistaken, bci'oro you tell too much." 
So I put oil" saying any thing about it fur the 

I liked the Methodists, probably because I was 


coiivicled under their ministry; and I borrowed 
a Discipline, and carefully studied their rules. 
-My judgment and my lieart approved them. John 
1'ravi.s, the preaclier in charge, a holy and zealous 
man, held a meeting near us about twelve months 
nfter my first setting out to seek salvation; and be- 
fore closing the meeting, he opened the doors of the 
Clmrcli. I felt a desire to join, but the devil told me 
It was all a foolish notion. Something seemed to 
Kay, *' Quench not the Spirit;" and I felt as if the 
Spirit would leave me for ever if I resisted his 
fitnvings now. My parents were present, and I re- 
Bolved to ask them. I went to father; he sat with 
his hat on, of course, and torrents of tears welling 
from his eyes. After a little hesitation, I saicl^ 
" Father, 1 ibel a desire to join the Church : I am 
not excited, but I wish to save my soul: I would 
not join without knowing if you have any 
ohjeetion." He answered, ^'Do as thee pleases, 
.^uky." J then started to ask mother, who sat 
near; but she anticipated tlie request by saying, 
"Go, my child, with all my heart, go on!" This 
\vas in the autumn of 1811. 

Solemn reflections now filled my mind. The 
youngest but one of nine children, a member of the 
Church, and not one brother or sister a professor of 
religion ! Ah, how circumspectly I must live to 
Jivoid dishonoring my profession and the Church, 
and to keep from being led away by so many adverse 

I^oubts, however, still haunted me until the fol- 
lowing spring, when James Axlcy preached at a 


prcacbing-placc not far from old Mr. Cartwrigiit's. 
As I went, a young man rode up and asked for my 
company. "Ko," said I; "I wisli for no company: 
I wisli to pray all the way ; " and so I did. Axley 
preached on the "cloud of witnesses." How it 
comforted my licart to licar him describe, as hardly 
any other man could, the different modes in which 
conversion is witnessed to the soul ! I became sat- 
isfied with regard to my own conversion — so fully 
so, that though nearly sixty years liave elapsed, I 
never doubted again. 

Of Axley I may say a few words, expecting to say 
more hereafter. lie was rather a young man at this 
time, but exceedingly grave in his demeanor. He 
was large, rather tall, slightly inclined to a rotund 
j appearance, quite handsome; and every word and 
i gesture was slow, and replete with dignity. lie 
j usually began his sermons with natural strokes, 
j which were generally mistaken for liumor, and sel- 
i dom failed to excite his hearers to laughter. But 
j before he had spoken long, his deep, sonorous voice 
j became exceedingly impressive; and the wecpino- 
' was as universal and as irresistible as the laughter 
had been at first. 

My younger sister, Rebecca, persecuted me very 
much. The Methodists were few in number, and 
very generally despised. I loved to attend class- 
meeting ; but there was none near enough for me to 
go alone, and I could hardly ask any of" my uncon- 
verted brothers or sisters to go with me. Kebecca 
would snceringly say, "I would not go to class- 
meeting; nob(Kly will be there but ] 'age's girls and 


I'liiiiiy AVhitc." But Brollicr Davitl was very kind; 
and when my sister altiickcd me, he would say, 
•* JJocky, don't talk so; I'll go with you, Suky, if 
you want to .t^'O." Father, too, would sometimes go 
witli me. "When the time lor class-meeting was at 
hand, if he observed me dejected and sad, he would 
Kay, •' Suky, does thee want to go ? " Then I knew 
the way was clear, and how light my heart felt! 
A[ length, Quaker as he was, he would Fometimes 
li-f just before the meeting was closed, and state 
his feelings, etc., like the rest. 

Thus I struggled on, and for about three 3'ears 
my pky was almost perfectly cloudless. The three 
years, at the end of which I expected to die, passed 
away; the Gth of September came, and it brought 
o!jc of the most terrific .storms I ever saw ; but I felt 
prepared for death, and was as happy as a mortal 
rould be from morning till night. In fact, it was 
almost a disappointment, when the day was gone, 
that my — long-cherished, shall I say? — expectations 
liad not been realized. 



MR. Johnson's tarentage and nativity. 

I MUST now give some account of my husband, 
liis piircntage, education, and experiences, before 
liis and mine became one common lot. 

Benjamin Jolinson was the son of an Englisliman 
who came to ^Maryland from Stailbrdshire, at an 
early day. It is possible his family was related to 
that of Dr. Sanmel Johnson, of the same county — I 
know nothing about it. Benjamin Johnson settled 
)!t Hanover county, Va., and there resided till 
bis death. lie left two sons and two daughters. 
Of one son and one daughter I can give no account. 
Tli«! other daughter married a "Wheeler; the other 
f^on was named John, and he M-as the father of my 
husband. This John Johnson married Hannah 
Medloek, by whom he had three children — Molly, 
AVilliam, and Benjamin. Of these, Molly was mar- 
licd to Cosby Foster, AVilliam to Betsey Golden, and 
lioiijamin died in youth. The mother of these chil- 
dren died while they were yet small, and Mr. John- 
si)n iiiarricd a widow, Betsey Tyler. This lady's 
lir.-t husband was named John Tyler — great-uuclc, 
I believe, to the Vice-president ; and she was also 
the m<)ther of tluee children — Xancy, Polly, and 

THK KEY. jonx JOIIXSO>r. 41 

.Tolin. Of these Tyler cliilclron, ."NTaiicy inarricd 
Jolm Badgel, Polly maiTJcd John Xearscy, and 
John married Milly Stone. 

By this second marriage, John Johnson, Sr., liad 
four children— J^ewis, James, Betsey, and John. 
Lewis married a ^^^do^v lady, Franky "Winn, ^vho 
Mas the mother of two children: Polly, who mar- 
ried a Ward; and Cozey, vrho married a Tinslcy; 
and hoth of whom lived and died in the South. 
James married Clarir^sa ]\iaxcy, and Betsey married 
Ivcv. Kichard ^Moore, v.dio lived for many years at 
Paris, Tenn. 
t John Foster, my husband's raaternai grandfatlier, 

was also a Virginian, and married a Scotch lady by 
the nan)e of Graves. Their children were John, 
AViliiam, Edmund, James, Anthony, Sabry, Fanny, 
and Betsey. The elder John Foster's brothers wei e 
wealthy ; they removed to K'orth Carolina, and frou) 
one of them Ephraim II. Foster, of Tennessee, was 
de>c«;'nded. John Foster himself, and most of his 
children, died in Virginia. Ue lived to the age of 
C'lghty-nme. His youngest daughter, Betsey, was 
married to John Tyler, as above stated, and after- 
ward to John Johnson. 

Indulge me, before I close this chapter, in a hasty 
notice of my husband's brothers and sisters, and of 
my own. 

Lewis Johnson and James removed to Illinois 
in ISIG-IT. Lewis brought up riine children, tlirec 
f'ons and six daughters, and died in Jeflorson 
t^ounty, in ISoG, at the age of eighty-one. James 
had fifteen children, some of whom died in youth, 

42 nrx'OLLKCTioxs of 

BGVcn sons and eight daug-lilors, and died in Jeffer- 
son county, in IS'JO, ngcd eighty-two. Jk'lscy Moore 
liad one son, who died in yontli; and she died at 
Paris, Tcnn., in 1855, aged seventy-live. ^My sister, 
Tabitha Pemberlon, had four children, three sona 
and a daughter, and died at Fredonin, Ky., aged 
forty-eiglit. Thomas married Franky Bond, had 
eleven children, seven sons rnd four daughters, and 
died near St. Joseph, Mo., aged eighty-four. Elijah 
married Elizabeth Young, also had eleven cliildrcn', 
seven sons and four daughters, and died in wliat is 
now Lyon county, Ky., aged sixty. Jesse married 
Celia Johnson, had four sons, who died in child- 
hood; and he died in Lyon count}-, Ky., in 182G, 
aged about forty-five. Polly married James Mercer, 
had tlnec children, two sons and a daughter, and 
died at Fredonia, Ky., in 1850, aged sixty. Eliza- 
beth married Thomas Gordon, had eight children, 
five sons and three daughters, and still lives in Mis- 
souri, aged seventy-six. David and Kebecca were 
never married. Kebecca died at Fredonia, in 1852, 
aged fifty-one; and David still lives there, at the 
age of eighty-two. 

Here a$;ain occurs the remarkable fact that amono- 
the tliirty-six persons named in this chapter, not one, 
except Ephraim IL Foster, possessed a "double" 
name. The grandchiklren of my father and John 
Johnson, Sr., amount to about eighty souls. It is 
also worthy of note, tliat most of them lived to an 
advanced age. I will also add that a large propor- 
tion were tall in person, James Johnson being six 
feet and three inches, and my own four brothers 


ranging IVom six foct one inch to six feet seven 

My liusbfind was born in Louisa county, Ya., 
forty miles from Richmond, on the 7th day of Jan- 
uary, 1783. 




John Johnson, Sr., was tlic owner of a small 
i farm, raised an abundance for his family, and was 
surrounded hy tlie comforts and conveniences of 
life. But he died on tlie 1st day of March, just 
seven weeks after his youngest son, John, Avas born. 
The entire management of three sets of children, 
{ ten in all, and of the farm, now devolved npon the 
j widow. The elder children l)eiug grown, tlioy soon 
' married, and the farm was sold in order to allow 
them their respective shares of the estate. Mrs. 
: Johnson was thus left with diminished resonrcos, 
and was under the necessity of renting land; and 
in that section no land was for rent but such as was 
of inferior quality. In spite of tlie niost strenuous 
exertions and the most rigid economy, her means 
slipped rapidly away, and John, even in his child- 
liood, became acquainted with poverty and destitu- 

Tlic elder children had been sent to school, and 

had learned to read and write; but long before 

I John was old enough to attend school, his mother 

I was so straitened, even to live, that she could neither 


ppnro a cliild from lal)or, nor pay for bis tuition. 
]ii fact, lie never was the owner of a hat or a coat, 
a pair of pants, boots, or sliocs, till he was more 
than ten year3 old. A long, coarse shirt was the 
only garment he ever wore, in winter or in summer. 
"With nothing about his body but this, he labored 
assiduously about the cabin and little patch of 
ground. Often in winter, when tlic sni)\v was 
frozen so as to bear his weight, he wouhl go out to 
hunt for rabbits, which was more a necessity than a 
diversion; and as he ran, his naked feet would rip 
up from the ice with a noise that might be heard 
for many yards. When he could bear the cold no 
longer, he would mount a fence, rub his feet for a 
minute, and dash away again. 

Mrs. Johnson hired out her two older boys — for 
the two elder sets of children were all mariied now — 
and routed ;i miserable cabin and a few acres of 
ground upon a hillside, which was so poor and so 
steep that the owner did not care to cultivate it; 
and here she lived with her little girl and boy, in 
utter poverty. Louisa county was so well stocked 
with slaves, that her boys could earn only a triilo, 
and phe had scarcely resources f^uilicient to have 
raised a support from the most exuberant soil. She 
had hoes and baskets, but no other agricultural im- 
plements or conveniences whatever. She and her 
children made hills with the hoes, to plant their 
f"ru in the spring; they tended it altogether with 
hoes, nnd in the full they gathered the crop in b:is- 
Kots. Corn-l)read of the plainest (piality, and 
V'aier, with sometimes a few beans, peas, or pota- 


toes, and about once a luoiith a small bit of meat, 
fonnecl the diet upon which they subsisted. 

Jolm, thoug-h nntui-allv vigorous, became at lenirth 
by the combined influence of exposure and destitu- 
tion, extremely slender and frail, and was so bowed, 
as he walked feebly around with his hands crossed 
behind him, that he got the nickname of "Old 
.limmy Anthony," from his real or fancied resem- 
bhance to an old man who lived in the vicinity. 
r>ut the older boys bc^i:;in to apjwoach manhood, 
and they were so sober and industrious that thej- 
readily obtained situations as overseers, at ])rctty 
good salaries. Lewis at length married the AVidow 
Winn, who liad some little j.roperty— very little— 
and resolved to remove to Tennessee, as most of his 
half-brothers and sisters liad' already done. James 
liad laid up enough, by a cou^jIc of years of strict 
economy, to buy a half-grown yoke of oxen and a 
cart; and with those facilities, they were not lone 
getting ready to move. This was,* I think, in the 
autumn of ISOo. 

A journey of six hundred miles was no small un- 
dertaking for persons of such limited means. They 
could drive their team for only a part of the day as 
they were obliged to let them graze and rest for the 
remainder. Especially at the numntains vras it dif- 
licult for them to proceed, and indued they almost 
failed entirely to mak.' the steej) ascent. But after 
eight Weeks of slow and toilsome travel, thev 
reached ►Sumner county, Tenn., and located about 
four miles from Gallatin, on land belonging to old 
*^<piire i)()Uf.'-las. 


Tin: lli:V. 'jOIIN JOHNSON. 47 

Here Ihcy soon began to be a little more coniibit- 
ably situated. But it was not long till James and 
Uctiscy mnrriod, and John and his mother \vcrc left 
alone. John rapidly improved in strength, how- 
ever, and by a little lielp from his friends, was 
making a support. 

He now resolved to learn to read, as he was of 
lawful age; but his mother's sight liad failed so 
much she could render iiim no assistance. Con- 
scious of his ignorance and poverty, he was 
ashamed, or at least unwilling, to call upon his 
neighbors for aid. But Mr. Douglas had an old 
negro man, who lived in a cabin near by, and this 
negro knew the alphabet, but could go no farther. 
To liim John applied for help. He resorted to his 
cabin night after night, and* with no other light than 
that of the fire, they pored over an old piece of a 
spelling-book which the negro owned, till the alplia- 
bet was completely mastered. 

There was still a wide gap between this and being 
able to read ; but he had learned several hymr.s 
"by heart" from hearing them sung; so he would 
liave some one show him a hymn that he knew, in 
a jiiccc of an old hymn-book — all that he had — and 
he would sometimes cit up till midnight trying to 
decipher the words and learn to spell, with no light 
but that of a fire. Yet he progressed so well that 
in two or three months he could ''make out" any 
hymn in liis book by going over it two or three 
tinie.-, and in six months he could read in the Xew 
Testament so as to be understood tolerably well. 
l'\>r learning to write he had two copies. Each 


- ^ 


one was a son-bullad, Avrittcn by some of liig 
incnds. Thcac ballads lie copied, or tried to copy 
time after time, and until tlicy were absolutely worn 
into shreds. By continued cultivation he improved 
the start thus obtained, till he wrote a pretty r^ood 
plain hand. i J ^ 




Mns. Johnson was a deeply pious woman. In 
hotter days slie liad been a member of the rre.-,by- 
tcrian Churdi; but as this Cliurch then, as now, 
jtossesscd sometliing of an aristocratic taint, she did 
not venture to chiim her membership after she began 
to know "tlic woes of want." After the death of 
licr Ininhand, slie kept up family worship regularly, 
till her sight failed so that she was no longer able to 
read. Her children, for many years, were noted for 
tlioir blameless morals, and their correct behavior. 
I hit wlicn Lewis and James began to hire out, and 
especially after they began to follow overseeing, they 
became in a great degree wild and reckless. And 
^vhc^ James returned home to live with his moilier, 
John, too, was led far away into evil practices. I 
may mention, as showing at once their industry and 
strength to labor, and their eagerness in the pursuit 
of I'leasure, that James aud John would sometimes 
fut and split five hundred rails in a day, and then 
^valk four miles to dance all night. 

J hit after a time a series of jirayer-meetings wore 
I'^'Id in the neighborhood, and John attended. It 
^vas not long before he was struck down under pow- 

50 iii:coiJ,i;cTiON.s of 

crful couvielion. Jlo ^vas for several doys inces- 
santly ongagcu in incditalion and prayer, and in 
making earnest inqniiios after the Avay of life. lie 
spent u week or more in this state of fear. and 
anguish ; and then, at one of those prayer-nicetings, 
in the same little sehool-house, lie Avas powerfully 
converted. His shouts — for he had a voice like a 
lion — made the old cabin literally quake; and as he 
hegan to exhort, the i)ious raised a long and general 
shout, and every sinner present trend)lcd. 

lie couKl hardly wait till "morning to go to his 
.r>rothcr Lewis's, and tell him the good news. The 
way of salvation apjieared to hini so i»lain, he 
thought he could make it equally clear to anybody 
else ; and he was so astonished at its simplicity that 
he could hardly think or speak on any other theme. 
Daylight found him on his way to Lewis's. AVhen 
he arrived, he began to talk about religion; and 
Lewis, who had lelt pungent conviction, but con- 
cealed it, soon began to weep and pray in earnest. 
John sang, and prayed, and talked by turns, till 
Lewis's wife began to weep, and juay, and cry aloud 
for mercy. This little prayer-meeting was kept up 
until about noon, when ]je\\is, and soon afterward 
his v.-ife, received the ble.^sing. 

When they all met at the pvayer-mceting the en- 
suing night, John thought it would be a good thing, 
before meeting began, to tell what the Lord liad 
done fur thciu dui iiig the day, Lut hi-^ iVeling-;, and 
those of all }>re>ent, rose as he proceedt.'<l ; and be- 
fore he had finished the story, one shout after an- 
other was raised, and one sinner after anotlu'r can^e 


to UiG iiKar for prayer. .TIius, as lie cxprcsseil it, 
" tlii'j (li.l ii't get to open tlie meeting at all." lie, 
liowcvcr, cxhortcil, autl bun_u-, and prayeil ; the meet- 
ing Avcnt gloriously on ; and from that time forward, 
])y common consent, he hecamc the leader of the 

lie soon became convinced that it was his duty to 
j ]»roach. But he Avas just beginning to learn to 

read ; and to read a chapter of Holy Writ without 
liaving studied it, Avas more than he could do. Yet 
he announced that ho would hold meetings at such 
and such places in adjoining neighborhoods, trust- 
ing that the Lord would assist his weakness. Though 
conii)ellcd to labor by day, he would study his chaj)- 
tcr and hymn by fire-light of nights, and zealously 
apply himself to perform his work in the best man- 
ner of which he was capable. An old acquaintance 
said, '*lt was absolutely painful to hear him trying 
to road, but he talked so carnestl\-, we loved to hear 
him talk." 

John had not once thought of wanting any license 
to exhort, or even to preach, except the licoiise that 
lie already had from on high. But when told by 
tlie preacher in charge, the afterward widely known 
dat-ob Young, that he was acting irregularly, he 
a-^sentcd with tears; and without waiting to be 
•iskcd, the Quarterly Conference gave him a license 
to exhort. In this capacity he continued to exer- 
••i>e his gifts and graces in his own and the adjoin- 
'"i; neighborhoods for about six months, when the 
''residing Elder, Jacob Young, appointed him as 
junior preacher on the circuit. He was immcdiatclv 


•; liccuscd to preach. And now, to cut liimsclf loose 
j entirely from tlic \vorM, ho handed over to his 
[ brother-in-law, John T-adget, for the support of 
liis mother, all the little he had of this world's 
i goods, except a horse, saddle, and bridle, and 
I gave himself up fully to the work. He also 
wrote and assumed a "Vow of Consecration," ex- 
ceedingly severe and solemn in its injunctions, 
though I believe he never faltered in their strict 
and sacred observance. 

The reader will bear in mind that circuits in those 
, days were rather larger than districts u;uially are at 
I present, and one day in four weeks was about as 
I much time as the preacher could spend in any vicin- 
{ ity. Hence, those prayer-meetings were conducted 
j by the laity; and hence Mr. Johnson had almost, 
J as the plirasc is, "got under full headway" before 
j he encountered the preacher in charge. 
{ It was in August, 1807, that he was converted ; 

i and at Jacob Young's lirst ap})ointment following-, 
I in that vicinity, he and his mother, Lewis and 
Franky, and a considerable number besides, were 
received into the Church. 




' In October, 1808, Mr. Jolnison aUendcd his first 

Conference. The old AVcstern Confcreuco held its 
j session at Liberty Hill, Cumberland county, Tcnn., 

[ and Bishop Asburj presided. Mr. Johnson Avas 

! admitted on trial, and appointed to the Ilockhock- 

ing Circuit, in Ohio. ^Tohn Sale M-as his Pre.^idincr 
Kider, and Benjamin Sale his co-laborer in the 

Ho rnudo a brief visit to his mother and fricnd:S 
n!id liastened to his new field of labor. It Avas .a 
long and somewhat perilous journey for a solitary 
traveler on horseback, l>om Middle Tennessee 
across the State of Jventucky, nearly to Central 
Ohio. The journey was so long, the task of assum- 
ing the responsibility of a charge appeared so great, 
a vague apprehension that the labors of a^'poor 
young man from Tennessee would ellcct notljim^ in 
H country so far away, and among people so dillcr- 
cnt from those he liad known before, pressed so 
heavily upon him, and he was so straitened f.r means 
to defray his CNpensos, that it required all his indom- 
itable resolution to m.-iko the start. Yet he delayed 
»'-ot a day nor an liour beyond his appointed time, 


.'ind no mortal llicii knew that lie folt any mi-sgivings 
■ about it. 

I Patiently, prayerfully, tliouglitfully ho traveled 

j , on ; never stopping at noon, because he -svas not 
able to bear the expense; and frequently compelled 
to start very early, and ride very hard, to reach the 
houses of brethren to wliom he liad been directed, 
as he could only afford to pay a hotel-bill in case of 
great emergency. On more occasions than one he 
' failed to reach a lodging-place before he was over- 
taken by the darkness of night. In a strange land, 
with roads but dimly marked, he had no resort, 
i fatigued and hungry as lie was, but to hobble his 
j liorse, throw down his saddle-blanket for a bed, take 
I his saddle or saddle-bags for a jiillow, commend his 
! soul to God, and lie down in the dark and lonely 
! woods to sleep. 

j lie crossed the Ohio at Cincinnati, which he said 

' seemed to be a little town of some trade, as several 
flat-boats lay near the lauding; the old liorse ferry- 
boat crossed the river many times in the coaroc of 
the day, and there were a great many wagons from 
the country passing up and down the street. The 
liouses, too, somewhat scattering, made the town 
look as if, in some places, it reached almost out to 
the bluffs. Here he took the road to Chillicothe, 
passed that village, and arrivid at his destination 
without accident, lie found his circuit to be one 
which I'fomiscd little else but toil. 1 think there 
were circuits on the east including Marietta and 
Zauesville; on the south, including Gallipolis, and 
on the west, includinir Chillicothe ; whilst to the 


iiortli and iiorlli-wost liis bounds were, as lie ex- 
pressed it, "as far out as lie could iind anybody." 
Tlic settlements were widely scattered, and the 
roads were generall}' nothing but trails, suited far 
better for the pedestrian than for any other traveler. 

One dark and misty eveni)ig- iu April, as he was 
trying to wind liis way along one of these trails, lie 
lost his wa}', and the darkness of an exceedingly dark 
night overtook him. Hoping that the instinct. of 
his horse might extricate him from his perplexing 
condition, he urged the faithful animal along. Ever 
and anon the scream of a panther or a wild-cat 
startled him, or the wolf's long howl chimed in to 
make the dismal night more dismal still. Suddenly 
his horse stopped, aijd stubbornly refused to pro- 
ceed, j^fr. John^^on, satisfied that his course was 
toward a settlement, gave him a sharp blow with 
his switch, when the horse "gathered himself uji," 
and made a desperate leap; for ho had stoi)pcd on 
the brink of a ravine about fifteen feet across. His 
fore-feet caught on the opposite bank, but the bank 
gave way, and horse and rider fell back some twelve 
feet into the ravine below. 

Mr. Johnson was soon on his feet, and by groping 
around in the dark, succeeded in recovering his hat 
and saddle-bags; but his horse was gone, and it was 
too dark to see him, even when he was seated on 
his back. If he was perplexed before, he was nt»w 
dismayed. Presently he heard him snort at a little 
distance; and after two or Ihrec times faliiiig head- 
long into the little stream tl:at ran down the ravine, 
and falling twice as ofien on the steep l)ank and 

[ -^ 


i 50 .;,, Recollections of 

'I the slippery stones, lie regained the level, gTopod 
along through the bushes, found his horse, and in a 
t few minutes was in the saddle; but wet, cold, hun- 
! gry, weary, and confused. 

j lie said to himself, "Well, where am I?" The 
} response came to him, as of an audible voice, 

"I'm marchiiif]; tliroiijli Iminanucl's ground, 
To fairer ■worlds on liiglil" 

He began and sung this triumphant old hymn 
entirely through, when his heart became so filled 
with "peace and joy- in the Holy Ghost," that he 
made the gloomy old forest reverberate with shouts 
of "Glory to God!" To his surprise, he heard a 
voice, lie listened, and distinctly heard the words, 
""Who's that?" lie answered, "A poor traveler, 
who has lost his way." A few steps now brought 
him in sight of a large camp-fire, of which, if not 
so happy, lie might have seen the light before ; and 
in a few minutes he was warming and drying him- 
self before the fire, surrounded by a rough but 
sympathizing band of hunters. It will readily be 
supposed that the hunger of himself and horse was 
soon satisfied. 

He now began to relate his adventure ; but his 
feelings grew warm, his soul became happy, and he 
closed with an earnest exhortation and joyful ex- 
clamations of praise. He then sang one of those 
wild and stirring melodies known only to the "West, 
knelt down, and poured forth the thanks, the 
praises, and the ardent longings of a pious heart. 
More than one of the hunters were struck with pun- 


gent conviction; and tlio unlooked-for encounter 
was converted into a prayer-meeting, which lasted 
till long- after midnight, and resulted in the conver- 
sion of three precious souls. One of these afterward 
became a local preacher in the Methodist Church. 
Of course he was fnrn* hed with a guide next morn- 
ing, who readily put him again on his way. 

Of his particular ]ul)ors and ha^xlships on this 
work little account now remains, except the record 
written on high. lie usually preached about thirty- 
five times a month, and his preaching-places were 
from (en to forty miles apart; and hence, in making 
a round, he had to ride about four hundred miles*! 
He read as he rode along— read while his congrega- 
tion was coming in— read as he waited for his meals, 
and read to a late hour every night, though lie had 
to read by the light of a fire, or^he unusual Inxury 
of a pine-knot stuck in a crack of the jamb. 



C]1A]'TE]1 X. 


The next session of tlic AW>stoni Conference was 
! liekl at Cincinnati, r)is]iop Asburj presiding; and 
j Mr. Johnson ^vas sent to White Oak Circuit, in Oliio. 
This was about as much a wiklerne^s as liis cliargo 
I tlie preceding year. It inchided nearly all the coun- 
i try lying upon the waters of AVhite Oak Creek, in 
what is now ]>rown county, cuihraciu!;- all of tliis, 
' and parts of adjoining counties. 

One incident may serve to illustrate at once his 
zeal, and the diflicultics under which both minister 
and members labored. It was in October, I think, 
that he entered upon liis work. At one appoint- 
ment — a rude hut in the woods called a meetin<i-- 
house — by some mistake his intention to preach had 
not been duly anriounced. He started before day, 
and rodo about t\vent3'-fivo miles to reach the place. 
lie waited till after the hour, and nobody came. At 
last, as he was about to despair of having a congre- 
gation, and depart, ho saw a woman coming, carry- 
ing a child in her arms — or rather, as the custom 
was, when a child v/as two or three years old, u^^on 
her liip, with its feet astride. She came in and sat 
down. lie looked at her; she seemed weary and 


8ail. lie. tliou^^ht of ])ivacliiiig; but no one else 
cnnie, and Lis solitary auditor was evidently poor, 
as Jicr dresd, though clean, was faded and worn. 
She looked downcast and disappointed, as if she 
divined at once that there would be no service. 

At length he said to himself, "I came liere to 

preach, and by tlie help of God I'll do it!" lie 

did. His soul grew ha]i})y ; the poor woman's heart 

rejoiced, and she shouted the praises of God aloud ; 

and as he used to say, " There was one universal 

shout all over the congregation." lie bade her 

good-bye, with u word of exliortation ; and as she 

went away, trudging along the path by which she 

( came, he could hear her every few stt'pci, in a low 

: voice, but one full of emotion, say, " Glory ! " The 

next time he came around, the little cabin was filled 

v' to overflowing; and on expressing his surprise at 

the fact, after sermon, he found that the woman had 

given a glowing account of the previous meeting, 

wliicli had drawn out the whole settlement. And 

• he \va.> still more surprised when told that the woman, 

• at his first appointment, liad walked and carried her 
child ten miles on that occasion, as her liusband per- 
secuted lier, and would not allow her to ride his 

\ horse to meeting. AVliat a sad disappointment would 

ttiiat have been had Mr. Johnson failed to preach ! 
f l^>ut the eflect of this sermon to a single hearer 
5 Rtojipcd not here. AVhen she returned home, lier 

j hushand growled out, ''AVell, what kind of a 

l'>i>l did you have to]ireach out yonder to-day ? " She 
mildlyanswered, "Ilewasastrange-lookingman,but 
I iievcr heard a man talk like he did in mv life." 


Ilis curiosity was a little excited, and lie asked, 
*' Why, what did he look like?" "lie was a stout 
sort of a man, with very dark foce,and his hair was 
very black, and about half a yard long. I was afraid 
to look at him, he looked so solemn." " The d — 1 ! " 
grunted he ; " and what did lie talk like ? " >' Well, 
I don't know : he talked just like heaven and earth 
were coming together! " The man, whose name I 
believe was Baker, did not deign to make any re- 
marks, but wondered in himself what kind of a 
man and what kind of talking that could be. In a 
few days he found that the curiosity to hear the new 
preacher was common ; and before the next preach- 
ing-day came round, he had made up his mind to 

" turn out with all the rest of the fools." 

To the utter astonishment of Mrs. Baker, her 
husband told her to ride to meeting; he Avas going 
" to see and hear the old cuss," but he would walk. 
So he was one of the croAvd that filled the little 
cabin when Mr. Johnson came on the second time. 
lie was deeply convicted, but concealed his emo- 
tions till he got away from the crowd. He then 
frankly told his wife tliat she was right, and he was 
wrong. She knew not what to say to this, and said 
nothing, lie walked on about a mile in silence, 
and then said, '' Wife, there's something the matter 
with me!" She answered kindly, "What do you 
think it is, Mr. Baker ? " " Dogged if I know ; but 
I'm sick — heart-sick." "Get up and ride," said 
she, "a)ul I'll walk.' "Xo," said he; and ho 
walked more rapidly and uneasily along. Xo more 
was said about it; and ATrs. Baker thoui^lit the 


<' sick brasli " had passed of>'. But after supper, he 
went out to feed his horse, and was gone rather 
long: she went to the door as it grew dark, and was 
greatly ahirmed to hear cries and groans of distress 
at the stable. She flew to the spot, and there was 
the hardened persecutor upon his knees, pleading 
in deepest agon}^ for mercy. The " sick brash" had 
not passed otf! She slioutcd a while, and then 
l)rayed a while, then tried to instruct him in the 
way of salvation ; and after a terrible struggle of 
two or three lioui's, he was enabled to embrace 
Christ as his Saviour, and raised a shout that made 
the hills around ring again. The devout but some- 
what exaggerating wife declared that "ho raised a 
shout that was enough to wake the dead." 

From this event there sprang up a glorious revival 
of religion ; and Methodism was planted on so firm 
a basis licre, that it has always since been the ruling 
faith in all that section of country. Baker's house 
became a preaching-place, a class was organized 
tliere, Baker was appointed leader, and faithfully 
and zealously did he act up to his profession down 
to the day of his death. So it may be safe to say, 
tliat that sermon to but one hearer was productive 
of more fruit than any other twenty sermons that 
Mr. Johnson preached during his ministry on this 




At the session of the AVcsteni Conference, held 
I at New Chapel, Shelby county, Kentneky, ISTovera- 
: her, 1810, Mr. Johnson was ordained a deacon by 
I Bishop Asbury, and appointed to Sandy River, or 
i Big Sandy Circuit. This circuit embraced a very 
; rugged country on both sides of the Big Sandy, and 
I think it included most of what are now Greenup, 
! Carter, Lawrence, and Johnson counties, in Iven- 
I tucky; and AVayne county, in Virginia. And as 
I his preaching-places were separated by the Big 
i Sand}" and many smaller streams, he had to ferry or 
swim, or else cross at deep fords, one stream or an- 
other, seventeen times in every round upon the 
circuit, or about every other day. The streams were 
generally pretty deep, too, and ferries not very 
[ abundant; so he had to swim about two hundred 
[ times in the course of the year. 
; His expenses were small, as it was very necessarj^ 

! they should be, being chieHy confined to the jour- 
; ncy roipurod to attend Conference and reach liis 
I work. His clothing was homespun, of the cheapest 
j and most substantial kind; and be wore it just as 
I long as it "would at all answer the purpose. Jean 


or liiiscy iu winter, or tow in summer, was his acciis- 
tonicd garb. I copy the following from his ]\Icm- 
orandum-book for 1810-11 : " Expenses for the years 
lSlO-11 :— Ferriage Kentucky Pvivcr, 12-?r cents ; en- 
terlainment, 37i- cents; entertainment, 50 cents." 
These seem to have been the only instances in which 
pay was exacted of him for ferriage or lodging. 

And the contributions from the circuit were cer-' 
tainly in proportion to his expenses rather than to 
liis labors, as the following memorandum will show: 
"Keccived on Sandy River Circuit: — First quarter, 
84 25 ; second quarter, $G 87^- ; third quarter, ,^10 GO, 
(80 in trade, §13 GO in money:) last quarter, $23 G2^-. 
Tlic whole amount, §54 35 — §43 in mone}^, the rest 
trade or clothing." This, h.owever, show^a a great 
and progressive improvement from the first quarter 
to the last. 

By this time Mr. Johnson had become a good 
reader, had corrected most of his harsh and ungram- 
niatical plirases, and had stored his mind Avith a 
groat many passages from Young, Blair, Pope, and 
Cowpor, wliich he quoted with line efl'ect. He had 
a little volume of "Select Poems," and had com- 
mitted to memory nearly all of Young's "Day of 
Judgment," Blair's "Grave," and Pope's "Essay on 
Man." His proficiency in his regular course of 
Ptudies, also, was a matter of general remark. Be- 
sides all this, he was so devotedly pious, and so full 
of zeal, that his preaching was "in demonstration 
of the Spirit and of power." 

Toward the close of his labors on this circuit, he 
procured the services of a young licentiate for two 


or three weeks, and went over into Virginia to 
attend a camp-raeeting held perhaps not far from 
Barboursville. He thought it would be a means of 
improvement to hear the educated preachers of the 
Old Dominion, and he hoped to have his spiritual 
strenj^tli renewed: he might assist in the labors at 
the altar, if need be ; but he had little expectation 
that he would be called upon to preach. It never 
once occurred to him, however, that there was any 
thing peculiar about his dress, or that that would 
influence his reception there. He wore a full suit 
of the coarsest cpiality of tow; and this, by a dozen 
wettings in the rain, and twice as many in the Big 
Sandy and its tributaries, had been brought to a 
dingy hue which it is easier to imagine than to 
name. He wore a broad-brimmed white wool hat, 
which he had worn every day since his conversion 
in 1807— four years. His shoes were just such as 
the people of Virginia usually bought for their 
negroes; his pants were pinned over perfectly tight 
at the ankles ; and his hair, parted in the middle, 
hung down loose and long around his shoulders. 
His very dark complexion, and liis long, jet-black 
hair, were in striking contrast with the dingy white 
of his dress. 

Some inquisitive person about the camp where he 
lodo-ed, had managed to find out his vocation, and 
it was soon noised around that the strange-looking 
man was a prcaclicr. The niiuistcrs were very much 
perplexed when they hoard it; for it would not do 
to slight a brother, nor would it by any means do to 
put him np to preach. They, however, agreed to 


FC'iul one of their number to Avait on liim with an 
apology. He came to Mr. Johnson and said, "My 
friend, I understand that you are a Methodist 
preaclier." "I am, and a poor one at tliat," was 
the response. " Well, the people of this vicinity 
are proud and aristocratic," our apologist proceeded ; 
*'aud we are afraid that if we have you to preach, 
for us, they will take offense on account of your 
dress and appearance, and harm may in some way 
he tlie result. Be assured that it grieves us to man- 
ifest even the appearance of disrespect for one of 
our brethren. We entreat you, therefore, to take 
no offense at our not inviting you to preach." "I 
shall take no ofiense, brother," Mr. Johnson meekly 
replied; "I came not to preach, but in some hum- 
ble way to do and to get good. Go on with your 
meeting, and suffer no uneasiness on ray account." 
They did "go on with their meeting." Sabbatli 
came, and wore away ; and still all was cold, formal, 
and lifeless. Not a shout nor a groan had been 
lioard — except now and then a half-audible groan 
from Mr. Johnson a little distance in rear of the 
stand — not a mourner answered to the calls and en- 
treaties of the minister. Monday morning came. 
The crowd mostly dispersed, and all was bustle and 
activity on the part of the camp-holders, packing 
up their goods, and hastening to get away. The 
preachers had a little unfinished business to attend 
f to, and they thought that, as it could now do no 

I liarm, Mr. Johnson might preach at 11 o'clock, 

I while they completed their business; and tliey 

I retired to the most distant camp on the ground, that 

I 3 


•i tliey might escaiDC the mortilication of witnessing 
j Ins eftbi't. It was bad enough for such a man to 
j x^reach, and too bad for them to have both to hear 
I the sermon and to sec how the people treated a 
i strange brother. 

j At the appointed hour the horn sounded, and Mr. 

i Jolmson came solemnly and slowly along to the 

i pulpit. He had spent an hour in the grove in 

j prayer, and came with a broken, an humbled, and 

an overflowing heart. There were sitting listlessly 

under the vast " shed," a woman, three men, and 

three or four boys. IsTot disheartened, but strong in 

I faith, he began the song, 

j *' Come, ye sinners, poor and need}-," 

[-. and liis stentorian voice made the forest ring. He 
I sang with such spirit and power that many paused 
i a moment to listen ; and one after another joined 
! the little assembly. He read, sang, and prayed ; 
! and there was something in his prayer wdiich 

silenced in a great measure the confusion that had 
reigned around, and threw a deep solemnity over 
the place. 

By the time the prcacliers had concluded their 
business, Mr. Johnson was more than half through 
liis subject, and liis feelings and his voice were fast 
rising to the highest pitch. His voice became dis- 
tinctly audible even to the ministers, and they began 
to listen and to catch his "w^ords. Finding lie was 
not " murdering the king's English," as they had 
feared he would, they ventured to step outside their 
tent; and, behold, the bustle of preparation to leave 


TJIli llEV. JOJIN JOUNfclOX. ^*^ V,7*" 

luid ceased, and every soul on the camp-ground was 
i;-atliered into the congregation ! Mr. Jolnison was 
dwelling upon the consolations of religion. Soon an 
old sister raised a shout of jov. The eiix3ct was 
electric. It added a large drop to many a brim- 
ming cup ; and more than twenty voices joined the 
shout at once. Our fugitive preachers crept stealth- '^ 
ilyto the "shed," glided almost involuntarily down '" 
the aisle to seats in the altar, where they sat with 
heads thrown back and streaming eyes, one excita- 
ble fellow among them ever and anon laughing out, 
"Oh, ho-ho-ho-ho, glory ! " 

^ Mr. Johnson now turned to the contrast, the ter- 
rible doom of the wicked; and in a few minutes 
groans and screams were everywhere mino-led with 
the praises, till tlie uproar would have ^drowned 
•almost any other human voice but his. Ho now 
gave the usual invitation to mourners, and de- 
Been.led from the stand. The ministers rushed for- 
Avard to meet him, implored his pardon, embraced 
him convulsively, and burst forth into shouts a little 
louder if possible than the rest. The altar was 
crowded by about forty mourners ; and it was nearly 
iive o'clock in the evening when the com^rcffation 
l>roko u}). 

The campers unpacked their goods ; those who 
had left returned; the meeting was resumed; it 
conthiued for two weeks, and resulted in the con- 
version of more than two hundred souls. So much 
I'loru power has the man of wanu emotions than 
Die mere Bcholar, over the human heart. 






TuE ensuing session of the "W^estern Conference 
was held at Cincinnati, commencing on the first 
clay of October, 1811, Bishop Asbury presiding. By 
this Conference — they certainly supposed Mr. John- 
son was both able and willing '' to endure hardness as 
a good soldier " — he was sent to Xatchez, in Missis- 
sippi, distant from Sandy River, by the most direct 
route that could then be found, not less than twelve 
hundred miles ! Samuel Lewis was his yoke-fellow, 
and Samuel Dunwody his Presiding Elder. Of this 
journey he left only the following brief memoran- 
dum : 

" Conference sat October 1 day, rose 10 da}-. Sat 
out for Natchez 11, reached home October 23. Left 
them again November the G, lodged in Nashville 
that night. The next day reached Franklin, and — 
next day to Simms's on Duck River, and staid till 
^londay morning. Then crossed Duck, and came 
to Solders's. Tuesday, crossed the line, and got to 
Shaw's, [Shawnoetca's,] and there slept lor the first 
time in an Indian's bed. Next day, rode o2 miles, 
and crossed Tennessee between 2 and o o'clock, 
which is about half across — ['the wilderness.'] 



Lodged at Colbert's: lie's said to be a good Indian, 
but was not at borne. Tbence to Good Spring; 

tbeuce to ; tbere we slept in tbe big bed — 

[out-of-doors.] Friday we passed tbe old town 
— [strange.] Friday nigbt, lodged at Allen's; Sat- 
urday nigbt, reacbed tbe line ; Sunday nigbt, tbe 
Irisb; Monday, Norton's; Tuesday, Osborn's ; 
Wednesday, about 4 o'clock, readied tbe Territory." 

" Tbe line," last named, I suppose to be tbe soutb- 
ern line of tbe Indian lands ; and by " tbe Terri- 
tory," he evidently means tbe more populous part 
of tbe Territory ; be bad been several days in Mis- 
sissippi, but in a very sparsely settled country. 

He seems, upon enteriug "Tbe Indian Nation," 
as it was called, to bave supplied bimself witb a list 
of w^ords to be used upon tbe road, as occasion migbt 
require ; for I find in tbe same memorandum-book 
tbe followino;: 

The Sim — hushcshoa. 
A C'jw — -^'auka. 
M ilk — beshook-ch 0. 
Corn — toushe. 
Meat — nippy. 
Beef — wauka-iiippy. 
A hog — shookhah. 
Chicken — ockuncak. 
Potatoes— au-ky. 
.Deer — asey. 
Fodder— tawkeshc. 
Pumpkin — '.voosto. 


"Water — okah. 
Leather — uauka-nckeh. 
Sheep — chookpea. 
Eoad — benow. 
Knife — boslipcw. 
Fork — polocktoo. 
Firo — luooh. 
Oven — apoluskah . 
Tobacco — chcn\ock. 
Horse — siiboy. 
A man — nockoney- 

The following letter be wrote bis friends in Ten- 
nessee soon after bis arrival on bis circuit: 


-i "William Foster's, Near Natcuez, Nuv. 28, 1811. 

f "Dear Mother, Brothers, and Sisters : — I must 
' Avrite to you collectively, as I cannot individual l3\ 
It is with pleasure I inform you that I enjoy lioaltli 
j of body, and in some degree quietude of mind; and 
■1 that we had a safe and somewhat comfortable. jour- 
•f ncy to this X'b^ce. Wo came through with post 
; haste, occupying only nine days and seven hours in 
coming through the nations. Came forty miles or 
upward each day. Our horses performed the jour- 
ney well. AVe reached tlic Territor}- on AYednes- 
; day, the 20th instant. I liiid it is ea^y to speak of, 
j but very tedioas and tiresome to make a journey of 
i five hundred miles. The road is far better than I 
'! expected to find it. Tlie friendly clouds poured 
, i' down one heavy shower of rain ui>on us in tlic wil- 
j derncss, and but one. The Indians are very kind 
and friendly ; sold us corn at i?l to v^l 50 per bushel. 
I think the Indians are far better than some of the 
whites who are among them. 
■ "Here we are in the Territory ! What is here I 
1 cannot tell you now, but I expect to know more 
i hereafter. I have yet seen but little. may I sec 
! the cause of God advancing, the devil's kingdom 
fallin"-, the powers of hell shaking, sinners trem- 
bling-, the kingdom of <!<»d coming, and over all 
prevailing! I suppose you will say 'Amen !' I do 
ho[>e you will join me in jirayer for the prosper- 
i itv of Zion ! liL't us prostrate ourselves Ix'fore the 
[ throne of grace, and cry out with ])avid, (in the 
i- eightieth Psalm,) 'Give car, O Shcjiherd of Israel ! 
! thou that leadest Joseph like a llock ; thou that 


(Iwcllcst. between the cheruljims, sliiiic fortli ! stir 
lip tliy strength, and come and save us ! ' ' • 

" I would give you a sketch of afFiiirs in this place, 
but you may expect a very imperfect one. j 

" ISTatchez, Washington, Selscr's Town, etc., have | 
a very ancient appearance. I suppose it has been « 
a hundred years since they were settled by the | 
French. In the beginning of the last century this | 
section was taken from them by the Xatchcz Indians, l 
and from theui one of the towns derived its name. « 
It lias been bartered and fought for by the Indians, j. 
Spaniards, French, English, and Americans, for \ 
many years ; and at the present day there are many 
different sorts of people here. Uere are the aged, 
stooping over eternity's dread brink, just ready to ■ 
make the aAvful plunge ; here the middle-ngcd 
with all their cares, schemes, and difficulties; here 
the young and gay, with all their mirth and levity ; ' 
here children, training up for the devil, rising into 
life, and posting into eternity, pursuing the foot- . 
steps of their parents down to hell ! Here are the 
rich, the noble, and the great; the polite, the phi- 
losopher, the chemist, the critic ; the wise, the igno- . 
rant; the scheming politician, and the simple peas- ' 
ant. Here is the miser, lank and gaunt, - 

Who nicnnly steals ((lljcrcJitablc theft!) | 

From back, and belly, too, their proper cheer, ; 

Pressed with a tax it irks tlie wretch to pay ! 

To his own carca.'-.s. | 

He counts over liis treasure, and fixes Ids heart moro = 
unchangeably upon the world : I.. 


O cursed love of gold!. ^Yllcn for tliy sake 
^"- A fool throws up his Interest in both ^vorlda ; 

First starved in this, then damned in that to conic. 

Iloro is the pcttj tyrant, wliose scanty dominions 
geography never noticed, (and well for adjacent 
lands that his arm is so short,) but who fixes his iron 
talons on the poor, and gripes them like some lordly 
beast of prey ; deaf to the forceful cries of gnawing 
Lunger, and the piteous, plaintive voice of misery, 
with heavy hand he drives on the overloaded slave, 
whose galled shoulders smart beneath the heavy 
burden of oppression. that they may look up- 
ward while they stoop under their load, and secure 
an inheritance where tyrants vex not, and the weary 
rest! Here is a little few, whose trust is in the 
I Lord, and whose treasure is in heaven; who stand 
i like solid rocks against the swelling waves and pelt- 
I iug storms of persecution, temptation, and opposi- 
j tion ; and, like wrestling Jacobs, prevailing Israels, 
; conquering Joshuas, seem dctcnnincd to conquer 
' their enemies, and possess the heavenly land. 
i " 0, my friends, how it cliccrs my soul when, with 
j the eye of faith, I look up and see lieaven's brio-ht 
I plains, the shining robes, and the glittering crowns 
I that a\vait the faithful in those celestial regions of 
; eternal day ! I am ready to say, 

vshcn shall 1 .'co Jesus, 
i And re;;:n with him above, 

1 And drink the flowing fountain 

I Of everlasting luve? 

[ O, my dearly beloved ! shall ]" meet you there, where 

THE llEV. JOHN jouw^qN. 73 

parting and sorrow shall bo no more, and all tears, 
shall be wiped from our eyes ? It grieved me to 
part with you here in time — let me not part with 
you in eternity ! 

" This was one cause of my grief when we parted, 
to think that I liad been so unguarded while I was 
with you — that I did not use more diligence and 
tnke more pains to help you all on in the way to 
lieaven. I have felt convicted for these things, and 
cannot complain if the Lord should never su^vv me 
to see your faces again, seeing our opportunity was 
BO little improved, and of so little profit. May the 
Lord pardon our neglect, and help us to be more 
faitliful ! Let me now exhort you, though far from 
you — though hills and mountains, rivers and valleys 
lie between us — I say, let me exhort you at this dis- 
tance, in the name of God and for the sake of Jesus 
Clirist, give up your hearts to God your maker! 
Til ink ever on God and eternity ! 

"I have been for some time with Brother Hous- 
ton, some time with Brother Quinn, two nights and 
part of two days with Brother LCarper, from whom 
I learn that my circuit is in bad order. There are 
three local preachers, five class-leaders, and about 
one hundred members; and scarcely one in the 
number, except the negroes, is not a slave-holder. 
Seldom a prayer or class-meeting on the circuit. 
The people in general are verj-rich, very proud, and 
very polite — exceeding all for compliments — but 
little humility, little religion, and little piety. 

"Lord have mercy on us ! Amen. 

"J. JoilKtJON." 


, I cannot forbear to copy another letter wliicli lie 
wrote to his friciids from this ci'T.uit: 

"City of Natchez, Jlarch 15, 1812. 

''Dearly Beloved: — 'Grace, mercy, and peace 
from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, be 
with 3'ou all. Amen ! ' Having a few moments of 
time, and seemingly an opportunity of conveyance, 
I have sat down to write you a line or two, by which 
you will learn, should they be so fortunate as to 
reach 3'ou, that I am still on the human stage. 
Though far from you in body, I have not forgotten 
you,. but with warm and tender affection I remem- 
ber you still ; nor can I think that I am forgotten of 
you, though I hear not from you. I hear good news 
from Tennessee — that sinners are turning to God, 
bowing to the scepter of grace, and finding redemp- 
tion through Jesus Christ our Lord. How would 
my poor soul leap for joy if I could hear that my 
dear relatibns and acquaintances had found peace 
with God through Him that shed his precious blood 
for us ! 

" Does not every thing cry aloud, ' Prepare to meet 
thy God?' — 'signs in the heaven above, and in the 
earth beneath ? ' Our poor old crazy earth has taken 
her shaking fits, and seems to ring the death-bell of 
lier approaching dissolution ! "NVhile she bellows, 
and mourns, and belches out her fiery floods, shall wo 
not seek a more pormant'nt foundation, and build 
our ho})es on the Jiock of ages ? As says the poet, 

'T is time wc all uwakc ! TIic dreadful day draws near ! 
tSiancr3, your bold presumption cheek, and stop your course, and fear! 


Nu\v is th' accoptcd time; to Christ, for mercy fly! 

turn, repent, and trust in liiai, and you sliall never die! 

"I have done, and ara doing, but little here since 
tliis new 3'ear began. I liave read the Old Testa- 
ment throngh once, the i^Tew Testament three times, 
tlie lievclation four times, besides mj other reading ; 
rode about eight hundred miles, preached about 
Ibrtj-scvcn times, and taken about twenty or thirty 
into society. Some have been liappily converted to 
God, even in the Territory. My diversion has been 
studying music and learning to sing, at which I 
liave made considerable progress since I. began. 

" Perhaps curiosity may move you to hear some- 
thing more of the particulars of this place, in addi- 
tion to the sketch I gave you in my last. The city 
of Natchez is situated on the south-east side of the 
Mississippi River, on a handsome eminence, th.ougli 
uneven. It contains four tailor-shops, live black- 
smith do., four saddler do., six carpenter do., five 
cabim't-maker do., one coach and sign-painter, two 
liouse-carpenters, three hatter-shops, two tinner do., 
lour boot and shoe-maker do., one trunk-maker, one 
book-binder, one wagon-maker, one chair-maker, 
one nail munuftictory, three barbers, four brick- 
yards, one butcher, four bakers, one brush-maker, 
three gold and silver-smiths, one confectioner and 
distiller, four brick-layers, one horse-mill to grind 
eorn, one plasterer, twelve water-carts, eight prac- 
ti<-iiig physicians, seven lawyers, three English 
schools, one incorporated mechanical society, one 
Freemason's lodge, one Methodist meeting-house, 
(the pulpit M-hereof cost ?400,) four magistrates, two 


printing-offices issuing weekly papers, two porter- 
houses, six public inns, five wareliouscs, one reading- 
room and coffee-lionsc, twenty-four mercantile 
houses or dry-goods stores, four grocci-y stores, two 
wholesale commission, stores, seventeen Catalena- 
shops, where a little of every thing is sold, one ven- 
due and commission store, and one bank, called the 
Bank of the Mississippi— capital §500 000, thirteen 
directors, Stephen Miner, President, etc. 'Under 
the hill,' or at the landing-place, are one tavern — 
'The Kentucky' — two blacksmith-shops, thirteen 
Catalena-shops, etc. Upward of 1,500 souls reside 
in ISTatehez, 460 of whom are slave^;. 

"Washington, on the road to Tennessee, about 
seven miles from Natchez, contains 520 inhabitants, 
180 of whom are slaves. Five miles farther is Sel- 
ser's Town : there's the i-emarkablc mount of which 
Dow speaks in his 'Chain.' Eight miles farther is 
Union Town ; and eight miles fartiier Greenville, or 
Iluntstown, my upper ]>reaehing-place — of which 
places I cannot speak particularly, lest vou get as 
weary of reading as ] am of writing. These and 
Franklin arc all the towns I liave in my circuit, 
which is about two hundred miles round. Here 
are tnany people, much wickedness, and very little 

"On the first Friday in June my camp-meeting 
begins at Spring Uill : help, by your prayers, that wo 
may have a got id time ! J intended to give you a geo- 
graphical sketch of the country when I began to write 
this page, but time and patience fail mo. I much 
desire to hear from you all, and would be happy to 


hear that you are all bound for lieaveii, where I 
hope to meet you when labor and toil are ended, 
where the wicked cease from troubling, and the 
weary find rest, and 'where trouble all is done away, 
and parting is no more.' 

''x'To doubt you wish to hear something of the 
health of this place. I can tell you of a truth, Death 
the tyrant reigns, and marches through the Terri- 
tory like a man of war. Deaf to tlie cries of sor- 
sow, and the plaintive voice of misery, he spares no 
class of mortals. One of the old settlors told me 
the other day, that he had not known so many of the 
older residents to die in thirteen or fourteen years, 
as have died this year; observing that it had always 
been common for foreigners and emigrants to die in 
great numbers, 'but now it's got hold on the old 
settlers ! ' And, alas ! who can escape the cold hand 
of death? * * =i= Lord help us to be always 
ready I AYc ought to live as we would wish to die, 
for wc know neither the day nor the hour wherein 
the Son of man cometh: 'Blessed is that servant 
whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watch- 
ing ! ' There *are a number of very healthy persons 
ill this country ; and death, with all its terrors, is 
but little regarded by them. It is not uncommon 
for funerals to be feast-days. Death is so common 
a thing it is little regarded, and soon forgotten. 
The more seldom we see death, the more terrible it 
looks ; tlie oftener, the more familiar and less dread- 
ful. In some phices, death is like a stranger or 
traveler passing through ; here, it is like a citizen 
dwelling amongst us. Look on it as we may, it is 



a" serious thing to die. May the Lord prepare us 
all for it! is the prayer of your affectionate 

"John Johnson." 

The follo\vi]-ig- is liis account of receipts and ex- 
pend^ures for the 3'car : 

1st qiiarter. 

Washiugton ?2 00 

Hening's 7 00 

Spring Hill 2 3U 

Selser's Town 1 75 

PineRidgo 12 00 

Bucklc'3 1 00 


Clark's Creek, (public col.,) 
Greenville, and the rest, 

The whole amount ■...?74 50 


"Going to the circuit: — Dinner and horse fed, 
37-1 cents; entertainment, 75 cents; breakfast, horse 
fed, 50 cents ; horse shod, ^1 00 ; ferriage at A. & 
*C., 43-| cents; ferriage, 12} cents; bread at Frank- 
lin, §1 121 ; corn and fodder at Shawneetea's, 37| 

cents ; p , 6| cents ; do. at Colbert's, 37|- cents ; 

do. at Good Spring, 18.^ cents ; do., 371 cents ; Fac- 
tor's, 50 cents; Allen's, §1 00; ferriage river, G|- 
cents; Hails's, 371 cents; "Watson's, 12-1 cents; 
Shore's, 25 cents; Korton's, 621 cents; "Word's, 
121 cents; Osborn's, 50 cents; Hayes's, 121 cents; 
horse shod, ^1 50, The whole amount, $10 75. 
Expenses on the circuit: — Horse .shod, ^^2 00; for- 

1 .juarti-r. 

Oil quartti-. 

4th quarter 

$5 00 

§3 62} 

§2 871 


5 00 


3 00 

2 00 

3 25 

3 00 

7 00 
1 25 

2 00 

10 00 

THE IlEV. JOHN JOUNSON. • "■' 1*3 

ri;i<;-e bayou, 25 cents; horse shod, $1 50; do., 
.^1 50 ; fcj-riage, 50 cents ; horse fed, 25 cents ; nails 
clinelied, 25 cents. The whole amount, §6 25. 
Expenses hack to Tennessee :— Horse shod, §1 31-|- j 
ti-aveling expenses, §11 68 J. The whole amount, 
^13. Entire expenses, .^30." 

I shall add no more in regard to this year's labor, 
except a partial list that I find of the distances trav- 
eled on his return: "McCraven's to Osborn's, 37 
miles; to :N'orton's, 40; to Ilarkin's, 50; to Wall's, 
43 ; to Allen's, 40 ; to J. Brown's, 44 ; to Tennessee, 
40; to the line, 55; to Franklin, 53." 






,-' ■'-*- '-. 



The General Conference of 1812 divided tlie old 
AVestern Conference into tlie Ohio and the Tennes- 
see Conferences. The session of the Tennessee 
Conference, which was held at Fountain Head, 
K'ovemher 1, 1812, appointed Mr. Johnson to the 
Nashville Circuit for the cn&uing year, with Learner 
Blackman for Presiding Eklcr. lie was greatly 
pleased, after four years spent in "the uttermost 
' parts of the earth," to have a licld of labor assigned 
I him so near to his former home and friends, and so 
[ near to what he almost regarded as the center of 
' civilization. 

. It niay seem hoth unnecessary and out of place 

; for me to here insert a word in regard to this par- 

r ticular feature of itinerant life — I mean, the trial of 

I being severed from homo and friends— but, as the 

j bosom-companion of an itinerant for forty-four 

years, I feel that I may speak. In business, and in 

political life, a man may be called to leave his home 

and friends as often and as long; but business 

and politics both' have a tendency to engross 

I the whole man, and make the heart callous. And 

even if the aflections are not whollv stifled and 

. p 


frozen, the perpetual round of excitement diverts 
th<3 attention, and dissipates tlie tlionglits of ]iome. 
It is not so with the minister. Everything pertain- 
ing to^ his office tends to soften tlie heart. Whether 
in secret he ponrs out the sorrows of his soul before 
God, or in public presses the suit of his people at 
the throne ; whether he sings the rich melodies of 
Zion, or urges the gospel call upon dying men ; every 
petition, every strain, every theme is rich in senti- 
ments that awake and cherish the liveliest sensibili- 
ties of the human breast. The inevitable result of 
a faithful performance of his duties, is the growth 
within his bosom, to its highest and utmost capacity, 
of every tender emotion. Then he is constantly 
reminded of the sweets of home. He sees other 
men at their own firesides, surrounded by their little 
dependent loved ones, and he cannot but contrast 
Ills lot with theirs. How gladly would he, too, join 
Ids little and desolate family circle at the close of 
the day — desolate now, but wanting only his pres- 
ence to make them happy ! My husband, cold and 
passionless as he usually appeared, shed many a bit- 
ter tear as thoughts like these arose. And even the 
sturdy and mirthful Cartwright I have seen sit down 
and weep like a woman at having to leave his fam- 
ily when they were unwell, or scantily provided 
for, and caper with his little ones like a wild man 
on his return. Yet y)eople imagine that preachers 
are well paid. Earth cannot pay them for the sor- 
rowful heart-struggles which they have to endure! 
. That the Nashville Circuit was no sinecure, will 
appear from the following list of appointmen.ts, 


taken at random from Mr. Johnson's memorandum- 

JS'asliville Nov- 22 Franklin Dec C' 

Dillard's " 7 

Reese's Cliapfl " 9 

McCrackcn's " 10 

Cane Ridge " 11 

! Sewell's " 28 May's " 12 

Ray's Mfcting-house... " 13 

Levin Edney's " 14 

S"£gs's " 15 

Gowcr's " IG 

PIsgah " 17 

Saloni Meeting-house... " 19 

Adams's " 21 


... " 23 


.. " ''5 

... " 20 


... " 27 


... " 28 

Liberty Hill 

« on 


.. " 30 

...Dee. 1 


" 2 

... " 3 



... " 4 
... " 5 

Twenty-six appointments in thirty days, npon a 
charge covering over a thousand miles of territor^^, 
besides attending to the temporalities of his charge, 
I can scarcely resist the inclination to relate a lit- 
tle episode — if it be an episode — in Mr, Johnson's 
life upon this work, as related by one who was pres- 
ent. It is as follows : A poor, ragged, and ema- 
ciated footmnn, with every ai>pearauce of havino- 
traveled far, and of lacing at last exhausted, stopped 
at the house of a poor but pious man, Miio lived 
about fifteen miles from Nashville, v^diom the reader 
may know as Brother Stone. The traveler gave his 
name as Bennett, The next morning he was too ill 
to travel ; and he grew worse for two or three days, 
when Stone told him his case was a bad one, and 
asked him how he felt about death. He said his 
mind was composed, but he would like to have j). 
minister to talk and pray with him. The good 


J'rothcr Btone roclc all llic way to town to get a 
l)hysician, and Mr. Johnson to go out and see his 
suflbring guest. When the physician came and ex- 
amined the case, he told the poor man that his heart 
was seriously affected, his vital powers wcre'worn 
oat, and he certainly had but a lew days to live. 
Ai'lcr prescribing a few palliatives, the physician 
left, saying it was useless for him to return. Mr. 
Johnson now approached his bedside, asked him 
about the state of his soul, and about his home and 
friends. The following is his account of himself, 
nearly as he gave it, if not mainly in his own lan- 
guage : 

" I am a native of Charleston, South Carolina. 
My father, and all that I knew of my relatives, were 
wealthy ; but my father died when I was but a child. 
Indulgod and flattered on every hand, my evil pas- 
sions developed into early maturity; and while yet 
a youth, I became a gambler and a drunkard, and 
ready to enter with keenest zest upon every evil 
work. Like every young man who has plenty of 
means, I was surrounded by a circle of associates 
\yho were ever ready to humor and to flatter me; 
and we all Aveht careering on together in the road 
to ruin and infamy. After spending two or three 
years in this abandoned and profligate life, I became 
J embroiled in a difliculty with a young friend: on 
the following day I met him on the highway as I 
walked out beyond the limits of the city, the quar- 
rel was renewed, and I stabbed him to the heart. 
He fell heavily to the ground : I seized the reins of 
his horse in stupid terror, not knowing what to do; 


■and at tliis moracnt several persons came along, and 
I found myself arrested and imprisoned under the 
double charge of murdering the man and stealing 
the horse. 

"Every influence that wealth could bring to bear 
was employed to secure my acquilial, but the utmost 
that it was possible to accomplish vs'as to have me 
sentenced to ten years in the Stale-prison instead of 
being hung. The anguish of rjiy mother and sisters 
annoyed me greatly, and I would scarcely sutler 
them to come into my presence. My sentence was 
duly executed; and, unused as I had been to labor, 
or to restraint, I refused to enter tlie shops, or have 
any thing to do with any of the trades. As a pen- 
alty, I suppose, for this stubbornness, I was flogged 
nearly to death, and then driven to the blacksmith- 
shop and forced to labor there. I became stupidly 
reconciled to my lot, and my time dragged slowly 
but evenly along until eight years of my term had 
expired. An event then occurred, which I hope led 
me to a change of heart and life. 

" I was working at the forge, weary, hopeless, and 
gloomy, and had just uttered a terrible wish that 
God Almighty would kill me, and take me out of 
the world. The wind at the time was roaring and 
blustering without ; and it became necessary' for me 
and my partner to change places for a moment: in 
this moment the wind brought down a stone from 
the top of our chimney, which foil squarely upon 
my partner's head, and he fell dead before me. I 
began to reilect seriously whether his state was 
improved or not by the change. Thoughts of death 


:ii)(l eternity haunted mo from day to day, and I 
la-i;nn to dream almost every niglit of the friend 
V. iioiii I bad murdered years ago. Providentially, 
as 1 believe, a minister now visited us, spoke to 
L';ieb one about religion, and after being generally 
answered with sneers, be was surprised when I 
frankly told bimlbad been thinking about religion, 
and wished him to instruct me. Ho began a series 
of visits, which, to T)C brief, I will say resulted in 
my conversion. 

"From that time to the end of my term, I was sub- 
missive, contented, and frequently very happy. I 
remained a few days with the keeper, receiving a 
couple of dollars for extra work, and immediately 
set out to find my mother and friends in Charleston. 
The atTection, which years of debauchery had nearly 
extinguished, was now revived; and I felt a desire 
to atone by a life of love for the anguish of spirit 
my course had occasioned the loved ones at home. 
As 1 plodded along, wear}-, hungry, and way-worn, 
my sv.'cetest retlections were about the mutual 
recognitions and embraces when the poor outcast 
hliould arrive once more at his home. There, at 
least, though despised by others, I should find a 
happy asylum in tlie home and the hearts of mother 
and sisters. 

"At a short distance from the city I met my uncle. 
I recognized him, and told him who I was; but he 
r.-rr;vi'd mo so coldly it almost broke my heart. He 
ti)!d me that mother had spent most of her property 
trying to keep mc out of prison; that she did not 
like my behavior toward her afterward ; and he did 


not suppose sbc would be very g]ad to see me. She 
had disposed of the farms and all tlic city property, 
except the old hotel; and there she was keejiiug a 
private boarding-house. I well knew where it vras, 
and hastened to the place, but not without misgiving 
j and dread, for I was too well aware that I was poorly 

I clad, and my face was now haggard and brown. I 

I knocked at the door, and my own sister opened it ! 

I 'Betty !' I said, as slic looked coldly at me, 'don't 

} you know me — don't you know your brother?' 

i 'Iliave no brother,' she said; 'you have mistaken 

I the house;' and was about to close the door. I 

stepped forward and said, 'J)oesn't Mrs. .Bennett 
j live here? — doesn't mother live here? Do let me 

' sec her! Do, tell her her son has come home!' 

I She answered still more coliUy, 'The lady of the 

i house is sick : she can't see any company. Besides, 

i she has no sou : you are mistaken in the place ; ' 

and she slammed the door in my f\ice. 

" Hoping I was mistaken, I asked the first man I 
j met who lived in that h<»u-^e. lie answered, 'Mrs. 

I Bennett. Her son disgraced. and broke up the fam- 

' ily, and she tries to earn a living by keeping a few 

boarders. She's very proud, and is so mortified 
i that she says she won't own him if he ever comes 

I back.' This was enough. I sat down upon a stone, 

and wept like a child. But a little rellection con- 
vinced me that this was useless, and that I had bet- 
ter look l(n- a situation where I could get a subsist- 
ence by my tfade. 1 prayed God to direct and aid 
I me, and went to several shops and applied for work. 

I But as soon as they found out who I was, they said 


fluy <li(^ not ^\'a^lt iLfit kind of n, man. I was aux- 
ious loiind a situation in town, asltlionglit I could 
in time convince ray friends that I was a changed 
man ; and I spent the few cents I had, and com- 
l»]ctoly exhausted myself, in a vain cfibrt to find a 

''Worn out, disheartened, and nearly perishing 
with hunger, I resolved to try to reach the far West, 
where no one had evei' heard of me, and there try 
to make for myself a living and a reputation. The 
way has been long and weary. Many nights I lay down 
and slept with the cattle at the roadside. ]\Iany days I 
suhsistcd on a piece of bread and a cup of water fur- 
nished me by a poor settler among the hills. I 
liavo come this for, and I don't expect that I shall 
over be able to go any farther. The cherished ties 
from wljich I hoped so much are all broken ; and I 
foci tluit I have no parents, no sisters, no friends in 
the world. 1 have nothing but my trade, which I 
shall never be able to follow, and this precious book 
[:v Tcslament] which the keeper of the prison gave 

" Yet I feel that I have friends and a home on 
liigh. I have suifered, but less than my Saviour 
sullbred. I have sinned, but I know that my sins 
are forgiven, and I wait with a degree of impatience, 
1 fear, for the welcome change. Come, Lord Jesus ! 
come quickly!" 

Mr. -lohnson, deo[)ly aflectcd, sang and prayed 
v.itii the poor outcast until they both were happy, 
and Jirothcr Stone and his wife were happy ; and 
tlie feast of love was continued for several hours. 



On tlio following day, Mr. Jolmson adminis- 
tered to him the Lord's Supper, and on the next 
night he died. Trnlj, the passionate man is never 
safe ! Tnil^', there is a "balm in Gilead ! " 

I will close this chapter Avith a statement of Mr. 
Johnson's receipts upon the Kashville Circuit: 


Nashville ?8 43J $1 25 ?13 50 

Tate's 1 25 S3 50^ 

Blair's 50 2 25 1 25 

Stoncr's Lick 1 25 

Moore's Mceting-hou.-p 1 00 2 50 

SeT\ell's 2 02} 2 68f 

Liberty Hill 4 00 1 25 1 50 5 00 

Waugh's 2 37} 

Mason's 1 02} 1 00 1 00 1 25 

Miles's 1 00 50 3 00 

Tvalston's 2 12} 1 18] 2 25 

Oglesb/s 1 5G.i 1 25 


Franklin 5 25 7 OG]- 

Dillard's 50 ] 25 

Becso's Chapel 2 00 2 25 4 00 

McCrackcn's 187^ 1 68| 

Cane Bidgo 1 25 

May's 4 00 

Kay's Meeting-house 

Levin Edney's 87} 4 37} 3 31} 

Suggs's 50 37} 50 

Gowcr's 2 43J 2 75 2 68^- 

Pifgah 50 

Salem Mccting-liouse 3 75 3 25 3 02} 

Adams's 75 

$25 31} §31 37} $18 75 ?50 311 





At llio ensiling session of the Tennessee Confer- 
ence, held at Heese's Chapel, October 1, 1818, Mr. 
Johnson was appointed to Livingston Circuit, with 
I'ctcr Cartwright as Presiding Elder. This circuit 
was nearly coextensive with the present Hopkins- 
ville District, extending from Eainbridge — ten miles 
west of Iloitkinsville — to the Ohio Piver, and from 
Tennessee Pivcr to Tradewater. This will still 
more clearly appear by the following 


^ i.un;;'s 











. 1 


lirusli Mcctlng-liousc.X 

ov. 7 

' 8 



, Mitclioll's 

Kos.Vs ; 


' 10 


' 11 


' 12 


' 13 




' 14 


., . Nc\ 

' 15 


' IG 

' 17 

1".'"1'5 ... 

,T;U110^'s. . . , 

' 18 




' 19 

11 siok's 

' 20 




ISTcarlj or quite all tliat Mr. Jolinsoii had made up 
to Ibis liiiic, lie bad. expended for books ; and I will 
give llie list from bis memorandum-book, hoping it 
ma}' be of some interest, as showing what a ]Meth- 
odist preacher's library was then composed, of, the 
text-books of the da^-, the prices at that time, and 
Mr. Johnson's a'rccdiness for them: 

JOHN" .I0H\?''>X'S COOKS. 

Coke's Commcutarj, G 


Diivie.s's Sermons, 3 v... 
Wesley's " 9v... 
rieteher's Checks, v.. . 
Ilawes's Church Ili^to- 

Wood's Bible Diet ion 

ary, 2t 

Buck's Miscellany, 2 v 
Preachers' Experience 

Fletcher's Life 

Baxter's Miscellany.,.. 

Select Poeni« 

.Taylor's Holy Livin;:... 

English Reader 

Hester Ann Kogcrs 

Abbott's Life 

Fletcher's Appeal 

,?-iS 00 

8 00 

5 00 

G :>o 

T) 00 

;; Oit 

1 00 
1 00 
1 2r> 
1 c.j 

1 u:. 

1 00 

Methodist Magazine.... 

Serious Call $ 

Essays to do Good 

Drew on the Soul 

Reformed Pastor 


V/atts's Miscellany.... 
Alleine and Baxtei-.... 

Co'.vper's Task 

Blair's Sermons 


AVatters's Life 

Halliburton's Inquiry 

Christian Pattern 

Blair's ]vhetoric 

Fletcher's Letters 

Clarke's Sermons, G v. 
AVritts's Psalms and 

1 00 

1 00 
1 00 
1 12} 
1 50 

1 25 
3 00 


2 00 

1 00 
87 i 
18 00 

1 00 

Sixty-t\YO volumes, cost §12G 5C)\. 

When I first saw Mr. Johnson, in the fall of 1813, 
I was very much diverted at his uncouth ajipear- 
ance. ITo wore a woi'l hat, whir-b liad once been 
white, and ^^•!lich, a.^ be aftvrwaid told me, he had 
constantly worn [\>v seven yenr.<; a drab-colorod 
overcoat, with a very wide eajic and large armholes, 


])al no sleeves; and shoes of tlie lieavicst and 
I'oughest pattern. Ilis pants were of a bottle-green 
color, corded somewhat like our more modern cor- 
duroy — the same, I suppose, that he brought from 
}\atclicz ; there was a patch on each knee — one a 
foot, and the other, half a yard long — of black 
broadcloth, the remains of an old coat; and they 
were split u}-> about eight inches at the ajikle, and 
the corners hqjped over and pinned jicrfoctly tight. 
]Ii.s liair was nearly a foot and a half long, and 
I'lirted evenly in the middle ; his flice was dark and 
weather-beaten, his brows very black and heavy, 
and his countenance the most fearfully solemn that 
1 ever beheld. T say, I at first regarded his appear- 
ance as extremely ridiculous ; but as I more narrowdy 
pcanncd his face, tlie feelings of mirth were soon 
and largely mingled with those of terror. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians and Methodists 
liad, for sevci'al years, put up frequently at father's, 
and very gonerally tlic latter would preach at 'Mr. 
A\' hire's in the day, and at father's at night. In 
accordance vrith this custom, Mr. Johnson preached 
at father's one night on his second round. A couple 
i»t young ladies, of the name of Trailor, were visit- 
ing us; but after preaching, "Mr. Johnson went to 
his room and sat down to read, without seeming to 
notice girl? or anybody else. ISIiss Trailor remarked 
•'•"arrastically, as she eyed him askance through the 
•I'-'or, " AVoll, he's a cool chicken !" and, as wu uu- 
d<rstood tl;o }»hraso, I thought so myself. 

^'ot long after tliis. Sister Wilcox — wife of the 
ury. YAmiwul Wilrox, before named as half-brother 





to P. Oartwriglit — astonished mo bj saying : " AVcll, 
Suky, the now preacher has noticed you, and you 
must look out for a Methodist X'reacher's courtship." 
I told her at once that I did not believe a word of 
it. I didn't believe he had ever noticed nie nor any 
other girl. Iler answer to tliis was: "Preachers 
avoid courtships as occasions for scandal, and make 
very few words answer for tliat business. Mr. John- 
son told Mr. Wilcox that he had been to Mr. 
Brooks's, liked, and would go again. That was all 
he said about it, but tliat is cnougii; it means a great 
deal; so, look out!" I scarcely know with what 
feelings I received this ir.tclligence. I was sur- 
prised, and I was alarmed ; yet I felt as if "it didn't 
amount to any thing ;" and I believe I said he was 
a droll-looking creature to be "noticing" anybody! 
I was on my way to Mr. Johnson's next appoint- 
ment at Mr. White's, when he overtook me. I was 
ver}^ much confused, but tried to conceal the fact; 
and the following conversation took place: "Do 
you know the trclilc of Olney?" "Yes, sir." A 
pause. "That" — alluding to a waste-house in an 
old field at some distance — "is a dreary-looking 
place; who stays there?" "I don't think any 
person lives there." "How would you like to live 
there?" "Xot very mucli." A pause. "How 
would you like to l)e a Methodist preacher's wife ? " 
"I couldn't tell : I have never thought much about 
sucli a thing." "Well, I wan* \ni to think about 
it." An.d on he rode, as um-eienioniously as he 
came, arriving at Mr. White's long before me. 
That night he preached at fatlier's, but he paid no 


more attention to mo tlian lie did to tlic dogs, 
except that, in casually meeting me on the porch 
next morning, he said : "Any interchange of views 
v\-e may have in future, must bo in ^vriting," and 
walked on. This is all the conversation that had 
passed between us up to this time. 

My first impressions had nndergono a gradual 
change. From ridicule and fear, I began to regard 
liim with esteem, lie had shown himself a de- 
votedly pious and good man, and I could not but 
respect him. As far as I had heard, or heard of, 
liis preaching, it had been attended with unusual 
manifestations of the power and love of God. The 
grand desire of my heart was to secure the salvation 
of my soul; and I felt assured that, to this end, I 
n\ust have a devotedly pious companion if any, and 
not for all the world an irreligious man. His letters 
cviTKcd the honesty of his purpose. lie told me 
fiankiy that ho had no property, and no resources 
beyond liis poorly paid salary as a preacher. lie 
assured me that the life of a traveling preacher's 
wife was one of toil, privation, and hardship; as 
their receipts were small, their toil great, their fam- 
iHes homeless ; and of necessity, so long as they 
remained in the itinerant life, they could be but 
pilgrims and strangers in the earth. The fondest 
ties'of friendship wore liable to be severed at the 
close of every year; and the preacher's wife could 
look for none ui" ibose associations cemented l)y 
J>ge, nor for any of those conveniences that long res- 
idence at one place gradually gathers about a liome. 
And besides all those tilings, a preacher was most 



of his time absent from his family, and, as a gen- 
eral thing', his Avife must spend licr time in lonely 
solitude. And to mitigate tlicso trials there was 
nothing but the approbation of God and the con- 
science, and the liopo of heaven ; as there was no 
gain from the friendship of the workh 

My parents soon discovered that Mr. Johnson 
regarded rac flivorably, and they were filled with 
apprehensions. They opposed my going to his 
meetings, and no longer invited him to our house. 
They took every opportunity to abuse and reproach 
the Methodists, and to ridicule their doctrines. 
The}^ laughed at Mr. Johnsori's dress, his manners, 
and his expressions ; and employed every means, in 
short, to prevent or drive away from my heart the 
feelings which they only suspected to exist. To all 
this I most cheerfully, I may say joyfullj', submit- 
ted, feeling satisfied that I was doing right in the 
sight of God. 'We wrote not many letters — not 
more than tlirce or four each — and these were com- 
mitted to the faithful hands of Sister AYilcox. We 
in this manner finally arranged that if my parents 
would consent, the marriage should take place at 
liome on the 10th of August; an<l if they would not, 
as I was then of lawful age — over eighteen — we 
would meet on that day, at 11 o'clock a.m., at Brother 
Edmund AVilcox's. 

Mr. Johnson now applied to my ]iaren's for their 
consent, l)a\"ing previously in .-e<'i\'t invoked the 
blessing of Ciod; and somc'tliing like ihc following 
dialogue took place : 

Mr. Johnson. ATr. Brooks, I have become ac- 

'■'■ ^'".^ 


quaiutcd with your climghlor, and after a Dinlual 
expression of views and feelings, we are agreed to 
become husband and wife if your consent can 1)C 

Father. Well, I can tell thee at once, friend, that 
I can never consent for a child of mine to become 
the wife of a Methodist preacher! 

3L\ J. I know the life of a preacher's wife is 
one of toil and privation, and I have no wealth or 
aiiluence to promise, but oidy the care and kind- 
ness of a true and devoted heart. 

F. Well, I don't know what thee wants with a 
wife, if thee has no means to support one. 

Mr. J. As far as worldly goods are concej-ncd, I 
liave no means to support myself. God is my trust. 
He has thus far given me more than I needed, and 
far more than I deserved, and he is just as able to 
feed and clothe a family as to provide for one person 

F. That may be so, and yet it takes something 
substantial to support a family. It's but little God 
gives a man who don't work for it. I've seen how 
Methodist preachers' families are supported, and I 
never saw the wife of one but I could pick her out 
among a whole congregation by her sad and sorrow- 
ful looks. 

Mr. J. Sadness and sorrow arc the poi'tion of 
every one, in the present lite; and our choice lic'^, 
not lielwoen a happy life and a wretched one, but 
between a course that will gain the approval of God 
and lead us to heaven, and one that will not. I be- 
lieve the Creator designed man for the marriage 



state, and I would therefore ciitcr upon' that state 
vrhen the opportunity occurs to get a companion 
tliat will 1)C of both temporal and spiritual advan- 
tage to me. 

Mother. Well, I 've taken great pains in raising 
my girls, and when they leave me, I like to know 
what is to become of them. 

Mr. J. If you had not taken pains in raising 
your girls, I'm sure I should wish to have nothing 
to do with them. That is the very reason I feel so 
sure that Susannah vrould make a good wife. 

M. You're a stranger here; nobody knows any 
thing about you — where you are from, or who you 

Mr. J. I am a stranger hero, but my cliaracter 
is known to the Conference, and that is all the 
voucher I can give you. 

M. Yes, and yowv Conference has sent out, 
through this very section, some of the worst rascals 
that ever were known in this country ! 

Mr. J. Well, what have you seen in mo to ex- 
cite mistrust during the eight or Lcn months that I 
have been here 'i 

31. Anybody can behave well for that length of 
time, when they have an object to gain by it. 

1'. Anyhow, why can't thee wait till we all 
know thee better? 

Mr. J. I know not where I may be sent next 
year; and if I luarry, I wish to f;})Cnd at loast a 
couple of moritljs licre, that 1 may }irovo myself 
both a])le and wiliing to treat a woman well. 

F. 1 don't want to hear thee talk of liow thee 


would treat Su]:y ! I tell tlioe plain, I don't want 
thee ever to let me see thy liice again ! 

M. I do think in my heart, tliat these low-lived, 
hlac'k, sliahby, heathenish-looking rascals, that go 
sponging around on honest people for a living, have 
little to do to be wanting to marry! I don't want 
you to say any thing more to me about it! 

Thus rudely repulsed on every hand, Mr. John- 
son retired, deeply mortified, but hoping to find one 
or both of my parents in a more genial humor at a 
future time. He Avas resolved that if he failed to 
gain their consent, his fliilure should not be for lack 
of cllbrt. It was not long before he met father 
upon the road, and requested a few minutes' calm 
and unreserved conversation upon the subject dis- 
cussed at their last interview. Father was not well 
pleased, but was calm. Mr. Johnson told liim 
}>lainly that our minds were made up, we both were 
of age, and he was fully satisfied that neither law 
nor religion was against the step. We felt assured 
that our temporal, but especially our eternal, inter- 
ests were at stake ; that his opposition w^as grounded 
on jirejudice or mistaken views, and that his olijec- 
tions, therefore, were not such as we were morally 
or religiously bound to regard in this matter. He, 
however, assured him that he might always depend 
on our love and respect, and that he should find us 
wanting in notliing that pertained to the duty of 
f-'hiMriMi. Yet, if he would not consent to our mar- 
riage, \\-e should still i>roceed in the course we had 
agreed upon, and be married at the house of a 


■[ Father, after a long silence, then told Mr. 

Joliiison that, if we were determined to riiarry, 
I we should be married at liome, though he would 

[ much rather see me carried to the grave, 

1 Accordingly, August 10, 1814, wo were married, bj 

I tlie liev. Edmund Wilcox. ^Mother was not present, 

! she had retired to another room to weep ; and when 

i told that the ceremony was concluded, she fell in a 

i swoon, and lay in a state of almost total insensibility 

I all the remainder of the night, j^o e3'e was closed 

I for sleep, nor did we even lie down to rest that 

I night. 

i All was sorrow, and confusion, and alarm. My 

j own heart was utterly broken by the grief of my 

"i parents. I wept all night long, and went sob- 

bing around, in a state little better tban in sanity. 
Mr. Johnson exerted himself to administer comfort 
; and consolation to all; yet he too was often weep- 

[ ing, and ever and anon a deep and heavy groan ex- 

J pressed the sadness and solicitude of his breast; 

I and many a time, as the dark and doleful hours 

wore away, did our fervent prayers ascend to God, 
that he would give us all grace to bear the trial, and 
to demean ourselves as became the disciples of 
I Christ. 

I I remained at home until Conference. My parents 

' gradually became reconciled to my choice, and Mr. 

Johnson's kindness to me at length overcame, to a 
great degree, their ar.tijialliy for him. lie was gone 
nearly all the time, and I was very busy making 
what little preparation I eould for keeping house, 
though I knew it was uncertain whether we should 


have any liousc to keep or not. A bod and bedding 
was all ni}' patrimony ; and Mr. Johnson had nothing- 
but his horse and equipments, and a hirgc trunk 
covered with white horse-hide, and filled with books. 
After our marriage, he added a home-made bedstead, 
a Couple of chairs, and thi-ec or four cooking ves- 
sels. This was the total of our earthly estate. 





I The TciHiessGc Coufercnco met this year at Ivcii- 
j nerly's Chapel, in Logan county, in the month of 
^ September. Mr. Johnson took mo with hun. Bishop 
Asbmy presided. It was the tirst time I ever saw 
this venerable man. lie was dressed in dark 
clothes — the true old-fashioiiod Methodist coat, a 
straight vest coming dowri long and loose in front, 
and a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat. 

It was then customary for all married ladies to 
wear a kind of cap. This gave some of our younger 
wives of that day a matronly a]i|)oarance that I im- 
agine would now look strange iixkod. I had fur- 
nished myself vcith one, ])lainor t'uan was common, 
from the twofold motive of ccononi}- and propriety; 
and I had this on when introduced to the Bishop. 
It was not quite plain enough, however, to suit his 
severe ideas; for, after the salutation, he 
placed his har.d near my head, and said solemnly 
but kindly, "O ^i>t(!r! too mucli cn[)-border! " 

I felt great anxiety as to our destination, and 
managed to find out at the earliost possible time 
the appointment designed for Mv. Johnson. To 
my great sorrow, I learned it was Duck River, in 


■ TiiK r.KV. JOHN JOHNSON. 101 

Tennessee. I made all liaste to sec tlic Elder — Peter 
CartvN'right — to beg liim have Mr. Jolinson sent 
back to Livingston. ' But Cartwright assured me 
that the appointment for Livingston could not be 
changed. I then begged him to try to have Mr. 
Johnson sent to Christian, as the nearest cliarge 
besides; and I pleaded with an earnestness that no- 
body but an itinerant preacher's ^vife can compre- 
licnd, that it was my first year from home; that my 
l«arcnts were already nearly inconsolable because I 
liad married a ^Methodist preacher, and I would like 
for the trial to fidl as lightly npon them as possible; 
and that, after I and they had become somewliat 
accustomed to the separation, I would go without a 
murmur to any v\'ork the Conference might appoint. 
My entreaties seemed to aftcct Cartwright a good 
deal, and lie promised to do what he could; and at 
length he succeeded in having the change made in 
the appointments. 

On this circuit, embracing nearly all the societies 
of Christian county with a few in adjoining coun- 
ties — as Conccud in Eutler — there was no parson- 
age. There was not even a house for rent, unless 
it was in Ilopkinsvillo, and the thought of living 
in town, with the increased expenses it would in- 
volve, was not to be entertained for a moment. It 
was, as usual, a four-weeks' circuit, and Mr. John- 
^^on had nearly as many appointments as there were 
days in four weeks; and of course I had to go with 
iiini, or not enjoy much of his company. I was 
anxious to aid .Mr. Johnson in making a support: 
Jind, when at home, I liad never known any other. 


.j way of getting goods than by making them with 
I my own ]iands. There were, in neai-ly every neigh- 
j borhood, men wlio liad means enough to entertain 
I me for a wliile; so I thougiit it best to stay with 
j some pious family Avhile ^Ir. Johnson made a round 
j on liis work, then go to another society and remain 
■ a like length of time. i\nd on proposing this, it 
was considered by the members as a better plan 
than for them, just at this time, to erect or rent a 
f parsonage. 

This, then, became tlic plan. The people were 

exceedingly kind to me; and Avhcnever it was 

i known that I was in the neighborhood, the little 

j packages of cotton and wool were sent in from every 

■1 . direction. Carding and spinning these was my 

constant employment from morning to night; and 

j in winter, from an hcnir before day till 10 or 11 

I o'clock at night. And I had no brilliant lamp by 

I which to -work. Most of my work, of evenings, 

; was done by firelight; for I would not allow the 

fiimily whore I staid to incur so much expense on 

j my account as to burn a candle, or oven a lamp, 

j when their own Avork did not rerpiire it. Yet de- 

I tcrmined in any case to be independent, I had pro- 

t vidod and equipped a lamp of my own, to be used 

I in case I had company, or any otlier occasion to use 

'. it. The lamp was a pretty large piece of a broken 

saucer; the wick was a string torn from a bit of 

soft rag, and tlie oil was obtained by carefully 

"skimming the top- oil" the pot" whore nieat had 

I been boiled. All of which, by the way, made an 

. excellent lamp. 

p THE IlKV. JOHN jonxsoN. 103 

After I liad carded and spun cnougli tbread for a 
piece of cloth, lSh\ Jolinsoii would preach twice a 
day for two dajs, in order to get two days to bring 
me down to fatlier's, a distance of thirty miles. 
Here I staid four weeks, and wove my cloth; and 
then T^Ir. Johnson, by again crowding his appoint- 
ments as before, got two days to come down after me. 
In this wa}-, by incessant application, before the year 
was out, I had made two suits apiece for Mr. John- 
son and myself. I had also, I thought, improved 
]\[r. Johnson's appearance; for I had trimmed his 
liair so that when combed smoothly forward it 
reached not quite to his eyebrows, while it hung 
but little below his ears on the sides and back of 
his head. I made his pantaloons a little larger at 
the ankles, did not split them up quite so high, and 
took out the pins with which he had usually pinned 
them tightly over. But my first cii'ort at trimming 
liis hair caused me considerable mortification. It 
was somewhat irregular, after all my pains; and the 
first time Sister Cartwright met us, she cried out, 
" ^Vhy, r>rother Johnson ! what calf has been chew- 
ing your hair off?" 

I staid at Brother Cartwright's a good deal, partly 
liccause it was near the center of the circuit — about 
two miles cast of Ilopkinsville — and partly because 
lirotiier Cartwright was much of the time absent 
from home and his family was small. I staid seven 
weeks at one time, or about twice as long as I 
usually staid at one place. Sister Cartwright — 
]*'ranky, as I always called her— was one of the 
iiiosl industrious and amiable women I ever sa^^'. 


I Whatever slie did seemed to Le done bctier and 
quicker than anybody else could do it. I don't 
tliiuk any one could snatch the feathers off* a 
I chicken as quick as slie. But Cartwriglit's absence 
i Avas a source of continual distress to her, and slie 
I conkl not refrain from so expressing herself in his 
; presence. 

I Cartwright was a strange kind of being. I could 

' never get fully acquainted Avith him. lie was at 
\ times as affectionate and kind as any man, but 
I oftener as abrupt as if entirely destitute of feeling. 
I iNly Brother David and Sister Polly came up to see 
i us while I was staying there; they arrived Satur- 
I day evening, and returned Monday mornino;. On 
I Sunday, they put on suits which they had brouo-lit 
for the purpose— their best, of course, perfectly 
neat, though neither very fine nor out of taste. But 
when they came into the family-room, instead of a 
polite or any other salutation, Cartwright cried out, 
"Ugh! come from povoi-ty-hall rigged out in silk 
and satin!" This, as they were liis guests, and 
wore neither silk nor, and Averc as able to 
dress as he was, seemed very discourteous; and, 
though Cartwright instantly relaxed and be'^-an Ins 
usual round of jests and anecdotes, with the ever- 
present "te-he-he," yet David and Polly were deeply 
wounded, and I believe the\- never quite foro-avc 
the rude reproach. 

Cartwright, however, was generally afl'eetionato 
in his family. ^V]Ml Franky would chide him for 
leaving home so much when all were not well, I 
have seen liim sit down and weep like a child. 


And v.'lien he came Lome from his round of qnav- 
lerly meetings, it wns^ not an ]iour before ho got up a 
general romp with the clnkh'en. "Upstairs and down 
tliey went, overturning chairs or whatever else was 
in llie way, sometimes one of tlio chilih-cn or C'ari- 
wright Ijimself falling heavily upon the (lo(n'; and 
the whole performance, accompanied hy a grand 
chorus of shouts and screams, and the clatter of 
many feet, made such an uproai- as seemed really 
alarming. "Why, ^l\\ Cartwright!" Franky would 
say, "1 do believe you and the children ^vill tear i 
the house down ! " Cartwright had but three chil- , 
dren at this time, and to dress these and arrange 
the rooms was my work, while Franky was getting ^ 
broakiast. Then I would ply the cards with might : 
and main for the rest of the day. AVhen I got a ■ 
sufhcicnt lot of rolls ready, I went over to the house ' 
of a most excellent brother, Kenry Ilobson, and did , 
my s[)inning. | 

Our lirst son, Thomas B., was born at father's, ' 
August 20, 1815. In a few days, I was seized with 
puerperal fever, wdiich speedil}' brought me to the 
very verge of the grave. ^Ir. Johnson was seventy 
miles distant, but a letter was quickly started to 
h'un, and after a long delay received. He came in , 
haste, making the seventy miles in a little over I 
twenty-four hours, but found mo somewhat bettor. ' 
lie remained that night and tlic next day; and in 
the following night, I may say — for it ^\'as several 
hours before day — he started back to his woik. 1 
recovered slowly, however, and indeed was not. able 
to leave father's till the end of the year. I then i 

.■» . I! 


went v>'ith Mr. Johnson to Conference, but wo rode 
only about ten miles a day, on account of my weak- 

I was too much busic<l with my ow)i work this 
year to take much note of ^tr. Johnso)i's, but the 
following list of his appointments may interest those 
within the bounds of that work: Kirkham's, De- 
pew's, Petree's, Smith's, l^lliolt's, AVatkins's, Brig- 
liam's, EanJal's, Bradford's, ^Slanly's, Matthews's, 
Brisbin's, J. Harrison's, Gi-ay's, Padlicld's, Concord, 
Pond River, Langly's, Greenville, Bell's, Mud River, 
Concord in Butler county, Is"ourse's, Xennerly's, 

Two miles from Hopkinsville, in that day, was an 
out-of-the-way j)lace, and this — I mean at Brother 
Cartwright's — was about as })ublic a ]-ilacc as I found 
on this circuit. Here, as we were in sight of the 
road, we saw movers' wagons passing along every 
few days, and not a great many other persons passed 
at any time. Brother Ifobson also lived on the 
road. There were two Henry Hobsons, and, for 
distinction, one was called Road Hal, and the other 
Hallelujali Hal. 




It was usual for ministers to take their fomilies — 
especially if they had small ones, and nothing else-- 
to Conference, in order that they might go imme- 
diately on to their work ; as some, if they had to go 
hack after their fiimilies, would have to travel sev- 
eral hundred miles. The Tennessee Conference 
for 1815, met at Bethlehem ISIeeting-house, near 
liobanon, Tenn. Though scarcely recovered sulli- 
(■ir-nlly to travel at all, I accompanied Mr. Johnson, 
riding, as heforc stated, ahout ten miles per day, 
^Ve staid at Colonel Winn's, and a most liospitahle 
li'iSt v.-e found liim. Bishop Ashury again presided. 
1 went to hear him preach, Richard Bond assisted 
hini into the pulpit, arranged his chair and cushion, 
and seemed to take great pleasure in having the old 
num comfortahlc. The Bishop then preached from 
his chair — the first sermon I ever lieard delivered 
in that posture — and his sermon vras short, solemn, 
lunl instructive, like the serious but dispassionate 
<--"Unsols of a fatlier to his children. 

On the last day of Conference, we came by to 
^'•'ive our child baptized. Tlie church was out of 
^own ; and the Bishop, that the Conference might 


'I not be dislurbed, went with us a little distance into 

the grove, accompanied l)y a man who brought a 

' horn^-cupful of water. This cup, I may say to my 

I younger readers, was of a kind generally carried by 

I travelers in those days, because not easily broken, 

! and was made of a piece of cow's-horn about five 

inches long, the smaller end being stopped by a 

securely tacked plug of wood. 

i. We went to a large log, and the Bishop, pointing 

I to it, said, iu his inimitably deep and solemn tones, 

"Sit down there, sister, and sit all the time." I 

j wished to name the child for my father, Thomas 

Brooks. The old man's stern feuturcs relaxed slightly 

[ for an instant, as he said, "I'd call him Thomas 

Coke ; " but, without farther hesitation, he gave him 

I the name of " Thomas Br-rokes "—trilling the r, and 

I sounding the double as a single o. lie baptized by 

' a triple aifusion on the child's forehead as he lay on 

I my lap, pouring at the name of each person of the 

j Trinity. 

I Mr. Johnson wa> appointed to Goose Creek Cir- 

i cuit, which lay in part in f^nmner county, Tenn. 
Learner Blackman was Bresiding ]%lder, and a 
most excellent man he was. lie was at all times 
neat and tasteful iu dress, and altUble and polished 
j iu manners ; and as he was a preacher of no ordinary 
! ability, he was very generally admired and univer- 
sallv'^lovcd. The circumstances of his death, as 
well as I can remember, Avere these: After travel- 
ing all winter, and nearly all spring, u[)on his l)is- 
I trict, he went with his wife to Ohio, for a few weeks' 
j rest, visiting his brother-in-law and sister, John 

j M# 



Collins and w'li'c. On IjIs return, lie stopped at Cin- 
cinnati over Sunday, and until Tuesday morning. 
Jle then resumed his journey liomoward, came to 
the ferry-boat, dismounted, led Mrs. Blackmau into 
the boat, and then brought on the horses. Present- 
ly the fcrrj'-man hoisted a sort of sail, which flapped 
in the wind, and frightened the horses. Thej'- 
lca])cd out of the boat, dragging Llacknian with 
tlieni, and in the struggle, although he was twice 
seen to rise to the suriace, he was drowned before 
help could reach him. It is said that two skiffs that 
were started out to his relief became unmanageable 
by breaking an oar each, and it was several hours 
before the body was recovered. 

Mr. Johnson's relatives were very much elated athis 
appointment, as it brought him into their vicinity; 
and especially his mother, who declared that it 
allbrded her more pleasure than to have received 
a gift of a thousand dollars. But it was not exactly 
Si.) with my i)oor self The circuit was like the last 
— it was destitute of a parsonage, and there was no 
house — that is, none that was comfortable enough, 
and at the same time cheap enough for us — to be 
rented as a substitute for one. In addition to this, 
the nearest preaching-place was over one hundred 
niilos from father's, and I believe the circuit was 
about one hundred miles across. I had hoped that 
by this time I should become so weaned from my 
old home and relallvos, th:it I could go to any pos- 
.^iblo appointmcTit, not only without regret, but with 
<heerfulness ; but those old and precious ties are not 
60 easily shaken off from the ardent and susceptible 



lieart. I way, thougli I. slrovc not to bo, mucli cast 
down when our destination was announced. We 
were at a loss what to do. I tried to bo cheerful, 
and said notliing of my regrets ; but Mr. Johnson 
soon perceived that I was distressed and sad at 
heart, and a look of despondency came over his 
countenance which it pained my very soul to see. 

After a painful silence, as we rode along, he said, 
" I would love to own a small farm, with a cabin 
upon it just large enough to make ray little family 
comfortable, to have a good horse and a yoke of 
cattle, a cow and a few hogs, and sheep enough to 
make our clothing. I would like to live among 
religious people, and near enough to a meeting- 
house to enjoy its blessed privileges, I would labor 
willingly for my Ileavenly Master; and 0, how 
much I should delight to spend a part of every day 
\yith my beloved fomily ! " He paused: his heart 
was full. "I'll arrange," he went on, "for you to 
stay at your pa's, or on the circuit, or anywhere that 
j you may prefer." lie "filled up," and relapsed 
! into silence. I assumed a pleasant and cheerful air, 
I and said, "Mr. Johnson, I wonder if we couldn't 
j rent a part of old Mr. White's house? lie has a 
i small famil}-, and plenty of room ; it is near enough 
' to father's, and convenient to preaching." Mr. 
Johnson seemed greatly relicve<l, his countenance 
brightened, and we rode on conversing cheerfully 
about the plan suggested, 
j That night I had a singular dream, which T give 

j for what it is worth, I seemed to be out at sea alone 
} in a little boat; I know nothing about how to move 



or lo liianagc it, nor ^vliich way I oup;lit to go. A 
(lark cloud was rising, and I was terribly perplexed 
and alarmed. As I looked around in dismay, I 
licard ii voice calling nic, and saw a larger boat ap- 
jtroaching. As it drew near, I rccogni;icd old Mr. 
White, with his javoily, and he shouted to me to 
come aboard his boat. I joyfully complied, and 
went on in safety. This dream was repeated two or 
throe times in the course of Llie night. In the morn- 
ing I told ^Ir. Johnson, jocosely, that before trying 
to niakc any other arrangement, we must sec i\Ir. 
White, and find out if he would take me aboard his 

"We accordingly proceeded on down to Kentucky, 
and hastened to see him. He readily agreed to let 
me have a room. This was about three miles from 
father's, so I was not very far from home. The 
house consisted of two pretty large rooms, with an 
open passage between, and a chimney at each cud 
of the house — cpiite a roomy bouse for that time and 
place — and his family consisted of only himself, 
wife, and son. He gave us the room, and furnished 
me with fire-wood cut ready for use, and hauled to 
the door, and had a lire made for me every morn- 
ing for six months ; and all for the more than rea- 
sonably low charge of ten dollars ! Of course I 
was to do my own work, and furnish the room, and 
board myself. 

Here I found, as far as Mr. White and his family 
could make it so, a pleasant Lome. We had preach- 
ing in the house every four ^vceks, and Mr. White 
had family prayers morning and night, which I gen- 


crally atteiulod wlicu I could. l\i\ White also held 
class-mGGling once or twice a month. These were 
times of joy and refreshing to my soul. 

But my every-day life was not so pleasant. My 
child was about two months old, was seldom well, 
and ^\-as exceedingly cross and fretful. I had no 
help whatever. Mr. White was doing so much for 
me, I could n't ask him to do more. For five months 
I never knew what it was to have one peaceful 
night's repose." I had no light at night hut what 
my fire supplied ; and whatever attentions my suf- 
fering child required, I had to bestow in the dark, 
and guided by the sojise of feeling alone. And be- 
sides attending to liim and doing all my housework, 
I was compelled to card, spin, and weave every yard 
of cloth that we used — clothing, bedding, table- 
linen, and napkins of every kind. 

A sugar-trough was the best substitute for a cra- 
dle that I could afibrd. I could rock this while card- 
ing, but when I went to spin, I was obliged to leave 
the child to himself, and then he would cry till his 
cries seemed to tear my very brain. Pressed by the 
urgency of our necessities, and the amount of my 
work, I was exceedingly anxious to push it forward; 
the wails and sobs of the babe, however, at last be- 
came too much for a mother's heart, then I would 
drop the unlluished roll to quiet him, only to go 
over the same round presently again. Then, over- 
come with sorrow and perplexity, T would sit down 
and mingle my cries, and sobs, and torrents of bit- 
ter tears with his. 

At length, when the thread fur my cloth was com- 

Tin-j ]'j:v. Joii\ JOHNSON. 113 

jilcted, I would go over to father's — n, distance, as 
bclbi'O stated, of nearly tliroo miles — to "weave it. 
This was always a joyful trip to inc. I could there 
leave my child in tlie care of my mother, or sister, 
while I wove my cloth in peace. The antici})ation 
of this tri})-as it drew near made my very heart 
glad, and cheerfully and lightly did I step along | 

wnen all was ready, althonirh I had to walk and '*, 

carry the child on one arm, and my huge hanks ot ,' 

yarn upon the other. | 

To make my lot still worse, I had not a sufhcieuc}- ; 

to cat. It took nearl}' all the money we had at the ■ 

close of the last year to take us to Conference and < 

back, and with the remainder Mr. Johnson liad i 

bought a few cabbages and turnips, and paid in ad- ! 

vance for meal enough to make my bread, and ' 

bought some meat. Flour was a luxury — like sugar | 

and coffee — not to be thought of except on Sunday 
mornings, and seldom enjoyed even then. The • 

meal and the vegetables were duly forthcoming; : 

but fi'om some cause or other, the meat never came ; 

to hand. Fortunately, Jimmy George, a very kind I 

neighbor, chanced to send us a shoulder of bacon, - 

and this was all the meat I had in the house for six 
months! Corn -bread, and cabbages or turnips, !. 

boiled with a little piece of meat as large as ray | 

thumb — and this boiled over and over till it would 
fairly l\ill to pieces — this was my diet for all those I 

long and dreary months. 

I scarcely know whether it was from pride — be- 
cause ray parents had advised me not to marry — or 
from an unwillingness to give them pain, bntl care- ' 


i fullj concealed from them the worst of our condi- 
tion. Our bed, upon its home-made, scafibld-like 
j frame, I managed to have looking neat; the floor I 
i kept scrupulouslj clean hy periodical scouring; I 
j set my chair on one side of the fire-place, and the 
other — Ave had but two — opposite, so as to look as 
if some one had been there; my sugar-trough cradle 
was always bright; my pot, skillet, and tea-kettle — 
all the cooking utensils I had — sat cozily on the 
hearth; and I tried to arrange Mr. Johnson's trunk, 
that contained tlie books, and the shelf, whore I 
kept all manner of clotliing, and the other little 
shelf that an.■^^^-orod for a cupboard, and the meal- 
sack, and the spinning-wheel, so as to give the room 
as much as possible the appearance of being fur- 
nished and comfortable. 






In all these six long mouths I never saw my hus- 
band hut one single time. lie had then preached 
twice a day for four days, so gaining four to come -. 

down ; staid all night, and started hack, coming and ; 

going at the rate of fifty miles a day. I would not f 

distress him by telling him that our meat had not 
come ; and as for making money to buy, it was all 
I could do to get sewing to do for the neighbors ])y 
taking my pay in cotton and wool, and all the time 
I could spare for such work was scarcely sufficient 
to furnish enough of those articles to make our 
needful clothing. 

Mr. Johnson had been gone something over two 
months, when he wrote me the following letter: 

" Decomljer 31, 1815 — 9 o'clock at night. 

"My Beloved Companion: — After preaching and 
riding near twenty miles, I once more grasp my pen, 
(at this late hour, as the mail leaves Gallatin to- 
niorrow, and I have yet about twenty-five miK's to 
nde before I can get there.) to communicate a 
thonglit or two more to you. 

"The tedious period of absence is yet prolonged. 


The prcaelier I expected to take my place here, 
being nmvell, is not able at tins time\o do sc, but 
expects to be able by the 22d of January. So I 
think you may calculate on seeing me, if God will 
permit, on the 28tli of January ; nor shall any thing 
but affliction or death keep mc longer from you. I 
expect to visit the post-ollice again to-morrow, and 

how glad I should be to tind even a line there 
from you ! I have not received one sentence from 
you since I left you. I know you have not forgot- 
ten mc, nor could I ever forget you and our dear 
little one while mind or mcnioiy lasts. May we 
always reniember and pray iov each other, until we 
meet to part no more ! Trulj-, 

Love is the ruling p:issioa of the mind, 
Owns no superior, by no la-\Ys confined, 
But triumphs still, impationt of control, 
O'er all the grand endowments of the soul. 

'Love conquers all things, and let us yield to love.' 
'Love is the fubilling of the law.' 'Beloved let us 
love one another.' But ht us love the Lord our 
God with all our ransomed powers, and let us suf- 
fer and die for his sake, if need be, that we may live 
with him in heaven eternally. Little do I care what 

1 suffer in this world, so I may be happy with you in 
the next. 

"I expect to take my station in the Ked Biver 
Circuit after the last of January. They do sa^- I 
must needs y;o io General Conference, but I know 
not what I shall do. I wish to do the will of God 
in all things. AVhilst far IVom each other, let us 


live near llic Lord. I liopo you ^vill pray mucli, 
and seek your ouly comfurt in religion. And be- 
lieve mc, as c^'er, your alFeetionatc liusl)and, 

"John Johnson." 

The cliange alluded to in tlie letter, by wliicli Mv. 
dolin<ou was to take the lied Eiver Cireuit, Avherc 
he would have been a great deal nearer to us, was 
never accomplished. His election to General Con- 
ference M'as defeated by the jealousy of Peter Cart- 

At the end of five months of the Conference- 
year, ]Mr. Johnson wrote to mc that he could no 
longer bear this separation from mc and our little 
one; that one more round would complete the half 
of his year's work ; that he would then come down 
after me, and I must spend the remainder of the 
year among his relatives on the circuit. The days 
now seemed to pass slowly ; yet the hope of being 
once more, for a time at least, a united family, 
cheered my heart; and the long and lonely silence 
of my room — silent but for the humming of the 
wheel, or the crying of the child — was again broken 
by the frequent sound of cheerful songs, as I had 
Bung them in younger years. At the appointed time 
he came. We packed up the little we had of this 
world's goods, whicli we could not carry with us, 
and left them in charge of old Air. AVhite. Mr. 
Johnson had traded for an old gig: into tl.l- we 
got, with a trunk or so, went over to father's and 
Ktaid all night, then set ofi' for Goose Creek. I 
was very liappy as we rode along together, though 


it was somcwliat inconvenient to knit nil the time, 
as I did, with the babe in my arms. 

I preferred to go with Mr, Johnson on his rounds, \ 

and tried to do so, though I many times had to re- ] 

main at one place till he came bark from another, i 

that could only be reached on horseback. But I i 

grew tired of this after a round or two, and as much i 

as I disliked to impose upon friends, we arrano-ed \ 

that T sliould spend the rest of the year in alternate 
weeks with his brothers and sister. These all lived ; 

near together, about four miles from Gallatin, were -• 

lively companions, and exceedingly kind. They ! 

furnished me as much cotton as I could spin. I •? 

saw }ilr. Johnson often, and the time passed quite | 

happily. I 

I must here record a story they told us of old Mr. i 

Stone, Brother Lewis Johnson's fother-in-law. "Wlieii f 

he first came to Sumner county, he found a pretty 
good log-church in the neighborhood, but no soci- j 

cty. From removals and dissensions, the society f 

which built the house had been broken up; the | 

preachers no longer carno to preach; the paths to 
the church were grov.-n up, and the house itself 
looked ruinous and desolate. The old man deter- 
mined to start a prayer-mccting. He announced to 
the neighbors that there ^^'ould be a l.irayer-meetinf^ 
at the meeting- house on the followin<:^ Sunday 
moniing, and regul;u-]y ou every Sunday morniu'i- 
thereaficr. \ 

At the ap})ointed hour he went, hoping, as lie j 

walked along the grass-grown path, for the dav/n of I 

better days. ITo went to the house — went in and 


THE llEV. J0]1N JOIIXSON. 119 

sat down. ISTobody canio. ]Tis own cliildrcu were 
iiuirncd, and his wife was neither so active nor so 
f^anguinc a.s lie ; so lie came alone, and remained 
alone. He read a chapter of Holy AVrit, sang one 
of the old songs that he used to sing in times gone 
hy, and prayed, imploring the assistance and the 
blessing of God with all the fervency of his pious 
soul. IFc became happy, and went home, singing 
as he went, for joy. The next Sabbath the same 
thing occurred: nobody came; and he read, sang, 
and prayed till he was happy. The third Sab- 
bath was spent in like manner, and with a like 

Some young people now thought they would 
"drop in" and see what the old man was doing. 
Ilis meeting was the same, with a few^ words of 
exhortation to the spectators. The novelty of the 
atVair began to excite an interest, and in two or 
three months the visitors filled the house, and among 
tliem were many who would help to sing, and a few 
who would pray in public. Then an interest in re- 
ligion began to be awakened, a protracted meeting 
was determined upon, the services of a minister 
were secured, and in due time a glorious revival was 
in fall progress. And although the old man was 
quite old when he began his unpromising work, yet 
lie lived to see the Church reestablished there, and 
moi-e than one hundred members in the society. 

^[r. John.sou's mother, as before remarked, re- 
joiced greatly that our lot had been cast in her vi- 
cinity, Initthe poor old lady was not spared to enjoy 
our company to the end of the year. Increasing 


age rdul afllictions liad brought Lcr cIo^Yn to tlic 
couch from wliicli slic was never more to rise, yet 
we had little apprehension of immediate danger. 
Her disease, however, soon assumed a violent char- 
acter, and in a few days it became evident that she 
could not survive. Mr. Johnson being at one of his 
most distant appointments, we sent for him, and he 
came in liaste. Alas, the remedies and the tender 
assiduities employed to relieve her sufferings fliiled, 
and on arriving, he found her just entering upon 
the struggle with the last enemy! 

Ilis company had ever been a source of boundless 
satisfaction to her, and was especially so as she now 
drove down to the gates of death. She was per- 
fectly rational, lie conversed with her a while, ad- 
ministering the consolations of religion, and receiv- 
ing from her the assurance tliat her sky was clear, 
and her soul happy. Her children stood around her 
bed. The withered face shone with a brightness 
that could have come from no other source than 
heaven. Mr. Johnson knelt down to pray; prayed 
a while, and sorrow choked his utterance; a^-ain 
proceeded, and again was stopped by the flood of 
grief that welled up from his great and loving heart. 
This he did the third time, when all in the house, 
as if with one consent, burst forth into violent sobs 
and convulsive weeping; making, altogether, the 
most complete scene of uncontrollable sorrow that 
I ever saw. And it was lit and right, fori never 
knew a more aflVdionute mother, nor one that was 
regarded by her children with so tender a veneration. 
But the struggle was soon over, and she passed 


away (o lier everlasting rest. She was buried oa 
llie following clay, with every token of filial love and 

Daring the last three weeks that we spent here, 
oar habe was suffering very greatly and constantly 
from a "rising" on the knee, lie could scarcely 
bear to bo moved, and with all my attentions, I 
could scarcely get him an liour's quiet rest in the 
t\venty-four. I was much hurried' at the same time 
to make up the cloth I had just woven, so as to be 
ready for the trip to Conference and to father's, and 
1 had no help about either nursing or sewing. The 
child usuallj' slept best in the- latter part of the 
night, and I had to rise about 2 o'clock to make the 
most of this opportunity to work; and then my 
light was such as I have already described — a piece 
of saucer fdled with " skimmings," and having a 
strip of soft rag for a, wick. Yet, 'by persevering 
cllbrts, I succeeded in comideting m\' work by tlic 
end of the year. And I must say of my work for 
that year, that 1 don't think it would be possible 
for any one to accomplish it with much less strength 
of body or of determination than I brought to the 





I REMAINED at fhtlior's wliile ]Mr. Johnson attended 
Conference, ^Yhicll was held at Franklin, Tenn., in 
October, 181G. Mr. Johnson was appointed to Liv- 
ingston Circuit, and his Presiding Elder was James 
Axley. Axley had been in this vicinity in passin'^* 
from other appointments to the home of his fother 
in Livingston county. A^hen my father met with 
him, after he came upon the District, he said, 
"James, I suppose they have made thee Elder?" 
"Yes," said Axley, in the slow, deep tones peculiar 
tQ the man, and so full of humor when he wished ; 
"they were bad olf!" I then approaclicd, and 
offered him my hand, saying, "Jirother Axley, have 
you forgotten me?" "No," said he, in comic re- 
proachfulncss, "but you went and got married ! " 

AVc were greatly pleased with the appointment 
for this year, and yet it proved to be a year of exces- 
sive labor, privation, and anxiety to me. Mr. John- 
son niade an arrangement with CJcorge Simms for a 
room, somewhat like that which lie had made with 
Mr. White in the former part of the preceding 
vear. This, too, was in the same neighborhood 


■williMr. AVhite — tliat is, not more tlian a couple of 
miles distant. On leaving White's the precedingyear, 
1 told onr class-leader to let my name stand on the 
class-book, and when he came to it, to ask the class 
lo pray for me. I was glad, when I found that our 
lot wa3 cast in the same vicinity, that ni}' name had 
not been removed. 

Little occurred to disturb the even tenor of our 

lives for two or three months, when Mr. Johnson 

bought a little farm, about live or six miles uortli 

of I'rinccton, Ivy. He liad long been laying up 

money out of our scanty receipts, for the purpose 

of securing a home, and an opportunity occurring 

for him to purchase this place — known as the ]3odds 

place — on good terms, he considered it the best he 

could "do to buy it. Here we promised ourselves 

much happiness, having, for the first time, a home. 

True, we had but a poor cabin to live in, and little 

to put in it, yet there was a pleasure in feeling that 

it was ours. "\Ve were not able, for a long time, to 

buy any thing in the form of furniture, as wc 

needed all our means to get " a little start of stock." 

Every cup has its ingredient of bitterness. AVe 

t lived, indeed, in the bounds of Mr. Johnson's work, 

1 but his circuit was about forty-five miles in extent 

1 — in diameter, I mean — and he had an appointment 

for nearly every day. He was, in consequence, al)lc 

to be at home only one night in two weeks, and 

then he had to ride twenty miles to reach his next 

api>ointmeut. Tlie house whore we lived was a 

j niile from the nearest neighbor's, and one and a 

half to two miles from houses in other directions; 



and there was an air of loneliness aljout tlic place 
that made my heart sick; and to make the dreari- 
ness of my situation more terrible, I was not in a 
condition in which it was safe to be long and en- 
tirely alone. Mr. Johnson generally arranged to 
have a girl— white or black— to stay with me, 
j though they were generally small and of little 
I service to me. 

i Kever shall I forget the first visit 1 made from 

I this place to father's. We had not been absent 

' more than a couple of months in the solitudes, but 

I on coming within sight of the old home, so many 

I recollections of former happy days rushed into my 

I mind, so many memories of recent days of toil and 

■| anguish that, utterly overcome, I burst into tears 

and sobbed aloud as we rode along the old famil- 
iar wa3'.. I remained for a month, and returned to 
! ■ our wilderness home with a little cherub-daughter 
I in my arms. As the son liad received my father's 

I name, the daughter received that of Mr. Johnson's 

mother — Elizabeth Foster 

Words can hardly tell how drearily my days 
passed, alone in the woods, and not a person to bo 
seen from week to week but two or three little chil- 
dren ; for the only liclp that we were able to em- 
ploy vvas generally a child. Spring soon came 
around. Though I suppose the sun shone as 
■ brightly, and the birds sang as clieerily, there as 
elsewhere, yet it seemed to me tliat the sounds I 
heard the most were the moanings of the doves by 
day, the whirring of the frogs at dusk, and the min- 
gled notes of the owl and whip-poor-will by night. 



Mr. JoJmsoii labored assiduously on his farm, 

tiiough lie liad but little time to do it. lie resolved 

to raise a crop— no easy task with twenty-eight ap- 

pointmcnts to fill and three hundred miles to travel 

111 the course of every month. He changed some 

ol' his appoi)itments, so as by preachino:^twice on 

one day in every week, to have two davs at home 

m two weeks, lie tried to arranire those so as to 

have moonlight nights at home. Xo sooner could 

he reach home than he hastened out into the field, 

and, if the moonlight lasted so long, labored till 10 

ov 11 o'clock, or even till 12 at night. At other 

times ho retired early, and was out at his plow from 

tu-o to three liours before day, when the moon was 

HI Uio wane. In this way he managed to repair the 

Ixnldings and fences, clean up the grounds, and 

^vlth his own hands raise fourteen acres of corn, 

tv.-o acres of tobacco, and an abundance of ve-cta- 

blcs for the table. "^ 

Much of the time when he was at home I would 
i'asten tiirough my morning's housework, would o-q 
;"it into the field or the "patch," leave our little 
I'oy and his baby-sister on a blanket or an old piece 
|; quilt, and labor side by side with Mr. Johnson 
"I time came for me to run home and prepare our 
''•'igal meal. Mr. Johnson insisted that I should 
i-f^rnain at the house. I told him I was both willino- 
«'"l able to help him, that I did not know what o!- 
J'^;"^^- to do when ho was absent, and besides, that I 
^^ '^hed to be, as much as I could, in his companv. 
^^'ily a mother can know any thing about my feel- 
'"Ss as I returned from my round of labor, ilnishod 


rny "row," and clasped the little, helpless, dcseitcd- 

I looking hnbe to raj^ bosom ! 

I Mr. Johnson, from his conversion to his death, 

I never failed to kneel by his bedside in secret prayer, 
both morning and night. lie labored so hard and 

I incessantly through the day that he Avas often too 
much exhausted to sleep. Sometimes, however, 
after hard labor from before daylight till late at 
night, he seemed to be almost asleep upon his feet; 
, and on more occasions than one, he fell fast asleep 

I . while kneeling for secret prayer at the bedside. 
After he had remained so long upon his knees that 
I was sure he was asleep, I proceeded to waken him, 
with such mingled emotions that I scarcely knew 
whether to laugh or to weep. 

We scarcely saw any company at all, except at 
long intervals some preacher on his way to a quar- 
terly meeting. Of these, perhaps none came oftencr 
than our Elder, Brother James Axley, and certainly 
none could be more welcome than he. Always so- 
cial, always kind, always religious, it was always a 
pleasure to be in his company. On one occasion 
when he came, I had no help but a careless and idle 
girl, M-hose principal business was smoking dried 
leaves in a cob-pipe. AV'e had a pleasant evening 
in Axley's company; in the night, however, I was 
attacked with what is commonly known as "Aveed 
in the breast," and next morning was very sick. 
I arose and prepared breakfast, my whole frame 
burning with fever, and 0, how painful Avas my 
head ! Our supplies were scanty enough, and I sent 
the girl to milk, that I might sooner have breakfast 



rcatl y, and liave the milk for the tal)le. After a long 
stay, slie came swinging the empty pail, and laugh- 
ing immoderately at the cow's having kicked over 
all the milk. Still, I did the best I could, and tried 
to be cheerful. Brother Axlcy, who was a man of 
tender sympathies, seeing that I was unwell, in- 
quired what ailed me, and on my telling him, he 
said, "Well, Sister Johnson, your time is too hard! " 
Then turning to ]\Ir. Johnson, he added, earnestly, 
"Brother Johnson, your wife's time here is too 
hard ! it is too hard ! If I was you I would not go 
oft" and leave her; I'd stay with her when she's 
sick, anyhow!" Mr. Johnson looked exceedingly' 
sad ; so I tried to look as cheerful as possible, and 
told him to go on and trust to Providence, as, no 
doubt, I'd soon be well again. Still, as he bade me 
good-bye, and started awa^^, his voice trembled, and 
I saw tears running freely down his face. 

The autunin was at this time far advanced ; we 
hml .^oveial head of cattle, sheep, and hogs, which it 
was necessary to feed, and our corn was yet ungath- 
ered in the field. To gather enough corn to feed 
the stock morning and evening, suited the Tomboy 
disposition of our girl pretty well, and aided me 
much; but in less than a week after Brother Axley 
and Mr. Johnson left, the girl went away, and all 
this work devolved upon me. The weather was, for 
the season, very cold, wet, and disagreeable. I got 
U}» and made my fire every morning, seldom — as 
every nursing woman will understand — Avith dry 
clothes; prepared my little, frugal meal of corn- 
bread, meat, milk, and cold vegetables; hurried 


tlirong-h the old routine of Jiouscwork, and got 
ready for tlic labors of the day. And the first task 
was to trust one child to tlie care of the other, 
hasten to the field and gather corn to feed the stock. 
I had, for want of better conveniences, to gather it 
in my apron, bring it to the fence— a tall fence with 
stakes and riders— pitch it through the fence, climb 
over and gather it up, and finally, distribute it to 
the stock. It took two trips of this kind every 
morning, and two every evening, to get out feed for 
all ; and between trips J ran to the house for a hasty 
glance at the poor children, to see if all was safe. 
■ In due time Mr. Johnson came around, borrowed 
a wagon and team, hired a boy, and housed the corn. 
He also engaged the boy to come over daily and 
feed the stock. 




The Conference was good enough to send Mr. 
Johnson back to the same work the following j-ear. 
TJiis saved us from sacriiScing the little property 
we had accumulated, and still allowed '^h\ Johnson 
to be at home once in two weeks. His work was 
not diminished, and the scanty receipts from the 
circuit were not sensibl}^ increased. I find the fol- 
lowing memorandum of receipts for three cpiartcrs, 
from which I suppose that he must have received 
about §G0 in the course of the year: "Adams's, 
81 50; Xcaly's, .50; Jarrel's, .50; Minner's, ^2 00; 
llohson's, $1 25; Hail's, §2 00; Traylor's, $1 50; 
Young's, §1 75; Cochran's, .25; total, first quarter, 
$11 25. Second quarter— Reed's, $1 25; Sand Lick, 
.75; Rhodcs's, $1 00; Cochran's, .25; Xealy's, .50; 
Mitchell's, ^1 50; Young's, §1 00; Hail's, $2 50; 
Jarrel's, .50; total, §9 25. Third quarter— Adams's, 
$1 50; Young's, $2 50; Ilobson's, $2 75; Brown's, 
§5 00; Hail's, §52 37i-; Rhodcs's, U 12^^; Traylor's, 
.50; Xealy's, .75; Jarrel's, $1 25; Rec"d's, $2 G2J ; 
total, $20 -37^." The other preaching-places arc 
marked . 

^Vg had little to live on — little, I moan, except 


the meat, bread, and vcgclaLIos that wc raised 
on tlio farm; and I saw or licard but little of the 
worhl. A preacher stopped now and then, seldom 
anybody else ; and the only luxury "vve ever indulged 
was a cup of coiFcc on such occasions. !Mr. Johnson 
would buy a dollar's worth — one pound of coffee 
and two of sugar — about once in two months, and 
most of the time this scanty supply lay untouched 
upon the shelf. 

The first winter of this second year was unusually 
cloudy and dismal. Never shall I forget one day 
of special gloom. I was very unwell, and the 
clouds were thick and dark, and the snow was fall- 
ing so fiist that I could scarcely see any object a 
dozen rods. Mr. Johnson, too, was far from being 
well; and for the first time, I begged him, for his 
own sake as well as for mine, not to go. lie said 
that, if he staid a day longer, he must disappoint a 
dozen congregations; and if taken down sick upon 
the way, he should at least feel that he had done all 
he could. Tears went coursing down my face in 
spite of my cflorts to keep them back. I "fixed 
him up" as comfortably as I could, and he started, 
groaning heavily, and ever and anon brushing aside 
the drops that blinded his eyes; and I was alone 
with the babes. It really seemed to me that I could 
not bear to be so long alone, in such dreary weather 
and in such a dreary place. After he was gone, I 
•washed and dressed the children, "cleaned up the 
house," as we expressed it, and then went out beside 
the house, and none but God can ever know with 
what tears of bitter anguish I poured out my soul 


Leforc liim. Then a rcpijiing feeling would come ; 
over me, and I wished that I had never left the I 
happy liome of my childhood, so bright in memory ] 
in contrast with the gloom of the present. Finally, | 
I came into the house, hoping the Lord would guide J 
inc lo some comforting promise in his blessed word. j 
I took up the Bible, opened it, nnd the first passage ? 
my eye rested npou was — Eccl. vii. 10 — "Say not > 
thou, What is the cause that the former days were j 
better than tliese? for thou dost not inquire wisely ,^ 
concerning this." I felt rebuked, earnestly be- ! 
sought the Lord to forgive me and grant mc a spirit 
of resignation, and even there, in our lonely cabin, | 
amid the gloom of the desert, I realized that there ^ 
is no spot of earth so dark but v/hen God saj's, "Let j 
there be light," there is light. 

I was very subject to what we called sick-headache, | 
the jtaroxysms very greatly affecting my mind, my I 
vi.^ion, and in fact my whole system. One whole j 
day I suflered from a severe attack; and ]\[r. John- i 
Kon and Brother Axley came in at evening, Axley, j 
of course, on his way to a quarterly meeting. I told ; 
them liow I had been suflering, and remarked that 
even then my voice sounded strange to me as if it 
were not I that was speaking, and cvcrj' thing I saw 
Rcemed to be at an immense distance from me. 
Axley seemed to pay no attention to this remark, 
and after an early supper I went to bed. Of 
course, as we had but one room in the house, our 
K'lest was to occupy it with us, a tempoi-ary parti- 
tion being supplied by hanging up a sheet between 
the beds. Axley and Mr. Johnson sat up long, con- 


versing by tlic fire. Mv. Johnson told Axlcy that 

he had to preach the funeral of old Brother Trovery, 

and was requested to take the text, "Thy sun shall 

no more go down," etc. lie asked Axley to give 

him some thoughts upon it. lie accordingly began, 

i and I think I never heard such a strain in my life 

i as he poured forth, in his own solemn, slow, and 

I measured cadences, for about half an hour. .He, 

I and Mr. Johnson, and myself, all grew happy as he 

j dwelt upon that blessed relief from pain and sorrow. 

"Then," said he, turning to me as I lay, "then, 

Sister Johnson, wc won't see things away off, after 

I we taste the leaves of that tree that is for the healins" 

i of the nations; and our voices won't seem strange 

•j to us, without it 's from the way they ring with the 

1 music of glory !" 

f The labors of the circuit, the field, and the house- 

I hold for this year, were but a repetition of those of 
j the last ; but there was one night of trial, an account 
of which I beg leave to give. 

An old woman came to our house one day, and 

j proposed to stay with me for nothing, except, in- 

j deed,' her victuals. She looked like a grave, quiet 

j old lady, and I was glad to have her stay. She was 

' very large and fleshy, weighing, I should suppose, 

over two hundred pounds. She was quite taciturn, 

seldom uttered a word, but was kind and agreeable, 

and would ply her knitting or cards from morning 

till night. I never did learn what her name was, 

where she came from, where her friends lived, or 

what she expected to do in the future. Indeed, I 

soon began to regard her with a kind of supcrsti- 


lious fear, as if not feeling quite sure that she was 
really a liuman being. 

She liad been with me but a few days, and Avas 
one evening sitting under a tree in the yard knit- 
ting, for it was one of those very pleasant days that 
sometimes visit us in early spring. {She had Iteen 
sitting there for two or three hours, when, about 
sundown, I looked out, and she had either left her 
chair or fallen from it, and lay prostrate upon the 
grass— the green and dry together making a tliick 
coat of it upon the ground. I went out to rouse her, 
supposing she had iallen asleep, and found her com- 
pletely insensible, and her breathing very slow and 
heavy. I knew not what was the matter, nor Avliat 
to do. I suppose her affection was apoplexy, ]>iit 
this I then knew nothing about. Every etlort to 
rouse lier being in vain, there was no resort Iclt uic 
but to tr^' to get her into the house as she wa.-^. 

The sun was now down, and feeble as I then was, 
it was out of the question to thiidc of carrying two 
children a mile, and threading alone the il)otputh 
through the woods in the dusk of evening. ])ut 
■what could I do witli two hundred or two liundrcd 
and forty pounds? Yet the trial m.ust be made. 1 
lifted one limb at a time, then taking hold of Irt 
arms, tried to pull her toward the house. Moving 
the head and then the feet, I gained ground slowly, 
but at last got her to the door. Exerting all my 
power, I raised her to a sitting posture, tumbled 
her in at the door, and, after many cliorts, succeeded 
in dragging her in upon the floor. The best that 
was practicable then was to make a pallet and roll 


her upon it, and there let her lie in peace, for I 
: every moment expected her to die, and that I should 
I have to sit up alone with the dead. 

In the pause that ensued after making her as com- 
fortable as I could upon the pallet, I heg-uu to real- 
[ jze the horrors of my situation. Always timid in 
' the night, a mile from any other family, no candle 
or other light, not much wood, nobody to help me, 
alone with two little children, and with a mysterious 
[ stranger that I was afraid of and believed to be 
I dying! But I liastily gathered a little light-wood 
and brush to start a light in the night if needed, 
i and ate a few morsels of cold bread and milk for my 
I supper. 

.! By the time I had got the children quietly to bed, 
I and turned to see if I could do any thing for the 
I poor woman, her slow and heavy breathing had 
I ceased, and I was appalled to find her dead ! If I 
j was afraid of her while living, I was horrified at her 
I now as she lay, a huge, unwieldy corpse, dimly dis- 
; cernible in the faint light of the few coals upon the 
licarth. Fearful of becoming insane, 1 tried to 
I compose myself, and la}^ down to sleep. Xo — not 
I to sleep! After lying for an hour or so, as I verily 
! believe on the verge of insanity, I was startled by 
I that most terrible sound that ever fell upon a moth- 
i er's car — the unmistakable breathings of croup! 
; My fire had burned down, I had no candle, no lamp 
— matches, of course, were unknown; and I had no 
earthly remedy at hand. Uttering a heart-felt prayer 
for mercy, I sprang up, raked out the coals from 
the ashes with in tj fingers, and hurriedly made a little 


firc of my brubh-woocl. I then ran frantically into 
the garden in the pitchy darkness, stumbling and 
braising myself at almost every step, and by feeling, 
or rather scmtch'mg, about, I found some ground-ivy 
and other herbs that wc used for nearly every kind 
of sickness. To bring these in, and pick out the 
Avccds l)y the light of a feeble blaze that had Jiow 
sprung up, and to prepare the tea, was the work of 
a few minutes; and the use of this tea, with bathing 
and friction, was all that I was able or knew how 
to do. 

My boy's breathing now became exceedingly diili- 
eult, and so loud it might have been heard at the 
distance of fifty yards or more. It would liave been 
no surprise whatever for any breath to have been 
his last. Mothers ! can you conceive the fear and 
a]]guish that wrung my heart in that fearful hour? 
To make matters still worse, my baby awoke, and 
from that time till daylight I spent every moment 
citlicr in tryii^g to quiet my baby, or in trying to do 
Bomething to save the life of my boy, who I still 
believed was going to die. At some time in the 
night, a loud, unearthly moan came from what I 
had supposed to be the corpse of the woman; and I 
^believe this frightened me as much as any thing that 
occurred that night. It was as frightful to be in 
doubt whether she was dead or alive, as to be sure 
that she was dead. 

The night slowly Avore away, ^ly boy AS'as sojuo 
better, and the woman, to my surprise, was still 
filivc. After a liasty breakfiist of cold scraps, weak 
nnd exhausted as I was, I took one child on cnch 


arm and walked to our neighbor's to ask for help. 

j He came back with me, and wc found tlie old 

• woman d^ing. She lingered through the day, and 

died about sundown. The neighbor went away to 

get help, as he said, to sit up with the corpse. He 

j failed to return, however; and there I was, with no 

! company but my babes, one of whom was yet sick, 

and no light but the feeble glimmer of the fire; and 
I had had so little time to collect wood, that two or 
three times I had to leave my babes and run out 
into the darkness to gather sticks. And, dear 
reader, being by nature one of the most timorous 
creatures in the world, no heart can know how I 
was tortured with fears that night! Xext day, the 
neighbors came in, made a box, and gave her an 

[■ unceremonious burial. 

j ■ I was afraid to ask Mr. Johnson to locate; indeed, 

I durst not do it. My hardships and distress over- 
■ came me. My hopes of a settled home and its joys 
were blasted and gone. 1 was utterly disheartened. 
Hysteria took hold upon me, with frequent chokino-s 
and pains about the stomach or epigastrium the 
most insupportable that I ever felt. I had carefully 
concealed the mental and physical pain that I suf- 
fered, but Mr. Johnson saw that I was wearino* awav, 
more than suspected the cause, and had determined 
to locate. Without saying a word upon the subject 
to me, he had arranged all his business to quit the 
itinerant life. 

His last round was at length completed, and he 
liad a few days to work on the farm witliout inter- 
ruption. The day on which he must start to Con- 


fercncc, if he went at all, was at hand : he said 
nothing about going, and I suspected his design. 
Mr, Johnson went out to liis work. I went to m}^ 
place of secret devotion, and earnestly, from a full 
heart, besought the Lord to guide nie into the way 
I ought to pursue. I returned greatly comforted, 
went out with a light heart to where jSIr. Johnson 
was building what we called a fodder-house for the 
benefit of the sheep in winter, and the following 
conversation took place : 

"jMy dear, are jou not going to Conference?" 

"Why, no, child; I have made all the arrange- 
ments necessary to locate, and there is now no 
necessity for me to go." 

"jS^ow, Mr. Johnson, do you really intend to lo- 
cate? I am afraid you will regret that step after 
you take it." 

"Wliy should I? I can still preach; and it is 
too hard for you and our precious little ones to lead 
Bo lonely and comfortless a life, and I do n't intend 
y(»u shall do it if I can help it. I can't stand it any 
longer. My heart has ached many a time for your 
sulferings, and I intend to stay at home and make 
you and the children a home as comfortable as I 
can make it." 

"a^ow, Mr. Johnson, I have no idea that you'll 
be satisfied. After the press of your work is over, 
and you have a little time for reiiection, I have no 
doubt you will long to be in the work again. So 
you had better go along to Conference, and let the 
good Lord take care of me and the children." 

"My dear, how can I. go? I've already sent up 


my request for a locatiou : if I go, I ought to start 
day after to-morrow morning; and you see I cau't 
even get this Ibddcr-liouse done to-day." 

"I cau help you. I can help you carry out the 
fodder and tops tliat are yet in the field, and I can 
hand thoni up to you as well as anybody, so you can 
get it done to-day. Then the crop will all be safe, 
for a while at least, and you can go to Conference 
as well as not." 

" What then ? AVhom could I now get to stay with 
3'ou till I go and return ? I have received but little 
I this year, and have spent nearly all of it in getting 
y a few things, and repairing the houses; and I do n't 
believe I 've got enough left to bear my expenses to 

"Well, Brother Rhodes's boys will feed for us, 
and I '11 go and stay at fother's. Or, as I would like 
to pay your relatives a visit, I ^^'ill cook enough to- 
morrow for us to eat on the road : we can stop at 
Brother Overshiner's at Ilopkinsville, and our ex- 
penses will hardly amount to any thing." 

After a pause and a few minutes' rellection, with 
some surprise that I should favor his continuance 
in the itinerancy, Mr. Johnson said : 

"Well, I'll go. I'm determined to locate; but 
I'll go to Conference." 

So, throwing down a few bundles for the children 
to tumble upon, we worked that day with might 
and main, and got tho f(.)ddor-houso done, and all 
the fodder and tops secured ; and by an hour by 
sun on the appointed day, we Avere all in the old 
gig rumbling — or rather, rattling and screeching — 


along on the road toward Ilopkinsville. 1 went to 
^ his rehitivcs in Sumner coui^tj, Tenu. — or what 

remained of them, for two or three families had re- 
moved to Illinois — and Mr. Johnson went on to 




Up to this time it liad never occurred to my mind 
that Air. Johnson was any tiling more than an ordi- 
nary preacher, thougli I knew him to he a good, a 
devoutly pious man. The events of this Conference, 
therefore, caused me no little surprise. The Con- 
ference met atiTashvillc on the 1st of Octoher, 1818, 
Bishop McKcndree presiding. The people of Xash- 
ville sent up an immense petition praying that the 
society in that city be made a station, and that John 
Johnson bo sent to take charge of it. If the latter 
part of the petition could not he granted, they wished 
to remain a part of the circuit, or be left without a 
preacher. They said they would sui>port Mr. John- 
son, but could not, and would not, support anybody 

Bishop ^Slelvcndrce urged him to take the appoint- 
ment, as there was an opening for him to accom- 
plish good, to have his family comfortably situated, 
and to be with them. But Mr. Johnson persisted 
in his original design, took a location, came by after 
me and the children, and started immediately for 

The first night we got to !Major Turner's, near 


Galla+in. Mr. Jolmson liad been sighing and groan- 
ing at intervals all the y\'^y. I knew that he repoilcd 
having taken the step, but said nothing to him, ex- 
cept a word occasionally that I hoped might turn 
his thoughts into a more agreeable channel. He 
looked extremely anxious and sad. Groan followed 
groan. At night he lay down to rest at the usual 
hour, and slept ; but his sleep was broken and trou- 
bled, for ever and anon he uttered a groan, long, 
deep, and lieavy. At last about midnight he arose, 
and began to walk the room. And now, for the 
first time, I asked hira what was the matter. Said 
he, "I've had a dream. I thought we were driving 
the gig over a very long and high bridge, and when 
we were about midway upon it, the horse broke 
through the floor, and hung suspended by the har- 
ness. I sprang from the gig, and was trying to re- 
cover my horse, when a man on the farther shore 
shouted to me, 'Cut loose, cut loose, or you'll all 
go ! ' I cut the traces as quickly as possible, the 
horse fell into the stream with a plunge, and I 
awoke." "Now, my dear," said I, "that is plain 
warning, and you had belter take it. Cat loose at 
once. Cut loose from the world, or it will be the 
ruin of us all ! " He replied, " I hardly know what 
to do. Afterrefusiug the appointment when urged to 
take it, what can I now do ? or how can I arrange my 
affairs at home?" "Well, let me suggest," I said. 
" Write to Bishop AlcKendree and to Brother Doug- 
las, that you have concluded to take the work if 
there is no arrangement to the contrary, and will 
come on as soon as you can. Then let us go home 


and advertise at Princeton and the places of resort 
around, that you will sell tlic farm, and every tiling 
else that wc are not obliged to keep, on twelve 
months' credit, and they will readily sell for their 
full value." 

After a little reflection, he said, "I'll do it ! "— 
an expression when used by him that always meant 
as much as can be expressed in so many words. He 
wrote to Brother Douglas next morning, and he had 
scarcely reached Princeton before he received a let- 
ter from Douglas app>lauding his resolution, bidding 
him hope to do ranch good there, and urging him 
by all means to come on. Meeting Peter Cart- 
wright, his former Elder, jNIr. Johnson unbosomed 
himself completely to him, and got an abrupt and 
churlish snarl for Ids pains. " I should n't do any such 
thing," said Cartwright. "You had had warning 
enough, and if you were going at all, you ought to 
have gone at once, wdthout so much dilly-dallying. 
You 'II cut a pretty figure there now ! You rejected 
the place when it was offered to you, and what sort 
of a face can you have to come poking in at this 
time o' day ? " 

The reason of tlas snarl was Cartwright's jeal- 
ousy. He was miserable if any one seemed to be 
rising foster than he. Bishop ]\JcKendree was of a 
widely dilferent spii'it. Having heard of Mr. John- 
son's resolution, he v/rotc to encourage him, prom- 
ising to have the n[)pointment made, and duly re- 
corded in the minutes. So, at the ai>pointed day, 
we sold all that wc had of this world's goods, except 
wliat could be conveniently put in one wagon. It 



was at first a hard struggle to give up all; but after 
going to tlio blessed tbrone of grace, and pouring 
out my soul to God, I felt a svTeet resiguatiou to his 
will, and was enabled to "take joyfully" the part- 
ing with nearly every thing that I had learned to 
lovo. But wc were soon on the way to our new 
lionie. I 

AVilliam McMahon was the Presiding Elder ; yet j 
from some cause we were much more intimate with ; 
JJrothcr T. L. Douglas, then superannuated in our J 
vicinity. He was somewhat under the medium :. 
licight, considerably inclined to corpulency, but very ; 
erect in his carriage. His demeanor was grave and f 
dignified, his features handsome, and his counte- | 
nance full of benevolence. His voice was full, round, j 
and melodious, and his articulation unusually dis- 
tinct. He did not look to be so much as forty years 
of age, yet I was told that he had been preaching .. 
ibr nearly twenty years. He had been Presiding j 
Elder at Xashville four years, and after an interval 
of one year, ho again served a like period in the 
same place. I could not have thought that my poor • 
body would outlive his vigorous frame— as I suppose ■ 
I have — twenty-five years. ^ i 

At Nashville we found a comfortable home. AYe ;_ 
rented a house belonging to a young man whose | 
nan-.e I do not now remember: it was situated in a | 
suburb of the city which was known as Scuffletown, 
near Bass's tan-yard, and West's spinning-lactory. 
1 hud never been in so large a town before, and as 
wc first approached it, there sccnu'd to me to be a 
myriad of chimneys ; and even after a long stay— 


for we were there ncarl}- three years — I did not know, 
or greatly care to know, much about the town. I 
suppose the popuh^.tion was then about 3,000. It 
was an incorporated city, and contained a bank, a 
market -liousc, a college, an academy for young 
ladies, a rope -walk, two distilleries, and three 
churches — ]\Iethodist, Presbyterian, and JBaptist. 

I never met with as kind and generous a people 
as we found at Nashville. Few days indeed passed 
without some manifestation of this kindness. An 
article of dress for some of the family, some rarity 
for the table, some delicacy suited to the season 
came with every week, and almost every day. It 
tried my very heart to give up every thing to be 
sold on leaving our home in Xentucky, but I believe 
our friends in Nashville, by gifts alone, more than 
1 replaced all that I then gave up. And what a 
• contrast between our pleasant home in the busy 
I city and that of last year — a lonely cabin in the 
i wilderness ! 

j I wish particularly to mention among our friends 

\ Jo. EUiston and his family, Matthew Quinn and 
j family,- Drs. Roane and New nan, E. II. Foster, Mrs. 
] Harrison, Parson Hume, Principal of the Academ}-, 
1 Mr. Southard, or Suthard, Mrs. Ewing — but time 
j fails. I might mention a:? kind friends nearly 
t every person whose acquaintance we formed in the 
j city. 

Mr. Jcihnson kept an account of every thing that 
we bought for the table, and the Church made good 
this amount, and paid liiin the disciplinary allow- 
ance — which was then one liundred dollars to the 


preacher, tlic same for tlic support of liis wife, and 
sixteen dollars for each child under seven years of 
ugL'. So our salary, besides tabic expenses, was 
about 3232. 

This was an ample allowance, and far more than we 
liad ever received before ; yet I felt that, though rid of 
many of the diiiiculties and hardships with which I 
liad had to contend heretofore, I was still bound to 
do what I could to aid in gaining a competency, 
and, if possible, "something for a rainy day." So, 
as soon as we were settled in our new home, I set' 
out to find work to do. I soon found a hatter, 
a quiet little Methodist, whose shop was only a few 
rods from, our door, and readily made an arrange- 
ment to trim hats for him at so much apiece. This 
kind of work was done in that day, I suppose, 
exclusively by hand, and chiefly by females. I 
allotted myself the task of earning 75 cents per 
day, and so zealously did I apply myself to the 
work, and so regularly did he furnish me work to 
do, tlmt I think there were not a dozen days in the 
year that I fell short of that amount, except when 

jMr. Johnson preached twice a week, and held 
lirayer-meeting once a week, besides attending the 
class-meetings every Sabbath. ILis preaching was 
with power, was very acceptable to tlie Church, and 
attended with the best results. ]Iardly one Sab- 
bath passed without a sliout being heard in our 
cliurcli, and I think ho proaelicd no sermon that 
v/as not heard by many with tears, or other mani- 
fcstationa of deep eniotion. The Church seemed to 


be ratlicr in a state of constant and vigorous growth 
than of frequent revivals. A great number botli of 
infants and adults were baptized. I remember that 
a widow lady of the name of Snow, the mother of 
five or six children, had them all baptized at her 
house at the same time. It was a very pretty sight 
to see them all so neat and orderly, standing in a 
line in the order of their ages, as Mr. Johnson for 
their mother dedicated them to God. 

As before stated, our property in Kentucky was 
sold on a credit of twelve months, and of course at 
the end of this year it became due. We had been 
laying up money, to a limited extent truly, but to 
the utmost of our ability, during the year. 'We had 
a large gourd that would liold about a gallon, with 
the neck cut oIF — as was usual in making " soap- 
gourds" — this we kept concealed in the cellar, and 
we made it our treasury. The paper-money that 
came into our hands w^e spent for necessary sup- 
plies, but the specie, every single piece of it that 
cither of us received, w^ent into the "treasury." 
By adhering inexorably to this rule, we accumulated 
iifty dollars in specie during the year. Mr. John- 
son took this money, and w^ent down to Caldwell 
county and collected a poi-tion of the money then 
due upon his notes ; then, leaving me and the chil- 
dren at father's, he w^ent to Illinois to purchase land, 
I think that at this time he bought 200 or 240 acres, 
lying a mile or two south-east of Mt. Vernon, in 
Jellerson county. 

When he started for Illinois, Sister Rebecca and 
myself accom])anicd him to Brother Jesse rembcr- 


1011*8 — HOW Fredonia. On our way back to father's, 
whirling and rattling along i)i the old gig, we en- 
countered a lot of wagons driven by negro fellows, 
wlio seemed to us unusually large, black, and ill- 
looking. They had made a full stop in the road, 
and one of the wagons was turned upon one side, 
with two wheels up in the air. At this our horse 
was very much frightened, as we were at the ne- 
groes. I said, "Your wagon scares our horse" — 
liopiug that on this hint they would, if possi])le, 
turn it down. But one whispered to the other, and 
both looked surly, and neither of them answered 
me, or so much as moved. Rebecca was now very 
much alarmed, as indeed she had been from the 
first, and my feelings were very much like hers. 
Having at length got the gig safely past the wngon, 
Rebecca exclaimed, " Give me the child, and yini 
lay whip ! " And so I did, nor once slackened 
speed till we caine to Mrs. Fowler's — the mother, 
by the way, of the Rev. Lyttleton and Judge Wiley 
r. Fowler. 

A few days after this, my babe — which, pardon 
me, was born in ISTashville, and was a namesake of 
my mother — became sick, and was sick for several 
days, we using only herb-teas and the usual domes- 
tic remedies of the day. But at length, as she lay 
on ray lap, with eyes half closed, looking so pale, 
and thin, and sad, I became alarmed, and running 
over to a school-house near by, got a little son of 
Mr. Marshall — George, I believe — to go to Prince- 
ton for a physician. lie found one who promised 
to come, but he never came, and how sad I felt! 


"Have I indeed no friends, as well as no homo?" 
said I ; and father was nearly as much displeased as 
I. Lnt in a few days the child recovered, which 
was, perhaps, more than she would have done if 
the physician had come. 




Mr. Johnson was ngain sent to XasliYiUe by tlio 
Conference — the Tennessee Coufereuce, for the 
Kentucky Conference was not yet formed— wliich 
met at Nasliville, in October, 1819. He now pro- 
l)0scd tliat the society pay him a fixed salary, and 
dispense with the necessity for keeping accounts. 
Brother Jo. ERiston and Dr. Roane declared that 
less than a thousand dollars would not support a 
family in Xashvillc— at least it would not support 
either of theirs ; but Mr. Johnson said six liundred 
dollars would bo enough to support his family, and 
that was all he desired. At his request it was fixed 
at that amount. 

By this time the young man in whose house we 
liad been living, was married, and had need of his 
house. Mr. Johnson now rented one from E. 31. 
Foster, who, as before stated, Avas a relative ; though 
after the contract was made, and we were comfort- 
ably quartered in the house, he told Mr. Johnson 
that we should pay no rent, and besides, if wc Y'ould 
remain in Nashville, we should have a lease on the 
house and lot for ninety-nine years on the same 
terms. I do not remember the street, or number 


of the liousc — if it was numbered — but it was near 
the residence of General Carroll. I went out but 
little; I can never forget, however, the dignified 
politeness and aflability of General Carroll, as he 
almost every day passed our door; nor the extreme 
stiffness with which lawyer Hayes and Felix Grundy, 
who were also men of note, passed on without a 
motion of the head or fiicc. 

It was while we were at Nashville that Mr. John- 
son had his celebrated controversy with Yardiman. 
Vardiman was a Baptist, very learned, very 
shrewd, and very zealous. lie came down from 
Northern Kentucky, and held a series of meetings at 
Franklin, about twenty miles from Nashville. He soon 
gained a wonderful reputation ; was regarded by his 
friends as a perfect giant, cspocially in argument; a 
Goliath to be snubbed b}- no David in these ends of 
the earth. lie let loose his anathemas against the 
Methodist Episcopal Church with a most relentless 
cruelty. The Baptists actually thought he was 
going to wipe Methodism out of existence in 
Middle Tennessee. He brought his mammoth 
sponge to Nashville. He preached at night, and 
defied any man to dispute or controvert a single 
statement that he had made. j\Ir. Johnson arose 
and disputed several of tlicm. This led to a debate. 
Vardiman was pompous and defiant. The rules 
and questions were soon agreed upon, and it was 
expected the debate would continue a week or 

Vardiman spoke in the morning on the a[)pointed 
day, and then took a conspicuous seat, and pom- 


pou?]_y drew out liis paper and pencil to take notes. 
]rc grew exceedingly restless during Mr. Johnson's 
reply, but still wore a look of conifidence. In tlie 
artenioou Vardiman spoke again, and j\[r. Johnson 
replied. ISText day Yardimau was not present, and 
upon inquiry it was found, that he had left town. 

In a day or two Mr. Johnson got a note from 
Clarksvillo, stating that Vardiman M'as holding a 
series of meetings there, and making violent assaults 
upon the Methodist Episcopal Church. He set out- 
at once, and. reached Clarksville about nightfall. 
Of course he was present at Vardiman's meeting. 
Tlie redoubtable debater presented his points, defied 
the world to dispute or controvert a single ouo of 
them, and wound up by saying he had recently 
been attacked b}^ a Methodist preacher at Xashvillc 
— he had forgotten his name — and he had literally 
sponged liira out, and could sponge out any })rcachcr 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

To his unspeakable dismay, as soon as he had an- 
nounced his appointment for the next night, ^Ir. 
Johnson arose in the congregation and meekly said: 
"I will reply to what the gentleman has just been 
saying, if the friends will meet me at the Methodist 
church to-morrow at 11 o'clock." Mr. Yardirnan 
was dumbfounded, but durst not now retreat. AVith 
the best grace he could, ho stammered out — though 
hardly ever known to stammer before — that he 
would be pleased to hear what the gentleman had 
to say. lie took care, however, not to be present 
at Mr. Johnson's appointment, though it seemed us 
if everybody else was present, for the lionsc was 


crowded to overflowing. Vardlnian preached the 
following night, and left town very early the next 
morning. Mr. Johnson now thought he was done 
with hira ; hut in less than a week he got a letter 
from Ilopkinsville, earnestly requesting him to 
come down and defend the Church from the attacks 
of one ;Mr. Vardiman, who was carrying every thing 
before him. He set out in haste, and on the second 
night was in Yardiman's congregation, at Ilopkins- 
ville. As usual, at the close of the sermon, Yardi- 
man tlircw out the pompous challenge, repeating 
that he had never found a Methodist preacher that 
had the courage to meet him. Mr. Johnson arose, 
and meekly announced that he would reply to the 
gentleman at the Methodist church at 11 o'clock the 
next day. At that hour the house was crowded to 
its utmost capacity, every nook being jammed by 
persons sitting or standing in various positions. 
There too was Yardiman, the invincible hero, with 
pencil and memorandum-book in hand, seated — for 
the sake of comfort — near the door. Mr. Johnson 
began in his usual slow and deliberate style, grow- 
ing more vehement and rapid as he went on. Some- 
body had taken notes of all Yardiman's arguments 
for the past week, and to all these Mr. Johnson had 
to reply in a single discourse; and he actually 
poured forth a stream of solid logic and hot shot 
for five hours ! And it is a most remarkable fact, 
that in all that tiine, from IT a.m. to 4 p.m., not one 
soul was known to have left the house! But one, 
at least, had; for at the close A^ardiman was not 
there, having slipped out unobserved ; and he never 


was soeii again sontli of Green Eivcr as long as ]ie 
lived. As lie passed hastily through Greenville, he 
was heard to say that, truly "there were giants" 
ill the South, and. that he had never 1)een so utterly 
routed in his life, 

When Mr. Johnson returned, the Methodists 
were as exultant as the Baptists had been at 
lirst. An old Brother Harris met one of the latter, 
and said: "John, what has oecome of A^ardinian ? 
I'll guarantee I can chase him clear out of the 
United States, if I can just keep John Johnson 
after him. He runs like a rabbit!" 

I had never been baptized, having, xtcrhaps, some 
Quaker ideas on the subject, though Mr. Johnson had 
often proposed it. Many a time, in passing the limpid 
streams which flow from the hills of Kentucky and 
Tennessee, he had mentioned it; but I still re- 
garded it as not strictly necessary, and still declined. 
But after having my thoughts more fully directed 
to the subject by these discussions, light seemed to 
dawn upon me, and I requested that I might receive 
the ordinance. I was, accordingly, baptized by our 
excellent Presiding Elder, Thomas L. Douglas, to- 
gether with our two little girls, Elizabeth F. and 
Susannah T. 

Little else occurred, that I remember, to diver- 
si fy the ordinary tenor of our lives, except the little 
annoyances connected with the employment of col- 
f>rod "help." Brother Southard furnished us with 
a girl gratuitously for a part of the time, and a vicious 
ci-caturc she was. She grew more and more imi»u- 
dent until a certain evening wlien I observed her 


sulkily standing by the ilrc-placc and i-olling her 
big Avliite eyeballs up at me in a manner that made 
mc quite nervous. Two of the children were in 
bed, and I took up the other, glided out of the room, 
scaled the fence, and hastened to tell Brother South- 
ard of her movements. Slie was at the fence, in 
a yard of me, with the poker in her hand, when I 
got into the street. Southard came over in haste, 
seized her, tied licr, took lier home, and adminis- 
tered a hundred lashes on her bare back. She 
came back as good a negro as heart could wish. 

Part of the time we an old woman who was 
almost as good as a mother, both to me and the 
children ; but she had a great desire to follow the 
stylo of the rich. She declared we must have pre- 
serves to set on the table. I told her we couldn't 
aftbrd the expense. She said she could get " dezuvs " 
without any expense, and I told her to go ahead. 
So she sold a little milk in the market every morn- 
ing, and with the proceeds purchased sugar and 
fruit, and sure enough in due time set the "dezuvs" 
upon the table with a look of infinite satisfaction. 
She also frequently bogged me to lot her take the 
children with her to the meetings held for the 
negroes on Sunday evenings, and it was only when 
she came back that she told me any thing about the 
gaudy and fantastic ornamentation she had "piled 
on " them. 

I cannot refrain from giving an anecdote, before 
clo>;ing this chapter, of a good brother who figured 
i]i Tennessee about this time; and I am ni ore free 
to give it, as he often told it himself. His name 

THE REV. JOHN J0UNS02s\ 155 

was Jacob Ilearn, jind though an oddity in some 
respects, and often absent-minded, he was a man of 
irrcproacliable character, and of excellent powers 
()f mind. lie talked very slowly, and had a habit 
of frequently inserting an wispcllahlc "'n'r," or 
"ner," between his words. 

A7cll, one day Jaky was out in the woods at a 
short distance from his house, cutting Avood. By 
one of those unfortunate licks which may cause the 
l)cst of men to lose a limb, his ax glanced and 
struck squarely and with terrible force upon his 
foot. lie instantly dropped to a sitting posture, 
and seized the wounded foot with the energy of 
desperation, griping it like a vice, to prevent the 
wound's bleeding him to death. The next thing 
was to get help. "0 'n'r, Patsy!" "What do 
you want?" "Hitch old J3uck 'n'r in the sled, 
an'r fetch him out here! I've cut 'n'r my foot!" 
With all haste the obedient Patsy attached the old 
liorse to the sled, and in a few minutes was at the 
side of her poor liusbaud. But he couldn't let go 
his foot to help himself, and Patsy could not lift 
him ; she therefore was obliged to tumble and roll 
him about to the best advantage she could, he as- 
sisting with his sound foot and elbows when they 
could be brought to bear. After a great many un- 
comfortable lurches, occasionally grunting the mild 
expostulation, "0 'n'r, Patsy!" he found himself 
safe upon the sled, but wrong side up. To set him 
riglit without rolling him off was now the point. 
*'Luws 'n'r massy. Patsy! that hurts!" But the 
entreaty was not more than uttered before he was 


all right; and except a few grniits and lurclics, lie 
was broiiglit, without farther trouble, safely to the 

The point now was, to get him in at the door. 
She rolled liim off the sled with case enough to 
herself, and a "Laws 'n'r massy, Patsy!" from the 
poor wounded man ; and after a good deal of effort 
on the part of both, he rolled in heavily upon the 
floor, with another "0 'n'r, Patsy!" She dragged 
him toward tl)e fire, placed him flat upon his back, 
and elevated tlie wounded foot as high as possible 
upon a chair. Slowly, and cautiously, and wdth 
several admonitions to "I3e careful 'n'r. Patsy ! " she 
slipped off the shoe, then cautiously slipped off the 
sock, when lo ! there was not one drop of blood ! 
The shoe was cut, the sock was cut, the skin was 
"grained " a little, but there was no blood. " Well, 
Jaky!" was the -wife's reproach; and "Why, 'n'r. 
Patsy, I declare I thought 'n'r my foot was split 
'n'r wide open!" was the apology of the husband. 
Too much "plagued" to laugh, he put the horse 
away, and went back to -work. 




The Tennessee Conference, \vliicli met fit IIop- 
kinsvillo on the fourth da}^ of October, 1820^ was 
kind enough to give Mr. Johnson an appointment 
that woukl not make a removal necessary. He was 
Bent to lied River Circuit, which lay just across the 
river from ISTashville, but was now included iu Green 
River District, of which Marcus Liudsey was Pre- 
siding Eklcr. It was rather a large and rugged cir- 
cuit, however, having the Cumberland for its soulli- 
crn boundary, the work embracing Eussellville l)eing 
its bound on the north, that embracing Chirksvillc 
on the west, and that embracing GaUatin on the 
cast. But it is a curious fact that none of these 
towns gave name to a charge at that time : it was 
Goose Creek, Red River, Roaring River, Fountain 
Head, or the like. 

As Mr. Johnson was no longer the preacher in 
charge, he would not trespass upon the kindness of 
Jklr. Poster, but packed up our goods, and left me 
and the cliildreu to board at Sister Harrison's — the 
boardiug-liouse connected with thoFcnuile Academy 
— until lie shoukl make a round upon his circuit, 
find a place for us to live, if one could be found, 


and make arrangements for our rcnioval. Old Sis- 
ter Adams, a Presbyterian, came to sec me, and 
strongly dissuaded me from going, "Stay," said 
she, "stay among your acquaintances! You have 
plenty of friends hero. I'm sure there's no parson- 
age on the circuit; and if there were, you vrould 
be among strangers. Stay — do stay with us ! " But 
our design was to move on to the circuit. 

There were a great many girls boarding at Sister 
Harrison's, and we had compan}^ enough ; yet in a 
few days I became tired of this kind of a life. I 
told my hostess that she treated me most kindly, 
and I loved her society very niuch, "but I must be 
at home : there is no place like home, and I cannot 
wait any longer." So I left my children with her, 
and set out in search of a house, soon found one, 
and secured it; and in twent3'-four hours our little 
all v.'as safely ensconced, and pretty neatly arranged 
within its walls. 

;Mr. Johnson had left me but five dollars. I got 

Brother Southard to buy a load of wood for me, 

t which cost $2 ; I got a pair of shoes for my boy — 

[. §1; a pound of coiioc and two pounds of sugar — $1 ; 

j;' and perhaps some breadstufls with the rest. I then 

f sent word to the nearest tailor that I wanted work, 

[ and he at once furnished me as much as I could do. 

i So, M'hen Mr. Johnson came back, lie found us at 

V home; and I had paid expenses, and had ten dollars 

on hand. Xor did our "good luck" slop at this; 

for in half an hour after ho got home, before he had 

j finished his supper, and when he was prcunising 

himself a happy hour or two with the friends who 


liad called in to sec him, a carriage drove up to the 
door, and he was prcssingly invited to ride out ini- 
mediatelj to n wedding. He went, the carriage 
being closely shut, stepped out into some house, he 
knew not whose, performed the ceremony among 
strangers, and was brought back in the same " close 
order," with ^20 in his pocket. The parties were 
strangers to him, and he never did know wlio they 
^, were, except the mere names given in the license, 
or where the wedding occurred. j\Ir. Johnson was 
in an excellent humor about the arrangements I had 
made — especially after his mysterious ride, for he 
had entirely failed to find a house for us upon the 

Our time here, for more than half of the ensuing 
year, vcas exceedingly pleasant. AVe were sur- 
rounded by the best of friends— the Ellistous, Fos- 
ters, Quinns, etc. — our house was comfortable, and 
we la<tkcd for none of the comforts of life. As the 
weather grew warm the next spring, there were in- 
dications of an unusually sickly season. As sum- 
mer approached, we became uneasy, and determined 
that I should spend the summer months, at least, 
upon the circuit. Chief among our stopping-places 
wasBrother Slater's, between Clarksvilleand Spring- 
field — I think some twelve miles from the former, 
and twenty from the latter place. 

I must say a few words of this excellent family. 
Brother Slater was wealthy, but very religious, an<l 
so much afraid of his children becoming proud, 
that he always drove to church with his whole fam- 
ily in an ox-wao-on. lie had a daui'-hter whom we 



familiarly called Bclsoj, who was, it seemed to me, a 
perfect beauty, and as devoutly pious as her pious 
father could have wished. I loved that blessed girl. 
Iler father had fomily prayers morning and evening, 
and uo work of any season could ever be so press- 
ing as to be made an excuse for one member of Ids 
liousehold, white or black, to be absent from these 
services ; yet Betsey also had her hours of devotion, 
and both at home and in the public congregation 
she frequently became so happy as to shout the 
praises of God aloud. Brother Edward Stevenson 
one day related his own experiences to me in about 
these words: "When I was sent on to that circuit, 
I was tired of hearing the young preachers praising 
Betsey Slater. I said to myself, ' It '11 take more folk's 
than Betsey Slater to carry me away so.' Well, I 
put lip there, as all the prcacliers do, and Sunday 
morning old Brother Slater brought out his ox- 
j wagon to take his family to meeting, I had n't said 
I much to Betsey ; and as it looked very odd for rich 
I folks to go to meetii]g in that style, and as she was 
I sitting near by me in her plain and neat Sunday 
I clothes ready to start, I said, rather jocosely, ' Sister 
j Betsey, how do you like this way of riding to meet- 
j ing in an ox-wagon ? ' She smiled, and said mildly, 
i 'It's a pleasure forme to do any thing my fatlicr 
wants me to,' That ansirer fi.rfxl vie!" I may add, 
that she afterward married the Bev. Kewton G. 

AVhilo at Brother- Slater's, our second child was 
! taken ill of fever, and as she had a sore upon one 
i foot, which was much ijiflained, we eu])posed that 


tlic fever was occasioned l)y it, and tlionglit it 
would soon pass oiF. It may have been that the 
fever originated from contagion, to wliich she liad 
been exposed before we left town — I cannot tell. 
She rapidly grew worse. By the advice of an old 
gentleman who lived in the vicinity, we applied 
mustard to her ankles, which only aggravated the 
disorder. The fever may 1 ave been of a typhoid, 
at least it was of a very malignant character, llcr 
little ankles were blistered by the mustard, and soon 
began to exhibit signs of violent inflammation. 
This — so violent was her disease — passed rapidl}' 
into mortification, and all her sufferings were fear- 
.fully increased. We sent for a physician, but he 
lived several miles from us, and was absent from 
liome. IsText da}' he came. Iler feet had become 
nearly black, and she had been sinking fast. Ilcr 
head became aflected, and her headache was the 
most intense that I ever witnessed. it still makes 
in}' very heart ache, though nearly half a century 
luis passed, to think how my poor child did suilor ! 
It seemed to me my heart would burst, and that I 
should lose my reason. She was constantly rolling 
her head from side to side, and crying so pitoously, 
"0 dear, dear, dear! O dear, dear, dear!" 

When the doctor came, he said it was too late. 
how my spirits, ray hopes, my very soul, sunk at 
that awful word ! The last token that she was still 
sensible was, that she still looked after me when I 
left her bed. Her eyes, once as perfect and clear as 
the blue heaven itself, became crossed from the in- 
tensity of her pain. She died on the 25th day of 


August, 1821. We buriod licr in Brother Slater's 
family bur jiug- ground, whicli consisted of a portion 
of tlic garden set apart for that purpose. It Avas a 
pretty, place, and we thouglit wo should plant a 
stone or a tree at the head of her grave, but it was 
always so far from our home that avc never did so. 
And now there is nothing to mark the place, and 
I do not know that it could b? found. 

This precious child was born on the 27th day of 
December, 1817, and vras therefore nearly three 
years and eight months old. I know the partiality 
of a mother for her babe, especially the one that slic 
lays so early in the tomb; but I have always 
thouglit she was a pretty child. Ilcr brow arched 
beautifully over an eye of the clearest blue, her 
hair was light, and her skin the most transparently 
fair that I ever saw. She had a calm and thought- 
ful look — a look of meek and quiet sadness — yet 
she always seemed happy ; and she was so gentle 
and affectionate, that she was loved by all who knew 
her. I never saw a frov,-n u[)on her iace. She was 
especially the favorite of her pa. I was really afraid 
her loss v/ould drive hiiu into insanity, as for many 
a day he scarcely ate, drank, or slept — -weeping, and 
still weeping, as if he could not bear it. 

A few days after she died, there was an eclipse of 
the sun ; ond it was indeed a day of darkness to me. 
All nature appeared to be in mourning, and all the 
more sad becau.-e the time was at hand for us to 
leave the dear little chihl's grave for ever. If she 
could have been buried at hornet, or where we could 
visit her resting-iihioe, and plant something over it 


to preserve and to name it, 1 could have borne it 
better. But this — to leave licr dead, and know that 
over tlic precious dust no tear of ail'ection ever falls 
— this is a grief that AVrings the heart of almost 
every itinerant preacher's wife, 

"Wheii we started from father's with her the last 
time, some ten months before, her grandma was 
weeping. Elizabeth embraced and kissed her, and 
said, in tones full of affection and s^mipathy, more 
touching in the broken accents of childhood, " Good- 
bye, grandma; don't cry, and when I come back 
I'll bring you something." But when we came 
back at the end of the year, the first to meet us was 
Sister Eebecca, and her first words wer<>, ""Where 
is Elizabeth ? " It seemed my own heart must burst 
as I answered, "She is dead and in her grave!" 
liebecca spoke not a word, but returned into the 
liouse, wee]ii)ig and wringing her hands. Slio did 
nothing but walk the lloor and v/eep till night, and 
nearly all night, except sometimes to throw herself 
upon a bed for a moment with more convulsive 
i^obs. She so exhausted herself that she was seized 
with a violent fever, and with difliculty was restored 
to health. Such, indeed, was her attachment to the 
child, that three years after Elizabeth's death, she 
wept as if it had just occurred. I told Bebecca one 
day, that tliat little bundle of clothes upstairs was 
doing nobody any good, and that she might get and 
use them in a quilt. She Avent up for the bundle, 
and when she returned, which she did not for two 
long hours, I was frightened at lier appearance. She 
had opened the bundle, and her eyes were red and 


\ swollen with weeping, her checks hathcd in tears, 

I her face the picture of grief. 

Wo now spent a few weeks with Mr. Johnson's 
relatives. On our way back to JSTashville, I remem- 

j ber passing the splendid residence of the Hon. 

' Bailie Peyton, and observing a young lady in the 
portico, I gave way to a feeling of dissatisfaction, 
and, for a moment, what sorrow filled my soul 
as I contrasted her situation wicli mine, and folttiiat 
I had no home on earth ! 

AVhen we reached the river, the wind was high, 
and the ferry-man refused to carry us over. Mr. 
Johnson was sick, and had vomited several times 
along the road. It Avas Saturday evening, and wo 
could not stay till morning. ]\Ir. Johnson entreated, 
and at last the ferry-man agreed to take him over, 
leaving me at a house north of the river. To this 
j I would not agree, but told them I would go too, 
; and if Mr. Johnson sank, I preferred we should all 
go down together. They reluctantly consented for 
me to go. Mr, Johnson led the horse aboard, and 
held him ; I went in, and held one child in my arms 
while the other sat by me. AVhen about half way 
acros^, the water dashed in, and, woman-like, I 
screamed : to my great mortification, the ferry-man 
took hold of the horse and sent Mr. Johnson back 
to keep me quiet, saying that to frighten the horse 
a little might send him and all of us overboard. But 
we at lengtli got safely over. 

Mr. Johnson immediatel}' took his bed, and his 
fever raged incessantly for two weeks. Brs. lioane 
and Hayes, as good as any in the city, attended him. 


and I know not liis disease, nor the general treat- 
ment, but I rcniemLcr well the large blisters tliey 
applied to his back and to Lis temples. At length 
a Sister Ewing proposed to employ a course of 
treatment which she had known the celebrated Dr. 
JSTewiian to employ in similar cases. Dr. ISTewnan 
was now gone to ISTorth Carolina with his daughters. 
Drs. Eoane and Hayes agreed. Mrs. Ewing tlicn 
had us prepare a large tubful of water. A board 
was placed across it, and her son placed Mr. John- 
sou upon the board, wrapped iu blankets, and threw 
red-hot stones into the water. After some time, 
young Ewing wiped his body dry, aud laid him in 
a warm bed; a perspiration commenced, he began 
to improve, and recovered rapidly. I cannot advo- 
cate the Thompsonian practice, nor the water-cure, 
but believe that to use more water and loss medicine 
would bo better for us alK 

"While he was dangerously sick, old Uncle Simeon, 
a colored preacher, visited him. This was an old 
negro in whose piety every one had confidence, and 
who had no mean endowment of common sense, 
]Mr. Johnson was in a state between waking and 
sleep, and did not know the old negro was present 
till he was .starting away. He then asked who it 
was, and on being told, desired he should be called 
back and pray with him. This was no new task for 
Simeon, for he was sometimes called upon in the 
public congregation. lie prayed for Mr. Johnson's 
life, offering every argument, and making every 
appeal that a lawyer could have thought of; but 
concluded by saying, '^Yit, nolwidstan'in, if it is 


dy will to take him from us, why, take him along, 
take hi]ii, take him — he dy own property — take him 
along." I muat confess I had not more than grace 
enough to say «men to all the old man's proposi- 
tions. I am told this negro, who was then old, 
lived until the year 18-17. 




At the close of our third year atXafshville — mhio 
at XashYille, and Mr. Joliuson's on Kcd RiYcr — our 
circumstances were comparatively easy. Onr sup- 
ply of furniture ^Yas as good as \vas usual, in those 
days, Mr. Johnson had accumulated a great num- 
ber of books, and we had some money. On going 
to Ilopkinslille, in the autumn of 1821, ?ilr. Jolm- 
son bought a house and lot, and we lived quite com- 
forlably in our own home. I sewed for the difler- 
ent families near me, and by my needle alone I 
clotlicd the fiimily, except a few articles of clothing 
which were presented to Mr. Johnson. It required 
incessant exertion, but I felt willing to make sacri- 
fices for the benefit of my husband and children, 
especially since we began to realize some tangible 
j,fruits of our former toil and frugality. 

As Mr. Johnson was now, and remained, a mem- 
ber of the Tvcntucky Conference, I may devote a 
few words to the origin of this Conference. The 
old Western Conference was organized by the (:!c'n- 
eral Conference, in ITOG, and held its first session 
at Bethel Seminary, in Jessamine county, Ky., in 
Alay, 1707. It included all the country west of the 


j Alleghfiny INIonntain?, from the Lakes to the Gulf. 
I The General Conference, which met at Baltimore, 
I in 1812, divided the AVestern Conference by a line 
running' nearl}^ due west througli the center of Ken- 
I lucky, giving the name of Oliio to all north of that 
( line, and Tennessee to all south of it. The Confer- 
I ence at Fountain Head, in Sumner county — already 
I mentioned — was the first session of the Tennessee 
t Conference. It embraced the Ilolston, ]N"ashville, 
Wabash, and Mississippi Districts. The General 
Conference of 1820 divided the Tennessee into two 
Conferences, or rather carved the Kentucky out of 
both the Ohio and Tennessee. It included nearly 
all of the State of Kentucky, and its first session 
was at Lexington, in September, 1821. 

Ml'. Johnson's views of the slavery question were 
always adverse to that institution, but those who 
attribute to him the radical opinions entertained by 
the Republican party of the present day, are greatly 
mistaken in their estimate, both of the heart and 
mind of the man. lie regarded slavery as an evil 
entailed upon us by our ancestors, and, therefore, not 
necessarily sinful ; though he knew, as we all know, 
that many sinned in their treatment of their slaves, 
as they did in almost every thing else. lie held 
that all opposition to it should be in a spirit of kind- 
ness, aiming only at the good of both master and 
slave. lie desired that all slaves should have an 
opportunity of attending public worship at proper 
times, and tlint each should be able to read the Bible 
for himself. (See farther. Appendix No. 1.) 

There was a free negro at Ilopkinsville, called 


Joe, a member of the Clmrcb, and in every respect 
a good negro. He had a ^Yife named Mary, wlio 
was a slave. Mary was about to be sokl, and Joe 
came to Mr. Johnson and besought him to buy her 
and give him a chance to get the title to her him- 
self. }Jr. Johnson consented, and bought her at 
two hundred dollars. Both now became members 
of our family. We gave them the use of the 
kitchen, for which Mary was to help me in my 
liouscwork, and Joe was to support liimself and 
Mary, without expense to us for either food or cloth- 
ing. He worked at his trade— he was a cigar- 
maker — and paid ^Ir. Johnson a few dollars at a 
time, at intervals of a week or two, or a month or 
two. ;Mr. Johnson got tired of keeping account of 
BO many payments, and gave up the bill of sale to 
the old negro, before he had nearly refunded the 
money. Yet we lost nothing, as Mary was an ex- 
cellent lielp, and I had use for her, and they re- 
mained with us as long as we lived in Hopkinsville. 
Mr. Johnson's ministrations here were productive 
of much fruit. Fountain E. Pitts he seemed to 
feel some pride in claiming as his spiritual son. 
Pitts was quite a young man, boarding with a family 
of his relatives who were Presbyterians, and going 
to school. He professed religion, and his friends 
sturdily opposed his manifest preference for the 
^lethodist Church ; but being a young man of firm- 
ness, and controlled by a sense of duty, he yielded 
to the inclination of his heart, and gave his hand, 
his name, and himself to the Church of his choice. 
The Picv. L. P>. ])avison^ also, was one of his spiritual 


I cliiklren, and a man whoso unconquerable energy 

I has been of immense value to the Methodist Church. 

j In short, at the close of Mr. Johnson's first yeav in 

! lloi^kinsvillc, although the entire population' of the 

I town did not exceed eight Imndred souls, there 


I were two hundred and forty members in society. 
I Of course, hovv'cvcr, the station included many per- 
:' sons near by, but not immediately in the town. 
i Our eldest son, Thomas JB., was now getting large 

enough to render us a good deal of assistance.' 
, Though only six years of age, he had a little ax of 

liis own, and most faithfully did he ply it to suppl}^ 
us with wood. All the wood that was burned in 
my room was chopped by liis tiny hands. He 
I even then exhibited the perseverance and the in- 

I dustry which have since made him so successful in 

I the world. On Saturday he cut and brought in 

I enough to last me till ]Monday, and never would he 

I stop till I had looked at the "pile" and decided 

I that it was enough. But in one respect he was 

rude, and caused me some uneasiness: he was pas- 
sionately fond of riding, and more than once, when 
he thought he was out of my sight, in riding the 
horse to water, he rode like some madcap riding a 

Charles Ilolliday vras our Presiding Ekler, and 
an excellent man he was. He was somewhat tall 
and very spare, but full of lire when roused. Few 
men had so slu'ill and musical a voice as he; and 
when he became animated with his subject, his thin 
form seemed to tremble in every muscle, and his 
clear, ringing tones thrilled like electricity. Thomas 


A. Morris — afterward Bisliop — was on the Christian 
Circuit, wliich embraced the country around IIop- 
kinsville. Brother Morris was a man of pretty good 
personal appearance, inclined to plainness, and very 
easy and unaffected in his manners — a very pleasant 
talker. But he was not a great preacher. ]Iis ser- 
mons were plain, clear, instructive, and very re- 
ligious; but there was not much animation in liis 
delivery, and his preaching was by no means calcu- 
lated to produce a revival. I think I may safely 
say that he was not considered at all equal to Mr. 
Johnson as a preacher. 

The Conference whichmetatLexington in Septem- 
ber, 1822, unanimously adopted a resolution request- 
ing Mr. Johnson to preach the funeral sermon of 
the Rev. Valentine Cook. This he did, at a meeting- 
house near Lexington, to an unusually large au- 
dience, who manifested tlicir love for the sainted 
man by such attention and such floods of tears as 
arc not often seen in a life-time. (See Appendix, 
Xo. 2.) 

Mr. Johnson was returned to Ilopkiusville and 
Russellville. lie preached at each place every other 
Sabbath, preaching, I believe, on Saturday night, 
and Sunday morning and night, besides leading 
class. And although llopkinsville and liussellville 
were thirty-live miles apart, he did not miss a single 
appointment, nor did ho once fail to liold class- 
meeting on Sabbatli. On one occasion, ho went to 
liussellville, and as the wcatljor was pleasant, he 
was rather lightly clad. Before he returned, the 
weather became extremely cold, and a violent snow- 


! storm blew from the nortli-wcst. Yet, as lie was 
j to be in Ilopkinsville that nigbt, he rode all day 
I facnig the storm in order to reach the appointment 
i — rode the distance without an overcoat, and with- 
I out making a stop on the way. This, however, 
brought on a rheumatic aflection, which troubled 
him more or less for the rest of his life. 

I would bo glad to mention all the excellent 
friends we found in these towns and the surround- 
ing country. I must speak of a few. Sister Harri- 
son, mother-in-law to AndrcAv Monroe, was a pious 
and kind old lady, to whom I ever felt that I could 
look up as to a mother. Sister McGarvey was one 
of the excellent of the earth. She married Brother 
James Miller, and they removed to Lloomiugtou, 
Illinois — Brother Miller has since served a term as 
Treasurer of Illinois. Eichard Vnhh, of Russellville, 
was an ardent friend, but hardly so ardent in his 
attachment to the policy of the M. E. Church. He 
published two or three pamphlets, partly to criticise, 
and partly to defend, our doctrines and discipline. 
Yet he was kind and generous, and truly pious. Mr. 
Johnson once solicited from him a charitable con- 
tribution — for missions, perhaps — and received what 
he considered an abrupt answer. A few days after- 
ward, in conversation, ho said, "Brother Bibb, you 
hurt my feelings the other day." "Hid I? Well, 
what will it take to cure 'cm ? " "I think a plaster 
composed of a five-dollar bill would heal them up 
directly." ]\Ir. Bibb laughed licartily at the pre- 
scription, handed it over, and it was duly appropri- 
ated to the intended purpose. 


It was here also that we began an acquaintance 
with G. W. Robbins, now of South Illinois Confer- 
ence, and formed a friendship that has lasted till 
now, and will last as long as life. Miss Charlotte 
Campbell was a 3'oung lady whose societ}^ was very 
dear to me. Brother Gideon Overshincr we ever 
found a friend both kind and true; and he was a 
man of so much industry and energy, that his friend- 
ship was a thing of real value. 

Among the many pleasant and unpleasant recol- 
lections of our sojourn at Hopkinsville, which come 
up without much connection or association, is a 
little incident that amused me a little, as an example 
of the borrowed greatness so "hugely" enjoyed by 
the negro race. A boy among some poor movers 
got into a quarrel with a negro boy in passing through 
town; and, after exchanging sundry epithets and 
denunciations, the white boy said, "You ain't noth- 
in' but a nigger nohow ! " Stretching himself up 
to full size, the insulted African retorted, "I beloiig 
to Dr. McCarroll, and I think myself better than 
any poor white folks ! " 

Our second son was born here; and having duly 
honored our parents by naming our other children 
for them, we now began to compliment the eminent 
fothers of the Churcli in like manner. We named 
this child John Fletcher, and the name was sealed in 
baptism by Brother Charles Ilollidav, our estimable 

The closing months of this Conference-year wore 
extremely sickly at Hopkinsville. On some days 
one funeral train was scarcely out of sight -before 


another appeared. This made me very uneasy, and 
I wished Mr. Johnson, before starting to Confer- 
ence, to take mc to the countrj^ or to father's, ont of 
the maharious or contagious influence that threatened 
to depopuLatc tlie town. lie had an appointment J 

to fill at Eussellville, and next day I looked for him | 

to return, but received the following letter: l 

"Mt Deah CoMrAXioN IN TiiiEULATiON: — I am j 

sorry to inform you that I find it my duty to go on. \ 

I am seriously sorry to leave you and my dear chil- [ 

dren so long ; but I am resolved to do my duty and i 

the will of God, however painful to flesh and blood. s 

That I am not lacking in the tenderest love for you, | 

the many letters that I have written to you, and all ; 

my conduct toward you in the past, fully show. I | 

have committed you and our little ones into the j 

hand of our kind Creator and Benefi^ctor, who will [ 

take care of us ; and should I never return, I shall j 

have the consolation of knowing I aim at the glory | 

of God and the discharge of my duty. [ 

"I will write to you more fully when I have a 
better opportunity. Lifjuirc at the post-ofiicc. I 
would bo glad you could write to me. Direct to 
Maysville : perhaps your letter will reach me before 
I leave that place. 

"I remain your true and loving husband, 

"John Johnson." 

Sadly disappointed, I sat down immediately and 
wrote liim a letter which was somewhat reproachful 
in its tone, and not much saturated with " the milk T 


of human kindness." Just as I liad finislicd it, 
Sister Shawl came in, and I showed her what I had 
written. She read it, and said, "Sister Johnson, 
just let me lay this on the fire ! " I felt rebuked b^^ 
licr voice of love and goodness, and replied jocosely, 
''In with it!" and in anotlicr instant it was in 
flames. After my feeling of displeasure passed ofl\, 
the danger and liclplessness of our condition rose 
lip in gloomy colors before me, and I }»romised the 
Lord that if he would spare me and my little family, 
I would go without a murmur to any work that his 
providence might appoint. 

That Mr. Johnson's labors this year had been emi- 
nently acceptable, the following, -which I take from 
the Southern Ladies' Companion for Xovember 
and December, 1854, will clearly show. The para- 
graphs occur in the story of " The Unwelcome 
Preacher:" the name of the man at first so unwel- 
come, but afterward so welcome, was Edward Ste- 
venson, and the name of tlic town was liussellville. 
But to the quotation : 

"Li the fall of 1820., the Methodists of a certain 
town in Kentucky concluded that they were able, 
though but twenty-two in number, to support a 
preacher by themselves. Accordingly they wrote 
to the Conference, requesting the Bishop to make a 
station of their village. But, considering their want 
of numerical and financial strengtli, it was deemed 
all-important that the minister sent them should be 
a man of popular talents; because, nnless he could 
command the admiration and conciliate the favor of 
the pco[)le, there was dangerof failing to support him. 


" They therefore asked for a Brother Johnson— 
I at that time one of the most popular and eficctive 
ministers in the State—and made the getting of that 
I particuhar man the condition npon which thej wished 
I to become a station. To them it was clear that the 
j destinies of Methodism, if not of Christianity itself, 
in that particular region, depended upon their hav- 
hig the man they wanted that very year. It was 
thought advisable, ]iowever,to station Brother John- 
son elsewhere." 

He was stationed in Louisville, and notwithstand- 
I iiig ™y vow of unmurmuring submission, I felt dis- 
appointed and sad; for I had heard, from some 
source, that Louisville was a very unhealthy town, 
and especially noted for an annual mortality among 
I the children. Still I opened not my mouth to 
i object. 




A\''iiEN the year closed at Ilopkinsvillc, wc were 
very coiafortably situated. We had a good house, 
and for that tune and place it was well furnished. 
The trouble was that we had too much. We had 
more than could be moved so fl;r ; hence we were 
obliged to sell out again almost entirely. Mr. John- 
son sold over two hundred volumes out of his library. 
We reserved nothing whatever but our clothing, 
two tea-pots, valuable chiefly as keepsakes, and a set 
of silver tea-spoons. An old friend, Williams, said, 
not knowing that I could hear him, "Boys, it is 
liard : I tell you a woman must hate to see every 
thing about the house set out and sold!" Yet I 
can truly say I esteemed them as nothing. All my 
concern was for the health of my family, and the 
approbation of my Heavenly Father ; and I felt that 
if these were left us, we still had enough. 

We gave a bed and bedstead for a horse — which 
my young readers must not understand to indicate 
that they were very fine, or that the horse was very 
poor. There v,'cre very few horses then worth from 
one to several hundred dollars. The average range 
of prices was between twenty-fLve and sixty dol- 

178 llJiC0LLECT10I\'S OF 

lars. And little use did wo have for a second 
Lorsc going to Louisville Station. He was only 
needed for black Joe's accommodation, ■who rode 
him all -the way. And here I may as well finish 
Joe at once. ^Mary rode in the wagon with us, our 
' only lading being the family and some trunks ; and 
on ariiving at Louisville, Joe readily found cmplo}-- 
mcnt in making cigars, at six dollars a week. His 
former master, Mr. Henry, soon passed along on 
his way to Congress, and gave him ten dollars, so he 
was soon ready to sot up. Mr. Johnson gave him 
the bill of sale for ^Mary, and when we loft Louis- 
ville they wore living "in their own hired house," 
i comfortable as need be, and most enthusiastically 

j attached to the ]\Iethodist Church. 

Having arrived at Louisville, wo procured a house on 
' Green street, and, as usual, I immediately sought for 

j employment. I obtained sewing from the neighbors, 

[ but prices wore exceedingly low. Yet, before I left 

[ town, which was long before the year expired, I had 

' accumulated about fifty dollars in specie of my own 

earnings. An old Sister Harrison was the leader of 
j c a female prayer-meeting, which she had steadily kept 
up for five years, notwithstanding the discord that 
i had prevailed in the Church. She rebuked me for my 

i close application to business. Said she, " Sister 

' * Johnson, why do you stay at home, and apply your- 
self so devotedly to your own aflliirs, Avhen you 
ought to consult the interest of the Church and the 
good of others ? J'.voiy Thursday evening we have 
prayer-meeting, but you are not there — you, ihe 
vor^' one who ought to take the most active part 


with US." I answered, "I wish to lay up a little 
luoncy while I can; it may he that next year we 
yhall he on a circuit where I cannot." I rejected 
ii]ion it, however, and thenceforward hccame a regu- 
lar attendant at the meetings; and many a delight- 
I'lil season we enjoyed. 

Soon after our arrival, Brotiicr ]McAllister hrought 
us a very large l)asket filled witli (juecnsware. Mr. 
Johnson, from conversations witli ]\[r. Ovcrstreot, 
who was a shrewd man and an excellent talker, had 
conceived some degree of mistrust for McAllister, 
and was not disposed to regard his conduct as 
prompted hy the purest motives. Hence, when the 
qncensware came, though otherwise a welcome and 
timely kindness, Mr. Johnson was not pleased witli 
it. And when Mr. McAllister had retired, he said 
to me, "lie is fixing np matters for that Church- 
trial ! I reckon he thinks it's all right now I " 

Mr. Johnson thought hest to at once dispose of 
tlie trials that had hcen so long disturbing the peace 
<'f the Church, and to admit no flimsy pretexts for 
delay. Tliis he did, and Mr. Overstreet was expelled 
from the Church hy a verdict of the whole society. 
This quieted the troubled waters, and from that day 
to this Methodism lias not ceased to' be a living, 
growing power in the city of Louisville. (For fiir- 
tlior particulars see Appendix, ISTo. 3.) I will here 
ad.d, liowever, that Mv. Overstreet published a 
I'lUiiphlct entitled "Church Secrets," in which ho 
made a slanderous assault upon Mr. Johnson, AVm, 
Adams, the Presiding Elder, Ivichard Corwine, Philo 
IV'enum, and others. Tliis wns res])onded to by Mr. 


Johnson, in a pamplilet called "The Secret of 
Cbiirch Secrets," and also by Brothers Bceman, 
Adams, Cor wine, etc., in pamphlets or circulars of 
various sizes. Mr. Ovcrstrcet closed the battle with 
a special reply to ^Ir. Johnson, called " The Secret 
of Church Secrets Unsecreted," and a reply to the 
others in still another pamphlet. I believe none of 
the men Avhom he slandered ever condescended to 
take any farther notice of his garrulous productions; 
and being like man}- other men, Ovcrstrcet lost all 
power when he lost the power to kindle strife. 

William Adams was our Presiding Elder, and 
Simon Peter was on the Louisville Circuit. Brother 
Peter lived upstairs in the same house with us for 
several months. Peter was quite a sociable and nice 
man, but 1 did not hear liim preach. His wife was 
one of those pale and fragile creatures whom we 
pity and love, but who cannot be at all times agree- 
able companions. Ilor health declined so seriously, 
that she was compelled to exchange a home in the 
city for one on the circuit. My health also failed as 
summer came on, and Dr. Crissy told me flatly that 
I must leave town or die. 

We accordingly prepared to "break up house- 

' keeping," and as Brother Andrew Monroe and wife, 

I and Sister Harrison, his mother-in-law, were coming 

i down the river, we arranged to bear them company. 

Passage in the cabin was more expensive than we 

could well afford, and the weather was pleasant, so 

we took deck-passage to Smithland. This is not 

I considered a pleasant way for anybody to travel, and 

j it was specially troublesome with three little chil- 


<1ron, as it required constant watcliing to keep them 
jiwny from the macLiucry, and from the edge of the 
i.;j:it. Sister Monroe was young and excitable, and 
I lielicve Sister Harrison liad as much trouble with 
her, trying to quiet her constantly recurring fright, 
:is I had with my children. The boat was no very 
liirge afiair: I do suppose many a large boat in the 
same trade now, could easily carry such a craft upon 
licr bows like a lot of freight. The winds and waves 
tossed licr about unmercifully, and if too many of 
the passengers collected on one side, they had to 
'' trim the boat" before she would run true — that is, 
they had to distribute the weight equally over the 
boat. For the luxury of this ride of about five 
days, ]\Ir. Johnson paid twelve dollars, there being 
live of us in family. 

Arriving at Snaithland about midnight, we were 
informed that every family in the town had whoop- 
ing-cough but one. I requested the tavern-keeper 
not to alk)w his children to stir till v/e could get to 
our room — a request that was the natural result of 
my alarm, but was not very necessary at the hour 
of midnight. On the next morning, which I think 
was the IGth of Jul}*, Mr. Johnson employed a man 
to take us to father's in a hack. This vehicle was 
large and clumsy, and hardly so pleasant a convey- 
ance as an ox- wagon. lie drove to Brother J. Pcm- 
horton's — Fredonia — the first day, then to fother's, 
fourteen miles, and got his dinner, thus incurring 
no expense on the road, and charged twenty-four 
dollars for his trouble. But, as specie was some- 
^vhat scarce at that time, he proficrcd to take twelve 


dollars in specie. The whole distance was about 
forty miles. 

I was by this time very sick, being weakened and 
worn out by the journey ; and it was several weeks 
before I recovered. Mr. Jolmson remained one day, 
and was ofl" again to iinisli his year's work. I saw 
him no more until Conference, which was about 
three months. Of my own life during this time, I 
may only say that it difibrcd in no important re- 
j spect from the ordinary -course of rural life. Of 

j ■ Mr. Johnson's ex})crienccs I only knew hy his let- 

I tcrs, which came regularly every week, but most of 

which are now lost, lie remained at .our house, as 
i he considered it not best to pack up till the end 

! of the year, not knowing but we might be sent back 

j to the same place. One of his letters I beg leave to 

I give : 

j " LoL-isvn.LE, Soptonil.>er 1, 182-1. 


; DiiEX : — I feci great solicitude to hear from you, but 

not one word have I heard from you since- 1 left you, 
which seems to have been a long time ago. what 

I would I not give if you were all here and all well ! 

"You may well suppose I can have but little to 

j write, as I wrote last week and the week before. 

I On last Sunday, at 11 o'clock, I jireached with very 

great liberty on k>cut, .xxxiii. 20, and at 3 p.m. I 
preaehod a fiiucrnl sermon at Shippingsport. At 
candle-light I preached in the Methodist church 

) here. I accidentally overheard some friends who 

I pronounced the last the best sermon I have over 


jircacliod in the place; -svlnoli excited ]nj vanity a 
little, but cliieily encourag-ed me to hope I may be 
able, with God's assistance, to do this people good. 
St) I met a class and preached three times on that 

"My pamphlet is in the press, and ^^'ill be }>nb- 
lished this week. I have some thoughts of sending 
you one by the next week's mail, (the mail goes 
south once a week,) as I could not get them ready 
in time to send you one this week. I have not 
seen Joe Henry since I got home ; he has been 
preaching over in Indiana; he was expected home 
ycsterda}', but I know not whether he got over or 
not. ]\Iary is quite well; she walked seven miles 
to camp-meeting week before last. Dr. Wilson has 
liad a sore attack of fever ; he was taken dowii a 
day or two after his wife started to I'hiladelphia, 
and is at this time ver}' low: it is probable they 
may not meet again in this world. I wish to be 
thaidcfnl, tliat although I am very lonesome, I am 
not sick. I was sick last week, but am now blessed 
with health. My lonely hours appear to move slowly 
on, and with great anxiety I look forward to the 
time that shall place me again in the bosom of my 
dear little family. Ashore would I liot rather be 
with them, than anywhere on earth without them ? 
Any place would be a joyful place to me if you were 
there, while all appears a lonely, dreary scene with- 
out you. 

" Saturday and Sunday next we have our quar- 
terly meeting. May the Lord pour out his Si)irit 
upon us, and revive his work gloriously ! r>rothcr 


Corwiuc and Lis wife are in town : he married Sally 
Ilitt a few weeks ago. I think it was since I wrot'c 
last that John Miller shot a black man, and killed 
liini dead on the spot. I do not know that any 
notice at all has been taken of the altair. The 
friends liere are generally M-ell as far as I know; 
indeed, the town is just now remarkably healthy, 
and we have hopes it may yet be made a healthy 

" Our friends here desire to be remembered by 
you, and express a great desire to see you. Some 
have told me to write to you that I expect to be sta- 
tioned here another year. I do suppose there will 
go on a petition to Conierence for me to return, but 
I assure you I would rather be removed. I intend 
to do as I have heretolbre done — give myself up to 
the Lord, and pray the God of providence to send 
us wherever he would have us go, for I am per- 
suaded that he can preserve us anywhere, or afflict 
us anywhere. And I can never be so well satisfied 
as when I am where my Heavenly Father would 
have me be, doing the work he has assigned me to 
do. So you must pardon me if I express no choice 
of our situation for the next year. Let us cast our- 
selves on the Lord, and ho will sustain us. Any 
place on earth will be agreeable to me if I can have 
the approval of my God and the company of my 
fiimily there. 

"And now, my dearest one, I hope your prayers 
are daily going up for a holy resignation to the will 
Divine. that blessed resignation ! how sweet its 
heavenly influence on the soul! May the kind 


liiuid of Judah's God take care of us all, and coii- 
iliict us to heaven, and crown us in glory ! Amen. 
"My kind and beloved companion, my precious 
F little ones, farewell ! John Johnson." 

At the close of the 3'ear, Mr. J ohnson went directly 
<»n to Conference, which was held at Shelbyvillc. 
Finding that his lot was cast in another field of 
labor, he packed up our goods as best he could, and 
loft them in the care of the fiiithful Joe. 




^NTr. Johnson now came tlowii for me, and we 
made all liaslo to got to our field of labor. "We 
stopped at liouisville, and got our goods on board a 
boat ; but our liorso refused to go on. Mild and 
llar^ll means used to induce him to embark, all tailed 
alike, and we wore forced to leave bim, and Mr. 
Jobn.^on bad to return for bim, and take bim up by 
land. But tliese, and all the other little annoyances 
of moving, which every itinerant's family fully knows, 
soon passed away lis every thing passes, and we 
were quietly and cozily ensconced in our little home. 
I tbiidv IJrother John Armstrong, a merchant, and 
a munificent supporter of ^iletbodism, gave us, or 
rather gave to the station, the house we occupied, 
free of rent. It was of brick, like most of the 
houses in Maysville, and was a very neat and pleas- 
ant home. 

For consumers who produced nothing, ]\raysville 
was the place to live cb.'a}'ly : especially our table- 
oxpenses were light. I will give Mr, Johnson's 
memorandum of the first (piarlor's expenses, as an 
examine: "Two and a half bushels ineal, G2.\c. ; 
three chickens, 2;3c. ; one quarter shoat, 25c. ; three 

THE REV. JOHN JOHNSON. 187 caiulles, 43Jc. ; turnips, salt, etc., 25c. ; sweet 
jp>t;itoos, one bnsliel, 50c.; beef and apples, Sl^c. ; 
l.>'ir pounds butter, 50c.; beef and cabbage, 37-Jc. ; 
.liickcns (2) and sausage, 25c.; two bushels meal, 
iijiplc.^, etc., C2^c. ; oiie quarter slioat, 25c.; ten 
jounds flour, 25c. Total table-expenses first quar- 
UM-, §4 87^-. Paid for fire-wood laid in for the sea- 
^on, f;iG 02^.." 

It was late in October before ^Ir. Johnson was 
roadj to enter upon his work, and he exerted him- 
self with an energy characteristic of the man, to 
make good the loss of time. Ilis first sermons were 
preached October 31, which was Sabbath, the morn- 
ing text being Psalm ]st, the evening text, "My 
-liecp hear my voice, and I know them, and they 
I'-'lIow me." lie also preached twelve times in the 
month of November, besides having a Brother Eni- 
liiot, from Ohio, to fill the pulpit for him once or 
twice at the end of the month. And his preaching 
was attended with an unction from on high, to such 
a degree that, although there was not what is usually 
tt'i'iMcd a revival, yet the church was always crowded, 
and it seemed as if the Clnistians all "got happy" 
at every coming together. 

Jonathan Stamper was our Presiding Elder. It 
was ah\-ays delightful to hear this man preach, lie 
v.-as unsurpassed in powers of description, and 
liis appearance, voice, action, language, all com- 
I'Mied to make him what ho eminently was — an ora- 
t"!'. He preadicd there once on the parable of The 
Prodigal Son. In the course of the sermon, he de- 
picted a young man at the hour of death unpre- 


pared, Wc seemed to bcliold the scene actually 
before ns. There la}^ the unhappy man, pale and 
emaciated, his sunken eyes by turns dilated with 
terror, and turned to his attendants as if imploring 
thcni to help him. The jihysician enters : the young 
man looks in his face, and there reads, "No hope !" 
He turns with looks of mingled wildness and wist- 
fulness to his parents and friends who stand around, 
and in every weeping eye he reads, "oSTo hope!" 
He turns to the old clock on the mantle, ticking so 
loudly in the fearful stillness, and every vibration of 
the pendulum seems to say, "ISTo hope — no hope !" 
Catching and clutching at imaginary objects around 
him, as he feels the heart-sinking of the dying 
moment, he wildly shrieks, "No hope ! " and plunges 
into the abyss of darkness. T can give you no ade- 
quate idea of the vividness with which he pictured 
the scene. Every eye was riveted npon him, and 
when he raised his shrill voice to its highest key, 
and imifatod the last shriek of the dying man, I 
suppose fifty women screamed at once, and not less 
than that number of m.en sprang to their feet, as if 
to catch the falling youth. 

Brother Stamper was a most agreeable man in 
the social circle. He had a rich fund of anecdotes ; 
and he had a vein of quiet humor that was liable to 
"crop out " at any time. We were one day speak- 
ing of a young lady whom he had once known, and 
on being told that she had married a JMcthodist 
preacher, he remarked dryly, "AW'll, :Nrethodist 
preachers generally make mighty good husbands. 
It's that way at our house." He talked splendidly 


nflcr tea; and, by tbo way, tea was a decoetion he 
t was extremely foud of. I asked liim one evening, 
wlicn he was staying a day or so with us, and as 
loa-timc drew near, if he would have supper before 
ci' after meeting. lie answered, before. "Well, 
do you prefer tea or coilee ? " " Tea, sister, tea, and 
tliut starched and ironed" — which I understood to 
mean that he wished it "prett}^ stifi'." 

Our third son was born at ]Maysville. Following 
out the plan of complimenting the fathers of Meth- 
(.idism, and wishing to uiake sure of as many as 
practicable on this occasion, we gave the little fellow 
as much as we could of both Whitefield and Wes- 
ley — George Wesley. T. B. was generally at 
school, and not much in the way ; but the next 
twain, S. T. and J. ¥., were just about large enough 
to be troublesome, and not large enough for any 
thing else. They were always together, and ver^' 
generally liand in hand, so that we miglit say of 
them what the Irishman said about snakes, "Wher- 
ever you find two, there's sure to be one." 

Bare-headed as they were, they one day made 
their way out of the house, and as I supposed they 
were playing in the yard as usual, I did not notice 
tlieir absence for an hour or more. Dropping my 
work, I ran out and hastily looked around, but they 
were nowhere to be seen. I called Ish'. Johnson 
from his study, and ho set out in search of them. 
There vras a circus in town, and it occurred to him 
that the}- might have heard the music, either before 
or after starting, and been attracted by it to that 
part of town. He cpnckly made his way thither, 


•I passed to -and -fro among the groups aroujid 
I tliG gigantic tent, inquired of dozens of poo- 
j pie for tlie little fugitives, but could neither get 
1 sight of them nor find any one who had seen 
them. lie was becoming somewhat alarmed. Pass- 
ing the door, and seeing the door-keeper at leisure, 
lie asked that dignitary if ho had seen a little bare- 
headed girl and boy passing about;. He promptly 
[ answered that he liad. " They came up to me hand 
I ' in hand, and the little girl asked me very politely 
f to let them go in. Said I, ' Have you got any money ?' 
i Said she, ' Xo, sir; but we're the preacher's chil- 

dren.' I tliouglit it Vv'as a good joke, so I gave them 
a fo'pcnce apiece, and told them to go in. Walk 
in; you'll find them in there." So he did, and 
brought them home, to our no small relief. 

At the close of the year, Mr. Jolmson brought me 
! down to father's. I was by no means well, and our 

babe was but five vreeks old. The distance that we 
• had to travel by land, in a rough-going carriage, 

I was over three hundred miles. Of this wearisome 

i journey, a few incidents are vividlj^ impressed upon 

my recollection. 

A\''e loft Xicholasville early one morning, and 
came to Xcw Market for breakfast. I do not remem- 
; ber the landlady's name, if I ever knew it, but she 

was exceedingly kind. Her regular breakfiist was 
just over, but she cpiickly prepared another for us, 
warm, nice, and savory, and waited upon us as if 
slic liad been our sister. She then got a newspaper, 
and fdled it cpiite full of '• little things for the chil- 
dren," as she said ; and I imagine it was better 


Til led, fiud witli better things, than it ever wns be- 
j'oro, for it proved to be more than we all coukl eat 
that day. Two travelers came in just as she was 
{•lilting up the "little" package, and I insisted that 
kIic should not rob her table in that style ; but she 
lileasantl}' answered, "01 can soon get a little more 
for them." I don't think such hospitality was ever 
dreamed of north of Mason and Dixon's. 

The same day we passed Danville, and put up a 
few miles beyond, or, I may say, on this side. In 
the morning, as usual when we stayed for breakfast, 
Mr. Johnson asked permission to pray with the fam- 
ily, which was cheerfully granted. He seemed to 
experience an unusual degree of emotion, as he re- 
ferred to our life of pilgrimage; and as he prayed, 
he and I, and our host and hostess, and the whole 
famil}', wept. They gave us an excellent and an 
early breakliist; and so far from receiving a cent 
for their trouble, I believe they were half inclined 
to wcop again wlien they saw us starting away. To 
this day 1 love thfit family, but never expect to^ see 
or liear of them again till we all meet in heaven. 

One evening we stopped at old Colonel Stump's 
— a name easily remembered. lie was a deist, but 
I tliink his wife was a true Christian. Before retir- 
ing, Mr. Johnson proposed family worship, to which 
Mrs. Stump readily agreed, and prepared the stand- 
table and books. The old Colonel was writing very 
busily, and still wrote on while Mr. Johnson read a 
chapter and sung a hymn, as if it were no concern 
of his; but I believe, though he stiflly kept his seat, 
he did lay down liis pen when we knelt for i)rayer. 




Mrs. stump was much aflccted— there was very 
generally a melting tenderness as well as a power 
in Mr. Johnson's prayers— she sohbed greatly, and 
only became composed some minutes after the 
prayer was ended. 

But on another occasion we met with a much 
colder reception than this. ^Ve had driven hard all 
day to reach a place of public entertainment to 
whicli we had been directed, and when at last we 
reached it, we found that the old gentleman had 
entirely quit the business. I had had a violent 
ague during the day as we rode along, and now had 
high fever with terrible headache, and was sufier- 
iuf intensely. 'My heart sunk within mo at the 
announcement that my poor pain-racked body must 
endure several miles more of travel, night being 
now at hand — that delicious season of rest — rest that 
I needed so much ! Wc were dh-eclcd to the house 
of a Baptist minister of the name of Cox, and 
hoped, with a brotlicr minister, though of another 
denomination, to lind an agreeable lodging-place. 

By driving four miles after dark, we reached the 
place. The farm seemed to be large, and the build- 
ino-s as far as we could see, indicated thrift and 
competence. "We called at the gate, made known 
our vrishes, and were met with a flat refusal. AVe 
urged tlie lateness of the hour: they affirmed it was 
not fiir to the next house. We pleaded that it was 
liard for a woman and chil(h\n to travel by night: 
they agreed it was hard, but they could n't take care 
of us as they 'd like to. We put in the plea that I 
was sick, the cliildrcn wore hungry, we were all 


Morn out ^vitll a Lard day's ride, were strangers in 
a sti-ange land, and were willing to put up with 
ai)3' thing so we might rest, and not have to drive 
farther in the night. They reluctantly agreed at 
last that we might go in. 

We went in. There were a dozen or twenty jjco- 
ple there, but we were shown to a room where we 
could stay to ourselves, and we were glad to take it 
without asking any unnecessary questions. As we 
ate our supper, we noticed some tokens of distress, 
but ventured no inquiries. After awhile, a gentle-, 
man, such as may always be found in a crowd, who 
was at once inquisitive and communicative, stepped 
into our room, to hear and to tell what he could. 
He informed us that Parson Cox's son had attended 
a horse-race that day, had become intoxicated, had 
"got into a row," and had been killed ; and the col- 
lection of people here was to sit up with the corpse. 
Furnishing this, and receiving but little, our friend 
retired, and we were not troubled either by annoy- 
ances or attentions till morning. 

Somewhat mortified at the cold and heartless 
reception we had met here, though otherwise in 
pretty good spirits, we now rolled on. 'But Thomas, 
our son, spoiled it all. By the time we were fully 
under way, he made the following revelation: "Before 
bed-time last night I slipped round into the room 
where the young man lay, and the people were talk- 
ing about us. Mr. Cox said he didn't know what 
could induce a man who was able to work tor a liv- 
ing, to manage in any such way. Why didn't he 
settle down and go to work, and not drag a big 


fjirnil}' around over the country to sponge a living 
off honest people that had to work for it. These 
Methodist preachers were an absolute imposition 
anyhow; and if people would submit to their impo- 
sitions, they never knew when to stop. And he said 
a good deal more, and they all agreed to it." I 
think I never saw Mr. Johnson more deeply de- 
jected than he appeared after hearing this ; but only 
his countenance, and an occasional groan, revealed 
how deeply his soul was troubled. 

We had a somewhat dangerous adventure at Mul- 

draugh's Ilill. At the very top of the hill, where 

the road was quite narrow, and the cliiis on one side 

descended perpendicularly to a fearful depth, we 

met some men driving three buffaloes. Our horse 

took fright at the animals, and it was only by the 

utmost exertions of their drivers and Mr. Johnson 

that the horse was prevented from running away. 

The reader can scarcely imagine my consternation 

at the prospect of such an occurrence, at one time 

I apparently inevitable; while if it had occurred, it 

I was scarcely possible that horse, carriage, and all 

I together, would not have gone over the precipice, 

and l)een dashed to pieces four huurlred feet below ! 




As soon as wc arrived at father's, jVIr. Jolmsou 
started in haste to Conference, and I heard no more 
of him till he came back and told us he was sent to 
Picd Eiver Circuit. This was, as before stated, a 
large work, embracing all of Pcobertson county', that 
part of Davidson north of Cumberland Kiver, and 
all of Logan county, Kentucky, that lay among the 
hills of Red River. The country was rugged, and the 
people generally poor ; though then, as now, they 
were not wanting in numbers. Every hill-to]), every 
hill-side almost, and certainly every valley, had its 
occupants : the thinness of the soil prevented the nui- 
jority from growing rich enough to own large tracts 
of it; and, in fact, a man had little use for two val- 
leys separated by one of those hills, or two hills 
separated b}- one of those valleys; yet it was a 
healthy region, and it seemed as if no child born 
there had ever fiiiled to reach maturity. In short, 
the density of the population may be judged of from 
the fact, that although scarcely able to support a 
preacher, the ^Methodist societies numbered more 
than one thousand members. 

AVhat made matters worse for us was, that wc had 


been for several years upon charges where wg had 
comfortable houses, and all the conveniences of 
home; where the physical labor at least of the 
preacher was not so severe, and the pay was p;ood — 
averaging, J. suppose, about §200, besides table-ex- 
penses. By this means we had been eflcctually spoiled. 
As soon as Mr. Johnson had received his appoint- 
ment, he engaged Brotlier Sutherland to pack up 
our goods atMaysville, and forward them to Clarks- 
ville for us. AVc therefore now made haste to jret 
to our licld of labor — I say our field, for althougb 
an itinerant's wife, especially on such a circuit as 
Eed Iliver, may occupy but little of the field, she 
I . has her full share of the labor. The ao;ue had acrain 

j O G 

I attacked me, and on every day of our journey I had 

j a violent " shake" as we rode along, and so did our 

I little boy, Fletcher, who sat at my feet. The fatigue 

j of riding when I was so ill and weak, the ague, and 

1 the burning fever which followed, the care of my 

! children — one of whom I carried in my arms — all 

! seemed as if they would be too much for my poor 

j body to bear ; and at night it scarcely appeared pos- 

t siblc that I could endure them another day. 

j "We reached Brother Slater's, and I. was glad to 

remain there for four weeks, while Mr. Johnson 

' made a round on his circuit, lie also expected to 

make an arrangement for a house, as there was no 

parsonage; and he had hopes of having one built, 

if there should be mme for rent, lie found itimpos- 

I sible to rent a house, and engaged Brother Thomas 

: Spcnce to build one. Spence agreed to build a house 

I upon his own liind,and it was to be for ever free, to- 


gcllierwitb five acres of land, for the use of Ihc Mctli 
odist preachers in charge of the circuit. This was 
a liberal ofl'cr, for lie was a poor raan, and had a 
large family to maintain. He also directed Mr. 
Johnson to bring ine and the children to his house, 
and let us remain there till the parsonage \Yas read}-, 
which would not be long. 

We accordingly went to his house, and a lively 
lime we had there for the next five or six weeks. 
His house was as good as an}- of his neighbors could 
boast, but was hardly suflicicnt for so many. It 
consisted, like most houses of that day, of two 
rooms, with an open passage between, and a kitchen, 
besides a half-story, or attic, overhead. This latter 
part of houses of that kind was hardly ever fin- 
ished, hut v^•as left as a sort of open loft for any 
thing that was not wanted anywhere else. I IkuI 
four children, and Spence had eight! Yet, to m\- 
constant admiration, no quarrel or disturbance of 
any kind occurred amongst them. As to shouts, 
and laughter, and the rattling of feet, the over- 
setting of chairs, etc., these sounds could be heard 
at any time — and, I was about to say, almost at any 

At length, the house was finished, and I mu-t 
confess it was not exactl}' the thing I had been ex- 
pecting. It was about half a mile from Spence's 
residence, and stood upon the side of a hill, looking 
down upon a deep and narrow- valley on one side, 
and scarcely looking up at all on the other — so thirk 
w-ere the bushes and rocks above it. It consisted 
of a single room, about 12 by 11 feet in size, built 


of little round log-s, " skclpccl down " on the out- 
side, and roofed with clap-boards. What with the 
bright stripes upon the "skelpcd" logs, and what 
with the new clap-board roof, it looked like a bright 
spot — a jewel — set upon the side of the hill. The 
cracks had been chinked aud daubed, and the clay 
in the cracks was profusely ornamented with iinger- 
mai'ks, indicating that the trowel employed was very 
ranch like a man's hand. The chimney was built 
of split logs at l)ottom, and small sticks at top, being 
lined with a not very beautiful wall of rough rocks 
and cla3% finished with the same trowel. The doors 
were of three-foot boards nailed to two upright 
pieces, with a third piece or brace put in diagonally ; 
and there was no window at all, except a space of 
about two feet loft open in one of the cracks. The 
joists were peeled poles, and it was expected that 
boards would be laid upon them at some time to 
form a loft. 

Mr. Johnson went to Clarksville to receive our 
household stuff, and found, to his amazement, that 
though more than two months had elapsed, it had 
not 3'ct arrived. lie wrote to Maysville, making 
inquiries about it, but rcrcivcd no answer. Mean- 
time, as we could wait no longer, I moved home 
to the parsonage. Truly, I then found it large 
enough ; for one box of clothing was every 
earthly thing I had to put in it. One neighbor, 
howe\'cr, loaned us- a liUlc home-made bedstead, 
another a bed, another two in* three chairs, and a 
fourth a frying-pan and a pot ; and we felt fully able 
to keep house with these until our own stuif should 


arrive. In tlio pot we could boil our vegetables — 
if we Lad any — and beat water for various uses; in 
tbe frying-pan we could cook our meat, and a 
smootb board was good enongbfor anybody to bake 
bread upon. 

But good fortune is ever sboi't-livod. We were 
scarcely settled comfortably in our new borne, wbcn 
some men came on witb a claim for our borso. ]\Ir. 
Jobnson bad swapped for bim wbile on bis way to 
Conference, in order to get a good work-borse. 
Tbcy swore to tbe animal as tbe property of a widowed 
relative of tbeirs, and, of course, took bim along. 
Tbcre we were, tben, witbout bousobold goods, 
witbout a borse, witbout money, and among a 
people wlio, tbougb kind and willing, were not able 
to do mucb for any one. 

I now felt a degree of resentment toward Brotbcr 
Cartwrigbt. .1 regarded bim as tbe cause of Mr. 
Jobnson's ap]:)ointment to tbis work, and not veiy 
indirectly tbe cause of our troubles. Cartwrigbt, 
as before observed, would allow no one to rise faster 
tban liimself, if by means eitber fi^ir or foul be could 
prevent it. Mr. Jobnson bad filled in succession 
tbe most important cbarges in tbe Conference, and 
was a man of far greater personal popularity tbau 
Cartwrigbt. I tbink tbe fact tbat ^Ir. Jobnson bad 
been kept in tbcse stations, wbile I believe Cart- 
wrigbt never tilled a station in bis life, nettled tbe 
latter a little, and raised a desire in bis sclfisb lieart 
to set Mr. Jobnson back, if possible. Red liivcr 
Circuit was strong in Metbodism and in numbers, 
but weak in every tbing tbat would make a preaeb- 


i er's labor liglit. The territory was large, the roads 
; rough and ch'ciiitous, the prcachiug-places mimer- 
:' oiis, and, of course, the labor was severe. None, 
I scarcely, but young men had been appointed hero, 
I and there were six in our family, while the circuit 
i was, by condition and by custom, quite unprepared 
for such a burden. 

Fortunately* — or unfortunately — an opportunity 
occurred for me to mention the subject to Cart- 
wright. "\Vc met at Brother Slater's : perhaps he 
stopped for dinner. As soon as with good grace I 
I could, I said, "Brother Cartwright, I've heard that 
I when Mr. Johnson's name was called in Conference 
j a few years ago, you, as his Presiding Elder, were 
I called upon for an expression, and arose and de- 
i clarcd that ' he thought too much of his wife.' I 
don't ask if ycu said it, for I have better evidence 
that you did. And you refused to give any expla- 
nation whatever of your remark. Kow, what was 
that for ? " Cartwright tried to laugh it off as a jest; 
but I proceeded : " You knew very well that every- 
body would understand that you meant he neglected 
his work; this is what you intended they should 
understand by it ; and yet you know perfectly well, 
and then knew, that every word and syllabic of the 
charge was false. Mr. Johnson loves his family, 
just as you love yours, but that he ever neglected 

* I am not ccrtnin tlint this Intorvicw tuuk place at the time 
and phioc! hero statcl, hut voiu-h f-r the manner and matter. 
Cartwright liad taken a transfer to the Missouri Coufcrence ia 
1822, hut never went there, nor fur s)me time did lie leave Ken- 
tucky. A. C. J. 


Lis work on that account, is not so, and you know- 
it. You know tliat he went many a time to his 
work when I, or the chikh-cn, and indeed sometimes 
nearly every .one of us, was sick — a thing tliat you 
yourself wouldn't do, and was never known to do. 
And now^ you have managed to have him sent to 
this circuit, wliere the labor is heavy, and the salary 
light, as I believe, on purpose to break him down." 
"lie gazed intently at the coals on the hearth, and 
I went on : "I know exactly what is the matter with 
you, Brother Cartwright. You don't care so much 
for the Lord, nor the Church, nor anybody else, so 
you but build up a big name for Peter Cartwright. 
Every thing has to bend to this ; and if anybody is 
likely to be in your w^ay, so that big man, Cart- 
wright, can't 'rule the roast,' he must be kept down, 
no matter who he is. You 've been working against 
Mr. Johnson for the last ten years : you tried to keep 
liim from going to Nashville, because you thought 
it would be for him a step upward ; and it was by 
your management, under a pretext which you knc^v' 
to be ialsc, that he was sent to Red River. Mr. 
Jolmson does not 'think too much of his wife,' but 
you like entirely too well to be talked about. What 
else could have made you say at one of your camp- 
meetings, to a man not a member of the Church, 
and a young man at that— 'If 1 could have caught 
that fellow, I'd have knocked the devil out of lum'? 
You do n't even care foryourown kin, unless they are 
—what few of them are— able to help build you up. 
Who else but Peter Cartwright could say of his owii 
sister, as you did of Pol. Pentecost, when told of 


licr death, '"Well, I thonglit the devil bad her long 
ago' ? I don't know who can have foith in the re- 
ligious pretensions of any such a man ! " 

I think Cartwright never raised his eyes from the 
lieartli till I had concluded this — perhaps too hitter — 
lecture. lie then silently- put on his traveling gear, 
and left. 

As I said, J^.Ir. Johnson was left afoot, and utterly 
unable at this time to buy a horse. But his friends 
on the circuit, by extra exertions, succeeded in rais- 
ing fifteen dollars as a horse-fund, and by borrow- 
mg twenty-live dollars more, ]\Ir. Johnson bought 
a tolerably fair sul»stitutc for the one he had lost. 
We will now be all right, thought we, when our 
goods come on ; but still they came not. 

During the summer I made a visit to father's, and 
prolonged it, as I had to prolongevery visit, till Mr. 
Johnson could return and make around upon his 
work. Indeed, this time I i)rolonged my stay to 
double the usual time. lie Avrote to me, after his 
return, a letter, which I am sure the reader will par- 
don me for inserting here : 

" Slatkk's Pl.vce, July 10, 1826. 

"My very dear Co.mpamox, who long have been 

THE Partner of my Toils, my Joys, my G riefs : With 

a kind of mournt'ul ].K'a>ure, I take up my pen to 
address you. It aflonls mo ])Ioasuro to think we arc 
in the land of Iu^jk', and have some prospect of meet- 
ing again in this vale of tears. lUit well may I call 
that pleasure mournful, when I remember the dis- 
tance of time and space that lies between us — the 


distance that lies between me and all my dear little 
family, but one — my lovely, darling child — that 
sweet babe, Elizabeth — her dear dust sweetly slum- 
bers here! Here she suffered — here she died — here 
I last looked upon her lovely face — and here I could 
wish in death's soft slumbers to sleep by her side, 
were it not for your sake, and for the sake of those 
tender pledges of our love — our Thomas, and Susan- 
nah, and John, and Wesley — ^these are lovely, too ! 
and should I not with equal grief grudge their little 
forms to the grave, if death should call them, too, 
away ? 

"But we all belong to the God of grace. To him 
we are indebted for all we enjoy — to him let us give 
ourselves, our children, and our all. Infinite Good- 
ness must be kind — Infinite Wisdom cannot err! 
Wh}' should we grudge our God his own? or why 
mistrust a friend so good and kind ! Itcsignation, 
Bwect resignation, how good it is for the soul ! Lord, 
give us resignation ! 

"The day I started, I met John Gray above !N[r. 
Kochester's, on his way to Smithland. AYe got 
down in the road and had a talk. ]\[y horse was 
unwell, and Gray said ho had the hooks ; but if I 
would ride very slowly, he might get me on to IIop- 
kinsville. Moreover, he said if I would see him 
and Burgess together, I should have a horse. I 
went to Brother Turner's, and stayed all night: Fri- 
day I went to no})kinsville, and was detained there 
until Tuesday evening before I could get my horse 
cut for the haw, or horn, in the eyes, and get a set- 
tlement with Gray and Burgess. I ultimately ob- 


tained Gray's obligation for as good a liorsc as the 
one I lost, to be paid by the first of jS'ovember 

"I tbcn came on to Brother AVilliams's, Tuesday 
evening, and my horse's eyes were so bad, I stayed 
and nursed him until Thursday evening; I then 
came on to Brother Gough's, at the carding-factory. 
The next day I got to Brother Norflet's, and on 
Saturday and Sunday we liad a two-days' meeting 
at Baker's Meeting-house. My horse is now mend- 
ing, and I seem to be going on pretty well. I am 
blessed with good health, and intend to preach in 
Clarksville to-morrow, next day at Bethlehem, and 
so on. I do hope these lines may find you, and the 
children, and Dicey in good health, and doing well. 
'May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 
you all!' Write to me to Springfield, Bobertson 
countj', and believe me yours affectionately, 

"John Jodnson." 

Allow me to introduce one letter more, of a few 
weeks' later date : 

'• T. Si'en'ce's, J Illy 26, 182G. 

"My DEAii Companion: — I once more take pen in 
hand to write you a few words, by which you may 
learn, should they reach you, that I am yet alive, 
blessed with common health, and, though somewhat 
lonely, cheered with the hope that the 2d September 
will not be long in rolling round, and restoring mo 
to my beloved flimily. The days pass slowly along, 
Jind I feel lonely, even in the midst of company. 


I liave been to Springfield to-da}-, in hopes of get- 
ting some intelligence from you and our little ones, 
but ah, not a word — not one word since I left you ! 

"I recoivod a letter from Wm. Adams to-day: he 
inlbrms me that the Quarterly Conference has re- 
stored J. II. Overstreet to membership in the Church. 
Beeman is expelled, and ^IcAllister has A\'ithdra\vn. 
I suppose you have heard of the death of iNlajor 
Long, near. Ilopkinsville. I was told that Colonel 
Taylor, of Christian county, died on the same day; 
and about the same time old Brother Tate, after a 
singular affliction of three years. Perhaps you have 
lieard.of the death of Ann Currier. I am told that 
Dr. Thomas is to be married shortlj' to a sister to 
McNelly's vrife. I had appointed this week to sur- 
vey my land, but the surveyor has disappointed me, 
and has not yet come : perhaps it is all for the best. 
My preaching is much applauded, but I fear it is not 
very profitable: still we had the other day, at Mil- 
ler's Creek, the niost general and powerful shout I 
liave heard in twelve months. Our camp-meeting 
commences at "Woodard's the 4th of August. I 
have the promise of a bombazet coat and a jean 
waistcoat. I have received as presents already a 
pair of socks, and white home-spun enough to make 
me a pair of pantaloons and a waistcoat. I have 
paidllinkle tlie forty-five dollars I owed him for my 
horse, but had to borrow of Mr. Low twenty-five 
dollars of that. I also owe Brother Jos. Fowlkes 
ten dollars borrowed money. My store-account in 
Nashville is thirteen dollars, and in Springfielil fif- 
teen dollars. All my debts here amount to idjout 


sixty-tlirce dollars. My survoyiiio-^ etc., will amount 
to about twenty dollars — making about eighty or 
ninety dollars to pay all demands. This I hope to 
collect before I leave the circuit, and I hope all will 
be well when I get home. I have not bought any 
thing out of the store since I left you, save one five- 
dollar bridle, and a few dozen sleeve-buttons, and 
one twist of tobacco: I paid for them witli one fi.vG- 
dollar note, and have two dollars left. 

"You know, my dear, this is a scattering place, 
and I have written you a scattering letter. I have 
been to our house, and you can imagine what were 
my feelings when I came within sight of the lonely 
and solitary place where we had spent so many 
happy hours together, and where you had spent so 
many gloomy ones alone — where our children's 
voices had been so often heard, and where all 
seemed to be joy and gladness on my arrival. Ah, 
how changed I — no children there to meet me now, 
no companion to bid me Avclcomc with a smile of 
pleasure! The door is closed, a death-like silence 
reigns, and a sullen gloom pervades the mournful 
place. Ah ! what is this mighty mole-hill — this earth 
— with all its vanity and show, to those who have 
no social enjoyments? AVhat can life be to one who 
has buried a companion, but a scene of gloom — a 
season of sorrow, of mourning, and of solitude? 
And must we come to this? Lord prepare us for 
life and its duties, for death and its solemnities, for 
heaven and its eternal glories! 

" So prays your affectionate husband, 

"John Johnson." 


The land referred to in the letter, was some that 
lie bonrrht from the State. There were larcrc tracts 
of vacant lands, and for the purpose of securing to 
the State an income from it in the shape of taxes, 
it was sold, some of it as low as one cent per acre. 
Xo person was allowed to enter upon more than one 
hundred acres. Mr. Johnson bought one hundred 
acres for each of our children ; and I may here add, 
that when the location was made, it was found that 
older claims held the tracts that liC bought for the 
two younger children. 

I do not think my cares for temporal things di- 
minished my interest in the cause of religion. Soon 
after we moved into the parsonage in Robertson 
county, some person was there who had a watch, 
and I made a mark on the floor as my sun-dial ever 
after, to mark the hour of eleven: and every day, 
as the shadow approached this mark, I retired for 
secret prayer, imploring the Lord to be with my 
husband, and enable him so to preach as to accom- 
plish good. I know not that this benefited Mr. 
Johnson or the Church, but a-.-uredly it bene- 
fited me. 

Mr. Johnson had been long meditating on taking 
a superannuated relation ; and in view of the possi- 
bility that he might do so, he had requested father 
to have a house built for us. Father had given us 
fifty acres of land, and Mr. Johnson had left some 
money in his hands at the beginning of the year; 
so father kept the improvement gradually going on, 
and Mr. Johnson defrayed the expense. The reader 
must indulfre mc now. I wish to insert a letter 

208 KECOLLECTIO^'S OF "'"^;" 

from Diy father on tlic subject, wliicli I am sure will 
be found cutcrtaining: 

"On the 27th of the First Month, 182G, vcc write. 

"Beloved Children: — Wo inform you that wo 
received two letters from you since you loft us, and 
are glad to hear you arc healthy. Wo are in a com- 
mon state at present, and all the connection, so far 
as we know. A few days ago I received the house 
of Cannon, and paid him the money. Itwas almost 
more than I could do. Tlie house is a great, roomy 
house, but it's done very roughly, and especially 
the chimney. I urged him to alter it in many thino-s, 
and it is yet very rough and awkward. 

"John, I was looking at the tops of the fallen 
timber. There is nearly enough to be got to build 
a smoke-house, or stable — logs that would do very- 
well if trimmed v/ell — and there is white-oak timber 
enough down to make fifteen cuts of rails. I was 
thinking these miglit all be saved at a cost of twelve 
or fourteen dollars. Thee can think of it, and if 
thee think best, let me know ; if not, it may rest in 
silence till thee comes thyself I was thinking it 
pity to lose the timber, as I expect midsummer would 
spoil it pretty much. The steam-boats travel, but 
we have not heard of thy property as yet. "We 
heard from you lately liy preacher Cossitt. I expect 
Cossitt informed thee of the college beino- located 
at Princeton. T was thinking it vrould make our 
lands in the iMJdy Grove of more value. 

"I shall conclude by saying, God have mercy on 
us all ! Thomas Brooks." 


By lliC close of the Conforcuce-year, Mr. Jolm- 
sDu's throat was so seriously afl'ected that lie was 
compelled to ask a siq)eraunnated relation, which 
was readily granted him. But our furniture, heds, 
etc., had ]iever come on from ^Slaysville, and all that 
we could learn about them, or Brother Sutherland 
was, that a few days after we left May svi He, Brother 
Sutherland was thrown from his horse, or his horse 
ran away with him, and he was killed. What he 
had done with the goods, nobody could tell. 




jNIr. Johnson now found our g-oods at ^Nlaysville, 
in an attic, or a back-room of a warehouse, not dam- 
aged materially, though they had lain there twelve 
months. He at once liad them shipped to Eddy- 
ville; but even there we did not for some time 
receive all, for some of the furniture, and a box or 
two of bedding, etc., were carried on b}' some mis- 
take and left at Clarksville, and it was a month or 
more before we found them. 

AYe moved at once into our cabin. It was a cabin 
of the true Western type, but it was delightful to 
me because it was a home. "We now had plenty of 
real propert}", but were very much straitened for 
money. Mr. Johnson had increased his tract of 
land in Illinois to tliree hundred and. twenty acres, 
had the fifty acres where we now lived, the two 
liundred acres in Tennessee, and a house and lot 
and two Jive-acrc lots at Ilopkinsville. The follow- 
ing note to ]5rother 0. W'ilkorson, Ilopkinsville, 
will be Ibund interesting: 

'•June 4, 1827. 
"Dear Brother:— l)y this you may learn that 


iiiyseli" and fiimily are yet numbered with mortals, 
Mihject to bodily afflictions, but seeking a better 
country — 'a city wliosc maker and builder is God.' 
Tiierc we liope one day to meet our dear Brother 
and Sister "Wilkerson and tlieir little ones, together 
with many of the good friends who reside in Hop- 
kinsvillo. A7e have hard toiling in this land of 
sin and sorrow, but hope to survive the ills of life, 
and gain a crown of glor3\ 

"Having spent eighteen years of the prime of my 
life and best of my days as an itinerant minister, I 
now, under the inlluence of increasing age and de- 
caying nature, seem as a worn-out instrument, 
which is thrown aside when no longer fit for 
use. It is now very unpleasant to think that my 
good name, which is 'better than precious ointment,' 
should be lost for the want of that thirty dollars due 
from my worthy Brother [NfcGrcw. Perhaps it 13 
enough to say, that for many weeks past I have not 
been the owner of a single dollar, and am now 
really suffering for the want of money. Surely ho 
can pay a part or all of that little sum. 

"I would be glad if you could sell my house and 
lot, together with Brother Richardson's obligation, 
and the two five-acre lots, or any of them separately, 
for the following prices, viz., the house and lot with 
, Richardson's obligation for two years' lease, live 
hundred dollars down, or shv hundred dollars paid 
in six annual installments, taking a lien on the prop- 
erty for security ; the two live-acre lots, one hundred 
dollars — ten dollars per acre. Please write soon to 
yours, etc., John Johnson." 

212 . inccoLLEciroNS of 

Soon after wc were settled in our new liome, Mr. 
Johnson had to take a trip to Tennessee on busi- 
ness, and Thomas was my chief dependence for 
liclp. lie was a stout lioy for liis age, ami carrying 
water, cutting wood, feeding, etc., devolved upon 
liim, and not a great deal of lieavy labor fell upon 
me. But I do not sup})0sc ]\Ir. Johnson had got 
farther than Princeton, on his way to Tennessee, 
when Thomas cut a frightful gash in his foot. I 
was very much alarmed, as it seemed to me he would 
I bleed to death before I could dross the wound. 
j After so long a time, the bleeding ceased; but 
j Thomas was completely disabled, and remained 
so for more than a month. I had to lift him about 
like a child, and it was no easy task to handle thus 
a well-grown boy twelve years of ago. 

And if waiting u})on a cross and crippled boy was 
1 hard, it was harder still to do this, and at the same 
i time do all the work that had previously fallen upon 
I him — getting wood, bringing water from the spring, 
I and feeding what little we had to feed. To this, of 
course, was to bo added my liouse-work, and the 
I care of the other children. Fletcher, our second 
I son, however, was a pretty stout little l\)Mow, 
\ though only five years old, and he and Susannah, 
! my little girl, now nearly eight, helped me consider- 

But about four or five weeks after Tliomas's mis- 
fortune, just as I was beginning to think he would 
, soon be able to resume his work, ho and Fletcher 
both took the ague. Fletcher soon got well again, 
and then every one of the rest of ns took it; so 

THE iu;v. JOHN JoiiNsox. 213 

l-'k-U-hcr and iinsolf liad all the work to do, and I sick 
— it seemed to me that poor human nature could not 
stand it long. Every other day — my ague-days — I 
ro.-o early, and hastened through my morning's 
work so as to have as much done as possible betbrc 
the ague came on, and especially to have victuals of 
sonic kind prepared for the rest of the day, if any 
of the children should wish to eat. Then, how I 
did shake, how my poor head ached, and how deathly 
sick I was ! 

As soon as the shake was over — as it never 
lasted more than two or three hours — I arose to go 
about my evening's work — the now dreaded work 
of bringing water, feeding, milking, and preparing 
for the night. Many a time it was absokitely neces- 
sary for me to hold to the fence as I went, to keep 
from foiling; and it actually seemed that my head 
Avould have burst if I had not tied a handkercliicf 
around it as tightU^ as possible. To make matters 
a little worse, if possible, my little two-year- 
old "Wesley liad the ague too, and every time 
the shake came on, his nose began to bleed, and 
it often bled till I feared the child would bleed to 

At length — for Mr. Johnson was necessarily ab- 
sent for nine weeks — our provisions ran short, and 
it was necessary for us to get some meal. Fletcher 
helped mo, and we gathered corn by littles, till at 
last we had enough for a "turn" to send to mill. 
It was not fully dry, and we had to air and sun it a 
few days ; and you may readily believe, dear readcj-, 
that gathering and shelling this, and then keciiing 


the chickens ofF when drjing it, and dl tlie time 
doing the rcguLar routine of work and tending three 
sick chiklren, -was enough for one little boy and a' 
sick woman to do. 

But we had no horse licrc, and none of us could 
have gone to mill if we hnd had one; so I walked — 
or staggered— over to the Widow Satterfield's, our 
nearest neighbor, and got one of her little boys to 
go to mill for me by promising to knit him a pair of 
socks for his trouble. lie came, but we could not 
get the sack upon the horse's back. Tlie boy, 
Fletcher, and myself, lal)ored, and tugged, and sweat 
over it for a long time, and had almost begun to 
despair, when I thought of getting a chair for a sort 
of resting-place, at half way. Our united efforts 
brought the sack into the chair, and after " blowing " 
awhile, we succeeded, by another effort, in getting 
one end of the sack fairly over the horse's back. 
To adjust the contents now, so that the sack would 
balance, was a comparatively easy task; and, to our 
great joy, the boy was soon to be seen actually on 
his way to mill. 

After Mr. Johnson came home, our time was 
comparatively easy and jdeasant. He, however, 
also "took his turn" with the ague, but did not suf- 
fer so long as the rest of us had. It was now, I 
think, December, and as soon as Mr. Johnson could 
arrange his business mutters, he went to work to 
make a farm; for our house v.'as built iu the woods 
and all the farm was yet to be made. This, no 
doubt, was the cause of our suffering so much with 
ague — (I use the word ague, because in that day 


WO never had any chills, and "intermittent fever" 
is u little out of my style of expression.) We always 
shook, nearly always violently, the teeth "chat- 
tered," the bedstead rattled, and sometimes the 
liousc itself seemed to ^participate in the shake. 
Mnch of the time i^Ir. Johnson was not well 
j^ enough to labor, yet he scarcely ever lost a day. I 
once looked out in the field — for it was close to 
the house — and. saw him lying upon a large log, 
and as I had never before seen him stop to rest in 
the field, I knew he was ill. Perhaps the reader is 
aware that every family, in tlie AYest at least, kept 
spirits of some kind in that early day, to be used with 
harks, or camphor, or something else, as occasion 
might require ; so I now put some water, sugar, and 
Fpice in spirits, and took a wine-glassful to Air. 
Johnson. He appeared to be discouraged and sad, 
as Avell as sick, and my heart was filled with sorrow ; 
but I urged him to drink the cordial, tried witli 
ever}- cheering word I could thinlv: of to encourage 
him, and at length the gloom passed gradually from 
his brow. 

Yet, how manfully did he labor ! lie had no wagon 
or team, and no help, and still he "got out" logs for 
another room to our house, logs for a kitchen, logs for 
a crib, logs for a stable, and I scarcely know what 
else, making, I believe he said, considerably more 
than two hundred logs for building purposes. He 
also made boards enough to cover the new build- 
ings he had projected, and when the day came for 
our "raising," there was little to do but \n\t the 
logs and boards together. Besides this, he cleared 


and "clcaued up" twelve acres of ground, made 

rails enough to fence it in — about three thousand 

i five hundred — and carried cver^'- one of them out to 

I its place in the fence — actually carried every one 

I upon liis shoulder! I made him a heavy pad or 

! cushion to protect Lis sliouldcr, and would gladly 

I have helped him to carry out the rails if I had been 

able to do it. After he had fenced and cleaned up 

the field, belted the trees, and fenced it, it occurred 

to him that a good many trees were still standing, 

and he stood in one place and counted more than 

I five hundred trees ! 

j ^ It was some time before he got a yoke of oxen, 

and he was quite awkward in the management of 

them ; indeed, he borrowed a yoke on one occasion 

from my Brother Elijah, and though they were old 

and gentle, lie found them entirely unmanageable. 

• They turned this way and that, went forw'ard a few 

I steps and backward a good many, utterly refused 

! to obey any word of command whatever, and at 

' last ran away with liim. Being old, they were soon 

satisfied with running, turned into a shade, and 

j hung against a tree. Just then my brother's little 

I boy came along, and sung out, "Uncle, what have 

I you got the steers yoked up that way for ? " " Why, 

; Young, I don't know what is the matter with the 

! oxen; I can't do any thing with them!" "Well, 

uncle," said Young, laughing, "you've got the 

off steer in the lead! " So tlioy unyoked the kind 

but very nua-h bewildered old beasts, rcyokcd 

them with each one on his own side, and all was 

right a2:ain. 


It is scarcely necessary for me to say, that with 
MicL diligence on Mr. Jolin son's part, and, I may 
say, no great lack on my own — and especially with 
itiiproving health and strength — the comforts and 
fonvonicnccsof ahome rapidly increased around us. 




It was here that our precious clukl, James Lewis, 
was bom, on the 9th day of March, 1827. "When 
he was yet a babe in his second year, I used, when 
I got a piece of doih ready for the loom, to leave 
him in charge of his sister all day long, while I was 
gone to weave it. So quiet was his disposition, that 
he gave her no trouble ; and so ardent was my love 
for him, and so anxious was I to complete my task 
quickl}', that after doing my morning's work, I 
used to walk a mile — to father's — and weave six 
yards, and then witli Vv'hat a quick, elastic step I 
hastened back to see my boy! 

Ah, how many little incidents rise up as memory 
runs back to the days that looked so gloomy then — 
so golden now! — incidents quite trivial in them- 
selves, })ut to which iny heart still clings — every 
mother can judge how fondly ! When Lewis was 
scarce two years old. Sister Eebecca and ajNIrs. Ilar- 
riaon spent the night with us, and at fomily prayers 
he knelt with as compk'to a look of devotion as any 
of the comjuuiy. This Ivebecca observed, and she 
touched Mrs, Harrison, and pointed at him with a 
look that bespoke her admiration better than words. 


ITc one clay saw his pa plowing in the field near 
tlic house, and ran out to meet him at the nearest 
point of his "land" — for there never was a more 
affectionate child — and as he ran along to receive 
the accustomed kiss and hasty embrace which his pa 
was never too busy to bestow, he stepped upon some 
coals and embers where a brush-heap had been 
burnt, and burned his feet in a dreadful manner. 
Hearing his cries, I flew to the spot, brought him in, 
and plunged his poor feet into a basin of cold water. 
Never shall I forget the gratitude that beamed in 
those soft blue eyes as the pain ceased, and he 
looked up lovingly into my face. 

Precious child! I seem even now to sec how 
playful he was, a few months later — the last day of 
health that ho ever saw. I was going to wash his 
feet. It w^as a pleasant evening in autumn. He 
ran away, and hid himself for a moment behind the 
corner of the house, and then came bounding back 
with joyous laughter, and threw himself into my 
arms. 'My poor heart doted all too fondly on the 
sweet,, sweet cliild ! 

The next day he was taken sick. Ilis disease 
was one that I knew nothing about — -jaundice. The 
yellow skin and eyes surprised, but did not alarm 
me, till we plainly saw that his life was in danger. 
AVe sent for Dr. Phelps. lie came, and I felt a 
moment's relief when he stepped in ; but how my 
very soul was crushed to the earth when he examined, 
and paused, and looked, and grew sad, and said it 
was too late! Tlie child Avas dying! It is needless 
to dwell upon the increasing pallor that came over 


the hcautiful face, tlie increasingly slow and labored | 

brcalliing, tlie struggle that lasted but a moment, | 

and told that all was over ; or to describe the fane- i 

ral scenes that liave broken so many a mother's f 

lieart ! Mr, Johnson appeared at lirst quite over- I 

whelmed, but after the iirst full gush of sorrow sub- I 

sided, he became calm, and was evidently struggling > 

to preserve his composure. But as he sat motion- { 

less, the silent tears ran down his sunburnt face un- 
observed, and his countenance wore a soul-stricken 
look of anguish that might have softened a heart of 

We buried him at the back part of flither's farm. 
There was a moderate elevation, a pretty site indeed ; 
but it ever after appeared lonely and desolate to me. 
There were a few other graves — my brother had 
buried three children there, and a few little black 
ones rested near — and we thought it would become 
a common burying-place. This grave was where 
we could visit it, and we needed nothing to point it 
out: perhaps it was on this account that we never 
inclosed nor planted a stone, and I do not kuow 
that the spot could now l;>e found ; and even to this 
day I sometimes weep to think that no one cares for 
my dear boy's grave. 

It was now November. "W^inter was approaching, 
and the additional room I spoke of was unfinished. 
I had been exceedingly anxious to have it linished 
and rciidy fur u-o betore cold ^\■eatller. It was fin- 
ished the day before Lewis died, but little did I then 
care for the '-new house"! For days I was not in 
it — did not notice or think of it. 


There is no l)alm that tliis world can aAbrd that 
(■;iu heal the broken heart of a mother who has 
! ])()i'ne her precious lambs to the grave ! ]jut I bless 
(i<i(l that he has furnished a perfect remedy for 
wounded affection. Religion is the true halm of 
Gilead that never fails. To be sustained and sup- 
ported by Divine grace — to be strengthened and 
upheld by an unwavering confidence in God — to 
know that our children are onlj' taken from the cm- 
braces of an earthly to tliose of a heavenly parent 
— to know that they have exchanged a world of sin 
and wretchedness for one of pure and eternal joys, 
and to know of a certainty that they there await our 
coming, and that the day is not distant when we 
shall again be permitted to clasp them to our bosoms, 
and remain in the undisturbed enjoyment of their 
society for ever — this is comfort — this is a balm that 
goes to the very bottom of the wound. Lord, ever- 
more pour this precious balm into our wounded 
liearts ! 

In the autumn of 1829, ^h\ Johnson was sci/.cd 
one evening with cholera morbus. We thought 
little of it, and employed the usual domestic reme- 
dies, as saleratus, paregoric, etc., but without cftect. 
Growing uneasy, I sent for Brother David. Still 
lie grew rapidly worse. AYe then sent Thomas to 
Brother }^.lijah's, and one of Elijah's boys went to 
Princeton for a physician. Dr. AYebb and a young 
doctor came out, and remained till after breakfast 
next moriiing : they then }ironounced the case hope- 
less, and declared tliey could do no more. Dr. 
Phelps, an old physician and neighbor, came in, and 


declared tliat a few hours more woiikl close the 
scene: still, I scarcely know why, I did not believe 
that death was very near. 

The case, however, appeared as desperate as can 
well be conceived, lie was peri<ectly cold, not only 
to the knees and elbows, but halfway up the thighs 
and upper arms. lie was entirely insensible : he lay 
perfectly still upon his back, his hands v>-ere crossed 
npon his breast, his eyes were set and glassy, his 
lips livid and cold, and his nails purple and icy ; and 
about once in two minutes he breathed with a deep, 
convulsive sob, that could be heard at the distance 
of twenty yards. He was shrunk to a skeleton, and 
any one seeing him during the intervals between 
these slow and labored respirations, would at a 
glance pronounce him a corpse. 

My flUher and I were the only ones who had any 
hope. Brother David gave up at daylight^ went 
liome, and sent father and mother over to see Mr. 
Johnson die. After awhile he returned, and with 
him Sister Rebecca. Sister Polly Mercer said, 
" Sister Suky will soon kiunv what it is to be as I 
am — a lonel}^ widow!" JUit Ptcbeeca exclaimed, 
"Why don't you all go to work and do something 
more for him? It will never do for such a man as 
he is to die thus! Come, come!" So, taking the 
lead by general consent, she posted David off to 
Fredouia, after Dr. Stewart; she made a hot and 
very strong decoction of red popper, and she and 
1 began with the energy of desperation to rub the 
cold and apparently lifeless body. 

David, at full gallop, met Dr. Stewart at Elk Horn 


Tavern, and tliej came as fast as their horses could 
fly. The doctor came in. The young doctor ven- 
tured to declare that Mr. Johnson would certainly 
be dead before 12 o'clock. Dr. Stewart looked very 
grave as he made an examination, paused, cast his 
eyes upon the floor, and seemed about to despair. 
My poor heart now began to sink, lie arose and 
paced the room. I cried, "0 doctor, do pray do 
soraetliing for my dear husband!" lie said curtly, 
''I must think — I hardly know what to do." 

But he went to work like a Hercules when he did 
begin. Ho took off" his coat, bared his arms, gave 
Mr, Johnson a warm salt-water bath, hastily prc- 
l>ared some Spanish flies, and with this continued 
the friction with an energy that soon covered his 
own hands with blisters. Ever and anon he stopjK'd 
to drop some liquid upon his patient's tongue, blew 
upon his burning fingers, and went vigorously on 
with the friction. Presently I asked, "Doctor, wliat 
do you think?" He said, '-lean tell in three hours: 
can't in less;" and went on with his work, repeat- 
ing the bath, and often repeating the liquid upon the 

At the end of exactly three hours, a slight pulse 
began to be felt at the wrist and ankle. A contin- 
uous and vigorous use of remedies was at length 
successful in restoring him to consciousness, and, to 
the astonishment of all, he recovered. My gratitu<le 
to Ivcbecca and Dr. Stewart may bo more readily 
conceived than expressed ; but my gratitude to l)i'. 
Stewart was heightened, if possible, when he ilutly 
refused to receive any compeuHalion whatever lur 


Ills trouLlo. ^Vo gave his iiainc in full — AVasbing- 
ton StcAvart — to our next son, \vlio was born in the 
following February ; though it may be disputed 
whether that was of the nature of corn^oensatiou or 

The doctor came by one day, during the follow- 
ing summer, and I took the child out to the fence to 
show^ him, as Stewart had not yet seen him. "How 
he grows!" said lie. "I'll toll you what I'll do: 
I'll make him. a doctor, and give him a piece 
of land." "Xo, doctor," said I; "you saved me 
from a life of disconsolate widowhood, and that is 
enough." I suppose that the gratification the doctor 
then felt, or which I thought I could plainly see 
beaming from his countenance, is one of the few real 
pleasures that the practice of medicine afibrds. 

The remainder of our time passed very much as 
agricultural life generally passes. I\rr. Johnson 
preached pretty frerpiently, delivering the sermon 
for nearly every Masonic celebration at Princeton, 
Eddyville, etc., and taking an active part in the pro- 
tracted and camp-meetings of the country. At 
length, in the autumn of 1831, Mr. Johnson con- 
sidered himself able to resume regular work, and 
WTote to the Conference, which met at Louisville in 
October, ofiering his services if they were wanted. 
The following is the closing paragraph of his letter 
to the Conference: 

'•It will, ]»cihap3, bo oxpocted that I sliould have 
some choice and some recpiost to make. ]\[y choice 
is, that God may choose all my changes, may give 
nie the a])pointmont which it is most fit that I should 


liavo, and preside over me and my cliargo. If I have 
any request to make, I should make two : 1. That eacli 
jiroacherwill covenant with me to read, with serious 
and prayerful attention, once a month, the 12th and 
1 kh Boctions in the Ist chapter of our Discipline, if 
Jiaply it may be a means of our accomplishing more 
good. 2. That they will grant me an interest in 
their petitions at the throne of grace." 




Soon after Conforonce, Brotlior Littleton Fowler 
came down and informed Mr. Johnson that he had 
been appointed Presiding Elder on Green River 
District. The Kentncky Conference had now^ at- 
tained the magnitude of six Districts. The first, 
Kentucky District, Wm. Gunn, Presiding Elder, lay 
between the Kentucky and Licking Rivers, includ- 
ing Lexington, Frankfort, Xcwport, etc. The sec- 
ond, Augusta District, Richard Corwinc, Presiding 
Elder, included all the north-eastern part of the 
State from Licking to Big Sandy, and extended 
almost indefinitely southward. The third, Rock- 
castle District, George W. Taylor, Presiding Elder, 
lay in the center of tlic State, including Danville, 
Somerset, etc. Tlio fourth, Ohio District, Beiij. T. 
Crouch, Presiding Elder, extended from Kentucky 
River as far west as Jlarttbrd, with Louisville 
nearly in the center. Tlie iifth. Green River Dis- 
trict, Johnson, Prc-^iiling Elder, included all 
the territory between Green arid Tennessee Rivers, 
from the Ohio River to the Tennessee line, as far 
east as Simpson county. The sixth, Cun-ih(M-Iand 


District, i\Iarcus Lindsey, rrcsiding Elder, included 
the south-eastern portion of the State, the head- 
Avatcrs of Cumberland, Green, and Salt Rivers, from 
I Clasgo^v to the mountains, and almost indefinitely 

r northward, to meet the Augusta and Ohio Districts. 

I Green River was the only District in the Confer- 

ence that contained less than four thousand mem- 
bers. It was also the only District that ^Ir. John- 
son could travel without moving his family or leav- 
ing them for the entire year. On this account I was 
well pleased with the appointment ; and I suppose 
I should almost deny being a woman if I denied 
feeling some gratification on the score of pride ; for 
every one knows that a wonaan feels the praises and 
the reproaches bestowed upon her husband as keenly 
as he does, and generally a great deal more so. 

But every cup of joy is mingled with grief. My 
father had been long sufleriug from the varied infir- 
mities of age, but still we thought him stout, and 
hoped he might yet have several years of life belbrc 
him. He was eighty-three years of age, but his 
form was erect, and his step seemed firm and vigor- 
ous. His strength, however, began to decline very 
rapidly, and it became too apparent that his end 
was nigh. His life had been one of quiet and peace, 
and his death was the befitting close of such a life. 
•Resigned, and tranquil, and happy tliroughout his 
afflictions, his last days and hours were so eminenlly 
peaceful, that truly 

Wc thought liim dying when he slept, 
And sleeping when ho died. 

For he dropped into a quiet sleep, and not one limb 

228 ' RECOLLECTIONS OF .;^. . ''[ '^•^ 

or feature iiiovcd, but ho never awoke from that 
peaceful shimbcr. I have many a time applied to 
this scene the lines of Mrs. liarhauld : 

So fades a summer cloud away ; 

So sinks tlio gule when storms arc o'er; 
So gontl}' shuts tlic eye of day; 

So dies a wave along the shore. 

It was a source of consolation to me to know, 
that although my parents had so bitterly opposed 
my marriage, they had, long before my father's 
death, not only become fully reconciled to my choice, 
but ardently attached to my once despised husband. 
My mother plainly intimated to me at sundry- times, 
that she liked Mr. Johnson a little better than any 
of her sons-in-law, and felt more pride in him than 
in any otlicr relative she had; and my father, upon 
his death-bed, seemed best content when Mr. John- 
son was with him. 

As I now had a settled home, not a great deal of 
Mr. Johnson's experiences fell within the range of 
my own observation. Indeed, my attention was, 
perhaps, too much engrossed by domestic aftairs. 
We had but a small farm, and we had to labor assid- 
uously, and to make the most of our resources. 
We had now three boys large enough to labor, aged 
respectively about seventeen, ten, and seven years; 
and our general crop was about twenty acres of corn, 
and five of tobacco. The corn was entirely for 
home consumption, while the tobacco was the sole 
dependence for money. This we had Billy Gray, 
our neighbor, to ship to Nev/ Orleans, and the pro- 

.■>■'. THE, REV. JOHN JODNSON. 229 

cecds farinsjjcd the year's supplies of groceries and 
staple goods, besides bringing in a little raoney. 
Three cents a pound was as much as wc ever ex- 
pected to get; the price was more frequently two 
cents, and not very seldom as low as one and a half. 
And the supplies that we usually laid, in consisted 
of a barrel of salt, fifty pounds of coflee, one hun- 
dred pounds of sugar, a two-gallon deniijolin of 
whisky,-^' a bolt of domestic, a bolt of calico, and a 
pair of shoes apiece for all. 

While the first crop was being raised — 1832 — I 
was kept out of the field most of the time by having 
charge of a very cross child — our sixth son. To 
this child we gave the name of Adam Clarke, it 
being more than probable that, though that man 
was an illustrious commentator, this young liopcful 
of ours might become a much more "common 
'tater" than he. Yet, I sometimes this year, imd 
often the following year, made my way out into the 
field to aid the boys. At one time, as the worms on 
the tobacco were very bad, and the "worming" was 
falling behind, I resolved to help about even this. 
As I could not muster courage to put the insects — 
or shall I say reptiles? — through the usual process 
by hand, I took a small pair of tongs with me, and 
by the aid of this simple weapon — one not much 
used for this purpose, however — I did very consid- 
erable execution. The boys laughed at my squeam- 
ishness about handling the worms, and my awkward- 

*Quiulno vras then unknown, and a;;uc aycII known; and tho 
only remedy was barks in -whisky or wine. 


ness, and they declared that making tobaceo-liills'' *' 
was still worse. They said that Fletcher was once 
engaged at this, and having reached the end of liis 
row, looked back, witli a half sigh and half slmd- 
der, saying, "I wouldn't be back at you end, and 
have all that row to make, for a tliousand dollars." 

While I am. upon domestic affairs, I mnst relate an 
adventure that Mr, Johnson had with one of his own 
dogs. We had two of these animals, both unusu- 
ally large ; one mild and" docile, that bore the name 
of Hector, or simply Ilec. : and the other, half wolf, 
and proportionately ferocious, that rolled up vicious 
eyes to the less classic name of Trip. Both dogs 
accompanied Mr. Johnson when he walked out 
about the farm; and Trip had already acquired some 
notoriety by snapping fingers that came too near 
his mouth, and snapping off chickens' heads on 
every occasion. 

Mr. Johnson accidentally struck the irritable beast 
with his foot, and in a moment he sprang upon him, 
knocking from liis hand a large stick with which he 
was walking. ]\lr. Johnson tried in vain to disen- 
gage himself from the powerful dog, and presently 
both came to the ground together. The dog's aim 
seemed to be to fasten ]]ls terrible jaws upon the 
throat, which would have been almost certain death. 
But IIcc. now came up, leaped upon his fellow-dog, 
and jerked him off' jiis prostrate master; but not 
until coat and vest had been torn into shreds, and 
some serious bites and bruises infficted. Mr. John- 
so)i arose and recovered the stick, which had a very 
large buck-horn on the end, and went to work with 

THE REV. jonx JonxsoN. 231 

fall dctermiuation to kill the dog ; yet such was the 
animal's vigor and vitality, that although Mr. John- 
son was a strong man, and the cane a heavy one, 
yet he gave the dog twenty blows with all his might 
fall upon the head, knocking away till he knocked 
the buck-horn off, which was never done before or 
since, Avithout even seeming to divert hi^^ altontion 
a moment from the other dog. The vicious Trip 
had to retreat, at length, from the valorous Ilec, 
and ran oil', as we all thought, to die ; but after two 
weeks' absence, he came back with a head twice as 
large as he ever had before, and apparently twice 
as much.sense in it. 

It was during this year — 1S32 — that the cholera 
visited our section of the country. AVe were iirst 
alarmed by its appearance in the United States, 
then by its breaking out "down the river," nt New 
Orleans, then by the report that it was "up the 
river," then the general rumor in everybody's 
mouth, that it was all along the river, and on all the 
rivers. It was at about this stage of the alarm that 
a decidedly uncultivated neighbor of ours came in 
one day, scared nearly out of breath by the latest 
reports, and exclaimed, as she panted, "Well, tiioy 
say the cholera's a comin', shore! Lord 'a mercy! 
I don't know what we shall do! It's all along the 
river, and it's a gcttih' more iachuler all the time, 
and, by jing, I believe it'll be here next!" I 
tliought that her amendment in morals was hardly 
keeping pace with her fears, and suggested that she 
emplov the former ejaculation more, and the latter 



It was not long till somebody got off a boat at 
Eddj'ville, and started tlio fatal epidemic there ; not 
long till it was brought by a like means to Prince- 
ton. Every family that could leave, left the place; 
but from necessity, indili'oreiice, or other cause, the 
large majority remained; and among these, and 
especially among transient persons, the disease 
raged with fearful violence. Almost the onl}^ per- 
sons who were ^^■i]ling to v.ait upon the sick, were 
two brothers of the name of I'acli. These coura- 
geous and kind-hearted fellows rose from obscurity 
to fiime at a single bound. They carried medicine 
to the sick, and waited upon them ; they were 
inquired of at every corner, but from the other 
side of the street, if possible, how the sick w^ere, 
and what the cholera was doing ; and whenever any 
one felt unwell, the first exclamation was, "I feel 
mighty bad; I wonder where Eph. Pach is?" 

An old widow lady, named Conway, came to stay 
with me a few weeks while y\v. Johnson was gone 
upon the District. tShe liad been somewhat unwell 
one day, and at evening she lay down upon the bed ; 
and I presently noticed hc-r ua;-diig earnestly through 
the window at the setting sun. I asked her, jocosefy, 
^vhat she was Uioking at. She said, "I'm looking 
at the sun; it looks so bright and beautiful! and it 
is the last time I shall ever sec it in this world ! " I 
tried to talk her out of this desponding mood; but 
she was nearer ii':ht than I. Not long after dark, 
she was seized with cholera. I sent to the neigh- 
bors for help, but all were afraid to come, and no 
one but a son of the r)ld lady came. She was 


rational and resigned; indeed, she seemed to have 
been looking for the grim messenger long, and now 
she rejoiced at his coming. She died long before 
daylight, and next morning the neighbors were 
kind enough to come in and attend to her burial. 

A few evenings afterward, I was attacked by the 
same terrible malady, and ma}' as well own tliat I 
felt a measure of the alarm wliieh it seldom fails to 
inspire. But some one had told me that a diet 
liighly sweetened was a good preventive, and having 
almost insatiable thirst, I drank freely of water as 
sweet as we could make it. By virtue of this rem- 
ed}', or of the mildness of the attack, or of vigor 
of constitution, or of all combined, I improved, and 
in a few days entirely recovered. We were very 
thankful that no one else of our family was attacked ; 
and we ascribed our health in part to a free use of 
sweetened drinks. 

The rest of our time passed quietly, with little to 
remark, except the annoyances of our very disa- 
greeable neighbor, John Wilcox, the half-brother 
of Peter Cartwright, before mentioned. Wilcox 
Avas not an industrious farmer, but depended more 
upon his wits for making money — that is, upon 
swindling. lie sometimes went to Xcw Orleans, 
and always had man}' stories to tell of his sharpness 
in getting money or goods for nothing. His fences 
were not much better than his character ; and for 
our stock to come up lame, or maimed and muti- 
lated, was quite a common occurrence. Still, we 
avoided having any collision with him. But 0)io 
morning he came along, and scolded and cursed 


ver}Mniich at my boys, about tbo pigs "breaking 
in" and rooting up his tobacco, I called the boys 
in, and j;aid to AVilcox, "From the fuss you make 
about tobacco, a person might think you had some. 
A pig without specks could never find your tobacco." 
lie Avent on, apparently not greatly appeased by my 




I BELIEVE there was no cliaiii!:e in the District ex- 
cept in name, it being called Green Tiiver last year, 
and Ilopkinsvillc District now. 

I nuist confine myself to a few general views of 
Mr. Johnson's labors during the two or three years 
that he had charge of this District. 

JIc was always laboring to circulate the literature 
of the Church. Ilis opinion was, that in no other 
way could Methodism be established so thorouglily, 
so generally, and so permanently, as by the general 
circulation of the Methodist papers and periodicals. 
Hence I find all over his memorandum-books, and 
all over the blank pages of letters, such memoranda 
as these: "Received of Josiah Ivenip, of Hopkins- 
villc, ^2 in advance for Christian Advocate and 
Journal." "Received of George B. Petty, Prince- 
ton, $2,50 for the Christian Advocate and Journal." 
"Received of R. Bibb §2 in advance for the Advo- 
cate and Journal." "Received of John L. ]\Ioore 
s?2.50, Franklin, Simpson county." "Received of 
AV. Brewer ^^2, Elkton, Todd county, Ky., for Ttli 
volume Advocate, June 12, 1833." In fact, Mr. 
Johnson did so much for the circulation of the Ad- 


voeate, wherever lie went, that the publishers sent 
it to him gratis for twenty years after he quit trav- 
eling. It will be remembered that the Christian 
Advocate and Journal was then the only paper 
published by our denomination. And he attributed 
much of his success in preaching to the silent but 
powerful influence of this paper at the homes and 
firesides of the members of the Church. 

He preached a larger proportion of the sermons 
delivered at Masonic celebrations, than any other 
man. Gifted with a power of condensation which 
enabled him to say as much in thirty or forty min- 
utes — the length of nearly every one of his sermons 
— as some men wou]d say in two hours, his preach- 
ing was eminently satisfactory to all on those occa- 
sions, a crowd then rendering perfect comfort in an 
audience impossible. And the melting pathos of 
his style was well adapted to foster the feelings of 
charity, pity, and fraternal love. A distinguished 
Mason said, ^'If I always felt as benevoloit as I do 
for a while after I hear Mr. Johnson preach, I do 
believe I 'd give away every thing I 've got in the 

lie preached more funerals than perhaps any 
other man, in those three years. When Judge 
Dixon Given, of Salem, died, he was buried with 
the utmost honors of ^lasonry, and Mr. Johnson 
went twenty - five miles to preach the sermon. 
Kever, I suppose, was such a concourse assembled 
in Livingston county as the reputation of the de- 
ceased and that of the speaker combined brought 
out upon that occasion ; and never did every thing 


connected with the faneral obsequies of an}' one 
give more universal satisfaction than was expressed 
by the vast multitude then and there asscjnblcd. 
Judge Given was father of Henry and his brothers, 
of the well-known firms of Given, Watts & Co., etc. 

&o strong was the desire to have a funeral 
preached by hira in memory of the departed, that, 
in some instances, he was urged to preach, when 
the deceased was notoriously an undesirable subject 
for a discourse. A young man Harris died at 
Princeton; and though Mr. Johnson was not per- 
sonally acquainted with him, and though young 
Harris had been notoriously and desperately wicked 
down to his dying hour, nothing would satisfy the 
relatives but that Mr. Johnson should preach his 
faneral. He very reluctantly complied. lie se- 
lected the text, "Say ye to the righteous," etc. He 
dwelt at some length upon the distinguishing murks 
of the two classes, followed each class to its final 
doom, and concluded by saying, "I was not person- 
ally acquainted with the deceased. You who knew 
liim, can best tell to which class he belonged in life 
and in death. The great interest with us is, so to 
live and so to die that God himself may say it is 
well with us." Some of the friends were displeased 
that a funeral -sermon should fail to magnify the 
virtues and bury the faults of the dead. 

There was a wealthy and distinguished family in 
Caldwell county when we left there, who had caUcd 
for Mr. Johnson's services at every funeral that had 
occurred among them for nearly ten years; and 
after we removed to Illinois, tlie mother died, and 


1 hev friends offered to pay Mr. Johnson's expenses 
I and give liim fifty dollars if lie would go back to 
! Kentucky and preacli her funeral. She bad, upon 
I ber death-bed, requested that be should be induced 
I to do so if possible; and as she mentioned no second 
! choice, ber funeral was never preached. Indeed, 
j another admirer of Mr. Johnson's style of oratory, 
I bearing of our intended removal, said, as if be 
i himself hardly knew whether he was in earnest 
or not, "Mr. Johnson has preached the funerals of 
j all my friends for the last ten years; I don't be- 
! lieve be would come back here if I were to die; 
I and I've a great mind to get him to preach mine 
j before be goes away." 

I Ilis preaching was "with demonstration of the 

I Spirit and of power." There was a camp-meeting 
I at Keed's Camp-ground, which was within live or 
! six miles of us; and it had continued for several 
days without any apparent fruit. Something was 
wrong, all was cold, and every thing went on with 
a drag. On Sabbath morning, Mr. Johnson came. 
He bad been from home, was detained by business, 
I and returned home late on Saturday evenino-. 
' When he came ujion the ground, it seemed a fore- 
gone conclusion with everybody that be should 
preacli at 11 o'clock. He was urged to do so, and 
complied. As I sat rather in the outskirts of the 
congregation, on account of having a babe to attend 
to, I beard a wild and prof-me young man declare, 
in an undertone, but with an oath, that be would 
I bet fifty dollars that ^Mr. Johnson would get up a 
■ shaking among the dry bones. I tlioui^^ht he did 


preach with uncommon liberty and power. Though 
liis sermon, as usual, did not exceed thirty or forty 
minutes, he so reached the hearts of the people 
lliat, before his time was half expired, he had much 
more than half his congregation bathed in tears; 
and before he closed, I think there could not have 
been less than fifty persons shouting the praises of 
God at once. I saw an old man, mentioned before, 
"vtIio was knoAvn all over that section by the familiar 
name of Old Eilly G]'ay — a uian who struggled hard 
for wealth, and seemed to care for nothing else — 
exerting himself manfully to repress his feelings, 
but so far failing that, while his eyes were fixed on 
Mr. Johnson like those of a statue, his whole frame 
quaked and quivered like an aspen leaf It was 
with difficulty that he could so much as keep liis 
seat. Hearing a cr}'- for mercy at a little distance, 
I turned my eyes to the point IVom whence it came, 
and what should I see but the young man who was 
ready to bet the flft}' dollars a little while before, 
prostrate on the ground and crying for mercy at the 
top of his voice! It is needless to add that the 
meeting became a glorious success. 

Mr. Johnson seemed to know all the avenues of 
the soul, and he could certainly reach and rouse the 
feelings with as few words as any other man. At 
one of his camp-meetings, Avhen of course lie had 
to preach at 11 o'clock on Sabbath, an urgent re- 
quest came up fi'om many leading members of the 
society, that lie would preach on Campbellism. lie 
generally avoided controversy, as not to 
spiritual edification ; but the disciples of Caiiipboll 


had been so loud and violent in their demonstrations 
at that place, that he Ihonglit his duty to the Church 
required him to notice them. In order "to get the 
job off hands at once," he spoke about an hour and 
a half; and so completely did he do his work, that 
it proved the quietus of the "Disciples" in that sec- 
tion for a number of j^ears. I have been told that, 
for ten years after that time, there was not a society 
of Campbcllitcs organized cr known to exist in all 
that section of the country. At the conclusion of 
the subject, he paused, and then said, "I am almost 
ashamed that I have given so much attention to 
what really deserves so little. I feel as if I had had 
hold of something that was not fit to be handled. 
Campbellisnf, since I have turned loose a few bolts 
of Scripture-truth upon it, looks bad; it looks pale; 
it looks mean; it looks shabby; it looks absolutely 

And thus he sneered "at the ruin he had 
wrought," until the congregation were all a-grin, 
except indeed the victims, and these were excess- 
ively enraged. I thought it was a bad state of 
feeling for the Sabbath morning service, and one 
which it was impossible to supplant by a feeling of 
devotion. But he adroitly dropped the subject, and 
said that religious experience was one of much more 
vital importance. lie noticed his own experience; 
and though he gave not more than ten minutes in 
all to his concluding remarks, I never witnessed 
such a change. Every word seemed to take hold 
of everybody's heart; and when he sat down, there 
was such a universal shout in the congregation as I 


luirdly ever beard before. It was like tlic bursting 
forth of a tornado. There couhl not have been 
less than two hundred people shouting at tlie top 
of their voices, besides twice that number who gave 
vent to their feelings in a more quiet way. I. think 
tliere were some big-mouthed fello^vs among them, 
that shouted all the rest of that day. 

I reckon there never was as glorious a meeting, 
and at the same time no meeting at all, as Mr. 
Johnson had in Ilopkinsvillc one night. He had 
an appointment to preach, but the sexton had mis- 
understood it, and was gone to the country with the 
churcli-key in his pocket. Of course the congrega- 
tion could not get ini-buttbc}^ had come out intent 
to liear, and lingered about the door, "waiting for 
something to turn up." At the hour, Mr. Johnson 
came, and was soon informed what was the matter. 
It reminded him of the five virgins shut out from 
the marriage-feast, and lie began to talk about it, 
with no apparent intention of making a discourse. 
His feelings became warm, however, and be talked 
for about twenty minutes. The people were sitting, 
standing, or leaning upon whatever was at hand, 
nobody was "in position," but all had stopped to 
listen. Mr. Johnson became happy — all became 
happy — and for many minutes, the very town rang 
Again with the shouts of happy men and women. 
And even when the company dispersed, some being 
"unable to carry home all their load," they went 
shouting along down the streets i]i every direction; 
though they could scarcely tell when they got homo 
whether they had had meeting or not. 


I believe tliat, witliout any eflbrt to win tlie pub- 
lic favor, Mr. Joliusoii possessed a very great degree 
of personal popularity. A Miss Cobb— afterward 
Mrs. Dr. Clark — comparing their estimates of Mr. 
Johnson and of other preachers, said, ''When Mr. 
Johnson comes to our house, we put the big pot in 
the little one; and we scarcely think worth while 
to sweep up the ashes for the other preachers." A 
very pious old lady bestowed her compliment in 
a diiicrent form: "Brother Johnson," said she, 
''there 's a woe pronounced against you ! " "AYell, 
liow is that, Sister Burgess?" "Why, the Scrip- 
ture says, 'AVoe unto you, wlien all men shall speak 
. well of you ! ' " A compliment which gave but little 
of the pleasure it was intended to give. An old 
brother, from the borders of Christian and Caldwell' 
counties, declared, a few years ago, "I 'd ride twenty 
miles, old as I am — I 'd ride twenty miles this day 
to hear Brother Johnson preach one time as he used 
to preach, if I knew I 'd have to ride every mile of 
the distance back to-night." 

Of tlie circuit-preachers with whom I became ac- 
quainted during this period — George W. Brush, 
George W. Bobbins, Abrarn Long, Bobert Y. 
McBeynolds, Alex. 11. Stemmons, John Bcdmau, 
Henry J. Evans, Bobert F. Turner, Wilson S. 
Mc^Murry, Hooper Crews, In". B. Lewis, etc. — I have 
not space to say all that 1 would love to say. ]->ut 
I will sny this of tliom all: they were truly evan- 
gelical men— men whose soul, body, and inlluenco 
were wholly given to their work, and preachers to 
whom it always edilied the Church to listen. They 


j^' also cherished the social qualities that a preacher 
[ ought to have, and made themselves exceedingly 
]tlcasant in every household where they came. 
There vas about them none of that cold and distant 
demeanor which so often throws a chill upon my 
licart when I meet wnth ministers of our own Church 
Irom the Xorth and East. They were as fathers to 
the young, as brothers to those of their own age, 
and as children to the aged — kind and attentive in 
every relation, and no one who had a heart could 
choose but love them. 

For fifteen years or more, Mr. Johnson had been 
investing his little surplus means in land in Illinois; 
and he now ow'ned about four hundred acres in Jef- 
ferson county, lying east and south-east of Mount 
Vernon, from a half mile to two miles from tliat 
place. lie had now^ sold his house and lots at ]Io}i- 
kinsville, and had bought four hundred acres in 
Livingston county — now Crittenden — about iivo 
miles north of the present town of Marion. 





In the autinnii of 1834, we began in earnest to 
I prepare for a removal to Illinois. I had long been 

opposed to the step ; but for the last few years we 
\ had had a great deal of sickness, and Mr. Johnson's 

i relatives constantly assured us that theirs was a 

j health}' country. James Johnson wrote to us that 

I he had been living there for sixteen years, then liad 

j I think fifteen in family, and had never had a phy- 

I sician called in since he left Tennessee. By dcfrrees 

i my opposition wore away, and I consented to move. 

I Mr. Johnson located. Ho sold his land in Critten- 

: den county to Alexander Dean, now one of the old- 

. ( est and most highly esteemed citizens of his county. 

; He sold the home-place to Thomas Hunter, then 

quite a young man, but now one of the most sub- 
stantial men of Caldwell county. Hunter paid §7 
per acre for the land in Caldwell, which Mr. John- 
son had increased to seventy-five acres; and I am 
told Hunter has recently sold it for !?45. Dean paid 
$2, I think, for the land in Crittenden, which he 
now holds at §10. Ho also bouglit the greater part 
. I of our stock—among tlie rest, I remember he paid 

: mo §7 for one hundred chickens, which would 


indicate an aLiinclaiice of fowls in the neigbbor- 
liood, and a low price. And. there were many 
things wliich would have brought but little if sold 
at public sale, but which every farmer needs, and. 
these Hunter knew we could not help but leave, so 
lie refused to buy. 

I need, not dwell u^ion the parting scene: it is 
familiar to any of the myriads of families who liave 
sought new homes in the West. My mother was 
now nearly eighty years of age, and it was but too 
evident that I should never meet her again in this 
world. Her parting admonition showed the high 
regard she had for Mr. Johnson, and — I may as well 
own it — her knowledge of my own irascibility. 
Her last words w'ere, "Farew^ell, Suky! Be kind 
to j\Ir. Johnson!" In the midst of the sorrow at 
parting, I was a little amused at the contemptuous 
sneer of a negro girl of my brother's, who had been 
living with us. Said she to my daughter, "You 
gwine off to dat stinkin' ole Eelinoy? AVell, I 
aetelee would not go!" 

AVe were now a scattered family. ]My Brother 
Thomas and brother-in-law and sister Gordon had 
already moved to Missouri; my brother-in-law Pem- 
bcrton soon followed; and now w'e were off tor Illi- 
nois. ]My youngest brother and sister — still single 
— lived at home w^ith mother; and they had a sufFi- 
cienc}' of the comforts of life ; but I felt exceedingly 
sad when I thought of the sense of desolate loneli- 
ness that must so frequently almost overpower my 
mother, as she thought of old family associations 
now severed for ever. For the young, the future is 


always fall of light and hope; but with the aged, 
all hopes of this world arc buried, and all the lio-]it 
that life aftords is the bright and beautiful gloAv 
which now irradiates the days, the scenes, and the 
loved ones that are gone— never to return. 

Our train consisted of a gig and a dearborn — 
which, my young reader, you would call a hack— 
for the family and fornily baggage, a cart and oxen 
of our own, and two wagons which Air. Jolrnson's 
nephevv-s, Paissell Tyler and James E. Johnson, had 
brought from Illinois. These nephews were young 
men, full of life, and very mucli elated at our re- 
moval ; and they exhibited a corresponding degree 
of hilarity on every possible occasion. A man liv- 
ing at the roadside — the cabins were sometimes 
within ten feet of the wagon-track— asked where 
we Avere from. "From?" sung out James- little 
Jimmy, we called him, to distinguish him from his 
Uncle James, who was six feet three— "/ro/^i every- 
where but here, and we want to get from here as 
fast as possible." 

Their incessant jokes with one another, and with 
everybody we Jiict, spiced with an occasional burst 
of song, went far to neutralize the saddening effects 
of leaving the home and associatioiis that had 
grown so dear in the lapse of years. Still, as we 
ascended the hill on the north side of the Ohio at 
the famons Cave-in-lioek, and as I looked back 
over the forests and hills of Kentucky stretching 
away into the blue distance, and felt that I then 
beheld them for the last time, I could not refrain 
from tears. I even regretted the stop we had 


taken — He alone -svho kncwetli all hearts ever 
knew Low bitterly. 

We found most of the country within twenty 
miles of the river extremely hilly, the people very 
]>oor and few in number, and their houses the most 
wretched shanties imaginable. And, to render this 
part of our journey yet more unpleasant, we were 
so heavily loaded that all hands had to walk up 
most of the hills, and I had to carry a child two and 
a half years old in my arms. lie could walk ; but 
being benumbed or sluggish from riding, or from 
some other cause, he utterly refused to proceed 
when placed upon his feet. At length, however, 
about the middle of October, we reached Mount 
Vernon, and proceeded at once to the house of Mr. 
Johnson's Brother James, who lived some two miles 
from tow]i. 

Here we remained about two weeks. There was 
no house upon our land except a single small cabin, 
and Mr. Johnson had bought a house and lot in 
town, but the house was not Cjuite ready for occu- 
pancy. I had all along, ever since we left South 
Carolina, considered myself to be in a new countr}-; 
but Jefferson county appeared so very new, that all 
we liad ever seen before seemed old in comparison. 
On my so expressing myself to some of the friends, 
they assured me that the country was a great deal 
older than when they came out in 1817. I cannot 
forl)car to gi\'c you, dear reader, the substance, as 
nearly as I can recollect, of two or three incidents 
which they related to me; and I think you, too, 
will be convinced that the country was new in those 


cla^-s. I think our niece — now Mrs. Anna ^loss — 
"wns the narrator. 

^Vhcn Lewis Jo]]nson — Anna's father — came out 
in 1817, there were but four families in the entire 
settlement. Xothing could equal the excitement 
produced by the arrival of new settlers. Lewis ar- 
[,, rived at his Brother James's about noon, and the 

news was soon sent to "all the rest of the folks." 
All came, and such embracing, and kissing, and 
weeping for joy, are nowadays unheard of. The 
[ children ran, and capered, and yelled, and laughed 

j that forest-stirring laugh that is heard nowhere else 

i but in the backwoods of the West, till they seemed 

\ really on the borders of insanity. After dinner, the 

j new-comers hastened on, about two miles, to "get 

! fixed up " in their new residence before nijxht, three 

I other families accompanying. An hour's drive 

i brought them to the camp. This edifice was con- 

I structed by driving four poles into the ground, and, 

i by some means scarcely to be understood now, 

making these support a roof — a roof that deposited 
water on one side only. The floor M^as wanting en- 
tirely, but was soon su])plied by broad strips of bark 
peeled from the hickory-trees. Here Lewis spent 
several months; and Anna assured me it was the 
happiest period of her life. 

Kot long after Lewis's arrival, there came in a 

fiimily of old friends from Tennessee, of the name 

of Maxcy — a very intorcsliiig family, as it included 

. a young gentleman or two and several young ladies. 

t The natural result was, after a while, a threefold 

I wedding — three Caseys and three Maxcys all going 


oil' at once. This was tlie first wedding, and of 
course tbc most important event, that had ever oc- 
curred in the settlement. The excitement Avas'iu- 
tense. Every man, woman, and child was invited. 
The lick was no safe place for the deer, nor the 
night-perch for the turkey; and the hunting excur- 
sions in the woods, the resting hours at home, and 
the vacant moments at meeting, were carefully 
dedicated to the absorbing topic. The elders 
[ seemed to ^-row younger as the day a})proached, 
and the juniors less and less able to keep oil' the 
malady known as "duck-fits." 

At length the identical evening came ; and here 
the people came teeming by dozens — that is, by two 
or three dozen; and the bright copperas of the 
striped pants, and the bright white and blue of the 
checked coats, and the bright yellow of tlie straw 
liats, and the bright checks of the sun-bonnets, 
formed a picture bright enough to please a king. 
The feast — for it was a feast — was both sumptuous 
and substantial. Venison, turkey,' and smaller 
game, in all varieties and in all forms; corn-bread 
in all ils varieties and forms; butter, milk, etc., 
made it such a feast as too seldom blesses the pres- 
ent generation. The pranks, the jests, the anec- 
dotes, the capers, the good hearty laughter, and all 
the merriment of that evening, it would, I suppose, 
be much easier to imagine than to describe. 

But in the '-last extremity," they were reduced 
to a shift more susceptible of description. The 
house was quite a large one for tliat da}^, large 
enough for all ordinary purposes, but it consisted 


of only one single room. The stable was outof llic 
question ; and tlic only rooms on the place besides 
"U'cre the smoke-house and cook-shed. Bui time 
was precious. The hour of rest drew near, and 
some pi-ovision must be made for it. So all turned 
out, and with a few nice clapboards and round 
poles that wci-e at hand, they soon reared three "as 
nice bedsteads as ever 3-ou saw" — made under such 
circumstances. Then two of the couples were dis- 
posed of in the smoke-house, and the other in tlie 

Another little incident, rather ridiculous in itself, 
shows that whatever else they don't have in a new 
country, they do liave a streak of human nature. 
For twelve years after the first settlement, there was 
but one Loi!;liorn bonnet in all that country; and as 
this belong-cd to Si:-:ter jNlilly Tyler, a very motherly 
laily, and was also very plain, exceedingly plain, no- 
body objected to it. But, after so long a time, Sally 
Hails — now everybody's Aunt Sally — "went to 
town" — which then meant going to Alton, about 
fifty miles — and brought back a Leghorn bonnet. 
JSTobody doubted lior getting it lionestly; it was 
plain enough, having not an "artillcial" nor an 
{ extra ribbon ; but it was new — not a hole, nor break, 

' nor weather-stain about it — and that was a little too 

much. So the first time she was caught in com- 
pany, one of the elder ladies approached hqr, and 
asked her if .-he was ''spruced up" to court the 
, young men while her husband was still living. 

\ The AvcU-nieaning but too inquisitive friend, how- 

i ever, was nnide to -'smell brimstone" for her im- 


pertinence, and Legliorn was thcuccfonvard studi- 
ously let alone. 

Tliese little narratives, and a great man}' more, 
satisfied me that, although Illinois Avas a new coun- 
try, there had been a time when it was a great deal 
more so. 

We removed into our house on the third day of 
Xovember. We found Mount Yernon, as the phrase 
now is, "a hard place." There were only five pro- 
fessors of religion m town — three ]\Icthodists and 
two Baptists ; and there was the same number of 
groceries — five: the former, however, having no 
connection with the latter. There was no church; 
and the school-house was a wretched little log-hut, 
a quarter of a mile from the court-house, and con- 
sequently entirely out of sight of town; for the 
town stood at the northern side of a prairie some 
two miles square, just at the edge of the woods. 
There were two blacksmith-shops and three stores, 
and about a dozen residences of different kinds, 
mostly of logs: one which I particularly remember, 
was a little dirty-looking cabin near the north-west 
corner of the Square, occupied by S. 11. Anderson, 
afterward lieutenant-governor of the State. The 
court-house was a miserable two-story brick, built 
with two gables, etc., like an old-fashioned farm- 
house, but small and rusty; and a dingy-looking 
log-house in ten feet of it, was denominated the 
jail. There was a wagou-ti-ack, Avide enough for 
^vagons to meet and pass, in the middle of the two 
or three principal streets; and all the rest of these 
Btreets, and the entire Public Square, and nearly all 


the rest of llic town, were completely, covered with 
bushes and dog-icnneh I believe there was not u 
lot in town fenced with any but crooked rail-fences; 
and most of these were completely buried in sum- 
mer under a luxuriant growth of elder, poke, and 

Yet the physical condition of the town was better 
than its morals. Business was generally dull 
through the week, and most of the men were wont 
to while away the idle hours with gambling in the 
groceries, playing at marbles morning and evening, 
hunting, fishing, etc., with foot-races and shooting- 
matches at short but irregular intervals. 

But Saturday was always a lively day. The 
Moores, Jordans, and Long Prairie gangs, and the 
Horse Creek gang, then came to town ; and from 
two to six fights were the invariable result. It 
seemed as if a man who went home sober, w^ould 
not think he had been to town at all; and no man 
who did not see him there would believe he had. 
3\accs and shooting-matches were now carried on 
with the frenzy of intoxication; and oaths, knives, 
clubs, guns, and whisky were kept going with an 
energy and a gusto that were truly appalling. A. 
has been cut to pieces, B. is shot, C. has had his 
jaw-bone broken, 1). has had his nose bit off"-— 
these, and a hundred other such items, went to 
make up the gossip of the day; and many a time, 
midnight passed before all was quiet in the street. 
Then there were generally from six to eight drunk 
men lying helpless in the streets or fence-corners, 
snoring away the dying fumes of the whisky, to 


got np and mope off before daylight next morning, 
like so man}^ hogs with cholera. The groceries 
were kept open on Sunday, and the reports of the 
Imntsmen's guns were constantly breaking npon 
tlic partial Btillncss of the day. 




Mr. Johnson was 7iot the man to be au idle wit- 
ness to such scenes as I have described. He was 
not satisfied with merely keeping himself unspotted 
from the world, and keeping his boys in the field or 
closely shut up in the house while those brutal frays 
continued. lie quietly Avent to the Clerk's oflice, 
examined the books, and found that three of the 
grocery-keepers were selling without a license, which 
fact he promptly reported to the Grand Jury. He 
then ascertained that all of them had violated the 
laws, by selling on Sabbath, etc., and he took steps 
to have the evidence brought before the Grand Jury. 
The penalties imposed upon the transgressors were 
as light as the law would allow, for the Court was 
not much better than the rest; but it was sufhcient 
to arouse the indignation of the entire whisky ring 
and their friends against jMr. Johnson. 

They therefore inaugurated a system of petty 
annoyances, which they kept up, in a more or less 
agi^ravatod form, for more than ton years. Scarcely 
any of them would return his respectful salutation, 
but on the contrary, nearly every one of them would 
salute him with a nickname, a curse, a sneer, or a 


ribald jest. ]\fiiny of tliGiD invarial)!}' licapcd curses 
uj^on Lim whenever they chanced to meet li^im, 
especially if he was alone, and they in company 
with sonie of their own clan. Conspicuous among- 
liis persecutors — con^-picuous, perhaps, because they 
had really some qualities that might have made 
them excelloit men — were two men of the names 
of Ah. Estes and A. K. Adams, the latter better 
known as Supple Sawney. jSIore of these by and by. 
A big,, ruffianly fellow, Shelt. Livingston, the son 
of pious parents, but noted for his wickedness, being 
novr instigated by the grocery gang, and made drunk 
for the purpose, annoyed us greatly. Ho came to 
our house at night, called Mr. Johnson by every 
kind of villainous name, accused him of all kinds 
of crimes, uttered all manner of threats, dared Mr. 
Johnson to come to the door, etc., mingling a jiro- 
fusion of oaths and blasphemies with every sentence, 
and kept up his brutal ravitigs for more than an 
hour. I and the children were friglitcncd almost 
out of our wits. j\Ir. Johnson, I suppose, never 
felt fear in his life. To all my exclamations of fear 
and inquiries what we should do, he calmly replied, 
"lie knows better than to come in. lie only seeks 
to provoke me, and drive me to do something that 
will give him the advantage of me. Let us pay no 
attention to him. If he comes in, or atteiiipts to 
come in, the old musket is well loaded, and his 
blood he on his own head: I'll defend you." 
Having spent his I'nge and his strengtli, and per- 
haps the strength of his whisky, to no purjiose, Liv- 
ingston finally retired, and our foars were relieved. 

; 2;j0 recollections of 

Outside the Avliisky gang, Mr. Johnson, I think, 
enjo^-cd the esteem of alL lie was quiet and unas- 
suming, Avas general!}^ recognized as a preacher of 
no ordinaiy powers, paid his way, and still seemed 
to have money enough to answer his purposes. 
: His farm was at an inconvenient distance — about a 
mile and a half before he made improvements nearer 
to town — but he laljorcd steadily, and his crops were 
as much better than his neighbors' as they were 
; better worked. Indeed, he raised such .crops of 
I wheat and corn as had scarcely ever been seen in 
I this section before. 

j But after the first crop, his main hand — Thomas 

I — was out. Thomas had been thinking for some 

", time of the medical profession, and had frequently 

! importuned his father to permit him to begin his 

j . studies. At last Mr. Johnson consented, and Thomas 

began to study under an accomplished physician 

from Baltimore — Dr. John \\''. Greetham. But our 

other boys, Fletcher and AVesley, were now large 

; enough for farm-work, being respectively thirteen 

and ten years of age, and with their help and some 

I hireling labor, Mr. Johnson raised excellent crops, 

i and made a very comfortable support. 

! Our flimily was still forther reduced in 1837, by 

I the marriage of our only daughter. Blackford 

Casey, to whom she was married, was a wild, wicked 

young man, though of respectable Aunily, a nephew 

to Governor Z. Casey ; and I was very much op- 

. posed to the alliance. But when we found that 

j every ctlbrt to prevent it was destined to fail, we 

yielded a reluctant assent, and she was married at 


hoiiie, with the usual outward signs of rejoicing; 
and altliougli I opposed the marriage so earnestly, I 
must now say that Blackford has always deported 
himself so as to be respected by the community in 
which he has lived; that lie has shown himself a 
liberal provider for the wants of his family; and 
that, notwithstanding I have given him lectures on 
various occasions which were pretty lacerating, he 
never so far forgot the character of a gentlcnian as 
to give me one disrespectful word. 

Our last child, a son, of whom I shall speak par- 
ticularly by and by, was born at ]\Iount A'crnon, 
Sept. 27, 1835. 

Mr. Johnson's circle of friends was gradually 
widening. There had been, all along, a few iaini- 
lies in the vicinity whose inlluence was decidedly in 
favor of Methodism and all that is good. Tiiere 
were Johnsons, Casoys, Maxcys, Rogorses, and a 
Brother Ilobbs and wife, who were of the excellent 
of the earth. It would have made anybody respect 
religion, if not love it, to be liftecn minutes in 
Uncle Davy Ilobbs's house. It has been mainly by 
the influence of the families I have named, that 
Methodism has attained the position which it now 
occupies in Jefferson county. 

But the system of petty annoyances commenced 
against us, continued at intervals still. One Christ- 
mas .morning, on going out, we found our door 
com})letely bari-icaded with goods-boxes. Looking 
about, Ave soon discovered a huge grocery-^ign posted 
over the front-door. We then noticed tliat one 
string of our garden fence — a worm-fence of rails, 


like all tlic rest — liacl Lcen moved, and reset directly 
across the street before tlic door; the privy was 
overturned, and I know not liow many other such 
acts had been committed. We were not the only 
recipients of such attentions, indeed, but only of a 
very disproportionate share ; while, in firing their 
salutes or volleys of musketry at night, I think they 
had got closer to our v.'iudov»'s than to anybody's else. 
On another occasion, an old man named Jarrell 
Avas sent, as Livingston had been, to make night 
hideous with his ravings around our house. This, 
however, was not nearly so serious an aftair as the 
other, Jarrell was old, and a much smaller man 
than Livingston, and was known to be, when sober, 
entirely harmless, and nearly so when drunk. He 
also had a fashion of shouting at irregular intervals, 
and without connection with any thing else he 
might be saying — " 'St boy ! 'st boy ! " or, as he pro- 
nounced it, " Scboy ! " with full accent on the last syl- 
lable, lie was known as well by the name of Old Se- 
boy, as by his proper name, and, indeed, a little better. 
This habit made his ravings rather ridiculous, and he 
was much less profane than Livingston; but Liv- 
ingston never canie a second time, whilst Old Seboj' 
came often, lie came one night v.'hilc ]Mr, John- 
son was absent on a trij) to Kentucky, and a sadly 
frightened set we were. And we had another alarm, 
fully as intense, but of shorter duration, a few 
nights after, Tlie street-door Avas opened, there 
was a clutter and a clang in the entry, with heavy 
footsteps on the lloor. AVe sprang to our feet iu 
great fright, and Susannah exclaimed, ^' Mercy! 


tliere's that good-for-nothing old rascal come hack 
again!" These words were scarccl^^ spoken, when 
Mr. Johnson, who had thrown down his saddle in 
the entry, stepped into the room. The hojs teased 
Susannah no little ahout talking, as they said, "so 
disrespectfully of pa." 

Our party — the party in favor of religion and good 
order — gradually gained strength. In live or six 
years the. town was incorporated, and Mr. Johnson 
Avas elected one of the trustees. This hoard laid 
such restrictions on the liquor tralhc as well-nigli 
crushed out its life. Its friends — friends of the 
traffic — got a petition iiumerousl}^ signed, for 
licenses to he granted on easier terms; and the 
hoard heing still imraovahle, tliey sent in a similar 
petition, requesting John Johnson, William IM- 
Avards, and Abncr Melcher to resign, and allow the 
people to elect men who would carry out their 
wishes. The last petition M-as signed hy lifty-six 
persons: more than half the names subscribed to 
that petition, are now inscribed upon tonibstones! 
The board held out till their time expired. About 
this time, also, a ]\Iethodist church was commenced, 
and after the usual delays of a year or two, com- 
pleted. During the autumn after it was begun, 
when it consisted only of walls, roof, and lloor, 
Abraham Lincoln and John A. McClcrnand, elert- 
ors for Harrison and Van Buren, had a spirited de- 
bate under its roof. The church is now occu]ii<'d 
by the Christians, or Campbellitcs. How little 
could v.'e then have guessed of the future of the 
house, or of the men who that day occupied it! 


About tlic same lime — 1839-40 — a new court- 
house was built; and tliis still flu'thcr fortified and 
built up Methodism amongst us, as the contractor — 
an Englishman, the AVn]. Edwards before named — 
was a preacher, and a full-blown Methodist "in 
every nerve and fiber of his body." The town, too, 
by this time, had improved greatly; many old buikl- 
ings had disappeaved, and many new ones sprung 
into existence; new streets were opened, or old ones 
were opened and took shape for the first time since 
the plat Avas recorded; groves of saplings, wliich 
had grown up since the town was laid out and the 
burning of the praii-ies stopped, now began to melt 
away, and signs of improvement met the eye on 
every side. 

I suppose that in 1840 the [)Opulatiou of the town 
was between three and four hundred, and a very 
goodly proportion of these were members of the 
Methodist Church. Among tliese were Ab. Estes 
and "Sawney" Adams, two of tlie indignant gro- 
cery-keepers, now not only ^.lethodists, but class- 
leaders. Adams was converted at a prayer-meetino- 
held at Escp D. Bangh's, and I was a little amused 
at an expression he made U:-o of while rejoicing at 
the cljange. Said he, " I used to think people could 
keep from shouting if they wanted to;" then rais- 
ing his voice to its highest pitch, and prolonging 
the word "want" — "but I don't vuitt to keep from 
it! " r)ur son Tliomas mudo a ]M'(ji;-,-sion of religion 
and joined the M. ]0. Church about the same time, 
and at that famous prayer-meeting 1 was delighted 
to see liim very happy. 


Uc went back to Iventucky iu 1838, located at 
Frcdonia, and began practice with Dr. J. S. Gilliani, 
He expected to go South when we became inured 
to his absence, but succeeded well, and remained at 
Fredonia. Before dismissing him entirely, I will 
venture to relate a little adventure of his, for the 
benefit of such of my readers as may be fond of 
ghost-stories; and relate it, as nearly as I can, in 
his own words: 

"I was out at Uncle Lewis's last night, sitting up 
with their sick, and about three o'clock this morn- 
ing I started for home. Being fatigued and very 
sleepy, I fell into a doze as I rode along, and even 
slept soundly, until all at once my horse stopped, 
stood still, and snorted as if very much frightened. 
This awakened me, and on looking up, I saw I had 
just reached the grave-yard at Old Union. It is not 
inclosed, and the path runs directly thi-ough it, almost 
amongst the graves. In a moment my eyes rested 
upon an object vhich I at once recognized as a man 
on his knees, with a very large white sheet thrown 
loosely over him. I was not alarmed or excited at 
all; and looking at him for a few moments, I coukl 
distinctly see the folds of the sheet, both around his 
person and on the ground, and there was a glow 
about the whole ligure, something like the first 
streaks of light in the morning. 

"As it was the only ghost I had ever seen, I de- 
termined at once to subject it to a close ins}'eotion; 
but my horse obstinatelj^ refused to proceed. I 
urged him with switcli and heels, but in vain. lie- 
solved that" I would not be defeated in my under- 


taking, I dismounted, and led liim toward the gliost. 
Jle went very reluctantly, snorting, prancing, and 
sliying in every direction. When within about 
twenty feet of it he stopped, and I soon found it was 
impossible to drive or coax him any farther; so I 
hitched him to a bush and proceeded. 

"jSTow, for the first time, I began to feci some 
misgivings as to the proiiric*-y of acting so rashly in 
the darkness of the night, and entirely alone ; but 
recalling my original resolve, and the man and his 
sheet becoming more distinctly and clearly visible 
at every step, I walked cautiously up and laid my 
Imnd npon him. I felt a momentary shudder as I 
did this, but that very instant the illusion vanished, 
and I saw before me, as jjlainly as can be in^agined 
— a stump! The birds had i»cekcd off most of the 
outer bark, some of the fragments of rotten wood 
lay scattered about on the ground, and all was 
slightly phosphorescent : this was the glowing sheet. 
I walked off a few steps and tried to recall the illu- 
sion, but it was gone, ami I was quite unable to sec 
my man with the sheet thrown loosely over him any 
more. My horse, however, still labored under the 
illusion which I suppose at tir>t possessed him, for 
he would not pass it; and it was only by making a 
very large circle that I succeeded in getting him past 
the grave-yard at all." 

Although by this time — say 1810-41 — the opposi- 
tion to ;Mr. Jolmson was greatl}^ diminished, it 
seemed to grow more virulent in those who still 
cherished it. lie one day liad a conversation — in- 
tended to be xcvy friendly— Vvith S. U. Hicks, who 


(listing-nislied liimself in the Mexican War, and in 
(lie great Eebcllion, as colonel of Illinois regiments; 
and the conversation glided into politics, a subject 
on which Mr. Johnson talked but little. Ilicks, the 
impetuous fellow, became greatly excited. Mr. 
Johnson's arguments were very stubborn, and Ilicks 
became enraged, jumped up, gesticulated violently, 
and swore that "if it wasn't for Mr. Johnson's age, 

he'd kick him to ." Brother Edwards, whose 

son afterward married Ilicks's daughter, quietly re- 
marked, "I suspect Brother Johnson's broad shoul- 
ders have something to do with it, as well as his 
age." Yet — unaccountable inconsistency! — I sup- 
pose Colonel nicks would ride fartlier, then or at 
any other time, to hear ]Mr. Johnson preach, than 
he would to hoar any other man living; and X. 
Johnson, one of the former grocery-keepers, though 
he would not speak to T^Ir. Johnson on the street, 
would repair to the church when Mr. Johnson 
preached, would go softly to the door, or near to it, 
after the ])eoplc were all in, and there sit and 
listen with the most intense interest, till the ser- 
mon was ended, when he would slip away again 
before dismission. This man, I may add, relbrmed 
entirely, and for many years has enjoyed an envia- 
ble reputation, partly owing to his having one of 
the best of women for a wife. I may also add that 
Air. Johiu-ou employed him, in his last illness, to 
write his will. 




Foil ncnrly ton years after our reraovril to Mount 

Vernon, our temporal alllictions Averc very light. 

Wc all enjoyed excellent licaltli, and we were even 

more fortunate as to loss of stock, etc., than wo 

1 could reasonably Lave lioped to be. I, indeed, had 

I a fall one morning upon the sleet, by which my 

j collar-bone was broken, and other severe sprains and 

I bruises inflicted ; but my general health was good. 

I have not, it is true, seen a day in fifty years that I 

did not sutler more or loss from pain in the back; 

and this has become so much a part of my nature, 

that I scarcely know what I should be without it. 

Fletcher also began to sulYer with dyspepsia before 

lie was quite grown; and for many yeai-s he cxperi- 

! enced the pains, the horrors, and the hundred rem- 

j edies prescribed by everybody for this disorder, but 

' during most of the tinie was able to do the lighter 

work about the farm. 

AVesley had a vury violent attack of fever — bil- 
ious fever, 1 supp(»se — which brought him down to 
the very verge (jf the grave. At one time wc re- 
^ garded his death as iiK'vitable, and it was the source 

1 of keenest anu'uish to us that we had no evidence 


that his peace was made with God. It is a poor 
time, parents, for you to impart religious instruction 
toaclnldwlicn the hand of death isah-eady upon him. 
AVe obtained additional medical counsel, and by 
f^trenuous efforts and assiduous watching, succeeded 
ill having him restored to health. AVashington, 
also, our next son, had a severe attack of what I 
think the physician called nervous fever, lie sank 
down to a state of extreme debility, and in our 
cllbrts to raise him from this, special examinations 
were neglected, and after a time we discovered that 
he was completely paraplegic — ^liad lost the use of 
both legs entirely. Remedies were now directed to 
this affection, and after a long time we succeeded 
in relieving him of it, except in the right leg from 
the knee down. Here the paralysis settled, and be- 
came permanent, and he was lamed for life. 

On one occasion an assault was made upon Mr. 
Johnson from an unexpected source. Brother James 
11. Dickens, the preacher on ]Mount Vernon Circuit 
— and a very zealous young man he was — thought 
jMr. Johnson did not preach enough; thought ho 
could do a great deal of good if they could only get 
him to work; and perhaps he was the man to stir 
liim up. So at a quarterly meeting, when the char- 
acter of Mr. Johnson came up, Brother Dickens 
arose and said, "Brethren, it seems to me Brother 
Johnson keeps his talent wrapped up in a na}>kin. 
He has a power and an inlluencc which I think he 
owes it to the ('hurch to employ more actively than 
he docs. He preaches some, but lie might lu'cach 
a great deal. The people desire to hear him, and 

266 RKC0LLECT10^'S OF 

he ouglit to gratify that desire. I therefore move 
that Brother Johnson be censured by this Quarterly 
Conference, for not preaching more frequently and 
more regularly than ho docs." Some brother 
promptly seconded the motion, and Mr. Johnson 
was asked if he had anj- thing to say. lie arose, 
and spoke in substance as follows: 

"Brethren, when I began to try to preach, I luid 
no education, being the son of a very poor widow; 
I had no money, and no friends who were able to 
help me. By day I preached and rode over the rug- 
ged roads of a new and rugged country; and by 
night, when others were asleep, I was sitting up, 
and, by a pine-knot light, or ol\en by a poor fire- 
light, trying to improve ray little stock of knowl- 
edge, and prepare myself for the work. Hence, I 
might say I was laboring both day and night in the 
service of God and the Church, long before Brother 
Dickens was born. 

"My whole life lias been one of privation, of ar- 
duous toil, and of painful anxieties. In one year 
of ]ny itinerant lile, 1 rode about eight thousand 
miles, and preached nearly four hundred times; and 
all of this world's gooils that I received, were a few 
garments of homespun cloth, and fourteen dollars 
in money. Many a time have I rode for miles upon 
miles, wet and cold, when the clothing I had — all 
that I liad, or was able to get — was by no means 
sufficient to protect me from the cold. Many a 
night, weary and wet, cold and liungry, I have liob- 
bled my horse, commended my soul to God, and 
lay down to rest alone in the dark and silent forest, 


with no bed but Ibe grass, and no pillow but my 
saddle-bags or saddle. At one time I had to ride 
nearly twelve hundred miles to go from one year's 
appointment to the next; and of this distance sev- 
eral hundred miles was among the scattered abodes 
of the savage Indian. 

"For the last five-and-twcnty years the cares of a 
family have been upon me. It has alwa^'s been my 
desire and my prayer to God, that I and my family 
might not become a burden upon the Church when 
old age laid his heavy hand upon mo. To this end 
I have used the most rigid economy. ?iIost of my 
life I have been content with clothing such as any of 
you, perhaps, would be ashamed to wear. j\Iy lamily 
have denied th.omselves the luxuries, and many of 
the comforts of life; my companion has toiled and 
struggled to assist me with all the diligence of 
which a mortal was capable. Ihmj a time have I 
rode fifteen or twenty miles from home to i)roac]i, 
returned home, and then labored in the Held till 
midnight, and till I was scarcely able to drag my 
weary limbs along; and many a time have I gone to 
my ]Master's work when my little family was sick, and 
I doubted if I should ever see them all alive again; 
and only my Master knows how my poor heart 
ached, and how the bitter tears ran down my tace, 
as mournful and solitary I rode along! 

"I think I may say I have done some little for the 
Chprch, through the grace of God. I have traveled 
on horseback about two hundred and seventy-iivc 
thousand miles, and received into the Church ncavly 
six thousand members, besides preaching eight or 


nine tliousaiul (hues; and uljalcver I Lave of this 
world's goods, wc have cliieiiy made outside of all 
that I ever received as allowance for preaching the 
gospel. Two precious babes wo have lefr, scattered 
about as we passed from place to place as })ilgrinis 
and strangers, and I know not that I shall ever see 
again the graves where rests their precious dust; 
but, glory to God I I feel to-day that I shall soon 
drop this cumbrous clay, and methinks that, 'Yon- 
der comes pa! ' will be among the first and gladdest 
sounds that greet me as I near the shores of the 
heaveidy Jerusalem. 

"I have sorrowed; but in all my sorrows it was 
sweet to thiidc of that land where sorrownevercomes. 
I liavc grown old; but it is sweet to think of that 
laud where the bloom and the vigor of youth shall 
last for ever. ^My poor body has become subject to 
racking pains; but it is sweet to think of that land 
where pain is felt no more. Fatigue and exposure 
sadly affect ray frail body now, but I am happy in 
the hope of a home where 'no chilling winds or 
poisonous breath' can ever come, 

"Brethren, I dou't wi.-h to quit the field, but am 
still willing to do what I cau for Christ and his 
Church; but I am not able to do much. I am old, 
and need rest; I am subject to pains and various 
infirmities which the young and vigorous know but 
little about; I am woru out. I don't complain, for 
my blessed Jesus has paid me a thousand times for 
the little I have done and sufl'crod for him; and my 
soul, even now, is lillod 'unutterably full of glory 
and of God.' " 


AVhcn he sat down, nearly every man in tlie 
bouse was fobbing aloud, and Brother Dickens a 
little louder than anybody else. After a pause of a 
minute or two, Dickens arose, weeping violentl}', 
and said, "B — hoo — hoo — hoo — Brethren — oo — ■ 
lioo — I withdraw my motion — oo — hoo — hoo." A 
zealous young brother, with voice like a lion — Jick. 
jNlaxcy perhaps — now struck up, "Jerusalem, my 
happy home," and perhaps never, this side heaven, 
did the same number of persons enjoy a more re- 
freshing shower of divine grace, or raise a louder, 
longer shout of praise. 

Mr. Johnson engaged, perhaps in 1844, in an en- 
terprise which did not end in any great balance of 
either loss or gain, but gave him a great deal of 
trouble and anxiety. A Mr. Ilaynes, from Tennes- 
see, wished to have the use of his name and some 
means, as partner with him in taking some con- 
tracts for carrying the mail. Mr. Johnson was not 
much disposed to accede, but Ilaynes was impor- 
tunate, and did all that he could to secure Mr. John- 
son against final loss; and at length they sent for- 
ward bids for several routes. A route from Salem 
to Shawneetown, and one from Shavrneetown to 
Belleville — in all, about two hundred and ten miles, 
were awarded them ; and then followed the bustle 
of securing horses, stages, harness, stands, etc., etc., 
wliich always attends the business. It is true, 
Ilaynes threw but little of the labor upon Mr. John- 
son, but the latter had a burden of care from whicli 
he could not be so readily relieved. After carj-ying 
on the business for two years, Mr. Johnson wished 


to withdra^v. Ilaynes had now acquired some 
means, lie took the stock, refunded the money 
that Mr. Johnson ]iad furnished, assumed all liabil- 
ities, and released Mr. Johnson entirely from the 
contract. Ilaynes acted a very honorable part 
throughout, but I was apprehensive that the cares 
and fixtigues of those two years would shorten 'Mi\ 
Johnson's life, and I do not know but they did. 

But the cause of deepest trouble to us all, was a 
malicious suit for trespass, brought against ^Ir. 
Johnson by one Dan. Anderson. lie had been one 
of our persecutors for years. lie owned forty acres 
of land adjoining ours, which lay ina creek bottom, 
and was worth very little for any thing else than an 
annoyance to ns. He one day told, in the presence 
of one of our boys, the following story: "I was 
riding through the bottoms a few days ago, and 
heard more hallooing, and louder, than I ever heard 
before. As I drew near, I could discover that it 
was somebody driving, or trying to drive, a team. 
AYhen I came full in sight, behold, there was old 
Jacky Johnson, v*'ith his steers hitched to a big 
board-tree that was standing on my side of the line, 
trying to pull it over on to his land! " 

Mr. Johnson was out oue evening, looking for 
his cows, about two miles from town; the sun was 
nearly down, when he heard dogs in the distance 
and approaching, as if in pursuit of game. He 
plodded on, and after coming pretty near him, the 
barking ceased, and he heard it no more. Pretty soon 
he heard his own dogs baying, turned about and 
went to them, and found that they had attacked a 


woimded and exhausted deer, aud lie was just about 
dead. Mr. Johnson listened, hut could hear no 
voice; he hallooed, and there was no answer but the 
echoes of his call. He then dispatched and disem- 
howeled tlie deer, swung it on a stick, shouldered 
it, and actually carried it to town on liis back! 
From this circumstance, in which Ish: Johnson 
could hardly have done otherwise than as he did, 
Anderson and his friends tried to raise a great cry 
about " deer-stealing." They said their dogs caught 
it, they themselves killed it, etc., but failed to ex- 
plain how Mr. Johnson got it from both them and 
their dogs b}' stealth! 

But the great trouble ^vas the suit for trespass. 
]Mr. Johnson had bought an improvement and pre- 
emption right on an entire quarter-section of land, 
and had also entered the west half. Some time 
afterv.-ard, 11. B. Xewby went to Shawueetown to 
enter the quarter-section for himself aud Anderson, 
and finding that the west half was out of their 
reach, he entered the east half. They now notified 
Mr. Johnson that they were going to run the divid- 
ing line, and asked him to accompany them, to 
which he readily agreed. They, with the county 
surveyor, field-notes, chain-men, aiid markers, ran 
all around the east half, and Mr. Johnson consid- 
ered liis right to the half west of the dividing line 
thus established, as perfectly valid, especially as he 
liad bought and paid for it twice. All parties, for 
two or three years at least, regarded this as a well- 
csta1>li3hed, as it was a plainly marked, line. 

In 181G, our boys, Fletcher and Wesley, wished 


I to build a house on the fj^rm; and proposed, that if 

we would aid them a little, they would get out' all 

! the timhers, haul logs to the mill and get lumber, 

I get out bolts for shingles, etc. ; so that it would not 

I require a great outlay of money. Mr. Johnson con- 

' sented, went with them to the woods, carefully 

showed tlicm every marked tree on his east line — 

or rather, ISTewby and Anderson's west line — and 

cautioned them not to venture very near to it. They 

I scrupulously followed his directions; but after they 

I had got out most of the timbers, Anderson came 

I along and told them they had been cutting timber 

j on his land; they must quit it, and pay him for 

i what they had cut. 

j When jSlr. Johnson hoard this, he went directly 

j to Anderson, and said, "Mr. Anderson, my boys 
I tell me you think they have cut timber on your 
I land. I am very sorry indeed, if it is so; and I 
I would be glad if you would go down with me and 
I examine the premises, and if they have cut a stick 
i or committed any trespass on your land, I will pay 
j you every cent that you arc damaged." Mr. John- 
I son thought he could convince Anderson that there 
: had been no trespass. Anderson "couldn't go just 
I then;" and that day or the next, the sheriff came 
j to serve the warrant— the first in Mr. Johnson's 
I lifetime. Anderson got the new county surveyor, 
■ J.ewis Casey, and another hand or two, and without 
Mr. Johnson's knowledge, went and surveyed his 
(Anderson's) land three or four times during that 
i winter. The suit lasted about eighteen months; 
and the same precious fellows surveyed Anderson's 


land tbrcc or four more limes during the second 
Aviulcr. By tlicse six or eight clandestine surveys 
they succeeded in establishing an entire set of new 
lines and corners, and including in Anderson's line 
eleven trees which the boys had cut, for wliich he 
confidently expected to recover eight dollars each. 
But by a little too much work, Anderson had made 
too ilimsy a thing of it, and the suit was dismissed at 
his cost. So the boys went on and finished the 




The reader Avlll ])arcIon me for introducing here 
a skctcli of our beloved boy, Joseph Benson, 
youngest of our children on earth, but one of the 
eldest in heaven. 

Ho ^vas born at Mount Yernon, September 27, 
1835. Of liis childhood I have little to record. I 
know Avilh what partiality a mother is prone to re- 
gard her youngest child, who grows up at her side 
just as the iirst impressions of age begin to be felt; 
and I shall try, as much as in me lies, to divest my- 
self of this natural partiality. lie Avas always a 
Cj[uict, gentle child, obedient, and easy to control. 
It seems to me— it may have been only the eye of 
the mother — that, iVom tlie first dawn of rational 
understanding, he showed in an unusual degree 
that quickness of ai>prehension, that tenacity of 
memory, and that pure and lofty tone of character, 
for which we all know that some of the early dead 
were distinguished in life. He was so quick in in- 
telligence, and so gcntU^ in his disposition, that we 
thought it would bo liest— or perhaps I might say 
wo felt as if we ought— to educate him, as far as 
practicable, at home. Our son Fletcher, by educa- 

THE REV. JOHN JonxsoN. 275 

tiou and by patient diligence in imparting instruc- 
tion, was pretty well qnalificd to take cliargc of liis 
mental culture. Accordingly, we never sent liim 
to school, except indeed the Sabbatli-scliool. 

Tyy the time he was ten years of ago, ho liad read 
most of the nnohjectionable juvenile books of the 
day — at least, of such as were to be found in this 
section of the country; and I think he had read 
nearly as many volumes of the Methodist Sunday- 
school and Youth's Library as he had seen weeks 
after he began to attend the Sunday-school ; for 
he never failed to attend when well enough to do 
so — always selected a book, and read it during the 
week. He was generally the smallest boy in liis 
class; and though modest and retiring, almost to a 
fault, he always stood at the head of his class. In- 
deed, when but twelve years old, he was placed in a 
]jible-clas3 composed of both young and elderly 
men; and lie answered all cpiestions with so much 
readiness, clearness, and propriety, that he never 
lost his ])lacc or his rank in the class. At this age, 
also, he had acquired a very respectable knowledge 
of the elementary branches of an English education 
— grammar, geography, arithnietic, general history, 
and liistory of the United States. And I beg leave 
to insert a letter or two which he wrote about this 
.time to his Brother Adam Clarke, in Kcntuckw, and 
which I tliink show a degree of mental culture and 
niaturity not usual in a boy but twelve or thirteen 
years of age. (Sec Appendix. Xo 4.) 

He studied Palcy's ^Nloral Philosophy very closely, 
reviewing portions that he had marked; but he dis- 


approved of the method of loavini;^ religious princi- 
ples RO entirely out of tlie question. His moral 
sense thus bocauie exquisitely nice and discrimi- 
nating. His brother sent him a beautifully bound 
volume of Moore's ]\le]odies: he read the Sacred 
Songs with pleasure, but with the remark that they 
contained uiore of sentiment than of religion; read 
some of the Patriotic Songs \vith approbation ; 
looked at a few of the rest, the book aside, and 
I think I never saw him take it up again. 

In the course of his short life, he read the whole 
Eible regularly through, of his own accord, three or 
four times; and I never saw any one more shocked 
at the instances of impiety therein recorded than 
lie. Indeed, he said he thought some of Job's own 
expressions were a little too positive, and some a 
little too severe, until he found that Job was in- 
dorsed in the last chapter as having spoken the 
thing that was right. lie completed the study of 
the common English branches, and of algebra, phi- 
losoph}', and chemistry, and was making vapid pro- 
ficiency in Latin. 15ut he seemed to have a growing 
love for the iJible, the ]Iymn-book, and other books 
of devotion. I can safely say that he read the K'ew 
Testament regularly through more than a dozen 

I have no doubt that the work of divine grace 
was begun upon Ins licart at a very early age; and 
that he yieldod so readily to the Spirit's influences, 
that the love of Ciod >p>\uig up by insensible de- 
grees in his soul, and in ja-oecss of time Christ was 
fully formed in his heart the hope of glory. Not 


inorc Uian two or three months before he died, he 
read the Hymn-book daily: he frequently read to 
me, when no one else was present, hymns and por- 
tions of hymns that he thought particularly good; 
and I observed that these portions were such as 
breathed most strongly the spirit of holiness, of 
vital piety, and of confidence in God. 

In all his life, I think he never gave me a disre- 
spectful word, or was guilty of an act of disobe- 
dience. As I had no other help, he generally 
remained at home to aid me in ni}' domestic labors; 
aTid in these he was always willing, ready, handy, 
kind, and agreeable. If I consulted only my own 
feelings, I should dwell long upon these precious 
recollections. What I have said may be suflicient 
to excuse a mother's partiality, like Jacob's of old, 
for her Joseph — her youngest, dearest, tenderest 
child — and to give some idea of those fondly cher- 
ished hopes, which every parent will comprehend 
at once, but which were doomed to be so prema- 
turely blasted. 

In the spring and summer of 1853, his health was 
bad, chills coming on at intervals of a few weeks, 
and his general health in these intervals being evi- 
dently much impaired. All the remedies usually 
recommended in such cases we emplo^-ed, but with 
no permanent benelit ; and at length, about the 
10th of August, he was seized with fever — I know 
not of what kind, as our physician never ventured 
to express himself with any clearness respecting the 
case. Our son George AVesley was at this tiine in 
Kentucky, and Adam Clarke was teaching in the 


country; but of Elctclier I can truly say, that I 
never saw a more faithful attendant at a sick-bed 
than he. We Vv'crc not very apprehensive of danger 
at first — unless, perhaps, Fletcher was; but he 
grew rapidly worse. 

Oi\ the next Monday morning, Adam Clarke 
would not start to his school until assured, by Dr. 
Gray that there was no serious danger. Still he 
grew worse; and we watched and tended liim, 
prayed and wept for him, God alone knows how 
earnestl}'. vVdam Glarke requested us to send for 
him if there was no improvement; but we were still 
hopeful, and it \v:is not possible for any of us to go, 
nor easy to get any one else. I never saw any one 
follow the advice of physician and friends as will- 
ingly as Joseph Lcuson did; and though as patient 
through all his sufi'crings as a lamb, he seemed 
anxious to recover lor the sake of his mother and 
friends. When he saw tlxat I was sad, he tried to 
speak words of encouragement and comfort to me; 
and nothing could be more touching than his efforts, 
amidst the pain he suffered, to be cheerful and 
pleasant on my account. That earnest love of my 
dying boy still comlbrts at once and breaks my 

Fletcher said it was our duty to let liim know Ids 
danger; and accordingly he and his pa approaclied 
the bedside, fold him that his situation was very crit- 
ical, and asked liiiii if ho f<dt prepared for the worst 
event, and if tlu'i'o was any thing that he wished. 
He was very we-jk, though perfectly rational; and 
he received the announcement with composure, 


Raying Lc would ]ike for Brother Taylor to come 
and pray with us. Brother Taylor, I suppose, was 
fearful of contagion — at any rate he was " engaged;" 
and Mr. Johnson read and prayed in the poor boy's 
room with that fervor and power whicli ever cliar- 
aeterized his great and tender heart. It was not 
long before Joseph Benson's mind began to wan- 
der; and that night I noticed that his feet were 
cold. Ixcader, if you never felt the strong yearn- 
ings of a mother's heart, you cannot conceive how 
industriously I bathed and cliafed tliose precious 
limbs, and sought by applying outward heat to re- 
vive the hinguid circulation ! I did not, could not, 
would not, believe he was dying; but ray efforts to 
restore the natural warmth were vain, and soon the 
withering, killing truth flashed upon my mind, that 
it was no other than the icy touch of death! Rea- 
son tottered, my heart sank; and in the overwhelm- 
ing tide of anguish, I was not sensible of what 
transpired until his loved form was extended prone 
and cold in its last pale apparel. 

But God's dispensations are always mingled with 
mercy. Tlie watching and fatigue of the last eight 
or ten days had, to a great degree, blunted my natu- 
ral sensibilities, otherwise I am satisfied that reason 
and even life itself would have sunk under the 
stroke. We buried him in a little burying-ground 
at Salem Church, two miles from tov\'n; and though 
willing to make some allowance for apprehensions 
of contagion, it made my heart ache to see so few 
of our friends and neighjjors ^\\t\\ us there. Though 
there were two or tlirec ministers in the town — W. 


H. Tiiylor, J. IT. Hill, Z. Casey, etc.— my stricken 
and lieart-broken husband had to pciTorni the re- 
ligions services at the burial of liis own boy! I do 
I not think the same amount of danger would liave 
i prevented any one of those ministers from going as 
* far to make a good trade for a horse, to shave a 
■ note 40 per cent., to loan money at 25, or to attend 
a wedding. 

So lived our youngest and most promising cliild, 

and thus he died on the 18th day of August, 1853, 

at tlie age of seventeen years, ten months, and 

twenty days. I wept till the fountain of tears was 

j nearly exhausted ; and t^till, at times, in a moment of 

i reverie, forgetting all, I would miss the accustomed 

' presence; and when the recollection of the cause 

\ of his absence burst upon me, it seemed too hard 

i for me to bear. Once, as I sat in such a mood, it all 

\ at once occurred to me that Benson \vas not with us, 

and quickly raising my head, I said, "Where is" — 

but before the question was finished, I remembered 

all; I almost sank u[iou the floor, and a torrent of 

tears came with thuir poor relief to my bleeding 

heart. The 18th da}' of every month was to me a 

day for unlocking afresh the fountains of sorrow; 

; and even now, when the ISth day of August returns, 

i it brings the heartache and the gushing torrents of 


Often, in fits of despondency, I entertained the 
terrible fear that perhaps all was not well with the 
departed loved one. 'J'lien I would go to the 
blessed throne of grace, and 1 hardl}- ever failed 
to receive some answer of peace. Many a passage 


ill God's precious Book was at such timcc impressed 
upon my mind; and many a time, on turning at 
random to its hallowed pages, my eye fell upon 
words of consolation which it seemed to me I had 
never seen before. Some of those passages were: 
"Is it well with the child? And she said. It is 

I may add, that although Dr. Gray had been our 
famil^'^physician for ten years, I conld never divest 
myself of the impression that in this case he was 
not attentive as he might have been, stayed with 
us too little and away too long, and was, in short, 
guilty of most culpable neglect or incapacity. But 
of this I am not qualified to s})eak with much 




In 1849, our family consisted of Mr. Johnson, 
myself, and throe sons. And I now find myself 
under the necessity of going hack a year or two to 
explain the reduction to this number. 

Thomas wished Adam Clarke to go to Fredonia, to 
keep shop forliini, and i.repare himself for the prac- 
tice of medicine. To this v/c at length reluctantly 
consented, and he left us for Kentucky, in company 
with Blackford Casey, Fohruary 29, 1848. Before 
he was out of sight, as I looked after them, and 
saw Adam Clarke walking along before the wagon 
—it was a cold morning— I bitterly regretted that I 
had agreed to let him go. And for a long time, it 
pained my heart, and fi-oqm-ntly brought tears from 
my eyes, to see his place vacant at the table, and to 
think of the probability that he never would, except 
as a visitor, form one of our family circle again. I 
also feared that his (sixteen years) was too tender an 
ao-e for a boy to be released from the long-estab- 
li'shcd restraints of homo, and thrown into society 
and intlucuces to which he had never been accus- 
tomed. But I at length became partially — only 
l>artiallv— reconciled to liis absence. I cannot re- 


fraiii from inserting a letter from Mr. Johnson to 
our absent boy, as it sbows at once the mind and 
heart of that good man now gone from earth for 
ever, and our anxiety about the distant loved 
one. (See Appendix, Xo. 5.) George Wesley ap- 
peared to lack constitutional adaptation to the labors 
of the farm; had been serving as clerk in a dry- 
goods house in !Mount Vernon; and when a stagna- 
tion in business came on, he had gone to McLcans- 
boro and engaged in teaching. So he was at Mc- 
Leansboro, and Adam Clarke at Fredonia, when wc 
left town. 

In the year named — 1848 — the cholera prevailed 
throughout the country to an alarming extent, l-'our 
in one family, of the name of Frizzell, died of this 
terrible epidemic in three miles of us, and several 
others in Mount Vernon, and the immediate vicin- 
ity. Wc felt a degree of the alarm which pervaded 
all classes; and as our house on the form was nearly 
finished, we resolved to move into it at once. Many 
deaths occurred at McLeansboro, and George Wes- 
ley had to dismiss his school for several weeks. 
AVc were all fortunate enough to escape the fatal 
disease entirely. 

Soon after we were settled upon the farm, Adani 
Clarke paid us a visit, and it was but too manifest 
that his mind and body both were feeling the ruinous 
effects of too assiduous application to his studies. 
lie was scarcely sixteen when lie began; had la- 
bored on tlicfarm for years; and now, to cease from 
labor, and devote all his time to study, with the in- 
satiable thirst for knowlcdLce with which he had 


always been — I had almost said cursed — was too 
much for a constitution not very robust at best. It 
was told me, as an instance of his excessive application, 
that he read a large work on Materia Medica about 
two months, and then, upon examination, gave a svn- 
opsis of its contents, a statement of the plan of the 
work, the name of every class, and each individual in 
ever}- class of remedies; the botanical character and 
medical properties of each, the process of prepara- 
tion, etc.; sometimes repeating as much as sixteen 
pages at a time rcrhatlm. At Thomas Brooks's sug- 
gestion, wc brought him liorae in September of this 
year, and he resumed the labors of the farm. I do 
not think his mind has ever recovered its proper 
tone and a perfectly healthy or normal condition, 
though ho has acquired some reputation as a scholar 
and a man of letters. 

There is not usually a connected train of events 
in the ordinary life of the farmer, and outside the 
monotonous routine of his regular labors; and the 
reader must not expect from me a connected train 
of "recollections" in this chapter. 

In I80O, Cetu-gc Wesley went to Kentucky, 
got into business tliere, nnarried there, and there 
he still remains. In tl;e year following, Blackford 
Casey went to California. lie left Susannah pretty 
well provided for at home, and there she lived for a 
year or more; but slie complained so much of lone- 
liness, and hor Ijoys were so small to have the man- 
agement of a farm, that we thought it best to have 
her rent out her farm, and live in a house that we 
fitted up for her near our own. She remained here 


until Blackford's return, in 1854. lie had saved 
some}-, and now made some additions to his 
land and imi)rovcments, and lived more comfortably 
while lie remained upon liis beautiful farm in 
]\loore's Prairie. 

The next spring- after Blackford's return, his sec- 
ond son, .John William — we called him by the full 
name — while lifting a rail in making a fence, hurt 
himself — probably produced a rupture of the inner 
coat of an artery, or, in other words, an aneurism. 
He said he felt a quick, sharp pain in his breast, and 
a sense of sometliing giving way, and for a moment 
felt sick and giddy. But these sensations passed 
olf, and he enjoyed a tolerably fair degree of health 
for a year or two, still feeling a faintness and pain 
upon making any considerable exertion. At length, 
however, his health began to fail, he became very 
weak, and dropsical symptoms appeared in his 
hands and feet. We now became apprehensive that 
his disease was incurable, and watched with deepest 
anxiety the progress it Avas making in its fearful 
work. Tic had formerly been a very stout boy, and 
it Avas piteous to sec liow weak, and pale, and thin 
he had become. He sat up most of the time; in 
foet, from the nature of his affection, he could lie 
down but seldom, and never except for a very short 

Blackford had brought him up to our house, 
hoping that a change of scene might impi'ove, or ot 
least gratify him for awhile; and he and his mother 
had been with us more tlian a week. One ^-^unday 
morning — an unusiudly bright and beautiful morn- 


ing — all had gone to Suiulay-scliool except Mr. 
Johnson and m3-self, and, of course, Susannah and 
her boy. He had often talked about dying, and 
though only fourteen years of age, seemed to com- 
prehend the import of the change, and to be ready 
to meet it. He appeared to be conscious of his fate, 
expected it, and awaited it with the utmost com- 
posure. He said he did not tliink he should know 
anybody in heaven except his Uncle Benson, but 
thouglit that in his company he could, after awdiile, 
become acquainted with the rest. Among other 
requests respecting his departure, he said lie wished 
to be buried at Salem Church, as near as possible to 
the grave of the beloved Benson. 

Still, we did not think the end was so near; but 
on the morning above mentioned, as he sat in the 
porch, John William said to me, ''Grandma, I have 
a strange kind of feeling this morning." I said, in 
cheerful tones, "}^[ay be there is too much air out 
liere;' suppose you sit in the house." He agreed, 
as he always did, to our suggestions, and we set his 
chair in the room, but between the- doors, so that 
lie could look at the beautiful morning scenes with- 
out. He again remarked, "I feel so strangely!" 
"Differently," Tasked, "fromwliat you generally 
feel?" He said, "I never felt just like I do this 
morning." I started to pass out at the door, when 
he reeled, cast up a wistful look in my face, and was 
falling, when I caught him. AVe laid him upon his 
trundle-bed, and in a few minutes he died without 
a struggle. Though this event had been so long 
expected, yet the anticipation of it was so mingled 


with hope, and so relieved b}^ the enjoyment of his 
compan}-, that when all centered at once in the cer- 
tainty that he was dead, the shock was such as no 
one can describe, nor any conceive but they who 
thus have lost a friend. 

"We now had a lonely life, our family being re- 
duced to three — Air. Johnson, myself, and Wash- 
ington Stewart. Thomas Brooks was in Kentucky, 
with a lucrative practice, accumulating money and 
property. George AYeslcy was there also, with 
slender means, struggling manfully to maintain his 
growing family and to secure them a comfortable 
home. John Fletcher had also married, and located 
in town, and had a little family growing up arouiid 
him. Washington Stewart had, on account of his 
lameness, engaged in the harness-maker's business. 
He first worked with an unfeeling and unscrupu- 
lous tyrant named Thorn — "a thorn in the flesh" 
he was to anybody connected with either his .shop 
or his household. Tliorn was, most of the time, a 
Methodist; at one time went violently into the min- 
istry without license; at any time would sing and 
]u-ay louder than anybody else, and at no time could 
refrain from cursing when he got angry. Yet he 
had one of earth's angels for a wife. After work- 
ing awhile with tliis man, Washington Stewart went 
to Pvichview, and worked awhile with his cousin. 
James Larnes. Here he was treated kiiully; but 
Barnes was so exceedingly eco!iomical. jNIany a 
time did my heart ache at thoughts of the poor lame 
boy's working so far from homo, working so con- 
Btantlv, and working for so little. T.ut now, wlicn 


all the rest had left ns, thoiif^^h lie had acquired such 
a proficiency in his trade as to have made good 
sxiiges, he quit it, and returned to the unpalatahlc 
society of two old people, and the lonely precincts 
of a now desolate home. 

I may as well acknowledge, that even after we 
were settled at jNlount Vernon, and while we lived 
upon a pretty good farm, we all lived hard. Too 
much of our means was invested in real estate — 
nearly all we had, in fact — and this gave us the care 
of a great deal, and a great deal to pay taxes upon, 
and very limited resources with which to meet 
cither the care or the taxes. The rise in value of 
lands in Illinois was very slow during the financial 
pressure and onerous taxation that prevailed there 
for a period of not less than twenty years; and 
during all this time we were straitened for means, 
and compolU'd to use the utmost frugality. There 
was no market lor ^vheat, and no mill to grind it; 
so that all the ilour lit to eat had to come from Belle- 
ville, and little ut' it, indeed, came to our door. "We 
got a harrel every year or two, and used it for hreak- 
fast every Sunday morning, as long as it lasted. 
Every two or three months we got a gallon of mo- 
lasses, and the children were delighted for a season. 
"We had no lack of corn-bread, meat, and vegeta- 
hlcs, and had coilcc regularly for breakfast. 

I was no longer pro[)ared or able to make cloth- 
ing; hence, we had to trade fur the goods by the 
best and easiest tei-ms we could, and I made the 
garments. Until grown, our boys had no Sunday- 
clothes, luit had two suits each ; laid ofl' one and 


took another every Saturday uiglit; greased their 
Bhocs with tallow, and were then all right for Sun- 
day. I think not one of them ever had a pair of 
hoots, or a shirt with a bosom in it, till he was a 
man in size, if not in years. Wo always had some- 
thing to sell, but before the Illinois Central Rail- 
road was built, it was not easy to find a market; 
hence, it took nearly all our money to pay the tui- 
tion of so many boys, to pay the doctor's bills, to 
pay taxes, and to buy the few things which we could 
not dispense with nor get without money. 

AVhen all bad left lis, as before noticed, except 
NYashington Stewart, our time on the farm was 
lonely indeed. Mr. Johnson amused himself by 
walking about the farm, by doing little turns which 
fell in his way and required not much strength, and 
especinlly by hunting and feeding his hogs, of which 
he had a good many running at large. Washing- 
ton Stewart attended to our feeding in winter, and 
gardening in summer; and I did all the work that 
usually })ertains to the housekeeper. Fletclicr was 
kind and attentive to us, aiding us much in getting 
firewood, etc. Of course we had to rent out the 
farm to the best advantage we could, and to no very 
great advantage, as it often proved. The fences got 
sadly out of repair, and the whole farm wore a di- 
lapidated appearance. We wished to sell it, but it 
was in no condition to sell. 

Tlie boj's now came in — John Fletcher and Adam 
Clarke — to raise a crop and try to bring up the 
farm. They worked like heroes, making and haul- 
ing out rails, repairing nearl}- all tlie fences, and 

290 REC0LLECTI0]^3 OP 

putting the place in excellent condition. They 
raised nn excellent crop, too, and by the 1st of Au- 
gust, were ready to resume their usual business. In 
less than a month from that time we found a pur- 
chaser — one Stratton, of Ohio — and sold out four 
hundred acres for six thousand dollars. Mr. John- 
son was glad to be relieved from the cares of the 
farm, but he soon became convinced that he should 
be the victim of other cares; for Stratton exhibited 
a design, as soon as the writings were all closed, to 
swindle us, if possible, and to shirk from every part 
of the contract that he could. lie was a loud- 
voiced Jvlethodist, particularly while the trade was 
being made, and after awhile got a license to preach ; 
but he was satisfied with a short probation in this 
work, probably because it was too plain that he 
had but a slight hold upon the popular confidence. 
Still, as he had property, and was making money, 
of course he was a leading member of the Church. 
I may hci-e add, however, that after getting all the 
time he could, by quibbling, etc., he at last paid all. 
Yet, I must also add, he kept possession of plows 
and every thing else that we chanced to leave about 
the place expecting to take away at our convenience; 
and these he never paid fur. 

These things annoyed us considerably; but we 
returned to the old homestead in town, and there 
expected to spend, as comfortably, as quietly, and 
as religiously as we could, what might still remain 
to us of the evoninir of life. 



MR. Johnson's last illness and death. 

It was in the autumn of 1857 that wc returned to 
the old home in town — a place dear to us, because 
we had lived there fifteen years — a longer period 
than we had ever remained at any other place. It 
w^as also the only place at which we had ever resided 
long without having the death-angel cast his gloomy 
shadow upon the threshold. It retained not long 
the latter distinction, however, but soon became 
like nearly every other home that earth contains. 

Mr. Johnson had been for many years sullcriug 
from occasional attacks of palpitation of the heart. 
At first they seemed to be associated with acidity 
of the stomach, and wc were fain to believe them 
purely functional ; but as age came on, they appeared 
to be more connected with nervous influences, and 
ho was seldom excited or troubled without experi- 
encing an attack. At length the paroxysms seemed 
to come on without any known cause, and he now 
found tincture of assafcetida, or some other kindred 
preparation, a very cfiieacious remedy. 1 think 
there had boon for years a gradual increase in the 
amount of pain that he siifiered during these attacks, 
but generally his health seemed otherwise good; 


and even down to old age — say to liis seventieth 
year — he was able to endure a great amount of 
labor and exertion. Labor, except it were severe 
and long continued, appeared to have little tendency 
to produce the palpitations. 

These attacks noAV became more frequent than 
ever, partly, I believe, on account of the bad faith 
and double-dealing of Stratton, in whom he had no 
confidence whatever, nor ever afterward did have 
any. About the 1st of February, 1858, he was 
bringing a cow up from the farm; she drove qui- 
etly, and he was walking along after her in his 
usual slow and deliberate pace, when she met some 
other cattle in the street, and turned out of her 
course. lie ran a few steps to bring her back, arid 
inadvertently stepjjed in a httle rut that the rains 
had washed out at the side of the way. He was in- 
stantly seized Avith a violent palpitation and pain at 
the heart, which lasted for two or three days with 
very little intermission. 

His usual remedies, as before stated, were, an al- 
kali, if he thought the disorder arose from indiges- 
tion; and assatlctida, if from a more general dis- 
turbance of the nervous system. These remedies, 
however, in this in.-tance, failed to give relief; and 
even after the violence of the attack had measura- 
bly subsided, he was sdll unable to take much exer- 
cise, or to walk more tlian a few hundred steps with- 
out symptoms of another attack. At intervals, also, 
when both body and mind .^oemed to be reposing in 
perfect quiet, the dist)rdor would suddeidy make its 
appearance, and cause intense suifcrings for a pe- 


riod varying from fifteen minutes to two or three 

We applied to our highly-accomplished family- 
physician, Dr. Green, the most skillful, in what they 
call auscultation and percussion, that the country 
affords; and he, after careful examination, told ]\lr. 
Johnson frankly, that ossification of the valves of 
the heart had taken place, and consequently, the 
disorder was out of the reach of an}- remedies but 
sucli as might afford a temporary palliation of liis 
sufterings. Dr. Green, however, continued his kind 
and faithful attentions until the closing scene. 
There was a characteristic of the attacks now, dif- 
ferent from any thing that ]Mr. Johnson had ever 
experienced in previous affections of the heart, 
namely, that the palpitation was attended witli a 
sense of suffocation which made it impossible for 
liim to lie dov/n while the paroxysm continued. 

Fletcher, our son, was with us almost constantly, 
and I am satisfied we owed many days of his pa's 
life to his kind, prompt, and indefatigable atten- 
tions. While waiting upon his honored parent, he 
seemed to be incapable of impatience or fatigue; 
but day and night he was always willing and ready, 
with assistance which he seemed to know exactly 
how to bestow. We had written to Thomas, and 
ho came about the 1st of IMarch, and remained 
some four weeks with us. He, too^ was very atten- 
tive, but on account of corpulency, could not be as 
prompt and active in rendering assistance as his 
Brother Fletcher. 

Mr. Johnson was constantly confined to his room, 


1 believe, after the 1st of March; generally sitting 
np, Lilt not iinfreqiientl}' lying down. AVheu iirst 
j.tolcl the nature of his disease, he had no expecta- 
tion of living so long as he did; and he all the time 
felt the apostle's "desire to depart and be with 
Christ, ,which is far better." He was daily visited 
by the neighbors and friends, and he snUercd none 
to depart without a few words on the subject of re- 
ligion. When visited by ministers, or by others 
who were accustomed to pray in public, he requested 
them to read and pray with him before leaving. 
lie seemed never to tire of hearing the word of 
God; and 0, how he enjoyed the grand and glori- 
ous old hymns that he had suns: and loved so lono-! 
One day a Brother A. P. Elkins, a local preacher, 
a truly good man and an earnest Christian, came 
in, and Mr. Johnson, knowing him to be one of the 
sweet singers of Israel, asked him to sing. He 
promptly began, and sang, "The sun above us 
gleaming," his clear, shrill voice often trembling 
with emotion as he sang; and Mr. Johnson became 
so happy, it seemed as if the poor old body could 
scarcely longer hold the enraptured spirit. At the 
singing of the passage — 

The immortal laud is, fiir away, 
I'll euter it on some bright day, 
That day may be to-morrow — 

and even more so at tin's — 

There is a house not made witli hands, 
It ever stood and ever stands, 

Above the world's last burnin;: — 


it really seemed as if tlic intensity of his liappincss 
was too miicli for his waning strength to bear. For 
half an hour or more, as his strength permitted, and 
even beyond his strength, he would break forth in 
exclamations of joyful praise to God. 

These seasons of singing and prayer were frequent, 
and he enjoyed them exceedingly; but his strength 
was evidently fast failing, and his paroxysms of 
suftering became more frequent and of longer dura- 
tion; yet he frequently praised God for the privi- 
lege of suffering his will when he was no longer able 
to do it. lie also derived much comfort from the 
assurance that all of his fiimily that were not already 
"safe landed on that peaceful shore," were earnestly 
striving to make their way tliither. 

On Thursday, the 8th of April, nine weeks from 
his iirst attack, we observed that he was extremely 
weak, that his breatliing was slow and diflicult, and 
that he lay in a stupid or comatose state, except 
when roused, and was tlien in a great degree deliri- 

.We feared he was dying, and the result proved 
the justness of our fears. About noon he be- 
came quite restless. Adam Clarke asked him if 
lie wished to sit up; he answered in the aflirraativc, 
and the weeping boy lifted him up and placed him 
in his easy chair; but he sat only a minute or two, 
his head dropped, and he expressed, by gesture, a 
desire to lie down, when Fletcher and Clarke laid 
him gently down upon his bed. He was restless for 
a few minutes, sank gradually to a perfect quiet, and 
about 1 o'clock, without a stru£rti-le or a groan, the 


load of clay was dropped, and tlie unfettered spirit 
took its flight to tlie bosom of God. 

The. funeral \vas preaclied by our old Kentucky 
friend and brother, G. AY. Eobbins, and the pre- 
cious form was deposited at Salem, by the side of 
our sleeping son, with all the tokens of respect and 
sympathy that a community could bestow. 




Often during my dear liusband's last illness, which 
I was sure would result as it did, I tried to conceive 
what my feelings would be when the long-suspended 
stroke should fall; but never was I fully sensible of 
my condition until a night's rest had partially re- 
stored the powers which weeks of fatigue and watch- 
ing had nearly exhausted, nor until the hurry and 
confusion connected with the burial had passed by, 
and I returned alone to my desolate homo. Then 
the lonely feeling of widowhood fell like a hiouu- 
tain of darkness upon my wounded spirit. The 
words of a poet whose writings I never read but in 
occasional extracts, struck me as portraying well the 
sorrow of the widow's soul : 

Think'st thou that she, whose ouly llj;ht 
la this dim ^vorld from thee hath shone, 

Can bear the dark, the cheerless uight 
That must be hers uhen thou art gone? 

That I can live and let thee go, 

"Who art my life itself? Ah, no ! 

But I "sorrowed not as those who have no hope." 
I was greatly comforted by the perfect assurance that 
all was well with my departed husband; and the bit- 


jterness of the cup of being left alone after fortj-four 
^j'^cars' companiousliip witli one so great and good, 
M^as mitigated by the certainty that I too was at the 
verge of the last river, conld neither hope nor fear 
that I might linger more than a few days, and must 
soon rejoin the loved ones that were gone before 
me. Cut off, by age, from all pleasure but what 
originates above, lonely here and desolate, with a 
mansion in my father's house, and a husband and 
three children awaiting me there, truly to die now 
seemed more like going home than it ever did 

It is a merciful provision of our nature, that the 
first fearful intensity of grief cannot endure for 
ever. With the lapse of time, previous impressions 
fade; and new cares, new ideas, new recollections, 
gradually occupy the mind. The mind, also, like 
the body, has the capacity of adapting itself to a 
change of circumstances, so that what is at first 
intolerable, seems at length to become a part of our 
natural condition — a part of ourselves. Eut, above 
all other influences, the Comforter is able to 
strengthen us, to mitigate the severity.of the stroke, 
and to heal the wound that the hand of Providence 
has inflicted. 

Ey his will, Mr. Johnson left the entire estate to 
me, without conditions, during my life-time. lie 
said that I hail done much toward Jicquiring it, and 
it \\'as I'ight tliat \\ljile I lived I shoukl enjoy it. lie 
gave our lame boy, AVaahington Stewart, the old 
homestead in ]y[ount Vernon, and an equal share of 
the other property with the rest of the children.. 

TUE iir.Y. JOHN jouxsoN. 299 

All the rest, at my dealli, goes equally to all tlic 
cbiklren. lie had no debts to provide for, and had 
money euoiigli on hand to defray all the funeral ex- 
penses. John Fletcher was made the executor of 
his will. 

ISTot wishing to be burdened with the care of 
more than I needed, and at the same time not wish- 
ing to leave myself quite dependent, I placed six 
hundred dollars in the hands of each of my children 
as a perpetual loan, of which I am never to collect 
the principal, but may demand tlie interest at any 
time, if I want it. 

I have suflicient means for a support, but there 
arc many little, nameless annoyances which it is 
scarcely possible to escape, which are, singly, c^uite 
insignificant, but, in the aggregate, make a load for 
a poor old body like mine to bear. John Fletcher 
has the care of his own family and business, and I 
cannot expect him to attend to these and at the 
same time attend to my wants as he that is gone 
would do. I am not able to see to those things of 
which I used to have sole charge, and Washington 
Stewart is not much abler than I; hence, I fre- 
quently want for things or for assistance, for which 
I am backward to ask, and which my children do 
not happen to observe that I need. I am subject, 
also, to despondency in regard to my business; and 
on such occasions, lacking both the quickness of 
apprehension and the buoyant hopes of the young, 
I find it hard to obtain cither satisfaction or confi- 
dence from the explanations and assurances of my 


The infirmities of age arc gaining ground upon 
'me. I liave suffered from a rlicumatic and almost 
dislocated back for more than fifty years, not liaving 
enjoyed in that time one single day's exemption 
' from pain. I suffer from frequent attacks of giddi- 
ness — from debility, perhaps — and to such an ex- 
tent is my nervous system affected, that at times a 
cramping has seized the back of my neck, and 
jerked me instantly to the ground. But I need not 
: dwell upon these afflictions; I may sum all up in 
; one short sentence — I am more than seventy-four years 
\ of age. 

, Ilere I stay, at the old homestead, and I never 
■; expect or wish to stay anywhere else while I stay in 
I the world. I don't cx]>ect to be a mile from my 
i earthly home, until I leave it to go up to my home 

My son AYashington Stewart lives with me, and 
as good and kind a son he is as ever blessed an 
aged mother. The flunily altar has never been per- 
. mitted to fall down for iil'ty-four years; and Wasli- 
■'] ington Stewart and my.self, by turns, still strive to 
keep the sacred llres burning there. Amidst a 
j thousand changes that have come, and passed, and 
. been forgotten, the Bible remains the same, and the 
daily recurrence to it in family worsliip seems like 
a continued enjoyment of the society of an old 
acquaintance — the only friend of the radiant morn- 
ing of life that still lingers with me in the world. 
I I bless God that the merest fragment of a family 
I may sweetly worship around the family hearth-stone 
! still! 


Wasliingtoii Stewart has tlie least vigorous con- 
stitution of all our sons. A great many times, from 
nervous debility, indigestion, or some other cause, 
he has suffered from a sense of sinking and of suf- 
focation, accompanied by more or less congestion, 
which it was alarming to witness; and more than 
once he himself thought that his last hour had come; 
but I believe he is always ready, and makes it the 
grand object of liis life to continue so. This com- 
forts me; and it comforts me to know that not one 
member of our family ever had a fine assessed 
against him, or was charged with a violation of law; 
and that every son, daughter, and daughter-in-law 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
either JSTorth or South. 

Whatever kind neighbors can do to make mo 
happy, is never lacking. Young and old, from the 
little child up to those of my own age, treat me 
kindly, and, stranger still, seem to enjoy my society. 
When I am sick, messages and more substantial to- 
kens of love come in from every direction. I am 
convenient to church, and enjoy many a precious 
season there; though it don't seem to me that the 
room in which we worship, with its lofty ceiling, 
its embellished walls, and its elegant furniture, ever 
gets so full of religion and of heart-happiness as 
some of those forest cabins of the olden time. 

I will close these desultory Recollections witli a 
brief sketch of my dear departed husband. 

In person, he was somewhat over five feet ten 
inches in stature, and his general weight in health 
was not far from one hundred and seventy pounds. 


His movements were slowraul quiet, but be seemed 
capable of superbuman exertious wben aroused. 
Ilis countenance wore an aspect of profound gravity, 
heigbteued, if possible, by tlie darkness of bis com- 
plexion, tbe raven blackness of bis long locks, and 
tbo somber beaviness of bis brow. But no man, 
woman, or cbild, tbat ever approacbed bim witb 
civility, received an abrupt or unkind reply, lie 
spoke witb calmness, deliberately, and as if be 
wisbcd to convey bis tbougbts as clearly and in 
as few words as possible; bence, be always com- 
manded attention. JIc never laugbed audibly, yet 
he enjoyed well-timed and harmless wit and bumor 
as mucb as other men. He always reproved exces- 
sive and ill-timed hilarity in a minister; be fre- 
quently reproved Cartwrigbt, though tbe only an- 
swer he got was, "I've got no use for your sulky 
godliness." But a man of kinder feelings, of a more 
tender sympathy, or of a more unselfish and gener- 
ous lieart, I never knew. Fully did be come up to 
Cowper's measure of a merciful man; for never, 
wben it was possible to avoid it, would he give pain 
to any of God's creatures, but secured the aid of 
some other band, even in providing meat for bis 

It often saddens mo to think bow deeply he felt 
for me in my suflerinL::^', and how little any one now 
living feels. 

As to any tiling fai'JirT, I bdievc I ha%'e stated 
enough in my liecollociions to give tbe reader as 
good an idea of the man as I can give. May God 
grant tbat you and I may lto iij) 


To our Father's house, 
To our Father's house in the skies, 
Where the hope of souls shall have no blight, 
And love no broken tics ! 

And there, if he wears not too bright a robe and 
crown, or is not exalted to a seat too near the throne, 
we shall see, and more perfectly know, the man. 
And to God be nil the glor}-! 

ArrENDix — NO. I. 305 



[Note. — The following letter will be understood from tlic 
protest given below, which was dated Oct. 7, 1820.] 


, Be it remembered, that whereas the Tennessee Annual Con- 
ference, held in Nashville, Oct. 1,1819, have taken a course, in 
their decisions, relative to the admission of j^renchcrs on trial 
in the traveling connection, and in the election of local preach- 
ers to ordination, which goes to fix the x>'^'^^^c'ip^'i that no 
man, even in those States where the law docs not admit of 
emancipation, shall be admitted on trial, or ordained to the 
office of Deacon, or Elder, if it is understood that he is tlie 
owner of a slave or slaves. That this course is taken, is not 
to be denied; and it is avowedly designed to fix the prijici- 
ple already mentioned. Several cases might be mentioned, 
but it is unnecessary to instance any except the case of Dr. 
CJilbert D. Taylor, proposed for admission, and Dudley 
Hargrove, recommended for ordination. We deprecate the 
course taken, as oppressively severe in itself, and ruinous in 
its consequences; and we disapprove of the principle as 

306 APrENDIX — NO. I. 

contrary to, and a violation of, the order and Discipline of 
our Church. We therefore do most solemnly, and in the 
fear of God, as members of this Conference, enter our pro- 
test against the proceedings of Conference, as it relates to 
the above-named course and principle. 

Tiios. L. Douglass, Ebexezer Hearn, 

Thos. D. Porter Timothy Carpenter, 

^y^l. Mc^Mahox, TnoMAS Strixgfield, 

Bexjamix Maloxe, Bexjamix Edge, 

Lewis Garrett, Joshua Boucher, 

Barnabas ]\IcIIenry, "\Vm. IIartt, 

AVm. Allgood, John Johxsox, 

"Wm. Stribbling, Henry B, Bascom. 

Nashville, Fob. 1, 1820. 

Dear Brother: — Yours of the 25th ultimo came safe 
to hand this day; its contents have been noticed, and I now 
attempt an answer. I have entertained for you and your 
family the warmest affection for many years, and I do 
hereby assure you that the same regard still exists in my 
bosom with unabated warmth; and while I retain my mind 
I shall not forgot the favors bestowed upon me and my com- 
panion by you and your family. Yet I think that you, 
like other men, may err. I fear that you have not that 
'charity toward some of your brethren Avliich "hopeth all 
things, believeth all things, endurcth all things," and which 
"never faileth." 

As to myself, I never made any "stipulation" with any 
person or party for the maintenance of myself or lixmily, 
nor did I. know that I was considered a local preacher the 
last year. As to wluit the Bishop said to me in the Confer- 
ence, he has since made his acknowledgments to me and 
given me satisfaction. As to the loss I am doomed to sus- 
tain in the aficctions of my brethren by signing "that mis- 

APPENDIX — NO. I. 307 

crablc protest," it must be very small; for, he Avho lias 
nothing, cannot lose much. I feel disposed to thank God 
from my heart that I crave no higher honor tlian that of 
doing good. 

That it might liave been "an unguarded moment" with 
me, is quite probable; for there certainly were "unguarded 
moments" at Conference, to say nothing of our conduct in 
private life! Is not that which is recorded in our journals 
taken as the acts and deeds of ouv Conference? and is not 
that protest recorded? Surely, men on their guard would 
not bear record against themselves! As I have always felt 
a disposition to help the weaker side, I had some hope that 
I might be of service to my afflicted brethren : afflicted, I 
say, first, with the curse of slavery; and second, with the 
taunts and gibes of their brethren, which last is no small 
affliction to men alive to worldly honor. 

I had, and still have, nothing to fear on your side, but a 
want of love and Christian moderation. On the other side, 
there is much to fear, viz., a "schism in the body." jNIy 
dear brother, I fear that you have not duly considered the 
extent of that evil. If u partial division in the members 
and in tlio time of our Conference produces devastation, 
consider the effects of a division in Conferences, division in 
Districts, in Circuits, in Classes, etc. Who, that has one 
spark of regard for Zion's prosperity, but trembles at the 
thought of an evil so extensive? I, for one, feel determined 
to use my influence, if I have any, to prevent the evil. 
However, I still feel opposed to slavery in all its forms, as 
I ever have been. But what is the ground of our opposi- 
tion? Is it pity for the slave, or is it enmity to the slave- 
holder? If the latter, it is a work of tlie devil, or at least 
of the flesh, and ought to be mortilied; if the former, should 
not that pity send us into their dingy abodes wiih the sweet 
balm of the gospel, to pour light and comfort on their be- 

308 ArPENDIX — NO. I. 

■j niglited aiul afllicted souls, and -witli the finger of faith 
1 to i)oiut them out tlic road to eternal rest? 
! Alas for us! \vc have come to the waters of strife, and 

i the devil always loves to in muddy waters. Let them 
i settle! let them settle! Do nut distui'b them, even with 
I the point of your pen. It is nuieh easier to foment strife 
than to make ]icace. Although I signed the protest against 
the nmjority, 1 am far from being a party man. I am seri- 
j ously opposed to the ininority, and to the majority, as par- 
ties; but as men and as ministers, I am in love and friend- 
ship with both ; and so I wish to live and hope to die. 
I You offer me the ])rivilege of signing another protest, 

j The specimen you gave me precisely meets my wishes, and 
i the only objection I have to signing it, is my ignorance of 
j the residue of its contents. 

j You talk of armies and wings of armies, and of galling 

I fires, kidnappers, etc., a;id say that you are as invincible as 

: the Macedonian Phalanx-. My dear brother, such things 

savor too little of Christian metkncss and brotherly love! 

. That you arc strong, we have no doubt. Archimedes used 

* to regret, that, though his mechanical powers were iri-esisti- 

I ble, yet he could never rai.-e the world, because he had no 

j place in the heavens whereon to fix his lever. Even so our 

I Church- will never be raised al).jve the shameful ftxctions 

nnd miserable disconls which iiuw disgrace her, until her 

ministers come to have their hearts, as Archimedes would 

have had his lever, fixed in tlu; heavens. 

The world sometintcs makes such bids for ambition, that 
only licavcn can outbid her. The heart is sometimes so 
imbittere<l, that nothing but divine love can sweeten it; so 
enraged, tliat notliing but (levutl.)u can calm it; so broken 
down, that it re.piires all th.e iorco uf heavenly hope to 
I raise it. In .short, religion is the only saving and control- 
! ling power over man. 13ound by that, mini.-ters will never 

APPENDIX — NO. I. 309 

usurp, nor members rebel. The former >vill govern like 
iiitlicrs, tlie latter obey like cbildreu; and thus moving on, 
linn and wiitcd as a host of brothers, they Avill continue 
"invincil)le" as long as they continue to exist. 

You speak of the opposition of Bishops, itinerant and 
local preachers, etc. I -wish the contention to be conducted 
with meekness and fear, and much brotherly love. What 
can u'c do with slavery^ It is easy to see tliat the result of 
the course you have taken ^vill be a division; but in pluck- 
ing up the tares, ^vill you not root up much of the wheat? 
Would it not be better to "let both groAV together until har- 
vest"? If a division takes place, which I much fear, what 
effect will it have in Virginia, North and South Carolina, 
Georgia, Mississippi, etc.? Will it not deprive us of access 
to both the slave-holders and the slaves? Who will then 
warn the slave-holder that he beware of "the chosen curse, 
the hidden thunder, the stores of heaven red with uncom- 
mon wrath," that are ready to blast the man who so treats 
his slave as to gain his fortune by the blood of souls? 
AVho will then teach the degraded li^thiopian to "streteli 
out his hands unto God"? What friendly finger will point 
him to the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the 
world"? Who will touch the burden inider which ho 
groans, with one of his fingers? Will it be one of those 
great men, who, like great mountains, are famous only for 
their sterility; who fatigue the earth with their weight, and 
chill it with their shade? No! those are not the men to 
visit the sooty cabin and pour the light of heaven in upon 
the gloomy soul. Shall we, out of a mistaken zeal to do 
good, for ever deprive ourselves of the opportunity? 

These arc but a part of tlic evils attending a division. 
I hope I shall never raise my hand or move my pen to cre- 
ate a division so dcstmctivc in a Church composed of more 
than two hundred and thirtv thousand souls, manv of whom 

310 Ari'ENDIX — NO. I. 

would certaiuly sufi'cr in some way or oilier by such a divis- 
ion. Wliile I am admitted into the number of the minority, 
and looked upon as a friend, I liope to have some influence 
with tliem ; but if, after all my eflbrts to prevent it, a divis- 
ion should take place, I sludl assuredly take that stand 
which shall correspond with the wliolc. tenor of my past 
life — against the more bitter severities of slavery. 

You grant me the privilege of suggesting my wishes re- 
specting the business in General Conference. I would pro- 
pose, for your consideration, the passage of a slave-rule to 
this effect: 

1, Tluit every slavc-liolder in our Cliurch shall provide a 
comfortable house, witli sulHcient bed and bedding, for every 
slave in his possession. 

2.. That each slave shall be clothed in decent apparel in 
summer, and warm clothing in winter; and shall Inive 
plenty of good and -wholesome food, and time to cat it. 

3. That every slave over years of age shall be taught 

to read the Holy Scriptures. 

4. That every slave over years of age shall be per- 
mitted to attend the worsliip of God times in every . 

5. That every slave shall attend flimily worship t^vicc 
a day. 

G. That each slave shall ])e allowed one hour for reading, 
in every . 

7. That no master shall inflict more than stripes for 

any one oflense, nor any stripes on one who is over ■ 

years of age. 

8. No .slave shall be compelled to marry against his own 

9. Ko master shall sufllr '.nan and wife, or parent and 
child, to be parted without their consent, when it is in his 
power — he being the owner of one— to prevent it by buy- 
ing or selling at a fair price. 


10. On any complaint being made against a. member for 
violation of these rules, let the preacher in charge appoint 

a committee of to investigate the facts and report to 

tlic society. 

11. Any member violating or refusing to comply Avith 
the above rules, shall be dealt with as in other cases of 

I never thought I was fit for a legislator; but in much 
haste I suggest the outline of a plan, and submit it to you 
for improvement. Something like this would cover all the 
ground that any reasonable man could hope to occupy, and 
would accomplish all that it is possible for us to do. 

I much regret that our i^overty here is such that we are 
not able to help you to finish the house of the Lord in Hop- 

I must close l)y sul^scribing ourselves. 

Your affectionate brother and sister, 

John and Susannah Joiinsoni 

312 APPENDIX — NO. U. 



Preached at the Jkll Meeting-house, near Lexinyton, Ky., on 
Sabbath, Sept. 28, 1S22, in compUance ivith a re-soluiion of 
the Kentucky Confereiicc, then in session. By Eev. John 

" For we raiist iic-ods die, and are as water spilt on the ground, ^Yllich 
cannot he gathered up again ; neither doth God respect any person : 
yet doth he dcvi?o r.u an.s (hat his banished be not expelled from 
hiin." 2 Sam. xiv. 11. 

We have tlii.s day convened for tlie solemn puri:)ose of 
paying a tribute of respect to our departed friend and 
brother, I\cv. A'nlciitine Cook, ^vhose memory is still dear to 
I thousand?, Avho.-c frail body slumbers in the dark silence 

I beneath the sod, but whose happy spirit has gone up to join 

the redeemed hosts that shine brightest and nearest the 
eternal throne. 

The text is a part of llie address of the wise woman of 
Tckoah to the King of Israel; but the words are true of 
every land and every*'. 

I. "Wo Mui-^t u(0']< die." This earth is too small to ac- 

connnoilato unlimited minibeiv^. Jt i.s computed by the 

^ learned, that if litr four huudred years the reign of death 

' should cease, we should have a human being for every rod 


of laud upon its surface; aud mcu aud auimals would he so 
crowded together, that scarcely one of the number could find 
room to move or breathe; and even in a century, the popu- 
lation would become too dense for this poor, sterile earth to 
bear. Death certainly was not contemplated in the original 
creation of man, aud perhaps this repletion was to be 
avoided by a slow increase and the translation of the ripe 
shocks to the Master's garner on high; Enoch and Elijah 
were but men, and the road they trod, up through the "con- 
cave towering high," millions of millions might have trod 
as well. But, as the ruined world is constituted now, " we 
must needs die," to make room for the hosts that are coming 
up lilvC an innumerable army to hurry us off the stage. 

"We must needs die," because the frail machinery of our 
bodies cannot but wear out after awhile. The continu- 
ance of life depends upon the soundness and the concur- 
rent action of a thousand difl'erent members and parts; aud 
short as a life may be, it is still 

Strange that a harp of thousand strings 
Should keep in tune so long. 

The very processes which build up the strength of youth, 
stiffen and encumber the action of age, and every process 
upon which life itself depends, contributes to bring on the 
faial catastrophe and make it inevitable. As it is impossi- 
ble to use a machine without wearing it out, it is also im- 
possible that life itself should not result in death. And 
this had been true of man, even before his primal fall, had 
not the great Physician planted "the tree of life in the midst 
of the garden." 

"We must needs die." Our bodies arc frail, and are ex- 
posed to injury from a thousand causes; and it is scarcely 
possible that we should for ever walk secure amidst so many 
agents of destruction. Tliere is no bone in our frames that 

314 APPENDIX — NO. ir. 

a comparatively trifling wciglit may not crusli ; no organ, no 
tissue, no depository of life, or its resources, that may not 
be pierced, and severed, and destroyed by an insignificant 
force. This delicate organization is liable to damage from 
every thing that our fancies or our necessities can bring 
before us. The air wo brcallie may rise in furious gales, 
and bring destruction and death upon us; the water which 
saves so many a life, has taken llie lives of millions, drowned 
beneath its surface; cold, which comes so often as a relief, 
comes as often to congeal ; and heat, though indispensable 
to life, may burn up our dwellings and our bodies too. The 
beasts upon which we depend fur labor and for travel, arc 
all able, if so disposed, to destroy the feeble form of man. 
Trees, stones, houses — every thing above — may foil upon 
us ; we may fall from heights, or into depths beneath ; and any 
fall may so disorganize our bodies as to make the wheels of life 
stand still. Every machine, every implement, every weapon 
used by man, is liable at any time, by a single inadvertent 
motion, to take away his life. There is not one moment of 
absolute safety from the cradle to the grave; and man, to 
be immortal here, must have a diiforont body from that in 
which his spirit tabernacles now. 

" We must needs die." Innumerable forms of disease are »; 
ready to fasten upon us an<l wear out life with days or weeks 
of anguish; and from these there is no escape. If we shun 
those produced by heat, we incur those which arise from 
cold; we avoid dearth, and fall victims to humidity; we 
escape "the pestilence that walketh in darkness," and fiill 
before "the destruction that wasteth at noonday;" our best 
defense against the disorders of one season, draw down upon 
us those of anotlicr; and what was safety in the fervid tjlow 
of summer, is death in the. gloomy reign of winter. The 
atmos})herc is never free iVoni impurities; much of the time 
it is loaded with the elements of disease, and the deadly 


opideinic that floats invisible avouud us is iahalcJ as a source 
oi' pleasure and a source of life. Yv'^hat one constitution, 
SOX, age, or manner of life averts, fall:, with, fatal certainty 
upon another; and every climate, location, and calling 
})rove3 at last, each in its own way, the cause of inevitable 

"We must needs die." When man received the iuhcrit- 
ance of his lovely home in Eden, the God who made hinx 
declared of one tree amidst the groves, " In the day thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The daring man put 
forth his hand and tasted of the fruit ; and Jehovah could 
not do less than inflict the penalty of his violated law. 
Alas, poor man! Denied, access to the tree of life — the 
taint of disease festering in his blood, and gaining volume 
and intensity with every succeeding age — surrounded by an 
atmosjthere and a world of poisons that grow more poison- 
ous still from generation to generation, and above all, that 
fearful and immutable sentence of the great Judge hanging 
over him, what wonder that he and his millions of descend- 
ants have sunk into the grave as fulling snow-flakes go 
down in silence to the depths of the flowiug river? That 
fearful curse, which spread the first cloud over the beauti- 
ful morning of time, hangs over us still ; and just as sure 
as the throne of Omnipotence still shines in heaven, so sure 
are we to die! 

II. Yfe "are as water spilt upon the ground, \\hich can- 
not be gathered up again." 

Like "water spilt upon the ground," we leave no trace 
that lingers long. The othce, the shop, the field in which 
we labor, will soon recall to the passers-by some other name 
than ours; the statiiMis that we occupy in society, will soon 
be occupied l)y otlnns; ami the coinmunity will soon forget 
that they ever owed any thing to our iulluence, our liber- 
ality, or our toil, ^^'heu we are gone, the sun will shine as 

316 ArrEXDix—NO. ii. 

brighlly, and incu will be as careful, as bu.->y, and as gay as 
jiow; and Church and Slate, business and pleasure, will all 
be driven forward as vigorously as if we were here to join 
the tlirong. A few remarks iu the first days that we are 
missed from our accustomed places, and then few whispers of 
either praise or censure shall evermore disturb the profound 
obliviou in which our names shall rest. Our own friends 
will soon forget us, however nuich they weep as the coffin 
goes down to its lowly bed. The mother weeps for the miss- 
ing child; the child weeps when the light of home is put 
out, and the only ear that ever listened to his tale of sorrow 
is cold and deaf for ever. The wife or husband mourns 
that the dear companion is gone ; and every object about 
the lonely dwelling has become a memento from which they 
turn away and weep; but this overwhelming tide of grief 
will, after a time, su])sidc; other cares and other associa- 
tions gradually efface from memory the sorrows of the part- 
ing scene ; they weep less frequently now ; they visit the sod 
that covers the buried treasure, less frecpiently noAV ; they 
enter more readily into light and mirthful conversation ; the 
badges of mourning, one by one, are laid aside; and the 
little mementos that they luved to look at and weep over, 
are thrust away where they muy meet the eye no more. A 
few more lleeting years, and our children too must follow us 
to the tomb; and in less than a century, not one human 
being on earth shall know that we ever lived. 

And when once the grim tyrant has laid his icy hand 
upon the heart-strings, and the unchained spirit has winged 
its flight from earth, no power in all the universe but God 
can remand the fugitive back to its tenement of clay. Vain 
is the boasted skill of the physician now; vuhi are the grief 
and anguish of the broken heart; vainly the screaming 
babe clings to the cold bosom of its mother; vainly the 
frantic mother clasps the lifeles.s form of her babe, as if to 


warm its chill and stiffening limbs in her bosom. ro\ver- 
less alike are the splendid mourning of wealth with all its 
pomp and pageantry, and the silent tear that poverty steals 
away to some unnoticed grave to shed alone. ^Ve "can- 
not be gathered up again" — never, never! — 

Till wrapt in fire; the renlms of etlier glow, 

And heaven's last tlmmlor sliakes the world below. 

III. " Neither doth God respect any person." Death, like 
a commissioned officer armed with sovereign authority to 
ravage the fields of nature and desolate tlie world, pursues 
the children of men through every lane of life, and drags 
the monarch from his throne, the peasant from his cottage, 
and the beggar from his dunghill, with equal ease and Avith 
equal haste. The power of majesty and the glory of the 
great, the care of the toil-worn and the shame of the crim- 
hial, all alike crumble to dust, and vanish beneatii his 
magic touch. Ivoyal robes and beggarly rags are exchanged 
on even terms for the winding-sheet; the grimy cell and 
the gorgeous palace, for the dark and gloomy caverns of 
the dead. Other mouarchs, great in the admiration and 
terrors of tlie world, have had their petty dominions, cir- 
cumscribed by narrow bounds ; but death rears his ebon 
throne and sways his iron scepter over every land where 
human feet have trod, over every realm on which the blessed 
sunlight falls. 

Many of the race, like migratory birds, perch upon our 
globe, and tarry for awhile — a day, a month, a year — and 
then fly off as if in quest of distant sunny regions. Ah, 
what did those little hasty sojourners discover in our guilty 
world that was so forbidding? Did they lasle the bitter cup 
of life, and turn away their heads disgusted, ;ind refuse to 
drink? Or did they o])en their eyes upon this scene of woe, 
and then choose rather to close them in dtath, than to sov? 

318 ArrENDix — no. ii. 

and suflbr tlie allUctions under wliicli '\vc groau? No, no! 
It was death, whose cold. and cruel hand tore the tender 
babe from the bleeding bosom of pnvental affection. Otlicrs 
tarry longer on the stage than these — until youth a)id 
beauty sweetly mingle in the countenance; a longer inti- 
macy has strengthened the ties of attachment for them, and 
the opening prospect of life and ])leasure cheer their giddy 
inuxgination ; but some of the thousand fierce diseases that 
Avait around seize upon them, and then, O how quickly 
liidcs the luster of the sparkling eye! how quickly withers 
the bloom of the ruddy check! how soon that form, so fair 
and beautiful, goes, pale and shrunken, down to its dark 
and lowly bed! Others remain till the strongest ties that 
nature knows arc formed. Bound to the object of their love 
by wedlock bonds, .surrounded by the cares and elated by 
the prospects of life, forming jilans and devising schemes to 
secure the pleasures of the world and to alleviate its woes, 
the future seems to them a boundless plain, with an endless 
succession of joys glittering along their path. Then comes 
the relentless destroyer: plans are baffled, prospects blasted, 
designs fru'^t rated, and in spite of the groans and tears of 
the broken-hearted companion, and the cries of the little 
dependent loved ones, the helpless victim is cut down and 
hurried away. N(»t many of the sons of earth live long 
enough to wear the livery and receive the appellations of 
age. To such the last summons frequently comes as a wel- 
come sound; but whether they receive it with pleasure or 
with dread, it is alike imperative; and the furrowed cheek, 
the tottering limbs, aiul the hoary head, which commanded 
the willing reverence of men, go down, without defense, to 
the silent dust. 

IV. Our pror-ent lif' is a lil'i,' of l^anishmcnt. Eden was 
our fatherland. There was our home and portion fair. A 
brighter sun than ever blessed Italian .skies, shone softlv down 


on lovelier scenes than poel over dreamed. The soft winds 
that wafted perfume from flowery bank and blooming grove, 
bore no breath of poison or contagion then, but life instead, 
and vigor, and abounding joy; and, best of all, the smiles 
of God were intercepted by no cloud: there was no barrier 
to the full flow of his love into the soul, and the cu]) of heav- 
enly joys contained no drop of woe. But man sinned, he 
v.-as driven from his home, and for six thousand years he 
has wandered in exile, snffering and sorrowful, forlorn and 
weary. Like a bird transported to some ungenial clime, 
drooping, dissatisfied, unhappy, he pines away; longing, for 
ever longing, for the unsullied bliss of his ancient home, 
through toil, and suffering, and gloom, he slowly drags out 
his miserable days. 

We, as Christians, are banished from the world. So long 
as we were ready to join them in their unhallo-\vcd employ- 
ments and sinful pleasures, the -wicked were willing to re- 
ceive us as companions and love us as friends. Their assist- 
ance and sympathy, their counsel and their approbation, 
( AYcre cheerfully vouchsafed to us then. But the moment wc 
I set out to try to secure the salvation of our souls, they turned 
( their backs upon us. They profess to a2:)prove of religion, 

i yet they deride, and mock, and defame, and point the fniger 

I of scorn at every man and every woman who seeks or em- 

I braces it. Tliey and their sovereign — "the god of this 

I world" — have possession here, and they take a malignant 

! delight in making us feel that we are not at homo. Like 

I Israel of old, we are both led and driven out of Egypt; 

this wilderness in which our weary pilgrimage lies can 
[ afford us no supplies ; and but for the blessed manna that 

every moining sheds around our tents, and tlic refreshing 
stream that Hows from the eternal Rock, we nuist pi risli — 
perish unheeded, and ])erish for ever I 

But, in the most aft'ectinG; sense, the dead arc bnhished 


froin niDODgst the living. >V}iilc tlic fallicr lived, his pres- 
ence was a source of joy to his family — they regretted his 
_ absence for a single day; and when he returned, his children 
ran bounding to meet him, and his Avifc received him with 
a face all beaming with pleasure. The family circle around 
the evening fireside never seemed complete without him. 
But death touched him ; lie became an object of terror to 
the children he loved so well, and his presence was painful 
to her who had been so long the idol of his heart. The 
mother — what a desolate place is home without a mother ! 
While she still lived, her mere presence diffused a cheerful- 
ness and sunshine around the precincts of home. The 
father intrusted to her the care of the little loved ones, 
assured that all their wants would be promptly supplied, 
and their sufferings relieved or soothed, by her tender care. 
She was the guardian angel of her children. They looked 
to her as the one on whom all their comforts depended; she 
was the only being who fully sympathized with them in their 
joys; and hers was the only ear in which they could with 
confidence pour the full tide of childisli sorrow. Her sooth- 
ing voice was their only remedy for a wounded spirit, her 
gentle hand — when they were sick — the sweetest relief that 
was ever applied to a burning brow. But death lays his 
liand upon her! That face, which they have kissed a thou- 
sand times, and which tlu-y once regarded as the embodi- 
ment of all that was lovely, is so pale, so cold, so wasted 
now, they shrink from it; and like the grand old patriarch 
of ancient days, they arc fain to bury their dead out of 
their sight. The child*— its little feet pattering around 
upon the floor, and its vuice ever and anon breaking forth 
in shrill and broken accents— formed the sweetest music that 
ever rang through our dwellings. Precious babe! so gcn- 

* In this pa.-?5age the lo:-s of liis own littlo girl t;eonis to have risen 
vivirlly before his mind. — A. C. J. 

'' APPENDIX — NO. ir. 321 

tic, so coufiding, so harmless, so inikl! our hearts said, 
"How can we give thee up?" It seemed as if we could 
never be satisfied with embracing the lovely form, with 
looking upon the smiles that played over its innocent face, 
and listening to the merry chirpings and the bird-song of 
its voice. Eut, no sooner has death performed his terrible 
work, than the loved form is laid aside, the little round and 
chubby limbs — so cold now! — are tenderly placed in the 
cofiin, and gently, softly, the precious charge goes down to 
its resting-place in the dust. The great and good of earth, 
like him whose death is the mournful occasion of our assem- 
bling here to-day, may cheer us with their presence for 
awhile. We rejoice at their coming; our eyes follow them 
with i)lcasure and with admiration as they move around in 
our midst ; we listen with interest and with reverence to the 
words of instruction that fall from their lips ; and we are 
ready to ask how the Church could spare them, or who 
could fill their places if they should fall. Yet, dearly as we 
love them, and highly as we value their society and their 
infhionce, it is all changed when death has laid the great 
man low; and he is banished from earth, without one ad- 
vocate to plead that the form we admired and loved be 
allowed to remain among men. Thus death banishes from 
the shores of time all that is clearest, all that is fullest of 
greatness and of blessing, as well as all that is vile; and 
we, too, when a few more fleeting years have circled away, 
shall be banished for ever from the associations and the 
scenes in which we arc now taking a pleasing or a painful 

But, blessed be God! he dcviscth "means that his ban- 
ished be not expelled, from him." Tliose, it is true — and 
sad, O sad! — who are not of the hocavcnly housoliold, v,'l:i) 
have constantly rejected the ofiers of salvation, and all V-n-iv 
lives-long trampled with bitter scorn and hate the goodness 


of God under their feet, tliose unist be expelled from lihn 
for ever. When tliey are hurried oft' the stage of action, 
they sliall never but once again in all the vast circles of the 
eternal ages be permitted to stand before the throne of 
God; and then it will be to receive the sentence, "Depart, 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire!" and to take their flight, 
amidst the thunders of divine vengeance and the wild 
shrieks of tlic doomed millions, 

V/ith hideous ruin and combustion, down 
To bottomless perdition. 

;May God grant that not one of your handsome forms may 
thus go down to feed the flames of hell, and that not one of 
those voices that ring out so cheerily now mnj ever join in 
the screams and curses that startle the gloomy reign of 
eternal death! 

But 0, ye mothers! weep not for the precious loved ones 
that are gone. Far away beneath the cold clay their inno- 
cent forms may lie, but they lie in ease and quiet; they no 
more ask \ou for bread to satisfy their hunger, or for gar- 
ments to shield them from the cold; they weep, they sigh, 
they sufier no more ; and there let them lie, secure from all 
the storms that howl over the living so rudely; but lift up 
your eyes of faith, and away yonder, shining high up be- 
fore the throne, see them, "too happy to be still," tuning 
their hari).s of gold to the melodies of heaven. They arc 
not banished from God, they are only taken home; it's a 
blessed, hai)py home, and they will be well taken care of 
till we can go up to meet them there; and mcthinks that, 
" Yonder comes pa ! " or, "Yonder comes ma!" will be the 
firrit and the gladdest scnuuls that greet us when we pass 
through the gate into the city. 

Weep not, thou poor, forlorn, und forsaken orphan child. 
That father or mother who loved you so tciidorlv, and 


treated you so kiiully, is gone — gone for ever from earth, but 
not for ever gone from you. You may still have to suifer 
here a^vhile; you may have to Dear reproaches and abuse, 
unkindness aud severity; and all the warm affection that 
this ^vorJd ever had for you may be buried in a father's or 
a mother's grave; but you are not separated for ever — they 
are gone home to our Father's house iu the skies, and there 
they are waiting for you, looking for you, pcrluips this very 
moment bending over Eden's walls to see if the little boy 
or girl they loved so well is beating along toward their 
liome in the good country. Try, O try, to live so as to 
secure the love of God; and iu a few more days, or years 
at most, you may go up to join their company, where they 
shall never bo taken from you again ! Be religious, and 
God will be more than fatlier and mother to you here — 

For ah! mothinks angelic latuL^, 

With kindly Loamiiigs uiiM, 
Extend unseen their stainh.'.'-;-i hands, 

To guard the orphan child. 

Be comforted, man or woman, whoever tliou art, whose 
dearest bosom-friend has been banished from the liousehold 
to the tomb! Go to the grave if thou wilt, bedew the sod 
with tears, and learn to be holier and kinder iu the time to 
come; but praise the name of God, that though they are 
gone from earth, they are not gone from him. You tried to 
make them happy here, which was impossible. O bo con- 
tent that they now dwell where they may be, with no care 
of thine, infinitely hapi>y, and happy for ever! You loved 
to be in their compaiiy. O be content that they, even now, 
dwell not faraway! They are waiting ihr yon, aiid tliey 
will not have to wait lung. Tlie very form you u::ed to love 
will be rescued from the grave; and O what a ha])py time 
it will l)c when we, whole iiunilios together, may \NaIk about 

"324 APPENDIX — NO. II. 

the glorious city, or sweep, ou easy wing, over the beautiful 
fields of heaven, or ramble among the delicious groves that 
flourish along the baiiks of the river of life — father, mother, 
sister, brother, companion, child, all safe lauded on that 
peaceful shore ! And miugled wiili all the sweets of heaven, 
that sweetest, widest, deepest flood of joy — the communion, 
the presence, and the smiles of the blessed Jesus, whose 
blood bought all these blessings for us — shall fill the enrapt- 
ured soul for ever! 

I need not devote many words to liim whom you all knew 
and delighted to honor. Father Cook was born in Penn- 
sylvania, and brought up in Virginia. His education was 
thorough; and even before his conversion, he studied his 
Bible )nuch. lie became convinced that he was a sinner; 
and his parents, though i)rofcssed Christians, thought little 
of his fears, and discouraged his struggles. He joined the 
M. E. Church, still struggling hard for the witness of the 
Spirit. Young as lie was, he erected the family altar in his 
father's house. Having obtained a bright evidence of his 
acceptance with God, lie soon began his ministry, joining 
the Philadelphia Conference in 1788. In 1798 he came to 
Kentucky, and located the following year. He had charge 
of Bethel School, in Jc.v^amiue county, for awhile; awhile 
was principal of an academy at Harrodsburg; and finally 
located in Logan county. Here he labored ou his little 
farm, taught when opportunity offered, and was always 
ready to preach the unsoarchal)le riches of Cluist. In 
manners he was plain and simple as a child, and utterly re- 
gardless of the vain show of the world. His language was 
so clear and so imaflected that even a child might under- 
stand him; but there was a power in his earnestness that 
few hearts were so callous as to Ijc able to resist. He was 
most lamb-like in his meekness; and he seemed oa if his 
heart was always engaged in comnuuiiou with God. His 

APPENDIX — NO. II. ■ 325 

earuestncss appeared resistless Avitli God as it was -witli uiaii, 
for he had that powerful faith which leaves not the mercy- 
seat without au answer of jDcacc. His last words were 
worthy of so great and good a man. " "When I think of 
Jesus," said ho, "and of living Avith him for ever, I am so 
fdlod with the love of God that I scarcely know whether I 
am in the body or out of the body!" 

O, thou Most High! whatever else thy sovereign will 
denies, "let me die the death of the rigliteous, and let my 
last end be like his!" Amen. 

[NoTK. — It is to be regretted that the notice of Cook is 
so brief; but men not accustomed to writing much, are apt 
to become weary, and hasten to a close. — A. C. J.] 

326 * Ari'ENDIX — NO. III. 



Tin; Six'RKT OF CiiUiicii-SECRETs; Oi', an cdlempt to remove 
tome of the odious asjyersioyis cast upon the character of 
John Jojixson by J. H. Overstreet. 

The telling of one secret oft divulgeth ; 
For if you toll on mo, I '11 tell on you. 

All seems infected that the infected ?py, 

As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye. — Pope. 

Who steals my purse steals trash: 
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to many. 
Rut ho who filches from me my good name,, 
Rohs me of that which not enriches him, 
And leaves "me poor indeed. — SIiakcqKarc. 

No glass or coloring will avail, 
But truth and justice must prevail. 

Omnia vinoit amor, et nos ccdamus amori. — Virgil. 

'^ Fit whoi''- f r.vyin'.; and strife is, there is confusion and every evil 
work. Rut the wi.-dom tliat is from above is first pure, then peace- 
able, gentle, and easy to ])c entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, 
witliout partiality, and without hypocrisy." James iii. IG, 17. 


■ : Louisville, Ky., 182 1. 


SoMi: people say I cannot Avrite. I profess to have 
nothing to boast of in i)oint of ability, but, like Washing- 
ton, I can make my mark. 

I am iucliiicd to think that ]Mr. Overstreot has, of fixed 
purpose, opposed the administration of the preachers in 
charge at this place for five or six years past. If this has 
been the case, may we not easily account for the discord 
j and confusion, the strife and contention, that have prevailed 

j in the jMcthodist Church in Louisville, and the reproach 

which lias been heaped upon it? How soon may men of 
talents and influence destroy the peace of society if they be 
disposed to do so! AVitncss the case of Absalom, of the 
.1 three principal leaders in Jerusalem, when besieged by the 

I Ilomans, etc. Under this view of the subject, and from 

many other considerations, I am persuaded that the expul- 
sion of J. H. Overstreet was one of the most fortunate 
events tliat ever transpired in the history of ^Methodism in 
Louisville. He may have been a good man once, but I fear 
it was long ago. I think he has caused the Church more 
havn\ and disgrace tlian any man I have ever known. 
"NVitne.-s his public and private quarrels, his publications, 
his method of getting and trying to get certificates, etc. 
But I can say, "Father, forgive him;" for surely he cannot 
be sensible of the evil he has done. There is nothing, 
• as relates to Jlr. Overstreet, that I so much desire as the 
! happiness of himself and family in this woi-ld and in that 

j to come; yet I cannot admire the nobleness of soul mani- 

fested ])}■ him. I suspect he vras avrarc that I would and 
could prove certain facts by the men v,ho had been eye- 
witnesses of my conduct; for wliat could induce Knn to toll 
the very worst he knew or could imagine about thcni, if it 
was not to ir. ':;>.) id nie, thoir testimony? Novertlielrss. I shall 

■ 828 ArPENDIX — NO. III. 

i refer to them as living witnesses whose characters are too 
; well known to be injured by the bare word of jMr. Over- 
street. As to P. Bcemau's trial, I have the documents now 
in )ny desk; and any one who washes to be satisfied on that 
subject, will please to call and see iur themselves. 


It Is with great reluctance that I take up my pen, con- 

• fused as my mind is with a thousand other things, to per- 
form the painful task of pleading my own cause. But im- 

• pcrious duty demands it at my hand. Conscious of my o^Mi 
weakness and of tlie frailty of human nature, I acknowl- 
edge I may have erred. If I have, I am sorry for it, and 

; hope to be forgiven. But let the reader judge for himself. 
i Shortly after my arrival in Louisville, in October, 1823, 
j I found that I Avas censured for having voted, in the xlnuual 
I Conference at jNIaysville, for the restoration of J. H. Over- 
I street to membership. To these censures I could only reply, 
I that I had acted according to the best judgment that I 
'. could form, and had done what I believed at the time to be 
right. In fact, just before I left Maysville, I was told that 
if Overstreet was restored to membership, other charges 
would be preferred against him in Louisville, and he would 
be expelled as soon as the preacher in charge came on to 
the station. Accordingly, a few days after my arrival, a 
list of charges was handed me, which, as I hnU on compar- 
ison, are of an earlier date than Ovcrstreet's objections to 
^McAllister. How the former could be predicated upon the 
latter, as shown by some of Ovcrstreet's certificates, I nmst 
leave the public to judge. 

"When I presented the above charges to Overstreet, I 
wished him to attend trial on the Friday following; but he 
had a suit pending in court, which he expected to have to 
attend to on that dav. I then iufcriiicJ ihu inemhors of tho 


gocicty that the business was postponed from Friday until 
the next AVcdnesday. When I conversed -svitli Ovcr.^treet 
on the subject, perhaps the next day, at his house, he asked 
;Mr. Jaincs Hasbrook -when the twenty-ninth day of court 
AYOuld be, if not on Wednesday. Hasbrook paused, as one 
making a calculation, and replied in the affirmative. Over- 
street then said that he had a suit respecting a boat, which 
was to be tried on that day. We then agreed on Friday as 
the day of trial. 

Thursday night, at church, I received his request to ])ut 
off the trial ; also was informed that he wanted the evidence 
of his laY\-yers. I inquired, after sermon, if any one could 
tell me at what hour the court usually adjourned. Some 
one in the congregation spoke, and I understood hiui to say 
about 2 o'clock. I then requested the male membei-s all to 
meet at the church at 82 o'clock, for the purpose of attend- 
ing to the charges against Overstrcet. I had an interview 
with him, perhaps on Friday, and reminded him of his tell- 
ing mo his suit would come up on Wednesday. He then 
told me he had two suits. At the trial I reminded him again 
of his saying his suit would come up on Wednesday. lie 
said he had been mistaken in the time: he then thought 
Wednesday was the twenty-ninth day of court, but no^v said 
Friday was the twenty-ninth. 

When ]\Ir. Ovcrstreet appeared, to enter his pica of not 
ready for trial, the only plea that appeared to be of impor- 
tance Avas, tiiat he wanted the testimony of Adams, Merrill, 
and Jones. I asked him what he wished to prove by those 
witnesses, and he said he wished to prove Beeman's charac- 
ter. I asked, "Ls that all you wish to pi'ovc by them?" 
He answered, "Yes; I will })rove every thing I have said 
of him," etc. I was then apj)caled to as chairman — poor 
ignorant one as I was — to decide whether his j)lea was a 
suflicient one to put off the trial. I gave it as my v.cak 

330 API'ENDIX — NO. ]II. 

opiinoii Hint it was not sufiicicnt: first, because Bcemau's 
case and character were not the .subjects of inquiry at that 
time; and second, I supposed Beenian's character vras as 
well known in Louisville, Avherc he had spent most of his 
life, a:- in liulianu, where he had occasionally been a tran- 
eient visitor. 

Thus, reader, you have tlic hiftory of one of loy 
"ofienses" connnittcd in Louisville — ruling ]\[r. Ovcrstrcet 
into trial— and my reasons for doing so. The following 
may ^o in conllrniation, as far as the witne.-ses are entitled 
to credit: 

"The cliairnian a-ked Brother J. II. Ovcrstrcet if there 
was any other <'\ idiiice that he wished to have introduced 
in this case, cxcci»t Dr. Adams, Merrill, and Jones; and he 
— Overstivet — rci.lit-d there was not. Q.uestion 2d — Did 
you wisli to ]>rove any thing more by these witnesses than 
tlie character of Brother Ikeman? He answered he did 
uot. We, the undersigned, certify that at the close of the 
evidence in the al)ove-named trial. Brother Johnson and 
Brotlier Overstivet liad the conversation above given. 
BunAni>(V,i;\vixL, Littleton Quixto>', 

,«()!,oM<)S WooTi:i:s, Philo Bkemax, 

])ami:i. y\< .\ i.i.i. Tr.u, jA^rns IIasijkook, 

^\'^J.lAM Fauquak." 

Wiu-n we liad examined the witnesses, I asked the accused 
find the accu.-er if they hud any more evidence to produce. 
Tlu-y answered iu the negative; then the above conversation 
took i>la(f. and the j.artics retired. I then read the para- 
gr.i;Ii in lli.' I )i-r;i.lii,(' governing the case, and ending with 
tl'.e-e word.-: "or .-hall enter into a lawsuit with anotlier 
member before tlie.M- means are taken, he shall be expelled, 
cxcojiting the case be of such a nature as to require and 


justify a i^rocess at law." I then told the members they 
Imd heard the evidence on both sides; I had nothing to do 
vith tlie making up of an oinnion; I wislicd them, uithout 
cmbarj-asijmeut, fully and impartially to ■weigh the facts, and 
form a just and righteous oiiinion. The first question was, 
'•JIas Overstreet instituted a suit or suits at law against 
Beeman?" The second, ""Were the circumstances of the 
case sufficient to require and justify a process at law?" ' In 
making up au opinion on these points, I did not know that 
it was luilawful, as Overstreet intimates, for any member to 
speak. I had thought it was not uncommon for jurors, 
after hearing the evidence and pleadings, to retire and con- 
verse together, in order to made up an opinion. Our mem- 
bers did no more, on the occasion in question. 

Kow, if I did call for any evidence after the parties witli- 
drew, as Overstreet avers, or admitted improper evidence, 
I am ready to acknowledge it to have been wrong, and to 
beg juirdou for the wrong. But I have no knowledge or 
recollection of the one or the other, and hereby defy any 
man to prove that I did either. 

From the judgment of Mr. Overstreet, who was a party 
concerned, I beg leave to appeal to every unprejudiced man 
who attended that trial, for the correctness, justice, and im- 
jiartiality vdth which it was conducted. The public have 
read and heard the opinion of one man ; but I think I may 
say it is impossible for them to form a correct opinion from 
a few garbled scraps of the testimony produced on one side 
of the cpiestion. They should hear all the evidence on 
both sides, in order to form a righteous judgment. But I 
have not space to introduce it here; and to give one-sided 
and garbled jiassagcs, is a thing that I will neither do nor 
expose myself to the charge of doing. 

The next heavy censure I intend noticing, is that relatis'e 
to the court by which Mr. Overstreet ^vas tried. It may bo 

332 APPENDIX — NO. in. 

recollected llu^t 1 wt^.s friciully uith him, had voted for liirn 
ju the Anuual Conference, and wi-shcd to do him good. 
From a conversation betwceil him and myself at tlie court- 
house, I was inclined to think that he had ohjectious to 
some members' sitting on his case. Being an entire stranger 
here, I -was not prepared to select such a committee as Avould 
satisfy him, without some instruction ; hence, I requested him 
to give me a list of such names as he would not object to. 
He did so; and unfortunately, one of his choice was my 

near neighbor, Mr. L , who was not a member of our 

Cluirch. A man whose powers of mind were as limited as 
mine, could not have a perfect knowledge of men whom he 
had never seen, nor even heard of, before; hence, how could 
I know but others of his select list were in situations not 

altogether dissimilar to that of Mr. L ? Was not this 

calculated to produce reflection, and to excite inquiry? 
Aud is it common for an accused person not only to 
choose the court, but the jury, beforehand, by whom he 
shall be tried? Is it now, or has it ever been, the practice 
of any Cliristian Church for a member to object to his 
brethren sitting to hear and judge his case? If such a pre- 
cedent has ever come within tlie narrow range of my obser- 
vation, I have now no recollection of it. 

I soon began to fear that the inlluence of my friend Over- 
street might lead me astray, fur it is well known how easily 
weak minds arc controlled by men of strong intellect. I 
then asked P. Beeman to give me a list of such as he would 
wish to have on the trial, thereby to enlarge my restricted 
knowledge of the membership— thinking that, out of the 
two lists, I could choose such impartial men as would do 
justice and sati.dy all i)arties. But I soon found this to be 
impracticable; and jNIr. Overstreet having privately given 
mcto understrnd that if he should be expelled, three-fourths 
of the members would leave the Church or withdraw from 


tlie society, what would ajipcar so likely to clear my accused 
friend nnd give general sarisfoction, as to summon the Avliole 
society— tlu'cc-fourths being iu his favor? Accordingly, I 
summoued all the male members to attend; but, fortunately 
for u.?, we could not succeed in justifying my friend and 
continuing his membership. The majority said he had in- 
stituted suits as charged, and that "the circumstances were 
not sufficient to require and justify a process at law." His 
acknowledgments, which he showed no disposition to make, 
might have saved him from expulsion on all the other 
charges, but the finding of the membei-s on this one com- 
pelled me to expel him. 

When I sat as judge on his case, I could neither argue 
nor vote, I v/ished him to take an aj^jjoal, as I could then 
have had a vote, and could have pleaded his cause, which I 
wished to do. (I knew little about him then. The records 
concerning him were never laid before me until after his 
pamphlet appeared. I now think he is the last man on 
earth for whose membership in any religious society I could 
either vote or plead.) Pie would also have had an oppor- 
tunity to obtain the evidence of Adams, jMerrill, and Jones ; 
and I think it probable that I could have saved him from 
any ill feelings toward me. But, fortunately for lis all, 
these plans failed; and I must confess I was astonished 
when I found JMr, Ovcrstreet was angry with me. I thought 
that if ever one man had tried to befriend another, as far as 
justice and honor would at all permit, I had so tried to be- 
friend jNIr. Overstreet. I then regarded him as a man of 
talents and influence, calculated to do good, and would 
gladly have retained him if I could upon proper prin- 

Having made these statements to the public, sutler me to 
say a word to ]\Ir. Overstreet. And now, dear sir, is this 
your kindness to me? — to blacken my character and hold it 

\ 334: APPENDIX — NO. III. 

up to public view ill all the liateful colors that envy itself 
could paint? You say you arc a man of truth ! The learned 

: and pious ]Mr. 'Wesley says, "A lie is something said ^vith 
an intention to deceive, and a liar is one Avho says a thing 

■ intending to deceive." Now, thou man of truth ! please to 

'■ answer tha following questions: Why did you say anyl 
thing in your pamphlet about "a new coat and sixty dollars 
in Commonwealth paper"? Did you not say it with an in- 
tention to deceive the public? Was there any truth, in that 
implied assertion? Ko, sir; you knew that thei-e was not, 
and that it was a malicious and slanderous folsehood ; and I 
ara sorry that other men should be so far influenced by 7jou 
as to trifle with my character. Who told Rev. Mr. Fall, if 
you did not, that INIr. INIcAllister gave me a new coat ajid 
sixty dollars in Com.monwealth paper? This Mr, Fall 
stated last Saturday as a fact, as I am told by unquestiona- 

: ble authority, though I am sorry to say it was, both in orig- 
inator and propagator, a malicious falsehood. Neither did 
I ever say, as Overstreet avers, that ]Messrs. Fall and Black- 

' burn were emissaries of the devil. iSTo, gentlemen, these 
things, like many others, have no foundation in fact, and 
are told only "with an intention to deceive." 

Kow, jNIr. Overstreet, where are your high-sounding claims 
to truth? Could you think I would sell my character so 
cheaply as for a coat and a few paper dollars? No, sir! 
Slender as you inay suppose my character to be, it is more 
to me than all the dollars that have ever been coined. 
And could you think I would betray the cause of God, 

: bring a reproach upon the religion of Jesus Christ, and 
prostrate the ministerial character for a few dollars? In 
your inmost soul you know tlio charge is false. I Avould 
rather carry my integrity to the duTigeon or the scall'ild, 

i than to receive in exchange for it liberty and life. Sliould 

! I ever bo called to make my choice ])etween tliese cxtreraDS. 


I. would choose to bo prematurely sent to lioaven, rather 
than to iinger on earth, unci at last sink to hell and infamy. 
lu every situation a dishonest inan is detestable, and a liar 
is more so. 

Will an enlightened and fricJuUy public bear -with me — 
2 Cor. xi. 1 — an injured stranger, whilo I perform the disa- 
greeable task of saying a few words in relation to myself, as 
I think the aspersions cast upon my character demand? 

I am a native of Louisa county, Va. In 1803, 1 removed to 
Tennessee, and settled in Sumner county. There I obtained 
religion, and joined the M. E. Church, of which, by the grace 
of God, I have remained a member until this day. I have 
never been sued or warranted by any person in my life, but 
have always paid my debts when called on. I have been, 
for more than seventeen years, a member of the ]Methodist 
Church, and have never had one charge preferred against 
me, nor was ever n single witness called upon to give evi- 
dence against me, either in a civil or ecclesiastical court. I 
traveled the llockhockiug Circuit one year; and I had 
charge of the White Oak Circuit one year; of the Sandy 
Itiver, one year; of the Natchez, one; of the Nashville 
Circuit, one; of Livingston, three; of Christian, one; of 
the Nashville Station, two years; Eed Eiver Circuit, one; 
of the Hopkinsville Station, two years; of Eussellville, one. 
These circuits and stations, containing from one hundred 
to upward of a thousand niembers, have been committed 
to my charge as above, with all their intricate and difllcult 
business. J have sat as their chairman, and have never, to 
my knowledge, had one appeal from my decisions. And 
you, Mr. Overstrcet, dared not appeal from the decision in 
your own case. How strangely kind has the Father of 
mercies licen to n;e, a poor, weak-minded mortal ! 

If this is not a true account, my brethren in the ministry, 
who have succeeded me in all those places, and have been 


intimate whh me, will detect me, and I shall bo punished 
for my fault ; for the character of every itinerant preacher 
undergoes a close and impartial inve^^tigation at each An- 
nual Conference, and no villain can hide himself long among 
us before being detected. And is it possible that, after 
turning my family out of as comfortable a home as any 
man has — a home furnished with all the conveniences of 
life — and sacrificing three or four hundred dollars to come 
to this unhealthy place, \Yhere every preacher dreads to 
come — I say, is it possible that after all this, Avithout fee or 
gift, -without either threats or promises, I should sell myself 
for naught, become the dupe of a corrupt and unprincipled 
party, and renounce my God, my character, and all that is 
sacred? I do not think an intelligent public can believe it. 

The principal controversies I have ever had were in Hop- 
kinsville. Rev. Mr. Fall knows something of uiy charac- 
ter in that place. Rev. Dr. Blackburn has had an oppor- 
tunity of knowing something of ray character for these ten 
years past. I imagine no one will suspect either of these 
gentlemen of being guilty of gross partiality toward me; 
but I am willing to refer to them for my character, so far 
as they have had an opportunity to know it. 

But, IMcssrs. McAllister and Beeman are the men, it is 
charged, who have induced me to betray tlie sacred cause 
of God, and prostrate my character. And how did they 
accomplish . the work? Keither of these gentlemen ever 
has, to my knowledge, made me a jn-esent,* or offered me as 
hire or fee a single dollar, or any thing to that amount of 
value. They have never threatened or promised any thing 
of as much importance as a dollar; and if they paid their 
quarterage, they paid it to the stewards, and I stand charged 
with it. Now, Mr. Overstreet, if the fearful threatenings of 

*It turned out thiit McAllister was merely the bearer, and not the 
donor, of the gift he presented with so much kindness. — Editor. 


tlie loss of thvcG-fourths of my socicly — -which to me >vas 
more than all the dollars on earth ; of being published to 
the ■\vorld and losing my character — -which is dearer to me 
than all other things; of being caricatnred, etc.; I say, if 
these threats, combined \Yith friendship I felt for you, and 
ray dependence on yon for my support, failed to induce me 
to follo^Y 1/ou "one haii"'s breadth from the path of recti- 
tude," how could you suj^pose those men led me astray ? I 
do not think you believe it, and it must bo the malice of 
your heart that induces you to say it. 

As to Brother Cor\une, I must confess that the statements 
of ^Ir. Overstreet created a prejudice in ray mind against 
him, so that I did not vote for him as a delegate to General 
Conference; and after he was elected, I would have voted 
him out and elected another in his place if I could have 
done so; for I suspected he had done wrong to some consid- 
erable extent, and with this prejudice I came to Louisville. 
A-short time after my arrival, a large file of papers was 
put into my hands by j\Ir. Overstreet, for the purpose, osten- 
sibly, of ascertaining if Mr. Becmau was a bona fide mem- 
ber of society, or not. Mr. Harrison testified, in one of 
those papci's, that Becmau was received by a unanimous 
vote of the society; his name was enrolled in the class-book, 
and he had more than stood his six months' probation. jMr. 
Overstreet could hardly have been ignorant of all this. This 
fde of papers also contained much of the testimony against 
Mr. Corwine. But I still suspended my judgment, as well 
as I could, until I could hear both sides, when I was quite 
agreeably disappointed by fmding Corwine innocent. I 
wish you, ^^fr. Overstreet, to answer the following questions: 
Did you not, when you handed me that fde of papers, ex- 
pect that I would be one of the committee on I\Ir. Corwinc's 
case? And did you not wish, to bias my mind before the 
trial came on? Is this some of your fair dealing and hou- 


csty, to clandcsliucly show the cvideuce on but cue side? 
You -were sorely disappointed to find that " none of these 
things move me." I think, to use a boatman's plirasc, you 
foci as if you had run against a sawyer. 

I now appeal to Mr. Overstreet as a man of truth, on 
this sentence in his supplement, viz., "Nine specifications for 
lying and slanderous declarations; all proven positively," 
etc, "Cave quid dieis!" You were not present at the trial 
of Thompson and Beeman — unless as an eavesdropper — 
and how did you obtain so distinct a knowledge of it? But 
to tlie "positive proof:" I would appeal to any competent 
judge for a decision on the following case: Suppose that 
four respectable witnesses come forward in open court and 
testify that a given horse is the property of A, and three 
of equal responsibility make oath that the same horse be- 
longs to B; is it "proven positively" that it belongs to B? 
Speak, Judge! I am sorry that this man of truth is caught 
in th'ese dilemmas: First, he must either produce these nine 
specifications, and all the evidence on both sides — not a few 
garbled sentences — and thus show to the public that they 
were all proven positively ; or eJse he must bear the impu- 
tation of malicious falsehood. Second, he nuist prove that 
it was through my unjust and unheard-of decision that Bee- 
man was cleared of them all, or go down to the grave under 
the charge of wickedly trying to injure the character of an 
innocent man. 

I appeal to every man who attended the trial of P. Bee- 
man, whose mind was not biased by Mr. Overstreet — for he 
acknowledges that he intimated to some that justice would 
not be done — to say if any man could have acted more im- 
partially and justly, and with nu:>re lenity to both accused 
and accuser, than I did on that occasion. Did I not admit 
all the evidence on the part of the accusers that I ought to 
have admitted, and more too? When their own testimony 

APPENDIX — NO. III. ' 339 

was written clown, did I not have it read over to tliem, and 
even permit them to amend and modify it next day? Did 
I not permit tlic accuser to form and modify the answers of 
his witnesses to snit himself, and even to read his written 
answers to questions to teacli the witnesses how to form their 
answers? Did I suppress any good evidence? Did I not 
permit tlie committee to make out their own verdict, when 
we I'ctired for tliat purpose? Did I use any efibrts to influ- 
ence tlieir opinions? Answer, ye committee-men — AVm. 
Lampton, AVm. Kirkwood, Jeremiah Tarltou, "Wm. Hum- 
phreys, Jolm Jobe, J. R. Barefield, George Noch, Solomon 
Wooters, and "\Vm. Farquar. But, was all this strictly con- 
sistent with legal proceedings? No; but knowing the dis- 
ordered state of the Church here, I allowed it, in order to 
leave no ground for censure or complaint, 

Relative to ]Mr. Overstreet's exceptions taken at the time 
of his trial, I never did promise to sign them but on condi- 
tfon of his altering them to suit me; this he did not do, and 
I never signed them. As to his account against the Church, 
I never promised to adjust it, but told him tliat I would try 
to have it adjusted. It was some days after I received his 
account before I knew who the trustees were. When I as- 
certained, I found there were only two remaining in office; 
one of them was gone down tlic river, and there could 1)0 
no quoruni till he returned. Before he returned, ]Mr. Over- 
street had filed a bill in chancery, and the trustees ulti- 
mately resolved to defend the suit. 

Thus I luive noticed some of the principal things which 
struck me, in looking cui-sorily over his pamj)hlct, and 
which I thought it my duty to notice. 

And now, gentle reader, I confess it is exceedingly difll- 
cult to enter the lists of controversy without placing our 
peace of mind in je()})ardy. Revenge cannot be indulged, 
even in a war of words, Avith impunity; a spark of it is 

340 "^ ^ APPENDIX— NO. III. 

never SDiittcn from the flinty heart without kindling a flame 
whicli cannot burn in the bosom Avithout consuming the 
best feelings. The boiling fury of resentment scalds the 
heart from ^vhich it is poured out. Let us then retire into 
the sanctuary of our own integrity, and, while the enemy 
of our peace foams around, remote in our feelings from the 
tuTnult he occasions, enjoying the holy calm of forgiving 
mercy, recollecting "he who is slow to anger is better than 
the mighty, and he who ruleth his own spirit than he that 
taketh a city." Scandal, left to itself, soon loses its power to 
injure. Suspicion will not readily attach to a good man 
while he maintains the dignified posture of self-approving 
silence. He who steadily pursues the path of duty, how- 
ever attacked, carries his vindication with him, and usually 
proceeds more successfully, and always more nobly, than he 
who stoops to indulge the littleness of anger, and returns 
the barkings of the whelps that follow and yelp along his 
path. When duty calls, to shrink from public scrutiny is 
pusillanimous ; for we should then face the reproach, and 
if need be, become a voluntary martyr to righteousness. 
But even in that martyrdom, we need watch our hearts, 
that righteousness, and not self, be our motive. Under the 
influence of these j^rinciples I wish to write, to live, and to 
die. John Johnson. 

APrENDix— Ko. IV. ■' 341 



Mount Vekxox, III., Jan. 24. 
Dear Brother: — I have already acknowledged the re- 
ceipt of your favor, and confess that it a'wakened emotions 
of not the kindest character, since there >yere some thi)igs 
in my last \vhicli, though not extremely important, I thought 
you might have referred to. But these emotions were tran- 
sient, and have iiow entirely passed away. Your favors to 
pa and the boys were received by yesterday's mail. Long 
and anxiously had wc looked for a letter, and -sve had almost 
come to believe that you Avere dead, or, "as good as dead." 
One of your statements shows an utter unconsciousness of 
a fiict plainly stated in one of my late letters, and this in- 
duces me to fear that that epistle has " come to some un- 
timely end." You seem to have written in a very jovial 
mood. You ask if we kncAv we had a brother there, "six 
feet three, good-looking, and smart." Why, no! we never 
had any idea in the world of such a thing, and vrero "per- 
fectly thunder-struck" when we heard of it. You aLso ask 
if our town has not been swallowxxl up, or destroyed in some 
other way, as you cannot hear from us. Now, to this in- 
quiiy I will say, that if it has been, we have noc heard of 
it; but then, our eastern mail Is so irregular, that if any 
thing ha])pcns, it is olleu a long time before we hear of it. 

342 ■ APPENDrX— NO. IV. 

As to family aflliirs, Ave arc all well at present, except 
ma; she docs not seem at all stout nowadays. Brother 
"W. is teaching, has a good school, and improving still. I 
am reviewing some of my studies, to keep what I have 
acquired from rusting; but ma njid I are so "cmcrscd in 
business" — cutting carpet-rags — tl\at I have not much 
lime to devote to any other brunch of study (cutting car- 
pet-rags is sfcadi} work, if it isn't studi/.) Almost any one 
except myself, after carefully studying grammar, geogra- 
phy, arithmetic, philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, history, 
etc., would be prepared to go into business, or into writing 
a book, if he has the gift of composition; for you know 
Cicero says, "Quoniam din vlxissc dcncgatur, all quid faciamus 
quo posdmus ostcndcrc nos vixmc." 

JNIr. Edwards has gone to M. to establish a Division of 
Sons of Temperance. W. A. T. has returned to his wonted 
ways, and has been expelled from the Division : so true the 
proverb, "The hoc/ returns to his Avallowing in the mire." 
All)ert II. went hence, a few weeks ago, " unanointed, un- 
annealed, and unappointed." Health of the town is good, 
and the town fdling xip rapidly; the old Adams house is 
packed to overflowing with people, and I don't know but 
the jail will be full next — very probable. 

The winter has been severe. Xot till to-day has the snow 
been off the ground since the first day of December. A 
heavy rain fell last night, the snow is gone, 'and it is warm, 
foggy, muddy, and disagreeable. But we feel as if winter 
will soon be gone, and hope the hibernal snows may no 
more, at present, whiten our soil, or deck terra finna with 
their coat of bleaching wool. "Sound thy trumpet in the 
blast," say we, "and call thy storms away I" 

It is probable W.'s letter and mine will "collapse to- 
gether," on some jioints. He wrote because it was his turn; 
I, because there were some bright ideas in my head, Jind 

APPENDIX — NO. IV. * 313 

lliey not feeling themselves at home, I was obliged to get rid 
of them. If you find any incomprehensibilities in my letter, 
get Eome glossographer to elucidate them; for it Avas gotten 
up -50 subitaneously that it certainly is quite quodlibetical. 
There's a inouthful for you, a.? big as some of your own. 
Yours afi'eclionately, J. B. JoiixsON. 

]vIou^'T Vrp.NON, III., March 23. 
DiLVii Brother: — Your very welcome favor of IMarch 2, 
came to hand by last Tuesday's mail. I thank you for the 
little eiicomium you were so good as to pronounce on my 
last epistle. Such praise i.s very inspiriting, especially to 
such a one as myself. I was sorry to hear of your violent 
falls. Beware of passing over dangerous "culprits," and 
"scary on such riding-horses." Perhaps you realize that 
being tall is often a disadvantage, unless you could be out 
of the reach of gravitation. It's hard to stand a pole on 
end. Brother "Washington has received the book you sent 
him. Ma also has your letter of the 13th instant, in which 
you say your California-fever has abated. From the first 
time we heard of your wishing to go, I thought strange that 
you, in the comfortable situation you have, should entertain 
and carry out such a notion. "We should have thought 
such an inclination most foreign to you, reared up, as you 
have been, almost to maturity, within the very threshold of 
home: thus reared— and then to pad oil" .across creation at 
a da.-h ! " The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; " 
but we can't claim his protection outside of our own proper 

The regular sossion of the circuit court was held here last 
week; and, beyond expectation, not one fight or tuniult oc- 
curred during tlie week. Tolerably rigid justice was dis- 
pensed; yet there was not business enough in the county to 
detain the court all week. It sccins as if our county will 

j 344 APPENDIX— KO. IV. 

I fail to support its doctors and lawyers, ayIuIg merchants and 

i mechanics "get a good practice," all of whicii is a good 

i indication of improvcnicnt. 

j Though hcaltli has generally been so good, >vc arc still 

frequently reminded that death reigns. Aunt Clarissa John- 
son is dead — died of consumption, C. T. is also dead. W. 
T. -was killed by a limb broken from a falling tree in his 
clearing. Mrs. Iv. has returned from Pittsburgh, leaving her 
husband to return to his mother earth in that city. I be- 
lieve no -wedding is anticipated, except that of Dr. Edwards 

i to JNIiss Hicks. 

It would delight us all very much to have you visit us 
this summer or spring. If you can consistently do so, as 
you exjiected to when you left, I })romise you that, like the 
guests at old Cresar's 'possum-suppers, we shall "rejoice our- 
selves fus' rate." 

I have had serious thoughts of copying this letter, with a 
view to its amendment. I have never yet written a letter with 
which I could be more than half satisfied. I suspect I 
have good grounds to dislike them, for if they had redeem- 
ing qualities, Avho so ready to appreciate them as myself? 
I am sure I write in too much haste, and put too much 
"foolnishes" in my letters; but hope you will overlook the 
poor penmanship, and "the broken and dishonored frag- 
ments" of subjects and paragraphs which they contain. 

We are all well, "and hope these few linos will find you 
enjoying the same like blessing." Write soon and copi- 
ously. Yours affectionately, 
- ■ J. B. JOIINSOX. 

APPENDIX — NO. V. 345 



J Mount Vep-xon, III., June IG, 1S4S. 

Deak Son:— ^Yours of the 1st instant, came safe to hand, 
and is now before me. We were looking for you daily until 
it came; now we do not know when to expect you will visit 
us, but hope to sec you some time this summer. Wc are 
pleased to hear that you are Avell, and so well situated and 
pleased in Kentucky. 

As for news, we have little or none worth notice; gener- 
ally favored with health, but few cases of sickness in our 
vicinity, and crops generally very good. Times hard and 
dull in relation to both pecuniary matters and religion. 
Otherwise, things move on in their usual course, and 

Our wasting lives grow sliorter still, 

As (lays and months increase, 
And every beating ]iul3e we toll. 

Leaves but the number less. 

"We arc all traveling with tlie rapidity of the rolling spheres 
to great eternity! When or how our earthly j)il;:jriinage 
will end is kindly hid iVom us, and wo are taught to be 


always ready, for wc know uot wlicn llic time is, Most and 
best that we know in tliis imccrtainly is — 

'Tis religion tliat can give 

Sweetest pleasures while we live, 

'Tis religion must supply 

Solid comforts when wo die. ^ 

Without this, all else Ls hut vanity and vexation of spirit. 
You are cjitering upon a course which, if carried out, may 
lead to an association with the various grades of society, 
from the humble domicile of the poor and needy to the 
splendid mansion of the rich and great. Look upon your- 
self as a member of tlie great human family, and consider 
every man as a father or brother, and every female as a 
mother or sister. Never imitate the vices of any, but en- 
deavor to imitate the virtues of all. Reprove those who do 
wrong, and encourage those who do well. There may be 
more danger of being led astray by the example of the rich 
and great, than by that of the poor, the low, or the vulgar; 
thei'cforc be careful, very careful! This is good advice: 
"Converse sparingly and conduct prudently with women." 
Character is a very sacred thing: be very careful of your 
own and that of others. Always remember this: when you 
have said nothing against a person, you have given them 
no advantage over you. You have two eyes, two cars, and 
but one mouth: see much, hear much, let" your words l)o 
few and well chosen. You have much to learn and much 
to read; but don't forget or neglect to read the Holy Scrip- 
tures. Do you want advice? Eead Prov. iii., jMatt. v., 
vi., vii., and 2 Peter i. And a thousand other \isoful les- 
sons you may find in the sacred volume. To v.h.:itevcr part 
of God's creation you niay wander, carry this with y--'.;; 
consult it in prosperity, resort to it in trouble, shield your- 
self with it in (lan<:,er, and rest vonr faiiitiu"' lica*! on it in 

APPENDIX — NO. V. ' • . 847 

tlcalli. "Wliile you comply uith its requisitions and follow 
its uncrrijig counsels, your happiness is secure. In all your 
intercourse with mankind, rigidly practice justice, and scru- 
jiulously adhere to truth. In every situation a dishonest, 
man is daspicable, and a liar is more so. To imitate the 
best is the best of imitation, and a resolution to excel is an 
excellent resolution. Consider your present attainments, 
though respectable, as but tlie first rudiments of an educa- 
tion ; and never think that you know enough -while there 
are large fields of science yet to be surveyed. Our bodies, 
originally of the earth, soon gain their greatest stature, and 
then bend downward toward the earth from ^Yhich they 
were taken; but to man in pursuit of intellectual glory, God 
has nowhere said, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no far- 
ther." Under him, therefore, it depends on you to say how 
great, how honorable, how useful you may be. Ey patience 
and iierseverance, great difficulties have been overcome and 
great things accomplished. 

Man's is laborious happiness at best — 
Ilis joys arc joys of conquest, not of rest. 

I hope you will yet, by diligence and perseverance, ])ccome 
a l)lessing to civil and religious society, an honor to your 
parents and teachers, and a blessing to mankind. 

I am pleased to hear you say you fear the fair sex may 
distract your mind from more important and necessary 
things. Be you well assured that fear is not groundless. 
There is danger, and great danger. You are now in the 
slippery path of youth: be careful, be watchful, be sober, 
be diligent. "The fiiir sex are, perhaps, the most danger- 
ous of animals." Be cautious of young company ; for cither 
sex is dangerous, perhaps the feuialc the most so. Kcvcr 
sacrifice prudence or propriety for popularity. 

Your parents and brothers feel much interest in your 


348 , " ArPExXUix — ^'o. y. ■ 

welfare; aud often invoke llie blo.^ilng of the I Tost High 
upon you aud your Brother T. and Sister M. "We hope you 
^Yill watch and pray much for yourselves and for i\3. AY rite 
ofte]i, and come and see us when you can. May grace, 
mercy, and peace attend you all ! ,- 

So pray your affectionate parents, 
. John and Susa.xnah Johnson.