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Lamar Memorial Library 

MaryviHe ColSege 

WSaryvilSe, Tennessee 37801 


11 aiii/BRVCE Co. 



Professor Thomas Jefferson Lamar. 

Sljnmaa J^ff^rann Hamar 

^umnH (E^nhuU Mltlfion 


Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 








Chapter Page 

I. The Boy and His Lineage. An Unrecorded Life — 
But Worthy of Record — French Forbears — Ameri- 
can Blending — East Tennessee Nativity — A Farmer's 
Homestead — The Father — The Mother — A Patri- 
archal Family — Thomas Jefferson — Boyhood Days — 
Grandmother Lamar — Beyond the Mississippi — An 

Exile from Home — Elder Meek, Foster-Father 7 

II. The Student and His Teachers. The Old-Tlme 
Article School — Holston Academy — Orientation of 
Life — A Momentous Matriculation — Modest Mary- 
ville — Mighty Maryville — The Professors — A Room 
in the Seminary — Winning His Way — Literary So- 
ciety — Four Influential Years — Graduation 15 

III. The TheolocuE and His Training. Call to the Min- 

istry — Maryville's Theological Department — Dr. An- 
derson's Methods of Teaching — Dr. Anderson's Per- 
sonality — Transfer to Union Seminary — The Union 
Faculty — The Seminary "Boys" — The City of New 
York — A Seminary Graduate 24 

IV. The Minister and His Ministry. Licensure to the 

Ministry — Ministry at Weston, Missouri — And at 
Savannah, Missouri — Back to Tennessee — Blount 
County Churches — War-Time Ministry — After-War 
Church Reorganisation — Stated Clerkship of Synod — 
Earnest Preacher — Sage Counselor— Missions His 

Great Commission 31 

V. The Teacher and His Teaching. Predilection for 
Teaching — A Professorship at Maryville — This An- 
other Momentous Event — "Professor Lamar" — Try- 
ing Days — Better Days Coming — The New Pro- 
fessor's Scholarship — Patience in Class-Room Drill — 
Kindliness in Discipline — Sympathetic Heart — Fruit- 
ful Pedagogy 38 

VI. A Christian Statesman. The Teacher Also a States- 
man — Higher Christian Education — Extension of 
Maryville's Contribution to It — Its Clientage In- 

Chapter Page 
creased — The "South Hills" Expansion Planned — 
But War Engulfs Everything — Everything! Every- 
thing! — Yet Unwavering in Purpose — Only Await- 
ing an Opportunity — Planning and Praying — Peace 
and Work Again 45 

VII. A College Builder. Facing a Scrap Heap— What 
Synod Did — A Winter of Torture — Year One of the 
New College — The Salutatory — A Good Beginning — 
Finding Colleagues — The Motives He Urged — Win- 
ning Friends and Donors — Jehovah-jireh! A New 
Campus — And Four New Buildings — But Unremit- 
ting Toil and Cares — For Fourteen Long Years — 
Success! Two Hundred Students! — But Anxiety, 
Deiicit, and Debt 51 

VIII. An Endowment Founder. Endowment or Collapse! — 
Enlistment for the Forlorn Hope — The Task an 
Impossible One — The Means, a Modest Man — The 
Dynamics, Faith in God — A Three Years' Struggle — 
The Cost of the Campaign — Nothing Impossible 
with God — His Helpers — The Donors — The Day 
of Victory — Hallelujah! — The Supreme Sacrifice — 

Post-Mortem Endowment Building 63 

IX. A Home-Loving Man. His College Home — His Mis- 
souri Home — His Savannah Providence — A Home of 
His Oivn — Little Katie — The Home Broken Up — A 
Loving Nature — "Uncle Tommie" — A Home Again — 
Mrs. Lamar's Father — Mrs. Lamar's Mother — Mrs. 
Lamar's Brothers — The Wedding Tour — The Ad- 
vent of Little Ralph Max — The Stay of Ralph 
Max — The Departure of Ralph Max — Partnership 
in Sorrow — The Last Home-Coming — His Wife's 

Devotion 73 

X. A Typical MaryvillE Man. A Builder of Maryville 
Men — An Embodiment of the Maryville Spirit — 
In "Breadth of Human Interest" — In "Thorough 
Scholarship" — In "Manly Religion" — And in "Un- 
selfish Service" — A Gentle Man — A Man of God — 
A Friend of Men — Honored of Men — Honored of 
Heaven 1 85 

The Boy and His Lineage 

Thirty-three years have elapsed since Professor 
Thomas Jefferson Lamar rested from his labors, and yet 
his memory stays fresh in the hearts of those who were 
associated with him in those labors. This biographical 
sketch is prepared by his friends, to express it as the 
inscription that is found on the monument erected to the 
memory of Dr. Isaac Anderson puts it, "not because they 
fear they will forget, l?ut because they love to remember 
him" who was once their companion ; and also because 
they would have others know more about the memorable 
qualities and services of their departed friend. 

An Unrecorded Life. To an extent seldom noted 
in any public man, the subject of this sketch avoided 
both in speech and in writing all references to his per- 
sonal history. He wrote no diaries, made no genealogical 
researches, and left practically no personal memoranda 
that would be of service in the preparation of such a 
story as is here attempted. Much he did speak and write 
regarding the causes that enlisted his heart's devotion ; but 
with utter self-effacement and the most sincere humility, 
he always kept himself in the background. He never 
sought or took pleasure in prominence. Had it not been 

8 Thomas Jepfdrson Lamar 

for the fact that others felt that it was due the causes 
he represented that his memory should not perish, and 
for the additional fact that the memories of friends could 
supply some of the data that he failed to record, his story 
would never have been told. 

But Worthy of Record. In "A Century of Mary- 
ville College," Professor Lamar's services to the College 
were somewhat fully recounted and dwelt upon. But this 
fact has only made his friends the more anxious to save 
from oblivion the complete story of a life that was so 
worthy of commemoration and imitation. The writer, 
first a student and then a colleague of Professor Lamar, 
has deemed it at once a pleasure and a duty to collabo- 
rate with Mrs. Lamar, the widow of the professor, in the 
preparation of this brief biography. Like Old Mortality, 
he would chisel away the moss and lichens that are grow- 
ing over a beloved name, and would seek to deepen the 
impression that that name has made in men's memories- 
French Forbears. Thomas Jefferson Lamar's pater- 
nal grandfather emigrated from France to the United 
States late in the eighteenth century. It is believed that 
he was a representative of that most worthy people, the 
French Huguenots, the expulsion of many of whom as 
the result of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and 
the loss of many of whom in the natural course of emi- 
gration, proved the most serious blow that France ever 
sustained. It is also believed that his grandfather left 
France on account of the political troubles that not much 
later came to a head in the French Revolution. Even 
his son showed his interest in French history by naming 
three of his sons after Frenchmen of recent renown — 

The; Boy and His Line;age 9 

Napoleon Bonaparte, Jerome, and Lafayette. This was 
in keeping with what the Lamars did in other parts of 
our country; for example, General Lamar, the third 
president of Texas, bore the name of Mirabeau; while 
the Lamar county people of Texas named their county 
seat Paris. The Lamars of Mississippi, however, went 
even farther back when both father and son were named 
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. 

American Blending. The father of our Professor 
Lamar was William Lamar. He married Rebecca Hodges. 
The Hodges are said to have been of German or Dutch 
descent. Thus, in accordance with the rule rather than 
the exception in American family life, the heads of the 
family represented European races very different in their 
historic careers and racial characteristics. The Melting 
Pot began operation soon after the first settlements were 
made; and nowhere did it operate with more ease and 
with less delay than on the Southwestern frontier. Here 
men entered as foreigners, and in a few short years were 
amalgamated into the purest Americanism. 

East Tennessee Nativity. Nowhere on the frontier 
was this blending more quickly and effectively accom- 
plished than in the great glen or cove or valley of East 
Tennessee. The encircling mountains shut out all foreign 
influences and at the same time shut in all the native 
American influences, and gave them free scope. So it 
was no wonder that Thomas Jefferson Lamar, born and 
brought up in the valley of East Tennessee, where his 
parents also had been both born and reared, should have 
been so completely an American that not only was the 
French tongue of his grandfather entirely forgotten, but 

lo Thomas Je;fi?erson X,amar 

so were all foreign ideals that he brought with him across 
the sea. Thomas Jefferson Lamar was an American to 
the manor born. The De la Mar had been anglicized 
into plain Lamar ; and Thomas Jefferson, the name of a 
Virginia commoner, had been prefixed to it. And his 
schoolmates called him just plain, "Tom Lamar." He 
was a full-fledged American. 

A Farmer's Homestead. The purest and most un- 
adulterated Americanism is found in the homes of the 
farmers of our country. Thomas Lamar was born in a 
farmhouse, and spent his boyhood on a farm. There he 
secured at first hand, from a farmer father, and from 
his mother, a farmer's daughter, insight and indoctri- 
nation into the simplest and most loyal Americanism as it 
is developed in the rural home and in a farmer's family. 
The Lamar farm was located near what is now Hodges, 
nearly four miles east of Strawberry Plains, near where 
the Southern railroad crosses Beaver creek. From the 
farmhouse could be seen on either side the mountain 
walls that enclose in a happy homogeneity both xA.merican 
homes and patriotic hearts. 

The Father. William Lamar was born in Jefferson 
county, Tennessee, near the close of the eighteenth cen- . 
tury, on January 21, 1797. He had brothers named 
Thomas, James, Henry, and John, all of which names he 
afterward gave to sons of his own. In this same county 
of Jefiferson he grew up on his father's farm, and in it 
he founded a home of his own, and there most of his 
children were born. His son, Thomas Jefiferson, was 
still a school boy when the father removed the rest of 
his family to Missouri. There he resided until his death, 

'^-21- ■. 



Thomas Jefferson Lamar. William Lamar. 

Ralph Erskine Tedford. Daniel Meek, 

The Boy and His Lineage ii 

which occurred on October 2, 1872, when he was in the 
seventy-fifth year of his age. 

The Mother. Rebecca Hodges, the daughter of Cal- 
loway Hodges, also of Jefiferson county, Tennessee, was 
born on November 23, 1806, and so was nearly ten years 
younger than her husband. She was married to William 
Lamar on October 23, 1823, when she was only sixteen 
years old. Rev. Thomas Wilkerson officiated at the wed- 
ding. She died in their Missouri home on July 30, 1866, 
being then fifty-nine years of age. 

A Patriarchal Family. From this union there was 
born a patriarchal family. Mrs. Lamar was nearly 
eighteen years old when she first became a mother, and 
in her forty-third year her fifteenth child was born. 
There were ten sons and five daughters — two sons to each 
daughter. The children were : James Calloway, born 
on November 5, 1824; Thomas Jefferson, November 21, 
1826; Napoleon Bonaparte, February 22, 1828; Joseph, 
November 8, 1829; EHza, January 21, 1832; Charles H., 
May 10, 1833; John, December 18, 1834; William, Au- 
gust 2, 1836; Lewis Lafayette, June 28, 1838; Sarah 
Elizabeth, February 19, 1840; Henrietta, September 12, 
1841 ; Martha Jane, December 20, 1843 ; Diana, Sep- 
tember 8, 1845; Jerome, July 8, 1847; and Ferdinand 
De Soto, March 13, 1849. I" 1874, when Professor and 
Mrs. Lamar visited Missouri, fourteen of the family were 
still living; in March, 1920, two were still living, namely 
Lewis Lafayette, aged eighty-two years, at the old home 
near Weston, Missouri ; and Mrs. Henrietta Hall, aged 
seventy-nine, at Denver, Colorado. 

Thomas Jefferson. The second child and second son 

12 Thomas Jei^^e^rson Lamar 

in this large family is the subject of this biographical 
sketch. He was born, as is stated above, on Novem- 
ber 21, 1826. ' His mother's twentieth birthday occurred 
two days after his birth. The statesman, Thomas Jeffer- 
son, had died on the fourth of July of the same year, the 
fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; 
and perhaps this fact suggested the name for the baby. 

Boyhood Days. There was no lack of playmates 
even then, and playmates multiplied as the years went on. 
But so did the need of helpers on the farm. Thomas and 
the other boys were brought up to industrious and health- 
ful habits in the daily routine of the farm. Dr. Thomas 
Theron Alexander, in his biographical address regarding 
Professor Lamar, which was delivered at the dedication 
of the Lamar Library in 1888, quoted one who had 
known Thomas Lamar from childhood as saying that he 
was an "unusually kind and bright boy, making friends 
everywhere." It was a wholesome life he lived, and, as we 
may be sure, a useful one as well. His time was divided 
between work on the farm and attendance at school. 

Grandmother Lamar. Just as in the case of Isaac 
Anderson, the founder of Maryville College, it was a 
grandmother who devoted herself especially to his re- 
ligious instruction, so in the case of Thomas Jefferson 
Lamar, the refounder of the College, it was his paternal 
grandmother who gave him his principal religious instruc- 
tion and training. "Begin with his grandmother" is the 
familiar recipe for the making of a good man. In these 
two successful instances of the making of good men, the 
value of the recipe was abundantly vindicated. Paul hon- 
ored Timothy's "Grandmother Lois"; and we may well 

The Boy and His Lineage 13 

honor these later grandmothers. How much Maryville 
College owes to them ! What stars will there be in their 
crowns ! 

Beyond the Mississippi. The family of William 
Lamar had become so large that it was evident that no 
ordinary upland farm among the hills of East Tennessee 
could adequately provide for their wants. Some of the 
Lamar relatives had emigrated to Missouri, and they sent 
back glowing accounts of their river-bottom farms. So, 
in 1844, William Lamar decided also to try his fortunes 
in the West; and preparatory thereto he sold to William 
Walker his three-hundred-acre farm, part of which he 
had inherited, forty acres of which he had entered in 
1824, and seventy-five acres of which, together with some 
slaves, he had received as a marriage portion with his 
wife, from Calloway Hodges in 1825. Then he embarked 
in a house-boat, with his large family, and made the long 
and interesting but tortuous journey, down the Tennessee 
and Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and up the Missouri, to 
the rich Missouri river bottoms of Platte county, Mis- 
souri. He settled not far from his kinfolk, near Weston, 
a little city located just across the river from Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. Here he, and later on, his children, when 
they made homes of their own, became prosperous citi- 
zens. Two of the sons, "Jim" and "]oe," removed to 
the territory of Washington, and there, by stock-raising, 
became very wealthy. 

An Exile from Home. An honored elder of the 
Strawberry Plains Presbyterian Church, Daniel Meek, 
had become a warm friend of "Tom" Lamar while he 
was still a small boy. He saw the bright possibilities of 

14 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

the lad, and determined to do what he could to enable 
the boy to realize what he found was his chief ambition — 
the securing of a college education. So when the Lamar 
family made their plans to remove to the West, he under- 
took the hard task of persuading Mother Lamar to leave 
her son in Tennessee in his care, promising to stand by 
him until he should secure a college education. Thomas' 
thirst for an education overcame his own strong aversion 
to separation from his family; and at last his mother, 
too, gave her reluctant consent to the plan proposed by 
Mr. Meek. The separation from "little Tom" nearly 
broke her heart; but she comforted herself with the 
thought that her maternal sacrifice would aid in securing 
for her son the education he so much coveted. 

Elder Meek, Foster-Father. And now, until his 
years of school life should end, young Lamar found a 
foster-father in good Daniel Meek; and during that 
period his home was in the Meek household. In all his 
school days he had the cordial sympathy and the financial 
support of this providential friend. At Mr. Meek's home, 
during his vacations, he was at home ; on his farm he 
worked ; and at his family altar he knelt with the family 
in prayer. And the affection he felt for his benefactor 
and family came to be like that of kinship. And Daniel 
Meek found his own swift reward in the rapid develop- 
ment of his young friend, and in his promise of great 
usefulness in coming days. 


The; Studisnt and His Teachers 

The Old-Time Article School. Those were the days 
before the present free-school system had been intro- 
duced. Each community had to rely upon itself in 
securing schooling for its children. A school teacher 
received his pay from the families whose children he 
taught. Usually his school was called an article or sub- 
scription school, for the custom was for his prospective 
patrons to sign their names to articles or a subscription 
paper stating how many children they would pay for at 
the tuition rate specified. Such schools were found in 
most self-respecting communities. It was in such neigh- 
borhood schools that Thomas Lamar and his brothers 
and sisters received their first introduction into the paths 
of knowledge. Though the schoolhouse was built of logs 
and the seats were made of puncheons or slabs, the mem- 
ories of that first temple of learning were always sacred 
to him,' as in later years he looked backward to that 
schoolhouse in the woods. 

Holston Academy. The village of New Market was 
situated only about four miles from the Lamar home- 
stead, and about six miles from the Meek homestead. It 
boasted a school, chartered in 1832, that bore the name of 
Holston Academy. In the course of the years, Thomas 
Jefferson Lamar was promoted from the article school to 
a desk in Holston Academy. Here he found a congenial 
atmosphere, and formed a strong attachment for the 
place, an attachment that showed itself when in later 

i6 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

years he helped in the establishment and development of 
the virile presbyterial institution, New Market Academy, 
an institution which rendered excellent service to the 
cause of Christian education during the years extending 
from 1885 to 1915. Here he came under the influence 
of Dr. William Minnis, pastor of the New Market Pres- 
byterian Church, and a resident of the village. Dr. 
Minnis had graduated at Maryville College, or the South- 
ern and Western Theological Seminary, as it was then 
called, in its first class, the class of 1825. He was one 
of the ablest and best ministers of East Tennessee. His 
influence on the modest lad, Thomas Lamar, was both 
helpful and wholesome. 

Orientation of Life. It was during these school 
days that young Lamar became a Christian. He united 
with his home church at Strawberry Plains, in 1842, when 
he was sixteen years of age, his pastor, Rev. Gideon Steb- 
bins White, receiving him into its communion. Among 
the elders of the church at that time was Daniel Meek, 
his foster-father. Mr. Lamar always retained a deep love 
for this church home of his boyhood. Among his papers 
was found a receipt for a liberal contribution made when 
the congregation, in 1871, built a new edifice. Here it 
was that he adopted high and Christian ideals of service, 
and decided that he would devote his life to the Christian 
ministry. And it was with this distinct purpose in his 
mind that he earnestly prosecuted his studies during the 
last year or two at Holston Academy. It was with this 
purpose before him that he decided to enter Maryville 
College to carry forward his preparation for his life work. 

A Momentous Matriculation. It did not seem to 


The Student and His Teachers 17 

those present when this modest and timid youth of 
eighteen presented himself at Maryville, before President 
Anderson, in the fall of 1844, for admission to the Col- 
lege, that a specially noteworthy or unusual event was 
then taking place. But the fact was that no more mo- 
m.entous matriculation was to take place in Maryville's 
first century than was this lad's matriculation. There was 
present in this retiring youth the potential dynamic that 
was to create out of the rubbish of a ruined Maryville a 
new Maryville that was to surpass by far the earlier one. 
No prophet foretold the future service of this coming 
man of destiny ; but the college historian of today looks 
back upon the wonderful achievements of the man that 
grew out of that quiet lad, and realizes the rare impor- 
tance of the matriculation of Thomas Jefferson Lamar on 
that October day in 1844. It was the Master who said, 
"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." 
God calls his chosen to their posts of responsibility and 
to their missions of service, not with the clangor of arch- 
angel's trump in the vaulted sky, but by the still small 
voice that speaks to the faithful heart; "for lo, the king- 
dom of God is within you." And his chosen ones silently 
heed his voice and obey his command and take their 
assigned posts, often with small realization on their part 
of the greatness of God's plans that are involved in the 

Modest Maryville, The Maryville College of 1844 
was a very modest Maryville in every respect. Its re- 
sources were found principally in the men who had 
given themselves to its service. The two buildings — ^the 
two-storied, six-roomed, brick "Seminary," and the two- 


1 8 Thomas Je^i^e^rson Lamar 

storied, six-roomed, frame "College" — and the two quar- 
ter-acre lots constituted the college plant. Of endowment 
there was only a Professorship of Didactic Theology 
Fund that amounted then to less than $8,000. The entire 
property valuation of the institution, including the fund, 
the buildings, the library, and all, was less than $15,000. 
The student body was also small, as schools now run. 
During young Lamar's first year at Maryville there were 
seventy-eight students enrolled, of whom twenty, or over 
one-fourth, were candidates for the ministry, and one 
was in the theological department. Maryille was modest, 
too, in fame and prestige. It had never blown its own 
trumpet, and though it was widely and favorably known, 
it did not have the renown that comes through wealth or 
political influence. 

Mighty Maryville. But Maryville had a might that 
none could challenge — the might that comes from strength 
of character. The force of character in the Christian 
leaders who had devoted their lives to the service of the 
institution was an endowment richer than gold. The 
peculiar might of Maryville was found also in the ster- 
ling Christian character that its training was able to 
develop in the young men who were under its tutelage. 
The College was destined to contribute largely to the 
arousing in this latest matriculant, ere he should graduate, 
of altruistic ideals that should lead him to render priceless 
services in behalf of Christian education in the valley of 
East Tennessee. In short, Maryville, small as it was in 
most respects, was mighty in the men that taught and in 
the men that were taught, because in them the prevalent 
grace of God was operative. Like Bethlehem Ephratah, 

The Student and His Teachers 19 

little among the thousands of Judah, little Maryville, too, 
was great because God was in her, and out of her he 
should bring those that should be rulers in Israel. 

The Professors. The Maryville faculty then, as for 
many years in that period, was a triumvirate. Chief of 
the three mighty men of valor was, of course, the head 
of the institution, Dr. Isaac Anderson himself. In 1819, 
when he founded Maryville College, then the Southern 
and Western Theological Seminary, he was only thirty- 
nine years of age; but a quarter of a century of almost 
unbelievably exhausting work had been performed since 
that time; and now, at sixty-four years of age, he was 
devoting all the wealth of his rich experience and un- 
selfish devotion to the institution which he loved with 
so intense an affection. His powers had not yet notice- 
ably begun to fail. Young Lamar learned to love Dr 
Anderson with a devotion that caused him always to 
speak of him with profound reverence and filial regard. 
He imbibed from his spirit invigorating drafts of the 
"disinterested benevolence" that animated it. Wherever 
such a living embodiment of Christian principle as Dr. 
Anderson was teacher would be a great college, were 
there no other endowment or equipment! Then there 
was Rev. Fielding Pope, the able professor of Mathe- 
matics and Natural Philosophy. For eleven years he 
had shared with Dr. Anderson the cares and toils of the 
school-room. A polished and courtly gentleman, an accu- 
rate scholar, and an efficient teacher, he left his impress 
upon young Lamar, who recited to him for four years. 
The third member of the faculty was Dr. John S. Craig, 
Professor of Languages. H? had been a teacher in the 

20 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

institution for seven years and a professor for four years. 
Rugged, severe, kindly, incisive, brilliant, original, deter- 
mined, and entertaining, he also was a prime favorite of 
the students. He took great interest in the youth Lamar, 
who was to be later on a colleague and always a loyal 
friend. In the days of small faculties, the personal influ- 
ence of the teacher upon his pupils was often as great as 
was that of parents. Thomas Lamar profited much from 
the personal interest of this illustrious triumvirate that 
then made up Maryville's faculty. 

A Room in the Seminary. Young Lamar was as- 
signed a room on the second story of the seminary build- 
ing, a little two-story brick of about twenty-five feet by 
forty, that was located at the east corner of the lot on 
which New Providence Presbyterian Church now stands. 
The unfinished building, intended for a female seminary, 
was purchased by the Theological Seminary for $600 in 
1820, and it was thereafter in constant use until the Civil 
War. There were recitation rooms down-stairs, and dor- 
mitory rooms up-stairs, but not more than six rooms in 
all. There were six fireplaces, one of which was in young 
Lamar's room. The Seminary was located a square north 
of the Court House, the center of the village, and about 
two squares south of where the pioneers had built their 
Craig blockhouse. For nearly forty-five years it was the 
oldest building of the institution to which it belonged. 
During the Civil War Professor Lamar had the sorrow 
of seeing it demolished by Federal troops. Its bricks 
were used to make ovens for the army cooks. The 
Duncans, with whom Professor Lamar was then living, 
secured some of the bricks to make a walk in their front 

Tun Student and His Teachers 21 

yard ; and so these bricks were to him for several years 
daily reminders of his school-boy days. 

Winning His Way. The college days of young 
Lamar were days of incessant industry. He was forced 
to be a Committee on Ways and Means to provide for 
the expenses of his education. Little help, if any, did 
he receive from his father after the family removed to 
]\Iissouri. Something he earned at College by work, and, 
toward the end of his course, by tutoring. As we have 
seen, he worked at Mr. Daniel Meek's during the vaca- 
tions. He once said that he had plowed all over the hills 
of the Meek farm. Mr. Meek largely took the place of 
the absent father, and encouraged Thomas to go forward 
with his studies, and he backed up his counsel by sub- 
stantial gifts and loans of money. The entire expense 
of a college year at Maryville was then advertised to be 
only $71.75. "'The student's expenses are reduced to the 
very lowest possible sum, and are certainly less in com- 
parison with the advantages afforded than at any other 
institution in the South or West." Thus did the College, 
as in thousands of other cases it has done, assist this 
young man in securing the inestimable treasure of a 
thorough college education. In this case and in many 
such cases, the bread cast upon the waters was found by 
the College in later days, as these sons of hers devoted 
their life's labors to the service of the College. 

Literary Society. There were two literary societies 
at Maryville, both of which, as was befitting in a theo- 
logical seminary, were designated by Hebrew names. The 
older one was the Beth-Hacma (House of Wisdom) Lit- 
erary Society; and the junior one, the Beth-Hacma-ve- 

■li Thomas Je^i^erson Lamar 

Bcrith (House of Wisdom and Covenant) Society. Young 
Lamar cast in his lot with the latter organization. In the 
program presented by the society at its thirteenth anni- 
versary, on September lo, 1845, at New Providence 
Church, his name appears as that of an orator. His sub- 
ject was "Mind." On the program for the first joint 
anniversary exercises of the two societies, held on Sep- 
tember 14 and 15, 1847, his name is given as that of a 

Four Influential Years. In national matters, the 
annexation of Texas, the war with Mexico, and the treaty 
of Guadalupe Hidalgo all belong to these four college 
years. In the history of Maryville College these years 
mark the development of the institution into a college 
and the relegation of the seminary to the position of a 
fast-disappearing and subordinate department of the in- 
stikition. After twenty-three years of waiting, the legis- 
lature had in 1842 granted a charter to Maryville Col- 
lege; and it was in 1846 that the final amendments 
were secured, that rendered the charter acceptable to the 
directors of the institution. In the personal development 
of young Lamar, too, the four years were also epochal 
ones indeed. He grew out of eighteen years into twenty- 
two, and out of immaturity into manly maturity. The 
years were far and away the most influential ones in the 
making of the man that he came to be. They established 
his reputation for the sterling qualities of intellect and 
character that he always afterward displayed. Four years 
of Maryville, the magician, developed in young Lamar 
the Maryville character, which, in turn, he helped to 
impart to later generations of Maryville students. 

The Stude:nt and His Teachers 23 

Graduation. The terms were not then arranged as 
now, and Lamar's graduation took place in the fall. On 
Tuesday night, September 12, 1848, a class of six young 
men delivered their graduating orations. Their diplomas 
were signed by Isaac Anderson, President ; Fielding Pope, 
Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy; and John S. 
Craig, Professor of Languages. The subject of Lamar's 
oration was, "Utility of Literature." The other mem- 
bers of the class were James Monroe Meek of Straw- 
berry Plains, William Edward Caldwell of New Market, 
Samuel Wright Wallace of Maryville, Sylvanus Howell of 
Mossy Creek, and John Maxwell Hofifmeister of Rogers- 
ville. In a letter written in August, 1848, William E. 
Caldwell asked his classmate Hofifmeister, "What is Tom 
Lamar's subject for a valedictory?" Besides Lamar, both 
Caldwell and Hofifmeister entered the gospel ministry. 
Mr. Caldwell rendered eminent service in the ministry 
in Tennessee and Texas, and lived to see all his seven 
sons ofificers in the church of their fathers, and his only 
daughter the wife of a minister of that church. And 
so Thomas Jefiferson Lamar joined that worthy host of 
educated men who could not have had a college training 
hacTit not been that Maryville offered them a helping 
hand. Well did he pass on to others and also repay to 
his alma mater the benefits that had been extended to 
him. He had been graduated into Maryville's confrater- 
nity of altruists. The prime glory of the Christian col- 
lege is the character contribution it has bestowed upon its 
students. Maryville's glory in this regard is a substantial 
and fadeless one. 


" The Theologue; and His Training 

Call to the Ministry. It was while he was still a 
youth that he decided that he was called to the ministry 
of the gospel. The ministers with whom he was espe- 
cially acquainted, such as his pastor at Strawberry Plains, 
Mr. White, and the pastor of the neighboring church of 
New Market, Dr. Minnis, commended to him by their 
virtues and zeal the gospel ministry which they adorned. 
His faithful friend, Ruling Elder Daniel Meek, and others 
of his friends, encouraged him to dedicate himself to the 
sacred service of the ministry. But above all these influ- 
ences was the conviction born in him by God's Spirit 
that his mission in life was to be that of a minister of 
the gospel. Always conscientious, he heeded the call, and 
immediately set out to prepare himself for this high call- 
ing. He entered Holston Academy, and then Maryville 
College, and there prosecuted his studies with the pur- 
pose of equipping himself as a preacher of righteousness 
to his people. And throughout his academy and college 
courses he ever kept in mind his sacred vocation, and 
thoughtfully and earnestly sought to make ready worthily 
to discharge its high and noble duties. His graduation 
from college in 1848 marked the successful completion of 
the literary preparation for his life work. 

Maryville's Theological Department. The story of 
the twenty-nine years of Dr. Anderson's training of young 
men for the ministry that had elapsed after the Southern 
and Western Theological Seminary had been founded, 

The; Theologue and His Training 25 

in 1 81 9, is a very remarkable one indeed. Almost one 
hundred and fifty candidates for the ministry had been 
trained under the masterly tutelage of the great theo- 
logian and greater Christian, who, under God, was the 
founder and the chief laborer of this school of the proph- 
ets. But now, owing to many conspiring influences, the 
supply of candidates had almost ceased, and the seminary 
had become a college, and even the theological department 
had, in Dr. Anderson's old age, almost disappeared. And 
yet such was Mr. Lamar's reverence for Dr. Anderson 
and his loyalty to Maryville that, at the beginning of the 
next scholastic year after his graduation from the liter- 
ary department of Maryville College, he entered its theo- 
logical department in order to carry forward his studies 
for the ministry. He said of himself that he studied 
theology under Dr. Anderson "nearly two years." 

Dr. Anderson's Methods of Teaching. Mr. Lamar 
had come under the influence of Dr. Anderson's wonder- 
ful personality and benevolent character during his entire 
college course ; but now he felt that influence more vitally 
as he came in contact with him in the study of the great 
subjects of God and man and salvation. There were few 
teachers of his day who were more efficient educators 
than was Isaac Anderson. He used a very complete syl- 
labus of 112 pages, in the form of question and answer, 
which he himself had prepared and published. The title 
page contains the following: "Questions on the System 
of Didactic Theology taught in the Southern and Western 
Theological Seminary. By Rev. Isaac Anderson, D.D. 
'A Bishop then must not be a novice, lest being lifted 
up with pride he fall into the condemnation.' — Paul. 'A 

26 Thomas Js^ferson Lamah 

Bishop then must be apt to teach.' — Paul. 'The Priest's 
lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law 
at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of 
hosts.' — Malachi. Maryville, Tenn. Printed at the Intel- 
ligencer Office by Parham & Hoyt. 1833." The plan of 
instruction as stated on the last leaf of this syllabus was 
as follows: "In Didactic or Christian Theology the class 
have the subject given to them, as, for example, Natural 
Theology. They are then directed to read such and such 
authors; if the subject is a controverted one, they read 
on both sides. After they have done reading, they then 
hear a lecture from the professor, and are required to 
write an essay on the same subject and then read it be- 
fore the professor for remarks. Afterwards the class are 
examined, according to the preceding questions (in the 
syllabus), and such others as the professor may think 
proper. On archaeology, hermeneutics, biblical criticism, 
sacred chronology, ecclesiastical history, church govern- 
ment and discipline, and polemic theology, the students are 
required to read the most approved authors. And that 
they may make themselves familiar with these branches, 
the professor has lectures on these sciences in the form 
of question and answer. The students have the use of 
these manuscript lectures, and are required to be able to 
answer every question." 

Dr. Anderson's Personality. In this simple and yet 
thorough-going method young Lamar and his few fellow- 
students in theology were taught by the man of God the 
great themes they were to present to their fellow-men. 
But the most effective teaching of Dr. Anderson was that 
which proceeded from the noble Christian example that 

The TheiologuE and His Training 27 

he set before his boys. No one could be associated with 
him day by day and year after year without being pro- 
foundly affected by his Christian devotion, magnanimity, 
and zeal. In his ripe old age and before his mind had 
broken under the strain of untold toils and crushing bur- 
dens, he exerted a mighty and happy influence upon his 
beloved students. Mr. Lamar learned lessons from him 
which he continued to pass on to other Maryville students 
so long as he lived to labor for them. 

Transfer to Union Seminary. During the latter 
part of the scholastic year, 1849-50, Mr. Lamar left 
Maryville and entered the Class of 1852 at Union Theo- 
logical Seminary in New York City. He was admitted 
on February 23, 1850, and signed the matriculation book 
on April 18, 1850. Dr. Anderson was beginning to fail 
somewhat, and doubtless encouraged those that could do 
so to prosecute their studies in other theological semi- 
naries, well-equipped and well-endowed, to which the rail- 
roads now made access easier. Almost all of Maryville's 
ministerial candidates during the Fifties "went away" to 
Seminary. Three graduates of 1850 entered other semi- 
naries. Mr. Lamar wanted the best possible training, 
and he secured what he coveted. His theological training 
included the nearly two years under Dr. Anderson that 
have been referred to, and more than two years at Union 
Seminary. His grandfather, Calloway Hodges, and his 
father assisted him in meeting his expenses while he was 
in New York. 

The Union Faculty. During Mr. Lamar's course at 
Union Seminary, he profited by the instruction of able 
and distinguished teachers. Drs. Henry White and James 

28 Thomas jEi^ifERSON Lamar 

Patriot Wilson were professors of Systematic Theology; 
Dr. Edward Robinson was Professor of Sacred Liter- 
ature ; Dr. Thomas Harvey Skinner was Professor of 
Sacred Rhetoric, Pastoral Theology, and Church Gov- 
ernment ; Dr. Henry Boynton Smith was Professor of 
Church History, while Dr. Luther Halsey was Instructor 
in Church History; William Wadden Turner was In- 
structor in Sacred Literature ; and Edward Howe was 
Instructor in Sacred Music. Some of these men ranked 
among the leading scholars of America in their depart- 
ments. The curriculum they laid out for their students 
was one of the most extensive and scholarly then offered 
in any theological seminary. 

The Seminary "Boys." There were twenty-two men 
who graduated in the Class of 1852, while eighteen others 
were connected with the class for a shorter or longer 
period. Among the men that were seminary mates of 
Mr. Lamar were the following : P. Mason Bartlett, D.D., 
LL.D., '53, afterward President Bartlett, and Professor 
Lamar's colleague at Maryville from 1869 to 1887; Car- 
son William Adams, D.D., LL.D., '53, afterward the 
founder of Maryville's "Carson W. Adams Fund" ; Elijah 
Woodward Stoddard, D.D., '52, also a donor to Mary- 
ville; Elias Levi Boing, '53, later a financial agent of 
Maryville ; Samuel Audley Rhea, '50, later the "Tennes- 
seean in Persia" ; John McCampbell, '53, and George A. 
Caldwell, '53, other Tennesseeans by birth and ancestry; 
Thomas Samuel Hastings, D.D., '51, the preacher and 
hymnologist; Wilson Phraner, D.D., '50, who outlived 
almost all his seminary mates ; while among those who 
became foreign missionaries were George Whitfield Coan, 

The Theologue and His Training 29 

'49, Persia; Charles Livingston, '49, of Blantyre, Scot- 
land, Africa; Dwight Whitney Marsh, D.D., '49, Tur- 
key; WilHam Woodbridge Eddy, D.D., '50, Syria; Seth 
Bradley Stone, '50, Africa; William Pratt Barker, '51, 
India ; Jasper Newton Ball, '52, Turkey ; Edward Toppin 
Doane, '52, Micronesia ; Jerre Lorenzo Lyons, D.D., '54, 
Syria; and Sanford Richardson, '54, Asia. Among these 
and scores of other seminary men, Lamar formed many 
delightful and stimulating friendships. 

The City of New York, Mr. Lamar looked upon 
his mission in life as being so serious an undertaking that 
he coveted a thorough preparation for it. Instead of cur- 
tailing that preparation, as the manner of some sluggards 
and some zealots has been, he lengthened, as we have 
seen, the course prescribed by his church to those who 
desire to enter the ministry, by a full year. And he 
sought and obtained also the benefit of more than two 
years' residence in the metropolis of his country. Those 
were the days of sectionalism and provincialism, but he 
longed for the fullest acquaintance with all the sections 
of our country and first-hand knowledge of their ideas 
and ideals. xA.nd so the farmer's son from East Ten- 
nessee profited largely from the indirect education that 
he received from those years spent in the great Northern 
city of New York. In mission work in the neglected sec- 
tions of the city, too, he had an experience that broad- 
ened still further his already broad sympathies for the 

A Seminary Graduate. The rich years of inter- 
course with able Christian scholars and with the edu- 

30 Thomas jEFifERSON Lamar 

eating influences of a great city came all too soon to an 
end. On June i6, 1852, he graduated from Union Theo- 
logical Seminary, receiving his diploma signed by Pro- 
fessors Edward Robinson, Thomas H. Skinner, Henry B. 
Smith, and James P. Wilson. He was now a thoroughly 
educated man. Always of painstaking and accurate schol- 
arship, he had profited fully by the training in the coun- 
try school, Holston Academy, Maryville College in both 
college and theological departments, and Union Seminary. 
And now, at almost twenty-six years of age, he was ready 
to enter upon his ministry of the gospel, a ministry that 
was to continue nearly thirty-five years. 


The Minister and His Ministry 

Licensure to the Ministry. In May, 1852, before 
he left New York, he was Hcensed to the gospel minis- 
try by the Presbytery of Brooklyn. His examination 
was eminently satisfactory, and, in reply to the solemn 
questions of the moderator, he declared his faith in the 
Scriptures as the Word of God, his acceptance of the 
Confession of Faith as containing the system of doctrine 
taught in the Scriptures, and his promise to study the 
peace, unity, and purity of the Church. And now having 
reached the goal toward which he had been pressing for 
ten years, he hurried westward with two purposes in 
mind, namely, first, to see his parents from whom he had 
parted when he was only a boy, and, then, to enter upon 
his ministry in the home mission field of the West. 

Ministry at Weston, Missouri. Although a Ten- 
nesseean, and very loyal to his native State, the fact that 
his parents and his brothers and sisters were now Mis- 
sourians, and that the need of the churches on the Mis- 
souri frontier was great, led him to begin his ministry in 
Missouri. During the years 1852 to 1855 he was located 
among his relatives near Weston, Platte county, and was 
in charge of churches of that locality. In the gazetteers 
of the Fifties, Weston, though settled first in 1838, is said 
to have been at that time the most important commer- 
cial town on the Missouri river or in the State, with the 
exception of St. Louis. Its population was three thou- 
sand, and it was the principal point of departure for 

32 Thomas Jiif^FERSON Lamar 

emigrants starting for California by the overland route ; 
it provided the supplies for Fort Leavenworth ; and it 
also carried on an extensive trade with the Indians and 
the Far West. The town was picturesquely located on 
the Missouri river, five miles above Fort Leavenworth, 
and was described as "a flourishing city and river port." 
Here among his kindred and amid the rich river farms 
of Platte county, he did his first work as a Christian 
minister. And while here he was ordained to the minis- 
try by the Presbytery of Lexington. His ordination at 
the hands of his brethren took place on May i, 1854. 
And he carried out their injunction and ever afterward 
gave full proof of his ministry. 

And at Savannah, Missouri. At the urgent invita- 
tion of Rev. Elijah A. Carson, an alumnus of Maryville, 
ordained in 1834, and then pastor at Savannah, the 
county seat of Andrew county, the second county far- 
ther up the Missouri river valley, Mr. Lamar removed to 
Savannah to take charge of an academy that ofifered a 
great field for useful Christian service. Savannah was 
located six miles from the river, and in the midst of a 
fertile farming region. Here he united the work of 
teacher and preacher, as he was destined to do during the 
rest of his life. It was while he was at Savannah, as will 
be seen elsewhere in this narrative, that he was married. 
Mr. Lamar was now in the prime of life. His five years 
of preaching and teaching in Missouri were fruitful years, 
and left a permanent impress upon the communities in 
which he labored. And they were especially enjoyable 
years, too, on account of his reunion with his relatives. 

Back to Tennessee. In the midst of this congenial 

The Minister and His MirJisTRY 33 

work of his, there came an urgent call from the Synod of 
Tennessee for his return to Maryville to accept the pro- 
fessorship of Sacred Literature in his alma mater. While 
the call was to educational work, it in reality added a 
full-time ministry to the Synod of Tennessee; for, from 
his arrival in Tennessee and up to the last year of his 
life, he had pastoral charge of churches in addition to his 
college professorship. The call was extended to him by 
the Synod on September 27, 1856, but his engagements 
and family responsibilities at Savannah were such that he 
could not leave until the scholastic year had ended. So 
it was not till the summer of 1857 that he and his family 
reached Maryville. He began his work in the College at 
the opening of the fall term of the year 1857-58. 

Blount County Churches. Mr. Lamar, like the other 
professors of the college faculty, took charge of such 
country churches in Blount county as would otherwise 
have been pastorless. In spite of the weariness that came 
as the result of long over-hours of teaching, he regularly 
preached for these churches, and, in addition, did all the 
pastoral work that he could find time for. He buried the 
dead and married the living, and proclaimed the gospel 
of the kingdom; and the people loved him and he loved 
the people. He preached for the people of Clover Hill, 
Forest Hill, Unitia, and other churches for many years. 

War-Time Ministry. The Civil War overturned in 
confusion all the institutions of peace, such as civil gov- 
ernment, social intercourse, the school, and the church. 
Blount county twice passed from one government to the 
other, social ties were strained and severed, the college 
and other educational institutions were closed, and so 

3 I 

34 Thomas Jhfferson Lamar 

were many of the churches, though some were opened 
intermittently. Mr. Lamar, always a courteous gentle- 
man, endeavored to avoid giving needless offense to those 
of other convictions. Friends on the other side of the 
house, at critical times, lent their best efforts in his behalf 
to such good effect that he escaped the perils of the war, 
and nothing more serious befell him than the loss of his 
horse and some other property. During most of the four 
years in which our country was a house divided against 
itself, he was permitted to conduct services on Sab- 
baths for such people as could collect for the worship of 
Almighty God. He had lost his wife before the begin- 
ning of the war; and so his child, a motherless invalid, 
demanded all his attention; otherwise he could have en- 
tered the service as chaplain. As it was, he was acting 
chaplain for the sorely distressed people who lived in 
a section that was the battleground of many armies. 
And grievously did the people need the consolations and 
the cheer of the gospel, while they were harassed on 
every hand by the especially fratricidal strife that raged 
throughout East Tennessee. Mr. Lamar did all that lay 
in his power to keep alive in his countrymen, both friends 
and foes, faith in the presence, power, providence, wis- 
dom, and love of God. Anxious men and women and 
children listened to his messages and took courage. 

After-War Church Reorganization. At last the war 
came to an end, and peace returned to a weary land. A'Ir. 
Lamar searched for and found the records of the Synod 
of Tennessee, and then led in the reorganization of the 
Synod. A quorum was secured, and the Synod of Ten- 
nessee came together at New Market in October, 1865. 

The Minister and His Ministry 35 

The ecclesiastical machinery was salvaged from the dump 
heap and set to going again. He was the principal figure 
in this historic meeting of Synod. Around him gathered 
a goodly number, and they united in laying the founda- 
tions of the church anew after the destruction and deso- 
lation wrought by the war. His wisdom and sagacity and 
sympathy as a counsellor made him sought out by the 
people of many churches, as they endeavored to feel their 
way out of the darkness and wreckage of the war into a 
brighter day and into constructive work. And he was 
kept very busy preaching in these many churches. 

Stated Clerkship of Synod. The Synod appointed 
him stated clerk, and he ably discharged the duties of this 
office for twenty-two years, or until the time of his death. 
The fact that the Synodical College was located at Mary- 
ville led often to the appointment of a Maryville man as 
stated clerk. Professor William Eagleton held the office 
from 1825 to 1830; Professor Darius Hoyt, 1830-1836; 
Professor Fielding Pope, 1 836-1 851 ; President John J. 
Robinson, 1851-1855; Professor Thomas Jefferson Lamar, 
1865-1887; Professor Gideon Stebbins White Crawford, 
1887-1891 ; and President Samuel Tyndale Wilson, 1891- 
1919. Professor Lamar kept the records with his usual 
care and accuracy. The task of writing the records was 
a heavy one and was performed as a labor of love for 
the work of the Synod. The salary was merely nominal. 
The manuscript records of the Synod are, by order of 
the Synod, kept deposited in the college safe at Maryville. 

Earnest Preacher. Mr. Lamar was an able sermon- 
izer. Dr. Alexander says, "As a sermonizer he had few 

36 Thomas Jefi^erson Lamar 

equals in this section of country." He sometimes preached 
extemporaneous sermons, but usually employed manu- 
script. He wrote out each sermon in full and with pains- 
taking care. He made his own goosequill pens, but his 
writing resembled electrotype work. He composed very 
rapidly, usually standing at a high desk. His sermons 
were always thoughtful and always earnest. A brother 
minister who often heard him, testified that he never 
heard him preach a poor sermon, or an uninteresting one. 
He was always an able preacher, but it was a matter of 
common remark that his very best preaching was that of 
his last year in the pulpit, the year closing in May, 1886, 
at which time his health broke down and put an end to 
his active ministry. 

Sage Counsellor. Reference has been made to the 
great service he rendered as a wise counsellor at the time 
of ecclesiastical reorganization in 1865. His service in 
this respect was by no means limited to that period. 
Always he was a sage counsellor. He had the gift of 
organization. He could set others to work, to do work 
that they did not know that they could do, and work that 
sometimes he himself could not have done. His study 
was a council-chamber where brother ministers and ruling 
elders of local churches and the presbyteries and the 
Synod, and colleagues of the college faculty, and present 
students and former students came for counsel and advice. 
His study was a council-chamber for Presbyterianism in 
East Tennessee, as well as for the College and the county. 
Indeed his place in this regard has never been filled. His 
most beneficent work for the church, aside from his 
service through the College, was rendered in the sage and 

The Minister and His Ministry 37 

sympathetic counsel that he freely gave to the many that 
sought it in his quiet study. 

Missions His Great Commission. The work of the 
church occupied his heart's devotion. He was busy day 
and night in advancing its sacred interests. His commis- 
sion to preach was a mission entrusted to him by Christ 
and his church. Home and foreign missions enlisted his 
enthusiastic cooperation and inspired his tireless support. 
The work in the Southern mountains — the work for which 
Maryville was founded and to which it has been devoted — 
stirred his liveliest sympathies. Christian education to 
him was a passion because it was a means to lead men to 
Christ and a means by which to carry forward the work 
of the Great Teacher. He rejoiced to see many of his 
choicest students go to foreign fields, and to destitute 
home mission fields. He was an able minister of the 
New Testament, called and commissioned to a congenial 
service — the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom 
to a world that needs it. 


The Teacher and His Teaching 

Predilection for Teaching. Professor Lamar was 
a teacher from his youth onward. While a student at 
Maryville, during his collegiate and theological courses, 
he was an assistant teacher or tutor. Mr. James Gillespie 
tells of reciting Vattel's Law of Nations to him. He 
had been out of the Seminary only three years when he 
became a "teacher" at Savannah, Missouri, and was so 
listed in the Minutes of the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church. After two years he was called to 
Maryville College, and there discharged the duties of his 
professorship until the outbreak of the war. And even 
during that dread vacation period of four years of civil 
strife, he taught a little private school in the home of the 
Duncans. It was attended by the Duncan and McCon- 
nell children, Nannie McGinley, and the household help. 
Mrs. Jennie Duncan Crawford recalls the professor's 
seating her on a trunk to work off a condition in her 
spelling book before permitting her to join the family in 
a day's outing that was being planned. He was always 
and everywhere a teacher. 

A Professorship at Maryville. On September 2'], 
1856, a day after the overwhelming defeat of the last 
effort ever made to remove the College from the town of 
Maryville, the Synod of Tennessee, in session at Athens, 
unanimously elected Mr. Lamar as Professor of Sacred 
Literature, to succeed Dr. John J. Robinson, who had 

The Teacher and His Teaching 39 

resigned. This professorship had been founded by the 
Synod through the agency of Rev. Thomas Brown, the 
most efficient agent of the College in ante-bellum days. 
The salary offered was $600, but the amount received 
was always less than the stipulated amount. Professor 
G. S. W. Crawford, in 1876, in an address that was re- 
vised by Professor Lamar, stated: "From 1819 to 1861 
no professor ever received so much as $500 salary, while 
the average was about $300." The first incumbent of 
the professorship was Rev. John J. Robinson, D.D., from 
1850 to 1855 ; Professor Lamar was the second, from 
1857 to 1861. The Synod recognized the special interest 
attaching to the recall of a favorite son into the service 
of alma mater, and added a touch of sentiment to their 
action by appointing a special committee of two to pre- 
sent and urge the call, namely. Ruling Elder Daniel Meek, 
of Strawberry Plains Church, his benefactor and foster- 
father, and Rev. Gideon Stebbins White, the pastor of his 
boyhood days, who had received him into the church and 
encouraged him to enter the ministry. 

This Another Momentous Event. It was a mo- 
mentous event, as we have seen, when, in 1844, Thomas 
Lamar matriculated at Maryville. And another momen- 
tous event was it, indeed, when, in 1857, Rev. Thomas 
Jefferson Lamar returned to Maryville to reenter the 
College as one of its professors. It was a noteworthy 
event in the accession of a scholarly and faithful teacher; 
but it was a most significant event because in this modest 
teacher there was also found an educational statesman and 
financial wonder-worker — thaumatourgos, as his Greek 
language would have called him. In this silent school- 

40 Thomas Jefi^iIRSOn Lamar 

teacher there was embodied far-seeing vision and un- 
conquerable resolution. On that momentous day there 
entered the little college circle a man who was to snatch 
up the blazing torch of Christian education that had just 
fallen from the dying hands of Dr. Anderson and carry 
it onward, sometimes unaided and unaccompanied by 
others, until he should, almost a third of a century later, 
pass it over into the hands of others of Maryville's men. 
There entered into the service of alma mater that autumn 
day a man who was to defy the destruction of war, and, 
by God's assisting grace, was to establish on a lordly 
campus on the southeastern hills, the new buildings of a 
bigger and better Maryville than the fathers had dared 
even to hope for. There dawned upon Maryville on that 
day of his return the certainty of a new and glorious 
future. And yet perhaps none realized it, and no one 
less than he! 

"Professor Lamar." Mr. Lamar entered upon his 
professorship in the fall of 1857. And thus "Tom 
Lamar" became, by the quick nomenclature of college 
boys, "Professor Lamar," and Professor Lamar he re- 
mained to the end of his life. Nominally, he was Pro- 
fessor of Languages in the Literary Department, and 
Professor of Sacred Literature in the Theological Depart- 
ment of Maryville College; but practically, as was the 
case in almost all the heavy-laden teachers of that day, 
his work extended over most of the departments of the 
school. As Dr. Anderson, who had closed his earthly 
career only a few months before, had at some time con- 
ducted every class scheduled at Maryville, so Professor 
Lamar had ample opportunity to show his versatility, for 

The: Teacher and His Teaching 41 

the classes he conducted ranged all the way "from A to 
Izzard" in nature and variety. 

Trying Days. The College had been passing through 
hard experiences. Dr. Anderson for several years had 
been incapacitated both mentally and physically for work ; 
and on January 28, 1857, after Mr. Lamar's election as 
professor but before he had entered upon his duties, had 
closed his earthly career. The General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church, in session at Cleveland, Ohio, in 
May of that year, only echoed the general sorrow of the 
church when it recorded "with deep regret the decease 
of the Rev. Isaac Anderson, D.D., late President of the 
Institution at Maryville." In 1855 Dr. Robinson had 
resigned his professorship to accept a call to Kentucky. 
The only professor from 1855 to 1857 was Rev. John S. 
Craig. He was assisted by Charles C. Newman as tutor 
and other students as assistants. In 1855-56 there were 
only fifty-eight students enrolled ; in 1856-57, sixty-two 
students, of whom twenty-two were in the College Depart- 
ment. There was a strong efifort being made to remove 
the College to Rogersville. The fortunes of the College 
were at their lowest ebb. Many of the old friends of the 
institution despaired of its future. 

Better Days Coming. The Synod of Tennessee 
ended the contest for the removal of the College by de- 
ciding in October, 1856, by a decisive majority, to have 
the institution remain at Maryville for at least ten years. 
It also called Mr. Lamar to the professorship, which he 
entered a year later. It took steps toward the completion 
of the brick college building, which had been begun in 
1853. Immediately after the death of Dr. Anderson, the 

42 Thomas Jkfferson Lamar 

Directors elected Dr. John J. Robinson as the second 
president of the College, and he entered upon the dis- 
charge of his duties at the opening of the summer session, 
April 7, 1857. Professor Lamar's estimate of Dr. Robin- 
son was that he was "a fine scholar, an able theologian, 
eloquent preacher, and thorough instructor." Thus the 
steadfast Dr. Craig and the tutors were reinforced by two 
as able men as Maryville had ever had in her faculty, 
Mr. Lamar and Dr. Robinson, one a former student and 
tutor and the other a former professor of the institution, 
and both of them graduates of Union Theological Semi- 
nary. Popular confidence was reestablished, and the flow 
of students set toward the College again. Prosperity and 
growth, to a greater degree than before, seemed the sure 
destiny of the school. The worst was over, and a better 
day had dawned. Religious activity increased. A revival 
took place in College, and fifteen out of the sixty-six 
enrolled were converted. A college weekly prayer meeting 
and a Sabbath evening preaching service were established. 

The New Professor's Scholarship. The standards 
of scholarship upheld by the new professor were high. 
He had not been studying at Maryville and in New York 
and teaching in the West to no effect. Accurate and ver- 
satile, he entered upon his new duties with enthusiasm 
and painstaking devotion. The faculty of three — Craig, 
Lamar, and Robinson — commanded public favor as much 
as did any Maryville faculty of the first college century. 
They revised the curriculum and planned an advance in 
college standards. Whether it was Greek or Geography 
that Professor Lamar taught, it was well taught. Pre- 
paratory, college, and theological courses were all thor- 

The; Teacher and His Teaching 43 

oughly conducted by him. In the first post-bellum year, 
he taught almost all the curriculum ! For a few years in 
the Sixties he was also County Superintendent of Public 
Instruction for Blount county, and won the strong endorse- 
ment of State Superintendent John Eaton, afterwards the 
United States Commissioner of Education. 

Patience in Class-Room Drill. Of indefatigable per- 
severance, he was especially effective in the painstaking 
drill that he gave his students in the Greek verbs and 
particles, and in all else that he taught. Of long-suffer- 
ing endurance, he trained his students in the mastery of 
details. Quiet but persuasive, his influence was every- 
where strong, and nowhere stronger than in the class 
room. It was the stolidity of the student rather than 
lack of persistence on the part of the pedagogue that 
accounted for any failure on the part of his pupil. 

Kindliness in Discipline. Where he felt it was pos- 
sible to save a student to better things, he was very patient 
and forbearing; but when the moral welfare of the entire 
school was involved, he could be very firm, and, when 
occasion required it, very stern. But, in it all, his kindli- 
ness of heart and genuine desire for the student's well- 
being revealed itself in all cases of discipline. Said one 
frequent offender: "He was kind to me, as if he wanted 
to do me good." With this kindliness, hovv^ever, there 
went along a shrewd insight that read with remarkable 
accuracy the true inwardness of the student arraigned 
before him. He was not often deceived, even when the 
student flattered himself that he had succeeded in an 
attempted deception. 

44 Thomas jEifFE;RSON Lamar 

Sympathetic Heart. He did not "carry his heart on 
his sleeve," and so some may have fancied him cold and 
indifferent, but they were entirely mistaken. Under his 
quiet reserve, there beat a heart of sympathy and loving- 
kindness. One of his students of the early days said of 
him : "No one ever went to him for help and came away 
empty." The fact that the students knew him to be 
thus in kindliest sympathy with them established between 
them and their teacher a very close and cordial relation- 
ship. And thus his heart taught his students even more 
effectively than did his intellect. 

Fruitful Pedagogy. And so this able and conse- 
crated teacher rendered a service to his students that 
won their gratitude and elicited their enthusiastic praise. 
Some of his students he made scholars, and Greek schol- 
ars, too; some he helped to a choice of a life vocation; 
some who had gone astray he won back to repentance and 
a new life ; many he aided in the greatest of all decisions — 
that of choosing the Christian life purpose. And so this 
teacher's influence flowed beyond the class room into the 
lives of his students. And for thirty years did this Chris- 
tian pedagogue render this gracious and helpful service 
to the students of Maryville College. 


A Christian Statesman 

The Teacher also a Statesman. There are teachers 
that are teachers and little else. Their orbit is a limited 
though worthy one. Of Professor Lamar, however, all 
who knew his work were constrained to say that he was 
not only a teacher and a Christian teacher, but also a 
Christian statesman. He had clear views and ideals of 
policy and of the best ways of realizing that policy. The 
daily routine of a treadmill existence was transformed into 
the delights of achievement as his vision pierced beyond 
the immediate present to the greater and more influential 
and serviceable future which should grow out of the 
prosaic present, and which was vitally connected with it. 
The treadmill work of today was connected in his broad 
vision with the useful triumphs of tomorrow, or of some 
other tomorrow. He was not content to be a mere school- 
room pedagogue. He was ambitious to help realize a 
better school-room and much beyond the school-room. 
He was a constructive educational statesman. 

Higher Christian Education. He recognized the fact 
that one of the most vital needs of the world is the need 
of higher Christian education. The result of his study 
of history and society was this tenet of his experimental 
philosophy : "The world is lost without trained Christian 
leaders." And since this is indisputably a fact, he decided 
to tie up his own life to this necessary and beneficent 
business of higher Christian education. 

Extension of Maryville's Contribution to It. From 

46 Thomas Je:pfi^rson Lamar 

1857, when he entered the Maryville faculty, till 1887, 
when his life work terminated, he was ever ambitious 
and resolved that Maryville College should in the amplest 
possible way realize Dr. Anderson's expressed desire, that 
it should "do good on the largest possible scale." His 
heart was burdened with a sense of duty to inaugurate 
ways and means by which Maryville could grow in facili- 
ties for doing more widely the good thing it had, during 
all its days, been doing, namely, the making of well- 
trained and far-visioned Christian leaders. To this great 
end, he dreamed, he resolved, he attempted, he achieved, 
and, finally, he gave his life. 

Its Clientage Increased. In this endeavor he joined 
his colleagues immediately in an earnest effort to increase 
the number of students in attendance. So successful was 
the attempt, even in those days of small population and 
no public schools and comparative poverty, that the en- 
rollment at Maryville was nearly doubled in those four 
troubled years before the outbreak of the Civil War. 
A new popular favor came to the institution, and there 
was fair promise of a much larger and more enthusiastic 
clientage. The United Synod, at Huntsville, Alabama, in 
i860, bore testimony: "The College of the United Synod 
at Maryville is now commanding public attention and 
attracting the regard of our denominational body in a 
higher degree than perhaps at any former period." 

The "South Hills" Expansion Planned. In con- 
junction with President Robinson, Professor Lamar had 
his share in planning the removal of the College from 
the half -acre campus on Main street to the spacious and 
quiet "South Hills," where, in the earliest days of the 

A Christian Statesman 47 

Seminary, the seminary farm had been located. He and 
President Robinson gave their personal note for $2,000, by 
which they secured option on fifty acres of that attractive 
site. Had the War not arisen, the probability is that their 
plan might have been realized, and the school have been 
removed to the South Hills. After the War, however, it 
was the East Hills, adjoining the South Hills, that Pro- 
fessor Lamar succeeded in securing, thus realizing the 
essential features of his ante-bellum dream. 

But War Engulfs Everything, While the little fac- 
ulty at Maryville was planning expansion, the cruel out- 
burst of civil war threatened extinction. The sectional 
quarrel had been of such long-standing duration, that 
many men had got into the habit of expecting that it 
would end in words, not blows; but they were now sadly 
undeceived. The fury of the struggle had in it the accu- 
mulated momentum of the long-dammed-up tide of bitter- 
ness. And the heart-broken professor, upon his return 
from presbytery on April 23, 1861, found that, the day 
before, the College had been closed, and that now teachers 
and students were scattering wherever their sense of duty 
and the force of circumstances were sweeping them. It 
was as if, an eye-witness from the shore, he had seen a 
gallant ship with which his fortunes and his interests 
were all identified, go suddenly down in the vortex of a 
raging whirlpool, leaving nothing behind but wreckage 
and the memory of its former beauty and utility. 

Everything ! Everything ! As he gazed, all that had 
been familiar and dear to him in connection with his own 
college days and then with his four happy years as teacher 
disappeared from sight. Engulfed in the maelstrom of 

4S Thomas JeF'Person Lamaii 

the War, there vanished the men who sat in the chairs of 
instruction and those who were enrolled in their classes 
as students. Down, too, went the modest endowment, the 
library, the buildings — one altogether and others practi- 
cally so — and, finally, even those ruins that remained. 
And amid these national and college disasters, the pro- 
fessor suffered the added griefs that come from domestic 
sorrow. He had lost in the summer before the outbreak 
of the War his wife and their infant child. But there 
remained with him his other child, little Katie, a beloved 
care that moved his heart with constant sympathy. And 
so within his borrowed home was this daily care, and 
without were the desolations of war. 

Yet Unwavering in Purpose, But throughout those 
dreary years Professor Lamar fainted not, nor swerved 
from his designs of good for the old College, and, through 
it, for the church and mankind. As he sat at the fire- 
place in the home of the Duncans, where he resided after 
the death of his wife, he would talk over his plans for 
reopening the College when the War should end; and 
then, before going to his room, he would conduct family 
worship, and never fail to pray for the College that then 
was not, but that should yet be again, if God should 
please. Dr. Alexander said of this period of Professor 
Lamar's life, "The professor, however, saw in the wide- 
spread desolation no ground for despondency, but rather 
an opportunity for work." Meanwhile he watched the 
progress of events with an eager eye and with confidence 
in the overruling providence of God. 

Only Awaiting an Opportunity. Tied down by the 
death of his wife to the care of his helpless child, he was 

A Christian Statesman 49 

not drawn into the war and war work. And so, provi- 
dentially, he was able to stay at his post, watching the 
interests of what had been and yet should be the insti- 
tution of higher Christian education to which he had 
devoted his life. Men may not turn aside the devastating 
currents of war, but they may wait until those currents 
have run their course and ebbed away ; and then they may 
take up again interrupted work and follow again the path- 
way from which they had been driven. This was another 
instance illustrating the truth of Milton's words : "They 
also serve who only stand and wait." 

Planning and Praying. "When the cruel war is 
over," was the refrain that ran through the thinking of 
Americans of both sections in those sad years of strife. 
Professor Lamar planned what should be with God's help 
in those blessed days to come; and then he prayed to 
God for his grace and favor to bring to pass the reali- 
zation of those plans. Tested and tried during those 
years and before those years, he believed most unre- 
servedly in the plans and providences of his heavenly 
Father, and sought with confidence to tie up all his own 
plans and purposes with the will of God. And God 
hears and heeds such knocking and seeking and asking 
as Professor Lamar brought to the place of prayer. 

Peace and Work Again. And when peace at last 
dawned again on a war-w"orn country, immediately this 
quiet, silent statesman began to set influences in operation 
to bring about the reopening and rebuilding of Maryville 
College in order that it might contribute its quota to the 
gigantic task then committed to the Christian colleges of 
the land in the preparation of a proper and adequate 


50 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

educated leadership for the reunited country and the New 
America that was to be. For two great causes he toiled 
day and night ; they were never off his thoughts, namely, 
the church and the College. And within six months after 
the close of the war, largely through his leadership, the 
Synod of Tennessee was reorganized and had held an 
epochal meeting at New Market, on October 12-14, 1865, 
and had appointed him a director of the College and had 
ordered him to reopen the institution. Within twelve 
months more, he was able to carry this order into effect. 
And thus the statesman's dreams had been justified and 
had begun to be realized. But this story belongs to the 
next chapter. 


A College Builder 

Facing a Scrap Heap. Surely no more unpromis- 
ing outlook for a college builder could have existed than 
was that before Professor Lamar as, at the close of the 
war, he looked out upon Maryville College to take stock 
of its resources. Those resources, at the best, before the 
war were limited enough, but now were almost non-exist- 
ent. The original seminary building had entirely disap- 
peared, while the main building was a mere skeleton, with 
no doors or window frames or even window casings. The 
library and, indeed, the wreck of the main building and 
the land it stood on, and all else, had been sold at sherifif's 
sale in 1864 to satisfy a judgment against the Directors. 
The endowment of $15,739 h^d been reduced to a face 
value of $7,182 and an actual value of $5,539. Add to 
this the cash value of real estate and other property, and 
the entire assets of the College did not amount to more 
than $6,036. Maryville College was, indeed, a scrap heap. 

What Synod Did. At the meeting of the Synod of 
Tennessee in its reorganization in 1865, Professor Lamar 
made a frank and, therefore, profoundly discouraging 
report of the condition of the finances, the plant, and the 
prospects of the College. A free discussion was had as 
to what should be done regarding the future of the 
Synodical College. Some felt that its case was clearly 
hopeless. It had been practically annihilated, and its 
friends were so impoverished that the problem of their 
own future was alone as serious a problem as they could 

52 Thomas Jei^^ERSON Lamar 

deal with. In the midst of the depression that prevailed, 
Hon. Horace Maynard, a delegate from the Second 
Church of Knoxville, rose and made an earnest speech in 
favor of the reopening and rehabilitation of the College, 
on the ground that otherwise the needed ministry for the 
churches of the Synod could not be secured. Professor 
Lamar and his friends agreed with Mr. Maynard's po- 
sition, and the Synod, as was stated in a former chapter, 
voted to revive the institution ; and to that end elected a 
full board of directors, and a treasurer, and empowered 
Professor Lamar to reopen the College in the fall of 
1865, if practicable, and at the same time appointed him 
as financial agent of the school. 

A Winter of Torture. It was entirely impracticable 
to reopen the school in the fall of 1865. There was no 
money available and the building was uninhabitable. But 
something had to be done or the dead could never be 
restored to life. Professor Lamar nerved himself to a 
heart-breaking task, and, in December, 1865, he com- 
mitted Katie, his little charge, to the kind care of Mrs. 
Duncan, and went North, and labored for four months, 
or until April, 1866, in a desperate endeavor to interest 
people in Maryville College, and to secure money for its 
rehabilitation. He was of a most retiring and diffident 
disposition, and so the work of seeking funds for the 
College was one that inflicted upon him untold torture 
and even agony. People at home were reduced to bitter 
poverty, while people in the North were not then in the 
habit of contributing largely to the cause of education 
even at home, and surely not to a far-off school in a sec- 
tion with which they had just been engaged in bloody 

A ColI/Ege; Builder 53 

strife. It would be hard to exaggerate the nerve-racking 
wretchedness that Professor Lamar endured for the king- 
dom of heaven's sake during those dreadful four months 
of his first financial agency for his alma mater. He was 
so economical that his expenses amounted to only $190; 
but his best endeavors were able to secure only $125 in 
contributions. Hon. William E. Dodge contributed $100 
of this sum. At last the four months came to a dismal 
end, and he returned to Maryville worn out and penni- 
less. Nothing was to be expected from a distance at that 
time of national disturbance and readjustment. 

Year One of the New College. So he returned to 
the Duncan fireside, and took to his heart again little 
Katie and his college problems. And he decided, as Dr. 
Anderson had decided in a similar predicament forty- 
seven years before, that, if others would not help, he 
would start the work without man's help. So on July 4, 
1866, fit day for so heroic and patriotic an announce- 
ment, he had issued over the signature of his future 
father-in-law. Rev. Ralph Erskine Tedford, Recorder of 
the Directors of the College, a one-page announcement 
that the reopening of the College would take place on 
Wednesday, September 5, 1866. By September, 1866, 
Treasurer John P. Hooke, "by prompt and energetic 
action," as Professor Lamar said, had succeeded in se- 
curing at a cost of $587, through attorneys, the few bonds 
of any value that had escaped destruction during the Civil 
War. They were Knox county bonds. He also had 
collected by that date in interest on the bonds and out- 
standing notes the sum of $1,039. ^^^"^^ so in Septem- 
ber, 1866, the boarding house, a dilapidated little frame 

54 Thomas Jeffeirson Lamar 

building on the present site of the Second Presbyterian 
Church, was redeemed at the cost of $217, and the main 
college building, for $59.25. And the sum of $97.60 was 
paid for glass and putty with which to repair the win- 
dows of those rooms of the college building that were 
to be occupied by the classes. And so Maryville College 
began its first year of the new era, on the first Wednes- 
day of September, 1866. The window glass had not yet 
been put in, and there was not a decent room in the 
tumble-down building. The cattle, wandering about the 
village, stared in wonder through the window openings 
at Professor Lamar and the lucky thirteen men who had 
answered the call of the old college bell on that historic 

The Salutatory. James Andrew Goddard, one of 
the thirteen, has a very distinct recollection of Professor 
Lamar's talk made to them at that unpromising opening. 
The professor congratulated them upon the desire for an 
education that their presence there indicated. He spoke 
of the power of an educated man ; and of his own fixed 
purpose, for the sake of country and church, to push 
forward the long-intermitted work of Maryville College. 
He urged the young men to exercise patience until their 
surroundings could be made more presentable, and coun- 
seled them to fidelity and industry. He told them not to 
be discouraged because the war had interfered with their 
education. If they worked hard, they could make up what 
was lost. The thirteen who listened to this reassuring 
talk and joined in that first chapel service of the new 
day were Francis Miller Allen, George Eagleton Bick- 
nell, Gideon Stebbins White Crawford, Calvin Alexander 

A College Builder '55 

Duncan, James Andrew Goddard, Benjamin Houston 
Lea, Isaac Anderson Martin, William Henderson Porter, 
Edward W. Sanderson, Hugh Walker Sawyer, Joseph 
Patton Tedford, Charles Erskine Tedford, and Edward 
Weeks Tedford. Four were returned soldiers. Six later 
on entered the gospel ministry. Mr. Crawford was for 
sixteen years Professor of Mathematics in Maryville 
College. Beside the thirteen students present, William 
Edmond Parham, then a little child of six years, was a 
very interested spectator. Professor Lamar holding the 
little fellow between his knees as he talked with the 

A Good Beginning. In spite of the "horrible and 
disgusting" building, as one of the thirteen described it, 
the school grew by additions until the modest four-page 
catalogue published at the end of the year contained the 
names of forty-seven students — two in the college de- 
partment and forty-five in the preparatory department. 
Among these students were men who became leading citi- 
zens of the county and some who attained distinction 
elsewhere. Besides the immortal thirteen there were 
enrolled : John Casper Branner, now ex-president of 
Leland Stanford University; James E. Alexander, and 
J. Albert Wallace, who afterward became ministers; 
James H. Alexander, James M. Brown, M.D., Moses 
Carson, James P., Richard, and W. G. Chandler, T. P. 
and S. A. Cowan, James Culton, W. F. Dowell, Capt. 
J. Perry Edmondson, B. F., I. W., J. L., and S. Hous- 
ton George, James A. and N. H. Greer, J. H. Harmon, 
W. W. Hedrick, John F. Henry, Z. Taylor McGill, Major 
William Anderson McTeer, R. P. McReynolds, C. A. H. 

56 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

Palmer, Robert Porter, J. G. Reed, M. C. Tipton, G. R. 
and W. A. Walker, James S. Warren, and D. M. Wilson. 
Several of these men were afterward directors of the 
institution, among whom were Major William Anderson 
McTeer, who has served thus far ( 1920) for forty-eight 
years (sixteen years as Treasurer), and Rev. Calvin Alex- 
ander Duncan, D.D., for forty-four years. The faculty 
that memorable first year consisted of Rev. Thomas Jef- 
ferson Lamar, Acting President, Professor of Languages, 
and Professor of Mathematics. Besides these depart- 
ments he conducted what else was taught, excepting those 
classes that were conducted by Isaac A. Martin, Tutor, 
sole member of the Junior Class. 

Finding Colleagues. In the circular catalogue for 
1866-67, Professor Lamar wrote what was more than a 
wish; it was part of his statesmanlike purpose. "The 
friends of the institution," said he, "at the earliest practi- 
cable period, wish to provide a full and efficient faculty, 
and all the facilities for a thorough education." His own 
salary was not adequately provided for ; what could he 
offer to others? And yet he began to gather about him 
colleagues who were to bear their share of the responsi- 
bilities and ambitions of the College. In Union Theo- 
logical Seminary he had known and esteemed P. Mason 
Bartlett, a member of the class following his own. He 
had hoped to secure this friend of his at the very opening 
of the College in 1866, and did print his name in the July 
circular as the professor to be in charge of the Depart- 
ment of Mathematics. But Dr. Bartlett did not join him 
at Maryville until in March, 1869, when he came to enter 
upon his duties as the third president of the College, to 

A College; Buii,de;r 57 

which position he had been elected on September 26, i< 
upon the recommendation of Professor Lamar. In the 
fall of 1867, Professor Lamar secured as Professor of 
the Latin Language and Literature, Rev. Alexander Bart- 
lett, the brother of Dr. Bartlett. These three professors 
made up the faculty until 1875. They were aided by 
tutors and assistant teachers. In 1875, Rev. Gideon Steb- 
bins White Crawford, of the class of 1871, a graduate of 
Lane Theological Seminary in 1874, became Professor of 
Mathematics. Rev. Solomon Zook Sharp was a professor 
from 1875-78; William A Cate, from 1879-92; in 1884, 
two other former students of Professor Lamar's, Rev. 
Edgar Alonzo Elmore, '74, and Rev. Samuel Tyndale 
Wilson, '78, were added to the faculty. Six members 
of this faculty rendered a total of one hundred and 
twenty-nine years' service to the institution. 

The Motives He Urged. To illustrate the motives 
that Professor Lamar held before those whom he sought 
to bring into the Maryville faculty, the writer ventures to 
quote a few lines from a letter he received upon reaching 
Tennessee after his health had broken down in Mexico: 
"I have now and then had it in my mind to write to you 
about accepting a professorship in the College, but ques- 
tioning both the propriety and possibility of persuading 
you to abandon your very hopeful and interesting mis- 
sionary work, I have not had the courage to do so. The 
only reason at all plausible I could think of was that, by 
stirring up and advancing a missionary spirit in the Col- 
lege,, you might multiply yourself many times in Mexico. 
* * * In view of the condition of your health and 
your probable exclusion from Mexico, and in view of a 

58 Thomas Jefi'Erson Lamar 

constitution that will have constant need of a healthful 
climate, and in view of the hopeful and promising field 
here presented for training and sending forth laborers 
into the field both home and foreign, will you not weigh 
prayerfully and carefully the reasons pro and con for 
making Maryville College the theatre of your life work?"' 

Winning Friends and Donors. In a few lines may 
be recorded what it took years of toil to bring about — 
the interesting of generous donors in this little East 
Tennessee college. With the help of such agents as Rev. 
Samuel Sawyer, and the efforts of President Bartlett, and 
the mediation of influential friends who were leaders of 
the Presbyterian Church, Professor Lamar had the satis- 
faction of seeing a small but interested clientage built up, 
and money begin to be contributed to Maryville College. 

Jehovah-jireh ! A Nev^^ Campus ! Real estate was 
low, and Professor Lamar looked longingly at the East 
Hills and the undulating and picturesque campus it might 
come to be. Could not the dreams of other days now 
come to pass? On October 14, 1867, a check for $1,000, 
the largest gift ever received by Maryville up to that 
time, was received from William Thaw of Pittsburgh, 
a donor whose name was so connected with Maryville 
thereafter that, had its owner consented, the name of the 
institution might have been Thaw College. Two days 
later, this check together with a note for $691.50 was 
paid to Julius C. Fagg for the sixty-five acres that still 
form the front of the campus. And now, at last, after 
forty-eight years, the College owned a beautiful, ample, 
and appropriate site ! For the forethought that secured 
this sightly campus and extended it till it is one of the 

A College Builder 59 

largest and best in the possession of an American college, 
those of the present generation often bless the sagacity 
and statesmanship of Professor Lamar. The property 
has increased a hundredfold in money value, but it has 
also, throughout the era of expansion, allowed the build- 
ings a choice of sites, and made possible such immunity 
from fire risk as few colleges enjoy. 

And Four New Buildings! Mr. John C. Baldwin 
was interested by an article that Professor Lamar wrote 
for the New York Evangelist, and by visits from Dr. 
Bartlett and Mr. Sawyer; and within two years contrib- 
uted the splendid sum of $25,400 to the College. Mr. 
Thaw, Mr. Dodge, and others made liberal contributions, 
and the Directors were able to erect in 1869-70 a main 
building, almost a replica of the old college in town but 
much better built. It was named for Dr. Anderson, 
Anderson Hall. Memorial and Baldwin Halls, with ac- 
commodations for one hundred and thirty students and 
a boarding hall, were erected in 1870-71. The first build- 
ing erected, however, was a residence for Professor 
Alexander Bartlett, which also was made possible by a 
contribution by Mr. Thaw. Professor Lamar moved into 
the two north rooms on the second floor of Memorial 
Hall in the autumn of 1871, when the hall was first occu- 
pied by students. His rooms were very comfortable and 
attractive, very different from any that Maryville had 
ever been able to provide up to that time. The professor 
had charge of the young men who occupied the building. 
He remained thus in charge until his marriage in 1874. 
The three main buildings were well built after plans by 
Architect Fanstock, under the immediate and efficient 

6o Thomas JFvI^ferson Lamar 

supervision of President Bartlett, who, himself, in his 
youthful days, had had experience as a builder. 

But Unremitting Toil and Cares. The building of 
a college amid the hard conditions of those early after- 
war years called for heroic persistence in labors and heroic 
defiance of nerve-racking cares. Those were the days of 
divided counsels in national and State and local matters. 
Naturally there were serious differences of opinion as to 
college policies. And among other burdens borne at that 
time of testing and tension was that of litigation regard- 
ing the property of the College, which was instituted 
after the new buildings had been erected; it extended 
over eight weary years. The fact that the College was 
"in Chancery" of course prevented possible donors from 
contributing to an endowment; and all that the college 
people could do, was, in the expressive phrase of the 
English in the latest war, "to carry on." And with it all 
was an excessive amount of work in the class room and 
out of it, in a school that was prospering in the attendance 
registered but not in the means of paying the teachers. 
Countless harassing difficulties, burning heartaches, and 
cruel sacrifices are not recorded in this booklet, nor even 
in the knowledge of men ; but they are all recorded in 
God's book of remembrance. 

For Fourteen Long Years. And this toil and 
trouble simmered and bubbled in the caldron from 1866 
till 1880, with little intermission. There was a grievous 
wearing away of nerves and endurance during those 
trying years. Had it not been for the loyal support and 
inspiring sympathy of William Thaw and William E. 
Dodge throughout those weary years, the burden could 

A College Builder 6i 

not have been carried. These generous friends of Chris- 
tian education contributed Hberally every year toward the 
current expenses of the College, their benefactions thus 
taking the place of an endowment until the endowment 
could be sought and secured. The panic of 1873 inter- 
rupted these annual gifts ; and then, had it not been that 
Professor Lamar and President Bartlett were willing to 
teach when their salaries were in arrearages, the school 
would have had to be closed. ]\Taryville College lives 
because overworked and underpaid professors anrl teach- 
ers have stayed by the stuff for the kingdom of heaven's 

Success! Two Hundred Students! By 1880 the 
enrollment of students had arisen to two hundred, twice 
the high water mark of the ante-bellum College. And 
that signified the success of Maryville's lifelong struggle 
to do good on a larger scale. And the clientage was 
becoming a wider and more representative one, and the 
enrollment in the college department had risen to thirty- 
two. There were now four buildings, a spacious campus, 
a nucleus of $13,000 in endowment, and, best of all, what 
seemed a little army of students, at this loyal West Point 
of Christian education. 

But Anxiety, Deficit, and Debt. The builder had 
built, but at cost to himself, even to the shortening of 
his life. But not yet had he made his supreme sacrifice 
for the College. The lack of adequate income to pay the 
teachers' salaries and to meet the increase in the expenses 
of the institution as the number of students increased, 
taken in conjunction with the coming of hard times to the 
country, made it inevitable that a deficit and, consequently, 

62 Thomas Jei^fe;rson Lamar 

a debt should be incurred. There was but one safe and 
prudent way to provide against any debt and deficit, and 
that was to secure an endowment that should bring in 
a regular income that could be applied to financing the 
necessary budget of the institution. This had long been 
recognized to be imperatively the next advance that must 
be made by the College; and now that the lawsuit was 
disposed of, the way was open for an attempt to make the 


An Endowment Founder 

Endowment or Collapse! Maryville College had 
now grown to such proportions, and was so steadily en- 
larging its proportions, that it was increasingly and con- 
vincingly evident that it could not go on trusting to annual 
contributions to provide for its growing budget. The 
panic of 1873 had for several years cut ofif or diminished 
the annual gifts of William Thaw and William E. Dodge, 
and the occasional gifts of others, until, in spite of bitter 
retrenchment, the debt amounted in 1878 to more than 
ten thousand dollars. Most of this debt was due to Pro- 
fessor Lamar, who for years had not drawn his full salary, 
and had even advanced money for the necessary expenses 
of the College. The faculty, the directors, the Synod, and 
Professor Lamar all realized that there must be a sub- 
stantial amount of endowment raised, or a collapse must 
ensue. And when, in 1880, the paralyzing litigation came 
to an end, all felt that the crisis must be faced and a 
desperate attempt to secure endowment must be made. 
Fourteen years after the College had been reopened, there 
was an endowment fund of only thirteen thousand dol- 
lars. And yet the necessary expenditures were mounting 
higher every year. 

Enlistment for the Forlorn Hope. At a meeting 
of the friends of the institution to consider the matter, 
by a process of elimination one and another were shown 
not to be available to conduct this forlorn hope campaign ; 
and then some one turned to Professor Lamar and said, 

64 Thomas Je^fferson Lamar 

"Professor, you see that you are the one that must go." 
The professor turned ashy pale, but seemed to recognize 
the apparent necessity, and, ere the conference closed, 
had "enlisted for the duration of the war." He was no 
coward, or he would not have consented to go; his soul 
shrank from the dread ordeal, but, like his Master, for 
the sake of others he would go into the darkness of the 
Garden or even to his Golgotha. 

The Task an Impossible One. One hundred thou- 
sand dollars — no less — must be the goal, for no less than 
six thousand dollars a year must be added to the college 
income in order to meet the expense account. But how 
hopeless to seek to find donors for this vast sum, for it 
was indeed vast then, when large gifts to education were 
very rare. With a local clientage able to help but little, 
how could it be believed that strangers of another section, 
who had never seen Maryville, should contribute to it this 
preposterously large endowment? How could a modest 
school-teacher of Maryville, Blount county, Tennessee, 
challenge the attention and gain the liberality of enough 
men on a large enough scale to secure for this little and 
unknown school in the Southern mountains the sum of 
one hundred thousand dollars? The task was palpably 
and unquestionably an utterly impossible one. That is, it 
was impossible with men. 

The Means, a Modest Man. The timidity, the self- 
effacement, and yet the resolution of this endowment- 
builder are revealed in the following extract from a letter 
written in behalf of the College: *Tf I have been over- 
anxious," he wrote, "and have crossed the limits of deli- 
cacy and propriety in urging the matter, I am sure your 

An Endowment Founder 65 

generous nature and broad Christian spirit will readily 
overlook and forgive. It has been my lot in life to work 
at foundations beneath the surface. I shall never expect 
to rise above the surface. But, then, there is, in the 
church and world, need of men to work below the sur- 
face, where they are obscure and unknown. And if they 
do well their work, they will not be forgotten. In my 
time I shall hardly look for Maryville College to rise much 
above the surface, but if we can lay deep, broad, and solid 
foundations, others, no doubt, will rear suitable super- 
structures thereon." Dr. Carson W. Adams said of him: 
"He had what I call the force of modesty, combined with 
faith and quiet persistence, that led him to success." 

The Dynamics, Faith in God. In his shrinking self- 
depreciation, he said that he did not have the qualities 
needed by a financial agent of a college. He certainly did 
not have self-assurance and dash and egotism and callous- 
ness to rebufif, and similar traits, if such qualities are 
requisite to make an ideal endowment-founder; but he 
did have a quality, which, joined with Christian fidelity, 
God can use to work miracles with, and that supreme and 
vital quality — faith in God — he had in large degree. In 
confident trust, he was accustomed to submit without a 
murmur to God's providences, and also to follow God's 
guidance, and, in it all, to commit his way unto the Lord, 
and trust also in him, assured that he would bring it to 
pass. And this faith, we may well believe, may, after 
all, be the best possible dynamics even in securing college 
foundations ! 

A Three Years' Struggle. At last all preparations 
were completed, and the professor started, on Novem- 

66 Thomas Jkfferson Lamar 

ber 17, 1880, upon his forlorn hope. Less than a month 
later he was summoned home by the fatal illness of his 
only child. Ralph Max, the pride of his heart, died on 
December 15, a few days after the heart-broken father 
had reached home. Surely now he would give up his 
unwelcome task as financial representative of the College. 
No! a month later, on January 19, 1881, he set out again, 
this time accompanied by his wife. The first year he 
was in the field for seven months, and secured pledges 
for $65,000 — $25,000 from Mr. Dodge, $20,000 from 
Mr. Thaw, and $20,000 from Mr. Smith — on condition 
that $100,000 be secured by the end of the year. Little 
more was secured during the year, but the time limit was 
extended by the subscribers. The second year, 1882, Mr. 
Lamar spent two and a half months in the field, but only 
small subscriptions were secured. The third year wit- 
nessed the death of William E. Dodge, true friend of 
the College in a critical time in its history. His family 
assumed the subscription of $25,000 made by Mr. Dodge 
and renewed in his will, and still further extended the 
time limit. 

The Cost of the Campaign. The financial cost of 
the campaign as conducted with extreme economy by Pro- 
fessor Lamar was almost incredibly low — only $702 ; but 
the cost in other respects was excessive. The cost in com- 
fort was very heavy. For one of so retiring a nature as 
was Professor Lamar's, it was a crucifixion to have to 
approach strangers for financial help. And this pain was 
suffered not merely while he was in the field, but also 
so long as the necessity to seek out such possible donors 
rested over him as a gloomy pall. For three long years 

An Endowment Founder 67 

he was in inquisitorial torments. The cost in courage was 
very great. Day after day he was forced to approach 
men who were strangers to him and to his cause ; and the 
loss of nerve power expended day after day, in screwing 
his courage to the sticking point, told seriously against 
him when, ere long, the break-down came. No soldier 
on the battlefield ever exhibited a higher type of valor 
than he showed in this battle for Maryville and the Chris- 
tian education of his people. No one but God and him- 
self knew how painful were the experiences of those three 
years. However, he flinched not, because he was a good 
soldier of Jesus Christ, and he had received his orders 
from his Lord and Master. 

Nothing Impossible with God. One November night 
in 1881, he wrote home from New York, telling a col- 
league of his experiences. After recounting some griev- 
ous disappointments, he added: "I am out every day 
calling on men, but as yet finding no response. All is 
darkness and uncertainty. I can not walk by sight. But 
I am here, and I know no better way than to keep try- 
ing and do my duty as best I can, and trust God for the 
issue. But let us not despair ; let us hope and work on. 
According to our resources, we are doing as much good, 
I candidly believe, as any institution in our country ; and 
we have a right to believe that God will help us, and make 
perfect his power in our weakness. I do not think that 
in anything I have ever before undertaken, have I had 
such a felt need as now of divine guidance, support, and 
help. I sometimes feel that for this special work I am 
without wisdom, strength, tact, or fitness. What has been 
done, and what may be done, is, and must be, of God 

68 Thomas Jej^f^Eeson Lamar 

only. May we all feel how absolutely dependent we are 
on him, and take hope and courage from the fact that 
with God nothing shall be impossible!" 

His Helpers. In the terribly depressing loneliness 
that came to him as he was among strangers, it seemed 
sometimes as if no one took his part, and that all forsook 
him ; but, like Paul, he could say : "But the Lord stood 
by me, and strengthened me." And he found to his com- 
fort that there were those who proved themselves true 
and tried brethren indeed. Among them were the four 
chief subscribers to the endowment, and Drs. Henry 
Kendall, Henry A. Nelson, Thomas S. Hastings, and 
Edward D. Morris. They carried his burdens on their 
own hearts, and their sympathy and help greatly encour- 
aged him in his gigantic task. The many letters inter- 
changed by these Christian men during this period were 
full of loyal interest and brotherly love. These friends 
highly esteemed the modest and devoted champion of 
Christian education for the youth of East Tennessee, and 
they did what they could for him and his cause. 

The Donors. There were, however, no persons more 
interested in the success of the endowment campaign than 
were the four men who subscribed the largest amounts 
to the fund. Mr. Baldwin had died before the fund was 
begun. Mr. Thaw, Mr. Dodge, and Mr. Smith all exhib- 
ited the keenest personal interest in the progress of the 
campaign and the liveliest desire for its success. In this 
attitude they were joined by Dr. Sylvester Willard, of 
Auburn, New York, who also subscribed liberally to the 
fund. Personal regard for the brave but modest leader 
from East Tennessee was united with warm sympathy 


Wlt.l.lAM e.OOD&E 


%*««!• IB 



Rebuilders of Marvville College. 

An Endowment Founder 69 

for the young people of that section. And they gave, and 
prayed, and used their influence that success might crown 
Professor Lamar's faithful efforts. The interest that 
Mr. Thaw felt in Maryville may be inferred from the fact 
that up to January, 1882, his gifts to the College for cur- 
rent expenses, made since he began giving to it in 1867, 
amounted to $22,500, nearly as much as his subscription 
of $25,000 to the permanent endowment fund. And sev- 
eral donors of smaller amounts also greatly strengthened 
Professor Lamar's hands in his efforts to complete his 
appointed task. 

The Day of Victory. Even three such years as were 
those dreary years of struggle come to an end if only one 
lives on and fights on. xA.nd, at last, the last day of the 
year of our Lord, 1883, had come, and Professor Lamar, 
the last interview over, the last letter written, but not the 
last prayer offered, was sitting in Dr. Kendall's office at 
23 Centre street, New York, his endowment fund yet 
lacking ten thousand dollars to complete it. The time 
limit of the subscriptions was to be midnight of that day. 
Man's extremity, as usual, was God's opportunity. While 
the professor was sitting there in great anxiety, a tele- 
gram was handed him from Mr. Thaw adding $5,000 to 
his former subscription. And then, as another crowning 
providence, a telegram from Dr. Willard, adding $5,000 
to his previous gift of $5,000, brought to the heavy-laden 
professor such a release from his anxious tension that he 
was almost overcome. Praise and thanksgiving rose to 
God, the giver of the victory, and the news of the victory 
was telegraphed to the waiting friends at Maryville. The 
greatest day in the history of Maryville had come, and 

70 Thomas Jei^ferson Lamar 

the school had waited sixty-four years for it to come! 
God's providence had made possible a greater Maryville. 
The $100,000 meant as much then as many times that 
amount would mean now. 

Hallelujah! The almost ecstatic joy in the victory 
was well expressed in a letter written on New Year's 
Day, 1884, to Professor Lamar by Dr. Henry A. Nelson. 
He said: "I trust Kendall slept last night. I lay awake 
a good deal with thankful joy. I think of the thankful 
joy that has filled so many dear, patient souls in Ten- 
nessee, and my heart runs over with the fullness of con- 
tent ! Hallelujah ! God bless Thaw and Willard. By the 
way, Thaw got the 'Key-stone' after all, did not he? I 
know, dear Lamar, that you are supremely happy. God 
give you yet many years of fruitful work in your dear 
College." And happy Dr. Willard wrote as follows : 
"When Dr. Kendall informed me by telegraph that in 
a few hours ninety-five thousand dollars of conditioned 
contributions would be lost for lack of five thousand dol- 
lars to bind the contract, I thought it a good business 
transaction to gain ninety-five thousand dollars by paying 
five thousand dollars. I trust that no one will charge 
me with taking usury by such unwonted per cent ! In 
blessing others may you be fully blest!" Dr. Carson W. 
Adams added his congratulations in hearty form : "Well, 
patience, perseverance, and faith do accomplish great 
things! I had almost begun to despair. The new year 
must have begun very brightly with you at Maryville. 
Your work in life has been one which ought to give you 
great satisfaction. Within the past twenty years you were 
all there was of Maryville College. You are the second 

An Endowment Founder 71 

father of the College. Your name must in all the future 
be coupled with that of Dr. Anderson. You not only 
began the work of the College anew ; but now have com- 
pleted so much of an endowment as to insure its success 
in the future ; and the amount of money now secured will 
attract other funds to your institution. What a witness 
to the power of quiet, persistent energy over fuss and 
feathers your success is!" 

The Supreme Sacrifice. The first month of the cam- 
paign for the endowment was saddened by the death of 
little Ralph Max Lamar; the last month, by the sudden 
death of Professor Alexander Bartlett, after sixteen years 
of faithful service as a professor at Maryville. The 
campaign was to be followed ere long by the death of 
the devoted man, who, under Providence, had carried it 
through to a victorious issue. Professor Lamar returned 
from New York and resumed his position in the class 
room, but his vital forces, never very vigorous, had under- 
gone a terrific strain from which they were unable to 
recover. He found much to do in collecting the subscrip- 
tions and in helping reorganize the College on the new 
basis that was made possible by the endowment. This 
with the class-room work he greatly enjoyed, but his 
strength began to ebb away. He kept at his work from 
his return in January, 1884, until commencement in 1886, 
but his decline in health became so pronounced that he 
was compelled, in the summer of 1886, to give up his 
work and he became a prisoner in the sick room. During 
that summer arid fall and winter his decline continued, 
until, on Sabbath morning, March 20, 1887, his tired 
heart ceased its beating. 

72 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

Post-Mortem Endowment Building. Professor La- 
mar, being dead, yet buildeth. During his ten months' 
imprisonment, his thoughts often dwelt on the need of 
further endowment. With the faith and vision of a 
prophet, he said to those with whom he conversed regard- 
ing the matter, that, while $100,000 would take care of 
the beginnings of the work at Maryville, the sum of 
$500,000 would soon be needed to take care of what 
Maryville would develop to be. And with heroic courage, 
he said that, if he recovered, he would attempt the task 
of securing that immense sum. Although God kindly 
gave him rest from such distressing labors, those who 
took up his work had the satisfaction of seeing this dream 
of his realized. Under the providence of God his labors 
were carried forward by his boys and by those who came 
to their aid ; and in a very real sense he helped his suc- 
cessors gather these post-mortem endowments. He built 
more widely, as well as more wisely, than he dreamed; 
indeed, he is yet building for Maryville. 


A HoME^-LoviNG Man 

His College Home. Professor Lamar was preemi- 
nently a home-loving man. As a boy he had loved his 
Jefferson county home ; and, indeed, he never lost his 
love for it. But naturally his college home at Maryville 
became his real life-home and the one that was dearest to 
him. As student, alumnus, professor, and rebuilder of 
Maryville College he loved his "dear college home"; and 
wherever he went, his heart, untraveled, fondly turned to 
ft, and "dragged at each remove a lengthening chain." It 
was here, that, in the providence of God, he spent most 
of his life. 

His Missouri Home. It was in Missouri, however, 
near the homes of his parents and brothers and sisters, 
that he established his first home after completing his 
education. From the theological seminary in New York, 
as we have seen, he made his way westward to Weston, 
Missouri, the home of the family. Here, amid his rel- 
atives, he made his own home during the next three 
years, in which he served as a minister in and around 
Weston. And very pleasant were these years of reunion 
with his kindred, from whom he had been separated for 
so long a period. But it was time, now that he was 
engaged in his life-work, that he should have, in its truest 
sense, a home of his own. 

His Savannah Providence. It has already been 
stated that, at the intercession of his old Maryville Col- 
lege friend, Rev. Elijah A. Carson, of Savannah, Andrew 

74 'Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

county, Missouri, Mr. Lamar removed to Savannah in 
1855, and took charge of the academy at that place, and 
took part in the work of the ministry in the surrounding 
country. It was while here that he met, at the home of 
Mr. Carson, a lady whose charms and virtues ere long 
won his regard and affection. This "elegant and accom- 
plished lady," as one described her, was the young widow 
of Simon McDonald, M.D., a physician of Savannah. 
Mrs. Martha Elizabeth McDonald — her maiden name 
was Arnold— was born on November 16, 1830, and so 
was then only twenty-four years old. She was a very 
attractive and lovable young woman. It was not strange 
that these young people should be drawn together by their 
common interests and by the worthy character each saw 
in the other to admire ; and that they should decide to 
establish together a home, to be theirs until they should 
be separated by death. 

A Home of His Own. The childhood home of Mrs. 
McDonald had been near Liberty, the county seat of Clay 
county, in a rich farming region, located about five miles 
from the Missouri river and about ten miles distant from 
Kansas City. It was at Liberty that, on October 23, 1855, 
Rev. Elijah A. Carson, the old friend of both contracting 
parties, performed the service that united Rev. Thomas 
Jefferson Lamar in marriage with Mrs. Martha Elizabeth 
McDonald. And now an ideal home was established at 
Savannah — a home in which mutual love was safeguarded 
and sanctified by the love of God. For nearly two years 
this happy home continued, and then was closed only to 
be reopened at Maryville, where Mr. Lamar was then 
called to labor. 

A Home-Loving Man 75 

Little Katie. On February 3, 1857, there was born 
into the new home at Savannah a Httle one whom they 
named Mary Kate. Little Katie was an invalid child and 
was a charge, at first to both parents, and three years 
later, when her mother died, to her father, who devoted 
much of his time to taking care of her. "She found a 
warm place in his heart." "He had for her a very pecu- 
liar and tender affection," an affection that was at once 
paternal and maternal, for he had to make up to her the 
loss of her mother. Little Katie was only a few months 
old when Mr. Lamar brought her and her mother from 
Missouri to Tennessee, when he came to enter upon the 
professorship at Maryville to which he had been ap- 
pointed ; and the little girl lived until 1870, when she died 
of measles, at the age of almost thirteen years. After 
the death of his wife, Professor Lamar found an ideal 
home for his child and himself about a mile from Mary- 
ville in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rankin Duncan, the 
parents of Dr. Calvin A. Duncan, John P. EHuican, and 
Mrs. Jennie Duncan Crawford. Here during the dark 
days of the Civil War and the dismal days that followed, 
the widowed father cared tenderly for the little girl who 
had been left in his charge. 

The Home Broken Up. In the summer of 1857, the 
Lamar home was set up in Maryville in the house at the 
corner of High and College streets that is now the manse 
belonging to New Providence Church. For nearly three 
years Mrs. Lamar shared, at Maryville, with her husband 
the cares of their child and of the home, and sympathized 
and cooperated with him in his college work. Into this 
home there was born, on February 16, i860, a daughter. 

y6 Thomas Je^fferson Lamar 

whom Professor Lamar named Martha Elizabeth, in 
honor of her mother. But both mother and child soon 
went into a decline, and before the summer was well 
advanced, they were both laid away in the New Provi- 
dence cemetery, the babe dying on June ii, and the 
mother on June 12. Thus, at only twenty-nine years of 
age, was the young mother taken from the home which 
she had made happy by her presence and love. Nearly 
ten years later, on January 10, 1870, at the Duncan home, 
Katie, the other member of the little family, was taken 
from her father. His grief was poignant. When the 
last struggle was over, the professor took a loving and 
agonized look at the little form and walked sadly out of 
the room, a lonelier man than ever. 

A Loving Nature. Professor Lamar was so quiet a 
man in his make-up that those that did not know him 
well sometimes made the mistake of judging him cold and 
unresponsive. Ihe fact is, as has been said before, he 
had a peculiarly loving and sympathetic nature, as all dis- 
covered who had at all intimate relations with him. He 
reached the Duncan home, on his return from a trip to 
visit his Missouri relatives, on April 25, 1864, the day 
that Rankin Duncan passed away. And his sympathy 
was that of a kinsman. For a year or more he had with 
him at his home at Mrs. Duncan's two young kinsmen, 
Gazaway B. Lamar and John Basil Lamar, brothers, from 
Georgia. He took as much interest in the lads as if they 
had been his own sons, and when one of them sickened 
and died, his heart was sorely grieved. Only those near- 
est to him in the life of the home realized what depths 
of tenderness there were hidden in his nature. 

Mrs. Martha A. Lamar. 


•8 ••# V 

Ralph Max Lamar. 

A Home-Loving Man 'j'j 

"Uncle Tommie." Mr. James Gillespie, who gradu- 
ated the year after Mr. Lamar did, says in his reminis- 
cences that even in those days Mr. Lamar was called 
"Uncle Tom" by his fellow-students. The writer also 
recalls that while the professor's nieces, Georgia and 
Lizzie Tommie Brady, daughters of his sister EHza, of 
Weston, Missouri, were students at Maryville, in 1874-75, 
they were accustomed to call the professor "Uncle Tom." 
The students lovingly took up the appellation, and trom 
that time onward the different generations of students 
claimed their personal relationship with the professor by 
also calling him "Uncle Tommie." And he enjoyed the 
title, and retaliated by treating the boys and girls more 
like sons and daughters than like nephews and nieces. 

A Home Again. Fourteen years had passed after 
the death of his first wife, before he reestablished his 
home. On June i, 1874, he was united in marriage with 
Miss Martha Ann Ted ford, the ceremony being per- 
formed by Rev. Alexander Bartlett, pastor of the bride, 
at her father's home on College Hill. Professor Lamar 
once said that the only women he had loved were both 
named Martha, and that he had married them both ! And 
a happy home he found in -his new relationship. 

Mrs. Lamar's Father. Rev. Ralph Erskine Ted- 
ford, the father of Mrs. Lamar, received his college and 
seminary education at Maryville under Dr. Isaac Ander- 
son. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presby- 
tery of Union on October 3, 1832, and was ordained by 
the same presbytery on April 3, 1834. He spent his min- 
istry principally in Bradley county, Tennessee. Several 
churches, including the one at Cleveland, owed their 

78 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

organization to his labors. At times he had the very great 
pleasure of having with him at his camp-meeting services 
his beloved teacher, Dr. Anderson, who said to him : 
"Nothing pleases me more than the opportunity to visit 
and assist my young brethren in the ministry." Mr. Ted- 
ford spent the last years of his life at Maryville, where 
he died, on /August 23, 1878, at the home of his daughter 
on College Hill. His father and mother, Joseph Tedford 
and Mary McNutt, were among the pioneers who emi- 
grated from Rockbridge county, Virginia, to the wilds 
of eastern Tennessee. Dr. Anderson's home was also in 
Rockbridge county; and the Tedfords, McNutts, and 
Andersons attended the same church. It was a remark- 
able coincidence that Mrs. Mary McNutt Tedford heard 
both the first sermon and the last sermon preached by 
Dr. Anderson. The Anderson family came to East Ten- 
nessee some time later. Soon after the arrival of the 
Tedford and McNutt families in what is now Blount 
county, they were compelled, on account of the hostility 
of the Indians, to take refuge in a fort which stood 
where Mrs. George's residence on Washington Avenue 
now stands, just above the bold, crystal spring that is 
the pride of Maryville In this fort, Joseph Tedford and 
Mary McNutt were married by Rev. William Cummings. 
After hostilities ceased, the newly married pair located 
two miles south of Maryville, on a farm extending up to 
the Niles Ferry Road ana beyond it, and now adorned 
with a number of beautiful homes ; and there they built 
their "cottage in the wilderness." Ten children came to 
this home, six sons and four daughters, Ralph Erskine 
being the eighth child. This was a godly home, the Bible 
being its rule and guide. 

A HoMK-LoviNG Man 79 

Mrs. Lamar's Mother. Mr. Tedford's wife's maiden 
name was Malinda Gillespie Houston, one of the twelve 
daughters of Major James Houston, six of whom mar- 
ried Presbyterian ministers. As we have seen, theology 
was taught in Maryville College in those early days, and 
the six young theologues whose names are here given 
wooed and won six of Major Houston's fair daughters: 
James Gallaher, the noted evangelist, William Woods, 
John Sawyer Craig, long a professor in Maryville College, 
Haywood Bennett, Hillary Patrick, and Ralph Erskine 
Tedford. Mr. Gallaher was the only one of this number 
not educated at Maryville. Mrs. Lamar's mother was 
first cousin of the hero of San Jacinto, General Sam 
Houston. Mrs. Lamar's maternal grandfather. Major 
Houston, was very active in the Indian wars in East Ten- 
nessee in those pioneer days. With a little garrison of 
frontiersmen he resisted an attack of hostile Indians at a 
point a few miles south of Maryville. In honor of his 
bravery, the fort there established was called ''the Hous- 
ton Fort." Major Houston held offices of trust in his 
home county, and at one time served as Secretary of State 
for Tennessee. 

Mrs. Lamar's Brothers. Mrs. Lamar's brother, Jo- 
seph Patton Tedford, was one of the original thirteen 
students at the opening of the College after the Civil 
War. Dr. Calvin A. Dimcan, who was one of his class- 
mates, and is still active in his work of the gospel minis- 
try, speaks of "Joe" as a very promising boy, a good 
writer, a logical debater, and a diligent student. Joe's 
last work in College was an oration on "The Ravages of 
Time," delivered in the Animi Cultus Hall on June 15, 

8o Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

1868. Little did his dear ones who were present at that 
commencement exercise think that he would 30 soon fall 
victim to the ravages of time. His last effort was on the 
following Fourth of July, when he was one of the speak- 
ers on the old Everett Hill in northeast Maryville, where 
hundreds of East Tennessee's loyal sons and daughters 
were gathered to celebrate the day. Mrs. Lamar's oldest 
brother, James Wisner, was also a student of the College, 
and was a classmate of the late Charles T. Cates, Senior. 
In 1852, when in his fourteenth year, he was taken away 
by death. He had been a member of the Beth-Hacma 
Literary Society, and the society adopted resolutions 
appreciative of his life and character. 

The Wedding Tour. Mrs. Lamar gives the follow- 
ing account, from notes by the way, of the wedding tour: 
"Following the wedding, we started on a tour to the 
East. We visited Washington City, where we spent four 
days; Baltimore, a week with relatives; Philadelphia, with 
its Girard College and Independence Hall ; New York 
City, for nearly two weeks ; then up the historic Hudson, 
with its shores rich in legends, to Albany; then the cele- 
brated Vick flower gardens; from there to Niagara Falls 
for two days, and then across the suspension bridge into 
good Queen Victoria's dominion, and an all night's jour- 
ney in Canada, arriving at Detroit for breakfast on the 
morning of the Fourth of July ; thence to Chicago ; and 
thence to St. Louis, where Miss Badgley, a teacher in 
the College who was at our wedding, guided us through 
Shaw's Botanical Gardens. And now, after two months 
of intensely interesting travel and sight-seeing, we started 
westward to visit the brothers and sisters of Mr. Lamar, 

Maplecroft — Mrs. Lamar's Residence. 

A Home-Loving Man 8i 

twelve of whom were living on or near the old paternal 
homestead in Platte county, Missouri; and right royally 
did they welcome us. After a visit and reunion of a 
month's duration, we packed our trunks and turned our 
faces homeward to dear old Maryville, East Tennessee. 
On the afternoon of August 23, we reached our home on 
College Hill, after an absence of nearly three months. 
Here Mr. Lamar took up again his college work. He was 
so happy to have a home againV and he said : 'Ours is, 
indeed, an ideal home ;' but those nearest to him said that 
it was he who made it so by his tender thought fulness 
and kindly ministrations." 

The Advent of Little Ralph Max. Into this happy 
home came, by the blessing of God, a little son, Ralph 
Max, born to the rejoicing parents, on November 7, 1878. 
They called him Ralph for his maternal grandfather and 
Max for Max Mueller, the eminent orientalist and philol- 
ogist, whose works in his library Professor Lamar greatly 
prized. And so the home was illumined with the joys of 
parenthood and its happiness was complete. 

The Stay of Ralph Max. And the little lad devel- 
oped and became a stout and sturdy boy. And his bright 
and responsive nature called forth all the love of his 
parents' hearts. He was naturally the center of the little 
home. His father playfully tried to teach him the Greek 
alphabet and his mother drilled him with the words of 
love treasured in his mother tongue; and his childish 
prattle and boyhood glee filled the house with music. 
And the parents had day-dreams of his future and of 
the time when he should carry forward his share of the 
world's work in his father's stead. And prayers were 

8a Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

offered to God, in his behalf, and praise was rendered to 
God for the giving of him. And the child grew to be 
two years of age, and the future was before him. 

The Departure of Ralph Max. But the tragic, in- 
exorable, and inexplicable day came when Ralph Max 
was not, for God had taken him. On November 17, 1880, 
his father had torn himself away from home joys and 
home comforts to go to New York to begin the campaign 
for the endowment of the College. On December 7, just 
a month after Ralph's second birthday. President Bartlett 
telegraphed him, "Ralph is sick. Doctor hopeful. Your 
wife says. Come home." It was meningitis that was the 
cruel death messenger. The heart-broken father reached 
home in time to be with his child a few days before his 
death. On December 15, 1880, the little one was taken 
home by the heavenly Father. It required nothing less 
than the sustaining power of God and unyielding faith 
in his holy providence that ruleth over all to enable the 
prostrated father and mother to sustain the crushing 
blow. But by God's prevalent grace, each was enabled to 
say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." 

Partnership in Sorrow. The sorrowing parents laid 
away their dead, and then together journeyed to New 
York to carry forward the life-work that must go on, 
no matter how many heart-strings are broken. And they 
sought to comfort one another, and to bear one another's 
burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. And as they 
passed through what was to them a Gethsemane, they met 
their Lord amid its deepest shadows. Thus companion- 
ship in grief proved also to lead to companionship in con- 
solation. And in their home, though, for the time, it 

A Home-Loving Man 83 

was removed to a New York boarding house, they found 
together the strength to continue on their pilgrim way 
submissive and resohite and hopeful. 

The Last Home-Coming, January i, 1884, was a 
day of great rejoicing over the success of the endow- 
ment campaign, but the letting up of the strain revealed 
the greatness of the cost of the victory. The time was 
approaching when this home-loving man was to be called 
to his heavenly home. His constitution had been broken 
by the many years of intense care and anxiety, with their 
climax in the dread three years of the endowment cam- 
paign. When he laid aside his text-books after the exami- 
nations in May, 1886, he laid them aside forever. Kor 
ten months thereafter the decline was constant. During 
the last ten days of his life it was evident that the end 
was approaching. He wished to live for the sake of his 
three loves — his companion, his church, and his college; 
and he hoped up to the very last that he might be per- 
mitted to do so; but he was completely resigned to the 
will of God, whatever that might be. On Sabbath morn- 
ing, March 20, 1887, he was told that he was dying. At 
10:40 a. m. he tranquilly breathed his last, and passed 
into his heavenly home and into the Sabbath-keeping that 
remaineth for the people of God. 

His Wife's Devotion. It was beautifully fitting that 
so home-loving a man as was Professor Lamar should 
have had so devoted and successful a home-maker as his 
companion during the last and most strenuous period of 
his life. For nearly thirteen years Mrs. Lamar sought in 
his days of health and in those of his illness to surround 
him with the gracious influences of home life. She found 

84 Thomas Jeffe;rson Lamar 

her joy in identifying herself with his interests in order 
to help share his burdens and win his successes. She was 
faithful unto his death, and had the happiness of hearing- 
his appreciation of her faithfulness expressed in almost 
his last words. Said he: "I have the best nurse in the 
world." And, as he saw her struggle with her emotions, 
he said : "Weep, it will relieve you." Over his grave in 
the tranquil college woodland she erected an appropriate 
monument with this inscription : "In loving remembrance 
of Rev. Thomas J. Lamar. Born, Nov. 21, 1826. Died, 
March 20, 1887. For thirty years a Professor in Mary- 
ville College, his most enduring monument." In honor of 
Ralph Max she also erected, in 191 o, the beautiful and, 
since then, indispensable "Ralph Max Lamar Memorial 
Hospital," which is a benediction indeed to the many 
students who every year have a share in the advantages 
afforded by it. And now, thirty-three years after his 
demise, his widow is publishing this biographical sketch, 
lest the later generations of Maryville College people 
should forget the manner of man it was who rebuilt for 
them the College which they now see in its strength and 


A Typical MaryviIvLE Man 

We have passed in review the Hfe and services of a 
good man. Before we conchide our sketch, it is fitting 
that there should be a brief summing up of the more 
saHent quahties that made him a man who will be remem- 
bered among us so long as Maryville College shall endure. 
And this is especially fitting since he is revealed by his 
Hfe and labors to have been a typical Maryville College 
man. His life is at once a norm and an ideal to those 
who continue his labors, whether as directors, teachers, 
or students of the old College. 

A Builder of Maryville Men. He devoted half his 
lifetime to the building of character in the students that 
were under his influence at Maryville College. It was 
Christian character that above all else he sought to make 
dominant in the life of every student. He wrought tire- 
lessly to build each one up in substantial and worthy 
scholarship ; but his chief endeavor was to fashion him 
into a temple for the holy uses of his God. This kind of 
work was, in his view, the high calling of God in Christ 
Jesus that had come to the members of the faculty of the 
College. And his students all bore testimony to his faith- 
fulness in this work, and were prompt to give him credit 
for much good that had entered their hearts during those 
character-forming days that they spent at the College. A 
letter from a member of Maryville's Class of 1873 tells 
how an interview that Professor Lamar had with him 
when yet a preparatory student bore fruit six years later 

86 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

in leading him into the Christian ministry. Scores of 
others could tell a similar story. 

An Embodiment of the Maryville Spirit. The ex- 
planation of Professor Lamar's eminent success in the 
making of Maryville men was to be found in the fact that 
he was himself a living embodiment of the qualities that 
constitute the Maryville spirit. Under the tutelage of 
pastors who had been educated under Dr. Isaac Ander- 
son, and then, under the tutelage of Dr. Anderson him- 
self and the doctor's colleagues, during his college course 
and part of his theological course, his disposition — itself 
unselfish and benevolent — responded heartily to the train- 
ing received, and he went out into life to exemplify the 
spirit of his alma mater. And his students could readily 
understand his teachings since their feasibility and attract- 
iveness were visibly and tangibly illustrated before them 
in the daily life of their teacher. By their fruits ye shall 
know both men and ideals. 

In "Breadth of Human Interest." A striking char- 
acteristic of the spirit of Maryville has ever been a re- 
markable breadth of human interest. This was the spirit 
of Terence who said that since he was a man everything 
human concerned him ; but preeminently was it the spirit 
of the great Teacher of Maryville men who said: "In- 
asmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Mr. Lamar esti- 
mated man by the ransom that had been paid by Heaven 
for him, and he sought the welfare of every brother man 
as of a brother redeemed by the same Lord. By his mar- 
riage in 1855 h^ became the owner of a slave, but then 
and throughout his life he exhibited the utmost interest 

A Typical Maryvilli; Man 87 

in the welfare of the colored people. His spirit, even in 
the trying days of war and turmoil, was one "with malice 
towards none, with charity for all." He began his own 
ministry on what was then home missionary territory, and 
his joy ever was to help contribute Christian workers 
for destitute fields throughout the Southwest and West, 
and, indeed, throughout our entire country. A foreign 
missionary in spirit, he rejoiced to see a strong tide of 
Maryville men and women set toward the foreign mission 
fields. Between the years of 1877 and 1887, the last ten 
years of his service at Maryville, fourteen of his students 
became missionaries and represented him in China, Japan, 
India, Korea, Persia, Syria, Africa, and Mexico. It was 
one of these missionaries. Rev. Thomas Theron Alex- 
ander, D.D., who, while home on a furlough, in 1888, 
delivered the address — a biographical sketch and appre- 
ciation of Professor Lamar — at the dedication of the 
Lamar Memorial Library. And, of course, the pro- 
fessor's heart was devoted to the development of Chris- 
tian education and the provision of church privileges in 
the Southern Appalachian region, for whose service the 
College had been founded in 1819 by Dr. Anderson. He 
had a large share in the extraordinary development of 
church academies in county seats throughout the Southern 
mountains during the years following 1881. The work of 
these academies was epoch-making ; the church had never 
done a more statesmanlike piece of work or one that 
rendered a greater patriotic and religious service to the 
mountaineers. These church academies had much to do 
with the revival of interest in education that has led the 
States to take up ajid carry forward the high school work 
in the counties. Professor Lamar's breadth of human 

88 Thomas Jei'^i^rson Lamar 

interest led him as early as 1867 to throw open the 
College for the entrance of young women on the same 
conditions as were enjoyed by the young men. 

In "Thorough Scholarship." Mr. Lamar was looked 
upon by some as being the best educated of Maryville's 
graduates before the Civil War. His scholarship was 
very accurate and thorough. His insight into his studies 
was keen and quick. In spite of his limited resources 
he succeeded in collecting what was for the day a valu- 
able library, in which he greatly enjoyed delving. His 
students never caught him unprepared, and they had 
confidence that his class-room decisions were based on 
research and sound scholarship. During his long connec- 
tion with the College, the exigencies of the case required 
him to teach at different times almost every study in the 
curriculum, and he did so with striking ability and versa- 
tility ; but, when it became possible to do so, he confined 
his work to the chair of the Greek Language and Liter- 
ature, in which department his scholarship was especially 
strong. However, his scholarship was also strong in the 
use of his mother tongue. He composed rapidly and with 
clearness and force, seldom having occasion to alter the 
phraseology first chosen. Indeed, he was thorough in 
everything. He practiced his own advice to his students : 
"You are students. Strive to go to the bottom of every 
subject. Never tolerate in yourselves superficial study 
and partial investigation." 

In "Manly Religion." This story of this life should, 
indeed, have been written in vain should not the impres- 
sion have already been strongly made that the man whose 
story is here recounted was one whose life was permeated 

A Typical Maryville; Man 89 

through and through with the principles of a valorous 
and manly religion. There was in him nothing soft or 
invertebrate ; his religion made a stalwart hero of him ; 
and manly men saw and admired his manliness and heroic 
courage. Said one who met him often during his endow- 
ment campaign: "You know with what self-abnegation 
he went back to the impoverished College after the war, 
and with what heroic patience he stood by it, like a pilot 
at the wheel of the ship while it was slowly moving 
through fog and among icebergs. I know of no finer 
example of Christ-like unselfishness or of Christian wis- 
dom and manliness among all my acquaintance than was 
Professor Lamar." He learned from the Man of Galilee 
those heroic qualities that made him the Galilean's worthy 
disciple in such days of stress as tried men's souls. 

And in "Unselfish Service." He had learned lessons 
of unselfishness from the saintly Anderson ; the College 
practiced that grace in caring for its students ; and the 
very genius loci seemed to be that same beautiful Chris- 
tian grace of unselfishness. And an embodiment of it 
was he as he also went about doing good, at the expense 
of great self-denials. His personal preferences, wishes, 
comforts, and happiness he relentlessly pushed aside in 
order to take up the duty of service to the College and 
thus to the church and the country. "Let him take up 
his cross and follow me," was to him no meaningless 
phrasing, but it was Christ's challenge to altruistic serv- 
ice ; and so he took up his cross and followed him. In 
counseling the Class of 1877 at their graduation he said : 
"God calls you to devote yourselves to his cause; to give 
yourselves to a life of usefulness ; to labor to advance the 

■ I \'' ' 

^ >r. 

90 Thomas Jijfferson Lamar 

great principles of truth and righteousness; to be the 
patrons and friends of whatever will elevate the race; to 
give back to him in his service the result, the fruit of the 
talent, learning, and influence he has conferred upon you. 
Wherever he may send you, to whatever task he may 
assign you, stand at the post of duty, and let neither feaf 
nor favor drive you therefrom. All the gifts God has 
given you, devote honestly and faithfully to the great 
ends for which they were given." 

Thus in his breadth of human interest, thorough 
scholarship, manly religion, and unselfish service did Pro- 
fessor Lamar, throughout his career, manifest and com- 
mend the Maryville spirit that has now for more than a 
century been the chief glory of our College. And thus 
he blended precept and example according to the best 
pedagogical principles. 

A Gentle Man. Few men were more gentle by na- 
ture than was Professor Lamar. Retiring and modest 
and timid, he avoided prominence and disliked notoriety. 
These traits made him somewhat uncommunicative with 
regard to his feelings and his inner life. But coupled 
with this retiring disposition was the utmost kindliness 
and gentleness in his relations with others. It took a 
great deal of provocation to arouse his spirit. In debates 
in presbytery and synod it was frequently his pleasure 
to pour oil on troubled waters. However, gentleness is 
often coupled with great power, and it was so in his case, 
though the stranger sometimes did not recognize such a 
combination in him. The writer recalls distinctly that 
when he was in Lane Seminary at Cincinnati, Mr. Lamar 
visited tW institution, in October, 1881, and that some of 

A Typical MaryvillE Man 91 

the students were surprised when the Maryville boys told 
them that in that quiet man dwelt the Nestor of East 
Tennessee Presbyterianism and the rebuilder of Mary- 
ville College. As was to be expected, this gentle man was 
also in every respect a gentleman. Of course, he was a 
man of unimpeachable probity, spotless record, and irre- 
proachable life; but, also, more positively, he always 
carried with him those "high erected thoughts seated in 
a heart of courtesy," that marked him, wherever he was, 
as a member of the worthy brotherhood of Christian 

A Man of God, There is a peculiar dignity and sig- 
nificance in the phrase, "a man of God." It carries us 
back to Bible times and to such Bible characters as Moses, 
Elijah, and Elisha, and Paul's young ministerial friend, 
Timothy. But it also seems to be markedly appropriate 
and applicable to such a man as the one whose life we 
have been reviewing. "He was a good man, and full of 
the Holy Ghost and of faith." A godly man and God's 
man — his life proved him both ; and with unwavering con- 
fidence in God's wisdom and love and power, he sought 
to conform his will to God's will. He counseled an old 
student : "The ways and rulings of our heavenly Father 
are strange and inexplicable. We are often left in the 
dark, and can do nothing more than await and suffer his 
will. Work and duty are ours. Much else belongs to 
God exclusively." He was ever a humble and obedient 
man of God. 

A Friend of Men. Every student of his found in his 
teacher a sincere and personal friend. To him he carried 
with perfect freedom his troubles, and he always went 

92 Thomas Jei^fe^rson Lamar 

back to his room helped in some way. Countless hours 
did the professor spend in fatherly and intimate conver- 
sation with his students regarding their immediate prob- 
lems and often regarding the use they should make of 
their life. His most efifective work, perhaps, was done 
in such friendly interviews. Dr. Alexander quotes one 
former student as saying in recognition of many such 
personal interviews: "I should rather do something to 
perpetuate the memory of Professor Lamar than any- 
thing else in the world. He was a tender, loving father 
to me when I was in school. He knew more about me 
than did any one else. Many were the kind counsels he 
gave me in his room. He did more to establish religious 
principles in me than did any other one." "Many a poor 
student received substantial aid from him." The first 
post-bellum graduate of the College paid him this tribute 
in an address before the Alumni Association: "Of these 
four (teachers). Professor Lamar seemed closest to me. 
Not that he was a better instructor, for he was not; 
but he was so gentle, so patient, so liberal in dealing 
with my wild, wayward nature, that I instinctively loved 
him. May the sod under which he sleeps rest lightly on 
his remains !" And the friendliness that he manifested 
toward his students, his heart felt also for others. For 
example, he even found time to intercede with those that 
were able to give, to lend assistance to those who, in the 
academies of the mountains, were seeking an education ; 
and thus he was able by proxy to help many young 
people, even beyond Maryville's own student body. 

Honored of Men. From the time of the reorgani- 
zation of the Synod in 1865 and the reopening of Mary- 

The Lamar Memorials — Hospital and Library. 

A Typical Maryvii^i^e Man 93 

ville College in 1866, Mr. Lamar was generally recognized 
at home and abroad as the leader of his denomination 
in East Tennessee. He was made Stated Clerk of the 
Synod. His study was, indeed, a council-chamber for his 
brethren throughout the section, and no narrow councils 
prevailed there. The personal regard in which he was 
held was manifested, besides in other ways, by the naming 
of scores of children for him. Even as late as 1900, the 
writer of this sketch named his youngest son, "Lamar." 
Wooster University, in 1884, conferred upon Professor 
Lamar the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity; and 
all except himself called it a well-deserved honor ; he in 
his modesty declined it as "not worthy of it." He was 
honored while living, and his memory has been honored 
since his death. 

The year following his decease the beautiful and very 
useful Lamar Memorial Library was erected on the 
campus by Mr. Thaw, Mrs. William E. Dodge, and Mrs. 
Sylvester Willard. Mr. Thaw, whose affection for Pro- 
fessor Lamar was very sincere, led in planning and 
providing for this appropriate memorial. Mrs. Lamar 
contributed the private library that the professor had left ; 
while the brothers and sisters of the professor provided 
a rare and artistic memorial window in which, after 
Diirer's picture, the Resurrection is beautifully depicted. 
This attractive building honored the memory of Professor 
Lamar in the way that would have been most grateful 
to him — by rendering a large and daily service to the 
students of the institution. 

At the funeral of Professor Lamar on Tuesday fore- 
noon, March 22, 1887, the old chapel was filled to its 
fullest capacity with sorrowing friends, who had gathered 

94 Thomas Jei^ferson Lamar 

from all over Blount county and even over East Ten- 
nessee. The business houses of Maryville were closed 
during the service. Addresses were delivered by Rev. 
Donald McDonald, pastor of New Providence Church, 
and the members of the faculty. At the close of the 
service, a procession reaching across the campus accom- 
panied the remains to the peaceful college cemetery, 
where they were to find their resting place until the resur- 
rection. Beautiful and appropriate exercises were held at 
the grave. A profound sense of the fact that a prince in 
Israel was being laid to rest pervaded all the obsequies. 
No such funeral had been held in Maryville since 1857, 
when Dr. Anderson's body was interred in the old church 
cemetery on Main Street. Parishioners from several 
country churches which the professor had served during 
his thirty years at Maryville added their tearful tribute to 
the beloved pastor who had married hundreds of them, 
baptized their children, received them into the church, and 
buried their dead. His college colleagues spoke of the 
history their senior professor had written with tears that 
others might read it with joy. The untold difficulties, 
unrecorded heartaches, and undreamed-of sacrifices that 
he had endured, they knew, were written in God's book 
of remembrance. 

The students in their resolutions regarding his death 
emphasized especially "his eminently useful and exem- 
plary life — a life that was a prominent factor in making 
the institution what it is, and in giving it character 
abroad." The faculty resolutions are full of appreciation 
and sorrow, as the following brief excerpt indicates : 
"From the time when, at the call of his alma mater, he 
returned from the West to teach in her halls, he devoted 

A Typicai, Maryvii^le; Man 95 

his soul and body and his time and talents to the welfare 
of College and students. When the institution reopened 
after the war, he was its entire faculty ; and ever since 
has, very naturally, been regarded as the center of all the 
activities of the College, and to him faculty and students 
have turned as to a father. His inestimable services in 
the resuscitation and equipment of the institution, and his 
herculean labors in providing its endowment are at once 
our cherished pride and, as they remind us of our loss, 
our sad heritage." The directors reviewed the thrilling 
story of his services to the College, culminating in the 
securing of the endowment fund ; and they closed their 
tribute with the words: "By his death the College lost its 
greatest friend, the Board its wisest counselor, and the 
entire community one of the best and most influential 

Honored of Heaven. Before his death Professor 
Lamar had the deep satisfaction of witnessing the ap- 
proval and benediction of God rest richly upon his labors 
for the causes he loved. He saw the College rise out of 
its ruins and enter a new home on the Eastern hills, and 
go on developing until it had a teaching force of eleven, 
a student body of two hundred and fifty, and an endow- 
ment of $113,000. Only the approval of God upon his 
efiforts could have wrought such a miracle. And in 
another way that gave him even greater satisfaction could 
he recognize the evidences of God's approval, and that 
was in the manifest blessing of God that was granted his 
efforts to lead the young people into the service of the 
church of Christ throughout the world. From his home 
on College Hill he could look abroad over his beloved 

96 Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

East Tennessee, and over the entire nation, and even 
beyond to the ends of the earth, and everywhere see his 
proxies — his former students — sent out after long train- 
ing and earnest prayer, laboring for the establishment of 
happiness, character, and usefulness among the children 
of men. Compared with such transcendent honors con- 
ferred by heaven's Immortal King, how insignificant are 
the insignia of honor and the decorations of rank con- 
ferred by human governments ! In Thomas Jefferson 
Lamar was richly verified the promise of God, "Them 
that honor me, I will honor." 





Wilson, Samuel Tyndale 

Thomas Jefferson Lamar 

JUN 2 9 1387 

SEP 1 9 1989 
^'^"^ 2 3 1980 






Wilson, Samuel Tyndale 

Thomas Jefferson Lamar